If you’re like me, first of all, I’m so, so sorry. Secondly, it means you’re getting lots of mileage out of the recent Saturday Night’s Main Event uploads to the WWE Network. I’ve already rhapsodized at length about the greatest moments in the history of the show, and seeing them again only affirms my love for the greatest 90 minutes you could ask for in professional wrestling.
In a previous column, I didn’t include anything from SNME’s sister-spinoff The Main Event, a Friday night annual designed to steer the march toward WrestleMania. Though I stuck with the Saturday motif, the Friday special produced quite a few historical moments, namely its original incarnation.
On Friday night, February 5, 1988, WWE Champion Hulk Hogan battled Andre the Giant in a colossal WrestleMania III rematch on free television, drawing a 15.0 rating and over 33 million viewers that champed at the bit to see ..click here to read more
Through questionable booking, a stock market crash, fan discontent, and the unfortunate loss of JTG, WWE has provided audiences with, if nothing else, a lot of great in-ring action. Here are my personal picks for the ten best bouts so far in 2014.
10. Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena vs. Cesaro vs. Christian vs. Sheamus (WWE Elimination Chamber, February 23)
As long as the performers cut a watchable pace in the epic-length Chamber matches, and there’s some creative mayhem taking place between the chain-link walls, it generally adds up to a great match. This was no exception, and it even came with some added drama: would Bryan avenge his exclusion from the Royal Rumble match and become WWE Champion? A spurned Twitterverse, led by a bat-wielding Mick Foley, glued their eyes to the action.
Bryan, of course, didn’t win here, succumbing to Corporate Kane (RepubliKane?) in a screwy finish. Cena ..click here to read more
Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, john cena, Natalya, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The Shield, triple h, WWE NXT
With WWE adding Saturday Night’s Main Event to its Network archives this week, fans of that age are no doubt thrilled. I speak for myself as well when I think of the joys as a kid of staying up late on the weekends to catch headline wrestlers in marquee matches on free television.
Sure, Monday Night Raw’s diluted the allure of that by running through matches with name wrestlers week after week until there’s nothing special about anyone, but things were different in 1980s. The weekends were filled with jobber matches, while the top guys were held apart from each other. Pay-per-view encounters were one thing, but the five or six times you got Saturday Night’s Main Event, you were provided with 90 minutes of must-see television, with Vince McMahon’s carnie drawl, Jesse Ventura’s cartoonish gravitas, Mean Gene’s hype-filled inquisitions, and the best of the 1980s WWE roster playing it all ..click here to read more
bret hart, Curt Hennig, hulk hogan, jake roberts, randy savage, Saturday Night's Main Event, shawn michaels, Terry Funk, vince mcmahon
The Vaudevillains; what more can be said about Aiden English and Simon Gotch’s dual moniker? If you don’t watch NXT, you’re missing something else: English parlays his operatic Broadway gimmick into a tandem with Gotch, a turn-of-the-century strongman with an exaggerated boxing stance and Snidely Whiplash-mustache.
Making their entrance to lively piano music through a black-and-white lens, configured with old-timey film quality, the Vaudevillains are an instant sensation. Already, the hip-to-the-room NXT crowd at Full Sail has taken to chanting “PUT YOUR DUKES UP” at the manic Gotch, who looks like he should be conspiring to fix matches with Ad Santel and Joe Stecher.
In 2014, a wrestling crowd that increasingly appreciates in-jokes, outlandish unreality, and full-blown absurdity takes to the Vaudevillains like Deadheads to a Jerry Garcia resurrection. Admittedly, it’s hard not to be charmed by the duo: any wrestlers who perform unrealistically with the gusto and enthusiasm that English and ..click here to read more
The Vaudevillain, WWE NXT
These Top-25 lists are picking up steam, so I’ll take the WWE approach of beating a good thing into the ground. With Money in the Bank coming up, it’s a good idea to look back at two decades-plus of WWE’s greatest ladder matches, and figure out what the best of the bunch truly are. There’s no bad matches to be found here; every entry is rewatchable time and time again. With TLC and Money in the Bank upping the ante of the classic ladder match, this list will cover a lot of ground, and no doubt provide a little argument fodder. Enjoy!
(Note: this list only includes matches which ended with the retrieval of a belt, briefcase, etc. As such, the TLC 2012 match with The Shield vs. Ryback and Team Hell No is excluded. Otherwise, it’d have likely been top ten).
25. Chris Jericho vs. Christian – Vacant Intercontinental Title, Ladder ..click here to read more
Chris Benoit, chris jericho, CM Punk, Eddie Guerrero, jeff hardy, john cena, Matt Hardy, Money in the Bank, Rob Van Dam, Scott Hall, shawn michaels, The Rock, triple h
When you look past WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, and even King of the Ring, what have been the best PPV events in WWE history? I pored through the last two decades of the promotion, and came up with this list of secondary-PPV excellence. All are recommended viewing on WWE Network.
25. Backlash 2009 (April 26, 2009 – Providence, RI)
After a largely-unfulfilling WrestleMania outside of Undertaker and Shawn Michaels’ timeless epic, WWE rebounded with a better show, surrounded by Chris Jericho’s battle with an ageless Ricky Steamboat, a tremendous Last Man Standing match with John Cena and Edge for the World Heavyweight belt, and Christian felling Jack Swagger to become ECW Champion. Tack Taker/Shawn onto this, make it four hours, and boom: a great WrestleMania.
24. No Mercy 1999 (October 17, 1999 – Cleveland, OH)
One of the few PPVs from 1999 that actually holds up years later, No Mercy took place ..click here to read more
batista, chris jericho, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Edge, john cena, randy orton, shawn michaels, Steve Austin, The Rock, triple h, WWE Network
Seth Rollins’ betrayal of his Shield teammates in favor of Evolution has drawn both shocked reactions and lukewarm reception from viewers. While it’s too early to stamp Rollins’ turn as a success or a failure, here’s a look at some of the wrestling history he’s up against, the twenty-five best shifts to the dark side ever.
25. Shawn Michaels Superkicks Hulk Hogan (July 4, 2005)
Would’ve meant more if WWE had stuck to Michaels’ heel run, but Hogan’s alleged refusal to lay down (ironic if you’re Michaels) killed the impact. Independence Day Raw ends with Hogan and Michaels passively celebrating a win, and Michaels landing Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere.
24. Terry Taylor Gradually Betrays Chris Adams (May 1987)
With UWF’s excitable Jim Ross calling each turn of the key, Taylor was conveniently absent for Hot Stuff International’s assaults on Adams, culminating with Taylor subtly allowing Adams to be pinned in a Tag ..click here to read more
Andre the Giant, bret hart, Bruno Sammartino, Dusty Rhodes, Four Horsemen, hulk hogan, N.W.O, Old School Wrestling, ric flair, Scott Steiner, Sgt. Slaughter, Steve Austin, sting, Terry Taylor, WCW, wwf
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns have had as impressive an 18 months in WWE as any three men, let alone most singular performers. Individually, they’ve stood above the fray as characters worth getting behind, unpoisoned by the company’s wont to bungle a good thing. As a group, they’re the company’s most prolific collective since DX’s first incarnation in 1998.
Their six-man tags have buoyed the most lacking of Raws and, even as heels, they’ve captured the crowd’s attention by simply standing out in a sea of half-baked commonality. Listed here are The Shield’s ten best matches in which all three have taken part.
10. The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family (April 8, 2014, Main Event)
Three disappointments were spawned from a great WrestleMania weekend, of varying emotional sting, obviously: The Undertaker’s streak ending, the death of The Ultimate Warrior (which still doesn’t feel real), and WWE Network not reaching the estimated ..click here to read more
Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, The Shield
There are few people in wrestling that have become unconditional golden calves. You name a personality from the vast world of wrestling, and chances are you can think of a witticism, however overplayed, relating to that person’s Achilles heel. Paul Heyman? Con man. Tammy Sytch? Personal wreck. Hulk Hogan? Bald. Vince Russo? Terrible booker. Triple H? Doesn’t job. Goldberg? Didn’t sell. The Rock? Greedy part-timer. John Cena? Bland and corny. Although many of these knee-jerk assessments are subjective, you and a friend could easily play such a word association game well into the night.
The only joke that one can come up with for the late Owen Hart is of the morbid variety, pertaining to the man’s gruesome 1999 death. While calling Cena corny or Helmsley selfish won’t draw too much resistance, making fun of Owen, whether it’s concerning his ceiling fall or not, tends to draw a forcible response.
The only ..click here to read more
To term Daniel Bryan’s reign as undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion ‘disappointing’ is to do a disservice to other disappointments in world history. Though we’re barely five weeks into the reign, it’s made Al Capone’s vault look Fort Knox.
The fans have been wanting to sink their teeth in Bryan as champion. It doesn’t matter that he’s shorter than most NFL running backs, or has a bandier frame than the bloated-bicep bores that populate WWE. When Bryan’s been placed in tense situations, the crowd has backed him accordingly. From the turn on Bray Wyatt in January, to the Occupy RAW showing, to pulling himself from the stretcher at WrestleMania to make the comeback and capture the title, he’s had the backing of the crowd in spades.
Perhaps that’s why Mick Foley was so moved to criticize his long-time employer for excluding Bryan from this year’s Royal Rumble: he too was Daniel Bryan ..click here to read more
Daniel Bryan, mick foley
There’s always been something about Sheamus that makes you just wanna spray Windex in his eyes. Maybe it’s the unconventional appearance, with carrot-orange hair and the pallor of a life-long agoraphobic. Maybe it’s that his sing-song Irish accent is apparently used for comic (no) effect (whatsoever), permanently grinning his way through poorly-delivered threats and insults like an oversized ventriloquist’s dummy.
Moreover than that, the creative behind Sheamus’ ascent to the top of World Wrestling Entertainment has been rather arrogant, to say the least. It wasn’t always this way, however.
As a heel for two years, Sheamus had credible offense and a convincing enough snarl to be a viable villain, and his exclusive appearance only hastened that push, which was a refreshing diversion. That is, of course, until Sheamus was booked to run away from John Cena, Triple H, and The Nexus like they were on the verge of attacking him with a ..click here to read more
After the World Title feud between Daniel Bryan and Kane degenerated into the Scream series without the phone calls this week, I decided to take a look at the next logical step in this saga. Here’s some horror movies for WWE to merrily rip off as they further baffle fans with their patented ham-fistery.
To protect Daniel and Brie from further trauma at the hands of Kane, Stephanie sends them to a temporarily abandoned winter lodge that her family owns. It’s just Daniel, Brie, their inexplicable son (Hornswoggle can do this), and the year-round caretaker, JTG.
Bryan spends a few days working on his wrestling memoirs, when he gets an insatiable craving for some soy-based Pepsi (which will set off alarms for ‘in-the-know’ viewers, who interpret this as a smoke signal that CM Punk is returning, when he’s really cursing the referees in the Blackhawks game from his couch while AJ ..click here to read more
Daniel Bryan, Kane