The Rise and Fall of Damien Sandow

May 22, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Let me get this out of the way right from the start: I don’t dislike Sandow. Quite the contrary. He’s a fantastic in-ring athlete and his work on the mic was sublime. It’s the gimmicks he’s been forced to work with that I’m not a fan of.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. At Money in the Bank 2013, Sandow won the briefcase for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship, and it was extremely well deserved. He was on the hottest run of his career and the company was getting him over extremely well.

A few months later, he cashed in the briefcase, but lost to John Cena. It wasn’t what the fans wanted to see, but it wasn’t disastrous. Sandow put in the performance of his career and showed he could hang with the top guys. His future looked extremely bright, and I for one was massively excited to see where the company took him next. Yet, in early 2014, things had changed.

Sandow was barely on TV at all in the build up to Wrestlemania 30, and his few occasional appearances were in costume. He was a dancer, he was Vincent K. McMahondow, he even pretended to be LeBron James. This is a man who, just months earlier, looked like becoming the next World Champion.

WWE’s choice to change his character utterly baffled me, as he was hotter than ever in the build up to his match with Cena, and just that performance alone showed just how good he was. But that apparently wasn’t enough.

Skip ahead a few months post-Summerslam 2014. Sandow suddenly reappeared alongside The Miz, and was now labelled as ‘Damien Mizdow’, his stunt double. I’ll admit that I did enjoy the Mizdow gimmick. It really showed how talented he is, as he made a gimmick that is, in essence, incredibly stupid, and yet he managed to get more over than he was in his original run.

Whilst I was happy to see him finally getting some recognition, it still wasn’t the Sandow I wanted. He was handed some pretty awful stuff (mostly his imitations earlier in the year), but he put his heart and soul into making the gimmick work, much like his former tag partner Cody Rhodes is attempting to do with Stardust. To add insult to injury, the end of the Miz/Mizdow angle was done so poorly they didn’t even get a pay-per-view match to truly give the angle the ending it desperately needed.

Now a face, Sandow made a return to Raw just a few weeks ago and made a heart felt address to the fans in one of the most feel good moments of recent history. A mini-feud with Curtis Axel seemed like a fun way to get him back into being himself for the first time in over a year. Then the May 11th edition of Raw happened. Sandow was scheduled to face Axel one-on-one, but instead we got ‘Macho Mandow’.

Macho. Mandow.

What happened in that creative team meeting that made them think that this was an OK thing to do? They make him go out there to reintroduce himself to the fans, and to get him over as his actual character, but then two weeks later forget everything and restart the cycle.

It’s like WWE only book for what works well in the short term, say for three or four months, but they never plan ahead any further than that. Talent like Rowan, Fandango, Adam Rose and so on have been victims of this mentality. Until something is done about it, this will become more and more common to the point of having an entire lower card of guys who turn every other week.

As for Sandow, this is just the latest in a string of continuous letdowns that have pushed him further and further down the card, and for someone as talented and as well rounded as him, it’s a modern tragedy.

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

Damien Sandow’s fall, Reigns Rumbles and Other WWE Thoughts

July 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It is now official – sadly Damien Sandow has become the laughingstock of the WWE. He has become the jobber of all jobbers. He has become the classic impersonator and he is creating a following like Barry Horowitz, but he is certainly not in the same league as the legend. The case of Sandow is one of sadness as last year, he was challenging John Cena for the World Heavyweight Title a year ago and that his battle with Cody Rhodes was epic and short lived.

This is just proof of two things. The WWE is destroying Sandow’s career, and there are too many superstars on the roster so someone has to fall toward the bottom rung.

What you see is what you get with Sandow – when he is truly wrestling. A technical mat man who reminds me a little of Nick Bockwinkle and Lanny Poffo rolled into one. The WWE could not find a true place for the character and has disposed of him like he was trash. The tag team combination of Sandow and Cody Rhodes was a masterpiece, but the WWE changed courses, had Cody become a face and now, he is Stardust, teaming with his brother Goldust. Just proof that a little ingenuity goes a long way.

While it appears the company continues to give Dolph Ziggler opportunities to claim the mid card ladder, here is hoping the WWE does the same thing with this extreme talent.

Ruling Reigns
If the WWE does what I think it is going to do, I am not watching anymore. JUST KIDDING.

Was that a streak of evil we saw in the eye of Roman Reigns on Monday night? Could it be the WWE’s future meal ticket could be walking a thin white line? Does this mean John Cena’s title reign (no pun intended) will stop at 15?

Reigns was all the rage on Raw, and when he and Cena butted heads, there was a great amount of support for the former member of The Shield, but replay of the tape shows there may be more to it than just a snarl or two.

The idea of Reigns becoming a heel again is not as farfetched as thought. And Cena vs. Reigns is the perfect way of changing the guard like Rock/Hogan and Rock/Cena before them.

What worries me more than anything is the company is willing to potentially do this so quickly after Seth Rollins joined the Authority and Dean Ambrose is gaining his footing as a singles star.

And just a thought – does this mean at some point soon Bray Wyatt becomes a face star the flocks of fans will embrace on the other side?

Where’s Lesnar?
Everyone is waiting for the one man who is part of the one as in the one in 21-1 who defeated the one man who looked invincible. Not bad, if I say so myself.

If the WWE is going to add Brock Lesnar to the SummerSlam countdown, look for him at Battleground or the Monday after. I suspect he will be Plan B – the other plan in Triple H’s idea to rid the company of both John Cena and Daniel Bryan before him.

Let’s bet bank on this one. The only question is whether he turns on Paul Heyman, makes Heyman a part of this angle, fights with Cesaro along the way and after, or does he betray both in the Heyman party. My hope is he comes back and continues his alliance with Heyman, leaving Cesaro to turn face.

Hey we can all dream, can’t we?

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

OMG Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

Damien Sandow goes Down the Road Well Traveled in WWE

May 20, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Damien Sandow has recently been complaining on WWE programming about not being allowed to speak. He’s been interrupted in recent weeks before he could finish and on the May 16 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, his mic was cut as he was speaking. Apparently, someone behind the scenes in WWE does not want Sandow talking in front of fans.

And here we go again.

Before anyone begins criticizing, let me be clear. I have no issue with Damien Sandow. I’ve actually been a fan of his work for quite some time now. I was one of those guys that did not want to see him cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase against John Cena, mostly because I knew he would not go over.

But then again, he did have a nice showing against John and I was hoping that would lead to bigger things for him. As it turns out, I was right on the first count, wrong on the second.

And truth be told, Sandow’s character has gone through the natural evolution that we expect a WWE Superstar to go through. He came in with an eccentric gimmick, got some nice wins, formed a tag team with another talented star and then ended up on his own once again.

He got over from the very beginning; he entertains every time he’s on the mic and in the ring. He’s traveled the same road that a good number of WWE Superstars have traveled so many times before and by this point, Sandow should be somebody.

Yet he’s not. Not even close.

And that fact is lost on virtually no one. Damien is respected by a lot of fans, mostly because of what they feel he’s capable of. When they look at Damien Sandow, they see a top heel in the making. At the very least, they see a top tier heel that could match up well with any protagonist that WWE has to offer.

But again, he’s not even close.

So since nearly every WWE fan on the planet agrees that Damien is not being utilized in the right way and is simply not being given enough, there’s really only one thing WWE can do about it.

Who said “give him a real shot?” That was good, you’re funny.

No, that is not the answer that WWE has for this situation. Instead of giving Sandow an opportunity to shine and start inserting him into key positions on the card, the company has chosen to exploit the issue. In other words, they’re admitting that he’s not doing much.

And they’re letting him be the one to complain about it.

This does so many things, more than perhaps some fans even realize. For starters, it completely disarms fans that are unhappy with Sandow’s lack of direction. By broadcasting the situation on live TV, it’s completely taken the complaints out of the hands of fans.

Now, it’s hard to for fans to grieve over Sandow’s spot when he’s doing the same thing on Raw and SmackDown. The crowd knows that Vince signs off on everything that makes it onto TV, so they know that includes anything that Damien says on the mic.

So it’s a little hard to believe what he says at all now. After all when a cause falls into the hands of WWE creative, it ceases to be a cause; it’s now a storyline.

Another thing that is accomplished by using fan frustration over Sandow as an angle is the fact that for those who consider themselves smart about the product, they feel like WWE is listening. They believe that their complaints are finally receiving some serious attention from the front office, that WWE cares about what they want and who they want to see.

Ha. Another good one.

Here’s the thing. The truth is that WWE does care; to a certain extent. They care enough to make money off of guys that can produce for them in key areas. And they care enough to take what fans feel is important and use it to their advantage.

And they do it all the time. Remember the “here we go again” line? It’s absolutely true. From CM Punk to Zack Ryder all the way down to JTG, one Superstar after another has spoken his mind about not being utilized and every time it’s happened, WWE has used it to their advantage. The current situation with Damien Sandow is nothing new; he wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last.

To be honest, this storyline is not the end of the world for Damien. At the very least, the guy’s on TV, he’s in the ring and he’s getting some time to shine. The fact that his storyline is played out doesn’t mean that he is. Sandow has an opportunity here and that’s a lot more than some guys currently riding the pine in WWE can say.

Damien Sandow has a chance. And a chance is a chance, it’s better than nothing at all. Perhaps that’s all that matters here.

Even if we have seen it before.

Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report and a Contributor for

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr

Ultimate Warrior: The Ultimate Collection DVD

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

WWE Wrestler of the Week: November 30th- December 5th, 2013

December 06, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

With just one week until the one year anniversary of this column, I would like to recognize two wrestlers for the award. After discussing both, I will provide my thoughts on which should ultimately be the winner this week. They both became number one contenders this week. They are Damien Sandow and Natalya.

This past Monday on Raw, Sandow defeated Dolph Ziggler to become number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship. The matches between Sandow and Ziggler the last few weeks have been pretty pointless up until now. Sure, they mainly dealt with the theme of that episode of Raw, but why should anyone care about this feud? Two former Money in the Bank winners finally squared off with something on the line. While Sandow winning made sense in the fact that he is the heel, a match between Ziggler and Big E Langston would also be intriguing based on their past as partners.

Nonetheless, the choice of pushing Sandow into the Intercontinental title picture does interest me. He did appear to lose a lot of steam after failing to cash in Money in the Bank, but perhaps WWE will push him with the midcard title instead. In fact, I can’t decide if I want Langston or Sandow to win. Big E has a bright future ahead of him and having him lose this soon into his title reign probably isn’t wise. At the same time, Sandow is very underrated. In my opinion, he is the total package. Great wrestler and amazingly entertaining on the mic. It’s going to be a tough call when I make my predictions.

On the same night that Sandow earned the title shot against Langston at WWE TLC 2013, Natalya earned an opportunity that is way overdue. In a six diva tag match, Natalya and the Bella Twins were victorious over AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka and Summer Rae. The daughter of Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart rolled up the Divas Champion for the victory. This gave Vickie Guerrero reason to award Natalya the title shot at TLC against AJ.

No wonder Natalya is a member of the famous Hart Family because as Bret would say she is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. No other diva in the WWE could give fans as great a match with AJ as Natalya can. I believe Brie Bella and others have challenged AJ recently because of Total Divas. So to me, it was only a matter of time until Natalya got her chance. Natalya is going to be AJ’s toughest opponent yet. If WWE chooses to move the title off AJ, Natalya is the most logical diva to become the new champion.

Both Sandow and Natalya could become new champions at WWE TLC 2013, which makes choosing one of the weekly award that much more difficult. However, Langston is a new champion himself. He rid us of the terrible reign of Curtis Axel and is most likely holding onto the title. AJ, on the other hand, has held the divas championship for almost six months. She seemed destined to hold the title for a very long time. However, with the success of Total Divas and the talent of Natalya, AJ is in trouble. Therefore, I am awarding WWE Wrestler of the Week to Natalya.

Who do you think deserves WWE Wrestler of the Week this week? What are Damien Sandow and Natalya’s chances at WWE TLC 2013? Please share your thoughts below and tweet me your choice @sethmikey

Seth Guttenplan is the owner of GuTTWrenchPowerBlog. When Seth is not writing about wrestling, he is a Special Education teacher in New Jersey. To read more from Seth, follow him on twitter (@sethmikey) and visit

WWE: TLC – Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2013

WWE: History of the WWE

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

Damien Sandow was robbed, Stephanie McMahon and Other Pro Wrestling Thoughts

November 04, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE all but admitted last Monday night that it did not know what to do with Damien Sandow and his Money in the Bank contract. In a shrewd move, the Intellectual Savior of the WWE did something many could not do with more experience – he took John Cena past the brink.

I personally am a huge fan of Sandow’s work on the microphone and in the ring. He represents the good and bad of what professional wrestling has become lately. He could be the biggest heel on SmackDown, if given the chance and has the ability to take a title from anyone on the roster on any given night.

Sandow is in a bit of purgatory. He was involved in the hotly contest feud with Cody Rhodes that was abruptly stopped to give Rhodes a needed push with his family angle.

He did not have a clear cut rival, where someone like Kofi Kingston or R-Truth or some other retread would not be fair to the character. I thought maybe Dolph Ziggler would work or maybe Christian upon his return, but none of that materialized. He then gave Cena 15 minutes of some fantastic “wrestling” which resulted in his MITB contract being absolved. While it solved the WWE’s issue with what to do with the up-and-comer, it did not help him in any way should Alberto Del Rio continue to challenge Cena for the World Title.

Sandow is a throwback of sorts. A little bit “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, a little bit of Nick Bockwinkle and a little bit of George Wepner. His character was somewhat stagnant until his feud with Rhodes and he continued to drop matches. It will be interesting to see how the WWE plays out the Cena-Del Rio-Sandow triangle. Remember as well, SAndow tried to cash in on Del Rio as well.

Stephanie McMahon’s bold move

Speaking of playing out programs in the WWE, I wonder how long with it will be before Stephanie McMahon considers her husband, Triple H, a B+ COO of the company?

There is going to be a major shift at some point in this “Authority” angle where the “Queen Witch” of the WWE grows weary of her husband not being able to take care of business in the ring. The fact that Kane all but exposed the flaw on Monday night was a sign this could be a very interesting eight weeks in the WWE.

We all know Big Show’s days in the company are not over, where I suspect he may challenge Randy Orton at some point for the title and Kane will soon become the company’s enforcer. What that means is goodbye to The Shield and the appearance of Vince McMahon and maybe Shane McMahon to side with Stephanie – proving blood is thicker than water and wedding vows.

Is Stephanie the “Devil” the person Bray Wyatt talks about? Is she the one behind the impromptu attacks by the Wyatt Clan? Does it lead to a partnership between Daniel Bryan and CM Punk? What happens with Kofi Kingston in all of this?

Breaking up The Shield

Dean Ambrose is by far the best of the three in the “Hounds of Justice,” however it seems Roman Reigns will be the odd man out in the unholy trinity. The WWE is taking a bold step here, not pushing Ambrose toward a World Title shot.

Reigns is the type of wrestler Vince McMahon used to rely on in the 1980s – bold, rugged, huge, abusive and full of power and strength. He has a look to him and a chance to be huge. But don’t fool yourself – in terms of ability he may be better than Ambrose and Seth Rollins, but he is also light years behind them in knowledge and performance.

If Vince is looking to make Reigns another “Rock,” he had better be patient. Do not create another Ryback situation.

Goldust is still golden

If there is something to praise in the WWE right now, it’s the work of both Cody Rhodes and his brother Dustin or “Goldust.”

Since coming back to the company, the 44-year-old has been nothing but spectacular. The angle of the union of the Rhodes family has been well played and the attack on The Shield, and the battles with the Real Americans have proven to be far better than I expected.

This is one move the WWE made with bringing back a veteran that still had plenty in the tank to offer.

Admittedly, I thought the WWE would have Goldust turn on Cody as part of the company angle and as part of the past issues the Rhodes family has had between Dusty and Dustin. Good to see the angle works and allows both of the Rhodes offspring show how dynamic they are.


Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

WWE: History of the WWE

WWE 2K14 on all consoles

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

WWE Wrestler of the Week July 26th – August 1st, 2013

August 02, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Oh you didn’t know!? You better call somebody because it’s time once again for WWE Wrestler of the Week. This week a number of superstars and even divas were in contention for the award. The Bella Twins had a great week, which featured the debut of Total Divas. Christian also had a great week with wins on Raw and SmackDown. However, the winner this week is someone whose loss at Money in the Bank may have turned into a win for him. This week’s winner is Cody Rhodes.

On the July 26th edition of SmackDown, Rhodes was not in action. However, he made multiple appearances and was the last man standing at the end of the show. As you may recall, his former best friend Damien Sandow pushed Rhodes off the ladder to claim Money in the Bank this year. Sandow was in action on SmackDown against the other Money in the Bank winner, Randy Orton. During this match, Rhodes made an appearance when he stole Sandow’s Money in the Bank briefcase. This distraction would cause Sandow to lose to Orton.

The night was not over for Sandow or Rhodes. Sandow returned to the ring after Christian’s win over Jack Swagger. Sandow demanded that Rhodes be arrested for theft, which caused Cody to let Sandow know exactly where he was. Rhodes was by the Gulf of Mexico holding Sandow’s briefcase. Despite Sandow’s begging, Rhodes threw the briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico and Sandow went swimming to retrieve it. It was a great classic moment that reminded me of the Attitude Era when The Rock threw Stone Cold Steve Austin’s championship belt into a river.

On the July 29th of Raw, Rhodes was victorious in action against Wade Barrett. The outcome didn’t come as a surprise since Rhodes and Barrett seem to be going in opposite directions in their current roles. Even so, it’s great to see Rhodes score a victory. Prior to Money in the Bank, Rhodes was used similarly to how Barrett is used now. As a jobber.

Rhodes’ face turn is turning into a great decision by WWE management. His feud with Sandow is one of the more intriguing storylines today. Rhodes has been a midcarder for his entire career. With Sandow as a great classic heel, it should help Rhodes break into the main event with Sandow.

One change I would like to see Rhodes make is his look and entrance. Whether he keeps the moustache or not doesn’t really matter. However, as I saw him enter ringside for a recent match, he had the same mannerisms as when he was a heel. He needs to act more fan friendly and smile more when entering ringside. Rhodes has a great babyface look and needs to take advantage of this.

Rhodes and Sandow were a fantastic tag team that should have had a run as the champions. They were the ideal heel tag team to Kane and Daniel Bryan. They were among the most misused superstars on the roster and it’s great to see WWE changing that. It should only be a matter of time until Sandow and Rhodes are in a feud over the World Heavyweight title. Let’s face it – Alberto Del Rio is super stale and doesn’t even have anyone to feud with. Sandow and Rhodes’ feud is much more interesting.

Who do you think deserved WWE Wrestler of the Week this week? What does the future hold for Cody Rhodes as a babyface? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

Be sure to check out Camel Clutch Blog each and every Friday for a new WWE Wrestler of the Week!

Seth Guttenplan is the owner of GuTTWrenchPowerBlog. When Seth is not writing about wrestling, he is a Special Education teacher in New Jersey. To read more from Seth, follow him on twitter ( @sethgutt ) and visit

Legends Of The Mid-South Wrestling

WWE: Summerslam 2013 DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

The Cody Rhodes/Damien Sandow WWE Feud Takes Wrestling Back to its Heyday

July 29, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

There are few things in the WWE that have caused me to tune in with excitement lately. But I do have to say that the recent events between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow has become must see television in my household.

I am amazed not only in the nonchalant, carefree attitude of Sandow and how it works so well within the company, and I am equally amazed at the way Rhodes has become a great orator and has been accepted so fast in the WWE Universe as a face.

The fact two great performers are playing off of each other has made this the “must see” event of SummerSlam, along with Daniel Bryan.

Yes, you read that right. I did not add John Cena to that mix. Bryan is a far more superior performer in this scenario, which will make the current WWE champion look lost. I am hoping Cena will sell for Bryan the way he did for The Rock and for CM Punk.

Getting back to the reason for this column.

Rhodes and Sandow are a breath of fresh air and the Money in the Bank briefcase being thrown in the Gulf of Mexico last Friday night was icing on the cake. And if you noticed, all it has done is make Alberto Del Rio’s role in the company as the World Champion seek weak at best.

Think of this feud takes me back to a time when wrestling mattered. Not the title, but the wrestling, the build up, the vignette and the delivery. The days when Eddie Gilbert could cut a promo on the fly or Bobby Heenan could yell at the “humanoids” in the stands. It also reminds me of the pompous nature of wrestling as a whole and how great it is to be concerned with “getting even” more than getting the win.

If you have noticed, Rhodes is mad he was beaten for the briefcase by Sandow, not the fact Sandow has the briefcase. Two entirely different topics, but one great scenario (The Reeses of professional wrestling).

The best way I can put it is former tag team partners who become foes to exact revenge like Kevin Sullivan and Mike Graham, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty, Lex Luger and Sting and Eddie Gilbert and Tommy Rich. I guess you could also insert Edge and Christian in there as well.

And with the staleness of the World Title division, this is a good thing for the WWE and wrestling in general.

This will be the best match of SummerSlam and deserves top billing, but it cannot be afforded it because of the hype of Bryan and “Super Cena.”

As a purist of wrestling, I have often said wrestlers need a good feud to define them and prove their greatness. Ric Flair needed Ricky Steamboat. Randy Savage needed Jerry Lawler before the WWF. Tully Blanchard needed Magnum TA. Jack Brisco needed Dory Funk, Jr, and so on.

The point I want to make is this feud has potential for greatness (I say that because this is the WWE and we all know there is a potential to mess this up) but it cannot be truly great until both wrestlers lace the boots up and get in the ring. If the build up is great and the match flops, then it is a waste of time.

Let’s hope that does not happen.

If this match is better than the promos and barbs, then it will be the feud of the year (you can put me down for that one). But best of all, the WWE is willing to take a chance with this one and see where it goes. There is nothing better than a red hot feud in the middle of a red hot summer.

David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be read here. Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

Legends Of The Mid-South Wrestling

WWE: Summerslam 2013 DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

Curtis Axel, Arn Anderson And Unresolved WWE Issues

July 22, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Although I was not a fan of Curtis Axel before his transformation into the wrestling character he is today (he was Mike McGillicutty as part of the Nexus), I have to say the current Intercontinental champion in the WWE does intrigue me due to his overwhelming potential.

The third-generation star will never be the wrestler Randy Orton or The Rock have been over the years and he may never attain the same stature of his father, Curt Hennig, but there is a belief by myself (and probably other wrestling writers) that Axel has a solid future in the WWE, if only for a short shelf life.

Another thing hit me as I was watching Axel last week and during the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event — could Axel and Arn Anderson’s careers mirror each other?

Anderson was the greatest wrestler to never capture the World Title in the NWA and WCW. He was a rugged sort, could talk on the mic and was surrounded by others who helped to make him better. The Four Horsemen will go down in history (in my opinion) as the greatest wrestling stable of all time. Only problem is Anderson, who I think was better than him, played second fiddle to Ric Flair. A better wrestler, a better talker and a better all around performer.

Flair’s exuberance and arrogance were unmatched by anyone in any generation and he could sell, which made him the perfect “heel” champion to rival the likes of Jack Brisco, Rick Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes and Sting.

Axel has the talent, the in ring look, needs to get better on the mic (Anderson was not great at first) and he needs to learn to sell like nobody’s business. Given all those similarities, and the fact Axel has Paul Heyman in his camp (and a lead dog like Brock Lesnar) who knows where Axel’s character will go.

Axel’s character and future is not the only question the WWE will have to deal with in the near future. With SummerSlam on the horizon, the WWE needs to continue to promote John Cena/Daniel Bryan, decide how to handle the Randy Orton injury situation and what to do with Mark Henry.

These are also issues that need to be answered.

Has the feud between Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow trumped the World Heavyweight Title?

We are stoked by the idea of the feud that has begun between former members of Team Rhodes Scholars. Has the battle between Rhodes and Sandow made the quest for the WHC less important? First off, I am not a huge fan of Alberto Del Rio being the current champion and it looks like Dolph Ziggler will have his hands busy with Big E Langston. Does a feud that does not directly involve a title mean more to the fans than the man who actually holds the title?

Can Tara help a developing WWE Divas Division?

YES! No, this is not a Daniel Bryan exclusive. Tara was released from TNA last week because of contract issues. The 40-something diva had been a mainstay in TNA since 2009 and could give life to the Divas division immediately. Her size and skill would be a welcomed addition. And a beginning of Kaitlyn, AJ, Tamina, The Bellas Alicia Fox, Natalya and Tara could be a great start to something new.

Should Christian just move to the tag team division?

YES! He is looking for one more match, but he is not going to get it in the singles division. Look for the veteran to move to the tag team ranks, where a combination of Christian and Wade Barrett of maybe Kofi Kingston (upon his return) would be a great thing for the WWE.

David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be read here. Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

Legends Of The Mid-South Wrestling

WWE: Money in the Bank (2013) DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

WWE Wrestler of the Week: July 12th – 18th, 2013

July 19, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

This week, WWE crowned two new Mr. Money in the Banks. Well, one Mr. Money in the Bank and one Sir Money in the Bank. However, considering the results of SmackDown and Raw as well, there is a clear winner of WWE Wrestler of the Week. It would be difficult to have a better week than one of the Money in the Bank winners. At the same time, only one winner stood tall on both SmackDown and Raw. This week’s winner is Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton.

On the July 12th edition of SmackDown, Orton and Sheamus squared off in the final match before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Although the match ended in a no contest thanks to Daniel Bryan, it was the Viper who stood tall at the conclusion of Friday night. This occurrence mimicked the previous Raw when Bryan stood atop the ladder at the end of Monday night. Damien Sandow didn’t even make an appearance on the July 12th edition of SmackDown.

Fast-forward two days to the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Although Sandow’s victory was slightly more surprising than Orton’s, the Viper’s win was by no means obvious. I expected Daniel Bryan or Rob Van Dam to win the match. In any case, involved in a six-man ladder match for the WWE title briefcase, Orton stood atop the ladder with no one else in sight to win. Orton now has a near guarantee of becoming one of the next WWE champions.

The next night on Raw, Orton came to face-to-face with WWE Champion John Cena to let him know that when Orton does cash in, Cena will not expect it. Fandango of all people had some words to say. The most ridiculous words out of his mouth were that he could be WWE Champion when Orton cashes in. Orton then proceeded to defeat Fandango in a match that probably lasted longer than it should have.

That’s right. This week’s winner of the WWE Wrestler of the Week could be your next WWE Champion. John Cena will defend the title against Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, but just like last year, it’s possible that we have two new champions. Last year, CM Punk defeated Cena to become the new WWE Champion, only to see Alberto Del Rio cash in Money in the Bank and become the new new WWE Champion.

Could you imagine Bryan defeating Cena for the title, only for Orton to cash in and become the new WWE Champion?

Orton has a history with both Bryan and Cena. He and Cena were in the most heated rivalry back in 2009, while he was feuding with Bryan just before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

John Cena is the only WWE superstar to fail when cashing in Money in the Bank. I have a feeling that will stay true. That is because when Orton does cash in, I do expect the Viper to become the WWE champion.

Who do you think deserved the WWE Wrestler of the Week? When do you think Orton will cash in Money in the Bank? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Seth Guttenplan is the owner of GuTTWrenchPowerBlog. When Seth is not writing about wrestling, he is a Special Education teacher in New Jersey. To read more from Seth, follow him on twitter ( @sethgutt ) and visit

Legends Of The Mid-South Wrestling DVD

WWE: Money in the Bank (2013) DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on

Damien Sandow wins WWE MITB briefcase, but Cody Rhodes is real winner

July 15, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

In a few strolling moments, we all became Cody Rhodes fans. After what was an amazing night for the WWE, there are so many questions left to be answered. Where do you begin after seeing the best pay-per-view of the year for the company?

If you are scoring at home, give this an “A,” and hope that the next month moving into SummerSlam will be as hot as it is here in the Florida sun? What happens now with Sandow and the World Heavyweight Title? Here are a few scenarios of how this could play out.

I don’t think the idea is to have Sandow cash in right away. He has been brilliant of late and has gotten a real push from his matches with Sheamus. But I see this working more to Rhodes advantage than anything else. While Sandow will pursue the WHC, the title his best friend’s father held, here is something we might now have thought about.

What if Sandow has to face Rhodes for the title?

I have a theory this is where Rhodes gets the push and beats Alberto Del Rio for the title, the title his daddy won in the NWA and helped to create as the greatest title in wrestling until Vince McMahon took over the wrestling scene.

But this could happen.

Rhodes was the Intercontinental Title holder for more than 251 days and never once was he really given a push. As a member of Team Rhodes Scholars, the two were good as a tag team but could not beat Team Hell No. A feud with the Real Americans seemed likely, but that isn’t happening now.

There are some real questions that now become relevant since Sandow is the title chaser.

Does Rhodes gain a title shot and beat Del Rio and face Sandow for the title? Is Wade Barrett ever going to get a title shot? Does Dean Ambrose stay in mid card hell while he strengthens his grip on being a great singles wrestler? Can Christian get that one last match?

All the cards are now in the hands of two guys who will probably wind up feuding. Rhodes, like his father, will win the hearts of the WWE Universe and be a huge star as a far. Sandow, who looks like “Non” from the Superman movie back in the day, He is the perfect heel right now. And if he and Rhodes tangle in the ring, it could be a epic confrontation (of course they will meet in the ring. Mark it down for SummerSlam).

Both ladder matches were epic in their own right and told a story worthy of making the WWE worth watching for the next five months. That is exactly what this PPV is supposed to do.

Back in the day, before he became “The American Dream,” Dusty Rhodes was a heel in Florida in Eddie Graham’s “Championship Wrestling from Florida.” It took his partner, Pak Song to turn on him for the greatness and character to come out.

Cody is nothing like his father, and of course does not have the same charisma. But, I do see an angle where the “friend’ in Sandow has a few choice words about Rhodes and his upbringing and his lineage, which leads to war.

Finally, Rhodes gets the push he needs and has deserved. And to be honest, the win by Sandow does more to help both these wrestlers. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes, everything falls into place.

On Sunday night, everything did fall into place. Sandow won a Money in the Bank Briefcase. Cody Rhodes won more than that. He won the chance to be the superstar the WWE should have pushed him to be long ago.

David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be read here. Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

WWE: Money in the Bank (2013) DVD

WWE: Money In The Back Anthology DVD Set

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on