Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Daniel Bryan Can Only Be As Strong A Champion As He Is Allowed To Be

I did not live in fear that Daniel Bryan would not get his much deserved moment at Wrestlemania 30. The simple fact was the WWE didn’t really have much choice given all the things that led up to that event. C.M Punk decision to go home to Chicago was one of those things. Mentioning him is where my concerns for Daniel Bryan begin. Before I go further about that it was also a direct result of fans passionate reaction to Bryan’s exclusion from the Royal Rumble match.  In the end the planned Batista vs. Randy Orton match for the WWE World Championship was doomed. The WWE over estimated the popularity of a returning Batista against the popularity of the incumbent wrestler on the roster Daniel Bryan.

So it was a bumpy and winding road from when Daniel Bryan first entered the title picture going against John Cena at Summerslam. The fact is the WWE got to the destination their audience demanded. This for me is all that matters to some extent. That is only half of the problem solved though at the end of the day. In traditional pro sports they say winning a championship is one thing but to defend that title is a whole different ballgame. In wrestling the company booking you to become the champion is one thing but how you are booked once you are the champion is another. This is where my fear for Daniel Bryan begins.

I was concerned that the WWE would not be as invested in the Daniel Bryan title run as this was not their idea to begin with. I also had a lot of concern with the lack of true heels on the roster to challenge him as the champion. A champion is only as good as the contenders that challenge him for that title. It is safe to say that Kane as his first challenger to the title is under whelming would be more than a fair statement. Let's face it, on the first PPV/Special Event it seems highly likely this match-up will be the main event.

That leads us back to the man now currently enjoying being Blackhawks and Cubs fan in Chicago. C.M Punk even as part of historic title run was not booked as being the main event all the time. The idea of the champion and not going on last is just not the way traditional fans have become accustom to seeing a champion treated. The only way Punk found his way to the main event was when he faced John Cena. He was the guy that went on last and not Punk. While Punk fans look at his 434 title reign as a great achievement, and it really was, for a majority of that he was not treated as he should be.

Bryan at least for the start of his title reign is starting off on that path. He is by far the most popular and loved WWE Superstar much in the same way C.M Punk was. This goes back further in history though and the first person to be treated in this fashion was Randy Savage. His match with Ric Flair at Wrestlemania 8 was not booked as the main event. Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice was the main event on that show. It set a wrong precedent that has lived on to today. I have said this many times in writing in this blog but for myself the title of a promotion is the most valuable resource your company has. I understand you still need stars for a company to be successful that is no secret. Still you can have someone get injured and if you have made that person bigger than the title you suddenly have a problem. That belt shows up for every show and is never going on the injured reserve list.

When you treat your title as not the most important this your company has it makes not just your champion lesser but his challenger as well. I think in a landscape where you live in a world with the legit combat sport of the UFC where titles mean everything you must follow suit in pro wrestling. When you choose not too it makes that "believability factor" that is vital for wrestling to work suffer.

What also makes it suffer is that someone is some how bigger than the title. The goal of every wrestler should always be to want to be the champion. In pro sports would you ever respect an athlete that doesn’t still have that desire to win another championship? You don’t want guys like that in your locker room. John Cena should want to beat the record of Ric Flair and become the greatest champion of all time. Cena has even had points where with in the context of the storyline he has flat of said he doesn’t need the title and once gave away a title match to someone else. That destroys the value of the championship and its importance.

Daniel Bryan and his journey did restore a lot of value in a title that suffered with a weakly booked heel champion Randy Orton. If you don’t build him legitimate challengers and treat those matches as the most important thing on these shows that becomes a real problem and takes the steam out of Bryan’s run as champion.

Cena in his promo on Raw this week talked about being excited about the future for when he eventually leaves. If he truly means that he should be the one pushing for that champion and championship to be treated as the biggest thing on a show and company he has helped build.

While it is great for The Shield to be in a main event program with Evolution it should not be bigger than the title and the champion. In a way it spits in the face of the 31 titles reigns that the three members of Evolution has. Not to mention every other man that has held that belt.

So let’s hope that things go a different route for Daniel Bryan. The reason I worry is unlike CM Punk it is not in Daniel Bryan’s nature is not to rock the boat. Maybe Bri will fight for him behind the scenes now that she has a vested interest as his wife. In any case the Bryan Title run is not off to a huge start heading into Extreme Rules this Sunday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Raw Notebook: April 28th, 2014 from St Louis

I should start by saying that I like to do these things the next day because it allows everything to settle in. It is far less reactionary when you do it this way. I do love recap shows right after Raw as well and they have a place as well, but often are based on instant reaction like social media as we watch. Not to say we may not do similar shows in the future, but for now we have the notebook.

Show Opening/ Cena vs. Wyatt

I struggle to think of a better start to Raw in quite sometime. This opening segment was validation of why we are wrestling fans for me. You had John Cena out in the ring for the first time admitting that maybe the WWE Universe is not on his side. He questions why this is which in many ways is comical I could list about 100 but will save that for another day. He is interrupted by a child’s voice in the darkness as only the ring was lighted. Singing that familiar tune of “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” and than the lights come up and a whole choir of children join him singing. They are joined by Bray Wyatt and his family, with Bray joining in singing and the children follow him and surround the caged ring. The lights go out again and all of the children have on sheep masks and continue to sing. They cut to Bray in his rocking chair with a small child on his lap in the sheep mask. Just a brilliant visual and the symbolism of this was off the charts.

Cena later in the night is approached in the back by Renee Young and asked to comment and he is speechless. At this point GOLD go ahead and take my money I want to see these two go at in a cage on Sunday. You need Cena entering a match doubting if his supporters will actually support him any longer as he faces a dangerous and demented man in a cage.

But as always with John Cena they take it one step to far for what purpose I have no idea. Later in the night he talks to Young and apologizes for earlier and not addressing her question. He goes into John Cena comedy and talks about buying Bray a donkey and he realizes his fans are still behind him and he is going but a fist in Bray’s face and a foot in his ass.

Why can’t we have Superman be vulnerable every once in awhile heading into a match? Isn’t that best for business to not know who is going to win?  Even the actual Superman is paralyzed by Kryptonite. What is John Cena’s Kryptonite commitment? Ok I am being like Cena making bad jokes I will stop now.

Kane/Bryan & Steph and Brie

Plugged throughout the show was Stephanie was going to apologize to Daniel Bryan for Kane’s actions last week. While some may have groaned at the thought of this, not me I love what she does in roles like this.  If there is anyone better at insincerity on this planet I don’t know who that is. I think Stephanie will one day run for political office and win avenging Linda’s losses. She has about the same level of sincerity as most politicians. Anyway the short answer is I love Stephanie in roles like this. 

So when we roll around to that Steph true to form was almost in tears addressing her regret to Bryan and Brie who are on the entrance way. Bryan continues to say that Stephanie is full of crap and talks about the trauma his wife was put through. To which Stephanie says she can totally relate to as she has spent many a night in a hospital beside her husband Triple H falling asleep in his room worrying about him being ok.

Stephanie invites Bryan to come to the ring which he refuses because his mamma didn’t raise no fool. I say this, he didn’t say that, I did and it sounded more like something Mr.T would say as opposed to Daniel Bryan. If not for Kane I believe he still would be thanking his mamma. Anyway back to this and Stephanie informs Bri that she is going to have a shot at the diva’s title and she could be champion along side Bryan defending that title at Extreme Rules and the match it starts now.

Bryan protests and says there is no way he is going to allow this unless he is accompanying Bri to the ring. Stephanie is fine with this and we have a Diva’s Title match.

All through the night they had shown Kane’s mask in a case which Stephanie had mentioned in trying to prove her sincerity was locked in her office as proof Kane was not going to attack Bryan. Right before they cut to break the mask is gone and we return for the Diva’s title match. You know what happens next Kane’s music interrupts the match and he comes from under the ring and tries to drag Bri Bella under the ring with him. Bryan fights him off while wearing a neck brace from the attack on Raw last week. He manages to get Bri out of the ring and than Kane Chockslams him and Bri comes back in the ring distracts Kane and Bryan is able to be taken out to the ring and Bri is able to escape from Kane.

Later in the night a concerned Stephanie goes to the medical room and is almost tearful that this has happened again and asked if Bryan will be ok for Sunday. Bryan says he will be there Sunday to defend his title. She than apologizes again to Bri who is trying to be very concerned and emotional as best as Bella can act. She screams at Stephanie “You Bitch” and tells her to get out.

All and all some pretty good stuff, but despite it all I don’t consider Kane a real threat no matter what they do and the fact this match will likely not be last on the PPV that is a sign that the  WWE doesn’t either to some degree.

Shield/Evolution- Ric Flair WOOOO!!!

Well Evolution hit’s the ring for the final segment that is supposed to be a match with Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. They cut a promo showing that they were impressed as The Shield systematically took out the 11 guys they had faced on Raw a few weeks ago on last week’s Smackdown. Triple H even going as far as saying it reminds him of them. Shield hit the ring and before they can say much Ric Flair’s music hit he cuts a very odd promo that lacked logic and he basically endorses the Shield after reminiscing about his times in St Louis and his time as part of Evolution. Flair was just not himself and he is a legend and all of that can never be taken away but I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he seems a shadow of his former self.

Anyway we do have a bit of match which ends with a flat out brawl and another no-contest on the night as the Diva’s Title Match earlier. Dean Ambrose was going after Triple H like he owed him money. It was a long brawl that saw the Shield get the better early than Evolution did before the Shield made a final rally and controlled the ring. That was how Raw left you to head into Extreme Rules on Sunday.

Other Notes:

  • As expected Bad New Barrett became the number one contender for the I-C belt. Cesaro and Swagger who has a match earlier would get involved. After losing RVD would take care of both Swagger and Cesaro setting up a three way at the PPV for those three as Chris Walder predicted on our Podcast.
  • A forgettable segment with Hugh Jackman, Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow took place.  Some X-Men movie Promo non-sense that makes me so sad for both Sandow and Ziggler who were a year ago in much higher profile places. They are now reduced to doing bad comedy bits.
  • The Uso’s defended there titles against Ryback and Axel. This was nothing spectacular but nice to see titles being defended on Raw and T.V in general.
  • Speaking of titles not being defended Dean Ambrose on Smackdown will have a three on one match against Del Rio, Ryback and Axel for his seldom defended U.S Title.
  • Storyline of a Cody and Goldust break-up coming was advanced a little tonight.
  • Speaking of little we had the El Torito and Hornswaggle epic feud continue…..They are set to go one on one at the PPV in a mini TLC match.
  • Paul Heyman proved he can get over anything as he told a knock knock joke and got it over with the punch line we all saw coming MY CLIENT BROCK LESNAR CONQUERED THE STREAK.
  • All in all I liked this show my fellow podcasting partner Chris Walder was not as big a fan. Will find out why and sort it all out on Friday on the IWCP. To this point we do not have a guest booked so we may have more time to talk this week will see. 
  • Oh and ADAM ROSE debuts next week....Can't wait. 

After having a drop off of 600 thousand viewers in the final hour last week on Raw will see if this show was able to rebound. It was clear a lot of effort was put in to make sure that is does.

By the way we now have a Twitter account follow us on @Condoonthemoon and like us on Facebook and share your thoughts and feedback with us on all we do.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ten Count: 10 Matches We Would Like To See In WWE

 We are a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short with the 10 count this week. In this week's edition we will day dream a little with 10 feuds that we have not seen in WWE that we think would be pretty damn cool. Not to say all of them are possible, but we are throwing them out there none the less. Still will try and keep it realistic.

#10: Lita vs. A.J Lee
: You could make a great number of feuds that involve women that have dated CM Punk let’s face it. None more appealing than this one as A.J Lee grew up idolizing Lita the recent WWE Hall of Fame inductee. It would make for an excellent match even if you leave the Punk element out of the equation.

#9: Bray Wyatt vs. Bo Dallas
: At some point we all expect Bray Wyatt to become a baby face and when he does a feud with his actual brother in real life Bo Dallas you would think has to happen. I can see the promo Bray would cut in my head right now. Bo was always a dreamer and he is lying to himself. I Bolieve this feud eventually happens and it will be great.

#8 Dean Ambrose vs. John Cena: We have seen some interaction with these two with Ambose as part of The Shield. If the two ever got together in a one on one feud it could be excellent. John Cena when pushed by someone who can go in the ring always does his best work. On the mic Ambrose can hold his own with anyone and would no doubt drop some verbal jabs on Cena that all his haters would enjoy.

#7 Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro
: Forgive me for not knowing if this ever happened in ROH but the two alums from that company can go in the ring for days. In ring this match would carry the goods and both have the potential to get it done on the microphone as well. It would be fun to see these guys work a program.

#6 Tyler Breeze vs. Adam Rose
: These two characters seem to fit together well and I wouldn’t doubt we see this match-up in NXT if Rose is around long enough for it to happen. Prince Pretty vs. the Party starter Adam Rose seems like something that could be fun. Breeze not being considered cool enough to party with Adam Rose and your off and running. In the ring we have not seen the best of either, but if you believe what people say both have potentially to be very good. 


#5 Adam Cole vs. Sami Zayn: These next two feuds involve people currently not signed to WWE but what the heck were going make it happen here. Adam Cole is the current ROH Champion and I have no doubt will find his way to the WWE. The in ring style of both would make for some incredible matches. Cole is getting very good with a microphone in his hand, while Zayn continues to improve in that area. Why does this happen? Simple if Cole came in he would claim to be the rising star that everyone thinks Zayn already is. I think that qualifies as one of J.R’s personally issues and goes back to something we said in this blog about wanting to be the best.

#4 Kevin Steen vs. Luke Harper
: I am sure this likely took place on the Indies somewhere. You want a crazy flat out brawl this is a match that will deliver the goods. Steen can talk on the microphone with anyone in this business and he can go with someone with Harper’s rough and tumble style. Heck if you add in Eric Rowan and Steen’s former tag partner Sami Zayn and this is a heck of a tag-team match. Steen is not signed in WWE of course but rumours are out there he had a great try out. This would be a great feud for him to showcase his in ring style.

#3 Roman Reigns vs. The Rock: Yes Roman Reigns is likely heading to face HHH at some point and could some day be the man in this company. How cool would it be to see him get in the ring with the most famous of all his relations in a match? We already saw the two interact with Reigns as part of the Shield. Give him a year or maybe two and this makes a hell of a Mania match or any other big show the WWE would put it on. There are a lot of questions on if The Rock would ever wrestle again but for a member of his extended family you have a better shot at convincing him to come back and do it.

 #2 Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar: A modern day David and Goliath match-up this would be. WWE loves to book Bryan as the under dog and is there a match on earth where he would be a bigger one than in this one? My answer is a flat out no to that, so that is why this match makes so much sense. There were rumours that the Undertaker actually wanted to work with Bryan at this past Mania. Why not use those as Bryan’s motivation to get what Brock took away from him. The chance to beat the streak and go down in history. While it is no secret that Lesnar has already stated several times about being the uncrowned number on contender and wants the belt.  You don’t even need the Undetaker stuff other than Brock having beaten The Streak. Still you internet fans are aware of the rumours and it only adds another layer of awesome to this match-up.
#1 CM Punk vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
: WWE teased us with this and it is the one match in wrestling that I truly want to see above all others. More than a few problems in making it happen of course but these two seem destined to fight and made for each other. If Punk had been around in the attitude era I have no doubt in saying a feud with he and Austin would be considered one of the best of that era. Which given that era is saying a lot. Would it be as good now as it would have been than? On the microphone it will be as both guys still know how to cut a promo. In ring it might not be as good but Punk proved he can work well with an older rusty talent in his match with the Undertaker. I believe it is the only match Austin would come back for. I also believe this is a match that gives CM Punk his final goal to achieve in wrestling to Main Event a Wrestlemania. The WWE needs a hell of an attraction if they plan to go to Cowboy’s stadium and look to have a crowd of over 100,000 people in attendance. This IS THAT ATTRACTION and it will bring all those people that use to be wrestling fans back into the fold. Will it ever happen….hope is fading fast on this one!

Obviously there are a million of these you can come up with so you’re invited to suggest your own. Love to hear your suggestions. In this we tried to keep it as realistic as possible with no real dream matches other than perhaps Punk vs. Austin and Rock vs Reigns. Also we tried to only use each talent once as you could see several good options for many of the top talent to work in programs with.

Hope we came up with some solid matches that you agree would be fun to see. There is not one on this list that I wouldn’t love to see happen at some point.

To keep up with everything going on in the Condo on the Moon like us on Facebook and help us spread the word about this wrestling blog to wrestling fans near and far. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

IWCP Episode 8

Back a little late, but for a little longer as we talk about the news of the week in wrestling. Myself and Chris Walder talk about Mick Foley's comments about WWE, The next NXT Special Event and a lot more. Also we have Steve Muehlhausen from Between the Ropes website to talk about the crossover between MMA and WWE and if we ever get a four horsewomen invasion

Thanks to Steve and make sure to check out his great work along with Brian Fritz over at Between The Ropes. Also make sure to give a like on Facebook. The 10 Count will be back in effect on Sunday and will more people read that than watch the TNA PPV something to wonder about.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wrestling Is About Everyone Wanting To Be The Best... Or It Should Be

It has been said by many people in the wrestling business that the one thing that is real is that World Championship Title. To be the Champion of a company in both storyline and in reality should mean that you are the number one person in that company. Wrestling has strayed away from that to some degree and it needs to get back to that way of thinking.

UFC is primarily all about their championships and few people, if any, become bigger than the belt itself. Even for those that do reach that level or status it is their drive and determination to be champion that keeps them motivated to continue to fight. This is both for the accomplishment that is to be considered the best and the money that comes from being in that position.

On an old episode of Tough Enough Triple H in a very passionate speech said that the goal of everyone in this company should be to be the champion and if that wasn’t your goal you were wasting your time and everyone else’s time as well.

I get the motivational speech but on some level Heath Slater knows he is never going to be WWE Champion. At some point a wrestler or talent find themselves placed into roles or positions on a card. It is not unlike an actor or actress being typecast for certain roles. Like your doing a romantic comedy well the girl for that is Jennifer Aniston, Action movie with lots of things blowing up is Bruce Willis still alive for Diehard 8?  You get the point of what I am saying. Even look at a couple wrestlers that have made their way to Hollywood. Stone Cold Steve Austin became a guy that was typecast into those action movies that fit an audience that was his core fan base. The Rock when he hit Hollywood was doing everything under the sun from playing a tooth fairy, to a gay bodyguard to very serious roles of real life stories being adapted to the big screen.  He was very much diversified.

Diversity is a word that is very vital in all forms of life these days. Very few people are fortunate enough to say I do this one thing so very well that this is all I have too do. It simply doesn’t work for most of us in modern times. The same holds true in the WWE when you look back at the most successful people in history. They have been not just great in a ring, but great on a microphone but beyond that been able to take their character to many different places. From emotions that range from serious to hilarious and all points in between.

A great wrestling character is one that we ourselves could put that character in a situation in our minds and have a pretty good idea of how they would react to it. Not saying that we want superstars to be one hundred percent predictable, but we want them to have some traits and tendencies that make us feel we know them.

It gets to this whole idea of connecting with the crowd. That is a major part of the connection, the familiarity a character creates. Things like ring music, the way they enter the ring, hand gestures to the audience and a million other little idiosyncrasies that make each character and person unique.  It’s a huge puzzle that is put together to make us react to a person in a positive or negative way to person.

People struggle to describe what makes some one great they fall back on a term like they have the “It Factor” which is not a reference to Bobby Roode. It is that something that a person has in there eye or inside of them that makes them different and stand out from the crowd. It is that magnetism that someone has when they enter a room that draws attention from everyone else. 

This whole cast of individuals make up a wrestling roster and via for our attention through their actions in and out of a ring. It creates a common goal and purpose for everyone with exception of one person with a different motivation. That one person is Superman or Batman or whichever cartoon hero you choose. All the rest are the ones trying to destroy the hero so that they can have the spotlight that he possesses along with the trophy that goes with it the championship belt. He already has our attention and his goal is to keep it and his championship at any cost.

The trophy or belt will out live all the superstars’ career and remains the symbol for who can say they were once the best in a company. They were at the top of their chosen profession and that is real and there is nothing fake about it. Sure he may not have won it solely based on his efforts in a ring but it is because of those efforts along with the character he has crafted and moulded to be is his own that allows people to have faith in him to hold that symbol of excellence.

This leads to a does the cart or horse come first argument about how the wrestling business should be going forward to succeed. It isn’t going back to days gone by and trying to use old things from the past entirely. It isn’t booking wrestling like it is some weekly soap opera or three ring circus all the time. It is mixing and marrying of the two things to form a product that can be as attractive to a large enough audience that is can have mass appeal.

I will finish by saying this in relationship to something Jim Ross is noted for saying. Jim says that in wrestling you need personal issues and that is what sells a feud. I agree that is needed always, but what also is required is a desire to be the best. C.M Punk connected with people on many levels but at the root of his issues was that he wanted to be the best. It was not his hatred of John Cena that fuelled him, it was his desire to be considered the best. How you do that, you become the Champion. While it is fine for characters to be side tracked for various reasons from that goal of being the best it always needs to go back to that.

Suddenly when it does, matches mean more because there is a competition for getting to something bigger than just this one match. Wins and losses will only matter as much as people and storylines make them matter. Make no mistake they do NEED to matter on some level.

Daniel Bryan is more over than just about anyone in wrestling. The fact is though the strongest champion in wrestling right now is Adam Cole because of how ROH treats their title as opposed to how WWE treats their belt. TNA we won’t even bother the company and their title are both lost causes.

Bryan goes through all he went through at Mania to become champion only to face Kane? Who re-debuts in his mask and wants to destroy Bryan based on being yelled at by Stephanie McMahon? That is his motivation and it has nothing to do with being the best at all does it. While in ROH Adam Cole has a different guy every night that is gunning for him because they want to be the champion and be the best.

ROH’s first PPV is called “Best in The World” and that is something that we need to get back to in wrestling with or without CM Punk. People wanting to be the BEST IN WORLD and the CHAMPION. That is the moment when fiction and reality meet. It is a magical and real moment that we all watch wrestling for and that will never change as a motivation to watch.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A New Attitude Style Era About To Dawn In WWE?

Will the “Reality Era” be rated PG for the WWE? Many have called this last era for the World Wrestling Entertainment the PG era and it has been that way for a number of reasons. Linda McMahon making unsuccessful political runs was the one mentioned most often. There are others though with being open to more advertising options and marketing opportunities. The fact the WWE is now a corporately traded company for almost 15 years things have really changed from when they first arrived on the scene as an IPO in October of 1999. The company just has a more overall corporate feel to it compared to when they first burst on to scene in the financial world.

WWE has gone more back to the 80’s in their approach targeting kids and using Hulk Hogan as the main superstar in marketing to that group. Just like a John Cena is today with all the various things geared at kids with the “Be a Star” anti-bullying effort to programs for literacy for kids to the many make-a-wish moments granted by all the WWE Superstars and of course toys and t-shirts and merchandise streams that go on for days. 

Thing is as those kids from the 80’s grew up they were not as into that old PG model of larger than life superhero good guys. They were now older and wanted something different and that is genius of the attitude era really. Have we reached another point in the cycle where all those kids that have grown up on John Cena got older and tired of him after a decade?

Have we reached that point where the WWE might be slowly moving back towards a product primarily designed at an older audience. Before the attitude, the WWE had their New Generation that featured Bret Hart and Shawn Micheals as the two major stars of that era. It also had a fellow hall of famer like Razor Ramon and Diesel AKA Kevin Nash. These two along with a cast of characters like Yokozuna, Undertaker and others that made for a very talented roster.  Slowly the transition from goofy cartoon gimmicks to a much more wrestling focused and realistic product started to emerge. The land of giants was not as much the case with steroid allegations against the WWE and it opened the door to Bret Hart and HBK to be on that main event level.

Look at the WWE today and we see a number of stars getting long in the tooth with an every growing list of hungry lions looking for their place at the top of the card. The biggest difference to the New Generation Era and now is depth. No longer is there a WCW to compete with and TNA gets basically all the WWE’s leftovers that they don’t want. WWE has built a factory with performance center and NXT that can produce them talent for years to come. They have taken the odd independent talent and had a pretty good success rate at making folks from promotions like ROH into mainstream stars.

So perhaps this “Reality Era” as Triple H has coined it is the transition to the WWE starting to go with a more edgy product that is reflective of the core audience they have built with Cena getting older and starting to realize the guy they thought was so cool isn’t really that cool after all. They look for new heroes and not the traditional ones that are always doing the right thing. They want guys that are rebelling and fighting the system as heroes. This was primarily what Stone Cold Steve Austin became for a generation of fans.

Perhaps the best support of this theory of heading back towards a more edgy product is the WWE’s own very PG friendly ad for the WWE Network with a young boy growing into a man and having his own son become a WWE fan. It is proof that on some level this company see’s their product and audience in cycles of time. So that 7 year old kid that loved John Cena from when he debuted is now 17. Is he even still watching the product? How do we get him back if he isn’t? The answer is the product starts to go out of its PG era style and moves on to a more teen based target. Which means back to more of a PG-13 and beyond type of world?

Once the WWE firms up long term T.V deals and is ready to move forward with the Network it isn’t crazy to think they can push the product to a more adult audience over time. Little signs are already sneaking through the cracks. Look at the beat down angles of the past few months. They are a lot more physical and violent than in the past. Lot more attitude in the product you could say?

However, WWE also launched Slam City which is something that clearly is after a kid’s audience. I admit as an adult I watch them too, but hey they are cute and funny.

The one thing the WWE has stuck to not doing may just be the sign of if this new attitude like era is every coming. That sign would be to have John Cena turn heel as Hogan did back in WCW to launch the N.W.O angle. Nothing can compare to that moment for older fans, but for all these kids that have grown up on John Cena would him turning heel be just as shocking? Could Cena be the perfect heel as one of these over top full of themselves celebrities that this world has a mass supply of. The idea of turning Cena heel has always been passed on based on who would replace him? Now with all the talent in place could a Daniel Bryan not carry that ball for a few years being replaced by one of the young and up coming stars like a Roman Reigns or a Cesaro? Possibility seems pretty likely with the direction of things currently. Question is are the WWE and Cena ready to take that risk and give him a re-birth as a heel to ride-out before perhaps one last face run before he leaves the company as an in ring competitor?

That is the million dollar question that no one knows the answer to accept them and when they would be willing to pull the trigger on it.

I feel that for wrestling to truly thrive and get back to a level it did at its peak eventually they will have to have their product be more a reflection of society as a whole and currently the WWE isn’t doing that. They try to be hip and cool and with it but look more like that old guy trying to still think he isn’t old. Much like that last line made me feel using such dated terms as I am sure hip, cool and with it are for the youth of today.

Will it reach the level of success an Attitude Era did or the Hogan Era? Not likely, but could it draw a lot more fans back to the product and make some new ones along the way? Chances are they could and they would be doing it with the weakest competition in the wrestling business that they have ever faced in terms of companies with the money to compete with them.

This may not happen in months from now or even may take a couple years but bet the farm on the Attitude Era style of WWE making a return for a whole new generation sooner rather than later doesn't seem as far fetched as it has in the past. 

Raw Notebook: April 21st, 2014

Another Raw in the books and the post mania hangover feels well under way. Daniel Bryan would return to T.V after is honeymoon. Something that I was unaware of at time of watching Raw, Bryan’s father had passed away over the weekend. This might explain why Bryan never ended up saying a word on the mic on this show.

Kane vs. Bryan

The effort of the WWE to get over Kane Bryan feud was tremendous. The show would start with Bryan and Bri coming out together and being interrupted by Stephanie. She sarcastically congratulates them on their marriage and suggests that Bryan should have Bri get out of the line of fire after what Kane said last week. Cue Kane coming out and Stephanie admonishing Kane before he ever appeared to not come out. He would of course nail Bryan with a tombstone which prompts Stephanie to suggest Bri should run which she does. The tombstone party would go on to steel steps. Steph call for EMT’s and Kane takes Bryan of a backboard with neck brace that he rips off. He drags a lifeless Bryan to the announce table and yet a third tombstone of the announce table. Bryan is carted off and Stephanie in the ring with Daniel Bryan’s titles and encourages the audience to cheer for Bryan. She also prior had called Kane a bastard for what he had done.

These beat down moments were highlighted throughout the show. It was an amazing effort by WWE to get this feud from out of no where over. That said for long time fans that have seen Kane come back as this monster so many times it kind of rings hallow.

Wyatts vs. Cena

Bray Wyatt continues to shine on the mic in this program. It has not exactly the smoothest program but the one consistent thing in it has been Bray Wyatt.  Bray cut a promo about remembering the first time he heard the truth how it had a bitter taste in his mouth. He would go on to say that tonight would be a create night for truth. John Cena’s fate would be in the hands of the WWE Universe they could have Cena in a one on one match with Luke Harper, or him and Rowan with the last option being all the Wyatt Family

Well the audience went for the all 3 option and Cena almost beat the odds in the match before the Wyatt’s would get Dqed and layout Cena to close the show. 

For this program to be ultimately successful Bray Wyatt must go over at the Extreme Rules event. If he doesn’t what was the point of all this?


  • I admit I actually liked Torito (If that is how you spell it) the little bull against a 3MBed up Hornswaggle. I may need help.
  • Pink Cobras and the New Divas Champion are in trouble and need help. Emma more than Paige but these girls need life preserves fast and it isn’t a pink sock puppet.
  • Ryback on commentary that happened. I do agree with his assessment of Cole, King and JBL sucking. Head scratching moment this was for sure overall.

I-C Champ In Trouble

If you Big E Langston safe to say you are about to see your I-C run come to end. First they took away his Langston and now it looks like his title as well. Once again two of the best matches on the show were part of this I-C title tournament with Cesaro getting cost the win by Jack Swagger and RVD advances to the final while Bad News Barrett got the win over Sheamus.

There was a leaked script that had Cesaro listed as facing Big E at Extreme Rules but now it looks like we are heading to an RVD vs. Cesaro match and Barrett vs. Big E. I am not as excited about this as I would have been had Cesaro been the guy looking to take that I-C Belt.
The goal of this tournament was to restore some lustre on the I-C belt and I am not sure if Barrett winning the belt will bring that same push to the help restore the title. Hope I am wrong as Barrett could really make something of a great run with I-C title. He really deserves it for all he has been through and put up with in terims of some horrible creative and usage of him.

Evolution vs. Shield

This is being booked like the main event angle and the Shield laid down some epic verbal smack down. This is a passing of the torch it would appear and a well deserved one. I haven’t been crazy about how all of this is being booked but if at the end of all of this The Shield is standing tall that is all that matters.

I was happier with this week than last week allowing all three of the members to do their thing on Mic. I am convinced that all three of these guys will be stars and The Shield will be a group that lives on through WWE for years to come even after these 3 part ways.

While I was one of many that was excited to see these three breaks off on their own it has actually been cool to see them stick together for a little longer.

That is about it for Raw. The post mania glaze over is starting to kick in and I am pretty concerned with the start to the Daniel Bryan’s title run. Will see how it all goes down but this is an exciting time of transition for the WWE. It just might not be as smooth or as fast a drive as we may like. The future is bright even if the present is a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The 10 Count: Best Intercontinental Champions

On this past Monday Night Raw we saw yet another attempt to restore the Intercontinental Title back to some importance. It made me think of the better days of I-C Title and when it meant something in this company. They mentioned 12 members of the WWE Hall of Fame are former I-C Champions. So this makes this a tough list to crack and we have left some of those Hall of Famers off our list of the 10 greatest I-C Champions of all time.

Steve Austin, Shawn Micheals and Ultimate Warrior all did not make the list of greatest I-C champs of all time. Hard to imagine but look at our list of 10 and you will see it is hard to find them a spot. Even the first ever I-C Champ Pat Patterson isn’t on the list either. Mainly because we are still looking for the footage of the tournament he won in Brazil or Argentina or where ever in South America it supposedly took place to become the first champion.

#10 Kurt Angle:
The one and only ever Euro-Continental Champion holding the European and I-C Belts at the same time. This was the first time we got to see Kurt Angle as a champion and would not be the last. Kurt was still a new comer to pro wrestling after winning in a legit Gold Medal in 1996 with a broken fringing’ neck. Angle has gone on to be some what crazy and loony since leaving the WWE heading elsewhere, but at the start of his time in pro wrestling he was amazing in the ring and pretty damn tremendous on a microphone. A star was born and a run with this title was part of proving it.

#9 Don Muraco:
He was The Rock before the Rock. He was also part of one of the most iconic moments in Wrestling with Jimmy Snuka. Yes Snuka jumping off a cage was amazing, but just as amazing is having to be the guy lying there taking it. In many ways Don Muraco was ahead of his time. The funny bits he would do with his manager Mr’ Fuji were just fun and cheesy.  He had a couple runs with the I-C Title and was one of the first to make the title mean something. He feuded with Snuka and Pedro Morales in some classic battles.

#8 Bret “Hitman” Hart:
Much like many we will mention on this list Bret was given this title as a test to see if he could one day be the WWF/E Champion. He would be about the only guy I can recall defend the I-C Belt in a Main Event as he and the British Bulldog had a classic match for the title in the Main Event of a Summerslam. It was one of the best matches of that year or any year with Bulldog coming out on top. Hart would have several runs with the title and he would face his career long rival HBK along they way for this belt before the two would fight for a much bigger prize in the future.

#7 The Rock:
Before the days of the Rock being in the World Title picture he had a long run and feud with Stone Cold centred on the I-C Belt. It was the start of us getting to see what a truly great performer he was and vice versa with Austin. It was so vital for both in their development to go on to be World Champions and have one of the greatest feuds in Wrestlemania history with matches at 15, 17 and 19.

#6 Chris Jericho:
has held the belt the most number of times which I believe is 9 times, so based on that deserves to make this list. He was always a guy that seemed to get shuffled from the mid-card to the top of the card and many of those times he would get a run with the I-C Title. He had numerous foes to defend the belt against some of the best being Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and William Regal. Probably many more we could list but those stick out.

 #5 Razor Ramon: Long before we knew who Scott Hall was there was the Bad Guy and he was the first 4 time I-C Champ in the history of the WWF/E. His most memorable feud for the I-C title was with Shawn Micheals that climaxed with the ladder match at Wrestlemania 10. Razor would win that match despite most of the praise going to HBK. Razor Regardless of being face or an actual bad guy was a great I-C Champ and really did well with his runs with the title.

#4 Ravishing Rick Rude:
The fact he was able to guide the Ultimate Warrior to some of the best matches of his career was an accomplishment enough, but Rude himself was a tremendous performer. Paired with Bobby Heenan the two together would make for some magic with microphone and Rude was a solid competitor in the ring. His unique airbrushed tights that related to his feuds have something that you just never saw back in those days and added that extra bit of fuel to the fire.
 #3 Mr. Perfect: Curt Hennig many feel deserved to be a World Champion in WWF but it never happened. His run with Bobby Heenan starting off as his manger and holding the I-C Title was pretty memorable. He would win a tournament to secure the belt I believe after the Warrior was forced to vacate the title after winning the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 6. He would lose the title to Bret Hart in a match where Hennig was suffering from extreme back issues but still it goes down as one of the best matches in history of Summerslam.

#2 Honky Tonk Man: Love him or hate him the guy played the cowardly heel champion for all it was worth. After shockingly beating Steamboat not long after his historic win over Savage it would be the Honky Tonk Man that would go on to have the longest reign in history. Perhaps not by design as he was going to lose the belt to Savage but plans changed when Savage was going to be given the World Title. By hook and often times by crook Honky Tonk would beat people and keep his running going until the un-named opponent the Ultimate Warrior came out and laid waste to him in about 20-30 seconds.

#1 Randy “Macho Man” Savage: This is the Condo on the Moon were you expecting anyone else? Savage had a great run with the title and eventually lost the belt in one of the most epic matches in the history of Wrestlemania. He was the first guy that really used this title as a stepping stone to the WWF Title and another long run with that belt. Randy Savage made the Intercontinental Title a big deal and was the man that made this title notable in a time when wrestling was in one of its biggest boom periods in the 80’s.

So that is our list how did we do? It is tough and lot's of debate can be had. But that is our top 10 and we're sticking to it. If you care to debate look me up on twitter @dinonationblog or on Facebook Condo on The Moon Page. Also check out Every Friday the IWC Podcast this week with guest wrestler Ethan Page and we talk ROH and WWE. What is not for debate is no one holding that belt in recent times deserves to be on this list and that is because of how they have been booked. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

IWC Podcast 7: WWE To Down Your Street

This week on the IWC Podcast we talk from the Indie scene in Ontario to WWE this week. We run the gambit including a lot of talk about a big week for ROH. Ethan Page an independent wrestler featured on the Future of Honor show going down tonight in the U.S is our guest. Like me from Hamilton,Ontario Canada which we talk about our pride in that and a lot more.

Thanks to Ethan Page for joining us this week you can keep up with him on You-Tube and Twitter. You want to check out his moves here is a look via his You Tube Channel:

As for us like us on Facebook on The Condo on the Moon Page. If you enjoy the show tell a friend and spread the word.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ring of Honor Heading To PPV

Big news from Ring of Honor wrestling they are making the jump to Pay-Per-View. This comes on the heels of the news of Direct-T.V saying they will no longer be carrying WWE PPV’s. In addition TNA in recent years has scaled back to just four PPV’s in a year.

Just announced on Thursday: On June 22, 2014 Best in the World from Nashville, Tennessee which is right in the backyard of TNA will be the site for this PPV. While TNA continues to flounder and many wonder loudly on what their future will be with Spike T.V? It seems Ring of Honor is gaining ground at a rapid rate. They already have made big news partnering with New Japan Pro Wrestling for shows in Toronto and New York on May 10th in Toronto and the 17th in New York that are both sold out. The company had well over 1000 people in attendance for Super Card of Honor in New Orleans part of Wrestlemania weekend.

TNA continues to make negative headlines for how few people they are drawing to events and their last PPV was widely panned for lack of attendance and some horrible booking. The creative of the company has also come under fire with John Gaburick in charge who has really no experience at this position and news that Christy Hemme former playboy model and WWE Performer currently TNA ring announcer has been added to creative. Court Bauer went into depth on this on the recent edition of Bauer and Pollock.

Perception is reality and no place is that more true than in the wrestling business. TNA seems like a company on its way to being out of business while ROH seems like the rising company that is growing. This likely is the reality but regardless of it is or isn’t that is the perception out there. 

The co-promoted shows with New Japan Pro Wrestling is scheduled to be on I-PPV through U-stream. ROH had started to build momentum in the past and had some disasters with I-PPV that really set them back for a period on time. They have come back stronger and are now looking to jump even further.

TNA has been making the news for the people leaving their promotion with Sting signed to join WWE and Hogan already there along with many TNA Talents like Micky James, A.J Styles and a long list of others have been shown the door or dove of the sinking ship. ROH has added Styles along with Chris Hero who was let go from WWE Developmental.

ROH also is keeping its eye on the future with a new thing they are kicking off this weekend called Future of Honor which takes place this weekend in Newville, P.A. Coming up in the IWC Podcast tomorrow we have Ethan Page one of the young talents that will be appearing on that card as a guest. He described the show as a way for ROH to look at new talent in front of an ROH crowd in an ROH ring. Call it a very minor version of what the WWE is doing with NXT would not be an unfair comparison. 

ROH seems to really be making a push to become bigger and could ultimately be the number two company in wrestling behind the WWE by the end of 2014 depending on how things work out. TNA needs to stop looking up at WWE and start looking behind them at ROH or they very well could be left in the dust.

Update 1pm

Court Bauer who works in some advisory role with ROH made comments on this big news on his website. 

Many ROH performers were on Social Media spreading the word. Michael Elgin was taking questions so I asked the obvious one with the new today:

Not just because he is stronger than a bear but I would agree with Michael Elgin this could be a huge chance for ROH to make some waves.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Raw Notebook: April 14th, 2014

Back to reality that another Wrestlemania has come and gone. Add in the fact the WWE wanted to do a tribute to the Ultimate Warrior and your New Word Champion is on his honeymoon it was a lot to deal with. It led to a show that tried but pretty much failed for the most part.

The one thing they didn’t fail at was the tribute to the Warrior that I felt that was not as over the top as I feared it could be. A nice tribute off the top of the show and a nice tribute by the Uso’s both wearing half of Warrior face paint in their match. Some video packages sprinkled through the show and a bit of some tacky promotion for “Warrior Week” on the WWE Network. I was a little uncomfortable personally with the use of the Warrior's speech from last week. I understand using it but I think for a lot of folks it had to be a little disturbing.

The other takeaways from the show included the most unique exchanges between two wrestlers in a long time. I thought the build to Bray Wyatt and John Cena was one of the best heading into Wrestlemania. The match itself did not get the live reaction that you would have thought. I still felt the match was good however despite that. Clearly this feud was set to continue and we got confirmation of that tonight.

Bray Wyatt would call out John Cena to the ring claiming to want to have fun. This came after proclaiming that John Cena was still lying to us all. Cena would come out and cut the most awful promo with terrible photo shopped props on the big screen. John Cena is not funny and when he tries to be funny it leads to some of the worst he has ever cut in his life. When he was the heel and cool rapper gimmick his humour was somewhat tolerable but in his current role it is just jokes that are made to make kids pop and I don’t even think the kids do. But Bray Wyatt to his credit called John out for his terrible comedy routine and this all would lead to the announcement of Steel Cage match between the two at Extreme Rules.

Daniel Bryan was not around so this show would focus around The Shield. Triple H said to Orton and Batista that they needed to focus on The Shield and take care of that problem. Orton and Batista failed to agree and later in the night would get swarm attacked by the Shield during a match with Usos. Triple H and Steph greeted the two backstage and basically Triple H said simply I told you so. Later in the night it would be announced against mystery opponents in the main event.  It turned into some sort of 11 on 3 farce of a match that would lead to Evolution reformed minus Ric Flair down to the ring to beat down The Shield. The Crowd reaction was for the most part muted and unimpressed by the return of Evolution. Reaction online seemed much more positive than the live audience.

Stephanie also did her best impression of dad and laid into Kane. The end result of this Corporate Kane is dead and masked Kane is coming back and looking to take out the New World Champion Daniel Bryan. This apparently is the first program for Daniel Bryan which if this is case is pretty damn brutal start for the Daniel Bryan title reign.

This Raw was a major step backwards and not something that gets fans all that encouraged for the post mania stretch .Will see if the return of Bryan can save this whole thing returning next week.

Oh I  forgot one major thing the WWE’s latest attempt to make you think the Intercontinental Title means something with #1 contenders tournament with 8 participants.  It produced the match of the night with Ziggler against Barrett with Barrett getting the win. Other winners were Cesaro over Mark Henry, Sheamus over  Swagger and RVD over Del Rio.  I don’t think this tournament along will get over the I-C belt or the Champion Big-E (Langston) so I would think winner of this will become the champion. If they want to really get that person over they should challenge Dean Ambrose and unify the U.S and I-C Title.

Other things that happened of little note….Paige had a match with Alicia Fox and we had more promos for both Bo Dallas and Adam Rose. I love men in bunny suits losing at hungry hippos. It is awesome…this edition of Raw was not.

Monday, April 14, 2014

We Book It: Push, Re-Package, Your Fired

I came up with a concept for Aubrey Sitterson’s Straight Shoot You Tube series it is a simple but fun concept. It is called Push, Repackage and Fire. We get to play booker and take three talents and decide what to do with them. Pretty relevant given that WWE will likely face a lot of these choices with their roster growing and looking to push new talents while making hard decisions on the future of others. Basically it is the wrestling version of screw, marry and kill game.

So now that you understand the concept it is TIME TO PLAY THE GAME. So today let’s introduce the three talents that we are going to play the game with:

Brodus Clay, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler

Push: Dolph Ziggler

Ok, I know that this seems obvious choice from this group. Everyone loves Dolph and wants to see this happen but his popularity has faded or he has been buried however you see it. So how do we make this push happen?  Dolph basically starts his push by admitting that he has fallen off a cliff and is not getting anywhere on his own. He seeks out someone to manage his career so he can just focus on getting it done in the ring. He makes an attempt to become a Paul Heyman Guy that will eventually fail and result in a feud with Cesaro. He will not get wins but will have great matches as a result. You introduce a new character that comes out and watches a couple of the matches between the two. This mystery man or woman will become Dolph’s manager and will basically keep Dolph from going to far both with his in ring style and with his promo’s. Dolph eventually gets frustrated and leaves this to manager despite the success he will have. Finally he breaks away and the success continues. Perhaps winning an I-C title and unifying it with U.S Title while with this new manager would work as part of this push.

That is a rough outline as for the manager I am not sure who you would use for it. I prefer someone more serious in the role rather than comedic although with Dolph someone like a Sylvester Lefort would make sense if you are familiar with him from NXT. He would not be my first choice personally.   

Repackage: Brodus Clay

Clay popped up on NXT and I suggest we give him a brand new gimmick like they did with Husky Harris now Bray Wyatt. I have the ticket for him and it works with a current NXT Performer actually you could use one or two but I am going with a guy that is remaining in NXT for the moment. Tyler Breeze has a tremendous gimmick going in NXT and I am going to give him another accessory to the product. Clay as many know was in real life a body guard for Snoop Dogg/Lion. Art will imitate life as Breeze will hire Clay to be his personal security. This will not be comedic like Jericho with Ralphus back in WCW. Clay is going be the hitman for Breeze and help him climb to the top. Think more like Diesel and Shawn Micheals as how this gimmick will work. Clay won't call your mom he will take her out if she gets in the way of Tyler Breeze. Dress him up in a suit and maybe even get rid of the funky hair style. 

Fire: Jack Swagger

WWE has done all they can to get Jack Swagger over and he has just dropped the ball over and over again. I mean we had a forgettable run as World Champion that most people probably forgot even happened. He got a new gimmick and Zeb Colter and a World Title match at Wrestlemania and almost instantly got busted for DUI. Swagger is great in the ring but has never been able to cut a promo and he has let opportunity after opportunity pass him by. So once Cesaro puts the boots to him he is done. Wait though we can’t get rid of Grandpa Zeb right everyone loves him. No worries he will become part of the Wyatt’s and act as a manager for Luke Harper and Eric Rowan as you look to push Bray Wyatt more as a singles star. Zeb doesn’t have to change all that much as the Wyatt’s could easily believe in his radical agenda and world view. 

So that’s a wrap did you like what I did or does my booking suck? You can let me know on Twitter @Dinonationblog or better yet like us on Facebook and tell me there. In addition I want to make this segment interactive with all of you so make your suggestions. Make them realistic or be off the wall I will try and make it work and come up with something creative for everyone to enjoy. They won’t always work out but that is part of the fun. It is like our very own spit ball booking session that you can enjoy every week in the Condo on the Moon on a Monday.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Debut Of "The 10 Count"

Topic: 10 Things that will happen before Wrestlemania 31:

#10- Zack Ryder will be fired
: His last resort will fail and he will no longer be part of the WWE. This roster is getting full of competition with so many stars on the rise. Zack Ryder had brief self made run that never really was suppose to happen without that he likely would have been fired long before now.

#9- Sami Zayn will be on the Main Roster
: Why it hasn’t happened already is a good question but there is no way he remains in NXT for another year. It will not happen, this guy is just too talented and Triple H already sees it with having him in a match with Csearo as the first match to launch NXT on the network.

#8- U.S and I.C Titles will be Unified
: Both these titles mean so little combining them and keeping the I-C Title will allow a chance to rehabilitate these dead championships. It is the only way to save them you need to kill one to make it happen. The U.S title is an old WCW belt and will be the one the bites the bullet.

#7- John Cena will NOT hold The WWE World Championship
: First reason is he really doesn’t need it at this point. The second might be that do we really want to see John Cena replace Ric Flair as the mas with the most times as champion in wrestling history? Triple H’s idol is Ric Flair or at least one of them. If the Game himself didn’t break 16 times safe bet he is in no hurry to see Cena do this. In addition with all the new stars you could see battle for the belt that need it really makes no sense for Cena to have it.

#6- Paul Heyman will turn on Cesaro: We all know Paul Heyman guys never last other than one guy and that is Brock Lesnar the one in 21-1. So at some point expect Paul to turn his back on Cesaro leading to a Lesnar vs. Cesaro match at one of the major PPV’s (Sorry Special Events...WWE is killing term Pay-Per-View)  this year. It makes perfect sense and would be a great match to show off Cesaro’s freakish strength.

#5 Roman Reigns will be Mr. Money In the Bank: Everyone says he is the next big star and it is hard to debate he has all the tools to be. Getting the briefcase would be a great way to break him off into singles and maybe will be the ultimate reason for The Shield to finally break apart. It makes sense and so does the idea of Roman Reigns being a World Champion sometime within the next 18 months.

#4 Adam Cole will be signed by the WWE
: If there is one guy out on the independent scene that I am going to bet on making it to the WWE it is this guy. I could see other guys like Kevin Steen, Mike Bennett also being in the WWE system. The safest bet is Adam Cole as he has a style of wrestling that already looks like a WWE wrestler to some extent. His run with the ROH title has been tremendous and like many other former ROH Champions he will make his way to the WWE this year.

#3 WWE Commentary Will Change For Raw and Smackdown: They are working to hard at developing broadcasters to not shake things up on commentary on Raw and Smackdown. It may not be change for the better depending on who they decide to run with but the King, Cole and JBL show is getting old fast. J.R is not walking back through that door it would seem so WWE needs another answer.

#2 Batista will not finish his WWE Contract: His return has been horrible and he will have options to do movies and other things so I don’t think he makes it to Wrestlemania 31. He really doesn’t need to be bothered with WWE and his in ring skills are not at level they were 4 years ago. Bye Bye Batista we never wanted you back to begin with.

#1 Rey Mysterio Will Be Done with WWE:  When you can't even get your baby face pop that you have had for decades and your body is breaking down it is time to go. Rey’s contract is set to expire in the summer and I do not think the WWE will offer him another one. Well, at Least not as an in ring competitor. As mentioned this roster is getting pretty full and Rey will be one of the first to realize the youth movement is underway in the WWE.

If your new to the blog and want more like us on Facebook at Condo on the Moon

Friday, April 11, 2014

IWC Podcast with Guest Jason Agnew from The Law

It is our pleasure to welcome another great guest to the program this week. Jason Agnew has been one of the Co-Host's of The Law for well over a decade. You can hear The Law on TSN 1050 every Sunday night at 11pm. We talk about the two big stories of the week the end of the Undertaker's Streak and the death of  the Ultimate Warrior after having just been on WWE programming for first time in a long time. A great thrill to talk with Jason and be on Title Bout Trivia on The Law this weekend. Chris and myself offer our takes on Mania and the night after Raw.

You can catch Jason talking about the latest NXT on his podcast over on The Law website on the Fight Network. It was great to have Jason come on board and hope to have him back as well as perhaps some other members from The Law family.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ultimate Warrior Dies After His Return To WWE

I first looked on Twitter and was seeing #RIPUltimateWarrior my first honest reaction was what a sick twitter prank. I would moments later realize it was no joke and the man I watched on Raw less than 24 hours later was gone. The man that WWE had finally come together with after years in exile was honoured by them this weekend in New Orleans at the WWE Hall of Fame.

Here is the text of the Promo he cut last night on Raw:

“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart on day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse though the body of others and makes them bleed. Deeper and something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the story tellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running man live forever. You…You…You…You…You are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. Ultimate. You are the Ultimate Warriors fans. And the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever.”

It kind of creeps you out and makes you wonder if maybe the warrior wasn’t as crazy as he sometime appeared to be. I can’t lie and tell you I was a warrior fan or that I even liked this guy. I didn’t and said so in a blog I wrote not that long ago. Still I can’t help but think of those two young girls of his that walked him out for his induction speech. His young daughters don’t care what I think or anyone from wrestling thinks they just lost their father.

I feel sad for them and sad for all of his fans and the people that he inspired. I know when Randy Savage died a few years ago I was completely devastated. He was my childhood hero as the Warrior was from millions.

It is a sad story and ironic ending to one of the strangest personalities the wrestling business has ever known. Perhaps it wasn’t sad for him though as he got to realize how much many felt about him and got to express his gratitude for that.

Wrestling was stunned on Sunday by a shocking worked angle with the Undertaker’s Streak coming to an end. Now on Tuesday night the same sense of shock but this time for a real life event that was far more tragic.

The Warrior in his last days may have found a way to find peace with his career. May he rest in peace and much love and sympathy to his family and all of his fans.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A New Era For Wrestling Is Dawning

A new era has begun in the WWE and where it started will trace back to this weekend in New Orleans. You got to see many young talents be given a larger position in the company from Cesaro, The Shield and Wyatt’s all being treated on a different level. We also saw the next wave of NXT being set up to make their way to the main roster. The official debut of Rusev with a squash of Zack Ryder was perhaps the least of these. You saw the NXT Women’s Champion appear and on her first night ended the 295 day reign of A.J Lee. Paige on her first night like Gail Kim did on her debut in WWE becoming the Diva’s/Women's Champion respectively. In addition we saw vignettes for both Bo Dallas and Adam Rose to soon be part of the mix as well.

The crowd the night after Wrestlemania has become the standard of what all crowds the rest of the year will be measured against. They are energized and will make noise no matter what you put in front of them. It is a party like atmosphere that has become some what of Holy Grail for wrestling fans. You watch from home and can’t help but want to be a part of the party.

There is a lot of division on having the Undertaker’s streak end but maybe it is the best way to symbolize we are at the start of new era. You can certainly take issue with who ended the streak but maybe this is a way to start making the transition to Wrestlemania being about current stars and not stars of the past.

Daniel Bryan sits at the top of all this change that is fixing to happen and his success will likely have a big impact on if this changing of the guard is going to happen sooner or later. You can see by subtle little things that this time is different for Daniel Bryan he is truly being given the ball. He will have a lot of support though with so many people on the rise.

What people need to understand though is while the hardcore fans see all this excitement to come the numbers are not there yet. The WWE released the first numbers on the WWE Network which were not terrible but not over the top. An article in the New York Times goes in depth on this but basically WWE announced they have 667,287 people on the WWE Network. They have set a goal to have 1 million subscribers by the end of 2014. The stock for the WWE did not react well to the news after being at record high levels dropped $4.12 to a per share price of $23.90.

The WWE Network has only been launched domestically in the U.S. It is hard to think they can grow that number unless wrestling experiences a major revival that we have not seen in a long time. In addition very little info has been out there about the future of where WWE programming will be on traditional broadcast television. The WWE’s window to deal exclusively with USA Network has come and gone. No word on anything since in terms of other companies getting in the mix to get WWE programming.

Even talk from Vince McMahon that he might someday consider selling his majority stake in the company. As far as the WWE Network goes I would suspect they will attempt to speed up launch of the network internationally in places like here in Canada and U.K if there is any danger of missing that million subscriber’s target. WWE at the announcement of the launch of the Network stated that they would be looking at going international by end of 2014 or spring of 2015 so it would not be a big leap to get it going in the fall.

As far as those T.V deals go and where WWE lands there has been speculation that they could double or even triple their rights fees. This is something that seems crazy when you consider the drop off in viewers from wrestling’s boom till now. Still Raw has become not unlike pro sports in it is something that they will say is appointment television like live sporting events and can’t be missed. After years of trying to stress the WWE is about entertainment they now have pulled a 180 degree turn and trying to consider themselves sports. The various sports leagues have been getting record numbers for rights fees and that is only expected to continue with the NBA’s T.V deal in 2015. Even lesser sports like NASCAR and MLS Soccer have netted pretty attractive numbers recently.

You may find all of this business chat boring or not concerning you but in the end it does. I hate to break it to you but just like in the last number of decades you have had it driven in your head that sports is a business so is the WWE and wrestling in general. With WWE being the most complex of those companies in wrestling business to truly understand. 

So at the end of the day Daniel Bryan and all these young guys will only go as far as the company being profitable and succeeding will take them. I would suspect with T.V deal still in the works the ratings for WWE Raw will be examined and mean the most they have since the Monday Night Wars.

As far as the rest of the wrestling world they need the WWE to be successful in order for them to be to some extent. The days of anyone challenging the WWE in a serious way are long gone. If the WWE creates or draws back older wrestling fans that befit everyone as it trickles down.

The truth is 2014 will be a very important year for wrestling and where it is heading. While the product is getting more exciting in not just the WWE but in other places it all comes down to people buying the product. You can have the best product in the world but you need people to consume it for it to be truly deemed successful.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Wrestlemania 30: Historic For Many Reasons But For A One Most of ALL

It will go down as one of the historic Wrestlemanias and the number 30 will not be the reason for it. It will be for a number of iconic moments that will live on forever and some that have the potential to be. Going into Wrestlemania 30 it was all about what would happen to Daniel Bryan. After things are over the talk is all about the end of the Undertaker’s Streak surprisingly.

After 5 years of legitimate threats to the Undertaker’s streak with matches with HBK and HHH Twice and CM Punk last year no one gave Brock Lesnar a hope in hell. The match itself was not all that good as I kind of foreshadowed as a possibility. Lot of MMA stuff in the match but it was slow and lethargic. Brock would hit a couple F-5’s on the Undertaker and no one believed he had a chance of winning off them. He would hit a third and a stunning three count would go down and the world would collectively be in total disbelief.

The Streak was dead and 21-1 flashed on the board and people still shocked moved on to confusion. Taker looked terrible and tired and like his age and magic of the streak was gone. The crowd eventual cheered him but still was trying to process what they just saw. Just like after the last Rock vs.Austin match, it was implied but not stated that we may have seen the last of the Undertaker it was a sad end to something that all fans, but Undertaker fans most of all held with such hi regard.

In a touch of irony Jimmy Korderas on our Podcast previewing Mania he talked about the wrong guy beating that streak. Most feel for a lot of reason’s Brock is that wrong guy. First being he is a part time wrestler and never really gains as much as someone else could from beating this historic streak. Let’s face it though Taker is the one that wanted this to end and Brock never wins if Taker wasn’t on board with it. In fact when this match was originally thought of Taker had reported wanted this match to end his streak years earlier.

This will be something that love it or hate it will be one of those moments you will remember for a lifetime and where you were and who you were with.

This was another moment like that in a much different way to kick off the show for both live and PPV audience.  Hulk Hogan came out as The Rock did back at Wrestlemania 27 when he hosted Wrestlemania. Hogan had some instant Botch-A-Mania material when he called the Superdome instead the Silverdome. Hogan would be interrupted by Stone Cold Steve Austin who teased Hogan about his flub and than asked the crowd if they wanted him to Stunner Hogan. Most seemed, all for that but given the state of Hogan’s health that was never happening. Instead Austin would but over Hogan and than the two would be interrupted by The Rock who would come out and talk about his iconic matches with both. Eventually Austin would call for the beers and the three would have a toast in the middle of the ring.

It was a cool moment that fit perfectly with an iconic number for a Wrestlemania. The reaction both live and on social media was very positive for this moment to kick off the show.

There was a lot of debate on when we would see the HHH and Daniel Bryan Match would take place. There were basically two schools of thought on this. One seeing this mimic what happened at Wrestlemania 10 with Bret Hart facing his brother Owen to kick off the show and return to face Yokozuna to win the title. Others felt this match would go back to back with the 3-way Championship match.

In the end they went the historic route and just like in that Mania 10 angle Bryan would have an injury story line that would progress throughout the night. Bryan was selling the beat down of a few weeks early when he was handcuffed and beating down. He came out with a wrapped up shoulder that would be a focal point of the match.

Triple H and Bryan delivered in the ring as many expected them too. Triple H would have Steph out at ringside with him and she was brilliant in her role as basically heel manager. In the end this match told a story of Triple H trying to work the injury to Bryan’s shoulder. He would hit a Pedigree on Bryan and he would kick out. The finish of the match would be Bryan landing his knee out of no where and getting the pinfall. HHH was furious as was Stephanie after the match and it lead to a violent chair shot to injured shoulder against the poll leaving Bryan injured and questionable to make it to the main event.  

If you blinked you missed The Shield beating Kane and Outlaws. Roman Reigns looked pretty good in this short squash match. Also in Canada if you were being good little boy or girl you were not able to see the pre-show match. It was for the tag-team title match which turned out to be an elimination tag match. Los Madators would be the first to exit followed by Ryback and Axel and we would be left with Usos and  Real Americans. In the end the Usos would retain and Real Americans would break apart. Csearo would go baby face and as things would turn out would end up on the main card in Battle Royal.

So why not go there next as the Andre Battle Royal went down. Not as shocking as streak ending the internet pick to win this match never was even in it. Rusev did not even participate in the match as it turned out. The match would come down to Dolph Ziggler, Csearo and Big Show the storyline favourite. There was one other person I think Del Rio in the final four. In fact it was Del Rio as he eliminated Ziggler I believe. In the end we got Csearo and Big Show.

How it would end was the early in the night mind blowing event. Cesaro would slam Big Show to the floor over the top rope in an amazing strength spot that was a throw back to Hogan slamming Andre. Show would in end shake hands with Cesaro and Cesaro would lift the Giant trophy of the Giant in the air in celebration.

Bray Wyatt and John Cena match was a story telling match but didn’t seem to jive with live audience as it did for me at home. If you remember the Cena Feud with Kane where Kane was trying to get John Cena to embrace the hate this took a similar vain.

By mentioning that feud I feel I have given Bray Wyatt not enough credit cause he did a much better job than Kane. He started the match on his knees begging Cena to hit him Cena would not go for it. Later in the match Wyatt was going to hit Cena with steal steps and Cena avoided it. Cena would pick up the steps and thought about hitting Wyatt with them but refused to do it. Later the same with a chair and even the ref had to encourage John not to use the chair. In the end the story of this match was great as Cena. In addition to battling with in himself he was always mindful of Wyatt’s family on the outside which would led to his demise and some near falls for Bray the best of which on a power bomb off Cena attempting his leg drop from the top.

In the end Cena got his finisher and the crowd through out this match was pretty flat to this match that had the best build heading into Wrestlemania. I am not sure if Bray based or failed in this match with Cena overall. He clearly didn’t have the crowd into it.  He may have had the whole world in his hand but it didn’t include the 70,000 or so in the Superdome.

The Divas got stuck following the Undertaker match and in the end they worked hard but no one cared and the matched ended with the expected finish if your smart to the game or unexpected result if you are not A.J Lee would get the win via her crazy submission hold on one of the Funkadactyls.

On to the Main Event and the crowd still have stunned tried to get into Bryan but were far less exited based on Taker outcome and fact they were just burned out at this point in general, As in the opening match both Orton and Batista would target the injured shoulder. Orton giving Bryan a Garvin Stomp to the shoulder.

The big spot of this match was Batista power bombing Bryan into a reverse RKO through a table. Orton would smash his back on a monitor and get legit cut. Bryan on the other hand looked dead and you could almost believe he may have been legit injured. They put a neck brace on Bryan and wheeled him off but he would rise off the stretcher.

HHH would make an appearance pulling out the ref and he brought along Steph and Ref Brad Armstrong. Remember him costing Bryan the title in one of those angles since Summerslam. He would count a fall against Bryan for only two. HHH would get in his ear as would Stephanie. Bryan would take a suicide dive and take out all three. Triple H would bring out the Sledge Hammer and end up on wrong end of it from Daniel Bryan.

A lot of false finishes would eventually lead to Daniel Bryan getting the tap out  win over Batista. His long 8 month journey would come to an end with him finally having his moment in the sun.

This was a really excellent Mania in my view despite the end of the streak I thought the show aside from that match it was a pretty good show bordering on great. Some great story telling in a lot of matches on this card. I really felt like this was a pretty well done Wrestlemania that matched and played to the history of the moment being number 30. But it will be most remembered for 21-1 at the end of day.