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The 25 Lamest WWE PPV Endings Ever

December 23, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It didn’t take long for Dean Ambrose’s exploding-television mishap (Magnavox Overdrive?) to become subject of ridicule. The fact that Ambrose is winless in all pay-per-view bouts post-Shield split (that’s since June 2) only makes an incendiary monitor more the source of caustic feeling.

The ending of a WWE pay-per-view is generally the lasting impression left on viewers. There may have been some enjoyably crisp match in the undercard (certainly the Dolph Ziggler/Luke Harper ladder match from TLC fits this profile), which may have to yield in the face of a thudding finish. Ambrose being defeated by technology, an incident more likely to do in Cosmo Kramer or Kenny McCormack than wily-whackjob Ambrose, is such a thud.

Over the years, harebrained ideas have punctuated these events, earning their rightful place in negative lore. Your mileage may vary, and with all matters wrestling among distinct fan tastes it will, but I’ve concocted a list of what I feel are the 25 most absurd final acts in WWE pay-per-view history.

CAVEAT 1: this list doesn’t necessary include instances where ‘the wrong guy went over’. That’s certainly subjective. You’re better off writing, “25 times I think Triple H and John Cena should have put someone over.” Now THAT’S a subjective list. But there are a few examples littered in here.

CAVEAT 2: Montreal is disqualified. No incident that turns Vince McMahon into the grandest of villains for Steve Austin to combat with weekly, spurring wrestling’s vaunted Attitude Era into the highest of gears, can count as lame. Unfair to Bret Hart? You can pick a side. Lame? Hardly.

CAVEAT 3: Chances are, you’re going to see something on this list that you personally enjoyed. That’s what friendly debate is for. I once inducted WrestleMania XXVII into WrestleCrap and I still get raked over the coals from time to time for it. Once again, this is all subjective. Just play along, if you would.

CAVEAT 4: For those who DO take offense to anything written, keep in mind it’s almost always written with a playful grin than with a scowl. So many of these moments provided unintentional bits of comedy, how *can* you hate them? Wrestling is fun, even when it’s garbage. Sometimes it takes years to see the humor in these happenings, and other times it’s instant. But hey, it’s why we still watch.

And now, here go the list.

25. THE WHAT GENERATION? (King of the Ring, June 19, 1994)

In 1994, WWE earnestly promoted its hard-hitting, fast-paced “New Generation”, with prime talents like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels leading the way. To contradict this fresh sentiment, the King of the Ring closed with Jerry Lawler wrestling Rowdy Roddy Piper, both men well into their forties. While both men have forged storied legacies, this match is best left out.

Piper fought the insipid Lawler for the right to donate his ‘winning money’ to a Toronto children’s hospital, and Lawler was set on stopping him, like something out of a Marx Brothers movie. The match felt just as aged, and the slow finish didn’t help: Piper hitting a slow-motion back suplex with an awkward bridge that Lawler somehow could not escape.

24. A GRADUAL BURIAL (Rock Bottom, December 13, 1998)

Stone Cold Steve Austin could do no wrong in 1998. It goes without saying that bits like whacking Vince McMahon with a bedpan, or humoring McMahon’s attempt at making him over in corporate stylings, could have bombed with a performer of lesser personality. Austin’s cool factor buoyed many moments, even ones that were just beyond his control.

Closing out 1998, Austin would defeat the increasingly-Satantic Undertaker in a Buried Alive match. While Undertaker lay prone in the grave, Austin instructed a backhoe operator to pile on the dirt. After fidgeting with the controls, to noticeable crowd groans, the driver managed to dump the soil on after what felt like an agonizing hour, with a possibly comatose ‘Taker.

23. MONTREAL: THE SEARCH FOR MORE MONEY (Breaking Point, September 13, 2009)

While Montreal, polarizing as the moment remains, was undeniably the source of great growth for a blissfully-seedy WWE, attempts to rip it off have been lacking. Survivor Series 1998 gets points only for the Rock-Mankind double-turn. Other occurrences of ‘ringing the f–king bell’ since only make the home viewer want to smash their monitors, a la Bret Hart.

At WWE’s lone Breaking Point event, highlighting submission matches, World Champion CM Punk defeated Undertaker in a criminally short match when that bell f–king rang as ‘Taker was in the process of countering the Anaconda Vice. The sort-of explanation: a galvanized Teddy Long orchestrated the screwjob to impress Vince McMahon. Well, it WAS in Montreal….

22. PAY IT OFF ANOTHER TIME (Unforgiven, September 22, 2002)

One major change from the Attitude Era’s closing was, to a degree, serious slowing down of storylines. The good: an exciting story has time to breathe and build (see: Jericho vs. Michaels, 2008). The bad: you’re liable to get a screwy finish on pay-per-view, with the rematch coming the following month. At $45-55 a pop, this can be very irksome to tight-budget viewers.

A fresh-faced Brock Lesnar had just become WWE Champion, and warred with Undertaker in a decent brawl that ended after 20 minutes with a double-DQ that was simply rare in post-Attitude, re-education-filled 2002. The Los Angeles fans blew a gasket in response, and rightly so. The Hell in a Cell rematch a month later is legendary, though the road there had this pothole.

21. TV TAPING (Extreme Rules, April 25, 2010)

There’s two ideas that clash like oil and water: the concept of violent wrestling, and the Bugs Bunny-like comic mischief of John Cena. Hey, Hulk Hogan did plenty of goofy stuff in his matches (many of his Saturday Night’s Main Event moments are beautiful in their intricate silliness), and Cena certainly runs to that well in order to ‘create smiles’, per company mantra.

Cena and Batista put together a pretty good Last Man Standing match for the WWE Championship, and Cena did emerge as ‘last man standing’. That’s because Cena duct-taped Batista’s ankles around the ringpost, taking just long enough for the 300-pound Batista to look foolish in his inability to kick his muscular legs free. Admittedly, that stuff is potent.

20. THE RIGHT/WRONG MAN (In Your House: Triple Header, September 24, 1995)

Bait and switch, thy name is Titan. Immediately following SummerSlam 1995, WWE went into hype overdrive for the third In Your House, booking a true rarity: a match in which the World, Intercontinental, and Tag Team Titles would be on the line. Diesel and Shawn Michaels would defend their respective belts against tag champs Owen Hart and Yokozuna.

Hart would end up making the PPV late following the birth of his daughter Athena, but that only triggered an obvious escape clause. Davey Boy Smith, freshly-turned heel on Diesel, substituted for his brother-in-law. Late in the bout, Owen ran in from out of nowhere, and was immediately powerbombed and pinned by Diesel. The title change was nullified the following morning.

19. WWE LOSES CONTROL (Cyber Sunday, November 5, 2006)

Any sort of celebrity endorsement of WWE is gratefully accepted like a sandwich by a beggar. There is literally almost no D-or-E-lister that WWE won’t latch onto for a quick sniff. These days, middle-of-the-road TV stars are the preferred wagons to hitch to, though WWE has a history of scraping Hollywood’s barrel base for some sort of bad-boy connection. Enter Kevin Federline.

Remember Britney Spears’ ex-husband? At this time, ‘K-Fed’ released a unanimously-panned rap album, Playing With Fire, and WWE’s Attitude-lite product was attempting to make him their new Mike Tyson. Federline cost John Cena the World Heavyweight Title in a triple threat match via distraction, beat him on Raw two months later, and then vanished forever.

18. GASSED CHAMBER (SummerSlam, August 24, 2003)

The case against Triple H from diehard wrestling fans can be extensive, but give the man credit: his pedigree, pun intended, of great matches is a lengthy one, and he’s capable of delivering a believable main event. This wasn’t always the case; in 2003, as World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H reached a career nadir with Raw in a slump, and he quite literally couldn’t carry things.

By SummerSlam, Triple H was badly out of shape, thanks to a serious thigh/groin injury that kept him from working out to his overzealous liking. This meant in SummerSlam’s Elimination Chamber title defense, Helmsley (in garish bicycle shorts) watched Goldberg pulverize everyone before pinning “The Man” with a solitary sledgehammer blow, doing two minutes of work.

17. PULLING THE STRINGS (King of the Ring, June 27, 1999)

One of the en vogue story tropes of the Attitude Era was the “WHODUNNIT” mystery. Who ran down Austin in the parking lot? Who hit Kevin Nash with the Hummer truck? Who is the Higher Power? After Vince McMahon was hastily revealed as that last shrouded figure, the mysteries lost their luster considerably. At least the Higher Power, though, had a payoff.

Steve Austin battled Vince and son Shane for total control of WWE at King of the Ring in a ladder match, with the ownership certificates suspended in a briefcase above the ring. Austin had the match won, and made his climb, when the briefcase was suddenly jerked out of Austin’s reach. The McMahons won full power, and the assailant was never, ever revealed.

16. THIS IS A RECORDING (Over the Limit, May 22, 2011)

John Cena doesn’t quit. Period. Wisenheimer fans will note that Kurt Angle and the redacted Chris Benoit have made Cena tap (for $9.99, you can watch Angle do it at No Mercy 2003), but those are bits of buried history in the primary narrative. Cena, unless he turns heel, is never submitting. Otherwise, those hand-towels he displays are worthless. Well, even more so.

After tormenting WWE Champion Cena in an I Quit match, The Miz managed to draw a submission with a chair-shot beating. The referee then deciphered that it was a recording of Cena previously saying the words in a promo, via Alex Riley’s cell phone lying near Cena’s head. Cena came to life, chased Miz up the rampway, and made him submit seconds later.

15. HELP ME, OBI-WYATT (Hell in a Cell, October 26, 2014)

If the feud between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins has not truly ended, then this entry wouldn’t be so bad. As it stands, it’s a detour for WWE’s best feud of 2014 (assuming it picks up in 2015 sometime). That doesn’t extinguish the randomness of the moment, as well as the all-too excessive nature of what took place. It did take away from an enjoyable brawl.

As Ambrose and Rollins concluded their violent-minus-blood Hell in a Cell bout, Ambrose was about to win when *gasp* the lights went out. Some sort of plain-spoken Middle-Eastern chant was played on loop for what felt like hours. Then a hologram of Bray Wyatt appeared over a smoking lantern in the ring. Wyatt appeared, randomly attacked Ambrose, and Rollins won.

14. SOME PARTING GIFT, BROTHER (WrestleMania VIII, April 5, 1992)

WWE began something of a free-fall in 1992, in regards to a major roster purge. By year’s end, The Ultimate Warrior, Davey Boy Smith, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jake Roberts, Legion of Doom, and Sid Justice would all leave the company. Hulk Hogan, the biggest star WWE had known by a country mile, was finishing after WrestleMania VIII, a fact that the company vaguely hyped as true.

Hogan headlined against Sid in what was a pretty bland match, building to the Hogan Formula Finish. That’s when Sid kicked out of the legdrop in a shocker, purportedly because an interfering Papa Shango was late. The fact that WrestleMania ended with a disqualification was a considerable letdown, even with Ultimate Warrior making the save in a startling return.

13. OH, THAT’S WHY THEY…. (Royal Rumble, January 29, 2006)

In the 1990s, the company experimented three straight years with putting the World Title match on after the Rumble match. WWE soon figured out that nothing could follow the one-hour tradition, and by 1999, they reverted back to closing the event with the signature gauntlet. An exception has been made twice since: 2013, so Rock could close, and this mind-boggler.

In 2006, the 30-man classic went on fourth out of six matches. Kurt Angle and an ice-cold Mark Henry went on last for the World Title in a plodding affair, headshaking until Angle’s victory celebration. Undertaker arrived on a chariot and caused the ring to collapse as a means of challenging Angle. Boy, good thing WWE changed the match order before that supernatural act.

12. DEAL WITH IT (Royal Rumble, January 26, 2014)

A rare entry on this list that exclusively criticizes the choice of winner than an actual convoluted finish. You won’t need much reminding: Daniel Bryan was by the time the most popular wrestler in the industry, shaking off pointless refuge in the Wyatt Family by destroying the trio in a memorable conclusion to Raw, with the thunderous crowd “YESes” shaking the venue.

Two weeks later, WWE excluded Bryan from the Royal Rumble match, having him put Bray Wyatt over cleanly to start the show. As the crowd gradually grew more sour, an unwelcome Batista ended up winning the Rumble match. When Rey Mysterio entered at No. 30, the realization of Bryan’s absence drew the sort of caustic rage that every heel dreams of.

11. STEP ASIDE, JABRONIES (WrestleMania XXVII, April 3, 2011)

When The Rock made an unexpected return on the February 14 Raw, shockwaves coursed. It’d been seven years since “The Great One” made any sort of meaningful appearance in an actual WWE arena. The Attitude cornerstone would take on the dreaded ‘guest host’ role at WrestleMania, though his diatribes against John Cena were positively right out of 1999.

Problem: Cena wasn’t facing Rock. Instead, Cena was challenging WWE Champion The Miz, with whom he had as unspectacular a main event as you could have on the biggest stage. Miz wound up retaining after Rock cost Cena the match. Then Miz would ‘know his role’ by getting Rock Bottom’d in the aftermath, leaving Rock, a non-wrestler, as the only man standing tall.

10. GREAT MAIN EVENT? NO CHANCE (Royal Rumble, January 24, 1999)

As the previous entry suggests, a bad main event is made much worse with a ridiculous ending. A bad match that lasts one hour and has an equally insulting finish? Much worse, as you’d probably guess. When a bad Royal Rumble came down to the first two entrants, a barely-active Steve Austin and Vince McMahon, jaded fans half-heartedly expected a swerve, which they got.

After Austin beat McMahon half to death, with a World Title match hanging in the balance, he didn’t eliminate the boss, choosing to inflict more damage. This brought The Rock out to distract Austin, giving carte blanche to years of distraction finishes. A suddenly stupid Austin fell under Rock’s spell and tangled with him, allowing the cadaver of Vince to dump Stone Cold.

9. SPONSORED BY JIMMY-JOBS (Extreme Rules, April 29, 2012)

Brock Lesnar’s return following a bountiful UFC run created plenty of excitement. His post-WrestleMania arrival, in which he F5’ed John Cena, nearly blew the roof off of the arena. The vignettes hyping their match four weeks later at Extreme Rules were a paradox of simple, and outside-the-box. Lesnar was now a crossover star, the magnitude of which WWE covets.

So then after bloodying Cena with stiff blows, and nearly breaking the man’s arm with a kimura lock, Lesnar would lose the high-profile bout cleanly. Making matters more confusing was a post-match Cena promo, in which he claimed he may be going away for a while to rest. Not only did Cena not go anywhere, but it undermined the marquee return of beastly megastar.

8. CRANE POSITION (Survivor Series, November 19, 2000)

When topping a heinous act with a measure of revenge, never underestimate WWE’s ability to veer too far into the realm of the absurd. One year earlier at Survivor Series, Steve Austin would be struck by a car in a plot masterminded by Triple H (with Rikishi as the driver). Austin and HHH would war one year later. In Attitude Era WWE, they knew they had to top a speedy rundown.

The match spilled all over the arena, and into the parking lot. Austin fought off the interfering Radicalz, while an ill-tempered Triple H started up a nearby car. As he started it up, Austin appeared inside a crane, lifted the car a few stories off the ground, and let it drop with Helmsley inside. Instead of being, well, dead, Helmsley reappeared not long after with nary a scratch on his body.

7. PLOD DEVICE (No Way Out, February 20, 2005)

One of the common elements on the list: the sudden stupidity of babyfaces. For many of these ideas to ‘work’, the purported hero has to lose 50 IQ points at the worst possible time. Take the barbed wire steel cage match for the WWE Title between JBL and Big Show. On many occasions, Show has played the ogre-like fool, but none moreso than the ending of this No Way Out.

The bloody affair saw Show chokeslam JBL off the top rope, through the actual canvas. Instead of dragging JBL out of the pit and pinning him (Nick Patrick was officiating in the ring), Show slowly kicked open the locked door, walked 1.3 MPH out of the opening, and slowly walked down the steps. Surprise: JBL won when he crawled into the pit, and out from under the ring.

6. TV IS BAD FOR YOU (TLC, December 14, 2014)

I feel fairly confident with the high placement of this entry. Factoring in that Dean Ambrose hasn’t won a pay-per-view bout since June 1, in spite of the favorable reception he receives for his masterful selling, mannerisms, and presentation, WWE has yet to really throw him a bone in his singles run. The ending of TLC has become a new running gag, rightfully so.

Branching off the “sudden stupidity” theory from the previous entry, Ambrose had Bray Wyatt beaten following a car-crash of a TLC match. That wasn’t enough, so Ambrose brings in a plugged-in monitor from under the ring, admires himself in it, and tries to nail Wyatt, only for the plugs to explode and blind him. Say it with me now: Sister Abigail for the pin.

5. SHOW STOPPER (Battleground, October 6, 2013)

Battleground wound up earning the honor of Worst WWE PPV of 2013 across most outlets, and it’s easy to see why. Other than the Rhodes Brothers taking on the Shield, everything else ranged from dull to downright bad. The PPV was the third paying installment of the Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton/Abeyance World Title angle, so at least there’d be a payoff, right?

After 20 minutes of wrestling, Bryan had Orton enveloped in the Yes Lock, only for Big Show to jog down, pull the ref, and lay out Bryan with the WMD, at the behest of Brad Maddox. Show pulled a second referee after a change of heart and then KO’ed Orton, who he was supposed to be helping. Sixty of your dollars later, and the belt remained vacant until the next PPV.

4. EARLIER SHOW STOPPER (Over the Limit, May 20, 2012)

This one features all of the elements of a bad finish: hacky comedy, a plot hole, a bad match, and a worse ending. John Laurinaitis was forced into action against John Cena, with his job on the line. Anyone who interfered would be fired. There’d be no disqualifications otherwise, allowing Cena to drag the former Johnny Ace through some ha-ha-larious predicaments.

Days before the match, a surly Laurinaitis had fired Big Show on Raw. After 15 minutes of Cena pounding Laurinaitis (he could have pinned him at any time), the VP tries to escape, only to conveniently run into a loitering Show. Show brings him back, and then KO’s Cena in a swerve. You know, after Laurinaitis nearly lost a bunch of times. Ace wins, and Show was rehired.

3. GET EM, HULK! (WrestleMania IX, April 4, 1993)

Anyone shedding tears over Hogan’s half-hearted farewell one year earlier will either be overjoyed at the end of WrestleMania IX, or be further appalled. As WWE’s roster shifted into promoting gifted workers with realistic bodies, Bret Hart became its flagbearer and World Champion. A match with portly Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX would put him over strongly.

Hart lost, somehow knocked unconscious by salt to the eyes. This brought out a suddenly-slimmer Hogan to protest this great injustice. Then Mr. Fuji stupidly challenged Hogan to a title match on the spot. Seconds later, Hogan beat Yokozuna to become champion, wiping The Hitman off the slate completely. Hogan then devalued the belt while touring New Japan.

2. STARS AND SWERVES FOREVER (SummerSlam, August 30, 1993)

After Hogan vanished following his title loss back to big Yoko, WWE did not reinsert Hart back into the picture. Instead, they stripped Lex Luger of his ho-hum Narcissist persona, costumed him in all colors Americana, effectively trying to make him the new Hogan. Luger slammed Yokozuna in a public challenge on the Fourth of July, and seemed poised to win the gold.

After Yokozuna’s spokesman Jim Cornette deemed this Lex’s *only* shot at Yokozuna, the two proceeded to actually have a good match. Luger would indeed win, but by countout. Using the steel plate in his forearm, Luger blasted Yoko and knocked him out cold, but through the ropes. Luger celebrated with other babyfaces while balloons and confetti fell, but without the title.

1. LEGACY CEMENTED (Great American Bash, June 27, 2004)

The Undertaker has had his share of unrealistic storylines, many unworthy of equaling the supernatural grace he so easily portrays. In 2004, Undertaker reassumed his ‘Dead Man’ image after a few years performing as an amped-up version of his real life grizzled biker self. With the return to the Dark Side came the package deal of far-fetched incidences as well.

At this event, Undertaker faced the Dudley Boyz in a handicap match with Paul Bearer (back on Taker’s side) sitting in a clear cubicle. If Taker didn’t lay down, Paul Heyman would authorize dumping wet cement on him. The goop built, but Taker won anyway. Then, for reasons unknown, Undertaker himself filled the cubicle, presumably killing Bearer. This wasn’t a heel turn, by the way.

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Surivor Series 2014 Contest: Win WWE Attitude Era Vol. 2 DVD

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

WWE Attitude Era Vol,. 2I am giving away 1 copy of the WWE Attitude Era Vol. 2 DVD this Sunday night during the Survivor Series. Winning is very easy but you have to be on Twitter to do it. It’s as easy as a Stone Cold Stunner on Mr. McMahon!

Follow me @CamelClutchBlog and look for the contest tweet when the Survivor Series begins. You must RT the tweet and give me your prediction on the winner of the main-event. Just RT the tweet with either Team Authority or Team Cena to enter. That’s it! It’s that simple but you have to be on Twitter to enter.

Look for this tweet – “RT & Follow to win a #WWE Attitude Era 2 DVD set! Predict which team wins the #SurvivorSeries main-event?”. Just make sure enter the winning team when you RT to enter.

I will pick a winner at random. Every entry that contains a prediction is eligible to win, even if you get the winning team wrong. All you have to do to play is participate. So make sure you are following me between now and Survivor Series, look for the tweet around 8 PM/EST and give me your winner. I’ll announce a winning tweet right after the event on Twitter.

This contest is restricted to U.S. residents only. This contest is not sponsored in any way by the WWE. Good luck!

Read my the WWE Attitude Era Vol. 2 DVD review right here on the CCB!

DISC 1

Bare Essentials

Miss Slammy Swimsuit Competition
Sunny vs. Sable vs. Marlena vs. The Funkettes
Slammy Awards * March 16, 1997

Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW * December 29, 1997

Bad Ass Dad

New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
RAW * January 26, 1998

Intercontinental Championship Match
The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock
Royal Rumble * January 18, 1998

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon
RAW * April 13, 1998

Leather & Chains

Owen Hart & Legion of Doom vs. Triple H & New Age Outlaws
RAW * April 20, 1998

D-Generation X Takes New York
RAW * June 8, 1998

Falls Count Anywhere #1 Contenders Match for the WWE Championship
Mankind vs. “Kane”
RAW * July 6, 1998

Letting the Dogs Out

Bikini Contest
Sable vs. Jacqueline
Fully Loaded * July 26, 1998

Val Venis & Taka Michinoku vs. KaiEnTai
RAW * August 3, 1998

WWE Championship Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Ken Shamrock
RAW * September 14, 1998

Boot Camp Match for Al Snow’s Contract
Al Snow vs. Sgt. Slaughter
RAW * September 21, 1998

Six-Man Elimination #1 Contenders Match for the European Championship
Edge vs. Gangrel vs. D’Lo Brown vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Droz vs. Marc Mero
RAW * September 28, 1998

Extreme Name Change

WWE Championship Match
The Rock vs. X-Pac
RAW * November 23, 1998

DISC 2

Becoming a Pimp

Godfather & Val Venis vs. Mark Henry & DLo Brown
Rock Bottom * December 13, 1998

Triple H vs. Edge
RAW * January 11, 1999

Bloodbath

Kane’s Career on the Line
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane
RAW * March 1, 1999

Hardcore Championship Match
Hardcore Holly vs. Bad Ass Billy Gunn
RAW * March 15, 1999

Wild and Crazy Guys

Handicap Match
The Big Show vs. Triple H & The Rock
RAW * April 5, 1999

Pimpin’ Ain’t Country

Intercontinental Championship Match
Goldust vs. Godfather
RAW * April 12, 1999

The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian
Shotgun Saturday Night * April 17, 1999

Casket Match
The Rock vs. Undertaker
RAW * May 17, 1999

Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Test
Sunday Night Heat * June 13, 1999

DISC 3

Drinking with the APA

Tag Team Championship Match
Acolytes vs. Kane & X-Pac
RAW * August 9, 1999

Sexual Chocolate

Mark Henry Sex Therapy Sessions

Valentine’s Day Delight

Mark Henry and Mae Young Get a Room
RAW * February 14, 2000

Triple Threat Match for the European Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Tazz
RAW * March 13, 2000

Behind Breaking the Walls

Intercontinental Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
RAW * May 8, 2000

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
Sunday Night Heat * June 18, 2000

Intergender Tag Team Match
The Rock & Lita vs. Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
SmackDown * August 24, 2000

Triple Threat Match for the Women’s Championship
Lita vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline
Sunday Night Heat * September 17, 2000

Weak Stomach

Hardcore Championship Match
Gerald Brisco vs. Crash Holly
RAW * June 5, 2000

Evening Gown Match for the Hardcore Championship
Gerald Brisco vs. Pat Patterson
King of the Ring * June 25, 2000

Wanna Ride?

Intergender Tag Team Match
The Rock & Lita vs. Triple H & Trish Stratus
RAW * July 31, 2000

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

The Undertaker Attends His Parents Funeral
RAW * April 20, 1998

#1 Contenders Match for the Tag Team Championship
Kane & Mankind vs. Owen Hart & The Rock
Sunday Night Heat * August 2, 1998

Golga vs. Marc Mero
RAW * August 3, 1998

Hardcore Championship Match
Al Snow vs. Road Dogg
RAW * January 4, 1999

Lumberjack Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock
RAW * May 3, 1999

Gangrel & Christian vs. Droz & Prince Albert
Sunday Night Heat * May 16, 1999

WWE Championship Match
Triple H vs. Mr. McMahon
SmackDown * September 16, 1999

Mark Henry and Mae Young Double Date
RAW * December 27, 1999

The APA Opens Their Doors
RAW * January 31, 2000

Last Man Standing Match
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
Fully Loaded * July 23, 2000

WWE The Attitude Era: Volume 2 DVD Review

November 10, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Attitude Era Vol,. 2The latest installment from the WWE’s love affair with its favorite period is the Attitude Era Vol. 2 3-disc DVD set. The new set features a collection of matches and moments from 1997-2000 featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, De-Generation-X and more.

This new collection is a great companion to the original Attitude Era collection put out in 2012. The first collection gave you great, yet obvious vignettes, stories, and bouts that you probably have seen dozens of times or already own on several DVDs. What makes this collection so good is that it features a lot of great memories you probably either have forgotten or may have missed altogether, including some real gems.

The collection is a reminder of how much fun, yet goofy that era was. Chris Jericho recently criticized the era saying that there were a lot of stupid angles that people seem to dismiss. He’s right but what made the era so special were the matches, most specifically the atmosphere. Every crowd was hot which brought an exciting dynamic to almost every match from the era. It really gives you an appreciation for how hot the fans were during that time period.

I won’t run through the entire three discs but I do want to single out a few highlights in the set. Of course Stone Cold Steve Austin is a highlight alone. Seeing Austin at the height of his popularity in and out of the ring is a real reminder to how much fun it was to watch WWE during Austin’s era. No matter what he did, who he wrestled, or what he said, seeing Austin on television was can’t-miss TV. Austin is definitely the star of this set.

There is a lot more focus on the mid-under card in this set than the pervious. You get a lot of Val Venis, New Age Outlaws, X-Pac, Lita, etc. which isn’t a knock at all. The beauty of the era was that everyone and everything was over. The crowd adds to the excitement which make these undercard matches more exciting and intense than the majority of main-events you see in today’s WWE.

Some gems include a Lumberjack Match from RAW between Steve Austin and The Rock which I completely forgot about, a mixed tag-team match with Triple H and Trish Stratus vs. Rock and Lita, Rock and Lita vs. Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon, Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko from Heat, the very first Austin vs. McMahon match, and a fun Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels match from RAW. If you like The Rock you are in for a treat as you get a lot of rare matches from the Great One in the collection.

Overall it’s a great set and the time went by fast from DVD to DVD. For us that lived through this era, there are moments you will be reminded of that bring smiles back to your faces. For those of you who are new to the era, you will be blown away by how different the WWE was fifteen years ago and how much more exciting RAW was in 1999 and 2000 than it is in 2014. It’s not a knock on the company, just a reality and a sign of the times. I’d highly recommend the set. Make sure you put a few hours aside when you get it because once you start watching it you aren’t going to want to stop.

DISC 1

Bare Essentials

Miss Slammy Swimsuit Competition
Sunny vs. Sable vs. Marlena vs. The Funkettes
Slammy Awards * March 16, 1997

Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW * December 29, 1997

Bad Ass Dad

New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
RAW * January 26, 1998

Intercontinental Championship Match
The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock
Royal Rumble * January 18, 1998

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon
RAW * April 13, 1998

Leather & Chains

Owen Hart & Legion of Doom vs. Triple H & New Age Outlaws
RAW * April 20, 1998

D-Generation X Takes New York
RAW * June 8, 1998

Falls Count Anywhere #1 Contenders Match for the WWE Championship
Mankind vs. “Kane”
RAW * July 6, 1998

Letting the Dogs Out

Bikini Contest
Sable vs. Jacqueline
Fully Loaded * July 26, 1998

Val Venis & Taka Michinoku vs. KaiEnTai
RAW * August 3, 1998

WWE Championship Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Ken Shamrock
RAW * September 14, 1998

Boot Camp Match for Al Snow’s Contract
Al Snow vs. Sgt. Slaughter
RAW * September 21, 1998

Six-Man Elimination #1 Contenders Match for the European Championship
Edge vs. Gangrel vs. D’Lo Brown vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Droz vs. Marc Mero
RAW * September 28, 1998

Extreme Name Change

WWE Championship Match
The Rock vs. X-Pac
RAW * November 23, 1998

DISC 2

Becoming a Pimp

Godfather & Val Venis vs. Mark Henry & DLo Brown
Rock Bottom * December 13, 1998

Triple H vs. Edge
RAW * January 11, 1999

Bloodbath

Kane’s Career on the Line
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane
RAW * March 1, 1999

Hardcore Championship Match
Hardcore Holly vs. Bad Ass Billy Gunn
RAW * March 15, 1999

Wild and Crazy Guys

Handicap Match
The Big Show vs. Triple H & The Rock
RAW * April 5, 1999

Pimpin’ Ain’t Country

Intercontinental Championship Match
Goldust vs. Godfather
RAW * April 12, 1999

The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian
Shotgun Saturday Night * April 17, 1999

Casket Match
The Rock vs. Undertaker
RAW * May 17, 1999

Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Test
Sunday Night Heat * June 13, 1999

DISC 3

Drinking with the APA

Tag Team Championship Match
Acolytes vs. Kane & X-Pac
RAW * August 9, 1999

Sexual Chocolate

Mark Henry Sex Therapy Sessions

Valentine’s Day Delight

Mark Henry and Mae Young Get a Room
RAW * February 14, 2000

Triple Threat Match for the European Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Tazz
RAW * March 13, 2000

Behind Breaking the Walls

Intercontinental Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
RAW * May 8, 2000

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
Sunday Night Heat * June 18, 2000

Intergender Tag Team Match
The Rock & Lita vs. Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
SmackDown * August 24, 2000

Triple Threat Match for the Women’s Championship
Lita vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline
Sunday Night Heat * September 17, 2000

Weak Stomach

Hardcore Championship Match
Gerald Brisco vs. Crash Holly
RAW * June 5, 2000

Evening Gown Match for the Hardcore Championship
Gerald Brisco vs. Pat Patterson
King of the Ring * June 25, 2000

Wanna Ride?

Intergender Tag Team Match
The Rock & Lita vs. Triple H & Trish Stratus
RAW * July 31, 2000

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

The Undertaker Attends His Parents Funeral
RAW * April 20, 1998

#1 Contenders Match for the Tag Team Championship
Kane & Mankind vs. Owen Hart & The Rock
Sunday Night Heat * August 2, 1998

Golga vs. Marc Mero
RAW * August 3, 1998

Hardcore Championship Match
Al Snow vs. Road Dogg
RAW * January 4, 1999

Lumberjack Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock
RAW * May 3, 1999

Gangrel & Christian vs. Droz & Prince Albert
Sunday Night Heat * May 16, 1999

WWE Championship Match
Triple H vs. Mr. McMahon
SmackDown * September 16, 1999

Mark Henry and Mae Young Double Date
RAW * December 27, 1999

The APA Opens Their Doors
RAW * January 31, 2000

Last Man Standing Match
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
Fully Loaded * July 23, 2000

The Attitude Era: Volume 2

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Chris Jericho Talks WWE Attitude Era and Bray Wyatt

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

Chris Jericho is currently making the rounds promoting his latest autobiography and continues to be one of the most quotable wrestlers in regards to media. Jericho hit on a few interesting topics in a recent interview including some fascinating insight into a legendary era.

The WWE Attitude Era has taken on a life of its own in recent years. It is portrayed by the WWE as their golden years and fans of that era often ask for it to come back. Jericho is a guy that was a big part of the Attitude Era, jumping to the WWE while the era was at its hottest. Which is why it will probably surprise you to hear that Jericho prefers this current era over the Attitude Era.

“When you think of another time like ECW or the Attitude Era, it’s like, “Ah, those were the good old days.” But having actually lived through it, there was a lot of great stuff, but there was a lot of stuff that sucked, too. Mae Young gave birth to a hand in the Attitude Era. Is that really what you want to remember about wrestling? I thought that was one of the dumbest things.
There were a lot of great characters and a lot of great wresting, so I think you always look back fondly. I live in the now and I think the product is the best it’s ever been because it’s now.

It’s where we’re at in 2014, and I always look to the future. There were good moments in the past and there were bad moments. There’s going to be good moments in the future and bad moments, but I think it’s always best to look forward if you want to continue to improve yourself and the product, and improve what people are seeing.”

I couldn’t agree more with Jericho. I think the Attitude Era is highly overrated, especially when you look back at some of the ridiculous gimmicks and angles that took place during that time period. Jericho has said in other interviews that the new era is superior to the Attitude Era and while I think that is a bit of an overstatement, I certainly see his point.

Jericho is also a guy who has been around the WWE block a few times. This experience gives Jericho a unique perspective when it comes to picking talent. According to Jericho, being a successful WWE superstar is a lot more than just being a great worker.

“Personality and character, they’re the only things I care about. Honestly, I don’t really pay any attention to wrestling skills because they don’t matter. There are a lot of similarities between music and wrestling, because they’re all about connecting with the crowd. What kind of charisma you have. What kind of personality you have. They’re so much more important than whether you can do a shredding guitar solo or a triple-jump moonsault.

It’s show business through and through, so when you look at a guy like Bray Wyatt, I loved his character. He can work and he’s a good wrestler and all that sort of stuff, but it’s the character that really makes it, and if you see something like that that’s so different and so unique and riveting, it’s a no-brainer. That’s what I love about the business, the characters and showmanship elements.”

Jericho is very high on Bray Wyatt yet unfortunately it appears Wyatt has somewhat disconnected from the WWE Universe. I have always found Wyatt’s character a bit one-dimensional so I’ll have to disagree a bit on Y2J’s analysis of young Bray. Yet the criteria he lists behind a successful superstar seems spot on.

Check out the rest of the interview over at Rolling Stone for some fun road stories and more from the former undisputed champion.

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Triple H tells the story of the real dawn of the WWE ‘Attitude Era’ on ‘Talk is Jericho’

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

The WWE Network has been reliving the Attitude Era of the federation for the last few weeks. While the Attitude Era might not be a favorite time among some fans, those years of curse words, “puppies” and almost Rated R programming are probably the most profitable for federation.

Triple H was a major force during the Attitude Era. As part of DX, Triple H led the assault on WCW which eventually led to WWE winning the ratings war. In the ring, Triple H’s feuds and matches against The Rock, Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin sold out arenas and headlined pay-per-views. For a long time, Triple H lived up to his nickname. He was, indeed, the Game.

Triple H’s role in the company has changed dramatically since the days of riding a tank to a WCW arena and telling fans to suck it. Now on the sidelines, but still in the story lines, Triple H is the Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative in the WWE. He’s responsible for the success of NXT and was instrumental in WWE’s global presence in the last few years.

On the day of Summerslam 2014, Triple H sat down for a rare interview with Chris Jericho on his Talk Is Jericho podcast. I’m calling this interview rare because this isn’t an interview with Triple H of The Authority or Triple H as a member of WWE management. This is a discussion with Paul Levesque and an exploration into his early days in the business, his true passion for the sport, and his love of the WWE.

In part one of the two part interview, Jericho asks Triple H about his early days in the WWE and how he became involved with The Clique.  Jericho addressed the widely held belief that The Clique ran the show in the days prior to the Attitude Era. Triple H came clean about the faction, and how they did have some pull, but that everyone in the WWE at the time had Vince’s ear because that’s just how Vince operates.

Triple H did share an interesting story about The Clique and the moment in an Indianapolis hotel room that he feels might be the real dawning of the Attitude Era.

“I was in the room, even though I was the new guy and not saying anything, but I was in the room the times they (the Clique) put Bam Bam Bigelow over. Personally, did they all get along, no. There was a moment in time, and everyone talks about this meeting that took place in Indianapolis, where Kevin and Scott were really upset about something. It was the creative direction of something. And Scott was ready to quit. But it was about blow up, and I don’t even remember what it was, but Vince clearly thought they had a point. To the point where he got Jerry Brisco and they flew out to Indianapolis. He said ‘you guy stay there, we’re going to fly out to Indianapolis, and we’re going to sit in a room and go through all this. I remember what them saying ‘clearly the company needs a change of direction, and I want opinions.’

So, I went to just say hello to Vince and Jerry and just leave. Even though we did have a relationship. We would talk after my matches. So those guys so up and I said hi to Vince and hello to Jerry and turned to leave and Vince goes ‘where you going?’ and I said ‘this isn’t my place to be here’ and he said ‘oh no, you’re in this now.’ So I sat down. And Vince takes a roster out and hands it to each of us and goes ‘if this was your team, you’re making a team, who would you want on your team?’ and ‘what do you think is wrong with the product. Not saying we’re going to do it. I just want your opinions.’”

That’s just one of those things I distinctly remember. I remember Bam Bam being very vocal against us, like, “those guys got to go” and I remember every single person in the room had Bam Bam on his roster. It was like all of us said ‘listen, whether we get along with him or not doesn’t matter, the guy can go, and he’s a top guy, and he should be on the team. It was all business. In my mind, to me, and I’m not saying we laid claim to any of it, but that’s the first spark of the Attitude Era. It was the first conversation where wrestling talking about reality. Like, why do we have Doink the Clown?”

Triple H goes on to discuss how everyone asked why they needed characters, and camp, and why guys couldn’t just be who they really are in the ring.

The second part of the interview airs this Friday.
LINK — http://podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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The Greatest Pro Wrestling Angle Ever: Inside the Wheelhouse

July 07, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s been 17 years now since the birth of quite possibly the greatest wrestling angle of all-time, the birth of the New World Order (n.W.o.) at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996. Many wrestling fans remember this moment of the birth of the n.W.o. so vividly and as if the angle happened yesterday. It impacted the future of wrestling and is without a doubt the greatest angle in the history of wrestling.

Now before you jump down my throat for such a bold statement as it being the “greatest angle of all-time,” let’s look back at what the angle helped accomplish for the world of wrestling in the late 1990s. At the time it cemented WCW as the #1 wrestling company in the United States and in the World. I title that had been held by the then WWF for almost 20 years. It was earth shattering in wrestling as it always appeared that the WWF would be atop the wrestling world forever.

From a WCW standpoint it was their birth into an “attitude era.” If WCW was the one that put the WWF out of business we may have been talking about this being WCW’s Attitude Era as the changes we would see on WCW TV after this were revolutionary. No more was it all about saying your prayers and taking your vitamins. WCW adapted the revolutionary aspects that ECW was already doing and what society was starting to preach. It was a game changing moment.

It did multiple things from the standpoint of grabbing the wrestling fan’s emotion. It made Hulk Hogan into a heel. For the most part those watching wrestling at the time were bred into wrestling during the “hulkamania era.” These were little Hulkamaniacs now becoming adults and watching their hero growing up turn their back on them for the “money” of the n.W.o.. It was a riveting from the viewpoint of the wrestling fan watching their television.

It also made fans feel like there was a legit wrestling invasion going on with the boys “up north” (the WWF) coming down to WCW to attack Ted Turner’s promotion. Despite the early stages of the internet fans were under the impression that what was going on was legit. That maybe Vince McMahon and Ted Turner came together for the good of the angle. It was a modern day Civil War of wrestling, something we later & quickly found out to not be true at all.

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The angle also had implications on their competition in the WWF as it made them have to change their game plan as a company. No more stupid gimmicks, no more “make believe” storyline, the WWF would soon enter into the “Attitude Era” with their backs against the wall. It’s very ironic that days before the n.W.o. angle we also had the birth of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at the 1996 King of the Ring. It was a pretty instrumental stretch of days in the world of wrestling.

However you look at it wrestling was molded and shaped because of July 7, 1996 in Daytona Beach, Florida. The birth of the New World Order is what started the golden ages of wrestling for WCW, WWF & ECW. It was a chess match of “who could out do who” and it was the fans who were the eventual winners in it all.

I could go on and on with my thoughts & reasons on why the n.W.o. angle is the greatest wrestling angle of all-time but that defeats the purpose of downloading this week’s edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” where Eric Gargiulo & I discuss such. Develop your own opinions and thoughts on the angle, but when you look at the scope of things you might be surprised with how important in history it truly was. One thing is for certain, if you are a wrestling fan you remember the night of July 7, 1996 very well and the birth of the new World order.

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

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The WWE May Have Found Its Attitude on Monday Night

June 20, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

With one F-5, the world of professional wrestling is whole again. Thank you Brock Lesnar for finally giving me the match I want to see — a confrontation with none other than CM Punk.

Actually, the final segment of Monday Night Raw was a summarization of how things should good over the hot, hot summer months, leading us to Money in the Bank and then into SummerSlam. Let’s just say the WWE got its head out of its backside and became “must see” television again.

Now to coin a phrase from Impact! Wrestling, “wrestling matters,” again. In the span of three hours, which were used properly for a change, we saw new storylines, developing character changes, feuds that were unpredictable and of course the F-5 to CM Punk.

Who would have thought we would have come out of “Payback” and our heroes would be John Cena, CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler. Add Sheamus, Kane, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton to the roster of stars and wow, we may have something special here.

Has the balance of power shifted in the WWE? Has there finally been a wake-up call from Vince and the boys? Does the idea of Vince, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon fighting for control of the WWE mean Vince is going to step back finally and allow his family to run the business?

I am reminded of the NWA and old school wrestlers who would change personas with a drop of a hat. Ric Flair shifted back and forth but was best as a heel. So was Bob Orton, Jr. Wahoo McDaniel tried it and was awful. Steve Williams was a better face. Ted DiBiase could do both very well. There was build up to matches; we all knew what we were getting when Flair and Ricky Steamboat walked into the ring.

To some extent, Vince McMahon did the same thing when he started out as owner of the WWF— he built momentum. He got us excited. Until last night, I had not been excited about a pay-per-view because there has not been real build, there has not been a true vengeance formed. Now, there is. And there is hope.

Now, let’s see what happens with it.

For the record, a WWE card that looks something like this is worth watching over the summer months and makes Money in the Bank very interesting.

John Cena vs. Mark Henry

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio

Kane vs. Dean Ambrose

Sheamus vs. Ryback

Kaitlyn vs. AJ

Curtis Axel vs. Triple H (because Vince will force this)

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton

The Shield vs. the Usos

Things don’t look all that bad. And with Money in the Bank coming up (where I think Daniel Bryan wins as does CM Punk) things will get even more interesting. The challenge for the WWE will be to maintain momentum and keep the train on the tracks.

The WWF was quick to make events out of matches. My question is, “Why hasn’t that happened lately? Why hasn’t Vince of someone who has been with the company for a long period of time?

David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be read here. Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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Will Pro Wrestling ever see the boom of the 1990’s again?

May 10, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Not since the inception of the New World Order in World Championship Wrestling and the edgy attitude era of then the World Wrestling Federation (WWE) headlined by DeGeneration-X have we seen any major storylines or angles in pro wrestling that has really grabbed the attention of viewers and made people talk again and tune in for long periods of time.

Ever since WCW was purchased by WWE in 2002, Monday Nights have been basically un-eventful and exciting to watch. Sure we had a brief period of time a few years back when Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) Wrestling attempted to ensue another Monday Night War with its Impact show starting an hour earlier than Raw, just like Nitro did back in the mid 1990’s. However, Dixie and company got spanked in the ratings enough over a short period of time, Spike TV quickly moved the show back to Thursday nights in its original timeslot citing that TNA fans expected to see the show on Thursday’s rather than Monday’s.

Let’s say for a moment, that Monday night of March 8, 2010 TNA did something crazy and big enough just before Raw when on the air live, would we still have a new Monday Night War today? Hard to say, however, never say never, right? The question remains.

Because Vince McMahon doesn’t really have any competition on Monday Nights, his product has been more of the same old same old rather than new an innovative. Yes, after years of a stale attitude era, Vince made the right move by shifting back to a PG format. However, he still needs to do that next big thing that will get people talking if the company wants to see ratings increase above the 4-5 million (sometimes less) on Monday Nights’.

Raw is supposed to be the flagship show, but now with Main Event, which is showing signs of improvement from when it first debuted last October on ION Television, Superstars, SmackDown and now Saturday Morning Slam, the creative team has to be exhausted from writing what seems to be an over-abundance of WWE television. As much as l have enjoyed and not enjoyed Main Event, WWE should stick with Raw and SmackDown and focus more on innovative angles and storylines that will get people talking again.

When TNA debuted in 2002, it was promoted as an alternative to WWE, a place where talent could go after the demise of WCW. Since TNA’s debut they have struggled to really find their own identity. When they first began, they looked like what many referred to as a lighter version of the WWF Attitude Era, then shifted to family friendly, then back to the more adult oriented format, which to me is worn.

Now don’t get me wrong, TNA has great potential. I have been to three house shows in my market, and if it’s one thing TNA does well beside put on a great fan friendly atmosphere is an action packed house show. The problem is TNA is too busy trying to worry about what is going on in WWE. Eric Bischoff was smart in the beginning before Nitro. He focused on improving the product in great detail and being different from WWE before introducing a new show that almost put Vince out of business.

TNA really isn’t doing anything different. Yes, they have former WWE and WCW talent, some have come and gone (Christian, Booker T, Scott Steiner), but really aren’t making waves other than going on the road live every other week, which was a great move for the company.

The more reality based format that touted at the next big thing in TNA was interesting at first but with no increase in ratings, that format quickly was erased and forgotten about. While their television production looks great in one aspect, for the most part, they still have that look and feel of WCW 1999. I don’t know how much longer Spike TV will put up with a 1.2 average before telling TNA they can find a new network.

Until something huge happens in both companies that doesn’t include trying re-create big angles and storylines with imitation like NWO factions that have proved to be failures such as Nexus, The Core, such Main Event Mafia, Aces and Eights, and possibly The Shield, no matter how big of talent you have, until you do something different that will get people talking again, the return of the wrestling boom will be a memory re-lived on DVD from many years ago.

By Jerome Wilen (www.prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com)

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Flashback: WWE One Night Only Review

February 06, 2013 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Saturday, September 20th, 1997 – Birmingham, England – NEC Arena – One of the pay-per-views that kicked off what deemed to be called the “Attitude Era” in the World Wrestling Federation had the main event where the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels challenged the British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith for his WWF European championship, making if Michaels won, he’d be the first Grand Slam winner in the company (meaning he’d be the first one to win all four championships at that time).

The show opens with a video package talking about the British Bulldog where the first time he came back to his country for a pay-per-view, he defeated Bret Hart for the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam 1992 and tonight he’s defending the country and honor of the country he grew up and represents.

Our announcers are for the show are Vince McMahon, Jerry “the King” Lawler, and Jim Ross.  It’s weird to hear Mr. McMahon open the show and be the announcer Vince, not the boss Vince.

Match One :: Triple H (with Chyna) versus Dude Love

McMahon tells us that Chyna is Triple H’s “…200 pound bodyguard…”  Wow!  It’s weird thinking of it now that Chyna was that jacked!

After Triple H was in the ring, we see a video package of Dude Love.  I can easily tell that Foley didn’t have Dude’s promo style down during this time.  I felt his interview was very awkward.  But once Dude Love got into the ring, the crowd ate him up (not literally, but they popped big for him).

One thing I found funny was the announcers were discussing Dude Love’s attire by how it reminded them of the ‘70s, and the Grateful Dead was brought up and compared to the Dudester.  I got a chuckle out of their conversation.

When Dude was working on Triple H’s arm, one thing that changed from 1997 to 2013 was how people give up when in submissions.  Triple H hit the mat three times if I counted correctly and that wasn’t a submission, which caught me by surprise.

One thing that got the crowd into the match was when Dude put a modified Indian Deathlock onto Triple H and taunted the fans to get into the match.

Triple H baited Dude Love to chase him outside the ring and Chyna hid until Dude ran around the corner she was hiding by and closelined him, taking the advantage away that he had.

Another pop from the crowd was when the ref caught Triple H cheating and the ref got into his face and chased him out of the ring.  Only if ref’s acted that way still nowadays, officials would be respected more than they are in the world of professional wrestling.

Chyna helped Triple H when Dude hit the “Sweet Shin Music” and the Double Arm DDT when she put his foot on the bottom rope when Dude had the cover on him for the victory.  The ref caught the foot and that gave Triple H the heads when Dude was calling Chyna out for that, Triple H kicked Dude in the gut and hit him with the Pedigree for the win.

Winner: Triple H and his awesome old music that he had back then.

WWF Tag Team Championship :: Los Boricuas (Savio Vega and Miguel Perez, Jr.) versus the Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) (champions)

We see a video package when the Los Boricuas came out showing us how the Headbangers won the tag team titles.  Because of Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Headbangers won the titles.  That reminded me that Austin injured his neck at SummerSlam this year by an inverted piledriver given by Owen Hart.

Out of these two teams, the Headbangers are the fan favorites for this team.  I don’t blame any crowd of fans not liking Los Boricuas, back then all those faction splits were confusing the way it was.

Miguel Perez was the original Albert in the WWE by all that body hair he sported back in 1997.  McMahon, Lawler, and JR all talked about his body hair.  I don’t know why guys don’t shave their bodies if they don’t cover it up.  It has to be gross touching it when their bodies are sweaty.

The fans were into this match but it was hard for me to get into this match.  I don’t remember much about the Los Boricuas and never cared for the Headbangers when they were popular in the Federation.  It didn’t help much that the three-man announce team would go back-and-forth joking argue with one another and not talk about why these two teams are feuding.

The match went back-and-forth with fast paced action and rest holds.  A good psychology for the match, take the crowd on a roller coaster ride.  Get them excited and into the match and bring them back down, only to bring them back into the match with fast paced action.

When they were doing a lot of rest periods during the match, I felt like this match dragged and often times I felt like this matched dragged lots.  Could be me, like said before, not knowing much about either team and not knowing why they’re feuding with one another, I’m finding a hard time to get into this match.

The finish came when one of the Headbangers jumped off the top rope and landed crotch first to one of the Boricuas and got a three count.

Winners: Headbangers, retaining the titles.

We go to an interview done earlier with Jim Ross talking to the Bulldog.  Bulldog said that this match is important for him since his sister’s there in the crowd and she battled cancer twice and dedicated the match to her, since she’s a champion to him.  Bulldog also mentioned that he dropped about 28 pounds for he can try and compete with Michaels speed wise in the match and he knows that Michaels can’t compete with him strength wise, so he feels he has the upper hand because of that.

We go to an interview with the LOD and as a vintage Legion of Doom promos, I had no idea what those two men talked about because the only thing they did was shout the whole time.

The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) versus the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal)

Thankfully Jim Ross told us why these two teams are battling one another and it’s because the Legion of Doom broke Henry Godwinns neck in April and the Godwinns want retribution for it.  I always enjoy brief history lessons like this, especially when I pop in a random PPV and don’t know much of a backstory of any of the matches.

One thing I always appreciate is watching two guys (or for this match, four) who have wrestling styles like these four guys have, and that’s a hard-hitting, no-selling, brawling style.  I’m happy never to see one but this match reminds me of a bar fight.

I can tell that the crowd was burnt out up to this point.  There isn’t much of a crowd reaction for the match, which I expected when both teams came out.

The crowd started to get into the match when the finish came when all found men were in the ring and started to exchange fists.  Once Henry out of the ring, Phineas was picked up and ate a Doomsday Device and the Legion of Doom scored the pinfall victory!

Winners: The Road Warriors and I, since I was bored during this match.

After the ring was cleared, Jim Ross entered the ring and interviewed Ken Shamrock.  When Shamrock walked out to the ring, McMahon mentioned that he’s a former UFC fighter, which I’m surprised to hear since nowadays McMahon hates to discuss any competition that he has.

Shamrock suffered injuries when he faced Ron Simmons on a Raw when they were competing in the Intercontinental title tournament when Shamrock was injured by a spin buster.

Billy Gun came out and ran down Shamrock, saying that he doesn’t look tough and slapped him.  Shamrock went off and slapped on the ankle lock.  Good way to get over Shamrock and the ankle lock.

Vader versus Owen Hart

As explained in the interview with Ken Shamrock, Vader is the replacement for Shamrock against Owen Hart.  I’m hoping for a good match with Vader and Owen Hart.

After the first beats played, Owen got a giant pop from the crowd, since he’s one of the brother-in-laws with UK’s own British Bulldog.  That was mentioned too when Hart was on his way to the ring, as well as he is tag partners with the Bulldog.  And once the bell rang, it was mentioned that Owen’s been in the company for ten years, so since 1987.  Another history lesson!

Rather quickly Vader had the upper hand by the shear strength and mass advantage he had over Owen.  This is another match-type I enjoy, seeing a power-wrestler like Vader battle a quick, speed-technician like Owen.

One thing I appreciate about the early part of the match was whenever Hart had Vader on his back, Owen tried to slap on the Sharpshooter but couldn’t turn the big man over to his belly to put the full effect onto Vader.

How the match is laid out, I feel like Vader’s trying to make Owen seem like a fighter who, each time he gets an opportunity, gets the short-handed by one of Vader’s jabs.

Once Owen got the Sharpshooter onto Vader, the crowd jumped to their feet and popped loud for the move, hoping to be the finish.  Vader got to the ropes and got the break.  Once Vader got to his feet, Owen was able to pick up Vader and bodyslam him on his third try.

The finish came out of the blue when Owen went to the top rope to hit Vader with something off the top and Vader caught him and powerslammed him into a pinfall victory.

Winner: Vader and the fans, since I felt this was the best match on the tape.

We go backstage to Shawn Michaels and the Heartbreak Kid said that he went to England to become the first Grand Slam winner, being the first one to win the WWF title, the Intercontinental title, the Tag titles, and the European title.

WWF European Championship match :: Shawn Michaels versus the British Bulldog (champion)

To my surprise, I was expecting a gigantic boo-fest for Michaels when he came out but all the kids and ladies wanted to slap hands with the challenger and get hugs from him, if possible.

Once the Bulldog came out, the fans jumped to their feet and cheered for him, since he’s the hometown hero, coming home to defend their title against the cocky American who only wants the gold for selfish gain.

As normal 1997 Michaels, once the bell rang, he jumped outside of the ring to buy time and try to get in the head of the Bulldog, which seemed not to work too well, since those two men have a history with one another.

When they first locked up, the Bulldog overpowered Michaels and pushed him to his back, which threw Michaels off, since the Bulldog got the upper hand rather quickly.

One thing that got the crowd into the match was when the Bulldog had Michaels over his head and was going to press slam him outside the ring and the ref ran in the way to stop it, since it’d be a long drop face first to the mats outside.  So what does the Bulldog do?  He just dropped the Heartbreak Kid behind him to the mat behind him.

Throughout the match the fans kept chanting “Bulldog!” which was awesome to hear since this is one of few PPV events over in England and in the main event we see one of their countrymen defending their honor and their championship.

We got another history lesson from Jim Ross when he talked about the Bulldog winning the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam 1992 in the UK, and a few months later, who did he lose the title to?  Shawn Michaels.  JR wanted to put into question that maybe the Bulldog could lose the European championship to the Heartbreak Kid.

Rick Rude came out and pushed the Bulldog into the ring post when he was on the outside and Michaels had the ref distracted in the ring.  Shortly after, Jim Ross questioned how much money Michaels paid Rude beforehand to help him get the upper hand.

No matter if the Bulldog and Michaels took the match and had it fast faced or did a lot of rest holds, the fans were into every single thing they did, which made the match better than imagined.

After both guys butted heads and were in the ring laying around, Triple H and Chyna came out to back up Rick Rude to help Michaels out anyway that they can, trying to screw the Bulldog over.

Shortly after Triple H and Chyna came out, Michaels bodyslammed the Bulldog and went upstairs and went for two flying elbow drops.  After that, the challenger went to the corner to “warm up the band” and telegraph the Sweet Chin Music.  When Michaels went for it, the Bulldog countered and picked Michaels up for his finish, the running powerslam and Rude had Bulldog’s leg.

Rude was distracting the ref and Bulldog was gonna go for the running powerslam outside the ring and got his leg caught in-between the mat and the barricade and with that, Triple H grabbed the Bulldog (when Michaels had the ref in the ring) and pedigreed him.

Bulldog was rolled into the ring and Michaels took his knee brace off and the challenger slapped the figure four leg lock on the champion.

Because of the pain, the ref stopped the match and awarded Shawn Michaels the victory.

Winner: Shawn Michaels, the NEW EUROPEAN CHAMPION!

As a whole, I feel like his pay-per-view is passable.  But I highly suggest finding the main event somehow and watch it.  It’s a lot better than what I expected.  The crowd helped and brought the match up but with the Bulldog and Michaels made the match great.  The crowd ate up everything both guys did in the main event, making the newly made European Championship seem something worth chasing after, as well as two main eventers grappling one another for it.  All-in-all, if you want this show for a historical aspect, worthwhile buying, if not, the main event’s worth seeking out to watch.

Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at http://vintagedarsie.wordpress.com/, http://www.writerscafe.org/Darsie/writing/, and on Twitter @IAmDarsie.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Talks John Cena In The WWE Attitude Era

December 31, 2012 By: Category: Video Games, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE.com recently tackled a fun hypothetical question. How would John Cena fare in the Attitude Era? Who better to ask than the king of the Attitude Era himself, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The Texas Rattlesnake has done a lot of media over the last several months promoting the WWE 13 video game. The video game concept is to recreate the Attitude Era with your favorite stars of the era along with the current WWE superstars. The concept of mixing and matching has been the driving marketing campaign and it would appear that THQ and the WWE are making one last push to close out 2012.

Steve Austin was interviewed on WWE.com about the game and the Attitude Era. The interview is fantastic but there is one snippet that is most interesting to fans of today and the era. Austin talks John Cena and how the future WWE Hall of Famer would do in Austin’s era.

John Cena in The Attitude Era. Man, that’s a good question.

Yeah, had he been placed in it, and been dealt with accordingly, the John Cena you see now — the face of the franchise, the leader of the pack? Not so much. But I guarantee if you’d have gotten him face to face with “Stone Cold” in an interview, and you know John cuts a good interview himself, if I slapped the s*** out of that son of a b****, I think we’re off and running to make a lot of money.

All he needs is to be poked and prodded in the right way. I think John Cena has a hell of a lot of fire and he needs to be in the ring with the right opponent, or the right cat, to bring that out. So in the current environment, you really don’t see that in him.

Place [Cena] back 10 years in the ring with “Stone Cold”? You’d have rung the cash register, big time.

Austin seems to be excited about Cena’s prospects back in the Attitude Era. Austin has also been asked similar questions about CM Punk and offered similar answers. Well, what else do you expect him to say? But how do you really think Cena would have done in that era?

I think that Cena would have wound up as a big heel. Cena would have been just as booed in the era as he is now. The difference is that the booking was more edgy and the WWE were in a war with WCW. Instead of forcing the square peg into a hole I think Cena would have been turned heel and would have done monster business against babyfaces like Austin and The Rock in the era.

I also think Cena would have eventually turned back and been a top babyface. There was something about that era in which the babyfaces had to earn the respect of the fans before they got cheered. Just ask The Rock why Rocky Maivia was booed out of the building. If you think about it, there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between the Maivia and Cena characters. Someone like Punk on the other hand probably would have flourished.

Regardless we’ll never know but it is a fun question to think about it.

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