Subscribe

WCW Isn’t The Heel Anymore: WWE Turns Its Sworn Enemy Face

February 26, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The punchline is, “D-Generation X fired the first, and most important, shot in the Monday Night Wars.”

As with all things in Triple H’s legacy spit-shining, it’s an absurd statement, and most certainly on the more gut-busting end of the meter. The claim that an Army fatigue-clad DX turned the tide in the Monday Night Wars was first offered by WWE in the summer of 2002 on a show called Confidential, a Saturday night parade of fluff hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund. Some theorize that the statement was made in conjunction with Stone Cold Steve Austin’s ugly walkout of WWE that June (compounded by domestic assault charges later that same week), and the company began a slow whitewash of Austin in order to distance themselves from a potential felon.

After all, nobody was more important than Austin himself to turning back the challenge of Eric Bischoff’s star-studded World Championship Wrestling (well, him and the dips–ts at Time Warner, they’re pretty important as well). If Triple H challenges Vince McMahon to a brawl on the April 13, 1998 edition of Raw, do they win the ratings that night? If Triple H confronts Mike Tyson the previous January, does the news media go just as gaga? Saying Triple H led the charge against WCW is like saying The Departed won Best Picture because of Marky Mark.

Even with Austin restored in his place on WWE’s all-time Mount Rushmore, Triple H is sticking to the in-character claim that he was General Patton with a “Suck It” shirt. Granted, it could be easily dismissed as the claims of a deluded villain, thinking he was somehow responsible for a monumental shift of the upper hand in wrestling lore, but nobody calls him out on Front Street for it. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and former WCW Champion Booker T say nothing to dispute the claim. Rambling parrot JBL (a pull-string doll could do what he does) will confirm the story, even at one point Monday saying he helped bring WCW down (which is like saying The Departed won Best Picture because of Martin Sheen’s desk blotter).

It is what it is: Triple H has to be the heel, but he can’t be a weak heel. Whether face or heel, his greatness will always be confirmed, never questioned. It’s why Ric Flair was his running buddy on screen for so long, to remind everyone (WHOO!) by God (WHOO!) that Triple H (WHOO!) is the King (WHOO!) of Kings! WWE is to be a living legacy to its inheritor, and history is written blah blah blah.

WCW’s legacy, on the other hand, is a paradox in WWE storytelling. On the one hand, episodes of the former YouTube show “Are You Serious?” would air clips of WCW’s foul-ups (of which there were more than plenty) with an affixed hash-tag, “#WCWRuinsEverything”. Nevermind the irony of WWE, the land of blown opportunity, casting aspersions on another wrestling company’s errors, but the tag is a good look into the mind of WWE thought: maybe if we remind everyone how stupid WCW was sometimes, everyone will forget our own creative incompetence. That “Are You Serious?” aired around 2012-13, over a decade after WCW died, makes the grave-pissing reek of desperation and insecurity.

Insecurity brings us back to Triple H, he of the phallic sledgehammer that symbolizes his might and will. So Triple H rambles about helping put WCW out of business, and makes the story about Turnerland lifer Sting waiting 14 years to exact his ultimate revenge. This is the weird part of Triple H that has to look oddly heroic, even as the obvious villain in the tale. During the Monday Night Wars, fans gradually, then swiftly, shifted to WWE until the ratings were as lop-sided as Rick Allen on a trapeze bar. Only the diehards really stood by WCW as it crumbled without pause.

WWE always taught its fans that WCW was the bad guy in all of it, filling their cards with old fossils (who does this sound like?) while underselling venues (I ask you again) and not pushing the younger talents (maybe WCW didn’t have enough brass rings). Smear tactics in the name of war aside, it’s kinda silly that Triple H is portrayed as both a ruthless asshole that rules as a dictator over his roster (which is fine) while also playing conquering guerrilla that single-handedly altered the course of wrestling history (zuh?).

It’s especially bizarre thanks to the very WWE Network that Triple H and others (understandably) whore incessantly. Thanks to the service, I can watch every WCW pay-per-view ever, plus the first 16 months of Nitro, a period in which the company was as revolutionary as anything we’ve ever seen in wrestling.

1995 episodes of Nitro give us eight-minute junior-heavyweight showcases, rapid-fire stories, and a “who’s gonna show up?” chaotic vibe that blew away the slogging Raw of the time. And I find that most 1995 Raws wipe the floor with the modern product’s awful pacing and self-congratulating, so you can imagine how I feel 1995 Nitro compares to WWE today.

It’s weird, but the very person who will be running WWE when Vince finally goes has actually made me miss WCW, in large part because of his constant mentioning of it. Triple H was once the logo for his own self-importance, but now he’s an avatar for a WWE that makes me miss spectacular alternatives. And forget Nitro; the Network has War Games out the ass. Sure, the 1998 version was crap through a strainer (#WCWRuinsEverything, LOL!), but the 1991 and 1992 editions are a nice alternative to Daniel Bryan and Paul Heyman trying to convince me that Roman Reigns is Jesus in SWAT attire.

There’s a thick, viscous irony in a red-hot WWE once leading the charge against a rotten WCW, followed by an eventually-sterile WWE exhuming WCW through an inadvertent call for sympathy, and a treasure trove of video history that brings back memories.

WCW isn’t the heel anymore. Given what WWE presents to its fans, the departed promotion is now the default babyface.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE WrestleMania 31 Probable Card and Match Rumors

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

It looks like we finally have the blueprint of the main WWE WrestleMania 31 card. The main card may lack the zest of last year’s event, yet the excitement coming out of Fastlane is a sign in the right direction.

There were no real surprises at Fastlane, especially if you have been following the backstage rumors and social media spoilers over the last few weeks. But what we did was a rock solid direction heading into the big March 29 event. I was underwhelmed a few weeks back when the card looked to be taking shape, but Fastlane offered a glimpse of hope. Here is what I took away coming out of Fastlane, as well as the latest news and rumored matches.

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE world title - This one is going to be a lot of fun for all of the wrong reasons. While I do think the WWE needed to focus on Reigns, it was clear at Fastlane that the fans aren’t buying him. This match could get Goldberg-Lesnar ugly really fast without some creative booking. It’s unfortunate as I think six months ago this match could have been big. Yet the WWE booking of Reigns has been so terrible, that they have single-handedly ruined this guy’s momentum. The only answer here is a double-turn at Mania otherwise it will get real ugly by the end of the match.

The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt - I don’t know how you can logically book this match. So Taker is going to return to shut a nobody up that called him out once and ignore Heyman and Lesnar’s mockery over the last year? The only reason the Undertaker should be returning is to avenge his loss to Brock Lesnar. Granted, they may be saving that for Texas Stadium but if so, Taker should not be wrestling at all. Maybe make a surprise appearance? That said, the reaction at Fastlane for Bray Wyatt’s promo was promising. If I was to base interest in this match on the crowd heat at Fastlane, I’d guess that the fans are really going to be into this match. It will be different and I hope Taker can silence his critics. I just can’t help but think about all of the money being left on the table with a Lesnar rematch.

John Cena vs. Rusev for the U.S. title - I’d expect some kind of stipulation to be added here. I liked their match at Fastlane a lot. I’ll disagree with a lot of people and tell you that I thought it was the best match of the night. I have no problem seeing them wrestle twice. The finish was kind of wonky, but I never have a problem with seeing a really good match twice. Cena as U.S. champion is interesting as well. Quite honestly I’d put Rusev over here and build him up for a run with Reigns or Lesnar for the title. But I’ll save that for my predictions blog.

Sting vs. Triple H - When Sting and Hunter set the table for this angle at Survivor Series I was about as disinterested as I could get in this feud. I had zero interest in watching these two wrestle. That said, I am actually looking forward to the match coming out of Fastlane. I think they had great chemistry in Memphis and I think that they can really pull something good off here. Sting has his limitations as we have seen in TNA. Sting has also had some decent matches with the right guys in TNA so it isn’t as if he is done. The chemistry is working for me here and I have to hand it to these guys. They completely turned me around at Fastlane. Mark my words, this will be the main-event of WrestleMania. It won’t be the last match but this will be the match that draws the most interest and gets the most attention by the time we get to the event.

Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton - I think we can all agree that Jon Stewart of the Daily Show will play a part in this match. That’s fine, although this angle does not seem very organic at all. It will be great publicity for all involved. Quite frankly I am not sure how WWE pulled this one off. They did and it will happen at Mania. I think they’ll have a good match, maybe the best on the card if given time.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus - All of the latest rumors point to a Bryan vs. Sheamus rematch. According to several reports, this was the direction they wanted to go in all along. It seems like a huge waste of Bryan and a big dropoff from a year ago. The WWE are determined to squash the Yes Movement and this is a step in the right direction. It’s a shame but I can’t see we didn’t see it coming.

There are other probable matches like Ambrose vs. BNB with a stip, something with the Rhodes brothers, and maybe the Bellas vs. Paige and a celebrity tag team partner. Overall it is a pretty solid lineup for Mania. Nothing stands out and while it is not nearly as exciting as last year, it is a far cry from WrestleMania 9 as well.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Top 10 Pro Wrestling Controversies Video

February 23, 2015 By: Category: lists, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

From the Montreal Screw Job to Vince McMahon’s steroid trial to Jeff Hardy wrestling intoxicated, check out the top 10 pro wrestling controversies caught on video.

This interesting video comes from the folks over at WatchMojo.com. Watch this video as WatchMojo.com countdown the top 10 pro wrestling controversies…as they see it.

It’s certainly an interesting video and the crew did a great job of digging up video. I don’t know if I’d necessarily agree with these, but they do get you thinking. Some are a little corny such as the end of the streak so take this list for what it is worth. Check out the video below which runs a little over fifteen minutes.

Here is the list for those of you that don’t want to watch the video.

  1. The Death of Chris Benoit
  2. The Montreal Screw Job
  3. The Owen Hart Tragedy
  4. CM Punk Walks Out of the WWE
  5. The Mass Transit Incident
  6. Vince McMahon’s Steroid Trial
  7. Edge/Matt Hardy/Lita Love Triangle
  8. The end of the Undertaker’s Streak
  9. Muhammad Hassan (the gimmick in general)
  10. Jeff Hardy vs. Sting at TNA Victory Road (Hard wrestles inebriated)

Honorable Mentions: Raven-Sandman Crucifix Angle, Live Edge/Lita Sex Show, Triple H-Katie Vick, The Fingerpoke of Doom, Lex Luger Shows Up on Nitro, David Arquette wins the WCW title

Interesting list but I can think of about a dozen off of the top of my head that were omitted. Also, including something like the end of the streak on a list with two tragedies is controversial in itself. Check it out for yourself and see what you think.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE Fastlane: Will History Be Written Between Triple H and Sting?

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

Triple H fired the first salvo when he and Degeneration X invades the WCW offices. Now, it would appear Sting is going to fire the final shot at WrestleMania 34 days from now.

Yes, Sting versus Triple H is finally going to happen. This may also be the only time we see WCW’s living legend in a WWE event. Honestly, I have my concerns.

If you would like a history lesson, it started in 1998. On episodes of Raw is War in April and May DX went to war with WCW, with whom the WWF were in direct competition at the time, through a series of legitimate visits to WCW headquarters and live events. On April 27, 1998 Raw is War and WCW Monday Nitro both took place in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, a mere 19 miles apart. D-Generation X traveled from the WWF show in Hampton to The Scope in Norfolk and shouted insults against WCW through a bullhorn, as well as mentioning the fact that WCW gave out free tickets to fill up arenas for television while sporting black armbands with the acronym POWCW (Prisoner of WCW), which referenced Kliq members Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.

They then tried to enter the arena via a loading dock, in their army jeep before being stopped by someone closing the door. They also attempted to forcibly secure meetings with Nitro’s executive producer Eric Bischoff and WCW owner Ted Turner at WCW headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Another segment used computer graphics to make it appear as if Triple H had flown over the arena where WCW Nitro was taking place and wrote “WCW Sucks” and “DX Says Suck It” in the sky.

Now wrestling and the Sting/Triple H confrontation has come full circle.

Everything Triple H said at Fast Lane was right – the fact Sting “was” WCW and while wrestlers came and left, Steve Borden remained to the end of the promotion, defending it against opponents within the organization and against the common enemy – DX and the WWE.

In the end, we know what happens, the takeover, the control and the fact Sting held out longer than any other former WCW wrestler to finally join the fray and fight the good fight. Now, it shall be so. The match that we all thought at first when there was rumors of Sting’s signing with the company would be against the Undertaker is now against the man who as Triple H put it so eloquently, he helped put his competitor out of business, meaning Sting was looking for work.

My only issue with a match like this, much like the match been Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, it is 10 years too late. Yes, it is a chance for WWE fans to finally see the Icon of this business get in the ring with one of the greatest of all time. But can Sting, who will turn 56 years old just before the match, deliver a 5-star performance? Will Triple H carry the man 11 years his senior?

I hope it is not a match like we have seen in years past with Sting and Hulk Hogan and Sting and Ric Flair – two greats who have been in the ring well past their prime.

The match is set. Now will it live up to the hype?

Here’s hoping Sting did not set himself up for failure. That would only mean another star proved he was past his prime. And in this case should never have gotten back in the ring – regardless if he was the last piece of WCW’s puzzle to finally give into the WWE machine.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE Fastlane Results and Recap: Reigns Wins, Rusev Retains

February 22, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE is in full WrestleMania 31 mode now that Fastlane is in the books. The angles and Fastlane results now paint a clearer picture of the road to WrestleMania, which doesn’t necessarily look a whole lot different than it did prior to Sunday night’s pay-per-view event.

I really enjoyed this show a lot. The show had a real nice pace and there wasn’t a bad match on the show. It was a great appetizer for WrestleMania and I would go as far as to say that the show exceeded expectations. The show really did a nice job of getting me excited for WrestleMania. I’d highly recommend checking out the replay if you missed it.

Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan to retain his match at WrestleMania 31. This was a poorly booked match. Reigns was booked as the sympathetic babyface with Bryan playing heel. At one point Bryan nailed a kick in Reigns’ liver and the announcers played it up referencing Reigns’ hernia. Reigns sold for awhile after that. The rest of the match saw Bryan in control with Reigns going for comebacks. Reigns nailed Bryan with a spear on a second attempt at a running knee for a clean pin in the middle. The fans hated this. I have to admit, Cena and Rusev blew this one out. There was something missing here and I think it goes back to how the guys were booked. It made Reigns look weak,  Bryan look like a heel, and the winner was booed. Reigns walked out slowly trying to get some cheers going and the crowd was dead silent. Great job creative!

It would appear that the WWE are back to plan A and will proceed with Lesnar vs. Reigns in a singles match. Anything can happen and it is still possible that Bryan gets inserted into the match. However, with the way the match and post-match festivities played out, it would surely indicate that Bryan is doing something else.

The WWE has a problem with Reigns…a big problem. It is a lot like Lex Luger. They pushed Luger hard and the fans rejected him, yet not nearly at this level. It was obvious tonight that fans aren’t invested into Reigns as a babyface. The WWE have nobody to blame but themselves because he was over at one point.

Rusev defeated John Cena in a long match. I liked the match a lot and the crowd was really into it by the end of the match. The match had almost the same psychology of the Lesnar vs. Cena match from Night of Champions. The story here was that Cena threw everything at Rusev and he still couldn’t beat him. The finish came when Rusev had the camel clutch on Cena. Cena was about to break it but Lana came in the ring and distracted the referee. Rusev broke the hold and kicked Cena low and then in the face. Rusev then went back to the Accolade and an unconscious Cena lost.

I think they should have saved this match for Mania. The fans were split early but were all into Cena by the end of the match. I am not sure how invested fans really are into seeing Cena go for revenge at Mania. Regardless, it looks like that is where we are going.

Bray Wyatt called out the Undertaker tonight. They set up an entrance as if the Undertaker was coming out. The casket opened up and it was Wyatt. It was a cool segment but I still don’t understand it. Logically, why would the Undertaker come back for anything but avenging his loss to Brock Lesnar? Paul Heyman and Lesnar have mocked him for a year yet he’ll come back for a new guy who just called him out? It makes no sense. I think that the WWE is leaving some major money on the table here. Imagine the intensity and the passion fans would have to see Undertaker shut Heyman and Lesnar up after a year of trash talk. Taker could have come back, won the Rumble, and put up his career vs. Lesnar’s title in a rematch? Anything would have made more sense than Taker coming back to answer Wyatt’s challenge.

Sting and Triple H had their confrontation. Triple H made Sting an offer to align with the Authority. Sting remained silent. Triple H and Sting then brawled a bit. Hunter got the advantage by hitting him with a microphone. Hunter went for the sledgehammer but was cut off by Sting with a bat. Sting backed him into a corner and pointed to the WrestleMania sign. Sting finally left Hunter laid out with a Scorpion Death Drop. This was pretty exciting…predictable but exciting. The match was officially announced later in the show for Mania.

Randy Orton finally returned tonight. Orton ran in after the Seth Rollins six-man tag team match and attacked the heels. Orton’s return has been held off for awhile. All rumors indicate that Orton will wrestle Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31 with Jon Stewart of the Daily Show involved. Orton was over huge with the crowd and the fans ate up all of his RKOs.

Well it looks like we have a pretty good idea of what WrestleMania will look like. It won’t look much different than what has predicted and reported here and elsewhere over the last few weeks. I wouldn’t call it underwhelming yet I wouldn’t call it exciting either. Here is what the WrestleMania 31 card looks like coming out of Fastlane…
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE world title
John Cena vs. Rusev for the U.S. title
Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose for the I-C title
Sting vs. Triple H
The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt
Randy Orton with Jon Stewart vs. Seth Rollins

Full WWE Fastlane results and winners..
Roman Reigns defeated Daniel Bryan in a  Number One Contender Match
Rusev defeated John Cena via submission to retain the United States Championship Match
Nikki Bella defeated Paige to retain the WWE Divas Championship
Bad News Barrett defeated Dean Ambrose by DQ to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd defeated the Usos to win the WWE Tag Team Championship
Triple H and Sting met face to face
Goldust defeated Stardust
The Big Show, Kane, and Seth Rollins defeated Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler, and Ryback

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Sting, Bobby Roode and Other Wrestling Thoughts

February 20, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

While watching the segment between Triple H and Ric Flair from Raw on Monday night, I was reminded just how good the rivalry was between the “Nature Boy” and “The Icon” during their wars in WCW.

It also reminds me that if not for an injury to Magnum TA that nearly took his life and put him out of the wrestling business, that rivalry may never have happened.

Timing is everything in the business and injuries are all too real, causing changes in title reigns, opportunities and potential pushes for the promotion’s top stars. Even with the circumstances that had an effect on the emergence of Sting as the top face in WCW for years and the continual push for Flair to remain the top heel, wrestling fans were treated to one of the better feuds in the history of the business.

The fact Ric Flair was able to get under Triple H’s skin, which was a brilliant work by the creative team on Monday night, it showed Flair’s respect for his friend, Steve Borden. It also means when Sting does appear at Fast Lane and stands face to face with the COO of the WWE, sparks will fly.

Personally, I wonder what happens after Fast Lane and WrestleMania with the Sting character. Will he challenge other wrestlers for company supremacy? Who will be willing to give the 55-year old wrestler a feud worthy of two major matches at a pay-per-view? Would Bray Wyatt be the next man up to face the wrestler who fought to save both WCW and TNA?

Or, in this case because of his age and a match with Undertaker is not a viable option, nor is one with someone the caliber of Seth Rollins, will this be the only feud we see Sting appear in a WWE ring for?

TNA’S SPECIAL TALENT

While watching the match last Friday night between Bobby Roode and Austin Aries on Impact Wrestling, I was reminded once again how great both wrestlers are. Roode is the “franchise” of this company, if I may use the word loosely. The comparisons to Arn Anderson, which have been discussed for years, are very real.

Roode originally made his debut for TNA in 2004 as a member of Team Canada and went on to become a two-time NWA World Tag Team Champion with Eric Young. In 2008, Roode formed the tag team Beer Money, Inc. with James Storm and together the two of them went on to become four-time TNA World Tag Team Champions, while also holding the record for the longest reign as champions.

I could watch Roode in matches against Aries or Eric Young or even Jeff Hardy every week and not get bored.

And because Sting has finally joined the rank and file in the WWE, does Roode become the best wrestler never to have competed in the WWE, leaping over AJ Styles?

SUPPORT FOR CM PUNK

While the former WWE World Champion jumped to the octagon and the UFC, he still appears to be connected to professional wrestling as he trains for his new sport.

According to Fox Sports, Punk has been given a vote of support from none other than current WWE World Champion and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. The news comes from a story on foxsports.com. (http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/story/cm-punk-brock-lesnar-has-offered-to-help-me-021715).

According to an interview he did with WISports.com, Brooks has spoken with his friend Lesnar, and the popular former NCAA wrestling national champion is in his corner. “I’ve talked to him and he’s offered all his help, even if it’s just bug him with a stupid question,” Brooks said.

“It’s cool to know [Lesnar] supports me. He’s a good guy to know, I think.”

Brooks went on to estimate when he’d be ready to take his first MMA fight, in the UFC. Though he isn’t sure when it will happen, he’s got a timeline for when he and his coaches will evaluate his progress and make a decision.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE Fastlane Predictions and Preview

February 19, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE will be launching the inaugural Fastlane this Sunday night. The prelude to WrestleMania will see a highly anticipated match up, an early WrestleMania 31 contest, and the first-ever advertised WWE special event appearance from the man called Sting.

Fastlane will replace the annual Elimination Chamber event. Unlike the Chamber show, Fastlane will be devoid of gimmick matches and strictly serve as an appetizer to the big March event. While I wouldn’t call it a strong show, I would see it is one of the more intriguing shows in recent memory. Let’s break down the top matches and events and make some predictions.

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan in a Winner meets Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 Match - This is without question the most intriguing match of the year thus far. Reigns and Bryan is not a match I would have expected to see pre-Mania. Sure, I could see these guys headlining SummerSlam or Survivor Series but I didn’t expect it this soon. Thanks to some rowdy fans in Philadelphia and some post-Rumble adjustments, we are getting this one several months early.

I have written a lot on this match, two full blogs to be exact. However, things continue to change and the landscape has evolved since both blogs. Originally the plans were for a Reigns vs. Brock match at Mania. New rumors indicated that those plans changed and Bryan would now be inserted into a Triple Threat Match. At this point I don’t think there is a predictable way to go here.

This reminds me a lot of the Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels match at King of the Ring 1997. The match made no sense, it featured two babyfaces, and one was obviously the company guy against a guy who was on the descent. At the same it made no sense for either guy to put the other one over. The match ended with a double DQ and no winner. I would be surprised if we don’t see the same result repeat itself in this match.

Roman Reigns has a ton of pressure on him here. If Reigns is expected to be the guy that delivers main-event singles matches, it all starts here. He’s been given everything he needs to succeed here. If you can’t have a good or even great match with Bryan than his promos are the least of his problem. I have no doubt that Bryan will do everything he can to get a great match out of Reigns. Anything less than a pretty good match could really hurt Reigns’ chances of going over at Mania.

I am going to predict a non-finish here. I don’t think either one of these guys are getting pinned. I do think that Bryan is not nearly as over as he was last year and that could cause the brass to re-think their Triple Threat plan. Yet unless I hear different I think both guys come out untainted. I expect this one to end with some interference from the Authority and a big groan from the audience.

John Cena vs. Rusev for the US Title - WWE fans are getting this one early. These guys were penciled in for WrestleMania which makes this booking a bit odd. However, it wouldn’t be the first time we saw a WrestleMania match. I like the match, like it a lot. I love most of what they’ve done with Rusev and the fact they held him apart for Cena for a year was just brilliant.

I wouldn’t expect a great match, although I do think they have it in them to produce one. I see a safe match with both guys saving the full effort for Mania. Putting Cena over here makes no sense at all, although after the Royal Rumble booking I don’t have a lot of confidence in logical WWE booking. I do love the idea of Cena as U.S. champion, I just don’t want to see it prior to Mania. I look for Rusev to go over here. I would suspect that a ref-stoppage finish that involves Cena’s eye, either Rusev spiking it or threatening. Anything but a big win hurts interest in seeing Cena seek revenge at Mania.

Triple H and Sting Confrontation - Like you, I have always wanted to see Sting in the WWE. However, I have to admit that Sting vs. Triple H was not a dream match on my list. Regardless, we are getting it one way or the other so why complain. I expect the usual RAW confrontation you’d expect from both, but I do think Sting gets laid out this time around. I think you need to lay him out in order to create a demand for a match.

Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett for the WWE Intercontinental Title - I like this match. I also think that Dean Ambrose is the biggest waste of talent I have seen in the WWE in quite some time. I love the potential of this match. I think you have two guys here who are very talented and looking to steal the show. I don’t expect Ambrose to win the title and quite frankly that may be a good thing for him. At the same time I certainly don’t want to see him lose clean which is what I think happens here.

Full WWE Fastlane card and matches…
Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan – Number One Contender Match
John Cena vs. Rusev – United States Championship Match
Paige vs. Nikki Bella – WWE Divas Championship
Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose – WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Uso’s vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd – WWE Tag Team Championship
Triple H and Sting meet face to face
Goldust vs. Stardust

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions DVD Review

February 18, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Despite always being given away on free TV, there was a time when Clash of the Champions was considered one of the biggest wrestling events in the world, on par with big shows like Wrestlemania. The shows featured a little bit of everything, from title matches, to great undercard bouts, to main events that were pay-per-view quality.

In existence for thirteen years, the show was seen twice a year or more, clocking in at thirty-five total installments. Currently, it has more installments than any other major wrestling show in U.S. history, a record WrestleMania won’t break for another eight years. The first show went head-to-head with WrestleMania IV in 1988, and was a huge success, main evented by Ric Flair defending the NWA World title against Sting in a classic 45-minute draw, considered by many one of the greatest matches of all time.

From there, the show continued to put on major events several times a year, often featuring World title matches, or at the very least a main event starring the World Champion. Even as it got on in years and WCW’s quality began to dwindle at the end of the company’s existence, you could still count on Clash to be a fun, big time show that would cost you absolutely zero to watch. Even the worst editions of the event still featured one or two excellent matches, matches you could easily see yourself paying for.

This DVD set claims to be the “Best of” and it’s hard to argue with the claim. While some of your favorites may not have made the cut, it’s overall a very good collection of 24 matches spanning the show’s history. Hosting the set is WWE Hall of Famer “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, which adds a nice touch to the set. However, for some reason, his appearances on the set are very, very limited. Despite the number of matches, Dusty only appears on the set seven times, and the appearances are very short at that. It would have been nice to maybe have him introduce each match, as the WWE has done in previous sets, as Dusty is still very entertaining to listen to, and about as good of a WCW expert as you could hope for.

Nevertheless, the collection has some really great moments on it. We get the aforementioned Sting/Flair classic from the first show, and also from that show, a great tag team match pitting the NWA World Tag Team Champions, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, against Lex Luger and Barry Windham. It’s matches like this that make you realize how good Luger really could be in the early years of his career.

Luger gets a second chance to shine later in the set, as he defends the NWA United States Championship against Ric Flair in another great one. The ending, which saw Stan Hansen interfere and cause a DQ win for Luger, takes the match down a little bit, but it’s still very good overall, and Luger more than held his own against “The Nature Boy”. There’s also some rare gems like Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff in a Russian Chain Match, and an NWA U.S. Tag Team Title Match between the legendary teams of The Midnight Express (the Lane/Eaton version) and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.

A Clash set wouldn’t be complete without some great heavyweight championship matches, and this set delivers. We get Sting/Flair from 1988, an awesome “I Quit” Match between Flair and Terry Funk in 1989, and a title unification bout from 1994 as Flair and Sting went at it once more. Aside from those, there are numerous undercard title matches, including a pair of great Cruiserweight title matches and a surprisingly good TV title match between Dustin Rhodes and Lord Steven Regal. You also get one of Ricky Steamboat’s last matches as he took on WCW United States Champion “Stunning” Steve Austin in an excellent title bout that ended the outstanding series those two had.

Of course, even great sets like this are going to feature some duds, and this one’s got a few. For starters, we get a match between Cactus Jack Manson (Mick Foley) and Mil Mascaras that is beyond suck. Foley has stated in the past that Mascaras was very unprofessional to work with and that he absolutely hated this match, and it shows. It lasts a little over five minutes, and I am not kidding when I say that Manson got absolutely zero offense in.

The only highlight (if you can call it that) was seeing Foley take a horrendous back bump on the concrete outside of the ring, resulting in just a cringe-worthy “thud”. There’s also a really boring 15-man “Georgia Brawl” battle royal featuring mostly mid-carders no one cared about, and a quick and pointless six-man between the Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes and Brad Armstrong as horrible gimmick #1,372, “Badstreet”) vs. Tom “Z-Man” Zenk and the Young Pistols (Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers).

Capping off the major duds is a match between DDP and Eddy Guerrero. While the match itself is pretty decent, the idea behind the match was completely ridiculous. These two were fighting over DDP’s “Battle Bowl” ring. Yes, a ring. The ring was originally supposed to represent the top contender to the belt, but it became worthless in short order as A) it was a standard ring, so you could barely even see it, and B) DDP, as “Champion”, often defended it against scrubs like Marcus Bagwell and Jim Powers.

Still, the good far outweighs the bad here, and is a great representation of how awesome Clash of the Champions could be. I would have liked to have seen maybe at least a match from each installment of the show, but that might have made the set too long. Oh, well. This is still a great set overall. While some improvements could be made, they don’t take away from the overall quality, which is pretty excellent.

Watching this set, I can give it a pretty high recommendation, especially to old school fans and DVD collectors. The amount of legends featured on this set is incredible, and shows you why they were some of the best of all time. Newer fans may not get into as much if they don’t recognize a lot of the names and faces, but I still encourage them to check out some of the all-time greats that helped pave the way for a lot of today’s current wrestlers. Definitely a thumb’s up on this one.

DISC 1

The Real Story

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

Why Wait a Whole Year?

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Clash of the Champions II – 8th June, 1988

Russian Chain Match
Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff
Clash of the Champions III – 7th September, 1988

“I Quit” Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Clash of the Champions IX – 15th November, 1989

Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Clash of the Champions X – 6th February, 1990

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express
Clash of the Champions XI – 13th June, 1990

DISC 2

To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man

NWA United States Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XII – 5th September, 1990

The Young Pistols & Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Clash of the Champions XV – 12th June, 1991

15-Man Battle Royal
Clash of the Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991

WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Clash of the Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991

Other Stars On The Rise

2 out of 3 Falls Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Clash of the Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993

Brian Pillman vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993

WCW Television Title Match
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Elimination Tag Team Match
Sting & `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Vader
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

DISC 3

Here we are Again

Championship Unification Match
Sting vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Clash of the Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994

WCW United States Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat
Clash of the Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994

Hulk Hogan & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & The Giant
Clash of the Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996

Medusa vs. Bull Nakano
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

Match for the BattleBowl Ring
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

I’m gonna watch this

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
Clash of the Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

35th and Final Clash

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993
Comment |
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Listing March 5, 2012
By A. Pierre
Format:Blu-ray
The Real Story

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

Why Wait a Whole Year?

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Clash of the Champions II – 8th June, 1988

Russian Chain Match
Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff
Clash of the Champions III – 7th September, 1988

“I Quit” Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Clash of the Champions IX – 15th November, 1989

Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Clash of the Champions X – 6th February, 1990

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express
Clash of the Champions XI – 13th June, 1990

To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man

NWA United States Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XII – 5th September, 1990

The Young Pistols & Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Clash of the Champions XV – 12th June, 1991

15-Man Battle Royal
Clash of the Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991

WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Clash of the Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991

Other Stars On The Rise

2 out of 3 Falls Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Clash of the Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993

Brian Pillman vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993

WCW Television Title Match
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Elimination Tag Team Match
Sting & `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Vader
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Here we are Again

Championship Unification Match
Sting vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Clash of the Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994

WCW United States Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat
Clash of the Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994

Hulk Hogan & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & The Giant
Clash of the Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996

Madusa vs. Bull Nakano
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

Match for the BattleBowl Ring
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

I’m gonna watch this

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
Clash of the Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

35th and Final Clash

Blu-ray Exclusive Content

‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XDustinEFLX, and if you like Married…With Children, you can follow my Al Bundy parody account at http://www.twitter.com/bundyisms. Also follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com (feedback is welcome). Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

Gerri Davis Banner, NPC National Level Heavyweight and Masters Female Bodybuilder

-Dustin

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions (DVD)

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions [Blu-ray]

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Paul Heyman, Sting and Other WWE Thoughts

February 10, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

While this may sound odd, a part of me does not want Brock Lesnar to leave the WWE. If “The Beast Incarnate” does not re-sign with the WWE and takes his scary smile with him to that octagon on the other side of the sports world, the company, the fans and the wrestling business will all be wondering, “What happens to Paul Heyman?

Has the WWE thought far enough in advance to make sure that if the current WWE World Champion takes a walk, Heyman will still remain a huge part of the company landscape? The man who is every bit of part Bobby Heenan, part James Mitchell and part Gary Hart is the one thing the WWE has right now that continues to deliver consistency besides a Daniel Bryan Judo kick to his opponents.

Should the WWE Universe begin to worry about the possibility of Heyman not appearing on Raw or giving his insight at a pay-per-view event? Is there another champion or championship talent on the current roster who will become the new client of the man who appears to have all the stroke and gives us all a reason to tune in to Raw each Monday night?

I would not be surprised if Heyman pulls his support from Lesnar at takes Roman Reigns’ side at WrestleMania XXXI. The move helps everyone concerned. Lesnar leaves. Reigns wins the WWE World Title. Heyman becomes Reigns’ mouthpiece and Vince McMahon is a very happy man.

THE RETURN OF ORTON AND SHEAMUS

The appearance of both Randy Orton and Sheamus cannot comes soon enough. The WWE is lacking main event faces on the current roster and with both former WWE World Champions returning from injury, the moment they both get in the ring cannot come soon enough.

The WWE did a promotional message about Sheamus returning to the ring. Stories a circulating that Orton should return at Fast Lane.

I guess we will all remain in limbo of when that will happen in reality.

THE REALITY OF WRESTLEMANIA

I may be the only one who doesn’t want to see Triple H and Sting in the ring. Not because of what the match will be, but what the match won’t be.

Triple H is still capable of delivering a 5-star match as was the case last year’s WrestleMania match with Daniel Bryan. He still looks the part and on any given night, can face off against the WWE’s top stars.

Sting is another story.

At 55 years old, when was the last time we truly saw Sting give us a match we could talk about for more than five minutes? The storyline is solid and the “Crow-like” mystique of the potential WrestleMania matchup catches the fans’ attention. But Triple will have to carry Sting, much the same way Daniel Bryan will have to carry Roman Reigns at Fast Lane.

The same could be said for Undertaker and his potential match feud with Bray Wyatt – should the WWE still go along with that plan.

AMBROSE AND BARRETT

While I have been critical of the WWE for the work they are doing in the main event of late, I have to give them props for putting together a feud with Dean Ambrose and Wade Barrett.

After getting over (again) with his feud involving Bray Wyatt, Ambrose now will set his sights on the Intercontinental Title.

Both performers should give the fans one hell of a showing.

Ambrose really is one of the best the WWE has to offer and Barrett could have been a WWE World Champion already, if it was not for injuries he has sustained along the way. This is a golden opportunity for both wrestlers to shine.

WWE: The Destruction of the Shield

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com

Pro Wrestling’s Five Most Memorable Events of 2014

December 10, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s hard to believe that another year has been and gone already. 2014 came and went in blur, bringing it with more than its fair share of memorable moments.

It was the year of the WWE Network and the year of Batista’s brief return. It was the year The Shield broke up and Bray Wyatt was, for what feels like a fleeting moment now, the coolest thing in pro wrestling.

Though as memorable as these stories were, they didn’t get us talking quite as much as these five memorable events from 2014.

5) The end of TNA?
With the announcement that Spike TV would not be renewing the company’s flagship show once their current deal ended, it seemed the writing was firmly on the wall for TNA, and there was a while back there when we were all drafting eulogies and contemplating the future of mainstays like Bobby Roode and James Storm.

Yes, it seemed that for a while, the predictions of pessimistic (you may say realistic) wrestling fans everywhere was about to come true: The end was nigh for Dixie Carter’s little wrestling company.

As we all know now, TNA lived to fight another day, but it was looking pretty close back there.

4) Daniel Bryan shines at Wrestlemania
Daniel Bryan’s rise from the doldrums of WWE to the headline act at Wrestlemania was big news this year. As fans, we gave ourselves a pat on the back for making our voices heard both online and at the arenas, demanding our man Bryan be given a starring role at the biggest show of the year.

Then, we gave WWE bigwigs a bigger pat on the back when, for once, they actually came through for us.

Though subsequent injuries meant this one finished on less than the perfect ending, for a while, this was the sure fire feel-good story of 2014.

3) Sting arrives in WWE
In this writer’s mind, you’d be perfectly justified switching this one with our number two entry, and to be honest, this one only misses out on the number two spot because, well, we all saw it coming.

Still, even if it wasn’t the most surprising event of the year, the sight of the WCW icon between the ropes of a WWE is one many long-term fans never actually thought we’d see.

Whether the Stinger’s run as a WWE performer turns out as well as we’re all hoping it does remains to be seen, though it’s fair to say him being there in the first place was by far one of the biggest things that happened in 2014.

2) 21-1
The silence said it all. There wasn’t a single person watching Wrestlemania 30 who really believed, in their heart of hearts, that Brock Lesnar would emerge victorious against The Undertaker.

Even this writer, who penned an article for another website outlining why Lesnar was the perfect choice to end The Streak- didn’t really believe he would.

Then it happened. The Dead Man went down. Brock made the cover. A three count later, and The Undertaker was 21-1 at Wrestlemania.

1) CM Punk quits
Though talk about most of the stories on this list eventually simmered, ready to be replaced by the next big shocking turn of events, the news of CM Punk walking out of the WWE never really went away.

Punk left after his appearance at the 2014 Royal Rumble, and we all spent pretty much the rest of that year talking about it. For some, it was ripping into Punk for ‘taking his ball and going home,’ for others, it was plotting his huge, apparently inevitable, return in any number of fantasy booking scenarios.

Either way, Punk remained hot news for months after his last appearance inside a wrestling ring.

The Straight Edge Superstar’s recent appearances on Colt Cabana’s podcasts have only fanned the flames of this one, making it by far the most memorable events of 2014.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com