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Ronda Rousey & The Rock Made Surprise Appearances At WrestleMania To Confront The Authority #WrestleMania

WrestleMania 31 was a fantastic show filled with unbelievable entrances, excellent in ring bouts and a few surprises. Two of those surprises were The Rock and UFC mega star Ronda Rousey, who came out to confront The Authority on behalf of the WWE Universe. The Rock had a hell of a weekend, as he killed it on SNL (there will be a post on that later today) and was on top of his smack talk game here with HHH and Steph. When The Rock challenged HHH to duke it out,  Stephanie stepped up instead and told The Rock to leave her ring, adding in the fact that Dwayne would never hit a girl. He wouldn’t, but he just so happened to know someone sitting in the front row who gets paid a lot of money to hit girls. That someone was Ronda Rousey, and a few punches and an arm bar takeover later, Steph and HHH were retreating and The Rock and Ronda were standing tall. This was a really cool moment, and setup two possible WrestleMania 32 matches. The possibilities are endless for these four, and I’m glad Ronda got her first WrestleMania moment. In case you were wondering what Ronda’s boss thought of all of this…

– Ryan

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The Bray Wyatt/Undertaker Hype Video For WrestleMania 31 Is Out Of This World

I included this in my prediction blog under the Wyatt/Undertaker match, but it deserves to be singled out. No lie, I watched this video last night and it gave me chills, and I’m somehow more pumped for this match than I was earlier in the week. I really hope this is Wyatt’s coronation ceremony and he beats ‘Taker, but just thinking about the entrances alone has me all jazzed up. Kudos to WWE once again for putting together the best video packages, period. If you want to see if wrestling can still affect people, take a look at some of those faces in the crowd when Undertaker lost last year. Even after all these years, he still gets you invested in his matches. I cannot wait for Sunday.

– Ryan

Brock Lesnar Has Officially Re-Signed With The WWE Ahead of WrestleMania 31

Safe to say this is the biggest news to come out of the WWE in quite some time, and was only magnified by the fact that it aired live on Sportscenter. If you missed it, Brock Lesnar was interviewed by longtime WWE fan and ESPN personality Michelle Beadle and he explained that his MMA career is over, but Sunday will not be the last time he fights inside a WWE ring. After I came down from cloud nine, I immediately when to Twitter and the wrestling community was going bonkers. Sites were shutting down due to overload of web traffic, people who haven’t tweeted in forever were losing their minds; Brock Lesnar, BRRROCKKK LESNAR, is staying with the WWE. Besides all the fantasy matchups that this signing could bring, the biggest short term affect will be on the main event of this Sunday’s WrestleMania. With Brock looking like he was headed out the door, it was all but certain that Roman Reigns would capture the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, but now that Brock is back, that outcome is anything but certain. Brock himself said on Sportscenter that he will still have the belt after Sunday, and I can’t imagine anyone in that stadium cheering for Roman Reigns now. The only way I see the WWE putting the belt on Reigns is if they do a double switch, with Heyman turning on a now baby face Brock to align himself with the heel Reigns. If they do that, Reigns, who has all the qualities of a cocky heel, will turn bad guy and Brock, who is universally loved after this announcement, will be THE ultimate badass good guy. I cannot wait for Sunday!

– Ryan

Levi’s Stadium Is Tweeting Hype Photos For WrestleMania 31 & I Am Officially Jacked Up

WrestleMania 31 is only 10 days away and I’m officially throwing inhibition to the wind and getting myself all jacked up for it. It’s important not to get too pumped for WrestleMania too early, but I think 10 days out is a good time to get the juices flowing. We’ve only got one Raw before the big show, and all the matches are pretty much in place. Plus the WWE Network just released their schedule for WrestleMania week and Sunday the 29th is just a wrestling fans dream come true. It’s going to be 12 hours of hype videos and promo packages and live look in’s at the set and stadium before WrestleMania goes live at 7pm. Football fans can have their Super Bowl, I’ll take WrestleMania every time.

– Ryan

5 Stars From Last Night’s #RAW – The Divas, Paul Heyman & The Vigilantes

WrestleMania 31 is now less than two weeks away, and everyone was on hand for last night’s Raw ahead of WWE’s biggest event. WrestleMania is far and away the hardest event for the WWE to promote, as not only is it a four hour show, but there are more superstars performing at WrestleMania than any other pay per view. Including HHH and Sting, Fast Lane had 22 superstars and Divas on the show. There are 17 superstars alone in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania, with more sure to be announced closer to the show. The WWE tries to get everyone they can on the show, which leads to a lot of short segments on the Raw’s and Smackdown’s leading up to the pay per view, which takes away from the build to some of the matches. Last night’s Raw had some peaks and some valleys, but ended on a high note that should have fans not only excited for next week, but also WrestleMania 31.

1. The Divas Division, Finally

Do you see what happens when the Divas are given a little time to work? This wasn’t a five star match, but it was solid, and most importantly, it furthered the storyline heading into Mania. The Bella Twins almost play two roles here: they are what Vince wants as a Diva, with super model looks and a culture crossing appeal, but to the hardcore fans, they are the anti Divas. Post Attitude Era fans are wrestling centric, and that goes for both the guys and the girls. Divas like Paige and AJ Lee resonate as ‘baby faces’ because they’re portrayed as focusing on wrestling first and everything else second. The Bella Twins, while they’ve improved in the ring, are the stars of Total Divas and the faces of the Divas division, but are still seen as models trying their hand at wrestling. The Bella’s vs. Paige and AJ is a perfect mix of styles and should be a fun match at Mania, and I’m glad they’re getting some time to not only tell a story but show that they can hang in the ring.

2. John Cena, Minus The ‘Balls’ Joke & Rusev, Of Course

Here’s my main beef with John Cena: he is not authentic. For all his Make-A-Wish sightings and t-shirt sales, he is the most inauthentic person on the WWE roster. He stands for hustle, loyalty and respect and wants kids to emulate him yet on back to back to Raw’s he has choked out a guy who didn’t give him what he wanted and then told that same guy that his manager/maybe girlfriend is the one who has the balls in their relationship. John Cena is supposed to be TV PG, and more than that, he’s supposed to the face of WWE’s TV PG movement. He is not The Rock, he is not Stone Cold, he is not HBK and he is not HHH. He is supposed to be a clean cut, Hulk Hogan esque superhero, yet when it benefits him, he can pull shit like he did on Rusev for the past two weeks. Do you ever remember Hulk Hogan asking someone if their girlfriend was the one with the balls in their relationship? No you do not, because that wasn’t what his character was all about. It was about being a role model to kids, taking your vitamins and saying your prayers. It’s supposed to be everything to the kids and lame to the adults, but Cena insists on trying to pander to both. His promo on Raw was great, fiery stuff, and as much as the USA vs. Russia angle is kind of burned out, at least Cena is showing some passion. Then Rusev got in the ring and Cena turned on the charm, asked him if his balls were with his girlfriend and all was lost. I still liked it because Rusev is great, and his written statement was so wonderful. I’ve mentioned it before, but speaking in broken English gives you leeway in your promos, and Rusev knows that, and executes it perfectly. What he’s saying doesn’t really have to make sense. What matters is that his message gets across, and that message is Russia>USA. When John Cena wins at Mania I’m going to cry for a thousand years.

3. Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman & Roman Reigns

This is more Paul Heyman and Lesnar than Reigns, but Reigns kept his promo short and sweet, and I’m glad he’s added something to the ‘Believe That’ line. ‘I can and I will’ is still kind of lame, but it’s progress, and his promos should be kept under two minutes at a maximum. Paul Heyman, on the other hand, should be given free REIGN over the show. He and Bray Wyatt are single handedly selling WrestleMania matches, and Heyman is at the absolute top of his game, which is saying something. He is simultaneously building up Reigns as a worthy competitor and Brock as an unbeatable champion. That may sound easy, but it’s something few other managers or superstars have mastered. I also love how Brock and Heyman have brought Lesnar’s real life contract dispute into the fray, because ignoring it would be silly in the internet age. We all know Lesnar walked out of Raw a few weeks ago, and we all know he’s undecided on his future. The WWE is the only company in the world that can use real life backstage details to enhance storylines, and I’m glad they’re doing that here. Also, Brock getting bleeped out because he threatened to ‘fuck up Roman Reigns’ was wonderful stuff.

4. Holy Hell, That IC Title Tag Match

If you’re taking bets at home, my money is on the IC Title ladder match to steal the show at Mania. I know that’s like saying Elizabeth Banks is pretty, but sometimes you need to get the obvious out of the way. It was clear from the beginning of this angle that this match would be the one that everyone would be talking about, and I’m glad the guys involved in last night’s tag match showed so much emotion and passion. The IC Title used to mean something, and it was a major building block on the road to the major championships. That prestige has been lost in recent years, but now you have six guys who are scratching and clawing their way back to the main event scene, and a major WrestleMania moment awaits them. The WWE needs to keep this momentum going after Mania if they want the IC title to be relevant again, but at the very least, they have right superstars in place to make that happen. Last night’s match was great, and if there’s one thing the WWE does well, it’s put on fantastic 6 man tag matches. It started a few years ago with The Shield and continued no matter what combination of guys are in the match. I liked the tease of fan favorites Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler, as well as the in sync outfits of Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose. This match will steal the show, and I have no clue who’s going to win at Mania. What I do know is that it won’t be R-Truth.

5. Randy Orton & Sting – The Vigilantes

When Seth Rollins unveiled his genius plan, you knew Sting was coming out, but that’s the best thing about Sting in 2015: you can see him coming from a mile away, but it’s still awesome. When the lights went out and the crow squawk echoed throughout the arena, the place ERUPTED for Sting. Also, how great does Sting look? He looks in better shape than most of his TNA run, and I’m glad the WWE is progressively upping his physicality. He got to whip a couple people with a bat last night, as well as deliver a double Stinger Splash and a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting/HHH isn’t going to wow anybody technically, but the storytelling and psychology of that match will be excellent. Another smart move by the WWE is lumping in Rollins/Orton with HHH/Sting as well as not having Rollins and Orton get any more physical than they did last week. You don’t want to show your hand before a big time Mania match, and although the brawl last week was a little much, I’m glad they scaled it back this week and let the rest of The Authority take the beat down. If Sting decides to stick around after WrestleMania, he and Randy Orton need to team up as The Vigilantes. I will not rest until that happens.

– Ryan

 

 

It’s Time For The WWE To Cut Their Losses And Get Rid Of The February Pay Per View

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WWE February pay per views have definitely lost their momentum throughout the years. This has nothing to do with poor matches or bad angles, but is due to the fact that the outcomes are very predictable with WrestleMania right around the corner. For example, we all knew that Roman Reigns was going to defeat Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane. Was the match great? Yes, but some of the magic is taken away when you know who’s going to win. Championships rarely change hands, stories are rushed, and the February pay per view is missing the excitement factor that is key to WWE’s connection with its audience. Since February pay per views no longer bring home the bacon, the WWE should schedule an NXT live special for mid to late February instead. This would bring legitimate excitement and entertainment back to the WWE and rid it of its month of predictability.

Another benefit of running an NXT live special in place of a pay per view would be that it would allow the main roster writers and leads behind storylines to have more time to prepare for WrestleMania without having the February PPV in the way. The writing staff and performers could carefully look over and go in-depth on each story/match that they want at WrestleMania without any pay per view interruptions.

The NXT live special would create curiosity for those who haven’t seen what NXT is yet which in turn would bring more eyes to the NXT product and possibly new subscribers to the WWE Network. What type of NXT live event would this turn out to be? My guess would be a show that promotes the “Main Roster” talents vs. NXT talents. The storyline could be that the Superstars on the main rosters are angry over the fact that these NXT talents have “stolen” their pay per view time (the jealously factor is already there in real life) which could lead to a War Games or Survivor Series style match. If this plan is implemented, the NXT live special and WrestleMania would get the careful plan that would both events better for years to come.

– Jake

Remember to follow our guest blogger on Twitter, @ImTHATGuy_KJ.

NXT Will Have A Live Event In California During WrestleMania Week & The Main Roster Is Probably Not Happy

WWEFor one night only, NXT Live is coming to California, as part of WrestleMania Week!

You’ve seen the Superstars and Divas of tomorrow on WWE Network, but now you can see them live and in-person when NXT debuts on the West Coast Friday, March 27.

After that night’s WrestleMania Axxess event, head over to the nearby San Jose State University Event Center for the NXT Live Event, which begins at 10 p.m. Tickets start at just $15 and will be available at Ticketmaster.com this Monday, March 16, at 12 noon ET.

This is great news for anyone heading out to the west coast for WrestleMania, and my only selfish complaint is that this won’t be on the WWE Network. Other than that, this is great for the NXT brand. If you watch both NXT and the WWE, you should notice that one is better than the other, and it’s no longer just the writing. Besides guys like Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, the WWE is far more focused on wrestling’s past than wrestling’s future. NXT is the exact opposite. They’ve accumulated talent from all over the world, and it’s all those different styles all working together that make NXT as great as it is. They don’t rely on past accomplishments to get people over, they put the guys and girls in the ring, let them do their thing and the audience responds. They don’t need “legends” of yesteryear cutting 10 minute promos about how many titles they’ve won or how important they used to be, they SHOW you why they’re as good as advertised and why we as fans should be excited for the future. Every week NXT puts on a great show and every live special is must see because the people behind the curtain and the people in the ring really care. I hope the live event is a huge success and I hope NXT continues to make the main roster mad. Competition, whether it be in house or elsewhere, has always been the best thing for pro wrestling.

– Ryan

Will The Undertaker Show Up On Raw? A Way Too In Depth Analysis

WWEDOTCOMBray Wyatt’s obsessive need to battle and subsequently attempt to take down The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31 has yet to elicit a response from The Phenom, but that hasn’t stopped the enigmatic Superstar from continuing to raise the stakes. Thursday night on SmackDown, The Eater of Worlds revealed The Deadman’s sacred urn to be in his possession. Will this latest move by The New Face of Fear finally prompt a response from the legendary Superstar? And, what does The Man of 1,000 Truths have in store for the urn on Raw?

The WWE Universe knows the history of Undertaker’s urn and the significance that it holds to his eternal legacy. It’s also no secret that the sacred urn has some mystical connection with The Demon of Death Valley. Wyatt knows having the urn in his hands is sure to get under The Undertaker’s skin. So, will Wyatt’s SmackDown reveal compel The Deadman to finally rise from the ashes of his WrestleMania 30 defeat?

If the sight of the urn in Wyatt’s hands doesn’t bring The Undertaker back, maybe whatever the creepy Superstar has planned for this Monday night will. Wyatt professed that he will unleash the urn’s spirit on Raw, making us wonder what he could possibly have planned. Will we witness the “power” of the urn come to life? And, if so, will we finally see The Deadman in the flesh on Raw?

The Bray Wyatt/Undertaker WrestleMania buildup has been an interesting one, and one squarely on the shoulders of Bray Wyatt. WWE fans should be used to this kind of feud during WrestleMania season, as legends of yesteryear like The Rock, Brock Lesnar, HHH, Batista and The Undertaker are part timers who show up sporadically to help build their feud leading up to Mania. What makes this feud different is the fact that we haven’t seen or heard from The Undertaker at all. Taker hasn’t appeared at all, and the only gong we’ve heard came from Wyatt at Fast Lane, as he pretty much tricked everyone into thinking The Undertaker was making his triumphant return to the WWE. While it’s custom for The Undertaker to be off of WWE TV for most of the year, this is also unchartered territory. The Undertaker has always returned to the WWE after a WrestleMania win, but now that his streak is broken, how and when should he come back?

The Undertaker has been a WrestleMania only performer since 2011, and has always returned to WWE TV prior to the show to help promote his feuds. In 2011, he first appeared on the 2/21 episode of Raw, well over a month before his match with HHH at WrestleMania 27. In 2012, The Undertaker first appeared on the 1/30 episode of Raw, over two months before his rematch with HHH at WrestleMania 28. In 2013, he first appeared on the 3/4 episode of Raw, over a month before he defeated CM Punk at WrestleMania 29. Finally, in 2014, Taker first appeared on the 2/24 episode of Raw, over a month before he lost to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30.

What do these dates tell us? Not much, considering we’re talking about the unpredictable world of pro wrestling, but with WM 31 only 20 days away, it does you show that the Undertaker has never appeared on a Raw for the first time this late into WrestleMania season. While his real life health and the fact that he lost at WrestleMania 30 have to be factored into the equation, it still is strange to not have The Undertaker back yet. While Wyatt is more than capable of carrying a feud with his excellent promo skills, I’m hoping for something to happen tonight; maybe a Titantron message, a dimming of the lights, his signature gong or an actual appearance from the Deadman. This could be the feud that officially puts Wyatt back on the map as a future main eventer, and the Undertaker’s presence alongside the ‘new face of fear’ will only enhance his image.

– Ryan

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