Daily Archives: August 8, 2015

WWE Tough Enough Competitors to Wrestle, Tommy Dreamer Takes His Last Chokeslam, The WWE List

– Courtesy of Title Match Wrestling, below is video of Tommy Dreamer taking a chokeslam from Lance Hoyt at a recent Lone Star Wrestling event. Dreamer later tweeted that this was the last chokeslam that he’s ever taking.

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– Chris Jericho noted on his latest podcast that ZZ and Josh will be wrestling a match on next Tuesday’s WWE Tough Enough episode.

– The new episode of “The WWE List” looking at vehicular mayhem will finally premiere on the WWE Network this coming Tuesday. It was previously pulled due to Hulk Hogan footage that needed to be edited out. The description of the show reads like this:

“Listing the most memorable Planes, Trains and Automobile moments in WWE History.”

Is John Cena Looking to Retire?, Kevin Owens Problems, Big Plans for Cesaro, Vince Heat on a WWE Tag Team, Big Backstage Luke Harper News, New SummerSlam Plans, Must See New AJ and Maryse and Lana Photos, Lots of New GIFs & Galleries, More

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WWE Tough Enough Competitors to Wrestle, Tommy Dreamer Takes His Last Chokeslam, The WWE List

Backstage Notes on Recent Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens Matches at WWE Live Events

– We noted before last weekend’s WWE live events in California that Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens would be facing each other for the first time ever. Jericho, who was replacing the injured John Cena, won the matches because WWE’s rule of thumb is if the top babyface is absent, his replacement has to beat the heel.

Their first match took place at the live event in San Diego, a 25 minute opener, and was put on first that night to prevent fans from asking for refunds due to Cena’s absence. As noted, WWE offered refunds for the first 20 minutes to Cena fans who wanted to leave because he wasn’t there. They worked the main event the next night in Ontario and the main event in Fresno due to the lack of depth on those shows as Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were moved to another tour after working the first night in San Diego.

The Jericho vs. Owens matches from all three nights received great reports from fans in attendance.

Is John Cena Looking to Retire?, Kevin Owens Problems, Big Plans for Cesaro, Vince Heat on a WWE Tag Team, Big Backstage Luke Harper News, New SummerSlam Plans, Must See New AJ and Maryse and Lana Photos, Lots of New GIFs & Galleries, More

Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

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Backstage Notes on Recent Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens Matches at WWE Live Events

Just Business is In Your House (3/28): In Your House 3: Triple Header Reviewed

As we continue our trip through the flagship pay-per-view brand of the New Generation, we reach the third instalment of In Your House which, though officially without a subtitle of its own, I have christened Triple Header after its main event – a tag bout wrestled between the then reigning Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Yokozuna and the Dudes With Attitude, Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels and WWF Champion Diesel. All championships were on the line that evening – either the Tag, IC or World titles would change hands depending on who it was getting pinned.

Such a main event, on paper, appears somewhat epic – a trait shared in common by the rest of the show. I closed last time by saying I had never actually seen a single match from Header and, considering what was listed, that made me excited to give it a whir. It was not just the main event that sounded like terrific fun. Seeing the names of British Bulldog and Bam Bam Bigelow paired together should whet appetites too, considering the unique and rare blends of agility and power both men possessed in ample quantity. Seeing that Bret Hart would make his return to broadcast pay-per-view by being matched with Jean-Pierre Lafitte held similar promise; their chemistry had proven precedent from the past, courtesy of the forgotten classic tag bout between the Hart brothers and Quebecers at Royal Rumble 1994. In short, if potential is anything to by, Header should have proven to me to be the show that solidified the inconsistent quality of its preceding two shows.

Unfortunately, this does not prove to be the case, and in large part it might be down to a more homogenous share of match lengths. The show kicks off with two seven minute bouts, jumps to a twelve minute bout in the middle and finishes on three matches all running around the fifteen minute mark. Usually I don’t put too much stock into these sorts of facts, but many of the matches on the card make the viewing fan conscious of run-time; that is to say, they often feel noticeably drawn out. Even the shortest matches on the card – the curtain jerker between Vega and Mercy and a big man brawl between Sid and Godwinn – watch as if over-long. The result is a bloated show that might threaten to see you waiting to get through the first hour so as to reach the higher quality talents at the top of the card.

Indeed, those first two matches really deliver hard blows to an event that struggles to repair itself inside of its economic running time. Waylon Mercy makes his debut as a talent that feels either ahead of its time or totally out of whack. There are similarities to Bray Wyatt, mainly visual, because of the obvious influence of hit De Niro vehicle Cape Fear there, though naturally much less atmospheric effect. I haven’t seen enough of Mercy as a talent to pass general comment truthfully, but this encounter with a Vega still riding on the crest of his introductory push to the company leaves much to be desired. Visually awkward – aesthetically displeasing in its worst moments – and paced poorly, it’s a distinctly middling effort hard to review by virtue of its lack of note. It might have been something as simple as a lack of chemistry between performers. It might have been the distracting backstage update from Dok Hendrix proclaiming Owen Hart was not in the building. Whatever the case may be, following on from the likes of Hart vs. Hakushi and Kid vs. Roadie, as a curtain jerker this no step down; it’s a particularly startling drop.

Many of these same problems apply to the second match: a big-man tussle between Sid and a still uninteresting Henry Godwinn, the so-called Hog Farmer. A back injury subplot does little to add depth and even the ringside presence of DiBiase fails to inspire the action until a little too late in the game. It might be following the lethargic opener with an equally if not more lethargic superheavyweight clash that is the event’s biggest mistake. The tone of both proves difficult to overcome and sets a languid feeling in comparison to the cerebral intrigue of One and the sweaty palmed clamour of Lumberjacks.

Nonetheless, despite a dangerously disinteresting opening half hour, where the magic of Header almost predictably lies is in the guises of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart; in this case, the latter particularly so. Hart’s return to In Your House sees him add to an impressive evening months prior by taking on Jean-Pierre Lafitte in a feud all about Lafitte’s theft of the Hitman’s jacket. That may read as uninspiring in description, but the match compiled because of such a simple angle is another stunning masterwork in the engrossing slow-build pro wrestling I die for.

This is in no small part because of Hart’s continuing maturation into a more hard boiled and aggressive character. The action kicks off with the Hitman nailing a huge suicide dive on the approaching Lafitte in an opening gambit indicative of the unmerciful physicality that laces the entire story. From his bumping to his comebacks, Hart supplies rare form even by his standards, creating a bruising piece of work. Sternum first collisions with the turnbuckle; crashes into the steel steps; missed cannonballs; it is a story that starts physical and climbs upward on a foundation of expertly placed narrative red herrings. Whether it is curtailed comebacks, missed moves, cheap shots or simple surprise pin falls placed within the bout in a manner that makes them legitimately surprising, the content zig-zags all over the place in a thumping whirlwind. The climactic exchange watches as a dramatically exhausted victory and is all the better as a result. All in all, you would be forgiven for thinking Hart’s jacket is his only possession in the entire world, such is the passion on show.

It’s that passion and physicality that lends this second In Your House entry by the Hitman its x-factor. In many other ways, it remains a prototypical Bret Hart work; a riff on the underdog story crafted by irresistibly engrossing storytelling. It is a match that tells more story in its fifteen minutes than an entire sphere of the current roster were able to tell in two months when chasing the Intercontinental Championship back on the Road to WrestleMania earlier this year. Perhaps there is a lesson to be had in there. Indeed, it is again in the passion and physicality through which the bout lives up to the words Hart utters in his pre-match backstage promo, regarding the jacket: it means a lot to him. And when, through their actions in a match, characters care so obviously about what it is they fight over, it becomes all the easier for the audience to care about the outcome.

Hart’s quest to regain his stolen goods is really the highpoint of the show. It is preceded by a competent bridge between the lackadaisical opening compositions and the semi-main and main events, beginning with Dean Douglas’s WWE pay-per-view debut in a similar fifteen minute middle of the card bout that manages to achieve significantly less than Hart’s own. Admittedly poor only in its closing minutes when the audience is subjected to some rather bizarre interference from the 1-2-3 Kid, on the whole it is a competent but unremarkable piece of work. It opens explosively before remaining methodically worked, and you get the sense the two combatants would be capable of more either on a better night or against different opponents; could it be another match plagued by natural lack of chemistry, I wonder?

The Bulldog / Bigelow effort is largely similar too. As the talents of both promised, in its fastest paced and most action-packed exchanges, the mix of athleticism and power is a wonderful watch. There is perhaps all too little of it, though, in what proves to be another unremarkable though competent bout. Bulldog is afforded an opportunity to prove his villainous chops by exhibiting garish showmanship and cunning wiles in equal measure and this is undoubtedly the biggest upswing of what I feel myself forced to admit felt like an anti-climactic piece of work. Indeed, the biggest upswing of the entire show might just be the deployment of British Bulldog as a major villain among the company’s New Generation; a fitting development, considering the theme being unveiled by rewatching 1995’s pay-per-view selection box is one of maturing characters and edgier content.

Bulldog is the driving force behind the event’s overall storyline which sees Owen Hart mysteriously absent from the building, demanding Jim Cornette find a surrogate partner for Yokozuna (sanctioned by Acting WWF President Gorilla Monsoon) lest Yoko be forced to go it alone, two on one. After searching all night, prior to the main event it is British Bulldog who is revealed to be that partner. Psychologically, it’s an intriguing touch to make the reveal so late in the game, gifting Camp Cornette an advantage over their opponents – while Owen had previously presented the speed to counter Michaels, now Bulldog could do the same whilst contributing to the power of Yokozuna, thus countering Diesel, at the same time. The Dudes With Attitude are suddenly at something of a disadvantage.

The main event, in its content, is largely what you might expect on paper; rather like the middle of the show, it is competent with high points but largely unremarkable. It’s a nice touch to see Michaels start off against Yokozuna rather than Diesel, opting for the naturally more watchable dynamic of speed vs. power over power vs. power. This leads to some characteristic showmanship from Heartbreak and some wonderful cat and mouse wrestling between the two; at least until Yokozuna exhibits his still awe-inspiring mobility for a man his size by levelling the Intercontinental Champion. Speaking of awe-inspiring, watch out for Bulldog’s delayed vertical suplex on Diesel mid-match; it’s an eyebrow raiser for sure! Let it also be said that, despite the jarringly, cyclical and bizarre finish – one that feels overwhelmingly like the company’s get-out clause of having to see a championship switch hands – the sequence leading up to it is originally worked, tangible in its shift of momentum and contains some exhilarating spot work. Seeing Yokozuna crush Bulldog is cringe inducing. Overall, though, it remains your typical tag team match that sees the villains dominate and our heroes struggle.

Despite this, it is another historical curiosity born in the obscure depths of the In Your House lineage, not too far removed from the Lumberjack Match reviewed last time; that is, it evidences hallmarks of an idea the company would revisit many years later to master. 2001’s instalment of Backlash heralded a similar main event with all championships on the line between The Two Man Power Trip and the Brothers of Destruction in a phenomenal piece of work worth checking out at your leisure. Some might have even thought that an original concept at the time. And yet here sits a predecessor in the midst of the New Generation on a show nobody talks about. Much like the main event from Lumberjacks then, we have a piece of evidence to show that, despite its predominant reputation, the New Generation was a period of experimentation and creativity within the promotion that, if imperfect, remains admirably forward-thinking.

Header is another bumpy show from the period which continues the trends of the first two in earnest. The concept had not yet been mastered and, thanks to ill-advised application of match run-times and perhaps even in-ring combinations of talent, it is an event that watches as a little lethargic. Like both One and Lumberjacks though, Header has at least one bout worth seeking out the event for, provided once again by Bret Hart, this time in his conflict with Jean-Pierre Lafitte. It is because of this developing trend of one potential classic for each handful of mediocrity that I have decided to add an On Your Network Watch List (see what I did there?!) at the bottom of each of these columns as a handy, quick-read guide for anyone unfamiliar with the In Your House library, directing them to the matches worth seeing on every show. At this point, I have every confidence that the list will grow with each show I watch.

All eyes on In Your House 4: Great White North to take us to the next level then. Bizarrely, for the brand’s first visit to Canada, both Bret and Owen Hart will be absent from the active card; possibly because the Kliq will dominate the show like never before. Shawn Michaels will be slated to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Douglas; Razor Ramon and the 1-2-3 Kid will challenge for Tag Team gold; and Diesel will defend the WWF Championship against a British Bulldog who, if Header is any clue, was in his ascendancy. It will also provide us with the pay-per-view debut of the Bizarre One, Goldust, himself.

Until next time, please feel free to share any comments or thoughts on In Your House 3: Triple Header or my review of it in the comments section down below, and be sure to check out any matches from the On Your Network Watch List you haven’t yet seen (or maybe fancy revisiting)!

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Just Business is In Your House (3/28): In Your House 3: Triple Header Reviewed

WWE Fans on Most Hated Total Diva, Superstar Finisher Combos, Rosa Mendes Update, Charlotte

– As seen below, the latest WWE Top 10 video looks at Superstar finisher Combinations:

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– The latest Canvas 2 Canvas video from WWE artist Rob Schamberger features Charlotte:

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– WWE’s website has a new poll asking fans which Total Diva do they love to hate the most – Paige, Eva Marie, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Natalya, Nikki Bella or Brie Bella. With over 1,000 votes, Eva is currently leading with 37%. Nikki is the next closest with 22%.

– While she’s away from WWE TV for the next few months due to her pregnancy, Rosa Mendes will be releasing exclusive content online through her website Rosa-Mendes.com soon.

Is John Cena Looking to Retire?, Kevin Owens Problems, Big Plans for Cesaro, Vince Heat on a WWE Tag Team, Big Backstage Luke Harper News, New SummerSlam Plans, Must See New AJ and Maryse and Lana Photos, Lots of New GIFs & Galleries, More

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WWE Fans on Most Hated Total Diva, Superstar Finisher Combos, Rosa Mendes Update, Charlotte

Hulk Hogan Reportedly Facing Jail Time

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Multiple sources, including the National Enquirer who first broke the news regarding the widely-reported scandal involving Hulk Hogan, are reporting that Hulk Hogan may be facing potential jail time.The reports state that the reasoning is that comments made during Hogans unauthorized sex tape could serve as proof that Hogan initially lied while under oath during his current lawsuit against Gawker.com. Seth Berlin, an attorney for Gawker.com the website which released a portion of Hogans sex tape, stated that the comments made by the WWE Hall of Famer in a deposition under oath were directly at odds with what Hogan told the FBI, citing court transcripts from July 2, 2015. It was also suggested that Hogan gave conflicting statements to Gawker.coms lawyers as well, as Berlin was quoted as stating the following during the hearingSo we have a situation where the key participant, the plaintiff, is telling us one thing under oath and telling the FBI something else.Legal experts have further stated that depending on who Hogan allegedly made conflicting statements to, he could be guilty of either perjury or obstruction of justice.For more information, click here.
#wwe #hulkhogan

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Hulk Hogan Reportedly Facing Jail Time

WWE Spoilers: Two new matches added to SummerSlam

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The 28th annual WWE SummerSlam will come to you, live on the WWE Network and select pay-per-view providers, two weeks from this Sunday on August 23 at a special start time of 7/6c. As announced on SmackDown and WWE.com, Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns will face Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper and the Intercontinental Championship will also be on the line. Here is the updated card:

  • Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
  • Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
  • Intercontinental Championship: Triple Threat: Ryback (c) vs. The Miz vs. Big Show

What do you think of the new additions to the card? Post your comments in the box below.

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WWE Spoilers: Two new matches added to SummerSlam