Posts Tagged ‘wwe’

 

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by @anarchyroll
4/15/2014

Over a week later and I’m still reeling from WrestleMania XXX. Did Brian Danielson actually pull the sword out of the stone? Did The Undertaker actually lose? Did Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin actually go face to face in the same ring at the same time?

YES!

YES!

YES!

WWE decided to take a break from advertising their à la cart internet cable channel to produce a wrestling show. It just happened to be the best one in five years which was the best in the five years before that and the five years before that and the five years before that. Noticing a trend? My friends @CFH_Chief and @TheFantom have heard me say multiple times that the WrestleMania’s that end in a 5 or a 0 mean more than the rest. The rest are bastard shows. The exceptions to that rule out of 30 are numbers; 1, 3, 6, 17, and 18. You can make a case for maybe one or two others, but that would be a case built upon personal bias.

  1. Pro Wrestling isn’t fake, the winners are just predetermined. Just ask Dr. James Andrews about that.
  2. Pro Wrestling is good when either it is logically predictable or something was just done that shocked the hell out of an 20,000 fans in the arena and a few million watching at home.
  3. Pro Wrestling is bad when it tries to be unpredictable for the sake of being unpredictable. That is why TNA Impact Wrestling has been stuck in second gear for the last six years.

WrestleMania XXX was logically predictable and shocking as hell. The best of both worlds. WrestleMania V, X, XV, XX, and XXV shared the same traits. From the battle of the Mega Powers, to the Ladder Match, to Austin vs Rock proper, to Benoit/Guerrero, to the magic of The Streak vs Mr. WrestleMania…5s and 0s mean more. Vince knows it. The boys know it. The fans know it.

The ramifications of WrestleMania XXX will literally be felt for a minimum of five years and likely for a full ten…Why?

Daniel Bryan is the new John Cena, the new Steve Austin, the new Hulk Hogan. Daniel Bryan became the last Undisputed Champion at WM XXX. He is the chosen one. He is the people’s champion. No one will emerge to unseat him for at least the next five years, more than likely we’ll have to wait eight to ten whether Vince wants to or not. Strength in numbers folks, never forget that…ever.

The Undertaker is done. He may wrestle Sting next year and have a farewell tour, but he is done. The Streak is over. The Streak has been WrestleMania for the last half decade. WWE has sold a one hour, prime time, network television special to NBC centered around the aura of The Streak since 2009. John Cena being the definition of stagnant since 2006 has meant WWE has had to lean on Taker like a crutch to make WrestleMania mean anything to the adult male audience during that time.

The Streak has also put Undertaker in the same league as Hogan and Austin. Before 2007, The Undertaker was an all time great, a legend, an icon, and a wrestling fan’s wrestler. In the last five years he has crossed the pop culture dividing line. A line only crossed by Hogan, Savage, Austin, Rock, and John Cena. We would all love to think that Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and Randy Orton crossed that line too…but they didn’t. They latter are just popular wrestlers, the prior are pop culture icons.

Taker now gets to retire a brand, as big or bigger than the WrestleMania brand, a brand that is bigger than WWE. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. No professional wrestler has worked harder or longer than The Undertaker since 1991. He earned his money the hard way. He earned his one match a year schedule the right way.

But that’s all done now. He’s going to ride off into the sunset, out to pasture. WWE now must pass the torch and give the ball to the new generation. Daniel Bryan is the face of this new generation. Behind him are Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, The Shield, Bray Wyatt and definitely not Batista. The part timer fad may not be over but it is fading the face of the WWE Network profit model. No need to use big names of the past to pop a buy rate when PPVs only cost $10.

No crutch to lean 0n and no choice but to push the new generation of young talent who happen to be predominately junior heavyweight workhorses…..sounds like a reason to hope for me. How about you?

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by @anarchyroll
3/11/2014

In a recent episode of Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast, Dean Ambrose called out the United States independent pro wrestling scene for a couple of things. Each of which was both right, justified, and long overdue. Before he was Dean Ambrose in the WWE he was Jon Moxley on the Indy scene. Jon Moxley was the best thing going on the Indy scene for a solid year, if not two. He was a regular in DGUSA, Evolve, and was champion in CZW amongst many, many others. If there is anyone this side of 2010 who is qualified to talk about the US Indy scene this side of 2009 it is Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose. Ambrose raised the following issues/points;

  1. The Indy scene has too many mark promoters and too many mark wrestlers/talents.
  2. The fans and wrestlers of the Indy scene are too egotistical about the information about the wrestling business they read on the internet and therefore feel authoritative about.
  3. The Indy scene has too many championships/title belts.
  4. The Indy scene is full of wrestlers who are too stiff
  5.  The Indy scene is full of wrestlers who don’t sell the impact of the strikes and maneuvers they perform on each other therefore making what they do look more fake and unrealistic than the business of pro wrestling is by nature.

Ambrose is spot on in each point he raised. He is not just another worker, he was a highly successful Indy scene performer who based on his excellence received a contract from the WWE in less than half a decade of his debut. That time frame is the exception, not the rule. Dean Ambrose is an exceptional talent and an authority on the US Indy scene. Here is why I think he was right in each point that he raised at the Cabana Compound.

  1. Promoters and wrestlers are marks by nature. If they weren’t marks, they wouldn’t be in the business. The problem is when the inmates run the asylum, chaos ensues. A state of chaos is an apt and accurate way to describe any and every Indy promotion that isn’t called ROH, PWG, or AAW. Wrestlers are supposed to be marks for themselves at least a little bit. Ego and creative success are intertwined. But the promoters need to be a check and balance, not an enabler. The fact that everyone wants to run their own ship shows that the promoters are bigger marks than businessmen. There should be no more than ten Indy wrestling promotions in the US. Three on each coast and six throughout the Midwest, South, and Great Plains.
  2. If you think the fans of the Indy scene aren’t too smart marky for their own good, then you haven’t been to an Indy show in the US in at least eight years.
  3. If you don’t think the Indy scene has too many title belts, then you haven’t been to an Indy show in the US in at least ten years.
  4. The wrestlers being too stiff means they are either too big of marks for their own good or are not properly trained or both and these days on the Indy scene it is usually both.
  5. If you don’t think the Indy scene has a problem with a lack of selling, lack of believability, lack of pacing, and lack of logic in the matches; you haven’t been to a US Indy show in the last six years. Davey Richards got scapegoated for this but he was merely a product of his environment. I could list all the culprits, but then this would be a long form piece. I understand why this has become so pervasive. To tell you the truth, I prefer matches like this to the 80s style rest hold fest that legends and fresh out of academy newbies have on the Indy scene. The problem is that it has run its course and like hardcore wrestling before it, should now be saved for storyline/feud climax matches.

Indy wrestlers would do themselves individually and the business as a whole a favor by dedicating themselves to forming their creative characters and physical bodies to be larger than life as opposed to how many super kicks and clotheslines they can fit into the last five minutes of a match. And for those who don’t care about character development or joining a gym, they should really focus on making their matches as close to a mixed martial arts contest as possible without stiffing the hell out of each other. It’s 2013, not 1987 or 1999. Be either larger than life or relevant to the current cultural landscape not a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of an archetype from the 1960s.

Dean Ambrose is an exceptional talent but what got him into the WWE is not once in a generational, freak talent/ability. If you watch his non death matches from the Indy scene, he is having logical, believable matches. Strikes, submissions, and maneuvers are all in balance. His promos are unique to his character, a character that is unique to him. Ambrose/Moxley is a prototype for anyone out there who wants to be a wrestler in this day and age. He really is. If you are stupid enough to think you shouldn’t be studying old school wrestlers and matches, study him. He has “it”. He certainly is my favorite wrestler of this new generation that is coming up in WWE and the Indy scene this side of 2010.

Every wrestler currently on the Indy scene with no immediate hope of being signed by WWE, which is the vast majority, would be wise to heed his words and study his success.

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by @anarchyroll
3/7/2014

Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Was RAW in Chicago this past week good because of the threat of #hijackRAW? Or did WWE play their audience like a violin and cut their strings?

I have much love and respect for the organizers of #hijackRAW, or I suppose I should say the attempted organizers.

Before they even got to the arena, during the week leading up, the trolls were out in full force spitting their mirrored self loathing venom at the @chicagorawcrowd for trying to try at something, anything, that involved something they love and want to improve. Then of course the minute Vince McMahon didn’t walk to the middle of the ring to ask CM Punk for the privilege to suck his dick on live television to prove he wanted him to be in the main event of WrestleMania, everyone turned on everybody.

I’m just kidding, they couldn’t turn on each other because they were never united. Trolls jealous an spiteful that they didn’t have the brains, balls, or creativity to attempt something like #hijackRAW movement were shitting on the concept in advance of shitting on it Monday night.

The movement didn’t do themselves any favors by being naive enough to think that Vince McMahon cares what they say after they pay to get in the arena to try and mess with one of 52 live broadcasts in a year. But all us wrestling fans are naive. We are all consciously naive, after all if we weren’t, after seeing one UFC event we would never watch pro wrestling again out of shame.

But wrestling is about imagination, creativity, and vicarious living. The hijack organizers were just a little too naive, and slightly too big marks to enact any meaningful change. Paul Heyman knew this, and like the lapdog of Vince McMahon he has always been, went out there and did what he has done best since 2001, destroyed the heart, spirit, and will of adult, male smart mark wrestling fans.

What happened to the crowd was sad. Put all the cynicism, sarcasm, snarkyness, and told ya so bullshit you want over it. If you’re a male wrestling fan over the age of 21, you hoped something meaningful would happen on Monday, and it didn’t. The Usos winning the tag titles means nothing. Cena and Wyatt’s promos mean nothing. The crowd shouting down Triple H and Stephanie (barely) for one segment means nothing. It was just another RAW on the Road to WrestleMania. One RAW out of 52 that will happen this calendar year.

The fans couldn’t stop tripping over each other or going into business for themselves to get a message across that didn’t involve CM Punk. If any other crowds are considering following suit, may I advise using profanity to piss of the censors and really putting Vince on his heels. Better yet, the only way to send a message is to #BoycottRAW not to pay $50, $100, $150 or more per ticket, buy merchandise, concessions, and pay for parking to say you don’t support what a publically traded organization is doing.

But kudos for the effort. Props for the desire. Respect for trying something which is always better than trying nothing. Maybe some other crowds will follow suit and learn from the failures of the Chicago crowd. Failures are just lessons after all. We all learned some things on Monday. Whether we wanted to or not.

potatoshooterlogosportsrollby @anarchyroll
2/21/2014

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Undeniably one of the greatest knockout artists the sport has ever seen even if his place in the overall pantheon is questioned. Jackson is also a lifelong fan of professional wrestling. Jackson recently defended pro wrestling’s legitimacy from its haters.

Calling pro wrestling fake is outdated. The correct term is pre determined. The correct term is wrestling is live entertainment like theater or exhibition stunt shows. Theater actors get injured on stage, stunt people get injured on movie sets, and neither group works three hundred plus days a year like professional wrestlers do. If they do, they’re not getting their bodies thrown onto plywood covered by insulation padding and canvas.

Rampage isn’t the only highly successful mixed martial artist to defend the legitimacy of pro wrestling and pro wrestlers. On episode four of The Steve Austin Show, Chael Sonnen talked about how when he needed to get serious about his cardio, he went and trained with pro wrestlers.

No wrestling fan over the age of ten thinks that they are seeing a sporting event. But last I checked, plenty of people go and see concerts to hear songs they already know the lyrics to, pack movie theaters to see fictional events played out in spectacular fashion, and Photoshop the hell out of realistic photos to make them more pleasing to the eye.

Pro wrestling is entertainment, it is a simulated, exhibition combat sporting event with a predetermined winner. It’s where the NFL meets Broadway. A synergy of live sports and live theater. But those bumps and high spots you see that make you pop hurt. Those muscled up bodies you see taking said bumps take years of discipline and dedication in gyms to form. Those larger than life characters and emotionally gripping verbal exchanges take lifetimes of preparation to execute to perfection.

So have some fucking respect. Pro athletes from the NFL, NHL, NBA habitually talk about how pro wrestlers are the best athletes on the planet because they don’t have an offseason. 300 plus days a year on the road. A band that literally never stops touring except if they get physically injured beyond what band aids and pain killers can mask.

Still think pro wrestlers can’t hold a lick to real fighters. Then I’ve got two words for ya,  Brock Lesnar.

potatoshooterlogoby @anarchyroll
2/8/2014

“It’s not right to pretend he didn’t exist. It’s one thing to include him as part of a historical perspective, which I believe is OK, and it’s another thing to promote him, which is not OK.” Vince McMahon

That quote from Vince McMahon (from a 2009 issue of WWE Magazine) could easily be confused for the company policy regarding Daniel Bryan’s main event push over the last two years. With Bryan being as popular as anyone on the roster since May of 2012, and undeniably the most popular member of the WWE roster since June of 2013, it seems the quote above fits into exactly how WWE has been using Bryan terms of creative.

If you saw the Royal Rumble, and my condolences if you did, then you know what I am talking about. 10-20,000 person arena crowds have literally been shouting at WWE management to give The American Dragon the WWE Title for eight to ten months depending on how good your hearing is and how good the speakers on your TV/computer are. Do the people in the arenas know wrestling is not a real sport? Do I? Do the Seattle Seahawks? Yes, Yes! YES!

The nod and wink, unspoken deal between pro wrestling promotions and it’s fans is this; “We know it’s not a real sport, but entertain us and we’ll suspend our disbelief and give you our money.”

Vince McMahon’s old, out of touch, personal bias against Daniel Bryan and physically small talent from the independent wrestling scene, has violated that contract between fans and promoters to the point of necrophilia.

I recently watched two WWE title defenses of John Cena from his prime in 2005. The crowd was loud, I’m not going to lie. BUT, the crowd reaction of even all those women, children, and military veterans that make up Cena’s lucrative fan base were not nearly as loud as Daniel Bryan’s fans are in 2013-2014. Not to mention half of the arena isn’t booing Bryan for sucking at his profession.

What are the parallel’s to he who shall not be named? Besides the signature (diving headbutt) and finisher submission move (Crossface/Yes Lock) they both share(d)? It is the fact that for their respective eras, they’re both undersized workhorses who made their name outside of the WWE, endeared themselves to both the hardcore and general pro wrestling fans, and were held out of the main event slot until they could not be ignored.

The first screen shot I saved when I got my first laptop was when I checked WWE.com after the 2004 Royal Rumble and saw Chris Benoit had won the whole thing and would be main eventing one of the most important and influential WrestleMania’s in history.  Benoit deserved to win that Rumble, he earned it. AND, he wasn’t half as over as Daniel Bryan is now. He was in Canada however, look up Backlash 2004 and turn your speakers down because the crowd noise might make them explode when he defends the WHC against Triple H and HBK.

Bryan and Benoit are both junior heavyweight wrestlers who made their names both on the American independent wrestling scene as well as in the major Japanese wrestling promotions.  Benoit to this day is still one of the most successful American wrestlers in Japanese wrestling history under the Pegasus Kid and Wild Pegasus monikers. Bryan earned the nickname American Dragon as well as multiple world titles in Japan from 2003-2008. In WWE however, those things work against you when it comes to getting to the top.

When you are in the entertainment business your job is to give the fans what they want, period. James Franco has said the movie industry is as much a business, and insider social club as it is an art. The same is true for WWE and its owner Vince McMahon. WWE is publically traded, at what point do the shareholders speak up? It doesn’t look good when the crowd verbally shits all over your third most lucrative show of the year.

It doesn’t help when paying customers in a large arena ignore the product in front of them repeatedly (almost habitually now) and in unison shout for a talent you are holding back because of a personal, not professional bias. Vince McMahon is a senior citizen now, and like most his age has lost touch with the reality of his younger demographic of fans. 2005 is almost a decade ago. John Cena’s time is over, Daniel Bryan’s time is now.

The same was true in 2004 for Chris Benoit. Austin and Rock both left suddenly and the guys picked to replace them, Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, also left in a hurry. So Triple H was given the ball and got to dominate the landscape for two years.  But then his time was over and it was time for Chris Benoit to have his run. Even when Benoit was relegated to the third tier US Title division he was getting louder pops than Batista, Orton, Khali, Cena, JBL, and the other people Vince McMahon was more comfortable having in the main events after Summerslam 2004.

Daniel Bryan has been getting louder applause for his work in the tag division than anyone in the main event slots (Cena, Del Rio, Orton, Sheamus, Big Show) for the last two years. It is his time now. It’s not the internet marks demanding it. It’s not the hardcore wrestling fans demanding it. It is both groups plus; women, children, military veterans, and the rest of the general audience demanding it too. Chris Benoit after years of being the internet and hardcore fans’ darling finally got over with the casual, mainstream fans and as a result got rewarded with the WrestleMania XX main event in The Garden. Daniel Bryan has done the same and then some. It’s undeniable to anyone who didn’t just pay millions of dollars out of pocket to Dave Batista.

Where do the parallels between Bryan and Benoit end? In all the right places. No roids, no mental issues, no weird backstage reputation, no rocky marriage. Where do they begin? In all the right places. Humble, workhorse, mechanic, loves the sport, respects the business, over with the boys, over with the general audience. I’ve purposefully been careful to not use any insensitive metaphors or phrasing here. Like the quote at the top, Chris Benoit is a part of history, it can’t be denied. His similarities to Daniel Bryan can’t be denied. You know what else can’t be denied? That Daniel Bryan is more deserving by WWE metrics for success of winning the main event of WrestleMania XXX than Chris Benoit was of winning WrestleMania XX.

potatoshooterlogoajclogo2by @anarchyroll
1/31/2014

CM Punk walked out of WWE between the 2014 Royal Rumble going off the air and the January 27th 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw going on the air. In doing so, Punk cemented his legacy as the Stone Cold Steve Austin of his generation. Punk also showed the difference between the real thing and a cheap imitation; the Chicago Made Punk is the real thing.

WWE Superstars make guaranteed money nowadays, thank you Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.  In a way they are like sales people who makes a base salary but makes their real money from commission checks.  From 1985 to 1996, WWE Superstars were like sales people who were 100% commission based, and were literally dependent on a fat WrestleMania check for their livelihoods. CM Punk walked out of WWE over creative differences and burnout the night after the Road to WrestleMania began. He is definitely going to miss out on the biggest pay day of the year.

If CM Punk was some cheap imitation he would have bit his lip, sucked it up, faked a smile, gotten his WrestleMania check, then not resigned with the company when his contract is up in July or maybe just drove home from the Superdome and never looked back. But he didn’t, he got into shouting matches with medical and creative personnel backstage at RAW and informed Vince McMahon he was going home and not returning. CM Punk left a lot of money on the table by leaving when he did, the way he did. But he’s not about money, just ask Joey Matthews.

Why is he the Steve Austin of his generation? Austin did the same thing in the spring of 2002. Also like Austin, Punk is the best on the mic and in the ring simultaneously as Austin was in his prime, both bucked authority, both are Paul Heyman guys, both were initially held down by WWE management before exploding into mainstream pop culture popularity, and Austin has said Punk is the only guy he would come out of retirement to have a match with.

Will his legacy take a hit? Just the opposite, it is enhanced. In his pop culture cross over “Pipe Bomb” promo Punk spoke about his loathing of The Rock being a part timer and main eventing WrestleMania. What do you think he had to say backstage about Batista winning the Royal Rumble after a four year absence? Punk shouted for change in 2011. As 2014 begins the top spots of WWE are occupied by John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, Sheamus, Big Show, and Brock Lesnar, sounds familiar.

Maybe Punk left because he selfishly felt he should main event Mania. Well he’s a workhorse in the ring, cuts the best promos bar none, moves merchandise, gets paid top dollar, is as over with the female children as he is with the adult males, and Vince trusts him; why not put him in the main event? PS he worked the Rumble for 50 minutes.

I think we all know why he left. It’s directly correlated to the live crowd’s reaction to the last ten minutes of the Royal Rumble pay per view. In 2011 CM Punk shouted for change. The change was Vince needed to start actually listening to what the fans wanted organically rather than using his billion dollar marketing machine to manufacture the consent of approval towards McMahon’s handpicked gym rats. Summerslam, Survivor Series, and the Royal Rumble proved beyond any shadow of any doubt that nothing has changed in the WWE.  CM Punk should have quit because of this and he did, like a real McCoy is supposed to do.

potatoshooterlogoby @anarchyroll
1/24/2014

Have you heard the latest funny joke going around? It goes like this; Knock knock. Who’s there? Roman Reigns is going to be a main event player

No this isn’t going to be a shit on Roman Reigns blog.  Roman Reigns has a good attitude, an even better head of hair, and the best possible bloodlines for a professional wrestler to come from.  But let’s all pretend we aren’t ten year old marks for a minute and face some facts.

Roman Reigns is the third wheel of The Shield. How? Why? Well there is a reason Dean Ambrose got the US Title.  Seth Rollins is the third wheel you say? Well there is a reason Rollins (Tyler Black to some of us) was the FIRST ever NXT Champion.  Roman Reigns is the muscle, the enforcer, the guy who looks that much bigger next to two certified cruiserweights.  He has no discernible mic skills, and WWE knows this, it’s why he talks the least. He can’t carry a singles match by himself at the minor or major league level, and WWE knows this, it’s why he is the only one of the Shield to not win a singles title on the main roster or developmental.

The WWWF, WWF, WWE 50 year old big man bias will ensure he gets pushed ahead of Ambrose and Rollins?  Big E Langston is already IC Champion after all.  Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson both got the IC Title early, in Barrett’s case, often. Both were big and bred in developmental.  Barrett actually knows what to do with a mic and can carry a match.  Jackson had muscles in places not seen in Scott Steiner’s heyday.  But unless you’re the Great Khali you need talent to get the big belt.

Don’t get me wrong, I personally, LOVE superman punches and Samoan wrestlers.  But 1 +1 will always equal 2 no matter how many times you say 11 and force a laugh.  WWE’s middle aged marks are being blinded by Seth Rollins’ charisma and Dean Ambrose’s character oozing and shining through the screen.  As their vision comes back to them, in a dazed like state, they are confusing the shine that Ambrose and Rollins are putting on Reigns by osmosis for major league talent.

Roman Reigns is Jim Neidhart. Roman Reigns is James Storm. Roman Reigns is Arm Anderson.  Roman Reigns is Marty Jannetty.  Roman Reigns is  Jake Youngblood.  Roman Reigns is D Von Dudley.

What do all those names have in common? They were/are all GREAT complimentary players.  They were/are GREAT secondary acts.  They were/are GREAT mid card gate keepers.  I look forward to Roman Reigns taking Umaga‘s spot in the mid card.  Remember, as IC Champion Umaga was in the defacto WrestleMania 23 main event.  Reigns can be/do something like that.

But lead a generation? Hold the Undisputed Title? Be the face of the WWE?  Stop kidding yourself.  Again don’t get me wrong, we could all do a lot worse.  Bo Dallas anyone?

potatoshooterlogoby @anarchyroll
1/16/2014

I really hope Dolph Ziggler doesn’t end up as a never was, he deserves better. More importantly, he earned better.

I know I know, he got the world title twice and both mid card belts for like six months at a time. But in twenty years will he be remembered? If he has to retire due to concussions, he’ll only be remembered as a what if story. There are worse things than retiring young, with money in the bank, and a university education in your back pocket. Look at Chris Nowinski, his life is far more meaningful now than if he got a series of secondary, transitional title runs during the heyday of the roster split.

But Dolph Ziggler could have been money, he should have been money, he should be doing what Orton is doing now. Sure he had his slip ups. The black dye job head shave immediately comes to mind. As does every match he had with CM Punk during Punk’s WWE Title run. And of course being passively blamed for Jerry Lawler’s infamous on air heart attack (by Jerry Lawler himself on Austin’s podcast). But Ziggles survived his stretches of nothing to do, mid card pushes that went nowhere, and congruence tests management threw at him and won the world title in front of one of the hottest crowds in wrestling history at the RAW after Mania last year. Just thinking and writing about him cashing in that briefcase is giving me goose bumps. You could see it on his face what was about to happen, and when it did happen, you could feel the emotion through the television set. Which is how it’s supposed to be for the top guys with the big gold belts.

If Ziggler is done, he’ll always have that night in New Jersey. He earned the belt, for real, before it had to be taken from him, for real. In a fake sport that’s saying a lot. And Ziggler has a lot of talent. Move set, charisma, mic skills, looks, and cardio all in abundance. He got over as a heel and as a face with the internet fans and the common fans. His t shirts were so brightly colored that they are easy to see in the crowd in the HD era, and there were a lot of Ziggler shirts in the crowds from 2012-2013.

I don’t just hope he comes back, I hope he comes back and management trusts him enough to give him the Undisputed Title. Sure he’d look good with the white IC Title but he is bigger than that belt, better than that belt, and has earned the real thing. Ziggler is a talent you build the roster around like Bret Hart back in the day because he can work with anyone. But if he comes back as a mid card gatekeeper, it will be just as sad as him having to retire, because both mean the same thing. That his time at the top that he earned, was taken from him by external forces outside of his ability to control or influence. That would be sad for the fans and bad for business, no doubt.

potatoshooterlogoby @anarchyroll
1/13/2014

The Royal Rumble is right around the corner, the fourth biggest show of the year is definitely the company’s most unique.  The show is a representation of Vince McMahon’s ability to take an existing concept and improve it. The battle royal existed for decades, the Royal Rumble is the battle royal perfected. Single entrant style, with the winner getting the top spot, at the biggest show of the year as the prize.  The only way to make it any better was to have a ladder match battle royal which is what Money in the Bank is, with an even better prize to the winner.

Royal Rumble 2014 is on paper shaping up to be one of the best cards in the history of the event. 2002 presently takes the cake in my opinion with honorable mentions to 2001 and 1992.  The Undisputed Title will be on the line, Brock Lesnar will be having a singles match with someone he has chemistry and history with, and the Rumble match itself will see the advertised return of Batista with Sheamus and RVD likely returning as well though both are presently unconfirmed.

I believe Orton will retain the Undisputed Title and Lesnar will go over on Big Show.  The real question is who will win the Rumble, as it is every year.  Though as someone who can be considered a WWE “hater” I want to give props for how much effort they have put into beefing up the Rumble undercard the past half decade.

Daniel Bryan will win the Royal Rumble. I believe the Rumble will come down to him and Bray Wyatt and Bryan will return to face and eliminate Wyatt punching his ticket to the main event of Mania. Bryan and Wyatt can have a two month TV feud to hold him over until the Undisputed Champion going into Mania is determined at the Elimination Chamber PPV in February.

Daniel Bryan is the most popular wrestler in WWE. Cena makes the money, Bryan makes the crowd pop louder and longer than Cena EVER has.  They may not buy his merch as much, he may not pop ratings, but people are coming to the arenas to shout “YES! Y ES! YES!” and watch Bryan combine the technical proficiency of Chris Benoit with the sports entertainment acting of Hulk Hogan.

I think WWE knows what they have with Bryan. I think they have been building him while the internet thinks they have been burying him. I believe he has been filling time until he has his full face run as Undisputed Champion from Mania to Summerslam like many before him. His feuds with The Authority and Wyatt Family have been his ways of proving his overall well roundedness. Proving he is a good soldier, a company man, a team player, willing to play the game, and evolve rather than just stick to his indie shtick (cough, cough Chris Hero cough cough).

Bryan as champion makes storyline sense and financial sense. I believe Bryan will fight John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania with HEAVY storyline tie in of the Bella Twins who both are dating in real life. Total Divas season two premieres around WrestleMania. Bryan and Cena are the two biggest and hottest faces of the last decade. They had a MOTY candidate the second biggest show of the  year in 2013 and are yet to rematch.

Batista, Lesnar, Sheamus, Undertaker, CM Punk, Orton, Triple H will all take care of themselves with feature gimmick matches.  Cena vs. Bryan II for the Undisputed Title in the main event of the 30th Anniversary of WrestleMania is my pick, and I’m sticking to it until Vince McMahon changes his mind ten times between the night before the Rumble and the night after the Chamber…again.

sportsrollby @anarchyroll
1/12/2014

The distance between the #1 and #’s 2 & 3 are vast in the world of professional mixed martial arts.  When the distance between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the closest things resembling competitors; the World Series of Fighting and Bellator MMA is as great as it is, desperate times call for desperate measures. One doesn’t need a look at their financial books, one need only look at the crowd size of their televised events to know that even if neither company is at immediate risk to going out of business, they are both desperate to bring new and existing mma fans into their respective folds. Which brings us to the event, if one can call it that from this past week.

World Series of Fighting challenged Bellator MMA to a cross promotional pay per view event.

Why? The same reason Sirius and XM are now the same satellite radio company. The same reason Pro Wrestling USA was formed in the 1980s. The same reason kids get in free at the local rodeos and wet t shirt contests are held at bars.  Good for the sport? Sure.  Good for the fans? Yes. A desperate attempt to stay relevant and stay within the same galaxy as profitability, absolutely.

I am in favor of a WSOF vs. Bellator show, just not on PPV.  PPV has been in decay for ten years and in 2014, the corpse is starting to stink.  WWE the PPV innovator and porno the PPV dominator, are or have moved to online Netflix style stream services to compete with rampant digital piracy. The ratings for Bellator are aight, WSOF’s ratings, well not so much.  TNA Impact Wrestling, the whipping boy of the pro wrestling critic world, gets double Bellator and 10x WSOF and is considered less than second rate by the hardcore sports entertainment fan base.

Desperation is a stinky cologne.  The idea of this show reeks of it not matter how in favor of it I personally am. Bellator doesn’t need the WSOF, but it’s not vice versa. WSOF desperately needs more eyeballs on its product both in the arenas and on screens. Bellator can just as easily scoop up all the fighters WSOF has if they company were to fold due to unprofitability, which is presently what the promotion is.

I’m not a WSOF hater, as a pro wrestling fan, let me tell you competition is VITAL to combat sports, real or simulated.  Two national promotions on cable television is the minimum needed for the fans, three is even better. Both of pro wrestling’s boom periods of the 80s and 90s were directly correlated to a “Big Three” national promotion hydra (80s: NWA, AWA, WWF | 90s: WWF, WCW, ECW). So don’t get me wrong, I am rooting for WSOF to stick around for a long time and for Bellator to start averaging over 1 million viewers a week on a regular basis. A cross promotional event would pop a rating, fill an arena, and be good for the sport of mma as a whole.

But would the NFL do a cross promotional event with the Super Bowl champions versus the CFL Grey Cup winner?  And would they put it on PPV or on television where the biggest possible audience could see it. Why does the UFC put titles on their FOX cards at least once a year? Why did WWE just move all their PPVs to an a la carte digital cable service for $10 a month when they were charging $60 per event? It’s about eyeballs on screens, selling ads to those eyes, and popping a rating to gain leverage in future contract negotiations.

So if you’re gonna do it, do it right. Bellator is on Spike, owned by Viacom, which owns CBS.  Put the event on CBS in prime time, show the world that mma is more than just the UFC, not just to the hardcore fan base willing to pay $50 at home or $5 at a bar. Yes, please, thank you, you’re welcome.