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November 9, 1997. It was a night that will forever live in infamy in the professional wrestling industry. World Wrestling Entertainment produced its Survivor Series pay-per-view event and for three-quarters of the show, things had gone as planned. Kane pummeled Mankind, Ken Shamrock made The Rock tap out, Steve Austin regained the Intercontinental Championship from Owen Hart and the Disciples of Apocalypse and the Truth Commission had another crappy match. Then Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels took to the ring for the night’s main event, a much-anticipated WWE Championship bout.
Prior to the contest, it was common knowledge that Hart was on his way out the door after signing a monster deal with Eric Bischoff and World Championship Wrestling. It was also known that Hart and Michaels had a great deal of animosity between them. Refusing to drop the title to Michaels in his own home country of Canada, »
- Erik Beaston
SummerSlam is often billed as “The Biggest Party of the Summer,” and Sunday night’s 27th installment was no exception. After a jaw-dropping PPV that saw three titles change hands, a shocking turn and a melee that 20 lumberjacks couldn’t contain, it’s safe to say that anyone who plunked down $9.99 got their money’s worth.
Fans saw the Intercontinental and Divas Championships trade hands in the first two matches, bringing the total number of title changes in SummerSlam’s 27-year history to more than 30. Then the PPV got to the main event and tacked one more massive title change onto the pile. Throughout SummerSlam’s history, some of these matches have been truly memorable affairs – the sight of the new champ hoisting the title high a visual that sticks with fans for years afterward.
These selections are not based solely (or even mainly) on match quality, but »
- Scott Carlson
Sunday, the biggest party of the summer (if you’re a WWE fan) will kick up in full force for the 27th year. SummerSlam is one of the original “Big Four” WWE PPVs (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and Survivor Series are the others) that the company has maintained for the last quarter-century.
Whereas Royal Rumble is viewed as kicking off the “Road to WrestleMania,” SummerSlam in recent years has become the major summer show, capping off major storylines that began in the wake of Mania four months prior. SummerSlam has produced some truly amazing matches throughout the years, and it’s given us some turkeys – and that range of match quality applies to the main events of each of the previous 26 SummerSlams. Some main events have bored fans to tears, while others have brought them to their feet.
Ranking some of these matches are easy based on match quality »
- Scott Carlson
Get ready for zombie hell! Arguably the biggest online first-person shooter is about to be invaded by a horde of flesh-hungry undead. Nexon announced today that Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies will be coming to Steam later this quarter.
But the biggest gem in this Owen Hart-like nugget is that the game will be free to play. Kenny Chang, CEO of Nexon Europe, told IGN, “Both players who are new to the game, as well as those that have been logging on to classic Fps games for years, will be surprised with the new action it offers.”
This seems like a step in a more accessible direction for a series that is known to be an absolute soul crusher for newbies.
The zombies will be of the modern, running variety. This choice makes sense in a video game as it is meant to push the action and pace. Aside from having new creatures and weapons, »
- Scott Dell
As we’ve seen with the 10 heel turns in the WWE that ultimately failed, a change in a character’s direction may not necessarily be a good thing. While character turns are important for keeping the wrestler fresh in the minds of the viewing audience, and can contribute to the longevity of the character, it takes a certain kind of wrestler to have the versatility to go from being hated to being loved, and vice versa.
It’s widely understood that it’s easier to be a heel than a babyface. It’s easier to get the audience to hate you than it is to get them to like you. Whether it be the fact that the person behind the character just isn’t that likable in real life, or he can’t seem to “click” with the audience, many babyface turns are severe flops.
Especially in the years since the Attitude Era, »
For World Wrestling Entertainment, the 1990s were a decade of tremendous highs and humbling lows. The peak of the wrestling boom that led to the company’s unparalleled success ended early, leaving Vince McMahon to grasp at straws as he attempted to find the next big star to ignite business. He focused on smaller, more talented in-ring workers such as Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. When they did not provide the boost he wanted, he pushed Diesel as hard as he could, putting the WWE Championship on him for the better part of a year. Ultimately, it was a bald-headed Texan in plain black tights that would lead the charge, helping the company to heights it had never before seen.
Through the ups and downs, the peaks and valleys, there was one thing that WWE did effectively throughout the ten-year period: they developed compelling and entertaining feuds. »
- Erik Beaston
As we have seen from previous installments, sometimes the biggest stories in WWF/E happen off screen rather than on screen. Last time, in 1995, we learned that Buddy Landell was supposed to be bigger than Steve Austin, there was more to the Shawn Michaels nightclub beating than was reported, and Triple H debuted with a Diamond Cutter finisher. Moving on to the next installment of this series, we take a look at 1996.
1996 was a year of transition for the WWF. While their rival WCW would begin their ratings domination over WWF with the introduction of the nWo, the WWF quietly planted the seeds that would soon become the Attitude Era. While Bret Hart, who represented the old guard of the previous couple years, was on an extended hiatus following Wrestlemania, 1996 brought about Austin 3:16, the first championship reign of Shawn Michaels, and the debut of the guy who »
Despite Vince McMahon and the WWE’s initial claim that all past WWE, WCW, and Ecw pay-per-view events would be available on the new WWE Network at launch, there are still a handful of unlisted events.
Most of these pay-per-views were one-off showings and are incredibly rare and easily forgotten. The Network does provide all major pay-per-view events — even surprisingly (and somewhat questionably), including Over the Edge ‘99, which was the night of Owen Hart’s tragic death. On top of the announced PPVs, in recent weeks they’ve even added every WCW Clash of the Champions television special, and reportedly have plans to add every Saturday Night’s Main Event in the near future.
However, that doesn’t hide the fact that WWE did not deliver on its promise. The fact remains that the WWE Network does not — and will doubtfully ever — include every single PPV ever broadcast from the “Big Three”.
- Douglas Scarpa
The WWE main roster is always changing, some wrestlers leave for whatever reason happens to cause their departure, some wrestlers move up the card because management wants to give them a push and some wrestlers move downwards, or stay still, sometimes merely because the creative team has a lack of ideas for their television character.
The last twelve months have been memorable and a lot has happened to the main WWE roster since June of 2013. So, let’s take a look at the main superstars who are on the main stage of WWE, rate them, and look at how their future in WWE looks at this moment.
The grading system is as follows:
A+ – Is/Should be one of the main faces of WWE. A true star.
A – Should be/Is in the main event scene and has the talent to stay there.
B – Should be being pushed as a future top contender. »
- Chris Cummings
Pro wrestling has often been referred to as a “male soap opera”, and that isn’t far from the truth. The sport we all love so much has the ability to bring out a large variety of emotions in all of us, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. The euphoria that a great wrestling match or moment can give fans is second to none, but there are also those times when we get so caught up in the moment… so engaged in what is taking place… that we can’t control ourselves anymore, and the tears begin to flow. There is absolutely no shame in admitting that wrestling has made you cry, and these ten moments did just that.
- Aaron Hyden
As far as the wrestling business goes, you pretty much have to be the best of the best of the best in world to get to the WWE. The criteria for a WWE Superstar is pretty strict and Vince’s employees are expected to perform lest they perish in the cleansing fire of being future endeavoured. Occasionally though, some buck the trend. Some continue to survive and persevere in spite of either their own in-ring ineptitude (by WWE standards of course) or their appalling behavior backstage.
Thankfully this doesn’t happen as much any more due to stricter employee policy and the fantastic training coure that is Nxt, but that doesn’t mean it’s non existant, or that we can ignore the awkward wrestlers of days gone by.
Ranked in order of just how much of a hindrance the person was and the extent to which they got away with, »
- Mark Bradley
May has been a tough month for WWE. They have been dealt blow after blow. The stock price dropped significantly, their TV deal renewal wasn’t nearly what they had hoped for, the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan had to have neck surgery meaning they likely have to go in another direction and Monday’s Raw rating was very poor. It feels like Wade Barrett is saying “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news” over and over concerning anything WWE related right now.
The Payback lineup that is set for June 1st in Chicago has the potential to be great thanks to the Shield vs. Evolution No Hards Barred elimination match, John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match and Sheamus vs. Cesaro for the Us Title. They should all be very physical battles. Obviously the WWE Title is missing, but »
- John Canton
There’s some new info about potential DVD releases that WWE are considering right now coming out of PWInsider.com. They sent out a survey to people on their mailing list to gauge their interest on a number of different ideas.
Here’s a look at some of topics they’re considering:
Bryan’s documentary was outstanding, so it would be a smart move for WWE to consider doing those about other talents too.
- Biographies on the professional and personal lives of WWE talents similar to Espn’s 30 for 30 series.
The 30 for 30 series is great. They cover a variety of different subjects are usually one or two hours in length. Considering all the history that WWE has plus »
- John Canton
The world of professional wrestling has, for many years, featured hundreds of various alliances, groups of men and women who, for countless reasons, teamed together in order to achieve something that they would be unable to achieve alone. Be it a group of good guys sticking together, as friends, to take down the heels, or the bad guys forming a gang as a way to intimidate, attack and overthrow the babyfaces. It has worked for decades and continues to this very day, with factions such as The Shield and The Wyatt Family (oh… and don’t forget 3Mb) running rough-shot through WWE on their way to super-stardom. But, like I said, factions aren’t a new thing, they’ve been around for as long as steel folding chairs, brittle announce tables and sneaky managers, and this release is WWE’s look at some of the standout factions that have firmly »
- Chris Cummings
The dangers of pro wrestling are very real. When WWE say “Don’t try this at home”, they mean it, wrestlers truly are putting their lives on the line at times. There have been various near misses over the years, unscripted incidents when performers came close to death in the ring or on WWE television. Sadly, in some cases, such as Owen Hart, tragedy has struck – he died aged just 34 after falling 78 feet from the roof of the Kemper Arena into a WWF wrestling ring.
Tragedies like this haven’t came along too often, thank god, but the fine margins of error in all aspects of WWE are a constant danger. Despite the safeguards WWE put in place, anything can go wrong, at any time. It isn’t just wrestler’s botching moves either, the complex technicality of the production assembly was what killed Owen, a faulty harness »
- Grahame Herbert
A lot of people have been talking about Benjamin Morris’ 538 piece, “Are Pro Wrestlers Dying at an Unusual Rate?”
Like Morris, I am neither an actuarial scientist nor a demographer. So, our interpretations of the data should be taken with a grain of salt. My results were somewhat different from Morris’ due to a difference data set and changes in how we calculated actuarial predictions.
Differences in methodology from Morris
I also used Social Security Actuarial Life Tables, but my “expected mortality rates” for the age groups were not the same as Morris’. For each wrestler, I calculated what their age would have been as of today. Then, based on gender, I looked up the number of lives (out of 100,000) that were expected to still be alive and converted that to a percentage. His analysis looked at wrestlers who were on 20+ WWF PPVs through 2002. I went with a »
- Chris Harrington
As we have seen from the backstage happenings in 1993, sometimes the biggest stories in WWF/E happen off screen rather than on screen. We learned about how Shawn Michaels quit the WWF, how Vince McMahon’s first stint as a heel was in the Uswa, who the second Doink was, and that Hulk Hogan called the WWF Championship a toy.
Moving on to the next installment of this series, we take a look at 1994. On screen, this was the year that Bret Hart reclaimed his spot at the top of the company, and Owen Hart was brought to the forefront as one of the biggest heels in the company. Macho Man, Bobby Heenan, and Mean Gene Okerlund left the WWF and joined Hulk Hogan in WCW. And at the end of the year, Diesel scored one of the more shocking and unexpected WWF Championship victories in history.
All of this we know. »
Nancy Grace is being Blackballed by the WWE over the way she covered the death of the Ultimate Warrior ... with superstars (past and present) being warned stay off her show -- Or Else!Grace most recently enraged WWE officials when she had Diamond Dallas Page on her Hln show and strongly insinuated that Warrior's death was the result of steroid and drug abuse. In fact, she even brought a doctor on the show -- who »
- TMZ Staff
The WWE will host a special Ultimate Warrior Raw Tribute Show this Monday April 14th, just six days after Warrior’s untimely death aged 54. The three hour broadcast will focus on paying respects to one of WWE’s most colourful characters ever. What makes all this so tragically stinging is the fact that Warrior had only just reconciled his relationship with WWE, he had literally made his first appearance on Raw in 18 years, and then the next day he was dead. It was almost as if his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame just three days earlier had gave him the closure and peace he needed, but in truth, Warrior hadn’t looked quite right for the entirety of his Mania weekend. We are now awaiting autopsy results to find out just what exactly went wrong.
Raw will offer all us fans and hopefully Warrior’s family some comfort in this time. »
- Grahame Herbert
On May 23rd, 1999 Owen Hart was dressed as the Blue Blazer and suspended nearly 80 feet above the ring by a cable that would lower him down for his match. Somehow, his release opened and he fell tragically to his death, hitting the ropes before collapsing back in the ring. It was a horrific and sad night, compounded by the fact the PPV continued even as Owen was rushed in vain to the hospital. He would be pronounced dead that night.
Every year around WrestleMania time wrestling fans will start buzzing about Owen Hart and the WWE Hall of Fame. Many feel that Owen Hart should finally be inducted with the likes of former greats like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and even his own brother Bret. Many feel that he would be at home with this year’s class including Razor Ramon, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Lita.
Yet as »
- Thomas Czarniak
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