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John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries WWE DVD Review

October 30, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that John Cena has been involved in most of the biggest feuds in this modern-day era of WWE. A new DVD and blu-ray release chronicles his ten best in John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

This new home video release is a quasi-documentary/match collection offering the best of both in spots, yet leaving viewers wanting a little more in others. The format of the DVD features the 15-time WWE champion breaking down his greatest rivalries, one rival at a time which then cuts to a match or series of matches between the two. The collection spans three discs so you will be getting plenty of John Cena if you are looking to add a little more Cena to your video collection.

Unlike the documentary DVDs, Cena doesn’t get into much detail with each rivalry, just offering a brief synopsis with some analysis from the future Hall of Fame superstar. Unfortunately you probably won’t learn much new or get in on any backstage dirt but that was not the intent of the DVD. It was presented like a Top 10 collection you’d see on the NFL Network with players talking about topics sandwiched between highlights, although in this case you are getting the full matches.

The ten rivals featured on the discs are…

  • Chris Jericho
  • Batista
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Shawn Michaels
  • Edge
  • Randy Orton
  • Triple H
  • The Rock
  • JBL
  • CM Punk (Blu-ray only)

The biggest disappointment here is the omission of Punk on the main disc. The Punk-Cena rivalry is arguably the biggest of Cena’s career. I think most fans will expect to buy the DVD with the Punk rivalry chronicled for obvious reasons. Leaving Punk off of the main disc out of spite is a bit disingenuous with unsuspecting customers. He is on the blu-ray anyway! If you aren’t going to include him fine, but you aren’t screwing with Punk here, you are screwing with the customers who assume that Cena’s greatest rival would be included on a DVD entitled John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

That said, there are some gems on here. Cena has been around weekly for so long that you sometimes forget about some of the fun matches he had back at the start of his ascension. A great feud I completely forgot about was Cena’s rivalry with Eddie Guerrero. The Parking Lot Brawl in particular was a fun match I’d venture to say that most of us have forgotten about in recent years.

I will say that you start to rethink Cena a bit after you watch the collection. He isn’t nearly as bad as most think he is. I think a lot of the Cena-hate comes down to the overexposure of Cena and the lack of quality opponents the company has had for him in recent years. Take a quick look at the list of rivals and you’ll notice that all but Orton aren’t competing in the WWE today. There is a reason that no recent feud other than The Rock is featured in the collection.

Overall I’d say this was a fun collection which serves a great defense of Cena as an in-ring performer. He is much more than his “Five Moves of Doom” and when inspired, can put on a hell of a match. I also think it goes without saying that if you are going to buy this collection, spend a few extra bucks on the blu-ray for the Punk rivalry.

DISC 1

Book of Knowledge

Number One Contender’s Tournament Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – April 3, 2003

Chicken Soup

Parking Lot Brawl
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – September 11, 2003

Honed My Craft

OVW Championship Match
Prototype vs. Leviathan
Ohio Valley Wrestling – February 23, 2002

Different Dynamic

WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Batista
Extreme Rules – April 25, 2010

Special Individual

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – April 23, 2007

Learned So Much

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – March 10, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels

DISC 2

Gifted

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam – August 26, 2007

Brought out the Best

John Cena vs. Randy Orton
RAW – February 10, 2014

Hard-Nosed

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. JBL
WrestleMania 21 – April 3, 2005

Heavily-Calloused

John Cena vs. JBL
RAW – June 9, 2008

Talk you into Building

“You’re Fired! Match” for the WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
RAW – August 22, 2005

Gave Me a Chance

World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Survivor Series – November 23, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Randy Orton

DISC 3

Old Shoe

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Edge
RAW – October 2, 2006

Who Am I ?

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Edge
Backlash – April 26, 2009

Measuring Stick

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Triple H
WrestleMania 22 – April 2, 2006

Advice

John Cena vs. Triple H
RAW – October 19, 2009

Global Phenomenon

John Cena & The Rock Q&A
RAW – March 25, 2013

Sequel

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. The Rock
WrestleMania XXIX – April 7, 2013

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: The Rock

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

Underlying Passion

John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – November 23, 2009

Trying To Do My Job

Number One Contender’s Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – February 25, 2013

John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries [Blu-ray]

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton Face Turn and Other WWE Thoughts

October 29, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I have to hand it to the creative team that put together Monday Night Raw. For the first time in ages, I was engaged and excited about the program, the matches and the dialogue.

Randy Orton stole the show early on, Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose kept the momentum rolling and when we all needed a solid dismount, John Cena and Seth Rollins killed it.

That, my friends, is how you kick off Raw after a pay-per-view event. And now – on to Survivor Series. The WWE did a great job on Sunday night of making matches that were entertaining and mattered to the current state of the company and by doing so, it created something we really have not seen in quite a while – DRAMA.

Every match with the exception of the Bo Dallas-Mark Henry and Sheamus-Miz matches, everything was a solid “B” or “A” on the card. Maybe Triple H found some of Vince McMahon’s stroke and dipped back into the time machine and found the formula for building great pay-per-view events.

And while we are on the subject of building greatness, has anyone noticed the WWE is creating the rebirth (again) of Dolph Ziggler as a major star to be reckoned with?

Until the two main event matches, Ziggler and Cesaro was in fact the best match of the night. Hopefully this is the spot where Ziggler, a two-time world champion, takes his career to the next level.

A few years ago, someone asked me if Ziggler could be the next Shawn Michaels. The similarities were there and at the time, there wasn’t a harder worker in the WWE – pre Daniel Bryan days. But thinking on it now, Ziggler should be – as all WWE superstars – his own man. Yes, I see some Michaels in him, but I also see some Roddy Piper, Chris Jericho and even some Randy Savage in him. I also – and this is a huge compliment – see a young Stunning Steve Austin in him. For those reasons alone, Ziggler could carry the WWE, if Triple H, Stephanie and Vinnie Mac would let him.

Since 2008, he has won the United States Championship once, the Intercontinental Championship three times, and was the 2012 Money in the Bank winner. He is also a two-time world champion, having held the World Heavyweight Championship twice.

ORTON MAKES HIS MOVE

If I am a betting man. Survivor Series will be Randy Orton’s crossing over party.

The Survivor Series teams will build week by week. Orton will be the final piece of the puzzle, and The Authority will clamor it was everything in the bag – then we see the famous “revelation” that Orton is pissed at how he has been treated.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TAG TEAMS?

Now that Mark Henry has made his move (like we did not see it coming) will there be another super-sized tag team? The move against Big Show on Monday night should have happened on Sunday night at the pay-per-view, but fans got a free look at the heel turn. Will Ryback, who came back to the WWE Monday night, become the fan favorite again – possibly forming another tag team?

Also, where have Luke Harper and Erick Rowan been? I know the Wyatt Family is basically disbanded, but there is a place for both of them in the tag team division.

THE WYATT WAY

Now that Bray Wyatt is back and has set his sights on Dean Ambrose, the WWE fan will see one hellacious feud. Both wrestlers can tear down the house by themselves. Think of what will happen between spots on the mic and action in the ring.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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A Tale of Two WWE Cage Matches

October 28, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Can a band release more ‘Greatest Hits’ compilations than actual new studio material? You can if you’re Randy Orton and John Cena. Both Orton and Cena are far more capable performers than their exhausted detractors would care to admit, but it’s a case of too much, too often for the duo.

Their lengthy Hell in a Cell match was preceded by a nearly-as-stretched video package, making a case for their ‘rivalry’ being among the all-time greats in WWE’s annals. Granted, it may have also been a subliminal commercial for the Network’s “Rivalries” series that debuts this week, and I’d argue it served better as advertising than as stating of legitimate fact.

The most solidified roots of Cena vs. Orton really date back to about 2007, with only a few notable occurrences: Orton attacking Cena’s father (in both 2007 and 2013, the latter presented as fresh and neoteric), Orton pinning Cena in a WrestleMania triple threat match, a forgettable game of ‘catch’ with the WWE Title in late 2009, and the World Title unification in 2013. In all, their prolongated issue lacked the sort of twists and definable incidences of feuds past.

That’s in part because their characters have never grown. Cena has been the do-gooder charity robot for a decade, incapable of conveying the brilliant pathos and raw emotion that heroes of eras past have needed to add depth. Randy Savage, Cena isn’t. The Supermannequin exterior won’t allow it.

Orton is only slightly more deeper a character, only because he has two masks instead of one: the irrational hero prone to violence, and the justified villain prone to violence. One has a maniacal grin, the other wears an entitled smirk. Otherwise, it’s the same Orton, just standing (mostly) clearly on either side of the fence.

It was hard to connect with WWE’s sales pitch that this feud belongs with Hulk vs. Andre or Austin vs. Rock or Michaels vs. Hart, because the principals themselves have no connectable virtues. When I wrote the ‘Greatest Hits’ line, that’s exactly how Sunday night’s match played out: the same benign finisher reversals we’ve seen since 2007. Same song, different edits toward the chorus, coin flip for the coda.

By the time Cena won with the Attitude Adjustment through a table, no new ground had been broken, and no definitive blowoff was palpable. Still, to hear the three announcers tell it (no doubt with a scratchy voice imploring via headset), it was the perfect climax to a bedazzling novel. Even theater of the mind doesn’t imbue Cena and Orton with compelling characters, but that’s an extension of WWE itself: by making their chosen commodities as basic as possible, they don’t necessarily ruin them. The counter to that is that by not taking chances with a shift in presentation, the fizz goes out of the cola much faster. Stale soda does leave a foul taste.

Contrast that to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins’ closing Cell match, which has yet to be so foul. While surprising to find Ambrose and Rollins as the final act, there is perhaps some credence to some Twitter user’s theory that Cena/Orton went on at 9 PM to try and keep fans from flocking to The Walking Dead. Given Michael Cole’s gushing platitudes for both men, and the ‘historical value’ video package that was equivalent to road head with feeling, it’s hard to argue against WWE’s possibly strategical match placement.

Even without crudely-woven history at their back, the former Shield allies have compelling recent history: the shocking turn by Rollins, their forking paths into their well-defined roles (Rollins is effective as a pretentious snot, while Ambrose has spent years perfecting his hellbent sociopath schtick), and the fact that Rollins used the turn not only to profit (Money in the Bank briefcase, the use of any and all of The Authority’s flunkies), but to injure the man he wronged (Ambrose getting planted through the cinderblocks). The revenge story is easily digestible.

The fans in Dallas genuinely wanted to see Ambrose shred Rollins for his wrongdoings. Never mind that Rollins was beloved in the Shield for his exuberant ring generalship and Hardy-esque stunt work; when he turned heel, he turned on a beloved character in Ambrose, and the two worked to make us cynics believe that they truly want each other dead. Even briefcase slime, hot dog carts, and mannequins couldn’t low-bridge the want to see their collision course inside a mega-cage, despite neutering by a lack of blood.

The Cell match was indeed a bloodless melee, one that didn’t need to shred a drop of red. It was an unconventional bout, less contrivance and more of the pathos that Orton and Cena lack, with Ambrose gleefully torturing the social-climbing scum that Rollins had turned into. Anything unlike the modern WWE norm is sought after and appreciated. The fact that two wrestlers the fans (ingrained and casual alike) had hand-picked for a push were acting out this slice of something fresh only made it better.

Sadly, Ambrose and Rollins’ studio collaboration was left incomplete. Much like season three of Chappelle’s Show, we got to see the brilliance of the minds involved, but without satisfaction. Bray Wyatt, an individual wildly cheered for disrupting an unwanted Cena/Orton bout at the Royal Rumble, attacked Ambrose in a rivet-gun-tacked finish, putting more focus on the swerve ending than all of the goodwill Ambrose and Rollins had built in five months.

That’s the shame in all of this: for once, the fans had bought stock in a feud without ham-handed prodding from the firm, and it just….meanders into something else. We wanted Ambrose to kill Rollins for five months of selfish acts. Nobody wants to see Ambrose kill Wyatt for interfering in a match like any other member of the roster has done at any given time.

Fresh took a backseat to the company crutch, a storytelling shift without purpose. Nobody was talking Ambrose/Rollins once Wyatt was inserted, despite the noise for the two before. Far fewer were talking Cena/Orton before and after it happened. It would have been hard to get a word in edge-wise anyway, with Cole, Lawler, and JBL telling us everything we’re supposed to think anyway.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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WWE Hell in a Cell 2014 Results and Recap: Rollins Survives, Cena Wins

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

Hell in a Cell 2014WWE Hell in a Cell delivered an exciting headliner as predicted between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins with an unpredictable ending. The return of Bray Wyatt spoiled the night for Ambrose and WWE fans hoping for a conclusive finish to arguably the hottest WWE feud of 2014. Fortunately those fans did see a conclusive ending to one of the oldest rivalries of the modern-day era.

I don’t usually like John Cena Matches. This time, however, I saw greatness.

For all the wring things the WWE has done over the last few months, putting Cena in a match with Randy Orton in Hell in a Cell was not one of them. The 15-time WWE World Champion proved he could not only sell his match with Randy Orton for the right to be the number one contender for Brock Lesnar’s title, he proved he could wrestle like he was facing CM Punk with everything on the line.

It was truly one of the greatest Hell-in-a-Cell matches of all time.

Orton and Cena used move and counter move to put together the return of Cena/Lesnar III this year.

What happens with Orton now depends on his association with The Authority and Seth Rollins. With the rumors of a face turn by The Viper running about as hot as Chip Kelly possibly running back to college football, how the WWE decides to use Orton now that he has lost to his arch rival will have an impact on the final two pay-per-view events of the year.

As great as Cena and Orton were, they were not the only ones to tear the roof off in Dallas, on Sunday night.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose had a little something to say about that.

And the first part of the “match” started before the bell was even sounded. Both men fought on top of the steel cage, luring themselves off the side of the structure and falling on the announce table before they were carried out on stretchers. Think the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels spot from the first HIAC. Both guys were stretchered and Dean broke free to attack, only for Dean Ambrose to bring his opponent in the enclosed structure.

That’s where the true brutality took place until the end when Bray Wyatt mad his appearance in the match. The lights went out and a foreign chant broke out. “Magically” a lantern appeared with a hologram. Bray Wyatt finally attacked Ambrose, allowing Rollins to pin him subsequently thereafter. Rollins quickly left the cage where Wyatt continued to attack Ambrose.

Is Wyatt, who took Ambrose out, now a member of the Authority? Does this mean Orton is now out of the Kliq? And what happens to the feud that that had become white hot? Like a good soap opera, we must wait until Monday to find out on Raw.

Here are how the other matches on the night played out…

AJ beats Paige

She is still the Divas Champion. Paige cannot figure out how to beat her former “bestie”. AJ seems to have Paige’s number. The wrestling in the Diva’s division is much better when these two are opposing each other.

Rusev beats Big Show

This is getting a little old since there appears to be nothing American wrestlers can do with the big Russian, Rusev. Who is going to beat the Nikita Koloff wannabe? Again, Rusev proved he is the best foreign heel to come along in decades. He made Big Show submit and took out Mark henry at ringside in the process. Someone must stop him.

Sheamus beats The Miz

Even the stunt double couldn’t bring the United States Champion to The Miz. Sheamus beat The Miz to keep the title around the waist of the Great White.

Star and Goldust def. The Usos

This is a feud that continues to have steam. At some point, there will be other tag teams that will compete for gold.

For every move, the four combatants had an answer. Back and forth they beat the hell out of each other and in the end, the champions retained the title.

Nikki Bella beats Brie Bella

The wrestling itself was entertaining. Nikki now has a new assistant for 30 days. At some point there have to be a connection that leads to these two fighting over the WWE Divas Title. Brie is Nikki’s special assistant for one month.

Dolph Ziggler def. Cesaro in two out of there falls match

Although Ziggler won the match two falls in a row, it was one of the most entertaining matches of the night. Ziggler remains Intercontinental Champion but the two fight back and forth before a winner is determined as the fans chant, “This is Awesome.” It really was.

Mark Henry def. Bo Dallas in preshow starter

Henry needed no time to take care of his new nemesis. I really wanted to see Rusev come in an interrupt this match.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

A solid performance all around. This is one of the better PPV events of the year – GRADE B+
Full WWE 2014 Hell in a Cell results and winners….
Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a Hell in a Cell Match
AJ defeated Paige to retain the WWE Divas title
Rusev defeated The Big Show via submission
Sheamus defeated Miz to retain the US title
John Cena defeats Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell Match
Goldust and StarDust retained the WWE tag team championship over the Usos
Nikki Bella defeated Brie Bella
Dolph Ziggler defeated Cesaro 2/3 Falls to retain the WWE I-C title

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Odd Timing For Randy Orton WWE Babyface Turn

October 21, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

We all knew it was coming. The Viper and Seth Rollins have been teasing tension for weeks. Yet nobody thought less than a week before Hell in a Cell and with a hot Dean Ambrose on fire that this would be the week the WWE would turn Orton.

In case you missed it, Rollins turned on Orton this past Monday on RAW. Orton and Rollins teased the issue throughout the show. Finally after the main-event Rollins hit Orton with a curbstomp to solidify the turn and kick Orton out of the Authority, well seemingly anyway. It wasn’t the turn that surprised me, it was the timing.

I just don’t see the logic in turning Orton right now. Is he suddenly over with the fans? Did the fans demand a change? If so I must be living under a rock because I haven’t seen it. Are they weak on babyfaces? Is business way down? Did Orton demand it? I just don’t get it…at least right now anyway.

For starters they have a big show on Sunday. Now you go into Sunday with fans more interested in seeing a match that isn’t even advertised. The match is Orton vs. Rollins and the fastest we will get that is TLC, barring a RAW giveaway. It makes Ambrose vs. Rollins seem insignificant as well as the entire show. Sure the match should be great, probably a match of the year candidate, but to casual fans it an obstacle to the payoff they want to see.

Speaking of Ambrose, what does this do to his push? Ambrose has been pushed hard since Roman Reigns went down as the number two babyface. He is hot and something new and the fans seem to like him. Does anyone think that Orton is taking a backseat to Ambrose? This is an obvious sign that the company has little confidence in Ambrose as the number two banana on Cena’s side.

And speaking of Roman Reigns, what does this do to the heir apparent? The plans have been to push Reigns as the next heir apparent to John Cena’s throne. Does Orton take a backseat to Reigns? He should if Reigns is the future but I am not so confident that the WWE brass will allow it. Orton has always been protected at the expense of others, and this could do some real damage to Reigns moving forward.

I would not be surprised to see some kind of a Reigns heel turn when he comes back. I could easily see a feud with him and Ambrose, playing off of the real-life story of Ambrose taking Reigns’ spot while he was out. Now that would make sense and at least even up the sides a bit. Without a Reigns turn, you have a heel side headlined by Rollins and Rusev and a very part-time Brock Lesnar at this point. Take Brock out of it and you have problems.

Finally, where does this leave Daniel Bryan when he returns? Granted, his return is undetermined at this point and you can’t plan for something that you don’t know is coming. Yet at some point he will come back and he will likely be super over when he comes back (absence makes a fan’s heart grow fonder). So now you are talking about Orton, Cena, Ambrose, and Reigns jockeying for position against a heel roster of Rollins and Rusev? Excuse me if I temper my excitement.

Again I don’t think anyone cares one way or the other about what side of the ring Orton stands on. I just think the timing is poor and it opens up a lot of questions, most which have predictable answers that won’t sit happy with most fans.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Is Randy Orton Becoming a Cancer for Vince McMahon’s WWE?

October 20, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Over the course of the last decade, Randy Orton has had his share of issues with the WWE and its management and its roster. To say he is a slight bit privileged would be an understatement. The 12-Time World Champion has had a hand in other formidable wrestlers rise (Mark Henry) to the top of the company food chain. He has also had a bug say in some wrestlers (Kofi Kingston) not achieving the success they deserve. Now with the need for more star talent and a bigger need for success, owner Vince McMahon is asking one of his key veterans – Orton – to step up and work more on SmackDown.

So far, according to reports, Orton is refusing the assignment.

It is being reported that SmackDown officials asked Randy Orton to work full time, but he refused. It seems that Randy Orton is unhappy with McMahon and his current role with the WWE. He is allegedly asking for more time off from the ring, while McMahon wants him to give more time.

One of the reasons for Orton’s unhappiness is most likely tied to the fact that instead of fighting a championship bout, he was forced to fight the loser of the Dean Ambrose versus John Cena match.

However, McMahon knows that Orton is currently one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling. He also knows that the WWE is not the brand that it used to be. Top athletes are not lining up at the pace they were a decade ago for a chance at WWE stardom. Perhaps the threat of serious injury is keeping people away?

I see Orton’s point, but I can see both sides of the fence. While McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have had to deal with the loss of Daniel Bryan to injury, which put a huge sinkhole in the WWE World Title picture, then had to make new arrangements with a potential title feud between Brock Lesnar – who is a part-time champion right now – and Roman Reigns being put on hold because of Reigns being injured, this is an extremely difficult time for the company.

He is a 12-time world champion, holding the WWE Championship eight times and the World Heavyweight Championship four times, and was the final holder of the World Heavyweight Championship before it was unified with the WWE Championship to create the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and his uncle Barry Orton all competed in the professional wrestling business. Before being promoted to the main World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) roster, Orton trained in and wrestled for Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling for a month. He was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he held the OVW Hardcore Championship twice.

In the past, the WWE has had talent to step in and replace a spot in the lineup, but those days seem to be gone. There is plenty of talent in the mid-card division with Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Damien Sandow, Cesaro and Sheamus, it almost seems like the WWE needs to make that part of the company a priority.

The company has done right with making Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins the center of attention at the upcoming pay-per-view, “Hell-in-a-Cell.” Rollins appears to be the new “anti-hero” the fans love in the mold of Steve Austin and then in CM Punk. Rollins has all the makings of another “Edge-type” of superstar.

So while McMahon begs Orton to work, and Orton stews over being disrespected, the WWE is still in a situation where the fans are waiting for something big to finally happen.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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Randy Orton: The WWE Shows No Respect for the Viper

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

You could make a list of wrestlers in the WWE who have been most affected by both the injury to Daniel Bryan and the recent news that Roman Reigns will be out for months following emergency hernia surgery. When you weed through the bushes and check and cross check the roster, no one is more affected by these changes than Randy Orton.

For the first time, in a long time, I find myself defending the WWE’s most underrated and most problematic heel.

Orton is in no man’s land in terms of opponents, title contention and a future than remains uncertain. How the mighty fall quickly when the other walls holding up the structure begin to crumble.

The best way out of this is to create potential tension within the Authority, which could lead to a character change (again) and a feud with Brock Lesnar. There is no doubt Orton is a centerpiece to build around, not an addition or afterthought. The idea he is cleaning up for Seth Rollins (as is Kane) shows the company (Triple H, especially) is losing some marbles and are shortsighted in a long-range plan.

Also, could Orton turn on his current band mates and fill the role left by CM Punk as a fight the establishment type of wrestler.

Orton is much better on the mic in recent years and is not as robotic as he used to be and in his veteran years, he has learned to sell better and put his opponents over when the time is right.

He is a 12-time world champion, holding the WWE Championship eight times and the World Heavyweight Championship four times, and was the final holder of the World Heavyweight Championship before it was unified with the WWE Championship to create the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton, and his uncle Barry Orton all competed in the professional wrestling business. Before being promoted to the main World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) roster, Orton trained in and wrestled for Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling for a month. He was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he held the OVW Hardcore Championship twice.

He may actually, he may be the most talented wrestler to grace a WWE ring. A number of years ago Roddy Piper said Orton’s father, Bob Orton, Jr. was as close to a perfect wrestler as there was. In my opinion, Randy is a better version.

When Orton and Reigns began their personal feud, it was a scenario that would eventually make Reigns a world champion. Orton appeared to be the common link that would join the former member of The Shield and the best villain the WWE has had since Mark Henry.

While there are limitations to a feud with Lesnar because of the current champion’s schedule and potentially his health, it makes complete sense. Because if his main event talent and his status within the company, Orton, not Cena, appears to be the logical choice to face Lesnar. A Lesnar-Orton main event at the Royal Rumble or even WrestleMania is not out of the question.

John Cena, although still a main eventer, is losing steam and losing it fast. Reigns seems to want it more. Dean Ambrose wants it more and even Seth Rollins wants it more.

Also, the lack of television and in ring appearances by Lesnar could create more issues. He must move on from John Cena and find an opponent who will work well with Paul Heyman.

The man, over and above everyone on the roster right now, is Orton.

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

OMG Volume 2: The Top 50 Incidents in WCW History DVD

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Rumored WWE Hell in a Cell 2014 Card and Matches

September 25, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Early indications following WWE Night of Champions is that Hell in a Cell would see a Triple Threat match in the main-event. A new report indicates a different direction and a card that makes little to no sense coming out of N.O.C.

Dave Meltzer broke the story on his latest F4WOnline.com podcast. Meltzer reports something of a tournament-style card to headline Hell in a Cell. According to the Meltz, John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose will likely open up the special event. The winner of the match would then wrestle Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell later that night while the loser would wrestle Randy Orton in a different Hell in a Cell match.

Come again?

My reaction is probably the same as yours. That card makes very little sense to me. Now it should be noted that Meltzer reports that this card is not finalized, yet these are the current plans on the books. I can only hope that someone has enough sense to change the card otherwise you are looking at another can-miss event which is becoming more of the norm for the WWE in 2014.

Meltzer also reported that Brock Lesnar would not be on the card, thus no WWE championship match. This appears to be a company choice as there were several reports out a few weeks back that indicated the WWE could book Lesnar for additional dates outside of his current limited agreement. The finish to Cena vs. Lesnar at N.O.C. makes even less sense with Lesnar off of the show and this current card on the books.

I think the WWE are going to be playing with some fire if they go through with the Ambrose vs. Cena match. Ambrose has a ton of heat right now with a lot of momentum going in his direction. Cena will get booed unmercifully against Ambrose at this point. Furthermore, the logical finish here is Cena going over since he is scheduled to remain in WWE title contention. So they aren’t going to book Cena to lose unless they have a change of plans and put Ambrose in that spot. Which coincidentally I think they should do, but can’t imagine them doing.

Poor Randy Orton. Randy Orton is now the loser’s winner. This makes no sense to me at all. The only scenario I can come up with that makes any sense would be to book a tag team match with Ambrose and Cena vs. Orton and Rollins in a Hell in a Cell Match. Otherwise I can’t comprehend how any of this makes sense, especially with Brock getting the night off.

I understand that the WWE has their hands tied due to injuries and Lesnar’s schedule (although they can reportedly add dates). That’s understandable. That doesn’t defend throwing a card together that makes very little sense. I have to think they can do better than that.

I think going with an Ambrose vs. Rollins Hell in a Cell headliner right off the bat with the MITB contract at stake is probably the best scenario. For starters you are now giving fans the perception that Rollins and Ambrose are main-event players. Two, it puts a heavy importance on their feud. Three, it gives Rollins and Ambrose the time needed to deliver an all-time classic and I have no doubt in my mind that they would. It’s a much better investment in the future than what is currently in planning.

Regardless, we should know by Monday night which direction the company will go at Hell in a Cell. Let’s just hope that the weekend allows for some more creativity and a logical resolution come Monday night.

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WWE SummerSlam 2014 Thoughts

August 18, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE did what was best for business Sunday night by hitting a home run with its SummerSlam pay-per-view event in Los Angeles. Not since WrestleMania 28 have we been so entertained with matches that made wrestling matter and help define the next four months of the wrestling calendar.

For now, we know everything belongs to Brock Lesnar, the Bellas are headed for a crash course in sibling rivalry and the Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins feud is far from over. But what may puzzle me most is what happens now that the biggest wrestling event of the summer is over and John Cena will now fall down the ladder a bit, AJ Lee and Paige will feud like Trish and Lita and the company did the right thing by putting the Intercontinental strap on Dolph Ziggler.

Everything was almost perfect (with the exception of the final match of the night) but by dominating John Cena, it proves that Vince McMahon wants to go the super heavyweight route for a bit while Roman Reigns may finally get his shot to become a world champion. As we all know, Brock Lesnar is not going to stick around the company week in and week out, which should make for interesting booking and a lot of Paul Heyman on the boob tube for us to watch.

Let start off by saying there was no way Cena was walking out of Los Angeles with the strap. The legitimacy of Lesnar’s win over the Undertaker was at stake, seriously, and had Superman” won, the win by Lesnar would have lost some steam. The former UFC champion beat the company’s two biggest stars in the same year, four months apart and now must find a viable competitor to meet him head on.

Um, excuse me, it is your turn Roman Reigns.

The WWE may be faced with a quandary for its actions. Cena will get a rematch for the title, but won’t win. Lesnar cannot lose the strap for a few months, mainly because it defies logic. Reigns challenging him is a good idea, which runs over two months and could end in the former member of the Shield with the title then embarking on a feud with Bray Wyatt. Ultimately, I could see Wyatt winning, then feuding with Daniel Bryan upon his return. Bryan wins the title holds it for a glimpse of time, and Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank brief case.

The cold winter months will heat up as the WWE continues to make sense of all the chutzpah from Sunday. What happens with Ziggler?

Personally, I like the feud with The Miz, as it adds solid competition in the mid card. At some point there has to be a unification match for the United States and Intercontinental titles. Don’t look now, but Bad News Barrett will be breathing down our necks again, and pretty soon. I love the idea of Sheamus and Barrett feuding, but I love the idea of them working together even more as a tag team. Maybe that comes to fruition.

I’m not sure what will happen with Jack Swagger or Rusev. Maybe he and his mouthpiece Lana piss America off enough that Cena will feel the need to defend Old Glory. That also means Cena is finished as a world champion and has agreed to step aside from title contention.

Getting back to the beginning, this pay-per-view did more to change the perception of the WWE for good than anything in the past year.

Kudos to the company for making the changes, but good luck in finding the right fit for everything now that the puzzle pieces do not fit in place anymore

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WWE SummerSlam 2014 Results & Recap: Brock Wins, Shield Shine

August 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Brock Lesnar era is back! Brock Lesnar defeated John Cena to win the WWE championship in the 27th SummerSlam main-event. The  show will be remembered for the most one-sided headliner in SummerSlam history and a match of the year candidate between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.

Brock Lesnar squashed John Cena to win the WWE world title. There are very few WWE matches that I get excited about these days but this was one of them. Their Extreme Rules 2012 match is still one of my favorite matches of the last several years. The rematch didn’t disappoint although I liked the more competitive Extreme Rules bout better. Lesnar hit an F5 in the first minute of the match! Lesnar continued to toss Cena around for a while, making it look easy. The storyline early was Cena trying to fight back with no success against Brock. The announcers put over the fact that Cena couldn’t mount any offense in the first five minutes of the match. Lesnar hit several suplexes on Cena. Cena eventually fought back and hit an A.A. for a close fall. Lesnar got up like the Undertaker and laughed it off. Lesnar beat down Cena in the middle of the ring. Lesnar hit over a dozen German suplexes on Cena throughout the match. Cena caught Lesnar out of nowhere in the STFU. Lesnar got out, hit another F5 and pinned Cena to win the WWE world championship.

This was a different match. It was extremely one-sided which may put off some but it is hard to argue with the drama. I am real surprised to see Cena on the wrong side of such a one-sided match. The booking of Lesnar is brilliant as the guy who beats him is going to be an instant legend. I am not sure where this goes but I am real excited to see how the reign of Lesnar plays out.

I don’t know how anyone can argue with the booking decision. Lesnar is arguably the most recognizable superstar in the WWE. While it doesn’t matter much in this era, Lesnar is a throwback as a shooter world champion. Lesnar is a difference maker and a proven ratings and buy rate draw. The biggest question here is how long Lesnar will hold the the title. Lesnar’s contract is fairly public and most are aware that Lesnar has limited dates on his deal. He is scheduled for Night of Champions yet there are a ton of rumors that indicate he could hold the title through WrestleMania 30.

Stephanie McMahon pinned Brie Bella and yes, this feud will continue. Quite frankly there was nothing wrong with the match. Nothing was botched and they actually put on one of the better Diva matches you’ll see on WWE television. Getting more time than any other Divas match in recent memory (sans NXT matches) had a lot to do with it. Unfortunately as great as Stephanie is, at the end of the day you are still counting on the fans to get behind Brie Bella. They didn’t. Triple H was more over than either one of them when he walked out. Triple H walked out after Brie hit a Thesz Press. Nikki came out as well. Brie locked in the Yes Lock on Stephanie. Triple H pulled the referee out of the ring. Triple H pointed to Nikki. Brie slid through the ropes and kicked Triple H from the ring to the floor. I should also note that this was far and away the best Brie has ever looked. Nikki came in the ring to confront Stephanie who was sandwiched between the Bellas. Nikki decked Stephanie and turned on her sister. The fans ate that up. Unfortunately for those of us that follow WWE in the news this was a rumored angle for a few weeks now. Stephanie pedigreed Brie for the pin and the win.

Again I think Stephanie has been great and I enjoyed their segments but the fans don’t care about Brie. The proof is in the ratings which show that this angle has lost viewers every week. Nikki looked disappointed as she walked to the back. The disappointment here is that this feud will continue.

Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a thriller. This match was outstanding! I didn’t expect much with the lumberjack stip and I was wrong. The fans ate this up which created a tremendous atmosphere for the bout. These guys wound up brawling all over the arena regardless. The action never stopped here in and out of the ring. Ambrose wound up splashing the lumberjacks at one point from the top to the outside area. Ambrose hit Rollins with a Curb Stomp for the pin. Kane broke up the pin attempt which prompted Goldust to hit the ring. Kane dropped Goldust and all hell broke loose. The lumberjacks all came into the ring and brawled. Ambrose tossed out Rowan and Harper only to be caught by Rollins from behind with the briefcase. I can’t say enough great things about this match. It was fantastic and lived up to the billing.

Roman Reigns defeated Randy Orton. I wouldn’t call it a bad match but the timing was a killer. These guys were sandwiched between Brie-Stephanie and Cena-Lesnar. Reigns hit a Samoan Drop off of the top and a Superman Punch and still couldn’t pin Orton. Orton hit a big RKO for a close fall. It’s hard to call it a setback in Reigns’ progress. The match probably would have been better received put elsewhere on the card. The placement certainly did these guys no favors. Reigns eventually hit a spear for the win.

Reigns is touted as the next big thing in the WWE with an expected push to rival John Cena’s. I think at another time that may work but the bar has been set to high. After watching Brock vs. Cena and Rollins vs. Ambrose tonight I just don’t think Reigns has the chops to carry that spot with those guys nipping at his heels underneath. Time will tell but I am becoming more dubious by the week.

Full SummerSlam 2014 results and winners…
Brock Lesnar defeated John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Bray Wyatt defeated Chris Jericho with Erick Rowan & Luke Harper banned from ringside
Stephanie McMahon defeated Brie Bella
Rusev defeated Jack Swagger in a Flag match
Paige defeated AJ Lee to retain the WWE Divas Championship
Roman Reigns defeated Randy Orton
Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a Lumberjack match
Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Rob Van Dam defeated Cesaro

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SummerSlam 2014 Predictions and Preview

August 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Sunday is WWE’s Summerslam, the “Wrestlemania of the summer” where the stakes usually get higher and the matches become more high profile.

Unfortunately for us, the WWE thinks making the main event a good one and the rest of the card look like your standard RAW is enough to make us sign up for the Network (just $9.99!) or order on pay-per-view. Seriously, outside of Wrestlemania, every pay-per-view is starting to feel the same. Just the same matches we see over and over and over again, like someone swapped out the marker for the dry-erase board in the back with a permanent marker. “Shit, guys. Reigns vs Orton won’t come off the board, what do I do? Eh, don’t worry about it. No one will notice.”

Still, there are matches on the card and somebody has to predict them. That’s where yours truly comes in. Let’s get to it.

Divas Championship Match – AJ Lee © vs Paige

What will happen: This will be a good back-and-forth match with Paige trying to out-crazy the originator of being crazy. Paige will look like she has the upper hand near the end of the match, only for the crafty veteran AJ to either steal a flash pin or slap on the Black Widow for the win.

What should happen: Pretty much that. Just have a good match, that’s all I’m really asking for here.

Flag Match – Jack Swagger vs Rusev

What will happen: Swagger will likely go over Rusev after a scuffle between Lana and Zeb, more than likely via the Patriot Lock. It’ll be a decent hoss match because these guys are capable of hossing the shit out of anyone, but nothing to write home about.

What should happen: Rusev should just super-kick Swagger in the face, slap the Accolade on him and scream “this is for killing Ziggler’s title run!” over and over while Lana stands off to the side cackling in her “there’s no way that’s regulation” pantsuit.

Intercontinental Title Match – The Miz © vs Dolph Ziggler

What will happen: This is kind of a hard one to figure out. Dolph has been getting pushed again, but the Miz just won the title last month. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense to put the belt on him only to take it right off of him, but the WWE is a world of stop-and-start pushes so anything is possible here.

What should happen: I’m a fan of Hollywood Miz. His “I’m the Marine, damnit!” may have been the best line uttered all year and it was great because he believes it. He should retain in as shady and heelish a manner as possible and go on an extended run with the IC belt. Someone needs to, because that belt has become barely more relevant than the Divas championship and no one in the WWE has noticed.

Lumberjack Match – Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins

What will happen: Rollins will be on the defensive most of the match but will ultimately pull out some scummy way to win. Ambrose will continue the fight, chasing Rollins out because this is of course another episode of RAW.

What should happen: Ambrose should steal the win, simply to give Rollins a reason to want to keep fighting the guy. Seriously, he’s crazy and keeps ruining all of Rollins’ title shots. Why would Seth want to keep dealing with this guy unless he loses to him?

Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns

What will happen: Orton will likely control the bulk of this match, slithering into position to strike (get it, because he’s a snake) before Reigns battles back, hits all of his big spots and gets the win. Again: this is every week of RAW.

What should happen: Orton comes out and spends all of his time cutting a promo where he over-explains things, leaving little time for the actual match to happen.

Chris Jericho vs Bray Wyatt (Harper and Rowan banned from ringside)

What will happen: Wyatt will score the decisive win which will somehow negate the fact that he already lost clean with to Jericho at Battleground with Harper and Rowan there.

What should happen: Wyatt wins and the Family comes back down to beat Jericho within an inch of his life to remind you of why you’re supposed to be afraid of Wyatt. Sometimes actions are louder than words, Bray.

Brie Bella vs Stephanie McMahon

What will happen: Brie will score the big win that will change nothing since Stephanie will remain her boss who can do anything she wants at any time.

What should happen: Stephanie should just throttle Brie for a solid five minutes while screaming “you’re a terrible person, Brie! Why would they cheer for you? You can’t mom dance like me, Brie!” It’s all true.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match – John Cena © vs Brock Lesnar

What will happen: Cena will battle and battle before Brock ultimately scores the fall and wins the title, making Cena look valiant even in the face of defeat because clearly Cena is a guy who needs to be made to look good at this point.

What should happen: Brock should literally tear Cena limb from limb while doing his weird pterodactyl scream. Just blood, vomit and urine everywhere before Brock exits with a “BYAH!” and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. John Cena will recover from his dismemberment the next night.

Full SummerSlam 2014 card and matches…
John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho with Erick Rowan & Luke Harper banned from ringside
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev in a Flag match
AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige for the WWE Divas Championship
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack match

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WWE SummerSlam 2014 Predictions and Preview

August 14, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The 27th edition of WWE SummerSlam will host the biggest fight of the summer this Sunday night. Brock Lesnar will challenge John Cena for the WWE world title in a highly anticipated rematch while Stephanie McMahon comes out of retirement to take on Brie Bella in the semi-main event.

This year’s SummerSlam presents one of the strongest main-events in recent years on the event with several intriguing matches underneath. The headliner and co-headliner matches are what have everyone talking yet a quick look up and down the card shows something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the lineup and make some not so bold predictions heading into Sunday’s special event.

Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena for the WWE world championship - I may be alone but this I have been looking forward to his rematch since Extreme Rules 2012. Their previous encounter was my choice for Match of the Year in 2012 and I see no reason that round two can’t equal or exceed the excitement of the first.

What I do know is that John Cena and Brock Lesnar work great together. I see this match playing out exactly as their first. The whole idea here is that Brock is going to inflict punishment on Cena and give him the most physical match he has had since their first go-around. The intriguing aspect of this match is that Brock has no ring-rust going into this one as opposed to the long layoff he had going into Extreme Rules 12’. If anything, Brock should be even better on this night.

Social media went ballistic when Cena pinned Lesnar two years ago. I don’t see it happening again. It would be downright foolish for the WWE not to take advantage of Lesnar’s momentum coming out of Mania 30. Now the one question I have had all along is whether they would put the belt on Brock knowing Brock is a part-time performer. I don’t think it’s an issue and as far as we know, they could have worked out an extension. I think Brock goes over here. It’s the right and only choice to make. He should have had the belt back a long time ago yet as they say, good things come to those who wait.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon - This is a very odd match. It’s second from the top and quite frankly, it has been spotlighted in recent weeks as if it was the headline attraction. The storyline is fantastic and the angles have been a lot of fun. The fans are eating it up live, yet the ratings tell a different story on the overall interest. Regardless, it’s happening and we all have to deal with it.

How good can this one be? Well it depends. Are they going to get cute and have them wrestle over 10 minutes or are they going to gimmick it up and keep it under 10 (which I think is the way to go)? I would be shocked if Daniel Bryan doesn’t make a cameo here. Quite frankly it would make no sense for him not to be there. His wife is wrestling in the biggest match of her career and he’s at home? Unfortunately his injuries could preclude him from taking part in the finish.

I think Brie wins this one. I don’t think it really matters but with the heel going over on top, it only makes sense for the babyface to go over in this one. It may not be pretty but if they keep it short, it will be fun to watch.

Winner: Brie Bella

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack Match - Are we finally going to get this one? According to Ambrose it is card subject to change so you never really know? I think we get it and I think it’s going to be great.

The lumberjack aspect is very odd to me. This is a match that needs to have a lot of outside ring work and brawling. Keeping them in the ring is fine, but it eliminates a real exciting element to the feud. I almost think it was done purposely as to not have them show up the main-event. Whether it is a conspiracy or not, they will be handicapped because I can’t think of many great lumberjack matches I have watched in my lifetime.

Ambrose has to win this one. My hunch is that this feud will continue through Survivor Series. Having Ambrose lose the first one eliminates the need for round two. I look for some kind of interference to backfire (maybe Randy Orton) and give Ambrose a slightly tainted win. I will keep my expectations low and wait until Night of Champions to see the show-stealer.

Winner: Dean Ambrose

Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton - This is arguably the most important match on the card. Reigns is the chosen one and the superstar the company has identified to be their next big thing. This is Reigns’ first big singles match and a dud here could stop his progress instantly. Fans can forgive a good match but a bad match or even terrible match will have a lot of people second guessing themselves on the big man.

I don’t think Orton gets enough credit. He has turned it around in recent years and has helped a lot of young talent on their way to the top. I think he is more capable of pulling a great match out of Reigns than most people think. The interesting question here is how long do you go? Do you test Reigns out and go 20 or do you protect him and keep it under 10? I say you keep it under 10 and progress slowly but you never know what this company is going to do.

I think Reigns wins but it isn’t going to be clean. I can see Kane getting involved in the finish here with Orton getting screwed. The seeds have been planted for an Orton turn and hey, it was last year at SummerSlam when Orton officially turned heel. I don’t see how you put Orton over Reigns unless it is with a large amount of interference. I think this match surprises some of you and it ends with Reigns getting his hand raised.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Full SummerSlam 2014 card and matches…
John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho with Erick Rowan & Luke Harper banned from ringside
Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev in a Flag match
AJ Lee (c) vs. Paige for the WWE Divas Championship
Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
The Miz (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a Lumberjack match

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