EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: TNA 2010 PART 13 – AGAINST ALL ODDS

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Previously on TNA EWR…

It was not exactly the greatest of days in terms of ratings as we only got a 80% overall, with none of the matches put on able to get into the 90s. However, we’re hoping to rectify that with our 99th card booked in this particular game (including Impact and other shows) and we’ve got quite the show in store.

John Cena won the first battle in the feud between himself and Samoa Joe but things are going to get interesting as their rematch at Against All Odds will be a Last Man Standing Match!

TAKA Michinoku will defend the X-Division Championship against Christopher Daniels and Alex Shelley in a triple threat match, with Daniels intending on dominating the X-Division before challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight title.

AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy will settle their differences with interim general manager being the special guest referee, Brother Devon and Jay Lethal will settle their differences in a tables match and Chris Sabin will take on Jeff Jarrett in a hardcore match.

The rest of the card features a grudge match with Bobby Lashley and Abyss working together to take on Beer Money Inc, Rey Mysterio takes on Mr Anderson and Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black will challenge “Deadly Sin” Raven and Rhino for the TNA Tag Team Championship. Can Lynn and Black dethrone the champions that have reigned for around eight months?

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Pre-Show – El Hijo Del Santo Announced As The Newest Signing For TNA

In the TNA EWR update, I mentioned that there would be two HUGE new editions to the roster that would be announced. At Against All Odds, the first new signing was revealed as El Hijo Del Santo. Despite his age, Del Santo’s overness was still very strong. Seeing as how he was available as an active wrestler, I decided to snap him up. It got a 90% rating, which is a great start to his TNA career. I’m not really sure where I’m going to be going with Del Santo but I’d like to see him in a big role. Let’s see how this goes.

 

Match 1 – Jay Lethal def. Brother Devon in a tables match

I’m happy with the rating for this. If you’ll recall, their six man tag team match at Genesis score a 75% rating so I’m happy with the huge improve. It increased by 10% as Lethal beat Devon. After this feud has finally wrapped up, Lethal will be in the hunt for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. I will explain later on.

 

Match 2 – Chris Sabin def. Jeff Jarrett in a Hardcore Match

Very happy with the results for this one. As promised in the Genesis post, Sabin got the win at the end of the feud. He was really the one that needed it and it’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here. I do have a short term plan for him and hopefully, that plan will pay off. This is Sabin’s chance to break out as a serious title contender. Samoa Joe interfered which caused Sabin to win.

 

Match 3 – Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black def. “Deadly Sin” Raven (c) and Rhino (c) to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship

NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! After eight months of reigning as the tag team champions, the Deadly Sin finally drop the gold to Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black. Jerry’s gotten really over in the last few months and Black has really risen up as well. With Raven and Rhino’s overness dropping as of late, I figured now was the time to get the titles off Deadly Sin. Tyler is really the one that I want to elevate but Jerry I think will be a good partner for the foreseeable future. I still like the mix of master and student as champions.

 

Match 4 – Rey Mysterio def. Mr Anderson

The two don’t really click in terms of in-ring work but they’re both over enough to make up for that. I probably should have paired Mysterio up with another X-Division star but I wanted to give Anderson a big feud too. Mysterio gets the win here. I haven’t really decided who is going to win the feud as there’s arguments for both men to win. It’s very tough to call at the moment.

 

Match 5 – “Beer Money Inc.” Bobby Roode and James Storm def. Abyss and Bobby Lashley

Beer Money grab the win. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have went with Beer Money to win considering they’ve won a lot of PPV tag team matches in the past four or five months. However, I still wanted to play out the Abyss/Lashley dysfunctional spiel. On Impact, Abyss ended the partnership by attacking Lashley. Lashley’s not turning face or anything but at least Abyss can focus on being TNA Global Champion

 

Match 6 – AJ Styles def. Jeff Hardy with Kurt Angle as the special guest referee

Kurt accidentally ate the Pele from AJ which was the ref bump. As Kurt was out, Jeff gained control. He went to the top for a Swanton Bomb when the lights out. When the lights came back on, Sting appeared with a baseball. Jeff went to jump at him but was clocked with the bat in mid-air. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop with Angle getting up. Sting goes to leave but Angle hits the Angle Slam. AJ hits the Styles Clash on Jeff and Angle reluctantly goes to count and AJ wins the match. A 92% rating. A very solid match between AJ and Jeff. Great results. I also have some news on Kurt Angle which I’ll mention later on after the PPV.

 

Match 7 – Alex Shelley def. TAKA Michinoku (c) and Christopher Daniels in a triple threat match to win the TNA X-Division Championship

An 89% rating for a triple threat match which I was very proud of. Shelley’s got an incredible amount of overness and I thought it was time to take advantage of that fact to elevate the X-Division title. Shelley wins and I’m very much looking forward to booking his reign as champion!

 

Match 8 – John Cena (c) def. Samoa Joe in a Last Man Standing match

Jarrett got retaliation for earlier as he helped Cena win the match with a Attitude Adjustment off one announce table onto the other. A solid finish to the PPV with the 94% rating. Joe vs Cena was the hottest angle in the company in the last two months. I give them both credit for that. I’d hate to have Joe lose twice in a roll but I didn’t want Cena to lose the title just yet!

 

So the news as I alluded to earlier. There’s two bits of news to discuss before we sign off…

  1. Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin and AJ Styles all won their matches at Against All Odds. Angle, who wants to reward the X-Division, put them all in an Impact Series. Over the next few weeks on Impact, Lethal, Sabin and Styles will all be put in matches with each other. Firstly, Sabin will take on Lethal. Following that will be Sabin vs Styles, with Styles vs Lethal following that. At the end of the series, a triple threat match will take place between all three men. The man who wins the most matches in this series will be the new number one contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X.
  2. Kurt Angle suffered an neck injury which means he will be out for the next eight months. It’s not like I can use him in a non-physical role or anything. I can’t put him on the shows. It’s a blow considering the storyline I’m trying to tell so I had to write him off the show. Sting Pillmanised Angle to take him out of the picture on Impact. It’s annoying but I do have an end game which I can still stick to despite the injury.
  3. The second newest signing will be revealed on the next edition of TNA EWR!

Stay tuned for that and have a great day!

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The Problem With Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger In 2015

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I was very excited when I saw Alberto Del Rio return to WWE. In a past article for SLTD Wrestling, I mentioned that he’d be much better continuing on with Lucha Underground and AAA rather than continuing on with WWE. However, I’m still think it’s great that he’s with WWE and so far, he’s been booked well. He beat John Cena clean on his first night and is the WWE United States Champion. However, there are a few parts of his booking which I have a problem with. The partnership with Del Rio and Zeb Colter is one thing but it’s the possibility of Del Rio’s first challenger being Jack Swagger.

Here’s the deal. Alberto Del Rio won the WWE United States Championship by beating John Cena of all people, clean. That’s huge. The idea that the United States Champion and AAA Mega Champion goes from John Cena to Jack Swagger in the space of a few weeks seems a bit absurd and it’s all to do with how Jack Swagger has been treated since the start of the year, when he lost a feud against Rusev. Ironically enough, that feud was over the United States Championship.

What has Jack Swagger done since then? How many pay-per-views has Jack Swagger been a part of in 2015? Two. That’s right… two. Both of these matches were battle royal matches, the Royal Rumble and the Andre The Giant battle royal. He was part of multi-man matches and basically used to fill up the numbers. He’s rarely appeared on RAW and all of a sudden, Swagger is back on RAW television. It’s not a slow build for Swagger no. He’s been entered into a feud with the United States Champion Alberto Del Rio.

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What has Jack Swagger done to earn a United States Championship match? Has he won a number one contendership match? No. Did he win a tournament? No, he’s just started having trouble with Del Rio which will most likely lead to a US title match at Survivor Series. That alone is not going to make Swagger a legitimate challenge to Del Rio. Actually let’s talk about Del Rio. Alberto Del Rio has actually appeared on less PPVs this year then Swagger (obviously, Del Rio only returned recently) and yet somehow, Swagger looks like nothing compared to him. Why? Because Del Rio beat the best upon his arrival and has legitimate WWE credentials. He’s a three time world champion in WWE, won Money In The Bank and won the only 40 man rumble in history. WWE wouldn’t recognise this but he is still currently a world champion in his own right, being the AAA Mega Champion. It’s not like he’s not wrestled at all since he was fired last year. He’s got an MMA background. Getting him back and noticed wasn’t exactly hard. For Swagger, it’s difficult because WWE have allowed it to be difficult.

If WWE knew that Jack Swagger was going to compete for the United States Championship soon, surely Swagger be put on RAW a lot more frequently. The Del Rio signing was a bit sudden so it’s not like WWE have been planning this. However, if you’re building up a contender it helps to build him up a little. Nobody is going to care that Jack Swagger is winning on house shows or Main Event or SmackDown! RAW is the flagship show for a reason. He needs wins on RAW and he needs to look credible and not just be among the crowd, especially if you’re first feud in a year for him is him going up against a man that just beat John Cena.

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What’s disappointing about the negative aspect of this feud is that on paper, it’s actually a decent feud. These two have feuded before with Alberto Del Rio beating Swagger for the World title at Wrestlemania 29 and again a month later. Swagger’s never gotten a big win over Del Rio and must prove it to himself that he cane beat the man. That on paper is great and is all you really need to get this feud running. You don’t really need Zeb Colter at all, although his involvement does add a bit to it. The point is that it’s got the ingredients for a great feud. All you need is for Jack to look credible enough to validate him going up against Del Rio. With that along with the storyline mentioned earlier, people can get behind Swagger and you can get him over. You don’t need Michael Cole to sit there on commentary and say “Man, these two have had quite the rivalry in the past few years,” or “Man, this rivalry has gotten personal” or anything like that.

Give Swagger a lot more motivation to go up against Del Rio over rather than having Zeb Colter being the focal point. Del Rio and Swagger have actually had good matches in the past so you can actually have a decent feud with Swagger proving himself being the focal point instead. It takes away people’s interest in Swagger if you make the match about Colter.

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If all of this business with Del Rio and Swagger is filler until John Cena returns, fine. Whatever. However, you can still make Swagger and Del Rio good coming out of it except Swagger’s not looked good going into it. There’s no real reason for the audience to believe that a man that’s not done anything note worthy in the last year despite being active is going to be on par with a man that holds the second most important title in the company and has beaten the best to win it.

Team CesarKO – Could This Be What Cesaro and Randy Orton Need?

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The ideas that men with the physiques, characters and natural wrestling abilities of Cesaro and Randy Orton are floundering around the mid-card position of WWE television is pretty astounding. Randy Orton is a 12-time former World Champion. Cesaro has had an insane amount of popularity and has put in a lot of tremendous performances this year. However, these two great athletes have somehow found themselves in the position where a lot of mid-card talent have been in for years. The Miz, Wade Barrett, even Big E and Kofi Kingtson before they took off with the New Day gimmick. All of these men had been in the mid-card spot for years with no direction and have been the victims of undivided attention by the WWE writers. Somehow, Cesaro is still in this position after all of these years. Somehow, Randy Orton is now in that position as he was even supposed to be on the Hell in a Cell pre-show until he pulled out this week.

It’s hard to believe that these two are in this position. However, I do have a solution which I think will revitalise the careers of both Cesaro and Randy Orton and it actually relates to a past Wrestling Flashback I’ve done in the past. Anyone that is familiar with the SmackDown! six will know that putting individuals together in a tag team scenario will do a great job at getting both those individuals over AS individuals. Even though these individuals are in a tag team, at the end of the day they are individuals. During the SmackDown! six, you had six individuals elevated as singles stars with that tag team scenario. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit were singles stars that got over as a tag team. Rey Mysterio and Edge were the same. Eddie and Chavo were probably more close to being a legitimate tag team than the two other two teams but it still elevated both men to World title status eventually.

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The point is that it never hurt any of those men going into the tag team division as it would help them out as individuals at the end of the day. Considering all six of the men in that “SmackDown! Six” became world champions, I think it helped tremendously. With the two of them currently in that mid-card purgatory just waiting for a direction, it wouldn’t hurt Cesaro or Randy Orton to enter that tag team scenario themselves in order to further their singles careers.

I know what you’re thinking. Of all the wrestlers you could team up, why Cesaro and Randy Orton? You’re right. Due to their different personalities, a tag team with these two does seem a little out of place. However, their wrestling styles surprisingly compensate each other nicely. Cesaro and Randy Orton have both been shown to be innovative in the ring. Cesaro is a genius in terms of his wrestling while Randy Orton is always coming up with inventive ways to hit the RKO out of nowhere. In fact, Cesaro and Randy once teamed up before to deliver probably one of the best RKOs of the year with this beauty on RAW.

As soon as I saw that finisher one the first things I thought was “these two should be a tag team.” There’s something about these two which I think could sublimely in that tag team scenario. The two of them are in the middle of nowhere anyway so why not at least give these team a shot? These two as a tag team against the New Day could result in some incredible matches on PPV. It could be a short be sweet partnership that could help elevate the Swiss Superman and the Apex Predator once again.

How I Would Book… Roman Reigns vs John Cena

John Cena – the name and face of WWE. He’s waived the company flag as their franchise player for ten years with many stars coming through the ranks to try and overtake the Cenation leader. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Ryback have all been pushed at one time to rival and potential surpass Cena in popularity but here Cena still stands as the face of the company even in 2015. Many fans have wanted change at the top of the food chain for a while and there’s a great opportunity at the moment for WWE to make their next top guy to knock Cena off the top. However, it’s not going to happen overnight. The first step towards creating a “new John Cena” is to have Cena “pass the torch” to someone that shouldn’t really start of as a good guy to begin with. Roman Reigns could very well be the next John Cena but in order to do that, he needs to beat the man himself and do it as a heel. Here’s how I would book Roman Reigns vs John Cena…

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If Roman Reigns is to truly become the next top guy in WWE, beating Cena is the best way to do it. Every time a new top guy is made, there’s always that “glass ceiling” that prevents them from being elevated. For the likes of Rusev, Bray Wyatt, Ryback and Kevin Owens, that glass ceiling was John Cena. However, those that have beaten Cena like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in big match situations have become stars in their own right. They’ve never become the face of the company but they’ve been turned into one of the true elite in the WWE. Roman Reigns could finally break into that elite with a big win over Cena.

I know what you’re thinking. Bryan and Punk both beat Cena as babyfaces. The likes of Bray Wyatt and Kevin Owens were heels and pressure to keep the biggest face of the company strong has lead to hardly any villains winning a feud with “Big Match John.” The likelihood of heels becoming stars by beating Cena doesn’t seem like a strong solution. Even after beating Cena at Summerslam, Seth Rollins is currently struggling after losing the US title back to Cena at Night Of Champions.

I don’t want this to seem like a knock on John Cena because it really isn’t. If anything, his position at the moment could help someone like Roman Reigns to get over. Roman turning heel is a risky move but worth it as he’s really got nothing else to lose. Roman was pushed as such a babyface at the start of the year but was seemingly rejected even more than Cena. If he turns heel, then it’s a great opportunity for Reigns to become the badass that got him over in the first place with the Shield. In a recent piece for SLTD Wrestling, I said:

“The Roman Reigns that became such a big hit barely spoke. The talking was mostly left to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins when he was apart of the Shield. Roman let his fists do the talking and acted like a total badass. The fans didn’t like Roman Reigns because of his mic skills. They liked him because they liked to see him beat people up. Let him do just that.

That’s a crucial role for Roman to play. He needs to be a badass heel in order to counter the ultimate face. This would be Superman vs Doomsday. Two powerhouses with completely different agendas. Once you have that, you’re good to go.

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I think one of the biggest aspects of being a heel is having something to brag about and credibility. Right now, there’s a great opportunity to get that credibility as a bad guy. Firstly, he beats Bray Wyatt at Hell in a Cell. Then he sets his sights on Cena.

If the reports of Cena being out for two months are true, then the next step for Roman is easy. On the RAW after Hell in a Cell, US Champion John Cena comes out (who would have won his US title match the night before). He comes out and makes his challenge which Roman accepts. As Lillian Garcia is doing the introductions, Roman attacks Cena before the match even starts. This is not like a regular beatdown. Roman DESTROYS Cena. He batters him with the steel steps, he smacks him with chairs and does the spear through the announce table that he did to Bray Wyatt. As Roman walks up the ramp, Cena crawls back to his feet. In a fit of rage, Roman gets him back in the ring and just beats the crap out of him. He doesn’t do any special moves or anything. He just punches him. One after another after another until Cena is KO’d. He spits on Cena’s face and leaves.

This sidelines Cena for the few months that he’s away. The US title would also be vacated. Meanwhile, Roman is running through the roster and just beating the crap out of everyone. Dean Ambrose then confronts Roman about his new attitude. He doesn’t mind Roman getting a little crazy and just wants Roman to get take out all of the anger built inside against Dean at Survivor Series. Roman accepts and punches Dean in the mouth. Dean laughs about it and mouths that “this will be fun, my brother.” The two have their match at Survivor Series. It’s a nice little match which eventually spills onto the entrance ramp. The ref stops his count briefly just to tell Reigns and Ambrose to get back into the ring. Eventually, Roman spears Dean through the stage screen leaving Dean out. Roman rolls into the ring, grabs the mic and yells “Is that what you wanted Dean?” The doctors are trying to help Dean but he suddenly struggles down to the ring. Roman batters Dean in the ring and hits the spear but Dean kicks out. He hits another spear but Dean kicks out. This infuriates Roman to the point where he is just punching Ambrose over and over like he did with Cena. Eventually, the ref calls for the bell and awards the match to Roman via knock out. It features shades of the Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens match in February which ended in similar fashion. However, it does work well for Roman’s character as he is shown to be a legitimate badass.

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The Authority would be impressed with Roman’s new-found aggression and would reward him with a WWE World title opportunity at TLC in a TLC match. The champion Seth Rollins would be annoyed but Dean would want to be in the match as well. The Authority give him a rematch with Roman on RAW. If Dean wins, he’s added to the title match. Seth Rollins is at ringside. The ref calls for the match to start but Roman instantly kicks Dean in the nuts to be disqualified. He lays onto Dean until Seth pulls him off. Seth is upset that Roman has just made the TLC main event a triple threat. Roman doesn’t care but Seth slaps him. Roman then goes after Seth. Roman hits both Dean and Seth with spears. He then notices the chair Seth was sitting on at ringside. He grabs it and we then get a case of deja vu. Dean and Seth are down as Roman smacks them both with chair shots over and over. If you’ll recall, Seth did the exact same thing to Dean and Roman when he left the Shield and joined the Authority. This sets things up nicely for TLC.

This match would probably be a great match with the three of them knowing each other so well. I would have Roman take out Dean with a spear into a table or something cool like that. Roman would be closing in on a victory but then we hear the music of John Cena. Cena returns to battle Roman on top of the ladder. This would be quite the bump but Cena AAs Roman off the top of the ladder onto a table similarly to what he did to Edge at Unforgiven 2006. Seth takes advantage to retain the title.

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Cena would then declare himself in the 2016 Royal Rumble and vowed to become only the second man to win the match three times (with Stone Cold Steve Austin being the first). Roman would interrupt and announced that “he’s in” and said that he would win the Rumble match for a second year in a row whether Cena or any of the fans liked it or not. He also vowed to eliminate Cena from the Rumble himself. Cena and Roman come out near the end of the rumble match and they both make it to the final six. Cena eliminates Roman by side-stepping his spear and clotheslining him over the top rope. However, Cena would get shockingly eliminated when his back was turned. Cena and Roman stare at each other and begin to fight on the outside. The refs come out to try and stop it but Cena and Roman take them out. Cena pushes the last ref away but Roman takes advantage to spear him. Roman looks like he’s about to spear Cena off the stage but Cena counters it into the AA on the entrance ramp. Both men are out and helped to the back to end their night.

John Cena comes out the next night on RAW and calls out Roman Reigns for a match. Triple H interrupts, saying that a match between Reigns and Cena needs to be promoted properly. He’s willing to give John Cena his match with Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania on one condition, Cena must win every match he wrestles from now until Mania. If he is to lose just one of his matches, Cena will miss out on Wrestlemania 32 all together this year. John Cena’s US Open Challenge has been such a success since Cena introduced it as it’s given many other wrestlers a chance to share the spotlight. Considering that a lot of wrestlers on the active roster might miss out on a big match at Wrestlemania anyway, being reduced to probably being in the Andre The Giant battle royal, this is their chance to make a name for themselves before Wrestlemania to go into the event looking good.

Meanwhile, Roman’s schedule is a lot lighter than Cena. He doesn’t have to do anything. Triple H tells Roman that if Cena loses before Mania, he does have a match for Roman to be in. If Cena loses then Roman would be added to the main event of Wrestlemania instead. Cena would vow to prevent Roman from sliding into a title match he really doesn’t deserve. John would face the New Day in a three man gauntlet at Fastlane. He beats Xaiver and Kofi but is losing to Big E. Big E is about to hit the Big Ending when Roman comes out. He stares at Big E and then spears Cena, causing Cena to win by disqualification. He batters Cena and spears him through the barricade to properly hurt him.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would Roman help Cena win by getting the New Day disqualified? If Cena wins, then Roman can’t get his title match right? However, Roman is preparing for Cena himself for Wresltemania too. If Roman’s attacks leads to Cena losing, then he gets his title shot. If Cena is hurt going into Wrestlemania, then it’s an easy day at the office for Roman. It’d be foolish for Roman to not prepare for Cena should he win all of his matches. If he doesn’t, then it’s a win-win situation for Roman anyway.

Eventually, Cena does win all of his matches leading into the event. Cena gets his hands on Reigns on the RAW before Wrestlemania giving him two attitude adjustments through the announce tables to hurt Roman. I would at least have Cena attack Roman once. Cena can’t be totally dominated by Roman in the feud because this match is huge for the Samoan. Cena and Reigns both have to look really strong heading into this match.

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At Wrestlemania, Roman and Cena have their match. The match initially starts with Cena hitting Roman with the AA immediately, but Roman kicks out at one! Cena is stunned as Roman just gets up and laughs at Cena. The match goes on and Roman then starts to dominate. The matches Cena’s had before this are really starting to effect him as he looks tired around seven minutes into the match. Roman is just hammering away. Things get worse for John as Roman spears him into the steel steps on the outside. Cena makes it back into the ring but is feeling his ribs for the rest of the match. Roman eventually hits a spear in the ring but doesn’t cover him. He stands over him and poses. Roman shouts “Who’s the man?” but then falls down as Cena locks on the STF. Roman is in the hold for nearly two or three minutes but somehow gets the ropes. However, Cena is spent after what’s happened to him in the match. That STF took a lot of Cena. Roman gets angry and starts slapping Cena repeatedly. Roman goes for the Superman Punch but Cena counters it into an AA but Roman kicks out. Cena then starts to make his comeback but is exhausted. Cena goes for the five knuckle shuffle but as Cena is coming off the rope, Roman hits the superman punch. Cena stays up as Roman hits another Superman punch and a spear to get the clean victory over Cena.

And that’s how I would book it. In fact, I think would be one of my strongest ideas of how to turn Roman Reigns heel. Roman needs to look like a badass and I think this feud with Cena has helped turn him into a legitimate badass heel that was not all about taking cowardly wins. Him having to work a lighter schedule then Cena leading into their match is heelish but it’s not done in such a way that makes Roman look bad. As long as he won the match at Mania, all of this would have been worth it. I think a star could be made with this feud and his name… is not John Cena. It’s in fact Roman Reigns and you can believe that.

Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!

TNA Bound For Glory 2015 Review – New Champion Crowned In Charlotte

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Prologue

In the prologue, I talked about the history of TNA and my connection to the company. However, this PPV was really just a sad occasion in general. With the issues TNA have been dealing with, I might have just watched my last TNA PPV. But the event itself just seemed sad. It was not that the PPV itself was bad. It just seemed that a lot of the wrestlers had given up. A lot of the matches just weren’t that exciting. The Ultimate X match was great but it was just hard to care when watching this. It was also hard to care about the outcome of the main event when just a few days later… the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was vacated.

Matt Hardy won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. For those of you that don’t consider the ECW Championship to be a world championship, this would have been Matt’s first World title. Even if you do count the ECW title reign he had in 2008 as an actual world title reign, this is the first time where Matt was “the man” in a company. He became the leader of the locker room. The TNA superstars started tweeting about what a great leader Matt Hardy was in the locker room. What a moment. But then, on Monday it was announced that Ethan Carter III filed an injunction. Since TNA’s hands were apparently tied, Matt Hardy gave up the belt.

Therefore, this potential last TNA PPV finish just seemed so meaningless. Reports suggest that they’ve been planning this since they found out that Impact Wrestling was being cancelled. All I kept thinking was “You’ve been planning this for so many months and you couldn’t think of a legitimate a finish that could have lead to the title being held up?” You couldn’t have Matt and Drew pin each other while EC3 was out on the floor? I understand that TNA might have wanted to give Matt Hardy his moment in front of the Charlotte crowd. However, it was just such a miserable way for the match to finish.

Ethan Carter III’s title reign couldn’t even with, I don’t know, THE CHAMPION BEING BEATEN? Surely, this would have been the best time for the “undefeated streak” to end? No, of course not. Matt Hardy had to pin Drew McIntyre. Another thing to point out is that if you were still planning on vacating the belt after the show, then what was the point in the Bound For Gold gauntlet? The winner of the match now can’t possibly get his title shot unless they waited until after the TNA World Title tournament concludes. Just amazing…

Anyway, let’s get onto the show.

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We started off with the Ultimate X match for the TNA X-Division Championship. The competitors in this match were the champion Tigre Uno, DJ Z, Manik and Andrew Everett. This was nothing more than a spot-fest which I was totally fine with. If this ends up being the final TNA PPV, then it’s pretty symbolic to have a Ultimate X match on the card. The match itself was actually a good opener. I’ve seen better Ultimate X matches over the years but this was by no means bad. Tigre Uno looked like he hurt his arm during the match. As it turns out, Dixie Carter confirmed that he actually separated his shoulder. I thought he did it earlier but it seems he might have done it when he hit the 450 on the outside onto DJ Z. Whenever he did it, credit to him for continuing the match. Takes a lot of courage, especially in a high risk match like this.

Speaking of high risk, Andrew Everett really took a lot of nasty bumps in this match. DJ Z did a cool dive, in which he jumped over the turnbuckle and onto the men outside. Tigre kicked Andrew off the top of the structure, which looked nasty, in order to retain the title. Gregory Helms came out in order to congratulate Tigre and shake his hands. It seemed a bit random as you’d expect a former X-Division Champion to come out, not just a former cruiserweight. I think he was working as an agent for TNA but it was still strange. Gregory didn’t look like a cruiserweight though, as he TOWERED over Tigre. He looked massive. Anyway, good opener to the show. I don’t have a lot of issue with this.

Ethan Carter III cut a decent promo where he hyped up the main event. He did the most unimpressive woo of all time before his departure. Maybe this was to waste a bit of time, I dunno.

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Then we had the… urrghh. The Bound For Gold gauntlet match. I really tried my hardest to care but there wasn’t a great deal to this match. Considering this match was also the longest match of the night, it was hardly worth all the time it was given. It’s not like this was a hugely stacked match in terms of the wrestlers. A few of these were just there to fill the numbers. That’s not a great thing, considering this match was for a shot at a championship!

Initially it was promoted as a match for a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Then it was revealed that the winner could fight for any title they wanted. I guess that made sense with the post-match angle they did but it was still annoying that they just changed up the stipulation on the fly. This wouldn’t be the only time they’d do this either…

Mr Anderson was #1 and the microphone wouldn’t come down at the top of the ramp for Anderson’s entrance. Even before the match started, there was already a botch!

#2 was Jessie. #3 came out, who was Eli Drake! I never heard of this dude, but apparently he was in Drew McIntyre’s group “the rising.” Anyway, he was in for a while until Al Snow came out as #4. Despite being 52 years old, Al Snow looked in way better shape then nearly everyone in this match! He was probably one of the better wrestlers in this match in terms of his in-ring work. Al eliminated Eli when he smacked him in the head with… head. Eli did this huge oversell where he tumbled back and then jumped over the top rope. This almost topped Carlito’s oversell of his eliminated by Rob Van Dam in the 2006 Royal Rumble! That was something else!

#5 was Aiden O’Shea. I never realised this until afterwards, but Aiden O’Shea was actually the former Gut Check winner Jay Bradley! I thought it was just some random independent dude. I find it funny that this Chicago fella was supposed to be playing this Irish hard-man character. It’s also funny because of what happens later on in the match.

#6 was Robbie E. No mention of Robbie’s rivalry with Jessie from earlier on in the year. That was disappointing. Then came out #7, Mahabali Shera. Now, I had heard of the Shera Shuffle before but I had never actually seen the dance move before. When I saw him to this cross-armed shuffle, I never got. I don’t watch TNA regularly so I initially gave it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe regular TNA viewers “got it” but I just couldn’t see what was so great about it. So I gave it the benefit of the doubt when I saw him use it. However, I was left aghast after I watched him seemingly hypnotize everyone else in the ring with this dance. Then suddenly six men in the ring, including the “hard-man” Aiden O’Shea, were doing this damn shuffle in a gauntlet…. for a shot at a championship! These men were all stood there slowly dancing! The winner had an opportunity at the TNA World title if they won and they’re all there DANCING! I just… why?

Shera then eliminated O’Shea until Tyrus came out at #8. Josh Matthews then quickly stated that no one is going to make Tyrus dance! Good one Josh. Tyrus came in and cleared house. He eliminated Al Snow, #9 entry Chris Melendez and Shera. He was dominant. I guess now is as good a time as any to mention this but I got so sick at the constant mentions of tweets from Dixie Carter. Actually, they weren’t even mentioning her tweets. They just told fans that you could follow her @TNADixie. What on earth does Dixie Carter have to do with this match? I know that’s a small thing to be mad at but it drove me up the wall.

Tommy Dreamer came out at #10 in polka dots, to pay tribute to Dusty Rhodes. He got a big pop when he came out. Jessie then delivered a high, and I mean HIGH, dropkick onto Tommy. It looked incredible! Abyss came out as #11 and this lead into a big staredown with Tyrus. As they stared down, Pope declared from the announce table that he was in this match. So he was the #12 entrant apparently. I don’t know how Pope had the power to put himself in this match. You could say that him and Dixie had agreed to put him in this match before hand but this was never mentioned or implied! So it just came off like Pope had just declared himself in the match! He got a big pop though but then eliminated himself rather than fight Tyrus and Abyss.

There were two Towers of Dooms at the same time. I hate how overused the Tower of Doom spots are in wrestling. It’s almost like WWE or TNA always do this because they know it’ll get a cheap pop. Here, it got a pop but it wasn’t that great. They also never looked good either. Tyrus eliminated Abyss, Jessie eliminated Robbie with a nice elimination actually. Very cool to see Jessie do the head-scissors to tip Robbie over the top. Anderson eliminated Tommy Dreamer and Jessie to set up the singles match between him and Tyrus at the end of the match. Mr Anderson did an impressive rolling fireman’s carry onto Tyrus which was quite a feat of strength. This got a near fall. Tyrus eventually won… WITH A CLOTHESLINE! So after all of this, it ended with Tyrus clotheslining Mr Anderson and pinning him.

Bryan Alvarez said that this match was worse than Los Villanos vs Los Psycho Clowns from Triplemania this year. For the record, Dave Meltzer gave the Villanos match a minus five star rating. I disagree with Bryan. In the ring, that Triplemania match was a total train-wreck. This Bound For Gold match was not a train-wreck. Nobody really messed anything up. It was just a very boring 24 minute bus journey which just felt like eight hours. It was very uneventful, it had a horrible segment in the middle with the Shera Shuffle and nobody cared. I’d still put this in the minus range in terms of ratings but it was not as bad as the Villanos match!

Tyrus declared that he would be challenging for the “heavyweight world championship of the world.” I’m not joking, that was what Tyrus called it! This actually would have been an awesome way to build up to EC3 vs Tyrus for the title, if the main event had not completely undone those plans. We’ll get onto to that later.

Next was a good promo from Drew Galloway. However, he claimed that he was willing to KILL HIMSELF to win the TNA World title. That’s… dark.

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I have no idea why I haven’t got any notes for the Wolves vs Trevor Lee and Brian Myers match. I remember it being an OK match. Nothing special but it was fine.I can’t remember why, but I’ve got Tesco written on my notes here for this show! I can’t for the life of me remember why! Anyway, next up was Bobby Roode vs Lashley for the TNA King Of The Mountain title match. I was kinda distracted a bit while I was watching this but this was a good match. I liked it. I also found it odd that Lashley is bald but was still wearing a headband. Am I the only one that found that weird?

Next up was Awesome Kong challening Gail Kim for the TNA Knockouts title. God this was bad but to be fair, this was by no means Gail Kim’s fault. She was a true trooper in this match and was just killing herself to try and get a good match out of Awesome Kong. Kong was great at… being Kong. However, this did not help her and Kim pull off a good match. Awesome Kong wasn’t even trying to sell things from time to time. I was very disappointed with her performance in this match. While Gail was just going all out to get a good match, Kong looked like she just didn’t care. When the referee was distracted with Gail Kim’s husband at ringside, Awesome Kong hit the Implant Buster on multiple chairs on the outside. Gail hit the Eat Defeat off the top rope and then rolled up Awesome Kong for the win. I didn’t like the finish much and I thought it looked kind of weak. That sort of finish looked like it hurt Gail more than it hurt Kong, as Gail landed on her back. This was a very disappointing match considering Kong and Gail are capable of having great matches together. This was just not their day.

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Kurt Angle vs Eric Young. Eric and Angle did their entrances and Eric got on the mic saying that he knew that Kurt was hurt. Eric proclaimed himself as god during his pre-match promo. Kurt responded by saying that Dixie Carter and him made this match NO DISQUALIFICATION. Kurt said that he wanted a fight. Despite saying that, Kurt then proceeded to start the match by German suplexing Eric Young! Pope kept calling Kurt’s suplexes “Souffles!” He was desperate to get this phrase over!

Eric then hit Kurt with the piledriver, which brought the match to a halt. Kurt’s obviously got a history with neck issues and the doctor at ringside effectively waved off the match. Eric Young won the match. However, the referee never rang the bell. Brian Hebner just stood there arguing with the doctors at ringside! Keep this in mind. Eric Young then attacked the referees and doctors and ringside and continued the match. As Eric was choking Kurt on the ropes, Kurt kept telling him “”it’s off” and “it’s over.” So now, Kurt has VERBALLY submitted several times! Eric’s win count over Kurt was growing but the ref AGAIN never called for the bell! WHAT? Why was this match still going on if both Kurt and the doctor called the match off? Josh later said that if Kurt Angle had his doctor at ringside, he would have thrown in the towel. Ermm, hello? KURT DID HAVE A DOCTOR AT RINGSIDE! This was infuriating!

So Eric still continued to beat up Kurt at ringside. Josh described this as assault and criminal. I hate it when wrestling commentators calls beatdowns “assaults.” Other than the fact that it’s a wrestling match, this was not assault. Having studied quite a bit of law at both college and university, I’m confident in saying that this would have been more like battery than assault! Anyway Kurt got back into it, by having no difficulty in pulling off multiple German suplexes! Kurt got a near fall for the Angle Slam but he eventually countered a top rope piledriver into an ankle lock. After a while, Eric tapped out and Angle won.

Here’s the thing… what Kurt and Eric did in there was fine. But the match itself and how it was booked was simply mind-boggling. There were so many things that happened that didn’t make sense. The match was called off twice but the ref never stopped it. Pope and Josh Matthews was unable to bring any justice to it either. Kurt continued to work the match fine after supposedly breaking his neck! It was just so illogical of the match but it had nothing to do with Eric and Angle. Whoever put this together clearly threw logic out of the window with the story of this match.

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Ethan Carter III defended the TNA World Title against Matt Hardy and Drew Galloway. I know the finish didn’t mean a thing anyway, but let’s just got through the match. The match itself was shockingly not that bad. It was a bit slow paced but it was fine. There were a few cool moments. There were two things I want to point out first. Firstly, Tyrus was thrown out of the match by special referee Jeff Hardy. Now I know Jeff had the power in the match but this match was NO DISQUALIFICATION! What was the point in Tyrus being thrown out when he could have just came back out if he wanted to? Now I know that the storyline going in was that Tyrus didn’t bother to help out EC3 because he was after the title himself. However, there was nothing that Tyrus did wrong that warranted him being thrown out!

The second thing I wanted to point out was the ref bump that Jeff Hardy took. I love it when special referees that are actually wrestlers take ref bumps. The reason I love it is because those wrestlers usually sell these bumps like referees sell the bumps. They lay on the ground forever! Jeff was down for a while, but at least he was down for long. Just enough so he couldn’t count Matt’s pin.

There were a few nasty bumps. EC3 got the table. As he did this, the fans immediately started chanting “Save The Tables!” That made me laugh! Drew did the Irish Curse on EC3 onto the steel steps. That look painful considering Ethan caught the edge of the steps. In probably the spot of the night, EC3 suplexed Matt Hardy from the apron onto Drew Galloway who was laying on the table. I was thinking when I saw it that this spot would have been cool and they did it anyway. I thought it looked cool but EC3 seemed to take the brunt of it. He landed on the floor when suplexing Hardy and was screaming out loud. They did another good spot when they did a variation of the Tower of Doom where Drew did the spider German suplex which catapulted both men. I was about to be upset that they did ANOTHER Tower of Doom on the PPV, but at least they changed it up a bit. Matt, Drew and EC3 did a chop-fest in front of the Charlotte crowd. I hated how much the Pope was referring to Drew as the Leonidas of TNA. This put Michael Cole to shame in terms of repeating nicknames over and over again.

The match finished with Jeff Hardy teasing a turn on Matt but instead hitting EC3 and hitting the Twist of Fate. Matt then hit the Twist of Fate on Drew for the win and to become the champion. Despite it seeming like a sad and irrelevant win in the end, this meant a lot to Matt Hardy. That’s kind of cool that this win went so much to Matt, despite the circumstances. He was a World Champion and this was his moment. Whether I agreed with it or not is really irrelevant. To Matt, this was special.

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So that was that for TNA Bound For Glory. At the end, it was NOT a bad PPV overall. There were a few bright spots with a few bad matches as well. I’ve certainly seen worse PPVs this year and I did like the Ultimate X match. Now we just wait and see what happens in the future of Impact Wrestling….

EXTREME WARFARE REVENGE: WCW 1998 – WCW TITLE HISTORIES

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Yesterday saw the return on the WCW EWR series with our latest PPV “Halloween Havoc“. However, I wanted to give you guys a bit of treat as I’ve compiled the title histories of EVERYONE of my championships in the game! It’s pretty detailed and is formatted in a Wikipedia-like table. These tables will show you whose won the championships, when they won it, how many days that they held it, how many reigns they’ve had and any other useful notes. These lists take into account how many titles champions have held before. Any new titles reign they have will be added to how many championships they had in real life. For example, Sting was the default champion for my game. The game is set in January and Sting was in his third title reign having just beating Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade. Therefore, his title count will begin at 3.

An issue with this game is that the game itself begins in NOVEMBER 1998, rather than WCW January. I calculated the original title reigns from the day they won the championship (in real life) up until the 1st of January 1998… which is what this mod was based on. That combined with how long I had them hold the title for will give you an estimated guess as to how long these championship reigns would have lasted. It’s not entirely accurate but if I wanted to get it 100% accurate, I’d have to set my computer clock by to 1998! As much as I love this game, I’m not going to those kind of extremes!

Anyway, do check out the title reign history. If there’s no notes, then the match the champion won their belt in was a singles match (or in the tag titles case, a tag match. There’s also a bit of news regarding one of the championship.

Shortly after Halloween Havoc 2000, I suspended WCW Cruiserweight Champion Silvio Maldini for three months due to backstage issues. This had been his third offence and he had been suspended for a month before, so he’s been given a more substantial punishment. Of course, this suspension means that Silvio can’t defend the Cruiserweight Championship due to the 30 day title rule. Ryback and Nikki Bella might be able to get away with this but not Silvio! With his suspension, the title has been vacated and a new champion will be crowned at World War 3 2000.

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The Daniel Bryan Rant

What’s up guys. Tom Robinson here representing the Armbar Express. I don’t like having to make rants believe it or not. I don’t exactly go on massive rants on WWE each and every week. I’m a lot more optimistic about the future of WWE, than most internet fans out there. But I do call it as I see it. If I think WWE have done a good job, I’ll come out and say it. The Royal Rumble match last night was awesome. I have no problem with that. But I also have to speak out when things start to suck. And as amazing as this sounds… it’s not actually the company that’s making me speak out. It’s the fans.

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The majority of smarks or whatever you want to call internet fans these days who thinks they know what’s “best for business” are easily the worst fans in wrestling history. John Cena fans get stick but at least those fans stick with John and the product even if he wins or loses. Amazingly enough, them wrestling fans are acting more adult than these internet fans that bitch and moan whenever Daniel Bryan or CM Punk loses a match. I’m not going to tell you fans what you can or can’t cheer for. Everyone has that freedom of speech. You want to cheer for John Cena? Go cheer for John Cena. But what is unacceptable is hijacking the show with stupid chants about a wrestler not even involved in the match. Trying to make a wrestler a one man dynasty is not “best for business”. That’s the problem with these fans. They will constantly bitch about John Cena in the spotlight all the time, yet they try to make a show all about one man. Hypocrites much?

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Fans will forever be fans. But when you see a columnist for sites like Bleacher Report and WhatCulture go online and bitch about these stuff, you really begin to wonder why they were even allowed to write for a site like that. It’s illogical internet bitching that you could get on just about any site by any fan. I mean here’s one I found from Chris Featherstone of the Bleacher Report. The writer of this shitty article at Bleacher Report. Here’s the link 

He starts of this article by stating that:

“He (Daniel Bryan) is the most over Superstar in the WWE hands down, with one of the most organic pops in professional wrestling history. Still, the WWE continues to turn a blind eye to the obvious. Somehow, the high-decibel ovations, roof-crumbling “YES!” chants and constant “Daniel Bryan!” crowd support are not enough to make him a staple main event star.”

I love how the writer simply ignores the fact that Daniel Bryan has been featured in 4 of the last 7 RAW main event segments and basically says WWE aren’t considering him a staple main event star. They know he’s a huge asset to them. WWE knows Daniel’s influence on the WWE Universe is big for them. Hell, they hit the good old panic button and turned Bryan face TWO WEEKS after he turned heel (which was still the stupidest booking decision in the last 5 years). They did that because of the fans being so into Bryan. But Daniel Bryan is NOT the be-all-end-all of WWE. Like Vince McMahon says, “No one man is bigger than the WWE” and that’s regardless of how over they are or how many YES chants they have to their name.

Next, the writer talks about Daniel Bryan losing to Bray Wyatt. By the way, this match was a stellar match and I would find means to watch it if you haven’t yet. This match was apparently the end of the feud as Bray turned his attentions to John Cena later that evening. And because he lost cleanly that night, the writer comes to the conclusion that his lost to Bray, “did absolutely nothing for him.” Even if it did in fact do nothing for him… so what? The point of the feud was not for Daniel Bryan, it was a Bray Wyatt. Bray Wyatt being a star is one of WWE’s top priorities right now, and rightfully so. Despite a rough start in my estimate, Bray has become a huge player in WWE finally. And yeah, the big reason for that was Daniel Bryan. So Bray had to win the feud if he wanted to move on to the likes of John Cena. Daniel Bryan is still going to be a big star at the end of it, so what’s to worry about him losing to Bray clean?

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He then comments on Batista getting mixed reactions stating:

“It looks like WWE better start rewriting the scripts heading to WrestleMania 30, because it looks like we are going to have a heel vs. heel match, which will garner a number of “Boring!” chants.”

Have you ever heard the phrase “It is better to have a reaction than no reaction at all?” Even the boos John Cena gets every day are still great reactions because he plays of both reactions. But let me ask you a simple question… if the Royal Rumble match came down to John Cena and Batista, and Batista won the match, how much are you willing to bet that these fans complaining about Batista now would have been cheering for Batista at the time? Ryback is not everyone’s cup of tea. And yet when it was down to him and Cena in the final two last year, Ryback was getting “FEED ME MORE” chants all over the arena. It’s the logic of these smarks that amazes me.

The last couple of sentences of this shitty article from, yes, a Bleacher Report FEATURED Columnist reads.

“WWE Creative has one more opportunity to redeem themselves: at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. However, I am not confident that anything outside of what is already planned will take place, and Daniel Bryan will simply end up in a midcard singles match at WrestleMania 30. What a travesty.”

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First of all, how bad at writing do these people think WWE writers are? They are trying to write the stories that’s going to rake in the dole, whether you like it or not. They have to write with that in mind and so fans can actually enjoy it in the process. Sure Batista vs Randy Orton may suck, but they’re going to do their damndest to make it as good as it can be. And when they get “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair involved in this feud, I’m sure those fans aren’t going to be doing much companing!

Second, because Daniel Bryan lost a match and didn’t win the Rumble is not the end of the world. How do you know that Bryan is going to be shafted to mid-card status at Wrestlemania? What if he’s going after the Undertaker’s streak or maybe fighting Triple H? It might not be as predictable as you think. WWE want Daniel to draw big Wrestlemania reactions. And he doesn’t need to be in the main event to do so. If Daniel doesn’t get a big time match at Mania, big deal. When the big stars all fuck off after Wrestlemania, there’s going to be voids to fill in the main event scene and you can bet Daniel Bryan will be there to fill it.

What’s sad is that there are so many other articles like this. This was just the first one I wanted to use as an example. People shitting on the product because of two small factors; the fact that Daniel Bryan wasn’t in the Rumble and the fact that Batista won the entire thing. Sure, you can say whatever you want about. What you shouldn’t does is hijack the show with boos that the wrestlers in the ring are busting their asses to make good for you. I mean you had a GREAT rumble match.

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What’s worse, hardly anyone is mentioning Roman Reign’s epic performance. I mean no-one is even acknowledging the fact that Roman Reigns broke the Kane’s record of eliminations in the Rumble match. 12 eliminations he got. He was the runner up of the Royal Rumble. He basically got himself into stardom. And yet people are talking about someone NOT EVEN in the match. They’re talking about Daniel Bryan.

Now I am not shitting on Daniel Bryan in the slightest. He is a quality wrestler. He will continue to bust his ass regardless of how much he is cheered and booed and I respect him for his dedication to wrestling. But when you have the same old “Daniel Bryan” and “YES!” chants flood an arena, it sucks the life out of a show. Hey, the matches before the rumble weren’t exactly great matches (excluding Bryan vs Wyatt). But it’s not made better when the one match everyone bought the PPV for is bombarded by idiot fans making a mockery out of the Rumble because Daniel Bryan wasn’t in it. How insulted do you think the 30 wrestlers in that match felt after the match was done? You have CM Punk, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns lasting 30+ minutes in the match busting their asses, and all they can hear is fans booing because Bryan isn’t in the match.

Lastly, I want to address the petition that fans have actually started to write to have Daniel Bryan be in the main event of Wrestlemania 30 or else… THEY WILL RIOT! By turning their backs to the Wrestlemania main event! OMG! We have to cave in! A bunch internet fans are going to turn their backs on the main event? No they aren’t.

THEY… ARE… GUTLESS.

Here’s the petition link.

They wouldn’t have “rioted” if Rob Van Dam lost to John Cena in 2006. They wouldn’t have “rioted” if CM Punk lost to John Cena in 2o11. And they won’t “riot” here. And it’s disgraceful that they are resorting to a petition. If they want to turn their backs then they are not proper fans. They shouldn’t dictate how a company is run or who is going to the main event of Wrestlemania. And as for people saying Batista never deserved to be in the main event of Wrestlemania 30. Well let me say this… he’s more worthy of being in the main event than you are of deciding how WWE should be run.

Fin.