For every rivalry that takes place, for every great promo delivered in (and out of) the ring, and for every backstage news that sends fans to Twitter in a frenzy, the most important drama takes place when fireworks disappear and the lights go down. A collar-and-elbow position signals the oldest type of storytelling in the business. It means that two wrestlers are going to finally settle their business, and no matter happens between the opening and closing bells, fans in attendance and at home better buckle their seat-belts. And so with that in mind, we pick the battles that won over our hearts and minds this year… [Read more...]
Brian, Steven and Michael from Between The Ropes are back for the weekly Flagship show as they back at 2013 in wrestling including their thoughts on the match of the year, superstar of the year, the biggest news story, the best feud and more. Plus, they look ahead to 2014 in what could be a very big year for the WWE with the expected launch of the WWE Network and how they could transform their business.
Every professional wrestler is only as good as the opponent they face. There’d be no Shawn Michaels without Bret Hart, no Stone Cold Steve Austin without Vince McMahon, no Mankind without The Rock, and no John Cena without JBL. And while modern ‘sports entertainment’ seems content to fill much of its programming time with backstage skits and dancing segments, the idea that two men sometimes just need to beat the crap out of each other lives on. [Read more...]
For all that is good in professional wrestling, our heroes would have nothing to fight about if not for the heel characters that cause anguish at every turn. It’s classic booking 101: the babyface chases the heel, and crowds pay good money to see him or her get their revenge. Not every bad-guy in 2013 was worth writing home about, but a few stood out above the rest. [Read more...]
The WWE taped tonight’s Monday Night Raw on Tuesday night from Austin, Texas. Here are the matches that will be on tonight’s show starting at 8 p.m. ET on USA.
-A.J. Lee, Tamina, Aksana, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, and another Diva vs. The Bella Twins, Natalya, Cameron, Naomi, and Eva Marie in a 12 Diva Jingle Bells match.
-Sin Cara vs. Curtis Axel.
-Daniel Bryan, Goldust, and Cody Rhodes vs. The Wyatt Family.
-Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Present on a Pole match for an Intercontinental Title shot on the December 30 Raw.
-The Uso Brothers vs. The Prime Time Players.
-”Good Santa” Mark Henry vs. “Bad Santa” Damien Sandow.
-The Real Americans vs. Los Matadores.
-Ryback vs. Kofi Kingston.
-John Cena, C.M. Punk, and Big E Langston vs. The Shield.
The WWE held their Smackdown tapings last night in San Antonio, Texas. The show will air on tomorrow night on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at the tapings.
- Randy Orton made his way to the ring and cut a promo. Orton said that winning the championship awarded him nothing but a match with Daniel Bryan. John Cena interrupted Orton. Cena said he’s out here because he’s gonna prevent Orton from looking like a fool. Cena said that since Orton is champion everyone is watching him and after him. Cena called Orton a giant pussbag. Cena said Orton took the easy way out by winning by DQ on Monday. Daniel Bryan made his way out to a huge pop. Bryan said that Orton is afraid of Bryan beating him. Bryan said that when Cena gets his rematch Cena will win and that Cena will grant Bryan a title shot. The Shield came out to attack then Punk ran out to even the odds. Vickie came out to massive boos to announce the main event which is Shield vs Punk, Bryan and Cena.
-Big E Langston defeated Jack Swagger. Langston won with the big ending in a quick match.
-Brie Bella defeated Tamina. AJ sat in on commentary. Brie rolled up Tamina for the win and then pushed AJ at ringside.
-Bad News Barrett did a promo ringside.
-Sin Cara defeated Drew McIntyre.
-Tensai defeated Brodus Clay. Tensai won after a distraction from the Funadactyls and Xavier Woods. After the match Woods and Tensai cleared the ring.
-Eric Rowan and Luke Harper defeated Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a non-title match. Great tag match. After the match the Wyatts tried to attack but Bryan made the save which led to…
-Daniel Bryan and The Rhodes brothers defeated They Wyatt Family. Bryan hit the running knee to win.
-Damien Sandow cut a promo about canceling Christmas. Miz came out and said where he comes from they celebrate Christmas. It led to a match.
-Damien Sandow defeated The Miz. Sandow won by rolling up and hooking the tights.
-Fandango defeated Kofi Kingston. Fandango won with the top rope leg drop.
-Backstage, Renee Young started to interview Bryan when The Wyatts attacked. They beat Bryan down and threw him off a ledge out back. That changed the main event to a handicap match.
-John Cena and CM Punk defeated The Shield by disqualification. The Shield ganged up on Punk to get DQed. The Shield took out Punk and hit the triple powerbomb on Cena. Big E Langston made the save and had a stare down with Roman Reigns to close the show.
Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.
The WWE Royal Rumble is the first pay-per-view of 2014. The even takes place on Sunday January 26th from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The WWE today released an extended version of the Royal Rumble promotional commercial featuring superstars like CM Punk, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler.
You can watch the commercial above.
The WWE held the Monday Night Raw tapings in Austin, Texas. The show will air on Monday night on USA starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at the tapings.
- JBL and Michael Cole come out for commentary. No Jerry Lawler.
- The Authority kicks off RAW and hands out Santa Claus hats to the crowd. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton makes his way out and is given the night off.
- The first match is a 12 Divas Jingle Bells match with Eva Marie, Natalya, The Bella Twins, Cameron and Naomi vs. Aksana, AJ Lee, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Tamina Snuka and one other Diva. Natalya gets the win for her team with a Sharpshooter on Aksana.
- Sin Cara defeated Curtis Axel.
- Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Wyatt Family is up next. Bryan is crazy over tonight. The Wyatts dominated most of the match until Cody got a hot tag. Goldust comes back in and The Wyatts take turn beating him up. Bryan gets a hot tag and clears the ring. “This is awesome” chants start as Bryan kicks Rowan. They go on and all hell breaks loose. Bray hit Sister Abigail on Cody for the win. After the match, The Wyatts beat up Bryan some more and the lights go out.
- Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre are out with no Heath Slater. Santino Marella and The Great Khali are out next followed by Xavier Woods and R-Truth. Renee Young is in the ring to host a Christmas Carol contest. Cameron and Naomi are with Truth and Woods. This segment was described as crap. Crowd noise picks the winners. Khali and Santino get the win.
- Fandango vs. Dolph Ziggler is up next in a “Present on a Pole” match. The winner will get an Intercontinental Title shot on the New Year’s Eve RAW. Fandango gets the win and is the new #1 contender.
- Darren Young and Titus O’Neil vs. The Usos is up next. Darren Young botched his pre-match promo and said we were in Houston. Fans ate him up. A “this is Austin” and “Houston sucks” chant starts up. The Usos end up getting the win.
- “Bad Santa” Damien Sandow vs. “Good Santa” Mark Henry in a Battle for Christmas is up next. Christmas trees and presents are put around the ring before the match. Sandow comes out with some Sinister Santa music. They actually wrestle as Santa. They open a present in the ring and it’s a toilet, before fighting up the ramp. Sandow tears up some of the set and takes out a Christmas tree. Henry gets the win and saves Christmas.
- Los Matadores defeat Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro.
- Ryback beat Kofi Kingston.
- Backstage segment with CM Punk and Big E Langston.
- Bad News Barrett comes to ringside for a promo.
- The Shield vs. CM Punk, Big E Langston and John Cena is next. Into the match, Big E gets a hot tag from Punk and destroys The Shield. Langston hits the Big Ending on Dean Ambrose but Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns break the pin up. The referee calls for the bell. The babyfaces clean house and celebrate to end RAW.
Results were courtesy of WrestlingInc.com.
Monday Night Raw took place last night in Dallas, Texas. Some of the highlights included a ceremony with Randy Orton becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Shawn Michaels making a surprise appearance and doing a promo with CM Punk and a great main event with Orton facing Daniel Bryan.
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels made a surprise appearance on WWE Monday Night Raw last night for the second straight week. Michaels appeared during a CM Punk, where he was calling out Triple H and Michaels ended up coming out. The two cut a promo regarding what happened last week when Michaels superkicked Punk. Michaels told Punk he needs to stop thinking about The Authority and Punk said if Michaels kicks him again, he will kick him back.
Michaels stated on Twitter last night that the appearance was a last second decision. The tweet has since been taken down, but we were able to find the quote.
“Nothing like a last minute phone call”. “However, it’s always nice to see everybody!!”
What that promo will lead too, who knows. Would you be interested in a Michaels vs Punk match?
So WWE TLC 2013 wasn’t a complete bust. In fact, the first and last hours were surprisingly entertaining, and the stuff in-between was just alright. Best of all, no Hornswaggle! [Read more...]
Watch Brian Fritz, Steve Muehlhausen and Michael Wiseman in the post WWE TLC 2013 PPV roundtable as they talk about the show including Randy Orton beating John Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk against The Shield, Daniel Bryan against the Wyatt Family and the rest of the card.
This year’s WWE Slammy Awards took place last night on Monday Night Raw. The following awards with handed out on the show.
-Fan Participation Award: Daniel Bryan’s “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
-LOL Moment of the Year: The Rock for his Rock Concert.
-Insult of the Year Award: Stephanie McMahon tearing into Big Show.
-Double-Cross of the Year Award: Shawn Michaels for hitting Sweet Chin Music on Daniel Bryan.
-Total Diva Award: The Bella Twins.
-Extreme Moment of the Year Award: C.M. Punk attacking Paul Heyman at Hell in a Cell.
-Match of the Year: The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 29.
-Superstar of the Year: Daniel Bryan.
The rest of the award winners that were announced before Raw, you can see on WWE.com.
WWE will hold the 2013 Slammy Awards tonight on Raw with fans voting on the categories through the WWE App. (Get used to that app, especially if you are going to want to utilize the upcoming WWE Network.)
Here are the categories and predictions for each award:
The WWE held their Smackdown tapings in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The show will air on Friday night on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at the tapings.
- Randy Orton cut a promo. Daniel Bryan said he would be first in line to face the undisputed champion, then challenged Orton to a match.
- Intercontinental Champion Big E Langston defeated Fandango.
- Curtis Axel and Ryback defeated WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a non-title match.
- C.M. Punk defeated U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose in a non-title match.
- Natalya defeated Tamina Snuka.
- Rey Mysterio and Big Show beat Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger.
- WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan after a distraction by Bray Wyatt via the video screen.
Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.
The WWE held their Smackdown tapings on Tuesday in Uncasville, Connecticut. The show will air on tonight on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what you will see on the show tonight.
- Randy Orton interview
- Mark Henry vs Curtis Axel
- Los Matadores and El Torito vs The Plymouth Rockers
- Tons of Funk vs R-Truth and Xavier Woods
- Antonio Cesaro vs Titus O’Neil
- CM Punk interview
- Bray Wyatt promo
- Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
- CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust vs The Shield
- CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Rey Mysterio, and The Uso Brothers vs The Shield and The Wyatt Family
The last time we saw an undisputed WWE champion was Brock Lesnar after he defeated The Rock at Summerslam 2002 to win the title. Right after that event, due to the brand extension the WWE created the World Heavyweight Championship.
The WWE announced on Monday Night Raw this past week that WWE Champion Randy Orton will battle World Heavyweight Champion John Cena in a title vs title match at the TLC pay-per-view on December 15th. As soon as the match was made, people on social media and various wrestling websites were saying the WWE wasn’t stating this was a unification match and there would be a way Orton and Cena would each walk out with a title.
WWE released their weekly Michael Cole and Triple H video interview today. HHH stated that the goal of the match was to have one unified champion coming out of the match and heading into 2014.
Let’s go with what HHH is hoping for and having one unified champion at the end of the TLC event. The question is though, are John Cena and Randy Orton the right guys to have a match to determine this?
A John Cena-Randy Orton unification match in 2008 would have been a dream matchup as they were the two hottest and most over acts in the WWE. Going into ’08, Orton was on a roll as the WWE Champion and Cena made a grand return at the end of the month from a torn pectoral muscle at the Royal Rumble. Orton defeated Jeff Hardy in a very good match and Cena ended up winning the Rumble. Instead of having the match at WrestleMania 24, the match took place at the No Way Out event in February. Cena won the match by disqualification. A triple threat match involving Orton, Cena and HHH took place at WrestleMania 24 with Orton retaining.
Now fast forward to 2013 and both Cena and Orton are champions and no one really cares. Orton comes out to the ring and you could hear a pin drop. When he cuts a promo, you get the same reaction. Cena comes out, gets a moderate reaction, but when he starts talking, the fans don’t buy what he’s saying in a promo and start chanting “boring, boring”.
You watch the opening segment on Raw this past Monday when Orton, HHH and Stephanie are in the ring and the fans are chanting for Daniel Bryan and chanting “YES YES”. Cena came out and at least acknowledged the reaction and that’s what the fans want. But right after Cena did that, he went back to discussing why there should be one unified champion, with the match being made right after that. Fans in the arena weren’t very interested when the announcement was made.
About 90 minutes into the show, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan came out for an interview with Renee Young before their match with The Wyatt Family. Both guys by far got the two best reactions of the night. But that has been the case for most of 2013.
Punk started out the year as a heel and then when he came back in June at the Payback pay-per-view, he turned back to a babyface role facing Chris Jericho. Punk then started a feud with Paul Heyman at the Money In The Bank pay-per-view when Heyman cost him a chance to win the MITB briefcase. Punk faced Brock Lesnar at Summerslam and has had a feud with Heyman through the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view.
Bryan has been the hottest act in the WWE in 2013. The Washington state native started out the year stuck in a tag team with Kane and then got back into singles starting at the MITB. Bryan then headlined Summerslam winning the WWe championship from John Cena, but after the match HHH pedigreed Bryan, with Orton cashing in his MITB and winning the title at the Hell In A Cell event.
Bryan and Punk teamed at Survivor Series on Sunday and defeated Erick Rowan and Luke Harper. It looks like after Raw on Monday that Bryan will face Brey Wyatt and Punk will be facing Roman Reigns.
Those matches are fine, but do nothing in the grand scheme of things for Bryan and Punk.
The WWE has always gone by the mantra of saying that they listen to the fans and they give the fans what they want. In this instance this isn’t the case whatsoever. You have the two hottest acts in all of wrestling feuding with guys who we aren’t sure are going to even reach a main event level.
The time we should see a unification match should be at Wrestlemania 30 with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan battling out to see who is the best wrestler in the world and the right to be called undisputed champion. Lets give the fans what they really want to see because at the end of the day, it is all about the fans.
This week’s version of WWE Monday Night Raw was widely panned across social media and various platforms. The rating is in and the fans were interested for most of the show as Raw did a 2.93 rating with an average of 4.14 million viewers. That is up from last week’s 2.73 rating with an average of 3.80 million viewers.
Hour one averaged 4.32 million viewers, which was highlighted by the opening segment featuring Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton and John Cena, with the title vs title match being made with Orton and Cena for the TLC pay-per-view on December 15th. Hour two averaged 4.29 million viewers and was highlighted by CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs The Wyatt Family, which started in the middle of the hour and went into the third and final hour.
The final hour averaged 3.80 million viewers and was highlighted by the main event featuring Big Show and John Cena vs Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton. That has to be a cause of concern for the WWE as the fans were interested in the first two hours and slid to under four million viewers in the final hour.