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Brock Lesnar Goes Ballistic, Ziggler vs.Bryan and Other WWE Thoughts

April 01, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It finally happened. Someone finally stopped the WWE in its tracks.

In what can only be described as the best thing to happen to the WWE since the Mr. McMahon character was created, Brock Lesnar took it upon himself to inflict punishment on the company in the only way he knows how – he destroyed those who got in his way.

Lesnar, who was “screwed” out of the WWE World Title at WrestleMania 31 by Seth Rollins (and subsequently the Authority), took out the WWE announce team and a camera man with F-5’s as a message to the new champion and the company.

It was the best thing that could happen the night after one of the best WrestleMania events in some time. The move also solidified Rollins as public enemy No. 1 and the baddest heel on the planet since Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain when he was the World Heavyweight Champion.

Remaining true to his contract and the storyline, Lesnar was “suspended” by Stephanie McMahon for his actions and fined. The only thing greater would have been if “The Beast” went all Randy Orton on McMahon, which would have delighted the crowd even more.

According to the WWE website, the injuries suffered by announcer Michael Cole as a result of an F-5 may have caused a cervical fracture.

The weekend’s events, including Monday night’s Raw show capped off what has to be a rebirth of the WWE moving forward. And to think it only took four months into 2015 to make that happen. Now, it will be interesting how the company uses the momentum of these events to make things more entertaining as the move to SummerSlam begins.

I for one am now an excited wrestling fan again. Hopefully, the euphoria will not wear off.

Ziggler and Bryan – The Way it was Meant to Be

I have been preaching this for a while. Give the mid card performers like Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan the stage and let them work their magic.

The two stars – and former world champions – were at it again on Raw. As I re-watched the match from Monday night, the show put on by these two was a clinic in what wrestling should be and how performers are supposed to show off. It made me think of the greats from a decade again and beyond like Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage and Arn Anderson. Matches like those don’t get much better and this was a show that could have been a headliner at any pay-per-view event.

I suspect Wade Barrett will get his title rematch for the Intercontinental Title at Extreme Rules, but it will not only be against Bryant but also Ziggler in a Triple Threat event.

Happy April Fool’s Day, Randy Orton

Today is Randy Orton’s birthday (he turns 35, but seems like he has been in the WWE forever). I was curious which past performer or current superstar would celebrate his birth today. Orton wins the prize. I did not talk about Orton’s performance at WrestleMania in his match against Seth Rollins in my last blog. He and Rollins put on another clinic for the fans.

I wonder what happens to Orton in the shuffle of new champions and his place in the company. Both John Cena and Bryan have moved to the mid card. Rollins has been elevated to the top of the food chain and Dolph Ziggler is still ascending again. Wade Barrett will get a title rematch and Lesnar will undoubtedly get his rematch with Rollins at a later date.

Where does this put Orton, who has certainly become the enigma of the company at this point in his career?

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WWE WrestleMania 31 Results: Seth Rollins Cashes In, Ronda Rousey Appears

March 29, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Seth Rollins WrestleMania 31Expectations for WrestleMania 31 may have been low, yet the show will go down as one of the most exciting in recent years. This year’s event was packed with surprises ranging from surprise appearances and a new WWE world champion that wasn’t even scheduled in the match.

Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become the new WWE world champion. Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns fought a grueling match for about fifteen minutes. A bloody Brock and beaten Reigns were down when Rollins cashed in to make it a Triple Threat Match. Rollins came in and curb stomped Brock but wound up getting Rollins up for the F5. Reigns speared Brock as he held Rollins. Rollins popped up, hit a curb stomp on Reigns and pinned Reigns to win the title.

The booking was excellent and while many predicted Rollins would cash in, nobody predicted it would go down in this fashion. Quite honestly I never knew you could cash in the briefcase during the match. I think it was the right move at the right time. Putting Reigns over would have been a mistake. He was booed more than any other babyface tonight including John Cena. The crowd just isn’t buying him right now. It was also time to take the title off of Lesnar. I don’t know what would marketable match would be next for him if he steamrolled another opponent. Now the WWE can go with Rollins vs. Reigns through August and Rollins vs. Lesnar at SummerSlam for the title.

But that may not be the biggest surprise of the event. The biggest surprise was getting UFC Ronda Rousey in the ring for what appears to be the start of her pro wrestling career. Rousey got physical with both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H to set up what looks like to be a mixed-tag team match with Rousey and the Rock vs. Hunter and Stephanie. Rock came out as a surprise and interrupted a promo with the Authority. Stephanie slapped him and challenged him to hit a woman. He went to ringside and got a woman who “would hit a woman.” Steph told Ronda to get out of her ring, Ronda wound up putting an arm bar on Steph and stood tall with Rock. Rousey was great and the fans absolutely loved her. They were chanting her name before she even got into the ring.

It does appear that Rock and Rousey will tag up against Hunter and Stephanie next year at WrestleMania 32. The WWE were looking for something big for AT&T Stadium and the dream team of Rousey and Rock may do it. They are already generating a ton of mainstream media buzz. I have to hand it to the WWE. They have wanted Rousey for a while now and they pulled off quite a coup to get her. UFC president Dana White has been adamant against fighters doing pro wrestling for years, including prohibiting Brock wrestling Undertaker when Brock was UFC champion. Obviously he has acquiesced and my bet is that the compromise will be WWE promoting CM Punk’s UFC debut. I have no idea whether that is the case or not, but Dana had to get something big in return for Rousey wrestling on WrestleMania.

Triple H defeated Sting in a pretty fun match. It wasn’t the best match on the card and really hurt following what I thought was a fantastic Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins match. But Sting looked great, the fans ate it up, and we got some fun surprises here. The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac came out to help Triple H and were countered by the n.W.o. group of Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall. The match ended with Shawn Michaels coming out of nowhere to hit Sting with Sweet Chin Music. Triple H eventually got the pin after using the broken top of a sledgehammer. Everyone hugged after the match signifying the official end of the Monday Night War.

John Cena beat Rusev to win the US title. I am stunned by the decision here. I have no problem with Cena but I think Rusev should have remained unbeaten until he lost to the WWE champion. I think the WWE could have had something with Rusev against either Brock or the WWE champion and while those could still do business, it’s not the same. Rusev ran into Lana inadvertently at the end of the match. Lana was selling her ankle and Rusev yelled at her and walked out.

Undertaker beat Bray Wyatt. I’d say that Undertaker looked a lot better than last year. He moved much better and it was fun seeing him back in the ring. That said, the match was pretty mundane. That could be that I had already watched four hours of wrestling up to that point and just got out of what seemed like an hour-long segment with Rock and Rousey vs. the Authority. I should note that Undertaker was shown in the commercial promoting WrestleMania 32.

Other notes: Daniel Bryan won gold again at WrestleMania. Bryan won the intercontinental title in the Ladder Match. This was a real fun match and probably one of the better Mania openers. This was a pretty crazy match but it was Bryan and Dolph Ziggler who stole it in my opinion. Randy Orton pinned Seth Rollins in what I’d dare say was one of the best Mania matches on the card. I loved the match and it obviously sets up Orton challenging Rollins at some point coming off of the clean pin.

Overall I would call this one of the best Mania cards top to bottom in some time. The show had a ton of surprise and the pace was fast throughout the night. Five hours of wrestling is a lot of wrestling in one sitting but it really didn’t catch up until the Wyatt vs. Taker match at around 10 PM. I’d highly recommend checking out the show if you haven’t already. For a show with low expectations, this one could go down top to bottom as one of the all-time best in Mania history.

Full WWE WrestleMania 31 results and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns in a Triple Threat Match to win the  WWE World Heavyweight Title
John Cena defeated Rusev to win the WWE United States Title
Daniel Bryan defeated Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Dean Ambrose, Luke Harper, Stardust, and Bad News Barrett in a Ladder Match to win the WWE Intercontinental Title
Triple H defeated Sting
AJ Lee and Paige defeated The Bella Twins
Randy Orton defeated Seth Rollins
The Undertaker defeated Bray Wyatt
The Big Show won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd  defeated The Usos, Los Matadores, and Big E and Kofi Kingston in a Fatal 4 Way to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles

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WWE WrestleMania 31 Predictions and Preview

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

WrestleMania 31 is finally here and the big event will go down this Sunday March 29. The WWE card is arguably the most shallow in years, yet there are a few matches to get excited about. Topping last year’s event will be a heavy feat yet the lineup has the potential to certainly exceed expectations.

The beauty of this year’s WrestleMania show for WWE management is that expectations are probably lower than they have been in years. There is no real dream match or scenario to get excited about nor is there a compelling storyline that has fans waiting for a conclusion. Yet the roster is solid and in terms of excitement, I have a feeling most will come away from Sunday night feeling that they got their $9.99 worth.

Let’s take a look at how the main card shapes up, breakdown some matches, and make some predictions for the biggest WWE event of 2015.

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE world championship – We all think we know how this one is going to play out yet it could go in a few different directions. Now that Brock Lesnar has re-signed with the WWE, a world of booking options have opened up. The WWE dodged a real bullet by avoiding a lame duck WWE champion situation at Mania.

I think the match itself could be better than people expect. A lot of it comes down to what it follows. If it is following Sting vs. Triple H and Hunter and Sting deliver a fantastic ending, this match could be D.O.A. If there is a buffer between the main-event and the other big matches, I think fans will be more receptive to it. The match placement is critical to this one like no other on the show.

Roman Reigns is expected to win the title here. The win over the Undertaker last year was used to put Brock in a spot to give Roman the ultimate win here. Yet I don’t think anyone will argue that Reigns is not over and could be set up to be a dismal failure as WWE champion. There are also the rumored heel turn scenarios out there which I think are stronger now that Brock is staying.That said, I think the WWE wants to keep Brock heel looking ahead to a potential Rock vs. Brock match next year. I think WWE take the unpredictable route here which is Brock retaining in a hard fought match. I think the Reigns heel turn is coming but it isn’t going down at Mania. I think the idea here is that Reigns is elevated just by going toe-to-toe with Brock in a hard fought war. Brock retaining is a bit anti-climactic, however I think the idea of Brock going over is that they can buy some time with Reigns and shoot that angle later…even the following night on RAW.

Triple H vs. Sting – Don’t be mistaken. This is the real main-event. For better or worse, this match has far more interest going into Mania than any other match on the show. Even I wasn’t interested in this match back at the Survivor Series, yet I have been drawn in over the last few weeks. Sting’s promos have sealed it for me over the last two weeks. Plus no matter what this looks like on paper, Triple H has delivered excellent matches on the last five WrestleMania shows. I can’t imagine him taking a match with Sting if he wasn’t confident he could pull it off.

I would not be surprised to see some kind of interference from a big ex-WCW star. Maybe it’s Ric Flair or maybe it’s Bill Goldberg, but I think WCW is playing into the match on Sunday. This is a tough one because Sting really should win his first match in a WWE ring. However, Sting’s future is dependent on his performance in the ring so there is no guarantee he wrestles ever again past Sunday. For that I think Triple H goes over, although for all of Hunter’s critics he is 2-3 in his last five Mania matches. My gut tells me that Hunter gets the win here but I think this match turns into the show-stealer.

John Cena vs. Rusev for the U.S. championship - I never would have predicted that this feud would be so hot. This feud is so hot that Cena has actually been cheered in recent weeks. These guys have great chemistry together and Rusev has been booked solid for a year leading up to this match. Quite honestly you couldn’t ask for better booking on paper sans the goofy “Russian” lawyer last week on RAW.

Does Cena go over Rusev? That is the real question here. We all thought that Bray Wyatt was beating Cena last year and were stunned when Cena pulled off the upset. I think the money in Rusev is challenging for the WWE world title as the undefeated U.S. champion. That would mean that Rusev beats Cena here and beats him again at Extreme Rules. Cena did put Lesnar over three times but that is Brock Lesnar and he did beat Lesnar once at Extreme Rules 2012. If Roman Reigns is leaving Mania with the belt a championship program with the undefeated Rusev makes the most sense. For that reason I predict that Rusev pulls off the upset here and beats Cena clean at Mania.

Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker - I never like the idea of keeping an opponent off of television but I have to admit that keeping the Undertaker off of TV has worked in this one. It has created a ton of intrigue and speculation that you wouldn’t have if he was on TV even just once. I haven’t been a big Bray fan but the promos here have been better but the storyline is just kind of odd to me. The idea that Undertaker would return to answer Bray’s challenges and yet completely ignore the taunting and mockery of Paul Heyman for an entire year makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.

I think the match will be fine. I don’t think it will be great but I don’t think it will be bad either. The Undertaker is reportedly in much better shape than people think and he looks ready to go. It’s important that he can still go here as there are a ton of reports that they want him for something much bigger next year at 32. for that reason I think Undertaker wins although I think it may be better for business for Bray to win. I think setting up Bray with a win as Reigns’ first challenger is the better path but I can’t see Taker dropping two in a row at Mania.

Bad News Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper vs. R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Dean Ambrose in a Ladder Match for the intercontinental title – Get ready for a wild match here! I am going to keep this one short because we all know what to expect in this one. I would be shocked to see anything less than a great match. I’d expect Bryan and Ziggler to steal the show, although Ambrose certainly has the talent to make his mark as well. Bryan losing to Ziggler twice certainly leads me to think he is winning the match. It makes sense as the WWE can placate his fans by giving him a title, albeit a low-level belt. Regardless, we’ll get a great match, a Yes chant, and a belt around Bryan’s waist. Everyone wins!

Full WWE WrestleMania 31 card and matches…
Brock Lesnar (c) with Paul Heyman vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match:
Rusev (c) vs. John Cena for the WWE United States Title Match
Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Bad News Barrett (c) in a Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Title
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Sting vs. Triple H
AJ Lee and Paige vs. The Bella Twins
Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd in a Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Tag Team Titles

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Roman’s Reign versus The Brock Backlash

March 26, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

If Roman wins, we riot. Have you seen that sign yet? Don’t worry, you will. WrestleMania is right around the corner and you can be sure that sign will be somewhere among the massive crowd in attendance. Well, unless WWE takes it away. They will probably take it away.

The backlash against Roman Reigns has never been bigger, the hate toward him never more intense. And it’s not just because he’s still the one believed to go over on Brock Lesnar at Mania. Now the vitriol leveled against Roman has been amplified due to Lesnar’s recent resigning with WWE.

That’s right folks; The Beast has chosen his cage. Walking away from a possible UFC return and apparently unwilling to give the NFL the old college try once again, Brock Lesnar has decided to call Vince McMahon’s company home. And truth be told, that’s a good thing.

WWE is in desperate need of big time stars. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at who the top guys are. First there’s John Cena, the eternal Boy Scout and superhero come to life. Then there’s Brock, the monster that eats boy scouts and has superhero heads mounted on his wall. And that’s about it.

Everyone else is a distant number two. I like Daniel Bryan; he’s a star in every sense of the word. But WWE put the kibosh on his forward movement the moment he came back from injury. Randy Orton is still around but his WrestleMania opponent Seth Rollins is closer to the WWE World Championship than he is. I like Seth too, by the way. He’s a future top guy in the making but he’s not been made yet.

John and Brock are it; there is no one else on that level. So when the time came to make a play for The Beast, you can better believe the McMahon family jumped all over it. Can you blame them? He’s one half of their main event scene.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not saying no one else is contributing. Bryan, Rollins and Orton do what they do every week and they get praised for it. We also can’t forget about Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose; these three guys give just as much as the previous three. Put all six on the same program on the same night and there is no doubt fans can see who’s putting in the work to entertain them.

But John and Brock are it. WWE knows this and they only have themselves to blame. Instead of creating top moneymaking stars, the company has created a whole bunch of mid-card stars. In other words, the menu is all appetizers and only two main courses.

It’s not a problem in the short term. Then again, nothing ever is. It’s the long term that WWE has to be concerned about, that’s what matters the most. It’s not today that’s the issue, its tomorrow. It’s the same mantra that’s kept them afloat all these years, the one that pushed them past WCW back in the day. And yes, it’s never really been a problem. But it is now.

The fact is if you don’t hate Roman Reigns, you probably know someone who does. But why is that? What did Roman do that was so bad, that will not allow haters to seem him as something other than a future top guy? The answer is nothing. Roman did nothing wrong.

WWE set out to create a new moneymaker, a solid number three behind John and Brock. Never mind it already had one with Daniel Bryan. Kibosh, remember? We’re talking about now and now was supposed to be Roman’s time. The Reignman was supposed to reign over WWE in a new era, moving the company forward past both Lesnar and Cena.

But now Lesnar is staying. And that means Roman may not reign over anything. Common sense says that Roman should be given more time, he’s been unfairly criticized and it’s not his fault he’s in a tough situation. But common sense and pro wrestling do not often break bread together and WWE has been known to change plans at the zero hour.

Is that what we’re looking at for WrestleMania? Will WWE pull the plug on Roman in favor of Lesnar? The truth is right now there’s just no way to know. Roman does deserve the benefit of the doubt; he does deserve the chance to prove what he can do on the main event stage. Lesnar’s presence should not be an excuse to prevent Reigns from moving ahead to the championship. Is he behind the eight ball? Yes. Will it take some work to get him where he needs to be in terms of respect and credibility? Absolutely. Should he be punished and held back because Brock is in the mix? No way.

Fans should be on Roman’s side. Had it not been for Ambrose’s rise last year and Daniel’s mishandling since returning, they may very well be. But they’re not and they may never be. WWE has some major repair work ahead of them and it will be interesting to see how they go about doing it.

And let’s be honest. Fans are a fickle bunch. They love Brock right now but give it time. Maybe the sign should read “If Roman wins we riot provided we don’t get sick of Brock at some point.” It’s a bit wordy but perhaps more on point.

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The Rock Interested In Brock Lesnar WWE WrestleMania 32 Match

March 25, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE has a lot of seats to fill in 2016. WrestleMania 32 will emanate from AT&T Stadium and will need some heavy hitters to fill the building. The Rock is one of those heavy hitters and he isn’t ruling out a return to his wrestling roots.

The Rock has been long rumored to be on the WWE “wish list” for WrestleMania 32. The WWE has had Rock penciled in the last two years to wrestle Brock Lesnar in one of the most anticipated rematches in WWE history. The rematch would come 14 years later and could go down as the biggest rematch since Andre vs. Hulk Hogan drew a record rating on the Main Event in 1988.

Rock was asked about the possibilities of the match in a recent interview and while he isn’t committing to anything, he certainly hasn’t shut the door on the option.

In Dallas? Possibly. There’s a lot of things that are up in the air. Lot of things are up in the air. We’ll see. I would love that rematch, I would love… whatever it is, you want to create something that’s going to be special, memorable, especially in Dallas at that stadium you have a shot at breaking the attendance record. It’s got to be special.

This also explains the stress and anxiety that Vince McMahon felt trying to re-sign Brock Lesnar. Keeping Lesnar is bigger than just keeping him away from the UFC or booking him on SummerSlam. Lesnar held the key to the city because without Lesnar under contract there is no Rock rematch. Without the rematch there may be no Rock and there aren’t a whole lot of special matches available to fill the large stadium. Vince got his man so the match is in play.

This is the one component I think most have missed when breaking down the Lesnar-WWE negotiations, including myself. Lesnar is critical to next year’s show. If the WWE can’t pull off Rock vs. Lesnar, Steve Austin vs. Lesnar is another possibility that has been rumored. Again without Lesnar, the WWE is without a dance partner for Rock and Austin and without the right dance partner, both are likely less interested in coming back.

I have always felt that the WWE have already penciled in a Rock vs. Triple H match at Mania 32. That promo they did together on SmackDown 15 was a huge tease in my eyes for the match. I was convinced when I saw it that Rock already committed and it was the first seed to be planted. However, I have to think that a match with Brock is much more appealing to Rock who wants the biggest match possible.

There is already a great story to be told in Rock vs. Brock. Brock beat Rock for his first WWE championship. Rock never got a rematch. Plus if you do re-sign Brock, you could have him beat Roman Reigns this year and use that match as part of an angle to set up next year. Maybe Paul Heyman dubs Brock a “Samoan Killer”, he taunts the Samoans for a few months, and Rock returns to avenge the honor of his family and the Samoan heritage. There is a lot the WWE could do here and I think the match would be enormous. Unfortunately for them they haven’t been able to pull it off for the last three years and the timing may be one year too late.

The Rock also teased an appearance at WrestleMania 31 this year so stay tuned…

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Brock Lesnar Re-Signs With WWE, Retires From MMA

March 24, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince McMahon got his man! WWE world champion Brock Lesnar has signed a new deal with the WWE which will keep him around after WrestleMania. The new deal has also shut down any chance we’ll see Brock in the UFC ever again.

The news came Tuesday night on ESPN Sportscenter. Brock appeared on the program to announce his future. It was there that Brock broke the news that made lots of pro wrestling fans very happy, while disappointing those interested in seeing a Lesnar vs. Frank Mir trilogy.

“Last night, old Vince McMahon put on the offer on the table that I couldn’t refuse. It really comes down to business and money and health and well being, I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve been in a bad position with my health. I’ve been in a bad position with my money. Now I’m in a great position with both and I’m happy. I love what I’m doing. I work part time with full time pay like everybody wants but you can’t have. Just me. So I’m happy.”

It was widely reported that Monday night was a self-imposed deadline for Vince McMahon to get a new deal with Brock done. Vince reportedly wanted to lock up Brock before he hit free agency but more importantly, before Brock walked into WrestleMania as a lame duck champion. The new deal opens up a lot of possibilities regarding the WrestleMania main-event.

Brock spoke more about his decision not to return to the UFC as opposed to why he re-signed with the WWE. Lesnar just felt he had nothing to prove and his heart was not in a return to the octagon.

“For the last two months I’ve been training, I’ve been training to get back in the Octagon. I felt physically great, but something lacked mentally,” Lesnar revealed. “That’s not good. I talked to (UFC president) Dana (White), I talked to (CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta), I talked to my wife, I talked to my friends. I had many sleepless nights on what to do. At the end of the day, it weighed heavily in my heart I was born to be an entertainer. I have fun doing it.

I could go back to the Octagon — what am I going to gain? I was the UFC heavyweight champion of the world. Due to my illness my career got cut short, and that’s God’s telling you it’s time to move on. As years went by it wore on me so much that the fighter inside of me didn’t want it to end that way. I didn’t want to leave the UFC on a losing streak. That’s just the competitive guy inside me.

You can’t force somebody to get into the cage and fight. That’s not the business,” Lesnar said. “That’s where I was. Was my heart and my head really into it? What are the reasons I want to get in there? Because I don’t like the way it ended or really what is it?”

“At the end of the day, I’m really happy where I’m at with the WWE.”

Lesnar is happy with his decision. “The older you get, the wiser you become and I didn’t want to be that guy that retired and came back. So there was a lot of different things that went through my mind. This was a long, heartfelt decision. You weigh out the pros, you weigh out the cons,” Lesnar said.

But what about Lesnar’s next contract negotiation? According to the WWE champ, that dance is over.

I’m officially closing the door on MMA,” Lesnar said. “It was hard. I re-signed last night with the WWE. We came to a conclusion last night. The offer on the table, I just could not refuse.”

This is a huge coup for the WWE. For starters, losing Brock to the UFC would have been a public relations disaster. With CM Punk and Brock going to the UFC, shareholders would have had a cause to be concerned. Two, the scene at WrestleMania could have been downright ugly. We already saw how that worked out at WrestleMania XX when the fans knew Brock was leaving. Third and I think most importantly, Brock is now available for WrestleMania 32. Vince McMahon has a lot of seats to fill in Dallas, TX. Having Brock on the roster opens up all kinds of possibilities for big matches with The Rock, Steve Austin, or even an Undertaker rematch. Without Brock, the WWE would have had a very difficult time booking something special in Texas next year. Quite frankly I think WrestleMania 32 was really the driving factor here.

WrestleMania 31 just got real interesting.

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Vince McMahon Trying To Sign Brock Lesnar Before WrestleMania

March 19, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Brock Lesnar is a lucky man! The WWE world champion is about to become combat sports’ hottest free agent. Vince McMahon is up against the clock as he hopes to mitigate a potential public relations disaster.

We all saw it coming…well everyone but Vince McMahon. When Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE in 2012 with a contract that would come due after WrestleMania, most predicted that this would blow up in Vince’s face at some point. Yet for some reason Vince ignored the warnings and did the unthinkable, booked Brock as an unbeatable champion going into Mania without a contract renewal.

This is much different than the Montreal Screw Job. Vince had Bret under contract and allowed Bret to go negotiate a new deal. The WWE was involved in a ratings war with WCW and the business was just much different. Bret wanted to stay but Vince wanted him to go. Vince wants Brock to stay and Brock wants to test the waters. Again, how did nobody see this coming?

Brock’s unstoppable reign as WWE champion is one year too late. Brock renewed his contract in 2013 and signed a two-year extension. This storyline could have been booked going into WrestleMania 30 with none of the ramifications that Vince faces in 2015. Was the timing right? Probably not with the Daniel Bryan explosion, but Brock was locked up for another year. This is bad for business and great for Brock.

Dave Meltzer on his latest F4Wonline.com podcast reported that Vince is working feverishly to re-sign Brock before Mania. Meltzer speculates that Brock will probably play it out and hit free agency. With the UFC and Bellator salivating at the chance of bringing Lesnar back to MMA, the WWE champion has several options. The only leverage Vince has in enticing Brock to re-sign is to keep the title on him post-Mania. However, most reports indicate that Brock isn’t the kind of guy to get excited about an extended WWE title reign.

In an incredible twist of irony all roads lead back to CM Punk. Yes that CM Punk. If it were not for CM Punk walking out of the company last year and signing with the UFC, there would be less of an urgency to keep Brock. In today’s WWE economic model it may not necessarily make sense to keep him from a dollars and cents standpoint. However, thank to Punk, Vince does not want to give investors the impression that he is losing his big stars to the UFC. Vince, Triple H, and many WWE executives have told their shareholders for years that the UFC is not a competitor. That can’t be said anymore if he loses two of his biggest stars to the rival organization in less than a year.

My gut feeling is that Brock walks out of WrestleMania a free agent. No matter what Vince offers him, it makes no sense for Lesnar to re-sign before talking to the MMA groups. Even if he doesn’t want to fight, the negotiations will only earn him leverage for a new WWE deal. Unless Brock is really enticed by a path which includes retaining the WWE title at 31, it makes no sense for him to re-sign.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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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.

DISC 1

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

DISC 2

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-lievers

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

DISC 3

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

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

WWE: Best of Raw and Smackdown 2014

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WWE and the Lack of a Super Villain After WrestleMania XXXI

March 13, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I have to hand it to my friend and fellow CCB columnist Tom Clark. He hit another one out of the park.

When it comes to the WWE World Title, the strap no longer belongs to the company that devised the title, rather the true owner is the man who currently holds it – Brock Lesnar.

As Tom discussed it on his personal blog (a shameless plug for a great read), Paul Heyman eluded to the known secret of the WWE last when he delivered another one of his outstanding promos.)

Heyman declared that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship no longer belonged to Vince McMahon’s company, it belonged to Brock Lesnar.

It was a moment in time that struck me on a very intense level, one that some fans may not have picked up on. But for anyone that’s been paying attention, it definitely made perfect sense. The reason for that is Brock has basically been an absentee champion since beating John Cena for the gold at SummerSlam last year.

His contract has been one that was based on a limited number of dates. This made him bigger in the eyes of the fans and also provided an air of importance that the championship had not seen in quite some time. By removing the belt from weekly WWE programming, it became practically unattainable.

The fact that Heyman may be losing his meal ticket in 16 days may make him a bit squirrely, a bit agitated and a bit nervous. With his contract with the company still in doubt, Lesnar the WWE and make a run at the UFC or Bellator or any other company that is willing to put money in front of him and ask him to perform a few dates a year and cash in on being the new parent company’s evil villain.

It’s a delicious problem for the “Beast Incarnate” to have – one that has left all of us wondering what happens at WrestleMania and what happens should he leave.

My question, however is – “What if he stays?”

There is a part of me who knows Lesnar cannot retain the title for various reasons which center around Vince McMahon getting his way with another “bigger is better” champion in Roman Reigns – the man he is force feeding the WWE Universe, much like he did at the end of Hulk Hogan’s reign as WWF champion.

Lesnar is gold when he is on screen and in the ring. He is the epitome of the WWE’s super villain, a wrestler who is hated by the masses and loathed for not being on screen as much as the other champions who have been there before him. Unless the WWE pulls off some kind of major swerve, this may be the last time in a long time fans see as dominant a champion as Lesnar in the company.

As a side note, it is ironic the two most dominant champions in the last five years have been CM Punk and Lesnar, who both have had the immortal Heyman at their side.

Clark, in his wisdom, even attributes the dominance by Lesnar to Punk’s 2011 summer exploits where he left the company after SummerSlam, creating one of the greatest programs in wrestling history. Can Lesnar’s final chapter match that and will his dominance provide the same mainstream following as his former Heyman client? Will the masses wonder if Lesnar will reappear at some point, or are they content letting him leave to pursue other endeavors without the hope of a return engagement?

There is a little over two weeks until all of this dust settles. It’s possible we may not know what Lesnar will do or who might replace him should he leave Heyman’s side. What we do know is right now the potential of his departure and the potential of his return has created a nice side story to what could be a real dud of match between a man who people love to see beat the hell out of opponents and the man the fans might want to see the hell beaten out of him, but will ultimately walk away with the title.

Right now, there is a no-win situation brewing in the WWE.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Is Wrestlemania 31 Shaping up to be Just Another Show?

March 11, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s Wrestlemania time folks, and if you’ve made it to a site like Camel Clutch, you don’t need anybody here to tell you what a big deal that is.

Where others have their Super Bowls or their Oscars or their Olympic Games, pro wrestling has its WWE Wrestlemania, an event which transcends its own medium to stand tall as a spectacle of epic proportions. It’s the one event of its type guaranteed to get people talking whether they follow the game or not, and the one event that most fans would give their right arm to be ringside.

At least, that’s how its supposed to be.

Sitting here some twenty or so days away from the WWE’s marquee event, this writer can’t help but feel as though Wrestlemania 31 is fast shaping up to be little more than just another show.

Sure, it’s still going to draw the biggest numbers the company produces all year, and sure the only way they’ll attract more mainstream attention is if they somehow manage to book a dream match between a former UFC champion and that guy from the G.I Joe movie, but is The Granddaddy of Them All really inspiring anybody to tune in come March 29th?

Maybe some folks, sure, but sadly not this usually pro-WWE supporter.

As I’m sure many of my fellow Brits will tell you, being a WWE fan in the United Kingdom requires a special commitment. Forget splashing the cash for another Pay Per View or enduring another three hours of Monday Night Bore, the best some of us can do to pledge our allegiance to the Kingdom of McMahon is staying up til the early hours of the morning to watch the big events.

When you’re younger, it’s not a big deal. Stay up all night, sleep all day, hit the Internet to blast the booking decisions some time mid-afternoon. Though when you start getting a bit longer in the proverbial tooth, watching wrestling until four in the morning then getting up four hours later and trying to function like a responsible adult all day is no fun, trust me.

As such, you start getting a little more selective about the night’s you sacrifice sleep for the love of pro wrestling. Most years, the Royal Rumble is a cert, after that, it takes a pretty compelling card to keep you from hitting the pillow, unless of course, that card is Wrestlemania.

It’s been said before that ‘Mania as a show is bigger than any of the individuals who perform on it. That’s hard to disagree with, so much so that pulling an allnighter for the annual spring spectacular is even more of a no-brainer than doing so for the Rumble.

This year? This year things are different. No less than a few short weeks before the event, and there’s absolutely nothing at Wrestlemania 31 that makes falling asleep at my computer come March 30th seem worth it.

Looking up and down the card as it stands -or at least, is rumored to stand right now- the only match I’m even remotely interested in seeing is Triple H vs. Sting, and that’s much more for the novelty value of seeing WCW’s franchise player competing in a WWE ring than it is because I expect the two veterans to churn out a classic.

The same goes for Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt. Though a meeting between two of the WWE’s creepier characters certainly sounds compelling, and should make for some interesting theatrics as both men make their way to the ring, but once the bell sounds, there’s nothing to get too excited about.

As I mentioned in a previous article, rising star Wyatt is in a no-win situation here. Defeat the Deadman, and he’s only really defeated an aging performer who hasn’t been seen since he got his ass handed to him a year ago. Lose to WWE’s most tenured player, and well, you get the idea.

Beyond that, the proposed multi-man ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship does promise to be enjoyable for what it is, but it does reek of the WWE Braintrust throwing a bunch of guys together because they can’t figure out what else to do with them.

Fun though it might be, whatever happens in that match will either be largely forgotten about by the time the following night’s Raw transpires, or else repeated ad nauseam on every show for the next six months, neither or which is an ideal situation for some of the company’s most talented workhorses to find themselves in.

Speaking of talent. Seth Rollins delivered a star-making performance back at the Royal Rumble, though both he and Randy Orton are going to have to pull something pretty special out of the bag if their match is going to anything more than your typical Raw main event. Likewise with the battle royal.

What may stand out as being a cut above the usual is Cena vs. Russev. With the company’s star player involved, this is sure to get a decent amount of time, and could well prove to be match of the night, though sadly that alone is unlikely to raise Wrestlemania up from the depths of mediocrity.

Which brings us, at last, to our main event. Like Shawn Michaels in 1996, Steve Austin in 1998, and countless others since the turn of the millennium, Roman Reigns’ moment of glory is practically a sure thing by now.

A match with a predictable outcome can be a good thing, but not when said outcome is one few fans actually want, and especially not when the match itself isn’t likely to be all that incredible. OK, so things might liven up a bit with a potential Seth Rollins cash in, but even that seems unlikely, and I fully expect to wake up on the morning of March 30th to find Roman Reigns as the new WWE Champion. After all, I certainly won’t be staying up all night to watch it happen.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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