14 items from 2014
Earlier this week, Elimination Chamber aired as the last big pay-per-view before Wrestlemania and the WWE Network launch. And like most pay-per-views in the past year, you probably left it feeling disappointed (I’m assuming, but then again you might be that one guy buying Batista shirts and shouting “Deal With It!”)
But do not despair, wrestling fans! Because another pay-per-view aired this week, and it was Everything you would want from a wrestling show. WWE decided to show their faith in their Nxt brand by giving it the honour of being the first ever live broadcast on the WWE Network, and they did Not disappoint. They had excellent matches such as Bo Dallas vs Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn vs Cesaro IV (imagine…. a wrestling rematch you actually Want to see!) as well as appearances from Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Too Cool and the Authority themselves, »
Before they were rendered useless by WWE’s booking in the last ten years or so, the WWE Tag Team title was once a very prestigious belt to hold. Legends like Bret Hart, Bob Backlund, Andre the Giant, Mick Foley, the Undertaker, and Ted Dibiase at held the belt at one point in their careers. A WWE Tag Team championship match even headlined many house shows around North America in the late 80s and early 90s, showing how over the titles actually were.
That era represented almost a Golden Age of tag team wrestling, not just in WWE but also around the other promotions in North America. You’ve done yourself a total disservice if you’ve never say down and watched a Midnight Express vs. Rock N Roll Express match (just pick one, they’re all good) and seen how thrilling tag team wrestling can actually be.
However, for »
- Mike Shannon
The day has finally arrived. The WWE Network launches at 9 a.m. Et with a full slate of programming, both on the network stream and as part of the video-on-demand library.
The most important thing to note is that beginning with "Wrestlemania 30" on April 6, all WWE pay-per-views will air live on the network. What is there to watch before that? Use this handy guide to programming, so you know what you're looking for.
All times are Eastern.
Monday7:30 p.m. - "WWE Raw" Pre-showA live, 30-minute Raw Pre-Show will air each week.
11:05 p.m. - "WWE Raw Backstage Pass""WWE Raw Backstage Pass" will air live each week immediately following Monday Night Raw, providing analysis of the night's action and exclusive backstage interviews.
Going to a live WWE show can be a magical experience. At its core, wrestling is a mix of a freak show, a stunt show, high-wire acts and illusions. It is a show that is in its own special genre. When going to a show, be it a TV taping a house show (i.e. not on TV) or a pay-per-view, you’ll find yourself immersed in how special it can be. And so will be the thousands of others around you.
However, the person next to you could be a completely different type of fan. They could be someone who doesn’t view wrestling in the same vein that you do. Why is this person different than me? How could they root for that guy? He sucks and hates the fans! Beside him could be someone of a totally different persuasion. They hate everyone! Everyone gets boos. Why »
- TK Maxwell
If you ask me, Shawn Michaels is the greatest wrestler of all time. By the late noughties his hair was receding, it had been over a decade since his theme made any sense, not to mention he had become irritatingly religious. But the second he stepped through those ropes, it was clear that the man had returned.
Like many reading, I only began watching wrestling in the late 90′s and had only the vaguest of notions of who ‘The Showstopper’ was during his classic, if totally bonkers, comeback special street fight against Triple H at Summerslam 2002.
I was impressed, but wondered if the gory spectacle of that match was a one off: fueled by a man desperate to have one last hurrah and with access to enough painkillers to domesticate a hippo. But month after month he kept delivering, rarely missing the mark »
- Ben Gibson
In less than a week, WWE will launch its own network, which consists of an on-demand video library and a live steam of programming, including monthly pay per views, original programming and more.
To kick things off properly, WWE's first live event on the channel will be "Nxt Arrival," showcasing the up-and-coming talent in the company's developmental system.
The two-hour special will air live on Thursday (Feb. 27) on the network, which launches Monday (Feb. 24). The announced card for the event it below:
Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville in a Ladder Match for the Nxt ChampionshipCesaro vs. Sami Zayn in a 2/3 Falls MatchPaige vs. Emma for the Nxt Women's Championship
Wrestling fans love new blood. We also have short attention spans. Nothing excites us more than seeing new talent introduced, or new stars being created. As seen in past years, winning the top championship for the first time is a paramount moment in a superstar’s career.
Think back to Shawn Michaels defeating Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 12. Think of the feeling Brock Lesnar created when he dethroned The Rock at Summerslam 2002. In both circumstances, it was a changing of the guard that WWE fans were entirely ready for. However, there are times when it’s done prematurely. It’s safe to say Alberto Del Rio cashing in on Cm Punk didn’t create the same feeling.
Shockingly, WWE merged their two world titles last year. It blocked some of these men from reaching the main event too quickly, which could be a blessing in disguise. »
- Rich Latta II
Copyright: WWE – Money In The Bank 2013 Blu-ray
The Gimmick Match. Depending on your viewpoint, these can be the highlight of a pay per view or an unnecessary distraction to the ‘real’ wrestling.
Those in favour like the difference it brings to a traditional wrestling match, and even the most anti-gimmick fan could not argue with some of the classics that have been produced. The submission match at Wrestlemania 13 between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart is one of the all-time great Wrestlemania matches for instance, and the hardcore match between Mick Foley and Edge is spectacular in its brutality
Others would say there is less skill involved in gimmick matches and they are merely combinations of ‘spots’ or a way to show-in a flavour of the month celebrity. Did the sumo match at Wrestlemania 21 between the Big Show and Akebono really take place on the same card »
- Raj Ghai
Ric Scuteri/AP/Press Association Images
When discussing the greatest WWE performers of all time, the name Bret Hart should be near the top of everybody’s list. The “Excellence of Execution” was one of the most consistently great performers in WWE history that had a number of awesome matches with a variety of opponents. Whether they were big guys or guys around his size, he found a way to have memorable matchups with everybody.
In terms of Bret’s WrestleMania history, he started back in 1986 at WrestleMania 2 and wrestled at every WrestleMania all the way up to WrestleMania 13 in 1997. After a 13 year absence, he returned in 2010 for one more “match” against his boss Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 26.
Hart had 14 actual matches at WrestleMania. For this column, the focus will be on ten of them because four of them weren’t much in terms of matches largely due »
- John Canton
Vincent Kennedy McMahon. The Chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment. Not only is he that, but he’s also one of the greatest characters in the history of pro wrestling. Who knew, right? Growing up, Vince was just the guy that we knew as the main WWE announcer with bad suits, hair that looked different all the time and just another guy on the show.
Over the years he morphed into the “Mr. McMahon” character after the whole Survivor Series 1997 Screwjob of Bret Hart, which is why some people think it was a work. I don’t think it was a work, but those that do would point out that the character really became a thing after that whole incident took place.
It’s fair to say that “Mr. McMahon” is one of the greatest heel characters in the history of WWE. The fans absolutely loved to boo him with good reason. »
- John Canton
Think of some of the greatest wrestlers of all time: Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Sting. Besides world titles, all of these gentlemen have great wrestling names. Believe it or not, a ring name can decide if wrestling fans take someone seriously or think they are curtain-jerking putz.
Occasionally, wrestling promoters decide that someone’s ring name needs to be changed. However, in recent years, WWE has changed wrestler’s names for trademark reasons. You see, if someone goes by their real name and then leaves the promotion (ex. Ken Shamrock, Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, etc.) there’s no way WWE can stop them from going by that name. However, if they change their name (Bryan Danielson to Daniel Bryan), then WWE owns that trademark and can stop Bryan from going by his WWE name. »
- Mike Shannon
The Bunker Film
Pro Wrestling can be a lucrative career.
With wrestlers making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, in some cases millions, a comfortable life after WWE should be a possibility. Bret Hart for example likes to go and chill out at his second home in Hawaii. However, it isn’t all palm trees and sunshine for former wrestling stars. Living life in the fast lane can be a taxing experience for a wrestler’s wallet, meaning many end up having to consider another career after wrestling. In the old days of the industry there was also the fact that money was a lot harder to make. Talent got paid far less and what they did earn often went on travel and healthcare costs.
A whole host of famous names are now doing a variety of normal to unusual jobs to make cash. From a chef to a porn star, »
- Grahame Herbert
Dave Batista is scheduled to return home to the WWE on Raw this week, where he will no doubt get the chance to pick up his awesomeness from where he last left it. Granted, it would be tough to top his last run, where he was pretty much the worst human being on the face of the Earth for months, but that’s part of the challenge of our so-called sport. I certainly have made no secret of my love of Batista’s run as a heel in 2010, including an exit from the promotion where he was fired by Bret Hart and wheeled out with a cast on several parts of his body while crying like a baby. So there’s a lot to live up to there.
However, in the spirit of positive thinking, I’d like to present five other returns after long absences where the returns far »
- Scott Keith
Casey Rodgers/Invision for 2K/AP
It is that time of year again, Wrestlemania season is upon us and if you aren’t hyped yet, well you should be.
After an absence of 18 years, WWE made a mega announcement on Raw last night by declaring The Ultimate Warrior as its first inductee for the upcoming Hall of Fame ceremony.
Yes, he really is back with the WWE and being one of WWE’s most iconic and beloved stars, this news brings a giant relief for wrestling fans around the world. For years we have been yearning for his induction and that wish has finally been granted.
This is a good sign and with that we can only »
- Aziz Miah
14 items from 2014
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