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Seth Rollins Talks WWE WrestleMania 31, Character, and More

December 24, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Seth Rollins has high aspirations. Regardless of a planned WrestleMania 31 headliner, Rollins still aims to thrust himself into the marquee WWE main-event and is happy with what he has done so far in preparation to get there.

Rollins’ star had arguably the highest ascension in 2014. Rollins went from being part of a three-man group of breakout stars to being the one who broke out and became the biggest star of the three once they split earlier in the year. Savvy fans saw it coming but many had doubts that WWE creative would feel the same way. Thus far they have given him the ball and he is running wild with it.

Rollins recently did some media promoting an overseas tour this coming February with The National. Rollins touched on several subjects including his rise as a top heel, his career goals, and reflections on the Shield.

My character is very polarizing, sure,” says Rollins. “There’s a lot of stuff I’ve done over the past year that people haven’t been too pleased about – and to be the best at anything, you’ve gotta make some enemies.

So call me number 1 villain, call me hero, call me top guy in WWE. Whatever you want, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m happy with what I’ve done to get here.

I wouldn’t go as far as to call him top guy yet but he is probably #2 behind Brock Lesnar as the top heel right now, certainly the number one full-time heel. For a guy that was part of a three-man unit a year ago, one spot from the top is better than anyone could have expected.

Rollins also talked about the Shield split and where his attitude was at the time.

Look, it had got to the point where it was time to make a statement for me,” he says. “The Shield had run its course as a three-man group, and we’ll go down in history as one of the greatest factions of all time.

So I wanted to stand out, and now we’re three separate, successful entities. The others didn’t like the way it happened, sure, but maybe they’d look back at it a little differently now.

Rollins has a big target set for WrestleMania and that is the WWE champion.

“Whoever the WWE World ¬Heavyweight Champion is at that point, it doesn’t matter,” he says. “As long as the title’s on the line, that’s the match I want to be in.”

I have to think that as the Money in the Bank holder that he can cash in at WrestleMania. Nobody has ever done that, although Daniel Bryan teased it a few years ago. I am not sure why that has never been done. I always thought that it would be a great storyline to have a guy go all the way to Mania with the briefcase. It would not shock me at all if they go with the planned Reigns title win at Mania and have Rollins cash in immediately and win the belt to close out Mania.

We’ll find out soon enough!

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Seth Rollins Talks CM Punk

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

Seth Rollins has quickly become something of a spokesman for the WWE. Rollins is popping up in more and more media interviews and you knew it was only a matter of time before he was asked about WWE public enemy #1, CM Punk.

Rollins has transitioned smoothly into a must-get for journalists hoping to snag a WWE superstar for their radio show or newspaper. Rollins in a short time frame has become something of a voice for the WWE, offering honest, thoughtful, and entertaining interviews to fans and media alike. This is probably why it didn’t take him long to get asked about his former foe, CM Punk.

It has been less than a month since Punk delivered his biggest pipe bomb yet on Colt Cabana’s podcast. Punk ripped the WWE and specifically went out of his way to embarrass Ryback. While Vince McMahon told Steve Austin he’d love to have Punk back, what do the other wrestlers think? How would he be treated by the locker room? Glenn More and Steve Guy asked Rollins about just that.

I don’t see why not. He’s a self-admitted jerk, first of all. And if you listen to his podcast, he didn’t say that he was in a great mood the last few months that he was there. He admitted how grumpy he was and how much of a jerk he was, even more than he already is. I think we would welcome him back. I’m not to hold too much grudges. I think everyone deserves a second chance; an opportunity to redeem themselves. I would welcome him back. I’m sure he would face some resentment, as far as the locker room is concerned. But guys get over that stuff pretty quick. I think if it was best for business, yeah, I would be open to it for sure.

Rollins was talked about how Punk left and whether he’d do the same thing.

I think it could have handled better, probably, on both sides. And I think down the road, people involved will say the same thing. But as much as I don’t necessary agree with the way he left, I think I understand, mentally, where he was. This business can take a toll on you. You travel a lot. You get beat up a lot. There’s a lot of frustration that’s involved and mentally, over time, that can wear on you. It can put you in place where you’re a different person. And when you’re not happy with who you are and the person you want to be, you gotta take a step back. You gotta look at things outside the bubble a little bit. I think that’s what he did and I think he realized that he needed to take a step back and see what was going on. And if he didn’t like it, then he can move on. I think they agreed to disagree. Like I said, could have been handled differently from a public relations standpoint on both sides. I think once the dust settles, everything will feel itself out and it should be alright.

Finally he was asked about Punk going to the UFC. Rollins has positive thoughts on that as well.

Good for him. Kudos to Punk for finding himself something to do after WWE. He’s made a big splash over the last few weeks between his podcasts and signing with UFC. I wish him the best of luck. I really hope that he has as much success there as he has here. I think it will be very interesting for him to try something new. He’s only been a pro wrestler since he was 18 years old. For him, at his age, to step out of his comfort zone and try something new is pretty admirable and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does.

If you were expecting Rollins to come out and rip Punk you were mistaken. Rollins is a Punk fan yet I am not quite sure if he will be as welcomed back as he thinks without a public apology to the Big Guy.

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Seth Rollins Dances With The Devil of the WWE

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

I do not believe what I just saw! For those of you who missed the end of Raw Monday night, Seth Rollins appears to have made a deal with the devil. The hand shake heard around the world – where Brock Lesnar looked on over a beaten John Cena as Rollins and Paul Heyman essentially sealed the fate of “Superman” at the Royal Rumble.

The Devil went down to St. Louis, looking for a soul to steal and he found one in the man considered the “Future of the WWE.”

While it appears to be a brilliant move, given that Triple H and The Authority is no longer around to save Rollins night in and night out and the idea of Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury providing muscle is about as laughable as John Cena and Big Show embracing in the middle of the ring. But the WWE now has a little more intrigue heading into the 2015.

The problem with this new potential power couple is Paul Heyman is a one-client type of guy. The attempts to give Heyman more wrestlers to work with such as Brock Lesnar and CM Punk (there goes that name again) and Lesnar with Swiss Superstar, Cesaro, left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth because the thought of Heyman sharing time with anyone else than the Beast looks like he is cheating on their relationship.

This time, there may be a scenario that works for everyone.

Lesnar’s contract runs out with the company right around the time of WrestleMania. The known secret in the company is Roman Reigns is the odds on favorite to win the Rumble and face Lesnar for the WWE World Title. That allows Lesnar to exit gracefully (and please, let this be the last time we see him) while Reigns and Armageddon begin in the WWE. Could a scenario like this happen?

Lesnar beats Cena at the Rumble. In the process, Reigns immediately comes to the ring and challenges Lesnar. While Lesnar is only a part-time wrestler and the war of words bounce back and forth between Reigns and Heyman, Rollins does Lesnar’s bidding and feuds with Reigns.

When WrestleMania is over, Reigns claims the title from Lesnar, but he is beaten to a pulp. Rollins comes in and wins the title by cashing in his MITB contract – thus setting off a long feud with Reigns where the WWE World Title is traded back and forth? It could happen – or at least I am dreaming of Nirvana.

Now that the Undertaker’s streak is over, the importance of Heyman and his “client” is the focal point of this program. The WWE needs Heyman’s act to help build the other half of the event. Reigns in the main event will more than make up one half.

It remains to be seen if the WWE can figure out how to make Heyman, Lesnar and Rollins all coexist.

There have been many an occasion where the dark side claimed a performer and it worked. Barry Windham joining the Horsemen. Manny Fernandez became a member in Paul Jones’ Army. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams joined he Varsity Club and Shawn Michaels turned on Marty Jannetty. Playing with the devil is a huge part of the “good vs. evil” concept of professional wrestling. While Rollins had already made the turn for home, joining the likes of Heyman means the turn has come full circle.

If anything else, the move Monday night got the wrestling world talking, and more than that – wondering. Those two components make me think this move might lead to huge and better things in the coming year. And once again, Heyman is the man behind it all.

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Seth Rollins Says Shield Nixed Original Breakup Plans

December 05, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The breakup of the Shield in 2014 has had a massive residual effect on the WWE. Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns are all poised for big things. Rollins talked about the angle in a recent interview and if it was up to the WWE, it would have happened sooner.

Rollins was a guest on the Talk is Jericho podcast with Chris Jericho and delivered one of the most interesting interviews with a current WWE superstar you will hear in 2014. Unfortunately for Rollins and Jericho, all of the buzz has been lost with CM Punk’s recent podcasts but this was an interview that told you a lot about what could have happened if Vince McMahon had his way.

If you remember, the breakup of the Shield actually started months earlier and the breakup soon turned into a babyface turn for the trio. Rollins told Jericho that the team saw more time in a run together and recalled how he and his teammates delayed the angle and bought time for a big babyface run.

“We said no, we stopped it,” Rollins said. “One major time for sure. They wanted us to be prepared for that, but we’re not cowardly heels. People like us. We put a huge kibosh on it.”

Rollins went on to tell Jericho that the reason they stopped it was because they felt they had a babyface run in them. Rollins felt that the team was appealing to both men and women and that they were leaving money on the table by breaking up without a turn.

“In this company no one had really cornered the market on six-man tags,” Rollins said. “As an attraction, the six-man match had never been an attraction here. We had that six man thing down. We had a pace that catered to our fans. They went with it (the babyface run) for a little while. We talked to them (Vince) and got it settled.”

It is interesting if you think back on it and you have to wonder where things would be today if the trio had broken up when the angle initially started. We wouldn’t have seen the feud vs. Evolution which means Rollins trajectory would have been much different. I think Rollins was the biggest benefactor here as he was looking as the odd man out when the angle started with Ambrose cemented as a U.S. champion and Reigns poised for big things.

Another fascinating note about the interview was a story Rollins told about the original idea for the Shield. Rollins told Jericho that they were booked to come out with big shields that had the word “Shield” on it and laughed about how corny it would have been. He said it was Vince that stopped the three and questioned why all three couldn’t take Ryback without weapons. Rollins said they ditched the weapons at that point and couldn’t be happier.

Listen to the rest of the interview over at Talk is Jericho.

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WWE Is Trending Up

November 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Hell in a Cell is in the rearview mirror and we are on the road to Survivor Series. With all that’s occurred over the past few weeks, there are quite a few things to discuss in regards to the direction of the WWE. As usual, there’s some good and some bad. There are still some depth issues, but they are not as glaring today because there’s some really decent action and programs taking place. Here are my thoughts on the current events in the WWE.

Team Authority vs Team Cena
Last week on RAW Mr. McMahon made an appearance to up the stakes of the traditional Survivor Series match between Team Authority and Team Cena. We all know by now that if The Authority loses, they are no longer The Authority. This week, it seems, as though the teams are pretty much set, and boy was I way off with my predictions. As of now, it looks like it will be Cena, Ziggler, Sheamus, Big Show and Ryback taking on Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev and Luke Harper. This isn’t at all what I was expecting because of how big they were talking this up. With all that’s at stake, I believed Triple H would put himself in the match. It does not seem as though he will be performing at Survivor Series. Sounds like Randy Orton will be out of commission for a couple weeks, but I’m still very confident he’ll make his way into the match and on Cena’s team. I will go into this more below as he’s built far too much momentum to be left out of this storyline.

John Cena
John Cena defeated Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell earning himself another matchup with the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. I’m sure that I am not alone with my feelings about this, but I can’t stand this decision. They had a perfect opportunity to do something fresh between Orton and Lesnar and they missed it. I know Orton has Seth Rollins and The Authority to deal with, but Orton versus Lesnar would have been extremely refreshing. I don’t know what it’s going to take for Cena to go away, but I think I’m ready for it. He continuously ruins great opportunities and kills the momentum of other super stars. His promo game is old as well. Yes John, we know you are on TV every week (unless you have a movie to shoot), working your ass off. It’s impossible to miss you on television, but it’s so nice when you’re away. Things will get even worse if he ends up beating Brock for the title, which I really don’t expect to happen. I just wish he were more humble and willing to play the game.

The program he has going into Survivor Series is nothing new. Some of the stuff going on around him is great, but Cena being the leader of the baby face team does nothing for me. This program will give him the opportunity to plant the seeds for future programs. For example, there’s a lot of buzz that Cena will end up getting into a feud with Rusev at some point. As usual, I’d expect Cena to end Rusev’s impressive streak and ultimately kill everything he has been building, just like he did with Bray Wyatt. I’m not ready to give a prediction on the Survivor Series match but one can only hope that Cena and the WWE do the right thing going forward.

Randy Orton
Like I mentioned above, a huge opportunity was missed when Orton lost to Cena at Hell in a Cell. Instead of Brock Lesnar being his next feud, he will now be going after Seth Rollins and The Authority. After his awesome RKO out of nowhere on Rollins a couple weeks ago and The Authorities beat down last week, Orton’s baby face turn is complete. I’m not a huge fan of Orton as a face, but in this story line, I absolutely love it. He will be the bad ass that he always is and will do everything to spoil The Authorities plans. I don’t fully understand the plan to pull him off TV while he’s on a roll like this but at the same time I can see what they are doing. I fully expect him to make a big return and end up on Team Cena at Survivor Series. If done correctly, he could become even hotter than he is right now. As much as I want Orton to be feuding with Brock, going up against The Authority is the next best thing and it could be really good.

Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt made his long awaited return at Hell in a Cell, attacking Dean Ambrose and causing him to lose his match with Rollins. I’m an admitted supporter of Wyatt and I was really enjoying his new promos and was hoping for a big return. I’m still not sure I loved when his return happened, but I love the program with Dean Ambrose. I will get into a bit more soon, but Ambrose should have won and Bray could have still made the same impact with his return. The Wyatt Family versus The Shield was awesome so there’s no reason to think that Bray versus Dean won’t be as good, if not better. Their promos have been spectacular and the in-ring (and out of ring) action will be great. If Bray’s promos from RAW and Smackdown are an indication as to what we can expect from them going forward, sign me up for a nice long program.

Dean Ambrose
I say it every time I see him on TV, but Dean Ambrose is the best thing going in the WWE right now and I stand by that. Unfortunately, the WWE doesn’t seem to agree with me. There are zero reasons that I can think of as to why Ambrose should not have beaten Rollins clean at Hell in a Cell. After an amazing performance headlining a pay-per-view, it seems as though he will be relegated to the upper mid-card. I couldn’t imagine a feud with Bray being a main event caliber program. On paper it definitely could be, but I don’t see the WWE putting them ahead of anything Cena, Orton or Rollins related. In the past few weeks they’ve been going at it, I’ve enjoyed it more than anything else going on with the product. Ambrose has someone who can hang with him on the mic and in the ring. As long as he’s on TV every week doing his thing, I’ll be happy. At some point, I hope he gets the main event push that he deserves.

Brock Lesnar
John Cena made it very clear that Brock is at home and not on TV every week and as we all know by now; Brock will be putting his Championship on the line against Cena. I’ve stated this many times before, but I have no problem with the Champion being at home and not on TV. When Brock is there, you’ll know that it means something. Since Brock is not there, we do need a lot more Paul Heyman. He’s the best talker in the company and he’s very much needed right now. A single Heyman promo makes a decent show, a great one.

Seth Rollins
I really don’t have too much to say about Rollins. I think he’s doing a spectacular job in his role as the company’s new top heel. JR talks about the traits of a great heel all the time on his podcast and blog and he fits it to a T. He not only has a pair of bodyguards, which I love, he’s the master of the retreat and will win at all costs. Obviously, with Brock at home working a part-time schedule, he won’t be cashing in any time soon. I personally would love to see him cash-in when Roman Reigns wins the title at WrestleMania. We all know that Reigns will be coming after Rollins when he makes his return, so he might as well make it extremely high drama and have Mr. Money in the Bank cash-in on his former Shield brother.

Hulk Hogan
When Hulk Hogan was done with TNA and it was announced that he was going to be making a return to WWE, I was extremely excited. He was the host of WrestleMania and that was an incredible moment with The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Outside of that, he’s been nothing more than a walking promo that struggles with his lines. When he comes out, it’s nothing special anymore and I personally feel that the WWE is wasting their opportunity with him. They really have nothing better for Hulk Hogan? If all they want from him is promo content, they should just stop because it’s not worth it, he deserves better than that.

Other Quick Notes
Unlike most, I am not a Ryback hater. I always felt he got a bad rap because of the way he was handled. He was pushed all the way to the top way too quickly and he crashed. That’s a tough thing to recover from. This week, he finished RAW standing tall as the destroyer that he is. It looks as though he will be a baby face going forward and

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Randy Orton Could Be On The Verge Of Something Big

November 07, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

We have seen this show before. The WWE push-machine gets behind Randy Orton, the fans get on board initially and yet are just as quick to jump off the bandwagon. Yet I have to wonder if this is the turn that will finally get Orton over the top.

I admittedly have been on and off of that bandwagon with most of you in regards to Orton. I was probably more off than on, however he did win me over with his last babyface run as one of the most underrated performers in the business. Unfortunately when it comes to Orton, new is old and we have all seen this show before. Yet there is a buzz in the air that says this one could be different.

Orton is generally a whipping boy among pro wrestling fans in social media. Fans have built up a resentment and hatred of Orton in some regards due to the frustration over the lack of evolution in Orton’s character. Orton’s run as a heel over the last 14 months was not his best and a lot of that had to do with Orton taking a backseat to the Authority and lack of fresh opponents. While many will argue that Orton is better as a heel, his character desperately needed a change if he was going to remain a top guy in 2015.

The seeds were planted immediately when Seth Rollins joined the Authority. Hey, I was like you. I had no overwhelming desire to see a Orton vs. Rollins feud. However, over the next several weeks the two of them did a great job of changing that attitude. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I started getting on board with this feud. After the last couple of weeks on RAW, I have buckled my seatbelt and settled in for the ride.

The past two weeks of RAW could be the start of something special. Orton is finally clicking with the fans and he is turning more sympathetic by the week. The company is also going back into its bag of tricks and giving Orton the Steve Austin treatment. Orton’s actions last Monday reminded me of something we would have seen out of Austin had he been in that same situation. There were rebellious, authentic, and exciting elements that could produce the most unlikely top babyface in a long time and that guy is Randy Orton.

Could this really work? Could Orton get back the popularity he briefly had many years ago when he defeated Chris Benoit for the WWE championship and was kicked out of Evolution? That is a lot to ask from a guy who has been fairly stagnant over the last several years, yet it is not impossible to predict. If the WWE can continue to portray Orton as this lone-wolf, rebellious, employee who has had enough of his boss screwing him over, there is a real shot that fans may get on board and revive interest in the Viper.

Two weeks does not make a superstar and Orton has a long road ahead. I think the key with this run is a less is more presentation, with Orton striking out of nowhere and keeping his profile low throughout the show. Unfortunately the WWE Creative Team seem to hell bent on rushing anything or anyone that has the slightest chance of clicking with the audience. If the creative team can resist those urges, the WWE may have the most unlikely top babyface on the cusp of breaking through in Randy Orton.

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Randy Orton’s True Value in the WWE

November 06, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Thank you, WWE. Finally a Monday night of RAW where it appeared everything fell into place. It started with Vince McMahon and ended with a bloodied Randy Orton. I’m not sure whether the Chairman of the Board had something to do with the even flow of the program or the fact that John Cena was not front and center for the night, but from the beginning, the company threw out consistent jabs only to finish the final segment with a flurry that makes me want to watch Survivor Series now rather than later.

Here are some thoughts from Monday night.

Although it appears he is going to be MIA for a while because of his upcoming movie, The Condemned 2, which begins filming on Nov. 11, it also appears Orton may have suffered a concussion from Seth Rollins’s curb stomp on the steel step after their match in the main event. That would explain Orton’s absence from the company (a la Dean Ambrose) and the return in time for Survivor Series where he joins John Cena et al in the traditional Survivor Series match.

When I see Orton, he reminds me of a younger Barry Windham—one who has so much talent that he may not realize how great he really is.

Windham and Orton did not cross paths in their careers. Windham did cross paths with his father in the NWA three decades ago.

Yes, Orton is that special—regardless of injuries, regardless of his attitude early on in his career.

Regardless of suspensions and repackaging his character over and over, Orton delivers. There are few—Kane, John Cena, CM Punk, Undertaker, Chris Jericho and others—who night-in and night-out give us exactly what we want to see. It is the only way he knows how to do it.

Even after he has been at war 12 years in the WWE, there is something still mysterious about “The Viper”—the fact that at any moment he could change personalities, jump from face to heel or surprise us all and win another world title.

That is Orton’s true value to this company. Versatility is key when you are essentially stuck in limbo, while other WWE superstars are passing you by.

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

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

After signing with WWF, Orton became a member of the stable Evolution, which quickly led to a WWE Intercontinental Championship reign, his first title with the company.

He also acquired the moniker “The Legend Killer” during a storyline where he began disrespecting physically attacking WWE Hall of Famers and wrestling veterans. At age 24, he became the youngest person ever to hold the World Heavyweight Championship.

Shortly after winning his first word title, he was dropped from Evolution, which was created by Triple H and was formed with Ric Flair, Batista and Orton in mind.

This is now the second time in his career that Orton has been eliminated from a faction where Triple H was the front man. That may be just the final straw that brings The Viper back from the dark side.

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Seth Rollins’ Money in the Bank Contract is not Helping his Bottom Line

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

Remember when a guy won Money in the Bank and all we could talk about was when exactly he would cash it in? Let’s face it, that briefcase was one of the most intriguing concepts that WWE had come up with in years; it was a guaranteed talking point and conversation topic basically everyday among fans. Ah, those were the days. What happened to them? That’s easy; Seth Rollins happened to them.

Before anyone goes all Alicia Fox on me, rest assured that I am not trying to throw Seth under the bus here, far from it. In fact I am one of those guys that happen to believe he will become one of the finest technicians that WWE has ever known.

He’s not there yet, of course. Two years is too soon to make that sort of proclamation. But with enough time and enough work, there is every reason to believe that Seth could become one of Vince McMahon’s elite one day.

But that briefcase is not helping his cause any. In fact, it’s become the albatross around his neck. Why is that, exactly? It’s certainly not anything that is coming from within WWE; the company seems fully supportive of him and in storyline terms, he is undeniably the future leader. And for the most part, the crowd is buying in. Seth is over as a heel and the quality of his work in the ring is beyond compare.

So the fact that he’s young, hungry, over with the crowd and fully inline with the WWE machine should bode well for him. The fact that he’s also Mister Money in the Bank should practically guarantee his future is in good hands. However, the biggest problem is that when Seth won the briefcase back in July, the question was not when he would cash in but who would take it from him. More specifically, the question was when would Roman Reigns take it from him?

Don’t look now, but the time is coming soon. Roman cut a promo on the October 28 edition of Raw in which he declared his intention of taking Seth Rollins out. And so it begins. Seth’s time with that briefcase is ticking away. Again, this has virtually nothing to do with Rollins’ ability in the ring. His match with Dean Ambrose at Hell in a Cell was good; it was very good. Of course, it was just one in a long line of bouts in which the Shield architect stepped through the ropes a very unassuming Superstar and exited as the highlight of the night.

Truth be told, that was Seth’s spot from the beginning in The Shield. Dean was the loud and boisterous one, Roman was the strong silent type and Rollins was the cunning technician. While that description sounds good, the fact is that it usually doesn’t equal much in terms of charisma. Can you say Dean Malenko? Don’t hate, I love Dean. The point is that while Seth had his fans and people wanted to see what he could do, it wasn’t until he went through a match that it became evident just how good he was. His reputation did not often precede him.

How many other guys can fans say that about? How many Superstars can just sort of be there and as soon as they work a match, they’re suddenly main event bound, only to then just sort of be there once again? Forget for a moment that Seth is good and has a bright future. Forget for a moment that he’s not exactly Shawn Michaels when it comes to that showboat attitude.

This is not really about Seth, this is about Roman. And Roman is the next top guy. A lot of people don’t want to hear that right now, mostly because of the work that Ambrose has put in since Roman went out with injury. They’re impressed with him and they should be. I am, aren’t you? But there is a reason that all of the rumors about Reigns being elevated to the top are still going around. And there is a reason why Brock Lesnar is the part-time WWE World heavyweight champion who is hated more for his schedule than his ability to draw heat. All of that is adding up to a main event feud and a major showdown at WrestleMania 31. On that night in 2015, Roman Reigns will ascend to the WWE throne.

And it all begins with Seth Rollins. There are various different scenarios that could play out, including Cena beating Lesnar for the championship, only to have Rollins cash in and take it from him. That one makes sense and right now seems like the best fit. But if that happens, then Roman will take it from Seth at Mania and not Brock. If that’s not in the cards then the best path to Mania for Roman other than the Royal Rumble would be the Money in the Bank briefcase. If that happens, then Reigns will persuade Rollins to put the case up in a match and Roman will cash in against Lesnar next year.

Again, Seth is the key. He’s a big part of WWE’s future, there is no question about that. He has been put in far too many spots to shine to believe otherwise. But right now, his job in the short term is to keep working hard to get over and he will keep doing just that.

But his job in the long term is to help his former Shield brother get to the next level. And with any luck, Seth will take the ride with him. If Roman is the next Rock and Ambrose is the next Austin, then Rollins is the next Triple H. If that’s true then Seth will be a big time player whether he has a guaranteed title shot or not. And you can take that to the bank.

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A Tale of Two WWE Cage Matches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJ beats Paige

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

Rusev beats Big Show

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

Sheamus beats The Miz

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

Star and Goldust def. The Usos

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

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

Nikki Bella beats Brie Bella

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

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

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

Mark Henry def. Bo Dallas in preshow starter

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

OVERALL IMPRESSION

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

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