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    The Lords of Pain World Heavyweight Championship - 2014-2017


    You join us for another meeting of the Lords of Pain World Heavyweight Championship committee at a pivotal moment in the title’s history. There’s much for us to cover and to sort out. If you’ll recall, when we left you last time we’d seen the title vacated as AJ Styles was inactive, seen the title pass to Brock Lesnar, only to have him immediately stripped for inactivity. To compound matters, we weren’t able to find a suitable defence in a timely fashion and had to leave the title vacant for an extended period. This is the situation we’re going to have to deal with first of all, and joining me to sort that out are LWO4Life, Uncle Joe, Mazza and Mizfan.


    Before we get started, though, I have received two motions that we’ll need to vote on. These both relate to extending the number of titles that we consider when looking for worthy world title matches. We did decide on all these way back before we started but a lot of time has passed since then, and our membership has also changed a little, which might sway the vote in different ways. First, a motion from LWO.


    May I suggest we bring in AAA Mega World Title? People may not like that Del Rio is champion, but his reign is going great at this point and he's so over in Mexico that you have to respect.

    And now, a motion from Mazza.

    If we are recognising ROH and TNA, I feel NXT should also been an option by 2015.

    So we’ll take these one after the other. Let’s start with the AAA Mega Title.

    I'm inclined to vote no towards AAA. It was a possible option when we started this series and we decided not to consider it, and I don't think there's a need to change at this point.

    Yeah Triple A why not.

    I think there’s potentially a case for including AAA. But to be honest, I’m ignorant enough about them to know whether it’s a valid case or not. I think they are going to have to get the votes without me and if they’ve enough popular support, I’m happy enough to go along with it.

    As far as adding more titles, I'm all for it. I'm kinda mad we hadn't done so earlier. So, count me in for tomfoolery that's going to ensure.

    I’ll count that as a vote for both. So that moves us on to the NXT title. Maz’s vote is counted implicitly, and you’ve got Joe on board already, so that just leaves one vote needed.

    I'll vote no on NXT. Unless we want to throw in the IC and US titles too.

    I’m more sure about what to do with the situation with NXT. There’s certainly a grey area there, so it’s not exactly like including the IC/US titles. It’s much more like the conversation we’d have had to have had about the WWECW title, had we been on the WWE during that run. I think what decides it for me is that not even the WWE really consider the NXT title to be a world title, and they’ve not been shy about splitting their championship. I’m really against the idea of allowing a third WWE option into the mix, and about the very idea that the WWE title could be split yet again. So, it’s a no from me.

    I'm also voting no towards NXT. While that brand's top championship may have more recognition than some of the other titles we're considering, I can't escape the fact that it's not even arguably the top title of the WWE. If we wanted to recognize lesser championships that are contested in highly acclaimed matches, we should have recognized the Intercontinental Championship in the 80s, among many others.


    The Motion to consider the AAA Mega Title passes by 3-2
    The Motion to consider the NXT title fails by 3-2


    Now, with that out of the way, we need to come to the matter of finding a title match to get the LoP title back into action! The motion doesn’t actually change a lot immediately as there’s no AAA match within the right kind of time frame, so there’s a list of five to choose from.

    IWGP: Tanahashi vs Okada, Wrestle Kingdom
    RoH: Jay Briscoe vs Matt Taven
    Impact: Lashley vs Bobby Roode
    Triple Crown: Go Shiazaki vs Joe Doering
    WWE: Cena vs Lesnar vs Rollins, Royal Rumble


    This shouldn't even be a question, should it?

    Oh fuck - Let's do the rumble match.

    Bring me back to Okada. Best wrestler in the world. We are going to have to accept either NJPW or WWE as is...

    Rumble.

    Only two of the matches register on the highest level, and I won't risk it going back to Lesnar yet again just so we go back into the same quandary. Send it back to New Japan, where it never should have left in the first place!

    Wrestle Kingdom is the obvious call, and it’s the one I am going for here.

    Vote is 3-2 to recognise the match at Wrestle Kingdom as an LoP World title Bout.


    After a tumultuous end to 2014 we are back in New Japan, with Hiroshi Tanahashi becoming our champion for the second time. There’s an aura of déjà vu about what happens next as AJ Styles, who we had to strip last year, becomes a two-time champion on February 11th. And AJ doesn’t defend the IWGP title for the first 50 days, though at the expiration of that window he has a defence scheduled against Kota Ibushi in three days’ time. The first question, then, is are we willing to do as we’ve done in the past and let him have the extra days?

    I guess we can let him have three extra days.

    A few extra days, yeah, let's do it.

    Absolutely, extend! Pretty much always extend when it's New Japan.

    Yeah give him the extension.

    I concur, three days is nothing to get bent out of shape about.

    Vote is unanimous to grant the extra 3 days


    After being given the additional leeway, Styles retains against Kota. Much like the previous year, though, he doesn’t defend again for some time and I believe we’re not expecting to see him defend the IWGP title again until Dominion, which will be in July. That means if we’re going to avoid taking the belt off him again for the second year in a row, we need to find LoP title defences that aren’t IWGP defences and see if he can hold onto the belt. If you take a look in your packet, gentlemen, you’ll find his singles matches that could be relevant.


    12.05.2015 vs Adam Cole, ROH/NJPW War Of The Worlds 2015

    09.05.2015 vs Chase Owens, NWA Smoky Mountain Collision Course

    08.05.2015 vs Jimmy Rave, PSW - Event

    25.04.2015 vs Façade, Remix Pro Throwdown For The Pound - Chance's Eleven

    19.04.2015 vs Sonjay Dutt, AML Confrontation 2015

    18.04.2015 vs Tommy Suede, PPW Showdown

    Pass. Strip him.

    Yes to all, I won't risk the title being vacated again!

    Give me the Adam Cole match! Best challenger on a PPV. It has to be done.

    Yeah, I think I agree with that reasoning. The Cole match for me, but I can’t really back any of the others.

    I guess we can get him vs Jimmy rave, cause why not.

    Vote is 3-2 to recognise the Adam Cole bout as an LoP title defence


    Once again, Styles retains. From that match there are 54 days until his next IWGP match at Dominion. He does have other matches that we can elevate to a title match in the meantime, but for the time being, the question is does he need one of those to become a title match or are we willing to let him enter Dominion as champion regardless?

    I'm good with either way cuz we've extended a little bit of time when it's barely over the limit for a champion that we feel is prestigious.

    Yeah 4 days is fine.

    You got it! Extend this time, next time, and the time after that!

    But I would like the title to be defended a bit more often even if we know he's not going to lose.

    That’s already over the line, before we carry on, motion to extend 50 days to 60 days. This is becoming pretty regular!

    Motion tabled – what do we think about the plan to extend the defence window by an extra 10 days?

    60 days is very cuckworthy, what are you, Boris Johnson??

    I have to agree with Maz. I don't think we should leave NJPW at this moment because right now NJPW is heads and shoulders above everybody else. But this is getting annoying. And if go back to WWE we'd get the same from Brock. It's just the signs of the times in wrestling.

    Yes, extend to 60! Save us from voting on the same thing the same way over and over again!

    Anyway, fuck it, I'll vote motion yes, or for the motion of the ocean, whatever.

    Vote is unanimous to extend the window by 10 days


    At Dominion, Kazuchika Okada wins the title for the second time. With the new 60 day window implemented, Okada has all his G1 matches as potential defences (against Michael Elgin, Honma, Satoshi Kojima, Goto, Karl Anderson, Ishii, Yujiro, Nagata, and Shinsuke Nakamura), as well as a match in RoH against former LoP Champ (who was never beaten, incidentally) Roderick Strong. What do you guys think?

    You just made a very convincing case for Okada vs Strong. It's perfect. The man was never beaten. Who cares if Tyson Fury didn't fight for four years. Everyone calls him lineal champ. Strong was stripped off a technicality. It's time for him to get a shot to regain the title he never lost!

    Yes to all! Let's keep this train running smoothly this time!

    No G1s as per my rule. I like the of the match against a champ who never lost the title. Yay for the Roddy match.

    I'm cool with it.

    Is that a vote for them all?

    In the same way a man being strangled by a boa constrictor drowning in quick sane accepts his death, sure.

    I suppose I tipped my hat with how I’m voting by pointing out that the Strong match has some interesting history and allows us to close an open loop in the title history. I’m not voting for anything else because I don’t want it to interfere with that.

    Vote is 4-1 to recognise the Roderick Strong match in RoH as an LoP title defence


    In the battle of champions Okada wins, and before long he’s successfully defending the IWGP title against AJ Styles again. Then we hit another of the problems thrown up by the Japanese calendar – the tag team season at the end of the year. Okada doesn’t wrestle another title match in 2015 after October. Nor, in fact does he give us many other options. He wrestles one match which we could theoretically elevate to a title match – but it’s against Genichiro Tenryu, on his retirement show. I think we’d all agree that in his day Tenryu was a worthy competitor, but he makes for an odd challenger in 2015, especially as we’d refused to see The Rock in that light in 2013.

    So, three potential outcomes. We can say he’s inactive and take the title. We can – as we have occasionally done in the past – say that the tag team season in Japan is sort of off-limits as far as inactivity goes and just carry on again from Wrestle Kingdom, where we know he’ll face the winner of the G1, Hiroshi Tanahashi. Or, we can raise the Tenryu match to world title bout in spite of what are some fairly clear objections.

    Here’s how we make sense of it. The first vote is do we recognise Okada’s right to take part in the NJPW World Tag League without effecting his LoP title?

    If the first vote is ‘yes’, we’ll end it there. If it’s a ‘no’, we’ll carry on with vote 2.

    For the first part I'm going to vote a big fat no.

    First answer, no. Most important thing is single defense.

    I absolutely vote that the tag league be considered off limits! The next defense is set in stone and there's no doubt he will arrive to defend it at that time.

    I think I agree with you – this is a quirk of the calendar and when we recognised the IWGP title as a valid belt I believe we implicitly agreed to accept these windows along with that.

    He can take part in the tourney but he needs a defence.

    So, the question of the defence is now crucial. What do you think? Do we recognise the Tenryu retirement bout as an LoP title match?

    Second, yes, Tenryu should be a defense

    Begrudgingly I'll vote not to recognize the Tenryu match based on the circumstances.

    It’s a no for me on Tenryu.

    I want to vote 410 real honestly I don't care if he's on his retirement show but I want to get the belt out of New Japan so fuck it I'm also going to vote no again.

    I agree. I think we should be leaving the belt where it is but taken as a single defence on the issue that’s being raised, this ain’t a valid match for the strap.


    So the votes were 3-2 in favour of Okada needing a defence, but 4-1 against the Tenryu match counting. Which means for the fourth time since 2013, the belt is vacant. This also means that if we’re consistent, any champion wrestling in NJPW come the end of the year is going to be in serious jeopardy of losing the belt by forfeit. But we are where we are and here are the options for the next championship match.

    ROH: Jay Lethal vs AJ Styles – Final Battle
    WWE: Sheamus vs Roman Reigns – Inglewood House Show
    IWGP: Tanahashi vs Okada – Wrestle Kingdom
    NWA: Jax Dane vs Rob Conway – Smoky Mountain The Finale
    Triple Crown: Jun Akiyama vs Suwama – New Year’s Two Days
    Impact: Ethan Carter vs Matt Hardy – Impact #599


    Oh man, really??

    Ewwww. Gimme ROH.

    If that's the same handicam match I'm thinking of, I loved that shit.

    I can't imagine any reasonable argument but to the put the title back where it belongs, the IWGP match is head, shoulders, knees, and toes above any of these other options.

    I’ll be voting for the Reigns and Sheamus match.

    Screw it, give me more Okada. Everything else looks terrible. I might give RoH a run, but all other options looks terrible. Okay, screw it, more Okada.

    Vote is 3-1-1 to make the IWGP title match an LoP title match


    I would like to seriously propose that we nip this recurring problem in the bud and vote to from now on recognize the tag season of New Japan is off limits. We look like fools, vacating the title at the end of every year just to put it right back where it was!

    Motion raised, how do you all vote? I know I’m happy enough to agree with it.

    We do look like a bunch of floppy dicks, and if were gonna phallus it up, lets be erect. I vote yes to pass said motion.

    Agreed.

    No tag team tournament leeway. 60 days is a lot. We need the title visible.

    Motion passes by a margin of 4-1


    So, we’re going back to Japan despite only just leaving it, and the motion to take these decisions away when the tag league comes up again has passed – so NJPW suddenly looks like a much more stable port than it had done prior to that vote.

    But that means all we basically did last time is inflate Okada’s reigns on the title by 1. He carries the belt until he loses it to Tetsuya Naito at Invasion Attack, with Okada winning it back from Naito at Dominion where he joins Strangler Lewis, Lou Thesz, and Triple H on 4 reigns.

    Then, G1 comes up. We know that means Okada will take place in lots of singles matches, but his G1 bouts are the only ones in the mix. But here are his block opponents. Given that we’ve voted in the past not to put the belt on the line every time a la Kenta Kobashi, we’ll limit ourselves to voting on individual matches unless there are any objections to the contrary.

    So, here are his block opponents. If any match gets three, and he wins it/them, he’ll be allowed to continue as champion. If not… well, we’ll see where we are then. The nine options are:

    Hiroshi Tanahashi, Naomichi Marufuji, Sanada, Hiroki Goto, Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe, Tomohiro Ishii

    Goddamnit how the fuck is the title back in NJPW? I blame Steve, wherever he is.

    Basically, because the opposition to NJPW can't agree on what they want instead!

    That’s not a good enough reason, Pete! Sex drugs and Manchester are the only acceptable answers.

    None.

    For me this has to be done on their records. I’m intrigued by the idea of a Marufuji match as the ace of NOAH, but he doesn’t have the wins, really beating only a young lion called Jay White. Nor does SANADA.

    I'm sick and tired of vacating this title, so I'm going to vote for them all! Every one of them! G1 super title defense month, let's do it!!

    Goto’s record is decent enough, though I’m slightly concerned that he had a shot at Okada back in February and didn’t do it then. But he has made the final of the New Japan Cup since then, and comes into the tournament on the back of a win over EVIL. Neither Tama Tonga nor Hiroyoshi Tenzan, however, have the kind of wins coming into this that I can consider them credible.

    I would honestly prefer my grandmother narrate my next masturbation session than pick any of these bouts but seeing as how she’s dead, I guess I’ll go with Ishii.

    Togi Makabe is out, because he hasn’t wrestled a singles match since March and even back then he could only halve two matches with Tama Tonga, who I’ve already ruled out. Tomohiro Ishii comes in with a record in 2016 of 7-5. Not bad, but not stellar. I’m actually more impressed with Bad Luck Fale’s 2-2 record, given that one of those wins comes against former champion Hiroshi Tanahashi – who has a poor start to 2016 counting against him but comes into the tournament on a winning streak.

    I'll vote for those I know well... lol Tonga, Tenzan, Bad Luck Fale.

    I’m going to vote for the following bouts: Hirooki Goto, Bad Luck Fale, and Hiroshi Tanahashi. The rest don’t meet the criteria for me.

    The board nominates the match against Bad Luck Fale as a defence


    We find ourselves having to meet again, because lo and behold, the one match that managed to clear the hurdle we put in front of it is a match that Okada lost, and we are now recognising Bad Luck Fale as the LoP Champion. That means we have to find a defence for Fale, and given that this happens right at the end of the G1 there is only one appropriate match-up. Against Okada, in a rematch, on Destruction in Hiroshima. Is this a title defence – yes or no? If no, we’ll have to forfeit the belt, as he’s got no chance of making it to the tag league window in safety.

    Bollocks to this. I am writing to the Queen to prorogue this committee.

    Time is truly a flat circle.

    What have we done?? We had too much pride, dammit! Too much hubris! We flew too close to the sun and now making Fale a world champion is our version of crashing down to earth and dying. Yes, give the Rainmaker a chance to redeem himself and right this terrible wrong!

    Yes, this is a title defense.

    I don't even know. I mean if the change got through so should this. I'm not voting for it though.

    I guess we can vote yes. Yes to voting no, fuck Okada.

    Personally, I don’t see any reason not to vote for a rematch, given how dominant Okada has been with the belt lately.

    Vote is 3-2 to recognise the rematch as a world title defence

    Bad Luck Fale became the champion only to lose it back to Okada in September, where he pulled level with Bret Hart on 5 reigns (and, incidentally reconnects us back to the IWGP title in the process). This also gets him comfortably into the tag league window, where as an entrant he’s safe until it’s over, and then he moves into 2017 as Champion.

    To finish off, I’m raising a motion: to prevent title inflation – in the event that we strip someone of the title and immediately go back to them, that title switch is retroactively eliminated, and their reign is considered to have continued. I don’t think it’ll effect many switches but it’ll tidy up the timeline a bit and remove any weird inconsistencies. Obviously as the sponsor I’m backing it, but what do you guys think.

    I'll gladly vote to eliminate all the pointless times we stripped the IWGP title only to give it right back. Tidy up that timeline, Pete!

    I think I will have to vote no on the motion. If it was stripped it was for a reason. I know this puts us in Flair country however I don't think we had enough to make it an issue for us.

    I agree with that motion. I'm a fan of long reigns, not many reigns. If they get the belt back, give them one reign!

    I want to pass the motion but what if I lost it to a dude who had a six-month reign and then I won it back, it's not fair to erase a dude’s long reign.

    It only applies in the case that you've had it and win it straight back.

    Oh, okay. yeah I'll pass the motion, I agree.

    Motion passes by 4-1
    Back-to-back reigns separated by a vacancy are now considered uninterrupted

    That doesn’t have a huge knock-on effect on the timeline, but it does tidy up some of our recent messes in New Japan. Speaking of which, with the vote on the tag window passing as well as Maz's motion about raising the defence window to 60 days, we’re in an interesting situation now where it’s actually getting harder for the belt to leave NJPW, so long as they, themselves, don’t mess around with it. And this is where we’ll resume next time.

    Vacant – November 10th, 2014 – January 4th, 2015
    Hiroshi Tanahashi (2) – January 4th, 2015 – February 11th, 2015
    AJ Styles (2) – February 11th, 2015 – July 5th, 2015
    Kazuchika Okada (2) – July 5th, 2015 – April 10th, 2016
    Tetsuya Naito – April 10th, 2016 – June 19th, 2016
    Kazuchika Okada (3) – June 19th, 2016 – August 8th, 2016
    Bad Luck Fale – August 8th, 2016 – September 22nd, 2016
    140th Kazuchika Okada (4) – September 22nd, 2016 –

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #2
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Regarding the NXT Title: I agree that it shouldn't count at this point in time. However, once that brand hits national TV, the decision to discount it should be reversed. I suspect around that time the AEW title will also need to be added to the equation.
    FACT or FICTION: Which Promotion Dies? (And can NXT beat Raw/Smackdown?)
    PM me to get involved.

  3. #3
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    I've thoroughly enjoyed this series, however with the votes about NJPW I don't see it ever leaving there now thus making this a bit redundant.

    That's just my take anyway

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    I can't believe we put the title on Bad Luck Fale...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DynamiteBillington View Post
    Regarding the NXT Title: I agree that it shouldn't count at this point in time. However, once that brand hits national TV, the decision to discount it should be reversed. I suspect around that time the AEW title will also need to be added to the equation.
    I was going to question whether being on national television was enough to elevate it into this discussion, but I remembered the NXT title has been defended in London, thus making it a true world title. It should be allowed, I believe.

  6. #6
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Ooh, some early feedback.

    Billington: I won't be changing my vote on the NXT title, I must be honest. I don't think it being on TV really changes things that much. Nor do I really like the fact that WWE recognises two world champions, so you can imagine how I'll feel about considering a third that even they don't really want to call a world championship. But there's only one vote needed to change that, and maybe someone else will flip. Who's to say. I think the AEW title might have a better chance of passing but as with anything, all decisions are for the board!

    The Cook: I agree, it's definitely harder to get the belt out of NJPW than it was before, but stick with us through the next column. You never know, we might still surprise you. The one thing I've learned across this is that the road is anything but predictable....

    Mizfan: Y'know what, men of that size are always going to be dangerous....

    meandi: I'll reiterate what I said above about not flipping on the NXT title. That said, I'm not sure that being defended outside the US is enough, because by that logic we'd have to consider the IC title, the US title, the European title... and that's just in the WWE. We've consistently established a higher threshold than that and for a number of reasons, I don't intend to change my position. But hey, if it gets brought to a vote again and one of the other 'no' votes flips, then yeah, it'd be in the mix.



    Thanks to everyone who has checked this out early!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #7
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    I can't believe we put the title on Bad Luck Fale...
    Blame NJPW for putting him over Okada. LOL

  8. #8
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    PT- I understand your reasoning to an extent. The reason I wouldn’t consider elevating the IC/US/European titles is because those have always been presented as a brand’s secondary or tertiary title. The NXT title doesn’t fit that bill, though.

  9. #9
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    Surprised the NXT Championship was not recognised considering that they starting their own 2-hour show which effectively puts them out of that developmental brand phase and makes their title more legitimate.

    NJPW ruled the roost here and I totally agree that if a wrestler wins the title back immediately that the wrestler who was keeping the belt warm for the real champion. Those bait and switches lessens the prestige of a title reign.

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