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Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho Share Vince McMahon Stories

December 24, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince McMahon is something of an enigma in that you can’t get the true Vince experience without working with the man. Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose are two guys have worked closely with Vince and they’ve got some interesting stories to tell about the Genetic Jackhammer.

Dean Ambrose was a guest on Chris Jericho’s podcast Talk is Jericho recently. The two-part interview was one of the best Jericho has done in his 101 shows. I found one segment in particular incredibly fascinating and that was when they both shared some off the cuff stories about working with Vince McMahon.

Ambrose’s story was interesting on a couple of levels. One, it reflects how close to the Mr. McMahon character Vince really can be off-camera. Two and most interesting, it discussed that awful mannequin segment Ambrose did on RAW a few months back. In my opinion, this was one of the worst segments of the year and almost killed the Ambrose-Rollins feud immediately. Yet according to Ambrose, Vince loved it and if he had it his way, would have gotten in the ring and massacred the mannequin himself.

“I think sometimes Vince (McMahon” with me, he is living vicariously or acting out certain impulses. (Imitating Vince) I want you to say “You’re going to rip his face off! You take this mannequin and chop his hand off! Yeah, yeah. What else can you do to this mannequin? Rip his hair out!” He’s really into it. I find that there’s some stuff that I am asked to do that Vince is really into.

Jericho responded, “You’re talking about when you brought the mannequin to the ring that was supposed to be Seth Rollins and then you’re tearing it apart and this is Vince’s instructions to you?”

“Yeah, he loved it. He was into it,” responded Ambrose. I was in Vince’s office with this mannequin with this bag of tools laid out on the floor. Vince is just looking at the tools and then looking at the mannequin and describing what he might do to the mannequin. It was like nobody else was in the room. It was like he was in there alone with the mannequin. He was in his own little world. (Imitating Vince again) “This mannequin, what could you do to it? You take this, chop his hand off! You like that mannequin?” I asked Vince in this same conversation, “If I was going to say that I was going to cut his balls off what is the word I’d use for balls?” He said, “Testicles!” with no hesitation. Well testicles is the word we use in wrestling when someone kicks you in the nuts.

Jericho had his own stories about working with Vince. None of which paint him as a man sympathetic to women nor is anything off limits when it comes to his own family.

“I had Stephanie (McMahon) one time with Hunter and something was said along the lines, “Stephanie is my precious little flower” and I said, “Stephanie lost her flower a long time ago”. I said (asking Vince), “Can I say that?” Vince goes, “Yes but just make sure you pause after to let the crowd cheer and react.” So it’s like, yeah you can call my daughter a slut, just make sure you let the crowd pop before you continue. That’s him.

“I did a thing once where I was doing something with Chyna and he wanted me to smash her thumb with a hammer because she wore gloves all of the time. (Imitating Vince) We’ll take the glove out, we’ll put a sausage in there and you’ll smash it with a hammer.” I asked, “Is that legal? Am I going to get arrested?” He’s like, “Creative license!”

I’ll tell you what. The WWE Network needs subscribers, stick a camera in Vince’s office during creative meetings, call it the Vince Cam, put it on the network and I think you’ll have one of the greatest reality television shows possible. A guy can dream right?

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Ho Ho Hogan Appears On WWE RAW

December 23, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE is in full holiday mode and RAW was no exception on Monday night. WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan kicked off the festivities making a memorable Ho-Ho-Hogan appearance.

It was certainly corny but it was also a lot of fun. Hogan played the role of G.M. on Monday night and was in a giving mood. Hogan made matches and as you can see by this video he made a John Cena vs. Seth Rollins rematch which kicked off of the show.

Hogan wasn’t the only legend to appear on the holiday edition of RAW. Rowdy Roddy Piper also made an appearance and brought back Piper’s Pit. I loved Piper’s Pit as a kid but the Pits aren’t nearly what they used to be, but it was still nice to see two of the biggest icons of my childhood back on WWE television.

Hogan is itching to do more including wrestle. There are still plenty of rumors that a Hogan match is under consideration at WrestleMania. He would have to pass several physical tests in order to get clearance but if he gets clearance I say why not. The fans still love him and for one night only, I say you give the guy his swan song.

In the meantime, we’ll have to settle for Santa with Muscles.

CM Punk Rips TV Host For WWE Questions

December 20, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

CM Punk has done a great job isolating himself from critics since announcing his UFC contract. Unfortunately for Punk the softballs came to an end when he went Off the Record and it didn’t take long for things to get ugly.

Michael Landsberg has had his share of verbal confrontations over the years and has never been known to shy away from tough questions or avoid the yellow elephants in the room. Which is why I am surprised that Punk wasn’t more prepared for the verbal joust that took place last week on Off the Record.

The interview started off on a bad foot for Punk when Landsberg made a complete mockery of Punk in the UFC by playing a video of potential Punk opponents which included Jose Cansenco and Chef Boyardeee. Yeah, you could see where this was going. Punk did not find it humorous and the interview grew to be contentious from there.

Landsberg asked Punk if he had ever been punched. Punk laughed and said he had been punched many times in a WWE ring. What a dumb answer. Here is a guy that is upset he isn’t being taken seriously as a UFC fighter yet he gives an answer which makes him look completely foolish.

This isn’t the first time Punk has helped fuel doubters and critics with his answers. It is amazing to me that someone as polished as Punk in media has been so unprepared to answer tough questions about his move to UFC. I don’t understand how someone from the UFC hasn’t sat down with him yet and crafted more well thought answers than some of the responses Punk has offered. Quite frankly it makes the UFC look more like a circus or mockery than Punk.

What is also interesting at this point is that Punk starts drinking coffee throughout the interview. I found it odd and a little unprofessional at the time but so be it. I saw it as Punk giving the interviewer a middle finger. At the end of the interview Landsberg brings that up and Punk says he needed to drink it to keep himself awake.

Punk is then asked about comments Dana White has made about Punk being offered an opponent at his own level. Punk says he’d fight anyone, including Anderson Silva for the right price. Punk says that he doesn’t want to take it easy and wants to put the “miles in.” He also says it probably wouldn’t be a good decision to fight someone like a Nate Diaz at this point in his career.

The interview progresses and it doesn’t take a psychologist to read Punk’s body language and assess his descending attitude throughout the interview. I will say that Landsberg appears to have picked up on it early and egged him on a bit as the interview progressed. Landsberg at the end of the interview finally calls Punk out on it and asks him if he was uncomfortable with the interview. Guess what? He was.

Punk says that the interview was very wrestling centric and he was there to talk about the UFC. Okay that may be well and good but it was Punk that first brought up wrestling when Landsberg asked him if he has ever taken a punch. Landsberg said nothing about the WWE up to that point. Even at the halfway mark there was only one question that Landsberg asked about the WWE and it was in comparison to UFC.

The truth finally comes out when Landsberg asks Punk he has no UFC fights scheduled, he has no UFC pedigree so what should he have asked them? Punk brings up the segment earlier in the show which made a joke of Punk fighting in the UFC. It’s funny because coming from wrestling you’d think Punk would just not sell the rib and move on. Instead he sat there with a sour puss for fifteen minutes. Nobody likes being laughed at but how Punk can expect journalists to take a former WWE wrestler with no MMA pro or amateur experience, not even a training camp under his belt seriously is incredibly naive of him.

Again, Punk is in desperate need of a media coach. It is in the best interest of the UFC to do that immediately. Punk is in for a reality check if he thinks that everyone in the sports media is going to treat this thing seriously. It is what it is and what this interview told me is that the criticism is starting to get to him. The more he feeds the critics, the more they will come to feast.

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Dolph Ziggler Says He Wants To Be The Man In The WWE

December 18, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Dolph Ziggler has become something of a people’s WWE champion on social media. Fans on social media want Ziggler to be the man and according to a new interview with the intercontinental champ, they may get that wish.

Ziggler sat down with Michael Cole for an interview on WWE.com. The new champion has never been shy about his desires to be a top guy in the WWE. A number of circumstances have prevented that, yet there seems to be a lot of momentum circling around Ziggler these days. Never one to lack confidence, Ziggler recognizes it and is declaring that he will be the man, some day in the WWE.

I’ll be honest, it almost angers me as much as it did. Not a chance. Dolph Ziggler is me. What I am is everything I stand for is the hardest working man in sports entertainment, someone who has fought for 10 years to be the man because I want to be. Not because I have to, not because it looks cool or I think it would be fun, I have to. I have a chip on my shoulder so big that you wouldn’t believe it. I don’t sleep at night much because I think of tiny mistakes I’ve made. This is on the right track, and I’m going to be the man around here. … I don’t need luck but it’s going to happen, promise.

Ziggler also talked about regaining the intercontinental title from Luke Harper. Unfortunately Ziggler’s last run as I-C champ was filled with almost a dozen losses on television. While skeptics may see the I-C belt as a curse, Ziggler is excited about his new reign as champion.

Winning titles is a huge step in a career for a superstar. Just having been through so much the last couple months, months and years of fighting and scratching and clawing and getting close and saying ‘you’re not quite the guy for the position’ and knowing it was out there. Now, having even more of the WWE Universe behind me every single night, I knew if I could find my way to get through this ladder match, make it one of the best things anyone has ever seen, and come out as the champion, I knew we could make that title, like I said before, what it means to me. It did (steal the show). It did.

So what is next for Ziggler? Where does Ziggy go from here? If it were up to his fans on social media, it would be to a WrestleMania main-event against John Cena. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one, although Ziggler would love to have that opportunity.

I see this as a stepping stone. This is a first step in the right direction. This is a chance for everyone who has been really close to breaking through that glass ceiling and couldn’t get it done. Let me be the one who busts it open and leads the way through. Let me be the one who says from here on out, you can make it. You can make it with the WWE Universe behind you and everything you do you do to be the best, and I do.

It’s hard not to get excited about where things are heading with Ziggler. It appears that he may be finally getting his due and an opportunity to run with the ball in 2015. Unfortunately we have all been sucked into this before with Ziggler and his start-stop pushes. Let’s hope this one is different.

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WWE Super SmackDown Results and 800th Episode Recap

December 18, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week’s episode is a special live edition, due to this being the 800th episode.

MATCH 1: FANDANGO (W/ROSA MENDES) VS. ROMAN REIGNS
Fandango has new entrance music, and it’s about as generic as you can get. Both guys have new gear as well. Fandango looks like a CZW referee, but in red. The two lock up, and Reigns backs Fandango into the corner. Fandango hits a punch, and Reigns responds by dropping Fandango with one of his own. Fandango hits a kick to the gut and applies a side headlock. Reigns reverses, then breaks a waistlock before snapping Fandango over by the arm. Reigns works on the arm and shoulder, knocking Fandango into the corner. Reigns tosses him across the ring, hits a corner splash and a short-arm clothesline that sends Fandango to the floor. Reigns pulls him up, and Fandango hits a hotshot before ramming Reigns face-first into the top buckle. He hits a few punches for a pair of 1-counts, then applies a rear chinlock. Reigns breaks the hold by backin into the corner, but Fandango quickly reapplies it, taking Reigns down in the process. After a couple minutes, Reigns gets back to his feet and sends Fandango to the corner. Fandango hits a back elbow and comes off the middle rope, only to get knocked on his ass with a mid-air uppercut. Reigns ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. He follows up with a corner clothesline, a whip and a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. He loads up the Superman Punch, connects, then nails the spear for 3.

WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.

Later tonight, Ryback will take on Seth Rollins.

Dean Ambrose heads out to the ring. Bray Wyatt said there was a special place in hell for people like them, and at TLC, they went to that special place. Ambrose loved every single second of it. It feels to get out all of your anger and fly too close to the flame. Regardless of what happened at the end, he lost the match. He noticed fear in Wyatt’s eyes, because for the first time, Wyatt was in the ring with someone who just doesn’t care. For the first time, Wyatt faced someone as twisted as him. Tomorrow night, the fight continues at Tribute to the Troops in a Boot Camp Match.

Wyatt appears on the TitanTron and says Ambrose doesn’t understand that the only reason he’s still breathing is because Wyatt is enjoying the game oh so much. But if Ambrose could only see what he is. If anyone could see the creature that lives behind his eyes, they’d know he is hope, that he is disdain, that he is a slave to his calling. And he can’t stop, even if he wanted to. He can’t stop until the heroes fall and the cities crumble. Hatred fuels him. He is the battlefield, and it can’t end until he watches it all burn.

MATCH 2: THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) AND ERICK ROWAN VS. WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE MIZ & DAMIEN MIZDOW, AND LUKE HARPER
Miz and Jey start, with Miz immediately bailing to the floor, but not before tagging out to Harper. Harper rams Jey into the corner, and hits him with a chop to the throat before standing on Jey’s face. He sends Jey in for a corner whip, but Jey slides out of the way and comes back with an uppercut. He goes for an arm wringer, but Harper drops him with a right. Miz tags in and stomps Jey down in the corner. Jey comes back with chops, then pounds Miz down on the opposite side. He goes for the running hip attack, but Miz sees it coming and slides to the floor. Jey chases after him, but Harper steps between the two. Now, both teams are facing off at ringside as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, Miz is in control of Jey. Jey blocks a suplex attempt and hits one of his own. Jimmy tags in and nails Miz in the gut. He hits a chop, but Miz comes back with a kick. Jimmy quickly recovers and clotheslines Miz to the floor. Mizdow comes in and clotheslines himself to the floor. Harper apparently tagged in somewhere, and he hits a big boot for 2. He catapults Jimmy under the middle rope, then applies a rear chinlock. Jimmy hits a few punches, but then runs into a dropkick. Miz tags himself in and stomps Jimmy down before hitting a low running boot for 2. Miz hits a few punches before choking Jimmy over the middle rope, then goes for another boot. Jimmy ducks and rolls him up for 2. Back up, Miz drops Jimmy for a clothesline. Mizdow begs for a tag to a huge pop, so Miz tags in Harper. Harper nails an uppercut for 2, then applies the Gator Roll. Meanwhile, Mizdow is rolling around on the floor at ringside. Miz yells at Mizdow for mimicking the wrong guy. Back in the ring, Jimmy goes for a tag, but Harper stops that before hitting a scrapbuster for 2. Miz tags in and, lo and behold, does more stomping. Harper tags himself back in and stomps Jimmy before Mizdow tags himself in. Mizdow goes for the hanging clothesline in the corner, but Miz stops him and tags himself in. Miz knocks Jey off the apron and goes for the clothesline, but Jimmy drops him with one of his own as Mizdow hits the floor at ringside. Rowan tags in and throws Miz to the corner for a series of headbutts. Miz gets bealed across the ring before Rowan hits him with an avalanche and a running shoulderblock. He hits a full-nelson slam for 2 as Mizdow breaks it up. The Usos toss him, then hit Harper with a double superkick, sending him to the floor. Miz receives one as well. They hit a double suicide dive on Harper near the announce desk, leaving Rowan and Miz alone. They yell for Rowan to go up top, which he does, before coming off with a big splash for 3.

WINNERS: ERICK ROWAN AND THE USOS.

We see Naomi warming up for her match tonight, when Jimmy enters the area to encourage her. He apologizes to her for how he’s been acting. She says she appreciates it, but she needs to do this on her own tonight. Jimmy is okay with that, then says they’ll celebrate with the new Divas Champion afterward.

We’re supposed to have Seth Rollins vs. Ryback now, but as Ryback comes out for the match, but is attacked on the stage by Rusev, who then promptly kicks him off the stage. On the floor, Rusev kicks Ryback over an equipment box.

In the ring, Rollins grabs a mic and says that, without the Authority, this place is a mad house. It’s complete chaos and lawlessness. And after everything he’s been through in the last two days, can you believe this? At TLC, he was robbed of one of the biggest wins of his career by Roman Reigns. Finally, last night, after he orchestrated the beatdowns of Chris Jericho and John Cena, he single-handedly beat Cena in a cage. Tonight, he’s out here with severely bruised ribs, but was still ready to compete against Ryback. And now, this? He says this works in his favor because, honestly, after the last two days, nobody deserves a day off more than him. So, let’s take the night off and celebrate.

As he and his security team are leaving, Dolph Ziggler’s music hits. He knows Rollins is good at scamming his way out of things, including last night on RAW as well as tonight with Ryback. But here’s some news: the Authority is out of power, and it’s all because of Sting and himself. He reminds Rollins he put the Authority out of power, as well as beat Rollins. As far as he’s concerned, Rollins is probably contractually-obligated to compete tonight. The fans deserves to see “Mr. Money in the Bank” compete tonight, so how about going one-on-one with Ziggler? Rollins says Ziggler hasn’t done anything lately to deserve a shot in the ring with him. Ziggler mocks him and says if he’s afraid, that’s fine, and all he has to do is say so. He doesn’t blame Rollins for being afraid. Rollins says this is just Ziggler. He’s in a giving mode, so he has two gifts. The first is to Ziggler, as he’s going to accept the challenge. The second gift he will give to himself when he curb stomps Ziggler later tonight. Ziggler says he’s going to get his gear, steal the show and beat Rollins because…that’s what’s best for business.

Another video for the Ascension.

MATCH 3-WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP: NAOMI VS. NIKKI BELLA (CHAMPION; W/BRIE BELLA)
Miz supposedly secured this match through his agent, as if anyone still cares about this angle. Naomi applies a waistlock and turns it into a sunset flip for 1. Nikki comes back with a clothesline for 2. Naomi gets whipped to the corner, has a kick blocked, but hits one on a second attempt. She hits a pair of knees for 2. Nikki comes back with an Alabama Slam for 2. A snap suplex from Nikki gets another 2. A slingshot suplex gets yet another 2. Nikki applies a rear chinlock, which Naomi breaks with an armdrag. The two simultaneously hair-mare each other, and now both are down. Miz comes down to ringside, cheering Naomi on. In the ring, Naomi ducks a clothesline and hits a trio of dropsh*ts. She connects with a flipping clothesline for 2, then heads to the apron. She connects with a high kick, then hits a hotshot for 2. Naomi lays in some forearms before Nikki hits a facebreaker for 1. Nikki mounts the middle rope and hits a cross-body, but Naomi rolls through for 2. Nikki suckers Naomi into the ropes, sending her to the floor. As Miz encourages Naomi, Jimmy Uso runs down to ringside and sends Miz to the back. Naomi is distracted, which allows Nikki to roll her up in a small package for 3.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: NIKKI BELLA.

MATCH 4: KANE VS. ADAM ROSE (W/THE EXOTIC EXPRESS)
The Bunny is wearing a neckbrace as a result of Monday night. Rose rolls around the ring and heads out to check on the Bunny before asking the Rose Buds to psyche him up. He re-enters the ring, hits a kick, and then gets knocked on his ass with a shoulder. He blocks a corner charge, then goes up top, hitting a cross-body. Instead of going for a pin, Rose starts celebrating. He turns around, only to have Kane lay him out with a big boot. Kane hits the chokeslam and gets 3.

WINNER: KANE.

Kane heads up the ramp, then stops. He turns around, stares at the Bunny, and tosses him into the ring by the neckbrace. Kane then hits him with a tombstone to a big “Yes!” chant.

We get a promo from Gold & Stardust. They hate Christmas, and on RAW, they’re going to turn the holiday season upside down. It will be the most unhappy time of the year.

Renee Young is with Seth Rollins and J&J Security. She brings up Rollins admitting he orchestrated the attacks on Jericho and Cena. Rollins says he doesn’t expect her to understand this, but Cena and Cena alone has the power to bring back the Authority. Until Cena does that, Rollins will make sure Cena is unsuccessful at everything he tries, including the World title match at the Royal Rumble. Cena needs to be vulnerable, and if that means he has to work with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar, so be it. As for Jericho, he thought he could run RAW. No one can replace the Authority. They are coming back, but until they do, Rollins will take great pride in making everyone else’s lives miserable, starting with Dolph Ziggler.

MATCH 5: INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. SETH ROLLINS (W/J&J SECURITY) (NON-TITLE)
Rollins immediately bails to the floor to consult with his security team. After a moment, he gets back in the ring and goes for an arm wringer. Ziggler counters, then turns the hold into a side headlock. Rollins sends him into the ropes, and Ziggler sends him to the floor with a shoulder. I should point out Rollins is selling an injury, courtesy of athletic tape around the midsection. Anyway, back in the ring, Rollins hits a hip throw. Ziggler gets back to his feet, sends Rollins in for a crisscross, then hits a hiptoss for 1. Rollins tries to bail, but Ziggler pulls him back in for a right hand. Rollins tries to bail again, so Ziggler hits him int he gut. Rollins comes back with a kick and a headbutt before throwing Ziggler into the buckles. Rollins beats Ziggler down with rights, then hits a short-arm clothesline. Rollins drops a knee for 2, then pulls Ziggler to his feet for a back suplex. Ziggler flips out and rolls Rollins up for 2 before hitting a dropkick. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but Rollins grabs the top rope to block it. Ziggler gets distracted by J&J on the apron, and Rollins sends him to the floor. Outside, Jamie Noble nails Ziggler as we go to commercials.

Back from the break, Ziggler counters a rear chinlock with a sit-out jawbreaker. He goes for a dropkick, which Rollins blocks and turns into a catapult for 2. Rollins grinds his boot into the back of Ziggler’s neck before Joey Mercury hits a cheap shot behind the ref’s back. Rollins hits a few punches, then sends Ziggler in for a hard corner whip. Rollins boots Ziggler in the face until Ziggler comes back with a series of gut shots. He hits a dropkick to the gut, but Rollins recovers enough to hit a clothesline. He tosses Ziggler to the floor, then goes for an axe handle from the apron. Ziggler moves and sends him into the announce desk. Ziggler then shoves Rollins gut-first into the ring steps before rolling back into the ring. Rollins is on the apron, where he hits a hotshot. Rollins heads up top, but Ziggler trips him, sending crashing across the top rope and then into the mat. Ziggler hits a corner splash and and a neckbreaker before the Shot to the Heart gets 2. Ziggler hits yet another dropkick for 2. Rollins comes back with a kneelift. Ziggler goes for the leaping DDT, which Rollins blocks. Ziggler then ducks a kick and hits it on the second try for 2. Ziggler pounds Rollins in the head, and now the two are trading shots. Rollins blocks a superkick and connects with a spin kick to the head for 2. Rollins pulls himself up to his feet on the apron, then heads up top. Ziggler meets him and hits a super facebuster for 2. Ziggler goes for the rocker dropper, but Rollins avoides and goes for a waistlock. Ziggler counters into a roll-up for 2. J&J jump on the apron as a distraction, then drop back down to the floor when Ziggler takes a swing at them. Rollins charges in, and Ziggler backdrops him to the outside, onto J&J Security. Ziggler rolls Rollins back in and hits the rocker dropper for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, but the ref is distracted by Mercuary, which allows Noble to punch Ziggler in the face in the corner. Referee Mike Chioda has finally had enough, and he ejects J&J from ringside. As Rollins is arguing with the ref, Ziggler hits a surprise Zig-Zag for 3.

WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER.

J&J hit the ring, but Ziggler quickly avoids both of them and heads up the ramp to celebrate his first one-on-one win against Rollins.

End of show.

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The WWE Brass Ring Is An Illusion

December 09, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince McMahon was critical of roster on the Steve Austin podcast for not grabbing the brass ring like Austin’s peers in the Attitude Era did. Maybe it is time for Vince to take a hard look at himself for failing to give his roster the opportunity to grab those brass rings?

Vince made a lot of waves with remarks made during the Austin interview. One segment in particular came when he was asked about guys being afraid to step up in his locker room. Vince took this opportunity to blast his roster for failing to step up and grab opportunities like Austin and his buddies did in the Attitude Era.

Well, don’t piss anybody off. … You have… this is a different group of guys and gals — it’s millennials. They’re not as ambitious, quite frankly. And they’re not trepidatious at all. I just don’t think they necessarily want to reach for that brass ring. The last person to really reach for that brass ring, in all likelihood was John Cena. There are others coming up now who definitely want to reach for it: (Dean) Ambrose is one of them, Seth Rollins is another one, Roman Reigns is another one, Bray (Wyatt) is another one. So I think you’ve got some people here chomping at the bit to make a difference but when you’re walking around backstage you don’t hear as much camaraderie perhaps and laughter as in your era. But then again there are some other things they do. … I would suggest (this locker room is not as ambitious as the one you were in), correct. It’s a different… Again, I said it’s millennials. It’s a different point of view. If you reach for that brass ring and you fall on your butt… no one wants to fail and there’s this feeling, this insecurity, that if you fail you’re exposed. I think that’s largely pretty much what it is. Because you give everybody the opportunities, you give everyone resources, which you never had. The things that we do now from a television production standpoint, social media. Oh my god, social media is huge. It helps talent in so many different ways. It gives them the tools that you did not have, and other people like you didn’t have. It’s the utilization of those tools that’s very important for talent to use. And they do use them but not in the way you did.

The ironic part about this statement is that it is Vince who is the one stifling his locker room and failing to provide an environment in which talent can take chances and go for that proverbial brass ring. The fact is that no such brass ring exists today and nobody on today’s roster would be able to take advantage of it even if it did.

Let’s start with scripted promos. Austin 3:16 would never happen today because Stone Cold would be reading a script. Think about that one for a second. The biggest boom period in company history would have never happened if Austin was cutting that promo today. Not Austin 3:16, not any of The Rock’s clever promos, not any of Austin’s money promos, all of that magic would be contained in a bottle today. How in the world can anyone take risks and cut heartfelt promos in today’s WWE world? Maybe if the scripting was good it could work but even the scripting is terrible. The wrestlers aren’t believing it, fans aren’t buying it, and it just isn’t working. The legs are being cut off immediately with the lack of creativity.

What about these ridiculous names guys are getting out of developmental? Is it just a sheer coincidence that the guy who came the closest to grabbing that brass ring in recent years was CM Punk? Punk didn’t have to endure a name change and he was also given more freedom on promos than most are today. Steve Austin, The Rock, CM Punk, are names you’d never hear or see under today’s system.

The parity is pathetic. Nobody is given the chance to go on a win streak or elevate themselves as something special, separating him or herself from the pack. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Perception is reality. Fans see guys losing for so long that they can’t wrap their heads around that guy or girl being a top star or champion. Look at guys like Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and Daniel Bryan. Ziggler had momentum cut off immediately by jobbing him out. Ambrose lost on RAW to Randy Orton just as he was starting to catch fire. Somehow by a miracle Bryan survived as if you look back at when Bryan first started catching fire, he was being jobbed out. He won Money in the Bank and was immediately losing every match. This is a repeated pattern among the writers. Even CM Punk recently commented about how Triple H cut off his momentum in 2011 when he was at his hottest. How boring would sports be without elite athletes? Nobody is ever promoted as elite in this current environment, it’s even-Steven booking for everyone.

It’s easy for Vince to blame his roster for not getting over but there is only so much that his talent can go. Vince has created such a restricted environment that anyone with the hunger or desire to think out of the box generally winds up frustrated and exhausted by the restricted process. If Vince wants his guys to go for the brass ring, he needs to give them one that is within reach. Unfortunately you have a better chance of seeing the PG-13 rating come back.

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WWE SmackDown Results and December 5 Recap

December 07, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week opens with Santino Marella in an office somewhere. He announces he’s running SmackDown tonight.

MATCH 1-WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. LUKE HARPER (CHAMPION)
These two tore the house down last week, so this should be pretty solid. Harper immediately backs Ziggler into the corner and lays in some strikes. He throws Ziggler to the adjacent corner, then pulls him into the ring by the hair. Ziggler escapes and nails a few shots before Harper powers him back to the corner again. Harper applies a side headlock, then nails a shoulder off the ropes. They go into a crisscross, and Ziggler tries a leapfrog. Harper catches him, but Ziggler reverses into a sunset flip for 1. He goes for a dropkick, but gets nothing but air. Harper stomps Ziggler before standing on his face. Ziggler hits a weak right, then takes a big uppercut. Harper hits a double-chop in the corner, then goes for a suplex. Ziggler fights his way out and hits a neckbreaker for 1. He stomps Harper, then hits the Shot to the Heart for 2. Harper avoids the leaping DDT, then blasts Ziggler with a back elbow. Harper nails a European uppercut, forcing Ziggler to roll to the apron. Harper pulls him up by the hair, and Ziggler hotshots him. Harper recovers and sends Ziggler to the floor with a big boot. Commercials.

Back from the break, Harper has Ziggler in a rear chinlock. Ziggler gets out by way of a sit-out jawbreaker, then avoids a shoulder thrust in the corner, causing Harper to collide with the ring post. Ziggler ducks a clothesline and nails a dropkick for 2. In the corner, Ziggler hits a splash and goes for a neckbreaker. Harper shoves him off, misses a big boot and gets planted with a leaping DDT for 2. Harper avoids the rocker dropper, blocks a superkick and hits one of his own for 2. Harper hits a back elbow in the corner and goes for a whip. Ziggler puts on the breaks and hits the rocker dropper for 2. Ziggler heads up top and hits a cross-body for another 2. Ziggler goes for the neckbreaker again, but Harper hits a straight right. He goes for a powerbomb, which Ziggler counters into a sunset flip for 2. Ziggler hits a superkick for yet another 2. Ziggler goes for the neckbreaker again, but Harper hits a low blow, leading to the DQ.

WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: DOLPH ZIGGLER; STILL CHAMPION: LUKE HARPER.

Harper heads outside and pulls a ladder out from under the ring. He slides the ladder in, sets it on one end, then looks for a powerbomb. Ziggler, however, counters it into a facebuster onto the ladder. Harper heads out to ringside, so Ziggler grabs the ladder and throws it at Harper, hitting him right in the head and knocking him out. Santino comes out and says it seems his show is off to a rousing start. With this fascination of ladders, Santino has had an “a-ha” moment. So, these two will face off once more for the IC title, in a ladder match at TLC.

Seth Rollins, the Big Show, Corporate Kane, and J&J Security are in the ring. Rollins says it’s almost that time of year again, and no he’s not talking about that wretched holiday, Christmas. He’s talking about WWE’s version of a demolition derby, TLC. This year, you could call it TLCS-Tables, ladders, chairs and stairs. And at TLC, he will be competing in a tables match against your beloved superhero, John Cena, with the provision being that, if Cena loses, he will lose his status as #1 contender to the WWE World title. That excites Rollins. That excites him to no end that he could be the one to take away every single thing Cena has been working for. The best part is he doesn’t have to make Cena tap out, though he could; he doesn’t have to pin Cena’s shoulders to the mat, though he already has; all he has to do is what he did on RAW, and that’s put him through a table again. Just like that, everything Cena has worked for will go up in smoke. It’s not just going to be the table or Cena’s body that are broken; his spirit will be broken when he realizes Rollins is the future, and everything he has worked for is gone. TLC is like a demolition derby, and the key phrase is demolish. At TLC, he’ll have tables in the ring, around the ring, up and down the aisle. Cena will fall to him, and not only will he lose his status as #1 contender, but he’ll have a bunch of splinters in his butt along the way. Show takes the mic and says he’s been in the WWE for a long time. He’s had a thousand matches of all different kinds, and this is his first stairs match. That means that, as a giant, he can swing those stairs right into Erick Rowan. Now, he’s going to show us exactly what he means. Show goes outside, grabs the top part of the steps, lifts them up over his head and begins ramming them into the bottom half. Back in the ring, he says that’s a giant swinging those stairs. He doesn’t care if Rowan is a genius; none of it prepares him for what Show will do to him at TLC. There will be stairs, but Rowan won’t be climbing them; he’ll be eating them. Kane now turns things to Ryback. Ryback’s favorite expression is “Feed me more”. When he faces Ryback at TLC in a chairs match, the only thing he will be fed is chair after chair.

Santino comes out again and tells everyone to take it easy. The WWE Universe comes first while he’s in charge. So, in tonight’s main event, it will be Rollins and Show vs. Ryback and Rowan.

MATCH 2: CESARO AND TYSON KIDD (W/NATALYA) VS. KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS (W/BIG E)
Woods and Cesaro start, with Cesaro applying an arm wringer and backing Woods into the corner. Kofi makes a blind tag and comes into the ring with a sunset flip for 2. Kofi applies an arm wringer of his own and tags in Woods, who hits a forearm off the middle rope for 2. Cesaro backs Woods into his corner and tags in Kidd. Cesaro hits a European uppercut to the back of the neck, then Kidd nails several strikes. Cesaro tags in and stomps Woods down for 2, then applies a rear chinlock. Woods gets sent to the corner, fights his way out and tags in Kofi as Kidd tags in on the other side. Kofi hits a springboard chop and several more strikes before hitting a dropkick and the Boom Drop. Kofi signals for TIP but misses. He blocks a clothesline and hits the SOS for 2 as Cesaro breaks it up. He misses a shot in the corner, and Woods nails a kick from the apron. Kofi tosses Cesaro to the outside, then flips off a back suplex attempt by Kidd. He falls into the buckles and hits a kick. Woods tags in, and the two hit a combination backbreaker and Warrior’s Way for 3.

WINNERS: KOFI KINGSTON AND XAVIER WOODS.

Gold and Stardust appear on the big screen. Stardust says they’ve been searching for this supposed bright side, and all they can see is a never-ending abyss of darkness, a never-ending black hole. Goldust says their positive message means nothing to him or Stardust. Darkness falls on the New Day. The screen goes black, and Woods says what Gold and Stardust don’t understand is darkness won’t prevail, because when they’re together, there’s no force in the cosmos that can hold them back. Kofi says they’re about unity and trust, and if Gold and Stardust have a problem with that, they’ll take the “cosmic cowboys” back to wherever they came from. E says the power that unites them, that flows through their veins is the power of the New Day.

Naomi is in the back with a bouquet of roses. Jimmy Uso walks up, and she thanks him for the flowers. He says he didn’t give them to her. He takes the card off, and it turns out they’re from the Miz. Jimmy grabs the vase and shatters it on the ground.

MATCH 3: JEY USO (W/JIMMY USO) VS. WWE TAG TEAM CO-CHAMPION THE MIZ (W/DAMIEN SANDOW)
Miz taunts Jimmy at ringside, and Jimmy jumps on the apron. Jey tells him to back off, and that he’s got things under control. Miz looks over his shoulder, and Jimmy climbs into the ring. The ref ejects Jimmy from ringside. My feed cuts out until later, when Jey looks for a running hip attack in the corner. Miz slides to the apron, where Jey hiptosses him back in. Mizdow, on the other side, hiptosses himself into the ring. Jey is distracted, which allows Miz to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale for 3.

WINNER: THE MIZ.

Dean Ambrose comes out for his match with Rusev, but before that happens, he wants to tell us a secret: he really enjoyed destroying Bray Wyatt’s stupid rocking chair. He can tell that chair held a special place in Wyatt’s heart. Maybe Abigail or his grandma sat in it. He knows the chair was a symbol to Wyatt, and now it symbolizes what Ambrose will do to him at TLC. Wyatt thought he could pick Ambrose’s brain apart, piece by piece, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Just like he did to the chair, Ambrose will pick Wyatt apart with the help of tables, ladders and brand-new, shiny chairs. The mind games are over.

Rusev and Lana come out, and Lana says this is Ambrose’s lucky night, because his destruction has been delayed. Rusev will not be competing tonight, thanks to Jack Swagger. We get a video recap of Rusev beating up Zeb Colter on RAW, leading to Swagger assaulting Rusev. Back to Lana and Rusev, she says they will not be subject to American intimidation. This country is full of cowards and opportunists. America is weak, and its mere existence is a disgrace in the world. Rusev takes the mic and says he’ll snap every bone in Swagger’s body, just like he did to Colter. The US title belongs to him and Mother Russia. Ambrose says he tuned them out after Lana said Rusev wouldn’t compete tonight. He says Lana can stop flirting with him, because he came here to fight the big ugly Russian, injury or not. Ambrose heads up the ramp, only to have Wyatt attack him from behind out of nowhere. He throws Ambrose into the barricade, then goes for a chair. Ambrose tackles him and nails a few more punches, but Wyatt recovers and throws Ambrose into the exposed apron. He grabs the chair from a moment ago and cracks it across Wyatt’s back. He sticks it under Ambrose’s chin and drives it into the steps, driving the top into Ambrose’s neck in the process. Trainers and referees comes to ringside to check on Ambrose as Wyatt walks away, laughing. Back at ringside, they are strapping Ambrose to a gurney.

Santino is back in his office, and he says it’s lonely at the top. When you have power, everyone wants something from you. If anyone can relate to the pressure he’s feeling, it’s the Bunny, who Santino has been talking to this entire time off-screen. Santino says everyone always wants something from you. He tells the Bunny to be careful what he wishes for.

I have no idea what the purpose of that segment was. Either the Bunny was asking for something, or WWE ran out of ideas for filler.

Seth Rollins is in his locker room, when the Big Show enters. Rollins wants to make sure they’re on the same page tonight, that they’re working as a unit. Kane is also there and says they need to stick together. They are the last remnant of the Authority. Show says there is no team. They are three of the most selfish individuals in WWE history, and they’re all out for themselves. There’s no “I” in team, but there is a “me”. Before they move onto TLC, they need to focus on getting rid of Ryback and Erick Rowan, and that’s the only thing they need to be on the same page about.

MATCH 4: RYBACK AND ERICK ROWAN VS. SETH ROLLINS AND THE BIG SHOW (W/CORPORATE KANE AND J&J SECURITY)
Rowan’s new nickname is “Big Red”. Apparently, he’s a pack of chewing gum. Rowan and Rollins start, and Rowan backs Rollins into the corner for a forearm. Rowan nails a headbutt and beals him across the ring. Rowan runs Rollins’ head into the top buckle. Rollins crawls between his leg to the corner, then goes in for a lock-up. Rowan backs him into the corner again and tags in Ryback. Ryback throws Rollins into the adjacent corner for some chops. Then slams his face in the opposite buckle. Rollins avoids a corner whip and hits a few strikes before nailing several back elbows in the corner. Ryback picks him up and runs him across the ring, where he hits a few shoulder thrusts. In the opposite corner, Ryback nails a few more shots before Rollins hits him with a dropkick off the ropes. Commercials.

Back from the break, Show is legal for his team. He hits Ryback with a boot, then hits a headbutt. Show drops an elbow across Ryback’s neck, then hits a body blow. He hits a few more in the corner, then goes for the chokeslam. Ryback escapes and tags in Rowan. Rowan nails some punches and a couple clotheslines. He ducks one and finally takes Show off his feet with a third clothesline. Show rolls to outside, and Rowan follows. J&J try to stop him, but Rowan busts through them. The distraction works, however, as Show nails Rowan with a clothesline. Show rolls Rowan back in, then kicks him in the ribs. Rollins tags in and assaults Rowan in the corner. Rollins rolls across the ring before nailing a running corner forearm. He drops a series of knees, then chokes Rowan over the middle rope. Rowan starts to fight back, but Rollins stops him with a spinning back kick. Show tags in and boots Rowan in the gut. Show hits a snapmare out of the corner, then lands a kick to the chest. Show picks Rowan up and drops him back down with a DDT for 2. Show stands on Rowan’s neck, then picks him up for a bodyslam. Show goes for an elbow off the ropes, but Rowan rolls out of the way. Ryback and Rollins both tag in, with Ryback hitting a back-body drop. He goes for a press, but Rollins escapes and goes for a roll-up. Ryback blocks it and goes for the Meat Hook. Rollins ducks and goes for a cross-body, but Ryback catches him and swings him into a sidewinder. Rollins counters the sidewinder into a crucifix for 2, then hits a complete shot into the middle buckle. Rollins springs off the top, missing the knee. Ryback hits a gorilla press into a powerslam, then goes for Shell Shocked. J&J jump on the apron, and Ryback sends them flying into the announce desk. Rollins rolls him up for 2, then hits a thrust kick to the face for another 2. Rollins signals for the curb stomp, but Ryback sees it coming. He moves out of the way, then hits a standing spinebuster. Ryback signals for the Meat Hook, but Kane jumps on the apron, so Ryback nails him with it instead. Ryback turns around and gets hit with a jumping kick to the head. Kane jumps on the apron and argues with the ref, so the ref ejects him from ringside. Kane refuses to leave until the rest of the referees come down and get him away from the ring. Back in the ring, Show tags in, but the ref doesn’t see it. Rowan comes in and knocks Show to the floor with a big boot. Rollins is arguing with the referee now, and when he turns him around, Ryback blasts him with a Meat Hook, then drops him with Shell Shocked for 3.

WINNERS: ERICK ROWAN AND RYBACK.

End of show.

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CM Punk Calls B.S. On Vince McMahon Apology

December 04, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It didn’t take CM Punk long to respond to Vince McMahon’s apology. If you expected Punk to have a change of heart after hearing the CEO say he is sorry, you better think again. Not only is Punk still irate, he is calling the apology “bullsh*!”

CM Punk returned for another interview on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast. This week’s podcast featured less pipe bombs but did address two highly anticipated topics. Punk addressed Vince’s apology and Vince’s feelings that Punk would be back in the WWE someday. Vince is sorry that Punk received his termination notice on his wedding day as he told Stone Cold Steve Austin.

“I would like to do this. I would like to apologize. Sometimes in a big corporation, the legal people don’t necessarily know what talent relations are doing and conversely. Punk got his severance papers moreover on the day he got married. That was coincidence. So I want to personally apologize for that.”

Vince also went on to say that he thinks they can work out with Punk as he did with Ultimate Warrior, Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart, and Hulk Hogan. Now most immediately accused the Chairman of the Board of lying through his teeth. CM Punk is one of them. Punk isn’t buying it and wants to assure all of those fans chanting his name that he isn’t coming back and is closing the door on the WWE.

Me? I’ll go work the fu*cking Young Bucks at PWG. I don’t give a fuck. See, the thing (is) if I say it’s not off the table you’re going to have these people that are holding on to hope that I’m coming back. I understand and it makes interesting conversation, right? I think there’s plenty of guys out there that think they know. Jericho, I think, is one of them. Jericho thinks that I feel exactly how he felt in 2005 and he left for two, two-and-a-half years or something like that. So from his perspective, he felt in 2005 that he was never going to come back. And now he sees me saying that and he’s probably like ‘ah, just wait three years, you’ll feel like it will come back.’ I can see his point of view but then in turn I go ‘motherfu*cker, they didn’t fire you on your wedding day. They didn’t purposely and maliciously try to ruin a day that is supposed to be special to everybody. It’s your wedding day.’ I don’t want to hear ‘oh, it was a coincidence. I don’t want to hear ‘oh, the lawyers didn’t talk to talent relations.’ I talked to Hunter on the 11th, on the 13th Fed Exed overnight I got a document that was dated the 12th. My wife asked for that time off so she could A) get married, B) go on her honeymoon. The weekend after her honeymoon she was back on TV. They knew. I don’t want to hear ‘oh, it was a coincidence.

And you know what, I’ll address it: if the apology was sincere you wouldn’t use it as a publicity stunt on Austin’s podcast. You have my phone number, you have my address. You could text, you could call, you could show up when you’re a 10 minute fu*cking drive from my house and apologize to me like a man. That’s the fu*cking reality of it.

That’s the fu*cking timeline, ladies and gentlemen. I was sick and fu*cking hurt, and sick and tired, and I walked out. And I can do that because I’m an independent fu*cking contractor. And then I was suspended and then nobody contacted me after my suspension to be like ‘you’re unsuspended, we need you at Raw.’ I got those phone calls ‘we need you at TV’ a day after elbow surgery. I got that phone call a day after knee surgery. They weren’t afraid to do it then. So where the fuck was my phone call. Oh, I’m suspended, fine, great, I’m suspended. You know what? Maybe in the two months I’m feeling better and I’m going to come to my senses. But nobody ever found out because nobody ever reached out, you know what I mean?

He also wants to make it clear, he is never coming back.

“Every six months, we had a new head of talent relations, whether it was Jane Geddes, whether it was Sean Cleary. They were all these people who had no business being the head of talent relations. Every six months, somebody new. And you’re supposed to relate to the talent and nobody knew how to talk to these people. I’m a wrestler. I don’t know… The head of the HR department doesn’t know anything about taking bumps, he doesn’t know what a payday is. If I said ‘hey, I’m a blue eye’ he wouldn’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. So it’s hard to relate to these people, you know? I don’t want to hear it was a coincidence. I’m sorry. It was a publicity stunt. You’re sorry. Great. Be a man and call me. I’m sorry. It’s the fu*cking way it is, though, man. It’s the fu*cking reality. And if anybody out there thinks it was a coincidence, come on. Come on.”
“People are asking me like ‘do you accept Vince’s apology?’ And I’ll say I appreciate the sentiment but that was not a sincere apology and he knew about it since June. Why didn’t he apologize in June if he really felt bad about it? He just wanted to make sure a TV camera was on him so he could kind of damage control it and be like ‘oh, I’m really sorry.’ Well, if you were you would have apologized earlier, and if you were, if you really wanted to talk to me, you would have responded after I got a hold of everybody in the office. You would have said ‘you’re unsuspended.’ You would have said ‘we need you back on TV’ like you did when I was walking out of the hospital still anesthetized. … So, yeah, it’s done. We’re closing this chapter of my life.

So one thing I continue to fail to understand here is why he was both mad and surprised. He walked out of the company, injured or not, and was not in any communications with the office. He does mention that he spoke with Triple H but curiously he fails to leave the details of that call out. I think those details are very important. Is it his fault or theirs? I think a bit of both and it surprises me that he can’t see that. What are they supposed to do?

Now as far as being terminated on his wedding day, that is certainly spiteful and intent to hurt. However, here is a guy that leaked weeks before this that he wasn’t coming back when his contract was up. Here is a guy that walked out of the company and wasn’t talking to anyone. It would appear to me, especially from all of the rumors you heard about him being disgruntled, that he wanted to leave. Again, I would think he’d see this as a gift! Let’s face it. The guy is reportedly set for life so it isn’t as if he is going to have to worry about paying his bills. I am not sure what Punk’s end game here was if he was that upset about being terminated, even if it was on his wedding day. From all indications he wanted to leave and they could have extended his contract indefinitely until he returned from injury. The other thing is, he could have had his job back the next day if he wanted it! Yes he was fired but if he was that upset about losing his job, he could have it back in a second. Sure it was caddy, but I just think there is a bit of a drama here that isn’t making sense.

Punk is clear and he isn’t coming back. I think it is time to stop the chants and leave the guy alone and let him move on with his life. Many will disagree but I still think that the door could reopen although that won’t happen for years. Who knows where he will be in his life in 2-5 years? I doubt it but it wouldn’t shock me at all to see him back, but not for several years.

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Steve Austin and Vince McMahon Podcast: Art Imitates Life

December 03, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

There is a delicious irony in the midst of Steve Austin hosting Vince McMahon on a special WWE Network edition of his no-holds-barred podcast. Austin, for whom tiptoeing is a sin both in character and out, objectively grills his old boss on a number of topics, one of which being the interminable yammering sessions that open Raw. Austin professes to being a wrestling guy, and he wants to see wrestling. The irony, of course, is that Raw began its ascent to its greatest heights when Raw set aside 15 to 20 minutes at Raw’s entrance to allow for interminable yammering (although with more salable talking points), with Austin himself as master blue collar orator.

For one hour and nine minutes following Raw, Austin pressed McMahon on common criticisms, such as Raw’s length and the lack of a Network in the United Kingdom, before getting into meatier topics, such as a Hall of Fame induction for the legendary Randy Savage, and of course, life without CM Punk and the most recent fallout.

Most of the internet turned their ears to McMahon’s apology to Punk for firing him on his wedding day, and here’s where we get diplomatic Vince. His remarks about Punk being a loner that may have some regrets about the way he did things were far from backhanded. It’s here that we see the McMahon as I understand him: a businessman who will employ ruthless tactics, yes, but feels a nagging sense later on, and wants everyone to be happy.

McMahon most often puts his happiness first, absolutely, but you get the sense that he hates loose ends in spite of his F-You fortune. When you see the likes of Bret Hart, The Ultimate Warrior, and Bruno Sammartino participate with the company after mending fences, I get the feeling that, from afar, McMahon is not so much thinking, “Suckers; I can buy anyone back,” but rather genuine happiness that he was able to reach these disgruntled’s, human to human.

The biggest takeaway I got from the podcast wasn’t even anything Vince said, but rather his early demeanor. Going in, McMahon seemed sober to the fact that Austin wasn’t going to dull his blade any, and was bracing himself for anything and everything. To watch the first ten minutes of their back-and-forth, McMahon’s eyes are deer-like, and the light of the Buick hasn’t even been flashed at him. It’s the look of a man who finds himself in a real situation, no plastic-coating. It’s not a seat McMahon likes to sit in.

He’s seated across from a man whom brought him to new, uncharted heights, and vice versa. Much of Austin and McMahon’s current fortunes were stacked by the other, and this is an ally who’s preparing to ask the tough questions. This isn’t Bob Costas or Armen Keteyan or even Sean O’Shea, the prosecutor from the 1994 steroid trial, holding the gun. It’s Steve Austin with a paintball projectile. Those things can sting.

And yet, there’s McMahon, apprehensive, sober as a Quaker. A few nervous chuckles early on, that patented yuk-yuk laugh, only momentarily distract from the tension. The McMahon who purportedly gets angry when he sneezes because he couldn’t control his own body (Chris Jericho’s book is the most credible authority that reports this urban legend as legit) is in a place where he has no control. Short of lurching forth and slitting Austin’s throat, the boss can’t control the words that emanate from Austn’s lips. With a three-camera set-up trained on them, and millions of eyes dying to see and hear the boss in this environment, McMahon was in quite a spot. That debonair Vince that charms with a defiant stride was checked at the door.

McMahon clearly trusts Austin just as he did in 1998, when he put his body into Stone Cold’s hands for a number of rating-spiking thrashings. Even then, McMahon looked a bit ill at ease when chaos reigned all around. When Austin or Undertaker or Foley or whomever was instituting some malevolent act, McMahon’s bug-eyed grimace was only half-worked. The control freak can’t control the outcome of the stunt that he’s a bystander to or, better yet, the victim of. That’s why McMahon remains a hands-on despot; ceding control makes him fidgety.

It’s through this discomfort that we get McMahon at his best. The boss becomes an open book on a number of topics, the most reported of which was the apology to CM Punk. He also asserted, his own words, that Savage needs to be in the Hall of Fame, that the UK fans have been done dirty by the Network delays, that Cesaro isn’t connecting with crowds (that one may be a bit off base). Most fascinating was McMahon’s plain-speak statement that today’s locker room is full of ‘millenials’ that don’t aggressively reach for the brass ring, aside from Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and Bray Wyatt, all of whom he referred to by name.

Austin dropped McMahon into a raging river to see if he would swim, and McMahon absolutely did. Vince was kicking and flailing his feet before Austin relinquished him into the choppy waters, but once in there, McMahon was doing the backstroke against the current, gaining strides a placid look painted on that jowly kisser.

I think it’s fair to say that it’s more than just the locker room that doesn’t push themselves at Vince; it’s the company at large. When Raw, SmackDown, and PPVs feel like the same thing over and over and over again, and each day in the wrestling sphere is Bill Murray passively sitting up in Groundhog Day, that sort of stagnancy either drives zealous fans to watching other TV shows, sticking to old school wrestling or, worse, rooting for WWE’s demise, even if they don’t mean it.

To win the Monday Night Wars, McMahon needed to step out of his comfort zone and put his faith in a man he silenced under the name The Ringmaster just two years earlier. It was plenty of risk with a lifetime’s worth of reward, and it only came about when the establishment was challenged by, well, the establishment.

Leave it to Austin to once again be the one to get McMahon out of that insulated box and make him swim. It may only be a one-off bit, McMahon’s participation in this podcast, but it did more to engage the weary viewer than almost anything McMahon’s cookie-cutter presentation has offered in these paint-by-number times.

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WWE Fallout Continues From CM Punk Interview

December 01, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It has been a few days since CM Punk laid down his biggest pipe bomb interview yet. Punk finally opened up about his WWE exit, leaving a lot of shrapnel in behind and the WWE Universe is firing back.

Punk made a lot of accusations towards the company, members of the office, company staff, and some former colleagues. Many have responded, some stronger than others. The first one to stand up and shoot back was Ryback who was none too happy with Punk’s comments.

Outside of the office, nobody probably got hit harder than Ryback. Punk blasted Reeves for being dumb, reckless, and made accusations about steroids. For whatever reason, Punk singled Ryback out and cut a scathing promo on him. Why Ryback and nobody else? Who knows, but here is what Punk said.

“I go up to Ryan [Ryback’s real name] and I go, ‘Hey man, clean slate. Let’s f*cking kill this. Let’s fucking show them that you’re better than they think you are. Let’s show them I’m better than they think I am and let’s turn this mid-card shit into a f*cking main event,” said Punk.

Imitating Ryback’s voice, “‘Yeah, I’m really excited, blah, blah, blah.’”

Punk recalls, “First night out, Gorilla Press through a table…f*cking misses the table. Dumps me on the concrete f*cking ground. Tilts my f*cking pelvis, f*cks me up for weeks.”

Punk later asks Ryback if he hurt him on purpose or if he’s “dumb as f*ck.”

He continues to Cabana, “I’m compensating because my knee is still f*cked, both my knees, you know what I mean? The one I just had surgery on six months ago and the one that was f*cking torn up and I refused to have surgery on. I just wanted to rehab it, which I did. And now it’s at the point where I walk up to him and I go, ‘You can’t tell me you didn’t do that on purpose because you’ve done it so many times now. You either tell me right now you’re dumb as f*ck and you suck, or you did it on purpose. And he was like, ‘I’m dumb as f*ck. I’m sorry.’”

Punk says, “At that point, there was nothing I could do. In my mind it was like, ‘Great. F*ck, there’s nothing I can do.’”

Ryback is hot happy and responded to these comments on Twitter. Ryback first tweeted a series of tweets in response, which have now been deleted. Here is what he originally tweeted before they got deleted.

For the record if I quit for being fragile and insecure I would make up excuses too. Things didn’t go my way for a long time and I kept – @Ryback22 November 28, 2014

Going day in and out. Slander is a powerful thing and to state complete made up nonsense for no reason shows his insecurities. I will – @Ryback22 November 28, 2014

Continue to bust my ass study matches every chance I get, cut promos when driving and push myself for hours on end even when hurt. Thank you – @Ryback22 November 28, 2014

Ryback deleted these tweets and later posted a more succinct tweet that reads as if it was written from a publicist as opposed to Ryback.

“Last message on this. I will tell the truth about @CMPunk comments in due time. Not once did he ever confront me. Let’s all move on. Thank u” – https://twitter.com/Ryback22/status/538410831051231232

I watched the spot back that Punk refers to in the interview and Ryback clearly slams Punk away from the table. I will admit that it seems like a really dumb mistake when you watch the spot back. That said, I am highly skeptical that Punk’s recollection of the confrontation went down as he said did. Punk may be a hot head and he certainly had every right to be upset, but I can’t imagine him speaking to Ryback that way without it turning into some kind of confrontation. Notice that Ryback doesn’t deny the accident, he just denies the confrontation.

Another strong word used in the earlier tweets was “slander.” I would presume that the slander would come from Punk calling him “steroid guy.” I can’t ever imagine a legal case coming out of this but it was probably a little unfair of Punk to single out Ryback by those accusations.

Next up to respond was the WWE. Punk blasted the company for what he called a “bullsh*t” concussion test and made some very heavy accusations leveled against the company doctor and the attitude of the company when it comes to injuries.

“I got a concussion in the Royal Rumble. It’s pretty god d*** obvious. I knew I had a concussion. Everyone knew I had a concussion. And they were like we want you to take this test and I said your test is bull***. I took the test while texting you [Colt Cabana] and listening to my headphones and I “passed” with flying colors. But then they were like we want you to go to the ring and run the ropes. And I was like but I just passed your test and they were like yeah, but we still think you have a concussion. I was like so your test is worthless. I’m not going out in the f****** ring like a two-week rookie to run the ropes in front of everybody. Let’s just call it [a concussion] now.

“I remember when I was supposed to go back to Birmingham and get cleared before I came back to wrestle from my elbow. One day I was just at TV and it was the same thing … I’ll probably just cut a promo and then Michael Hayes comes up to me and goes, “Alright, you’re working so and so,” and I was like no I’m not. I just got this laser eye surgery and I don’t want anyone f****** up my eyes. And he’s like you really should have told somebody, and I was like told them what … my elbow! And he goes no, I just checked and they said you’re cleared. I was like I haven’t even gone to Birmingham to see Dr. [James] Andrews yet, what do you mean I’m cleared? I talked to Dr. [Chris] Amann and Dr. Amann was like I called him [Dr. Andrews] and I told him how you were and he said OK and he cleared you. I was like what kind of witch doctory bull**** is that? Like I’m going to go see him before I f****** wrestle. Book that s***, I’m not wrestling tonight.”

Maybe more disturbing than any of his allegations was one against the doctor who misdiagnosed a growth on his back. He wound up going to an outside doctor who diagnosed his growth as a full-blown MRSA infection, which could have killed him. The WWE sent a brief response to Yahoo Sports in response to Punk’s allegations against the company and their health standards.

“WWE takes the health and wellness of its talent very seriously and has a comprehensive Talent Wellness Program that is led by one of the most well-respected physicians in the country, Dr. Joseph Maroon.”

Road Dogg is a WWE agent and close friends with Triple H. He is probably the closest to the office who you will hear or read comment on Punk right now. Dogg was asked on Twitter about it. Dogg said there are two sides to every story. However, he says that we probably shouldn’t hold our breath waiting to hear more about it from the company.

“The way everyone is reacting, I don’t believe it’s in the WWE’s best interest to give one.” – https://twitter.com/WWERoadDogg/status/538111450485882880.

Dogg also doesn’t believe the story about Punk getting his release on his wedding day. Dogg tweeted that if his wedding was a secret, how would anyone know? That was probably a misinformed tweet as I am sure AJ as a WWE employee gave plenty of notice in order to make sure she was not booked on her wedding day. Dogg does also say that talent get to the doctor of their choice which also calls into dispute some of Punk’s frustrations with medical.

Some other notes making their way to the Internet. One report indicates that Triple H and Stephanie are downright furious with Punk where Vince really isn’t paying much attention to Punk’s comments. Colt Cabana is allegedly blacklisted from the WWE for his part in this. Bryan Alvarez on his F4Wonline.com podcast reports that most of the locker room is happy that Punk said what he said, specifically about pay and salaries. Even those that don’t like Punk are happy he said what he said.

I think it is fair to say that we haven’t heard the last of this interview. I would expect more response from the WWE in some form whether it is a leak or a statement. Punk leveled some very heavy accusations against the company in regards to medical. There is potential here for a bigger story and we’ll know shortly how big of an explosion the pipe bomb left or whether it just fizzles out.

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