It finally happened. Someone finally stopped the WWE in its tracks.
In what can only be described as the best thing to happen to the WWE since the Mr. McMahon character was created, Brock Lesnar took it upon himself to inflict punishment on the company in the only way he knows how – he destroyed those who got in his way.
Lesnar, who was “screwed” out of the WWE World Title at WrestleMania 31 by Seth Rollins (and subsequently the Authority), took out the WWE announce team and a camera man with F-5’s as a message to the new champion and the company.
It was the best thing that could happen the night after one of the best WrestleMania events in some time. The move also solidified Rollins as public enemy No. 1 and the baddest heel on the planet since Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain when he was the World Heavyweight Champion.
Remaining true to his contract and the storyline, Lesnar was “suspended” by Stephanie McMahon for his actions and fined. The only thing greater would have been if “The Beast” went all Randy Orton on McMahon, which would have delighted the crowd even more.
According to the WWE website, the injuries suffered by announcer Michael Cole as a result of an F-5 may have caused a cervical fracture.
The weekend’s events, including Monday night’s Raw show capped off what has to be a rebirth of the WWE moving forward. And to think it only took four months into 2015 to make that happen. Now, it will be interesting how the company uses the momentum of these events to make things more entertaining as the move to SummerSlam begins.
I for one am now an excited wrestling fan again. Hopefully, the euphoria will not wear off.
Ziggler and Bryan – The Way it was Meant to Be
I have been preaching this for a while. Give the mid card performers like Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan the stage and let them work their magic.
The two stars – and former world champions – were at it again on Raw. As I re-watched the match from Monday night, the show put on by these two was a clinic in what wrestling should be and how performers are supposed to show off. It made me think of the greats from a decade again and beyond like Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage and Arn Anderson. Matches like those don’t get much better and this was a show that could have been a headliner at any pay-per-view event.
I suspect Wade Barrett will get his title rematch for the Intercontinental Title at Extreme Rules, but it will not only be against Bryant but also Ziggler in a Triple Threat event.
Happy April Fool’s Day, Randy Orton
Today is Randy Orton’s birthday (he turns 35, but seems like he has been in the WWE forever). I was curious which past performer or current superstar would celebrate his birth today. Orton wins the prize. I did not talk about Orton’s performance at WrestleMania in his match against Seth Rollins in my last blog. He and Rollins put on another clinic for the fans.
I wonder what happens to Orton in the shuffle of new champions and his place in the company. Both John Cena and Bryan have moved to the mid card. Rollins has been elevated to the top of the food chain and Dolph Ziggler is still ascending again. Wade Barrett will get a title rematch and Lesnar will undoubtedly get his rematch with Rollins at a later date.
Where does this put Orton, who has certainly become the enigma of the company at this point in his career?
Daniel Bryan has always been known as a candid interview. He will give you the answer you’re looking for as long as you ask the right question. So when you ask Bryan for insight on his current role, he will tell it to you straight without fear of repercussions.
Daniel Bryan was doing media at Axxess when he was asked about the last few months of his WWE career. The last few months have been some of the most fascinating in that the WWE continue to do everything in its power to hold back the former WWE champion. Bryan was asked about whether his health was the reason behind his questionable booking. His answer may surprise you.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I think that’s less of an issue than they’re concerned about Daniel Bryan being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion because he’s not very marketable. So I’ve realized that’s more of their concern than the injury thing.”
“I’ve had multiple people in the high levels of WWE say, “Hey, listen, you need to stop doing some of these things that you do.’ They have legitimate concerns over my healthy and wellbeing, which is nice, but also I feel like I consider myself an artist and I like to go out there and create art the way I like to create art.”
Wow! This guy has absolutely no fear because while his answer only confirms the obvious, it probably isn’t the company line that he is expected to walk. It doesn’t take an inside fan to see what is going on with Bryan and it’s very frustrating. The Yes Movement has been abandoned and the company is doing everything in its power to make sure it doesn’t peak as it did in 2014 and that is a shame.
Is Daniel Bryan marketable? Why not? He had a full house at WrestleMania 30 in 2014 standing on their feet and cheering him on. I would dare say that Bryan’s chase helped interest in the show last year. I think it is downright fascinating how the WWE is looking for stars on one hand yet is doing everything it can to prevent one when it comes to booking Daniel Bryan.
Bryan was also asked about the fan reaction in Philadelphia at the Royal Rumble 2015. “I knew this year,” Bryan said “I knew going in. I was like, well… You take your marching orders and you hope that they know what’s best for the company and whatnot, but, you know, it turned out okay, I guess .”
So count him and everyone else but the people in charge who saw that coming. Check out the entire appearance on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast below.
Roman Reigns is heading into his first WrestleMania main-event Sunday night as he’ll be challenging WWE world champion Brock Lesnar. Reigns took a small detour on the way to WrestleMania 31 and stopped by the Camel Clutch to speak about WrestleMania 31 and a lot more in this CCB exclusive.
Roman Reigns will be one of a very few WWE superstars on Sunday to make his WrestleMania singles debut in the main-event. Reigns will earn that honor on Sunday amidst more controversy and criticism from Daniel Bryan fans and media. Facing more pressure than anyone in the industry, Reigns remains cool, confident, and prepared to prove the doubters wrong and conquer the challenge of Brock Lesnar.
Reigns was gracious enough to give me some time just days before the big match in conjunction with a SNICKERS “Who Are You When You’re Hungry?” contest. We hit on several hot topics including the pressure of making that historic WrestleMania leap on Sunday, the booing, thoughts on the Mania card, his Mania dream match, Brock Lesnar re-signing, and more in this CCB exclusive.
You are just days away from headlining WrestleMania 31 against Brock Lesnar for the WWE world championship. What is the pressure like to have your first WrestleMania singles match in the WrestleMania main-event?
“Well you know if we’re going to call it pressure I’d say it’s exciting. I’m pumped! This is an opportunity of a lifetime. You know you can’t write stories like this, well I guess you can. It just feels real good, it’s great to be out here on the west coast in San Francisco in the San Jose area. I was at Levis Stadium yesterday just looking around, I got to tour their facilities and everything. It’s just an awesome opportunity and I couldn’t be any happier.”
Coming from a family with Sika, Rikishi, the Rock, have you gotten any advice from your family, peers, or other veterans about the WrestleMania main-event experience?
“Absolutely and that is something that I am so fortunate to have are those resources that you kind of just tapped into there. For me it’s all about gaining as much experience as fast as I can so with my family I am just communicate and talk, ask questions. It seems like the consensus is to just live in the moment, have fun, and regardless of whatever happens this is the biggest opportunity I am ever going to have so just live in it, practice humility, and just represent our family.”
Has the booing gotten to you at all?
“It’s one of those things, it does a little bit. I am not going to lie. I care a lot about what I do, I have a deep passion for wrestling, sports entertainment, and just performing in front of a live crowd in general. So obviously you want things to be positive and support you but at the same time I really firmly believe that the fans, they have a choice, they pay their hard-earned money, it’s their opinion, and we live in a great country where you can voice that so it’s on them. No matter what happens I’m going to work my butt off, I’m going to go out there and perform to the best of my ability and the rest will take care of itself.”
Are there any other matches you are looking forward to watching at WrestleMania 31?
“I am. That’s the great part of WrestleMania, it’s the grandest stage of them all. Some of the best matchups, it’s not like other sports where it’s just one game. There’s so many different games being played and with that being said I’m really pumped for Triple H and Sting. I have to say that there’s another unique opportunity for a younger talent in Bray Wyatt taking on the Undertaker and as we saw last year the beast Brock Lesnar broke the streak so I am very curious to see how Undertaker bounces back, how he uses his wisdom and his experience to get back on track. With that being said the younger guys, the I-C ladder match is going to be as physical as there is going to be a matchup for WrestleMania.”
What is a WrestleMania dream match of yours against anyone past or present?
“I’m doing it man, it’s happening for me this year, Brock Lesnar the beast incarnate, a guy who carries so much respect not only in the UFC world but in sports entertainment world as well and just such a great athlete, he’s a proven competitor, I’m looking forward to showing what I can do and proving my abilities.“
What is it about the Samoan blood, the intangible that has made not only so many good pro wrestlers, but successful professional wrestlers?
“Well thank you for that, I think the main thing is it’s our blood. We have it in us, that intensity, that aggression we can tap into, I think it’s extremely believable. It’s something we are able to get lost in and I think not only for myself I am able to do it but there’s going to be a long line of more family members of mine coming up. If there is one thing we can do is reproduce.”
I tell a story about being scared as a kid after watching an interview with the Wild Samoans. What was it like for you to bring your friends to your house and meet your father (Sika the Wild Samoan)?
“It was awesome, you know like you said it’s a bit of a scary persona and a larger than life out there persona. A lot of times when I’d bring friends over or other kids from the neighborhood they’d be really shocked at just how laid back and cool he was. Most of the time when you come off of the road you’re tired so he’d just be super calm. The big thing is when you’re the only kid with a wrestling ring in your backyard, that’s a huge distraction so I think he could have been just terrifying but they’d still love him because he had a wrestling ring in his backyard.”
Did you ever consider MMA along your trajectory to the WWE?
“You know I didn’t. One thing I am kind of throughout my sports days is I never got into amateur wrestling. Growing up in Pensacola, Florida football and baseball were kind of the big sports and what I was pushed to do. Amateur wrestling never popped up and I thought that would have been a really nice segue as I got older into the Mixed-Martial Arts so I’m a little bummed I didn’t ever get to dabble in that side of athletics but I think my path happened for a reason and I am pretty happy where I am at.”
Roman’s thoughts on Brock Lesnar re-signing with the WWE.
“I think it’s great, I think it’s great. Anytime we can lock down top talent, Brock is a proven veteran, he’s been in the ring and he’s performed at the highest levels and he’s going to do so again Sunday so I think it’s awesome and it’s just another guarantee that he’s going to show up Sunday.”
Can you talk about the SNICKERS “Who Are You When You’re Hungry?” contest?
“That’s something that I am very proud to be a part of, to partner up with SNICKERS you know that’s the question. Who are you when you’re hungry? As we know anything can happen when you’re hungry so for me I was able to show a different side than most people were expecting, a bit of a questionable, insecure side of me and you take one bite and everything’s better and you can see it in the commercial where I snapped out of it, a bit of a kick-out if you will, and I was back to the regular me.”
Your personal favorite match up to this point in your career?
“You know there’s been a lot. I tend to favor the ones that are on the higher level or the more prestigious matches which are usually on a pay-per-view or a WrestleMania setting. With that being said I think thus far it’d have to be either the SummerSlam match against Randy Orton or the Fastlane match against Daniel Bryan. They were both awesome matches, great guys to compete against, and hopefully they’ll be many more down the road.”
The 2015 WWE Hall of Fame will go down was one of the most emotional ceremonies in recent memory. Tributes to the late Randy Savage and Connor “The Crusher” left plenty of tears while Kevin Nash and Madusa provided the laughs and entertainment.
The entire ceremony was streamed live on the WWE Network. You really can’t beat the bargain of getting the entire ceremony and WrestleMania 31 for less than ten bucks. If you decided to pass on the Network, the WWE You Tube channel provided a compilation of speeches and moments including Vince McMahon presenting the class with their Hall of Fame rings.
The 2015 WWE Hall of Fame class….
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
Connor “The Crusher” Michalek
Check out the playlist of videos below along with the entire ceremony on the WWE Network…for just $9.99. It’s a great way to kill four hours today as you count down to Mania!
The WWE has a lot of seats to fill in 2016. WrestleMania 32 will emanate from AT&T Stadium and will need some heavy hitters to fill the building. The Rock is one of those heavy hitters and he isn’t ruling out a return to his wrestling roots.
The Rock has been long rumored to be on the WWE “wish list” for WrestleMania 32. The WWE has had Rock penciled in the last two years to wrestle Brock Lesnar in one of the most anticipated rematches in WWE history. The rematch would come 14 years later and could go down as the biggest rematch since Andre vs. Hulk Hogan drew a record rating on the Main Event in 1988.
Rock was asked about the possibilities of the match in a recent interview and while he isn’t committing to anything, he certainly hasn’t shut the door on the option.
“In Dallas? Possibly. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air. Lot of things are up in the air. We’ll see. I would love that rematch, I would love… whatever it is, you want to create something that’s going to be special, memorable, especially in Dallas at that stadium you have a shot at breaking the attendance record. It’s got to be special.”
This also explains the stress and anxiety that Vince McMahon felt trying to re-sign Brock Lesnar. Keeping Lesnar is bigger than just keeping him away from the UFC or booking him on SummerSlam. Lesnar held the key to the city because without Lesnar under contract there is no Rock rematch. Without the rematch there may be no Rock and there aren’t a whole lot of special matches available to fill the large stadium. Vince got his man so the match is in play.
This is the one component I think most have missed when breaking down the Lesnar-WWE negotiations, including myself. Lesnar is critical to next year’s show. If the WWE can’t pull off Rock vs. Lesnar, Steve Austin vs. Lesnar is another possibility that has been rumored. Again without Lesnar, the WWE is without a dance partner for Rock and Austin and without the right dance partner, both are likely less interested in coming back.
I have always felt that the WWE have already penciled in a Rock vs. Triple H match at Mania 32. That promo they did together on SmackDown 15 was a huge tease in my eyes for the match. I was convinced when I saw it that Rock already committed and it was the first seed to be planted. However, I have to think that a match with Brock is much more appealing to Rock who wants the biggest match possible.
There is already a great story to be told in Rock vs. Brock. Brock beat Rock for his first WWE championship. Rock never got a rematch. Plus if you do re-sign Brock, you could have him beat Roman Reigns this year and use that match as part of an angle to set up next year. Maybe Paul Heyman dubs Brock a “Samoan Killer”, he taunts the Samoans for a few months, and Rock returns to avenge the honor of his family and the Samoan heritage. There is a lot the WWE could do here and I think the match would be enormous. Unfortunately for them they haven’t been able to pull it off for the last three years and the timing may be one year too late.
The Rock also teased an appearance at WrestleMania 31 this year so stay tuned…
Vince McMahon got his man! WWE world champion Brock Lesnar has signed a new deal with the WWE which will keep him around after WrestleMania. The new deal has also shut down any chance we’ll see Brock in the UFC ever again.
The news came Tuesday night on ESPN Sportscenter. Brock appeared on the program to announce his future. It was there that Brock broke the news that made lots of pro wrestling fans very happy, while disappointing those interested in seeing a Lesnar vs. Frank Mir trilogy.
“Last night, old Vince McMahon put on the offer on the table that I couldn’t refuse. It really comes down to business and money and health and well being, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve been in a bad position with my health. I’ve been in a bad position with my money. Now I’m in a great position with both and I’m happy. I love what I’m doing. I work part time with full time pay like everybody wants but you can’t have. Just me. So I’m happy.”
It was widely reported that Monday night was a self-imposed deadline for Vince McMahon to get a new deal with Brock done. Vince reportedly wanted to lock up Brock before he hit free agency but more importantly, before Brock walked into WrestleMania as a lame duck champion. The new deal opens up a lot of possibilities regarding the WrestleMania main-event.
Brock spoke more about his decision not to return to the UFC as opposed to why he re-signed with the WWE. Lesnar just felt he had nothing to prove and his heart was not in a return to the octagon.
“For the last two months I’ve been training, I’ve been training to get back in the Octagon. I felt physically great, but something lacked mentally,” Lesnar revealed. “That’s not good. I talked to (UFC president) Dana (White), I talked to (CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta), I talked to my wife, I talked to my friends. I had many sleepless nights on what to do. At the end of the day, it weighed heavily in my heart I was born to be an entertainer. I have fun doing it.
“I could go back to the Octagon — what am I going to gain? I was the UFC heavyweight champion of the world. Due to my illness my career got cut short, and that’s God’s telling you it’s time to move on. As years went by it wore on me so much that the fighter inside of me didn’t want it to end that way. I didn’t want to leave the UFC on a losing streak. That’s just the competitive guy inside me.”
“You can’t force somebody to get into the cage and fight. That’s not the business,” Lesnar said. “That’s where I was. Was my heart and my head really into it? What are the reasons I want to get in there? Because I don’t like the way it ended or really what is it?”
“At the end of the day, I’m really happy where I’m at with the WWE.”
Lesnar is happy with his decision. “The older you get, the wiser you become and I didn’t want to be that guy that retired and came back. So there was a lot of different things that went through my mind. This was a long, heartfelt decision. You weigh out the pros, you weigh out the cons,” Lesnar said.
But what about Lesnar’s next contract negotiation? According to the WWE champ, that dance is over.
“I’m officially closing the door on MMA,” Lesnar said. “It was hard. I re-signed last night with the WWE. We came to a conclusion last night. The offer on the table, I just could not refuse.”
This is a huge coup for the WWE. For starters, losing Brock to the UFC would have been a public relations disaster. With CM Punk and Brock going to the UFC, shareholders would have had a cause to be concerned. Two, the scene at WrestleMania could have been downright ugly. We already saw how that worked out at WrestleMania XX when the fans knew Brock was leaving. Third and I think most importantly, Brock is now available for WrestleMania 32. Vince McMahon has a lot of seats to fill in Dallas, TX. Having Brock on the roster opens up all kinds of possibilities for big matches with The Rock, Steve Austin, or even an Undertaker rematch. Without Brock, the WWE would have had a very difficult time booking something special in Texas next year. Quite frankly I think WrestleMania 32 was really the driving factor here.
This week, the show emanates from Kanas City, MO. To kick things off, here comes Roman Reign through the crowd, sporting a new shirt that says “I Can. I Will.” He says Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman think they can intimidate him.
Mark Henry interrupts and says he came out last week and he wanted to find out just what Reigns had in the ring, and Reigns showed him something. Henry climbs in the ring and shows what happened last week, for those that weren’t watching. We cut to last week, where Reigns knocked Henry to the floor and speared him through the barricade. Back to the arena, Henry says he doesn’t normally say things like this, but he got what he deserved. He then tells Reigns that, at Wrestlemania, he not only expects Reigns to beat Lesnar, but he’s putting all of his money on it, because Reigns can and will. The two shake hands, and that’s when Seth Rollins’ music hits.
Rollins comes out, flanked by J&J Security, as well as Kane. Kane mocks Henry and calls him the world’s biggest self-help guru. He can’t believe for a second that Reigns will beat Lesnar at WM. Rollins says, then again, anything can happen, before staring at his MITB case. The real reason they are out here is because everyone’s been buzzing since he accepted Randy Orton’s challenge at WM. Unfortunately for the fans, Orton isn’t here tonight, and he won’t be here. The best security team in the world, J&J, have secured the entire building and blocked the entrances. Orton will not step foot in here tonight. This isn’t for Rollins’ protection; this is for Orton’s own good, because when he finally gets face-to-face with Orton, he’s saving all of the humiliation for WM. Thankfully, for Reigns and Henry, he’s in the mood for a WM tune-up. Kane interjects and announces he and Rollins will take on Henry and Reigns. Believe in the Authority.
Tonight, all of the title contenders in the IC title ladder match at WM will face each other in a gauntlet match.
Tatsumi Fujinami is the latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.
MATCH 1: PAIGE VS. BRIE BELLA (W/NIKKI BELLA)
AJ Lee is on commentary, which is A-OK with me. Nikki Bella is also going to be on commentary, which now means I have to mute my computer, godd*mmit. The match starts, and Paige immediately tackles Brie to the floor and lays into her with punches. Paige slams her back-first onto the announce desk and hits a few more punches before Brie fights back and rolls her back into the ring. Back inside, Brie hits a middle rope missile dropkick for 2. She applies a rear chinlock, then whips Paige down by the hair. In the corner, Paige goes face-first into the top buckle a couple times, then gets hit with a running bulldog for 2. Brie then goes back to the chinlock because why the f*ck not? Paige tries to elbow out, so Brie clubs her with a forearm. Paige comes back with a kick off the ropes, and the two collide with simultaneous clotheslines. Paige is up first and goes for the big kick, but Brie blocks it and snaps Paige onto her face. She hits a weak running knee against the ropes and goes for a lackadaisical cover for 2, which Paige counters into a crucifix for the surprise 3.
We’re outside the arena, with J&J checking in with their security staff. Jamie Noble tells them they need to tell him right away if Orton shows up.
MATCH 2-GAUNTLET MATCH; PARTICIPANTS: DEAN AMBROSE, STARDUST, R-TRUTH, LUKE HARPER, DANIEL BRYAN AND DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ambrose and Stardust are the first two competitors. Stardust gets an inset promo during his entrance. He says the competitors don’t matter, something about the “ivory enterprise”, blah, blah. Basically, he wants the IC title. Ambrose applies a hammerlock, but then eats a back elbow before hitting a forearm off the ropes. Ambrose snaps off some jabs, then ties Stardust up for some chops. Stardust bails to the floor off an Irish whip, leading to a chase back into the ring. Stardust hits Ambrose with a kick, ducks a rebound clothesline and hits the Disaster Kick for 2. Another pin attempt gets 2 before Stardust hits a boot off the ropes. He stomps Ambrose down against the ropes, then hits a standing gourdbuster. We see Bad News Barrett watching on a monitor in the back. In the ring, Stardust goes for a sunset flip, but Ambrose drops down and pins Stardust for 3.
Stardust is eliminated.
Stardust attacks Ambrose from behind and rams him shoulder-first into the ring post twice as entrant #3, R-Truth, comes out. He pelts Stardust with rights, ducks a clothesline and hits a jumping heel kick. The ref checks on Ambrose to make sure he’s okay, Ambrose nods, and this match continues. Stardust jumps on the apron, and Truth quickly knocks him down. He turns around, only to have Ambrose drop him with Dirty Deeds for 3.
R-Truth is eliminated.
Entrant #4 is Luke Harper. He also gets the inset promo treatment, and says you never know true freedom until you’ve lost everything. He knows, because they took it from him. Now he will use you to set them all free. At WM, he will piece himself back together.
Back from the break, Ambrose pelts Harper with rights before dropping him with a cross-body. More rights from Ambrose, but Harper recovers and snaps Ambrose down with an arm wringer. He hits an armbar takedown, then applies a modified top wristlock. We see BNB looking on once more. Ambrose gets back to his feet and tries to fight out, but Harper cuts him off with a kneelift. He hits a snake eyes into the middle buckle, then applies a modified crossface. Ambrose shimmies his way to the bottom rope, leading to a break. He pulls himself up on the apron, where he low-bridges an incoming Harper. Ambrose comes off the apron with a flying elbow. Back up, Ambrose rolls Harper in the ring and goes for a tornado DDT. Harper tosses him and goes for the discus clothesline. Ambrose ducks and rolls Harper up for 2. Harper recovers and surprises Ambrose with a seated scrapbuster for 2. Harper goes back to the crossface hold from before, torquing Ambrose’s bad shoulder in the process. Ambrose breaks the hold by biting Harper in the hand. He then snaps off some jabs and chops, hits a kitchen sink against the ropes, then follows up with a seated dropkick. A la magistral gets 2, and now Ambrose heads up top. He dives over an incoming Harper, rolls through and gets blasted with a superkick before hitting a rebound clothesline. Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds, but Harper shoves him off and hits the discus clothesline. He then folds Ambrose up with a sit-out powerbomb for 3.
Dean Ambrose is eliminated.
Entrant #5 is Daniel Bryan. Commercials.
Back from the break, J&J are talking to security staff, stationed by doors. Noble tells one of them that no one can come through the doors without credentials. Someone comes in on a phone, but he has photo ID, so they let him go through. Noble says to keep an eye out for suspicious people and they should radio him immediately if they see anyone.
Back to the ring, Harper/Bryan is already underway, with Bryan targeting the legs of Harper, wrapping the left one around the ring post from the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan kicks at Harper’s left leg repeatedly, finally taking him down. Bryan goes for a surfboard stretch as BNB is still looking on. Back in the ring, Bryan gets the surfboard on, then turns it into a rear chinlock. Harper elbows out of the hold, but can’t stand up. Bryan fires up the Yes! Kicks, but goes for one too many as Harper blocks him, picks him up and dumps him to the floor. Harper then collapses before he’s finally able to stand up. Bryan rolls back in, where Harper meets him with a pair of elbow drops for 2. He hits a bodyslam, but is still limping a bit. He locks in the Gator Roll, then goes into a side headlock. Bryan gets to his feet and breaks the hold with a legbreaker. Harper manages to immediately hit a European uppercut, however, then lands another big bodyslam. A third slam connects, and he goes for another uppercut. Bryan ducks and gets Harper in a backslide for 2. Harper pops up and hits his big boot for 2 before applying a rear chinlock. Harper hits a couple of knees and goes for another slam. Bryan escapes and hits a few kicks before getting sent over the ropes. Bryan holds on, skins the cat and pulls Harper to the floor with a headscissors. He sends Harper into the barricade with a suicide dive, then hits a few more kicks against the barricade. Back in the ring, Bryan fires up the Yes! Kicks, but misses the Buzzsaw. Harper then drops him on his head with a dragon suplex for 2. Bryan blocks a discus clothesline, but Harper spins once more and connects on the second try for 2. Harper goes for the sit-out powerbomb, but Bryan counters into a sunset flip before turning it into a heel hook for the submission win.
Luke Harper is eliminated.
The sixth and final entrant is Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler gets an inset promo, and says the IC title ladder match at WM has all types. Whether you’re a dirty lunatic, a rapper that refuses to get high, a guy going to a costume party on Mars, a homeless zombie, a Brit with no stones or just a turd, they’re not as good as him. He’s bringing the title back where it belongs, and it’s just too bad he’s too good. Commercials.
We’re back, and the two start with a lock-up. Bryan turns it into a hip throw, which Ziggler counters with a headscissors before Bryan escapes back to his feet. They lock up again, and repeat the sequence, but with the roles reversed. BNB watches on. Bryan applies an arm wringer and backs Ziggler to the corner before hitting him with a spinning back kick. Bryan hits some more Yes! Kicks, then picks Ziggler up for a European uppercut. Ziggler comes back with a flurry of rights, only to have Bryan trip him up. Ziggler blocks the attempt at a submission hold and stacks Bryan up for 2. The two go for a test of strength, but Ziggler boots Bryan, backs him into the corner, and hits a Rude Awakening. Nice touch there. He misses a corner splash, which allows Bryan to hit a running corner dropkick. He connects with a super hurricanrana, but Ziggler rolls through into a sunset flip for 2. The two trade shots, which Ziggler eventually getting the best of the exchange. He headbutts Bryan in the corner and goes for a whip. Bryan backflips out, ducks a clothesline, and the two collide off simultaneous cross-body attempts. Commercials.
Back from the break, Bryan is working over Ziggler’s arm. Ziggler escapes a back suplex, hits a couple kicks and lands a big dropkick. He goes for the rocker dropper, but Bryan counters it with a powerbomb into a jackknife for 2. Bryan goes up top, but Ziggler crotches him and looks for a superplex. Bryan slides under his legs and crotches Ziggler. Bryan then goes up for a back superplex, which Ziggler counters with a mid-air cross-body for 2. Ziggler goes for the Zig-Zag, and Bryan grabs the ropes to block. Ziggler rolls away, only to get nailed with a Buzzsaw for 2. Bryan signals for the running knee. Ziggler sees it coming and drops Bryan with a superkick for 2. Ziggler picks Bryan up in a front chancery, but Bryan counters it into a quick Yes! Lock. Ziggler breaks free and jackknifes for 2. Bryan powers up to a vertical base, and now the two fight over a backslide attempt. Bryan drops to one knee and manages to pull Ziggler down for 2. He misses the Buzzsaw, and Ziggler hits a surprise Zig-Zag for 3.
WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Damn, that was a hell of a match. It was pretty average at first, but once R-Truth was out, it really picked up and didn’t stop. I could watch Ziggler/Bryan all day.
After Ziggler celebrates, he has a stare-down with Bryan, only to shake his hand a moment later. BNB comes out and congratulates them for stealing the show, just like they’ve been trying to steal the IC title over the last few weeks. He’s got some bad news for both of them: stealing the show is a code. It’s a code for being…well, we never find out, because BNB immediately drops Ziggler with a microphone shot. Bryan starts nailing BNB with kicks and goes for a running corner dropkick, but BNB is back up, and he nails Bryan with the mic as well. He loads up the Bull Hammer and blasts Ziggler with it, then gives one to Bryan as well.
Bray Wyatt promo, hyping the match with the Undertaker at WM. Sorry, but as soon as this match was made official, I completely lost interest.
We get predictions from the divas on who will win the divas tag team match at WM. Who the hell cares? It features the Bellas, so it will absolutely suck. Listening to Cameron and Summer Rae talk…I’d rather hump a splintered piece of balsa wood.
Another Sheamus hype video.
J&J are with more security guards, by the shutters. Same stuff as the last two times.
MATCH 3-jINTER-SPECIES TAG TEAM MATCH: WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS CESARO & TYSON KIDD, AND NATALYA VS. EL TORITO AND LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO)
Cesaro and a Matador start, with Cesaro hitting a shoulder and dropping an elbow for 2. The two crisscross until the Matador hits a hurricanrana. Nattie tags herself in, which automatically brings Torito in. Kidd tags himself in before anything can happen. Torito kicks Kidd in the leg, then tags in a Matador, who suckers Kidd into a trip into the second rope. The Matador drops himself across Kidd’s back as he slides through the ropes and to the floor, tagging in the other Matador in the process. The legal Matador hits a tope con hilo for 2. Kidd recovers and sends him throat-first into the middle rope for a knee-choke. Behind the ref’s back, Cesaro hits a boot on the apron. Cesaro tags in, and he stomps the Matador down before hitting a European uppercut. The Matador gets tossed to the floor. Kidd tags in and goes for an attack from the apron, but gets tripped. The other Matador tags in and hits a springboard chop. He knocks Cesaro off the apron and hits a spinning headbutt. Torito tags in, and the two hit a springboard version of the Sidewinder (the Smoking Gunns’ old finisher) for 2. A Matador tags in and hits a somersault plancha from the top for 2 as Cesaro breaks it up. The other Matador hits Cesaro with an enziguri, then pulls his partner over for a tag to Torito. Torito sends Kidd head-first into Cesaro off a springboard hurricanrana. Nattie tags herself in as Los Matadores send the champs to the floor with a pair of dropkicks. They follow up with stereo suicide dives. Torito looks for one, but gets grabbed by Nattie. He counters into an armdrag, then comes off the top for a hurricanrana. Nattie catches him and hits a sit-out powerbomb for 3.
WINNERS: CESARO, TYSON KIDD AND NATALYA.
Nattie sure looks good in a leather catsuit. Just saying.
Roman Reigns comes out for the main event, and Mark Henry’s music hits next. However, after a minute or two, Henry isn’t coming out. THe cameras cut to the back, and Henry’s been laid out near the locker rooms. Seth Rollins and Kane come out, flanked by J&J Security. Rollins waves his arm, and about half a dozen security guards join them. The guards line up at the bottom of the entrance ramp, and it looks like this is going to become a handicap match.
MATCH 4-2-ON-1 HANDICAP MATCH: ROMAN REIGNS VS. KANE AND SETH ROLLINS (W/J&J SECURITY)
Kane starts off for his team, eating a series of rights by Reigns. Rollins distracts the referee, which allows J&J to trip Reigns near the ropes. Off the distraction, Kane hits a big boot before tagging in Rollins. Rollins clubs Reigns down, then hits a neckbreaker for 1. Rollins chokes Reigns over the middle rope, then tags in Kane. Kane sends Rollins into the corner for a forearm, and Rollins then sends Reigns into Kane for a sidewalk slam, which gets 2. Kane rams Reigns face-first into the top buckle, then sends him across the ring. Reigns blocks a splash, hits a few rights, then gets caught with a DDT off the ropes for 2. Rollins tags in, pulls Reigns to the apron from the floor and nails him with rights, followed by a running boot. Back in the ring, Rollins clubs Reigns down. Reigns comes back with rights until he gets hit with a complete shot into the middle buckle. Kane tags in and hits a quick pair of elbows. Rollins back in now, and Kane sends him in for a corner splash. Reigns sees it coming and backdrops Rollins to the apron before hitting Kane with a leaping clothesline. Rollins misses a springboard knee, lands in the corner, and gets hit with several clotheslines from Reigns. Reigns misses a short-arm, ducks a kick, misses a leaping clothesline and hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam. He loads up the Superman Punch and nails an incoming Joey Mercury with it. He goes for it again on Rollins, but Rollins blocks it and goes for a spinning neckbreaker. Reigns blocks that, the two spin through several more times, and Reigns ends the series with a shot to the back of the head. Jamie Noble gets knocked off the apron as Rollins rolls to the apron himself. Reigns goes after him, and Rollins hits him with a hotshot. Rollins goes up top as Kane tags himself in. Reigns nails Rollins with a punch in mid-air, but Kane then comes in and grabs Reigns for a chokeslam. Reigns escapes, ducks a clothesline and connects with the spear for 3.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS.
After the match, Reigns shoves the security guards on the ramp out of the way. Rollins starts throwing a fit in the ring as Randy Orton’s music hits. He turns around, and Orton hits the ring through the crowd. He tackles Rollins, then proceeds to take out the security guards. He catches and incoming Rollins with a powerslam, then coils up for the RKO. Noble tries to interfere, but gets hit with an RKO. Rollins escapes an RKO attempt, but Orton grabs him by the foot before he can leave the ring. Mercury tries to attack Orton from the buckles, but gets hit with a mid-air RKO as Rollins escapes up the ramp.
If you don’t have the WWE Network or haven’t followed any of the wrestling news websites online you probably have no idea that Sting cut his first real WWE promo following RAW on Monday night. It was short, it was on point, it was pretty darn good and it’s right here for those of you that missed it.
Count me in as one of many who had no idea that Sting was on the WWE Network last night. The buzz from most insiders is that the WWE didn’t want Sting cutting promos because they didn’t feel he was very good in WCW. That would explain the horrible Black Scorpion-ish promo last week. However, if there is anyone in or out of the WWE that doesn’t think Sting can cut a good promo, well they need to watch this clip. The Stinger is on fire and it’s awesome!
This all begs the question as to why in the world would the WWE give away Sting’s first “real” interview on the WWE Network? Why not put it on television and get people excited enough to buy the Network to see WrestleMania 31? The people watching him Monday night on the Network already have it so in that sense, the promo is a real lost opportunity in my opinion. The marketing behind this seems completely backwards to me.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is pretty cool to see and hear Sting talk in a WWE ring. I will admit that I wasn’t real excited about Sting vs. Triple H going into WrestleMania. His intensity on RAW in the ring and during this promo have changed that.
WWE Thursday Night SmackDown opens with Daniel Bryan. He says that, ever since Fastlane, week after week, he has tried his hardest to ignore the giant Wrestlemania sign. But he can’t ignore it anymore. He has to accept that he can’t repeat his WM last year, when the Yes! Movement took him all the way to the WM main event. That door has closed, but when one closes, another opens. A couple of weeks ago, he was in the ring, surrounded by the WWE superstars, fighting for the IC title. And that got him thinking about the guy who were his heroes, when he watched WM. Guys like Mr. Perfect, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, HBK and Randy Savage. They were all IC champs at WM, and when they were, they were more exciting than anything going on in the World title division. And, he also realized one more thing: since he has been in WWE, the only title he hasn’t won is the IC title. So…even though he can’t repeat last year, he can create a new moment this year. He made a request, and he’s out here to announce he’s officially in the IC title ladder match at WMXXXI.
Bad News Barrett (still sans belt) comes and says he has some bad news. Despite what everyone seems to think, he’s still the champion. After WM, he will remain the champion. So, you could say that will make BNB Bryan’s new hero.
Dolph Ziggler comes out next. He says BNB may never be Bryan’s hero, but he is Ziggler’s hero. Ziggler has never met someone so delusional and desperate to be relevant in his life. BNB is the champion, but where is the title? He can’t hang onto the belt. How’s he going to retain it against six hungry stars throwing him off ladders at WM?
Luke Harper joins the party now. He says he wants his WM moment and points to the sign. He and Bryan go nose-to-nose for a moment, until…
Dean Ambrose marches down to the ring and says if these guys think they can get in the ring and throw fists without inviting him, they need to be locked up for observation. If no one can wait until WM, he’s fine mixing it up in a fight, and he’ll do it with anyone in the ring.
Stardust charges down to the ring, looking all over for something. He asks where his white stallion of the Milky Way? Where is the ivory enterprise?
R-Truth comes out, and he’s carrying what is likely the title belt in a burlap sack. He opens the sack, and that’s exactly what’s in it. He starts talking to the belt. He knows BNB is the champion, but he’s going to hold onto the belt for safe-keeping, at least until WM. Even though he’s scared of heights, he’s climbing the ladder. BNB says he won’t make it to the second rung before pulling Truth back down. Truth pulls a page out of the Frank Rizzo playbook and calls BNB “sizzlechest”. He says possession is 9/10 of the law, so that makes him the big boss man. #ComeGetIt (his words). BNB says that’s his and starts to leave the ring, but a brawl breaks out before that can happen. Bryan tosses BNB before Ziggler does the same to Stardust. Harper gets backdropped by Ambrose, and now he, Ziggler and Bryan are the last three left in the ring.
We’ll have an exclusive interview with Randy Orton later tonight.
MATCH 1: KOFI KINGSTON, XAVIER WOODS AND THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY) (W/BIG E AND NAOMI) VS. LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO), AND WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS CESARO & TYSON KIDD (W/EL TORITO AND NATALYA)
We get an inset promo from Los Matadores, who say that, after losing to the tag champs last week, they made the decision to do whatever it takes to win the belts and claim their WM moment.
Kofi starts off with one of the Matadors. Kofi gets thrown to the corner and stomped down. Kofi avoids a corner whip and hits a dropkick out of the corner for 1. Woods tags in and comes off the middle with a forearm for 2. The two crisscross until Woods hits another forearm for 2. The Matador comes back and tags in the other Matador, who hits a dropkick. Woods comes back with punches and a kick. One of the Usos makes the blind tag and hits a few chops, followed by a back-body drop out of the corner. This is Jimmy. Jimmy hits a European uppercut out of the corner, but then gets distracted by apparently Diego on the apron as he goes for the corkscrew moonsault. That makes Fernando the man in the ring, and he proceeds to crotch Jimmy on the top buckle. Fernando knocks him to the floor as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Jimmy is fighting out of a Fernando headlock. Fernando sends him face-first into the middle rope and lands across Jimmy’s back while simultaneously tagging out. Diego comes in and hits a slingshot elbow for 2 beofre going into a rear chinlock. Jimmy escapes, misses a reverse Dragon Whip, keeps spinning and connects on the second try. Jey tags in, as does Kidd. Jey nails Kidd with several strikes, ducks a clothesline and hits a Samoan drop. He hits the running hip attack in the corner before Kofi tags himself in. Kofi hits a springboard cross-body for 2, only to have Cesaro break it up. Woods comes in to fight off Cesaro, leading one of the Matadors to come in. A miscommunication leads to the Matador clotheslining Cesaro to the floor. Woods then sends him flying. Before Woods goes for a dive. One of the Usos comes in and hits one of his own. Woods tops him by hitting a somersault plancha, only to wipe out one of the Usos on accident. In the ring, Kidd hits a slingshot roll-up for 2, only to have Kofi reverse it for 2. Kofi goes for another one, but Cesaro blasts him with a European uppercut from the floor. One of the Usos takes Cesaro out with a superkick. In the ring, Kidd goes for Just Kidding, only to have one of the Matadors tag in. Kofi goes for TIP on Kidd, Kidd ducks, and the Matador gets blasted. On the other side of the ring, one of the Usos prevents Cesaro from interfering. As the referee is distracted, Los Matadores switch places, and Kofi gets hit with a Backstabber for 3, with a handful of tights.
WINNERS: CESARO, TYSON KIDD AND LOS MATADORES.
Connor “The Crusher” Michalek is the newest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, and the first recipient of the Warrior Award. Honestly, this is my favorite thing that WWE has done since, well, probably ever. Connor was an amazingly special kid, and it’s obvious he meant everything to everyone in WWE.
Ryback comes out for his match with the Miz, and now Renee Young is standing by with the Miz and Damien Mizdow. She calls Ryback one of the favorites in the Andre battle royal. Miz laughs and says he’s one of the most decorated superstars in WWE. Mizdow starts mocking Miz. Miz says he hasn’t gotten the Andre trophy yet, but when he puts his mind to something, he wins, which makes him the odds-on favorite. He calls Ryback brainless, and Mizdow responds that Ryback is a 295-lb. machine (I call BS, but whatever). Miz cuts him off and says he can beat Ryback, AND do it by himself. He doesn’t need Mizdow. What he needs Mizdow to do is press his pants and get him a macchiado or some such bullsh*t.
MATCH 2: RYBACK VS. THE MIZ
Miz has the worst entrance and pre-match ceremony ever. The two lock up, and Miz applies a side headlock. Ryback powers him up to the top rope and leaves him there before taunting him. Miz charges, so Ryback snaps him down on his face. Miz hits a couple back elbows, then runs into one from Ryback. Ryback hits a delayed vertical suplex as we see Mizdow watching on a monitor. Miz rolls to the apron and hits a hotshot. Back in the ring, Miz hits a few shots. Ryback comes back with his own, but then runs shoulder-first into the ring post. Miz chokes him on the middle rope, then drops a leg across his back for 2. Ryback blocks a snapmare, but then takes a few kicks and a boot to the head. Ryback blocks a second attempt and drops Miz with a spinebuster. Ryback blasts Miz with the Meat Hook, hits Shell Shocked and gets 3.
We see Mizdow laughing at what he just witnessed.
Roman Reigns heads down to the ring. We cut to what Paul Heyman said about Brock Lesnar on RAW. Back to Reigns, he says Heyman claims he knows Reigns and his family. The reality is Heyman just disrespected them all. He says the Anoa’i clan is just three generations removed from cannibals. Who says that? Heyman takes every opportunity he can to tell Reigns he can’t. If there are two things Reigns won’t accept, they are people disrespecting his family, and telling him he can’t. He can, and at WM, he’s going to represent his Samoan blood and win the WWE title, and you can believe…
Mark Henry marches down to the ring. Apparently, he still works here. Henry says he was listening to Reigns, and he just had to come out here. Either Reigns is a comedian, or one too many coconuts fell on his head. Henry doesn’t like anyone talking about his heritage either, but Reigns needs to understand Heyman has gotten under Reigns’ skin. He talked about Reigns’ heritage, then told him he can’t. Reigns says he can, and Henry disagrees. He’s the strongest man in the world. He knows who he is, which is more than he can say for Reigns. He’s been in the ring with Lesnar. Lesnar broke his arm and damn-near killed him with an F-5 on the floor. Is Reigns ready for that? Henry doesn’t think so. Reigns starts to say “With all due respect”, but Henry cuts him off. He says Lesnar doesn’t respect Reigns. The fans don’t respect him. The boys in the locker room don’t respect him. Reigns has to earn his respect here. Nobody is going to give it to him. Reigns starts to leave, but Henry stops him. This is what he’s talking about. The young bucks think they know it all and have done it all. Reigns hasn’t been anywhere. Henry then slugs him, and Reigns responds with a quick Superman Punch. Henry rolls to the floor, and Reigns goes after him, spearing him through the barricade and into the timekeeper’s area. Reigns says to hell with “I can’t”. He can, and he will. Believe that!
MATCH 3: AJ LEE AND PAIGE VS. CAMERON AND SUMMER RAE (W/EVA MARIE)
Sweet merciful crap. The Bellas are on commentary AGAIN. Mute time. Cameron and Paige start off, and Paige immediately takes Cameron down with a boot to the gut. She throws Cameron face-first into the buckles, then tags in AJ, who hits a roundhouse. Cameron gets sent to the corner, where AJ hits a splash and a neckbreaker. She hits a spinning back-kick to the gut, then goes after Rae on the apron. The temporary distraction allows Cameron to hit AJ from behind. Cameron then hits a split-kick for 2, remembering to turn her opponent onto her back for the pin this time. Rae tags in and, and they hit a series of garbage double-teams for 2. Rae applies a rear chinlock, then whips AJ down by the neck before knocking Paige off the apron. Cameron tags in and stomps AJ in the corner before tagging in Rae. AJ fights them both off, then hits Cameron with a clothesline. Paige tags in and hits Rae with a trio of short-arm clotheslines, followed by a dropkick off the ropes. Paige ducks a clothesline, hits her big side kick and locks in the PTO for the quick submission win.
WINNERS: AJ LEE AND PAIGE.
AJ and Paige start to leave, but turn back when Nikki throws her hat at them. Yes, her hat. She then tops that by throwing her jacket. Tough broad right there, I assure you.
We see a trainer checking on Mark Henry. Renee Young steps in for an interview and asks if he was intentionally antagonizing Roman Reigns earlier. He says he was. He’s invested his whole career in WWE, and tonight, Reigns made a believer out of Henry. He pushed, and Reigns pushed back. He doesn’t know if Reigns can beat Lesnar, but he believes he can.
Earlier today, Michael Cole sat down for an interview with Randy Orton. Cole goes back four months, when Orton was excommunicated from the Authority. We see the clips, and Cole asks him how that effected him emotionally. Orton says something changed in him that day. The four months he was off, all he could think about was his revenge on the Authority, especially Seth Rollins. Cole says Orton wove his way back into the Authority. Orton agrees, but he had his blinders on for Rollins. He thought he’d get back at Rollins at Fastlane, but Orton saw an opportunity present itself. He’s an opportunist, and yes, he wove his way back in. He was just biding his time. The mind games were fun. Cole points out Orton helped Rollins beat Reigns a couple weeks ago. Orton says he’s not friends with Reigns. He used Reigns, and he’d do the same to anyone if that meant he could get to Rollins. He knew that would solidify his position in the Authority and keep them believing. This past RAW, he used reverse psychology, and berating the Authority was the last thing anyone would expect. At that moment, he knew he’d get his revenge, and it would be sweet. The revenge happened later on in a handicap match with Reigns. Orton points out that Kane and Big Show have imploded and were sent home. The two giants were out of the way. During the 2-on-1, J&J got in the way, and Orton took care of them. Now four were out of the picture, and it was down to Orton and Rollins. When Rollins needed a tag, and Orton pulled back…what motivates men? Fear. He saw fear in Rollins, and it lit something up in Orton. He enjoyed beating the hell out of Rollins after the match. All the weight of the world was off his shoulders at once during that assault. When he put Rollins through a table with an RKO, it was just relief. He enjoyed every second. Cole says there will be hell to pay. Orton says he’ll pay. It was worth it. Cole asks what is the first thing Orton will do this Monday on RAW. Orton says he’ll find Rollins, spit in his face and challenge him to a match at WM.
MATCH 4: DANIEL BRYAN, DEAN AMBROSE AND DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. LUKE HARPER, STARDUST AND INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION BAD NEWS BARRETT
Ambrose and BNB start with Ambrose applying a side headlock. Ambrose hits a shoulder off the ropes, goes into a crisscross and hits a clothesline. Ambrose drops a power-drive elbow, then applies his version of the Regal Stretch before tagging in Ziggler. Ziggler applies an arm wringer, which BNB counters. He tags in Stardust, who nails a fist off the top rope. Rhodes goes for a corner whip, gets it reversed, and collides chest-first with the buckles. Bryan tags in and comes in off the top with a double axe handle. Bryan applies a surfboard, then drops Stardust back to his knees for a chinlock. Stardust breaks free and tags in BNB, who gets hit with a drop-toehold. Bryan hits a series of European uppercuts before BNB attacks Bryan in the corner. Stardust tags back in and hits a couple of corner headbutts. Bryan reverses a corner whip and hits a running dropkick. Up top, Bryan hits a super hurricanrana, then calls for the knee. Stardust sees it coming and bails to the floor. Commercials.
Back from the break, Harper is now legal for his team, and he gets a 1-count on Bryan before applying the Gator Roll, then turning it into a side headlock. Bryan gets to his feet and tries to power himself to the corner for a tag, but Harper snaps him down by the hair. BNB tags in and throws Bryan to the corner. He sets Bryan across the top buckle and clubs him across the back before hitting a running kick to the gut for 2. Stardust tags in, and he hits a few strikes before tagging in Harper. Harper goes for a slam, but Bryan counters into a schoolboy for 2 before nailing a Buzzsaw. He crawls to his corner and tags in Ambrose as Stardust also tags in. Ambrose hits a splash in the corner and follows up with a running bulldog. Ambrose hits a back suplex into a facebuster for 2 as Harper breaks it up. Harper pulls Ambrose to the floor, but Ambrose sends him into the barricade. Stardust charges at Ambrose on the apron, and Ambrose low-bridges him to the floor. Up top, Ambrose takes out both Harper and Stardust with a flying elbow. Back in the ring, Stardust nails Ambrose, only to have Ambrose rebound with a clothesline. He signals for Dirty Deeds, but lets go when BNB tries to interfere. Ambrose boots BNB in the head, then rolls to the floor to slam him face-first into the announce desk. Harper then drops Ambrose with a big boot. Commercials.
We’re back, and BNB is nailing Ambrose with knees while he’s tied up in the ropes. BNB hits a big boot for 2, then applies a rear chinlock. Ambrose fights out, but gets put back down quickly before Stardust tags in. Stardust attacks Ambrose in the corner and goes for a superplex, but Ambrose reverses into a release gourdbuster from the top. Ambrose then hits a seated missile dropkick. Ziggler and Harper tag in, and Ziggler goes on the attack, hitting a corner splash and a neckbreaker. The Shot to the Heart connects for 2. He goes for the rocker dropper, misses, nails BNB on the apron, then nails Harper with a dropkick. The rocker dropper connects for 2, and Ziggler then nails Stardust on the apron. Harper rolls Ziggler up for 2, then gets nailed with a superkick for 2 as Stardust breaks it up. Bryan takes Stardust out with a big kick, then backdrops BNB to the floor. Bryan, Ambrose and Ziggler line up, looking for a trio of suicide dives. Bryan and Ambrose connect, but Ziggler is put down with a big boot by Harper. Harper hits a sit-out powerbomb, but only gets 2. Harper picks Ziggler up in a torture rack, but Ziggler counters with the Zig-Zag. He falls into a tag from Bryan, who nails Harper with the running knee for 3.
WINNERS: DEAN AMBROSE, DANIEL BRYAN AND DOLPH ZIGGLER.
Michael Cole enters the ring and congratulates Bryan on the pin. Bryan thanks him, only to have Ziggler cut Bryan off. Bryan stole one for the team, but he gets it. It’s every man for himself. Last year, Bryan had Lady Luck on his side. This year, he’s all alone, and Ziggler’s out there, too. Just remember that. Ambrose interjects and gives both men a half-assed congratulations. He says they stole the show, just like everyone’s been stealing the IC title, which was his original idea. Back to the jealousy between Ziggler and Bryan. He thinks Ziggler doesn’t believe he’s as good as Bryan, and that bothers him. And Bryan is very good, and everyone thinks he’s nice, but everyone in the locker room knows the truth: Bryan’s a turd.
WWE.com has been doing a fantastic job promoting Sting’s debut in a WWE ring. The latest article interviews several former WCW opponents who all give a first-hand look on what it’s like to wrestle Sting.
Thus far you have to give the WWE credit for the way they are booking Sting’s debut. They have really built Sting up as a legend and icon with videos and articles on the WWE.com website. The newest article is a really fun read. Yes it is written in dare I say kayfabe, but there are also some truths thrown in to balance it out.
Several former WCW wrestlers opened up and talked about Sting’s influence and what it was like to be in the ring with Sting. Here are some of the highlights…
Arn Anderson: “When you’re one of the best wrestlers, as I was and The Four Horsemen were, you obviously want to trade blows and holds with the best in the world. Sting just happened to want to be the flagship of the company, and that’s what he became. He also represented the moral majority, at least in his mind. We didn’t care; we took public opinion and flushed it in the toilet, where it belonged.
Sting wanted to do the right thing. Didn’t make him any less of a wrestler, but it gave us an advantage, because we’d go to any lengths, 4-on-1, to dog pile him into submission. That’s what we did. The thing is, he didn’t stay down. He kept coming and kept coming. He wouldn’t stay down. “
Booker T: “He’s an enigma. He’s mysterious and lurked in the shadows for many, many years. It’s an aura that draws you to him. Guys like that, they’re one of a kind. People have wanted to see him here in WWE for many years. I think people are intrigued by him.“
Michael Hayes: “I teamed with him later, as he was moving a few rungs up the ladder. The biggest difference I could see is that, while he was still hungry, which is what carried him through his career, he now had confidence that he could do it. There comes a time in a performer’s life when you hope you can do something and a time when you know you can do it. The last time I teamed with him, he had that.
Sting brought a lot of energy to the ring. The Freebirds first met him in UWF, when he was teaming with Rock, who would later become The Ultimate Warrior. They had energy, but were very green. Once Sting got on his own, he started to experiment. He’s a very energetic guy anyways, and that’s what works, when it’s 50 or 60 percent, or even more, of your actual personality in the ring. Once he put himself on the map and was able to dance with Ric Flair for 45 minutes, it all changed for the best for him.”
The Big Show: “I think the thing about Sting today is he hasn’t changed. Though his character has developed, the core value of who he is and what he represents hasn’t changed. He’s got a fan base from so many years of being someone you can depend on, kind of like John Cena. He’s been through so many trials and tribulations, and been able to stick to his guns. That’s what we respect in a hero.”
Check out the entire article on WWE.com for more comments from these former foes as well as others.