It only took 26 years but Sting is finally coming to the WWE…sort of. Rumors have been confirmed that Sting will play a big part in the marketing of the upcoming WWE 2K15 video game. Check out the first promo featuring the former WCW champion.
Sting to WWE2K15 is not necessarily a shocker but it is big news nonetheless. This will be the first time Sting will be featured in a WWE video game. Like the deal made with the Ultimate Warrior last year. This does not indicate that Sting has signed a deal with the WWE. This is simply a deal between Sting and the video game company, although most suspect that a deal with the WWE is imminent.
The WWE posted an official press release announcing the news which featured quotes from Sting. Here are some of the highlights.
One of the most popular and revered competitors in WCW history, Sting will be featured in “WWE 2K15″ through two unique playable characters: the mysterious, ghost-like persona with trademark black-and-white face paint who was the face of WCW during the “Monday Night War” era, as well as his earlier look, sporting bright colors and a blond, flattop hairstyle.
“The only thing for sure about Sting is nothing’s for sure, except my debut in ‘WWE 2K15,’” said Sting. “I’m honored to have my legacy immortalized in a video game. It’s showtime!”
Making his WCW debut in 1991, Sting generated worldwide recognition for his unique presence and in-ring prowess. Across more than a decade, he amassed eight WCW championships and competed against many notable rivals, including “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, the New World Order (nWo), Vader, Rick Rude, The Four Horsemen and Ric Flair.
“We’re eager to introduce fans to Sting in a compelling new way, while debuting the next generation of gaming in the ‘WWE 2K’ franchise,” said Chris Snyder, Vice President of Marketing at 2K. “Pre-ordering ‘WWE 2K15′ is the ultimate way to embrace the history and individuality of Sting’s impressive career.”
I think one of the big questions coming out of this is the status of Bill Goldberg. There were multiple reports out that indicated Goldberg would be featured in WWE2K15, precluding a return to the ring at WrestleMania 30. I am not sure where this leaves Goldberg or if it changes anything.
Sting’s appearance in the game would indicate an emphasis on WCW in the upcoming game. Last year’s game focused on the nostalgia surrounding 30 years of WrestleMania. My hunch is that this next game will focus on WCW and could feature several former WCW stars in the game. In that case I’d imagine Goldberg could also play a big part in the game.
It’s funny how the WWE can get a game right 13 years later and yet failed to sign Sting in 2001 during the Invasion angle when it counted. Nonetheless he is coming and this may be your only chance to get your Sting vs. Undertaker WrestleMania match.
The wrestling world is still buzzing about the return of Chris Jericho. The former WWE champion returned on Monday Night RAW in a rare surprise moment. Jericho’s return couldn’t have come at a better time for WWE fans.
Jericho has developed one of the most interesting working relationships with Vince McMahon that the Chairman of the Board has ever had. Jericho comes and goes for various time periods at a time, something unheard of years ago. I don’t believe that Vince acquiesced to Jericho because he is such a nice guy. Vince compromised because he needs Jericho and boy could the Genetic Jackhammer use him now.
Jericho is a unique character to the WWE which gives him the rare leverage for this type of schedule. Jericho is a guy established enough to be booked with headliners yet he can also be used to get the mid-card guys over. It’s funny because as important as winning and losing is, Jericho probably loses more than anyone in his position yet he is talented enough to withstand any tarnish that comes along with the stigma.
The WWE is hurting for top, credible, and established babyfaces right now. Sure they have Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose emerging, but John Cena is the only guy in that next tier. CM Punk is not coming back and Daniel Bryan’s future is a constant question. There is nobody credible to get the ascending talent ready for John Cena and the WWE title program. That was of course until Chris Jericho arrived.
Jericho has developed a reputation over the last several years as one of the least selfish guys on the roster. Jericho has done business with guys like Dolph Ziggler and Fandango, helping elevate them to the next level when nobody else could or would. You simply can’t get guys to that next level as effective as needed without someone like Jericho.
The emerging crop of heels had nobody to bridge the gap from bottom to Cena before Jericho. Cesaro, Rusev, Bray Wyatt, and Seth Rollins are three guys that desperately need someone like Jericho. Beyond the wins on paper that Jericho will give them, he will teach them more. There is nobody on the roster right now as seasoned as Jericho. Jericho can teach them intangibles here and there which are priceless on the upswing.
It looks like Jericho’s first program will be with Bray Wyatt. Now with Wyatt I think the objective is a little different. Jericho doesn’t need to get Wyatt ready with a win as Wyatt is actually coming down from Cena. Jericho needs to keep him hot. It’s scary to think what would have been next for Wyatt without Jericho. More important than the win and the heat is the knowledge. The company has a lot invested in Wyatt. Working with Jericho throughout the summer will only increase that investment.
The WWE may not need to be saved right now but assistance is necessary. Y2J is the man for the job and it’s a good thing for all of us he’s back…for now.
MMA and video games haven’t exactly meshed well in the past. Sure, the UFC games for the THQ ranged from good (UFC Undisputed 2009), alright (UFC Undisputed 2010) and finally holy crap that’s amazing (UFC Undisputed 3). I even liked the old Pride game on Playstation 2 since it possessed the best create a fighter function until EA MMA. Then, we had EA MMA which was an excellent all-around game with solid gameplay; great create a fighter, and probably the best career mode for an MMA game. It sadly bombed out, killing any potential of a sequel. The early UFC titles that appeared on the PlayStation 1, 2 and Xbox weren’t that great and are generally forgotten for a good reason. When you can tap out Tim Sylvia with a 125 pound girl (Yes, you read that right), you are not doing your job correctly.
So, what can I say about EA UFC is that while it’s a fun game, although it feels unfinished. For one, there is no depth outside of career mode and arcade mode. Remember, UFC Undisputed 3 had a tournament mode, title mode, title defense mode and most of all, the Pride mode. I was still playing the game two years after it came out just for Pride mode so I could run the Grand Prix and the freakshow fights. THQ went the extra mile and reunited Stephen Quadros and Bas Rutten to do commentary to give it a truly unique feel. While arcade mode is fun and you can spends hours just playing random match-ups, this feels like a barebones game.
The barebones notion doesn’t help when it comes to a rather sparse roster of 97 fighters spread out over nine divisions and while the company has promised DLC for those who rose to prominence (UFC Bantanwieght Champion TJ Dillashaw is absent from the game), there is no presence of any sort of legends. It doesn’t help that Dana White has pissed off most of the fighters you could place in legends mode (Randy Couture for example) or that most of them have associated themselves with Bellator like Tito, Rampage or Frank Shamrock. While this does mean that the fighters in the game have their own unique traits (Rousey mean mugs and has a wide variety of armbars, Pettis uses the cage on offense, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva have a wide variety of kicks and elbows), it still feels a bit off. EA tries to make for this by letting certain fighters move up and down in class, which is a way to cover up the issue. A problem in my mind is that fighters that don’t have any special moves are restricted with the same set of moves and animations. I’ve seen the same belly to belly suplex used by a good amount of fighters, which is almost a kill move if you’re stamina isn’t at full level. Do this move once and it can drain your opponent’s stamina by a good amount and you once you learn this takedown with a fighter who has it, you can dominate.
The striking mechanics in EA UFC are top notch, probably the best striking mechanics I’ve seen in any MMA game. Yes, it does take a while to learn some of the bigger moves, but it’s worth it to see a well pulled move. My biggest complaint though comes from the ground game and that has more to do with the submission system. Personally, I loved the submission system from EA MMA, with well-timed button hits for leg and arm submissions and the hot spot for chokes. It wasn’t the greatest or most innovative submission system, but it was better than the shine that THQ was offering. Here, we have a mini game similar to the hot spot requiring usage of the right and left sticks, it is incredibly infuriating. It somehow managed to top the submission system from Undisputed 3 for the most annoying submission system in the UFC series. Congrats I guess. It makes me yearn for the shine.
Now, let’s talk about career mode and my first big problem in what are my many, many problems with it. First, you really don’t have much for customization when it comes to said creation. You can pick from pre-set hair and body, a far cry from the creation system in other combat sport games, including the WWE games. You also have preset stats depending on what style of fighting you decide to go with. You also can’t take any fighters on the main roster (Bruce Lee the exception) and there was a certain fun in taking Dan Severn and transforming him into a Thai fighting machine. Also, I feel a slight bit creepy for beating on Bruce Lee or anytime I land a solid shot to the brain or knock him out with a headshot.
I’ve always thought that having your created fighter enter The Ultimate Fighter and get into the UFC way was a great idea. Unfortunately that’s about it for career when it comes to variety as after you win the whole thing (With unlimited rematches if you lose in TUF, there’s a Batista joke somewhere) and career mode becomes monotonous. You don’t have the option of picking opponents taking out any suspense on whether your guy is truly good when you step up to face a big name, do three training activities and then fight. That’s it; career mode is best played in short bursts every now and then. Just boot up the game, take a few fights and then turn the game off. Do the same thing three days later to keep things going. The worst part is that you can’t branch out to other gyms to learn new moves or techniques and you can’t change weight classes or participate in Pride tournaments. Don’t ask me how my Brock Lesnar cut enough weight to make 205, just marvel at the epic war between him and Jon Jones that headlined Madison Square Garden. Also, for as much hype that the UFC has put behind Rousey, you’d think that you could go as a woman in career mode, but that isn’t included. While it’s not a huge complaint (Large enough for me to point it though), it’s an interesting point since the UFC has put so much hype behind Rousey.
What’s sad about this is that EA Canada developed this game and these were the guys responsible for the last two Fight Night games, some of the best boxing games of all time. Fight Night Champion had a very good Championship Mode that was more like a movie. Sure, it seemed a bit cliché with the plot but it worked and it made for a fun play through. That’s the disheartening part about this since Undisputed 3 and EA MMA had solid career modes and this feels like an afterthought. EA could have done so much more with career mode, heck that’s my next post. With such a highly regarded studio behind the game, it’s tough to say this but career mode is probably the worst career mode I’ve seen in an MMA game in a long time. Take a look at the career mode in the NBA 2K games and take a look at this, this feels like some slapped on at the last minute.
While I haven’t started online play because I don’t like having slurs hurled at me by twelve year olds, a point of interest was that EA killed their Fighter Share program. It drew quite a bit of controversy since the excuse seemed rather lame (Avoid copyright issues) and it was quickly pointed out that THQ had no issues with the WWE and UFC games. When I heard this, I had visions of having to take that perfect Fedor CAF and drag him through career mode and then doing the same thing with any other fighter. Luckily, you can give fighter the stats they deserve without a cap, so smart move EA.
As this point, you’re probably thinking that I hate this game but I don’t. The graphics are fantastic, the presentation is done will with a minimalistic HUD and commentary seems to be on point. The fighters are well animated, the striking feels great and most of all you’ll have a great mixture of pain and frustration. It’s the type of game you can get a whole of friends together have a few solid hours of fun playing with. My main hope is that EA Canada can build off what seems to be a solid foundation while fixing some of the mistakes they’ve made. The biggest problem will be the specter of Undisputed 3 hanging above the EA UFC games, so hopefully EA can top that. If EA Canada can work on the problems and keep the gameplay fresh with new features, I can see the EA UFC series topping the Undisputed games. EA just needs to make the effort on their end.
Robert Goeman has been writing for CamelClutchBlog since 2014 and has written for FiveOuncesofPain and What Culture. Follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/RobertGoeman. After every article, Robert usually does “Talking Points” on twitter, bringin up points that didn’t make the article.
Cesaro is one of the hottest rising stars in the WWE today. The former Claudio Castagnolii is days away from the biggest match of his career which in his mind, is days away from becoming WWE world champion.
There is nobody I am pulling for harder in the WWE than Cesaro. I had the honor of calling Cesaro’s matches at the start of his ascension about a decade ago in CZW and on the independents. It was obvious from the minute I saw him in the ring that he was destined for big things. So it is no surprise to see him just days away from becoming WWE champion.
Cesaro has been doing some media lately and for a guy who rarely talks on television, he is very good at it. He is certainly taking advantage of his media appearances by not only promoting the WWE, but promoting himself, and his character.
Cesaro was interviewed in Pittsburgh recently by CBS affiliate KDKA-TV to promote the SmackDown event in the city. Check out the interview which features a very confident Cesaro as he heads into Money in the Bank Sunday. He also talks about his relationship with Paul Heyman, his reputation for being one of the strongest guys in the WWE, the Giant Swing, his days on the independent circuit , World Cup, and more.
You never get a dull interview out of Matt Hardy. The returning TNA superstar sat down for a recent Straight Shoot interview on YouTube. Hardy checks in via YouTube and offers some interesting opinions on recent news including WWE cuts.
Matt spent a lot of time talking about the recent WWE cuts. Here are some of the highlights of the 25-minute interview.
Matt was most surprised that Drew McIntyre made the list of recent cuts, as are a lot of people. Matt thinks he got caught up in the 3MB gimmick and wound up on a certain path. He described it as a bad break. He’d like to see McIntyre in Ring of Honor or TNA.
I have to admit that I am somewhat surprised at the overwhelming support for Drew McIntyre. He has received universal praise as an underrated and under-appreciated talent throughout the IWC and his peers. I must have missed it because I never saw it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets called back at some point, especially if he flirts with one of the other major U.S. companies.
Matt wasn’t surprised at any of the other cuts. Matt tells the guys and girls that there is life after WWE. He points to Ring of Honor doing well. Matt refers to TNA as still “walking along” which if you see him give his answer, his body language tells you what he really thinks. He also points to the numerous independents as an option for released talent.
It’s a candid interview with interesting insight on one of the hot topics in the business today. Check out the video for more.
It certainly isn’t a popular decision in the Internet Wrestling Community but TNA Wrestling made the right move last week on Impact. Bobby Lashley is not only the perfect choice for world champion, he is the only choice.
Social media was out of control Thursday night minutes after Bobby Lashley defeated Eric Young for the TNA world championship. The move was mocked by many who are neither Lashley fans nor TNA fans for that matter. Yet a closer look at the booking reveals one of the smarter moves TNA creative has pulled off in quite some time.
The irony of the criticism is that most of these same critics were mocking the company for putting the title on Eric Young. Young’s ability to grow a beard during the height of the Yes Movement earned him a run as champion. Everyone saw the reign for what it was, a complete copycat angle from the WWE. Ironically most of those same people are upset at the latest title switch. I don’t get it.
Lashley may not be a darling of the IWC but he is the right choice at the right time for the title. Who else in the company, including Eric Young merits a run? I could easily say Kurt Angle but he is out of commission. The only other likely suspects have had their shot and while critics may differ on their analysis, nobody has moved the needle. Lashley is a fresh face with a ton of credibility at a time that the company desperately needs a shot in the arm.
Lashley may not be the best worker in the company but he is one thing that no other active wrestler in the TNA is. He is a legitimate tough guy. Lashley not only has a pedigree in amateur wrestling but is a semi-retired MMA competitor. Now how good of a fighter Lashley is another topic but the bottom line here is that Lashley is the only guy in that locker room who fights for real and there is something to be said for that.
Eric Young was a nice story but to the casual fan watching Impact at home, nobody believed that Young had a shot against the tough heels in the company. Lashley is a guy that casual fans at home know is the real deal. Does it matter in a worked product? I think it does to some extent. Again this is the casual fan I am talking about here and TNA needs to draw as many of those that they can.
Lashley was also a part of the second biggest WrestleMania match of all-time in regards to drawing power. Like it or not, Lashley’s WrestleMania 23 match against Umaga was the second biggest headliner in Mania history under the first Rock vs. Cena match. I am simply talking about the match that drew the second largest amount of eyes on it in the history of the event. That is a very big deal and one that Lashley rarely gets credit for.
The other wink-wink here is that TNA finally got one over on the WWE. It is widely known that Brock Lesnar is expected to challenge for the WWE world title at SummerSlam. Most rumors seem to indicate that Brock will get some kind of run with the title. Now it will look like WWE, not TNA are the copycats by putting a hybrid MMA fighter/pro wrestler in the top spot with the title. What that means for business is probably nothing, yet perception is reality and maybe TNA can finally break out of that reputation as a second-rate WWE copy?
I am not expecting blowout matches but you rarely get those in TNA championship matches anyway. That’s for the undercard. Yet what I do expect is for TNA to grab a little publicity and turn a few heads with their new bad as* champion. For a company that rarely gets attention for anything positive, that’s a great thing.
An early preview of the 2014 WWE world title Money in the Bank 2014 match headlines this week’s Friday Night SmackDown.
MATCH 1: Seth Rollins vs. Kofi Kingston
Rollins has spiffy new gear. Michael Cole mentions that there is indeed a contract ladder match at MITB, and we get a cut-away promo from Kofi, saying he wants in. The match starts, and Kofi applies a waistlock. Rollins counters into an arm wringer. Kofi escapes, trips Rollins and hits a jumping splash for 2. Rollins backs him to the corner, but Kofi escapes and hits a few rights. Rollins blocks one and hits a complete shot into the middle buckle. He stomps Kofi down, hits a snapmare and applies a rear chinlock. Kofi fights out, but gets clubbed back down. Kofi backflips off a back suplex, hits a back chop, a clothesline and a dropkick. He misses another clothesline and gets thrown to the corner. Rollins misses a corner splash, and Kofi hits a springboard cross-body for 2. Rollins recovers and hits a pair of spinning back kicks to the midsection. Kofi snaps off a hurricanrana, then misses TIP, hitting the ropes in the process. Rollins clubs Kofi across the back, then powerbombs him into the buckles. The jumping curb stomp connects, and Rollins gets 3.
WINNER: Seth Rollins.
Rollins tells the crowd he’s not only the first entrant in the MITB match, but he guarantees…Dean Ambrose appears on the screen and tells him to listen. Every time Rollins steps into the ring, he wants Rollins wondering, “Is tonight the night Ambrose gets even?” It could be any night, and it will happen. Rollins says Ambrose has Kane later tonight, but he’d love to kick Ambrose’s teeth down his throat. Ambrose tells him to shut up. He’ll deal with Kane, then he’s focusing everything on Rollins. They will have a lot to talk about when Ambrose sends them both back to where they belong: Hell.
John Cena makes his way out and points up to the belts hanging above him. They are a symbol of excellence, but some fans might be asking why they’re hanging over his head. Cena goes over everything that has happened in the last year over the course of a few seconds. He gets up to Daniel Bryan being stripped of the title, and how that title is up for grabs at MITB, where he and six other guys will fight for it. He’s going to punch all of the competitors, then climb the ladder so he can say once again, “The champ is here.”
Alberto Del Rio tells him he needs to spend less time talking and more time worrying about ADR. He was the first one to qualify for the match, and he’ll be the first one climbing the ladder to win the title. Cena doesn’t remember how dangerous ADR is, but he’ll make Cena remember once he’s standing over Cena as the new champion.
Sheamus comes out and says no one has forgotten how dangerous ADR is; it’s just that no one gives a damn about him. At MITB, it’s every man for himself, but the biggest challenge isn’t either of these two; it’s him, trying to figure out how to get the belts through airport security every week, because after Sunday, he’ll be both the US and the WWE World Champion, fella.
Cesaro and Paul Heyman come out. Heyman says that, for the first time ever at MITB, the title will be decided in a Ladder Match, where we are guaranteed a new champion. However, it won’t be any of these guys; it’ll be his client. He talks about how great of a strategist he is, and his strategist will take Cesaro all the way to the title.
Roman Reigns comes down through the crowd (with a slightly modified version of the Shield entrance theme, but only slightly). He says that, ever since Seth Rollins stabbed him in the back, he’s had a lot of trouble trusting people these days. The only thing that matters now is the WWE title, and he doesn’t care how many there are who those people think they are; there’s not a man in this ring that’s going to stop him now. He gets right in Cena’s face as he is saying this, and Cena begins taking off gear, looking to fight.
Before that happens, Randy Orton comes down and says Reigns has finally learned he can’t trust anyone. Let’s not forget Orton is the face of WWE, and the company was at an all-time high when he was champion. Reigns says he’s going to run through everyone in the ring. Orton isn’t in the ring, and Reigns isn’t going to run through him. As a matter of fact, at MITB, those titles are coming home with him. Reigns drops to the floor and immediately goes after Orton. They brawl near the stage, and now a brawl has started between the remaining four in the ring. ADR and Cesaro are tossed to the floor, with Cena and Sheamus left standing.
MATCH 2: Dolph Ziggler vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-title)
Ziggler gets a cut-away promo, also stating his desire to be in the MITB Match. When BNB comes out, he’s afraid he’s got some bad news. He has every intention of winning the MITB Match. So, the other competitors in the match are like the US team in the World Cup. They might have high aspirations, but BNB will destroy all of them. BNB nails a boot and a series of forearms to the back. Ziggler ducks a clothesline, avoids a bodyslam and hits a dropkick. He misses a corner splash, and BNB kicks him off the ropes and to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, BNB has Ziggler in a modified surfboard. Ziggler fights out, avoids a corner whip, but then gets kicked in the ribs off a headscissors attempt for 2. BNB knee-chokes Ziggler over the middle rope, then hits a series of kneelifts through the ropes before booting Ziggler to the floor once again. Outside, BNB sends Ziggler over the barricade and into the timekeeper’s area. BNB pulls him back over and rolls him in the ring for 2 before applying a modified abdominal stretch. Ziggler counters with a jawbreaker, nails a back elbow, ducks a clothesline and hits a cross-body into some mounted punches. BNB recovers and nails a quick Winds of Change for 2. He signals for the Bull Hammer, but Ziggler ducks, causing BNB to collide with the top buckle. Ziggler hits some mounted punches, and BNB holds onto him, looking for a powerbomb. Ziggler rolls through into a sunset flip, scoring the 3.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler.
Ziggler celebrates in the corner after the match, and as he jumps off the middle rope, BNB knocks him out with the Bull Hammer.
MATCH 3: Titus O’Neil vs. Adam Rose (w/the Rose Buds)
They lock up, and Titus backs Rose into the corner for a right. He hits a chop and another right in the adjacent corner before sending Rose across the ring. Rose ducks a corner clothesline and rolls Titus up in a schoolboy for 3.
WINNER: Adam Rose.
Titus tells Rose that he’s not going to take advantage of Titus like that. He wasn’t ready. He tells Rose to get back in the ring right now, and they won’t be partying after it’s over this time.
MATCH 4: Titus O’Neil vs. Adam Rose
Rose slaps Titus. Titus charges in, misses another clothesline and gets rolled up in a schoolboy for 3.
WINNER: Adam Rose.
MATCH 5: Kane vs. Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins is on commentary. Ambrose immediately charges at Kane with rights before running into a big boot. Kane nails an uppercut, hits a corner whip and a sidwalk slam for 2. Kane nails a forearm across the top of the head, then a straight right in the corner. He follows up with a series of kneelifts, then nails another big boot. Ambrose gets whipped across the ring and hit with a corner clothesline. Ambrose blocks a second attempt, goes up top and hits a seated missile dropkick. Ambrose nails a series of punches and a pair of kicks. Kane shoves him into the ropes, and he comes back with a rebound clothesline. Another seated dropkick connects, and now Ambrose mounts the corner for some punches. Kane shoves him off and goes for the chokeslam. Ambrose escapes and connects with a tornado DDT for 2. He signals for Dirty Deeds until he spots Rollins standing up at the announce desk. Kane charges in, and Ambrose low-bridges him to the floor. Ambrose levels him with a suicide dive, then dives over the desk onto Rollins, peppering him with rights. He dives onto Kane and dives right into an uppercut. Kane rolls Ambrose back in and hits a chokeslam for 3.
After the match, Rollins gives Ambrose the jumping curb stomp.
Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger are in the ring. Zeb says an injustice occurred here last week when Big E took a handout, he took a distraction from a blonde bimbo to get the advantage over Swagger, and Zeb doesn’t like that. With that said, Zeb wants to know how long E has been in cahoots with Lana. Also, does E believe what she says about America? Before Zeb can go any further, E comes out for the match.
MATCH 6: Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs. Big E
Swagger immediately hits a front chopblock, then follows up with a series of kneelifts in the corner. E gets clotheslined to the floor, and Swagger rolls him back in. Swagger shoves E into the corner and whips him across the ring. E avoids the splash and hits a vertical splash. The Big Ending connects for 3.
WINNER: Big E.
Fandango is in the back, waiting for Layla to finish getting ready. He comes across Summer Rae, and she wants to apologize for how she’s been acting lately. She didn’t treat him right when they were together, and she understands why he left her. Layla is the right choice for him, because she loves him…but she doesn’t love him like Rae does. Rae then shoves her tongue down his throat as Layla comes out of the dressing room. She fake-cries and goes back inside.
MATCH 7: Bo Dallas vs. Fandango
After Fandango comes out, Summer Rae runs down to the ring and tries to start dancing with him before leaving the ring. Layla runs down and attacks her from behind as the bell rings. Fandango tries to pull them apart as the roll into the ring. Layla backhands Fandango and continues the brawl. Fandango pulls Rae off, and Layla goes for the Bombshell. Rae ducks and she nails Layla. Rae bails and Layla goes after her. Dallas checks on Fandango, then immediately hits the Running Bo-Dog for 3.
WINNER: Bo Dallas. Remember when Fandango beat Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania? Look where he’s at now.
Dallas tells Fandango it’s okay, and that there are plenty of fish in the sea. One day, he’ll catch the right one. All he has to do is Bolieve.
The Wyatt Family appear on the screen. Bray Wyatt says in nature, man has always fascinated him. Men run around like blind mice, chasing after a piece of cheese. Well, riddle him this: what shall happen when a snake enters the maze? He’ll play the game for now, but he is the king. He is the designer of chaos and decides who does what & when. When he clamps down, the world will shake. At MITB, he will end this childlike charade. All he has to do is climb the ladder and take what is his. Enter the era of Wyatt. Run.
MATCH 8-4-on-3 Handicap Match: Roman Reigns, WWE United States Champion Sheamus and John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro (w/Paul Heyman), Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt
Sheamus and Cesaro start with a lock-up. They jockey for position in the corner, with Sheamus giving a clean break. Cesaro hits a cheap shot, and Sheamus comes back with some shots of his own. Cesaro hits a waistlock takedown, then smacks Sheamus across the back of the head before tagging in Wyatt. Wyatt clubs Sheamus in the corner, nailing him with a headbutt and an uppercut. Sheamus comes back with a running shoulder in the corner and a kneelift. Wyatt’s team distracts Sheamus, allowing Wyatt to nail him from behind. Cesaro tags back in and nails Sheamus with some rights. Sheamus comes back with a few of his own before hitting a tilt-a-whirl powerslam and some forearms to the chest. Cena tags in and hits a few rights. Cesaro gets corner-whipped, and Cena follows up with a running facebuster, then a big boot. ADR tags in and applies a side headlock. They crisscross, and Cena hits a hiptoss. Sheamus tags in and beats ADR down in the corner before hitting a neckbreaker for 0. ADR comes back with a weak thrust kick and tags in Cesaro. Cesaro nails some jabs in the corner, then hits a big boot. Cesaro connects with a suplex, then corner-whips him. Sheamus blocks the charge and hits an Irish Curse for 2. He tosses Cesaro to the apron for the Ten Beats of the Bodhran, then knocks him off with a forearm to the back of the head. Commercials.
Back from the break, ADR is in control for his team, hitting Sheamus with a suplex for 2. He applies a rear chinlock, but Sheamus fights out. ADR comes back with a kick, but then runs into a rolling fireman’s carry slam. Orton and Cena tag in. Cena loads the spaceship with the rocket fuel, then hits the Proto-Plex and the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. He looks for the AA, but Orton grabs the top rope and drops to the floor. Cena goes after him, and now we’ve got a stand-off between the two teams, which shortly breaks out into a brawl. Orton gets Cena back on the apron, where he hits him with a suspended DDT. Orton taunts Reigns on the apron, then turns his focus back on Cena, beating him down in the corner while apparently channeling the Berzerker. Wyatt tags in and nails a kick to the chest before knocking Cena down with a right hand. Cena pulls himself up in the corner, and Wyatt crushes him with an avalanche. Cena blocks a second one before running into a standing uranage for 2. ADR tags in and hits a thrust kick to the face. He pounds Cena down with rights before missing a dropkick, sending himself through the ropes in the process. Cesaro picks ADR up and rolls him back in, allowing ADR to tag out to Orton, who snaps off a quick powerslam for 2 as he stares at Reigns. Orton peppers Cena with rights, then stomps him in the face before Cesaro tags in. Cesaro nails Cena with a European uppercut, then beats him down in the corner. Cesaro hits a delayed vertical suplex and floats over for 2 before going right into some mounted punches and a double-stomp for 2. Cesaro applies a rear chinlock, and Cena gets to his feet. Cesaro turns it into a side headlock as Reigns begs for a tag. Cena eventually counters into a weak back suplex, and now both are down. Cena goes for a tag, but Cesaro intercepts him with a Very European uppercut for 2. Cesaro stares at the belts above the ring, then nails Cena with a gut shot. He knocks Cena down with a straight right, then tags in ADR. ADR hits the step-up enziguri for 2, then proceeds to punch Cena in the ear for some reason. Up top, ADR kind of hops off, where he kind of gets caught with a sort-of dropkick by Cena. God, he’s awful. He gets back up and dropkicks Cena in the knee before hitting a thrust kick to the face for 2. Cesaro tags in and boots Sheamus off the apron before getting hit with a back-body drop by Cena. Reigns and ADR tag in. Reigns nails a clothesline, then knocks Orton off the apron. He hits another clothesline, followed by a corner version and an uppercut, sending ADR to the bottom rope. Reigns slides outside, nails Wyatt, then runs around to the side of the ring for a jumping kick to the side of ADR’s head. He ducks a Cesaro clothesline, and Cesaro turns around into one by Sheamus. Reigns is back in the ring, and Orton causes a distraction. ADR tries to attack from behind, but Reigns sees him coming and picks him up on his shoulders. ADR escapes and shoves him into Wyatt who is on the apron now. Wyatt nails a right hand, but Reigns shakes it off and hits the Superman Punch. Orton comes back in and goes for the RKO, but Reigns simply shoves him to the floor. ADR nails a kick to the gut and goes for the rolling jujigatame. Reigns shoves him off into the ropes and hits a spear on the rebound for 3.
WINNER: John Cena, Roman Reigns and Sheamus.
The three faces stare each other down, look up at the belts, then celebrate their win.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
The best promo in the history of MMA has called it quits. A day after revealing he failed he drug test, Chael Sonnen has announced his retirement. Sonnen ends a six-year run in the UFC and leaves another big void for Dana White to fill.
The news comes a day after it was revealed that Sonnen failed a surprise drug test prior to his scheduled UFC 175 bout against Vitor Belfort. The news appeared embarrassing on the surface after Sonnen spent the last two weeks ridiculing Wanderlei Silva for skipping out on his drug test. However, a more objective look at the story offers a much more polarizing view.
“There is a huge distinction between illegal versus banned. These are perfectly legal substances. These are not performance-enhancing drugs. These are not anabolics. These are not steroids of any kind. Look, they [the Nevada State Athletic Commission] changed the rules and I’ve got to comply with the rules. However, there is a transition period and I couldn’t have been more open or more transparent. Whether it was UFC TONIGHT, whether it was different interviews, anybody that I could tell or talk to about this, I did. And these are the medications that you have to go on to lead a healthy life. If they’re asking me to choose between my health and my sport, that’s not a choice I can make. I’ve got to choose health.”
The basic gist of the story is that Sonnen claims he was taking drugs to get his body back to normal after the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned TRT exemptions. The drugs in question are reportedly used for this purpose, yet for some reason Sonnen reportedly never told the commission. The fact that Sonnen never revealed to the commission prior to testing that he was using these drugs is what got him into trouble.
This wasn’t a clear case of a guy cheating to get ahead. My takeaway is that the NSAC needed a better plan when declaring TRT exemptions off limits. They should have either grandfathered in the guys like Sonnen who were exempt or shown some leeway when it came to medications used to get their bodies back to normal.
Now my first thought is that Sonnen should have just waited a few more months to get his body back to normal before signing to fight. However, it suddenly occurred to me that Sonnen’s fight was originally scheduled for Brazil. Who knows what kind of testing Brazil would have done? Sonnen never signed for a fight in Vegas, circumstances just happened to dictate that.
Sonnen is arguably the second biggest star in the UFC after Ronda Rousey. There is nobody better at talking people into the seats than Sonnen. This leaves a tremendous void in a company that is losing stars faster than they can make them. In just the last few years they have lost Georges St-Pierre, Sonnen, Brock Lesnar, and while Anderson Silva hasn’t retired, he is at least out until next year. A guy like Sonnen is going to be almost impossible to replace.
Say what you will about Sonnen but he had arguably the greatest fight in UFC history against Anderson Silva. He may not have an impressive record (1-3 in his last four), but he understood the art of selling a fight better than anyone ever has or probably ever will. His numbers back it up against Anderson Silva and even his fight last year against Jon Jones.
I will miss him. As much as I found him to be a bigger hypocrite than most at times, he made the UFC fun. There isn’t a whole lot of fun in the UFC these days. Without Sonnen, there probably won’t be much fun in the UFC for a long time.
Dolph Ziggler is not only of the most entertaining WWE stars in the ring, but he is also pretty damned funny outside. Ziggler steals the show once again in this brief Countdown Extra video where he takes a self-deprecating look back at the Spirit Squad.
This “You Wish You Could Pull This Off” features Ziggler recapping his run in the Spirit Squad. While the Spirit Squad may go down as one of the corniest gimmicks in WWE history, Dolph was able to use that run as a springboard (no pun intended) to a successful singles career. It just goes to show you that there is life after a terrible gimmick in the WWE. As goofy as it may be to look back on, I am sure Dolph learned a lot from this period in his career.
It’s less than 2:00 but it is a fun look back with one of the guys that lived the nightmare. Well done Nicky!
One of the most anticipated WWE DVDs will hit the stores this summer. Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman is coming in August and the first trailer reveals a DVD and Blu-ray that is a must own for all of us.
A lot of mystery surrounds the upcoming WWE DVD, Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman. The only thing known up until now is that a Paul Heyman DVD is coming. No match listings or titles have been revealed yet the new trailer provides the firt glimpse into what is shaping up to be an intriguing docu-DVD. It will be very interesting to see how or if the story of Paul Heyman comes unfiltered or with WWE spin.
Paul Heyman himself claims that he doesn’t know much about the DVD. Heyman did some media interviews leading up to WrestleMania and was asked about the DVD by one reporter. According to Heyman, he knows something is brewing but even he isn’t quite sure what it is.
“I really don’t know much about it. I’m sure WWE has been trying to dig up a lot of dirt on me. You don’t have to dig too hard. It will be a snapshot of Paul Heyman at 48 years old, which would be a different look than if he was 38 years old and a different look from when he was 28 years old. If you did this documentary 10 years from now when I am 58, that would be a far different look at me. It’s a look at Paul Heyman at this stage of his career, begrudgingly reflecting on what he has accomplished so far and very much passionately looking forward to future things to accomplish in the next stage of his career.”
I feel like most WWE docu-DVDs have been marketed more towards the hardcore audience as opposed to its mass causal audience. This one is certainly geared towards the hardcores, especially the ones who still live with the wounds of ECW. I would imagine that ECW will be the majority of the documentary. That said it didn’t appear that a whole lot of ECW wrestlers appeared in this documentary by the looks of the trailer. I am especially curious about how the impact of ECW on the industry is addressed by a WWE DVD.
This may not be the last time we hear Heyman’s story. I do know that Heyman has also been working on a book for quite some time now. I haven’t heard any rumblings about the book for quite a while. I would imagine that this DVD will only scratch the surface while the DVD is where you will get the real story. I talked to someone who heard a little bit about what was written in the book and from the little I know the book sounds fantastic.
The DVD is long overdue. Heyman doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being a manager who has successfully transcended four decades of professional wrestling. What other pro wrestling manager could make that claim? For that reason I may rank Heyman as the greatest manager of all-time. Not only has he transcended four decades, he is probably better now than he has ever been. Could you imagine saying that about any other wrestling manager you saw in 1986 today?
The three-disc DVD comes out August 5 and I will go on record now and predict that it will be one of the best sellers in 2014.
The number one way to make money in pro wrestling is with a great feud. Nothing draws bigger at the box office than an exciting rivalry pitting good vs. evil. Some rivalries are based on hatred, some are based on championships, and some are based on nothing more than a motivation to be the best. Today I spotlight one of professional wrestling’s greatest feuds.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon
It is funny because most of the feuds I have highlighted in this series over the last five years have come from my childhood. I am that annoying older wrestling fans who will tell you, “They don’t make them like they did in my day.” Yet I could agree that the most exciting feud I ever watched as a wrestling fan came long past my childhood. That feud was Stone Cold vs. McMahon.
Sometimes you look back at pro wrestling history and you see a trend with some of the biggest money drawing rivalries in wrestling. As great as they were, they were unplanned, generally an audible, and a situation where a negative was turned into a positive. I think that sums up the planning of Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon.
This was never a feud that was planned. This was a feud that fell into place due to a number of different circumstances in the WWE. Business was starting to pick up when everything came to a halt at the end of the summer of 1996. Steve Austin was starting to pick up steam when he became sidelined with a career threatening injury at SummerSlam 1997. An injury suffered at the hands of Owen Hart stopped Austin’s momentum right in its tracks. Steve Austin’s career was in serious jeopardy.
Vince McMahon was not having a whole lot of luck either. Vince found himself in one of the strangest situations where his world champion had signed with the competition, while holding the belt. Not only that, but everyone seemed to know about it. WCW was crushing the WWE and Vince seemed to be a few steps behind a new era of Attitude in the pro wrestling business. The stress that Vince McMahon must have been under at this time had to have been enormous.
The first seed was planted when McMahon stripped Austin and Dude Love of their tag team titles and Austin threatened McMahon. The seed was watered on September 22, 1997. RAW was live from Madison Square Garden for one of the biggest RAW shows of the year. Austin, still not cleared to wrestle, attacked Owen Hart, violating a restraining order. Vince tried to talk some sense into Austin and was rewarded with a Stone Cold Stunner. The crowd went insane and you could start to smell a money feud in the air.
McMahon turned the Bret Hart/Survivor Series 1997 fiasco into a positive and slowly began to morph into the heel maniacal CEO we would eventually see. We saw glimpses of it when McMahon yelled at Austin for ruining Mike Tyson’s appearance on RAW. Once Austin won the WWE championship from Shawn Michaels, Mr. McMahon was unleashed! It became Vince’s personal crusade to either turn Austin corporate or take the title away from him.
What proceeded was one of the most exciting years in WWE history. Every week McMahon would try and outwit Austin only to get outplayed by the Texas Rattlesnake. The chemistry between these two is unrivaled. They could turn even the silliest situations into some of the most entertaining moments in WWE history, such as Austin attacking Vince in the hospital.
The storyline was so simple in retrospect that you almost wonder why nobody did this sooner. Austin was the blue collar man who stood up against his rich boss and didn’t give a damn about the ramifications. What fan couldn’t relate to that? I remember going to house shows during that time and Austin was like a rock star coming out. Fans whether smart to the business or not didn’t like Vince. He was the perfect foil in this story. It was magic!
The key to this entire feud is that it took almost a full year before Austin would get his shot at McMahon in the ring (sans a match on RAW that saw Dude Love jump Austin). It is funny that in today’s environment Vince rarely lets anything simmer, yet his biggest money feud didn’t even see a match for almost a year. It’s a different time and there is more television to fill but there is certainly something to this formula that is lost in today’s WWE booking.
The Royal Rumble 1999 remains one of my favorite Rumbles ever simply due to the interaction of McMahon vs. Austin. The vignettes with Vince and Shane leading up to the match were priceless. Austin and Vince starting 1 & 2 was brilliant. The entire match was pure intensity as somehow or another you knew Austin was going to get screwed, yet he got the better of Vince for most of the night. The open with Austin stomping a mud hole in Vince was just tremendous.
But it was the steel cage match at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre that is the gem of the feud. This is a match you should fire up and watch immediately on the WWE Network. How would McMahon survive against Austin in a cage? The match was a one-sided affair but it was one of the most fun matches you’ll ever see on the network. Austin got screwed again by the debuting Big Show but the match certainly paid off in excitement after such a long wait.
The feud would play out for many years in many different forms but it was this period between the fall of 1997 and 1999 that was what I’d call the golden period of the feud. This feud singlehandedly turned the entire WWE business around and only a couple of years later Vince would wind up buying the same company that tried to put him out of business. No matter what WCW tried, there was just no way to compete with Austin vs. McMahon.
Even today I really enjoy seeing Austin and Vince interact on television. They haven’t done it in a while but there is always this fun tension between them whenever they are a few feet apart. It is a feud that defined an era and maybe had more impact on the pro wrestling industry than any rivalry in the history of the business. The feud sustained for several years including helping draw one of the biggest events in WWE history in WrestleMania 23.
Again it is interesting when you look back at the events that led up to this feud and quickly realize that Vince and Austin wound up stepping into something historic by accident. In the end they both needed each other. As fast as the Austin train was moving, he needed a dance partner. The unlikeliest dance partner wound up being the guy signing his pay checks. Austin would have been big, but would he have become arguably the second biggest star in pro wrestling history?
Without this feud there may not even be a WWE today. Would Vince have been able to compete against WCW and the n.W.o. angle? Would the company even be in business today? Take a look at the roster at the time and while the supporting cast was great, nobody was going to light the world on fire like Austin did with McMahon. I think it is fair to say that this feud saved the company.
And for that reason alone, Austin vs. McMahon is not only one of the greatest feuds in pro wrestling history, it may be the greatest.