Daily Archives: July 10, 2016

Doctor's Orders: The Top 100 WWE Stars Of The Post-Attitude Era (#61-#65) – Stone Cold! Stone Cold…?

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Posted in: Doctor’s Orders
Doctor’s Orders: The Top 100 WWE Stars Of The Post-Attitude Era (#61-#65) – Stone Cold! Stone Cold…?
By The Doc
Jul 10, 2016 – 2:26:14 PM

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About a year ago, a frequent collaborator on “The Doc Says” podcast – David Fenichel – suggested to me a column series that would begin to turn our historical attention toward that which came after the vaunted Attitude Era. With an eye on something fresh, he suggested that we identify the most accomplished wrestlers of the “post-Attitude Era” – from present day back to the night after WrestleMania X-8 as we have defined it. So, welcome to a labor of pro wrestling love roughly one year in the making.

We ranked our top 100 wrestlers based on a point system that involved headlining matches for WrestleMania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, The Royal Rumble, and all other PPVs, combined with a points formula based on titles won and length of reigns. While it was more difficult to ascertain the status of certain members of the WWE – namely tag teams, divas and legends w/ short tenures during this era, we believe that this is as unbiased of a countdown as you are going to find. Chad and I did a tremendous amount of work putting this together for you, so we hope that you enjoy the ride.

70. The Bella Twins
69. Hardcore Holly
68. Luke Harper
67. Paul London and Brian Kendrick
66. AJ Lee
65. Big E
64. William Regal
63. Finlay
62. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
61. Lita

Doc: The Bellas are another female act that I just don’t know how to rank. Yes, Nikki is the longest reigning Divas Champion ever. Yes, Brie headlined a Summerslam. Yes, the sisters have been the stars of an underrated WWE Universe-expanding venture with reality TV. However, their association with the return of the women’s match to potty break status is well documented among the internet circle. Is that fair? To an extent. The bottom line is that, unlike the women of NXT or the Trish-Lita-Victoria (etc) group from a decade ago, the Bellas and the other women in their camp never did anything to stimulate interest in women’s wrestling, either from fans or the people in charge of booking them on TV. All we can do as historians is evaluate what we see and what we largely saw from the Bellas was forgettable. They’re here because of Total Divas.

Dave: Chad let his internet fandom get the best of him regarding the Bellas. He glossed over their incredible accomplishments as if they were nothing. Nikki being the longest reigning Divas champion is an enormous accomplishment. That alone should get The Bella ranked amongst the best females of this era. Additionally, Brie Bella was involved in the best hyped female match ever. Stephanie McMahon was one of the biggest focal points of Summerslam 2014. It is the ONLY Divas’ match to ever occupy a headlining spot on a Big 4 Pay Per View. These are accomplishments that cannot be ignored. The Bellas are crossover mainstream stars because of Total Divas. I argue that they are the most recognizable current wrestlers not named John Cena. Their overall impact cannot be taken lightly. I think we probably undersold them here, and they should be ranked higher on our countdown.

What do Hardcore Holly and the Bella Twins have in common? They both stuck around long enough that the more talented people consistently pushed ahead of them moved on, giving them opportunities to shine during fairly inconsequential periods of their divisions in the WWE hierarchy, consequently inflating their place in history. Truth be told, I don’t mind Holly any less than I mind the Bellas, but make no mistake that he was a lengthy Tag Team Title reign with Cody Rhodes subtracted and a broken neck suffered at the hands of someone not named Brock Lesnar away from being left off this list entirely. His marginal skills, like Nikki and Brie’s, probably don’t justify as high a position in a historical rankings discussion, but when you statistically analyze anything, there are going to be outliers. With the personality of a guard dog and only marginal wrestling talent, Holly is one of the biggest outliers on our list.

While it is a lot more fun to argue with Chad, I’m going to have to agree with him here. Unlike the Bella Twins, Hardcore Holly was a complete waste of space. He couldn’t wrestle, couldn’t talk, had the charisma of a dead moose, and was an absolute garbage fire behind the scenes. Chad correctly pointed out that his accomplishments were the type to score well in our criteria, making him an outlier on the countdown. I think that while all that is correct, it’s his longevity that allowed him such a prominent ranking here. Truth be told, Bob Holly might be one of the biggest overachievers in the era. He’s a guy who lacked talent in any of the areas that generally determine success and parlayed that into headlining a Royal Rumble and carving out a 10 plus year career. There is something admirable about that.

Luke Harper is interesting case to me. He is one of the most underrated talents in the WWE. He’s an absolute monster and can bring it in the ring. His look may limit his long term success, but he is one of my personal favorites. Just like Erick Rowan, he earns his place on the countdown for being a member of the Wyatt Family. He gets a higher ranking due to his noteworthy Intercontinental Title run. I really enjoyed his ladder match against Dolph Ziggler, and I consider that to be one of the better matches of that gimmick in recent memory. Unlike surefire superstars like Kevin Owens, it will be interesting to revisit Luke Harper’s career in ten years to see if he ever breaks out of his current role as a background player. The talent is there, but I’m not sure the pieces will fall together for him.

Interesting that Dave should bring up the idea of revisiting Harper’s career in ten years, as that’s the closing statement to just about every conversation about Harper’s long-term prospects that I have had. I agree with my colleague; Harper is a personal favorite. He blew me away in the classic series between The Wyatt Family and The S.H.I.E.L.D. two years ago and, with each opportunity he’s had to shine since, he has maintained the sterling reputation he has among fans and peers alike. Harper is what the modern “big man” should be. The world of pro wrestling has shrunk; calling it “the land of giants” is silly to me in 2016. The longest reigning World Champion of the last 25 years looked like the short order cook at Waffle House and the biggest star of the Reality Era made Chris Jericho look huge. Harper is the ideal kind of talent to lead the redefinition of the larger wrestler.

Paul London and Brian Kendrick are the next in the growing list of talents on our list who I have a hard time placing in proper historical context. Their biggest claim to fame? They hold the distinction as the 2nd longest reigning champions in the lineage of the current Tag Team Titles. I wish not to beat a dead horse, but the knock against that accomplishment is that the period in which that accomplishment was achieved was not exactly a sterling period in the division’s history. Considering that said reign was mostly responsible for their ranking, though, I think it’s fair to reassert the primary argument against them. It’s what makes these discussions interesting to me, at day’s end. All that talk aside, I was a big fan of their tandem because I knew what I’d get from them – a 3-star tag team match and maybe an occasional classic (see the 4-team Ladder match at Armageddon ’06).

I enjoyed London and Kendrick as a tag team, but was surprised at the teams they ended up ahead of in our rankings. Truth be told, having the 2nd longest WWE tag title reign of the measurable period held a tremendous amount of weight in our scoring criteria. Chad is correct. London and Kendrick did thrive in an era where tag team wrestling was not at its peak. However, I am confident that they would have been successful in the current era as well. They were both fantastic workers, had great team chemistry, and were over with the fans. It should also be noted that they had individual success, including cruiserweight titles reigns, competing for a world title on Pay Per View, and arguably the most memorable Royal Rumble elimination ever. While not world beaters by any stretch of the imagination, they most certainly earned their spot on our countdown.

It is without question that AJ Lee is one of the top ranking Divas’ of this era. While Nikki Bella may have the longest reign as Diva’s champion, you will be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t think AJ Lee had the best title reign. Not only was her title reign lengthy, but it was filled with excellent matches and important title defenses. More importantly, AJ had the best character of any Diva during this time period. She played the crazy persona to a T that allowed her to participate in main-event storylines involving Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Kane. She was a great wrestler, a phenomenal valet, and an entertaining General Manager. A big part of me wishes that AJ had not retired along with CM Punk, as she would be thriving in the current landscape of physically dominant female wrestlers.

Though I do share Dave’s overall opinion of AJ Lee, I do not share his sentiments that her title reign was vastly superior to any other from this or late last decade. It started off promising with the best women’s match to that point since Trish’s retirement match; three months later, she cut the Pipette Bomb to separate herself from the Total Divas, but it never went anywhere. Her defenses were mostly inconsequential. However, when she came back for her twilight run, she helped establish a higher standard for main roster women’s matches with Paige. For both her standout character and for her role in establishing the kind of culture for females in WWE that morphed into the Diva’s Revolution, she should be applauded. Someone asked me months ago, “Is AJ a Hall of Famer?” In my view, she absolutely deserves to get that nod some day.

Big E is an intriguing long-term prospect. I said last summer on “The Doc Says” that I think he could become one of the Top 5 most important players in WWE someday. There’s a certain amount of luck involved in pro wrestling success, but E has the charisma and the unique look to make it very high up the figurative ladder. The New Day has been a God-send for him, as the role of the generic babyface mid-card champion didn’t suit him (though he did grow as an in-ring performer from that experience, in my opinion). Having Kofi and Xavier to play off of has shown us a very entertaining side of him. They’ve also added the longest WWE Tag Team Championship (Smackdown lineage) reign in history to his resume to compliment a multi-month run as the Intercontinental Champion. Watch out for Big E in the next few years…

There is nothing that I enjoy more about the current product than Big E telling whatever city they are in not to be sour. Big E has everything it takes to be a huge superstar. He’s massive with a unique look. He’s physically impressive in the ring. He’s wildly entertaining on the microphone. Lastly, he provides the WWE with an opportunity to reach a segment of their audience that they speak to far too little. An African American champion in this day and age can bring a lot of new fans to the table. Big E’s spot on this countdown was well earned. He had a solid run as Intercontinental Champion, and is in the middle of an extremely impressive tag team title run as part of The New Day. Big E is another guy that could easily skyrocket up this list a few years from now.

You will be hard pressed to find a guy in the locker room more respected than William Regal. His place on this countdown is without question, with runs as Intercontinental and Tag Team champion to his credit. Regal was so damn good on so many levels. First, he had a knack for taking absolutely terrible storylines and turning them into comedic gold. Second, you won’t find anyone more accomplished or respected for his in-ring work. He has thrived in the role of mentor, and is the one guy that people like Daniel Bryan cite as their biggest influence in the industry. As great as William Regal’s in-ring accomplishments were, it will be his off the screen role as a teacher that will be his lasting legacy. As long as there are men like William Regal around, NXT, and the future of the WWE, are in good hands.

William Regal carved an interesting niche for himself in the post-Attitude Era as a utility wrestler who could be used on each of the three brands in whatever role was needed of him. He could be blessed with “The Power of the Punch” and be successful; he could form an anti-American tag team and be successful; he could mentor a mentally handicapped character and successfully relate to the audience just how much that young man had grown to mean to him; he could successfully engage the top stars of the era in the ring and on the microphone; he could provide stylistically unique (and brilliant) matches with great success that nobody else could perform; he could act as a member of a fictitious king’s court successfully; he could successfully portray an authority figure; he could be a successful top heel. There’s nothing Regal couldn’t do; and that is his legacy.

Finlay started actively wrestling for WWE in late 2005 after spending the previous several years as one of their trainers. As a trainer, he was largely responsible for the renaissance of the women’s division led by Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James, and others, who credit him for teaching them how to be pro wrestlers. When he returned to the ring, he excelled in a variety of roles, becoming a model for character consistency all the while; heel, babyface, upper-tier star or mid-card role player, he was true to his persona. Short of winning the World Title, there wasn’t much that he didn’t do during his five year run. He headlined a few PPVs, he was consistently featured on major events, he won the United States Championship, he competed in all the major multi-man gimmick matches (Money in the Bank, Elimination Chamber, Royal Rumble). He’s an underrated success story of the last 15 years.

The WWE needs a guy like Finlay during every era. He’s a good but not great wrestler. He can talk but doesn’t have fantastic mic skills. His look is nothing special. He isn’t particularly charismatic. Nonetheless, Finlay was the guy that the WWE could elevate up and down the card at a moment’s notice whenever they needed a credible opponent for a star they wanted to spotlight. He could work as a heel or face, and while his feuds and matches might not be the blockbusters that people look back on with fond memories, you always knew that he was going to make the person he worked with come out better than before their feud. As odd as this may sound, I view Finlay as the 2005-2010 version of The Big Show of the early 2000s. His flexibility made him an unbelievable asset to the WWE.

The task of how to rank the biggest star of the Attitude Era on a countdown that measured the post-Attitude Era was not an easy one. If we took our 100 wrestlers and ranked them based on the entirety of their career, there is little doubt that Austin would be in the top 3 of this list. Unfortunately for him, his run was coming to an end right as the time period for our countdown begins. Austin continued to headline for the first several months of the era we measured, including a very underrated match against The Rock at WrestleMania 19. It’s too bad that the WWE didn’t know that this would turn out to be his swan song and give him a better sendoff. Despite his comparatively low ranking on the countdown, Austin is without a doubt one of, if not the greatest wrestler of all time.

I’ve been historically more critical of Stone Cold Steve Austin than the vast majority. He’s unquestionably one of the greatest ever, but the fact that he caught lightning in a bottle for a few years and then fizzled out in 2002 seems to get largely glossed over. As usual, I bring that up not to demean the man, but to be fair about his career. The fact of the matter is that Austin’s career post-Attitude is quite easy to contextualize. Sans for the swan song against The Rock at WrestleMania 19, the Rattlesnake’s most famous contribution post-2001 was deciding to “take his ball and go home.” He fell so quickly from the top that he was going to job to Brock Lesnar on Raw. Austin was all but done; the lightning had all been poured out of the bottle. That said, the last match of his career was amazing.

Lita and her greatest rival, Trish Stratus, are the easiest females to historically rank. The Extreme Diva was massively over from almost the word go. As the women’s division achieved greater focus around the period that our Countdown’s timeframe began, she started her competition with Stratus for the #1 spot. I’d say she was ahead of Trish when she went down with a neck injury during an accident ironically not in the ring, but at a TV shoot for the popular Jessica Alba-featured show, Dark Angel. Upon her return, she reconnected quickly with the fans and, when Stratus turned heel and began antagonizing her, Lita’s popularity skyrocketed. Those were the most intense women’s matches I’ve ever seen, their main-event on Raw for the Women’s Championship being the highlight for me (though Trish’s retirement match when the face-heel dynamic was reversed was incredible in its own right). Lita is a well-deserving Hall of Famer.

I consider this the part of the countdown where we reach our major players. Everyone left played a significant role in the era. Lita is the third highest ranked female on our list for good reason. She brought a high flying style to the women’s division that hadn’t been seen before. Her alternative punk rock personality was a huge hit with the WWE audience at the time. Chad is correct – prior to her neck injury she was the #1 female over Trish. Although she has several titles to her record, her crowning achievement in my eyes is being one half of the first diva’s match to main-event Raw. I don’t want to wrap this up without mentioning her tremendous main-event run as Edge’s valet during the mid to late 2000s. She was a huge reason that Edge skyrocketed to the main-event. Lita had a truly remarkable career.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Should Steve Austin rank higher or lower on the post-Attitude Era’s historical hierarchy?

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Doctor's Orders: The Top 100 WWE Stars Of The Post-Attitude Era (#61-#65) – Stone Cold! Stone Cold…?

My Two Centsss – Like it or not, There WON'T be a Shield Triple Threat at Battleground

Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss – Like it or not, There WON’T be a Shield Triple Threat at Battleground
By Super Chrisss
Jul 10, 2016 – 2:21:06 PM

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Tom Jenner rocks!

This morning, as I’ve been doing every Wednesday morning whenever I have the day off work/school, I sat back and listened to my good buddy The Doc’s weekly podcast on LOPRadio. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of listening to an old episode of “The Doc and Super Chrisss Show” knows that Chad and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on the world of pro wrestling. Today, however, there was no conflict: I 100% echo his sentiments that this month’s Battleground Pay-Per-View is NOT the time nor the place to book a triple threat match between WWE Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. This is not only a SummerSlam-caliber main-event, but also one worthy of ending a WrestleMania. To have the very first encounter between the three former Hounds of Justice take place at a filler PPV between Money in the Bank and SummerSlam seems a bit odd, doesn’t it?

That’s why – as you may have guessed just by clicking on this column’s title – I’m boldly predicting that Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Reigns will NOT take place at Battleground.

“But hold on, Super C, the match has already been booked and WWE had the chance to remove Roman from the match following his suspension but they didn’t.” Yeah, I know that. But I also know that WWE is no stranger to altering or modifying a scheduled PPV match, especially at the Battleground PPV. If I may take a second to channel my inner Tito, here’s what I predicted about the very first Ambrose vs. Rollins match, set to take place at Battleground 2014:

”Has there been a more compelling feud in months than Ambrose vs. Rollins? Not to take anything away from the rest of the card (which has been booked surprisingly well considering it’s, well, the midcard), but ever since The Shield imploded last month, Ambrose and Rollins have been tearing the house down without having any actual matches. You see, WWE does know how to book a feud without giving away the match on free TV a half-dozen times before and after a PPV – they just refuse to do it. I’m aware I’ve already said this multiple times throughout the column, but for Christ’s Sake, I cannot believe they’re not saving Ambrose vs. Rollins for SummerSlam. Then again, maybe they are.

Hear me out. Monday on Raw, Ambrose was unable to compete in the main-event because of the gang-attack from The Authority’s henchmen at the start of the show. *SMACKDOWN SPOILER* Rollins comes out on this week’s SmackDown and says he can’t compete because he suffered an injury during Raw’s main-event. *END SPOILER* What if, come Battleground on Sunday, while The Lunatic Fringe is waiting for his back-stabbing brother to face him in the ring, Mr. Money in the Bank says he’s unable to compete because of the injury, which leads to: A) Ambrose being beat down by Kane, Orton, and Rollins, therefore unable to compete, or B) Rollins/Triple H selects a new opponent for Ambrose (maybe a returning Mark Henry?) Either scenario would prolong the feud until at least SummerSlam without giving away Ambrose vs. Rollins just yet. Sure, the live crowd wouldn’t be very happy, but remember – card subject to change!

Winner: N/A (match doesn’t happen).”

Many people thought I was insane for thinking that WWE would spend weeks promoting a major match between Ambrose and Rollins only to pull out at the very last second. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. Two years ago, the Battleground card was stacked with plenty of fresh/dream match-ups, so they could afford holding off on an actual match between the former Shield guys. This year’s card, although yet to be finalized, looks promising enough with The New Day vs. Wyatt Family, The Club vs. Cena, Enzo & Cass and probably Sasha vs. Charlotte, among others. Would anyone be really disappointed if WWE took Reigns out of the championship match at the very last-minute and we just got a one-on-one between Ambrose and Rollins? I doubt it.

Another recurring theme with Battleground is their poorly-booked main-events. The very first edition in 2013 saw The Big Show run-down and KO punch both Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton, resulting in an unannounced, presumed double-DQ. One year later, in 2014, John Cena won a very boring and predictable Fatal-4-Way match to retain his WWE Championship. Last year, The Undertaker interrupted the ending of Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins (their first one-on-one match, by the way) to set up the main-event of the following month’s SummerSlam. As you can see, the Battleground PPV is no stranger to controversy.

In my opinion, taking Reigns out of the Battleground main-event and delaying The Shield triple threat is what’s best for business. Reigns doesn’t even deserve to be in the match, quite frankly. He’s an idiot who decided to take something illegal when the company was counting on him to carry to the company on his shoulders. With a brand split on the horizon, he couldn’t have chosen a worse time to fail a Wellness Test, except maybe WrestleMania time. He let down a company who supported him relentlessly, even though he was getting booed out of nearly every arena he stepped into since The Royal Rumble. Even though TV ratings and tours he headlined wee doing abysmal numbers, WWE stuck with him through the thick of it. And his way of thanking them was to take something he shouldn’t have. Way to go, champ.

There’s the optimist in me who’s hoping that the decision to put the belt on Dean Ambrose, start pushing Sasha Banks again, and even (maybe?) giving Zack Ryder more TV time are all signs that WWE is finally starting to listen to their audience again. They tried pushing who THEY wanted to push and it blew up in their faces. Instead, people who the fans genuinely like are starting to receive TV time and opportunities. While the creative department still sucks, at least the cast members are more interesting and worth engaging in.

Getting back to Reigns, why SHOULD he be gifted a main-event championship match on PPV his very first night back? He undoubtedly screwed up a lot of creative plans for the next few weeks and many script re-writes have been necessary. Furthermore, Ambrose had to pull double-duty last week and the week before to fill-in for the shows that Reigns was booked for. While WWE is partly at fault for not building up more names worthy of headlining separate live events, 2016 has been a terrible year for injuries, and even Cena doesn’t seem to work house shows anymore. When Reigns was pulled from his live events, WWE didn’t have Cena, Orton or Bray Wyatt to replace him with. Reigns screwed up big-time and he doesn’t deserve to receive that Battleground paycheque.

Reigns-bashing aside, it’s the perfect excuse for WWE to prolong The Shield triple threat. They may be advertising Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Reigns at Battleground – even having Rollins bury Reigns on the mic – but I smell a rat. Don’t be surprised if Reigns doesn’t show up at Battleground or is jumped backstage by his SummerSlam opponent, later revealed to be Brock Lesnar? I’m not sure how they’ll go about it, but I’m feeling confident that we’re getting Ambrose vs. Rollins one-on-one at Battleground, and I’m perfectly okay with that. Also, before you label me as insane, keep in mind that was I one of the only people who successfully predicted a Zack Ryder Intercontinental Title win at WrestleMania.

Just to be clear, I’m as excited for a Shield triple threat as the next guy. I simply don’t think Battleground is the right time. The WWE Universe will still be buzzing from the draft which takes place on the final SmackDown BEFORE Battleground. Also, Reigns not being around for the build-up makes it feel a bit empty. I’d rather they take the 2014 and tease the fans into thinking they’re getting a Shield triple threat later this month, only to pull the rug out on them at the very last second. Will it suck for everyone in attendance? Sure, but like I said – Ambrose vs. Rollins isn’t a bad consolation prize at all.

Save The Shield triple threat for where it belongs – SummerSlam or WrestleMania!


YOUR Two Centsss: Would you be disappointed if Ambrose vs. Reigns vs. Rollins doesn’t take place at Battleground?

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My Two Centsss – Like it or not, There WON'T be a Shield Triple Threat at Battleground

MR. TITO STRIKES BACK – RAW's Viewership, Past WWE Brand Extension Mistakes, and More

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. This is the column that consistently brings you wrestling content each and every week. Whether you agree with the points made here or not, you know that you’re getting a column that is either entertaining or polarizing… Or has a fun Comments section. Either way, you keep coming back and whether you like me or not, I’m glad to have you…

So RAW this week did just under 2.7 million viewers on average for their entire show. You should give me the whole “it was Independence Day” excuse but you know what I say on Tuesday, July 5th? Most people were at work… Know what I saw for much of the weekend? Fireworks displays being held either on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday… I cannot recall one actually being scheduled for Monday, July 4th in my area. Most had to return to work on the following day (5th) and were likely to be home Monday evening. Just saying, more people were home on Monday night than thought.

As I’ve repeatedly said now… I don’t recall Monday based Holidays or competition like NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL being cried about as excuses for lower ratings.

Fact is that if you had a GOOD wrestling product, people will find ways to watch it live.

Since early 2015, it is a FACT that Monday Night RAW has lost about 750,000 viewers. That’s 750,000 permanent fans deciding not to watch RAW regularly on a consistent basis… Eyeballs on the screen to watch RAW’s advertisers and also to buy WWE products. Gone. I’ve already proved that DVR viewership is actually DOWN for the WWE (between 50,000 to 100,000 delayed watches). Hulu’s 10 million subscription base is negligible and I cannot find a Top 10 list for Hulu’s top viewed shows where RAW is on it. On top of all of this, WWE attendance (excluding Wrestlemania 32, of course) is way down for 2016 versus 2015.

WWE is in decline, at least in the United States. It peaked on the RAW following Wrestlemania 31 when Brock Lesnar destroyed everything in sight and then disappeared when Stephanie McMahon suspended him indefinitely. Then, WWE botched Seth Rollins as WWE Champion with his petty squabbles with the Authority/Corporate Kane and getting repeatedly OWNED by United States Champion John Cena. To make matters worse, both John Cena and Seth Rollins disappear from the WWE between November (Cena made a brief comeback) and shortly after Wrestlemania 32. Damage has been done and Roman Reigns could not fill the void left by Cena/Rollins and a diminished Lesnar.

That being said, WWE’s financials look OK… Why? Because the WWE is hooking their existing and remaining WWE fanbase onto the WWE Network. For $9.99, it’s a damn great deal to get all 12 Pay Per Views, WWE Specials, NXT, and all of the old events that your heart desires. Better yet, it’s keeping WWE fans away from pirating the WWE events. WWE’s Pay Per View market, thanks to repeat increases in prices, was getting destroyed by illegal streaming. With the WWE presenting a high quality video product for a low price, they are convincing those who pirated in the past to becoming PAYING fans. It’s exactly what I argued on January 9, 2014’s Column:


Furthermore with the WWE Network and it being inexpensive at $9.99 per month, the WWE might solve its massive piracy problem of its Pay Per Views. Much like the music industry did by investing heavily into Apple’s iTunes to sell singles at a reasonable price (because full albums were starting to suck and enticed people to steal music instead), the WWE Network purchase makes many consumers who are streaming WWE Pay Per Views illegally into WWE customers. Fans who don’t want to pay $50 or more for monthly Pay Per View can now be enticed to buy the WWE Network thanks to the additional content shown on the network. It’s a win for both the WWE and fans. The start-up costs and servers for streaming will be a cost to the WWE, but much of the aired content is something that they are already airing on television or have aired in the past. WWE is very good at selling older content over and over again.


So there you go… WWE Network is finally paying off. Things began to turn around about the time I joined as a member and that was mid 2015 when the FREE program became permanent. Much like Netflix and Hulu, giving away a free week or a month gets viewers hooked and then convinces them that it’s acceptable to pay $9.99. WWE now has around 1.5 million total subscribers with a little above 1 million domestic United States subs. With that in mind, WWE has a nice ratio of 1 out of 3 RAW viewers being a subscriber.

WWE has to find ways to FIX its television product. They have become pure infomercials for WWE Network and Pay Per Views while RAW is being forced to be 3 hours long. Now, Smackdown is set to air 2 hours live on Tuesdays. WWE thinks that a “quick fix” will be the Brand Extension. Yikes, if the recent RAW ratings are any indication, the FULL roster isn’t drawing so why should HALF of the roster each night?

Folks – I DO NOT want the WWE Brand Extension to fail. I do NOT want the WWE to fail. I’m a pro wrestling fan. I write this column that you come to enjoy, each and every week, for free because I’m a wrestling fan. I’m not doing this for my health as I stay up late nights to write this thing. To assume that I want the WWE to fail or the brand extension to fail is ridiculous. But if I see the WWE freight train about to derail, I’m going to call it. I’m going to predict it… That’s my job here as a wrestling columnist. You expect me to make bold predictions and that’s what I do. I’ve seen the previous Brand Extension and its ultimate demise… But I strongly argue that the previous brand extension during the 2000s had a thicker roster to divide into 2. Hell, WWE was divided into THREE rosters for a short while during the 2000s with RAW, Smackdown, and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).

But read into it however you will… I’m just so negative and a horrible human being for providing you with free entertainment. Something is bringing you back…



OK – So the brand extension is going ot happen no matter what… What I plan to do is to watch both RAW and Smackdown for a few weeks. If it bores me, I’ll go 100% WWE Network for the 2 Pay Per Views per month and just cover random topics in my columns. That, or if the brand extension is too insulting for me to handle, I’ll just walk…

But AS A WRESTLING FAN, I’m here to help… What I’d like to discuss is MISTAKES that the previous Brand Extension of RAW/Smackdown (and ECW) made that caused the brand split to ultimately fail in the long-run. Lots of mistakes were made early on, in fact, while others were years in the making.

REMOVE McMahons from 1 Show. Smackdown from 2002 through early 2004 had lead writer and former ECW promoter Paul Heyman booking the shows. They were tremendous. It is a FACT that Heyman’s Smackdown shows out drew RAW during this period of time. Heyman made the show unique but as 2003 wore on, the McMahons chipped away at his power and Smackdown’s booking began to look more and more like RAW. Once Heyman was gone from Smackdown following early 2004, RAW and Smackdown began to look very similar. WWE must allow for 1 show to have a much different creative direction than the other.

Better way to make 2nd World Title. If you recall during 2002, Brock Lesnar won the WWE Title from the Rock and he headed to Smackdown to be exclusive there. Following that act, Triple H just appeared with the old WCW gold belt that became the “World Heavyweight Championship”. No tournament, no nothing… At least try to make up a hilarious story like how the Intercontinental Title was conceived. And get a better name for the belt than World Heavyweight Championship. Stupid name…

You MUST have great tag team divisions. RAW’s weakness during the brand extension was the weak tag division that it instantly had when the brands split. Smackdown, on the other hand, had a loaded tag team division. Gee, which show drew stronger during 2002-2004? Following 2003, Smackdown’s tag team division diminished and so did the show’s undercard.

Don’t push the wrong guy to the Main Event. Goes without saying right now… But during the brand extension, RAW pushing Randy Orton to the World Title so early during 2004 AND as a babyface hurt Orton for years. Then, Smackdown repackaged Prince Albert into “A-Train” and tried shoving that hoss down our throats as a Main Eventer. Didn’t work out… That being said, the brand extension did a GREAT job for Batista in building him up and giving him opportunity with a split roster. Smackdown would have been in bad shape following 2005 had it not been for Batista being built up well by the WWE.

Don’t blend the RAW and Smackdown rosters unless it’s a special occasion or if something is on the line. WWE did a great job at first by keeping RAW and Smackdown rosters away from each other during the early years. Then, when it mattered, they could have Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle as a special cross-promotional match. Early 2010s had Smackdown wrestlers appearing on RAW and then becoming regular RAW wrestlers for no reason. Titles became very confusing.

Don’t have Annual DRAFTS… Have trades and rookie drafts!. WWE had annual drafts in attempt to shuffle the RAW and Smackdown rosters. Little did the WWE know that they had a different audience watching Smackdown on UPN/CW than RAW on USA Networks. Then, the drafts began to heavily favor RAW… Don’t have drafts… Treat RAW and Smackdown like sports franchises who can make talent trades with each other.

But where I think the REAL potential is to incorporate NXT into the new RAW/Smackdown brands is to continue letting NXT be the developmental system. However, every May/June following Wrestlemania, there is a ROOKIE or DEVELOPMENTAL DRAFT that allows RAW and Smackdown “franchises” to pick NXT wrestlers to join their roster. Better yet, RAW and Smackdown brands can use draft picks to swap with existing talent.

No more “Diva Search” contests or “Tough Enough”. Just don’t have those on either RAW or Smackdown… Ever again. Are there any former members of those contests still on the WWE roster??!?

End the Royal Rumble confusion over title matches. Royal Rumble winners were actually allowed to pick which World Title they’d attempt to win. Problem was that this scenario caused RAW/Smackdown wrestlers to switch sides permanently because of the Royal Rumble title shot. Just confusing and messy.

And that’s all I have for the moment…



No set topic tonight… Just random newsbytes to comment on instead:

Chris Jericho‘s Podcast with Nancy Benoit‘s sister was very interesting. Worth a listen for insights into her sister’s life and of course, the tragedy of Chris Benoit. The ONLY thing I didn’t like was her bashing of West Virginia University as some “tiny school” or something like that after a doctor from there assessed Chris Benoit’s brain. WVU is a Division I school who employs many Ph. D professors who obtained their degrees from legitimate institutions. I know several graduates from there and they are doing quite well in their professions.

– I LOVE the NXT Women’s division mix of Bayley, Asuka, and Nia Jax. Such variety of characters, looks, and wrestling styles. So much fun…

– 2 out of 3 falls match between the Revival and American Alpha… Yes please, may I have another. I could watch those 2 teams wrestle each other forever. Tag team excellence!

– I have to say that it’s pretty impressive that Vince Russo provides 5 podcasts per week. Say what you will about him, notably his WCW and TNA runs, but that’s a lot of free content (please support his sponsors) for fans to enjoy.

– Here are my ABCs of Wrestling (in honor of the recent LoP Column series):

A – Awesome, a word that holds Miz back from appearing mature and serious as a wrestler.
B – Bayley, why isn’t she on the main roster already? She’s female John Cena who can attract a younger female fanbase to the WWE.
C – Cena, as John Cena is the best wrestler in the WWE today. Period. End of story.
D – Dash & Dawson, the Revival tag team from NXT. I love them! They remind me of Arn and Tully but a lot faster.
E – Eddie Guerrero, hard to believe that it has been over 10 years since we lost him.
F – I wish the WWE would put the “F” back to be WWF again. Stupid panda bears!
G – Gable – I love me some American Alpha as well.
H – Heavyweight – No more WWE World Heavyweight Title. Just WWE Title. Looks like we’ll be seeing 2 World Titles again.
I – Independent Wrestling – Support your local indy promotion!
J – Jakks – I loved those WWE figures, much more than the present ones.
K – Konnan – I wonder what that former WCW great is doing these days? I really liked him. Great on the mic and he had a cool submission hold, the Tequila Sunrise!
L – Linda McMahon – If Donald Trump becomes President, I predict that she may become Secretary of Education.
M – McMahons – As polarizing as their modern decisions have been, you can’t help but thank Vince for giving us years upon years of entertainment.
N – Nia Jax – Big fan of the wrestler and character. Glad that WWE is giving a thicker (no offense) female wrestler a real chance to succeed. I’m rooting for her!
O – Over the top rope. What I liked about NWA/WCW versus WWE is that the operated under different in-ring rules. For example, in NWA/WCW, throwing a wrestler over the top rope was an automatic disqualification. However, in WWE, you could toss wrestlers over the top rope and DQ was never called. Just a nice example of promotions differentiating their products.
P – Paul Heyman – WWE realizes that this guy has booking experience, right?
Q – Quiz – I once knew a backyard wrestler who was named “Quiz”, which was a parody character of former WWE wrestler “Test” (Andrew Martin). Yeah, I had NOTHING for the letter Q!
R – Roman Reigns, R, R, R… Still baffled as to why he’d fail the WWE’s Wellness Policy testing when WWE has handed everything to him.
S – Samoan Swat Team – During their WCW run as a tag team, they came out to John Carpenter’s Halloween theme music. What badasses.
T – Titles – WWE has to fix their title scene and make them appear more credible, notably the midcard ones.
U – Ultimate Warrior, loved that Lebron James wore his shirt the day after winning the NBA Title. Amazing respect for a WWE legend while also dissing the Golden State Warriors and their Unanimous MVP.
V – Virgil – What’s he been doing lately?
W – William Regal, damn he’s so cool on NXT. If I were considering someone to run RAW or Smackdown as a figure head, I’d consider him.
X – X-Pac… I still love his “put that in your pipe and smoke it” line aimed at Eric Bischoff on the RAW following Wrestlemania 14.
Y – YES! YES! YES! WWE completely missed the boat on Daniel Bryan during 2013-2014. They had their new babyface draw or at least someone to back-up or complement John Cena. And they blew it!
Z – Zzzzzzzz to 3 hour RAW shows. Can’t to it… I’m struggling to care about 1.5 hours on Hulu.

– STRONGLY recommend seeing the Jake “the Snake” documentary on Netflix. You’ll gain so much love and respect from Diamond Dallas Page when seeing this documentary. He’s a saint to the wrestling business.

And finally…

– Very interesting to see what happens with Brock Lesnar if he (a) wins or (b) loses his UFC 200 match. If he wins, I think the bigger story will be whether WWE will let Lesnar fight at future UFC events. Certainly, a win helps Lesnar’s drawing strength in the WWE but losing won’t hurt him either. Why? Well, he was once UFC Heavyweight Champion… That’s legit. Disappearing for 4 years and trying to enter the octagon again is a tough task. Win or lose, if Lesnar competes well, the respect for him as a fighter just increases.


Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.

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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK – RAW's Viewership, Past WWE Brand Extension Mistakes, and More

Dana White On If Brock Lesnar Will Fight In UFC Again, Ronda Rousey's Next Fight, UFC 200 Being “OK”

In the video above, UFC President Dana White joined the UFC 200 post-fight show on FS1. Below are some highlights:

* When discussing tonight’s UFC 200 event, White said that while everyone was enjoying it, they couldn’t wait for it to be over. White said that the fights on Thursday’s card were “amazing,” the fights on Friday’s show were “amazing” and tonight “was OK… tonight was good.”

* When asked if Brock Lesnar will fight again in the UFC after his victory over Mark Hunt, White said that Brock is under contract with WWE but “you could tell that Brock really likes fighting.” He said that another fight depends on what Lesnar can work out with Vince McMahon.

* White said that he would like to see Ronda Rousey fight again this year, but that it could be early next year. He said Rousey will face whoever is champion when she returns.

* White said that Michael Bisping will defend his title against Dan Henderson and that it will “hopefully” be in Manchester, England.

Follow Raj Giri on Twitter at @RajGiri_303. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.

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Dana White On If Brock Lesnar Will Fight In UFC Again, Ronda Rousey's Next Fight, UFC 200 Being “OK”

UFC 200 Fight Videos: Brock Lesnar Vs. Mark Hunt, Anderson Silva Vs. Daniel Cormier, Miesha Tate

  • Dana White On If Brock Lesnar Will Fight In UFC Again, Ronda Rousey’s Next Fight, UFC 200 Being “OK”

  • Brock Lesnar On His UFC 200 Victory: “Who The F–K Else Could Do It?”

  • Randy Orton And Other WWE Stars On Brock Lesnar’s UFC 200 Win, Rusev On Lesnar Fighting For Canada

See original:

UFC 200 Fight Videos: Brock Lesnar Vs. Mark Hunt, Anderson Silva Vs. Daniel Cormier, Miesha Tate

Randy Orton And Other WWE Stars On Brock Lesnar's UFC 200 Win, Rusev On Lesnar Fighting For Canada

Several WWE stars took to Twitter to comment on Brock Lesnar’s unanimous decision victory over Mark Hunt at UFC 200 tonight. You can check out their comments below starting with Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent, Randy Orton:

Congrats to @BrockLesnar on the #UFC200 win. See you at #SummerSlam. #VipervsBeast

Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) July 10, 2016

Hahahahahaahaahaha even #brock has forsaken USA. FIGHTING FROM CANADA hahahahahaahaahaha

Rusev MACHKA (@RusevBUL) July 10, 2016

Yes! Brock!

— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) July 10, 2016

#THEBEAST ???????? #UFC200

— Joseann Offerman (@ItsJoseann) July 10, 2016

Loved #BrockLesnar speech after!!!! #UFC200 #TheBeast

— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) July 10, 2016

Great job kid!! @BrockLesnar . See you @ #Summerslam!!!

— GOLDUST (@Goldust) July 10, 2016

Don’t matter if it’s in a ring or an octagon… #BrockLesnar is a BEAST!!! #UFC200 #WWE #LesnarVsHunt #TheBeast

— Mada (@ToughMada) July 10, 2016

. @BrockLesnar wins! Congrats Brock not jst because u r an amazing athlete but mostly because u r an amazing human being!! C u @ #Summerslam

— Lilian Garcia (@LilianGarcia) July 10, 2016

#UFC200 @BrockLesnar is right. We all need to stick together. Good fight tonight buddy.

Heath Slater (@HeathSlaterOMRB) July 10, 2016

Beast… ????????????#UFC200

— Andrade Cien Almas (@AndradeCienWWE) July 10, 2016

Congrats to #TheBeast @ufc ????

Eva Marie (@natalieevamarie) July 10, 2016

Congrats @BrockLesnar! Looking forward to you and Randy at @WWE #SummerSlam! #VipervsBeast

— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) July 10, 2016

Brock is the man. #UFC200

Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder) July 10, 2016

Follow Raj Giri on Twitter at @RajGiri_303. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.

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Randy Orton And Other WWE Stars On Brock Lesnar's UFC 200 Win, Rusev On Lesnar Fighting For Canada

Brock Lesnar Talks UFC 200 Victory, What's Next, Being A Bully, Having The Most Fun “In A Long Time”

As seen in the video above, Brock Lesnar discussed his unanimous decision victory over Mark Hunt at the UFC 200 post-fight press conference. Below are some highlights:

* Lesnar wanted to make one thing clear, and that’s “Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do.” He said that his future for the next month is laid out with his match against Randy Orton at SummerSlam. After that, Lesnar said that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do, but he had “one hell of a time tonight.”

* He wasn’t sure if Mark Hunt landed his best shots or not, but the mystery’s gone as to whether he could take a punch. He noted that he returned on somewhat short notice after a 5-year absence and thanked his team for making it possible. He said that Hunt “never knocked the f-ck” out of him and “here I am.”

* Lesnar admitted that he had a lot of nerves heading into the fight, but that you have to keep an open mind. He said that MMA is 90% mental and if you put the work in, good things will happen. He said that he hadn’t had that much fun “in a long time.”

* Lesnar said that he liked being a bully – not necessarily picking on anyone – but getting dirty and not turning down fights. He said his mom would chew his ass and said that if he’s going to fight, he might as well earn some money at it. Lesnar said that when he decided to make his comeback, it was a tough decision, but “if you don’t stick your neck out, you’re never going to get ahead” and he’s not scared to stick his neck out.

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Brock Lesnar Talks UFC 200 Victory, What's Next, Being A Bully, Having The Most Fun “In A Long Time”

The ABCs of Wrestling – Gamma Edition: J is for …?

Posted in: The King of Stats
The ABCs of Wrestling – Gamma Edition: J is for …?
By zzzorf
Jul 10, 2016 – 1:43:11 AM

G’Day one and all and welcome to the annual July tradition that is the ABCs of Wrestling. In its third year, the ABCs of Wrestling is an anthology of 26 writers gathered by me, your host zzzorf, based around the movies the ABCs of Death and its sequel. In those movies 26 directors are given a letter of the alphabet of which they are to do a short film about death based upon a word of their choice starting with their given letter. The ABCs of Wrestling follows a similar pattern where I gather 26 writers from all around Lords of Pain, be it here on the main page in the forums with writers representing the columns section, LPW (the LOP e-fed) or just the general forum. They are all then given a letter for which they are to write a creative style column about wrestling based upon a word starting with that letter. It’s as simple as that.

In its first edition back in 2014 an eventual 29 writers (a couple of letters had multiple columns due to late entries coming in after I had replaced the original writer) put forward their work leading to them all receiving the CF Column Series of the Year award. Last year in it’s Beta version 27 writers (my column was co-authored with my son) once again put forward their work in another great version of the series. This year, the Gamma Edition, sees the series make its debut here on the main page instead of being locked down in the forums. After each entry I will put a link to the previous entries for you to check out what has come before if you so wish.

Enough talk, let’s get on with today’s entry.

Loading file: Intro.DOC

How did I end up here? To really understand that, you need to know my story.

My name is Cymon Borg; I am a pro wrestler working for WWE. I have been all my life it feels, I remember life before wrestling but it always seems hazy, usually we blame it on the concussions and a dull life beforehand, also the concussions. I am not high up the card; I spend more time hanging out backstage with the guys and in catering than I do in the ring.

Also I am a half robot.

I don’t know when it happened; I guess I always have been, all I remember in that regard was waking up one day and my right hand side one day covered in electronic devices from the company Apple, you know Apple right, they make phones that are slightly bigger than the last. I don’t know how this happened it is just one of those things you learn to live with. As the only half robot employee in WWE Vince pays special attention to me, even going as far as telling me to call him father.

I realize he isn’t my father, I don’t know much about my father, I don’t really remember much about life before wrestling, but that is okay because the WWE is my family. Vince has been a good sort of parent to me since joining, he always makes sure I have enough money to get by on and keeps me busy when I am not in the ring with some sort of job or task. ? Usually it involves punching someone till he does what Vince wants. Vince says it is best for business so I just go along with it.

Vince called me into his office in WWE HQ for a meeting a few days ago, the next job he has me scheduled on is in a few days so I figured this is about something different. Maybe he wants to go see a movie with his favorite son; he says I am his favorite anyway because apparently “Shane’s a douche”, I don’t know what that means so I just smile and nod. Anyway I am rambling, time for me to go to my meeting.

Vince McMahons office.

“Cymon, good to see you” Vince says as Cy walked in the door. The office had been redesigned recently after part of the floor collapsed into the floor below, now known as the Forbidden Zone. What made it so forbidden was unknown to Cy but he had direct orders to not go down there, so he had never been. The room looked great; it had a Roman Reigns fountain in where the floor had broken. It spouted Champagne that at this point was probably three months old.

“Good to see you too father” Cy replied “May I ask why I am here, I don’t have to get your $20 back from Goldust for another few days”

“Forget that job; we have something of the utmost importance to attend to” Vince replies

“What is it?” Cymon asks

“Three letters … W.C.W”

“Woman Crush Wednesday?”

“No you moron, World Championship Wrestling” Vince replies “They are planning an attack on me and my company”

“WCW died 15 years ago, Are you sure it’s not TNA you’re thinking of?”

“Those hicks could finance their way out of a paper bag, I am not worried about them” Vince retorted “WCW are making another push at winning the Monday Night Wars.”

“The Monday Night Wars ended in 2001, WWE won” Cy replied.

“We won that battle, but the war goes on, every couple of years their name seems to crop back up”

“That would be the DVDs based on WCW we release sir”

“Nonsense, they are clearly faking their death and planning to take me down from the inside”

“From the inside” Cymon asked.

Vince leans in close and whispers into his ear “We have a mole in the company; he is ferreting information out to the WCW higher ups”

“If he were a mole, wouldn’t he be moleing information out of the company” Cy replies

Vince just stares in discontent at Cymon. Cy, being a robot, didn’t understand the look of discontent on Vince’s face and wouldn’t continue to talk without being prompted; thankfully this stalemate was broken when Shane McMahon entered the room. He looked at the two who seemed locked in a staring competition.

“Dad” Shane says breaking the focus of both Vince and Cy, the two turn to look at him. “We have a meeting”

“Ah right” Vince replies, he begins to leave the room before turning back and looking at Cy “remember what we talked about, and keep it top secret”

Cy promptly left the Vince’s office and begun trying to work out who the mole is.

“hmm … If someone is leaking info to WCW then I imagine they have to have worked there before it fell and obviously have to still work here” Cy thinks to himself. He promptly downloads a list of WCW employees and superstars who currently work for or are under contract with WWE.

“Where to start” Cymon thinks to himself as he scrolls through the list “this Terra Ryzing guy looks promising, I’ll start with him”

Later, somewhere in Connecticut.

“This is the place” Cy says to himself as he stands at the door of a rather large, fancy looking house. He knocks on the door, and awaits an answer. “Oh shit I don’t have a weapon” thinking quickly Cy grabs a nearby potted plant to use.

The door opens and Cy immediately throws it at the persons face, causing it to break and knock the person unconscious. Cymon steps inside and looks at the person he just probably concussed.

“Stephanie?” he exclaimed as he realized what he had done, at which point Triple H arrives at the door to see what the commotion was.

“Oh dear god, it is in our house” Hunter exclaims as he sees Cymon.

“Hi” Cymon cheerily replies.

“I thought I told Vince to never let you come to our house” H replies.

“I am here on important business” Cy replies “I am here to interrogate Terra Ryzing”

Triple H sighs realizing that there was no quick way to get Cymon out of his house. “I am Terra Ryzing. Now can you explain why you are looking for a gimmick I haven’t used in twenty years?”

Cy explains the situation to Hunter who wears a look of discontent on his face the whole time.

“How many times do we have to tell Vince WCW is dead before he finally realizes it’s true?” H says in exasperation. Cy doesn’t have a response and just looks blankly at him.

“Ok show me the list of suspects” H says using air quotes on suspects

Cymon shows Triple H the list on one of the IPads on his arm. H begins to cross names off the list leaving only a few names unchecked that he imagined would be completely impossible to find or blatantly innocent.

“Thank you for the help” Cymon says and begins to leave

“Wait a minute” H calls after him “What am I supposed to do with her” he says gesturing to his still unconscious wife

“Just give her an ice pack and a couple aspirin and she’ll be fine” Cymon says as he grabs another potted plant from their doorstep and leaves.

At the next SmackDown taping

“Then I said to him, if at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving isn’t for you”

“I am sure that is great advice Booker, but how does that get anyone around here to take my ideas seriously”

“Shucky ducky, quack quakc”

“Your high aren’t you”

“Probably, what day is it”

“Forget it; I am going to go see if anyone else can help”

“Best decision you have made all day” Booker replies

Booker T turns around to leave and is face to hydrangea with Cymon.

“Yup I am definitely high right now” Booker says without moving

“Are you the rat?” Cymon asks

“No, I am Booker T” Booker says confused

“I meant the WCW rat” Cymon retorts

“We have a rat” Booker replies

“Technically he is a mole” Cymon replies “And he has been ferreting information out of the company”

“Well whatever small furry rodent we are discussing, I am not it” Booker says “But I think I may have seen him”

“How can you be sure” Cy asks

“He was meeting with a guy in a suit in parking lot and handed him a briefcase” Booker says

“Was he any of the names on this list” Cy says and shows him the short list of superstars on an IPad.

“That one” Booker says as he clicks on it.

“Thank you” Cymon says and begins to leave

“Wait” Booker calls after him

“Yes” Cy says as he turns and looks at Booker

“Can I have the plant” Booker asks

“Why” Cymon asks unsure of Bookers motives

“Well I heard of people smoking ficus and I want to know if it works with other plants too” Booker says

Cymon thinks it over for a few seconds before handing Booker the Hydrangea and leaving to go deal with the rat/mole/ferret.

At a seedy doctor’s office in South East North West Virginia.

“Thanks for doing this doc” said the middle aged man on the table

“No problem, I was a fan of yours when I was younger and if it helps you get back in the ring it’s worth a go” the doctor replies putting on some rubber surgical gloves

“Hold up, where did you get the spinal column from”

“Enough questions, sleepy time” The doctor says before quickly putting the man under.

Before the doctor can begin surgery begins there is a knock at the door.

“Damnit” the doctor says and throws a tarp over his patient before he heads to the door. The doctor leans up against the door and asks “Who is it”

“It’s me”

“Who’s me” The doctor replies

“Cymon” he replies

“I thought I told you not to come around here after you cheated on my sister” The doctor says as he opens the door. “Wait you’re not Simon”

“I am Cymon” Cy replies

“Whatever, what do you want” The doctor asks eager to get on with his surgery

“I have to come to take that man” Cymon says as he points at the tarp “He is a traitor and must answer for his crimes”

Cymon heads over to the tarp but The Doctor tackles him.

“No one comes into my surgery and takes my patients” The Doctor says

Cy quickly throws him off and gets to his feet “I am afraid you don’t have a say in that matter sir, I have orders to take this man to my boss and it shall be done”

The doctor grabs a large saw like object from his table and charges Cymon once more. Cymon quickly side steps the doctors initial charge and follows it up with a kick to the stomach. The Doctor doesn’t go down and swings the saw at Cymon, Cy back steps quickly but a small wound now crosses his midsection. Cymon reaches onto the nearby counter and grabs a full syringe and throws it at the doctor, hitting and sticking in the shoulder, Cy follows it up with a quick punch to the syringe causing it to inject and shatter. The numbing agent inside the Doctor quickly going to work, numbing his left arm completely causing him to drop the saw.

The Doctor in a runs across the room in panic and grabs a scalpel. Cymon too grabs a scalpel and gestures for the doctor to bring it. The two engage in a duel of scalpels so masterful and elegant that it cannot be described by words. ? ? The duel ends when both men lock blades and the scalpels end up flying across the room.

“Let’s face it, our scalpelsmanship is matched, and if we go physical then I am obviously going to win” Cymon says “Just let me take your patient and we can avoid any further violence”

The doctor sighs and walks over to the tarp allowing Cymon to go and take him.

Cymon walks over past the doctor to the tarped WCW superstar. The Doctor had one last trick up his sleeves and swiftly kicks Cymon in the balls. The Doctor follows this with a tackle through the surgical side table, scattering debris over the floor. Cymon falls to the ground and the Doctor mounts his chest and pulls out a scalpel from his coat pocket.

“DIE” The Doctor yells as he plunges it towards Cymon’s heart, Cy grabs the doctor’s arms inches away from his chest. The two locked in a life or death struggle. Cymon looks to his right and sees a spinal column lead on the floor, the one that was about to be used in surgery. Cymon begins reaching for it with his mechanical arm. The scalpel getting ever closer to him, His hand grasps the tail end of the spinal column and he swings it, clubbing the doctor in the face, knocking him unconscious and knocking him off the top of Cymon.

“So, a Gorilla’s spinal column makes a decent improvised flail, good to know” Cymon says

With the doctor unconscious, Cymon heads over to the tarped wrestler and picks him up, taking him back to HQ to see what punishment Vince deals to him.

Back at WWE HQ

Cymon arrived at WWE HQ with the mole who was still unconscious mole and now with arms and legs tied and being carried in by Cymon, Cymon tries to enter but the building is locked, so Cymon knocks on the front door.

“Password” A voice from the other side of the door says

“Whatword” Cymon replies

“There is a mole in the company so Vince has set a password to the building” the voice replies

“Okay well I have the mole with me so we can drop these security upgrades” Cymon retorts

“Can’t do that I am afraid” The voice replies

“Why not”

“You could be the mole and just be pretending to have the mole just to get info from Vince”

“That’s ridiculous”

“No I’ll tell you what is ridiculous, one of NXT’s brightest talents being promoted to the main roster to do nothing and then being called into a meeting about a promotion and being told that he has to guard a fucking door” The voice says

“That does sound ridiculous” Cymon replies

“You know what; I don’t have to take this crap. Tell Vince I am heading to Ring of Honor and he can blow a goat” The voice says

The door opens and out storms a furious Tyler Breeze who promptly turns around and walks backwards flipping off the building and screaming obscenities at it.

Cymon takes the mole inside and takes the elevator to Vince’s office.

Vince’s office

“Vince you here” Cymon says as he walks in with the mole in his arms.

“Yes I am” Vince says “You have the mole?”

“Yes I do” Cymon replies “What are you gonna do to him”

“I think it is fairly obvious” Vince says as he pulls out a Desert Eagle “Now let’s see the bastard who would try and screw a McMahon”

The tarp is pulled off of the mole to reveal him to Vince, who had just woke up

“I knew it was you” Vince looked at the tied up Mole “The last WCW holdout”

“What is this about Vince” replies Sting

“You know what this is about you fucking rat” Vince says

“What are you talking about” replies Sting

“You have been selling information about the WWE to WCW” Vince yells back at him

“That’s ridiculous WCW went out of business 15 years ago” Sting replies

“Bullshit, you were seen giving info to a man in a secluded area” Cymon yells

“I was handing some legal documents to a guy from TNA about upcoming DVD releases”

“HA, that is an obvious lie, both of those stopped existing in 2012” Cymon replies smugly

“It’s true, I talked about it with Hunter he can vouch for me” Sting says.

“I am not getting him involved, he would do anything to get one over on me” Vince replies “I’ve heard enough time to kill this Judas”

“WHAT! Vince you don’t have to do this” Sting replies

“You’re right I don’t” Vince says and he gives the gun to Cymon “But he does”

“Vince are you sure about this, I could just break his legs” Cymon replies

“No. Put a bullet right in-between his eyes” Vince replies “That is how you deal with rats”

“Actually most people just use mouse traps or a pesticide” Cy retorts

“Just shoot him already” Vince says

Cymon looks at Sting who was trying his hardest to escape, but due to the tight bonds and the residual drugs couldn’t move an inch. Cymon holds the gun in his robotic hand; he takes a look at it before he raises the gun up and takes aim at Stings head, his hand trembling. He takes one last look at Sting

“I am sorry Vince I can’t do it” Cymon says

“What do you mean “can’t do it”” Vince yells back

“I can’t kill another person for corporate espionage that probably didn’t happen” Cymon replies

“I see” Vince says in a somber tone “You are working together, you’re both fucking rats”

“No Vince, it isn’t like that” Cymon replies “I am 100% loyal to WWE but I won’t kill a man for them”

“JUDAS” Vince yells “Everywhere I look people are trying to stab me in the back” “Thankfully I had a plan for this” Vince walks over to his desk and grabs an IPad which had the WWE logo on the back of it. “Do you know what this does” Vince asks Cymon “It controls all my electronics, from that vacuum robot Steph got me for my last birthday, to the lights in my mansion”

“And what does this have to do with … me” Cymon says as he realizes what is about to happen

His robot hand, still holding the gun rises up and fires at Sting hitting him straight in the head, his body falls to the ground as blood pours out of a hole in his head staining the carpet.

“And now to sort you out” Vince says as he walks back to his desk and picks up the phone, only dialing three numbers. Cymon knew what was about to happen.

“Police please, Someone has been shot” was all Cymon heard as he ran out of the room.

And that is how I got to where I am now. Running, hiding, hunted for a crime I was forced to commit. After getting out of the offices I managed to find a way into the sewers and have hid there the last few days. This is my life now, my old one died as soon as Sting did. However for all that has happened, I have found clarity. I was a thug, working for a corrupt, psychopathic leader. I made peoples life a misery all because I was told to. Now it is time for me to move forward, I can’t fix what I may have broken but I can stop it continuing. Now my mission statement is clear.

Kill Vince McMahon.

To be continued

Next year

written by? kingzak13

Continuing on his story from last years series where he had the letter I (Internet), kingzak13 once again takes us on a ride of who once was Zack Ryder. Zak is a writer always on the improve and another writer who loves to use stats in his writing.


Alpha Edition: J is for Jay-Z – written by LWO4Life

Beta Edition: J is for Jabberwock – written by RantingRandall

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The ABCs of Wrestling – Gamma Edition: J is for …?

Brock Lesnar Victorious In His UFC Return, WWE Reacts

Brock Lesnar returned to MMA tonight at UFC 200 and made his mark by dominating a top 10 UFC heavyweight.

Lesnar, who last found at UFC 141 on December 30, 2011, managed to utilize his game and defeat Mark Hunt via unanimous decision. Lesnar dominate the first and third rounds, while Hunt took the second. Lesnar won the fight with scores of 29-27. With the victory, Lesnar’s MMA record improves to 6-3 while Hunt falls to 12-11-1.

After the fight, Lesnar admitted that it took a little while to get acclimated in the cage. As for what’s next, Lesnar said that he’s taking it “one day at a time” before thanking the great men and women in uniform. Lesnar then said, “from one white boy to all nationalities, we’ve got to stand together, people!”

Lesnar’s wife Rena, f.k.a. Sable, then entered the cage to celebrate with Brock.

WWE quickly responded to Brock’s win with this tweet:

BREAKING NEWS: @BrockLesnar wins at #UFC200, https://t.co/8PEYFNfKt2 pic.twitter.com/k012tYjpc5

WWE (@WWE) July 10, 2016

Below is the playback for the fight from our UFC 200 coverage by David Bixenspan:

Heavyweight: Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt (#8)

Round 1: Patient start for both with only slight feinting. Low kick by Brock. Brock looks completely different physically from his first UFC run and is already turning red. Takedown attempt, no luck, they’re on the cage, and down. And up! Dan Miragliotta needs to call a break…right as I type that Brock gets hunt down and into side control. Hunt turns…giving up his back? Brock clearly trying to conserve energy and not unload too much…but he opens up…and Hunt gets up! Brock shoots, almost eats an uppercut, takedown to Bock mount! WrestlingInc goes 10-9 Lesnar.

Round 2: Hunt needs to jab and he does. Brock blocks an overhand right. I can’t believe this is in the second round. Hunt jab connects barely. Hunt sprawls on a shot. Here we go! AND ANOTHER! Brock doing a good job keeping Hunt from landing cleanly when he throws. Hunt stuffs another takedown. Hunt subtly pressuring now as Brock is tiring. Hunt starting to find his range in a sense, not quite landing clean. Brock shoots on the cage. Clinching. Not getting Hunt down. And the round is over. 10-9 Hunt since he’s the only one to actually land any kind of offense, 19-19 so far. Next round takes it. or a finish, of course.

Round 3: Hunt tags Brock with a right…then Brock gets a takedown to almost mount…some punches but Brock not posturing up so Hunt is defending well. Hunt not trying to buck Lesnar and Lesnar is holding a loose half guard now. Hunt actually throwing a lot from bottom and he regains half guard. Brock going for the arm triangle…or not. Back to mount. Lots of short, hard shorts. You realize how heavy Brock is on top when you consider Hunt’s propensity to buck guys off well. Hunt finally gets to half guard and tries a getup, but there’s no time. 10-8 Lesnar, 29-27 Lesnar. Clear decision win for him, question is how exactly the judges score the third and to an extent the second.

Official decision: Brock Lesnar defeats Mark Hunt by unanimous decision (29-27 on all three cards).

Brock looks even redder than he does in PPV matches. Brock gives a shout out to American military. “From one white boy, to all nationalities, we all gotta stand together, people!” That was new. And now he’s kissing his wife, who Mike Goldberg just called “Sable” and not Rena or even “the former Sable in WWE.”

Follow Raj Giri on Twitter at @RajGiri_303. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.

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Brock Lesnar Victorious In His UFC Return, WWE Reacts

WINC Podcast (7/10): UFC 200 Recap, Brock Lesnar, SummerSlam Top Matches, Final Deletion, More

David Bixenspan and Raj Giri are back to recap the biggest card in UFC history, featuring Brock Lesnar’s return fight against Mark Hunt. Topics include:

– The two title fights.
– WWE’s presence on the card.
– Did it deliver?

On the pro wrestling side:

– The Final Deletion and TNA’s future.
– SummerSlam.
– Your questions.

And much more.

Don’t forget to try out DDP Yoga, specifically their awesome Max Pack, used by the likes of Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, John Cena and tons of other WWE stars who love using DDP Yoga. You can get a special offer with three months of the app free at DDPYoga.com/WrestlingInc. Also, “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake” is now available on iTunes, Google Play, Playstation, Amazon and VUDU, so make sure to check that out, and tweet DDP Yoga to let them know we sent you! You can also see the film on DVD, Blu-Ray and Netflix!

You can check out the full episode in the video above or the audio player below. For a direct download, Click Here. If you want to subscribe, you can do so through iTunes as well as our RSS feed, which you can use this to subscribe through any podcast app. If you’re enjoying the show, please subscribe and rate on iTunes! Also don’t forget to give us a thumbs up and subscribe on Youtube!

Follow David Bixenspan on Twitter at @davidbix. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.

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WINC Podcast (7/10): UFC 200 Recap, Brock Lesnar, SummerSlam Top Matches, Final Deletion, More