Friday, October 31, 2014
In the Halloween edition of the podcast Borbath and Walder tackle the real life horror story that is the WWE Network. Like the WWE network it is free to listen to them. A few thoughts on Hell in the Cell and NXT mixed into things. While we discuss the Michael Elgin situation with ROH that has turned into a shoot or is it all a work? All this for you to listen too while the trick or treaters are knocking at your door.
In November we will be focusing in on Final Battle coming up at the start of December for ROH. Will be looking to book some guests over the month and get ready for ROH's return to pay-per-view. So that is something we look forward to bringing your way.
If you are unable to listen via the website head over to Podomatic where you can access us directly there or via I-Tunes.
Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Big day in the wrestling world with the WWE 3rd Quarter Report Conference call. We wrote about it and now will talk about on Hangin On the Moon. In addition thoughts on Hell in a Cell and Raw along with some talk on what has been going on with Michael Elgin and ROH. Josh Lopez and I talk about it all for an hour as we hang on the moon with you.
Tomorrow Chris Walder joins me and we will have more on WWE Network and WWE Business on the podcast and a lot more.
If you don't already follow us @condoonthemoon and let us know.
Tomorrow Chris Walder joins me and we will have more on WWE Network and WWE Business on the podcast and a lot more.
If you don't already follow us @condoonthemoon and let us know.
So drum roll and the number is 731,000 WWE Network Subscribers. This has to be viewed as nothing short of an absolute failure to this point. Keep in mind that number includes international markets with the exception of U.K and a few other markets. According to the WWE in their conference call, International subscribers’ only make up for 11% of the current subscriber number. Which if you read through the smoke and mirrors suggests that anyone internationally that wanted the network is pretending to be American and already had it for the most part.
Here in Canada the network remains a massive mess up as well with Rogers still the only provider of the network in Canada to date. WWE in their quarterly conference call admitted that the network is servicing only 20% of the Canadian Market at this time. As I wrote last night Rogers is in yet another heated battle with competitor Bell media and this likely will be a roadblock to the network ending up on Bell. The two companies have battled over the carrying of their rival sports networks for several years as they have expanded.
This does not even get into the fact of the total lack of on demand content on the network here in Canada. Which the WWE did stat would be expanded by 500 hours on their main platform in the U.S. This does not seem like a lot given the massive library they own.
Bottom line if you're Canadian and know ways around the system to get U.S content on the web why would you bother subscribing through your cable provider? It makes no sense to do so what so ever at this point and likely in the future going forward.
WWE just seems to be throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks at this point. This really has been a huge failure to this stage with how they have handled the network.
In terms of the product itself, it becomes very clear why Brock Lesnar is not being used on Survivor Series with offering the network for free in November. This makes the idea of paying Brock what is high rate to appear make little to no sense. It already in my opinion makes the idea of paying Lesnar what they do while moving away from pay-per-view insane. I fully expect Brock to head back to the UFC after Wrestlemania because the WWE will not be in a position to pay him what they have been for the limited amount of dates he is willing to work or that they can afford. Lesnar as the WWE Heavyweight Champion was an interesting experiment but it is not going to work long-term. You can argue it hasn’t worked short term either as the Network numbers in the time he has been champion remain pretty much flat or even negative depending on how you view it.
Why I say that is if you subtract the 11% international subscribers the WWE technically lost network subscribers overall on their net domestically.
When the concept of a WWE Network for first announced years ago who could have imagined it would have been such a horrible failure to this point. It took years to come up with a model to get it off the ground. Despite attempts to get on traditional cable in line with sports counterparts like the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL all have in the last decade. They were never able to pull that off and decided to elect to go this new digital media route and it has turned into a nightmare in many respects.
WWE gave no indication of looking to make significant cuts to personal at this stage, as they seemed to suggest they already had done a majority of that. Still at this stage who knows if you are expendable in this company at the moment you should feel very worried.
In the end, this has been a mess, which clearly has been a major distraction from the product as a whole since the launch of the Network. It has been an awful year not even factoring in curveballs like injuries that has made things even more challenging.
Chris Harrington a past guest on Condo on the Moon has a great breakdown of the takeaways from the conference call today on Indeed Wrestling. We will reach out to have him on again to break all this stuff down. For now, it will be yours truly and Josh Lopez on Hangin on the Moon tonight and back with Chris Walder on the podcast tomorrow.
The WWE Stock to no ones shock is down on the day. Nothing like the epic one-day free fall when they announced their TV deal but still down trading at 12.50 (down 5.8%) on the day at the time this article was published. It opened the day at 13.03 and dipped as low as 12.07 on the day.
It is not as if this was not expected with WWE adding advertising to the Network it was a clear indicator this number was not going to be good and it wasn’t
WWE is on hours away from announcing there third quarter earnings and all indications are the news will not be so good like the second quarter. The WWE will be compelled to release the latest number in terms of network subscribers that most feel will be underwhelming. Even with the edition of international markets entering into that number. This was something that originally was not suppose to take place until the last quarter of 2014 or first of 2015.
There have been issues with two of the WWE’s largest international markets in Canada and U.K. Canada did launch with the rest of other international markets back in August but it was not a full launch and is very different from the U.S model. While it is on traditional cable television with Rogers it is not offer yet in most of the country. The WWE also had not yet gotten a license for the network with the CRTC Canada’s version of FFC. This limited the number of homes the network could be in due to lack of a license. In addition, Roger is controlling the network and any other cable providers will need to go through them to acquire it. This is an issue as Bell their major competitor and Roger while partners in MLSE that owns sports franchises like the Leafs, Raptors and TFC together still have serious issues getting along. There latest battle was over the Raptors T.V Schedule, which was only released a day prior to the season. They have battled over their expansion of radio and television properties as well. In short, Rogers does not have many friends with their competitors.
The U.K was originally delayed to launching at the start of this month but than was pushed back to November. Therefore, they will not be included in these numbers but we should get info on their model of the network set to launch in just a few days. It will be interesting to see if models after the U.S version or the Canadian version. The Canadian version while having a broadcast channel lacks the 1000’s of hours of on demand content the U.S version does and has not been as easily available on all platforms like the U.S model.
In any case, the expected bad news has many talents worried that we could see a number of cuts like those that we did following the last quarterly report that was not favorable. Names we have not seen on T.V seem to be the most uneasy. Still even being on T.V does not mean your safe as a few of the cuts last time had been seen recently. Names like Zack Ryder would likely top a list of people worried to pick up their phone the rest of the week. Curtis Axel son of Mr. Perfect seems to be limbo with Ryback returning as a solo act. Axel had been teaming with him prior to his injury.
TNA still has no television deal to speak of after another promised date of an announcement has come and gone. It really has the company living in a stat of limbo. This has left the talent with no work heading into the holiday season. TNA has no shows booked other than their tour of the U.K in the start of 2015. They have T.V taped until Mid-November and are said to be airing best of specials the rest of the year on Spike. Technically Spike could have already sent them packing but gave them until the end of the year to arrange to go elsewhere. This is ironic given some of the rumbles about TNA being unsatisfied with them as a partner. Kurt Angle is a man without a deal as is believed to be Samoa Joe. The company seems unwilling to sign anyone until they have a new deal and assumedly budget of less money in place. This despite some more rumors from Dixie she had a signing that was going to shock people. At this point people would be shocked if TNA is in business.
Lucha underground is underway and debuted on the El Ray network. Backed by some Hollywood heavyweights and having talent from Mexico’s AAA promotion along with names like John Morrison and Chavo Geurrero and Ricochet a top independent star that recently won the Battle of L.A in PWG. Have not heard much but people seem at least interested in what they have to offer.
ROH has Michael Elgin back in the fold for now as he returned to the company. In what might have been a shoot worked into an angle or just some horrible communication on an angle the two have come together and Elgin is playing what most feel he is in reality a disgruntled employee. Elgin’s deal may be ending soon and his future with ROH long term still seems to be a question mark.
Aside from that, though things are going fairly well for the company as they announced a toy deal to create ROH action figures. In the release, they talked about have not only current but past ROH stars as possibilities. Will see what happens but maybe a C.M Punk ROH doll? Who knows Punk seems to have come to terms with WWE on as people close to him have called it tying up lose end with the WWE. Those include a Flintstones movie in which Punk was the featured character. They have also put back up a limited amount of his merchandise on WWE Shop.com.
What it would mean with current WWE talent like Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Kevin Steen is unclear as relates to making dolls for them now that they are in the WWE likely don’t hold your breath. Still it is another step forward for ROH in marketing their brand.
There is your look around the business side of things look for more coverage of the WWE shareholders conference later today on the site.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
We are going to do something a little different with our Raw coverage. Every Tuesday will look at the talking points coming out of each episode of Raw. Let’s try to look forward and not backwards re-capping a show that the majority of you likely have seen by this point. So what are the things everyone is talking about coming out of Monday Night Raw.
1. Brock Lesnar is not coming to Survivor Series: This seems to have been made crystal clear by Monday’s episode of Raw. The Authority made an offer to John Cena to come join them on the dark side and they would guarantee him a victory when he faces Brock. He to no one surprise turned down their offer to join them instead leading us to traditional Survivor Series match. It will be Team Authority vs. Team Cena, which at this point we know that Dolph Ziggler will be on team Cena. Which with the history of Cena buddies that is not good news for him. A match with Kane can be considered the first step to doom for Dolph trapped in the Cena friend zone.
In any case, the creation of this match makes the Brock’s presence for this upcoming Survivor Series unlikely to happen. It seems like we most likely are not going to see Brock until Royal Rumble. Paul Heyman was not on the show last night either after appearing on the Hell in a Cell match on the pre-show panel. Cena after winning his match looked up at Heyman and he reacted in kind. We are not getting the WWE World Heavyweight Champion for six months defending the title. When you consider the WWE stripped Daniel Bryan because we needed a WWE Champion and us as fans deserved that. This was the words of Stephanie McMahon. In character mind you, but why did the WWE not simply create an interim champion to replace Bryan. I don’t mind the idea of Champion not being around all the time but your storyline contradicts that and no one has brought that up. Should someone not be doing that at by now? The logic gap is terrible.
These same people gave John Cena a number one contender match for losing a match and were able to get the match he wanted that he failed to get the next night on Raw. Rollins and Cena match was fine but it really proved that Ambrose and Rollins are the better feud and match at this point. The idea of Paul Heyman representing the title or holding it hostage to some extent never has materialized.
2. Randy Orton is Actually Interesting: I know this is shocking but this is two weeks in a row Randy Orton actually looks like he gives a damn. This comes soon after rumors Orton had signed a part-time time style deal. Something he denied was the case. There were also rumors he was not happy with his creative and wanted or demanded a larger role. It seems like this has happened and Orton has gotten what he was looking for.
Whatever the reason this is the most motivated Randy Orton we have seen in many years that much is for certain. A program with him and Seth Rollins seems to be on the surface to happen now or at worst after survivor series. It is a good pairing in which Rollins can go in the ring and push Orton to perform at his best. This is something that clearly was not happening, when he had been paired with Roman Reigns or the WWE poster boy John Cena. Triple H in character said that Rollins is a lot like Orton and that is somewhat true. Rollins is a decent promo but often isn’t a great promo. While in-ring the two are as good as it gets from a technical standpoint.
In any case, Randy seems to be heading towards a face turn, which may kill the fire Orton currently has. Sometimes people don’t need to turn and heels don’t always have to get along right? Will see what happens, but right now you have an interesting Randy Orton, which we have not seen in years. It all might have started from a bunch of silly Vines on the internet. Who knows but the WWE seems to have bought into the RKO out of nowhere hype.
3. The Old Ryback Is Back: Many of you are excited to see the old Ryback return. He found a time machine and took San Antonio back to 2012. I am not exactly convinced the WWE is ready to try to rocket Ryback back to the top. I think a combination of bad booking and Ryback’s own flaws have exposed him to some extent. We will see if the fans stay with Ryback and for how long they do.
The roster is extremely thin, this gives Ryback a second chance, and perhaps gains back some of what he once had. People need to keep things in prospective we have seen many guys looking like they were on a rocket ship to the top. We have seen many guys being pushed and dropped through out 2014. Keep in mind someone like Wade Barrett should be set to return soon as well. He was on the verge of being a huge baby face prior to his injury. Right now Ryback is back but who knows what happens next week. Damien Sandow is another one that has become very popular of late.
We are one week down in the Ryback return he is not going to be in main event of Wrestlemania 31. Chill and relax just because the feed me more chant is back doesn’t give Ryback a golden pass back to the main event.
4. Dean and Bray Feud off to Rocky Start: Dean Ambrose has been the hottest guy in wrestling in the last month. He enters this feud with Bray Wyatt, which got off to a rocky start. Many were not happy with the whole chanting and hologram angle to close Hell in a Cell. Bray’s explanation to why he attacked Ambrose was vague. He only talked about Dean being like him. It also was almost whispering at times during his promo and it made it difficult to understand at times.
I really have concerns for Ambrose in this feud to some extent. Bray Wyatt is coming off a feud that was a failure with Chris Jericho. Wyatt is basically getting a reboot to try and get him going again. You can’t say the WWE has not given Bray a huge platform in 2014 with programs with John Cena, The Shield and Chris Jericho. The strength of Bray Wyatt has been promos while his in-ring work has been sketchy at best.
This feud could be good in that regard though as Ambrose can have a brawling type of match that is what is right up Wyatt’s alley. He still is over with the fans as all those lit up phones indicate. Dean Ambrose is the hottest wrestler in the company currently on the roster. This feud is important for both guys but the one with more to lose is Bray Wyatt. He now appears to be on his own, which will be another adjustment for him to make.
5. Divas Division = Boring: Tired and uninteresting feuds are what we’ve got on the tap with the ladies. Paige and A.J Lee have been on four straight special events in a row. This could be some kind of WWE record for all that I know. Regardless this feud has been dull and boring and has not really advanced in any significant way since Paige turned heel. While we have the Bella feud that spilled out of the Stephanie and Brie feud from Summerslam. It has been awful stuff and we have a whole month of an angle and likely a Total Divas match with Team Brie and Team Nikki at Survivor Series.
Make it stop at least with the break in Total Divas maybe we can get a bit of a break from all this Divas nonsense after that? We can only hope so.
Only other note is that Roman Reigns doing these interviews on his recovery is doing him no favors. I am almost convinced you need to see him turn heel and face The Rock instead of a Brock Lesnar match for the title. He is not ready and with this injury, I am questioning if he will be. A program with The Rock makes much more sense than Rock going against Triple H in a match that I question if people would honestly care about. It was another Raw that really wasn’t that great and dragged on as it has in recent weeks.
WWE will face the music later in the week with their conference call on the third quarter for the company. In terms of the product in the ring, it has been a major disappointment. The network numbers will likely be not much better.
Monday, October 27, 2014
It was overall a disappointing effort from the WWE last night in Dallas for Hell in a Cell. Not much lived up to expectations that were already fairly low for this show to begin with heading into this show. Realistically this show was built on two matches and was only clearly defined two weeks out from the show. We will break it down match by match with some thoughts on it all.
Opening Match: Ziggler vs. Cesaro 2 out of 3 falls for I-C Title.
When you pictured these two guys in a match of this nature, you expected something that would resemble matches between Cesaro and Sami Zayn. In the end, the two fell far short of those lofty expectations and had what could be termed as a good match by overall standards. Still with the pairing of these two great athletes, you expected something far more exceptional from these two. In the end, the biggest shock was that Ziggler won the match in two straight falls. It will lead to speculation of what the hell Cesaro has done wrong to deserve that. I actually thought the two straight falls finish was the most interesting thing of the match to be honest.
Bella vs. Bella
It was far from a mat classic but in ring, it was not a complete train wreck. The Bella twins love them or hate them are making an effort to be more skilled in the ring. This said the audience investment in them is next to nothing. It could not have been more than 2 minutes before JBL chants rang out in the Dallas crowd. Brie clearly other than stealing stuff from her husband has no clue how to be a babyface in this program. I feel no sympathy what so ever in an angle that on paper is begging me to have some. In the end, Nikki wins and now with the stipulation Brie must be Nikki’s servant/personal assistant for a month. We got the first of what I am sure will be a month long of awful Bella segments with this angle. It was standard stuff with Nikki after confirming Brie had this protein shake correct dumped it on her head. It is going to be a long month with this stuff.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton: Hell in a Cell #1 Contender’s Match.
My first thought is this match was to damn long. It apparently went over 27 minutes according to people that time these things. In the end, this Hell in the Cell match was worked fairly safely in comparison to match we would see later. It was hard to feel invested in this match even with the stipulation of the winner getting a shot at the WWE Heavyweight Championship. We have seen both have far too many chances to be champion for us to care. The match had a number of false finishes with finishing moves. Your typical big star match as we have seen in past with Rock and Austin. The match ends with a John Cena super attitude adjustment through a table. This leads us to the unfortunate prospect of yet another Lesnar against John Cena match for the title. In the end, at least this match was not the main event so give the WWE credit for that.
Rusev vs. Big Show
We had a vignette with Mark Henry pumping up the Big Show, in the same manner Show did for Henry in the previous pay-per-view. Henry would come out during the match and shockingly enough did not turn on Big Show that seemed destined to happen. It did not and Rusev ended up hooking up his version of the Camel Clutch and made the Big Show humble. It was what it was ad Rusev looked good coming out of the match. Lana wearing Pink for breast cancer was a little bit strange that the Russian heel female manager is supporting a U.S based Cancer fund is a bit strange in terms of being a heel. Likely being a nit picky somewhat nerdy wrestling fan on that one. Maybe, though the bad guys should not ever be doing good things for the world right. Anyway, Rusev wins clean and we wonder what is next for him.
Sheamus vs. Miz: United States Title
This match was hi-jacked by Damien Sandow doing literally everything that happened to The Miz in this contest. Crowd was totally into Sandow and could care less about the Miz or Sheamus. In the end, Sheamus won and used the Miz as a voodoo doll to make Damien Sandow do Y-M-C-A, which was somewhat amusing. Bottom line is no one cares about these two or this title.
Usos vs. Dust Brothers: Tag Team Championship
This was yet another match in the best out of 100 series with the Usos and Stardust and Goldust. It in the end felt like that and we have seen better from both of these teams. I have started to lose interest in the Usos, as they have just become the typical babyfaces. I just have lost a ton of interest in them since they dropped the titles. I am not into the crazy Dust Brothers either. This match was what it was and much like many matches on the night was ok but nothing outstanding.
A.J Lee vs. Paige: Diva’s Title Match
Much like the match with Tag-Team Championship, this was a match in which I have seen far too much of at this point. People thought this would be a fantastic feud and at the end of the day, it has not been much of a pairing. The storyline of both being crazy has not worked and in-ring. A.J also deals with the fact that she is the lightning rod for C.M Punk fans to use. A.J defends her title in a match that really was not much of anything. Paige who came out with Alicia Fox turned on Fox when she lost the match and A.J skips away still with her title.
Main Event: Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins
It started much like the famous Undertaker vs. Mankind match with Ambrose deciding to climb to the top of the Cell to start the match. Noble and Mercury the stooges 2.0 were directed to climb up and go after Dean. He would go to town with kendo stick on both on top of cage. Rollins would try a sneak attack and the three would get the advantage. Eventually Ambrose would follow Rollins down the cage half way and Ambrose would head butt Rollins and both would fall through announce tables. Ambrose would eventually get off a stretcher and attack Rollins throwing him in the cell to start the match officially. I enjoyed this match had some great spots highlighted by and elbow drop by Ambrose on Rollins through a table that wad jammed between the cell and the ring ropes. Ambrose looks to be on the way to victory when the lights go out and Bray Wyatt’s voice with Undertaker like chants is heard. The lights return and a lantern is in the ring but fans also have phones light up making the cut to black look really fake. Smoke rises from a hole in the ring and a hologram of a ghost appears. Ambrose is fascinated by this and Bray Wyatt appears and charges through the smoke and ghost and attack Ambrose. He hit his Sister Abigail finisher and helps Rollins win the match. Most people hating this ending I was in the minority that was ok with it. The Ambrose and Rollins feud some feel is over but I feel this is just a pit stop and it will continue. Time will tell if that is the case.
This show was underwhelming and left many people feeling they did not get their 9.99 out of it. We will see how many people are giving the WWE their 9.99 later this week. This show just did not deliver and was just kind of there.
Heading into Raw the explanation of why Wyatt went after Ambrose is the big question to be answered. In addition, will we find out when Cena will Brock Lesnar? You can also look forward to sore awful Bella promos on tonight’s Raw.
This show is thumbs down for this show from me.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
We discussed in our weekly podcast the Hell in the Cell event on Sunday is lacking a lot of fresh match-ups and obvious opportunities to advance storylines to something new. Still we can come up with five things to wonder about heading into the event on Sunday. So let us get rolling with these in no specific order of importance.
Randy Orton’s health status heading into this event has been up in the air since Monday. There were some rumors that Orton came out of Raw in Kansas City a bit banged up. Nothing much has come of this after the initial speculation but being inside the Hell in The Cell is at times injuries waiting to happen. Cena has been documented as being pretty banged up the past few months. As big a question as who wins this match on Sunday might be, the condition of the winner after the match is over in a legitimate sense. If Lesnar is going to come back to do Survivor Series he will need a healthy opponent for it to be worth the WWE spending the extra money it takes to get their champion to show up. Brock is all about being paid at the end of the day.
Which Cell match ultimately will close this show? Triple H on Raw positioned the two Cell Matches as Co-Main Events but that is a lot of bunk. The last match is the real main event and everyone knows it. Fans clearly are hoping for Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to close the show. Dean has been on an incredible roll and even had an article he was interviewed for in the Rolling Stone. He is not going be a rock star or anything but, he is starting to build the popularity of one. Complete with the gossip of his relationship with WWE announcer Renee Young. In the end, what is BEST FOR BUSINESS is to have Ambrose and Rollins close the show. This stated most expect the WWE will go with the many times over used headline match of Cena vs. Orton.
Do we see the Wyatt Family be involved on this show? Will they work alone now or still as a unit with three separate agendas? It all remains to be seen at this stage of the game. I suggested on Friday that they could screw Dean Ambrose and this would allow Rollins to move into a feud with Orton as possibility. While we are at people who we wonder if we will see, does Paul Heyman have some sort of role in this show with a potential number one contender being determined for his client champion Brock Lesnar?
Do we get Mark Henry against Big Show III at Survivor Series? The Rusev against Big Show match seems like an obvious place for Mark Henry to get involved and screw the Big Show while Rusev keeps his undefeated run in tact. Henry and Show have been an obvious pairing many times and this could be the third Survivor Series the two have worked a program against on another if Henry does turn on Show or vice versa.
Will A.J Lee keep the Divas title safe from reality television? Paige is heading to Total Divas along with Alicia Fox for the new season that will be kicking off in January. Rumors surfaced that a rule was in place that no Total Diva was allowed to hold the title. This rule came according to reports from Vince himself. Nikki Bella confirmed this rule in an interview with Peter Rosenberg a few weeks ago. Now Stephanie McMahon in here interview with Yahoo Sports claims no rule exists about the Divas title. Guess if A.J wins will consider Stephanie might have been telling a lie. The question would be if the rule were in fact true who will work with A.J going forward. Charlotte Flair might be an answer but she is booked to face Sasha Banks for the NXT Women’s Title she holds in early December.
All this said and we still have no idea who the hell is that damn bunny? In any case, Sunday’s Hell in a Cell on paper looks to have some solid in ring matches with only a couple question marks. Some how we forgot to mention the Bella vs. Bella match when we were talking about potential bad matches. Consider it a mental block to not wanting to see this match happen.
In any case, WWE has had some surprises of late with Rock and Mick Foley recently appearing out of nowhere like a Randy Orton RKO. Perhaps we get some surprises on the show. Hogan is booked to appear on Raw the next night. Not that he is a surprise at this point. More like a waste of time brother!! However, we hope this was not for you.
Follow us on @Condoonthemoon for all the latest on Hell in a Cell heading into tomorrow night’s show.
Friday, October 24, 2014
If you can't access our podcast here head over to Podomatic and listen there including on I-Tunes.
So that is it for us this week. Next week the fallout of the show and the WWE 3rd Quarterly Report which means new WWE Network numbers to be disappointed in.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Josh Lopez and I kick around topics from the week that was in Pro Wrestling. From banning Punk signs to Hell In the Cell. From Final Battle To final days of of TNA? It is all in there.
We are #CanadaStrong 4 life and will catch you next week.
We are #CanadaStrong 4 life and will catch you next week.
That is what being a wrestling fan or a sports fan is at the core of it all. Allowing you to be entertained and forget about what a crazy and sometimes screwed up world we live in that was on display in Canada’s capital city.
We spend a great deal of time complaining about it. What we do not like about wrestling and how we feel some of our favorites are being hard done by. A day like yesterday makes that whole idea seem rather silly to be so concerned about it. We do it because we love the performers and the world of pro wrestling that allows us to escape into a world that is not about life and death. No matter how much you might feel Dolph, Cesaro or whomever you would like to say is being buried they are actually earning a pretty decent living and are making a decent wage doing it. If that is being buried, please bury me and allow me to make that kind of money and have that kind of fame.
The point of this is sometimes it is good to remember why we actually love this stuff and what it really is as part of our lives. This is a delightful distraction from the real world around us. Sure sometimes the distraction can be to long lasting three hours that drags sometimes. In the end, though next Monday I will gladly tune out the world and good or bad enjoy the aftermath of Hell in A Cell.
It also brings to light how distasteful the angle involving the U.S Solider (Not a Real Solider) was in such poor taste. Ironically just days later an actual solider from my hometown is senselessly killed in broad daily light. WWE likes to praise the U.S military and highlight there importance and value to America. The idea that they would use that as part of an angle quite frankly makes me sick. It did on Monday and does even more today after the real life events in the word.
The sad thing about this delightful distraction that we all take part in, is that it can not totally shield out the world around us. Things like the death of Owen Hart, the tragic events of 9/11 and many other things I could list have broken into the wrestling bubble and brought the outside world into it. Those are unavoidable but angles like those that we saw with Rusev and Big Show are avoidable.
In the end, the country I call home will be different going forward. Not in a positive way either and that is sad. What is not sad is how it showed the true Canadian spirit and true Canadian heroism. It also showed the differences between Canada and United States. Many of those that make me proud to be a Canadian,
As an example Ottawa prior to yesterday had 4 murders in the year of 2014. Compare that to Washington D.C and I am sure the number is far greater.
Life will go on and I will be complaining about things that do not matter all that much about wrestling soon enough. Sometimes life will force us to acknowledge there are more important things in this world, this will always put the crazy world of pro wrestling in prospective.
#CanadaStrong 4 Life.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
WWE bringing in a new policy is showing how times have changed with the company. Now being a more corporate company but this in case in a very positive manner. The NFL as most know was rocked to the core by TMZ video released of Ray Rice former Ravens running back slugging his than girlfriend, now wife in an elevator at a casino. This has sent shock waves to the system in the NFL that initially had only suspended Rice 2 games. Now since the Adrian Peterson case in which he has been accused of child abuse in Texas.
WWE now has a strict policy in place to deal with both matters should they arise. Many will make note that this policy would have been very interesting had it been in place when Steve Austin had his issues with a domestic violence incident. It is a different day in the world now and burying your head in the sand is not going to be an acceptable answer anymore.
In an article on this topic in the Inquisitr .com the language of this from the WWE is quoted:
“WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated.Therefore, it seems that the WWE like all major sports brands has fallen in line and without being prompted or pushed into doing so has taken these steps. Stephanie McMahon being named to be an Eisenhower Fellow may also have something to do with this sudden policy being put into place. Stephanie has been front and center over the years self-promoting her as this strong female business leader and this is a very high honor as outlined in this article from the Miami Herald.
Maybe Stephanie will some day follow her mother Linda’s venture into politics. Could anyone imagine Paul Levesque as the first husband of the United States? Likely never happen, but it is something to consider and may result in a smile on your face.
In any case, WWE is clearly not the company it once was at least on the surface. In fact maybe even deeper than that as it really seems like the WWE is committed to being a good corporate citizen regardless of how wrestling fans may see many of their actions as hypocritical in comparison to the past.
Raw in Kansas City has me a bit conflicted to some extent. On one hand, I think WWE is making some effort to a certain level. While other things, remain stuck in the same formula that has been failing. We have the same pointless 6-man tag matches every single week it seems as the opening match. Wrestling in order to be entertaining needs to have some purpose and meaning to get us invested as fans. These matches set a terrible tone for the 3-hour show. It comes after a long talking segment to open the show that will always be involving The Authority. I am a big fan of Triple H and Stephanie when she is there, but this whole Authority angle has become very stale and boring.
What WWE is attempting to do is bring back the surprise element in wrestling despite lacking it in many of their angles. The Rock returning unexpectedly a few weeks ago and last night Mick Foley winds up in Kansas City to surprise fans. Foley’s appearance was the exact way you want a past start to interact with your rising talent. It was even better than The Rock’s interaction Rusev that was a one off and did nothing to build Rusev moving forward.
Foley did a much better job putting over how the Hell in the Cell match can change careers and lives using his own life experiences as the living proof. The difference with Foley is he clearly watches the product on a regular basis and is well aware of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and their extended feud. He put over both competitors and made their match feel important.
Contrast that with the other Hell in the Cell match between Randy Orton and John Cena. After 12 years of these two guys this literally has no one is interested in this match. Triple H tried to up the ante, making this match in effect a number one contender match for Brock Lesnar’s title. Remember him? The WWE Heavyweight Champion who has not been mentioned in weeks on the flagship program Monday Night Raw or anywhere else. We also saw his manger (advocate) Paul Heyman back on the show tonight.
First before we get into get into Heyman appearance let’s talk about the lack of logic in making this Orton and Cena match for the number one contender spot. John Cena last week lost a match to Dean Ambrose, but a week later is in a match to have a chance to get yet another attempt to be WWE Heavyweight Champion. The logic is lacking in adding this stipulation to the match. People are tired of this match-up with Cena and Orton and they attempted to make us care about it. There is even talk this match will close the show and it is looking more and more like it will after tonight.
The segment had Randy Orton cutting an insane ranting promo that I loved. Maybe best promo Orton has done in a long time. He trolled the Kansas City crowd going after the Royals. Classic heel move and Randy is truly the last true heel in wrestling to some degree. John Cena came out, his response was bad comedy, and it was awful. Heyman returning was another surprise on this show that was a positive. It was not the greatest Paul Heyman promo ever, but it was great to see him back. Segment ended with RKO‘s out of no where on both Cena and Heyman. It was overall a long segment but ultimately did about as good as it could to sell a dead on the vine feud that no one cares about at the end of the day.
The segment with Rusev after he squashed Big E. Big Show had replaced the Russian flag with an American flag. Rusev went to tear down U.S flag when a man in a military uniform climbed over the guardrail, attempting to attack Rusev, was cut off by security, and than Rusev kicked him in the head. I found this segment to be very low class and I am not even an American in saying it. I did have a member of my family in the military and was insulted.
It is a lowbrow form of cheap heat that I just was turned off by on many levels. In the ultra politically correct WWE and based on their ties to the military I found this even more disappointing. To say that I am surprised by it would be a lie as there is almost nothing they would do that would shock me at this point.
We saw Big Show once again turn into the crying than angry giant. Andre The Giant never cried once in his entire run in WWE and he is considered a legend. While Show is crying all the time and trying to be a comedian and is considered a joke himself. How the WWE has failed to make a man, that is 500lbs and close to 7ft tall, a monster is beyond me. I assume we see Big Show being disqualified at Hell in the Cell and Rusev remains undefeated. That or Mark Henry will turn on him. Have hated this Rusev feud with Show it has been very stupid from the start of it with Show being taken to task for taking down the Russian Flag. This was a work just like the man playing a U.S military official. Which by the way shouldn’t a legit solider be able to get past a couple security guys at a sporting event? Again, where is the logic WWE?
Speaking of things lacking logic Dolph Ziggler is on a 3-week losing streak as your I-C Champion. It was Cesaro getting the win this time around over Ziggler. U.S Champion Sheamus lost to Damien Mizdow. So why exactly would anyone want to be a champion in this company? Well unless you’re WWE World Heavyweight Champion when you show up when you feel like it unless your name is Daniel Bryan.
In the end I understand that Raw is undermanned to some extent but that still doesn’t change the fact the formula and repetition of a lot of things is taking away from the overall show. This was not one of the worst Raw efforts in the last 3 months. In fact, it was far better on many levels. Still for the same reasons other Raw’s struggle to entertain us this one suffered in a similar way. The formula needs to be shaken up to some degree and we need to see some fresh stuff on a show that being 3 hours in length can’t afford to be stale and uninteresting.
In the end the effort is coming along but the overall results still have a long way to go with Monday Night Raw.
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Monday, October 20, 2014
There are many problems in the WWE everyone would agree. The fact they are considering the main event of Hell in the Cell to be Orton vs. Cena makes little sense. However, the biggest issue the WWE faces currently is really a lack of heels on the roster at the main event level. The Authority angle with Rollins, Orton and Kane as the top heels by default is pretty lame at this point. Rusev is perhaps the biggest growing heel they have now. Brock Lesnar is a heel and WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but has not been seen or mentioned based on not being booked on this upcoming Hell in the Cell. He has been hunting up here in Canada in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
There is a lack of bad guys and it is pretty glaring at this point. It could get even worse as WWE is thinking of turning Randy Orton into a babyface. He has as we made mention of last week been running wild on the internet with RKO Vines that have become the latest viral hit on the internet. Since we have seen some Shawn Michaels Super Kicks and a few Austin Stunners, but it has been RKOs on everything from small children to giraffes. The turn would be to work a program with Seth Rollins it would appear. It seems like the Ambrose and Rollins feud is finally coming to an end with this Hell in the Cell match.
The funny thing is you really could keep this feud going as the two have yet to have a match with the Money in the Bank briefcase that Seth holds being on the line in a match. So it would give you reason to continue that feud.
Seth Rollins is not exactly ready to be a top heel in the company. If Orton turned with Brock away that in effect is what he would become. We are heading towards a Henry heel turn it looks like but Mark Henry and Big Show have turned so many times it is hard to make people care to any extent.
Who is the next big star to challenge John Cena? Well he is wrestling Randy Orton, but I can’t imagine this feud continuing. That said, I could not imagine them matched up again after working a program to end 2013. It does seem like a one-off at the pay-per-view. Rusev it has been thought has been being built up to face Cena eventually, but many felt it would be a potential Wrestlemania match. Perhaps we will get it early with no real other options out there.
Bray Wyatt is of course a heel and so are Luke Harper and Eric Rowan who similar to The Shield seem to be being broken up. They appear to be doing a reset at the moment and have not been seen on T.V for weeks at this point.
You have a bunch of mid-card people that you could make heels, or enhance as heels, but none that I think would be taken very seriously. Sheamus is overdue to turn heel but he is not someone I see being able to jump back into the main event scene. Chris Walder made a point on our podcast that a lot of guys like Sheamus and The Miz were given to much too soon and that is part of the problem in buying them as anything beyond the mid-card now.
There is a ton of talent in NXT, but none that could jump into the mix as a top heel right away. The two most ready being Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville that on NXT is being built to be the main event for the special event. Neville is doing a slow heel turn on NXT but I could not imagine he will be one when he starts on the main roster. If he were that would be a major mistake. Zayn is so babyface it oozes out of him. Heido Itami and Finn Balor better known as Kenta and Prince Devitt are being billed as faces in NXT. Kevin Steen has yet to debut but is likely the best fit to work as a heel but that is not happening anytime soon. Tyler Breeze is a heel but clearly in his current gimmick nothing more than a mid-card one.
The answer to this question is not an easy one with a real lack of talent on the heel side of the ledger in WWE. Cesaro is one guy that I feel could get the job done but fans especially smart fans love him and he has been had his push coming out of Wrestlemania fade away.
C.M ….Nah that is not happening, but boy would he make a hell of a heel right now with half his former fans legitimately mad he left. WWE really has an issue; it is the same issue that I saw with Daniel Bryan winning the Championship back in April. Pondering back at that time I was concerned for who he was going to feud with as Champion. His injuries have made that a moot point but clearly the problem of top heels was a valid one and we are seeing it now.
John Cena turning heel is about as ridiculous as the idea of C.M Punk some how returning and being a heel. If ever the WWE needed their cash cow to turn to the dark side it might be now. Still that is not going to happen so why bother wasting time on it.
Reigns and Bryan being out as little to do with this issue as they both were on team good guy. Bad News Barrett should be returning shortly but he was looking more like signing up for the good team when he left. Maybe it is time to go back to shades of gray as we clearly are lacking people to wear the black hats in this picture.
WWE needs to figure this problem out fairly soon and balance out the roster to some extent. It becomes an issue that needs to be addressed. Think where would we be without the Rollins and Ambrose feud it has been the one lone program that has kept peoples interest with a clear heel and face dynamic too it.
That is ending and it makes you wonder what is next for many people. Brock is rumored to be out of the picture until January and the Rumble, but I can’t honestly imagine him being gone this long with desperate need for a top heel. If he returns who is he going to work with? John Cena for a third time in a rubber match of sorts. Could we see a freshly turned babyface Randy Orton going for the title? Dean Ambrose somehow gets a shot at the title. None of these options seems very appealing for the long term.
If there were a panic button to press, I would be pushing it about now. It is hard to find a good solid main event heel in 2014. Even the heels we have a lot of them are more cheered than booed. We do not need another hero; we need another dirtiest player in the game. Ironically, Ambrose is capable of doing that fairly well too but I can’t imagine the WWE would flip him and turn him heel at this point.
After all this, I do not have any answers for you here. WWE hopeful has something but given their forward planning, I would not count on it. Wait the Divas Division can be the top heels. That is not going work is it.
The “Go Home” edition of Raw is not likely to answer this question just a week out from Hell in the Cell.
Follow us on Twitter @CondoonTheMoon
Saturday, October 18, 2014
So the 4 horsewomen showed up for the latest PWG Show that was untitled but has now been dubbed the Good Bad and Roddy. Had they know maybe it would have been Rowdy as Ronda Rousey ended up being in the house.
Had to leave my first #PWG early tonight cause I have AM training tomorrow - but wow - what an amazing show,can't wait for the next👊😁
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) October 18, 2014
Also seen in the crowd was Brad Maddox who apparently has been at several PWG shows of late. He recently appeared out of no where on the WWE app. As for the results from this show here they are:
Tommaso Ciampa def Biff Busick via project ciampa from the second rope.
Cedric Alexander def Bobby Fish via Side suplex backbreaker/lumbar check
Brian Cage def Uhaa Nation via discuss lariat
PWG Tag Titles
Candice and Joey def Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano to retain via Candice reverse rana on Chuck Taylor.
Trevor Lee def Adam Cole via small package.
Young Bucks over ACH and AR Fox via package piledriver/super kick combo
Kyle O'Reilly def Roderick Strong via triangle choke!
The tradition of you never know who might show up at PWG event continues. Kevin Steen mentioned William Regal seeing him on PWG show as a big reason why he finds himself today in WWE developmental. Many famous people have made their way to check out perhaps the hottest independent show in the world over the years My big question is did Adam Cole get to meet Ronda finally...Will make sure to ask him next time he is on with us.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Chris Walder and I kick around what has been going on in the world of wrestling this week. We talk Hell in the Cell build for WWE. Randy Orton going viral and RKO anything that moves. We get talking about booking of the mid-card in WWE. TNA's latest rumor to save their company that still doesn't have a T.V deal. All this and a lot more on the weekly podcast. We get it done inside of the 60 minute time limit this week.
So another week in the books follow the site on Twitter @Condoonthemoon and follow @Waldersports for more of Chris Walder.
If you can't access the podcast here or would like to get it on I-Tunes head over to Podomatic here.
We brought back Hangin on the Moon last night. So if you want more wrestling in your world go check that out as well or tune in live on Thursdays.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
We are back on the Google Hangout Talking Pro Wrestling:
Hopefully so technically issues this time. Great to be back on the Google Hangout with Josh. Might be do more of these as time marches on so stay tuned @condoonthemoon on Twitter and with us here on Condoonthemoon.com
Shocking the wrestling media took something said by someone, made some assumptions, and got it wrong. Stone Cold Steve Austin says he is not training for any kind of return to the ring as you may have read on a zillion wrestling websites this one included. This is not some post about our lack of skill in reporting as wrestling journalists. Maybe someday we should write one of those as I often see things that make my skin crawl done by a lot of various sites. This is more about the WWE and their still counting on former stars to be headliners but that well is starting to run dry.
Look around at all the guys the WWE tends to count on and they are getting to old or have other interests that are a bigger priority for them than the WWE. Austin and Shawn Michaels have been the two guys that have not gone back on their wrestling retirements. Michaels has done some guest ref appearances as has Austin but that is a bout it. Michaels has made it clear to anyone that will listen he has zero desire or intention to get back in the ring for a match. Austin has been vaguer about it, in suggesting at times if he was not opposed to it, he could do a match for the right thing. WWE even went as far as planting the seeds for a CM Punk against Austin match.
Punk is not talking to the WWE and is barely talking at all these days. He was on Colt Cabana’s podcast for the first time in along time in the intro. He had little to say on himself, other than to lash out at the person that took his picture at an apple store when purchasing an I-Phone 6.
As far as Austin goes, the only other opponent that has been kicked around is Brock Lesnar. Something that Paul Heyman in two separate appearances on Austin’s podcast seemed to be trying to pitch to the rattlesnake. Austin does not seem sold on the idea but doesn’t dismiss it entirely.
Lesnar of course ended the vaunted streak of the Undertaker. We have seen a much more mortal Undertaker since taking photos with people and ending up on his wife’s instagram. He has not officially decided on if he is retired but based on his life these days he looks like someone who is. At this point, retired or not he is without question a shadow of what he once was. While people clamor for a match with him and Sting it is something that would not be all that good the time it got around to having a match. Taker had great performers like HBK, Triple H and C.M Punk hide the fact he was aging over the years. The Lesnar match exposed things and Taker got concussion early into the match. Still Taker was not the same and time has ultimately taken its toll along with decades in the ring.
Lesnar now the WWE Champion seems like he may want to return to the UFC with his health issues behind him. His contract comes due after this upcoming Wrestlemania. Many feel he might opt for a return to the UFC. Clearly, the door to that avenue for Lesnar is closing faster than a career in wrestling.
The Rock recently teased a match with Triple H at a Wrestlemania in the future with no real determination to which number it will be.
In any case, the point to all of this is that WWE is running out of stars they can count on to help carry the load. The time has come to build new stars and have them as the focus of Wrestlemania; it is past due in many ways. Still with Cowboys Stadium, the rumored home for Wrestlemania 32 it is unlikely the youth movement is going to be able to pull off that show on their own. The fact that aging stars are still considered viable options in 2014 is just insane.
At least everyone not named Hulk Hogan is on board about not wanting to see him wrestle again. Truth is that list should be growing as the years go on. WWE can’t keep turning back the clock and hoping that will help their future. It does not help build stars it just pushes them further down the card.
Believe in Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and the other stars you have and allow them to take the spots they have earned. At some point you are going to have to do it and better you do it by choice than be forced too because you can’t convince past stars to return for a big payday that likely isn’t as big as it use to be with the transition to the network. Wrestlemania did make a Forbes Magazine list of top sporting events but to keep that going it is going to need new stars to help it reach 40, 50 and beyond.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Terminal 5 is the venue for Final Battle and does have a slightly larger capacity of 3000 in comparison to the 2,200 that is the published capacity for Hammerstein Ballroom. It has been a big year for ROH in terms of live attendance in which they have set records in almost every place they run on a regular basis. They also seem to have the mindset to explore some new markets as they are set to head back to Florida for first time in a long time. Atlanta adding ROH being syndicated in that market might also be a place ROH eventually explores.
It seems that ROH despite some issues with the whole Michael Elgin matter seem to be still on course to have likely the most successful year financially in the history of the company. Great to say in any year but even better to say in a year where TNA is on the verge of closing losing money hand over fist and without and television deal to speak of. WWE is losing money too; based on to this point, failed attempt to build the WWE Network and the amount it cost to launch it.
Ring of Honor may in fact be the only company in North America that turns a profit this year and that is saying something for a company that has in it’s history fought for their own survival at times.
Best in the World is said to have done somewhere around 12,000 buys on pay-per-view that exceeded modest expectations of 9000 set by the company. No idea the goal of what the number will be this time around, but you have to figure to be deemed a success they need to match or exceed the 12,000 number that they set as the benchmark in their first time out.
Final Battle is always booked as the biggest show of the year in ROH so the card should not be an issue in getting people excited to watch. Will see how the road to Final Battle rolls on through the fall.
Confirmed to appear at Final Battle:
Ring of Honor: Final Battle 2014 will feature the likes of: ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe, ROH World Tag Team Champions ReDragon, Matt Sydal, The Young Bucks, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Adam Cole, Mark Briscoe, ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal as well as other elite wrestlers from ROH.
Quite the line-up of note No A.J Styles listed that would be a big name that would help. Still lots of time to add names to the mix.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Randy Orton is not the most social person in the world he has proven that over the years. He is the biggest thing on Social Media at the moment at he is RKOing more people and stuff than we had ice bucket challenges last month. Maybe not to that level but Orton is everywhere. Here is a compliation of his greatest hits so to speak.
Wrestling wise Orton just signed a more veteran friendly part-timer style contract that allows him to be off most house shows and work a limited schedule. Orton is far more over right now than when he actually was the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in a less than memorable run at the end of 2013 until Wrestlemania 30. Orton is set to Face John Cena in what seems like the 2000th high profile match between the two and is not even their first encounter in the Hell in the Cell. But Randy is the Internet Champion of the moment. Zack Ryder is hiding under his bed clutching his self made Internet Title for fear Orton doesn't steal it.
Raw seems like they are searching for answers in some ways. Seems WWE is trying to play with the format of the show in order to help ratings. This week instead of the long talking segment, we get John Cena and Dean Ambrose forced to tag in a match. They got jammed in a match with the Dust Brothers and Usos. They end up winning the match burying your top two tag teams battling for the title. After the match, Triple H declares they are going to have the proposed match at Hell in the Cell with John Cena and Dean Ambrose in a contract on a pole match. In the end, WWE was shuffling around the line-up of the show in attempt to help the ratings that have been on the decline. It is more or less shuffling the deck chairs on a sinking ship at this point.
In the end, Dean Ambrose is going to fight Seth Rollins in the Hell in the Cell. He won the main event with Cena being distracted to grab the contract and get the match all fans wanted to see. We are also getting the match no one wants to see with Cena and Orton in the cell as well. So the rumors on the internet have been proven to be true from weeks ago more or less.
This show had a lot of wrestling to it including the big match with Big Show and Rusev that ended in a DQ with the babyface Americans try to double team the heel Russian. Lana also made a compelling case against Christopher Columbus on the Columbus Day holiday.
A great match with Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler but it meant little and Dolph losing hurts him and the title to some degree.
In the end, it was a highly uneventful Raw other than the final segment setting up the main event matches for the pay-per-view.
A couple of news items not long after Raw went off the air news broke that Justin Roberts will not have his contract option renewed and has been released from the WWE. Many people seemed stunned by the release of Roberts. He seemed like a decent enough guy but with all the cuts being made in WWE this year it hardly shocks to me. He is good at what he does and I wouldn’t be shocked if some MMA promotion looking for a little buzz picked him up to ring announce.
Other news is Daniel Bryan’s return is being pushed back again and he does not seem to be responding to treatment. The idea of a second surgery is again being talked about. I hate to say it but at some point when to we consider Daniel Bryan’s wrestling future may be in serious doubt from this. It certainly seems like he will never be the same as when he left. I would suspect he is going to have to tone down style quite a bit if he can return to the ring. I do thing the time has come to use the word if in terms of his return.
So, that is about all. This was not exactly a Raw to write home about in many respects.
Follow us on Twitter @Condoonthemoon
Monday, October 13, 2014
Honorable mention goes out to Canadian Football League that allowed some wrestlers to stay employed in football for years and earn a living. While showing others that football was not their calling like Roman Reigns and The Rock. Many other names like Brian Pillman, Lex Luger and countless others have called the CFL home before hitting a squared circle.
So here is my list of great Canadians to be thankful for and it is only based on my personal opinion and nothing else. Not ranking on ability or looks although you have to admit Trish Stratus does look good in red and white. So with that said here we go with the list.
1. Kevin Steen
2. Trish Stratus
3. Owen Hart
4. Sami Zayn
5. Chris Jericho
7. Bret Hart
8. Tyler Breeze
9. Tyson Kidd
I am sure many will debate the order and it is not based on accomplishments. I just wanted a mix of the past present and future. I am not a huge Bret Hart fan to be honest. I also don't like hockey so Canadians might not all fit your stereotypes to the letter. Who is your top 5 Canadians in wrestling let us know @Condoonthemoon. Send them to us and give us a follow there.
To all my fellow Canadians enjoy the holiday and if your having turkey it will make a boring episode of Raw easier to fall asleep too.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
We are a day later than normal but back to talk the week that was in pro wrestling.Chris Walder is back and is more famous than when we last talked with him. Will explain and dive head first into the Rock's Return and a lot of other stuff from Raw and Smackdown this week. In addition we talk about the latest TNA blunders give best wishes to the first couple of ROH. While we look ahead to Wrestlemania 31 and beyond.
Fun show as always sorry for it being a day later than usual had some scheduling issues. Also was a bit under the weather but I am healthy and 100% I am happy to report.
If you are unable to listen to the show here head over to Podomatic our podcast hosts and listen there. You can also via I-Tunes over at Podomatic.
So thanks for listening and if you have ideas or thoughts on the podcast we would love to here them @Condoonthemoon and you can reach Walder @Waldersports as he has been unbanned from Twitter jail.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
When you have these rare chances to have the Rock on the show I would suggest that the WWE tends to blow it with him and miscast him more often than not. Take this recent visit from the Rock was this the best use of him at this time? I would venture to say it wasn’t and while the interaction with Rusev will help Rusev and Lana to some extent, this really isn’t who needed The Rock’s help.
Roman Reigns his relative needed the Rock far more. So why not have The Rock stop Rusev from attacking an injured Reigns or better yet The Authority. The Rock could cut this promo about how Roman is his family and he will always have his back. He could talk about how he is going to help him through his rehabilitation and make him an even bigger bad ass. Providing validation of the fact, that Roman is carrying on the great legacy of The Rock’s family in this company. A real passing of the torch moment that whenever the Rock does pop in and out you can utilize. It even makes a great build to a heel turn for Reigns way down the line where he no longer wants or needs The Rock’s help. It may not help in the short term but WWE needs to figure out ways to build for the long term when guys like The Rock drop in.
Rumors are getting louder that Stone Cold Steve Austin is thinking of making a comeback. While the obvious people pairing Austin with seem to be C.M Punk, Brock Lesnar or even John Cena that is a short-term one-event match. Punk and Austin would be great if Punk was even on speaking terms with the company. Still isn’t it better to see Austin tied to some younger star than one that is on the back nine of their WWE career while Austin is coming down the eighteenth fairway of his for a second time for some cheers and applause.
WWE seems to fall to much in love with their past just like many of the fans. Fans can cheer the Rock, Austin or Hogan, remember the past, and have a great moment. That isn’t going to help invest them in the current product. Perhaps that gets to another issue for the WWE. They seem like they are in quicksand trying to promote their past but in doing so it shed light on how badly their present doesn’t measure up to their great history.
The legacy and history of the WWE and really all of wrestling on any major scale in North America is owned by the WWE. This should be a tremendous asset for this company yet they have still not found a way to have their history help their future on many occasions. It shouldn’t be that difficult to come up with ideas to allow interactions with your past and the present to help build your future. There are moments the WWE does get it right but they are rare.
A recent example happened on one of the NXT specials this year when Charlotte Flair won the NXT Women’s Championship with her father Ric in her corner and Bret Hart in the corner of Natalya. Past and present mixed magically together to create a really special and emotional moment that you could feel. Even this I think they missed a moment in the aftermath. Heading into the match, Charlotte was booked as a heel. Coming out of it, I maintained at the time she should have been turned into a babyface. It was the right moment to do it but instead WWE has waited until months later to start a slow turn with Charlotte when they had the moment to do it handed to them in their lap.
WWE needs to come up with some simple and effective ideas to market both their past and present in harmony. If they do not find a way to do that, both the current product and WWE Network will suffer for it as a result. Ideally, you want the Network to lure back old fans and get them invested in the current product and win them back as fans again. That clearly isn’t happening right now on any level.
When the WWE figures out a way to do this that will be a moment when things start to move in a positive direction.
Sometime I feel the WWE has been so bogged down in corporate business that they try to take simple things and make them into rocket science. Vince McMahon built this empire based on going with his gut a lot of time and taking chances. It seems this company is in a very different place from that these days. They are afraid to take almost any risk at all and as a result, the product, ratings, and network subscriptions are all heading in the wrong direction.
There really isn’t a lot of excuses in the sense you have perhaps one of the most talented rosters top to bottom you have had since the glory days of the "Attitude Era." It just goes to show talent can only be talented when given the environment and ability to be so. Not enough freedom is being given to these people that play these roles every Monday Night and most of the rest of the week.
What is left of wrestling fans will always cheer The Great One and all the other legends like him. They key is making new guys to be those legends for the next generation and to this point that isn’t happening enough. What happens when the WWE runs out of break glass in case of emergency old stars from the past?
It is a real problem and the WWE has used up almost all their nostalgia-based matches that people will still be excited about. The WWE seems to be very short sighted as relates to these kinds of matches. What is the pay off for a Sting match as an example 5 years from now? Next to nothing, really it just becomes a historical moment added to hundreds that already exist.
They need to start building a future and they acknowledge that with the money they have spent on the performance center and the amount of work that has gone into the NXT and developmental as a whole. Nevertheless, that just gives you the talent you still have to make them into stars. Something the WWE has historically been very good at but seems to be lacking in over the last few years. Instead focusing primarily on the one guy they have built in John Cena. You need more than one guy to make this company go.
In any case, it is always nice to see The Rock; I just wish WWE used their time with him more wisely.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014
The one thing that I think we can start with that is an indisputable fact is that Michael Elgin was given one hell of an opportunity by Ring of Honor when he became their champion. He defeated Adam Cole who I don’t think it is any secret I am a huge supporter of and think is a tremendous talent and asset for Ring of Honor. I have had the chance to talk with Cole on two occasions and he is an engaging and intelligent young man and quite the wrestling talent.
Cole embraced his role when he was the Ring of Honor Champion. He has been a huge asset in helping grow the product both in the ring and behind the scenes. Adam has mentioned in talking with me and other wrestling journalists about working with Sinclair Broadcasting on the promotion of Ring of Honor. It is something he admits that he enjoys and by all indications is pretty good at doing.
At the time of the "Best in the World" event that was the first ever on live pay-per-view I questioned if it was wise to have Elgin win the title. If this was solely based just on the storyline, heading into the match it did not make a lot of sense to feel that way. Elgin was positioned and booked in a way that he deserved and needed that moment to happen. Still my reservations of just how good Adam Cole was in terms of marketing the product and to use the often over used term he was "the face of the company." Well at least he would be with Kevin Steen departing for WWE developmental and NXT. Even with that massive shadow, that Steen had in ROH as being clearly their top attraction Cole was learning and growing ready to take on the role without Steen. Elgin while a great in-ring performer was not as polished as Cole in terms of the promoting of not just himself but also the brand as a whole. Just my opinion, but I think if you asked many people they would share in this opinion.
Regardless, Ring of Honor went forward and did what made the best wrestling sense for them. Making Elgin the champion and going forward with him. Steen would leave soon after and that was a major blow for Ring of Honor regardless of who was holding the title at the time. Ring of Honor seemed to not be able to follow up on the success of their first venture into live pay-per-view. In which they exceeded their modest goals of pay-per-view buys. Sometimes the thing is in wrestling even when a babyface deserves and he gets that feel good moment, as fans that is the completion of the journey. Once that guy gets the belt and becomes champion the real work begins for him. He now has the task to keep himself interesting and compelling to the audience. Elgin claimed he wanted to become the most decorated Champion in Ring of Honor history breaking the record for title defenses.
Sounds good we have a motivated champion with a goal beyond simply beating his next opponent. One of the issues that have been stated as part of ROH’s problems with Elgin was an interview that he did with Between the Ropes a site that I write for. He in the interview with Brian Fritz, this subject of Elgin wanting to try out for pro baseball in the spring became a topic. It was covered at some length in which Elgin even talking about hiring a hitting coach and changing things about his training to prepare.
While it is nice to have dreams and if Elgin is not the Ring of Honor Champion this might in fact be a cool story for ROH. As the Champion, though you represent more than just you, but the company as a whole. In this admission of this whole idea of wanting to try out of baseball, it gave the impression that Elgin was not focused on being the champion. Not focused on Ring of Honor and looking ahead to something that would take him away from the company for some period of time. Even if Michael Elgin doesn’t understand this, it gave an impression even if it wasn’t the correct one that his title reign, the championship and Ring of Honor were not his sole focus. That is something you need to project in such a high profile position that he found himself.
Just to counter this with examples of Kevin Steen and Adam Cole. Steen it was widely rumored had done well at a WWE tryout and rumors later surfaced about him getting a contract offer to go there. You never heard Kevin directly talk about it, he would instead focus on what he was doing and the company he was in at the time. Even on his exit from the promotion, he made no mention to where he was going after. Adam Cole recently has been the subject of rumors about him being looked at by the WWE. In the recent chat we had, he said little on that subject despite some questions that would allow him to go in that direction. Instead, he always brought things back to ROH and his group the Kingdom. It is showing the respect to a company that you are under contract too. This is something that clearly has gone off the rails in this relationship with Elgin and Ring of Honor, which has spilled into the public domain via social media.
Elgin’s visa issues were another story that was a huge issue for him that now has been solved. This regardless of anything else is great to see. Elgin had been stuck up here in Canada since losing his title due to visa issues. He is now back home with his wife where he belongs. Visa problema is something that is also an issue for Seleziya Sparx and why she was written out of the House of Truth for the time being. Based on the versions I have heard Elgin’s visa issues ultimately were after the choice to swap the title to Jay Briscoe had been made.
Elgin has of course made his way back to the U.S and it seemed that things were fine. ROH even added him as a late edition to their card in Michigan on Saturday indicated everything seemed back to normal. Elgin stated that he was unaware of this and it led to him publicly quitting the company on twitter. Everyone always wonders when things like this take place on social media but this seems to be a shoot and not a wrestling angle of any sort. This is not to say, if Elgin and ROH are able to mend their issues it couldn’t become one. It seems unlikely though with Tomasso Ciampa working a similar angle being exiled from the company for abusing officials. In addition, Matt Taven recently quit the company only to return as part of the Kingdom.
Elgin is a great talent on this everyone can agree. It just seems that his championship reign will be remembered for a lot of drama and not celebrated for the great and real moment it was. He defeated Adam Cole to win the title on a historic night already for Ring of Honor debuting on live pay-per-view.
Elgin is a talented guy and it is unfortunate things have ended up this way in a blame game for who is at fault for what. It has been a big year for Ring of Honor and things will march on with or without Elgin as the one thing Ring of Honor has proven over the years is the ability to move forward with or without people. They have made a habit out of it by producing and ultimately losing some of the best talents in wrestling in the last decade.
While at the end of the day, I feel for Michael Elgin and all he has been through I do understand things from ROH’s point of view. If Elgin has things we are unaware of in all, of this that we are unaware of I would be interested in hearing them and willing to re-evaluate things based on them.
Given everything that is known at this point I have to side with Ring of Honor and hope the best for Michael Elgin who is a talented guy. The issue for Elgin is he is still under contract with ROH which will make this break-up if it ends up being that another sticky situation that he will have to navigate going forward.
It all rather casts a dark cloud on what for the most part has been one of the most successful years for Ring of Honor as a company. I hope that cooler head prevail and everyone can get back on the same page. That is ultimately, what should best for everyone going forward.
Raw was dragging along with no end in sight when out of the blue hell came The Rock. He came out and interrupted a Rusev Promo. In reality it was much of the same stuff we are used to from over the years. In the previous two hours aside from some nice Dean Ambrose stuff this was a train wreck horrible show in the making. The pure surprise that The Rock was there stunned everyone. This was one appearance that no one seemed to have caught wind of prior too it happening. Post-facto people say The Rock had legitimate business aside from the WWE in New York. If it was a last minute thing it was a brilliant call. It isn’t that anything the Rock did was all that unique. It was just the presence of The Rock that seemed to excite everyone. Rock threw some punches and cleared the Ring of Rusev after about 10 minutes of promo ripping on both Rusev and Lana in classic Rock fashion.
Dean Ambose meantime distanced himself from John Cena in this episode by the end of it leaving him lying in the ring after a DDT. This was after it was announced at the end of the show that he would be facing John Cena in a one on one match for the right to face Seth Rollins in a Hell in the Cell match at the pay-per-view earlier on that pay-per-view. Night started with the two being booked in a handicap match after a failed attempt by both to get their hands on Seth Rollins. Later on Ambrose would call Cena out to the ring to attempt to clear the air between the two. Instead Ambrose would bail for Coney Island to get a hotdog. He would through the magic of television return with a hot dog cart and attack Kane, Orton and Rollins. Before being informed by The Authority that he would have to face Cena and this led to him taking out Cena to close the show.
Aside from a rare appearance by Tyson Kidd in a match on Raw against Jack Swagger there was not much to remember in a positive way. Lots of forgettable stuff was a part of this show, which included a match with bull taking on a gator. Well people dressed as a bull and a gator it wasn’t like an animal planet special. We saw two old women make fools of themselves. Kathie Lee was one of those old women and earlier in the day tweeted about being happy to be on Smackdown later tonight. Worse yet she slammed the product in her book talking bad of the Bushwackers and Rick Rude as the folks at Wrestlezone dug up from her 1992 book. Next week we are getting some woman from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Never heard of her and this is the type of stars the WWE is booking these days. The Rock who is a Hollywood “A-list” celebrity is on a show that is now offering guests that would be lucky to be on the “C-list” in Hollywood.
We had pointless tag matches that mean nothing, the Bella feud that never ends and a tag-team match that followed the theme of the night to walk out on your partner. A.J Lee who teamed with Emma thought better of it during the match and decided to bail.
Dean Ambrose and The Rock were the only things worth watching on this three hour show and if you add up the time they were on the screen that adds up to maybe at best 30 minutes of entertainment for your 3 hour investment of time.
Oh and that big Roman Reigns interview to update us on his status lasted less than a minute. Sam Roberts provided a longer and more insightful interview with Reigns on YouTube. As a life long fan of the product these are some dark times for Monday Night Raw. You had two segments that easily qualify for worst of the year and make a strong case to be on the list of all-time worst segments in history.
I am not sure as entertaining as Dean Ambrose and The Rock can be that makes up for that. WWE is in a horrible state at the moment and nothing seems to be able to save it other than band-aid solutions like bringing back stars from when wrestling was entertaining and people were invested in the product. That might pop a rating for the show to boost the overall rating, but it isn’t solving the ultimate issue with the show as a whole. While Raw was happening Daniel Bryan the guy this company was so afraid to get behind was getting a crowd full of Giants fans to chant YES! It didn’t help the Giants who lost to the Nationals but it shows just how much the WWE needs someone like Bryan back in fold to some degree.
Yes there have been injuries and a lot of curve balls thrown the WWE’s way but there is a fundamental disconnect with WWE and its audience on what they find entertaining. The Rock who I imagine had no script at all basically ad-libed a segment better than stuff the WWE creative team has come up with in years. Ambrose at least gives the appearance that he is one that goes off the script as well and people love him right now. Perhaps it is time to give some freedom to talent and let them have a try at being entertaining. Clearly what is making the final script of Raw isn’t cutting the mustard, relish or whatever else Dean Ambrose was throwing on people.