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Archive for the ‘WWE | Pro Wrestling’

Can Seth Rollins Win a Major WWE Match Without a Technicality?

September 01, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

When pro wrestling historians look back, they’ll remember Seth Rollins as the face of the WWE Reality Era.

Rollins is proving to be one of the more controversial WWE Heavyweight Champions, given the tactics he uses to secure the win in big matches. That’s not taking anything away from Rollins’ in ring ability; Seth Rollins has vindicated himself as one of the most talented wrestlers on the WWE roster. The big question many wrestling fans ask is whether or not Seth Rollins can win a major pay per view event without a specific technicality or a little help from his friends.

Seth Rollins’ defenders are quick to point out that Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a Ladder Match at Money in the Bank. In this match, Rollins and Ambrose both fell to the mat at the same time while simultaneously holding onto the Heavyweight belt. When both men hit, Ambrose landed on his shoulder, which allowed Rollins to roll away with the championship belt in hand.

While the main event at Money in the Bank was certainly an epic finish, I’d encourage the Rollins’ fanbase to look at the technicalities and stipulations that have helped Seth retain the Heavyweight strap:

  • At Extreme Rules, Rollins used the technicality of banning Randy Orton’s finishing move, the RKO, in order to pull off the win.
  • At Payback, Rollins won a Fatal 4 Way match by sliding back into the ring and Pedigreeing a dazed Randy Orton. He also received help from J&J Security at ringside.
  • At Elimination Chamber, Seth Rollins retained the title although he lost via disqualification. Although Dean Ambrose thought he won the match, the referee that was knocked unconscious. When the ref regained consciousness, he ruled the match a DQ.
  • At SummerSlam, Rollins defeated John Cena with the help of Jon Stewart, the world renown comedian. Stewart showed up in the ring with a steel chair and delivered the finishing blow to John Cena.

His record is impressive, but all of this begs the question: can Seth Rollins defend his Heavyweight Championship on a Pay Per View event and pin his opponent in a fair 1-2-3 fashion? Rollins’ pay per view win streak is certainly impressive, and he deserves all the credit in the WWE Universe for finding ways to leave the building with his title. Perhaps that’s part of the mystique of Rollins. Time after time, Seth Rollins innovates new ways of defending his WWE Championship. Seth Rollins is one of those guys that some fans love to hate.

When Seth Rollins’ entrance music hits, he produces one of the loudest pops of the entire show. It’s usually a mix between cheers and boos, given the fact the WWE fans are typically evenly split concerning their opinion of Rollins.

When you look at the shenanigans of Seth Rollins, it’s hard to envision Rollins actually getting a straight up and down victory over a more physical competitor. Could you imagine a Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins Heavyweight title match as the main event of the next big pay per view?

If Seth Rollins can somehow find a way to win against some of the most feared Heavyweight Championship contenders, Rollins will certainly go down in the record books as one of the all time greats in WWE history.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Recalls Interesting Moment With WWE CEO Vince McMahon

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

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Stone Cold Steve Austin to challenge the beast incarnate at WrestleMania 32. Austin spoke about a conversation with Vince McMahon that resulted in a lot of heat and a lot of shattered dreams for wrestling fans.

Austin found himself in a little bit of hot water several weeks ago after a podcast with his old manager Paul Heyman on the WWE Network. Austin and Heyman had fun with the idea of Austin wrestling Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. Austin cut a promo on Heyman and teased the match so hard that many predicted that his promo was the first of many more to come. Unfortunately, wishful thinking will not result in seeing the dream match.

It has been reported since that Vince McMahon was irate at Austin and Heyman for teasing the match. McMahon reportedly felt that both, specifically Austin shouldn’t tease a match that big without agreeing to do it. In McMahon’s eyes, he probably saw it as a huge distraction from anything else that would be teased for Mania 32 along the way and he’d probably be right.

Austin recently spoke about the conversation with McMahon on a podcast. Here is how it went down according to the Texas Rattlesnake. According to Austin, he received the call while trying on shorts at Macy’s store.

I have Vince listed in my iPhone 6 [as] ‘VKM’, all capital letters. All of a sudden, ‘hmmm… it’s Mr. Vince McMahon calling me’, so I’m thinking, ‘okay, I got to answer the phone – he’s either calling to tell me it was a great interview with Paul Heyman, we blew the internet up, or he’s going to call and eat my a$$ out about making a match at WrestleMania 32 with Brock Lesnar’, which was not my intention. It was the latter.

Austin also called the conversation an “interesting moment”. Keep in mind that not only did WWE showcase the Heyman-Austin exchange on its YouTube channel, it is still there.

Austin was recently asked by Ric Flair on Flair’s recent Wooooo Nation podcast about wrestling at WrestleMania 32. Flair was blunt about it asking Austin, “How much money is it going to take to see you taking a bunch of German suplexes from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32.”

Austin laughed it off and said that he will definitely not be taking a bunch of German suplexes from the beast incarnate at WrestleMania 32. Austin never used the word “never” but he was much more evasive about it than he was on his own podcast. The only thing he was definitive on was taking the suplexes.

Keep in mind that Austin and Heyman talked about a Texas Death Match. The idea of booking a Texas Death Match would be that Austin wouldn’t have to take a bunch of suplexes and instead could brawl with Lesnar. It was a smart idea to protect Austin and his neck as much as possible against the beast.

One thing is pretty clear at this point. Austin won’t be wrestling Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. The finish at SummerSlam all but guaranteed a rubber match between Undertaker and Lesnar at Mania 32. I think we’re past the point of no return where even if Austin wanted to come back, the booking is committed to Taker vs. Lesnar III.

Which is unfortunate because I don’t think there is a fan in the world who wouldn’t want to see Austin and Lesnar duke it out at WrestleMania.

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Hulk Hogan Begins His Apology Tour on Good Morning America

August 31, 2015 By: Category: Entertainment, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan kicked off what some are calling an “Apology Tour” Monday morning on Good Morning America. The former WWE world champion told Amy Robach and the world that he was sorry asking for forgiveness and understanding.

Hogan’s world came crashing down like a leg drop in 1984 a few weeks ago after the National Enquirer released a transcript which documented Hogan admitting to being a “little” racist and using the n-word in derogatory and racist fashion while being secretly recorded. Hogan immediately lost his job with the WWE and the respect of millions of minority fans who cheered for him over the last thirty-plus years.

I wouldn’t say that Hogan has remained silent since then. Hogan has primarily used Twitter as his preferred form of communication and let’s just say it hasn’t gone well. Hogan has been ridiculed by many who have played practical jokes on the Hulkster, yet to be fair he has gotten a lot of support. Yet Hogan’s attempts to spin the comments have largely backfired in his face and he has remained mum on the subject.

Hogan must have struck some kind of a deal with ABC as he appeared on Good Morning America Monday morning and will appear on Nightline later that night. Hogan told Robach that he was very sorry for what he said. He said it was the lowest point of his life. Hogan then tried to justify it by saying he grew up in a lower-class neighborhood and that (the n-word) is the way he and his friends used to greet each other every day. He also said that he was angry with Brooke and it was her boyfriend that was the root of the ranting. He got choked up (although I didn’t see tears) when Robach read Brooke’s poem. Hogan asked for another chance saying that a man shouldn’t be judged at the lowest part of his life. Hogan and Robach said his WWE firing was a great thing as “the truth set him free” although I am really not sure how that applies here. Robach said that he is now spending his time trying to bring awareness to the impact of racial slurs.

Where do I begin? Hogan is 62 and while I have no idea what life for him was like as a kid, I find it extremely hard to believe that he and his minority friends were walking around calling each other the n-word in the 1950s and early 60s. Anything is possible, but we aren’t talking about a guy in that grew up 20 years ago. With the enemies Hogan has made at Gawker, I would not be surprised at all to see someone pop up in the next few days from Hogan’s childhood disputing everything he just said.

What really started to bother me here was Hogan defending the use by saying that the word was commonplace in his environment growing up. That would be perfectly justifiable if Hogan was using it on the recording as a term of endearment. However, Hogan was using the word much differently than as if he was “greeting” someone. He was using the word with malice and disgust so for him to spin this the other way just doesn’t add up in my opinion.

This is also the same lens Hogan looked through when he tried to justify his actions on Twitter. He compared his use of the n-word to Barack Obama using it, again neglecting to own the fact that Hogan was using the word in a derogatory and insulting fashion. I don’t know if Hogan is trying to manipulate the story or really doesn’t understand the issue at hand. He is not being criticized for simply using the n-word. That is too easy. The man is on video admitting to being “a little racist” and using vile language. Spinning the story to turn it into something else is either naïve or a savvy play on his part.

Robach for her part didn’t press Hogan on anything and sat there smiling as if she was wearing a Hulkamania shirt. Hogan is lucky he wasn’t pressed on anything here. It should also be pointed out that nothing from the transcript was shown or repeated during the segment. So if you are a watching the interview without ever seeing or hearing the transcript, you probably assume that Hogan was in trouble for nothing more than simply using the n-word. The lack of journalism here was shocking to say the least.

Quite frankly I don’t care either way. I watched Hogan as a kid and grew up in the Hulkamania era. Nothing can take away those memories and I’ll always have a soft spot for the guy. At the same time, his lack of real accountability here is starting to make me angrier than the actual recording did. At some point, the man just needs to step up and admit exactly what he did and take some ownership if he expects forgiveness.

I’d expect more of the same as we see Hogan continue to pop up over the next few months in the media. I wish nothing but the best for the man and if he wins his $100 million lawsuits, he’ll have plenty of reasons to celebrate life. However, I am more convinced than ever that the next time we see Hogan on WWE television will probably be a tribute video. Paying the price for this mess with his legacy is a steep price tag yet the more he opens his mouth the less of a chance I see of him ever getting it back.

WWE: The Kliq Rules

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Sting, WWE, and the Idea of Backwards Thinking

August 31, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

No matter how hard I try to distance myself from wrestling of the past, the more it seems I cannot get away from the way things, “used to be.”

A fan on a message board a simple question, but the answer I gave back to him was more than he probably bargained for.

“If Shawn Michaels could return for one last match, who would you like to see him wrestle?”

I’m not the biggest Michaels fan, but the answer I gave to this innocent fan was more about how I feel with the current state of WWE and its product we see on a weekly basis.

“I don’t want Shawn Michaels to return. In fact, the less we talk about Michaels in the present tense, the better off wrestling would be.”

I hope my comments did not make the fan, who was 18 years old, cry or lose sleep over this. Talking about the greats of the past is fine with me, but they retired for a reason and to try and create some dramatic ending to an already written script does very little for me. Maybe that is why the current state of Sting and WWE is more upsetting than anything else.

The creation of a WWE World Title match involving Seth Rollins and Sting is one that has me as perplexed as idea that the Four Horsemen were created in some backroom in Stamford with a WWF creative team. It’s bogus.

I don’t want to see a 56-year old man raise the company title, defending it night after night as a true representation of how far the business has “advanced.” The fact Steve Borden has leapfrogged the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Brock Lesnar to defend the company’s honor and take away what Rollins has created as his best work goes against everything I held pure – and yes there is such thing in professional wrestling – in a squared circle.

I’m a huge Sting fan, but a champion with diminished skills who cannot deliver a 5-star match worries the tar out of me.

No, I am not losing sleep over it. But I cannot bear to watch the mockery of the company’s title division. How does it work that Sting will face Rollins and the likes of Cena and Lesnar have no real opponent at the present time? The creative team had something special in Rollins and Cena, which we all saw last Sunday night. Sting brings drama and excitement and creates the notion that as long as the man in face paint is around, the WWE is safe from the villain who holds the current crown.

There is no logic in what has transpired in the past week, but somehow, some way fans are behind the popular hero.

I wonder what Cena thinks about this move? How can he not cringe a bit at losing his United States Title and the chance to tie Ric Flair for 16 title reigns and the hands of Jon Stewart and then to see his chance to get back in the ring with Rollins at Night of Champions trumped by a plan to have Sting come from nowhere to grab the title.

I’m still wondering where the current creative writers learned to pen scripts and who taught them to write wrestling finishes. I almost long for the days of Eric Bischoff. At least he wrote a program from the ending to the beginning so there was a story and depth.

I know. As weird as it sounds it looks just as weird in print.

The company has three weeks to get this right. And they have to use Sting more than a few appearances where he comes out of the shadows. He is going to have to speak and not just let his baseball bat do his talking. This has to come off without a hitch. It’s the situation presented to us. If it fails, there will be major questions to be answered. And WWE does not need another questionable night like it did at SummerSlam. There is more than just integrity riding on Sting’s shoulders. There is also the ability to tell a believable story.

Are we really going to believe what The Icon and WWE are selling?

WWE: The Kliq Rules

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WWE SmackDown Results and August 27 Recap

August 29, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week’s show opens up with the Wyatt Family, including the newest member, Braun Strowman. So much for those rumors of Adam Rose. We cut over to his debut on RAW, where he beat up both Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, while apparently using that lame chokehold Samuel Shaw uses as his finisher. Back to the arena, the lights are still out, and the Wyatts are in the ring. Luke Harper says your eyes have been sewn shut, and your ears clogged with the lies they’ve told you. Everyone is already dead, but they don’t know it. Bray Wyatt’s truth will give everyone new life. Wyatt says unlike Reigns, he doesn’t throw out words like “brother” and “family” as a smokescreen to hide his selfish ways. No, family means everything to him, and he means everything to his family. Sister Abigail gave him so much, like guidance and inspiration. And just when he thought he had nothing left, when he needed her the most, she provided him a savior. That is what being a family is all about. Abigail has told Wyatt all about Strowman, her “little black sheep”. This is his purpose, because she knew he was perfectly imperfect, and she gave Wyatt Strowman because she knew where he could lead Strowman. Now, it is time, because he is the new face of fear. Harper is the new face of desolation. And now, for the world to see, Strowman is the new face of destruction. Strowman removes his black sheep mask and laughs.

Reigns and Ambrose appear in the crowd and almost immediately head down to ringside. They stare down the Wyatts, and Reigns says it is what it is. The big boy whipped their asses on RAW, but it isn’t the first time they’ve been whipped, and it won’t be the last. If they’re going down, they’re going down swinging. Ambrose says he’ll take the ugly one. The two enter the ring, and the five stare each other down. Wyatt holds Strowman back and screams he’s already inside Reigns’ head. The Wyatts then leave the ring.

Later tonight, Ambrose will face Sheamus, and we will also see the Smackdown return of the Dudley Boyz.

MATCH 1: THE ASCENSION (KONNOR AND VIKTOR) VS. THE DUDLEY BOYZ (BUBBA RAY AND D-VON)
At this rate, the Ascension will be gone after Wrestlemania, if not sooner. WWE completely blew it with these two. Konnor and Bubba start with a lock-up and jockey for position. Bubba is looking chunky again. Bubba backs Konnor into the corner, gives a clean break, then screams. They lock up again, and Konnor clubs Bubba down. They collide in the middle of the ring, and now Konnor is doing the screaming. He eats a kick off a back-body drop attempt, and now D-Von tags in to hit Konnor with a double shoulderblock for 1. Konnor fights back and tags in Viktor. D-Von comes off the ropes with a flying shoulder for 1, then tags Bubba back in. The two hit a version of the old Sidewinder (The Smoking Gunns’ finisher, not the swinging sideslam) for 2. Bubba hits the Flip, Flop and Fly, then follows up with a bodyslam. He calls for the Wassup as Konnor argues with the ref. Bubba then orders D-Von to get the table. He obliges, only to have Konnor clothesline him at ringside. Bubba turns around into an STO, and now Konnor tags in. He hits an assisted avalanche, then whips Bubba into a Viktor boot for 2. Konnor clubs Bubba before Bubba comes back with a surprise clothesline. D-Von tags in and hits another shoulder off the ropes before giving an incoming Viktor a flapjack. He drops Konnor with a neckbreaker, follows up with an avalanche, then connects with another shoulder for 2 as Viktor breaks it up. The Ascension miss a double clothesline and get hit with one by D-Von. Bubba tags in, tosses Viktor to the floor, then the two connect with the 3-D for 3.

WINNERS: THE DUDLEY BOYZ.

D-Von slides a table into the ring, and they set it up near the corner. That’s when the New Day run down to ringside, and they’re holding up picket signs that say a bunch of stupid things about saving the table. The Dudley Boyz ignore them, then put Viktor through a table with a superbomb.

MATCH 2: NEVILLE VS. KEVIN OWENS
They lock up, and Neville applies a side headlock. Owens pulls the hair and backs Neville into the corner, where he misses a chop. He tries to block a kick before Neville locks him in a waistlock, then sends him to the floor with a hurricanrana. Neville goes for a baseball slide, misses and gets hit with a clothesline. Owens breaks the count before rolling Neville back in, where he hits him with an inverted TKO for 2. Commercials.

Back from the break, Neville tries to fight out of a rear chinlock, but instead gets hit with a short-arm before a running senton gets 2. Owens goes back to the chinlock. Neville fights out, hits a boot in the corner, then lands several strikes. He ends the series with a running boot to the side of the head. He follows up with an avalanche and a big kick. A springboard missile dropkick gets 2. Neville goes for a German suplex, but Owens fights out and goes for a back suplex. Neville escapes, sends Owens into the ropes and rebounds with a quick German. Owens rolls to the floor, so Neville tries the baseball slide again. He misses once more, but then ducks a clothesline and lands a superkick. Owens is rolled back in, and Neville heads up for the Red Arrow. Owens gets to his feet, so Neville drops to the apron for a kick. He tries to slingshot himself back in, but Owens stops him with a superkick of his own. He pulls Neville into the ring and puts him down for 3 with a pop-up powerbomb.

WINNER: KEVIN OWENS.

We see Becky Lynch and Charlotte celebrating in the back, but they’re stopped by the Bella Tw*ts. This leads to a Bellas promo that involves high school graduation (seriously). They point out Paige isn’t here, and they’re trying to turn Lynch and Charlotte on Paige. It isn’t working. Charlotte points out the Nikki Bella heel turn last year that we’d all like to forget. Lynch and Charlotte walk away, and now the Bellas are arguing. Riveting television, folks.

MATCH 3: CHARLOTTE AND BECKY LYNCH VS. THE BELLA TWINS (BRIE AND WWE DIVAS CHAMPION NIKKI)
Team BAD are on commentary, while Jimmy Uso has stepped aside. This is not an improvement. Charlotte and Nikki start with a lock-up, which Nikki turns into a wristlock. Charlotte counters with her own, then tags out to Lynch. PCB hit a double dropkick for 1. Sweet merciful crap, we’re less than two minutes in, and I have to put my computer on mute. Nikki elbows out of a hammerlock, then hits a sunset flip for 2. She tags to Brie off a front chancery, and the Bellas hit a double back elbow and a double hair whip for 2. Lynch recovers and puts Brie down with a dropkick. She drops a trio of legs before tagging in Charlotte, who misses the Flair Knee. Brie dropkicks her in the knee for 2, then applies a modified Haas of Pain. Charlotte crawls for the ropes, but Brie stops her with “punches”. Brie escapes a bodyslam after Charlotte’s knee buckles, but then she runs into a boot in the corner. Charlotte backdrops her to the apron, then knocks her to the floor with a forearm. She crawls for the tag, low-bridging an incoming Nikki in the process. Lynch drops to the floor to take care of Nikki, then comes back up for the tag, only to have Brie forearm her to the floor. Brie turns around into a quick schoolgirl into a bridge by Charlotte, and this one’s over.

WINNERS: CHARLOTTE AND BECKY LYNCH.

Seth Rollins comes out, and in case you’re like me and didn’t watch Summerslam, Rollins is now both the WWE US and World Champion. He’s also facing Sting in a “dream” match for the World title at Night of Champions. Rollins says RAW was supposed to be the greatest night of his life. A statue of his likeness was created in recognition of his greatness, and it was set to be unveiled in front of the WWE Universe. It was supposed to be a moment that would take him from legendary status and move him into immortality. He understands no one understands what greatness is about. He is the first man ever to cash in MITB in the main event at Wrestlemania and walk out the World Champion. He is the first man in the history of WWE to hold both the World and US belts at the same time. That is greatness, and deserves more than a statue. It deserves a parade in every town. Hollywood should make a movie about his story. Everyone would lobby to play the part of Rollins in his biopic. 8/23, the day he beat John Cena at Summerslam to hold both titles, should be declared a national holiday. They were set to unveil his statue to take him to immortality. He was about to join Bruno Sammartino, Andre and the Ultimate Warrior. What should have been the greatest night of his life, was instead replaced by [Sting hiding on the statue podium]. We go to the footage from RAW, where Sting beat Rollins up before holding the title belt over his head. Back to the arena, Rollins says he understands why Sting is jealous. Everyone is jealous of him. He has accomplished more in a few years than Sting did his entire career. He is atop the mountain of WWE while Sting toiled for years in the minor leagues. He gets why Sting is jealous, but what he doesn’t get is what gives Sting the right to ruin his moment, to stand in his ring, to assault him without provocation, to take his title and hold it over his head like Rollins owes him a damn thing. Rollins isn’t afraid of a freak in face paint. The old man should be afraid of Rollins. Triple H said his one regret was not finishing Sting off for good at Wrestlemania, and Rollins begged Trips for the match at NoC. Rollins always get what he wants. At NoC, Sting gets his opportunity to enter immortality when “The Architect” defends his title against “The Artifact”. Rollins guarantees that, when he beats Sting, he will finish the job Trips started when he crushes Sting’s old bones to dust.

JoJo is standing by with Sheamus. She mentions the match later, and Sheamus says Dean Ambrose has a lot on his mind. That’s too bad, because he needs to keep his eyes directly on Sheamus tonight. If he turns away for a second, Sheamus will Brogue Kick his head off his shoulders. Why? He holds the MITB contract, and what that means is that, whenever he chooses, he will be the next WWE World Champion. You could say it is what it is.

MATCH 4: INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION RYBACK AND DOLPH ZIGGLER (W/LANA) VS. THE BIG SHOW AND RUSEV (W/SUMMER RAE)
Ryback and Show start with a lock-up. Show backs Ryback to the corner for a series of body blows. Ryback crawls across the ring before shoving Show into the corner for some shoulder thrusts and kicks. Ryback ducks a clothesline and explodes with a flying shoulderblock. Or maybe Show hit the move. It looked really bad, so it’s possible. Anyway, Show is up first, and he goes for the chokeslam. Ryback escapes and definitely connects with the shoulder this time. He knocks Rusev off the apron, but then turns around into a spear. Rusev tags himself in and orders Show to the outside as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, Rusev has a rear chinlock applied. Ryback escapes and hits a few punches before Rusev hits a dropkick for 2. He brushes Show off after Show asks for a tag, then stomps Ryback in the back. He lands another kick and drops an elbow. Show is still looking for a tag. Rusev feigns tagging out, but then goes back to stomping Ryback instead. Ryback fights back with right hands, but Rusev catches him with a back elbow. He knocks Ziggler off the apron, then trash-talks Lana, who no longer sports the power suits. Rusev turns around and gets caught with a spinebuster. Rusev makes the tag, as does Ryback. Ziggler hits a pair of dropkicks and a corner splash before Show catches him. Ziggler counters with a DDT, then puts Show down with a superkick for 2. He goes for the kick again, but Show goozles him. Ziggler escapes and kicks Show in the knee before going for the rocker dropper. Show picks him up and hits a reverse powerbomb before dropping Ziggler with a KO Punch. Rusev tags himself in and knocks Ryback off the apron. He then stomps Ziggler in the back and calls for the Accolade. He locks it in, but then breaks the hold when Show hits him with a KO Punch. Ziggler wakes up and has enough wherewithal to cover Rusev with one arm and get the 3.

WINNERS: RYBACK AND DOLPH ZIGGLER.

Expect Show heel/face turn #812 any day now.

We see Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in the back. Ambrose says he’ll take care of Sheamus and teach him all about respect tonight. Reigns says he’ll take care of the Wyatts, and Ambrose needs to focus. He needs to put his boot into Sheamus’ pasty, white face. He needs to keep thinking that while Reigns goes Wyatt-hunting.

MATCH 5: SHEAMUS VS. DEAN AMBROSE
Sheamus goes on the attack with punches before stomping Ambrose down in the corner. He hits a short-arm, then throws Ambrose to the floor. Outside, Sheamus continues the attack befor eplaying with his hair. Ambrose slams him face-first into the announce desk repeated, then nails him with a forearm. He throws Sheamus into the barricade, rolls him into the ring, then clotheslines him back to the floor. Ambrose nails another forearm off the announce desk, then follows up with chops. Sheamus clubs him in the gut, then throws him into the barricade by the announce desk. Sheamus hits a bodyslam on the edge of the announce desk as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, the match is back in the ring. Sheamus drops Ambrose gut-first across the top rope, then drops him to the apron with a running kneelift. Back in the ring, Sheamus hits a standing vertical suplex, then locks in the stretch muffler. Ambrose pulls himself up onto Sheamus’ shoulders, but then gets powerbombed right back down. Sheamus goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Ambrose rolls to the apron, and Sheamus looks for the 10 Beats of Bodhran. He gets about 6 before just punching Ambrose in the head. Ambrose comes back with some punches of his own, then goes for his own version of the 10 Beats. Sheamus stops him with a hotshot, sending Ambrose to the floor. Ambrose tries to climb back in, but Sheamus kicks him back to the floor. Sheamus heads out and tries to roll him back in, only to have Ambrose spin through and nails Sheamus with a clothesline. Ambrose is back in first, followed by Sheamus. Ambrose lights Sheamus up with strikes, nails a couple forearms off the ropes, another one in the corner and a running bulldog. A la magistral cradle gets 2. Sheamus tosses Ambrose into the buckles, but then misses a shoulder, crashing into the post and onto the floor. Ambrose knocks him into the barricade with a suicide dive. Sheamus rolls back in, and Ambrose hits a flying elbow for 2. Sheamus rolls to the apron, where he nails another punch and a kneelift. Back in, he misses a Brogue Kick, and Ambrose rolls him up for 2. Sheamus fights off Dirty Deeds before eating a rebound clothesline. Ambrose goes after Sheamus again, only to have the lights go out. When they come back on, the Wyatt Family have surrounded the ring. Sheamus uses the distraction to nail a Brogue Kick and get 3.

WINNER: SHEAMUS.

The Wyatts enter the ring, but before they do any damage, Roman Reigns’ music hits. Braun Strowman needs to find gear that actually fits. Anyway, Luke Harper heads out to ringside to wait for Reigns, only for Reigns to run down the ramp and blast him with a Superman Punch from the steps. He fights off Bray Wyatt before he’s left standing in the ring with Strowman. Strowman no-sells some offense before grabbing Reigns by the jaw. He then slams Reigns face-first before he locks in that same stupid chokehold from RAW. Strowman looks like a slightly more fit Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds). Strowman picks Reigns up for a powerbomb, but then turns it into a face-first slam (think the Big Ending). The Wyatts stand over Reigns as the screen fades.

END OF SHOW.

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The WWE Divas Revolution Is Getting Ugly

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

There appears to be a bit of a double standard in the WWE Universe. It seems that while the universe has been highly vocal in expressing their views on the Divas Revolution, those same voices appear to be a little too sensitive when the girls return the favor.

The wheels came off of the rails Monday night in Brooklyn on live television. During Monday Night RAW, about 15,000 fans hijacked the segments featuring the WWE Divas with catcalls and unflattering chants. Yet when the Divas went on social media to respond, those same critics cried foul.

Paige was the first to break her silence and fire back at the crowd and critics of the movement. Paige went on Twitter and scolded those fans.

“You helped us create change and then did your best to disrespect. Niceeeee jobbbbbbbb!”

Brie Bella followed by posting on Instagram “Brooklyn crowd can kiss my ass” while her sister Nikki wrote “WWE Brooklyn shame on you for disrespecting women that put their bodies on the line for your entertainment.”

The Bellas and Paige immediately got heat for their social media escapades and were criticized for being unprofessional to their fans. Paige actually went back and deleted her tweet. Unfortunately for her the tweet was seen by plenty in social media and still hasn’t forgotten. Yet I see absolutely nothing wrong with Paige or the Bellas for firing back.

Let’s be honest for a second. The segments on Monday and the booking of this “revolution” has been downright awful. The cynic in me says that it was booked to fail as some kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy by Vince McMahon. Nobody with any pro wrestling acumen could believe that this booking would get anyone over. So nobody should be surprised by fan reaction on and off of social media.

At the same time, I think fan chants have gotten way out of hand and took the fun out of pro wrestling a while ago. To be fair, the WWE regularly encourages these chants so they have nobody to blame but themselves. The chants were even addressed on commentary Monday night. Why wouldn’t Paige and the Bellas be upset at being essentially embarrassed on live television by fans who hijacked their segment?

That said, someone should let Paige know that nobody was asking for THIS Divas Revolution. I don’t even know how many fans were clamouring for any kind of a divas revolution. With all due respect to Paige, and I think she’s a damned good worker, you can’t blame the fans for rejecting something they never really wanted.

This whole Divas Revolution has gotten way out of hand. Quite honestly, it may be one of the biggest booking flops this company has produced in a long time. Paige and the Bellas shouldn’t be mad at the fans, they should be mad at the writers for ruining their party. Then again, it’s their party and they can certainly cry if they want to.

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It’s Good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story WWE DVD Review

August 27, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

As if it needs to be said, Jerry “The King” Lawler has led an incredible life and career, the latter of which has spanned forty some-odd years. In that time, Lawler has damn near seen it all and done it all. With this set, Lawler finally gets to share those stories and talk about his life in and out of the squared circle in a new set that should not be missed.

Like most of these sets, Lawler starts off talking about his life growing up, his family, etc. As you might expect, he initially got interested in wrestling as a way to bond with his dad, and the two used to attend matches weekly in his hometown of Memphis. During his early years, Lawler also developed an interest in art, specifically drawing/sketching, and during the matches with his dad, would draw pictures of what he was seeing. Eventually, he submitted some of those drawings to the local network that showed wrestling, the art was later shown on TV, and that led to the head of the territory, the now-legendary Jackie Fargo, inviting Lawler to come back and become the official artist for the promotion.

As if that weren’t enough, not only did Lawler later go to school with Jimmy Hart (with the two later on pretty much spending their careers in pro wrestling together), but a local radio network job late at night led to Lawler accidentally becoming a pro wrestler, with him literally lying (by his own admission) about a non-existent career to another promoter in the area-basically a backyard fed before such things existed-and Lawler was just thrown into the sport. Turns out he was kind of a natural.

Without giving away the entire set, that’s kind of how Lawler’s story goes. Turns out he was just naturally gifted in numerous areas, and the doors repeatedly opened for him. Every single chunk of the documentary portion of this set seems to feature a story like that, with Lawler just kind of lucking into his different roles in pro wrestling over the years.

Not that Lawler doesn’t deserve it. Over the course of his career, Lawler has worked exceptionally hard to be considered a true living legend of the sport, and it’s all covered within this set. From his beginnings in Memphis Wrestling all the way to his Hall of Fame induction in 2007, as well as much more. My personal favorite section is, as you might expect, the chunk spent talking about his legendary feud with Andy Kaufman. Not only is it fun to hear him tell these stories (seriously, the Kaufman stuff never gets old), but even cooler is that Lawler is joined by Kaufman’s best friend, Bob “Tony Clifton” Zmuda, as well as his former girlfriend, Lynne Marguiles. The face that both of these individuals wanted to be on the set is awesome, and they add tons of color to the stories of Lawler and Kaufman, and contribute even more throughout the rest of the set.

Although I think I know quite a bit about Lawler’s career, having been following it for at least the last 21 years and going back later on to check out his early work, I still came away surprised with some of the stuff that is discussed, including how he got his own promotion off the ground in Memphis, how he wound up in the WWF in 1993 in the first place, how he and Kaufman originally pitched their feud to the WWF, and more.
The set ends on something of a bittersweet note, as the last main story covered is the now (unfortunately) famous on-air heart attack Lawler suffered in mid-2012. Admittedly, I never could bring myself to watch the footage originally, but it’s mostly intact here, with the added “bonus” of backstage footage of Lawler being revived, as well as both Vince McMahon and Michael Cole understandably breaking down and on the verge of completely losing it the entire time. Needless to say, it’s incredibly hard to watch, and I found myself getting choked up, even though I knew the eventual outcome. Thankfully, we also get to see his emotional return to the company later in the year, and more thankfully, there was no permanent damage. Despite heart disease running in Lawler’s family (it took his father right before his wrestling career was about to start), Lawler has remained extremely healthy his career and recovered quite quickly. Although it’s not mentioned here, Lawler has never drank alcohol, smoked a cigarette or done drugs, essentially making him straight edge before it existed.

In addition to all of this, there are tons of stories from his contemporaries, including all those previously mentioned as well as Jim Ross, his son, Brian Christopher, his girlfriend, school teachers, legendary wrestling journalist Bill Apter, and many more. Plus, in between segments, Lawler does some illustrations of various characters and people who have been important in his life, all the while continuing his stories. In case you’ve never seen Lawler draw, he is good. Exceptionally good.

Although the documentary runs about average for these sets (90 minutes or so), it feels so much longer, thanks to the ridiculous amount of content crammed into that short period of time. And that doesn’t even include the matches. There are two full discs of matches that span Lawler’s entire career, as well as some of his classic promo segments. The matches span 1981 up until 2011, and features a who’s who of opponents, including Terry Funk, Roddy Piper, the Undertaker, Curt Hennig, Kerry Von Erich, and plenty more. Sadly, his ‘Mania match with Cole is also included, but given that it was his first and only ‘Mania match, it can be forgiven. Surprisingly, a lot of content from the “New Generation” era is included here, despite the fact that he didn’t have a lot of memorable matches during that point (although his commentary and interviews were still top-notch). There’s a handful or rare “Attitude Era” matches as well, plus some “legends” matches against the likes of Ric Flair and Tazz, as well as his one-and-only WWE Championship match against the Miz, which, given Lawler’s age at the time and the fact that the Miz will always be terrible, is really better than it has any right to be.

Overall, this set is one of my favorites to come along in a long time, and one I consider a must-own for fans of all ages. Lawler is a rare breed who has not only lived through nearly every major era in professional wrestling, but contributed to each one in a number of ways. Not only that, but he pretty much did it all on his own as a self-made man.

While his commentary work the last few years has been questionable in its quality, it can’t diminish the fact that Lawler is truly a legend in the business who deserves the respect of everyone, from the fans all the way up to the promoters, and if this set doesn’t prove that, I don’t know what will.

DISC 1:

Documentary:

Intro
Early Years
High School
Growing up a Memphis Wrestling Fan
Father Passes Away
Jerry’s Art Teacher
Jerry’s Start in Wrestling
Passing the Torch
Family Life as a Wrestler
Building a Star
A New Beginning for Memphis Wrestling
Andy Kaufman
Memphis Wrestling in the 1980s
Jerry’s Start in the WWE
Announcing Career
Running for Mayor of Memphis
Leaving & Returning to the WWE
Hall of Fame
1st WWE Title Match
WrestleMania XXVII
Heart Attack
Closing

DISC 2:

Empty Arena Match
Jerry Lawler vs. Terry Funk
Memphis Wrestling • April 25, 1981

Jerry Lawler vs. Andy Kaufman
Memphis Wrestling • April 5, 1982

No Disqualification, Loser Leaves Town Match for the Southern Heavyweight Championship
Jerry Lawler vs. “Superstar” Bill Dundee
Memphis Wrestling • June 6, 1983

Jerry Lawler vs. Eddie Gilbert
Pro-Wrestling USA • October 20, 1984

Jerry Lawler vs. Curt Hennig
AWA Championship Wrestling • March 12, 1988

Jerry Lawler on Being AWA Champion
AWA Championship Wrestling • May 29, 1988

AWA & WCCW Championship Unification Match
Jerry Lawler vs. Kerry Von Erich
World Class Championship Wrestling • September 24, 1988

Jerry Lawler’s WWE Debut
Prime Time Wrestling • December 7, 1992

Jerry Lawler vs. Jim Powers
RAW • April 5, 1993

King’s Court with Giant Gonzales
Wrestling Challenge • May 23, 1993

Jerry Lawler interrupts Bret Hart’s coronation
King of the Ring • June 13, 1993

King’s Court with Tiny Tim
RAW • July 19, 1993

Jerry Lawler vs. Owen Hart
Wrestling Challenge • July 25, 1993

Bret Hart vs. Bam Bam Bigelow
RAW • July 26, 1993

King Foolish
RAW • April 11, 1994

King’s Court with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
RAW • June 6, 1994

Jerry Lawler vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
King of the Ring • June 19, 1994

Casket Match
Jerry Lawler vs. The Undertaker
White Plains, NY • September 28, 1994

DISC 3:

King’s Court with William Shatner
RAW • January 9, 1995

Kiss My Foot Match Training #1
RAW • June 5, 1995

Kiss My Foot Match Training #2
RAW • June 12, 1995

“Kiss My Foot Match”
Jerry Lawler vs. Bret Hart
King of the Ring • June 25, 1995

Jerry Lawler vs. Al Jackson
Superstars • March 23, 1996

Jerry Lawler vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
SummerSlam • August 18, 1996

The Great Debate – Jerry Lawler vs. Paul E. Dangerously
RAW • March 10, 1997

Jerry Lawer & Rob Van Dam vs. The Headbangers
Shotgun Saturday Night • June 14, 1997

Jerry Lawler vs. Tommy Dreamer
ECW Hardcore Heaven • August 17, 1997

Jerry Lawler & Brian Christopher vs. Flash Funk & Scott Taylor
Shotgun Saturday Night • October 14, 1997

Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz
SummerSlam • August 27, 2000

Legends Match
Jerry Lawler vs. Ric Flair
RAW • November 29, 2004

Jerry Lawler – Hall of Fame Induction
Hall of Fame • March 31, 2007

TLC Match for the WWE Championship
The Miz vs. Jerry Lawler
RAW • November 29, 2010

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole
Special Guest Referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin
WrestleMania XXVII • April 3, 2011

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES:

Stories:

Meeting Jimmy Hart
Jerry’s First Match
The King Gets His Crown
Mid-South Coliseum
Life on the Road
Sam Bass
The King vs. The King?
Living Clean
Jim Ross
Brian Christopher: Mexican Shooter

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Ric Flair vs. Jerry Lawler
Memphis Wrestling • August 4, 1982

Wrestler vs. Boxer & Manager Match
Jerry Lawler vs. Andy Kaufman & Jimmy Hart
Memphis Wrestling • November 21, 1983

King’s Court with Jerry Lawler interviewing himself
Wrestling Challenge • June 27, 1993

Jerry Lawler & Nova vs. The Prototype (John Cena) & Sean O’Haire
OVW Wrestling • June 28, 2002

After Raw Birthday Celebration
RAW • November 29, 2010

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WWE SummerSlam 2015 Thoughts and Recap

August 27, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

So it was Sunday night and it would be the first Summerslam pay per view I’d watch live in its entirety in almost four years. I went over my friend’s house to watch the event along with my WWE pay per view crew. The card had the potential to be one of the better Summerslams in recent memory and as the evening progressed my prediction came true. Aside from a couple of lame decisions, the action was solid and a hot crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was a plus.

I know I’m late with my recap but I got up early the morning after Summerslam for a day trip to Ocean City, New Jersey. But as I was chilling out on the beach I flashed back to the night before to summarize my thoughts match by match. Here’s what came to mind.

Jon Stewart opens the show as host. Visually confirms he let himself go after the final Daily Show. He looks good for his age but it’s amazing what make up and highlights do to one’s appearance. I smell interference in the near future.

Sheamus defeating Randy Orton – A solid opener. My original prediction was an Orton win and then Sheamus cashing the Money in the Bank to capture the title at signoff or the following night at Raw. I and lots of others were wrong on that. I have a feeling one way or another Sheamus will cash it in sometime this fall. And as usual, I’m thinking what next for Orton? TBD

Two beers into the show, the sausage, peppers and onions, chicken nuggets and potato chips with onion dip were available. First stop of many as I began with five nuggets. I was talking with another guest and we predicted the onion dip will be history because onion dip is always gone at any party.

Tag Team Elimination Match – Brand New Day recapture the WWE Tag Team Title – As I quote a friend of mine “New day is the best tag team group since Spirit Squad.” Totally agree in terms of humor. Most entertaining intro in the WWE right now. Great match with everyone showing off their moves. Originally thought Prime Time Players would retain but I hope going forward them and the New Day continue the feud. It would be an entertaining feud that can last a while.

It was thumbs up so far after two solid matches as I moved onto the sausage and peppers. Hit the spot! A few more chips with onion dip. After this, I forget the actual order of the matches.

Dolph Ziggler and Rusev wrestle to a double count out – Lame! Although unique since I can’t remember the last time there was a double count out in one of the three major pay per views. I get the double count out since Ziggler just came back from a break. The feud is in its early stages. I’m sure there will be a mixed tag team match at the next pay per view or a future one. Hot action and hot women; nice combo!

Ambrose & Reigns defeat The Wyatt Family – The host wonders why the WWE hasn’t marketed the Sweat stained Luke Harper T-shirt. I would buy one of those. Had the feel of an Ambrose or Reigns heel turn with the non-stop best friend talk. Always love the Wyatt Family entrance; really cool on this night. Match didn’t disappoint as these four always deliver. Interesting that in the three big pay per views this year (Rumble, Mania, & Slam) the crowd has booed Roman Reigns. Too bad because I really like him and I was hoping he’d catch on quick to become WWE champion. Let’s see where he stands with the WWE and fans by WrestleMania next year. Maybe a heel Reigns would do him good.

Munching continues as I grab more nuggets, potato chips. As the late Gorilla Monsoon would say “This could be the beginning of the end” of the onion dip.

Amell & Neville defeat Stardust & Barrett – Don’t know much about Steve Amell but when a celebrity is in a tag team match it almost always means a win for that team. Not sure whether or not Amell should’ve taken his shirt off. I see that and I see a lot of average Joes like me in the ring with Neville. I’d sit back and let Neville do all the work; and a sweet view watching Neville’s 450 splash. Match over, Flash has been promoted, thank you Neville for your work, now Neville should continue his push. Stardust is a great freak heel, and Barrett should continue his reign.

Ryback defeats The Miz and Big Show to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship – I’ve become a big Ryback fan as the year has progressed. I’m guessing the WWE is making him the updated Batista and having him hold the title for a while will help. Ryback should continue to build on his title reign while The Miz and Big Show wallow in mid-card steadiness.

Seth Rollins Defeats John Cena to retain the WWE Championship while becoming new United States Champion – A tough one to call as this match could go either way. Rollins’ white outfit escalates him to white HHH tights level. Now you know he’s made it when he wears white. He’s been a badly booked champion but he finally showed his stuff in this match. Keep it going! Let him be the heel and do his own thing! Great match. Like the Jon Stewart turn but he gave away the turn way too soon with his body language. I’m curious to see where Rollins goes after this match. A Rematch? Thank you John Cena for bringing the United States title back to relevancy. As I’m watching this match with the crew, we discussed how great Cena would be a great heel. Did you hear the crowd heat for Cena?

PCB Defeat Team Bad and Bella Army – Expected PCB to win. Better than expected match for the divas. I wish Charlotte would’ve wrestled a little more. Once Nikki Bella surpasses AJ Lee for the longest reigning Divas champion, Sasha or Charlotte should be getting the next title winner.

One more grab at munchies and the onion dip has been officially kicked before the end of Summerslam. Well done team!

Kevin Owens defeating Cesaro – Good match. Owens losing the night before at the NXT house show meant a Summerslam win for Owens. This guy is really good! He’s strong and agile for a big guy. Maybe a little polishing up with his character and/or attire but this guy will be around for a long time. Poor Cesaro! I so want him to be a top card level wrestler but he may be stuck in mid-card haziness. Oh well….

Undertaker defeats Brock Lesnar by Submission – I predicted Taker winning to even the score with the tiebreaker at WrestleMania. This was the fourth match where one of the wrestlers bled; very rare these days. It was a weird ending because it makes the Undertaker look weak showing him tap out when the referee didn’t look but on other side of it I guess that keeps the Lesnar beast mystique going. If this is the case then if there’s a third and final match between the two it should be a Hell in a Cell Match. Likely won’t see Undertaker until the Rumble? Lesnar will be heading somewhere.

Great night of wrestling! I thought it was one of the best Summerslams in recent years. Due to the day trip I haven’t watched all of Raw yet but I will have my say in the near future. Heard and saw bits and pieces of it (Dudley Boyz & Sting) but I should be caught up by the end of the week. Thanks for reading!

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Sting vs. Seth Rollins Is One Weird WWE Main-Event

August 26, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE Universe will see an unlikely headliner at Night of Champions. Former WCW and TNA champion Sting will challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE world title in one of the strangest bookings this company has seen in years.

It was obviously never the long term plan to take a semi-retired former WCW star and turn him into the next headliner. When Sting signed with the WWE earlier this year the word on the street was that the company didn’t have any solid plans for the former champ. As a matter of a fact, when Sting was booked on WrestleMania, rumor has it that WWE officials felt it could be his last shot. Boy were they wrong.

Fast forward several months later and the WWE is coming off of one of the biggest SummerSlam events in recent memory. Unfortunately for Vince McMahon and the brass, the Undertaker is riding back into the sunset and Brock Lesnar is out of town once again. How do you follow up the hottest August that the company has seen arguably since the Summer of Punk? Well with Sting of course.

As many of you know by now, Sting returned to the WWE on RAW Monday night to kick off an angle with Seth Rollins. Sting was unveiled in place of Rollins’ statue and subsequently cleared the ring of Rollins and held the WWE title. The angle got over big with the Brooklyn audience and it appears all wheels are set in motion for Sting vs. Rollins.

Don’t misunderstand me, I loved the angle. I was as surprised as anyone to see the Stinger. However, the whole thing sounds completely crazy! Here is a guy that a few months ago the company didn’t even know if they’d book in the ring again, was scratched from SummerSlam, and is now brought in to be in the main-event. What the heck is going on around here?

Seth Rollins is coming off in my opinion his best in-ring performance since joining the WWE. Rollins somehow turned up his game at SummerSlam and put on an absolute clinic. Not that John Cena is the greatest worker in the world, but Rollins will be tested immensely to get that same match out of Sting. It’s a risk that I don’t know is worth taking.

This also brings us back to WrestleMania. Many criticized the decision to put Triple H over Sting at Mania. At the time, I was rather ambivalent to the decision. However, knowing what we do today the decision was as dumb as jobbing Brock Lesnar in his first night into John Cena a few years back. Sting coming in off of a loss is not quite the same as it would have been had Sting won at Mania.

So here is an odd question. Do you put Sting over at Night of Champions? It sounds insane but let’s be honest, this whole direction is insane. I can’t say yes or no at this point. The WWE is red hot right now. If Sting organically catches fire over the next several weeks leading up to Night of Champions, I think you have to strongly consider it. I wouldn’t do it today, but you never know how the fans are going to react.

If there is something positive to be said here it is that Sting vs. Rollins is as fresh as you can get. Sting in the main-event is as fresh as you can get. It’s nice to see something new for a change, but boy…this one is just really weird.

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Ric Flair and Bruce Prichard Talk TNA Wrestling and Dixie Carter’s Problems

August 25, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ric Flair continues to broadcast the best podcasts in the business. Flair recently had on former WWE and TNA executive Bruce Prichard and the two gave a fascinating critique of Dixie Carter and the business of TNA Wrestling.

I can’t say it enough. Flair is killing it on his podcasts, so much that I find myself getting excited every week when a new one gets posted. What makes Flair different than all of the other pro wrestler gone podcasters is that Flair has conversations with his guests. Flair doesn’t just as questions, Flair has conversations, offers anecdotes, and reminisces in a way that you feel as if you are eavesdropping on him and his guest at dinner. That is what makes every Flair podcast so much fun to listen to (and his weekly anti-marriage rants).

Former WWE and TNA Wrestling producer Bruce Prichard was a recent guest on WOOOOO! Nation with Ric Flair and while they discussed a variety of topics and told a lot of great stories, it was their discussion on TNA that I found most fascinating. The two pulled the curtain back on what it’s like to work in TNA from a talent and producer’s perspective, specifically the frustrations working with TNA president Dixie Carter.

The two offered an intriguing analysis of TNA and the root of its problems. From listening to Flair and Prichard it starts at the top with Dixie and the owners of the company. Listening to Prichard and Flair’s reflections on their times in TNA help make sense of TNA’s steep decline in recent years.

Ric Flair: You’d have to admit it was rough there, holy cow!

Bruce Prichard: It was rough because unfortunately you didnt have the backing and you didnt have the tools to turn it around. You had the talent. You had the knowledge.

Ric: One of the most difficult things for me was as nice as she is and she is a nice person, Dixie’s (Carter) communication to the talent and what was actually going on was just light years apart from what was really taking place. Would you agree with that Bruce?

Bruce: Oh whole heartedly, it was rough.

Ric: Bruce could tell somebody something in that role, the role that I’ve worked under and it should be like this is the bottom line, that’s it. But then Bruce had to deal with Hulk (Hogan) and on came Eric (Bischoff) and in came (Vince) Russo and Bruce has got all of this to deal with and then he’s got Dixie out in the parking lot and I don’t know why to this day she likes to pull the talent aside or the talent will pull her aside whichever way it goes, and they’ll make a deal with her and of course she doesn’t relay it to Bruce (laughs). “Well Dixie told me this,” I’ve been through that with her, you know what I mean? It’s just strange. It’s not malicious, it’s just a very difficult way to do business after you’ve been in the professional atmosphere of the WWE. Is that a fair statement?

Bruce: Yeah, that’s fair. You really just summed it up. It was difficult to do your job. After you would put something into motion, something else would be put into motion and you never even knew about it until it was way after the fact or too late. I’m sitting there going, “Um what’s this?” (Dixie)”I talked to him, don’t worry about it.” Don’t worry about it?

Conrad Thompson: Bruce, do you have an example of a story like that?

Bruce: Unfortunately there were too many to even remember but a lot of times there were things that, to sum it all up out of let’s say out of 50 talent on the roster you had, well when I started there were seven or eight different versions of contracts. They were all completely different. There were instances where talent was guaranteed 150 dates, but they were only able to work 70 because they only ran 70 events yet they’ve got a contract for 150. There were just so many things like that unfortunately there were different people at different times in that position that things got grandfathered in and the right hand a lot of times didn’t know what the left hand was doing and people would just go into business for themselves. And it was challenging to deal with an office in Dallas, Texas that’s an energy company that builds power plants and that doesn’t understand the wrestling business or the entertainment business. That doesn’t understand the nuances. To them an independent contractor is a plumber so one independent contractor is gone it’s just replacing another. That’s not how you do it with talent. They may be independent contractors but they’re talent. Ric Flair goes, I can’t just replace him with an independent contractor and have the same thing.

There is more talk about TNA, specifically both pontificating about Jeff Jarrett’s return the company as well as plenty of stories about working together in the WWE. It’s another fantastic podcast and I’d recommend checking out the entire thing over at the WOOOOO! Nation with Ric Flair page.

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