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Kevin Owens Talks WWE Transition and NXT Sami Zayn Feud

May 22, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Nobody ever doubted whether Kevin Owens had the tools to make the switch to the WWE. Yet even Owen’s supporters are impressed with his quick success in making the transition yet according to Owens, it really hasn’t been much of a transition at all.

Kevin Owens made one of the most memorable WWE RAW debuts in years this past Monday when he laid out John Cena. Owens is on his way to becoming a money player in the WWE as NXT champion and a new feud against John Cena. Owens rise to the top is coming quicker than anyone has expected and as Owens told RollingStone.com recently, his success may be credited with a very minor transition process from the independents to the WWE.

I had a bit of a struggle at first with thinking, “Who do I want to be here? What part of myself do I want to tap into so I get on NXT television as quick as possible?” Then I realized what I’d been doing for 14 years had worked because it had gotten me here. So there were little tweaks, maybe clean up the language a little, but besides that I think I’ve been pretty true to myself. And I think that’s a big part of what helps me be successful. I’m genuine, and I think people can see that when they watch. I’m just gonna keep going that way and see where that takes me.

Owens’ story is a great lesson here that I hope isn’t being missed by the WWE. The process for most new signees has been to strip them down to basics and rebuild them with a WWE style. Guys like Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, and even Seth Rollins all had to go through rebuilding periods. For whatever reason, Owens was able to stay true to himself and the skills that brought him there. Whether this was an experiment or not, it’s working and it needs to be considered for all future signees coming in with large pedigrees outside of the WWE.

For independent road warriors like Owens, the NXT schedule is a breath of fresh air. I worked with Owens quite a bit in CZW and at the time he was making drives from Canada to Philadelphia in a packed car for little money. The new schedule is well deserved for someone like Owens who has certainly paid his dues.

One of the big advantages of NXT for me was I get to sleep in my own bed every night almost. For years, I was on the road with the indies two, three days a week, and it got to the point where I’d wake up not sure which town I was in. Which, honestly, I kind of liked. That’s part of being a wrestler. But when I signed with WWE and moved to Orlando, my wife and my two kids came with me. That’s been great. My daughter just turned one a couple of weeks ago, so I get to be there for a lot of the landmarks I didn’t necessarily get to see with my first kid. That said, I do look forward to getting back on the road when the time is right.

It also doesn’t hurt to work with your close friend and best rival in your first WWE program. Owens jumped right into NXT feuding with Sami Zayn. Zayn and Owens as El Genrico and Kevin Steen had one of the greatest rivalries in Ring of Honor history just a few years back. Owens was asked about the NXT feud and distinguishing it from their past rivalry.

I haven’t done anything in particular. We have been who we are, and I speak for Sami Zayn here as well. In that aspect, we are very alike. A lot of people have doubted us throughout the years, we know we can make those people come around. We’ve never faltered from that, so why try to be different here? And we haven’t tried to be different and it’s been working very well, so I think that says something not only about the faith we have in ourselves, but about people being true to themselves. I think that’s important in this day and age. With social media around, people can see glimpses of who we are there, so why shy away from it in another environment? All around, we’ve been true to ourselves for years, so why change now?

Check out the entire interview in RollingStone.com where Owens goes into much more depth about his transition, his mentors in NXT, and more.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

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TNA Wrestling Respond To Reports Of Destination America Cancellation

May 22, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Wrestling are fighting back against reports that Impact Wrestling has been cancelled effective this September by Destination America. Unfortunately TNA are spending more time attacking and threatening the source as opposed to commenting on the actual story reported.

Dave Meltzer earlier this week reported in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Destination America has exercised its option to cancel all TNA programming effective in September. While the word “cancel” is subjective, the essence of Dave’s report is that TNA is not being renewed.

TNA loyalists (fans) immediately shot back accusing Dave of being a “hater” and the report being another of Meltzer’s continuous “lies” about TNA Wrestling. As a subscriber of Dave’s since about 1988, the irony of those statements have not been lost. For starters, Dave’s reviews of Impact have been extremely positive since TNA went to Destination America. Thus the accusations of Dave being a hater are obviously being made by those who don’t read Dave nor listen to his podcasts. Furthermore, I am unfamiliar with these countless “lies” Dave has made about TNA. Would it be the lie Dave was accused of when he reported Impact was not being renewed by Spike? Would it be the lie that Dave was accused of when TNA waved the white flag on the Monday night venture? Was it the lie Dave was accused of when he reported that Vince Russo was still working for TNA? Was it a lie when Dave reported that TNA were in negotiations to sell the company to Toby Keith? Right, point being I don’t recall one report Dave has made about TNA in the last several years (or ever) that wasn’t eventually confirmed. Yet these TNA supporters (and boy are they completely oblivious to reality) continue to call Dave a liar yet continue to lie about Dave’s credibility. Ironic isn’t it?

This brings me back to TNA. TNA released a very short statement to ProWrestling.net somewhat denying Dave’s report with threats of legal action.

It has come to our attention that several internet news sources have falsely attributed statements to TNA, its executives and broadcasting partner. These false statements constitute defamation and if necessary we will seek all legal remedies available to us.

Let’s read into that for a second. For starters, TNA are not denying the reports of Destination America cancelling or not renewing TNA programming. Nowhere in this statement does TNA say that those reports are false. The only thing TNA is accusing the reporters of is attributing statements to TNA, executives, and broadcasting partner. Number two, the threat of legal action is an interesting bullying tactic. The problem here is that if TNA does seek legal action against Dave, Dave may have to reveal his sources and it could get extremely embarrassing for the company. Dave has been doing this for a long time and my hunch is that Dave is not reporting anything he can’t back up. Now as for other sites, that could be a problem depending upon the way they “report” the story.

Dave responding to a fan asking him on Twitter about TNA filing a defamation suit against him responded with the tweet…”@KevinGedert2 Why haven’t they threatened me is the question. Why haven’t they addressed one thing written?” This could turn into a very embarrassing game of chicken for TNA if they continue to make those threats towards Dave.

Ironically Dixie Carter has remained mum on the report. Dixie, who is very active on Twitter continues to tweet yet has ignored commenting on the story that her company’s television deal may be cancelled or not renewed.

New TNA booker Billy Corgan (who joins an esteemed creative team featuring Christy Hemme and John Gaburik among others) has questioned Dave’s credibility in a tweet. Meltzer responded on Twitter, “Sort of sad about Corgan, his words are almost identical to Russo about Mike Johnson when he did that story last year.”

I have to admit that I am enjoying this game of chicken. If the reactions from those within TNA and the company weren’t almost identical to reactions when reports of Spike dropping Impact I may be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately the biggest victims here are the talent. I don’t know what talent are being told but the company owes it to the talent to address this report with honesty and integrity. Anything less could damage the company’s integrity internally beyond repair.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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Samoa Joe Debuts On WWE NXT Unstoppable

May 20, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It only took him sixteen long years to get there but Samoa Joe is finally in the WWE. Joe debuted at the conclusion of the NXT Unstoppable Network special, confirming numerous reports throughout the week that predicted Joe would debut at the event.

Joe came out following the Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn match. Owens had Zayn laid out and started attacking him with a chair when Joe’s music played. Joe walked out and got into the ring going nose to nose with Owens. The fans ate it up chanting “Holy Sh*t!” and “Joe is gonna kill you.” The confrontation ended with Owens walking away and Joe looking strong to close the show.

According to a report on F4WOnline.com, Joe has a “Rhyno-like” deal in which he will work independent shows as well as NXT dates. Ironically it was announced this past week that Joe just started booking independent dates into the summer, leading many to believe that Joe was not coming to NXT. My hunch and it is only a hunch is that Joe is in, and those dates were a ruse. Joe will probably honor those dates, but I would not expect to see more announced elsewhere.

As big as this is I am left with more questions about NXT, specifically its purpose. Is NXT a developmental program or is it competing to be the number one branded independent promotion in the United States? Signing Joe is great and I am excited for him and his fans, but bringing in Joe and Owens in recent months and shooting them straight to the top isn’t necessary developing anyone.

Samoa Joe is 36-years old and should be on the main roster if he is being considered for the future. Having Joe spend any time in NXT is a wasted investment in my opinion…unless the goal here is to brand NXT and not necessarily build to the future. I think the mission and goals around NXT really need some serious re-evaluation at this point.

It also makes me wonder in the world are they bringing Owens up for a match with Cena at Elimination Chamber? Owens is clearly sticking around NXT, with programs against Joe, Zayn, and Balor in play or upcoming. Again what is the goal here? Is the goal to build Owens up for NXT or the main roster? Bringing Owens up to lose to Cena and go away will do Owens no good when the time comes for him to move up to the main roster. I am just scratching my head here trying to come up with a logical game plan here and I can’t.

Again don’t misunderstand me. I thought it was great to see Joe and Owens have their confrontation and it is nice to see Joe finally get a shot in the big league. That said I just have to wonder if the NXT Triple H is running is what Vince McMahon had in mind when he signed off on the $2.3 million investment.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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Destination America Reportedly Cancels TNA Wrestling Programming

May 20, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Wrestling is facing a familiar crisis. A new report suggests that Impact Wrestling may be homeless come this fall as Destination America has reportedly exercised its option to cancel Impact Wrestling programming by the end of September 2015.

Dave Meltzer is the first to break the story in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer’s story is somewhat cryptic in that he reports Destination America has cancelled the show yet closes his article by saying that the decision is not definite. Definite or not, the point here is that TNA Wrestling is in big trouble.

“Destination America made the decision to cancel TNA Wrestling, with the time frame given at the end of the third quarter (roughly the last week of September, when the current television season ends). Key people at the Discovery Channel network were informed of the decision at that point.
The word internally was that while they considered the ratings good, the ratings were not good enough to justify the cost of the programming. The other problem was that so many regular station advertisers specifically did not want to advertise on the show.

It should be noted that when the word was sent out, it was stated specifically that TNA would remain on Friday nights, with original episodes, until that point, and informing people for the fall season plans for Friday nights. Just days later, they were moved to Wednesday.”
Again, Meltzer ends the article suggesting that this news may not be definite.

“In the television industry, being canceled two straight years, which is still not a definite although those at the station have not been told anything new since official word was given of the cancellation, is not a good sign.”

Meltzer says the decision came down to ratings. According to the report the ratings just weren’t good enough to justify the costs to carry Impact Wrestling. Meltzer also reports that Destination America struggled to find advertisers for the program.

I, like many questioned the move to Friday nights when it was announced. While the idea to capture the SmackDown audience is nice, the reality is that Friday is a terrible night for a pro wrestling show. Several reports suggested that the decision to put the show on Fridays was Destination America’s when it happened.

No matter how you slice it, TNA is in dangerous territory right now. Dixie Carter and other TNA officials claimed they had multiple suitors for Impact last year although many were skeptical of those claims. TNA has scaled down a great deal over the last year, cutting many high-priced contracts and scaling back production. That could be looked at as a positive and a negative for a company searching for a new television deal.

I think it is fair to say that nothing is certain at this point, which could make running this company a total nightmare. Booking a pro wrestling in a lame duck situation won’t be easy for anyone in TNA. Dixie Carter will have a lot of fires to put out over the next several months and unfortunately for her, she is running out of water fast.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Talks WWE Heat, WrestleMania, and More

May 20, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Stone Cold Steve Austin is a fairly modest guy and is never one to toot his own horn. Yet Austin has made one thing perfectly clear in recent years, he was the biggest draw in WWE history and he doesn’t care if your name is Hogan or Rock, he wants his respect.

Austin recently did an extended interview with SI.com and while he talked about a variety of interesting topics, yet an anecdote he told about his surprise appearance at WrestleMania 30 is what is making news. While some may take it out of context, Austin related a story in which he claims he was swerved by the WWE and he wasn’t happy about it because to him, he is the biggest star in company history from a revenue standpoint.

Vince called and said, ‘Here’s the set-up,’” said Austin. “‘Hulk Hogan’s going to come out and he’ll cut a promo. All of a sudden, they’re going to hit The Rock’s music. He’ll go out and cut a promo. All of a sudden – crash – it’s Stone Cold’s music, and you’ll go out and cut a promo – then bam, we start WrestleMania XXX.’ That’s the way it was pitched to me.

Austin then tells the reporter that things changed on the day of the show.

The Rock and I were in the building the day before in the green room,” recalled Austin. “Dwayne and I were laughing and shaking hands and hugging, just shooting the breeze. I said to him, ‘What are we doing tomorrow?’ All The Rock knew, he told me, was that he was the last one out to the ring. I said, ‘They told you that you were going to be the last out? That’s real interesting, ‘cause they told me the same damn thing.’”

Austin finally saw the booking sheet but the sheet had no order and only listed Hogan, Austin, and Rock.

I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is bull—-,’” said Austin. “This is not what I was sold, this is not what I bought.

Hogan put wrestling on the map nationally in the 1980’s, and The Rock’s popularity places him in an elite group, but Austin is the lone man to lead the WWE back into prominence when McMahon’s product was clearly the no. 2 wrestling company in the world.

My run cannot be touched,” he said. “If you want to talk about longevity, you can speak the name Hogan. If you want to talk about white-hot, selling tickets, and taking the business to a height it’s never been – and, with a hell of a supporting cast, I might add – you’re talking about Stone Cold Steve Austin.

But I said, ‘I’m just going to let this thing slide. We’re here and there is no use in making a stink about it.’ The Rock is one of the biggest movie stars in the world. So give the guy his due. Nobody talked to me about it, but that’s how that went down.

Stone Cold Steve Austin’s relationship with the WWE and Vince McMahon is always a hot topic. That topic became hot again once WrestleMania 31 came and went without Austin and then Chris Jericho replaced Steve Austin’s as the WWE podcast of choice.

There was no creative for me at WrestleMania XXXI,” said Austin. “Now with WrestleMania XXXII coming up in Texas, I would be pretty damn sure I’m going to be there. It’s my home state and it just makes more sense.”

As much as I love the business and I love my fans, I don’t want to be at every WrestleMania. I was really happy to watch it in my house. I wanted to see Sting and Triple H wrestle, and I was excited for all my buddies in DX and the NWO, but I want the younger generation of wrestlers to experience it and have all the time dedicated to them. That’s the future. Some of the segments that weren’t wrestling went on too long. I love The Rock, but his segment was too long. That was time that could have been given to a talent to make or not make an impact. That’s their proving ground.

But what about the rumors? Is there heat between the CEO and his former rival?

Lately there’s been a lot of speculation regarding all this heat, bad blood, and animosity between myself and Vince,” he explained. “And it couldn’t be any further from the truth. I have an outstanding relationship with Vince and the WWE right now. There were a few trademark issues, but that was just a minor thing that got resolved in a very amicable conversation I had with their lawyers.”

So many things get said only because people want to throw the names ‘Steve Austin’ and ‘Vince McMahon’ out there so others will think it to be true. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not true. There are some great things coming up.”

It should be noted that since this interview that it was announced that Austin’s podcast will be returning to the WWE Network on June 1.

All in all the entire piece is an excellent read and I’d highly recommend heading over to SI.com and checking out the whole story.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 Features Outstanding Card

May 19, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE will be presenting its first big Network-only brand event in two weeks. The network will host an exclusive broadcast of the 2015 Elimination Chamber show which features a lineup more impressive than the last two pay-per-views.

With less than two weeks to go, the WWE went into full Elimination Chamber mode on RAW this past Monday. The company put the pedal to the metal and unleashed creative for the network show. Four matches were confirmed following RAW giving fans one of the most exciting non-WrestleMania cards on paper the company has had in a while.

The main-event will feature arguably the greatest WWE rivalry of this era as Dean Ambrose challenges Seth Rollins for the WWE world championship. Now I have seen some complaints by fans on social media but I don’t get it. I have never seen a bad match between these two, most matches better than the last. Plus, their feud never came to a conclusive conclusion in the Hell in a Cell match last year so the rivalry continuing makes sense.

This brings me back to my Payback wrap-up blog in which I wrote that the WWE missed a golden opportunity with Ambrose. I thought that the WWE could have done a hotshot title change with Ambrose getting the win (even pinning Orton) and dropping the belt back two weeks later. The quick win would have at least established Ambrose as a top guy, investing in his future. Since the company was going with Ambrose-Rollins anyway, I feel even more strongly that they dropped the ball here.

In one of the most intriguing matches in ages, NXT champion Kevin Owens will challenge John Cena for the U.S. title. The angle was set up Monday night on RAW when Owens laid out Cena after balking on Cena’s U.S. Open Challenge. This is certainly an interesting one and fans are going crazy for it on social media.

I am not sure whether to get excited or disappointed for this one. Bringing Owens in and having him lose to Cena in his first match is a recipe for mediocrity. At the same time, having Owens come in and beat Cena in his first match is also not a good move because there isn’t much more from Owens to do from there. Why Rusev worked so well is that they held him away from Cena for a year and while he did lose three straight, he went into the program real strong. Judging by the tepid reaction Owens received on RAW Monday, I don’t think he is helped at all by coming straight up into a feud with Cena. Making matters even worse is that they only have one more week to build the angle. In another scenario the company could establish Owens for a few weeks before the match and get him hot. In this odd scenario, he has one more week on RAW and that just isn’t enough in my opinion.

It’s a great opportunity for sure but let’s be honest. When is the last time Cena put a new guy over in a feud? I am not talking about taking one loss, I am talking about putting a guy over in the feud. He didn’t do it with Bray Wyatt and he certainly didn’t do it with Rusev. I don’t blame him, he doesn’t book the shows. Although it tells me that the company has a mindset when it comes to Cena and new guys and in their minds, they feel that by putting Cena in feuds with new guys that the rub is enough. It’s not and when you bring a guy in like Owens and have him lose out to Cena in his feud, he will be swimming upstream for a while to recover.

That said I am making a lot of conclusions here but an objective look at history tells you how this feud is going to play out. It’s a great opportunity for Owens to shine and I am really looking forward to the match up. It’s extremely promising to say the least.

Finally fans will get two elimination chamber matches. The vacant intercontinental championship will be filled as Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, King Barrett, Rusev, and R-Truth battle in one chamber match. It should be a fun match but wow, talk about a demotion for Rusev. And why is R-Truth in this match over Neville?

The tag team championship will be decided in the other with New Day, Kidd and Cesaro, Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores, The Ascension, and the Prime Time Players compete in the other. To my knowledge this is the first time the Elimination Chamber has hosted a tag team match. It is hard to go wrong when you got guys like Kidd, Cesaro, Kofi, and the Dragons in here. Quite frankly if these guys have enough time they could make a strong case for match of the year by the time it’s over.

I would expect Roman Reigns vs. Kane, Neville vs. Bo Dallas, and a Bray Wyatt match to be added. The event will go down on May 31, 2015 in Corpus Christi, Texas on the WWE Network.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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WWE Payback 2015 Results: Rollins Retains, Rusev Quits

May 17, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Seth Rollins WWE Payback 2015WWE Payback was a one-match show. Fortunately for the WWE that one match was one of the best in awhile. The show will be remembered for a thrilling main-event which featured a brief reunion of the Shield. Unfortunately the rest of the show was an event that should and will be forgotten.

There isn’t a whole lot that I could say about the main-event other than that it was about as fun a match as you will see on a WWE special event. The Fatal 4-Way was a roller coaster ride of thrills and excitement that ended with a predictable winner, capping off a highly predictable night.

Seth Rollins pinned Randy Orton to retain the WWE world title in a Fatal 4-Way match. This match was just non-stop action from the second the bell rang. This was far and away one of the most exciting WWE main-events I have seen in a long time. Reigns and Ambrose double-teamed Rollins at one point which got a big reaction from the crowd. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch but was pulled out of the ring by Kane. Kane also beat down Ambrose and threw him back in the ring. J&J and Kane also triple teamed Orton. Rollins and Ambrose in together quite a bit early on with Seth on the attack. Kane came into the ring and choke slammed Ambrose as soon as Ambrose started to get the advantage. Reigns and Ambrose teamed up several times throughout the match, including Reigns saving Ambrose from Orton. At one point Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose teamed up on Orton and nailed a triple power bomb reuniting the Shield. Ambrose and Reigns immediately turned on Rollins. Ambrose and Reigns power bombed Kane onto Rollins on a table at ringside…twice going through the table the second time around. Ambrose and Reigns finally went at it with Reigns hitting a Superman Punch for a two-count. The crowd really loved the play between Ambrose and Reigns. Rollins broke up a cover by Reigns after Reigns hit a spear on Ambrose. Orton hit RKOs on J&J Security, then dropped Rollins with a DDT. Orton hit an RKO on Kane. Rollins caught Orton on the rebound with a Pedigree for the pin. Hunter came out after the match to congratulate Rollins as the show went off of the air.

This was a great match but I think that a big opportunity was missed here. With the Elimination Chamber being a mere two weeks away, I thought the WWE could have used that timeline to hotshot Dean Ambrose into a top babyface role. With Daniel Bryan out, a spot is open and Ambrose is the perfect guy for that role. I think that the WWE could have given Ambrose an upset win, a quick two-week title reign, and the credibility he would need in that new spot. The company decided to play it safe instead keeping the belt on Rollins and missing yet another opportunity to elevate a new star.

John Cena defeated Rusev in one of the tamest I-Quit matches I think I have ever seen. If you expected violence like I did when this match was announced, well then you were mistaken. Rusev dominated the first half of the match with Cena dominating the second half of what was close to a 30-minute match. This was a weird finish as Rusev had Cena passed out in the Accolade. When Cena couldn’t answer the ref, Rusev released the hold assuming he won. The referee told Rusev that Cena had to say “I Quit” to lose. So Rusev tried to wake Cena up and charged him with ropes in his hands, Cena ducked, hit a drop-toe hold, and got the STF. Cena wrapped the ropes around Rusev’s eyes and Rusev started saying something in “Bulgarian” to the ref. Lana told the referee that Rusev quit, essentially quitting for him to give Cena the win.

The finish was about as predictable as you can get. Most expected Lana to quit for Rusev. My problem with this is that Rusev was in nothing career threatening here. To quit from an STF with ropes barely wrapped around his eyes made very little sense. This wasn’t a situation like Magnum-Tully where Magnum was about to take Tully’s eye out with the wood. It was just a big disappointment to me and the majority of folks I heard from on Twitter. Rusev threw Lana out of the dressing room in a segment following the match.

Where does this go from here? Well the Cena vs. Rusev feud is over. Rusev and Lana are heading for a split with Lana expected to get a major push as a babyface. Rusev is in trouble here as he has now three matches in a row to Cena and will continue without Lana. I just don’t understand why the WWE kept Rusev hot for a year only to have him lose three in a row to Cena. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The biggest shocker at Payback was the announcement of the return of the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast. There have been numerous rumors about heat between the WWE and Austin ever since Chris Jericho started doing podcasts on the network. This will certainly put those rumors to rest. Austin will be returning on June 1 for a live podcast with Paul Heyman. Austin had Heyman on his podcast last year and it was fantastic. Unfortunately it seemed like they covered everything and I am not sure what there is left to talk about. Regardless, it will be great to see Austin back on the Network. In my opinion, Austin asks more provocative questions than Chris Jericho. It should also be noted that the Springboard Stunner disappeared from Cena’s repertoire at Payback.

Full WWE Payback 2015 results and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, & Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena defeated Rusev (with Lana) in an “I Quit” match to retain the the WWE United States Championship
Neville defeated King Barrett via Count Out
Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya) in a 2-out-of-3 falls tag team match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Bray Wyatt defeated Ryback
Naomi and Tamina defeated The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella)
The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) defeated The Mega Powers (Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow)
R-Truth defeated Stardust

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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WWE Payback 2015 Predictions and Preview

May 15, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Payback is right around the corner and quite honestly there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. The event is essentially a two-match show yet history confirms that events which typically have low expectations going in are generally the ones that surprise you.

It almost seems as if the whole idea for Payback may be unnecessary at this point in time. The main-event while intriguing on paper, would have greatly benefitted from a few more weeks of scripting. The addition of the Elimination Chamber event makes this event fairly non-essential. So what is there to get excited about?

I try to focus on the main matches when writing previews for special events. Generally those preview blogs consist of 4-5 matches. Unfortunately I struggled to find more than two matches to focus on at Payback. The tradeoff of putting four upper mid-card-upper card stars in the main-event is a diluted under card. Needless to say the headliners have a lot of pressure on their shoulders to blow this show out of the water.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns in a Fatal Four-Way for the WWE world championship

Here we go again. Another WWE championship situation where the fate of Seth Rollins rests in Kane’s hands. I feel like I have just seen this act? Oh wait, I did! This time the odds are stacked against the world champion even more than at Extreme Rules. Rollins is outnumbered as he faces Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE championship.

As predictable as this match is I think it will be highly entertaining. Rarely is there a dull moment in these kinds of multiple person matches. All of these guys have had great chemistry together in the past which leads me to think that this match should be no exception. The finish can go a couple of different ways yet I think it is safe to say that somehow or another Kane is involved.

As predictable as this is I do think there is a slight chance of a title change here. The quick turnaround in a few weeks at Elimination Chamber lends itself to a surprise title change. Putting Elimination Chamber on the calendar is a way to take advantage of the free WWE Network subscribers. It would not shock me at all to see a quickie title change here with the belt going back to Rollins at the end of the month. Quite honestly I am almost ready to bet that is the way they go here. But what do you do? You don’t want Reigns’ first title reign to be a fluke yet he’s the most obvious guy. I think Dean Ambrose actually walks away with the title on Sunday night only to flip it back to Rollins at the big Chamber event.

John Cena vs. Rusev in an I-Quit match for the U.S. title

I think it is fair to say that this will likely be the last match in this feud. While I am never a fan of four matches in a row, I really enjoyed this feud so I have little problem with a fourth match here. This is the match that I thought we were going to get at Extreme Rules. I have no reason to think that this will be anything less than an exciting match. I have already blogged at great length about what I think should happen so let’s talk about what I think will happen.

Lana is the key here. All signs point to Lana turning on Rusev and this would be the place to do it. The idea here is to make Lana a babyface so I think Lana winds up throwing in the towel for Rusev. I think Lana throws in a towel or waves a flag against Rusev’s wishes. Rusev is angry after the match, yells at Lana, and is met with a slap to the face either then or the following night on RAW. I can’t see Cena saying “I-Quit” but maybe, just maybe this Lana/Rusev story is a swerve. I don’t think so but again with another big show in a week, anything can happen.

Full WWE Payback 2015 card and matches…
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; If Rollins fails to retain the Championship, Kane will be fired from being Director of Operations
John Cena vs. Rusev (with Lana) in an “I Quit” match for the WWE United States Championship
King Barrett vs. Neville
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya)     2-out-of-3 falls tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
Naomi and Tamina vs. The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella)
The Meta Powers (Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

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Rusev Must Defeat John Cena At WWE Payback 2015

May 13, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I can’t recall someone rising to the top in the WWE as quickly as Rusev did in 2014. The WWE booked him better than any new heel in a decade. Yet Rusev is facing a crossroads at Payback which could bring all of that momentum to a screeching halt.

While Rusev had experience outside of the WWE before signing in 2010, he didn’t have the pedigree that other guys like Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins had before coming up to the main roster. Rusev is about as “home-grown” as it gets and for all of the criticism that the developmental system has gotten over the years, they got it right with him. They truly molded this raw talent into a money-drawing WWE machine.

I never would have imagined that a Russian menace gimmick in 2014 would have gotten as over as Rusev did, but it did. Credit goes to Rusev, Lana, and the bookers who protected Rusev and shielded him away from the 50/50 booking we have all come to know and hate. The rivalry with John Cena was a natural hit and for the first time in several years, fans were booing the heel against John Cena.

I had no problem when Cena got his first win over Rusev at WrestleMania. Rusev had done enough damage, including scoring a win over Cena to sustain his momentum. Everyone has to lose at some point, even Brock Lesnar has lost since he returned. Rusev remained hot with the loss and most would agree that he and Cena had the hottest feud going into WrestleMania. Everything was clicking and Rusev was still red hot.

Cena defeated Rusev at WrestleMania but you know what? It was okay. The match was presented as a special event and Rusev received an entrance that separated him from the other WWE stars on the show. Win or lose, Rusev was still coming out of WrestleMania as a hot heel on the upswing. His trajectory looked much different than Bray Wyatt’s did last year coming out of the Cena feud.

Then there was Extreme Rules. Extreme Rules was a different animal. It wasn’t WrestleMania, Rusev didn’t get the glitzy treatment, and it was a specialty match that benefitted Rusev. Sure, Rusev wasn’t pinned nor did he submit in the match, but he lost his own match. Not only that, this was the first disappointing match in the series. The stipulation prevented the guys from tearing down the house as they have done in their previous meetings. Ironically, this was the same problem with Wyatt vs. Cena last year at Extreme Rules and Wyatt still hasn’t recovered from the disappointing match.

Now we have Payback. The feud appears to be heading to a crescendo in a few weeks. Unlike Mania and even Extreme Rules, Rusev cannot lose this match! Losing three in a row against Cena will be an albatross that Rusev may never be able to disassociate himself with. While some will argue that wins and losses don’t matter, I would disagree. Winning and losing individual matches may not matter as much, but losing three in a row, including the finale is a killer. Rusev cannot afford this loss.

Looking at the big picture, I feel it is more important to bring Rusev out of this feud hot than it is Cena. Cena has sustainability and even after going 1-3 against Lesnar, he barely missed a step. As a matter of a fact, I could argue that losing was probably the best thing for Cena. A win for Rusev would set him up for inevitable showdowns with Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and yes the beast incarnate Brock Lesnar. While those matches will still be intriguing, they will not have the same zest with Rusev hobbling out of this feud without his belt, his girl, and three losses in a row.

Orton, Reigns, and Lesnar need Rusev to remain hot and sustain his momentum as the year progresses. Those are money matches right there that the will all be hurt by another Rusev loss. It is critical that Rusev wins at Payback. The future of the company depends on it.

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Roman Reigns Fan Q&A From Comic Con, Takes Shot At CM Punk

May 12, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Roman Reigns is making some news for a rare fan Q&A he participated in over the weekend at Comic Con in Philadelphia. One comment in particular is creating a buzz in which Reigns shoots down a past claim about who created the Shield.

Reigns took part in a fun Fan Q&A at Comic Con. Before I go further I think Reign’s critics need to watch this to see a side of Reigns they rarely see on television. He is personable, engaging, witty, and seemed like he had a real great time being there. It was refreshing to see this side of Reigns as opposed to the guy created by WWE on Monday nights. The stripped down version of Reigns sans scripts appears to have a lot more potential than the one we are accustomed to seeing.

Reigns talked a bunch of topics but one that is receiving some attention is a comment he made about the success of the Shield. Reigns took a shot at CM Punk, who on a podcast last year claimed that the Shield was his idea.

So, and this, I don’t know, this will probably blow some people’s minds and then some people will be like ‘oh, you’re full of s***’ but I don’t f***ing care either way: The Shield was my idea. What happened was, at the time the head writer was Eric Pankowski. He called me up one day and he was like ‘okay, uh, nobody knows you’re going to turn heel but we want to stick a stable with you.

I’m willing to do the heel stable thing but why don’t we pick three guys from FCW that are ready instead of using two guys, you know what I mean? They would just be treading water. Who cares? How many times are these guys going to turn?

“The idea was [WWE] were supposed to be my group. Things f***ing change. They like to take other people’s ideas, make it their own idea, and then tout how awesome they are.

Reigns told the fans at Comic Con the only thing Punk created was the Pepsi tattoo on his shoulder. This is just another instance where another one of Punk’s former colleagues has discredited an account or claim Punk made in his Colt Cabana podcast interview. So keep in mind that while what Punk said made him seem like a real cool outlaw, how much of it is true and how much of it is exaggerated will always be up for debate.

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