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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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WIRTB Review: The XFL

Okay, so after shitting on TNA for a bit, it's time to go back to my bread and butter: pointing out Vince McMahon's horrible ideas and questioning were they really that bad. I'm Speed on the Beat, the man who'd also beat my kid's ass on national TV if it meant keeping him from getting fucked up by police thinking he's 'bout that life if/when he really isn't, and this is another edition of WIRTB Review. So, let's review the crap, so you don't have to.

The XFL is something that you'll find less information about in a WWE history book than Chris Benoit. Bad-tasting joke aside, the XFL was almost doomed from the start because of its WWF/WWE connection. But, based on what I remember, and a slew of oral histories, I can say this much on it: In 2001, Vince McMahon thought it'd be smart to fuck around and go up against the NFL, head-to-head.

He would do so with a mix of sports, sports-entertainment, and sports "entertainment" tropes, add in actual football, add in some "xtra fun" to counteract the "no fun," and run with it. Also, lots of NFL slandering (on a network which hoped to, at some point, get the NFL back on its airwaves). Vince, however, had about as much experience running a (legit) sports league as I have running a wrestling promotion. It was akin to me, after playing a bunch of WWE Universe Mode, saying "hey, holy shit, I can manage WWE. Let me go get a couple million billion dollars and let's do it...right after WrestleMania." Also, let me call a team in Birmingham the "Bombers," but that's another rant for another blog.

The set-up was easy. This is due to the fact that Vince, NBC, UPN, and TNN smartly chose to launch right after the NFL season and before the Arena Football season. The execution, however, was shit. It was unmitigated, debauchery-filled, silly shit. For instance, let's look at the second game.

Since this was the X-fucking-FL we're talking about, we don't believe in pussy-ass coin tosses. "That was that fuckboy NFL shit," announcers et al uttered in so many words. The XFL had players scrounge and fight for the opening possessions and whatnot, kind of like rugby scrums. But, to make it "eXtra fun," the players were in full pads and helmets and usually didn't/never would do rugby scrums.

With that said, the first injury of the XFL happened during the opening scramble of the second ever game of the damn league.

Orlando Rage CB Hassan Shamsid-Deen suffered what pretty much amounted to a career-ending injury by separating his shoulder. What's worse is this: the XFL, much like its parent WWF/WWE, didn't provide health insurance for its participants. And they say the NFL is lower than dirt when it comes to protecting its players. 

The games themselves were a mix of sports-entertainment fuckheadedness (including having Jerry Lawler call games, Vince sending in a cameraman to perv on the cheerleaders--which led to said cameraman knocking himself out and having a PG-14 sex fantasy about said cheerleaders, the cheerleaders looking like Trish Stratus circa No Way Out 2001, and mic'd up players, coaches, etc.) and sheer stupidity. The players were mostly NFL, CFL, and Arena League rejects who wanted one last taste of glory (and were paid about as much as a semi-pro-leaguer would be). The camera didn't really allow for viewers to comprehend what was going on. And the rules changed--or seemed to change--as they went along. 

It was like Any Given Sunday meets The Replacements meets Sunday Night Heat, but no Jamie Foxx or Keanu Reeves to (somewhat) save the day.

After the first game, ratings and appeal dropped--and hard. People within NBC were distancing themselves from it. By the time we got to the final game, everyone was pissed at the end result in some way or another, and the league died a quick death.

So, was it really that bad? Yes and no. 

The XFL itself was a horrible experiment by VKM to expand his empire. It was potentially, aside from his steroids debacles, the biggest blunder he and his team have undertaken. The league cost WWE and NBC at least $35 million--each.

However, we got some long-standing standards that have been integrated into the NFL, potentially because of it. The use of sky cams and "wired" teams have become norms and added to the authenticity of the NFL. Players such as Rod Smart (a/k/a "He Hate Me") were able to make a mainstream splash due to their unique, sports-entertainment-esque personas. Smart himself went on to play in a Super Bowl. We got the resurgence of Tommy Maddox, who helped lead Pittsburgh to a Super Bowl victory (somewhat) and to playoff wins. And, we got Ricky Ortiz out of the deal. That's something, right?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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WIRTB Review: Victory Road 2011

Alright, you know gotdamn well that if we're going to look at crappy reviews, we've got to look at this one. It's me, the guy who tconvinced Paul Heyman that Sabu versus Sandman at November to Remember would be a good idea (after the acid), SOTB!!! back with another edition of WIRTB Review, the review-centric gobbledygook where I review the crap so you don't have to. So, this one was recommended to me by Nathan a while back, but I hadn't been able to get to it until now. But, without dwelling too much, let's get into it.

So, backstory, right? Hulk Hogan came in and took over shit, as Hulk tends to do. And a bunch of other pre-Destination America TNA fuckery. Sting returned to win Jeff Hardy's belt, and take back control of TNA. In other words, it's late 90s WCW, only fifteen years late. Our show opens with fizzy little pyro and our first match.

Bully Ray versus Tommy Dreamer
One thing I can say is this: TNA tried their damnedest and succeeded in making Bully into a legit badass. He came off as Steiner-like at times, but he was one of the reasons I could halfway tolerate TNA between 2011 and 2014. He starts off delivering your typical "heel ass-kissing the Powers that Be" promo. Dreamer interrupts with some pretty generic music and they just talk. They talk. A match that's supposed to be a fucking slaughter (a no DQ, falls-count-anywhere match) begins with promo on top of promo on top of promo.

After they finally get going, the match fails to excite. Sure, we get some decent SPOTS (such as Tommy driving Bully's face into a plant's chair at ringside), but the early going is kind of meh. Tommy then grabs a bottle of water to go all Triple H on Bully. Taz, not even hiding his sarcasm/disdain for this, remarks "not the dreaded bottle of water" as Dreamer sprays. Water bottles: causing more damage to wrestlers than Abdullah the Butcher since 1998. But, you know what's worse than a water bottle?

A minion.

Yep. Tommy Dreamer, in a No DQ, FCA match, decides to beat the stuffing out of Bully Ray with...a stuffed animal. Now, you know that I try to keep the final decision to myself until the end of the first match, at least. But, fuck this company. Taz(z) asks if that's Spongebob, and I can't help but shake my head at the idiocy on display right now.

And of course they start brawling outside the ring confines and into the stands. We get "TNA" chants right before Tommy almost gets his nuts cracked by a guard rail. Bully goes all Bubba Ray, and Tommy responds by going all Sandman and grabbing the Kendo stick. We get some shit selling by Bully, and a blow-up doll, which Bully lands on in a 69 position. Of course, TNA fans being the awesome bunch they are, start chanting for a 69. Dreamer gets a near-fall and gets a trashcan lid for his troubles.

Bully, for whatever reason, turns his attention back to the gotdamned blow-up doll as Dreamer gets another near-fall. A "we want tables" chant breaks out, because Dudleys. Tommy obliges but doesn't get to use it. Honestly, you can fast forward through most of this match at this point, until the end. Devon comes out with his kids, sets up Bully for a 3D and Dreamer gets the win. I hate when the 3D is performed by someone who isn't Bubba/Bully and Devon.


Knockout Tag Team Championship Match: Rosita and Sarita versus Angelina Love and Winter
Our announcing team starts out gushing over how hot (rather "caliente," because diversity) Rosita and Sarita are. Interesting sidenote: Rosita apparently appeared on Love and Hip-Hop New York at some point this past season. Winter comes out looking like she just walked off the Fifty Shades set. The Americans get "USA" chants as RoSa (yay WWE team names) are "foreign" or something. I know that TNA gets the shoutout for being better than WWE at women's wrestling, but not this time. Match was sloppy and just straight boring. RoSa get the win and the lesbian pollen wears off...kinda (mainly because Velvet Sky let the pigeons loose at the wrong time).

Jeff and Karen Segment(s)
Aren't these just a slap in the face to one of TNA's top talents, Kurt Angle? Eh.

First Blood Match: Hernandez versus Matt Morgan
The match starts off hot with a lot of action. Morgan and Hernandez are beating the holy shit out of each other. It's wild that this match is almost more "extreme" than the Bully/Dreamer match. The crowd is insanely into this one, chanting "we want blood." Say what you want about TNA storylines: the wrestling and sequencing of matches in the cards are one of the company's strong suits in my opinion. If this were WWE, we'd probably follow the Divas match with some Santino squash.

And then we get Hernandez trying to blade on the hard camera. Thrice. Or is it?!

Kind of. Because, yes, that happens, but...the match ends when Hernandez sprays food coloring or something onto MM, the replacement ref sees the "blood" on MM and calls Hernandez to be the winner. It was a decent match until the end. The end just negated all that awesomeness.

Ultimate X Match: Karzarian versus Robbie E versus Generation Me (a/k/a The Young Bucks)
TNA was the first time I'd seen The Young Bucks in action, in this very match. I always liked the Ultimate X match: it has all the craziness of a MITB match, the fast-paced nature of a championship scramble or a multi-man tag match, and the originality of TNA (when they're trying to/given the chance to be original). This match, however, is a beautiful train wreck. I can't even describe what I've seen. So, I'd say just YouTube it.

TNA World Tag Team Championship Match: Beer Inc. versus Ink Inc.
This match was alright. That's kind of all I can say about it. Wasn't good, wasn't bad. It just was.

A.J. Styles versus Matt Hardy
It's prime era A.J. versus later era Matt. The end.

Number One Contender's Match for TNA World Heavyweight Championship: RVD versus Mr. Anderson
So, what was a somewhat blood feud ended with a double countout? Ooookay, TNA. I'll go with it.

Main Event
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match: Jeff Hardy versus Sting
You already know the backstory to this match. If not, just look it up. Jeff stumbles out higher than the nose of an elite piece-of-shit looking down at Baltimore. He damn near rips a fan's arm off. But, the crowd seems none the wiser as we're finishing introductions. It kind of just looks like "oh, shit, Jeff Hardy is being an aloof badass." Kind of. But, then Sting comes out full of energy, kinda looking like "the fuck is this shit," you see that something's up.

Hardy starts walking outside of the ring as Jeremy Borasch announces the contestants. At this point, we should've had a Jake Roberts-esque audible. However, you do that, and because Jeff is on one, you'd run the risk of setting him off further.

After a bit, Bischoff comes out and actually puts over that everything is going according to plan. He says "The Network" has something up their sleeve, goes over to Jeff, mutters something (possibly "you fucked up. You are in no condition to wrestling"), and makes this match a No DQ (the forth of the night).

Jeff spends most of his time doing his best John Cena at ECW ONS 2006 impersonation before getting scolded by Sting. A few punches and a Scorpion Death Drop later, Sting retains.

"This is bullshit," a fan chants.

"I agree," Sting...agrees.

"As do I," I type.

So, the PPV started off promising. Until we saw one of Gru's minions.

Fuck this bullshit.

Monday, April 27, 2015

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Ring Of Honor: Conquest Tour 4/25/15

By Nathan Neumann (Twitter: @Headliner5)
Hello Ringers, Nathan is here with another one of my ROH reviews, this one in particular is not a review of a TV show but instead a review of a show I went to this past Saturday night.  This will not be one of my traditional reviews meaning that I wont be able to break down the matches move by move but it will provide my general thoughts and reactions to each match as they happened.  This will also not be a 5,000 word marathon essay like my ROH 13th Anniversary show review was but it will at least give you some flavor to how the show was.

I went to this show with a friend; we were in the second row in section D.  The hard camera was to the left of us in section C.  Some of these matches will likely be used for upcoming episodes of ROH TV.  Not sure if it was an entire taping because it didn’t seem like it but if it was then I’m fine with it.

Lets get to the action shall we?

Dark Match
Danny Adams and Paco Gonzalez vs. Brandon Espinosa and Curt Stallion
Thoughts: This was your basic Indy match and it was nothing special, the problem with these matches is that they don’t tell you who anyone is which is why I have no clue who any of these guys are, I had to go to another site to get their names because ROH didn’t mention these guys by name.  The match was decent but in the end it was pretty much a spot fest where these guys were trying to get all of their cool moves in.  I get it because they are trying to impress the ROH management but this type of match has never appealed to me and probably never will.
Result: Danny Adams and Paco Gonzalez defeated Brandon Espinosa and Curt Stallion
Match 1
Ariya Daivari vs. Bobby Fish
Thoughts: This was a solid opener, Fish always goes out of his way to impress me and the guy that he wrestled is someone I am very familiar with, as I have worked shows with him in the past, as he’s a local guy from the Minneapolis Area.  If you know Shawn Diavari who was formally of WWE and currently in Lucha Underground you will know Ariya as his brother.  The match ended when Bobby Fish hit a sit out brainbuster to score the pinfall victory.
Result: Bobby Fish defeats Ariya Daivari after a pinfall via Sit out Brainbuster
Match 2
The Romantic Touch vs. Will Ferrara vs. Beer City Bruiser vs. Cheeseburger

Thoughts: This match was weird to me due to the fact that this was just a match between four random guys.  It wouldn’t surprise me if that when this show was being booked that these four guys were left on the table so the match makers just decided to throw them in a random four way match.  ROH seems to like to throw a four way on every show that they do to get use out of everyone, which is fine.  But compared to the one that I saw at the 13th Anniversary (The main event) this one served no purpose other than to get guys a payday.  The match ended when Will Ferrara hit a code red to score the win via pinfall.

Result: Will Ferrara wins the match via pinfall after a Code Red
Match 3
Michael Elgin vs. Caprice Coleman
Thoughts: Hopkins Minnesota is officially the “We Hate Elgin Club” which I’ll be a proud member of any day of the week.  He’s a good wrestler but his attitude and the way he thinks of himself is something I have issue with (that’s not why I’m here so I’ll leave it at that).  This match was a lot better than I thought it was going to be, Elgin has been on the rebound ever since losing the World Title in September of last year to current champion Jay Briscoe at All Star Extravaganza 6 in Toronto Ontario Canada.  Caprice Coleman is another guy that ever since he broke away from C and C wrestle factory and Cedric Alexander hasn’t been able to gain any sort of real momentum.  The match concluded when Michael Elgin hit his patented spinning sit out Powerbomb to score the pinfall victory.
Result: Michael Elgin defeats Caprice Coleman via pinfall after an Elgin Bomb
Match 4
Adam Page vs. ACH
Thoughts: this match looked great on paper and I’m glad it was able to translate well in the ring, ACH is a guy that you should be watching and Adam Page although I wasn’t a fan of his at first has really come into his own ever since becoming the “Young Boy” in the decade and ultimately joining the Decade.  The finish of the match came when Adam Page hit ACH with a low blow, which I didn’t particularly like, but it’s a good way to get some heel heat on Page which is what you want to do because you aren’t supposed to like him.  That’s a problem that I have with some heels in Indy wrestling because they aren’t focused so much at being a heel as much as looking cool.  Adam Page completely understands the concept that he’s a heel and he’s supposed to be hated and he’s pretty good at getting you to not like him, which is what a heel is supposed to do.
Result: Adam Page defeats ACH via pinfall after a low blow
Dark Match #2
Arik Cannon vs. Hot Shot Danny Duggan
Thoughts: I didn’t see much of this match as it was during intermission and I had to go use the rest room.  I came back and the two were in the ring, Danny Duggan had a green singlet akin to Wrestlemania 5 and Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer.  Arik Cannon is another guy I’m familiar with as he’s a local guy in Minnesota, I’ve reffed a few matches of his and I’ve been around him a lot so I know what to expect out of him.  From my vantage point I could tell that Cannon was pretty much controlling the match and feeding Duggan his spots but it was a decent match from what I saw of it and Cannon got the win with a modified Suplex variation.
Result: Arik Cannon defeated Danny Duggan via Suplex variant.
Match 5
Truth Martini vs. ODB
Thoughts: This was dubbed as a “Women of Honor” match although only one participant in said match was an actual woman.  My guess is they had someone lined up and they had to cancel last minute or this was the plan all a long.  Either way the concept of the match was weird given the announcement and the match we got.  This was pretty much a Truth Martini ass whipping courtesy of ODB but it was very entertaining.  I had my doubts about this one but it exceeded my expectations but lets be honest my expectations can’t be very high when they change things on the fly.  Either way still a good match and I once again have to give props to Martini for getting in the ring and being willing to do work.  The match ended when Truth Martini got a momentary upper hand, The referee got distracted and Jay Lethal ran in and kicked ODB in the face to allow Truth to pick up the victory.  That’s literally the only thing that Truth did in this match otherwise it was all ODB up until the end.
Result: Truth Martini defeated ODB via pinfall after Jay Lethal runs in and hits ODB with the Lethal Injection.
Match 6
Silas Young vs. Roderick Strong

Thoughts: This match was awesome, Silas Young did everything he could in order to hang with “Mr. ROH” and he did a great job at doing it.  A lot of people tend to sleep on Silas Young’s in ring ability but he’s very capable and every time he’s in Hopkins or anywhere I’ve seen him for that matter he puts on a hell of a show both in the ring and with his body language and mannerisms.   There was a kid a few seats down from where I was seated who was yelling at Todd Sinclair the entire time and appeared to be a huge Roderick Strong fan.  I love seeing stuff like that because it reminds me that wrestling is still real to some people and that contrary to popular belief (and something Triple H once said) Kayfabe is NOT dead to all people.  Anyways Roderick Strong won the match after running off of the rope and hitting Silas Young with the Sick kick to pick up the win via pinfall.

Result: Roderick Strong defeated Silas Young via Pinfall after the Sick Kick.
Match 7
War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) vs. The Briscoe Brothers

Thoughts: This was another hell of a match, I really was excited to see this one in person because it had two guys in it from the high stakes fatal four way match that I saw in Vegas for the World Title in Hanson and current ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe.  It was also nice to see Raymond Rowe back in the ring because as of March 1st and the 13th Anniversary he still wasn’t back to the grind of wrestling.  These guys went all over the place in the match and Hanson even managed to kick out of a Jay Driller during the entire thing.  If it was a perfect world and I had my way nobody would kick out of that move ever but I digress.  Mark Briscoe did all of this crazy stuff too the Redneck Kung Fu and even the diving elbow off of the apron onto the floor.  The finish came when Jay Briscoe hit Hanson with 2nd Jay Driller to pick up the win via pinfall.
Result: The Briscoe Brothers defeated War Machine via pinfall after a Jay Driller from Jay to Hanson.
From here we go to the main event of the evening.
Main Event – Match 8
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jay Lethal {C}
ROH World Television Championship Match
Thoughts: This gets my vote for match of the night, there were some really good matches on this show but this one was by far the best in my humble opinion.  These two went all out from the first bell to the last bell.  It was great to not only see Kyle O’Reilly get a World TV Title shot but it was also great to see the Television Championship defended in the main event by the “greatest first generation wrestler alive” in Jay Lethal.  This match was very back and forth and it looked like Kyle O’Reilly was going to win the match and perhaps the title (although I should have known better).  At one point in the match Kyle caught Lethal with an armbar and had it in pretty deep before Lethal made it to the ropes to save himself the match.  The two would wrestle some more until O’Reilly locked on the same maneuver but instead of making it to the ropes Todd Sinclair called for the bell to signify a 30 minute broadway (time limit draw)

Result: Time limit draw (30 Minutes) as a result Jay Lethal keeps the Television Championship.
I hope this match makes air on TV and if that’s the case I hope we see more matches from O’Reilly and Lethal.  This match was very good but I feel it could be leading to Kyle O’Reilly perhaps winning the TV title at some point.  It may not happen because he’s in a tag team with Bobby Fish but I would like to think of it as a possibility in the future.  Either way I would like to see Jay Lethal lose the ROH World TV title not because I don’t like him (that’s far from the case I think the guy is awesome) but because I believe Jay Lethal will be the guy to dethrone Jay Briscoe and win the ROH World Title.  In order to do so he’ll probably have to drop the TV title and if that happens I hope they book a triple threat match so Lethal doesn’t have to be pinned to lose the title.  That way Lethal doesn’t get pinned and it still makes him look good going into the World Title picture.
After the match was over, both guys wanted five more minutes however it didn’t happen.  This brought out Jay Briscoe who told Kyle O’Reilly that if he wanted five more minutes that Jay Briscoe would put his World Title on the line right here right now.  The bell rang to start the match (O’Reilly vs. Briscoe for the world title) but as soon as it did Jay Lethal ran into the ring and hit Jay Briscoe with the Lethal Injection to cause a disqualification.  This is leading to something, now it’s up to us as fans to sit back and see where it’s going.
This brought out ODB who earlier in the night lost to Truth Martini, she wasted no time in going after him.  She attacked him and positioned him on a table in the ring and dove off of the top rope to put him through it but the table didn’t break.  Instead one of the legs of the table broke so they propped it up in the corner and Jay Briscoe drove Truth Martini through the table as the show drew to a close.
And that will do it for me and this bonus review of sorts, I figured If I couldn’t review last night’s ROH show (which as of now I still have yet to see) I’d do ya one better and review the show that I went to.  This kind of presents a future problem though because if any of these matches air as part of ROH TV I am not going to review them again so it will create a bit of a hole in my review history for a few weeks.  
Make sure to follow me on twitter @Headliner5 and also make sure to follow the official Eyes On The Ring account @EyesOnTheRing.  Don’t forget to check out EyesOnTheRing.com for more of these reviews from myself as well as everything else from the entire EOTR Team.

In closing make sure to check out Eyes On The Ring radio each and every Sunday night as we bring you all of the latest news and views from the week in wrestling.  Last but not least be sure to head on over to Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and like us.  For now I am Nathan saying so long Ringers and make sure to keep your Eyes On The Ring.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

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WIRTB Review: Andre the Giant versus Hulk Hogan at WM 3

Today, we're going to take a different approach. Instead of questioning whether or not a PPV or a PPV moment was really that bad, I'm asking if one, one which shall probably live on longer than I, was really that good. I'm talking Andre versus Hulk at WM III a/k/a "The Slam Heard Around the World" match. I'm Speed on the Beat, and try not to crucify me until you've read through this whole piece.

So, a bit of backstory, for those who don't remember/don't care enough to know why this match happened. A bit before WM III happened, both Hulk and Andre were given trophies by the WWF. Hulk received one for being champion for three years. Andre got justified penis envy over getting a smaller trophy for being undefeated for fifteen years (because three > 15, per WWF logic). Hulk came out to congratulate Andre on his trophy and ended up being unintentionally a giant tool.

This pissed off Andre, who later ripped off Hulk's crucifix and shirt. Andre thus became heel in the process. This also gave Andre the managerial awesomeness of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, a guy who, even now with his cancer complications, could probably talk circles around most managers in wrestling today. Seriously. The guy is, was, and forever will be that damn good.

Now, let's be for real. The match itself is poorly worked. Andre, at this point, had seen better days. Heck, he was recovering from surgery at the time of their WM III match. Hulk was never the most agile of talents. The irresistable force versus immovable object cliche was true on many levels. Go back and watch the match. It's kind of crap--especially considering it came after the Savage/Steamboat match.

But...watching Hulk scoop slam Andre (for the first time on a grand stage)? It's a moment that deserves its spot among the other Hall of Fame moments. It was one of those moments It's kind of a "no, not really" to the "WIRTB" question, as the match sucks, but the moment surrounding the match is amazing. So, I'll cautiously say no.
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CJ's Top Five: Cage Matches

5. AMW vs. XXX
Turning Point 2004

I'm not usually one to show TNA any love, but I couldn't ignore this match. Aside from that ridiculous spot where Elix Skipper walked across the top of the cage and connected with a hurricanrana on Chris Harris, this match kept an excellent pace and showed what the X Division had to offer. These two teams had such a good chemistry, they always put on quality matches with each other. This match was also under the stipulation that whoever lost, that team had to disband forever. The conclusion of the match occurred when AMW handcuffed Daniels to the ropes and performed their tag finisher, the powerplex, on skipper for the pinfall victory. If you ever want to go back and look at the old days of the X Division, this is definitely one match to check out.

4. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Raw 2001

Two men capable of putting on a wrestling clinic any night of the week, facing each other in a cage on the main event of Raw, do you need any more incentive to watch this match? Kurt and Chris always had an excellent rivalry that produced great content in the ring. This match is the definition of a show-stealer. High spot after high spot, suplex after suplex, all done at a break-neck pace. The spots everyone remembers from this match are Benoit's headbutt from the top of the cage, and Kurt missing a moonsault from the top of the cage. Even if those spots weren't there, this match would still be a must-watch. If you're a fan of pure wrestling technique as well as top-notch physicality, this is a match for you.

3. Ric Flair vs. Harley Race
Starrcade 1983

The Nature Boy squaring off against one of the toughest guys in the history of the business is going to be an entertaining bout under any circumstances. You enclose these two in a steel cage? You know you'll always get your money's worth. Flair and Race have always had a storied rivalry, and it proved that during their cage match for the NWA Heavyweight Championship at Starrcade '83. Ric and Harley traded blows for over 20 minutes, trading finishers and blood alike. The finish came when Flair, in classic heel fashion, shoved Race into special referee Gene Kiniski, followed by Flair hitting a crisis block for the pinfall victory and the NWA title.

2. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Summerslam 1994

Just the mention of the names Bret and Owen Hart immediately bring images of high pace and technical expertise to mind, and their cage match for the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam '94 was one for the ages. Owen, being the heel, gained the upper advantage at the beginning by attacking Bret and catching him off guard. Both traded blows and showed off that excellent Hart family in-ring chemistry. Owen hitting Bret with a piledriver, Bret suplexing Owen from the top of the cage to keep him from escaping, both men trading sharpshooters, these two absolutely stole the show. The conclusion of the bout came when Owen's leg became caught in the bars of the cage, allowing Bret top climb out and achieve victory. This is wrestling at its finest, from two of its greatest competitors.

1. Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum 
TA Starrcade 1985

This match showcases what the steel cage match was invented for: to be a knock-down, drag-out fight to settle the score. Magnum TA and Tully Blanchard had legit bad blood, and it certainly showed in the brutality of this match. This was an "I Quit" match for the NWA United States Championship, and neither of these man were prepared to give up without a fight. Blanchard and Magnum went at each other with everything they had. Stiff shots, heads rammed into the cage, Tully hitting Magnum in the head with a microphone, these men held absolutely nothing back. In a shot that is still iconic to this day, the end of this match came when Magnum took a sharp, broken piece of a wooden chair, and began jabbing it into the forehead of Tully Blanchard, forcing Banchard to quit and awarding the victory to Magnum TA. Not for the faint of heart, especially for its time. If you want to see a fight in a wrestling ring, this is a FIGHT.

Monday, April 20, 2015

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WIRTB Review: IYH 3

Oh, New Generation. I really wish that I didn't have to perform defecatory services upon your lifeless corpse. However, you just make it so easy. I'm Speed on the Beat and welcome to yet another WIRTB Review, the EOTR series where I make up my own acronyms and review the crap, so you don't have to. I've taken a break from my Game of Thrones binge-a-thon to cover an event that screams "my little brother booked this in WWE 2k15 because he thought it'd be a great idea to do to give John Cena and Roman Reigns complete reign over the WWE." I'm talking about, as mentioned, In Your House 3 a/k/a the one where we got three belts, one match, and a couple years of WTF afterwards.

If you ever had to make a case for "backstage politics," look no further than this match. And, yes, I'm anticipating Shawn Michaels to superkick the block button on Twitter to block me after this one. Strangely, I'm cool with that. Because this main event shouldn't have happened--video game or otherwise. Anyway, let's get into the matches. Let's run down the dark matches.

Goldust def. Bob Holly: Goldy is at his goofy cartoon stage, but still not completely at his weird sexually open self that we see in the Attitude Era.
Ahmed Johnson def. Skip: Uh,,,enough said. Next,
Fatu def. Hunter Hearst Helmsley: And Rikishi didn't even do it for The Rock this time.
Taker def. Mabel: Because the world asked for this feud, right?

Our first non-darkie (and that sounded so less racist in my head) pits Savio Vega versus Waylon Mercy. In other words, OG Sin Cara's push versus 2015 Bray Wyatt. Savio wins, because reasons that include Waylon (get it? Wailin' [for] Mercy? It's genius!) leaving WWF after this match. But, at least Waylon damn near kills Savio with a brainbuster, right? Because what's more important: not killing the guy in the ring or trying out something new to get over/piss someone off?

Fuck this next match. It's shit. No, literally, there's (kayfabe?) pig slop and shit just around the ring because it's everyone's 274th favorite hillbilly Henry Godwin versus Sycho Sid. First, how the hell did Sid go from being a major contributor to the Next Generation to...this? Well, people stopped giving a shit. That, plus injuries, and him joining the Million Dollar Corporation with...Tatanka. So, again. Fuck this match.

Owen Hart leaves the arena. Smart man, that Owen Hart.

There's something resembling a match between BBB and British Bulldog that they're hyping to come on next, but I'm already saying fuck this company. And that's usually reserved for WCW. BBB doesn't give a shit...at all. Why should I? BBB's big moves get countered and little to no pops. BB's moves get little to no heat. And I give little to no fucks.

Shane Douglas and Razor go up next. Something something punch, something something Razor's edge, something something 1-2-3 Kid run-in to advance his feud with Razor.

Bret Hart wrestles a pirate. No, I shit you not. Bret Hart wrestles Jean-Pierre LaFitte, a guy who was supposedly related to a real pirate. He wore an eye patch for his glass eye and everything. He also tagged with The Mountie at one point. The match was decent, but I couldn't care much considering what came before it and what came after it.

So, with that said, let's get into our main event. Owen Hart left because his wife was preggers. Guess who he's replaced by? The British Bulldog. So, in our main event, we've got Diesel and HBK (WWF and IC Champs respectively) versus Yoko and BB (Tag Team Champions) for a "one ring to rule them all" match. Whichever team won, they'd win all the belts. Or something like that. I watched it on the Network and I'm still slightly confused by it. Anyway, Bulldog spends most of this match getting destroyed. Yoko puts everything in a rest hold. All is lost for a dirty screwjobby finish until...OWEN HART COMES BACK!

And then gets pinned by Diesel.

Nothing about this PPV made sense. At all. It's like having sex with a woman made of barbed wire. The insanity doesn't hurt less the closer you get to the finish. If anything, it's made more insane that you'd put yourself through such stupidity.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

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Vince McMahon's Greatest Mistakes

There are many who believe that Vince McMahon is a genius. Becoming a multi-millionaire has to involve some sort of genius, correct? Running a hugely successful business that earns billions has to take some genius, right? Of course. Vince's business sense allows him to partner up with the right people, make solid decisions with investments(usually), and keep WWE as a global juggernaut. In that regard, Vince McMahon is very much a business genius(XFL notwithstanding). However, he approves a lot of the creative decisions that goes on WWE TV, comes up with his own ideas, and more often than not, they turn out horribly. Today, we take a look at Vince's worst creative decisions and why they were so bad. Let us begin...

*Vince wins the WWF Title
-Why? Just why? In September 1999, Vince was in the middle of his apparent face turn, just months after being revealed as the "Higher Power" in the Corporate Ministry. 1999 was a clusterfuck of a year in WWF, but this was the icing on the cake. Vince, caught in a feud with Triple H(while he was feuding with Stone Cold Steve Austin) took a match for the WWF Championship on an episode of Smackdown and proceeded to get his ass kicked all over the ring. As Triple H was nearing a victory, Austin interferes and laid him out with a stunner, causing Vince to get the win and become the new champion. The ridiculousness of the Attitude Era made this occurrence much more believable, but in essence, this was a completely stupid move. I believe this was done to push Smackdown's ratings higher, by featuring a title change on the show(it had just recently debuted), but why not have The Rock or Mankind win the belt instead? Triple H ended up getting the title back in a 6-pack challenge a week or so later after Vince vacated the title, making this whole thing even more useless. Surely, Vince would never allow himself to win a title again, right????

*Durag Chronicles as the ECW Champion

-2007 was a dark year for WWE. Benoit controversy put a damper on the entire year, along with The Great Khali as World Heavyweight Champion stifling business, but the ultimate worst had to be Vince McMahon as ECW Champion for two months. Reeling from having his head shaved after losing the ridiculous Battle of The Billionaires battle, Vince would not let his bald head be shown on TV. How did he cover his head? By using a good ol durag. Yes, a durag. Vince let his cape fly high in his feud against Bobby Lashley, resulting in hilariously terrible television. At Backlash 2007, Vince won the ECW Title(in an attempt to get a suffering ECW brand some more press and attention I imagine) and things proceeded to go downhill from there. Lashley as ECW Champion was already a disaster, but having Vince go over and win the title was even worse. ECW, after being rooted in the summer of 2006 as an alternative brand to RAW and Smackdown, never got off the ground truly and this only furthered the descent into the abyss. Which leads me to my next point...

*Vince Kills ECW
-As I just mentioned, ECW was now a third brand in WWE, and it got off to a terrible start. Characters like Kevin Thorn, The Zombie(RIP) and etc were given TV time(Not much, but enjoy to know this was going to be terrible) and essentially made a joke out of the ECW name. There was a lot of money in an ECW resurgence, with the right push, the right stars, the right balance of up and comers and known names. However, we got none of this, as Big Show was made the ECW Champion for months, for no good reason whatsoever. That reeked of a Vince decision. One man was gaining a lot of popularity in ECW, and that man was CM Punk. Paul Heyman had a vision to center the new ECW around CM Punk and with his popularity on the rise, that didn't seem like a bad idea at all. As December to Dismember approached in 2006, there was an Elimination Chamber match set with Heyman wanting Punk to eliminate Big Show early on and going on to win the belt to the delight of the crowd. Anybody with half a brain could see that Punk winning was the best option easily, right? Not Vince McMahon. He somehow believed that Lashley winning and becoming ECW Champion with a huge celebration was the best way to go, and Punk was eliminated very early on, to the anger of the crowd. The crowd also turned on the finish as Big Show vs Lashley was a match and feud that no one wanted to see. Vince blamed it all on Heyman somehow, and Heyman left the company, but the blame belongs on the man who made the idiotic decision: Vince himself. After that, ECW never really recovered, and I always felt like that somehow made Vince happy.

*Donald Trump Buys RAW
-2009 was a weird year. I'm not going to say too much on this one, but lord knows this was stupid. Somehow, Trump ends up buying RAW from Vince and making RAW commercial free the following week. How did that sale happen? Why did it happen? Storyline wise it made no sense and Vince ended up "buying RAW back", which left most of us just wondering.... Why???

*Mabel Wins King Of The Ring 1995
-Vince has always had a weird fascination with big men wrestlers, but even this one is confusing. Mabel(RIP), was formerly in the Men On A Mission stable/team and was seen more of a joke than a serious contender. He was not over with the crowd hugely, and his heel turn was quite boring. So, it was with great shock that WWF booked him to win the King Of The Ring and go on to main event against Diesel at Summerslam, one of the big 4 PPVs of the year. Business was terrible in 1995 for WWF and I imagine Mabel's push helped it get even worse... Speaking of which....

*Diesel holds WWF Title For A Year
-Kevin Nash has pretty good mic skills when he wants and can even be charismatic. Diesel, however? Bland as hell. So, it was pretty mind boggling that Vince wanted to give Diesel the WWF Title for a year long reign. I had envisioned that we'd see Diesel take on guys like Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels(he did), Bret Hart(he did), Razor Ramon, Jeff Jarrett and a few other solid workers in his big feuds to cover up the fact that he wasn't really good in the ring. Diesel's title run started with an 8 second squash on Bob Backlund(let the forcing of Diesel begin), and continued with a match against Bret at the Royal Rumble. It then continued with his match against Shawn at Wrestlemania 11. So far, so good right? Well, after Wrestlemania 11, we saw Diesel do shitty business against Sycho Sid, Bam Bam Bigelow, Tatanka, King Kong Bundy, Mabel(as previously mentioned), and a fucking pirate gimmick named Jean Pierre Lafitte. How was any money supposed to be drawn with these matches?? Diesel's title run is one of the worst in history and the numbers reflected that as well.

*The Nexus Lose At Summerslam 2010
-This is more of a Cena decision than Vince decision, but Vince is the man who approves what happens, so this is definitely his fault as well. The Nexus were taking out legends, making a name for themselves and there was excitement about the Nexus vs WWE stars elimination match, and the consensus was that Nexus had to win to legitimize them and make the storyline even bigger. Edge, Jericho and the rest of the stars seemed onboard with losing to Nexus, but Cena selfishly refused and Vince went right along with that plan. With that loss, Super Cena and Vince killed the whole Nexus storyline and momentum, wasting what could have been big money on the table.

*The Great Khali As World Heavyweight Champion 

-I mentioned this earlier.... And yeah.... What the hell? It seemed like 2007 was a very rough year creatively for WWE because this was a terrible idea. To make matters even worse? We were treated to a Batista vs Kane vs Khali match and a Khali vs Batista feud..... Thanks, Vincent. Speaking of 2007....

*Hornswoogle is Vince's son
-Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously. Are you fucking kidding me? The storyline, which was stupid to begin with, was intended to be Mr. Kennedy's push to the main event, but after he was suspended for 30 days, WWE had to go a different route. So, somewhere, in the plans for changing the storyline, the answer became Hornswoggle as Vince's illegitimate son, and Vince approved it. I know 2007 was a tough year, but good lord. What the hell were you thinking, Vincent Kennedy McMahon?

*Katie Vick

-Why Vince let this happen, I'll never know. I'm sure he found it funny, but its one of the worst things ever on WWE TV. The less said about this, the better.

*The Invasion Storyline
-I'll end off with this one, though there are so many, many, many, more I could reference. This was money in the bank just waiting to be withdrawn. The long awaited WCW vs WWF Battle. The big battle to settle all the scores. Vince had bought WCW and ECW, and instead of buying it and considering it buried, he used it in his storyline against Shane leading up to Wrestlemania X-7, as Shane revealed he bought WCW from his father. This was not terrible, as Vince could have used this angle to have Shane eventually give the rights to the company(storyline wise) over to Eric Bischoff, as he brings in the NWO to help WCW get rid of WWF, once and for all. WCW with Shane behind them, led by Bischoff, with Hogan, Nash, Hall, X-Pac, The Giant(Big Show turns on WWF), DDP, Booker T versus Austin, Rock, Taker, Angle, Jericho, Kane, and HHH would have been complete money. All Vince had to do was let the angle rest for 6 months and do it in 2002, as opposed to rushing it in the summer of 2001. What followed was WCW/ECW combining with Shane and Stephanie at the helm(over Heyman for some reason) to take out WWF. Somewhere in all this, it went from WCW vs WWF to WCW and ECW forming an alliance to take out WWF, and having Austin jump ship to the alliance(why??). The angle lasted a total of 5 months, completely wasting potential, money, and a long term storyline that could have added pieces as it went along. Say WCW was losing their upper hand in the battle against WWF in 2002 and Scott Steiner made his return to help them. Or even Goldberg appearing during a WCW vs WWF brawl to the shock of the crowd and spearing HHH and Undertaker out of their boots. There was so much that could have been done, but of course, Vince McMahon, his ego, and lack of creative genius cost the WWF/WWE big time.

While Vince's stupid decisions have led WWE to miss out on great moments and money, they have inspired my next column, as I will rebook the Invasion storyline in detail with how it should have happened piece by piece. Until next time..

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Ring Of Honor Wrestling Review 4/18/15

By Nathan Neumann (Twitter: @Headliner5)

What’s up Riingers?  Nathan here after taking last week off (due to ROH having a highlights show). This week’s show featured three matches (well, technically two...but we will get to that later) as well as a live in-ring edition of reDRagon’s show “The Fish Tank.” So, without any more delaying from yours truly lets down to business.

The show opens with the traditional ROH video intro from here we get a panoramic view of the arena in which they are emanating tonight before we join the commentary team at the desk. We go over to Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino who welcome us to the show and send it right down to the ring for the first match of the night.

Match 1
Donovan Dijak vs. Dalton Castle

Thoughts: The first match of the night featured a former Eyes On The Ring radio guest as Donovan Dijak 2015’s top prospect winner took on a man who had a great showing in the tournament as well in the form of Dalton Castle.  The match starts out slow with both men trying to get a feel for each other while trading individual flurries of offense. About five minutes into the match, Dijak clotheslines Castle off of the ring apron and Dijak would continue the assault on the outside of the ring. Dijak picks Castle up and Castle comes back with a hurricanranna.

From there Castle rushes back into the ring while Dijak is dazed and runs off of the ropes and at Dijak jumping through the middle rope with a suicide dive that wipes Dijak out.Both men get back into the ring and Dijak finds himself with the advantage once again as he comes off of the top rope with a twisting splash. Castle recovers and starts to get desperate and begins running full steam at Dijak in an attempt to take the big man off of his feet but Castle’s efforts are unsuccessful.

Castle maintains the advantage and while Dijak is on the ground manages to pick Dijak up off of the mat to perform a dead lift German suplex (something another guy in ROH may have some sort of issue with).  Dijak recovers but Castle presses his advantage more by hitting a spinning slam only to have Dijak kick out at two.  Castle makes his way over to the rope near Truth Martini, which allows Truth to grab the leg of Dalton Castle.  This distraction from Truth allows Dijak to grab Castle up and hit Feast Your Eyes to pick up the win via pinfall.

Match Result: Donovan Dijak defeats Dalton Castle via pinfall via Feast Your Eyes
Match Rating: **3/4

After the match, Dalton Castle confronts Truth Martini about what just happened. Castle grabs Martini by the balls. Tere’s a giant blur mark on my TV screen because this show is on basic cable so they apparently can't show ball grabbing. But...from here, we go to the second match of the night

Match 2
War Machine (Raymond Rowe and Hanson) vs. Andy Dalton and Ken Phoenix 

Thoughts: So I guess this is going to be an ongoing thing with War Machine as they try to rebuild the team after Raymond Rowe returned from his motorcycle accident.  This match was a complete squash as Hanson and Rowe were able to win the match quick fashion with their back suplex top rope leg drop combination.  But hey at least I got the jobbers names this week so that’s a plus huh?

Match Result: War Machine defeats Andy Dalton and Ken Phoenix
Match Rating: N/A. A one-minute match doesn’t deserve a rating. Plus, this match wasn’t about producing a rating it was more about re-establishing War Machine as a dominate tag team which they are doing quite well it’s very old school but it works.

From there we head to the ring for a live edition of reDRagon’s talk show which is titled the “Fish Tank."

Fish Tank Segment

Jay Lethal was the guest and Lethal wanted Fish and O’Reilly to promote his brand new Best Of Jay Lethal DVD and he said something about his hot ex-girlfriend which if you know his history it was painfully obvious to me that he was referring to the former AJ Lee. ReDRagon started looking bored and Fish got on the microphone and dropped the gem of a line “Can’t sleep?  Pop in the new Jay Lethal DVD.”

From there Jay Lethal got mad but not mad enough, it basically led to him unveiling a brand new ROH World Television Championship that actually reads ROH World Champion because according to him he’s the World Champion and Jay Briscoe isn’t.  Jay Lethal then goes on to say that Jay Briscoe was born on a highway because that’s where accidents happen.  This brings out Briscoe who takes exception to what Lethal just said and the two men brawl to the back.  The Knights Of The Rising Dawn rush the ring and attack reDRagon as the segment comes to an end.

Thoughts: I’m assuming this is to set up a Champion vs. Champion match at ROH’s next Pay Per View, Best In The World 2015 as Jay Lethal will challenge Jay Briscoe for the title.  We could in fact see Jay Lethal win the World Title and be the first man in the company’s history to hold both the World and TV title’s simultaneously that’s if they don’t have Lethal lose the TV title before possibly winning the world title. If they did this it would add even more credibility to Jay Lethal going forward and bring some new possible feuds to the forefront as well.

From here, we cut to the backstage area for a pre-taped promo where BJ Whitmer says he wants a match with ACH. Then, commercial. We come back from commercial for the main event of the hour.

Main Event – Match 3
Michael Elgin vs. Cedric Alexander 

Thoughts: This match features another former Eyes On The Ring radio guest in Cedric Alexander as he took on Michael Elgin.  The bell rings and the two men circle around the ring and feel each other out.  Elgin finds himself on the outside of the ring early on as Cedric flies over the top rope and on to Elgin wiping Elgin out on the outside of the ring.  Cedric then picks Elgin up off of the ground and rolls him into the ring and makes his way to the top rope once again.  From there Cedric goes for over time but it misses as Elgin moves out of the way, Elgin recovers and hangs Cedric up in on the second rope and hits his signature flipping leg drop to get a near fall on Cedric.  Elgin gets another near fall just moments later after a rope assisted spinning neck breaker.

Cedric recovers and comes off of the top rope with a clotheseline and covers Elgin but only manages to pick up a 2 count.  Cedric still pressing the advantage he has found himself with hits a Michinoku driver and Elgin once again kicks out at 2.  Elgin gets the advantage and runs off the ropes taking out Cedric with a stiff lariat Elgin goes for the cover afterwards but this time Cedric kicks out at 2.  The two men make their way to one of the corners of the ring where they fight for the upper hand, Alexander shoves a tired Elgin into the corner and then runs at him with three back to back to back dropkicks.  Cedric hits overtime once again and Elgin again kicks out at 2.

Elgin comes back and hits Cedric with a Falcon Arrow but Cedric kicks out of it at 2.  Cedric again finds himself with the advantage as he hits Elgin with the lumbar check and pins Elgin but instead of kicking out of the move Elgin gets his foot on the bottom rope just before Todd Sinclair’s hand comes down for the three count thus it only counts for 2.  Elgin gets the advantage once again and finally hits Cedric with the spinning sit out Elgin bomb for the 1-2-3.

Match Result: Michael Elgin defeats Cedric Alexander via pinfall after a spinning sit out Elgin Bomb
Match Rating: ***

After the conclusion of the match Elgin grabs a microphone and announces that he wants everyone to pay for their sins.  He continues by saying that he’s a killer and that he’s going to start digging graves on his way back to the ROH World Title.

That closes out the show which also closes out another one of my ROH reviews for the site.  This show was a lot better structured than the one two weeks ago. Less matches equals more time for said matches. This means that the wrestlers can take their time and not rush their craft.

With the relaxed format as compared to two weeks ago we still got some storyline progression towards Best In The World and it will be interesting to see how things progress going forward as the event gets closer.

But, that will do it for me and another Ring Of Honor television review for EyesOnTheRing.com.  I hope you enjoyed reading this one and I hope you enjoy reading these reviews in general as I do my best to bring you something different and outside of the WWE norm.

Before I wrap this thing up I should tell you to follow me on Twitter at @Headliner5 and also make sure to follow the official Eyes On The Ring account which is located @EyesOnTheRing.  Also make sure to check out EyesOnTheRing.com for more of these reviews from myself as well as everything else that the entire Eyes On The Ring team chooses to write and provide you for your reading pleasure.

In closing, make sure to check out Eyes On The Ring radio this week as we come to you at 11:00PM EST this Sunday night.  We bring you the entire week in wrestling as it happened as well as all of our reactions of the happenings that took place during the week.  Finally make sure to head on over to Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and like us.  For now I am Nathan saying so long for now, next week I’ll be back here same review time same review website but in the meantime ringers keep your Eyes On The Ring.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

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Seth Rollins: Can His Title Reign Be Successful?

Can Seth Rollins Title Run Be Successful?

Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania 31, making history by being the first man to do so at a Wrestlemania(in the main event no less). The possibilities seem endless for Seth as champ, as he could carry that belt for a very long time, maybe even into Wrestlemania 32 for a year long title reign before dropping the championship. So far, about a month into the reign, we've seen Rollins continue his feud with Randy Orton, along with put on a great non title match against Neville on RAW. We know the match against Orton at Extreme Rules will likely end with Seth walking out as champ still, but the question afterwards would be... What's next?

Now, with the weekly tension within The Authority(which is quite unnecessary, might I add), there is a lingering fear that WWE could go with a Seth vs Kane feud for the title that sees Seth retire Kane for good, but that serves no purpose to the product and will not draw any money. WWE, with their knack to give Big Show unnecessary title runs or pushes, could very well make us suffer through a Big Show vs Seth feud, or even worse, a feud with Seth vs Show vs Kane for the title as the Authority implodes. Jesus, that is a scary thought. There's the variable of Brock using his rematch clause for a one on one match against Seth for the title, but with his "suspension", I feel like WWE will use that to have him relinquish his title match. So, who would be the best options for Seth to face to ensure his title reign is exciting?? Let's take a look:

*Daniel Bryan

-Bryan is still the most over guy on the roster, and despite lingering issues with his injury, he's the best candidate for a feud at Summerslam or Wrestlemania 32. The story of Bryan working his way back up to the title picture after dropping the IC title belt and dethroning Seth for the WWE Championship at WM32 after winning the Royal Rumble would be amazing. Seth vs Bryan in a 25-30 minute main event at Wrestlemania for the title is a wrestling fan's dream. I can only assume that this match happens at some point, and when it does, the crowd will be on fire. Like I said, I'd do this at one of the bigger PPVs with Bryan going over to be the one who dethrones me likely. Who would the 2nd best option be?

*Dean Ambrose

-Despite terrible booking by the WWE(per usual), Dean Ambrose remains over with the crowd and a top merch seller. He also has yet to truly defeat Seth Rollins in a singles match or even win a PPV match since The Shield broke up in June 2014. The narrative seems almost too perfect to set up when you think of how WWE works. Dean wins the MITB briefcase, cashes in on Seth, reigniting their feud, but this time for the title. Or we can give Ambrose the much needed narrative of winning the Rumble and going on to beat Rollins in the main event of Wrestlemania 32. A Shield Triple Threat is a sure bet for the belt also, which leads me to my next feud.....

*Roman Reigns

-Reigns is not WWE Championship Material. However, I have no issue with him feuding against Rollins for their built in narrative that leads to say perhaps a Shield Triple Threat for the title at Summerslam or Wrestlemania 32 with Ambrose winning the belt. I could see Reigns vs Rollins for the title at Payback and Money In The Bank, or even Battleground. They could also hold off on the Reigns feud until after Summerslam and have it for the fall in the event Rollins keeps the title beyond Summerslam. Who would Rollins feud with before then?? Well, I have one idea....

*Dolph Ziggler

-Dolph is long overdue for a run or at least a shot at the WWE Championship. Dolph could win a no. 1 contenders battle royal or match after Extreme Rules and move right into prime position in the main event picture that fast. Dolph vs Seth at Payback, ending in a screwed finish, with a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the title at Money In The Bank that ends with Rollins barely winning, finishing off with a Ladder match for the belt at Battleground to close the feud could give us some Match Of The Year candidates. There's also the chance that a Ziggler Rumble win leading to a WM32 title match versus Seth would be possible, though extremely farfetched. Maybe a NXT star could go straight to the main roster, get over huge and garner a title feud after the Summer? Hmmm....

*Finn Balor

-This is totally a long shot, but think of the matches. Say Finn comes up to the main roster in May, makes a big splash, then gets a shot at say Night of Champions and Hell In A Cell? The intensity would be off the charts, the matches would be insane. Not likely, but a definite fun idea.

*Bray Wyatt

-I'd like the idea of a Bray vs Seth feud. They're both heels and Bray is coming off of a strange loss to Undertaker at Wrestlemania, but he could very well turn his momentum and gain a title shot. This is extremely a long shot but Bray has never really had a title match and I can only wonder where his character goes next. Maybe a tweener turn?

*Brock Lesnar

There is still that chance we see Brock is Seth one on one as well, which would be great and make sense with Brock virtually being a huge face in the company after his WM31 feud with Reigns and disobeying the Authority's rules. This could very well be the Summerslam main event, which I'd expect to be competitive, yet end in foolery.

There are more options to choose from, and while Seth's reign is just beginning, it is firmly up to the WWE Creative Team to give him worthy feuds and matches to make it mean something. Will the WWE get this right, or drop the ball? Only time will tell.