Last Monday, after weeks of hype and promotion, and literal years of speculation, WWE unveiled the newest iteration of pay-tv sports-entertainment. There were a few issues out the gate. Fans lashed out on Twitter. Even by Thursday, major problems still kept cropping up at inopportune times. But this was a new streaming revolution, and as such, growing pains were to be expected. So the real question is: did WWE manage to overcome those obstacles to deliver a service worth investing in, or have early bandwidth issues created an uphill battle for McMahon & company? Read on to find out. [Read more...]
It wasn’t a matter of if the hometown Chicago crowd was going to steal the show, but when. Luckily, WWE’s creative team was smart enough to recognize this, and they attacked the CM Punk issue head-on. As a result, Paul Heyman gave us one of the most tangible, addictive show openings in recent history. Notice that Heyman didn’t directly attack Punk… instead, he played off the hopes of the fans by coming out to Punk’s music – thus taking the proverbial wind out of the crowd – and then proceeded to blame everybody in attendance for Punk not being there. He earned their jeers. This was another “Paul Heyman Instant Classic,” and it did a great job of setting the tone for Monday Night. [Read more...]
Michael and Steve come back on the latest Between the Ropes ‘Flagship’ show to discuss everything happening with the WWE Network, what they expect from NXT’s first flagship show, and various other news in the world of professional wrestling. Plus, they answer your questions live on-air!
It’s finally here. And after roughly 24 hours with WWE’s newest sports-entertainment revolution, I’ve decided to give a few thoughts on my personal experiences with WWE Network. Is this truly the next big thing? Or have constant buffering issues made me want to hang up my tights? Read on to find out. [Read more...]
Last night’s RAW kicked off big. Hulk Hogan came out, addressed his return, flexed his muscles, and got the crowd pumped. It was perfect. Hulk Hogan is a wrestling icon who looks even bigger standing in front of that large crowd only WWE can deliver. Naming him the guest host of ‘Mania makes sense. It’s great to see the Hulkster come home, and he looks better than he has in quite some time. Whatcha gonna do? [Read more...]
On the latest Between the Ropes LIVE podcast, Michael and Steve discuss everything that happened at WWE’s latest pay-per-view, including a great match between The Wyatts and The Shield, Jack Swagger vs Big E for the Intercontinental Championship, and the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
This week on the BTR Flagship Brian and Michael talk about the latest regarding CM Punk, Rob Van Dam possibly returning to WWE by WrestleMania 30, Raw from Monday night, the lack of star power, possible changes to the WrestleMania 30 lineup, Sting possibly coming into the company, MVP joining TNA Wrestling and more including your questions.
Did you watch Monday Night RAW last night? Were you expecting something fantastic? Maybe fallout from CM Punk being gone, or another step forward for Daniel Bryan’s massive fan reaction? Well… you set the bar too high. Waaaaay too high, apparently. [Read more...]
Brian, Steve and Michael are back for the Between The Ropes Flagship show as they talk about CM Punk walking out on the WWE and his decision to do it now and the possible ramifications it has on WrestleMania XXX and especially Daniel Bryan. They also look back at the Royal Rumble and talk more about Mania including John Cena’s role on that show, what the lineup could be, what they would like to see and which match will close the show. Plus, news and notes about Hulk Hogan, Sting and Dolph Ziggler.
Let the ranting and raving begin.
At some point last night, news broke that CM Punk wasn’t just off from Monday Night Raw this past week – he actually walked out of the company. Punk told people he was “going home” or some other such nonsense. And he left WWE. Done.
We don’t know the real story here, or what finally pushed Punk over the edge enough to just walk-out before Raw. What we do know is that he’s been pulled from all upcoming advertising. This includes house shows, Elimination Chamber, and even the grandaddy of ‘em all, Wrestlemania, where he was penciled in going one-on-one with Triple H. CM Punk also revealed late last week that his contract was signaled to end this coming Summer, and that negotiations hadn’t even started. [Read more...]
Raw got off to a hot start last night with a great segment between Daniel Bryan and The Authority. WWE smartly played to the crowd by letting Bryan opening the show – it essentially tackled the Royal Rumble problem head-on. Seeing Bryan call Triple H out on his biased decision making, and hearing Triple H respond with the classic heel excuses, made the first twenty minutes a delight. I didn’t care much for seeing Bryan get smashed by The Shield. On the other hand, at least WWE had the forethought to set up its main event. [Read more...]
It didn’t take long to figure out last night that WWE is pretty out-of-touch with its core audience. On the pre-show, we saw the New Age Outlaws defeat the Rhodes Brothers… the same Rhodes Brothers team that has looked absolutely unstoppable since joining forces in Fall of 2013. On the upside, this probably means we’re headed towards a Cody vs Goldust pairing at ‘Mania. I can dig that. But as far as Road Dogg and Billy Gunn goes, while it’s awesome to see them back in action and still in great shape (really), this whole “give them the titles because they’re fun” facade felt premature. When did they earn a title shot recently? I’m worried the whole tag-team division took a step back last night. [Read more...]
(note: This is a response to David Shoemaker’s Hipster Wrestling column published in July 2013)
When it comes to professional wrestling, perspective changes everything.
For example: Daniel Bryan wasn’t seen as a bona fide superstar. Until he was. And then, when he was saddled with a gimmick so bad that everybody thought it might spell the end of his main-event career, he proved that being bff with The Big Red Machine was precisely the platform he needed to break-through Vince McMahon’s glass ceiling. His meteoric rise stopped short of a lengthy WWE championship run (to which internet fans, including myself, cried foul), but left us with a severe case of ‘Daniel Bryan deserves more’ syndrome, “Yes!” chants and all. [Read more...]
As part of it’s programming slate for the newly announced WWE Network, the company debuted a number of original shows that will air exclusively on the streaming service. [Read more...]