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Most Memorable Moments of the Year - The Wrestling Year 2018 in Review
Most Memorable Moments of the Year - The Wrestling Year 2018 in Review
I'm relatively new to Reddit and SquaredCircle. In fact this is my first post on this subreddit. I recently wrote a review of the wrestling year 2018 in a German Wrestling Forum. Now I want to share it in a translated form with this awesome community. I hope some of you like it. In this review there will be featured 36 moments from 12 different wrestling promotions (namely AAA, AJPW, CMLL, Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, MLW, NJPW, NWA, ROH, STARDOM, WWE and wXw). JANUARY 2018
Picking up after a disappointing start - WrestleKingdom, Golden Lovers and the Implosion of Bullet Club! It was Wrestle Kingdom time, Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! Many expected the title would change hands to Naito. He seemingly was the perfect candidate to end the record breaking run that was the 4th reign of Kazuchika Okada as Heavyweight Champion (which was then and is to this date the longest reign in the broad history of the title. So it was no wonder that many were disappointed this seemingly perfect scenario of Naito being the one didn't happen.To me personally that match was only the top of an overall disappointing show (on the highest possible level of course, but disappointing nonetheless). Some weird decisions were made at that show even more so if you take the show a day after Wrestle Kingdom into account. Bullet Club for example lost the titles at WK only to regain it the following day. The match Cody vs. Ibushi was kind off disappointing considering the high standards of "normal" NJPW matches in general and Kota Ibushi specifically. Also the first part of the double main event wasn't good either (and yes, I know many will disagree with me on that one). To me Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega was not good, it was a match that had a huge level of hype to it but couldn't live up to it in the ring.But the turning point for New Japan should come very soon in Sappora. It was at that place were Cody Rhodes started a war for leadership of Bullet Club. But that was only a minor thing considering the Re-Union that some said was obvious others called it a complete surprise and some simply didn't care. To them it was just beautiful. None other than Kota Ibushi stepped up to help Kenny Omega in his hour of need, thus reforming the "Golden Lovers" tag team in the process. That was day two in Sappora, but day one didn't disappoint also. It delivered a great wrestling show with a very good main event match between Minoru Suzuki and Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which was won by Minoru Suzuki.
Twenty-five years of Monday Night RAW (22.01.2018) It was on January 22nd when World Wrestling Entertainment had all reasons to celebrate. Twenty-five years to that date the companys weekly TV-show RAW was on air. What a great reason to celebrate and of course it should not be any ordinary party but a huge one. WWE decide to use not one but two arenas to celebrate with various legends being featured. All in all it was what one would expect popular acts from the past celebrating together with popular acts from today. Sadly WWE could stop their bad habit of putting old over new/current.Also the two venues didn't turn out as such a great idea as the company hoped for. The Manhattan center mainly got throwaway Matches und for a very limited amount of time it was, that Manhattan Center got to see anything at all. Mainly they had to watch the show on the titantron and therefore basically were TV viewers who paid big money for that.The viewers at home got a show that could live up to the expectations. I hoped for a show as well balanced and executed as RAW 1000 was. Sadly we got something different. It was basically a show of goofiness and highly predictable elements such as Vince McMahon getting a Stunner from Stone Cold Steve Austin. We also got a highly predictable women's match (Asuka was undefeated at the time and it was obvious that won't change anytime soon, let alone in a non-singles match). It didn't help much, that a cringey Rumble-preview spot with the women was added after the end of the match. Neither did it help to have Miz win the Intercontinental Title out of nowhere for. To top things of we got DX and Balor Club celebrating with "Too Sweets" only to be interrupted by The Revival. The latter paid for that interruption by being defeated by Anderson & Gallows and afterwards humiliated by the DX who also got help from Razor Ramon. Also we got a promo from The Undertaker of which I am not sure to this date if anyone knows what he did or wanted to say. The show was closed with the Undertakers brother Kane who in 2018 wanted to focus on politics but just by the way was in a world title feud at a Big 4 PPV.
A historic Weekend! - WWE Royal Rumble & NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia (27./28.01.2018) On January the 27th and 28th history was written in WWE (that actually happens every day, if you believe what WWE is telling us ;-) ). The weekend was kicked off by an NXT TakeOver show, that overall was "just good". We got a match between Undisputed Era and The Authors of Pain (who at the time still had Paul Ellering as their manager), a very enjoyable but from a wrestling POV just okay Match between Velveteen Dream and Kassius Ohno followed by a mediocre NXT Women's Championship match between Shayna Baszler and then-champion Ember Moon. There also was an Extreme Rule match between Aleister Black and Adam Cole that was pretty good, but the match this show will be remembered for happened in the main event of the show. The champion Andrade Cien Almas faced his challenger Johnny Gargano in one of the best matches I have ever seen. Tension, drama, interferences from their women (Zelina Vega as business manager to Andrade Cien Almas and Candice LeRae as the wife of Gargano). That match had it all! Simply put it was an outstanding, superb match that one could also call "perfect".I personally think that match is the best WWE match I have ever seen and also one of the three best wrestling matches I've ever seen in my live (I'll come back to that statement later). And if that match wasn't enough thereafter Tommaso Ciampa started one of, if not THE feud of NXT with just one simple strike with a crutch. Oh, and by the way that match was the first match in 7 years (since 2011's Cena vs. Punk) that good five stars from Dave Meltzer. But that was not all. Day 2 of the weekend was yet to come, the Royal Rumble. And WWE announced something historical before the event. That night featured the first ever Women's Royal Rumble match and as we know now it even main evented the show. But let's talk about the rest of card for a second.The night opened with a 2-on-1 handicap match between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. Afterwards the Usos won a Best Two Out Of Three Falls Match with 2:0 against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. Then the Men's Royal Rumble Match started and it was a very well booked rumble match, including some great surprises (NXT Champion Andrade "Cien" Almas & Adam Cole). The winner of that match was of course Shinsuke Nakamura, who was massively cheered for that victory. The cheers even intensified when he announced that he would not face Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, but AJ Styles for the WWE Championship instead making official what many had hoped for the dream match for WrestleMania. Well, we all didn't know then how that would turn out...Before the Women's Rumble finally started there was a title change on RAW and their tag team division and the obligatory title defense. Then finally the Women's Royal Rumble started and turned out to be a very well booked one. A great and very entertaining mix of current women's wrestlers, NXT women and women from the past. The match was won by Asuka who last eliminated Nikki Bella. But that was not all, another memorable moment happened when suddenly with Asuka and the two champions standing in the ring another music hit. Ronda Rousey entered the arena and with one simple appearance divided the WWE Universe. I'll just leave this moment with the statement that it was just that one of the memorable moments 2018 produced, no matter if you like or hate it.
Reviving the Cruiserweight Division The WWE Cruiserweight Division was at an all time low at the beginning of 2018. After losing the topstar of the division in Neville they went a different way and opted to make the worst wrestler the division had to offer to the one that should save it. Many fans back then said that can't work, WWE however didn't listen. Therefore the reign of Enzo Amore ended a different way over wrongful accusations of sexual harassment that ultimately led to his release from WWE.The cruiserweights were at an all time low with no champion at that time, but WWE chose to start over again. At the beginning of February 205 live got his own authority figure in the newly recruited Rockstar Spud, now billed as Drake Maverick. He took the rebuilding of the division seriously and under his leadership (and a rumored creative takeover of Triple H backstage) the show prospered. A tournament to crown the new Cruiserweight Champion was announced and was set to culminate at WrestleMania.That moment in February when Drake Maverick took over marked the rise of the division to its current status where it constantly delivers good matches and is at least a serious insider tip.
The Multi Champion returns to his home! Austin Aries did very well for himself in the first half of the year. He adopted the gimmick of "The Belt Collector" travelling various independent promotions winning their gold. With that collection of gold he returned to the place he once called home, Impact Wrestling. And not only did he return to Impact Wrestling, no, he used the moment of surprise to defeat the World Champion Eli Drake and add yet another title to his collection.A title he would go on to hold for a very long time, only interrupted by one day/three weeks, when he lost it to Pentagon Jr. but regained it immediately.
The longest Match in RAW history! It was time for the Go Home Show of Elimination Chamber 2018. Everyone expected a basic show with not much happening other than hyping up the upcoming PPV. But no! That was not what happened. Instead RAW started with a gauntlet match between all the participants of the Chamber match. Judging by logic one would expect this to be a quick affair, not to long, just easy going to save energy for the Elimination Chamber match. It as I said before came different and we got to see the longest match in RAW history (and afaik also the longest match in WWE history). The first hour of RAW went by, the match was still on. The second hour started and went on. At the end of that second hour after 105 minutes Braun Strowman defeated The Miz to gain the victory. MVP of the match however was Seth Rollins. He started this match as the first entrant who went on to stay in that match for 65 minutes. He also was able to defeated two opponents, no less than Roman Reigns and John Cena the absolut top guys at that moment. All in all we got no boring go home show, but a record setting match that will be remember for years to come and cemented Seth Rollins as one of the most constant workers in all of WWE.
UN-BE-SIEG-BAR!(09./10./11.03.2018 - wXw 16 Carat Gold 2018) “Ich schulde jemandem einen Gefallen…” with those words (losesly translated to "I owe someone a favor") WALTER started what has to be considered as the "Comeback of the Year" in European Wrestling. Ilja Dragunov, the winner of 16 Carat Gold 2017, who seemingly had retired after his loss in Dezember 2017 against wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion "Bad Bones" John Klinger and did not have any further appearance in the world of wrestling since then returned to wrestling and Westside Xtreme Wrestling. That return blow of the roof of Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, Germany. In a very good three way match the returned fan favorite and self proclaimed tsar of wXw captured the Unified Wrestling Championship.This second day of the Carat tournament definitely stole the show. However the third day didn't disappoint either. The veteran, or VeterAAn as he calls himself, Absolut Andy got the victory! Also the third day had Pete Bouncer turn against John Klinger, who didn't consider him worthy to represent RISE in their tag team bout. Also the newly crowned champ Ilja Dragunov defended his title as the fighting champion he was, against Matt Riddle.
Future and Veterans This entry will feature two moments that seemingly do not have anything in common. The title wins of Christopher Daniels in Ring of Honor and Starlight Kid in STARDOM respectively. Christopher Daniels started the month by winning the ROH World Six Man Championship alongside his SCU mates Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky defeating the Hung Bucks. That victory officially made him the first and to this date only Ring of Honor Grand Slam Champion. At the end of the month Starlight Kid became the inaugural winner of the Future of Stardom Championship, a title for rookies and wrestlers under the age of 20.Those two moments who seemingly have nothing in common despite the "winning a title theme" show two sides of a pro-wrestling career and also two promotions that know what they are doing. Ring of Honor chose to give one of the veterans of their company a unique accomplishment whilst STARDOM decided to give the future of the company a title to fight for, a title to showcase those who one day will carry the company on their shoulders. That is how veterans should be treated and that also is how you build your future!
Zack Sabre Jr. conquers NJPW! March was Zack Sabre Jr.'s month! The englishman, who found himself a Japanese-speaking "hypeman"/manager was scheduled to compete in New Japan Cup. But he did not just compete in the tournament. He came, he saw and he won the whole thing! Zack Sabre Jr. was only the second Non-Japanese to win the Cup. On his way to tournament victory the Best Technical Wrestler of our times defeated Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Sanada and Hiroshi Tanahashi while also submitting the Ace of New Japan!His price was the tournament victory, a magnificent trophy and a title shot of his choice. Of course he chose to square up with the IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. Unfortunately his winning streak then came to an end but not without him am Okada putting up an outstanding match.
WrestleMania Weekend - NXT TakeOver: New Orleans & WrestleMania 34 April, that is WrestleMania-time! The weekend was once again opened by the development brand NXT in what some call a good, others a very good and a few even the best NXT TakeOver of all time. The show was started with a Ladder match for the new NXT North American Championship. A midcard championship for NXT. To me that didn't sound very appealing, but the announcement of the participants and the stipulation changed that.Adam Cole, EC3, Killian Dain, Lars Sullivan, Ricochet and Velveteen Dream had the job to present the title the best way they could. They did not fail, they exceeded expectations and delivered a match one could call the best ladder match in history. Everyone played his very own and distinct part in this match ranging from "spot guy" Ricochet to the two big dudes bent for destruction Lars Sullivan & Killian Dain. In the end it was Adam Cole who became the Inaugural NXT North American Champion.Next the Shayna Baszler got another chance to become NXT Women's Champion and much to my disappointment she did and therfore ushered in a new era for the NXT Women's Division. I wasn't a fan of hers and probably never will be but she definitely improved over the course of the second half of the year. The match itself was just average and in my opinion not a suitable farewell to Ember Moon, who debuted at RAW AfterMania. A complete booking disaster that turned out to be an absolute masterpiece followed. On the one hand this match had so many confusing elements. Not only the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finale but the NXT Tag Team Championship was decided in that Match and Undisputed Era won it after a shocking betrayal of Roderick Strong! It was perfect and weird all in one. Undisputed Era a team not even part of the Dusty Classic won exactly that Dusty Classic!To round out the evening we had a pretty decent NXT Championship Match. Aleister Black got the Title thanks to an interference-gone-wrong from his now-wife and business manager to Andrade Almas Zelina Vega. That match was followed by Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa (which got ***** from Meltzer). NXt TakeOver was a tough act to follow for WrestleMania.At first it looked like WrestleMania would pull the unthinkable and beat the masterpiece that was NXT TakeOver the night before. A very good Intercontinental Championship Match started. Cool special attires, a very high workrate, overall a great match where Seth Rollins beat champion The Miz and Finn Balor to win the Intercontinental Championship and become Grand Slam Champion in the process. Then Asuka vs. Charlotte had a memorable moment, when Asuka tapped out to Charlottes Figure Eight thus ending her undefeated streak that began in October 2015. These two highlights started a great first third of the show. Other moments were Rousey/Angles vs. Steph/HHH and the squash match Undertaker vs. Cena. Sadly after another storyline-wise good, but bad executed match in Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss and a good match between Nakamura and AJ that just could not live up to the hype. After that match the show fell apart, when a 10-year old and Braun Strowman won the Tag Team Championship and Brock Lesnar once again was victorious.
Titus World Slide Every Year-in-Review article needs the comedic moments, too. One of those moments this year was delivered by Titus O'Neil at the Greatest Royal Rumble, a show that was the first in a co-operation of WWE and the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia. I hope there won't be that much more. The reasons for said wish should be obvious and are also the reason why I won't mention the other show in Saudi Arabia in this article. But back to Titus World Slide: https://youtu.be/K2Sz2aZ6uuc
MLW Fusion April also was the month of a rebirth. The rebirth of Major League Wrestlingand start of their weekly show "Fusion". It is a show with very high quality and an attraktive roster, that soon was considered an insider tip and beloved alternative to established weekly wrestling shows. In its first run the league went bankrupt, but now a decade later MLW finally delivered what they had planed to be years ago, a serious wrestling show with good storytelling giving unknown wrestlers a chance to shine but also feature well liked and established stars of the business. With the start of live broadcasting in December we look into a good future for what has to be considered a true phoenix reborn from the ashes.
Naomichi Marufuji wins Champion Carnival 2018 can be considered a year where many wrestlers returned to the place they started their careers and Naomichi Marufuji was one of them. He returned to the company he once started at. The company he left to work for the rival promotion at that time. In 2018 some 10 years after a short return to AJPW and 18 years after he first left the company he competed in the Champion Carnival the biggest singles tournament of AJPW and not only that, he also won. On his way to the final he defeated many great wrestlers and even the AJPW Champion in the final. In the rematch for the title he unfortunately lost.
Momo Watanabe takes over from Io Shirai In May it seemed almost certain that the Ace of Stardom and then Wonder of Stardom Champion Io Shirai would leave the company towards the USA. Six days before it was finally confirmed Io Shirai defended her title against Momo Watanabe in a match that can be considered a passing of the torch. She passed the torch to a young woman who celebrated her 18th birthday the day before, Momo Watanabe, who became the new Wonder of Stardom Championship. Momo won her first singles championship in Stardom and catapulted her career to a new level. It certainly is not easy to step in the footprints of a wrestler like Io Shirai but a few months later I can confidently say Momo Watanabe is the women that can fulfill this quest and lead Stardom for years to come!
V12 Kazuchika Okada seemed to be a champion who had nothing left to prove because he already captured any accomplishment there was to capture. In fact one such accomplishment was missing from his list. Himself and Hiroshi Tanahashi were tied for most successful defenses of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. One more defense? Easy, let's take a guy that doesn't seem to week and there you go. But that was not the Okada way. He did not chose any fluke challenger he chose the man he had to share the record with. The man who was able to defeat him before. He chose to fight the Ace of New Japan Pro Wrestling.Hiroshi Tanahashi was the man, Fukuoka the location, Dontaku the event and May 4th, 2018 the day, the day Okada crowned himself the record breaking champion and undisputed best IWGP champion of all time!
Best of the Super Juniors 2018 The annual Jr. Heavyweight Tournament of New Japan was a showcase for two main characters in 2018. Both, Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori, made this tournament their tournament. It was only fitting those two would meet in the final of the tournament and that was exactly what happened. The recently debuted New Bone Soldier and Bullet Club representative in the Tournament and the fan favorite and Los Ingobernables de Japon member Hiromu Takahashi, who became champion a few days later beating Will Ospreay, put up an outstanding, astonishing performance that I personally put on my top 10 list of the greatest matches of all time. It simply was awesome!
Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada - The Real Best Match Ever?!(09.06.2018) The year prior my review featured a discussion on which Okada vs. Omega match was the best match ever and if it could be a time limit draw that is considered best match ever or even just perfect. This year there is no discussion. They did it! Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega exceeded all expectations in the fourth match of their series. A match I have no problem with calling it "The Best Match Ever"!
NXT UK and Five Billion Dollars! Once again I will put two moments together. In June 2018 WWE made the next step in their expansion to the United Kingdom. From what was a division without much sense or exposure they made a independent brand under the NXT banner. NXT UK was born! Johnny Saint a UK-legend was nominated the General Manger of NXT UK and a two day Show was announced to give the new brand a good start. And it was. NXT UK to this very day is a entertaining product.But that wasn't the only big announcement WWE made in June. Tehy announced two new TV deals that will bring the company five billion dollars. A new brand, much money and a man that won't to rule over the entire industry. A dangerous mixture. The really gravitas of that deal only came to light in the second half of 2018. Time will tell, where this gigantic income will lead the wrestling world!
G1 Special in San Francisco - Form Zero to Hero and Two Bad Starts. In July NJPW once again run a show in the United States that will be remembered from three title defenses. The G1 Special was the show where both the IWGP Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Champion would have to defend his title for the first time since winning it at Dominion. It also was the show were for the first time ever a US-citizen became US Champion.It was the show of Juice Robinson, who crowned himself champion in a good match against Jay White and also thereby proved that the days as CJ Parker in NXT are long gone and he is a new and changed man now! He did it! He was the first US-American who won the United States Championship!The two first defenses sadly are remembered badly, but for very different reasons. In case of the Heavyweight Championship it simply was a matter of the two competitors Cody and Kenny couldn't deliver. It really is as simple as that. The Jr. Heavyweight Championship is different. It was a good match, but unfortunately Hiromu Takahashi got injured when Dragon Lee hit a botched Phoenix-Plex on him. He know is out with a broken neck and had to relinquish the title that was rightfully his. So far he did not make a return, but teased it for WrestleKingdom. Soon we might know more!
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary 2018 The theme of "Redemption" run through Impact Wrestling in 2018. After so many failed attempts to restructure Impact Wrestling with new owners, re-brandings etc. this year should be the turning point for Impact Wrestling to better times. Slammiversary was one of the shows that played a huge role in this redemption tour. It was a good show with a nice mix of standard matches, gimmick matches, Hardcore, Street Fights and it also featured a Mask vs. Hair match and two good women's matches. All in all it simply was a very well rounded show!One women on the card also deserves a special mention: Madison Rayne. She competed for RoH, WWE and Impact Wrestling within a few weeks and showed the world just who good she still is. Ring of Honor then made the right called and signed her. Congratulations to Rayne and RoH alike.
The Greatest Sports Entertainer in the World! Tommaso Ciampa who I mentioned earlier gave this moniker to himself after fighting many grueling battles against former best friend Johnny Gargano. The two pretty much were the main thing going on NXT. In July it finally happened, all the rivalry and hate between those two affected others. Tommaso Ciampa got himself a NXT Title match and Johnny Gargano only had one thing in mind: preventing his foe from becoming champion!He failed! He interfered in the Championhsip Match and caused what he seeked to prevent. He was the reason Tommaso Ciampa became the NXT Champion! He still is and just recently proclaimed himself "Greatest Sports Entertainer in the World"!
G1 Climax Of course the G1 Climax can't be left out. It started with some really great matches, namely the rematch from last years final between Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito. We also got very good performances from the Stone Pitbull Tomohiro Ishii and Kenny Omega, who went through the tournament with a winning streak and delivered maybe the match of the tournament on the last day, when he faced off against his best friend Kota Ibushi, who also had an excellent tournament!But not all was good. I also remember two negative Booking one was the booking of US Champion Juice Robinson, the other was the booking of Bullet Club OG. Robinsons Booking was just not my cup of tea, as I like him and wanted him to succeed and not lose so much. Buleet Club OG just hurt the tournament in general.
TakeOver Brooklyn IV - The Pirate Princess Claims Her Treasure For people who know me this doesn't come as much of a surprise, after all it might just be the most predictable of all the moments I included. It also was I moment I seriously didn' believe would happen until it did! At the beginning of the match when the bell rang I didn't believe Kairi, my most favorite wrestler, would get that title. All MMA-4-Horsewomen were present, the North American Championship changed before and hardly ever do two championships change hands back-to-back. Also I knew the houseshow results and they really pissed me off. Kairi Sane hit the Insane Elbow and Shayna Baszler just kicked out and won via Kirifuda Clutch. And that scenario was about to happen again and I seriously hated it!But then it happened! Kairi managed to pin Shayna Baszler on the mat for a three count. She was the new NXT Women's Champion! Kairi stood there in the ring happy and with tears of joy in her eyes. And myself? I sat here in front of my laptop and was so emotionally invested in the whole match that I was crying, too, and and so happy of what just happened.I don't like Shayna Baszler to this day (less so because of the booking that followed) but on this day this very match wasn't good despite Shayna, it was good because of Shayna obviously no because of her alone, but her contribution to the match was great and meant a lot for the overall construction of the match story. It made this whole story work so well.
TripleMania XXVI - The good parts of a shit show! TripleMania XXVI was a Shit-Show. Nothing to argue there and I think most of us know the videos from twitter, botchamania and Co. Vampiro, who calls for his music, the injury of the president and other things immediately come to mind.But there was a different side two! Both Main Events were very enjoyable and the World Cruiserweight Championship Match also was very good. For both the good parts, as well as the "car crash"-appeal of that show it was a moment of the month of August.
ALL IN - The Biggest Independent Pro Wrestling Show Ever! ALL IN was an ambitious project. Born from a risky bet, carefully organized and built up over months, sold out in a few seconds. It was a good show, although there certainly where things not anybody was digging (penis druids) and in the end there were problems with the timing of the show.In the end ALL IN was a nice Showcase for Independent Pro Wrestling and above all fan service! The follow up to that is currently undisclosed. One Night Only or is ALL IN 2 coming? All Elite Wrestling? Something entirely different? 2019 for sure will be an interesting year for Wrestling and Cody Rhodes and the Jackson-Brothers contributed big time to that.
Marty "The Moth" Martinez - Lucha Underground Champion! Marty "The Moth" Martinez had a great year in Lucha Underground 2018. He started with the promotion as a fan that interfered in a match and from then his character turned more and more psycho! In September he not only bought himself a Gift of the Gods championship match with the wealth of his family in the background, like his sister did the week prior, he also asked for something extra. This "extra" turned out the be the right to cash in his Gift of the Gods title with the usual one weeks notice to the Lucha Underground promoter Antonio Cueto. He cashed in, and with the help of Reklusa (Chelsea Green) the man that started out as one of us, the believers, became the new Lucha Underground Champion ending the record setting reign of Pentagon Dark in the process and securing himself a spot in the main event of Ultima Lucha Cuatro!
SmackDown 1000, NWA 70th Anniversary und CMLL 85th Anniverary It is not just RAW that had a reason to celebrate in 2018, but SmackDown, too. The 1.000th episode of the second show from World Wrestling Entertainment was about to happen und we got an interesting and enjoyable mixture between Nostalgia and current time SmackDown.Evolution deserves a special mention and above all Batista, who teased a Match against Triple H. That's a match up I think is very interesting. Also the Tag Team Championship Match should be mentioned. It was a outstanding on and I was very happy that the best Tag Team in recent years got back the title.But not only WWE had anniversaries in this month. The National Wrestling Alliance had its 70th Anniversary and it was also the 85th Anniversary of CMLL. Both promotions, both shows deserve to be mentioned for the good product they delivered and the history of those companies. The NWA grew back to strength under Billy Corgan and delivered a good wrestling show that was sadly diminished by the production them. Ironically they hired others because they felt a lack of ability themselfes. Two new champions were crowned that day. A new National Champion in Willie Mack as well as a new Worlds Heavyweight Champion in Nick Aldis who regained his title!CMLL delivered a good show, as always. There wasn't really an outstanding match or an underwhelming one. All matches delivered on a high level. It was a show consisting of good matches and good matches only!
October: The month of October features four moments as it was correctly pointed out bytraitorcerealguythat the Roman Reigns announcement happened in October and not, as it was previously listed in September.
Shingo Takagi is X! After the injury of Hiromu Takahashi Los Ingobernable de Japon recruited a new member. Reinforcement for the group not replacement for Hiromu was what they sought for. There were many theories floating around on how the new member might be. In the end it was the arguably hottest free agent in Japan Shingo Takagi, who became the sixth member of Los Ingobernables de Japon. Im really curious to what the now six man group will do in the months to come, but I am calling it right now: 2019 wil be the year of Los Ingoberables de Japon!
Evolution & Mae Young Classic The Women's Revolution didn't stop in 2018 and it was time for the first All Women's PPV! The PPV was really good, the only think that wasn't is the choice of which match is in the main event. All in all we had good matches, a nice mix of old stars and current women. The event also had the debut of the MMA- Horsewomen who helped Shayna Baszler to make history as the first ever two-time NXT Women's Champion.Another big part of the PPV was the final of Mae Young Classic 2018. Toni Storm and Io Shirai had a very good match to finish a tournament that was definitely better than the year before, because the field of competitors was more divers and better. Therefore the tournament had many good matches. Most outstanding to me were the Japanese women especially. Io Shirai, Hiroyo Matsumoto and Meiko Satomura delivered the highlights to this tournament, but new women as well delivered, namely Kacy CatanzaroUnfortunately the tournament had his bad parts, too. The match Rhea Ripley vs. Tegan Nox endet due to referee stoppage because of an injury, what meant that she didn't win the tournament as she was scheduled to, but was eliminated immediately. There's nothing more to say other than: Get well soon, Tegan! Also I wish her the mental and physical strength to battle through this.
"My real name is Joe and I've been living with Leukemia for 11 years... Sometimes a moment best speaks for itself: https://youtu.be/cSSLHiWpe0k
Jericho Cruise - Chris Jericho's Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager at Sea 2018 has also been the year of Chris Jericho. Besides his title win over in NJPW and his successful music career her also planed and executed his first very own cruise. On this cruise je brought together what helped gain main stream publicity for wrestling years ago: Rock and Wrestling!
Ultima Lucha Cuatro: Last year Ultima Lucha was a very long - I would even say to long - show. I'm glad it was shorter this year! Three hours were enough to end season four on a high note and have fans begging and hoping for a fifth season. All feuds were brought to a satisfying conclusion with the end scene setting up the main story in a huge way. But first the matches:Part I had a good Trios Title Match in which the champions retained their title much to my surprise, but I like that decision. The Reptile Tribe was unstoppable! Taya was able to defeat Ricky Mundo to get revenge on him and in the main event the mask of a luchador who used said mask to have a new identity that was at stake. Killshot was demasked as Jermaine Strickland and seemingly left the temple forever.Part II has some more highlights. Highlights that were overshadowed by the crazy end segments! We got to know the master of Vampiro, Taya got overtaken by a goddess, the monster that haunted Lucha Undergorund since day one got killed and the Lord in the Limousin revealed his identity. And if that wasn't enough Aerostar again travelled back in time and revived Dario Cueto as the champion of the good side in the upcoming battle!
The Female Stone Cold?! Survivor Series! Brand vs. Brand, Champion vs. Champion i about to happen and the champion gets injured during a segment to hype up the PPV. The worst case! But Becky Lynch with a bloodied face is what many see as the "female Stone Cold" and her "Austin 3:16" moment. If don't want to argue on that comparison, maybe it is a 3:16 moment, maybe not! What no one can deny is that there was barely any women as over as Becky Lynch. With the Women's Revolution in her back a female WrestleMania Main Event seems to be possible now!
WarGames II and the 6:0 Disaster. The previous moment I talked about Survivor Series, now it is time to talk about that weekend and its ambivalent weekend. As alsways TakeOver was first and deliverd at least four good matches and a cool debut moment for Matt Riddle (you can't really call that a match). It was a good show! If you like the WarGames stipulation (I don't) you might even call it an excellent show.Survivor Series also hat good matches, but the problem was the end result, or rather the development that followed. Because there was none! Also we should probably not mention the incident that occurred in the tag team bout.
Completing the Grand Slam PACkage Neville finally left WWE after a long time he had to wait over his frozen contract. But finally PAC was back! And not only did he come back to the indy scene but specifically to where it all began for him, Dragon Gate! At the beginning of the month he also won his first championship since leaving WWE. And it wasn't just any championship! It was the Open the Dream Gate Championship. The world championship of Dragon Gate and also the only Dragon Gate Championship PAC never won before.Therefore he not only became World Champion, but also a Grand Slam Champion in the process.
Rhea Ripley - NXT United Kingdom Women's Champion! & NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool Also in December Rhea Ripley became the first ever UK Women's Champion by defeating the Mae Young Classic winner Toni Storm in the tournament final! Ripley thereby crowned he transformation from nice girl in last years Mae Young Classic to her new mean bad ass persona this year! But who will step up and try to dethrone her?At NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool a TakeOver-Show based off the US-example it might be the time for a new Champion of the women's division and we should get UK Tag Team Champions as well. Maybe, just maybe even Pete Dunne has to fear for the title he held so long.
Tag Team Wrestling In some companys Tag Teams seem to be an afterthought. ROH and NJPW proved that it can be much more than that on Road to Tokyo Dome and Final Battle respectively. Both shows featured outstanding tag team match. A ladder war and a preview match between champions and challengers for WrestleKingdom!
If you made it to this point of the review I say thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it. I hope I gave a good review of the wrestling year and I am also looking forward to all of your suggestions on moments I forget or chose not to include. Let's hope 2019 just turns out as amazing as 2018 did! Note: Edited on 20.12.2018, 14:18 CET to correct the mistake mentioned above. Included the LU Championship win of Marty Martinez, which sadly didn't make the final 36 moments in the first version of the review, as a new moment of the month in September.
[PSA] If your Bitcoin are not ready-to-transact in a wallet whose keys you exclusively control, then you don't control your Bitcoin (625 points, 216 comments)
Why us old-school Bitcoiners argue that Bitcoin Cash should be considered "the real Bitcoin" (585 points, 587 comments)
I think we need an EDA fix before the Nov hardfork (535 points, 346 comments)
Why large blocks: because one man's "coffee purchase transaction" is another man's monthly income (508 points, 104 comments)
There is a word for a "store of value" with no underlying utility, and that word is "collectible" (481 points, 171 comments)
Ripple user comes to defend Ripple, gets hundreds of upvotes, but can't answer the most fundamental question: what prevents inflation? (462 points, 407 comments)
If you don't agree that the mission is to make onchain transactions readily available to ALL people at ALL income levels then you don't understand the whole reason Bitcoin was invented to begin with (449 points, 203 comments)
Shutting down or restricting the uses of bank accounts, thereby forbidding clients to buy crypto, is a blatant affront to the rights of civil liberty, manifested, but not limited to, in the rights to private property and free speech (563 points, 262 comments)
I believe Bitcoin Core/Blockstream is now attempting to infiltrate Bitcoin Cash in the same manner that they did with Bitcoin Segwit. They are suddenly befriending Bitcoin Cash. Only in that way can they destroy from within. Do not be fooled. (405 points, 170 comments)
You have $100 worth of BTC. So you purchase an item for $66, but have to pay a $17 fee. Now you have $17 worth of Bitcoin left, but it costs $17 more to move it. So $66 item effectively cost you $100. #Thanks BlockStream (1427 points, 434 comments)
2028 points: kairepaire's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
2019 points: vbuterin's comment in "So no worries, Ethereum's long term value is still ~0." -Greg Maxwell, CTO of Blockstream and opponent of allowing Bitcoin to scale as Satoshi had planned.
1210 points: vbuterin's comment in Vitalik Buterin tried to develop Ethereum on top of Bitcoin, but was stalled because the developers made it hard to build on top of Bitcoin. Vitalik only then built Ethereum as a separate currency
1205 points: LiamGaughan's comment in As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method
QPR vs. Aston Villa Venue: Loftus Road Kick Off: 16:00pm BST/GMT Referee: Oliver Why not join the IRC live soccer chat? With Joey Barton in fine form since joining the London club, and a Villa side who need a result this weekend after a poor midweek performance against Bolton, this match could be a corker!! So let's get the match facts. Match facts/preview TEAM NEWS QPR have no fresh injury concerns but Kieron Dyer remains out with a foot injury and Clint Hill joined Nottingham Forest on loan this week. Jamie Mackie is not yet in contention but is back in full training after a double leg break last January. Aston Villa are hoping deadline-day signing Jermaine Jenas will finally be fit after a thigh injury. But Darren Bent has been ruled out with a groin problem, while fellow striker Emile Heskey remains an absentee. MATCH PREVIEW The last time QPR beat Villa, pop star Jarvis Cocker was about to stun the world! When Kevin Gallen grabbed the only goal of that victory in December 1995, Michael Jackson was Top of the Pops with his Earth Song dirge. Cocker was so enraged at Jackson's performance at the Brits a few weeks later, he invaded the stage and waggled his bottom in Jacko's face! People who downvote Match threads have aids, let's see who actually reads this stuff. I'll go for a first Rangers top-flight win since they beat West Ham in April 1996 QPR now have someone who loves to get in the face of opponents and they hope Joey Barton continues his abrasive form. He's already driven them a long way from the naive opening hammering by Bolton and can inspire a first home Premier League victory of the season against Villa, who were poor in the midweek cup defeat by Bolton and who are fortunate to still be unbeaten in the league. I mean, I bet I can put anything, an nobody will give two shits. Injuries to Darren Bent and Emile Heskey have hit them. Gabby Agbonlahor, though, is looking sharp. He's scored half of Villa's league goals and three in his last four Premier League games. His quick movement in from wide positions will threaten QPR's new-look defence, where Luke Young will be up against his old team. I mean, who do redditors think they are, I create a thread for a Premier League match, because nobody else can be bothered, and they downvote me. Well, guess what, I give you something to downvote, not that you will notice. With Shaun Wright-Phillips in sparkling form in his opening two matches, Barton's leadership and DJ Campbell's quick feet in the box, I'll go for a first Rangers top-flight home win since they beat West Ham in April 1996. Earth Song was just an insipid memory by then. Mark Morrison was at Number One with Return of the Mack. Now he did have a bit of snap and snarl about him - just like Joey! MATCH FACTS Head-to-head QPR are unbeaten at home to Aston Villa in the Premier League (W3, D1). Villa won 4-2 in the last league meeting between the sides - that was in March 1996 when Dwight Yorke scored twice, while Kevin Gallen was on the scoresheet for QPR. Gallen also scored the winner when the teams last met in the league at Loftus Road in December 1995. Managers Neil Warnock and Alex McLeish previously met in the 2008-09 season when both were in the Championship - McLeish's Birmingham beating Warnock's Crystal Palace at St Andrew's, and the sides then drew 0-0 at Selhurst Park. QPR QPR haven't scored at Loftus Road yet this season in league or cup. Last season, Rangers won their first four home league matches without conceding a goal. Captain Joey Barton scored the opening goal for Newcastle in their 6-0 win over Aston Villa last season. Aston Villa Aston Villa are unbeaten after five games of this season's Premier League (for the first time since 2006-07) but have drawn four of their matches. Gabby Agbonlahor has scored half of Villa's league goals this season and has scored three in his last four league games. Only Newcastle have conceded fewer goals than Villa in this season's Premier League. Darren Bent has been caught offside 12 times this season, more than any other Premier League player. So where are both teams in the league at the moment, I hear you ask? 1 Man Utd 6 17 16 2 Man City 6 14 16 3 Chelsea 6 5 13 4 Newcastle 6 4 12 5 Liverpool 6 0 10 6 Tottenham 5 0 9 7 Stoke 6 -2 9 8 Aston Villa 5 2 7 9 Everton 5 0 7 10 QPR 5 -2 7 11 Wolves 6 -3 7 12 Arsenal 6 -5 7 13 Sunderland 5 2 5 14 Norwich 5 -2 5 15 Wigan 6 -4 5 16 Swansea 6 -5 5 17 Fulham 6 -3 4 18 Blackburn 6 -5 4 19 West Brom 6 -5 4 20 Bolton 6 -8 3 So both teams have had the better of performances out of 20 this season so far, with both teams resting in the top 10. So you're now interested after reading all that, where can you watch? Well, if you're a British or Irish citizen, Sky Sports is free this weekend, meaning at 3.30pm GMT, you will be able to pick up the game on Sky Sports 1, without paying the extra £5 per week. Bonus! If you can't find a TV but you're a Sky customer, why not use the SKY GO application, type that in Google and get yourself signed up. For people who neither have Sky or the option of purchasing Sky, you will be needing a stream? Streams If you have anymore I will post them up. RojaDirecta LiveTV FirstRow BBC match thread AtdheNet RealSpotz Courtesy of enabled Obviously none of these will work till 4.00pm Team Sheets Not out yet, will update when out, expecting soon. They're out QPR 01 Kenny 05 Hall 13 Traore 18 Young 35 Ferdinand 04 Derry Helgusson 07 Taarabt 11 Faurlin 17 Barton 32 Wright-Phillips 10 Bothroyd Campbell Substitutes 26 Murphy, 02 Orr, 16 Connolly, 14 Buzsaky, 09 Campbell, 21 Smith, 22 Helguson Aston Villa 01 Given 02 Hutton 03 Warnock 05 Dunne 06 Collins 07 Ireland 10 N'Zogbia 16 Delph 19 Petrov 25 Bannan Albrighton 11 Agbonlahor Substitutes 22 Guzan, 23 Beye, 34 Lowry, 12 Albrighton, 38 Gardner, 14 Delfouneso, 26 Weimann Reddit Live Match Thread Kick off! Phewww... Is that Gary Neville doing the actual commentary? Warnock : Yellow Card. HALF TIME Half time facts. Possession QPR 61% Aston Villa 39% Attempts on target QPR 5 Aston Villa 1 Attempts off target QPR 5 Aston Villa 1 Corners QPR 7 Aston Villa 4 Fouls QPR 7 Aston Villa 6 Half time snap shot "For all QPR's dominance they have only really carved out one clear chance and they will be thankful to Paddy Kenny's expert save from Barry Bannan." Sternslovechild 2nd Half Hutton: Yellow Card 57' Penalty Penalty Penalty Traore: Yellow Card 58' Bannan GOL GOL GOL QPR 0 - 1 Aston Villa 58' Chants can be heard all over London to the tune of 'You don't know what you're doing'. Collins: Yellow Card Substitution: Bothroyd off Campbell on Substitution: Bannan off Albrighton on Agbonlahour: Yellow Card Subsitution: Derry off Helgusson on Gary Neville is officially blind. That was a penalty. Shut up Gary. Traore: Red Card 90' Traore OFF OFF OFF 93' Dunne GOL GOL GOL QPR 1 - 1 Aston Villa 93' FULL TIMEQPR 1 - 1 Aston Villa QPR still looking for a first home win. Full time match facts: Possession QPR 54% Aston Villa 46% Attempts on target QPR 9 Aston Villa 4 Attempts off target QPR 8 Aston Villa 4 Corners QPR 11 Aston Villa 8 Fouls QPR 14 Aston Villa 19 Penalties given QPR 0 Aston Villa 1 Penalties that should have been given QPR 2 Aston Villa 1 Table after the result 1 Man Utd 6 17 16 2 Man City 6 14 16 3 Chelsea 6 5 13 4 Newcastle 6 4 12 5 Liverpool 6 0 10 6 Tottenham 5 0 9 7 Stoke 6 -2 9 8 Aston Villa 6 2 8 9 QPR 6 -2 8 10 Everton 5 0 7 11 Wolves 6 -3 7 12 Arsenal 6 -5 7 13 Sunderland 5 2 5 14 Norwich 5 -2 5 15 Wigan 6 -4 5 16 Swansea 6 -5 5 17 Fulham 6 -3 4 18 Blackburn 6 -5 4 19 West Brom 6 -5 4 20 Bolton 6 -8 3 The pundits are shit.
I was shocked at the Amazonian river of money that sports betting generates... the Interpol chief Ron Noble says several billion euros a year, an ex-FIFA official has said up to $500 billion a year. BILLION...! if you are a criminal mastermind, all you have to do is use some fixed games to deliver a tiny sliver of that and you will be wealthier than you ever imagined. That's about the yearly GNP of Switzerland, no slouch economy.
Until lately, no one thought to look for match-fixing in the soccer wilderness. but extremely low level games in Finland, Norway and Canada that were fixed proved that theory wrong. for fixers, best thing is virgin territory not already claimed by other fixers...
Prolly the shorter list would be what mobs DON'T want to get involved with match-fixing... AP talked to Turkish commentators who said fixing allegations have cropped up every year for at least 40 years, and even Turkish prosecutors in court documents noted that mobs had infiltrated Turkish soccer since at least 1980... As for Russia, one illegal Asian betting den that an AP reporter visited wouldn't even touch bets for Russia's 2nd division (or Greece's for that matter). Even illegal sites know when to run! Italy's match-fixing has produced over $2.6 billion for the Camorra and the Mafia. And since the vast majority of sports betting money originates in Asia, Asian crime gangs are said to be intimately involved in fixing games.
Ah yes, where a zagreb player winked on a YouTube clip. plenty of suspicions, Ajax started howling immediately, no good evidence ever emerged. was about the same time in which Croatian first league (where dinamo played) was riddled with match-fixing (see our story about Croatia Seveste player Mario Cizmek) but dinamo never implicated in those trials.
It's more &&#$ than top officials want to publicly admit. There are large areas of the world where football has been not only infiltrated by criminals but is being run by criminals. Last year in China, two ex-chiefs of its FA (football association for American fans) got 10 1/2 years in prison for corruption. In 2011, the national TV channel in China REFUSED to broadcast matches from the Chinese League due to widespread match-fixing. I can't imagine the reax here in London if Sky or the BBC refused to broadcast Premier League games...
Well, our FIFA correspondent Graham Dunbar says that depends if you include the 1982 World Cup West Germany-Austria game, which appeared to be a deal with the teams. FIFA changed its rules after that so games at the end of rounds start simultaneously. More recently you have the 2010 WC qualifier between Liechtenstein and Finland ... and Latam types will always debate whether the WC 1978 Argentina 6, peru 0 was fixed, sent host Argentina into final...
Hmmm. where to start? well, going way back, juventus reputedly bough the ref in the 193 European Cup semifinal, according to one of our top football guys... and they were pretty front and center in Italy's 2006 match-fixing scandal, where they were regulated to Serie B (2nd division), got 9 points deducted, got hit by a massive fine, got stripped of their 2006-07 league titles, got tossed out of the Champions League for a year. Their club president at the time was fined and banned from the sport for five years. Their current coach, Antonio Conte, just got back in December from a 4-month FIFA ban for a separate match-fixing allegation. As Premier Mario Monti said, maybe Italian football should just shut down for a few years to get rid of that corruption thing...
Gotta give kudos here to Chris Brummett, our Vietnam bureau chief, who visited a Wild West betting boomtown on the border of Cambodia. Going around illegal Asian betting dens, talking with bettors about fixed matches, looking for hints of Asian triad involvement. Not a place that you could take TV cameras or where bettors would let u take a picture, that's for sure. And when I was filming a TV segment at a Zagreb stadium with a player convicted of match-fixing, all of a sudden we saw that a photog with a long lens was zooming in on us. The guy came over to see what we were doing, I made sure not to speak a word of English and our photographer Darko talked to him. After that, Darko said "it's time to go." When a photog who just got back from Syria says its time to go, u go.
Super Bowl betting is big in the US but is tiny in relation to global soccer betting. And the Super Bowl has one big thing that keeps it from being fixed -- very high player salaries. Players in countries like Croatia are match-fixing sometimes for as little as 2500 euros ($3300). Major league baseball salaries and NFL salaries are too high -- and you need to involve too many players to ensure a rock-solid fix. In soccer, the goalie alone has enough influence to fix a game by himself.
In terms of the betting, there's about five-six levels of betting in Asia, which leads from local illegal betting shops that deal in cash to next level, regional betting houses, still in cash, to next level, super betting sites, to online betting sites that take credit cards and are openly operating. Asian betting sites don't know their customers, so its easier to disguise large wagers as many small ones. European betting sites know their customers via credit cards, but criminals can use fake credit cards. anyone who knows about a fixed game can bet on whichever betting site offers the odds
Actually 'friendlies' between two nations are a prime target for fixers, because football associations can hire agencies (some of which later turn out to be fronts for fixers) to arrange the games and give a cut of the proceeds (or even bribes) to corrupt FA officials Just imagine, in a friendly you can get world-class talent for free and they can generate gobs of TV revenues. some suspect friendlies in recent times: Nigeria-Argentina 2011, one or more South Africa friendlies right before the World Cup, Bolivia-Latvia 2011, Bulgaria-Estonia 2011, several Latam games involving Venezuela and Bolivia. These are all men's games, so far no whiff of suspicion among women's friendlies.
No, so far no reports of match-fixing in any women's games. in fact, some of the bettors AP interviewed in the illegal Cambodian den were at the time betting on live women's U-20 game between New Zealand and Japan just because they felt it was not fixed.
Me and another AP reporter have visited a betting monitoring site that runs 31,000 games thru computer models to see if they may be fixed. Companies like that can often see if games are suspicious up to two days before a match _ ie they know if XXX amount bet on a Italian league game is normal or way off. They also keep tabs on 110,000 players, teams, refs and officials and give them match-fixing credit scores... they have seen where a suspicious player changes teams and infects a previously untouched team with his knowlege of fixing... Only one match in England reflects high premier league salaries that protect the players and the game. But bet monitors do have one person on their top 20 'to watch' match-fixing suspicions list that lives in the UK.
The sheer variety. I mean there are some things we can plan for _ we know when the 2012 London Olympics will start _ but you never know each day what will happen. Will an Icelandic volcano erupt and blow the travel plans of 10 million people to bits? Or maybe a meteor will hit Russia? i am constantly amazed.
Well, i live and work now in north London, so i would be crucified if I didnt keep up with Arsenal (condolences will be accepted here today). Favorite player, hmm. got two. Fernando Torres because i was living in Zurich during Euro 2008 (he was electric then) and he looks just like my hubby did years ago with his freckles; Robin van Persie now because the man just dances on the field, a joy to watch.
At a family level, I brought my ten-year-old daughter and her soccer team to see the American women play at Giants stadium in NJ when the US hosted the Women's World Cup in 1999... Mia Hamm and her buddies really inspired a generation.
Betting companies are always going to advertise next to matches, its the smart operating model for their business. but it is interesting how they can be in severe denial about match-fixing. I went to a London betting conference in Nov, and a top representative from Ladbrokes insisted to me that 'maybe 5-6' games were fixed a year. he claimed that some betting monitoring companies have an incentive to say there are hundreds of possibly fixed games a year just so they would get contracts from FIFA, UEFA, national leagues. On the other hand, his own industry has a HUGE interest in not talking about fixed games -- who is going to bet if they think things are fixed? he did me a big favor though - AP reporters could not get into the monitoring sites until we reported his ludicrous comment to them.
What i'm going to do is give u some link to our stories that explain all this. ironically, match-fixers often groom players just like pedophiles groom targets, according to a major 2012 study on sports corruption. Players can be seduced into fixing by other coaches or players or agents. Or they can be ordered to fix by their corrupt soccer club bosses. Or they can have no idea a game is fixed because the refs were bought off instead. so many ways to match-fix...!
FIFA's latest anti-match-fixing project is to educate players and refs about the problem. A noble idea, for sure, one that no one can find fault with. but it's kinda like warning your kids not to play with matches when your kitchen is already on fire and that may burn down your whole house. Time to get out the big firehose. Let's not forget how doping has driven sponsors and TV revenues away from cycling or even track. And soccer authorities also have another problem -- their own officials may be the ones driving the fixing. A major sports corruption report last year even gave that a label "chairman-to-chairman" fixing. in turkey last year, 93 people went on trial for match-fixing, and only 14 were players. I think the best model to emulate is germany's, its FA has a omsbudman where players, refs, anyone can call to report fixing worries anonymously.
That was one darn obvious handball but absolutely no suggestion of fixing in that. as we say in our Dirty Game series, referees and players can perform poorly for all sorts of legitimate reasons. Gotta say, American fans could never stomach bad ref calls like that, that's why they love NFL instant replay. the concept that such a bad call could knock a team out... it's why the NFL had to end its referee lockout...
If you got any knowlege of this, let FIFA/UEFA/the national leagues know. AP took a deep dive into fixing in Croatia's first division, (let me tell u google translator is a mess with croatian court transcripts) and found both match and spot fixing in the same games. one sports expert, David Forrest of University of Salford, says that's a great way for gangs to increase revenues, you get to place two-three-four bets on the same fixed game.
Hmm. it's kinda like doping in that you need zero tolerance. That said, its clear that match-fixers target players like lions on the savannah, picking off the young (easy to manipulate) the old (nearing the end of their employment, fearing what's next) and the weak (those with betting problems or financial difficulties. Young players lured into fixing by older players should get lesser sentences if it's found that they were forced or pressured into it. Older players (or refs hitting age limits) should get harsher penalties because they absolutely knew what they were doing. national stars who fix bring shame upon an entire nation but the fixing penalities should be the same no matter what the league.
There's no question that Italy has had repeated, major match-fixing instances at least since 2005. And each case seems to bring new amazing allegations. My all time favorite is the goalie who wanted to fix a game, so he drugs the water bottles of his teammates to play poorly. they stink, lose the game, and one even crashes his car afterward. Since Italy takes drunk driving quite seriously, the driver gets a blood test which shows he is full of sedatives, and the whole fixing operation is unveiled. can't make this up. I give plenty of kudos to Italian prosecutor Roberto Di Martino but the country has had plenty of corruption issues in all walks of life ... , so i dont think we can just credit good prosecutors for us hearing about italian match-fixing
We noticed that AP was doing about a dozen match-fixing spot stories around the world a month... but it was country by country. This trial, that arrest, this investigation. It was time to look at the whole of the sport, something that fits an international news agency better than a local or national paper. I had been interested in match-fixing since i covered FIFA for AP in 2007-2008 and did a story when they first set up their EWS monitoring site. got promoted to London, distracted by volcanos and a wonderful London Olympics, but began interviewing people last june.
Wild theory, too bad it's prolly not true -- they must have been drinking pretty heavily! If a game is fixed by players, they know beforehand and they know exactly what marks they need to hit: X-X score at halftime, X-X final result, X goal differential. No need to look over their shoulder, they already know if they should make it or not. If the game is fixed by club officials, they have already told their players what to do. If the game is fixed by referees, often players don't even know. They might think it's a ridiculous penalty call but they are not going to hurt their stats, they are going to try to make the penalty.
This was a significant problem in Asia, and its a terrible business model when two crime gangs are trying to fix the same game. That propeled at least Asian gangs to seek out more European games, which were considered several years ago to be much cleaner. One monitor told me about a match in which his company's spotters at the game saw thugs from two different crime gangs shouting with the ref at halftime. Only one side won. (think the ref in that case had a death wish or was just blinded by greed)
I don't bet on sports, not after seeing all this...! The most common bets on fixed games are four things: final score, half-time score, total number of scores and score differential. who is taking the corner doesnt bring in enough money...
David Forrest, the UK economist who specializes in sports betting, tells us that fixed sports betting is a fabulous way to launder money. You take cash from drug or trafficking operations, you bet on fixed games, not only do u make a profit but dirty money comes back clean. He says some crime gangs are trying to buy soccer clubs just to launder money through them.
You maybe are just looking at one Italian match-fixing investigation. Multiply that by investigations in 50 nations last year, add to it all the bribe money that is linked to organizing friendlies that can generate big TV revenue... the point about match-fixing is not illegal or legal betting. It is tainting all betting with a fix. European betting agencies pride themselves on their legality, but anyone can be undermined by a fix. In asia, illegal gambling dens thrive because gambling in an ingrained cultural habit that is going to occur even if govts ban it.
Huge amounts of late bets on an obscure game. In-game live betting in which lots of bettors put money on another goal and the referee orders a penalty for an unfathomable reason. Games in which all scoring is due to penalty kicks. Games in which scoring is so high that it looks more like baseball. Games in which many goals are disqualified for offsides. so many options i just cant list them all
Cricito, an Italian defender who plays for the St. Petersburg club Zenit, was cleared, not charged with any match-fixing. He has said that he's trying not to be angry but still is about how he was dropped from the Italian team playing in Euro 2012 due to allegations that turned out to be unproven.
Big break on Thursday (feb 21, day after this AMA). a top suspected fixer was arrested by Italian police, Admir Sulijic. he reportedly has links to singapore money man Dan Tan. --- Big break on Friday, Dan Tan being interviewed by Singapore police!!!
I'm such a cynic that I can't say 'No' about any team. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, that's a 'known unknown' -- we know there are some things we do not know. that applies to all teams, not just Chelsea.
Hey even amazing teams lose sometimes! Plus this doesnt match the typical M.O. of the most successful match-fixers. When great teams lose, it always raises more suspicions among bet monitoring companies than when bad teams lose (our reporters visited some secret betting monitoring sites). A convicted midfielder who talked to us about match-fixing says it's always better to simply have bad teams lose once again -- criminals just pre-determine HOW MUCH that team will lose by and play those odds.
Sri don't mean to be flippant. You go for zero tolerance, you establish anti-match-fixing officials in every national league, you teach players and refs and soccer officials how to recognize approaches by fixers, you increase criminal penalities for fixing, you don't stop investigating serious allegations just because a referee has retired 'from the football family,' (FIFA) you protect whistleblowers better. Italian defender Simone Farina told police about being approached by a fellow player to fix, and that effectively ended his playing career and made him a pariah in italy...happily months and months later Aston Villa made him a 'community coach'
ESPN online did pick up the AP Dirty Game story... and they did a video piece after Europol cited 680 suspicious games. but on that video piece they got an Italian soccer commentator who thought this was being overblown...
Hmm. I saw an NBA rep at the London conference on sports betting. the major difference, obviously, is the huge number of scores in basketball and low number of scores in soccer. 1-0 wins a soccer game, but you need what, 35-50 scores to win an NBA game? So many more scoring variables in the NBA and such high salaries. I would think college ball (no salaries) would be much much more vulnerable to spread fixing.
Sky Sports News reporter Roger Clarke talks to Black Cyclists Network founder Mani Arthur on why he established the club and creating a pathway for BAME riders. Cycling 25/09/20 12:30pm. Latest Golf news from Sky Sports. European tour and PGA tour covered along with Masters, Open, US Open, PGA Championships and Ryder Cup. Sky Racing World gives you exclusive access to horse racing picks in Australia, South Africa and South Korea. Visit the site to watch horse racing online. PICK 7 CARRYOVER FOR SUNDAY, 11 OCTOBER OF $9,456.42. Bet on horse racing, football, rugby, tennis, golf and many other sports. Find double delight and hat trick heaven games, place a goals galore bet and more. A south coast derby in this Carabao Cup with Brighton losing to Chelsea in there opening game in Premier League they'll be looking to get a win against a team that's two leagues below them, Portsmouth have a ex Premier league manager and player that's been trying to get this Portsmouth side up the league again to the Premier league so Kenny ...
Recorded Webinar: UK Digital Sports Betting in 2014 - A Review of the Year
Who will win ? dunk store https://dunkeyscastle.com/ Join Natalie Rydstrom and the Bank Roll gang as they discuss the results of the FIFA World Cup Draw for Russia 2018. Get the knee-jerk reactions to the announced groups and how our cappers think ... As UK bookmakers were expecting to take as much £3 billion in action during the World Cup, we felt there was no better time to analyse online purchasing behaviour and track sports betting ... Smithy and Chris attempt to recreate David Beckham's famous free-kick against Colombia and Gary Neville takes a DNA test ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Sponsored by Sky Bet. Sky Bet believe that be... The full, uncut interview with England and Lancashire wicketkeeper Jos Buttler as he discusses the final moments of the dramatic ICC Cricket World Cup final and what it feels like to be a World ...