Report: Script For This Past Monday’s WWE Raw Leaked

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A script from this past Monday’s WWE Raw has apparently leaked online. No one knows where or how the third draft script made its way onto the internet. Here are some of the key notes that were on the script.

-Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella are listed as being off until April 20.

-The talent roster page lists The Miz and Summer Rae being off through May 16, as they are shooting the Marine 4 film.

-C.M. Punk, A.J. Lee, Rey Mysterio, Christian, and Alberto Del Rio are listed as “injured/TBD.” Del Rio ended up working a match on Raw.

-Cesaro is listed on the heel roster.

-Brock Lesnar and The New Age Outlaws were moved to the miscellaneous portion of the roster.

-Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Eve Torres, Mick Foley, Ricky Steamboat, Sgt. Slaughter, and Bob Backlund are listed as ambassadors.

You can view the script here.

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Backstage With Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin And The Rock At WWE Wrestlemania 30

Last night’s WWE Wrestlemania 30 was one of the biggest events of all time. The opening segment of the show was something to remember as we saw three of the biggest names in the history of wrestling in the same ring as we saw Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock.

All three guys gave each other adulation for what they have done in their respective careers, put over the current talent and said their respective catchphrases.

The WWE has released a video with all three guys before they came out to the ring.

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“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Confirms He Will Be At WWE Wrestlemania 30

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin retired after his WrestleMania 19 match with The Rock. Austin retired due to the severe neck issue he was having due to the broken neck suffered in his match with Owen Hart at Summerslam in 1997. Throughout the years, Austin has always a shot down a return to the ring and at this point in his life seems highly unlikely.

Austin said during his podcast, “The Steve Austin Show”, earlier this week that he would be in New Orleans to attend the WWE Hall of Fame, but hadn’t stated whether he would be at WrestleMania 30 this Sunday.

TMZ earlier today caught up with Austin, who confirmed to them he will be at the big show. When asked what he his role would be at Wrestlemania, Austin was non-committal.

“That’s breaking news, I cannot tell you right here at the airport!,” Austin said.

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Steve Austin On CM Punk: “He (Punk) Is Going To Make His Return At WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans

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Wrestling fans for the last few years have clamored for a match between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and CM Punk at a Wrestlemania. Punk has stated in the past that is something he wants. Austin though has been non-committal about wanting a match with Punk.

We haven’t seen Punk since the Royal Rumble due to him walking out of the WWE the day following the show.

The WWE Hall of Famer just released the latest podcast, “The Steve Austin Show” and stated that he feels “The Best In The World” will return this Sunday at Wrestlemania 30.

“I’m telling you, I’m going to stick to my prediction that CM Punk is going to make his return at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. I made this prediction two months ago here on the show.

“It’s been a long time, I think he’s cooled his jets, he’s got some rest, and I think it’s time to get back to work. I don’t see him participating in a match but it would be great to see him in a run-in to establish himself, to entrench himself immediately in a memorable and just a great moment, and I would say plant himself firmly in the middle of an angle, because he would be the angle, by attacking whoever he sees fit to attack or asserting his presence rather, whatever the case may be. But I see CM Punk coming back at WrestleMania 30. Who knows if it will happen. We will know in about six short days when WrestleMania actually happens.”

You can listen to the latest episode of Austin’s podcast here.

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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.

Two Former WWE Champions Backstage At Raw

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Tonight’s WWE Monday Night Raw takes place from the sold out Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The main event for the show is WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton facing off against John Cena. Also advertised is the return of former World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry.

According to PWTorch.com, former WWE champions “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Rob Van Dam are backstage at Raw.

Austin had stated on Twitter earlier today that he was heading out there to film a podcast with Zeb Coulter.

Van Dam lives in the Los Angeles area and was last seen on WWE TV in October.

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Steve Austin Thinks CM Punk Leaving The WWE “Is The Real Deal”

Steve Austin and CM Punk have a lot in common besides being top WWE stars in the past and present. Punk has been the talk of the wrestling world this week as he left the WWE on Monday. Austin did the same thing in June of 2002, but came in February of 2003 for a short run before being forced to retire due to spinal stenosis.

The WWE Hall of Famer was on the Arsenio Hall last night and the Punk situation was brought up.

“So C.M., I think he was backed against the corner, got a little frustrated, and he took his ball and went home,” Austin told Hall. “I think one of two things will happen. I think Vince will fly down there to Chicago or wherever he is and work some Jedi mind tricks and convince him to come back or maybe he will think through the process and he’s got a lot of years left in the tank and never leave money on the table when you can go ahead and make that money. It don’t matter what happens, they keep sending little gimmicks in the mail and they’re called bills and you must pay your bills.

“I consider Punk a very good friend and I know he probably really is going through a lot of stress and I wish him well. I think it is the real deal, but I would like to think he will come back, but he is a pretty hardheaded young man so we will see what happens. Bad timing because you’ve got WrestleMania 30 going down in the Superdome so that’s going to be a good payday and a good ride to make.”

You can watch the complete interview at ArsenioHall.com.

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The Announcement Of The WWE Network (Audio)

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The WWE last night made the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network. The network will debut on February 24. You will hear from Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and John Cena. Listen in as the announcement is made, when the Network will debut and much more.

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WWE To Make A “Groundbreaking Announcement” on Wednesday

Photo from WWE.com

Photo from WWE.com

The WWE sent out a text message from the WWE App earlier today stating that a “groundbreaking announcement” will take this Wednesday night from Las Vegas. Vince McMahon, John Cena, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Triple H will be at the event. You will be able to watch the event live on WWE.com, WWE You Tube page, the WWE App, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Google+, Pinterest and Pheed starting at 9:30 p.m. ET.

This announcement will be made at the CES convention that is currently going on right now and this is expected to be the long awaited announcement of the WWE Network.

BetweenTheRopes.com will have live coverage of the event.

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Video: WWE 2K14 30 Years of WrestleMania Symposium

WWE held a symposium celebrating the 30 years of WrestleMania theme on the latest WWE 2K14 video game with a panel of WWE superstars.  Jim Ross hosted the panel which included Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Steve Austin, Paul Heyman, Mick Foley and Ric Flair who joined in during the second half.

Once the Nature Boy hit the scene, any kind of format went out the down as he took over the show like only he can do.  Here is the video:


Watch live video from 2K on TwitchTV

Between The Ropes Wrestling Podcast – July 22, 2013

Brian and Steve talk about the current cuts in TNA Wrestling including both Bruce Pritchard and D’Lo Brown being let go, the current position of TNA, the issues with the house show over the weekend, a preview of tonight’s edition of WWE Raw, talk of Steve Austin returning at WrestleMania 30, the role of WrestleMania for the company and more.

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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.