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Friday, August 18, 2017

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EOTR Retro: The 5 Best WWE PPVs Of 2002

By @TrueGodImmortal

The year 2002 is my all time favorite year in professional wrestling. It's got some of the absolute best wrestling ever in WWE history, and was the year that the WWF officially became WWE. While the year 2002 did have some down moments (HLA, Katie Vick), for the most part, it was really good. With that being said, today I wanted to continue our retro series with a look at the 5 best WWE PPVs of 2002. What lands at no. 1? Read on and find out.

5. Royal Rumble 2002

-When the WWF was still around, the shows they put on were mostly consistent. The Royal Rumble was one of them. I debated heavily between the Rumble and Wrestlemania 18, but the difference maker was the classic WWF Title match between Chris Jericho and The Rock. That match alone was deserving of a top 5 spot, and once you had in a surprisingly solid match between Vince McMahon and Ric Flair, along with the Rumble itself, this was a really good card and one of my favorites on the year.

4. Vengeance 2002

-I wish Vengeance was still around because they have some really solid matches at the event. The 2002 event was the best in the history of the PPV, as the entire card flowed very well. Starting off with an underrated tables match between The Dudleys (Bubba Ray and Spike) and Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit kicked it off, while the Jamie Noble vs Billy Kidman match was also solid. The best match of the night and the highlight? The main event. The Rock, Kurt Angle, and The Undertaker all in one ring at the same time? It's sure to be a classic and it was. The Rock walked away with the WWE Title in a massive triple threat that still stands as one of the best triple threat matches in WWE history.

3. No Mercy 2002

-I always enjoyed the No Mercy PPVs as well, and I think this is clearly the best edition of the PPV. It's crazy how that works isn't it? A lot of the best editions of a PPV happened in 2002. That's how good of a year this was for the PPVs and for Smackdown (RAW was horrible). Still, this event had a stacked card that started with Chris Jericho and Christian against Booker T and Goldust, and ended with a superb Hell In A Cell match between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker for the WWE Title. The match of the night however? The excellent tag team title tournament Finals match between Edge and Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. This was one of the greatest tag team matches I've ever seen. Period. No Mercy is easily a top 3 PPV of 2002.

2. Survivor Series 2002

-Hailing from Madison Square Garden, the 2002 Survivor Series is.. (wait for it)... the best Survivor Series ever. It is a near perfect card, and the only bad match on the entire event came from Brock Lesnar and Big Show, and that match was just short, so perhaps it would have been better if given more time. Still, from the opening tables elimination match to the Women's Title Hardcore match to the excellent Tag Team Titles match and of course, the Elimination Chamber main event, nothing about this PPV disappointed at ALL. It was so close to making the No. 1 spot. That's how good this show is.

1. Summerslam 2002

-The best of the best. The greatest Summerslam ever. The passing of the torch. The return of the Heartbreak Kid. This event is special. Point blank period. The opening match between Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio is a classic, I enjoyed Chris Jericho vs Ric Flair, as well as Edge vs Eddie Guerrero, and I think RVD vs Chris Benoit is an underrated match as well. Still, the two best matches on the night are the two main events. The return of Shawn Michaels was legendary, as he defeated Triple H in an instant classic, and The Rock passing the torch to Brock Lesnar was epic in many ways. The fact that this event has no boring period and is consistent throughout, along with the big time matches makes this event the best PPV of 2002. Simple.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

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Eyes On NFL: The 5 Best Quarterbacks In The NFL

By @TrueGodImmortal

The most important position in the NFL seems to be the quarterback. Yes, the defense as a collective is very important as well, but in terms of the most important position, that's all the QB. The decision of whether to scramble, throw short or long, or hand it off to the running back requires quick thinking that goes beyond simple playbooks sometimes. From accuracy to pocket presence, the QB is the engine that drives the team. That begs the question, who are the best QBs in the game today? We take a look at the top 5 in the NFL currently heading into the new season. Let's get into it.

5. Matt Ryan 

-The MVP and the man who watched a 28-3 Super Bowl dissolve is one of the five best QBs in the NFL for the moment. He isn't the fastest or the most versatile at the position, but Matt Ryan has worked on his accuracy, his timing, and that led the Falcons to the Super Bowl and nearly capturing the championship. While Matt Ryan might experience a decline like some MVPs have in the past after a crushing Super Bowl loss, as of right now, he seems poised to try and obtain NFC South supremacy. There's only one QB and team who can stand in his way. Speaking of which....

4. Drew Brees

-It's tough to really go against Drew Brees, as he's a stat stuffer without much playoff success to show for it. Still, stats do matter in sports and when you can have 5,000 yards passing in multiple seasons, you're definitely doing something right. The only knock against Brees is that for all of those passing yards, he still manages to NOT get far in the playoffs and hasn't won much. Might that change this year? It's possible, as the Saints have improved their team on paper in the off-season, and they could very well be headed for the playoffs or maybe even winning the NFC South, which could be much more competitive than years past. Is this the year that Drew gets the wins to go along with the stats? Only time will tell.

3. Ben Roethlisberger

-Am I a big fan of Big Ben? Not really. However, when we talk success and ability, he's still one of the best. His injuries and his age might be catching up to him, but the fact he helped lead the team back to the AFC Championship says a lot about what he can do. We keep doubting Big Ben and every year he just continues to excel. While I think Brees is a better pure QB, you can't bet against the track record of Ben, as he knows how to win, how to get to the Super Bowl, and how to continuously lead that offense and team into the playoffs.

2. Aaron Rodgers 

-In actuality, Rodgers is the 1B to Tom Brady's 1A. When it comes to natural QB ability, honestly, Rodgers might be slightly better than Brady, which is always a regular argument amongst NFL fans. However, Rodgers came up short this year in the NFC Championship Game, mostly due to a depleted Packers team, but while it isn't a knock against him, I just can't put him over Brady. When it comes to hail mary passes and amazing accuracy, there aren't many quite like Rodgers. He's knocking on the door of that no. 1 spot without a doubt.

1. Tom Brady

-His pocket presence, his ability to control the game, his poise, his accuracy, and his overall greatness just keeps Brady at that no. 1 spot. There's always a QB that surpasses or at least is equal to Brady at some point and right now that's Rodgers. Previously, it was Peyton and now he has competition with AR12. Could a Packers vs Patriots Super Bowl be coming this season? It's possible for sure, and for Brady, who owns a number of records, and has 5 championships under his belt, perhaps he finishes his legacy with a 6th and maybe final title. Brady is nearing the end of his career, and since he's just turned 40, the fact that he's still at the top of the QB list says so much about his legend and ability. Brady is still no. 1 until further notice.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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EOTR Retro: The 5 Best WWF PPVs Of 1999

By @TrueGodImmortal

Let me be clear: 1999 was the worst year of the Attitude Era. It didn't feature a lot of great matches or shows, but it was a year of moments, for better or worse. The PPV market was booming for WWF however, and they would end up seeing big profits during this year and huge popularity. While it would be easy to pinpoint and look at the worst shows, I wanted to look at the best of the best. Let's get into it.

5. Fully Loaded 1999

-While this show wasn't the greatest, it had some upsides to it and a lot of fun moments overall. Jeff Jarrett vs Edge was a solid match, along with The Acolytes tag team match with The Hardy Boyz. I could have done without a few matches in the middle of the card, but I did enjoy seeing Triple H vs The Rock in the Fully Loaded Strap match and the First Blood main event between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Undertaker for the WWF Title. Overall, this event was solid enough, not a classic but solid enough.

4. Armageddon 1999

-I'm not extremely fond of this show as far as some of the matches, but then there are matches that I love. It's a double edged sword like with most shows from the year. I enjoyed the Tag Team Battle Royal, the triple threat for the European Title, and I thought the Chris Jericho vs Chyna match was pretty good, but there are matches here like the Kurt Angle vs Steve Blackman, the Women's match, and the 3 minute WWF Title Match between Big Show and the Big Boss Man that served no purpose. I liked Triple H vs Vince McMahon in the main event, but it went far too long and had a lot of filler in the match. My favorite match of the night however and the highlight of the show was the electric tag team title match between The Rock and Mankind vs The New Age Outlaws. A solid event, not the best, but good enough to watch again.

3. Backlash 1999

-This is the only event on here from the first half of the year, and it wasn't a bad event. With a huge main event there to carry the show, the WWF didn't see the need to put in too much effort when creating this card. Still, the opening six man tag was decent, the Hardcore title match was interesting, and the No. 1 Contenders match for the tag team titles would be good as well. While the Boiler Room Brawl between Mankind and the Big Show disappointed along with the oddly paced Undertaker and Ken Shamrock match, I have to say good things about the two best matches of the night. Triple H vs X-Pac was a really good battle and the main event of The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin definitely didn't disappoint and was the match of the night. Backlash was a fun show to watch and on paper, it could have been a classic. Still, it turned out much better than a majority of the WWF PPVs on the year.

2. Summerslam 1999

-Truthfully, Summerslam is usually hit or miss, and while there were some low moments on this show, overall it was a good event. I liked the fact that the main event was a triple threat, as it allowed for three different styles to clash in one mega match. Triple H, Mankind, and Stone Cold Steve Austin went at it for 20 minutes in a really fun main event that saw Mankind walk away with the title and the win. The rest of the event is hit or miss, but I enjoyed the ridiculousness of The Rock vs Billy Gunn (minus the sight of the portly white woman's cheeks), and I thought the Tag Team Turmoil was great as well. Outside of that, the match of the night might actually be Test vs Shane McMahon, which was a surprisingly good contest. Overall, Summerslam 1999 isn't a classic (no 1999 PPV was), but it was a solid event for the worst year in the WWF Attitude Era.

1. No Mercy 1999

-While this event was far from perfect also, it was easily the most entertaining event of the year without question. Aside from having The Fabolous Moolah wrestle in her senior years, and The Godfather fighting Mideon, this show was solid all around. The show boasts one classic match, with the excellent Ladder Match between The Hardy Boyz vs Edge and Christian for the managerial services of Terri and 100,000 dollars. That match was Ladder Match perfection and it was the match of the night. However, I still enjoyed the Four Corners match, and some of the action between Val Venis and Mankind was great, while surprisingly the Chyna and Jeff Jarrett match was watchable. The main event, Triple H vs Stone Cold Steve Austin was a really good contest, and the ending set the tone for what could have been the greatest triple threat ever. All in all, this is a solid event, and the best event of 1999 without question IMO.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dude Love

By @TrueGodImmortal

At one point, Stone Cold Steve Austin was getting ready to become the man in the WWF. He was on the path to the Intercontinental Title, but after an interesting tag team title run with Shawn Michaels as his partner, that team dissolved due to Michaels' injury, and Austin was left without a partner. With Austin having to go at it alone against Owen Hart and British Bulldog in a match for the WWF Tag Team Titles. At the time, Austin was hellbent on going at it alone, but Mick Foley (portraying Mankind at the time) was insistent on being a friend and partner to Austin. Austin kept telling Foley no, and he even gave him a Stone Cold Stunner for his trouble.
However, when the time came for the match to go down, Austin was clearly overmatched by the tandem of Owen and Bulldog. 

As the match went on and on, all of a sudden, we were treated to an appearance by an alter ego of Mick Foley, better known as Dude Love. Austin was completely shocked, but this time, he didn't reject the help of Foley. Dude Love and Austin worked together to take Owen and Bulldog to the limit and when the final bell sounded, Dude Love and Stone Cold were now the new tag team champions. It was the typical odd couple tag team booking, with Austin being hesitant to trust Dude Love, and not fully accepting him, but the dynamic was really interesting. The plan for these two wasn't clear honestly, but one could imagine they would have held on to the tag team titles for a little while longer than they did.

With a tag title reign of over 55 days, most of which the tag titles weren't even defended, Austin and Dude Love were in the history books as tag champs, but they didn't get much of a run. They did have some house show matches defending against Owen and Bulldog, and when Austin defeated Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Title, Foley had alternated back to his Mankind persona. The Austin and Dude Love tag team is one of those that could have had some potential to be great if they continued into the rest of the year against teams like Triple H and Shawn Michaels as they created D-Generation X, The Road Warriors, and maybe even Brian Pillman and someone else, or the original Hart Foundation of Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart.

Yes, this was a very short lived tag team, but the possibilities are what made me cover this team. Much like with Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold, the what ifs are so important and very intriguing. Could Austin and Dude Love have been a solid team up until the Royal Rumble when Austin was due for his huge meteoric push leading into Wrestlemania 14? That's what I believe, but still, we have their initial tag team win, the 6 man tag team match the next week on RAW (they teamed with The Undertaker to take on Bret, Owen, and Bulldog), and their various segments (including the one that led up to them teaming) to always remember. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dude Love will not go down as one of the greatest teams ever for obvious reasons, but they are without a doubt an interesting makeshift tag team that had a temporary impact during the summer of 1997.


Monday, August 14, 2017

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EOTR Retro: The 5 Worst WCW PPVs

By @TrueGodImmortal

Though WCW is remembered fondly for a number of their great moments and matches and the NWO storyline, there were many low moments in the history of the company. Today, I wanted to take a look at the five worst WCW PPVs in the company's history and I'll be honest, it wasn't easy to pick them out. That's how bad some of the WCW time periods were. Let's take a look at the five worst.

5. Halloween Havoc 1995

-There used to be a very special feel around Halloween Havoc.... but this year was not one of them. Despite a solid opening contest between Johnny B. Badd and Diamond Dallas Page, we saw Randy Savage wasted on a 1 minute match with the Zodiac (then a 5 minute match with Lex Luger that made no sense), a way too long battle between Lex Luger and Meng, a weird match with Sabu and Mr. JL, but nothing compares to the debacle that was the Hulk Hogan vs The Giant saga. Just avoid this at all costs. It is a horrible show.

4. Superbrawl 2000

-I just.... I don't understand. This could have been a solid event... maybe. I don't know. I really just don't....I mean.... perhaps the saving grace of the show is James Brown. That's right. WCW brought in James Brown to sell a show. If that doesn't tell you how bad this was then I don't know what else to tell you. Brian Knobbs vs Bam Bam Bigelow was as horrible as it sounds, the James Brown segment features a fake James Brown and went 12 minutes, The Wall battled The Demon (no relation to Finn Balor), Tank Abbott vs Big Al, Big T vs Booker T (Ahmed Johnson fell off so badly), a terrible tag team stretcher match, a weird Lex Luger vs Hulk Hogan match with both men well out of their prime and a 8 minute triple threat main event between Scott Hall, Sid Vicious, and Jeff Jarrett for the WCW Title. This event is absolutely awful from top to bottom with literally no saving grace besides Ric Flair vs Terry Funk.... 20 years beyond their prime.

3. Uncensored 2000

-Honestly, Uncensored was just a horrible PPV idea period. Aside from 1997 and 1998, all of the Uncensored events sucked. This was a cringe worthy event and a recent watch of the show was full of skips and head shakes and all around sadness. Norman Smiley and The Demon as a tag team? The Wall vs Bam Bam Bigelow? Billy Kidman randomly teaming with Booker T to take on Harlem Heat 2000? Dustin Rhodes vs Terry Funk? Sting vs Lex Luger? A 7 minute WCW Title Match between Sid Vicious and Jeff Jarrett? Another Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair match? Who the fuck was booking this bullshit? Nash? Russo? Bischoff? Hogan? This was absolutely awful and a disgust to watch as a wrestling fan.

2. Uncensored 1995

-The 1996 version of the event was awful as well honestly, but this show is my least favorite of them all. It's honestly a clusterfuck of a PPV, with some of the most random matches and the worst booking. Let's look at some of the matches. The Blacktop Bully vs Dustin Rhodes. In a King Of The Road match. Well okay. A martial arts match with Meng and Jim Duggan. A boxing match with Johnny B. Badd and Arn Anderson. What the fuck type of event is this. Randy Savage and Avalanche? Someone pray for the viewers. Big Bubba Rogers and Sting in the most boring match with a subpar ending? The main event? Hulk Hogan vs Vader where they teased the Ultimate Warrior arriving only for the.... Renegade, a knock off version of The Warrior to come out and save the day, face paint and all. I have nothing left to say about this event. At all.

1. New Blood Rising 2000

-Dear Lord, help us all. Fuck WCW and anyone who loved them during 2000. This is dirt. This is dog food. This is garbage. This is awful. Sting vs The Demon. 52 seconds. A mud rip off the clothes match with two women who did nothing wrestling wise. Ernest The Kat Miller against the Great Muta. A strange tag team title match. A Canadian Rules match. A triple threat that turned into a one on one match because Goldberg didn't want to take the Jackknife and walked out during the match while the announcers criticized him for not doing business, but worst of all, it features the JUDY BAGWELL ON A FORKLIFT MATCH. FUCK YOU WCW. FUCK YOU. Like, the event was named after the New Blood Rising group and it wasn't even a group in existence by the time the show came around. If that doesn't show how trash this show was, then I've got nothing left to say except fuck you WCW.