Between The Ropes WWE Raw Recap: New Directions, Sandow Comes Close

Brian and Steve talk about Raw from Monday night including the new directions for WWE, Damien Sandow almost becoming the World Heavyweight Champion, Daniel Bryan angle with Shawn Michaels, if Michaels is coming back for another match, Big Show becoming the top babyface and more.  Plus, they talk about Hulk Hogan with his latest online teases.

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Shawn Michaels To Be on Tonight’s WWE Monday Night Raw

People were left speechless last night at the WWE Hell In A Cell pay-per-view when WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels superkicked Daniel Bryan to allow Randy Orton to win the WWE title. The WWE Universe was in an outrage regarding Michaels’ actions. We will get those answers tonight as Michaels confirmed on Twitter he will be at tonight’s WWE Monday Night Raw to say why he did that to Bryan.

What reason do you think Michaels will give to explain his actions?

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Between The Ropes Video: WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 Recap

Brian, Steve and Michael recap the WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 PPV including Randy Orton walking away with the WWE Championship, John Cena returning to defeat Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship, CM Punk facing Ryback in Hell in a Cell and getting his hands on Paul Heyman, a fantastic opening tag-team match, added matches, follies and tomfoolery and more.

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Randy Orton Defeats Daniel Bryan To Regain The WWE Championship

The fans around the world thought Hell In A Cell would be the pay-per-view that Daniel Bryan would win the WWE championship. Unfortunately for the WWE Universe, it wasn’t meant to be.

Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan inside the Hell In A Cell to regain the WWE title after special guest referee Shawn Michaels supekicked Bryan. Then Orton pinned Bryan for the fall.

Bryan and Orton were having a pretty good match and the ending started to unfold. Orton gave Bryan a superplex onto a stack of chairs, which even made Michaels cringe. Orton covered Bryan and only got a two count from Michaels. Orton was upset at Michaels as he felt that should have been three count.

This led to WWE COO Triple H to come to a chorus of boos. Triple H told Michaels that he needed to do his job and count to three. Michaels told HHH that he was doing his job and let him do it. Orton then came outside the ring and screamed at Michaels that he has been giving him a slow count all night.

Hunter asked Michaels, “Are you going to do this or not?”

Michaels told HHH to let him handle it. Orton and Michaels get back into the ring and a moment later, Orton attempted an RKO and Bryan pushed Orton into Michaels who was lying on the mat.

Triple H then brought the WWE trainer with him and had a referee unlock the cage door to attend to Michaels. Bryan then hit the flying knee on Orton, but Michaels was still out. Bryan was telling Michaels to get up and make the count.

HHH approached Bryan and shoved him out of the way, so he could attend to Michaels. Bryan then Triple H with the flying knee, with Bryan leading a “YES” chant. Michaels then hit Sweet Chin Music on Bryan and then Orton pinned Bryan to regain the title.

The event ended with Michaels leaving the cage with no reaction. Bryan was helped out of the ring by two referees and the WWE trainer. Orton got Triple H to his feet and they smiled at Orton winning the title.

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Between The Ropes Video: Raw Fallout, WWE Hell in a Cell 2013 Preview

Brian, Michael and Steve are back for the weekly Between The Ropes as they talk about the fallout from WWE Raw on Monday night and the Triple H promo to end that show, a preview of this Sunday’s Hell in a Cell PPV and some predictions, Sheamus on his comeback from injury, TNA on the move and a new initiative and more.

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WWE Hell In A Cell 2013 Updated Lineup

WWE Hell In A Cell takes place this Sunday from the American Airlines in Miami, Florida. The main event will feature Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton for vacant WWE title with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee inside the Hell In A Cell.

A couple of matches were made last night on the show, bringing the total to six matches. Here is the updated lineup for WWE Hell in a Cell.

- Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton for the vacant WWE title with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee (Hell In A Cell)
- Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship
- Paul Heyman and Ryback vs CM Punk (Hell In A Cell)
- Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Titles
- AJ Lee vs Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Titles
- Curtis Axel vs Big E Langston for the Intercontinental Title

More matches can be added as the event doesn’t take place for five days. With this lineup, will you be buying the show?

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Between The Ropes WWE Raw Podcast: You’re Not the One – October 22, 2013

Brian and Steve recap WWE Raw from Monday night including the buildup to Sunday’s Hell in a Cell PPV, the finishing segment with the Triple H promo, who looks to be upset about something he said, getting back to a formula on Raw, why Norv Fernum should have been on the show and much more.  Plus, they talk about TNA going with a rematch between AJ Styles and Bully on Impact this week and the entire angle.

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POLL: Greatest ‘Hell in a Cell’ Match of All Time?

The Cell

Since its inception in 1998, the Hell in a Cell match gimmick has seen some incredible battles… and some not-so-incredible ones.  But which one is the greatest of all time? Let us know what you think by voting in the poll below.  And be sure to watch the next ‘Between the Ropes’ video podcast where we here at Between the Ropes discuss the results of the poll, and give our own favorite Hell in a Cell memories. [Read more...]

WWE Title Match Set for Hell In A Cell, Shawn Michaels Special Referee

The WWE announced on last night’s Monday Night Raw that Daniel Bryan will battle Randy Orton for the vacant WWE title at the Hell In A Cell PPV. During the show it was announced that former WWE champion and Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels is going to be the special guest referee.

This will be the third time that Bryan and Orton will be squaring off. The two battled first at Night of Champions last month. Bryan pinned Orton to win the title, but on the next on Raw, COO Triple H said due to the fast count of referee Scott Armstrong the title would be vacated.

The rematch took place on Sunday at Battleground and the match ended in a no contest, when The Big Show came out and knocked out Bryan and Orton.

Michaels was made the special referee when Raw General Manager made a poll with Michaels, Bob Backland and Booker T. “The Heartbreak Kid” won the poll with 61 percent of the vote.

Hell In A Cell takes place on Sunday, October 27 from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

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WWE RAW Reaction and Review – October 7th, 2013

Big Show KO Triple H

Hold on to your cowboy hats, folks – last night’s WWE RAW stoked up the hype train in a big way. The show opening, with Big Show getting “fired” by Stephanie McMahon, left me with mixed feelings. I liked the idea here (especially since it set the tone for Show’s re-emergence later in the evening). Unfortunately, Stephanie and Show both had their best Brendan Frasier acting hat on. There are ways to sell moments as believable without being over the top, but that subtlety was overlooked here. [Read more...]

WWE Makes A Major Announcement Regarding WWE 2K14

The WWE and 2K announced today that the new video game WWE 2K14 will now have a feature called 30 Years of WrestleMania, which will be centered around the biggest matches in the history of WrestleMania. One of the big matches will include Hulk Hogan against Andre the Giant from WrestleMania III.

There will be 45 matches included in the new feature including matches like Hogan versus Andre, Hogan versus The Rock from WrestleMania 18 and The Rock versus John Cena from WrestleMania 28.

The new feature will also include recreated arenas, ring entrances of the wrestlers and the graphics used for each match.

Here is a statement WWE issued today regarding the new feature for WWE 2K14:

2K announced the all-new “30 Years of WrestleMania” mode in “WWE 2K14,” the upcoming video game in the award-winning franchise. Details about the exciting new single-player campaign were revealed during a conference call with WWE COO Triple H and 2K Creative Director Cory Ledesma.

Inspired by the landmark WrestleMania XXX, which will emanate from New Orleans on Sunday, April 6, 2014, “30 Years of WrestleMania” will be a nostalgic journey through three decades of WWE history. Utilizing the greatest video game roster ever assembled, “30 Years” will allow players the chance to relive and experience 45 classic WrestleMania matches, including Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III, Hogan vs. The Rock at WrestleMania X8 and The Rock vs. John Cena a tWrestleMania XXVIII.

The inclusion of Hulk Hogan in the game is a particularly exciting announcement, and one the WWE Universe has eagerly anticipated.

In addition to the 45 classic WrestleMania matches, 2K has painstakingly recreated arenas, era-centric graphics and vintage screen effects to provide gamers with the ultimate historically accurate experience.

“WrestleMania creates moments in time that last forever,” WWE’s COO told reporters. “And with our amazing partner, 2K, we can really capture that.”

Also included are exclusive WWE-produced video packages made for the game to refresh the storylines that led to the matches and historical in-game objectives to unlock a treasure trove of rewards such as Superstars, Legends, alternate attire and exclusive photography.

“Knowing where you came from is important to where you’re going to go, and for WrestleMania, it’s important to see these iconic moments,” Triple H said. “We are extremely excited about this concept, as 30 years of WrestleMania is a massive milestone for us.”

“WWE 2K14″ puts gamers in the boots of WWE’s grandest Superstars at the very moments that made them legendary, allowing WWE Universe members the chance to live that big match and participate in that big WrestleMania moment.

Because “WWE 2K14″ is where dream matches happen, WWE.com asked Triple H what his dream match would be. Admitting that it would be hard to choose just one, The Cerebral Assassin said, “I would have loved to go one-on-one with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania, because I consider him to be the greatest in-ring performer of all time, and my best friend.”

Since we are talking dream matchups here, Triple H added, “I’d go back to the early ’80s and wrestle Ric Flair … I’ll go back even further and say Bruno Sammartino and Buddy Rogers. I’m really a history-based guy.”

And, from all accounts, “WWE 2K14″ is shaping up to be a game steeped in history, while bringing the cutting-edge graphics and gameplay the WWE Universe has come to expect from the franchise. Follow Between The Ropes on Facebook and Twitter.

You can follow me on Twitter @SMuehlhausenMMA.

Kurt Angle is Great But Could Have Been Greater

On Sunday night at the TNA Slammiversary pay-per-view, Kurt Angle was introduced as the second inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame.  There’s no doubt that Angle deserves the honor and is,  quite honestly, one of the all-time greatest in-ring performers in the history of professional wrestling.

But I couldn’t help thinking about something when it comes to his career: how much greater would it be if he never left the WWE?

While Angle signed with the WWE in October 1998, he didn’t make his official debut until November 14, 1999 when he defeated Shawn Stasiak at the Survivor Series PPV.  He left the company on August 25, 2006 after working out his release.  So, his time there was roughly 6 years and 9 months, filled with great memories of him having matches against the likes of Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Steve Austin and even Shane McMahon among many others.

Several weeks after his time with WWE, he signed on with TNA and made his debut on October 9, 2006 when he confronted Samoa Joe in the middle of the ring on Impact.  So, Angle has now been with the company for 6 years and 8 months.

That’s right – Kurt Angle has almost been with TNA for as long as his entire career with WWE.

I still remember being in the Impact Zone at the No Surrender PPV back in 2006 when everyone was waiting for the big announcement TNA was going to make.  This one was sealed up tight with only a handful of people in on what it would be.  (I even knew someone who was in the know and tried every trick I knew all night long to get out of him but he wouldn’t budge.)

Right before the show went off the air, the video played showing that the former WWE World Champion had jumped ship, making him the biggest signing in TNA history at the time.

The building exploded.  The online wrestling community went berserk.

TNA got a bonafide blue chipper even though he was already beaten and battered, going through the grind of the WWE for the past six years and was physically and emotionally beaten down.

Who cares because he was Kurt Angle, one of the biggest stars in all of wrestling at the time as he was leaving the big pond to make a splash in TNA.

How big has that splash been though?  Sure, he’s been a big deal in TNA.  He’s had plenty of very good matches in the company especially with AJ Styles.

But how many great matches can you point out at a moments notice?  How many memorable moments had he truly has with TNA?

Of course, his debut was fantastic, confronting Samoa Joe and giving him a head butt right between the eyes.

And their match at the 2006 Lockdown PPV was incredible with them meshing an amazing mixture of wrestling and MMA moves in a match that some thought may bring about a stylistic  change to wrestling.

In TNA, Angle has been very good but not overly memorable.  And it’s not because he isn’t good because he has been.  Part of that is because the company hasn’t blown up since his arrival or anyone else’s for that matter.

It seems like every week the company does the same rating as it always does or in the same ballpark.  Some shows are fine, some are not but nothing that really sticks out in the long run.

And Angle has been caught up in this.  He’s in TNA and they’re the #2 wrestling company.  There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s just a fact.

But with WWE – the #1 wrestling company in the world – Angle was a big deal.

A really big deal.

He has classic matches like at WrestleMania 21 – a beautiful symphony of wrestling – of WrestleMania 19 where he and Brock Lesnar almost killed themselves in an incredible athletic display.  And there’s others.

Most wrestling fans ever remember the funny Kurt Angle on television and his back and forth with Edge and Christian, Commissioner Mick Foley and even wearing a cowboy hat in conversations with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.  And there are plenty more moments.

Moments that easily come to mind, all from his WWE days.  Mind you, that was at the beginning and peak of his career (which came about very quickly) and was on wrestling biggest stage in the WWE.  So, yes, there is an advantage there.

But with TNA, you don’t have that many specific moments that stand out involving Angle.  Some of that is because it is TNA, a smaller stage than WWE.  Some of that is because Angle – while still very good – has been past his prime and really beaten up.  That’s fair.  You can also make the argument that TNA hasn’t done a good enough job of creating those type of moments for Angle.

Which leads me back to the original question: what if Kurt Angle had never left the WWE?  What if he was just given a break and allowed to freshen the batteries and continue to be a part of the machine?

Like I said, no one disputes how good, even great, Angle has been during his career.  But he would be even greater if he had never left WWE.  There would be more discussion of him being one of the greatest of all-time, a sure-fire WWE Hall of Famer.

He would be on a different level, one of the elite in the pantheon of wrestling greats.

It just wasn’t meant to be.