RAW Thoughts

Lesnar goes nutsHot on the heels on, arguably, the best WrestleMania of all time…here comes the most anticipated RAW of the year. Eminating from San Jose, California…let the Era of Rollins begin!

– The music hits and the crowd goes nuts as Paul Heyman walks a battered Brock Lesnar to the ring. As the music turned off, the crowd was chanting “Lesnar” and went nuts as Heyman introduced his client. The crowd chanted “Suplex City!” to Lesnar’s pleasure.

Lesnar & HeymanHeyman proceeds to tell us that Lesnar wants to invoke his rematch clause right now, and the crowd goes nuts with “YES!” chants. Unfortunately, Stephanie McMahon comes out to some MASSIVE heat (and a “Ronda Rousey” chant). She says that Seth Rollins is still on a plane coming back from New York City, but she’s sure that he will accept the challenge (though not actually making the match official). Heyman then tells the world that for the first time in over a decade, Lesnar will wrestle live on RAW.

Very much a pro-Lesnar crowd and both Lesnar & Heyman were acting very babyface-esque. I like the change, as it actually greets the post-Mania RAW crowd head-on.

Bryan vs Ziggler 2– The first match of the evening is an Intercontinental title match between new champion Daniel Bryan and the challenger, Dolph Ziggler (who is acting slightly heel-esque). Without even doing much, a “this is awesome” chant breaks out after two minutes of action. The story is that while both are babyfaces, there is definitely some bad blood between the two of them. I should also point out that Bad News Barrett is at ringside doing commentary…bitching and moaning about not being IC champ anymore.Bryan vs Ziggler 1

These two men put on one hell of a good match. At one point both men were down, but the crowd gave them a standing ovation. The two men got into a sick battle of headbutts (reminescent of Bryan’s matches against Nigel McGuinness in ROH) before Bryan hit his knee finisher out of nowhere for the pin. Barrett then attacked Bryan afterwards before some familiar music hit.Sheamus

Sheamus vs ZigglerSheamus came back with a VERY unique look. Just when you thought he was going to chase after Barrett, he kicked Bryan’s head off before beating up on Ziggler. I gotta say…I am NOT a fan of Sheamus as a babyface, but I like the potential of this new look and a new heel run for him. Having said that, the crowd chanted, “You look stupid”…so maybe I’m alone in my impression of the look.

Kalisto!– We have an 8-man tag team match next, with Cesaro & Tyson Kidd teaming up with The Ascension taking on New Day (ugh) and the RAW debut of the Lucha Dragons. The folks go nuts for the Dragons, which is surprising to me because Sin Cara has been buried so much that I just don’t know how they can bring him back. Once he tags in, though, the crowd shows their appreciation for Kalisto…who ends up bringing the crowd to their feet. Lucha DragonsBig E tags in to a chorus of boos and a “New Day sucks” chant. I never would have thought I’d see the day where The Ascension isn’t as hated with a “smart crowd” as Kofi Kingston & Big E. It was a pretty entertaining match, but people went nuts just for Kalisto finishing off one of the two Ascension dudes for the pinfall. There was ONE star in the entire match, and his name is Kalisto.

Brock Lesnar is told by Paul Heyman that Seth Rollins is in the building.

– They show a quick promo for Adrien Neville. Good to see him being called-up to the main roster. I don’t think he’s ready, though…but hopefully he can let his wrestling speak for him.

– The music hits and Brock Lesnar makes his way back to the ring with Paul Heyman. Does this mean that Seth Rollins accepted the challenge and is wrestling right away?Lesnar vs Rollins

Rollins got on the mic and told the world that he was jet-lagged, his foot hurt a little bit from curb-stomping Lesnar, and after talking to Stephanie backstage he agreed to fight Lesnar…just not tonight. There was a quick fight between the two men before Rollins got away.

Lesnar kills announcersIn one of the most entertaining segments in years, Lesnar then went NUTS. He took out J&J Security, he took out Booker T & JBL by flipping their table on top of them, he F-5’d Michael Cole right out of his damn shoe, and he F-5’d the cameraman…all to the delight of the crowd. Stephanie came out and told Lesnar that he was now suspended indefinitely. So that’s how you work part-time hours for full-time pay.

FUCK YOU MICHAEL COLE

Stardust vs MizdowStardust was in the ring and prepared for his match. Surprisingly, Damien Mizdow made his way out to the ring by himself (to a pretty good pop). It’s weird, because he’s still acting like a stunt double for Miz…including the mannerisms, the in-ring gear, and the in-ring moves. Obviously, people are cheering for him and his every move…but it’s just strange that he’s still playing somebody else. Very odd. Anyway, this was a throw-away match that Mizdow won with Miz’s move. After the match, Miz came out and attacked Mizdow from behind. The post-beatdown verbal sparring with the crowd went on a little too long.Miz vs Mizdow

Neville 1Curtis Axel is out talking about #AxelMania when a new music hit and OUT. COMES. NEVILLE! (Gone is “Adrian”). The crowd is VERY familiar with him and give him quite the ovation. And surprisingly, Neville goes on to absolutely destroy Axel…finishing him off with the Red Arrow. A spectacular debut for “The Man That Gravity Forgot”.

Ambrose vs Cena– Out comes John Cena to massive “JOHN CENA SUUUUUUCKS!” singing by the hostile crowd on hand. He’s got an open challenge tonight. Who answered the challenge? Everybody (including Byron Saxton on commentary) expected Rusev to come out. Instead, Dean Ambrose came out to a massive pop.

At this point, Saxton had been absolutely DYING on commentary for quite some time. He just seemed completely lost trying to do anything by himself. After a commercial, Jerry Lawler came out to save commentary.

Cena vs AmbroseThe match itself was quite entertaining. I remember the first time Ambrose took on Cena and that was a good match, too. Cena can still work an entertaining match when he’s challenged…and it’s the young guys like Ambrose and Rollins and Rusev that challenge him. Each man kicked out of the other man’s finisher, and the crowd was going INSANE by the time the match neared the end. Cena ended up winning after an AA, but he earned some respect from the crowd in the process.

Seth Rollins did a backstage interview when he was interrupted by Randy Orton. Rollins gave Orton until the end of the night to find two partners to take on him, Big Show, and Kane.

AJ Paige NaomiAJ Lee came out wearing what looked like a Bayley t-shirt (“I’m a hugger“) for her 6-woman tag match. She tagged with Paige and Naomi to take on Natalya and the Bella Twins. I’ll tell you…Natalya keeps looking sexier with age. And every time I see Nikki Bella, I feel like I shouldn’t have placed her so low in my Top 25 Hottest Women Wrestlers. Oh well…they were given time, so people can’t complain about that. The match was alright. Naomi got the win over Nikki by shoving her ass into Nikki’s face (really…that’s a finisher now?).

Rusev destroyed Goldust next. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any Lana around. Bah.

Reigns fliesSeth Rollins, Kane, and Big Show made their way to the ring and waited for Randy Orton, Ryback, and the “secret partner”. Well…music hit and Roman Reigns made his way through the crowd to the ring. The crowd pretty much shit all over this match being the main event. They actually put on one of the best waves I’ve ever seen. In the end, Reigns speared Kane for the pinfall. Reigns spears

Aaaaaaaaaaaand that was it; a REALLY flat ending to an otherwise fun show.

 

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Justin From ‘American Idol’ Is Doing What?

I was always a Kelly Clarkson fan back in the first season of American Idol. I never really cared for Justin Guarini very much. It’s a shame that he dropped off the face of the earth while she became a mega-star.

At least until this commercial was released…

I still don’t really care for Guarini very much, but at least I can now say that he entertained the heck outta me one time.

25 All-Time Hottest Female Wrestlers: #18 – Kelly Kelly

Kelly 5Kelly 4Born Barbara Jean Blank, this Florida native entered the wrestling business without any formal training or  real knowledge of how the industry worked. She was hired specifically for her looks by John Laurinaitis when she was 19 years old. She debuted on television after less than a year in the business and had to learn as she went. Eventually, she won the Divas championship in 2011 before leaving the WWE in 2012.kelly kelly 5

Kelly KellyCurrently, Blank is engaged to hockey player Sheldon Souray and does public appearances all over the country. She has appeared in music videos, television programs, and magazine covers (most notably Maxim). In 2012, she ranked #38 in Maxim’s Hot 100. Kelly 10

Kelly 6TRIVIA NOTE: Blank studied broadcast journalism in hopes of becoming a television anchor. Prior to signing with WWE, she worked as a model for Venus Swimwear and Hawaiian Tropic. In school she was into gymnastics and cheerleading.Kelly 1 Kelly 13Kelly 9kelly kelly 4

The World According to ZAH

  • Riley RageI’m glad to see Alex Riley get back into the ring as I think he was an overlooked talent that had breakout potential. Of course, that was during his “A-Ri” gimmick. As a heel with The Miz, he was awesome. He was gaining popularity once he turned on Miz but something happened and he disappeared before going into commentary. Now? Well…now his gimmick is that he’s got “Riley Rage”, which is ridiculous (I couldn’t believe it when I saw it on his TitanTron entrance video). I just don’t see him as a plausible babyface. Some people are simply better off as being heels and Riley is one of those people. I think he’s already in trouble as an in-ring performer after only two matches. Y’know…most WWE releases come on the heels of WrestleMania. Just sayin’…
  • I’ll admit…I watched the show Entourage when it was on TV. Once it was over, I thought that would be the end of it (it was getting a little repetitive near the end of things). Now that there is a movie coming out, I thought it was a brutal idea. Of course, that all changed once I saw the movie trailer. I’m really looking forward to this!

  • Uhaa NationThe news that Uhaa Nation has signed a deal with WWE is tremendous. You want to talk about the future of the business? This is the guy to look out for. I’ve never cared for his indy wrestling name, but I’ve always been blown away by his in-ring ability and charisma. He’s big, he’s muscular, and he’s extremely agile. He’ll be a mainstay in NXT for a year or two, but he’ll develop into a main event WWE guy over the next few years. Give it time and patience…he’ll get there.

  • Samoa JoeAnother name rumoured to have signed with WWE is Samoa Joe. I gotta say…I’m a little surprised to see this happen. It’s not because he doesn’t deserve it because he should’ve been kicking ass in WWE years ago. It’s because Triple H has now deemed NXT to be the breeding ground for the best wrestlers in the world, regardless of their size or shape (well…with the exception of Ricochet, who was deemed “too small”). Joe is universally recognized as being one of the best wrestlers in the world. He is the total package with the exception of having that “Vince McMahon physique”. If he does sign and shows up in NXT, I expect a “Kevin Owens-esque” race to the top of the card. He’s got a built-in global audience to go along with his other assets, so NXT would be silly to let that go to waste.
  • MeerkatI don’t know about you, but I’ve jumped on the Meerkat At this point, I’m only a viewer and have zero plans to broadcast anything myself, but I can totally see the attraction of the app. I mean, it’s like a live press conference/Google chat video session on your phone. For example, I’ve tuned into to watch one of my favourite bands, Walk Off The Earth, just talk about life and get excited about their new album. I was able to ask a couple of questions that were answered, and it was all a live, streaming video on my phone. In addition, WWE gave us a tour of the WrestleMania Axxess area before it was open to the public. From what I’ve read, it will be a major tool that politicians use for the upcoming U.S. elections. Will this be the next “big thing”? Yeah…I think it will. It’s not meant for a one-on-one conversation, but can definitely be used for a lot of other applications.
  • I used to be a massive Arnold Schwarzenegger fan back in the day. But let’s face it…that time kinda came and went. Having said that, I’m absolutely intrigued by the newest Arnold movie. It’s a completely new take on the zombie genre and I, for one, think it could really be something special. Don’t take my word for it, though…see for yourself.

  • Hideo going to WrestleManiaSo NXT held a 4-man tournament at WrestleMania Axxess yesterday to name the one NXT star that would appear in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on Sunday (now on the free pre-show before the actual PPV). The man who won was Hideo Itami (Finn Balor defeated Tyler Breeze and Hideo Itami defeated Adrian Neville to set up the Itami/Balor final). Now, I’ve been a KENTA fan for years and was stoked to see him sign to WWE. But as I’ve mentioned on this website (and others) before, Itami has had a pretty rough time trying to adapt to the American style of wrestling. In addition, he’s tiny in comparison to the normal WWE superstars…so he really needs a gimmick of some kind and a heel turn Hideo Itamito help him get over with the general WWE audience. Is his call-up to the main roster imminent? Perhaps…but he’s far from ready. In-ring he’s fantastic; that’s not the issue. It’s a matter of being a “sports entertainer” and making people forget that you’re only 5’7″ tall in a world where 6′ is considered short. Don’t get me wrong…I’m rooting for Itami to be very successful in WWE. It’s just that I don’t see that happening any time soon.
  • Song of the Week is the latest video from The Offspring, “Coming For You“. As a fan from their debut back in 1993, I’m glad to see them continue to crank out fun, punk-pop songs. Some fans whine about them wanting to go back to being “more punk” but that’s just ignorance and stupidity. These guys are 20 years older; of course their style is going to change over time. To me, though, the music still holds up.

Throwback Thursday: Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior

Macho HOFWith Randy “Macho Man” Savage being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend, I thought I’d scour YouTube to find a classic Savage match to post as a tribute to one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. While I didn’t find a “classic”, I found a match where Savage was truly at the top of his game.

Let’s face it…for as much as I loved the Ultimate Warrior, I fully realize that he was all muscle and charisma and didn’t really have much for in-ring talent. When I watch this match (which is from Boston Gardens and is a title-for-title match), it truly showcases just how Savage could have a match with anybody and make them look good.

You would wonder how a title-for-title unification match ends up without a unification. I guess you have to watch to see how it ended up.

Did Brock Lesnar Just Save WrestleMania?

Make me look strongLet’s face it…you haven’t been very excited about WrestleMania this year.

That’s okay, though. You’re certainly not alone. This isn’t a blog post meant to bash WWE in any way, but it’s pretty safe to say that they dropped the ball in a major way with the build-up to “The Showcase of The Immortals”. There are a number of reasons for this…

Orton & RollinsRandy Orton vs Seth Rollins is a redundant at this point. Rollins put out Orton. Orton came back and beat the ever-loving shit out of Rollins. Now ROLLINS (i.e. the heel) is the one looking for revenge. What? It’ll be a great match, but Orton already got payback…the match is unnecessary.

Cena kills RusevJohn Cena vs Rusev is being foreshadowed as a given win for Cena at this point. Could there be an upset with Rusev winning? Yes…but it’s highly unlikely. The “Super Cena” booking is really old at this point.

All hell breaks loose– The Intercontinental Title Ladder Match should be extremely entertaining, but most of the guys have been booked as loser up to this point…so the winner will probably end up losing a non-title match within the next couple of weeks. The hope is, obviously, that whoever wins helps restore the title to some kind of recognition…but that’s unlikely.

Bray WyattBray Wyatt vs Undertaker is unnecessary and boring. No offense to Wyatt, but to build-up a huge match with only one combatant saying anything leaves me with a big yawn. Taker didn’t appear in a single television program to hype the match. And really…after last year…why should Taker even come back? There isn’t any real heat here.

THE GEEKY LOSERS aka THE NEW DAY– The Tag Team Title Match is a joke. A make-shift team of two internet darlings defending their belts against New Day (who couldn’t be more NOT OVER if they tried), Los Matadores (seriously?), and the only real tag team of the bunch, the Usos. The tag title picture isn’t looking any better with bad-ass wannabe’s The Ascension and the mistake-prone Lucha Dragons waiting in the wings.  Sigh.

– The rest of the card, with maybe the exception of Sting/Triple H and the Bellas/Paige & AJ, looks to be a big snoozefest.

Lesnar vs ReignsThe main event of Roman Reigns taking on Brock Lesnar was botched so badly that people were already dreading the predictable victory by Reigns so Lesnar could go do a few more matches in UFC.

That was, at least, until last night’s huge announcement…

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12553273

Heyman and LesnarThe fact that Lesnar has effectively retired from mix martial arts is a MASSIVE win for WWE. Not only that, but now the “predictable” finish of Reigns winning is now completely out the window. There are multiple scenarios that could now play out and there has been a buzz about the finish by online fans since the announcement was made.

Rumble 2015If nothing else, this should prevent a lot of the boos that were expected to take place during the match itself (similar to the Royal Rumble). If fans don’t automatically know Reigns will win, then they won’t boo the finish they think they know is coming.

This also throws immediate interest into a main event that was, at the very least, lackluster in its build. As I’ve mentioned before, I felt bad for Reigns because he has really done nothing wrong other than flub a few ridiculously cheesy lines that were written for him by Vince McMahon himself. Because WWE tried to change and alter his character to be more appealing to the masses, they made him a “marked man” in the eyes of a large portion of the WWE Universe who, up until that point, at least, were solidly behind him. Seth RollinsSo now you’ve got a scenario where Reigns could win, Lesnar could win, or Seth Rollins could be involved. This new announcement completely opens up the main event in a way that hasn’t been done in a couple of years (c’mon…you all knew that Daniel Bryan was winning last year).

Has this situation now, in essence, saved WrestleMania? Could the potential for a completely unpredictable main event now generate interest in a PPV that was on cruise control?

It’s hard to say. It’s only Wednesday and you now have four days to fully take advantage of this announcement. Having Brock go on ESPN to make the announcement was a massive win as a huge audience now knows and, from what I’ve seen, pretty much all sports media are picking up the story because it’s seen as a loss for UFC (though Dana White seems quite happy for him).

I’m now very much interested in the main event. From what I can see, so are a lot of wrestling fans. Has it saved the whole PPV? It’s hard to say…but I guess we’ll know for sure on Sunday.roman-reigns-vs-brock-lesnar