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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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