Update On Cody Rhodes’ Independent Endeavours

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Out of the wrestlers that have recently left or have been released from WWE, Cody Rhodes’ time on the independent scene will look to be the most interesting of all. For you see, Cody Rhodes has a plan of what to do. Not that everyone else that was released hasn’t got projects in the pipeline already but Cody has a recently compiled a list, that he tweeted  out at the end of May. The list consists of specific wrestlers, events and other wrestling goals that he hoped to achieve now that he’s in the independent circuit.

The list is very thought-provoking and I have embedded it below in case anyone hasn’t seen it or has seen it and just needs a quick reminder…

Cody had an ambitious list but the son of the “American Dream” has suddenly become a hot commodity, with his summer schedule already starting to be booked up. How well is he doing in terms of his list? Well, let’s run down the matches and projects that has already been announced by Cody or by those he’s doing business with.

 

EVOLVE

An early announcement  was Cody’s involvement with the wrestling promotion EVOLVE, a company which does have a partnership going with WWE. I think in terms of keeping the door open for himself to return in the future, it does benefit him to work with a company that’s at least on good terms with WWE. EVOLVE’s actually been able to open the doors to everybody. TNA’s Ethan Carter III and Drew Galloway both showed up there recently and cut shoot promos on WWE. I’m not sure whether Cody will actually “shoot” on WWE, but Cody might be working more than his originally advertised appearance at EVOLVE 66 on August 19th.

This match is rumoured to be involving Rhodes wrestling Chris Hero, which does tick a wrestler of his “hit-list” of matches.

 

 

Cody Rhodes vs Mike Bennett

Scheduled for August 26th is an interesting one, as Cody will be accompanied by his wife Eden (who also left WWE recently) when he takes on TNA star Michael Bennett. Michael will also be accompanied to the ring, with Michael’s wife Maria also being at the show.

Michael’s being groomed for big things in TNA, so it’s interesting for Cody to do business with a TNA star right off the bat. I know that TNA’s contracts aren’t as secure as WWE’s contracts, allowing anyone to take independent dates, but it’s still an intriguing endevour. Also, Eden could easily be playing the role of “personal ring announcer” as listed on Cody’s list!

 

Cody Rhodes vs Kurt Angle

One of the earliest matches announced for Rhodes was a mouth-watering one to say the least. With “Angle” on Cody’s list, it has been announced that he will be taking on the Olympic gold medalist at an event in New York on August 27th.

This will be the first time that these two will ever face off and it’s quite a slobberknocker of a match. These two are perfect for each other in terms of the pacing of each other’s work. Angle can work quick and slow matches, as can Cody. With Kurt currently not signed by TNA or any other major promotion, probably the biggest name on Cody’s list is already in the bag.

 

Cody Rhodes vs Pat Buck

A lot of independent fans will know a lot more about Pat Buck than me but this match was actually of the more recent announcements regarding Rhodes. Cody mentioned on Twitter after this was announced that he lost to Buck in his first ever professional wrestling match at Corydon, Indiana. I guess it’s time for him to get his revenge ten years later!

He’ll be wrestling there on September 10th and interestingly enough, Buck is not the only Buck on Cody’s list….

 

PWG Battle Of Los Angeles

PWG fans will be a huge fan of this announcement. Cody is confirmed to be taking part in a major indie event in Los Angeles called Battle Of Los Angeles, and it’s very safe to assume that he’ll be able to tick off a number of wrestlers on that list. I know a lot of PWG fans that are going crazy over the news. I’m a fan of PWG myself, even though I don’t check them out NEARLY as much as I should. It’s a major coup for the company and his participation will really raise the prestige of this tournament.

 

And that about covers everything for Cody’s announced matches in the near future. If I’ve missed anything, please notify me with a comment or on Twitter by tweeting @ArmbarExpress. However, these are the only ones that have been retweeted or confirmed by Rhodes on his personal Twitter as of June 7th 2016 so I’ll stop right here. I’m sure a lot of these other names will be ticked off real soon.

It’s interesting that ROH’s Moose and Roderick Strong are on the list, as those two names have been linked with a move to WWE. If Cody wants these two, he’s got to act fast. There’s no guarantee that those two will budge, so it could just be the case of Rhodes just biding his time anyway. A lot of the names on that list currently wrestle for ROH, so that could very well be a permanent new home for Rhodes. I personally thought that Cody might be tempted to do some dates in Japan, with NJPW really rising in popularity.

Any other independent wrestlers that you want Cody Rhodes to face? Should he go to NJPW? Should he got to TNA? Should he got to ROH? Should he go to Lucha Underground? Give us your thoughts and be sure to follow @CodyRhodes on Twitter, as he’ll be sure to shed some light on future projects.

Wade Barrett And Damien Sandow Among Several WWE Releases

How’s it going everybody? Thomas Robinson here with the Armbar Express. Big news coming from the WWE on Friday as eight releases were announced with the departures of Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow being the biggest ones of the lot.

With that said, there were a number of surprise releases among the group of superstars. The full list of wrestlers released were….

  • Wade Barrett
  • Damien Sandow
  • El Torito
  • Hornswoggle
  • Alex Riley
  • Cameron
  • Santino Marrella
  • Zeb Colter

What we’ll do with this post is run down everyone that was released and I will give my thoughts in the latest mass exodus of WWE talent.

 

Wade Barrett

bad-news-barrett

Barrett’s departure has been well-known for a while. He’s discussed it in the past and it appeared that he was done following his excommunication from the League of Nations. Throughout the years, for the Armbar Express, NoDQ.com, SLTD Wrestling and even WhatCulture, I’ve talked about Wade Barrett passionately. This man had everything that the WWE could want in a top heel and they really dropped the ball on him. Now granted, there were a number of times where Barrett was picking up momentum but unfortunately picked up injuries that stopped him. However, there’s also been a fair share of disregard for Barrett by the WWE writers in the past few years.

He’s been a King of the Ring winner and a multi-time Intercontinental Champion, but it still feels like Barrett was never able to accomplish any of significant value since he debuted on RAW as a part of Nexus. That angle could have made Barrett a star but whether it was down to “backstage politicking” or lack of confidence in the Nexus as a whole, Barrett was never really given a great main-event run. Despite this, Barrett’s had some great periods of getting over to a high level. As Bad News Barrett in 2014, Barrett was one of the most over acts in the entire company. It’s sad to see him go but the pressure is now on for Neville to waive the flag for England in the WWE.

 

Damien Sandow

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The fact that WWE had nothing creatively for Damien Sandow to do in the last 12 months just goes to show how badly WWE screwed up the booking of this man. The fact that Damien Sandow has now been released after holding the Money In The Bank contract and being one of the most over acts of 2014 and 2015 is just an unfortunate fall from grace for the man that has received endorsements from legends such as Mick Foley.

For a company that claims to embody “sports entertainment,” it’s astonishing that they wouldn’t push Damien Sandow to the level that he could get to. After all, Damien Sandow has been entertaining with every gimmick he’s been given. Whether it’s just being the intellectual saviour of the masses or just parodying other superstars, Damien took the ball and ran as hard as he could with it. He’s like Eric Young in the sense that he could make any gimmick work. It boggles my mind how WWE never gave him a legitimate run as a main-eventer considering how over Damien got.

 

El Torito

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El Torito was a surprise release. I actually liked El Torito and he actually had a lot of value as a little fella that children could get invested in. Not only that but he could actually work in the ring as a luchador. As a suitable replacement for Hornswoggle as the top… little man in the company, El Torito was the right man. I know that his character didn’t get over to a tremendous degree but he was good enough to be a great little lower mid-card character that could keep the crowds happy. I guess the WWE didn’t really have a lot of future plans for him but you could tell that anyway as soon as he broke up with Los Matadores in an angle which went… nowhere.

Torito, much like a lot of these guys, just didn’t seem to have a place in the company anymore. Especially with Los Matadores being repackaged back to Primo and Epico, there was not much else for Torito to do.

 

Hornswoggle

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Hornswoggle had already been on the company’s bad books ever since his suspension last year. Taking his inactivity afterwards into account, this was the least surprising release for me. After ten years of goofy angles, which include being Vince McMahon’s illegitimate son and being the anonymous general manager of RAW, what else could Hornswoggle offer in terms of storylines? He did pretty much all he could with WWE and now’s the time for him to move on. You gave us some of the most unique and bizarre wrestling angles of all time and even reigned as the final Cruiserweight champion but this is the end of the road unfortunately.

NOTE: It’s actually already been confirmed that Hornswoggle is starting up with Global Force Wrestling as… Swoggle.

 

Alex Riley

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Again, this was an inevitability. Alex Riley had been in NXT for years in hopes of revitalising his wrestling career. He feuded with Kevin Owens and then really just floated around in the NXT roster after that. Riley had also been very outspoken on Twitter about how WWE was using him on the main roster and on NXT.  Really, there was little chance of anything major happening for Riley in the near future.

There was a time where it really felt that WWE were going to get behind him after he broke up with The Miz in 2011. He got some big pops as he feuded with him and even BEAT him at Capitol Punishment 2011. Considering that he beat Miz, right after he dropped the WWE title to John Cena, that shows you just how much stock they had in him. He had segments with Cena and Steve Austin and it looked for all the world like they were really going to push him to be the next top babyface. He had the charisma for it anyway.

However, for whatever reason, Riley’s push was dropped and he was really never able to recover again. The big reason about why Riley’s push was ended was reportedly due to a confrontation he had with John Cena backstage. It was probably in Riley’s best interests to not get on the bad side of these top guys in the company, but it was a shame that his full potential was never realised before he parted ways with WWE.

 

Santino Marella

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Santino had been retired as an in-ring competitor for a number of years. Santino’s gave us many years of laughs and entertainment but it was very difficult for Santino to make a significant contribution to the company strictly as an ambassador and in a non-wrestling position. With several big legends on the pay-roll in the same role as Santino, there was little need for him anymore.

You’ll be missed Santino!

 

Cameron

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As strange as this may sound, Cameron was the most shocking release of all. The reason I say this is because I truly believed that Cameron was making a serious effort to contribute more to the company. Whether it was going back to NXT to develop her wrestling skills or taking part in outside projects, I think Cameron was trying really hard to make the WWE realise that she wanted a place in her company and that she could deliver. Despite all of this, with the sudden increased demand of women’s wrestling, Cameron was going to have a difficult time attempting to live up to that standard set by the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Paige and Bayley.

Cameron did have a number of off-screen incidents while in WWE, including her infamous DUI where she reportedly tried to bribe a policeman and didn’t tell WWE about it. She also had the incident on RAW where she tried to pin Naomi on her stomach. Despite her recent efforts, I guess it’s time for Cameron to say girl bye.

 

Zeb Colter

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Colter was sailing in the same boat as nearly everyone else that was released, in the sense that there was not a lot for him to do within the company anymore. He came in as the effective manager for Jack Swagger and delivered tremendously on the mic. The issue with Zeb was that he was one gimmick hit. He was really only able to deliver well with the Real American gimmick and whenever he was with Jack Swagger. When they tried to put him with Alberto Del Rio, it was a momentous disaster to the point where Del Rio has never really been able to recover.

 

What do you think of these releases? Who are you going to miss the most? Is there anyway that you’re glad to see leave? Tweet us your response @ArmbarExpress or leave a comment below.

WWE Money In The Bank 2013 Review – The Viper Slithers His Way To The Money In The Bank Briefcase

WARNING: This was written without taking the latest RAW or SmackDown! in account. I started writing it on Monday before RAW.

Hey wrestling fans, I’m The “Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses” Tom Robinson here with the Money In The Bank PPV REVIEW!

Amazing fans at Money In The Bank in Philadelphia but did the action in the ring justify the epic audience?

 

Usos and The Shield Steal The Errrr…. Pre-Show

SETH ROLLINS AND AN USO: I really wish this match showed up on the main show.

SETH ROLLINS AND AN USO: I really wish this match showed up on the main show.

Amazing tag team match between The Usos and Shield members Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. It was a shame this match didn’t make the PPV because these 4 put on a great show. It’s a good way to showcase the talent of the Usos and despite not winning they looked really strong against The Shield. The Usos will eventually get them belts, but in order for that to happen they need to fight high-profile teams and keep up their momentum so when they fight The Shield again they are a more legitimate threat. But superb start to those that watched it, and matches this good on the pre-show will encourage more to watch pre-shows and in a way – that’s good for business.

 

 

Damien Sandow steals Money In The Bank from Cody Rhodes

CODY RHODES: Cody owned this ladder match and everyone else in it.

CODY RHODES: Cody owned this ladder match and everyone else in it.

Short but sweet Money In The Bank between these 7 heels. It was amazing when The Shield and The Usos got involved near the end. Things got so chaotic and it was cool to see Dean Ambrose “skin the cat” on the ladder if you will, pulling himself up on the ladder tying to retrieve the briefcase. But the star of the show was Cody Rhodes. WWE booked him so well in this match. He was a dominant force. He laid out everyone with Cross Rhodes’ and took out about 8 people by pushing Ambrose off the ladder onto the “sea of humanity”. But just as he was about to win, his “best friend” Damien Sandow shoved him off the ladder and stole the briefcase right from underneath Cody’s nose. Not sure whether Damien Sandow should have won it over guys like Wade Barrett or Cody Rhodes but I’m not bothered about him winning it. I’ll accept it and his potential feud with Cody could be a good one. You know what else? Fandango DIDN’T win it. Yes. I was ecstatic about him NOT winning. Oh and by the way. Someone posted on Twitter that Fandango doing a flip powerbomb off the ladder proved he can wrestler… did it fuck. It just proves he’s flexible. It doesn’t mean jack. Big deal. He did a powerbomb off the ladder. Like that isn’t the most overdone spot in ladder match history. Sorry Fandango. You’re not winning me over that easily. Also I approve of the sign that said “If Fandango wins, we riot!” Great threat. 🙂

 

 

Philadelphia’s admiration and respect of Paul Heyman steals the attention from Curtis Axel vs The Miz

THE MIZ AND CURTIS AXEL: Figure-Four-Leg-Lock slapped onto the Intercontinental Champion

THE MIZ AND CURTIS AXEL: Figure-Four-Leg-Lock slapped onto the Intercontinental Champion

An OK match between Curtis Axel and The Miz for the Intercontinental title but the main story was the amped up Philly crowd’s love for Paul Heyman due to his connection with ECW (who’s headquarters was at Philadelphia). And the fans were PISSED when Heyman got ejected from the match. But the match would end up seeing Axel pick up the win over The Miz. I’m seriously hoping that Axel gets better competition for his title now. Maybe CM Punk after he’s done with Brock Lesnar. That’d give the belt some serious prestige that it ultimately needs after Miz fighting for the title about 50 times in the last 4 months.

 

AJ Lee steals Kaitlyn’s pride winning their rematch from Payback

KAITLYN AND AJ LEE: Dropkick, bitch!

KAITLYN AND AJ LEE: Dropkick, bitch!

AJ Lee and Kaitlyn fought once more for the Divas Title. Their match at Payback was great but their rematch here at Money In The Bank was a bit of a let down. I thought it was better than the average women’s match don’t get me wrong, but this had nothing on their Payback match. This match wasn’t much special to be frank and had a rather bland ending. You’d figure Layla would have at least turned heel or something since she was out there managing Kaitlyn (because apparently she hasn’t got anything better to do). AJ made Kaitlyn tap to the Black Widow and this seemed a really dry way to end the match if you know what I mean. This ending didn’t create branches for other feuds or anything and that is what a good feud should do. It’s not great for the Divas title. There is currently no feud lined up for AJ other than with Dolph Ziggler (we’ll get to that) and it’s not good for the divas division if champion AJ is not feuding with other divas. Way to make your other divas seem insignificant.

 

Ryback steals the win from Chris Jericho with a roll up… REALLY?

RYBACK AND CHRIS JERICHO: Ryback into total control of Chris Jericho as he yells at him.

RYBACK AND CHRIS JERICHO: Ryback into total control of Chris Jericho as he yells at him.

First of all, I want to say this was one of Ryback’s best matches since he re-debuted in April 2012. Chris Jericho can have a good match with pretty much anyone and this match with Ryback proved it. I loved the bit where Jericho countered the Shell-Shocked into a DDT. That looked pretty good considering the size of his opponent. Ryback actually delivered a good showing and he finally got a pay-per-view win for the first time in actually a YEAR. Good. He’s back on the rebound after months of losing big time matches with the likes of CM Punk, John Cena, Mark Henry and The Shield. But I didn’t like the way it ended… a roll up. OK… really? Surely a Shell-Shocked should have ended it or something a little more effective. This just makes Ryback look weak in a way. Sure he put on a good match, but he got a typical heel victory. WWE have to make Ryback more than just a typical heel. They’ve got to make him look like a SERIOUS monster. I’m guessing that they’ll have Ryback finish off Jericho in some form on RAW or SmackDown! (written before watching either RAW or SmackDown!) because the feud can’t end like this.

 

AJ Lee inadvertently steals the World Title from Dolph Ziggler, as Del Rio retains at Money In The Bank

ALBERTO DEL RIO AND DOLPH ZIGGLER: Damn, what a German suplex.

ALBERTO DEL RIO AND DOLPH ZIGGLER: Damn, what a German suplex.

Really want to continue the theme of “stealing” with the sub-headings for some reason. Anyway, a quality match between Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio for the World Title. It was a great match with quality counter after the counter. I loved the bit where Del Rio countered the Fame-Asser into a German suplex that looked really well done. These two have some great chemistry in the ring for some reason. You couldn’t really see this in their Payback match because of Ziggler’s concussion storyline. These two had a great showing. Also I loved the elevation of Ziggler’s dropkick when he did a mid-air dropkick on Del Rio after Del Rio came off the rope. It looked amazing. But of course, Ziggler would not walk away champion as AJ Lee mistakenly hit Del Rio with her divas title causing a DQ loss for Ziggler. Now as much as everyone will talk ill about the ending considering how great a match this was being, I didn’t mind. I think the AJ and Ziggler break up was inevitable and it will lead to a feud at Summerslam I’m guessing. And I do think WWE will have Del Rio and Ziggler finally have a proper match with no interfering on PPV soon. These two will fight again and it will be a classic if WWE book it right and if WWE give them like 20+ minutes. I’d love it to happen, and I really we see a match with a legit ending sometime down the road.

 

The Turnbuckle steals Mark Henry’s chance of being WWE Champion for the first time

JOHN CENA AND MARK HENRY: Once again, Superman saves the day. -.-

JOHN CENA AND MARK HENRY: Once again, Superman saves the day. -.-

John Cena defeats another monster heel for the WWE Championship. Yawn. Surely WWE must know their limits on this crap. It’s just getting way too old now. This match absolutely blew and it was down-right degrading to Mark Henry to have his legacy built up by WWE for them to just have them get effectively buried by John Cena. I mean Henry ran into the exposed turnbuckle and tapped out to Cena off the STF. Come on. I wasn’t expecting Henry to win, but at least they could have done in a manner that doesn’t make Henry look weak and also doesn’t make John Cena look like a superhero. I hope they’ve got something good for Henry to build him up again.

 

Randy Orton steals Rob Van Dam’s thunder to become Mr Money In The Bank.

ROB VAN DAM AND DANIEL BRYAN: How's that kick to the face Bryan?

ROB VAN DAM AND DANIEL BRYAN: How’s that kick to the face Bryan?

Probably one of the greatest Money In The Bank ladder matches I’ve ever seen. CM Punk, the returning Rob Van Dam, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton and Christian put on an incredible display with some cool-looking spots and some hard-hitting action. And that’s not over-stating it, the wrestlers actually got seriously banged up after that match. RVD and Punk both needed stitches and  Sheamus hurt his leg after falling through a ladder. We also saw Rob Van Dam performed a Five-Star-Frog-Splash off the ladder which looked awesome. Randy Orton’s T-Bone Suplex to Punk on the ladder looked sick. CM Punk took some serious shots in and Punk was a crimson mask at the end. And it was all down to his “friend” Paul Heyman, who turned on Punk by hitting him multiple times with a ladder. Punk bled heavily afterwards and finally split of from Heyman for good. This also cements his heel turn and a match with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. That’ll be one great storyline to check out now Punk and Heyman are enemies. And the match finally met his end. Was it in fact the extremely-over Daniel Bryan who got the briefcase and basically guaranteed himself a WWE Title match? No. Instead it was Randy Orton who got the briefcase, and I don’t mind Orton winning the briefcase as this means he will no doubt turn heel. However, Daniel Bryan misses out and I hope they give him a WWE Title match with Cena at Summerslam anyway because I’d love to see him win the belt. As for Rob Van Dam… welcome back.

Sorry it came so late. But the review is done. I’m Tom Robinson. This is the Armbar Express. And I leave with the Random YouTube Video of the post. It’s Jason Sensation… amazing with WWE impressions. Watch this guy’s Ric Flair impression. It will have you in bits. Later Guys. Don’t forget to follow the @ArmbarExpress at Twitter and like the Facebook page here.