20 items from 2014
Not as much lately, but for years, WWE would go through announcers like a hot knife through butter. With how much they value a “TV look,” they’ve tried out a lot of announcers that, for whatever reason, didn’t work out in the long term. A number of low-level announcers came and went, lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several months. One example I didn’t include in this list, since he made it on to a pay-per-view event (SummerSlam ’93), was prolific infomercial host Joe Fowler. Maybe it was longer, but it felt like he was gone within weeks, back to selling me wonderful doodads I can’t get in stores.
They also experimented with a number of existing wrestlers and managers as color commentators, interviewers, hosts of the “Event Center” segments, and so on. Just think of some of the higher profile experiments over the »
- David Bixenspan
When wrestling fans think of The Rock (real name Dwayne Johnson) they think of all the success he had in a WWE ring and then his movie career. If you’re not a WWE fan then maybe you think of the movie career first because you don’t know too much about what he did in WWE. Those of us that watched him start in the mid 1990s and then become this sensation within a few years will never forget what he did in WWE.
He started in WWE in late 1996 with the company portraying him as this huge babyface star. They mentioned that he was a former football player that was the son of Rocky Johnson and grandson of “High Chief” Peter Maivia. Fans were receptive to him early on, but then they quickly booed him and chanted “Rocky Sucks” at him. As it turned out, that was the best thing for him. »
- John Canton
The 2001 WWE Invasion PPV was held on July 22, 2001 in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the only time that WWE used the Invasion title for a PPV because it was the only occasion where it would have fit. That’s because the main story at the time was about the WCW brand led by Shane McMahon and the Ecw brand led by Stephanie McMahon & Paul Heyman were trying to take over Vince McMahon’s WWE. It was a dream storyline that fans had wanted to see for years.
While it wasn’t perfect for a lot of reasons, they did a fantastic job of building up the event, which did great business for WWE with a reported 775,000 PPV buys. From a financial standpoint it was one of the most successful WWE PPVs ever.
This show was unique because there wasn’t a WWE Title match in the main event slot. That’s »
- John Canton
Ask yourself this question: If you were in a wrestling ring and climbed to the top rope, what move would you hit on your prone opponent? Sure there are flashy moonsaults, Shooting Star Presses and 450° splashes, but like many fans, you picture yourself flying toward your opponent with the point of your elbow aimed directly at his sternum, looking to drive it right through his ribcage.
Let’s just face it, the elbow drop is one of those moves that kids (and some adults) love to emulate in the swimming pool or on a queen-sized bed. It’s a classic maneuver for many reasons, including the fact that it looks like it genuinely could collapse someone’s chest.
And while the elbow drop is closely associated with a small number of performers, there are more than a few who have utilized it throughout the years. And the elbow drop comes in different forms. »
- Scott Carlson
February 3, 1959 is long regarded as “The Day The Music Died” (Google it, kids). And whilst that has absolutely nothing to do with professional wrestling, June 9, 2014 can have a pretty similar phrase attached to it in WWE circles.
Throughout the first part of 2014, Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement swept through the WWE like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s beer truck swept across the faces of Vince and Shane McMahon back in 1999. In fact, mention of Austin is apt, as the popularity Bryan received during the hazy days of the Yes Movement was akin to that Austin picked up during the Attitude Era.
For many wrestling fans of a certain age, shades of Austin were brought back to life, as one man rallied against The Authority against extreme circumstances, with all the cards stacked against him.
Yet on the June 9 edition of Raw, Bryan was unceremoniously stripped of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. »
- Aaron Bower
Guardians of the Galaxy trailer: New look at Marvel's cosmic superteam
Batista: The Animal Unleashed is available now on DVD and Blu-ray and - in addition to a feature-length programme - the full details of the release are below.
Ovw - 28 July 2001: Leviathan vs. Brock LesnarSmackdown! - 27 June 2002: Reverend D-Von & Batista vs. Faarooq & Randy OrtonRaw - 22 March 2004: World Tag Team Title Match - Evolution (Batista & Ric Flair) vs. Rob Van Dam & Booker TSmackdown! - 9 September 2005: Bull Rope Match for the World Heavyweight Championship - Batista vs. »
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
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Raw – After The Show is quite unlike anything else the WWE have put out in the last few years, in that while we get the talking heads on the various tribute discs, here we get action from, as the title suggests, after Raw has gone off the air. So what, you might say, but the charm of this DVD and Blu-ray release is that it’s a rare chance to see the Superstars ad-lib and break kayfabe.
For those who have attended live events over the years, and particularly the Raw tapings, the concept behind this release is nothing new. For someone like myself, though, who despite having been a wrestling fan for two decades and change only went to his first WWE show last year (and was, it has to be said, hugely entertained by the whole experience) and so exactly how »
Extreme is defined as “of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average.” However, in the years before the PG Era began, the word extreme carried an entirely different definition. Extreme, as in extreme violence. Men such as Mick Foley, Terry Funk, The Undertaker, Jeff Hardy, Hhh, Edge, Shane McMahon, and more, literally made what seemed extreme, very commonplace during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
With Extreme Rules happening May 4th, under the guise of a PG rating, it will be a different extreme than the one that fans in the Attitude, and Ruthless aggression eras grew fond of. Gone are the days of multiple chair shots to the skull, such as ones The Rock unleashed on Mick Foley. Gone are the days Undertaker was out to make someone’s a** famous. And gone are the days of blading.
But not forgotten.
What will »
- Rich Latta II
For over twenty years and for 52 weeks a year, WWE has presented “Monday Night Raw”, their flagship television product and the show that, much of the time, has defined WWE’s content. Beginning at one hour, moving to two and now clocking in each week at three hours long, Raw remains a popular focus for wrestling fans all over the world, to this day. This release is something very different, as we get to see some of the things that occurred in the Monday Night Raw ring once television audience had long since been cut-off. The Best of Raw: After the Show takes a look at matches and segments that were filmed by cameras after the events had concluded.
Hosted by the energetic and easy-on-the-eye Renee Young, this set is a fun one in many ways and offers something different than the usual “list” or “biography” release we tend to get from WWE home video. »
- Chris Cummings
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
It’s only a matter of time before Triple H becomes a Hall Of Famer and rightfully so, he has earned the spot. The guy is a great in ring performer and has had some of the greatest feuds we have seen over the last two decades, an impressive list that includes, well, basically everybody worthwhile that you can think of. Rivalries shared with The Rock and Shawn Michaels being personal favourites.
Only the list that I have compiled won’t be celebrating The Cerebral Assassin achievements but more the power he has gained in the company, and how certain decisions have perhaps hindered the gimmicks and sometimes even careers of other WWE employees.
Doing the horizontal bop with the bosses daughter will get you fired in most work places, but in the WWE it seems to get you the perks everybody thought were destined for Shane McMahon. »
- Danny Parker
Ireland has had a long, largely unwritten history in the world of professional wrestling. In recent years the likes of Sheamus and Finlay have helped put the nation on the wrestling world’s map, with the former winning multiple heavyweight titles.
As the McMahon family is deeply rooted in the emerald isle, the WWE and wrestling as a whole owes a lot to Ireland. There have been many solid professionals, both male and female, who have helped bring the cultural phenomenon to life, with work rate and toughness a constant attribute.
The popularity of wrestling has not waned in the country either, with the WWE visiting twice a year. The shows have resulted in the scouting of Sheamus and new Nxt hopeful Rebecca Knox, proving that the future is bright for the Irish in professional wrestling. Let’s, however, take a »
Some people happen to take Professional Wrestling a bit too seriously at times, forgetting that the business is based on a foundation of fun and creativity. After all, wrestling did take place at a lot of circuses and carnival grounds, proving that everyone in the business are really just carnies at heart!
However, sometimes there comes a match that really throws a wrench in the gears of the business, doing something so outlandish and out-of-the-ordinary that it makes everyone, even non-wrestling fans, stop and take notice. From wrestling inanimate objects in the Far East to challenging God himself, to tangling with wild animals to battling opponents that haven’t even hit puberty yet.
These are seven things you will not believe wrestlers actually competed against in the ring.
- Tommy Bobby Watanabe
WWE might well be based in Stamford, Connecticut, but every fan knows their real home is Madison Square Garden in NYC, the world’s most famous arena. It’s so important to them that during the 2001 Invasion angle, WWE performers manned the barricades against the WCW forces, because The Garden was “their” turf. The New York Knicks might have something to say about that, but basketball is just a load of skinny giants playing catch and taking it in turns to score, so if they have a problem, they can play a less dumb sport (yeah, alright, people in glass houses and all that….)
This Friday’s showing of Smackdown was filmed on the WWE’s spiritual stomping ground. Which makes it an appropriate time as any to take a look back at ten of the most iconic moments to take place in the hallowed grounds of The Garden. »
The Undertaker’s 21-0 Wrestlemania undefeated streak is the last great record in professional wrestling. No male superstar will ever again match Bruno Sammartino’s combined 4,040 days as Wwwf champion. No wrestler regardless of gender will ever touch the Fabulous Moolah’s legendary 27-year reign as Women’s Champion. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever see the “Honky-Meter” again during an Intercontinental Championship reign. And no other wrestler it seems will be able to come close to the Phenom’s streak of wins at the “grandest stage of all.”
But he isn’t the only undefeated superstar at Wrestlemania. Sure, he’s undefeated with the most matches, but 16 other superstars have at least a 2-0 record (one victory does not a streak make) or better (not counting pre-show losses or Battle Royal eliminations.) Who are the others who can claim to »
- The 'House
Copyright: WWE Best Of King Of The Ring DVD
The “holy sh*t” moment in wrestling are those times that we never forget as wrestling fans. They’re the things that we marvel at when we see them the first time, seek out on youtube years later and now we can hopefully find them on WWE Network too. We watch them in awe as our favorite superstars put their bodies on the line to entertain us.
Trying to pick 10 of the biggest holy sh*t moments in wrestling history is difficult because there’s been so many of them. There are so many different spots involving tables that could probably in here. Once the TLC match became a regular thing in the 2000s there were so many big spots. I can think of so many people going through stacked tables like Edge, Bubba Ray Dudley, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Shawn Michaels, »
- John Canton
The $19M payment brings C-Media’s total investment in the China pay TV VOD service up to $25M, and gives it three of You On Demand‘s seven board seats, the companies say this morning. Two current board members, Michael Jackson (former chairman of Universal Television, USA Entertainment, and CEO of UK’s Channel Four) and Michael Birkin (former CEO of Omnicom Asia) resigned to make room for the reps from Beijing-based C-Media, a mobile video provider. The company’s controlled by its founder, Xuesong Song. ”In addition to providing us with funding to assist our Company at this important inflection point in our corporate evolution, we also look forward to continuing to benefit from Mr. Song’s tremendous experience and success doing business in China, as well as C Media’s mobile industry expertise,” says You On Demand Chairman Shane McMahon. Disney Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures, NBC Universal, Warner Bros., »
- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor
Disney has expanded its deal with China’s You On Demand, adding films to the company’s mobile service, You Cinema.
As part of the pact with Disney Media Distribution, You On Demand will provide library titles like “Alice in Wonderland” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” as well as older Marvel movies through its subscription-based package. New releases, including “Thor: The Dark World” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” will be available as direct purchases through its transaction VOD offering.
Disney has been providing films to You On Demand’s VOD service for cable platforms since 2012, but only through the company’s cable-based service. That now expands to mobile, which You Cinema is also phasing in films from Lionsgate. The app already features movies from Paramount, including the latest “Star Trek” and “G.I. Joe” sequels.
You On Demand operates as a 20-year joint venture with CCTV-6′s TV arm of China Home Cinema. »
- Marc Graser
Chinese pay-per-view and VOD service You On Demand said Thursday it has added Disney to the list of studios whose content will be offered via its mobile service in the fast-growing China market. You On Demand will also phase in Lionsgate titles in the near future, joining Paramount among studios' whose titles are already being viewed via Yod's mobile app. Photos: China Box Office 2013: The Top 10 Movies The company, led by chairman Shane McMahon, already offers content to 18 million homes in China through its links with the state-owned movie channel CCTV-6 and its
- Clifford Coonan
20 items from 2014
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