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Archive for the ‘WWE | Pro Wrestling’

Should WWE Bring Back the European Title?

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

By the time you read this, the latest European tour will be all but over. Having entertained audiences in the UK, Ireland and Mainland Europe, our favorite Superstars will be on their way back to the US, leaving behind a continent that has more than made its mark in the pro wrestling game over the last few years.

When the Europeans aren’t giving us the likes of Cesaro, Rusev, Paige, Sheamus, Barrett and countless others, their own promotions are proving to be a regular stomping ground for the biggest names on the indie scene, with the likes of the North West England’s Preston City Wrestling making an impact by combining homegrown talent with the hottest free agents around. That’s before we even mention the fans that turn out in their droves to make the UK and Europe such a lucrative market for the likes of WWE and TNA.

Yet for all their contributions to pro wrestling, Europe isn’t exactly well represented in terms of championship gold.

Sure, there was a glimmer of hope in that brief moment when Lana teased us with a Twitter pic of the old European title, but what if WWE took things a little further and actually brought the belt first won by the late Davey Boy Smith in the late 90s back to our TV screens?

Could a territorial title work in 2015?

Arguments against
There are there those who would argue not, that the European championship is best left in the WWE Warehouse or wherever it may be reside, sitting on a shelf as a reminder of what once was.

After all, though the company’s secondary straps currently adorn the waists of bonafide megastars John Cena and Daniel Bryan, there’s still a long way to go before they recover from years of neglect. So, with such a poor track record of successfully booking any belt other than the one currently worn by Seth Rollins, is there any reason to believe that a third-tier belt like the European title wouldn’t be subject to the same fate that the US and IC titles have endured over the past decade or so?

Besides, doesn’t adding another strap to the mix only serve to devalue the ones already being put up for grabs by the aforementioned champions? What’s next? Do we go ask Hornswoggle for the Cruiserweight title back? Track down Hacksaw and reinstate the erstwhile WCW Television championship? Keep going until there’s so many belts doing the rounds that a championship loses some of the allure that’s supposed to make it special?

Arguments for
OK, so maybe there’s no reason to actually go that far, but is there a valid argument for at least bringing back the European title?

Absolutely.

Look it at another way: With Cena and Bryan taking the US and Intercontinental titles into the upper-echelons of the card, those belts are practically off limits to a large portion of the roster. Why not give those overlooked undercarders something they can legitimately fight for without requiring such a huge leap to the level of our reigning champions?

Built correctly, the European title could even be used to help newcomers and NXT callups an immediate push. Bringing Sami Zayn up to the main roster? Have him topple someone like The Miz (who could probably do wonders with a ‘Champion of Europe’ gimmick a la D’Lo Brown) on SmackDown before establishing himself as a name to watch with successful defenses across WWE programming.

And there’s certainly enough programming to go around too. Playing the role of the aforementioned TV belt, why not let the European championship be the title we see regularly defended on Raw, SmackDown, Superstars and the like, saving the US and IC titles for heavily-hyped special attractions, thus raising their prestige in the process.

There’s a drawback to this of course. Would American audiences even care about two wrestlers competing over a championship which represents a continent thousands of miles away? Speaking as a Brit, I have absolutely no idea. You’ll have to let me know in the comments below, along with your arguments for, or against, reinstating the title.

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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TNA Impact Wrestling Paycheck Troubles and WWE Thoughts

April 16, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The cracks in the TNA armor are starting to show again.

Even with solid numbers and a fan base that are more cult-like than the rise and fall of fan support for the WWE, TNA’s Impact Wrestling is dealing with its own issues of late. One issue in particular has re-invented itself to a point that the smoke it is causing could lead to a real fire if not put out soon.

Wrestlers aren’t being paid in a timely fashion, according to a story by Mike Johnson of pwinsider.com.

TNA is well behind on pay to their wrestlers, according to many talents who reached out to PWInsider.com under the agreement of anonymity over the past several weeks.  One wrestler claimed the company is behind two pay periods while others have claimed they are still owed money dating back to February.  With no TNA dates scheduled until the live Impact broadcast on 5/8, it has been a growing source of aggravation for TNA wrestlers as they are working the Indy scene to supplement their TNA income.

In asking sources within the TNA office in Nashville, I am told that the pay issues are legitimate and have been a source of great frustration within Nashville over the last several weeks as well.  While one source I spoke to denied talents were behind two pay periods, they did concede they have been behind on checks being cut to talents and that it was something TNA was trying to get a handle on over the last week.

One of the factors involved is that TNA’s checks are not cut in Nashville by the company but are outsourced to Dallas, Texas where TNA’s parent company Panda Energy is headquartered.  This alone adds another step to the process.

TNA had these issues before when it was struggling to stay afloat on Spike TV and the fledgling promotion had to scale back its production of shows, cut back its pay-per-view events and even release talent to remain the niche outfit it has been since its creation by Jeff Jarrett.

For everything TNA is – with better technical wrestlers as a whole (Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Eric Young) and stronger talent in the Knockouts division and in the tag team scene, these issues should be a constant habit that the talent has to deal with.

The Death of the Divas in WWE

With the sudden retirement of AJ Lee and the need for more talent and promotional angles, have we final witnessed the beginning of the end of the Divas in the WWE?

The current champion, Nikki Bella, who is sided by her sister, Brie, cannot carry a division that has Paige as its main “face” attraction and a couple other stars (Naomi and Natalya) on its current roster. There is not enough interest in the division, which of late has shown more wrestling and less glam. Still, with the loss of its main attraction – the cute girl with the killer abs who just happens to be married to WWE’s biggest enemy in CM Punk – it looks as though not even a shot of epinephrine can save the group that appears to be on life support.

It would be in Stephanie McMahon’s best interest to watch Gail Kim and Awesome Kong go at it and see how women’s wrestling is really done.

Life After Rusev

Now that the table is set for the third installment of Rusev and the current United States Champion, John Cena, what happens to Cena once the dance with the Russian ends? Is there life after defensing America for the 15-time world champion?

I would think, the WWE may take Sheamus and his Red Rooster wannabe look and work a program with these two stars.

The WWE has put Sheamus back in the same position he once was when he came to the WWE – a brutal force with the Irish accent – who runs through his opponents with ease. The only person who should be able to stop the immovable object is the irresistible force that Cena has with the company.

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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Rhythm, Blues, BBQ and Battle Royals – Remembering Memphis Wrestling

April 16, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

When you think of Memphis, the first name that comes to mind is probably Elvis.

A close second?

Jerry Lawler.

One of the most entertaining territories of the 1970’s thru the 90’s was Memphis. It went through many names (CWA, USWA, Power Pro Wrestling and Memphis Wrestling), but the formula always remained the same: excellent mic work, fast paced matches, and the unbelievable drawing power of the main star and co-owner Jerry “The King” Lawler. Before he became the resident color commentator for WWE, his charisma, interviews, and believable wrestling style made Memphis a must watch television show each week.

The first major star of the Tennessee territory was Sputnik Monroe. One of the first true stars of wrestling, Monroe had black hair with a shock of white running through it, which was quite unusual in the days of just generic tights and boots wrestling. In the 1950’s, Memphis, much like every other Southern city of that time, was heavily segregated, and blacks were assigned a certain area to sit in during the wrestling matches at the old Memphis Civic Auditorium.

Despite the disrespect from the whites, the black fans fell in love with Sputnik Monroe. He stood up for civil rights, and questioned why the blacks had to sit in a different area from the whites. He was truly a brave soul during that time, as most white stars would not say a word about the subject, in fear of losing favor with the Caucasian fans and falling down the card.

Another big star from that time was Jackie Fargo. “The Fabulous One” entertained the masses each week with his flamboyant entrance, mixed in with a tough, kickass style of wrestling. Before Lawler, Jackie Fargo was the man in the Memphis territory.

Coming off the heels of World War II, Memphis also catered to the fans’ dislike of Japanese villains. Tojo Yamamoto played the role of the sneaky Japanese heel who would do anything to win a match. Surprisingly enough, after a while, the fans started cheering Tojo, and he battled some of the area’s most hated wrestlers. Former WWF Tag Team Champions Mr. Fuji and Professor Toru Tanaka also traveled to Memphis, winning the Southern Tag Team Championship in 1979.

The main television show was hosted by Lance Russell, a TV personality and program director of WHBQ-TV in Memphis. He brought a reality to the show that no one had ever seen. Besides Jim Ross and Gordon Solie, Lance Russell is typically regarded as one of the best wrestling announcers of his generation. He along with co-host Dave Brown had a wonderful dynamic, and their partnership would last for decades.

Many big names made frequent stops through the Tennessee territory back in the day. Stars like Hulk Hogan, Nick Bockwinkel, Ric Flair, Ken Patera, Andre the Giant, Jack Brisco, Terry Funk, and Jesse Ventura electrified the crowds at the Mid-South Coliseum in their clashes with “The King”. Even young up and comers cut their teeth in the Memphis rings. Guys like Kane, Steve Austin, The Honky Tonk Man, Hillbilly Jim,The Undertaker, The Rock N’ Roll Express, The Midnight Express and even a young blue chipper named Dwayne Johnson honed their skills in front of the Southern crowd.

That young blue chipper became “The Rock”.

Tennessee was also the area where fans took notice of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He, along with his dad Angelo Poffo and brother Lanny (known to WWE fans as “The Genius” and “Leaping Lanny”) ran a promotion opposite to Lawler and Jarrett called “ICW”, which ran in parts on Kentucky, Southern Illinois and Tennessee. Eventually, the Poffos folded ICW and joined the ranks of CWA in 1984.

Savage drew fans interest in both teaming and feuding against Lawler. In 1985, after a year of making his name in the South, the “Macho Man” signed with WWF, and became one of the biggest stars to ever grace a ring.

Other than Lawler, the biggest star of the area was “Superstar” Bill Dundee, a fiery light heavyweight from Australia who drew big money either teaming with or feuding with Lawler. Quite possibly their biggest encounter was a “Loser Leaves Town” match in June 1983.

It’s truly one of a kind.

Some of the best managers of the 1980’s made their mark as well. Jimmy Hart, without a doubt one of the top five managers of all time, guided many wrestlers to the Southern Heavyweight Title. Jim Cornette also got his start in the CWA, managing such charges as “Exotic” Adrian Street and The Midnight Express.

Jimmy Hart started out as the manager of Lawler, and the two enjoyed considerable success together in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. But after a foot injury sidelined Lawler for part of 1980, Hart turned on his former charge, and made it his mission to put Jerry Lawler out of pro wrestling. He brought many stars throughout North America to try and wrest the AWA Southern Title from “The King”, and even when it seemed Hart got the upper hand, he always got his just desserts in the end.

Jim Cornette started out as a young wrestling photographer in the old Louisville Gardens when co-owner Jerry Jarrett gave him his big break in 1982. He lasted a few years in Memphis before heading to Mid-South Wrestling in Oklahoma for Bill Watts, then to World Class in Texas for Fritz Von Erich, and finally the NWA in 1986 for Jim Crockett Promotions in Charlotte, where he lead two versions of the Midnight Express to both the U.S. Tag Team and World Tag Team Championship, respectively. Cornette eventually went back to Memphis for a short while in the early 1990’s before starting up his own promotion, Smoky Mountain Wrestling and pulling double duty as a manager in the WWF of then World Champion Yokozuna, and later on guiding Owen Hart and the British Bulldog to the Tag Team Championship. Both Hart and Cornette were some of the best guys on the microphone, and developed their craft in the Tennessee rings.

The biggest angle Memphis ever had involved Jerry Lawler and comedian Andy Kaufman. Despite his very skinny frame and having no wrestling experience, Kaufman could have easily been one of the best wrestling heels ever had he not passed away from cancer in 1984. Their feud was so hot, both men appeared on “Late Night” with David Letterman in 1982, which involved Kaufman taunting Lawler viciously until Lawler slapped the taste out of Kaufman’s mouth. After the show went to commercial break, Kaufman began to scream obscenities at the camera and at Lawler. The feud was not just a small territorial feud.

It became a national story.

There were other notable names that made Memphis famous. Austin Idol, a guy who reminded many of “Superstar” Billy Graham, entertained the masses as both a fan favorite and a heel. Tommy Rich, one of the first major national stars of the TBS-Georgia Championship Wrestling, made many stops in the Memphis territory, with amazing energy that spread like “Wildfire” (pun intended).

One guy who showed great promise in the 1990’s was Jeff Jarrett. Of course, being promoter Jerry Jarrett’s son was an obstacle he had to overcome, with many wrestlers and fans claiming nepotism. But he was truly a student of the game, paying his dues as a referee in the mid-1980’s, then bursting out on his own and earning the fans respect. He eventually jumped to the WWF in 1993, where he enjoyed a successful run as Intercontinental Champion. In 1996, WCW came calling and for a short while, he was a member of the Four Horseman.

In 1997, he returned to the WWF, where he once again captured the Intercontinental Title and Tag Team Titles with Owen Hart. He jumped back to WCW in 1999, then after the company closed down in 2001, he started up TNA Wrestling with his dad. Now, he is the main face behind the upstart promotion Global Force Wrestling.

Believe it or not, despite living in California, I was able to watch Memphis Wrestling. When Jerry Jarrett bought World Class Championship Wrestling from the Von Erichs, he merged them with his CWA promotion in Tennessee and renamed it USWA. They ran for like a year on ESPN before the network dropped wrestling all together. I was quite disappointed as I had become a fan of some of the area’s top wrestlers.

However, in 1995, USWA made its way back onto my television set. A small UHF station in Fresno started showing the promotion again, and it was fun to see something other than WWF or WCW at that time. However, it only lasted for a short while.

The formula that made Memphis a very successful wrestling area for 50 years, finally started to wane in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. In 1997, after decades of being on the air, USWA folded. In 1998, former CWA announcer/promoter Randy Hales opened up Power Pro Wrestling, but to only limited success. Finally, in the early 2000’s, former USWA color commentator Cory Maclin started up Memphis Wrestling with the help of Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Hart, but that too did not last. No matter how entertaining or promising their ventures were, the costs and the strains of competing with a well- oiled machine like WWE was just too much to compete with.

What Jerry Lawler and co-owner Jerry Jarrett did with Memphis Wrestling should never go unnoticed. They made it one of the most entertaining wrestling products to watch, bar none. Both men were geniuses when it came to planning out story lines, and executing them to perfection. Lawler has been honored for his lifelong achievements with an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

True, Elvis was the “King of Memphis”, but could he execute a piledriver?

Umm, I don’t think so.

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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Ronda Rousey Says She Wants More WWE

April 15, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ronda Rousey got a taste of the WWE and she wants more! The UFC champion told WWE legend Roddy Piper that she had so much fun at WrestleMania 31, there is no way she is not getting back into a WWE ring.

Rousey made her first in-ring WWE appearance at WrestleMania 31 in a highly publicized angle with the Rock, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon. It had been widely circulated that the WWE have been interested in using Rousey for awhile, yet her UFC contract prevented her from showing up. With a blessing from Dana White, the WWE finally got their girl and it may be that blessing that winds up blowing up in White’s face.

Rousey was a guest on Roddy Piper’s PodcastOne.com podcast and talked extensively about her experience at WrestleMania 31. Rousey told Piper that the biggest problem is that she can’t wait to go back.

I hit the ground running,” Rousey said. “The first I ever wrestled was at Wrestlemania with an attendance record at Levi’s Stadium. I had a problem when I left. There’s no way I can’t not go back in there again. There’s no way. After experiencing that, there’s nothing like it.

The second I left I was already thinking, ‘How can I possibly go back?’ I didn’t even change [clothes] yet. I hadn’t even gotten out of my outfit yet.

Rousey is already rumored to be a part of the WrestleMania 32 main-event. Early speculation was that she’d either back up Rock vs. Triple H or tag with Rock against Hunter and Stephanie in a mixed-tag team match. Recent reports indicate that the WWE wants a Rousey vs. Stephanie singles match. Whatever the idea is, it would appear that Rousey is up for it and anything else.

Piper talked to Rousey about the angle and the benefits of working with someone like the Rock in that situation.

It’s a tricky thing having [The Rock]. He’s so good at putting people over. He holds the room so intensely, it’s hard to not be outshone by him,” said Rousey. “Triple H and The Rock could be one of the biggest rivalries of all-time. How can we make a situation where we ignore them? That’s a lot of pressure, to be captivating enough to ignore them.

Rousey also talked a bit about the spots in the angle with Stephanie and Triple H. Rousey told Piper that the hip-toss in particular did not go as planned.

That wasn’t even a throw I was planning. I made it up on the spot. I pulled it out of my ass. I don’t even know what that is,” said Rousey. “It was kind of awesome to see everything planned, and everything that doesn’t go according to plan.

She also told Piper that Stephanie wasn’t supposed to go down in their skirmish either. Rousey and Piper both agreed that the spontaneouity of it all made the moment even better.

I was nervous, in a way, when I knew [the appearance] was coming up,” Rousey said. “I was trying to look like I was cool but my heart and my chest were [pounding]. I was trying not to look obvious but I think I totally did.

Rousey and Piper also talked a bit about wrestling fans. Rousey literally stopped short of saying that wrestling fans were better than MMA fans. To put it in context, Rousey told Piper that wrestling fans understand that the WWE stars are just entertaining whereas MMA fans may take things she says to promote a fight too literally.

Sorry Dana but you have a problem on your hand. Your number one star is hooked and loved the rush of working in a stadium in front of 66,000+ people. Rousey did tell Piper that she won’t look ahead to future WWE dates until she fights Beth Correia on August 1. Rousey also told Piper that she had several movie commitments shortly thereafter.

I’d say there is a pretty good you’ll be seeing Rousey at WrestleMania 32 if she has her way. If she doesn’t, it could lead to an interesting showdown between White and his biggest UFC star.

Check out the entire podcast with Piper and Rousey. It’s a lot of fun and I can almost guarantee you that you’ll come out of it having a bigger appreciation for the UFC champ.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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WWE Continues to Mishandle Roman Reigns

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

Roman Reigns became the focal point of an immense amount of backlash from the WWE Universe in January when he won the annual Royal Rumble match, thus making him the man that would face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31. The fans believed that he just wasn’t experienced enough to be in the company’s top spot. On the road leading up to WrestleMania, Reigns continued to struggle on the microphone and still failed to connect with a majority of the audience.

However, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar went on to become an instant classic at WrestleMania 31. Champion Brock Lesnar delivered a brutal assault to Reigns, hardly giving him any chance to retaliate over the course of the match. Reigns did an excellent job from a storytelling standpoint, even so much as laughing while Lesnar threw him around the ring like a rag doll.

Roman Reigns took the beating like a man and ended up earning the respect he so desperately needed from a large portion of the audience; fans who previously resented him.

Following such a large turning point for the character, WWE has now placed Reigns in a feud against Big Show that will ultimately end with a match at this month’s pay-per-view event, Extreme Rules.

After headlining WrestleMania 31 against Lesnar and taking the loss to Seth Rollins in such a riveting fashion, Reigns needed to be inserted into something of value in order to keep his newfound momentum alive. Instead, WWE made the decision to have him not only lose the number one contenders’ match for the World Heavyweight Championship on last week’s episode of Raw, but then placed him into a meaningless feud against Big Show.

If this feud seems strange, that’s because it is. Although, the career of Roman Reigns has never followed typical protocol. In one year, he went from being in a 6-man tag team match at WrestleMania 30, to being the number one contender to the company’s most important title at WrestleMania 31. He was put on the fast-track to superstardom, and ended up becoming a classic example of, “too fast, too soon”.

Going from the main event of WrestleMania to an irrelevant singles feud may seem strange, but it is the right course of action in the case of an inexperienced performer such as Roman Reigns. However, the issue with this program is that Big Show is a performer whom the WWE Universe does not respect whatsoever. The audience is tired of seeing Big Show in WWE’s main event scene, and they’ve made it clear that they would like to see fresh, new performers be given a chance to shine in that spot. Reigns and Big Show have also had countless battles over the past year or so, and the fans are pining for new match-ups as well as new storyline possibilities.

One major issue the WWE Universe had with Reigns was that he appeared to be the handpicked future of the company without having to prove that he was worthy of that title. Now, his main event status within WWE seems to have been abandoned by those in charge. Is this a result of the rejection he faced from the audience? That’s a possibility, but banishing the character into irrelevancy makes everything that he has accomplished thus far feel like a giant waste of time.

The audience is now finally realizing the value that Roman Reigns could possibly bring to WWE’s roster. He needs to be placed into a program with a performer that will be able to assist him in improving his skills; an opponent that will challenge him both inside of the ring and on the microphone. At this stage in his career, Big Show simply isn’t that opponent. While the two men do work well together, this feud will not give Reigns an opportunity to progress or maximize his potential.

WWE fans don’t want to see Reigns evolve into the next John Cena, but if this program is booked to simply make Reigns look like a strong competitor once again, it will be detrimental to the characters’ success in the long run. WWE needs to use extreme caution in where they place Roman Reigns moving forward if they still plan on having him become the next face of the company.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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John Cena is the Greatest Heel in the Pro Wrestling World

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

Over the past decade John Cena has been WWE’s main attraction, their star. Cena is the face of the world wide phenomenon known as the WWE and there’s no denying he will be the face of the company for the next few years. WWE has relied on him to be ‘the go to guy’ and he has delivered as supposedly, according to most fans, their biggest babyface. While many fans see Cena as their “hero” and “idol”, other IWC members known as “smarks” love to hate him. John Cena might be a polarizing figure but he is certainly not a babyface…he is a heel, in fact he is currently the biggest heel in the wrestling world.

Whether you love him or you hate him, at the end of the day the fans have strong feelings towards the face of WWE. If you’ve been to a live WWE event, you can hear the hostility in the air as soon as Cena’s music hits. Over the past decade John Cena has truly become the biggest heel in wrestling due to the fact he’s turned into everything the average WWE fan despises. The once freestyling rapping, badass has turned into a wrestling version of Tom Brady. Like Brady, Cena has money, fame, Nikki Bella, and a Hall of Fame Championship Resume. So what would make fans hate a guy that is one of the biggest Make-A-Wish and WWE stars of all-time while preaching “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect?

Many fans in the wrestling world hate John Cena because he’s been pushed down our throats and rarely puts fellow wrestlers over (not that it’s his fault). The best way to build a star in professional wrestling is for an up-and-comer to beat an accomplished wrestler on a big stage. We truly believe Wyatt losing to Cena slowed his momentum last year, Bad News Barrett had his push destroyed by Cena as well. Fans hate how John Cena’s character has become stale over the years, week in and week out we, the fans, either hear the former “Dr. Of Thuganomics” come out to the ring and shout out “Never Give Up” wearing t-shirts with very bright colors while looking like superman in the ring.

Fans of WWE are tired of seeing John Cena portray the unbelievable role of the ultimate superhero. Adults are not very fond of superheroes. They are even less fond of corny-looking bright attire which is obviously used to please the kids. Cena doesn’t look like a tough guy’s wrestler even though he is built like a tank. He also rarely loses a big matchup without some kind of interference or unfair tactics being used by his opponent. Notably, Cena has only lost cleanly a few times in recent history, Losing WWE titles matches to Daniel Bryan at Summerslam 2013, to Brock Lesnar at Summerslam last year, and losing to The Rock at WrestleMania 28.

Another pet-peeve plenty of wrestling fans have against John Cena is how World Wrestling Entertainment only markets him. Sure WWE features other wrestlers as they film movies at WWE Studios, but never do we see the likes of Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, or Dolph Ziggler being featured on shows like “Saturday Night Live” or “The Tonight Show”. WWE has grown used to the idea of planting Cena’s face on every collector cup or magazine cover possible, many in the wrestling community believe Daniel Bryan could do a great job in the same spotlight Cena has been in over the past 12 years.

What makes Cena so hated even as a mid-carder now is that he’s still playing the same role he would play holding the WWE Championship. Plenty of fans feel John Cena only used the rapper gimmick to gain superstardom only to drop the act and show the entire world who he really is and what he’s truly about. If wrestling was about shaking hands and kissing babies, John Cena would be the greatest of all-time. Die-hard fans of wrestling love a character who isn’t afraid to have an edge, break the rules, and is constantly reinventing himself. The Undertaker is a great example of molding his character with the times.

Fans dislike John Cena because he is nothing like The Rock and Stone Cold. Adult WWE fans are very nostalgic about the Attitude Era, which spanned the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This was the time during which The Rock and Steve Austin became extremely popular, selling out arenas and garnering mainstream popularity. Professional wrestling was at it’s peak then, and the storylines were far edgier, more violent and a treat for adult fans. After Austin and Rock left, WWE transitioned into having John Cena as the top babyface, he is basically too repetitive and cartoonish for Attitude Era fans.

Bottom line, fans of wrestling are ready to see the future of wrestling. There’s so much raw talent in the WWE with the likes of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns there’s no need to showcase Cena as much anymore. Seth Rollins has flourish in his role as a top heel in the company and the current WWE Champion. Roman Reigns despite getting the same fan response as Cena, continues to improve and Dean Ambrose is extremely over with the fans and is making strides as an potential World Champion.

Many people compare John Cena to a modern day Hulk Hogan, even Hogan at one point recognize when he was becoming stale, stagnant, and corny, he made an heel turn and became greater than ever. His time is up, his time is not now, John Cena will always be stale, stagnant, and corny, and for that he will always be the greatest heel in the wrestling world.

So while hundreds of fans see Cena as their idol and the biggest babyface in the WWE, people have to realize that that Cena is in fact the biggest and greatest heel in wrestling. Cena will continue to be the biggest heel as long as WWE Creative continues to book him the way they do now. Cena is hands down the biggest heel in the WWE and from this angle there is no denying that.

This article was co-written by CamelClutchBlog’s Max Cruze and Sherron Watson who currently writes for PWInformant and WWERumblingRumor; you can follow him on Twitter @S_Watson1982 and @MaxCruzePW

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Daniel Bryan Working Hurt

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

Before you get out your pitchforks and start complaining about the booking of Daniel Bryan as WWE intercontinental champion, you should probably be aware that things aren’t exactly as they seem for the American Dragon.

Fans were excited when Bryan won the Ladder Match at WrestleMania 31 to become new intercontinental champion. The hope was that Bryan’s win would bring dignity and integrity back to a title that means more today than Ted DiBiase Jr.’s Million Dollar championship. Unfortunately it seems like you may have to wait as Bryan’s reign as champion may be just as short as world title reign of 2014.

Dave Meltzer reported on a recent F4Wonline.com podcast that Bryan is hurt. Meltzer wouldn’t get into the details but did report that Bryan is injured and the WWE are being very cautious with their former champion. This would explain Bryan’s limited participation in tag team matches on television and on the recent European tour.

The timing of this news is not that surprising. Bryan just returned a few months back after being sidelined for close to a year with neck and arm issues. Yet Bryan worked a high impact ladder match at Mania which put him at great risk for re-injury. I can only speculate but I think it is fair to assume that he got hurt in the match. Bryan wrestled a hell of a match the following night against Dolph Ziggler but has remained limited for the most part since that match.

Ironically Bryan just recently talked about concerns from WWE officials about his style and risk for injury. “Hey, listen, you need to stop doing some of these things that you do.’ They have legitimate concerns over my healthy and well-being, which is nice, but also I feel like I consider myself an artist and I like to go out there and create art the way I like to create art.

Yet they book him in a ladder match at WrestleMania? Brilliant!

Sadly this will probably turn into some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy for Vince McMahon and officials who believe Bryan is too brittle to be trusted. The YES Movement will never get the respect it got in 2014 and there is almost zero chance that Bryan gets as strong of a push in the WWE again. It’s not fair but from a business standpoint, I can certainly understand the concerns. The timing of these while never good, are even worse when these injuries come after he is booked to win titles.

Bryan is still scheduled to wrestle Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules. At this rate I’d bet on some Bad News walking out of Extreme Rules with the title and Bryan getting some much needed rest following the event.

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Top 50 Moments of the WWE Attitude Era

April 14, 2015 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s still unclear what Monday’s addition of Attitude Era content to WWE Network exactly entails. Hopefully, it’s enough to satiate the subscribers that have been holding their breath for 1997 episodes of Nitro for close to a year. The uploading schedule has the regularity of asthma attacks, and it seems once the Network is on a kick (ECW week! 16 months of Nitro! A new classic Raw every Wednesday!), the idea is quickly left in a roadside ditch in favor of some other hastily-concocted idea.

Whatever Attitude programming makes its way to the Network on Monday, I thought it’d be nice to put the actual era in perspective and sift through the top moments with the benefit of hindsight. I do enjoy my listmaking; you may have noticed.

In picking the 50 most memorable moments of wrestling’s most unpredictable and fun era ever, I adhered to a few guidelines.

1. The time frame for the Attitude Era isn’t exactly etched in stone, so I went with the timeline used on WWE2K13 for their Attitude Era mode: the moment Shawn Michaels hit Undertaker with a steel chair at SummerSlam 1997 through Steve Austin and Vince McMahon’s handshake at WrestleMania X7. Some say the era didn’t begin until Austin beat Michaels for the title; others will say it was when Austin broke into Brian Pillman’s house in 1996. Mileage varies; I think my choice of dates is fairly acceptable.

2. Wrestler deaths (Pillman, Owen) and serious injuries (Droz) are omitted completely. Each entry on the list plays into the realm of fiction to some degree, and it’s not fair to say that one man’s death was more memorable than another, even if Owen’s was the public relations nightmare from hell, based on the circumstances. The Attitude Era had its share of dark moments from the bowels (perhaps literally) of creation, and this list only honors those birthed by the writer’s pen.

Off we go.

50. Michaels Smashes Undertaker with a Steel Chair (August 3, 1997)

Hey, we were just talking about this, weren’t we? Michaels shed his put-on company charm for good with the errant strike, weaving the overwhelming dislike against him with the ‘blame’ he received for the incident. Cutesy, praise-singing Michaels of 1996 had to go away, and as far as catalysts go, this was perfect.

49. Austin Throws the Intercontinental Title into a River (December 9, 1997)

And you thought the belt was disrespected today. Austin lost the belt via voluntary forfeit to The Rock, then beat him up anyway, absconded with the title, and chucked the strap into a freezing New Hampshire stream out of spite.

48. Double People’s Elbow (September 27, 1998)

The Rock had just freshly turned face, and was pitted with fellow fan favorites Ken Shamrock and Mankind in a blue-barred cage match in Hamilton, ON. The Canadian crowd solidified Rock as a true superstar when he ripped off both elbow pads, dropped his signature elbow in duplicate, and receiving his biggest cheer to date in doing so.

47. Halftime Heat (January 31, 1999)

A novel concept to be sure, Rock defended the WWF Title against Mankind in an empty arena match, and it aired at halftime of John Elway’s final game. The camera angles showing the finish were hokey, but Mankind winning trumps sitting through Gloria Estefan’s warbling.

46. Linda’s Off Her Meds (April 1, 2001)

Since Vince demanded a divorce in December, Linda McMahon fell into a near-vegetative state (which wasn’t an acting stretch), and Vince, via power-of-attorney, kept her doped up while he cavorted with Trish Stratus. At WrestleMania X7, Linda emerged from a now put-on comatose state and kicked Vince in the balls to a massive cheer.

45. Austin Gets Run Down (November 14, 1999)

It was the beginning of an intriguing whodunnit. Austin chases Triple H through a Detroit parking lot at Survivor Series and gets run over by an unknown assailant. Austin was written out for almost ten months (he needed spinal surgery), and speculation ran rampant as to the driver.

44. Triple H Revealed as Mastermind of Austin’s Accident (November 6, 2000)

The initial payoff of the rundown was Rikishi, who ‘dih dit for da Rock’, and that seemed less than satisfactory. A month after the reveal, Triple H struck Austin after a tag team match on Raw, and worked in tandem with Rikishi to bust Austin up. The payoff for the rewrite was Austin dropping Triple H out of a crane at Survivor Series. Ahh, simpler times.

43. Triple H vs. T-800 Model 101 (November 9, 1999)

Arnold Schwarzenegger, pre-Gubernatorial run, appeared on Smackdown to promote the insipid End of Days movie, and ended up waylaying Triple H at the commentary desk. This was pretty well-received from the optimistic Attitude-era fanbase, and it beats the hell out of the “Rise of the Torn Quadriceps” entrance at WrestleMania 31.

42. Nuclear in Dallas (February 7, 2000)

Triple H, X-Pac, and The Radicals took on The Rock, Mick Foley, Too Cool, and Rikishi in an excellent ten man tag with one of the wildest, hottest crowds you’ll ever hear. The heels won, but Kane made the big save afterward with a returning Paul Bearer, spurring an even louder crowd response. Rivals a post-WrestleMania Raw crowd in volume.

41. Ventura Has the Power (August 22, 1999)

After leaving WWF acrimoniously nine years earlier, now-Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura officiated the main event at SummerSlam in Minneapolis, and even graced Raw with some commentary 13 days prior. Ventura even got to beat up Shane McMahon on a lark.

40. Finally, Austin vs. McMahon, with a Debut (February 14, 1999)

McMahon took a spill off the side of a steel cage at the hands of Austin, and Stone Cold spent an extended time-frame busting him up to the crowd’s delight. That’s when Big Show made his debut, billowing through the canvas, and assaulted Austin before inadvertently giving him the win by throwing him into the cage. The structure came apart, allowing escape.

39. Big Red Machine vs. Big Red Monster (March 29, 1998)

Nobody realized at the time that a running gag was being born. Pete Rose appeared at WrestleMania XIV to insult the then-suffering Boston fans, prompting Kane to dismantle Rose upon arrival. This tradition continued for several ‘Manias following.

38. Love Her or Leave Her (August 22, 1999)

The storyline was Shakespeare with the aggro-rock twist; Shane McMahon forbade his sister Stephanie from dating blue-collar Test. To settle the issue, Shane and Test competed in a startling show-stealer at SummerSlam with Test winning, but not before Shane busted out his first ever Leap of Faith elbow through the Spanish announce table.

37. Garden Street Fight (January 23, 2000)

Cactus Jack reared his ugly head into WWF Champion Triple H’s life, and the two warred in a street fight for the title at the Royal Rumble. A barbed-wire 2X4 found employment for the first time in WWF history, and Helmsley bled more than he ever had before. Cactus taking a Pedigree face-first onto a pile of thumbtacks cinches the match’s place in insanity’s lore.

36. The Highway to Hell (August 30, 1998)

The Crash-TV elements of the era killed off slow-burns and meaningful build in a lot of instances. However, the three-month story of miscommunication and alpha-male posturing between Austin and Undertaker en route to their SummerSlam title bout, complete with AC/DC’s iconic tune in music video form, was a well-rounded, well-received saga.

35. Birmingham: The Original Montreal (September 20, 1997)

Bret Hart wasn’t the only non-American beaten for gold in their own country by Shawn Michaels in dubious fashion. Michaels won the European Title from Davey Boy Smith in England at the ‘One Night Only’ PPV, while Michaels heeled it up to the hilt. The controversial match was witnessed by Smith’s dying sister Tracy, seated ringside with Diana Hart-Smith.

34. DX Invasion (April 27, 1998)

Not the end-all/be-all moment that WWE likes to claim, a fatigue-clad D-Generation X drove an Army Jeep to the Norfolk Scope, where WCW was running Monday Nitro, and the group was filmed interviewing fans with comped tickets, and demanding the release of ‘hostages’ Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Not that WCW needed help in looking uncool.

33. Triple H’s Most Important Turn (March 28, 1999)

Other than Austin regaining the WWF Title, this was the most important part of an awful WrestleMania. Triple H Pedigreed X-Pac in his European title bout with Shane McMahon, going corporate in the process. From this turn spawned wrestling’s most unkillable character.

32. Rikishi Goes Superfly (July 23, 2000)

It surely hurt Don Muraco enough getting pancaked by Jimmy Snuka’s steel cage leap in 1983, but imagine poor Val Venis’ plight. Venis was absolutely squashed by Rikishi, all 400 pounds with an anchoring ass, horrifically recreating the plummet at Fully Loaded 2000

31. “I Need to Beat You” (March 22, 2001)

The build to Austin and Rock’s WrestleMania X7 title match was enhanced in video form with Limp Bizkit’s melancholy “My Way” as the soundtrack. Giving the face-vs-face clash that extra push was Austin’s statement during a sitdown interview with Jim Ross, telling Rock he needed to beat him, with chilling matter-of-factness. Nobody had a clue what lay ahead.

30. This is Your Life, Rock (September 27, 1999)

The 8.4 Nielsen rating, still a Raw record, warrants the inclusion on this list, even if the segment doesn’t exactly hold up comedically. So Mankind hosts a dorky love-in for Rock, complete with cameos from Rock’s past. Highlight is Rock’s high coach pricelessly entering to Lex Luger’s “I’ll Be Your Hero” 1993 hype theme, before getting dressed down.

29. Austin Evens the Odds (April 30, 2000)

You’ll never believe this, but the Corporation stacked the odds against a babyface challenger. The Rock was down and out against Triple H after tons of interference, when Stone Cold hit the ring with a chair, putting down the champ, along with Vince, Shane, Patterson, and Brisco. The crowd response to the signature glass-shatter is some electric energy.

28. Judgment Day is Now (May 21, 2000)

For 58 minutes, Rock and Triple H executed one of the most well-thought out and dramatic Iron Man matches in wrestling history. With the score tied, The Undertaker made his grand return, reverting to real-life motorcycle man roots, assaulting Triple H in the waning seconds to give Helmsley the gold on a fall-ending DQ. Cheap ending aside, everything else ruled.

27. Ladder to Success (August 30, 1998)

While the previous two entries occurred at the culmination of Rock and Triple H’s success, one match revealed their respective potential: a ladder match for the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam. It was each man’s greatest match to date, and the MSG faithful approved of their valiant effort. There was little doubt in each of their bright futures.

26. Austin’s Four Weeks of Destruction (September 28-October 19, 1998)

Lumping four moments of Stone Cold-brand mayhem in one entry: the Zamboni ride to the ring, rectally assaulting Vince with an enema, filling Vince’s Corvette with wet cement, and finally holding him hostage with a flag-loaded prop gun after Austin had been fired. All silly and over-the-top, yes, but it’s hard to remember Austin without these incidents.

25. The Year of Angle (October 22, 2000)

Exuberant Angle was really the first star since The Rock to begin essentially as a WWF pet project and blossom into a no-doubt-about-it main event superstar. In less than one year, Angle was made European and Intercontinental Champions, as well as King of the Ring, before going over on Rock to become WWF Champion at No Mercy. It’s true.

24. Vegas Wedding (November 29, 1999)

Test and Stephanie McMahon were in the midst of what seemed like a touching wedding ceremony, when Triple H appeared, producing footage of himself marrying a drugged, unconscious Stephanie at a drive-thru chapel in Vegas that weekend. Stephanie was proven to be in on the ruse at Armageddon, but the Raw payoff made for good shock TV.

23. Bang Bang! (September 22, 1997)

A nice little surprise for the ‘home crowd’ at the Garden. Triple H thinks he’s getting Dude Love in a falls count anywhere match, but is instead treated to a video of Dude Love and Mankind both passing on the bout. In comes Cactus Jack, his WWF ‘debut’, to accept, and Foley lives out his dream of shining brutally in his favorite arena.

22. Double Screwjob (November 15, 1998)

The Survivor Series ‘Deadly Game’ tournament for the WWF Championship played out with a pair of well-booked swerves. In one, Shane McMahon, estranged from his father, screwed over Austin in a semi-final match with Mankind. Mankind was then screwed over, via Sharpshooter, to The Rock, who captured his first World Title as a corporate centerpiece.

21. Chair After Chair (January 24, 1999)

The I Quit Match at the 1999 Royal Rumble became infamous, thanks in large part due to Barry Blaustein’s “Beyond the Mat” documentary. The Rock pelted a handcuffed Mankind with an endless barrage of unprotected chair shots while Colette Foley and children Dewey and Noelle, both extremely young, cried in horror from the crowd.

20. Star-Crossed Lovers (September 24, 2000)

One of the biggest draws for female fans in the year 2000 was the love triangle that played out between Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and a seemingly platonic Kurt Angle. The story ended hastily at Unforgiven with a Triple H win, but the layers of deceit and miscommunication (namely Triple H’s misgivings with Trish Stratus) were wholly new to WWF television.

19. DX Version 2.0 (March 30, 1998)

Shawn Michaels’ back injury led to Triple H stepping out of the shadow and commandeering the group following WrestleMania XIV. Joining Triple H and Chyna were X-Pac (returning that night following being let go by WCW, which was addressed by Sean Waltman in a vitriolic promo) and The New Age Outlaws, all in the span of one evening.

18. Four New Stars in One (October 17, 1999)

The Terri Invitational Tournament with a sack of money at stake was hardly relevant. Edge, Christian, and The Hardy Boyz stole the night with a ladder match for the ages, elevating each other from midcard driftwood to crowd favorites through intricate stunts, and a violent disregard that didn’t require a gruesome blade job.

17. Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (April 2, 2000, August 27, 2000, April 1, 2001)

On the foundation of that No Mercy ladder match came three epic battles with the aforementioned teams, plus The Dudley Boyz, each upping the ante of showmanship and high-risk suspense. Edge and Christian won all three matches, but the teams would all ride the momentum of the matches to extensive success in their careers.

16. “By My Hand Only” (May 31, 1998)

If you have the Network, just watch Over the Edge 1998 from Vince’s backstage promo, through Pat Patterson’s hysterical ring intros, through the entire Steve Austin-Dude Love WWF Championship brawl, all the way to the satisfying finish. It is the greatest overbooked match in wrestling history, and you’re nuts if you don’t give it five stars.

15. Evacuees of a Falling Empire (January 31, 2000)

After Vince Russo’s WCW reassignment, many concerned parties in the midcard decided they wanted out if Kevin Sullivan got the book. Four of those individuals, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Perry Saturn, immediately jumped to WWF and became known as The Radicals. Benoit even handed back his newly won WCW Championship just to leave.

14. End of an Era (April 1, 2001)

Is there any better physical representation of Attitude’s disintegration than Steve Austin having Vince McMahon help him beat The Rock to become WWF Champion, and then shaking hands with him afterward? It was a helluva match to close WrestleMania X7, and the unthinkable alliance was as palpable a page-turner as any.

13. Heartbreaking Farewell (February 27, 2000)

Yes, Mick Foley’s wrestled matches since his loss to Triple H at No Way Out inside Hell in a Cell, but the moment itself was gutting for the many fans that willed him to the top of the wrestling world. In an era where title changes and alignment-turns were so frequent as to mean nothing, seeing Foley exit meant entirely everything.

12. A Hellish Debut (October 5, 1997)

Hell in a Cell lived up to its hype, with The Undertaker bloodying Shawn Michaels in an oddly cathartic fashion. The payoff to the two-month feud looked to be nigh when the lights suddenly dimmed. Kane had arrived, led by Paul Bearer, to avenge childhood scores with Undertaker. A Tombstone later, and Michaels went over in the epic melee.

11. Taking Over Thursdays (August 26, 1999)

Although the original Smackdown broadcast was a standalone pilot four months earlier, WWF was greenlighted a Thursday showcase to double the output of a red-hot product. WCW was was already in its tailspin, but Smackdown’s high profile on second-tier UPN led to the moving of the abysmal Thunder to Wednesday nights.

10. Raw is Jericho (August 9, 1999)

This entry is somewhat maligned for Jericho looking like a colossal dork by the end, thanks to his decision on how to sell Rock’s putdowns. However, the build with the countdown clock, and the anxious, exultant Chicago crowd, made the initial debut an unforgettable scene, with Jericho striking his now standard T-pose on the Raw is War stage.

9. Birth of a D-Generation (August 18, 1997)

It was wacky, mismatched partner night as The Undertaker and Mankind would be teaming up to battle Shawn Michaels and Triple H. The deal with the latter duo became a regular gig, with the Kliq buddies forming D-Generation X, the breath of fresh air needed to counter a stale, overcrowded nWo, and give WWF some necessary controversy in its programming.

8. Putting Butts in Seats (December 29, 1998)

Airing six days after the listed date, Mankind winning the WWF Championship from The Rock was an underdog triumph which any fan could, and did, relate to. Over on the other channel, Foley’s taped title win was mocked by Tony Schiavone (under duress), shortly before Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash’s infamous ‘fingerpoke’ swerve. Guess what fans liked better?

7. Austin Stuns McMahon (September 22, 1997)

Oh sure, Austin’s beaten up McMahon a million times, but there had to be a first time. McMahon tried to reason with an ornery Austin when Stone Cold was confronted by a group of arresting officers, but the stubborn Austin shook off the well-wishes and gave McMahon, still merely an announcer, a Stone Cold Stunner that would become the first of many.

6. Tyson-Austin, Tyson-Austin! (January 19, 1998)

An important keystone to WWF’s pulling past a near-idling WCW was mainstream acceptance. Getting Mike Tyson to play a part at WrestleMania XIV was a deft move. The masterstroke was instituting a confrontation between Tyson and Austin the night after the Royal Rumble. The spirited skirmish made headline news on ESPN and other major media outlets.

5. The Simulcast (March 26, 2001)

Three days earlier, it was announced that WWF was acquiring WCW for under three million dollars. The final episode of Nitro opened with a surreal image: Vince informing us that the fate of the company was now in his hands. That was before the real-life major story became cartoon-world storyline, as son Shane buys WCW from under his father’s nose.

4. “Will Somebody Stop the Damn Match?!” (June 28, 1998)

Words don’t accurately paint the picture of watching Mick Foley take two unexpected falls off of Hell in a Cell: one planned, the other a heart-stopping accident when the cage roof caved in. Mankind vs. Undertaker became one of those bouts where the loser was remembered much more, and it endures as the defining moment of a wrestler’s relentless spirit.

3. Austin Conquers the World (March 29, 1998)

It was as inevitable as the sunrise that Steve Austin would be WWF Champion at WrestleMania XIV, once the match with Shawn Michaels was set. Michaels’ gutsy performance on a ravaged back remains secondary to the rise of the Attitude Era’s biggest star, kicking off the Austin Era on the fast count of an excited Mike Tyson.

2. Montreal (November 9, 1997)

It’s been rehashed more times than anyone could count – it’s professional wrestling’s Kennedy Assassination. Bret Hart falls victim to Vince McMahon’s deception on the way out of WWF, and the aftermath, unseen by public eye, becomes just as much part of the fabled moment. Most important: it gave WWF the villain it so direly needed: Vince himself.

1. 4.6 to 4.3 (April 13, 1998)

For the first time in nearly two years, WWF Raw beat WCW Nitro in the ratings, surging ahead on Austin’s challenge to a bewildered McMahon for a title match that night. This was so unheard of in 1998, and slack-jawed fans almost refused to change the channel for fear of missing this unprecedented event. From it came the era’s most defining feud.

The Attitude Era: Volume 2 [Blu-ray]

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CM Punk Calls WWE Fake, Says UFC Fighter Is An Easy Job

April 14, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

CM Punk is making some waves with some recent comments about his former trade. The former WWE champion who was once a big pro wrestling fan has now to come to despise it and is a lot less impressed with his former skill set than most of you are.

Punk did a lengthy Q&A with SI.com and whether it is the door officially closing on pro wrestling in his household due to his wife retiring, a million-dollar lawsuit, or pressure, he does not have any kind things to say about his pro wrestling career and the WWE. So for you wrestling fans if you think Punk is coming into the UFC and fighting for you, he is here to tell you that he isn’t.

What does it mean to be a good fake wrestler? That’s an identity crisis that I think I struggled with. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best, someone else picks who they want in the top spot.

It’s fake. People always get offended by that word. ‘No, we like to say it’s pre-determined.’ For whatever reason, people get angry at fake. Pre-determined eases the blow? It’s fake. At the end of the day it doesn’t really mean anything. So after a while, it was, ‘Let’s just really fight and see what happens.’ Now I get to.”

It’s interesting that Punk would go so far as to call it fake. It is what it is but for a guy that admittedly suffered countless concussions and injuries, you would think that fake would be a word that offended him. It certainly offends a lot of his former peers I can tell you that much. It’s not that anyone is trying to say it’s real, it is just that these guys and girls who do it for a living work hard and suffer through quite a lot to make it and sustain their spots. To demean it now that he and his wife are out is a little disappointing.

Backstage [in WWE] is so shark-infested and political. It’s almost comical. A lot of people are more interested in the backstage goings-on than what they see on television. A lot of ways it’s more fascinating. It’s a competition for sure.

You wonder, Did you really punch me in the face? You say it was an accident but I know you and I think you’re a prick and I’ve seen you do this to other people. Are you doing this to me? Did you kick me in the ribs as hard as you can? In MMA I know the other guy is going to try and kick me in the ribs as hard as he can. No, not maliciously. But I’ve been in the wrestling ring with plenty of guys where I’m wondering, Is he is trying hurt me? Is he mad because he is losing? I don’t have to deal with that bullsh*t any more. It’s a godsend.”

The guy is entitled to his opinion but he’s not real smart here. He is mocking the entire fan base that he is expected to bring with him to the UFC. He wasn’t signed to a UFC contract without one fight under his belt because they thought he’d be a champion. He was signed because he was expected to bring the pro wrestling fan base over with him. Coming out with so harshly against pro wrestling isn’t going to help.

Punk was also asked about other WWE stars getting into the UFC. “Half of them talk about it; none of them do it. They have their little comfortable safety net doing WWE stuff, I guess. I would much rather give it a shot than just talk about it.”

Punk not only angered WWE peers and fans but has probably made several of his UFC peers and many fans made as well when he called being a UFC fighter an “easy job.”

“[In WWE] you’re on the road pretty much every day of the year, at least when you’re in the position I was in. Fly into a town. Find a gym, work out. Go to the building. Stretch. Wrestle. Cool down. Drive to the next town. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Now I’m just training. What an easy job, right? It’s way better for me. I was burnt out on traveling, so over it. People think I’m crazy, living in Chicago and driving to Milwaukee every day to train. That’s the easiest thing in the world! Ninety minutes from my front door and I can be in my own bed every night? It’s a different lifestyle and it’s done me wonders. Amazing. I love it.

The real tough sons of bitches are the guys who train as hard as I do and then have to go to their nine-to-five job. I’m fortunate enough to do this as a full-time job. So I get to train two or three times a day. Things are going to be okay for me.”

I have to hand it to Punk. He alienated two fan bases in one interview. That is quite an accomplishment in a day’s work. While I am sure referring to being a UFC fighter as an “easy job” was not meant as a slight against his peers, it will certainly be taken as such.

There is also something quite sad in the way a guy like Punk who used to love pro wrestling has grown to absolutely hate it and everything about it.

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Shawn Michaels Talks WWE Attitude Era, Trailblazing, and More

April 14, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Shawn Michaels is one of the most influential pioneers in WWE history. Michaels helped bridge the gap from the smaller guys to main-events in the 1990s. Michaels reflected on this achievement and offered other insights in a new interview.

The Heartbreak Kid sat down recently with Muscle and Fitness magazine to promote his new book, “Wrestling For My Life.” Michaels talked about a number of subjects in the April issue. Here is a look at some of the highlights.

Michaels was asked if he felt like a trailblazer as one of the smaller guys who made it to the WWE main-event level.

“When you’re not 6’6″ and you’re not going to be 250 pounds, you have no choice but to make it work however you can. You’re thankful that you’re athletic, and you do your best to use that athletic ability. Bret [Hart] and I both tried to focus on that.”

This is something that people really don’t give Michaels enough credit for. Plenty of others tried before him but most were relegated to the intercontinental title picture. It was Michaels and Bret Hart that made it “acceptable” for WWE champions to be on the smaller side. The upside were better matches for the fans and more opportunities for guys that weren’t over 6’5”. Without those accomplishments it is interesting to think about what the WWE would look like today.

Michaels was asked about his fluctuting physique throughout his career and any pressure to get bigger.

“No, there wasn’t any pressure in that respect from anyone. I was training with guys like Kevin Nash and Triple H, guys who like to get in the gym and train hard to this day. When I came back in 2002, after the back injury- for four years I had been out- I found that a lot of those heavier weights were going to be a thing of the past. It was easier on my body, and I stayed healthier carrying less weight.”

It is interesting to note that Michaels left pro wrestling with a reputation for being injury-prone in 1998. He was noticeably much lighter during his second run and I can’t recall him sustaining many serious injuries during that time.

Michaels was also asked about his “Sexy Boy” theme song and whether he expected to be coming out to that song decades later.

“No, I never thought that. Jimmy Hart is the guy who wrote the song. He first recorded it, and then he came up with the idea for me to do it, and I can remember not being thrilled with it. I said, “Oh, my goodness I can’t sing.” But I tell ya, it’s grown a life of its own. It’s funny because it’s obviously so not me, but it’s a toe tapper and people get a kick out of it. When I look back on all of it- the song, the career- I look back on it with the most pleasant smile a guy could ever have because I’m extremely fortunate. I got to live my dream, and that’s pretty rare.”

Finally Michaels was asked to compare the Attitude Era to the PG Era.

“Don’t get me wrong, the Attitude Era was fantastic, but it was four years, and I guess that’s something people don’t think about. We started doing it back in ’97, and by the time I came back in 2002 it was done. I guess there was a little bit of it, but it wasn’t much. It was four years. It’s been built into mythical proportions. You do the best job you can whether it’s the Attitude Era or the PG Era. Successful people succeed in all situations. Smart people, people of wisdom, will succeed in all situations.”

It’s ironic because Michaels is generally associated with the Attitude Era and he wasn’t even around for most of it. I would credit Michaels with kicking it off with his shtick in 1996 but it didn’t really trickle down throughout the card until Shawn was gone in 1998.

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