Saturday, April 19, 2014

A fun observation on Triple H and the Evolution reunion

So this past Monday on Raw, Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton officially reunited, making their entrance to the classic Evolution theme music.  While this was a neat moment that I did enjoy, somebody over at Scott Keith's blog made an observation that I thought was pretty cool -- this is just the latest reunion Triple H has put together to fight one of his wars.

Triple H initially had the Authority to do his bidding -- at the time, keeping the title on Randy Orton.  This included himself, Stephanie, Orton, and the Shield.  Kane later joined the team.  However, they had trouble fighting off Daniel Bryan.  So what did Triple H do?  He went turned to Shawn Michaels, his original DX running mate, to cost Daniel Bryan the title at Hell in a Cell.

Meanwhile, CM Punk was starting to fight back on his own by taking his frustrations out on the Shield.  What did Triple H do?  He got two members of HIS vision of DX, the New Age Outlaws, to take Punk out.  He later also relied on them to take out the Shield when THEY became a problem.

Ultimately, Daniel Bryan did become WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the Shield decimated the New Age Outlaws (and Kane, for that matter).  So what did Triple H do?  He went to his running mates during the next phase of his career, Batista and Randy Orton.

So, essentially, Triple H's wars since turning heel have represented each phase of his career -- in order!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - April 14, 2014

11:11 - So wait, does that mean the Authority is no longer a thing?

11:07 - Awesomely surreal moment hearing the Evolution theme music.

11:01 - I think we're essentially seeing a Nexus reunion right now.

10:49 - No surprise there.  At least it was a really good, competitive match.

10:31 - Considering Dolph's recent losing streak and Barrett's new character, I'm thinking Dolph doesn't have a shot.  Sadly.

10:23 - Surprisingly fun backstage segment.  WWE does a great job of getting fans emotionally invested with Kane and his mask.  Any time he even teases putting it back on, fans (including myself) eat it up.  I'm interested in seeing where this goes next.

10:18 - Fandango and Santino are in one of those loops where they keep fighting each other pretty much every week, but don't really have a defined storyline.

10:05 - "The last thing I need is another push, nobody wants that."  How do people not appreciate John Cena?

9:49 - The conclusion of the Sheamus/Swagger match was another reason why I don't always care for the soundbite/storyline style of commentating.  Sheamus was limping out of the ring and collapsed, the teh announcers ALL completely ignored it so that Cole could set up the next segment, an Adam Rose promo.

9:44 - I honestly cannot think of a single feud Sheamus has been in since his storyline with the Shield at last year's WrestleMania.  Unless you count his little tiff with Christian.  But other than that?  Can't think of a thing.

9:28 - Really need into this act.

9:16 - I wonder why they haven't given Cesaro theme music yet.  I mean, he had theme music before joining the Real Americans.

9:08 - One of the most polarizing aspects of Hogan/Warrior is the fact that Hogan kicks out immediately after the three count.  Some felt like it added a bit of realism:  A finishing maneuver doesn't necessarily kill you dead.  Some found it cheap, like Hogan didn't put him over convincingly.  As a kid, I never even noticed it, so it's probably a bit overthought.  What are your feelings on it?

9:06 - Absolutely loving the Shield.  These guys have been totally on for all of 2014.

8:59 - I love the Warrior facepaint in place of their usual warpaint for the Usos.

8:52 - I am personally excited for a legitimate Paige/AJ Lee match.

8:42 - I personally can't wait for Legends' House, but can we PLEASE get a new commercial?  I feel like this is the same one they used back when they announced the Network in 2012.

8:38 - Rybaxel's kinda sorta but not really matching color scheme irks me.

8:36 - LOVE LOVE LOVE Goldust's hooded vest.  Well done.

8:29 - I don't know what it is, but there's something about this Toys R Us commercial that makes me hate everybody involved.

8:26 - I'll admit it, I kinda like this Evolution reunion story.

8:23 - That leg sweep off the turnbuckle was a pretty cool spot, actually.  Semi-surprised to see RVD win, actually.  I'm guessing Cesaro wins the entire thing.

8:12 - Probably the toughest match to predict.  Are they going to have RVD lose just a week or so after returning?  Then again, ADR is the one who has a semi-feud with Big E.

8:06 - Very sweet and classy tribute to the Ultimate Warrior (and hey, we even got a Vince McMahon sighting!)  I did find it odd, though, that they never showed the Superstars on the right side of the stage.

I also love the idea of an Intercontinental title tournament, but I wonder if their focus should be on the United States Championship.  With Ambrose now a face and quickly approaching one full year as champion, this would make great ammunition for the feud with the Authority.  I also think they need to get either the US or IC title on a heel so that they can finally merge those two titles.

And interesting factoid about the Intercontinental tournament -- every single match has at least one former World Heavyweight Champion.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Ultimate Warrior

I'm a little late discussing this, but the Ultimate Warrior shockingly passed away last week, just a day after appearing on Monday Night Raw.  It's funny, I can remember exactly how I found out about each of the recent major wrestling deaths.  For Owen Hart, I was following the results on AOL and remember hearing that he had injured himself.  I sent an instant message to somebody I had known through some wrestling e-fed, and she quite painfully told me that he had died.  I was shocked.  For Eddie Guerrero, I remember waking up and checking my e-mail.  I was astonished to see the headline of the Bagpipe Report, reporting the news that Eddie Guerrero had died.  For Chris Benoit, I checked and saw the headline "Benoit Found Dead."  I had to go to my aunt's house for dinner, and I kept sneaking off to the computer to see if anything new had been reported.

I received the news of Warrior's death from, of all people, Zack Ryder.  I woke up Wednesday morning and checked my phone to check my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.  I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a post from Zack Ryder.  It was a classic studio shot of the Warrior (in black and white) and just said "#RIPUltimateWarrior."  Warrior had just appeared on the Hall of Fame on Saturday, WrestleMania on Sunday, and Raw on Monday.  It took me a moment to notice that hashtag.  I thought maybe Ryder was just paying tribute to an iconic character.  Then I noticed the caption and was naturally shocked.  I quickly looked at the comments and immediately saw one that verified the news, saying that it's been confirmed by  I took to Twitter to see if I could find any other info, and was inundated with comments from current and classic Superstars, as well as fans, all posting photos of the Warrior symbol.

What made the news particularly surreal is that he was JUST on television after being away for two decades.  And his final appearance had him seemingly at peace, eerily talking about his own mortality.  And after being such an "out there" character for his entire career, we saw an especially human Warrior over those past three days.  He showed emotion.  We saw that he had a wife.  And kids.  And they're now without a husband and father.

To be honest, while I always liked Warrior, I was a full blown Hulkamaniac when I was growing up.  I always supported the Hulkster above all else.  I even remember hearing the report on WWE Superstars of Wrestling that Ultimate Warrior had defeated Hulk Hogan, and I told my brother, "no, that's just what they think is going to happen" because I didn't want anybody to know that Hogan had been beaten.  Yet, while in grade school, I did dress up as the Ultimate Warrior one year for Halloween.  I've posted that photo below, in remembrance of the wrestling icon.  I'm glad a man found peace, and that a performer got to say good bye to his audience.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - April 7, 2014

11:09 - I am absolutely loving the Shield right now.  Overall, fantastic Raw that set things in motion for the weeks and months to come.  Some very fresh feuds and faces.  Quite pleased with the show.

10:54 - Considering the time, I'm guessing we don't see a full blown match.  The addition of the Shield into the mix is quite intriguing, though.

10:32 - Intriguing.  Does this mean Cesaro isn't going to be a face now?

10:19 - Paige is as good a candidate as any (praise the lord it wasn't one of the Bellas) and I kinda like the idea of her being the WWE Divas Champion AND the NXT Women's Champion.  My only disappointment is that it was kinda a sloppy match, and I don't think it was properly presented that she powered out of the Black Widow to hit the Paige Turner.

10:17 - It is somewhat ridiculous to say you're not "ready for a match" when you come out in full gear.

10:14 - This girl, on the other hand, might be the right person to end this reign.

10:13 - Hehe, methinks she's teasing us with that "Best Diva in the World" line.

10:11 - The storyline is clearly leading towards a Tamina face turn.  But is she really the right person to end this reign?

10:05 - I am utterly shocked by the complete lack of promo interruptions.

10:00 - Ultimate Warrior, you're doing it wrong.  Where's the facepaint and sprint?

9:54 - I love how they managed to find the ONE sentence where Mr. T actually mentions wrestling and the Hall of Fame for this video.

9:48 - I am so not into this Lana and Rusev thing.

9:41 - As Kevin Sullivan noted on Twitter, between making Rey #30 in the Rumble and putting him up against Bad News Barrett in his in-ring return, WWE is doing Rey no favors.

9:30 - Not even sure I see the point in RVD returning if it's anything like his last run.  And man, has Damien Sandow fallen or what?  Stands by my assessment that switching it up your colorful character to be more "serious" isn't necessarily a good thing.  When he was wearing a bathrobe and sporting pink and purple trunks, he at least stood out.  Now he's just angry heel #30 who wears black trunks.

9:23 - Perfectly acceptable continuation of the story, in my mind.  I sorta see Batista and Orton as the modern day version of the Attitude Era Undertaker and Kane.  They just go out and kick ass until they get what they want.

9:17 - Wondering if they'll put the tag titles on Batista and Orton.  It would certainly give them something to do outside of the title scene.

9:10 - Not surprisingly, an incredible promo from Paul Heyman.  But I do have to wonder if they missed out on an opportunity to ride the momentum by not moving onto a new feud right away.  That seems to be the struggle with Lesnar and his schedule.  He comes off of a big win and then disappears for so long that the, well, momentum of his victory is all but gone and forgotten.

9:06 - "Brock Lesnar doesn't respect anybody.  He barely tolerates me."  Great line.

8:43 - I was not surprised to see the fans so solidly behind the Wyatts, nor was I surprised to see the Wyatts win.  What I was surprised about, however, was that the Wyatts wrestled such a babyface style at the conclusion of the match.

8:33 - The post-WrestleMania Raw must be Sheamus' least favorite show of the year.

8:22 - I don't remember if I mentioned this last week, but I don't like how expressive Bray Wyatt gets when he blows out the lantern during his introduction.  It seems to contradict with his overall demeanor.

8:08 - I noted this a couple months ago, but one of the charming things about Bryan is the fact that he eats up the fans chanting for him.  He doesn't have to be cooler than the room like Punk or Rock or Austin, and he doesn't have to be overly sentimental like Hogan.  He can just smile and enjoy it.

I also appreciate that the opening video focused on Bryan, when the temptation would have been to focus on Taker.

8:05 - I wonder how he decides which title to wear and which title to hold.  But yet another reason why they need to ditch one of the belts.  And hey, no more Bruiser Brody fur boots!!

7:49 - Additional pre-Raw comment:  This voodoo WrestleMania t-shirt is kinda the coolest thing ever:,default,pd.html?dwvar_W07275_color=Brown&start=1&cgid=New

7:29 - After what I consider the strongest WrestleMania in years, I'm actually looking really forward to Raw tonight.  Over the past two or three years, the Raw after WrestleMania has turned into quite a major event in and of itself.  What happens next with Daniel Bryan?  Who challenges him next?  What's the next step with Antonio Cesaro?  What happens with John Cena?  Bray Wyatt?  What does the Ultimate Warrior do?  Is Hulk Hogan going to appear again?  Also, what happens with the Undertaker?  Does he retire?  And, most importantly, does WWE ride the momentum of a great WrestleMania with another great Raw?

Check back in a half hour to follow my LIVE thoughts.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

LIVE WrestleMania XXX thoughts - April 6, 2014

10:59 - Top to bottom, that was the absolute best WrestleManias I've seen in years.  We had fresh matches (actually, had ANY of those matches happened in the past?), new people in the main event scene (Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt), some star making opportunities (Cesaro, Shield, Wyatt, Bryan), some legitimately shocking results (the f'n streak ending), surreal moments (Hogan, Austin, and the Rock in the ring at once), some exciting and happy moments (Bryan winning), and, overall, really really smart booking.

The final match was FAR better than I expected it to be.  Like I said, the false finishes really did have me questioning whether they would try to "shock" the fans by having Batista or Orton.  And speaking of Batista and Orton, BOTH of those guys gave an awesome performance tonight.  Orton, in particular, took a brutal fall onto one of the television monitors.  And you gotta respect the fact that Batista, as the true antagonizing villain in this story, took the submission loss.  And overall, the psychology of the match was really great, with the story being whether or not Bryan could overcome his injuries and the general brutality of his opponents to win the match.

But what the hell was up with the zero explanation behind the woman and child that got in the ring with Bryan?

10:51 - AWESOME MATCH!  Those false finishes legitimately did have me at the edge of my seat.  I'm going to enjoy this celebration, then give my full thoughts.

10:42 - Everything about that looked brutal.  Major respect for both Bryan and Orton.

10:34 - I asked Jill Thompson -- who designs Bryan's attire -- what the inspiration was for his boots on Twitter.  She answered that the trunks and boots are both Bruiser Brody inspired.  Since there is actual inspiration behind it.....they're a bit more forgivable.

10:25 - Sigh.  No epic entrance.  No jacket.  Still wearing those boots.

10:23 - I am hoping for a somewhat epic Bryan entrance.  So far, only Triple H and Undertaker have gotten elaborate entrances.

10:22 - Wondering what the chances are of Daniel Bryan not wearing those fur boots.

10:19 - Wondering if, after tonight, they'll consolidate to one championship belt (the WWE Championship).

10:16 - "Is that YOU Paul Orndorff?"  Great delivery.

10:14 - Thank the lord!

10:08 - Cute opening sequence, with AJ and Tamina getting thrown in the center of the circle.

10:06 - Even more depressing would be if AJ Lee lost.

10:01 - Making this a little tougher is the fact that this was probably the least great (not "worst," since it was a good match) Undertaker WrestleMania match in probably a decade.  You could only end this streak once, and, again, Brock was an odd choice.

9:56 - Wow.  I am in disbelief.  And I can tell these emotions are genuine as well.  The way they handled that was perfect....with no music, no nothing.  Just letting everybody react.  Wow.

Personally, I never thought they'd end the streak.  But Brock is an EXTREMELY odd choice.  He's been so tarnished from his repeated losses and he's not somebody that they can build up and he may not even be around for another year or two.  Very interesting choice.

9:52 - I just now realized that Christian wasn't in the battle royal.  How many WrestleManias has he missed in a row?

9:47 - Am I the only one who doesn't think that these Hell's Gates look all too painful or difficult to escape from?

9:29 - Whoa, the red trim on the hat and jacket are pretty damn cool, actually.

9:26 - Undertaker is back to his Western Mortician look, I see.

9:22 - I can't be the only one who wishes Brock would grow back his crazy viking beard.

9:14 - Part of me expected Warrior to come out in the facepaint and everything.

9:06 - Surprising ending, but not a bad one.  No shame in losing to John Cena at WrestleMania.  And Bray Wyatt certainly did look like a star.

9:04 - Did the Spanish Announce table just say that he should tear apart the OTHER announce table?

8:53 - That was an AWESOME visual.  Five Knuckle Shuffle only to stop due to the crab walk.

8:45 - For that matter, Cena hasn't had an epic entrance the past two years either.

8:42 - Another little thing I love:  that the sheep mask is so beat up.  Makes it seem less like they're just dropping by the merchandise counter prior to the match.

Also, odd that Cena hasn't debuted a new color scheme/t-shirt the past two years.

8:40 - Really cool  how the band stopped playing once he blew out the lantern.  Very nice.  Also, love how it looks like he's talking to himself during his entrance.

8:39 - While Bray coming out to a live performance of his band may seem to be something that would bother me (as noted, I take issue with the Legacy video package because Eminem is such a mainstream person), I actually really like this.....because it's so creepy!  Cool entrance.  And I like the addition of the jacket.

8:36 - I'm guessing Bray wins this one.  I had originally predicted that, but considering we've seen clean and decisive wins for faces in all of our opening matches, I think it's time for a big heel win.

8:33 - Wow, Triple H in the opening match and John Cena fighting in fourth from the bottom?  Perhaps this really IS the beginning of a new era.

8:30 - Another right choice in a winner.  Cesaro was the logical choice and hopefully this is the beginning of a very successful face turn.

8:26 - I have to imagine Kofi was supposed to land on his feet and not fall on the ground.

8:25 - Finally got a glimpse of Mysterio's attire.  Love the Andre the Giant "OBEY" symbol on it.

8:23 - That was actually a really cool visual.  Fandango dancing on the apron, all the action in the ring, and then the audience in the background Fandangoing.

8:17 - I like the half gold/black, half black/gold attire on Goldstu.  Also noticed that Cesaro is in this as well.

8:15 - Big Show is wearing, appropriately, a single strap singlet reminiscent of Andre the Giant's attire.  I'm surprised he went with the "shorts" version instead of the "trunks" version, though.

New orange (or is it red) gear for Sheamus too.  And I'm SHOCKED that Rey didn't get an actual entrance.

8:13 - That was EXACTLY what that match should have been.  Just a convincing win that allowed each member to be highlighted in some way.  Awesome stuff and perfectly satisfying in my view.

8:09 - Those Shield masks are f'n bad ass.  And hey, that was a pretty unique way to make their ring introductions.

8:04 - The right man won and I'm guessing since Daniel Bryan won with the running knee, that we'll see a tap out victory in the title match.  I hope Daniel Bryan does the Randy Savage routine and changes up his attire for the second match.  And that includes getting rid of those boots.

8:02 - I could be wrong, but I think the letters within the crosses on Triple H's trunks and elbow pad are for Stephanie and his three daughters.  That's sweet.

7:58 - JBL sometimes has "off" moments.  Referring to Daniel Bryan beating Triple H as the "most embarrassing loss of Triple H's career" is most certainly an "off" moment.

7:46 - "It is a bulls eye.  And it's a target."  Keep on bringing the goods, Lawler.

7:43 - Apparently that's fur on his trunks.  Which I don't get.  It doesn't seem to go with his character OR the theme of his attire.  Very strange.

7:39 - I find it interesting that Triple H's elbow pads are busier than his trunks.

7:37 - What the hell is the deal with Bryan's boots?  And are there actual chants for Triple H?  Listen, people....if you want to rebel against Bryan, PLEASE do not choose Triple H as the beneficiary.

7:35 - Lame.  Bryan comes out in a t-shirt.  BRING BACK YOUR RING JACKET!

7:32 - Okay, as a heel, that over the time entrance works.  Because he's SUPPOSED to look like a douchebag.  And I really do like this WrestleMania set.

7:29 - Bryan's "you hit like a girl!" is awesome.

7:23 - Very fun opening promo that was a lot less offensive than Rock's opening promo at WrestleMania 27.  Very cool stuff.

7:16 - Does it end with these three?  Do we see anyone else come out?  Warrior?  HBK?  Hart?  Punk?

7:15 - I had a feeling the Rock would come out next, but it hasn't made the moment any less awesome.

7:12 - "It's good to be back here in the Silverdome!"  Made me laugh.

7:09 - Calling the arena the Silverdome and the company WWF.  Oye.  But hey, an awesome moment is about to happen, I think.

7:04 - Fun opening video.  I especially enjoyed the classic moments added to the New Orleans celebration scenes.  Well done.

6:55 - Pretty exciting opening match and a face turn the fans have wanted....and the message we're going out on is that Lita was wearing a long dress?

6:51 - I'm guessing we see a Cesaro face turn right now.

6:45 - So far my prediction is spot on, but it's interesting that the Real Americans have made both eliminations.

6:33 - I'm guessing Los Matadores goes first, then Rybaxel, and then the Usos retain.

6:29 - Is this the first time we're hearing the Rybaxel remix theme?  I like it!  Also, new gear for them AND Los Matadores as well!  Sidenote:  I like how the WrestleMania logo is like a giant HD screen, changing colors depending no the entrance.

6:28 - A lot of people on Twitter are pretty annoyed by the audio issues.  It's definitely distracting, but certainly not something so bad that I'd pick up the phone and order the show on PPV for $60.

By the way, love that Cesaro has a new ring jacket.  And some new ring gear, too.

And incidentally, the sound just got better.

6:13 - The stream feed is still visually fine, but the sound is a little echoy right now.

6:12 - Oh, and here I thought Shawn was joking all those times he said, "I don't know why I'm still here."

6:05 - One thing I forgot to mention in my predictions - will CM Punk appear?  My thought  But only because there's no natural appearance for him to make.  The ONLY thing I can think of is him appearing to try (and fail) to cost Daniel Bryan the match against Triple H, but that feels like a long shot.  I feel like the allure of trying to get him back would be to appear (advertised) at WrestleMania. If that's out the window, what difference would two or three months make?

5:54 - So much work has gone into this trophy that I kinda feel like the trophy won't be destroyed like we all originally predicted.

5:39 - I REALLY hope Daniel Bryan brings back his ring jacket tonight.  The t-shirts are cool, but bring back the awesome jacket.

5:34 - I got a kick out of Booker T's comment about how he got heat from Ric Flair for picking Steamboat/Savage as his favorite WrestleMania moment.  Based on what I've seen of him on any Legends panel, he truly does get heated whenever people don't select him as their favorite.

5:20 - It's fun to think about all of the groups of pairings that Undertaker has defeated with his undefeated streak.  As far as factions go, there's all of Evolution and the original DX.  How about tag team champions?  You have Rated RKO, Big Show & Kane, DX, Flair & Batista, Two Dudes with Attitudes.  How about Hall of Famers?  Superfly, Jake Roberts, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Ric Flair.  Pretty impressive who's who there.

5:10 - I'm probably nitpicking here, but I don't like how they're using Eminem in a promo video for Bray Wyatt.  It's a little too mainstream and hip, for somebody who is supposed to be somewhat detached from reality.

5:05 - Since I'm watching the pre-show anyway, might as well kick off my LIVE thoughts.  Loved Shawn Michaels' "I wasn't supposed to be here, so I'll be unprepared."

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WrestleMania Predictions

I'm not at WrestleMania tonight, but the picture above is to remember the two times I have gone to WrestleMania.  Be sure to check back in a couple hours as I provide some LIVE thoughts of tonight's show.  For now, here are my predictions.  Actually, before I get to that, let me make a few points.

I'm not positive who is confirmed for tonight's show, but it is rather amazing that, conceivably, we might see Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, Ultimate Warrior, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Mick Foley, and Bruno Sammartino at one show -- that, along with currently active stars like John Cena, the Undertaker, Triple H, and an on-the-rise Daniel Bryan.  That is pretty unprecedented, to be honest.  Not to get too fanboy-y, but imagine what an incredible moment it would be to see all of those above names (well, not Triple H and Undertaker) celebrating with Daniel Bryan as he wins the WWE Championship?  That would be an epic scene.  And, again (not to jinx myself), but I am incredibly pleased with the performance of the WWE Network today.  I am watching it on my Roku, so it's hooked up to my TV, and it's quite easy to forget that I'm watching an over-the-top streaming station and not a traditional cable broadcasting station.

And another thing worth noting:  Last year, my biggest qualm about WrestleMania was that nobody was in a better position than they were the year before.  And, in fact, almost everybody was in a WORSE place.  Sure, we have a lot of the same people still at the top, and several very talented people that are floundering, but we've truly seen a big change over the past year as well.  Look at Daniel Bryan.  Look at the Shield.  Look at Bray Wyatt.  Look at Cesaro, who is at the very least on the rise.  Hell, even look at Orton, who had been struggling to find his place for the prior two years!  Look at Cody Rhodes.  And, just as importantly, there are several guys who had been stuffed down our throats who are being repositioned as midcard acts (like Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio) where they probably better belong.

Alright, to the predictions!

Tag team title match:  The Usos retain.  Kick the show off with a happy moment, and the only conceivable challengers (the Real Americans) are likely moving onto bigger and better things anyway.  Well, Cesaro, anyway.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:  The easy answer here is Big Show, but I'm going to resist that.  Sadly, I see somebody like Del Rio walking away with the victory.  They'll tease us with a Big Show win, but a heel who everybody who had forgotten about will slip back in and nab the victory.  It'll be nice to see one of these "fit as many people on the card as possible" matches again, though.  As far as surprise entrants go, I say RVD, and maybe Jake Roberts and DDP?  Maybe X-Pac and Nash?

The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws:  I'm predicting a Shield win, and I DON'T think we'll see their break up tonight either.

Divas Invitational Title Match:  I'm obviously partial to AJ Lee so I'm rooting for her to win.  To be honest, despite the fact that AJ's role has been minimized significantly over the past month or two, she's still the only person over and entertaining enough to carry the Divas division (no matter how popular Total Divas might be).  So unless we see a surprise entry of Lita, I say AJ keeps it.  Unless Lita IS in it....then I think she takes it.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt:  Surprisingly tough match to call.  On the one hand, Wyatt really hasn't lost a match yet, and Cena is as good as anybody to finally beat him.  But then again, a win over John Cena would go a long way in establishing Wyatt as a real star.  Hmmmmm, I'm going to go with Wyatt, since the rest of the top matches will be face-heavy.

Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar:  Unless something very surprising happens tonight, I say Undertaker takes this one.

Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H:  Extremely little chance that Daniel Bryan doesn't win this one.  Going with Bryan.

WWE World  Heavyweight Championship Match:  If Triple H is the third man, Batista wins the title.  If Daniel Bryan is the third man, there's about a 75% chance Bryan takes it, and a 25% chance Batista takes it.  I hope they do the right thing and put the strap on Bryan, and give him a legitimate reign as champion.

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Fun WrestleMania 29 Observation

I attended WrestleMania last year, and I'm watching it for the first time this afternoon on the WWE Network (still doing awesome with the stream on my Roku) and I've noticed something interesting -- aside from two matches, every single match has featured at least one person switching heel/face allegiance.  Let's take a look at the full card...

Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show vs. The Shield -- In a year's time, the Shield and Big Show have both turned face, and Randy Orton turned heel.  Sheamus is the only one who has not switched sides.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry -- A complete swap here.  Ryback turned heel, and Mark Henry turned face.

Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston -- Kane went heel, and Dolph Ziggler and Big E both turned face.  I'll count Daniel Bryan as a face here, even though he was still acting heelish (while he is definitely a full on face now).  But that's nit picking.

Fandango vs. Chris Jericho -- No change here.  Only one of two matches.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger -- Alberto Del Rio turned heel.

The Undertaker vs. CM Punk -- CM Punk turned face.

Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar -- Triple H turned heel.

The Rock vs. John Cena -- No switch here.

This is nothing earth shattering....switches typically happen, and some of these were somewhat expected.  But to see it in almost every match -- sometimes with numerous people -- in just a year's time is pretty impressive.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

LIVE Raw thoughts - March 31, 2014

11:06 - Really fun ending to Raw (and the right one, in my view).  And I have to say, I sorta like the differing ways that Orton and Batista are heeling it up and responding to Triple H.  Batista is the angry, entitled asshole.  Orton is the ass kissing, manipulative coward.  It's an effective way to make all four of these guys interesting in their various interactions.

10:55 - Certainly they have to have Bryan appear in this match, right?  I mean, WrestleMania is pretty much built around him and he gets the biggest reaction of the entire roster....they wouldn't be so foolish as to leave him off of the final Raw before WrestleMania, would they?

10:42 - I'm not even sure if Miz is supposed to be good or bad.

10:40 - Man, Piper has had that jacket since forever!

10:25 - Again, not surprised to see Roman Reigns win....but I am surprised that there was SUCH a significant difference between him and the other two Shield members.  I thought we'd more likely see something like 60% Reigns, 30% Rollins, 10% Ambrose.

10:18 - Upon checking out WWE Shop, I came across some pretty cool WWE Championship side plates for WrestleMania.  Another cool way to customize the WWE Championship:,default,pd.html?dwvar_W06771_color=No%20Color&start=1&cgid=New

10:14 - I'm of course annoyed that AJ lost, but at the VERY least, it was due to some severe outside interference.  But still.

10:10 - I'll be rather disappointed if AJ loses here.

10:02 - I have to admit, the visual of Cena appearing behind them wearing the sheep mask was pretty cool.

9:47 - By the way, I fully expect Roman Reigns to win this poll and assume that Seth Rollins will come in second.  I am, however, extremely interested in seeing the exact numbers.  I think this could be telling.

9:39 - I'm looking at this match right now and wondering if Goldust and Cody Rhodes deserves better than the Andre battle royal.  But the fact of the matter is, unlike last year, there really aren't any guys in specific matches that don't deserve it.  Last year unproven guys like Big E and Fandango got WrestleMania matches while guys like Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, and ultimately the Miz did not (and the Bellas were scheduled to have a match while AJ and Kaitlyn were not).  This year, that really isn't the case.

9:05 - Pretty brilliant video, utilizing the names of people that fans have complained about.  Really missed out on using CM Punk, though.

8:59 - I've never watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother in my life, but the Twitter talk got me curious so I decided to see how it ended.  Back on Raw.  Triple H is talking.

8:49 - Good thing that the go-home Raw is focusing on Total Divas, instead of the Divas Championship.

8:29 - It's amazing how much momentum Big E has lost since winning the Intercontinental Championship.  Has the guy had ONE storyline since winning the title?  That's the problem with so many of these midcard wrestlers....they get no storylines.  They'll occasionally "feud" with somebody, but there's really no story behind it.  More times than not, it's that dreadful "challenger beats champion in a non-title match/tag team match" sequence that I detest.  But without a story, there's no real momentum.  Especially when you consider that half of these guys lose just as often as they win.

8:19 - Sounds like the WWE Championship match was booted off of the WrestleMania card and onto the pre-show.

8:15 - Eh, a bit of a lackluster opening.  And honestly, Undertaker didn't even do a great job of selling that F5.  He was rolling around with his eyes open.  Why not sell it like it killed him?  JBL talked about how if Lesnar hits that during the match, it's over.  But that's not the impression I got.  Yeah, Undertaker was beat up....but he still had some fight.  Give people the perception that an F5 ends this match, period.  They didn't get that message across.

8:04 - It's a bit odd, especially considering who he's up against, but is this the least interesting Undertaker WrestleMania match in, like, a decade?

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

LIVE The Walking Dead thoughts - Episode 4-16

Be sure to click below for m LIVE thoughts on the season finale of The Walking Dead.  Obviously, spoilers are within.

Continue reading "LIVE The Walking Dead thoughts - Episode 4-16"....

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Legends of Wrestling

So I got a Roku last week and finally got around to setting it up (step one of four requires an HDMI cable....the one thing that isn't included!) and I absolutely love it.  I haven't had a single issue with the WWE Network, and with it now being on my TV instead of my laptop, I decided to browse around a little bit.  One of the things I decided to watch was the 2012 Legends of Wrestling episode discussing factions, which included the rather stacked panel of Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Tazz, and Jim Ross.  One of the interesting -- but not entirely surprising -- aspects of the show was how incredibly anti-nWo Ric Flair was (and, of course, excessively pro-Four Horsemen he the extent that he would come close to arguing with anybody who left them off of their "favorite" list).  What I found particularly interesting was the fact that he went on and on about how nWo was made popular due to the fact that they were put over everybody and ended each show standing tall for two years, whereas the Four Horsemen (and Flair himself) NEVER won -- they always made their opponents look good.  Flair is NOT wrong in this regard, but it is a bit interesting to note that the man he's constantly talking up (Triple H) is just as guilty of that.  Flair referred to Triple H as a Hall of Famer and a man with a Hall of Fame career.  You'll never hear him say that he built that career by standing tall above the his opponents.

Just an observation.

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