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WWE SummerSlam 2015 Results: Rollins Retains, Undertaker Wins

August 23, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE brought SummerSlam back to prominence with a main-event fit for a WrestleMania. The Undertaker returned and avenged his WrestleMania loss to Brock Lesnar in a classic, yet controversial match while Seth Rollins got help from an unlikely ally to retain his championship and win the U.S. title.

The Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in a fantastic match to cap off SummerSlam 2015. Lesnar passed out in Hell’s Gate after giving Taker the middle finger. Many, including myself, had concerns whether these two could live up to the unbelievable hype coming into the match. Not only did they live up to the hype, I think they exceeded it. This was nothing like their WrestleMania 30 match and everything you hoped for and more from two savage rivals.

This was another physical match for these two but wrestled with a much faster pace than their previous encounter. The match was much more of a brawl than their Mania 30 match which seemed to lag at times. The match immediately started off hot when Lesnar attacked Taker as he entered the ring, something I can’t recall ever seeing. Brock was cheered a bit more during introductions but wrestled the match as a total heel. As for Taker, I think he looked great and the best he’s looked since Mania 29. Lesnar hit Taker with a ton of suplexes while the dead man hit all of his signature moves. Lesnar was busted open during the match as well. A real cool spot saw Lesnar sitting laughing at Taker, Taker rises up and laugh back at Lesnar before brawling once again.

Unfortunately if there is one criticism of the match it may be the finish. The finish came when Lesnar had Taker in a kimura. Taker tapped and the bell rang, however, the referee didn’t see it. The story here is that the time keeper rang it on his own. Since the referee didn’t see it the match continued, Taker gave a distracted Lesnar a low blow, snagged him in Hell’s Gate and Lesnar passed out. Heyman and Lesnar went ballistic after the match as you could expect.

I can’t say enough great things about the match. It was truly a classic. The finish was Brock’s first loss since Mania 29. The finish also sets up a rubber match which will likely go down at WrestleMania 32, probably in a Hell in a Cell. I can’t imagine anyone complaining about seeing these guys for a third time after what took place in Brooklyn.

In the co-main event, Seth Rollins pinned John Cena to retain the title and win the U.S. title. The finish came when the referee was bumped and SummerSlam host Jon Stewart came to the ring with a chair. He teased that he was going to hit Rollins, although he looked incredibly flustered and wound up hitting Cena. Rollins hit a pedigree for the three count and the U.S. title.

The match was very good, but Rollins was the probably the runner up MVP after Undertaker. Rollins wrestled his best singles match as WWE champion and maybe his best WWE match to date. Something changed whether it was a fire lit under him or a directive from management because Rollins hit a ton of big moves throughout the match. It was to the point that Rollins was wrestling as a babyface, ironic since Rollins debuted a new ring outfit which was all white and original plans were rumoured to match Rollins as a babyface against Triple H. Why it took this long to see this Seth Rollins and why he didn’t unleash this arsenal in any of his matches against Dean Ambrose is a mystery to me.

When this match was originally booked, I was sure that Sheamus was cashing in. However, the second Rollins dropped that bit about a statue I assumed he was winning to set up the big angle where Cena destroys the new statue. The finish obviously sets up a rematch at Night of Champions and the rumor is that these guys will wrestle each other on the next few special events. They had what I’d call a great spectacle although I don’t want to take anything away from Rollins. The match got out of hand with all of the kicking out of moves in my opinion, but it was a lot of fun to watch if you could ignore that.

The undercard was rather solid but uneventful. Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro in an expected good match. The New Day regained the tag team titles in a match I thought was more fun than most people did on Twitter. Sheamus defeated Randy Orton clean in the middle in the opener.

Overall I’d say the four hours moved a lot faster than I expected going into the big show. As a spectacle, this may be the best SummerSlam event in a decade. I think the only problem is that both main-events had disputed finishes. One would have been fine, but people could feel a little ripped off when you see screwy finishes in both matches. Nonetheless, one thing you can’t complain about was the wrestling as the majority of the show was solid in the ring and you can’t ask for much more from that.

I’d highly recommend checking it out on the Network if you haven’t already, especially for the main-event which is a match that will be talked about for years to come.

Full WWE SummerSlam 2015 Results and winners…
The Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar via submission
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defeated United States Champion John Cena to win both titles
Ryback defeated The Miz and The Big Show to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose defeated Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
Kevin Owens defeated Cesaro
Team PCB defeated Team Bella and Team B.A.D. in a Three-Way Elimination Match
Steven Amell & Neville defeated Stardust & Cosmic King Barrett
Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev ended in a double C.O.
New Day defeated The Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, and Lucha Dragons to regain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Sheamus defeated Randy Orton

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WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions and Preview

August 20, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

To say that this is the biggest WWE SummerSlam in recent memory would not be an understatement. The 2015 event brings SummerSlam back to prominence as arguably the number two special event of the year. A rare appearance by the Undertaker in a rematch over a year in the making has many in and out of the wrestling world ecstatic for this year’s event.

The biggest party of the summer comes to New York this Sunday night. The WWE has stepped up the event with hopes of bringing it back to its 1990s prominence. The company is pulling out its big gun, booking Undertaker on his first non-WrestleMania special event in years and a title for title match between the WWE world and U.S. champions.

Let’s take a look at the top matches…

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Like some, I believe that the WWE didn’t time this one right. Don’t get me wrong. It’s hot, red hot right now. However, I think that it could have even been bigger if it were put on a WrestleMania show. Either put it on 31 or save it for 32. Nonetheless, we’re getting it and fans are juiced up for the big rematch.

It’s hard to deny the intensity in the match. Thus far, these two have blown the roof off of several buildings with their confrontations and fights. They have certainly been more action-packed than their infamous bout at WrestleMania 30 which saw Lesnar end the streak. Hopefully the energy continues into the match.

SO let’s talk about the match. I think that these guys have set a real high standard of expectation here. They cannot go out there and have a match like they had at Mania. They need to tell a different story. This match needs to be a fight. I know people are expecting 20 or 30 minutes here but I think anything more than an 8-10 minute fight will kill the mystique. I think you can come back for the rubber match with a different story, but this match needs to be fast, intense, and full of action.

I don’t think that you bring back the Undertaker to have him lose. I’d be shocked if Taker lost at SummerSlam. I think he wins and I have no problem with Brock losing his first match in a while to Undertaker. I also think he goes over clean here, although they could insert Kane into the finish which would take all of the air out of the balloon.

John Cena vs. Seth Rollins U.S. Title vs. WWE world Title

Did you know that John Cena has been in the WWE world title match for in every SummerSlam since SummerSlam 2011? I just thought I’d through that out there. I believe that this match is coming together due to the low ratings RAW has suffered in recent months leading to SummerSlam. Like Seth Rollins or not, he has not been a draw as WWE world champ and the CEO is taking the only action he knows, bring back Cena!

Before we criticize the WWE for putting Cena back in the title picture, I think we need to give him credit where it’s due. Cena has had an excellent year in the ring thus far, putting together a string of excellent matches between bouts with Lesnar and Rollins, some Rusev matches, and of course the series with Owens. Cena has even outshined Rollins on occasion in the ring. While you may be sick of Cena, it is only fair to point out how solid he has been in the ring for a while now.

I have no reason to think that this match won’t be very good. They will certainly have time, especially with a four hour show. I’d expect nothing less than a 30-minute competitive match between these guys. But who is going over?

Seth Rollins asking for the statue threw a curveball into my original theory. As a matter of a fact, I think it gave the finish away. Rollins wins and Cena destroys his statue the next night on RAW. That seems the most predictable here. However, my original pick had Cena winning and Sheamus cashing in to win the WWE world belt. This would leave Cena as U.S. champion. Until Rollins asked for the statue, I was 100% sure of Sheamus leaving New York with the title. Now I am not so sure. I don’t think either guy is leaving with both belts so I’ll stick with my original pick of Cena over with Sheamus cashing in but I am not nearly as convinced.

Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. the Wyatt family

One thing I can almost guarantee you is that this match will be good. These guys always had great matches in six-man tags so I have no reason to think they can’t pull it off down two. I was almost sure that Dean Ambrose was turning on Reigns here until RAW this past Monday. I am starting to think that Lana and Rusev are reuniting, thus Lana on Dolph being the turn of the night. Maybe this one drags on and we finally see Sting in the mix by Hell in a Cell? I think that the Wyatts are winning to keep the feud going.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev

I liked this feud a lot more on paper than what I have seen in the ring. I still think this one has a lot of potential but the chemistry is just not there between Dolph and Lana. One thing struck me on Monday and that was that I don’t believe Lana has made any physical contact with Rusev. I could be wrong, but I don’t even remember a slap. I think that this experiment into splitting them up has gone terribly wrong and the company just can’t figure out what to do with either one of them. Neither one of them are over nearly to the degree they were with each other. I think they reunite at SummerSlam and Ziggler takes another fall at SummerSlam.

Full WWE SummerSlam 2015 card and matches…
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. The Undertaker
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
John Cena (U.S. Champion) vs. Seth Rollins (World Champion) …Winner Take All singles match for both the WWE United States Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Ryback (c) vs. Big Show vs. The Miz in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Wyatt Family vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns
The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil & Darren Young) (c) vs. Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego w/ El Torito) vs. The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) vs. The New Day (a 2/3 combination of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) in aFatal 4-Way tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship
The Arrows (Stephen Amell and Neville) vs. The Cosmic Kings (Stardust & King Barrett)
Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Team Bella (The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox) vs. Team B.A.D. (Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina) vs. PCB (Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch) in a Three-Team Elimination match
Dolph Ziggler (w/ Lana) vs. Rusev (w/ Summer Rae)

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Brock Lesnar Says WWE CEO Does It Better Than UFC Prez

August 18, 2015 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Former WWE and UFC champ Brock Lesnar is quite the charmer…well at least he was on Tuesday’s ESPN Sportscenter. Lesnar appeared on ESPN to hype up SummerSlam, talk about the conquering the streak, and even took a shot at his former boss.

The WWE is getting a huge boost of credibility from the mainstream this week on ESPN. ESPN is hyping SummerSlam more than they have hyped any other WWE show in recent memory (or ever). Brock Lesnar returned to ESPN to appear on Sportscenter and talked about a variety of subjects, but one particular comparison is drawing immediate headlines.

Lesnar was asked about UFC president’s recent comment about the WWE being “fake.”

@RKORollins I hear u bro but fake shit should be 9.99 – @DanaWhite

Lesnar took the defensive side in favor of pro wrestling, defending the honor of his current profession. Brock also said what hardcore UFC fans don’t want to hear, in that what Dana is promoting is the “same racket.” It was what Lesnar said next that is bound to get under the skin of his former boss.

“I think Vince McMahon is better at it than Dana and that might rub Dana the wrong way.”

A couple of things here. One, Brock said that without being provoked. It wasn’t as if the interviewer asked him who was better. Two, no matter what Dana says about Brock he can’t change one thing. Brock was the biggest draw in company history, more than Ronda Rousey, Georges St-Pierre, Chuck Liddell, and Anderson Silva. Lesnar still holds the record for headlining the biggest buyrate in UFC history. So no matter what kind of childish potshots Dana takes at Brock, the bottom line is that he’d take him back in a second.

As a matter of a fact, the UFC was negotiating with Brock up to the last minute a few months ago before Brock re-signed with WWE.

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WWE Summerslam 2015 Is A One Match Show

August 13, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

At time of writing, the 2015 WWE Summerslam is only ten days away from exploding into action at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Headlined by the first showdown between The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar since their history defining, streak-ending encounter at Wrestlemania 31, this battle between the two megastar part-timers has pretty much been the selling point of the entire show up to this point.

In some respects, this probably seems like an odd thing to say. With a whopping four hours to kill, the oft-reviled creative forces behind WWE programming have been throwing everything they can at the annual summertime event, determined cement Summerslam status as the second biggest show of the year.

You could even argue they’ve succeeded. After all, even with such a vast amount of new content filmed each week, it’s not every day you get to see a potential title unification match like the upcoming Cena/Rollins bout, nor an in-ring appearance by an actor from a superhero show this writer has been led to believe is pretty popular.

Still, let’s be honest here folks; in the run up to August 23rd, the buzz surrounding both supposedly marquee matches has been dwarfed by that centered on Lesnar/Taker II. When it’s all over, it’ll take something fairly significant to happen in order to prevent the post-Summerslam conversation being full of anything other than this much-anticipated rematch.

Again, this is apparently the second biggest event of the WWE calendar, the one event the company would have you believe is more significant than the Royal Rumble, more important than the Survivor Series (though to be fair, most events are more important than the Survivor Series these days), the one event that offers more must-see matches than all of those other thrown-together PPV cards put together; and its entire success is largely dependent on a single match.

Not that this is anything new.

Cast your mind back some 27 years if you will, folks. The year was 1988. The world was a very different place back then, the World Wrestling Federation especially so. Then very much a wrestling promotion rather than the global household name it is today, Vince McMahon’s burgeoning sports entertainment empire was still figuring out how to ride the ever-so-slowly stalling Hulkamania bandwagon to greater heights whilst simultaneously holding off the competition from Jim Crockett promotions.

WWE’s solution? More Pay-per-view events.

Having created a proven formula for success with multiple Wrestlemanias, and having successfully thwarted Crocket’s own forays into the big time with the creation of the Royal Rumble (also launched in 1988) and the 1987 debut of the Survivor Series, McMahon went at it again with an event he named Summerslam.

As soon as the show was announced, Summerslam 1988 already became the company’s second biggest show by default. Despite the popularity of both the Rumble and the tag team elimination format of the Survivor Series, both of those shows were still very much novelty concepts, special attraction shows resulting in only the most minor of consequences for the greater WWE landscape.

Summerslam, we were told, was going to the mid-year’s answer to the aforementioned ‘Mania, a show so huge and so important that the company chose to build the entire thing around one single match.

Still, what a match it was though.

Taking place in an age long before the days of Teddy Long: General Manager, main event singles stars tagging together was something of a rarity back in those days, making the opportunity of seeing Hulk Hogan join forces with then WWF Champion ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage to take down the evil duo of Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant anything but your everyday TV bout.

Hyped to the heavens, and forming the nucleus of a plot which still serves as the blueprint for any pro wrestling love-triangle story to this day, The Mega Powers vs. The Mega Powers was a pretty big deal, almost on a par with Hogan/Andre or the headline bout of the first Wrestlemania.

Speaking of which, that inaugural ‘Mania event was sold on one match two, the now legendary Hogan and Mr. T vs. Piper and Orndorff clash with was the focal point of the entire Rock ‘n’ Wrestling campaign.

With the possible exception of the women’s championship match -also a major angle stemming from the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling thing- can you name one other important, or even memorable match from that show? Likewise with the first ever Summerslam. Beneath that heavily promoted main event, the rest of the show was predominantly card-filling fodder of little significance, unless of course you count the Ultimate Warrior’s historic Intercontinental Championship win, which wasn’t actually promoted ahead of time.

Yet as we’ve already touched on, these were different times back then. The market wasn’t so over saturated, the WWE itself wasn’t burdened with having to create such an abundance of compelling matches as it is today with its multiple hours of television programming and an on-demand network to worry about.

Back then, a single match could -if it were done right- sell out an entire arena and provide the catalyst for an entire event’s success. Today? At a time when it often feels like everything that can be done in pro wrestling has been done countless times over? Is it enough?

Is Lesnar/Taker all the WWE needs to create a compelling enough reason for fans to tune in for a marathon four-hour show? Only time will tell for sure, but with just ten days to go and counting, isn’t it time delivered something that really made Summerslam feel like the second biggest show we’re told to believe it is?

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WWE Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker II will be bigger than Brock vs Taker I

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

At SummerSlam this year, The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar will face off in a rematch of their Wrestlemania 30 encounter. On April 6th 2014, the wrestling world watched on in a stunned silence as the greatest streak in sports history came to an end. After 21 straight Wrestlemania victories against superstars of the industry including Triple H and Shawn Michaels, the Undertaker lost for the first time ever at the annual super show to the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.

Over a year after this monumental moment and having only been seen once since the defeat (a Wrestlemania victory over Bray Wyatt), The Undertaker finally returned and struck some revenge against Lesnar, costing him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground by interfering in the title match between Lesnar and champion Seth Rollins and setting up a rematch for the ages at the biggest event of the summer; Summerslam. Whilst many wrestling fans were originally confused about the reason for this rematch, they have plenty of reasons to be excited now, as the whole feud promises to be better than the original.

When Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker originally came to their feud in the early months of 2014, there was no real base for their feud. At the time, Brock Lesnar was attempting to force his way into the world title picture, and The Undertaker hadn’t been on screens for months. The Undertaker returned to confront Lesnar who could face an opponent of his choice instead of the title match, and the two set up their match there and then, with The Phenom putting Lesnar through the table. The feud was set up from nothing, with the two only ever coming up against each other in a feud that seemingly ended in 2003. It felt at the time that this was the annually Undertaker return. He came back, he set up the feud with his Wrestlemania opponent, and it seemed he would go on to claim his next victim in his streak.

This didn’t prove to be the case, however. Brock Lesnar, after three F5’s, pinned the Undertaker clean and brought the entire arena, and the wrestling community to stunned silence. The shock of the streak being broke brought an allure to a feud that had been struggling due to its repeated feel of every year with the Undertaker. This time round, however, it is different.

There is a reason behind the war. The Undertaker is angry at losing, and is angry at Lesnar’s advocate Paul Heyman constantly reminding fans that his client broke the streak. Lesnar, on the other hand, is raging that The Undertaker cost him the world title, the one motive that keeps bringing him to return to the ring. Both men go into this feud with a genuine reason to want to fight the other, which gives fans more to be interested in than when they originally feuded. Furthermore, Brock Lesnar is huge right now. He is by far the hottest attraction in the company right now. After the year he has had, carrying the title and arguably the company for the most part of the year, he has increased his attraction even more than when he first faced Taker, creating even more buzz around this big fight.

This feud will be bigger and better this time round because it also will stand out as the main event of the show. This match has a major big fight feel going into it. There hasn’t been a feeling like this in some years, with two major attractions of the business going to war. It has been described already by Paul Heyman as the fight that is “too big for Wrestlemania”. It is being billed as the main event of the card even though it appears there will be an addition of a championship vs championship match added to the card between Seth Rollins and John Cena.

When The Undertaker and Lesnar first fought last year, it was placed on a card that was entirely overshadowed by the world title victory for Daniel Bryan. The Yes Movement was reaching its peak, and the fans were all anticipating his rise to stardom after a long struggle. At Summerslam this year, there will be no match in the way. Brock vs Taker II is the match. It is the main event. It is the bout that will draw the fans in and get people talking about the show. This time round, it is likely to close the show as well, which will add further attraction to the feud. Fans will be anticipating the match in the whole build up, and will be itching for the bout to come on during the show too.

From an outside the ring point of view, the feud is going to be bigger and better second time round. But, to really better the original, the fight inside the ring has to be better. And this is where the feud will truly excel even more. The Undertaker has made a career out of fantastic bouts and incredible performances. Wrestlemania matches against Triple H, Shawn Michaels and CM Punk are just a few examples of his in ring ability. His Wrestlemania encounter with Lesnar didn’t reach the heights of his other bouts, though, but this was mainly down to The Undertaker suffering from a concussion he picked up early on in the bout. If all goes to plan, this time round won’t see an injury like this damage the quality of the bout, and The Undertaker will be able to once again put on a sensational match.

Brock Lesnar also has a reputation of being able to put on an incredible performance. His involvement in the Triple Threat Match at the Royal Rumble against John Cena and Seth Rollins and his world title match against Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania of this year will both go down as candidates for the match of 2015, showcasing the ability Lesnar has in the ring. Brock Lesnar has been building up a reputation of constantly delivering German Suplex after German Suplex to his opponent in matches, and it will be interesting to see if he continues this against a 50-year-old Undertaker, but regardless of that, both men have been known to put on a classic, and they will deliver again this year, bettering the performance they put on for Wrestlemania 30 last year. The excitement created by the brawl they had on Raw only weeks ago highlight how good a fight the two can put on, and how hotly the crowd react to them going at it. As Paul Heyman said, this rematch is well and truly “too big for Wrestlemania”.

Agree with my opinion? Or think that this entire feud is a waste of time and won’t live up to its hype? Let me know by commenting below or contacting me on Twitter at @carlo_george

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WWE Battleground 2015 Review

July 21, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Battleground 2015 took place at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It featured three championship matches and a pivotal Divas tag match. It was available via traditional pay-per-view and for free to subscribers on the WWE network. So let us see how things turned out for the superstars involved.

King Barrett vs. R-Truth

The evening festivities kicked off with the pre-show match between King of the Ring winner Wade Barrett and rappin’ superstar R-Truth. The match was sold as the Battle for the Crown match due to R-Truth mocking Barrett by imitating him every chance he got. Barrett represented the heel in this feud and Truth went over as the face. The stale buildup in the RAWs leading up the event caused a lack of true interest in this match. However, the in-ring action was extremely solid and, by the time the crowd had filled in, Barrett and Truth had connected with the audience with a decent match that set a good stage for the rest of the show. A Bull Hammer Elbow from Barrett brought an end to Truth’s antics and hopefully closed out this feud as it did nothing to help either man.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

Randy Orton won the first match of the pay-per-view against Sheamus, the Money in the Bank briefcase holder. Although Orton and Sheamus have excellent in-ring chemistry and succeed in putting on a good match every time they perform, the lack of a true story hurt this match. The only idea that any viewer had was that Sheamus is going to become the Authority’s new favorite and Randy Orton was still locked in his quest to destroy them. While any anti-Authority storyline plays well, this one faltered for the lack of a true reason for the feud. Nevertheless, Sheamus and Orton put on a hard hitting brawl that easily ranked as one of the night’s best matches.

The Prime Time Players vs The New Day (Tag Team Championship)

After the Orton-Sheamus bout, the tag team championship match felt like a filler match as the crowd caught their breath. The defending champions (Darren Young and Titus O’Neil – Prime Time Players) defended against (Big E and Kofi Kingston – New Day) while Xavier Woods (New Day) stood at ringside. The match featured high intensity action and plenty of heel antics from the New Day. As the end of the match neared, order broke down as each superstar hit his finisher in succession. When the dust finally settled, the Prime Time Players had retained the Tag Team Championships. As a wrestling match, this was excellent, but it failed to get the crowd involved until the very end. Solid performance from all parties here, but it needed a better story to create more interest.

Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns

The story leading up to this bout was one of the best on this card. Bray Wyatt’s promo skills are second only to Paul Heyman and he did an excellent job of selling the personal side of this match by targeting Reigns’ daughter. His veiled threats sparked Reigns to take rash actions to get his hands on him. Each time Reigns tried, he always caught a mystery man who looked like Wyatt. The bout itself was an excellent brawl that lived up to the quality of the buildup. Failed finishers and near falls kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. At the very end, the same mystery man interfered as Reigns was gaining control and Wyatt was able to hit his Sister Abigail finisher for the win. Afterwards, it was revealed that the mystery man was Luke Harper, a former Wyatt family member. This bout was an excellent kickoff to the Reigns-Wyatt feud. It left fans wanting to see more and you can expect them to clash at Summerslam.

Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs. Brie Bella

On the last RAW before the pay-per-view, Stephanie McMahon announced that three divas had been called up to reinvigorate the divas division. At Battleground, two of them (Charlotte and Sasha Banks) were pitted against Brie Bella in a Triple Threat match. The new divas made an instant impact, delivering a high intensity match that the divas division hasn’t seen since AJ Lee feuded with Paige. The lack of a story was the only detriment to this match as Charlotte picked up the win by pinning Brie Bella.

John Cena vs Kevin Owens (United States Championship)

This was one of the most anticipated matches coming into Battleground. Each man had won one match in the feud and the stakes were high in this one. John Cena’s United States Championship was on the line. Given the utter disrespect that Owens had shown and the personal animosity he had against Cena, who could not afford to lose the third match. The buildup to the match fully expressed this and, when they finally got in the ring at Battleground, they delivered the match of the night. For all of the criticism regarding Cena, he is undoubtedly the best all-around superstar in the WWE today and Owens is fast proving himself to be one of the best superstars as well. After numerous, heart-stopping, near falls, Cena made Owens tap out to his STF. Where this feud goes from here is uncertain. They may have another rematch at Summerslam.

Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Championship)

As Paul Heyman hyped this match, you honestly believed that Seth Rollins (current champion) was in for the whooping that he had coming for him since he stole the title from Lesnar at Wrestlemania. For much of the match, it appeared to going that way. Rollins could mount very little offense and Lesnar delivered 13 suplexes to him. The more stubborn and defiant Rollins got, the more angry and sadistic Lesnar got. An F5 put Rollins down and, as the referee counted two, the iconic bell tolled and the arena went dark. When the lights came back on, Rollins was gone and Lesnar stood face to face with the legendary Undertaker, whose undefeated streak at Wrestlemania ended at the hands of Lesnar in 2014. Two chokeslams and two tombstones to Lesnar ended the show. While bringing back the Undertaker to set up a Summerslam showdown with Lesnar is a moneymaking move, it left the Rollins-Lesnar storyline incomplete and it will remain incomplete until after Summerslam. Moreover, it ruined a great match and made Rollins look irrelevant.

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WWE Battleground 2015 Results and Recap: Undertaker Returns, Owens Taps

July 19, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

TheThe Undertaker WWE Battleground road to SummerSlam began at WWE Battleground. The prelude to the biggest party of the summer kicked off with one of the most exciting angles in recent memory to set up one of the biggest SummerSlam seasons in recent WWE history.

The Undertaker returned in what was arguably the best angle of 2015. The Undertaker returned to set up a big money rematch with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. The return of the Dead Man while predicted and reported prior to the show, still came as a bit of a shocker in the way it was done. The heat for it was the best of any angle I can remember on a WWE show in recent memory. Lesnar and Taker are expected to wrestle at SummerSlam.

The return came at the conclusion of the Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar match. Lesnar dominated Rollins for most of the match, sans a brief flurry of offense from Rollins. Lesnar at one point hurdled the barricade in a jump that was much more impressive than it sounds. The finish came when Lesnar dropped Rollins with the F5. The ref began to count, the lights went out, the bells rang, and Undertaker was in the ring. The best part of the entire angle was Undertaker’s facials. His eyes were bulging out of his head the entire time he was in the ring. It was simply awesome! Rollins disappeared and Lesnar looked scared and confused. Taker kicked Lesnar with a low blow and eventually hit a choke slam and laid him out with two tombstones. Again it was the look on Taker’s face that put this thing over the top. The reaction from the fans made this probably the biggest “must see” WWE moment since Lesnar defeated Taker at Mania 30.

I blogged shortly after Mania 30 that a Taker vs. Lesnar Mania rematch would be a blockbuster matchup. Between the shock of the moment and Heyman’s constant taunting of Taker, I think it would have been huge which was I was surprised that Taker came back for a mid-card match with Bray Wyatt. I love the revenge angle and it will be big but I can’t help thinking that they are losing out by not pulling this angle off at the Royal Rumble and setting it up for WrestleMania 32. Regardless, this will be the first non-Mania big match the Undertaker has worked in years and that is something to get excited about.

The timing of it all does seem odd in that the WWE finally pulled the trigger on turning Lesnar babyface. The crowd has booed Heyman at any mention of the streak and the crowd in St. Louis were 100% pro-Taker when he laid out Lesnar. It will be interesting to see where things go post-SummerSlam for Lesnar and Heyman.

The finish leaves the belt on Rollins and leaves the situation between Lesnar and Rollins open. I predict with Cena winning and the ratings woes RAW has experienced this summer (although I’d expect that to end tomorrow night) that Cena will wrestle Rollins at SummerSlam and regain the WWE championship. I don’t know this nor have I seen it reported, it’s just a gut feeling reading the lay of the land and seeing Vince go back to Cena a couple of weeks ago to close out RAW.

In what will go down as one of the most disappointing, yet expected results of the night John Cena defeated Kevin Owens…by tap out. To say that fans on social media are irate would be an understatement. These two had another very good match, probably not as good as their last but very good nonetheless. I do think that having three matches so close together prevented this one from being appreciated as the classic that it was. Cena defeated Owens via tap out when Owens was caught in the STF. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I published a blog shortly after Owens won the first match reminding all of you optimists out there that Cena never loses twice in these situations. At least he’s consistent!

I can’t describe this as anything other than disappointing. Owens had a ton of steam coming out of Extreme Rules but has been marginalized ever since Payback. Owens desperately needed a win here and while he still got himself over with a loss at Payback, this was not the case at Battleground. I am not sure where you go from here. I think Owens and Cena need to be kept a part for a while. Owens will be challenging Finn Balor for the NXT title at NXT’s biggest event in history on SummerSlam weekend. However, it seems like a step backwards for Owens to win the NXT title and I think it’s too soon for Balor to lose.

Bray Wyatt defeated Roman Reigns in a bit of a shocker. The finish saw former Wyatt family member Luke Harper interfere and attack Roman Reigns outside of the ring. Bray then hit a Sister Abigail on the apron, rolled Wyatt back into the ring, and covered Reigns for the win. The match was much better than you probably would have expected. It was very similar to a house show match I saw the two have but with much better timing. At one point the crowd was chanting “This is awesome!” I am not sure if I agree with that, but it was a pretty damned good match nonetheless.

One thing that I’d like to point out is that while Harper was wearing a hooded sweatshirt it was obviously him. Yet the commentators all “had no idea” who it was, not even a guess that it could be a former Wyatt family member. I think the announcers all look like idiots while most casual fans who aren’t necessarily the “experts” can clearly see who the attacker is.

The rumor is that the finish set up the Wyatts vs. Reigns and Sting for SummerSlam. That would certainly make sense coming out of the match. It’s a great spot for Reigns who will likely avoid the booing when he is teaming with Sting. It’s also a great spot for someone like Sting to come in and help get Wyatt and Reigns over.

Full WWE Battleground matches and winners…
Seth Rollins defeated Brock Lesnar via DQ to retain the WWE title
John Cena defeated Kevin Owens to retain the U.S. title
Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks and Brie Bella
Bray Wyatt defeated Roman Reigns
Prime Time Players defeated the New Day to retain the WWE tag team titles
Randy Orton defeated Sheamus
King Barrett defeated R-Truth

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The Undertaker and Sting Expected to Return at WWE SummerSlam

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

WWE Battleground may be only a few days away but all of the talk is about SummerSlam. A recent report confirms rumors that not one but two big superstars are expected to return for the biggest party of the summer.

Rumors started swirling earlier in the week about the Undertaker returning as early as Battleground. While those rumors are red hot, the only confirmed report places the Undertaker at SummerSlam. Dave Meltzer confirmed the report on several posts and podcasts on F4WOnline.com.

Meltzer reported that the Undertaker’s angle is expected to be a part of SummerSlam as he is included in future advertisements. While Undertaker’s role has not been confirmed, most suspect that he will be wrestling. A recent tweet posted a picture of Undertaker training and he looked to be in great shape and ready for an upcoming match.

Undertaker was rumored to be slotted with Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 32. Meltzer shot down that report in a recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer and others suspect that Undertaker will pick back up on his feud with Brock Lesnar and seek revenge. Most have commented that it was no coincidence that Paul Heyman recently started mentioning the streak, WWE announcers have made recent mentions of Undertaker and Kane as brothers, and Lesnar broke Kane’s leg this week.

This goes back to something I blogged about shortly after WrestleMania 30. I predicted that a Lesnar vs. Undertaker rematch would be absolutely huge. I do think it would have been bigger at Mania 31, yet I still think there is a lot of money on the table here. Many have predicted that Undertaker will get involved in the finish of the Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar match at Battleground. The waters are a little muddied with Lesnar and Heyman as babyfaces, although fans booed Heyman recently when he did bring up the end of the streak.

The Undertaker isn’t the only big name reported to return at SummerSlam. Sting is expected back in the ring at SummerSlam. Meltzer also confirmed those reports. Meltzer mentioned on a recent podcast that Sting was slotted to wrestle someone who was recently injured, thus causing a change in the booking. I can only guess who Sting will wrestle but it could be anyone at this point.

The WWE are really bringing out the big guns here for SummerSlam. This could also explain why the company bumped Lesnar vs. Rollins up from SummerSlam to Battleground. Regardless, with Lesnar, Undertaker, and Sting all expected on SummerSlam, the event will likely go down as the biggest SummerSlam event in recent memory.

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WWE Fury: 38 DDTs That Will Drill You Into The Canvas

June 23, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The DDT is one of the most exciting moves in the WWE. The move comes out of nowhere and has finished many matches. The WWE has paid tribute to this exciting move with a really cool video featuring 38 DDTs.

The latest WWE Fury video, 8 DDTs that will drill you into the canvas is 1:09 of some of the most exciting DDTs in WWE history. The history of WWE includes WCW so you get DDTs spanning all the way back to the mid-late 1980s. Of course there is plenty of Jake “the Snake” Roberts but you also have some real cool DDT moments from the Undertaker, Dean Ambrose, Arn Anderson, The Rock, Triple H, Dolph Ziggler, and more.

Check out the video and relive some of the most exciting DDTs in WWE history.

Top 30 Worst WWE Pay-Per-Views In History

May 06, 2015 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE PPVs are thirty years old this year. WrestleMania I was not the first (it aired on closed-circuit in theaters), rather Wrestling Classic was. In those thirty years, WWE has provided fans with countless moments from numerous historical events.

This list will not be celebrating those moments.

Instead, we’ll be looking back on the thirty worst WWE PPVs ever, as there have been plenty of barrel-scrapers. You can certainly think of a few off the top of your head; events that robbed you of $30, $40, upwards of $65-70. Or, perhaps, just events you wish you hadn’t illegally streamed in the interest of your own sanity, either or.

In the interest of some positivity, I will select a redeeming quality from each PPV, just to show that I’m not all about the negative. This could go a long way in reducing some potential, “But, but….” feedback.

Away we go.

30. THE WRESTLING CLASSIC (November 7, 1985 – Chicago, IL)

WHY IT SUCKED: More bad finishes than possibly any other show, including The Junkyard Dog counting his own pinfall, Davey Boy Smith losing via stoppage when he crotched the ropes, Terry Funk getting counted out after attempting to sucker Moondog Spot into just such a countout, among others. The Wrestling Classic was a tournament that crammed a number of colorful stars of that exciting era into one show, and put together a card that has aged as well as acid-washed jeans.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Macho Man proved his early worth to the company by having two excellent tournament bouts with Ricky Steamboat and The Dynamite Kid, both sadly relegated to five minutes or less.

29. KING OF THE RING 2002 (June 23, 2002 – Columbus, OH)

WHY IT SUCKED: The final incarnation of King of the Ring as a standalone PPV went out with a whimper. The Undertaker/Triple H main event for the Undisputed Title ranks among the worst title bouts of the modern era, thanks to both men working through serious injuries. Ric Flair and Eddie Guerrero had themselves a disappointing bout of near twenty-minute length, almost entirely heatless with the sudden absence of Steve Austin from the storyline. The bloom was off of Hulk Hogan’s nostalgia comeback, as he lost by submission to Kurt Angle in a virtual comedy match.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Aside from Brock Lesnar’s continued ascent via winning the crown, Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam put on an enjoyable semi-final match (which sadly led to an online Jericho tirade when some fans felt the match was lacking).

28. NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTION 2005 (January 9, 2005 – San Juan, PR)

WHY IT SUCKED: Muhammad Hassan and Jerry Lawler put on a hideous match, made duller without commentary (Jim Ross worked Lawler’s corner). Eugene and Lita suffered debilitating knee injuries in the first two matches, casting a pall on the event, and cutting Lita’s potentially-good title bout with Trish Stratus understandably short. Maven stalled for almost six minutes in his Intercontinental Title match with Shelton Benjamin, and was then immediately pinned, rendering the entire match pointless.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Elimination Chamber match for the vacant World Heavyweight Title was excellent, helping make Batista into a bona fide star, and is possibly the greatest Chamber match of all time. Makes sense why the show was bad: every main eventer was in this match.

27. BATTLEGROUND 2014 (July 20, 2014 – Tampa, FL)

WHY IT SUCKED: A bait-and-switch was put into play, removing the highly anticipated Dean Ambrose/Seth Rollins match from the show. Perhaps because of Ambrose’s jettisoning from the show, much of the card suffered from an annoyed vibe that resulted in a lack of heat, even for matches like Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt, and the Intercontinental Battle Royal. In the latter, Miz’s screwjob win was met with more apathy than fan anger. John Cena’s win in the closing fatal four way was as predictable as a sunrise. From the Network pre-show, Adam Rose vs. Fandango and Cameron vs. Naomi were each awful.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The opening PPV match pitting the Usos vs. Luke Harper/Erick Rowan, two out of three falls for the WWE Tag Team Titles, was a sleeper match of the year candidate, and qualifies as Harper’s breakout performance.

26. SURVIVOR SERIES 1991 (November 27, 1991 – Detroit, MI)

WHY IT SUCKED: Functioned primarily as a commercial for an unsuccessful attempt at running weekly PPVs, marking the first year Survivor Series ever felt secondary to anything. Great opening match pitting teams captained by Ric Flair and Roddy Piper was cut short when five wrestlers were disqualified. The following bout, with Jim Duggan’s team toppling Col. Mustafa’s team, was clumsy and butt-ugly. Despite hinting at a Randy Savage return to fill in for Sid Justice, his beef with Jake Roberts ended up being held off until the following week in a cruel tease.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Undertaker’s WWF Title win over Hulk Hogan, in which fans were 60-40 in favor of Taker, truly marked a paradigm shift as the definitive end of eight years of Hulkamania. Whether you like Hogan or not, it’s a historical benchmark.

25. OVER THE LIMIT 2011 (May 22, 2011 – Seattle, WA)

WHY IT SUCKED: WWE Championship bout was SuperCena at its most convoluted, as the champion withstood a two-on-one beating from The Miz and Alex Riley and almost instantly made Miz tap after an STF following a match restart. That restart was borne of a crap finish, where Riley played a cell-phone recording of Cena ‘submitting’ to hoodwink the official (Rock/Mankind redux). Most of the remainder of the show was horrid, with CM Punk wasted in a plodding Tag Team title match, Brie Bella and Kelly Kelly stumbling around the Divas title match, and Sin Cara continuing his inauspicious debut by going over Chavo Guerrero in uninspiring fashion.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Randy Orton and Christian delivered another awesome World Heavyweight Title bout, with Christian playing the Flair or Steamboat to Orton’s Luger perhaps better than anyone else.

24. ROYAL RUMBLE 2015 (January 25, 2015 – Philadelphia, PA)

WHY IT SUCKED: Not even for undesired Roman Reigns winning the Rumble match itself, but for the uninspired booking of the actual match, with aging relics Big Show and Kane slowly wiping the floor with a number of younger favorites. Daniel Bryan’s early elimination opened the floodgates of relentless fan outrage. Most of the rest of the show boasted uninspired tag team matches, with The Ascension looking weak in victory over the New Age Outlaws, a DQ finish in a Tag Team title match, and the Bellas beating Natalya and Paige with a simple forearm smash.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The World Championship bout revealed Seth Rollins’ true main event value, and the match itself with Brock Lesnar and John Cena was chaotic and exciting, a potential match-of-the-year.

23. SURVIVOR SERIES 2013 (November 24, 2013 – Boston, MA)

WHY IT SUCKED: “Big Show was my childhood friend” storyline with Stephanie McMahon came to a merciful end, but not merciful enough without the heatless World Title match with Randy Orton that ended the night. The seven-on-seven Divas elimination match was full of the clunky wrestling you’d expect from some of the lower-tier entrants, essentially an amateur-hour commercial for Total Divas. Big E Langston’s Intercontinental title win over Curtis Axel was short and dull, as was Mark Henry’s pointless win over Ryback.

REDEEMING QUALITY: “Make Roman look strong” served its purpose in the opening PPV bout, in which Reigns made four eliminations in powerfully understated fashion, becoming sole survivor of a damn fine Survivor Series match.

22. SURVIVOR SERIES 2008 (November 23, 2008 – Boston, MA)

WHY IT SUCKED: Popular Jeff Hardy was removed from the WWE Championship triple threat for creative reasons, coming under the guise of an attack at the hotel, which was presented as semi-legitimate, and upset many fans. Triple H and Kozlov then plodded through maybe the most boring title match in recent memory before Edge ran in to replace Hardy, after three months away, and won the belt. The women’s elimination bout was accelerated sloppiness, while Undertaker’s casket match with Big Show was very underwhelming compared to their surprisingly good match at No Mercy one month earlier.

REDEEMING QUALITY: A pair of decent-enough traditional Survivor Series matches took place, so at least the fundamental portion of the show held up its end.

21. WRESTLEMANIA XI (April 2, 1995 – Hartford, CT)

WHY IT SUCKED: No matter how many celebrities were crammed into the event, the bloom was explicitly off of WrestleMania’s rose in this dark period. Bret Hart and Bob Backlund shambled through a boring submission match, under orders to use virtually nothing except submission holds. Undertaker and King Kong Bundy’s match was as dull as you’d expect, while The Allied Powers’ opening win over Eli and Jacob Blu hardly felt WrestleMania-worthy. Diesel’s comeback in the World Title bout was met with derision, a portrait of where the company was in 1995.

REDEEMING QUALITY: While Diesel’s match with Shawn Michaels was the expected quality showing, it was Lawrence Taylor’s fiery competence against Bam Bam Bigelow that really kept the show from plummeting to rock bottom.

20. ROYAL RUMBLE 1997 (January 19, 1997 – San Antonio, TX)

WHY IT SUCKED: The company’s drawing power in 1997 was made a tad clearer when Shawn Michaels received a World title shot in his hometown, and one-fifth of the Alamodome had to be papered. Michaels worked through the flu and regained the belt from Sycho Sid in a poor match by his standards. An attempt to co-opt lucha libre, as WCW had, pretty much died out here, after a plodding trios match where only Hector Garza looked star-caliber. The undercard saw three big feuds highlighted in underwhelming matches: Vader over Undertaker, Triple H over Goldust, and Ahmed Johnson over Faarooq by disqualification. All six men were in the Rumble match as well, so they were all likely pacing themselves.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Stone Cold Steve Austin’s rise to the top accelerated with a tainted Rumble victory, and the fans responded more than favorably to his honed anti-hero act.

19. SUMMERSLAM 2007 (August 26, 2007 – East Rutherford, NJ)

WHY IT SUCKED: There weren’t too many storylines headed into the show, and a pall still loomed from the dark cloud hovering over WWE following the Benoit murder/suicide (wellness suspensions would come en masse the following weekend). Batista and Great Khali had a spectacularly bad World title match that ended in a DQ, while a Divas battle royal completely lost a lukewarm crowd, especially after Mickie James was eliminated. CM Punk blew his third straight chance to become ECW Champion in defeat to a not-yet-over John Morrison. Triple H made his return after seven months away, beating King Booker in a short match, and getting a way-too-put-on standing ovation from Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.

REDEEMING QUALITY: John Cena and Randy Orton had a decent enough WWE Championship match, even if the crowd was more apt to cheer for Orton or, well, anyone else.

18. UNFORGIVEN 2003 (September 21, 2003 – Hershey, PA)

WHY IT SUCKED: Early on in the split-brand era, Raw PPVs and storylines were shockingly dim, lacking the fun of the only-recently departed Attitude Era. Goldberg won the World title from Triple H in a match that lacked drama, or even quality action thanks to the champ having a bum leg. Shane McMahon was booked to almost dominate revamped-monster Kane in a last man standing match for the better part of 20 minutes before losing. Test won Scott Steiner’s services as some vague type of slave after a match only made interesting by Stacy Keibler standing around. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler actually had a match with Heat announcers Jonathan Coachman and Al Snow that was garbage.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Shawn Michaels did make Randy Orton look like the main eventer he would eventually become, and their match was certainly more than decent, if not great.

17. ROYAL RUMBLE 1996 (January 21, 1996 – Fresno, CA)

WHY IT SUCKED: When Bret Hart and The Undertaker are incapable of having a good match with each other, it’s probably been one of those nights. The fact that their show-ending World title match ended in a cheap DQ on interference from Diesel just tossed dung onto a mounting pile. Goldust and Razor Ramon’s Intercontinental title match was one of Goldust’s typical plodfests from the era. The Rumble match itself was loaded up with one-nighters such as Doug Gilbert, The Headhunters, Takao Omori, and aging Dory Funk Jr in order to aid the dwindling roster of the time, and it’s arguably the least interesting Rumble match ever. Kama (The Godfather) was the next-to-last man to be eliminated, and he went out on a pie-face.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Shawn Michaels looked good in winning the Rumble match, beginning his road to WrestleMania XII at a time in which he was clearly the right man for the spot, even if hindsight numbers don’t back him up.

16. TABLES, LADDERS, CHAIRS, AND STAIRS 2014 (December 14, 2014 – Cleveland, OH)

WHY IT SUCKED: Coming just days after the universally-acclaimed NXT Takeover: R Evolution, it was reported that the WWE roster tasked itself with topping the developmental output. What ensued were uninspired gimmick matches, as Erick Rowan failed to entertain with a stack of ring steps, and Kane and Ryback swung chairs to less and less reaction. John Cena and Seth Rollins’ table match was marred with several overturned finishes. Dean Ambrose looked like the world’s biggest goof after blinding himself with an exploding television to end a lackluster evening. The roster hoped for Great American Bash ’89, and gave us ’91.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The opening match, Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper in a ladder match for the Intercontinental title, paid off a then-hot crowd with insanity and a well-told story.

15. GREAT AMERICAN BASH 2005 (July 24, 2005 – Buffalo, NY)

WHY IT SUCKED: After the 2004 Draft, Smackdown exponentially degenerated into its possibly-intended B-show designation, producing a handful of putrid events. For starters, Road Warrior Animal became a Tag Team Champion, invoking deceased partner Hawk in a storyline to sell DVDs. The Undertaker ‘killed off’ Muhammad Hassan, following an order from UPN to remove the character following a storyline that depicted a mock attempt at a terror-related beheading. That was worse, but not by much, than the beginning of the involvement of Rey Mysterio’s son Dominic in a story with Eddie Guerrero, which hampered the duo’s match. The Batista/JBL World title bout ended in a DQ, a hasty change as Hassan was supposed to beat Undertaker and advance to a SummerSlam title match, necessitating JBL’s win after a long, boring match.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Christian and Booker T had a fine, workmanlike match a ways down the card, unencumbered by the gas station fire that Smackdown had become.

14. WRESTLEMANIA XV (March 28, 1999 – Philadelphia, PA)

WHY IT SUCKED: The poor quality of the show was kinda overlooked at the time, since most fans were just satisfied that Steve Austin regained the title to close out the night, and scathing criticism of in-ring work was less so in the Attitude Era. Chyna turning heel twice in one night, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn swapping storylines (that involved belts) two weeks prior as to render their matches moot, and the pointless team of D-Lo Brown and Test going for the Tag Team Titles were all bad enough. Now add Big Bossman being hanged after a bad Hell in a Cell match, and Tori looking 400 types of awful against Sable, and it’s a crummy Mania for sure.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Steve Austin regains the WWF Championship in an overbooked, but still incredibly fun, match with The Rock. You could always count on these two.

13. BRAGGING RIGHTS 2010 (October 24, 2010 – Minneapolis, MN)

WHY IT SUCKED: If you expected John Cena to be emaciated at the hands of The Nexus upon his forced joining, think again. Not only did he and David Otunga needlessly win the Tag titles in an impromptu match over Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes, but he got Randy Orton DQed in the WWE Title match against challenger Wade Barrett. See, Cena would have lost his job if Barrett didn’t ‘win’, wink wink. Undertaker and Kane had themselves a horrid Buried Alive match that really showed each man’s age. Even the Bragging Rights elimination match itself went on for nearly a half hour, and was more uninteresting than anything, due to a lack of interest in the diluted ‘Raw vs. Smackdown’ narrative.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The champion-vs-champion bout between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler goes a long way in explaining why fans clamored to see it at WrestleMania five years later. Sadly, this was the opener, and it was all downhill from here.

12. ARMAGEDDON 2003 (December 14, 2003 – Orlando, FL)

WHY IT SUCKED: A painfully-bad 2003 limped to the grave with this poor showing for the Raw brand, though December PPVs traditionally bite balls. The best match of the night may have been Chris Jericho and Christian wrestling two considerably-smaller performers in Trish Stratus and Lita. Molly Holly vs. Ivory was a bad match. Booker T vs. Mark Henry was a bad match. A Tag Team Turmoil seemed to drag on for eons. Triple H regained the World Heavyweight title in a three way over Kane and Goldberg that was twenty slow minutes long. Not the finest hour for a brand that needed a jump start.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The four Evolution members ended up with the World, Intercontinental, and Tag Team gold by night’s end, making the faction look utterly powerful and credible for probably the first time.

11. ROCK BOTTOM (December 13, 1998 – Vancouver, BC)

WHY IT SUCKED: See what I mean about December PPVs? A lousy Steve Austin/Undertaker ‘Buried Alive’ match was made worse with Michael Cole’s illogical commentary (not that it’s exclusive to this match). It was an evening of awful tag team matches, including Headbangers vs. The Human Oddities, an interminable battle between the New Age Outlaws and Ken Shamrock/Big Bossman, and a disappointing six-man pitting The Brood against The JOB Squad. Truly, this show felt like space occupied between Survivor Series and The Royal Rumble.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Rock and Mankind delivered an enjoyable enough WWF Title match, but even that was marred by an agonizing Dusty Finish after it appeared Mankind had captured his first World title.

10. BATTLEGROUND 2013 (October 6, 2013 – Buffalo, NY)

WHY IT SUCKED: Fans were getting sick of the jerkaround centered on Daniel Bryan not being allowed to the hold WWE belt longer than a Ferris wheel ride. You can imagine they were they fuming when his match with Randy Orton for the vacant gold ended with no winner, thanks to Big Show wiping out both men. While the event is most remembered for the maddening end, there was a whole lotta bad elsewhere. CM Punk won a long, dull match over Ryback, while undercard title bouts pitting Curtis Axel vs. R-Truth (IC) and AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella (Divas) were slightly worse. What else can you say about a show where the Real Americans are saddled with Santino Marella and The Great Khali?

REDEEMING QUALITY: Goldust and Cody Rhodes’ win over Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins was precisely the kind of old-school storytelling that WWE seems to eschew more and more, and yet it’s all people want to remember from bad shows like this.

9. WRESTLEMANIA IX (April 4, 1993 – Las Vegas, NV)

WHY IT SUCKED: The consensus choice for the worst WrestleMania ever had that standing solidified by the BS ending where Hulk Hogan ‘helps’ a wounded Bret Hart, only to be challenged by new WWF Champion Yokozuna, and then cashes in his Money in the Bank Yappapi Strap to beat him in 20 seconds. Hart’s loss betrayed his standing as the flagbearer of a new class, but the problems didn’t end there. Undertaker couldn’t drag Giant Gonzalez out of the maligned ‘negative star’ range, while Hogan and Brutus Beefcake looked anachronistic against Money Inc in a disappointing Tag Team title bout. The only good thing about Doink vs. Crush was the delighfully silly ending with an impostor clown.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Steiner Brothers win over The Headshrinkers featured some insane highspots for 1993, including Rick Steiner powerslamming Samu while sitting on Fatu’s shoulders. Best match of the show, which is like being valedictorian of summer school.

8. GREAT AMERICAN BASH 2004 (June 27, 2004 – Norfolk, VA)

WHY IT SUCKED: People who watched it couldn’t help make comparisons to WCW in its decay, given the event’s name. For crying out loud, The Undertaker killed Paul Bearer in a tomb of cement to end the show, moments after beating Tag Team champions The Dudley Boyz in a handicap match before a confused, silent crowd. The undercard fared possibly worse, giving us back to back sludge in Billy Gunn vs. Kenzo Suzuki, and Sable vs. Torrie Wilson. Mordecai vs. Bob Holly was a bit better, but didn’t belong on PPV. Ditto a directionless Charlie Haas vs. a lukewarm Luther Reigns. Smackdown by this time really felt bush league compared to the inspired greatness on Raw.

REDEEMING QUALITY: While some do count this as a negative, JBL winning the WWE Championship from Eddie Guerrero in a gruesome bullrope match was indeed a great showing.

7. D-GENERATION X (December 7, 1997 – Springfield, MA)

WHY IT SUCKED: Four weeks after Montreal, and this time, the PPV buyers were the ones that got screwed. The Triple H-Sgt. Slaughter boot camp match moved molasses-slow, like a wade through waist-deep mud. Butterbean and Marc Mero engaged in a badly-worked boxing match. Undertaker vs. Jeff Jarrett was bad enough before Kane caused a DQ ending. The Legion of Doom continued their slide into the abyss in their Tag Team title match against a still-gelling New Age Outlaws. Goldust came out and read Green Eggs and Ham for whatever reason.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Steve Austin driving a truck to the ring and destroying the Nation of Domination en route to beating The Rock in a brief Intercontinental Title match is about the only thing worth remembering from this show.

6. ROYAL RUMBLE 1999 (January 24, 1999 – Anaheim, CA)

WHY IT SUCKED: The excesses of Russo’s booking drowned the Rumble match in a sea of convoluted muck. Most of the undercarders were sequestered to the first half of the match, creating an unrealistic imbalance. Vince McMahon wins after spending 90 percent of the match as an observer. Despite there being a $100,000 bounty on Steve Austin’s head, wrestlers only attack him in randomly-timed portions. If the Rumble match was a joke, at least it was a vigorously-paced one. Same can’t be said for Big Bossman vs. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn vs. Ken Shamrock, two rather lengthy matches in which the heels went over. Sable and Luna Vachon’s Women’s Title bout wasn’t going to stem the tide of a lackluster PPV.

REDEEMING QUALITY: This one is a lot more polarizing after the extent of concussions became better understood, but Rock and Mankind’s dramatic I Quit match for the WWF Championship remains a scintillating brawl, though much harder to watch today.

5. IN YOUR HOUSE IV: GREAT WHITE NORTH (October 22, 1995 – Winnipeg, MB)

WHY IT SUCKED: Story goes that Vince McMahon, at the event’s conclusion, slammed his headset down and barked “HORRIBLE!” He wasn’t wrong; the Diesel-Davey Boy Smith WWF Championship match was the cure for sleep disorders all of kinds. Perhaps more embarrassingly historic was Shawn Michaels forfeiting the Intercontinental belt to Dean Douglas, only for Douglas to get his jaw jacked (at some points, it looked literally) by Kliq-mate Razor Ramon in an awkward match. Yokozuna and Mabel trudged to a frustrating double countout that was probably for the best. Goldust’s debut, while unique, failed to electrify with his methodical style.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Not much of high value, the Tag Team title match with The Smoking Gunns and Razor/123 Kid was enjoyable, further sowing the seeds of Kid’s impending turn.

4. ARMAGEDDON 2004 (December 12, 2004 – Atlanta, GA)

WHY IT SUCKED: Great American Bash 2004 is hailed as the worst PPV of that year, but Armageddon was twice as bad; it’s just nobody buys PPVs around Christmas. Where to begin? The boxing match between Daniel Puder and The Miz? Kurt Angle beating up Santa Claus to try and get heel heat? Charlie Haas’ refereeing an alleged match between Jackie Gayda and Dawn Marie? Big Show squashing Angle, Luther Reigns, and Mark Jindrak in a handicap match? If it wasn’t bad, it was dull (Haas/Bob Holly vs. The Bashams, Spike Dudley vs. Funaki). Heidenreich causing a screwjob in a 26 minute four-way main event put a ragged bow on this one.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Rob Van Dam and Rey Mysterio took part in a really good formula Tag Team title bout with Rene Dupree and Kenzo Suzuki, a worthwhile opener.

3. KING OF THE RING 1999 (June 27, 1999 – Greensboro, NC)

WHY IT SUCKED: You would think that a time frame that produced a lot of break-neck excitement couldn’t provide such a tedious tournament, but here you go. Big Show and Kane’s first round match, with an endless, science-defying chokehold, was the absolute pits. Road Dogg and Chyna’s match was just as interminable. Ken Shamrock succumbed to his patented ‘internal injuries’, and by the time it was over, nobody was buying into X-Pac’s underdog story when he lost to ill-received king Billy Gunn. The tournament was bad enough, and a WWF Title match between Undertaker and The Rock failed to provide a positive spark otherwise. Just a dreadful show from top to bottom.

REDEEMING QUALITY: Although not a great match, Steve Austin’s handicap ladder match for ownership of the WWF against Vince and Shane McMahon did provide some expected entertaining moments.

2. DECEMBER TO DISMEMBER (December 3, 2006 – Augusta, GA)

WHY IT SUCKED: The real ECW died five years earlier, so this was more of a dumping of manure onto the grave. Bobby Lashley’s unheralded title win in the Elimination Chamber generated more annoyance from fans who preferred Rob Van Dam or CM Punk. Lots of downtime in the latter half of the match didn’t help either. Four of the six matches weren’t even announced ahead of time, and that was probably for the best, as none were any good. Among the worst were Kelly Kelly and Mike Knox’s clunker with Kevin Thorn and Ariel, as well as the FBI serving as chump fodder for Elijah Burke and Sylvester Terkay. The Georgia fans took the spiritual form of their Philly/New York counterparts and booed much of the event, especially when Tommy Dreamer lost suddenly to Daivari. The show barely went two hours and ten minutes.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Hardy Boyz kicked things off with MNM in a tag team match that featured two heat segments and plenty of creative double-teaming. Its 23-minute length was absolutely needed.

1. KING OF THE RING 1995 (June 25, 1995 – Philadelphia, PA)

WHY IT SUCKED: Near rock-bottom for a failing WWF, the hostile Philly crowd gave Vince McMahon the business a full generation before Reigns won the Rumble. Mabel winning the tournament was bad enough, made worse with two awful matches on his part. Savio Vega worked four matches and gained little underdog sympathy from a frustrated crowd, who openly chanted “ECW!” during his final against Mabel. At an event with no title matches, a WWE first, DIesel and Bam Bam Bigelow won a droning main event against Sycho Sid and Tatanka. The only real heroes of the night, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, were stuck making Jerry Lawler kiss his foot and going to a draw with Kama, respectively. It’s the hallmark of badness, a self-parody that left even McMahon speechless at points.

REDEEMING QUALITY: The Roadie and Bob Holly’s first-round match was probably the best worked match of the evening, and even that had a messed up finish.

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

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