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AS I SEE IT 9/25: Thoughts on No Mercy, plus the season of giving

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

WWE missed a major chance to take Braun Strowman to the next
level last night at No Mercy, after pushing him as an
unbeatable monster for months and months and months. So what
does WWE do? Same old, same old. Brock Lesnar, the Beast,
somehow comes back after getting “monster-handled” and pins
Braun Strowman.

The crowd reaction at No Mercy’s end was amazingly,
absolutely flat…unheard of at the end of a Brock Lesnar
match. There were stories online that WWE hadn’t decided the
finish of the main until late in the day. Brock Lesnar is as
close to bullet-proof as its possible to be. He wouldn’t
have been hurt one bit by losing to Strowman. Yet WWE again
chooses to push a part-time wrestler over one of their faces
we see everyday, and missed a big chance to put someone on
the next level.

John Cena vs. Roman Reigns had an odd crowd reaction. The
match got a lot of reaction…but not all necessarily good.
No matter how much WWE tries to force feed Roman Reigns to
its fan base, they don’t seem to be buying. So passing the
torch (or at least giving a win) to Braun Strowman, which
fans would have liked….nope. But attempt number 5, 6, 7 or
whatever to pass the torch to Roman Reigns WWE DID

Put the two matches I just described together, and it seems
that the Brock Lesnar- Roman Reigns Wrestlemania match, and
the re-anointing of Reigns seems to be the direction WWE is
going, come hell or high water.
Moving on…the finish of the women’s title match was also a
big surprise. The obvious assumption was that Emma was
thrown in to take a pin by whoever was to be the eventual
winner, but we got thrown a screwball to what was the
“obvious” finish instead. Note to Vince McMahon: Nia Jax got
the biggest pop of anyone in that match. WWE has built this
monster well. Just don’t cut her off like Braun Strowman.

The intro of Asuka for the next RAW-branded PPV may have
been one of the more intriguing moments in the entire
evening…as fans clearly want to see her (enough having
done so on WWE Network).

Enzo Amore defeating Neville for the Cruiserweight title
seemed almost a kiss of death for the division, although
there will almost certainly be an immediate rematch and a
flipping back of the title…for someone who’d become a
company punching bag (both in and out of the ring) to get
the belt seems to be a signal that Vince McMahon isn’t
interested in the division.

The most notable match of the entire evening was the great
tag match with Sean Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro and
Sheamus; which saw Cesaro lose two teeth and keep going
despite a bloody mouth through the match. What are the odds
on a locker room full of bad Isaac Yankem DDS jokes on
social media throughout the day (let along wrestling fans)?
That is the image a lot of fans will have…not any
anointing of Roman Reigns.

Moving on, autumn has officially begin (even if it’s going
to be 90 degrees today in South Jersey), leaves are turning
too quickly… and the last months of 2017 are approaching.

Christmas trees are up in some local stores (those not
selling Halloween gear first). QVC is selling for
Christmas, and Hallmark Channel is already plugging their
Christmas mega-movie marathons. Amazon, eBay, and elsewhere
in the retail cyber-universe are following, probably as I’m
typing this. Pretty soon, people will maul each other at
stores, stand in line to get the new iPhone… or even get
something for their kids.

In keeping with the actual spirit of the seasons… the
season of light and the season of the Christchild, the
wrestling community will reach out to those in need.
Independent promotions hold a wide variety of events to
benefit various food pantries, fundraisers for homeless or
domestic violence shelters…and Toys for Tots drives.

Over the years, promotions in my Philadelphia/South Jersey
area ranging from the family-friendly United Wrestling
Coalition (for over 20 years) to the hardcore themed Combat
Zone Wrestling (for 12 years) to indies of various sizes and
types throughout the United States and Canada run such
events from October to the Holidays and beyond.

The first event announced, was United Wrestling Coalition of
Wrightstown, NJ, which will hold their annual Toys for Tots
event on December 2; with a special emphasis this year on
behalf of the victims of Harvey, asking for a small donation
or note of encouragement to Harvey victims. Go to for further details.

Nine other such events have been announced:

* Hoosier Pro Wrestling does TWO annual Firemen’s Cheer Fund
Toys for Tots shows in Columbus, IN, on November 4 and
December 2

* UWE Pro Wrestling presents its annual Headlock for Hunger
on November 11 at The Wex in Cadillac, MI. The event
benefits Shepard’s Table.

* NOVA Pro Wrestling will again help the Jewish Community
Center of Fairfax, VA on November 24 with its FACETS Toy
Collection at its “11th Dimension” show at the JCC in
Fairfax, VA.

* Primal Conflict Wrestling has scheduled its annual food
drive at its November 18 Harpers Ferry, WV event. Fans that
bring 2 canned or nonperishable food items will receive a $5
off coupon for Primal Conflict Wrestling merchandise. All
donations will go to Jefferson County Community Ministries.

* ECWA runs its annual Toys for Tots show on December 2 in
Woodbury Heights, NJ.

* MCW Pro Wrestling has “Season’s Beatings”, its annual Toys
for Tots show scheduled for December 2 in Joppa, MD.

* Brew City Wrestling has scheduled its annual Headlock for
Hunger food collection at its December 8 show in West Allis,

* Imperial Wrestling Revolution will do a Toys for Tots show
at its December 10 show in Ardmore, OK. They are also
working on starting a partnership with, which
gives away free tickets to active duty military personnel
and veterans.

As I said a couple of weeks back, the United States has been
through a period of time where we have seen the best of
America in the responses to Harvey and Irma, and the worst
in Charlottesville. VA. But it isn’t Presidents or
governments who make the difference, it’s the individual who
decides they will do something, no matter how small.

For those of you readers who see giving a toy, a can of
food, or a warm coat as just one small thing, please
understand this: a can of soup means that gets a meal for a
day, a box of rice means that a family is fed for a week or
more, a warm coat meant a child won’t shiver uncontrollably
when they walk to school, or a toy meant that a child is
allowed a moment of innocence and joy, often after they’ve
gone through fear and deprivation for far too long. Just
like the people did for those in need in Texas and
Florida…that one small thing, now it’s your turn.

So… if you’re a independent wrestling promotion, and you
HAVEN’T thought of doing a charity-themed holiday show to
give back to your community….time to start planning. If
you’re an indy fan, and your promotion isn’t named…ask
them if they plan to do something this year.

As always, I’ll plug these events here to the point you can
recite them in your sleep; no matter what else I may discuss
in this blog. Please send them to me ASAP at or

Until next time….

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