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No CM Punk, No Daniel Bryan, No Roman Reigns: Who Steps Up in the WWE?

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

Like many other wrestling fans, I am at a loss over the lack of superstar talent in the WWE right now. The reuse of wrestling angles, the misguidance of the Authority program, the lack of a tag team division at the moment and the disrespect shown to Randy Orton has me scratching my head of late. Maybe that is why it is past 2 am and I am writing this to you now. Or maybe I need some hobby to keep interest past midnight like SLEEP.

The WWE is about to embark on what appears to be something new for John Cena. While there needs to be a new challenger to Brock Lesnar and the WWE World Title (Randy Orton), the 15-time WWE Champion twists in the wind, waiting for another destiny. With the crop of current talent that still includes Bray Wyatt, Sheamus, Cesaro, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, it will be the two of the younger minions in the company who will do battle with the WWE’s cash cow – John Cena.

Can both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose take the money maker over the edge?

As fans, we never want to see our favorite stars get injured and lose time from the ring. We never want to see our heroes leave the company due to injury or retirement and when they do, we are all too quick to try and replace them. We hope out loud that Dolph Ziggler becomes Shawn Michaels or Randy Orton becomes as good as his father was or that Chris Jericho becomes Roddy Piper.

In a perfect world, those wrestlers move right into place and the world carries on as if nothing ever happened.

No one has replaced Ric Flair and no one has become Harley Race. I think the WWE has a while to go until someone can actually replace the wrestling greats we grew up watching at noon on Saturdays.

But in reality, if there is no CM Punk, No Undertaker, No, Roman Reigns and no Daniel Bryan wrestling in the company at the moment, who in the hell or the WWE for that matter, takes the stick and moves forward.

Sting has not “arrived” yet and the thought of Wyatt winning world gold left the building when the hourglass ran out of sand. This is a sad time for the WWE. It needs Rollins and Ambrose now more than ever.

The question remains, however, can two young and exciting superstars coexist with a crowd favorite, the most recognized WWE superstar ever, and still get over. Cena is not the easiest guy to work with and we all know when it comes to changing stripes, The Champ has a hard time playing with all the kids in the sandbox.

Facts are facts.

Cena once said that CM Punk was the only wrestler in the company that was worthy of being in the same ring as him and the only one who could give him a solid match. While it was a huge statement, almost cavalier (ok, totally cavalier), it may have been true. Matches with The Rock were awful. He and Orton put on a great show. Daniel Bryan’s matches with Cena have been very good. But for now, who else is going to give him a push to put him over in some regard?

It must be both Rollins and Ambrose.

For all the talent these two have, they have to give more. Ambrose could actually take the Punk character (the voice of the voiceless) and run with it. Rollins could be another Edge – if not better. The WWE is drowning in poor storylines (Rusev vs. Everyone) and the Divas with Bella vs. Bella and Paige vs. AJ can only get you so far.

It all falls on Ambrose and Rollins. If the two former mat mates can produce as much with Cena as they do against each other, then the WWE can feed off of the adrenaline for the remainder of the year until the Royal Rumble. If not, then the company will have proven once again that it has destroyed something great – Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage great. That cannot be recaptured, but it sure can reused, repackaged and redistributed so it looks fresh.

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Roman Reigns’ Hernia Surgery May Be Best For Business

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

Roman Reigns is one of the most popular stars in WWE…and like several other stars (Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett for example), he is now on the shelf for the immediate future.

In case you missed the segment explaining Reigns’ situation that has been playing on all WWE programming since it happened, Roman Reigns had to have emergency hernia surgery the day before Night Of Champions while in Nashville, TN.

He’s been performing with a hernia for quite a while, but it finally got to the point of being too painful and requiring surgery. He’s not going to be out for 4-6 weeks according to doctors, and possibly longer due to the severity of his hernia.

Though some of his most diehard fans and surely some of the backstage brass are freaking out at this development, Reigns being injured may actually be a very good thing.

It may, as they say, actually be “Best for Business.”

Why?

Well, several reasons:

1) The Forced Push

Roman Reigns was getting too hot too fast. Remember the “Die Rocky Die!” chants sent towards the Rock in the late 90’s? They happened while Rocky Maivia was getting his babyface push and the crowd didn’t accept him.

At first the crowd cheered Rocky. But after some time, they got tired of the one sided persona. His limited moveset. His wholesome demeanor. And his limited mic skills (yes, even the Rock at one time sucked on the mic). But because WWF/E was determined to try to get Rock over, he became more popular in storyline than he was with the fans. And the fans let him know. By chanting for him to die.

Fast forward to today with Roman Reigns. People aren’t chanting for his death yet…but you can see the same signs starting to brew. The unrest with Reigns’ 3 moves of doom. The outspoken concern that he is about as charismatic as Linda McMahon during his promos. And the overall apathy that more and more crowd are showing during his matches.

Let’s face it, sometimes people have been just plain quiet lately.

WWE has strapped a rocket to Reigns’ back, and he has been shoved down the throats of the fans. Perhaps this break from action and the spotlight is just what he needs to cool down and come back hotter than before.

2) His Absence Forces Storyline Holes

With Reigns out of the picture for at least 1-2 months, WWE creative is forced to get…well…creative! They now need to call some audibles, switch up some storylines, move guys around into different feuds and scrap a lot of what was happening. Which should be a breath of fresh air for all of the fans!

Most falls WWE has a pattern of shifting into “maintenance” mode between SummerSlam and Royal Rumble. They put the blinders on and go with a few safe storylines that can bounce titles back and forth between the same 2 guys for 4 months until we’re sick of it. This time, one of their main players is out. So they need to make a new plan. And because every Raw since SummerSlam has been universally reviewed as being “phoned in,” now is a better time than ever to shake things up.

Call me crazy, but forcing the writing team to think outside the box certainly can’t be bad for business.

3) Reigns Leaves an Open Spot For Talent

Here’s the ugly truth about the politics of professional wrestling: There is only so much room at the top. Every guy (and diva) on the card has a “spot.” And to move up on the card, someone else has to move down…or move off. Right now, Reigns being moved off the card leaves a tremendous hole near the top for someone else to step into. The obvious choice right now is Dean Ambrose. And in my opinion, nobody deserves it more! Ambrose may be the most entertaining wrestler on the roster in a decade and the more screen time he gets, the better.

But not just Ambrose, this allows for our focus to shift to other storylines. Like the IC title, or US title, or bringing new talent up from NXT, or…ugh…the divas division.

For real though, there are a ton of ways WWE can fill the time Roman has left empty. There are a myriad of guys who would love to step up into his spot.

I just hope we don’t see creative get lazy and fill the time with sketches involving El Torito or the Bunny from the Exotic Express instead.

Oh…

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Don’t Worry About Roman Reigns

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

I woke up last Saturday morning and I checked my e-mail of the daily Yahoo updates. I saw a headline that read Roman Reigns had to undergo emergency surgery. I clicked the link and it said that Roman Reigns had intense pain from an inguinal hernia and that emergency surgery was needed to fix this. I had an inguinal hernia surgery in July of 1994. I know how painful it can be and boy did it hurt! It was so painful that I couldn’t stand straight. The pain went away but I had to have surgery. Been there, done that. From there, that’s the only thing Roman Reigns and I have in common.

Why do I bring this up? When I watched Raw last night the Doctor who operated on Roman Reigns say he may be out months. When I had my surgery the doctor told me not to do anything strenuous or run or lift weights for a month. No sex for a month either. The latter was a concern but I survived. Roman Reigns on the other hand is a man with power, agility, and flat out brute strength that equates to a WWE Superstar.

This is a huge blow to face stable of the WWE. CM Punk left on his own accord while Daniel Bryan was sidelined with his own injury. Now all that’s really left is John Cena and thankfully Dean Ambrose arrived just in time to take Reigns’ spot. Dean Ambrose will do fine for the time being; and personally I think Ambrose has the tools to be one of the top faces of the WWE for years to come. That being said, I’ve read mixed reactions as to what the possible ramifications would be with Roman Reigns out for months. In particular, I’m reading blurbs that state the injury is going to cost his spot in the top tier face crowd. No way!

We all know Roman Reigns is the next big thing for the WWE. He’s got the look and more importantly the aura that says to me that he is it! I see WWE heavyweight title gold around his waist. I do my own planning and prognostication as to where the WWE superstars potential will be. Roman Reigns is down but far from being out. I was looking forward to him feuding with Seth Rollins but Rollins is going nowhere and these two will cross paths in the future.

Given the recuperation time for recovery I can see 2015 being the year of Roman Reigns. I can picture Roman reigns coming back from his injury as a late entrant in the Royal Rumble in January and heading into WrestleMania 31 winning the world title and holding onto it for a while. I have ideas on opponents but that’s for another article.

So for all you worry warts, calm down! Roman Reigns is young. He’s physical and needs time for his wounds to heal. The higher ups at WWE are smart and they’re probably thinking the same thing. More importantly they know how to protect their prize performers and promoting them; especially when it comes to Roman Reigns. He is part of their long term revenue. For now, there are some good feuds and a mix of young and old talent going on in the WWE that will keep us occupied until Roman Reigns returns.

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Roman Reigns Out Indefinitely, Off Night Of Champions

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

The WWE babyface side just got a lot thinner. Roman Reigns will not only be missing WWE Night of Champions but will be missing some ring time over the next few weeks. Reigns underwent emergency surgery and has been placed on the D.L.

News broke Saturday that Reigns had emergency surgery for an incarcerated hernia. The surgery will keep him on the shelf for a minimum of 4-6 weeks and up to three months. WWE.com has a brief interview up on their website with Reigns’ surgeon Dr. Chris Amann.

I was in contact with both Roman and the surgeon who performed the operation in Nashville [Saturday]. Roman had developed acute abdominal pain in his hotel room [Friday] night after his match,” Dr. Amann told WWE.com. “This wasn’t related to a specific injury that occurred in the ring. Roman has had a pre-existing hernia for some time, which unfortunately had become acutely painful, which led to him going to the emergency room in Nashville. He was found to have a large hernia that was unable to be reduced, which means pushed back into the abdominal cavity. As a result, it was necessary to perform an emergent operation to open up the hernia sac and try and push it back into the abdominal cavity.”

“At the time of the surgery, surgeons found a loop of small intestine was caught in the hernia sac, which would account for the pain and discomfort that Roman was having earlier in the evening,” Dr. Amann explained. “The surgeons released the hernia sac so the intestine could be pushed back into the abdominal cavity. Once they were satisfied blood supply had returned to the intestine after releasing the hernia, they went ahead and completed the procedure. A mesh was placed over where the hernia had occurred to prevent future occurrences.”

Now that the surgery has gone well, the clear next thought was when will the WWE Universe be able to see the powerhouse back in action.

“Roman has been transferred to the recovery room and is doing quite well. The plan is to keep him overnight, give him IV antibiotics to prevent infection and make sure the intestinal function returns to normal before discharging him from the hospital. If everything goes well, that should be [Sunday],” Dr. Amann said. “Most of the time, the recovery time for something like this in terms of returning to physical activity is between four and six weeks. This was a pretty significant hernia, so it will probably be closer to six weeks.”
WWE.com also asked Dr. Amann to elaborate on how this hernia differs from sports hernias, which sports fans know often lands top athletes on the injured list.

“This is a completely different type of hernia than sports hernia,” Dr. Amann said. “A sports hernia usually refers to a tear in the lower abdominal wall that attaches to the ligaments. That type of tear typically occurs from repeated activity or sports. Roman had what’s called an inguinal hernia. It can sometimes come from sports, but sometimes people are born with these. It is treated differently than a sports hernia.

The injury was something that Reigns has been reportedly carrying around with him that got worse over the weekend. Dave Meltzer on his latest F4Wonline.com podcast reports that Reigns will not be rushed back into competition. Meltzer reports that sending him back into the ring too early or even training would ruin the recovery and put him right back where he was.

Obviously Reigns will not be wrestling Seth Rollins at N.O.C. Nothing has been confirmed at this point regarding a new match for Rollins. Dean Ambrose makes the most sense as a replacement. Ambrose is away filming a movie and his movie is scheduled to wrap on Sunday. However, if the movie runs over the schedule he may not be available for the match. It is possible that Rollins doesn’t wrestle but I would bet he wrestles someone, even a Kofi Kingston.

This is a complete guess but I’d throw Batista out there as a wild card. Meltzer speculated the same thing on his podcast. Everything I have been hearing is that he is on his way back. I think it’d be a great way to solidify his babyface turn. Plus, if Lesnar wins you have your next challenger in Batista. It’s not a classic by any means but Lesnar vs. Batista could carry them for a few weeks until Reigns and maybe even Bryan returns.

Losing Reigns is a huge blow to the company that has seen the babyface roster greatly depleted over the last several months. If you go back to early this year the company has lost CM Punk, Daniel Bryan due to injury, Reigns due to injury, and Ambrose temporarily although he should be back shortly. It would not surprise me to see Sheamus get a bigger push due to necessity.

I hate to talk about someone benefitting from this but it’s a reality in pro wrestling. Dean Ambrose is the next man up and Ambrose could take as much advantage of this as Bryan did when Punk’s spot opened up. Reigns has clearly been positioned higher than Ambrose on the cards. If Ambrose can continue the momentum he had before he left over the next several weeks, the WWE may have no choice but to bump him up over Reigns or make him equal. It is up to Ambrose at this point to grab that bull by the horns and take it.

If I were Reigns I’d be worried. No matter what anyone tells him, his spot is in trouble. Ambrose is great and it would not shock me to see him blow up over the next few weeks. The only thing Reigns can do is step up his game when he returns which I imagine is something he’s going to do.

Hulk Hogan Talks WWE RAW Birthday Bash, Vince McMahon, and Roman Reigns

August 30, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Hulk Hogan continues making the rounds to promote the WWE Network and WWE 2K15. A recent interview heard the Hulkster talk about his RAW birthday bash, Vince McMahon, and the next Hulk Hogan or John Cena.

Hogan, along with John Cena recently spoke to Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald. I wanted to focus more on Hogan’s comments as Cena didn’t really say anything ground breaking other than naming Sting, Hogan, and Steve Austin as dream opponents. Hogan on the other hand opened up a little bit more.

One of the most memorable RAW moments of the year just took place a couple of weeks ago. The Hulk Hogan Birthday Bash saw Hogan reunite with friends and enemies from different eras of his career. Roddy Piper, Paul Orndorff, the n.W.o., and others paid respect to the Hulkster. According to Hogan, things did not go as planned.

I got rattled when they played the package because I didn’t know what they were going to do,” Hogan said. “Vince [McMahon] likes to do the sneaky stuff without telling me. I was rattled when I saw the package and really fell apart reflecting on that time. Everybody from Flair to Piper to Orndorff was supposed to come out and say stuff. Nobody got to say anything. When Hall and Nash got to the ring WWE was saying no promos. No promos?

“I thought you had to have Hall’s ‘Hey Yo.’ Then there had to be the transition to sing the birthday song to lead to [Brock] Lesnar coming out. The whole thing wasn’t going down the way we thought it was, but we had some old pros in there to pull it off. It was very emotional.”

That’s interesting although I am not sure I believe it. According to Hulk, he and the boys called the spot with Hall’s survey and the transition into Brock’s appearance. Not sure I believe that one, although with old school guys it certainly is possible. Nonetheless, it all worked and it turned out to be one of the most memorable segments in ages.

What some fans don’t know is that after RAW went off of the air, Vince McMahon came to the ring to personally wish Hulk a happy birthday. Hulk and Vince’s turbulent relationship has been well documented over the years and according to Hulk, he wasn’t sure what to expect.

I didn’t expect that,” Hogan said. “Nobody told me that was going to happen. I thought Vince was for sure going to throw the cake at me, and I was going to dive into the cake, but he was cool. He gave me a big hug. It was just a great night. It really was.

That would have been something. Vince throwing a cake in Hogan’s face. Vince has been known to be quite a ribber so Hulk may have been right to have his guard up. I am sure after 30 years of doing business together, there is some genuine affection shared between the two.

Hogan also talked about the next big star. Many critics of WWE booking will cite an “unbreakable glass ceiling” and criticize the company for holding guys back. While there may be something to it, Hulk believes it is up to someone in the crew to step up and he thinks that the WWE may have found that guy.

I’m just praying for someone to reach out and grab that brass ring,” Hogan said. “That’s what Vince McMahon and Triple H are looking for. They want someone to step up. I would love to see the larger-than-life characters develop again like the old days. I don’t get to talk much to the guys. Cena is my man, but this Roman Reigns kid has really stepped up. There is potential in him. He has what it takes.

I don’t know if Hogan really believes that or he is trying to help out the company, either way it is quite an endorsement. It’s funny because a lot of the legends will criticize the talent for not stepping up, yet the flip side of that is that this is a different business today and it isn’t as easy as they think to step up. Steve Austin says this regularly on his podcast.

Check out the entire interview at http://www.miamiherald.com/.

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The WWE Needs A Television Timeout…NOW!

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

There are times when the writer must step over a line and write as a fan, not some worried about crossing lines between journalist and a once-in-a- while raving lunatic in the stands. This happens to be one of those times. Please indulge me a bit as I must speak about the ongoing, committed cycle the WWE is running around – trying to please its fans without getting anywhere. I think that happens to be the definition of idiocy, but I would not want to accuse Vince McMahon and his cronies of such a title. What I would like, however, is to point out the obvious – the WWE and maybe professional wrestling in general needs a television timeout.

While it may seem a bit off kilter, and I may seem off my rocker (it’s 1:30 in the morning and no, I have not been drinking), but this might make sense if we looked at the significance of the possibility of time off air to recharge batteries, find the fight creative fit and allow the owner of the WWE to catch his breath a bit – he is 69 years old after all and for the past 30-something years he has run his company at lightning speed. A breather might be just what he needs.

Looking at the current state of the WWE, here is what you have.

  • A champion in Brock Lesnar who appears to be the immovable object, about to destroy John Cena again in the middle of the ring.
  • Roman Reigns apparently still waiting to become WWE champion, all the while he faces every WWE opponent there is and is left to compete in 6-man tag matches to take up time and give other solid performers face time.
  • A tag team division that could be very good, but needs one or two more teams to complete its importance to the company and television.
  • Two Divas angles that right now, are better than anything on the screen not named Reigns or Dean Ambrose. How it got to the point where the Bellas and Paige and AJ Lee are main event caliber is lost on me, but it is.
  • Two mid-level titles that are not going anywhere. Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus have main event talent, but cannot get a sniff of the world title picture.
  • And finally no consistency in planning, match prep or coming up with new ideas. Relying on the old cronies to perform is great, but it is also getting old.

OK, thank you for that rant and the chance to speak my deteriorating mind. There are some things that need to be released. That was one of them.

Getting back to what I was discussing, the WWE is weeding out talent from the main event, which is a good thing, however it also eliminates the idea that the small guy (Daniel Bryan and others) can win a big-man’s title. This falls back to McMahon’s principle of the early 1980s where the big, muscle-bound face or heel must win the title and prove dominance. Basically that “Size” equals “Money”. And we all know Shawn Michaels and Daniel Bryan killed that concept. So with that in mind – here is what I propose…

  • A one month moratorium of television. Improve the brand. Drop hints through the WWE Network. Make people miss the product that is shoved down their throats three nights a week.
  • Take away all titles. Have tournaments to crown champions.
  • Make Reigns the winner of the WWE World Title and create new feuds for him. This is the same thing McMahon did when he brought Hulk Hogan in.
  • Have clear cut faces and heels. Continue to create a huge mid card of cruiserweights because their talent sells at the gate.
  • Make the Intercontinental Champion the No. contender for the World Title. Make the United States Title the championship it used to be.
  • Bring back the Hardcore Title and the World Television Title. Both must be defended each week on Raw and SmackDown.
  • And most of all, take the WWE Title away from John Cena and Brock Lesnar.

[ad 1[I know it sounds like a lot, but it makes more sense than you think. Vince McMahon bought the company from his father with the intention of making billions of dollars with entertainment. Right now, this is not entertaining. Jess McMahon must be flipping in his grave. The company wants to create the past so bad, well here is the chance. Follow these steps, being back some of the reality of the 1980s and you could have a really solid product.

But for now, all you have is gush and misery. And with those two items, you really have nothing.

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Dean Ambrose Should Beat Brock Lesnar For The WWE Title

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

I try not to jump on the bandwagon but this Dean Ambrose bandwagon is rolling full steam ahead. The last few weeks have convinced me of one thing. The Lunatic Fringe is the guy who should beat Brock Lesnar.

It was never meant to be this way. A few weeks ago when Randy Orton pinned Dean Ambrose the message was clear. His push was going to be capped. There were no future plans for Ambrose other than a series against Seth Rollins and a nice spot in the mid-card. He wasn’t at Orton’s level, he wasn’t at Rollins’ level, he wasn’t close to Reigns, and he certainly was not in Lesnar’s league. That has all changed.

Ambrose is the breath of fresh air this company has been searching for the last few years. The rotation of guys in and out of the mid-top spots has been disappointing and uninspiring. Even CM Punk’s breakout year in 2011 wasn’t enough to earn him the WWE top spot. Ambrose has a chance of snagging that spot sooner than you can imagine.

This guy has it all. If not for Paul Heyman coming out of retirement and cutting some of the best promos of the last two decades, Ambrose would be the top promo in the business. Hey, there is nothing wrong with taking a backseat to Paul Heyman on promos. The fact is that this guy is so much better than the rest of the guys on the roster it’s scary. His delivery, his content, and his aura are top money in my opinion.

Ambrose has something that many others before him couldn’t quite achieve. He has superstar charisma. This guy is electric the second he walks out on the ramp. Ambrose could talk, walk, or wrestle and he is must-see television the second he appears. Fans are warming up to him and he is quickly becoming one of the most popular guys on the roster. All he needs is that opportunity and he’ll run with it. Enter Brock Lesnar.

The booking of Brock Lesnar in 2014 is the best investment the WWE has made in years. The investment in Lesnar’s unbeatable run is that the guy who conquers the beast is going to be a legend overnight. The man who slays the dragon will have the kingdom at his feet. The wrestler to beat Brock Lesnar for the WWE world championship will have a push like no other the second his hand is raised with the belt. Ambrose deserves and should get that push.

Ambrose’s character sets up a great scenario to beat Lesnar. Sure Lesnar is unbeatable in the ring but has he ever wrestled someone as crazy as Ambrose? Ambrose gets the match and uses every dirty trick and foreign object he can to tear down the giant Lesnar. Eventually the unconventional Ambrose’s madness is just too much for even an animal like Lesnar and he catches Brock off-guard. You can’t tell me that Ambrose wouldn’t come out of that with the potential to be the next flagship star of the WWE?

Maybe it’s pie in the sky because the likelihood of this happening today probably isn’t very good. The plan is clear and it’s Roman Reigns. Unfortunately Reigns is a victim of timing and he just happens to be ready at the same time the fans are gravitating to Ambrose. The irony is that Ambrose goes against the grain in regards to how the company sees its top stars while Reigns is cut out of a WWE mold. It just goes to show you that what the fans want and the company want are rarely in sync.

Ambrose will be leaving for a while to film a movie. I can’t imagine Brock losing the title before Ambrose returns. Imagine the pop and the potential Ambrose could have as a mystery opponent after disappearing for weeks and beating Lesnar on his first night back? It could be huge and the WWE are fools not to consider it.

Sorry Roman but Dean Ambrose is just best for business.

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WWE SummerSlam 2014 Lessons Learned

August 19, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Going into WWE SummerSlam, there were three things that I felt had to happen. The first thing was Dolph Ziggler winning the Intercontinental Championship. The second was Chris Jericho had to put Bray Wyatt over. Finally, Brock Lesnar had to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. From top to bottom, I thought SummerSlam was an entertaining show. Here are my lessons learned from Sunday.

The Conqueror is on top
I’ve been saying it since the day he defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania and it finally happened. Brock Lesnar absolutely destroyed John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and that’s without question the right decision. Really, it was the only decision.

Just because Lesnar is the champion now, don’t expect to see him on TV more. I expect him to continue to work his normal schedule and that’s fine with me. Having the title away from TV makes the title more prestigious. There is no reason the Champion needs to be on TV every week. Because of this, fans will be more excited when he is on TV and you know something important is going on if the Championship is scheduled for RAW.

Besides making the title important again, it will allow the WWE to focus on building up some of the great young talent they have. More attention can be put on Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and so on. We will get a great opportunity to see if these young guys will be able to carry the company into the future. With the Champion away, they have no choice but to step up or step aside.

So now that Brock is the champion, what can we expect? Besides Paul Heyman ranting and raving about how his client conquered John Cena at SummerSlam, I don’t expect too much from Lesnar. The number of appearances will not increase. I expect him to compete at Night of Champions, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. If everything plays out the way they want, Brock will lose the title to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. For the record, I fully expect that to happen.

On a side note, I can’t believe the WWE would allow Cena to be destroyed like. I really hope they let that soak in and keep Cena off TV for a couple weeks. Just enough time for him to heal up and set up the rematch at Night of Champions.

The Showoff is Back
When the Miz returned with the new gimmick I expected it to be great. The first couple times he was on TV, it seemed as thought he regained some of what he had when he was the WWE Champion. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to see that it wasn’t working. When he won the IC title at the Battleground my expectations grew. Fast forward just 28 days and we have a new Intercontinental Champion. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who felt his new gimmick wasn’t working so they put the title on the right guy.

There was a period there where I did not think we would ever see Dolph Ziggler in a relevant match again. Out of nowhere, things started to change and Ziggler started winning matches again and being featured on TV. He should have won the title at Battleground but Miz performed like the true heel that he is and stole the victory from Dolph. It was pretty clear at that moment they would be in a feud together for that title and they fixed their mistake and put it on the Showoff.

The title doesn’t make the wrestler the wrestler makes the title. I’m confident, especially with the big title with Brock, Ziggler will be able to make the IC title relevant again. You can’t deny his ability. Outside of the size, he really does have it all. He is great in the ring, awesome on the mic and the fans love him. It seems his career is back on track and a program with Bad News Barrett, when he returns, will be great entertainment.

The Shield = The Future
All three former members of the Shield are in spectacular position to succeed. Who would have thought that the WWE would have three potential main eventers on their hands when they broke up the Shield?

The long awaited match between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins delivered. Not only did it deliver, they had the match of the night. It’s obvious that Rollins is booked for success. He’s holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. As long as he doesn’t pull a Damien Sandown, he will be holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He’s got the look, the moves and the voice to be the top heel in the company. I expect Rollins will hold onto that briefcase for a long time and cash in at the latest possible moment. Trust me, he will not be cashing in on Brock Lesnar. How great would it be if Rollins cashed in on Roman Reigns? That is a big time program I hope we see in 2015.

Dean Ambrose is beyond anything I was expecting when he became a singles wrestler. He’s the most entertaining of all the former Shield members and becoming one of my favorites to watch. His demented and crazy personality is awesome and he backs it all up in the ring. I truly hope the WWE sees what they have in him and continues to build him up. No doubt, he has what it takes to be a top face or heel in the WWE.

Sunday night was a huge opportunity for Roman Reigns. Of the three, he’s clearly way behind when it comes to in-ring performance and promo skills. The thing he has over Rollins and Ambrose is the look and size. Unless you’re blind, you see that the WWE is building Reigns to be the next top baby face in the company. Early on I thought it was going to be an easy transition. As time went on and he kept the Shield attire and entrance music, I was losing faith. Then, the more we saw him compete on his own, I wasn’t sure he has the in-ring skill set to make it. He didn’t have the best match of the night with Orton but he cleared a huge hurdle in my opinion. For now, I’m slowly climbing back on the Reigns hype train. Lucky for him, he has plenty time to grow and improve.

Other Notes:
Sunday night was a must win for Bray Wyatt. If he lost to Chris Jericho, I truly believe he would be finished as a potential super star. I had complete faith that Y2J would do the right thing and put Bray over. He did and hopefully they close this program out with a great trilogy match, pushing Bray to the moon. He has so much potential, and I have no doubt he can be an Undertaker/Mankind type of performer.

I really don’t like what they are doing with Cesaro. Actually, I hate it. I know he is on hold with his push, but he could still be dominating the midcard. Losing a pre-card match to Rob Van Dam is a joke. He is a spectacular performer and should be winning matches, plain and simple.

AJ and Paige are great and I hope they keep their program going for a while. By far the best female program I’ve seen in a very long time. They are both very talented wrestlers. Hey Divas division, it’s time to step it up.

Speaking of Divas action, Stephanie McMahon is a phenomenal heel but the Bella’s are just not good. That program should be so much better but it’s doing absolutely nothing for me. Even Daniel Bryan thinks it stupid.

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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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Roman Reigns and the WWE Babyface Formula

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

The WWE has a way of taking guys we like and turning them into monsters we hate.

John Cena was the beloved “Doctor of Thuganomics” before his “Hustle, Respect, Loyalty” mantra became all we would know of him for the next decade. Dolph Ziggler was everyone’s favorite heel, winning the World Heavyweight championship to the loudest pop I’ve heard in a long time, before they turned him into a snarky, dickish face with no real motivations. And don’t even get me started on Sheamus, who went from one of the best hoss characters in the WWE to a generic match formula.

Now they’ve gotten to Roman Reigns, too.

The former muscle of The Shield, Reigns has had a meteoric rise over the last year while the group rose to legendary levels. He, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose put on incredible trios matches that hadn’t been seen in the WWE, well, ever. Any match they had turned into a five-star match and Reigns was quickly becoming the group’s breakout star: he had cool moves, always got the momentum and the cool finish, and just happened to look like this super cool handsome prince with Vidal Sassoon hair. He was the guy making Renee Young openly swoon on national television and we could hardly blame her for that.

But ever since the breakup of The Shield, things have become a bit more familiar. Instead of being protected by Ambrose and Rollins both in the ring – where the two would do the bulk of the work before giving Reigns the hot tag and the big moments – and on the mic – where Ambrose would do the leg work and Reigns would get to deliver the always awesome “believe in The Shield” stamp at the end – Reigns has had to make due for himself and the results are less than promising.

On the mic, it’s clear Roman still needs work. He really loves to say “ass” for no real reason other than it makes the kids and adults-who-think-this-is-real go “ooooooooh man, he said ‘ass’ he’s super serious, y’all”. He recycles lines and struggles to really get his message out. It should just be “I’m gonna superman punch your face off BELIEVE IN THE…I mean, BELIEVE IN ME.” Boom, quick and to the point. Instead, he’s got this Randy Orton thing going on where he kind of meanders through, over-explaining things, making bad puns and 10 minute threats that could be conveyed in 30 seconds. The next step is to give him the nickname of a dangerous animal that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense in comparison and then just beat that into everyone’s skulls for the rest of our days.

In the ring, it’s even worse. The WWE seems to like going by a certain formula for a few specific guys. For Cena and Sheamus, they get beat on for a while (rarely selling anything in a convincing fashion; Sheamus is saved by the fact that he turns super pink and sweaty so he at least looks like he’s gotten his ass kicked) before they pull out a flash finisher for the win. No sense of vulnerability, no sense that they’ll lose. You just know their finisher is coming at some point and it becomes this pointless, boring match with no real purpose. Reigns just kind of goes through the motions, gets beat up a little and then hits all of his spots and wins. If that isn’t John Cena for the last infinity years, then I just don’t know what is.

With Daniel Bryan out indefinitely and the WWE searching for non-Cena faces, Reigns’ ascent will continue and this problem will only grow worse. Hopefully, he can avoid the issues that plague WWE faces these days – generally thinking and acting like the worst people on the planet for little or no reason – but WWE faces usually tend to fall under the same umbrella.

It was nice having you around, Roman. When you’re running around as a douche-y face that never loses, I’ll remember the good times…until you spear your way to your 14th WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

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