Anticipation is at a fevered pitch as fans are only a few days away from the biggest sports entertainment spectacle of the year! WrestleMania XXIX is practically here, and we’re all anxious to take part in the majesty of this weekend surrounding the “grandest stage of them all!”
The build for this year’s event has been characterized by some fans as “lacking,” not having that humph that makes the event worth spending so much money for. That is a fair and accurate criticism to make of the event, which questions the rationale for shelling out tons of money just to attend it live or ordering it on pay per view.
If you’ve followed the L.E.W.D. site from its very humble beginnings, you can easily recall that WrestleMania is the anniversary of our first official gathering; this weekend (if not the entire week) represents the first time many of us witnessed the event live and in person. Having paid the money, helped with organizing damn near 20 people from around the country, and visited the many different events surrounding WrestleMania, I can honestly say that the magic of the weekend lies not within the actual event, but just experiencing everything that comes with it.
This year’s WrestleMania, outside of anything WWE is promoting or pandering, appears to be the largest gathering of pro wrestling related events fans have ever seen. Wrestlecon is happening this weekend; our great friends at DragonGate USA/EVOLVE will be doing stuff, as well as Chikara, Shimmer and CZW. Hell, even TNA is cashing in on this opportunity and hosting an event in New York on April 5!
This all goes to say that there is no reason for any fan that prides himself/herself on being a pro wrestling/sports entertainment fan to intentionally pout in the corner because this WrestleMania has somehow failed to live up to the hype and grandeur of WrestleMania X7. There are so many different events going on and ways to see them that WWE’s premier pay per view will literally be the bookend to one hell of a weekend. In that regard, the show cannot fail to meet expectations if you limit your expectations to simply experiencing WrestleMania by itself.
Given the pomp and circumstance of the event it isn’t unreasonable to expect WWE and its superstars to deliver come Sunday. My point is that at this point in the game we have to begin to appreciate what the event symbolizes and not just the event itself. This particular WrestleMania may seem like trash to some, but having experienced WrestleMania XXVII live here in Atlanta…I’ll just say this one is a big step up from that in more ways than one.
I also realize in these economic times we’re all strapped for cash and our finances won’t allow us to indulge in everything offered by the weekend; but if I had a choice, I’d honestly encourage you to purchase one of the iPPVs and locate your nearest Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings to catch WrestleMania. If push comes to shove, you could also consider rounding up your closest friends and chipping in to order the event together.
Having said that let’s look at the card as it stands now and attempt to make some good ol’ fashioned predictions:
For some time now The Miz has been involved in a series of matches battling against Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. Ironically enough their placement on the WrestleMania card appears to be a metaphor for their current rivalry: easily forgettable.
I believe their rivalry began with a spat over who was the bigger movie star, with Miz and Barrett speaking highly of their films The Marine 3: Homefront and Dead Man Down, respectively. Once again in a strange twist of fate, I’m not in a particular rush to see either movie or their match.
This match feels as if the men were placed together because in the grand scheme of things both were aimlessly floating around with very little to do. I haven’t been all that thrilled about their matches, which isn’t a slight at either individual’s work rate or abilities. The bottom line for me is that the feud and rivalry is rather dull and the Intercontinental Championship feels like an unnecessary accessory altogether, not even speaking about Barrett’s ho-hum reign.
I expect Barrett to retain in what’s going to ultimately be an over exaggerated exhibition match.
Prediction: Wade Barrett retains.
Let’s face facts: the average wrestling fan believes this match is a waste of time and space on the jam packed WrestleMania card. The average fan would also believe that there are tons of wrestlers (Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston maybe…) who deserve this coveted spot more so than Fandango. Those opinions, while valid, also miss the mark when it comes to the whole of Jericho’s burgeoning feud with Fandango.
For starters, Fandango (formerly Johnny Curtis from the fourth season of NXT) is a “debuting” wrestler in the company. That word “debut” can be used loosely here, but he’s new talent relatively speaking. It’s hilarious to see some fans dump on new talent, only to turn around and complain when the company fails to make “new stars.”
Secondly, Fandango is making his “debut” at WrestleMania against Chris Jericho, a soon-to-be-legend that works extremely well with getting over…you guessed it…new talent. The man should be honored twice as much to have Jericho as his in-ring coach and to face him at the company’s biggest pay per view of the year.
This brings us to our third point: the higher ups in the company must think he’s worth his salt if they’ve chosen to (a) not release him, (b) have him wrestle against Chris Jericho at his (c) debut at WrestleMania. This isn’t taking into consideration the tons of money placed into his character with the garishly elaborate sets.
Fourthly despite whatever the fans may feel the need to chant, the man can actually wrestle; there is a HUGE difference between chanting “you can’t wrestle” and “you don’t wrestle.”
All things considered Fandango’s presence at WrestleMania is enough of a big deal for Curtis Jonathan Hussey. He doesn’t need a win here to legitimize himself, so expect Chris Jericho to humble the star Sunday night.
Prediction: Chris Jericho wins, feud with Fandango continues.
The feud between Del Rio and Swagger started off as a red hot rivalry rooted in the controversial subject of immigration. Since Swagger’s return to WWE he, along with his manager Zeb Coulter, have crusaded against the individuals they believe are causing America to decay in the sort of moral turpitude that only “immigrants” can apparently cause. Unfortunately that angle lasted about as long as a Hot Pocket in a college student’s refrigerator; as it stands now the main reason fans are invested in this match is because Jack Swagger beat up Ricardo Rodriguez.
Del Rio’s run as a face has been much better than the latter part of his run as a heel; the sad part of it all is that even with Rodriguez by his side, Del Rio consistently struggles to get the fans to rally behind him. This nagging reality haunts Del Rio to this day, and thus creates a situation similar to that of The Miz and Wade Barrett; yeah he’s going to wrestle Jack Swagger, yeah there’s a title on the line, but do you really care?
I’m hoping that the match will be a clinic between two exceptionally gifted wrestlers, but other than that it probably won’t be anything worth writing home about. Del Rio retains much to
Yosemite Sam’s Zeb Coulter’s chagrin, and Swagger survives only to spend another day frustrated with change.
Prediction: Del Rio retains
The bout between Ryback and Mark Henry is one of those fights that force you to ask yourself, “What took them so long?” Actually, wrestling logic dictates that these two will feud for another month or so, realize that they’re not so different after all, and unite in a formidable team that will rise up the ranks and win the WWE Tag Team Championships. Alas, they’ve already got a Black Guy/White Guy powerhouse team, so that dog won’t hunt anytime soon.
WrestleMania XXIX will also be a huge night for Ryback as well, serving as the star’s coming out party against another WWE legend in the making. Say what you will about Mark Henry, but it cannot be denied that he’s one of the most tenured WWE stars still wrestling today (he debuted in 1996, while Triple H debuted in WWE one year before him in 1995). Despite having gaps in his career due to injuries, Mark Henry has remained a fixture in the company and the man has to be worth something if they haven’t released him yet.
“Two bulls in a china shop” is the best way to describe this match; Ryback will walk away with the rub from Henry, which will bring him one step closer to his eventual run as a main event star in the company. If Ryback is able to lift Henry up for his patented Shell Shock finisher, then WrestleMania XXIX will officially be worth the $55 you’re planning on spending on it.
Prediction: Ryback with the pinfall victory.
It’s amazing how quickly the members of Dolph Ziggler’s stable have managed to fall from grace in such a short time. There was a point where the AJ Lee character was the focus of Monday Night RAW and involved heavily with multiple main event superstars at once. There was also a point where Lee’s heat was translating nicely over to Dolph Ziggler. Things really began to look awesome when the very large and intimidating Big E Langston joined the crew as the silent and brooding enforcer.
Then it all went to hell.
Ziggler is still in possession of his Money In the Bank championship contract and with three months left until its expiration we can only hope he cashes it before becoming the third person (after John Cena and Mr. Anderson) unable to successfully cash in their MITB contract. AJ Lee and Big E have no purpose or direction whatsoever right now because they’re too busy living in Ziggler’s shadow, which in and of itself is a shadow of the spectacle of WrestleMania.
Whatever the case may be these two men are being fed to the WWE Tag Team Champions as neither team really has much going for them at this exact moment. Team Hell No will retain and high-falootin’ hijinks will ensue.
Prediction: Team Hell No retains.
It truly is hard to believe that two years ago we had the extreme pleasure of watching Jon Moxley wrestle right before our eyes; we knew then that Moxley had a try-out match with WWE that weekend, but we never imagined that it’d be two short years later when we’d see him in a marquee WrestleMania match.
The same can be said for Tyler Black, who was scooped up from ROH by WWE seven months before Moxley. Most fans immediately assumed that Black would be “misused” by WWE…but three years later, he’s got a WrestleMania match.
Roman Reigns debuted in FCW Wrestling in September 2010, the same month and year as Tyler Black. As a member of the legendary Anoa’i, the superstar first known as Leakee had massive shoes and expectations to fill. Fast forward three years…well you get the picture.
Collectively speaking The Shield is beginning to show signs of monotony as their justice-leveling antics appear to lack substance and value. They’ve amassed two straight pay per view victories and have proven themselves to be formidable contenders against numerous superstars, including John Cena. At WrestleMania XXIX they face their biggest challenge to date against the team of Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Big Show, but their presence still lacks a solid direction that could make the difference between their match being good and great.
The consensus among some fans is that Orton will turn heel and align himself with The Shield; this would solve a few of the company’s problems: refreshing the Randy Orton character, breathing some new life into The Shield and adding some star-power to their mix. Think of this as WWE’s “Bully Ray-slash-Aces and 8s” swerve.
I have two problems with that rationale: there are already tons of heels in WWE at the moment and I also never saw the trail of breadcrumbs leading to such a drastic shift in Orton’s character. With or without a heel turn from a member of the opposite team, expect The Shield to pull off the victory against Team Non-Compatible.
Prediction: The Shield wins.
The WWE took advantage of Paul Bearer’s unexpected death to concoct a convenient storyline for Taker/Punk match at WrestleMania. Some fans have even gone as far as to question the build to the match prior to Bearer’s death; whatever the case may be, Punk has one hell of an opportunity to steal the show with the Deadman this Sunday.
Ever since Punk’s near mythic year long reign as WWE Champion, the Straight Edge Superstar has fought for the respect he feels he rightfully deserves. If you’ve followed Punk’s WWE career (or watched his 3-disc DVD set), you would realize that he fought tooth and nail just to stay in the company and has amassed quite a bit of stock by now. If Punk manages to give a good show with Taker, he would undoubtedly receive the credit he deserves just by hanging with him in the ring.
The build for this match leaves a lot to the imagination, but do you really care about the build more than you do the actual psychology and athleticism of the match? Here are solid facts: Taker can still go in the ring and Punk can get a five star match from anybody (remember the bout with John Cena from RAW?). Two exceptionally gifted wrestlers, athletes and entertainers going at it for at least twenty minutes…and some folks are stuck on the build for the match? Please.
The safe (and accurate) assumption is that Taker will go 21-0 by defeating Punk. I hope and pray in my heart of hearts that this is the case, but I’m not convinced the “build” was solid enough to give us reasonable doubt about Taker’s chances of losing this year. At the very least, however, I’ve got a feeling Punk will finally gain the “respect” he’s been searching for.
Prediction: The Undertaker defeats CM Punk
Prediction: Tons of Funk & The Funkadactyls
I’m hoping you didn’t drink the Kool-Aid and let the smooth taste fool you…
While a solid and consistent number of fans were up in arms about “Twice In a Lifetime,” I failed to see anyone question the necessity of yet another Triple H “Your Career Is Officially Over…Again…” match at WrestleMania. I swear the last time Trips showed his body at this pay per view the match was billed as the “End of an Era;” but I guess a new era can start when you cut your hair even though you still wear your leather jackets and enter the arena with a Motörhead song blaring through the sound system.
The most recognizable Attitude Era wrestlers that are still going at it are Triple H, The Undertaker, and Mark Henry. Oddly enough each of them have matches at WrestleMania, and even more sinister is the fact that only two of those individuals are in matches where they are in a position to put over other younger superstars. Guess which individual gets the spotlight all on his own…
It was once commented that Triple H has yet to have that “WrestleMania moment,” the one pivotal career-defining WrestleMania moment that serves as the magnum opus of his 18 year WWE career. I’m not so sure his match with Brock Lesnar will be it.
The last match between Lesnar and Triple H wasn’t as enthralling as Lesnar’s match with Cena, which makes getting excited about this one a very daunting task. I expect brutality and a certain level of “legit” from Lesnar (two times the average level of legit, in case you were wondering), and that’s enough to get fans interested in the match. Who wouldn’t want to see Brock Lesnar beat someone senseless?
But again, the focus is on Triple H…the focus is on Trips settling a score with Brock and showing the WWE Universe that The Game still has it. It’s also a way for Trips to try once again to get that WrestleMania moment he’s thirsting for. Even with the tantalizing possibility of Lesnar ripping off Trips’ arm and beating him with it, the reality of seeing Trips’ puppy dog face as he grieves another loss to Heyman’s boy is enough to cause fans to yawn themselves silly until the main main event.
To borrow a quote from our L.E.W.D. brother Corbin Macklin, “I sweafogawd if I see this man lose onemotime…”
I call Trips beating Lesnar, enabling him to keep his wrestling career and perhaps setting up a rubber match sometime in the future.
Prediction: Triple H defeats Brock Lesnar
What more can be said about WrestleMania XXIX’s main event that hasn’t already been said?
There are a ton of possibilities that could come from the finish of the match. At this moment I’m not sure of what future projects The Rock has lined up; I think he’s supposed to be Hercules or start filming the another movie with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker or whatever. All signs point to John Cena regaining the WWE Championship, placing a big thumbs up emblem on the sides where the Brahma Bull logos are at, and mediocrity on RAW ensues for another millennium.
I would actually enjoy seeing John Cena lose again to The Rock; it’s tragic to see any fan yearn to see a character’s downfall, but that’s what makes for compelling television. It’s sickening that John Cena can manage to escape clean losses time after time; everyone has a weakness and dammit someone’s got to know how to keep Cena on the sidelines. For me, seeing a different personality trait in Cena’s character would be gold. He doesn’t have to be a full blown heel, but just something different than the life coach we get each week right now.
The problem with changing something that isn’t broken is that it begins to wear thin on some, particularly those of us that wish for some type of depth to be shown in the character. Depth among shallow-end pool swimmers (i.e. kids and young women) isn’t something valued or sought after, and because of such we’re going to get another Cena WrestleMania victory and everyone for the most part goes home with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside of their stomachs. I’ve been told that ulcers and abdominal pains have that same effect…
There have been reports that seeds have been planted for a Ryback/Cena post-WrestleMania feud (remember the Triple Threat match for CM Punk’s WWE Title and Cena’s elimination of Ryback at the Royal Rumble pay per view?), and that’s something I even hinted at in a previous post. That type of feud will suffice, but it’s the same wash-rinse-repeat cycle Cena’s been placed in before. Hell, I’d like it if they brought back Alex Riley as some young, upstart collegiate so-and-so attempting to assume the throne when Cena’s Jersey City All Pro character get’s ready to “go off to college.” But alas, I’m on the internet writing for you and not the WWE for a reason…I guess.
Cena wins and we’ll get to pout about it in a post-WrestleMania blog post.
Prediction: John Cena redeems himself to himself and wins the WWE Championship for the 800th time
All things considered this action-packed WrestleMania will keep us enthralled all Sunday night. I hope you enjoyed reading the predictions, and stay posted to the L.E.W.D. site all weekend as we indulge in the cavalcade of pro wrestling going on as we speak!
We are one day away from the second WWE pay per view of 2013, an event billed as being one of the most demonic and unrelenting structures ever constructed and conceived in the history of professional wrestling. The Elimination Chamber pay per view (also known as No Escape 2013 in Germany, and you only get one guess as to why) is the first stop on the highly romanticized and hyped Road to WrestleMania.
Expectations for this pay per view seem to be mild compared to that of previous events, particularly previous Elimination Chamber pay per views. Perhaps this is due to a build that makes the pay per view a means to an end, a show that in itself is a build to WrestleMania more so than anything else. That isn’t a “bad” thing, per se, but the show must deliver in order to convince us that another Rock/Cena match is worth paying for.
The other thing that sticks out to me about this pay per view is the fact that the Chamber match is honestly a shell of its former self. Many moons ago I wrote a piece on Bleacher Report about how the actual chamber was no where near as diabolical as its described to be or once was.
The “21st Century PG Era” (because there have been several “PG” eras in WWE history) pretty much neutered the chamber. This isn’t to say that the structure isn’t demanding or that it doesn’t pose threats to the athletes well-being and safety. What it is saying is that without the presence of blood at some point during the match, the fans have to really focus on the stories told by the facial expressions and body language of the athletes. The sight of blood only intensified the hype about the grueling structure; without it, the fans who’ve seen just how dangerous these types of matches are will have to use his/her imagination, and that’s kind of difficult for desensitized hardcore fans.
Nevertheless I think we’re all looking forward to the pay per view just to see if our predictions for WrestleMania 29 are right. The lineup consists of paper-great matches, and perhaps a slew of new stars will be groomed tonight for spectacular showings at “the Grandaddy of Them All.” Without further ado, here’s the lineup:
Color me simple, but I could’ve sworn that Team Rhodes Scholars broke up a few weeks ago. Then during a house show circuit and a few media appearances, they teamed back up for “one time only” or for “limited engagements.” Yet here they are curtain jerking for a pay per view together as a team. It would seem that the Historical Conservation Department at Titan Towers has snookered us again.
I’ve missed out on a lot of RAWs and WWE shows as of late, so it was really out of left field for me to hear that Tensai and Clay teamed up. I vaguely remember their interaction on the RAW from Vegas with Tensai wearing the dress and participating in the dance contest, but that’s about it. On the other hand I do recall that there are a number of fans, and even perhaps some wrestlers, who feel that a comedy schtick for Tensai is beneath a man of his Japanese honed talent and skills. I personally wouldn’t know what to do with Tensai at this moment in time in his career; be it far from me to suggest that the man should be happy he’s on the card and at least has a gimmick to work with (Hi, JTG!), but it is a good thing that he gets some sort of exposure as opposed to none at all.
I’m not expecting a Harley Race stature match from these four men and neither should the fans. The plus side is that two tag teams will get the chance to ply their craft on WWE television, and that’s a very good thing considering our collective love fest for all things tag team wrestling. I imagine that Team Rhodes Scholars will pull off the victory if Damien Sandow hits the Terminus on one an opponent…Brodus Clay perhaps.
Prediction: Team Rhodes Scholars
Antonio Cesaro has held the United States Championship for an impressive 6-month reign, and The Miz looks to end that streak tonight at the Elimination Chamber pay per view.
As of late The Miz has been on a roll as a babyface, with some saying that his character feels more organic and natural as a good guy. While that perspective is arguable I’m just not convinced that this Whole Foods Miz can really dethrone the United States Champion. Miz will have to look for a way to counter Cesaro’s amazing strength and exceptional wrestling repertoire, and that is not a small feat.
Cesaro, on the other hand, will have to contend with the fact that he is wrestling a former WWE Champion. This gives a slight experiential edge to the Miz, but the only “edge” that could help the Miz in this situation retired back in April 2011; so much for that hope.
I expect Cesaro to retain in what will be a pretty straight forward match; Cesaro will beat the hell out of Miz, and Miz will try not to get hurt or hurt Cesaro while in the process of being beat silly and senseless.
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro retains.
Big Show lost his title to Alberto Del Rio one month ago after a grueling and brutal feud with Sheamus. Since then Del Rio has managed to get over as a face, Big Show attempts to get under Del Rio’s skin have been fruitless, and Ricardo Rodriguez is still the most entertaining person in the entire rivalry. This rivalry between Del Rio and Show will more than likely culminate at Elimination Chamber, as there is speculation that returning superstar “The REAL American” Jack Swagger will enter into a feud with Del Rio over the championship.
Since returning Swagger has been “repackaged” as an American badass with a chip on his shoulder. Mic work has never been Swagger’s strongest suit, so legendary wrestling fixture Dutch Mantel has been given the daunting task of working the stick for him. Matel works as Zeb Colter, Swagger’s cantankerous manager with an ax to grind against a country filled with what he sees as “illegal immigrants.”
Atlee Greene just wrote an interesting piece about Swagger’s new gimmick and manager over on Gerweck.net. Check it out, as it’s worth the read and also worthy of some conversation among fans.
All that being said, I think a Swagger/Del Rio feud over the championship will provide for some interesting and colorful twists and turns in a controversial main event storyline for SmackDown. The only problem I see is that this storyline can’t happen or progress until Big Show is out of the picture…well, that’s not the only problem I see. I would’ve enjoyed seeing Swagger use this same storyline as a face against Antonio Cesaro for the United States Championship, but perhaps a Swagger/Del Rio feud is best at this moment in time.
Del Rio will put Big Show down tomorrow at the pay per view and move forward to a program with a rejuvenated and pissed off Jack Swagger.
Prediction: Del Rio to retain.
This year’s actual Chamber match is the only one that will take place, and the stakes are high for the six individuals who will face each other within the confines of the massively intimidating steel structure. Also unique is the fact that three returning superstars—Chris Jericho, Jack Swagger and Mark Henry—will try to withstand the offense of their three seasoned and active opponents.
As mentioned in the previous blurb, it’s speculated that Jack Swagger will put World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio squarely in his sights. If this is the case, we can expect Swagger to storm into the match and walk out as the sole survivor of this year’s Chamber fracas.
We can also probably expect to see more dissension between Team Hell No, while Randy Orton and Chris Jericho will ultimately provide some memorable moments in the match. Mark Henry is the dark horse (no pun intended) in this match, but he and Kane will provide scores of wanton brutality that will make the match worth a damn. I’m particularly interested in seeing Swagger and Bryan provide some excellent moments of wrestling that hardcore fans mess themselves over.
Prediction: Jack Swagger with the win to become the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship
There’s not much to be said about this match other than the fact that once again the WWE is providing fans with something they’ve clamored to see for the longest. I’m expecting this match to deliver exactly what folks claim is absent from the Divas Division: a wrestling match between two women who are wrestlers and not models trained to be wrestlers. Kaitlyn has only held the belt for a month and her reign as champion hasn’t been solidified or heavily emphasized as much as it could have been; I see her retaining the belt against Tamina, perhaps beginning a lengthy program with her in the process.
While I have your attention, there are a few things to say about the Divas Division and women’s wrestling today:
- Women’s wrestling will never get the respect some fans (self included) feel it deserves unless we give it the respect it deserves. As long as we sit on our hands during Divas matches, as long as we don’t celebrate and appreciate the work these women put in to entertain us, and as long as we don’t expose ourselves to other companies that have outstanding women wrestlers on their rosters (SHIMMER, Shine, WSU, etc.), then the two major promotions in the U.S. will continue to push their respective women’s divisions as they do now.
- Fans claim that one major U.S. promotion treats its women’s division with way more respect than another particular major U.S. promotion. While that may have been true prior to 2010, it’s a very debatable point here in 2013. Bottom line is this: if any promotion was serious or “more serious” about their women’s division, then why haven’t we seen a women’s match main event a pay per view in one of the major promotions? I’m still waiting for that moment, and any excuse made to explain why this hasn’t happen only leads back to the reality that fans are not as serious about women’s wrestling as they imagine themselves to be.
- Will there ever come a time when we’ll see an all Diva Elimination Chamber match, or Extreme Rules match, or Hell In a Cell Match…you get where I’m going with this…
Prediction: Kaitlyn to retain.
This match might be the most epic ass-whipping in WWE history since the career of Stone Cold Steve Austin. Three typical big and burly WWE superstars square off against the hyper-aggressive and relentless offense of The Shield. Damn a slobberknocker, this match is going to be flat out brutal!
Despite the incredible amount of talent present in the group, The Shield is starting to suffer from the Wild Bill Hickok Social Consortium Syndrome; this crippling disorder occurs when a poorly defined heel group becomes insignificant due to their poorly defined status. The remedy that WWE saw fit to give the group is to place them in a match with two of the most popular superstars in the company…and John Cena.
It’s not just that The Shield is a poorly defined group, but rather they represent a nebulous yet integral part of a much larger storyline. This form of storytelling, one that literally lasts an entire year, happens at a pace that is frustrating for most fans who have very short attention spans and poor long-term memory. However its necessary for the group to be mind-numbingly ambiguous right now for a major reveal to occur later down the line.
In order to keep the group fresh and relevant they’ve been placed with three of WWE’s heavy hitters, thus keeping their momentum at the forefront of fans’ minds. The real question is where do they go after their match Sunday night?
Essentially we’re staring at three bullish monsters facing three bonafide wrestlers. Seeing as their match is a six man tag team bout, it will be noteworthy to see just how Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose can handle superstars when they don’t have numbers to work in their advantage. Keep in mind we’ve yet to see any of the men in singles competition, which honestly brings up a lot of questions concerning their presence in the company and how they’re able to have and not have “contracts” at the same time.
The other thing we should pay close attention to is how the members of The Shield wrestle. Up to this point their wrestling style, collectively speaking, has not been any different that of their opponents, casting them as brawlers more so than technical wrestlers. I’m interested in seeing whether or not they keep this up as individuals when they face their opponents.
Unfortunately for The Shield, John Cena can’t possibly lose this match and will put an end to this Shield nonsense for the time being. That sounds super negative but it’s always the case when dealing with John Cena.
Prediction: John Cena to pick up the win for himself, Sheamus and Ryback
Last but not least is our WWE Championship Match, where The Rock will defend his recently acquired title against the disgruntled and disenfranchised former champion CM Punk. While a definite rehash of their match from last month’s Royal Rumble, this battle has an added stipulation: if The Rock gets counted out or disqualified, CM Punk will regain the title.
Fans expect Punk to lose this match, which will set up the second “Once In a Lifetime” match between The Rock and John Cena at WrestleMania 29. I can’t say that I’m thrilled at that prospect, but I’m definitely not totally against it either. The Rock defending the title against John Cena at WM is a money match all the way and it gives Rock the opportunity to put over Cena in the same way Hollywood Hulk Hogan put him over at WrestleMania X8…as if Cena needed any help getting over at this point in his career…
My particular perspective is this: there are several wrestlers who face each other countless times throughout their careers. Seeing Rock vs. Cena one more time at WrestleMania won’t do more harm than seem some other stars face each other over and over again. Also, Rock and Cena are far from being the only two wrestlers who’ve had “one time only” matches…so it’s useless to argue about whether or not the WWE is crossing some imaginary line of hypocrisy by having Cena and Rock face each other once more.
I expect Punk to do most of the heavy lifting during the match, as Rock is obviously not the same performer he was years ago when he moved on to other avenues in the entertainment industry. I’m not sure if or how interference in the match will play into the finish, but I’m definitely sure that Punk will not walk out of the match as the new WWE Champion. Anticipate the finish of the match to play an important role in the development of the storyline for the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.
Prediction: The Rock retains.
So far on my scorecard I have all the titles being retained as we head into April’s WrestleMania 29 pay per view. Hopefully the show will deliver and whet our whistles for the biggest show in pro wrestling today. Thanks for the reading, and can’t wait to catch the pay per view tomorrow!
Place in your predictions as to who you think will will these matches. If you have a certain scenario to go with your decision, then put it in a comment for this article.
While everyone is up in arms over The Rock’s controversial victory at the Royal Rumble, I am left pondering, as any great writer should, what’s the bigger picture? Why was the decision made to end such an amazing title run that had been continuously hyped? Why have Punk get the victory, and then have the match restarted, instead of just having The Rock beat him cleanly? Why are we building to “Once In a Calendar Year – The Rock vs. John Cena 2″?
While it is far too early, and there is still an entire ppv to get through before the true build to WrestleMania will begin…speculation is always fun, and I spent the majority of my day pondering why exactly the events of last night unfolded the way they did…. stick with me here.
CM Punk’s title reign was the most hyped of any in the modern era, and considerably longer as well. Outlasting reigns of such Legends as Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton, Hulk Hogan (trust me, the list goes on…) and he didn’t just do it – WWE made sure you knew he did it. Over and over, like never before in the history of the company we were made constantly aware exactly how many months, weeks, days, hell hours had passed since CM Punk was crowned WWE Champion. Isn’t that quite the accomplishment itself?
What DOES Punk get from his historic run? Sure, he doesn’t get to be the final match at WrestleMania against either John Cena or The Rock (both of whom we have seen him wrestle, out promo, and beat) and be left feeling underwhelmed and like we were getting just another PPV. Headlining WrestleMania isn’t the shining moment of Punk’s reign, it’s not why you want to be champion. You want to be champion for respect, honor, prestige, to have a place in history. Punk undoubtedly has all of that with this reign. In addition, he has the respect of the veterans of the business (minus “Superstar” Billy Graham)
Can’t you see the promo unfolding in front of your eyes?
“I am the greatest WWE CHAMPION in modern history! Not only did I beat everyone in my path, I did things no other champion in this company has ever been able to. I beat Ryback, I beat Dolph Ziggler, I beat Chris Jericho, I beat Alberto Del Rio, Kane, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, I went into Elimination Chamber and walked out the champion, hell…I beat The Great One…I beat…The Rock! I have beaten everyone…”
*Lights go out*
Who IS The Undertaker going to wrestle this year? He’s guaranteed to have a match this year, and when you look at how the cards are stacked, there is a very short list of possible opponents. Cena and Rock, Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, some combination of Orton, Ryback, Sheamus, and Big Show…none of which have the clout enough to take on ‘Taker right now. So where does that leave CM Punk? Sans opponent.
So how does this go back to the bigger picture? The Undertaker comes back and calls Punk out for having the accolades of a champion, but the mouth of a scoundrel. Undertaker has always been big on respect and I feel like he would have a huge issue with Punk in the real-life wrestler world (where wrestlers exist in a comic-book and have real backstage wrestler drama) (not to be confused with the actual real world, where Mark Calloway respects Phil Brooks).
CM Punk has the same problem with Undertaker that he had with The Rock – the schedule, the implied “veteran”/”legend” status, the way people swoon for them when they do nothing for the people, etc… the promos would be magical.
This also ties back into the Royal Rumble, because you couldn’t have the title on Punk when he faces Undertaker. There’s no way Undertaker is going to take on a championship run again, and you lose the believability of Punk being able to beat Undertaker if you keep the strap on him. Either “the Streak” ends of the Undertaker would be WWE Champion.
Also, having John Cena beat The Rock and get vindication for losing last year isn’t compelling enough. Cena has to have a driving factor underneath it all. Rock isn’t better served in any other role, and since he’ll be skating off into the Hollywood sunset immediately after ‘Mania…it only makes sense for him give Cena the rub and the title, restarting the Cena-era…for the immediate future.
It all makes sense, and could lead to a lot of great, story-filled matches at WrestleMania, and at the end of the day – that’s all we can ask for. Compelling, entertaining, riveting stories. The Rock vs John Cena for the WWE Championship and CM Punk vs. The Undertaker provide the absolute best storytelling background, possibility of money and excitement, and interest in the WWE audience. It all makes sense. Just let the story unfold…
I hope the L.E.W.D. Crew is ready for one heck of a throw down! As we’re all aware of now, prolific sports entertainment writers Joe Burgett and Jacob Waring will clash this Friday afternoon in a final battle to settle the controversial score set from their confrontations on Wrestle Enigma.
In an update on the looming battle, the Jacob Waring camp has defiantly chosen not to be unraveled by the poignant comments made by the Joe Burgett camp. The following is a response to Joe’s rather inflammatory monologue regarding the upcoming competition that was posted on ask.fm:
“Joe Burgett is a man whom does not gracefully accept defeat; he attacks the credibility of his opponents. He’s a little southern man whom is a one-man truther to his pathetic cause of being the best in Pro-Wrestling writing.
Allow me to dissect that disillusioned man boy whom is an egomaniac whom shoves his own ego down the throats of the masses. When he lost against me, he accused me of rounding up my friends to vote towards my way, and only vote for me.
I specifically told them to vote for whomever they wanted, but preferred if they voted for me, and for those In the other competition. I cannot control their actions, nor am I a puppet master of the voters that Joseph seems to paint me of being.
The third match-up, he added a stipulation being that an anonymous panel of five judges would vote on the better article. I won. I beat that ignominious fool, under his own stipulation. I slayed the man who believe he’s a god among writers.
He did not stay slayed for long. NO, he cried, whined that the panel of judges awarded me pity votes. He wanted another rematch, one that was undeserving.
Before our match-up this Friday, I want it to be known that I SHALL NOT FAIL! The pen is mightier than the sword, I will write the article with his blood from past competition. I shall deflate his ego to the point where he shall have to breast feed his ego to re-inflate it.
I shall beat him down by the might of my skills! The same way Hercules subdued and destroyed monsters, bandits, and criminals. He shall learn to bow down to my wisdom, learn to ACCEPT defeat. He shall rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor bowing down towards defeat.”
In true warrior fashion, the Jacob Waring camp has fired back resoundingly. Nevertheless, no amount of monologuing or posturing will be enough to determine the winner. The only way to do that is to stop by L.E.W.D. HQ this Friday to see these two pro wrasslin’ wordsmiths lay the journalistic smack down on one another!
I certainly hope everyone’s 2013 is off to a great start. This is my favorite time of the year because the “Road to WrestleMania” is arguably the most intense, exciting time of the wrestling year.
That being said, here at the L.E.W.D. Headquarters I am the one who is always pontificating on weird scenarios I think I see playing out, and possible matches as we head towards the “grandest stage of them all”.
Given that tonight is the first Monday Night Raw of the New Year and officially marks the beginning of the “Road”, I thought I would share something I found very interesting and get our loyal readers feedback.
Recently, Showrenity posted some comments from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson regarding his upcoming WrestleMania match:
“The storyline will be that starting this coming Monday [for RAW], I’m gonna go back, and it’s going to be a big return. That will lead to, hopefully, what will be the biggest WrestleMania of all time at Giants Stadium. I will headline that show, with someone who I can’t say right now. We’ve got an amazing four months lined up and planned out that will culminate in the biggest WrestleMania of all time. It’s going to be a hell of a thing.”
“…biggest WrestleMania of all time.” Those are mighty big words…even for The Rock.
Now, riddle me this LEWDers… does The Rock vs. CM Punk sound like “the biggest WrestleMania of all time”? What about The Rock vs. John Cena – ‘Once In A Lifetime, Again?’ Nay, I say.
What if…WHAT IF… Cena causes Punk to lose to The Rock at the Royal Rumble out of mere spite for having not been able to beat the “People’s Champ” at WM28, hoping to once again rub shoulders with the “Brahma Bull” in New York, this year? Well, that’s all fine and dandy except that little stipulation that the winner of the Royal Rumble gets to main event at WrestleMania against a champion of their choosing (of course, not forgetting that Dolph Ziggler having his guaranteed World Heavyweight Championship match would pretty much lead the winner of the Rumble to the WWE Championship.)
Then the thought struck me – what other marquee name and match is missing from the WrestleMania line up? Ryback isn’t quite ready. Orton will need an opponent… HHH and Lesnar are set to do battle…..hmmm….(this is when I got that eerie feeling I get sometimes)
Could the Undertaker be a mystery entrant into the Royal Rumble, win it, and go on to have a true blockbuster of a match with The Rock at WrestleMania 29? Aaaaand……..discuss!
We are back again with another Podcast covering the state of the industry.
Topics came from the following:
Vitality of the Pro Wrestling Industry for both WWE & TNA
Champions of the Industry
And various current events.
A long time ago when I was a regular writer on Bleacher Report, I hesitated at crafting a lengthy piece about an indy wrestling federation I stumbled upon.
This federation, Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA), claimed Britain as its home and featured a small, motley crew of wrestlers with remarkable skills and a questionably suspect organization to ply their craft in. The phrase “questionably suspect” is appropriate in this conversation because the promotion is a) not as well known or prominent as other globally significant promotions and b) not as well-received or treasured as other promotions in the United Kingdom.
In fact I’ll let my good friend André Harrison from The Harrison Analysis describe it:
If the general consensus of the promotion in its home country is “cheap, one-off, and small,” then why on earth would I want to craft a lengthy piece about it on Bleacher Report? One of the reasons was for a major storyline that was going on in the promotion, a storyline that involved the aforementioned wrestler Martin Stone.
Without getting into the specifics of that storyline just now, Martin Stone served as the leader of a “Main Event Mafia”-esque group called The Agenda, whose only purpose was to hold the promotion hostage until they all gained lucrative contracts with American wrestling promotions. The heroic thorn in Stone’s side at the time was Leroy Kincaide, a standout star that can be easily described as a British and much more popular and versatile John Cena.
In this storyline Stone was supposedly angling to leave the UK as the FWA World Heavyweight Championship, as he had inked a deal with a “major U.S. wrestling promotion.” The overall beauty of the storyline was the fact that it successfully blurred the lines between kayfabe and shoot; even with several convoluted elements surging in and out of the in-ring action, it became all the more engaging with each and every promo because you couldn’t tell what was real and what was fake.
As it turned out Martin Stone did have some sort of conversation with that “major U.S. wrestling promotion.” At the time, however, the news regarding Stone’s “conversation” or even a report of a development contract was scant to say the least.
For a bit of perspective, all of this was happening around the summer of 2010 right before and during the formation of the first iteration of Nexus in WWE.
As the major storyline continued and began to draw to a close, Stone worked while suffering from a “knee injury” that was impeding his departure to the states. When the storyline ended, Stone disappeared and life went on.
Fast forward to 2012 and yours truly peruses WWE’s NXT website, and up pops a profile for Danny Burch. Needless to say I almost messed myself when I realized that Martin Stone had finally arrived in the states and to WWE.
Although I haven’t followed Stone’s career from beginning up to now, I do think it noteworthy to promote and pimp the fact that he’s made it to WWE. A large contingency of fans tend to poop on anything related to WWE, but it is a big deal to be signed by the company. The fact that Stone stood out to WWE enough to warrant a developmental contract says a lot about him.
Also keep in mind that FWA, the organization from which Stone arguably rose to some level of prominence, is the same organization that British wrestler Rockstar Spud made a splash. Spud, as some of us may know, is one of the four British wrestlers featured in the forthcoming TNA show British Boot Camp, which is essentially TNA’s British version of Tough Enough.
With so many men and women training to become big time pro wrestlers, it’s a big deal to be recognized by a major international organization.
All that being said, I’m anxious about seeing what Martin Stone can offer the WWE; particularly so because of the wave of new superstars chomping at the bit for their chance to become as big (if not bigger) than John Cena, Randy Orton, etc.
For your viewing pleasure, a Martin Stone match:
Tonight’s the night! Fans all across the world are geared up for the biggest blockbuster party of the summer. Hailing from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, this year’s SummerSlam Pay Per View looks chocked-filled with sports entertainment goodness that’s sure to leave fans lingering on the edge of their seats…for what, we’ll have to wait until the show starts to see.
One look at the card shows us a bevy of matches that pit up-and-coming stars against veterans of the sport. With the exception of the Triple H/Lesnar match, the card looks like a springboard for the next generation of superstars. What better than a place like Los Angeles to attempt such an important feat for the WWE? In that sense the show should be perfect for those who are tired of the same old matches and stars dominating the product. If you don’t buy into this show and your favorite star gets pushed back down the card, who can you really blame for that?
That’s another point for another time. Until then, let’s join in on the speculative goodness and provide some good ol’ fashioned previews and predictions, L.E.W.D. style!
Pre-show – Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana) vs. Santino Marella (c) for the United States Championship
I’m sure the average fan can agree that Santino’s reign as United States Champion has been lacking…well…a lot of stuff. Relevance, significance, prestige, importance, focus, meaning…we could go on all day about it but that’s not really the point here. Marella is gold when it comes to bringing attention to his opponents, and it’s that ability that will make or break his pre-show match against Antonio Cesaro.
Cesaro is still in the infancy stages of his WWE career and it is very noteworthy that he’s advanced far enough in so little time to the point where he has a Pay Per View match for a championship title. Yes it’s for a “meaningless” title, but it’s a title nevertheless. Eric Escobar never got that far…
At any rate I expect this match to be one where Cesaro can easily dominate and physically embarrass Santino. The irony of this international fracas is that an Italian and Swede are vying for the U.S. Championship; take that, Arizona.
Cesaro’s Pay Per View outing tonight should be one were fans get a chance to buy into the character. By being in a high profile match against the WWE’s top babyface underdog, Cesaro can gain tons of heat and further his character without even winning the match.
Prediction – Santino Marella retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – Antonio Cesaro wins, moves on to feud with Alex Riley…b/c story line wise* no right-minded “American” would agree with it.
“The Prime Time Players” Titus O’Neil and Darren Young vs. “High Times” Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c)
for the Tag Team Championships
Despite what fans may gripe about, tag team wrestling in the WWE has slowly made a return to some level of prominence within the company. Any one that’s followed the progress of Titus O’Neil and Darren Young can easily agree with that aforementioned statement. If you haven’t followed their progress, then that’s your fault and not the WWE’s.
Not much has been seen collectively from Kingston and Truth other than furthering the feud between them and the PTPs. So far their reign has been lackluster, but that is largely due to the WWE’s insistence on putting over the story more so than the athletic competition. While not necessarily a good thing it isn’t all that bad either; we get that the PTPs are the new jack tag team stars on the rise and that High Times feels it necessary to humble the young, brass duo.
Having been involuntarily relieved of A.W.’s managerial services, the PTPs will have to utilize their own abilities (athleticism and charisma) to put over their team as a legitimate threat to High Times. Other than that, the group isn’t as polished as they could be and a clean win tonight would not do them justice in the long run.
Prediction - High Times retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – High Times retains. #BillionsandBillionsandBillionsofReasonsWhyTheyShould
Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz (c) for the Intercontinental Championship
According to Mr. Quinn Gammon, Rey Mysterio has a pinfall victory over The Miz which entitles him to a match of this caliber. I honestly missed that victory and care very little to visit YouTube to see it.
This does not take away the potential for this match to be an exhibition of solid ring work from two superstars capable of getting a rise out of the fans. My fear is that the prestige of the IC Title that was built up during the magnificent reign of Cody Rhodes has been lost by now. With no offense to The Miz, the title has returned to its inglorious days of being an accessory; it’s like a Yves Saint Laurent purse or a celebrity’s 3-month old baby.
Since his departure from the WWE to film The Marine 2: Homefront, The Miz has yet to stand out dramatically in the midst of everything else going on in the WWE right now. Rey Mysterio is the perfect WWE vet to bring some attention back to the man who has a pinfall victory over John Cena at WrestleMania. Not too many people can say that now can they?
Prediction – Miz retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – Rey Mysterio wins, begins feud with Sin Cara b/c they’re going to have to do it anyway.
Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
All one has to do is take a look at Daniel Bryan’s rise to WWE superstardom to see just how far the “indy darling’s” stock has skyrocketed in such a short time. Bryan was once the man that fans knew wouldn’t receive a fair shake in the WWE due to his size and abilities. A few years later the man literally has fans eating out of the palms of his hands; it’d be awesome to look at his transition from professional wrestler to sports entertainer.
Bryan will go one on one against “The Big Red Machine/Monster” tonight in what could be an interesting match-up of skill versus brute strength and power. I expect Bryan to amp up his intensity in this match to compensate for the monstrous brutality he lacks and Kane will provide. I believe I heard somewhere that Bryan does not hold a singles victory over Kane, which means he will probably work for not only the victory but also to do so in a way that will weaken Kane’s stoic persona.
I’m not sure if RAW’s General Manager AJ Lee will get involved, but I’m hoping she doesn’t as it could take away from the athletic story telling in the ring while adding to the drama that exists between herself and Daniel Bryan.
Prediction – Kane wins via AJ Lee distraction;
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)
This will perhaps be the best wrestling match of the night. Combine a renaissance man like Chris Jericho with a super-solid in ring worker like Dolph Ziggler and fans are guaranteed one hell of a display of athleticism and ring psychology.
We’re looking at two stars who are brilliant in their own right and bring something unique to the table of professional wrestling and sports entertainment. Jericho is an entertainer at heart who excels at pro wrestling all around the world, is a NY Times bestselling author, is the lead singer of the popular rock band Fozzy, and has a degree in communications.
Dolph Ziggler is a decorated amateur and collegiate wrestler, has a political science/pre-law degree, and is fluent in American Sigh Language.
What in the blue fluke are we in for tonight?
Jericho’s band Fozzy has already began touring a hectic schedule that will pick up dates in September. Needless to say Jericho’s run in the WWE at this point will probably come to an end with this match. However look for the vet to put over Ziggler in spectacular form, perhaps in preparation for his cashing in of his Money In the Bank briefcase.
Prediction – Dolph Ziggler wins; Mr. Morris Hopes – Dolph Ziggler wins.
Big Show vs. John Cena vs. CM Punk (c), Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship
For starters, CM Punk is not the heel in this match.
In fact, CM Punk has pretty much spouted everything that IWC pundits have spewed venomously against the WWE since the beginning of the PG Era. His nine month reign has received far less fanfare and fan attention than what it should have (in comparison to Robert Roode’s nine month TNA World Heavyweight Championship reign) and the focus of RAW has been on everything except the champion. So why then would anyone boo CM Punk for stating his beef with this especially when we all agree with him?
This match is important as it will allow Punk to put to rest all the chatter that does not have to do with his reign as WWE Champion. Between the Big Show’s “I’m a giant and I can bully everybody because I’m big and mean and surly and frightening and blah blah blah,” and John Cena’s “I can take up TV time for a major announcement that’s not really an announcement and I’m also made of adamantine,” Punk’s “Joe 6-Pack” reign will carry most of the work in this match.
To be honest Big Show is just a prop in the match, the real beef taking place between the face and the champion of the company. At this point in his career Cena really doesn’t have to be anywhere near the title in order to be significant, which is one of the reasons why Punk’s pissed off in the first place. I imagine a feud between the two sometime in the future, but I’m also aware that Punk’s character will be featured prominently to coincide with the release of the WWE ’13 video game. That notion makes the match all the more interesting.
Prediction – Punk Retains. Mr. Morris Hopes – Punk retains.
Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Sheamus (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship
That goofy smiling doof just doesn’t get it. Del Rio is going to lose, flat out.
This match makes me angry because of Del Rio’s character being stuck in development hell. After returning from an injury/suspension or whatever it was, Del Rio fell casually back into the same safe schtick that has not worked to get him over with the fans. The man even changed the color of his tights and scarf to represent how “sinister” he had grown in his quest to win the WHC, and it hasn’t worked. I won’t go in on Sheamus because he’s a pretty straight-forward character: “My name is
Finlay Sheamus, and I lov’ ta foite!”
I’ll keep this one short: Del Rio has to gain some viciousness (like The Rock did in his I Quit Match against Mick Foley) in order to be taken seriously. He should make someone bleed, put someone out of action indefinitely, and probably punt an eight year old’s soda to the other side of the area. Then and only then will someone take him seriously.
That ain’t finna happen tonight, so get ready for another month of mediocrity.
Prediction – Sheamus retains; Mr. Morris Hopes – Sheamus retains…for the love of all that is sacred please let Sheamus retain.
“The Perfect Storm” Match – Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Tonight’s “big business” match will see Brock Lesnar attempt to decimate Triple H. To quote WWE Legend Jim Ross, “this one ought to be a barn burner!”
Over on Gerweck.net a few fans complained about the event taking place in Los Angeles for the fourth time in a row. For those of you that missed Captain Obvious’ groundbreaking appearance, here’s a recap for the logic behind this:
The WWE has established itself as a major player in the Los Angeles market. Without even considering the tons of networking opportunities and shoulder rubbing events that accompany an appearance in Los Angeles, the area has been good for the WWE fans for at least three years running. It would be illogical and stupid for the WWE to not capitalize off of booking in a city that has been and will be gracious to their presence.
Excuse them for not considering Tumbleweed, South Dakota, population: YOU as the most lucrative host for one of their major Pay Per Views.
So while some sit and stream the show for free as they complain about the location, think about the potential money that could be raked in from this Lesnar/Triple H fight in L.A. Lesnar’s credibility as a fighter against Triple H’s reputation as a technician and brute will make this fight even more chilling than Lesnar’s destruction of John Cena at this year’s Extreme Rules Pay Per View.
Cena was a pancake compared to Lesnar; this fight with Trips won’t be as sugary sweet or easy. I’m not sure how many more dates Lesnar has with the company, but I’ve heard at least one person remark that a missing Triple H (due to getting his ass handed to him by Lesnar) could equal a return for John Laurinaitis. One could only dream…
Expect this one to be ugly in a good way, satiating the blood thirsty appetite of those fans longing for an un-PG product. I’m not predicting blood, but wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up during the course of the match.
Prediction – Triple H prevails at a great cost; Mr. Morris Hopes – Lesnar beats the crap out of Triple H, who wins but disappears from TV for awhile.
Well there you have it; hope you enjoyed the preview and here’s to a good SummerSlam that’s worthy enough to be purchased on DVD in a month or so.
Two in one week! Zounds!
Amidst all the other things going on in the wide world of sports entertainment, the WWE has apparently signed another French wrestler to a developmental contract! The cool thing about this particular signing is that the news of it is all in French! Bonjour to the two-and-a-half French and/or French-speaking people that visit our site!
Anyway, Go-Go-Gadget Social Media:
From Google Translate:
Pierre Booster Fontaine – The Champion of ICWA joined the WWE under a developmental contract. A French[man], formed exclusively in France, signed by WWE: you thought it was impossible? Lucas Di Léo did.
Lucas Di Léo - Tampa, FCW, developing for the WWE, this is the place for a dream wrestler [???]…I dream awake for more than a week! [again...???]
I guess Di Léo is excited.
Our plucky young intern Gary was able to find out that Di Léo is 25 years old, and as suggested by Pierre Fontaine, trained exclusively in France. One shouldn’t take that fact lightly; apparently the WWE doesn’t do that much scouting for wrestlers trained outside of the United States. I could insert a joke about outsourcing and conservativism here, but I’ll save that for later. Other than that, Di Léo is lean and lanky, kinda like Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre; the jury is still out on whether that’s a fair assessment for the new signee…
Here’s the sad thing: when most fans heard that the WWE signed two French wrestlers, they immediately figured that plans for La Résistance 2.0 were already on the table. If not for the WWE’s penchant to do idiotic things as such more often than not, I’d find that assumption valid. For the sake of La Ruffa and Di Léo, however, I’m willing to wait and see exactly what will come of their presence in the company. For all we know, they could end up signing a developmental contract, spend two years wallowing in FCW, and get released before even seeing a RAW or Smackdown ring apron.
Well…that goes for De Léo; believe it or not, La Ruffa has already appeared in a WWE ring…cool thing is, he was smart enough to put his initials on the back of his tights!
Again, congratulations to Lucas Di Léo and here’s to hoping that he and La Ruffa don’t end up like Sweet Papi Sanchez.
Check out one of Di Léo’s matches…and yes, it’s in French too.
OK…Brace Yourself. Innocent ears be warned…Mr. Quinn Gammon is allowed to verbally express his thoughts and feelings on TNA current events.
Disclaimer…if you are a TNA fan, this might hurt a little…
This is the final installment of this series. Be on the lookout for more from both Mr. Quinn Gammon and I.
We hope you have enjoyed this journey, and we hope it will bring you back for more. Just like WWE 3-hour RAW, we are just getting started, so it will take time to improve so be patient.
We take a look at the WWE Diva’s Division, and what are some issues and interferences with what has kept them from prominence.
And this is the final statement on the WWE overall atmosphere.
The TNA X-Division is the new topic of discussion. What’s right, and what’s wrong with it all?
The challenge of keeping opinions to ourselves becomes more difficult as we move on to Hard(core) Justice and Austin Aries as TNA Champion.
The conversation has moved on to the SummerSlam Main Event of CM Punk defending his WWE Championship against The Big Show & John Cena in a Triple Threat Match.
Apparently the WWE has signed French wrestler Tom La Ruffa to a developmental deal! I know, it IS unbelievable!!!
Don’t take my word for it; follow the Twitter trail:
“Who exactly is Tom La Ruffa,” you ask? Other than being a graduate of Lance Storm’s Storm Wrestling Academy, he’s apparently the result of a midnight rendevous between Damien Sandow and Brutus Magnus.
In my “research” *snickers* I’ve found a match with Mr. La Ruffa on YouTube. From my comfortable armchair quarterback scouting couch, he appears to have that standard big guy look that keeps Mr. McMahon awake at night. I found something that clocked the Frenchman in at 6 ft., 200 lbs. at the tender age of 26. For those of you keeping score at home, La Ruffa is a) tall, 2) big and chiseled, thirdly) mildly athletic and 1) young. One can only imagine a sweaty Vince perspiring all over that contract signing.
Check out this match with La Ruffa versus some other guy.
La Ruffa’s signing is opportune for me…and for him, I guess…as I was just pondering about my next post here on the site. Give me a day and it’ll be up, but the fact that the ‘E has picked up this dude has me wondering what thought process went into bringing him into the evil, soulless publicly traded company.
Only time will tell what this signing will mean to the WWE or for pro wrestling/sports entertainment, but now is not the time for cynicism and regaling folks with the standard “They won’t use him properly, I hope they release him and he goes to [insert another prominent wrestling company name here] and gets used properly” argument. For now, congratulations to Mr. La Ruffa and hopefully he’ll be a productive addition to the company…unlike that missed opportunity Hade Vansen.
I know this is getting a little ridiculous, but there still is plenty more to come. In this chapter we discuss the Triple H and Brock Lesnar feud.
As mentioned in my previous post, Chavo Guerrero Jr. is set to debut on tomorrow night’s LIVE episode of IMPACT Wrestling.
… … …
I’m sorry, I just don’t see the excitement behind this.
Sometime ago I crafted a piece that talked about Matt Hardy’s departure from the WWE which paved the way for his debut in TNA. In an ironic twist of irony, I lauded this move for Hardy by citing that this would be his golden opportunity to run with the brass ring that was not “given” to him in the WWE. As many of his fans vehemently stated, this opportunity would be the chance Hardy would have to show that he could be a top dawg in professional wrestling.
He debuted with TNA in January 2011. He was released seven months later in August. So much for that.
One of the things we fans don’t consider is that people play particular”roles” in life based off of the skill sets they have. That’s not a bad thing; that’s just recognizing one’s strengths and capitalizing off of them for the greater good of all. Certain wrestlers are placed in certain roles because they can benefit the company in a specific area of concern.
Allow the following crudely drawn cartoon to elaborate on this perspective:
While I’m somewhat sure that most fans aren’t expecting the second coming of Magnum TA with Chavo’s arrival in TNA, I am intrigued at what his presence in the company will mean for the company’s product.
Chavo is one of the most technically sound and gifted wrestlers out there and comes from a legacy of gifted pro wrestlers (d’uh). The down side to that particular gift is that his charismatic appeal leaves about as much of a mark on fan as an ant bite on an elephant’s ass. Placing Chavo as the recipient of a major push would be…well…an exercise in the ineffective use of a talented wrestler (i.e. “MISUSE”).
However given Chavo’s technical prowess, knowledge and experience from working in the business, having him on the roster to build up future stars (particularly in the X-Division) is a must. From that perspective, bringing Chavo into the fold is a great investment; only from that perspective though. Funny thing is he was doing the exact same thing in the WWE, but at least now his boss won’t yell at him for not making Sin Cara at least look like a better performer.
I will add this: if they saddle him with Hernandez and try one more crack at an all/semi-Mexican stable, I’m sitting in the corner and pouting for the rest of the week.
As we approach TNA’s 10 Year
Anniversary Survival – Slammiversary, I wanted to bring up a few interesting tidbits to take note of.
The Introduction of the TNA Hall of
A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that TNA would be inducting the first member of it’s “Hall of Fame”, at this evening’s “Slammiversary” PPV.
Also, it’s been widely discussed that, former TNA World Champion and current WWE Intercontinental Champion, Christian would be in attendance for the event (as part of a talent exchange for WWE featuring Ric Flair in their 2012 Hall of Fame, via the Four Horsemen).
What I haven’t seen is what I feel like is the most obvious connection between the two – Christian will be the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame.
If you notice… they had a prolonged shot of him as the final clip to roll while mentioning the TNA Hall of Fame, and when you real think about it – Christian is the most prominent, mainstream TNA Superstar. Also, the only Superstar I can remember ever going from TNA to WWE (I guess Booker T. counts…sort of).
Do I think Christian is the person who has done the most to make TNA the brand it is, today? No. Do I think Christian is the best name they could use to introduce the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Anyone else who would be a viable option would be someone from the inside (Hogan, AJ Styles, etc…) that just wouldn’t bode well at this stage. Christian is the closest thing TNA has to a “retired” star, yet is unexpected enough to be a shocker when he shows up on the PPV.
TNA Running Live Events on Thursday Nights (BESIDES iMPACT!)
In what is only a continued testament to the phenomenal business acumen shown by Ms. Carter and the powers above – TNA is continuing to run live events on Thursday night, despite moving iMPACT! to a live broadcast on Thursday nights.
This Thursday, TNA is scheduled to run a live event in Belton, TX. Yes a live event, AT THE SAME TIME their product will be on national tv. Some of the scheduled matches are:
Garrett Bischoff vs. Gunner, Chris Sabin vs. Kid Kash, Douglas Williams vs. Rob Terry, Matt Morgan vs. Crimson and Knockouts tag match featuring Tara, Mickie James and Velvet Sky vs. Angelina Love, Winter, Sarita and Rosita. Robbie E. is also advertised to appear.
One can only shake their head at this matter – can you imagine John Cena and CM Punk floating around in Pawtucket, NJ while RAW is airing live in California? While these certainly aren’t ALL of the major players on iMPACT!, there presence will still be noticeably absent. It’s these sorts of decisions that will ultimately ground TNA.
I don’t think this is a long-term thing, but simply a matter of contracts and obligations that are still in place from before the seemingly overnight decision to begin running iMPACT! live.
The decision was made so quickly to shift the pre-taped Thursday night broadcasts to a live show that the usual production trucks weren’t even available and their normal crew (including cameramen) were not available, and what does TNA do? Throw caution to the wind, and run a live broadcast with complete unusual equipment, and crew.
Here’s to the next ten years! Cheers….
These polls will be the way we will do predictions here at L.E.W.D. Headquaters. So let’s see what you think. (This is a test run to see how we will do things in the future)
As WrestleMania weekend approaches, the wrestling world is chock full of hype in the form of buzz words and catch phrases.
One quick scroll through my Twitter feed showed me “End of an Era”, “Once in a Lifetime”, “The Streak”, “Best in the World” and numerous other catchy phrases that have been used to promote the matches headlining this year’s “Grandaddy of ‘em all.”
There is one buzz worthy phrase in particular that has my excitement level for this upcoming weekend at an all time high, though it admittedly has nothing to do with WWE or WrestleMania itself.
The Dragon Gate Six-Man Tag Match.
It has become a WrestleMania weekend tradition. In 2006, Ring of Honor brought in some of the stars of Japan’s Dragon Gate promotion to compete at their Supercard of Honor event, which took place in Chicago two nights prior to WrestleMania 22.
CIMA, Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino of the stable Blood Generation took on rivals Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito and Genki Horiguchi of the stable Do-Fixer in a six-man tag that blew ROH fans away. The crowd was on their feet for most of the bout, doing their best to keep up with the insanely fast paced action.
It was so well received that it even earned a very rare 5 star rating from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, which is apparently a big deal for those who put much stock into star ratings for wrestling matches.
The success of the first ‘Mania weekend Dragon Gate six man can be looked back upon as one of the main reasons that Gabe Sapolsky, the man who was booking ROH at the time, went on to help create an American offshoot of Japan’s Dragon Gate promotion, DGUSA, in 2009.
When WrestleMania came to Arizona in 2010, Dragon Gate USA followed suit and joined in on the festivities, adding yet another option for wrestling fans who were in town for the big one. Their Mercury Rising event took place the Saturday prior to WrestleMania and was headlined by another epic six-man tag match.
This time around, CIMA teamed with his Warriors stablemates Gamma and Dragon Kid to take on World One’s team of BxB Hulk, Naruki Doi and Masato Yoshino.
While none of these names are instantly familiar to the mainstream WWE wrestling fan, these six athletes put on an outstanding show for the fans in attendance and by the end of the night, their names were likely on everyone’s mind as they filed out of the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix.
If the goal of smaller promotions like ROH and DGUSA running events in town during WrestleMania weekend is to bring new eyes towards their product, the Dragon Gate six-man tag match, loaded with excitement and athleticism, is a sure-fire way to intrigue potential new fans.
In 2011, the six-man tag main event of Mercury Rising felt like a proving ground for the stable known as Ronin. Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor and Rich Swann squared off against their rivals, the Blood Warriors, who were represented by their leader, CIMA, along with Naruki Doi and Ricochet.
The Ronin vs. Blood Warriors feud began late in 2010 and reached it’s boiling point on iPPV during WrestleMania weekend in Atlanta.
Despite coming out on the losing end, Ronin’s performance proved, without a doubt, that they could hang with the top stars from Japan. Less than a year later, Gargano reached the pinnacle of DGUSA by defeating YAMATO for the Open the Freedom Gate Championship.
The 2012 edition of Mercury Rising goes down this Saturday night in Miami and continue the six-man tradition with what looks to be one of the most exciting matches of the entire weekend.
Akira Tozawa and BxB Hulk have disbanded the Blood Warriors and formed a new stable called Mad Blankey. Dragon Gate has had some strange names for their groups but this one may take the cake. Anyways, they will be teaming with Low-Ki, you know, that guy known as Kaval from WWE NXT.
On the other side of the squared circle, the DGUSA tag team champions CIMA and Ricochet, collectively known as the Spiked Mohicans, will be teaming with one of the most well-respected veterans in Dragon Gate, Masaaki Mochizuki.
Mochi is probably also the hardest hitting wrestler on the entire Dragon Gate roster, even though Sami Callihan might have something to say about that. I personally cannot recall seeing a professional wrestler throw a harder kick than the ones Mochizuki has been known to fire off.
This match has a bit of everything, guys like BxB Hulk and Ricochet can take to the skies with the best of them. Mochizuki and Low-Ki are as stiff and tough as anyone I can think of. Tozawa and CIMA are two of the most well-rounded competitors on any roster.
Year after year, the Dragon Gate six-man becomes one of the most talked about non-WWE matches of WrestleMania weekend. This year should be no different. While the WWE will be giving us the end of an era on Sunday night, the future is readily available to watch this weekend on WWNLive.com.
(All photos courtesy of Scott Finkelstein – getlostphotography.smugmug.com)
As my first WrestleMania draws near, I am looking forward to the event with high expectations.
Yes, you read that correctly; my FIRST WrestleMania. Though I have had a few minor history lessons with The Right Reverend’s extensive WWE DVD collection, I haven’t seen any WrestleMania events.
I began watching and gaining interest in the WWE in the summer of 2011. My first Pay-Per-View was SummerSlam, but so far none of the events have been as monumental as SummerSlam 2011.
SummerSlam 2011 contained all the rises and falls of a fantastic plot with a hidden surprise at the end when Alberto Del Rio cashed in his money in the bank briefcase. The storylines before the matches of SummerSlam 2011 made me interested in the fights, who was going to win, and how they would execute that win. Pay-Per-Views since then have almost let me down as I find myself engaged in certain matches, but not the entirety.
I have high hopes for my first WrestleMania, especially with the gradually growing tension from the reappearance of “The Rock.” As a new fan, the excitement of the matches is highly drawn from the progression of plot on Monday Night RAW. I can still be enamored by the characters and their promotional speeches.
That being said, my wrestling watching career is still young; “The Rock” hasn’t been around to enamor me as a viewer, I don’t know his character very well, and in fact, the first thing I think of when I think “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson” is his appearance as the character of The Tooth Fairy.
The Rock’s recent appearance has given me a sense of interest, however. In the debacle of The Rock vs. John Cena, I will pick The Rock simply because John Cena’s promotions are weaker. The Rock has been absent for almost the entirety of my recent wrestling watching, yet he had the charisma and power to sway me.
I generally do not like John Cena as he’s a stock character; on the other hand, in the reappearance of The Rock, he gained my respect as he is a major face of the WWE. The Rock serves the WWE as a hall of fame monument; he’s the face who can be absent for an extended period of time, making terrible movies and return to a loyal crowd.
John Cena on the other hand is still in the youth of his career; he’s the (disputable) hero of today’s young wrestling fans and stands as the rookie who’s gaining his place with the epic characters that are senior to him. He is now fighting for his place, just as Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin did ten to fifteen years ago.
He’s also a lesser version of these characters because, as we have discovered in any life context, generations are degenerative.
Today’s youth is captivated by social media and electronics. Their wrestling characters , therefore, are simple and provide stock for a good guy and a bad guy that work toward a common goal that is either heroic or tainted with “evil.”
Take a look at any of the emerging stars of the WWE; how do they differ from previous characters who have gained so much prestige and respect? Their characters are a lot less round. The point is that they don’t matter as much because they haven’t taken the extra time to develop that character for themselves.
But back to WrestleMania; I’m looking forward to watching this event. I want to see if “The Rock” has the power to come back and kick some ass, or if John Cena was right and that he should go back to Hollywood.
I want to see Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres (although I dread the screaming from Kelly Kelly), especially since the arising conflict of Eve’s promiscuous nature.
I’m ready for the comedy of Team Teddy Long vs. Team John Laurinautis.
I’m excited about Randy Orton vs. Kane, because quite frankly, Kane is so creepy he’s awesome.
I want to see Sheamus dominate Daniel Bryan because Bryan looks like a leprechaun.
CM Punk and Chris Jericho have been amusing me for weeks; I want to know if the guy in the queer light-up jacket is going to become the new champion.
The match that I’m most excited about is The Undertaker vs. Triple H in the Hell in a Cell Match. The match itself is so gruesome that it’s interesting, and the fact that I get to see two veteran figures from the WWE in a match with a special referee guest of another special figure – Shawn Michaels – simply makes the match more epic. The Undertaker is scary, and Triple H has won my attention ever since he was COO.
To you, dedicated fans, I place this challenge: watch and enjoy WrestleMania XXVIII with the same youthful eye you had when you first became acquainted with these characters. Enjoy their story and their skill.
~ “The Scholar” Jennifer Gabel ~
As we all know, tonight marks the 25th Anniversary of a wrestling classic – the WWE Royal Rumble. Now, I won’t bother you with a diatribe of witty one-liners, and bragadocious claims – however, I do have some thoughts on this ppv.
WWE Championship – CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Punk and Ziggler have already put on one show-stealing match on RAW (11.21.11) and I think these two are looking to do the same thing, again.
- Ziggler is far and above the best athlete working Monday nights, and Punk brings out the best in everyone.
- Ziggler having gotten the best of Punk for four straight weeks, now, and being so young – he can’t win clean.
- Everyone is expecting Chris Jericho to win the Royal Rumble, and go on to feud with CM Punk. I think Jericho screws Punk through hijinks with John Laurinitis (who later claims to have no knowledge of the attack, to save his job).
- Prediction: Dolph Ziggler wins, via Jericho interference. ***3/4
- I don’t like the cage match gimmick here. With big guys, it almost always equal a broken cage spot. I think it’s mostly being done here to mask Show’s weaknesses, and Henry’s injury (not to mention to give Bryan a chance to survive.)
- I love Daniel Bryan’s new angle after the incident with Show/AJ.
- Prediction: I look for Daniel Bryan to retain mischievously. **
John Cena vs. Kane
- We are clearly moving towards Cena turning heel.
- Kane will get the upper hand in the match, causing Cena to snap into his “Cena Rage” and win the match dubiously (probably by ref’s DQ for not acknowledging a count or something)
- This doesn’t complete the “heel” transformation, because of Kane’s heel factor, but it will come in to play at WM28. **
Royal Rumble Match
- We’ll obviously get some surprise/legends entrants – however, I don’t imagine anything too shocking.
- WWE has been reiterating that “every WWE Superstar is eligible…”
- Plain and simple – I see Triple H entering himself as an entrant, and ultimately winning the Royal Rumble.
- In a change of course – HHH will use his “Headline WrestleMania” stipulation literally, and go after ‘Taker one last time. Let’s be honest, who else is going to sell a PPV with ‘Taker at this point? The Miz? Wade Barrett?
- Prediction: HHH as a late entrant to win and go on to WM28 to face Undertaker. **
(Completed 1/28/2012, 8:33 PM)
You may have never guessed it unless you were privy to my other blogs (visit Digital Wolf Alley) but I am a huge fan of video games, and as a huge fan of video games I’m a big fan of honest, stingy critics of video games. Enter Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, who is responsible for two of my favorite game related mainstays. One involves drinking (subsequently I need to book a flight to Australia soon) and the other is a weekly series where he tears apart a game with some of the sharpest wit ever seen in an Englishman since Winston Churchill as resurrected by Seth MacFarlane.
The series is known as Zero Punctuation and you would do well to watch it, especially if you happen to love games, and as a loyal watcher of the show, constantly waiting for him to say something I disagree with so as to initiate a campaign to fuck him over similarly to how the Super Smash Brothers Brawl review would do, I have developed a few ideas from enjoying his programming that I hereby dictate as FACTS.
FACT: men love breasts.
FACT: the era of modern/warfare first person shooters is oversaturated and severely overdone.
FACT: there are no such things as perfect games but companies Valve and… Valve are the only two who in modern day that can make even the slightest claim.
FACT: there is actually no possible way to end any sentence, paragraph or the like with zero punctuation.
You may be sitting back right now and thinking, “DiZ, you gloriously grandiose glutton of greatness, you’ve typed two paragraphs and four points but you’ve yet to actually make a point.” Well you’re right, now shut up. I say all that to say that Ben Croshaw’s opinion carries weight. His voice carries weight because of how in-tune he is with the art of video games.
Take his most recent review for nostalgia cornholer Sonic Generations. Within it he praises part of the game, dismantles another part and overall expresses a sense of melancholy and even a hint of disappointment in Sega and the consumers (i.e. – you or, in another life, me) for declaring the game to be yet another brick of gold when it ends up being pyrite. You may know it as the Sonic Cycle.
Now I’m not a fanboy (here’s my middle finger to prove it) but I do have a problem when people get pissy at someone for their opinion. You might be wondering again, “DiZ, you horrendously handsome hypocrite, how can you get mad at someone about how they hate someone’s opinion when you yourself are expressing an opinion about opinions?” Again, shut up. The point I’m making, as controversial as it may seem, is that some people have “wrong” opinions. Why did I put that in quotations? Some people have wrong opinions.
And yes, this likely mean YOU, you reading this, you who piss on the WWE machine and uplift TNA’s t-and-a, you who think the Dragon Age franchise is better off pretending the second official entry didn’t really occur, you who think that Waka Flocka Flame is a good rapper. I don’t care if you think all the above mentioned things are right, you’re wrong. Just wrong.
Why mention all this? Because the average wrestling fan is a puppet controlled by a monkey. For the last few weeks, in a couple of posts, I’ve talked about the deep Star Wars vibe radiating off of John Cena and his cohorts. I’ve alluded to the Bruce Wayne aura surrounding our favorite boy scout. People are showing a substantial lack of foresight in assuming that Zack Ryder, Cena’s plucky young ward, is being “killed off”. Aside from not even beginning to ponder what Eve’s role in all of this is, these opinions are wrong. You people that think like this are wrong. This is fact.
If you’ve been following Raw for the past few weeks, you’ve seen Kane methodically beat up Zack Ryder and John Cena as if they were the children of Shannon Moore. Eve plays the horrified girl pretty well even though she can’t run all that fast in heels (MAJOR loss in her column) and the story has been a more and more psychological romp than a physical one. If you have any sense (and if you’re mad at this point because of the previous paragraphs then you probably don’t) you will see that this is all part of a campaign to shift Cena’s gimmick.
If you’ve been following my pieces (and if you’re mad at this point then you probably just want to spit on my name) then you would know that I’m past the point of believing that he’s turning heel anytime soon. A heel turn for him might be spawn more heat than the Angry Miz Girl and the Mad Cena Face combined. In fact, it would be pretty foolish to do it. Apparently Cena is worth more than 100 million dollars to the company. Vince McMahon, the great sage and eminent businessman, loves money, and all things at this point are indeed a business. Turning Cena heel is bad business. McMahon may nearly bankrupt his company once a decade, but those are usually smart investments (we will never speak of the XFL again…).
So Cena’s path to the dark side will be more gray jedi-ish than full blown Sith. Ever since John Cena became the beating toy of Kane, fans have seen in a roundabout way that he has to be attacked. As a man who has cleanly beaten virtually everybody in the world of wide wrestling, refuses to tap out and responds to the concept of quitting with a blandness as awe-inspiring as John Laurinaitis, Cena has around him an invisible and near impenetrable wall of history that separates him from even his closest WWE contemporary in terms of weaknesses. What does that mean? It means Superman evolved to a point where he’s invincible even to kryptonite.
Yes, compare Cena to Superman and you’ll see that they are very similar. They’re both obscenely muscle bound, both stand for American values, both put on suits as a means of disguising themselves from the general public and they both just LOOK like they don’t belong on the planet. At one point they even shared a kryptonite-like weakness. For Cena, it was the fans.
I’ll come back to that in a minute, because I’m losing focus of the Star Wars sequences, not as if I’ve been talking about it since I really started this. So let’s jump right back to the Superman sequence and take you to the god awful movies. I hate the first Superman movie because it features the completely illogical concept that flying fast enough around the world could reverse the flow of time. Don’t misunderstand: I wasn’t mad at THAT so much as the fact that if Superman was that damn fast he could have saved Lois Lane in the first place! Just for the sake of context: Lois Lane was being crushed by rocks and Superman was on the other side of the planet. He flew to her in an effort to save her but failed. So in his anger he flew so fast around the world that he managed to make it spin the opposite way and turn back time. I swear Christopher Reeve had to have been under contract to agree to something so stupid.
But there was a point to me bringing that up: Superman’s only inescapable weakness. You can shoot the alien, put buildings in front of him, even smack him with kryptonite, none of that matters at the end of the day because he can shrug it off in due time. But what messed Superman up? Enough to make him fly fast enough to turn back time? Enough to break the rules of space-time in a way that even the Presence would be furious over? His human traits.
Superman has no human traits outside of, I assume, emotions, a penis, and a physiology that meshes perfectly with human beings. While he’s never been shown to be sex crazed, his fury at Lois Lane’s death caused him to do the impossible. It sparked his sorrow. It penetrated him in a way that kryptonite has not.
Hold the phone! Something stopped Superman that wasn’t directly attacking him? Yes, you increasingly intelligent true believer, that’s what serves as his sole human weakness. And when you have to deal with a creature of pure strength and questionable color patterns how do you get to him? By attacking what he can’t control. You attack the things he loves, the people he cares about, the stuff he holds dear. Then he goes down the often dark path of trying to or even DOING anything to hold strong to those things.
It’s a tale as old as time, really. It’s the ultimate bad guy tactic. You harm your greatest enemy by attacking everything around him. A good villain will take the hero’s loved ones and use them as bait or fodder, and the hero will go down the path of darkness for as long as they have to until they can find a way to save their loved ones OR redeem themselves for their crimes. The latter is just as damning as becoming a villain.
Tie this back to Star Wars and you’re given the general ideology of Anakin Skywalker all over again. Remember he only became evil in trying to protect/save his wife, who he was secretly married to. And the dismantling of Zack Ryder is NOT a manner of killing him off; he’s involved in the major storyline of the major show of the major Superstar: they wouldn’t send off someone as virtually irrelevant as Ryder in that kind of style. Not just that but it wouldn’t make any sense.
So Ryder is once again the emotional drawstring to the pouch of insanity that is John Cena turning towards the dark side of the kayfabe. With the Royal Rumble tomorrow (this has taken a long ass time to write) I’m compelled to say a few words about what I think is going to happen with this storyline. Because you’ve been such a decent audience, I’ll share my thoughts.
First and foremost, I see John Cena winning the match. I would fall out of my seat if Kane won. However, I see Kane’s victory in the same way I saw Anakin Skywalker kill Count Dooku. He embraced the dark side of the Force and used his custom lightscissors to send Tyrannus out the way of Marie Antoinette. He was still technically a good guy at the time, but he had embraced the principles of every villain being lemons.
Second, I think Kane is going to disappear for a while after this. No matter what happens, he’s going to win in some way, and he’s probably going to offer us a sickeningly potent Kool-Aid smile as Cena towers over him after his victory. The kids will be confused and amused, but then in tears the second Cena starts using more swear words, especially those that involve more than four letters. This will be the birth of the beginning of John Cena’s Grey Jedi phase. That’ll correlate more along the style of Cade Skywalker, who was no Jedi but also the Sith’s worst enemy. He also did/does the nasty with a frisky Zeltron. Is that important? No, but interesting nonetheless.
Third, Cena is going to be in the Rumble. I don’t know where the sudden love for booking wrestlers in two matches a pay-per-view came from, but if Ziggler can do it, why not the boy scout who never says quit and rises above hate? This is just thinking out of the box though: a new fury-courting John Cena is going to run into the ring sometime between numbers 20 and 27 and lose, but he’ll display his new fangled “Cena-rosity” (patent pending) and make a host of new angry kid faces.
Finally, when facing the Rock at the next Wrestlemania, Cena is going to win. Dastardly-ly. Hmm, it’s hard to turn an adjective into an adverb. It won’t be a grimy victory but a definite dirty one, and it’ll solidify John Cena as the new face of confusing inbetween-dom. Hmm, hard to form a new word too.
Now this piece is more than a week old, and it had to be adapted to the changing landscape of time and timeliness; plural. That’s why this isn’t Episode 3 but Episode 2.5; it’s an inbetween piece. Episode 3 can come about when we finally see the change in John Cena. I thank you for your time and end with these last few paragraphs about how much I can’t stand your short sighted people.
You ig’nant sons of bit—
*The following 28 paragraphs have been banned by Boston native and goulash aficionado Daniel I. Zahra, who found that the words used within were overly cruel, bordering on sheer unexplainable prejudice. On behalf of the overly self-confident man who refers to himself as “Da Infamous DiZ”, Mr. Zahra would like to apologize to all the people who think that Zack Ryder is being “killed off”, their mothers, their fathers, their various younger siblings, their first and third pets (Da Infamous DiZ always appreciates the second), their grandmothers on their mother’s side, their favorite two ex’s and especially their doctors. The ending paragraph has been deemed suitable for viewing, however. Mr. Zahra hopes that you will find it titillating and saucy. Thank you.*
And that, boys and girls, is why I’m greatness incarnate and you short sighted fools are still aspiring to mediocrity. Good night!