WWE Announces New Developmental Signing of International Talent

In a media alert, WWE has announced the signing of Manuel Alfonso Andrade Oropeza to a developmental contract.  Oropeza wrestles as La Sombra internationally and has already begin training at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL.  He is 26 years old and has wrestled since the age of 13.  He has worked with CMLL in Mexico and New Japan Pro Wrestling since 2010.  Other career highlights include winning the NJPW Intercontinental World Championship as well as various CMLL championships and the NWA Championship.

The media alert reads as follows:

“Standing 5 feet 9 inches and 200 pounds, Oropeza hails from a long line of wrestlers that has seen his grandfather, father, uncles and cousins all compete in lucha libre. He signed with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in 2007 at age 17, where he trained under El Satanico. Known as “La Sombra,” Oropeza has held many titles during his time with CMLL including the Trio, Tag Team, Welterweight, Middleweight and NWA championships. He has also made multiple trips to Japan for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) where he won the Intercontinental World Championship in 2013.”



The Young Bucks Sign with Ring of Honor

Today, Ring of Honor announced via a press release that Matt and Nick Jackson, known as the Young Bucks, have signed an exclusive deal with the company.  Terms were not disclosed, but according to the release, they will be able to continue to work with New Japan Pro Wrestling.  The press release is shown below:

(BALTIMORE, MD) – After years of touring the globe as one of the most popular free-agent tag-team, Matt and Nick Jackson, a.k.a. The Young Bucks, have signed exclusive contracts with Ring of Honor.

“We evaluate the landscape right now, we look around at professional wrestling, and everything is evolving. Tag team wrestling is what we do, and this place [Ring of Honor] has the best tag team division in the world, and we want the best competition,” said Matt Jackson. “We want the best matches. It’s all about quality for us. We call Ring of Honor home; you’ll be seeing a lot of us.”

Since 2009, The Young Bucks have regularly fought in Ring of Honor’s tag division and have proved to be one of the most entertaining tag teams in history, continuing to push their popularity with signature taunts and world-famous SUPERKICK parties. Ring of Honor is excited to officially be the home of the Young Bucks.

The Young Bucks will also continue to compete for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where they are part of the Bullet Club through ROH’s continued working partnership. They are also 3-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and have won the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship once before, but are hungry to get the gold back again.

More information about The Young Bucks, including upcoming appearances and featured products, can be found on


AXS TV to Showcase New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9 Event in October

(Photo Credit: TV Asahi/New Japan Pro Wrestling)

In a press release sent to us here at, AXS TV has announced that they will showcase the New Japan Pro Wrestling “Wrestle Kingdom 9” event during October.  Starting October 9 and running through November 6 the network will air various matches from the event.  The show starts at 9PM EST on your local AXS channel, so check your listings.  The press release is shown below:

LOS ANGELES – Sept. 30, 2015 – As the home to NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING, AXS TV has acquired the promotion’s action-filled 2015 pay-per-view event “Wrestle Kingdom 9.” This special edition will feature all 10 matches from the celebrated annual event, including an entire episode dedicated to the headlining rematch between IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and rival Kazuchika Okada. The 10 matches will be broadcast over five consecutive weeks starting Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with commentary from Mauro Ranallo and Josh Barnett.

NJPW’s biggest annual event, “Wrestle Kingdom” takes place every Jan. 4 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Last year’s “Wrestle Kingdom 9” counted over 36,000 fans in attendance and featured a number of high-stakes clashes, including battles for IWGP Heavyweight, Intercontinental, Junior and NEVER Openweight Championships.

AXS TV’s presentation of “Wrestle Kingdom 9” kicks off with two junior heavyweight matches Oct. 9 starting with a four-way match for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship followed by Ryusuke Taguchi defending his IWGP Junior Heavyweight title against Kenny Omega. Then, on Oct. 16, Tetsuya Naito and A.J. Styles face off in a singles match before Tomohiro Ishii defends the NEVER Openweight title against Togi Makabe.

NJPW’s “Wrestle Kingdom 9” continues on AXS TV Oct. 23 with three full matches: first the Bullet Club squares off against Tomaoki Honma and veteran tag team Tencozy in a six-man tag team match; then MMA legends Kazushi Sakuraba and Minoru Suzuki face off in a special single match; and Bullet Club members Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows put their IWGP Tag Team Championship belt on the line against Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata.

NJPW airs an hour early Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT featuring an epic eight-man tag team match before Kota Ibushi challenges Shinsuke Nakamura for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship title. AXS TV wraps up “Wrestle Kingdom 9” with the anticipated main event between IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and his rival Kazuchika Okada Nov. 6.

AXS TV’s NJPW episodes are produced by and acquired from TV ASAHI CORPORATION.

The episode listings are as follows:

Oct. 9 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

  • IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship four-Way Match – Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish; KUSHIDA and Alex Shelley; Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov; and Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship – Ryusuke Taguchi versus Kenny Omega

Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

  • Tetsuya Naito versus A.J. Styles
  • NEVER Openweight Championship – Tomohiro Ishii versus Togi Makabe

Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Tomaoki Honma versus the Bullet Club (Jeff Jarrett, Back Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi)
  • Special Single Match – Kazushi Sakuraba versus Minoru Suzuki
  • IWGP Tag Championship – Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows versus Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata

Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT

  • Toru Yano, Naomichi Marufuji, Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste versus Takashi Iizuka, Shelton X Benjamin, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship – Shinsuke Nakamura versus Kota Ibushi

Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT

  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship – Hiroshi Tanahashi versus Kazuchika Okada


Around the Ring w/Ring Rap for 9/24/2015 – ROH Show Thoughts, Further Discussion of Sting’s Injuries, Fans Jumping the Ring, Twitter Questions, and More

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Senior Writer Bill Wentz drops by prior to consuming Pro Wrestling Beer for the Thursday night edition of Around the Ring.  He crushes it with another wide band of topics this week.  Topics in this podcast include:

  • Ring of Honor’s Weekly Show Thoughts
  • Responding to @iconnic on Twitter, who asked about Asuka’s NXT debut
  • Discussion of the Brock Lesnar “Go to Hell” Tour Event at Madison Square Garden
  • Fan that jumped the ring at Night of Champions charged and sentenced
  • Discussion of preliminary medical reports on Sting’s injuries from Night of Champions
  • …plus more!

Ring Rap Audio is back on Saturdays, and we’re always looking for your questions and points of discussion.  Send them in on Twitter or to our Facebook or Google+ pages by the links below.

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Dru is on Twitter @dru_mighty.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!

Music credit: “Gearhead” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Interview Highlights: Kazuchika Okada Speaks with Rolling Stone, Talks WWE Rumors, Working with ROH, More

New Japan Pro Wrestling sensation and current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada recently sat down with Rolling Stone Magazine to conduct an interview.  They spoke about his rise in NJPW, rumors about him making the jump to WWE, the upcoming retirement match against Tenryu, and a lot more.  The full interview can be found at this link and is worth checking out, but here are some excerpts.

Rolling Stone:  A month ago, at the end of the G1 Climax Tournament, it was announced that you would face Tenryu in his retirement match.  What does it mean to you to face him?

Okada:  Tenryu is a legend in Japan.  However, it will be just another match.  I don’t know him well, so he’s just another wrestler to me.

RS:  Speaking of the G1 Climax tournament, obviously it’s huge in Japan, but it seems more and more people are paying attention to it in America, too.  Why do you think that is?

O:  It’s the biggest tournament in the world.  Nobody else runs a tournament like it.  Nobody has 20 of the best wrestlers competing in so many different matches.  There is nothing like it in the world.  My dream is to bring a G1 Tournament to the United States.  I want to do a G1 in front of American crowds.

RS:  How do the wrestlers in ROH compare to the wrestlers in New Japan?

O:  They are at the same level.  I wanted to wrestle against new people, but it’s very similar to wrestling in Japan.  I really appreciate ROH for letting me wrestle in the United States.  American fans get to see me, and get to see New Japan.  Ring of Honor lets us do that.  I love working in front of American crowds.  When I do the pose (throws arms wide), the crowd does it with me.  I love that.  The crowds don’t do that in Japan.  They respond a lot more in America.

RS:  Since you like working in front of American crowds, could you see yourself leaving Japan and working in America, whether it’s for ROH, WWE, or someone else?

O:  I like doing shows with Ring of Honor, but I don’t want to leave Japan.  I’m not interested in WWE at all.  Many people ask me about WWE, and if I”d go to WWE in the future.  They ask me if I’m going now.  I will not go.  I want to make New Japan Pro Wrestling bigger.  That’s my future.


Ring of Honor’s “Field of Honor” Results for 8/22/2015 – MCU Park Event in Brooklyn Featuring New Japan Pro Wrestling Talent

The following are the quick results of the Ring of Honor “Field of Honor” event that took place tonight at MCU Park in Brooklyn, NY.  The show, running opposite of NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, featured talent from New Japan Pro Wrestling as well as ROH talent.  It was said the stadium was approximately half full.

Show results courtesy

  1. Adam Cole def. Christopher Daniels.  Chris Sabin tried to interfere but got superkicked.  Cole finished with his shoulderbreaker/brainbuster finish.
  2. War Machine def. Killer Elite Squad.  Rowe pinned Davey Boy Smith Jr.
  3. Watanabe def. Dalton Castle, Adam Page, Frankie Kazarian, Silas Young, Bushwhacker Luke, Moose, Donovan Dijak, and Cedric Alexander in a gauntlet match.  Bushwhacker Luke did his Royal Rumble spot where he entered, got tossed out, and kept marching.
  4. The Young Bucks, ACH, and Matt Sydal def. The Kingdom (w/Maria) and RPG Vice.  Sydal pinned Taven.
  5. Hirooki Goto def. Michael Elgin
  6. The Briscoe Brothers def. The TimeSplitters (Alex Shelley and Kushida)
  7. Kazuchika Okada def. Roderick Strong.  This was said to be match of the night.
  8. Nakamura and Jay Lethal def. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly (rEDragon)




Ring of Honor TV Taping *SPOILERS* From August 21 Show in Philadelphia

Ring of Honor taped their next several shows at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA last night.  The following are the results of the tapings, courtesy  If you don’t want to have any of the upcoming broadcasts spoiled, please don’t click the “Continue Reading” link!  As always, if you have more information to add, or want to supply results for future tapings, feel free to email me at

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Jushin “Thunder” Liger Discusses How his WWE NXT Appearance was Set Up

As you know, Jushin “Thunder” Liger will be appearing at the NXT “Takeover: Brooklyn” event on Saturday in Brooklyn, NY.  He recently conducted an interview, which you can read a translation of at that discussed how the match got set up.

Liger pointed out that he was attending an ROH show last March in Philadelphia, and NXT was running the same area that week.  Liger heard that Finn Balor was on the NXT show and wanted to see him wrestle.  He had an agent for New Japan Pro Wrestling reach out to NXT’s Matt Bloom (f/k/a Tensai), who at one time worked in New Japan.  Bloom set Liger up with a seat for the NXT event.

Liger complimented Balor on his match against Neville that night and said that Balor thanked him for coming.  A couple weeks later, William Regal, Bloom and Balor reached out to NJPW to contact Liger.  NJPW connected them with an agent for the company, and the match was set up from there.

Liger pointed out that this is a “one off” match and he is not working any sort of “double contract” in this situation.  Liger admitted to not knowing much about Tyler Breeze but was aware that Breeze was trained by Lance Storm.

There is much more in the full interview at the link provided.  Be sure to click on the “English” link at the top right of the page banner, as the site is in Japanese otherwise.


Around the Ring w/Ring Rap for 7/23/2015 – Thoughts on TNA and ROH, NJPW Gets an Extended Deal with AXS, and More

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Senior Writer Bill Wentz throws us a curve ball and takes the helm for Thursday nights.  He stops by to give his thoughts on TNA Impact, ROH, and some other odd topics.  Topics in this podcast include:

  • Thoughts on TNA Impact from 7/22/2015
  • NJPW signing a longer-term deal with AXS TV for US broadcasts
  • Thoughts on ROH’s 200th episode
  • …plus more!

Ring Rap Audio is back on Saturdays, and we’re always looking for your questions and points of discussion.  Send them in on Twitter or to our Facebook or Google+ pages by the links below.

We welcome your feedback!  Let us know what you like and what you’d like to hear!

Be sure to check out our weekly show, Ring Rap Audio! (iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS)

Follow all of us on Twitter as well: @RingRapAudio and @RingRap.  Bill is on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan.  Matt is on Twitter @bigmat75.  Drew is on Twitter too @PsionStorm.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+!


Music credit: “Gearhead” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


AXS TV Announces New Multi-Year Television Agreement with TV Asahi for New Japan Pro Wrestling Series

Earlier this morning, was sent a press release announcing that AXS TV has struck a deal with TV Asahi in Japan for a multi-year agreement to continue to air New Japan Pro Wrestling on their channels.  The show debuted in January of this year and AXS will air a total of 42 episodes this year.  The hour-long show can be found on your local AXS channel every Friday night at 9PM EST.

The press release is as follows:

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