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Author Topic: The Friedman Files: Issue #002  (Read 236 times)

The Friedman Files

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The Friedman Files: Issue #002
« on: May 13, 2011, 11:31:58 AM »

Hello SHOOT Project fans, and welcome to another edition of The Friedman Files!

I'd like to thank all of you for the reception to my first edition. I wouldn't go to all this work if you didn't read it, so your words mean a lot.

Except for Jester Smiles. 

Ever hear of "Freedom of the Press" Jester?  If you want to go on the radio and slag my column, go ahead. 

Just remember, the pen is mightier than your mouth.


A lot of you might not know this, but SHOOT Project employs a lot of people behind the scenes. Jason Johnson handles the major business decisions, and negotiates most of the contracts. He books the matches with input from a variety of people he trusts.  But when it comes to going out and scouting talent, the boss just doesn’t have the time.  He employs people he trusts – usually former wrestlers – to check out independent shows, or even the competition, and then come back and report to him.

So imagine my shock when I heard from a VERY reliable source, that Jason Johnson himself travelled all the way to Rochester, New York for the purpose of scouting a new wrestler?  And from what I understand, this isn’t an established pro, this is a kid straight out of college.  A blue chip prospect, one who has a very interesting life.

SHOOT Project generally hires the best of the best, and are not known for their development program. SHOOT doesn’t have a development program, to be honest.  This is not the place for rookies. But from what I have been told, this particular prospect is worth the risk.  So you heard it here first, fans.  SHOOT may be about to find our very own Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas type. Or maybe I should compare him to Matt Hamill?

Stay tuned…

It's that time again, time for my personal take on who is ranked where in the SHOOT Project Championship Title picture. Remember, these are not official SHOOT Project rankings, although in my opinion they should be!  These are Friedman Files rankings, based on the individual wrestler's record, level of effort, individual skills, commitment to the organization, history, consideration for how they match up with champions or other wrestlers in the division, etc.

Don't kid yourself, though. If you don't think how people get ranked in the Friedman Files has any impact on their career or direction, you don't know the influence of Bruce Friedman!

And now that I have annoyed most of the fans, half the roster, and the SHOOT Project Front Office with my own take on who is or should be ranked where, let’s move on to the discussion that comes out of those rankings, namely Bruce Friedman’s…

With the arrival of former SHOOT Project and Legacy World Heavyweight Champion Marcus Mirage, and the return of Azraith DeMitri, the already packed World Title picture in SHOOT Project becomes even more crowded.  I am not advocating for either of these scenarios, but an argument could be made that DeMitri deserves a rematch, and that Mirage is entitled to a shot based on his history.  I’m not saying former champions deserve an automatic title shot, but there are those who do think that way. Luckily, the Redemption Rumble is right around the corner, and an event like that is tailor made for separating the contenders from the pretenders.  We may not see Cade Sydal defend his World Heavyweight Championship prior to Redemption – although I’m sure Ben Jackman would like to see it happen – but I guarantee that after the Rumble we’ll have ourselves and bonafide #1 contender who has earned that shot, no questions asked.

With Azrael Goeren turning heads all over the CWC with his performance in their tournament, he has shot up my rankings, and anybody who wants to argue with that needs to check out some of his work outside SHOOT Project lately, case closed. For my money, this guy is one of the top three competitors active – not in SHOOT Project, but in the entire world.

Although Lunatikk Crippler and Alex Cruz are now considered the top contenders to the Sin City Championship – and are getting their shot – their impressive performances have sent them high into my Laws of Survival rankings too.  In fact, you could say that they’re right at the actual top, since Akuma Satsui and The Butcher seem more concerned with killing each other than getting a shot at Corazon.  Which leads to the question – who is going to get the next shot at the LoS Championship?

I was happy to see Greg Allocca put in a solid performance at Revolution 74. Now let’s hope he keeps it up, and you could be looking at your next LoS Champion right there. The Laws of Survival Division is the perfect hunting ground for the man known as “The Angel of Violence.” 

I put Stephen Rawlings in a similar category. This is a man who has accomplished a fair bit in his career, but not in SHOOT Project. With some consistent work and determination, he could easily earn a title shot of some kind, in little time. But will he do the work needed? This could be the man to face the winner of the Sin City Championship match at Revolution 75, if he puts in a good performance or two in the coming weeks.

I for one, am exceptionally impressed with Jacob Mephisto. Here is a guy who has the potential to be a huge name in SHOOT Project, if he applies himself. Or he could go the way of so many others in the past, who have shown potential, but haven’t been able to get to that next level.  I have to say, Mephisto is an interesting character and I can see him making some waves around here.

Tanya Black and Dina Bryce are pretty much a “you asked for it” team. Get them in there with The Gunslingers, already! Although, I admit...I have mixed feelings about those two. They could turn out to be an exceptional Tag Team, and turn the entire Tag Division on its ear.  They have that much talent. However, Dina Bryce is notoriously unreliable, and Tanya Black is on the verge of breaking out in a big way. I don’t see her in the Sin City Division much longer. Will she be content to team with Bryce, or does she want to move up the ranks in another division? And more importantly, will she ever give a G Rated interview?

Let’s talk Stellar Insanity. Their war with The Hierarchy continues, with the added angle of Mirage in the mix. Will Rocky Stellar and Loco Martinez just focus on their war with X-Calibur, Azrael Goeren and Mirage?  Will they function mostly as a team?  Or will they use their considerable skills to branch out and try and earn some gold?  There’s no law that says they can’t feud with The Hierarchy and be championship contenders at the same time. My locker room sources tell me that Stellar is only interested in settling with The Hierarchy, while Loco is a little bit more open to adding a belt into the equation. Don’t get me wrong – I hear nothing about dissension. Stellar Insanity is about as solid a unit as you’re ever going to see, but I’ve just heard that Loco understands that just because he’s in the middle of a war, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a career to think about.

After months of signs that it was coming, Donovan King finally broke free from any form of affiliation with The Hierarchy. King is now his own man, and about time if you ask me.  There are those who are meant to take crap from men like X-Calibur and Azrael Goeren, and there are those who are born to fight them. While King may have sympathized or shared the view of The Hierarchy at one point during his career, those days are over. Donovan King is demonstrating that he doesn’t need those others to be strong, and I think if Mirage, X-Calibur and Goeren are under the impression that he is going to just go away quietly, they are in for the shock of a lifetime.  The main question on everybody’s mind is if Stellar Insanity will stand beside King, or if he really is totally on his own and unwelcome in both dressing rooms – the fan favorites and the rule breaking sides both?

The ongoing situation between Crazy Boy and Cronos Diamante is interesting. In addition to the obvious animosity between the two men, there are some other things to consider. Cronos is on quite a roll right now. He beat Crazy Boy badly at Salvation, and he destroyed Mike Dexter on Revolution 74.  A convincing win by him at Revolution 75 would cement his SHOOT comeback and put him in line for a title shot of some kind, you would think. Meanwhile, if Crazy Boy fails to impress, he could conceivably end up either at the bottom of the rankings, or even out of a job.  There is a lot riding on this match.

So the rumors I heard were true…Corazon and Yamada (and Isaac Entragian) want the World Tag Team Championships.  Never mind the Bad-Ass Brotherhood, I am betting Frontline II Turbo have an issue with that! Laz and Takawa have earned their shot, and I know for a fact they want it, and sooner, rather than later.  And where does this leave the Laws of Survival Championship?  We discussed who might be in line for a shot at that title earlier, but believe it or not I have heard that Corazon is considering vacating the title to focus on the Tag Team!  That shows how prestigious those titles have become.

Speaking of Frontline II Turbo, don’t think for a minute that the office hasn’t noticed how skilled both those men are. You don’t go undefeated in SHOOT Project as long as those two have without being supremely skilled.  I have ranked both highly in the Rule of Surrender Division, the division where you have to have technical skills and then some in order to compete.

So former World Champion and master ring technician Ichiro Seppuku has returned to SHOOT Project competition.  Will he focus on messing with men like Jamie Alejandro and Thomas Manchester Black, will he team with the returning Azraith DeMitri, or will he use his skills to take the ROS Championship away from Alex Brooks?  Or try all three?  If he’s on his game, he could do it.

I’m thinking that Seppuku and DeMitri may have motivated Thomas Manchester Black, and a motivated – or even worse – an angry TMB is not somebody you want to mess with.  Seppuku and DeMitri may be about to find that out – the hard way.

What’s the story with Jamie Alejandro?  Will personal issues rule the day, or will he put those aside and focus on regaining his Iron Fist Championship from Isaac Entragian?  I’m guessing he’s going to focus on Seppuku and DeMitri, and to be honest, I’d pay good money to see The Saint and TMB face off against Seppuku and DeMitri any day of the week.

On the topic of Isaac Entragian, did you catch his face off with Akuma Satsui on the last episode of Dominion?  Tense. I would have thought those two would have gotten along great, but apparently not. Dave Dymond was right though, while Satsui is at war with Coleman, he really doesn’t need to be messing with Entragian. Not there is such a thing as a “good” time to provoke Isaac Entragian. I really don’t know who the next person in line for an Iron Fist Championship shot is – that division is stacked and is as crowded as the World Championship division.  Not to mention, The Ivory Terror seems intent on getting into confrontations with pretty much everybody who crosses his path.

With his performance in the Main Event at Revolution 74, Buck Dresden showed a lot of people that if there’s a brawl happening, he is a force to be reckoned with. His decisive win in that match sky-rocketed him up my Iron Fist Division rankings.  He is part of a team, but just like his teammate Charles Brandon Magnus, Dresden could easily have a different kind of belt around his waist if he set his mind to it.

One team that might want to consider less singles matches is The Gunslingers.  While I can see The Bad-Ass Brotherhood, and even Frontline II Turbo eventually reaching their greatest success as singles, I personally feel the opposite about The Gunslingers.  I for one would like to see them face off against Damage Control, because whoever was left standing at the end of that brawl would be cemented as a highly ranked team, no doubt about it.

While we're at it, I think The Crimson Riot, The Flying Avengers and VAS need to decide if they really want to be part of the SHOOT Project Tag Team Division.  There is too much talent out there right now for teams to be taking up space on the roster.

So Jester "I Love The Friedman Files" Smiles has managed to end up in the sights of none other than “The Franchise” himself – The Real Deal, Josh Johnson. Pretty soon, Smiles may not have to worry about the trouble his big mouth gets him in. It’s hard to run your mouth when your head has been superkicked off your body – and that’s most likely what Smiles has in store at Redemption.  You wanted to mess with legends, Jester. Remember the saying, be careful what you ask for – you just might get it.

Finally, I alluded to it last column, but we have it confirmed, Diamond Del Carver will be at Redemption. Will he be wrestling?  A guest referee? Making an announcement?  I don’t know. I do know that Carver has never wrestled Loco Martinez, Kenji Yamada, or Azrael Goeren and he’d like to. I know that Azraith DeMitri is on the SHOOT Project roster, and believe it or not, Carver has never been in the ring with DeMitri for a match since DeMitri blinded him SEVEN years ago.  That’s a LONG time to wait for revenge. But all those things might be secondary to one other goal Carver has never met. Diamond Del Carver has never held the SHOOT Project Iron Fist Championship. He wrestled for it several times, but he always came up short.  The man holding that title right now is somebody who Carver was about to collide with in a big way, before he was released from the LEGACY tour.  I don’t think circumstances would stop that collision now…

That's it for this week fans, but I will be back soon.  And I have a couple of big features coming up in the next issue.  Firstly, I will be going back to my weekly report about the Japanese Wrestling scene, when my famous "Rising Sun Wrestling Report" makes a return.  But even bigger than that, I will be bringing back what might have been my most popular feature, "20 Questions!"  I will put a SHOOT superstar or personality on the hot seat and they will answer 20 of the toughest questions I can throw at them!

Don't forget, you can send me a Private Message on the SHOOT Project forums if you have any questions you'd like to see answered, any news tips you'd like me to report, any scoops you'd like me to investigate, or any feedback you want to see get printed in the next edition!

Until then, take care!