Professional Wrestling really about the star power of in-ring performers. Today’s top guys mean big money on television, Pay-Per-View, and at the merchandise stand. But those big draws aren’t going to be around forever, and so the business has to keep building up new talent to take their place. This was a major focus area for WWE in 2013. With the debut of the new training facility in Florida, and more high-profile matches for under card talent, the company seemed determine to start packing away for the next era of superstars. But which talent really came into their own this past calendar 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.
This was the year that TNA decided to pretty much give up on the Pay-Per-View business – they reduced their major pay events to only four, and filled up the rest of their required dates with various specialty shows. The gamble didn’t exactly pay off. Similarly, WWE became more long-term focused on its own network, while at the same time witnessing buy rates rise and fall. Still, building towards the “big show” is in the fabric of pro-wrestling. So which one delivered most in 2013? [Read more...]
Brian and Steve discuss the final WWE Raw of 2013 including Daniel Bryan in a shocking turn of events joining the Wyatt Family, Brock Lesnar making his return alongside Paul Heyman, The Shield coming closer to breaking up, Batista returning to the WWE and the talk of his “stealing” someone’s spot, possible plans leading up to and through WrestleMania 30, The Rock announcing his plans for that show, Jeff Jarrett leaving TNA Wrestling, AJ Styles working for Ring of Honor and his future with TNA and more.
The WWE main-event picture found itself flush with talent this year, as CM Punk, The Rock, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and even Ryback all shared the spotlight. While the product found itself in a lull at times, a few superstars really made their mark in 2013. [Read more...]
Ask any wrestling fan – 2013 was a mixed bag. There were great matches, there were terrible matches… Some superstars escalated to new heights while others (Zach Ryder, sorry broski) found themselves relegated to Main Event and, worse, Saturday Morning Slam. Professional Wrestling found itself in the news for both good things, and not-so-good things. Pay-Per-View buy rates fell. TNA stopped even caring about Pay-Per-Views. TNA also stopped caring about ratings. Or the talent roster. Hulk Hogan became unemployed, as did Bruce Pritchard, D-Lo Brown, AJ Styles, and even Jim Ross. CM Punk ended his historic 434-day title reign against The Rock, losing a championship that would find itself unified with the World Heavyweight Championship by year’s end. Pro Wrestling stayed in a slump, but still delivered a year chocked full of fan-pleasing matches. [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 Corpus Christi, Texas. The show will air on next Friday on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at the tapings.
-John Cena came out to a loud pop. Corpus is always pro Cena. He included a Hulk Hogan reference in his promo while talking about last week’s Raw (next week really due to the taping schedule). He asked for a title match with Randy Orton tonight. The Shield came out to beat Cena. Mark Henry came out for the save but got beaten down. Big E Langston came out and the babyfaces took care of business. Kane came out to make the matches for tonight – Big E vs. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns vs. Mark Henry, and Seth Rollins will face Cena all in singles matches (when The Shield left, they walked right next to us)…
-Luke Harper and Erick Rowan (w/Bray Wyatt) defeated The Uso Brothers. The Uso Brothers received a good pop. The Wyatt Family took care of business quickly. Bray entered the ring afterward to hit Sister Abigail to end the segment…
-Randy Orton was interviewed by Renee Young. He was interrupted soon after by Dolph Ziggler, and a match between the two was set up by Kane.
-Antonio Cesaro defeated Cody Rhodes. Cesaro won the match in roughly five minutes.
-The Prime Time Players defeated Curtis Axel and Ryback. Darren Young rolled up Axel for the win.
-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton defeated Dolph Ziggler. Orton came out with both belts on his shoulder. Ziggler now has a strain of pink in his hair (if he wants to get over he has to be a serious face or heel to get back to where he was when he was a championship contender, no change since he turned face). A great match. They have had some in the past and this is right along with them. The ending saw when Orton hit his RKO for the win.
-After the match Orton hits Ziggler with an RKO and then took him outside and threw Ziggler in an ugly manner (and I mean it looked like it hurt bad for Ziggler). The segment concluded there. Ziggler has to be hurting somewhat for it to end the way it did.
-Daniel Bryan beat Damien Sandow. Bryan out to one of loudest pops of the night. Video footage was shown of this past Monday’s raw (next week). A great match with Bryan hitting his running knee. Bray Wyatt came out with the family to deliver a good promo that got some good heat.
-Big E Langston (w/John Cena, Mark Henry) beat Dean Ambrose (w/Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins). A good match. After they were all on floor, Langston got him in ring and hit the Big Ending for the win.
-Roman Reigns (w/Ambrose, Rollins) beat Mark Henry (w/Cena, Langston). A good match as well, that saw both go back and forth with their offense, but Henry is a beast and picked him up like he was Daniel Bryan. He is truly is strong as hell. Reigns came back with some nice moves followed by the spear for the win. I can hear the support for Reigns and rightfully, so as they set him up more and more as the breakout of The Shield. Mark Henry did a great job of selling the Reigns spear.
-John Cena (w/Langston, Henry) defeated Seth Rollins (w/Ambrose, Reigns). Another great match (I have been coming to events here since ’94 and I must say I am impressed with the matches, they have been better than I thought they would be considering the holiday season). Me and my buddies Robert and Sonny are impressed, and here in Corpus Christi the crowd is more hyped than it has been in years as well. Cena got a great pop as he hit Rollins with the Attitude Adjustment for the win. The faces celebrated. The Shield came by and I touched Reigns, who was full of sweat. I wiped it on my buddy Robert Chapa (haha). We said great match to Rollins and Reigns as they were close to us more so than Ambrose.
Results were courtesy of ProWrestling.net.
A lot to get to on this week’s BTR Flagship show with Brian, Steve and Michael as they talk about the Variety.com article regarding the WWE negotiating it’s new TV deals, if there is too much programming especially with the WWE Network about to launch, who could possibly appear at the Royal Rumble, rumors of the return of a big name at WrestleMania, if Shawn Michaels may get back in the ring one more time and more. All this while Brian battles the internet just to be on the video!
Feel free to leave your comments below.
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 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.
Brian and Steve are back for the weekly WWE Raw podcast including all of the wrestling on the show including a fantastic main event between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels appearing on Raw again and if he will return to the ring and, if so, who he may face, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton being tied together, the Variety article on the WWE negotiating their new TV deals and some of the most interesting aspects of the article, AJ Styles and TNA Wrestling and more.
Feel free to leave your comments below.
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.
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...]
On this week’s BTR Flagship, Brian and Michael talk about the WWE Network and what it is expected to look like, the downgrading of WWE pay-per-views, the hot finish to Raw on Monday night and the many different directions that can go in now, the WWE TLC PPV coming up on Sunday with some predictions and more.
The WWE held their Smackdown tapings in Portland, Oregon. The show will air on Friday night on the SyFy channel starting at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what happened at the tapings.
It’s advertised that Randy Orton will apologize to Triple H tonight.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Erick Rowan via disqualification after Bray Wyatt interfered. Bryan escaped and nailed Bray Wyatt with a knee to the face.
- The Real Americans defeated Goldust and Cody Rhodes in a non-title match.
- There was a Bad News Barrett segment.
- Mark Henry defeated Damien Sandow via countout in a short match after Sandow left the ring. Big E Langston was on commentary.
- AJ Lee & Tamina defeated The Bella Twins. Natalya was on commentary.
- John Cena cut a promo hyping his match with Randy Orton this Sunday at TLC.
- Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns defeated The Usos. Dean Ambrose was on commentary. After the match, CM Punk cut a promo on the titan tron.
- The Big Show (w/ Rey Mysterio) defeated Ryback (w/ Curtis Axel) in a squash match with the chokeslam. After the match, Rey Mysterio hit a 619 on Axel into a WMD from Show.
- There was a Wyatt Family promo.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston was scheduled next, but never took place after The Miz attacked Kofi Kingston and nailed him with the skull crushing finale
- In the main event segment, Randy Orton came out to apologize to Triple H. Triple H came out and accepted his apology, saying he forgave him this once. He then left and that ended the show.
After the taping ended, John Cena came out and faced Randy Orton in a dark match. Cena defeated Orton via DQ after Orton used a steel chair.
Results were courtesy of WrestlingInc.com.
Another podcast with Brian and Michael who insisted he get a chance to talk about the final segment from WWE Raw on Monday. They give their impressions from the segment, what intrigued them so much about it, what the future could be for both John Cena and Daniel Bryan, WrestleMania 30 possibilities, WWE changing their imagining and more.