14 items from 2015
We’ve all sat and imagined how much better off The Shield would’ve been if The Rock (even say, 1996 Rock) were in Roman Reigns’ shoes. As well, imagine if Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart and numerous other Attitude Era performers were on the modern WWE roster. Seriously. Take a look at what we’re watching right now, and put certain other performers (at the same point in their careers) in the same position.
Pro wrestling was arguably best when getting to WWE was a destination point after spending well over a decade everywhere else, honing your craft for an opportunity to showcase yourself on the main stage. Now, pro wrestling is a much different industry, wherein WWE is oftentimes the first stop along the way. To be frank, the competition in Nxt is great, but nowhere near say, working through Memphis, Smoky Mountain, Ecw, Japan and Europe before reaching WWE. »
- Marcus K. Dowling
A career retrospective, like a greatest hits, is generally something carried out either at the tail end of an interesting career or when things are about to change fairly radically: either way, when it’s time to put a full stop to the sentence and consider moving on.
In compiling a short summary of the best moments – and matches – in the career of a WWE superstar, it’s important to establish a few ground rules… or there’d be forty entries, each one around the length of a good sized novella.
This article discounts wrestlers who may be in their prime right now, like Brock Lesnar or Seth Rollins, choosing to also leave aside ace performers currently on the roster who are very likely to have some of their best work ahead of them, like Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler or any of the Nxt standouts.
There are others that could be on this list, »
- Ben Cooke
Neck injuries are nothing new in pro wrestling, but two WWE Hall of Famers are particularly familiar with neck injuries and the effect that they can have on the longevity of a wrestler’s career.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin experienced years of neck problems, stemming from a stinger suffered during a match with Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1997, before finally retiring from the ring in the spring of 2003. According to a report this week from Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Austin contacted Tyson Kidd recently after hearing of the neck injury Kidd suffered during a match with Samoa Joe prior to WWE Raw in San Antonio.
Adam Copeland, better known to WWE fans as Edge, also recently contacted Kidd to discuss his neck injury and road to recovery. Edge is also no stranger to neck surgery, having undergone neck surgeries in 2003 (which allowed him to continue to compete »
- Ryan Droste
The ever-changing nature of the professional wrestling business means that news is constantly revolving around the industry, getting to fans quicker than ever before. On one hand, this gives promotions instant access to their target demographic, but also makes it a little more difficult to spin stories out for more than a few short weeks.
Longevity isn’t exactly prevalent in today’s wrestling world, which only makes it all the more surprising that the likes of Kane continues to have a featured role on WWE programming. Making his debut in 1997, Glenn Jacobs has constantly tweaked his character to try and stay relevant, which is likely a trick he picked up from his storyline brother, The Undertaker.
In this week’s article, the age of the internet is discussed by one current wrestling promoter, along with the age-old argument of internet piracy. Sitting nicely alongside that debate is »
- Jamie Kennedy
It’s been 13 years since Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Brock Lesnar was first presented to WWE fans. In June 2002, a match between the air was announced on a random Monday Night Raw as a King of the Ring qualifying match without any build-up whatsoever, with Lesnar only a few weeks into his time on the WWE roster.
However, that match never occurred due to Austin’s objection to losing clean to a rookie without any build-up, and his growing frustration with WWE creative that stretched back to Wrestlemania 18. The legend of the match has grown considerably in recent times, partly because of how large Lesnar became as a main evener that transcended the sport, and it being the tipping point of Austin leaving the company.
Shortly after that, Austin and Lesnar’s careers would go in different directions, but the question always remained…What If?
- Rich D. Latta II
Today would have been the 50th birthday of the late great Owen Hart. Sadly, Owen passed away due to an unfortunate accident in May 1999 at WWE’s Over The Edge pay-per-view when he fell into the ring after the apparatus he was wearing did not unbuckle in a safe manner.
Since that time, Owen hasn’t been mentioned that much by WWE. His widow Martha Hart sued WWE as well as the rigging company for the accident and while Owen has been featured on some Hart Family DVDs, he hasn’t been the subject of his own documentary. That is until now.
According to a report from WrestlingDVDNews.com, WWE is planning on releasing a Blu-ray/DVD feature about Owen’s life that includes a documentary. If you have seen other career DVD compilations then you know WWE does a great job with them. They usually run anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours. »
- John Canton
“Adrian Neville may be the first high-flying King Of The Ring”
“Owen Hart was a high flyer but not like this”
“Owen didn’t defy gravity”
That final comment from Booker T is terribly misjudged. Owen Hart fell to his death from a height of 78 feet at a WWF show in 1999. Booker’s comments sounded like they were jokingly referencing the fall, but he has insisted that the comment was actually just an error.
“I would never say anything to disrespect the legacy of Owen Hart. If I did offend anyone, I apologize,” he tweeted after Raw.
The fact that he tweeted is evidence of just how bad he must be feeling. He probably never meant his »
- Grahame Herbert
Obviously, WrestleMania is the culmination of everything World Wrestling Entertainment has been trying to achieve in the year that passes between the previous event and the next one. Shortly, ‘Mania 31 will come and go in a flash, and all eyes will turn to the 32nd iteration of the infamous event in 2016, but things didn’t always move so quickly in the wrestling world.
There was a time when things drifted along at a much more leisurely pace, but the fact remains that WrestleMania – since coming to be in 1985 – has always been the focal point of the year for Vince McMahon, his wrestlers and his staff. Due to the knowledge that more fans watch ‘Mania than any other wrestling Pay-Per-View, it’d make a lot of sense for WWE to routinely start the event off with a bang, a match people can really point to as one which set »
- Jamie Kennedy
Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace was the highest-grossing film. “Believe” by Cher was the highest-selling and most-played song. Family Guy and SpongeBob SquarePants made their debuts on television. If you were looking for a new video game system, the Sega Dreamcast made its debut on the market. 1999 was a crazy year for pop culture.
The wrestling world was buzzing in 1999, as well. WCW was riding a tremendous wave of back-to-back-to-back successful years, although there were chinks starting to show in their armor. Ecw was coming on strong as the number three promotion, working their way up to getting on national television, albeit in a deal that would eventually help lead to their demise. Using one of the most talented overall rosters in wrestling history, the WWF was finally beginning to turn the corner in the Monday Night War after getting handled in the ratings battle for several months. »
- Aaron Hyden
Fans – across a wide spectrum of “casual” and “hardcore” eligibility – have argued about the positives and negatives of the WWE Hall Of Fame system for many years. It’s unclear which set of guidelines govern the promotion’s own personal memorial wing, but there do seem to be some roadblocks put up for certain talents which, for whatever reasons, don’t seem to fit this ever-changing set of rules.
One notorious example would be the case of Owen Hart. Fans have bickered back and forth about why the younger brother of Bret hasn’t been inducted, but there seems to be an awful lot of red tape WWE don’t wish to go near, including lawsuits and tragedy. Others have been entered to much bemusement from the wrestling audience, who simply can’t understand why the likes of lifetime mid-carder Koko B. Ware was entered years before first »
- Jamie Kennedy
We all know that the main selling point of any WWE pay-per-view is typically the main event, but it’s the first match of the night that sets the tone for the rest of the show. Booking that crucial spot on the card is not always easy because everyone wants to be the headliner. However, being one of the people tasked with getting things off to a good start is just as important because you are responsible for getting the crowd excited and putting them in the right frame of mind for the rest of the night.
Just look at last year’s event. Triple H and Daniel Bryan were the opening bout, and they had a great match that set the pace for everything that followed. The year before, that responsibility fell on the shoulders of The Shield, Sheamus, Big Show and Randy Orton. Go back a »
- Chris Mueller
One of the guys that was left to carry the torch was Lex Luger or at least he tried. Luger debuted as the heel Narcissist one year earlier. That gimmick was a major flop. In the summer of 1993, he turned into the All-American Lex Luger that was positioned as the next Hulk Hogan. He got a WWE Title match at Yokozuna at SummerSlam, beat him by countout and failed to win the WWE Title. It showed that WWE didn’t want to go all the way with Luger, but he still went into the 1994 Rumble as a favorite to win.
The other contender going into the Rumble match was Bret Hart, who was a former WWE Champion that was trying to get back to that level again. »
- John Canton
As we have seen from previous installments, sometimes the biggest stories in WWF/E happen off screen rather than on screen. Last time, in 1998, we learned that Crash Holly won a WWF contract based off one dark match, Bret Hart would have faced Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 14, and Michaels was ready to come back after just one year.
In 1999, the world unfortunately lost Owen Hart. But the WWF also had the Higher Power angle, the Austin-as-ceo angle, and the Chyna-as-wwf-Championship-contender angle. Even though the WWF was doing gangbusters and winning the Monday Night War, from a creative perspective, 1999 was all over the place. They were firmly rooted in the Crash TV style of booking, but it made for exciting television each week.
With so much happening on- and off-screen, you’d think you would know everything that went on backstage in the WWF, but you’d be wrong. »
- Justin Seagull
The 1992 Royal Rumble was the most unique Rumble PPV of all time because it’s the only time the WWE Title was up for grabs in the Royal Rumble match. Due to that reason, it was arguably the most important Rumble match ever.
It’s actually surprising that WWE hasn’t duplicated that aspect of the show because it put such a huge importance on the winner of the match. Perhaps it is something that Vince McMahon only wanted to do one time and never again, which makes a lot of sense.
The WWE Title was up for grabs because of controversial finishes in matches between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker. This was only a year after Undertaker’s debut and he was a heel. Due to the controversy, WWE President Jack Tunney vacated the title and announced that the winner of the match would be the new WWE Champion. »
- John Canton
14 items from 2015
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