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Stone Cold Steve Austin Tempted By Brock Lesnar WWE Match

April 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Leave it to the world’s greatest master manipulator to goad one of the biggest stars in wrestling history into one more match. Paul Heyman may have done the unthinkable which is entice Stone Cold Steve Austin to get in a WWE ring for one more time.

The Steve Austin WrestleMania rumors have just started to die down as fans have become resolved with the idea that the Texas Rattlesnake is never coming back. While Austin has never said the word “never”, most assumed after Austin passed up a Mania match with CM Punk that he was indeed done. That was until Austin’s former manager Paul Heyman laid out the perfect scenario.

The former ECW mastermind was a recent guest on Austin’s podcast. The conversation ended with both fawning over Brock Lesnar. Heyman than brought up that he and Lesnar have had an interest going back to Lesnar’s UFC days in a match with Stone Cold. Heyman proceeded to lay out the scenario, billing the match as the Baddest Man on the Planet vs. The World’s Toughest S.O.B. Austin sat silent until Heyman put him on the spot. After dodging the question as to whether he would be interested he finally admitted to Heyman that he is intrigued.

It didn’t take long for word to spread throughout the Internet about Austin’s interest in such a match. It should be noted that all Austin said was that he was interested with Heyman doing most of the talking. That was enough for pro wrestling fans to get excited. But the question is, should you get excited? Is there a real possibility that this match is going to happen?

My gut says no. Austin has remained retired from active competition for over a decade. Austin is still in great shape and as we saw a few years back on Tough Enough, he could get in the ring tomorrow and go. As a matter of a fact the WWE were so convinced that Austin could be tempted to come back that they even penciled in a match with him and Triple H at WrestleMania 30. It never happened and most presumed that by this point he was done. Maybe he isn’t done after all?

How big would the match be? I think the match would be gigantic. In terms of money it is hard to say because more people will have the WWE Network next year and the buyrates are bound to decline. However, a match like this could still do big business. I would imagine there would be a ton of casual fans that would gladly pay $70 to see this match, yet have no interest in subscribing to the entire network for $10 less. I think you would draw in so many crossover fans that haven’t watched in awhile or don’t buy shows that you’d have the biggest match of our lifetime in Brock vs. Austin.

How good would the match be? I think it could be pretty damned good. I think the styles of both guys would mix real well inside the ring. It is tough to say at Austin’s age and ring rust how crisp he’d be in the ring. The only thing I can go on was his workout on Tough Enough and he looked pretty damned solid during that little workout session with Luke Robinson. Brock is Brock and I think a mix of a wrestling/brawl kind of a match, kept under 20 minutes would be the perfect recipe for these two to knock it out of the park.

There is always the additional backstory here of Austin’s walkout. Austin walked out of the company in 2002 after he was asked to put Brock over on RAW in a King of the Ring qualifier. Austin has said many times since then that walking out over this was one of the biggest career mistakes he ever made. Everyone knows the story so using it as part of the hype for the match only seems like a a natural to me.

But could it really happen? Unlike last year when everyone expected Brock vs. Undertaker at Mania, there is no clearly defined path for him to 31. The Rock is reportedly the working idea but I honestly think you’ll never see a Brock vs. Rock match. There is just too much physical risk to Rock. Cesaro is the other rumored opponent but let’s be honest. With all due respect to my old friend Claudio, I don’t think anyone would expect the WWE to pass on Austin in favor of Brock.

Oh hell yeah!!!

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 Rumored Card

April 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Extreme Rules 2014 is still a few weeks away but reports of a possible card have leaked out. I think it’s fair to say that if these reports are true, the WWE aren’t as hot on pushing Daniel Bryan as you would have thought coming out of WrestleMania 30.

Dave Meltzer has the latest card in his recent edition of the Wrestling Observer newsletter. Meltzer reports that Bryan is currently slotted to defend the WWE championship against Kane. The match tells me that the WWE aren’t as committed as you would expect on Bryan. Booking Kane vs. Bryan at this point seems like nothing more than a glorified television match. Meltzer does point out that the match could change although this appears to be the working plan.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think there was some big money in this match at some point. The whole idea of these two feuding after Team Hell No was intriguing. But that ship has sailed and Team Hell No is barely even mentioned on WWE TV. The obvious match to me was Randy Orton vs. Bryan since Orton never got pinned. This is just another case of the new champion booked weaker than the main-event.

The headliner according to the report should be of no surprise to anyone. Triple H, Randy Orton, and Batista will revive Evolution as they take on Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins. I think it’s a great idea and a nice boost for The Shield. I just don’t know if anyone is willing to pay $59 to see it. It would appear that this is all going to lead to a Triple H vs. Reigns match at SummerSlam.

One thing is clear from these top matches and that is that the WWE does not care about buys anymore on these shows. The shows are now called “special events” with more emphasis put on getting the network to see them than buying the one-off. This was something I predicted months ago when the idea came up of pay-per-views airing on the network for free. At that point I assumed the strategy would be to use the special events to build to RAW which is where I still think we are heading.

John Cena will also rematch with Bray Wyatt in a steel cage match. This one is just bizarre. Cena cut a promo on Wyatt about a much different match than I watched at WrestleMania 30. Cena challenged Bray saying that a cage would keep his family out and he’d have to fight Cena one-on-one. The problem is that Cena already beat Wyatt at Mania, countering Wyatt’s interference. So why would Cena challenge him to a match when he just beat him? It was incredibly bizarre to say the least.

Big E. will defend the intercontinental championship against Cesaro. Meltzer is reporting that Cesaro will win the tournament for the match. That is an interesting match in that you would expect Cesaro to go over, yet in 2014 having the intercontinental title is more of a demotion. So what do you do here? Does Cesaro go over and get stuck with the I-C title or do you have him lose at a time when he is supposed to be built for the future?

There are your big matches for Extreme Rules. It doesn’t look pretty on paper but you never know. This one could surprise you, especially with the right stipulations added to the matches.

Hey, at least you won’t be paying $59 to watch it.

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Inside The End Of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak

April 15, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The pro wrestling world continues to remain in a state of shock at Brock Lesnar ending the streak. Yet now that a week has passed, what may be more fascinating than the end of an era may be the details surrounding this shocking result.

Over a week later and most wrestling fans are still in shock over the end of the streak. There is almost this sense of denial among those fans, some who believe that the result was more of a mistake than something planned. Unfortunately for them and any other doubters, the end of the streak is real and it was absolutely planned going into Mania.

Dave Meltzer of F4Wonline.com has done a tremendous job in peeling back the layers of this story and providing his readers with all of the juicy details that led up to this moment in history. I am not going to repeat word for word what Meltzer has reported, but I will take a look at some of the more interesting aspects of his investigation.

  • As of the last Monday Night RAW prior to WrestleMania known as the “go-home show”, the plan was for the streak to continue. The decision to put Lesnar over happened sometime between the end of RAW and the start of the match. This probably explains the criticism behind the build to the match. Many including myself thought the build was weak, made even more unimpressive when you put it into perspective with how the match played out.
  • Vince McMahon mandated that the Undertaker not be touched during the build to the match. It wasn’t until that final RAW where Vince lifted that decree and allowed Lesnar to get heat on the Undertaker. The cynic in me thinks that Vince changed his mind about the finish sometime over that weekend and changed his mind to allow Undertaker to get heat on Lesnar, knowing Lesnar would be the one going over.
  • Very few people in the company knew about the finish of the match including referee Chad Patton. I understand why this would be such a highly guarded secret but not telling the referee may be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. The finish could have been an absolute disaster if the referee didn’t rely on his instincts and count to three. Strangely enough the oddsmakers (yes there are WWE odssmakers) shifted the odds in favor of Brock being the favorite over the weekend so someone leaked the result. The idea that the referee was given the wrong finish of one of the most historical matches of our lifetime is ludicrous.
  • Meltzer believes that the only way Vince would have booked this finish was if he felt that the Undertaker was retiring after the show. Nobody has confirmed whether or not the Undertaker has indeed retired, although it was certainly alluded to by the announcers after the match. However, Meltzer feels that something must have given Vince this vibe in order to make the move. Looking back I wonder if the same finish would have been booked last year if Vince felt Undertaker was wrapping it up at 29?
  • The Undertaker personally picked Brock to end the streak in 2011. Remember when the two shot an angle at a UFC event in which Lesnar and Taker had a confrontation? Vince, Lesnar, and Taker were all on board with the move but it was UFC president Dana White who refused to allow Brock to wrestle while under contract.

I found all of these tidbits interesting, especially the idea that the finish was changed a week before the show. The inside stories and the in-ring result will make this one a hard one to beat for the biggest pro wrestling in-ring story of 2014.

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE RAW Ultimate Warrior Tribute Video

April 15, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE RAW opened up RAW with a tribute to the Ultimate Warrior that will bring chills to even the most hardened of wrestling fans. The WWE are going to make sure that while the Warrior may be gone, he’ll never be forgotten.

The WWE Universe continues to mourn the untimely passing of the Ultimate Warrior. Vince McMahon and the company have done more to pay tribute to Jim Hellwig than any other wrestler that I can remember who has passed away since Vince took over the company. The RAW tribute was only a piece of a two week tribute ongoing in the WWE.

The WWE Network begun devoting programming to memorialize the Warrior the day of his passing. Warrior’s career highlight, beating Hulk Hogan for the WWE championship at WrestleMania 6 has been replayed several times in recent days. The WWE Network will continue its tribute presenting a four-part special on the Warrior throughout the week.

I have to say that the treatment and honor that Vince is paying the Warrior is nothing short of bizarre. I don’t know if it is Vince getting older or just timing but there is obviously a deep personal connection here he had with the Warrior. I say this is all bizarre because the two spent more time fighting with one another in and out of court over the last 20 years than Warrior actually spent wrestling in the WWE. Vince has shown more class here than he ever has which is just downright strange considering the turbulent history they both had.

If there is one negative that I will bring up with all of these tributes it is that Randy Savage deserved the same or better. Savage had a brief tribute on RAW after he passed away. It’s ironic if you think about it as Savage passed just as he started getting back into the spotlight with WWE gaming ads. The relationship with the WWE didn’t blossom the way Warrior’s return did but most expected that it wind up that way at some point. It’s certainly debatable but over the long haul I think Savage was a much bigger star and had a better run in the WWE than Warrior yet received nothing more than a polite mention. He deserved the same if not better.

That said, take a few minutes out of your day to watch this fantastic tribute to the fallen Hall of Famer. It’s one of the best tributes you will ever see on WWE television.

Rumored Brock Lesnar WWE WrestleMania 31 Opponents

April 14, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

What do you do with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 a year after breaking the Undertaker’s streak at 30? That is the question being asked on social media and a new report reveals some interesting scenarios in discussion for the former UFC and WWE champion.

Bryan Alvarez has the scoop in the latest edition of his Figure Four Weekly newsletter. According to Alvarez, the WWE have penciled in a couple of possible Mania 31 opponents for Brock. One is the usual suspect while another is a bit of a surprise.

According to the report the WWE are still hanging on to the hopes that they can pull off a Brock vs. Rock match at WrestleMania. Alvarez reports that the WWE are penciling in the match, hoping that The Rock will be game for the big match. For those of you keeping track, that will be the second Mania in a row that they have tried to pull off the match although I remember hearing some rumblings back at 29 about a match.

I think the idea is great but I am not so sure it is realistic. The Rock suffered some serious injuries in his last match with John Cena at WrestleMania 29. The injuries were so serious that The Rock’s starring role in the move Hercules was put in jeopardy. There was a fear at the time that Hollywood directors would pressure Rock to avoid any more ring time. There will be a lot of hurdles to overcome to get this match done.

The Undertaker’s injuries this year against Brock are going to do the match no favors. If The Rock had a hard time staying healthy against John Cena, imagine the risk he is putting himself in with Lesnar? Lesnar is very physical and while he’ll take care of The Rock, there is only so much he can do without compromising the integrity of the match. Their match at SummerSlam 2002 is one of the most underrated matches of that decade but that was a decade ago and a lot has changed since then.

Undoubtedly this is the biggest match the WWE could pull off next year at WrestleMania. I don’t see another breakthrough match on the table. If Sting were a few years younger they could have done something with him and John Cena but I have doubts Sting can live up those expectations at this stage of the game. I suppose you could do something with Kurt Angle against Brock or Cena if Angle returns but that is still nothing compared to the potential of Rock and Lesnar.

The dark horse would be Cesaro vs. Lesnar next year at Mania 31. Alvarez reports that the match is something of a backup plan if they can’t sign The Rock. If the WWE can commit to this now, they can take a whole year to build this up. Otherwise a lot can happen over the course of a year and it remains to be seen whether the WWE can fully commit to pushing Cesaro.

I’d love to see it but the WWE have never given fans the perception that Cesaro is capable of hanging with the elite level of guys. On paper today it reads like a squash match. Cesaro needs to go on a roll and get some big wins before I can take this match seriously. Coming close against John Cena is one thing but pinning him is another.

I will throw a name in here as a complete guess. Roman Reigns. I predicted a Reigns vs. Lesnar match in my WrestleMania 31 predictions. I could see people buying this one before Cesaro vs. Lesnar. Reigns going over the guy at Mania who ended the streak would be a game changer for him as well where I don’t know if Cesaro is ready for that. I love Reigns in this spot.

Of course it is very early and if you go back through the last twelve months you can find many ideas that the WWE had on paper for WrestleMania 30 (Daniel Bryan/Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker, Triple H vs. Steve Austin) that sounded good at the time but never had any serious momentum outside of the initial story.

This is all card subject to change until we get much closer to the big event. Although it’s nice to see the buzz started early.

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection WWE DVD Review

April 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Before his untimely passing, The Ultimate Warrior was given a rare chance to save his WWE legacy. This opportunity turned out to be Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection and it will give you a new appreciation for one of wrestling’s most polarizing figures.

The biggest smear job ever produced by the WWE was a DVD a few years back which ripped apart the Ultimate Warrior as a performer, a businessman, and a man. Warrior’s legacy was shredded apart by his peers, leaving viewers with an opinion that the Warrior was over-hyped, terrible in the ring, and made it on luck over talent.

The new DVD, T\Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection gives the Warrior a chance to tell his own story. It’s one of the best documentaries the company has ever produced in that it left very few stones unturned and offers a side to the Warrior that most fans have never seen. Whether you like the Warrior or not, and I have always been in the middle on him, you can’t help but have a new appreciation for him coming out of this production.

Warrior wastes no time in the production blasting the Self-Destruction DVD. Warrior is ready to dispute the critics on the DVD that said he never had any good matches. Warrior also tells the fans that the WWE have spent two decades trying to tarnish his legacy. It isn’t the rant you’d expect from the Warrior if you watched his YouTube shoots but it gets right to the point.

I won’t go through the entire DVD because I don’t want to give everything away before you get a chance to see it. I’ll just jump around and recap some of the highlights on the DVD. I should mention that the format of the DVD features Warrior talking between matches about the match and/or opponent followed by a match or sometimes even two. This differs from most DVDs in that nobody but the Warrior talks throughout the DVD.

Warrior goes into detail about breaking into the business with Sting. He reveals that even though he and Sting were tag team partners, they weren’t necessarily close friends. Warrior describes Sting as someone who likes to be told what to do which is where they differ. They show an early match with the Bladerunners from Mid-South which is just a quick squash, in addition to a promo video. They were both green as grass but you could definitely see some potential in each of them.

Warrior talks about developing his character in World Class and finally going to the WWE. Warrior puts over the jobbers quite a bit who he worked with along the way. The DVD features some squash of these early squash matches and it is interesting to see how raw Warrior was in those early days compared to later in the DVD when he is at his peak in 1989.

Warrior has nice things to say about all of his opponents. Warrior puts over Bobby Heenan, Hercules, and Harley Race. There is a match from Boston between Harley and Warrior. What I took away from this match is how you can see Warrior starting to improve in the ring. By the standards of that time period it was a pretty decent match.

The Warrior covers his first intercontinental title win. Warrior says the timing was right and was excited to take the belt. A couple of matches are shown featuring Warrior against Honkytonk Man. One thing you cannot dispute whether you like him or not is how over Warrior was at this point. The fans were going crazy during both matches, especially the title win. It takes more than just luck to connect with a crowd the way Warrior did.

Warrior goes in depth about his relationship with Randy Savage. Warrior liked Savage and felt that Savage was like him in that he was always ready to go. He talks about the chemistry they had and really enjoyed working with Randy. A great match is featured here from Boston Gardens between I-C champ Warrior and WWE champ Savage.

Warrior has some interesting things to say about dropping the belt to Rick Rude. Warrior said he had no problem with it and says he saw the bigger picture (rematches and their WWE title feud) later on. Warrior says that titles don’t mean as much to him and that he didn’t need belts to be better. “I never got caught up about the belt, not like guys like Bret Hart.” Warrior said he had no problem with that mindset although it seemed odd that he went out of his way to use Bret as an example here.

One thing I thought was kind of interesting was when he talked about Andre the Giant. Bobby Heenan has said in past interviews how Andre was not a fan of Warrior’s. Yet Warrior thinks he and Andre had a real good relationship. Warrior points to a spot in their matches where Andre would sell his bear hug and how much that meant to him. Warrior says the contrast of styles made for intriguing matches. Warrior says he was honored to work with Andre and remarked that Andre was always in a good mood around him. Warrior talked about how happy Andre was which contradicts how most people remember Andre back then. Even Andre’s close friends have described the Giant as miserable and in a lot of pain during this time period.

Warrior spends some time talking about his WrestleMania 6 title win. Warrior remarks that the company knew they couldn’t turn him heel like Hogan’s other opponents. Warrior loved the match, especially the chemistry he and Hogan had. I watched the match again and it was much better than I remember it. What was interesting in watching the match is how the fans slowly moved to Hogan during the match. I think it is fair to say that the match is either the second or third most famous WrestleMania match in history.

Warrior goes through the rest of his career including his series with The Undertaker, his return at WrestleMania 8, and later in 1996. One of the most anticipated segments of the DVD was how he would address his failed WCW run. Warrior doesn’t sling a whole lot of mud here although he does make an accusation about Eric Bischoff that I had never heard before.

One thing that the Warrior never really covers are exits out of the WWE. Warrior never gives his side of the stories which may actually be a good thing in retrospect. Warrior comes off as humble and classy throughout the production. Throwing salt on those old wounds may have muddied up the tone of the production.

Surprisingly my biggest takeaways from this DVD set came from the matches and not so much the documentary. There is no way you can criticize the Warrior’s work or blow off his success as lucky after watching the matches. He connected with the fans during that time period like nobody other than Hulk Hogan did. When given decent opponents he had very good matches and often told good stories in the ring. These aren’t the kind of matches you would expect from the person characterized in the first DVD.

Forget the Hall of Fame induction, allowing the Warrior to tell his story was the real crowning achievement accomplished through this reconciliation. Allowing the Warrior to save his legacy was the greatest olive branch Vince McMahon could offer Jim Hellwig. I can’t imagine a better opportunity ever offered by the Chairman of the Board.

I would highly recommend the DVD. It is over eight hours long and full of fun matches from the 1980s and 1990s. The Blu-Ray comes with some extras that make spending a couple of extra bucks worth the cost. If you are a fan of Warrior, the time period, or just looking for a compelling wrestling documentary, you won’t do much better than Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection.

Disc 1

Warriors Back!

Finding Wrestling

The Blade Runners vs. Perry Jackson & Shawn O’Reilly
UWF • April 11, 1986

Move to WCCW

Dingo Warrior vs. Chris Adams
WCCW • August 8, 1986

Arrival in WWE

Ultimate Warrior vs. Barry Horowitz
Wrestling Challenge • November 7, 1987

Ultimate Warrior vs. Steve Lombardi
Superstars • November 14, 1987

Getting Noticed

Ultimate Warrior vs. Harley Race
Boston, MA • March 5, 1988

Upgrading Warrior

Weasel Suit Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Los Angeles, CA • July 15, 1988

Intercontinental Champion

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man
SummerSlam • August 29, 1988

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man
Philadelphia, PA • December 17, 1988

The Macho Man

WWE Championship and Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
Boston, MA • February 11, 1989

Simply Ravishing

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude
SummerSlam • August 28, 1989

Building Momentum

Ultimate Warrior vs. Bob Bradley
Prime Time Wrestling • September 18, 1989

Ultimate Warrior vs. Brian Costello
Prime Time Wrestling • December 25, 1989

Ultimate Warrior confronts Andre on Brother Love Show
Superstars • July 29, 1989

Memories of Andre

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre the Giant
Madison Square Garden • October 28, 1989

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre the Giant
Saturday Night’s Main Event • November 25, 1989

DISC 2

Leading to Toronto

Ultimate Warrior Promo “Crash the Plane”
Superstars • March 10, 1990

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Mr. Perfect
Madison Square Garden • March 19, 1990

Running to the Ring

The Ultimate Challenge
WWE Championship vs. Intercontinental Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
WrestleMania VI • April 1, 1990

Responsibilities of the Champion

WWE Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Million $ Man Ted DiBiase
Wrestling Summit • April 13, 1990

WWE Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
Saturday Night’s Main Event • July 28, 1990

WWE Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Million $ Man Ted DiBiase
The Main Event • November 23, 1990

WWE Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Huntsville, AL • January 7, 1991

DISC 3

WWE Ultimate Warrior: Ultimate Collection DVDNew Direction

Steel Cage Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho King Randy Savage
Madison Square Garden • January 21, 1991

Ultimate Warrior ends Brother Loves Career
Superstars • March 2, 1991

No Limitations

Career Ending Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho King Randy Savage
WrestleMania VII • March 24, 1991

Into the Darkness

Ultimate Warrior on Paul Bearers Funeral Parlour
Superstars • April 13, 1991

Ultimate Warrior vs. The Undertaker
Toronto, ON • June 2, 1991

Returning

Gene Okerlund Interviews Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage
Superstars • July 25, 1992

Ultimate Maniacs

“Riding on the Edge of a Lightning Bolt”
Superstars • November 14, 1992

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Money Inc. vs. Ultimate Warrior & Macho Man Randy Savage
Saturday Night’s Main Event • November 14, 1992

Reestablish

“Faster Than a Cheetah”
RAW • March 11, 1996

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
WrestleMania XII • March 31, 1996

Warrior Confronts Goldust
RAW • April 8, 1996

Ultimate Warrior Returns!

Vince McMahon Interviews Jerry “The King” Lawler and Ultimate Warrior
RAW • June 10, 1996

Ultimate Warrior vs. Jerry the King Lawler
King of the Ring • June 23, 1996

Going to WCW

Ultimate Warrior Interrupts Hollywood Hogan
Nitro • August 17 1998

Replusive

Ultimate Warrior Promo
Nitro • October 26, 1998

The Right Story

Blu-ray Exclusives

Dingo Warrior vs. Matt Bourne
WCCW • October 24, 1986

Ultimate Warrior & The British Bulldogs vs. Demolition & Mr Fuji
Maple Leaf Gardens • July 24, 1988

Intercontinental Championship Match
Ultimate Warrior vs. Dino Bravo
The Main Event • February 23, 1990

WrestleMania VII Contract Signing
Road to WrestleMania VII • March 17, 1991

Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter
WrestleFest • March 30, 1991

Intercontinental Championship Match
Goldust vs. Ultimate Warrior
In Your House: Good Friends, Better Enemies • April 28, 1996

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection [Blu-ray]

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Very Early WWE WrestleMania 31 Predictions

April 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Now that the WrestleMania 30 dust has settled it is time for the WWE to get cracking on WrestleMania 31. I thought it would be fun to take a look at a potential card a year ahead of time and try and predict a card for the 2014 San Jose event.

In taking a look back at my WrestleMania 29 and 30 predictions a year out, I actually hit a few of them on the head for 29 but missed every single prediction I made last April for 30. In other words there is no exact science for this stuff and with the way that the WWE changes booking frequently, it is impossible to get a handle on it.

Predicting WrestleMania one year out is almost as difficult as filling out your March Madness brackets at any time of the year. Take a look at this year’s WrestleMania 30 lineup a year ago and you can see exactly how much these things change. John Cena was in the main-event, Daniel Bryan was in a tag team match on the bottom of the card, Randy Orton was in a six-man tag team match, and neither Batista nor Bray Wyatt were even on the card. To make it even harder to predict, two guys in two of the top three matches weren’t even on the card at 30. That is how much things can change over a year.

So with this all said, let’s take a look at some of the probable WrestleMania 31 matches one year before this great spectacle invades California Keep in mind that these are all just predictions and should not be taken as fact or cited as a source in any kind of report.

John Cena vs. Triple H. I think it is time to officially put my Cena vs. Undertaker prediction to rest after going 0-3 the last three years. With Undertaker likely on the sidelines, I think the biggest money match the company can make next year is Cena vs. Triple H. The company has tried to rematch these two a few times at Mania but injuries kept the match from sticking. I think it is inevitable that these two will collide at some point and I don’t think it is coincidence that their interaction has been minimal since the arrival of the Authority.

The match needs a stipulation because on its own the match isn’t big enough to headline a WrestleMania. Maybe a Hunter retirement match or Cena representing Vince in a battle for control of the company. I am not sure how it goes down but at this point I think this is the closest thing to a sure thing for Mania 31.

Backup plan – John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt. Watching Twitter blow up after Cena pinned Bray Wyatt was fun but I think it may have been a little soon to complain. I would not be surprised if the plan here was for these guys to have a WrestleMania 1, 2, or even 3 match series. I am still not convinced that Bray Wyatt is a sustainable character over the long haul but I think he can remain strong for a year. Something tells me that the idea here was for Cena to go over this year, Bray to become more established and get his win next year. I may be wrong but I just have a feeling this one is a long way from being done.

Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk for the WWE world heavyweight championship. Can we all finally agree that Punk walking out of the WWE is not a work? He is gone and will be gone for a while. However, a lot of things can change a year from now. Maybe Punk and the WWE finally talk at some point and agree on a short-term deal? Maybe Punk heals up from injuries, feels great, and gets the juices going for one more run? Maybe the company can entice him to come back short-term in exchange for fulfilling his dream of a Mania main-event (also making him the biggest hypocrite in the process)? What I do know is that Punk can walk back in as the top heel and Bryan will have run the gauntlet of heels by that point. The WWE will need a hook next year and with Undertaker likely out and Michaels staying retired, Punk is probably the best shot they have of mixing things up.

Backup plan – Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wytt vs. Cesaro for the WWE world heavyweight championship. If you take Punk out of the mix I am not sure what you have left for Bryan. On its own I can’t see Bryan vs. Cesaro being strong enough to take a top spot at Mania which is why Bray Wyatt fits perfectly into this mix. It is no coincidence that the Wyatt-Bryan program ended with Wyatt getting the win. At some point the plan is to feud Wyatt and Bryan again and if they can hold it off until next year, this is the perfect spot for it. What really appeals to me about this match is that it would represent a true changing of the guard if it were to take the WWE world heavyweight championship spot on the card.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock. This prediction is turning into my Undertaker vs. Cena prediction. I have predicted this match two years in a row with a resounding 0-2 spot. I am not convinced that The Rock is done and I think with Undertaker off of the card that the WWE will make a strong push to get The Rock back into the ring. This match has been on the books for two years and yet continues to fall apart. I believe the third time is the charm for this clash of superstars.

Backup plan – Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. The Roman Reigns era is coming and it should be here by Mania. I would be shocked if Reigns isn’t a winner or finalist in the 2014 Royal Rumble. What better way to get this kid over than by having him pin the guy that ended the streak at WrestleMania? This could be a real fun match and I think the live crowd would really eat it up if it were booked right. I’d look hard at Reigns as being the guy next year that the WWE uses WrestleMania to ascend. Brock is the perfect guy for that spot, especially if they can keep him undefeated until 31.

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

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RIP Ultimate Warrior, WWE Icon Dead At 54

April 09, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The pro wrestling world woke up Wednesday to a shocker. Days after returning to the WWE and being inducted into the Hall of Fame, The Ultimate Warrior passed away leaving a wife and two children behind.

Where do you even begin? Triple H posted a tweet offering condolences to Warrior’s family and the floodgates opened. TMZ.com were first to report details on the tragedy. According to TMZ, Warrior collapsed outside of an Arizona hotel at 5:50 PM walking to the car with his wife. The WWE wished Warrior farewell on their website.

We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans.

The timing of this is nothing less than bizarre. After being on the outs with the WWE for years, Warrior returned over the weekend first being inducted into the Hall of Fame, then appearing at WrestleMania 30, and later cutting a promo on RAW. One thing I should note is that I remember thinking that Warrior looked like he had some trouble on RAW while getting inside of the ring. Of course nobody could have predicted the next 24 hours for Hellwig.

Warrior at least had enough time to make amends with the WWE. I am sure that was a big deal for him. Warrior and Vince McMahon had been at odds in and out of court for years. Out of nowhere Warrior started appearing last year in WWE 2K14 ads and quickly thereafter Vince McMahon publicly welcomed Warrior back into the family. Several months later Warrior not only get inducted into the Hall of Fame but more importantly for him, he got a brand new DVD. The new WWE DVD gave him an opportunity to rebut the hatchet job the WWE did on him a couple of years back.

One of the big questions today is whether Warrior knew his time was up or this was an unfortunate random tragedy. A lot of fans and media are citing Warrior’s speech on RAW and the eerie coincidences that would surface a few days later.

No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life what makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the story tellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever. You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. I am The Ultimate Warrior. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans and the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever.

My first memories of Warrior as a wrestling fan were from Mid-South/UWF as one half of the Blade Runners. I was able to follow him next to World Class thanks to syndication. I thought he had a cool look but never anticipated how big of a star he would become. I do recall one of my friends had attended a WWE house show in Wildwood when Warrior came in. He wasn’t on television yet but he was doing live events. He was in one of the openers and my buddy remarked how great he was and how he thought he was going to be a future WWE champion.

I grew up in Warrior’s era so I have probably seen just about every match he had during that run and plenty live at the Philadelphia Spectrum. It’s funny because Warrior has a terrible reputation as a “working” but I think some people have fuzzy memories of that time period. It’s easy to rag on Warrior but when he had the right opponent he was very good. He had great matches with Curt Hennig, Rick Rude and a classic with Hulk Hogan. Expecting the same or more with Honkytonk Man and Andre the Giant is just unfair.

Yet it was his series with Randy Savage that was magical. Their SummerSlam and WrestleMania matches are classics. However, he had a house show series with Savage when Savage was WWE champion and Warrior was I-C champ that was fantastic. Savage had just started to turn heel and the crowd was red hot for this. The matches were all tremendous during this run.

Warrior is a polarizing guy among his peers. Most of his peers don’t like or respect him. Again I think he was unfairly criticized. For one, there is a ton of jealousy that come out in these shoot interviews. Two, he was one of the few who stood up to Vince McMahon and for that, he should be applauded. You can absolutely question his business tactics such as holding Vince up right before SummerSlam. I think we can all agree that was unprofessional. However, most of the guys in that era just went with the flow. A lot of them will proudly say they worked on handshake agreements with Vince. That is all well and good but you have to give Warrior some credit for standing up for what he thought was right and going toe to toe with the most powerful man in the business.

One of the things I do respect about Warrior is that he never seemed to look back. He came and went in the WWE but he wasn’t a guy out there hanging on. I think it was clear from the start that to Hellwig, this was a business. How many legends and icons have we seen in our lifetime hang on way too long in the wrestling business only to embarrass themselves past their primes? Almost every single one of those guys have taken shots at Warrior over the years. Maybe there is resentment in the fact that he had the willpower to walk away while they couldn’t?

An interesting thing I learned about Warrior lately is that he was negotiating to come back to the WWE before he went to WCW in 1998. It is interesting to think about how the Warrior would have done in 1998. The business had changed and the era Warrior represented was public enemy #1 by the Attitude Era fans. Could a Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Ultimate Warrior feud have worked or would it have been a car wreck? I can almost guarantee you that in 1998 that Vince McMahon and crew would have booked him better than WCW did.

I think if there is one thing we can take solace in it is that Warrior will be remembered by fans much differently than if he had not returned to RAW and the Hall of Fame. All of the talk leading up to the Hall of Fame was how crazy Warrior’s speech would be? Let’s be honest, he has said some wacky things over the last several years. Yet instead of a crazy, rambling speech cynics had hoped for, Warrior delivered an emotional, sincere, and eloquent thank you to the business, the fans, and the WWE. That is the last memory fans have of this pro wrestling icon.

In closing I can’t stress enough how much my heart goes out to his daughters. Like Warrior, I had children later in my life and one of the biggest fears I have is not being around to see their circle of life. I can’t imagine the heartbreak and sadness that his girls are waking up today after losing their daddy. He brought his family out at the Hall of Fame and was obviously a very proud family man. My condolences go out today to his family who have lost their warrior.

WWE: The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the ’80s

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Triple H Is That Damned Good

April 08, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This is going to be a tough one for some of you out there to swallow. This probably won’t be the most popular thing I ever blog about but I am going to say it. Triple H is the best in the business and the WWE is lucky to have him. He is that damned good.

Pro wrestling fans on the Internet are a funny breed. The Internet Wrestling Community tend to get swept up into rumors and hyperbole and base their views on someone for what they do outside of the ring. Triple H is a perfect example as there is probably nobody, sans Vince Russo more hated by this base than Trips. This is unfortunate however as those fans are missing out on appreciating one of the best performers of our generation.

I say it on Twitter every time I watch him on RAW and this goes back to the first series with The Undertaker. Triple H is the best in the business. Nobody sells a match, an angle, a feud, or a storyline better than this guy behind a microphone or in the ring. The irony here is that I believe that Triple H is at his peak at 44 years-old and 20-years inside of the ring.

The funny part about all of this is that while the same Daniel Bryan lovers hate Triple H with a passion, Hunter has done more to get Bryan over than anyone has in the WWE. Quite honestly I don’t think there is anyone in the WWE now or in the last three years capable of getting Bryan over the way Triple H has. Without Triple H you’d still have Daniel Bryan but I don’t know if you’d have the Yes Movement.

What makes Hunter so good is all of the little things he has mastered as a heel. He sells more for babyfaces than he ever has before, a page he has likely taken out of his old buddy Ric Flair’s playbook. The reactions on his face whether it is anger, self-deprecating, glee at a babyface in peril, or arrogant are unmatched by anyone in the business.

His promos are untouchable by anyone in the business today. He can sell a match better than anyone and is a master at getting people to believe. This goes back to the night the entire WWE crew walked out on him after he attacked The Miz and R-Truth two years ago. The guy has a way of saying things that look like he believes everything he is saying. It’s not like you are watching a wrestler on television cut a pro wrestling promo. Watching Triple H cut a promo is like talking to one of your buddies after he gets all riled up about something someone said about him or a local rival. I can’t say that about anyone else other than maybe Paul Heyman and even Heyman can come across as a character at times.

His performance at WrestleMania, the RAW before, and the night after were all tremendous. At Mania he sold for Bryan better than he sold for Shawn Michaels a decade ago. It isn’t easy to go from being a badass babyface to a vulnerable heel. Not even Stone Cold Steve Austin could pull that off. Bryan sold that beating the RAW before Mania better than he sold for Brock Lesnar. Daniel Bryan would not be in the spot he is today without this.

It is easy to pick on the booker putting himself in the top angle. But when there is nobody better to put in that spot what do you do? I haven’t seen a heel generate this much heat in years. The people really hate him and for a heel in 2014 to get a sold out crowd of 65,000+ to boo him because they really don’t like him or what he stands for is more of an accomplishment than anyone will ever realize in professional wrestling.

The WWE is very lucky to have Hunter inside of the ring and active in the to storyline. It would be a boring place without him.

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