The WWE Moves On From Lee Leaving, Roberts and “The Crusher”

April 06, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE were body slammed twice this past week. The retirement of AJ Lee became the major conversation online for the majority of late Friday afternoon and evening.

The news of one of the company’s top attractions and one of the more athletic talents the women’s division has had since the days of Lita and Trish Stratus left the majority of readers with their jaws hitting the floor.

The girl with the cute smile, rock hard abs and a penchant for causing all sorts of chaos has left the circus for higher ground.

Sometimes, you just got to love crazy chicks. And with her sudden – yet not so surprising decision, the WWE will now look to Paige to fill the kind of role Lee did – the uneven parallel of a female wrestler who can actually perform and leave her opponent and the fans guessing which character they will see on a nightly basis.

The new crazy chick in town is a Casper-like athlete with a future that is bright – given she allows the company to mold her into the true superstar she is already becoming. That proverbial torch has been passed, and now we anxiously await the coming out party of sorts for a former Divas champion who must step her game up a bit.

If you ask me, Paige is more than ready to keep that flame burning.

The news of AJ Lee’s retirement came the same day the company was dealing with a potentially damaging situation involving former employee Justin Roberts, who claimed the company inducted Connor ‘The Crusher’ Michalek more out of publicity than anything else. Roberts said the WWE used Connor’s battle with cancer as a marketing tool to curry favor with media and the fans at the company’s Hall of Fame ceremonies.

When I read Justin’s blog, a few things ran through my mind. First, the WWE is an organization you can love and hate at the same time. Second, his words seem a bit self-centered – as though he felt he needed some validation from the fans who read the piece since he did not get it working at WWE. Third, Connor was every bit deserving of the award and maybe more so than others. The WWE fans will not identify with the guy who cleans towels. They will identify with wrestlers and characters associated with in-ring action. That is what they pay money to see. Connor’s story grips at everyone. And for the most part, Justin was paid good money to do his job. He may be the nicest guy in the world, but he got to work in a place that is Disney World in terms of wrestling royalty – good or bad.

A boy who has cancer and is welcomed into the WWE family – that is the story of a lifetime. I am a writer of sports and pro wrestling and a CANCER PATIENT. I love the Connor story and its happy (yet unhappy) ending. Roberts’ comments – although they come across as genuine, also seem like a hand ended slap at the award and the care the WWE put into it. Yes, it is a feel good story and was carefully chosen. It was also the right thing to do.

The WWE uses events to gain momentum – and the use of Michalek’s situation should not be viewed as a ploy to sell tickets alone. Roberts outlines in his blog but he also says he fully supported the company’s decision to put the youngster in the Hall of Fame. Sounds like he is talking out of both sides of his mouth and is bitter about the WWE’s decision to let him go.

According to the Washington Post, part of the WWE’s restructuring of the story was to cut Roberts role out completely, despite the fact Roberts introduced the young boy to both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

While the Lee situation was bound to happen, mainly because her husband, CM Punk is still a lightning rod for controversy within the WWE and fans still cheer his name at every live event, it is not unexpected.

The comments made by the former employee, although they may be true, were made while the WWE is experiencing a rise in support from the WrestleMania events over last weekend. Hopefully neither eventwill bury any of the momentum the company is experiencing. Both situations may be challenging to Vince McMahon and his brand, but the reality of it is these are things that happen when sour grapes may be involved in the business. The worst thing about all of this isn’t that Lee left the WWE. The sad thing is the reasons why the WWE placed Michalek in the Hall of Fame are being questioned – something that Roberts should be ashamed of for questioning in the first place.

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AJ Lee Retires From the WWE

April 03, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The eight-year pro wrestling career of one of the most successful WWE Divas of this era is officially over. announced the retirement of AJ Lee, a separation predicted by many months ago.

The WWE posted the announcement on its website on Friday afternoon. The announcement was about as short and sweet as you’ll get from this kind of announcement.

AJ Lee (April Mendez) has decided to retire from in-ring competition with WWE. We wish AJ the very best.

I think the biggest surprise from the announcement is that Lee made it this long with the company. For those unaware, Lee is married to former WWE superstar CM Punk. Punk and the WWE had an acrimonious split last year which resulted in two lawsuits, one that is currently underway. The obvious tension and working for a company whose doctor is suing her husband for over a million dollars were expected to result in a split at some point.

Lee had just returned from a lengthy absence in March which culminated in a match at WrestleMania. I was surprised to see her come back at the time due to the circumstances surrounding the lawsuit. Yet she did come back and finished out her run at WrestleMania. Lee’s final match with the company will be a Mania victory which saw her get the win for her team (with Paige) against the Bella Twins.

Lee’s career with the WWE lasted just shy of six years as she signed with the company in May of 2009. In a world of Divas where many were recruited outside of wrestling, Lee was a trained pro wrestler when she entered the WWE. She had garnered a solid reputation on the independents. She actually got her deal after attending a tryout camp which she reportedly paid $1500 to attend.

Lee hung around FCW and NXT for two years before debuting on SmackDown almost two years to the day she signed her contract. Lee’s career in the WWE didn’t start heating up until several months later when she was tied to Daniel Bryan in a storyline which saw her more obsessed with him than he was with her. The two wound up in some kind of love triangle with CM Punk which culminated in Lee leaving Bryan at the altar after being named new WWE General Manager.

Lee has always been a big favorite with the fans but I felt she missed an opportunity to evolve as G.M. Even as G.M., they had her skipping around which I thought seemed odd for the role. Lee seemed caught in that old dumb schoolgirl role while trying to portray herself as a serious wrestler. Lee eventually won the Divas championship from Kaitlyn in 2013.

It’s funny how f you look back over the last several years of WWE Divas and it becomes apparent quickly that the shelf life for a WWE Diva is much shorter than it is for a WWE superstar. Ironically, a quick look at the careers of the top WWE Divas over the last several years produces an average of six-years in WWE. I am looking specifically at the top like Trish Stratus, Kelly Kelly, AJ, and Eve Torres as examples. Even the Bellas left at one point. All quit on their own volition which makes you think that regardless of the personal conflicts in AJ’s life with the WWE that she would have moved on sometime in the near future.

While this is bad news for AJ fans it is good news for Charlotte. Charlotte is ready and should have been brought up to the main roster months ago. With the open spot you’d assume that the natural move here would be to bring Charlotte up. Regardless, it will bring some life to an otherwise stale division with new talent from NXT.

My hunch is that with summer coming up you’ll see plenty of AJ Lee at conventions and signings around the country. She’ll clean up big and fans will get an opportunity to say a proper good bye. In the meantime, thanks for the memories.

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WWE Best of Raw and Smackdown 2014 DVD Review

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

So, I’ve reviewed several of these over the last couple of years, and let’s be honest: these sets are more or less a quick cash grab. They are a collection of Raw and Smackdown matches that range anywhere from terrible to good, and that’s pretty much it. There are a few talking head segments interspliced into the DVD between matches and segments from people involved in them, but beyond that, there’s little else here.

Now, that’s not to say that the DVD set can’t be enjoyed. Some of the segments are decent, some matches feature alternate commentary from the competitors, and there are a handful of matches and segments on here that are very enjoyable. Stuff like a 6-man Elimination Chamber qualifier, Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, the Usos winning the tag team titles from the New-Age Outlaws, a Shield handicap match and a triple threat for the IC title between Dolph Ziggler, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (a dark horse candidate for WWE match of the year 2014, in my opinion), are all here, as well as several others. As for good in-ring segments, you’ve got the “Occupy RAW” piece, The army of Wyatt Family children surrounding the ring and the “last stand” between Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho.

The rest of the DVD? While there are some other good matches on here, there’s a TON of what basically feels like filler, including Dean Ambrose losing the US title in a battle royal, a Bo Dallas/Sin Cara match that no one probably even remembers, the mud pool “match” between Vickie Guerrero and Stephanie McMahon, Batista attempting (and failing) to bash the WWE Universe, and others.

Fortunately, the good matches outweigh the bad stuff overall, but it’s still somewhat of a mixed bag. Chances are, you’ve seen most everything on this DVD if you already watch RAW and Smackdown every week. There might be one or two things new to you overall, but nothing that you will likely need to go out of your way to see.

The set overall is not a “must-buy” by any means, but if you can find it at a good price or get it as a gift, there’s definitely some enjoyment to be found (seriously, watch the IC triple threat). If you’re a collector and/or always get these installments, you likely have your mind made up and already know what you’re in for. Like I said, it’s not bad by any means; it’s just nothing spectacular and, as I said before, just feels like the quick cash-grab it’s obviously intended to be.


An Epic Year

Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
The Shield vs. John Cena, Sheamus & Daniel Bryan
RAW * January 27, 2014

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
RAW * February 3, 2014

#1 Contender’s Fatal Four-Way Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Rey Mysterio vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry
SmackDown * February 14, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Zeb Colter)

John Cena vs. Cesaro
RAW * February 17, 2014

The Next Guy

The Deadman vs. The Beast

Brock Lesnar & The Undertaker’s WrestleMania XXX Contract Signing
RAW * February 24, 2014

Batista Goes “Hollywood”

Batista Bashes the WWE Universe
SmackDown * February 28, 2014

Batista vs. Dolph Ziggler
SmackDown * February 28, 2014

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos
RAW * March 3, 2014

The Usos’ Moment

Undertaker Chokeslams Brock Lesnar – WWE RAW Contract Signing


The Yes Movement vs. The Authority

Daniel Bryan “Occupies” RAW
RAW * March 10, 2014

John Cena vs. Luke Harper
RAW * March 24, 2014

Sending a Message

WWE Divas Championship Match
AJ Lee vs. Paige
RAW * April 7, 2014

Turning the Paige

The Band is Back Together

Handicap Match
The Shield vs. Rusev, Alberto Del Rio, Bad News Barrett, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Titus O’Neil, 3MB, and RybAxel
RAW * April 14, 2014

The Wyatt Family & Children Surround the Ring
RAW * April 28, 2014

Following the Buzzards

Cracking The Shield

20-Man Battle Royal for the United States Championship
RAW * May 5, 2014

John Cena & The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family
SmackDown * May 9, 2014


Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara
SmackDown * May 23, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Bo Dallas)

Seth Rollins Turns on The Shield
RAW * June 2, 2014

Daniel Bryan Occupies WWE RAW – Yes Movement


Why Seth, Why?

Seth Rollins Explains His Side
SmackDown * June 6, 2014

There’s Always a Plan B

Gold & Stardust vs. RybAxel
RAW * June 16, 2014
(Alternate Commentary with Stardust)

Vickie’s Last Laugh

Mud Pool Match with Vickie Guerrero’s Career on the Line
Vickie Guerrero vs. Stephanie McMahon
RAW * June 23, 2014

Brie Bella & Stephanie McMahon’s SummerSlam Contract Signing
RAW * August 4, 2014

Stephanie Will Pay

The Authority Introduces Brock Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion
RAW * August 18, 2014

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
RAW * August 18, 2014

Jericho and Wyatt’s Last Stand

Steel Cage Match
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt
RAW * September 8, 2014

The Rock Interrupts Rusev and Lana
RAW * October 6, 2014

15-Man Tag Team Match
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny
SmackDown * October 10, 2014

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
RAW * November 3, 2014

Triple Threat Elimination Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler vs. Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd
SmackDown * November 14, 2014

John Cena, Ryback, & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins, Kane & Luke Harper
RAW * December 1, 2014

Looking Back at 2014

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WWE Diva Slams Stephanie McMahon On Twitter

February 27, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Twitter beef between Stephanie McMahon and AJ Lee has taken on a life of its own. Just days after the company slammed Lee’s husband CM Punk, Lee took the offense and humiliated McMahon on Twitter leading to all kinds of speculation from fans and media.

The tweet exchange came shortly Stephanie McMahon sent out a tweet in support of Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech on women’s equality. Stephanie tweeted…

“Thank You Patty Arquette for having the courage to fight for women’s rights on such a grand platform,” in response to Arquette’s Oscar acceptance speech for winning Best Supporting Actress in the movie “Boyhood.”

Shortly thereafter, the WWE Diva responded with…

“Your female wrestlers have record selling merchandise and have starred in the highest rated segments of the show times. And yet they receive a fraction of the wages and screen time of the majority of the male roster.”

Ouch! Stephanie later tweeted that she thanked AJ for her opinion. According to a story in the new Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Stephanie was downright furious over the tweets. Stephanie felt humiliated and embarrassed. The newsletter also reports that Vince made her respond to the tweet. Finally the report indicates that AJ posted these tweets on her own and not as part of any kind of angle.

I have always had my doubts about Lee coming back to the company. Ever since Punk walked out, Lee has been in and out of the ring sporadically. However, once her employer’s doctor filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against her husband in addition to her employer publicly calling him a liar, I thought it was safe to conclude that there was no way she was returning. How could she come to work for a company who is aligned with a doctor trying to take over a million dollars away from her family?

Anyone convinced that this is some kind of angle is working themselves into false hope. I don’t believe for a second that this is any kind of angle. I think what you had here was someone torn between her family and her dream job, on the brink of frustration and lashing out. Professional or unprofessional, I don’t think anyone could blame her in this situation.

That said, I would love to understand where she is getting her metrics. I can’t ever recall, at least during Lee’s era, a segment on RAW where the Divas drew the highest rating of the entire show. I have not read any reports of record-selling Divas merchandise as well. As for the wages, I don’t know what she makes but I always groan at entertainers or athletes who complain publicly about their salary. Nobody forced her to become a pro wrestler or work for the WWE. If her salary was that bad, she should go do something else.

On the flip side, Stephanie really opened a huge Pandora’s box with her tweet. Let’s call a spade a spade. Women have not exactly been portrayed in the best light in the WWE. Women are regularly mocked with dumb jokes and tasteless segments. They are booked as filler matches, rarely getting any kind of spotlight or promotion. It is what it is and unless Stephanie hasn’t watched her own show in the last five years, women’s equality is not a cause I’d jump on if I were her.

Regardless, this is just more fallout from the ugly divorce between CM Punk and the WWE. Unfortunately it looks like it is going to end with two of the most talented performers on the roster never to be seen again.

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WWE Blasts CM Punk Over Medical Allegations

February 21, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE is fighting back against an Internet icon. The WWE is finally retaliating for statements made by CM Punk on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling. While Punk’s pipe bomb podcast may have been fun fodder, the end result may be some costly hours of entertainment.

Punk broke his silence back in November when he finally spoke out against the WWE on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast. The interview came just weeks after both parties reached an undisclosed settlement. To say that Punk’s interview painted the WWE badly would be a gross understatement. Punk’s allegations towards the company made the WWE look irresponsible, incompetent, and negligent in regards to the health and wellbeing of its performers.

Fans and pundits jumped on Punk’s back and went on the attack against the WWE. Specifically Punk’s statements made against the WWE regarding its doctor’s treatment of Punk were horrifying. Punk alleged that the WWE doctor misdiagnosed fatty tissue on his back which almost cost him his life. He also made severe allegations against the way they handle concussions. Pitchforks were lit, wagons were circled, and many were heavily critical of the WWE as a result of Punk’s allegations.

That was then, this is now. The WWE and its doctor are fighting back and fighting back hard. The doctor filed a lawsuit seeking over a $1 million from Punk and Cabana for what he claims were all false statements made about him on the podcast. The WWE is supporting its doctor and have posted a statement on its website in which they blast Punk.

In light of CM Punk’s allegations regarding WWE’s medical staff and the subsequent defamation lawsuit filed by Dr. Amann against CM Punk, WWE continues to have the utmost confidence in the ability and expertise of our world-class team of physicians, including Dr. Amann.

CM Punk claimed this past November that during the Royal Rumble pay-per-view event on January 26, 2014 he performed with a baseball-sized, purple lump on his back located near the waistband of his tights.
WWE’s investigation has shown the following:

  • CM Punk did not discuss this alleged condition with WWE’s team of physicians and trainers, nor did he discuss it with anyone in our Talent Relations department.
  • Subsequently, WWE has no medical records documenting this alleged condition.
  • The first time WWE was made aware of this alleged condition was when we received a letter from CM Punk’s attorney on August 22, 2014 after WWE terminated his contract.
  • here is clear video evidence from the 2014 Royal Rumble, which allows all to decide whether there is any appearance of a baseball-sized growth on CM Punk’s back.

Click here to view the video. You decide.”

The video in question is something to be seen. The video is all slow-motion close-ups of Punk’s back during the Royal Rumble. I will tell you this. I watched the video twice and saw no signs of any fatty lumps on Punk’s back. It should also be noted that comments were disabled on the video. Those could have been fun.

It’s funny because everyone just assumed that everything Punk was saying was the truth on those podcasts. I mentioned several times in blogs and tweets that while Punk’s allegations are damning, we can’t take them at face value. According the WWE he was not telling the truth and that could come back to hurt him.

I can take away a few things from this week. One, I don’t think AJ Lee is ever coming back to the WWE. I feel badly for her in that she appears to be caught in the middle of this crossfire. I just don’t know how you can go work for a company whose own doctor is trying to take a million dollars out of your bank account. That said, Divas generally have a short lifespan in the WWE and maybe she already had her exit plan all worked out.

I also think that it is odd that the company settled with Punk so fast if these claims weren’t true. Many assumed that Punk had the goods on the company with his claims on medical which resulted in a quick settlement. If he didn’t, why did the WWE settle? I can appreciate the WWE conducting a full investigation however before responding to Punk’s initial comments.

This is going to get ugly. It certainly reminds me of the ugliness that went down for years with the Warrior and Vince McMahon. The only difference here is I don’t think there is any way whatsoever we ever see Punk back in the WWE ever again.

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WWE Doctor Sues CM Punk and Colt Cabana Over AOW Comments

February 20, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

CM Punk’s latest pipe bomb may wind up blowing up in his face. Punk along with Colt Cabana are on the opposite ends of a lawsuit as a result of things Punk said during his infamous Art of Wrestling podcast interview.

The lawsuit comes from WWE doctor Dr. Christopher Amann. The Cook County record reports that Amann is suing Punk and Cabana for more than $1 million in compensatory damages and an undetermined monetary amount of punitive damages due to claims that both Brook’s and Colton’s comments on the Nov. 26 episode were false, defamatory and portrayed him improperly.

The good doctor claims that the statements Punk made about the fatty deposit on his back and concussions were false. Punk claimed that the doctor misdiagnosed a fatty deposit on his back that almost cost him his life. He also made disparaging remarks about the way Amann handled his concussions. Amann claims that are neither true. Amann claims that he told Punk to leave the ring after he believed Punk suffered a concussion. He also claims that he never treated Punk’s lump on his back.

If you remember back to the podcast, Punk and Cabana mocked the doctor and the WWE Wellness program several times during the podcast. Cabana is also named in the suit for making the doctor appear lazy. The doctor says that everything both said about him or claimed were fabrications and untrue.

One of the first things I thought of when I read about this suit was Punk’s concussion. Not having anything more than a business law class in my MBA program, I have to think that Punk can use his concussion history as a defense. Maybe Punk says he confused the doctor with someone else, etc? I also have to wonder if this blows up in the WWE’s face somehow with Punk turning around and suing the company for his concussions. That said, I have to think that Punk’s foray into MMA will be used as a defense against him and thus nullify any claims.

This is certainly a case to watch. Punk is well off financially according to those close to him. However, a big settlement is a big settlement and when you aren’t regularly working, that hurts. I also have to think that Dr. Amann has access to better lawyers and this thing never gets to trial. I wish it would but I think it settles far before that happens.

There is also the AJ Lee factor. Here is a situation where the company doctor where she works is suing her husband, essentially suing her. I wonder whether or not we even see AJ back in a WWE ring at this point. This could get very interesting in a hurry.

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CM Punk talks UFC, AJ’s Thoughts, WrestleMania, and More

December 11, 2014 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

CM Punk is once again a hot commodity. The former WWE champion is on everyone’s minds after signing with the UFC. Punk is doing a lot of media and as expected, is shooting straight about his trajectory from the wrestling ring to the octagon.

It’s been less than a week and people still have questions. It is still hard to wrap my head around a guy with 0 fighting experience, amateur or pro getting a UFC deal after suffering numerous injuries as a pro wrestler, including several concussions. Yet that is exactly what Phil Brooks is going to do and he isn’t shy about discussing it.

Punk has talked to a lot of media and a recent stop at may be one of the most insightful interviews he has done yet. The interview doesn’t touch on the WWE much at all but asks the questions we have all been wondering about Punk’s plan, his mindset, and what the hell is exactly going on here with the straight-edged superstar.

Punk was asked about whether critics and fans should reserve judgment until after Punk steps inside of the octagon as opposed to jumping conclusions. Punk says yes and even someone as confident as Punk isn’t going to make any bold predictions.

For sure. I’m not gonna sit here and make bold predictions about first-round head kicks and beating ranked opponents. This is about me and my journey to get there. I understand other peoples’ point of view about, “Oh, there’s great fighters out there like Ben Askren.” My only point on that is, “Don’t be mad at me, Ben. Be mad at [UFC President] Dana [White].” I’m sure Ben Askren’s a nice guy. If he’s mad at me, I understand. But if the Blackhawks came to me before Dana and Lorenzo did and were like, “We’re gonna put you in goal,” I’d be like, “That’s great. I played a little hockey when I was a kid.” You know what I mean? I’m not gonna deny myself some opportunity because somebody on Twitter thinks I shouldn’t have it.”

I do agree with Punk on one thing here. He is not the enemy. If you are upset that he is signed to a UFC deal, don’t be mad at him. Be mad at UFC management for signing him. Ironically, you could have said the same thing in regards to Punk whining for the last three years about The Rock and Brock Lesnar but I digress.

Punk isn’t quite sure whether the UFC will be more positive for him than the WWE, but he is happy with the way things are moving. Punk offered an interesting comparison between both companies to Rolling Stone.

I’m not sure I did know (whether UFC is more positive). If I can maybe throw out an example of how things are different – the lack of communication from the WWE office was astounding. They said they suspended me and never contacted me. They were in my town, about an eight-minute drive from my house multiple times, and didn’t feel like it was necessary to come try and talk to me, so I assumed that they didn’t want to talk to me.
Then, you’ve got Dana and [UFC CEO] Lorenzo Fertitta wanting to talk to me, and they get on a jet and fly to Chicago to talk to me. So that pretty much told me exactly how Dana and Lorenzo do business. I’m sure there are other people out there who have different situations with them, but they’re playing straight with me. And being backstage [at last Saturday’s UFC 181] and introducing everybody to my wife, it was such a great experience. And I’m sure part of that is the name value and who I am, but everyone seemed to be happy, which is different and odd for me.

I think most of us were curious as to what his wife, WWE Diva AJ Lee thinks of this. I think many of us wondered what his wife of less than one-year is thinking after hearing that her husband has signed to be a UFC fighter.

After I spoke with Dana and Lorenzo, that’s when it got serious and that’s when I brought it to her attention. Trust me, whatever nerves I’m gonna have stepping into the Octagon will pale in comparison to the nerves I had when I had to bring this up to my wife. I was honestly terrified. I was like, “She’s gonna shut it down, and I’m gonna have to figure out a way to smooth it over so I can do this, because I don’t take no for an answer, she doesn’t take no for an answer, and this is something I really wanna do.” Right off the bat she recognized that. She’s been around me long enough to know that, ever since the first day I met her, this is something I talked about doing, and she’s not somebody that’s gonna step in front of her husband trying to accomplish something that he dreamed about.

Finally, Punk is asked whether he is still itching for that WrestleMania main-event spot.

No, absolutely not.

All in all this is a fantastic interview with plenty of more details about Punk’s transition into UFC, reaction, and path to the octagon. Check out the entire interview over at

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Is Paige vs. AJ Lee the Next Trish vs. Lita?

July 25, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Where were you when the WWE Divas world stop turning? The night that Paige and AJ Lee witched roles in the company and finally gave us something to talk about other than grown women dancing together in the ring and four-on-one handicapped matches against Nikki Bella?

For a change, a sudden move and flip/flop changed the direction of the sinking division in a good way and gave us, the WWE fans something to look forward to. While this is not a modern day Lita/Trish feud, it could be the closest thing to it since the two were in the WWE wrestling full time and lighting the ring on fire.

The sudden rise of Paige from NXT to the big leagues and then her reign as WWE champion followed by her heel turn could be one of the five best things to happen within the company this year, so far. The fact she turned on the current Diva’s Champion only adds fuel to a feud that had to happen for both women in their ascension in the company. Not only does this make Paige the perfect opponent for the diminutive Lee, it solidified Lee as one of the greatest women to ever get in a WWE ring.

But it is still not Lita and Trish.

After nearly seven years in the business, Stratus won the WWE Women’s Championship seven times, the most in WWE history. She was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. She is considered the greatest WWE women’s champion of the modern era, although it is debatable by some. And in a time when women’s wrestling became chic and “sexy,” Stratus, along with her favorite opponent, Lita, made it “hip” to root for women’s wrestling.

After briefly working on the independent circuit and in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Lita signed with World Wrestling Federation in 1999. Originally, she was paired with Essa Rios, but she achieved her greatest push alongside Matt and Jeff Hardy as Team Xtreme.

Throughout her career, she won the WWE Women’s Championship four times. During her tenure with the company she became arguably the most popular Diva in the company’s history. Her high-flying moves were essential in her arsenal as she proved she could pull off moves that men like the Hardy’s were doing with ease.

There is a belief that for every solid wrestler or “great” wrestler (each definition is skewed), there is one opponent who makes them even better. Hulk Hogan had Randy Savage. Ricky Steamboat had Ric Flair. The Fabulous Molar and Judy Grabel and Trish had Lita. The WWE will be hard pressed to find two other women who can revolutionize the division unless Gail Kim makes a return to the company and challenges Lee – which is a match I think we all want to see.

When women got their start in the “business” it was to serve more as a side attraction or valet for the male counterpart. In some cases now, especially in TNA, women’s matches are equally important to the fan base and in most cases, are just as entertaining. Besides AJ and Kaitlyn, tell me the last time we saw a meaningful women’s match that lived up to the hype? This might be the feud of 2014 that lives up to everything it is asked to be.

And all of this while we wait to see if Brie Bella will be re-instated by Stephanie McMahon, leading to a war between the Bella Twins or seeing if the owner of the WWE, Stephanie McMahon gets in the ring to defend her honor.

Paige versus AJ had to happen. The division is dull, stagnant and cannot be built around Natalya or Charlotte (Ashley Flair), who is not ready. Surprisingly, this was the right move by the WWE. One that hopefully leads to a feud that could be the next best thing we see coming from the WWE for some time.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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AJ Lee’s Return Ramps Up WWE’s Need to Acknowledge CM Punk

July 03, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Maybe I am in the minority here, but I am not convinced that AJ Lee’s return to WWE is completely “best for business.”

Her surprise return Monday night definitely is a shot in the arm to a dragging Divas division. And – just maybe –putting the Divas title back around her makes sense because you always want your top-name performer to sport the gold.

But on the other side, AJ’s return is only going to ramp up the “CM Punk” chants from the crowds. And sooner or later, WWE is going to have to publicly address them, whether or not they want to.

After all, that is his wife who is wearing the Divas title. Not his storyline wife…his real-life spouse.

Maybe that is cracking open the door for a possible Punk return. Lord knows the WWE Universe would eat it up.

But he says he is done with wrestling. That’s not stopping his wife from getting back into it.

To top it off, AJ seems to be all over her crazy-girl phase. No high-pitched screams. No thousand-yard stares. The skipping still is there, but it seems to have regained the reflection of a child-like innocence, not the psychotic break of a modern-day Baby Jane.

When AJ was around, the Divas division had become fun to watch. She is not the truest wrestler in the division – that distinction still belongs to Natalya. But AJ connects with the crowd in a way that none of the other Divas seem to do.

You possibly could include the Bella Twins as ones who can connect with the crowd. But they do so in a Hollywood glamour, unapproachable style. AJ, however, comes across approachable, as the next-door neighbor you might wave at over the fence or hang out with at a neighborhood block party.

She certainly moves the needle in terms of being a charismatic champion.

Thankfully, her arrival and Monday night victory brings an end to the dreadful Paige experiment as Divas champion. In my opinion, Paige was rushed into the top spot way before she was ready. But she offered the ideal storyline “out” for AJ to step aside, get married and get some much-needed rest.

Skills-wise, Paige had all the makings of a good champion. What she may have lacked in personality, she made up for in ring moves. Her combo of a Scorpion leg lock and chicken-wing lock was one of the most original finishing holds I have seen in a long time.

But you cannot succeed as a top champ on skills alone. That is why we refer to wrestling as sports entertainment.

As champion, Paige was not entertaining. As champion, AJ was very entertaining.

I just have a feeling that WWE may have waded into waters they did not intend to navigate.

Ever since his abrupt departure earlier this year, Punk has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room for WWE. Maybe they think they moved past all this on that night last March when they played his entrance music, only to have Paul Heyman come out.

Since then, the Punk chants have become a staple at WWE televised events. They may not start the show and may not end the show, but you know they are going to come sometime.

And they do, usually during matches where the audience is bored.

That’s all changing with AJ’s return. As soon as the first few notes of “Let’s Light It Up” blare across the sound system, the chants will start … and continue throughout her appearance.

And they likely are not going to die down as long as AJ remains active on the roster – or Punk finally makes some kind of appearance. He now is claiming he is retired, but think about it. Have you ever seen anyone completely “retire” from WWE? Even Edge and Shawn Michaels make appearances on the show despite the maladies that forced them out of active action.

Meanwhile, the Punk chants are going to continue. And WWE has only two choices to deal with this.

Come to some kind of reconciliation with Punk. Or invest in a whole bunch of noise-cancelling headphones.

Bill Atkinson is a frequent contributor to Camel Clutch Blog. Follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.

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CM Punk & AJ Should Return to Face the McMahons

April 25, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

There have been many power couples in the world of professional wrestling. None, however, may have the most “stroke” in the business as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have right now. While the McMahon family continues on the tradition of the family business, these two “power hungry” heathens of the wrestling world are in a position that makes them the biggest bad asses on the block.

And there is not a couple in the WWE right now that can stop them. Until an idea hit me like a bucket of bolts.

The rumored return of AJ Lee at some point next month, coupled with the mention of CM Punk returning to Twitter has me thinking the newly engaged (there is a lot of that going on in the WWE these days) couple could be the elixir this company needs to challenge the owners of the company for supremacy.

With all due respect to Daniel Bryan and his new bride, Brie Bella, there isn’t enough firepower in this super couple to challenge the likes of the McMahons. But the brashness of Punk and Lee and the characters they play on the screen are perfect for a family to family confrontation on television.

Just to let you all know, the McMahons are no slouches when it comes to building a dynasty. are the founders and owners of the professional wrestling and entertainment company WWE (legally World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.), previously known as Capitol Wrestling Corporation; World Wide Wrestling Federation; Titan Sports; World Wrestling Federation, and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc.

Historically, the company’s primary business has currently been professional wrestling, but it has at various times expanded into bodybuilding promotion, TV network, home video production, film production, nightclub, merchandising superstore, and a professional football league.

But this isn’t about what the family has in the media and entertainment world as much as it is about what two factions can do in a wrestling ring. While we all know at one point or another, the McMahons have been in the WWE ring, beating the hell out of wrestlers and each other. This would certainly make for great drama and would also keep the fans and the WWE Universe interested and entertained.

Just a few questions need to be answered before this kind of a confrontation can take place.

  • When is AJ Lee coming back?
  • What will her role be in the Divas Division?
  • Will the WWE use the romance by Lee and Punk to their advantage?
  • When will Punk return?

And if he does return, which one of the members of Evolution does he face (Batista)?

It looks like I have everything all planned out for this little confrontation and to be honest, I do in a way. But Punk has to want to come back and do this. There has been conjecture he is done with the ring battles and the injuries and will move on from the business. There has also been talk that Lee wanted time off – but will be back sooner than anticipated by several media outlets.

I stated in my column yesterday the WWE should stay the course and continue to promote what they have been successful with concerning current feuds in the company. But it would also be foolish for this company to take a simple scenario – one many of us would love to see, and not make it work to some point.

[ad]Right now, the company is building Evolution as the new authority figure on the WWE and its main focus is to beat the hell out of The Shield. Great concept, great idea and bad way to remain stagnant. Everyon should be the focus of Evolution. And when it comes to the new “love birds,” they should be priority number one on the hit list.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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