Monday, November 3, 2014

Predicting Team Cena vs Team Authority Edition

Welcome back to another episode of Inside the Wrestling Ring!

Last week on Raw it was announced that be Team Cena vs Team Authority in a traditional Survivor Series. And tonight on Raw, Mr. McMahon announced that if Team Cena wins, the Authority will no longer be in control.

But who will represent each team? That is a very good question and that is exactly what we are here to discuss.

Team Authority is guaranteed to have both Kane and Seth Rollins. But who else should join? Should it be Triple H? In a perfect world, yes. Especially with the new stipulation. But I don't see it happening, unfortunately.

I think that Mark Henry will join Team Authority. He is just getting a renewed push after his heel turn. He is the World's Strongest Man. If you were part of the Authority, wouldn't you want someone with that moniker on your side?

I would like to put the Brothers' Dust on the team to finish off the team, but I am hoping for a Tag Title match at the PPV so I will hold off on them. Also I think that Rusev would be a good person to have on the team, but it wouldn't make sense to put him on it. I also think that Miz/Mizdow should be on the team, but I have a feeling they will not be again.

I think that Cesaro would make an excellent addition as well. I keep waiting on him to be pushed to the next level. But I think his comments about not wanting to see Orton vs Cena again will keep him out of the main event.

The fifth person on the team will probably be Randy Orton, but he will do more damage to his team than for his team.

For Team Cena, clearly you have John Cena. He has all ready begun campaigning and will most likely get Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler on his team.

If Mark Henry is on Team Authority, then Cena will recruit the World's Largest Athlete the Big Show to his team.

The fourth member of Team Cena will be the returning Ryback. Again, he is in line for a big push and what better way to give it to him then give him a chance in the main event spotlight.

As far as the fifth member of Team Cena, I have a feeling we won't find out who it will be until the event. I think it will either be a brief return for Chris Jericho or someone from NXT. So my final prediction will be that it will be NXT champion Adrian Neville.

What do you think of my picks? Who would you have on either team?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Alberto Del Rio Edition

Welcome back to Inside The Wrestling Ring. Last week we had a very surprising release from the WWE. I find it interesting that he wasn't wished the best in his future endeavors, just flat out released.

A multiple time champion, a Money In The Bank winner, and a Royal Rumble winner, Alberto Del Rio was fired last week for "unprofessional conduct." While nothing has been confirmed yet, a staff member on was asked to clean his plate, he turned around and said something along the lines of "I shouldn't have to, that's something for a guy like Del Rio to do," Del Rio didn't take kindly to this. Del Rio confronted the staff member who simply smiled at Del Rio, so Alberto slapped him.

It was a terrible joke that the staff member made. Could it be perceived as a racist joke? Yes, I think it could. But, quite frankly, you can perceive just about anything you want as being racist. Did the staff member, Cody Barbierri, deserve to be slapped? No, I don't think so. I am not saying what he said was right, but Barbierri should have been suspended. We live in a time where Political Correctness is running wild. Barbierri stepped over a line with his comment. Jokingly said or not, there is no reason to make that kind of joke. Not even "just among friends." It was a terribly insensitive of him.

In the same regard though, I don't think that Del Rio should have been fired either. He acted out in defense of his nationality. I believe a suspension would have been better for Del Rio than to be fired. I am sure that his contract with the company was rather large. And with their desperation over the WWE Network and $9.99, some have viewed this as a cost cutting measure as well.

Barbierri is just lucky that Del Rio didn't slap the Cross Arm Breaker on him. He would have definitely been sorry for his not-funny comment then!

I wasn't a fan of Del Rio. I found him to be boring at times. My biggest issue with him is that he got too much too soon. Within his first year in the company he had climbed the top of the ladder. I did enjoy that his move set varied match to match and he would throw out moves that he didn't use every single match. Del Rio was a workhorse for them though. I think it is safe to say his presence will be missed in the company.

After news of the firing was released, former WWE and WCW wrestler Konnan accused the WWE of racism. I know that Barberri's comment was racist, but does that make the entire organization racist? I don't think so. And just to be ironic, Konnan started a hashtag #FreeRey to get Rey Mysterio out of his contract. I guess he didn't have a problem when WCW had an African American wrestler named GI Bro. I mean, clearly, that isn't racist at all. I'm sorry, but to me this seems like Konnan trying to keep his name relevant, when really he hasn't been for a decade. Maybe I am wrong; maybe I am not seeing what Konnan is seeing.
Tell me what you think?

Special thanks to my wonderful wife and editor for helping me with my blogs!


Friday, August 8, 2014

The 2014 Black Thursday Edition

Welcome to the brand new Inside the Wrestling Ring blog. Inspired by the return of the Peverett Phile, I thought it was time to bring back my blogs as well. I have missed a lot in the world of professional wrestling over the past few months so hopefully I will be able to catch up with all that I missed. 

Before we get started, hopefully everyone likes the new logo!

I know this is very late, but it's been sitting on the shelf for a while.

On Thursday, June 12th was a tough day for several now former WWE superstars. In all 11 superstars were future endeavored.  There has been a lot of speculation as to why. Does it have to do with the WWE Network not being nearly as successful as the company had expected? Does it mean that a huge signing had been made and roster spots had to be cleared? Did it have to do with the great losses of money Vince McMahon had recently had? These are all speculations on the web. I guess really only Mr. McMahon and the a few select other people know the answer.

I thought I would take this opportunity to give my reaction to the recently released. 

Even though she wasn't part of the June 12th releases, the WWE also recently released Emma after a bizarre shoplifting incident at a local Wal-Mart.

Referee Marc Harris was released on June 12th. He had recently been in the news for botching a finish of a match and then reacting kind of badly about it on Twitter. So it wasn't entirely that much of a shock that he was released.

The Funkasaurus Brodus Clay was among the others released that day. This was a little bit of a surprise to me. He had fallen off the main roster following his brief feud with Xavier Woods and the end of his tag team with Tensai. But he was living up to his self made moniker of the Main Event Playa, at least main eventing NXT. He had a series of matches with NXT champion Adrian Neville. Perhaps his release had to do with him knocking out two of Neville's front teeth (My editor and now wife Lori thinks this is the case, and I tend to agree). For a big man he had a good amount of speed and flexibility. I wouldn't be surprised if he caught on somewhere else that needs talent.

Among the others released that day was Evan Bourne. That really came as no surprise to anyone. He hadn't been seen on television since 2011 due to two separate suspensions and a car accident. It's a shame because I think that he was talented but with two strikes against him, the WWE just decided it was time to call it quits with him. I will admit that I had expected him to make a return in say a Royal Rumble, but I guess it was never meant to be.

I interpret this blog with BREAKING NEWS. Emma was just re-instated. Shortest release of all time!

Aksana was also one of the released. When I was told a diva was released, she was my first guess. Nothing against her, but I saw little improvement from her days of NXT. She had a unique look, but she didn't offer anything in the ring or on the microphone. 

Also released was Curt Hawkins. I could not tell you the last time he was on television. But I still think this was bad. I think he could have had a role similar to what Tyson Kidd is doing now in NXT. He is a former tag team champion that just needed a little bit of repackaging and some good luck. Again, I have no doubt he will catch on somewhere else.

Another superstar that seemed to be getting on track down in NXT was Camacho. He had a few matches against Adam Rose and had started a rivalry with him. But I guess WWE thought they had done enough with Camacho as they could.

Yoshi Tatsu was also among the recently released. He started off on fire when he debuted on ECW, but after moves to Raw and Smackdown became more of a comedy talent which turned into an enhancement talent and later seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth. This surprised me a little that he was released since WWE is all about the global performers sometimes. But he was never going to move up in the company, so in the end I guess it made a little sense to release him.

Now hold on, playa. What do you mean they released Tag Team Teddy Long? Sad but true, but former referee/manager/GM Teddy Long was also released. It made sense in the fact that there was too many authority figures. But I think he could have gone back to being a manager. Other then Lana and Paul Heyman, there aren't any managers left. I would have liked that more then flat out releasing him.

And then there is the curious case of JTG. Every year it seemed when cuts were being made, he would survive despite rarely being on TV if at all. There were rumors online that he saved Mr. McMahon's life and that's why he was still on the roster. I think other then the "There was two Ultimate Warriors" rumor this is my favorite. But in the end, the last one to be released on this day was indeed JTG. He just couldn't get on his feet without his former tag team partner Shad. After Shad's release (and previous feud) JTG was left without a storyline. Sadly that happened in 2010. 

But perhaps the biggest surprises of the releases happend to Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre. These are two guys that unlike the previously named wrestlers were on television almost every week, sometimes on both Raw and Smackdown. Granted they lost all the time they were on TV. It makes me very curious why two thirds of 3MB were released. Maybe they have big plans for Heath Slater. I am not sure why they are since he was never referred to as the Chosen One.

In a recent interview, McIntyre stated "It's a matter of when I return to the WWE, not If". I hope that he does, as it is well documented that I was a fan of his. I thought that putting him in 3MB was punishment but after he was out of the dog house good things would happen to him. I hope he is right.

Well that is it for now. I will be back real soon with another new blog. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Global Force Wrestling Edition

Welcome back to another edition of Inside The Wrestling Ring. This post was originally written in April and sat on the shelf for 3 months, but as you can see it's time for me to step back Inside The Wrestling Ring. There will be some changes made so I hope that you will like. Since this is technically an old blog, it will be the last one with the old logo. New logo to be revealed soon!

It really is an exciting time to be a wrestling fan. Fans all across the world recently celebrated the World Wrestling Entertainment's Wrestlemania XXX. And for the first time since 2001 we are looking at the possibility of having not one, not two, but three major promotions in the United States. I am talking about the new project from Jeff Jarrett called Global Force Wrestling. And, of course, we also have the little engine that could named Impact Wrestling (or Total Non-Stop Action or TNA. Whatever you want to call it).

We don't know when Global Force Wrestling will start. But I have a few suggestions for Jeff Jarrett (and I am available to be a consultant if he is interested!). My biggest suggestion for him is this. Don't try to be WWE. They have been around for over fifty years. Don't try to be Impact Wrestling. Be Global Force Wrestling, whatever that is. Find your identity early and stick to it. Jarrett has a great mind for the business. I think he has a chance to make GFW the second biggest wrestling company in the US.

One of my biggest problems with TNA when they started was their reliance on WWE's former talent that was well beyond their years. It's only now that TNA is starting to push their own home-grown talent. But to have people like Hall, Nash, Hogan, Savage, Sting, Booker T, Foley, and Scott Steiner (just to name a few) as prevalent as they were, I think hurt their product. And I say this knowing what WWE has done with their part-timers recently, which I don't agree with.

I think the best thing Jarrett can do with the roster instead of taking past their prime guys, find guys that never reached their full potential in WWE or TNA. I think a roster full of guys like Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison, Chris Masters, and Carlito for example would be a good start. Jarrett didn't reach his full potential under Vince McMahon. I think he could help guide some wrestlers and help them to their limit. There are guys on WWE or TNA that could use a change of scenery. Think how over Zack Ryder is and yet he doesn't get the opportunity. I don't condone poaching off other companies’ rosters. But sometimes a change is a good thing.

The first official man on the roster is David 'The Renegade' Scougall. Fill out the roster with more names that the average fan isn't familiar with. It will help the new talent work with veterans. It will help the older guys work with new wrestlers to broaden their style, and, let's face it, with the last few weeks the free agent pool got a little deeper (more on that to come).

Another thing I would say is for Jarrett to be the face of the company, but admit that his days in the ring are over. Be smart for all the money that you are spending, don't make it just about you. I hope that Jarrett has taken all his experiences from WWE, WCW, TNA, and Mexico into mind. The booker doesn't do well as main talent. Ask Vince Russo about that.

Hire backstage people who know the business and RESPECT the business. Don't bring in someone who will make a mockery of wrestling or allow an actor to hold your world heavyweight title. Don't recycle storylines and if you do, don't make it obvious. Find only the people that want the best for the company. The product will show that.

Like I said, I am available if Jarrett needs me!

Special thanks as always to my wonderful and beautiful editor for making this readable!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The End Of The Streak Edition

Welcome back to Inside The Wrestling Ring. As always if you haven't had a chance to check out our partners at Club Kayfabe check them out. I highly recommend it!
This past Sunday we had WrestleMania XXX and of course the biggest news coming out of New Orleans was the fact that Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker, ending the greatest streak in pro wrestling history. A lot of people are complaining about it, but here is what I think.
If Undertaker wanted to lose, then he deserves to lose. It's what he wanted. He is a legend that has earned the right to say if he wins or loses a match like this. I had read that he was getting tired of the streak and wanted to lose. My only issue with it is that Brock has already done all he could have done. Former Royal Rumble winner, King Of The Ring, World Title. Lesnar has done it. For someone to beat the streak, it should have been someone who needed it to push their career. It's not like Brock Lesnar is going to come back full time.
The other thing I didn't like was just how it occurred. Because Lesnar's music didn't start right away, it felt like there was an error, like it wasn't supposed to happen, but most reports are saying it was meant to be. I say most because there is at least one "website" claiming Brock forced the referee to change the ending of the match in his favor. I will not link the website or even mention it by name. But it is not true. The ending that we saw was supposed to be ending of the match.
I asked my friend Jason to come and comment on the end of the Streak. He isn't exactly a wrestling fan. And by that I mean he doesn't watch wrestling at all. So welcome Inside The Wrestling Ring at this time the host of the Peverett Phile.
Hi Jason, let me welcome you to Inside the Wrestling Ring. I wanted to bring you on to guest blog for all the times I appear on your blog The Peverett Phile. Thanks for coming on.
Jason: Hey, Jeff, it's great to be here.
How have you been?
Jason: I'm doing okay considering the Phile is on hiatus. By the way, if it ever comes back I'll have you and Lori back on, and we'll talk about the Super Bowl that happened years ago. Lol
I was wondering your thoughts about The Undertaker losing at WrestleMania?

Jason:  I don't know what to say about The Undertaker losing WrestleMania. Does he win most of the time?

Yes, Undertaker normally wins at WrestleMania. Let's just put it this way. He has competed at 22 of 30 WrestleManias. Sunday was the first time he lost... That's why I was asking! I wanted to see if non wrestling fans had heard of "The Streak." Thank you for your time, Jason. I hope to see the triumphant return of the Peverett Phile soon!

Regardless of how you feel about the end of the streak, the one thing we can all agree on is that we will never see anything like it again in the world of professional wrestling. The Undertaker defeated Hall Of Famers, up and comers, former world champions, and Giant Gonzalez. It became an entity on its own.

With Miz losing during the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (though I don't think it should count) it looks like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns are the closest thing to a streak that we have with 2-0 each.

Special thanks to my wonderful editor for making these words readable.


Ultimate Warrior Special Edition

In the ultimate case of here one day, gone the next, The Ultimate Warrior died last night. Wrestling fans had seen him on their televisions three nights in a row. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame on Saturday Night, he appeared at WrestleMania on Sunday with the rest of the inductees of this year's class, and then on Monday he appeared live in the middle of the ring on Raw.

 Then Tuesday he died. Upon leaving a hotel in Arizona, he collapsed. Hours later he was dead.

I admit that I wasn't a huge Ultimate Warrior fan as an adult. I had heard the stories of his unprofessionalism and I was swayed by what I heard. But as a child, I admit to being a fan. I even had an Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy. I mean what kid wouldn't want the Warrior watching over him at night?
 The night he was announced to go into the Hall of Fame there was a part of me that marked out. Who could forget the night he beat Hulk Hogan and became the first man to wear both the WWE Title and Intercontinental Title? His promos were just so bizarre that you had to laugh at them as you asked "What did that even mean?"

 Ultimate Warrior's story is one of redemption though. From being ostracized and mocked by the community that made him a star to being immortalized, forgiven and allowed to tell his side of the story.

 When he appeared at The Hall Of Fame Induction ceremony, he was led to the stage by his young daughters. He said something along the lines "Of all the things I have done. the most important thing is that I will always be your father." Kind of chilling words if you think about it now. But even more chilling was what he said on Raw: "Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others, and makes them bleed deeper, and something larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the storytellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever."
 Clearly he knew something was wrong with his health. Hopefully in the next week or two we will find out as well.

 Our thoughts go out to the Ultimate Warrior's wife and two young daughters as they grieve at this time.

 The Ultimate Warrior wasn't always a great man, but honestly who can say that about themselves? I am just glad that he was able to be redeemed in his life. He saw it happen. And so did we.

 Thank you, Ultimate Warrior. For the memories. For being a part of so many of our childhoods that you will never know. Rest in Peace, Warrior

Special thanks to my wonderful Editor and more wonderful fiancée for helping me with my blogs

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wrestlemania XXX Predictions Edition

As always welcome back to Inside the Wrestling Ring. Be sure to check out our partners at Club Kayfabe Podcast for more news and reviews of the world of Professional Wrestling.

It's that time, ladies and gentlemen to talk about the Showcase Of The Immortals. It's WrestleMania season. In fact, we are just days away from WrestleMania XXX, which sounds like a terrible porno movie. But instead, it's the biggest Pay Per View Of the Year.

I thought about just posting my predictions about this year's WrestleMania, but I thought that this would be a good chance to get some of my friends that are also wrestling fans to get their voice heard as well. So it is my pleasure to introduce Steven Joseph. He has been a wrestling fan for most of his life. The difference between him and I is that he has actually stepped in the ring before. So he knows a thing or two about life inside the wrestling ring. See what I just did there?

Welcome, Steven. Glad to have you here. Let us get started.

The Pre-Show Match for Sunday is a fatal four tag team match for the Tag Team Titles. We will see the champions The Usos defend against the Real Americans, Los Matadores, and Rybaxel. I think that we waited too long for the Jimmy and Jey Uso to win the titles for them to lose them so soon, so the Usos will defend. Steven? What do you say?

Steven: The Usos.

What about The Shield Vs Kane and the New Age Outlaws? I think that the Shield will win this match. I think it will be a pretty brutal match up, but I think it will be a classic match up fans will be talking about.

Steven:  I think the shield loses in a clutsy finish and they break up.

The Andre The Giant Battle Royal can be won by just about anyone really. Except for any member of 3MB or Brad Maddox, I think we can all agree with that. I am going to say that the WWE is going to use this opportunity to make up for Royal Rumble and pick someone that they can build the future around. So I will predict that the Intercontinental Champion Big E. will win this match.

Lori: Excuse me but I think you are wrong. Big Show will win.

Thank you, Lori. And Steven? Who is your pick for the Battle Royal?

Steven: Cesaro.

Both are good choices, if you ask me. I am not sure it will be an annual match, but I wouldn't complain if it were to become one.

Who do you think will win the Diva's championship match? It is 14 women in the match and a one fall to the finish match. There is no way that AJ Lee will retain. I think that Tamina will win the match.

Steven: I can see the company taking the belt off AJ as a f*ck you to CM Punk, I have no prediction, but I'd love to see Natalya, but one of the Bellas getting it wouldn't surprise me.

I think the match the match that will steal the show (and anyone who knows me knows how hard it is for me to say this) will be John Cena vs Bray Wyatt. I look at Wyatt's match with Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble. I think the same result will happen. Bray Wyatt will have the biggest win of his career.

Steven: Cena, what else is new?

I think that Daniel Bryan will defeat Triple H and earn his way into the WWE World Title Match . Steven? What do you think will be the end result?

Steven: They go to a draw or a double DQ or something along those lines and the main event becomes fatal 4 way .

And then there is the Beast Vs The Streak. Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker. There isn't much to say here other then the streak will live on. Do you agree, Steven?

Steven: Do I bother?

Well, I guess then you are picking Brock? Just kidding. And our last match is the main event for the WWE World Title. Maybe I am overly optimistic that the WWE will give what most of the fans want to see. Except Lori. She has confirmed with me that she is part of the No Movement, not the Yes Movement. But I think WrestleMania XXX will end with Daniel Bryan holding up both championships as your new WWE World Champion. Is that your pick, Steven?

Steven: HHH will win the fatal four way, and (Daniel) Bryan gets it the next month at Extreme Rules.

Well there you have. A couple of predictions for WrestleMania XXX. It should be an interesting event where everyone from CM Punk to Steve Austin and now rumors of Shane McMahon will be appearing backstage. Right now there are three spots open for the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I would even say four as Christian will probably not be medically cleared. Who do you think will get those spots? There is a solid rumor that Rob Van Dam will. And I wouldn't be surprised to see Alexander Rusev or possibly even another NXT superstar showing up. The other thing I am beginning to question is this. 14 divas in a match just seems like an odd number (despite the fact 14 is indeed an even number). Can you imagine the pop if say Paige were in the match as well. Sunday is not that far off. I guess we will see.

A special thanks to Steven Joseph and Lori for their contribution to this week's blog. Check back next week and we will see how we did. If any of my readers would like to contribute to the blog for future editions, please contact me and we will make it happen!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ranking the 2014 Hall Of Fame Edition

Welcome to the first of two Inside The Wrestling Ring blogs of the week. First we will take a look at this year's inductees into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Coming up later in the week I will give my WrestleMania XXX predictions. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.

Before we get started, once again if you haven't checked out our partners over at Club Kayfabe podcast for your weekly wrestling reviews and thoughts.

And on with the countdown!

7. I am not a fan of the Celebrity Hall Of Fame, especially for someone who really has only appeared once or twice on WWE TV. Some people deserve it a little more, like Donald Trump who has made several memorable appearances in the company. But someone like Mr. T, who appeared at WrestleMania 1 and 2 to me is not a deserving man. Especially when you consider both of his matches are far from classics.

6. Every year there is one person whose career is not really tied to the WWE. So it's unfair for me to really judge someone like Carlos Colon. He appeared in one Royal Rumble and has his own wrestling promotion named the World Wrestling Council. His family has more connections to the WWE though, thanks to sons Carlito and Primo and his nephew Epico have all won tag team gold within the WWE.

5. I know I am going to some serious slack for this. But I am prepared for it. To me, the Ultimate Warrior is the fifth most deserving member of this Hall Of Fame. My biggest concern was how limited he was in the ring, first. But more importantly, I don't consider a run of four years to be a Hall Of Fame worthy career. Ultimate Warrior was big in the WWE for 1987-1991. To me that is not long enough. Yes, he returned in 1996 and squashed a then unknown Hunter Hearst Helmsley at a WrestleMania. Plus who can forget his forgetful time in WCW. But compare that to guys like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels or the Undertaker. Those are lengthy and more importantly worthy of being inducted.

4. Another questionable call for me is Razor Ramon. I am not against him going into the Hall Of Fame, however I think there are people more deserving of the honor right now. People close to Razor, as a matter of fact. Razor Ramon was cool. I was a fan of his. I think a major strike against him is that he never won the World Title. Granted that isn't the only thing that should be a factor of going into the Hall Of Fame. And to me another strike against him is that it's only Razor Ramon being inducted, not Scott Hall. Hall was partially responsible for one of the biggest storylines of all time. I am of course referring to the New World Order. But I can understand the WWE wanted to showcase their creation of Razor Ramon.

3. Now to the three members of this year's class that to me are most deserving. Like I said, it's not mandatory that someone wins the World Title to be worthy of the Hall Of Fame. Jake Roberts never won the big one. That doesn't matter to me though. His promos were Hall Of Fame caliber, no matter the match. No one understood ring psychology like Roberts did. His matches were always great, regardless of where on the card they fell. Plus Jake Roberts did a move that no one in the history of pro wrestling had done, but now everyone does it. I am of course referring to the DDT. For being a ground breaking performer, Jake Roberts deserves this recognition.

2. Last year I was excited when Trish Stratus was inducted into the Hall Of Fame. She is by far my favorite Diva of all time. The second best Diva as far as ring skills goes (and in some ways, she is even better) is going in this year. I am talking about Lita. Before Lita, you never saw a Diva climbing the top rope. Lita helped redefine the position of Diva with her move set that was so different then any other Diva we had seen before. She wasn't the Barbie Girl type with her red hair and tattoos either. I think that's what helped set her apart. Plus she was just such a fierce competitor.

1. And finally, the most deserving member of this year's Hall Of Fame is Paul Bearer. A world class manager that helped lead Undertaker, Kane, Mankind and a handful of other wrestlers. He was a former mortician, so he really lived the part. I met him many years ago. I shared the picture the week that he died, but I will share it again. Paul Bearer was just so spooky and was a perfect fit to manage the legendary Undertaker.

Check back on Wednesday for my predictions for this year's WrestleMania XXX previews!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mid card Edition

Welcome back to Inside The Wrestling Ring. Don't forget to check out our partners at Club Kayfabe Podcast for more wrestling news and opinions.

Today I will take a look at what to do about the mid card titles in the WWE. Since they unified the World Title and the WWE titles in December there have been rumors that a similar unification would happen to the United States Title and the Intercontinental Title. I completely disagree with that idea and there is one simple reason why it shouldn't happen. There are more people in the mid card then there are in the main event. Thus, it makes more sense to have more options and more belts.

Let's face it. Both titles have been diminishing in value over the past few years. But what can be done about this? I personally love the Intercontinental Title. I grew up in a time when it was valued and I still value both titles.


My biggest idea to re-establish the values of both belts is to make sure they are defended monthly, maybe not always on a pay-per-view, but always defended every month. Remember back in the day there was a rule that stated, "If the champion doesn't defend the title every thirty days he or she would be stripped of the title?" I do. Dean Ambrose went from September to February without defending the United States Championship. In that time, his PPV matches were Shield matches and I understand that, but making him defend the title on Raw, Smackdown, or even Main Event once a month will help bring prestige back to the belt. I can't remember the last time Big E defended his title either. So it's not just Ambrose, but at least he defended it on this past week's episode of Main Event.

Another thing to do is make sure the champion wins more non-title matches than he loses. It will make him a viable champion. I am not one of those people who thinks every champion should win every non-title match. For every match we watch, we have to believe anyone can beat anyone else; it makes for a better match. But the champion needs to win.

In the case of a heel champion (like Ambrose) make sure he wins some of his matches cleanly. Again, this doesn't just help the prestige of the belt, but it helps the prestige of the wrestler as well. I hate to see title matches ending in either count-out, or worse, disqualification. Yes, it will happen from time to time. I get that. But Ambrose had quite a few matches that ended with Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns causing a disqualification.

Another way to help is longer, more meaningful title reigns. The mid card titles should not be passed around like a hot potato. They have been better in the past year with that, but in years past they struggled to maintain a good championship run.

You want the titles to mean something? How about ending Raw or Smackdown with an Intercontinental Title or United States Title match for once instead of the same four or five guys always around at the conclusion of a broadcast?

What do you think? What are your suggestions for how to make the US and Intercontinental Titles more relevant and add to the prestige?

Special thanks as always to my wonderful editor for all her hard work on helping with this blog!


Friday, February 28, 2014

Thoughts on NXT Arrival Edition

Welcome back to another edition of Inside the Wrestling Ring. Before we get started I do want to thank my partners at ClubKayfabe, a great wrestling podcast. After you read here, definitely go check out what Chris, Dan and Pat have to say about the world of professional wrestling.

It was announced that the first live event on the new WWE Network would be the Pay Per View Quality NXT Arrival. It makes perfect sense to me. The Network is the future of how we will watch the WWE. And NXT is the future of the WWE. What better way to showcase the next generation of superstars then with a live event. Usually NXT was taped weeks in advance when it was on Hulu or Hulu plus. They taped four shows in one taping. But this gives the future a chance to shine in ways that they couldn't before.

And what better way to start off then with Cesaro vs Sami Zayn. If you saw the 2 out of 3 falls match these two put on several months ago, you know what the two of them are capable of. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and check out the highlights. That match was named as the NXT Match of the year. Obviously, Cesaro has the advantage. He is on the main roster. Just this past weekend, he competed for the WWE World Title in the Elimination Chamber against the best WWE has to offer. This match on Arrival, (which I thought was also supposed to be a 2 out of 3 falls but it wasn't) lived up to the last match as well. Both wrestlers hit some serious power moves on each other. To me the highlight was the upper cut Cesaro delivered to Zayn as he flew through the ropes. In the end, Cesaro once again defeated Sami Zayn. However, this was about Zayn getting respect from his opponent. Could it be the first signs of a face turn? Because the audience got what it was chanting for. The two superstars hugged it out in the ring. I expect Zayn to be on the main roster by the end of the year. I have been a big fan of his since I started watching NXT months ago.

There was only 3 match announced prior to the event going live, so it makes sense that there was more matches added the night of Arrival. Zayn vs Cesaro was one of the announced match. But next up was CJ Parker vs Mojo Rawley. Parker is the moon child. Mojo's catchphrase is "I don't get hyped, I stay hyped." Before the match we got a look of Rawley in a highlight package to show those that haven't seen Rawley before what he is capable of. In the end, Mojo defeated CJ Parker.

After that match, we got a look at Emma getting ready for her match versus Paige. It was followed by another hype video, this time showing us Emma. She is definitely a unique individual. After the Emma video, we got another video. This time featuring the NXT tag team champions, the Ascension.

Connor and Viktor are up next to defend their tag titles against a mystery opponent. Again, this is another match that was not announced. And their opponents were Scotty 2 Hottie and Grand Master Sexay, better known as Too Cool. It doesn't get any different then these two teams. It was a much more competitive match then I expected, but in the end the Ascension retained their titles after Scotty 2 Hottie was unable to hit the Worm.

Our next match is Emma vs Paige for the NXT Women's Title. First though we get a video about Paige. Before the match though, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley came to the ring. For some strange reason the audience chanted "You still got it". All Stephanie did was walk through the ropes. She took the microphone and said "I never lost it". She was there to be Special Guest Ring announcer. This is the second match that was pre-announced for the card. This match has been much better then 99.9% of all Diva's matches that you see on Raw, Smackdown or any of the Pay Per Views. Paige got Emma to tap out and retain her title.

Yet another hype video, this time for Adrian Neville showing his finisher move the Red Arrow.

It looked like we were going to get another filler match, this time with Xavier Woods versus Tyler "The Prince of Pretty" Breeze. Only the match didn't happen because Alexander Rusev decided to attack both men in the ring.

The last promo video was for the NXT champion, Bo Dallas. Because it's time for the first ladder match in NXT Title. This was the third and final announced match for the card. And who better to hang the title over the ring then Hall of Famer, Shawn Michaels. Because why not. Or as we like to call him H B Shizzle. It was a much better match then I expected, since I am not a Bo-liever by any stretch of the imagination. Plenty of back and forth action. Both men used the ladder as weapons and both had a chance to climb to the top. In the end, Adrian Neville climbed to the top and became the new NXT Champion!

Throughout the night we saw WWE legends sitting ringside, everyone from Dusty Rhodes to Pat Patterson to Larry Zybsko. John Cena was also ringside as well. It was a nice touch to show the past and present seeing the future as well.

I thought the three matches that were announced were by far the three best matches of the night. Any one of them could have main evented a card, really. I enjoyed the videos showing off some of the superstars of NXT for those that had never seen an episode of NXT before. I thought that with the exception of the Ascension versus Too Cool, the filler matches were not that good. I would have liked to have seen a triple threat match or a chance to see some of the other faces of NXT showcased as well. But overall I thought it was an excellent outing and a great way to start off the future!


Saturday, February 22, 2014

The WWE Network Edition

Welcome back to Inside The Wrestling Ring and once again I would like to thank my partners at Club Kayfabe Podcast

We are now just days away from the launch of the WWE Network. It will launch as soon as Monday Night Raw goes off the air this coming Monday. I read there are plans to have a cliff hanger moment so that those who have the Network will be able to see what happens. I don't know how I feel about it, but I guess it is extra incentive to get in on the Network early.

To me the biggest selling point of the Network is the fact that every live PPV will be available as it airs. Talk about a huge savings. Instead of paying for six PPV's (more on the number six later) you pay basically for one. For any serious fan of the WWE, it really doesn't get any better then that. You will get WrestleMania, Extreme Rules, Payback, Money In The Bank, Summerslam and Night Of Champions. All for the cost of WrestleMania.

Not only do you get every live PPV, you will also get every single PPV on demand for free as well. Not just WWF/E pay per views, but every WCW and ECW PPV.

But that is not without controversy. A lot of people think that Over The Edge 1999 should not be available to watch. Obviously they will not mention the tragedy that happened that night. I believe that including the PPV is the right thing. I don't care about continuity. Going into the event, Stone Cold Steve Austin was champion. At the end of the night, The Undertaker was champion. And I don't think it should not be shown just out of respect for Owen. To me, if you have every PPV you can't skip one. As long as it is edited properly, it should be fine. Don't mention Blue Blazer vs Godfather in any way shape or form. Edit out any picture or any audio. WWE seems to be fine with editing history. So this is the one and ONLY time I agree with editing history (also more on this later as well).

In addition to every PPV, there are going to be original series such as a reality show starring greats of the past all living under one roof called "Legends House". There is an interactive show where superstars talk about their favorites in a Countdown show. It will feature top 10 lists such as top 10 catchphrase or top 10 superstars. There will also be a Best of Raw and a Best Of Smakckdown. Considering those are my favorite WWE DVDs I think it has a chance to be very interesting indeed. There will be more original content announced after the launch date.

I talked earlier about editing history. There is no greater example than Chris Benoit. I can understand why WWE doesn't mention him, but mentioning and acknowledging him are two entirely different things. For example, on the new Shawn Michaels DVD they include all of his WrestleMania matches with the exception of one. WrestleMania XX vs. Triple H vs. Chris Benoit. Well, I am proud to say that Benoit will be included on the network. But there will be a disclaimer before he appears. I am not sure what the disclaimer could possibly say. It might say something like this...

I have two minor issues with the WWE Network in its current form. My biggest issue is calling it a Network when it's only on the computer. I think it would have been so incredible if it were available as an On Demand channel on your television. It takes a little bit away for me. The argument will be that you can watch it literally anywhere. Except for those of us that don't have devices that offer free Wi-Fi. So that limits where one can actually watch it. My other minor issue is that it takes a six month commitment. Right now $9.99 isn't a lot, but $59.94 can be if, say, one doesn't have a job at the moment. For the WWE, financially it makes a lot of sense to charge that way. But from a fan's point of view, I have a bit of problem with it. Not that I speak from personal experience or anything. Nope. Not at all.

So there you have it. My thoughts on the WWE Network.

In other sad news, Nelson Frazier, better known as Mabel, Viscera or Big Daddy V, died Wednesday Morning after suffering a heart attack on Valentine's Day. He was never going to be the most graceful wrestler. It happens when you are 6'9" 487 pounds. But when you talk intimidating, you don't have to look any further. Even when he was a comedy gimmick wrestler known as The World's Largest Love Machine, as a wrestler you didn't want to look across the ring and see that man watching you and waiting for the bell to ring. Rest In Peace, big man.

Special thanks as always to my editor who makes my blog readable for you!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The CM Punk Edition

That's right. I am back! After a long hiatus, I decided to once again revive my blogs. Once again I want to give a shout out to my business partners at Club Kayfabe Podcast

A lot has happened in the world of professional wrestling. We have seen the Wyatt Family raise up very quickly. We have seen both the longest reigning Diva's Champion and United States Champion. We have seen the founding of the Authority and crowned a unified champion for the first time since 2001. We have seen the rise of the Yes Movement. We saw the return of the Animal, Batista. Oh. Yeah, there is the little thing of the debut of WWE Network as well. But that's a topic for another day. On the other side (TNA) we have seen a new investor and the dismantling of Aces and 8's. But there is only one thing that could bring me back to the world of blogging. You know what it is. I will give you a hint. It's Blogging Time!

The day after the Royal Rumble this year, CM Punk "took his ball and went home". He showed up at Raw like he was supposed to, but then decided that he had enough. He told Vince McMahon that he was going home. We haven't seen him since. It took a week, but they removed him from the "Then, Now, Forever" intro video and from the Raw and Smackdown opening videos as well. He has been removed from any scheduled appearances for house shows or TV tapings as well. But as of right now, he is still listed under the superstars section of the app and also the website. His merch is still at regular price on the website as well. In fact, his name is the second name on the list. I take that as his is the second most popular superstar behind some guy named John Cena

So what are my thoughts on this? People that know me as a wrestling fan know I am a big CM Punk fan. Even when he was a heel, I cheered for him. But I think that what he has done is wrong. I can understand his frustration. Rumor (and of course, that is all it is since he has been silent on Twitter since then) is that he is not happy with his place in the WrestleMania card. Understandable, I guess. Everyone wants the top spot. If you don't want to headline WrestleMania XXX, you are probably in the wrong business. Hell, I want to main event 'Mania and I am not even in the business. His contract is up in June which is why they are holding the 2nd annual Pay Per View Payback in his hometown. He was rumored to be facing Triple H at WrestleMania. Is that a bad match to have? I don't think so. But again, this is coming from a fan's perspective and not that of a performer.

I also heard one of his biggest issues was the fact that Batista won the Royal Rumble and will go on to Main Event WrestleMania this year. And with that, I agree with Punk. This will be the 3rd year in a row a part timer will be in the main event, the last two being the Rock. From his POV, I completely agree with it. WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year. This time the spotlight has been given to a man that has been away from the business for years now. A man that had bashed the business decision to go to a PG rating. Yet, given a huge payday he is okay with it now? Batista just is the wrong choice to have won the Royal Rumble from the fans views. I am not going to say who should be in. That is a matter of everyone's opinion. But I think most people will agree that it should be a full timer. Someone that has busted their butts over the last 365 days to put on the best show that they can for roughly 280-320 days out of the year. I have met Batista. Let's just say I lost a lot of respect for him when I met him days before his WrestleMania XXIV match versus Umaga. Many would say he doesn't respect the business that made him famous. Would he be in movies with Russell Crowe or the new Marvel Guardians Of The Galaxy movie if it wasn't for his time in the WWE? I think it's safe to say that he would not be. The night he won the Royal Rumble, how did he celebrate? By mocking fans and flipping them off. Considering he is supposed to be a face, that doesn't exactly sound like someone I want to give a major push to.

So while I can understand why he did it, I still don't think it was a wise decision. Is this the first time a superstar "took his ball and went home"? No. Just ask Stone Cold Steve Austin. But it still doesn't make it right. He turned his back on his fans. Fans that chant for him on a nightly basis when he is not there. Fans that show up in arenas wearing their CM Punk shirts or holding a CM Punk sign (Or a Phil Brooks sign either). I hope that we see Punk one day and he explains why. His fans at least deserve that.

WWE finally capitalized on the moment. Unfortunately it didn't air on TV, but it did on the APP. In the middle of the Dean Ambrose Versus Mark Henry match, the fans chanted for Punk. Seth Rollins grabbed the microphone and said "CM who? That's Dean Ambrose right there, that's the United States champion! That's the man you all wish you could be, and that's the man all your ladies want to be with tonight!" At one point this video was available on the WWE website, but when I went to post a link to it now it says I don't have access to the video. Take that however way you would like to.

I guess time will tell if this was all staged. I hope that it was, but I have a feeling that this was the actions of a man fed up with the business

Special thanks as always to my wonderful amazing fiancée/Editor for all her work on my blogs