WWE Fastlane Predictions and Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wade Barrett Talks WWE Nexus Angle, John Cena, and More

February 16, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Wade Barrett is slowly evolving into a media hit within the WWE Universe. Barrett is starting to do more press and he is turning out to be one of the better interviews in the company. Barrett was out recently promoting the UAE tour and had some interesting things to say.

Wade Barrett was asked by the National Sport about getting cheered as a heel. Barrett has become something of a “cool” heel since undertaking the Bad News gimmick. How does he feel about that?

“I have always said I don’t care if I am cheered or booed. I tend to be booed because of my personality and character but as long as I am getting a reaction I am happy and I have had a really good reaction both nights from the fans. I think there must be a lot of British expats out here and I think that was one of the reasons I was getting cheered.”

The crew were in the UAE during this interview and took in some local sights. Barrett was asked about his recreation which saw him play cricket with Ryback.

“Yeah, Ryback wielding a cricket bat is not a pretty sight, believe me. We had some time with a local cricket centre that are training some local kids and encouraging them to get involved in healthy lifestyles and sports and stuff like that. That was a really cool experience. I am not a cricketer at all as anyone who sees the footage of that will be able to tell, but it was a good experience and a lot of fun.”

Barrett also talks about the origins of Bad News Barrett. He talked about this extensively on Chris Jericho’s podcast recently and it remains a funny story. It’s funny how sometimes the best gimmicks are all luck.

“It was really a silly little thing that we wanted to try online. We have a show on called The JBL & Cole Show and they wanted me to come up with a character to be on that. So I came up with a character that was just going to be me turning up and just giving bad news to everybody. Which is kind of like my real life personality as I like to be the Debbie Downer in the room. So I started doing that and then Vince [McMahon, the WWE chairman] managed to see it one week and decided he was going to put me on TV doing it. I was a little worried at first because I didn’t really work out how it was going to translate into a wrestling character on TV rather than this quirky internet show. But it caught on and people loved chanting the catchphrase and once you get a catchphrase people are into it gets a lot easier.”

Finally Barrett talks a bit about the Nexus angle and working with John Cena as a new guy on the roster.

“That was a lot of fun. I basically went from being an unknown wrestler to being on global TV and main eventing pay per views against the No 1 wrestler in the world every week. It was a huge step up for me in terms of the kind of coverage I was getting and the pressure that was on my shoulders, but it was a great time. A lot of people were telling me at the time they were surprised how well I was coping with that pressure, but to me I felt more pressure trying to get to WWE and struggling as an up and coming wrestler as opposed to being the guy at the very top. I loved that run. I had a lot of fun doing it, I thought we got some great reactions and we got some great storylines and TV out of it.”

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Wade Barrett Talks Nexus Invasion Angle With Chris Jericho

February 02, 2015 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Nexus invasion of the WWE remains one of the most memorable angles of this generation. We are only recently starting to hear about what went on behind the scenes and how it all came together. The latest to tell the story is Wade Barrett and his recollection may be the best thus far.

Members of the Nexus angle recently told their story on Chris Jericho’s podcast but it was Barrett’s latest interview that peeled back the curtain and brought you inside of the angle through the mind of the biggest beneficiary. What is it like to go from WWE “rookie” to leader of the top heel faction in the company overnight? Pretty damned crazy according to Barrett.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation Barrett and Jericho had when reflecting on the angle. Jericho asked Barrett how the angle came about and what he knew before the angle. According to Barrett, not much although his life would change forever moving forward.

Wade Barrett – “It was awesome and we really had no idea up until probably just before they opened the doors and started letting the crowd in (Jericho says, “Wow, that day?). They brought us all back. So NXT season two was starting that week so they had all of these new rookies and we thought, “Look whoever wins NXT season one that the prize is you get a contract with WWE, you also get a title shot,” which was kind of weird because we’re like rookies yet we get the title shot, this main title with WWE. We thought the other seven, you guys are going to get the job. Whoever wins is great, the rest of you it’s great because everyone is getting a job because they can’t just debut eight new guys right? That never happens. We thought the rest of you would go back to FCW, well that’s what we thought would happen.”

Chris Jericho – “Did you guys discuss that among yourselves?”

Barrett – “Yeah, when we’re driving around because we’re sharing rental cars and stuff during the whole process of NXT season one. “What’s going to happen if you get cut one week?” You thought, “You’re probably back to developmental or you’re fired. Maybe this is your chance? When in the past have eight guys debuted together, there’s no room on the roster. It was eight guys, it quickly became seven once Daniel Bryan got cut so, but he came back fortunately. We’re thinking, “Whoever wins great, you’ve got your spot, the other seven guys, see you later.” You served as requirements by this point. So they brought all eight of us to TV. We didn’t know what we would be doing. I assumed I’d be doing something because I was the guy who won and I was now on the main roster but the rest of the guys were thinking they were just there to make up the numbers or whatever. But then about fifteen minutes before doors Vince (McMahon) calls us into a meeting and we’ve got all of the agents in there and they hand out these Nexus armbands to us and we’re like, “Okay what is going on here?” So eight of us have these armbands and we come up with this plan where we’re going to rip the ring apart and trash it.”

Jericho – “So what did Vince tell you? Did he say, “Listen this is what you’re going to do,” did he say, “This is a big opportunity”, or just business as usual. You guys are here and this is what you’re doing tonight.”

Barrett – “We knew something was very different because literally every agent in the company was in this room with Vince. We were told, “Okay here’s what we’re going to do. This is going to be big, you’re going to attack John Cena,” which none of us were expecting anyway because he’s obviously the number one guy in the company, so okay this is huge, this is a bit of a step up from wrestling each other in three minute matches, doing obstacle courses and stuff like that. This is a slight change. Yeah we did that and we were told very specifically that we weren’t allowed to, after we did this whole thing where we attacked Cena and smashed the ring up and stuff like that, “Okay you guys are not going to be able to interact in public with other members of the WWE roster. You don’t share rental cars with them, if you see them out there in public in a gym or an airport you don’t speak to them. You have to wear your Nexus armbands at all times,” which was awful. So we’re like walking through airports, you don’t want to be noticed at 4:30 in the morning in an airport and then suddenly eight of us show up at some gate with these Nexus armbands on like some kind of club. We were told we had to wear them at all times which when you’re the new guys you’re like, “Okay, sure, I don’t want to get fired already so I’ll do that.” So we knew it was very serious, the company was taking it seriously, they didn’t tell us “You’re going to go on and main-event pay-per-views,” and this, that, and the other thing, because I don’t think they really knew how well it was going to take off and how people were going to react but that moment when we went down to the ring, we smashed everything up.”

Jericho – “First it was just you.”

Barrett – “It was just me walking down and I assume the commentators were saying things like, “Oh he won NXT season one, he gets a shot at the title but what’s he doing here?” Then suddenly you see various faces pop in.”

Jericho – “I remember Tarver coming out with the thing over his mouth.”

Barrett – “The motorcycle mouth-guard thing there. He looked pretty badass.”

Jericho – “I told Ryback this when he did the show that when Tarver came down I knew it was going to happen. I got it, right then. Here’s one, here’s two, and then oh here they come. It was amazing, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it, it was such a great moment.”

Barrett – “Yeah it was such a cool moment. As you know as rookie wrestlers we came up putting up rings so we know what’s under the skirts and we know what’s under the canvas and we know how it looks when it’s half torn down, so to me in my head when they say, “You’re going to rip the ring apart and expose the beams and stuff,” I was like, “Okay that’s pretty cool, that’s never been done before. I didn’t think in my head, “Wow, the people watching this around the world have never seen a wrestling ring half taken apart,” when would you ever see that, so like I think a huge part of the reaction to that was just this destruction of something that they’ve never seen before. They don’t know what’s under there. It could be a bouncy castle for all they know, you know? That was pretty cool and people responded like crazy. I remember we got to the back and we had so much adrenaline at the time we were not taking it in, we’re just doing “Okay I’m going to do this.” We kind of had set plans, “You guys go over there and attack the announcers, I’m going to do this, I’m going to tear this apart, Skip’s going to turn the announce table over.” We all had very defined roles to make sure it was kind of coordinated. When we finished what we were doing we kind of walked to the back, we weren’t allowed to go through Gorilla, we had to go through a side entrance because we didn’t want it to look like we were heading out and “Oh hey, how was that guys? Was that okay?” We were kind of these invaders. I remember we got to the back and they were showing replays, everyone was silent and they were just watching the replays of the fans’ faces in the audience. People looked genuinely terrified, shocked, and it’s so hard because we produce so much content, I think we make eight or nine hours a week of fresh TV, and you’ve got everything on the Internet and YouTube and stuff like that and it’s so hard to get a reaction like that from people because they’ve seen everything. Let’s face it, there is so little new you can give them because we have to produce so much stuff, so to get that reaction that’s when it suddenly sank in, “Woah that was big.” I went on my Twitter account and I probably had 10,000 followers and I was getting death threats and I have never had anything like that in my life. There’s a guy threatening to meet me at the airport the following morning with a chainsaw that was my favorite. Okay you’re going to look real good in an airport with a chainsaw at six in the morning buddy, yeah I’ll see you there mate. That was pretty hilarious, that was some genuinely upset people.”

Talk about an incredible experience! Barrett’s recollection was fantastic and he goes even more in depth on the run when he and Jericho talk about their SummerSlam match, their experience together on the first season of NXT, and much more. This was a fantastic interview, revealing a side to Barrett we have never seen as WWE fans. Check it out in its entirety on Talk is Jericho.

Just in case you forgot how awesome this was…

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Will Bad News Barrett become the first ever British WWE Champion in 2015?

January 15, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

As a Brit myself, you could say I was biased, and truth be told you could be right in saying that, however there is no denying the stature and physique of the former bare knuckle fighter suits him for him being the current Intercontinental Champion. Can he be a WWE World Heavyweight Champion this year? Possibly, of course it’s doubtful, it’s something that many, Brits mainly believe should actually happen.

It’s commonly known that it’s a goal of his to achieve this as he’s stated to ‘Chris Van Vliet’, although who goes into the WWE without wanting to one day lift that belt? He’s expressed in shoot interviews with ‘notsam’ Sam Roberts about his current status with his character, ‘Bad News Barrett’, in which we see him commonly say, ‘I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news!’ It’s a character that is actually effective for a heel, and seeing it develop on a platform such as the JBL show, does indeed work its magic for Barrett.

The character itself has been given positive and good crowd responses, and his push given with the Intercontinental Champion being placed back on him, albeit through the dethroning of crowd favorite Dolph Ziggler, it’s evident that the writers want to keep the Englishman relevant, possibly for WrestleMania, or even further than that. I’d personally like to see Bad News Barrett be given an equivalent of a Rusev-like role, it would be something different for the WWE if they actually made the Intercontinental Championship a platform for winning the World title, instead of used as a ‘filler’. A good example of this would be The Miz’s irrelevant reign last year in the summer.

How could he accomplish this?

If Bad News Barrett would come into the world title scene, it would have to be on the back of an Intercontinental title defeat, he couldn’t hold both championships at all; there already is arguably a lack of title belts in the WWE. Arguably the WWE maybe shouldn’t have merged the belts; that along with my opinion on the brand split are for another day however! The reigning Intercontinental champion will have to use his character in such a way as maybe Dolph Ziggler has done, and has really tried to connect and make an interactive relationship with his audience.

It’s early days for Bad News, just coming back from a separated shoulder is always a hard one, and the fact that he’s come back and already has had the IC title put on him already shows he’s already on a path of being able to cause more shockwaves in the WWE. The writers have got to be on his side (of course) and someone like Barrett whom with the Nexus entered himself in the main event limelight, won’t be shy of stepping up to that sort of platform again, if anything he’ll thrive on it.

Bad News had claimed to Sam Roberts in a ‘shoot interview’, of his displeasure of being a jobber and participating week in and week out in squash matches, he believed that he was overused and had too much exposure put on him. This is something the WWE have to be wary of, for example, do we need to see J&J security that many times on Raw, or do we need to see John Cena in the opening segment of Raw every single week? Arguably not, Barrett will have to be injected, so to speak, in the right spots, possibly using him on Smack Down which has now moved to Thursdays, ‘exclusively on the WWE network for $9.99’ (Sorry for the plug) it could be a great platform for the Englishman to build a run for the Road to WrestleMania.

It’s unlikely he’ll become champion in early 2015, with Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns returning, and Seth Rollins and John Cena in the title picture, it would be unfair to them if Barrett would overtake them in such a manner.

Memory Lane!

Let’s not forget that Barrett with the Nexus had indeed main evented pay-per-views, and had been in multiple WWE Championship matches, as well as being put over by big stars after being brought up from NXT, he is definitely someone who can thrive on being put over by big stars, and has shown he can adjust to the main event status easily, much like a fellow European Sheamus, who burst onto the scene quickly like Barrett did.

So, can Barrett win the WWE World Heavyweight title this year? Maybe not in 2015, but it could be inevitable that he could be the first ever Brit to lift that title, unless of course someone like Adrian Neville slips into the limelight ahead of him.

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Flashback: Alberto Del Rio Wins the WWE Royal Rumble 2011

January 14, 2015 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Originally published on January 30, 2011. The 2011 WWE Royal Rumble winner wasn’t who was expected and that is a good thing. Alberto Del Rio won the Royal Rumble and a trip to the WrestleMania 27 main-event against a WWE champion of his choice. Del Rio eliminated Santino Marella to win the Rumble and earn his title match.

Rey Mysterio, Kane, Wade Barrett, John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, and Randy Orton were the final six of the Rumble or were they? Mysterio eliminated Kane and was then quickly tossed out by Barrett. The announcers pushed the RAW vs. SmackDown theme of the final four.

In the shocker of the night, John Cena was eliminated by The Miz. Yes The Miz was down doing commentary and wound up running in. Alex Riley distracted Cena and The Miz wound up tossing Cena over. The ref never “saw it” and only caught Cena on the floor, thus eliminating Cena. Barrett, Orton, and Del Rio are final three. Del Rio eliminated Randy Orton, started to celebrate, and was then attached by Santino.

Santino emerged from under the ring and the place went ballistic. Santino Marella was never officially eliminated when he appeared early on. The announcers went nuts saying it would be the biggest upset of all time. For a second I kind of wanted to see it. Del Rio soon recovered, eliminated Santino and officially won the Rumble and the championship match of his choice.

CM Punk entered the Royal Rumble as #1. Punk was soon jumped by members of Corre. The RAW GM (how did he have power here?) chimed in and ordered Corre to the back. Daniel Bryan then entered as the official number two. Punk and Bryan started off which I am sure appealed to their hardcore following on the Internet.

Kevin Nash made a long awaited return to the WWE entering the Royal Rumble at #32. Nash entered as his old character Diesel with a black haired dye job and his old Diesel gear. Nash got a nice reaction but it was nowhere close to the reaction that Booker T received. Nash did his trademark Diesel moves but was eliminated pretty shortly by Wade Barrett. Nash and The Big Show walked by one another as Nash left and Show entered. It could have been a prelude to a WrestleMania match but let’s hope not. Hey Paul, don’t let him powerbomb you this time. Hey may try and finish the what he couldn’t do at Souled Out.

No Triple H for the record. Not sure what he is waiting for at this point but I have to admit that I was hoping to see him come out at #40 instead of Kane. No Undertaker either.

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Nash’s fellow Main Event Mafia partner,  Booker T also returned to the WWE. King Booker entered the Royal Rumble earlier at #21. Booker T got a huge pop and entered the ring to face four members of Nexus. Unfortunately the numbers got the best of him and Booker T’s return lasted for about 90 seconds before being eliminated. I am not a big proponent of seeing Booker T back but the fan reaction sure made it a great Rumble moment. The former TNA stars got nice reactions but were limited with short appearances in the Rumble match which was probably for the better.

CM Punk was looking like the favorite for awhile. At one point Punk and three members of Nexus just wound up eliminating everyone and continued to throw away future entrants. They just looked unstoppable after eliminating Booker T in less than two minutes. John Cena wound up entering at #22 with his Superman cape and eliminated all of Nexus including CM Punk. I was fairly certain up to that point that Punk was going to be Final Four if not the winner altogether.

John Morrison may have had the best Royal Rumble spot I ever saw. Shortly after entering the Rumble Morrison was tossed over the top rope. However, instead of landing on the floor he landed on the barricade like Spiderman avoiding elimination. Morrison than leaped from the barricade to the metal steps and returned to the ring. The spot and sequence have to be seen to be believed.

Randy Orton entered at #39 and eliminated Sheamus and Kofi Kingston. He and Cena had a stare down that was designed to get a big reaction. Guess what? Nobody seemed to care. Maybe because WWE fans have seen Cena vs. Orton on and off for the last three years. I can’t imagine anyone having any interest in seeing Cena vs. Orton in any way, shape, or fashion in 2011 (or 2012, 2013, 2014).

Overall I thought the Rumble match was excellent. I never felt like it dragged and it had some pretty cool spots. I thought that 40 guys would be too much but it really wasn’t. If you missed the show, I’d go out of your way to try and get a copy of the match. It certainly wasn’t the best Rumble match of all time but it was far from the worst.

On a totally random note, listening to 40 WWE entrance themes is a reminder at how God awful WWE entrance music is in 2011. Well, 39 because Booker T’s music is still pretty damn good.

It would appear from the WWE championship match that CM Punk vs. Randy Orton is a highly likely WrestleMania match. Randy Orton vs. The Miz ended after interference from Nexus which saw Punk nail Orton with the GTS. The Miz capitalized and pinned Orton to win the match.

On yet another random note, I think I was vindicated for everything I have said about The Miz and his inability to be a successful WWE champion. He is not over at all! I have gotten a lot of criticism for a blog I wrote entitled “Is The Miz the worst WWE champion ever?” People told me that I don’t know what I am talking about, he is awesome, and I am in the minority. I think I stand corrected. He is now a day over two months as WWE champion and if he hasn’t been able to sell anyone by now, he isn’t going to sell them by WrestleMania. Guess what happened when he came out for the biggest match of his career? Nobody cared or reacted to him like a champion and quite honestly, the match wasn’t that good. The lesson learned here is just because a guy can go out and cut a 15 minute “great” (Wow the standards have dropped enormously) promo and deliver witty lines doesn’t make him a great champion.  The point being is that nobody believes in him as a champion and the fans see right through it. Sure you can blame the booking but he is just not championship material no matter how “funny” you may think he is.

I love the decision to go with Alberto Del Rio as this year’s winner. Del Rio is fresh and one of the best characters I have seen the WWE develop in years. Unfortunately I don’t know how much interest I have an Edge vs. Del Rio match. Quite frankly I don’t know how much interest I have an Edge vs. anyone WrestleMania title match. If it ends with Del Rio winning the championship and becoming the star of SmackDown, I like it.

An early look at WrestleMania 27 probably looks like…
The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE title
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the WWE world heavyweight title
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Nexus vs. Corre
Big Show vs. Kevin Nash

2011 WWE Royal Rumble results:

Edge defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE world heavyweight title
The Miz defeated Randy Orton after interference from Nexus and CM Punk
Natalya and Eve Torres defeated LayCool

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Another Injury Plagued WWE Superstar With Potential

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

As I was writing the Daniel Bryan article my original plan was to combine two wrestlers but I decided to give each one of them their own time in the spotlight.  The other wrestler’s name is Wade Barrett.

When he first appeared as the leader of the original Nexus I could see him as a great heel with the necessary tools to become a big star.  He has the arrogant, smug face you’d love to hate with the British accent.  He’s not only talented with his wrestling skills but great on the mic.  Ever since Nexus disbanded, the only relevant wrestlers remaining from the original group is Heath Slater (Husky Harris & Curtis Axel joined later).

But the problem with Wade Barrett just Daniel Bryan are the injuries.  He broke away from Nexus and the Corre making his own name as a brawler with his fists.  He was a big guy with an old school demeanor.  If Barrett was sent back in time he would’ve been managed by “Classy” Freddie Blassie.  Ever since Nexus, Wade Barrett’s been stalled by two injuries and a Visa issue that took much longer than expected.

It’s a shame because I like Wade Barrett and he makes a great heel.  His first injury was a partial dislocated elbow in early 2012 that kept him out of action for a while.  Barrett missed the Money In The Bank match at Wrestlemania 28 and a big pay day that came with it.  I would’ve liked to have seen Barrett win that match and eventually become the WWE Champion.  The Visa issue preventing him from working in the United States was a setback beyond his control but when that was corrected he returned with a new gimmick; Bad News Barrett.  I loved it!  It reminded me of Bad News Brown ranting about the “Beer Belly Sharecroppers” & “Spineless Cockroaches” but instead he spoke of insulting the city that Raw was in with personal jabs.  The crowd ate it up and then it became his 2nd big push.

He feuded with members of The Shield via The Authority’s instructions that gave Barrett more attention in the upper card realm.  Unfortunately, amidst that feud and winning the Intercontinental Title, things went downhill again.  Last June in a match against Jack Swagger he separated his shoulder after being thrown into a barricade.  I saw the replay and it didn’t look pretty.  Whether it was Swagger’s fault (Sounds like it was) or not, the point is Barrett will be out for a number of months and another push is wasted.  Two injuries in the past three years.

WWE management and creative need to determine what the path is for Wade Barrett.  He’ll likely be pushed again returning to Raw going after Jack Swagger for injuring him.  I was hoping Bad News Barrett would’ve held the Intercontinental title through at least Summerslam feuding with Sheamus.  Instead, frustration looms with Barrett & management.  The crowd loves him and whether he comes back as a heel or a face can only help the WWE brand.  The one advantage Barrett has over Daniel Bryan is that Wade Barrett doesn’t need to change his wrestling style as a brawler.  Don’t expect high flying moves from this guy.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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*

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Money in the Bank, Wade Barrett and Other WWE Thoughts

June 21, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Here’s a scenario at Money in the Bank to think about…

Seven wrestlers beat the hell out of each other for about 30 minutes, then when the WWE decides it has had enough, Roman Reigns and Randy Orton climb the ladder. The crowd yelling, shrieking to the rooftops and just when you wonder who grabs the title and is crowned the new WWE World Champion, each wrestler grabs a title. Another controversy is created that actually saves the WWE from continuing its downward spiral.

The WWE just created two brands again, figuring it was better for there to be two world champions instead of one. And all of the sudden, Vince McMahon’s pen is all over this newly created script and era in the company.

Welcome to another era in WWE history where two new champions (and it may not even be Reigns and Orton) become branded again, where Monday’s Raw program has its own roster and Friday’s SmackDown has its own roster. In this case, problem solved – at least for the next few months.

The idea of two champions and of course, controversy, makes all the sense in the world because other than a Roman Reigns outright win or a Johnny Cena/Bray Wyatt final – nothing makes clear sense with this match. I love the idea of the seven-man match (without Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus), but the spin and the dominance of Reigns of late, and the fact he did not win the Royal Rumble makes his “probable” victory all too easy.

While the WWE Universe and the IWC all want Reigns to hold the strap, they do not want an easy win or something so obvious a four-year old can figure it out. And with this being a second pay-per-view without Daniel Bryan, the show must really grab the WWE audience. Payback was nothing more than starved and wonting.

If Vince McMahon does have a major role in the success (or failure) of this pay-per-view, then this option might be the most viable for the future success of the company.

Barrett Being Misused
Leave it to the WWE to hit on something so brilliant and then fall off the ladder with a performer who should be in the MITB Ladder Match.
I am talking about Wade Barrett, who got some “Bad News” when he wasn’t part of the lucky seven in the MITB Title Match. As the Intercontinental Champion, his place in WWE history should have been cemented with this match and a possible WWE World Title shot.
Since he tore a triceps muscle over two years ago, Barrett might be the most misused wrestler in the company this side of Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler.

As a champion, there should be no question about his place in the title match. I like the fact Barrett has been a thorn in the side of Rob Van Dam and has beaten back all challenges, but there comes a time when the WWE gives the champion a chance to make history. Could he be in the position once Roman Reigns wins the title? Barrett has been an enforcer of late for Triple H and the Authority, which is a position that keeps Barrett a viable commodity in the company.

Happy 6-19 Day
Thursday was June 19th, which in some circles as seen on the Internet, was the celebration of 619 Day or a tribute to Rey Mysterio.

I thought it was a cute way for wrestling fans to pay tribute to their favorite performer and to look back on a career that proved Mysterio to be one of the greatest cruiserweights of all time. Whether his time in the WWE as a WWE world champion is over or we see his 619 finisher brings a title back to his waist remains to be seen.

Mysterio is known for having a high flying style, which helped kick-start the cruiserweight wrestling revolution in the United States in the late 1990s during his time in WCW. In WCW he won the WCW World Tag Team Championship three times, and the WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Championship once with Billy Kidman as part of the Filthy Animals. In WWE, Mysterio is a three-time world champion, having held the World Heavyweight Championship twice and the WWE Championship once, and is currently listed as the lightest world champion in WWE history.

He has also held the WWE Tag Team Championship a record-tying four times, and the WWE Intercontinental Championship twice. He also held the WCW/WWE Cruiserweight Championship a record eight times (five times in WCW, three in WWE). All totaled, he has won 21 titles between WWE and WCW. Mysterio was the 21st person to win the WWE Triple Crown Championship, and was the winner of the 2006 Royal Rumble.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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5 WWE Superstars Who Could Transition To MMA

May 15, 2014 By: Category: lists, Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

30 years ago the debate would be which pro wrestler was the toughest of the locker room. Today, it is about which pro wrestler could jump over to the UFC. So I thought I would have a little fun and take a look at 5 WWE superstars that have the intangibles to fight in the UFC.

Please keep one thing in mind with this entire list. I am certainly not saying that all of these guys would jump into the UFC or MMA and have the success that Brock Lesnar. All I am saying is that these five guys have the background and skills to at least attempt a jump to MMA without embarrassing themselves.

So with that said, let’s dive deep into the resumes of your favorite WWE superstars and take a look at who has a shot…albeit a long shot of jumping into the octagon. Whether they would be Brock Lesnar or Bobby Lashley will always be up for debate until the day comes when they bite down on the mouth guard and throw down in the world of MMA.

Wade Barrett – For those of you unaware, Wade Barrett is probably one of the most street-tough superstars in the WWE. Barrett is a former bareknuckle boxer. In other words, Barrett boxed for years in his native England…but without gloves. I have no doubt that Barrett could jump into the octagon tomorrow and at least be competitive on his feet.

On the ground is another story. Barrett has no amateur wrestling in his background as far as I know. This would make him vulnerable to the ground attack of almost any MMA fighter. This isn’t to say that Barrett wouldn’t have a puncher’s chance of catching someone shooting in with an uppercut or right hook. It just means that Barrett would have a lot of work to do if he ever decides he’d like to try his hand in MMA.

Santino Marella – How ironic is it that one of the toughest guys in the WWE is portrayed as one of the wimpiest? Forget about the guy you see on RAW and SmackDown (well barely), Santino is one tough dude. Santino also has minimal experience in MMA which makes you wonder about how well he’d fare at this stage of his career.

Santino is well experienced in judo, practicing judo for over 20 years. According to one report, I saw that he had a 6-1 record but I haven’t seen much else. Santino said in an interview awhile back that the only reason he left Japan and MMA was that he overstayed his Visa. If that is the case, he is one guy that could do some serious damage if he was to jump back into the world of MMA.

Dolph Ziggler – You would never believe it watching him in the ring but Dolph is one of, if not the most accomplished amateur wrestler in the WWE. Dolph was a standout high school and collegiate wrestler. Even better, he was teammates with Gray Maynard who appears to have done pretty darn good with his transition into MMA.

How good was Dolph as an amateur wrestler? Ziggler scored an unbelievable 82 pins which is a record in high school. At Kent University, Ziggler holds the second most wins in school history at 121. He is as legit as they come. He would certainly have to work on his standup and submissions, but the guy appears to be a prodigy of sorts. Even better, imagine the fun confrontations between Vickie Guerrero and Dana White!

Alberto Del Rio – Alberto like Santino, is the only man on this list to actually have MMA experience. Unfortunately Del Rio’s success in MMA wasn’t quite the same, going 9-5 overall. However, I think it is fair to say that he has more actual MMA experience than anyone in the WWE right now. Who knows how well he would do if he returned to the sport.

Alberto’s amateur wrestling background is one of the most impressive in pro wrestling history. Alberto is a Mexican national champion freestyle, won the Greco-Roman bronze medal teenage world championships; 1997, and placed 5th at 214 pounds Pan American Games.

Well quite frankly I don’t think he’d do that well at all. He does hold a record of 7 wins by submission which is none too shabby. He even put together a six fight win streak before joining the WWE. However, at 34 and after a few years inside the WWE, he probably has the least shot of making any real waves than anyone on the list. Ironic because if there was anyone that could certainly give it a go tomorrow, it would be him.

Jack Swagger – If Jack Swagger jumped into the world of pro wrestling 30-40 years ago, he would probably have had several NWA world title reigns by now and be regarded as a pro wrestling legend today. That is because Swagger is boasts an outstanding amateur wrestling record and with his size, he would have been a top draw for years throughout the territory.

Swagger was a two sport athlete in college, and this wasn’t just any college. This was the University of Oklahoma. At Oklahoma, Swagger took part in both wrestling and football. He concentrated on wrestling full time after his freshmen year and became one of the most successful wrestlers in school history. Swagger was a true All-American and set a single season record for most pins at 30.

With his size and his athletic background, Swagger could conceivably be a powerhouse in MMA. Of course he would have to train hard and develop a standup game, but he could certainly hold his own on the ground. His background shows a guy that is great at anything he sets out to do athletically. He’d also be fighting as a heavyweight, which doesn’t always have the best athletes. At 6’6, 263, and 29 years old he has all of the tools to jump into the octagon with some training and make some real noise in the MMA world.

Will any of these guys make the leap to MMA? I don’t think so. But it would be interesting if they did.

Note: This was originally published on October 13, 2011

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Where Does The WWE Go From Here?

May 07, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The carnage left by wrestlers and the WWE in the wake of Extreme Rules has opened the door for new feuds, continuing feuds and the birth of potentially a unification of mid-level titles.

With “Payback” on the horizon, it is a great time to jump back on the WWE and professional bandwagon of sorts. Extreme Rules did exactly what it was supposed to do on screen and backstage created more drama after the program that any soap opera and reality television program would love to get its hands on.

Two pay-per-views, two success stories. Slowly, the WWE is pulling its own ass out from under a rock.

I am cautiously optimistic, but I also know that quicker than a Jake Roberts DDT, things change in this company – leaving us wondering why things change and what the hell happened to stars we just saw at the top of the company’s food chain. In the end, everything happens for a reason, and lessons are learned as the WWE moves forward toward the next pay-per-view.

New Title Holders

Finally, the WWE has done the right thing and put the mid-card straps – the Intercontinental Title and the United States Championship on Wade Barrett and Sheamus. I have been waiting to see these two men from across the pond get back into the ring and kick the crap out of opponents – or each other. I even suggested once that they become tag team partners. For now, they are foes. In a few months – who knows?

With Barrett winning and Sheamus gaining a victory does this mean the two men can not only make each title mean something, but could it lead to a unification of the belts, with the Intercontinental strap becoming the second most important title in the business again after many years?

I like the chances of this becoming a major focus of SummerSlam.

Women Unite

The win by Paige did a lot to solidify the Divas in the WWE. Not that the win will bring the Bellas and the new Divas Champion closer together, but what it did do, especially in a match with Tamina, is prove there are women who can WRESTLE. I have been preaching this for months that the division needs revision. The fact AJ Lee is not on the dance card right now means other wrestlers have to step and fast.

Tamina should be the champion in this division, but it is nice to see other wrestlers get a push and are able to take the bull by the horns and showcase.

Questions about Evolution

Now that it appears Dave Batista is done with his time in the WWE, what happens to Evolution? Why can’t the company take this great idea for a new “old” program and help it grow? Since several reports have Batista leaving the WWE after what was a great showing by Evolution members Triple H, Randy Orton and The Animal, what happens to Orton? Does he get another title shot at Daniel Bryan after Kane?

Would he and Roman Reigns be a good fit for war as the company figures out what to do with the overload of talent on its current roster? If Evolution should continue as a group, would Cody Rhodes be someone the power of the WWE looks to as an heir?

Personally, I love the idea of Rhodes joining the faction, which would set up nicely for a brother vs. brother feud and the return of the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes to try and save the day. Only in the WWE can you have this much drama with only minimal return.

And no, you cannot make this stuff up.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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