Friday, November 28, 2014

Condo On Moon Podcast #39 Punk Speaks

There is one story that has dominated the news in the last 48 hours. C.M Punk has told his story and that is the lone topic we have this week on the Podcast as we dive into all of what the Voice of Voiceless had to say for himself on his time in WWE and sudden departure.

Will get back to our normal show next week with a full preview of ROH Final Battle and all the rest of the things going on in the world of wrestling including the second Punk podcast. If you are unable to listen to Podcast over at Podomatic and listen there or via I-Tunes.

WWE TLC 2014 Preview

Well for those who don't know, we're 16 days from the 6th annual WWE TLC PPV on December 14th on the WWE Network, but like Alberto Del Rio would use to say, you already knew that. One of the things that stood out to me was besides the previously announced Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt TLC Match, there was nothing else announced for TLC especially with the PPV coming up in three weeks. When you at WWE TLC on paper, it's usually a PPV that alot of people don't care about, but in essence the WWE TLC PPV has been one of the most anticipated gimmick PPV's in the calendar year. The WWE TLC PPV has gave us alot of great matches over the last 6 years for example, The Shield vs. Team Hell No & Ryback (2012), John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (2012), CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. Alberto Del Rio (2011), Edge vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio (2010), and Jeri-Show vs DX (2009). If the WWE is not going to give you a preview as to what you can expect to see at TLC, I will.

1.) Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match 
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt

I love how alot of these "smart" fans are losing their minds over the fact that we need a immediate pay-off in a feud that started five weeks ago. I mean seriously calm down, you want to know why WWE storylines are "hot shot" or never have the proper build, well one the company is insecure and secondly you fans don't give it a chance. I don't know why you would want a decisive finish to a Bray Wyatt/Dean Ambrose match when the next second if either Bray or Dean loses you're going to say that he's getting buried. Don't tell me that you don't think like that. I for one have loved what they've done with feud because, it's different they're taking their time with this, I like the deep storytelling aspect of it and yea call it a cheap plug or whatever snarky comment you will have whenever Dean Ambrose is on a match on Raw and then after the match somebody is covered with Tables, Ladders and Chairs. I like the fact that they really haven't touched that much because I rather wait for the moment then have it spoiled on a random Monday Night Raw because I don't have paitence for anything. You want the physicality in this match, you'll get it I guarantee it. HAVE SOME PAITENCE PEOPLE! One second you're saying "Oh why don't they take the proper time to build this feud, while they're are taking their time" and then the next day you'll say "Oh can this feud finish already because it's hasn't done anything for either Bray or Dean." How you know that? Take a chill pill, sit back and enjoy these two hungry superstars put on a tremendous performance.

2.) Chairs Match 
Ryback vs. Kane

"FEED ME MORE! "FEED ME MORE!" "FEED ME MORE!" You know what, I will take the heat oh well, I'm a Ryback guy and I will always be a Ryback guy. I heard what Punk had to say about him during the podcast and it's unfortunate, but just pointing the finger to just Ryback for CM Punk leaving the WWE is kind of childish and shows you how people can be sheep when they hear something derogatory like the sheep they'll bow down and listen to what that person has to say and believe and it's gods truth. I thought Ryback handle that situation as a pro, mind you I'm a real CM Punk fan and he's my favorite wrestler, but it was only one side of the story is all I'm trying to say. Ryback just like Punk has had many roadblocks put infront of him especially with him being a Tough Enough guy, then going back and forth through developmental, his run in 2012 where he was labeled dangerous and etc. Nobody is perfect and yes Ryback has its flaw, but just like anybody else you learned from your mistakes and grow from it. I don't mind this match because you know what, Kane and Ryback work well with each other. Plus this gives Ryback an opportunity to make himself standout performer with his comedic personality and I'm all for that. As far as Kane is concern, I think Mania 31 will be Kane's last WrestleMania, I think he's had a tremendous career and seriously underappreciated and he's a legend in my eyes.

3.) WWE Divas Championship Match
Nikki Bella (c) w/Brie Bella vs. AJ Lee

Man talk about art imitating life, in the same building where her husband left professional wrestling, AJ Lee may be competiting in her final WWE match which is really unfortunate. If this is the last time she will be in a WWE ring, I really hope she does come back that girl has so much going for her, but to me her career is now an asterisk via her association with Punk. This also puts Nikki Bella in a rough situation because for me personally every time I see Nikki Bella on the television she just got this expression on her face like "Oh John Can You Tell Vince To Let Me Win?" I hope that's not true because I feel like both her and Brie have worked hard to get better in the ring despite who their romantic partner is. I think both these ladies will be looking to put on a good performance and if this is AJ's last match in the WWE for the forseable future hopefully she gives everything she can before she leaves.

4.) WWE United States Championship Match 
Rusev (c) w/Lana vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter

I get it, "Why is this match happening?"Why not? It's a one time thing you have a gimmick PPV here this won't be another three-four month feud. If you have nothing to do with Rusev for TLC that's fine put him up with someone he has experience with. This is also gives Swagger another opportunity to redeem himself after being laid out from The Authority. I've enjoyed the Rusev/Swagger matches they got good chemistry in the ring and thats all that matters to me, if the storyline ain't the greatest thing in the world, but if they can perform in the ring that's why we watched wrestling right? Even though Rusev would retain his championship I kind of look at this match like a best of 2014 feud type of the match well maybe best of the 2014 WWE Mid-Card. I'm sure alot of people will be indifferent in this match, but it works perfectly for both of these guys at the end of the day.

5.) WWE Intercontinental Championship Match 
Luke Harper (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler

While I may feel the only one thats feel that this PPV can have alot of good in-ring matches, for those internet fans this one for sure will tickel your fancy. I'm not sure if this will be a Ladder Match, I personally don't think it has to be a gimmick style of match. What makes this match really interesting is not only the great in-ring work that we'll see in this match, but also the fact that this match is in Ziggler's hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing Ziggler regaining the IC strap in this one because honestly I don't see Dolph main eventing Mania this year, but still with all this momentum he's been gaining over the last 5 weeks this gives a perfect opportunity for both Harper and Ziggler to shine before 2015. So I'm rooting for Dolph to win the title in his hometown, Harper is such a unique talent and with him being a heel I don't think Harper gets affected negatively if he loses the title. I really do hope this match happens.

6.) WWE Tag Team Championship Match 
The Miz & Damien Mizdow (c) vs. The Ascension

With rumors of the group of Damien Mizdow and Miz splitting up with WrestleMania season coming up and them being heels reminding you, I think a good way to start building tensions between Sandow and Miz the right way is to have the upcoming stars The Ascension from NXT make their debut at TLC and win the WWE Tag Team Championship. The Ascension will be taking on Hideo Itami and Finn Balor at NXT [R] Evolution. I'm just throwing this out there, who knows maybe Miz & Mizdow will defend their titles against The Usos or the Dust Brothers again, I'm not sure. Yet again maybe this match doesn't happen and you see the new stable The New Day go after the Tag Team Titles. I think it will be cool to have a new team from NXT make an major impact on the main roster before 2015 begins.

7.) Tables Match 
The Big Show vs. Erick Rowan

I'm probably throwing this match out there too quickly and before you know it you see match go on Monday Night Raw next week and the match will end by countout or disqualification. I think the pairing of these two are interesting I prefer Show in the ring as a heel and I'm willing to give Rowan a chance with this "Groot" from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie gimmick a chance. Kind of cool that the WWE are using some of these elements with their superstars. Will it be a earth shattering Tables Match? Probably not, will it be a 15 minute stalworth brawl I don't think so and nor it should be. I think this decision was the right one as opposed to seeing John Cena vs. Big Show once again. Give Rowan an opportunity to stand out as he tries to replenish his career after leaving The Wyatt Family. You have a young guy like Rowan pickup a big victory to add to his resume, say what you want about the Big Show, but he's a wrestling legend and he deserves the respect of every wrestling fan for being the most unique big man in professional wrestling since Andre the Giant despite his 30 heel/face turns I really don't blame because you know why? He cares and he wants to do something different instead of doing same thing over and over again, so I respect Big Show from the point of view. Not alot of people will be interested, but as opposed to the smarks fan that only pay attention to stars the IWC wants to them to support I want to see good things happen for Rowan and every young superstar in the WWE.

8.) TLC Match 
John Cena vs. Seth Rollins

After this past week's Monday Night Raw, I got the assumption that we'll finally get the one-on-one match of John Cena vs. Seth Rollins that was supposed to happen three months ago after Rollins cost Cena the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions. In WWE many ways to make John Cena "the greatest of all-time" unfortunately, Rollins will be on wrong side of the table of this and I know alot of people will be upset about this match and I'm just for warning you guys that this match will happen before they announce on the "Cyber Monday" edition of Raw. Now you ask me how can you have a TLC match when John Cena's already the number one contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Well, I think two things can happen here. One, they can use the same format they did in that 6-Man TLC match between Ryback & Team Hell No vs. The Shield where the only way you can win is by pinfall or submission. Secondly, Cena can put up the stipulation that if Rollins wins, The Authority will regain their power from John Cena. Heading towards the Royal Rumble, we'll see Brock Lesnar at the Slammy Awards on the go-home show to TLC and that will start the build to their Royal Rumble match. This is the best case scneario for both guys in this match. I don't think Rollins will be buried if they lose the match like alot of people will say I can already hear it right now. I look at this match and it reminds me of Cena vs. Ziggler from TLC 2012 and that gives me hope that this match will be good. Obviously Cena would go over in this match and we'll see where Rollins goes after TLC with both Randy Orton and Roman Reigns making their returns and have their eyes set on Mr. Money in the Bank.

Here's my preview for WWE TLC 2014. I'm not sure if this will be the official card for the PPV, but from what I seen on the television this is what I expect to see on the show. If you agree or disagree with the card, comment below on this article and tell me what would you guys like to see go down at WWE TLC?

Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR

Thursday, November 27, 2014

CM Punk Speaks On Everything Finally

C.M Punk has broken his silence and done it in true C.M Punk fashion appearing on his friend Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling Podcast. Before we get into all that was said it should be noted that C.M Punk could have earned a ton of money giving this exclusive interview to anyone. It is the most sought after wrestling interview in the last decade and possibly ever. He did it with his long time friend Colt Cabana for nothing and is going to address his fans and haters a like, taking questions next week on the same podcast. On this fact alone, it is commendable of Punk and kind of serves as proof that this is not about Punk profiting from his story. The things he does say while some are what many have speculated for months as reasons for his leaving have been validated. Some other things that have not seen the light of day until now are truly shocking. It is stated among these revelations the fact that Punk never really quit the company. The truth is he was suspended not long after he walked out the night after the Royal Rumble; he was eventually fired on what was his wedding day to WWE Diva A.J Lee.

To cover everything that was said in this interview would take far to long to write out and likely will be the most reported on interview in wrestling in decades. You really need to seek it out and listen to it yourself to hear it in context. It is almost two hours in length and is truly fascinating to hear how much C.M Punk was going through physically during his time since re-signing to join the company until now. Among them wrestling with concussions, that Punk claims the WWE was in full knowledge of him having. He wrestled in all forms of pain beyond that, from bad knees, to broken ribs among them.

The most shocking of all was Punk had develop a deposit on his back that he brought to the attention of WWE medical staff. He was told it was some form of calcium deposit, which was nothing to worry about moving forward. Despite Punk’s insistence to have it removed, the WWE doctor deemed it unnecessary and instead gave him antibiotics. Punk was asked if the deformity on his back hurt, when he claimed it did not they gave him this medication. It reached a point where it did begin to hurt months later and on the encouragement of his wife, Punk would see her doctor in Florida. This doctor quickly diagnosed that Punk had been walking around with a staph infection for months. This according to the doctor could have been fatal. It was removed and Punk who it should be noted in his life had a fractured skull and had tattoos done on many parts of his body called it worst pain he had ever experienced.

Punk also made it clear that he had been questioning the WWE about the Network based on how it would affect not just his income, but in addition all the other wresters, with no real answers given to him. He claims that he never was given one to the point that he left. This is consistent with an interview he gave to Ariel Helwani just days before his departure from the company. While Punk did have complaints about payoffs for Wrestlemania and other events, it was about simply being paid to the level of other stars that appeared on the shows on his level. He claims John Cena, The Rock, Undertaker, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar all made significantly more than he did on the last Wrestlemania he appeared on Wrestlemania 29.

There was a ton of stuff about booking that was brought up as well including Punk’s desire to make the Mania 29 main event a three-way match with himself, John Cena and The Rock. He also claims that The Shield was in fact his idea to build a faction around him when he was not granted that match and had conceded and agreed to face the Undertaker. Punk’s version of the Shield he pitched include Rollins Ambrose and Chris Hero who he had worked with a ton on independents long before coming to WWE. The WWE was not down with having Hero and wanted Roman Reigns to be the third to which Punk conceded. The plan was for Punk to work programs with each of the Shield coming out of his lose to the Undertaker. WWE changed directions and killed the idea of the Shield being paired with Punk. WWE wanted the Shield to be originally the Big Show, Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins. Something Punk was not in agreement with and countered with the three names mentioned above.

There is many other stories including how Ryback injured Punk both times working with him. In the TLC match where a Punk and Ryback program was thrown together, he had his ribs broken from a kick from Ryback. When the two would later feud in the build up to Lesnar and Punk he would injury his hip on a table bump in which Ryback threw Punk missing the table entirely and hit the cement floor. Punk suggests that he feels both were deliberate on the part of Ryback and after the second injury, he confronted him and Ryback claimed stupidity rather than it being a deliberate attempt to injury him. 

This only scratches the surface of all that was told. Punk goes into detail on the infamous meeting that night in Cleveland when he walked out where as it had been reported only he, Vince McMahon and Triple H were in the room.

It is without a doubt the most spell binding 90 minutes plus you likely will have heard about his relationship with WWE. This is obviously his version of the story but there is a real truth to it when you go back and piece together what was going on at the various times.

WWE had tried to come to a settlement with Punk on money he was owed to restrict either side from talking about it. Punk denied this based on how he had already being characterized on WWE programming. He did in fact get all the money that he was entitled too and the matter has been settled.

Punk claims based on the way he was fired on his actual wedding day was the final straw on him ever working for the company again. After listening to all the Punk has to say it is hard to imagine why he would ever want to do so. Even if you only consider half of the things Punk claims as facts, it would be enough for many to never desire to work with WWE again. In a wrestling world that is so much based on never say never about people returning this might be the most compelling case to say something is never ever going to happen.

It seems that Punk really wanted to give his true fans an explanation for all that has gone on in the last year and beyond as to why he is gone from the company. If you ever considered yourself a C.M Punk fan and still do not understand why after all he laid out I would personal question if you ever cared about him at all or just loved the wrestling character he played.

The scary thing is there is a real sense of truth to everything that he said and it paints the WWE although he claims it was not his intention in a very negative light. It also casts a very scary picture of the inner workings of the company and makes you wonder if anyone will ever be able to succeed without the WWE’s backing. It puts a great deal of things into prospective.

Punk also briefly talks about the need for a union in wrestling to stand up for the talent something that Vince McMahon has fought long and hard against even dating back to the 80’s. Jessie Ventura at the time had attempted to create one only to be foiled by Hulk Hogan and Vince. Punk’s story is a tale that really cries out for the need for one. Maybe you’re not a C.M Punk fan and think he is a jerk. Still the things that happened to Punk could just as easily happen to your favorite superstar or diva. Which is what makes this story so compelling.

It was the most eye-opening interview I have listened to in 30 plus years of being a wrestling fan. Short of when you come to the realization that wrestling is not real this cuts almost as deep into the ugly business side of this company at the top of the wrestling world.

C.M Punk had the balls to tell the story because he feels he can afford to and doesn’t have to worry about money for the rest of his life. Love him or hate him C.M Punk has always been a guy both in and out of character to speak his mind. On Thanksgiving 2014 in the United States, he did just that.

As I have said consistently the thing I am most happy about is Punk seems truly content and happy with his life and as a fan of this guy that entertained me for years I am happy about that. To listen to all he endured physically and mentally to entertain me makes me love him even more.

So, thank you C.M Punk for everything and allowing your true fans to hear your side of the story. This is not to say that we were owed anything, but so we can now understand it and have some closure to it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American readers. Best wishes from our family to yours.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Evolution Of The Shield

The group of The Shield without question has been the three biggest and fast rising stars since they arrived in the WWE from developmental. People who are critics of them say that is by no accident given they are really the first three guys that Triple H put his stamp on coming out of developmental. Those people though could be classed as haters to a degree. Even if you accept the premise that the Shield was given opportunity based on Paul Lévesque it is hard to deny they have cashed in on every chance given to them.

When they were together as a unit, they motivated a roster that before they arrived seemed to be on cruse control and forced everyone to step up there game to another level. Bray Wyatt in a recent interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin on his podcast said the fact the Shield was taken before the Wyatt Family served as motivation for that group once they arrived on the scene in WWE. Both groups have now been broken apart into six individuals and all have been placed somewhere near the top of the food chain. The Wyatt’s success as individuals remains to be seen but is off to a decent start with Luke Harper capturing the I-C Title and Bray having worked a number of high profile programs already in his young WWE career on the main roster. Even Eric Rowan considered the weak link of that group has had an interesting run started as a singles competitor. In terms of the Shield, they have all shown signs of being top stars for years to come since splintering apart when Seth Rollins joined the Authority turning his back on Ambrose and Reigns.

The feud between Seth and Dean Ambrose created some great matches and perhaps the best long-standing feud of 2014 as the two have battled throughout most of the year. While the feud has been put on ice for the time, being their still remains unfinished business with Ambrose and Rollins based on the finish of their Hell in the Cell match. The finish to that match upset many and start of a feud with Ambrose and Bray Wyatt but the door remains open to have the feud continue down the line. In reality, all of the members of The Shield will likely be tied together for their entire WWE careers when all is said and done.

Rollins has slowly built his way to being a top heel in WWE. His teaming with the Authority has been a good learning experience for him to be working along side long-time talents like Randy Orton, Triple H and even Kane. They have positioned him nicely as this future star of the company. This is something that Ambrose and Reigns quite frankly were able to do without much help.

Ambrose is for my money from the start and to present day the most talented all-around member of this group. He is a hell of a performer and has an abundance of tools that can make him very versatile. He has shown the ability to be intense to humorous and shines with a microphone in his hand as much as he can with a steel chair or in just a straight up wrestling contest. Dean Ambrose once Reigns was injured quickly took the opportunity to make himself a top star and a huge fan favorite. I have said this before but when both C.M Punk and Paul Levesque can see talent in someone that is a hell of a stamp of approval. Punk and Triple H likely don’t agree on much but they have on the talent that Dean Ambrose possesses.

Roman Reigns from the very start was seen as the chosen one to some extent. He was positioned to be the muscle of The Shield when they were together as a group. He was well protected by both Ambrose and Rollins who have a vast more experience than Reigns. Rollins and Ambrose are guys that were already somewhat established on the independent scene before coming to the WWE. As opposed to Reigns who is from the start a WWE product part of their developmental system from day one.  He comes from a wrestling family of Samoans he is the cousin of The Rock and his father was Sika. Much like a Randy Orton, Bret Hart or others he is a legacy to the business. He also has been the most judged member of The Shield with fans clearly seeing the WWE looking at him to be a chosen one and someone the company saw as a successor to John Cena someday as the face of the company.

His ill-timed injury has only made things more difficult as fans have had time to watch Rollins and Ambrose grow and become bigger stars while he has been out. People question Reigns in-ring ability and move-set as well as his overall stamina. They point out that he is the weakest of three on the microphone. None of these things come as revelations and really has always been the case. 

Still it is hard to deny the “It” factor that Reigns has in him. Something about how he looks and carries himself that just makes him cool. He is attractive and that has not been lost on the female fan base. He has size, which you can’t teach and has always been a selling point for guys within the WWE that has always leaned to bigger wrestlers through its history.

There has been talk and for some time, that Reigns will likely be the one to unseat Brock Lesnar as the World Heavyweight Champion. A plan that has been talked about ever since Daniel Bryan’s title reign was ended prematurely due to injury. Many feel Reigns is not ready to take on that role and could use more time. Which in a perfect world I would tend to agree with that assessment  

This is not that perfect world though and Brock Lesnar is almost guaranteed to be leaving after Wrestlemania 31. The WWE simply can’t justify the cost of keeping Lesnar at this stage given the failure of their network and lack of revenue to justify paying a part-time employee what they pay him. A bidding war between the UFC and Bellator MMA is also starting to grow some traction and if Brock has any desire to return to the MMA world he is never going to make more than he would come this April.

So when you factor that in the time may not be ideal but given how they have positioned Brock you might not have a choice. Lesnar’s defeat of the Undertaker has been positioned to make the next person to beat him as the one that beat the one that ended the most legendary streak in the history of wrestling. If not Reigns than who do you give such a resume builder too. John Cena clearly doesn’t need it. Daniel Bryan who at one time may have been the guy to take this honor is not healthy enough to grasp it. Rollins and Ambrose while both talented would lack that believability factor to conquer a Lesnar.

Bottom line of all this is ready or not it might just have to be Reigns. The Ultimate Warrior defeated the legendary Hulk Hogan and many felt he was not ready at the time. His run as WWE Champion wasn`t honestly the greatest success as it turned out. Where Reigns differs is he has more maturity than the Warrior did at the time. The Warrior’s addition to the Hall of Fame and sudden death immediately after has quieted the fact he wasn’t exactly easy to work with. When you compare his in-ring work, he had very little in his toolbox. He was never a guy that had many classic matches over his career. You can argue the best of his career came after losing the title facing Randy Savage in a retirement match at Wrestlemania 7.

Reigns still is the right guy for the job, despite fans love of his former Shield members this still is the case. Is the timing perfect and is he the best of the three at the moment. No not even close but can he grow and benefit the most from a title run right now I think the answer is yes.

Roman Reigns doesn’t come off to me as a dumb guy and knows that everyone will be watching when he returns in later December based on the latest we have heard from him. He will need to bring his “A” game in order to fight off a fan base that could likely not jump on board the ride to him being crowned the Champion come Wrestlemania 31. He saw the other side of that equation at last year’s Royal Rumble as he was the last to be eliminated by Batista who had returned for a run at the WWE Title.

The Shield have established themselves at the top of the WWE and are not exactly waiting to have the old guard of John Cena, Randy Orton and others step aside to have them take over. They have fought and earned all they have gotten and debating on who is the best of trio will be an on going saga for the next decade. The one that will have the hardest fight in earning that respect will be Roman Reigns. This is something that he has probably known from the very beginning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Who is Sting? Why did Sting come to WWE? What will come out of this?

Coming off the heels of the 2014 Survivor Series, and a perplexing Monday Night Raw. There's alot of questions going around the wrestling universe. Why did Sting debut at Survivor Series? Why did Sting didn't show up on Raw? Why didn't Sting become the new General Manager? Are we going to see a match between Sting and Triple H at WrestleMania 31? While all these questions are valid and leads to good discussion topics that we will get to eventually,  lets step back in the history books and take a look at the Franchise of WCW and TNA, The "Icon" Sting. Also, I will discuss what will come out of this deal between Sting and the WWE.

Sting was a very athletic and body bulding type of guy from Venice Beach, California that really didn't get the opportunity to watch professional wrestling growing up. Sting was working at a gym where he met, the late great Ultimate Warrior. Sting got his start in professional wrestling as one half of Power USA and The Blade Runners with Warrior in the Continental Wrestling Association and Mid-South. Warrior and Sting partnership ended in mid 1986 when Warrior decide to go to the WWF. Sting stood in Mid-South for the remainder of 1987 and won three UWF World Tag Team Championships, one with Rick Steiner and two with Eddie Gilbert.

At the age of 28, Sting arrived in the NWA and was becoming one of the fastest rising stars in the professional wrestling world. Sting's start in the NWA wasn't a easy one at first, Sting was put into feuds with establish talents like Ric Flair and The Four Horseman, Barry Windham, Mike Rotuna The Road Warriors and even the Great Muta. At that time, Sting only had captured the NWA Television Championship and then in late 1989, Sting won a four man iron-man tournament to determine the number one contender to the NWA Championship. Sting recently join the face verison of "The Four Horseman" in 1989, but tensions starting to grow with the legendary stable when Sting won the tournament. In 1990, Sting was booted out of the Four Horseman and then at Clash of Champions X, Sting injured his knee during his Steel Cage Match with Ric Flair. The injury put the promotion and the bookers in the rough situation as Sting wasn't going to be avaliable to perform on all the events.

Sting finally captured the NWA World Championship at the Great American Bash 1990. I thought that moment made Sting the official franchise of NWA/WCW. Sting would continue to feud with The Forseman towards the end of the NWA. The NWA transition into WCW then in 1991, Sting lost his title to Ric Flair in a rematch at Starrcade. 1991 was a big year for Sting, he had a legendary tag team match with Lex Luger taking on the Steiner Brothers, then Sting won a vacated WCW United States Championship Tournament over a young "Stunning" Steve Austin. Also Sting won the very first WCW Battlebowl then leading towards a feud with the Dangerous Alliance. Sting won his first WCW Championship from Lex Luger at Super Brawl II. Then in May of 1992 at WarGames, Sting and his Squadron defeated The Dangerous Alliance which was also the highest rated match from Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer. Then to finish out the first part of his epic WCW run, Sting had some unique feuds with Vader, Jake Roberts, Cactus Jack, Rick Rude and The Dungeon of Doom.

Right as the Monday Night Wars started in 1996, Sting was already at legendary status especially with all the accomplishments Sting obtian while still not having one run with the WWE is really telling of how important Sting has been to the professional wrestling. We all know the story of the nWo and that there was talks that Sting was going to be the third guy joining Scott Hall and Kevin Nash "The Outsiders." While the nWo was taking over WCW, alot of the fans, wrestlers and commentators ponder what side will Sting be on. Sting's character needed to change as the twlight of his career was coming. Sting came back as the "Crow" Sting and didn't speak on the microphone for over a year. The Crow Sting was one of the most unique characters in the history of professional wrestling in my personal opinion. I thought this Sting was way cooler than the original Sting. This lead to Sting taking on the nWo at Starrcade where he defeated Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. In 1998, Sting was defending his title against the likes of Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page. Sting would join the nWo Wolfpac with Kevin Nash and Konnan. Towards the end of WCW Sting has feuds with Vampiro, Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner. The final night of WCW, March 26, 2001, Sting took on Ric Flair in the final match of WCW's history. Sting still sticking to his guns decided to not go to WWE in after the buyout, where he's said numerous interviews that he felt that the company wouldn't present him in the way he wanted to be presented. Which I think kind of hurt Sting in the long run because you never know with the WWE unless you take that leap of faith and give it a try. I thought with the Crow Sting especially in a WWE environment Sting would still be tremendous that move could have reseruceted his career.

Sting would go TNA in 2003, where he became the franchise of that company as well. Sting became the NWA Champion once again and also won the TNA World Heavyweight Championships in 4 in different occassions. Sting had of bevy of feuds in TNA featuring, Jeff Jarrett, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christian, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray, Kurt Angle, Ace's and 8's, Dixie Carter and Ethan Carter III. Sting was part of a heel faction in the "Main Event Mafia". You can say that Sting's run in TNA was similar to his run in WCW. I thought something that worked pretty well for Sting in TNA is that as opposed to his original Crow character, when Sting was feuding with Immortal he brought on the Batman Joker persona into TNA. Sting became the very first member of the TNA Hall of Fame in 2012. Sting would leave TNA in early 2014 when he lost to Magnus in a Career vs. Title match at Genesis.

There was many rumors of Sting heading towards the WWE after he left TNA. Would he go there to finally have his dream match with The Undertaker? Would he have a actual run in WWE? Would Sting become a general manager of Raw and SmackDown? Sting eventually decided to join WWE where he made an appearance on the Warrior docuementary on the WWE Network, he was the main attraction of this year's WWE 2K15 Video Game, the WWE also release a best of Sting collection on DVD in September. Sting also has made public appearances for the company at the San Diego Comic Con and also the WWE 2K Panel during SummerSlam weekend. Sting finally made his first WWE TV appearance at Survivor Series where he took out Scott Armstrong and Triple H and helped Team Cena defeat Team Authority for power in the WWE.

Now to discuss the topics I brought up at the beginning of this piece. I think it's great that Sting is in WWE, I think it's 14 years too late in my opinion, but I'm honor and happy as a fan of Sting to see him get the moment he deserves. I'm not sure why Sting wasn't on Raw last night, not that's it's a bad thing I think that adds intruige and mystique which always a common thing when it comes to Sting. I don't think that he will become a general manager of Raw or SmackDown there isn't really a need for that to be honest with you. I understand he's 55 years old and maybe he may not be able to put on the performances in the ring like he did in the early 1990's, but I seen Sting have a match with Austin Aries in TNA when they were here in Chicago in 2013 and it was awesome. I think Sting can still go and especially with Sting's future, The Only Thing That's For Sure About Sting in the WWE is that Nothing Is For Sure. The best is yet to come in my opinion, I think it would be cool to see Sting go against Triple H at WrestleMania or even seeing Sting take on Bray Wyatt. It's still up in the air as to whether he will take on The Undertaker, but instead trying to figure out and ruining the moment when this match is officially made I leave it at this. Sting is a Icon, Sting is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all-time. He's The Undertaker of WCW, He's back in WWE, whether you like him or not, Sting deserves a WrestleMania Moment and it will happen soon let's try to enjoy the journey of Sting in WWE and not let the rumors and the dirtsheets dictate the way we think about Sting let it play out and I think you'll enjoy this run.

Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR

Check out my wrestling radio show the "Pro Wrestling Experience" from 10am-1pm CT Wednesdays on We'll talk about Survivor Series, Sting, TNA's new contract, Lucha Underground. Two big Ring of Honor Interviews with Adam Cole and Roderick Strong.

Raw and Survivor Series: Talking Points

It was an eventful Survivor Series for a number of reasons and an interesting Monday Night Raw in the aftermath of the special event. We saw the long anticipated debut of Sting a return to television for Daniel Bryan. Many things going on but not necessarily making the product better. I did for first time for me DVR Raw and it made avoiding Larry the Cable Guy segments. I have been little out of the mix with my birthday on the weekend. Back at it full force now with the five things were talking about coming out of Raw and Survivor Series.

1. Sting is Here: I admit that I am in the minority in not caring about Sting being here. In fact even a little angry that he is in a sense that he for me is a traitor after staying away as long as he did he returns at the very end of his career to join the company he was always against in WCW. That is not opinion of the majority though who seem genuinely excited to see Sting final here. It appears he is on conclusion course with Triple H for Wrestlemania. This would answer the question about the Undertaker returning as likely a no. Sting after affecting the main event at Survivor Series he did not appear on Raw.

2. Bellas are Bad and A.J is Still Here: So the Bellas screwed over A.J Lee and Nikki became the Diva’s Champion. Most felt it was the exit of A.J Lee from WWE but she was back on Raw and faced a now heel Brie Bella. It appears the WWE has just given up on the Bella vs. Bella feud. A.J perhaps had the line of the night on Raw when she informed Nikki and Brie that talent is not sexual transmitted. The Irony of whom all these three ladies are with makes the line quite interesting.

3. Dolph A Top Guy Again?
  Can we finally believe that WWE has finally got behind Dolph Ziggler? It certainly seems like it based on the Survivor Series and follow up on Raw that he is being booked as a high-end babyface. He being paired with Cena is a big issue though as we have seen many times being tied to Cena can be a death sentence at some point. For now, Ziggler is riding high and skeptical fans can still feel that way based on history. This all being stated it has been the strongest push he has been given since cashing in his briefcase to become World Champion.

4.  Mizdow Remains A Huge Hit and Tag-Team Champion: It seems like Damien Mizdow is over and WWE is starting to get in line with his fan reactions that have been growing for months and months. This gimmick is really working with the Miz as people genuinely hate the Miz and love Sandow even prior to this run as Mizdow. It is nice to see, this should lead to the break-up of the team and a major mid-card angle for the show. 

5. Roman Reigns Declares A Return Point: Almost lost in everything was yet another hey Roman Reigns in injured, but still coming back promo at the pay-per-view. Reigns claims he will be back by the end of the year. It is likely after the TLC event in just 3 weeks as he made it clear the end of next week. Reigns will have a ton of work to do just to get back to the spot he left with in the company. Many people took him being out as an opportunity and at top of that list is Dean Ambrose.

In other news, the Anonymous G.M gimmick is back. Yet I thought we made it clear that was Horns waggle. In any case, it appears we are going to have a series of rotating G.Ms until some angle allows the Authority to return which will eventually happen. In the end, there is a lot buzz about Sting but this is no solution to wrestling’s problems. People, who claim to want change, pop for nostalgia acts like Sting. That is the problem fans sending mixed messages of change but still cheering for Sting and other people well past their prime.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Condo on the Moon Podcast 38: Jay Lethal ROH Television Champion

We continue down our Road to Final Battle for ROH with our guest Jay Lethal. Who at the time we talked did not yet have his opponent for Final Battle but now he does. Matt Sydal will be challenging Jay for his Ring of Honor Television Title which should be a great match. We do talk with Jay about his love of Randy Savage, his heel turn in ROH and his two different runs with company and a lot more.

In addition we chat about the state of race for number two in pro wrestling in North America now that TNA has found a destination for television. Why John Cena is the worst friend and babyface maybe in the history of wrestling and preview what is a very thin Survivor Series card. In addition get excited for the debut of former ROH star Kevin Steen in NXT as his first promo aired for his new persona Kevin Owens on WWE NXT. All that and lots more.

Thanks to Jay Lethal and ROH for having Jay stop by. We will have more ROH talent dropping in on our Road to Final Battle next week. Stay tuned to @Condoonthemoon for who will be next. In addition if you missed it last week go check out our chat with Kyle O'Reilly one half of ReDRagon the ROH Tag-Team Champs. For all the latest on Final Battle coming live on PPV December 7th head over to

If you want info on Jay Lethal's Wrestling School we talked about here is a link to the facebook page.

 In addition if you are unable to access the Podcast here please head over to Podomatic where you can listen there or via I-Tunes.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kevin Steen (Owens) Vingette Debuting on NXT.

Rumors a few weeks ago that Kevin Steen was filming vignettes for his debut can now be confirmed as the first Kevin Steen/Owens Vignette hit the airwaves:

The date 12/11/14 happens to be the next NXT Live event. Also some foreshadowing that Kevin's debut came after a promo for Sami Zayn? Time will tell.

Monday, November 17, 2014

ROH Ready To Take The Reigns As Alternative To WWE?

Ring of Honor wrestling is on verge of becoming the new alternative to WWE in North America. This week will mark that last show taped by TNA that will appear on Spike-TV. It is expected TNA will be leaving Spike and return if they can find a television deal on a much smaller network. This would in effect make ROH the number two company in terms of reach in the number of households they currently reach. Ring of Honor also seems to be willing to expand and build on that through syndication deals with networks outside of Sinclair broadcasting that owns the company. That they recently did in the Atlanta market.

ROH has also started to get into pay-per-view with lack of the WWE on traditional pay-per-view. Their first venture into pay-per-view was a modest success exceeding internal expectations. They prepare to return to pay-per-view as TNA is scrambling to find their product a broadcast home. Final Battle will be live on pay- per-view on December 7th. We spoke with Kyle O’Reilly this past week one-half of the ROH Tag Team Champions speaking about a number of topics including Final Battle and ROH’s move to live pay-per-view. TNA if and when they come back will be minus one of the few stars they can claim to have created. Ethan Carter III is reported to have a torn bicep and be out of action for 6 months.

While hardcore wrestling fans have praised Lucha Underground as this great alternative wrestling program it has not translated to ratings. The El Rey network is also currently not in many homes or markets that will make it a struggle to build an audience to rival ROH or TNA depending on where they end up.

The other big player is Ring of Honor’s partners in the past New Japan Pro Wrestling. There involvement with Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling to debut on pay-per-view the following month made things a little complicated. It apparently has been worked out, as it appears ROH talent will in fact be allowed to work on this show. ReDRagon who also hold the IWGP Jr. Tag Team titles from the NJPW promotion. NJPW was able to land Jim Ross to call their pay-per-view that should be a help as Ross is loved by many wrestling fans and regarded as the best wrestling announcer alive today.

Being number two means something far different from what it did 15 years ago. Still Ring of Honor as many in the promotion reference it in terms of the little engine that could likely never was expected to be here. Looking at a future where they could be considered the second largest company in wrestling in North America and the main alternative to WWE.

As good, as 2014 has been for ROH they have had some bumps in the road. 2015 will be a much different year for them, as they will experience in a sense what it is like to be the hunted a little bit as the main alternative to WWE. The race for second place will be far more interesting than anyone delusional to think they can knock off the WWE.

ROH come 2015 will be the alternative program or in terms of political analogy the opposition party. It is a role that at least from their booking should provide a product that is not trying to be the WWE. This is what fans truly want and will see if ROH can make the most out of their newfound position to expand their fan base as disgruntled WWE fans looking for an alternative have been on the rise.

Regardless of if TNA survives or not, after over a decade of failing to be a true alternative to WWE they have failed and it is time for someone else to have that spotlight. Ring of Honor is a position to say why not us. Given the number of their talents that have went on to success in WWE they likely have a valid point based on the talent they develop.

Raw May Well Make Us Grumpier Than Any Cat

How will we survive the Grumpy Cat/Go Home Show to Survivor Series is the real question heading into Monday Night Raw. As bad as this Grumpy Cat thing is the fact it is on the go home show for your free pay-per-view to promote your network makes it more perplexing. WWE has had a terrible year and no one can deny this at this point. It isn’t a case of like things in TNA where they appear to be on verge of death at this point. The lack of competition is certainly part of the issue with WWE for last decade or more since WCW went out of business.

Not that wrestling fans care why this cat segment or earlier in the year that awful Kathie Lee segment happen, it is WWE working with it’s broadcast partner NBC Universal that owns USA Network. They also own Lifetime which is apparently where the Grumpy Cat will be doing a Christmas movie. What I would ask both NBC and WWE is where on earth do they get the idea that people watching WWE would be the same demographic that watches Lifetime. Just like I would question how many WWE fans are watching the Today show with Kathie Lee.

In any case wrestling wise we are a week away from the Survivor Series and we have just 4 matches made for this show. The under card is led by the Bray Wyatt against Dean Ambrose match-up. Any of us out there that defended the hologram based attack on Ambrose by Wyatt may want to take our words back. This feud has been dead as a door nail and has not had a great build at all. Once again it leaves me to question Bray Wyatt as he was paired with he hottest guy in the company and if any thing has cooled off Dean Ambrose just a bit. The storyline to why Bray has gone after Ambrose is vague and convoluted.

Rumors abound that A.J Lee could be done after Survivor Series. If these rumors pan out to be true that would make Nikki Bella the Divas Champion. There have been runours like this before about the wife of C.M Punk on to have A.J remain part of the fold. At one point the rumors included a pregnancy as her and Punk was alleged to want to start a family. A.J was still staking bumps after that one making those rumors go away. Stephanie McMahon is the latest to have pregnancy rumors now as some were saying this whole end of the Authority stipulation was a way to write her off television. Even if John Cena’s team wins I don’t think that automatically adds up to Stephanie being a mom for the fourth time.

Still one does wonder what the basis of this angle is and why it came out of no-where. Some have said this might be the rekindling of an old angle idea that would see Vince feud with Stephanie and Hunter for ultimate control of the company. That was said to be a storyline that was being set up for Wrestlemania 30. Obviously a lot of things happened to change that card. So is this just the same angle brought back to life to set up some match for Triple H at Wrestlemania?

It will be interesting what the WWE ultimately fills out this Survivor Series card and if they make any of those matches clear tonight?  A lot of people ever since WWE announced the show would be hosted by a cat have been dreading it. We can only hope WWE sticks to form and keeps whatever involvement the cat is suppose to have to a minimum. They have done this more since the disastrous Kathie Lee and Hoda segment with Adam Rose. Speaking of which this under card could very well feature Rose against the Bunny.

One other note there was speculation that Brad Maddox may have been let go by WWE. Some are saying him being moved to the alumni section is part of a storyline. Maybe Vince brings him back if he wins to be G.M. He might even be the Bunny when all is said and done. Who really knows logic has not been the strong suit of creative these days.

So it is almost a safe bet that by the end of the night wrestling fans will be far grumpier than any friggin cat.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Glory By Honor XIII Results: The New Streak Is Over

Glory by Honor XIII is in the books for Ring of Honor. Based on all the reports out there it was a solid show put on by Ring of Honor. That is becoming the norm for them at this stage. It is a big time for the company as they gear up for a second trip to live PPV on December 7,2014. Perhaps the biggest talking point coming out of the show was the end of The New Streak as R.D Evans has been doing this gimmick for most of  2014. Unlike when Bo Dallas’ streak ended in WWE this ending made sense. He matched up with the Television Champion Jay Lethal. In the end Veda Scott turned her back on Evans and it looks like will remain with Moose who cost Evans the match. As for the rest of the card it went down like this:

Tommaso Ciampa over the Romantic Touch using the Rings of Saturn submission

Hanson defeated Mark Briscoe, B.J Whitmer and Moose. (Briscoe took the pin after a spin kick from Hanson)

  • Post Match Michael Elgin came out and ended up laying out Hanson. Likely start of a program for Final Battle.

Kazarian over Roderick Strong

  • Post match Decade with an attack on Kazarian

ROH Tag-Team Titles

ReDRagon defend titles Defeating Kingdom ( Bennett & Taven)

Will Ferrera def Adam Page

  • Ferrera is new to company and has been getting put over by a lot of top stars of the company as being someone to deal with in the future.

Adam Cole def Christopher  Daniels

ROH Title

Jay Briscoe over ACH

  • ACH had hometown advantage but in the end Jay Briscoe wins with the Jay Driller. Which of note is also how Cole won his match.  Briscoe post match put over ACH as the future in his promo.

Kyle O’Reilly was interviewed by us prior to this event and we talk about all the things that have been going on for him in what has been an eventful year in his career go have a listen.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kyle O'Reilly of ReDRagon enters Condo On Moon Podcast #37

Pictured on the left above is our guest this week one half of the ROH and IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions Canada's own Kyle O'Reilly. We talk on a variety of topics from the road for Red Dragon to Final Battle, Success in Japan, Ronda Rousey showing up at PWG Young Bucks and everything in between. Along witl that Chris Walder in back from the IR we talk WWE and Vince going mental on Liverpool. James gets bent out of shape over the PWI top 50 women's list. This and a whole lot more.

Our thanks to Kyle and Ring of Honor Wrestling. Catch ROH in San Antonio to more and up coming in Baltimore but most importantly at Final Battle live on PPV December 7th. Look for more ROH Talent in the coming weeks as we at Condo on the Moon follow Ring of Honor down the Road to Final Battle with some great guests.

If you can't access the podcast here please head over to Podomatic where you can listen there or through I-tunes via Podomatic.

Keep up to date following us @Condoonthemoon on Twitter.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vince McMahon: Still A Genius Or Losing His Marbles?

People claim the line between genius and insanity is a very thin line. Some of the greatest minds in history would also be deemed as eccentric as well. We have all heard stories of both in reference to Vince McMahon. His wrestling persona that he has developed as the evil owner Vincent Kennedy McMahon can certainly be labeled as both.  He once decided to create his own religion that he called McMahonism. He was also the guy who had his own kiss my ass club quite literally. He has had an affair that produced a bastard child named Hornswaggle. We could keep this list going all day long with all the evidence of how crazy Vince McMahon is which would include getting in the ring and challenging top stars like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and most famously Stone Cold Steve Austin. He even booked himself in a match with his own daughter a week before her legitimate wedding to Paul Lévesque (Triple H) to the dismay of his family.

The real Vince if we actually can tell the difference has a long list of stories that have been just as insane. In many ways, Vince McMahon is similar to comedian Steven Colbert in where the line between the characters both play and the actual real person can become very blurred. Like for example Vince McMahon once had a verbal battle with Bob Costas. It got so heated many felt McMahon might actually get into a fistfight with him on his HBO show years ago. The stories you hear from former WWE staff are legendary. It is widely known that Vince actually sees sneezing as a sign of weakness. He is a noted insomniac that sees sleep as the enemy. He has had legendary screaming matches with Paul Heyman and many others that would have been worthy of pay-per-views when you hear them described by people that were there.

The most recent event happened yesterday where McMahon during a Smackdown taping on of the breaks to insert a commercial into the taped program came out to address the audience. This was not part of the show as would be made pretty clear in his rant. He basically cut a promo on the Liverpool crowd for their lack of enthusiasm claiming his paying audience was sitting on their hands. He made some strange reference about the crowd compared to a skin disease of some sort. In short, Vince pretty much lost it on WWE fans, that in the case of where they were rarely get the chance to see the product live. Add in the fact these same fans have been screwed out of the WWE Network to this point. Having the rug pulled out from under them at the very last possible moment with no info on when they would get the network going forward.

The point this might not have been the people to take your anger and frustration out on. Which given how things have gone with the WWE Network Vince McMahon would not be human if he was not totally frustrated with how things have gone with it. Business wise 2014 will not be going down as a banner year for WWE there is no question about that. Add in the injuries and C.M Punk’s sudden departure at the beginning of the year it just adds to the frustration. 

I guess it was around the time the Performance Center first opened I wondered if Vince McMahon was healthy. His lack of appearance at the opening I found puzzling. This was the first major project of his son-in-law Paul Lévesque’s transition into an executive in the company. Something that McMahon was a driving force in having him take on for years. He even had Paul being part of creative for WWE prior to marrying his daughter Stephanie. I just assumed he wanted to let Paul have his day and allow both him and Stephanie have a more active role in the public eye as executives in the company. The fact he never stepped foot in the Performance Center until months after though caused me to raise my eyebrows.

There is no evidence to suggest that Vince is not of sound mind and body that should be clearly stated. It does make logical sense that he has stepped out of the picture and faded to behind the scenes to allow Stephanie and Paul to be the faces of this company with in storyline and outside of it. In fact, many say at first it took a lot of convincing if you will pardon the pun to get Vince to be an active character in storylines. He clearly enjoyed it, but for years he had been content to just have the audience believe he was simply an announcer and not the owner of the company.

Vince will always be the most compelling character in the WWE. He for whatever good or bad you might have to say about him is always interesting in life or in his WWE Universe. One thing that his detractors and supporters seem to be in full agreement of is that there will never be another Vince McMahon.

While people wonder loudly if he has lost touch with his audience and question if he is truly playing with a full deck at this stage. It goes back to that line we started this article with about that line between genius and insanity being a thin line. Alex Greenfield a former head writer of Smackdown talked about how Vince already was seeing the direction of things moving to online back in around 2007 when Greenfield was part of the company. He was already starting to think about the idea of WWE Network back then. While some would consider Vince McMahon, a guy out of touch with these modern times is that really true. The WWE has been a company at the forefront of embracing social media and this network is honestly considered by many with no connection to wrestling a glimpse into the future of how content will be distributed.

Sure Vince is getting older and he may not understand his audience as well as he once did. He might need to be more accepting of the ideas of the people around him especially his own son-in-law Paul Lévesque. Most would agree the one show WWE is producing every week that is connecting with fans is NXT. This is a show NXT in which Paul has 100% control of and basically plays the role of Vince.  Vince has a lot on his plate and perhaps letting go of the reigns of creative some would be to use the term “Best for Business” in reality.

Wrestling often imitates life and this angle with Vince testing the authority might not be far off the reality of things with WWE behind the scenes. It might be time for Vince McMahon to let his daughter and son-in-law have the actual power to have the final say on story lines every week on WWE television. Lord knows there are many business concerns starting with revitalizing of this network to keep Vince very busy.

Most conclude Vince will never give up control until he is dead or just physically unable to continue. As father time works a program with Vince McMahon, clearly he knows that is not one where Vince McMahon can come out on top. It is Vince, so maybe he thinks he is immortal like the Hulkster who really knows.

Still it is interesting to see what happens as Vince really seemed to enjoy suddenly being back in the mix on T.V at Raw in Buffalo. Did that play any role in his unscheduled rant in Liverpool? On the other hand, is it simply a guy blowing off steam?  Who has been having a rough year business wise at an advanced age? Only one guy knows that answer and it is Vince McMahon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ROH's Kingdom Is Going Global

The relationship between NJPW and ROH seems to be growing as Mike Bennett and Matt Taven along with Maria will be taking their Kingdom to Japan for a tour with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The tour goes from November 22- December 7, 2014. This will rule them out for Final Battle.

Which will leave Adam Cole, who recently secured a title match with Jay Briscoe, to go it alone in the Main Event of Final Battle on Live PPV in New York City.

The Kingdom will be Challenging ReDRagon is San Antonio who made their own news in Japan capturing the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championships. ReDRagon if they are successful in San Antonio will be defending there ROH Tag Team Titles against the team they beat in Japan the Time Splitters at Final Battle. Alex Shelley and Kushida last appeared in May in the shows in Toronto and New York. The relationship between Ring of Honor and New Japan seems to be growing after successful shows in May in both Toronto and New York City for co-promoted events.

NJPW also made some big news landing Jim Ross to do English commentary for their debut on PPV in North America on January 4, 2015. This is being put on in connection with Global Force Wrestling. What this will mean for the use of ROH talent on that show remains a bit of a mystery.

In any case, the ties between the two promotions seem strong as the Young Bucks are scheduled to appear at Final Battle part of the biggest faction in NJPW. The growing in popularity by the day among hardcore wrestling fans Bullet Club.

This will mark the second time Bennett and his new bride Maria will be heading to Japan. While frequent guest and newest member of the Kingdom Matt Taven will be making his first venture to the land of the rising sun.

We congratulate them all and look forward to hearing their stories of global domination in future podcasts hopeful here in Condo on the Moon. We are like the unofficial home for the Kingdom the only member we have not been able to nail down is the lovely Maria.

In any case, this is good news for fans of both promotions and opens the door to interesting possibilities for the future.

ROH has a story with all the details on Kingdom heading over to Japan. We here at Condo on the Moon are getting cranked up to do our Road to Final Battle on our Podcast. We had the great fortune to have Adam Cole, Mike Bennett, Matt Taven and Court Bauer join us prior to Best in the World. The debut for the company on live PPV and we are attempting to have a guest list just as grand heading into Final Battle.

This should be getting going with a guest this Friday. Be on the look out for confirmation @condoonthemoon on Twitter for what ROH stars are coming to talk with us.

Raw Talking Points: The Return Of Ryback

Another Raw in the books and WWE survives a rowdy group of U.K fans who were not happy they couldn’t get the WWE Network. John Cena was back with no explanation on where he was last week; Randy Orton was gone with no acknowledgement that he even exists. As much as the WWE attempts to hype up their Survivor Series main event it just is not working to any degree. A.J Lee defending her Diva’s title against Nikki Bella being second match on the under card announced tells you how weak that it will be. So, what are people talking about coming out of this Raw this morning? We take a stab at figuring out your wrestling water cooler talk for a Tuesday.

1. Luke Harper:
In a couple of weeks, Luke Harper has invented a new word. Harpering is that word in reference to the creepy promos only showing Harper’s eyes. At the end of the night, we would see all of Harper as he took out Dolph Ziggler, claims to be a team player, and wants to join Team Authority. Harper literally threw a beaten Ziggler at the feet of Triple H and Stephanie kind on like how a cat brings a dead bird to its owner. Insert your grumpy cat joke here I suppose. Harper if he does in fact get booked in this main event it would be a great way to launch his singles career. Guys like the Undertaker and The Rock debuted at this event. While this is not a debut for Harper, it almost feels like one as he rarely spoke as part of Wyatt Family. Now he is cured, according to Bray Wyatt, this remains to be seen.

2. Bray Wyatt Rambles About Dean Ambrose:
  Bray Wyatt is treading in dangerous ground with his future. I still enjoy Bray’s work on the microphone, remaining supportive of his work, unlike many others.  Despite that, there is room for improvement with his promos; they need to be tighter and more focused on a message. This feud with Dean Ambrose is a big chance to re-establish Bray as a major player. Ambrose entering this feud was the hottest babyface in this company. Wyatt needs some tweaking if it does not happen he might slide down into the murky and undefined mid-card where no one wants to be these days.

3.  Big Guy Turns Heel and Babyface in the Same Show:  Ryback managed to start the show as good guy turn heel, join the Authority, and by end of the show turn back to being a babyface. Seemed like an unneeded swerve but Ryback is clearly back to where he was a couple of years ago.  It will be interesting to see if they can avoid messing it up like they did a couple years back. We were left to wonder if Ryback would in fact join team Cena as he laid waste to Team Authority to close out Raw. Crowd is 100 percent behind Ryback from Buffalo to Liverpool it does not matter. Fans have slipped right back to where they were in terms of Ryback in 2012. 

4. Stephanie To Bad For The Good Of Everyone Else’s Own Good: It should be stated that I adore Stephanie McMahon and her character on television. I think she is the best female talker in this company by miles and miles. She also gets a reaction that no one can deny. This all stated how Stephanie recruited Rusev and intimidated Lana which I did not like at all. Stephanie also uttered a line that will live forever when she said that "there are no politics in the WWE."Aside from the lack of truth of that statement, I have a problem with how she dominated Lana and Rusev. Stephanie can’t be seen as being weak on communism I guess but she still needs to be evil. I am not sure how that works where you are an American Patriot on one hand and bad evil businesswoman on the other. The Stephanie neutering did not stop there as she called the team that will fight for her job in a sense a bunch of little children. Nothing like taking what you have claimed needs to be the greatest Survivor Series team of all-time and making them look like jokes. Steph sometimes needs to back off a little and share the spotlight with her fellow evil doers.

 5. The New Day Gimmick Promos Add Another: Xavier Woods looked like James Brown last week and we thought was being rebuilt as a solo act. The WWE quickly killed an angle with Wood, Kofi and Big E that resembled a modern re-make of the Nation of Domination. Now we see Kofi appear in the same skit with the choir and all this week. It looks like these three will remain together in a re-branded faction. Will these guys be good or bad seems up in the air at this point. Maybe this is why Big E was trying to sound like a preacher months ago for something to do with this gimmick. Who really knows but this is becoming the longest build to a new faction that I can ever recall. This is all for a group that at best would be upper mid-carders? Seems like a lot of time to waste not having three talents in action that can wrestle when you have injuries piling up.

Other things of note: Adam Rose is turning heel beating up the Bunny. Peta will be notified of this and I am sure protest. Brie Bella continues to be one of the worst babyfaces in history.  This angle with Nikki having control over her has garnered no sympathy from me as a fan for Brie. Zack Ryder can no longer WOO WOO WOO as he has a torn rotator cuff and is on the shelf for 6 months. Sadly, not that anyone will notice he is missing at this point. Zack Ryder is the cautionary tale about what being a John Cena friend will get you. Some faces were missing from Raw last night as they were also running a house show in another party of England that was 4 hours and 30 minutes from Liverpool.

Another Raw in the books and it was a step backwards from last week, which was one of the better Raw’s in recent memory. This is despite having a really hot crowd in Liverpool in comparison. Although WWE likely played with audio, being this show was not shown live here in North America due to the time difference.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What To Expect From Raw In U.K?

Last week we got to see Vince McMahon make a rare appearance on Raw that will be hard to top. We will have a lively and possibly a bit hostile crowd in Liverpool, England. We will never know as far as the broadcast goes if they were as Raw will be on tape delay and not live in North America. People in the U.K have been extremely upset with the delays in them getting the WWE Network. They like folks in Canada are unable to enjoy the WWE Network for free in November like the rest of the world and all of the U.S.

Speaking of United States, we have a new United States Champion so let’s start with that:

1. What will Rusev and Lana have to say?
A new U.S Champion was crowned on the WWE Network after Raw went off the air last Monday. What will the New United States Champion have to say? As we reported last week, Lana on Twitter was already talking about crushing John Cena in response to a tweet from Hulk Hogan. Cena was a rare “MIA” for Raw last week. Thought is he was working on a movie and that kept him from attending. In any case we also have an invite from the Authority to join their team at Survivor Series If they want to get their hands on Cena that is only way to do it at Survivor Series. Will we see a new Russian Federation title or bringing back the European Title with Rusev? We will see but if it was the European Title that would likely get a positive reaction in U.K so not likely to happen.

2. John Cena is Back Kids: So John has this big match with the Authority and needs to build a team to face them so why not take a week off and worry about that this week. It falls in line with all the rest of the flawed Cena logic we have come to expect. In any case, we should see Cena firming up his team, which looks to include Dolph Ziggler after last week. This week Cena is scheduled to face another potential teammate as the Authority has booked him against Ryback. Memories of the ill-fated heel turn that Ryback made that has taken him 2 years to recover from more or less. Cena likely will have something to say about Rusev as well seeing as both Lana and Hogan have made mention of him tied to Rusev on social media.

3. Who fills the Randy Orton Void?
Randy Orton a month ago could have missed a Raw and it would have been almost unnoticeable. The last few weeks we have seen a Randy Orton that you can’t help but ignore. He is off to film a movie and is in a similar situation Dean Ambrose found himself heading into some time off to film a movie being red hot. Orton as far as storyline is concerned was like Ambrose taken out by Seth Rolling. Curb stomped into steel steps that left him with a storyline concussion and a real life gash in his head that came earlier in the brawl. It will be interesting if there is a whole in Team Cena that will be left for Orton could potentially fill.

4. What is next with Wyatt and Ambrose?
This feud started with an over top hologram at Hell in a Cell. Since this feud has limped out of the gate without much reason, as to why it is happening. Wyatt has been claiming that Ambrose is similar to him. This seems to be a weak motivation for a feud with one of the hottest superstars in the company at the moment. This feud desperately needs a spark to get it burning. Wyatt can’t afford another feud not going well for him at this point. His feud with Chris Jericho did not live up to the hype. So far, this feud with Ambrose has been much the same early on.

5. More matches for Survivor Series Under-Card:  We have almost nothing on the under card of this show. A.J Lee vs. Nikki might be a match or some Survivor Series style match for the women with Team Brie vs. Team Nikki theme to it. There is very little set up right now. Perhaps we get Miz and Mizdow going for the Tag-Team Titles. Cesaro will job out to someone because he is not allowed to win matches these days. Survivor Series is being planned like a show they are giving away for free….Oh right they are in most places except parts of Canada and the U.K.

Anytime Raw makes its way over the pond to the U.K, you can guarantee a lively and active crowd. The U.K fans are truly special as they most weeks stay up to crazy hours of the morning to watch Raw live. They are dedicated and hardcore in their wrestling fandom. So expect lots of crowd craziness with the stuff WWE does not approve of likely edited out. They will have 5 or 6 hours with the delay to edit out any forms of fan protest over the network.  Likely, no Bad News Barrett surprise as he was in Canada over the weekend. It would be great if there were though. In theory, it is possible but Barrett is still at least a month away from return to the ring.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Road To Final Battle Starting To Take Shape.

After this weekend, Adam Cole is set to main event his second ROH Live Pay-Per-View as he earned the right to challenge Jay Briscoe who won ROH World Championship in September in Toronto at All Star Extravaganza. Cole won the Survivor of the fittest tournament to earn the number one contender spot. Hear Cole’s thoughts on that along with Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino talking about ReDRagon making some waves in NJPW.

ReDragon has captured the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championships. This comes just after winning the Jr. Tag Team Tournament defeating the Young Bucks in the finals. They defeated the Time Splitters to win the championships. They are also still currently the ROH Tag Team Champions and will face a tough challenge of facing Mike Bennett and Matt Taven members of the Kingdom teaming up to go for the titles in San Antonio next weekend.

The Young Bucks former IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champs and former ROH Tag Team Champions will be on hand at Final Battle and it should be interesting to see who they will end up facing. They had an over the top exciting main event with ReDragon in 2 out of 3 falls at All Star Extravaganza.

Things are heating up for ROH, as Final Battle is just under a month away live in New York City and on pay-per-view on December 7th, 2014.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wade Barrett Still At Least A Month Away From A Return

Wade Barrett is in Canada doing a number of media appearances with Rogers the WWE broadcast partners in Canada. Barrett gave an update on his condition and according to him he is 4-6 weeks away from returning to the ring. When he returns he claims to want to go after Dolph Ziggler and the Intercontinental title he never lost.  While when asked who he would like to be paired with at Wrestlemania he said he would like to be paired with Sheamus.

Barrett was hoping to have made a faster recovery and be part of the WWE’s current tour in Europe. Raw is going to be in Liverpool on Monday in Barrett’s homeland of England.

In terms of what type of Bad News Barrett will we see when he returns if it is up to Wade it seems he would prefer to remain a bad guy. He was looking on his way to a babyface turn prior to being injured back in June. All this comes from an interview on the Aftermath show on Sportsnet 360. The interview begins at the 15:18 mark.

Barrett also appeared on the radio on Sportsnet Fan 590 on there fun segment “name that wrestler” featuring former I-C Champions.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Condo On The Moon Podcast #36

Myself and Josh Lopez filling in for a under the weather Chris Walder guide you through the week that was. So have a list as we talk about the Return of Vince and much more.

Will be back next week hopefully a guest from Ring of Honor as we march forward to Final Battle. So hope to see you all next week.

 If you are unable to listen via our site head over to Podomatic and listen there or via I-Tunes from there 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seeds of A John Cena and Rusev Feud Have Begun

The first step to a John Cena vs. Rusev feud has been thrown down on Twitter. Lana in response to a tweet from Hulk Hogan declares that Rusev will crush John Cena.

On this past Monday’s Raw prior to Rusev capturing the U.S title, defeating Sheamus was offered a spot on Team Authority to face Team Cena at Survivor Series. Lana and Rusev said they would consider the offer of Stephanie McMahon. This seems to be planting the seeds for the much-expected Cena vs. Rusev feud. Some thought it would be the mania program for John Cena but it seems more likely it will happen sooner than later based on the direction WWE seems to be taking.

Cena would be facing Brock Lesnar it would be assumed for the third time at the Royal Rumble. This at least suggests that Rusev may face Cena as soon as the December special event for the WWE. The involvement of Hogan in all this might see him end up in some kind of manager role for such a match.

A win over the undefeated Russian would be in the WWE’s view the way to establish Cena as strong heading into the third match in a span of 6 months with Brock Lesnar in January.

It is all speculation at this point but it seems John Cena is on a collision course with the big Russian sooner rather than later.

Other News From Day in Condo On The Moon

Randy Orton written off WWE Television
Wade Barrett to appear on Canadian T.V This Weekend

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Wade Barrett To Appear On Canadian Television This Saturday

Wade Barrett has been out of action for some time. He was injured in June with a shoulder injury and forced to vacate the Intercontinental Championship. He was hoping to be back in time for this upcoming WWE tour of Europe and his homeland of England. It appears that will not be the case. He will be working on the weekend covering EPL soccer with the folks from Rogers Sportsnet which is owned by Rogers the WWE’s broadcast partner in Canada. They are also the partner with the WWE on the WWE Network here in Canada. Unlike elsewhere Canada has the WWE Network on cable television. From the latest conference call last week the WWE Network is still only available to 20% of Canadians all Rogers based subscribers.

Barrett seems excited to be doing this as he tweeted earlier this week announcing that he would be part of the broadcast on Saturday for the game with QPR vs. Manchester City.

In studio would suggest that Barrett would be in Toronto where Sportsnet is based. This is not Barrett’s first attempt at being a soccer analyst as the WWE had him doing videos based on the World Cup this past summer that they featured on

Obviously, aside from the soccer people will be interested in hearing how Barrett is doing in terms of his recovery. He is expected to be returning in December despite his desire to have made an earlier return to be on this current tour for the WWE in Europe including his homeland of England.

If you are Canadian you can catch him on one of the Rogers channels Saturday as an in studio guest on their weekly coverage on the EPL. WWE and Rogers made a 10-year deal for the WWE’s broadcasting rights in Canada as well as the distribution of the WWE Network.  One wonders if other WWE superstars will be getting to play sports reporter going forward. Time will tell going forward.

Other News From Day in Condo On The Moon:

Randy Orton written off WWE Television

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Randy Orton Written Off WWE T.V with Injury

 As we referred to in our Raw talking points, Randy Orton is being written of WWE television to film a movie a sequel to “The Condemned” will begin production. WWE is reporting that Orton sustained a concussion based on the attack from Seth Rollins and The Authority at the end of Raw. It is believed to be just a storyline unlike the actual cut to the head Orton suffered in the attack. Orton was not the only one to have gotten bloody. Cesaro suffered a cut to back of his head in a match with Dean Ambrose. He needed five staples to close the gash in his head.

As far as a return date for Orton, it remains up in the air. He will definitely not be on the WWE’s tour of Europe that is set to start this week. Survivor Series is in St Louis and as we reported, Orton was pulled from advertising prior to Monday night. It would make sense to have Orton appear and perhaps WWE will set up a mystery member for one of the team’s in the main event as a means to do.

In any case, Orton is expected to return in a babyface role. Where was John Cena Monday? It is being speculated that he missed Raw for some type of movie work for him. He tweeted about traveling from his home in Tampa and made stops in Syracuse for a WWE house show, New York City and L.A before traveling to London. 

The WWE's roster is very thin and these movie commitments come at a bad time. When you consider the lack of success of WWE Studios films you have to question if the is "Best for Business," at this stage. Although no one can deny Dean Ambrose came back off filming a movie hotter than ever. The injury list seems to keep growing as Bo Dallas was the latest to be added to the injured list with a foot injury over the weekend and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.