WWE Raw Ends in Brawl, Cesaro Stands Out Leading into Elimination Chamber

cesarocenarawBrian and Steve are back for the latest podcast talking WWE Raw including the fantastic match between John Cena and Cesaro, the buildup for this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber PPV including the hot feud between The Shield and The Wyatt Family, the latest in the TV negotiating rights, the WWE Network launch next Monday and more including your questions.

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WWE Fails to Reach Agreement with NBCU, TV Licensing Deal Up for Grabs

Last Friday came and went without the WWE and NBC Universal reaching a new agreement on a television deal before their exclusive negotiating period ended.  Now, the WWE can officially negotiate with other networks including Viacom, Disney and 20th Century Fox which may be looking to land the TV rights for WWE programming.

WWE confirmed that no agreement was made to Variety.com and also released this statement: “While we were unable to reach an agreement with NBCU during this period, we have certainly appreciated our long and productive partnership. With year-round, live programming that is highly coveted by programmers, distributors and advertisers, we are extremely excited about our future. We look forward to engaging with potential partners who recognize the value of having the #1 show on cable and live content delivered 52 weeks a year.”

In a perfect world, WWE would like to have all of its shows on one network family but it may have to split them up.  The company fully expects to more than double the almost $140 million a year it currently receives in licensing fees in any upcoming deal.

While a new agreement has not been reached between WWE and NBCU, the network does have the right to match any offer made by another potential partner.   And the sports entertainment juggernaut has implied in the past that it would prefer to remain with NBCU.

It will be interesting to see what other networks go hard after WWE programming and would also be willing to take all of the shows on the table including “Raw”, “Smackdown”, “Main Event”, “Total Divas” and “Saturday Morning Slam”.

WWE has said that it hopes to have a deal done by April or May at the latest.

 

Complete Lineup for WWE Elimination Chamber 2014

A few more matches were announced on Raw completing the card for this Sunday’s WWE Elimination Chamber PPV.  Here is the complete card for that show:

-  Elimination Chamber for WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Christian

-  The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

-  Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

-  WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E. vs. Jack Swagger

-  WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos

-  Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neill

-  Kickoff Show match:  Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback

What to Expect on WWE Raw

WWE.com has released its preview for tonight’s edition of WWE Raw so here is what you should expect on the show.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton will square off against Sheamus in the final one-on-one-match he will have against his opponents at  the Elimination Chamber PPV on Sunday.  So far, Orton is 1-3 in the matches including a loss to Cesaro on “Smackdown”.   WWE is doing everything it can to show that Orton’s title reign is in big jeopardy but they are really just diminishing their champion and the gold around his waist.

A match will officially be announced for Sunday’s PPV pitting the Usos against the New Age Outlaws with the tag-team titles on the line.  The Outlaws have been leery of the match but somehow they will get forced into it.

More Jack Swagger who is now the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship after beating Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and Mark Henry to earn the spot.  He’ll square off against Big E at Elimination Chamber for the title.  It will be interesting to see if WWE actually does something with Swagger since he was positioned as the out man out of the Real Americans with Cesaro getting pushed into a world title shot.

danielbryanyesshirtExpect at least a confrontation between Daniel Bryan and Kane on the show as well.  In fact, I’d say there is a good chance the former tag-team champions will face off in a match.  On a side note, have you see Daniel Bryan’s new t-shirt?

Look for Alberto Del Rio to go after Batista after getting beaten up silly by the Animal on last week’s show including his eating a Batista Bomb through the announcers table.  Good luck getting this feud on track and create doubt on who will win the match at Elimination Chamber.

Update on WWE Diva Naomi, Avoids Surgery

NaomicasualA bit of good news for WWE Diva Noami who will not need surgery on her injured eye which she suffered in a match against Aksana on February 3, that according to a report on WWE.com.

Dr. Chris Amann told the website “it has been determined that surgery will not be required to her eye injury because neither the nerve nor the eye muscles are trapped in the fracture itself.”   However, she will not be able to fly or get back in the ring for 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred when Aksana dropped a knee straight down on Noami’s eye during a match on Raw and you could immediately tell she was injured.  Naomi was able to finish the match but it was later learned she suffered a broken orbital bone.

Noami was set to have a feud with AJ Lee which was believed to carry out to WrestleMania 30 where they would square off for the Divas Championship.  She could possibly make it back in time for that but WWE will need a backup plan with that timeline cutting it close.

D’Lo Brown Talks Return to Ring After Four Year Hiatus, His Love Affair for Japan

dlobrownwideshotD’Lo Brown talks about returning to the ring after a four year break, his time both in and out of the ring with TNA Wrestling, if he was interested in wrestling again when asked, his released from TNA, if he would be open to working there or the WWE again, wrestling for All Japan Pro Wrestling and his love affair for Japanese wrestling, why he doesn’t wrestle indies in the United States much, getting back in shape, the WWE Network and more from the former Between The Ropes co-host!

You can follow D’Lo Brown on Twitter @dlobrown75 and check out his line of t-shirts available at ProWrestlingtees.com.

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WWE Raw Recap: John Cena Stands Tall Over Randy Orton

rawcenastfortonBrian and Steve recap WWE Raw from Monday night including some very good wrestling matches including John Cena against Randy Orton, the Wyatt Family and The Shield ramping up their feud, Antonio Cesaro standing out, Daniel Bryan getting big reactions and more.  Plus, they talk about the big returns of The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan reportedly set for the February 24th edition of Raw, WWE TV negotiations and plenty of your questions.

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Jim Cornette on Keeping Busy with Projects, Says Good for CM Punk on Leaving WWE

jimmycornetteJim Cornette talks about his upcoming tour of the UK February 17 – 25, flying over there after not being on a plane in over a decade, the Kickstarter program to make that tour into a documentary, keeping busy with various projects and everything on his plate right now, now working directly with a wrestling promotion, if he misses being part of a creative team, if there is any comparison between his working for TNA Wrestling and Ring of Honor, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards going to TNA, what he wants to see on the WWE Network, if he would ever attend WrestleMania or the WWE Hall of Fame, his place in wrestling history, if he has any regrets, why he praises CM Punk for walking out on the WWE, the developmental system there, why certain stereotypes still exist for wrestlers and more.

Go to JimCornette.com to keep up on Jim and find out more about his upcoming projects and appearances and follow him on Twitter @TheJimCornette.

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WWE Raw Recap, Daniel Bryan Gets Win Over Randy Orton, More on CM Punk

rawbryanortonfacekickBrian and Steve recap WWE Raw including a fantastic main event between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton to go along with the rest of the lackluster show, more on CM Punk, Sting’s status with TNA and whether or not he will be joining WWE, Kurt Angle look more and more like he wants to be in WWE than TNA, Stacy Keibler talking with Stephanie McMahon about a return and more.

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UFC 169 Recap: Renan Barao, Jose Aldo Retain Titles

faber-baraoBrian and Steve recap UFC 169 including Renan Barao retaining the bantamweight championship in a controversial decision against Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo defeating Ricardo Lamas to remain the featherweight champion along with the spectacular fight between Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner, the upcoming fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort, a big ruling regarding TRT for the bout, Wanderlei Silva vs. Chael Sonnen and more on other possible matchups.

This podcast is sponsored by Warrior Dating.com. Warrior Dating is “The Worlds Premier Dating Network for Martial Artists”.  Follow Warrior Dating on Twitter @WarriorDating

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UFC 169 Preview, Chael Sonnen / Wanderlei Silva Dust Up and Julianna Pena Injury

UFC169posterBrian and Steve preview UFC 169 headlined by Renan Barao against Urijah Faber for the bantamweight championship along with the rest of the card for Saturday’s show.  Plus, they talk about the recent argument between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva in Brazil while filming The Ultimate Fighter, Julianna Pena’s major injury and news and notes about upcoming shows.

This podcast is sponsored by Warrior Dating.com. Warrior Dating is “The Worlds Premier Dating Network for Martial Artists”.  Follow Warrior Dating on Twitter @WarriorDating

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Report: CM Punk Left WWE Over Batista, WrestleMania

cmpunktmzTMZ Sports is reporting that CM Punk walked out of WWE on Monday night before Raw and went home after being upset about his role for WrestleMania XXX and Batista being put in a main-event position.

According to the report, Punk was upset when he learned that Batista was going to win the Royal Rumble which would earn him a championship match at WrestleMania XXX.   It goes on to say that “he feels Batista isn’t in great wrestling shape and shouldn’t be featured in the title match at the upcoming WrestleMania (the biggest event of the year).”

Punk was said to be very upset when he learned that he would be facing Triple H at WrestleMania and would not be in the title match, a match he felt he earned from his work over the past year.

His being upset goes along with a ProWrestling.net story that CM Punk voiced his displeasure with about Batista being in the championship match at WrestleMania XXX at the Wizard World convention in Portland Oregon last Friday, two days before the Royal Rumble.

Punk was said to be very frustrated with his current role and the current WWE direction, not only regarding himself but that the company was not doing more with Daniel Bryan as well.

Updated Lineup for WWE Elimination Chamber 2014

EliminationChamberPPV2014Following Monday night’s edition, we knew four of the participants in the main event for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.  Now we know all six following the Smackdown taping for this Friday’s show.

The six people who will be vying for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the Elimination Chamber match include Randy Orton, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Christian and Antonio Cesaro.

Both Christian and Cesaro won qualifying matches on Smackdown to earn their spots in the main event match which, for Cesaro, will be his first with the WWE.

Two other matches are also set for the pay-per-view including a six-man tag-team match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family while Batista will square off against Alberto Del Rio.

Share your thoughts on the Elimination Chamber card in the comments section below.

CM Punk Walks Out on WWE, Matt Hardy Arrested

cmpunksleepAnother podcast as Brian and Steve talk about the breaking news of CM Punk walking out on WWE on Monday night before Raw, the signs pointing to his frustrations with the company, changes to WrestleMania XXX with him leaving, thoughts on if / when he will return and more.  Plus, they talk about Matt Hardy’s recent arrest along with his wife Reby Sky and some spoilers for the Elimination Chamber PPV.

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CM Punk Walks Out on WWE

cmpunk2014WWE superstar CM Punk has reportedly left the company and his status with the company remains uncertain.

Punk was at the building in Pittsburgh for Raw on Monday night and had a  conversation with Vince McMahon, telling him that he was going home which is why he was not included on the television show.

Both WrestlingObserver.com and ProWrestling.net have reported the story.

It is still not certain why exactly CM Punk left the company, especially just a few months before WrestleMania XXX where he was expected to square off in a major match against Triple H.

CM Punk has been pulled from all advertising on upcoming events on WWE.com.

There had already been speculation regarding CM Punk’s status with the WWE since his current contract expires in July.  Punk nearly did not re-sign three years ago but agrees to the new deal.  Many times, he has talked about being burned out and in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, he admitted that he has yet to have any discussions about a new deal and that he isn’t sure whether he wants to remain with the company.

With Punk leaving the company for the time being, that leaves a hole in the WrestleMania XXX lineup.  Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net is reporting that the WWE has already made a change with Daniel Bryan now slated to square off against Triple H at the April 6th event.

Thoughts about CM Punk leaving the company for now – share them in the comments section below.

WWE Raw Recap Following Royal Rumble, Headed to Elimination Chamber

brocklesnarcodyBrian and Steve recap WWE Raw including the reaction that Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and Batista each received, what was missing from the show, the setup for Elimination Chamber, if plans for WrestleMania XXX could be changed and more including talk of a physical WWE Hall of Fame again, Kurt Angle wanting to go back to WWE and your questions.

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2014 WWE Royal Rumble Recap, Fans Outcry for Daniel Bryan

batistarumblewinnerBrian and Steve recap the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble including Batista winning the Royal Rumble match and getting a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXX, the reaction that match got especially at the end, Daniel Bryan against Bray Wyatt, Bryan not being in the Royal Rumble match, where does WWE go from here for booking and do they change their original plans, the lineup for WrestleMania XXX right now and the rest of the pay-per-view including Randy Orton against John Cena which got hijacked by the fans and Brock Lesnar smashing Big Show.  Plus, more of your questions!

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2014 WWE Royal Rumble Predictions

rumblelogoThis Sunday, it’s the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view headlined by Randy Orton against John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the annual Royal Rumble match with the winner earning a title shot at WrestleMania XXX.  Here are the match predictions from the Between The Ropes staff.

WWE Tag Titles:  Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. New Age Outlaws

Brian Fritz:  It’s funny that Goldust and Cody Rhodes are the anchor of what has become a pretty good tat-team division in the WWE but you can easily see them splitting up which would lead to a long-rumored match against one another at WrestleMania.   If they do split, I can even see the Outlaws winning the titles but only holding them for a short time before passing them on to another team like the Usos.  I’ll go against all of that though and say the brothers stay together a while longer and get the win.
Michael Wiseman:  Good to see that the New Age Outlaws can earn a title shot by only competing in three matches (one of which they blatantly walked out of).  My issue here is not that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn are competing at this level – I think they’ve both shown by now that “they’ve still got it” – but more that they’re essentially serving in curtain-jerk duty.  WWE should feed off the nostalgia a little more and put them in an actual FEUD for the WWE Championship.  And perhaps that’s where we’re headed.  But for now, Rhodes Brothers to retain.

Steve Muehlhausen:  This is a match I didn’t think we would ever see especially considering we are in 2014. Still don’t see how the Outlaws are getting a title opportunity considering they only beat the champs in one non-title match, but so have other teams. Anyways, this match will be better than people think especially with the Rhodes brothers in it. Speculation has been rampant that the brothers will break up and that is a bad idea. Don’t think WWE decides not to do that. Rhodes brothers retain.

Daniel Bryan vs Bray Wyatt
Brian:  Everyone believes that this match will be at least good because it includes Bryan which is true.  This is an opportunity for Wyatt to step up and show what he has in a big singles match.  If Bryan wins, that could mean the end of this feud but I’ll go with Wyatt to get the victory in a slight surprise which would open the door to Bryan not only being in the Rumble match but possibly being the last man standing.
Michael:  This match has the potential to be surprise of the night – it all depends on whether or not Bray Wyatt can shake off his green edges and show some decent mat skills.  I’m glad to see that Bryan is still involved in something noteworthy after his main event fallout.  So I’m going to pick him for the victory here.  Daniel Bryan needs a big win to keep his momentum going, and Bray Wyatt has yet to suffer a devastating loss since his debut last Summer.  If Bryan does win, however, it probably spells doom for his Rumble chances later in the night.
Steve:  This match is happening a month earlier than I thought it would. Bryan joined the Wyatt’s in an ill-fated heel turn on the final Raw of 2013 and was smartly turned back to a face about two weeks ago. This match should be good because Bryan is in it and Wyatt is a very underrated worker. This is a huge match for Wyatt because if you have a bad match with Bryan, then you won’t make it. I’m going with Wyatt here as he desperately needs a win here and I see bigger things for Bryan later in the show.

 

Brock Lesnar vs. The Big Show

Brian:  While Big Show got to toss around Lesnar on Raw, this match is about the Beast Incarnate getting a decisive win against the giant.  No fluke wins, no interference, no getting tossed around for ten minutes and then connecting on an F5 out of nowhere for the pin.  This needs to be Lesnar showing that anyone standing in his way will get taken out and that’s what we will get here.  He has an agenda and that is the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  But in reality, it looks to be a match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX as he looks to end the Dead Man’s streak.

Michael:  Listen up, 2003, you finally got what you always wanted: a Big Show/Brock Lesnar feud.  This whole thing just reeks of last minute place keeping.  I guess I’m supposed to feel threatened by Big Show’s size, but when we’ve seen Brock Lesnar dominate similar opponents, including Mark Henry (which, for the record, is a feud I would feel much more vested in), then the stick walls built around this storyline start to crumble.  There’s no way Brock Lesnar loses here – and I have my doubts it going to be a match worth remembering.  Oh well.

Steve:  This match is going to be better than people think here. The buildup has been really solid and the match will be no different. Lesnar needs the win here as he has big things laying ahead of him going forward. Going with Lesnar by devastation.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs John Cena

Brian:  It would make total sense for Cena to win here and would make a lot of people happy.  Not because people are clamoring for another Cena title run.  It’s because that could signal a match against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania.  We’ve already seen the plan change when it comes to Bryan, pulling him out of the Wyatt Family after just two weeks.  Could we see another change?  I’m hoping for it but I don’t think it will happen.  Instead, they will still with the original gameplan with Orton getting the win.  And yes, that will be two straight months where Cena has lost in the main event of a pay-per-view.  Hopefully he can recover.
Michael:  Sorry, Cenation… John Cena is NOT going to be your next WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  It simply isn’t going to happen.  I think if Vince McMahon (and therefore creative) wanted John Cena as their leading champion, then he would have “conquered the odds” and overcame the obstacles at TLC.  As it stands, this whole thing is just a ruse to make the WWE Universe hate Orton just a little bit more.  Will he cheat to win? Probably. Am I starting to dig his character again?  For sure. But Cena has other plans for ‘Mania.
Steve:  Still trying to figure out how Cena gets a rematch here, as I would have went with another guy here if you want to make Orton look strong. The buildup has been blah except for the attack on Cena’s father almost two weeks ago. No one is interested in the match due to the fact of who the champion is. Rumors have stated that Orton will be the champion heading to WrestleMania, but I don’t know how they can considering he isn’t a draw in any sense. The match should be ok and I’m going with Cena to get the win and become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
The Royal Rumble
Brian:  In my “Odds for the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble” column, I listed Batista as the favorite at 2 – 1.   There is a reason he was brought back now: to win the Rumble and challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX.  Following the big ratings that Raw did on Monday night for his return, who can say that’s the wrong choice.  Personally, I’d like to see Daniel Bryan get the win which would make for a better story and let Batista chance the title a little longer, possibly turning heel along the way.  But the plan has been for ‘The Animal’ to win here so I’ll stick with that.
Michael:  Wow, my chances of being right here just went down to approximately 1 in 30 (less if you consider that I don’t know all the surprise entrants yet).  But that’s okay, because I feel pretty confident in my pick:  Dave Batista.  It’s obvious WWE wants to capitalize on his recent, and future, film success.  So this is essentially Vince McMahon’s substitute Dwayne Johnson for Wrestlemania 29.  They brought him back as a face to feud with the obvious Randy Orton, and set up the big “Evolution vs Evolution” payoff at ‘Mania where Triple H (and possibly Ric Flair?) has a direct stake in who wins.  I’m not really excited about the prospect.  Batista SHOULD be a heel – it’s where his best promo work lies.  Unfortunately, Vinnie Mac loves his genetic wonders, and Dave falls directly under that “more size = more ratings” equation that everybody seems to think works so well.  I wish this were Bryan (who, btw, would be my #2 pick). The rest of my top five: (#3) Brock Lesnar, (#4) Roman Reigns (#5) uh.. The Undertaker?

Steve:  I know the popular pick here is Batista to win the match. Yes the rating was good for Raw especially in the opening hour, but let’s remember here that it was only one week and that was expected considering the hype of his return. Batista stated to Randy Orton on last week’s Raw that he came back to be the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. If that was a program your going with for Mania, you don’t do that segment right out of the shoot.

I’m going with Daniel Bryan. When your getting national and worldwide attention for what you are doing, you have something there. Is Bryan a star? Yes! Has he been miscast? Yes!  Will he win The Royal Rumble? Yes!