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Brock Lesnar Must Retain At WWE Night Of Champions 2014

September 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Night of Champions is several hours away and fans are in a panic. What if Brock Lesnar loses? What if we are subjected to seeing John Cena leave as WWE champion? I join you in your concern and it is imperative moving forward that Lesnar retain the belt at WWE N.O.C.

I don’t think I am making any kind of startling revelation here. But there is serious cause for concern that Lesnar will be leaving the PPV tonight without the WWE world championship. I left RAW feeling that Cena had a good shot of winning and Seth Rollins was cashing in, leaving Brock as the odd man out. That just cannot happen!

Brock is the first true superstar that the WWE has had carry the title (other than The Rock’s brief reign) in several years. Brock is a true difference maker. All you need to do is look at the ratings patterns on RAW episodes that feature the Beast Incarnate. The audience pattern is predictable. Brock brings the numbers and the people fall off when he is done. There aren’t any real difference makers like that left in the business today.

The WWE has not even scraped the surface on the opportunities they can reward themselves with while Lesnar reigns supreme. Brock was the biggest draw in UFC history for a reason. It wasn’t because he was such a great UFC fighter. He has “it.” There are still hundreds of thousands of those UFC fans that tune in to check out what Brock is doing in a WWE ring. Those people aren’t sticking around if Lesnar isn’t.

The company finally has a guy as the face of their company that they can market to an alienated fan base. The older teenagers and men 20-30 who used to watch WWE wrestling have generally tuned out a long time ago. The WWE is just not that cool anymore and the characters don’t speak to them. Lesnar speaks to them! These teenagers can walk around with a Brock t-shirt or get together and watch Brock wrestle with interest. Nobody else has touched that demographic in years.

There is a lot more left with Lesnar as WWE champion to accomplish than Cena. Cena is old news and while I appreciate his place in the company, what do you have for him past this that would interest anyone? The Seth Rollins feud is nice to talk about but quite frankly I think they need to rehabilitate Rollins first before that happens. Rusev could be fun but it’s too soon. Reigns isn’t turning and we are all hoping to never see a Cena vs. Bray Wyatt or Randy Orton match anytime soon. There is nobody ready.

Brock has made the WWE fun again. I go out of my way to watch Lesnar and Paul Heyman anytime they walk out on RAW. There is just something about Brock running in place on that ramp that gets you excited to see what he is going to do. He is a monster and I mean that in a good way. Dean Ambrose is probably the closest to that but he has a long way to go until that is automatic. Nobody can bring to the table what Lesnar does.

Lesnar’s dominating win over Cena at SummerSlam has historic ramifications. What was the match even for if Lesnar loses one month later to Cena? Nobody can explain to me what the point of having Cena dominated at SummerSlam was if he comes back with no change in character and beats Lesnar. To make that match count, Lesnar needs to go over Cena two in a row. He doesn’t need to dominate him, but he needs to win or at minimum retain the title.

My pleas will have fallen on deaf ears and who knows what the crack creative team is thinking going into Night of Champions. I just feel that there is a lot of potential left in Brock as WWE world champion and not capitalizing on it would be one of the most disappointing blunders this company has made in a long time.

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John Cena and Brock Lesnar WWE RAW Brawl

September 16, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE is heading into Night of Champions 2014 with one of the worst go-home RAW shows I can remember, yet there was one bright spot. The brawl between John Cena and Brock Lesnar highlighted one of the better RAW segments of the year.

I don’t want to get too much into my Night of Champions predictions because I may do an entire blog on that later in the week. However, you can generally get a feel of who is going over in the top PPV matches by the way the angle plays out on RAW the week before. If that still holds true, it would look to me that Brock Lesnar is retaining the belt on Sunday…as well he should.

One of the things that Cena has said is that he doesn’t necessarily want the belt, he just wants to beat up Brock. I think that was a dead giveaway for the fact that Cena will likely lose the match via DQ but come out of it looking like the victor. The way this angle played out on Monday seems to support that. Cena got the better of Lesnar, which is to be expected. That tells me that Lesnar is retaining the title on Sunday because why would Cena get the better of him and beat him Sunday? Maybe he wins out against someone else in that scenario but not Brock Lesnar!

Anyway here is the brawl from Monday thanks to WWE’s YouTube channel. Check it out and whether you like Cena or not, it is hard not to get pumped about this rematch on Sunday at WWE Night of Champions…which you can watch for only $9.99 in case you haven’t heard.

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There Can’t Be A Paul Heyman Without A Jim Cornette

September 15, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I am pretty sure Jim Cornette’s mother would be happy with this story. The man who referred to his mother like you would refer to the love of your life has had a large impact in the wrestling business as one of the best spokesmen in the industry.

Cornette, the ever antagonist and supporter and manager of the Midnight Express, Sherri Martell, Big Bubba Rogers, Buddy Landel, Adrian Street, Christopher Daniels, and Jeff Jarrett, is staple in the historical success of professional wrestling. If we are going to pay homage to Paul Heyman for being of the best manager or one of the best managers in the business, then we must do the same for the loudmouthed, over eccentric and ever so cocky Cornette.

As a manager and creative writer, he has worked for Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling and the WWE, and from 1991 to 1995, was the owner of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He has also worked as an on-screen character in an authoritative role; as “Commissioner” of Ring of Honor (in a previous stint with the company) and “Management Director” (and off-screen road agent) for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Can you believe Cornette actually got his start in wrestling as a photographer?

As we have discussed before, a manager is somewhat like a storyline agent for an actor or an athlete; he helps his client to book matches and appearances, and otherwise works to further and guide their career.

Within the context of storylines it is the manager who positions their charge for title opportunities, decides whom to trust as an ally, and generally acts as a mouthpiece on their wrestlers’ behalf. Outside of storylines, a manager’s job is to help the wrestler they’re paired with get over. For this reason, managers are usually paired with wrestlers who the writers feel have great potential, but need a little help to the top. For example, if a wrestler can perform well in the ring, but lacks the gift of gab, a manager will cut promos for him.

Often the very act of aligning oneself with a manager, or conversely breaking away from a manager they’ve worked with, can change a wrestler’s alignment, making them a sudden fan favorite or villain. Both Heyman and Cornette have done that over their careers possibly better than every other male or female to fill the manager’s roll.

While the basic goal of a manager is to give his or her wrestlers a push never changes, how they go about it will depend on several factors, especially alignment. A heel manager, for example, may have their wrestler constantly duck tougher opponents while cheating to help them win when they do actually wrestle.

 A face manager, however, may spend the majority of their interview time talking about how tough their wrestler is and going out of their way to find bigger and better opponents to challenge, as proof.

When I think of the best managers in wrestling history, it is a surety that both Heyman and Cornette are near the top. While Cornette appears to have set the tone for a more fiery Heyman to come along and steal the thunder (Cornette used to swing a racket, Heyman yielded a cell phone for the longest time) of his predecessor.

If I ranked the top 10 managers of all time, mine might be something like this…

  • James J. Dillon
  • Paul Jones
  • Oliver Humperdink
  • Jimmy Hart
  • Paul Ellering
  • Jim Cornette
  • The Grand Wizard
  • Paul Heyman
  • Capt. Lou Albano
  • Bobby Heenan

Wrestling is odd in that it is cyclic with the types of characters who grace the squared circle as well. Managers are not immune to that as well. Paul Heyman is every bit as much of the managers behind and in front of him on this list. However, in all honesty, unless there was a Jim Cornette, would we have ever seen a Paul Heyman to begin with?

Think about it.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Ladies and Gentleman My Name is Paul Heyman WWE DVD Review

September 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ladies and Gentleman My Name is Paul Heyman may be one of the most inspiring documentaries produced by the WWE. The documentary chronicling the life of Heyman should be required viewing in business schools and marketing classes across America.

Heyman is one of the most under-appreciated success stories of our wrestling generation. As I pointed out in a previous piece, Heyman may be the greatest manager in pro wrestling history. Heyman has drawn money through four different decades and is better than ever. Only entertainment icons can boast that kind of pedigree. Heyman is indeed an icon.

Heyman’s journey is inspiring whether you are an aspiring enterprenaur, business student, marketing executive or pro wrestler. It isn’t so much Heyman’s rise in pro wrestling that is impressive. It was his tenacity, desire, courage, and dare I say hustle that you have to admire in or out of pro wrestling.

Heyman broke into the business as a photographer taking pictures at Madison Square Garden. Heyman quickly assimilated himself behind the curtain and was learning from some of the brightest minds in the business. Something clicked when I saw this story and it relates back to ECW. ECW was full of people outside of the ring who went from fans to being a part of the company. All anyone had to do was ask and just about everyone was offered an opportunity to contribute whether you were smart to the business or not. Quite honestly it was pretty easy to get “in” to ECW and now I can see why. Heyman was giving back, even then. He was giving people the same opportunities he was given and for that you absolutely have to love the guy. He allowed you to open up that door but it was up to you to step inside.

I don’t want to give the story away but it is quite a journey. The one constant throughout the DVD is that Heyman is always trying something new. That is why he has been able to remain relevant through four decades. He is always adapting and changing with the times. Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Edge, Steve Austin, Gabe Sapolsky, Jim Ross, Raven, Stephanie McMahon and many others attest to this.

The meat of the DVD is of course ECW. Heyman talks extensively about how he got involved in ECW, what went right, and what went wrong. Heyman also debunks some myths about the relationship ECW and the WWE had back at the time. One story that has been alleged is that Vince McMahon sent ECW weekly checks. Heyman confirms that but puts an interesting twist on exactly what was going on and according to Heyman, it had nothing to do with any kind of ownership.

Tod Gordon tells a story about Heyman booking the shows in ECW on napkins. I can attest to that. I was a ring announcer in ECW from late 1996-early 1998. I remember many shows where Paul would walk with me halfway to the ring, giving me the first half of the card as we walked, telling me to come see him at intermission for the second half. That happened many times and it was all part of the charm that came with working in ECW.

Personally I can tell you that Heyman was probably the most giving person for someone at his stature in pro wrestling that I have ever met. Heyman always opened the door to come watch television edits, sit in on booking meetings, or just simply chat about the show. Unlike Heyman I didn’t have that same passion he did to follow through with those special invites. Not many do. If you watched ECW long enough you could generally see the ones who did as they’d generally all ascend to higher places in and even outside of ECW.

The other meaty part of the DVD chronicles Heyman’s difficulties fitting into the corporate structure of the WWE after ECW went out of business. Heyman’s creative was never a question. It was Heyman’s lack of judgment when it came to picking fights with Vince McMahon according to Stephanie and others that worked with him at the time. No matter what you think of Heyman, his booking of the SmackDown Six remains the best era in the history of that program/brand.

Heyman has branched out beyond the squared circle in 2014. No longer are his passions encompassed by the world of professional wrestling. Heyman operates a successful marketing agency and is a proud father to two beautiful children. It’s hard to imagine that same man sitting down glowing about his family in 2014 screaming like a maniac and throwing headsets 17 years ago. Fatherhood and past reflections have certainly mellowed out the evil genius in that regard.

The DVD is well worth your time and money and moved very fast. If I have one complaint it is that I think you could have easily gotten another 60-90 minutes of material on the DVD. I would recommend listening to Heyman’s interviews with Steve Austin and Chris Jericho on PodcastOne as a great companion to this DVD. He goes into more detail, especially on the details of his leaving the WWE a few years back that paint an even bigger picture on the majestic canvas created on this DVD.

DISC 1

Documentary

Survivor
Photographer
Promoter
Manager
Memphis
AWA
WCW
ECW
Team Mentality
Rebels
Commentator
Writer
OVW
New ECW
Businessman
Father
Return to WWE
Embracing the Moment

DISC 2:

Paul E. is always in contact
AWA Championship Wrestling • August 1987

Pink Suspenders
AWA Superstars • August 1987

I’ll Be Johnny Carson
AWA Championship Wrestling • August 1987

Danger Zone with Ted E. Bear
AWA Championship Wrestling • September 1987

You want to be a Cartoon?
AWA All Star Wrestling • September 1987

If Excitement Had a Name
AWA Superstars • September 1987

More Publicity
AWA Championship Wrestling • September 1987

Adrian Adonis
AWA All Star Wrestling • October 1987

The Definition of Pro Wrestling
AWA Superstars • November 1987

The Sequel Jim Cornette
NWA Pro Wrestling • October 1988

Nobody Wanted Paul E.
World Championship Wrestling • November 1988

Louisville Slugger
NWA Pro Wrestling • December 1988

The Year of Paul E. Dangerously
World Championship Wrestling • January 1989

Danger Zone with Ric Flair
World Championship Wrestling • March 1989

I’m So Handsome
NWA Main Event • March 1989

I Don’t Have Wrestlers I Have Animals
World Wide Wrestling • March 1989

Ding Dong Who is it?
NWA Main Event • July 1989

The Era of the Dangerous Alliance
World Championship Wrestling • September 1989

Sting’s Doll
Power Hour • May 1991

Save Us from Captain Oklahoma
World Championship Wrestling • November 1991

The Dangerous Alliance
World Championship Wrestling • November 1991

The Paul E. Awards
World Wide Wrestling • February 1992

The Ultimatum is at Hand
Pro Wrestling • April 1992

A New Dangerous Alliance
ECW Hardcore TV • October 1993

WCW Wants Sabu
ECW Hardcore TV • June 1994

Wrestler and Violence
ECW Hardcore TV • July 1994

Winds of Change
ECW Hardcore TV • November 1994

Cash Rules Everything
ECW Hardcore TV • December 1994

Best Damn Wrestling You’ve Ever Seen
ECW Hardcore TV • January 1995

There Ain’t No Organization Like ECW
ECW • February 1996

ECW Comes to Pay-Per-View
ECW • February 1997

We Cleared Cablevision!
ECW • March 1998

The Card Has Changed
ECW Guilty As Charged • January 1999

The War Has Just Begun
ECW on TNN • June 2000

Stories:

Photo of Vince Sr. & Andre
Riding in Blassie’s Car
Troubles in Memphis
The Mole
Borrowing Time
Conference Call
Paul Heyman Guy
Teasers:

Real Story?
PG Era
Statute of Limitations
In Your Face
More Extreme

DISC 3:

Paul Heyman Hates Mr. McMahon’s Stinkin’ Guts
SmackDown • November 15, 2001

Introducing: “The Next Big Thing”
RAW • April 8, 2002

Paul Heyman, Mr. McMahon & Eric Bischoff All Share One Ring
RAW • May 23, 2005

Paul Heyman Thanks the ECW Faithful
ECW One Night Stand • 12 June 2005

The Resurrection of ECW
ECW One Night Stand • June 11, 2006

From the Bingo Hall to the Garden
ECW • September 12, 2006

Mr. McMahon Gives Paul Heyman a Performance Review
RAW • January 28, 2013

Paul Heyman Gives CM Punk His Resignation
RAW • February 11, 2013

It’s Clobbering Time for CM Punk
RAW • July 15, 2013

Volcano
RAW • October 21, 2013

Paul Heyman Drops a Pipe Bomb
RAW • March 3, 2014

The Original Midnight Express vs. The New Midnight Express
Main Event • January 21, 1989

Hardy Boyz vs. Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman
Judgment Day • May 19, 2002

No Disqualification Handicap Elimination Match
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel & Paul Heyman
Night of Champions • September 15, 2013

BLU-RAY EXTRAS:

Stories:

Riding a Bike Down a Rooftop
Lending a Hand
Managers’ Fan Clubs
Austin Idol’s Manager
Cellphone
New York?
“I owe my career to Paul Heyman”
Micromanaging
Needed Venting
Paul the Promo Guy
Mystery Partner
Program Money
Leather Bag
Sending ECW a Tape
No Show Groomsman
King of NYC
White Corvette
Supported by the Competition
Ended Up with Nothing
Touring the ECW Arena
Out with a Bang
Common Bond
Breaking Vince’s Desk
Baseball Slide
Creative Paul
King Kong
Because I Can’t
Dirty Laundry
Real Friends
Comical Paul
Kid’s Cutting Promos
Heroes
Genius or Insane?
Genuine Friend

Conqueror of the Streak
RAW • April 7, 2014

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Brock Lesnar Needs Paul Heyman’s Mouth to Remain WWE Champion

August 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Is there a better manager/heel duo in the history of professional wrestling than Paul Heyman and his client – and the current WWE World Champion, Brock Lesnar? Is there a better example of how a manager is to be properly used in and out of the ring than the man who advises the one who was the one who not only beat the one as in the one in 21-1, but also took down the one as in the one who has been the one – and only – constant in the WWE over the course of the last decade? Yes, Paul Heyman is the One.

With the WWE’s changing of the guard and the newly crowned champion, the importance of the role Heyman plays in the longevity of Lesnar’s title reign is severe. Honestly, this is Heyman’s reign – not The Beast.

A manager is somewhat like a storyline agent for an actor or an athlete; he helps his client to book matches and appearances, and otherwise works to further and guide their career. Within the context of storylines it is the manager who positions their charge for title opportunities, decides whom to trust as an ally, and generally acts as a mouthpiece on their wrestlers’ behalf. Outside of storylines, a manager’s job is to help the wrestler they’re paired with get over. For this reason, managers are usually paired with wrestlers who the writers feel have great potential, but need a little help to the top. For example, if a wrestler can perform well in the ring, but lacks the gift of gab, a manager will cut promos for him. Often the very act of aligning oneself with a manager, or conversely breaking away from a manager they’ve worked with, can change a wrestler’s alignment, making them a sudden fan favorite or villain.

While the basic goal of a manager is to give his or her wrestlers a push never changes, how they go about it will depend on several factors, especially alignment. A heel manager, for example, may have their wrestler constantly duck tougher opponents while cheating to help them win when they do actually wrestle. A face manager, however, may spend the majority of their interview time talking about how tough their wrestler is and going out of their way to find bigger and better opponents to challenge, as proof.

Whereas Heyman and CM Punk were a lethal combination together, both could use the mic to their advantage and a weapon over other opponents. Now, Heyman “IS” the weapon of choice when it comes to Lesnar and promoting him as the biggest and baddest champion the WWE has ever witnessed.

Lesnar’s portfolio may not be as large as other wrestlers on his size and skill (which is not a lot), but it is impressive. This is Lesnar’s fourth reign as WWE Champion. Lesnar is also a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NCAA Division I Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, making him the only person to have won a WWE championship, UFC championship, and NCAA wrestling championship.

Lesnar gained prominence in the WWE from 2002 to 2004. During that span, he won the WWE Championship on three separate occasions with victories over The Rock and Kurt Angle (twice). Lesnar won his first WWE Championship at the age of 25, making him the youngest WWE Champion ever. He was also the 2002 King of the Ring and winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble, making him the youngest Royal Rumble winner as well.

If Lesnar is to continue his dominance as champion, it must be done through the mouth of Heyman. The two are connected at the hip in terms of success. Heyman can stand on his own, getting over with the WWE Universe, but I am not the same thing can be said for Lesnar as a dominant, yet fumbling at the mouth wrestler.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Hulk Hogan WWE RAW Birthday Videos

August 12, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Check out this collection of videos from WWE Monday Night RAW’s Hulk Hogan 61st birthday celebration. The celebration featured the return of legends, a reunion and even a survey in one of the most entertaining segments of the year.

I loved every second of this segment. I have to say that I love the way that Roddy Piper still sells his hatred for Hulk Hogan 30 years later. The scowl on Piper’s face was just simply awesome. I am a big Paul Orndorff fan but he certainly looked out of place here. At one point I thought to myself how cool it would have been for Randy Savage to come out if he were still alive. Imagine that pop!

Speaking of pops, the n.W.o. reunion turned out better than anyone could have expected. There have been numerous reports of Scott Hall falling off of the wagon in recent months on the independents so I had no idea what we’d get here. Hall looked great and looked as clean and sober as ever. The survey was a great touch and a great tribute to one of the most fun eras of the industry.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were tremendous. I don’t know why but I pop every time I watch Brock tell Hogan, “The party’s over grandpa.” This was just great stuff all the way around. Enjoy the videos and a fun look back at Hulkamania.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Paul Heyman Is Truly Wrestling’s Living Legend

August 07, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

An entertainer who has not only remained at the top of his game but improved over the course of four decades would be considered a legend in any other industry. In other words, Paul Heyman my friends is a legend.

The words living legend have only been used for one man in the professional wrestling industry, other than a few guys trying to get heat. Bruno Sammartino has the honor of holding that moniker. Yet I will argue that it is time he share that status with a man we all love to hate, Paul Heyman. Heyman is not only the greatest manager in pro wrestling history, he is truly a living legend of that business.

Heyman’s ability to remain relevant, timely, and connected for close to thirty-years in an industry that has seen numerous changes in pop culture, audience, presentation, and mediums is simply remarkable. Not Steve Austin, The Rock, Bruno Sammartino, or even Hulk Hogan have been able to draw money as long as the mad genius from Scarsdale. That is quite an accomplishment.

Think about this for a minute. Paul Heyman entered the pro wrestling business in 1987. 1987! Who from 1987 has been able to remain as relevant and marketable as Heyman in this or any other entertainment industry? The answer is nobody in pro wrestling, few outside. In regards to managers, is there any manager from that time period that could draw main-event money for the WWE today? Not Jim Cornette, Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan, or any of Heyman’s other peers he may have passed along his 30-year journey could pull that off. This is why Heyman is the greatest manager in pro wrestling history.

What is different about Heyman? Why couldn’t any of the greats from Albano to Heenan have pulled this off? Oone of the biggest differences is that Heyman never lost his appetite to be the best. Complacency was probably the biggest enemy to Heyman’s former colleagues, yet Heyman has fought off complacency every step of the way. In listening to interviews with Heyman, he freely admits that he is always learning and trying to tap into the popular culture of the moment. Time may have passed the others by, but Heyman has reserved himself a comfortable seat along that ride.

It is simply remarkable to comprehend that Heyman may be doing his best work today, almost thirty years since he started. There is nobody in the business that comes close to delivering a promo with the conviction, charisma, authenticity, passion, and intrigue that Heyman does. Heyman could take an opening match and generate enough heat to turn it into a main-event with four weeks build if given the chance. Brock Lesnar broke records in the UFC without Heyman at his side. Imagine how much more money he would have drawn with Heyman cutting his promos on Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, etc.?

It’s ironic because most polls or discussions about the greatest manager in social media or on forums generally settle on Bobby Heenan or Jim Cornette. That said, WWE.com has given him props in the past but it still amazes me that he doesn’t get his due among critics. Again the difference between Heyman and these usual suspects is that he never stopped learning. It isn’t pro wrestling that he spends his time learning about…it’s you!

Heyman is finally getting some due with the release of his first documentary DVD produced by the WWE. The accolades are way overdue and he still deserves more. It is highly possible that you, your father, and your grandfather could have paid money to watch someone shut Paul Heyman up. Who else can say that in professional wrestling?

Nobody and for that, Paul Heyman truly is a living legend.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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CCB Extra – Hot Topics: Stephanie McMahon, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Lana, and More

July 25, 2014 By: Category: Podcast, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Freelance writer and published author Chris Illuminati and the CCB’s own Eric Gargiulo talk about all of the latest pro wrestling news and hot WWE rumors. This giant one-hour plus podcast also touches on a lot of old school wrestling with plenty of talk about the wrestling Eric and Chris grew up watching in the 1980s. The list of news and rumors covered in this podcast are…

  • WWE Battleground results and reaction
  • WWE RAW and the big angle featuring Stephanie McMahon getting arrested
  • The controversy surrounding Lana and Rusev’s promo at Battleground
  • Sting in the WWE, will he wrestle, and against who?
  • The future of Brock Lesnar
  • The booking of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
  • Paul Heyman’s promo on RAW
  • Where is Vince McMahon?
  • John Cena’s longevity as a babyface
  • Rumors regarding possible legal action the WWE may take against CM Punk
  • And much, much more.

This podcast topped out at around 67-minutes. Check back soon for more podcasts from Chris and Eric!

Check it out and let us know if you want to hear more podcasts like this one in the future. Subscribe the CCB Extra podcast on iTunes at – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/camel-clutch-blog/id787421073?mt=2

Chris Illuminati is a published author and freelance writer and can be followed on Twitter @ChrisIlluminati.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Paul Heyman Says CM Punk Was Unhappy For A Year

June 26, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The retirement of former WWE star CM Punk continues to stir conversation in the world of pro wrestling. Punk’s former manager recently spoke on the subject and while he was not surprised at Punk’s retirement, he is surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

Paul Heyman continues to be the only person who is close enough to Punk to give any real insight as to why the former champion walked out several weeks before WrestleMania. Many in and out of the industry continue to ponder and offer their opinions, but Heyman is one of the few offering up first-hand details of the sudden sabbatical.

Heyman recently appeared on his former ECW employee Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast to discuss a variety of issues in a lengthy, yet highly entertaining interview. One of the many topics discussed was CM Punk and according to Heyman, the biggest surprise was how long it took for Punk to grab his ball and go home.

He was unhappy. He had enough. He couldn’t take it anymore… A year before he walked these was daily conversations of, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to take this. I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be here. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to be before I just decide to go home.’ I’m surprised it lasted that long…

Every day with him was an exercise in him finding the balance to simply continue on and find the passion he needed that he to do it. And I think what happened was he walked in the day after the Royal Rumble and he couldn’t find that passion. He couldn’t convince himself or persuade himself, ‘OK, whether I’m happy or not this is about the performance, my legacy. It’s about I take pride in what I do. And whether I’m happy or unhappy when I go out there I’m going to be the best CM Punk I can be.’ And I think somewhere during that day he couldn’t find that.

As logical as this reasoning is, it blows up many of the fictitious conspiracy theories that have been floated out on the Internet as fact. If you were to believe Heyman, and why would he have any reason to lie here, the theories about Punk being upset about Batista coming back, his spot at WrestleMania, his impending match with Triple H, Daniel Bryan’s push, and injuries are all nothing by hyperbole and conjecture.

I don’t think it is fair for anyone that unhappy with their job to stay there when they have the security to leave. However, I still find fault in the way he left. Plenty of guys put him over the last few weeks before he quit as well. I find it unprofessional, especially if you knew you were going to walk at some point, to not repay the favor to those guys and the company in return for all of the guys that put him over on the way up. The least he could have done was give the Shield back a win the night he left on RAW or anyone for that matter.

A lot of people in the industry still can’t fathom the amount of money that Punk has left on the table. Many predict that money will drive him back to the WWE at some point. Quite frankly he appears to be a pretty disciplined guy and I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if you never saw him in a WWE ring. That isn’t to say he won’t pop up somewhere and have a match here and there for fun. I just think his days of dealing with the day-to-day politics that come with being a top guy in the WWE are over.

The entire interview is fantastic. Edge sits in on the podcast and it is more like a conversation between three friends as opposed to a straight interview. Heyman also talks about coming back with Brock Lesnar, being asked to fire CM Punk, ECW, and more. Check out the entire podcast here!

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Cesaro Talks Paul Heyman, WWE Championship, and More

June 25, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Cesaro is one of the hottest rising stars in the WWE today. The former Claudio Castagnolii is days away from the biggest match of his career which in his mind, is days away from becoming WWE world champion.

There is nobody I am pulling for harder in the WWE than Cesaro. I had the honor of calling Cesaro’s matches at the start of his ascension about a decade ago in CZW and on the independents. It was obvious from the minute I saw him in the ring that he was destined for big things. So it is no surprise to see him just days away from becoming WWE champion.

Cesaro has been doing some media lately and for a guy who rarely talks on television, he is very good at it. He is certainly taking advantage of his media appearances by not only promoting the WWE, but promoting himself, and his character.

Cesaro was interviewed in Pittsburgh recently by CBS affiliate KDKA-TV to promote the SmackDown event in the city. Check out the interview which features a very confident Cesaro as he heads into Money in the Bank Sunday. He also talks about his relationship with Paul Heyman, his reputation for being one of the strongest guys in the WWE, the Giant Swing, his days on the independent circuit , World Cup, and more.

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The Frustrating Booking of Brock Lesnar in WWE

June 04, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Brock Lesnar is one of the toughest, most intense Superstars that WWE has ever known. From his first run in the company to his recent returns to everything in between, Brock has brought the pain every time he stepped into the ring.

And now there’s nothing left to do. Well, almost nothing.

It’s an issue we’ve seen before in Vince McMahon’s company. A veteran returns, he’s booked to the moon against the best and brightest that WWE has to offer and once he’s done, he’s done. Then it’s game over and he’s back to where he came from.

And no, I’m not hating on The Rock. Relax.

What I am a little frustrated with is how tiresome this routine has become. And it’s not that I don’t understand how it all works; trust me, I do. But that doesn’t change my frustration level at all.

The fact is that Brock is a big name. He’s a very big name. And he needs to be utilized on a stage in which he can make the most money not only for WWE but for himself. That means Brock only faces other established veterans, guys who are also names that can match his star power.

John Cena, Triple H, CM Punk, Big Show, Undertaker, that is the list of guys that Brock has faced since returning to WWE back in 2012. All of them were major Superstars and all of them were veteran talents with proven track records in the company.

Lesnar was not used to put over younger guys, as has been suggested in the past. He’s just not that kind of star. He’s not Chris Jericho.

Brock is in WWE for the big matches, the career defining bouts that will be shown on the network thirty years from now. The Beast is a prize fighter and he does not fight unless the match and the money is right.

So that makes him a villain, right? I mean isn’t that what everyone thinks? Brock’s a money grubbing egotist that’s just out for a payday?

But while everyone’s condemning him, the truth is that Brock is only doing what WWE needs him to do. He obviously wants to be there, if not why would he waste his time? Using him on TV every week may sound like a great idea to some fans out there but the fact is that Brock is not back in WWE for the championship.

At lest not right now.

That time will not come until later, perhaps later this year or early next year. And the only reason the title could be in play then is because The Rock will be back in time for WrestleMania 31. And The People’s Champ will need an opponent to either drop the belt to or win the belt from.

Brock Lesnar is that man. Why? Because this is the only match left.

Rocky is the only opponent left for Brock to work again. He is the only big name that’s still around, the only top talent that is still capable of having a good match on the worldwide stage. He is the last guy left that’s in Brock’s league, which means he’s the last one left that WWE can pair with Lesnar to make money.

There’s just no one else.

That’s why Brock is not coming back to TV every week. He just doesn’t need to and if he did, there would be nothing for him to really do. Lesnar is not the veteran that gives back to the next generation; doesn’t mean he can’t be he just doesn’t need to be.

So while Brock Lesnar is awaiting the phone call to come back and pick a fight with another veteran, WWE fans are left waiting for something to happen. Brock, Taker, Rocky, Jericho, none of these guys are coming back full time and no one expects them to. So there re definitely spots open. And fans are waiting for them to be filled.

They’re getting restless, because time is money and no one likes to get bored. So what’s taking so long?

Where are the new stars, the guys to step up and finally have the guts to take WWE by the horns and make it happen? Where are they?

Over the course of the past year, WWE has made one main event talent. Just one. Daniel Bryan is that talent. Yes, The Shield is successful and yes Bray Wyatt it killing it on the mic every night. But none of those fresh faces is ready for the big time just yet.

None of them are ready to lead a deafening chant that spreads far beyond the confines of WWE and then deliver on the grandest stage of them all.

So in the meantime we must be content with Brock Lesnar, who as of this writing is nowhere to be found. But when he does come back, you can be sure it’s because WWE wants him to. There will be another veteran to match him against because the fact is they’re just not ready to move on and start putting new guys into key spots.

So no, Brock has nothing left to do. And yes, he will be used again anyway. We may understand it but that does not stop us from being frustrated.

And it never seems to end.

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

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr

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WWE Posts First Paul Heyman DVD Trailer

May 27, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

One of the most anticipated WWE DVDs will hit the stores this summer. Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman is coming in August and the first trailer reveals a DVD and Blu-ray that is a must own for all of us.

A lot of mystery surrounds the upcoming WWE DVD, Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman. The only thing known up until now is that a Paul Heyman DVD is coming. No match listings or titles have been revealed yet the new trailer provides the firt glimpse into what is shaping up to be an intriguing docu-DVD. It will be very interesting to see how or if the story of Paul Heyman comes unfiltered or with WWE spin.

Paul Heyman himself claims that he doesn’t know much about the DVD. Heyman did some media interviews leading up to WrestleMania and was asked about the DVD by one reporter. According to Heyman, he knows something is brewing but even he isn’t quite sure what it is.

“I really don’t know much about it. I’m sure WWE has been trying to dig up a lot of dirt on me. You don’t have to dig too hard. It will be a snapshot of Paul Heyman at 48 years old, which would be a different look than if he was 38 years old and a different look from when he was 28 years old. If you did this documentary 10 years from now when I am 58, that would be a far different look at me. It’s a look at Paul Heyman at this stage of his career, begrudgingly reflecting on what he has accomplished so far and very much passionately looking forward to future things to accomplish in the next stage of his career.”

I feel like most WWE docu-DVDs have been marketed more towards the hardcore audience as opposed to its mass causal audience. This one is certainly geared towards the hardcores, especially the ones who still live with the wounds of ECW. I would imagine that ECW will be the majority of the documentary. That said it didn’t appear that a whole lot of ECW wrestlers appeared in this documentary by the looks of the trailer. I am especially curious about how the impact of ECW on the industry is addressed by a WWE DVD.

This may not be the last time we hear Heyman’s story. I do know that Heyman has also been working on a book for quite some time now. I haven’t heard any rumblings about the book for quite a while. I would imagine that this DVD will only scratch the surface while the DVD is where you will get the real story. I talked to someone who heard a little bit about what was written in the book and from the little I know the book sounds fantastic.

The DVD is long overdue. Heyman doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being a manager who has successfully transcended four decades of professional wrestling. What other pro wrestling manager could make that claim? For that reason I may rank Heyman as the greatest manager of all-time. Not only has he transcended four decades, he is probably better now than he has ever been. Could you imagine saying that about any other wrestling manager you saw in 1986 today?

The three-disc DVD comes out August 5 and I will go on record now and predict that it will be one of the best sellers in 2014.

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