WWE.com recently posted a story on the possibility of Paul Heyman perhaps “scouting” for new talent. Heyman is of course Brock Lesnar’s advocate, as well as former WWE Champion CM Punk, who is currently on sabbatical from the company. It seems that perhaps WWE is finally seeing how important Heyman is to them and is choosing to recognize it with this story.
Who said Vince McMahon is not listening?
From the moment that Paul Heyman returned to WWE, fans have been singing his praises. This is nothing unusual, as Paul has always had a strong connection to the people.
There is something very profound in that statement, by the way. Maybe Paul should seek political office when he decides he’s done putting other guys over.
“Take your vote to the extreme this November. Vote for Paul Heyman, the real people’s champion.”
The fact is that there is something about Paul that just draws you to him. He has an air of importance about him, a presence that cannot be denied. Whenever he appears on the screen, you cannot help but stop. And when he speaks, you cannot help but listen.
And you’re usually very glad you did.
Paul is genuine. He can be over the top at times, but at his core, he is a very believable figure. In a world full of fictional characters speaking rehearsed lines to other fictional characters in the midst of one unrealistic situation after another, Paul Heyman is one of the few guys who actually feel like a real person.
The truth is, we’re all in the Matrix and Paul Heyman is the only one who knows it.
When he was first paired with CM Punk during Punk’s record breaking WWE Title run, I along with many fans out there likely said the same thing.
I love Heyman, but Punk doesn’t need him.
Punk is a master orator, a man who makes you think every time he speaks. He has the ability to cut straight to the heart of the matter and make your mind go places you had not anticipated. He is a genius on the mic.
If CM Punk had delivered the prosecution’s closing statement, OJ Simpson would have been convicted of double murder.
But Paul Heyman only added to Punk’s character, he did not weaken it at all. He enhanced Punk’s verbal delivery by being concise while also being as entertaining as possible. Heyman knew what his role was and he played it perfectly.
The Punk/Heyman combo never failed to impress. They were perfect together.
When Paul was placed back with Brock Lesnar as The Anomaly was ravaging his way through WWE and headed for a collision with Triple H, I again said what many fans out there were likely saying.
I love Heyman; Brock is just awful without him.
Paul stepped up and did what he does best. He became the mouthpiece, the guide. He took one look at the Superstar in front of him and knew just what he had to do in order to help the guy get where he needed to be. And when he stood at ringside with both Brock and Punk, he was not the attraction. He never got in the way. He only reinforced the talent that was working in the ring.
Just what a great manager is supposed to do.
But when he began representing both Brock Lesnar and CM Punk, fans began to wonder when all three men would be seen on screen together. A new partnership, with Heyman at the helm. The evil genius takes over and we bear witness to a new day in WWE.
Only it never happened.
When Punk decided to take a much deserved leave of the business in order to heal up for a few months, fans began to use their imaginations once again. This time, it was to wonder if the company would give Heyman a new talent, another Superstar to work with and perhaps take to the next level.
So, is it happening?
Is Vince McMahon listening? WWE is a big company with a lot of employees, some of whom are surely reading the dirt sheets, rumor sites and breaking news blogs. Did the story posted on WWE.com come as a result of one of those sites?
Or did it perhaps come from Paul Heyman himself? Is he working behind the scenes, maybe pitching a creative idea or two about taking a new Superstar under his wing? Is he pulling some strings, putting key elements in place for another Superstar?
Come to think of it, maybe Heyman built the Matrix. That would explain a lot.
Truth be told, I was a little disappointed to read the story of Paul Heyman scouting for new talent. Not because I don’t want to see it happen, but because I like to be surprised by this kind of thing. And now that WWE has put the idea out there, the novelty of it will surely wear off soon if it hasn’t already.
Who knows, maybe the piece was just a big bunch of nothing, put out purely for the sake of thumbing their nose at guys like me who love writing about this stuff.
But I hope not, because the more Paul Heyman I can get on my TV, the happier I am. The guy is so good at what he does and is such a pro that the programming and indeed the product is so much better because of him. The fans want Heyman. He has that connection and there can be no denying that.
The Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H trilogy is heating up with just a few weeks to go until their old school Steel Cage Match payoff at Extreme Rules. The latest chapter saw Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman invade WWE headquarters and give an extreme remodeling to Trips office.
Paul Heyman started promoting this angle early in the day Monday on Twitter and I have to admit that I groaned a bit when I first heard about it. Brock Lesnar destroying Triple H’s office isn’t exactly money to me. However, what I didn’t know is that Paul would be offering some of the greatest commentary heard on RAW in the last decade.
The video as shown below shows Brock and Heyman entering WWE headquarters and going to Triple H’s office. Heyman is a slam dunk all-star here with his commentary throughout the entire segment. He was hilarious! One thing I should note is the not so subtle Brock vs. The Rock tease when Lesnar stops and stares at a picture of The Rock and Heyman makes a comment.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I am no more excited about this match after the angle as I was before it. Considering the fact that the purpose of an angle is that, well you may not call it a home run. Yet in terms of entertainment it was some of the best eight minutes I’ve seen on RAW in awhile. Brock is just fantastic but as great as he is in this role, I really wonder how badly that WrestleMania loss will hurt his draw at Extreme Rules. We’ll see soon enough.
Pro Wrestling Radio returns live tonight Tuesday May 7 at 7:30 PM/EST! You can listen live and join the chat on http://ProWrestlingRadio.com.
Some of the best years of my life were what I would call the ECW years. For about five years I took part in one of the biggest revolutions in pro wrestling. Getting to relive those memories through the Barbed Wire City documentary was a welcome way to spend on a spring afternoon.
Barbed Wire City tells a story about a topic that has been discussed many times, Extreme Championship Wrestling. Barbed Wire City features interviews with wrestlers, media, and fans that were a part of that historic era. What Barbed Wire City does better than its predecessors is bring you a story of ECW that is probably more honest and candid than those told by WWE and Hardcore Homecoming’s versions of the tale.
The story is told by a variety of personalities in and out of ECW. There is a great mix of ECW wrestlers, hardcore ECW fans, and wrestling media. Unfortunately the heavy hitters of the ECW like Paul Heyman, Taz, Sabu, and Tommy Dreamer aren’t in the video which is a bit of a disappointment. However ECW stars like the Blue Meanie, Stevie Richards, Raven, The Sandman, Axl Rotten, Ball Mahoney, Steve Corino, Angel Medina, Lou E. Dangerously, New Jack, Public Enemy, and Jerry Lynn to name a few are there to tell the story from the locker room while you have guys like Hat Guy and Tony Lewis telling the story from the audience. It really is a great mix and I felt the inclusion of the fans really brought you closer to the ECW experience than any of the other documentaries.
The documentary gives a fantastic but quick background on ECW. What most ECW fans who came aboard later don’t realize is that ECW started as just a local promotion running bar shows in Philadelphia. Tod Gordon is not given nearly enough credit in my opinion for his part in ECW’s success. Tod is included in the movie, but you really wouldn’t know how important he was to ECW just by watching the movie.
The producers of the movie were able to secure a ton of ECW footage thanks to RF Video and the fan cam collection. If Vince McMahon wants to make sure that he is the keeper to any and all ECW footage I recommend he get on the phone with RF Video and make a deal. They still have a ton of footage. That is real important to making the movie work as it is hard to tell the story properly without any kind of context. I can’t even imagine what the movie would have looked like without any actual ECW footage. That said, I am surprised the producers didn’t try to work out something out to use RF shoot interview clips with guys like Sabu, Taz, and Rob Van Dam.
Paul Heyman is included in the movie but he is not necessarily interviewed for the movie. Footage of Paul from Q & A sessions at fan conventions are included in the movie. It is as close as you are going to get to seeing Paul in any of these non-WWE documentaries.
Some of the greatest times in my life were with ECW so this one really hit home. I hit the shows every weekend as either part of the RF Video crew or later a ring announcer for the company. I felt like I was having a flashback at times when the guys would talk about incidents like the Plymouth Meeting riot and yes, Balls Mahoney was 100% on the mark with the way he recounted it. In regards to authenticity, there was no spin here, this movie told the most objective story I have seen on ECW.
The Mass Transit incident was a big part of the story, something that I don’t recall ever being explored with this much detail on the other documentaries. We all know the story by now so I won’t repeat the details. New Jack gives his version of the story which is consistent with everything I heard over the years. Several of the journalists comment on it with Dave Scherer in particular making a remark about RF Video selling it.
Let me say this about that comment because I worked at RF Video at the time. I didn’t travel to the show that weekend but I certainly heard about it from my friends. That Monday morning Erich Kulas’ father called the RF Video offices talking like he was a proud father and wanted to get a tape of the show. I must have talked to him for about thirty minutes as he went on and on about how great it was. If Papa Kulas didn’t have a problem with it, why shouldn’t we sell it? Should we pull the Invader vs. Manny Fernandez match from Puerto Rico too? The tape was pulled quickly. Keep in mind that nobody was aware that Kulas was a minor as he reportedly lied about his age.
I think it is easy to use revisionist history to judge how some handled the situation. It was a horrible thing to see but blood and violence were the norm for ECW at the time. All of these same journalists that were so horrified also had no problem continuing covering ECW in their newsletters or websites at the time and help promote the product. For people that are so disgusted today by what happened in 1997, they certainly weren’t cutting off their coverage or promotion of ECW.
On top of that, the story is told how ECW lost its first pay per view because of the incident. Someone caused trouble and sending the video to one of the cable companies. Eventually ECW found its way on pay per view but there was a lot of fallout over this incident. Timing is also everything and who is to say that things would have been different, good or bad if ECW went on pay per view earlier?
What is even more bizarre about all of this is that it was reportedly Bruce Mitchell that dropped the dime on ECW to the pay per view company and sent the cable company a tape. Wade Keller has also been accused of being a part of this but I only recall Bruce taking credit for it. Bruce reportedly said something to the effect that “something had to be done” when he commented on the Wrestling Observer hotline about it. Later I have heard an explanation that they used which stated that they were only sending the tape to the cable company for a story. What is so bizarre about this? Wade and Bruce are interviewed throughout the entire documentary and never once are either asked about their part in that. Now that said I have never seen Bruce or Wade admit to this anywhere. According to the producer, they will address these rumors in the extended cut version of the movie.
My old friend Mike Johnson makes a great point about the attitude of the locker room coming out of this incident. Mike thinks that some of the crew came to a point where they questioned their own sanity and motives (paraphrasing). Mike called that the end of ECW. I think there is certainly something to it, especially being a part of the company as a ring announcer at the time. I found this to be one of the most astute observations of the movie.
Tony Lewis is credited for bringing ECW back to life after the incident. I never met Tony but I do remember his vigilance at the time regarding ECW on pay per view. What I found interesting about Tony’s story is that he said he hasn’t gone to any shows since ECW closed down. He did come back to attend the big Extreme Reunion show but talk about passion. Once ECW died it appeared so did his passion for pro wrestling.
Since closing down ECW and Paul Heyman have been known for their financial issues. The tales of ECW wrestlers who are still waiting to get their money from Paul Heyman are legendary. Mikey Whipwreck is the first to bring up the bounced checks. Every wrestler asked about why they left ECW answered “money.” I heard stories personally from some wrestlers that were owed insane amounts of money when ECW closed although I didn’t look at their bank statements to tell you how accurate those numbers were.
Dave Meltzer illustrates the financial problems that plagued Extreme Championship Wrestling once they went on pay per view. Dave explains that Paul would run the money from one pay per view into the next, thus never really making much of a profit. Wade Keller explains that the company didn’t have a business plan and it was a “loan based plan.” Meltzer says that from 1995 on it was always a fight to stay in business. Wade Keller thinks the product was doomed when it went national.
Meltzer also brings up the problems with syndicated television and the amount of money that was spent on syndicated TV. Axl Rotten at one point brings up the “small time” feel of ECW that may have worked against them when the national audience was exposed to their product. The documentary paints a picture of ECW getting on national television as really the point that ECW was done.
The whole idea of fighting for a cause was brought up during the movie. Paul motivated his wrestlers like they were an army of outlaws against the world. I was there and I remember plenty of speeches Paul used to motivate his locker room that made these guys want to run out there and jump into a flaming pit of tables. In hindsight a lot of those same guys are now asking exactly what they were fighting for. The sad irony of this whole rebellion is that when the doors closed Paul Heyman has probably had the most stability as an employee of WWE, the very same corporate wrestling that he manipulated his wrestlers to fight against.
The physical tolls of the ECW wrestling style are evident towards the end of the movie when Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten sit down together. Both of these guys are fantastic guys, especially Axl who I have known for years. But it is not hard to see the physical impact that the ECW style had on these guys. It isn’t pretty, especially for Axl who is recovering from a bout with Bells Palsey.
Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins tells an interesting story towards the end about meeting with Paul Heyman. Corgan says that Heyman needed $10 million to keep the company going. Obviously that investment never happened but there are plenty of stories that follow about Paul and his financial mismanagement regarding the fall of ECW.
The former ECW wrestlers talk about the financial troubles with some having a better attitude about it than others. New Jack in particular calls Heyman a couple of names and points out that some guys lost their homes, family, cars, and everything because they were owed money. Mike Johnson points out the fear that some of the guys had to stand up to Paul while Gabe Sapolsky says that he feels that a lot of the guys were in denial at the end.
That is a great comment by Sapolsky because I remember so many guys being in denial at the time. I worked with Combat Zone Wrestling at the time as an announcer and we would call guys to book them on shows and they’d always say something about ECW coming back and not really being dead. I can remember some guys even as far as a year after it closed believing that ECW was coming back. Angel Medina says that he only found out it was truly over when the company filed for bankruptcy and that nobody from within the company ever called him. Balls Mahoney says he was in denial up until the day it happened. I can recall conversations I had with him many months after and quite frankly I think he was in denial for months after as well.
Dave Meltzer thinks ECW failed because “the circumstances didn’t work” and not because Paul was a bad businessman. Meltzer doesn’t think that ECW could have survived at the time regardless of Paul’s financials. I have a high amount of respect for Dave but I don’t know if I agree with that at all. From everything I have heard over the years from people within the company I can tell you that financial misgivings were a big part of the end.
The backdrop to the movie is the Extreme Reunion promotion and the comeback show last year. Footage of the show was shown throughout the movie including a scene where Shane Douglas rushes to check on Sabu, who was rushed to the hospital. The show is characterized as a success financially, yet is criticized by New Jack and Mike Johnson. According to Jack, “it sucked!”
I’ll give the producers a lot of credit. I know that Extreme Reunion played a big part in the movie. I think it shows a lot of integrity to keep all of the negative comments about the show in the movie. It would have been easy to take out those remarks and portray a successful event. Instead, all of the problems that were publicly documented after the show were addressed. I was even a bit surprised as to how honest they were about the negativity.
One of the producers of the movie dropped me an email about this, “There is no cross promotional deal with Extreme Reunion/rising, and if you’ve heard my interviews talking about my experiences there, while I wish them well, it isn’t like I’ve ever promoted them. They agreed to give us access and footage. There were no creative control clauses or restrictions on presentation. EVERY creative decision that went into the film is the product of Kevin Kiernan and myself. We were under no obligation to promote them or present them in any way. We’re documentary makers – We document – so we show what happened and try to be fair to all sides (like we did in the rest of the film). Now, the E.R. FB has pushed us, and that has more to do with Steve O’Neill being a good friend (separate from E.R. he helped us in managing the project/organizing things), but I’ve told him he didn’t have to do that (I’d almost feel better if he didn’t). But you rightly gave us credit for being fair, so i thank you.”
Overall I’d highly recommend the DVD. Sure it isn’t the polished production that the WWE offered but the quality of content here was much better. I said it a few times but I really felt that this movie told the most accurate story of ECW and really hit into the passion of the wrestlers and the fans like no other. This was another side of the story that really needed to be told and I am glad that the producers finally got the opportunity to share it with the world.
Update: I’d like to make a correction. I was misinformed. I made a comment about Dave posting a link on his site. He didn’t and I apologize for the error.
Update #2: I received an email this afternoon about new footage that will be included in the extended cut from the producers.
“In the Extended Cut we go right from the actual Mass Transit incident into the “fallout” involving the tape, which includes Tod Gordon, Bruce Mitchell, Dave Scherer, and Wade Keller talking about it. It was, like a lot of little things, pulled for time, pacing, and the fact that this cut was something we wanted to take to film fests/make more accessible to non-fans to understand the story. We did not want to go over the 2 hour mark for this cut. So it will be in the extended cut.”
I’ve been doing this blog the last several years a week or so after that year’s WrestleMania wrapped up and once again it has returned by looking at the 2014 edition of the biggest show of the wrestling year, WrestleMania 30.
First and foremost I need to give credit where credit is due and say that this blog was inspired by Camel Clutch Blog creator Eric Gargiulo who “penned” a predictions blog just like this several years ago. I “borrowed” the idea myself and decided to give my own WrestleMania predictions one year before the event actually happened. So with that said lets take a look at my very early WrestleMania 30 predictions:
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar
This is a pretty easy prediction to go with since there were reported plans for the two of them to plant the “seeds” for a match in the Superdome at WrestleMania 30 the RAW after WrestleMania 29. I like the WWE going with this match because it involves two “part-time” wrestlers having a match at the biggest show of the year and not leaving a wrestler who would be more deserving to be in a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania (CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan to name a few) the “odd man out.”
Rock/Lesnar has a big match appeal to it and if it’s like anything compared to their SummerSlam 2002 encounter then wrestling fans will be in for a show at WrestleMania 30.
Ryback vs. The Undertaker
Right now it appears that the WWE has decided to take Ryback out of the babyface role and make him into a monster heel. Personally I love the move WWE creative has made because I feel that someday Ryback has the potential to “slide” into John Cena’s top babyface role and putting him as a heel, outside the “babyface shadows” of John Cena, will make him look stronger to the WWE audience.
The amount of opponents for The Undertaker at WrestleMania are a slim list and if Brock Lesnar is going to be involved in a match with The Rock, then the next big thing (no pun intended) to threatened The Undertaker’s streak is to have the “everyday monster heel” of the WWE to challenge “The Deadman.”
John Cena (c) vs. CM Punk (For the WWE Championship)
When we look back at the John Cena vs. CM Punk feud historically, we will look back at it as defining an “era” of professional wrestling in the WWE. I believe we will put it upon the mantle piece of such era defining feuds like Hogan/Savage, Hart/Michaels and Rock/Austin. But what those feuds all have in-common that the Cena/Punk feud does not, is a main event match at a WrestleMania.
I loved listening to interviews leading up to WrestleMania 29 where CM Punk candidly said that he believed it should be himself vs. John Cena main eventing WrestleMania 29. Quite frankly, while Rock/Cena may look like the “big money draw,” John Cena vs. CM Punk could be a match that leaves people talking for years. Case in point their most recent RAW match back in late-February, arguably one of their best one-on-one matches of All-Time.
Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (For the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
This is the “wrestling fan’s” WrestleMania dream match right now. It’s two of the best in-ring workers in professional wrestling battling it out at a WrestleMania with a World Title on the line. Imagine if the WWE gave wrestling fans this match and allowed them to do battle for 25-30 minutes. Just the thought of that is making Wrestling fans around the world salivate.
The best thing about this is it has a very good chance of happening a year from now as they are two of the biggest rising stars in the company. Their popularity is growing at every WWE show and they have the ability to kick-off the “30’s decade” of WrestleMania in-style by quite possibly being that Cena/Punk feud that could define an era. To me, it’s the closest thing to a Hart/Michaels-like match that we may ever see in today’s professional wrestling landscape.
Chris Jericho vs. Triple H
Heading into this new “fiscal year” of the WWE will be pretty interesting. Throughout the year their will come times where these stars will be brought back to due battle with some sort of rising star like Chris Jericho did (i.e. Fandango or Dolph Ziggler) or due battle with an established star like Triple H did (i.e. Brock Lesnar). But now that WrestleMania 29 is in the books what does each of these two legend’s future hold for WrestleMania 30?
I’d personally love to see a throwback to one of the most underrated feuds of the “Attitude Era” and see Chris Jericho & Triple H battle it out for one more time. This feud actually headlined a Wrestlemania during that time period (WrestleMania 18) and a rematch between these two towards the end of what I presume to be their careers, would be a nostalgia match for the “older” wrestling fan. Not only that but I believe these two legends would give us a great match on the grandest wrestling stage of them all.
Plus who wouldn’t mind seeing another underrated feud, Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon, be rehashed one more time?
Triple H and Brock Lesnar will have a third shot at impressing Bret Hart. Paul Heyman and Lesnar shot an angle on Monday Night RAW to set up the trilogy which will end with a steel cage match at the 2013 Extreme Rules pay per view event.
I have to admit that I groaned when word leaked yesterday that the angle was coming. After seeing Brock and Hunter a second time at WrestleMania, I felt that I had seen enough. Was there even interest in a trilogy here? I didn’t think so but I completely counted out the x-factor and shame on me for doing so. That x-factor of course is Paul Heyman.
Heyman’s promo to set up the angle on Monday night was downright brilliant. I completely forgot about the disappointing match and finish at WrestleMania 29. Heyman put over the steel cage match better than anyone has in about five years. It reminded me of the localized promos I’d watch as a kid whenever the WWF would bring a cage match to the Spectrum or Madison Square Garden. Heyman may have pulled out a miracle here.
The third match doesn’t make sense for one reason. How do you top a match with the stipulation that one of the loser’s must retire? Pride and bragging rights are nice, but nothing other than repeating the stipulation can top that in my opinion. If the idea all along was to do a trilogy I have no idea other than panic why they would shoot the retirement stipulation early in match two as opposed to three.
Another takeaway here is that everyone was so concerned that the second match was too predictable. Does anyone for a second expect Lesnar to drop two in a row to Hunter? I can’t imagine any logic whatsoever in doing so. I would honestly be shocked to see it. How do you sell suspense when everyone has a pretty good idea what the finish is going to be?
All of that said, the buyrate for this show is going to be incredibly interesting. Did Lesnar lose any juice (no pun intended) as a draw after losing at Mania? I think he has but the proof will be here in the final number. Brock doesn’t come cheap and even a win over Triple H doesn’t mean a whole lot in the big picture. Whether this is a complete waste of the limited dates the WWE has on Brock or not will be answered with the buyrate.
Last year coming in fresh from his UFC run and headlining with John Cena, Brock pulled in an extra 54,000 buys, increasing the buyrate from 25% the previous year. So there is a benchmark here. The company was also coming off of its biggest WrestleMania ever. Whether 29 is that big or not has yet to be determined. Even with the increase, the company reportedly expected more and were disappointed initially with Lesnar’s impact (remember Lesnar teasing a return to the UFC after those rumors came out?). What are the expectations for Lesnar, along with a stronger supporting match in John Cena vs. Ryback?
The numbers will certainly tell a story here and will prove bloggers like me right about the WrestleMania finish or make us look foolish.
It is never too early to look into my WWE crystal ball and start making WrestleMania 30 predictions. I made WrestleMania 29 card predictions last April and let’s just say that I couldn’t have been more off the mark. It’s time to turn that around as we look ahead to New Orleans!
In taking a quick look back at my WrestleMania 29 match predictions from April 2012, I only got one match right. I hit on The Rock vs. John Cena and missed on everything else. It certainly wasn’t as easy to predict the twelve months out from Mania to Mania as I thought (or maybe too predictable depending upon how you look at it). 2014 looks like it could be different.
Predicting WrestleMania one year out is almost as difficult as filling out your March Madness brackets at any time of the year. Take a look at WrestleMania 28 a year ago. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan were in championship matches, Brock Lesnar wasn’t even in, and you had the whole Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy fiasco. The World Wrestling Entertainment landscape certainly looked a lot different this year.
So with this all said, let’s take a look at some of the probable WrestleMania 30 matches one year before this great spectacle invades Louisiana. Keep in mind that these are all just predictions and should not be taken as fact or cited as a source in any kind of report.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker Streak vs. Streak…I have been hanging my hat on this baby for the last couple of years and have been no closer since I first made the prediction. I think this match has to happen. It is the only Cena and Undertaker match that hasn’t happened ever in the WWE (well it has, but not on a big stage). This is a main-event the company can draw with in which they don’t have to pay crazy money for an outsider to come in and carry the event.
In my post-WrestleMania 29 blog I mentioned that the WWE really blew it by not going with a streak vs. streak match between Punk and Undertaker. I think that between this being the 30th event and probably the last for The Undertaker, they keep the WWE title on Cena all year long (gasp!), and go with streak vs. streak. Who wins? That is another blog altogether but say what you will about Cena, a match like that would be absolutely huge!
Steve Austin vs. CM Punk. If this match is ever going to happen it is going to happen here. I can see the WWE going all out to try and get Austin back in for the 30th WrestleMania. Austin hasn’t ruled out the match although according to reports most close to him seem to think it’ll never happen. Will that one last huge payday tempt Austin to lace up the boots one more time? I have serious concerns about The Rock coming back next year and without him, the WWE will need to grab someone else to help fill those shoes. If it doesn’t happen at WrestleMania 30 it’s never going to happen.
Backup plan – CM Punk vs. Triple H. I know that these guys have already had their big match but if you look at the big picture, what else could either really do next year that would have any kind of impact on the show? I hope for logic sake that Triple H is wrestling on the show because if he doesn’t, his win over Brock makes even less sense. So I am going to assume he is in. Punk makes the perfect foil and it would be a great opportunity for Hunter to return the favor and pass the torch so to speak. Does Trips fear the embarrassment of being booed at the expense of Punk’s fans? Maybe, but I think this one has to at least be on the white board when it comes to planning the New Orleans event.
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE world heavyweight championship…I was pulling for an Orton vs. Bryan match this year and that didn’t happen. I know Orton has his critics but take a look at any of his matches with Ziggler and tell me they aren’t all fantastic. These guys have some sick chemistry together and I could see a scenario where Orton winds up with the title during the next 12 months as a heel, and a babyface Ziggler works his way back into the title picture with a win at the Royal Rumble. Yep, Ziggler wins the Rumble and challenges Orton at Mania next year!
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar. We all know the story of this one by now. This match has been planned for awhile but the angle got sidetracked after The Rock went home the day after WrestleMania 29. Does it happen? Honestly I don’t think it does, but I have to at least include it on the list. The star power here is probably the biggest that the WWE can grab from two guys the level of Brock and Rock. I am just not so sure The Rock is so eager to risk his next movie against the likes of Brock. If he got injured twice against Cena, he will fall completely apart against Brock. But it is on the books so it needs to be here.
Backup plan – Brock Lesnar vs. Batista. There have been all kinds of rumors lately of Batista returning to the WWE, which are nothing new since those same rumors reared their head last year at this time. Batista coming back to wrestle Brock makes sense, especially if you play off of both of their MMA backgrounds. I think this match would be pretty good, although I would be disappointed if Batista didn’t return to his heel character he portrayed before leaving. What else do you do with Brock if The Rock isn’t interested in returning to the ring?
Backup plan #2 – Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk. Quite frankly I am expecting this one to come a little bit earlier, around SummerSlam. Brock is a babyface plain and simple. The fans love him. He will be turning babyface sooner or later and if the WWE is convinced Rock isn’t coming back, and the Batista idea isn’t feasible, maybe they shoot the angle here and turn Heyman and Punk on Brock? It would give both Punk and Brock a big match, probably a damned good one on the big event. I know it is coming but whether it comes at WrestleMania 30, SummerSlam, or WrestleMania 31 is anyone’s guess.
Stay tuned to the Camel Clutch Blog throughout the year. We will be posting WrestleMania 30 predictions all year long, as well any news reports that break regarding the match card. We don’t need to wait until January to get in on the fun.
This was my first time ever going to WWE Axxess and I have to say for my first try, it was alright, just love the fact that I got to experience it.
To start things off, I had to be there early morning right before 8 AM, it was freezing cold and the lines to get into the Izod Center were huge. Once we got inside, all the big names who were there for signings and photo ops were taken, I checked to see if the Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman lines were available, but there was no way we’d be able to get in, lines were already full and if you were going to meet them, you were going to have to wait a good 45 minutes or more to get that opportunity, which would take up most of your time being there.
While fans had to wait for their turn, they distracted us with some in-ring action by having NXT matches be presented to us, they also did fan competitions were pretty fun and cool to witness. There were some loud ECW chants for Paul Heyman when fans were waiting their turn to meet him; his section was probably the loudest of all. The NXT matches barely got any reactions but it was cool to see WWE promote and expose their newer and younger talent to fans that may not be aware of them.
I myself expected to meet tons of talent from WWE when I entered the Izod center, but I was only able to meet three because of how crowded that place was, many people were disappointed by the fact that lines had to be cut and even if they were on line, they weren’t guaranteed to meet the superstar they were originally waiting to meet as they would switch it up every hour or so, which is how long some people had to wait on lines. For example, on one line people waited to see Matt Striker and they replaced him with Hunico and Camatcho, which was hilarious!
To conclude my experience on Axxess, basically I would say I didn’t have the chance to do everything I planned to do there because of how crowded it was and time was running short, so I would recommend to those who haven’t been to Axxess before and are planning on going in the future, to not get your hopes so up because reality is you won’t be able to enjoy it the way you planned on enjoying it unless you arrive super super early, and if you’re patient enough, you could walk out of Axxess meeting 2-3 stars like I did.
I met Rosa Mendes who was very cool and down to earth, Damien Sandow who was also cool, and Christian who was very laid back and relaxed! Make sure you also bring extra money with you because everything there is expensive, unless you’re very rich haha! Most of your axxess will rely on you waiting in lines to meet superstars, honestly. Unless you have VIP tickets or bought tickets for every Axxess which gives you time to enjoy the attractions, but that’s it. That’s it for my review guys, hope you enjoyed!