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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Daniel Bryan’s ‘YES!’ chant has spread to the Pirates’ dugout

I once started an “Unpredictable! Unpredictable! Unpredictable!” Johnny Rodz chant after Clay Bellinger’s first career HR. Just never caught on.

The Pirates and Reds grappled in an absolute homerfest Monday in Cincinnati, launching an absurdly entertaining 10 long balls before rain halted the game after six innings. A half-dozen of those long balls came courtesy of Pittsburgh batters, leading the Bucs to adopt a new team celebration.

After years of the Dude, Where’s My Car-inspired Zoltan, the Pirates unveiled their homage to Daniel Bryan’s “YES! YES! YES!” chant following Neil Walker’s second home run of the evening.

 

Repoz Posted: April 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM | 316 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pirates

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   201. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4695466)
Just finished King of the Ring '01. First good PPV since Wrestlemania X-Seven. Shane McMahon is a crazy person. Heel Austin is elevating my opinion of Austin. Part of me feels like it doesn't work because the crowd still clearly likes him but it's been a ton of fun seeing the subtle and obvious ways he's changed his moveset and mannerisms. It seems like he's having a lot of fun with it too.
   202. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 27, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4695523)
It's still amazing to me that the WWF managed to screw up having Williams.


Williams & Terry Gordy are still my favorite tag-team of all-time. "The Miracle Violence Connection", is there anything about those two that isn't badass?
   203. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4695978)
Looks like the WWE Network has put up good quality versions of Starcades '83, '84, and '85 for everyone's viewing pleasure. I'm looking forward to watching them, from back when 'rasslin was real! ;)
   204. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: April 28, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4696163)
Although I've been lurking/posting on internet wrestling message boards for 15+ years (tear), WWE in the mid-to-late aughts is a complete blur. I was in the mood for one of those Wrestlemanias and someone recommended 23. I watched it over a few days, so I'm probably a bit more upbeat on it than I would be had I sat through it in one 3.5+ hour sitting (yikes). Scattered thoughts:

- Hopefully they got away from wrestlemania themes because 'All Grown Up' (with sports entertainers speaking empty platitudes while children dressed up as them flex in the ring) was weird.

- The MITB was a relatively fun opener with some good spots. But lol at Mr. Kennedy.

- Professional wrestling is embarrassing enough as it is. Did it really need Jeff Hardy convlusing down the entrance ramp?

- Still can't believe I watched a Kane-Great Khali match.

- A great viewing experience to watch Chris Benoit flying headbutt his way to victory a few months before slaughtering his family.

- Maybe it's the fact that a lot of the spotlighted wrestlers (Kennedy, Lashley, MVP) didn't stick around long enough for their entrance songs to ingrained in the mind, but it seemed like their songs were pretty terrible.

- I was really not looking forward to the battle of the billionaires. I've heard good things about Umaga, but really have no interest in Lashley and Trump was only ever discussed for his wrestling appearances, he'd be fine. But I don't want to watch his toxic personality in any form. That said, this was fine as a spectacle and didn't go on too long. I recall some halls of the internet sick of Austin post-active wrestling career, and his referee appearance here is probably a good example. He didn't give it up for anyone.

- Speaking of entrance songs, HBK came out to DX music in 2007? And speaking of wrestling being inherently embarrassing, looking back, DX was bad enough in 1998. Can't believe him and HHH were doing this schtick a decade later. HBK was old and weird looking in the main event, but it was fine (though Cena's lack of selling about ten minutes worth of HBK leg work was rough). Crowd broke against Cena hard early in the match.

- Conspicious by his absence was HHH - not because he would have added anything as the third leg in a main event triple threat, but because of who he is. Haven't looked up events surrounding the ppv at all, so maybe he was hurt? No Big Show either.

- If you judge Wrestlemanias by the top of the card, then I guess Cena/HBK, Taker/Batista, Battle of the Billionaires and this MITB is pretty decent and likely a top ten WM.

Separately, the network app for the 360 remains a complete abomination.
   205. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4696175)
Separately, the network app for the 360 remains a complete abomination.

What's the issue? The PS4 app works well for the most part. My one complaint is that the app (on the PS4 and on the website) forces you to select PPVs by the PPV name when I think it would make a ton of sense to also allow you to view All PPVs by year or in chronological order. After I finish a PPV I usually have to go to its Wiki page to check what the next PPV is supposed to be while trying to shield my eyes from any potential spoilers.
   206. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 07:46 PM (#4696181)
Watched Invasion, Summerslam '01 and Unforgiven '01. I know that eventually some of the WCW big names will come over so it is strange to see this "OH NOES WCW IS INVADING" angle with the WCW lineup being DDP, Booker T and a bunch of people I may or may not have ever heard of.

Austin vs. Angle at Summerslam was a truly great match. I don't know if he got healthier or what but Austin has wrestled some tremendous PPV matches as a heel. It's allowed him to switch up the way his matches are usually paced and add some wrinkles to his moveset and I'm really loving it. This may be a bit unfair since The Rock just came back at Summerslam, but watching them wrestle back to back during this period is driving home the in-ring gap between the two.

Earlier in this thread I may have said Tazz was my favorite ECW guy, but it appears I forgot about Rob...Van...Dam. There's so much unnecessary movement/wasted motion in what he does in the ring but dammit it works for me. RVD vs Jeff Hardy at Invasion was a lot of fun. RVD vs Jeff Hardy at Summerslam (Ladder Match) wasn't as good, due in part to some really bad missed spots.

I'm assuming Benoit and HHH were injured around this time as I haven't seen either of them in a while.
   207. Conor Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:07 PM (#4696194)

- Conspicious by his absence was HHH - not because he would have added anything as the third leg in a main event triple threat, but because of who he is. Haven't looked up events surrounding the ppv at all, so maybe he was hurt? No Big Show either.


I think HHH tore his quad in January of that year? There was definitely some kind of major injury, he was out from January to Summerslam I believe. I think Meltzer said the reason HBK got the match against Cena was only because HHH got hurt.

I'm assuming Benoit and HHH were injured around this time as I haven't seen either of them in a while.


Ha, two different periods where HHH was injured. This one I'm almost positive he tore his quad in May in a tag match with Austin against Benoit and Jericho. And then Benoit had neck surgery a few months later
   208. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4696199)
Looks like the WWE Network has put up good quality versions of Starcades '83, '84, and '85 for everyone's viewing pleasure. I'm looking forward to watching them, from back when 'rasslin was real! ;)


I watched Starrcade '83 & '84 recently. While I'm as big a fan of 70's/80's NWA/JCP/Mid-South (love that recently-released DVD), early Starrcades were definitely a mixed bag. You had some great stuff like:
- Piper - Valentine dog collar match. Just brutal. Loved Valentine's work on Piper's ear.
- Slater - Ron Bass. I haven't seen much of Slater's career as a face; I've mostly seen his heel work during the 90's in WCW. But he was a great face. And Bass was just a hoss. Solid match.
- Steamboat - Blanchard. I was never a huge Blanchard fan as a single's guy, but he held his own here against Steamboat, who is of course awesome.

The bad stuff was just ugly though. Kabuki - Charlie Brown is just horrible and goes on and on and on. And I hate JCP's love of special guest referees. Gene Kiniski completely drags down the Flair-Race match and ends up botching the ending. Speaking of endings, Flair/Race, Rhodes/Flair, and Blanchard/Steamboat all had terrible finishes. Fans today would riot if they got an ending of a PPV like the end of Starrcade '84.
   209. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:54 PM (#4696235)
What's the issue? The PS4 app works well for the most part. My one complaint is that the app (on the PS4 and on the website) forces you to select PPVs by the PPV name when I think it would make a ton of sense to also allow you to view All PPVs by year or in chronological order. After I finish a PPV I usually have to go to its Wiki page to check what the next PPV is supposed to be while trying to shield my eyes from any potential spoilers.


It's funny you say this (well, not ha ha funny) because that is one of only two fixes they've addressed on the 360 app since going live. I can now browse PPVs by year instead of being forced, like you, to guess what year featured what sportz entertainment ppv title. The 360 also didn't have WCW or ECW ppvs at launch. I know nothing about app development, so I worry I'm a bit like Matt Drudge screaming at Obama to fix the damn economy when I marvel at the big differences in user experience between ios/roku (good) and the 360 (awful).

What's still wrong with the 360 app will be difficult for me to describe because (i) I'm bad at describing things; and (ii) I've never come across these problems before. On HD programs, the video will often sort of zoom in for a few minutes. On standard def, the video will shift several inches to the right. For each, it will go back to normal after a few minutes. Cena/HBK featured a new problem, though: instead of the video reorienting itself after shifting, the right side of the screen became blurry. That never corrected itself, so I watched the last half of the main event that way.

Also, I cannot resume a program where I last left off, so I always have to have a good idea of what minute in a program I need to come back to. This is the case even if I hit back (instead of pause) for a few minutes if, say, my wife enters the room and I need to hide my shame.

re: HHH 2007 injury. Seconds after posting above, I consulted my bible* and it confirmed what Conor said - the WWE was planning on giving the planet the match it was dying for - a Cena/HHH rematch.

*yahoo answers
   210. Monty Posted: April 28, 2014 at 09:57 PM (#4696293)
my bible*

*yahoo answers


I can't even imagine the spiritual problems you must face on a daily basis.
   211. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:15 AM (#4696357)
You call it Yahoo Mail, he calls it Yahoo Epistles.
   212. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 29, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4696476)
I watched Starrcade '83 & '84 recently. While I'm as big a fan of 70's/80's NWA/JCP/Mid-South (love that recently-released DVD), early Starrcades were definitely a mixed bag.


I think part of the fun of the old territorial system was the variety of characters and narrative approaches to the wrestling performance they allowed to develop. When everybody gets together for one of these big supercards you get to see a wide variety of talent each representing their own fiefdom and flaunting their own established methods of "getting over". There's certainly some junk and come confusion - I watched Starcade 1983 last night and an early match featured a tag team with the Satanic Kevin Sullivan and his brainwashed zombie enforcer Mark "Purple Haze" Lewin against the near-50 former star Johnny Weaver and young Scottie McGee. Sullivan, Lewin, and McGee were all involved in a program in Florida Championship Wrestling, I have no idea how Weaver got roped into this (well I guess I sorta do), but the match culminated in Sullivan and Haze attacking McGee after the match with "The Golden Spike" and making a bloody mess. For Florida fans this was a continuation of a feud (the appearance of Florida's Angelo Mosca to attempt the save drove that point home) but this event was held in Greenboro in the Mid-Atlantic territory, so the best-known guy in the ring was Weaver, who was really an afterthought to an angle designed to further a feud taking place in a completely different territory. The fans were just not into this, but the footage played for a month in Florida Championship Wrestling and was part of a big angle there. The effect on-screen is underwhelming. You had angles from various territories by the crowd is clearly only fully invested in the Mid-Atlantic angles - Flair vs Race, the Briscos vs Steamboat & Youngblood, and Piper vs Valentine. Coincidentally, these are clearly the best bouts on the show.

The bad stuff was just ugly though. Kabuki - Charlie Brown is just horrible and goes on and on and on.


Jimmy Valiant (AKA "Charlie Brown from Outta Town")is one of those guys whose "overness" I never understood. Having said that, he's apparently a swell guy and well-respected by fellow wrestlers. An amusing aside - around 1998 or I was living in Memphis and had a good friend who was a professional wrestler ("The American Kickboxer"). He had a booking in Arkansas for Moondog Rex's little promotion and asked if I wanted to drive out with him and his girlfriend. We get to the show and he's told there's a cancellation and he'll be working twice - once in a mixed tag-team against Jimmy Valiant and some woman wrestler, and then in the main event angle with Moondog Rex.

The tag team match was a fun one, my friend was a good acrobatic wrestler and flew all over the ring, making Valiant look like a titan. He won when his female partner pinned the other woman wrestler. The main event with Moondog was a joke and I won't waste your time with that but on the ride home I asked him how it was to work with the Boogie Woogie Man. He described how he received his booking assignment in the locker room and was excited to be in the ring with Valiant, whom he'd grown up watching. Valiant arrives and to hear Kickboxer tell it, their meeting went like this:

AK: Hi Jimmy, I'm American Kickboxer, Moondog just told me we're working together in a mixed tag, I'm really excited to work with you. Did you want to go over anything before the match.

Valiant: Brother, here's everything you gotta know to work with Boogie: #1, I ain't gonna bump for you. #2, if I fall down, help me up.

Fans today would riot if they got an ending of a PPV like the end of Starrcade '84.


If they didn't riot for the ending of Starcade 1997, they ain't gonna riot for anything.
   213. andrewberg Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4696641)
If they didn't riot for the ending of Starcade 1997, they ain't gonna riot for anything.


The ending of Starcade 97 was like an F+ because they at least let Sting walk out with the belt. It only became an F- when they held up the title a couple of weeks later and held it vacant for like 3 months until they had a rematch.

Don't get me wrong, the idea of anything but a clean win for Sting after the great year-long buildup to his nWo/Hogan program is total insanity. It was also a total waste of Bret Hart (although I get the idea of involving him in a Dusty finish since he was red hot a month removed from the screwjob).
   214. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 29, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4696650)
The WWE didn't push the Freebirds hard enough. They should have had them wrestle near the top of the card right out of the gate, and should have had them win in despicable fashion, right away, and let it build from there. The WWE didn't ever do "feuds" as well as the other promotions. Too bad.
   215. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 29, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4696746)
The ending of Starcade 97 was like an F+ because they at least let Sting walk out with the belt. It only became an F- when they held up the title a couple of weeks later and held it vacant for like 3 months until they had a rematch.


I have never been so disgusted with a wrestling match. I griped about it before on this very site (#76). I can pretty much link the death of WCW to the booking of this match.
   216. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4698349)
Finished Survivor Series '01. The Rock's sharpshooter is an abomination. Austin is having a hell of a '01.

MVPs
'96: Michaels
'97: Austin
'98: Austin
'99: Austin/Rock
'00: Rock/HHH
'01: Austin
   217. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 02, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4698709)
Kabuki - Charlie Brown is just horrible and goes on and on and on.


I wanted to get back on this because I went ahead and watched this again last night. The match was lousy, the finish preposterous, and the whole thing lasted 8 minutes. The crowd went nuts too.

The Brisco Brothers vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood was a blast to watch. I really enjoy the technical mat-based wrestling stuff that old-school legit wrestlers like Brisco liked to build their matches around.
   218. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 02, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4698742)
One of the things I gripe about when discussing my general distaste for the current 'rasslin scene is the homogenization of the product - the WWE dominates the market, trains the talent from the ground up, designs their personas, their entrances, and even their interviews to the word. Here's a freshly-leaked script for WWE Raw that has the main promos from Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Triple H, et al written out in advance by professional writers.

You can say what you want about the inconsistent nature of the old territorial product, but you were assured of getting something organic and real, the efforts of dozens of performers each doing their own level best to make a connection with the audience and create interest in upcoming matches. Contemporary pro-wrestling resembles nothing more than contemporary pop music, with legions of producers working with anonymous writers and publicists to slap images and prefab electronic hooks on any fresh face that fits their metrics for success. The WWE is Max Martin and Lou Perlman. You'll get a shiny, polished product, but you'll never get a Led Zeppelin or Van Halen out of them.
   219. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 02, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4698981)
Austin is a face again and the "What?!" thing is *wipes tear* beautiful. And Ric Flair is back! Between the whats and the wooooos, there's just so much to participate in.
   220. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 04, 2014 at 06:17 AM (#4699892)
Watching Wrestlemania X8. Just got through Rock-Hogan...hottest crowd ever? Whatever wrestling/technical problems that match may have had the crowd more than made up for it. Still have chills. Definitely one of my favorite matches in the 6 years of PPVs I've gone through.

EDIT: Also, I'm not sure how long Hogan is going to stick around but I'm pretty sure Austin is nearing the end of his in-ring career at this point...so why wasn't the match Austin-Hogan at WM18? Austin got...Scott Hall? And while he tried like hell to make a good match of it Hall just seems to be a #### worker with no real heat at this point.
   221. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 04, 2014 at 06:53 AM (#4699894)
Reportedly Austin has a long-standing grudge with Hogan, beginning when Austin's career was on the rise in WCW, until the nWo arrived and the two-tiered system was implemented. Hogan also had uncomplimentary things to say about Austin's later stardom as compared to the greatness of Hulkamania. Hogan said Austin's career was "cheap heat" and that he could pull his dick out in the ring and be on top for just four years; asked to respond, Austin called him a "bitter, insecure guy." But Hogan badly wanted a Wrestlemania main event with Austin, and it seems that Austin took personal pleasure in denying him that.
   222. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 04, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4699949)
[221] Thanks, what is/was the two tiered system? Also, my understanding of wrestling history is probably off, but in my head Austin was just another mid-card guy until lightning struck with KOTR '96. Your post makes it seem like he was thought to have main event potential, but circumstances prevented that from happening? Though I suppose you could argue that the fact that he did become SCSA is proof that he did have main event potential all along.

Ranking Wrestlemanias I've actually watched:
1. XXX
2. X-Seven
3. X8
4. 2000
5. XIV
6. 13
7. XV
   223. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: May 04, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4699957)
   224. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: May 04, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4699958)
Watched Starrcade '97 for the first time a few days ago and it is as bad as its reputation.
   225. Conor Posted: May 04, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4699959)
The early 90's was a little before my time as far as being a huge fan goes, but I think the story is that a lot of people thought Austin had a ton of star potential while in WCW but politics kept him from really becoming a top guy. He had the tag team with Pillman that got over really well, and I think it was Dusty who decided to break them up. And then Hogan came in and wanted Austin to drop the US title to one of his friends (one man gang?) in like a 30 second squash or something.

It definitely seems that like while Austin and Hogan would have been the dream match, I have to agree with #221 that Austin took great pleasure in knowing he had held the cards and was able to deny Hogan the match

I watched Starrcade for the first time a month or so ago; man was that a horrible show. And it was supposed to be the biggest show in the history of the company. Just awful
   226. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: May 04, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4700007)
And it was supposed to be the biggest show in the history of the company. Just awful


Even if Schiavone didn't sell you on it by saying it was the biggest night in the history of the company/sport every forty five seconds, I guess it was (I didn't think Tony was particularly bad here). Even before you get to the worst main event of all time (is that really hyperbole?), there's a Nash no-show, an incredibly long and terrible Luger-Bagwell mess, and Eric Bischoff wrestling just before the main event (and it was no buffer match - billed as the match to decide the future of Nitro). I didn't even get any of that good 90s nostalgia I live for, or laughing at WCW in a botchamania kind of way. Saving grace was that it wasn't 4 hours, I guess.

Going with No Way Out 2001 for some reason now. I envy NJ's attention span. But if the network existed in my year of unemployment in 2009, I can't imagine my wife (then girlfriend) would have stuck around (and I didn't make it easy on her as it was). Good luck.
   227. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 04, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4700102)
I think the story is that a lot of people thought Austin had a ton of star potential while in WCW but politics kept him from really becoming a top guy. He had the tag team with Pillman that got over really well, and I think it was Dusty who decided to break them up. And then Hogan came in and wanted Austin to drop the US title to one of his friends (one man gang?) in like a 30 second squash or something.

It was Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The "two-tiered system" I mentioned was the one where Bischoff, Hogan & Co. gave themselves all the time, money, emphasis and main event storylines, while everyone else was treated as a backdrop. There were few examples of anyone working their way up the food chain. Even WCW mainstays like Flair and Sting were positioned as 1A at best. (At worst, they danced in their underwear in an insane asylum.) It was a weird backstage dynamic and glass ceiling that literally came through and made itself felt on the program. That's why the WWE arrivals of Benoit, Guerrero, Jericho, Mysterio, etc. were a bigger deal than an equivalent exodus would have been 5 or 10 years earlier.
   228. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 04, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4700138)
Damn good match, Shield vs Evolution
   229. Conor Posted: May 04, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4700152)
Fantastic match. The shield are so great
   230. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4700214)
The "two-tiered system" I mentioned was the one where Bischoff, Hogan & Co. gave themselves all the time, money, emphasis and main event storylines, while everyone else was treated as a backdrop.


Yep, and while this approach was floundering early in Hogan's WCW tenure as he brought over every oafish old chum he could. WCW soon became the soft landing spot for Hacksaw Duggan, Ray "Bossman" Traylor, John "Earthquake" Tenta, Fred "Typhoon" Ottman, Ed "Brutus Beefcake" Leslie, the Nasty Boys, and Jimmy Hart, and with Randy Savage entering on his own accord WCW suddenly looked like the WWF from the 80s, complete with everything revolving around Hogan. How corny was Hogan's booking of himself as the superman savior of all that was good? Well they actually booked every marginally credible heel in WCW - Kevin Sullivan, Ed Leslie, Kamala, The Giant, Meng, The Barbarian, John Tenta (The Dungeon of Doom), AND Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Brian Pillman, and Chris Benoit (the latest incarnation of the popular 4 Horsemen) as a collective heel supergroup, "The Alliance to End Hulkamania." Seriously. Every bad guy in the promotion was teamed up against Hulk Hogan. And since Hulk Hogan had to book himself as being unbeatable, the net effect was to make every bad guy in the promotion look like prelim bums.

The ridiculousness crested at the Uncensored 1996 PPV where Hulk Hogan and his pal Randy Savage beat, in consecutive order, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Kevin Sullivan, Meng, the Barbarian, Lex Luger, a neckless lump named "The Ultimate Solution", and the actor who played "Zeus" in "No Holds Barred" (better know to you more sophisticated viewers as "Debo" from "Friday"). Seriously, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage pretty much plowed through the entire heel roster of WCW in one night.

And despite Hogan's best efforts the fans weren't buying it. Nobody in the old NWA territories wanted to see Hulk Hogan's superman act run roughshod over Ric Flair, or see retread WWF'ers pushed to the top of the card while Rickey Steamboat, Vader, and Steve Austin were given walking papers. Hogan was roundly booed at house shows and PPVs. And then, that bastard got lucky.

Hogan inserted himself into the NWO angle with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. The angle was successful, but the aftermath was predictable. The two-tier system and Hogan's egoism meant that every "over" wrestler had to be co-opted into Hogan's new group or beaten down to be made to look weak. So the NWO Hogan Blob absorbed Curt Hennig, The Giant, and Scott Steiner while Ric Flair did indeed dance in his underwear and get buried in a desert and Sting suffered such horrible booking that he went from being arguably the most popular wrestler in the world to being an also-ran within 6 months (and which Hogan would claimed "proved" that Sting wasn't a real main-event wrestler like Hogan was).

Hulk Hogan can eat all the dicks.
   231. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 05, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4700284)
I'm reaching my breaking point with IWC nerd-rage over John Cena not losing every match in a squash in under a minute.
   232. Papa Squid Posted: May 05, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4700329)
Watching Wrestlemania X8. Just got through Rock-Hogan...hottest crowd ever? Whatever wrestling/technical problems that match may have had the crowd more than made up for it. Still have chills. Definitely one of my favorite matches in the 6 years of PPVs I've gone through.


Was at WMX8. Had Hogan chants ringing in my ears for a solid week. When he hulked up, it was so loud in there, I thought the roof was gonna fly off. The place was absolutely going bananas. People jumping and down, screaming. I've been to the World Series, Stanley Cup playoff games, NBA playoff games... but that WrestleMania match really something else.
   233. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: May 05, 2014 at 12:39 PM (#4700394)
Only to be topped by the pandemonium experienced when HHH triumphed in the true main event
   234. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4700504)
This late career run of excellence by Austin is really something else. Despite the fact that I've watched countless Undertaker-Austin matches in a short period of time, he still managed to make his match with Taker at Backlash '02 fun/interesting. Yeah, I take back what I said earlier about the Rock possibly being better.
   235. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4700547)
Hell in a Cell (PPV):
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker, Badd Blood '97
2. HHH vs. Cactus Jack, No Way Out '00
3. Undertaker vs. Mankind, King of the Ring '98 (I had never watched this match outside of highlights and there really isn't much but the highlights. Insane spots and almost a non stop "holy ####\" match, but not much actually going on)
4. Chris Jericho vs. HHH, Judgment Day '02 (Kudos to referee Tim White for the best/most memorable spot. Face HHH doesn't really work for me.)
5. HHH vs. Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Stone Cold vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi, Armageddon '00 (Just a complete mess with no memorable moments. Seemed like an excuse just to see how many guys they can have blade in one match)
6. Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man, Wrestlemania XV (I would love to hear how/why this got booked and how/why it was plotted the way it was and how/why its finish was chosen/approved)

Sidenote, Edge vs. Kurt Angle at Backlash '02 and Judgment Day '02 were both really good matches.
   236. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4700561)
You're not watching any tv right, just the ppvs? WWF/E has always done a great job on video packages, so you're probably getting a good enough overview of particluar feuds despite missing, what, ~16 hours of orirginal programming in between events? I didn't love the three stages of hell from No Way Out 2001, but the video package got me pumped, despite (i) HHH and (ii) the use of cars and human beings being hit by same to sell a wrestling program. Brock has just come on the scene, yes?
   237. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4700564)
Unfortunate side effect of the awesome Hogan-Rock match at WM18 has been Hogan main eventing Backlash and Judgment Day.
   238. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4700570)
You're not watching any tv right, just the ppvs? WWF/E has always done a great job on video packages, so you're probably getting a good enough overview of particluar feuds despite missing, what, ~16 hours of orirginal programming in between events? I didn't love the three stages of hell from No Way Out 2001, but the video package got me pumped, despite (i) HHH and (ii) the use of cars and human beings being hit by same to sell a wrestling program. Brock has just come on the scene, yes?

Just watching PPVs. It was tough in the '96-'98ish period because video packages didn't really exist so I had to depend on the announcers priming me. I hate any angles involving vehicles and that includes American Bad Taker's idiotic use of a motorcycle to get to the ring. Brock just made his in-ring debut at Backlash and he was really, really impressive. I've only ever watched post-MMA/life-threatening disease Brock. Then at Judgment Day a guy who looks a lot like Batista except with less tattoos, PEDs, and Affliction shirts also showed up for the first time.
   239. andrewberg Posted: May 05, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4700624)
Unfortunate side effect of the awesome Hogan-Rock match at WM18 has been Hogan main eventing Backlash and Judgment Day.


That match with HHH (I think at Backlash) was just a massive miscalculation.

In case anyone wants to read it, this is what i wrote about Extreme Rules: review
   240. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:17 PM (#4700678)
I'm reaching my breaking point with IWC nerd-rage over John Cena not losing every match in a squash in under a minute.


Last night's match was horrible.

I like Cena well enough. He wrestled in my favorite WWE match of 2013, against Bryan at Summerslam. He wrestled the best TV match of 2013 against Punk in the WrestleMania build up.

And I wouldn't blame last night on Cena as the match was overbooked to hell. The psychology was all over the place. Multiple times it was made clear Harper & Rowan would not let Cena escape the cage... so Cena attempts to leave the cage 8 or 9 times instead of trying to pin Wyatt (which he's already done successfully at WM). When the lights went out, it probably would've been a good time to introduce a new member to the Wyatt clan- maybe a zombified Zach Ryder to avenge all the #### Cena's done to him. Instead it's a kid with a kinda creepy voice.

So that was lame but I won't put it all on Cena, though I will say Bryan got a terrific match out of Wyatt at Royal Rumble and Cena's matches with Wyatt have been mediocre at best. Right now Cena's character is stale and it doesn't help that tonight he'll probably just laugh off the entire Wyatt feud with a poop joke or something.
   241. andrewberg Posted: May 05, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4700685)
And I wouldn't blame last night on Cena as the match was overbooked to hell.


This is a very common problem when Cena is in the ring with a more junior opponent. I don't know if you can blame the road agents entirely when his matches with non-pantheon opponents frequently degenerate into something between bad prop comedy and a nonsensical schmoz.
   242. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 05, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4700746)
This is a very common problem when Cena is in the ring with a more junior opponent. I don't know if you can blame the road agents entirely when his matches with non-pantheon opponents frequently degenerate into something between bad prop comedy and a nonsensical schmoz.


Maybe. He has been quite protected over the past few years, in that he's feuded with experienced, quality in-ring performers- Punk, Orton, Del Rio, Bryan, The Rock. His feud with Ryback resulted in some garbage matches.

His WrestleMania match against Wyatt wasn't an overbooked mess; it was just mediocre.
   243. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4700764)
His WrestleMania match against Wyatt wasn't an overbooked mess; it was just mediocre.

I really enjoyed that match. I don't remember if it was good, but that "He's got the whooooole world" moment was one of my lasting memories from the PPV. Though, in full disclosure, I love Wyatt and find him to be head and shoulders above the rest of the new/newish guys.

EDIT: The match last night sucked. Made Bray look really weak and it was just over the top. Shades of the Undertaker's Ministry days.
   244. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 05, 2014 at 09:17 PM (#4700786)
This is a very common problem when Cena is in the ring with a more junior opponent. I don't know if you can blame the road agents entirely when his matches with non-pantheon opponents frequently degenerate into something between bad prop comedy and a nonsensical schmoz.


When he was on Jericho's podcast, Edge said that when they were laying out the Nexus vs team WWE match, Cena pitched the "you DDT me on the concrete, I make a superman comeback solo against two opponents" ending. Both Jericho and Edge tried to talk Cena out of it (and also tried to pitch the idea of Barrett winning because he was over at the time), but he wouldn't be reasoned with. Then after the match, Cena went up to them and said something like "you were right, I should have listened to you."
   245. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4700825)
I could do without another round of Kane-Bryan.
   246. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:25 PM (#4700832)
[241]Oh, bullshit. The guy hasn't had a bad PPV match in forever, and put on good(not watchable, actual good) PPV matches with freakin Ryback.

And Mark, The Rock of WM28 and WM29 was not a good worker. He blew up as quickly as Batista and was sloppy sloppy.
   247. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4700840)
And it was the DDT spot that Cena pitched, WWE going over was already booked.
   248. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 05, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4700841)
Remember when Big E was supposed to have a rocket on his back, and then he won the IC title and did absolutely nothing with it? It's astonishing how incapable they are at booking the mid-card these days.
   249. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 05, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4700881)
And Mark, The Rock of WM28 and WM29 was not a good worker. He blew up as quickly as Batista and was sloppy sloppy.


I thought Rock-Cena at WM28 was very good. Rock-Cena II & Rock-Punk were not very good.

Remember when Big E was supposed to have a rocket on his back, and then he won the IC title and did absolutely nothing with it? It's astonishing how incapable they are at booking the mid-card these days.


Say what you will about Vince Russo (and there are more negatives than positives in Russo's career), but if you were a member of the WWF/E roster under Russo's watch, you were given a feud/gimmick/character (granted, some of those characters were horrible). I miss that. 50/50 booking is killing the mid-card, as are lack of fleshed-out feuds. Langston had the title since November. I count one legitimate feud/angle he was involved in (against Sandow).

The WWE has a wealth of guys just doing nothing right now due to their inability to book a mid-card. Ziggler... Cody Rhodes... Sandow... Del Rio... Mark Henry... Tyson Kidd. I love a whole bunch of guys they have in NXT, but I'm afraid once they get called up they'll all be stuck in mid-card wasteland. They definitely have enough TV time to build up several feuds at a time.
   250. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 12:59 AM (#4700921)
[241]Oh, ########. The guy hasn't had a bad PPV match in forever, and put on good(not watchable, actual good) PPV matches with freakin Ryback.

And Mark, The Rock of WM28 and WM29 was not a good worker. He blew up as quickly as Batista and was sloppy sloppy.


Don't disagree. He's mostly great. I'm picking nits, but among the greats, I'd skip duct taping guys to ring posts, slams through ambulances, and the like. He's more prone to overkill.

The midcard right now is led by Barrett, Cesaro, and the Usos. Hard to argue with their direction. Whether they should be able to sustain more than about 8 feuds at a time given all their programming is a fair question, but not really about the midcard.
   251. steagles Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:34 AM (#4700935)
the problem with cena is that nothing he does has any stakes at this point. if he wins or loses a title, who cares; he'll be back in the main event next week/month/year regardless. and his character hasn't developed at all in the last decade so nothing he does in the ring or on the mic actually affects what he does. he's basically a caricature of himself...which is probably the same thing you'd say about hokogan before the NWO, so if WWE ever, ever decides to pull the trigger on a cena heel turn...they'll probably ruin it within a month...but if they don't, there's a lot of interesting stuff to be mined there.




also, i love that the WWE is acknowledging the existence of stables again, but they're doing it wrong. the gimmicks are getting over, but i don't know that any of the actual wrestlers are. there's time to fix that, but it seems like an issue with both the shield and the wyatts.
   252. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:13 AM (#4700942)
Barrett, Cesaro, and the Usos are all being pushed, but they're not really involved in any feuds. Barrett is a cheap heat magnet, Cesaro is just kinda with Heyman now, and the Usos haven't really had an angle in years.

I dunno, can't you say that about any established main eventer that they're going to wind up back in the main event? I mean, what do you want to put Cena into an IC title feud?

Regarding the stables, I'd say Bray and Reigns are crazy over on their own. I trust Rollins and Ambrose will be able to get over on their own when the time comes, Harper and Rowan have really been nothing but blind followers so they're a different story.
   253. Canker Soriano Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4701247)
I love a whole bunch of guys they have in NXT, but I'm afraid once they get called up they'll all be stuck in mid-card wasteland. They definitely have enough TV time to build up several feuds at a time.

The guy last night - the exotic express Adam Rose - could be a lot of fun if he's got the talent to back it up. Either he'll be over, or 3 months from now he and Fandango will be holding dance-offs that get booed out of the building.

But yeah, I don't think anyone knows what to do with the midcard at this point. Part of the problem is that they put the midcard belts on people who never defend them. Ambrose held the title for a year - how many defenses did he actually have in that time (not counting house shows)? I don't think I could name half a dozen in that time. He fought for the belt about as often as professional boxers do. I don't necessarily want a return to the Attitude era policy of whip-fast title changes, but it's got to be up in the air more than this.

(One of the nice things about Attitude titles was that you couldn't just assume that the champion would always retain except at a PPV. The only person to win a top level title on RAW in the last 3 years was Ziggler when he cashed in the MITB. Speaking of missed opportunities with guys currently languishing in the midcard.)
   254. Conor Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4701270)
(One of the nice things about Attitude titles was that you couldn't just assume that the champion would always retain except at a PPV. The only person to win a top level title on RAW in the last 3 years was Ziggler when he cashed in the MITB. Speaking of missed opportunities with guys currently languishing in the midcard.)


It's possible that with the Network they could switch the title on RAW sometimes, since they don't need to get people to shell out $60 a month to see the PPV.

I like Harper a lot; I agree he doesn't really have much of a character right now but I think he's a really good worker, especially for a guy his size. And I love Rollins; I think he's probably my favorite member of the shield, though I get that Reigns is obviously the guy they have earmarked as the star of the group. But I'm honestly not sure how over any of the three are right now as a single; Reigns gets the pops when he tags in, but he hasn't done a lot of singles matches and I don't remember the ones he's had having a lot of heat. As a team, they're incredible.

And I wouldn't blame last night on Cena as the match was overbooked to hell. The psychology was all over the place. Multiple times it was made clear Harper & Rowan would not let Cena escape the cage... so Cena attempts to leave the cage 8 or 9 times instead of trying to pin Wyatt (which he's already done successfully at WM).


This was just so dumb. Like you said, Cena pinned him the first time they wrestled, and how many times does Cena have to try and escape and get thwarted before he just tries to pin Waytt? I've never liked the escape the cage rules anyway.
   255. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4701272)
Barrett, Cesaro, and the Usos are all being pushed, but they're not really involved in any feuds. Barrett is a cheap heat magnet, Cesaro is just kinda with Heyman now, and the Usos haven't really had an angle in years.


I guess I kind of look at it differently. I usually watch Raw and Smackdown, the PPVs, and some NXT/Main Event if I know there's something on there that I want to see (as well as ROH every week). Whether or not it is successful, in my eyes, depends on whether I am entertained throughout the show. As much as I love Bryan, last night's dumb horror story thing with Kane was not entertaining. As far as the midcard, I am always entertained watching Cesaro and those other guys. Sure, I would love it if Ziggler and Rhodes had more to do because I also find them highly entertaining, but it's hard for me to complain too much unless the stuff that is getting on instead of them is terrible.

   256. SouthSideRyan Posted: May 06, 2014 at 02:20 PM (#4701288)
I don't really disagree, in that I'd much rather watch a good match with no build than a mediocre match with some sort of story to it, the problem is so much of what can make a match good involves the drama tied to it, and the fan reaction that comes with it.

Cena-Punk MITB and Cena-Punk Raw #1 Contender are my 2 favorite matches since getting back into it, and while they're great matches on their own, they became the epics they were because of the storyline and the crowd. Obviously you can't match that with the mid-card, but for instance when's the last time Alberto Del Rio had a story?
   257. Canker Soriano Posted: May 06, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4701397)
And I love Rollins; I think he's probably my favorite member of the shield, though I get that Reigns is obviously the guy they have earmarked as the star of the group.

Rollins is on pace to be Jeff Hardy without (hopefully) the substance problems.

Honestly, I look at the Shield right now as taking the two best parts of the Freebirds (Ambrose/Hayes; Reigns/Gordy), and, instead of headgear-wearing Buddy Roberts, adding the pre-injury Dynamite Kid as the third. Which is to say, a hell of a team.

As much as I love Bryan, last night's dumb horror story thing with Kane was not entertaining.

Bryan's still so over he can handle it, but if they drag this feud out, his heat is going to start to wane. What they really need is a dynamite technical wrestler to go back and forth with him through the summer, to showcase Bryan's skillset instead of keeping him as the scrappy underdog always running scared of bigger men. This is where losing CM Punk hurts, because he'd have been perfect in that role. My hope would be for an extended Bryan/Cesaro program, leading up to the return of Lesnar and a Bryan/Lesnar program (with Bryan working off of Heyman in the promos, and getting away from all this Authority nonsense). My guess is you'll see Bryan/Orton, Bryan/Batista, and Bryan/Sheamus (not necessarily in that order).
   258. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 04:22 PM (#4701467)
My hope would be for an extended Bryan/Cesaro program, leading up to the return of Lesnar and a Bryan/Lesnar program (with Bryan working off of Heyman in the promos


I really like that idea.
   259. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4701537)
I get that Roman Reigns has The Look, I get that but I've underwhelmed by his moveset, especially his finisher, and have heard nothing from him mic-wise. I like Rollins' in-ring work a lot better. Ambrose does nothing for me.

Bray is far and away my favorite current wrestler. Don't care that much about the rest of the Wyatts.
   260. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4701550)
I get that Roman Reigns has The Look, I get that but I've underwhelmed by his moveset, especially his finisher, and have heard nothing from him mic-wise. I like Rollins' in-ring work a lot better. Ambrose does nothing for me.

Bray is far and away my favorite current wrestler. Don't care that much about the rest of the Wyatts.


My favorite wrestlers right now in WWE:

1. Cesaro
2. Rollins
3. Bryan
4. Ziggler
5. Rhodes

I don't really include him in the list of current wrestlers, but it is worth noting that HHH has been in the 2 best matches of the year so far.
   261. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: May 06, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4701555)
I am completely enamored by Dean Ambrose. He's got so many small nuances you have to watch out for- his facial expressions, in-ring gestures, his selling. There are just so many little things you can watch out for in an Ambrose match to be entertained.

And he can play any type of character. He's known for playing psycho/creepy heels, but I've been impressed with his Ricky Morton-esque face-in-peril stuff he's been doing recently. He's not the most technical of guys, like Bryan, but he's got a great mind for the ring, kinda like CM Punk.
   262. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 06, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4701558)
My list would go:

1. Bray
2. Orton
3. Rollins
4. Bryan
5. Emma

EDIT: I'm also completely biased here, but...I would like to see more of Kofi Kingston so I can really form an opinion on him.
   263. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4701559)
I am completely enamored by Dean Ambrose. He's got so many small nuances you have to watch out for- his facial expressions, in-ring gestures, his selling. There are just so many little things you can watch out for in an Ambrose match to be entertained.

And he can play any type of character. He's known for playing psycho/creepy heels, but I've been impressed with his Ricky Morton-esque face-in-peril stuff he's been doing recently. He's not the most technical of guys, like Bryan, but he's got a great mind for the ring, kinda like CM Punk.


I think he has a ton of potential. They have not really let him do his own thing a whole lot so far, but I definitely agree with the stuff about his expressions and movements. I heard him say recently that this is the first time he has ever portrayed a babyface at any level, anywhere, for any amount of time (which is nuts). I could see him ending up as anything from a guy who is perpetually underused because he can make a garbage storyline passable all the way to a sort of Roddy Piper type main event heel who draws more heat than it seems like he should.
   264. Canker Soriano Posted: May 06, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4701588)
I am completely enamored by Dean Ambrose. He's got so many small nuances you have to watch out for- his facial expressions, in-ring gestures, his selling. There are just so many little things you can watch out for in an Ambrose match to be entertained.

He is an old-school throwback in the ring, which I love. In this atmosphere he's the kind of guy crowds are going to love to cheer, but I also think he could turn on them and just be a monster heel. Piper is an excellent comparison. It's no stretch at all to imagine Ambrose breaking a coconut over someone's head in the middle of an interview. He would not have been out of place in Memphis in the late 1980s, or in the old Mid-South territory, filling a role that went to a guy like Eddie Gilbert.

He also seems to be a genuinely nice guy who is having the time of his life right now, and I root for people like that. I love that the WWE finally seems to be coming around to signing and pushing guys who made their names on the small circuits, instead of only wanting to build up guys they developed themselves.
   265. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 06:54 PM (#4701593)
He also seems to be a genuinely nice guy who is having the time of his life right now, and I root for people like that. I love that the WWE finally seems to be coming around to signing and pushing guys who made their names on the small circuits, instead of only wanting to build up guys they developed themselves.


I think they're doing both. The training center they opened in Florida is definitely a way to teach guys how they want things done on TV, which is their right. I think it's a fair way to acclimate the indy guys to their way of doing business. I also think they are doing a better job of finding guys who want to be wrestlers. I think part of the reason they lost so many guys in the early part of the 00s is that they had tons of guys who came late to the business and did it because it was a way to make money. It seems like most of their top guys now really only want to be pro wrestlers because they love wrestling.
   266. Conor Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4701604)
What they really need is a dynamite technical wrestler to go back and forth with him through the summer, to showcase Bryan's skillset instead of keeping him as the scrappy underdog always running scared of bigger men.


Agree so much; it really struck me watching the match on Sunday that if they really want to showcase Bryan, he needs to be having awesome matches at every PPV instead of decent weird brawls like the one with Kane. Not sure Cesaro is far enough up the card right now to justify it; but Cesaro-Bryan main events would be awesome.
   267. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4701607)
1. Bryan
2. Orton
3. Cesaro
4. Rollins
5. Paige

Orton at this point is almost perfect as an in-ring heel. He's got all of the mannerisms down pat. His mic work could obviously be better. I thought he was a total pro at Mania after taking (what looked like) a nasty bump, but still carrying the match for a few minutes while Bryan was on the stretcher.

Paige is obviously way beyond the rest of the current divas roster in-ring, at least while Emma is off playing a silly comedy gimmick with Santino. They badly need Summer Rae and AJ back, and to give the ladies more time in the ring to actually work.

Reigns needs to work some actual matches. Right now he has a good set of signature moves, and he sells fairly well (at least in the moment). He rarely does anything else, Ambrose and Rollins do most of the actual work. If he's going to be going 1-on-1 against HHH at Summerslam, they need to give him some more ring time. I guess he's been touring against Orton, but their match on Raw didn't really get any time to run.
   268. andrewberg Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:20 PM (#4701613)
Agree with all of 267. Can't wait for Paige to get more opportunities to really wrestle- I think she could be a totally transformative woman wrestler.
   269. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4701620)
I think Bryan is feuding with Kane for two reasons:

1. The main event level heels are all busy, and other guys need more build-up. Bryan had scheduled time off followed by emergency time off, so there wasn't really any chance to build a feud with anyone else. Kane and Bryan have a long history that needs very little build.

2. This seems like it could be Kane's last run, so he gets to go out in style after ~20 years of loyal service. With Undertaker off the table, there really isn't anyone more appropriate than Bryan to send Kane on his way. If they do the buried alive match at Payback, I think that's it for him.

When Bryan loses the belt, it will probably be to Lesnar, either at Summerslam or (more likely) the Rumble. After he's had his rematches with the Authority guys, I think they will probably pit him against the two Heyman guys as the Authority's hired guns.

Whether Bryan gets to get the belt back from Lesnar depends on a. staying super over and b. Reigns' success as a solo act.

Bryan and Lesnar could be a true classic match, if Lesnar can still call upon his amateur repertoire.
   270. steagles Posted: May 06, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4701625)
   271. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:16 PM (#4705511)
This Bryan neck injury is pretty brutal timing.
   272. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM (#4705519)
At least the fact that they didn't strip the belts (yet?) means he probably won't be out for long.

Guy's had a pretty rough go of it since his honeymoon ended.
   273. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 12, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4705531)
Tonight looks like the possible kickoff to the Roman Reigns singles push, and they still don't have him work a full match.
   274. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 13, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4706093)
Things have slowed down since I started going on job interviews, but I finished Vengeance '02 today. RVD vs. Brock was really good. It's also probably not a great sign that I have no idea whether I'm supposed to like HHH when they really seem to want me to care about whether he is "signing" to Raw or Smackdown.
   275. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4706502)
Summerslam 2002 was awesome. First truly great PPV, top to bottom, in a long, long time.
   276. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4706530)
Guy who I hated as a kid, but kind of like as I watch this stuff: Booker T.

I was a fan of Harlem Heat because they were black and gave my brother and I something to identify with, but hated Booker T the singles wrestler.
   277. andrewberg Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4706594)
I had to watch Punk-Cena from MITB 11 to cheer myself up after a 20 minute stretch in which the Northstars lost in OT, the refs handed a game to the Thunder, and the Mariners blew a 1-0 lead in the 9th. It worked. That was such an amazing crowd.
   278. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4706612)
EDIT: I'm also completely biased here, but...I would like to see more of Kofi Kingston so I can really form an opinion on him.

Kofi is as acrobatic as they come. He's a joy to watch.
   279. MHS Posted: May 14, 2014 at 12:52 PM (#4706613)
but it is worth noting that HHH has been in the 2 best matches of the year so far.


Disagree. Maybe 2 of top 10, which is impressive for a generally mediocre worker who wrestles a light schedule, but I strongly feel that the the first two shield vs wyatts 6 mans were the best matches of the year and I don't think it's close. I'd also put Cesaro vs Sammy as third - with a bunch of other stuff being bunched after that.

   280. MHS Posted: May 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4706762)
My favorite...

Titus O'neil - guilty pleasure. very stiff, high energy interview style. I only wish with bookers new what to do with him.

Ceasaro - great natural charisma, very cool and differentiated move set.

Seth Rollins - broadly the same strengths as Ceasaro (differenitaed move set and natural charisma) but 180 degrees different. Can talk too.

Luke Harper - i can't remeber a better pure lackey. i love his look too. When the Wyatts eventually breakup they need to repackage him as a crazy hillbilly pure deliverence style.

Dean Ambrose - the Piper comp is perfect. He does all of the little things right. Once he sharpens up his move set he will be an all time great.

I'm not a big fan of Reigns at this point. I think he throws more clotheslines per minute of ring time than anyone in the history of wrestling. I'm I missing something or is his move set: punch, punch, kick kick, clothesline, apron drop kick, superman punch, spear... Am I missing anything?
   281. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4706824)
Nope, that's pretty much all he's got. I think he also did a Samoan drop Mark Henry once. He's got great energy, the moves look good, but he has shown a limited repertoire and gets very little ring time even in long matches. They really need to put him in singles matches before they fully push him. They should have him go 1-on-1 with Orton at one of the small PPVs before they pull the trigger on HHH at Summerslam, assuming that's the plan.
   282. andrewberg Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4706832)
279- I graded that first Shield/Wyatts match an "A," same as Shield-Evolution and HHH-Bryan. I loved the Zayn-Cesaro match at Arrival but didn't write it up (the other guy who writes on my blog did), and I don't grade Raw matches, but also loved the Shield-Wyatt rematch. I agree with everything, and you are right that my basic point is that HHH is having much better matches than I would expect from him at this point in his career.

281- I am less concerned with the variety of moves than his ability to sequence matches in a way that is exciting. His matches tend to drag unless he is with a tag partner who picks up the pace early. Granted, that is a skill he can definitely learn. In a way, these two comments are two sides of the same coin.
   283. MHS Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4706859)
282, I think the reason his matches drag is his prolonged offense consists of clothesline, clothesline, clothesline, clothesline..,.

Despite what I wrote in 280., I do t think you need a huge move set to be successful but you need more than clothes lines.

I actually, like his selling and his comebacks are awesome.

   284. Chokeland Bill Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4706875)
Along with the matches named so far, the Cesaro/Cena match on RAW just before Elimination Chamber was pretty good. EC itself was also a Top 10 contender.

I think HHH did a great job with storytelling in the Bryan match. He started out dismissive, then got more and more worried/desperate as the match went on. Stephanie also did a great (better?) job at ringside. I think those elements, as well as the long lead-up, put it over the Shield matches.
   285. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4709465)
Hell in a Cell (PPV):
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker, Badd Blood '97
2. HHH vs. Cactus Jack, No Way Out '00
3. Undertaker vs. Mankind, King of the Ring '98 (I had never watched this match outside of highlights and there really isn't much but the highlights. Insane spots and almost a non stop "holy ####\" match, but not much actually going on)
4. Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, No Mercy '02 (First time I've ever really felt uneasy about the amount of blood lost during a match. Brutal affair. Great effort by both guys and told a great story.)
5. Chris Jericho vs. HHH, Judgment Day '02 (Kudos to referee Tim White for the best/most memorable spot. Face HHH doesn't really work for me.)
6. HHH vs. Undertaker vs. The Rock vs. Stone Cold vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi, Armageddon '00 (Just a complete mess with no memorable moments. Seemed like an excuse just to see how many guys they can have blade in one match)
7. Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man, Wrestlemania XV (I would love to hear how/why this got booked and how/why it was plotted the way it was and how/why its finish was chosen/approved)

EDIT: The storylines are getting tough to follow with the whole Raw/Smackdown brand split and how it seems like every month a new title is being combined or abandoned or whatever. Just a lot going on right now and it doesn't feel like there's an overarching/main event level feud with REAL purpose.
   286. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4709478)
I just checked and apparently there are both "World Tag Team Titles" and "WWE Tag Team Championship"s being competed for. This seems unbelievably stupid and it's hard to accept that this is/was a thing.
   287. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 19, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4709832)
Scott Steiner vs. HHH, Royal Rumble 2003. Considering card placement and title involvement...one of the worst matches I've ever seen.

I'm getting a kick out of the fact that Brock Lesnar was feuding with Undertaker and has since moved on to the Big Show, resulting in a match vs Big Show at Rumble '03. Seems...familiar, somehow.

EDIT: "You hear Chris Benoit talk about his 16 years, he sacrificed his life, he sacrificed his family, to chase this WWE Championship"-Michael Cole, Royal Rumble '03
   288. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 20, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4710222)
Scott Steiner vs. HHH II, No Way Out 2003. Baffled as to how this match was allowed to happen after the travesty at the Rumble. Shocked as to how it managed to nearly equal its predecessor in terribleness.
   289. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 20, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4710281)
EDIT: "You hear Chris Benoit talk about his 16 years, he sacrificed his life, he sacrificed his family, to chase this WWE Championship"-Michael Cole, Royal Rumble '03

There used to be a promo segment up on YouTube, now sadly deleted, of a grim and bloodied Chris Benoit saying, "My wife... will NOT be watching Raw this Monday. My little son... will NOT be watching this Monday. Because I am going to do something so violent... and so heinous... that they will be unable to look."
   290. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: May 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4710639)
Updated Wrestlemania Rankings:

1. XIX (Austin-Rock III was almost as good as Austin-Rock II, Michaels-Jericho was terrific, Lesnar-Angle was also really good, and McMahon-Hogan was good for what it was)
2. XXX
3. X-Seven
4. X8
5. 2000
6. XIV
7. 13
8. XV
   291. MHS Posted: June 02, 2014 at 12:57 PM (#4717390)
I enjoyed Payback last night despite really disliking the top of the card.

Rusev vs Big E
Rusev's best match yet, Big E's signature spear to the outside was very cool to see against a guy as large as Rusev. Hard hitting, big guy man match. Good Stuff 2.5 stars.. I will add that Big E is just not over, the response when he tried to get the crowd into an old school U-S-A chant was silence. I mean nothing.

Alicia Fox vs Paige
I love what Alicia has been doing the last couple of months. Just some of the most compelling Diva stuff we have seen. Paige who was over like rover in NXT is just missing the mark and coming off bland as an English cooking. Fun match with Alicia just bringing it. This was probably the blow off of their mini feud so I'm hoping the will find something cool to do with her and not just lose her in the shuffle. Easily the most entertaining Diva. 3 stars - all due to Alicia's amazing antics.

Cesaro vs Sheamus
Fun, fun match. Very hard hitting and stiff. I could watch these guys wrestle every week for the next year and not get bored. Loved the ending, I dig that they are using the swing only in big matches. Really really good stuff - 3.5 stars.

Bad News Barrett vs RVD
God I hate Rob Van Dam. I hated him in his prime, and hate him now that he is moving in slow motion, with that said he tried hard in this one and wasn't as sloppy as normal. I didn't like the missed bull hammer elbow that hit the post, it just don't make sense that Barrett can wrap his arm violently wround the post and then 3 minutes later use the same move with no ramifications for the win. Barrett was very over 2.5 stars.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
This was disapointing. I don't usually, like last man standing matches, and this was no exception. Luke Harper was as usual the best part of this match. Harper rules... crazy ass superplex on outside through a table. The psychology of last man standing matches just don't really work for me, this match was harmed by it. I also think despite Harper ruling the match was really harmed by the constant outside involvement of the Usos and the Wyatt family. The Usos piece doesn't really make much sense since they never explained why the Usos are so willing to go through tables for Cena. 3 stars, really disappointing for a co-main event that was given this much time.You'd assume this was the blow off match, so I'll be interested in seeing what’s next for both guys.

Evolution vs the Shield
I was interested in how this match would be laid out since the elimination rules plus no the no -dq stipulation could lead to some craziness. We did get some craziness, with one the most vicious insane extended beatdown segments ever including some bad ass Singapore caning. To be honest, I found the beatdown segment to actually be a little bit uncomfortable. I was really surprised that the agent found a way to book all of the Shield so strong, rather than just strapping the rocket to Reigns. I loved how they made both Rollins and Dean look like players here and not just support. 3.5 stars, I think the stipulations really advanced the story line and arc of the shield but the match quality suffered... I'm also dinging this a bit for the gratuitous level of violence in the beatdown segment.
   292. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: June 02, 2014 at 08:39 PM (#4717755)
I agree with most of what you wrote, but wanted to give special props to Alicia Fox. I'm just getting back into WWE and this is/was the first time I saw Fox wrestle and I was really impressed. I know the internet loves Paige, but she hasn't done anything for me so far. Her finisher looks really cool though.

I have to disagree with you on Cena v. Wyatt. I thought it was a really good match despite the fact that the concept of a bloodless Last Man Standing match seems like a tough sell (Good Ol JR agreed on Twitter). I also thought it made Bray look much better than last month's encounter with Cena. I would go so far as to say they looked downright even. I could have done without the outside interference and the Usos involvement without an explanation for their motivation bothers me as well.
   293. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 02, 2014 at 09:00 PM (#4717764)
I'll have to watch the PPV again because most of my attention was focused on the Hawks game, but it seemed like a solid enought PPV for a b-show. Evolution-Shield was my favorite match of the night. Sheamus-Cesaro was very good despite the crappy finish; hopefully we get some more matches out of these two. I like Cena tossing the stairs at Wyatt but was underwhelmed by the match; this whole feud has been booked horribly. Hopefully the Wyatts pick up their feud with the Shield.

I've been working this crazy busy job for the past few months so I've only been able to read Raw recaps. Frankly I don't think I'm missing much on Raw but the wrestling over the last two PPV's has been very solid.
   294. andrewberg Posted: June 02, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4717765)
Here's what I wrote about Payback link.

As you can see, I liked the Cena-Wyatt match quite a bit. I have similar thoughts to NJ. I thought the Uso stuff made enough sense since they have been targeted by Harper and Rowan recently and the match would have been nonsense if they just teamed up to beat down Cena. It was so much better than their disaster at Extreme Rules.

I love Cesaro and he is one of the best things on every show. Part of me is really excited to see him move up to the main event, but I am also enjoying his current run so much that there is not too much urgency.
   295. Chokeland Bill Posted: June 02, 2014 at 11:10 PM (#4717848)
Well, I was wondering where they were gonna go with the Shield now. Wasn't expecting that particular twist.
   296. Canker Soriano Posted: June 03, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4718048)
Rollins has really broken out as a performer in the last couple of months. Still, Ambrose would have been the more obvious one to turn - he's always seemed a little unhinged.

I just hope they have something to do with him, aside from just wrestling Ambrose and Reigns. You can't have Evolution v. Shield forever, and I'm not sure who he pairs up with well on the roster right now. (Rollins-Bryan would be terrific, but I'm not sure they want to shoot him that high that soon.)
   297. MHS Posted: June 03, 2014 at 03:56 PM (#4718281)
I thought it was pretty likely that they were going to start down the road of a shield split. I wasn't sure which of the three they would turn, if I had to handicap it I think I would have said 1) Dean 2) Seth 3) Roman. I definitely didn't expect it now, but certainly before Summerslam. There was simply nothing left for the Shield to do as a trio.

I think the choice of which guy to flip is really interesting.

Seth, clearly has the move set of a baby face, always able to pop the crowd. Also his look is counter culture - so it could fit as a heel but less so if aligned with the corporate culture. Finally, I'm not sure he has the mic skills to explain why turning on the Shield after two big wins.

Dean, I think may have been a more logical choice - but the truth is I love him as a face. His selling is just so awesome that making him a heal really limits it. Plus, hate filed Dean, as a wronged good guy versus Rollins should be money.

Roman, I would turned him. I think the initial money in Reigns is as a heal. I don't think he can work as a face at this point at a top level unless they are working matches backwards (face controls and works on top) which needless to say is the opposite of what history shows works.

In a sense, I'm sad to see the best thing the WWE as done in like 10 years come to an end. On the other hand I'm pumped to see what is next.

Good times.
   298. Chokeland Bill Posted: June 03, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4718316)
The look on Ambrose's face after the chair shot was priceless
   299. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: June 03, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4718319)
It'll be interesting to see Rollins as a corporate heel. He played a heel in ROH as part of The Age of the Fall, but he was basically an emo teenager. Hopefully he'll turn out for the better than two of Orton's Legacy proteges.

Ambrose is a great heel but he's more loner/psychopath than corporate heel. But he's also been a terrific babyface this year. So I'd be OK with him as either a loner tweener or face.
   300. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: June 03, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4718396)
Watching last night's Raw on Hulu+, though I have not seen Payback. Thoughts on the last couple weeks:

Dean Ambrose is terrific. If I could pick one WWE wrestler to cast in movies, I'd pick him. I think he's the best actor in the company. But if Bray Wyatt were a character on a popular television show, he would be as iconic as Walter White or Omar Little.

I really wonder about Daniel Bryan and his neck surgery. Is he really expected to come back anytime soon and actually wrestle? I mean, the dude just had neck surgery. I can't imagine him coming back at full capacity.

Batista's outrage on Twitter after Bluetista was awesome, especially rewriting his bio as #wwejobber. His return was not really welcome, but he's redeemed himself.

NXT Takeover was a fantastic show. But Sami Zayn will be 30 next month, and I fear the WWE are not maximizing what little peak physical condition years he has left.

God I hate The USOs.

I am a Bo-liever. I can't wait to see what they have in mind for him.

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