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WWE Icon Rowdy Roddy Piper Passes Away at 61

July 31, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Pro wrestling has lost another legend, arguably the greatest heel of all-time. WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper passed away in his sleep due to cardiac arrest at the age of 61 leaving behind a wife, four children, one grandchild and one hell of a legacy.

Piper was one of my all-time favorites and probably the first heel I ever cheered for as a kid watching WWF shows. My first exposure to Piper other than Apter magazines was when he entered the WWF in 1983. I don’t think you’ll find many better heel runs than the one Piper had as WWE’s top dog from 83-86. While Hulk Hogan gets a lot of credit for building the WWF during that era, he wouldn’t have been able to do it alone and Piper was the perfect dance, partner.

Piper was revolutionary and groundbreaking in so many ways. Let’s start with the misnomer that Jesse Venture was the first heel color commentator in pro wrestling. That was Roddy Piper. Piper was a color commentator for Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1981. I discovered this during my days in the tape trading circle and let me tell you, Piper was just awesome. I used to have a six-hour tape of GCW that I’d watch just to hear Piper do commentary. It always bothered me that Piper never got credit for this.

Piper also took the interview segment to such a high level with Piper’s Pit that I argue it has never been met since. Piper came into the WWE in 1983 as a manager. But it was Piper’s Pit where Roddy immediately shined. The WWF always had good heel promos, but Piper was on a different level. After three months, you wanted to pay to see every babyface that had been insulted by Piper get his revenge and it wasn’t long after that you cheered Piper for his shenanigans. 30 years later and I dare you to tell me any other pro wrestler that has come even close to pulling off the interview segment the way Piper did.

In the ring, Piper made his mark with a classic feud against Superfly Jimmy Snuka. I did a lengthy blog on the entire feud a few years ago. Here is an excerpt which explains how big this feud was at the time.

To put the success of this feud into perspective, these guys were selling out arena to capacity with nothing more than a grudge match. There was no championship on the line, only the promise of seeing Jimmy Snuka get his revenge on Roddy Piper and wondering what the heck would happen when that same enraged man who chased Piper after being smashed by coconut would do to the big mouth once he got his hands on him.

You can watch any of their matches today over 25 years later and still feel the intensity the seconds before they locked up in the ring. What made these matches so darn good was that neither man showed fear in the opening moments. Piper walked to the ring just as cool and cocky as ever. As a matter of a fact, many of their matches started like a UFC fight. Both guys stayed in their respective corners, seething, focused, intense, and would charge each other like bulls when the bell rang for an all-out brawl. Heels were supposed to run scared, but Piper wasn’t scared, and Jimmy wanted to tear Piper apart. It was magic.

From there Piper’s rivalry with Hogan is a feud that would become iconic. Here is an excerpt I wrote a few years back on that feud.

The marriage of Hogan and Piper was a natural. The two couldn’t have been any more opposite for WWF fans. Just about every one of us wanted to see someone shut up Roddy Piper (although I’ll admit I was starting to cheer for the heel even as a youngster here). Jimmy Snuka tried and came up short in his bid to tear Piper’s head off. Andre the Giant tried on a few occasions and even that great WWF hero couldn’t pull it off. It was Hulk Hogan or bust!”

If you were to do the math and figure out how much money Piper drew for Vince McMahon off of the Snuka and Hogan feuds, you’d probably conclude that Piper was one of the greatest drawing heels over such a short time in WWE history. It would be no surprise that Vince was quick to pay his respects to Roddy.

“Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world. I extend my deepest condolences to his family.

How big of a Piper fan was I? After seeing WWF, house shows fairly regularly between 1983-1987 I burnt out and stopped going. I just wasn’t as passionate about wrestling when I entered my teenage years. However, I would make sure to always go to the Spectrum if Piper was on the bill. When Piper came back for runs against Mr. Perfect, Ric Flair, Rick Rude, and Ted DiBiase I was always there and it was only to see Piper.

Like Piper’s biggest rival, he has certainly had his outs with Vince McMahon over the years. Piper was currently under a WWE legends contract. Piper was pushing Vince hard for a match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 30, but it was never to be. While it probably would have been sad to watch, I would have loved to hear Piper cutting promos on Hogan one more time. That said, I never felt that Piper got the respect he deserved from the company. Without Piper, there is no way that WrestleMania 1 would have been as successful and yet the guy was treated like some crazy old grandpa in recent years. It just never felt right.

Ironically, Piper’s last bit of publicity came this week as he continued to support his old rival. Piper was one of the first and maybe even the first noteworthy pro wrestler to publicly come out and defend Hulk Hogan after the racist transcripts were released. No matter what you think of Hogan, you have to respect the loyalty that Piper showed his friend this week, even in the face of criticism.

In just a matter of weeks, the pro wrestling world has lost two of its biggest icons in Piper and Dusty Rhodes. There are plenty of memories available on YouTube and the WWE Network of the both of them. Thanks to the world of technology we live in today, their legacies will live on forever and I am sure that both are proud of that. If Dusty Rhodes and the Ultimate Warrior got a week on the WWE Network, Piper deserves a month!

RIP Roddy Piper, my favorite heel of all-time!

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Daniel Bryan Talks WWE Journey, WrestleMania 30, ROH, and More

July 31, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan is making the rounds promoting his brand new autobiography. One recent appearance featured Bryan providing more detail to book topics in addition to offering insight into his fascinating WWE career.

Bryan was a recent guest on the Sam Roberts Podcast and as always, Bryan is forthcoming, honest, fun, and insightful when asked questions about the book and his career. I’d recommend checking out the entire 37 minute interview for yourself.

Some of the highlights of the interview are Bryan going into more detail about his failed SummerSlam match against Charlie Sheen, his experience on NXT, his injury and future plans, plans for his intercontinental title run (which he said he wanted for a long time), and plans for a family with Brie (Bryan sort of breaks a story indicating that Brie will probably not be re-signing when her contract is up in what will probably be a year or so), WrestleMania, and much more.

On a side note I am currently finishing up Bryan’s book and should have a review up sometime next week.

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WWE: John Cena Deserves Better

July 31, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

John Cena has been the social media whipping boy among pro wrestling fans for the last five years. The Cena-hate is finally starting to dissipate and for those remaining holdouts, it is time to give Cena the respect and appreciation he deserves.

This isn’t a drastic reaction coming off of his broken nose or his series of matches against Kevin Owens. This is a reaction to a John Cena that has continually worked hard the last few years to give his fans their money’s worth and make his critics look foolish. John Cena doesn’t suck and if you think he does, you aren’t watching with an open mind

Look, I will be upfront with you. I am not a big fan. His gimmick doesn’t do it for me, but there are a lot of wrestlers I have watched in over 30 years that I didn’t necessarily like but respected. This blog is about giving the devil his due and paying respect to a guy that deserves it arguably over anyone else on the current WWE full-time roster.

There are several facts that whether or not you like John Cena, you can’t dispute. He has been a top guy and draw consecutively longer than any pro wrestler in pro wrestling history. Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair may have entertained you more in and out of the ring, but none of them had the longevity that Cena has had.

Sure, circumstances were different and Cena hasn’t had a number of challengers to his throne that those legends have had. However, the numbers don’t lie. If Cena wasn’t drawing ratings, selling merchandise, and generating pub for the company, he would have been replaced by now. Don’t get me wrong. The company has tried to replace him with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Batista, Roman Reigns, and even Triple H at times. Yet none of those guys had the drawing power and the ability to connect with the masses that Cena has.

I don’t think anyone other than Hulk Hogan connected with young fans the way Cena has. I went to a WWE house show in Philadelphia (yes that Philadelphia who booed Roman Reigns out of the building) and the place was full of kids in all age ranges with Cena shirts and Cena signs. Austin, Rock, Sammartino, and Bret all connected with an older audience. Hulk had the kids, but even he eventually became “uncool” among that age group. John Cena has withstood the test of time and is just as popular with 10-year old kids today as he was five years ago….maybe even more so.

I have mixed opinions on Cena in the ring. I have my criticisms of him such as openly calling spots and his “interesting” psychology at times, but overall the guy is a great performer. He rarely delivers a bad match and hasn’t in a long time. Matches with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Dean Ambrose, Rey Mysterio, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, and Kevin Owens prove that Cena is motivated to have great matches. Even his feud with Rusev, who is hardly the workhorse the other guys were or are, still had exciting matches with Cena. While his feud with Randy Orton may have been uninspiring, the matches were all pretty good. He has never been accused by workhorses of slowing them down the way Hogan has been accused by former foes over the years. The guy obviously thrives on great matches with great workers. Just read some of the comments made by those former foes and see how much they enjoyed working with him if you don’t believe me.

Cena should not be held accountable for political ignorance. Hardcore fans get frustrated with Cena every time he beats one of “their” guys. Why should John Cena take the heat for the bookers putting him over Rusev and Kevin Owens? I don’t recall hearing many stories about Cena outright burying guys or refusing to put over talent the way just about every legend mentioned above did at one time or another during their peaks. If anything, I have heard nothing but stories about Cena being supportive of young, up and comers, politicking in their favor to the office.

The WWE would be a much different place today without John Cena and we should all be grateful he’s there. Like him or not, you can’t argue with ratings during those periods the company experiments on phasing him out. Even as recently as last month when the company was phasing Cena out to the middle of the pack, RAW did historically low numbers. The fans have spoken and that’s why he is co-headlining SummerSlam and will probably be wearing the WWE world title before you know it.

John Cena doesn’t suck…you do for not giving the guy the respect he deserves. It’s time to move on and pick on someone else.

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Roddy Piper Tells Hulk Hogan Critics To Get Over It (Video)

July 30, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Arguably, Hulk Hogan’s greatest WWE rival was “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. So naturally Piper would have a lot to say regarding Hogan’s recent fall from grace and TMZ Sports was lucky enough to get it all on video.

Piper has been fairly outspoken on Hogan’s mess ever since the first transcript of Hogan using racial slurs was released earlier in the week. Piper has never been a guy to mince words nor has he been afraid to embrace controversy. As a matter of a fact, Piper is currently involved in his own controversy with Stone Cold Steve Austin over a podcast. Needless to say, Piper has an opinion and isn’t afraid to give it.

Piper feels that we should all move on. Piper says we should get over it. Piper says that it was impossible to be racist in the pro wrestling business. Coming from a man who painted half of his body in black-face during a feud with an African American Wrestler, I wouldn’t expect much less.

Check out the video for yourself courtesy of TMZ Sports. A much more coherent performance than his appearance earlier in the week on the Rich Eisen Show.

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The Indefensible Hulk Hogan

July 30, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan isn’t making it easy. Transcripts released throughout the week featured the WWE icon using slurs and homophobic language. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point that even his biggest fans are struggling to root for their childhood hero.

I have never been one to demonize a public figure over language. Yet I am still looking for a path of clarity and forgiveness for the Hulkster. I can’t find it and that path becomes murkier and murkier daily. Thanks for the memories as a 13-year old kid cheering on the Hulk in 1984 at the Spectrum, but what there is no excuse for your behavior.

We all know the story by now. Hogan is caught on tape using F and N-words that I don’t care to reprint in this blog. Hogan also claims in a conversation meant to be private, that he is a racist…little albeit but he does make that claim. As much as I hate to see a guy lose a 30-plus year legacy, the language and point of view he owned on that tape are just strong to forgive.

What excuse can you logically make for the guy? I have seen several, some even coming out of his own camp. The prevailing excuse is that the tape was recorded during Hogan’s darkest time, right before his divorce. I can certainly empathize with depression and despair over losing his family, and I won’t judge how broken up he was about it since that is all conjecture, but I am sorry. This is a poor excuse for using that kind of language in a private conversation. I also have yet to read the psychological evidence that supports a man going through the breakup of his marriage turning racist. If it’s out there let me know.

My second favorite defense of Hogan is that “the Hulk Hogan I know is not a racist.” Now if Hogan were on tape simply dropping the N-word, okay, maybe you can use this defense. The guy obviously has friends of all races. However, the one thing you cannot take out of this is that Hogan is on tape admitting to being a racist. You may tell me that the guy is not a racist, but the guy is on tape telling me is indeed racist. Compound that with the way he used the N-word when talking about Jamie Foxx and there is just simply not enough evidence to support that the guy is not racist.

Everyone uses the N-word, as a matter of a fact Hogan went on Twitter and retweeted a tweet in support of himself that compares his use of the word to Barack Obama using the same word. I was stunned when I read this. Talk about a complete lack of self-awareness from this guy! The issue at hand here is that Hogan says on this very same tape that he is racist. Not only that, again he uses the word when referencing Jamie Foxx in a very demeaning factor. Obama nor others who get passes have either used the word that way or claimed to be racist, at least that I have seen.

Staying on the lack of self-awareness that is probably my biggest problem with defending Hulk. Hulk seems to be confusing the outrage with him claiming to be racist with using the N-word. Not only that, Hogan’s camp claimed when issuing his apology that it was Hulk who resigned from the WWE, not that he was fired. The WWE continues to proceed as if he was fired and right now I have to admit, his credibility isn’t very strong. So going out and trying to give this impression at a time where he should be owning the comment and be as sincere as possible in apologizing, just leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

One thing I will say is that it is hard to find a fan who has met Hulk that has said a bad word about meeting him. I have met him a few times myself and he was always exceptionally nice to everyone that asked for autographs and pics. The only demand I ever saw him make was women and children going first. Believe it or not, you won’t hear those same stories about most of pro wresting’s biggest stars. I’d often see Hogan spend early hours of the morning on Twitter retweeting anyone that asked him for one. For a guy as big and iconic as he was in his industry, he was always respectful to his fans.

Unfortunately retweeting fans and taking pictures with fans doesn’t erase the words and damage he did with his words. A self-admitted racist using derogatory words with hate, who doesn’t appear to “get it” is not a guy that I want to defend.

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And neither should you.

WWE 2K16 Terminator Parody Video Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger

July 28, 2015 By: Category: Entertainment, Video Games, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

One WWE Hall of Famer may be out of WWE 2K16, but a recent Hall of Famer is coming in. A new video showcases a new member of the roster making his WWE video game debut.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will be making his WWE video game debut as the Terminator. Yes, the Terminator will be a WWE pre-order special character for 2K16. If they decide to go with a WCW classic mode, maybe you’ll have the opportunity to book a Terminator vs. RoboCop battle for the cruiserweight title?

I haven’t played WWE video games in well over a decade, but this one looks pretty cool. Best of all may be this promotional video WWE 2K posted on their YouTube channel, recreating a scene from the Terminator with WWE superstars. Of course, all sense of logic is lost when you see Daniel Bryan sitting at the bar.

WWE 2K16 hits the shelves October 27 in North America.

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Hulk Hogan Should Remain in the WWE Hall of Fame

July 28, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hours prior to comments Hulk Hogan made about being a racist hit the Internet, the WWE swiftly distanced itself from the icon. Rumors swirl that more of the cord may be cut, including the WWE Hall of Fame.

The WWE wasted no time reacting to a leaked conversation featuring its most recognizable legend in company history. While word of this alleged tape of Hogan using racial slurs including admitting to being a racist has been rumored for years, the WWE never appeared to be that concerned. That changed once the National Enquirer announced a D-Day of sorts and announced that it would be finally releasing comments from that tape to the public. It was immediately Code Red in Stamford as the company moved faster than an Ultimate Warrior vs. Andre the Giant match to let the world know that Hogan was no longer associated with the company.

The company started first by removing all merchandise of Hulk from the website. The company also removed his name as a search term and further, removed Hulk from the Hall of Fame page. This is where things got real interesting, because while many understood the immediate drastic reaction, insinuating that Hogan would be removed from the Hall of Fame touched a nerve with even the most disappointed Hogan supporters.

I am still trying to wrap my head around this entire thing. As a kid who grew up in the Hulkamania era, watching his first WWF title defense live at the Spectrum against the Masked Superstar, I always had a fondness for the Hulkster. Even when his haters ripped him apart for his alleged political manipulations in WCW and TNA, I stood by the Hulk. I never grew tired of seeing him cut his “Brother” promos whether he was wearing black and white or red and yellow, just the same way I sacrifice watching a crazy Ric Flair just to watch Ric Flair. However, at the end of the day this story has little to do with the “Hogan Chill” I experienced many times in 1984 and all about the world we live in today.

There are a lot of things that Hulk could have recovered from, including using the racial slurs. Many celebrities and athletes have been caught using racial slurs on tape only to recover as if nothing happened at all. Yet the one thing you can’t help but take away from that tape is Hogan saying he is a racist. Those celebrities may have used those words, but they all came out and said they weren’t racist. No matter what you think of Hulk, no matter how much you want to defend him, the one thing you can’t say is that he isn’t a racist when indeed on that particular day he says he is a little racist. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but that is just something the world’s greatest publicity company couldn’t save him from.

At the same time, there is a part of me that wants the Hulk to get a chance to redeem himself. Did the WWE waste a golden learning opportunity? It’s ironic but if you think about it, he would have been better off caught on tape for domestic abuse than admitting he is a little racist. Look at all of the athletes and celebrities who are on our radio and televisions today, cheered and admired for their talents with no regard for their domestic abuse history. Not even the pictures of these celebrities either caught in the act or of their bruised up victims can stop a number one pop hit or a run at a Super Bowl. Yet the guy that is probably responsible only behind Vince McMahon for making the WWE a world-wide conglomerate didn’t even get the chance to say he was sorry.

This brings me to the Hall of Fame. The second that the WWE allowed a convicted, yes convicted rapist into their Hall of Fame, all bets were off. You can search for Mike Tyson on the WWE website but not Hulk Hogan? What about Jimmy Snuka? His indiscretions are easily searchable online. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has had plenty of allegations leveled against him which are easily found online. For goodness sakes, one of the most powerful people in the company has been accused on more than one occasion of suing the “N-word” to talent. That guy incidentally is rumored to be going into the Hall of Fame next year. Has anyone spent five minutes on YouTube watching some of the Ultimate Warrior’s greatest hits outside of the ring? This isn’t a rose garden full of Nobel Peace Prize winners.

My point is that removing Hogan from the Hall of Fame seems drastic, if not downright ridiculous. You cannot erase the biggest icon in your company’s history from history simply by deleting him off of your web page. Several generations of fans have watched Hulk Hogan at one time or another on WWE television. Unless Vince McMahon is going to write a check for all of the revenue Hogan brought into the company since 1984 and donate it to charity, erasing him from history seems naïve and downright ignorant.

I can’t say I blame the WWE from terminating him (although to be fair Hogan’s attorney claims that it was Hogan who resigned). Hogan said what he said and whether he didn’t know they were going to be public or not, he has to face the consequences of his own words. Yet if the WWE is going to place more value on someone’s moral values than their in-ring contributions on Hall of Fame inductions, they may as well blow the whole thing up altogether.

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Update: WWE Fires Hulk Hogan Over Alleged Recorded Racist Rants

July 24, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

In a dramatic turn of events, the WWE has cut all ties with its biggest superstar in history. Hulk Hogan merchandise and references have been removed from the website, in addition, Hogan has been removed as a judge on Tough Enough after the WWE confirmed that Hogan’s contract has been terminated.

WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide.

The move comes at a time when Hogan appeared to have the most solid relationship he has had in years with Vince McMahon and the company. Hogan has not only been a good soldier since he’s come back, he’s also openly talked about working towards a return to the ring at WrestleMania 32, even telling people that Vince is supporting it. That return and his tenure in the WWE appears to be in serious jeopardy.

This comeslight of recent revelations coming out of the legal battle between Hulk Hogan and Gawker over Gawker.com posting Hogan’s sex tape. There are rumors flying around that Hogan is recorded using several racial slurs, including the N-word. The tape was allegedly leaked to the National Enquirer.

Mediatakeout.com claims to have heard this audio and concluded, “there can be NO DOUBT that Hulk Hogan is a racist . . . at the level of the KU KLUX KLAN.” The commentary also reports that the audio is expected to be leaked online today which does explain the WWE’s preemptive response to the tape.

National Enquirer did indeed release the transcript and it’s bad…real bad for Hogan. Here is an excerpt.

I don’t know if Brooke was f*cking the black guy’s son,” Hulk raved, the sources add.

“I mean, I don’t have double standards. I mean, I am a racist, to a point, f*cking n*ggers. But then when it comes to nice people and sh*t, and whatever.”

According to sources, he said: “I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f*ck some n*gger, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n*gger worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player!”

Finally the finish, “I guess we’re all a little racist. Fucking n*gger.

I tried accessing Hogan’s superstar page on WWE.com and he is indeed no longer there. His merchandise has also been removed the website from what I see as of this morning also. The only comment from Hogan on all of this comes from his Twitter.

“In the storm I release control,God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be,one love. HH” – @HulkHogan

WWE confirmed that Hogan’s latest run with the WWE is either over or at least on hold until this all blows over. If over for good, this would seemingly put an end to Hogan’s fourth return since leaving TNA (who ironically is in the process of putting out a best of Hulk Hogan in TNA video) in 2013.

Quite frankly I don’t even know what to say about this story. I don’t know Hulk so I have no idea whether he is racist or not. However, he certainly appears to admit it on the recording. Hogan’s career is over. There is no way in this day and age that Hogan could recover from this, nor would anyone in entertainment do business with him. Depending upon how it went down with Vince and the WWE, I could see a situation where the company does bring him back in some capacity in a few years after this blows over as something of a redemption story. That said, any chance he had at a final match in WWE is over.

The irony of this is that Hogan brought it on himself. If not for Hogan’s $100 million lawsuit against Gawker, there is a high probability that these recordings would have never surfaced. It is a huge gamble for the Hulkster. Hulk could be sitting home with $100 million when all is said and done yet at the day he had to sell his legacy to get it.

Update: Hogan’s attorney told PEOPLE that Hogan resigned from the WWE. “He decided to resign from WWE because he didn’t want to put them or his family through this.

Hogan also released a statement to PEOPLE.

“Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it,” Hogan said to PEOPLE.

“This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise,” Hogan told PEOPLE. “I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs.”

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WWE: It’s Over for Kevin Owens

July 23, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

As the wrestling world gets consumed with the excitement of one hot WWE angle, another is struggling to simmer. The invasion of Kevin Owens, red hot only a few weeks ago has been marginalized to the point where it is time to seriously worry about his WWE future.

Kevin Owens did not have a good 24 hours from Sunday to Monday. In a matter of 24 hours, the brazen star of the future tapped out to the old guard, his most devastating loss to date while the very next night was booked in a pull-apart with the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar as just another guy on the low-mid card. The Kevin Owens has officially ended.

Owens came into the WWE and immediately took the company by storm on his NXT debut. Debuting on an NXT special he not only squashed his opponent but laid out then-reigning NXT champion Sami Zayn. Owens was immediately portrayed as something special as he destroyed Zayn for the NXT title, laying out the most popular NXT star. This was not just another guy being introduced, this was a guy portrayed to fans as the real deal.

The Kevin Owens ride went smoothly over the next few months as he destroyed Zayn in the rematch and stood face to face with Samoa Joe. The buzz around Owens at NXT was something that hadn’t been seen since NXT debuted. Unfortunately for Owens, he came face-to-face with John Cena on an episode of RAW and now finds himself on the descending end of a roller coaster.

I warned everyone the second the WWE kicked off the Owens vs. Cena angle. Be careful what you wish for Owens’ fans, because they angle never end well for the other guy. Whether it was Rusev or Bray Wyatt, the Cena rub always ends with Cena on top and the stars of his uprising opponents pointing downwards. Why did anyone think that Kevin Owens would be different?

Yes, Kevin Owens went in there at Money in the Bank and not only had a great match with Cena, but beat him. Ignorance was bliss as Owens’ legions of supporters saw this as a changing of the guard where I saw it as the beginning of the end. Owens got hot and even with a loss at Payback, still kept his heat thanks to an even better show-stealer against the former WWE champion and a great post-match angle.

Then came Beast in the East and while Owens has to lose the title at some point, the timing just seemed odd. Here you had a guy that some were calling the star of the future, yet he was now booked in two straight high-profile losses. It just didn’t make sense. Unfortunately for Owens the timing of all of this may have been his biggest enemy of all. Some reports indicate that Vince McMahon blamed Owens, among others for the declining RW ratings. Fair or not, his goose was cooked. Detractors in the company had all of the ammo they needed to shoot his push right in the foot and that is exactly what they did.

I don’t care what Owens’ proponents say, there is nothing good that came out of his loss at Battleground. A tap would have been fine with a good explanation or a hot post-match angle but we got none of that. All we got was a tap and an exit from the top of the cards. Owens has now been relegated to running away from Rusev, doing a pull-apart, and another likely loss to Finn Balor in Brooklyn. It’s over!

Owens is just another victim of the inconsistencies we all like to refer to as WWE booking. Owens place on the cards and heat with the crowd have nothing to do with his talent Perception is reality and the casual fans see him as a guy that just isn’t good enough. That won’t change unless a major commitment is made to him by the creative department. It’s been over a year and Bray Wyatt still hasn’t fully recovered and he had every bit as big of a push against Cena as Owens did.

From here on out Owens will be relegated to a low-mid card wrestler. He won’t get the time he had with Cena, thus his matches probably won’t be as good. His boasts and taunts will seem comical and while he will probably pop into a RAW main-event every once in a while (I am almost positive we’ll see another Owens vs. Cena match on RAW), the days of shows and events being booked around him are over.

And that is a damned shame!

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WWE SummerSlam 2015 Card Takes Shape

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

The WWE is gearing up for its biggest SummerSlam event in years. The top matches have already been confirmed and an early indication of the buzz presents an event the magnitude of which makes the show on par with WrestleMania.

Why the WWE are bringing out the big guns for this SummerSlam as opposed to others is probably the most interesting question of all. Yet for whatever reason, the WWE are ramping up SummerSam to WrestleMania levels with special attractions the likes of which haven’t been seen on the biggest party of the summer in quite some time.

Coming out of WWE RAW on Monday night we all got a real good indication of top matches both confirmed and speculative. While some may still need some brewing, between television and reports, the card has all been confirmed and it’s a big one.

The Undertaker will wrestle his first SummerSlam in almost a decade as he returns to seek revenge against Brock Lesnar. I always thought that this match would be huge and while it would have been bigger at a WrestleMania, it will be plenty big at SummerSlam. Between the angles at Battleground and RAW, fans are already jacked up for the Mania 30 rematch. Again, the timing is odd in that Undertaker is working his first SummerSlam in almost ten years, yet the set up thus far has been nothing short of superb. A hot rumor floating around is that this won’t be the last we see of these two as they are expected to have a rubber match at WrestleMania 32.

In what is shaping up to be the number two match on the show, John Cena will challenge WWE world champion Seth Rollins for the world title. In an interesting note, this makes the third SummerSlam in a row that Cena is in the world title match. It should also be noted that Cena lost the world title at the previous two SummerSlams against Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar respectively.

While some are surprised and a bit disappointed to see Cena back in the top spot, I saw it coming weeks ago. After consecutive weeks of poor RAW ratings, Vince booked Cena back in the top spot to close the show against Cesaro on RAW. The second that happened I knew that Vince was going to lean on Cena to rehabilitate these ratings woes, especially with Monday Night Football on the horizon. As upset as some are at Kevin Owens tapping at Battleground, if Cena is coming in here to win the belt the finish makes sense.

There was a rumor at one point that Seth vs. Triple H was the planned SummerSlam match. If you remember back a few weeks ago, it certainly looked like the seeds were planted for it. Rollins was constantly interrupting Trips in the ring and at times came off as disobedient. Again, I think the last few weeks of ratings changed everything for Vince and the creative direction for Rollins and the title.

In what will probably be the third match from the top, Sting is scheduled to return to in-ring action on SummerSlam. Sting will be a part of the Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt feud and wind up either in a six-man or tag team match. As it stands now, it will either be Sting, Roman Reigns, and Dean Ambrose (Shield 2.0) vs. a reuniting Wyatt family. Erik Harper’s status is still up in the air due to injury so it could wind up as Sting and Reigns vs. Bray and Luke Harper. Either way it will be fun to see Sting back in action, and it’s a great spot for him and everyone else in the match to be in.

The card is loaded and while the rest of the show will probably be filler, Again, I still question the increase in the budget with the additions of Sting and Undertaker. Regardless, it should be an exciting event and probably one of the biggest SummerSlams we’ll see for the next few years.

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WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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