Monday, December 29, 2014
"WELCOME TO MONDAY NIGHT WRAW!"~ Vince McMahon. It's the final Monday Night Raw of the year coming from Washington D.C. for the third straight year. You can expect another quiet crowd tonight because the Washington crowd is not that good whatsoever and if you need example go-ahead look at the go-home show to WrestleMania 29 on the WWE Network. The once in while appearing WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar will bless us with his pressence tonight. Also one of the greatest tag teams in professional wrestling history Edge & Christian will be hosting Monday Night Raw. I think tonight's show is very important for the WWE as a whole and for the build towards the Royal Rumble PPV. Here's five things to expect on the 12/29/14 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw.
1.) Edge & Christian
You think you me? I always enjoyed that theme song. Here's a idea to start Raw tonight. Edge & Christian do their entrance coming through the crowd or they can go old school and come up through the stage with The Brood music. It's going to be nice to see Edge & Christian especially Edge since he's on of those legends that rarely comes on the show as often as the other contracted WWE Legends. It's been the running trend lately Seth Rollins will come out and interrupt E & C in-ring promo and whine and complain about The Authority no longer being in power. Who knows maybe we'll see some of those silly hats their wore during the Attitude Era or they'll bring back the kazoos. Either way it will nice to see both Edge & Christian and tonight should be a fun night.
2.) The Ascension
They're coming the fiery and powerful tag team from WWE NXT will make their main roster debuts TONIGHT on RAW. Who will be the first casualty for The Ascension? The video vigentte for The Ascension haven't been earth shattering to be completely honest with you, but I'm really looking forward to seeing The Ascension tonight because I'm a big fan of their tag team. Alot of people are clamoring for NXT Superstars to come up on the main roster and tonight and heading towards 2015 you'll see change in the WWE presentation I totally believe that and it starts with The Ascension tonight.
3.) Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena III
The anticipated final battle between Brock Lesnar and John Cena will come to a head at the Royal Rumble. Brock Lesnar laid out John Cena during his Steel Cage Match with Seth Rollins a couple weeks ago. There's some storyline question that I have with this pairing heading towards the Royal Rumble. Ok Brock is back. Why? All we knew about Brock Lesnar before he became the WWE Champion is that he was "Plan C" for The Authority to take the title away from John Cena. Cena is the only person that holds the power to bring The Authority back. There needs to be a in-ring promo between John Cena & Paul Heyman tonight and it will be interesting to see if Paul Heyman brings up that very association Lesnar & The Authority had before they lost their power at Survivor Series. How do you bring The Authority back? Brock will come out during the show who knows maybe John & Brock have a full out brawl in the same building they had a bloody fist fight in 2012.
4.) Bad News Barrett
I think it should be noted that tonight WWE is having a "WWE LIVE" show in Richmond, Virginia. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt are advertised for this very show. There's star power left out of this show. We have Brock Lesnar, Edge & Christian and The Ascension on the show tonight, but something to really spice things especially with it being the final of Raw of the year we see the return of BNB! Bad News Barrett has been out with a shoulder injury for six months and I think it's the perfect night for him to come back. Dolph Ziggler is the right guy for Barrett to feud with. Alot of people are riding the wave of momentum of Dolph Ziggler, but "I'm afraid I've got some bad news!" Ziggler will have to deal with a dose of reality and a feud between Ziggler & Barrett to start 2015 is the right way to go for the WWE.
5.) Randy Orton?
It's time! I'm keeping this one short and sweet. Randy Orton will be make his WWE return tonight and will seek his revenge on Seth Rollins & JJ Security. Calling it right now.
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Raw had its typical holiday offering last night. There wasn’t a ton of significant things as it basically just continued a number of existing feuds. The typical diva’s Christmas costume 6-women tag match. We had the new holiday tradition of the Miracle on 34th Street fight. Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt destroyed many Christmas themed items. Hulk Hogan was the host of Raw dressed up like Santa and he was his typical boring self. If you’re into Hogan, you probably found it fun. If you have had enough of Hogan this was evidence of why you do. Still we found some talking points from this holiday for the most part throwaway Raw show.
1. Adam Rose Turns Heel on the Bunny: After a loss to R-Truth the Bunny still in his neck brace, after a couple attacks from Kane in the past week, he goes to comfort Rose after the match. Rose put a real serious beat down on the bunny. He would take off the Bunny’s neck brace and would continue the beating after the Bunny tried to escape to the outside. The highlight of the segment was the crowd chanting for Rose to throw the Bunny into the guardrail one more time. The crowd was not having any sympathy for Bunny, which was the goal of the segment. So Adam Rose is suppose to be a heel but at least on this night in Minnesota he was a face to this crowd.
2. Fandango Gets a Win: This was more about where Jack Swagger is in terms of this company. The new and improved Fandango is not exactly setting the world on fire. Swagger had almost all the offensive moves until the end. Fandango landed some kicks, went to his top rope leg drop, and actually got the win. Poor Jack Swagger has fallen down since his resurgence with his original feud with Rusev.
3. The Night for The Shield: Rollins and Cena kicked off the show and Rollins after a win last week in a cage match with the help of Brock Lesnar, Cena natural gets his win back this week after Hogan made the match for his good buddy John Cena. Roman Reigns was paired with the Big Show and was booked terrible only able to get a count out win after hitting Big Show with a superman punch over the announce table. Big Show really seems to have little interest in helping Reigns get over. Dean Ambrose meantime in the Main Event once again losses to Bray Wyatt in your typical Christmas Street fight. Overall, it was not a great night for the former members of the Shield.
4. WWE Announcers Continue To Fail: I could bring up many examples of why this is true every single week but I have a specific example this week. Natalya was in a match with Brie and she had Nikki in her corner. During the entire match, Tyson was wearing a Nikki Bella hat and there was zero reference to it the entire match. Even in the post match where Natalya pushes Nikki off the apron and notices the hat Tyson was wearing after that. She takes it off and throws it away. Announcers made zero reference to this so if you missed it can’t blame you.
5. Piper’s Pit Isn’t What It Use To Be: It was kind of a pathetic attempt at nostalgia with Roddy Piper showing up and his guest was Rusev. Piper mispronounced his name and predictably introduced Ryback who had a bow on him no less and he attempted to attack Rusev but he was able to escape. Ryback was over with Minnesota crowd so it looks like the C.M Punk comments have not affected Ryback and his face push of late. Seeing Piper and Hogan at their age is more sad and pathetic than any sort of nostalgic feel good moment.
The match quality on this show was pretty good overall but some questionable booking and little plot advancement. The biggest note was Rose heeling on Bunny and I am not even kidding about that. I didn’t hate this show but if I had missed it, I can’t say that much happened I needed to see.
Monday, December 22, 2014
From all of us here on Condo On The Moon from James, Chris and myself we'll like to wish all of you a merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. We're on the verge of the second to last Monday Night Raw of the year. WWE is in Minneapolis tonight which is a big wrestling town, so expect a rowdy crowd tonight. Hulk Hogan returns to WWE to serve as "Ho-Ho Hogan" which means he'll probably be the special guest GM for the night. We're on the road to the Royal Rumble and let's see if the WWE builds anything for the Royal Rumble tonight. Here's five things I think we all should expect to see on tonight's Monday Night Raw.
1.) Ho-Ho Hogan
We sure seen alot of Hulk Hogan in 2014, maybe more then we needed to, but tonight Hogan is back on the show and we'll probably see him as the general manager of Raw for this week. Hogan will probably cut a in-ring promo and then he'll be cut off by Seth Rollins. It's the new thing now when you have a special guest manager on the show, Rollins will come out and cry about being screwed over in his current storyline and then he'll say that the Authority needs to come back. As we're on the road to the Royal Rumble I think Hogan may set up some series of Rumble Qualifying Matches. I brought that up last week, but they needed to recap everything that happen at TLC. I only brought up this scneario up because obviously you want to have the fans tune into the three hours of Raw each week right, and one of the issues I had with the Rumble Match last year was that the WWE didn't go out of the way to show the fans that there's a series of guys who can be favorites to win the Royal Rumble Match. I'm just throwing that idea out there and maybe it'll happen maybe it won't. Who knows maybe Roman Reigns joins Rollins & Hogan in this in-ring promo that starts the show.
2.) Steel Cage Fallout
Last week's Steel Cage Match between Seth Rollins and John Cena was one of the best main events of Raw this year. I'm surprised that Rollins won that match becuase I thought maybe the WWE wanted to go with the angle where Cena once again takes out everybody on the roster to make a "statement" to Brock Lesnar. I think we may see a match between Seth Rollins and Ryback because it didn't happen on SmackDown, or we can see some type of tag team match between John Cena & Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins & Big Show. As much as people want to think that Roman Reigns is being shoved down our throats, we seen ALOT of Seth Rollins on WWE Programming recently. What will John Cena do? Brock Lesnar is not advertised to appear on this show tonight which is strange to me because since Lesnar has return to the WWE in 2012, every single time the WWE has been in Minneapolis, Lesnar never shows up. Cena can probably a verbal sprawling with Paul Heyman I think that would be a great in-ring segment and pose the question as to how can Paul Heyman get into Cena's head as the road to WrestleMania begins?
3.) Bray Wyatt/Dean Ambrose Continues ?
Something's got to give in this feud here right? We seen a TLC Match and a Boot Camp Match between both of these gentleman and after last week's SuperSmackDown LIVE it seems that the feud between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose will continue. Here's the question I pose to you the fans of Condo On The Moon. What does Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt do at WrestleMania? More importantly where's the conclusion to this feud? I think we may see the conclusion to this feud either the first Raw of 2015 or at the Royal Rumble in some type of gimmick match. What gimmick match will it be? There's been some reports about a potential Bray Wyatt/Undertaker program at WrestleMania and who knows maybe that program can brews out of a Casket or Buried Alive Match at the Royal Rumble. I think both Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose has great futures ahead of them, but we'll see what happens on the show tonight
4.) Ryback vs. Rusev
This is the perfect feud for both Ryback and Rusev at the current stage of their career. I think that a Ryback and Rusev program can go from now to WrestleMania. Especially when it comes to the Royal Rumble/WrestleMania season alot of people get lost in the shuffle and it's very unfortunate. I don't know if they'll have the United States Championship Match at the Royal Rumble or both men will be in the Royal Rumble Match. I think both Ryback & Rusev are underrated and underappreciated for what they can do in that ring. Rusev laid out Ryback on the stage on Super SmackDown LIVE. I hope what comes out of this feud is more characteristics from both Ryback & Rusev in a Heel and Face perspective. I think that the Big Guy will seek some type of retribution on Rusev tonight, but I don't think it will happen I think Lana will come out and cut a promo and then Ryback interrups and then Rusev runs away.
5.) Roman Empire
The return of Roman Reigns has been endured with anger and frustration from the smart wrestling fans. A lot of people and yours truly doesn't believe that Reigns deserves to be in the main event of WrestleMania this year. Here's the thing we say that he doesn't deserved to be in the main event because he's being shove down our throats like Batista was last year, but in this case I don't feel that Reigns deserves to be in the main event of WrestleMania this year because it's not his time yet and he's still young. I think we may see another match between Reigns and Fandango. They're going to build Reigns up the moon and we have no control over it. I want Reigns to succeed I'm a fan of his I got his t-shirt at home and I love the slogan on shirt "One Versus All". I hope Reigns has a great career and I just think right now it's too much too soon that's my only issue with Roman Reigns.
Hope you guys enjoy Monday Night Raw tonight and I hope you guys and girls have a wonderful christmas and a wonderful new year. 2014 has had it's ups and downs and I think in 2015 things will get alot better for the WWE and it will be a fun ride to WrestleMania 31. I hope you guys enjoyed this preview and we'll talk to you later on in the week.
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Follow Condo On The Moon @CondoOnTheMoon
Friday, December 19, 2014
This is our last podcast of 2014 we look back on the year in wrestling for WWE, ROH and TNA. We talk about what NXT is doing right and WWE isn't. It has been a pleasure talking wrestling with you for the majority of 2014 and look forward to continuing to do it for 2015.
Thanks to Chris Walder and Josh Lopez for their help with the podcast. Also thanks to the folks at ROH that have provided us with lots of chances to talk with their talent this year. We wish them the best of luck in 2015. Also Adam Cole get well soon.
You can catch our podcast over on Podomatic and listen via I-Tunes from there if you are unable to listen to it here.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Last night's WWE Monday Night Raw had alot of gaining interest with the events coming out of the WWE TLC PPV. The road to the Royal Rumble began last night with special guest general manager Chris Jericho. Brock Lesnar made an impactful return to the WWE and John Cena took on Seth Rollins in a Steel Cage Match. Here's the five things I took away from last night's Monday Night Raw.
1.) Fox News Announce Team
You ask the regular wrestling fan, Who got you hooked into professional wrestling? My answer is always Jim Ross, I started falling in love with wrestling/sports-entertainment because the story telling aspect from the ring and also on the commentary. I know that Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler is trying their best to put on a entertaining performance every single week and it's alot to cover with the bevy amount of programming the WWE producer, but last night was another reoccurance of the JBL show where he talks over everybody and it's the constant back and forth barbing between him and Cole and then again Jerry tries his 1990's one liners which are outdated and once again you sit three hours of Raw and once again you don't get anything from the announce because they don't give you a reason to care about the stuff that goes on WWE programming. I go out of my way to find the positives in wrestling and now with being a wrestling analyst I'm more paying attention to what's in the ring and I decided to mute the commentary. Unless it's a in-ring promo I mute Raw because I don't know anybody that would want to listen to Bill O'Reilly, Mitt Romney and Wolf Blitzer for three hours I just throw my hands up in the air. I can be enjoying the show for what it is, but listening to announce team is like listening to a three hour news radio show and I honestly think it's the commentary team that drags these shows down.
2.) Roman Reigns Short and Sweet
Coming out of WWE TLC, I was really feeling that Roman Reigns was going to be treated like Batista and I'm glad that Reigns got the pop he got last night. Roman Reigns came down during a in-ring promo with Fandango and spear Fandango and then Big Show came out and what made Reigns stand out to me last night, was that Reigns was short and sweet to his point he warn Show "Don't come down here unless you want to get punch in the face" What happens? Show comes down to the ring and Reigns gives him the superman punch. I think we'll see Roman Reigns vs. Big Show program heading towards the Royal Rumble and WWE Fast Lane. WWE will throw as many "Big" performers towards Reigns direction to prepare him for Brock Lesnar. To avoid the same thing that happen with Batista last year, try to go out of your way to convince the fans that they're multiple people that can really win the Royal Rumble match and try to not make it so freaking obvious. Also what will help Reigns is that while he's trying to get his character down, have him cut as short of promos as he can possibly can plus keeping the bad ass persona. I liked what I've seen from Roman Reigns last night and we found out that Reigns will be in a match on SmackDown tonight we'll see what happens on Super SmackDown Live!
3.) Raw Is Jericho!
I enjoyed seeing Chris Jericho on Raw last night. I don't know why you need 23 minutes to set the hook for the two main events of the show, but the promo wasn't that bad until John Cena came out. Rollins may have a good point when he called Cena a coward especially with his "white meat" baby face persona and then he goes out there and question Rollins man hood and acts so tough when tells Rollins oh go to the corner let the big boys talk. WOW YOU'RE TOUGH BRO I'M SUPPOSED TO BE SCARED OF YOU LOL. I enjoyed the interaction Jericho had with Rusev and Lana because he was trying to point out the characteristics that we don't know about Rusev and Lana even though he was treating Lana like Stephanie McMahon. I kinda wish we do see a Ryback/Rusev program that intrugies me alot. I don't get how everybody was moaning about the bevy of stipulations in the Jericho/Heyman match and i'm sitting back during the show and i'm like why are making a big freaking deal over a stipulation when the match is barely even going to happen. Overall with the nice 70's rock references and old school Jericho promos I enjoyed seeing Jericho. I'm not sure if they're are going to do another Jericho/Fandango program, but hopefully Jericho is effective the next time he comes back to the WWE.
4.) The Beast is Here!
Well it was nice to see the WWE Champion brace us with his presence last night. I'm a fan of Brock Lesnar don't get me wrong, but he hasn't done jack crap for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I never wanted him to be the champion and if anything I wanted him to have a Rock esque title reign, but that's not where we are right now. I don't understand why we need Brock to become champion just because he defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Brock could have done the same thing with Cena and take him out and then at the Royal Rumble this year he would could have won the championship and then lose it to Reigns at WrestleMania 31. I liked the Brock interaction with Jerich it was short and sweet it was kind of predictable with the time slot of that match between Jericho/Heyman since it was during the half time of the Saints/Bears game. Brock also came out later that night and laid out John Cena during his Steel Cage Match with Seth Rollins and made a major statement heading towards their final battle at the Royal Rumble. Brock Lesnar will be back on Raw on December 29th in Washington D.C. It is what it is we'll see Lesnar one week and he won't be there the next week and I would be surprise if he shows up on any of the Raws toward WWE Fast Lane. Regardless it was nice to finally see Brock Lesnar and hopefully this expermient project comes to a end.
5.) Steel Cage Match
I personally enjoyed the Cage match between Rollins and Cena more than I enjoyed the Tables Match at WWE TLC. I find it interesting how Joey Mercury always finds a way to make himself busted open. I thought it was cool seeing Rollins winning the match after being made to look like a complete and other joke earlier in the show. The handshake between Rollins & Heyman was sure interesting maybe some foreshadowing just in case Brock doesn't head into WrestleMania as WWE World Heavyweight Champion. 25 minutes was the estimated time for this steel cage match and despite Cena's lack of in-ring skills these gimmicks matches does provide the outlet for Cena to hide his weaknesses. Overall good match I thought Rollins is gaining a lot of this as a heel due to Lesnar interference, but I think the WWE made the right choice with Rollins winning last night.
Overall I thought WWE Monday Night Raw was okay it wasn't earth shattering. We got a couple things confirmed for the Royal Rumble which I like. I like that they did hit everything they needed to hit with the fallout of the pay-per-view. I felt really bad for The New Day that Detroit was pretty bogus and for fans to say they want new characters and this and that and when somebody tries to do something different they shit all over it. I thought the commentary drag the show down for me. I always like Kane and now I like him more since he not only choke slammed the Bunny and Adam Rose he also tombstone The Bunny. I gave this Raw a C+ and I think that's fair we won't have balls to wall Raw's heading to the Royal Rumble especially since there's 5 weeks left, but we'll see what happens next. What's your thought's on last night's Monday Night Raw?
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR and my radio show @PWEShow
We're live with the Pro Wrestling Experience tomorrow from 10am-1pm CT on Chicagolandsportsradio.com talking about WWE TLC, NXT R Evolution, RAW + Royal Rumble. We'll take your phone calls 1-312-564-7375
Monday, December 15, 2014
Coming off the heels of last night's WWE TLC PPV on the WWE Network, WWE heads to Detroit, Michigan as the road to the Royal Rumble begins tonight. We have a new Intercontinental Champion, John Cena is still the number one contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Dean Ambrose looks to rebound from Bray Wyatt, Miz & Mizdow are still WWE Tag Team Champions and "The Powerhouse" Roman Reigns is back. Tonight show is going to be very interesting than your usual PPV fallout show. Chris Jericho will be the special guest general manager for Raw tonight and WWE World Heavyweight Champion "The Beast" Brock Lesnar makes his return to WWE for the first time since Night of Champions. It's going to be fun a night and here's five things to look forward to on tonight's Monday Night Raw.
1.) Chris Jericho as Raw General Manager
"Would you please SHUT THE HELL UP?!" Sorry I had to do that, tonight former WWE Champion and WWE Legend Chris Jericho comes back to the WWE to serve as special guest general manager for Monday Night Raw. It's always nice to Jericho on WWE programming, I wonder what he has instore for tonights show. Maybe Jericho sets up series of Royal Rumble Qualifying Matches I think that would be a great idea since were 6 weeks away from the Royal Rumble PPV. I think we may see Jericho start the show, but here's the thing I think we may see Seth Rollins come out and complain about losing to John Cena and maybe Rollins challenges Jericho to a match. I know it's out there, but I wouldn't be suprised if we saw Rollins vs. Jericho and then after the match Rollins + J&J Security attack Jericho and try to do the triple powerbomb and cue in Randy Orton's music, Orton returns and we start the Rollins/Orton program.
2.) Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena III
After a very chaotic Tables Match at TLC, John Cena will officially head towards the Royal Rumble to take on the Beast Brock Lesnar for his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. I'm sure we'll hear a in-ring promo from Cena tonight and who knows maybe Cena will take on The Big Show again tonight and then after the match Brock Lesnar comes out and gives Big Show a F5 as a message to Cena. Or we can see Brock and Paul Heyman come out to the ring and have a face to face in-ring promo to sell the PPV which I don't think it's a bad thing. Especially when it comes to aftermath of PPV's you have to sell your audience as to why we have to wait six weeks for this next event. Either options works well for me and I'm actually looking forward the final battle between Brock and John Cena. I saw John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2012 live in person and I've loved all the other matches they partcipated in since that match, so this Royal Rumble match will be very intruging to yours truly because I'm not sure if Brock will be heading towards WrestleMania 31 as WWE World Heavyweight Champion
3.) Ambrose/Wyatt Fallout
I loved the TLC match between Ambrose and Wyatt last night, but the finish to that match left me scratching my head because I don't know where these two guys go next. That's the big million dollar question we as fans have to pay attention to aside from the part timers because you know everbody says that the WWE only focuses on John Cena, but Dean Ambrose just main evented two out of the last three PPV's and WWE has also took their time to build stars like Ryback, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt. You ask yourself out of all the part timers that we'll see at WrestleMania this year where do these guys fit into the card? I think Ambrose will come out with a full head of steam and anger and will take on Luke Harper on Raw tonight. If they want to continue this feud we can see maybe a Last Man Standing Match between Wyatt and Ambrose at the Royal Rumble. I think out of everything that came out of last night's TLC PPV this Wyatt/Ambrose feud is the only feud I still had questions about. We'll see what happens tonight.
4.) TLC Mid-Card Fallout + Royal Rumble Build
I mention earlier in this piece that I would like to see a series of Royal Rumble Qualifying Matches. As far as the WWE Divas Championship feud between AJ Lee and Nikki Bella is concern, I think that we'll see AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella again due to the hair spraying incident that occured last night. As far as Dolph Ziggler/Luke Harper is concern I think both men will be in the Royal Rumble match. I see a rematch coming between Miz & Mizdow vs. The Usos at the Royal Rumble usually at the Royal Rumble the WWE always wants at least one Tag Team Title match on the show and with a rowdy Philadelphia crowd I think that would be a great opportunity to debut The Ascension that night. I think Rusev and Swagger will be in the Rumble match as well, we may see this match happen tonight in case they got nothing for Rusev tonight. Ryback/Kane enter them into the Rumble Match along with Big Show and Erick Rowan. We may see The New Day vs. Gold & Stardust again tonight on Raw. I'm always concern for mid-card guys during this time of the year, but I'll keep hope that some of these guys do get spotlight on the road to WrestleMania.
5.) Roman Reigns Return
"The Powerhouse" Roman Reigns is back. Here's the thing I'm a Reigns fan and coming out of the CM Punk Podcast and this Superstar of the Year fiasco, I really feel that this guy is going to be treated just like Batista last year and it's pisses me off to be honest with you. Reigns is a young guy he's not in the position Batista was in last year, but here's the thing whether you or I agree that Reigns deserves to be in the main event of WrestleMania is subjective. I want to hear from Reigns tonight and he needs to hit the ball out of the ballpark tonight because his promo last night at WWE TLC was absolutely attrocious. Do we see Roman Reigns vs. Big Show on the road to WrestleMania since the WWE is prepairing Reings for Brock Lesnar? I think we may see Roman Reigns vs. Kane again tonight and it is what it is there's nothing we can do about it, Daniel Bryan is not here and we're on the road to beginning of the Roman Empire. Believe That!
That's 5 things to expect on tonight's WWE Monday Night Raw. Tell me what you think? What would you guys like to see happen on Raw tonight? Follow me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR for live coverage of Raw and check out my radio show "The Pro Wrestling Experience" every Wednesday from 10am-1pm CT on Chicagolandsportsradio.com
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Let’s face fact TLC has a lot to live up to after the NXT special earlier this week. A similar feeling was in the air prior to the Payback event earlier in the year. It was said at that time that the main roster felt insulted and challenged that people though the NXT crew could put on a better show than they could. Payback turned out to be one of the better events of 2014 that was headlined by a wild match with The Shield vs. Evolution. This time around, you wonder if the roster will step up again. Most of the roster seems fairly insulted by Vince McMahon’s comments on the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast. Most are aware of his comments about this generation being afraid to fail and that no one was stepping up and grabbing that brass ring. Something even Triple H had fun with after the NXT event saying he was all out of brass rings.
This all being said this card does the roster no favors on putting on a quality show. The two top matches see Bray Wyatt going against Dean Ambrose in a TLC match, which should be good. Bray’s best matches have been in situations like this where you throw the rulebook out the window. It could be the main event but more likely, it will be Seth Rollins taking on John Cena in a tables match. If John loses, he is no longer the number one contender. Brock Lesnar is scheduled to return on Raw tomorrow and likely will start to set up Lesnar vs. Cena III for the Royal Rumble. It will be the third WWE Championship match between the two in the last 12 months.
Where this card suffers are matches underneath the two main event caliber matches. Kane vs. Ryback in a steel chairs match could and likely will be a train wreck. Eric Rowan in his first real singles feud takes on the Big Show in a stairs match. This also could stink out the joint. Dolph Ziggler against Luke Harper is the one match that could steal the show. Their ladder match for the I-C title in Dolph’s hometown should be quite the spectacle. Ziggler though after being booked strong at Survivor Series has found his way quickly back to the mid-card. WWE also has a terrible history of allowing the hometown hero to go over in matches. This also could be the last match of A.J Lee’s WWE career. Lots of evidence to suggest this including A.J on commentary slipping intentionally or unintentionally that Cole and JBL would miss her when she is gone. She tried to cover-up by saying after she was off commentary for the match they were calling, but it sure didn’t seem like that is what she meant.
So... what are the five things will expect coming out of this TLC event.
1. John Cena confirms himself as the number one contender for a returning Brock Lesnar on Monday. Seth Rollins is very good but I can’t see him getting a win in a high profile match over Cena. I also can’t see him cashing in on Brock Lesnar or attempting to on Raw the next night as been rumored for Monday. In the end, the WWE has proven repeatedly they only truly have faith in John Cena. Vince McMahon made the claim he is only guy in the last decade to grab the brass ring. You know those things C.M Punk called imaginary in his famous pipe bomb promo.
2. Good bye A.J Lee we will miss you. It seems pretty clear this time that A.J Lee is going to fail in her attempt to become a 4-time Divas Champion. It seems clear she in not long to remain in this company from a bunch of her recent on air comments when you read between the lines. The scariest thing of all is that leaves the Diva’s division in the hands of Nikki Bella. May the Lord help us all that like women’s wrestling with that being the case.
3. Dolph Ziggler goes back to the mid-card. I firmly believe that in terms of Dolph Ziggler pushes it has become a situation that is like that of the story of Lucy and Charlie Brown. The WWE is Lucy holding that football and we are Charlie Brown looking to kick that football. We foolishly believe she will not pull away that football this time. Even though she has for years now pulled that football away. I have lost faith in the WWE having faith in Dolph Ziggler to be anything of significance. Even in winning the I-C title that would put him back to where he was at prior to Survivor Series.
4. Roman Reigns is not on this card. Still will the booking of this card set him up to return with a bang? WWE logic would be to hold everyone else back so Roman can make his big run to a title match with Brock at Wrestemania 31. That is kind of a cynical way to look at things but honestly in the back of your head it kind of makes sense with how the WWE thinks.
5. Will Punk Fans be heard in Cleveland? WWE since the C.M Punk news have avoided traditionally smart crowds to this point. When you consider A.J Lee might be in her last match and Ryback could be in a stinker of a match will this lead to C.M Punk chants and silly stuff in Cleveland. Does Cleveland even care with Johnny Manzel making his debut as starter for the Browns? Will see what happens but this could be one of those nights where the crowd might inject itself into the show.
I can’t imagine this show has a snowball’s chance in hell of topping NXT R-Evolution. I just don’t see it as TLC traditional can lead to just some bad matches due to the restrictions of so many matches having silly unnecessary gimmicks. Raw actually looks to be the more interesting three hours of viewing with Brock and Roman Reigns both scheduled to appear on the show. Get use to seeing a lot of Roman Reigns he even made an appearance on the NXT show to do an interview that had little to do with the event itself.
TLC won’t be worth your 9.99 but NXT already gave you your value earlier in the week.
It appears that Adam Cole was injured in his match with Jay Briscoe. He has a damaged shoulder and will need surgery. He announced this at the PWG event over the weekend that was ironically named after him with the title Black COLE Sun. Cole has taped a podcast with Jim Ross that may shed more light on the situation to air in January. Cole’s contract with Ring of Honor was about to expire in December based on what he had said months ago on the Sam Roberts show. What Cole’s status is right now is not as much of an issue as his health. Rumors had been flying around for months that he would be the next independent star to make the jump to NXT. Where his good friend Kevin Steen just debuted this past week with one of the best debut’s wrestling has seen in quite some time.
Cole thanked the fans at PWG and gave this encouraging tweet for all his fans.
I'll be back better than ever. I can promise you that. #AdamColeBayBay
— Adam Cole (@AdamColePro) December 13, 2014
We have had Adam here on Condo on the Moon on two different occasions and he is one of the nicest people I have come across. We wish Adam nothing but the best and hope to see him back in a ring somewhere sooner rather than later. No time line has been given for his recovery but ROH recently released their poster for their next Live Pay-Per-View and Adam was noticeably absent from it. Former WWE Star Alberto Del Rio was on it as he is set to join ROH for several dates leading up too and including the pay-per-view in March in Las Vegas.
Losing Adam to injury or the WWE was going to be a big blow for ROH as he headlined both their live pay-per-views in losing efforts for ROH Championship. It would appear he would not be keeping that streak alive in March.
We offer all the best, to one of the best wrestlers and people in the business today. His future is still very bright and this we hope will just be a minor set back in his career path.
Friday, December 12, 2014
Thanks to Steve and the folks at Ring of Honor we wish them nothing but success in 2015.It has been a busy time in wrestling and it was really a thrill to watch Kevin Steen make his debut in WWE and NXT. It was a fun night and one I won't soon forget.
If you are unable to listen via the site from your device head over to Podomatic where you can listen there or via I-Tunes.
for all the latest on the blog and podcast give us a follow @Condoonthemoon
Thursday, December 11, 2014
While A.J Lee’s departure from the company potentially is sad and a big loss for fans of women that can actual have decent feuds and matched it seemed inevitable to happen. When you consider the story her husband told to the public it is hard to imagine how she has lasted this long in that company. She was in a terrible position you have to figure being stuck between her employer and her husband that left the company for in his and likely her mind just cause. I think personally, when the day comes that A.J leaves that her story is the one I am most interested to hear in wrestling right now. It has to be an incredibly difficult place for her to be.
Nikki Bella made some post on instagram almost whining and complaining at the fact fans seems to like A.J more than her. In addition, saying that A.J was mean and difficult and a few other things. She kept it PG though not saying the B-Word, which was perfectly acceptable for her sister Brie in the feud with Stephanie. In a perfect world the feud that could have made the Diva’s division more relevant than it ever has been would have been Stephanie vs. A.J Lee. I made no secret of my desire to see this match at Wrestlemania 31. In light of the Punk interview, I knew that dream was as good as dead. It would have been the most in-depth feud in WWE history with the back-story of Stephanie hating A.J’s husband legitimately. Sadly, when you hear all that was involved it would have been a near impossible match to have happen.
It would have been a dream match for A.J at one time who has admitted her love for Stephanie in the past and not even being able to talk to her when she first arrived in the WWE. That was a longtime ago though and you have to figure given how their respective husbands have a legitimate dislike to hate for one another that has to have trickled down and influenced their relationship. It only makes logical sense for that to happen.
People seem more concerned with people chanting C.M Punk at the sight of A.J Lee on WWE programming. In addition concerned with when she actually would walk out the door than what she was actually doing in the show. Her rivalry with Paige likely suffered from all that was going on around it. It is a shame we likely never see her have matches with the likes of Charlotte or Bayley in NXT. It feels like the end of the story though for A.J Lee with the WWE.
Her appearing with Punk at his announcement of joining the UFC seemed like a clear sign that she likely isn’t long for sticking around in the WWE. Punk did say that she still works there in his presser for the UFC but you get the impression it won’t be for long. Punk has been doing a serious media blitz after the UFC announcement. He was on Fox Sports One last night and is scheduled to be at ESPN soon as well. He recently was interviewed in Rolling Stone. In every interview, he is asked about if he would ever return to WWE and the answer is a simple never.
I feel like the Punk situation has robbed us of a few good years of A.J Lee’s career and a match that would have been truly epic with Stephanie McMahon. This for A.J at one time would have been living out a fantasy for her by all accounts of her feelings about Stephanie.
I understand the concept of family first though and C.M Punk is A.J’s husband and her family. WWE claims to be a family but that family has become very corporate in the last decade. It is no longer the McMahon family wrestling business, it is a sports entertainment publicly traded company and that is what Vince McMahon has made it.
It rather makes me sick that the last image of A.J Lee in the WWE will likely be her being pinned by Nikki Bella. A.J earned her place where many will question if Nikki has really earned her spot. Talent may not be sexually transmitted but a spot on the card when you date the golden boy of the WWE likely is. It could be worse I suppose she could lose to Brie who makes her sister look like she has some talent in comparison.
Still it is not the fairy tale finish that another great diva Trish Stratus had. She ended her WWE career winning the WWE Women’s Championship on her last night in the company as an active full-time competitor. A.J Lee still can lay claim to the longest reign as Diva’s Champion. There is some irony that she never fit that Diva’s mold.
It maybe good-bye to A.J Lee and you hope and pray that people like Paige Charlotte and others can save this division from becoming a total joke moving forward.
So... thanks for making crazy cool A.J Lee.
1.) NXT Tag Team Championship Match
The Lucha Dragons (c) vs. The Vaudevillans
Josh: Out of all the great matches that we'll see tonight I wouldn't be surprised if this match stoled the show and it should since it's for the NXT Tag Team Championship. I enjoy the wrestling style of The Lucha Dragons and at the same time I love the team of The Vaudevillans. I think this will be a good back and forth match, but at the end of the day I think the title of reign of The Lucha Dragons will come to an end tonight. I'm rolling with the Vaudevillans
James: Dragons just won the belts recently and the NXT crowd loves them. They do like the Vaudevillans too. Still give me the guys in the masks to retain.
2.) WWE NXT Women's Championship Match
Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks w/Becky Lynch
Josh: I've been personally looking forward to this match for a long time. Sasha and Charlotte have split up from their partnership for about 5-6 months now and this match has brewing to happen ever since Charlotte won the NXT Championship at NXT Takeover over Natalya. Despite her losing on Raw this week, Charlotte is one of most skilled technical female performers I've ever seen. Not only is she beautiful, but she's unique in her own way. Sasha Banks another beautiful and talented performer who naturally comes off as a heel and I like the work she's been doing over the last couple of months. I'm going with Sasha Banks because I think it's her time and also the fact that Charlotte may be going up to the main roster very soon.
James: Many feel Charlotte will lose this match as she is going to be heading to main roster soon. I think she will retain and lose the belt as part of the T.V taping after the special event. Her lose on Raw adds to my belief she needs to win and retain her championship.
3.) Finn Balor & Hideo Itami vs. The Ascension
Josh: This has the makings to being a match of the year candidate and plus now we finally get to see Balor and Itami perform without being interrupted by commercials I'm going with Hideo & Finn, because they’re both guys I’ve been watching for a very long time. I know what they’re capable of. I wouldn’t want to be The Ascension. They’ve just been needling them, like two tigers in a cage. That’s not a team I’d want to mess with. Plus I think the Ascension will be heading up to the main roster to go after the WWE Tag Team Championships. I seriously can't wait to see this match and just one of those matches that you sit back and it reminds you of why you enjoy watching wrestling
James: The Ascension is on the move to the main roster. Balor and Itami are still being built for the WWE audience that doesn't know them. It equals a win for the former Prince Devitt and Kenta.
Kevin Owens Debut:
Josh: I'll keep this short and sweet, I'm so happy for Kevin Owens and he's going to make a big impact in the WWE in my opinion. You're going to have alot of sour grape ring of honor fans that are going to nit pick every single thing the WWE does with him, but I'll tell you this I think Kevin is the perfect guy for the WWE environment and if you give it time and see how his character evolves then this is going to be a fun experience. I don't think we'll see Kevin cost Zayn the title and that leads to the WWE version of Ladder of Wars, I think Kevin will come out cut a promo about who he is and will challenge somebody to a fight
James: Kevin Steen has transformed into Kevin Owens. Both guys are pretty much the same and Kevin will no doubt in my mind cost his long-time friend Sami Zayn the NXT Championship. If you have never seen Steen vs El Generico Ladder War you have missed out. WWE is aware of the history and made new fans to Owens aware of it so if WWE does not pair these two they have missed the boat.
4.) WWE NXT Championship Match
Adrian Neville (c) vs. Sami Zayn
Josh: I know alot of people may have seen this match already before a WWE televised taping, but now we're in a different environment, I've been loving the story telling aspect of this feud and Sami is doing some of the best work of his career right now. Neville is on top of his game and don't count him out, Neville deserves as much as praise as any NXT Superstar out there. I think this match may have the opportunity to surpass the Zayn vs. Cesaro matches, but at the end of the day I think we'll see Zayn finally win the NXT Championship.
James: Based on my Steen Debut thoughts Neville wins and continues to be a tweener that is heading to the heel side of the equation. Owens vs Zayn is on and I suggest you get your popcorn ready for this one.
This should be a fun night maybe we see some appearances from Enzo & Cass, Baron Corbin, Bull Dempsey and this may be the best NXT show of the year.
Speaking of Kevin Owens who will be debuting tonight, one of his mentors and best friends Steve Corino the color commentator from Ring of Honor wrestling will be on the podcast tomorrow with James and Chris Walder.
Speaking of Kevin Owens who will be debuting tonight, one of his mentors and best friends Steve Corino the color commentator from Ring of Honor wrestling will be on the podcast tomorrow with James and Chris Walder.
As I'm typing this piece from my house in the greatest wrestling city in the world Chicago. I'm at a crossroad with my passion and love for professional wrestling. Now I know what you're thinking, "Oh here we go again here's another fan who hostes a pro wrestling talk show and talks about losing his passion because the terrible product of the WWE", but that can be the furthest thing from the truth. I'm at a crossroad with my passion for wrestling because in today's era of wrestling I can't enjoy wrestling anymore without somebody going out of their way to tell me that I'm a WWE defender or this or that. To be brtutally honest with you, I personally feel that I'm the only true wrestling fan out there. For those who think I just watch WWE programming each week and I think it's the greatest on the earth, well you obviously don't know who I am.
Over the last couple weeks I've seen more negativity towards the world of professional wrestling than I've ever seen in my entire life and it truly breaks my heart. When it comes to wrestling and goes hand and hand with because if there's a wrestling ring no matter what company supplys that ring I'll support it and I will be it's bigger supporter because I'm a massive wrestling fan and I'm not ashamed of it. I don't associate myself with the internet wrestling community and their mindset that everything has to be like it was during the Attitude Era. I'm sorry I'm honest I'm not going to change who I am for a certain type of fanbase that doesn't give this generation of wrestling a chance. To be honest with you I'm going to say alot of stuff in this piece and it may offend you, but the truth hurts. Tell me your answer to this question. Why do we still watch professional wrestling?
One thing that totally irks me off with today's wrestling fanbase is the idea that you can bring back a era. Don't tell me that you never said that because you're just lying to yourself. I mention that I started watching wrestling during in the Attitude Era which may be the greatest era of professional wrestling. What's the one constant complaint about WWE programming? Is it because it's PG? Is it because is not TV 14? Is it because all the guys in this picture above can't be part of the active roster? I don't know what it is, but there's this hysteria that if WWE goes back to the Attitude Era ALL THE PROBLES ARE FIX! YOU'RE WRONG! How many times during a Monday Night Raw and you go on social media and you see people talk about how WWE is complacent and they don't put any effort into their shows and mind you I do agree with some of the complaints that are associated with this era of the WWE. I understand the last three months of television screams going through the motions, but at the same time we as fans as failing to realize that one second were talking about the WWE never giving young guys a chance where at Hell in a Cell, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose main evented a PPV and the month after that you see Dolph Ziggler winning probably the biggest in his career and you guys are saying that they don't give young guys a chance? You've have got to be kidding me. And some of the fans expectations for these guys that come up from NXT and are expected to be in the WWE title picture a month after being brought up is absolutely hysterical. If you're going out of your way every single Monday night on social media bitching and moaning about wanting change I DON'T WANT TO HEAR ANYTHING ABOUT THE ATTITUDE ERA! It's was an era for reason, it was 16 years ago MOVE ON GET OVER IT! You want to see the Attitude Era go on the WWE Network and watch the Monday Night War Show.
Tonight is the 4th WWE NXT special on the WWE Network dub WWE NXT Takeover R Evolution. Tonight's show is showcasing the best young performers in the WWE developmental system. When people talk about change and they want the WWE product to evolve you should look at NXT as what they could and should be when WWE programming is concern. I'll tell you this there's a potential that the major stars on this special on the Network will be on the main roster at the end of next year or after WrestleMania 32. You have outstanding talents down there in the performance center like Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, The Ascension, Hideo Itami, Finn Balor, The Vaudevillans, Charlotte, Sasha Banks and the Kevin Owens. These 11 men and women plus a bevy of upcoming talents in the developmental system are the talents you should be supporting and clamoring for. I don't know how going back to the Attitude Era or using the same formula that happen in the NWA or Mid-South lets todays product evolve. Watching tonight's WWE NXT Takeover R Evolution will give us as fans a little taste as to what the future of the WWE will be and I honestly believe that.
I think the most prevalent thing that I notice about today's wrestling fanbase is the word hypocrpisy. I'm going to give you alot of examples of hypocrpisy in alot of the things the wrestling fanbase wants. We have already the obvious complaint about wanting the WWE product to get better and evolve, but their resolution is reverting to the past and not looking at the big picture because going to an era that happen 15-20 years ago is the way to fix a sports entertainment show. Secondly is the part-time discussion because during WrestleMania season you usually see the returns of Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Triple H etc and this leads to the complaint of "Why are these part timers back?" "Why bring back the part-timers when you can focus on the main roster talents?" Well heading into WrestleMania 31 this year the four main events everybody is predicting to see involves part-timers plus this new rumor coming about The Undertaker taking on Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 31. The third example i'm going to use here is going to going to upset alot of people and this comes from the biggest CM Punk fan in the world, but here we go "OH MY GOD NXT IS AWESOME, IT'S SO MUCH BETTER THAN RAW, WHY CAN'T TRIPLE H RUN THE SHOW?" Day after CM Punk podcast comes out "How does it feel for being the reason for CM Punk not being part of the WWE you egotistical manaic" You go and praise Triple H for the great work he does in NXT, but you go out of your way and agree with every single thing that CM Punk said in that podcast and it's a complete 180 on Triple H. Maybe some of the things Punk said about Triple H may be true, but I don't understand how you can tell Triple H to go screw himself and that at the same time give him so much glowing praise for tonight's NXT Takeover R Evolution show. Hypocrites make up your mind people what do you want?
If you're going to let the dirtsheets, social media, or a wrestling podcast/radio show effect the way you view professional wrestling, are you a real fan? Make up your own mind, like whatever you want to watch if you want to be a WWE fan own up to it and don't be embarrass about it. Now if you're just watching the WWE to crap on it and judge it stop watching it because you're not getting anything out of it, but giving the WWE another rating or Network subscription. It's the simple truth and plus it goes with the whole entire point of this article. I watch wrestling because I'm a wrestling fan and even through the good and bad times I always supported all wrestling companies because I'm a true and loyal fan. I also think if you watch Raw each week and you want to bang your head against the wall, and you hate the WWE so much stop watching it. That doesn't mean your not a wrestling fan if you don't like the WWE move on from it don't mention on social media find a new company to support like Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground, Global Force Wrestling, or you local independent shows there's other ways to enjoy wrestling. You don't have to be a WWE fan, but at the same time if you're not going to be a WWE fan and your still watching the show and you go on social media making threats that you'll stop watching the product while already admitting that you hate the WWE you're a hypocrite sorry but it's the truth. Do we watch wrestling to be angry? Do we watch wrestling to nip pick it? Do we watch wrestling for what it is? Why do we still watch professional wrestling if it's so bad? That's the question I have for all of you great folks.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
On the eve of Kevin Owens in the WWE is about as exciting for Kevin Steen fans as Christmas Eve. While the WWE has been taking a deserved butt whipping about a variety of topics of late Kevin Steen’s build up to his debut is not one of them. This has been perhaps one of the best build-ups to the arrival of a NXT wrestler in the short history of the promotion. Part of why that is comes from who Kevin Steen is as a person and a performer.
I heard all the rumors and this past May decided that I owed it to myself to go see Kevin Steen live in both Toronto at ROH’s Global Wars and at an independent show for Alpha-1 Wrestling. I figured this would be the last real chance I would have to go meet a guy that I had enjoyed for many years prior in ROH and PWG. Meeting people you admire is always a big risk you take. Often they don’t live up to the overblown expectations you have of them. Kevin was not one of those experiences. He is a very nice, humble and genuine person. I had a brief interaction with him at the Ring of Honor show. He was kind, generous with his time, and thankful of the fact I thought so much of him. In reality, it was like a two-minute exchange but it made me feel good about supporting this guy. On the next day in Hamilton, I got to have a more lengthy conversation in a smaller setting. He was just as kind with his time and interaction with me. I found myself watching him interact with everyone that day. He was just as gracious with everyone else so it wasn’t anything unique to me. The time he would take with children was the most touching. He himself has a son and recently welcomed a daughter into his family just prior to coming to WWE.
In fact, his son is named after the late Owen Hart and the reason behind his WWE name of Kevin Owens. Steen’s love of his family has always been at the core of his desire to succeed at what he loves being pro wrestling.
The promos he made leading up to his debut illustrate just how much this moment means to him. He summed it up perfectly in saying that 14 years of his wrestling career have been for this moment. He has detailed for people who are not familiar with him how he has been involved with various NXT and WWE stars over the years.
I have until this point described Kevin as this amazing family man that loves wrestling and his fans. Which he is but once he hits that ring he is a wild crazy man that does things for a man of his body type seem impossible. He is never going to win a bodybuilding contest even though he seems to be in great shape for him after being at the performance center since the end of the summer. He is a mad man that inspired his fans to chant Kill Steen Kill. He has a toned down version of Fight Steen Fight and I guess will now be Fight Kevin Fight or Kill Kevin Kill for the hardcore fans.
I thought it was classy of his former company ROH to recognize his departure in the opening to Final Battle this past Sunday. Steve Corino even giving a shout out as well to “Kevin in Orlando” watching the show which knowing Kevin he most definitely was. Kevin is now looking towards his first battle as a part of WWE. Many feel he will some how be involved with his former tag partner and rival Sami Zayn who teamed with Kevin as El Generico for years. They put on a match in ROH called Ladder War that will rival any WWE TLC match you care to compare it too. It makes a lot of sense to make this happen just prior to Zayn likely heading to the main roster.
Court Bauer a former WWE Writer and consultant for ROH currently in talking about Steen called him a mix between Canada’s Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mike Awesome. Steen has just a great ability to connect with people that is something that you just don’t learn at NXT or anywhere. You just have it or you don’t and he has it in large amounts.
Mike Bennett a current ROH wrestler in an interview we did with him said that if Kevin is not a huge success in the WWE it will not be his fault it will be the WWE’s. So far, the WWE and Kevin have worked together and not really changed much about him and created a great platform to introduce him to a much larger WWE Universe.
If you have never seen Kevin Steen, you are in for a treat. If you have, it appears Kevin Owens will likely not be some great departure from the wrestler you have come to love and enjoy over the years. I firmly believe Kevin Steen will be a success and echo what Michael Bennett said that if he isn’t the WWE will have dropped the ball some how. I have faith though based on the success of Sami Zayn that Kevin will be able to thrive in the WWE system and given the opportunities to do so.
Christmas has come early for Kevin Steen fans on 12/11/14. We are on the Eve of Owens and I can’t wait.
The only take away from Monday Night Raw was the simple fact that WWE is all in on Roman Reigns for better or worse it would appear. Any time the WWE has something with fan voting eyebrows will raise and results will be questioned. After all this is pre-determined entertainment are we suppose to believe their polls are on the level? When you look at the Slammy’s you can make the argument that Roman Reigns was not legitimately the Superstar of the year through some fan vote. The basis to make such a claim can be done simply based on crowd reaction. Compare him to the reaction that Dean Ambrose gets or a few other superstars that draw a larger reaction. In defense of legitimacy A.J Lee, winning Diva of the Year is clearly not an outcome the WWE wanted to happen. After all her husband has been in the news and said some terrible things about the company you might have heard. He also on Saturday joined the UFC with A.J Lee present at the show he made the announcement.
Regardless of polls and WWE altering opinions and trying to get the audience to buy what they are selling, Roman Reigns has been being sold as a big deal from the beginning. If anyone questioned his status as the WWE’s next Golden Boy, to be the eventual replacement to John Cena that fact would be confirmed by C.M Punk. In his famous interview, Punk talked about The Shield being his idea and him hand picking the guys that made up the group. He wanted his long-term rival on the independents Chris Hero as the third member. The WWE countered with Roman Reigns and Punk would agree feeling it wasn’t something worth fighting about. He also told the story of how people kept coming up to him before his match at TLC last year making sure that Punk was going to have Roman Reigns look strong even though he was winning the match.
The worst kept secret in wrestling has been that Roman Reigns is expected to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 and win the WWE Heavyweight Championship. That plan hit a major iceberg Reigns had emergency surgery to repair a damaged hernia. He is on the verge of returning and this was his first live appearance on Raw since the injury. The fact he was named Superstar of the year is proof of one thing or another depending on your point of view. If you believe the WWE alters these results it is proof that they are back on the major push to make Reigns the huge draw for Wrestlemania 31. If you believe the voting was legitimate, this might confirm the WWE is correct in pushing Reigns and building him to be the Cena successor.
Once it became obvious to the majority of fans that Reigns was this chosen one of sorts it was followed with critics. People questioning the in-ring work of Reigns that he had only a few moves and lacked the stamina to have long matches. They have also questioned his ability to talk on a microphone. This was something that was well hidden in his time with The Shield as Ambrose and Rollins have shown to be above average on the microphone.
Still it is hard to deny that Roman has this “It” quality of coming off as cool. Women clearly are attracted to him for his obvious looks. Guys still find him as that cool guy that could win a fight in a bar. In terms of the kids, they see him as this larger than life super hero like figure. That is the basic formula for a top babyface in wrestling for decades. It is hard to deny this and that he is the typical type of guy that Vince McMahon likes to have as a top star. Add in the fact he is related to The Rock it doesn’t hurt matters. He doesn’t have the same charisma or speaking skills that the Rock has though. Outside of wrestling in an interview setting, he can be a very engaging guy to talk with. Go seek out interviews he did with Sam Roberts and others as proof of that.
In the end, Reigns might be being rushed to the position that he eventually would have gotten too. The thing is will rushing him to that point create a backlash that will be hard to overcome. C.M Punk positioning him as this chosen one by the WWE management and Vince and Triple H doesn’t help either. He just confirmed what was obvious from the very beginning of The Shield. While all of The Shield has been protected very well from the start Reigns was treated on just another level. He was the mostly silent muscle of one of the best factions in wrestling in the last 5 years if not longer.
The one thing that is clear regardless of what you think about the various issues is that the WWE machine is fully behind Roman Reigns and the plan that most have thought for 6-9 months about Wrestlemania 31 will still likely happen. The fact it is predictable is not bad but the fact fans might not be ready for it is bad. Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Title was very obvious but still became a great moment. Roman Reigns is not in the same spot though as he is not anyone’s underdog even when you match him against Brock Lesnar.
WWE doesn’t need to create another polarizing top babyface as they have in John Cena. It is not a good move for an audience that has had a decade of Cena being shoved down their throat for the most part of that decade. I will defend the WWE on one thing they have been careful to keep Reigns somewhat distant from John Cena. It is something that if Reigns is to have any chance at success needs to happen. Sorry to break it to Dolph Ziggler fans being attached to Cena is a career killer not a career maker. Cena has a hard enough time getting over the people he faces let alone the people that are positioned as his buddies.
WWE is all in on Roman Reign…..Believe That!
Monday, December 8, 2014
It's the go-home show to the 6th annual WWE TLC PPV, and tonight it's the 13th annual Slammy Awards Show. WWE looks to move the needle heading towards 2015 and some of these young and upcoming talents are trying to make a name for themselves as WrestleMania season is coming ahead. Now, if you have been living under the rock, Condo on the Moon has been the most accurate coverage of professional wrestling. If you looked at last week's WWE Monday Night Raw Preview? I Josh Lopez basically gave you a virtual outlook on what was going to happen on last week's Raw and basically everything I said in that article happen. Tonight may be a different story, but I think I got a good jist of what's going to happen tonight. I've rewatched Raw twice this week plus SmackDown, so I did alot of research. Usually with these type of awards show you usually don't see heavy amounts of wrestling which also usually doesn't happen at go-home shows for PPV'S. Here's five things to look forward to for tonights Monday Night Raw.
1.) Seth Green Hosts The 2014 Slammy Awards
I know there's alot of people who don't care for Seth Green, I actually didn't have a problem with him the last time he hosted Raw. We'll probably see some backstage segments with Seth and possibly a in-ring promo segment. As far as the Slammys it's self, I would like to predict some of the winners for the following categories in this year's Slammy Awards. Now mind you this is not my personal prefence this is just using my knowledge of the WWE.
Match of the Year: Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batistia~ WrestleMania 30
Superstar of the Year: Brock Lesnar
WWE Diva of the Year: AJ Lee
LOL Moment of the Year: Damien Mizdow
Extreme Moment of the Year: Seth Rollins Curb Stomp
Suprise Return of the Year: Hulk Hogan
"This is Awesome" Moment of the Year: Occupy Raw
The OMG Shocking Moment of the Year: Brock Lesnar ends The Streak~ WrestleMania 30
2.) Mid-Card Title Matches for WWE TLC
Coming into this week's Raw we know that at TLC, The Miz & Mizdow will defend their WWE Tag Team Championships against The Usos and Luke Harper will defend his Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler in a Ladder Match. Tonight we'll probably see the announcements of AJ Lee getting her title rematch against Nikki Bella with a added stipulation that if AJ Lee loses, she will leave the WWE. I think we'll probably get the announcement for Rusev vs. Swagger for the United States Championship. I think we may see Swagger taking on Cesaro to make a personal statement to Rusev, while Rusev and Lana will cut a promo from the stage. I think we'll see AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella tonight with Nikki Bella on commentary. I want to hear a promo between both Nikki and AJ. If this is really AJ's last WWE appearance I want it to mean something even if Nikki doesn't talk let AJ talk gives us a reason to care about this match. Give us a reason to care about Nikki Bella as a "Heel" Divas Champion.
3.) Bray Wyatt/Dean Ambrose Program
I think we'll see Bray Wyatt cut a backstage promo or be in a match with R-Truth or Sin Cara. I think we'll see Dean Ambrose take on someone like Curtis Axel or Rusev. I want more from this feud, because this match is the match care about when the subject WWE TLC 2014 comes up. I want to hear more from Dean, the unpredictable cat vs. the master minipulator. Give me a in-ring promo segment tonight. I'm 50/50 on who i'm rooting for in this match. I think the obvious pick would be Dean Ambrose, but where they do Dean and Bray go after TLC?
4.) Team Authority vs. Team Cena Fallout
Coming out of the Team Authority vs. Team Cena match from Survivor Series, it was pretty obvious that the members from both teams would be in seperate matches. Ryback will be taking on Kane in a Chairs Match, Erick Rowan "Big Red" will be taking on the Big Show in a Stairs Match whatever that is. I'm happy for all four of these guys in these matches. You want to know why? Because they're following standard procedures when it comes to heel vs. babyfaces storylines. Both Kane and Big Show have been playing their heel roles perfectly because they're acting like a heel, people you don't like them they don't care. I think Ryback can gain alot from this match with Kane, he's a season veteran hell Kane is a legend in my eyes and for Ryback to pickup his first singles PPV victory over a legend like Kane can only get Ryback on the right track. As for Rowan is concern he's in the same situation I mean everybody thought that Rowan was the weak link of the Wyatt Family now people care for him, out of the 100 heel turns we've seen from Big Show I'm enjoying this one because he's just being a giant heel and a freaking crybaby every single show. Bro I don't know what a Stairs Match is, but hell man there's WAY more hardcore gimmicky matches than we have from last years' TLC PPV. I'm all for it. I think tonight we'll see Erick Rowan & Ryback vs. Kane & Big Show.
5.) John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
They need to hit the ball out of the ball park with this match because for me that opening in-ring promo between John Cena and Seth Rollins was not only force, but boring. Why is this match happening? We got the added stipulation that if Cena loses he'll no longer be the number one contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, what I think can make things interesting is that if Cena adds a stipulation where if he loses The Authority gets their power back. I think we may see Paul Heyman, Cena and Rollins in a in-ring promo because Brock Lesnar you know the WWE Champion will be back after WWE TLC, so we'll hear from the advocate of the no-visual WWE World Heavyweight Champion "The Beast" Brock Lesnar. I think we'll see a tag team match because that's the new main event each week, I think we'll see John Cena & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins & Luke Harper in the main event.
That's what I got for tonight's Raw I hope you enjoyed this piece I give you the reasons as to why the WWE do the things they do. When it comes to go-home shows I just look to see if they address every match that will be on the PPV, so usually on these shows I'm not that crtical because the WWE already knows since the inception of the Network they've done a good job of telling everybody what the matches will be at the "Special Event" whether you like the feuds or not is subjective, but tonight just gonna sit back and try to enjoy the show as a fan and so should you and who knows maybe we'll get some suprise presenters for tonight's WWE Slammy Awards.
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Well, if you asked me 10 days ago would Punk be in the UFC? I would tell you that your nuts, but coming out of last night's "UFC 181" PPV, CM Punk officially sign a multi-fight contract with the UFC and expects to start fighting in 2015. Obviously CM Punk has been the talk of the entire world over the last two weeks and as to the big elephant in the room, Can CM Punk fight? Is this worth it? Well in this piece I will give you my thoughts on this signing and what can we expect from CM Punk in 2015?
As one of CM Punk's biggest fans I'm happy to see that Punk is doing what makes him happy. You can see it in his eyes in this video above with Joe Rogan, Punk speaks about having the fire he has insides when someones says that he can't accomplish anything. If you ever known CM Punk, he's always been the person to percivere through roadblocks no matter how big that particular roadblock is. Punk said he expect to fight in the middleweight division and fight around 170-185 weight class. Many professional wrestlers and MMA fighters reacted to this mega decision.
Big respect to @CMPunk! Do whatever you want to do champ and give the critics something to talk about.
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) December 7, 2014
Just as Lesnar brought many wrestling fans to @ufc to see him lose, Punk will being newer & younger fans to @ufc out of curiosity/ to win.
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) December 7, 2014
WHA?!?!?! @CMPunk!!?!!!!?!! #cantwaitAs far as the WWE is concern, I'm getting a big shuckle out of how this effect the company in anyway. In todays society it's all about coming up with ways to degrade the WWE and they're the worst company in the world. Say what you want about the WWE, but they don't care because UFC is not their competition. With Brock Lesnar possibly heading to the UFC after WrestleMania 31, man UFC seems to get off the desperate wagon because now they can get their special PPV buys that they haven't been getting in the last couple of years and makes MMA relevant again. CM Punk was already a big name in the mainstream media over the last three years and does this make this signing a publicity stunt from both Punk and UFC. I don't believe that's true, but people are going to pose that question just due to the nature of CM Punk professional background.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) December 7, 2014
This wouldn't be the first time that CM Punk has been involved with the UFC. Punk has been an active attender of many UFC fights over the years and CM Punk has become popular with the MMA fanbase with his annual interviews with Ariel Helwani from MMAfighting.com. Helwani had his concerns about this decision, but as you see in the video above CM Punk he wants to do this and this is a full circle kind of moment for him because he's had previous MMA style of training with the Gracie's and doing Kempo in Chicago while he was training to become a professional wrestler. In this video above Helwani does bring up alot of topics that alot of hardcore MMA fans have, Can he fight? Are you trying to outdo Brock Lesnar? Are you part of a certain camp? Why didn't Punk get his MMA start in another fighting company? When will his first fight happen? Punk has gone on to say in his press conference that he knows that he's going to have his critics, but he said he's been motivated to step into the octogan for a long while now and now it's about training and continuing to prove people wrong. I would think personally his fight would be in Chicago, UFC has been bringing their "UFC on FOX" Show to the United Center over the last three years. Who knows maybe the UFC brings a PPV for the first time since UFC 90 and that's where he makes his debut.
As we look towards the future as 2015 approaches it's good time to be a MMA fan. I'm personally happy for CM Punk and hope he makes the best out of this opportunity and he proves his doubters wrong. Hard work pays off for people that bust their ass and don't let other's opinions drag them down. Do I think he will be successful in MMA? I'm not sure, but I do think that he's going to give it his all and that's all I can ask for as a fan of Phil "CM Punk" Brooks. Do the WWE have to make a move after this decision? No because UFC is not their competition and people can't accept that fact, but their not their competition. So Punk has move on to the next phase in his professional life and we'll see what happens. Follow me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Friday, December 5, 2014
I want to thank ROH for their help in bringing us some great guests in this build to Final Battle. It is always great working with Ring of Honor where they still are in the wrestling business. So are we at Condo on the Moon and encourage you to check out Ring of Honor this Sunday. It is a great wrestling product that is growing through 2014.
If you are unable to listen to the podcast on the site or wish to listen via I-Tunes head over and listen at Podomatic.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014
One of spin-offs out of the C.M Punk interview and Vince McMahon interview is this idea of a union in pro wrestling. It may seem like a new topic but it really is a topic that dates back to the 80’s and Jessie Ventura. In the 80’s Ventura attempted to start a union but Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan killed it. Therefore, this isn’t really a new topic. It has just been brought to light again based on all Punk had to say in terms of the business of the WWE and health and medical issues for talent like Punk.
WWE has coined this term of independent contractor for their wrestling talents. How really independent are they though let’s face it they really are not independent. It also is a way to be without the responsibility for caring for their wrestlers medical expenses. They control what talent is able to do and not do which also flies in the face of being independent contractors. Any performer that leaves the company is not a free agent so to speak unless they sacrifice money owed to them.
No one of rational thinking can deny the need for a union in pro wrestling as the talent is in bad need of it. Not even in terms of financial concerns but more to what the core of why unions were formed in the first place. To protect the job security and health of these employees that creates the revenue that drives this company. The WWE doesn’t have a product without their talent.
The sad reality is the same rational thinking people hold out little hope of this ever happening. It becomes to hard to get these group of individuals that are competing for real estate and cash within the WWE to come together and be united for the cause. The pay differences make it very difficult to imagine it happening. It would take the top stars and the top star in John Cena being a part of any such attempt. What exactly would be the motivation for a Cena to do so? He is disliked by a large portion of the audience for being a corporate puppet. It seems hard to imagine this happening in any degree.
If there was some public out cry from outside interests to create such a union in the company. That seems highly unlikely when you consider that wrestlers were literally dropping dead at an alarming rate in the 90’s. This came with little public out cry in society as a whole. Even the circus that became the tragic situation involving Chris Benoit taking his own life and his family did not really have a significant impact on wrestling. It did bring to light the idea of concussions being a serious issue in pro wrestling in the aftermath. In light of the C.M Punk interview, you question really how much progress was made in that regard. Is it more of a case of a public relations move that really a lack any real teeth to it. Much like Punk suggested about the WWE’s wellness policy as relates to drug use and steroids.
WWE lives in a magical bubble that they are not held to same standards as professional sports. Vince McMahon reminded us all in case we forgot he doesn’t even consider the product he produces as pro wrestling it is one of the other terms he coined sports entertainment. It is treated in a different light and sadly, as much as fans love it the society we live in does not treat pro wrestling with the respect it has earned.
Despite WWE’s efforts to become this corporate empire wrestling still is not judged in the light that even the UFC is by society. You only need to look at the T.V deal in which the WWE claimed they were hoping to double or even triple their rights fees falling far short of that. Keep in mind the NBA recently signed a 25 billion dollar T.V deal. Even lesser sports like MLS soccer and NASCAR have signed much more significant T.V deals. Add in how TNA had to go on a network that many had never heard of until signing with them with a deal for far less than they had with Spike-TV. Destination America was to say the least it is not the most ideal destination for them. Wrestling is unfortunately not treated the same as over live event programming that is in high demand in the television industry right now.
Advertising is also something that has always been a challenge to get the same type of advertisers that you can see in pro sports and even in comparison to UFC.
This is all evidence that wrestling operates in its own strange world in which Vince McMahon for more or less holds a monopoly on the wrestling business. It is not say companies like TNA, ROH, and NJPW are not ways for wrestlers to earn a decent living. WWE is just on a different level in terms of money you can earn and exposure you are given that can not be matched.
It is unfortunate this is the harsh reality of things in terms of wrestling. I don’t consider myself someone who is a pro union person but I recognize the glaring need for one in this unique world that is pro wrestling. I value the performers that take real risks for my entertainment and enjoyment. I am at the end of the day a supporter of them and want what is for lack of a better term what is best for the boys (and girls) that bring the product to life.
For people that truly love wrestling there has been many things to reflect on in light of the podcasts that have dominated the wrestling news in recent days. It makes you consider all aspects of wrestling moving forward into for its future.
WWE once had a faction called The Union but will the real thing ever exist in WWE? It seems highly unlikely even though the need for one is evident.