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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…

==========================================

MISTAKES OF THE PREVIOUS RAW/SMACKDOWN BRAND EXTENSION

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…

==========================================

THE LAST WORD

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.

SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!

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

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© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com – 1998-2016

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

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.

PREVIOUS SERIES LINKS

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

Beta Edition: J is for Jabberwock – written by RantingRandall

See original:

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

Natalya Makes WWE Power Rankings, Finn Balor In WWE Game Night Bonus Scene, Birthdays

– As seen below, the latest WWE Power Rankings features Natalya at #20 and WWE Champion Dean Ambrose at #1. This week’s rankings also feature John Cena.

[embedded content]

– WWE Hall of Famer Kevin Nash turns 57 years old today while Shelton Benjamin turns 41, Marc Mero turns 56 and PN News turns 49.

– Below is a WWE Game Night bonus scene showing off Finn Balor’s drawing skills:

Ever wonder how @wwebalor‘s drawing skills are? Look no further than this #WWEGameNight BONUS CLIP! https://t.co/lGxX3ZMRc9

— WWE (@WWE) July 8, 2016

WHY Roman Reigns Failed a WWE Wellness Test, Big Backstage WWE Draft Updates, New Members of The Club, WWE Star Gets Heat for Sloppy Work, , Interesting Dean Ambrose News, Possible AJ Styles Title Plans, Major Tag Team Division Changes Coming?, WWE Ribbing Top Stars on TV, Vince McMahon Wants Famous Star, Title Plans for John Cena, Major WWE Plans for Kevin Owens and Big Cass, Alberto Del Rio and Paige Drama on WWE TV?, Heat on WWE Tag Team, Vince McMahon Tired of Roman Reigns’ Push?, Major AJ Styles Concern, Velvet Sky to WWE?, Must See New Lana & AJ Lee & Maryse, Lots of New GIFs & Exclusives, More

Source:

Natalya Makes WWE Power Rankings, Finn Balor In WWE Game Night Bonus Scene, Birthdays

Next Week's WWE NXT, Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt Weigh-Ins Video, New Tyler Breeze Episode

– Tyler Breeze asks the questions in his latest “Shootin’ The Breeze” episode, seen below:

[embedded content]

– The big Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match has been confirmed for next Wednesday’s WWE NXT episode. Eva Marie vs. NXT Women’s Champion Asuka may air this week as well.

– WWE posted this video from Friday’s UFC 200 weigh-ins in Las Vegas. The Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt footage begins at the 30:57 mark. As noted, Lesnar came in at 265.5 pounds while Hunt came in at 264.5 pounds.

[embedded content]

WHY Roman Reigns Failed a WWE Wellness Test, Big Backstage WWE Draft Updates, New Members of The Club, WWE Star Gets Heat for Sloppy Work, , Interesting Dean Ambrose News, Possible AJ Styles Title Plans, Major Tag Team Division Changes Coming?, WWE Ribbing Top Stars on TV, Vince McMahon Wants Famous Star, Title Plans for John Cena, Major WWE Plans for Kevin Owens and Big Cass, Alberto Del Rio and Paige Drama on WWE TV?, Heat on WWE Tag Team, Vince McMahon Tired of Roman Reigns’ Push?, Major AJ Styles Concern, Velvet Sky to WWE?, Must See New Lana & AJ Lee & Maryse, Lots of New GIFs & Exclusives, More

Link to article:

Next Week's WWE NXT, Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt Weigh-Ins Video, New Tyler Breeze Episode

News for Tonight's WWE RAW – Multi-Man Elimination Match, Champion vs. Champion, More

Tonight’s 4th of July edition of WWE RAW takes place from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Superstars advertised for tonight include WWE Champion Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, John Cena, AJ Styles, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon.

Matches for tonight include Ambrose vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz in a non-title match, Titus O’Neil vs. WWE United States Champion Rusev and a 16-man USA vs. International Elimination match. A former SmackDown General Manager will also be appearing. WWE is focusing on the following points for tonight:

* Could The Miz score a leading role in this summer blockbuster?

* Will Cena get payback against The Club?

* Are “Team U.S.A.” world-beaters?

* Can Titus O’Neil capture star-spangled gold?

* Will a former SmackDown General Manager join in Monday’s festivities?

Possible AJ Styles Title Plans, Major Tag Team Division Changes Coming?, WWE Ribbing Top Stars on TV, Vince McMahon Wants Famous Star, Title Plans for John Cena, Major WWE Plans for Kevin Owens and Big Cass, Alberto Del Rio and Paige Drama on WWE TV?, Heat on WWE Tag Team, Vince McMahon Tired of Roman Reigns’ Push?, Major AJ Styles Concern, Velvet Sky to WWE?, Heat Between HHH and Top WWE Star, Shane McMahon – WWE Creative, Backstage Big Cass and Vince McMahon Story, WWE Star Saves Career Backstage, Must See New Lana & AJ Lee & Maryse, Lots of New GIFs & Exclusives, More

From:

News for Tonight's WWE RAW – Multi-Man Elimination Match, Champion vs. Champion, More

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


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.



To celebrate 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, I wish to present a tribute to the greatest battle I have ever witnessed, written entirely in iambic pentameter. Whilst clearly being more than epic enough to deserve the Shakespearian treatment, it also features the strong tones of intrigue and deceit that were rife in Shakespeare’s works.

Tonight, my friends, I have a bout for thee.
Its place in hist’ry cannot be ignored.
Two men do battle ‘pon a canvas sheet,
Enwrapt to claim a champion’s reward
The scale doth make a mortal man delight;
A monster versus a leviathan!
The champion is undefeated yet,
Our challenger weighs quarter of a ton.
Our hero saunters slowly to the ring
And with an air of arrogance, he waits.
The evil champion then makes his way
While followed by a dwarf whose loud voice grates.

The villain wastes no time and tries to get
An angry nose-to-nose encounter in.
But being nearly half a cubit short,
He only manages a nose-to-chin.
Quite soon, the beast gets stress’d and in a fit
He shoves his challenger across the chest.
They circle ’round and size each other up
Before they grapple for another test.
The hero soon acquires an advantage;
A slap impels the rival’s chest to sting.
He impudently celebrates ’til whence
A takedown takes them both out of the ring.

To and fro, the match continues so.
Each man will gain the upper-hand and then,
As surely as the seasons come and go,
The pendulum swings opposite again.

Despite a lively match up to this point
An ugly situation soon occurs;
The referee is taken down. The time
Is ripe for indecent behaviours.
Our hero wastes no time and lifts his boot
To smash his rival in the face, alas
His rival counters into a suplex
That leaves the rivals both KO’d en masse.
As both lay on the floor a plan forms as
The short-and-wide companion racks his brain.
He sees his charge awaken as he grins.
Before was child’s play; now here comes the pain.
The sidekick dwarf procures a chair and throws it
In towards his client’s ape-like reach.
He swings it, though his foe has realis’d
And with a punch, deflects it —

Without delay, he swings the chair again.
KERRUNCH! The ste-el bounces off his skull.
After a whirlwind move, he pins him but
The value of our referee is ‘null’.

The mullet-headed imp is simply stunned.
He can’t believe his pupil’s rotten luck.
A new official rushes to the ring
And slams the mat. One! Two! —

The enemy awaits the final tap
But sits confused as it rebuffs his need.
The referee has disappear’d but who
Would dare to action such an evil deed.

He slowly turns his head behind to see
His grinning friend. His confidant. His boss.
That grin turns to a panic as his anger becomes manic.
He realises it’s a double-cross.

Incensed, he charges from the ring and gives
The fat old man the foot-chase of his life.
The man dashes ‘round turnbuckles and slides
Into the ring and out the other side.
The champ does not get close as one expects
For one who’s twice as agile as his prey
But nonetheless he simply fails to notice
His rival sits in waiting with the chair.

He runs into a blast across his ribs
And doubles over from the sudden pain.
He soon receives a blow across his back
As his assailant swings the chair again.

The champion is troubl’d as his foe
Doth sense the time is closing for defeat.
The champion is dragged up and receives
A thund’rous chokeslam on the folding seat.

Out of the ring, the evidence is toss’d.
The referee awakens just in time.
Henceforth, he thrice attacks the mat with force.
At last our hero hears the vic’try chime.
“Here is your winner and your champion!”
The ring announcer shouts toward the crowd.
The turncoat jumps into his client’s arms.
The world is shocked. “This shouldn’t be allowed!”

Two fighters, both alike in f’rocity,
In those Square Gardens, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal fists of these two foes
The double-cross’d Brock Lesnar sees the end;
With misadventur’d piteous overthrows
Doth lose his title and his long-time friend.

Afrighten’d for their lives they head back-stage.
To watch their backs, their heads doth turn amok.
A limousine helps with their quick escape
And so they exit, pursued by a Brock



written by

11 NXT Matches To See Before You Die ~ #9

So far, the question upon which this series is founded remains largely unanswered. Though #11 showed us where NXT, as we know it today, came from, and though #10 presents a pristine poster-match for the predominant theme of the NXT’s journey thus far – growth – it was, to my mind, the task of #9 on this list to present an example of that growth’s final outcome.

And, put simply, we can describe that outcome with two words: equal footing.

Some may contest the idea still that NXT is no equal to WWE’s main roster. In times gone by, I might have been one of those people. Despite our personal opinions, however, we must always take account of popular reception’s consensus realities, and in the case of NXT there is widespread belief among the fan base that NXT is equal to WWE’s main roster; equal, though, I maintain even now, not alternative (a debate for another time, that).

#9 is a match of such ferocious accomplishment, such teeming success, that it should not be denied its warranted position within the conversation surrounding “Match of the Year” honours, despite it being suspiciously absent. Maybe that is an opinion that flies in opposition to your own; it’s certainly one that boils down to personal taste of course. Never has that been a more important idea to comprehend, however. It was personal taste that saw me love #9 on the night it occurred, and it was personal taste that saw me fall deeper in love when I came to revisit it for the purpose of this mini-series, with a more critical eye. Now, it is personal taste that sees me proclaim #9 as being on par with the best main roster equivalents, because, as an alternative to the phrase “equal footing,” I might also use a different phrase regular readers of mine will no doubt, by now, be all too familiar with: performance art.

Make no mistake, #9 is performance art of the highest quality.

It is little secret this mini-series was spawned by the book I successfully published last year – 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die, available to buy via the links at the bottom of these columns – and it is in that book I lay out my stall for viewing pro wrestling, not as sports entertainment, but as performance art. Had I written that book this year instead, #9 would no doubt have found its way into my hand-selected 101. It extols brilliantly the virtues of the line of argument, and in doing so, I repeat again, finds a status, to my mind, as being on par with any main roster equivalent – a macro-observation reflecting the now widely held perception of NXT’s overall status, thereby making it a perfect choice for this slot in this mini-series.

Grandiose claims, all of these, I know. Months along, this isn’t a match people speak of quite as extensively as others on the same card. Indeed, #9’s relationship with the card it headlines may play a part in that. Takeover: Dallas was, and in some degree still is, heralded among some fans as one of the best major shows WWE has ever produced, housing an emergent theme of torch-passing; the bittersweet dichotomy of farewells and welcomes; and one of the greatest tag bouts in the company’s long history. Compounding the large shadow cast, the feud leading into #9 was less than inspiring. An initial bout between the two men at Takeover: London had been a strong enough effort, but ultimately unremarkable, and in the interim it seemed the challenger, Samoa Joe, spent more time chasing a title shot than he did chasing the title. Heading in, this was by no means a feud setting the world on fire.

Yet, if anything, the defiance of #9’s success should simply strengthen its argument for the right to be recalled with greater celebration. I can understand resistance to doing so, considering that such success is, quite honestly, only stumbled into by virtue of a freak accident inside of the opening minute that sees Samoa Joe busted open, but it is only after that accident everything else begins to align.

The resultant injection of intensity mixing together with arresting visuals – at times aided by startlingly accomplished cinematography – feed into the supernatural subtext set up by yet another of WWE’s brilliant pre-match hype programmes, in which Bálor re-frames the feud’s opening encounter as “a single case of surviving.” Surviving then becomes the word – the abstract concept – that transforms into the beating heart of the composition’s viscera.

Even more satisfyingly, because of this domino effect emerging out of Joe’s injury which sees concepts rapidly falling into place, niggles that could be levied at both men and their feud are, in turn, swept aside. I, for one, have always struggled to get a handle on just what the demonic side of Bálor was supposed to be; how that character was meant to be informing feuds and storylines and matches alike was muddy from day one, thanks to a constantly changing presentation provided from the announce booth. Here, though, that side of the character becomes as clear as day: the Demon is a heightened state for Bálor that facilitates an ability to compete at an otherwise unattainable, inhuman level. It is a temporary transformation for the NXT Champion; more, it is a temporary evolution. And in contrast with that, as #9’s compelling story unfolds, it in turn helps clarify the character you could argue Samoa Joe has seemingly lacked since arriving: he is the unstoppable juggernaut, impossible to overcome, relentless, merciless, overwhelming and unfeeling in his pursuits.

The final product we are delivered, then, is not just another NXT Championship match, or a generic second act encounter in a generic three act pro wrestling feud. It is something that transcends the mundane, monochromatic philosophy we call “sports entertainment.” It becomes, instead, the most vibrant performance art; a tale of Demon against Monster; of superhuman forces colliding, told in the most enthralling and guttural style imaginable. This is not a wrestling match you sit and watch; it’s a piece of art you experience and feel.

And there can be no denying this achievement is owed singularly to the appearance of blood on the face of Samoa Joe. It is from that moment the entire complexion shifts, and from which all the aforementioned successes pour forth. The atmosphere, even on a re-watch, shifts tangibly in an instant. The action becomes more urgent. Even the commentary transforms from its usual artificial espousal of cliché-riddled sound bites into a clear evocation of raw emotion. In #9 sits an obvious exhibit championing why, when appearing in the right context or moment, the utilisation of blood in professional wrestling can still benefit the product greatly.

This is a theme I cover in 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die, pointing out thoughts I would hasten the live crowd in attendance for #9 to keep in mind when chanting remarks like “Let them bleed!” Matches like JBL vs. Eddie Guerrero at Judgment Day 2004 should remind starkly why that might come off as an irresponsible gut reaction, especially in light of what actually occurs as #9 unfolds.

What this particular piece does, that no other match I can think of ever has, is utilise the PG reaction to the appearance of blood as effectively as a main event from fifteen years ago would utilise an outright blade job. Fifteen years ago a gushing curtain of crimson might have impaled a match’s emotion upon unflinching gore to heighten emotion, but in the case of #9 the performers instead springboard off the referee stoppage to further develop their supernatural subtext.

Consider what I mentioned earlier regarding Bálor’s Demon-side being an elevated form that enables him to compete at the peak of his physical capacity. Consider we have seen the Demon compete against Joe before, and the pre-match promo for #9 sees that same Demon frame that experience as a “single case of surviving.” The result of this context is simple: we know, even in Demon form, Bálor is out of his depth against a rampaging Samoa Joe. Thus, when Joe begins to bleed as early as the opening minute, the transformative effect is clear: Joe’s wound is Bálor’s opening, the chink in Joe’s armour the Demon needs to level the playing field. The Demon wrestles with greater urgency as a result, not just as an immediate reaction but throughout, trying every opportunity to interrupt medics attending to Joe to maintain his advantage so dependent on the momentum of the fight, and in each instant being unluckily curtailed by the interfering officials. It only escalates the champion’s jeopardy.

Gloriously, though, #9 employs a dark symmetry to deepen its tale. While Joe’s cut is Bálor’s opportunity, so too does it threaten to be Bálor’s undoing, as it seemingly awakens fresh fury from within the challenger. Watch the way Joe reacts to Bálor’s immediate attempts to press the advantage, with vicious chops to the chest that sound like a gun going off before launching the champion into the audience like a human missile. Offensives grow to be of ear-popping volume; stiff, vicious and with deliberate intent to maim, all interspersed between feral roars of animalistic instinct. The referee stoppage also takes on a second role too, not only serving to repeatedly and fatalistically prevent the champion building upon his only chances but also by further enraging an already especially angry Samoa Joe.

It is in these multiple degrees of duality that the entire affair carries a fateful air, that sees the exhaustion setting in throughout the final act become all the tenser. The Demon lets out a final valiant roar, rallying for perhaps the last time in a do or die flurry, only to once again be entrapped in Joe’s submission game, and it all boils down to the final reach of Bálor’s elevated state, seizing that all-important last inch to roll the challenger up and escape with his championship intact.

Even the way the action is structured substantiates the character-driven story. Playing into the idea of the Demon being outmatched, of Bálor at his best still barely managing to survive, Joe’s offensives prove overwhelming in both speed and power on more than one occasion; the most visually striking moment of the piece sees Bálor tossed from one submission to another by Joe, in the same way a child plays with a football. At one stage, Joe pulling back on a Crossface generates the image of a Demon’s jaw being forced open in the same way King Kong murdered the T-Rex, complete with blood curdling cries of agony from the champion. Indeed, at its most affecting, this is a match that plays out not as a monster movie, but as an outright horror, tinged with an undertone of tragedy in Bálor desperately trying to take the fight to his superior opponent.

#9 really is incredible work, and it would take much more than 2000 words to fully extrapolate its artistic achievements. It is a match that plays on a riveting supernatural subtext of Demon against Monster. It is one of the most characterful matches WWE has ever hosted. It headlines a historic Takeover. It raises the perennial issue of the use of blood in professional wrestling, even stretching so far as to show that, actually, PG referee stoppage can come to be as integral to the drama of a bout as the most relished, goriest blade jobs of yesteryear. It helps solve problems that have dogged both competitors to varying degrees during their time in WWE. It functions on innumerable levels thematically, artistically and as a piece of professional wrestling. It is professional wrestling in its most transcended state. It is performance art. And, as such, it is on equal footing to any main roster equivalent, proving that development can be as high achieving as the highest echelon.

By 2016, NXT had grown exponentially from the upwardly aspiring product we saw in matches like #11 thanks to critically acclaimed matches like #10 becoming the norm for the Yellow Show. The final destination, at least for NXT’s first chapter, was a well-rounded and fleshed out pro wrestling product capable of hosting matches easily as accomplished as the very best matches we have seen, this year or any other, on WWE’s main roster. It is my belief that is what #9 represents; a show superseding its original mandate, maintaining its function as a developmental territory but, nonetheless, becoming a global destination for talent and fans alike, with ideas far above its initial station.

Those ideas, it should be said, have not just led to singular instances of magnificent art like we see with #9, but far-reaching, at times historic influence to boot.

Source:

11 NXT Matches To See Before You Die ~ #9

WWE Makes Change to Brock Lesnar DVD, WWE Fury of Twisted Attacks, WWE Game Night Extra

– As seen below, the latest WWE Fury video features Kalisto, Austin Aries and others performing 20 innovative attacks through the air:

[embedded content]

– WWE’s “Brock Lesnar: Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat.” DVD and Blu-ray that comes out on October 11th will no longer include a new documentary feature, according to WrestlingDVDNetwork.com. New video packages are planned to be included between the featured matches and they could end up being documentary-like chapters. It appears this is a last minute change as multiple schedule drafts had a documentary listed before.

– Below is a bonus scene from this week’s WWE Game Night with host Heath Slater playing “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots” with referee John Cone:

#WWEGameNight‘s #RockEmSockEmRobots BONUS clip features @HeathSlaterOMRB going toe-to-toe with..JOHN CONE! https://t.co/qAhhv3AFRF

— WWE (@WWE) July 2, 2016

Possible AJ Styles Title Plans, Major Tag Team Division Changes Coming?, WWE Ribbing Top Stars on TV, Vince McMahon Wants Famous Star, Title Plans for John Cena, Major WWE Plans for Kevin Owens and Big Cass, Alberto Del Rio and Paige Drama on WWE TV?, Heat on WWE Tag Team, Vince McMahon Tired of Roman Reigns’ Push?, Major AJ Styles Concern, Velvet Sky to WWE?, Heat Between HHH and Top WWE Star, Shane McMahon – WWE Creative, Backstage Big Cass and Vince McMahon Story, WWE Star Saves Career Backstage, Must See New Lana & AJ Lee & Maryse, Lots of New GIFs & Exclusives, More

See more here –

WWE Makes Change to Brock Lesnar DVD, WWE Fury of Twisted Attacks, WWE Game Night Extra

Cesaro Canvas 2 Canvas, Cody Rhodes Comments on “Arrow” Role, Fans on John Cena's Accomplishments

– As seen below, the latest Canvas 2 Canvas video from WWE artist Rob Schamberger features Cesaro:

[embedded content]

– WWE has a new poll asking fans what is John Cena’s career highlight after 14 years with the company – debut match against Kurt Angle, defeating Big Show for the United States Title at WrestleMania 20, his first WWE Title win from JBL in 2005, his 2008 Royal Rumble surprise return or beating The Rock at WrestleMania 29. As of this writing, 39% went with beating The Rock while 22% went with the Rumble return and 21% voted for the first WWE Title win.

– As noted, actor and WWE celebrity Stephen Amell revealed on Twitter that Cody Rhodes will be starring on CW’s “Arrow” this fall. Cody tweeted the following on the role:

I step into this respectfully, humbly, and looking to do it justice for the fandom #HVFF @CW_Arrow pic.twitter.com/UbU0lzG4df

— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) July 2, 2016

Possible AJ Styles Title Plans, Major Tag Team Division Changes Coming?, WWE Ribbing Top Stars on TV, Vince McMahon Wants Famous Star, Title Plans for John Cena, Major WWE Plans for Kevin Owens and Big Cass, Alberto Del Rio and Paige Drama on WWE TV?, Heat on WWE Tag Team, Vince McMahon Tired of Roman Reigns’ Push?, Major AJ Styles Concern, Velvet Sky to WWE?, Heat Between HHH and Top WWE Star, Shane McMahon – WWE Creative, Backstage Big Cass and Vince McMahon Story, WWE Star Saves Career Backstage, Must See New Lana & AJ Lee & Maryse, Lots of New GIFs & Exclusives, More

More here:

Cesaro Canvas 2 Canvas, Cody Rhodes Comments on “Arrow” Role, Fans on John Cena's Accomplishments

Adam Rose on Jerry Lawler, WWE CWC Talent on Representing Mexico, Damien Sandow

– In the video below, WWE Cruiserweight Classic entrant Raul Mendoza talks about representing Mexico in the tournament and more:

[embedded content]

– As noted, the domestic charges against Jerry Lawler and his fiancee Lauryn McBride have been dropped and Lawler’s WWE suspension was lifted. A fan asked Adam Rose, who was facing a similar situation several weeks back but let go from the company after requesting his release, his thoughts on the situation and he replied with the following:

Considering all that @JerryLawler has given to the biz I totally understand. You can’t compare the situations. https://t.co/ULa6B6ASDC

— Aldo Rose (@Aegis_Rose) July 2, 2016

– Damien Sandow will be the special guest host for a comedy show on July 12th at the Second City comedy club in Los Angeles. John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler’s brother will also be performing. Details are below:

Bonus July FlyingChuck! TUES 12th 8pm @SecondCityLA Guest host:@TheDamienSandow w/@TheRealMorrison & @HotYoungBriley pic.twitter.com/BJXEfgVkAH

— Brett Guennel (@BGun874) July 1, 2016

Possible AJ Styles Title Plans, Major Tag Team Division Changes Coming?, WWE Ribbing Top Stars on TV, Vince McMahon Wants Famous Star, Title Plans for John Cena, Major WWE Plans for Kevin Owens and Big Cass, Alberto Del Rio and Paige Drama on WWE TV?, Heat on WWE Tag Team, Vince McMahon Tired of Roman Reigns’ Push?, Major AJ Styles Concern, Velvet Sky to WWE?, Heat Between HHH and Top WWE Star, Shane McMahon – WWE Creative, Backstage Big Cass and Vince McMahon Story, WWE Star Saves Career Backstage, Must See New Lana & AJ Lee & Maryse, Lots of New GIFs & Exclusives, More

Link –

Adam Rose on Jerry Lawler, WWE CWC Talent on Representing Mexico, Damien Sandow