Brock Lesnar: Part-Time WWE Champion, Full-Time Beast

January 30, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Brock Lesnar has held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship since August 17, 2014. He has defended the title only twice, and has been absent from 3 WWE PPV’s since he became champion. His infrequent appearances as the champion seem to have fans split. Some feel that it makes the World Heavyweight Championship seem more important, after being frequently passed between top stars for a long period of time. Some feel as though it makes WWE’s main event scene seem irrelevant, since big matches have no further implications, such as a title shot.

Even with his limited schedule, the value that Brock Lesnar brings to WWE as a whole is remarkable. Lesnar is always slated to be a monster, a story that is rarely told in the company today. There are plenty of reasons why he is seemingly unbeatable. Let’s start from the beginning.

Brock Lesnar debuted in WWE in 2002. He dominated every opponent that was fed to him, and fans instantly took notice. His character had the feel of a silent, untamed monster. Shortly thereafter, he was paired with Paul Heyman who served as his mouthpiece. Heyman dubbed his client, “The Next Big Thing”, a title he proved himself worthy of quickly.

Lesnar continued to rack up an impressive amount of victories, culminating with his win at the King of the Ring PPV in June, 2002. This match had an added stipulation; the winner would receive a WWE Undisputed Championship match. From there, Lesnar was launched into the main event scene at a meteoric pace.

In August of 2002, Brock Lesnar defeated The Rock to win the Undisputed Championship at Summer Slam. Not only did he take The Rock’s title, he also took his record of youngest WWE heavyweight champion in history. Lesnar was only 25 years old, but had already accomplished the top feat in WWE.

The “Lesnar Era” bridged the gap between WWE’s Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras. Lesnar held his own with some of the best superstars professional wrestling has ever seen, such as Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Triple H, and Eddie Guerrero. Although it was so early in his career, it never felt as though Lesnar didn’t belong in the main event scene with the best stars in the business.

Brock continued to reign as WWE’s resident beast until 2004, when he famously left wrestling to pursue a career in the NFL. His absence was very impactful to the company, as well as the roster. With their top star gone, WWE was left to fill a huge void. John Cena then made a fast rise to the top, and was WWE Champion by 2005.

The same question has been asked amongst fans for nearly a decade. If Brock Lesnar never left WWE, would John Cena be in the position he is today? Cena went on to build a brand and an empire, elevating WWE to new heights and giving them major visibility worldwide. He has become one of the most popular and decorated stars in the history of professional wrestling. WWE went from their top star, Lesnar, being a villain, to their new top star, Cena, being a superhero. Lesnar’s departure caused WWE to take a completely different path than they originally planned, and some could say that it altered the history of the business.

Following his failed pursuit of an NFL career, Brock Lesnar began a new career path and became an MMA fighter, signing a contact with UFC in 2007. Similar to his debut in WWE 5 years earlier, Lesnar dominated his opponents and quickly rose to the top of UFC, winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2008. In 2010, he was the highest paid fighter in UFC.

After struggling for 2 years with a stomach condition known as diverticulitis, Lesnar was sidelined from UFC in 2011 and underwent surgery for his condition. He competed in one more match, which he lost, and retired from UFC formally in December, 2011.

Yet again, similar to when he left WWE in 2004, his absence was impactful to UFC as a whole. Lesnar was a box office sensation during his time with the company, participating in 5 of the highest selling PPV events in UFC history, 3 of which he main evented. After seemingly never recovering from the health issues that plagued him, fans wondered if Lesnar would ever be able to physically compete again in any sense.

In 2012, a healthy Brock Lesnar made his triumphant return to WWE after an 8 year absence. His first order of business was attacking John Cena, the man who took his top spot in the company following his departure. This was the start of excellent feuds that put him up against the likes of Cena, Triple H, and his former mouthpieces’ new client, CM Punk.

After winning the feud with Punk and realigning himself with Paul Heyman, Lesnar rode high atop a wave of destruction. In February of 2014, he demanded a World heavyweight Title shot at Wrestlemania 30, threatening to walk out of the company again if he didn’t get what he wanted.

The Undertaker, however, had different plans for Brock Lesnar.

A shot at defeating the most sacred streak in the history of professional wrestling is much more important than a title shot. The Undertaker’s annual WrestleMania match is always by far the most anticipated match amongst fans.

As we all know, Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker’s historic WrestleMania streak, becoming the 1 in 21-1. His victory changed the course of WWE history.

WWE legends and Hall of Famers such as Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Kane, and Triple H all had their chance to be the man that ended the Undertaker’s streak, but none were given that honor. Brock Lesnar was.

He carried the heat he gained from that match all the way to Summer Slam, where he decimated John Cena like no opponent ever has, and became WWE World Heavyweight Champion once again.

It seems as though Brock Lesnar never missed a step, even after being out of WWE for 8 long years. Now, in 2015, Lesnar is once again the most important star in the company.

Of course, he will never be a “kid-friendly” character. He will never sell the amount of merchandise that John Cena does. He will never have a fun catchphrase or chant. Lesnar’s effortless way of systematically destroying his opponents is all he needs to succeed as champion. That in itself is an impressive feat.

He beat The Undertakers WrestleMania streak, the most sacred thing amongst WWE fans. Still, he was the most cheered for star at the Royal Rumble PPV in his match against John Cena and a fresh, young heel, Seth Rollins. Another impressive feat.

Brock Lesnar has reminded us all that he is a unique, once-in-a-generation type of superstar that cannot, and will not, be duplicated.

With rumors of Brock leaving the company again after Wrestlemania 31 to go back to UFC, the possibilities seem endless whether he stays or goes.

WWE has been molded by Lesnar’s presence, and has also been radically altered in his absence.

This will surely again be the case when WrestleMania 31 draws to a close.

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Roman Reigns Must Turn Heel at WWE WrestleMania 31

January 29, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE Universe is in a tailspin following the finish to the Royal Rumble. The groundwork has been laid and while it may not have been the plan, the best thing for business is to turn Roman Reigns heel at WrestleMania.

I hate to be one of those kneejerk reaction kind of bloggers. I really try and take a step back and analyze a situation before I make a radical suggestion and believe me, this is a radical idea. The WWE creative machine have been hard at work on the Roman Reigns babyface plan for over a year. Deviating from the blue print is something I don’t take likely.

At the same time, any successful company in or out of wrestling have been companies that have reacted as opposed to dictated. Wrong reason or not, the WWE reacted last year to the Yes Movement and it paid off with one of the most exciting Mania matches in recent memory. Imagine for a second what would have happened if the WWE stayed the course and firmly held Batista as a babyface? It would have been a disaster and fans would have been turned off, some tuning out. It could be worse for Reigns as Batista was never a long-term plan.

The plate has been set for a classic double-turn at Mania. Brock Lesnar has been booked like a babyface for weeks. I don’t necessarily like it, but that is how he has been portrayed. His comeback win on Sunday at the Rumble enough evidence to convince me that he really he is a babyface. Whether he stays or goes, Brock could always be a tweener and wrestle both heels and faces. He is the perfect partner to make this turn work.

It is also a great excuse to keep Paul Heyman around. Heyman booked this very same angle when he turned Sabu on Taz and flipped Bill Alfonso. The very same angle! Reigns desperately and I mean DESPERATELY needs a mouthpiece. Give Heyman the microphone, make Reigns a monster, and you are picking up right where you left off with Brock. Imagine if Brock does stick around. Imagine Heyman running his mouth for a few months about Lesnar the way he did the Undertaker with Brock coming back for revenge at SummerSlam.

The money for Reigns was to have him chase the title. That never happened. There was never a prolonged chase, ala Daniel Bryan last year for the title. That money could be saved for a future babyface turn in a couple of years. The money is in Reigns being a bad-assed heel and paying money to see the heroes conquer the impossible villain. In other words, the WWE gets their Brock Lesnar but this guy is full-time and he is not going anywhere.

There are enough challengers to carry Reigns as heel WWE champion from now through WrestleMania. Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, and yes John Cena are all matches that be sold as headline WWE title matches. I think if held off, Reigns vs. Cena or Bryan could actually be pretty big. Even bigger could be a Mania 32 showdown with The Rock. This is a lot more enticing than Reigns’ list of heel challengers which boasts of Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt. Can you follow the money here?

Not only is this the right choice, quite frankly I see this as the only choice. The WWE have completely blew it on Reigns being a big-time babyface champion. They don’t have enough guys ready to challenge and he certainly isn’t ready to carry that ball. The booking is so freaking easy, even Vince Russo could do it.

On second thought…

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WWE 2015 – Let It Begin!

January 29, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

So my last article was back in the Fall 0f 2014. I had seen a number Raws but I didn’t have much to say. As the holidays approached I was going to do a recap and peak into what I would expect in 2015 but a stomach virus knocked me out for almost two weeks and then Christmas rolled around where I indulged in the holiday buzz of food, family, fun, and drinks. And then 2015 arrived! It’s a new year of wishes, predictions, expectations, and the unexpected; good and bad but one thing for sure is 2015 has started off with a decent bang in the WWE.

It felt like around the time of my last article there weren’t many things to look forward to heading into 2015 but a lot can change in a couple of months. Key WWE Superstars are back from injuries and it feels like multiple wrestlers are primed for a push. But on the other hand, there are still things within the WWE that needs improving, or eliminated, or streamlined. There’s lots to talk about that won’t fit this article from Last Sunday’s Royal Rumble heading into Wrestlemania season.

Injuries plagued the WWE last year that the creative team had to quickly move things around pushing back or changing their original plans along with a sudden exit of CM Punk. But being patient is a good thing. The main event at the Royal Rumble was a classic example of different wrestlers at different phases of their respective careers. All three participants of the triple threat match will take different paths to Wrestlemania but they will be important paths.

Brock Lesnar didn’t disappoint last Sunday at the Royal Rumble. He’s a monster but he may be wrapping up his time with the WWE after Wrestlemania. John Cena’s next feud to be determined but it depends on whether or not he wins the title. Seth Rollins is a continuous star in the making with a bright future. One way or another he should headline WrestleMania capturing the WWE title at the Rumble and taking it to Wrestlemania to face whoever it may be. I’m hoping I’m right.

Daniel Bryan’s back from his injuries so we’ll see how the Yes Movement progresses or digresses. The Philadelphia crowd last Sunday showed they’re huge backers of the movement while voicing their displeasure verbally when he was eliminated from the Rumble match. Yes, the WWE fans weren’t happy about what transpired last Sunday but I doubt Daniel Bryan will be kept down for long. But the big question is can he stay healthy? Speaking of injury, guess who’s back?

A favorite of mine, Wade Barrett is back. I’m hoping for the push he deserves as a heel. He has the potential to become one of the top heels even though he’s been getting pops from the crowd. He plays the heel so well.

Roman Reigns! Wow! Never thought he’d ever get that kind of crowd reaction at last Sunday’s Rumble with or without The Rock by his side. I’m happy that he won and the WWE Brass is sticking with their plans. Okay, he might have lost some pop from the crowd but he exudes major push and is a definite future WWE star.

Even the veterans are making it interesting. I loved the ending to the January 19th Raw when Sting interfered in the Cena/Authority match. I’m loving the slow, gradual buildup of the Sting/HHH feud dating back to last year’s Survivor Series. Both of them are legends in the business and they can work this program extremely well. They’ve confronted each other twice and we’re clamoring for more. I know Sting’s getting up there in age but I find it hard to believe that Wrestlemania may be his last match in the WWE. I hope it’s not.

And then there’s the unknown of two veterans in particular. They are Randy Orton and the Undertaker. Taking Orton off Raw has done him good. We’ll see what’s in store Orton and there are multiple options on how Orton’s opponent will be; assuming he does come back for Wrestlemania.

One guy whom I think would be a great opponent for Randy Orton is Bray Wyatt. Wyatt’s been getting a push with victories over Dean Ambrose and he’s a crowd favorite. Randy Orton versus Bray Wyatt makes sense. Think about it; Orton hears voices in his head against Bray Wyatt who gets inside Orton’s head. Wyatt was a hit last year at Wrestlemania versus John Cena with a great match and the crowd singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” If I see another Orton/Cena match, I’ll puke.

Speaking of veterans, how about The Undertaker? Is he really done? We never got clarity on his situation since the loss. In my world, I would put him against Brock Lesnar in a rematch. In my world, I would have the Undertaker interfering in a Lesnar match whether or not it costs him the WWE title at the Rumble or on a Raw. Both Brock and his manager Paul Heyman have been boasting the victory over the Undertaker the entire year. Besides, to me there was something off with The Undertaker last year in the ring and with his look and I want to see him and his legacy finish on a better note. He looked slow and out of shape but I understand injuries and his age was a factor but his look didn’t suit him well. Do away with the buzz cut Mohawk!

So many more wrestlers to mention like Dean Ambrose, Rusev, Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Sheamus, Erik Rowan, and Luke Harper but I don’t have room to address it in this article but you get my point. For now, let’s just say the WWE roster looks good for now bit what concerns me is how will these wrestlers be used and will the writing be better this year? I’ll admit some feuds did nothing for me fading out at times but I’m a lifelong professional Wrestling fan and I keep coming back for more. So let’s get going with the 2015 Wrestling season and I wish the key WWE superstars and happy and more importantly a healthy 2015.

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WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Results: Roman Reigns Is Your Royal Rumble Winner

January 25, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The 2015 WWE Royal Rumble looked to be one of the most unpredictable Rumbles in recent memory. Unfortunately the final result wound up being the most predictable result of all scenarios. The WrestleMania 31 main-event match we have heard about for a year is still in tact as Brock Lesnar will meet Roman Reigns in the Mania headliner.

24 hours before the Rumble, the Rock sent out a tweet with a picture of himself in Philadelphia with the tweet “In town and always gotta stop by the neighborhood… #SouthPhilly”. Rock’s involvement in the event and WrestleMania has been kept under wraps, thus for the fans that stayed off of social media in Philadelphia, they were in for a real treat and welcomed back the Rock with a thunderous ovation.

Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble. This year’s Royal Rumble featured several early surprises. Bubba Ray Dudley was the first surprise, entering the Rumble at number two. The former Bully Ray was an unexpected surprise, although he ditched Bully and was in full Bubba gear. Bubba worked with R-Truth to deliver the Dudley Death Drop on the Miz. Bubba eliminated Truth quickly. Luke Harper and Bubba were left alone in an interesting matchup. Bray Wyatt was in the match early at #5. Another big spot was Bray, Rowan, and Harper all alone and fighting with each other. The key here is that Rowan wasn’t officially in the match and just came into the ring. Bray dumped Harper and Rowan over the top rope. The Boogeyman was another surprise entrant at #7. Zack Ryder returned to action at #9. Daniel Bryan was in this year at #10. As you could expect the crowd went nuts for Bryan. Diamond Dallas Page showed up as another surprise at #15. Page hit Diamond Cutters on Bray and Fandango. Rusev was next and quickly eliminated DDP. Bray eliminated Bryan right before #16. Wow, didn’t see that one coming! The fans continued chanting for Bryan. Roman Reigns entered at #19 to a lot of boos. What did they expect? The booing grew louder and it got ugly early. Reigns eliminated Stardust and Goldust. Dean Ambrose quieted the crowd entering at #25. Reigns was fairly quiet after his first few minutes in the Rumble. Dolph Ziggler entered at #30 to a big ovation. Big Show knocked out Ziggler with a KO punch. Show and Kane dumped Ziggler over, giving Kane the record for all-time eliminations. Show dumped Bray Wyatt over the top rope leaving the Show, Kane, Ambrose, and Reigns as the Final Four. This went over as well as you’d expect with the crowd. The action was also as slow as you’d expect with Show and Kane in there. Show and Kane dumped Ambrose over. Show and Kane argued and Reigns wound up dumping them both over to a loud chorus of boos. Show and Kane double-teamed Reigns following the match. The Rock hit the ring and helped out his cousin. While the intent was to get Reigns over, the crowd booed Reigns and cheered Rock. Rusev was never eliminated and rolled back into the ring! He didn’t last long as Reigns threw him out to win the match and a date with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

There is a lesson learned here and the lesson here is that WWE Creative doesn’t budge. Unless someone is injured or quits, the WrestleMania booking plans aren’t changing…no matter what. I admit it, I fell for it. I thought things may change yet we are getting the match that we have been hearing about for the last nine months.

The WWE also learned nothing from last year. Reigns was booed out of the building the same way Batista was. I can’t say I blame the crowd as not only did you get Bryan squashed, the finish was probably one of the least exciting Rumble finishes in recent memory. The logic makes no sense. If Triple H is really out for what is best for business, than why do you send Big Show and Kane out to win the match? Is Big Show or Kane vs. Lesnar really best for business?

It will be interesting to see how the WWE reacts to this over the next few weeks. Brock definitely turned babyface with his performance tonight and Reigns was seen by all as the heel, sans his endorsement by The Rock. Will Lesnar go into Mania as the babyface and Reigns the heel or will the company ignore what is likely to be a growing chorus of resentment the same way crowds around the country turned on Batista.

The WWE really dropped the ball here and I don’t know if it was ignorance or intentional. They should have never booked Bryan in the match if that was all they had for him. They should have known the fans would turn. Number two, they should have never booked the Rumble in a city like Philadelphia because I think the east coast fans made it clear last year that they wanted Daniel Bryan. Three, it was fine to eliminate Bryan but to have him come in for such a short time and portray him like a jobber in a city like Philadelphia only made the crowd more irate. Keeping Bryan in the match for a while could have kept the fan negativity to a minimum as opposed to 30 plus minutes. It’s clear that the company sees Bryan as a mid-card star at best right now and it will be a long time before he gets another crack at the main-event and that’s a shame.

The WWE really dropped the ball here and I don’t know if it was ignorance or intentional. They should have never booked Bryan in the match if that was all they had for him. They should have known the fans would turn. Number two, they should have never booked the Rumble in a city like Philadelphia because I think the east coast fans made it clear last year that they wanted Daniel Bryan. Three, it was fine to eliminate Bryan but to have him come in for such a short time and portray him like a jobber in a city like Philadelphia only made the crowd more irate. Keeping Bryan in the match for a while could have kept the fan negativity to a minimum as opposed to 30 plus minutes. It’s clear that the company sees Bryan as a mid-card star at best right now and it will be a long time before he gets another crack at the main-event and that’s a shame.

Brock Lesnar pinned Seth Rollins to retain the WWE world championship. This match was just fantastic. How great was it? A John Cena match got several “This is awesome” chants in Philadelphia. The big spot of the match was Rollins delivering an incredibly high flying elbow onto Lesnar from the top rope to a table. Lesnar was wiped out at that point with Rollins and Cena in the ring. Rollins revered a Cena superplex into a running power bomb into the turnbuckle. Cena had Rollins in an STFU before J and J Security interfered and broke it up. The EMTs brought out a stretcher for Brock at this point. The announcers put it over as if Lesnar’s ribs were broken. J & J and Rollins delivered a triple power bomb onto Cena. Rollins brought the MITB briefcase into the match but was dumped over the top by Cena. Cena took out J & J with a double Attitude Adjustment. Cena hit an AA on Rollins for a two-count. Rollins wound up hitting a curb stomp onto Cena for two. Rollins hit the Phoenix splash and then Lesnar came back into the ring out of nowhere and delivered a couple of German suplexes. Rollins nailed Lesnar a couple of times with the briefcase. Lesnar caught Rollins going for the cub stomp and dropped Rollins on top of the briefcase for an F5 and the win. I would put this up there with arguably Brock’s best match since returning to the WWE.

The result tells me one thing. It tells me Brock is staying and has either re-signed or expected to re-sign with the WWE. My hunch and this is a total guess is that the WWE thought Lesnar was leaving and had Cena booked to win. Plans changed and the parties came to an agreement, yet the WWE didn’t want Cena doing another job to Lesnar so they booked Rollins in the match. This was also a case where getting pinned didn’t hurt Rollins one bit. I think this match actually helped Rollins and elevated him to a main-event player.

Full 2015 Royal Rumble Results and Winners…
Roman Reigns eliminated Rusev to win the 30-Man Royal Rumble match
Brock Lesnar defeated John Cena and Seth Rollins in a Triple threat match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) defeated The Miz and Damien Mizdow to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki Bella) defeated Paige and Natalya
Tyson Kidd, Cesaro and Adam Rose defeated The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) defeated The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn)

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WWE Royal Rumble 2015: The Scenarios Are Endless

January 24, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

You may have a better chance of picking the winning Power Ball numbers than figuring out what the WWE intends to do not only with the Royal Rumble match at the upcoming pay-per-view event, but also with the Triple Threat match for the WWE World Title between John Cena, Seth Rollins and champion Brock Lesnar.

Now that Roman Reigns has appeared to have stuck his foot in his mouth and the fans and company have cooled on him becoming the next big thing in the WWE, the likelihood of Armageddon will not take place with a Royal Rumble win and showcase at WrestleMania XXXI.

The company may also be setting us up for a Brock Lesnar face turn to finish out his run with the company. While I thought Lesnar winning the Triple Threat match was a virtual certainty this evening, now there are other possibilities that make the evening even more inviting. The one thing I am sure of is the idea John Cena will walk out of Philadelphia with either the WWE title on his waist or winning the Royal Rumble match.

So, what’s the promotion to do? Here are a few ideas…


If a face turn is in fact in order, then Seth Rollins becomes the new “Edge” heel in the WWE. Rollins took a giant step toward becoming “the man” of the company when he curb stomped both Cena and Lesnar on Raw and then become the Lesnar ass kicking on the “go home” show Monday night.

If Lesnar loses the title and wins the Rumble match, it sets up a Paul Heyman/Triple H war of words for the next three months. It also becomes a Lesnar vs. Authority type feud, which this company needs.

This scenario works out the best for all parties involved and could – actually certainly – boost ratings.


The “YES!” movement is alive and well in the WWE and Bryan’s continued feud with The Authority is what is best for business. Taking on all of the Authority again makes sense to pick up where both sides left off when he was injured.

I like the dynamic of Bryan and Rollins as the main event for WrestleMania. A match of two cruiserweights may be more appealing and certainly more dramatic than seeing a super heavyweight just beat down a smaller opponent. Lesnar vs. Bryan or Lesnar vs. Rollins works, but it may not be as entertaining.


Another great match and the one I want to see more than any other in the WWE.

Rollins mic skills are getting better and his performance in the ring is spectacular. He gives an “A+” performance every time he gets in the ring.

Since Ziggler won the Survivor Series Match for Team Cena by pinning Rollins, this is also a redemption match and feud. The WWE should again let Ziggler become the torch bearer for the company. Besides Bryan, I cannot see another cruiserweight who can deliver a solid match (beside Dean Ambrose) in a main event match.


I am still throwing this one out there because it has been in the works for some time. The WWE has resorted to having Vince McMahon write Reigns’ promos since he is not the most gifted speaker when it comes to interviews. CM Punk he is not.

If the company wants Reigns to dominate the Rumble match, facing Lesnar at WrestleMania would be aces for pay-per-view audiences.


This needs no explanation. Two former Shield members with a lot of bad blood still left to spill. Fans would eat this one up alive. And even if Reigns is not the best on the mic, it would sell like wild fire.


Please do not let that happen. NO, NO, NO!

Orton is set to return to the Rumble as is Sheamus. The idea of Orton winning and facing Lesnar is a solid choice, but it is not fan-friendly. Forget the idea of Sheamus in the main event. Not Going To Happen.


This is the only match I would want to see that makes perfect sense if Cena should win.

Cena is an aging vet who has won everything, Rusev has not been beaten yet and loves to bash on America.

Problem solved. Cena needs to fight the good fight for the WWE, not himself. And while the masses are split on loving or hating Captain Jorts, there is one thing everyone can get behind – support for Cena against the big Russian. If Cena becomes The Rock or Sting of this year and fights for the company that made him famous, he becomes a true hero for the fans, and puts an end to the Russian’s abuse of America.

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WWE Royal Rumble 2015 Predictions and Preview

January 23, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE Royal Rumble is my favorite event of the year. There is nothing more exciting and in some years more unpredictable than the Rumble match. The 2015 event should be no different with an unpredictable Rumble and main-event.

The Rumble has been hot and cold in recent years. Last year’s Rumble was a lot more fun than people give it credit for. Unfortunately it was marred by the fan reaction to Batista being the odds on favorite to win at the height of the Yes Movement. Even Stone Cold Steve Austin jokingly said on his podcast that he would have gladly made an appearance to help diffuse some of the heat. That is what make this year’s Rumble so damned fascinating.

The 2015 Royal Rumble is essentially a two-match show. The WWE championship match and the Rumble match are it. The 30-man Rumble winner will go on to WrestleMania 31 and challenge the WWE champion for the title. Who either man will be is a complete toss-up at this point. Since I would venture to guess the majority of you reading this blog are only interested in those two matches, I will keep this preview to the main-event matches only.

WWE world championship: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Match
This is arguably the most unpredictable WWE championship match in years. Not at any point in recent memory do I recall a WWE world title headliner with three guys where the result could wind up in any direction. It is very rare for the title to change hands at the Rumble, yet there has never been a title match at a Rumble with these circumstances.

Brock Lesnar is a lame duck champion. Lesnar’s contract has been reported to expire shortly after WrestleMania. That is not anything new for Lesnar, who has always had his contracts come due right after Mania. However, in previous years it was expected that Lesnar would re-sign and stick around for another 1-2 years. This year is much different.

Lesnar is rumored to be returning to the UFC after his contract expires. Regardless of whether he stays with the WWE or goes back to UFC, one thing is clear. Lesnar will be letting his contract expire in order to negotiate the best deal after Mania. With Bellator MMA now in the mix, Lesnar has the opportunity to make a lot of money. Unfortunately for the WWE, the economics are such that is really doesn’t make much sense for them to outbid UFC and Bellator. Thus unless Lesnar is simply bluffing and can’t fight again due to health issues, the WWE is the least likely suitor to sign Brock.

With most wrestling fans knowing that Brock is leaving, the WWE wants to avoid a situation like WrestleMania 20. While I don’t think it’s a problem if Lesnar comes to Mania as a lame duck champion, it is highly unlikely WWE takes that chance. Thus I see Lesnar as the least favorite of these three guys to walk out of Philadelphia as WWE champion.

The match is set up for Cena to get his win back. Cena is down 0-2 to Lesnar in the current WWE title series. The mentality of the guys in the WWE is to not let Lesnar beat Cena again if he is leaving. I think Cena gets his win back here in what will be an ugly situation in Philadelphia. As someone who has attended Philadelphia WWE shows going back to 1982, guys like John Cena aren’t very popular in this town.

Enter Seth Rollins. I don’t think it is a coincidence that Rollins was booked in the match late. I think there is a reason for it and the reason isn’t for Rollins to leave Philly belt-less. I think that WWE Creative realized Lesnar was leaving, realized that Cena had to beat him, and realized they didn’t want either Cena or Lesnar coming to Mania as the champion. It was time to pull the trigger on Rollins.

I think Cena wins the match and is destroyed by Lesnar after the match. I think Rollins takes advantage of a downed Cena, cashes in his Money in the Bank, and beats Cena for the title. The Philadelphia audience would eat it up, which isn’t necessarily a good thing since Rollins is a heel. Regardless, I think Rollins cashes in and leaves Philadelphia with the title on January 25.

The 30 Man Royal Rumble

I published a blog last week with my predictions so I won’t deviate too much from it. I went with Daniel Bryan as the favorite to win in my blog, with Roman Reigns being my second choice. That said, this year’s Rumble is probably the most unpredictable in ages and that is a very good thing. Nobody likes a predictable Rumble, just ask the fans in Pittsburgh about it.

The working plan for the last year has been to give Reigns the Rumble win and have him beat Lesnar for the WWE world title at WrestleMania 31, taking his place as the next face of the company. Unfortunately for Reigns and fortunately for fans like us who don’t like predictable Rumbles, a lot has changed. Bryan is back sooner than people thought, Reigns has not gotten over nearly as much as the company thought he would by this point (he was far more over last year at this time), and Lesnar is a lame duck champion. It was time to call an audible.

This really could go either way in regards to Reigns or Bryan. I know a lot of fans are saying that Bryan has to win or the fans will revolt. Well, I am not entirely sure about that because guys like Reigns play pretty well in Philadelphia. I don’t sense the Yes Movement being as strong as it was before Bryan left, but that would certainly change with a win in Philadelphia. I also think Bryan vs. Rollins would deliver a lot more than Reigns vs. Rollins in a Mania headliner.

I am going to stick with my Bryan prediction although I would not be surprised to see Reigns win. I think that WWE Creative can be pretty stubborn as was the case last year with Batista. Whether they learned their lesson or are too arrogant to recognize it is the bigger question. I tend to think that these guys are pretty arrogant and will do what they want. Remember, without Punk leaving it is highly likely Bryan would have never gotten that spot vs. Triple H and thus the title match. I do predict that it will come down to Bryan vs. Reigns in the Final Two which could make the final few minutes some of the most intense and fun in Rumble history.

Yet I think it ends with Bryan winning and a hell of a main-event in San Jose.

Full 2015 Royal Rumble Card and Matches…
30-Man Royal Rumble match
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins in a Triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Paige and Natalya vs. The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki Bella)
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) vs. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro and Adam Rose in a Six-man tag team elimination match
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

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WWE WrestleMania 32 Is A Big Reason To Re-sign Brock Lesnar

January 21, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The big news today is the impending announcement that the WWE will officially announce its home for WrestleMania 32. The venue is expected to be AT&T Stadium. There probably is nobody more excited for this news in the WWE locker room than Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar is coming up on the end of his WWE deal. Lesnar’s deal expires with his WrestleMania 31 match or appearance. Due to the MMA war between Bellator and the UFC, Lesnar is expected to receive big offers from both companies to fight again. Most predicted that the WWE would be out of the bidding. I say, not so fast.

I was on board with this crowd until this whole WrestleMania 32 scenario hit me. The economics of the WWE and its business have changed. The WWE can no longer justify spending on high-priced free agents like Lesnar without PPV revenue and an under-performing Network. Quite frankly there is just no good reason to justify re-sign Lesnar and thus most expected him to walk. Now they have a reason and that reason is 92,000+ seats.

Vince McMahon and company aren’t looking to get into AT&T Stadium, draw half of a house, and lose their behinds. The WWE is not only looking to draw big, but they are looking to fill the stadium and break its own WrestleMania attendance record. With all due respect to the current roster of WWE talent, there is nobody on that roster that is going to collectively draw 92,000 in 2016 in Texas. It just isn’t going to happen.

The WWE will need some heavy hitters on that show. The company will need some of those high-priced special talents to put the butts in the seats. There are a ton of rumors surrounding Steve Austin coming back for this show. The thought is nice but we have seen this flirtation quite a few times and it never ends with Austin back in the ring. Without Austin what do you got? You need more and one of those guys needed to fill the place will be Brock Lesnar.

The business case has now been made. Locking up Lesnar a year in advance will at least give the company the confidence that it has at least one component needed to fill the place. Lesnar on his own won’t do it, but they have a much better chance with him than without him. It also isn’t as if Lesnar will be hanging around waiting for a call. Once he signs with an MMA group he will be unavailable for at least a year and a half if not two years. He is not nearly as expendable as he was before this location was announced.

I am also convinced that they are moving towards a Rock vs. Triple H match at 32. I thought that the second I saw the SmackDown vignette between the two where they exchanged challenges, specifically mentioning a large stadium. The better move for business would be Rock vs. Brock and it could happen, but I think that as of today the working idea is a Rock vs. Hunter match. While it’s always nice to see Rock back, that won’t do it on its own.

The WWE need Lesnar more today than they did a few weeks ago and for that reason I think he is staying. I don’t think Lesnar wants to fight again and I think he enjoys the short schedule for big money without a training camp. Now that the WWE has a chance to get back into the bidding, I think they lock up their guy before he hits free agency.

There is also ego involved here. The UFC already tried to book Brock in a fight in AT&T Stadium but the fight fell through. Does the WWE really want to take the chance that the UFC books Brock in this same stadium and outdraws WrestleMania? It sounds petty and it is but I don’t think Vince McMahon could ever live with himself if that happened.

I guess we’ll have that question answered on Sunday. If he leaves as champion I’d bet he re-signed or is close. if he doesn’t, I would bet that the WWE thinks he is on borrowed time.

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The Rock On Brock Lesnar, Dana White, MMA & More

January 16, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Former WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has made it clear in the past that he is a huge MMA fan. Johnson recently did a Q&A with UFC Magazine and here are the highlights.

On if he was a fan of MMA before or after Brock Lesnar entered the sport: I was always a fan of the UFC, dating back to UFC 1 in ’93. But what actually drew me to MMA was when I attended UFC 60, when Matt Hughes faced Royce Gracie in a non-title catchweight fight. I was interested in MMA at that time, so I went to the Staples Center early and sat in the front row to watch every fight that night— including all the prelims. I wanted to absorb as much I could and become somewhat of a student for the night. When the main event was about to start, they sat the Gracie family next to me. Specifically Helio Gracie—his energy and presence was powerful. I’ll never forget shaking his hand. Royce lost, but even in defeat, the grace, pride and poise he and the Gracie family showed that night was inspiring. I went home that night with such a greater respect for the sport and all its fighters.

On his favorite MMA fighters: I always have my eyes on the champions, specifically the heavyweight and light heavyweight champs. Cain Velasquez is an animal with the type of heart and conditioning that makes me want to run through a wall at 3 a.m. and do my cardio and training. My buddy Jon Jones is a very special fighter who bridges fighting and artistry like no one ever before has. They’re both incredibly inspiring champions who are needle movers in the world of MMA. And I bet 2015 will be the year of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson: a bad dude. When he becomes champion, I’m gonna have to claim him as my cousin! [Laughs]

Lesnar left the WWE in 2004 to pursue his NFL dreams, but failed to make the 53 man roster for the Minnesota Vikings. He went back to pro wrestling in late 04 and eventually into MMA a few years later.

On if he gave Lesnar any advice before stepping into the cage: I never spoke to Brock when he decided to compete in MMA. We’ve been good buds for years, and he always knew I supported his decision. To be able to accomplish what he did and become UFC heavyweight champion in that short amount of time was insane—historic.

Johnson asked UFC President Dana White to appear on his all new TNA show, “Wake Up Call”.

On why he reached out to White to appear on his show: On that episode of Wake Up Call, we have an 18-year-old high-school dropout who has one dream: to become a UFC champion. Despite the fact that his mom is in prison and he dropped out of school, he’s a good kid with a big heart and a dream. I told him if he meets me halfway and puts in the hard work, then I’ll provide the tools he needs to achieve his dream. I called Dana to see if he’d come down to Florida and take a look at this kid and see if he had any potential. I knew I could count on Dana to give it to me and the kid straight without any bullshit. Not only did Dana fly all the way to Florida, but he brought Mike Dolce with him. They put that kid through the ringer with training, conditioning and a shot to become part of Coach Libo’s [Ricardo Liborio] American Top Team up the road from where we live. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say that we may see that kid, Terrell Moore, in the Octagon one day. I can’t thank Dana and the UFC enough for their support of Wake Up Call.

You can catch Johnson’s show on Friday nights.

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Predicting The WWE 2015 Royal Rumble Winner – The Odds Are Out

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

It is never to early to start making WWE Royal Rumble 2015 predictions. Let’s take a look at the big match, break it down Vegas style, and see who has the best chance of challenging for gold at WrestleMania 31!

I thought I’d have some fun and take a look at the chances that each top prospect has of winning the Royal Rumble using Vegas odds. Of course take these odds for what you will as I had Batista last year as the favorite with -200 odds and John Cena as the 2013 favorite with -6.25 odds, although to be fair I had 2012 winner Sheamus with 50 to 1 odds. This year is truly anyone’s guess at this point.

Of course things can and likely will change from now until the Rumble in terms of injuries, card placement, and even champions. We all think we know what the WWE has planned for the Rumble and WrestleMania, but what if we are all wrong? Let’s take a look and see what the match looks like on the Vegas sportsbooks.

Daniel Bryan - As of today all reports indicate that the Rumble winner is up in the air. If that is true, I have to think that Bryan has the edge. As long as he can get the Yes Movement to rev back up he should be right in the mix for top consideration. I think Seth Rollins being added to the main-event helps out the scenario as well. I love his chances!

Odds: Even

Roman Reigns - Reigns was the odds on favorite for months to win the Rumble. The plan since last year’s Rumble was for Reigns to win the Rumble and defeat Lesnar at Mania 31. Things may have changed. Reigns missed time and during that time off his momentum cooled off considerably. Reportedly WWE officials are concerned about recent reactions to Reigns at the live events. I also think the situation with Rollins being added to the main-event doesn’t help his chances. He is still a favorite but he is far from the lock he was a month ago.

Odds: 2 to 1

Randy Orton - Orton comes in with very high odds entering this year’s Rumble. It would seem that the WWE has a big push in store for Orton, who is set to return as a babyface and feud with Rollins. It is not inconceivable to see Rollins win the Rumble and face Orton at Mania. Would it be a disappointment? Yes it would and the crowd would hate it but that won’t stop the WWE from proceeding with what they think is best. Just take a look at last year’s Rumble if you don’t believe me.

Odds: 7 to 1

Sheamus - Sheamus is rumored to be a big surprise at this year’s Rumble. It seems as if the WWE suddenly gets a renewed interest in Sheamus around this time every year, only for that interest to cool off over the next several months. I don’t think a Mania match with Sheamus and Brock is out of the question, yet it is doubtful. However, as long as the big guy is in the mix he is always in consideration of a big spot at Mania.

Odds: 10 to 1

Dean Ambrose - I would have loved to see Ambrose win the Rumble and I still would. Unfortunately the WWE did a great job of capping any momentum he had a few months ago. Ambrose has been beaten and made to look quite foolish in recent weeks. Not exactly the way you want to see someone booked before the Rumble eh? I would have loved to see it and a few months ago when Reigns went out, I would have predicted it. Unfortunately creative got in their own way and screwed it up for everyone.

Odds: 15 to 1

Bray Wyatt - With rumors of Bray facing the Undertaker at WrestleMania, a Royal Rumble win seems unlikely. However, the company is obviously committed to him and what happens if Taker isn’t coming back? What happens if the WWE already knows this or they have different plans for Bray? They obviously like Bray and have big things planned and while I don’t think he is a real favorite to win the Rumble, it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

Odds: 15 to 1

Dolph Ziggler - Dolph is an interesting guy because just when you think he is relegated to jobber-dom, you get the Survivor Series win. He is being pushed hard right now as part of this Team Cena vs. Authority storyline and while I think Dolph winning would blow the roof off of the building in Philadelphia, I’d be surprised if they went that far with the former intercontinental champion at this time.

Odds: 24 to 1

The Big Show - Show is always in the running because as much as I am bored with him as a performer, the company always keeps him in the mix. I think it’s highly doubtful they go with Show in the title picture at Mania but you honestly never know what this company is thinking. Do I think it happens? No, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me either.

Odds: 28 to 1

Ryback - The big guy is the final guy who I will give any consideration to winning the Rumble. Ryback is another guy like many above who has been the victim of the start-stop push so you never really know what they are thinking with him. He was reportedly under consideration for a huge push at the Survivor Series, only to see those plans change shortly before the show. You know Vince loves his muscle guys which always makes Ryback a favorite in a Royal Rumble match.

Odds 36 to 1

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Seth Rollins Stands his Ground against Brock Lesnar

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

Seth Rollins stood eye to eye with the devil himself on Monday Night Raw and he didn’t blink. Not once. The guy given all the credit for creating The Shield then destroying it has spent the past several months trying to convince the world he’s the next big thing.

And now he’s trying to prove that against The Next Big Thing. Brock Lesnar is the big dog in WWE, the guy with the most important piece of hardware in the industry and when a guy like that stares you in the eye, he means business. And Seth didn’t blink one time.

Think about it. Lesnar has only had five actual dance partners since coming back in 2012. Five guys and all of them were former world champions. That in and of itself is a statement not only by WWE but by Lesnar himself; I’m here for the money matches, nothing else.

Lesnar came back, got the spotlight and stepped into the ring with talents that WWE could build a card around. The only exception to that was The Big Show, who has never been a legitimate main event star since he went to work for Vince. It’s not his fault necessarily, it’s just he always seemed to be one step shy of greatness.

But as for the rest of them, CM Punk, John Cena, Triple H and The Undertaker? Top tier main event talent. That’s the collection of stars that WWE put in front of Brock; battle tested, marquee names. And really, who can blame WWE?

Who can blame WWE for doing everything in its power to ensure that a worker paid the amount of money Brock is who will not work a part time schedule, give them as much return as possible? Forget all that talk about him putting younger talent over. That’s a job reserved for the veterans still in the company, the ones whose spots will eventually be filled by that younger talent.

This is Brock Lesnar we’re talking about here, people. He’s the big time prize fighter, the man that makes bank for the company every time he’s on the card. He needs other bankable stars to work so the company can make the rent that week. And he’s got no time for the next generation.

Or at least he didn’t. Now Seth is in the picture. One of the talents that are tasked with carrying WWE forward has a prime opportunity at The Royal Rumble to prove he’s something more than just the guy that stood beside Dean Ambrose for two years. Rollins has the chance to show what he can do on the main event stage once again only this time; it’s against The Beast Incarnate.

So how did he look to you on Raw? How did Seth Rollins look standing nose to nose with Brock Lesnar? Let’s face it, that’s the true measure of how he will probably fare at The Rumble. Seth should not be intimidated. He should not be forced to play second fiddle to anyone, no matter who it is. Brock’s pedigree aside, the fact of the matter is he’s just keeping the belt warm. The title is coming back to WWE and when it does, the guy getting it needs to be ready.

Does Seth look ready? Before he stared down Lesnar, I would have said no. He’s looked good and I enjoy his work but WWE world champion? Eh. But after he and Brock had their face-to-face? I think I’m getting onboard. Well, I have a foot off the dock anyway.

That’s the power of a well executed spot. WWE creative, and yes I use that term loosely, can write these moments all day long. But the ones making it happen are the guys on TV. They’re the ones that have to convince the fans that they should care about what they’re watching. It’s up to them to run the plays and score the points.

And I think Seth scored big time on Raw. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t smirk. He didn’t back down. Seth Rollins has been portrayed as a squirmy lowlife that sold out his best friends and is coasting to the top on someone else’s dollar. That character has been okay and he’s made the best of it.

But the Seth Rollins that breathed the same air as Brock Lesnar and lived to tell the tale? That Seth is something very different. That’s Mel Gibson in Payback; a two-bit thug getting revenge on top level thugs and he’s not a very nice guy about it. There is nothing redeeming about any criminal in that film but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to see him get one over on them.

The notion of a guy gone bad that somehow finds his way back is probably one of the most intriguing story points in all of pro wrestling. We’ve seen it a thousand times before and though I don’t think that’s where this is leading, it’s certainly an avenue WWE can go if they choose to.

In the meantime, Seth’s character has turned a corner. He’s still a squirmy lowlife but now he’s a squirmy lowlife with a pair. And after staring down Brock Lesnar with no fear in his eyes, that pair clangs together like church bells on a Sunday morning. Amen and pass the briefcase, brother.

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