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Stone Cold Steve Austin Shoots Down WWE Comeback Rumors

October 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Internet went crazy last week with comments made by Stone Cold Steve Austin about a return. Many interpreted those comments made by Austin on his podcast to a return to the pro wrestling ring, specifically WrestleMania 31. While that may still be possible down the line, Austin is quick to temper your expectations for 31.

Austin commented on those rumors on a recent Steve Austin Podcast. Austin took calls and a caller asked him flat out about the comeback rumors. Austin was flattered by the comments but was quick to clarify his statements. Austin said that while he did say he was training for a comeback, he was referring to training for a comeback at Gold’s Gym. Austin said he was training at a hole-in-the-wall gym to get ready to get back to Gold’s. Austin said that he was getting in shape for a big project he has coming up in February. Austin also said that he has no desires to take bumps and has no time to train for a match.

But wait, that wasn’t all he said. Austin threw in a little teaser about the comeback wrestling fans have been waiting for. Austin was asked by the same caller about wrestling Brock Lesnar. Austin mentioned that if he were to come back (to the ring) that Brock Lesnar would be looking up at the lights for a 1-2-3 and he’d drop him on that stack of dimes he calls a neck. Austin cut the quick promo in Stone Cold fashion and while he was having fun with it, it was sure a fun teaser to a program that could be a lot of fun.

Austin has never shut the door
on a return to the wrestling ring. Austin has said several times that if everything aligned itself perfectly that he’d consider it.

“I’d consider anything if the perfect situation or opportunity arose and it would be more than a million-dollar question. I don’t want to sit here and promote a match, sell a match or talk about making a comeback. The dirt sheets, or whatever you call them, and I talk to Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller all the time and they’re nice guys and I would consider them friends. I see Dave at almost every MMA fight, but I don’t want to stir any pots or hint or tease anything.

People get their panties in a wad and say, “Stone Cold, either do it or not.” So, anything can happen, but I’m not going to endorse, promote, sell or tease anything in regards to a match.”

There was a rough plan last year at WrestleMania 30 for a Steve Austin vs. Triple H match would have tied into a feud with Trips and Stephanie feuding with Vince McMahon over control of the company. Obviously that never happened and while I can’t imagine Austin coming back for that, he must have been warm to it for the plan to be on the books. There were also lots of rumors about Austin wrestling CM Punk at WrestleMania 29 due to promos shot by Paul Heyman’s production company for WWE 2K13. Of course none of those matches ever came to fruition and it would appear that talks never got serious for either bout.

The Brock Lesnar match is interesting. Paul Heyman teased it on Austin’s podcast and did a very good job of selling Austin on it in under three minutes. WrestleMania 32 will be in Dallas at Texas Stadium in 2016. There are already reports that the WWE is gearing up for something big on that show in hopes of setting some kind of attendance record. I can’t think of anything bigger than Austin coming back for one last match.

Regarding a Brock vs. Austin match in 2016, I can’t think of anything bigger the WWE could put together for 32. That said, Brock’s contract is set to expire around WrestleMania 31 so he may or may not even be an option. I have heard rumblings of another Austin vs. Rock match but I think that is just pure guesswork as opposed to a plan. Depending upon where someone like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, or even Seth Rollins are at that stage of the game I think you could always consider them, although they would have to be in a much better spot than they are today. I suppose CM Punk could always be a dark horse but I think you have a better chance of seeing Austin back in a WWE ring than Punk at this point.

The door may not be shut but I think 32 is it for Austin. He’ll be 51 heading into Texas Stadium and while he still looks to be in tremendous shape, I can’t see him trying to come back past 51.

Hey, there is always the Royal Rumble. Austin already told Vince last year if he is looking for a guy than to give him a call. It’s better than nothing!

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New WWE WrestleMania 31 Card Rumors

October 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WrestleMania 31 rumor mill is back in action after a big report in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. According to the report, the WWE have a few ideas in place for the big event, one of them being a match you probably didn’t see coming.

Dave Meltzer has the latest report and offers speculation on the WrestleMania 31 card. Meltzer says that the WWE are confident that they have their top matches in place. While nothing is 100% confirmed, Meltzer speculates on three that could be coming to your WWE Network in March for the price of $9.99.

The biggest surprise is his speculation on a return to Mania of The Rock. The Rock’s appearances this week have gotten people talking, but it is his taped segment on SmackDown that caught Meltzer’s attention. Meltzer speculates that The Rock could wind up wrestling Triple H at the 2015 event. Meltzer is just as surprised about his own revelation as you probably are reading it here.

I did see the segment that will air this Friday on SmackDown 15 and I am not so sure that I agree with Dave. Dave’s logic is that they wouldn’t have been teasing the match if there wasn’t something to it. However, the takeaway I came away with from that segment is that they were teasing it for WrestleMania 32 in Texas Stadium. Triple H kept referring to 100,000 people and a big stadium. Why they would tease it this far in advance is anyone’s guess. I could also be over-thinking it here, but Triple H mentioned a large crowd several times which leads me to think it is more than coincidence.

The idea most of us had heard about for the last three years was for a Rock vs. Brock Lesnar match at WrestleMania. The match continues to get delayed and after Rock suffered serious injuries against John Cena at 29, I am starting to think that he has no interest in a match that physical. The money is certainly on Lesnar vs. Rock and not Rock vs. Hunter. I think the angles and build up would be fun but I just don’t know how many people are clamoring to see that match one more time.

To that point, Meltzer speculates that the WWE may make a big play to get Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the ring at WrestleMania 32 in Texas. That would certainly make sense, especially when you have such a big stadium to fill. There were numerous reports that indicated the WWE made a play to get him last year for a match with Triple H. The year before we all heard about the Punk vs. Austin Mania rumors. I would think at Austin’s age it is Texas Stadium or never for the Texas Rattlesnake.

Brock Lesnar is still penciled in to be wrestling Roman Reigns in a WWE championship defense. I wouldn’t count on it. I am watching a changing of the guard right now and that change is Reigns to Ambrose. I think by the time we get to Mania that the WWE will have no choice but to swap Ambrose into this spot. He is hot and unless things change he is only going to get hotter. I would be shocked if Amrbose isn’t winning the Royal Rumble and going to WrestleMania.

John Cena has two interesting options according to Meltzer. Hulk Hogan is politicking hard for a Cena match, although I don’t see it happening. I think Hulk has had too many back surgeries and is too old to be placed in that spot. Rusev is the other option and it’s hard to disagree with that one. I could see some swapping here with Rusev vs. Reigns and Cena wrestling someone else but the Rusev match could be pretty big if they can keep him hot until Mania.

Meltzer also reports that there was a plan in place to go with Batista vs. Triple H although he speculates that the plan is dead. I wouldn’t be so sure. I could see them going in this direction with Rock vs. Hunter booked for next year. Meltzer reports that the Batista vs. Hunter match and series would lead to Batista’s retirement. I could easily see that with Batista transitioning to Hollywood full-time.

Where this leaves Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins is a big question. I would imagine if Lesnar does hold the belt through Mania that Rollins would be Reigns’ first challenger. I couldn’t see them beating Reigns that fast which begs the question, what is the plan for Rollins and the briefcase?

And what about Sting? Sting doesn’t appear to be in the plans right now. My hunch is that it all depends on The Undertaker. If Undertaker doesn’t come back I could see Sting working with one of the younger guys like a Bray Wyatt. I think Sting vs. John Cena could be intriguing for a few different reasons. Other than those possibilities I am not sure what you do with him besides maybe Randy Orton or even Sheamus.

It looks like Mania has potential but I still think the big one is 2016 in Texas with 31 being something of an appetizer.

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Ranking Brock Lesnar’s WWE Matches 2012-14

September 24, 2014 By: Category: lists, slider, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Brock Lesnar has been unleashed nine times since returning to the WWE at Extreme Rules 2012. Now that the sample size has increased, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the former UFC champion’s body of work and see where his matches rank. Today we countdown the best of Brock’s second tour of duty!

I have to say that I think Brock has far exceeded any in-ring expectations placed on him since returning. Many presumed that Brock would “dog” it and go through the motions to get his pay day. That has not been the case at all. Brock has wrestled every match like it was his last and has put together one of the most impressive string of bouts ever seen from a guy who missed a decade in a WWE ring.

I thought it would be fun to look back at Brock’s current run and rank his top matches. As always, this list is subjective and it is simply a matter of my opinion. My tastes likely vary from yours so we won’t agree on everything. If you think I missed out on one, let me know and leave me a comment.

With that said, let’s take a look at the best from the beast incarnate starting at the top.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena No Holds Barred Match (Extreme Rules 2012) - Two plus years later and this match still holds up today. I would dare say that this may be Cena’s greatest WWE match. I don’t know if it was the hype, the intrigue, or just the excitement of seeing Brock back but this worked on every level. The match played out exactly as you’d expect a match between a former UFC fighter against an experienced WWE wrestler. It was one of the most brutal matches of either man’s careers and blew away Brock’s other eight matches. I know Cena won and I know that tarnished the match for some, but for me it doesn’t get any better than this 2012 classic.

Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk No DQ Match (SummerSlam 2013) - I don’t think that this match gets the due it deserves. I even went back and forth briefly after watching it again as to whether this was number one or the Extreme Rules match. The match told a great story and Punk and Brock clicked immediately. Punk going submission for submission with Brock was something different as Punk (unlike Cena and Hunter) had a repertoire of submission moves he was known for. I am not a big Punk fan but he was fantastic here. The WWE talent reportedly gave these two a standing ovation when they got to the back, which was well deserved.

Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H NHB Match (WrestleMania 29) - This was a lot like the Undertaker match in that they worked a slower, more physical style but it was more entertaining in my opinion. They spent the early part of the match outside of the ring. Lesnar dominated the mid part of the match. Lesnar knocked Shawn Michaels off the apron with an elbow at one point. Michaels came back at him and took an F5. Brock kicked out of a Pedigree right after. Hunter brought the sledgehammer in the ring. Lesnar F5’d him and Hunter kicked out. Lesnar had a bloody lip at this point. Brock looked jacked by the way. The match had a similar psychology to The Undertaker vs. Triple H matches with Brock playing the part of Trips. Triple H finally regained the advantage and slammed a chair into Lesnar’s arm twice. Triple H got the kimura. Heyman tried to interfere but got kicked by Michaels. Brock finally powered his way out but wound up taking a DDT into the steel steps. Hunter nailed Brock in the head with the sledgehammer. Trips followed up with a Pedigree onto the steps for the three count.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (Night of Champions 2014) - This was a fun match that probably isn’t getting as much credit as it should. They played off of their SummerSlam match with Cena getting more offense in than previously. Why this changed who knows? It wasn’t quite the back and forth match that their Extreme Rules match was but it was entertaining nonetheless. Seth Rollins attacked Cena giving Brock the DQ win. The fans were into it, I was into it, and this was a real fun match.

Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H (SummerSlam 2012) - This was Lesnar’s second match back and didn’t have nearly the anticipation that the first one did. It was more or less a glorified squash although Hunter certainly got his offense in. I just don’t think fans cared about seeing Hunter as a babyface at that point against Brock. Hunter played up Brock’s previous injuries and worked on Brock’s stomach but the match was all about Brock breaking Hunter’s arm. Lesnar gets his first win here and even got to kick out of the pedigree to boot.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show (Royal Rumble 2014) - There wasn’t a whole lot to this match. This one was a good old fashioned squash match. The match was wrestled in the same dominant way that the Lesnar vs. Cena match was wrestled except this one was shorter and to the point. This is exactly how it should have been and the match was short enough that fans were into it from start to finish. It’s probably Lesnar’s least memorable match but one of his most entertaining in my opinion.

Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H Steel Cage Match (Extreme Rules 2013) - Hunter brutalized Lesnar’s knee with the chair. The announcers certainly went out of their way to give Lesnar sympathy, setting up the babyface turn. Heyman came into the cage at one point and was pedigreed. Hunter pedigreed Brock immediately thereafter who kicked out at 2 ½ for a near finish. Hunter got his hands on a sledgehammer and went to use it before Heyman gave Triple H a low blow. Lesnar wound up using the sledgehammer on Triple H and KO’ing him. Lesnar than F5’d Triple H and pinned him. It wasn’t a bad match but highly disappointing in regards to how it was built up. It was promoted as an “old school” cage match which to me meant blood and brutality. Was it brutal? Maybe, but it certainly wasn’t bloody.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania 30) - The end of the streak! Brock worked the leg for most of the match to the dismay of a bored Superdome. The match had a slow, methodical, old school pace. Taker later kicked out of the F5 and Lesnar broke Hell’s Gate twice. Nobody in the crowd believed Lesnar was winning. The match didn’t have the same emotion from the crowd as the last several Taker Mania matches which made the finish here even more memorable. Lesnar pinned Taker after reversing a tombstone attempt into a third F5 and the crowd was stunned silent. The reaction from the crowd however was one of the best reactions I have ever seen in modern day wrestling.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (SummerSlam 2014) - It is hard to rank a one-sided 20 minute+ squash match higher than any of the other matches on this list. I certainly can appreciate what they were trying to do but let’s face it. In hindsight the match was a waste of time and made no sense. This was a different match. The booking of Lesnar was brilliant and the match will probably age better than you think. I just can’t imagine Lesnar having any more matches on this run as dull as this one. It was certainly intense yet not very entertaining at all.

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Is Brock Lesnar’s Health a Major Concern For The WWE?

September 24, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE already suffered a huge blow when it learned that Roman Reigns would miss Night of Champions and remain out of action for months due to emergency hernia surgery. That alone sets the company back in its writing, scheduling and moving forward with storylines.

Now, it appears the company that helped make Brock Lesnar one of the most feared wrestlers and heels of all time may need to be concerned more about his health more than they are about which performer will face the beast next.

According to a story on inquisitr.com, the champion may have been experiencing breathing difficulties in his rematch with John Cena.

“In a weird story, a rumor is going around that current WWE Champion Brock Lesnar could be going through health issues related to his heart. The main issue with this is that due to WWE’s medical testing, it would be doubtful they’d let him perform for them knowing that he could be going through issues. The rumor of health issues has been going around with fans as of late because of the fact that Brock looked to be in bad shape during matches.”

The story goes on to say that WhatCulture.com speculated in a report recently that Lesnar could be going through heart or blood pressure issues, because he was sweating and either turning red or purple in his matches with the WWE. They speculated that the way he came off at WWE Night of Champions was odd, considering he did little physical activity to bring about any problems.

What makes the story and situation that much more possible is the fact Lesnar suffered a major illness in the UFC which almost cost him both his career and his life.

In 2009, he was sidelined due to diverticulitis but would return at UFC 116 to defeat Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin and unify the heavyweight championships, becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion.

Diverticulitis is a common digestive disease which involves the formation of pouches (diverticula) within the bowel wall. This process is known as diverticulosis, and typically occurs within the large intestine, or colon, although it can occasionally occur in the small intestine as well. Diverticulitis results when one of these diverticula becomes inflamed.

People often have left lower quadrant abdominal pain and tenderness, fever, and an increase white blood cell count. They may also complain of nausea or diarrhea; others may be constipated. The severity of symptoms depends on the extent of the infection and complications.

The last thing the WWE is to have to deal with a wrestler who is ill and cannot perform his or her duties as a WWE Champion. While the comments and story in What Culture are purely speculative, it does give the company and fans a reason to be concerned. It also throws a huge wrench into the storyline and the plans for defending the title and future matches.

As it was pointed out in the inquisitr.com story, the main issue looking at Lesnar was that people are judging him by how he looked in UFC versus how he looks in WWE now. This is where the problem comes up. Lesnar looks to be out of shape due to cardiovascular problems, which yes, can fall under heart issues. What Culture also brought up that the scare for fans has come up a lot more due to the fact that Ultimate Warrior looked similar during his WWE Hall of Fame speech.

Now, three months remaining in the pay-per-view and the WWE trying to figure out who will take on Paul Heyman’s pay check, eyes may turn their attention to Lesnar’s appearance more than his in ring ability. There is no doubt the current WWE World Champion can beat everyone on the current roster, but now we all wonder if he is well enough to do so.

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WWE Night of Champions 2014 Results and Recap

September 21, 2014 By: Category: slider, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Night of Champions 2014 delivered one of the most entertaining special events in recent months. An unpredictable rematch between John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE world championship and the return of Dean Ambrose highlighted a card which featured very good-great matches from start to finish.

This main-event was a real tough one to predict. The rumor mill swung back and forth almost daily on who was going over. The way the angle played out on the go-home RAW led me to believe that Lesnar was going over. Regardless, it was one of the most unpredictable championship matches the WWE has booked in quite some time.

Brock Lesnar retained the WWE world title via disqualification over John Cena. The match had a real big-time feel to it. Cena took Lesnar off of his feet early with a clothesline and hit the A.A. within the first two minutes of the match. Lesnar quickly recovered. Lesnar hit his first German suplex shortly thereafter. Lesnar went for the kimura several times, all were broken by Cena grabbing the ropes. The announcers pointed out that Lesnar didn’t even attempt a submission at SummerSlam and engineered a new strategy for this match. Cena would hit a flurry of punches from time to time only to be thwarted by Lesnar. Cena hit another A.A. and Lesnar kicked out but followed it up with an STF. The fans were into this match from start to finish. Lesnar reversed the STF into a kimura. Cena again hit another A.A. into an STF. Seth Rollins wound up running in and breaking up the STF. Rollins teased that he was going to cash in his Money in the Bank. He hit a Curb Stomp on Lesnar and before the bell rang he was attacked by Cena. The announcers teased that Lesnar was going to tap to the STF and that Rollins would have beaten Lesnar.

This match was a hundred times more entertaining than their previous bout. Lesnar still dominated at times but Cena fought back and made it more competitive. I really don’t get the finish. I am not sure what the point of having Rollins run in and attack Cena. Logically, shouldn’t he have waited for Cena to win and then attack him? I am not sure where this goes next. Does Cena, Rollins, and Lesnar have a Triple Threat Match at Hell in a Cell? If Cena is paired with Rollins than who gets Lesnar? How does Lesnar react to Rollins? Is this the start of a babyface turn for Brock? RAW will certainly be interesting Monday.

The biggest piece of news going into the show was the absence of Roman Reigns. Reigns underwent emergency surgery over the weekend to treat an incarcerated hernia. The operation could keep Reigns out of action for up to three months, although early prognostications are in the 4-6 week range. Regardless, Reigns was not available for Night of Champions.

Dean Ambrose returned to take on Seth Rollins. With Reigns on the D.L., Seth Rollins issued an open challenge to anyone in the locker room. Dean Ambrose showed up in a taxicab. Ambrose and Rollins brawled. Ambrose chased Rollins into the crowd. Triple H and Stephanie sent security out to break up the match. Ambrose couldn’t be stopped and chased Rollins to the other side of the arena. Ambrose grabbed a chair and went after Rollins with it. Security tackled him and restrained him at that point on Triple H’s orders.

This was fantastic! The scene of Ambrose being hauled away in restraints reminded me of Stone Cold Steve Austin. I think there is a huge opportunity here for Ambrose to step into Reigns spot. As I pointed out in an earlier blog, I’d be real scared if I were Reigns. There is a real good shot that his spot is in jeopardy now that Ambrose is back.

I don’t think I have written about a U.S. title match in years but I had to comment on Sheamus vs. Cesaro. This may have been the best United States title match I have seen in years on a WWE PPV, maybe the best of the decade. These guys had great chemistry and wrestled a match that resembled something closer to a WWE championship main-event. Sheamus won with the Brogue Kick. I know some people will criticize Cesaro losing but the announcers did a real nice job of putting over how hard he fought Sheamus as opposed to goofing on him. You can say what you want about this title but Sheamus has done a tremendous job of adding some credibility to this belt. This could be the result of the WWE losing Reigns and needing to bump someone up to his babyface spot. Regardless, a few more matches like this and you will have a true #2 championship in the WWE as opposed to a low-mid carder belt.

Full WWE Night of Champions 2014 results and winners…
Brock Lesnar retained the WWE title defeating John Cena via DQ
AJ Lee defeated Paige and Nikki Bella to regain the WWE Divas title
Randy Orton defeated Chris Jericho
Rusev defeated Mark Henry via submission
Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns by forfeit (see above)
The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler to regain the WWE intercontinental championship
Sheamus defeated Cesaro to retain the U.S. title
Stardust defeated the Usos to win the WWE tag team championship

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Brock Lesnar Must Retain At WWE Night Of Champions 2014

September 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Night of Champions is several hours away and fans are in a panic. What if Brock Lesnar loses? What if we are subjected to seeing John Cena leave as WWE champion? I join you in your concern and it is imperative moving forward that Lesnar retain the belt at WWE N.O.C.

I don’t think I am making any kind of startling revelation here. But there is serious cause for concern that Lesnar will be leaving the PPV tonight without the WWE world championship. I left RAW feeling that Cena had a good shot of winning and Seth Rollins was cashing in, leaving Brock as the odd man out. That just cannot happen!

Brock is the first true superstar that the WWE has had carry the title (other than The Rock’s brief reign) in several years. Brock is a true difference maker. All you need to do is look at the ratings patterns on RAW episodes that feature the Beast Incarnate. The audience pattern is predictable. Brock brings the numbers and the people fall off when he is done. There aren’t any real difference makers like that left in the business today.

The WWE has not even scraped the surface on the opportunities they can reward themselves with while Lesnar reigns supreme. Brock was the biggest draw in UFC history for a reason. It wasn’t because he was such a great UFC fighter. He has “it.” There are still hundreds of thousands of those UFC fans that tune in to check out what Brock is doing in a WWE ring. Those people aren’t sticking around if Lesnar isn’t.

The company finally has a guy as the face of their company that they can market to an alienated fan base. The older teenagers and men 20-30 who used to watch WWE wrestling have generally tuned out a long time ago. The WWE is just not that cool anymore and the characters don’t speak to them. Lesnar speaks to them! These teenagers can walk around with a Brock t-shirt or get together and watch Brock wrestle with interest. Nobody else has touched that demographic in years.

There is a lot more left with Lesnar as WWE champion to accomplish than Cena. Cena is old news and while I appreciate his place in the company, what do you have for him past this that would interest anyone? The Seth Rollins feud is nice to talk about but quite frankly I think they need to rehabilitate Rollins first before that happens. Rusev could be fun but it’s too soon. Reigns isn’t turning and we are all hoping to never see a Cena vs. Bray Wyatt or Randy Orton match anytime soon. There is nobody ready.

Brock has made the WWE fun again. I go out of my way to watch Lesnar and Paul Heyman anytime they walk out on RAW. There is just something about Brock running in place on that ramp that gets you excited to see what he is going to do. He is a monster and I mean that in a good way. Dean Ambrose is probably the closest to that but he has a long way to go until that is automatic. Nobody can bring to the table what Lesnar does.

Lesnar’s dominating win over Cena at SummerSlam has historic ramifications. What was the match even for if Lesnar loses one month later to Cena? Nobody can explain to me what the point of having Cena dominated at SummerSlam was if he comes back with no change in character and beats Lesnar. To make that match count, Lesnar needs to go over Cena two in a row. He doesn’t need to dominate him, but he needs to win or at minimum retain the title.

My pleas will have fallen on deaf ears and who knows what the crack creative team is thinking going into Night of Champions. I just feel that there is a lot of potential left in Brock as WWE world champion and not capitalizing on it would be one of the most disappointing blunders this company has made in a long time.

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The WWE Is Blowing It With Brock Lesnar

September 18, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE is blowing it…but you probably already knew that coming out of Monday night. The WWE will never an opportunity again to build around someone like Brock Lesnar yet they are doing their best to make sure that their investment pays very little dividends.

I recently got into a discussion with Brian Fritz on his Between the Ropes podcast about the state of the WWE. We both agreed that the company is not connecting with its fans right now. I went further to pontificate about the grand opportunity that has fallen into the laps and how the “smartest guys in the room” are letting it pass them by. Let me explain.

Guys like Brock Lesnar don’t come around every day. Take a look back at the glory years of the WWE and those years always featured a franchise guy on top. Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and The Rock were difference makers, all posing the intangibles that were lost on other guys with championship pushes. For the first time in over a decade, the WWE has that guy and aren’t capitalizing on the beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar.

Brock can’t do it himself. Hogan couldn’t, Austin couldn’t, Bruno couldn’t, and the Rock couldn’t take the company to new levels on their own. They all needed a supporting cast, a supporting cast featuring guys on the ascend, guys on the descend, and a solid card in the middle. Right now the WWE has none of the above.

The WWE is in some kind of a weird holding pattern right now. Nobody has been elevated to the next level. You can argue Roman Reigns but I could argue that they have done more tinkering to retard his progress than they have done to help. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are bright stars but neither has been portrayed as guys ready to take it to the next level. After John Cena the company has nobody ready for Brock and that is just the cherry on this crap cake known as the current state of the WWE.

Brock is the perfect face of the company. He is recognizable, he is perceived like a superstar, he connects with hardcore and casual fans, and would probably be the number one draft pick in a fantasy pool to build around. Yet after Brock there is nothing left for those fans to stick around for. Brie vs. Nikki Bella? Monday’s RAW was a prime example of this, especially after seeing the ratings dip post-Cena vs. Brock segment.

The irony of this is that the company had a shot. Coming out of WrestleMania, the future looked bright. You had Daniel Bryan, the Shield, Antonio Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, and Rusev all going up with fans excited about the WWE’s new class. Unfortunately a few months later we are back to shows with the Big Show, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, and Kane on top and that just doesn’t cut it.

Is it too late? It could be. Nobody is quite sure what the outcome of Lesnar’s match at Night of Champions will be. The door may close shut with double locks and no keys Sunday. Even if Lesnar retains, nothing I have seen lately gives me confidence that this company will take advantage of the opportunities that lay before them and that is greatly disappointing.

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John Cena and Brock Lesnar WWE RAW Brawl

September 16, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE is heading into Night of Champions 2014 with one of the worst go-home RAW shows I can remember, yet there was one bright spot. The brawl between John Cena and Brock Lesnar highlighted one of the better RAW segments of the year.

I don’t want to get too much into my Night of Champions predictions because I may do an entire blog on that later in the week. However, you can generally get a feel of who is going over in the top PPV matches by the way the angle plays out on RAW the week before. If that still holds true, it would look to me that Brock Lesnar is retaining the belt on Sunday…as well he should.

One of the things that Cena has said is that he doesn’t necessarily want the belt, he just wants to beat up Brock. I think that was a dead giveaway for the fact that Cena will likely lose the match via DQ but come out of it looking like the victor. The way this angle played out on Monday seems to support that. Cena got the better of Lesnar, which is to be expected. That tells me that Lesnar is retaining the title on Sunday because why would Cena get the better of him and beat him Sunday? Maybe he wins out against someone else in that scenario but not Brock Lesnar!

Anyway here is the brawl from Monday thanks to WWE’s YouTube channel. Check it out and whether you like Cena or not, it is hard not to get pumped about this rematch on Sunday at WWE Night of Champions…which you can watch for only $9.99 in case you haven’t heard.

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My WWE Mount Rushmore

September 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Before I get into the guys who are in my Mount Rushmore, I need to breakdown why certain legends are not represented.

I grew up watching WWE in the 1980’s, starting with WrestleMania 1. Somewhere during the greatest era in wrestling history, my priorities changed and I stopped watching. I had a vague idea of what was going on but I had zero emotion invested in the product. Thanks to the WWE Network, I know exactly what I missed. Without question, I recognize Shawn Michaels as the greatest performer in WWE history. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock are biggest stars this company has ever seen. The Nature Boy Rick Flair is a 16-time champion and the only two-time WWE Hall of Famer. For pretty obvious reasons (not watching their careers play out live), these Hall of Famers do not have a place on my WWE Mount Rushmore.

Hulk Hogan

The first and most obvious member of my Mount Rushmore is the Immortal Hulk Hogan. As a kid growing up and watching wrestling in the 80’s, I looked up to Hogan. He was the face of the company and dominated the WWE Championship. Everything he did was geared towards kids and of course I loved it all.

I vividly remember watching King Kong Bundy hit avalanche after avalanche and splash after splash on Hogan during a Saturday Night Main Event. I truly believed he was seriously injured, if not dead. Then, like the God I believed he was, he came back and defended his WWE World Title against Bundy at WrestleMania 2.

His amazing comeback victory over Hercules after surviving the backbreaker rack, programs with Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior and of course Andre the Giant made him larger than life.

Even today when I hear “I Am A Real American”, the little kid inside of me still gets a little excited. Hulk Hogan will always have a special place in my heart.

CM Punk

Next on my list is CM Punk. This is the one that I know people will question the most. I’m fully aware that he’s not in the top four of greatest WWE superstars ever.

Here’s a cliff notes story that will explain this. At some point in 2010 I was flipping through the channel guide and saw that Monday Night RAW was on so I decided to stop and see what they were up to. A few minutes into the show, a small, soft guy with a bunch of tattoos came out and started talking. I was immediately sucked in. I can’t remember exactly what he was talking about but I was hooked. I had absolutely no idea who he was but I wanted more and had to see what he was all about. I credit CM Punk with singlehandedly bringing me back to wrestling. With as much as I have enjoyed my time watching wrestling again, I am extremely grateful that he was on TV that night.

When it comes to in-ring performers, his skills do the talking. And when it comes to talking, he’s the best I have ever heard. There have been so many promos where I couldn’t tell if he was being real or not. His famous “Pipe Bomb” on RAW will go down in history as one of the greatest promos of all time.

Punk always stayed true to himself and I love that about him. Outside of the persona, he’s one of the best in-ring workers I’ve ever seen. This applies to most people, but outside of Hogan, I haven’t seen anyone hold the WWE Championship longer than Punk. That was a truly historic streak. All of that combined, Punk will always be an all-time favorite of mine.

The Undertaker

Someone that should be on everyone’s Mount Rushmore is The Undertaker. I will never forget seeing him debut at Survivor Series in 1990. At that time, I had no idea what was going on and didn’t recall anything like him before. He is the true definition of one of a kind. 24 years later and we still haven’t seen anything like him. His size, athleticism, look and ability to always keep in character and never let that go, makes him one of the greatest of all time.

How he went 21 years undefeated at WrestleMania is simply amazing. Just the fact that he was able to perform at that many WrestleManias is an incredible feat.

In addition to all of that, there is no one in the history of wrestling that has a better entrance than The Undertaker. The moment the gong hits, I immediately get chills. No one in the history of the company can ever come close to topping what he does every time he comes to the ring.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see the bulk of his career but I was there for his debut and I will be there for his retirement and without question amazing Hall of Fame speech.

Brock Lesnar

Finally, the Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar rounds out my WWE Mount Rushmore. I did miss his meteoric rise into the WWE, but I am very much aware of what he did. Has anyone ever made such an impact on the WWE in that short amount of time? None that I can come up with.

Don’t forget, I’m a huge MMA fan and when I heard that Brock Lesnar was trying to become a fighter I thought it was a joke. I knew he was a stud collegiate wrestler, but there’s no way he was going to be a successful professional fighter. He ended up winning the UFC Heavyweight Championship. I know this is a wrestling thing but him kicking ass in the UFC makes him very special.

I don’t think there was anyone more excited than me for his return. When he showed up on RAW and hit John Cena with an F-5, I knew I was seeing something very special. I watched all his destruction in his first run online and I am very much enjoying his second run in the WWE.

Just like his first run, he made an impact bigger than anything anyone can ever imagine. Despite losing a couple times, he was still so dominating in defeat. I will never forget the night that he defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania. I absolutely hated the idea that someone like Brock was the one to break the streak. But as time went on, it really grew on me and I fell in love with the idea. Then, as I predicted, he beats – no he destroys John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I never thought I would see a day that Super Cena would get dominated like that.

He hasn’t had a long career, but I can’t think of anyone who has made a bigger impact. With the combination of him and Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar is arguably one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the WWE and that’s why he’s made my WWE Mount Rushmore.

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New WWE Deal Allows For Lengthy Brock Lesnar Title Reign

September 04, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE Night of Champions 2014 main-event just got a bit more unpredictable. According to a new report, the WWE and Brock Lesnar have come to terms on an agreement that could keep the WWE world title around Brock’s waist for a very long time.

Dave Meltzer has the scoop in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. When Brock returned to the WWE in 2012 he signed a deal for limited dates. The deal called for 3-4 matches per year and limited television appearances. That arrangement has led many to believe that Brock’s reign of terror could be a short one. The Meltz says not to worry.

There is the deal in place as far as money goes but the agreement is WWE can book him as champion for Monday’s and PPVs based on when they feel they want him. Essentially he can work every PPV until Mania if that’s what they want and agree to pay whatever price it is, or they can use him only on a few shows between now and Mania. There is an agreement in place that allows them to increase dates on a pro-rate basis.

That is great news for many of us who feared that Brock’s reign would last one month. That is not to say that it won’t, but this news does open up the door for a lengthy title reign. In my opinion, I think that Brock should hold the title through or even past WrestleMania. Brock going into Mania would be expected to lose the title. I wouldn’t be opposed to having him break Punk’s last 400+ days title reign going past Mania and into next fall.

Unfortunately this is not going to be that easy. Lesnar makes a lot of money…a lot of money. Lesnar signed his deal when the economics were different in the WWE. The WWE Network has changed the game and not necessarily for the better when it comes to high-ticket guys like Lesnar. As perfect of a choice as Lesnar is as champion, there may be a point where it just doesn’t make fiscal sense to continue.

I hope that is not the case. I think the WWE world championship means more today than it has in several years. Lesnar is a difference maker and truly unique to the spot. He is the most recognizable champion the company has had to mainstream audiences in years. He is seen as a legitimate tough guy and he and Heyman are without question the most entertaining group in the business today.

But what happens at Night of Champions? Cena took a beating, the worst a champion has probably ever taken in a WWE ring. Is Cena going to get squashed two shows in a row? I highly doubt it. Was that beating all for nothing and will Cena regain the title? That would make absolutely no sense at all. Quite honestly I am not sure where they go here. The only plan that makes sense to me is the Lesnar and Heyman plan but that said, it’s not my money.

Regardless, the good news here is that the company has options. Options which many in the industry didn’t think were on the table. Hopefully this all leads to one of the greatest WWE title runs of this era. Anything less would be one of the biggest disappointments in recent memory.

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Is Brock Lesnar the GOAT?

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

At  SummerSlam Brock Lesnar became a four-time WWE Champion, He’s the youngest WWE champion in the history of the company, winner of the Royal Rumble, King of the Ring and he’s the only one to ever defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. That’s a list of accolades most wrestlers would dream of and Lesnar has done it all and in just a little over 4 years in WWE.

Even though it’s well documented, I think it’s important to take a minute to review his career timeline.

– After graduating college in 2000, Brock signed with the WWE.

– He made his TV debut in March of 2002.

– In June of 2002 he won King of the Ring. For those who don’t remember, that year was a single elimination tournament to determine the number one contender to the WWE Undisputed Championship at SummerSlam.

– In August of 2002 he defeated The Rock for the WWE World Title at SummerSlam.

– March of 2004 he lost to Goldberg in what was his final match in WWE.

– Later in 2004, Brock would leave the WWE to pursue a career in the NFL.

– In November of 2008, Brock defeated Randy Couture to win the UFC Heavyweight Champion.

– In April of 2012, Brock made his return to the WWE.

– In April of 2014, Brock ended The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania.

– In August of 2014, Brock defeated John Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

It’s safe to say, that’s one of the greatest resumes in wrestling history. To take it to another level, it’s the greatest career in WWE history. After being in developmental for about a year, he made his debut and won the WWE Championship in just six months. Not only did he win the title, he defeated The Rock to win it. If you can name one wrestler to make that kind of impact in that short amount of time in the business, I would love to hear it. Ok, I’ll wait…

Brock got bored and decided he wanted to give the NFL a try. After that didn’t work out the way he wanted, he went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Champion by beating one of the greatest fighters the sport had ever seen. As champion, he would tie the record for consecutive UFC Heavyweight Championship defenses. After a battle with diverticulitis, Lesnar would make a return to WWE where he would solidify himself as the greatest wrestler in the history of the WWE.

On his first night back on RAW, he would show up with a bang. Brock would interrupt Cena during a promo. In an attempt to welcome him back, Lesnar would destroy Cena with an F-5. Although Brock lost to Cena at Extreme Rules, he still looked beastly doing it.

Then he would go on to a feud where he would break Triple H’s arm at SummerSlam, but then lose a match to him at WrestleMania 29 with Triple H’s career on the line.Looking back at the start of his return, Brock really should not have lost a single match. If WWE planned to have Brock where he is now, then he really should have never lost.

Now lets fast-forward to WrestleMania 30. Lesnar became the first man to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, something I was extremely against at the time. I originally believed that the streak should have never been touched, let alone broken by someone who is a part-timer. Today, I have a completely different opinion about the streak. Although I do wish it were never broken, Brock was the right guy to do it. All Lesnar does is make massive impacts on the sport. Keeping it real, there’s no one in the WWE who can defeat Brock in any kind of combat sport. If he’s on the roster, he’s by far the baddest dude in the company. It makes total sense that he would pin Taker in the middle of the ring. You don’t become the best without a little controversy and Brock ending The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania was a very controversial and hated decision.

Then, in his first match after beating The Undertaker, Brock absolutely destroys John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. With today’s current landscape, I never thought I would see anyone manhandle Cena like that. It was an absolute destruction and again Brock made a huge statement. After that victory, they retired the Heavyweight Championship and made the WWE World Heavyweight Championship just one belt.

Talk about making an impact a one year. Brock won the two biggest matches in this era and realistically I never thought I would see either of them happen. It makes a huge statement that WWE would allow him to beat The Undertaker and hold the championship while sticking to his part-time status.

In a video promo, leading up to his SummerSlam match with Cena, Lesnar said that there would be no John Cena if he hadn’t left the company in 2004. That’s a big statement because John Cena seems to be the perfect wrestler in the eyes of Vince McMahon, but you never know. Brock is the greatest combination of size and athleticism and with the partnership with Paul Heyman; there might not have been much of a need for someone like Cena. Of course that’s total speculation and a bit hard to believe with what Cena has become but again, you never know.

Of course I couldn’t talk about the greatness of Brock Lesnar without talking about his mouthpiece. Brock is not very good at cutting promos but really he doesn’t need to. He lets his physical stature and destructive actions do the talking. That is unless he has something to say when the great Paul Heyman steps in. As the advocate for Brock Lesnar, Heyman has cut some of the greatest promos of all-time. Without Heyman, Brock is not as intriguing. They are truly one of the greatest wrestler/manager combinations in the history of sports entertainment. Combining him with Brock Lesnar makes him legit because all of the top guys need a good promo game and Heyman provides that to make Lesnar the complete package.

Brock Lesnar will defeat Cena in the rematch at Night of Champions and carry the title into WrestleMania where I expect him to put over a fire-hot Roman Reigns. Something else that will add to his greatness will be his ability to put over the next in line superstar.

In my eyes, Brock Lesnar’s impact and accomplishments in such a short amount of time, makes him the greatest of all time.

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WWE: Brock Lesnar and Some of the Best Brawlers of all Time

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

The WWE is still missing the boat on what will become one of the worst title matches this year when John Cena tries once again to beat Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions. Sixteen German suplexes and a poor performance by Cena (who will oversell the match to death) will leave fans screaming for their money back in a hurry, both at the gate and after they plunk down the cable buy for the show. And of course we all know the night after this pay-per-view will be more enjoyable to watch than anything we saw the night before. It is just how the law of averages in the WWE works.

I am not sure why the company has now taken Lesnar and made him the “beast” he so proclaims to be. Lesnar should be beating the hell out of the likes of Heath Slater, Heath Slater and any superstar that comes to the ring in a mask. There is a reason for the squash match. Maybe the head writers should be given a copy of a wrestling dictionary.

Lesnar could be the single best super heavy weight this company has ever seen, however in my opinion, he is not being used effectively as he brawler he is known to be. With this stagnation, I have to wonder how he fits in with the greatest brawlers of all time. Here are a few we should ponder.

BRUISER BRODY

He would have never gotten along with Vince McMahon because he was too much of an independent. But Brody was as good as gold in the ring as a face or a heel. He helped innovate the “brawling” style and was infamous for his wild and legitimately uncooperative demeanor.

Brody competed as a freelancer in several companies including the National Wrestling Alliance, Central States Wrestling, World Wide Wrestling Federation, Southwest Championship Wrestling, Windy City Wrestling, Texas All Star Wrestling, World Wrestling Council, Deep South Wrestling, and Championship Wrestling from Florida, American Wrestling Association, and World Class Championship Wrestling.

DICK THE BRUISER

In the late 1950s, Dick the Bruiser wrestled live every Thursday on TV in the Detroit area. His typical opponent was “an up and coming young (unknown) wrestler” who would be pulverized by the Bruiser. His matches and interviews were so effective he became a household name in the Detroit area.

Along with fellow wrestler and business partner Wilbur Snyder, purchased the Indianapolis NWA promotion in 1964 from its longtime owner Jim Barnett. He renamed the territory the World Wrestling Association (WWA) and promoted himself as its champion. While he ran it as an independent promotion with its own titles and champion, the WWA had a working agreement with the larger AWA (owned by wrestler Verne Gagne), sharing talent and recognizing their championships.

The Bruiser was the first to christen Manager Bobby Heenan with the nickname of “The Weasel” during his run in the territory.

DR. DEATH STEVE WILLIAMS

Dr. Death was a three-time world heavyweight champion, having won the UWF World Heavyweight Championship twice and the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship once. In addition to his singles success, Dr. Death Steve Williams achieved notoriety in Japan in tag team competition, winning the World Tag Team Championship eight times with notable tag team partners Terry Gordy, Gary Albright, Vader, and Johnny Ace.

He also achieved great tag team success in North America, winning tag team titles in the Mid-South, World Championship Wrestling, UWF and NWA United States Tag Team Championship as well as winning the World’s Strongest Tag Determination League twice with Gordy and Mike Rotunda.

OLE ANDERSON

He went on to work for National Wrestling Alliance-sanctioned promotions such as Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP, out of Charlotte, North Carolina) and Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW), where he adopted the ring name Ole Anderson, and became a member of the legendary tag team called the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with his “brother” Gene Anderson after Lars Anderson left the team in the late 1960s. The team of Ole and Gene became synonymous with tag team wrestling in JCP and GCW for many years running.

The Andersons feuded with such stars as Mr. Wrestling and Mr. Wrestling II, Wahoo McDaniel, Jack Brisco, Jerry Brisco, Tommy Rich, Johnny Weaver, Dino Bravo, Paul Jones, Ric Flair, Greg Valentine, Ricky Steamboat, Rufus R. Jones, The Mongols, and Thunderbolt Patterson throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

Anderson was known for his rough style in the ring, especially in tag teams where he and his partner would concentrate on a part of their opponent’s body (arm, leg) and wear them down by applying pressure or abuse to the point of submission.

KEVIN SULLIVAN

Known as the heel “Boston Battler”, Sullivan’s “devil worshiping” gimmick started during this time. In CWF he became associated with “Maniac” Mark Lewin (Purple Haze), Bob Roop, The Lock and Luna Vachon amongst others as the Army of Darkness. Sullivan split his time with International Championship Wrestling and brought the devil-worshiping gimmick there, along with Lewin and Roop.

He had the Fallen Angel as his valet, who later became known as Woman. Sullivan was the top heel in ICW when the company first went national and had noted feuds with Austin Idol, Superstar Billy Graham, Bruiser Brody, Joe Savoldi and Blackjack Mulligan. He was as tough as they came in the ring and for his size, may have been the best in the game.

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