Friday, January 30, 2015
It was an interesting week in the WWE to say the least. We had a rumble that had fans ready to revolt. Raw and a Smackdown taping losing to Mother Nature. WWE announces they have reached a million subscribers after a much publicized mass cancellation of the same network in reaction to the Royal Rumble. Along with a live Smackdown and Raw with no matches live. Roman Reigns week was just as roller coaster like as fans hated him Sunday, some loved him on Monday and by Thursday he was transformed into the next John Cena with a very split reaction to him on a live Smackdown. Almost lost in all of this was a little used WWE talent asking for his release from the company and leaving to much less fanfare than C.M Punk.
All this and talk of NXT where the WWE still shows they can entertain us and some ROH and PWG talk as well. A jam packed 90 minutes.
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Thursday, January 29, 2015
It has been a series of odd booking choices of late for the WWE. Having John Cena taking on Rusev at Fast Lane, the new WWE event that has replaced the Elimination Chamber is the latest. Why the WWE if you will pardon the pun is rushing this match now remains to be seen. Rusev had long been pegged as Cena’s dance partner for Wrestlemania 31. What the WWE hopes to accomplish with this match is fairly unclear at this point.
John Cena is coming off losing a WWE title match in which he failed to regain the Championship from Brock Lesnar yet again. Logic suggests Cena is in need of a win but at this point do wins and loses even matter with him. Still WWE has never had Cena go into any kind of prolonged losing streak. He is after all the guy the moves the most merchandise and is considered the face of the company.
Rusev has been slowly and methodically built into a huge monster heel that has never been pinned or submitted in his time in WWE. Cena has in his career been billed as a super hero and champion of the American military at times based on that it seems unimaginable he would lose in this showdown.
This leads us back to why we have Rusev and Cena heading towards a match with very little time to build the match and no real outcome that makes any sense. If Cena wins, the idea of a re-match at Wrestlemania seems unlikely to unnecessary. If Rusev were to win, a re-match makes sense but much like the feud with Bray Wyatt last year for Cena, you have Rusev losing on the big stage killing his momentum. If the match ends in some sort of non-finish you have ripped off people in Memphis given them a match with no conclusion and wasted everyone’s time to some degree.
There has been a lot of talk of the WWE’s lack of long-term planning and this seems to be an example of it. I find it hard to believe the plan was to have this match. In fact, it was being advertised that Cena would team with Reigns to take on Rusev and Rollins at Fast Lane in the local market. So there is some prove a change in plans was made. Perhaps the reaction to Roman Reigns at the Rumble is the reason behind it. The idea of tagging him with John Cena would not be a good one under any circumstances but with the negative reaction, he was given in Philadelphia even with The Rock’s endorsement makes teaming with Cena a death sentence to Reigns as a baby face heading into Wrestlemania.
In any case, the WWE has decided to go with this program a month earlier and I have to imagine it will take away from a match at Mania by having the two be involved in a match the month prior. Unless they have some other opponent in mind for Cena at Wrestlemania and Rusev is out. Who that would be would be a complete mystery at this point. Only thing that makes any sense is a rematch with Bryan perhaps for the number one contender to face the WWE Heavyweight Champion. Still Rusev and Cena seemed like the money program that WWE was banking on.
Vince McMahon has always been a fan of very patriotic based angles despite them not always getting over as well as he might have hoped. A great example tied to Wrestlemania was the Slaughter against Hogan World Title match the headlined Wrestlemania 7. That Mania was originally scheduled to be at the L.A Coliseum a huge outdoor venue. It was moved to the L.A Sports Arena it was said out of fear or terrorism concerns but was in fact due to poor ticket sales for the event.
Ready on not Rusev and John Cena is being given the green light to kick off a month earlier at WWE Fast Lane. It will be interesting to see how this program influences Rusev and if it has a similar negative impact that it did for Bray Wyatt coming out of the Cena program last year.
WWE Network apparently has passed the million-subscriber mark and perhaps they are hoping to get a few extra subscribers to hop on board prior to Wrestlemania where subscriptions ate likely to get a temporary bump for the company’s biggest event of the year. Perhaps a vision will be made clear with the live Smackdown tonight that in effect will be Raw for this week with forced cancellation of the event due to the massive snowstorm in the U.S northeast.
Ready or not, it is Rusev vs. John Cena for the hopes and dreams of America. Something like that!
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The rehabilitation of Roman Reigns has begun. It took a little help from Mother Nature but it maybe off to a decent start after the disaster that was the Royal Rumble in Philadelphia.
It was a Raw that we will likely never see again as the show was cancelled in Hartford and they showed the two main events from the Royal Rumble on free T.V. They also had a number of sit-down interviews that felt very unscripted. It made for some interesting television in the shadow of perhaps the worst Royal Rumble event of all-time. In all of it, there was a lesson to be learned not to say the WWE will learn it.
Roman Reigns the man who was booed out of the build less than 24 hours earlier in Philadelphia did some of his best work on the microphone in his career. It speaks to how Roman has been more a victim of bad creative more than he is a terrible performer on the microphone. Is he actually ready to main event the biggest show of the year in Wrestlemania? It still remains a question, but perhaps it now is the time as Reigns getting a year to build to Wrestlemania 32 makes better sense than having him get the main event at that massive event.
Paul Heyman did a brilliant job selling this match and if this leads to Reigns turning heel and siding with Paul Heyman it could be great. Imagine a year out Roman Reigns complains that the Rock tried to steal his moment winning the Royal Rumble. It was the Rock’s fault the people booed him. Rock against Reigns with Heyman as Reigns advocate could be a great main event for Wrestlemania 32.
The key is that Roman Reigns needs to be distanced from how John Cena is presented. They have tried to present Reigns like Cena and it has been a massive failure. Reigns made the point that he has a massive opportunity and it is up to him to take advantage of it. Ultimately, Reigns needs to learn to say the word NO to creative that is awful and hurts him and his long-term career.
This is certainly a crossroads for Roman Reigns and the WWE as they face something they truly have never had to deal with. John Cena is not going anywhere and this is the first time the WWE has made a choice to move to a new top guy without having it forced upon them. Hogan left the company so did Bret and Shawn and Steve Austin was injured and Rock went to Hollywood. This is the first time they have not been forced into making a change at the top of the company as its face.
I have never had this hate and hostility for Roman Reigns that the fan base seems to have developed. Daniel Bryan is never getting back to the place he was at and that is just the reality of things. If you’re the WWE can you honestly have faith Bryan can remain healthy for any lengthy period of time? I would have to answer no to that question. He will still have his moment from Wrestlemania 30 and it will be a question of what might have been had he remained healthy and had his proper reign as champion. The reality is though we still could very well be in the same place we find ourselves now. If Bryan ever faced Lesnar as champion, I would not have favored him to win that match. So we still could be on this same path to Reigns against Lesnar main event for Wrestlemania 31.
How the WWE presents Roman Reigns in the next 60+ days will greatly determine both his future and their future to a large degree. This is a high stakes time for them and honestly, something the WWE has never truly done by replacing their face of the company with the other still remaining. C.M Punk was always in the shadow of Cena similar to how Savage was to Hulk Hogan. This is different and WWE is counting on Reigns to be the guy to carry this company for the next decade more or less.
It certainly has got off to a Rocky start if you will pardon the pun. Still if Reigns is allowed to make the position his own and fans are willing to give him a chance it can work. Those are two major factors that are easier said than done.
The Roman Empire eventually crumbled this Roman Reigns empire has started from the rumble in ruins. Time will tell if he becomes one of the great names that we talk about in the history of this company. If he doesn’t get there, the blame is on the WWE for how they handcuffed his launch into this position of prominence in the company. Reigns has come a long way in a short time and is being asked to take on far more than he should be at this point. This is his opportunity though and he needs to make the most of it regardless of if he is ready or not. He might not get another one, or maybe he will get many, but none will have the potential that this one has for him to solidify himself as a top guy.
Monday, January 26, 2015
Well call it ironic but the night after WWE fans were calling for people to CANCEL the WWE Network. The WWE was forced to cancel it's Raw event in Hartford due to blizzard conditions in the area. Here is the statement issued by the WWE early Monday Afternoon:
It is unclear what this will mean for Canadian fans as Smackdown normally taped airs on Sportsnet 360 on Wednesdays. Raw will still happen via the WWE Studios which should be interesting to say the least given last night's rumble. Maybe a 3 hour lecture from Vince McMahon who knows. In any case this has been a terrible 24 hours for the WWE.
After the WWE Royal Rumble happened, I was struck with the line Richard Sherman said to Tom Brady “Are You Mad Bro,” ringing in my head. The answer was as obvious as the booking of the rumble itself. The show as a whole beyond the WWE Heavyweight Title match was some of the worst stuff I have seen on a Rumble ever. This was as "mail it in" as the WWE can get for one of its biggest events of the year.
The thing is if you consider yourself an informed fan nothing that happened should have been a surprise and part of the massive out pouring of anger was in a sense fans being mad at themselves for expecting something different. The plan for Roman Reigns to win this Rumble has been widely reported and speculated on since months after the last Wrestlemania. Why fans held out hope the WWE would run with Daniel Bryan again was at best wishful thinking. WWE never wanted to go with him last year so why would they do it this year. Daniel Bryan has been injured for the majority of the year and honestly can’t be considered being a top guy for practical reasons. He has comeback with little change to his style that concerns me for his long-term future as a human being forget if he ever gets another title match or Wrestlemaina Main event.
Roman Reigns was being cheered against the WWE’s pick to win last year in Dave Bautista. Now a year later has the WWE’s chosen one he is booed as loudly as Bautista was perhaps louder given it was in Philadelphia this year. Not even an appearance by The Rock could change this. Fans wanted no part of this, and they were not going to be tricked into being compliant to it with the use of the Rock.
Beyond Bryan’s early exit, many of the WWE’s fan favorites were unceremoniously thrown out of the rumble. The bigger thing that angers me is how the WWE can seriously consider closing a match of the Rumble’s importance with Kane and Big Show. These dinosaurs of the roster have no ones interest. If Kane and Big Show went on Raw tonight and said the retired the general consensus of wrestling fans would be it is about damn time. Both have far over stayed there welcome in the wrestling business. This does not make them unique in any way. Still the fact they are booked as top heels in this company suggests the real problems this company has in depending on its younger talent.
Show and Kane could take a cue from Road Dogg and Billy Gunn who show up often but know when to get in and get out and still have a positive response from the fans.
When you look at this logically, which sometimes in times like this is lacking on all sides this is a simple matter of the WWE failing to connect with the fan base. While in the 80’s it was easy to tell fans who they are suppose to like and they would in mass that no longer is the case in 2015. Fans have become to demanding and almost to the point of entitled and spoiled about it.
This speaks as well to the failure of the WWE Network, how fans have used that network as a means to end to express their displeasure. After the Royal Rumble, fans crashed the cancellation page for the WWE Network. The WWE has made many mistakes in the almost year the WWE Network has existed but perhaps the most massive mistake was recently making it easy to cancel the service on simply a whim. Imagine if cell phone providers took a similar approach. How often to people become unsatisfied with their service? This is why most cell companies lock their clients into a contract. It avoids having to deal with knee jerk reactions of people not being satisfied with service.
WWE has created a huge problem for the company and it will be very interesting to see how they handle things going forward. Last year they caved to the pressure fans put on them to alter their plans for Wrestlemania. I don’t foresee them doing this for a second year in a row. Evidence of that fact was The Rock’s involvement last night. It was a failed attempt to help get Roman Reigns over.
I need to make this clear Roman Reigns isn’t the problem here it is how he is being presented. Reigns may not be completely ready for this moment and he may still have a lot of growing to do. He has been handcuffed in his growth and development by some of the worst creative for a top WWE Star perhaps in years and that is the issue. He isn’t the problem it is the system and creative element of this company that has grown so out of touch with their core audience it is easily evident every single work in the WWE. Which if they were growing the audience outside of its core it wouldn’t be a problem. The fact is they are not building much beyond the core. Things like Total Divas are not translating to a new audience for WWE. It is just creating an audience for a different branch of the WWE that does not seem compelled to watch the core product. Evidence of that fact is Total Divas often runs in direct competition with WWE Special Events like last night’s Royal Rumble.
The core wrestling audience for WWE is shrinking and being driven to alternative programming like ROH and NJPW to get what they are looking for. While the new fans they are creating is not enough to offset this erosion of their core audience that grows smaller gradually over time.
WWE has grand plans of filling AT&T Stadium in Dallas for Wrestlemania 32 in about 14 months. How this Wrestlemania comes off may well determine the fate of if such grand dreams are possible to achieve. WWE has some serious issues without question.
The WWE has in a lot of ways painted themselves into a corner and perhaps have build the business to big to match the level of interest that is lacking from the peak of wrestling during the Monday Night Wars. Their choice to be more family friendly entertainment has not worked to the extent they have hoped. You can say whatever you want about John Cena and his appeal to children it pails in comparison to the appeal a Stone Cold Steve Austin had to a rebellious teenage and older fan base. Regardless of the letter grade, you present the WWE product in; they have to find a way to connect with what their audience in demanding.
The success of NXT is a good example of what fans truly crave right now. They want a product that is more traditionally wrestling based that has guys who can be entertaining but can do it first and foremost in the ring itself.
Vince McMahon may think he is producing sports entertainment but the Wrestling Fans still want wrestling. Ultimately, Vince’s age and lack of knowledge of this new more active and socially aware audience is likely his core of the WWE’s issues. I refuse to believe an entire creative team is this out of touch and stupid on mass. This comes down to one man trying to flex his muscles and still show he is ultimately the final decider. He has lost his Midas touch and everyone seems to know it other than him.
If you’re simply pissed off your guy Daniel Bryan didn’t win last night my advice is grow up. However if you see the larger picture and how disjointed and massively screwed up this company has become I share your concern.
It is rapidly becoming a case of does Wrestlemania and WWE survive to see Wrestlemania 40, 50 and beyond. Sounds crazy to suggest but this company is in some serious trouble if you understand all the impact of the changes they have made and how badly the Network is floundering. If the WWE can not be profitable, it can’t really sustain itself. We are not close to that point right now but lacking a serious change in direction; we could be their sooner than people think.
It was not a good night for anyone that cares about the WWE product and its future.
For a preview of the Fall out of the Rumble on Raw from Hartford check out what Josh Lopez has to say with 5 things to expect from Raw. Booing will be likely one of them.
Well to everybody that canceled the WWE Network, cool story bro. We'll see you tweeting about #RAW tonight. Point is you want to have your voice heard back up your threats like none of you did last year it's simple as that. Last night was the 28th annual Royal Rumble PPV. Brock Lesnar retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a stellar Triple Threat Match with John Cena & Seth Rollins. Roman Reigns won the Royal Rumble match and the main event of WrestleMania is ready booked, set and stone. Here's five things to expect on the January 26th edition of WWE Monday Night Raw.
1.) Roman Reigns
Obviously Roman Reigns won the Rumble last night and there's a lot of people mad about it. My point of the view of the finish or just the Rumble match in general. I'm sorry but it's the truth and I understand they're not listening to what the fans want, but that's what you get when you have the Royal Rumble in a smarky crowd. I like Roman Reigns, I don't know how he's being shoved down our throats when he only appears one or two times throughout the show. Was Reigns my pick to win the Royal Rumble, no, but for me as a wrestling analyst I just stay netural in these type of situations it's not about what I want who am I? They made their choice awhile back and we shouldn't be surprised that this happen and even when we complain about the WWE never having a long term outlook on any of these PPV's, but when they have something set in place like they do right for WrestleMania people will still complain about it. It's simple and I understand you can't please anybody anymore so why still do shows? Anyways, as far as tonight is concern if I was Roman Reigns I would go on the turnbuckle and give the entire crowd the middle finger while the crowd is booing him. Roman will probably cut a promo tonight and it's going to be interesting to see how he handles advertisy especially with these type of promos heading towards WrestleMania. I think we'll see Big Show coming out and blaming The Rock for helping Roman winning and say that he deserves to win the Royal Rumble. This will lead to their match at WWE Fast Lane where Reigns will put up his WrestleMania spot on the line to take on the Big Show in some type of a gimmick match. We'll see what happens, but it's sure the "cool" thing to boo Roman Reigns now.
2.) Brock Lesnar
I earn alot of respect for Brock Lesnar for the performance he put on last night. Brock Lesnar will defend his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 31. Tonight for Monday Night Raw it's going to be interesting to see what happens for two reasons. One because obviously I want and I'm for sure we'll hear Paul Heyman's point of view of Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble Match. Secondly I saw Brock Lesnar on the WWE Fast Lane promo package and with this "broken rib" is Brock going to compete at the PPV in Memphis. Will we see Brock Lesnar get confronted by either Seth Rollins or John Cena? Do we actually see a in-ring promo between Roman Reigns & Brock Lesnar. While I don't agree with having a part-time performer main eventing Mania as champion and leaving the WWE the next day, you can't deny the pure natural talent that Brock Lesnar possesss. Expect a perfect promo from the one and only Paul Heyman.
3.) Seth Rollins
If there was anybody that believes that Seth Rollins is not a quality WWE main event star, I don't know what to tell you bro. I was sure as hell sold on Seth Rollins last night. He's the real deal and I will be ultimately shocked if by the end of the year, Seth Rollins doesn't have at least ONE title reign. It's going to be interesting to see what Seth Rollins does at WrestleMania. There's been many of rumors about Randy Orton making his return to the WWE. Yet we don't see him. What's taking so long? You're missing out on a potential great feud by continuing to drag out the Randy Orton return. It makes not only is Sting looking to own up The Authority, Orton is looking for revenge for The Authority to take him out of action for almost four months. I think we'll also see a in-ring promo from The Authority tonight I wouldn't be shocked by that and I actually condone that because we do have to hear from Triple H and his thoughts about guys like Rock and or Sting coming back and getting in the way of all of The Authority winning titles, rumbles, and stipulation matches etc. I think we'll see either Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler or Seth Rollins vs. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton will make his return tonight.
4.) John Cena
I'm not a John Cena fan, but I sure as hell do respect that guy. You can say that he's a terrible actor, wrestler or whatever, but when you see matches like that Triple Threat Match as much as Rollins & Lesnar deserve credit for making this awesome, John Cena also deserve as much praise for that match. John Cena had a face-to-face confrontation on the Royal Rumble post show with Rusev. Looking at that stare down I'm actually ok with seeing John Cena vs. Rusev. You're going to have to find a way to take the title away from Rusev because I don't know how John Cena goes from one year taking on Bray Wyatt then the next year taking on Rusev in a United States Championship Match. I hope he does take this feud seriously instead of doing childish jokes towards Lana & Rusev. I think we can possibly see a brawl between Rusev & John Cena. At the same time we don't have to rush into that program who knows maybe somebody comes out of no where and takes on John Cena for a match at Fast Lane. Do you want to see Rusev vs John Cena at Fast Lane or WrestleMania? I'll let you guys answer that question down below.
5.) The Authority + Daniel Bryan
So are we going down the same path we did last year with WrestleMania? Daniel Bryan was in the Royal Rumble, but he didn't win the Royal Rumble Match. I'm happy that Bryan is back and he'll eventually get the title back, I just wondering what they're going to do with him as we're on the Road to WrestleMania. I don't think it's going to be Bray Wyatt vs. Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania due to Bray eliminating Bryan, but I could see that match happening at WWE Fast Lane. As far as The Authority is concern like I said earlier I would like to see Triple H talk about The Rock & Sting situations. We'll find out what they think about Reigns winning the Royal Rumble. Do we see Rowan, Ziggler & Ryback punished on Raw for coming back we'll see, it's a big night for The Authority they need to rebound from a rough night last night.
By the way congratulations to Arnold Schwarznegger who announces on TMZ that he will be the celebrity inductee in the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame.
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Friday, January 23, 2015
We preview the Royal Rumble and talk some future business for the WWE. I call Triple H by mistake Hogan while Walder has thrown his name in the hat to be the newest member of WWE Creative. The fact he is both Swiss and Millennial might work against him. Someone else already employed by WWE is getting promotion in the front offices in Stamford. All this and a weekly Young Bucks reference or two in this week's podcast.
If you are unable to listed to us here head over to Podomatic and listen or download from there.
Best of luck in your local Rumble Pool and hope everyone enjoys that start of the road to Wrestlemania.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
In recent years WWE has touted about the power of the brand that is Wrestlemania. It has grown to be a massive event that is bid on not unlike things like the Super Bowl and other major sporting events. Last year Forbes Magazine ranked Wrestlemania as one of the top 40 valuable brands in sports. Estimating the value of the Wrestlemania brand at 105 million dollars.
It has been wildly stated in wrestling circles that Wrestlemania sells itself before any match is ever announced. All of these statements and the brand of Wrestlemania are going to take the ultimate test in April 2016, as Wrestlemania will play in its largest venue ever. AT&T Stadium the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys has a capacity that is over 105.000 people potentially. This would leave the door open to smash the much-debated indoor attendance record set at Wrestlemania III of over 93,000 at the Pontiac Silverdome.
Yet the WWE product has not been in such rough shape in some time. The upcoming Wrestlemania in Levi’s Stadium in the Bay Area of California is set to go in a couple months. The thought has been the WWE plans to head to Mania with a Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar main event. Much debate has been made if they will stick with this direction. Reigns lack of being over with fans, the return of Daniel Bryan and the uncertain status of Brock Lesnar all factors in such a change. The Royal Rumble will likely set in motion the direction we are heading as the road to Wrestlemania begins.
This could potentially be the first Wrestlemania without the Undertaker. It will definitely be the first without his historic Wrestlemania Streak on the line as it came to a crashing end last year at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Most feel Taker will headline the Hall of Fame in Dallas as one of the attractions to help fill AT&T Stadium and draw fans to Wrestlemania weekend in Texas in 2016.
Still the question looms what else the WWE can pull out of its hat to try to get this massive stadium filled. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant headlined that show that broke the record in Detroit. It was billed as a once in a lifetime confrontation with Andre the Giant’s 15 year undefeated streak being placed against the three plus year title reign of Hulk Hogan. On the under card of this show feature what would be regarded as one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time with Randy Savage finally going in the Hall of Fame this year defending his Intercontinental against Ricky Steamboat. An angle was built over the span of 6 months with Savage injuring Steamboat and putting his career in jeopardy smashing his throat against a guardrail and with the ring bell.
What does the WWE have now that could capture the imagination of fans like that? Do they need to have something that good or is the brand of Wrestlemania big enough that it doesn’t matter. Just like events like the Super Bowl that sell regardless of who is in the game itself. It is just the fact of being at the event.
Could it be just the idea of being part of history in the largest crowd factor into the motivation for fans to head out to Texas?
Wrestling was reaching a fever pitch at the time of Wrestlemania III but currently everyone would concede the WWE is in a down period. Yet they boldly or perhaps arrogantly march into Cowboys Stadium to announce their plans to break their attendance record.
This could be a massive embarrassment for the WWE if they can not come through and sellout this massive stadium. The WWE once tried this before where Wrestle Mania VII was originally scheduled to go in the L.A Sports Coliseum and was moved to the L.A Sports Arena instead. WWE claimed it was done to do concerns for safety over threats of terrorism tied to the Iraq and U.S War. The reality was ticket sales were poor and they avoided the embarrassment of a less than capacity stadium.
It is safe to say that backing out of this endeavor will not be an option. It is a real risk the WWE is taking with perhaps the most valuable asset they have left being Wrestlemania. The event has had gambles like this in it’s past and came out the better on the other side. The original Wrestlemania Vince McMahon literally had put everything he had into it banking on its success. People thought it was insane to go to Silverdome but that became the high point of wrestling boom of the 80’s.
They say everything is bigger in Texas and the WWE is going all in to try and pull off the largest Wrestlemania in history. They do it with no obvious main attraction to attract over 100,000 people to attend. One match that might have had that appeal was a return of Stone Cold Steve Austin to the ring to take on C.M Punk but that dream is pretty much dead. You have to wonder what match they will have next year to headline this show. This while it is still somewhat unclear the direction they will head for this Wrestlemania. If this Wrestlemania fails to impress what that could mean for next year could be devastating.
It is going to be a true test of if wrestling or more to the point WWE is as strong as it has been in the past. It will be referendum of sort on the state of the WWE. If they are successful, they will use it as a claim that the business is fine. If not it will make people seriously consider the state of the company. The Network has been a pretty underwhelming endeavor to this point. They can’t afford to fail with this one.
Monday, January 19, 2015
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Tonight is the go-home show for the 28th annual Royal Rumble PPV. I remember James telling me that he was at the very first Royal Rumble PPV that's pretty cool. Anyways tonight is a very big show for the WWE. We got legends in the building, Daniel Bryan & Brock Lesnar are back, and 22 other superstars are looking to punch in their names into the Royal Rumble match. As here is my public service announcement, so people understand what this article is about. I'm giving you an insightful preview as to what you will see on tonight's edition of WWE Monday Night Raw and this by no means represents my taste in wrestling or what I would like to see on the show. Here's five things to look forward to on "Raw Reunion".
1.) Raw Reunion
When I first heard about this special Raw Reunion show and that it was going to be in Dallas, Texas there was only one thing that was running through my mind. The reason why these legends are here tonight is to ring in the announcement of WrestleMania 32 taking place at Jerry World in Arlington, Texas. Here's the updated list of the legends that will be on this show tonight: Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac, Shawn Michaels, Ron Simmons, Jimmy Hart and The New Age Outlaws. Something that can work here with this special legends show why don't you have The Ascension come out and instead of saying "Oh we're better than the Road Warriors" since there advertised for the show, why don't you say "Oh we're better than the New Age Outlaws" call them out to a match and lay them out. It kills two birds with one stone you backed up your claim and you also made a statement to not only the tag team division, but to JBL. It would be nice to see a nWo or D-Generation X reunion tonight or maybe both come out at the same time. I think we'll probably see Ron Simmons do the "DAMN!" to the Rosebuds or The Miz & Damien Mizdow.
2.) WWE World Heavyweight Championship Program
Seth Rollins sure made an statement last week on Raw! Couldn't have happen to a better a guy and I totally mean that. Do we see John Cena in action tonight? Really digged the in-ring promo that Rollins & Paul Heyman conducted on SmackDown last week it was the perfect showcase of storytelling. It's not a question of "if", but when are we going to see The Authority? I want to remind people something 44 out 52 raw's in the years 2000 and 2001 had a in-ring promo to start of the show it sets off the tone for the show, get over it. I think tonight is important to make Brock Lesnar stand out. Ever since he came back Brock Lesnar has been made to look like a girl just being honest. Whether it's him running away from Cena one week, then getting A&A through tables and getting curb stomped the next week, Lesnar sure doesn't look like a strong WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I think tonight heading into the Royal Rumble PPV. They'll call it a Face-To-Face segment for big feuds like this on go-home show, but during this face-to-face segment Brock Lesnar needs to go off the air laying out both Seth Rollins & John Cena.
3.) Daniel Bryan or Roman Reigns ?
With the 2015 Royal Rumble coming this Sunday on the WWE Network. The hottest topic in the WWE right now with the fans are who should win the Royal Rumble Match? Daniel Bryan or Roman Reigns? It was great to see Bryan back in the ring last week on SmackDown. Here's an idea to shake things up and also get people talking is if you do this match. I think tonight we can see either a rematch between Kane & Daniel Bryan or Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns will take on Kane & Big Show. If that doesn't happen we can possibly see a Daniel Bryan in-ring promo and instead of Stephanie coming out this time it will be Triple H who will come out to tell Daniel Bryan that he made a mistake coming back and threaten him to feud with The Authority again. Nonetheless it just great to have Bryan back on the television and makes things fresh and all I ask for tonight is if Roman Reigns is doing a backstage interview with the beautiful Renee Young, Please I beg the WWE to let Roman Reigns showcase his natural personality instead of bringing out some random line from Whinney The Poo or The Little Engine That Could.
4.) Royal Rumble Mid-Card
Is there any chance we see the returns of Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & Erick Rowan tonight? If that happens I would be so happy for all three of these guys. As far as the rest of the mid-card for the Royal Rumble PPV is concern. We found out last week on SmackDown that The Miz & Damien Mizdow invoked their rematch clause and The Usos will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Miz & Damien Mizdow at the Royal Rumble. I think tonight The Miz will take on Jimmy Uso or we can do that rematch from SmackDown last week The Miz, Damien Mizdow and Alicia Fox vs. The Usos & Naomi. I think tonight would be good to see Rusev take part of a squatch match or he'll probably have a rematch with Dean Ambrose. As far as the WWE Divas Championship feud between Paige, Natalya and Nikki Bella, with any indication from last night's Total Divas we're either seeing Paige vs. Natalya or we'll see Paige & Natalya vs. The Bella Twins. It would be cool to have Bad News Barrett come out before his match and say he has bad news and that the bad news is that Dolph Ziggler won't be in the Royal Rumble Match.
5.) Good Commentary or Bad Commentary?
Tonight is the final flagship show for the WWE before the Royal Rumble PPV. They've been doing a good job of promoting each match that's on every PPV over the last 5 months. Tonight I hope that JBL, Michael Cole & Booker T bring their a-game into tonight's show. I've been known to saying that this commentary team reminds me of FOX news radio or CNN. Tonight is the about promoting the Royal Rumble not promoting JBL's ego.
Let's try to have some fun tonight folks!
Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
Friday, January 16, 2015
We talk about Randy Savage finally getting in the Hall of Fame and his bad history with Hulk Hogan. The state of the WWE heading towards the Royal Rumble. ROH welcoming a former WWE star to television this weekend. In addition a little plug for local independent show Alpha-1 Wrestling that will have ROH stars Cedric Alexander and R.D Evans in town locally here in Hamilton. That and lots more with myself and Chris Walder.
So that was it for this week and if you have trouble accessing the podcast head over to Podomatic and listen or download from there.
Here is some thoughts from Randy Savage in an old interview on Hulk Hogan the man who will induct him in the Hall of Fame. After listening to this ask yourself if this is truly who Randy Savage would want to induct him in the Hall of Fame?
Brian Fritz from The Sporting News and Between The Ropes was able to interview Lanny Poffo in what could be classed as a rather strange take from Savage's brother on Savage's induction to the Hall of Fame.
The best feud in pro wrestling today is not building towards Wrestlemania. It is a recycled feud from Ring of Honor happening in NXT. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens had a long feud as El Generico and Kevin Steen that ended in one of the craziest matches I have ever seen. Ladder War IV is one of the most insane ladder matches that I have ever witnessed. If you have never seen it, you really should go seek it out.
Almost as soon as rumors came out that Kevin Steen was coming to the WWE and NXT it made fans excited at the prospect of another feud between him and Sami Zayn. Often what fans want they seldom get in wrestling today but this has been the exception. Owens debut and Zayn finally winning the NXT title set up the starting point for this epic match-up to resurface under the WWE banner.
It started with a bang and they have slowly let it simmer between the two stars. We have yet to have any explanation for why Kevin Owens did what he did. They sold an injury angle for Zayn who just returned to NXT in the last two weeks. Instead of jumping into it with the two, we got a title re-match with Zayn and Neville only to have Owens show up and attack Sami again after a successful title defense.
Kevin has done such a great job at being a heel and Sami is so loved that you have a real babyface against heel dynamic. Which is hard to pull off especially at NXT where the audience tends to cheer for whatever entertains them rather than who is good or who is bad.
This match-up might be more exciting than anything we get at Wrestlemania this year to be honest. It is a match-up that is so good it belongs to be on a Wrestlemania some day. Two guys from Quebec, Canada together poised to be the next two big Canadian stars for the WWE. Canada was always a hot bed for creating WWE stars, but really, the numbers of guys that have come in the last decade have been few and far between. No offense to Tyson Kidd but we have lacked that giant Canadian star for sometime. Now we sit on the verge of having two huge stars potentially.
WWE has had their issues of late so it might be best for business to have this feud going on in NXT and keep both away from the main roster for now. The last thing people want to see is Zayn or Owens quickly be ruined like some other hot NXT acts have been once arriving on the main roster.
WWE’s next NXT Special which likely will be somewhere along the road to Wrestlemania and there has even been talk it could be during Wrestlemania week will feature most likely the Zayn vs. Owens showdown. It might blow the majority of Wrestlemania out of the water. Zayn and Owens have a great chemistry and a decade long relationship that will guarantee they will knock it out of the park as they have in the past.
It is the most compelling match the WWE has to offer at the moment. They made R-Evolution for of the best special events the WWE has put on in years. It was incredible and created a buzz that over shadowed WWE TLC later in the week. Not that they could over shadow Wrestlemania with their match but they will put on a match that will be better than almost everything you could likely see on that card.
Have we reached the point we root for guys not to leave NXT out of fear of what will become of them on the WWE main roster. The lack of faith in the creative on the main roster is justified at this point with Roman Reigns cutting Saturday morning cartoon promos.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are survivors and I think will have bright and long futures in the WWE. Ironically this might be some of the best stuff they will ever do though as they will not have the limitations that come with the WWE main roster these days.
So enjoy it the slow burn to an awesome match-up. Cue the crowd to OLE and chant this is wrestling because it is and it isn’t complicated. A friend turns his back on his buddy and he wants what he has. Pretty basic, simple, and something we all can relate to in our everyday lives.
More talk on this and all that is going on in the world of wrestling coming up later tonight as we do every Friday night. Condo on the Moon Podcast will be talking Savage finally in the Hall of Fame and a lot more. So make sure to come have a listen and join us every Friday.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
That was bad enough, but to hear that Hulk Hogan is presenting Savage for induction made me sick inside. It is no secret that Savage for many points in his life hated this man legitimately. Hulk Hogan claims that Savage had made peace with him for their differences. Hulk Hogan has lied about so many things and we are just supposed to believe him? I personally do not and am sickened that Hogan is trying once again to push his way into Savage’s moment. This is not unlike when Savage won the title at Wrestlemania 4.
The recent Savage DVD promised answers to why Randy was not in the Hall of Fame. The DVD never really gets into other than vague speculation. In addition not one member of the McMahon Family was featured in this DVD.
The urban legend is that Savage had some kind of affair with Stephanie McMahon. Something in interviews Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo when asked about it would not deny it and in fact vaguely confirmed it. If Lanny is behind this whole thing, the fact he has allowed Hogan to be involved in this moment I personally will never forgive him for as Savage Fan. Poffo unlike his brother has always loved Hogan for giving him in his mind his big break as “The Genius” fighting Hogan on a Saturday Night’s Main Event for the title. Which was Lanny’s only shot ever at a title in the WWE that I can recall.
WWE has taken a moment that should be celebrated by all Macho Man fans, and WWE have found a way to take away from what should be a special moment. This moment was long overdue for Randy Savage and should have happened while he was alive. That fact alone was hard enough to deal with forget about adding Hogan to the mix.
In the end, Randy Savage deserved this honor for well over a decade before it actually has happened. WWE has found a way to take a moment that should be celebrated, but have taken away from the joy that should be associated with this for longtime Savage fans.
Savage’s true legacy is how many people Randy actually turned on to wrestling. Many wrestlers that got into this business did in part because of Randy Savage and all he did in this business that is his legacy. C.M Punk was one of those guys and he brought Savage to light for modern fans by doing his elbow drop in WWE as a tribute to Savage. He also wore Savage gear the week after his death on Raw. Jay Lethal is another guy who has taken on the Savage persona as a tribute to Randy as well.
There are many people that would not be wrestlers and millions more that would not be fans of wrestling without Randy being part of professional wrestling.
I celebrate the fact that WWE finally did the right thing by putting Savage in Hall of Fame. The whole process of putting Savage in the Hall of Fame is being ruined for me as a fan of his for years. WWE will no doubt look to cash in on the memory of Savage where ever and whenever they can now.
Randy Savage deserved to live to have this moment in his life. WWE robbed him and us his fans of that moment. Nothing that happens in this induction can make up for that.
Still it is nice that finally Randy Savage is where he has always belonged in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Monday, January 12, 2015
So last week's Raw was the worst of all-time, I get a chuckle out of that because I hear that every single week on social media and it's from the same people that don't know anything about storytelling. Last week's announcement of the firing of Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback did catch me off guard, but it was the right decision to make. Raw's in the home of WrestleMania 30, New Orleans, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman are advertised to be on the show. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will be on the show tonight after announcing not only his return to the WWE, but also announcing that he will be in the Royal Rumble Match. How will John Cena respond to the Authority firing his entire team? Will Nikki Bella have two total divas going after her divas championship? All this and more as I, Josh Lopez will give you the best preview for tonight's Monday Night Raw!!!!!!!! Mind you I've been very accurate with my previews over the last couple of weeks and what I put into this article is NOT my personal taste or what I would like to see on the show. What you see on this article is a look at what the WWE Creative Team will dish out before Raw starts. Here's five things to look forward to with tonight's Monday Night Raw.
1.) The Authority, Brock Lesnar and John Cena
Here's what I have to throw out there for this storyline to head into the right direction heading into the Royal Rumble. I think we'll have a in-ring promo to start off the show with The Authority explaining their actions from last week Raw. I think we'll see Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman come out and question the Authority decision to add Seth Rollins to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match. I think John Cena will come out and he will want to get his hands on Seth Rollins (again), but The Authority will try to give John Cena the night off because they appreciate him so much. Who knows there would be a backstage segment where Stephanie or Triple H is on the phone and they're explaining their actions and they get off the phone and say they were talking to Vince or the Board of Directors. I think they need to give me a reason to care about Seth Rollins being in this Triple Threat Match. I don't think he needs to be in this match and I think the WWE should've had Randy Orton makes his return after TLC, but Orton is injured from what I hear from the so reliable dirtsheets, but yea. I think the feud between Brock Lesnar & John Cena should end in a one-on-one war, not a triple threat match.
2.) Daniel Bryan + The Yes Movement!
I'm glad that Daniel Bryan is back and I'm looking forward to seeing him on Raw tonight. It was announced that on SmackDown on Thursday, Bryan will compete in first match since after Extreme Rules 2014. We'll probably hear from Bryan in a in-ring promo and I know what I'm going to say is going to upset people, but it's the right thing to do storyline wise and just being a realistic sports-entertainment fan. The Authority will come out it could be either Triple H, Stephanie and or Kane that comes out and interrupts Daniel Bryan and will question him about his health and does he think he can really win the Royal Rumble Match. I think what will come out of tonight's Daniel Bryan segment is that Bryan will take on Kane on SmackDown this Thursday. Kane should be the first and only person that Daniel Bryan competes against.
3.) Ramifications for Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose had a pretty interesting week on Raw last week he fights Bray Wyatt in a brutal Ambulance Match and then he reunites with his former Shield brother Roman Reigns to take on The Authority. Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins & Big Show in a very good tag team match on SmackDown. Will Dean Ambrose get punish for defying The Authority? I wouldn't be opposed to seeing a rematch from SmackDown. Maybe you can see The Big Show & Seth Rollins take on Roman Reigns in a handicap match. Or we can just see another Roman Reigns vs. Big Show match possibly turn that into a No DQ match. I'm surprised that Roman hasn't spoke about the Royal Rumble match like Batista did last year. The story should be The Authority doing everything in their power to make sure that Roman Reigns doesn't win the Royal Rumble Match.
4.) WWE Commentary Change + WWE Mid-Card's Thoughts
I always go out of my way to gives my thoughts out there for those fans that do enjoy the mid-carders in the WWE. I think it's important for any wrestling analyst, broadcaster or even fan to pay attention to what's going on the mid-card because there's alot of good talent on the WWE Roster. Continue to build that heat for The Ascension keep putting them in squatch matches why not it continues to make people talk about The Ascension and that's what they want. I think we'll Rusev continue to take digs at Ryback because Ryback is not in the WWE anymore, so yea he can call him a coward again. I think we'll see Bad News Barrett rebound from his lost on SmackDown to Sin Cara. BNB will lay out Sin Cara in the rematch tonight. It's looks like we're getting a tag team turmoil for the WWE Tag Team Championship sometime soon with The Usos, The New Day, Gold & Stardust, The Miz & Damien Mizdow, The Ascension and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. I don't think that match will happen tonight, but that's something that can work for the Royal Rumble or at the WWE Fast Lane PPV. WWE made an announcement that Jerry Lawler will no longer will be on the Raw announce team which is an end of a era, but also there's a underlying problem with the Raw announce team it's not Michael Cole it's JBL. Why should I have to continue to listen to a bully who had a overrated career, who continues to bury young talents and is the Bill O'Reilly of professional wrestling broadcasting.
5.) WWE Divas Championship Feud
Seems like tensions continue to rise with the return of Total Divas. Natalya & Nikki Bella have been feuding over the last couple of week's, but just as the WWE Championship match turn into a triple threat match, the WWE Divas Championship can turn into a triple threat match with Natalya, Paige and Nikki Bella. Paige & Nikki Bella had a phenomenal match on WWE Main Event last week. Raw is three hours there's no reason why Paige & Nikki Bella can't have the same amount of time in the ring on Raw tonight like they did on WWE Main Event. Nikki Bella continues to improve as Divas Champion and I'm actually looking forward to see what happens with the Divas Division heading into WrestleMania 31.
Follow Josh Lopez on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR
There's some rumors going around about TMZ revealing the first inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. The rumors is that Randy "Macho Man" Savage will be the headling inductee in this year's class. The announcement should be made tonight on Raw. If that does happen all of us here at Condo on the Moon would like to congratulate the Poffo family on this crowning achievement. R.I.P Macho Man OOOOOOOO YEA!!!!!!!! DIG IT! Enjoy Raw tonight.
Friday, January 9, 2015
Happy New Year as we catch up on things coming out of the holidays. We do in fact talk about the Big Show and how him being Roman Reigns first feud coming back has been a disaster. Horrible number for the first TNA show both in watchers in the building and on T.V for their debut on Destination America. WWE commentary is getting a shake up. Daniel Bryan is coming back on Smackdown to get ready for the Rumble. Mania card seems foggy as New Japan had their version of Wrestlemania with Wrestle Kingdom 9 come off as a critical success. This and a lot more with myself and Chris Walder. We're Back for 2015.
If you are not able to access the podcast here head over to podomatic and listen there or through I-Tunes.
Help us grow the podcast this year as we look to get more ears listening to us in 2015. We just expanded our bandwidth and storage in anticipation of a bigger and better 2015.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The WWE is not doing Roman Reigns any good with their booking of him since his return from injury. Even during his injury, his promos on his recovery were dull and boring. It would have made better sense showing reigns working out getting ready to return. If for nothing else, a sweaty Roman Reigns would have made the ladies happy. In any case, WWE who wants Reigns to be their next big thing has done a terrible job of getting him to that point.
Roman Reigns promos have long been source of concern to hate for people that have not been on board with the Reigns push. Roman obviously owns some of the blame for his lack of ability on the microphone. I would counter with could anyone have gotten over the crappy superman promo material he was given on this past Raw. It was horrible and just was doomed to fail for anyone presenting it in any king of serious way. Maybe it would have worked for the Hurricane back in the day in a comedic character bit. Roman Reigns is supposed to be taken seriously not as a joke.
It is not just the terrible promo material coming from Reigns that has been an issue since returning. Whoever thought booking him against the Big Show upon his return did him no favors either. Name the last person Big Show helped get over in recent memory. In their first interaction, Reigns hit Big Show with a Superman punch that he barely sold. Big Show should have been at the very least knocked off his feet. Is it to much to ask from Big Show to take bump off the Ring apron?
While in contrast Reigns has had to sell far too much for the Big Show making Reigns look rather weak. This is doing very little to get people excited for Reigns heading into the Royal Rumble. Matches with the Big Show leave a lot to be desired in terms of being entertaining. It takes a certain type of talent to get a good match out of the Big Show especially at this point in his career where he is basically mailing it in most nights.
Going back to prior to his injury there was speculation that Randy Orton was less than thrilled to be working with Reigns and putting him over. Orton apparently deeming the Reigns was not worthy of the push he is receiving. This is another situation of a program where Reigns seemed to be handicapped and not given a fair chance at success. Apparently, Randy did not get the memo about making Reigns look strong that C.M Punk was subjected too prior to a pay-per-view match.
If the WWE sticks with the plan to have Reigns win the Royal Rumble it is likely to be met with a similar reaction to that of last year when Bautista. Ironically that match ended with Reigns being last to be eliminated in that match. Daniel Bryan making his return in this upcoming Royal Rumble is a serious roadblock to anyone winning the Rumble other than him.
The goal to have Reigns head to Wrestlemania to face Brock Lesnar and had the WWE booked Reigns correctly it could work well. They have done a terrible job since his return from injury to the point there is many rumors of some altered plan for Wrestlemania. It was a fairly simple plan to have Reigns as the one to beat Lesnar and get the rub as Brock likely is out the door to resume a career in MMA. Reigns could be the one that beat the one who ended the Undertaker’s streak.
Reigns just is not working hard enough to grab that brass ring. This would likely be what Vince McMahon would say if the plans do change. Let us blame the talent and not the horrible writing or booking that played a major role in Reigns not getting over, as he should have upon his return from injury.
Believe That! Still that just will never happen when they can pass the buck and blame their talent those damn millennials just being afraid to fail. It has nothing to do with bad writing, booking or older talent trying to keep their spots.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
The return of the Authority brought with it a pretty brutal edition of Raw. There were many reasons why this Raw was terrible which came on the heels of at least an interesting Raw to close out 2014. There was a change to Royal Rumble main event, the continuation of terrible booking for Roman Reigns and end of a disappointing Ambrose and Wyatt feud. It really was disappointing and for those who sampled NJPW they had to be scratching their heads. I did not think Wrestle Kingdom was as awesome as others did but in comparison to what we saw on Monday night, it was mind-blowing difference in the products. So let’s dive into it and figure out where this is all heading.
1. Roman Reigns Continues To Be Killed By WWE’s Pushing of Him: People blame Roman Reigns for not getting over but in reality, he has been handcuffed and I am not sure anyone could get over with the crap he has been given. Booking him against the Big Show is the first part of the problem. Name me the last person Big Show actually got over in a feud. The WWE is booking him strong against the guy in Reigns they are trying to push to the moon. Every time Reigns has to sell to Big Show, it kills him a little more.
There could be some debate about that but not much that makes sense. What can’t be debated is terrible writing that has been given to Reigns in terms of promos. People talk about his lack of ability to get over a promo. I suggest to you that you need to have the material to have a chance to get over. The latest Reigns literal Superman promo was the worst yet and trust me you can BELIEVE THAT!
2. Seth Rollins Added to Royal Rumble Main Event: Perhaps the most debatable point in recent months is if Rollins is over as a heel. WWE has booked him into the Royal Rumble Championship match with John Cena and Brock Lesnar. No one really wanted to see Lesnar vs. Cena III straight up for the title. So adding Rollins to the mix is interesting and does make sense based on how the second Cena vs. Lesnar match ended.
Maybe I am in the minority but I have a hard time buying Seth Rollins as a serious threat to become the World Champion. I can’t imagine Rollins as the Champion in the Main Event of Wrestlemania 31. Perhaps putting him in his title match is a step to making folks like me buy Rollins as a legit contender for the WWE World Championship. The Authority returning does not help him though as in their absence at least he was booked as the top heel. In the large shadows of Triple H, Stephanie not to mention Brock and Heyman, he quickly becomes irrelevant.
3. The End of Ambrose vs. Wyatt: When it first was set up even with the wacko hologram, many people myself included, still thought this could be a great feud. In the end, we saw some good to great matches but not a great feud. Tonight’s ambulance match was ok but seemed out of place on this horrible show. It also didn’t stand out from any of the other brawl-based matches they have had. Wyatt got the better of this feud in terms of wins and losses. Ambrose who was very hot coming into this feud comes out of it not nearly as hot. It really failed to deliver what fans had expected going into this feud.
Wyatt seems to be being protected for some big Wrestlemania program. The rumors have been if Taker comes back, he would face Bray Wyatt. Which is a wrong move considering Sting will also be on Wrestlemania as well facing Triple H by all indications. Fans have clamored for a Sting vs. Taker match for over a decade. This will make both matches fall flat. What about Dean what is his future for Wrestlemania? I have no idea other than if Seth is not your Champion perhaps another match with him for the briefcase at Mania would work. In the end, Wyatt and Ambrose the first time around did not set the world on fire.
4. John Cena Attempt To Get Him Over Number 1.734.204 fails: John Cena was once again a focus for the Authority as they attempt to build sympathy for John Cena who that is just not possible to do at this stage. After being forced to bring back the Authority to save Edge, now in the conclusion of Raw former members of Team Cena were fired after being screwed with earlier in the night by the Authority.
Ziggler was booked in I-C title match with Wade Barrett by Triple H. Ziggler would win the match and Barrett would have a vicious attack on his shoulder. Corporate Kane came out and informed us that this was actually a two out of three falls match. Barrett would win quickly in the second fall. Ziggler would put up a good fight but eventually lose. Barrett wins the I-C Title, which in reality is actually nice, as he never lost the title.
Rowan was booked against Harper with special guest refs the Stooges 2.0 Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury. They screwed Rowan and joined in on a three-way beat down with Harper on Rowan. While Ryback originally booked in a one on one match with Seth Rollins ended up being in a handicap match with Kane and Seth. He would fight hard but eventually lose.
They all end up fired and John Cena is made to be held responsible for these people being fired. It is another failed attempt to build sympathy for John Cena. Wrestling fans have seen these firing angles to many times to take them seriously. Cena is just not a sympathetic character at this point. Will see what corny way John Cena saves the jobs of his supposed friends.
5. Bad Gimmicks Continue to Be Bad: The New Day, The Ascension and Adam Rose. They all suck for different reasons but are all proof of the fact the WWE can’t come up with interesting gimmicks in 2015 for mid-card or lower card talents. What all of these gimmicks have in common is they were dead literally a couple weeks after being launched. The latest being the Ascension who have become a joke by their own hand comparing themselves to Demolition and Road Warriors.
Honestly it is so terrible what we have seen lately if you are in NXT you should consider yourself fortunate and not be in any hurry to get up to the main roster.
It’s a new year but Raw is stuck in the same place drowning in it’s own crap at this point. For those hoping for Daniel Bryan to be some savior to all of this it should be noted there was zero reference to his announcement last week that he is returning in the Royal Rumble. That is not a good sign for the Yes movement.
Monday, January 5, 2015
Happy New Year's everybody. New leash, New year, New WWE? Well maybe not new WWE, but tonight is the very first Monday Night Raw of 2015 in Corpus Chirsit, Texas. WWE finished 2014 on a high note with a stellar edition of Monday Night Raw. Tonight there's no special guest general manager because The Authority is back "BABY!" sorry Adam Cole. There's not another WWE LIVE Event going on tonight, so everybody is back it's a new year and we'll see how the build towards the Royal Rumble continues. Here's five things to expect on January 5th edition of WWE Monday Night Raw.
1.) The Authority Returns
I know alot of people are upset with the fact that The Authority is back, but I couldn't be happier. This show with the exception of Seth Rollins has been severley missing powerful and impactful heels. I love The Authority they're great, and I don't mind they're 20 minute in-ring promos because when you see Triple H & Stephanie McMahon on WWE Television it's the purest demonstration of how to be an effective heel. Was it too soon for them to return? It's subjective, but we already knew that The Authority was coming back. I think we'll get The Authority special meaning that tonight's main event will be John Cena & Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins & Big Show. Also we'll probably see Kane vs. Ryback. The Authority's back and it's best for business. Believe That!
2.) The Ascension + WWE's Tag Team Division
It's not enough, but it's better than nothing. I love how people complain about WWE not bringing up new tag teams and they don't try to build stars and when they actually bring up new tag teams or new stars up to the main roster you don't give them a chance. The Ascension just debuted last week on Raw and I couldn't be happier for both Konnor & Vitkor making the most out of this opportunity because it's something different we don't really know what their gimmicks is and please can we give this gimmick sometime to build before throwing into the firepit. I get it they look like the Road Warriors, but I didn't know that the Road Warriors were into illuminati. The Usos became the brand new WWE Tag Team Champions last week in a great back and forth match with The Miz & Damien Mizdow. I expect to see The Usos defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against Miz & Mizdow in a title rematch and after the match The Ascension will lay out The Usos to send an impactful message. If The Ascension doesn't come out during that match I wouldn't be opposed to seeing The Ascension do the same thing they did on SmackDown last week where they put waste to local enhancement talent.
3.) WWE's Mid-Card Feud's
For what it's worth I think the WWE has been doing a great job with the fact that they're using actual storylines are for all the mid-card titles. We know that the WWE is teasing a match between WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella and Natalya. Yea it's kind of a plug for E! Total Divas, but they've been slowly building an actual feud between Natalya and Nikki with the fact that Tyson Kidd & Nikki Bella continue to flirt with each other. The Ryback & Rusev feud intrigues me, I loved the Ryback promo from Raw last week they haven't done that type promo for any mid-carders in year's. Rusev continues to improve in the ring and as a heel. I proposed that Ryback and Kane match and possibly Rusev will come out to interfere in that match who knows maybe Kane wins that match since The Authority is back, but I really think the feud between Ryback & Rusev is the best thing for both guys at this prior moment. My boy Bad News Barrett came back from injury last week and it seemed like he was going to be a babyface now, but I think a good way to put Barrett back into that heel role is if you do this. I would set up a match between Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. Dolph Ziggler & Bad News Barrett. It would be a great match for the WWE and all of the fans and to spice things up you have Dolph trying to give Bad News the hot tag and he gives him the Bad News Bull Hammer there you go that's your Intercontinental Championship feud. Bad News goes after the title he never lost.
4.) Who will enter the Royal Rumble Match?
Even though I hate when current Money in the Bank Contract holders enter Royal Rumble Match, I do think to start off the show as a gift to Seth Rollins for bringing back The Authority. The Authority will announce that Seth Rollins will be in the Royal Rumble match. I think we'll finally see Royal Rumble Qualifying Matches or maybe a Beat the Clock Challenges for certain enteries for the Rumble Match. I'm just throwing it out there because I think that would be a great idea because it allows the three hours to be must see and it's the first Raw of the year you would think that the WWE would want to start the year off with a bang. Possible entrants of the Rumble Match that come out of my head are Luke Harper, Jack Swagger, Big Show, Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler etc. I would like to see how they'll follow up the return of Daniel Bryan he's not currently advertised for tonight's show, so will it be a pre-recorded interview or just a recap highlight package of his announcement from last week? We'll see what happens, but it's important for the WWE to make sure they tell the fans that there's numerous amount talents that can be favorites to win the Rumble instead of just Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan
5.) Ambulance Match
The feud between Dean Ambrose & Bray Wyatt comes to an end tonight and I really do believe that. I've enjoyed the feud between Ambrose & Wyatt it kind of reminds me of the feud between Ryback & CM Punk. Is Dean Ambrose buried if he loses another big stipulation match? Is Bray Wyatt buried because of all the hype of his return was for all him to go into a Ambulance? Honestly who cares, really because both of these guys have great futures ahead of them remember folks they've been on the main roster television for 2-3 years their careers are not over yet. I think this will be a great match whether it finishes off the show or not I do think that Bray Wyatt & Dean Ambrose are going to head into this match with a massive chip on their shoulder because there's alot of talk of Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns becoming the main focus of WrestleMania 31 and I feel that Bray & Dean will look make a major statement as the Royal Rumble is fastly approaching.
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Make sure to tune into Josh's wrestling radio show the Pro Wrestling Experience @PWEShow. The first show of the year will be LIVE this Wednesday January 7th from 10am-1pm CT on Chicagolandsportsradio.com. We'll be reviewing #RAW, WrestleKingdom 9, a preview for the returns of Lucha Underground and TNA, and we'll have an interview with Nigel McGuiness from ROH and LA Fights.
Back for an extended Christmas vacation and some things have happened in wrestling since we have been gone on. Perhaps the most important is Daniel Bryan announcing he is coming back at the Royal Rumble and will be part of the Royal Rumble Match.
This was quite surprising as some reports not to long ago that he was likely going to be out until July and miss Wrestlemania. Now suddenly he is returning at the Royal Rumble the spot where his incredible rise to the Main Event of Wrestlemania 30. Bryan was left out of last year’s rumble and the crowd turned large on the returning Batista.
People seem to think Bryan now is in line to win the Royal Rumble and main event a second Wrestlemania. It doesn’t seem likely to me given how the WWE feels about Bryan. I still feel the WWE wants Roman Reigns to be in the main event spot and I would imagine whoever eliminates Bryan will be his match at Wrestlemania. There has to be some legitimate concern about getting behind Bryan based on his health. How does someone go from needing a second surgery to return unexpectedly to his top spot he left when he was forced to vacate the title? It just doesn’t seem to make sense from the WWE’s point of view.
I also wonder what kind of style of Daniel Bryan we will get upon his return. It only makes common sense hat his style needs to be toned down significantly.
I can’t see myself watching Daniel Bryan without being in fear for Bryan Danielson health in real life. He likely will never get back to the level he was at coming out of Wrestlemania 30. Fans still love Bryan, but they have not come to the realization that he likely can never be the same. His best matches are likely in his past and not his future. It is sad to say but it is likely the truth.
Can Bryan still be part of the company and still stick around for a few more years? He probably can and he could do something similar to what Foley did in the late stages of his career in a more comedic based roll. That likely isn’t what Bryan’s fans want to see but it is likely what is best for him at this stage.
Will Bryan do the smart thing and do any of this and take a step backwards in terms of his work might not happen. He really needs to think about his long-term future and not end up in a position where he is worse off in terms of his long-term future.
People expecting him to storm back and end up in a main event against Brock Lesnar is likely not what is best for him. Bryan desperately wanted to work a match with Brock but this is not likely a good idea. Lesnar is about as stiff as it gets.
For better or likely for worse, Daniel Bryan is back. Let’s hope he’s smart enough to allow all those YES chants make him do some things that are not best for his future.
You have to ask yourself, as a fan is it worth it to see this guy return based on the risk involved. I worry for a guy who came so far and made it to levels he never was suppose to get too. Daniel Bryan has already over achieved to levels he likely never was suppose to get too. He is a WWE Hall of Famer if he retired tomorrow. Wrestlemania 30 will forever be the peak of Daniel Bryan’s career no matter what he does in his future from today.