WWE Raw Recap, Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker Return

undertakerbrockstareBrian and Steve recap WWE Raw from Monday night including the returns of both Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker who confronted Brock Lesnar, the Wyatt Family still going after John Cena who may have been injured and more.  Plus, they talk about the debut of the WWE Network, how WrestleMania 30 looks right now along with your questions.

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First 10 Things You Should Watch on WWE Network

wwe-networkThe big day is almost here, Christmas in February for wrestling fans with the WWE Network set to launch on Monday morning at 9:00a ET.  Over 1,500 hours of video-on-reman will be available immediately including all WWE, WCW and ECW pay-per-views.

If that isn’t enough, WWE will also include all new pay-per-views as well as encores of new episodes of Raw and Smackdown on the new WWE Network as well as other original programming.   Anyone that signs up gets all of that for free for a week and then for $9.99 a month with a six-month commitment.  Yeah, that’s a good deal.

With all of that video-on-demand programming available from there get-go, here are ten things you should watch after signing up for the WWE Network.

WWF Royal Rumble 1992 – Royal Rumble Match

A flamboyant Ric Flair had been talking for weeks about how we has going to become the WWF World Champion after joining the World Wrestling Federation just a few months earlier bragging about how he was the real world champion.  He had a tough road to go, entering the Royal Rumble at number three.  His manager Bobby Heenan was on commentary and nearly passed out every time that Flair was nearly eliminated.  But the Nature Boy survived nearly 60 minutes and in the end was able to push Sid Justice out of the ring with a helping hand from Hulk Hogan who was upset that Justice had taken him out a few seconds earlier.  After the match, Flair, Heenan and Curt Hennig — all wearing the biggest grins ever — bragged about the win with Flair exclaiming, “With a tear in my eye, this is the greatest moment in the history of my life!”  Wooo!

WrestleMania 25 – Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

Both men had amazing entrances with Michaels decked in all white and he descended from the clouds while The Undertaker ascended from the floor surrounded by flames.  Even more amazing was the match these two would have, a nearly flawless performance by both legends in putting together an all-time classic and arguable the greatest match in WrestleMania history.  The Undertaker was nearly knocked out and could have possibly been permanently injured while performing a suicide dive over the ropes to the floor where Michaels pulled the cameraman in front of him.  The problem was that person was out of position and did not catch the Dead Man who torpedoed down on his head and neck.  Somehow, he was able to continue and after both men kicked our of each other’s finishers and the crowd in a frenzy, Michaels went for a moonsault for Undertaker caught him and went right into a Tombstone Piledriver for the win.

1999 ECW Living Dangerously – Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam

This was the first encounter between them in what would become the biggest feud in both men’s careers.  Both of them went 110% pulling out moves and countermoves and just crazy amounts of action, coming up with so many brutal yet innovative moves as they battled for the ECW Television Title.  After going to the 20-minute time limit with no winner, referee John Finnegan was ready to award the match to Lynn but he wanted none of that and insisted that they go another five minutes to get a clean winner.   That would backfire as Van Dam would connect on the Five Star Frog Splash a couple minutes later for the win.

WWE Summerslam 2002 – Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

This was Michaels return to the ring after more than four years and it looked like he hadn’t missed a day.   Just so they could play it safe and have every trick at their disposal, this match was a non-sanctioned street fight.  Michaels wasn’t holding anything back and he even broke out a splash off the top rope sending Triple H through a table on the floor.  In the end, Michaels was able to reverse a Pedigree and roll up Hunter for the win in his big return.

WCW Superbrawl II – Brian Pillman vs. Justin Thunder Liger

An innovative match for its time in 1992 as they put on a display of aerial moves and countermoves against one another for nearly 20 minutes for the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship.  One of the best things WCW ever did was focus on the light heavyweight / cruiserweight division, helping bring in a style that most people in the U.S. had never seen before along with a new crop of stars.  Both of them shined but Pillman never looked better here pulling out the victory.

WWE Summerslam 2011 – CM Punk vs. John Cena

After having some real life contract issues with the company and dropping his infamous ‘pipe bomb” promo on Raw, Punk won the WWE Championship at the Money in the Bank PPV and looked to have left the company with its most prestigious title.  John Cena would later win a new version of the championship but Punk would return to face Cena as they would crown an undisputed champion.  An electric crowd was treated to a classic between the two who have always had tremendous chemistry together.  That would be the case again on this night with them going back and forth before Punk got the win after connecting on his second GTS of the match.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 – Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

A fantastic performance that helped further put cruiserweight wrestling on the map in the country.   The crowd was on fire as they showed off everything from some fantastic chain wrestling to high flying action showcasing their unbelievable skills.  Both Guerrero and Mysterio were in the prime of their careers and moving at such an unbelievable pace and working flawlessly in unison.  Mysterio was able to hit a huracanrada for the three count and winning the cruiserweight championship and holding on to his mask in the process.

ECW Heatwave 1998 – Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome

This one is not for anyone squeamish as is turned into one of the more violent matches you have ever seen, going above and beyond with the number of physical power moves and unprotected chair shots that should be a case study for CTE.  Still, Tanaka and Awesome put on quite a display of perseverance and one-upmanship that saw Tanaka finally slay the giant.

WWF Summerslam 1992 – Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog

The WWF took this show across the pond to Wembley Stadium in London with their own British Bulldog challenging Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship in the main event.  A masterpiece between the two as they showcased great technical wrestling and an incredible story with Hart using his quickness and the bigger Bulldog focusing on power moves.  Hart tried to close out the match with a sunset flip but Bulldog reversed the move and pinned Hart to win the championship in front of a joyous crowd.

WWF WrestleMania 15 – The Rock vs. Steve Austin

The two biggest stars of the era clashing on the biggest stage with Austin at the popularity of his powers while The Rock was still growing into his.  Remember, The Rock was a heel before becoming the People’s Champion as he representing Mr. McMahon and the Corporation.  It’s great to look back at these two wrestling giants in the primes in this mega-clash.  It also turned out to be a great match as they exchanged finishers in the end with Austin finally landing a Stone Cold Stunner to win the WWF Championship.

Hulk Hogan Officially Back with WWE

hulk-hoganAs expected, Hulk Hogan is returning to the WWE and will be a part of WrestleMania 30.  Here is the press release from the company announcing his return.

STAMFORD, Conn., February 21, 2014 – WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan has returned to WWE (NYSE:WWE) and will host WrestleMania® 30 on Sunday, April 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Hogan will make his long-awaited return to WWE this Monday on Raw®, which airs live at 8 pm ET on USA Network. He will also appear onWWE Raw Backstage Pass, airing live on WWE Network on Monday night at 11:05 pm ET.

A larger-than-life icon, Hogan is one of the biggest names in WWE history. On January 23, 1984, “Hulkamania” was officially born when he defeated The Iron Sheik to become WWE Champion at Madison Square Garden. He headlinedWrestleMania III, where he successfully defended the WWE Championship against Andre The Giant in front of a record 93,173 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome. Hogan went on to win six WWE Championships, starred in movies, television shows and became an idol to a vast legion of fans he dubbed “Hulkamaniacs.” Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 by Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone. His last WWE appearance was in December 2007, where he appeared at the 15th anniversary of Monday Night Raw.

“We are thrilled that Hulk Hogan has returned home to WWE,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “It’s fitting to have him help us celebrate 30 years of WrestleMania and usher in a new era with the launch of WWE Network.”

“Words cannot express how excited I am to be back in the WWE family,” said Hulk Hogan. “I only have one question for the WWE Universe: whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild as the host of WrestleMania 30?”

WrestleMania 30 takes place on Sunday, April 6 from Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Tickets are currently available through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees. The event will be broadcast live on WWE Network. For more information on how to get WWE Network click hereWrestleMania 30 will also be available on pay-per-view. Check with your cable, satellite or telco provider for availability.

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.