Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TV Rating For WWE And TNA In The UK

Credit: PWInsider.com

Raw from February 7th:
drew 149,000 in the live airing (up 38,000 viewers/+25%)
drew 59,000 in a replay on Friday evening

SmackDown from February 11th:
drew 133,000 in the first airing (up 32,000 viewers/+24%)
drew 33,000 in a replay on Saturday morning

NXT from February 8th:
drew 22,000 in a replay on Saturday night

Superstars from February 10th:
drew 23,000 in a replay on Saturday night (before NXT)

...and the debut of TNA Impact on Challenge TV in the UK (US airdate February 3rd; aired in the UK on February 8th). Impact drew 134,000 viewers, which is their highest UK rating to date. Problem was, it was #5 on Challenge TV that week - the top rated show was a re-run of the quiz-show Catchphrase which drew 161,000 viewers on Wednesday evening. For reference, the final Impact on Bravo did draw 37,000 (airing Christmas Day), which would make that an increase of 262% (comparing Christmas Day at 9pm to 10pm-midnight on a Tuesday night!)
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Column:Near Fall Fetish #1

By Scotty Webster of Headlocks2headlines.com

NEAR FALL FETISH #1: INTRODUCING IWRG

Near Fall Fetish is not really a ‘column’. It’s a small collection of reviews covering the pro-wrestling that I like. Old or new, obscure or mainstream. Just whatever strikes me as something interesting and worthwhile to recommend. I hope to be informative about lesser known promotions, performers and styles but that’s not necessarily what I’ll limit myself to.

As this is the first edition of Near Fall Fetish I figured I’d cover a promotion I’m especially indebted to: IWRG. If it weren’t for this lucha libre promotion I most likely would’ve lost interest in pro-wrestling in 2010.

IWRG stands for International Wrestling Revolution Group (which is the English translation of the lucha promotion’s name). In Spanish it’s called Grupo Internacional Revoluci┼Źn. Adolfo Moreno founded the company in 1996 and was owner until his passing in December of 2007. His sons, Alfredo and Marco, now run the business. Based in Naucalpan, Mexico, most IWRG shows consequently take place in Arena Naucalpan. Through a national television deal with TV Azteca, IWRG is a competitor to major lucha libre promotions AAA and CMLL. However this hasn’t prevented the company from forging out working relationships with other promotions (including CMLL in the past). Ongoing recently is a feud between IWRG and AAA.

IWRG can be watched at this YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/tvluchadelpasado. Black Terry Jr., son of the awesome

Black Terry – who features in many great IWRG contests – hangs around at ringside and captures the matches on handheld camera. He then uploads them to YouTube. BTJr has a great tendency to get extremely close to the action which leads to some fantastic

Kodak moments. Usually of his father’s bloodied face. If what you read here intrigues you, please, check out the channel and leave some comments. BTJr has indicated he’ll stop uploading if he doesn’t receive more feedback so help save this little vestige of quality pro-wrestling. It’s free so what’s the problem?

If you have any questions about the lucha libre style or terms don’t hesitate to send me an email (listed at column’s end). Moreover if you have difficulty identifying the different wrestlers involved in these matches – I certainly had trouble when first watching the style – then I highly suggest checking out this site: www.luchawiki.com . It makes assigning identities to masks a lot easier!

Black Terry / Negro Navarro vs. Angel Mortal / El Apache - IWRG 01.09.2011
Primera Caida (aka first fall): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd06OAo5mIg
Segunda Caida (aka second fall): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UsTZEObNRc
Tricera Caida (aka third fall): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sT2l6urJ0I

This maestros tag (generally means a bunch of veterans deploying lots of mat-wrestling) is part of the IWRG vs. AAA feud I mentioned with Mortal and Apache being the AAA representatives.

Matwork is a diminishing art-form in Mexico. IWRG seems to be the only place that emphasises it still. The primera caida features respectful mat-wrestling with Black Terry/ El Apache and Negro Navarro/Angel Mortal being the opening pairings. Terry/Apache presents largely simplistic yet effective chain-wrestling whilst Navarro/Mortal highlights some more complex holds that probably would seem silly to lucha newcomers. I sometimes call mat-/chain-wrestling in lucha libre ‘pretzel wrestling’ as the performers generally take turns to bend each other into ludicrous pretzel-esque shapes. I’ve been told that the proper word for it is ‘Llave’ but who needs accurate terminology, right? Navarro exemplifies this approach. It’s an intricate style of mat-wrestling that finds inventive ways to fold opponents without, when performed by an accomplished lucha mat-wrestler like Navarro, losing the impression of causing pain. Half the fun is the creativity displayed and the other half is how these holds are made to look convincing. Usually it conveys a game of one-upmanship where both allow the opponent to lock on holds in competition to see who can deploy the most painful and impressive move. Often the holds are relinquished after a few seconds, with no escape required, but here everyone uses counters.

I really enjoyed how they lingered with a few holds in this match for longer than I'm used to seeing in IWRG. This mostly occurred in the second fall. Usually the matwork I see in these matches follow a blatant 'your turn, my turn' layout or disguise that by having each other counter the holds into new holds. Either way the holds aren’t locked in for long. Here some are allowed the sink in demanding struggles for rope-breaks and escapes. I'm not criticising the 'your turn, my turn' layout but the lingering here helped evoke the story. It adds to the impression that Navarro and Terry were really hurt by the end of the segunda caida and, thus, aided their portrayals of frustration.

The progression from respectful mat-wrestling to heated mat-wrestling to brawling was excellent. Typically an IWRG tag or trios match begins with matwork, which often covers the first two falls, with the final fall erupting into brawling/bombs-throwing/high-flying. This is the case here. Terry is always great with strikes whilst Apache threw some wicked punches. Another aspect I liked was how each performer would seem to apply holds with greater force as they all became angrier. Navarro especially had some great expressions during this. He really looked like he wanted to injure his opponents by the final fall. The match had a weak finish but everything preceding it was of great quality.
Doctor Cerebro vs. Comando Negro - IWRG 01.30.2011

Primera Caida: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvxUUQvU9Hg
Segunda Caida: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VGVsfMpm1A
Tricera Caida: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSHgANUVDZQ
Singles matches don’t come along that often in IWRG as most of the shows are dominated by tag and trio (six-man tag) contests. When they do appear it’s usually associated with a championship of some kind. This match doesn’t buck that trend. Singles matches could also be a lucha de apuestas or ‘super libres’ match. Lucha de apuestas refers to a ‘gambling fight’ whereby the wrestlers put something (other than a title) on the line. Traditionally what are at stake are masks and/or hair. ‘Super libre’ refers to a singles match with relaxed rules to invite more brawling.
Doctor Cerebr