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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.

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Sting’s True Impact on WWE and 2015

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

The wrestling world stood still at about 10:35 Sunday night as Sting finally made his way into a WWE arena and shocked the world.

Finally, the business had come full circle. After rumors had run rampant that “The Icon” would give the fans what they have been waiting decades to see, Sting walked into the ring, stared down Triple H and the Authority and changed the WWE in a matter of 10 minutes.

Watching wrestling is now must see television again. My only question about what transpired on Sunday night is, “What took so long?”

The emergence of Steve Borden and his “Sting” persona was a dramatic as Ric Flair walking on the set with the World Title in hand and the day Hulk Hogan jumped to the dark side and joined the NOW. Thank goodness the company finally saw the decline in crowd support, cable buys and the lack of success with the WWE Network to make changes in the format of its storylines. With Sting on board and the potential decline of The Authority, the WWE is walking a different path to success.

Even before the emergence of the man painted in black and white, the change already started with just one punch. Big Show’s heel turn on John Cena and the Shawn Michaels-like performance by Dolph Ziggler signaled the company’s willingness (and possibly Cena’s) to allow other superstars command the spotlight.

If Cena is on board with letting this storyline develop (which also includes what happens with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H), the “Year of Mediocrity” could be saved at the TLC pay-per-view in three weeks and lead to a huge confrontation between Triple H and Stinger.

As one fan wrote online the morning after the event in St. Louis, “There are plenty of storylines that came out of this pay-per-view. Hopefully the WWE will let them play out.”

Right now, I do not think there is any choice but to let things develop and see where they go. There is a chance the 2015 wrestling year will start with a “bang” and continue down a path of change, revolution and revelation. At some point, the Authority angle had to crumble. I do not see it as a complete elimination of the angle, but now the company must worry more about recouping money it has lost from poor business decisions. Sting is the catalyst for the turnaround.

Sorry, John Cena.

While Flair’s arrival in the WWF was not as successful as fans and management had hoped it would be for the company, Hogan’s jump to WCW was every bit the marketing boon it had hoped to be – even if the red and yellow was booed from time to time because he was not the “wrestler” Flair was. Sting has a chance to do what he does best and make the most of it – save the professional wrestling business.

In the early days of the NWA and the growth of WCW, Ric Flair was the top heel, Dusty Rhodes was the top face and slowly, the younger Stinger took over that spot from Rhodes. While the WWE does not have many young stars to build around – although Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are a good start, it is time to get away from John Cena being the company’s John Wayne. In a sense, Sting – although 55 years old – provides the perfect connection to the future of the company.

While Reigns recovers and the company decides which WWE superstar will hand over the company title to Rollins, Sting is the one character and performer who will keep the fans’ need for younger talent to thrive at bay. And with the push to make Ziggler a go-to-guy in the company, for once the future in the WWE looks brighter than it has been in years.

Even if it took the dark side of Sting to make all that happen.

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WWE Post Survivor Series 2014 Perspective

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

So the 2014 Survivor Series is history and as Joel Gertner would say, “Well, well, well…” So Sting has finally arrived in the WWE. Team Cena wins. New tag champs. And a Roman Reigns cameo. And all of this was free thanks to the November Special promo offer. I wanted to do an article within the past couple of weeks but I thought it would be best to wait until after the Survivor Series to get a better picture of which direction the WWE superstars will be going as 2015 approaches.

Of course, Sting was the big news from the Survivor Series pay-per-view. Didn’t expect to see him until early next year but why not plant the roots late in the year during the NFL season to grab some eyes away from Monday Night Football. I’m now hooked on it more so to the point that I will be clicking back a few times more than normal. It felt like Sting had been on the wrestler in history to never sign with the WWE. His appearance came to a huge pop but a little surprised he confronted HHH. What does that tell at first glance?

I’m looking at a Sting/HHH fight at WrestleMania which may quell the rumor of a Sting/Undertaker match. If that’s the case, then Undertaker hasn’t retired and will lead into Lesnar/Taker 2 for WrestleMania 31. Even though Sting is scheduled only one WWE match I could see more than one match in his future. He’s too big a star not to be used and the WWE brass would get a lot of Pay per view buys if he wrestles in the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania with an outside shot as Summerslam for his final match.

Dolph Ziggler – Kudos to him for a well-deserved night of work for this superstar. He was in the Survivor Series match through the end. I don’t know what the deal is as to why he hasn’t gotten another chance at a WWE title reign. He’s popular and more importantly he’s a hard worker in the ring. He’s come a long way from the Spirit Squad and made a name for himself. I admit I was wrong when branched out into Dolph Ziggler thinking he’s annoying and won’t gel with the fans. He’s to hoping a strong 2015 for Ziggler. On a side note, I just realized that Dolph’s never lost a Survivor Series match; impressive.

Tag-Team Scene – I love Goldust & Stardust. They brought life back into the tag-team division but hopefully The Miz/Damien Sandow tandem works out. I’ve been tired of The Miz recently ever since he lost the WWE title years ago and I feel that his star has been fading. Maybe this will add life to his career.

Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt – Will we ever be disappointed with this feud? The two came out with guns a blazing and with expected pop of a great match. The disqualification was a weak decision but I get it as this feud can carry over into 2015; heck even all of 2015 and we wouldn’t be disappointed.

  Cena – So Team Cena won the Survivor Series match. Where does John Cena go from here? With the RAW headlines dealing with The Authority and other side feuds the WWE has completely forgotten about the WWE Title currently held by Brock Lesnar. This needs to change ASAP because the title is losing its relevance and it’s a sad state of affairs that the Money in the Bank briefcase angle has taken the spotlight more so than the actual belt. It’s not Seth Rollins fault. He’s definitely worth the push but the higher-ups need to get their goods in order and the first thing they need to do is to get Lesnar on TV every couple of weeks. He doesn’t have to wrestle but at least keep us notified that he’s the current WWE champion. The Randy Orton/John Cena matches have been very entertaining over the past couple of months but enough already. Move onto Seth Rollins. He’s due to cash in on the briefcase and win the title; hopefully by the end of the year to garner interest into the Rumble or win at the Rumble.

The Survivor Series is history and it’s time to keep an eye on the final month of 2014 and see what to expect at the Royal Rumble. The Survivor Series has established roots for new feuds while wrapping up others. I’ll be addressing these items in future articles. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving to all! Be safe and be good.

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WWE Survivor Series: General Thoughts on a Semi-Decent Event

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

At least the ending was something to remember. STING IS HERE!

I am purposely staying away from the main event match of the night. Too much to comprehend and I want to pay the impact of Sting appearing in St. Louis its proper respect.

By the way – All Hail Dolph Ziggler.

Here are some of my thoughts on the other matches at the pay-per-view… hopefully the WWE will learn to make the WWE World Champion at a PPV at some point soon.

As if it wasn’t obvious, the fans of the WWE got a taste of the first match for the TLC pay-per-view event to close out 2014.

Frankly, it is one of the best moves the WWE could make to finalize an up and down year of professional wrestling. Ambrose and Wyatt stole the show last night, in my opinion.

Wyatt vs. Ambrose might be the closest thing we have seen to a Buzz Sawyer/Tommy Rich slug fest since the two destroyed Atlanta back in the early 1980s. The feud between Wyatt and Ambrose is what hardcore wrestling should be. Ambrose and Wyatt are the perfect combination of oil and vinegar mixed with some pepper to add a splash of change.

But while other “oddities” in wrestling have been good for business, the aggression between these two superstars is worth a ticket, it will not lead either one to a title any time soon.

Not to worry, the greatest oddity of my generation – Kevin Sullivan – did not win a world title in his career either.

Known as the heel “Boston Battler”, Sullivan’s “devil worshiping” gimmick started during this time. In CWF he became associated with “Maniac” Mark Lewin (Purple Haze), Bob Roop, The Lock and Luna Vachon amongst others as the Army of Darkness. Sullivan split his time with International Championship Wrestling and brought the devil-worshiping gimmick there, along with Lewin and Roop. He had the Fallen Angel as his valet, who later became known as Woman. Sullivan was the top heel in ICW when the company first went national and had noted feuds with Austin Idol, Superstar Billy Graham, Bruiser Brody, Joe Savoldi and Blackjack Mulligan.

His cult-like following and his “pure evil” in his voice and his ability was the perfect foil for the Dusty Rhodes led early 1980s savior of professional wrestling angle.

Now that he is on his own, will Wyatt jump through the minutiae and finally take a stab at the WWE World Title? By the same token, will Ambrose jump into the title picture (especially if Seth Rollins claims the title with his MITB contract) or will he become another hardcore legend?

MIZDOW FOR LIFE

I did not particularly like the tag team match which led to The Miz and Damien Mizdow claiming the WWE Tag Team Titles, but I love the angle that is soon to happen between the Title holders.

Finally, Mizdow (or Sandow) will split and the birth of a feud that could help save their careers. I have been waiting for Sandow to become a headliner. While this feud may not lead to that, it may finally put Sandow over as a viable face in the company.

I have always thought of Sandow as a bit of Nick Bockwinkle, a touch of Lanny Paffo and a sprinkle of Randy Savage. That’s some pretty high praise, but if the feud does come about, Sandow will get over huge with the WWE Universe.

SISTERLY LOVE

It appears the WWE rumors may be correct of a potential AJ Lee retirement. But what was more important than a squash match between Nikki Bella and Lee was the fact Brie Bella seemed to be cheering her sister on. Hopefully, that is a plow which will lead to a Sister vs. Sister Match for the WWE Divas Title.

The fans will finally get the dream matchup they have wanted for some time.

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WWE Survivor Series 2014 Results: Sting Debuts, Team Cena Win

November 23, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE rewarded its free subscribers with one of the most memorable show finishes in years. The Survivor Series 2014 delivered with an outstanding main-event and one of the biggest debuts in years. Sting is finally in and the questions surrounding his WrestleMania plans have been answered.

This one-match, one-angle show delivered a memorable evening with fans coming away counting down the hours until RAW. The long road to WrestleMania 31 became clearer at Survivor Series and while there are still plenty of questions, we are finally starting to get some pieces of the Mania puzzle. I don’t think there has been a show this memorable since WrestleMania and it will be exciting to see where things go from here starting tomorrow night.

The show opened up with Vince McMahon dropping a “bombshell.” McMahon told Triple H and Stephanie McMahon that if their team lost, not only would they be out of power, but only one man could bring them back. Vince told them that man was John Cena. Cena told them that when his team wins they will never be in power again. Hunter did not look happy at all.

The Authority are out! Team Cena survived to throw the Authority out of power. This was a real hot match and far exceeded most expectations fans had going into the event. The match went close to an hour which probably hasn’t happened in a WWE main-event in years. The match started with The Big Show eliminating Mark Henry within seconds with a knockout punch. The crowd went nuts. They set up a big spot early for Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to lock up but Harper tagged right out. Ryback and Rusev set up a big lockup for Rusev’s first appearance in the match. The fans really got behind Ryback when he clotheslined Rusev. The match broke out into a big brawl at this point. The fans were great and really made this match seem like something special. Rusev eliminated Ryback to even up the sides. Rollins took a backdrop over the top rope onto about eight guys. Rusev dumped Ziggler onto the rest of the pile. Rusev missed a big dive onto Dolph and went through the announcer’s table. Rusev was counted out after missing the dive as Ziggler rolled back into the ring to make the count. Rowan and Harper finally got into it after about thirty minutes. Kane broke it up after Rowan hit a spin kick on Harper. Harper hit a clothesline on Rowan after Rollins distracted Harper and pinned him. The Big Show turned on John Cena (again) and KO’d him setting him up for the pin. Seth Rollins pinned him and eliminated the captain. The Big Show walked out at that point leaving Dolph Ziggler to fight Kane, Rollins, and Harper all by himself. Ziggler fought back to eliminate Kane to take it down to a 2 on 1 match. Ziggler eliminated Harper bringing it down to Rollins and Ziggler. Ziggler really made himself a star tonight. Ziggler kept fighting back for near falls on Rollins, including a close small package and a DDT. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and was about to get the win before Triple H pulled the referee out of the ring. Ziggler hit another one but there was no referee to count. Triple H attacked the next referee that came out and finally took his jacket off. Hunter began pounding on Ziggler. Hunter hit the pedigree on Ziggler. The lights went out and Sting walked out on the ramp (with some corny music unfortunately). Hunter just stared. The fans loved it and gave him the reaction you’d expect. Sting took out referee Scott Armstrong. Sting and Hunter squared off. The fans all chanted “Sting” and “This is awesome!” Sting laid Hunter out with a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting then put Ziggler on top of Rollins and walked out. Ziggler got the three-count and the win for Team Cena and what has to be one of the most exciting WWE matches of 2014. Michael Cole called it the most historic moment in Survivor Series history (hey remember that 1997 match. The Authority is done…well at least until tomorrow night. Cena came out to congratulate Ziggler at the end. Stephanie and Triple H sat in the ring as the crowd chanted “Goodbye.”

This is the kind of cliffhanger ending fans have been waiting to see for months on WWE special events. I don’t think it’s a big secret to say that the WWE has been somewhat stale over the last several months. Sting’s debut, Dolph with a push, and the Authority seemingly out of power for the first time in over a year will give the WWE the fresh programming it desperately needed. The show ended with the fans yelling “You got fired” and Stephanie having a temper tantrum.

I think it is safe to say that we know our WrestleMania direction. It looks like it will be Sting vs. Triple H at Mania which is what it is. I am sure it will be a decent match and it will definitely be hot, but it is hardly the classic Undertaker match fans hoped to see Sting get at Mania. Regardless, you have Sting on Mania and the fans have wanted it for years. It could still happen with Sting vs. Hunter at the Rumble but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose by disqualification. Wyatt dared Ambrose to hit him with a chair and he did. Ambrose was disqualified for it. Ambrose proceeded to beat the hell out of Wyatt, including dropping a flying elbow onto Wyatt through a table and giving him a DDT on a chair. Ambrose left him laid out in a pile of hardcore trash from tables to chairs. Ambrose climbed a ladder and stood over Wyatt as his music played. They announced a TLC rematch at TLC in three weeks.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Ambrose should be the focus of the company right now. He has a unique charisma to himself that is second only to Brock Lesnar. The focus will be on Roman Reigns in a few weeks and I think that is a big mistake. This guy is the future and he should be groomed for the WrestleMania moment, not Reigns or anyone else in my opinion.

Another piece of news coming out of the show is that live on the WWE Network Monday night following RAW will be a podcast with Steve Austin. Austin will be hosting the podcast and his guest will be Vince McMahon. I think it’s long overdue that the WWE get the Stone Cold podcast on the WWE Network. I love the ingenuity here of debuting it with Vince McMahon. It should be a great show.

Brie Bella seemingly turned heel and the rumors about AJ Lee leaving after Survivor Series appear to be true (although the latest reports indicate she’s staying). Nikki Bella defeated AJ to win the WWE Divas title in about a minute. Brie wound up kissing AJ which distracted her enough for Nikki to swoop in, scoop her up for the Rack Attack and pin her for the title. Brie had a big smile on her face and was celebrating with Nikki. They referenced AJ doing the same thing to Daniel Bryan during his match with Sheamus a couple of years ago at WrestleMania so maybe Nikki is a face? Who the hell knows! Hey, thank goodness that terrible angle is over but this turn made no sense. It also won’t do Daniel Bryan much good when he returns.

Another piece of news coming out of the show is that live on the WWE Network December 1 following RAW will be a podcast with Steve Austin. Austin will be hosting the podcast and his guest will be Vince McMahon. I think it’s long overdue that the WWE get the Stone Cold podcast on the WWE Network. I love the ingenuity here of debuting it with Vince McMahon. It should be a great show. How coincidental that the podcast airs on December 1, the day after all of the free memberships end.

Full WWE Survivor Series 2014 results and winners…
Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan and Ryback) defeated Team Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev and Luke Harper) in a traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match; if Team Authority loses, they will no longer be in power. If Team Cena loses, all team members will be fired from WWE.
Nikki Bella defeated AJ for the WWE Divas Championship
Adam Rose and the Bunny defeated Titus O’Neil and Heath Slater
Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose via DQ
The Miz and Damien Mizdow defeated Gold and Stardust (c) vs. The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando)  in a Fatal 4-Way tag team match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship
Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi and Natalya defeated Paige, Cameron, Layla and Summer Rae in a Divas Traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team match
Jack Swagger defeated Cesaro
Fandango defeated Justin Gabriel

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Sting Reportedly Set To Debut At WWE Survivor Series

November 22, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The buzz for the WWE Survivor Series just got much bigger. A new report breaking over the last several hours reports that there is a major surprise lined up for the special event that immediately turns this must-miss event into a must-see.

PWInsider.com is reporting that the highly anticipated debut of Sting will take place at this Sunday’s Survivor Series in St. Louis. What the Stinger will be doing and who he will be paired with is pure speculation at this point. Although I think it is a safe bet that the angle will probably not have him wrestling on Sunday night.

Plenty of fans will probably agree that it is about time. Sting joined the WWE Universe several months ago, although nobody can quite pinpoint when he exactly signed his WWE contract. Many believed that Sting was purely working through the WWE 2K15 game with the company although this news certainly confirms that Sting and the WWE have come to terms.

Nobody has been able to report exactly what the plans are for Sting. It was widely assumed that he was coming in to build for an eventual WrestleMania 31 match against the Undertaker. The match has taken on a life of its own in the last few years and has turned into arguably one of the few dream matches yet to be made in a WWE ring. However, most reports indicate the Undertaker’s status for WrestleMania is still in question, thus we can’t conclude that will be the direction for Sting.

Another possibility is for Sting to come in as some kind of General Manager. That has been the other hot rumor for a few weeks. That would certainly make sense when you take a look at the stipulations of the main-event match. If Team Cena loses, maybe Vince McMahon makes Sting G.M. and he brings back the babyfaces? If the Authority are out of power, Sting could also slide right into that role and set up a match with Triple H.

Regardless of what happens this news takes Sunday’s event to a whole new level. Prior to this news the event was probably the weakest lineup on paper of any special event that the WWE held for months, going back to last year. The news now makes this event we all must go out of our way to see, even if it means sitting through a dull 2.5 hours to get there.

Where Sting goes is anyone’s guess. However, the timing of Sting’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. The WWE is under a ton of scrutiny and criticism right now by fans who feel that the booking has become predictable, stale, and uninteresting. While Sting alone won’t turn business around, it will generate some much needed positive talk for the WWE and give fans a sneak peek of where things are going heading into 2015 and that’s a good thing.

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WWE Stars Talk About Wrestling Sting

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

Sting is now signed with the WWE but we have yet to hear of any concrete reports indicating plans for the former WCW and TNA star’s first match. The latest WWE Inbox video features several WWE stars are stepping up to the plate and revealing what they would do to get a one-on-one match with Sting.

This is a fun video which both promotes the brand-new WWE 2K15 video game and also promotes the impending debut of arguably the most anticipated star in years, Sting. The new video on the WWE YouTube channel features several WWE stars telling the world what they would do to get an opportunity to welcome Sting to a WWE ring.

Curtis Axel - “What would I do to get a match with Sting?” Curtis Axel asked. “I don’t know, I’d probably go up to Sting and say, ‘Hey man, wanna have a match?’ And he’d probably say yes. But if he said no, I’d walk up to Triple H’s door, knock on it, and I’d say, ‘Hey, Triple H, Sting wants to have a match with Curtis Axel. I’ve already talked to him. He agrees with it, so book it.'”

Adam Rose - “I don’t know, I’d probably be staring across the ring saying to myself, ‘Oh my goodness that’s Sting over there isn’t it?'” Adam Rose said. “I’d be torn, I’d be like, ‘Oh that’s Sting, but I gotta fight him. What do I do?”

The Miz - “It’s not what I would do for a match with Sting, it’s what would Sting do to have a match with me,” The Miz said.

Dolph Ziggler - “I know what I would do for a Klondike bar. I would be honored obviously. [I’m] a huge fan of wrestling all my entire life. Sting is this icon and especially if it was his first ever WWE match, do you think anyone would be able to go toe-to-toe and have that man look like the million bucks that he is other than myself?”

Check out the video and some really cool clips of Sting in WWE2K15 to see more.

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It’s Time To Get Sting in a WWE Ring

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

Recent buzz online is that if Sting is indeed going to perform at WrestleMania 31 next year, he would need to pass a WWE mandated physical. Apparently if a guy is over the age of 45, then its part of the process and it’s something that can’t be avoided.

And I for one say good. It’s about time, let’s do this. I know what you’re thinking. Impatient much, Tom? Well actually yes I am. But honestly this whole Sting thing has made me that way. Ordinarily, I’m very laidback and very easygoing pretty much all the time, especially when it comes to pro wrestling.

Okay none of that is true. The fact is that I’m one of those guys that want Sting back in a ring and he wants him there like yesterday. And that’s been the case since WWE first brought the guy in. Tell the truth, who doesn’t want to see Sting in a WWE ring? Who does not want to see one of the top five icons that modern professional wrestling has produced over the past 30 years finally perform in the biggest company on the planet?

Raise your hand and I’m putting you through a table. And not one of those WWE tables either; I’m talking about the kind that Terry Funk planted Ric Flair on with the piledriver back in 1989. Try walking that one off.

Sting needs to work in WWE. Fans need to see the former WCW icon come full circle in his career, they need to see him finally do the one thing that he never did and step through the ropes in Vince McMahon’s ring. We’re talking about the company that constantly delivers one big return, one huge debut after another, there is room for Sting and WWE can do justice to that moment.

Let’s be honest, WWE is the only company that can do justice to the moment. TNA made an effort, I can’t dispute that. They brought Sting in and basically gave him the keys to the kingdom. Well, I don’t know if we can refer to TNA as a kingdom but you get the idea.

He was given as much spotlight as he wanted, showcased in every main event way possible and I will be the first to admit that TNA did respect his legacy. Even when Sting decided that channeling Heath Ledger was a good idea, he was still given a lot on TV and TNA kept using him in a big way.

And by all accounts, he had fun while working there. He helped their talent and he undoubtedly became a locker room leader for that company. Sting was the legend that he was advertised to be and he came through for an organization that at times did not really deserve to have someone of his caliber anywhere near their ring.

That’s not an indictment of TNA’s talent of course. We all know the heights that company is capable of thanks to their workers. But we are also very aware of the depths they can sink thanks to the horrible misdirection their “creative” team can take them to.

And yes, the same can be said of WWE. Vince’s company is not perfect and is of course not without its bad points. They fail all the time, they miss the mark and they let fans down quite a bit. But Sting in a WWE ring? Is there any way they can screw that up?

Would they dare to screw that up? Say what you will about Triple H but the man understands what honoring a guy’s legacy is all about. Fans had a better chance of seeing Gillberg in the Hall of Fame before Bruno Sammartino but as soon as Hunter got involved?

Bruno is in. Vince surely had a part of that in some way and we can’t forget about the respect that The Ultimate Warrior was shown before and after his death. This is the company that represents the sport, the history of professional wrestling to the public at large and to fans all over the world.

This is the stage that Sting needs to perform on, the one that he deserves to go out on. When he takes his final bow, it will be in a WWE ring and that is epic, both for him and for the fans that have supported him from day one.

And yes, he will go out against The Undertaker. It’s the best way for him to end it and let’s be honest; it’s really the only way to end it. He may get involved before then and I for one hope he does; yes I’m impatient. After all, to imagine Sting versus Bray Wyatt or possibly even Triple H is more than anyone can ask for and again, if anyone can do that and make it look good, it’s WWE.

But at the end of the day, all roads lead to The Deadman. Sting versus The Undertaker will be the match that is talked about for years to come. And it will also be the one that will end Sting’s storied career. It’s the perfect combination, with the right back-story, told by the best company to do it. This is what pro wrestling is all about and I for one cannot wait to see it happen.

So let’s move this along, shall we? Isn’t 2014 over yet?

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New WWE WrestleMania 31 Card Rumors

October 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WrestleMania 31 rumor mill is back in action after a big report in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. According to the report, the WWE have a few ideas in place for the big event, one of them being a match you probably didn’t see coming.

Dave Meltzer has the latest report and offers speculation on the WrestleMania 31 card. Meltzer says that the WWE are confident that they have their top matches in place. While nothing is 100% confirmed, Meltzer speculates on three that could be coming to your WWE Network in March for the price of $9.99.

The biggest surprise is his speculation on a return to Mania of The Rock. The Rock’s appearances this week have gotten people talking, but it is his taped segment on SmackDown that caught Meltzer’s attention. Meltzer speculates that The Rock could wind up wrestling Triple H at the 2015 event. Meltzer is just as surprised about his own revelation as you probably are reading it here.

I did see the segment that will air this Friday on SmackDown 15 and I am not so sure that I agree with Dave. Dave’s logic is that they wouldn’t have been teasing the match if there wasn’t something to it. However, the takeaway I came away with from that segment is that they were teasing it for WrestleMania 32 in Texas Stadium. Triple H kept referring to 100,000 people and a big stadium. Why they would tease it this far in advance is anyone’s guess. I could also be over-thinking it here, but Triple H mentioned a large crowd several times which leads me to think it is more than coincidence.

The idea most of us had heard about for the last three years was for a Rock vs. Brock Lesnar match at WrestleMania. The match continues to get delayed and after Rock suffered serious injuries against John Cena at 29, I am starting to think that he has no interest in a match that physical. The money is certainly on Lesnar vs. Rock and not Rock vs. Hunter. I think the angles and build up would be fun but I just don’t know how many people are clamoring to see that match one more time.

To that point, Meltzer speculates that the WWE may make a big play to get Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the ring at WrestleMania 32 in Texas. That would certainly make sense, especially when you have such a big stadium to fill. There were numerous reports that indicated the WWE made a play to get him last year for a match with Triple H. The year before we all heard about the Punk vs. Austin Mania rumors. I would think at Austin’s age it is Texas Stadium or never for the Texas Rattlesnake.

Brock Lesnar is still penciled in to be wrestling Roman Reigns in a WWE championship defense. I wouldn’t count on it. I am watching a changing of the guard right now and that change is Reigns to Ambrose. I think by the time we get to Mania that the WWE will have no choice but to swap Ambrose into this spot. He is hot and unless things change he is only going to get hotter. I would be shocked if Amrbose isn’t winning the Royal Rumble and going to WrestleMania.

John Cena has two interesting options according to Meltzer. Hulk Hogan is politicking hard for a Cena match, although I don’t see it happening. I think Hulk has had too many back surgeries and is too old to be placed in that spot. Rusev is the other option and it’s hard to disagree with that one. I could see some swapping here with Rusev vs. Reigns and Cena wrestling someone else but the Rusev match could be pretty big if they can keep him hot until Mania.

Meltzer also reports that there was a plan in place to go with Batista vs. Triple H although he speculates that the plan is dead. I wouldn’t be so sure. I could see them going in this direction with Rock vs. Hunter booked for next year. Meltzer reports that the Batista vs. Hunter match and series would lead to Batista’s retirement. I could easily see that with Batista transitioning to Hollywood full-time.

Where this leaves Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins is a big question. I would imagine if Lesnar does hold the belt through Mania that Rollins would be Reigns’ first challenger. I couldn’t see them beating Reigns that fast which begs the question, what is the plan for Rollins and the briefcase?

And what about Sting? Sting doesn’t appear to be in the plans right now. My hunch is that it all depends on The Undertaker. If Undertaker doesn’t come back I could see Sting working with one of the younger guys like a Bray Wyatt. I think Sting vs. John Cena could be intriguing for a few different reasons. Other than those possibilities I am not sure what you do with him besides maybe Randy Orton or even Sheamus.

It looks like Mania has potential but I still think the big one is 2016 in Texas with 31 being something of an appetizer.

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A History of Havoc: A Look Back at WCW Halloween Havoc Part 1

October 03, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Yes, I am writing something other than Nitro reviews! Of course, it’s in my comfort zone (WCW) and we’re talking about my favorite series of Pay-Per-Views of all time: Halloween Havoc. Without a doubt, some of my fondest memories came from watching the Halloween Havoc events, even if I could only see a scrambled version of Halloween Havoc 1992. The first video I ever rented from Blockbuster was Halloween Havoc 1990, heck the first wrestling article I ever wrote was about Halloween Havoc. Over the next month or so, I’ll cover every event from 1989 to 2000. I’ll be covering three events at the time, this week it is 1989-1991.

Halloween Havoc 1989

I had Halloween Havoc 1989 on tape with SummerSlam 1989 (Helluva combo) and what I believe was a Spanish version of BeetleJuice. The big feud going into this card was The J-Tex Corporation which was comprised of Gary Hart, Terry Funk, The Great Muta and Dick Slater as back-up Terry Funk against Sting and Ric Flair. Many people talk up the NWA in 1989 as the best thing to hit wrestling and I actually have to agree, the roster is loaded, they used licensed music, the TV is great and man those PPV’s are great. Sting and Muta put on some great matches, but Ric Flair against Terry Funk was a feud that was built on two men trying to kill each other. Funk piledrove Flair on a table, Flair beat the snot out of him at Bash ’89 and then TERRY FUNK TRIED TO MURDER RIC FLAIR.

Funk tried to suffocate Flair with a plastic bag at the September Clash of the Champions and Slater took a branding iron to the knee of Sting. Something had to be done, so Flair called in Ole Anderson to back him up to counter Gary Hart. A match was also announced, The Thunderdome cage match. The rules were that the only way to win would be if a designated terminator (Hart for J-Tex, Ole for Sting/Flair) would throw the towel in. No rules, no pins could end it and the goddamn cage would be electrified on top. Also, Bruno Sammartino was made special guest referee, starting a trend of WCW bringing Bruno in whenever they held a card in Philadelphia.

The other big feud was The Skyscrapers vs The Road Warriors and the feud was simple. The Skyscrapers were tall monsters that killed everything in their path and naturally the only team that had a hope in hell of taking them out was The Road Warriors. This was an interesting concept since the Road Warriors rarely went up against monster tag teams (Rare exception being The Powers of Pain), so people actually thought that these guys might take out The Road Warriors. Heck, it wasn’t even billed as a normal tag match; this was a Tag Team Challenge. The other big match was the upstart Brian Pillman going against Lex Luger for the US Title and Doom with Woman against The Steiner Brothers.

So, how is the card you may ask? Well, it may not be on the same level as The 1989 Great American Bash, but it’s still a damn good card. The main event is great with plenty of drama and they worked around the normal tag rules and delivered a great match. The Thunderdome is the drunken and beautiful love child of Hell in a Cell and the blue-bar cage and the opening to War Pigs playing is just an awesome moment. That guitar riff with drums and the siren blaring as the cage slowly lowers as we see the cage for the first is amazing. Road Warriors against Skyscrapers is pretty ugly but it tells a good story in that this is the first time that any time has dominated The Road Warriors. The crowd is hot and the stare down between the two teams is great. Pillman vs Luger is great, another great Luger PPV match and the six man tag between The Midnight Express/Steve Williams vs. The Samoans is a really good match that sneaks up on you.

Halloween Havoc 1990

While this edition didn’t have a blood-feud headlining, it did have an intriguing match headlining. WCW was in a bind, they couldn’t go with a Sting/Flair rematch, so they went with Sid vs Sting. This presented a problem; Sid was over because of his squash matches but was rather limited in the ring and Sting’s reign wasn’t going so well. Going into one of the bigger pay-per-views, you’d think the company would put all their might behind turning the reign around. They tried, and they promptly fell on their face. They introduced The Black Scorpion, a potentially interesting character that was quickly ruined by Ole Anderson who would later blame Dusty Rhodes. Would the distraction of The Black Scorpion lead to a new champion or would we see something really really stupid happening?

Besides that, there wasn’t a big number two feud going into the show, it was comprised of good feuds but nothing really stood out.  The company was trying to push Flair down the card, so he was stuck in a feud teaming with Arn against Doom. Stan Hansen and Lex Luger were feuding, but The Steiner Brothers against The Nasty Boys had some hype. I have to give WCW credit; they used a house show at the UIC Pavilion to hype the card by having contract signings for the big matches as a way to hype the card. The Nasty Boys put a beating on the Steiners to build up their match, the Sting and Sid signing went smoothly, but Sid hit Sting with an absolutely awful piledriver on a chair after the Sting/Scorpion match.

So, how is the card? Well, you do have some pretty bad matches (Par for the course for WCW PPVs in this period), but damn this card has great matches. If you’re a tag team wrestling fan, this card is for you since this card has three great tag matches. The Midnight Express against Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich is a great opener, Doom against Flair and Anderson is good despite the crappy finish and The Steiner Brothers against Nasty Boys is an all-out classic is you love watching The Steiners killing fat guys with suplexes.

Lex Luger against Stan Hansen is another good Luger PPV match and I realize that I’m of the few guys in the Luger was a good worker boat. As for the main event, well it wasn’t a great sign that the crowd was an even 50/50 and Sting wasn’t up for carrying Sid to a good match. The finish, despite its stupidity was at-least creative and it seemed like something the Horsemen would hatch up to get the belt off Sting. It still wasn’t a good sign that the crowd popped when Sid “won”. If they wanted a heel that could get heat on Sting, I would have went with Windham in this spot and Sid at a Clash card. Still, give this one a watch on the Network.

Halloween Havoc 1991

WCW Pay per Views in 1991 started off rather well with SuperBrawl and Wrestle War, but went on a nosedive after the Great American Bash. Halloween Havoc keeps the trend going as the company stumbles and falls badly.

The Chamber of Horrors….I have no words for how badly WCW messed this match up. First, it could have been much worse as the heel team was Oz, Barry Windham, One Man Gang and The Diamond Studd. Luckily, Gang quit, Windham turned face and they benched Oz. They added Cactus Jack, Abdullah The Butcher, and Vader to face Sting, The Steiners and El Gigante. What slays me is that the concept of the match is just so bad. You have the ThunderCage (Renamed after WB’s lawyers got lawsuit-y), a whole bunch of weapons and workers that could thrive in this type of match. So, how do you win the match? You put a member of the opposing team in the Chair of Torture, and yes it’s as stupid as it sounds. The chair is encased in a cage that is lowered into the middle of the ring, cutting off any action that could take place in the ring. Add in the ref with a goofy ass helmet camera, stupid weapons, ghoul medics and you have yourself a Gooker Award winner. How about this for the Chamber of Horrors: You have handcuffs around ringside (shackles to go with the Halloween theme) and the first team to successfully cuff the opposing team to the cage wins. It’s not much, but it’s better a lame electric chair gimmick. Yet, you should watch it for one reason.

Cactus frigging Jack.

Jack takes an absolute beating in the match and while everybody is lifelessly brawling, Cactus takes numerous weapons shot to the face, the Steinerizer, Steiner DDT, bleeds, gets thrown to outside and hits the cage face-first and it smart enough to fix the lever when it falls to the on position. Just an awful, awful match, but Mick Foley really tries to make it watchable. Besides that, the card is pretty bad with the exception of three other matches. Bobby Eaton and Terry Taylor deliver a solid match, Dustin Rhodes has a great match with Steve Austin and you can see that Rhodes was busting his behind to get out of the “Dusty’s Son” stigma. The main event between Luger and Ron Simmons is once again a good Luger match, who solidified himself as the Halloween Havoc MVP for the first three years.

The best part about Halloween Havoc 1991 is the debut of Rick Rude. Besides a killer promo from Dangerously and Rude, it sets the stage for The Dangerous Alliance. It also set the stage for the greatness that is WCW 1992. Until Bill Watts forces WCW by gunpoint into a time machine and turns it into 1977 Mid-South.

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