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John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries WWE DVD Review

October 30, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that John Cena has been involved in most of the biggest feuds in this modern-day era of WWE. A new DVD and blu-ray release chronicles his ten best in John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

This new home video release is a quasi-documentary/match collection offering the best of both in spots, yet leaving viewers wanting a little more in others. The format of the DVD features the 15-time WWE champion breaking down his greatest rivalries, one rival at a time which then cuts to a match or series of matches between the two. The collection spans three discs so you will be getting plenty of John Cena if you are looking to add a little more Cena to your video collection.

Unlike the documentary DVDs, Cena doesn’t get into much detail with each rivalry, just offering a brief synopsis with some analysis from the future Hall of Fame superstar. Unfortunately you probably won’t learn much new or get in on any backstage dirt but that was not the intent of the DVD. It was presented like a Top 10 collection you’d see on the NFL Network with players talking about topics sandwiched between highlights, although in this case you are getting the full matches.

The ten rivals featured on the discs are…

  • Chris Jericho
  • Batista
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Shawn Michaels
  • Edge
  • Randy Orton
  • Triple H
  • The Rock
  • JBL
  • CM Punk (Blu-ray only)

The biggest disappointment here is the omission of Punk on the main disc. The Punk-Cena rivalry is arguably the biggest of Cena’s career. I think most fans will expect to buy the DVD with the Punk rivalry chronicled for obvious reasons. Leaving Punk off of the main disc out of spite is a bit disingenuous with unsuspecting customers. He is on the blu-ray anyway! If you aren’t going to include him fine, but you aren’t screwing with Punk here, you are screwing with the customers who assume that Cena’s greatest rival would be included on a DVD entitled John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

That said, there are some gems on here. Cena has been around weekly for so long that you sometimes forget about some of the fun matches he had back at the start of his ascension. A great feud I completely forgot about was Cena’s rivalry with Eddie Guerrero. The Parking Lot Brawl in particular was a fun match I’d venture to say that most of us have forgotten about in recent years.

I will say that you start to rethink Cena a bit after you watch the collection. He isn’t nearly as bad as most think he is. I think a lot of the Cena-hate comes down to the overexposure of Cena and the lack of quality opponents the company has had for him in recent years. Take a quick look at the list of rivals and you’ll notice that all but Orton aren’t competing in the WWE today. There is a reason that no recent feud other than The Rock is featured in the collection.

Overall I’d say this was a fun collection which serves a great defense of Cena as an in-ring performer. He is much more than his “Five Moves of Doom” and when inspired, can put on a hell of a match. I also think it goes without saying that if you are going to buy this collection, spend a few extra bucks on the blu-ray for the Punk rivalry.

DISC 1

Book of Knowledge

Number One Contender’s Tournament Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – April 3, 2003

Chicken Soup

Parking Lot Brawl
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – September 11, 2003

Honed My Craft

OVW Championship Match
Prototype vs. Leviathan
Ohio Valley Wrestling – February 23, 2002

Different Dynamic

WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Batista
Extreme Rules – April 25, 2010

Special Individual

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – April 23, 2007

Learned So Much

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – March 10, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels

DISC 2

Gifted

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam – August 26, 2007

Brought out the Best

John Cena vs. Randy Orton
RAW – February 10, 2014

Hard-Nosed

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. JBL
WrestleMania 21 – April 3, 2005

Heavily-Calloused

John Cena vs. JBL
RAW – June 9, 2008

Talk you into Building

“You’re Fired! Match” for the WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
RAW – August 22, 2005

Gave Me a Chance

World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Survivor Series – November 23, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Randy Orton

DISC 3

Old Shoe

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Edge
RAW – October 2, 2006

Who Am I ?

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Edge
Backlash – April 26, 2009

Measuring Stick

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Triple H
WrestleMania 22 – April 2, 2006

Advice

John Cena vs. Triple H
RAW – October 19, 2009

Global Phenomenon

John Cena & The Rock Q&A
RAW – March 25, 2013

Sequel

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. The Rock
WrestleMania XXIX – April 7, 2013

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: The Rock

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

Underlying Passion

John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – November 23, 2009

Trying To Do My Job

Number One Contender’s Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – February 25, 2013

John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries [Blu-ray]

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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10 of the Scariest Pro Wrestlers from the 1980s

October 29, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Halloween is the time of year where many of us get dressed up in our scariest costumes in an attempt to invoke fear and terror among the masses. Well back in the 1980s, Halloween was 365 days a year in pro wrestling and here are ten scary pictures from that era to prove it.

Pro wrestling has changed a lot since the 1980s. Lost are the days of the character, the monster, ugly heels that used to spread terror to territories around the country. Today most of these old school monsters would probably be laughed off of WWE RAW but in the 1980s, kids believed and it was a big deal.

I was one of those kids and I remember spending many afternoons at newsstands thumbing through wrestling magazines in awe of these villains. Some scared me, some made me laugh, but all were fun to look at. Here are ten iconic images of wrestling’s great heels that are some of the scariest from the 1980s.

Wild SamoansThe Wild Samoans - These two guys struck so much terror into my life that I haven’t turned pro wrestling off in over thirty years. My first wrestling memory was turning on WWF television and seeing these guys cut a promo. I was petrified yet drawn to this circus known as pro wrestling. The Samoans would pose for these strange pictures and do wild things during promos as Captain Lou Albano promoted their madness. The sight of all three was enough to give any kid nightmares for weeks.

 

George The Animal SteeleGeorge the Animal Steele - It is almost crazy to think that this guy turned into a beloved babyface in the later 1980s. Yet throughout the 1970s and early 80s, George was one of the strangest characters in pro wrestling. His green tongue and appetite for turnbuckles sold out arenas all over the country against the likes of Dusty Rhodes, Bruno Sammartino, and the Sheik. His vocabulary consisted of “YOU!” and nothing else. He’d get inside of the ring and maul his opponents in between green turnbuckle snacks. He was strange, creepy, and a bit terrifying at times.

 

Kevin SullivanKevin Sullivan – I will be the first to admit that pictures of Sullivan scared the crap out of me as a kid. Sullivan had a gimmick in Florida Championship Wrestling as a devil-worshipper. I would see these stories and pictures of Sullivan in magazines with quotes that gave me nightmares. There are even some pro wrestlers that worked and knew Sullivan that claim to this day Sullivan really was a devil-worshipper. Think about that for a second. He worked his own colleagues! How great of a character is that? It is no surprise that this character remains one of the most memorable of the early 1980s. Do yourself a favor and search out some of his FCW promos on YouTube. They are as original as you’ll find in pro wrestling.

 

brodyBruiser Brody - The traveling wild man took his one-man wrecking crew around the country, brawling all over stadiums, arenas, high school gyms, and even convention centers…yes convention centers. Bruiser cut some of the best “crazy” promotional pictures and interviews in the business during the 80s. Bruiser wasn’t as wild in the ring as his legend would dictate but his promo pictures were downright terrorizing to a young boy like me thumbing through the magazines.

 

kamalaspearKamala - Kamala is a funny character in that I found him a bit scary through magazines yet once I saw him on television that kind of subsided. That was until this infamous pro wrestling magazine cover, maybe one of the most creative of all-time. This pre-Photoshop picture has Kamala with Hulk Hogan’s head through a spear. For those that remember this image, it is one of the most iconic of our childhood. As crazy as those jungle promos were in the back of Jerry Jarrett’s yard, this took terror to a whole new level on magazine stands around the world.

 

Ox BakerOx Baker - The late Ox Baker will always be remembered for his iconic look of the 70s and 80s. I first came to know Ox through wrestling magazine pictures and he stood out immediately. I think it is a bit of a compliment to call Ox one of the ugliest pro wrestlers of the 1980s. A unique look took Ox around the country for years. Unfortunately by the time I saw Ox in the ring his better days had passed him by and the performance didn’t live up to the hype. Regardless, the man sure knew how to scare a fan into a wrestling arena.

 

Missing LinkThe Missing Link - Link is an interesting character. Link came along in the mid-1980s at a time when pro wrestling started shifting away from this kind of character. I think Link’s gimmick came about four-five years too late to really make an impact. By the time Link made it to the WWE, his gimmick was more comedy than anyone taking him as a serious terror. Regardless, Link scared many kids on his way to New York with terrorizing pictures like this one on magazine stands.

 

The Great KabukiThe Great Kabuki - I don’t care who you are, if you saw Kabuki in the early 1980s you were thinking about him long after his matches. The interesting part about Kabuki is that he was scariest on his way to the ring and during introductions. Kabuki would wear these masks that were so cryptic, they were terrifying. He’d take the mask off and he’d be painted up and spit mist but it was that pre-match introduction wear he made his mark…and plenty of magazines that couldn’t get enough of publishing his unique look.

 

abdullahAbdullah the Butcher - Finally, maybe the scariest pro wrestler of the 1980s was Abdullah the Butcher. His look, his style in the ring, his crazy promos (eating pencils and paper) and of course the infamous fork all sparked terror into fans around the world. How scary was Abdullah? I used to hang out in the green room of the Philadelphia Civic Center when the NWA would come to town. All of the guys were pretty cool but Abdullah would stay in character in the locker room whenever he saw fans. He’d walk through the curtain and start to go after fans in the green room. We were all terrified, yet we were all clued in on the deal when it came to pro wrestling. That’s one scary man!

 

The Original Sheik Ed FarhatThe Original Sheik Ed Farhat - The original Sheik was one of pro wrestling’s original maniacs. The Sheik terrorized territories around the country including setting up his own territory in Detroit, Mi. The Sheik was a lunatic who became almost mythical due to the sadistic photos published monthly in pro wrestling magazines around the world. The Sheik was just as crazy in the ring as he was in pictures, known for using a pencil to bust open wrestlers while dining on their blood. Everyone from Dusty Rhodes, Andre the Giant, Dick the Bruiser, Abdullah the Butcher, to Bruno Sammartino felt his wrath at one time or another. Sure he was winding down in the ring during the 1980s but his photos caused many sleepless nights for children all around the world.

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WWE SmackDown Results and October 24 Recap

October 26, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week opens with Dean Ambrose marching down to the ring. He says the laws of physics don’t apply to him. What goes up must go down, but he doesn’t stay down. Why does he keep getting back up? He could say he’s indestructible and this stuff doesn’t hurt, but the truth is it does hurt. His bones and muscles ache. Fighting the Authority can be very painful. No, the reason he keeps getting back up can go back to Mick Foley. Foley was the “Hardcore Legend”, but deep-down was always a nice guy. Ambrose isn’t a nice guy. He doesn’t have a loving family, and he has nothing to live for except delivering pain to people, and that’s what keeps moving him forward to HIAC. Ever since Seth Rollins stabbed him in the back…this Sunday, you can’t take your money with you when you’re knee-deep in your own personal hell. If Rollins has anything to say about that, he can come out here right now and say it.

Rollins appears on the TitanTron and says Ambrose doesn’t tell him what to do. He tells Ambrose what to do and does the calling out. As a matter of fact, later tonight, that’s exactly what he’ll do. As for the past, let’s remember Rollins spoon-fed him the catchphrases during the Shield. Ambrose is an idiot for believing all of that. They weren’t building something special; it was Rollins all along, planning his moment. Ambrose is talking about vengeance like it’s a jackpot. It’s cheap and not worth a damn, just like Ambrose. What’s priceless is the future. Ambrose’s ends at HIAC, but Rollins’ future truly begins when he disposes of Ambrose on Sunday. Then, when the time is right, he’ll cash in his MITB contract and solidify himself as the future of WWE. Ambrose says Rollins has a way with words, but he won’t be able to talk his way out of things on Sunday. They will burn together, but Rollins will perish alone.

MATCH 1: LOS MATADORES (DIEGO AND FERNANDO, W/EL TORITO) VS. THE MIZ AND DAMIEN MIZDOW
Sheamus is on commentary for this match. Mizdow starts for his team, kicking a Matador in the gut. He backdrops him into the corner, but the Matador counters with a headscissors. We find out this is Diego. Mizdow tags into Diego. Diego ducks a clothesline, hits some chops and a pair of boots in the corner. Miz comes back with a hotshot in the corner, then hits a lame version of the 10 Beats of the Bodhran while looking at Sheamus. He snaps Diego back into the ring, then hits a hanging clothesline. Mizdow tags in and nails Diego in the gut. Diego avoids a clothesline and trips Mizdow into the ropes. Miz and Fernando tag in. Fernando hits a couple of spinning back elbows, then nails a flapjack onto the top buckle. Fernando goes up top and hits a somersault plancha for 2 as Mizdow breaks it up. Diego comes in and launches Mizdow to the floor before Miz knocks him out as well. In the ring, Fernando goes for a backcracker, but Miz blocks it. He applies the figure-4 as Mizdow does the same to Diego on the floor. Fernando taps.

WINNERS: THE MIZ AND DAMIEN MIZDOW.

We get another promo from the Dust Brothers. They’re joined by Bo Dallas. He says he’s here in the peace. Mark Henry and the Usos don’t stand a chance against them tonight. The Dust Brothers may have the cosmic key, but all they have to do is Bolieve! Goldust calls him a weirdo.

MATCH 2: ALICIA FOX (W/PAIGE) VS. WWE DIVAS CHAMPION AJ LEE (NON-TITLE)
The two lock up, and Lee breaks it with an arm wringer. Fox hits a forearm, and Lee comes back with a spinning headscissors. Fox knocks her down, but Lee quickly comes back with a guillotine. Fox breaks it by ramming Lee into the corner, then hits a northern lights suplex for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Fox clubs Lee with a foream, then hits a bodyslam. She chokes Lee over the middle rope as Paige is screaming. In the corner, Lee comes back with a pair of knees, then hits a mule kick. Paige causes a distraction, allowing Fox to nail her. She goes for another bodyslam, but Lee slides out, shoves Fox into Paige (who is on the apron), then quickly schoolgirls her for 3.

WINNER: AJ LEE.

We get another Wyatt Family video, and this time, it’s geared towards all three guys going solo.

We get a sit-down interview with Michael Cole and the Big Show. Show apparently asked for this interview, wanting to address what happened on RAW. Cole points out Rusev attacked a “uniformed soldier”, otherwise known as a local independent wrestler, and we then see the video. Back to Show, he says Rusev despises everything that represents the US. He tried to pull down Old Glory, and that led to the soldier crossing the line and entering the ring, standing up for what he believes in. The flag represents freedom, and that soldier defends the flag every day. Rusev took a cheap shot. The soldier got into the ring and was quickly detained by security, and Rusev nailed him anyway. We learn the soldier is okay and has a sense of humor, but Rusev still could have handled it better. Cole points out Show tore down the Russian flag a couple weeks ago, and asks him to compare the two incidents. Show says he was wrong and has apologized several times. He has Russian friends and has apologized to them. He didn’t mean to disrespect Russia; he wanted to disrespect Rusev and Lana. He was in the moment, and it was the wrong thing to do. He’s apologized for that. Rusev is a completely different story. Cole says Show has a big passion for the Armed Forces. Show calls it a great honor to visit the troops overseas. He’s met all kinds of famous people, and those aren’t his heroes; his heroes are the troops. He talks about the “Tribute to the Troops” tapings, then tells a story about meeting a 2-star general in 2003 who was so thankful Show visited him that he cried. Show calls it humbling. They go to boost morale, and Show’s morale gets boosted instead. It’s a unique experience to be a WWE star and have that effect on your heroes. Cole asks Show about Hulk Hogan, who talked about the match with Rusev on the WWE Network. We cut to that promo, and it’s typical Hogan in every way. Back to Show and Cole, Cole asks if Show can keep his emotions in check Sunday and do something no one else has done, that being get Rusev to submit or pin him. Show says he absolutely cannot and will not keep his emotions in check at HIAC. To answer the second part, he will knock Rusev’s ass out and pin him 1-2-3.

MATCH 3-INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: DOLPH ZIGGLER (CHAMPION) VS. CESARO
Cesaro goes for a side headlock, and Ziggler counters into a waistlock takedown. The two continue reversing each other until they get a rope break. Cesaro gets in a cheap shot with a kneelift, then goes for a monkey flip. Ziggler lands on his feet and hits a hiptoss. Cesaro blocks the Show-Off Elbow, and Ziggler covers him for 1. These two trade numerous pinfall attempts, each only getting 1. Cesaro misses a clothesline, and Ziggler nails a dropkick for 2. Cesaro reverses a corner whip, sending Ziggler into the ring post and tumbling to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Cesaro has Ziggler in a modified top wristlock. Ziggler breaks free, but Cesaro locks in a sleeper. Ziggler tries to fight out, so Cesaro yanks him down by the tights. Ziggler gets back to his feet and punches his way out, then ducks a clothesline before Cesaro reapplies the sleeper. Ziggler escapes and applies one of his own. Cesaro escapes, but Ziggler quickly jumps on his back and applies a scissored sleeper. Cesaro breaks it with a ram into the corner. Ziggler comes back with a back elbow, ducks a clothesline, hits a pair of his own, followed by a corner splash and a neckbreaker. Ziggler nails the Show-Off Elbow for 2. He goes for the rocker dropper, but Cesaro catches him. He goes for a powerbomb, and Ziggler tries to counter with a hurricanrana. Cesaro holds on, lifts him back up, and Ziggler rolls through into a sunset flip for 2. He ducks another clothesline and hits a satellite into another scissored sleeper. Cesaro breaks it by falling into the corner again, but Ziggler keeps the bodyscissors locked on. Cesaro flips him around to the front and powers him up into a suplex for 2. Ziggler hits a back elbow and goes for a leaping DDT, but Cesaro spins him into an inverted sidewinder for 2. Ziggler comes back with a quick schoolboy for 2, and Cesaro responds by nailing a big boot for 2. He hits a tigerbomb for another 2, and now Cesaro is getting frustrated. Cesaro grabs Ziggler by the foot, and sets up the Cesaro Swing. Ziggler counters into a small package for 2. Back up, Ziggler goes for the superkick. Cesaro blocks and goes for the European uppercut. Ziggler spins out and nails the Zig-Zag for 3.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: DOLPH ZIGGLER.

MATCH 4: NIKKI BELLA, CAMERON AND NAOMI VS. NATALYA, NAOMI AND BRIE BELLA
Brie starts with Cameron, and Cameron immediately goes into a hair yank. Brie hits a back elbow, a couple of kneelifts, then gets clotheslined off a that stupid leg flip move that has never done anything for anyone, ever. Rae tags in, hits a foot-choke in the corner and lands a clothesline for 2. Brie gets ent to the corner, where she blocks a charge. She fights Cameron and Nikki off in the corner, but then gets about the weakest kick in the history of kicks from Rae off the ropes. Rae hits both Nattie and Naomi, then gets hit with a dropsh*t. On the outside. Cameron yanks Naomi to the floor. Back in the ring, Rae hits a roundhouse before tagging in Nikki. Nikki picks Brie up and hits her with the Shock Treatment for 3.

WINNERS: NIKKI BELLA, CAMERON AND SUMMER RAE.

Nikki grabs a mic and says Brie’s life after Sunday will be hell when Brie is forced to become her personal assistant. She says she’ll be the wicked stepsister and Brie will become, and I’m quoting, “Cinderbella”.

MATCH 5: THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) AND MARK HENRY VS. BO DALLAS, AND WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS GOLD & STARDUST
Henry goes after Dallas, but Dallas drops to the floor. He comes back in and immediately tags out to Stardust. Jey tags in, and Stardust beats him down before running into a hiptoss. He hits a diving headbutt before tagging in Jimmy. Jimmy gets nailed as Goldust tags in. Jimmy reverses a corner whip and backdrops Goldust to the floor. Stardust comes in, and he takes a double clothesline to the floor. Dallas tries to sneak in, but Henry chases him off once more. Commercials.

Back from the break, Stardust nails Jimmy with a clothesline. Goldust tags in and drops a pair of elbows for 2. He applies a rear chinlock now, but Jimmy fights his way out. Goldust shoves him to the corner, where he nails Goldust’s partners. Goldust blocks a kick, but Jimmy turns it into a reverse Dragon Whip. Henry and Dallas tag in, and Henry cleans house. He goes for for WSS on Stardust, but Stardust escapes, only to turn around into a superkick by Jey. One of the Usos takes out Goldust on the outside. On the apron, Stardust yanks the other one down by the foot, whipping him onto his back. In the ring, Henry throws Dallas into the corner. On the other side, Stardust tries a dive on Henry. Henry sees it coming, catches him and hits the World’s Strongest Slam. Dallas sneaks up behind Henry, hits the Running Bo-Dog and gets 3.

WINNERS: BO DALLAS, GOLD & STARDUST.

Remember when Mark Henry was the World Champion?

Renee Young is with Dolph Ziggler. She congratulates him on his victory earlier. Ziggler starts to pander to the crowd, but is interrupted by Cesaro. Cesaro calls him lucky, then says the IC title is the most prestigious title in the company and it belongs to him. He then challenges Ziggler to a Best-of-3-Falls Match for the title at HIAC, and Ziggler accepts. Cesaro says he’s going to show Ziggler up. Ziggler says it’s too bad he’s too damn good.

Seth Rollins comes down to the ring, flanked by Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble. I’m starting to wonder if these two are getting back into the ring at some point. The camera shows the ring contains chairs, as well as tables covered in weapons. Rollins says Dean Ambrose came out on RAW and thought he was the only one with a bag of tricks. As usual, Rollins is one step ahead of him. He taught Ambrose everything he knows. Ambrose can call him a sellout until he’s blue in the face, and the same goes for the fans, but the truth is, he bought into a concept that is foreign to everyone one of the fans. That concept is winning. He is a winner, and this Sunday, he’s going to win. He may never have participated in HIAC, but he’s a student of the game. He understands there’s only one rule in HIAC, and that is that there are no rules. So, without further ado, he wants to give us a preview of what he’ll do to Ambrose on Sunday. He grabs some handcuffs and says Ambrose pops out of unexpected places, so maybe he’ll use these cuffs to bind Ambrose to the cell so he can see Ambrose’s face when he realizes he’s got nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Rollins grabs a screwdriver and says he’ll use it to deflate Ambrose’s ego, proving he’s been a “screw-up” all along. A pipe is next. Ambrose says he’s indestructible. Nobody is indestructible, and Rollins will use that pipe to beat Ambrose into a pulp. He then grabs a folding chair and asks if Ambrose remembers how this felt. He decimated Ambrose with a chair and proved that he was the leader and backbone of the Shield. They can do all of this, or they can settle everything right here, right now. Rollins likes that idea and says he’s calling Ambrose out right now. He’s out in the ring by himself, taunting Ambrose. He calls Ambrose all talk, and he’s always been that way. Maybe he learned something. He doesn’t want to come out because he’s afraid. If he were Ambrose, he wouldn’t want what happened on RAW to happen again tonight. For Rollins, the future is a bright place. But for Ambrose, it is what it has always been: a long ride straight to hell. Rollins points to the TitanTron, and we video from this past Monday on RAW, where Rollins laid everyone out inside the cell and climbed on top. Back to the arena, Ambrose has appeared out of nowhere. He beats Rollins with a kendo stick, then throws him into Mercury and Noble. He continues the attack before they go after him. Ambrose fights them off, but Rollins nails him with a quick clothesline. They get back in the ring and try to hold Ambrose back as Rollins sets up a table. He fights them off as Rollins flees. Noble gets a rebound clothesline, while Mercuary receives a double-arm DDT (which is now apparently Dirty Deeds, at least according to Tom Phillips). As Rollins watches from the stag, Ambrose lays Mercury out on the table and puts him through it with a flying elbow. The crowd chants “One more time”, so Ambrose sets up the other table, nails Noble, sets him on it, then puts him through it with another flying elbow. Rollins starts to come back down to the ring, but changes his mind.

End of show.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Top 10 WWE Hell In A Cell Matches

October 25, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Hell in a Cell match has become one of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Started in 1997, the HIAC match features blood, drama, action, and intensity. Today I celebrate this classic by looking back at the ten best in WWE history.

Like anything else, Hell in a Cell has had its ups and down. Fortunately for most WWE fans, there have been more ups than downs. The concept has been watered down a bit since over the years with the reduction of blood and excess matches. Lucky for us, there are plenty of classics that remind us why this one is just that good.

I always like to remind redears that like any top ten list it is all a matter of opinion. If you agree, disagree, or feel that I left one off the list, let me know and leave a comment. Until then, here are my top ten WWE Hell in a Cell matches in match history.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Badd Blood 1997 - Some of you may argue between this and number two and I can certainly respect that. For me, this match was not only the greatest Hell in a Cell match ever, it is also one of my top ten favorite matches overall of all-time. This was Shawn Michaels at his best and in my opinion and arguably the best match from The Undertaker’s storied WWE career.

Mankind vs. The Undertaker, King of the Ring 1998 - It is hard to argue with this one not being at the top. I went back and forth several times. The drama in this match is second to none. However, I just felt that Michaels vs. Undertaker was a better match overall. Mick Foley set a dangerous standard here which has never been repeated. It was historic, physical, and a masterpiece in a lot of ways. I still liked Michaels vs. Undertaker slightly better when watching these two back, but I have no problem with anyone arguing this one number one.

Triple H vs. Batista, Vengeance 2005 - To me this is an often forgotten about classic. For as much criticism that Triple H and even Batista have gotten at times, this match really should silence any and all critics. I also remember the finish being a shocker at the time as nobody expected Hunter to lose all of those matches to Batista. This one even featured some cool weapons including a chain contraption. The match and storyline here behind the feud were some of the best of all-time.

Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, Bad Blood 2004 - One recurring theme you’ll see in this blog is that you’ll see a lot of names more than once. Triple H and of course Shawn Michaels are repeat offenders and with good reason. The storyline of both being undefeated in HIAC matches also created great drama in this one. How good was this match? An epic 47 minute masterpiece is how good it was. You Tube has plenty of highlights but you really owe it to yourself to check out the full match if you get that opportunity. The chemistry between these two guys here was unreal.

Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Rikishi, Armageddon 2000 - This match is probably better known for Rikishi’s bump than the actual match itself. However, in looking back at the videos this was one of the most fun HIAC matches. How can you go wrong having all six of these superstars in one Hell in a Cell match? The answer is simple, you can’t.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (No Mercy 2002) - This is a really interesting match in that you have some fans that will argue that this was one of the best HIAC matches ever where you have a whole other set of fans that don’t even remember it. I am in the middle. I thought this one had a lot of fun spots, not what you’d expect from two big men. Lesnar retained in a match that was one of his best of his entire first WWE run.

Edge vs. The Undertaker, SummerSlam 2008 - Like several matches on this list, this one is another forgotten classic. Edge and The Undertaker I thought had one of the most underrated feuds a few years back. They had tremendous chemistry and SummerSlam 2008 may have been their finest moment. This match had it all including Edge’s specialty; tables, ladders, and chairs. Quite frankly this was one of the most thrilling Hell in a Cell matches of all.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 28 - Once again, Triple H pops up on the list. This one is still fresh in our minds and in terms of drama, it doesn’t get much better than this one. Shawn Michaels was the referee and while the match didn’t have your usual Hell in a Cell theatrics, it told a hell of a story. This one was bloody, brutal, and intense and arguably not only one of the best Hell in a Cell matches, but one of the best WrestleMania matches in Mania history.

Triple H vs. Mick Foley, No Way Out 2000 - This would have been higher up on the list if it served as the true retirement match for Mick Foley that it was promoted to be. The emotional sendoff at the end of the match could have gone down as one of the best ever if it stood. The bloody match had some thrilling moments battling at the top of the cage as well as a flaming barbed wire bat. They tried to replay Foley’s sick bump from King of the Ring but it wasn’t quite the same. Nonetheless it was certainly a great one and a match that belongs on any Hell in a Cell list.

The Undertaker and Steve Austin vs. Mankind and Kane, RAW Is War 1998 - This was one of the most exciting matches on RAW during the Attitude Era. The match was held right before King of the Ring to build up the two main-events. The big moment of this action-packed match came when Austin climbed the cage and attacked Kane on top which saw the crowd just got absolutely nuts. Jim Ross in particular is fantastic with the call here.

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Chris Jericho Talks WWE Attitude Era and Bray Wyatt

October 23, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Chris Jericho is currently making the rounds promoting his latest autobiography and continues to be one of the most quotable wrestlers in regards to media. Jericho hit on a few interesting topics in a recent interview including some fascinating insight into a legendary era.

The WWE Attitude Era has taken on a life of its own in recent years. It is portrayed by the WWE as their golden years and fans of that era often ask for it to come back. Jericho is a guy that was a big part of the Attitude Era, jumping to the WWE while the era was at its hottest. Which is why it will probably surprise you to hear that Jericho prefers this current era over the Attitude Era.

“When you think of another time like ECW or the Attitude Era, it’s like, “Ah, those were the good old days.” But having actually lived through it, there was a lot of great stuff, but there was a lot of stuff that sucked, too. Mae Young gave birth to a hand in the Attitude Era. Is that really what you want to remember about wrestling? I thought that was one of the dumbest things.
There were a lot of great characters and a lot of great wresting, so I think you always look back fondly. I live in the now and I think the product is the best it’s ever been because it’s now.

It’s where we’re at in 2014, and I always look to the future. There were good moments in the past and there were bad moments. There’s going to be good moments in the future and bad moments, but I think it’s always best to look forward if you want to continue to improve yourself and the product, and improve what people are seeing.”

I couldn’t agree more with Jericho. I think the Attitude Era is highly overrated, especially when you look back at some of the ridiculous gimmicks and angles that took place during that time period. Jericho has said in other interviews that the new era is superior to the Attitude Era and while I think that is a bit of an overstatement, I certainly see his point.

Jericho is also a guy who has been around the WWE block a few times. This experience gives Jericho a unique perspective when it comes to picking talent. According to Jericho, being a successful WWE superstar is a lot more than just being a great worker.

“Personality and character, they’re the only things I care about. Honestly, I don’t really pay any attention to wrestling skills because they don’t matter. There are a lot of similarities between music and wrestling, because they’re all about connecting with the crowd. What kind of charisma you have. What kind of personality you have. They’re so much more important than whether you can do a shredding guitar solo or a triple-jump moonsault.

It’s show business through and through, so when you look at a guy like Bray Wyatt, I loved his character. He can work and he’s a good wrestler and all that sort of stuff, but it’s the character that really makes it, and if you see something like that that’s so different and so unique and riveting, it’s a no-brainer. That’s what I love about the business, the characters and showmanship elements.”

Jericho is very high on Bray Wyatt yet unfortunately it appears Wyatt has somewhat disconnected from the WWE Universe. I have always found Wyatt’s character a bit one-dimensional so I’ll have to disagree a bit on Y2J’s analysis of young Bray. Yet the criteria he lists behind a successful superstar seems spot on.

Check out the rest of the interview over at Rolling Stone for some fun road stories and more from the former undisputed champion.

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10 Andre the Giant Stories You (May or) May Not Know

October 22, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Andre the Giant Jerry Lawler Midget StoryAndre the Giant has turned into a mythical character in pro wrestling folklore and urban legend since his passing. Many stories have floated around the Internet and bars on the Giant and I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 10 of Andre stories you may or may not have heard before.

Andre has always been a fun topic in interviews with peers who worked with him or traveled with the big man. We have all heard the stories about Andre’s drinking. They are legendary. I even heard a recount of Andre eating multiple hamburgers in one sitting from my dad who was a bartender in NYC in the 70s. But there are others that are just as interesting whether it be fights, backstage gossip, tales from the ring, or even some crazy anecdotes.

I could have came up with a list of over 20 but I narrowed it down to ten for a few reasons. Some stories are so outlandish that while they may be true they are hard to source. I stuck with stories that had sources whether from books or shoot interviews, etc. I also tried to keep them interesting to wrestling fans and mix them up with some you may have heard and others you haven’t. So here you go. If you thought you knew everything about Andre the Giant, well you might, but hopefully you learn a thing or two from this list.

Andre the Giant called Kamala racist names during a match and paid for it - Kamala has told this story in several interviews lately. Kamala and the Giant had a big rivalry in the early 80s which started with them matching up in territories and ended in the WWE. They made a lot of money together and while that is generally something wrestlers bonded over, Andre was not a fan of Kamala. Andre was in a bad mood and in their first match used a derogatory racist remark towards Kamala. You can probably guess what it was. Kamala was not happy about it and let the Giant know about it.

“Andre wasn’t the friendly guy that he appeared to be. He was real temperamental and had a nasty attitude. When I first started working with him, he called me a (derogatory) name in the ring and I beat him up. After that, I never had another problem with him. A lot of (top guys had problems with Andre too). He would just go out and mop the floor with people. He treated (wrestlers) nasty, and the fans too. Andre would do it just about every night. Guys would watch through the curtain to see what he was going to do.”

Kamala expanded on it when he was interviewed by Steve Austin a few months ago. Kamala told Austin that he and Andre were fine after that and that it was Andre who was responsible for bringing him to the WWE.

Andre the Giant called Bad News Brown/Allen the same racist name and almost paid for it - Well sadly it appears that Andre liked to drop the N-bomb back in his day. It also appears that some of those wrestlers didn’t like it and weren’t intimidated by the Giant’s size. Bad News Brown was one of them and on a tour of Japan, he had about enough of the Giant’s “humor.”

Bad News has told this story in interviews and as the story goes, Andre the comedian was in the back of the bus during a Japan tour telling racist jokes. Andre was loud enough, likely intentional, for Brown to hear it. Brown had enough and ordered the bus drive to stop the bus. Bad News got up and told Andre to step outside. As the story goes Andre refused to step outside knowing how much of a bad dude Bad News was. Hulk Hogan and a few others apparently settled things down and Andre apologized to Brown the next day.

Yet Andre would have his revenge years later.

Andre the Giant defecated on Bad News Brown during a match in Mexico - Andre’s health was deteriorating yet the Giant continued wrestling well past the point he should have retired. Andre and Bad News were on opposing sides of a six-man tag team match in Mexico at this point in Andre’s career and well, things got a little out of hand in old Mexico in 1992. Oliver Hurley wrote about this in his book Wrestling’s 101 Strangest Matches and I also heard this story first hand from the late Bam Bam Bigelow who was also in the match.

Andre had allegedly had stomach cramps and diarrhea all day prior to the match. Here is the rest of the excerpt from Hurley’s book.

“Midway through the bout, he faced off against Bad News Brown Andre was dictating what would happen in the ring, known in the trade as calling the spots. As he threw Bad News into the corner, he muttered to him, ‘Big ass, boss.’ (Andre called everyone ‘boss’.) This verbal shorthand told BNB to remain slumped in the corner as Andre was about to hit him with one of his trademark moves, in which he would turn his back to his opponent, grab hold of the ropes and – there’s no delicate way to put this – thrust his enormous arse into his adversary, supposedly crushing him in the corner.

The combination of the collision and the copious volume of booze he had taken on board meant that, as soon as Andre hit Bad News, he lost any control he once had over his bowels. Liquid faeces dribbled out of his wrestling singlet and all over Bad News Brown’s chest. Bad News fell out of the ring and, resisting the urge to throw up, pelted back to the dressing room. His tag team partners continued the contest without him, once they’d finished laughing at his predicament. As Bad News passed fans on his way backstage, they shouted, ‘Wow, what is that smell?’ having presumably never been confronted by a wrestler covered in diarrhoea before.

Bad News jumped straight into the showers, while still wearing his wrestling trunks and boots, in a bid to clean himself up. But despite having been shat upon by a giant, he remained remarkably sanguine about the incident. ‘I felt sorry for the guy,’ he later said. ‘He was just sick, that’s all.’ The match proved to be one of Andre’s last prior to his death at the age of 46 on 27 January 1993 from congestive heart failure, which was caused by his untreated acromegaly, the glandular disease that resulted in his enormous size.”

Andre the Giant was once recruited by the Washington Redskins in 1976 - The first time I heard this story I called bull. Yet I was able to actually find a story with someone from the Redskins who corroborated the story as fact. Sports Illustrated reported on this in 1982 with confirmation from Redskins Public Relations Director Joe Blair.

Andre’s wrestling colleague George “the Animal” Steele, a former football coach recalls a conversation he had with Vince McMahon, Sr. about the idea of Andre playing for the Redskins. Steele told the story a few years back on a podcast interview.

“And in one of those early conversations, the Washington Redskins wanted to sign Andre the Giant to play football,” Steele said. “And they wanted to sign him to play as a linebacker on field goals and extra points, to stand up and kind of wave like a giant. And it would be great publicity for them and us.

“And because I was a football coach and had played a little bit, Vince Sr. says Jim what do you think about this idea? I says I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. First of all, if you take Andre the Giant – as big and strong as he is – and stuck him in front of me, with his hands in the air waving or something, I’d take his knee out.

“I said first of all, I think you’re making a mockery of the game. And he’s outstretched, he can’t protect himself, I’d cripple him. And I said every guy in the NFL would do that. He has no business doing that. I don’t know if you know that or not, but they had made the offer, and it almost went to signing, and that’s why they didn’t do it. Because it wasn’t the right thing to do for Andre, for wrestling, and really for football.”

For the record another fact you may not have known along the same lines is that the Pittsburgh Steelers tried to recruit Bruno Sammartino.

Andre’s last pro wrestling television appearance in the United States was for WCW - The ultimate betrayal took place in 1992 as Andre was winding down his career. Andre was not on good terms with the WWE. One story I heard is that Andre was very angry at Vince McMahon for being pressured to wrestle at SummerSlam. Remember, Andre came out on crutches at SummerSlam. Whether it was revenge or opportunity, Andre wound up appearing in WCW.

WCW had a big special in 1992 celebrating 20 years of wrestling on TBS. Ted Turner reportedly wanted the special to be a big deal. It was so big that they wound up getting Andre the Giant to appear. Andre didn’t do much here as a matter of a fact it was kind of sad. Andre was on two canes, said a few words on the red carpet, and was later seen in the “VIP room.”

Vince McMahon was apparently very hurt by this appearance. Shane McMahon talked about it in the book Andre the Giant: A Legendary Life. Shane said that his father called Andre and told him that he was deeply hurt by the appearance. Andre allegedly apologized to Vince, not realizing how deeply he hurt him. Shane also said that it upset him that TBS showed Andre on crutches.

Ironic since Vince had no problem putting Andre on television with crutches at SummerSlam 1991. Keep in mind that the Andre book was a WWE project.

Andre the Giant originally turned down WrestleMania 3 - This is another story I read in a few places but didn’t believe it until I saw it in print. According to the story told in Sex, Lies, and Headlocks Vince had to beg Andre to come back to the WWE.

The story goes that Vince called Andre while the Giant was making the Princess Bride movie. Andre told Vince to save his airfare because he didn’t want to wrestle anymore. According to the story, Vince felt that Andre was in a deep depression when he came back because Andre felt that he was ready to die.

Andre had back surgery scheduled in Europe. Vince allegedly persuaded Andre to come back and rehabilitate in his house to get ready for WrestleMania 3. Of course as we all know Andre eventually acquiesced to the boss and took part in arguably the most memorable match in WWE history against Hulk Hogan.

And speaking of Hulk Hogan…

Andre the Giant did not like to work with Hulk Hogan during their 1980 WWE feud - Hulk Hogan wrote about this in his book so take it for it’s worth. However, I did hear stories outside of Hogan’s book about Andre not being a fan of Hulk’s. Here is how Hulk recounted his early memories of working with the Giant.

” Hulk was going around telling people in the locker room that Andre was his hero and that he wanted to surpass him didn’t really get him into good graces with The Giant either.

Andre heard about what Hogan would say about him to the boys in the back and Andre took it as a direct threat.

So whenever they had to wrestle each other, Andre would work very stiff with Hogan and try to end his career but make it look like an accident.

Hulk refused to snitch on Andre however and complain to the head office.

Hulk Hogan would tried to talk to Andre but Andre refused to even speak with him.

Whenever Hulk had to wrestle Andre, Hulk was so scared of him that whenever he would be driving to the building, he would pull his car over and puke because he was so nervous and terrified.

Andre gained respect for Hogan however because no matter how many times Andre would whip beat on Hogan, Hogan never quit and he would never complain about it to the front office.”

Hulk has also claimed that Andre died two days after WrestleMania 3 so take this story for what it’s worth.

Andre the Giant almost drowned Blackjack Mulligan and Dick Murdoch - Ric Flair told the story  in his book of a night of partying that went very wrong for Murdoch and Mulligan. According to Flair, one of the Texans tried to sucker punch the Giant and wound up getting water boarded for it. The incident occurred at Murdoch’s birthday party. Andre grabbed them both, dragged them to the beach, and repeatedly dunked their heads in the water almost drowning them.

Andre the Giant fired the Freebirds from the WWE in 1984 - This is a fun story as told by Bret Hart in an interview about Andre’s life. Remember the incredibly short stint in the WWE by the Freebirds in 1984? I do and always wondered why it ended so fast. According to Hart, it was all due to Andre the Giant.

In 1984, the Freebirds – Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy-were recruited by the company, largely because they fit into the rock ’n’ roll image owner Vince McMahon was trying to cultivate.  “One time, the Freebirds were so drunk, they couldn’t get out of the plane,” Hart claims. “They got to the building at 9 or 9:30, in the middle of a show, and Andre was pissed off by their lack of professionalism.  While they were getting dressed, he told them, ‘You guys are fired.’”

When the Freebirds protested that Andre was ineligible to make personnel decisions, he allegedly countered, “We’ll see tomorrow if you’re gone or I’m gone.”

“The next day,” Hart continues, “the Freebirds were gone.  So I guess Andre could fire you.”

Jerry Lawler killed Andre the Giant’s career according to Vince McMahon, Sr. - The King actually tells this story in his autobiography and WWE.com actually did a story about it on their website. Back in the 1970s and early 80s, Vince used to book Andre out to territories on one condition. The Giant could not lose. Lawler booked Andre for a few dates and wound up beating him…by count out in Louisville. Lawler sent legendary pro wrestling photographer Bill Apter the pictures of the match and Apter wound up publishing the pictures with a story (see more pictures here) about Lawler beating Andre and Vince was furious!

“It comes out with this big headline: ‘The night a midget beat Andre the Giant,’ ” Jerry “The King” Lawler remembered with a laugh. “At that time, nobody beat Andre the Giant, but the story made it look like I pinned Andre.”

According to WWE.com, the magazine caused such outrage in the sports-entertainment industry that Mr. McMahon’s father, Vincent J. McMahon, brought it up as a serious point of contention in that year’s National Wrestling Alliance convention. McMahon was so irate that both Apter and Lawler nearly lost the ability to promote Andre, but things got smoothed over in a future issue.

“To rectify things, we came out with another cover that said: ‘Andre the Giant: Wrestling’s Only Undefeated Superstar,’ ” Apter explained.”

Lawler wrote in his book that Vince went crazy about it at an N.W.A. meeting. “Not only did someone beat Andre the Giant, a midget beat Andre the Giant!” Lawler said Vince’s face was turning red as he went off on the article. Lawler also writes that Terry Funk had a good time ribbing Vince about it and yelled out from the back, “Well who was the little bastard that beat Andre the Giant, Vince?”

According to Lawler, Vince called Apter and told him that the story “had killed Andre the Giant’s career.” The magazine later published an article touting Andre as the world’s only undefeated wrestling star to make peace with Vince.

ill Dundee’s version of the night. Dundee allegedly said that Lawler asked Andre what he wanted to do and Andre replied, “What do you wanna do boss?” Lawler replied, “Well I’d like to beat you.” Andre agreed and they came up with a finish where it took 30 guys to beat down Andre in order for Lawler to get the win. Dundee claimed that Lawler pinned Andre but enough witnesses say that it was only a count out win.

Regardless, it killed the Giant’s career according to Vince McMahon.

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Odd Timing For Randy Orton WWE Babyface Turn

October 21, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

We all knew it was coming. The Viper and Seth Rollins have been teasing tension for weeks. Yet nobody thought less than a week before Hell in a Cell and with a hot Dean Ambrose on fire that this would be the week the WWE would turn Orton.

In case you missed it, Rollins turned on Orton this past Monday on RAW. Orton and Rollins teased the issue throughout the show. Finally after the main-event Rollins hit Orton with a curbstomp to solidify the turn and kick Orton out of the Authority, well seemingly anyway. It wasn’t the turn that surprised me, it was the timing.

I just don’t see the logic in turning Orton right now. Is he suddenly over with the fans? Did the fans demand a change? If so I must be living under a rock because I haven’t seen it. Are they weak on babyfaces? Is business way down? Did Orton demand it? I just don’t get it…at least right now anyway.

For starters they have a big show on Sunday. Now you go into Sunday with fans more interested in seeing a match that isn’t even advertised. The match is Orton vs. Rollins and the fastest we will get that is TLC, barring a RAW giveaway. It makes Ambrose vs. Rollins seem insignificant as well as the entire show. Sure the match should be great, probably a match of the year candidate, but to casual fans it an obstacle to the payoff they want to see.

Speaking of Ambrose, what does this do to his push? Ambrose has been pushed hard since Roman Reigns went down as the number two babyface. He is hot and something new and the fans seem to like him. Does anyone think that Orton is taking a backseat to Ambrose? This is an obvious sign that the company has little confidence in Ambrose as the number two banana on Cena’s side.

And speaking of Roman Reigns, what does this do to the heir apparent? The plans have been to push Reigns as the next heir apparent to John Cena’s throne. Does Orton take a backseat to Reigns? He should if Reigns is the future but I am not so confident that the WWE brass will allow it. Orton has always been protected at the expense of others, and this could do some real damage to Reigns moving forward.

I would not be surprised to see some kind of a Reigns heel turn when he comes back. I could easily see a feud with him and Ambrose, playing off of the real-life story of Ambrose taking Reigns’ spot while he was out. Now that would make sense and at least even up the sides a bit. Without a Reigns turn, you have a heel side headlined by Rollins and Rusev and a very part-time Brock Lesnar at this point. Take Brock out of it and you have problems.

Finally, where does this leave Daniel Bryan when he returns? Granted, his return is undetermined at this point and you can’t plan for something that you don’t know is coming. Yet at some point he will come back and he will likely be super over when he comes back (absence makes a fan’s heart grow fonder). So now you are talking about Orton, Cena, Ambrose, and Reigns jockeying for position against a heel roster of Rollins and Rusev? Excuse me if I temper my excitement.

Again I don’t think anyone cares one way or the other about what side of the ring Orton stands on. I just think the timing is poor and it opens up a lot of questions, most which have predictable answers that won’t sit happy with most fans.

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Chris Jericho Talks Dean Ambrose, WWE Run, and Vince McMahon

October 20, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Chris Jericho may gone from WWE rings but he has not left the WWE Universe. The former undisputed champion is making the media rounds promoting his new book and has some interesting thoughts on his feud with Bray Wyatt, Vince McMahon, and more.

Jericho was a recent guest on Turnbuckle Weekly with Chuck Carroll. He made a great appearance as usual in promotion of his new book “The Best In The World At What I Have No Idea”. Jericho was asked about his recent run in the WWE as well as past relationships with key WWE personnel and offered up some interesting insight as expected.

Jericho was asked about earning Vince McMahon’s respect and had this to say about the boss man.

“Once you gain that respect from Vince he expects it and wants that feedback. He’s surrounded by a lot of ‘yes men’ that don’t want to get into debates. When I’m questioning him, it’s never disrespectfully. I never say this is a stupid idea or you’re an idiot or a moron, because that’s not the way you get things done. I will say, “Vince, I think we can do this better” or “what is it you want from this, because I don’t understand it?” Or sometimes, it’s just blatantly “no, this is the way we’re doing it because I’m the boss and you’re not” and you have to accept that and respect that as well.

Things aren’t always rosy with the boss. Jericho and McMahon have been at odds several times over the course of his long WWE run.

Yes, there is a lot of confrontations with Vince, but that’s because there’s a mutual respect. And some of them get out of control,” he said. “It’s only because both of us respect each other, trust each other, and believe each other. It doesn’t mean I’m always going to like the things he does or the things he wants to do. And it doesn’t mean that he’s going to like the things that I do and the way that I act and react to things either.

Jericho appeared on my good buddy Brian Fritz’s Between the Ropes podcast recently as well. Jericho offered up some great analysis on his recent WWE run.

The Bray Wyatt cage match in Baltimore and then the Randy Orton – Night of Champions match in Nashville I thought were two…whatever a five star match is. Two really really really good matches that I would put on my list of all-time favorites. And that was good to know because as the years go by, I feel just as good as I ever did. When I go back I’m mentally prepared and I think I still work up to a level I set for myself. But when you go out there and actually do some of those things and actually get the feedback from the live audience that you know you can get and from the critics. The fact that my last match was the best match on the pay-per-view against Randy Orton, I take great pride in that. And if I never work again, I know I’ll always have that. It’s still cool to contribute at the highest level and the day — and Brian, I’m not exaggerating about this — the day I feel I can’t compete at the highest level I set for myself and can’t steal the show, I will not do it again. Throw it on the record, I’m the one guy who can say that. I’m sure Shawn Michaels could say that too. You will not see me in the ring again as a parody of myself or anything other than the absolute best and can go toe-to-toe with anybody else on the roster.

Finally, a veteran like Jericho knows good talent when he sees it. He told Brian about an up and coming WWE star that he thinks is the best bet to be WWE’s franchise player of the future.

I saw Dean when he first started and there was something different about him. He has that Jeff Hardy ‘X’ factor. There’s just something about him that you can’t push on somebody. You can teach them how to take a bump, give them a look, give them wins but certain guys have a certain something about them that you know is going to take them to the next level no matter what. Dean definitely has that and in my opinion – I’m not the god of everything but I have a pretty good track record of picking guys – I think he’s the closest that they have right now to being the next face of the WWE. I don’t think that’s as important now with the Network and less emphasis on pay-per-views and that sort of thing. But as far as a guy who can come in there as the top babyface, I think Dean’s your best best right now.
Don’t let Roman Reigns hear that.

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Fantasy Football Week 7 Sleepers

October 17, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

If you strictly follow the experts you are missing out on some serious fantasy football studs. It’s easy to play the guys ranked 1-20 but you are missing out on some big impact players. That is why I am here to give you some sleepers you can plug into your lineup and make your competition look foolish.

Last week was probably my worst in predicting sleepers. My Malcom Floyd pick was a nice hit as he had a big game against the Raiders as predicted. Bishop Sanke should have had a bigger game but he was vulture by Jackie Battle. Tony Romo had an 18 point game which was better than expected in Seattle. Chris Ivory’s one point was embarrassing for both he and I. Austin Davis looked good early but the 49ers played much better as the game went on than I expected. I love Mike Evans going forward as I do Jordan Reed.

As always I will base my sleepers on ESPN’s expert rankings for Week 7. I’ll do my best to make up this week for Ivory’s one point debacle. Here are how my sleeper picks did for Week 6.

Tony Romo 18
Austin Davis 13
Malcom Floyd 16
Chris Ivory 1
Bishop Sanke 6
Mike Evans 11
Jordan Reed 9

Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals - If there is one theme I love to look for in a sleeper it is the revenge game. The revenge game is often overlooked by the experts yet there are plenty of sleepers that fly under the radar in these situations (go see what Steve Smith did to the Panthers earlier this season). Palmer is one of them. Palmer is getting his first crack at his former team, the Oakland Raiders. While Palmer’s breakup with the Raiders wasn’t as messy as his breakup with the Bengals, there are still hard feelings here. I can guarantee you that the team will want to make sure that Palmer makes a statement and you are crazy not to get on that bandwagon and play him this week if you can. Palmer is ranked 11 on ESPN which is a little low in my opinion.

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns - Brian Hoyer is ranked 18 this week by ESPN’s experts. The Jaguars are ranked 27th against fantasy QBs and up until last week have given up one touchdown per game. Hoyer has thrown at least 1 TD in every game this season. The Jags have a 12-1 TD to Interception ratio against QBs. The numbers don’t lie. This is a great spot for Hoyer and I would be shocked if he put up less than 2 TDs in Jacksonville.

Running Backs

Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions – Like Palmer, Bush has a revenge game ahead of him on Sunday. Reggie will be hosting his old team, the New Orleans Saints. Bush has not played the Saints in a regular season game since leaving the team in 2011. Again like the Palmer situation, you better believe that the Lions will do everything they can to give Bush opportunities to score. That and the fact that the Saints have been absolutely terrible on the road make for a big day from the former Saint’s draft pick. Bush is #22 which may be fair but I think he will wind up in the top 15 this week.

Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens - This is a gut feeling here. Pierce is the 38th ranked RB this week so I am digging deep for a RB sleeper. Like Hoyer, this one is a numbers game and the Falcons are the worst defense against fantasy RBs. The big question is who do you trust in Baltimore? I think Pierce gets some short yardage work in the red zone and racks up double digits on single digit carries.

Wide  Receivers

James Jones, Oakland Raiders - Jones is not even ranked in the top 50 this week among ESPN experts. He has a great matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that is not nearly as good against wide receivers as it is against running backs. The Cardinals give up almost 28 points per game to FF wide receivers. I know that Andre Holmes is the hot pick right now among Oakland receivers but I think it is Jones that is the beneficiary of this enticing matchup Sunday.

Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars - Shorts is a tough one because he always has potential yet the experts are always worried about him finishing games and rightfully so. I am willing to take that chance this week. Shorts has a ton of upside here against the Browns. Shorts put up a TD and 63 yards last year against this Browns D. He had a strong week last week going over 100 yards and the Browns have given up 5 TDs to wide receivers in five games. I love him this week and the good news here is that you m,ay be able to pluck him right off of the wire in 10 team leagues. Shorts is ranked 41 on this week’s ESPN board and that is just flat out ridiculous.

Tight Ends

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts - I have to admit that I was surprised to see Allen ranked 13th among tight ends this week. The Colts are playing the worst defense against tight ends this week in the Cincinnati Bengals. Allen has 4 TDs in six games and is turning into a favorite red zone target for Andrew Luck. The Bengals have given up three TDs to tight ends in just the last two weeks alone. A hot Andrew Luck and a generous defense to TEs make for a big Dwayne Allen day.

Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams - I am going to give you a second tight end I really like this week. Jared Cook. We have heard his name as a sleeper TE for the last three seasons and every season we are disappointed. This season is different and Austin Davis loves him. Don’t let the Seahawks scare you here. They have given up seven, yes seven TDs to tight ends in five games which makes them the most generous team to TEs in fantasy football. On top of that, Cook put up a TD in their last game against the Seahawks. I love him this week as a sleeper. Cook comes in at 14 on this week’s ESPN board.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Shoots Down WWE Comeback Rumors

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

The Internet went crazy last week with comments made by Stone Cold Steve Austin about a return. Many interpreted those comments made by Austin on his podcast to a return to the pro wrestling ring, specifically WrestleMania 31. While that may still be possible down the line, Austin is quick to temper your expectations for 31.

Austin commented on those rumors on a recent Steve Austin Podcast. Austin took calls and a caller asked him flat out about the comeback rumors. Austin was flattered by the comments but was quick to clarify his statements. Austin said that while he did say he was training for a comeback, he was referring to training for a comeback at Gold’s Gym. Austin said he was training at a hole-in-the-wall gym to get ready to get back to Gold’s. Austin said that he was getting in shape for a big project he has coming up in February. Austin also said that he has no desires to take bumps and has no time to train for a match.

But wait, that wasn’t all he said. Austin threw in a little teaser about the comeback wrestling fans have been waiting for. Austin was asked by the same caller about wrestling Brock Lesnar. Austin mentioned that if he were to come back (to the ring) that Brock Lesnar would be looking up at the lights for a 1-2-3 and he’d drop him on that stack of dimes he calls a neck. Austin cut the quick promo in Stone Cold fashion and while he was having fun with it, it was sure a fun teaser to a program that could be a lot of fun.

Austin has never shut the door
on a return to the wrestling ring. Austin has said several times that if everything aligned itself perfectly that he’d consider it.

“I’d consider anything if the perfect situation or opportunity arose and it would be more than a million-dollar question. I don’t want to sit here and promote a match, sell a match or talk about making a comeback. The dirt sheets, or whatever you call them, and I talk to Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller all the time and they’re nice guys and I would consider them friends. I see Dave at almost every MMA fight, but I don’t want to stir any pots or hint or tease anything.

People get their panties in a wad and say, “Stone Cold, either do it or not.” So, anything can happen, but I’m not going to endorse, promote, sell or tease anything in regards to a match.”

There was a rough plan last year at WrestleMania 30 for a Steve Austin vs. Triple H match would have tied into a feud with Trips and Stephanie feuding with Vince McMahon over control of the company. Obviously that never happened and while I can’t imagine Austin coming back for that, he must have been warm to it for the plan to be on the books. There were also lots of rumors about Austin wrestling CM Punk at WrestleMania 29 due to promos shot by Paul Heyman’s production company for WWE 2K13. Of course none of those matches ever came to fruition and it would appear that talks never got serious for either bout.

The Brock Lesnar match is interesting. Paul Heyman teased it on Austin’s podcast and did a very good job of selling Austin on it in under three minutes. WrestleMania 32 will be in Dallas at Texas Stadium in 2016. There are already reports that the WWE is gearing up for something big on that show in hopes of setting some kind of attendance record. I can’t think of anything bigger than Austin coming back for one last match.

Regarding a Brock vs. Austin match in 2016, I can’t think of anything bigger the WWE could put together for 32. That said, Brock’s contract is set to expire around WrestleMania 31 so he may or may not even be an option. I have heard rumblings of another Austin vs. Rock match but I think that is just pure guesswork as opposed to a plan. Depending upon where someone like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, or even Seth Rollins are at that stage of the game I think you could always consider them, although they would have to be in a much better spot than they are today. I suppose CM Punk could always be a dark horse but I think you have a better chance of seeing Austin back in a WWE ring than Punk at this point.

The door may not be shut but I think 32 is it for Austin. He’ll be 51 heading into Texas Stadium and while he still looks to be in tremendous shape, I can’t see him trying to come back past 51.

Hey, there is always the Royal Rumble. Austin already told Vince last year if he is looking for a guy than to give him a call. It’s better than nothing!

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10 Planned WWE Title Changes That Never Happened

October 15, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Booking the WWE world championship is never easy and even the best laid plans can hit some pitfalls. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 10 guys who while planned to win the WWE world title, failed to secure the gold around their waists.

Winners and losers may be predetermined in the WWE but not all ideas come together as planned. Back in different eras, Vince McMahon Sr. and Jr. would identify their future WWE world champion months, sometimes even years ahead of time. Yet for a multitude of reasons those plans shifted between the pencil and the bell. Here is a list of 10 planned WWE world championship title changes that never happened as scheduled.

Bill Watts defeating Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF championship in 1965 - The idea behind this blog came from this recent revelation on the Jim Ross podcast. Ross interviewed Watts and Watts claimed that he was scheduled to beat Bruno Sammartino for the title in what would have been 1965. Watts and Bruno had a red hot feud during this time period. Watts claims the office changed plans when he got in hot water for hitting a fan in a riot. Watts said that Vince Sr. told him to get out of the territory to avoid any legal heat. I had never heard this story before and it seems a bit hard to believe knowing how popular Bruno was at the time. Also, Bruno didn’t drop the belt for another six years. That leads me to think that there was never a plan for Bruno to drop the title. To that point, I see no incentive for Bill to make that up 50 years later. So who knows?

Batista defeating Randy Orton 2014 – You need to look no further than just a few months back for a case of a planned title change getting nixed by the WWE. The plan coming into 2014 was to bring Batista back with a big push, including a run with the WWE world title. The plan would have had Batista defeat Randy Orton at WrestleMania 30. Enter the YES Movement! A couple of circumstances dictated a change. CM Punk walking out and the media attention garnered by a Yes chant at the Michigan State vs. Ohio State basketball game forced the WWE’s hand. The WWE changed course and it was Daniel Bryan who left New Orleans with the WWE world title.

Eddie Guerrero defeating Batista in 2002 – Eddie’s story is a tragedy but one little known tidbit about this tragedy is that Eddie was booked to win the WWE world heavyweight title. The booking had Eddie penciled in to defeat Batista at the next SmackDown tapings, making him a two-time world champion. Batista actually wrote about this in his book as he was supposed to drop the title in a Triple Threat Match vs. Eddie and Randy Orton. Sadly Eddie never knew about this planned championship run.

Lex Luger defeating Yokozuna 1994 – There are actually two rumors surrounding Luger and Yoko. One is that Lex was supposed to win the title at WrestleMania 10. Luger has denied that rumor and said he knew in advance that he wasn’t winning. The second is that the Lex Express was supposed to leave SummerSlam with the title. That is true according to Luger. Luger revealed in an interview that Vince changed his mind after several of his peers threatened to walk out. Remember, this was the era of the Clique so that is quite possible. Most believe that Vince felt Luger wasn’t getting over at the level he hoped, thus plans changed. Regardless, it does appear that there was indeed a plan in place to put the WWE title around the waist of the Total Package.

Ted Dibiase defeating Randy Savage to win the WWE championship in 1988 - This one isn’t much of a secret as DiBiase and many others have talked about these plans on shoot interviews and podcasts. The original plans for WrestleMania 4 were to have DiBiase win and Savage chase him for the title throughout the summer. Hulk Hogan was leaving to film No Holds Barred and the thought was that Savage as the babyface on top chasing would sustain attendance. Nobody is quite clear on why plans change although some blame the Honkytonk Man. Savage was originally booked to beat HTM on the Main Event NBC special for the intercontinental title. HTM refused to do the job which brought Vince McMahon and the other bookers back to the drawing board. It is highly likely that if Savage won the I-C title as planned, DiBiase would have won the WWF title as originally planned. Regardless, I think things turned out for the best here with Savage winning and starting a year-long build to one of the most anticipated WrestleMania headliners in history.

Alberto Del Rio defeating Edge 2011 – Alberto was the flavor of the month leading into WrestleMania 27. Del Rio won the Royal Rumble and was the hottest heel in the company. Numerous reports indicated that he was a favorite of Vince McMahon. Del Rio was booked to win the WWE world heavyweight title at Mania 27 by defeating Edge. The creative team changed that decision because it is alleged that they thought it was too predictable. Unfortunately I don’t believe Del Rio never recovered the momentum he had going into Mania 27 for a variety of reasons.

Bret Hart defeating Hulk Hogan 1993 – This tale has become legendary although Hogan has denied in several interviews. Unfortunately what Hulk can’t deny is that many, including Dave Meltzer saw posters advertising the match for SummerSlam 1993 only to have the match mysteriously disappear off of the books. If you remember, Hulk defeated Yokozuna at WrestleMania 9 and lost it rather quickly (although today that would be an eternity) at King of the Ring. According to Bret, the plan was for Hogan to drop the belt to Bret at SummerSlam but refused feeling that Bret was too small. Vince reacted with the quick switch at K.O.R. and Hulk took off.

Booker T defeating Triple H 2002 – The stage was set and the plan was for Booker T to beat the Game for the WWE world heavyweight title at WrestleMania 19. While I have never seen this confirmed anywhere, one story accuses Trips of lobbying the office to change a planned finish which would have seen Hunter drop the belt to Booker at Mania 19. It worked and allegedly the title change was squashed. Another theory is that once the WWE signed Goldberg they changed plans thinking ahead to a Triple H vs. Goldberg feud so who knows.

Vader defeating Shawn Michaels 1996 – From several things I have heard and read, this title change was planned on two different occasions. The first was SummerSlam. According to rumors, Shawn Michaels just outright refused to drop the title fearing he would not get it back. Remember with Sid and Undertaker in the picture, that was probably a valid concern. The other planned title change was rumored to take place at Survivor Series. Shawn also got that one nixed and the match turned into Sid vs. Shawn which turned into a title change anyway. Vader never confirmed the details but has confirmed in interviews that he was promised a WWE title win twice when he signed with the company.

Steve Austin defeating Bret Hart 1998 - I was reluctant to go with this one yet I saw this rumored in a number of different places so I caution you that it may be an urban legend. However, there does appear to be some kind of working plan going into WrestleMania 14 for a Austin vs. Bret title change. According to what I have read and heard, the plan was for Bret Hart to go into Mania with the WWE title and return the favor from 13 to Austin by putting him over for the title. Now of course as you know plans drastically changed when a) Austin broke his neck and b) more importantly, Bret left to go to WCW at the end of 1997. This was probably on the books at some point but I have to think that plans played out much better in everyone’s favor with the actual booking of the 14 main-event with Mike Tyson.

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WWE Make Changes To Hell In A Cell 2014 Card

October 14, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

With two weeks to go the WWE are reshuffling the Hell in a Cell card deck. The planned card has been moved around allowing for more promotion and the usual indecisive booking we are used to seeing from WWE creative.

As evident on Monday Night RAW this week, plans have changed for the upcoming WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. A scheduled card featuring John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose in a NHB contract on a pole match was switched around with WWE fans getting 1/3 of the main-event early, allowing the WWE to focus on promoting scheduled matches fans can count on seeing.

Dean Ambrose defeated John Cena on Monday night to win the match and advance to a Hell in a Cell main-event against rival Seth Rollins. The match was originally scheduled to take place at H.I.A.C. with the winner meeting Rollins later that night while the loser would meet Randy Orton in a separate Hell in a Cell match. Now that those matches are locked in, the WWE can focus promotional efforts in those directions.

Dave Meltzer explained the recent changes on his F4WOnline.com podcast. Meltzer reported that giving the Cena vs. Ambrose match away early was a last-minute decision. Meltzer reported that the change was made to allow the WWE to promote scheduled matches as opposed to promoting a card with no locked in main-event. Meltzer also reports that the pole stipulation added to Cena vs. Ambrose was made to avoid either guy taking an actual pin.

Meltzer also speculated that TLC could see a Four-Way main-event with Seth Rollins vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton with the winner getting a WWE world championship match against Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble. Plans are currently in place to book Cena vs. Lesnar at the Rumble. My hunch and this is purely a guess is that with Ambrose’s momentum, plans could change with Ambrose going into the Rumble to challenge Lesnar and Cena wrestling Rollins at the Rumble in a singles match.

I thought from the beginning that they should have went with a Rollins vs. Ambrose Hell in a Cell headliner. I think it gives both guys a boost with the perception that they are headliners and it’s a match that could deliver far better than any of the other options. It will be a real test in my opinion of how over both of these guys truly are. It’s hard to judge by social media reaction as that is where their fan base is. A strong number could go a long way in determining how Ambrose and Rollins are booked going into 2015 and beyond.

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