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Archive for the ‘WWE | Pro Wrestling’

What is the Point of Watching WWE RAW?

October 23, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

My moment of internal questioning came long before Monday’s main event, but another match involving some combination of Dean Ambrose, John Cena, Randy Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins left me feeling like the WWE was openly challenging me.

“We dare you to turn this off,” it felt like they were saying. “Fine, not this week? Maybe next week when we do this all again. Or the week after when it’s the same thing.” That can be the only real explanation as to why the WWE is putting out the exact same matches week in and week out, expecting myself and others to tune in to watch their show.

I’ve been a wrestling fan for most of my 28 years on this Earth but for the first time in a long, long time, I’m wondering why it is I’m even bothering. What’s the point anymore? There’s no point in watching the pay-per-views anymore because they’re basically repeats of what we’ve seen on Raw. That or the 227,000th meeting between Cena and Orton (your Hell in a Cell main event for just $9.99!).

Think I’m being a bit dramatic? Check out the pay-per-view lineup. Dean Ambrose fought Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell. Brie Bella will take on Nikki, who she pinned clean a few weeks ago. Rusev is facing the Big Show, which he did last week. Cesaro is facing Dolph Ziggler which he did on Raw, pinning him clean. The Miz is taking on Sheamus, which he’s been doing on and off for weeks. It’s literally the exact same thing you’ve seen on Raw ad nauseam. Why in the hell would I want to tune in to the pay-per-view when we’ve seen all of these matches in the last few weeks (or in the case of Cena/Orton, 1.4 million times before)?

More importantly, why in the hell should I invest myself for three hours a week at minimum when nothing is ever different or interesting? I’m to the point where I don’t even care who is featured, just give me something different than I’ve seen for the last several years. It’s laughable that the WWE is internally worried about ratings. Do they not watch their own show? Are they not aware that they’ve been putting out the exact same show for as long as anyone can remember? Who would want to tune in for the same damn thing week after week? The sheer ignorance of the situation is just as maddening as anything else. They make the friggin’ show and can’t realize that it’s awful.

Also, what’s going on with the roster? Why are the same seven guys used on Raw and the rest of the card is basically ignored? Seriously, you can give new guys a chance to make their own mark while filling time. You can seem fresh by just having new matches every once in a while and it takes minimal effort. I’m not asking for ground-breaking angles like the nWo or Austin/McMahon, here. Just try. Show me you’re trying. Show me that you realize the show isn’t up to snuff and that you’re at least trying new things to improve it. Don’t give me the same matches and promos over and over and think that slapping a new name on it makes it worth paying $10/month.

Somewhere along the line, the WWE’s main programming has become annoying and repetitive. The only show worth watching exists in an almost entirely separate universe: NXT. On NXT, they have compelling, interesting, LOGICAL stories. They have fresh matches routinely and the build into the matches that are supposed to matter usually makes sense. There’s drama and importance to these matches. They don’t just throw to “name” wrestlers together and expect that to be enough for you. They build their characters, make them layered and interesting. Raw hasn’t done that in what, six months at least? More than that?

This whole rant isn’t some threat to stop watching wrestling. That’ll never happen, as I’ve learned over the course of my life. I eventually come back and I doubt that’ll stop. I just can’t quit you, wrestling. That said, Raw is losing me and I have no problem taking my attention off of the flagship and putting it onto NXT.

It’s just a shame that when all of my favorites graduate to Raw, they’ll be ruined by the stale, stupid product being placed on television.

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Chris Jericho Talks WWE Attitude Era and Bray Wyatt

October 23, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Chris Jericho is currently making the rounds promoting his latest autobiography and continues to be one of the most quotable wrestlers in regards to media. Jericho hit on a few interesting topics in a recent interview including some fascinating insight into a legendary era.

The WWE Attitude Era has taken on a life of its own in recent years. It is portrayed by the WWE as their golden years and fans of that era often ask for it to come back. Jericho is a guy that was a big part of the Attitude Era, jumping to the WWE while the era was at its hottest. Which is why it will probably surprise you to hear that Jericho prefers this current era over the Attitude Era.

“When you think of another time like ECW or the Attitude Era, it’s like, “Ah, those were the good old days.” But having actually lived through it, there was a lot of great stuff, but there was a lot of stuff that sucked, too. Mae Young gave birth to a hand in the Attitude Era. Is that really what you want to remember about wrestling? I thought that was one of the dumbest things.
There were a lot of great characters and a lot of great wresting, so I think you always look back fondly. I live in the now and I think the product is the best it’s ever been because it’s now.

It’s where we’re at in 2014, and I always look to the future. There were good moments in the past and there were bad moments. There’s going to be good moments in the future and bad moments, but I think it’s always best to look forward if you want to continue to improve yourself and the product, and improve what people are seeing.”

I couldn’t agree more with Jericho. I think the Attitude Era is highly overrated, especially when you look back at some of the ridiculous gimmicks and angles that took place during that time period. Jericho has said in other interviews that the new era is superior to the Attitude Era and while I think that is a bit of an overstatement, I certainly see his point.

Jericho is also a guy who has been around the WWE block a few times. This experience gives Jericho a unique perspective when it comes to picking talent. According to Jericho, being a successful WWE superstar is a lot more than just being a great worker.

“Personality and character, they’re the only things I care about. Honestly, I don’t really pay any attention to wrestling skills because they don’t matter. There are a lot of similarities between music and wrestling, because they’re all about connecting with the crowd. What kind of charisma you have. What kind of personality you have. They’re so much more important than whether you can do a shredding guitar solo or a triple-jump moonsault.

It’s show business through and through, so when you look at a guy like Bray Wyatt, I loved his character. He can work and he’s a good wrestler and all that sort of stuff, but it’s the character that really makes it, and if you see something like that that’s so different and so unique and riveting, it’s a no-brainer. That’s what I love about the business, the characters and showmanship elements.”

Jericho is very high on Bray Wyatt yet unfortunately it appears Wyatt has somewhat disconnected from the WWE Universe. I have always found Wyatt’s character a bit one-dimensional so I’ll have to disagree a bit on Y2J’s analysis of young Bray. Yet the criteria he lists behind a successful superstar seems spot on.

Check out the rest of the interview over at Rolling Stone for some fun road stories and more from the former undisputed champion.

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10 Andre the Giant Stories You (May or) May Not Know

October 22, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Andre the Giant Jerry Lawler Midget StoryAndre the Giant has turned into a mythical character in pro wrestling folklore and urban legend since his passing. Many stories have floated around the Internet and bars on the Giant and I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 10 of Andre stories you may or may not have heard before.

Andre has always been a fun topic in interviews with peers who worked with him or traveled with the big man. We have all heard the stories about Andre’s drinking. They are legendary. I even heard a recount of Andre eating multiple hamburgers in one sitting from my dad who was a bartender in NYC in the 70s. But there are others that are just as interesting whether it be fights, backstage gossip, tales from the ring, or even some crazy anecdotes.

I could have came up with a list of over 20 but I narrowed it down to ten for a few reasons. Some stories are so outlandish that while they may be true they are hard to source. I stuck with stories that had sources whether from books or shoot interviews, etc. I also tried to keep them interesting to wrestling fans and mix them up with some you may have heard and others you haven’t. So here you go. If you thought you knew everything about Andre the Giant, well you might, but hopefully you learn a thing or two from this list.

Andre the Giant called Kamala racist names during a match and paid for it - Kamala has told this story in several interviews lately. Kamala and the Giant had a big rivalry in the early 80s which started with them matching up in territories and ended in the WWE. They made a lot of money together and while that is generally something wrestlers bonded over, Andre was not a fan of Kamala. Andre was in a bad mood and in their first match used a derogatory racist remark towards Kamala. You can probably guess what it was. Kamala was not happy about it and let the Giant know about it.

“Andre wasn’t the friendly guy that he appeared to be. He was real temperamental and had a nasty attitude. When I first started working with him, he called me a (derogatory) name in the ring and I beat him up. After that, I never had another problem with him. A lot of (top guys had problems with Andre too). He would just go out and mop the floor with people. He treated (wrestlers) nasty, and the fans too. Andre would do it just about every night. Guys would watch through the curtain to see what he was going to do.”

Kamala expanded on it when he was interviewed by Steve Austin a few months ago. Kamala told Austin that he and Andre were fine after that and that it was Andre who was responsible for bringing him to the WWE.

Andre the Giant called Bad News Brown/Allen the same racist name and almost paid for it - Well sadly it appears that Andre liked to drop the N-bomb back in his day. It also appears that some of those wrestlers didn’t like it and weren’t intimidated by the Giant’s size. Bad News Brown was one of them and on a tour of Japan, he had about enough of the Giant’s “humor.”

Bad News has told this story in interviews and as the story goes, Andre the comedian was in the back of the bus during a Japan tour telling racist jokes. Andre was loud enough, likely intentional, for Brown to hear it. Brown had enough and ordered the bus drive to stop the bus. Bad News got up and told Andre to step outside. As the story goes Andre refused to step outside knowing how much of a bad dude Bad News was. Hulk Hogan and a few others apparently settled things down and Andre apologized to Brown the next day.

Yet Andre would have his revenge years later.

Andre the Giant defecated on Bad News Brown during a match in Mexico - Andre’s health was deteriorating yet the Giant continued wrestling well past the point he should have retired. Andre and Bad News were on opposing sides of a six-man tag team match in Mexico at this point in Andre’s career and well, things got a little out of hand in old Mexico in 1992. Oliver Hurley wrote about this in his book Wrestling’s 101 Strangest Matches and I also heard this story first hand from the late Bam Bam Bigelow who was also in the match.

Andre had allegedly had stomach cramps and diarrhea all day prior to the match. Here is the rest of the excerpt from Hurley’s book.

“Midway through the bout, he faced off against Bad News Brown Andre was dictating what would happen in the ring, known in the trade as calling the spots. As he threw Bad News into the corner, he muttered to him, ‘Big ass, boss.’ (Andre called everyone ‘boss’.) This verbal shorthand told BNB to remain slumped in the corner as Andre was about to hit him with one of his trademark moves, in which he would turn his back to his opponent, grab hold of the ropes and – there’s no delicate way to put this – thrust his enormous arse into his adversary, supposedly crushing him in the corner.

The combination of the collision and the copious volume of booze he had taken on board meant that, as soon as Andre hit Bad News, he lost any control he once had over his bowels. Liquid faeces dribbled out of his wrestling singlet and all over Bad News Brown’s chest. Bad News fell out of the ring and, resisting the urge to throw up, pelted back to the dressing room. His tag team partners continued the contest without him, once they’d finished laughing at his predicament. As Bad News passed fans on his way backstage, they shouted, ‘Wow, what is that smell?’ having presumably never been confronted by a wrestler covered in diarrhoea before.

Bad News jumped straight into the showers, while still wearing his wrestling trunks and boots, in a bid to clean himself up. But despite having been shat upon by a giant, he remained remarkably sanguine about the incident. ‘I felt sorry for the guy,’ he later said. ‘He was just sick, that’s all.’ The match proved to be one of Andre’s last prior to his death at the age of 46 on 27 January 1993 from congestive heart failure, which was caused by his untreated acromegaly, the glandular disease that resulted in his enormous size.”

Andre the Giant was once recruited by the Washington Redskins in 1976 - The first time I heard this story I called bull. Yet I was able to actually find a story with someone from the Redskins who corroborated the story as fact. Sports Illustrated reported on this in 1982 with confirmation from Redskins Public Relations Director Joe Blair.

Andre’s wrestling colleague George “the Animal” Steele, a former football coach recalls a conversation he had with Vince McMahon, Sr. about the idea of Andre playing for the Redskins. Steele told the story a few years back on a podcast interview.

“And in one of those early conversations, the Washington Redskins wanted to sign Andre the Giant to play football,” Steele said. “And they wanted to sign him to play as a linebacker on field goals and extra points, to stand up and kind of wave like a giant. And it would be great publicity for them and us.

“And because I was a football coach and had played a little bit, Vince Sr. says Jim what do you think about this idea? I says I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. First of all, if you take Andre the Giant – as big and strong as he is – and stuck him in front of me, with his hands in the air waving or something, I’d take his knee out.

“I said first of all, I think you’re making a mockery of the game. And he’s outstretched, he can’t protect himself, I’d cripple him. And I said every guy in the NFL would do that. He has no business doing that. I don’t know if you know that or not, but they had made the offer, and it almost went to signing, and that’s why they didn’t do it. Because it wasn’t the right thing to do for Andre, for wrestling, and really for football.”

For the record another fact you may not have known along the same lines is that the Pittsburgh Steelers tried to recruit Bruno Sammartino.

Andre’s last pro wrestling television appearance in the United States was for WCW - The ultimate betrayal took place in 1992 as Andre was winding down his career. Andre was not on good terms with the WWE. One story I heard is that Andre was very angry at Vince McMahon for being pressured to wrestle at SummerSlam. Remember, Andre came out on crutches at SummerSlam. Whether it was revenge or opportunity, Andre wound up appearing in WCW.

WCW had a big special in 1992 celebrating 20 years of wrestling on TBS. Ted Turner reportedly wanted the special to be a big deal. It was so big that they wound up getting Andre the Giant to appear. Andre didn’t do much here as a matter of a fact it was kind of sad. Andre was on two canes, said a few words on the red carpet, and was later seen in the “VIP room.”

Vince McMahon was apparently very hurt by this appearance. Shane McMahon talked about it in the book Andre the Giant: A Legendary Life. Shane said that his father called Andre and told him that he was deeply hurt by the appearance. Andre allegedly apologized to Vince, not realizing how deeply he hurt him. Shane also said that it upset him that TBS showed Andre on crutches.

Ironic since Vince had no problem putting Andre on television with crutches at SummerSlam 1991. Keep in mind that the Andre book was a WWE project.

Andre the Giant originally turned down WrestleMania 3 - This is another story I read in a few places but didn’t believe it until I saw it in print. According to the story told in Sex, Lies, and Headlocks Vince had to beg Andre to come back to the WWE.

The story goes that Vince called Andre while the Giant was making the Princess Bride movie. Andre told Vince to save his airfare because he didn’t want to wrestle anymore. According to the story, Vince felt that Andre was in a deep depression when he came back because Andre felt that he was ready to die.

Andre had back surgery scheduled in Europe. Vince allegedly persuaded Andre to come back and rehabilitate in his house to get ready for WrestleMania 3. Of course as we all know Andre eventually acquiesced to the boss and took part in arguably the most memorable match in WWE history against Hulk Hogan.

And speaking of Hulk Hogan…

Andre the Giant did not like to work with Hulk Hogan during their 1980 WWE feud - Hulk Hogan wrote about this in his book so take it for it’s worth. However, I did hear stories outside of Hogan’s book about Andre not being a fan of Hulk’s. Here is how Hulk recounted his early memories of working with the Giant.

” Hulk was going around telling people in the locker room that Andre was his hero and that he wanted to surpass him didn’t really get him into good graces with The Giant either.

Andre heard about what Hogan would say about him to the boys in the back and Andre took it as a direct threat.

So whenever they had to wrestle each other, Andre would work very stiff with Hogan and try to end his career but make it look like an accident.

Hulk refused to snitch on Andre however and complain to the head office.

Hulk Hogan would tried to talk to Andre but Andre refused to even speak with him.

Whenever Hulk had to wrestle Andre, Hulk was so scared of him that whenever he would be driving to the building, he would pull his car over and puke because he was so nervous and terrified.

Andre gained respect for Hogan however because no matter how many times Andre would whip beat on Hogan, Hogan never quit and he would never complain about it to the front office.”

Hulk has also claimed that Andre died two days after WrestleMania 3 so take this story for what it’s worth.

Andre the Giant almost drowned Blackjack Mulligan and Dick Murdoch - Ric Flair told the story  in his book of a night of partying that went very wrong for Murdoch and Mulligan. According to Flair, one of the Texans tried to sucker punch the Giant and wound up getting water boarded for it. The incident occurred at Murdoch’s birthday party. Andre grabbed them both, dragged them to the beach, and repeatedly dunked their heads in the water almost drowning them.

Andre the Giant fired the Freebirds from the WWE in 1984 - This is a fun story as told by Bret Hart in an interview about Andre’s life. Remember the incredibly short stint in the WWE by the Freebirds in 1984? I do and always wondered why it ended so fast. According to Hart, it was all due to Andre the Giant.

In 1984, the Freebirds – Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy-were recruited by the company, largely because they fit into the rock ’n’ roll image owner Vince McMahon was trying to cultivate.  “One time, the Freebirds were so drunk, they couldn’t get out of the plane,” Hart claims. “They got to the building at 9 or 9:30, in the middle of a show, and Andre was pissed off by their lack of professionalism.  While they were getting dressed, he told them, ‘You guys are fired.’”

When the Freebirds protested that Andre was ineligible to make personnel decisions, he allegedly countered, “We’ll see tomorrow if you’re gone or I’m gone.”

“The next day,” Hart continues, “the Freebirds were gone.  So I guess Andre could fire you.”

Jerry Lawler killed Andre the Giant’s career according to Vince McMahon, Sr. - The King actually tells this story in his autobiography and WWE.com actually did a story about it on their website. Back in the 1970s and early 80s, Vince used to book Andre out to territories on one condition. The Giant could not lose. Lawler booked Andre for a few dates and wound up beating him…by count out in Louisville. Lawler sent legendary pro wrestling photographer Bill Apter the pictures of the match and Apter wound up publishing the pictures with a story (see more pictures here) about Lawler beating Andre and Vince was furious!

“It comes out with this big headline: ‘The night a midget beat Andre the Giant,’ ” Jerry “The King” Lawler remembered with a laugh. “At that time, nobody beat Andre the Giant, but the story made it look like I pinned Andre.”

According to WWE.com, the magazine caused such outrage in the sports-entertainment industry that Mr. McMahon’s father, Vincent J. McMahon, brought it up as a serious point of contention in that year’s National Wrestling Alliance convention. McMahon was so irate that both Apter and Lawler nearly lost the ability to promote Andre, but things got smoothed over in a future issue.

“To rectify things, we came out with another cover that said: ‘Andre the Giant: Wrestling’s Only Undefeated Superstar,’ ” Apter explained.”

Lawler wrote in his book that Vince went crazy about it at an N.W.A. meeting. “Not only did someone beat Andre the Giant, a midget beat Andre the Giant!” Lawler said Vince’s face was turning red as he went off on the article. Lawler also writes that Terry Funk had a good time ribbing Vince about it and yelled out from the back, “Well who was the little bastard that beat Andre the Giant, Vince?”

According to Lawler, Vince called Apter and told him that the story “had killed Andre the Giant’s career.” The magazine later published an article touting Andre as the world’s only undefeated wrestling star to make peace with Vince.

ill Dundee’s version of the night. Dundee allegedly said that Lawler asked Andre what he wanted to do and Andre replied, “What do you wanna do boss?” Lawler replied, “Well I’d like to beat you.” Andre agreed and they came up with a finish where it took 30 guys to beat down Andre in order for Lawler to get the win. Dundee claimed that Lawler pinned Andre but enough witnesses say that it was only a count out win.

Regardless, it killed the Giant’s career according to Vince McMahon.

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Rusev and the Case of the Failed Big Man in WWE

October 22, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Rusev is WWE’s newest monster project; pun intended. The Bulgarian export has been virtually unstoppable since his debut back in January and in the last 10 months; no one has really been able to touch him. He is currently the brute to beat in that company.

So while the line to put him down has been shortened little by little with each pay-per-view event, the fact is that it’s not over yet. The Big Show is the latest guy to defend the nation against the Russian threat and some are questioning if he will be the one to finally pin Rusev. But maybe the better question is where is WWE going with this?

We haven’t seen this kind of buildup for a big guy since, well, the last time WWE decided to do it. From Umaga to Brodus Clay to Tensai to Ryback, one Superstar after another has been portrayed as an unstoppable juggernaut that just steamrolls through the roster, leaving a pile of bodies in his wake. And all three of those guys barely got out of the mid-card. In other words, it was all much ado about nothing.

Therein lays one of the biggest problems with a character of this sort. In any other promotion, this type of guy would be huge, probably even the heavyweight champion. But in WWE? Not so much.

This is the part when some of you remind me that Rusev did just get started on the main roster, that he deserves the chance to prove himself before anyone totally dismisses him. After all, just because the track record for Superstars of his kind may not be that impressive, that does not mean Rusev will not find a way to get over and keep impressing the company until he becomes a top level main event guy, right?

News flash: I’m down with that. Seriously, I have no problem agreeing with every part of that statement and I will actually go a step further and say that with the right amount of elevation and preparation, there is really no reason why Rusev could not become the WWE World champion one day. I’ll buy that. But before we get ahead of ourselves, stop for a moment and think about this company.

Think about what types of Superstars get the nod for the main event. Think about every WWE and World champion over the course of the past 10 years. Think about all of that for a moment and ask yourself; does Rusev really fit alongside those talents? Does Rusev have what it takes to not only make it to that top tier but to excel once he gets there?

The buzz in and around WWE is that he definitely does. Of course, that buzz is just hearsay right now, there has been no real indication at any time that he will make it that far or that the company is truly planning ahead for him. Right now, it’s all just blowing in the wind. There are a few things working in his favor.

One is the fact that he came from NXT. While this is obviously not a guarantee he will accomplish a thing, it’s a good start. It’s hard to argue with a developmental territory that introduced mainstream WWE fans to The Shield and The Wyatt Family. Let’s not forget about the talent currently working in Florida right now and the impact they will surely have when they are called up. But then, there’s always Emma; let’s not talk about her, though. The track record is there, Rusev has that going for him.

The other thing helping him right now is Lana, the so-called Ravishing Russian that is a constant presence by his side. Lana is the mouthpiece for Rusev and at this point she is becoming a very integral part of the act. But is she too important? Is she overshadowing Rusev? The answer to that question is obviously yes. She’s the real hit of the duo right now, not him. Is that a problem? Yes. Does that mean Rusev is doomed to live out his existence in WWE as the next Marc Mero? God, let’s hope not.

What it means is that he will have to double his efforts. Rusev must work even harder than the typical WWE big man to get over. The history of his character type is not good and he surely knows that. So when he’s on camera, he must go for the throat, and he must do everything in his power to make fans remember him long after the program goes off the air. Whether or not he’s doing that is really up for debate right now.

But what’s not up for debate is the fact that Rusev is building momentum little by little every week. The company is behind him and the sky appears to be the limit for him. Only, where is he going? Where is WWE headed with this? What is the endgame as it pertains to Rusev? Is he meant to dominate in the mid-card for the bulk of his career, finishing one arc after another, with the next one taking him right back where he was? Is that what awaits him?

Is his record ultimately the focus right now? We keep hearing about names that could potentially take him down. From Hulk Hogan to Kurt Angle to even Sting, that aforementioned list is always there and always a topic of debate. Will that remain the case until Rusev actually is pinned and if so, will he then begin his slide down to mediocrity? Or is the supposed buzz on him correct? Is Rusev on his way to great things in WWE? Right now it’s probably too early to know.

The truth is that he might be on his way to being the hottest big man in the company. But will he be a big deal?

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Odd Timing For Randy Orton WWE Babyface Turn

October 21, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

We all knew it was coming. The Viper and Seth Rollins have been teasing tension for weeks. Yet nobody thought less than a week before Hell in a Cell and with a hot Dean Ambrose on fire that this would be the week the WWE would turn Orton.

In case you missed it, Rollins turned on Orton this past Monday on RAW. Orton and Rollins teased the issue throughout the show. Finally after the main-event Rollins hit Orton with a curbstomp to solidify the turn and kick Orton out of the Authority, well seemingly anyway. It wasn’t the turn that surprised me, it was the timing.

I just don’t see the logic in turning Orton right now. Is he suddenly over with the fans? Did the fans demand a change? If so I must be living under a rock because I haven’t seen it. Are they weak on babyfaces? Is business way down? Did Orton demand it? I just don’t get it…at least right now anyway.

For starters they have a big show on Sunday. Now you go into Sunday with fans more interested in seeing a match that isn’t even advertised. The match is Orton vs. Rollins and the fastest we will get that is TLC, barring a RAW giveaway. It makes Ambrose vs. Rollins seem insignificant as well as the entire show. Sure the match should be great, probably a match of the year candidate, but to casual fans it an obstacle to the payoff they want to see.

Speaking of Ambrose, what does this do to his push? Ambrose has been pushed hard since Roman Reigns went down as the number two babyface. He is hot and something new and the fans seem to like him. Does anyone think that Orton is taking a backseat to Ambrose? This is an obvious sign that the company has little confidence in Ambrose as the number two banana on Cena’s side.

And speaking of Roman Reigns, what does this do to the heir apparent? The plans have been to push Reigns as the next heir apparent to John Cena’s throne. Does Orton take a backseat to Reigns? He should if Reigns is the future but I am not so confident that the WWE brass will allow it. Orton has always been protected at the expense of others, and this could do some real damage to Reigns moving forward.

I would not be surprised to see some kind of a Reigns heel turn when he comes back. I could easily see a feud with him and Ambrose, playing off of the real-life story of Ambrose taking Reigns’ spot while he was out. Now that would make sense and at least even up the sides a bit. Without a Reigns turn, you have a heel side headlined by Rollins and Rusev and a very part-time Brock Lesnar at this point. Take Brock out of it and you have problems.

Finally, where does this leave Daniel Bryan when he returns? Granted, his return is undetermined at this point and you can’t plan for something that you don’t know is coming. Yet at some point he will come back and he will likely be super over when he comes back (absence makes a fan’s heart grow fonder). So now you are talking about Orton, Cena, Ambrose, and Reigns jockeying for position against a heel roster of Rollins and Rusev? Excuse me if I temper my excitement.

Again I don’t think anyone cares one way or the other about what side of the ring Orton stands on. I just think the timing is poor and it opens up a lot of questions, most which have predictable answers that won’t sit happy with most fans.

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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.

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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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