Subscribe

Replacing Daniel Bryan’s Spot in the WWE

May 14, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Without a doubt, I can honestly say the WWE will not be able to fill the shoes of Daniel Bryan.

The company that continually pushed him down, only to help build him into one of the biggest stars in the company’s history relinquished the Intercontinental Heavyweight Title on Monday night. It left pundits like myself and the millions of fans worldwide wondering what happens to the title, and what happens to the spot created by the absence of the “YES!” man.

Some holes are harder to fill than others. Some losses are harder to take. Some wrestlers cannot be duplicated or imitated. And no, don’t expect to see Damien Sandow trying to recreate the “YES!” movement anytime soon.

Daniel Bryan is a wrestling icon.

If you don’t believe me, then think of it this way. The underdog of the business continued to defy odds, win titles, please the fans and give them a better performance than the one before. I used to hear people talk about how great Tito Santana was in the ring – the fact he “never” had a bad match. Couldn’t the same thing be said about Bryan and his ability and his spirit and his performance? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Now, that kind of energy cannot be replaced. That physical nature cannot be duplicated. The WWE isn’t like that these days. The company doesn’t hang onto the past like that – it moves forward with steam engine speed.

The one thing that I used to admire about Vince McMahon and his bigger than life circus of the 1980s was his ability to put the “Next Man Up” theory to use. There was always someone there to fill the role, take the spot, or become the next star. Someone replaced Santana. Bret Hart, The Rock, Steve Austin – even Hogan… All replaced at one point or another. And even with the series of promotions in other organizations, there were enough “part” players to go around. Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Hercules, Junkyard Dog. Ace Orton. And the list goes on and on.

Truthfully, tell me who is going to do that now? The obvious choice would have been that wrestler turned MMA fighter who still has his name chanted in arenas nightly, but took his trunks and ran to the UFC. He’s not around.

Bryan was every bit Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit all in one – and that is no exaggeration.

There is a theory I have that you don’t “replace” him, but you replace the momentum he created.

Maybe that’s why Dean Ambrose has been thrust into the main event at Payback. Maybe there are plans for a shakeup in the WWE World Title picture. Then of course, there may be another idea brewing.

While the Bray Wyatt/Ryback program is still on the plate of WWE’s creative team, there are plans according to What Culture, of a Wyatt face turn.

It couldn’t come any sooner.

In John Canton’s story, he refers to Dave Meltzer’s comments on Observer Radio at F4WOnline.com, he’s likely going to be a babyface, although there are no immediate plans in place for that to happen. Meltzer noted that now is not the right time for it.

http://whatculture.com/wwe/bray-wyatt-face-turn-planned.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

This is one of those things that we have to keep in the back of our minds because there’s a very good chance that Wyatt will be a huge babyface star once he does his turn. He’s already got the fans support when he enters the arena and the entire crowd lights up the darkened arena by holding up their cell phones to give him light.

The thought is Wyatt could take a similar path that Mick Foley did fan support and ultimate face supremacy.

Different idea, same result.

If it is in the offing, it had better come quick. Fans aren’t going to sit around and approve of stagnation. If not Wyatt to make the leap, then who. And if it does happen, when. Only time and the WWE know the answers to those questions.

And in the meantime we wonder, who replaces the icon?

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 Amazon.com

Daniel Bryan At A Career Crossroads

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

Does the WWE have another “Edge-like” situation on its hands with the continual rash of injuries to superstar Daniel Bryan?

Because of his history and the fact Bryan, the current Intercontinental Title holder, is out of action again with no true timetable for his return, should we as fans be prepared if the “Yes!” movement taking a permanent vacation from professional wrestling?

The WWE put out a one page story, begging the question, “What will become of Daniel Bryan and the Intercontinental Title?” It’s a topic I am sure many of wrestling fans and people in the business are asking of the David-like hero who fights in a world of Goliaths on a nightly basis. Only now, his high-octane and body-abusive style may have finally caught up with him, possibly putting a major fork in the road of his greatness.

Right now, the shock of not knowing when Bryan may return to the ring (which has been said to be the end of June) means many things for the performer, the Intercontinental Title and the WWE. The company needs him in the ring with the support of his minions in the stands cheering him on.

It’s a precarious situation for the WWE, the company that dealt with his injured neck while having to relinquish the WWE World Title. Now, once another belt is around his waist, a concussion has sidelined him, which to the dismay of everyone involved seems tragic. I for one am holding my breath.

In keeping with protocol – which is WWE speak for staying in character, the story states …

“A spotlight first shined on this issue when Bryan was not medically cleared to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules. Then, this past Monday, the flames of speculation increased tenfold when the “Yes!” Man’s wife Brie Bella provided an update on her husband’s current condition, which didn’t include any definitive details.

“It’s worth noting that, less than a year ago, Bryan was forced to relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight Champion due to a career-threatening injury. If his current status proves to be as serious this time around, is history destined to repeat itself for his current reign as Intercontinental Champion? Could he conceivably be stripped of a second title in two consecutive years?”

Edge knows about this all too well. A performer in the prime of his career and one of the MVP’s of the promotion being forced into early retirement because of neck injury that became the curtain call.

In a small story on WWE.com, almost four years to the day of the story on Bryan’s MIA status, we read…

“The Rated-R Superstar had been suffering numbness and uncontrollable trembling in his arms and hands. This is not the first time Edge has experienced these symptoms of nueropraxia. An MRI administered at Atlanta Midtown Diagnostic Imaging last Monday was sent to Dr. Joseph Maroon, a renowned neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery at The Pittsburgh School of Medicine. After careful examination of the MRI, it was determined that Edge would never be cleared to compete again, and thus, he is forced to retire.”

Could a similar fate, should Bryan get back in the ring and suffer another traumatic injury, be in the near future?

Wrestling’s brutality is played out every night with dropkicks and 5-Star Frog Splashes. We’ve all seen the disclaimers of the injuries being real and “Don’t Try This At Home” which prompted all of us to consider what it would like to jump 20 feet in the air and land on a mattress. We’ve seen this before. We witnessed it many times. Darren Drozdov was paralyzed. Steve Austin and Kurt Angle with neck injuries. Mick Foley and Terry Funk not knowing when to say the word, “STOP.”

Bryan’s future is still in the wrestling ring until he is told otherwise or he himself makes a decision. As popular as he is today and the sacrifices he has made over the years, which he has shared with his followers and the WWE Universe, it would shock me if he had to stop what he loves doing for a living. But if I also see the humane side to this and the idea of living a life which is not confined to a wheelchair. It may not be now, but at some time, the high-flying superstar and leader of the “Yes!” Movement may have to utter a word we really do not want to hear – “NO!”

It looks like WWE’s injury history may be repeating itself.

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 Amazon.com

WWE: General Thoughts Heading into the Weekend

May 01, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE’s chance to remake Damien Sandow has just begun.

After a heartfelt testimonial by the newest face in the company, the once proclaimed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” could be exactly what the WWE needs as a fan favorite that isn’t the over-the-top sensation of Dolph Ziggler or the rugged heavyweight like Roman Reigns. Being in the middle of the pack will actually help Sandow’s career. If the WWE bills him correctly.

Since WrestleMania, the WWE has traveled down several roads with some good programming.

  • John Cena versus Rusev has been as good as advertised.
  • The dissension in The Authority is just the right blend of calm and chaos.
  • Randy Orton’s involvement in the World Title picture has been successful.
  • The King of the Ring Tournament has come at the right time.
  • Neville himself is worth the price of admission to a WWE live event.
  • Dolph Ziggler is the company MVP and does not get the recognition he deserves.

Now comes the hard part of maintaining momentum with key role players such as Sandow, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt and Ryback. The WWE has started this year, albeit five months in, on a great pace. Now comes the hard part of maintaining the speed without losing the focus. All too often, that has been the issue with management and the creative team.

Daniel Bryan News

Actually, there is no real news about Bryan. Since he was removed from the card at Extreme Rules, there has been very little say about the reigning Intercontinental Title holder. If Bryan remains out of action, does this mean the Intercontinental Title will be back up for grabs at Payback and if so, who will the contenders be?

I would love to see another show like the one at WrestleMania. It was just too sweet!

Lana’s Big Push

This one’s for all of us blond lovers. Lana is about to get a serious push to be the face of the WWE’s Diva’s Division.

That’s great news for her fans (most of them male) and some bad news for Rusev. All of this may come to a head at Payback, I would think. It seems the WWE has realized the potential of the heart-stopping blond and have planned the divorce of the big Russian and his beautiful sidekick. Only problem is we all know Lana is the lead of this twosome. How the company plans to promote Rusev following the split is anyone’s guess.

I hope a loss to John Cena in an “I Quit” match and a planned breakup will not stop the momentum of the WWE’s truest heel right now.

According to a story on Inquisitr.com http://www.inquisitr.com/2054835/wwe-news-wwe-pushing-lana-to-become-female-face-of-wwe-set-to-drop-russian-gimmick-soon/ that first appeared on The Wrestling Observer, “The WWE is planning to split Rusev and Lana and push Lana into a position where she can be the face of the WWE Diva Division. The split with Rusev will reveal that Lana is, in fact, American and not Russian. From here of course WWE will turn Lana into a babyface.”

I wonder how that plays into the company’s plans since Naomi and almost all of the current Divas on the roster appear to have gone rogue.

Happy Birthday to The Rock

A huge shout out to The Rock as he celebrates his birthday, tomorrow. Dwayne Johnson will be the big 42 years old.

He has had seventeen championship reigns in WWE, including ten as a world champion, winning the WWF/E Championship eight times and the WCW/World Championship twice. He won the WWF Intercontinental Championship twice and the WWF Tag Team Championship five times. He is the sixth WWF/E Triple Crown Champion, and won the 2000 Royal Rumble.

And most of all, he showed he can still “Bring It” when he and Ronda Rousey got in the ring at WrestleMania 31 to confront Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Will we see The Great One back in the ring soon? I sure hope so.

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 Amazon.com

John Cena, Daniel Bryan and other WWE Extreme Rules Thoughts

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

USA 2 Russia 0.

By winning the Russian Chain Match at WWE Extreme Rules over Rusev, John Cena has made sure every WWE fan who was in Chicago and those who watched from their televisions know one thing – the United States Heavyweight Championship is the most important title in the company right now.

As proven time and time again, the WWE will not let the 15-time world champion wander far from the top of the mountain. Even with the influx of talent in Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Daniel Bryan, the WWE still needs Cena to make it all happen. This is much like the WWF in days gone by when Hulk Hogan held the company title for long reigns, losing it from time to time, but still coming back to claim it – the way Vince McMahon intended it.

Now that the Cena/Rusev program would appear to be finished at Payback, what happens next for Cena and better yet, what happens for Rusev. Will there be another formidable opponent for the Russian – who bleeds red, white and blue and can carry the pageantry of Cena? There is no one on the roster to give Rusev a true rivalry unless a newly title-less Cesaro turns face and challenges him.

And while we are on the subject, who is next in line for Cena? My money is on Sheamus or Bad New Barrett. There is still a thought on my part there may be title unification in the near future between Cena and whoever holds the Intercontinental Title.

Thoughts on Daniel Bryan

The moment I read that Daniel Bryan had been scratched from Extreme Rules, the idea of retirement came to mind.

Not that the current Intercontinental Title holder would be ending his career any time soon (although, we never know), but because concussions are injuries that seem to multiply. With the impact of Bryan in matches and the “car crashes” he endures on a nightly basis, will the for former WWE World Champion ever be the same as he was before his neck injury that sidelined him for months and this current injury, which seems to be worse than for thought?

Instead of the WWE trying to rush Bryan back, could this be a situation where a timetable for the wrestler coming back healthy is still not known? In the meantime, the state of the Intercontinental Title is still up in the air with Bad News Barrett still the top contender for the title.

Does the WWE hold a tournament for the title, should Bryan not be able to wrestle and does Neville’ win over Barrett last night have any bearing on the title situation, should it change?

Let them all wrestle

I like the idea of wrestling programs regardless of their status with the WWE. In the WWE World Tag Team Title Match and the WWE Divas Title Match, all opponents were heels. Maybe that is the road this company needs to travel.

Since the WWE cannot seem to decide which way to turn, why not give the fans what they want – matches that pit WWE superstars against each other – regardless of which side of the fence they stand? Wouldn’t Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns vs. John Cena be worth the price of admission?

In years past promotions were against face vs. face or heel vs. heel matches. Now, with the commonality of the business, and the idea that being “bad” is cool, let’s just give the fans feuds that make the most sense rather than worry about what side they stand. Maybe that is truly what is best for business.

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 Amazon.com

Injury Concerns for Daniel Bryan, Remembering Rick Rude

April 21, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Is the WWE pushing Daniel Bryan to perform at Extreme Rules this coming Sunday despite reports that the Intercontinental Champion is suffering from a concussion?

According to reports, Bryan suffered the injury against Sheamus prior to the WWE going on its European Tour.

Per the Inquistr.com

We know now that since the match was supposed to go long, Bad News Barrett ended up lasting a while against Cena. It made sense to have Barrett replace Bryan due to the UK affiliation. However, many still wanted to see Bryan. The reason he missed time and only did tag matches was because of an injury. WWE didn’t know exactly what was wrong with Bryan, so they wanted to get him back to the United States to seek medical treatment, which is why he was sent home from the European Tour.

Bryan, who was out of action for months and had to give up the WWE World Title due to a neck injury, has been back in the ring since the Royal Rumble, but has not changed his high octane style in the ring. For that reason alone, every time the leader of the “Yes!” movement takes a hard bump, fans and the media hold their breath. Now, there seems to be some reason for concern. The WWE needs Bryan to perform as he remains one of the hottest performers going today.

He is expected to face Bad News Barrett in a rematch for the Intercontinental Title on Sunday.

The depth of Bryan’s injury is not known. And because of the lack of knowledge, the media is questioning whether the company is pushing Bryan into the ring before he may be ready to perform.

Due to CM Punk exposing some holes in WWE medical, if WWE wants a guy to perform, he will do so. Punk mentioned that he felt strange after the Royal Rumble in 2014. WWE then had him do some tests, and Punk knew things weren’t right. However, WWE wanted him to be on WWE RAW and didn’t seem to care about his safety. He then mentioned WWE testing was a joke.

It is not known whether or not WWE has continued with the same patterns that Punk alleged. Yet to put a guy in a match after being diagnosed with a concussion within the last month does seem reckless. Again, we do not know how bad Bryan’s concussion is or if he could or could not pass testing. Since he had it before the tour kicked off, one does have to wonder if he made things worse while wrestling. WWE does need to be careful with such a guy, especially due to him being back from another injury.

Bryan is still scheduled to defend the title on Sunday, but an injury like this could lead to a short-lived title reign, which would not be good for the WWE.

Remembering Rick Rude

It was 16 years ago that the wrestling world lost Rick Rude, a performer who still remains one of the most underrated wrestlers of all time.

Rude performed for many promotions, including World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).

Rude wrestled from 1982 until his 1994 retirement due to injury, with a final match following in 1997. Among other accolades, he was a four-time world champion (three-time WCW International World Heavyweight Champion and one-time WCWA World Heavyweight Champion), a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, and a one-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion. Rude also challenged for the WWF Championship and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on pay-per-view.

He was one of the four original members of D-Generation X in 1997, alongside Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna. On November 17, 1997, during the Monday Night Wars, Rude became the only person to appear on WWF Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro on the same night (as Raw was taped, while Nitro aired live).

Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him. He was great on the microphone, great in the ring and great for any promotion he entered. The business lost a great talent when he passed away in 1999. He is still sorely missed today.

The shame in remembering how great Rude was and what an asset he was to the WWF/WWE, is that he still has not been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hopefully that will rectify itself soon.

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 Amazon.com

Daniel Bryan Working Hurt

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

Before you get out your pitchforks and start complaining about the booking of Daniel Bryan as WWE intercontinental champion, you should probably be aware that things aren’t exactly as they seem for the American Dragon.

Fans were excited when Bryan won the Ladder Match at WrestleMania 31 to become new intercontinental champion. The hope was that Bryan’s win would bring dignity and integrity back to a title that means more today than Ted DiBiase Jr.’s Million Dollar championship. Unfortunately it seems like you may have to wait as Bryan’s reign as champion may be just as short as world title reign of 2014.

Dave Meltzer reported on a recent F4Wonline.com podcast that Bryan is hurt. Meltzer wouldn’t get into the details but did report that Bryan is injured and the WWE are being very cautious with their former champion. This would explain Bryan’s limited participation in tag team matches on television and on the recent European tour.

The timing of this news is not that surprising. Bryan just returned a few months back after being sidelined for close to a year with neck and arm issues. Yet Bryan worked a high impact ladder match at Mania which put him at great risk for re-injury. I can only speculate but I think it is fair to assume that he got hurt in the match. Bryan wrestled a hell of a match the following night against Dolph Ziggler but has remained limited for the most part since that match.

Ironically Bryan just recently talked about concerns from WWE officials about his style and risk for injury. “Hey, listen, you need to stop doing some of these things that you do.’ They have legitimate concerns over my healthy and well-being, which is nice, but also I feel like I consider myself an artist and I like to go out there and create art the way I like to create art.

Yet they book him in a ladder match at WrestleMania? Brilliant!

Sadly this will probably turn into some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy for Vince McMahon and officials who believe Bryan is too brittle to be trusted. The YES Movement will never get the respect it got in 2014 and there is almost zero chance that Bryan gets as strong of a push in the WWE again. It’s not fair but from a business standpoint, I can certainly understand the concerns. The timing of these while never good, are even worse when these injuries come after he is booked to win titles.

Bryan is still scheduled to wrestle Bad News Barrett at Extreme Rules. At this rate I’d bet on some Bad News walking out of Extreme Rules with the title and Bryan getting some much needed rest following the event.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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

Kurt Angle Dishes On Why He Did Not Return to the WWE

April 10, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

In 1985, Hulk Hogan graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as the craze of professional wrestling had exploded on the mainstream consciousness of sports readers and in entertainment circles. There was something about a man who had a receding hair line, was bigger than most football players and preached to the masses to “train, say your prayers and eat your vitamins.” Hulk Hogan did his best to bring some legitimacy to the business at a time when Kayfabe walls were being torn down and the last bastion of a “sport” shrouded in secrecy was starting to crumble in each promotion amongst the NWA, AWA and WCCW.

If not for the heavy promotion of Vince McMahon, and his vision of taking the business to another level, there would never be this constant see-saw of emotion between what is real and what is scripted and in the simplest terms “fake”.

In 1998, Kurt Angle, a decorated Olympic wrestling hero and champion walked into the then WWE as a new hope to add more “reality” to the business. What Angle delivered was “wrestling” to a business that moved further away from the days of Bruno Sammartino, Buddy Rogers and Pedro Morales. It was another attempt at showcasing the business as entertainment. It was also a move back toward the roots of what McMahon’s father and grandfather had built over the years before the wide-eyed promoter came in always wanting more, preaching bigger is better and living on the concept that professional wrestling is a production, not just a show.

For those reasons alone, it still shocks me that Angle did not re-sign with the WWE when his contract with TNA Wrestling was about to expire. And to show you how wrestling has come full circle, the man who went from grappling on a mat to performing super-human feats in a ring for thousands every night, was candid as he could be in an article in Sport Illustrated.

Angle spoke on many topics ranging from his out of the ring feud with Brock Lesnar, another decorated college wrestler, to his desire to wrestle other performers, to his desire to come back to the company where it all started and was stopped short of the front door. In this business, there may be times when wrestlers go off script and voice their opinions (whether it is a work or not) and then there are times when they are just plain real.

This is one of those times.

As read in the article in the “Extra Mustard” section of SI.com, by Justin Barasso

Instead of wrestling every Friday night on Destination America, the 46-year-old Angle’s original plan was to finish up his TNA contract last September and re-sign with the WWE to finish out his career.

“I haven’t spoke openly about this,” said Angle, “but I opened up my options and was going to decide between TNA and WWE. I wasn’t going to leave TNA unless WWE was offering a fair deal.”

Angle, who lost his father when he was only 16 years old, developed a close friendship with Vince McMahon during his eight year run with WWE from 1998-2006. Yet, when Angle called McMahon, he was informed that a different man now runs the day-to-day operations.

“Paul [Levesque] is in charge,” said Angle. “I found that out when I contacted Vince. I’ve always had a good relationship with Paul, so I didn’t consider that a problem. But he decided they had enough talent.

“For the Vince McMahon who I knew, enough was never enough. He always wanted more. I don’t know what was going on over there, but they even canceled our meeting. I never went to see them. They didn’t even sit me down and talk to me.”

The experience was extremely humbling for Angle.

I consider Kurt Angle to be one of the best wrestlers of all time in this business. A throwback to the days when Ed “Strangler” Lewis was winning world titles and Vern Gagne was using his wrestling skills to promote his new creation call the AWA. A man who came to the business at the right time, to show there were “real” wrestlers out there who could excite and entice viewers and create a new genre of fans. For those reasons alone, finishing where he started was simple a formality in my mind. Guess I was wrong just like Angle. It also shows the fan of today just how different the WWE is from just a few years ago. There are return engagements for The New Age Outlaws, Lesnar (who Angle talks about in the first part of the interview) and guest appearances by Hogan and Ric Flair, DX and The Outsiders. But Angle is stopped before he reached the door of the WWE’s corporate offices. I find that to be one of the unkindest cuts of all.

The credentials of his career speak for themselves. Angle is the only wrestler in history to be a Triple Crown winner in both WWE and TNA, as well as the only one to have held the WWE, WCW, TNA, IWGP, and World Heavyweight Championships in his career. Angle is also a two-time King of the Mountain winner, winning at the 2007 and 2009 Slammiversary pay-per-view event, making him the only wrestler to have been both King of the Ring (WWE) and King of the Mountain (TNA). Between WWE, TNA, and Japan, Angle has won 13 world championships and 21 total championships. In 2010, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter named Angle the Wrestler of the Decade of the 2000s, and in 2013 he was the second inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame. It does not get much better.

The man Angle is now is certainly not the man he used to be. His body is beaten. His demons have affected him. His personal life has changed over the years. But when he is in the ring, Kurt Angle is still golden and in terms of the business, he is money.

Oh, It’s True. It’s Damn True. And the WWE, in its desire for change cannot see what it is missing or will miss once Angle finally decides enough is enough.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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

Very Early WWE WrestleMania 32 Predictions

April 08, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Now that the WrestleMania 31 dust has settled it is time for the WWE to get cracking on WrestleMania 32. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the giant event a year ahead of time and try and predict a card for the 2015 Texas event.

In taking a look back at my WrestleMania 29, 30 predictions, and 31 picks a year out, I actually hit a few of them on the head for 29, missed every single prediction I made for 30, but hit on Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar last April. In other words there is no exact science for this stuff and with the way that the WWE changes booking frequently, it is impossible to get a handle on it although the future can be clear in some years.

Predicting WrestleMania one year out is almost as difficult as filling out your March Madness brackets at any time of the year. Take a look at this year’s WrestleMania 31 lineup a year ago and you can see exactly how much these things change. Daniel Bryan was in the main-event, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were in a tag team match on the bottom of the card, The Undertaker was practically done, Rusev wasn’t on the card, and Sting wasn’t even in the company. That is how much things can change over a year.

So with this all said, let’s take a look at some of the probable WrestleMania 32 matches one year before this great spectacle invades Texas. Keep in mind that these are all just predictions and should not be taken as fact or cited as a source in any kind of report.

Ronda Rousey and The Rock vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. It is clear coming out of 31 that the plan is to get Ronda Rousey in the ring next year in Texas. All reports are that Rousey has not made any kind of a deal to do so, but that Rousey is highly interested in more WWE work. The WWE haven’t invested this much time into Rousey for a one and done angle at 31.

There are reports that the WWE want a Stephanie vs. Rousey singles match. I couldn’t think of a worse idea. There is no way the UFC allows this unless the match ends in 30 seconds and that isn’t happening. Now I could see a deal where Rousey gets 5 minutes with Steph if Rock wins. Steph runs for a few minutes and Rousey finally gets her and taps her out. I think  that is a bigger possibility than Steph vs. Rousey. I just don’t see it.

I think that Rock vs. Hunter has been clear since they cut that promo on each other at SmackDown 15 (which is why I am so surprised that so many people are that shocked at the match). They made challenges back and forth and went out of their way to point out that they needed a big stadium to make the match happen. Yet it really makes no sense for Rock to come back to wrestle a singles match with Hunter. I am sure the match would be very good but I don’t anticipate a lot of interest in this without the women involved. Maybe they corner Rock and Hunter, but it just seems like a waste of everyone’s time otherwise.

Backup Plan – Rock vs. Brock Lesnar. Rock talked about being interested in a match with Brock just a week or so ago. The match makes much more sense than Rock and Hunter and appeals to a more mainstream, casual audience than Rock vs. Hunter. Brock is now a babyface so that dynamic is a little off although Brock could easily turn heel in November or December to set this up. This is a match that could break records and bring more people to Mania than any other. Why they would let this one slip away is beyond me. Quite honestly I think they should have Rousey in Rock’s corner vs. Brock with Heyman in the corner but it seems Ronda is destined for Steph if she is coming to Texas.

Brock Lesnar vs. Rusev. I think that the WWE has some money in this one. Sure Rusev already lost but he could get hot again and go on another streak. At some point he is going to turn but it won’t before Mania 32. I think these guys present a natural rivalry and a match that people would care about. I love the idea of Brock representing America and having a physical match with Rusev at Mania.

Backup plan – Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt. Again we have another new match here that could be intriguing. Wyatt has been set up for big matches the last few years at Mania. It is conceivable that he is WWE champion come Mania 32 and Brock is challenging for the belt. I like the dynamic here and I think they could have a real fun match.

Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the WWE championship. Yes I predict that come WrestleMania 32 that Cena could have the gold back around his waist. Sorry Cena haters. I think it is clear that Reigns needs to be a heel because he is simply dead as a babyface. I think it is also clear that the company is still behind him. What better way to get him to the title than by having him end the reign of Cena in Texas? I think it’s a big match and I think it could be better than you think.

Sting vs. The Undertaker. It has to happen! Sting proved he can still go and Undertaker proved he is far from done. I don’t think it would be great but I think these two could have a fun match at Mania 32. The WWE needs to promote unique matches next year to fill such a big stadium. Sure the mystique is lost a bit with Sting losing to Hunter at Mania but if they promote this as the final match for both guys or loser retires, I think this could be big.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. This feud must continue! Nothing was settled in their Hell in a Cell match. I think that the WWE should not only keep these guys apart for a while but they should flip them going into Mania. Rollins has a ton of potential as a face and Ambrose would make a great heel. These guys could easily steal the show and I love the dynamic of a rematch on such a big show with both guys flipping sides.

Where Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton fit in next year is anyone’s guess. There are a lot of guys in NXT that are ready to come up and should be a part of WrestleMania 32. Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn are bound to be on the show whether it be a tag team match or in singles match. I could see these guys getting Orton and Bryan in some form, preferably a Balor vs. Bryan match.

Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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

WWE Needs To Sustain Momentum With US and Intercontinental Titles

April 02, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Going into Wrestlemania this past weekend, there were rumored plans in the works to increase the credibility of WWE’s two “mid-card” titles; the Intercontinental Championship and the United States Championship. Just as the rumors told, the titles ended up around the waists of top stars Daniel Bryan and John Cena. The question now is will WWE follow through with this title credibility plan and if so, how will they do it? Monday’s post-Maina Raw shed some light to begin answering these questions.

Sunday at an amazing Wrestlemania, we saw the first steps in the rejuvenation plans of the often forgot about titles as Daniel Bryan opened the card defeating six other superstars in an Intercontinental title ladder match. Later Bryan was shown backstage being congratulated by former Intercontinental greats Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat & Roddy Piper. Surrounding Bryan with these legends was an obvious attempt to begin adding credibility back to the title. Later in the show, John Cena defeated the monstrous Rusev to begin his fourth run with United States title. The rumored plan was now starting to take shape giving the titles needed star-power.

Monday on Raw, we saw plans for the titles move forward as both were defended in exciting, action-packed matches. The opening contest of the night saw newly crowned Intercontinental Champion Daniel Bryan defend against former champ Dolph Ziggler. The two competitors put on an almost flawless match with Bryan getting the win, and the fans left on the edge of their seats wanting more. Later in the night saw John Cena issue an open challenge for his newly won United States title, which was answered by former (and record-setting) United States champ Dean Ambrose. These two battled in an intense back and forth contest ending with Cena picking up the win. Cena commented after the match stating “I am proud of this championship, and I want to give it the meaning and equity it deserves.”

WWE showed its fans on Monday night with these great matches that the two titles are back on the radar and giving them star power with match quality is a priority moving forward. Now can they keep this momentum going?

For a long time, the Intercontinental and United States titles have had their credibility almost vanish as the result of poor storylines and often unentertaining matches. The Intercontinental title was once a pathway to greatness helping build such stars as “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Bret Hart, and Chris Jericho. The United States title in its own respect was a building block to future world champions such as Dusty Rhodes, Booker T., and even John Cena. What happened to the days when these titles meant something? WWE seems to be once again seeing the value of the two championships and is moving forward to bring them back to the prominent position they once had.

Earlier rumors said that with the possibility of Brock Lesnar retaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania, putting the mid card titles with Bryan and Cena would keep main events more interesting while Lesnar was away. Now that weekly mainstay Seth Rollins has been put in the World title position, will WWE continue with the plan of restoring the prestige to it’s once credible titles? Monday’s Raw was a fantastic start, but now we must wait and see what comes next.

Heading into Extreme Rules later this month and on through to Summerslam, I will be watching this title situation closely. The positive fan reactions WWE has received post-Mania should be a sign they are heading in the right direction, only benefiting Intercontinental and United States titles.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ziggler and Bryan – The Way it was Meant to Be

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

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

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

Happy April Fool’s Day, Randy Orton

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

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

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

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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