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Archive for the ‘WWE | Pro Wrestling’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Is Randy Orton Becoming a Cancer for Vince McMahon’s WWE?

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

Over the course of the last decade, Randy Orton has had his share of issues with the WWE and its management and its roster. To say he is a slight bit privileged would be an understatement. The 12-Time World Champion has had a hand in other formidable wrestlers rise (Mark Henry) to the top of the company food chain. He has also had a bug say in some wrestlers (Kofi Kingston) not achieving the success they deserve. Now with the need for more star talent and a bigger need for success, owner Vince McMahon is asking one of his key veterans – Orton – to step up and work more on SmackDown.

So far, according to reports, Orton is refusing the assignment.

It is being reported that SmackDown officials asked Randy Orton to work full time, but he refused. It seems that Randy Orton is unhappy with McMahon and his current role with the WWE. He is allegedly asking for more time off from the ring, while McMahon wants him to give more time.

One of the reasons for Orton’s unhappiness is most likely tied to the fact that instead of fighting a championship bout, he was forced to fight the loser of the Dean Ambrose versus John Cena match.

However, McMahon knows that Orton is currently one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling. He also knows that the WWE is not the brand that it used to be. Top athletes are not lining up at the pace they were a decade ago for a chance at WWE stardom. Perhaps the threat of serious injury is keeping people away?

I see Orton’s point, but I can see both sides of the fence. While McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have had to deal with the loss of Daniel Bryan to injury, which put a huge sinkhole in the WWE World Title picture, then had to make new arrangements with a potential title feud between Brock Lesnar – who is a part-time champion right now – and Roman Reigns being put on hold because of Reigns being injured, this is an extremely difficult time for the company.

He is a 12-time world champion, holding the WWE Championship eight times and the World Heavyweight Championship four times, and was the final holder of the World Heavyweight Championship before it was unified with the WWE Championship to create the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and his uncle Barry Orton all competed in the professional wrestling business. Before being promoted to the main World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) roster, Orton trained in and wrestled for Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling for a month. He was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he held the OVW Hardcore Championship twice.

In the past, the WWE has had talent to step in and replace a spot in the lineup, but those days seem to be gone. There is plenty of talent in the mid-card division with Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Damien Sandow, Cesaro and Sheamus, it almost seems like the WWE needs to make that part of the company a priority.

The company has done right with making Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins the center of attention at the upcoming pay-per-view, “Hell-in-a-Cell.” Rollins appears to be the new “anti-hero” the fans love in the mold of Steve Austin and then in CM Punk. Rollins has all the makings of another “Edge-type” of superstar.

So while McMahon begs Orton to work, and Orton stews over being disrespected, the WWE is still in a situation where the fans are waiting for something big to finally happen.

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Relaunching WCW: A Radical Way to Regain Southern Wrestling Fans

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

In the 1980’s and 90’s the WWF and WCW were not just two separate companies, they were two separate cultures. Comparing the in ring work of the WWF and WCW during the last great wrestling boom reveals a distinct difference in wrestling philosophy. The WWF has been for the past few decades a perfect example of the “sports entertainment” model of professional wrestling.

Matches are meant to convey a sense of grandeur and theatrics. Much of the current WWE fan base grew up watching only “sports entertainment” style matches. It is important that we do not forget that there was at one time another style of professional wrestling that enjoyed widespread popularity in America. What I am speaking of is the gritty Southern style wrestling that WCW once offered. Southern wrestling thrived by offering a much more organic and realistic approach to in ring competition. Southern wrestling is as distinct a style as Japanese wrestling or Lucha Libre, and it attracts a specific type of fan that more often than not has little interest in the sports entertainment style.

Many wrestling historians believe that the death of WCW led to an exodus of Southern wrestling fans from the sport altogether. These Southern fans were alienated by the product offered by the McMahons, and with no national alternative available the Southern wrestling fan simply quit following wrestling altogether. Evidence of this can be seen in the current lack of wrestling viewership as compared to the 80’s and 90’s. Wrestling is simply not as popular as it once was, and it is my belief that the reason for this is the death of Southern wrestling. There is an entire segment of the wrestling fan population that simply will not settle for anything but the Southern style. If the WWE wants to bring those fans back into the fold then they are going to have to create a business strategy that allows for both sports entertainment and Southern style creative platforms.

THE WCW BRAND

WWE has the capability to revitalize the current wrestling environment and surpass the viewership levels of the 80’s and 90’s, but it will require a radical new business model and massive change within the company. The WCW brand is synonymous with Southern wrestling and the popularity of the former #1 wrestling promotion in the world remains strong. All you have to do is look at the popularity of current crop of WCW dvds to see that there is a demand for the type of wrestling offered by the defunct promotion.

WWE has the power to attract the Southern wrestling fan once again. It is time to relaunch the WCW brand as an alternative to Monday Night RAW. A revitalized WCW could allow the WWE to expand their talent pool and offer a wider variety of in ring styles. RAW will remain the sports entertainment powerhouse that it has always been, and the new WCW will offer the Southern style wrestling that is so greatly missed by millions of fans. The WCW brand is money on the table for the WWE, they just have to make sure that past feelings about the brand do not get in the way of a successful relaunch.

HOW TO RELAUNCH WCW

A successful WCW relaunch must begin with a slimming down of current WWE programming. Friday Night Smackdown has become a shell of its former self and serves only as supplemental programming to RAW. For WCW to be rebuilt, Smackdown must be eliminated. In place of Smackdown the WWE should create a new programming platform for WCW. The death of Smackdown and the rebirth of WCW could be an amazing creative opportunity in terms of storylines and press campaigns. Such a drastic change in WWE programming would surely create a media storm that would instantly pique the interest of even the most jaded wrestling fan.

The establishment of the new WCW would have to be followed by a hardline brand split. WCW and RAW wrestlers should only appear on one another’s show on rare occasions. This will create a competitive environment wherein talent on each show will work to outdo each other. By creating their own competition, the WWE can expand their audience and motivate their talent without having to worry about losing money.

Of course for WCW to be a competitive brand it must offer in ring competition that differentiates itself from what is presented on RAW each week. It is not enough to just have exclusive performers, WCW must recapture the essence of Southern wrestling and attract the long lost Southern wrestling fan. Southern wrestling is still a popular style on the American independent scene. The talent required for a WCW relaunch is available, but the WWE cannot rely on their same standards of talent development if the new WCW is to succeed. The WWE must create an independent developmental and creative team to oversee the growth of the new WCW. If this independent team is not formed, the new WCW could fall victim to the same pitfalls that destroyed the relaunched ECW. The new WCW cannot be a different shade of sports entertainment, it has to be Southern wrestling to the core and it has to offer a truly alternative approach to both storylines and in ring work.

Imagine the possibilities of a relaunched WCW. The failings of the infamous Invasion angle could finally be corrected and the WWE could ignite the spark that sends us into the next boom period in professional wrestling. There is really nothing to lose and a whole lot of money to gain. Hopefully the WWE can see the true value of the WCW brand and give the fans a wider variety of programming that appeals to every segment of the wrestling fan population.

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WWE SmackDown Results and October 17 Recap

October 19, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week’s episode opens up with Seth Rollins coming down to the ring. He mocks the “You sold out” chant from the crowd, then says when you’re young and naive, things like integrity and honor mean the world to you. But honor doesn’t pay the bills. If any of the cowards in the crowd had any guts, they’d sell out their mothers, dads, dogs, grandparents, brothers, best friends, anyone and everything. You’d sell you soul to be anything like Rollins. The major fault in that logic is that you’ll never be like him. You won’t look or talk like him, or be as successful. Why? You won’t realize what he understands: selling out is the best thing you can do in your life. He’s better than he’s ever been. He’s Mr. MITB, and he’s the future of WWE. That brings him to him to Dean Ambrose inside HIAC. He’s only going to say this once: Ambrose, you do not belong at HIAC; you belong in a straight jacket. You may walk into HIAC, but he guarantees you will be carried out. When he’s finished with Ambrose, Ambrose will be left in a pile of rubble, nothing more than a hot, sweaty, smelly mess. Yeah, he sold out. He sold Ambrose out, but at HIAC, he’ll put Ambrose out.

Dolph Ziggler comes out and says the reaction from the crowd is the sound people make when they want to see someone. Rollins wouldn’t know anything about that, since Ambrose isn’t out there. When you sell out, you get the money and fame. But there’s one thing more important than that that’s priceless, and that’s self-respect. Rollins says no one cares about respect. Did respect do anything for Ziggler when Rollins curb-stomped him? Respect won’t save him tonight, and neither will showing off. Ziggler drops his mic and nails Rollins with a dropkick.

MATCH 1: SETH ROLLINS VS. INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (NON-TITLE)
Ziggler ducks a clothesline, hits a back-body drop, then clotheslines Rollins to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Rollins has taken control and is pounding Ziggler with rights. He hits a quick suplex for 2, then applies a rear chinlock before turning it into a cobra clutch. Ziggler fights his way out, throws Rollins off, but then runs into a complete shot into the second buckle for 2. Rollins drags Ziggler back to the middle of the ring and stomps him in the gut before stomping on his hand. He does it once more, then fish-hooks Ziggler. He hits a knee to the gut, then drops Ziggler into the middle rope, paintbrushing the back of his head in the process. Back up, Ziggler blocks an Irish whip, then tosses Rollins to the floor. Rollins is acting like he hurt his knee, and Ziggler blindsides him at ringside. Back in, Ziggler goes for a corner figure-4, but Rollins pulls his legs in, sending Ziggler’s face into the post. Rollins rolls Ziggler in, then climbs up to the top. Ziggler meets him up top and hits a super facebuster for 2. Commercials.

Back once more, Rollins misses a splash in the corner. Ziggler ducks a clothesline, hits one of his own, nails a corner splash into some mounted punches, then ends the series with a neckbreaker. The Show-Off Elbow connects for 1, and Rollins rolls to the apron. He hits Ziggler with a surprise hotshot, then goes up top. Ziggler meets him, but Rollins fights him off this time, then goes for a sunset flip powerbomb. Ziggler holds on and turns it into a leaping DDT for 2. Ziggler gets up first and goes for the Zig-Zag. Rollins holds onto the ropes to block the move, sending Ziggler onto his face. Rollins goes for the curb stomp, and Ziggler sees it coming. He avoids the move and goes for the rocker dropper. Rollins catches him, but Ziggler turns it into a sunset flip for 2. Rollins grabs him, powers him up and powerbombs him into the buckles before hitting the curb stomp for 3.

WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.

Dean Ambrose comes down to the ring, his HIAC contract in-hand. He gets into the ring, and Rollins drops down to the floor. Ambrose asks why he’s running, as Ambrose is just here to talk. He’s finally got what he wants, and that’s Rollins in HIAC. He’s going to make the most of it by ripping Rollins’ face off and sticking his boot where the sun don’t shine. What happens next…he can’t even say on this show.

Corporate Kane is out next, and he says it’s true Ambrose/Rollins inside HIAC will happen at the PPV, but Kane doesn’t have a match. That has him feeling aggressive. He likes hurting people. The shrieks of terror help him sleep at night. He’d very much like to hear Ambrose scream tonight in the main event when Ambrose faces Kane himself.

Paige is on commentary for the next match, flanked by Alicia Fox.

MATCH 2: LAYLA VS. WWE DIVAS CHAMPION AJ LEE (NON-TITLE)
We get an inset promo from Lee, saying she doesn’t have any friends or get along with the other divas, but she has the best friend in the world with the Divas title. No one will keep them apart, and no one can have her (the belt) but Lee.

The bell rings, and Lee applies a hammerlock. Layla breaks it, then runs into a back elbow. Lee nails Layla in the corner, then hits a reverse roundhouse for 2. A spinning mule kick connects, as does a neckbreaker. Lee holds on and hits a second neckbreaker for 2. Layla misses the Bombshell, but nails a kick to the gut. In the corner, Layla looks for the Tarantula, apparently forgets how to put it on, then tosses Lee to the floor with a headscissors. Lee breaks it by countering into a pin for 2. She then fights out of a side headlock and sends Layla to the corner. Layla hits a pair boots out of the corner, but misses with the LOL. Lee locks in the Black Widow and gets the submission win.

WINNER: AJ LEE.

Fox hits the ring, and Lee immediately tackles her. Paige runs into the ring and drops Lee with a side kick before hitting the Ram-Paige. She then starts skipping around the ring with the Divas title over her head.

Corporate Kane is in his office when he’s approached by Seth Rollins. Rollins says he wants Kane to have fun tonight, but he wants Kane to leave him a little piece of Dean Ambrose. Kane says Rollins has never been inside HIAC, nor has Ambrose. Both of them are facing a first-time apocalypse, and frankly, neither one of them understand the punishment that is involved in this kind of match. Rollins has his shot at Ambrose soon enough, and he along with Kane and Randy Orton will get their chance to do some damage to Ambrose and John Cena in their 3-on-2 Handicap Street Fight on RAW this coming Monday. As for tonight, Rollins needs to pay attention to what Kane does in the ring. Rollins might learn something. He knows Ambrose will.

We learn the Miz will get yet another needless championship match at the HIAC PPV, this time against Sheamus for the US title.

Renee Young is here for her weekly oxygen suck. She’s with Sheamus and the Usos, and wants to talk to them about their 6-man against the Miz, and Gold & Stardust tonight. Sheamus recalls what happened on “MizTV” on Main Event, then says Miz is clever. Damien Mizdow has helped him beat Sheamus twice. The Usos make a Twins joke that most of the crowd probably don’t get, then talks about sweeping floors (?).

Another video for Erick Rowan.

MATCH 3: WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION SHEAMUS AND THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) VS. THE MIZ (W/DAMIEN MIZDOW), AND WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS GOLD & STARDUST
We get an inset promo from the tag champs. I’m not recapping it. Miz starts, then immediately tags out to Goldust as Sheamus starts for his team. These two lock up before Goldust hits a shoulder off the ropes. Goldust taunts Sheamus, and Sheamus responds with a side headlock before hitting a shoulder of his own. The two crisscross and Goldust blocks a hiptoss. However, a second attempt is successful, and now Stardust is in. He misses a clothesline and gets dropped with a back elbow. An Uso tags in and hits an elbow off the top. This is Jey. He hits an uppercut for 1, then tags in JImmy, with the Usos hitting a pair of double elbows for 2. Stardust comes back with a kneelift and tags in Miz, who is still wearing his sunglasses. He stomps JImmy down, takes off his glasses, then goes for an Irish whip. Jimmy counters and hits a kitchen sink. Jimmy ducks a clothesline and hits a bodyslam as Mizdow is selling better than Miz on the outside. Jimmy hits a low clothesline for 2 then sends Miz to the floor as Jey makes a blind tag. Jey hits a dropkick through the ropes, then mocks Mizdow, who is also selling the move. I love that. Jey rolls Miz into the ring and goes up top. Goldust tries to interfere, so Jey hits him with a big flying chop. When he turns around, Miz drops him with a big boot. Commercials.

Back from the break, Goldust has Jey in a rear chinlock. Jey fights out, but then gets hit with a spinebuster for 2. Stardust in, and he stomps Jey down before clubbing him across the back of the head. Miz gets in a cheap shot from the apron, and Sheamus chases both him and Mizdow up the ramp. Jey uses the distraction to sneak in a quick schoolboy for 2, but Stardust responds with a clothesline. Goldust tags in and hits a kick to the ribs, followed by a right. Jey hits a right of his own, and Goldust responds with a boot to the side of the head for 2. He picks Jey up, and Jey hits a few gut shots. Goldust drops down for an uppercut, then knocks Jimmy off the apron. He turns around into a Samoan drop by Jey, who then makes the tag to Sheamus. Stardust also tags in, and Sheamus cleans house. He nails Stardust with a running kneelift, then hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. Miz comes in, misses a clothesline and gets clotheslined to the floor (and Mizdow is still selling! How do you not love his contribution to the gimmick?). Jimmy takes down both Miz and Mizdow with a suicide dive, and Sheamus pulls Miz up to the apron for the 10 Beats. Stardust charges in, so Sheamus grabs him by the head and throws him into Miz, who hits the announce desk. Sheamus goes for White Noise on Stardust, who makes a blind tag to Goldust. Sheamus drops Stardust and goes for the Brogue Kick. Sheamus ducks and Goldust snaps off a powerslam for 2 as Jey breaks it up. Stardust attacks Jey and drops him with a falling inverted DDT. When he gets up, Jimmy puts him down with a superkick. Goldust blocks another kick attempt, spins Jimmy and gets hit with a reverse Dragon Whip. Goldust is back up, and Sheamus puts him down for the final time with a Brogue Kick, getting 3.

WINNERS: SHEAMUS AND THE USOS.

The Big Show is out as we get a recap of his feud with Rusev. He’s got a few things to share with the audience tonight. He’s what you call a giant, and he kind of sticks out in a crowd. Growing up as a kid, he was 6’2″ and 220 lbs. at 12 years old. When you’re that big as a kid, responsibility is thrust upon your shoulders. People expect you to act older, do things better and adapt. That’s why he’s accepting the responsibility of pinning Rusev at HIAC. He’s beaten Rusev, but he hasn’t pinned him. He’s knocked Rusev out twice, and third time’s a charm. On RAW, his best friend Mark Henry got a little emotional, and the match with Rusev ended in a DQ. He’d like to talk to Henry man-to-man about that right now.

Henry comes out and Show makes some jokes about his hygiene. He then tells a story about how, a couple years ago, they were traveling from a show together, it was late, and the only thing open for food was a Waffle House. Show starts listing off some food, then says the parking lot was full. Someone cut them off and took the last spot. Henry and Show are both hungry, it’s late, they’re grumpy…so they flipped the guy’s car over onto its roof. Then they had to go to the gas station and eat sandwiches. They ran, since they would otherwise get in trouble. Show and Henry are family, and Show’s heart was with Henry when he was fighting Rusev. Henry took that weight on his shoulders, and Show gave him some space to do things on his own. Show needs Henry to do the same thing for him now. He needs to knock out Rusev and pin him 1-2-3. Henry says Show is right about a few things. He had his shot against Rusev, and Rusev isn’t human. Show says he’s going to do some things Henry couldn’t do, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. It made Henry a bit angry, but man-to-man, if Show wants Henry to get out of his business, that’s what he’ll do. The two high-five.

That’s when Rusev comes out, followed by Lana. Lana calls them pathetic, saying they’re the Good Year blimps of WWE: all blown up, full of gas and very slow. Rusev screams at them in Russian, then says after he beats Show, the fans will turn on Show. He will let them down, just like Henry did. After Show loses to him, he’ll disgrace himself and his stupid USA. Rusev would like that. He will crush Show. Show screams at Rusev and makes fun of accent. Rusev can’t crush his spine, since it’s American-made. At HIAC, he’s going to chokeslam Rusev, knock his glass jaw off his face, then pin him 1-2-3.

MATCH 4: NAOMI VS. NIKKI BELLA
Bella picks Naomi up, backs her into the corner and hits some shoulder thrusts before tossing Naomi across the ring with a hair-mare. Bella stomps Naomi in the corner as we see Brie Bella watching on a monitor in the back. Back in the ring, Bella gets 2, then applies a rear chinlock. Naomi breaks the hold with her ass, then hits an armdrag. She hits a pair of dropkicks, a flipping clothesline and a seated dropkick. Naomi nails a forearm, ducks a clothesline and hits the Rear View for 2 as Bella gets her foot on the bottom rope. Bella rolls to the apron, where she hits a hotshot. Back in the ring, Bella picks Naomi up and hits her version of the Shock Treatment for 3.

WINNER: NIKKI BELLA.

We get a video for Bray Wyatt.

Renee Young is with Dean Ambrose. She mentions his match with Kane tonight, then asks what’s going through his head. Ambrose says that, until he was so rudely interrupted by Kane earlier, he was explaining to Seth Rollins what was going through his head, that being ripping Rollin’s face off. Rollins thinks he’s prepared for Ambrose, but you can’t prepare for the unknown. Once that cell door locks, and it’s just the two of them, even Ambrose doesn’t know what he’ll do. Kane says he’s aggressive and wants to hear Ambrose scream in pain. Kane has starred in one too many horror flicks. This isn’t Hollywood; this is Birmingham, AL. Let’s make Kane’s next movie an action-adventure flick. Yippee-kai-yay.

MATCH 5: CORPORATE KANE (W/SETH ROLLINS) VS. DEAN AMBROSE
Rollins goes into a waistlock, and Kane quickly breaks free before hitting an uppercut. Kane hits a boot and goes for a bodyslam, but Ambrose escapes and rolls to the floor in front of Ambrose. Kane chases after him, and Ambrose immediately slides back into the ring. He taunts Kane back in, ducks a clothesline and tees off on Kane in the corner. Kane grabs him by the neck and throws him to the corner before nailing a series of rights. Ambrose ducks a shot, hits a few of his own and lands a seated dropkick against the ropes before clotheslining Kane to the floor. He begs Rollins to come into the ring, and low-bridges an incoming Kane in the process. Ambrose nails him with a slingshot plancha on the floor, then stomps him down as Kane rolls back into the ring. In the corner, Ambrose hits a few boots and goes for a whip. Kane reverses and runs into a boot. Ambrose goes for a tornado DDT, but Kane throws him off and hits a big boot. Ambrose gets tossed to the floor, and Kane rams him into the barricade, then the apron, then the barricade again, then the apron once more. He whips Ambrose’s left arm into the steps a couple of times. Back in the ring, Kane steps on Ambrose in the corner, then works over his left arm in the ropes before snapping him down to the mat for 2. Kane continues to work on the left arm until Ambrose bites Kane’s fingers. Kane tosses him to the floor once again, then tries to slam him into the steps. Ambrose blocks and slams Kane into them before dropkicking him into them. Back in the ring, Ambrose hits a suicide dive. He rolls Kane in, goes up top and hits a seated missile dropkick. Ambrose nails a corner forearm, then hits a bulldog for 2. Ambrose sets up the double-arm DDT, but Rollins causes a distraction. Ambrose nails him on the apron, then goes for a cross-body on Kane. Kane catches him and looks for a powerslam. Ambrose escapes and goes for a rebound clothesline, but Rollins grabs him by the neck and pulls him to the floor, leading to the DQ.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: DEAN AMBROSE.

Rollins attacks Ambrose at ringside, then rolls him back into the ring to Kane. Kane stomps Ambrose down as Rollins joins him in the ring. Rollins tells Kane to go for a chair, then powerbombs Ambrose into the buckles. Kane slides a chair into the ring, and Rollins sets up the curb stomp. Ambrose sidesteps it, sending Rollins back-first onto the chair. He knocks Kane off the apron, grabs the chair and begins stalking Rollins. Kane is back in, and he goozles Ambrose. Ambrose breaks free and assaults Kane with the chair until he rolls to the floor.

End of show.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Shoots Down WWE Comeback Rumors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dean Ambrose and the New Renegade Wrestler

October 16, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Back in the early 1980s several NWA stars made a living as independent wrestlers for their renegade style of traveling from promotion to promotion. They would come into town “unexpectedly” challenging the area’s top talent, and in the process they would give the fans in the arenas and venues someone knew to either love or hate. Their gimmicks worked well because the fans never got too attached, so when they left say Memphis or Dallas or Florida, promoters had another wrestler roll in to set the scene again.

Although he isn’t going anywhere, Dean Ambrose fills the renegade, anti-hero role about as well as anyone can in the WWE, past, present or future.

The company is about to embark on more changes after Hell in a Cell, some so obvious (Randy Orton’s face turn) and some maybe not so obvious (Mark Henry turning on Big Show). But trust me, they are coming. Ambrose is the closest thing to a new CM Punk/Bruiser Brody. He is just what the company needs to transition from the older guard (John Cena) to the new regime that has yet to make its mark (Seth Rollins).

And Ambrose did not need a shoot interview or to walk out of the company to make a statement. Wrestling Ambrose’s way is more about getting in the ring and doing what he does best, not taking your title and walking out.

Here is a look at some of greatest renegades to get in the squared circle.

BRUISER BRODY

Brody competed as a freelancer in several companies including the National Wrestling Alliance, Central States Wrestling, World Wide Wrestling Federation, Southwest Championship Wrestling, Windy City Wrestling, Texas All Star Wrestling, World Wrestling Council, Deep South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, American Wrestling Association, and World Class Championship Wrestling.

In the States, he had numerous feuds with the likes of Kamala the Ugandan Giant, Abdullah the Butcher, and Jerry Blackwell. In Japan, he was in a tag team with Stan Hansen. Brody had a reputation for refusing to job to other wrestlers. He also competed under the moniker of Red River Jack in Texas, during an angle against Gary Hart’s men and Skandor Akbar’s Army in World Class Championship Wrestling. Brody also competed as the Masked Marauder for one time in the AWA.

BUZZ SAWYER

Sawyer had an epic feud with Tommy Rich that led to many bloody matches, the greatest of which was billed as the Last Battle of Atlanta and for the first time featured a completely enclosed cage. It also saw manager Paul Ellering suspended 20 feet above the ring in a smaller cage. This is the match that Shawn Michaels credits for inspiring the Hell in the Cell concept used by WWE. The stipulation for this match was that Sawyer and Rich would never wrestle one another again. Tommy Rich lost a match to Ted DiBiase and the stipulation was a loser leaves town match. Rich would appear the next week on TV under a mask and calling himself the mysterious MR.R. There is no footage of the historic match as the rumors has it Ole Anderson tossed all the footage from classic Omni shows.

STAN HANSEN

Hansen is renowned for his stiff wrestling style, which he attributes to his poor eyesight. He is also known for his gimmick of a loud, violent cowboy who wanted to fight everybody, which he further emphasized by appearing in interviews with a cowboy hat, leather vest and bull rope while often chewing on tobacco. Considered to be among the most successful and popular heels in professional wrestling history,

Hansen became more well-known and revered in Japan than in his native United States.[8][9] Despite this, Hansen still found championship success in both countries, as he became a six-time world champion upon winning the AWA World Heavyweight Championship once, the CWA International Heavyweight Championship once and the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship four times.

DICK SLATER

Slater wrestled in the 1970s, 1980s, and mid-1990s for various promotions including Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

Slater began wrestling with Mike Graham at Robinson High School, in Tampa, Florida. He attended the University of Tampa with Paul Orndorff. From there he began wrestling in Championship Wrestling from Florida and Georgia Championship Wrestling. He worked as a booker in Knoxville, Tennessee after Ron Fuller sold his promotion to Jim Barnett.

He wrestled in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (later World Championship Wrestling), where he appeared on the first Starrcade. He also worked in Mid-South Wrestling Association, where he was managed by Dark Journey. Made some trips to the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico. He wrestled briefly in the World Wrestling Federation as a babyface under a “Rebel” gimmick, but soon returned to WCW.

He wrestled there until receiving his back injury that ended his career.

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The Rock vs. Triple H is Old News That Deserves to Be Repeated

October 16, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s that time again; WrestleMania season is nearly upon us. Okay it’s not, but it sure feels like it is. After all, fans are already starting to hit the dirtsheets, looking for the latest rumors of match-ups that may take place on March 29 2015.

The top names are the only ones anyone’s really concerned about of course and those are the ones currently being speculated about the most. Brock Lesnar is supposedly still meant to pass the torch to Roman Reigns, Sting is apparently finally going to face The Undertaker and John Cena might work Rusev. That only leaves Triple H and The Rock; you do the math.

It was all just a rumor to begin with and I for one treated it as such. Fans talk all the time and even the most “knowledgeable” sites are laughable at best.

But don’t look now, seems like they may have gotten one right.

The spot that ran backstage between Hunter and The Rock on the 15th anniversary episode of SmackDown basically set up their match at Mania. And it was unlike any match set up in recent memory, which makes it different and actually gives us a little more time to digest the whole idea of it.

So how does it taste to you so far?

This didn’t start with The Rock interrupting The Authority, or Triple H condemning The Great One for attacking Rusev. This renewed heat is not the result of a falling out or disagreement of any kind. This time, a WrestleMania main event bout is born due to old wounds that just won’t close.

And it was the most entertaining moment that we have seen in a long time.

But that should not be a surprise to anyone, the fact this is what these guys do. Anyone can sit back and debate their physical skills and whether or not they have lost a step in the ring but no one can argue each guy’s ability on the mic.

We’ve seen Triple H versus The Rock quite a bit before but after SmackDown 15? I’m up for another one.

I can only imagine the complaining that’s going on right now among some fans, though. Of all the matches that we thought might go down at Mania, this is likely one of the last ones we expected. And for those fans that are currently upset it’s happening the argument is probably pretty typical.

“Good Lord this is lame. Who’s booking this crap?”

Truth be told, I’ve uttered those very words myself on occasion. After 30 plus years of being a fan, I’ve said them more often than I care to remember. But no matter how boring it may appear to be or how weak the basis for it is, the fact is that this match is one that will be worth the price of admission.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, however. There’s no guarantee it’s going to happen, only the carrot of possibility that’s been dangled in front of us. So before we go any further with speculation on this, why should we want to see it happen again?

First off, what’s the alternative? CM Punk is gone, so that’s one Triple H opponent out of the equation. Shawn Michaels has legit walked away and shows no signs of ever returning for one more match, so there’s no possibility of that happening. Daniel Bryan is still out and he’s already worked Hunter at Mania, even if he’s back in time, why go down that road again?

So, Triple H’s dance card is empty. But what about The Rock?

Roman Reigns was perhaps a possibility at one time, especially after The Shield took Rocky down on Monday Night Raw. But too much time has passed on that one. There is an outside chance of Seth Rollins being the man to step up but there’s probably not enough money in that yet. Lesnar could be the guy for Rocky but does anyone really want to see The People’s Champ become the WWE World Heavyweight champ again? Of course, there’s John Cena; no don’t say it, I’m only kidding.

So, The Rock has nothing to do either. Well, except make movies. And money. Lots of money.

Truth be told, The Rock and Triple H have no one to fight but each other. They are default opponents and because of that, many fans are likely seeing red right now. And to those fans, I can only respectfully say shut up. Shut your mouth.

The bottom line is the match will be top notch. It will entertain on every level and it will leave fans wanting more. By the end of this bout, the crowd will be on its feet applauding out of respect; not because they couldn’t wait to see it and not because it’s a dream match. They will applaud because they appreciate the work that both men will do to entertain.

We spend a lot of time as fans talking about The Attitude Era. The Superstars, the storylines, the crazy angles, all of it has practically become the stuff of legend at this point. So when two of those stars step into a WrestleMania ring, fans should appreciate what they’re seeing. Triple H versus The Rock doesn’t have to happen but WWE knows it will work.

They also know that it will get over. Hate all you want, this match will deliver. Maybe it’s not WrestleMania season just yet but perhaps it should be. I’m ready, aren’t you?

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10 Planned WWE Title Changes That Never Happened

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Batista’s Evolution to Relevancy in Hollywood

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

So Batista is a hit in Hollywood. Let me say that again, just in case you weren’t listening or thought you may have misheard me; Batista is a hit in Hollywood. Blowing your mind? Yeah, me too.

Not only is he a hit, he’s actually in demand right now. Batista has reached a place that every Superstar who has ever ventured outside the safe environment of WWE has dreamed of; relevancy in pop culture. Think that doesn’t mean much to any of these guys? Think again.

We’ve seen it for years and the trend just keeps continuing. From Jesse Ventura and Terry Funk to Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper, one star after another has put his best foot forward in Tinseltown, hoping for that ever elusive stamp of approval.

That stamp comes of course from the audience that pays to see them on the silver screen. That is the great unknown, the group of people that WWE Superstars have historically had a very difficult time reaching. For most non-fans, a pro wrestler in a movie is the equivalent of a blind monkey attempting to understand nuclear physics.

Hey, I didn’t say I thought that. Relax.

But one by one, all of the men listed above had a taste of success in Hollywood and each one made his mark; be it good, bad, or indifferent. So, the Hollywood connection has always been there and most of the time, it was hit and miss.

Then The Rock happened and the game changed forever.

Rocky tore down the wall that had separated WWE Superstars from big budget success for so long. Suddenly, there was every reason to believe that a guy from Vince McMahon’s company could hit the big time and make a lot of money doing it.

Of course, The Rock’s success was not guaranteed and it took quite a while for all of the pieces to fall into place. But when they did, The Great One’s movie career took off. Now, he’s a household name. The Rock made it.

But we know all this. It’s old news. What about Batista‘s movie career?

Never thought I would be asking that question, I have to be honest. I mean, did anyone see this coming? Back when big Dave decided he was done with WWE, most fans likely didn’t care very much. The guy had gained the reputation of being a crybaby, as someone that was upset Triple H was being used in Hollywood and he wasn’t.

The Animal had big dreams but for most fans, they were more like delusions of grandeur.

But Marvel Studios came calling and Batista answered. Guardians of the Galaxy has likely changed Batista’s life from this point on. He is no longer the former WWE Superstar hoping that something good will happen for him. He is now one of the hottest newcomers in Hollywood and he can only go up from here.

He’s landed a role as the heavy in Robert De Niro’s latest film Bus 657. And he’s reportedly also up for a lead antagonist role in the newest installment of the James Bond franchise. It definitely seems as though Batista is on his way to major notoriety in Hollywood.

And truth be told, he should be. The fact is Guardians was good. It was very good. And Batista’s turn as Drax was more then memorable; it was impressive. This was not a role that required Batista to just sit around and grunt some lame one-liners while the crowd laughed at his awkwardness.

Drax is big and tough but also proud and tortured. He is a warrior but truly only wanted to live in peace. He will take on an army by himself and never flinch yet inside he is burdened with great sorrow. This is not your typical Schwarzenegger strongman, this is something much more. And Dave Batista nailed it.

So what are we looking at now? Is The Animal headed to the heights that The Rock has achieved? Will we be seeing Batista in one major role after another from now on? At age 45, is Dave Batista on his way to a second career and real relevancy in Hollywood?

Don’t bet against him, he will prove you wrong. And it still blows my mind.

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WWE Make Changes To Hell In A Cell 2014 Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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TNA Reportedly Make A Play For CM Punk

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

TNA Wrestling are not ready to roll over and play dead yet. With no TV deal in place past 2014, the company recently made a bold move. A move was made that could have majorly shaken up the pro wrestling landscape.

According to a new report in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, TNA made a play to bring back CM Punk. Dave Meltzer reports that TNA were hoping to bring Punk in and use him as a chip in closing a television deal.

For whatever this is worth, TNA, through an intermediary who is friends with C.M. Punk, made a play for him just like they did for Alberto Del Rio several weeks back. The idea pitched was a huge deal to be the top star of the company and money similar to Hogan, with the idea he could be their flagship guy and if he signed now, could help them broker a stronger television deal.

Meltzer reports that Punk declined the offer and has no interest in returning to pro wrestling whatsoever. The timing of the move comes a few months before TNA’s extension with Spike TV is scheduled to run out. You have to give TNA some credit for going for it, yet I can’t seriously believe that they thought they had a real shot.

This isn’t the first move that TNA has made recently at an ex-WWE superstar. TNA reportedly reached out to Alberto Del Rio immediately after his contract was terminated with the WWE. Del Rio reportedly turned down their offer as well. I don’t know if these are desperation moves, moves simply for public relation purposes, or some kind of delusional strategy on the part of Dixie and company.

What is interesting to me is that they let Sting and Hulk Hogan walk due to money issues, yet were willing to spend even more money on Punk. Meltzer reports that Punk’s deal was for more money than Hulk which would have likely made him the highest-paid star in TNA history. I’d also assume that Del Rio’s figure was somewhere in Hulk’s range. TNA could have kept Hulk and used him in these television negotiations, yet expenses were cut. Hogan could have quite possibly got a better deal to return to WWE anyway, but they didn’t even make a serious play according to reports.

I speculated months ago that TNA could make a run at Punk. I thought that TNA or even ROH could make a deal with Punk which gave him ownership in the company as part of the deal. It would have been a one-of-a-kind deal in 2014, although points in a territory were common place back in the territory deals in regards to wrestler deals. I envisioned a scenario where Punk would be a player-owner, similar to what Paul Heyman wanted (booker-owner) but that isn’t happening.

I am not sure what TNA felt they could offer Punk that he couldn’t have gotten if he stayed in the WWE. A better schedule for sure, but the pay couldn’t have been comparable. Plus, Punk is astute and well aware of TNA’s television troubles. Imagine the egg on Punk’s face if he did agree to a deal with TNA and they couldn’t reach a television deal for 2015.

It’s hard to rationalize what TNA’s real motive was here. Why would a company make a high-dollar offer to someone like Punk with no deal in place? I would think that their time would be better suited trying to get a deal done as opposed to chasing an elusive prize they had virtually zero shot of signing.

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WWE: Wrestlers Who Could Have Carried WrestleMania

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

Leave it to the WWE to move from one legendary tradition at WrestleMania and create something totally new to help create new hype and drama.

If it is true that Triple H and The Rock could be headed to a WrestleMania 31 showdown, then let me be the first to say Hallelujah. This is a former feud that could have some legs and could sell many tickets at the new Levi’s Stadium. It’s only fitting to bring The Rock to the millions (and millions) of fans in the WWE on the company’s grandest stage.

As a fan of professional wrestling and someone who loves WrestleMania, here are a few wrestlers who I would have loved to see headline the event, and could have carried it on their backs in grand fashion.

BARRY WINDHAM

The son of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan. He is best known for his appearances with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

In NWA/WCW, he was a one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time United States Heavyweight Champion, a one-time Television Champion, a one-time Western States Heritage Champion, a four-time NWA (Mid Atlantic)/WCW World Tag Team Champion and a one-time NWA United States Tag Team Champion with Ron Garvin.

In the WWF, he was a two-time World Tag Team Champion with his brother-in-law, Mike Rotunda. On March 31, 2012, Windham was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Horsemen.

CURT HENNIG

Hennig is recognized by WWE as a one-time world champion, having held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship for 373 days (the seventh-longest reign in history). He won three additional world championships: the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship once, and the I-Generation World Heavyweight Championship twice. A two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, Hennig has been named by WWE as one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time, and was the longest-reigning champion of the 1990s.

Hennig returned to the WWF for a brief period in 2002, being one of the last three men remaining at the Royal Rumble. He later challenged for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in TNA, prior to his death on February 10, 2003.

KERRY VON ERICH

The Modern Day Warrior and the Texas Tornado. He was part of the Von Erich family of professional wrestlers. He is best known for his time with his father’s promotion World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), where he spent eleven years of his career, and his time in World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

Adkisson held forty championships in various promotions during his career. Among other accolades, he was a five-time world champion: a four-time WCWA World Heavyweight Champion and one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion.

TERRY FUNK

Funk has appeared in the NWA, AWA, WWF/E, WCW, ECW, ROH, and TNA.

In major promotions, Funk is a three-time World Champion, having held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship once and ECW World Heavyweight Championship twice.

He is the only man to have been inducted into the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, NWA, Hardcore, Wrestling Observer, and St. Louis Wrestling Halls of Fame.

Funk is often noted for the longevity of his career, which has included multiple “retirement” matches.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he and his brother Dory Funk were two of the best mat wrestler to ever appear in a ring.

RON SMMMONS

In WCW, Simmons was a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion; as the first African American to win the title, he is recognized by WWE as the first black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling history. He was also a one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion with Butch Reed and a one-time WCW United States Tag Team Champion with Big Josh.

In the WWF, Simmons was a three-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Bradshaw as one half of the Acolytes Protection Agency. As the leader of stable The Nation of Domination, he also competed for the company’s singles championships on pay-per-view, headlining the 1997 King of the Ring event against The Undertaker for the WWF Championship. Simmons was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

DUSTY RHODES

He is a current trainer currently working for WWE. He makes occasional on-air appearances on other WWE television and pay-per-views and works as a backstage booker and producer in WWE’s NXT Wrestling developmental territory. Billed as “the son of a plumber”, Rhodes’ character was that of the American working man, particularly in promo videos such as his famous ‘Hard Times’.

Rhodes is a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and during his time in Jim Crockett Promotions (the forerunner of WCW), he was a former United States Champion, and multi-time Television, World Tag Team, and Six-Man Tag Team Champion. He has also won many regional championships during his wrestling career.

He is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

OWEN HART

Among his many accolades, Hart was a one-time world champion, having held the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship during the USWA’s partnership with the WWF, a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, a one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWF European Champion, and a four-time WWF World Tag Team Champion.

He was also the winner of the 1994 WWF King of the Ring. A staple of the WWF’s In Your House pay-per-view series from 1995–1998, Hart wrestled more matches at those events than any other performer with 22, including three headlining slots. He also main-evented SummerSlam 1994 in a steel cage match against older brother Bret Hart for the WWF Championship, which remains one of only five WWF matches in history awarded a full five stars in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

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