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Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Summerslam 2014 Preview

By @BigJonDaLegend 

Summer Slam is shaping up to be an interesting event.  Brock Lesnar vs John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Title is the Main event.  The Confirmed undercard matches will provide a good bit of intrigue as well. 

Confirmed Matches (so far):

Rusev w/ Lana vs Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Coulter: 

This battle of country supremacy has been going on for 2 months and Russev has a count out victory over swagger. Will Swagger be able to prove that ‘Murica is the superior country?

A.J Lee vs Paige: 

The “Frienemies” do battle once again. With Paige turning on A.J 2 weeks ago on Raw things are more than a little tense between the two divas. If given time to showcase their talents this could be a really good Divas match.

Chris Jericho vs Bray Wyatt: 

Y2J picked up the victory against bray at Payback, which was more like winning the battle and not the war. It will be interesting to see what roles Luke Harper and Eric Rowan play in this match.

Stephanie McMahon vs Brie Bella: 

There hasn’t been that much reference to a female dog on Raw since the Attitude Era. Brie has her job back and a chance to slap Stephanie around, but be sure that The Authority has a few obstacles for this Bella.

Roman Reigns vs The “Viper” Randy Orton: 

With Orton returning to his Apex Predator form on Raw, you can bet this will be one physical and intense battle. Roman brings power to the table while Orton has no absence of malice in his heart.

Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins: 

Personally this match is what I’m looking forward to watching. Seth Rollins has been impressive in the ring as of late while Dean has been delivering on the microphone and on his promise to prevent “Mr. MITB” from cashing in. This match more than likely will add fuel to the fire instead of putting it out.

Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs John Cena: 

This will be the third meeting between the two competitors. This time Cena puts his WWE World Heavyweight Title on the line and with Heyman in Brock’s ear the beast want stop until he puts Cena down. This match has been hyped perfectly to this point and be assured that this match will be more physical and hard fought than the last two encounters.

Summerslam is just about set and there are three titles currently not set to be defended. In the coming weeks, more clarity should be seen on who the tag team champions The Usos will be facing, as well as the United States Champion Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion The Miz(seems likely to be Dolph Ziggler. Los Angeles will be hosting this event as usual, with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair rumored to be making appearances, as well as the buzz that Sting could show up then as well. This could end up being one of the best Summerslams in years. Time will tell. 

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CJ's Top Five: Finishers

The Finisher. The move that is guaranteed to pop a crowd, and a wrestler's go-to move to get the 3 count. A superstar's finisher should reflect the personality of their character, as well as deal enough damage to put their opponent away. Here are my top five finishing moves.

5. RKO

Say what you will about Randy Orton (I've been a staunch critic of him, myself), there is no denying that the guy is incredibly fluid in the ring. The RKO fits his moveset like a glove. Its a move that can be hit on anyone, and absolutely out of nowhere. Perfect proof of that is the RKO he hit on Evan Bourne while he was in the middle of a shooting star press. There's no doubt that it's an effective move that said everything about Randy's in-ring persona.

4. F-5

This move has the perfect name, not just because of how it looks, but it speaks to how Brock Lesnar arrived on the scene. He showed up like a devastating twister that was destroying everything around him and causing mass carnage. His finishing move, the F-5, is a perfect compliment to who he is. It's a move that was very original and a bit innovative for its time, as we had not seen a move quite like this before. It's the move that ended Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak. Not to mention that Brock is strong enough to hit it on guys like Mark Henry and Big Show, so the move has unlimited potential, if used correctly.

3. Sweet Chin Music

Due to Shawn Michaels' size and build, it was perceived that he was at a disadvantage in the ring. He had the speed, agility, and athleticism to get in the ring and hang with the best of them. His finisher reflected his brash personality and was short, sweet, and to the point. Everyone loved when he would tune up the band before delivering that signature superkick. That kick was his ticket to the top and it put down everyone he faced. If you want to see the true impact of that move, go watch the superkick he landed on a leapfrogging Shelton Benjamin, and you realize why it was so effective.

2. Tombstone Piledriver

It's the move that carried The Undertaker to 21 consecutive victories at Wrestlemania.  The Undertaker made an immediate impact when he debuted at the 1990 Survivor Series just by his over-powering stature and presence. He proceeded to become, in my opinion,  the greatest character performer in the history of the WWE. The tombstone is a dangerous move and is an almost-guaranteed victory for the Deadman. Lol no further than the laundry list of hall-of-famers and top-tier superstars he has put away with that move.

1. Stone Cold Stunner

The Texas Rattlesnake. The Bionic Redneck. The toughest S.O.B. in the history of the WWE, and he left a trail of destruction and mudholes behind him.  The man who received the loudest ovations from the crowd, also had the finisher that received the loudest ovations. A jawbreaker is an effective move by itself, but you add a sit-out variation to it, backed up by the sheer impact and attitude that only Stone Cold Steve Austin could provide, and you have the recipe for the greatest finishing move in history. It was a sure thing that if you got hit with the Stone Cold Stunner, it was nighty-night for you.
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Will Somebody Make It Stop? - Speed on the CM Punk Chants

Greetings, all and welcome back to EOTR...IS...SPEED. You've got to extend my contract if you guys want all these posts. I kid. I'm not paid for this and just love talking about wrestling.

But, you knew it was coming. What wrestling website in 2014 can go as long as we have without a post on this guy? Hell, I even talked about this on my personal site.
Still waiting on my ice cream bars, Punk.
In the months since CM Punk's retirement, just the mention of his name drives people insane. His name has become a chant, akin to "BORING!" or "YOU CAN'T WRESTLE!" or even my personal favorite, "WHAT?" It was worst right after Punk left, even overtaking Daniel Bryan's fight against everyone not named John Cena. As time has gone on, Punk's name isn't chanted at every turn, but when it is, it's loud and takes over everything.

But, when is enough, enough?

I love fans, and I'm not here to say "Damn you smarks! Stop trolling." That's a punk (no pun intended) move. I've been to events where I've chanted just sheer ignorance (True can vouch for this) just because the show was that bad. Being a troll (for a brief period of time) during an event is our given right as fans. Hijacking a show for a segment or two isn't always a bad thing.

However, this constant (almost) begging for Punk is a problem. Some performers can deal with it/are allowed to play off it (Paige, for instance, using the "GTS" call to mock AJ during live events and Batista's "I'm tired of this CRAP" quit angle in June 2014 are decent examples), but not everyone gets that chance. And when this happens, people lose control of the match and we're potentially denied a good match. And it's all because someone wanted to hear "Cult of Personality" hit rather than watch and appreciate those who are still here do what they love.

I respect Punk as a performer, and as a man. But it's disrespectful to keep shouting for a man who isn't there. I don't even think Punk'd want that. He probably would prefer everyone chill out and forget that he wrestled, so he can get back to piping AJ not doing drugs doing whatever the hell it is that a thirty-something retiree does (host award shows, support gay marriage, and appear in Nerdist videos, I guess). If he wants to come back, that's cool. But, for now, we've all gotta accept it (even though I know I'm probably just talking to the proverbial brick wall for some of you)

Punk's gone, guys. Let him go. That goes for everyone.
Besides, when/if Punk does come back, we want him to have
a welcome overdue. Just like Warrior, but hopefully, not as
tragic. RIP Warrior.
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Speed's RAW Review - Week of 7/28/2014

Alright, I put it off long enough. Apologies in advance if this isn't your typical Speed on the Beat-delivered post, but that's how "ugh" I was at this week. This week's episode of RAW took the sadness of last week's and added in more Brie (read: the cheese and the wife of Daniel Bryan). Of course, as with last week's episode, not everything was complete booty juice.

At least there was booty.

But, I digress.

This week's episode featured, in no real order:
  • The PG version of Jericho's run-down of Steph McMahon, complete with a Scott Steiner-esque "SHUT UP!" from Triple H to run over Jericho actually saying "ho" on TV. Wait, you can have your wife called a bitch numerous times--even Pedigree her before you get married, which led to an epic nipslip if you let the pervs tell it. But when she's called a "ho," then we're crossing a line, amiright?
  • Cena delivering an epic TV match (gasp), but still overcoming the odds after having the crap kicked out of him and top-rope AA'ing Cesaro (not surprised).
  • Brock Lesnar a great promo between Cena (I gave him props twice today, sue me), which lead to Cesaro delivering what was, to me, a pretty unconvincing promo. Truthful comments be damned, it wasn't that convincing. And convincing promos always trump truthful ones (and when they go hand-in-hand, like with CM Punk That One Wrasslin' Guy's Pipebomb, it's heaven).
  • Something with the Nu Nation appearing at ringside during an Usos match, looking on like not very threatening black men.
  • Paige continuing her floundering on the main roster. Now, let it be clear: I like Paige. I like Paige's bum also, but that's another story. But, since she's appeared on the main roster, she isn't getting over to me like I'd hoped she would. Paige beating AJ Lee down isn't exactly "anti-Diva" behavior. Instead, it showcases her as a run-of-the-mill, chickensh*t heel. 
  • Brie Bella (yay?) with Stephanie McMahon (double yay?) in a main event spot, where they called each other bitches and catfought! Hey Steph, Joey Styles is somewhere shaking his head that this "catfight" wasn't a CATTTTTFIGHTTTTT!!!! And as evident with AJ Lee/Paige, you can still have a PG catfight (Smackdown spoilers FTW)
  • Adam Rose ('nuff said)
  • Anal--I mean, Lana speaking in her accent, and Zeb coming out to put over 'Murrica! As if the US needed anymore putting over? Haven't you seen Wrestlemania VII?
  • Bo Dallas losing to R-Troof R-Truth ending Bo Dallas' streak in a squash, then getting his head kicked in by Bo (which, per spoilers, is a recurring theme this week).
  • That "intense" brawl between Randy Orton and Roman Reigns. Seriously, that was the most-chill all-around-the-arena beatdown I've seen in a while. Oh, and it had some Botchamania fodder, which is always good.
This episode seriously got to the point where I just turned it off, loaded up a DS, and started playing Pokemon Y. Yes, I play Pokemon Y and own a DS. It was my soon-to-be-wife's idea, since we--y'know what, I don't have to explain myself to you. stopped watching (I was in the middle of a live tweet broadcast on the EOTR account) and walked away in sadness.

In other news, Celeste Bonin (f/k/a Kaitlyn) wrote a pretty awesome post on PWMania about her feelings about being in WWE. No, it's not "I HATE THIS CRAP! RAWR!" like you hear from some former talent. Plus, being from Baltimore, to have her debut and leave in Baltimore, it's pretty cool.

Until next time.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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CJ's Top 5: WWE Video Games

Recently, True posted a look at the history of wrestling video games and listed some of his favorites. CJ returns with his personal favorites below. 

For most of us, the closest we will get to in-ring action is on a TV screen and behind a controller. WWE video games give the casual fans the chance to take control of our favorite superstars and have any match we want. Here are my top 5 WWE video games.  
5. WWE '12

 A strong roster, original, intertwining storylines for Road to Wrestlemania mode, and just a hell of a lot of fun to play. Has high replay value to this day. 

4. WWE 2K14 

The most recent release, and the first under the 2K name, certainly didn't disappoint. It was a blast revisiting big and memorable matches from Wrestlemania's past. Very good attention to detail, and an excellent DLC list add to the overall experience of this game. Definitely a good sign of things to come from the guys and girls at 2K. 

3. Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain 

This is a premier title for the PlayStation 2. Top-of-the-line graphics for it's time and innovations like the 2-button reversals and submission meter. Not to mention its the WWE games debut of guys like Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, and John Cena. This game was the standard for wrestling games to come. 

2. WWE '13    

If you browse social media, you will see most wrestling fans talking about how they wish the Attitude Era was still around. WWE '13 gave us the opportunity to go down memory lane while controlling our favorite superstars. An incredible attention to detail went into the Attitude Era mode. Being able to control everything from the empty arena match between The Rock and Mankind, to the Montreal Screwjob, gave us all that warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling. 

1. WWF No Mercy 

The Nintendo 64 was an excellent platform to provide 3D wrestling games. The best, by far, was WWF No Mercy. It was the first game to include things like the ladder match, and it boasts a fun roster of the best that the WWF had to offer at the time. The game has endured over all these years and still holds a ton of replay value, due to its before-mentioned roster choice and its excellent control layout. So much so, in fact, that people are using the No Mercy game and hacking it to include current WWE superstars. There have been games that came close, but No Mercy still reigns supreme.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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The Peagle Moment: Sporadic WWE Thoughts

Welcome to the site, I'll start off by introducing myself. My name is Anthony, A.K.A Peagle (Which means Philadelphia EAGLE, we'll just get that explanation out of the way now). I became a wrestling fan at 5 years old when I first watched WCW. When I was 8, I moved to Maryland from Wisconsin and my older cousin introduced me to what was then the WWF. At that point, I began to love wrestling and still do to this day. I'm going to be a bit sporadic with this post because I just want to hit on a few quick things for my first post. 

First things first: fans have got to stop chanting for CM Punk during shows. We're all fans of him and he had one of the best runs over the last 3 years anyone has ever had. HOWEVER...he left, hours before a show, still tied to a contract. He has clearly shown no desire to come back and I don't for second blame him for getting himself healthy but the way he left is what bothers me. Chanting for him during shows and specifically AJ's segments take away from what she and the other superstars are doing. Let the man “retire” and enjoy what the younger, newer guys are bringing to the WWE. 

Next, John Cena is NOT the greatest WWE champion of all time. Seems like an obvious statement but it needs to be reiterated as much as possible. I try not to do the “Cena Hate” thing, because I don't hate him as a person(also don't know him as a person)...I hate the lack of growth in his character, I hate how nothing about his status is organic, I hate that the WWE tries to make him something he isn't. Cena hasn't had a meaningful title reign in quite some time. He's been a transitional champion for a while which only makes this “greatest of all time” title even worse. Cena has been the cornerstone of the company for well over a decade, which is to be respected. I can't take away from the longevity and the ability to represent the company, but the WWE's reliance on John Cena is hurting things in my opinion. 

This brings me to my last point, Bray Wyatt. This dude got it on the mic, and he's reached my personal “Shut Up, He's on the Mic” list (More on that in a later post). He should have beaten Cena at Wrestlemania 30. Wyatt getting the win back at an inconsequential PPV did nothing for him, especially the way in which he won. Facing Chris Jericho at Summerslam does nothing but give us a potentially great match, but we all know Y2J comes back to lose. The crowd was behind Wyatt all through WM30, if Wyatt wins and Cena goes nuts and beats him down, that feud means so much more. Instead, Cena wins and the rest of us really didn't care that Bray Wyatt employed the Play 60 Kid to terrorize Cena instead of Cam Newton. 

 So that's it for my first post, comments are always welcome and don't forget to follow the site on twitter at @EyesontheRing and follow me at @peagle05. 
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The History of Wrestling Video Games

One of the biggest money earners for the professional wrestling business has been the video game market. From the very beginning, with the older graphics, limited amount of characters, and slower gameplay, fans have always ate up the wrestling videos and enjoyed them. Today, with the impending release of WWE 2K15 on XboxOne and PS4(furthering the technology), I wanted to take a look at the history of video games in wrestling and even list some of the best and worst.

Early on, with games such as "WWF Wrestlemania", "WWF Wrestlefest" and more, fans had to chance to play as their favorite characters from the WWF programs. WCW even got into the business with their "WCW Wrestling" video game, and sold around 100,000 copies, which for the early 90s, I'd suspect was successful. The graphics were as well crafted for the times as they could have been, and the gameplay also fit where technology was at the time. After that first era however from about 1989-1992, wrestling video games did seem to take a slight hit, which could be considered an indicator of where the business was at the time anyways. However, in between 1992-1996(the second wave of the wrestling video game era began in 1996 IMO), there are a few notable games.

Those were just a few of the games that were released between 1992-1996. I actually really enjoyed "WWF Royal Rumble" as it was one of my first wrestling games period. I remember getting it on Super Nintendo and playing it as much as I could. I also had "WCW Superbrawl", but I didn't enjoy it as much. I played a few other games during this time(Blockbuster video game rentals were a thing of greatness), including the "WWF Wrestlemania Arcade Game", which was so outrageous yet extremely fun. The period in wrestling from 1992-1996 was pretty animated as far as TV and PPVs go, and the games were definitely a reflection of that as well. As that animated era slowly started to wind down, we got ONE last game that really reflected how strange the period was......

Now before you judge me, I will say that as a kid, I enjoyed the hell out of "WWF In Your House" on Playstation. I played this game faithfully and thought it was one of the greatest things ever. But, I was young, and didn't look at the details that we see now as adults when judging game quality. However, this game was absolutely ridiculous. Overblown moves, strange locations to fight in, and more, everything just seemed to be a bit off with it despite being pretty fun. To me, this game marked the ending of the overly animated era and started up a pretty interesting era in wrestling video game history. We might still be in that era somewhat to be honest, as the games haven't really had a HUGE fall in quality or promotion/sales. However, I'll break this down to what I consider was the greatest period in wrestling games, which coincides with what some people considering the greatest period in wrestling history.... 1997 to 1999/2000. Here are some of the games that were quality, and a few that stand as some of the best wrestling games of all time.

There's no surprise at the two listed right here I'm sure, right? WWF No Mercy, in most circles is considered the greatest wrestling video games of all time, with good reason. The game still holds up to this day, as does WCW/NWO Revenge. N64 was knocking games out of the park with solid gameplay, innovative ideas, and just all around great. When speaking of some of the best games of all time, these two are definitely on the list. However.... without talking about them too much, there were a few clunkers in this era..... such as....

"WWF War Zone" and "WCW/NWO Thunder" were terrible. Not much more can be said outside of that really, but to elaborate, the gameplay on both was atrocious. Both of the WCW games(the other being Nitro) were hilarious despite having pretty good graphics, and Thunder takes the cake with their hilarious "Pick Me" videos that you got before choosing your character(Alex Wright FTW). Some games like "WWF Smackdown 1 and 2", "WCW vs The World", and others were in between as far as quality, but they definitely sold well and made their mark. That's why that era is looked at as the best, despite some missteps. With the Playstation 2 era, there are a few great games to be talked about as well. WWE was really the main dance in town for Playstation 2, and here are the two best games that came out of that era.

Those Smackdown games on Playstation 2 are some of the greatest games of all time. Both of those games had great stories, gameplay, and a stacked roster of characters that had me up late hours playing them. They still hold up to this day even a full decade later. However..... during the Playstation 2 era(Xbox and Gamecube included) there were a few clunkers.... which ones you say?

These two were absolutely terrible. "Wrestlemania XIX" video game had wrestlers fighting security guards in the storyline and getting thrown out by Stephanie McMahon. It's terrible. "WWE RAW 2" was just doomed to be bad... I mean look at the damn cover. Goldberg, Triple H, and Scott Steiner? Talk about setting yourself up for failure. Now, there's one game that's probably the WORST of all time, and I'll just leave this here without saying ONE word.

Now, let's not forget that are some NON-WWE licensed games, as well. Some good, some bad, but there have been some.

To be fair, "Fire Pro Wrestling Returns" is looked at as one of the greatest games ever, while the TNA game and "Legends of Wrestling" series are not looked favorably. I believe the TNA game had amazing graphics, and was nearly flawless in that respect, it's just the gameplay completely sucked. "Legends of Wrestling" was a great concept, but with Acclaim behind the game, it was destined to be a dud, and it was. As we moved forward into the most recent era, the Playstation 3/Xbox 360 era, the WWE games started to be more and more similar, with not much of a difference, especially in the "Smackdown vs RAW" series. The "Smackdown vs RAW" became very popular and sold great, almost being the "2K" or "Madden" series for wrestling in some respect. I did enjoy a few of the "Smackdown vs RAW" games, and I'll list those that I did below.

Those games above were either decent or pretty good, but it was obvious the WWE franchise was in need of a reboot. And coincidentally, after "Smackdown vs RAW 2011", they would have a big change actually with "WWE '12" debuting. The game was designed to be different from the previous "Smackdown vs RAW" series, BUT it really didn't hit its stride until we arrived at "WWE '13", which innovated with its epic Attitude Era mode.

"WWE '13" really kicked off the next wave for WWE games, and this was evident when 2K took over the WWE gaming license shortly after. What was spawned from that was the very enjoyable "WWE 2K14", which featured the 30 Years of Wrestlemania mode. Now, to be honest, while "WWE 2K14" was enjoyable, it still lacked a HUGE mark for staying power. This has become the issue with WWE games overall, and as well gear up for the release of "WWE 2K15", one has to wonder what will be done to increase hours of gameplay as well as staying power. There's rumors of a WCW mode, a NXT mode, and more to come. The biggest news so far for "WWE 2K15"

That's right, the man they call Sting will be a part of the game, which only furthers the speculation of a WCW mode in the game. After decades of games, it almost seems that we are at a crossroads with wrestling video games. It is still a market full of profit for the business, and people will continue to pump money into the games every year(myself included usually), but can we on the verge of a new era starting for wrestling video games? I've heard rumors of a ROH game at one point, and I would honestly LOVE that, and be in line to buy it if it came out. That remains to be seen, but one can only hope that WWE and 2K put on something epic that will stand out as a classic game. Wrestling video games will always be viable and always be fun for the moment, I just hope we get something like those classic Playstation, Playstation 2, and N64 games that we will be talking about a decade later....

Time will tell, right?