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Vince McMahon

Growing the WWE product through Wrestlemania: Do “special attraction” matches work?

Brock Lesnar is done as a MMA fighter. His UFC career was limited to a handful of matches (8 official bouts to be exact), in which his meteoric rise was strangely counterbalanced with an almost anonymous fall from grace. In a strange brew of bizarre injuries and generally being a supreme asshole, Lesnar retired from his third sport, four if you count the wonderful world of sports entertainment. Brock Lesnar is 35 years old.
 
His Wrestlemania and now Extreme Rules opponent Triple H has seen a similar fade into off-screen anonymity, though for the real-life Paul Levesque, he’s never been more invested in the professional wrestling business. Married to the daughter of the WWE Alpha and Omega Vincent K. McMahon, Triple H now represents one part of the Holy Trinity behind the world’s leader in sports entertainment. He has a legitimate role running the everyday operations of the company, even going so far as to cut his legendary locks that made him look like a cross between Clay Matthews and Saul Goodman. Hunter is semi-retired from the in-ring competition, only participating in four matches over the past 12 months. Paul Levesque is 43 years old.
 
The match proceeding Hunter and Brock’s featured the legendary Undertaker. Mark Calloway, as he’s known to his friends and anyone that wants to get their ass kicked, just embarked on his 24th year cashing in a check penned by Vince McMahon. He’s played the part of a cartoonish “Dead Man” for a significant portion of his adult life, tweaking his character by adding nuances as small as MMA-style fighting gloves and as substantial as riding a motorcycle to the ring while shaming the WWE audience into cheering during Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit theme music. Taker has been a consistent main event player since his inception during the November 1990 Survivor Series, staying relevant long after all his contemporaries charge $10 for a picture at a Philadelphia Comic Con. As he’s aged well into his 40s, Calloway has become more and more the Dead Man than ever before, now needing no makeup to accentuate his naturally sunken eyes and sharply gaunt cheekbones. The Undertaker is 48 years old.
 
The Rock continued his sporadic two year return to the company jettisoned him into mainstream superstardom with a WWE Championship matchup with John Cena. Is it counter-intuitive to think that as Dwayne Johnson moves further away from the daily grind of the highly physical life of a professional wrestler that he’d actually get into better shape? Now equipped with more money than any of his sports entertainment brethren, Rocky is has been blessed with the best trainers, personal chefs and fitness consultants he can buy. For a man of his age, Johnson is in tremendous physical shape, so much so that he was emboldened to come back to the WWE after not wrestling a match for six years. The Rock is 41 years old.
 
Throughout all their journeys out of and back into the WWE ring, these four legendary wrestlers—some moreso than others—have one way or another managed to stay within the fan base’s consciousness long enough to take four of the six spots in the three most bankable matches at the biggest pay-per-view of the  year. The Wrestlemania main event picture is a complicated formula, with the Holy Trinity deciding on matches based on criteria varying from how it could elevate an unknown wrestler, to how much mainstream attention the match will create to how badly the weekly watching WWE Zombieverse wants that particular bout. Seeing as the McMahons put over 80,000 fans in stadium seats on … Read more...

Fifteen Random 2013 WWE Predictions

Wrestlemania 29 is in our rear view mirror. That can only mean one thing…the Road to Wrestlemania 30 has begun! I haven’t written anything in a while and RAW has been uninspiring as of late, so we’ll change gears. I am going to provide you guys with fifteen Bleacher Report MAMBINO-style predictions for the upcoming year. Some will be obvious, others ridiculous. Let’s get weird.
 
1. We have not seen the last of Stan Stansky and Arthur Rosenberg.

 
I haven’t seen a heel tag team work a crowd into that much of a frenzy since the Dudley Boyz at Heatwave ’98. The WWE always has a need for “enhancement talent” and these two jobbers should provide fodder for superstars for years to come. Just remember that “two is better than one.” Even Dolph Ziggler would be allowed to get a clean victory over this rhyming tandem.
 
2. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose will win the tag straps.

 
This is one of the more obvious predictions. To be fair, I started writing this column last week before they held up the tag straps on Smackdown. I’m just really busy….or lazy (it’s definitely one of the two), so I was unable to get this piece up in time.  Having wrestled the main event two weeks ago against the Undertaker, this past week’s main event against Kane, and this week’s match up with Daniel Bryan, it appears as though the WWE has chosen Dean Ambrose as their favorite Shield member. Back to back matches against the Brothers of Destruction is a big show of faith in Ambrose by the creative team.… Read more...

TheRawLibrarian’s WWE No Way Out PPV Review

Location: The worst arena in America, the Izod Center, New Jersey
Announcers: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole, Booker T

World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus (C) vs Dolph Ziggler

At first I was skeptical about leading off the PPV with the heavyweight championship match. However it ended up being a perfect decision.

Mixed reaction for Sheamus. The HOT crowd stayed active during the entire match, chanting “Let’s go Ziggler” to start. Pretty sick mid match reverse DDT by Ziggler that had the fans counting along.

Dolph looked real strong and the crowd was into accordingly, as he was on the offensive for most of the match up. In fact, he was so over that even a sleeper hold got a huge pop. I like that Sheamus’ “White Noise” was used as a transitional move tonight instead of a finisher.

Sheamus finished off Ziggler with the Brogue kick. Great choice as an opener, as Ziggler/Sheamus delievered big time; actually, it was almost as good as Sheamus/Bryan 2 out of 3 falls. Ziggler once again showed that not only can he have a strong match with any opponent, but that his time will come shortly.

Tuxedo match
Santino vs Ricardo Rodriguez

Seriously? Why would you waste valuable PPV time with this garbage? Well deserved “boring” chants from the crowd. Hats off to them for not putting up with that garbage. At least this was kept somewhat short. Winner Santino if anyone cares.

CM Punk backstage
Shilling his “I dig crazy chicks” t-shirt. I like CM Punk, but right now he’s a caricature of his former self.

Intercontinental championship
Cody Rhodes vs Christian (C)

Pretty sweet new “Breaking Bad” inspired t-shirt by Christian. Really good match between these two. Christian with the clean victory, but having Cody Rhodes kick out of Christian’s impaler made him look strong. These two can always be depended upon to deliver a classic match.

Fake Sting@FakeSting03

Christian. 2PPVs in as many weeks. Do that Edge. #NoWayOut #TwitterWorldOrder
Number 1 contender for tag team championship match
Epico/Primo vs Usos vs Justin Gabriel/Tyson Kidd vs The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil/Darren Young)
It’s good to see some focus put on on the WWE tag team titles. In the past championship matches have just been thrown together with zero build up. Developing number 1 contenders gives more credibility to the belts that have none right now.

Huge spot-fest ends with Abraham Washington turning on the Uso’s and helping the Prime Time Players win. A great development for the tag team division. This match put the focus back on the titles and made them actually seem desirable.

[Full disclosure: I didn’t watch RAW every week during the New Nexus and CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society angles. Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan, and David Otunga have gone on to have prominent roles on television after the angle, so I am familiar with them. However, I am hazy on wrestlers like: Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield, Michael McGillicuty and other wrestlers that have been apart of NXT.

(Editor’s note: You didn’t miss anything dude. Justin Gabriel is a “future endeavour” waiting to happen, Michael McGillicuty couldn’t shine his dad’s boots and Heath Slater is, in my opinion, the worst overall performer on the roster)

That being said, consider me all in on Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. I love the “Prime Time” gimmick. Their theme song is great and I’m a big fan … Read more...