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John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries WWE DVD Review

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

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that John Cena has been involved in most of the biggest feuds in this modern-day era of WWE. A new DVD and blu-ray release chronicles his ten best in John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

This new home video release is a quasi-documentary/match collection offering the best of both in spots, yet leaving viewers wanting a little more in others. The format of the DVD features the 15-time WWE champion breaking down his greatest rivalries, one rival at a time which then cuts to a match or series of matches between the two. The collection spans three discs so you will be getting plenty of John Cena if you are looking to add a little more Cena to your video collection.

Unlike the documentary DVDs, Cena doesn’t get into much detail with each rivalry, just offering a brief synopsis with some analysis from the future Hall of Fame superstar. Unfortunately you probably won’t learn much new or get in on any backstage dirt but that was not the intent of the DVD. It was presented like a Top 10 collection you’d see on the NFL Network with players talking about topics sandwiched between highlights, although in this case you are getting the full matches.

The ten rivals featured on the discs are…

  • Chris Jericho
  • Batista
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Shawn Michaels
  • Edge
  • Randy Orton
  • Triple H
  • The Rock
  • JBL
  • CM Punk (Blu-ray only)

The biggest disappointment here is the omission of Punk on the main disc. The Punk-Cena rivalry is arguably the biggest of Cena’s career. I think most fans will expect to buy the DVD with the Punk rivalry chronicled for obvious reasons. Leaving Punk off of the main disc out of spite is a bit disingenuous with unsuspecting customers. He is on the blu-ray anyway! If you aren’t going to include him fine, but you aren’t screwing with Punk here, you are screwing with the customers who assume that Cena’s greatest rival would be included on a DVD entitled John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

That said, there are some gems on here. Cena has been around weekly for so long that you sometimes forget about some of the fun matches he had back at the start of his ascension. A great feud I completely forgot about was Cena’s rivalry with Eddie Guerrero. The Parking Lot Brawl in particular was a fun match I’d venture to say that most of us have forgotten about in recent years.

I will say that you start to rethink Cena a bit after you watch the collection. He isn’t nearly as bad as most think he is. I think a lot of the Cena-hate comes down to the overexposure of Cena and the lack of quality opponents the company has had for him in recent years. Take a quick look at the list of rivals and you’ll notice that all but Orton aren’t competing in the WWE today. There is a reason that no recent feud other than The Rock is featured in the collection.

Overall I’d say this was a fun collection which serves a great defense of Cena as an in-ring performer. He is much more than his “Five Moves of Doom” and when inspired, can put on a hell of a match. I also think it goes without saying that if you are going to buy this collection, spend a few extra bucks on the blu-ray for the Punk rivalry.

DISC 1

Book of Knowledge

Number One Contender’s Tournament Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – April 3, 2003

Chicken Soup

Parking Lot Brawl
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – September 11, 2003

Honed My Craft

OVW Championship Match
Prototype vs. Leviathan
Ohio Valley Wrestling – February 23, 2002

Different Dynamic

WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Batista
Extreme Rules – April 25, 2010

Special Individual

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – April 23, 2007

Learned So Much

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – March 10, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels

DISC 2

Gifted

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam – August 26, 2007

Brought out the Best

John Cena vs. Randy Orton
RAW – February 10, 2014

Hard-Nosed

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. JBL
WrestleMania 21 – April 3, 2005

Heavily-Calloused

John Cena vs. JBL
RAW – June 9, 2008

Talk you into Building

“You’re Fired! Match” for the WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
RAW – August 22, 2005

Gave Me a Chance

World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Survivor Series – November 23, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Randy Orton

DISC 3

Old Shoe

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Edge
RAW – October 2, 2006

Who Am I ?

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Edge
Backlash – April 26, 2009

Measuring Stick

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Triple H
WrestleMania 22 – April 2, 2006

Advice

John Cena vs. Triple H
RAW – October 19, 2009

Global Phenomenon

John Cena & The Rock Q&A
RAW – March 25, 2013

Sequel

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. The Rock
WrestleMania XXIX – April 7, 2013

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: The Rock

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

Underlying Passion

John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – November 23, 2009

Trying To Do My Job

Number One Contender’s Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – February 25, 2013

John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries [Blu-ray]

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Top 10 WWE Hell In A Cell Matches

October 25, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Hell in a Cell match has become one of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Started in 1997, the HIAC match features blood, drama, action, and intensity. Today I celebrate this classic by looking back at the ten best in WWE history.

Like anything else, Hell in a Cell has had its ups and down. Fortunately for most WWE fans, there have been more ups than downs. The concept has been watered down a bit since over the years with the reduction of blood and excess matches. Lucky for us, there are plenty of classics that remind us why this one is just that good.

I always like to remind redears that like any top ten list it is all a matter of opinion. If you agree, disagree, or feel that I left one off the list, let me know and leave a comment. Until then, here are my top ten WWE Hell in a Cell matches in match history.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Badd Blood 1997 - Some of you may argue between this and number two and I can certainly respect that. For me, this match was not only the greatest Hell in a Cell match ever, it is also one of my top ten favorite matches overall of all-time. This was Shawn Michaels at his best and in my opinion and arguably the best match from The Undertaker’s storied WWE career.

Mankind vs. The Undertaker, King of the Ring 1998 - It is hard to argue with this one not being at the top. I went back and forth several times. The drama in this match is second to none. However, I just felt that Michaels vs. Undertaker was a better match overall. Mick Foley set a dangerous standard here which has never been repeated. It was historic, physical, and a masterpiece in a lot of ways. I still liked Michaels vs. Undertaker slightly better when watching these two back, but I have no problem with anyone arguing this one number one.

Triple H vs. Batista, Vengeance 2005 - To me this is an often forgotten about classic. For as much criticism that Triple H and even Batista have gotten at times, this match really should silence any and all critics. I also remember the finish being a shocker at the time as nobody expected Hunter to lose all of those matches to Batista. This one even featured some cool weapons including a chain contraption. The match and storyline here behind the feud were some of the best of all-time.

Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, Bad Blood 2004 - One recurring theme you’ll see in this blog is that you’ll see a lot of names more than once. Triple H and of course Shawn Michaels are repeat offenders and with good reason. The storyline of both being undefeated in HIAC matches also created great drama in this one. How good was this match? An epic 47 minute masterpiece is how good it was. You Tube has plenty of highlights but you really owe it to yourself to check out the full match if you get that opportunity. The chemistry between these two guys here was unreal.

Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Rikishi, Armageddon 2000 - This match is probably better known for Rikishi’s bump than the actual match itself. However, in looking back at the videos this was one of the most fun HIAC matches. How can you go wrong having all six of these superstars in one Hell in a Cell match? The answer is simple, you can’t.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (No Mercy 2002) - This is a really interesting match in that you have some fans that will argue that this was one of the best HIAC matches ever where you have a whole other set of fans that don’t even remember it. I am in the middle. I thought this one had a lot of fun spots, not what you’d expect from two big men. Lesnar retained in a match that was one of his best of his entire first WWE run.

Edge vs. The Undertaker, SummerSlam 2008 - Like several matches on this list, this one is another forgotten classic. Edge and The Undertaker I thought had one of the most underrated feuds a few years back. They had tremendous chemistry and SummerSlam 2008 may have been their finest moment. This match had it all including Edge’s specialty; tables, ladders, and chairs. Quite frankly this was one of the most thrilling Hell in a Cell matches of all.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 28 - Once again, Triple H pops up on the list. This one is still fresh in our minds and in terms of drama, it doesn’t get much better than this one. Shawn Michaels was the referee and while the match didn’t have your usual Hell in a Cell theatrics, it told a hell of a story. This one was bloody, brutal, and intense and arguably not only one of the best Hell in a Cell matches, but one of the best WrestleMania matches in Mania history.

Triple H vs. Mick Foley, No Way Out 2000 - This would have been higher up on the list if it served as the true retirement match for Mick Foley that it was promoted to be. The emotional sendoff at the end of the match could have gone down as one of the best ever if it stood. The bloody match had some thrilling moments battling at the top of the cage as well as a flaming barbed wire bat. They tried to replay Foley’s sick bump from King of the Ring but it wasn’t quite the same. Nonetheless it was certainly a great one and a match that belongs on any Hell in a Cell list.

The Undertaker and Steve Austin vs. Mankind and Kane, RAW Is War 1998 - This was one of the most exciting matches on RAW during the Attitude Era. The match was held right before King of the Ring to build up the two main-events. The big moment of this action-packed match came when Austin climbed the cage and attacked Kane on top which saw the crowd just got absolutely nuts. Jim Ross in particular is fantastic with the call here.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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The Rock vs. Triple H is Old News That Deserves to Be Repeated

October 16, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s that time again; WrestleMania season is nearly upon us. Okay it’s not, but it sure feels like it is. After all, fans are already starting to hit the dirtsheets, looking for the latest rumors of match-ups that may take place on March 29 2015.

The top names are the only ones anyone’s really concerned about of course and those are the ones currently being speculated about the most. Brock Lesnar is supposedly still meant to pass the torch to Roman Reigns, Sting is apparently finally going to face The Undertaker and John Cena might work Rusev. That only leaves Triple H and The Rock; you do the math.

It was all just a rumor to begin with and I for one treated it as such. Fans talk all the time and even the most “knowledgeable” sites are laughable at best.

But don’t look now, seems like they may have gotten one right.

The spot that ran backstage between Hunter and The Rock on the 15th anniversary episode of SmackDown basically set up their match at Mania. And it was unlike any match set up in recent memory, which makes it different and actually gives us a little more time to digest the whole idea of it.

So how does it taste to you so far?

This didn’t start with The Rock interrupting The Authority, or Triple H condemning The Great One for attacking Rusev. This renewed heat is not the result of a falling out or disagreement of any kind. This time, a WrestleMania main event bout is born due to old wounds that just won’t close.

And it was the most entertaining moment that we have seen in a long time.

But that should not be a surprise to anyone, the fact this is what these guys do. Anyone can sit back and debate their physical skills and whether or not they have lost a step in the ring but no one can argue each guy’s ability on the mic.

We’ve seen Triple H versus The Rock quite a bit before but after SmackDown 15? I’m up for another one.

I can only imagine the complaining that’s going on right now among some fans, though. Of all the matches that we thought might go down at Mania, this is likely one of the last ones we expected. And for those fans that are currently upset it’s happening the argument is probably pretty typical.

“Good Lord this is lame. Who’s booking this crap?”

Truth be told, I’ve uttered those very words myself on occasion. After 30 plus years of being a fan, I’ve said them more often than I care to remember. But no matter how boring it may appear to be or how weak the basis for it is, the fact is that this match is one that will be worth the price of admission.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, however. There’s no guarantee it’s going to happen, only the carrot of possibility that’s been dangled in front of us. So before we go any further with speculation on this, why should we want to see it happen again?

First off, what’s the alternative? CM Punk is gone, so that’s one Triple H opponent out of the equation. Shawn Michaels has legit walked away and shows no signs of ever returning for one more match, so there’s no possibility of that happening. Daniel Bryan is still out and he’s already worked Hunter at Mania, even if he’s back in time, why go down that road again?

So, Triple H’s dance card is empty. But what about The Rock?

Roman Reigns was perhaps a possibility at one time, especially after The Shield took Rocky down on Monday Night Raw. But too much time has passed on that one. There is an outside chance of Seth Rollins being the man to step up but there’s probably not enough money in that yet. Lesnar could be the guy for Rocky but does anyone really want to see The People’s Champ become the WWE World Heavyweight champ again? Of course, there’s John Cena; no don’t say it, I’m only kidding.

So, The Rock has nothing to do either. Well, except make movies. And money. Lots of money.

Truth be told, The Rock and Triple H have no one to fight but each other. They are default opponents and because of that, many fans are likely seeing red right now. And to those fans, I can only respectfully say shut up. Shut your mouth.

The bottom line is the match will be top notch. It will entertain on every level and it will leave fans wanting more. By the end of this bout, the crowd will be on its feet applauding out of respect; not because they couldn’t wait to see it and not because it’s a dream match. They will applaud because they appreciate the work that both men will do to entertain.

We spend a lot of time as fans talking about The Attitude Era. The Superstars, the storylines, the crazy angles, all of it has practically become the stuff of legend at this point. So when two of those stars step into a WrestleMania ring, fans should appreciate what they’re seeing. Triple H versus The Rock doesn’t have to happen but WWE knows it will work.

They also know that it will get over. Hate all you want, this match will deliver. Maybe it’s not WrestleMania season just yet but perhaps it should be. I’m ready, aren’t you?

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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WWE SmackDown 15 Results & October 10 Recap

October 12, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Tonight is the 15th anniversary of SmackDown. The show opens with some clips over the past 15 years.

The first-ever SmackDown GM and co-head of the Authority, Stephanie McMahon makes her way down to the ring. She welcomes the crowd to the show, then asks who remembers the star who coined the phrase “SmackDown”. She points out that it was the Rock, then points out he lost to Triple H on the first episode. As the first-ever GM of this show, she gets to share many moments with the people tonight. The people represent something…

John Laurinaitis of all people interrupts this segment. A “People Power” chant starts. He reintroduces himself, and he thought who better to help celebrate than the man who created the greatest movement ever in WWE history, “People Power”. He’s been doing a lot of research on the WWE Network, he’s learned a lot and has a lot of matches to make. For example…

Teddy Long now joins the festivities to, admittedly, a huge pop. JBL starts dancing at ringside before running over to shake Long’s hand. We get a “Teddy” chant. He says he was the GM of the show for 6 years, and he’ll be damned if he’ll let Laurinaitis take it away again. Laurinaitis says he was better than Long then, and now. He and Steph aren’t feeling Long, but Laurinaitis is going to give the fans what they want tonight, and that’s a tag team match. Tonight, Damien Mizdow and Cesaro will face Sheamus and Jack Swagger. Can you feel that? Long says he’d make it a 6-man match, adding Bo Dallas and Mark Henry to the respective teams. Laurinaitis makes it a 10-man, adding Gold & Stardust, and the Usos. Long says that, since this is the 15th anniversary of SmackDown, he’s going to propose something that has never been done a before, that being a 15-man tag team match. Laurinaitis says that can’t be done. Long adds Mini-Gator and Slater Gator to the heel team, while adding Los Matadores, El Torito and Tito Santana to the face team. Steph says Tito isn’t here, but she likes the idea. Long says each team will have 7 1/2 men, so it works. Steph says these two are always in competition, so she’s going to steal an idea from WM 28, making it Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny. The two pick their teams, and the winner goes down as the greatest GM in SmackDown history.

Moving on, she points out that the match on RAW was made for John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose at HIAC, with the winner facing Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell Match the same night. So tonight, Miz will host a face-to-face with both Ambrose and Cena.

Adam Rose and the Exotic Express make their way out. I thought WWE had given up on this asshat? JBL points out he’s undefeated, which is the sad, pathetic truth. He says it’s time to party to honor 15 years of the show, but what’s a party without himself? He then tells Steph don’t be a lemon; be a Rosebud. Steph says it is indeed party time, and Rose should be in action, so up next, it will be Rose vs. Kane. She asks for the sound guy to hit Rose’s music, then starts mocking his dancing. Long starts dancing as well. Laurinaitis also starts to dance.

We get a video of the aforementioned Rock/Triple H match from the first episode.

MATCH 1: ADAM ROSE (W/THE EXOTIC EXPRESS) VS. CORPORATE KANE
Kane comes out and says he’s not a cheeseburger, a bunny, a lemon and certainly not a Rosebud. From time to time, he’s a demon. But tonight, he’s a party pooper.

Rose skips around the ring after avoiding a lock-up. He hits a kick, ducks an elbow, ducks a clothesline and goes for a cross-body. Kane catches him and goes for a powerslam, but Rose turns it into a sleeper. Kane breaks it by backing into the corner. Rose boots him out of the corner and goes up top. Kane nails him with an uppercut in mid-air, then hits the chokeslam for 3.

WINNER: CORPORATE KANE.

The Exotic Express all hit the ring to check on Rose, and Kane goes back in. He nails several of them until only the Bunny is left standing. Another Rosebud enters the ring, and Kane drops him with a chokeslam. The same things happens to a second one. The Bunny falls down in the corner, so two more come in. Kane hits them with a double chokeslam as the Bunny flees to the back.

Another video, and this one is the debut of John Cena in 2002 against Kurt Angle.

MATCH 2: WWE DIVAS CHAMPION AJ LEE VS. ALICIA FOX (W/PAIGE) (NON-TITLE)
Fox knocks down Lee as Paige is holding onto the Divas title outside. Fox throws Lee to the corner, then hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Fox applies a rear chinlock, but Lee elbows out. Fox hits her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2, then goes for a standard one. Lee counters it into the Black Widow, and Fox taps out.

WINNER: AJ LEE.

Paige attacks Lee from behind after the match. Lee comes back with a pair of roundhouses for Paige and Fox, then throws Fox into Paige.

Video #3: A collection of high-risk moves and big spots over the years.

MATCH 3: SETH ROLLINS (W/JOEY MERCURY AND JAMIE NOBLE) VS. KOFI KINGSTON
Rollins goes on the attack, backing Kofi to the corner and stomping him down. Rollins kicks him to the floor, then hurls him into the barricade twice. Rollins breaks the count, then hotshots Kofi onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Rollins nails a clothesline before grinding his forearm into Kofi’s head. Rollins hits a crossface punch, then a few more punches in the corner. Rollins stomps him down once more. He beals Kofi across the ring before raking at his face through the ropes. Kofi comes back with a quick small package for 2, then hits a pair of knees out of the corner. He connects with a clothesline, a back-chop and a dropkick. Rollins ducks a jumping clothesline and hits the Sling Blade. He pounds away at Kofi, then powerbombs him into the buckles. Rollins does it once more, then hits the curb stomp for 3.

WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.

We see the video of Bray Wyatt releasing Luke Harper from the Wyatt Family.

Video #4: Edge and Jack Swagger cashing in their MITB cases.

MATCH 4: RUSEV (W/LANA) VS. INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (NON-TITLE)
Ziggler avoids a charge in the corner and hits a few week body blows. Rusev shakes them off and kicks Ziggler down. He stomps Ziggler, then stands on his face before applying a head-and-arm. Ziggler elbows out, then hits a dropkick. He misses a corner splash and goes flying to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Ziggler nails some rights and goes for a cross-body. Rusev catches him, sets him on the top rope, hits a few kneelifts and then hits a high fall-away slam. He locks Ziggler in a front chancery and pulls him down into a guillotine choke. Ziggler hits a few punches to break the hold. Rusev comes back by standing on Ziggler’s face. Ziggler comes back with a jawbreaker, nails some more rights, ducks a clothesline and hits another dropkick. He mounts the middle rope for some punches, and Rusev shoves him off. Ziggler avoids a kick and goes for the leaping DDT. Rusev powers through and goes for the fall-away again. Ziggler lands on his feet, avoids a corner splash and nails the rocker dropper for 1. Rusev blocks a superkick and flips Ziggler over. Ziggler lands on his feet, but gets put down immediately with a jumping side kick. Rusev locks in the Accolade and gets the submission win.

WINNER: RUSEV.

Lana says Philadelphia (where the taping is taking place tonight) is the birthplace of America, which is why this country never had a chance to succeed. On RAW, they encountered an all-American, the Rock. Rock is a coward. Lana then loses her sh*t in Russian before handing the mic to Rusev. He says “The Rock will pay for the consequences”. Big Show, you garbage American, you’ll pay for this, too. He challenges Show to a match on RAW this coming Monday, then says Show will be crushed.

Video #5: The highly underrated supermarket brawl between Booker T and Steve Austin.

Lilian Garcia welcomes former SmackDown GM Booker T into the arena. He’ll be on commentary for the next match.

Video #6: Steve Austin tortures the Corporation and DX, then blows up the DX Express.

MATCH 5: MARK HENRY, WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION SHEAMUS, JACK SWAGGER, THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY), LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO) AND EL TORITO (W/TEDDY LONG) VS. WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS GOLD & STARDUST, LIL’ GATOR, SLATER GATOR (TITUS O’NEIL & HEATH SLATER), BO DALLAS, DAMIEN MIZDOW AND CESARO (W/JOHN LAURINAITIS)
Swagger’s got a nasty black eye. Fernando and Goldust start, and Goldust shoves Fernando before throwing him across the ring. Goldust nails a couple punches in the corner, and Fernando comes back with chops. Goldust calls for a test of strength, then slugs Fernando. Fernando comes back with an elbow out of the corner, then hits a hurricanrana from the middle, sending Goldust to the floor. Stardust hits the ring, and Fernando throws him to the corner. Diego takes him down with a spinning headscissors from the apron, sending him to the corner. Slater comes in and eats a double dropkick. Both teams hit the ring, but the ref restores order before a brawl can break out. Commercials.

Back from the break, one of the Usos and Titus are the legal men, with the Uso beating on Titus in the corner. Titus comes back with a big punch and tags in Goldust. Goldust hits a few strikes and tags in Slater. Slater clubs the Uso down, then tags in Stardust. Stardust hits a headbutt, but it’s no good. Uso comes back with shots of his own, then tags in the other Uso. I learn this is Jey. Jey hits a series of chops in the corner, then whips him across the ring. Stardust backdrops Jey to the outside, where Jey lands on his feet. He nails Stardust, then nails an incoming Goldust as well. The distraction is enough for Stardust to hit the Disaster Kick, sending Jey to the floor. Stardust heads outside and throws Jey into the barricade, then rolls him back in. Goldust tags in and hits a few kneedrops. Jey is thrown into the corner, and Gator tags in, hitting a low avalanche. Slater tags in, stomps Jey and tags in Mizdow. Mizdow hits a bodyslam and a jumping kneedrop for 2. Jey gets back to his feet, but Mizdow grinds him back down. Titus tags in and boots Jey to a chorus of boos (the crowd wanted more Mizdow). Titus picks Jey up on his shoulder and drops down for a backbreaker. He stomps Jey in the corner, then clubs him down as a “Damien Mizdow” chant breaks out. Jey hits a boot out of the corner. Cesaro tags in and hits the deadlift gutwrench suplex. Commercials.

Back from the break, Slater is legal, and Jey is nailing him with rights. He goes for a tag, but Slater pulls him back. He spins Jey around, Jey continues to spin and blasts Slater with a kick. Cesaro makes the tag, walks over Jey and knocks Henry to the floor. He turns around into a back-body drop by Jey, who tags in Sheamus. Sheamus attacks everyone on the heel team, then rams Cesaro with a shoulder thrust before knocking him to the apron with a running kneelift. He goes for the 10 Beats, but only gets a few in before Stardust interferes. Sheamus blocks an attack and ties him up for the 10 Beats instead. Slater tries the same thing and receives the same fate as Sheamus trades off between all three. Cesaro hits a hotshot, but then gets hit with White Noise for 2 as Mizdow breaks it up. Swagger enters the ring and drops him with an elevated belly-to-belly. Slater in, and he hits a Harlem Side Kick, pleasing Booker T in the process. Titus comes in and clotheslines Swagger to the floor. Los Matadores go for a double-team, but Slater Gator see it coming. However, they don’t see the Usos on the outside, who trip Slator Gator and drag them to the floor. The Usos hold the ropes open, allowing Los Matadores to hit a pair of suicide dives. Gold & Stardust get backdropped to the outside, and now the Usos hit a pair of suicide dives on the entire other team, including Laurinaitis. Gator is in the ring, and Torito sends him outside with a dropkick. He goes for a suicide dive, but Dallas intercepts him and avalanche powerbombs him to the floor outside on the other wrestlers. Henry comes in and goes for the WSS, but Dallas escapes and low-bridges Henry to the floor. Sheamus in, and he levels Dallas with a Brogue Kick. Cesaro comes in and hits the first Cesaro Swing in ages, hitting 15 revolutions until Jimmy drops him with a superkick. Stardust clotheslines Jimmy to the floor. Mizdow tags in to a huge pop and goes for the SKF. Sheamus breaks free by backing into the corner. He snapmares Mizdow off and hits the Brogue Kick. Jey tags himself in and hits the Samoan Splash for 3.

WINNERS: MARK HENRY, LOS MATADORES, SHEAMUS, JACK SWAGGER, EL TORITO AND THE USOS.

Much like the Luke Harper video earlier, we see a video package of Bray Wyatt releasing Erick Rowan from the Wyatt Family as well.

The Miz is in the ring for MizTV. He blathers on to the delight of no one, then shows us what happened on RAW between Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and John Cena. Back to the arena, Miz announces that Cena/Ambrose will be a Contract-on-a-Pole Match. Why? Why? Why?

Miz finally gets to introducing his guests, bringing Ambrose out first, followed by Cena. Miz points out Ambrose embarrassed Cena on RAW, then asks why. Ambrose says Cena needs to know that no one crosses Ambrose. He lives by a code that he doesn’t take crap from anyone. If you do him wrong, he’ll make you pay for it. Rollins crossed him, and he can’t live with himself until he sets it right. Rollins in HIAC belongs to him, and Cena is coming dangerously close to stealing that from him. Nobody steals from him, no matter how high on the food chain you are. Cena says he’s impressed. He watches everything and listens to everything. Ever since Ambrose came to WWE, those behind the curtain have been worried about him. Ambrose is unstable, dangerous, loves the business and will not stop until he achieves success. Groups like the Authority waste resources to look for the next guy who has “it”. Ambrose proved he has “it” on RAW, but his definition of “it” is a bit different. He pulls a pair of baseballs out of his pocket and says this is what it takes to be a success in the business before saying Miz has no balls. Ambrose impressed him. It’s what everyone has wanted to see. The fans want to see someone with balls who isn’t afraid to stand up to Cena. At HIAC, Ambrose is going to make Cena earn a victory. They don’t see eye-to-eye, but Ambrose is looking into a mirror when he looks at Cena. They’re cut from the same cloth. There is a reason Cena can always come down to the ring with his head high, because he’s proved to everyone that, after 12 years, he’s got two things: balls and his word, and he breaks neither for nobody. Ambrose needs to bring his A-game, and he may not know Cena now, but after that match, he’ll know Cena’s name. Cena likes his chances. This is…a really terrible promo by Cena. Miz repeats what Cena just said, then starts kissing his ass. He asks if Ambrose really has a chance. Ambrose simply says, “Yep.” Miz asks how he’ll do it. Ambrose says he doesn’t think he’s going to do it; he knows he’ll do it. Miz then repeats Ambrose, calling him a rookie in the process. Cena tells him to shut up, then says he’ll see Ambrose at the PPV. Miz doesn’t like that response and starts egging Cena on. He wants to stir the pot and see a brawl. These two are ruining the show. A fight is what people want to see. Cena says Miz is right. People want to see Cena and Ambrose fight. However, Miz has it wrong. They don’t want to see Cena and Ambrose fight each other. Philadelphia wants to see them fight Miz. The two then club the hell out of Miz. Cena goes for the AA, but drops Miz and throws him into Ambrose, who drops Miz with a double-arm DDT. Cena then hits Ambrose with an AA as we see Seth Rollins watching this on a monitor in the back.

End of show.

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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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Triple H Talks Rock, Hell in a Cell, SmackDown, and More

October 09, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Triple H does a weekly segment on WWE.com with Michael Cole called the Hot Seat. Hunter generally speaks on these interviews in a worked shoot mode, sometimes more one than the other. This week’s interview appears to be more shoot which features plenty of conversation about The Rock.

Hunter and Rock had a great rivalry in the Attitude Era so it is always fun to hear Triple H talk about the Great One. Hunter tells Cole how the WWE pulled off The Rock’s appearance and gives a lot credit to Rusev and Lana. It is quite an endorsement from the C.O.O.

Hunter also talks about the new match made for Hell in a Cell between John Cena and Dean Ambrose. Here you can see Hunter go more into working/promoter mode in how he answers the question. Hunter teases more conversation about Hell in a Cell in next week’s interview.

Finally, Hunter talks about 15 years of SmackDown. Hunter mentions that more SmackDown shows have been taped in Philadelphia than any other city which is something I never knew. Hunter teases the segment between him and The Rock on SmackDown. I saw the segment at the tapings and it was fantastic, well worth going out of your way to see.

Trips and Cole also talk some more RAW, Ambrose vs. Cena, and more. Check it out here.

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Five WWE SmackDown 15 Taping Takeaways

October 08, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I attended the WWE SmackDown 15 taping in Philadelphia, PA this week with my niece (Hi Alyssa) and brother-in-law. Rather than give you the typical spoiler rundown of the results, I thought it would be more interesting to give you some quick takeaways from the big anniversary event.

One thing I should note before I get into the takeaways and news from Tuesday’s taping is that this was the first WWE live event I have attended in 15 years. Ironically the last event was a SmackDown taping in Trenton, NJ. Needless to say the presentation is entirely different as we are talking Attitude Era vs. PG era WWE. So with that in mind, here are my five takeaways from the big anniversary event.

So that was an anniversary show? – I have to admit I got pretty excited when news broke that the Tuesday taping was going to be presented as the 15th anniversary event. I look back at the big RAW milestone shows and they were always full of surprises and big matches. I expected the same Tuesday, especially with 15 years to celebrate. What I got instead was nothing more than an ordinary SmackDown show with some very minor surprise.

The “celebration” was disappointing. I expected much more. The biggest surprises were the returns of Teddy Long and John Laurinitus. That was it! Sure, you got The Rock in a tremendous taped segment with Triple H but that was the extent of it. Expenses were certainly mitigated here as the WWE didn’t even bring Hulk Hogan back for the event. I think I’ll temper expectations for future anniversary events.

Strange timing for a NHB Ladder Match at Hell in a Cell. – In case you missed it, a stipulation was added to the John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose at Hell in a Cell. The match will not only be a No Holds Barred Match, but it will also be a ladder match as the winner must grab a contract to wrestle Seth Rollins which will hung above the ring. This screams of a lack of creativity from the WWE. It is very reminiscent of WCW and TNA when they’d just throw stipulation matches around with little reason or regard for future booking.

The stipulation would be fine if not for two important factors. The first factor being that it will take place on Hell in a Cell. Isn’t the HIAC enough to draw viewers to the $9.99 WWE Network? The second and most important factor is that the next special event is Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. Why in the world would you book this the month before you are trying to sell an entire show based on that very same concept? Overall it just seems like a case of poor planning to me.

Dolph Ziggler is a machine! – I walked into the show as Ziggler was wrestling Bo Dallas. I think we can all agree that Bo is nothing special in the ring. I am sure he is a nice guy but he isn’t what I’d call a Blue Chipper or standout. Yet Dolph made this kid look like a million bucks. Dolph worked like a maniac throughout the match, running and bumping like he was working the WrestleMania main-event. I have always been a fan but seeing him live gave me more of an appreciation for how talented he really is. I don’t know what this guy did to get on the boss’ wrong side but he deserves a lot more than what he has gotten the last year.

Why in the world is The Rock hanging out with Triple H? – I don’t want to spoil too much but The Rock taped a segment which will air on SmackDown in which he walks into Triple H’s dressing room to reminisce with the Game. The segment is one of the best I have seen on WWE television in months, and credit goes to both men for that. Rock and Triple H argue a bit about their past rivalry and then start pontificating about a future WrestleMania match. The segment ends with Stephanie walking back in the dressing room, calming them down, and then sending them both off to eat dinner together. In the words of Steve Austin, “What?”!

This goes back to a blog I wrote several weeks ago about the WWE wanting it both ways with Stephanie and Hunter. One minute they are the dastardly authority figures screwing with John Cena and Dean Ambrose and the very next night they are going to dinner with arguably the most popular star in the WWE. That makes zero sense to me! Additionally, why would a character like The Rock be going to dinner with the guy cheating the fans and screwing the heroes? As great as this segment was and it was tremendous it made zero sense to me.

Dean Ambrose is the future WrestleMania headliner, not Roman Reigns. – The WWE really have something with Dean Ambrose. As much as we all hate the idea of someone losing their spot due to injury, the timing of Roman Reigns’ injury is the opportunity that Ambrose needed. The fans in Philadelphia just loved him and he was far and away the most popular wrestler of the night.

I think it is becoming more evident by the week that it is Ambrose, not Reigns who should be the future of this company. He certainly isn’t the prototypical WWE superstar that Vince and Triple H would choose to be the face of their company. However, he has something that no other babyface has had in years. He is authentic and he is someone the fans can relate to. Even CM Punk as popular as he was in 2011 lacked the authenticity that Ambrose has. Quite frankly I never expected the jeans look to work for the guy but what it has done is make him something of a common man. There is a lot of Stone Cold Steve Austin in Dean Ambrose and that is something the company has not had in many years.

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Has The Rock Returned Or Is He Just Teasing Us?

October 08, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE either did the smartest thing it has done in months or created too much buzz over a potential one-time appearance when The Rock walked into Raw Monday night and laid the smack down on Rusev. While the thousands in attendance in New Jersey watched with excitement – as only The Rock can deliver, it raised more questions as to what direction the company is turning, and more importantly when and if this might lead to a showdown between “The People’s Champ” and the current champion of the WWE, Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar is on a short schedule right now with the company and will not be defending his WWE World Title at Hell in a Cell this month, which for me and the millions (and millions) of wrestling fans does not sit well. Scheduling issues, contract issues and no true opponent for Lesnar on the current roster have left holes in a lineup up can drive a tractor trailer through.

The WWE has been famous for bringing back veteran superstars who have spent short stints in the company with the hope of making a baseball-like save, only to leave in time. There have also been wrestlers like Chris Jericho who repeatedly come and go, help put rising stars over, and then there are wrestlers like Batista where things go south faster than a Roman Reigns spear.

As Eric Gargiulo pointed out in his story “The Rock Returns to WWE RAW,” (http://camelclutchblog.com/the-rock-returns-to-wwe-raw/) The WWE desperately needed that boost from The Rock. Other than Dean Ambrose, the company is really struggling in creative. The storylines aren’t clicking and you saw an entire arena turn on most of the show Monday, sans a few segments like the Rock’s. Not that a one-night return of the Rock is going to turn things around, maybe it will somehow motivate the creative team to give the fans what the fans want and not want creative wants.

The Road to WrestleMania began the day after the event ended in New Orleans in April. The company looked a little more alive … Daniel Bryan was champion. Roman Reigns was about to become a household name. Bray Wyatt was just uncorking his potential and The Authority angle looked fresher and more exciting.

The move by the WWE, and kudos to them for keeping this as tight-lipped as possible, to have us all smell what The Rock was cooking last night means a few things. The angle with Dean Ambrose and John Cena is about to get red-hot. The thought of Lesnar and the WWE World Title is on the back burner for now and the idea of Roman Reigns taking over the company will have to wait until after the Royal Rumble. As it stands right now, The Rock had to come to New Jersey and save the day,

Right now, we are not sure if this was a cameo appearance or if The Brahma Bull will fight in a WWE ring or was he just defending America for all the world to see like every good movie actor does. The potential for a Dusty Rhodes-like performance where The Rock defends the flag against Rusev not only helps save the WWE, but it also helps put the mid-card behemoth over and on the fast track toward WWE gold.

While wrestlers like Cesaro and Wyatt have stalled, Rusev will move forward.

All of this is great, if The Rock wrestles and it leads to a showdown with Lesnar in the future. If not, then only half the goal is reached and for those of us still wanting more from our current WWE champion, we still play the nasty game of waiting.

If you can smell what the WWE might be cooking.

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The Rock Returns To WWE RAW

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

The Rock is back! Dwayne Johnson made a surprise return to the WWE on Monday Night RAW. The Rock confronted Rusev and Lana in what was the only bright spot of Monday’s show. Is this a one-night stand or will we be seeing more of the Great One?

This was one of the rare occasions where the WWE was able to pull off a surprise without a whole lot of leaks prior to the segment. Now there were numerous reports that the Rock was in New York on Monday. However, nobody was able to predict exactly how this all played out and many were skeptical it would lead to a WWE appearance and thank goodness it did.

Where do we go from here? Is this the start of a long road to WrestleMania 31? Dave Meltzer on his F4WOnline.com podcast noted that while a Rusev vs. Rock match at Mania is possible, it is far from booked. Meltzer noted that while possible, nothing is set in stone for the Rock to return at Mania. I would think that if Rock returned at Mania to wrestle that it would be in a far bigger match than Rusev.

I still think the betting line is a Rock vs. Brock match at Mania if Rock comes back. The match makes sense and it is probably the only match you could give both guys at this point that would make sense financially. Although that said, I still think an Undertaker vs. Brock rematch would be big, big money.

The WWE desperately needed that boost from The Rock. Other than Dean Ambrose, the company is really struggling in creative. The storylines aren’t clicking and you saw an entire arena turn on most of the show Monday, sans a few segments like the Rock’s. Not that a one-night return of the Rock is going to turn things around, maybe it will somehow motivate the creative team to give the fans what the fans want and not want creative wants.

A novel idea isn’t it?

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Top Stone Cold Steve Austin WWE RAW Moments

October 02, 2014 By: Category: lists, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It was over a decade ago when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin‘s hell raising was a regular part of our Monday night pro wrestling culture. New reports indicate that the Texas Rattlesnake may be heading back to the WWE. What better time to celebrate his legacy on RAW and look back at the top Monday Night RAW moments of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

To sit here and recall all of the great WWE RAW moments and matches featuring Steve Austin would take forever. For me, there wasn’t a night where Steve Austin appeared on WWE RAW that wasn’t memorable. Rather than list them all, I want to take a look at just five of memorable WWE RAW moments from the Texas Rattlesnake. Crack a cold one and light one up, because Stone Cold is about to open a can of five memorable moments on you’re a$%.

Steve Austin stuns Vince McMahon in Madison Square Garden, 1997. This was the catalyst to the classic Austin-McMahon feud. Mr. McMahon had yet to arrive, as fans were still accustomed to watching the slicked back hairdo of interviewer Vince McMahon. However, Vince had lifted up his veil more than ever before and was readily acknowledging his role as the man who runs the WWE.

It was just a few months ago where Owen Hart dropped Steve Austin on his head and put him out of commission for months. Owen Hart was in the ring giving a speech, when an enraged Steve Austin hit the ring. Five NYPD officers tried to stop Stone Cold. Vince McMahon then stepped into the ring and played “compassionate McMahon” and explained to Steve that he was still injured and couldn’t compete. McMahon’s compassion was met with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin was led away in handcuffs in a moment that is generally regarded as the most memorable moment in all of WWE RAW history.

Steve Austin says hello to Mike Tyson, 1998. This was voted on WWE.com as the fifth most memorable moment in all of WWE RAW history. It was a transitional time for the WWE. The Attitude Era was taking over and the company was finally starting to make strides against WCW. Some point to this angle as the single most important angle to the turnaround in the Monday Night Wars and the next several years of monster business.

Mike Tyson was brought to RAW and introduced as the enforcer for the upcoming WrestleMania XIV match between Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Tyson came to the ring with an entourage and was paid several accolades by Vince McMahon. Steve Austin then hit the ring to McMahon’s displeasure. Austin went off on a rant which ended with Austin looking Mike Tyson in the eyes and popping him the one-finger salute on both hands. Mike Tyson and Steve Austin shoved each other and all hell broke loose. McMahon yelled that Austin “ruined it”, and Steve Austin was on his way to becoming the biggest star in the pro wrestling business.

Brian Pillman pulls a gun on Steve Austin, 1996. Over a decade later and this is still one of the most talked about moments in WWE RAW history. While this controversial moment aired on RAW, it actually took place off-site. The scene of the crime was actually the home of Brian Pillman.

After shattering Brian Pillman’s ankle in the ring, Austin drove to Pillman’s house. Austin fought Pillman’s neighbors to make his way into the house. WWE RAW had a satellite feed into the house set up for a Pillman interview. Austin broke down the door and came face-to-face with a psychotic Brian Pillman in a chair. Pillman then pulled a gun, fired shots, and the screen went blank.

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The WWE tried to replicate the angle a few times, never successfully. Recently as last year, the WWE tried to reproduce a similar angle involving Triple H breaking into Randy Orton’s house. For some reason, none of the attempts at similar angles since have been anywhere close to as memorable as the original between the two Hollywood Blondes.

Steve Austin’s Beer Bash, 1999. This was listed as the second most memorable moment in all of WWE RAW history on WWE.com. This was during the day’s Vince McMahon’s “Corporation” where Vince and Shane McMahon were proud to have The Rock as the WWE champion. Vince was interviewing The Rock live in the ring on WWE RAW when a glass crashed and a huge Coors Light truck made its way to the ring. The driver of the truck was none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

After weeks of being jerked around by Vince McMahon, Austin had enough. Austin drove into the arena, got on top of the truck, and cut a pre-WrestleMania XV promo on The Rock. Austin then offered to share a pre-match beer with The Rock that turned out to be a memorable beer bath. Austin sprayed The Rock and the McMahons with beer from the hose and tore the house down. Austin then capped it off with a traditional double one-finger salute to the Great One.

Steve Austin pulls a gun on Vince McMahon, 1998. This was a memorable Steve Austin moment that surprisingly didn’t make the WWE.com Top 15 Memorable RAW Moments. Steve Austin had recently been fired by Vince McMahon, and well…he wasn’t going quietly.

Austin stalked McMahon throughout the evening on WWE RAW. Austin finally called Vince in his office and told him that his “time was up.” As Vince McMahon (in a wheelchair) was getting into his limo little did he know that the Texas Rattlesnake was waiting for him in the back of the car. McMahon tried to roll away in his wheelchair to no avail. Austin then took McMahon hostage. The night culminated with Austin wheeling McMahon to the center of the ring. Austin brought a hysterically crying Vince McMahon to his knees, stood behind him, and pulled out a gun. Austin put the gun to Vince’s head, pulled the trigger, and a flag that read, “Bang 3:16″ popped out. McMahon was further humiliated by peeing in his pants as Austin pulled the trigger. Austin topped the night off with a Stunner and a great deal of revenge had on his former boss, Vince McMahon.

And that’s the bottom line, because the Camel Clutch Blog said so.


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50 Greatest WWE SummerSlam Matches Ever

August 05, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

So here it is! The ultimate compilation of great and historic SummerSlam WWE matches. Here are the 50 greatest matches ever from the biggest party from the WWE summer extravaganza.

50. MILLION DOLLAR CHAMPIONSHIP: TED DIBIASE VS. VIRGIL (August 26, 1991 – New York, NY)
One of the most underrated matches in WWE history, and Virgil’s greatest match ever, sees Virgil pay off years of indifferent abuse from Dibiase, knocking him out on an exposed turnbuckle, all while Rowdy Roddy Piper, Virgil’s motivator, did one hell of an acting job at the commentary table.

49. ROCKERS/TITO SANTANA VS. FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS/RICK MARTEL (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Go ahead, find the weakest worker in the match, I dare you. Just a tremendous back and forth contest with three skilled faces, and three heels who knew the formula. Just think, if Strike Force never broke up, this would have been an amazing TLC match.

48. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: DIESEL VS. RAZOR RAMON (August 29, 1994 – Chicago, IL)
Four months after dropping the title to Big Daddy Cool, Razor got a measure of revenge with Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton as his back-up. Shawn Michaels’ miscue in accidentally hitting Diesel with Sweet Chin Music set up the eventual split between the two men.

47. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: REY MYSTERIO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
Before this match, Ziggler was considered by many to be an overrated product of the developmental system. After a furiously paced battle that opened the 2009 show, Ziggler proved he belonged with a flawless heel effort in defeat, and more than earned his forthcoming push.

46. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CM PUNK VS. JBL (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
This one’s a bit forgotten, but it’s historical in that it was Punk’s first successful defense of a World Title on PPV. There was a sick moment in which both men landed in a fashion where JBL’s head landed on the back of Punk’s, legit knocking Punk silly, but he had enough bearing to finish the match, and win.

45. BRET HART VS. DOINK THE CLOWN/JERRY LAWLER (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
It was a better angle than it was a match. Lawler faked an injury to get out of facing Hart, whose family had been tormented by Lawler for months. Bret won by DQ after Lawler, not injured, interfered. Then Lawler was forced to face Bret, where he was then mauled. Lawler won by DQ on a technicality.

44. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. CHRIS JERICHO (August 21, 2005 – Washington, DC)
The anti-Cena backlash was just beginning to pick up steam at this point, as Jericho proved to be the crowd favorite in the nation’s capital. Cena would win with the then-called FU, and would drive Jericho out of the company for two years one night later on Raw.

43. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: KURT ANGLE VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 24, 2003 – Phoenix, AZ)
Sadly, this might be the worst of the Angle/Lesnar matches, due to the overbooking and involvement of Vince McMahon (wearing an uncharacteristic Hawaiian shirt), but it was still good enough for the most part. Lesnar tapped out for the first time, proving that Angle is as good as Frank Mir. *cough*

42. WORLD TAG TEAM: STEINER BROTHERS VS. HEAVENLY BODIES (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
With family in the crowd, and their home state behind them en masse, the Steiners put on a variant of their classic NWA/WCW ‘technical spotfests’ with Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard, both quite game to play at the Steiners’ level. One Frankensteiner later, and the Steiners prevailed in their backyard.

41. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: CHRIS BENOIT VS. ROB VAN DAM (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
The story was Benoit (Smackdown) was attempting to bring the belt to the blue brand, whereas RVD (Raw) was fighting to keep it on Eric Bischoff’s show. It was the usual tooth-and-nail show of aggression, and Van Dam recaptured the gold from the “Canadian Crippler”.

40. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. MANKIND VS. TRIPLE H (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
This match was heavily hyped with then-Governor Jesse Ventura donning the referee stripes, and the media blitz was quite a coup for WWE. Mankind scored an upset by pinning an injured Austin, but Mick Foley would drop the gold to Triple H the following night to give The Game his first reign.

39. WORLD TAG TEAM/2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: DEMOLITION VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 27, 1990 – Philadelphia, PA)
I was there! Demolition scored the first fall, but their final reign ended in a DQ in the second stanza, followed by their three man hoodwinking (Ax was not supposed to be at ringside) being foiled by the Legion of Doom, allowing for The Hitman and The Anvil to double team Crush to win.

38. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: EDGE VS. JOHN CENA (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
Cena got booed out of his hometown arena, and the Bostonians couldn’t have been happier to see Edge retain. It was the typical “main event style” match that the two do so well, and Edge’s brass knuckle shot sealed the victory, prompting Jim Ross to curse up a storm at ringside.

37. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CHRIS BENOIT VS. RANDY ORTON (August 15, 2004 – Toronto, ON)
Even Benoit’s countrymen seemed enthralled by the notion of Orton becoming the youngest World Champion in WWE history, and it happened after one of Orton’s more stellar efforts to date. Say what you will about Orton, but seeing him bawl his eyes out in victory was a nice, real moment.

36. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. UNDERTAKER (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
As great a match as this was, it would have been even more epic had Austin not been knocked silly on a backdrop counter spot earlier in the match. As it was, it was the culmination of a summer’s worth of storylines, and had the satisfying ending of Austin beating the Dead Man cleanly.

35. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: RICK RUDE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
If not for Randy Savage, I’d say nobody got better matches out of the Warrior than Rude, who added both a musclebound-rival perspective, as well as a ragdoll for the Warrior to throw around. After Roddy Piper distacted Rude, Warrior got his gold back in convincing fashion.

34. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE UNDERTAKER VS. BRET HART (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Bret Hart would never be allowed to wrestle in America again if he lost, and having Shawn Michaels as the referee stacked the deck against him. However, an errant Michaels chair shot felled the Dead Man, and Hart was able to salvage his US career with a reluctant count from Michaels.

33. CHRIS JERICHO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 19, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA) WWE planted a red herring, making fans believe Jericho was losing prior to his leaving the company. Instead, Y2J won a highly-intense opening match with the Walls of Jericho. Jericho would leave the following night, when Ziggler beat him in a ‘briefcase vs. career’ match, but came back at the Rumble

32. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: LANCE STORM VS. EDGE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Take a technically proficient bad guy, a formula-driven, yet energetic good guy, and give them the opening match in which to set a killer pace for the show. Done and done! Edge, despite Christian’s questionable failed interference, put away his Canadian counterpart to capture the gold.

31. ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM WWE VS. THE NEXUS (August 15, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA)
Considering the lack of experience on the opposing team, this match turned out pretty damn good. Bret Hart’s Summerslam return was also a welcome addition to the match. So what if John Cena managed to win using his Superman formula? It was still a good forty minutes, wasn’t it?

30. I QUIT MATCH: RIC FLAIR VS. MICK FOLEY (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
For a feud that began over petty comments made in an autobiography, this bloodbath stole the show for a lackluster Summerslam. Melina, as Foley’s ally, was great in her role of concerned friend, and Flair drawing a submission from Foley by threatening to main her was great theater.

29. STREET FIGHT: TEST VS. SHANE MCMAHON (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
Test’s greatest match ever, and it may have been Shane’s as well. Test was fighting for the right to date Shane’s sister, Stephanie, and the two beat the hell out of each other in an overbooked, but fun, skirmish. Test won, but Shane stunned everyone with his diving elbow through the table.

28. DEGENERATION X VS. LEGACY (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
This was quite a coming out party for Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, and they were made to hold their own against a reunited DX, who tend to dominate anyone that’s not a main eventer. Although Legacy lost, they looked pretty damn good, but it’s a shame the momentum didn’t last.

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27. KURT ANGLE VS. REY MYSTERIO (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
It may have been under ten minutes long, but it was still an exciting way to open possibly the greatest Summerslam ever. Mysterio’s WWE PPV debut saw no wasted motion, as he and Angle found instant chemistry. Angle prevailed with the ankle lock, and the fans needed to catch their breath.

26. WWE HARDCORE/LADDER MATCH: ROB VAN DAM VS. JEFF HARDY (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
WWE fans were warming up fast to the Alliance’s resident daredevil, as he and WWE’s enigmatic freak tore down the house, setting new standards for ladder match insanity. Van Dam would retrieve the title, and his rise into an eventual babyface star was coming to fruition.

25. LION’S DEN MATCH: OWEN HART VS. KEN SHAMROCK (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
It was WWE’s attempt at UFC, before UFC was the rage with every tatted-up blowhard in your neighborhood. Held in the confines of the theater inside MSG, Shamrock and Hart stretched and slugged each other until Owen could prove no match for Shamrock’s anklelock.

24. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/TLC: JEFF HARDY VS. CM PUNK (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
One of Hardy’s final contributions to WWE, before his life began its free fall, was this exciting, innovative, and spotastic TLC match that closed the 2009 event. Punk won by a hair after taking his lumps, but Undertaker was there at the end to ruin the moment with a chokeslam.

23. WCW HEAVYWEIGHT: BOOKER T VS. THE ROCK (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
It’s a shame the feud was so one-sided toward The Great One, because he and Booker would rank in the top ten of all time most charismatic performers. The match was a great main event showcase, but Booker T spinarooni-ed his way right into a Rock Bottom, wounding the Alliance’s windfall.

22. DANIEL BRYAN VS. WADE BARRETT (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
A sleeper classic between the best technical wrestler in the world, and his former NXT alum, no wrestling slouch in his own right. Bryan and Barrett exchanged science and stiff shots for the duration of this forgotten battle, with Barrett narrowly winning.

21. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
The confusing storyline of Mr. Perfect attempting to manage whoever won did little damage to the body of the match. It lacked the intensity of their WrestleMania VII epic, but Savage and Warrior told their typical icon vs. icon story very well up until the disappointing countout finish.

20. JOHN CENA VS. BATISTA (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
Two of the prized prodigies of WWE’s early developmental days were engineered to tell main event stories with a larger-than-life feel. Both men have spent their careers doing just that, and the result was this great match, wherein Batista put Cena out for months with a riveting Batista Bomb.

19. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H VS. KURT ANGLE (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
One of the more intense matches in Summerslam history saw Kurt Angle get his brains scrambled on a table Pedigree gone wrong. In the midst of the Angle-HHH-Stephanie love triangle, there was enough heat, plus The Rock’s “it factor” to give Summerslam 2000’s finale a sound ending.

18. NON TITLE MATCH: BRAIN BUSTERS VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
The booking may have been suspect (Busters leaving in the fall, titles not on the line), but the match was just old school tag team wrestling from four experts on the matter. Bret Hart nearly left WWE after this show, and if he had, he’d have gone out with a tremendous opening match.

17. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. VADER (August 18, 1996 – Cleveland, OH)
There was some interesting discooperation in the middle, where Michaels legitimately chewed out Vader for messing up a spot. That flaw aside, what you get is a great “killer monster vs. hearty underdog champion” dynamic, with Michaels winning to continue his first World title reign.

16. UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Who could forget those awesome training vignettes in the weeks before the match? Those well-done videos were paid off with a heavyweight clash for the ages, where Lesnar shook off Rock’s offensive toolbox, and sent him back to Hollywood with a roaring F5 to the cheers of the crowd.

15. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: OWEN HART VS. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Up until the final two or three minutes, Hart and Austin were engaged in an absolute classic, but it was the final moments that made it legendary. Austin was temporarily paralyzed after a botched piledriver, and still found the willpower to ease Owen into a roll-up to score the win. Simply chill inducing.

14. HELL IN A CELL: THE UNDERTAKER VS. EDGE (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
After screwing over The Dead Man for over a year, Edge finally got his when he was locked inside “Satan’s Structure” with Undertaker himself. One of the first “violent” matches in the PG era, Undertaker won, and then vanquished Edge into a smoldering pit to settle the score.

13. 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: CHRIS JERICHO VS. CHRIS BENOIT (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
The match was somewhat abbreviated, perhaps due to time constraints, but leave it to the “Calgary Kids” to pack a lot of action into a short frame of space. Benoit would take the contest two falls to one after cheating in the final frame, but anyone who watched it was satisfied enough.

12. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/STREET FIGHT: CHRISTIAN VS. RANDY ORTON (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
This may well be Randy Orton’s greatest match ever; an all-out war where his demented “Viper” persona got revenge on Christian’s underhanded title win one month earlier. Both men pummeled each other with chairs and canes until an RKO on the stairs ended it.

11. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: MR. PERFECT VS. BRET HART (August 26, 1991 – New York, NY)
And with that, The Hitman was a made man. Perfect was on his way out with back injuries, and in defeat, he made his real life friend look like the world-beater Vince McMahon needed. After kicking out of the Perfect Plex, Hart would snare Perfect in the Sharpshooter and force the submission.

10. WWE UNIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. JOHN CENA (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
It was going to be hard to top their five star effort at Money in the Bank, but damned if they didn’t come close. Punk’s relatively clean win (with Cena’s foot on the ropes) was only undone by Alberto Del Rio’s cash-in of his Money in the Bank privilege afterward.

9. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. KURT ANGLE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Angle kicked out of three Stunners and was suddenly no longer the goofy, milk-loving Americana nerd that Austin remembered. If not for a BS ending wherein Nick Patrick disqualified Stone Cold, his boss, and saved his title, this match might be number one. Alas.

8. NO DISQUALIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
Could’ve been the match of the year for 2013, if not for one entry still to come. In many ways, this clash follows the template of a Vader/Sting battle, but with weapons and WWE Main Event-style pacing. It’s maybe Brock’s best WWE match, and Punk’s last classic.

7. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
By the end of the match, two main eventers were born. Rock’s People’s Elbow, done while Triple H was lying on a ladder, brought Madison Square Garden down. In the end, Hunter ended Rock’s nine month reign as IC Champ, but bigger things were ahead for both.

6. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. DANIEL BRYAN (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
It’d take eight winding, agonizing months for the true conclusion of Bryan’s ascension, and even then, the broken neck sadly deflated it. Still, this is an incredible match, lauded as the best of 2013, and Cena laid down cleanly, without his typical out.

5. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. RAZOR RAMON (August 27, 1995 – Pittsburgh, PA)
It was a tough task to try and outdo WrestleMania X’s standard-defining match, but the Kliq running buddies were game to try. The story of this one centered around Michaels having his leg hammered, but Razor ate some Chin Music off the ladder, and Michaels wound up retaining the gold.

4. WORLD TAG TEAM/TLC: EDGE/CHRISTIAN VS. HARDY BOYZ VS. DUDLEY BOYZ (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
Conventional wisdom had the Hardyz winning, since they were the “home team”. But there was nothing conventional about this stunt show, in which Jeff Hardy swantoned off a ladder, nearly killing him and Bubba Ray Dudley. Edge and Christian ended up retaining, and celebrated with a 37 second pose.

3. NON-SANCTIONED STREET FIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. TRIPLE H (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Michaels’ first match in over four years opened a lot of eyes. The eyes opened realized that, after such a layoff, Michaels was capable of outworking just about anyone with no rust evident. The Heartbreak Kid scored the win, and provided closure to his career over the next eight years.

2.WWE HEAVYWEIGHT/STEEL CAGE MATCH: BRET HART VS. OWEN HART (August 29, 1994 – Chicago, IL)The greatest sibling rivalry in wrestling history hit its apex with a bloodless, but quite exciting, steel cage challenge with the entire Hart family at ringside. After dozens of near escapes and dramatic moments, Bret left brother Owen hanging and dropped to the floor to keep his championship.

1.WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: BRET HART VS. THE BRITISH BULLDOG (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
Bulldog was the native son with 80,000 fans behind him, but he should be grateful that Bret had his back. In this babyface can-you-top-this war, Hart led Bulldog, who spent the summer drugged up and burnt out, to the best match of his life, putting his brother-in-law over before a raucous crowd.

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Top 25 WWE Ladder/TLC/Money in the Bank Matches In History

June 19, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

These Top-25 lists are picking up steam, so I’ll take the WWE approach of beating a good thing into the ground. With Money in the Bank coming up, it’s a good idea to look back at two decades-plus of WWE’s greatest ladder matches, and figure out what the best of the bunch truly are. There’s no bad matches to be found here; every entry is rewatchable time and time again. With TLC and Money in the Bank upping the ante of the classic ladder match, this list will cover a lot of ground, and no doubt provide a little argument fodder. Enjoy!

(Note: this list only includes matches which ended with the retrieval of a belt, briefcase, etc. As such, the TLC 2012 match with The Shield vs. Ryback and Team Hell No is excluded. Otherwise, it’d have likely been top ten).

25. Chris Jericho vs. Christian – Vacant Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (Unforgiven, September 12, 2004)

Edge was forced to abdicate the gold after one of too many injuries in his career, so brother/’best friend’ Christian was called in for the match to fill the vacancy. Jericho suffered a bizarre injury of his own during the match, in which the ladder slammed into his anal orifice (hey, he makes it sound worse in his second book), but ended up winning a fairly lengthy match. In the end, Jericho was merely used to transition to gold onto a flourishing Shelton Benjamin.

24. Kane vs. Big Show vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 18, 2010)

Firmly in the ‘let’s shoehorn gimmick matches into the secondary PPVs so that gimmick matches have less meaning’ era, Money in the Bank’s come away unscathed, thanks to the car-wreck spectacles that never get old. In this case, the maiden match of Money in the Bank’s spin-off event hit its mark, with a dose of big man psychology. Show and Kane were natural targets by the smaller competitors, while Show used a custom mecha-ladder for climbing.

23. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (TLC, December 16, 2012)

Ziggler put his previously-earned briefcase on the line (stay tuned for that), and, as is modern custom, lost to Cena in several matches on Raw prior to the PPV contest. Just as naturally, Ziggler took his usual laundry list of wild bumps through the course of the match, before winning as a result of AJ Lee shoving Cena off the ladder. That’d be Ziggler’s lone win of relevance over Cena, but Dolph memorably cashed in four months later on Alberto Del Rio.

22. John Morrison vs. Sheamus – Ladder Match (TLC, December 19, 2010)

Forgotten in the dogpile beneath main event-and-celebrity over-focus, Morrison and Sheamus had themselves a nifty little feud late that year, and a title shot at The Miz was at stake. Akin to the Razor/Michaels matches of yore with the larger adversary throwing around the nimble stud, Morrison gradually overcame the odds and won in dramatic fashion after Sheamus attempted to tip the ladder. Sadly, the Morrison/Miz bout is just as forgotten as this great match.

21. Mr. Kennedy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. King Booker vs. Finlay – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (WrestleMania XXIII, April 1, 2007)

Before Damien Sandow came along to look unceremoniously weak in failing in his cash-in against John Cena, there was Mr. Kennedy to lose his briefcase to Edge in a Raw quickie, following a Kennedy injury. The WrestleMania opener had plenty of intrigue, with a host of realistic winners. Jeff’s seated dive through Edge and a bridged ladder is cringeworthy, yet hilarious for the sight of brother Matt encouraging him to do it, then reacting as horror as Jeff lay hurt.

20. Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Christian vs. Tensai vs. Santino Marella vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 15, 2012)

Another case of a heel being so much fun to watch that the crowd can’t help but cheer for them, the fans in attendance went berserk over Ziggler bumping Christian off a ladder in the end so that “The Show Off” could claim the briefcase. The match also seemed to be a coming-out party for Kidd, whose acrobatics finally had the forum for which to shine. Unfortunately, a torn meniscus sustained early in 2013 would sideline Kidd for almost a year, halting any push.

19. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian – WWE World Tag Team Titles, Triple Ladder Match (WrestleMania 2000, April 2, 2000)

The ‘unofficial’ TLC match (the official moniker for such matches wasn’t coined until SummerSlam that year) was the brightest bulb of a shockingly-dim WrestleMania. A quiet crowd most of the night, the fans memorably buzzed for the Dudleyz setting up the table bridge across two ladders inside the ring. Some of the slower spots haven’t aged well, thanks to innovation and improvement, but there’s still plenty of sick spots to marvel at.

18. Edge vs. John Cena – WWE Heavyweight Title, TLC Match (Unforgiven, September 17, 2006)

A bit of a shocker when Edge went over Cena in Cena’s Boston backyard at SummerSlam, but that only meant Edge would return the favor in his native Toronto. The visual of Edge being AA’d off of a ladder through a double stack of tables would remain a fixture in WWE’s “don’t try this at home” PSAs for quite some time afterward. Seems as though out of all of Cena’s frequent opponents, only Edge matches CM Punk in creating consistent greatness with Cena.

17. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk – World Heavyweight Title, TLC Match (SummerSlam, August 23, 2009)

Given what a merchandise vessel Hardy had become for a company that loves its multiple revenue streams, it’s hard to believe Hardy would be gone by week’s end, with no return five years later. Punk’s victory transitioned into his tepid feud with The Undertaker, beginning immediately after the match as “The Dead Man” performed a supernatural body switch with a downed Hardy. In 2009, it was astonishing that Punk could win any PPV main event.

16. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio – Vacant World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match (Extreme Rules, May 1, 2011)

What a weird time period for WWE. Edge vacates the championship three weeks earlier upon his hasty, very real retirement, and a top contender’s match is made for the PPV. The crowd heavily bought into Christian, and a dramatic finish saw Edge providing timely interference to offset that of Ricardo Rodriguez and Brodus Clay. Christian winning the gold was possibly the biggest pop of his career, so naturally he lost the title to Randy Orton two nights later.

15. Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM vs. William Regal/Dave Taylor – WWE Tag Team Titles, Ladder Match (Armageddon, December 17, 2006)

Teddy Long punched up this one by adding the Hardyz and MNM, as well as the ladder modifier, seconds before the bell rang, I suppose in an effort to get non-buyers to purchase the show at about 8:23 EST. The match is most notable for Joey Mercury damn near getting his face grafted off in a see-saw spot gone awry, forcing him to wear facial contraptions for a time afterward. London and Kendrick retained in the midst of an 11-month reign the company barely promoted.

14. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 17, 2011)

Takes a back-seat to CM Punk and John Cena’s all-timer to close the show, but it holds weight as the match that boosted Bryan into the main event tier where he’d more or less reside ever since. A wellness policy exodus played out as Sheamus powerbombed Sin Cara through a ladder, leading to a stretcher job into thirty days of oblivion for the luchador. Bryan’s victory was fairly unexpected, and the Chicago fans gave him a pop nearly comparable to Punk’s.

13. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (WWE Challenge Taping, July 21, 1992)

The WWE’s first ever ladder match seems very tame compared to the anarchic stunt shows of later years, but two masterful workers in their relative youth put together a dramatic series of ‘near-falls’, with the match more about the drama of the climb instead of insanity. Hart purportedly suggested the match to Vince McMahon, who asked for a demonstration at this TV taping. The match made it onto several video releases, and became a tape-trader’s bounty.

12. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 14, 2013)

In a roundabout way, this match made it possible for Daniel Bryan to stand tall at the end of WrestleMania XXX, holding two World Titles aloft (although the Rumble was definitely the fuse). The best ladder match in the spinoff PPV’s history began with a hero’s welcome for the returning RVD, and culminated with Paul Heyman turning on Punk, just prior to Orton’s victory, which was confusing at the time, but became much clearer following SummerSlam.

11. The Rock vs. Triple H – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (SummerSlam, August 30, 1998)

A year later, Rock was a mega-babyface that transcended the business, while Triple H would be the slimy villain he was born to play. Here, however, was the match that virtually shot both men into the main event for good. In front of a nuclear Madison Square Garden crowd, Rock about blew the domed roof off with a People’s Elbow while Helmsley lay prone on the oddly-yellow ladder. HHH’s win only freed up Rock for the World Title run we all saw coming.

10. Chris Jericho/Chris Benoit vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge/Christian – WWE World Tag Team Titles, TLC Match (SmackDown, May 22, 2001)

A worthy sequel to Benoit and Jericho’s heart-stopping title win over Steve Austin and Triple H one night earlier, an irate Vince McMahon booked the new champs against the TLC Six on free television. WWE Network, assuming it survives the long haul, will eventually have this episode up, as the match is otherwise lost to history thanks to Benoit’s involvement. A shade below the original TLC battles in terms of overall quality, it’s still one of the best ladder matches ever.

9. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian – Ladder Match (No Mercy, October 17, 1999)

Hanging above the ring was a bank robber’s sack of cash, and the winner would win Terri Runnels’ managerial rights. If it was believed that the winners would be elevated by association with Terri, the four just elevated themselves with a performance for the ages, becoming made men to varying degrees. Interesting note: Edge came dangerously close to missing the match, as he was almost unable to fly to the show due to a hurricane (he lived in the Bahamas at the time).

8. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (Monday Night Raw, May 27, 2002)

Easily the best ladder match in Raw’s history, even if Undertaker and Jeff Hardy’s clash a month later received more company hype, despite it being a dramatic finish to an average match. This match was so good, even a moronic fan running interference couldn’t ruin it. RVD regained the gold, leading into the post-match involvement of Steve Austin, who went after Guerrero, only to be thwarted by a returning, suddenly-heel Chris Benoit; an angle that ended up fizzling.

7. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (WrestleMania XXI, April 3, 2005)

The first of its kind remains the best of its kind. From Benjamin’s hands-free ladder ascension to Benoit German-suplexing Jericho, who was holding a ladder, it’s possibly the most uncluttered Money in the Bank match ever, and one that didn’t overstay its welcome. It’s also arguable that Edge’s eventual cash-in on John Cena was the most relevant of its kind, since nobody had ever seen a cash-in until he did it nine months later. Anything since dilutes the fun to a degree.

6. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (Royal Rumble, January 21, 2001)

There’s a moment of retroactive horror in the body of the match, wherein Benoit goes for his patented headfirst dive to the floor, only for Jericho to wallop him upside the head with a jarring chair shot. If seeing that moment overrides any possible enjoyment you can derive from the art of the match, it’s understood. For the more unmoved, it was a viable candidate for 2001’s match of the year, rivaled by a litany of classics, one of which is to come.

5. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (SummerSlam, August 27, 1995)

Gorilla Monsoon’s first act as figurehead President was to remove Psycho Sid from SummerSlam, and give Razor the shot at Michaels’ gold, in the match they put on the map. Wise choice; it boosted the show into pretty good territory, rare air in 1995. Ramon played de facto villain, smashing Michaels’ knee to pieces with the ladder, before Michaels superkicked him off a second ladder. The botched ending, and Michaels’ tantrum, somehow adds to the charm.

4. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian – WWE World Tag Team Titles, TLC Match (WrestleMania X7, April 1, 2001)

From the greatest WrestleMania ever comes the ideal spotfest: accelerated, minimal set-up for the convoluted spots, and the type of chaos that comes from involving a few intruders. Nominee for the best bump visual in ladder match history: Bubba Ray Dudley and Matt Hardy smashing four tables into dust after an interfering Rhyno tipped a painter’s ladder over. Edge and Christian’s win was a bit anti-climactic, but you can’t discount the efforts before then.

3. Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWE World Tag Team Titles, TLC Match (SummerSlam, August 27, 2000)

Gets the slight nod over its WrestleMania kid-brother for the sole reason of a less rushed ending. Conventional wisdom had the Hardyz going over here in their home state of North Carolina. In defeat, Jeff busted out a frightening Swanton Bomb off a ladder on the floor through Bubba Ray Dudley. The match is also known for an unfortunate double-entendre that Jim Ross made about Edge and Lita that gained new perspective about five years later.

2. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels – World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match (No Mercy, October 5, 2008)

Doesn’t stand out, but it should. In fact, a lukewarm crowd is possibly all that kept this from the number one spot. Jericho and Michaels’ hate-filled feud in 2008 came to a head with this match, which was less about cutesy spots, and more heavy on the “I’m gonna kill you” brutality. Indeed, most of the ‘spots’ were Jericho and Michaels trying to make the other suffer, without the need for Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions. An inexplicably undervalued masterpiece.

1. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (WrestleMania X, March 20, 1994)

Like Savage and Steamboat, a newer fan may wonder what’s so special about this match, after seeing many a stuntshow since. For 1994, Ramon and Michaels put together a match just unheard of for the time, and wouldn’t become standard for a few years yet. Michaels took at least five or six crazy bumps off of Ramon’s power-based offense, and the dramatic near-finishes had the MSG crowd buying into every second. It’s still the gold standard.

Justin Henry has been an occasional contributor to Camel Clutch Blog since 2009. His other work can be found at WrestleCrap.com and ColdHardFootballFacts.com. He can be found on Twitter, so give him a follow.

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