Subscribe

50 Greatest WWE SummerSlam Matches Ever

August 18, 2015 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

So here it is! The ultimate compilation of great and historic SummerSlam WWE matches. Here are the 50 greatest matches ever from the biggest party from the WWE summer extravaganza.

50. ROCKERS/TITO SANTANA VS. FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS/RICK MARTEL (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Go ahead, find the weakest worker in the match, I dare you. Just a tremendous back and forth contest with three skilled faces, and three heels who knew the formula. Just think, if Strike Force never broke up, this would have been an amazing TLC match.

49. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: REY MYSTERIO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
Before this match, Ziggler was considered by many to be an overrated product of the developmental system. After a furiously paced battle that opened the 2009 show, Ziggler proved he belonged with a flawless heel effort in defeat, and more than earned his forthcoming push.

48. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CM PUNK VS. JBL (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
This one’s a bit forgotten, but it’s historical in that it was Punk’s first successful defense of a World Title on PPV. There was a sick moment in which both men landed in a fashion where JBL’s head landed on the back of Punk’s, legit knocking Punk silly, but he had enough bearing to finish the match, and win.

47. BRET HART VS. DOINK THE CLOWN/JERRY LAWLER (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
It was a better angle than it was a match. Lawler faked an injury to get out of facing Hart, whose family had been tormented by Lawler for months. Bret won by DQ after Lawler, not injured, interfered. Then Lawler was forced to face Bret, where he was then mauled. Lawler won by DQ on a technicality.

46. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. CHRIS JERICHO (August 21, 2005 – Washington, DC)
The anti-Cena backlash was just beginning to pick up steam at this point, as Jericho proved to be the crowd favorite in the nation’s capital. Cena would win with the then-called FU, and would drive Jericho out of the company for two years one night later on Raw.

45. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: KURT ANGLE VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 24, 2003 – Phoenix, AZ)
Sadly, this might be the worst of the Angle/Lesnar matches, due to the overbooking and involvement of Vince McMahon (wearing an uncharacteristic Hawaiian shirt), but it was still good enough for the most part. Lesnar tapped out for the first time, proving that Angle is as good as Frank Mir. *cough*

44. WORLD TAG TEAM: STEINER BROTHERS VS. HEAVENLY BODIES (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
With family in the crowd, and their home state behind them en masse, the Steiners put on a variant of their classic NWA/WCW ‘technical spotfests’ with Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard, both quite game to play at the Steiners’ level. One Frankensteiner later, and the Steiners prevailed in their backyard.

43. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: CHRIS BENOIT VS. ROB VAN DAM (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
The story was Benoit (Smackdown) was attempting to bring the belt to the blue brand, whereas RVD (Raw) was fighting to keep it on Eric Bischoff’s show. It was the usual tooth-and-nail show of aggression, and Van Dam recaptured the gold from the “Canadian Crippler”.

42. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. MANKIND VS. TRIPLE H (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
This match was heavily hyped with then-Governor Jesse Ventura donning the referee stripes, and the media blitz was quite a coup for WWE. Mankind scored an upset by pinning an injured Austin, but Mick Foley would drop the gold to Triple H the following night to give The Game his first reign.

41. WORLD TAG TEAM/2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: DEMOLITION VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 27, 1990 – Philadelphia, PA)
I was there! Demolition scored the first fall, but their final reign ended in a DQ in the second stanza, followed by their three man hoodwinking (Ax was not supposed to be at ringside) being foiled by the Legion of Doom, allowing for The Hitman and The Anvil to double team Crush to win.

40. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: EDGE VS. JOHN CENA (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
Cena got booed out of his hometown arena, and the Bostonians couldn’t have been happier to see Edge retain. It was the typical “main event style” match that the two do so well, and Edge’s brass knuckle shot sealed the victory, prompting Jim Ross to curse up a storm at ringside.

39. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CHRIS BENOIT VS. RANDY ORTON (August 15, 2004 – Toronto, ON)
Even Benoit’s countrymen seemed enthralled by the notion of Orton becoming the youngest World Champion in WWE history, and it happened after one of Orton’s more stellar efforts to date. Say what you will about Orton, but seeing him bawl his eyes out in victory was a nice, real moment.

38. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. UNDERTAKER (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
As great a match as this was, it would have been even more epic had Austin not been knocked silly on a backdrop counter spot earlier in the match. As it was, it was the culmination of a summer’s worth of storylines, and had the satisfying ending of Austin beating the Dead Man cleanly.

37. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: RICK RUDE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
If not for Randy Savage, I’d say nobody got better matches out of the Warrior than Rude, who added both a musclebound-rival perspective, as well as a ragdoll for the Warrior to throw around. After Roddy Piper distacted Rude, Warrior got his gold back in convincing fashion.

36. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE UNDERTAKER VS. BRET HART (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Bret Hart would never be allowed to wrestle in America again if he lost, and having Shawn Michaels as the referee stacked the deck against him. However, an errant Michaels chair shot felled the Dead Man, and Hart was able to salvage his US career with a reluctant count from Michaels.

35. CHRIS JERICHO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 19, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA) WWE planted a red herring, making fans believe Jericho was losing prior to his leaving the company. Instead, Y2J won a highly-intense opening match with the Walls of Jericho. Jericho would leave the following night, when Ziggler beat him in a ‘briefcase vs. career’ match, but came back at the Rumble

34. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: LANCE STORM VS. EDGE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Take a technically proficient bad guy, a formula-driven, yet energetic good guy, and give them the opening match in which to set a killer pace for the show. Done and done! Edge, despite Christian’s questionable failed interference, put away his Canadian counterpart to capture the gold.

33. LUMBERJACK MATCH: DEAN AMBROSE VS. SETH ROLLINS (August 17, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA)
Back when Rollins the Sly Coward wasn’t an overshot concept, he and Ambrose brawled wildly in this lumberjack match without the boundaries inhibiting them any – in fact, Ambrose broke the barriers with one of his most delightfully unhinged performances to date, before strangely becoming a hapless afterthought.

32. ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM WWE VS. THE NEXUS (August 15, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA)
Considering the lack of experience on the opposing team, this match turned out pretty damn good. Bret Hart’s Summerslam return was also a welcome addition to the match. So what if John Cena managed to win using his Superman formula? It was still a good forty minutes, wasn’t it?

31. I QUIT MATCH: RIC FLAIR VS. MICK FOLEY (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
For a feud that began over petty comments made in an autobiography, this bloodbath stole the show for a lackluster Summerslam. Melina, as Foley’s ally, was great in her role of concerned friend, and Flair drawing a submission from Foley by threatening to main her was great theater.

30. STREET FIGHT: TEST VS. SHANE MCMAHON (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
Test’s greatest match ever, and it may have been Shane’s as well. Test was fighting for the right to date Shane’s sister, Stephanie, and the two beat the hell out of each other in an overbooked, but fun, skirmish. Test won, but Shane stunned everyone with his diving elbow through the table.

29. DEGENERATION X VS. LEGACY (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
This was quite a coming out party for Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, and they were made to hold their own against a reunited DX, who tend to dominate anyone that’s not a main eventer. Although Legacy lost, they looked pretty damn good, but it’s a shame the momentum didn’t last.

Check out the full Camel Clutch Blog Pro Wrestling and MMA store for videos, t-shirts, books, and more.

28. KURT ANGLE VS. REY MYSTERIO (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
It may have been under ten minutes long, but it was still an exciting way to open possibly the greatest Summerslam ever. Mysterio’s WWE PPV debut saw no wasted motion, as he and Angle found instant chemistry. Angle prevailed with the ankle lock, and the fans needed to catch their breath.

27. WWE HARDCORE/LADDER MATCH: ROB VAN DAM VS. JEFF HARDY (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
WWE fans were warming up fast to the Alliance’s resident daredevil, as he and WWE’s enigmatic freak tore down the house, setting new standards for ladder match insanity. Van Dam would retrieve the title, and his rise into an eventual babyface star was coming to fruition.

26. LION’S DEN MATCH: OWEN HART VS. KEN SHAMROCK (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
It was WWE’s attempt at UFC, before UFC was the rage with every tatted-up blowhard in your neighborhood. Held in the confines of the theater inside MSG, Shamrock and Hart stretched and slugged each other until Owen could prove no match for Shamrock’s anklelock.

25. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/TLC: JEFF HARDY VS. CM PUNK (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
One of Hardy’s final contributions to WWE, before his life began its free fall, was this exciting, innovative, and spotastic TLC match that closed the 2009 event. Punk won by a hair after taking his lumps, but Undertaker was there at the end to ruin the moment with a chokeslam.

24. WCW HEAVYWEIGHT: BOOKER T VS. THE ROCK (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
It’s a shame the feud was so one-sided toward The Great One, because he and Booker would rank in the top ten of all time most charismatic performers. The match was a great main event showcase, but Booker T spinarooni-ed his way right into a Rock Bottom, wounding the Alliance’s windfall.

23. DANIEL BRYAN VS. WADE BARRETT (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
A sleeper classic between the best technical wrestler in the world, and his former NXT alum, no wrestling slouch in his own right. Bryan and Barrett exchanged science and stiff shots for the duration of this forgotten battle, with Barrett narrowly winning.

22. WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 17, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA)
The most heralded squash match since Warrior splattered Honky in the Garden, Lesnar lived out an IWC fanboy’s dream by pummeling Cena mercilessly, and laying the terrain for what would become Suplex City. The brawl was 80-20 in Lesnar’s favor, reminiscent of Vader felling Sting at Great American Bash 1992.

21. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
The confusing storyline of Mr. Perfect attempting to manage whoever won did little damage to the body of the match. It lacked the intensity of their WrestleMania VII epic, but Savage and Warrior told their typical icon vs. icon story very well up until the disappointing countout finish.

20. JOHN CENA VS. BATISTA (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
Two of the prized prodigies of WWE’s early developmental days were engineered to tell main event stories with a larger-than-life feel. Both men have spent their careers doing just that, and the result was this great match, wherein Batista put Cena out for months with a riveting Batista Bomb.

19. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H VS. KURT ANGLE (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
One of the more intense matches in Summerslam history saw Kurt Angle get his brains scrambled on a table Pedigree gone wrong. In the midst of the Angle-HHH-Stephanie love triangle, there was enough heat, plus The Rock’s “it factor” to give Summerslam 2000’s finale a sound ending.

18. NON TITLE MATCH: BRAIN BUSTERS VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
The booking may have been suspect (Busters leaving in the fall, titles not on the line), but the match was just old school tag team wrestling from four experts on the matter. Bret Hart nearly left WWE after this show, and if he had, he’d have gone out with a tremendous opening match.

17. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. VADER (August 18, 1996 – Cleveland, OH)
There was some interesting discooperation in the middle, where Michaels legitimately chewed out Vader for messing up a spot. That flaw aside, what you get is a great “killer monster vs. hearty underdog champion” dynamic, with Michaels winning to continue his first World title reign.

16. UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Who could forget those awesome training vignettes in the weeks before the match? Those well-done videos were paid off with a heavyweight clash for the ages, where Lesnar shook off Rock’s offensive toolbox, and sent him back to Hollywood with a roaring F5 to the cheers of the crowd.

15. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: OWEN HART VS. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Up until the final two or three minutes, Hart and Austin were engaged in an absolute classic, but it was the final moments that made it legendary. Austin was temporarily paralyzed after a botched piledriver, and still found the willpower to ease Owen into a roll-up to score the win. Simply chill inducing.

14. HELL IN A CELL: THE UNDERTAKER VS. EDGE (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
After screwing over The Dead Man for over a year, Edge finally got his when he was locked inside “Satan’s Structure” with Undertaker himself. One of the first “violent” matches in the PG era, Undertaker won, and then vanquished Edge into a smoldering pit to settle the score.

13. 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: CHRIS JERICHO VS. CHRIS BENOIT (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
The match was somewhat abbreviated, perhaps due to time constraints, but leave it to the “Calgary Kids” to pack a lot of action into a short frame of space. Benoit would take the contest two falls to one after cheating in the final frame, but anyone who watched it was satisfied enough.

12. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/STREET FIGHT: CHRISTIAN VS. RANDY ORTON (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
This may well be Randy Orton’s greatest match ever; an all-out war where his demented “Viper” persona got revenge on Christian’s underhanded title win one month earlier. Both men pummeled each other with chairs and canes until an RKO on the stairs ended it.

11. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: MR. PERFECT VS. BRET HART (August 26, 1991 – New York, NY)
And with that, The Hitman was a made man. Perfect was on his way out with back injuries, and in defeat, he made his real life friend look like the world-beater Vince McMahon needed. After kicking out of the Perfect Plex, Hart would snare Perfect in the Sharpshooter and force the submission.

10. WWE UNIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. JOHN CENA (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
It was going to be hard to top their five star effort at Money in the Bank, but damned if they didn’t come close. Punk’s relatively clean win (with Cena’s foot on the ropes) was only undone by Alberto Del Rio’s cash-in of his Money in the Bank privilege afterward.

9. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. KURT ANGLE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Angle kicked out of three Stunners and was suddenly no longer the goofy, milk-loving Americana nerd that Austin remembered. If not for a BS ending wherein Nick Patrick disqualified Stone Cold, his boss, and saved his title, this match might be number one. Alas.

8. NO DISQUALIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
Could’ve been the match of the year for 2013, if not for one entry still to come. In many ways, this clash follows the template of a Vader/Sting battle, but with weapons and WWE Main Event-style pacing. It’s maybe Brock’s best WWE match, and Punk’s last classic.

7. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
By the end of the match, two main eventers were born. Rock’s People’s Elbow, done while Triple H was lying on a ladder, brought Madison Square Garden down. In the end, Hunter ended Rock’s nine month reign as IC Champ, but bigger things were ahead for both.

6. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. DANIEL BRYAN (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
It’d take eight winding, agonizing months for the true conclusion of Bryan’s ascension, and even then, the broken neck sadly deflated it. Still, this is an incredible match, lauded as the best of 2013, and Cena laid down cleanly, without his typical out.

5. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. RAZOR RAMON (August 27, 1995 – Pittsburgh, PA)
It was a tough task to try and outdo WrestleMania X’s standard-defining match, but the Kliq running buddies were game to try. The story of this one centered around Michaels having his leg hammered, but Razor ate some Chin Music off the ladder, and Michaels wound up retaining the gold.

4. WORLD TAG TEAM/TLC: EDGE/CHRISTIAN VS. HARDY BOYZ VS. DUDLEY BOYZ (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
Conventional wisdom had the Hardyz winning, since they were the “home team”. But there was nothing conventional about this stunt show, in which Jeff Hardy swantoned off a ladder, nearly killing him and Bubba Ray Dudley. Edge and Christian ended up retaining, and celebrated with a 37 second pose.

3. NON-SANCTIONED STREET FIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. TRIPLE H (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Michaels’ first match in over four years opened a lot of eyes. The eyes opened realized that, after such a layoff, Michaels was capable of outworking just about anyone with no rust evident. The Heartbreak Kid scored the win, and provided closure to his career over the next eight years.

2.WWE HEAVYWEIGHT/STEEL CAGE MATCH: BRET HART VS. OWEN HART (August 29, 1994 – Chicago, IL)The greatest sibling rivalry in wrestling history hit its apex with a bloodless, but quite exciting, steel cage challenge with the entire Hart family at ringside. After dozens of near escapes and dramatic moments, Bret left brother Owen hanging and dropped to the floor to keep his championship.

1.WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: BRET HART VS. THE BRITISH BULLDOG (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
Bulldog was the native son with 80,000 fans behind him, but he should be grateful that Bret had his back. In this babyface can-you-top-this war, Hart led Bulldog, who spent the summer drugged up and burnt out, to the best match of his life, putting his brother-in-law over before a raucous crowd.

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 Amazon.com.

Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! WWE DVD Review

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

I’ve been a long-time fan of Daniel Bryan, ever since I first read about him in the Apter mags and found out he grew up about 40 minutes north of me. The state of Washington hasn’t produced a huge amount of major successes in pro wrestling, so to see someone tear it up on the indy and international circuits for years before becoming a huge success in WWE is pretty damn cool.

After all the last five years or so, Bryan’s success in WWE has finally earned him the documentary DVD treatment. Thus far, the only other DVD I recall him getting was an entry in WWE’s ill-fated “Superstar Series” line of DVDs, so I was pretty happy to see this DVD come along. The layout is similar to the recent Destruction of the Shield in that, instead of just a sit-down interview with the star, it’s actually recorded as a build-up to a specific match. In this case, it documents Bryan’s road to his pair of matches at Wrestlemania XXX and how he got to that point. Over the course of 90 minutes or so, Bryan documents his career, starting with his time training under Shawn Michaels, working the independents (specifically Ring of Honor), then his hiring/firing/hiring in WWE just a few years ago.

Over the course of Bryan, he doesn’t pull punches about his career and is very honest about everything that has happened over its course. Along with Bryan, we hear stories from his wfie Brie Bella, former trainers William Regal & the aforementioned HBK, Steve Austin, John Cena, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, etc., and they’re just as open and honest about Bryan’s life and career as he is. Rollins and Cena especially heap praise on Bryan, with Rollins actually calling Bryan his hero when they were both on the indy circuit and Cena discussing his full support of Bryan in WWE when not many would (Cena was highly instrumental in getting Bryan rehired after the infamous “TieGate” incident, which is discussed at length). Sheamus also talks about his pair of feuds with Bryan, and how Bryan was so frustrated when he got shafted in two ‘Mania matches with Sheamus. Surprisingly, Sheamus was just as frustrated with those matches, and was exceptionally angry during their ‘Mania match that only last 18 seconds. Apparently, there was a big plan for their match, with the two men discussing at length all they wanted to do in an attempt to steal the show and tear the house down, only to be told at the last minute it would relegated to basically a joke match (they fortunately got to somewhat make up for it the next PPV in an awesome best-of-3-falls match at Extreme Rules).

Over the course of the documentary, what’s somewhat surprising is how humble Bryan is about damn near everything. Despite being a major star in WWE with a worldwide fanbase, he still only cares about the wrestling. In fact, Bryan and his wife both repeatedly mention how uncomfortable he is when doing appearances, media blitzes, etc. Even if fans are excited to see him, by his own admission, he somewhat locks up and gets a bit shy, never really accepting the fame and recognition he’s rightfully earned. He sees himself as nothing more than a wrestler who has just happened to get some lucky breaks, and all he truly cares about at the end of the day in terms of his job is getting out in the ring and doing his thing.

While the documentary is good and pretty informative, much like the aforementioned Shield DVD, it feels rushed. While Bryan talks about all the major parts of his life and career, a lot of the parts are really glossed over and condensed into segments that last only a few minutes. It would have been nice to hear him talk more at length about his time with HBK and on the indies, maybe hear some stories about his favorite indy opponents, matches, and things of the like. It definitely contains some really enjoyable stories from Bryan and others, but I would have liked to hear more. After stellar sets like the ones WWE has put out for Steve Austin, Chris Jericho and Edge, where they get a pretty hefty documentary portion, it seems like they are getting shorter and shorter with some of the newer releases.

Fortunately, there’s still a lot to be enjoyed, and that brings us to the matches. While there’s not a lot on here most current fans haven’t seen, what is here is great. You get Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho from NXT, the triple threat from ‘Mania, his classic with CM Punk at Money in the Bank and his Summerslam match with John Cena when he won his first WWE Championship, to name a few. Also included are one of his matches from Velocity as an enhancement talent with Jamie Noble (remember when Velocity and Shotgun Saturday Night matches featured the roster wrestling local or enhancement talent, and they were super competitive instead of just squashes?), as well as his very first match with WWE, which was recorded prior to a Sunday Night Heat taping and featured him (under a mask as American Dragon) and Shooter Schultz (whatever happened to him?) vs. Spanky and Lance Cade in an all-Texas Wrestling Academy tryout. The match is surprisngly good, especially when you consider all four guys were only a few months into their careers at that point. The lack of commentary makes it kind of awkward, but the crowd gets really into it towards the end, and it was a good omen for most of the people involved.

Overall, the set is really enjoyable, and listening to Bryan’s stories is really interesting and entertaining. What it lacks in content, it makes up for in quality, and is definitely a must-have for any Daniel Bryan fan out there.

Disc 1

“Journey to WrestleMania” Documentary:

The Journey Begins
Chasing The Dream
Shawn Michaels
Independent Scene
Remaining Humble
NXT
The Nexus
Press Conference
WrestleMania XXVII
The History of Yes!
WrestleMania XXVIII
Daniel Bryan: WWE Superstar
The Yes Movement
Kickboxing
Media Frenzy
Training for WrestleMania
Triple H
Occupy Raw
The Movement Grows Stronger
Brie
WrestleMania Axxess
Hall of Fame
WrestleMania XXX
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
Triple Threat Match
Champion
Reaching Your Dream
WWE WrestleMania 30 – Daniel Bryan Winning World Heavyweight Championship

DISC 2
WWE – Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho on NXT

Power of Yes

Tryout

American Dragon & Shooter Schultz vs. Brian Kendrik & Lance Cade
Austin, TX [SmackDown Taping] • February 8, 2000

Extra List

Jamie Noble vs. Brian Danielson
Velocity • January 18, 2003

Getting Signed

Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho
NXT • February 23, 2010

Borderline Insulting

United States Championship Match
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
Night of Champions • September 19, 2010

Money in the Bank Winner

World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan
TLC • December 18, 2011

Champion

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Daniel Bryan vs. The Big Show
SmackDown • January 6, 2012

Redemption Match

2 out of 3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Extreme Rules • April 29, 2012

Anarchist

No Disqualification Match for the WWE Championship
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
Special Guest Referee: AJ Lee
Money in the Bank • July 15, 2012

Team Hell No

WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane
Night of Champions • September 16, 2012

WWE – Daniel Bryan Winning First World Heavyweight Championship

DISC 3
WWE – Triple H as Referee for Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena SummerSlam Match

B-Plus Player

Gauntlet Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Ryback
RAW • July 22, 2013

SummerSlam Main Event

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan
Special Guest Referee: Triple H
SummerSlam • August 18, 2013

Great Moment / Short Reign

No Disqualification Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
RAW • March 17, 2014

The YES Movement

Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan
WrestleMania XXX • April 6, 2014

Victory, Injury, & Recovery

Daniel Bryan’s Big Announcement
RAW • December 29, 2014

What’s Next??

Winner Will Face Brock Lesnar At WrestleMania For The WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns
FastLane • February 22, 2015

WWE – Daniel Bryan Injury Announcement on RAW

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

He Gave Me A Lot

John Cena vs. Brian Danielson
Velocity • February 8, 2003

Mentor

Daniel Bryan vs. William Regal
NXT • April 13, 2010

Brie

Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. Ted DiBiase & Maryse
RAW • December 6, 2010

Daniel Bryan and Kane Attend Anger Management
RAW • August 2012

The Wyatt Family’s Newest Member

Steel Cage Tag Team Match
The Usos vs. Bray Wyatt & Daniel Bryan
RAW • January 13, 2014

WWE – Daniel Bryan & Bray Wyatt Cage Match with The Usos

Stories:

School of Wrestling
Just A Dude
Memphis Developmental
King of the Indy’s
Stigma
Charisma
NXT Troubles
Fired
Yes / No ?
The Proposal
Giant YES!
Book of Yes
The Beard

WWE: Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Amazon.com

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

Daniel Bryan Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania WWE Book Review

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

Daniel Bryan is the latest WWE superstar to get the book treatment. His story, Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania is a NY Times best seller and with good reason…it’s pretty damned good!

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book. Let’s face it. Bryan has had a relatively short career as a WWE superstar, an even shorter career on the top. Yet Bryan’s sixteen-year career spans much more than the WWE and the journey which spanned all over the world, taking Bryan to the WWE was in many ways more interesting than his brief WWE tenure.

As far as wrestling books go, it had a real nice flow to it. The author tried something different, keeping a diary of sorts chronicling Bryan’s week in New Orleans during WrestleMania 30. The author posted passages at the beginning of each chapter, reminding readers that the theme of this book was truly Bryan’s improbably trip to the main-event of Mania.

I will spare you most of the details as I wouldn’t want to give away too many spoilers for those of you that haven’t read the book. However, I will say that I what I found most interesting wasn’t any one particular. I really enjoyed reading about Bryan’s progression as a professional wrestler. Quite frankly I found it fascinating. Bryan doesn’t actually “get it” early in his ROH world title run and he describes it as a bit of a struggle. At a particular point during his ROH title run, something clicks, and Bryan starts telling the stories in his matches that the fans want to see. I found his thought-process and recollection of the time of events truly fascinating.

Of course there are plenty of good WWE stories. Bryan addresses just about every controversy associated with him that you have probably read or heard. One interesting point is when Bryan talked about the 2014 and 15 Royal Rumbles. Once Bryan gets a taste of the main-event, his attitude completely changes and it was interesting to hear him reflect on how his thought-process changed in one year regarding those two infamous Rumbles.

I don’t think I could do a good job summing up the appreciation and bond he has with William Regal. William Regal obviously saw a lot in Bryan early on, when they worked together in Memphis, and his mentorship carries over to this day. You get a real strong sense of the character of Regal when you read Bryan continually bring his name up as someone who gave him advice at various times throughout his career to the present.

Another thing I found interesting was Bryan’s memories of NXT and the beginning of that WWE run. I won’t go into details but it would appear that Vince McMahon took a liking to Bryan during that time. There are certainly times in the book when Bryan recounts his frustrations with Vince, yet at other times it would seem that Vince is a bigger fan than most of his think. It’s an interesting look into what it’s like to deal with Vince on the way up and at the top.

Sadly the book stops at WrestleMania 30. We don’t get to hear about the injury that stopped the Yes Movement right in its tracks. We don’t get to hear about future plans and where the company was going to go with Bryan. We don’t get to hear much about his comeback, although Bryan does talk about the 2015 Rumble as mentioned above. The biggest disappointment is that the book just seemed to stop cold.

Overall I’d highly recommend the book. It’s a very easy read and I found it very hard to put down. Whether you are a fan of WWE or just followed Bryan on the independents, there are plenty of good stories to go around and it’s not surprise that this book is a best seller.

Yes!: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania

WWE: Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Amazon.com

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

Daniel Bryan Talks WWE Journey, WrestleMania 30, ROH, and More

July 31, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Daniel Bryan is making the rounds promoting his brand new autobiography. One recent appearance featured Bryan providing more detail to book topics in addition to offering insight into his fascinating WWE career.

Bryan was a recent guest on the Sam Roberts Podcast and as always, Bryan is forthcoming, honest, fun, and insightful when asked questions about the book and his career. I’d recommend checking out the entire 37 minute interview for yourself.

Some of the highlights of the interview are Bryan going into more detail about his failed SummerSlam match against Charlie Sheen, his experience on NXT, his injury and future plans, plans for his intercontinental title run (which he said he wanted for a long time), and plans for a family with Brie (Bryan sort of breaks a story indicating that Brie will probably not be re-signing when her contract is up in what will probably be a year or so), WrestleMania, and much more.

On a side note I am currently finishing up Bryan’s book and should have a review up sometime next week.

WWE: The Kliq Rules

WWE: Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Amazon.com

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

Daniel Bryan’s Potential WWE Return, Final Match for Kurt Angle

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

The WWE and its fans got a shot in the arm so to speak this week when it was announced that Daniel Bryan is eyeing a return to the ring at the Royal Rumble in 2016. After speculation about the former WWE World Champion’s future and the possibility that he may never wrestle again, this is certainly great news for all parties concerned.

The biggest question about Bryan’s return. According to the rumors, the most promising quote came from a podcast appearance on The Buzz from FOX Sports, where Bryan said he feels great and was hoping to be back by SummerSlam, but WWE doctors won’t clear him yet.

“I feel great. And it’s just a matter of getting cleared by doctors. Their whole clearance process is more difficult than people would think.

That’s the biggest issue. I will wrestle again. But it’ll be interesting to see when. It’s kind of in the hands of certain doctors, as far as them clearing me and whatnot. My goal was to be back by SummerSlam, and that’s looking less and less likely, and so then you’re hoping to be back by Royal Rumble.”

The WWE has been on this roller coaster with Bryan before after a neck injury sidelined him last year, forcing him to relinquish the company’s title he won at WrestleMania. Bryan’s return to the ring, coincidentally, was at the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia this year. He won the Intercontinental Title in a prolific ladder match, but shortly thereafter injuries forced him to the sidelines again – this time with no timetable set for his return, casting doubt on the leader of the “Yes!” movement and his career.

Since his string of injuries, the WWE has had issues with finding someone to step into Bryan’s spot as a face contender and woo the fans. The experiment with Roman Reigns fell on deaf ears and Dolph Ziggler appeared ready for the challenge, but bad booking and storylines basically hurt any momentum one of the more popular wrestlers in the company had coming off WrestleMania.

Even a recent run by Dean Ambrose – where he battled current WWE World Title holder Seth Rollins was thwarted by management.

The company has gone back to the old guard and has relied on John Cena as the lead dog in a sea of hungry neophytes who are not ready yet to carry the company torch.

According to the rest of the story on the website, during another interview on the Boomer and Carton show on WFAN in New York on Thursday morning, Bryan said he still has three years left on his current WWE contract, so at least he’ll continue to be around for a good long while, regardless of his role with the company.

While Bryan’s news was a hot topic of conversation on social media and the Internet, Kurt Angle was making some news of his own when it comes to his final match as a professional.

The former WWE and TNA world champion was quoted as saying he wanted his final match in the ring to be against Bryan.

Personally, that is music to me ears.

On wrestlinginc.com, Angle made it clear what his intentions are – even though the former Olympic Champion is sidelined with an injury as well.

“Epic matches in the future? The first that comes to mind is Daniel Bryan. He is Shawn Michaels reborn. I would love to retire against a wrestler I believe has won over the hearts of millions of fans. How did he win their hearts? He’s that good. Give me 30 minutes with Daniel Bryan and I will give you the match of the century.”

Fans for some time have wondered if Angle, who had surgery recently to repair a neck injury, would return to the WWE before he retired. While the subject has been discussed recently of a potential return by Angle, it appears the WWE has no interest in bringing him back any time soon.

WWE: Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Amazon.com

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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

15 Best WWE Matches of the First Half (Jan 1- July 1) of 2015

July 07, 2015 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

At the midway point of 2015, WWE is struggling creatively, but has produced a number of excellent matches, a handful of which vie for honors as 2015’s true match of the year. Here are the fifteen best from both the main roster, as well as the popular NXT developmental center.

15. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE United States, Monday Night Raw, March 30)

Inception of the enjoyable US Open Challenge stuck the landing straight out of the chute, showcasing a side of Ambrose often lost when he’s typecast as comically-unkempt street urchin. Cena and Ambrose set high expectations for a formula that would give aimless performers something to do, and opened the door for some NXT performers to make their big debuts.

14. Bad News Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth vs. Stardust vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE Intercontinental/Ladder Match, WrestleMania 31, March 29)

While the prior match served as the creation of a new playbook, this seven-man scramble was in many ways a rehash of the perfected parade of chaos that multi-competitor ladder matches have been for WWE for over a decade. Bryan’s win is now a bittersweet one with his litany of devastating injuries, but as a match, it set the pace for a great WrestleMania.

13. John Cena vs. Neville (WWE United States, Monday Night Raw, May 11)

The US Open Challenge comes with the black cloud of predictability – you know Cena’s somehow going to escape with the title. This time, Neville did win, albeit by disqualification, after Rusev attacked him following his landing of the lights-out Red Arrow. Neville hardly had to slow his roll for Cena, who’s proven with the challenge his compatibility with any worker.

12. Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Becky Lynch (NXT Women’s, TakeOver: Rival, February 11)

Banks’ coming-out party was really at R-Evolution in December, when she held her own with a rapidly-improving Charlotte. Despite playing a materialistic minx of a villain, she, next to the amiable Bayley, were the crowd favorites to win the four-way. Banks pinning Charlotte to capture the title demonstrates a hefty show of faith in her own in-ring improvements.

11. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton (WWE World Heavyweight, Payback, May 17)

This one followed the pattern of most WWE fatal four ways, two guys get bumped while the others duke it out until someone breaks a pin, but it hardly felt as such. A dramatic final stretch coupled with some moments of invention earlier on put it above standard fare. The Shield triple-powerbomb, with subsequent scorning of Rollins, is a true calendar highlight.

10. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins (WrestleMania 31, March 29)

One of the main reasons that WrestleMania was so acclaimed stems from the one-two punch that kicked off the show. Following the chaotic ladder match, Orton and Rollins cut a frenetic pace, not even thrown off the rails by the excessive interference of J&J Security – in fact, they enhanced the match. The ending “RKO Outta Nowhere” rates as the move’s pinnacle.

9. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose (Non-Title, Monday Night Raw, May 4)

It was one of Cena’s US Open Challenges minus Cena – just send two high-class performers out there and have them put on a helluva bout. Ambrose earned entry into the Payback main event by pinning Rollins here, and the Montreal crowd was hanging on every one of his comeback strikes. Will WWE ever realize that Ambrose is the babyface they direly need?

8. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch (NXT Women’s, TakeOver: Unstoppable, May 20)

The recurring trend of NXT quarterly specials: “That may have been the best women’s match in company history!” A year ago, that was Charlotte and Natalya earning that rave, while today, this is the ladies’ outing to beat. A story of determination and grit centered around submission attempts supersedes the putrid main roster schizophrenic booking of the “Divas”.

7. Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville (No. 1 Contender’s, TakeOver: Rival, February 11)

They were given thirteen minutes, so barring one performer tanking it like a lottery-minded NBA team, you knew this would rule. Besides, Balor is incapable of mediocrity when caked in intimidating war paint. The match was a blend of what they do best with ‘corrective’ WWE style, concluding with a Balor Coup de Grace, match of the night on *most* shows.

6. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE World Heavyweight/Ladder Match, Money in the Bank, June 14)

A divisive pick due to the Heaven’s Gate-length of the match (36 minutes!) and the dragged out ending with angsty Ambrose watching a dazed Rollins celebrate for an eternity. Aside from that, it was a tremendously told story of hatred and heart, two wrestlers with something to prove outside of the tiresome “build my legacy” WrestleMania-time narratives.

5. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens (NXT Heavyweight, TakeOver: Rival, February 11)

The ending of a classic match should come to define the combatants. This one further galvanized Zayn as the never-quit hero (far more subtly than superhero Cena) while casting Owens as the opportunistic prick that would sooner beat his old friend into a coma than leave the arena without championship gold. There’s simply no villain like Owens in the business today.

4. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens (Money in the Bank, June 14)

Far-too-immediate sequel to a landmark match just about equaled the original’s unpredictable charm, though this ending was much more expected. Cena and Owens once more cut a hellish pace en route to the Cena victory, following the third of three AA’s. Owens’ post-match attack, with obnoxious heckler’s laugh, capped off another masterpiece.

3. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight, Royal Rumble, January 25)

The saving grace of an uninspired, maddening night in Philadelphia was this triple threat pitting three pros of differing characteristics. All three got their shine, with Lesnar as unkillable monster, and Cena as the valiant brawler, though it was Rollins that shone brightest in defeat. With his performance, his main event ticket was indelibly punched.

2. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens (Elimination Chamber, May 31)

The finish damn near broke social media, which is a testament to the positives of Cena’s inability to lose cleanly: when he *is* defeated, it means the world. Cena and Owens cobbled together an evolutionary version of Sting vs. Vader and turned the new monster into a made man with a concrete victory. The rematch should have been further down the line.

1. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight, WrestleMania 31, March 29)

To say this was a surprise classic is something of an understatement. Lesnar’s matches defy the paint-by-numbers main event style, and what followed was a thumping beatdown of a resilient Reigns, who dramatically turned the tide when Lesnar began gushing blood. The final five minutes, including Rollins’ cash-in, are deservedly etched in ‘Mania lore.

WWE: Half Way to Home

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

I watched the RAW segment between John Cena and Cesaro from Monday night and got the impression the WWE is really on to something. Kevin Owens has become the centerpiece of everything that is good about this promotion – of late.

I also got the impression that the match between Cesaro and Cena was again a great spot and the company has worked hard to make sure not only is Cena showcased as the best champion the WWE can offer right now – which is the best thing for the United States Championship.

We are at the half way point of the year and so far, 2015 has far exceeded my expectation and the effort put out by management in 2014. You can take that as both good and bad as not everything has fallen into place like we all had hoped.

Here are a few thoughts on what I have witnessed so far.

DANIEL BRYAN’S INJURY IS STILL DEVASTATING

The news about the leader of the “Yes!” movement still continues to have a ripple effect on the roster. Whether or not Bryan, who was and still is the greatest underdog story to come out of the business in decades, can make it back to the ring and wrestle is now irrelevant. Fans are happy seeing the bearded wonder in any capacity and the ability to yell, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” motivates the WWE to have hope that one day Bryan will return.

THE YEAR OF SETH ROLLINS

Honestly, when Rollins dismantled The Shield and joined the Authority, I thought it was one of the worst moves the company could have made.

I was wrong. Rollins is everything CM Punk and Edge are rolled into one character and is the best villain the company has had since the Year of Punk. Frankly, the WWE would be doing itself a huge disservice if it decides to take the WWE World Title away from him and hand it to Brock Lesnar before SummerSlam.

Rollins is gritty, talks well in promos and can give you a five-star match any night of the week. He is charismatic and brash and spot on his delivery.

His matches with John Cena and Brock Lesnar, then stealing the title at WrestleMania, followed by his returning feud with Dean Ambrose have been nothing short of brilliant.

Rollins is an A-list player who will remain in the main event for as long as he can continue to rile the fans. That shouldn’t be hard to do since the WWE seems hell bent on making Brock Lesnar the newest babyface, which should go over like a lead balloon once the fans see how poor a decision it is.

THE RETURN OF THE TAG TEAM DIVISION

All hail The New Day and the Usos and Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. The tag team division is alive and well. Regardless of the latest rash of injuries fans have finally gotten a taste of what a real tag team division looks like.

This isn’t the late 1980s, but Cesaro and Kidd plus the reformation of the Prime Time Players has made us enjoy watching the division again.

WE HAVE LOST OUR BEST FRIENDS

The news of losing some of wrestling’s royalty has been heavy on my mind of late. With the passing of Dusty Rhodes, we all lost the one wrestler above everyone else we can identify with. The loss of Vern Gagne, Tommy Rogers and last week, Buddy Landel reminded us of how our heroes of the past are growing older and their time here is precious.

Wrestling isn’t what it used to be. The birth of the modern era in the 1980s and the current stage that performers act out on are totally different. But the one common thread is the fans continue to come out in droves to see the newest stunts and the newest heroes like they are rock stars.

None of the greats we have lost can be replaced by today’s wrestlers, but they can carry on the idea that while it is fake, it is still the best soap opera on television today.

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT

Like I referred to in the beginning, Kevin Owens and Cesaro are two wrestlers we should all keep an eye on. Owens is getting a huge push and rightfully so. Cesaro deserves a push and may not get one. The WWE and business itself works in mysterious ways.

The WWE was a wasteland which depended on veterans to help keep the company afloat as early as last year. Now, that is not the case. Rollins, Owens, Cesaro, Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Bray Wyatt are on the cusp of something great. Add Neville and Sami Zayn to that mix. They may not be the characters of the past but they are exciting and give the fans a new avenue to travel when looking for entertainment.

I used to worry wrestling would fade away. Now, I cannot wait to see what the next six months and 2016 has to offer all of us as fans.

It should be exciting.

WWE: Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Amazon.com

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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

Bret Hart Talks Daniel Bryan WWE Future, Samoa Joe, and Roman Reigns

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

WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Bret “Hitman” Hart has never been shy to express his views. Even after a reconciliation with the WWE, Hart remains outspoken and a recent interview with the former champ is making headlines.

Love or hate Bret Hart, you have to respect his rebellious attitude when it comes to playing WWE politics. Hart continues to speak his mind and offer his opinion on current and past WWE topics whether they align with the company line or not. A recent interview with SI.com’s Hot Mustard is a prime example of this. One topic in particular is creating a lot of buzz and that was Hart’s thoughts on Daniel Bryan.

Hart was asked about the Daniel Bryan situation and his answer is interesting to say the least.

Daniel Bryan is finished,” said Hart. “He’ll never wrestle again. I don’t think he knows it yet. I feel terrible about Daniel Bryan. For all intents and purposes, he had the exact same thing happen to him that happened to me after Bill Goldberg kicked me in the head.

One day, you learn it’s over. Doctors tell you that you can’t wrestle and you’ll never wrestle again. I lost millions of dollars because of that. I pray that it’s not the same for Daniel Bryan.”

I saw him in a lot of his matches after he came back from the injury, and he was taking suplexes on the back of his head, powerbombs, and other really dangerous moves,” said Hart. “I know he wanted to test it out, but I think he may have pushed himself too hard. He’s like Dynamite Kid in the sense that they’re both tough and neither wanted to admit that injuries got the best of them. He’s finished forever, but I don’t think he’s even realized that. He’s probably thinking, ‘Maybe it will get better in a few months,’ but unfortunately, I don’t think it will.

As you can expect, Hart’s answer is drawing a lot of controversy. The WWE have remained incredibly tight-lipped about Bryan’s status and injuries. Hart on the other hand has laid it out there and whether this is Hart’s opinion or he has some kind of inside knowledge on Bryan’s status is unknown. I will say this. While I appreciate his opinion, it is a little out of line for Hart to definitively say “he’s finished” before Bryan has the chance to tell the world the news. I see where he is coming from, and I can’t say I disagree. I sat there in disbelief watching his match at Mania knowing the injury history he has had. Again, I don’t think Bret would have appreciated someone coming out and saying he was finished before he had the chance to announce his retirement or status.

Speaking of injuries, Hart is also making news for a comment he made about new WWE signee Samoa Joe. Longtime Hart-family friend Tyson Kidd was injured recently by Joe and Hart had some harsh words about how it went down. Hart was asked about Joe’s “Muscle Buster” which allegedly caused the injury.

It’s extremely dangerous,” said Hart. “The move that Samoa Joe did was reckless, and the way they rushed that match beforehand in the back without giving Tyson time to prepare was mistake. Tyson is, pound for pound, one of the best wrestlers in the world. And that includes his mind. If you went behind the scenes at WWE, Tyson is an intricate piece of so many other matches. It’s a shame that a guy who is that talented and given so much to the company is hurt, but I just hope it’s not so serious that his career is over.

I did find it interesting that an injury came out of Joe’s match the night he reportedly signed his full-time deal with the WWE. I have never heard anyone complain prior to Hart about Joe’s Muscle Buster. Hart does lay some blame on the agent here as you can see by not giving Kidd time to prepare for the move. It’s a bad deal either way and I am very curious to see if the Buster gets banned moving forward.

Finally, Hart was asked about Roman Reigns. Ironically Hart was in a similar situation back in 1993 when Lex Luger was the anointed one by Vince McMahon. Hart was in the Daniel Bryan spot and was the people’s choice as Vince continued pushing Luger hard. Like Luger, Vince got cold feet at the last minute and nixed a planned title run.

I can see the problem,” he said. “They had Daniel Bryan who, because of his injury, was basically going to comeback and repeat the exact same storyline that he did the last year, and Vince didn’t want to do that again. So they took a sharp turn and said they were going to get Reigns over. It’s easy to say now they should have done different things to help establish Roman Reigns as a babyface character, but my thinking in all this is that they tend to get a little too pig-headed in their thinking – ‘We’ll do this, this, and that’s all there is to it.’ The fans are too smart for that.

When Reigns got that endorsement from Rock, they tried so hard to have people love him,” said Hart. “It was a really tough time for Roman Reigns, but I don’t think it was his fault. The booking wasn’t thought out enough.”

Hart’s comment on Reigns’ booking is probably the understatement of the year. I agree with Hart in that it isn’t all Reigns’ fault yet some will tell you that it is on Reigns to go out there and make it happen. Hart does feel that Reigns is finally “accepted” by the fans although that remains to be seen.

The entire interview is truly a fascinating read where Hart gives a “State of the WWE” address and talks about some of the current roster, matches, situations, etc. Check out the entire read over at Extra Mustard.

WWE: Daniel Bryan: Just Say Yes! Yes! Yes! on Amazon.com

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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

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