Hey, friendos! And welcome to one of my two new weekly columns right here... On WrestlingNewsSource.com!
Now before I get started, let me quickly run through the plan going forward. I'm hoping to get two columns out to you beautiful wrestling nerds weekly. One on Wednesday, and one on Saturday. The column on Saturday will be a general end of the week roundup of all things WWE. I'll share my thoughts on RAW, Smackdown, NXT, Main Event and all of the news and rumours surrounding the world of professional wrestling. If you have any questions or interesting topics of discussion, feel free to throw them full force at my e-face via my Twitter or my e-mail address, which I'll leave at the end of the column.
My Wednesday column will be a little different. It's a little concept i came up with called "Roster Roulette". For this column I wrote down the name of every single superstar, diva, and alumni on the WWE Apps roster page (That's approximately 140 different names, in case you were wondering). I then went through the mind numbing process of cutting them all up into different strips of paper and throwing them in a hat. Each week I will pick a name out of the hat, and whoever it is... *sigh*... I will attempt to write a column on them. Yes, I'm well aware that this could turn out extremely well or a complete disaster. Have you ever heard of Bull Dempsey? No. Me neither. But apparently somebody at WWE has because he is listed on their roster page. So that's going to be a real barrel of laughs trying to write a full length column on him! But on the bright side, it should be a very educational column, both for you and I. Because when I pick a name out of the hat who I've never heard of before, I'll have one week to do a little research and scrub up on my knowledge of said Superstar. Now here's to hoping I get to write a full length column on the most legendary Superstar of all time... The Missing Link!
But Roster Roulette is for Wednesdays. Right now is time for the my weekly round up of all things wrestling! And this week has been a very special week in wrestling for me, because as most of you know the WWE made the trip across the pond to tour Europe and tape their weekly TV schedule in London, England. And guess who was there at Monday night RAW, singing his little heart out to all of the Superstars theme songs and annoying the disgruntled mother infront of him by repeatedly hitting her in the back of the head with his numerous humongous (yet expertly crafted) wrestling signs. Yep! Me! Look at those beautiful signs.
So me and my friend spent the day in London. But Monday Night RAW wasn't the only taste of wrestling madness we had that day. Because thanks to the wonders of Twitter we found out that the Immortal One himself, Hulk Hogan would be at Radio 1 that day just a couple of hours before RAW kicked off at the O2. So like the hardcore wrestling stalkers we are, we downed our beers, jumped on the tube, and waited outside Radio 1. And it was definitely worth it. We were lucky enough to meet not just Hulk Hogan, but Jimmy Hart too! I know, right? Jimmy Hart is still acting as Hogan's personal chauffeur . But regardless, I got to meet my first ever WWE Superstar up close and personal, and all it took was a "Hey, brother" and one blurry photograph and I will be a Hulkamaniac for the rest of my life!
But seriously, guys. Stop going on about how I met Hulk Hogan. You're embarrassing me. Let's get down to some real action. Starting off with Monday Night RAW live from the O2, with what has been rumoured to be one of (if not the) largest attendances in Monday Night RAW history. And being right in the middle of the fray, I can tell you that it was one hell of a crowd. I don't think I've squealed like a little girl so much in my life, and the Adam Rose theme song has haunted me in my sleep ever since. I think it's pretty safe to say that Adam Rose stole the show on Monday, at least with the live crowd. Once his music hit, the fans didn't stop. All through his segment... All through the main event... All through the post show segment... All outside the arena... All on the subway. It truly is party time all the time in London. Well, at least on May 19th 2014. I just hope that Adam Rose continues to get the same reactions in the coming weeks and months. It's no secret that many people have considered his debut a bit of a dud. But believe me, my friends. If you were in that crowd on Monday night you would know he was anything but a dud. So fingers crossed the crowd isn't full of lemons sitting on their hands when he comes through the curtain this coming Monday at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. Speaking of reactions, the WWE edited it off Monday Night RAW, but during Stephanie McMahon's promo the CM Punk chants were DEAFENING.
I won't go through the show segment by segment, but one of the highlights was certainly the Seth Rollins/Batista match that had Randy Orton, Triple H, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns filling in on commentary, announcing, and ring bell duty. Which I guess just goes to show that absolutely no experience is needed to do those jobs. I mean, c'mon... There is a human being existing in this world whose sole purpose is to ring the bell at the beginning and end of all WWE matches. Is that not the best job ever? Minimum effort, maximum enjoyment. Like a paralyzed porn star. Sign me up. For the ring bell thing. Or both, I don't care. But the action in the ring was far more exciting than the action at the ring bell. It's always been obvious that The Shield go for broke every time they compete. But seeing them perform live, you can really see just how good they really are. Rollins was flying around the ring, Ambrose was running all over the announce tables, and Roman Reigns was... Y'know... Doing that "Ooooooooooush!" thing that he does so well. Speaking of the announce tables, when the German announcers were introduced before the show, I'm fairly certain I saw at least 3 different people in the crowd instantaneously throw up the Nazi salute. Oh, England... You truly have no morals.
On a related note, I believe I was the only person in the O2 arena Monday Night who was trying to start up a "Vladimir Putin" *clap clap clapclapclap* chant when Lana came out. No one around me would join in. Which resulted in me feeling 50% embarassed and 50% ashamed. But can we please make this a thing? Please? Basically what I'm saying is, WWE crowd need to be a little more interactive with the show. It makes the show more enjoyable for the live audience, for the fans at home, and I'm sure it makes the Superstars giggle on the inside too. You get it the RAW after WrestleMania, you get it when RAW goes to the UK, you get it in cities like Chicago and New York. But too often is RAW attended by a crowd who look like they don't even enjoy wrestling. So all I ask people, is that if you go to watch WWE live... Just at least try and look like you're enjoying yourself?
RAW also saw Rob Van Dam beat the clock to earn an Intercontinental championship match against Bad News Barrett, who had by far the loudest reaction of the night. I mean, he was more over than every single Superstar on the roster put together and multiplied by 10. And he also managed to get a "Greenwich Meantime" chant going, which was a feat in itself. He also promised that this Englishman would not lose the Intercontinental title to a bloody yank at Payback, and I have to believe him. Bad News Barrett could make that Intercontinental championship look like a million bucks (or quid, whatevs) if given the chance. I'm sure his match with Rob Van Dam at Payback will go a good one, but dammit I want to see Barrett and Sheamus go at it to unify those titles! RAW from London would have been the perfect place for the English champ and the Irish champ to go to war, but obviously the WWE had other plans. But if we're going to see matches like RVD vs Barrett, and Cesaro vs Sheamus for the respective titles, I guess that's not so bad.
Speaking of Bad News Barrett, what the television audience didn't get to see was what happened after the cameras stopped rolling. After a quick scuffle between The Wyatt Family and The Shield, Bad News Barrett went to war with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on the microphones in what can only be described as comedy gold. This may just be me, but I find nothing funnier than hearing an American try to pull off an English accent. And Triple H and Stephanie both took a shot at it after the show went off the air on Monday night. I have to admit, Stephanie wins the award for Best Worst American Doing English Accent. Anyway, things escalated as Adam Rose came down once again to stand side by side with Bad News Barrett, and once again my windpipes took a beating as I screamed along to his entrance theme (by this time my voice sounded more like a dry, heaving pig who had been sent to slaughter). It was nice to see Barrett and Rose stood side by side, even though Adam Rose is actually from South Africa, but shut up us English will take the credit. Let's just not mention Paige and her anti-climactic loss to Alicia "Ms. Steal Yo' Hat" Fox... But long story short, after a little microphone duel, Bad News Barrett took out Triple H with a Bullhammer to put down The Game and send everyone home happy. So all in all it was a great show. The first episode of RAW I've been too since (I think) November 2005, right after the death of Eddie Guerrero. And the atmosphere was certainly a little more enjoyable this time around. And enough to convince me and my friend that we will now go to RAW every possible chance we get. Starting with RAW in Liverpool this November, where we will hopefully see Daniel Bryan. And CM Punk. Sorry. Forget I said that.
If you're still reading after all that giddy rambling I did about Monday Night RAW (Did I also mention I met Hulk Hogan?) then you must either be slightly entertained or just extremely bored. So let me quickly run through Main Event, NXT and Smackdown. Main Event, for the most part, was a throw away show. WWE seem to be bulking up the Main Event card recently to attract more viewers to the WWE Network, but this week I can't help but think they dropped the ball. Aksana vs Naomi, R-Truth vs Sherlockamien Holmesandow ©, and Mark Henry vs Cesaro in an action packed, edge of your seat... Arm wrestling contest. Which lasted about 15 seconds before it broke down into a crazy, unbelievable... Uppercut. And table tip. Because there's no better way of saying "I hate you" than tipping a table on top of your mortal enemy.
NXT was good. NXT is always good. If you can bear to read more than one of my columns you'll probably realise that I love me a bit of NXT. There are some great young Superstars on that show, which gives me great confidence that the future of the WWE is in safe hands. it also has Renee Young. And I love me some Renee Young.
Big E defeated Bo Dallas, which means Bo Dallas must disappear FOREVER!!! Until he shows up the next night on Friday Night Smackdown. Try not to miss him too much, Bo-Lievers. But more on that later. NXT certainly won't miss Bo Dallas, not that he isn't ridiculously funny and entertaining, but because they have guys like Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd, Adrian Neville, Corey Graves, Aiden English and... Well... Pretty much everybody else they have on their roster. Because every NXT Superstar brings something good to the table. Except Mojo Rawley. I don't love me no Mojo. What else happened on NXT? Well... Paige got a win! Yay! I feel you people should know that Paige is from Norwich, which is about 1 hour 30 minutes from where I live. This automatically makes me a Paige-a-holic and her future husband. Along with every other male within a 60 mile radius of Norwich. But on NXT she defeated Tamina in an Extreme Rules rematch, and it wasn't a bad match. However I'm not a fan of Paige as an underdog, which is unfortunately exactly what WWE have done with her week in and week out on RAW. Paige is best when she's the screaming, leather jacket wearing, angry badass. I just hope WWE keep the title on her long enough for AJ Lee to come back and have their rematch. Which is rumoured to be somewhere around Money In The Bank and SummerSlam. If Paige loses the Divas championship before AJ returns, that seals her fate as "just another Diva". But if we get to see Paige and AJ in a title match at SummerSlam... I hope both girls go out there and take the Divas division to a whole new level.
NXT also saw Adam Rose get a countout victory over Camacho. And yes, I started silently mouthing along to Adam Rose's theme song by myself in my living room as he came down to the ring, because that song has now ruined my life. But at least I'm not a lemon.
I'm also wondering how long it will be until we see some of Adam Rose's rosebuds get in the ring and wrestle. Most of them are wrestlers, right? So why not put them in the ring. Their gimmick has already made itself. That big gladiator dude, the bonky eyed Captain America woman, and of course... Who wouldn't want to see the in ring debut of the freakin' bunny!? There's also rumours of Ric Flair returning to TV soon to manage The Miz. But who really wants to see that? Let's just throw Ric Flair in with the Rosebuds instead. If there's one thing that's seen more human flesh and STI's than the Exotic Express, it's Ric Flair's limousine. So let's combine the two and just watch Ric Flair kill every last bit of dignity he's build up over the years. They could all be one big stable, just partyin' and wrasslin' son... Just partyin' and wrasslin'.
The rest of NXT saw Natalya beat Sasha Banks in the Semi-Finals of the NXT Womens title tournament. Meaning it will be the Hart Family vs the Flair Family at NXT Take Over next week. Should be a great match. But seriously though... Ric Flair joining the Rose Buds. Just think about it for a minute. And just when you thought NXT couldn't get any better... Curt freakin' Hawkins showed up for the main event! WWE, push this man! Hawkins put on a great match with Adrian Neville, and I hope to see more of Hawkins in the near future. Also a nice little confrontation between Adrian Neville and Tyson Kidd to close out the show. I can't wait to see them go at it next week at NXT Take Over for the NXT title. It will definitely be worth a watch. By the way, before I move on to Smackdown... Remember what I said about fan participation earlier... ? Well if you want to know what I'm talking about, watch NXT and take note. The fan participation at Full Sail University is top class. When Bo Dallas told them all to go away, and they immediately shouted back, in unison, "No! You go away!" I immediately became a Full Sail University fan. I may just turn up at the next set of NXT tapings and ask every member of the crowd for an autograph. NXT crowd vs The Rosebuds (with Ric Flair) for the WrestleMania 31 main event. Book it, Trips!
On to Smackdown! We're almost there, people. I'll try to keep this one short. The show kicked off with Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart. By the way, did I mention that I met Hulk Hogan AND Jimmy Hart on Monday? I also got a photo with Hulk Hogan. He called me brother and I made a noise that no adult male has any right to make. The Hulkster was there to talk about the WWE Network coming to the UK. He didn't actually say when... In fact he didn't really reveal anything. We all knew the WWE Network was coming to the UK eventually. But by the sounds of things the WWE may want to hurry up and distribute the Network worldwide, because if (and probably when) they lose all of their PPV business, they're going to have to sign up at least 1.3-1.4 million subscribers to their Network just to break even. Ouch. Sounds like there is one big old hill to climb before the WWE Network starts making profit. But if the WWE hurry up and roll it out to more countries, the figure shouldn't be too hard to reach.
Smackdown also saw Batista and Dolph Ziggler compete in a No Disqualifications match which was actually pretty good. In all honesty, the highlight of it for me was seeing JBL scramble to pick up his hat before it was flattened under 500 pounds of sweaty man flesh... And then Batista was thrown over the announce table and Michael Cole curled up in the fetal position as he WAS flattened under 500 pounds of sweaty man flesh. It was nice to see Ziggler get a little offence in, too. You can all hate on Batista, but since he came back he certainly hasn't had a problem putting over young stars like Bryan, The Shield, and Dolph Ziggler. Sure, Ziggler inevitably lost the match, but seeing him beat up Batista for the majority of the match made him look like a star.
One pointless Divas match later, we got to see the long awaited return of Bo Dallas after he left 24 hours ago on NXT. Now I'll be honest, when Bo Dallas had his first short run in the WWE last year I HATED him. I didn't know what WWE saw in him, because I couldn't imagine him ever being a star. But guess what? WWE sent him back to NXT... Repackaged him... And here he is one year later, proving me wrong. And damn, is he entertaining. Now I can imagine a lot of people are going to hate on him, call him annoying, etc etc. But personally, I love the guy. And I can't wait to see his gimmick play out on TV every week. Judging by his work on NXT recently, he should be very fun to watch.
Bray Wyatt pulled off another great promo. I swear, this whole Cena/Wyatt feud would be more entertaining if John Cena just sat at home until Payback and let Bray Wyatt come out on RAW and Smackdown every week to carry the ball. Their feud has definitely lost momentum slowly since WrestleMania 30, but hopefully they'll find something to liven it up a bit until Payback, because so far just including The Usos in the mix isn't cutting it. I'm guessing that is leading to an Usos vs Harper and Rowan match for the titles at Payback, but would it hurt to give those two teams their own storyline, instead of just using them as extras in the rivalry between Cena and Bray? Have The Wyatt Family kidnap Nikki Bella or something. Then have them come out and kidnap Naomi. Just steal everybodies wife or girlfriend. Have John Cena and Jimmy Uso go all Jack Bauer to get them back. Do SOMETHING! This weekly routine of Cena vs Harper, Cena vs Rowan, Usos vs Wyatts won't last much longer. And that Wolf-Of-Wall-Street-chest-bump-humming-thing that Cena and The Usos keep doing is just... Well... Why?
That's all from me for now, friendos. If you made it this far, congratulations! You can now do anything with your life. I'll be back on Wednesday for the first edition of Roster Roulette. I pick the names out one week in advance to give myself some time to do some research and think about what I'm going to write about. So I already know who I'll be writing about this week. It's certainly not someone who I'm very familiar with, so I have a lot of homework to do. Every week I'll give you a few hints to try and guess who is next to be featured on Roster Roulette. So here goes...
The Superstar featured in next weeks edition of Roster Roulette is a WWE Hall Of Famer. He debuted on September 30, 1960 and retired on April 4th, 1998. And perhaps one of his most well known matches was against Muhammad Ali on June 26th, 1876.
That's all the clues your getting! I don't want to make it too easy on you. Thankyou for reading my first column here on WrestlingNewsSource.com, and I look forward to doing this on a weekly basis. See you on Wednesday for Roster Roulette, and if you want to send me any questions or comments, feel free to Tweet me up on Twitter or send me an e-mail. Details below!
Also, before I go, did I mention that I met Hulk Hogan on Monday?...