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Archive for the ‘WWE | Pro Wrestling’

WWE Elimination Chamber 2015 Features Outstanding Card

May 19, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE will be presenting its first big Network-only brand event in two weeks. The network will host an exclusive broadcast of the 2015 Elimination Chamber show which features a lineup more impressive than the last two pay-per-views.

With less than two weeks to go, the WWE went into full Elimination Chamber mode on RAW this past Monday. The company put the pedal to the metal and unleashed creative for the network show. Four matches were confirmed following RAW giving fans one of the most exciting non-WrestleMania cards on paper the company has had in a while.

The main-event will feature arguably the greatest WWE rivalry of this era as Dean Ambrose challenges Seth Rollins for the WWE world championship. Now I have seen some complaints by fans on social media but I don’t get it. I have never seen a bad match between these two, most matches better than the last. Plus, their feud never came to a conclusive conclusion in the Hell in a Cell match last year so the rivalry continuing makes sense.

This brings me back to my Payback wrap-up blog in which I wrote that the WWE missed a golden opportunity with Ambrose. I thought that the WWE could have done a hotshot title change with Ambrose getting the win (even pinning Orton) and dropping the belt back two weeks later. The quick win would have at least established Ambrose as a top guy, investing in his future. Since the company was going with Ambrose-Rollins anyway, I feel even more strongly that they dropped the ball here.

In one of the most intriguing matches in ages, NXT champion Kevin Owens will challenge John Cena for the U.S. title. The angle was set up Monday night on RAW when Owens laid out Cena after balking on Cena’s U.S. Open Challenge. This is certainly an interesting one and fans are going crazy for it on social media.

I am not sure whether to get excited or disappointed for this one. Bringing Owens in and having him lose to Cena in his first match is a recipe for mediocrity. At the same time, having Owens come in and beat Cena in his first match is also not a good move because there isn’t much more from Owens to do from there. Why Rusev worked so well is that they held him away from Cena for a year and while he did lose three straight, he went into the program real strong. Judging by the tepid reaction Owens received on RAW Monday, I don’t think he is helped at all by coming straight up into a feud with Cena. Making matters even worse is that they only have one more week to build the angle. In another scenario the company could establish Owens for a few weeks before the match and get him hot. In this odd scenario, he has one more week on RAW and that just isn’t enough in my opinion.

It’s a great opportunity for sure but let’s be honest. When is the last time Cena put a new guy over in a feud? I am not talking about taking one loss, I am talking about putting a guy over in the feud. He didn’t do it with Bray Wyatt and he certainly didn’t do it with Rusev. I don’t blame him, he doesn’t book the shows. Although it tells me that the company has a mindset when it comes to Cena and new guys and in their minds, they feel that by putting Cena in feuds with new guys that the rub is enough. It’s not and when you bring a guy in like Owens and have him lose out to Cena in his feud, he will be swimming upstream for a while to recover.

That said I am making a lot of conclusions here but an objective look at history tells you how this feud is going to play out. It’s a great opportunity for Owens to shine and I am really looking forward to the match up. It’s extremely promising to say the least.

Finally fans will get two elimination chamber matches. The vacant intercontinental championship will be filled as Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, King Barrett, Rusev, and R-Truth battle in one chamber match. It should be a fun match but wow, talk about a demotion for Rusev. And why is R-Truth in this match over Neville?

The tag team championship will be decided in the other with New Day, Kidd and Cesaro, Lucha Dragons, Los Matadores, The Ascension, and the Prime Time Players compete in the other. To my knowledge this is the first time the Elimination Chamber has hosted a tag team match. It is hard to go wrong when you got guys like Kidd, Cesaro, Kofi, and the Dragons in here. Quite frankly if these guys have enough time they could make a strong case for match of the year by the time it’s over.

I would expect Roman Reigns vs. Kane, Neville vs. Bo Dallas, and a Bray Wyatt match to be added. The event will go down on May 31, 2015 in Corpus Christi, Texas on the WWE Network.

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE Payback: The Company Has Something Special with Cesaro and Tyson Kidd

May 18, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

No one really thought a tag team between “Stunning” Steve Austin and “Flyin’” Brian Pillman would amount to anything in WCW. But the success of the two former singles stars into a dynamite tag team is proof opposites attract.

In professional wrestling, it can lead to greatness. Maybe the same thing can be said for the duo of Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. After watching the tag team match between the former WWE Tag Team Champions and the current title holders, The New Day, I have a feeling the same kind of chemistry could lead to one of the better tag teams we have seen in professional wrestling in some time.

Didn’t we all benefit from seeing all five wrestlers in the ring at some point in a feud that Pro Wrestling Illustrated agreed is turning into something special?

Part of the beauty of professional wrestling is that anything can happen and usually does when fans least expect it. When the WWE paired the Swiss Superman with the high flying Canadian, it took a little while for the fans to catch on, but the company has a real find in this kind of combination. It is as brilliant in its assembly as the WWE had with the combination of Kane and Daniel Bryan in “Team Hell No.”

The fact the WWE is without the services of the Usos has helped the birth of the duo as a fan favorite. With the recent “heel” turn by the New Day, the most obvious change in programming was to take the former champions and make them the top “face” team in the company.

Their style is not on the same level, but the formation of an unlikely duo like this reminds me of how the Hollywood Blonds came to be.

Austin and Pillman were one of the best tag teams to ever come out of Jim Crockett’s promotion and the fertile mind of Dusty Rhodes.

According to lore, initially, Austin was resistant to the idea of even teaming up, as WCW’s booker at the time, Dusty Rhodes, had planned to push him as the U.S. Heavyweight Champion.

 Austin, quite rightly, viewed this move as a step back, especially after being told the team was meant to be little more than enhancement talent for other bigger teams. Pillman, however was coming off a team-up with Barry Windham and was convinced it could work. Austin admits it was Pillman who came up with their name, their gimmick, their ring gear, even many of their interview segments during the infancy of the Blonds. Pillman made Austin a better performer and their individual work meshed well, with Pillman’s high-flying the perfect complement to Austin’s more bruising style.

It was effective and the team achieved champion success until the two ultimately split. Isn’t that the way things happen in this business?

Does the WWE have the same kind of lightning with Cesaro and Kidd? Probably not. But the 22 years between the two tag teams and the different sensibilities of fans who like heels as favorites may prove to the business that this is the same situation in a different era. If that is the case, then the team for who I really hated months ago will undoubtedly become the top team in the WWE this year.

But this also begs the question – “What happens when the Usos return to action? Does Naomi’s recent heel turn give us an indication of the future? How odd would it be to cheer for the team fans used to boo and vice versa?

Right now, since there is a major change afoot in the company with wrestlers jumping fences, teams forming and splitting and the fans trying to decide who to love and hate, it proves that even the oddest teams in the WWE can be a true success.

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE Payback 2015 Results: Rollins Retains, Rusev Quits

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

Seth Rollins WWE Payback 2015WWE Payback was a one-match show. Fortunately for the WWE that one match was one of the best in awhile. The show will be remembered for a thrilling main-event which featured a brief reunion of the Shield. Unfortunately the rest of the show was an event that should and will be forgotten.

There isn’t a whole lot that I could say about the main-event other than that it was about as fun a match as you will see on a WWE special event. The Fatal 4-Way was a roller coaster ride of thrills and excitement that ended with a predictable winner, capping off a highly predictable night.

Seth Rollins pinned Randy Orton to retain the WWE world title in a Fatal 4-Way match. This match was just non-stop action from the second the bell rang. This was far and away one of the most exciting WWE main-events I have seen in a long time. Reigns and Ambrose double-teamed Rollins at one point which got a big reaction from the crowd. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch but was pulled out of the ring by Kane. Kane also beat down Ambrose and threw him back in the ring. J&J and Kane also triple teamed Orton. Rollins and Ambrose in together quite a bit early on with Seth on the attack. Kane came into the ring and choke slammed Ambrose as soon as Ambrose started to get the advantage. Reigns and Ambrose teamed up several times throughout the match, including Reigns saving Ambrose from Orton. At one point Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose teamed up on Orton and nailed a triple power bomb reuniting the Shield. Ambrose and Reigns immediately turned on Rollins. Ambrose and Reigns power bombed Kane onto Rollins on a table at ringside…twice going through the table the second time around. Ambrose and Reigns finally went at it with Reigns hitting a Superman Punch for a two-count. The crowd really loved the play between Ambrose and Reigns. Rollins broke up a cover by Reigns after Reigns hit a spear on Ambrose. Orton hit RKOs on J&J Security, then dropped Rollins with a DDT. Orton hit an RKO on Kane. Rollins caught Orton on the rebound with a Pedigree for the pin. Hunter came out after the match to congratulate Rollins as the show went off of the air.

This was a great match but I think that a big opportunity was missed here. With the Elimination Chamber being a mere two weeks away, I thought the WWE could have used that timeline to hotshot Dean Ambrose into a top babyface role. With Daniel Bryan out, a spot is open and Ambrose is the perfect guy for that role. I think that the WWE could have given Ambrose an upset win, a quick two-week title reign, and the credibility he would need in that new spot. The company decided to play it safe instead keeping the belt on Rollins and missing yet another opportunity to elevate a new star.

John Cena defeated Rusev in one of the tamest I-Quit matches I think I have ever seen. If you expected violence like I did when this match was announced, well then you were mistaken. Rusev dominated the first half of the match with Cena dominating the second half of what was close to a 30-minute match. This was a weird finish as Rusev had Cena passed out in the Accolade. When Cena couldn’t answer the ref, Rusev released the hold assuming he won. The referee told Rusev that Cena had to say “I Quit” to lose. So Rusev tried to wake Cena up and charged him with ropes in his hands, Cena ducked, hit a drop-toe hold, and got the STF. Cena wrapped the ropes around Rusev’s eyes and Rusev started saying something in “Bulgarian” to the ref. Lana told the referee that Rusev quit, essentially quitting for him to give Cena the win.

The finish was about as predictable as you can get. Most expected Lana to quit for Rusev. My problem with this is that Rusev was in nothing career threatening here. To quit from an STF with ropes barely wrapped around his eyes made very little sense. This wasn’t a situation like Magnum-Tully where Magnum was about to take Tully’s eye out with the wood. It was just a big disappointment to me and the majority of folks I heard from on Twitter. Rusev threw Lana out of the dressing room in a segment following the match.

Where does this go from here? Well the Cena vs. Rusev feud is over. Rusev and Lana are heading for a split with Lana expected to get a major push as a babyface. Rusev is in trouble here as he has now three matches in a row to Cena and will continue without Lana. I just don’t understand why the WWE kept Rusev hot for a year only to have him lose three in a row to Cena. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The biggest shocker at Payback was the announcement of the return of the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast. There have been numerous rumors about heat between the WWE and Austin ever since Chris Jericho started doing podcasts on the network. This will certainly put those rumors to rest. Austin will be returning on June 1 for a live podcast with Paul Heyman. Austin had Heyman on his podcast last year and it was fantastic. Unfortunately it seemed like they covered everything and I am not sure what there is left to talk about. Regardless, it will be great to see Austin back on the Network. In my opinion, Austin asks more provocative questions than Chris Jericho. It should also be noted that the Springboard Stunner disappeared from Cena’s repertoire at Payback.

Full WWE Payback 2015 results and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, & Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena defeated Rusev (with Lana) in an “I Quit” match to retain the the WWE United States Championship
Neville defeated King Barrett via Count Out
Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya) in a 2-out-of-3 falls tag team match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Bray Wyatt defeated Ryback
Naomi and Tamina defeated The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella)
The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) defeated The Mega Powers (Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow)
R-Truth defeated Stardust

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE SmackDown Results and May 14 Recap

May 16, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week opens with Bray Wyatt appearing on the screen. He says that, last Monday night, Ryback stood toe-to-toe with fate, and won. But Wyatt knows that, beneath the muscle-made facade, is an Achilles heel. He wants to expose. He will make an example of Ryback, and he will prove to the world Ryback is chasing a Garden of Eden that doesn’t exist. Tonight, Ryback will try to scratch an itch, but beneath the surface, his wounds will fester with malice. Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch. And Wyatt will come forth and turn his dreams into nightmares. Here’s some advice, friend: resist the itch and run.

Dean Ambrose makes his way down to the ring. He says he works best alone. He fights alone. He drinks alone. It felt good on Monday to be standing all alone in the ring, because alone is what he’ll be this Sunday at Payback. Once the bell rings, it’s every man for himself. We’ve got Seth Rollins, the little troll with his Lollipop Guild goon squad. We’ve got Randy Orton, who ate a spear from Roman Reigns last time. Moving onto Reigns…so, yeah. He hit Dirty Deeds on his only friend. He didn’t plan on it, and we know what happens when things get out of hand with Ambrose. So, he has one thing he wants to say to Reigns before they do battle on Sunday.

On that note, Reigns marches down through the crowd. As he does so, we find out the main event is Reigns/Kane Part 812, in a match with no count-outs or DQs. Joy. Anyway, Reigns enters the ring, and Ambrose says he knows he won’t get an apology. Reigns gets in Ambrose’s face, smiles and says he wouldn’t expect one. Ambrose did exactly what Reigns thought he would do, and that’s pull the trigger. He hit Dirty Deeds one time, and that’s all he gets. At Payback, it’s Reigns’ turn to get payback. Tonight, they are brothers with no grudges, but this Sunday, Reigns is bringing the big guns, and he hopes Ambrose does the same. Reigns offers a handshake.

Ambrose starts to accept, but then Kane comes out. He hates to break up this moment, but as DOO, he’s here to let them know they should be less concerned winning the Slammy for “Bromance of the Year” and more concerned with the fatal four-way on Sunday. They should be concerned on even making it to Sunday. Ambrose says Kane should be concerned, because on RAW, Triple H said if Seth Rollins loses on Sunday, Kane is out of a job. So, technically, this could be the last time we ever see “Corporate Kane”. Kane says he’s not concerned, because next Monday, he will still be employed. He’ll deal with Reigns later, but now, he’s here to tell Ambrose he has a match, since that’s what’s best for business. Tonight, Ambrose will face Sheamus, and that match begins now. Ambrose cuts him off and says “right now” is the only time Kane knows when to make a match. So, if Sheamus is done French-braiding his beard, get him out here, and let’s get this fight started.

MATCH 1: DEAN AMBROSE VS. SHEAMUS
They go into a lock-up, and Sheamus backs Ambrose against the ropes. Ambrose escapes and goes into another lock-up. He backs Sheamus into the corner before giving a sort-of clean break. Another lock-up, and now Sheamus grabs Ambrose around the neck. Ambrose reverses into a hammerlock, but Sheamus quickly gets to the ropes for a break. Sheamus nails a boot and hits a hip throw. Ambrose fights back up and sends Sheamus into the ropes, only to have Sheamus nail a shoulderblock. The two crisscross until Ambrose hits a drop toehold. Ambrose turns it into a leglock, then pulls Sheamus back by the mohawk before applying a half-straightjacket. He breaks his own hold with a kick to the back of the head, then grinds his forearm into Sheamus’ face in the corner. Sheamus comes back with some shots, then nails a European uppercut. He hits a bodyslam, then kicks Ambrose in the spine. Ambrose comes back with some punches, but Sheamus nails another European uppercut, sending Ambrose to the corner. Sheamus grinds his forearm into Ambrose’s face now. He misses a clothesline, and Ambrose connects with one of his own. Sheamus hits a boot out of the corner, then throws Ambrose in, only to misses a running shoulder. Ambrose hits a corner forearm, then connects with a running bulldog. He nails a series of shots against the ropes, then charges in. Sheamus sidesteps him and sends him outside, only Ambrose skins the cat and pulls himself to the apron. Sheamus quickly tries to tie him up for the 10 Beats, but Ambrose elbows his way out. As he comes back into the ring, Sheamus nails him with a running knee, sending him to the floor. Outside, Sheamus launches Ambrose into the barricade, then rolls back in to break the count as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, Sheamus has Ambrose in a rear chinlock. Ambrose breaks free, but then eats a kick. Sheamus goes for the Irish Clover-Leaf, but Ambrose kicks him off. He snaps off a few jabs and a headbutt, avoids a back-body drop and goes for a kick. Sheamus catches the foot and locks in the Irish Clover-Leaf. Ambrose manages to crawl to the ropes for the break, only to have Sheamus kick him in the chest. Sheamus goes for White Noise, but Ambrose counters into a sunset flip for 2. Ambrose hits a few more shots before running into White Noise, which connects on the second attempt. Sheamus signals for the Brogue Kick, but Ambrose sees it coming and rolls to the floor. Sheamus follows and rolls him back in, only to have Ambrose keep spinning and floor Sheamus with a clothesline at ringside. Ambrose climbs to the apron, kicks Sheamus into the barricade, then goes for a suicide dive. Sheamus meets him through the ropes with a forearm, then attempts the Brogue Kick again. Ambrose once again avoids it and clotheslines Sheamus to the floor. Ambrose hits the suicide dive on the second try, then rolls Sheamus back in. He heads up top, dives over Sheamus, who sees him coming, then runs right into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. Sheamus slugs Ambrose a few times, but Ambrose comes back yet again with some forearm strikes. Sheamus hits a back elbow, only to have Ambrose rebound with a clothesline. Ambrose rolls to the apron and heads up top once more. Sheamus meets him on the buckles and climbs up for what looks like a super powerslam. Ambrose escapes and shoves Sheamus head-first into the ring post, then rolls him up for 3.

WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE.

Outside of a count-out win against Daniel Bryan, has Sheamus won a single televised match since his return?

Kane is watching on a monitor in his office, when Seth Rollins and J&J enter. Rollins has a question, but reminds Kane of what Triple H said on RAW. Now, to the question: Rollins heard a rumor that Kane isn’t sure he wants to help Rollins on Sunday. Rollins asks if that’s true, then reminds Kane how much he gets paid as DOO. Kane says he’s set for life. He saved his money and doesn’t need the paycheck. Rollins is sorry Kane feels that way, but Kane needs to do the right thing. Kane says he’s struggling with that. In fact, he doesn’t know if he’ll know what the right thing is until he’s ringside on Sunday. Now, if they’ll excuse him, he has to get ready for his match with Reigns. Rollins wishes him good luck, and Kane wishes Rollins good luck as well…in his match against Ryback tonight.

Rusev and Lana make their way out, and Lana appears to be carrying a folder in her arm. In the ring, Rusev orders the crowd to shut up, then tells Lana to read what’s in her arm. She says last week on RAW, she betrayed her country by indulging in your perverse western customs. She allowed false ideologies to corrupt her loyalty and dedication to the Russian Federation and their long-standing traditions. She begs for forgiveness of her family, Mother Russia, and most of all, the super athlete and America’s only champion, Rusev. Rusev hands her the Russian flag then tells John Cena that, on RAW, he showed everyone why he will lose on Sunday at Payback. Cena was not prepared. He lacks focus. We cut to the video, where a match between Cena and Neville was ended by Rusev interference. Rusev then locked Cena in the Accolade. Back to the arena, Rusev says he knows what Cena was thinking in that hold. His mind was saying “I quit”, right before he passed out. The only difference between RAW and Payback is that everyone will hear Cena say those words. We then cut to a gif of Cena saying “I quit”. Back to the arena again, Rusev celebrates as the Russian flag drops down behind him.

Renee Young is standing by with Ryback. She asks if he can focus on his match tonight, knowing Bray Wyatt has threatened to come after him. He says tonight is huge. Going out there and defeating Rollins could earn him a title match. He doesn’t take anything for granted. His message is simple: Start full, then empty. Don’t leave anything out in the ring. As far as Wyatt goes, he gets it. He looks like a meathead. But he’s no dummy, and on RAW, the “Eater of Worlds” tasted a Meat Hook. At Payback, he’ll pick up where he left off. Tonight, though, he’s got Rollins. “The Big Guy” is hungry, and that means only one thing: “Feed me more”.

Another batch of Tough Enough submissions, this time including Tessa Blanchard and my friend, Josh “Caleb Crush” Sipple. These two are the only ones that stood out for me (for obvious reasons). The rest were either about as stereotypical as they come, or sob stories. Oh, and Gabriel Iglesias.

Seth Rollins and J&J come out for Rollins’ match, but before that, Rollins says we all saw what happened Monday night. It switches over to RAW, where the other three in the title match each took turns hitting their finishers on Rollins while Kane stood by. Back to the arena, Rollins says he hopes everyone enjoyed that because that is the last time you will ever see anything like that happen to him. It won’t happen at Payback, because it will be every man for himself. Reigns, Ambrose and Orton are just as cut-throat as Rollins, and they will cut each other’s throats, with Rollins there to pick up the pieces. With his security, his superior athleticism and superior mental acumen, and with the DOO Kane in his corner, he will emerge victorious. Now, as for tonight’s roadblock, Ryback…

Ryback’s music cuts him off, and we’re onto our match.

…Except no we’re not. As Ryback heads down to the ring, Bray Wyatt appears out of nowhere and sends Ryback flying headfirst into the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Ryback is pulling himself into the ring, attempting to get this match started. The referee checks on him, and he gives the okay to start.

MATCH 2: WWE WORLD CHAMPION SETH ROLLINS (W/J&J SECURITY) VS. RYBACK (NON-TITLE)
Rollins immediately goes on the attack in the corner, then nails a series of quick punches to the temple. Rollins goes for a suplex, but Ryback reverses. Rollins breaks it with knees to the top of the head, then hits a complete shot into the middle buckle. He sends Ryback to the floor with a knee to the back, then distracts the referee so J&J can stomp Ryback down. Ryback tries to pull himself back up and just barely makes it back in at 9. Rollins hits a trio of boots, then drops Ryback with a DDT for 2. Rollins chokes Ryback over the middle rope, then pelts him with more rights. Ryback throws a few weak punches, then manages to hit a Thesz press before grabbing Rollins by the ears and slamming his head into the mat. He then collapses, which allows Rollins to hit a neckbreaker for a pair of 2-counts. Rollins locks in a front chancery, but Ryback manages to power himself to his feet and escape the hold by tossing Rollins, once again collapsing in the process. Rollins recovers, but then runs into a back-body drop. Ryback avoids a corner splash, but then runs into a boot. Rollins dives off the middle buckle, and Ryback catches him, then spins him around into a powerslam. Ryback hits a pair of shoulders off the ropes, then catches Rollins with a spinebuster for 2. Ryback pulls himself up and signals for the Meat Hook, only to have Joey Mercury try to interfere. Ryback goes after him, which allows Rollins to roll Ryback up for 2. Ryback turns around and blasts Rollins with a Meat Hook. He goes for Shell Shocked, but Jamie Noble distracts the referee, which allows Rollins to rake the eyes and escapes. Rollins hits a high kick from the apron, then connects with a flying knee from the top. Rollins then connects with a thrust kick. Ryback fights to get back up, and when he does, Rollins hits another thrust kick for 3.

WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.

Renee Young is standing by with Naomi and Tamina. She says we’ve seen a new side of Naomi, then cuts to some clips. Back to the interview, Young asks about the change in demeanor. Naomi says they’re tired of being overlooked. She’s been here for years. She’s the best athlete in the division, and Tamina is a powerhouse. What has the WWE Universe given them in return? A whole lot of nothing. They’re sick of walking around, empty-handed. Opportunities aren’t given to girls like them, so they’re taking the opportunities. Tamina pipes in and says this division is run by them now. Naomi says the other girls don’t stand a chance. Nikki Bella is as fake as they come. She’s just desperate for attention. And don’t get her started on Brie Bella. Brie is nothing. She’s a quitter, just like her pathetic husband. Sometimes, a good girl needs to be bad in order to get things done.

The New Day come out, and Xavier Woods orders the music to be cut off. He says that Tyson Kidd and Cesaro are cheaters. But, out of the kindness within their souls, they will give the former champs a second chance at the titles at Payback in a best-of-3-falls match. Big E says Cesaro and Kidd are bad people. They don’t recycle. They double-dip. And when they go to the theaters, they buy one ticket, and seat two. Kofi Kingston says there is some good news for the fans. They don’t have to be like Cesaro and Kidd. They can choose to be like the New Day. The New Day are the change you need to see in this world. Woods tells everyone to sing with them and tries to get a “New Day rocks” chant, which of course they don’t get.

MATCH 3: WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON (W/BIG E AND XAVIER WOODS) VS. TYSON KIDD (W/CESARO AND NATALYA)
Kidd goes for a waistlock, but Kofi breaks it with an elbow. He beats Kidd down, but Kidd comes back with punches. Kofi blocks a shot, hits an inverted suplex and floats over into an armbar in a very nice combination. Kidd fights out and avoids a trip attempt. Kofi slides to the floor, and Kidd kicks him through the ropes before hitting a somersault plancha to the floor. Kidd rolls Kofi back in for a 2-count, then goes for the Sharpshooter. E jumps on the apron for a distraction, but gets wiped out with a Cesaro clothesline. Woods tries the tactic as well, so Natalya grabs him by the foot and holds him for a kick to the head by Kidd. Kofi then rolls Kidd up with a handful of tights, but only gets 2. He misses Trouble in Paradise, and Kidd locks in the Sharpshooter. He drags Kofi to the center of the ring and sits down tight, forcing Kofi to tap.

WINNER: TYSON KIDD.

It is announced that the Elimination Chamber event returns this month on the WWE Network.

We get clips from Daniel Bryan handing over the Intercontinental title on Monday night and being forced out of action once again due to injuries. I really hate to say it, but I legitimately fear Bryan’s in-ring career is over.

Bo Dallas comes out, reminding us he still has a job. He says this past week on RAW may have been the last time we see our beloved Bryan. Life isn’t all about yes or no. Albert Einstein once said that in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity, and while Bryan being gone is going to be difficult, this is Dallas’ opportunity to be there for all of the fans. There are five stages of grief, and he can help you through them all. The first is denial. There is no denying Bryan let everyone down. The second is anger. Anger is good. Anger is healthy, especially when you direct it at Bryan for letting you all down. Then there’s bargaining, and you’re all going to get a heck of a bargain on the Bryan t-shirts now that he’s gone. Then there’s depression. Depression is what is going to completely engulf Bryan once he realizes everyone is about to forget about him (as he says this and I look at his face, now sporting a beard, I realize he’s trying desperately to look like his far more successful brother). Last, but certainly not least, is acceptance. Dallas can help you all accept the fact that Bryan is gone and never coming back. All you do is Bolieve! At this point, his voice was cracking worse than the Pimply-Faced College Kid on the The Simpsons.

MATCH 4: BO DALLAS VS. NEVILLE
After the entrances, we go to commercial. When we come back, Neville is being sent into the corner, only to flip his way out of making impact. He flips across the ring and hits a cross-body from the middle for 2. We are informed King Barrett is on commentary, as he’s facing Neville at Payback. Neville has Dallas in a side headlock, but Dallas fights his way out and sends Neville to the outside. Neville lands on the apron, then low-bridges an incoming Dallas. He kicks Dallas from the apron, only to have Dallas trip him up. Dallas rolls him into the ring, covers his head with the ring skirt and pounds away before getting back in and hitting a clothesline for 2. Dallas applies a cravat, which Neville counters with a snapmare. He slides through Dallas’ legs, hits a few kicks, a running boot and a forearm. Neville nails a step-up enziguri, then hits the Red Arrow for 3.

WINNER: NEVILLE.

Barrett jumps up on the announce desk and says how dare Neville try to pass himself off as a challenge to the King’s throne. He doesn’t have time for frivolities of a mere peasant like Neville, especially one that comes out week after week in such a ridiculous costume. Neville is in need of some good, old-fashioned corporal punishment, and that’s exactly what he’ll get at Payback, and it will come in the form of a Royal Bull Hammer. Now, subjects, repeat after him: All hail King Barrett!

We see Adam Rose giving Rosa Mendes Eskimo kisses in the back. She looks disgusted, so she asks what’s wrong. Apparently, Rose’s hot dog keeps staring at them. No, that’s not a metaphor for an erection. Rose orders his hot dog to come over. The hot dog says his name is Carl, and he wants to know when the Exotic Express is getting paid. Rose says he doesn’t pay them to talk. This is about more than money; this is a revolution. This is about high art. Carl asks if they’re not getting paid then. Rose grabs him and says he’s just like the Bunny, in that he doesn’t get it. Rose throws him to the ground, then says the party is officially over. Rosa says the party is about to begin, then proceeds to try to lick his brain stem by shoving her tongue as far into his mouth as possible.

MATCH 5-EXTREME RULES MATCH: KANE VS. ROMAN REIGNS
No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO! I’m sorry, but I can’t do this. I am so damn sick of seeing these two slog through another snooze-fest. I like Reigns, but Kane is at the point of his career where he’s just dragging everyone down that he works with. Why he is still working when he planned to retire several years ago, I’ll never know.

The two brawl at ringside for a couple minutes. Then the match starts. A kendo stick comes into play. Seth Rollins and J&J are looking on via monitor in the back. The announce desk gets torn up. The steps get torn up. Kane hits a sloppy DDT. Reigns kicks out of a chokeslam through a table. Reigns spears Kane through a table and gets 3 after about 8 minutes.

WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.

Renee Young is standing by with Rollins and J&J. She asks how his confidence is after seeing Reigns wins just now. Rollins says he has never taken anything away from Reigns. Kane is nothing to sneeze at, but it will take more to take the WWE World title, and that goes for Dean Ambrose & Randy Orton as well. On Sunday, they will all be losers, just like…Rollins stops when he notices Young backing away. The camera pans out, and Ambrose is eating a snack while standing behind Rollins and J&J. They turn around, and Ambrose offers a cookie. He then throws the plate at the three and assaults Rollins. Rollins fights back, and that’s when Reigns comes in with an equipment box. He rams it into J&J, then chases Rollins off before having a brief stare-down with Ambrose. The camera pans down, and the WWE World title belt is at their feet. The two stare at each other a bit more as Reigns offers a handshake. Ambrose goes to shake it, but instead picks up the belt and sets it on Reigns’ shoulder. He says not to worry; he’ll take it on Sunday.

End of show.

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WWE Payback 2015 Predictions and Preview

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

WWE Payback is right around the corner and quite honestly there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. The event is essentially a two-match show yet history confirms that events which typically have low expectations going in are generally the ones that surprise you.

It almost seems as if the whole idea for Payback may be unnecessary at this point in time. The main-event while intriguing on paper, would have greatly benefitted from a few more weeks of scripting. The addition of the Elimination Chamber event makes this event fairly non-essential. So what is there to get excited about?

I try to focus on the main matches when writing previews for special events. Generally those preview blogs consist of 4-5 matches. Unfortunately I struggled to find more than two matches to focus on at Payback. The tradeoff of putting four upper mid-card-upper card stars in the main-event is a diluted under card. Needless to say the headliners have a lot of pressure on their shoulders to blow this show out of the water.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns in a Fatal Four-Way for the WWE world championship

Here we go again. Another WWE championship situation where the fate of Seth Rollins rests in Kane’s hands. I feel like I have just seen this act? Oh wait, I did! This time the odds are stacked against the world champion even more than at Extreme Rules. Rollins is outnumbered as he faces Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE championship.

As predictable as this match is I think it will be highly entertaining. Rarely is there a dull moment in these kinds of multiple person matches. All of these guys have had great chemistry together in the past which leads me to think that this match should be no exception. The finish can go a couple of different ways yet I think it is safe to say that somehow or another Kane is involved.

As predictable as this is I do think there is a slight chance of a title change here. The quick turnaround in a few weeks at Elimination Chamber lends itself to a surprise title change. Putting Elimination Chamber on the calendar is a way to take advantage of the free WWE Network subscribers. It would not shock me at all to see a quickie title change here with the belt going back to Rollins at the end of the month. Quite honestly I am almost ready to bet that is the way they go here. But what do you do? You don’t want Reigns’ first title reign to be a fluke yet he’s the most obvious guy. I think Dean Ambrose actually walks away with the title on Sunday night only to flip it back to Rollins at the big Chamber event.

John Cena vs. Rusev in an I-Quit match for the U.S. title

I think it is fair to say that this will likely be the last match in this feud. While I am never a fan of four matches in a row, I really enjoyed this feud so I have little problem with a fourth match here. This is the match that I thought we were going to get at Extreme Rules. I have no reason to think that this will be anything less than an exciting match. I have already blogged at great length about what I think should happen so let’s talk about what I think will happen.

Lana is the key here. All signs point to Lana turning on Rusev and this would be the place to do it. The idea here is to make Lana a babyface so I think Lana winds up throwing in the towel for Rusev. I think Lana throws in a towel or waves a flag against Rusev’s wishes. Rusev is angry after the match, yells at Lana, and is met with a slap to the face either then or the following night on RAW. I can’t see Cena saying “I-Quit” but maybe, just maybe this Lana/Rusev story is a swerve. I don’t think so but again with another big show in a week, anything can happen.

Full WWE Payback 2015 card and matches…
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; If Rollins fails to retain the Championship, Kane will be fired from being Director of Operations
John Cena vs. Rusev (with Lana) in an “I Quit” match for the WWE United States Championship
King Barrett vs. Neville
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya)     2-out-of-3 falls tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
Naomi and Tamina vs. The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella)
The Meta Powers (Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

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Who will be the next WWE Intercontinental Champion?

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

With the tragic news that Daniel Bryan will have to surrender a championship for the second time in the space of the year, it opens up new opportunities for other stars to have a run with the prestigious championship. After the announcement that the title would be up for grabs inside the returning Elimination Chamber, now seems as good of a time as any to take a look at the contenders and see what holding the title would do for them.

Neville

For me, Neville is the obvious choice for the next champion. The Geordie has made a stellar start to his main roster career, with great wins over the likes of Sheamus and Bad News Barrett, and some even better performances against John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins. His impact is arguably the biggest of any NXT superstar who has made the jump to Raw and SmackDown, and winning the IC Title inside the Chamber would cap off what has been an exceptional few months for Neville.

Sheamus

Since his return the night after WrestleMania, Sheamus has looked absolutely merciless, and he has recaptured the aggression that made him a great heel throughout 2010 and early 2011. His new look may be questionable, to say the least, but his new attitude is a breath of fresh air in a product that is currently lacking in its number of good heel characters. A win inside the Chamber for the big Irishman could lead to a potentially exciting rivalry with Neville, as well as putting an end to his current feud with Ziggler.

Dolph Ziggler

Speaking of the Zig-Man, his 2015 has been a real mixed bag. The closing months of 2014 were a huge success for Ziggler, with him putting in some of the best performances of his career to date. However, WWE has failed to follow up on the momentum that saw him named Rolling Stone’s WWE Wrestler of the Year, and he has found himself shuffled back into the mid-card where he has been for so long now. Personally, I don’t think giving Dolph the title back will really do anything for him. He had three reigns as champion in 2014, and it’s about time that he was moved up the card, not necessarily to the main event, but perhaps a more meaningful rivalry that will really allow him to shine.

Bad News Barrett

The same can be said for BNB. Coming off of probably the most lackluster IC Title run of his five reigns, he managed to win the King of the Ring tournament, and in the process becoming the second Englishman to do so. That win hasn’t done much to elevate his career, which has pretty much been in stagnation for a while now. Giving him back the title for a sixth time would be meaningless, and much like Ziggler, a push towards the very top is necessary within the next few months.

Dean Ambrose

It’s pretty much common knowledge that Ambrose is in the world title match at Payback for Rollins to get a clean pinfall victory. There are rumors that he’s in for a main event push in the coming months, but if that doesn’t come to fruition, giving him a run with the IC Title is certainly an option. He held the US Title for nearly a year, but he defended it on rare occasions, and the matches were good, yet forgettable at the same time. Whilst I can’t see Ambrose holding the belt anytime soon, it’s certainly a possibility.

As for the potential 6th contender in the Chamber, there are a plethora of names in the fray. WWE could hand the spot to an NXT talent, something that would be welcomed by myself, but it’s likely to be given to a mid-carder just to make up the numbers, like R-Truth or Stardust. For now, we can only speculate. Whoever is chosen, the IC Title taking centrre stage at this pay-per-view will certainly help raise its prestige further.

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Dean Ambrose Could be In Trouble

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

First they announced Rollins vs. Orton. No one seemed to care. Then they announced Rollins vs. Orton vs. Reigns. Still couldn’t care less. Then they announced Rollins vs. Orton vs. Reigns vs. Ambrose. Suddenly there is some excitement and talk. Ambrose is once again in the limelight. And this time, let’s hope the light won’t flicker.

There were a lot of chances with Ambrose; not to put him in the title picture, but to build him steadily. But WWE chose not to. Probably they were worried that it might dilute the fan base they were building for Reigns. But now that that base is not only diluted but has become as dull as ditchwater, WWE is reviewing the Ambrose option. That means two things can happen.

1) the WWE would try to shove Ambrose down our throats in a bid to move the needle and kill the goose that can yada yada or 2) feeling that ‘he’s not ready just yet’ they would try to humble him as only the HHH regime can do.

In either case, Ambrose is in trouble.

To me Ambrose is the last exciting thing left in WWE. (Lesnar is a part-timer and Ryback is about to be fed to Wyatt) There is a genuine edge about him. He can wrestle and he put together the best match of the night. But the trouble with all that is Ambrose is alone. There is no else in the current roster that can bring the same kind of excitement and color to wrestling. From faces to heels, they are all one-dimensional (including Bray Wyatt whose promos have gone from terrific to soporific. I make tea when he talks). Besides, there’s a little bit of character tweak Ambrose requires before he can chase the championship.

So here’s hoping that WWE would chose a different route for Ambrose; which is to deny the fans Ambrose – but in a calculated manner. Just like they denied the fans Daniel Bryan till putting Daniel Bryan became the only sensible decision, WWE should deny the fans Ambrose & Title till they can’t take it anymore.

One of the things with television ratings is that the reaction of the live audience can affect it. The television viewer looks to the live crowd for cues. It’s a subconscious thing. And right now the live crowd is just dead.

When I look at WWE, I see a pattern. It started with the wild days of Hulkamania. Then it went to the sedate though technically strong days of Bret Hart. Then it reversed to the explosive days of Steve Austin only to switch back to the sedate though merch-moving days of John Cena. See what I mean? It had always see-sawed. So the next crest has to be something that is anything but sedate. Might I suggest ‘Unhinged’?
Ambrose can lead that. Maybe he’s not a great talker. But then I guess it’s time WWE focused on some good over-the-top action and moments. Moments are what we are badly missing these days. And more than great matches, its moments that make a star.

Ambrose’s early run in with Rollins had produced quite a few moments. But they were short lived as WWE used Ambrose give Wyatt a leg-up. That really didn’t go anywhere and won’t. Wyatt is just not scary, threatening or credible enough. But you know who is? Reigns! The way ahead for Reigns is to get frustrated and turn heel. I would be surprised if that doesn’t happen soon. Of course that throws a spanner in the works called Rollins. But then, is Rollins working as a heel? Back in the 90s, he would have been vying for the Intercontinental Championship as a face at this stage of his career.

Anyway, back to Ambrose. The key of course is some smart booking. Allow Ambrose to slowly build his fan base. Allow Ambrose to develop his mic skills. Allow Ambrose to tone down a bit for fans to identify with so much so that by the time the title is around his waist, WWE would not be thinking of taking it off him.

So here’s hoping that at Payback, Ambrose would come close to winning the title, but just won’t. But at the same time here’s hoping that Ambrose won’t in the process take the fall (Orton can do that). Going forward, here’s hoping that Ambrose won’t win the MITB and that Wyatt does. That done, here’s hoping that fans would be kept thirsting for Ambrose till Wrestlemania 32. Then here’s hoping that Wrestlemania 32 would be between Ambrose & Lesnar. And finally, here’s hoping that Wrestlemania 32 will usher in a new era. WWE Unhinged!

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Replacing Daniel Bryan’s Spot in the WWE

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

Without a doubt, I can honestly say the WWE will not be able to fill the shoes of Daniel Bryan.

The company that continually pushed him down, only to help build him into one of the biggest stars in the company’s history relinquished the Intercontinental Heavyweight Title on Monday night. It left pundits like myself and the millions of fans worldwide wondering what happens to the title, and what happens to the spot created by the absence of the “YES!” man.

Some holes are harder to fill than others. Some losses are harder to take. Some wrestlers cannot be duplicated or imitated. And no, don’t expect to see Damien Sandow trying to recreate the “YES!” movement anytime soon.

Daniel Bryan is a wrestling icon.

If you don’t believe me, then think of it this way. The underdog of the business continued to defy odds, win titles, please the fans and give them a better performance than the one before. I used to hear people talk about how great Tito Santana was in the ring – the fact he “never” had a bad match. Couldn’t the same thing be said about Bryan and his ability and his spirit and his performance? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Now, that kind of energy cannot be replaced. That physical nature cannot be duplicated. The WWE isn’t like that these days. The company doesn’t hang onto the past like that – it moves forward with steam engine speed.

The one thing that I used to admire about Vince McMahon and his bigger than life circus of the 1980s was his ability to put the “Next Man Up” theory to use. There was always someone there to fill the role, take the spot, or become the next star. Someone replaced Santana. Bret Hart, The Rock, Steve Austin – even Hogan… All replaced at one point or another. And even with the series of promotions in other organizations, there were enough “part” players to go around. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Hercules, Junkyard Dog. Ace Orton. And the list goes on and on.

Truthfully, tell me who is going to do that now? The obvious choice would have been that wrestler turned MMA fighter who still has his name chanted in arenas nightly, but took his trunks and ran to the UFC. He’s not around.

Bryan was every bit Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit all in one – and that is no exaggeration.

There is a theory I have that you don’t “replace” him, but you replace the momentum he created.

Maybe that’s why Dean Ambrose has been thrust into the main event at Payback. Maybe there are plans for a shakeup in the WWE World Title picture. Then of course, there may be another idea brewing.

While the Bray Wyatt/Ryback program is still on the plate of WWE’s creative team, there are plans according to What Culture, of a Wyatt face turn.

It couldn’t come any sooner.

In John Canton’s story, he refers to Dave Meltzer’s comments on Observer Radio at F4WOnline.com, he’s likely going to be a babyface, although there are no immediate plans in place for that to happen. Meltzer noted that now is not the right time for it.

http://whatculture.com/wwe/bray-wyatt-face-turn-planned.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

This is one of those things that we have to keep in the back of our minds because there’s a very good chance that Wyatt will be a huge babyface star once he does his turn. He’s already got the fans support when he enters the arena and the entire crowd lights up the darkened arena by holding up their cell phones to give him light.

The thought is Wyatt could take a similar path that Mick Foley did fan support and ultimate face supremacy.

Different idea, same result.

If it is in the offing, it had better come quick. Fans aren’t going to sit around and approve of stagnation. If not Wyatt to make the leap, then who. And if it does happen, when. Only time and the WWE know the answers to those questions.

And in the meantime we wonder, who replaces the icon?

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Rusev Must Defeat John Cena At WWE Payback 2015

May 13, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I can’t recall someone rising to the top in the WWE as quickly as Rusev did in 2014. The WWE booked him better than any new heel in a decade. Yet Rusev is facing a crossroads at Payback which could bring all of that momentum to a screeching halt.

While Rusev had experience outside of the WWE before signing in 2010, he didn’t have the pedigree that other guys like Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins had before coming up to the main roster. Rusev is about as “home-grown” as it gets and for all of the criticism that the developmental system has gotten over the years, they got it right with him. They truly molded this raw talent into a money-drawing WWE machine.

I never would have imagined that a Russian menace gimmick in 2014 would have gotten as over as Rusev did, but it did. Credit goes to Rusev, Lana, and the bookers who protected Rusev and shielded him away from the 50/50 booking we have all come to know and hate. The rivalry with John Cena was a natural hit and for the first time in several years, fans were booing the heel against John Cena.

I had no problem when Cena got his first win over Rusev at WrestleMania. Rusev had done enough damage, including scoring a win over Cena to sustain his momentum. Everyone has to lose at some point, even Brock Lesnar has lost since he returned. Rusev remained hot with the loss and most would agree that he and Cena had the hottest feud going into WrestleMania. Everything was clicking and Rusev was still red hot.

Cena defeated Rusev at WrestleMania but you know what? It was okay. The match was presented as a special event and Rusev received an entrance that separated him from the other WWE stars on the show. Win or lose, Rusev was still coming out of WrestleMania as a hot heel on the upswing. His trajectory looked much different than Bray Wyatt’s did last year coming out of the Cena feud.

Then there was Extreme Rules. Extreme Rules was a different animal. It wasn’t WrestleMania, Rusev didn’t get the glitzy treatment, and it was a specialty match that benefitted Rusev. Sure, Rusev wasn’t pinned nor did he submit in the match, but he lost his own match. Not only that, this was the first disappointing match in the series. The stipulation prevented the guys from tearing down the house as they have done in their previous meetings. Ironically, this was the same problem with Wyatt vs. Cena last year at Extreme Rules and Wyatt still hasn’t recovered from the disappointing match.

Now we have Payback. The feud appears to be heading to a crescendo in a few weeks. Unlike Mania and even Extreme Rules, Rusev cannot lose this match! Losing three in a row against Cena will be an albatross that Rusev may never be able to disassociate himself with. While some will argue that wins and losses don’t matter, I would disagree. Winning and losing individual matches may not matter as much, but losing three in a row, including the finale is a killer. Rusev cannot afford this loss.

Looking at the big picture, I feel it is more important to bring Rusev out of this feud hot than it is Cena. Cena has sustainability and even after going 1-3 against Lesnar, he barely missed a step. As a matter of a fact, I could argue that losing was probably the best thing for Cena. A win for Rusev would set him up for inevitable showdowns with Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and yes the beast incarnate Brock Lesnar. While those matches will still be intriguing, they will not have the same zest with Rusev hobbling out of this feud without his belt, his girl, and three losses in a row.

Orton, Reigns, and Lesnar need Rusev to remain hot and sustain his momentum as the year progresses. Those are money matches right there that the will all be hurt by another Rusev loss. It is critical that Rusev wins at Payback. The future of the company depends on it.

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WWE Payback: One Champion, One Title, One Opponent

May 12, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Four wrestlers. Three “faces”. Two stooges for security. One WWE World Champion. This isn’t how it used to be in the world of professional wrestling, but it’s the way the world turns in Vince McMahon’s circus. Welcome to the “We don’t know who we want to face the world champion, so let’s throw four guys in a ring and see what happens.”

That is what we have to look forward to at WWE Payback this coming weekend.

In layman’s terms, it means the WWE doesn’t have a clue what to do with Brock Lesnar being “suspended indefinitely” and John Cena making the United States Championship the most prized strap the company can offer. Oh my, how the tables have turned. When Randy Orton and Seth Rollins gave us arguably one of the best WrestleMania matches in the past decade, I thought a program with the superstars would be worth another pay-per-view or two. Then, the unthinkable happened – well not unthinkable since many of us wrestling fans thought about it – and Rollins cashed in on the title with this Money-in-the-Bank contract.

Hmm. Great idea at the time, not so great right now.

There is enough star power in the ring between Rollins, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to put 12 matches together. All four will get in a ring, beat the hell out of each other and hopefully give the fans what they paid money to see. And then Rollins will walk out (maybe slither out) of the ring with the title in hand. The idea that someone other than the current champion leaving with the company title should be erased from your minds now – That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

The title picture is certainly not what it used to be. One champion, one title, one opponent. There was no wavering on who Hulk Hogan faced for the title. There was only one opponent for Verne Gagne. Bruno Sammartino handled his rivalries one at a time.

Ric Flair was a little different in that he traveled from town to town as the NWA Champion, faced the promotion’s top star and then moved to another region. It kind of makes me wish the WWE would work a title run much like the Great American Bash used to be back in the days of Dusty Rhodes and his fertile mind. He created huge productions for wrestling fans.

During an event like that, Ric Flair would travel with the NWA and face top talent night after night. The series also gave talent that would not ordinarily be in singles competition or in a title match time to shine.

I loved seeing Flair face both Road Warriors and Ricky Morton. He would face Dusty Rhodes and Barry Windham and some lesser known talents like Bobby Fulton or maybe Bobby Eaton. Those were the days when the title was more important than the person who wore the strap. Today, it is the opposite in every day.

Again, that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

How would a Rollins or Cena or Orton handle facing multiple challengers nightly and in different towns? Could they stay on point? The WWE works so hard on promoting programs and rivalries and then changes them up to give the fans more to get excited about. Frankly, it is really stale, no matter how good the Fatal Four-Way match could be at Payback.

The WWE must come out of this event on Sunday with one opponent for Rollins moving forward. The fans want to see head-to-head competition. There may be plenty of excitement from an Ambrose-Rollins confrontation that it warrants another feud between the two as the company moves toward Summer Slam. But the fans won’t know if the WWE cannot make a decision to have one title, one champion and one hellacious feud going forward.

That’s how this is supposed to work.

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