It’s A New Day.

(Just a short note…this post was written last night during commercial breaks on Monday Night Raw. The draft has already happened but I wasn’t able to catch it live, I still wanted to express my opinion on what happened during Monday Night Raw.)

Tonight was the first step to changing the landscape of the WWE for the better. Brand extensions have been done before and it was always pretty entertaining but tonight just seemed to breathe new life into the WWE. The draft doesn’t even take place until tomorrow night on the first episode of Smackdown LIVE but I feel like a kid on Christmas eve.

I have to admit that I was finding it a little difficult to get through the last few weeks of wrestling, especially being evacuated from my home and not being able to properly keep up with it all.

This brand extension is going to be much different from those of the past and that has me very excited. The new general managers weren’t from the line up of usual suspects one would pick, Triple H wasn’t involved in any way and that’s step one to me. Having such unusual choices is the turning point, both men chosen as GM for the respective shows were told that they didn’t fit the mould. Neither Daniel Bryan, nor Mick Foley, have ANY ties to the Authority or anything corporate. Actually, both of these guys seem the least likely to be ‘corporate’ in nature.

The rosters that they could both potentially end up with also have me fascinated because I can’t recall a brand extension where the rules were so unique. Teams could be split up as each brand has the option to take one or all members of a tag team. Could you imagine if Enzo and Cass got split up? Or the New Day? I would personally consider it a crime against humanity if either one of those things happened.

Nobody is going to be one hundred percent happy with what happens tomorrow night on Smackdown LIVE. Let’s face reality here, having a ‘passionate discussion’ with fellow wrestling fans is one of the best parts of being a wrestling fan. What I want to happen out of this draft is that both brands get a kick in the ass and are revitalized, they’re fresh, and we get a level of competition not seen since the Attitude Era.

I won’t be able to cover the draft live and in-person but I’ll be glued to my Twitter feed with you guys tomorrow night!

Thank You Daniel.

Today, the wrestling world lost one of its brightest stars.

Due to medical reasons, Daniel Bryan has been forced to retire from in-ring competition.

I will admit that there is much of his early career that I haven’t seen and he wasn’t always my favorite character to watch, gimmick wise. Even if you didn’t care for him, there is no denying his spirit and genuine love for this thing we call wrestling. He loved being in that ring, he loved entertaining us, and I like to think that he always thought of wrestling from a fan’s perspective. I know how savage I am about wrestling so I can only imagine his passion.

Nothing I can really say could sum up his career or how he has impacted wrestling for fans all over the world. He was always, to me, a regular guy who got to do something that he loved dearly. I hope that I am as lucky as he was.

It’s always a great opportunity in life when you can learn from another person and Daniel Bryan taught me something I’ll never forget…

It doesn’t matter how small you are or how big your dreams are, always go for it.

Thank you Daniel Bryan.

Going To The Extreme.

Tonight the superstars of the WWE will face some of their toughest matches and opponents, tonight is Extreme Rules.

Every match has some sort of crazy stipulation attached that is going to make it harder to gain a victory. No pain, no gain. Let’s take a look at the card…

El Torito vs. Hornswoggle (Kick-off Match)

Stipulation: WeeLC match

I could care less who wins this match. I have ZERO invested in it but it will be a fun match to get the crowd going before the actual event starts. It’ll get a reaction, no guarantee that it will be a good one.

Winner: El Torito

R-Truth and Xavier Woods vs. Alexander Rusev

Stipulation: 2 on 1 Handicap match

I still see this as an obvious squash match. Sure, Woods and Truth got a leg up on Rusev on Raw but it stops there. Why would they have spent all that time and effort building him up as a ‘super athlete’ just to have him lose to two guys with crazy hair?

If he did lose, Rusev would lose all credibility as a competitor and the fans would probably laugh him out of the ring. A victory over two people at the same time would certainly establish him further as the Bulgarian Brute. I am still undecided on Rusev so this match will help me figure out if I even like the guy or not.

Winner: Alexander Rusev

Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro vs. Jack Swagger

Stipulation: Elimination Triple Threat match

I have to admit that initially, Rob Van Dam seemed a little out-of-place in this particular match up. I was rooting for Cesaro and Swagger to go at it but the addition of Rob Van Dam makes this match all the more intriguing.

Rob Van Dam is the only guy in this entire thing with nothing to lose but everything to gain.

There are so many elements of this match that are going to work in his favor. Cesaro and Swagger will be at each other’s throats, especially for Swagger costing Cesaro the number one contender spot for the Intercontinental title. In addition to that, Zeb and Heyman will also be at each others throats. All Van Dam has to do it sit back, relax, and watch shit hit the fan.

Cesaro will be at Swagger’s throat and Zeb will be at Heyman’s throat (probably for pulling his moustache), the seeds are being laid for future feuds. That is something that the WWE does very well, planting the seeds for the future. It will be interesting to see if the other two superstars in this match can focus enough to go for a victory against their opponent.

Winner: Rob Van Dam

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

Stipulation: Steel Cage match

On the go-home show this past week, Cena seemed to have his confidence shaken after that opening segment. Bray had a children’s choir singing his signature tune and donning sheep masks. That, ladies and gentlemen, are the things nightmares are made of.

I actually liked seeing that side of Cena, his vulnerability came out and for once you didn’t feel like he was a superhero. Until he gave Renee Young that interview towards the end of the show, he was his usual peppy self. That just destroyed it for me. If I was facing Bray Wyatt in a steel cage, I don’t think that I would be all happy go-lucky. In all reality, I’d probably be peeing my pants.

By non-selling his fear at the match that is happening tonight, Cena made the WWE Universe turn on him even more than they already have. Bray has the fans behind him 1000000%. The fans are tired of seeing Cena win every damn match that he is in. They are sick of seeing him kick out at the two count. They are sick of seeing him as this superhero. What they WANT to see is him lose. They want to see him get beat up. They want to see him be defeated so that he can build himself back up.

I love Cena but even I’m tired of his superhero act. I’m a realist. I know there is a very miniscule chance that he will ever turn heel but they need to make him seem more human to the fans. Not every superstar wins every single match.

Winner: Bray Wyatt

Big E. vs. Wade Barrett

Stipulation: none as of this posting

When Wade Barrett won the finals of the Intercontinental tournament on Monday Night Raw, I was over the moon with joy. That may seem like an overreaction to some, but for wrestling fans, it’s a normal reaction.

I’m so happy that this match is happening for two reasons. One, I get to see Bad News Barrett in action. Two, he is going to add the much-needed spice the Intercontinental title landscape needs. I like Big E a lot, I think he’s fun in the ring and maybe needs a little more work on the microphone but I like him overall. The problem is that he has no formidable opponents to go against. He’s stronger than all of them and he’s more powerful. No one he’s faced in the last little while has a style that contrasts his. Well, Wade Barrett has certainly changed that!

I can’t wait to see the bare knuckle brawler go against the pure power of Big E. All Barrett has to do is kill his momentum once and then Big E is done for. Hopefully we end up with a new champion! Barrett is so over that it would be ridiculous to NOT give him the belt.

Winner: Bad News Barrett

Paige vs. Tamina Snuka

Stipulation: none as of this posting

Everyone and their mom knows how I feel about the women’s division.

I like the fact that they are integrating the female wrestlers from the developmental territory and everything but I think that giving Paige the title on the night she debuted was a bit much. The new divas are providing competition and variety in a division that many see as stagnant and repetitive. What I think should have happened was that an already established diva should have taken the title off of Aj Lee and the NXT divas should have done an invasion angle. They could have come in, challenged the current divas and we would have had something that was as shocking as the invasion angle done years ago. It will definitely be interesting to see how this goes tonight and if they will integrate more of the developmental divas. I’m still pulling for the veteran.

Winner: Tamina Snuka

The Shield vs. Evolution

Stipulation: 6 man tag team match

I can’t wait for The Shield to shut Evolution up.

Basically this match is just a giant pissing contest and I’m 100% okay with that. Evolution used to be cutting edge and cool, challenging the established order of things, and asserting their dominance over the rest of the roster. Now that isn’t the case, The Shield are the ones who are kicking ass and taking names. Triple H and his buddies can’t be having that!

The Shield are younger, faster, more powerful, and they don’t need to gang up on people to get the job done. Evolution is strong together but weak individually, The Shield doesn’t have that problem. All I want to see is Roman deliver a superman punch to Batista, rendering him speechless on his media tour for Guardians of the Galaxy. That would be a real treat to fans everywhere.

Winner: The Shield

Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

Stipulation: Extreme Rules match

Daniel Bryan is the definition of a trooper.

This guy gets beat down week after week, even after winning the biggest title that the sport has to offer, gets married, loses his father tragically, and still comes out and entertains the thousands of fans who paid money to see him. His fans are relentless. They cheer when he is up or down, showing him that they are behind him 100%.

Tonight he is going to be facing the devils favorite demon in a match that doesn’t really suit his style of wrestling. This style of match as a victory for Kane written all over it. Daniel doesn’t back down. He won’t give up. Even if he loses, he will still walk out of that match with his head held high. He gives everything he has in the ring and he won’t let Kane walk out of there without suffering just a little bit for almost harming his wife.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

All of the superstars involved in the matches tonight have been through a lot in the last few weeks, I fully expect more than a few of them to need help out of the arena tonight.

How About This?

Initially, the preliminary card to Wrestlemania wasn’t looking so hot. The main event looked like it would be the most boring thing on the planet and the flying goat was nowhere to be seen. A certain superstar walked out on the company and put what ever the creative department had planned in complete jeopardy. Superstars, fans, and staff had no idea what was going on with the biggest event of the entire year.

Everyone has their own version of what they would do and how they would book it, I’m no different. My fellow blogger Frank (or Fdoosey, as he is known in social media land) have been messaging each other and emailing for days saying how we would book the event. Here is how I would book the Showcase of the Immortals…

WWE World Heavyweight Championship:

Randy Orton (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Winner: Daniel Bryan)

Randy Orton isn’t my ideal champion but he was the perfect person to carry the title into Mania. There is no one in my mind that should win this match other than Daniel Bryan. He has taken such a shit kicking (literally and figuratively) in the last few months that it seems like there is nothing that he can do to secure a victory. The fans need to be given what they deserve, what they cheered so hard for. This victory wouldn’t just be for Daniel, this is for every fan that chanted ‘YES!’ alongside him.

The Streak:

The Undertaker vs. Kane (Winner: Undertaker)

If this is the Undertaker’s last ever Wrestlemania match, he should face his ‘brother’. There is no one else in my mind that should be his last opponent. Kane won’t break the streak but he will help deliver one hell of a match for the fans and for Taker.

There is no other argument to be made, if you think differently then your argument is invalid.

6 Man Tag Team Match: 

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family (Winner: The Shield)

The fans obviously love this feud, I know that I go nuts over it. Seeing these two factions compete is much more than just a match.

It could tease the end of The Shield as we know and love them. Roman is the star, Dean gets jealous, and Seth is just there shaking his head in disbelief. Let’s face it, they’re all awesome together but they’d be just as awesome (if not more awesome) on their own. What I would want to see happen is that they split and the Wyatt Family just hangs the fact they couldn’t keep it together over their heads for months. Wouldn’t that make brilliant television?

I wouldn’t make it a permanent split, just long enough for them to do their own thing and get a greater sense of who they are as wrestlers. Nobody wants to be confined to one ideal, these guys have been working together for a few years but they still need to explore who they are individually. I may be reading a bit too much into this but that’s my job as a wrestling fan.

Tag Team Championship Match:

The Usos vs. Real Americans (Winner: The Usos)

I think that this one is pretty much a no brainer and if you pick anyone other than Jimmy and Jey to win, you need to give your head a shake.

My main point for my argument being that they got screwed over so hard when they RIGHTFULLY won a number one contenders position by it being handed to the Rhodes Brothers. They deserve a long a fruitful title reign for that reason and they are the most entertaining duo in the tag team division. However, the Real Americans will give them a run for their money.

What won’t allow Cesaro and Swagger to take the titles from Jimmy and Jey is the fact that they have a small rift forming between them. Each one of them want to best the other one and that leads to matches being lost due to stupid decisions and mistakes. That is what will bring them down and cost them the match. It’s not that they aren’t a good team, the Uso brothers just work more harmoniously.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:

Winner: ???

I think that this match is a fantastic idea for two reasons:

  1. It honours someone who was so integral to the history of sports entertainment.
  2. It allows more superstars to have a moment in the Wrestlemania spotlight.

I’m always a huge proponent of anything that gets more superstars on the card for the biggest night in the WWE and I’m VERY excited for this to become an annual event. I like the unpredictability of having so many competitors in the ring and I don’t think that it’s the same as the Royal Rumble at all. The superstar I envision winning this is someone like Dolph Ziggler or maybe even Damien Sandow. The winner has to be someone who is fantastic in the ring and deserving of a push, I’ve seen the entrants and there are more than enough of them in there.

Stay tuned for another collaboration between Frank and I! Check out his blog here!

Daniel vs. Hunter.

The WWE Universe finally (kind of) got what they wanted all along.

Daniel Bryan could potentially be in the main event at Wrestlemania XXX this year, as long as he defeats Triple H first. I will admit that I was not the biggest fan of this David versus Goliath style storyline.

In one corner we have the ‘Goliath’ of this story, that being Triple H. He is the giant that no one can seem to defeat. He, more often that not, buries smaller guys that don’t make the cut in his eyes. His buddies constantly get given everything that they want just because they are his buddies. Triple H appears to be the man on the top of the hill, with everyone bowing before him.

In the other corner, we have ‘David’, that being Daniel Bryan. Daniel is a ray of hope for wrestling fans, a break from the complacency of the main event scene. He isn’t the biggest superstar to strut down that ramp to the ring, but he is one of the most gifted that has ever stepped through the ropes. Each week, Daniel is at war with the powers to be. Bryan earns each and every adulation that he attains, he doesn’t expect anything handed to him just because he is friends with someone.

The main difference between the two? Daniel Bryan has the entire WWE Universe behind him.

At Wrestlemania 30, Daniel Bryan will get an opportunity to take down the giant that is trying to stomp him. Daniel will also get a chance to also compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, provided he takes down Hunter first. It’s a small victory but one I am willing to accept.

I don’t want to see Daniel Bryan buried by Hunter in favor of one of his buddies, or himself, getting the title. After the most recent episode of Raw, that all changed. Sure, Bryan got the holy hell kicked out of him at the end but I don’t think that event was meant to tip the scales in Hunter’s favor. I took that as a sign that our beloved flying goat is going to kick the holy hell out of Triple H and then proceed to do the same to both Bootista and Orton.

A pessimist might see the deck as being extremely stacked against Daniel heading into Wrestlemania. Orton, Bootista, Hunter. I think that the events that have transpired within the last two weeks give Daniel Bryan an even greater chance of winning. How, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

He has absolutely nothing to lose heading into Wrestlemania on April 6th. His opponents are the ones that should be filled with worry.

Randy Orton is risking the loss of his title. Hunter is risking the loss of any sort of control over superstars and what happens on television. Dave Bautista is risking the chance of being booed right out of the building and becoming the laughing stock of the WWE (although, I think the reaction he receives now is fairly close.). Daniel does not have to worry about any of that. Sure, he’ll have a loss to deal with but that is nothing compared to what the others stand to lose. No matter what the outcome, he will still have the fans on his side.

I don’t think that compares to having a championship. If the fans love you, you’re pretty much golden. I’ve seen many superstars hold a belt and the fans boo them to no end.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Daniel Bryan can defeat the giant that seems to be standing between him and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and I can’t wait to be on my couch joining in the YES! Movement and cheering him on.

 

Kicking It Old School.

Let me start off by saying how much I really do enjoy themed episodes of Raw. They’re so much fun and allow the superstars and fans to enjoy something a little special, everyone just has a good time with them. This past Monday, the theme was Old School (probably my favourite out of all the themed episodes). We got to see legend upon legend and it was just a fun show, not just for the fans but for the superstars as well.

The show opened with Mr. Woooo himself, Ric Flair. In typical Ric style, he came out to have fun and Randy Orton interrupted him and ruined it for the rest of us. He went on his typical rant about how he is the greatest superstar of this generation or any other and how everyone should respect him (blah, blah, blah). I laughed so hard when the camera panned to Flair because he looked like he had a few and trying to stifle some laughter. Orton tried to assert his dominance as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and was promptly stopped by John Cena, who gave the legend the respect that he deserved for his accomplishments in pro wrestling. Then the usual happened, Randy Orton received a challenge and he bitched out. He rolled right out of that ring and walked away with his two belts, with that same smug look on his face that he always has. There is one thing that Orton is very good at and that is playing the role of the asshole. One hundred and ten percent brilliant.

The one thing that he said that I did agree with is that the Authority should reverse their decision on the main event match at the Royal Rumble, Randy Orton versus John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Royal Rumble is the very first step in the Road to Wrestlemania. It is the first pay-per-view of the year and it is of the utmost importance. The match will be good and all but I’m hungry for someone new to take the championship helm. I’m not saying that Randy Orton and John Cena can never be champions again, I’m just saying that they can’t be the champions all the time. There is enough time between now and Wrestlemania to bring someone new into the title race. It just has to be the right person and done properly. Nobody messes around when it comes to anything to do with Wrestlemania.

What we also got to see was Daniel Bryan as a member of the Wyatt Family. It’s still kind of weird to imagine him involved with that faction but I still love it. The Wyatt’s took on Rey Mysterio and The Usos in a three on three tag team match. The difference in Daniel’s demeanor was quite noticeable and I actually kind of liked this aggressive version of the flying goat. The match itself was fantastic, with The Usos and Rey picking up the win via pinfall. You could see the struggle that Daniel Bryan was facing. He disappointed some of the WWE Universe and disappointed some of his fellow superstars. When someone is disappointed in someone, it isn’t hard to tell. Being with the Wyatt Family is going to show everyone just how resilient and adaptable Daniel Bryan really is.

Big E. Langston also continued his Intercontinental Title run and his dominance over Curtis Axel. I really like this combination of superstars, they work really well together and that is something nice to see. There is a nice balance of pure power and calculated athleticism between the two that just makes for great matches. What I didn’t like is that they had Ryback on commentary, this man is even more boring on the microphone than he is in the ring. I could go on a rant about how much I don’t like him but I will spare everyone that 85747585 words that I will inevitably write.

One guy that could teach someone a lesson is Roddy Piper, The Shield learned that the hard way on Piper’s Pit. If someone reading this has NEVER seen a Piper’s Pit segment, you truly haven’t lived. Roddy Piper is the most talented superstar that I’ve ever seen on the microphone, with Punk being his modern-day equivalent. I’ve never seen someone so quick on his toes and have such snappy lines. The Shield, especially Dean Ambrose, thought that they had one up on Piper but he ran out of bubblegum (If no one gets that reference, please watch They Live.). What Roddy expertly did was drive an even further wedge in between The Shield. He did that by asking Roman if he beats Punk, does that make him better than his teammates? My only response to that was ‘Oh snap!’, there is no other logical retort to something like that. When they challenged the kilted one, Punk and the New Age Outlaws came to his aid. I was kind of hoping that we would get a match out of that with Piper as the referee or something crazy like that but it didn’t happen and I wasn’t upset. Just a little sad that no one got a coconut cracked over their skull…I’m kidding…maybe.

We did get a little advancement in terms of story and rivalries, nice to see since the Royal Rumble is just a few short weeks away. Alberto Del Rio started to spark a feud with Batista (I don’t really care for Batista that much but he would crush Del Rio), the Rhodes Brothers took on the Real Americans, Damien Sandow continued his losing streak against Khali, and we had a divas tag team match. Hell, we even got to see 3MB take on Too Cool and Rikishi! We also were witnesses to Big Show challenging Brock Lesnar and Lesnar running away like the little bitch that he is. I just do not understand this guy at all. Heyman and himself claim he is the beast incarnate, yet, he can’t even take on a challenge from an opponent? This all started with yet another confrontation with Henry, resulting in Henry being put in the Kimora lock by Lesnar. I don’t think in an all out brawl that Lesnar could beat either one of these men. That being said, I do like the idea of Lesnar taking on one of the big guys in the WWE but I think a triple threat match would provide a unique angle for this story. In all honesty, I just want to see Lesnar get the crap beat out of him. I’ve always said that Lesnar couldn’t wrestle his way out of a wet paper bag and he keeps proving me right with every single match he has.

My favourite match of the entire broadcast was watching CM Punk take on Roman Reigns.

This match had everything going for it. It had Mean Gene bring out the New Age Outlaws, they did the introduction for CM Punk, and we had some world-class wrestling. In the beginning, there was a definite power struggle and Roman was trying to show Punk that he wasn’t someone to mess with. The two turning points in this match were when Roman missed his flying superman punch, causing him to receive a boot from Punk, and when he could not make the superplex. I was one of those people who thought Punk had it in the bag after that mixed superplex, I was sure he was going to pick up the victory rather quickly. Boy, was I wrong.

Roman missed his first spear but connected on the second. Watching that spear is just as deadly as feeling the move first hand. You can actually feel the impact while you’re watching the broadcast from the comfort of your own couch. The moment that sealed the deal to make this the best match of the night was the appearance of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. Everyone knows that Jake has had his share of ups and downs throughout his entire life and wrestling career, he was in bad shape until Diamond Dallas Page took him in and helped him turn it all around. He looked absolutely fantastic and the fans lost their mind when he walked out carrying that snake in a bag. Dean was laid out in the ring, with Damien slithering all over him, Jake also used his ‘partner’ of sorts to scare away Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. The only thing that could have made this any better would have been if he had one of them tangled in the ropes like he had Randy Savage all those years ago. You could tell by the smile on Dean’s face that this moment was just as much for him as it was for wrestling fans all over the WWE Universe.

Apparently, there will now be an annual Old School Raw episode airing every January. This wrestling fan could not be any happier about that!

Following The Buzzards.

Daniel Bryan, the flying goat who could do no wrong, has crossed over to the dark side.

He joined the Wyatt Family on this week’s Monday Night Raw.

When Bryan was finally ready to get his hands on Bray, Erick and Luke stepped in to make quick work of him. The match ended in a disqualification and then the weirdness started. It was probably one of the most confusing segments I’ve ever seen, and the fans in attendance shared those sentiments. After fighting against the eerily intriguing Wyatt’s, Daniel just seemed to give up. He had ignored the nonsensical babble of Bray for so long, Daniel Bryan was the complete opposite of Bray in every single way. The crowd sat in astonishment and total shock as Daniel Bryan confessed that Bray was right, that he was right all along and there was no point in fighting it anymore.

The most shocking action of this whole thing was that Bryan just waltzed right out of the ring with them.

HE JUST LEFT! And he upset a lot of people in the process.

There was a quick moment where I thought that he would reconsider and go back to the fans that were so valiantly cheering him on. He was a man torn, not knowing if he should continue on his path or just give up and face what he thought was his reality. I thought that it was brilliant and a really good job by the creative team. A sore spot between fans and what happened is that this may cause Daniel Bryan to lose any opportunity that he may have had at being a top guy or getting a chance to compete at Wrestlemania. If anything, this increases his chances. Any person he has teamed with, specifically Punk, can say how Daniel has abandoned everything that he stood for. They can say that Daniel turned his back on his fans and he just gave up. I really hate to sound cheesy and cliché but the possibilities are endless with this angle that is being pursued. Is Daniel actually associating with these outcasts or is he just working to bring them down from the inside?

All I know is that this isn’t the end for Bryan and it doesn’t mean that they will stick in him some sort of purgatory like others seem to be. Deferring to the Wyatt’s gives Bryan an edge, it adds another dimension to his character other than the flying goat that we know and love. On Facebook, someone has already posted a photo of him at a live event in full Wyatt regalia. It was a little sad to see but I think in the long run, it will be more beneficial to Bryan’s career.

There is more to this than meets the eye people. Bryan isn’t just following the buzzards, he’s looking for something great.