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WWE Payback 2015 Results: Rollins Retains, Rusev Quits

May 17, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Seth Rollins WWE Payback 2015WWE Payback was a one-match show. Fortunately for the WWE that one match was one of the best in awhile. The show will be remembered for a thrilling main-event which featured a brief reunion of the Shield. Unfortunately the rest of the show was an event that should and will be forgotten.

There isn’t a whole lot that I could say about the main-event other than that it was about as fun a match as you will see on a WWE special event. The Fatal 4-Way was a roller coaster ride of thrills and excitement that ended with a predictable winner, capping off a highly predictable night.

Seth Rollins pinned Randy Orton to retain the WWE world title in a Fatal 4-Way match. This match was just non-stop action from the second the bell rang. This was far and away one of the most exciting WWE main-events I have seen in a long time. Reigns and Ambrose double-teamed Rollins at one point which got a big reaction from the crowd. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch but was pulled out of the ring by Kane. Kane also beat down Ambrose and threw him back in the ring. J&J and Kane also triple teamed Orton. Rollins and Ambrose in together quite a bit early on with Seth on the attack. Kane came into the ring and choke slammed Ambrose as soon as Ambrose started to get the advantage. Reigns and Ambrose teamed up several times throughout the match, including Reigns saving Ambrose from Orton. At one point Rollins, Reigns, and Ambrose teamed up on Orton and nailed a triple power bomb reuniting the Shield. Ambrose and Reigns immediately turned on Rollins. Ambrose and Reigns power bombed Kane onto Rollins on a table at ringside…twice going through the table the second time around. Ambrose and Reigns finally went at it with Reigns hitting a Superman Punch for a two-count. The crowd really loved the play between Ambrose and Reigns. Rollins broke up a cover by Reigns after Reigns hit a spear on Ambrose. Orton hit RKOs on J&J Security, then dropped Rollins with a DDT. Orton hit an RKO on Kane. Rollins caught Orton on the rebound with a Pedigree for the pin. Hunter came out after the match to congratulate Rollins as the show went off of the air.

This was a great match but I think that a big opportunity was missed here. With the Elimination Chamber being a mere two weeks away, I thought the WWE could have used that timeline to hotshot Dean Ambrose into a top babyface role. With Daniel Bryan out, a spot is open and Ambrose is the perfect guy for that role. I think that the WWE could have given Ambrose an upset win, a quick two-week title reign, and the credibility he would need in that new spot. The company decided to play it safe instead keeping the belt on Rollins and missing yet another opportunity to elevate a new star.

John Cena defeated Rusev in one of the tamest I-Quit matches I think I have ever seen. If you expected violence like I did when this match was announced, well then you were mistaken. Rusev dominated the first half of the match with Cena dominating the second half of what was close to a 30-minute match. This was a weird finish as Rusev had Cena passed out in the Accolade. When Cena couldn’t answer the ref, Rusev released the hold assuming he won. The referee told Rusev that Cena had to say “I Quit” to lose. So Rusev tried to wake Cena up and charged him with ropes in his hands, Cena ducked, hit a drop-toe hold, and got the STF. Cena wrapped the ropes around Rusev’s eyes and Rusev started saying something in “Bulgarian” to the ref. Lana told the referee that Rusev quit, essentially quitting for him to give Cena the win.

The finish was about as predictable as you can get. Most expected Lana to quit for Rusev. My problem with this is that Rusev was in nothing career threatening here. To quit from an STF with ropes barely wrapped around his eyes made very little sense. This wasn’t a situation like Magnum-Tully where Magnum was about to take Tully’s eye out with the wood. It was just a big disappointment to me and the majority of folks I heard from on Twitter. Rusev threw Lana out of the dressing room in a segment following the match.

Where does this go from here? Well the Cena vs. Rusev feud is over. Rusev and Lana are heading for a split with Lana expected to get a major push as a babyface. Rusev is in trouble here as he has now three matches in a row to Cena and will continue without Lana. I just don’t understand why the WWE kept Rusev hot for a year only to have him lose three in a row to Cena. That just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The biggest shocker at Payback was the announcement of the return of the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast. There have been numerous rumors about heat between the WWE and Austin ever since Chris Jericho started doing podcasts on the network. This will certainly put those rumors to rest. Austin will be returning on June 1 for a live podcast with Paul Heyman. Austin had Heyman on his podcast last year and it was fantastic. Unfortunately it seemed like they covered everything and I am not sure what there is left to talk about. Regardless, it will be great to see Austin back on the Network. In my opinion, Austin asks more provocative questions than Chris Jericho. It should also be noted that the Springboard Stunner disappeared from Cena’s repertoire at Payback.

Full WWE Payback 2015 results and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, & Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
John Cena defeated Rusev (with Lana) in an “I Quit” match to retain the the WWE United States Championship
Neville defeated King Barrett via Count Out
Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) defeated Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya) in a 2-out-of-3 falls tag team match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Bray Wyatt defeated Ryback
Naomi and Tamina defeated The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella)
The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) defeated The Mega Powers (Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow)
R-Truth defeated Stardust

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WWE Payback 2015 Predictions and Preview

May 15, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Payback is right around the corner and quite honestly there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. The event is essentially a two-match show yet history confirms that events which typically have low expectations going in are generally the ones that surprise you.

It almost seems as if the whole idea for Payback may be unnecessary at this point in time. The main-event while intriguing on paper, would have greatly benefitted from a few more weeks of scripting. The addition of the Elimination Chamber event makes this event fairly non-essential. So what is there to get excited about?

I try to focus on the main matches when writing previews for special events. Generally those preview blogs consist of 4-5 matches. Unfortunately I struggled to find more than two matches to focus on at Payback. The tradeoff of putting four upper mid-card-upper card stars in the main-event is a diluted under card. Needless to say the headliners have a lot of pressure on their shoulders to blow this show out of the water.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns in a Fatal Four-Way for the WWE world championship

Here we go again. Another WWE championship situation where the fate of Seth Rollins rests in Kane’s hands. I feel like I have just seen this act? Oh wait, I did! This time the odds are stacked against the world champion even more than at Extreme Rules. Rollins is outnumbered as he faces Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE championship.

As predictable as this match is I think it will be highly entertaining. Rarely is there a dull moment in these kinds of multiple person matches. All of these guys have had great chemistry together in the past which leads me to think that this match should be no exception. The finish can go a couple of different ways yet I think it is safe to say that somehow or another Kane is involved.

As predictable as this is I do think there is a slight chance of a title change here. The quick turnaround in a few weeks at Elimination Chamber lends itself to a surprise title change. Putting Elimination Chamber on the calendar is a way to take advantage of the free WWE Network subscribers. It would not shock me at all to see a quickie title change here with the belt going back to Rollins at the end of the month. Quite honestly I am almost ready to bet that is the way they go here. But what do you do? You don’t want Reigns’ first title reign to be a fluke yet he’s the most obvious guy. I think Dean Ambrose actually walks away with the title on Sunday night only to flip it back to Rollins at the big Chamber event.

John Cena vs. Rusev in an I-Quit match for the U.S. title

I think it is fair to say that this will likely be the last match in this feud. While I am never a fan of four matches in a row, I really enjoyed this feud so I have little problem with a fourth match here. This is the match that I thought we were going to get at Extreme Rules. I have no reason to think that this will be anything less than an exciting match. I have already blogged at great length about what I think should happen so let’s talk about what I think will happen.

Lana is the key here. All signs point to Lana turning on Rusev and this would be the place to do it. The idea here is to make Lana a babyface so I think Lana winds up throwing in the towel for Rusev. I think Lana throws in a towel or waves a flag against Rusev’s wishes. Rusev is angry after the match, yells at Lana, and is met with a slap to the face either then or the following night on RAW. I can’t see Cena saying “I-Quit” but maybe, just maybe this Lana/Rusev story is a swerve. I don’t think so but again with another big show in a week, anything can happen.

Full WWE Payback 2015 card and matches…
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal 4-Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; If Rollins fails to retain the Championship, Kane will be fired from being Director of Operations
John Cena vs. Rusev (with Lana) in an “I Quit” match for the WWE United States Championship
King Barrett vs. Neville
Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus
The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) (c) (with Xavier Woods) vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (with Natalya)     2-out-of-3 falls tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
Naomi and Tamina vs. The Bella Twins (Brie Bella and Nikki Bella)
The Meta Powers (Curtis Axel and Macho Mandow) vs. The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor)

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

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Dean Ambrose Could be In Trouble

May 14, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

First they announced Rollins vs. Orton. No one seemed to care. Then they announced Rollins vs. Orton vs. Reigns. Still couldn’t care less. Then they announced Rollins vs. Orton vs. Reigns vs. Ambrose. Suddenly there is some excitement and talk. Ambrose is once again in the limelight. And this time, let’s hope the light won’t flicker.

There were a lot of chances with Ambrose; not to put him in the title picture, but to build him steadily. But WWE chose not to. Probably they were worried that it might dilute the fan base they were building for Reigns. But now that that base is not only diluted but has become as dull as ditchwater, WWE is reviewing the Ambrose option. That means two things can happen.

1) the WWE would try to shove Ambrose down our throats in a bid to move the needle and kill the goose that can yada yada or 2) feeling that ‘he’s not ready just yet’ they would try to humble him as only the HHH regime can do.

In either case, Ambrose is in trouble.

To me Ambrose is the last exciting thing left in WWE. (Lesnar is a part-timer and Ryback is about to be fed to Wyatt) There is a genuine edge about him. He can wrestle and he put together the best match of the night. But the trouble with all that is Ambrose is alone. There is no else in the current roster that can bring the same kind of excitement and color to wrestling. From faces to heels, they are all one-dimensional (including Bray Wyatt whose promos have gone from terrific to soporific. I make tea when he talks). Besides, there’s a little bit of character tweak Ambrose requires before he can chase the championship.

So here’s hoping that WWE would chose a different route for Ambrose; which is to deny the fans Ambrose – but in a calculated manner. Just like they denied the fans Daniel Bryan till putting Daniel Bryan became the only sensible decision, WWE should deny the fans Ambrose & Title till they can’t take it anymore.

One of the things with television ratings is that the reaction of the live audience can affect it. The television viewer looks to the live crowd for cues. It’s a subconscious thing. And right now the live crowd is just dead.

When I look at WWE, I see a pattern. It started with the wild days of Hulkamania. Then it went to the sedate though technically strong days of Bret Hart. Then it reversed to the explosive days of Steve Austin only to switch back to the sedate though merch-moving days of John Cena. See what I mean? It had always see-sawed. So the next crest has to be something that is anything but sedate. Might I suggest ‘Unhinged’?
Ambrose can lead that. Maybe he’s not a great talker. But then I guess it’s time WWE focused on some good over-the-top action and moments. Moments are what we are badly missing these days. And more than great matches, its moments that make a star.

Ambrose’s early run in with Rollins had produced quite a few moments. But they were short lived as WWE used Ambrose give Wyatt a leg-up. That really didn’t go anywhere and won’t. Wyatt is just not scary, threatening or credible enough. But you know who is? Reigns! The way ahead for Reigns is to get frustrated and turn heel. I would be surprised if that doesn’t happen soon. Of course that throws a spanner in the works called Rollins. But then, is Rollins working as a heel? Back in the 90s, he would have been vying for the Intercontinental Championship as a face at this stage of his career.

Anyway, back to Ambrose. The key of course is some smart booking. Allow Ambrose to slowly build his fan base. Allow Ambrose to develop his mic skills. Allow Ambrose to tone down a bit for fans to identify with so much so that by the time the title is around his waist, WWE would not be thinking of taking it off him.

So here’s hoping that at Payback, Ambrose would come close to winning the title, but just won’t. But at the same time here’s hoping that Ambrose won’t in the process take the fall (Orton can do that). Going forward, here’s hoping that Ambrose won’t win the MITB and that Wyatt does. That done, here’s hoping that fans would be kept thirsting for Ambrose till Wrestlemania 32. Then here’s hoping that Wrestlemania 32 would be between Ambrose & Lesnar. And finally, here’s hoping that Wrestlemania 32 will usher in a new era. WWE Unhinged!

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

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WWE Payback: One Champion, One Title, One Opponent

May 12, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Four wrestlers. Three “faces”. Two stooges for security. One WWE World Champion. This isn’t how it used to be in the world of professional wrestling, but it’s the way the world turns in Vince McMahon’s circus. Welcome to the “We don’t know who we want to face the world champion, so let’s throw four guys in a ring and see what happens.”

That is what we have to look forward to at WWE Payback this coming weekend.

In layman’s terms, it means the WWE doesn’t have a clue what to do with Brock Lesnar being “suspended indefinitely” and John Cena making the United States Championship the most prized strap the company can offer. Oh my, how the tables have turned. When Randy Orton and Seth Rollins gave us arguably one of the best WrestleMania matches in the past decade, I thought a program with the superstars would be worth another pay-per-view or two. Then, the unthinkable happened – well not unthinkable since many of us wrestling fans thought about it – and Rollins cashed in on the title with this Money-in-the-Bank contract.

Hmm. Great idea at the time, not so great right now.

There is enough star power in the ring between Rollins, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to put 12 matches together. All four will get in a ring, beat the hell out of each other and hopefully give the fans what they paid money to see. And then Rollins will walk out (maybe slither out) of the ring with the title in hand. The idea that someone other than the current champion leaving with the company title should be erased from your minds now – That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

The title picture is certainly not what it used to be. One champion, one title, one opponent. There was no wavering on who Hulk Hogan faced for the title. There was only one opponent for Verne Gagne. Bruno Sammartino handled his rivalries one at a time.

Ric Flair was a little different in that he traveled from town to town as the NWA Champion, faced the promotion’s top star and then moved to another region. It kind of makes me wish the WWE would work a title run much like the Great American Bash used to be back in the days of Dusty Rhodes and his fertile mind. He created huge productions for wrestling fans.

During an event like that, Ric Flair would travel with the NWA and face top talent night after night. The series also gave talent that would not ordinarily be in singles competition or in a title match time to shine.

I loved seeing Flair face both Road Warriors and Ricky Morton. He would face Dusty Rhodes and Barry Windham and some lesser known talents like Bobby Fulton or maybe Bobby Eaton. Those were the days when the title was more important than the person who wore the strap. Today, it is the opposite in every day.

Again, that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

How would a Rollins or Cena or Orton handle facing multiple challengers nightly and in different towns? Could they stay on point? The WWE works so hard on promoting programs and rivalries and then changes them up to give the fans more to get excited about. Frankly, it is really stale, no matter how good the Fatal Four-Way match could be at Payback.

The WWE must come out of this event on Sunday with one opponent for Rollins moving forward. The fans want to see head-to-head competition. There may be plenty of excitement from an Ambrose-Rollins confrontation that it warrants another feud between the two as the company moves toward Summer Slam. But the fans won’t know if the WWE cannot make a decision to have one title, one champion and one hellacious feud going forward.

That’s how this is supposed to work.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

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Roman Reigns Fan Q&A From Comic Con, Takes Shot At CM Punk

May 12, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Roman Reigns is making some news for a rare fan Q&A he participated in over the weekend at Comic Con in Philadelphia. One comment in particular is creating a buzz in which Reigns shoots down a past claim about who created the Shield.

Reigns took part in a fun Fan Q&A at Comic Con. Before I go further I think Reign’s critics need to watch this to see a side of Reigns they rarely see on television. He is personable, engaging, witty, and seemed like he had a real great time being there. It was refreshing to see this side of Reigns as opposed to the guy created by WWE on Monday nights. The stripped down version of Reigns sans scripts appears to have a lot more potential than the one we are accustomed to seeing.

Reigns talked a bunch of topics but one that is receiving some attention is a comment he made about the success of the Shield. Reigns took a shot at CM Punk, who on a podcast last year claimed that the Shield was his idea.

So, and this, I don’t know, this will probably blow some people’s minds and then some people will be like ‘oh, you’re full of s***’ but I don’t f***ing care either way: The Shield was my idea. What happened was, at the time the head writer was Eric Pankowski. He called me up one day and he was like ‘okay, uh, nobody knows you’re going to turn heel but we want to stick a stable with you.

I’m willing to do the heel stable thing but why don’t we pick three guys from FCW that are ready instead of using two guys, you know what I mean? They would just be treading water. Who cares? How many times are these guys going to turn?

“The idea was [WWE] were supposed to be my group. Things f***ing change. They like to take other people’s ideas, make it their own idea, and then tout how awesome they are.

Reigns told the fans at Comic Con the only thing Punk created was the Pepsi tattoo on his shoulder. This is just another instance where another one of Punk’s former colleagues has discredited an account or claim Punk made in his Colt Cabana podcast interview. So keep in mind that while what Punk said made him seem like a real cool outlaw, how much of it is true and how much of it is exaggerated will always be up for debate.

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

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Roman Reigns Gets His Second Wind in WWE

April 29, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

How tired are you of reading about Roman Reigns? Anyone? The big Samoan has been all the rage since January of this year and even though he lost at WrestleMania 31, the talk has never really died down. And with the talk come the questions. Did WWE make a mistake by giving him too much, too soon? Was he not able to carry the ball when it was handed to him? Is it over for him?

The fact is none of us really has the answers. But judging from what we’ve seen on TV recently, I think it’s safe to say Roman is going to be just fine. And that means you’re going to continue reading a lot about him. Yeah, sorry about that.

He has his haters, I can’t deny that. I’ve debated them many times on Twitter myself. Some of them are extreme in their hatred of him while others are very logical in their approach; it ranges from “drop him off a roof” to “he just wasn’t ready.”

Whatever your feelings toward Roman may be, there can be no doubt that the guy did the best he could with what he was given. He was thrust into a virtually impossible situation; get over on Daniel Bryan and hold your own against Brock Lesnar while trying to appear unaffected by all the hate leveled at you on a nightly basis.

That’s a tall order for a veteran, much less a guy that had never been that far up the ladder before. And as much as some just can’t stand Roman, the fact is none of it was his fault. Some guys can either rise to the occasion and deliver, while others struggle. WWE knew what it had and what he was capable of and if there were any reservations then Roman should have been left where he was. To move him too far too soon was an ill advised move on their part.

But in pro wrestling, it’s sink or swim. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. And if you don’t, then you’ll die a slow death. After WrestleMania ended, many fans likely pronounced Roman’s career DOA and honestly, it was hard to argue the point.

However, there is life after death for the former Shield strongman. Thanks to a separation from the main event scene and a more casual approach to his promos, Roman is beginning to get his feet under him. The crowds have not been as harsh toward him lately and it very well could be that they are finally beginning to see the hard work he’s putting in to succeed.

Now, notice I didn’t say he’s ready to be WWE world champion. We’ve been down that road once already and to put him back under that microscope right now really does not do him any favors. In fact, what he’s doing right now is simply about reconnecting with the audience and establishing himself once again.

It’s what WWE tried to do with him before and it worked very well. Roman was looking good in 2014, on his way to big things and at that time there really seemed to be no one that had a major problem with it. But then Daniel Bryan went out with surgery and suddenly WWE went into panic mode.

Bryan had to be replaced and he had to be replaced as soon as possible. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins helped fill the void and so did Roman. The former Shield members brought everything they had every week on TV and before long; it became apparent that the company was going to be in good hands.

But then Roman went out with surgery as well and it all went to pieces once again. By the time he returned, the company was more than ready for him and they welcomed him back with the Slammy for Superstar of the Year. It was that singular act that brought the hate down upon Roman and it only got worse from there.

Overnight, the guy fans loved and wanted to see win was reviled and despised for just being himself. He took the blame for holding Bryan down when he came back and WWE soon became the Roman Reigns show. Every promo, every match, every interview, was all about making Reigns look good and no one really believed he deserved to.

So Roman had his time in the sun; he main evented the biggest night of the year in the industry. He was begrudgingly hailed as the next top guy and Brock was going to do the honors on the grandest stage of them all. It was expected, it was loathed and Roman received more hate for it than anyone could possibly imagine. But then it didn’t happen.

Seth walked away with the gold and Roman had the chance to get back to developing, to maturing as a talent and building his career one match at a time. And while he still has his critics, the overall response from WWE crowds seems to have mellowed. And it will probably only improve from here.

The fact is fans don’t like being told who the next top star is. It doesn’t work out and it really never has. Fans like to feel part of the process, to believe they have a say in the matter. Daniel Bryan’s growth was very organic, it was born and it matured on a very high level and fans were there every step of the way. They believed Daniel would not have been the man without them and honestly, they’re right.

They were also right about CM Punk, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dusty Rhodes, Randy Savage and any other pro wrestler that entertained them without being forced upon them. Building a top star does not and cannot happen overnight; it’s a process and perhaps now that Roman has had a chance to breathe, his process can begin again.

Fans will be more accepting of him this time, only if it doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye the way it did last time. The more they are involved, the more they will surely let go of their hatred for him and eventually Roman will become the top star he’s capable of being.

It’s not over for Roman Reigns. Get used to it.

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WWE Extreme Rules 2015 Predictions and Preview

April 23, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE will have its annual WrestleMania rebound special event on Sunday with Extreme Rules. The gimmicked show will feature two old school stipulations in what appears to be a fairly predictable show.

Hey I’ll concede that it will never be easy to follow WrestleMania, but this year’s Extreme Rules event is a bit of a letdown. The omission of Brock Lesnar from the event really hurts whereas everything else seems so inconsequential in relation to Lesnar’s storyline with the Authority. But it is what it is and while I wouldn’t expect a great show, these shows generally deliver a lot of fun.

Let’s take a look at the key matches, break them down, and pick some winners.

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton for the WWE world heavyweight championship/RKO Banned in a Steel Cage – Rollins will get Orton as his first challenger to the WWE title. The main-event is a rematch straight out of WrestleMania. It is interesting to note that what was an undercard match that wasn’t all that compelling is now the main-event of the show. Talk about a promotion!

I will say this. I thought that next to Lesnar vs. Reigns that Rollins vs. Orton was the best match on WrestleMania. I have no problem with these guys wrestling again, especially if they are given more time. Orton has been on fire since Mania with his biggest babyface push in quite some time. Rollins has a lot of dynamics in play as well, maybe a little too many but the match certainly makes sense from a storyline perspective.

I would be flat out shocked if Orton won the title at Extreme Rules. Although this is one of those matches where the WWE really could go the surprise route in hopes that expiring free WWE Network subscriptions will get renewed out of interest. Otherwise there are already rumors of a Reigns vs. Rollins vs. Orton main-event at Payback. I think Rollins wins with some kind of help either intentional or inadvertent from Kane. It is way too easy for the WWE to play the Kane and Rollins fooled us all card. I think interference in favor of Orton backfires and Rollins retains the title. It also wouldn’t shock me if Payback switched to Kane vs. Orton vs. Rollins.

John Cena vs. Rusev for the US championship in a Russian Chain Match – I would be a lot more excited for this one if we weren’t in the PG era. The idea of a chain match in a company where guys aren’t allowed to bleed sounds very unappealing. I am not sure how they pull this one off without blood but I certainly wouldn’t expect either one of these guys to go rogue and get red.

I love this feud and by all accounts most fans are into it. I am not sure what you do here. Cena can’t lose the title after a month and Rusev can’t lose two in a row, especially his own gimmick match. I have seen a lot of these four corners matches over the years and most end with a cheap finish. Again like the Rollins match, I could see a Rusev surprise here in hopes of converting Network squatters. In the end I am going to go out on a limb and predict that Rusev wins and maybe Cena gets the belt back at the next show. I just think that they have too much invested in Rusev to book him to lose twice. Although you could have said that a few years ago about Brock Lesnar.

Roman Reigns vs. Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match – This company just doesn’t get it and appears to be no closer to rebuilding Reigns than they were before WrestleMania. It’s a damned shame as Reigns could have come out of WrestleMania with some momentum yet this feud with the Big Show has been nothing more than a big anchor. This feud must not continue!

Unfortunately it is and I have a feeling that this match will not help Reigns out in the least. Reigns needs to get in there at Extreme Rules and lay Show out quickly. That won’t happen. Last Man Standing Matches are either really great or really slow and boring. Sadly I see this one falling into the slow and boring category. I don’t think anyone in their right mind books Reigns to lose here.

As far as big matches go that’s it! Daniel Bryan is in limbo right now and even if he does make the show, how much is he really going to do? Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose in a Street Fight could be fun if they didn’t already wrestle each match as if it was a Street Fight. Ziggler vs. Sheamus will be as good as the time they are given. Overall I expect a fun show but far from anything near the greatness we saw at WrestleMania 31.

Full WWE Extreme Rules card and matches…
Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton for the WWE world heavyweight championship/RKO Banned in a Steel Cage
John Cena vs. Rusev for the US championship in a Russian Chain Match
Daniel Bryan vs. Bad News Barrett in a WWE Intercontinental championship
Roman Reigns vs. Big Show in a Last Man Standing match.
Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Kiss Me Arse Match
Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper in a Street Fight
Nikki Bella vs. Paige for the Divas championship

WWE: It’s good to be the King: The Jerry Lawler Story

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

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WWE Continues to Mishandle Roman Reigns

April 15, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Roman Reigns became the focal point of an immense amount of backlash from the WWE Universe in January when he won the annual Royal Rumble match, thus making him the man that would face Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31. The fans believed that he just wasn’t experienced enough to be in the company’s top spot. On the road leading up to WrestleMania, Reigns continued to struggle on the microphone and still failed to connect with a majority of the audience.

However, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar went on to become an instant classic at WrestleMania 31. Champion Brock Lesnar delivered a brutal assault to Reigns, hardly giving him any chance to retaliate over the course of the match. Reigns did an excellent job from a storytelling standpoint, even so much as laughing while Lesnar threw him around the ring like a rag doll.

Roman Reigns took the beating like a man and ended up earning the respect he so desperately needed from a large portion of the audience; fans who previously resented him.

Following such a large turning point for the character, WWE has now placed Reigns in a feud against Big Show that will ultimately end with a match at this month’s pay-per-view event, Extreme Rules.

After headlining WrestleMania 31 against Lesnar and taking the loss to Seth Rollins in such a riveting fashion, Reigns needed to be inserted into something of value in order to keep his newfound momentum alive. Instead, WWE made the decision to have him not only lose the number one contenders’ match for the World Heavyweight Championship on last week’s episode of Raw, but then placed him into a meaningless feud against Big Show.

If this feud seems strange, that’s because it is. Although, the career of Roman Reigns has never followed typical protocol. In one year, he went from being in a 6-man tag team match at WrestleMania 30, to being the number one contender to the company’s most important title at WrestleMania 31. He was put on the fast-track to superstardom, and ended up becoming a classic example of, “too fast, too soon”.

Going from the main event of WrestleMania to an irrelevant singles feud may seem strange, but it is the right course of action in the case of an inexperienced performer such as Roman Reigns. However, the issue with this program is that Big Show is a performer whom the WWE Universe does not respect whatsoever. The audience is tired of seeing Big Show in WWE’s main event scene, and they’ve made it clear that they would like to see fresh, new performers be given a chance to shine in that spot. Reigns and Big Show have also had countless battles over the past year or so, and the fans are pining for new match-ups as well as new storyline possibilities.

One major issue the WWE Universe had with Reigns was that he appeared to be the handpicked future of the company without having to prove that he was worthy of that title. Now, his main event status within WWE seems to have been abandoned by those in charge. Is this a result of the rejection he faced from the audience? That’s a possibility, but banishing the character into irrelevancy makes everything that he has accomplished thus far feel like a giant waste of time.

The audience is now finally realizing the value that Roman Reigns could possibly bring to WWE’s roster. He needs to be placed into a program with a performer that will be able to assist him in improving his skills; an opponent that will challenge him both inside of the ring and on the microphone. At this stage in his career, Big Show simply isn’t that opponent. While the two men do work well together, this feud will not give Reigns an opportunity to progress or maximize his potential.

WWE fans don’t want to see Reigns evolve into the next John Cena, but if this program is booked to simply make Reigns look like a strong competitor once again, it will be detrimental to the characters’ success in the long run. WWE needs to use extreme caution in where they place Roman Reigns moving forward if they still plan on having him become the next face of the company.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Still Time For Roman Reigns

April 09, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Now that Seth Rollins is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the company is in a position it feels most comfortable with. No longer is there a push to throw all the bricks in the cart pulled by Roman Reigns. The WWE now has a chance to really work on making his a complete package.

The notion of bringing him along, breathing fire and brimstone as he Superman punches his way toward the top of the WWE food chain only works if the fans in the arenas and the Internet get behind him. There is a chance here to have something great become of the future of this company without Vince McMahon force feeding him to us, the masses, the company and the business as the hand-picked champion everyone must accept. Just like any situation, when people are pushed beyond what they want, they rebel against it.

Seth Rollins is the current and future of this promotion. He is everything the fans want – brash, mean, a good talker, has a faction to support him, and right now the best performer in the game. Reigns, although a dominant performer when he was in The Shield, was still a step behind Rollins and Dean Ambrose. There is nothing wrong with that, but somewhere in his mind, McMahon thought trial by fire would work for this kid, conjuring images of The Rock and Randy Orton as a wrestler who could walk out on stage from Day 1 and take over the world.

The common denominator in all of this is all three performers come from wrestling royalty. The belief is if they could do it, so could Reigns.

Sorry, wrong Vince.

For now, because of necessity, Randy Orton is perfect as the go between opponent for Rollins. While the fans await the re-entrance of Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman around SummerSlam, a program the Apex Predator is a storyline the WWE and the fans can live with.

Reigns can be repacked and be welcomed by the fans, remain in the title picture and ready at a moment’s notice to spear his way toward glory.

There have been plenty of wrestlers who did not fit a mold in the beginning of their careers and then took off later as they were repackaged. Stone Cold Steve Austin was a good wrestler as “Stunning” Steve Austin in WCW but once he shaved his locks and quoted everything there was, he became an icon in the WWE.

Batista came along as Leviathan and Deacon Batista before he joined Evolution and became a world champion. Barry Windham was a popular face wrestler and was repackaged to join The Four Horseman and became one of the best heel wrestlers of his era.

It can be done, and better yet – the WWE is fully aware of it.

What would have happened to the company after WrestleMania is Reigns walked out of Santa Clara with the strap on his waist? There would have been a revolt and a calling for his head. While the match was better than I and most believed it would be, Reigns still does not have the support of the wrestling community to be “their” champion. It takes more than a look or a catch phrase to be the leader of the band, so to speak. And you can “Believe That”.

The thought all along was Reigns was the next Rock and follow his Samoan blood lines. The WWE finally learned that just because a wrestler is a family member, it does not mean instant success. We saw that with Mike Von Erich, Sean Stasiak and Kendall Windham.

The company should not give up on the Roman Reigns experiment and neither should we. There is too much talent there to think he would be a world champion. It just means we all need to wait a while for that to happen.

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Very Early WWE WrestleMania 32 Predictions

April 08, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Now that the WrestleMania 31 dust has settled it is time for the WWE to get cracking on WrestleMania 32. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the giant event a year ahead of time and try and predict a card for the 2015 Texas event.

In taking a look back at my WrestleMania 29, 30 predictions, and 31 picks a year out, I actually hit a few of them on the head for 29, missed every single prediction I made for 30, but hit on Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar last April. In other words there is no exact science for this stuff and with the way that the WWE changes booking frequently, it is impossible to get a handle on it although the future can be clear in some years.

Predicting WrestleMania one year out is almost as difficult as filling out your March Madness brackets at any time of the year. Take a look at this year’s WrestleMania 31 lineup a year ago and you can see exactly how much these things change. Daniel Bryan was in the main-event, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were in a tag team match on the bottom of the card, The Undertaker was practically done, Rusev wasn’t on the card, and Sting wasn’t even in the company. That is how much things can change over a year.

So with this all said, let’s take a look at some of the probable WrestleMania 32 matches one year before this great spectacle invades Texas. Keep in mind that these are all just predictions and should not be taken as fact or cited as a source in any kind of report.

Ronda Rousey and The Rock vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. It is clear coming out of 31 that the plan is to get Ronda Rousey in the ring next year in Texas. All reports are that Rousey has not made any kind of a deal to do so, but that Rousey is highly interested in more WWE work. The WWE haven’t invested this much time into Rousey for a one and done angle at 31.

There are reports that the WWE want a Stephanie vs. Rousey singles match. I couldn’t think of a worse idea. There is no way the UFC allows this unless the match ends in 30 seconds and that isn’t happening. Now I could see a deal where Rousey gets 5 minutes with Steph if Rock wins. Steph runs for a few minutes and Rousey finally gets her and taps her out. I think  that is a bigger possibility than Steph vs. Rousey. I just don’t see it.

I think that Rock vs. Hunter has been clear since they cut that promo on each other at SmackDown 15 (which is why I am so surprised that so many people are that shocked at the match). They made challenges back and forth and went out of their way to point out that they needed a big stadium to make the match happen. Yet it really makes no sense for Rock to come back to wrestle a singles match with Hunter. I am sure the match would be very good but I don’t anticipate a lot of interest in this without the women involved. Maybe they corner Rock and Hunter, but it just seems like a waste of everyone’s time otherwise.

Backup Plan – Rock vs. Brock Lesnar. Rock talked about being interested in a match with Brock just a week or so ago. The match makes much more sense than Rock and Hunter and appeals to a more mainstream, casual audience than Rock vs. Hunter. Brock is now a babyface so that dynamic is a little off although Brock could easily turn heel in November or December to set this up. This is a match that could break records and bring more people to Mania than any other. Why they would let this one slip away is beyond me. Quite honestly I think they should have Rousey in Rock’s corner vs. Brock with Heyman in the corner but it seems Ronda is destined for Steph if she is coming to Texas.

Brock Lesnar vs. Rusev. I think that the WWE has some money in this one. Sure Rusev already lost but he could get hot again and go on another streak. At some point he is going to turn but it won’t before Mania 32. I think these guys present a natural rivalry and a match that people would care about. I love the idea of Brock representing America and having a physical match with Rusev at Mania.

Backup plan – Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt. Again we have another new match here that could be intriguing. Wyatt has been set up for big matches the last few years at Mania. It is conceivable that he is WWE champion come Mania 32 and Brock is challenging for the belt. I like the dynamic here and I think they could have a real fun match.

Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the WWE championship. Yes I predict that come WrestleMania 32 that Cena could have the gold back around his waist. Sorry Cena haters. I think it is clear that Reigns needs to be a heel because he is simply dead as a babyface. I think it is also clear that the company is still behind him. What better way to get him to the title than by having him end the reign of Cena in Texas? I think it’s a big match and I think it could be better than you think.

Sting vs. The Undertaker. It has to happen! Sting proved he can still go and Undertaker proved he is far from done. I don’t think it would be great but I think these two could have a fun match at Mania 32. The WWE needs to promote unique matches next year to fill such a big stadium. Sure the mystique is lost a bit with Sting losing to Hunter at Mania but if they promote this as the final match for both guys or loser retires, I think this could be big.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. This feud must continue! Nothing was settled in their Hell in a Cell match. I think that the WWE should not only keep these guys apart for a while but they should flip them going into Mania. Rollins has a ton of potential as a face and Ambrose would make a great heel. These guys could easily steal the show and I love the dynamic of a rematch on such a big show with both guys flipping sides.

Where Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton fit in next year is anyone’s guess. There are a lot of guys in NXT that are ready to come up and should be a part of WrestleMania 32. Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn are bound to be on the show whether it be a tag team match or in singles match. I could see these guys getting Orton and Bryan in some form, preferably a Balor vs. Bryan match.

Hey, a guy can dream can’t he?

WWE: Ultimate Warrior: Always Believe

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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