WWE Network Review: Does Vince McMahon’s Latest Gamble Pay Off?

Vince McMahon

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...]

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.

Jeff Jarrett Coming Out With A New Promotion?

jarrett

Jeff Jarrett was the co-founder of TNA along with his father Jerry in 2002. The younger Jarrett resigned with the promotion last month. Rumors are running rampant that Jarrett will be starting up a new promotion, but the former WWE and WCW star hasn’t made any comments regarding the rumors.

We got a sign last night that a new Jarrett led company could be coming to fruition as Jarrett posted a video on his Instagram account foreshadowing that possibility.

Do you think Jeff Jarrett will be heading a new wrestling promotion in 2014?

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Report: Ultimate Warrior And WWE Reach An Agreement

ultimate warrior

You always hear the saying in pro wrestling, “never say never” in regards to a wrestler returning to an organization. When you think of the history of the Ultimate Warrior and the WWE, you would say you would never see him back in the company. Guess that saying still rings true.

The Wrestling Observer is reporting that the Ultimate Warrior and the WWE have reached an agreement. Terms haven’t been disclosed. The Observer states that this agreement is likely for the Warrior to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The Warrior hasn’t been seen in the WWE since July of 1996 and the last time we seen him on national television was his short lived WCW run from August-December of 1998.

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First Two Shows Of “RINGSIDE: An Evening With Jim Ross” Revealed

jim ross

Jim Ross has been hinting for the last few weeks that he would be doing a speaking tour across the United States discussing his career in the world of professional wrestling. Now that tour is official and the first two shows have been announced. Ross will be doing two on Saturday, March 1 from the the Gramercy Theater in New York City.

The show is called “RINGSIDE: An Evening With Jim Ross,” will have shows at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.

Ross will talk about both his live story, his experiences as both an executive and an announcer in Championship Wrestling with Leroy McGuirk, Mid South Wrestling under Bill Watts, Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling, and finally his various runs with the WWF/WWE from 1993 to 2013.

Tickets will go on sale on Friday to the public starting at $27.50.

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Breaking News: Jim Ross Retires From WWE

jrWWE.com is reporting that Jim Ross has announced his retirement.  After a 20 year career with the WWE, he has decided to focus more on his “personal business endeavors.”

‘Good Ol JR’ got his start in the business as a referee, working for NWA.  From there, he became a play-by-play announcer for Mid-South territory, rejoined with NWA in the same role, and stayed in the company until it became WCW.  His tenure with WCW, and thus Eric Bischoff, was tumultuous to say the least. Ross demanded his release in 1993. [Read more...]

Matt “Doink The Clown” Osborne Passes Away

Matt Osborne, best known for his role as the original Doink The Clown in the WWF during the mid-1990′s, was dead earlier today in Texas.  He was 56 years old.

WWE issued a statement on his passing:

Reports indicate that Matt Osborne, aka the original Doink the Clown, has passed away. A rugged brawler in promotions like Mid-South Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling, Osborne made a major impact in WWE under the greasepaint of a prankster named Doink — one of the most enduring personas of the early ’90s.

WWE is saddened by the news of Osborne’s passing. Our deepest condolences go out to Osborne’s family, friends and fans.

Osborne started off as a high school wrestling star in Portland, Oregon and later debuted in pro wrestling in 1978 as “Maniac” Matt Borne.  He worked his way up the ladder in Portland Wrestling but never truly broke though do to various outside the ring issues.

Then in 1991, he was signed by WCW and turned into Big Josh, an avid outdoorsman and was sometimes accompanied by bears during entrances on pay-per-views.

His big break came after that when he was hired by the WWF and made into Doink the Clown donned in white makeup and a big, neon green wig.  But he was not a friendly clown but instead turned into an evil clown pulling pranks on other wrestlers.

As much as this became the role that Osborne was best known for, his run as Doink the Clown in the WWF only lasted about one year after he was released due to substance issues.

He had a brief stint in ECW but mostly worked for various independent groups for the rest of his career.