Friday, February 27, 2015
Matt shares with us the buzz that went through Ring of Honor when news got out that Samoa Joe was returning to ROH. Walder is back and we breakdown the card and give our thoughts on who will be the winners and losers for ROH in Vegas.
We also talk about what happened at Fastlane and we give SOME divas a chance and go to town on others. Stephanie gets into a twitter tiff with A.J Lee while WWE is backing their doctor suing her husband. Brock Lesnar wants to have his cake and eat it too and WWE says no leaving Mania main event in some jeopardy for the moment. It's a jam packed extended addition of the podcast as we celebrate a year of bringing you the goods each and every Friday.
If you are unable to listen through the site head over to Podomatic and listen or download there.
If you missed our other interviews heading into this ROH PPV go have a listen:
Listen to Tommasso Ciampa
Listen to Kingdom's Mike Bennett
Thanks to Matt Taven and the folks at Ring of Honor for their help to get some great interviews in just our first year on the job. We look forward to working with them for another year and giving all of you a great wrestling podcast to listen too. Thanks to all that have found us over this first year and we hope to keep building the podcast and website for years to come. Also thanks to Chris Walder for being my co-host for a year and Josh Lopez for pinch hitting on occasion
It's a big weekend for ROH so support them if you like their product, they have put together a heck of a show here for this Sunday.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
It has been a wild 48 hours or so in the land of WWE as there may never be a road to Wrestlemania like this one. A fan movement by WWE fans to get more attention and time followed by A.J Lee and Stephanie McMahon engaged in twitter combat. Steph was reacting to something from the Oscars about women’s equality and it led to A.J Lee responding with thoughts on how that equality does not occur in WWE. Lee has been missing from WWE with an apparent neck injury. There is also a ton of baggage tied to her husband C.M Punk. Who recently has been sued by the WWE doctor he called out in his November podcast with Colt Cabana, who is also being sued. WWE has come out in just support of their doctor who is suing Punk and Cabana for what was originally reported as one million dollars in damages but the figure has risen to two million in later reports in his defamation legal action.
Normally a drama like this would be big news but it is really just a side story after news and rumors that broke yesterday. Stephanie did respond to Lee on twitter thanking her for voicing her opinion.
The opinions on the Wrestlemania 31 main event have been many in the past months with Roman Reigns now locked in it would have appeared to face Brock Lesnar. The kickoff to building that main event should have got rolling in full effect this Monday on Raw. Brock Lesnar attended but apparently walked out and ended up not appearing on the show. There was a rumor going around this surrounded Lesnar not wanting to fight Reigns based on the fact he allegedly had failed a drug test. It seems this was more fiction than fact from what most are saying once this rumor hit the main stream on the internet. What everyone agrees is Brock did walk out and is not happy about something. Lesnar has been widely rumored to be considering a return to MMA once his contract ends after Wrestlemania.
Lesnar is not scheduled to appear on WWE television again until March 9 th and a second appearance on the Monday prior to Wrestlemania. There is now at least some doubt if Lesnar will actually be a part of things. Could the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion be a no show for Wrestlemania?
After all the drama and struggle to keep Roman Reigns in this main event to defeat Lesnar and be crowned the Champion and the unofficial future face of the company it might be Brock that is the biggest problem not Daniel Bryan and his fan base.
If Lesnar were to walk out on the WWE in the same way as C.M Punk did 13 months ago, it would literally turn Wrestlemania upside down with basically a month to go to the show. It would make sense that if Lesnar does not appear on television for the March 9 th appearance it would be huge cause for concern for the Wrestlemania main event and be at a critical stage. How long could the WWE go along without introducing a plan B to explain Lesnar’s being eliminated from the picture and the title he holds most likely being declared vacant.
This would be a last resort and could really put the WWE in a situation they have never faced. In the past big matches for Mania has been placed in state of jeopardy based on injury. Rock vs. Austin the final of the series of three had Austin in hospital the night prior. Kurt Angle was dealing with serious neck issues entering his match with Lesnar for the title when they faced off for the title.
What all of this says or at least implies is that Lesnar is not likely re-signing with the WWE and even if he shows up for Wrestlemania to say he will be easy to work with for an inexperienced Roman Reigns would be a fantasy most likely.
The drama behind the scenes heading into this Wrestlemania is becoming far more interesting than the card itself. This would be a terrible situation if the WWE could not produce the main event they have promised and basically pushed through despite fans not being on board with it. This could all be a great work to ensure Lesnar comes off as a heel in his match with Reigns but that is likely wishful thinking. Is it to late to book Triple H and Stephanie against Punk and A.J Lee as the main event? I joke but what they would have to come up with at this late stage would be far from ideal to say the least.
Monday, February 23, 2015
WWE Fastlane seemed more like it was in the bicycle lane when all was said and done last night. There are so many challenges to trying to book a show sandwiched between the Rumble and Wrestlemania. It still is not an excuse for what we saw last night. It really was a show lacking any kind of real buzz to it. The way the card was booked was a mistake from the start in my opinion. We started with the new job squad as I have dubbed them Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback going against Kane, Big Show and Seth Rollins. This match meant little in grand scheme of things. It was based all about what happened at the end of the match with the return of Randy Orton. The match went to long and had the heels going over winning the match.
Orton’s return was fairly muted as it really was so expected to happen. Fans had been aware Orton had been back for a while working house shows but being kept off television. Orton is never really great as a baby face and the timing of his leaving to do a movie was unfortunate because fans at that time were ready to embrace Orton as a face. Now the moment has somewhat passed and we still have 35 more days to Wrestlemania. This feud was hot when Seth laid out Orton but they have waited to long and the buzz for it needs to be recreated.
The Goldust against Stardust match bombed on pretty much every level. The problem was obvious and crowd in the pre-show gave you the answer in how they reacted to Mizdow. Fans are hot to see the payoff for the Mizdow and Miz feud. The brothers Rhodes feud has been teased for a number of years and people have just lost interest. It was just the idea of having two programs with a similar storyline of a tag-team break-up that was an issue. Stardust and Goldust match was not received well and the finish the ref botched the three-count making the ending very anti-climatic on top of everything.
If you’re looking for a nugget for the hardcore internet fan base, they were given Tyson Kidd and Csearo won the tag belts against the Usos. It was a good match and was at list a minor surprise in the finish. Maybe it gets Kidd and Csearo on the pre-show in re-match with the Usos on the Mania Pre-Show.
The Bellas flat out suck and are killing the Divas division one program at a time. They can’t act and while people praise there improvement in the ring it is far less than people make it out to be. Nikki Bella was not able to sell pulling of the tights that I am not certain but likely is part of your first week in being a wrestling villain class. I suppose this sets table for yet another Wrestlemania re-match with Paige and Nikki if they choose to go there. As bad as build with Bellas was to this match, I am not sure I could survive another 5 weeks of it.
Dean Ambrose talked about as we wrote awhile back about the idea of him restoring the luster of the I-C title in the pre-show. He has his match resulting in getting a cheap disqualification and ends up stealing the title at the end of the match. Yet another re-match set up for Wrestlemania. The log for Wrestlemania 31 should have a rewind button of fast forward button instead of play. On paper, this is shaping up as the Wrestlemania of re-matches.
Another re-match which most everyone expected coming in will be John Cena taking on Rusev who cheated by low blowing Cena and having him pass out in his version of the Camel Clutch. It all builds to the big Wrestlemania Re-Match with Rusev. Like with Bray Wyatt it seems Cena will get the win at Wrestlemania where it means the most.
Speaking of Bray Wyatt, he made his intentions crystal clear on his Wrestlemania direction as he came out faking an entire Undertaker entrance. Crowd wasn’t happy to see Bray in the casket. A match with an aging Taker really is a no win situation. Fans don’t want to see Taker lose a second year in a row. While Wyatt really can’t afford to lose another big time as he did last year with Cena. The other unknown is what Taker has left in his tank. What is forgotten by the result of Lesnar winning is how horrible the match was between the two prior to the historic result.
The main event was exactly what I thought it would be. Daniel Bryan gave Roman Reigns a great match but Roman wins the match clean and keeps his main event spot with Lesnar for Wrestlemania. People might hate it but after caving to fan pressure last year, they really can’t afford to do it again this year. While fans might dictate what becomes of Roman Reigns in terms of being a heel or a face they can’t dictate his match as well. They have to draw a line in sand at some point that puts fans in their proper place. It is chaos if fans are allowed to control to much of the booking and direction of the show.
In the end if this is what Fastlane will be for the future I don’t see it having a long history and just is the latest failed new WWE special event name. It was a show that lived up to it’s free price tag as it offered nothing much worth paying to see it. Another example of where NXT did more to sell me on the WWE Network than the main roster product in a month of free programming.
Oh and in case your brain dead Sting is fighting Triple H. Over something that happened over 15 years ago that we are now suppose to care about? WCW vs WWE the Invasion 15 years to late how thrilling. In the end this is Wrestlemania that may offer more groans than cheers.
1.) Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, Where does Daniel Bryan go next?
It's official Brock Lesnar will defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 31. I thought Reigns/Bryan had a really good match last night and unfortunately this main event will be underrated because of the fact that Roman Reigns is not Daniel Bryan. It's time to move on and the WWE will not change their mind and there will not be any triple threat matches at WrestleMania. I'm sorry Daniel Bryan fans, but they're not holding him back if they did he would have never been in the main event of last year WrestleMania and that was the Daniel Bryan sentimental WrestleMania moment. Tonight Brock Lesnar is on Raw and after Fast Lane was over Paul Heyman said on twitter that both he and the beast will address Reigns on Raw tonight. Heyman will sell this feud and the promo we'll he hear tonight will back up my claim. Here's the question. Do we see Reigns & Brock brawl or Will we see Brock & Roman just stare at each other? If Reigns does wrestle tonight I think we'll see him fight Luke Harper. As far as Daniel Bryan is concern I think we'll see Bryan come out and talk about what happen in the match and we'll find who's Bryan opponent for WrestleMania. Alot of people are calling for Sheamus at the same time a wild card could be Dolph Ziggler, but I'm very interested to see how the crowd reacts tonight towards both Bryan & Reigns, but I think they made the right decision with having Reigns win, but that's me.
2.) The Viper is Back + Triple H/Sting
Last night was a very interesting night for The Authority on all accounts. Rollins, Kane and Big Show defeated Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan in a pretty solid six-man tag team match. Randy Orton finally made his return to the WWE last night and Seth Rollins ran for his life and that was awesome. The Orton/Rollins storyline plays for itself to be honest with you and that should be a bad ass match at WrestleMania. As far as tonight is concern we could have a rematch from last night or you can do Big Show vs Dolph Ziggler and then Erick Rowan & Ryback vs Kane & Rollins. Either way I think we see Randy Orton come out and go after Rollins again, but we're five weeks away we need to have Orton talk and make this match official. The Authority could start off the show with a in-ring promo and Triple H could address Randy Orton, but man Triple H got his own issues he has to worry with tonight. I thought the Sting/HHH face-to-face last night at WWE Fast Lane was perfect and very effective segment. We're five weeks away I would like to think that you see Sting on Raw tonight and during one of these Raws we need to hear Sting talk and not have Triple H put words in his mouth. Sting needs to get himself over with the WWE Universe and maybe 30 % of the audience remembers Sting through the WWE Network and saw Sting not talk for a whole year. No words were spoken and maybe that's just good poetic justice, but at the same time Sting is not like The Undertaker in the WWE he needs to talk at least once. You can have Sting cut creepy video package promo's that get into the head of Triple H if you don't want to have him at the Raw's before WrestleMania. The match is official for WrestleMania and we'll hear Triple H's thoughts on Raw tonight.
3.) John Cena/Rusev
I thought the match with John Cena & Rusev far exceeded the expectations I had for this match and really caught me off guard that Rusev actually won and made John Cena pass out. I told James during last week's podcast that I expected Rusev to kick Cena in the nuts and would put him out in the accolade just saying. Anyways I thought they made the right decision if there was one main thing I took away from this show last night it was seeing Rusev become a bigger star and legitimate threat. You have to give credit both of these guys even if your not a John Cena fan these two guys put on a really really good match for the United States Championship. Rusev used a traditional heel tactis to retain the title that always gets brownie points with me and now how will John Cena respond to submitting to Rusev? You will probably see John blame Lana for costing him the title and that same time I'm thinking this match at WrestleMania and John just says he doesn't want to fight for the US Championship he just wants to beat Rusev's streak and kick Rusev's ass. Cena hasn't been wrestling on Raw consistenly for months now and I don't understand that, but if he does fight tonight he will probably take on Luke Harper or Curtis Axel or just anybody to have release his "ruthless agression". The match was way better than I thought it was going to be and it raises my optimisim for their upcoming match at WrestleMania.
4.) Bray Wyatt/The Undertaker
Let me say this that Bray Wyatt promo was absolutely awesome probably my second favorite part of the show last night. We talk about career defining promo's from the Austin's 3:16 to CM Punk's Pipe Bomb Promo, it may not be to that scale as far being a main eventer of a company, but I think we saw Bray Wyatt's career defining promo last night when he called out The Undertaker for WrestleMania 31. Do we see Wyatt & Undertaker go face-to-face? Tonight you may see The Undertaker make his return to WWE tonight in Nashville. I can't wait for the build for this match and does this match need a hardcore element? I'm guessing this is going to be a Casket Match at WrestleMania, so you'll probably see Wyatt in matches and at the same time he'll bring a casket to the ring. You can see Wyatt cut promo's from grave yards yes it has been done before, but at the same time Wyatt is the king of current WWE storytelling and he can cut some awesome ass promo's from a graveyard. I can't wait to see what happens on the show tonight.
5.) WrestleMania Mid-Card
Dean Ambrose cost himself the Intercontinental Championship last night, we'll see what happens with him tonight maybe he takes on The Miz or Mizdow. Congrats go out to Tyson Kidd & Cesaro for winning the WWE Tag Team Championships. Do you think we get a rematch tonight? Or save it for WrestleMania? For tonight we can see maybe Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs The New Day, The Ascension can take on The Usos which may set up a big four way for the Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania. Nikki Bella retain the Diva's Championship last night by heel tactis, if AJ Lee's is going to be at WrestleMania she needs to be on the show tonight. Something needs to click for the Diva's division or we will just see another Total Divas battle royal for WrestleMania which is unfortunate. I thought the WWE did good business for with Goldust/Stardust feud really thought Stardust/Cody broke out last night and can't wait to see what happens with them tonight. The mid-card could be great for Mania and we'll see what happens. What's cool about this Mania opposed to year's past this WrestleMania is a showcase for the current crop of stars.
WWE advertised on WWE.com that there will be new inductees for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2015. There's rumors about The Bushwhackers and yet at the same time I'll throw this out there it could be either them, Demolition, The Dudley Boyz or Edge & Christian. Just a idea, but whoever gets the nod tonight we here at Condo On The Moon will like to congratulate this newest member in the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame.
That's a wrap for this week's #RAW preview hope you guys enjoy it. You can follow me on Twitter @VoiceOfTruth94 and check my out show the Pro Wrestling Experience every Wednesdays from 10am-1pm CT on Chicagolandsportsradio.com. Love to hear from you guys.
Friday, February 20, 2015
We welcome back Mike Bennett of the Kingdom and catch up with him on how life has been since his last visit to the Condo on the Moon. He went to Japan Twice, got a new fuzzy pink belt, Tom Brady his man crush won a Superbowl and oh yeah he married Maria. We talk about The Kingdom and get a update on how Adam Cole is doing. We also talk about not only Mike's tag team match on March 1st on the ROH PPV but being in the corner of his wife who will be facing ODB. It is a fun 30 minutes plus with Mr Bennett.
In addition Josh Lopez fills in for Walder who is off in our nation's capital. Is he getting is work visa for WWE....probably not. In any case Josh and myself tackle C.M Punk getting sued, Samoa Joe parting ways with TNA, Some NXT talk and a Fast Lane Preview. So it is a jam packed show.
If you do not see the player above head over to Podomatic and download or listen there.
Thanks to Mike and best of luck to him on March 1st at ROH's 13th Anniversary show going down live on PPV from Las Vegas.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Kevin Steen was one of the top talents on the independent scene for years. He was often thought of as a guy that would never make it to the WWE simply based on his size. Kevin is never going to be confused with a bodybuilder. He has since arriving in NXT done a lot of work in terms of his body and has dropped some pounds and his arms are not looking like the Hulkster but are looking more buff. It was how Kevin connects with a crowd and what he can do in the ring at his size that makes him standout. The fact Kevin even got to the WWE was amazing and perhaps the success of Bray Wyatt helped open the door for him. Wyatt is another guy that will never win a body building competition but it his great psychology and in-ring work that has elevated him in the WWE system.
I don’t think the biggest Kevin Steen/Kevin Owens fan could have written a script better than what WWE has done with him. It has been an amazing ride and Kevin Owens is remarkably the NXT Champion as he won the belt in just his third match on the WWE Network as part of the NXT product. He has been build as an ass kicker that fights with a single motivation to make life better for his family. This is the true motivation for Kevin Steen as an actual person. It has been said many times the best wrestling characters our people just being themselves and turning up the volume. This is what they have done with Kevin taking his real life story as a man with two young children and a wife and wanting to provide a great life for them.
It would just be a natural assumption that Paul Lévesque aka Triple H has been or become a fan of what Kevin has to offer. The success of Sami Zayn likely is a contributing factor to how well things have gone for Kevin. Zayn has been a standout for the NXT brand from the start since he arrived on the scene in the last couple of years. He has been the MVP of that brand and likely more talented than many of the recent call-ups from NXT. The story of Zayn and Owens real friendship was used to build the feud that elevated Kevin to instant success in NXT and the brand’s champion. Triple H prior to the NXT event that crowned Owens as Champion said it would have been foolish to ignore the real life back-story between Zayn and Owens. It sure seems that Kevin has become fast friends with his boss Triple H and been given a tremendous push to start his career in WWE.
Kevin has been turned into an NXT version of Brock Lesnar in terms of his presentation. He is going out and mauling people not just winning matches but literally knocking people out. It fits with the merchandizing they have done Steen based on the initials of his character’s name KO aka Kevin Owens.
It makes all the ringing of hands that fans of Steen had when he was going to WWE seemed silly now. Kevin has been treated like the big deal he was in Ring of Honor and the independents. I honestly don’t know how anyone could have any beef with what WWE has done with him to this point.
The fear will now shift to what happens when Kevin eventually makes his way to the main roster. There is a lot of worry for people like Sami Zayn, Charlotte and Adrian Neville who all seem on verge of heading to the main roster. We are still a ways off from worrying about Kevin jumping to that main roster and I would just suggest enjoying the here and now with Kevin. There is nothing to complain about right now. In terms of Kevin, there is zero to complain about right now.
Having had the chance to interview many of Kevin’s friends and colleagues, they all had confidence that Kevin would be a success. In speaking with people since there is a lot of just genuine happiness for how well things have gone for Kevin.
If I have learned, anything about Kevin is how much not just his fans but also many of the people he has shared a ring with love and respects him. It has been a dream like start for Kevin Owens in WWE and the man Kevin Steen is very deserving of it.
Fight Owens Fight…..is something very easy to root for. Even if he is playing the bad guy as he said on the most recent NXT he has not told a lie about anything since arriving in WWE. He is really at his core someone that you can’t help but root for him to succeed.
Monday, February 16, 2015
"Hey, hey, hey. What's going on here?" It's not time for save by the bell, but it's time for this week's Monday Night Raw Preview brought to you by Condo On The Moon's very own Joshua Lopez. It's the go-home show to the WWE Fast Lane PPV. Tensions continue rise as we down a hill to the last stop on the road to WrestleMania this Sunday. We've been on a roll with these previews as this columns are giving a unqiue perspective on the current WWE Creative Team and their plans for editions of Monday Night Raw. A lot of people try to find things to be mad or complain about, but here we take a look at the current storylines and if there's issues we try to turn those negativies to a positive. The American Dream Dusty Rhodes will be on the show and The Nature Boy will be on tonight's show as well. Here's five things to expect on tonight's Monday Night Raw.
1.) Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns Fiasco
I don't know about you guys, but I'm at the point where I could care less who wins the Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns match. Here's a dose of reality, for those saying that the WWE holds Daniel Bryan back you don't know anything about wrestling. Little fun fact for you if a guy was being held back or buried why would WWE have Daniel Bryan compete in a title match in all of the 5 WrestleMania's he competed in. Roman Reigns is not ready, but at the end of the day who is? It's a lose lose situation for whatever type of wrestling fan you are. Don't get me wrong I like both guys and I enjoy the current storyline they're in it's the fans and the mood surrounding this feud that just gets me aggravated. People say that Daniel Bryan deserve his title run, but will people put their money where their mouth is when he's the main event of Mania and main eventing future Raw's and PPV's? Is the YES! Movement about the fans being part of the show or supporting Daniel Bryan for what he stands for? To me the YES! Chant is like the What? Chant. WWE has brought the anything you can know I could do better storyline back with Reigns & Bryan and for what it's worth it's been working so far. I enjoyed their tag team turmoil on SmackDown this past Friday night the fight they had with The Usos was awesome. Tonight will we see possibly Roman Reigns vs Kane, then Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show. You can also see Roman Reigns vs Kane & Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs Seth Rollins and J&J Security. Either way I tonight you will see Daniel Bryan seek his revenge on Roman Reigns for what happen on last week's Raw.
2.) John Cena & Rusev Program
I thought the WWE did a good job with the Rusev & John Cena storyline last week. I thought the video tribute Rusev gave to Cena last week was really funny and effective. I think what's helping this feud right now is not only because it's the perfect WWE esque storyline for both of these guys right now it's the fact that they're taking their time with this and not rushing anything. Last week on Raw we establish why this feud is happening and now it's about who will come out of Fast Lane as WWE United States Champion? Another cool thing with this feud if you will is that we don't really know what the long term plan is for both Cena & Rusev coming out of this feud. Can John Cena really become the US Champion on Sunday? Is this a one off feud? Can Cena put over Rusev? Tonight is going to be interesting because last week Rusev got the best of John Cena and his injured eye, now will the Cenation Leader get the best of the Bulgarian Brute. I think John Cena should take on Luke Harper tonight. Also what if any chance of us seeing the returning Celtic Warrior associate himself with this feud and get back the title he lost or possibly turn heel and go against the guy the left him off Team Cena at Survivor Series. I think tonight you'll probably see Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler or Ryback.
3.) The Rhodes Family Debacle
What's more tradition in wrestling new sites? The yearly Carlito & Shelton Benjamin apperance in the Royal Rumble? Or the Cody Rhodes vs Goldust match at WrestleMania? I think we may finally get it and what a perfect time for both of these guys. Reports are coming saying that Goldust will be hanging up the boots after Mania and what a way for him to go out against his younger brother at the grandest stage of them all. Will it be Stardust vs Goldust at FastLane then Cody Rhodes vs Goldust at WrestleMania? I'm really excited to see what goes down between The Rhodes Family on Raw tonight. I think we'll finally have a mid-card feud in-ring segments that's intruging and meaningful. What I think eventually happens is that Dusty will try to play to the crowd a little bit he'll introduce his sons and during the segment Dusty or Goldust will spit out the name Cody and either Stardust will attack Goldust to or knock down his dad and walk away.
4.) The Authority
I found out that the legendary "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair will be on Monday Night Raw to talk to Triple H about his upcoming confrontation with the vigilante "Sting" at WWE Fast Lane. I think we'll probably see a opening in-ring promo with The Authority where they promote the ppv say it's free you know the usual The Authority stichk and then they'll address what happen on SmackDown with Big Show & Kane and also the Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns situation. Wonder if this Authority storyline has brought unwaranted heat towards the company because let's say for the casual viewer who tunes into Raw and they see The Authority and people know that Triple H & Stephanie McMahon are actual authority figures it puts a black cloud on what we're watching because is this how they real feel about Daniel Bryan or it's a what's best for the storyline type of thing? Because you watch Raw and then you see The Authority constantly degrading Daniel Bryan and for those who are not die hard wrestling fans they can assume that's how the company feels about Bryan and the character's The Authority don't care about the fans. It's a double eged sword in this reality era, but in today's society people are so insecure and gulliable they see something on television it could be a random match on Raw and they'll believe it's a new storyline or this or that, so it's interesting to see where this Authority storyline goes and how its finishes. As far as tonight is concern I think we'll see the confrantation with Triple H & Flair and then it will be interrupted by a interesting video package from Sting that will get Triple H flustered before their confrantation at Fast Lane
5.) WWE Fast Lane Undercard
We know that Nikki Bella will defend the WWE Diva's Championship against Paige. Tonight we'll probably see Paige vs. Brie Bella again or her against Alicia Fox and maybe this time we'll see Paige get the best of the Bella Twins. Hopefully tonight they announce that it will be The Usos vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Will Dean Ambrose gets his opportunity at the Intercontinental Championship? I think we may also see Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan vs. Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show at FastLane due to what happen on Raw last week. Something else maybe for the pre-show you can do a number one contender's match with The Ascension vs. The New Day vs. Miz & Mizdow. That's all I got it's realistic outlooks as to what can happen on the undercard for FastLane.
Follow Josh Lopez on Twitter @VoiceOfTruth94
Enjoy Monday Night Raw everybody
Like what you read make sure to check out my wrestling radio show the Pro Wrestling Experience every Wednesday from 10am-1pm CT on Chicagolandsportsradio.com
Friday, February 13, 2015
Project Ciampa invades the podcast to talk about his shot in a 4-way main event for Jay Briscoe's ROH Title. We talk about that and a lot more with Tommaso. Prior to that Walder and I talk all about NXT and their latest show Takeover:Rival. In addition we give our thoughts on some twitter fires for the WWE.
If you are unable to listen here please head over to Podomatic and listen or download from there.
Thanks to Tommaso and the folks at Ring of Honor for always being great to work with in promoting their events and helping us bring you great interviews with ROH talent.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
NXT Takeover: Rival continued the tradition of awesome events for NXT. It was a night of change with both a new Women’s Champion crowned in Sasha Banks and Kevin Owens is the New NXT Champion. Instead of doing a re-cap of the show, I thought I would offer 10 observations based on last night’s show. There was a lot to talk about coming out of this show that is for certain.
1. Selfie Sticks Rule When Used By Tyler Breeze: It was a late edition to the card with Tyler Breeze taking on Heido Itami. When Breeze came out with a selfie stick all styled to match his outfit. I have missed Tyler Breeze and he had a good match with Itami that as I stated prior to the match both needed. Match aside the Selfie Stick stole the show as far as this match went.
2. Baron Corbin Is Not Ready For Prime Time: Corbin’s feud with Bull Dempsey has damaged him. The third in this trilogy of doom was suppose to be a no disqualification match but had very little in the way of weapons as part of the match. There were a few botched spots and Corbin just didn’t look good in a longer match. It is not like Corbin can’t succeed, but much like how people are critical of Roman Reigns and the position he holds currently. People seeing Corbin as this next big thing is not a role he is ready for at this time.
3. NXT Tag Team Division Needs Help: The Lucha Dragons and Blake & Murphy had a very sloppy tag-team championship match. Blake and Murphy are just to babyface for me liking. While people rave about Kalisto, I have seen him look like a red-hot mess on two NXT specials now. Sure, you have the Vaudevillians and Big Cass & Enzo, but just like on the main roster tag-teams are few and far between. It was a toss up for worst match of the night between the tag team match and Corbin and Dempsey.
4. Finn Balor A Better Version of Jeff Hardy: Finn Balor is a much more together version of Jeff Hardy in some ways. The introduction he has is a much better version of Jeff Hardy for modern times. His introduction is almost bordering on performance art. Once the bell rings with or without the pain, he is an amazing talent. He doesn’t have the baggage and bad habits that have held back Jeff Hardy from having the true career he could have had. Finn Balor should have a tremendous chance of success on the main roster and could be a big merchandise seller.
5. Ladies Hit A Home Run: Triple H talked about wanting to expand the roles for women on main roster on Stone Cold’s Podcast. A big reason for this desire has to be the talent he has seen in NXT. The four-way match that the ladies put on last night validated his opinion. All four women worked about as solid a 4-way match that you could hope to see regardless of gender. The success of Ronda Rousey in MMA is proof that times are changing and women fighting can sell. It may sound silly in the scripted world of pro wrestling it feels more real than the guys may at times. The talent is there to take the Women’s division back to its glory days with Trish, Lita and a host of other ladies.
6. Charlotte and Sami Zayn Next Stop Main Roster: Sami Zayn and Charlotte Flair both lost their titles and that seems to scream that time are now for them to be heading to the next level. If Triple H wants to expand the women’s division Charlotte Flair is the WWE’s Ronda Rousey to run with. The fact her dad is Ric Flair adds to her credibility. While Sami Zayn has nothing left to prove on the NXT level. While many fear what will become of Sami on the main roster his support from Triple H. Clearly, Sami has been taken under the wing of Triple H and just as other guys like The Shield and Bray Wyatt have had success I feel Sami will be able to do the same with his support and backing.
7. What is next for Adrian Neville: Some will say it also time for Neville to move on to the main roster. I have a feeling he will not and would almost be inclined to see him make a heel turn in NXT. He has lost in many face vs. face matches of late and always been taken the losses with class. Eventually he has to snap from this you have to figure. His size will always be a major concern on the main roster. Maybe with a Napoleon complex as a heel he would have a better chance than being the rumored Mighty Mouse type gimmick they planned. I still say face or heel he must have a manager and given faces seldom have mangers these days this is another reason to turn him heel. They teased a heel turn in his feud with Zayn so why not go all the way with it.
8. Sasha Banks Is Finally The Boss Of The NXT Women’s Division: Sasha Banks has lived in the shadows of Summer Rae and after that Charlotte but she now can truly be The Boss she has professed to be. I often felt her work was somewhat underrated as people were dazzled by Paige and after that the quickly developing Charlotte. The NXT fans have been behind her long before this moment but this is validation of her gimmick and she finally is on top of the mountain. It will be interesting to see how she handles being on top moving forward with Charlotte likely off to the main roster soon.
9. Cory Graves A Work In Progress On Commentary: Cory Graves was thrown into commentary out of the blue after being forced to retire as an in-ring competitor due to concussions. I felt on his first show in December he was somewhat better than he was last night. He probably has too many voices in his head telling him what he should be doing. I still like him and his style is unique from the other cast of characters. He is the closest thing we have seen to a heel announcer in NXT. If he is given the chance to grow into the role, I think he can be very good at this eventually.
10. Kevin Owens the Greatest Debut In NXT History: if you had told me 18 months ago, that Kevin Steen would even be in the WWE, I would have had a hard time believing it. It would not be that Kevin wasn’t good enough but that Kevin wasn’t the typical mold of what a WWE Superstar is. I could never have imagined not only is he here in NXT but also has been brought in as the dominant heel of the brand. In his words two months to the day, he debuted in his third televised match he has won the NXT Championship. It is mind-boggling and to see him pictured with Triple H with the NXT Title seems almost out of a dream. It is all very real though and Kevin is truly one of the best performers I have been privileged to see. It is so great to see him succeed and have success. It is so amazing the confidence and push he has been given on his way in the door in WWE. It really is a magical ride that Kevin has been on after months of waiting for him to debut. I don’t think this is the last title Kevin Owens will lay his hands on. He perhaps without knowing celebrated the same way as Brock Lesnar did when he beat The Rock head butting the title. I made the joke on twitter is it too late for Lesnar vs. Owens at Wrestlemania? It is one of those wrestling moments that I will remember for a long time... if not forever. Now the work begins, as Owens will look to stay on top and validate what has been afforded him in entering the company with such a strong push.
Fast Lane will have a tough act to follow. This is nothing new for the folks on the WWE Roster who finally have some competition that TNA could never provide. NXT has become not just the future of the WWE but a true force that should motivate people on the main roster that have a pulse and a competitive bone in their body. It was another fun night in the wrestling fantasyland that is NXT. In a place where things make sense, more than they don’t and talent exceeds the high expectations of demanding pro wrestling fans more often than they do not.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
It is always a big night when they have an NXT Special at Full Sail. It has produced some great cards to remember in the brief history of NXT. It promises to be an important night for everyone involved but perhaps more so for the five people we have targeted as needing to come through on this big stage.
Kevin Owens: Owens made perhaps one of the greatest impacts on his first night in at NXT than anyone has every. He was the guy that book ended the show and left a lasting impact. Now just two short months later he is challenging for the NXT Championship in tonight’s main even against long-time friend Sami Zayn. Zayn has made these NXT specials his personal Wrestlemania to display his skills to the world. He has consistently provided the match of night on every single one of these specials. While Owens and Zayn have had long and great feuds, in ROH and elsewhere this match now is displayed on the WWE stage and the stakes are high. Kevin if he could successfully capture the NXT Championship would have really done something even his biggest fans would not have seen coming for him so quickly in the WWE. The long time Ring of Honor star and former Ring of Honor Champion was the biggest drawing card for Ring of Honor for the better part of two to three years. If Owens wins, it will be a sign of incredible faith being put in him by the WWE and Paul Lévesque. It also could be a clear sign that Sami Zayn could be on to bigger things on the main roster of WWE. Everyone expects this match to be fantastic and thus the pressure is on to produce. If it doesn’t the blame will likely fall on Owens as Zayn has yet to have a bad match or even an average one in big matches like this. No one expects it not to be great but they still will need to deliver a great performance as they have in the past in places like Ring of Honor and PWG.
Baron Corbin: If Roman Reigns is the next big thing on the WWE main roster, you might say that is the position waiting for Corbin on the NXT roster. He has been packaged as a silent killer who was undefeated until losing to Adrian Neville in the semi-finals of the #1 contender’s tournament. He lost that match due to interference from Bull Dempsey who Corbin has already defeated on a couple of occasions. This match unlike the previous will be a no disqualification affair. In the end Corbin needs to shine in this spot and being on a card that is stacked will need to have some way to stand out amongst the crowd. He has a tremendous presence and a monster-finishing move in the End of Days. What we have yet to see is how Corbin can survive in a longer match. Neville provided the longest match he has had to date and his only loss. The interference in the match still leaves Corbin as very strong and he needs to carry that momentum and roll through Bull Dempsey once and for all. Dempsey has a gimmick that really hasn’t caught on with people and honestly has been a disappointment. It will be up to Corbin to not be dragged down and rise up and squash his opponent and continue on his journey to being a potential title threat perhaps sooner than later in NXT.
Sasha Banks: The lady who deems herself the Boss needs to perform like it tonight. It is thought that Charlotte Flair could be making her way to the main roster sooner rather than later. This would make a title change a real possibility in this match. Sasha had a really strong one on one match with Flair at the last event in December. This four-way encounter has a lot of options with Becky Lynch who has become Banks sidekick in recent months and Bayley as the other two competitors in this match. If Banks is to gain the title, it seems vital that she would get the pinfall over the current champion. Anything less than that would not do her any favors as the champion. If it doesn’t go down that way, it could be a great way to build on her heel persona but will always leave her as somewhat weakened by the fact she didn’t beat the champion. Like Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair says to be the man you have to beat the man or in this case woman. In any case, Banks has shown a lot of growth and improvement since Summer Rae left NXT and she has been more featured. This is her opportunity to shine and prove that she is more than just talk. In generally all four of these ladies, should have the potential to have a tremendous match.
Hideo Itami: The man that many knew as Kenta was made of as a huge deal when he signed with the WWE; it has not exactly been a run-a-way success to this point. It seems clear of the group known as the NXT 5 that Itami is the one lagging behind in his development. You have obvious challenges of coming to a new country and embracing a new culture and language. We see this often in the NBA with European stars trying to make that transition. Some do it successfully and quickly and others don’t. One thing that they have been doing with Itami is teasing him using the Go to Sleep. The move that C.M Punk made famous in the WWE but actually was a move he stole or borrowed from its inventor Kenta aka Itami. Perhaps that drama comes to an end and he finally hits the move and gets a much-needed win. Fans will love that at Full Sail how they would react on the main roster of the WWE is another story. The last thing Itami needs is being the creator of C.M Punk chants. Bottom line Itami needs to show the folks who are not familiar with him just how good he is. He will have an opponent that is motivated to do the same in Tyler Breeze. These two faced off in the opening round of the NXT #1 Contender’s Tournament. This re-match will mean a lot for both guys.
Tyler Breeze: Tyler Breeze has to pardon the pun had the wind taken out of his sails in recent months in NXT. He had really seemed to be on the rise when he had captured the #1 contender spot with a win over Sami Zayn. Since that time an injury and just being lost in the shuffle has made people somewhat forget about the Prince of Pretty. He needs to remind everyone of just how talented he is and have a great match with Hideo Itami win or lose. Tyler has shown he is much more than just another pretty face and can get it done in the ring. It is time for everyone to fall in love with Tyler Breeze again. On a show that has Kevin Owens vs. Zayn and Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville getting the match of the night is likely not in the cards. However, both Itami and Breeze need a match that at least gets them in that conversation, as both need to shine in this contest.
It is also a big night for others like Finn Balor, the new NXT Tag Champs of Blake and Murphy and everyone else. However, the five listed above have most to gain or more importantly lose in tonight’s event depending on their performances. It promises to be another can’t miss night of NXT Action that you won’t want to miss. There has yet to be an NXT special that has not delivered the goods and it is unlikely that this one will be the first not to do so. This should be a fun night of NXT action with a lot on the line for the people that make up the future of the WWE.
Monday, February 9, 2015
1.) Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
If you checked out last week's preview for Raw you'll see that I said that Triple H announcement was going to be Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane. I think it's the best choice right now especially with the fact that the WWE Network is for free right now, so having a match like Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan not only makes storylines sense, but also business sense. Last week Daniel Bryan had a wonderful match with Seth Rollins for the right to take on Reigns at Fast Lane. I thought Roman looked "stronger" than he has in the last couple of weeks and I don't think this hatered for Reigns is going to last long. People will try to force upon the label of Cena 2.0 on Reigns cause the IWC needs somebody new to complain about once Cena retires, but Reigns and Cena are two different individuals. Roman Reigns surprsingly had a solid match with The Miz on last week's SmackDown. Daniel Bryan defeated Seth Rollins and J&J Security, but was taken out by The Authority after the match was over, so we have a interesting scenario going on for tonight. You probably see Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins & Big Show in the main event of Raw. If that doesn't happen the only thing I ask is that we don't see another Reigns/Big Show match. You can also do Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Seth Rollins & Kane due to the fact that Kane won't let Daniel Bryan alone.
2.) The Authority & Brock Lesnar
This is going to be a big week for The Authority. I think over the last couple of weeks The Authority has constantly had someone make them look bad whether it's Sting, The Rock, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns or even Brock Lesnar. The Authority hasn't made an impactful statement since they return. Seth Rollins for whatever reason feels that he deserves to be in every single title feud since he is the "future of the WWE". I don't know what's taking the writers so long to bring back Randy Orton it's a perfect storyline with him getting his revenge on Seth Rollins & The Authority. You see Orton at these live events why keep stalling his return for a four week build to mania. I don't know what Seth Rollins is doing at Fast Lane I'm guessing two options here. 1.) Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler. 2.) Seth Rollins, Kane, Big Show vs. Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, Erick Rowan. I don't think we're going to see another Rollins/Bryan match on free TV, but that's my opinion. I think for Raw tonight you'll most likely see The Authority start off the show with a promo. I'm getting sick and tired of the complaints about promo starting the show it's been going on since 1999 get over it. What caught me by surprise was the fact that Brock Lesnar the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is advertised for Raw tonight. So maybe while The Authority talks about Fast Lane, tonight's Raw, etc, Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman could come out and interrupt The Authority and complain about The Authority trying to pull a fast one on Brock Lesnar for not only swtiching the Royal Rumble Match to a Triple Threat Match, but now possibly switiching the main event of WrestleMania once again.
3.) Bray Wyatt
Check out this promo! I think anybody with a good recollection of the history of the wrestling knows that this Bray Wyatt/Undertaker is bound to happen at WrestleMania. I've been loving the promos from Bray Wyatt recently these are better than the promo's he cut on John Cena before WrestleMania 30 last year. If this match indeeds happen with Bray Wyatt and The Undertaker this match seriously needs a gimmicky style match ie Buried Alive or Casket Match. Wyatt had a really good match with Dolph Ziggler on last week's edition of Raw. I do think we'll see another backstage promo or maybe something to mix things up you can Bray Wyatt cut a in-ring promo this time. What's Bray Wyatt doing at Fast Lane? Does Bray Wyatt need to be at Fast Lane? As far as tonight is concern I'm going throw this out there as a wild card for tonight's show. You can possibly see Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena tonight. You can also see Bray Wyatt vs Daniel Bryan! Either way if Wyatt is not involved at Fast Lane I won't lose sleep about it. There's already so many things right now that needs to be set in place for WrestleMania, you can keep Wyatt off this PPV and it wouldn't effect him. I heard rumors of him vs. Boogeyman, but I don't see that happening it would be cool, but the match would probably be a squatch match.
4.) John Cena & Rusev
Is this match for the WWE United States Championship? For as little of a build that this feud has had so far I've enjoyed what I've been seeing so far with John Cena & Rusev. Where are we going with this feud? Is this a one match program? Are Rusev & John Cena fighting at WrestleMania? I think tonight is very important for the WWE to make us care and gives us a reason as to why these two guys are feuding with each other. Tonight you'll probably see a in-ring promo segment with John Cena & Rusev. It would be nice to see both of these guys in ring action tonight.
5.) Fast Lane Under-Card
As of now we know that Paige will be taking on Nikki Bella for the WWE Divas Championship. I think that's cool as far as tonight is concern I think we'll see Paige vs. Brie Bella or you probably see Nikki Bella vs. Natalya. Dean Ambrose challenged Bad News Barrett for the WWE Intercontinental Championship I think that would be cool as far as tonight is concern I think you'll probably see Dean Ambrose vs. Curtis Axel again or you can possibly see Bad News Barrett vs. Sin Cara or Zack Ryder. Do you consider John Cena vs. Rusev as the mid-card for FastLane? As far as the WWE Tag Team Championship Match at Fast Lane I think it will be The Usos vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro. Just looking at what happen on SmackDown you will see either Cesaro vs. Jimmy Uso or a six intergender tag team match with The Usos & Naomi vs. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Natalya. We may see the official splits of both Miz & Mizdow and Gold & Stardust with you will possibly see both of these teams lose to The New Day & The Ascension. Many possibilities, but the mid-card for Fast Lane should be pretty good from a wrestling perspective.
If you're a first time reader of this Raw preview, what you'll see is a forecast as to what you'll probably see on this week's edition of Raw. This preview includes a take at current storylines, and what's the most realistic options for those particular storylines to progress in the positive direction. Take a look back at our previous Raw previews, and what you'll see here on Condo On The Moon is the home for the most accurate Raw previews that you can't find anywhere else. These previews don't represent the personal taste of I Joshua Lopez. My goal here is to not only showcase my expertise if you will on the WWE product, but also to show you why these storylines are happening and how we can turn negatives to positives.
Tonight WWE is advertising a new Hall of Fame member for the Class of 2015. I think it may be legendary professional wrestler Ray Stevens. Also don't forget just like every NXT Special don't be surprised if you see Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks on Raw tonight.
I hope you enjoyed this week's Raw preview. Enjoy Raw. Follow me on Twitter @VoiceOfTruth94
Friday, February 6, 2015
We are back for another week of podcasting fun. We talk Roman Reigns big night on Raw leading to his match with Daniel Bryan on his Road to Wrestlemania. We also preview the NXT Takeover: Rival card coming up this Wednesday. Headlined by Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens for the NXT Title.
If you are unable to listen here on the site head over to Podomatic and listen or download from there. Thanks for joining us and next week we start to look ahead to the ROH PPV in Las Vegas. That and reaction to the NXT show from Wednesday and whatever else the week provides.
Thursday, February 5, 2015
Is Dean Ambrose the man to bring the Intercontinental Title back to its past glory? In a year that Randy Savage is going in the Hall of Fame, it makes you think of what the Intercontinental Title once meant. While Savage had a yearlong run with the WWE Title and a second shorter run with that belt that are on his Hall of Fame resume. He also some forgettable runs as WCW World Championship, but it is his time as the Intercontinental title run of just over a year that made him famous. In current times, even hardcore wrestling fans have to rack their brains to remember who the Intercontinental Champion is. If you don’t know, the answer currently is Bad News Barrett.
Dean had a long but really pointless run with the United States Title. I would venture to say it was the least title defenses in a title run until perhaps Brock Lesnar got his hands on the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Dean unlike Brock was always around it is just as member of The Shield his title was secondary to that. Roman and Rollins at the same time had the tag team titles but were much more active in defending them. The state of United States title has been even worse. It has become a little more important since Rusev got his hands on it but it is more just a prop to his overall gimmick. The fact John Cena is challenging for this title in a few weeks and even people that dislike Cena would admit this title is beneath his status. This is part of the problem in how weak these championships have become.
Back to our original question is Dean the guy to take this title and bring it back to being a big deal? There was a time when Ambrose was the most popular guy in this company in the summer. The return of both Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan along with the rise of Seth Rollins as a top heel have left Dean in some sense stuck in this gimmick as this crazy unpredictable guy that loses more often than he wins. In fact, you would think in theory a guy with the Intercontinental Title would win more often than he loses. That hasn’t been the case though and perhaps it is time to change that. Dean needs more than just being unpredictable and crazy to remain over with fans. A strong title run with a champion that welcomes challengers and is a fighting champion might be a good role for Dean.
If he could have an extended run and come out of it gunning for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship it could be the best thing for that belt and for Dean. In the old days in WWE, you had two kinds of WWE Intercontinental Champions. You had guys like Savage and the Ultimate Warrior who were given the belt as a trial to see how they might do one day with the big title. This tradition carried on with the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold and even The Rock. Somewhere along the way from the Attitude Era to the PG Era, the Intercontinental Title lost that role. There was even a period when the title was but in mothballs. I am not sure if there is a point or person that is responsible for the decline of the Intercontinental Title. It just seemed to erode into insignificance.
Wrestlemania in early days often had its second most important match on the card. Savage defending the title and having his over a year long reign come to an end produced one of the best wrestling matches of all-time. It was a lot to do with two of the greatest wrestlers of all-time but it also was about fans wanting to see Steamboat get his revenge on Savage. In the built to that historic match, Savage tried to take Steamboat out attacking his throat. Fans were invested and it makes even one of the greatest matches of all time that much better. In front of according to the WWE their largest crowd ever had Hulk Hogan’s favorite dome the Silverdome.
Dean Ambrose gets compared to a lot of old time wrestlers from back in 80’s. Maybe he is the guy to take us back to when the title meant something. His reason for wanting a title shot is bizarre and makes little sense but who cares he is the right guy for the job. Barrett while I like him has had several runs with the belt to no real success. In fact, name me the guy on the roster in the mid-card that has been here for more than 5 years that doesn’t have multiple runs with the belt. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and a list that could go on much longer. The title in order to get over truly needs someone fresh attached to it and hopefully can understand what it once meant and how to make it mean that again.
If there is anyone in the WWE that is capable of bringing this title back from the dead it is Dean Ambrose. While many would be disappointed with Dean vs. Barrett title match at Wrestlemania it would be worth it if we could see Dean return to Wrestlemania in Dallas still with that belt it might be worth it. Dean Ambrose needs something to be his legacy in this break-up of the Shield. Seth Rollins has his Money in the Bank win, Roman Reigns has a Royal Rumble win and likely World Title run in his future so what about Dean? If he could have a long and meaningful title run that might be his ticket to be his legacy coming out of The Shield. He would be doing all of us a favor if he were able to restore the I-C title to what it once was.
If Dean can’t do it, I am not sure who can at this point. Dean seems well suited for the belt a great talker and solid worker in the ring. He matches the model of some of the great champions of the past and to me is a good fit to raise this title back up if only they book him in the correct way to allow him too. I am not suggesting anyone hold his or her breath that it will happen. I just see it as the best possibility for restoring the title and giving Dean something to focus on.
In the end, a title is only as strong as the person that holds it and how they are booked as the champion. If they believe, the belt means something and is important that is the first step. I only look over to current day Ring of Honor in which Jay Lethal their Television Champion considers his title the most important in the promotion. He will face Alberto El Patron (Del Rio) on PPV and it very well could be the main event on that show in Las Vegas. The Intercontinental Championship being the main event in WWE would be a laughable thought at this stage. The only time it ever did was in England at Summerslam when the British Bulldog challenged his brother in-law and champion Bret “The Hitman” Hart. It was one of the best matches of both men’s careers.
We don’t need to see that happen but we do need to see a Champion that we see as a main event talent holding that belt. Dean has already proven he can be that headlining a few shows with Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt. Dean and the Intercontinental Title is a marriage that could work for everyone.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
It was back to normal for the gang in the WWE as they hit Denver, Colorado for last night’s Monday Night Raw. It was a very interesting show followed by a Stone Cold Podcast with Triple H. This show had a couple of great matches and a lot of interesting moments giving us lots of talking points coming out of last night’s Raw. Some horrible stuff was mixed in but as Triple H admitted to Stone Cold, writing 3 hours of television is not an easy thing to do. So let us dive in with what most people would be talking about around the water cooler. If they ever get past, why Seattle didn’t just run the damn ball on Sunday?
1. Rehabilitation of Roman Reigns Continues: It was a mixed bagged night for the man the WWE want to crown the next king of the company in Roman Reigns. He finished strong I suppose that is the main thing. In the opening segment, he is forced into conceding his Wrestlemania title shot to have a match with the winner between Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan for that right. This ended up being the big announcement that Triple H had promised on the Live Smackdown on Thursday. This to me made Reigns look foolish and dumb not how I want to feel about my babyface making a run at the championship. WWE was going for more of this guy is not afraid to fight but it didn’t work for me.
The night seemed to continue to go down hill for Reigns as he yet again had to face the Big Show and worse yet he got screwed by Rollins and lost the match. Why you have your top guy or the guy you want to be the top guy losing to Big Show in 2015 is a mystery to me regardless of the circumstances. Later in the night, Daniel Bryan came to talk with Reigns and hoped he would not let his anger for Seth Rollins get in the way of Bryan's match with him later that night. He also informed Reigns that is was not going to be Rollins he would face at fast lane as Bryan stated he was going to win and move on to face him. A less than amused Reigns was rather dismissive of Bryan and told him to get out of his locker room. All making him look very much like a heel. Having his own locker room even gave the impression of being a heel.
At the end of the night everything would come full circle as Reigns come out and Spear the Big Show take out one half of J&J security and when Noble was caught trying to nail Bryan with Rollins briefcase Reigns would Superman Punch Rollins and Bryan would hit the running knee for the 1-2-3. Reigns in effect helped Daniel Bryan win and thus the two will square off at Fast Lane. A good night for Reigns but the real question will be what happens when he beats Bryan and retains his shot? That is what is going to happen, for any of you holding out hope for Daniel Bryan. I can say with full certainty he is not going to win this match. His job is to get a great match out of Roman Reigns and get him ready to battle the Beast Brock Lesnar. If fans accept, Reigns after that WWE will have pulled one over on them. I don’t sense fans not being smart enough to see through this whole charade.
2. Bray Wyatt Calling Out Taker?: It has been widely speculated that Bray Wyatt has been being build strong with the hopes for a match with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 31. Bray after another big win in which he pretty much no sold on Dolph Ziggler to hit his own finisher. He later would cut a promo that seemed to be geared at the Undertaker. It could be in reference to others if Taker isn’t the guy but the tease is clearly implied at Taker. Bray is asking a man who was once feared and now is a shadow of himself to come find him. If this ends up being true, it will be two huge names for Bray Wyatt in back to back Wrestlemanias. He lost to John Cena last year it would seem likely he would lose to Taker if he does in fact show himself this year. Still it is yet another big match potentially for Bray on the largest stage of them all.
3. Mizdow vs. Miz starting to come to a head? Miz last night fired Mizdow as his stunt double and re-hired him as his personal assistant. Miz has been growing more and more frustrated with Mizdow stealing the attention that he feels he deserves. Give WWE credit on this one they took a character that most of their audience felt had X-Pac type of heat and have used that to make a star out of Damien Sandow. They also have been patient building this mid-card angle slowly with more care than almost any other mid-card angle you can name in the last 6 months. It has been a good job and should land the two a singles match at Wrestlemania. Sadly in might be on the pre-show but will see it has been a great feud and Mizdow is insanely over with the people. I hate to admit this but it is not just of his own doing but the great work of the Miz in his role. I will never like the Miz and if he left WWE T.V, tomorrow I would never miss him. He has done a remarkable job in this angle and really, in the end the person who will get the most out of this isn’t himself. So good for him for acting like heel and getting someone over that is rare today in wrestling. Someone has to do it, as it is clear the people on commentary on Raw can’t get anyone or anything over. I would complain about the horrible job they do but we can do that every week. Booker traded out for Lawler has fixed nothing and things are status quo.
4. Randy Orton Return Teased: Seth Rollins and Triple H made mention of Randy Orton who since making his movie has been in MIA from the WWE. Triple H referenced him in stating that Seth needed to step up and make the most of his opportunities unlike how Randy Orton never did. Referring to his failed title run at this time last year at this time Rollins also reminded us all how he was the one that took Orton out of action by curb stomping him on the announce table. This is likely going to be Seth’s Mania program with Randy Orton and I have it as my earlier favorite for match of the night at Wrestlemania. I do this with full realization we could have a Daniel Bryan against Dolph Ziggler match. I still give the nod to Seth and Randy. They have a better story and more reason to be invested in their match. Bryan vs. Ziggler would be a great match but I am not sure what exactly I am suppose to be rooting for in that match other than that. Faces against face matches are tough under any circumstances but without a belt or reason for them to fight it become even tougher.
5. Triple H talks with Stone Cold: It was an interesting chat between the two. I would not consider it even half as compelling as the McMahon and Austin interview. Triple H gave what I expected, which were very politically correct answers and even on topics that were designed to get a reaction and Austin got none. Triple H stated the choices Chyna has made since leaving the WWE are why she would never get into the WWE Hall of Fame when asked if she was worthy. Triple H did put her over and say based on her resume of work she deserved to be inducted. In terms of C.M Punk, it was pretty much nothing topic. Triple H referred to Punk being distant and odd at times. When he heard rumors of Punk’s discontent, he would go to him only to be told by Punk that everything was fine. When asked If Punk were to ever-return, Triple H said, he would not be opposed to it and claims to have no beef with him at all. In talking about the current product and the fallout of the Royal Rumble and his work at NXT Triple H made it fairly clear where to direct your blame. It wasn’t at it him, it was at Vince McMahon. He didn’t say it in such a direct fashion but when you contrast his talk about current main roster issues and NXT it was fairly obvious that as he stated the buck still stops with Vince McMahon. It was a friendly chat that never seemed to get the least bit hostile which if you had listened to first time Triple H was on with Austin should not have shocked you. Both freely admit to being friends and the interview always stayed in that tone. This was an interesting interview but not the compelling must see T.V that Vince’s sit-down with Stone Cold was. Speculation on who is next to sit in Austin’s chair? My guess would be Stephanie McMahon. Not sure, how that one would go as Stephanie tends to be the most guarded of the three family members active in the company.
Therefore, the road to Wrestlemania marches on as we hit a little off-ramp heading towards Fast Lane. While it promises to add some stakes to Wrestlemania, it will merely confirm the directions we were already heading. Keeping in mind the network is free for new subscribers and here in Canada free all month as well they needed to make this special event before Mania mean something beyond just being a throw-a-way show and they have attempted to do that. I am much more excited to see Triple H’s latest vision in NXT with their special coming up on February 11 being headlined by Kevin Owens challenging Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship. In any case, the WWE seems to have steered the ship out of troubled waters for now as they hope for clear sailing the rest of the way to Wrestlemania. Something tells me the water will get really choppy when Daniel Bryan losses to Roman Reigns. This might have been a very bad idea or a brilliant idea time will tell. My guess is this like the Rumble will end badly if the goal is to get Roman Reigns over as a babyface heading to Mania.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Welcome to this week's Raw preview for Monday February 2nd, 2015 as the WWE is back to schedule and we're on the road to not only WrestleMania 31, but also WWE Fast Lane on Sunday February 22nd. The WWE sure had one of it's most hetic weeks as a company, but just like any obstacle that's put in front of them from the government, to the networks, to mother nature and fans, the WWE puts it's best foot forward as Raw tonight emanates from Denver, Colorado. If you're a first time reader of this Raw preview, what you'll see is a forecast as to what you'll probably see on this week's edition of Raw. This preview includes a take at current storylines, and what's the most realistic options for those particular storylines to progress in the positive direction. Take a look back at our previous Raw previews, and what you'll see here on Condo On The Moon is the home for the most accurate Raw previews that you can't find anywhere else. These previews don't represent the personal taste of I Joshua Lopez. My goal here is to not only showcase my expertise if you will on the WWE product, but also to show you why these storylines are happening and how we can turn negatives to positives. WWE had alot of controversy coming out of the Royal Rumble PPV, and how will WWE's flagship show respond to the offering from the Royal Rumble PPV? Well, here's five things to expect on tonight's Monday Night Raw.
1.) Triple H Announcement
Why not start off Raw with a bang right? If you missed the live SmackDown this past Thursday, WWE COO Triple H came out and said that he was going to make an announcement on Raw tonight regarding the controversy surrounding the Royal Rumble match and Triple H said that this announcement will shake the WWE Universe to it's very core. Now what can this announcement be? I mean to be honest with you despite the backlash one Roman Reigns has recieved in this past week in storyline sense, Reigns won the Rumble fair and square. There's alot of people that feel that Roman Reigns is not ready for the WrestleMania main event spotlight. Will Triple H announcement be that Roman Reigns will be stripped from winning the Royal Rumble due to the fact that The Rock came out and took out The Authority even though, Kane & Big Show were already eliminated? You need intrigued for the WWE Fast Lane PPV right since the WWE Network is for free in the month of February, so what a better way to have Roman Reigns put up his title match on the line against Daniel Bryan. There's many variables that can come out of this announcement and to me I still feel that Roman Reigns will be the main event of Mania. With that I think we'll something where Triple H will either strip Roman from the Rumble Match or forced him to put up the title match on the line to take on either Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match like previously advertised in Memphis, or we can see Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan? I think it would be best to have this announcement start the show, I know people are not into the 20 minute promos, but this one will have meaning to it, so let's what happens and we'll go from there.
2.) Daniel Bryan YES! Movement Part 2
The leader of the YES! Movement sure hasn't had the best start to 2015. Not only did he fail on his goal to come back from injury and win the Royal Rumble Match, but Bryan's favorite sport team the Seattle Seahawks just lost the SuperBowl to the New England Patriots who by the way are The Authority's favorite team, go figure. Last week on Raw with a sit-down interview with Renee Young, Bryan explains his displeausre with not winning the Royal Rumble Match. In that same interview he kinda takes a dig at Roman Reigns for the fact that Bryan didn't have the WWE feeding him his whole enitre life. Bryan finally I hope put a end to his feud with Kane this past Thursday on SmackDown in a very physical Casket Match. Daniel Bryan & Daniel Bryan fans are heading into this Road to WrestleMania with unrealistic expectations. While yea it would be nice to see Brock Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan, we had this storyline last year and Daniel Bryan is no longer the underdog character no matter what you think it's the truth. I understand that he didn't have the opportunity to have a long run as champion, but for the people that say that Daniel Bryan is treated like crap from the WWE is totally ridculous. Daniel Bryan in the 5 years he's been in the WWE has competed in either a title or main event level match at WrestleMania. I'm not sure yet what Bryan's doing at Mania, but as we're building towards this FastLane PPV. I say you have two realistic options here for Bryan. 1.) He can take on Roman Reigns for Reigns WrestleMania title shot. 2.) He can take on the man that eliminated him from the Royal Rumble Match Bray Wyatt. Now I'm not saying that a feud with Wyatt & Bryan needs to brew over to WrestleMania, but for a February PPV, I think Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt would be the best thing for both guys. As far as tonight is concern I think we'll probably see Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt or Big Show.
3.) John Cena vs. Rusev
One of the already announced matches for the WWE Fast Lane PPV is John Cena vs. Rusev. Is this match for the United States Championship? I think we're seeing this match a month early because of two reasons. 1.) Like I stated already you need to give the people a reason to care for this Fast Lane PPV especially with networking being free this month. 2.) I don't think we're seeing John Cena vs. Rusev at WrestleMania. Last week on SmackDown, John Cena & Rusev had a really good in-ring segment. I thought we saw character building from Rusev with the fact that he didn't have Lana cut the entire promo for him and secondly John Cena took this upcoming challenge seriously. Now that we're 3 weeks away from the PPV, i'm interested in seeing where do Cena & Rusev go from here, and what's there actually beef with each other. If its what Rusev said last week on SmackDown that John Cena is the past and that he needs to be CRUSHED! then okay I'm fine with that. I think tonight you'll probably see another in-ring promo with both John Cena & Rusev. I think it will also be good to see Rusev in the ring tonight. You'll probably see Rusev vs Dolph Ziggler tonight. As far as John Cena is concern I think that he takes on someone like Bad News Barrett or Luke Harper to make a statement to Rusev. Either way I'm intrguied by match quality with John Cena & Rusev, but what's their storyline and why should we care. I think we'll get a good jist of why these guys are feuding with each other and it's not a bad thing that these guys are fighting at Fast Lane.
4.) Bray Wyatt & The Mid Card
The MVP of the Royal Rumble Match this year for me was Bray Wyatt. Make sure to check out Bray Wyatt's promo from SmackDown last week it was very creepy and maybe it's a subtle reminder as to who Wyatt may face at WrestleMania this year. Now that the mid-card is not strangled from the gimmick PPV, now we can see more title matches & mid-card feuds for this PPV. I think you can see The Usos vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro for the WWE Tag Team Championships I can buy into that match at Fast Lane. You'll probably see Cesaro vs. Jimmy Uso tonight on Raw. Where do Miz & Mizdow go now? There was tension rising between both Miz & Mizdow at the Royal Rumble. Is tonight the night we finally see the split between Miz & Mizdow. You'll probably see a The Miz & Mizdow vs. The New Day and that's where you'll see the split. We found out at SmackDown that Nikki Bella will be defending her WWE Divas Championship against the beautiful Paige at Fast Lane. You'll probably see Paige vs. Brie Bella tonight or Paige vs. Alicia Fox with The Bella Twins on Commentary. Who's the next challenger for Bad News Barrett's Intercontinental Championship? After seeing what happen at the Royal Rumble the most realisitic option for a challenge for BNB championship is Dean Ambrose. Now I don't see Ambrose winning the IC Championship from Bad News Barrett, but if you don't have anything for Ambrose at Fast Lane put him in a match with Barrett. Lot of options tonight for the mid-card heading towards Fast Lane & WrestleMania 31, I like that because it gives you a reason to tune into Raw, Main Event & SmackDown each week.
5.) The Future?
After watching one of the greatest triple threat matches of all-time at the Royal Rumble there's no doubt in my mind that Seth Rollins is without a shadow of doubt the future of the WWE. Seth Rollins is sure walking with a big chip on his shoulder these days even though he's The Authority chosen boy and that he still has the Money in the Bank breifcase. Last week on SmackDown, Seth Rollins was issuing out an open challenge and we saw Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & Erick Rowan going after Seth Rollins. You'll probably see Seth Rollins vs. Ryback. As far as Fast Lane is concern i'm not sure because it's been two months where I tried to come back with the perfect scenairo to have Randy Orton come back and seek his revenge on not only Seth Rollins, but also The Authority. So this is what I had in mind for both Orton & Rollins at Fast Lane. Rollins beats Ryback and The Authority tries to take out Ryback, and then Orton makes his return, and Rollins runs for his life. You'll probably see Randy Orton vs. Kane at Fast Lane and then you'll see Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler for Rollins Money in the Bank breifcase. I think that's the best options for both guys before they face at WrestleMania.
Before we head off I would like to remind everybody that Triple H will be on the LIVE Steve Austin Show Podcast on the WWE Network right after the show is over tonight. I've been waiting for this interview for months. I can't wait to see what Austin ask Triple H not expecting any particular questions, but it should be very interesting, and unlike the interview with Vince, I think we'll see Triple H expand on his thoughts on certain topics. That's a wrap for our Raw preview. I hope you enjoyed if you have any questions please comment below.
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Enjoy Raw Everybody!