Top Five Moments From WWE RAW (24/08/15)

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This week’s RAW was quite the show, following up a highly-anticipated Summerslam (my review of Summerslam can be seen by clicking at this link). RAW had to follow up strong work from WWE and the two controversial endings to the two co-main events. Undertaker defeated Brock Lesnar in a very confusing finish to their epic rematch from Wrestlemania 30. Jon Stewart cost John Cena the WWE Championship against Seth Rollins. But what would happen on RAW the next night? Well, yours truly will select what I believe were the top five talking points and top five moments from this week’s RAW.
1. The Dudley Boyz Return

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The tag team division took a turn for the better at Summerslam, when the New Day regained the WWE Tag Team titles in a great fatal four way tag team match involving themselves, the Prime Time Players, Los Matadores and the Lucha Dragons. The New Day were in action against the Lucha Dragons this week and beat them cleanly in the ring. But as they were celebrating, the Dudley Boyz arrived!

It was, dare I say… vintage Dudley Boyz here in Brooklyn! They took out all three members of the New Day, busting out all the moves that led to them winning 24 world tag team titles. The Dudleyz got an insane pop when their music hit. I marked out myself after seeing them come out! It looks like the Dudleyz are here to stay too as they were advertised for SmackDown! this week. This can only mean that there will be great things ahead for the tag team division.

2. Brock Lesnar KILLS Bo Dallas

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According to Wikipedia, Brock Lesnar actually did kill Bo Dallas on RAW last night!
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Paul Heyman addressed Brock Lesnar’s “loss” to the Undertaker in compelling fashion. Paul then made the challenge for the Undertaker to “bring his dead ass” out to the ring for one more fight. However, Bo Dallas would make his way to the ring. Bo told Brock to bo-lieve in himself. Brock responded by taking Bo on a trip to Suplex City. Not going to lie, I just started laughing as soon Bo got into the ring!

It’s interesting now to see where Brock Lesnar will go from here. Will he just forget about having one more match with the Undertaker or will he go after the WWE World Heavyweight Championship once again?

3. The Wyatt Family’s Newest Member

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Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper may have lost their Summerslam match, but the Eater of Worlds had a trick up his sleeve for their rematch on RAW. This trick turned out to be a big one as the HUGE Braun Stowman emerged to lay out Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. It doesn’t seem that Braun possess much in terms of wrestling ability. However, a mysterious debut like this is always interesting to me. Sometimes they go south (e.g. Mason Ryan) but sometimes they can surprise you. It’s still early days so it’ll be hard to imagine how he’ll do just yet. He’s been at WWE’s developmental centre and made his in-ring debut at the end of 2014. He’s won a number of “strongman” competitions in the past, including the Summerfest Strongman in 2011. Where have I heard that before?


4. We’re Gonna Make This An EIGHT MAN TAG TEAM MATCH Playa!

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This eight man tag team match was a great little main event for RAW. It basically featured everyone who faced each other at Summerslam facing each other again in a BIG eight man tag team match. Randy Orton, Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback vs Big Show, Kevin Owens, Rusev and Sheamus. It was a pretty decent match. The kind of multi-man tag team match you’d expect on RAW. The miscommunication between the heel team caused the good guys to win. Rusev and Kevin Owens took their loss out on Big Show and beat him up. The faces then added to the beat down. We saw a quality little RKO from Randy Orton as Cesaro and Ryback lifted Big Show up to be dropped by Orton.

5. Sting Returns To RAW

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According to reports, the WWE were planning a “big angle” for RAW. Well WWE certainty didn’t disappoint with this corker. It was not a ground-shaking moment like CM Punk’s pipebomb or the Nexus invading RAW for the first time. However, it was a pretty quality moment. Seth Rollins was apparently set to have a bronze statue of himself to celebrate his win at Summerslam over John Cena. However, Sting crashed the party by attacking Rollins. Sting then hoisted up the WWE Championship, making it clear why he was back in the WWE!

It’s pretty great to see Sting be able to challenge for the WWE Championship like this. Sting should get this opportunity to have a WWE Championship match, whether it’s his only one or not. From my point of view, I’d love it if Sting were to actually win the title, even if he did hold it for a month. After all, he can still go in the ring and his TNA run proves he can work a full-time schedule if needed. Whether that’ll actually happen is up for debate. However, Sting vs Seth Rollins at Night of Champions sound like a corker to me!

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“Rowdy” Roddy Piper Passes Away At 61

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In what is a huge loss for the wrestling industry tonight, Rowdy Roddy Piper has died from a cardiac arrest at the age of 61. It’s so sad to hear considering Dusty Rhodes passed away last month. Two influential wrestlers oozing with charisma having passed away and Piper’s charisma was just on a level few could ever match up to. Whether it’d be in a joking manner or a serious manner, Piper knew how to get the crowd on the edge of their seats and for that, you have to respect him.

Vince McMahon said in a WWE.com press release about it that “Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved my millions of fans around the world,” and that’s pretty much bang on the money. Piper was such an inspiration to anyone wanting to get into wrestling and entertain people. He inspired others to be the bad guys of wrestling, let alone the good guys! Many superstars now say in interviews that they were inspired by Piper. Particularly heels, who were blown away by what Piper did or said in that ring. In my mind, the greatest wrestler to never hold the WWE Championship who was beloved by all. He will be sorely missed.

Rest in peace, Hot Rod.

HOW I WOULD BOOK… EDDIE GUERRERO’S ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA 22 [PART 2]

Last time in this series, we discussed what potential storylines WWE might have had in place for Eddie Guerrero before his death in November 2005. We recapped the first storyline of Eddie Guerrero’s rise to the World Heavyweight Championship and the main event of Wrestlemania 22. Now let’s do another one…

As we mentioned in the last blog, Court Bauer talked of plans to book a dream match like no other at Wrestlemania 22. With Eddie Guerrero’s heel persona taking off with style in 2005, the plans were for Eddie to go at it with another all-time great. A great who I believe could have had one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania with Latino Heat. Eddie Guerrero could have very well feuded… with Shawn Michaels.

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A program between these two would be wonderful to see for a number of reasons…

  1. These two contrasting styles could work wonders in the ring and on the mic. Shawn’s got quite a history with working with great wrestlers whose style is very different to his. The year before at Wrestlemania 21, he put on a classic with the mat-grappler and wrestling machine Kurt Angle. His classics with Undertaker over the years will live long in the memory. Eddie Guerrero’s ability could have brought something new out of Shawn which could provide mouth-watering action.
  2. This match probably would have stolen the show at THIS particular Wrestlemania. Other than the hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley, none of the other matches on the Wrestlemania 22 card were really show-stealers and THAT memorable. I’ve always thought Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton was a good match, but it was way shorter than it really should have been. A match like this, given the appropriate time, would give the audience a match talked about for years….

So how could we bring these two stars together for a little dance at the grandest stage of them all? Well the two were already set for a collision course just before Guerrero died at Survivor Series 2005. Remember, both men were scheduled to be part of the RAW vs SmackDown! Survivor Series match. So it’s a great place to start when building up this particular match.

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In the Survivor Series match, before Eddie and Shawn are putting on a show. With two eliminations each and showing the very best from both men, there’s little surprise as it comes down to these two battling for brand supremacy. During this, the referee gets knocked down by Eddie or Shawn. Eddie goes for the Frog Splash but Shawn moves out of the way. Both men are down from exhaustion, when RAW general manager Eric Bischoff comes down to aid Shawn with a chair. However, SmackDown! general manager Teddy Long comes out to stop him. Even though the general managers already had a match earlier on in the PPV, it would be OK for them to come out again as this is the ultimate decider for which brand is superior. Both men would want it badly. While they’re scuffling and the ref’s down, JBL would come down to the ring and give Michaels the Clothesline from Hell. He would pull Eddie over Michaels but the ref is down. Rey Mysterio would get in JBL’s face going “What are you doing? Let them fight it out.”

I’m keeping to how the ORIGINAL RAW vs SmackDown! match ended with Rey and JBL being eliminated before Orton pinned Michaels with Eddie replacing Orton in this particular scenario. Rey would be pulling JBL off Eddie because he would want to see Eddie and Michaels finish without interferences or any other shenanigans. Rey is an honorable character so it’d make sense that he’d want to see a clean finish. However as Rey is telling JBL to get to the back, Eddie low-blows Shawn as the two of them get up. The ref finally gets up and Eddie takes advantage by climbing to the top, hitting the Frog Splash and pinning Michaels. This would turn Eddie heel once more, by ruining a classic encounter between these two future hall-of-famers through dirty tactics. So what happens next?

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Well not much on RAW as not much NEEDS to change with regards to Shawn Michaels. Shawn might be pissed because of Eddie’s actions, but there’s not a lot he could do about it at this point. He might as well continue on into the elimination chamber at New Year’s Revolution 2006, where he would compete for the WWE Championship. He would lose and go on to the Royal Rumble.

As for Eddie, a lot would happen on his end. Eddie would somehow earn himself a World title shot and respect among the majority of SmackDown! roster. Even though he did use dirty tactics to get the job done at Survivor Series, he still won the match for SmackDown! and would be considered a hero in the eyes of many. Other than Batista and Rey Mysterio, no-one else would probably complain about it. So Eddie gets his title shot at Batista in a Last Man Standing match. This feud between Eddie and Batista should really end in a big match like a last man standing match as Eddie has went back to his old ways and was eyeing up Batista’s World Title all along. In Batista’s eyes, this is a betrayal from Eddie as he proved at Survivor Series that he was lying the whole time about being a changed man. Batista would be mad and the match would be made for Armageddon. Batista would retain the title.

On the following episode of SmackDown!, Eddie would go on an angry tirade about the SmackDown! locker room not respecting him enough to help him out during his match with Batista. He would call them ungrateful for not showing him the respect he deserved. He won the Survivor Series match for SmackDown!, and they should be worshiping the ground he walks on. Eddie says that he is better than everyone on SmackDown!, everyone on RAW and singles out Shawn Michaels. He says that he could do anything Shawn Michaels has already done. Teddy Long would come out and tells Eddie to prove that he is better than Shawn Michaels by ACTUALLY doing something Shawn’s already done. He announces that at the Royal Rumble, Eddie Guerrero would be the number #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble match!

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Meanwhile, word of Eddie’s entry in the Rumble would reach RAW. Shawn Michaels would approach Vince McMahon (who’d be running RAW at this point since Eric Bischoff was fired) and ask him to make Shawn the second entrant. Shawn says that he never quite got over the sting of his loss to Guerrero at Survivor Series and wants to be the first of 29 men in the Rumble to teach Guerrero a lesson. Vince would agree and these two would be the only two known entry numbers going into the Rumble.

So the both of them would start the Rumble and both them would do pretty well. In fact both of them would reach the final six. The two would square off in the Rumble which would lead to Shawn Michaels eliminating Eddie with a bit of Sweet Chin Music. Eddie would respond by eliminating Shawn from the Rumble and delivering a Brainbuster onto the steel steps. I was going to try and avoid doing a repeat of the 2005 Royal Rumble where Kurt Angle eliminated Shawn, who had eliminated him beforehand. However, for Eddie this would work a lot better and here’s why…

Eddie was already angry after NOT capturing the World Title at Armageddon. Plan A didn’t work so he had to go with Plan B… winning the Rumble and earning a World Title shot that way. However, Plan B would fail. To rub salt in the wounds, the man that eliminated him would be the man he singled out in his angry promo after Armageddon. This would tip Eddie even FURTHER over the edge.

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Eddie would go to Teddy Long and demand one last title shot at No Way Out, claiming that he put on the best performance out of everyone in the Royal Rumble. Teddy would point out to Eddie that he never put on the best performance at the Rumble as Shawn Michaels lasted longer than Latino Heat and eliminated him. Eddie would snap again, grabbing Teddy by the throat. Teddy is pressured into putting Eddie into a 20 man battle royal to determine the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship at Armageddon. Eddie would win, giving him one last opportunity.

Meanwhile on RAW, Shawn Michaels would demand a match with Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania 22. Vince would refuse saying that in the state of mind Eddie’s in, he could very well kill Shawn Michaels in the ring. Shawn would try what Eddie did to Teddy, grab Vince by the throat and get his way in that manner. Vince tells Shawn that this wouldn’t work as Shawn didn’t have the stomach to go through with any of his threats. Shawn pushes Vince off before Superkicking him in the ring.

Vince would respond by booking Shawn in a FIVE ON ONE handicap match with the Spirit Squad on the RAW before No Way Out. Shawn would actually do very well against the Spirit Squad and would be closing in on a win, until a shot of Eddie’s low-rider appears backstage. This would distract Shawn and the Spirit Squad would take advantage to get the win. Shawn would angrily cut a promo backstage, telling everybody that he was going to be at No Way Out.

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So Eddie has his World Title match. If you want to take Batista’s injury into account, the World Heavyweight Champion would probably be Kurt Angle or Randy Orton as those two were the top contenders when Batista got injured in real-life. I’m gonna go with Kurt because I really liked the chemistry between Eddie and Kurt. The ref would get knocked down and Eddie would grab the chair. Before he can do any damage, Shawn Michaels comes out to Super Kick the chair into Eddie’s face falling into an Angle Slam by Kurt resulting in Kurt retaining the championship.

Eddie would be irate and would should up on RAW, demanding that Vince book Eddie vs Michaels at Wrestlemania. After Vince initially refuses, Eddie takes matters into his own hands and goes after Shane McMahon. He threatens to break Shane’s leg if Vince doesn’t give him the match. Shawn would also come out to “pour fire on the gasoline” and wind up Vince to the point that he books HIMSELF in a No Holds Barred match with Shawn at Saturday Night’s Main Event. If Shawn beats him, he gets Eddie at Wrestlemania. So you still get your Vince vs Shawn No Holds Barred match that we got in real-life, just at a different event. Shawn would win and the match would be set for Wrestlemania.

At Wrestlemania 22, Shawn would go over in what would be a classic between Shawn and Eddie. I wanted to give Shawn this victory since he had lost to Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 21 and he would really need a big win like that at Wrestlemania 22. Eddie could still come out strong after this feud ends, but I think Eddie would need to be drafted to RAW after Wrestlemania to give Eddie a lot more to do on a different show….

…. and of course to get a win back in the rematch!

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I’ll admit. Some aspects of this storyline had already been done before recently, like Eddie throwing out Shawn at the Rumble like Kurt had the year before. However, what this does is take advantage on the incredibly white-hot heel Eddie Guerrero and makes him a huge part of the storyline which saw him go toe-to-toe with Mr Wrestlemania. Just a shame that we never got to see this happen.

What do you guys think of this storyline? Leave comments below or tweet me at @TomRobinson5199 with how you would book Eddie Guerrero had he not died in November 2005…

Wrestling Flashback – Hard Times For The American Dream (RIP Dusty Rhodes)

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In honor of one of the true all-time wrestling legends. The American Dream Dusty Rhodes telling us about hard times in this incredible promo.

R.I.P. Dusty Rhodes

The Ultimate Warrior Dies – #RIPWarrior

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Ladies and gentlemen, the wrestling world is in utter-shock with the news of the death of the newest member of the WWE Hall Of Fame 2014. One of the most well-known wrestlers of all time and a mega star that will remain in the hearts of all his warriors…. The Ultimate Warrior!

The Warrior took the WWF by storm upon his debut, electrifying audiences with his incredible energy and power that had the fans on the edge of his seats. Seriously if you went back and watched promos from him in his prime, the Warrior connected with the fans so well and were able to pump them up big time just by words. Check this one out for example…

The thing is… Warrior could create a buzz so easily that makes the fans get into the product. Like Hulk Hogan, he was the kind of wrestler that could build electricity in a flash. A wrestler that pumps up a crowd is more important than any other attribute in my opinion. You could be the greatest technical wrestler or the greatest risk taker or what not. But getting the crowd excited and rallied up is more important than anything.

I remember when I first got into wrestling like 2003 or something. After a couple of months of watching it, I watched the match between him and Randy Savage. That match had such an incredible feeling to it. Especially when Warrior kicked out of all the elbow drops by Randy. I loved watching that. I actually think this match wasn’t on the WWE 2K14 Wrestlemania mode which actually sucks because that match had a lot of moments that we’ll never forget. Not to mention the scene with Savage and Miss Elizabeth in the end.

Warrior being inducted into the Hall Of Fame this year is now even more special and so huge. It’s incredible and warming to know that he was inducted while he was still alive. The Warrior was able to have his last 3 nights in the WWE if you will, with Hall Of Fame, Wrestlemania and RAW. And you could tell he loved being back. He couldn’t wait to put that mask on one last time on RAW. After all the things that have happened to him, he was able to have one last time in the sun before his death. And that’s special for the Warrior. He’ll live on in the hearts of all of his warriors!

RIP The Ultimate Warrior!

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Chris Benoit: The Double Murder-Suicide That Rocked Professional Wrestling

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SEVEN years ago, wrestler Chris Benoit’s double-murder and suicide rocked the sporting world.

The bodies of Benoit and his wife and son, were discovered by police in the afternoon of June 25th 2007.

Police claimed that former World Champion Benoit had strangled his wife Nancy suffocated his young son Daniel before taking his own life – days before he was due to compete in a WWE pay-per-view championship match.

The incident caused the WWE to immediately distance themselves from all association with Benoit, removing any merchandise connected to him – only recently airing footage of Chris on their newly released WWE Network service, for the first time since the double-murder and suicide.

Thomas Robinson takes a look at the life of the wrestler, both in and out of the ring.”

 

2013 NoDQ.com Awards – My Vote For… Headline Of The Year

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Wrestling fans, my name is Tom Robinson. Writer for the Armbar Express, WhatCulture!, and NoDQ.com! And we continue with this series of blog posts on the NoDQ.com awards with the Headline Of The Year Award!

NOTE: If you want to read all of the ones I’ve done before, click on this link https://thearmbarexpress.wordpress.com/category/nodq-com/ for all my votes for the awards.

 

Nominations for Headline Of The Year!

Bruno Sammartino goes into the WWE Hall of Fame – Bruno Sammartino is one of the first true wrestling stars remembered by wrestling fans. Bruno had been WWWF champion for a combined 4,000 days and is considered a true wrestling legend. But when he retired, Bruno was publicly critical of the route all of professional wrestling seemed to be taking. He was critical of WWE paying more attention to the entertainment than the wrestling. He wasn’t happy with the WWE, having seen it being overrun with wrestlers using steroids. So imagine the shock after all these years, when it was announced that Bruno Sammartino was being inducted to the WWE Hall Of Fame. Having been one of the greatest wrestlers not have been inducted, Bruno was  finally among wrestling’s legends where he belongs.

Death Of Paul Bearer – This news took the wrestling world by storm. A long time companion to both Kane and The Undertaker, the news of William Moody’s death JUST after Undertaker made his grand return to the WWE was felt by all and had a huge impact on Undertaker’s Wrestlemania program with CM Punk. In fact his death played a huge part in CM Punk getting heat as he approached his battle with the Deadman. It was really touching when Undertaker paid respects to Paul Bearer (before CM Punk interrupted it) and WWE referred to him by his real name along with his in-ring name.

Dolph Ziggler cashes in MITB on RAW – We all wondered when Dolph Ziggler was going to cash in Money In The Bank. The night he won it, Summerslam, Royal Rumble, just before Wrestlemania, at Wrestlemania. We all wondered when WWE were to pull the trigger and they did it in such a spectacular way with an amazing crowd to compensate. After Alberto Del Rio injured his leg, Ziggler arrived on the scene. And the crowd reaction was incredible. Ziggler was in the right place at the right time and it had been long overdue for Ziggler to get his first proper World Title reign.

Randy Orton turns heel and teams up with HHH – Now, if you caught my Summerslam review, you knew how ecstatic I was when this took place. Orton hadn’t been a heel since 2010 and Triple H hadn’t been one since 2006! These two had been away from their strongest elements for some time and it was about time they embraced their dark roots once more. After Daniel Bryan won the WWE Title, Orton cashed in off a Triple H pedigree to Bryan. And whether it was fans enraged with Bryan being screwed out of the title or fans delighted with the heel turns, everyone was buzzing about these turns. Summerslam was a night we won’t soon forget.

John Cena returns early from injury – Now I’m sure a lot of you were looking forward to John Cena having a lengthy absence from WWE to heal from an elbow injury. With Daniel Bryan’s popularity at an all-time high, this “passing of the torch” seemed perfect for Bryan. And from the way Cena was talking, it seemed like he would be away from a long time to heal up. So imagine everyone’s surprise when Cena was announced to return to fight Alberto Del Rio for the World Title at Hell In A Cell. At first, I wasn’t buying it. But boy was I wrong when he turned up at the PPV and won the World Title!

Hulk Hogan leaves TNA – Many TNA fans have cited Hulk Hogan for being the cause of trouble in TNA since he arrived. Having brought in many big names from WWE, WCW and ECW that lacked proper talent and having gotten rid of many wrestlers whose first TV contract had been with TNA. Being a huge ego-maniac, Hogan had a big role in TNA television as well. So with his contract up in October, Hogan decided to not resign and if you believe the rumours is set to return to the WWE.

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For me, Bruno takes this one. I mean after all of these years, Bruno being inducted came off as a huge shocker. For years, Bruno never wanted even be associated with the product. So for him to finally take WWE’s offer and for egos and personalities to be dropped just to get this deal through, it seemed so touching when he was inducted to the Hall Of Fame after all of these years.

Winner: Bruno Sammartino goes into the WWE Hall of Fame