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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tagged under:

Will The WWE 2K17 Announcement Lead To A Goldberg Return?

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Some questions are hilarious in wrestling when speaking of comebacks. Now, when asked if Sting should go to WWE, I remember responding with a resounding YES. When asked if Stone Cold should come back, I responded with a huge YES. When asked if I wanted The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and even Rob Van Dam back, I gave a big YES. Nostalgia can be great yet detrimental for wrestling. However, what it does do for sure is make headlines. Thus, when the teasers for Hatch came along, many of us began to wonder what could be to come. I think I knew from the start what this was in relation to, and I was correct. It had something to do with WWE 2K17.

Now, there have been trailers every year for WWE 2K and after watching the return of the Ultimate Warrior, which then led to his Hall of Fame induction, we saw Sting get in the ring after being announced for the 2K game before as well. With Goldberg announced now for the game, it would almost seem as if he will follow that same path and either get a Hall of Fame induction himself (I guess it's deserved... I mean KoKo B Ware and the Bushwhackers are in there) or something that feels like it's a long time coming, an in ring return before retiring for good. Could Goldberg be setting up for a big time return and a possible appearance at Summerslam? Survivor Series? Surprise entrant at the Rumble? A big match at Wrestlemania 33? It is very likely knowing the WWE history and Goldberg has said he's not against a possible match or return for the sake of his son seeing him in action.

That begins to beg the question of who would Goldberg face if he did come back? With Ryback likely on his way out of the door and into the indies or TNA(no chance ROH hires him), the most logical match seems to be off the table. So, who would Goldberg come to fight? Would he sign a contract to fight multiple matches? Common sense would say Goldberg should sign a contract over the summer to do a mini run from Survivor Series (shortly after the 2K17 game releases) to Wrestlemania 33 before hanging up the boots forever. Why? Well, you can bring Goldberg back on an episode of RAW and have him as the fifth member on a main event team going into the PPV. It keeps the attraction of Goldberg alive for future reference and holds off a singles match until Mania. I'd let Goldberg be involved in storylines periodically under a part time schedule (2 weeks of RAW in a row, miss a week, repeat) until it's time for the Mania build.

I'd have Goldberg as a special entrant in the Rumble as well, and while he wouldn't win, I'd have him get eliminated by whoever his Wrestlemania 33 opponent will be. And there goes the toughest part of the entire Goldberg return. If Goldberg were to return and fight at Wrestlemania 33, who in the hell would you put him against? Who makes sense? Who can afford to take what will be an obvious loss? No chance Goldberg comes back and loses in his final match ever, so this presents the challenge. You want to have a big money match, a big feud for Goldberg, but let's be honest: Goldberg was never known for his actual wrestling. He was not. He was known for being dominant. Destroying opponents in less than 5 minutes. When he was in WWE for a year, he had to wrestle full length matches of 20 minutes and it didn't work. You saw his weakness. You saw that he wasn't the guy we thought in WCW. So if he comes back much older and less mobile and active, wouldn't it likely backfire to an extent at Wrestlemania?

This would lead to a true ring general coming in to give Goldberg one of the better matches of his career likely, but all the current ring generals can't afford to take a loss to someone like Goldberg. Bray Wyatt vs Goldberg? While this would be interesting, and a big headline match for Bray yet again at Mania, would it make sense? Would it be smart for Bray to build up a feud with Goldberg, only to lose in 9-11 minutes? Likely not. How about AJ Styles vs Goldberg? While AJ could carry Goldberg to a great match, there's the dangerous factor of Goldberg that could end up injuring AJ if he's reckless with his moves. Sami Zayn vs Goldberg? No. Seth Rollins vs Goldberg? No. Dean Ambrose vs Goldberg? No. Roman Reigns vs Goldberg? As much I would love to see Reigns get speared and lose to a Jackhammer, that match would be horrible and there's no way they would make Reigns lose, so no. So who? Here are a few small choices and why they could afford the loss and the feud.

*Sheamus vs Goldberg 
-This match makes the most sense from an aesthetic point. Sheamus and Goldberg are both physical beasts and this match could end up as a slugfest and a brutal contest. It would allow Goldberg to have a prominent match against a newer name without taking too much of the shine from anyone, and Sheamus isn't really in the future plans of WWE for the main event I'd assume, so him taking a loss in an 11 minute match would not be so bad. This is likely the smartest option as Goldberg doesn't hold the same drawing power as a Sting, Brock, or Rock in his return, and it will be a harmless feud and match to give him one last moment in the sunset.

*Rusev vs Goldberg 
-This is the one I'd be most excited about. Rusev is a great worker and character and him playing the antagonist going into Mania against Goldberg with Lana by his side would be golden. In the weeks leading up to it, allow Rusev to utilize Lana to gain the upper hand on Goldberg and put him in this finishing move once or twice making Goldberg pass out. Make the build believable and make Rusev look good as well. Let the match be a brutal fest with Goldberg winning after a back and forth contest. Rusev won't be hurt by that loss, and the next night on RAW, he can come right back and start another feud to move on with.

*Kevin Owens vs Goldberg
-To be fair.... I don't want this match. I think it would be a waste of Owens, but if anyone could make this work and still pull off getting over in a losing effort as a heel? Owens is that guy. The exposure for him in this feud would be huge and if he would kick out of two Spears and a Jackhammer or two, before taking the fight to Goldberg and then Goldberg gets a quick win, this could work. Especially if Owens goes to shake Goldberg's hand after the match is over and as Goldberg goes to shake it, Owens lays him out with a Pop Up Powerbomb, leaving us with a long lasting memory for Mania purposes even in a losing effort. Also a likely and smart scenario.

*John Cena vs Goldberg 
-This match is really just here for the purposes of a "dream match", though I'd never want to see it. Cena vs Goldberg would be a big match and Cena not going over makes this even better. Goldberg kicking out of the AA, along with Cena kicking out of two Jackhammers before finally falling to a third, then the two shake hands in a show of respect after the match.

*Randy Orton vs Goldberg
-This is the only other match I could imagine working, especially since the last time it happened, Orton wasn't a star yet. Orton could give the match that extra boost needed and the Spear being turned into a RKO or the Jackhammer attempt being turned into the RKO with a huge Goldberg kickout followed by Orton kicking out of a huge spear would be worth it alone. Plus, Orton could handle the loss.

These are some of the smartest matches. There were a few I was on the fence about like Cesaro and Goldberg, as Cesaro would make it great, but I truly believe that Cesaro shouldn't have to carry the match and really lose it. Samoa Joe vs Goldberg would be one that I'd like to entertain the thought of, but to be honest, Joe could not take the loss. It's just not a smart idea to make that match happen, but if it did happen, I'd not hate it at least.

However, there is always the chance the WWE goes full retard and books a horrible match choice. In that event, here are matches to avoid booking for Goldberg in the event he does return.

*Triple H vs Goldberg
-We don't need no stinking rematches. Honestly, despite the issues they had in the past, this is not a good look. Let's not revisit this. Ever. Again.

*Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg
-The rumor has always been Goldberg wants a redo of their Wrestlemania 20 match, but I'm not so sure that's smart. Not to mention the subtle yet interesting placement of Suplex City in the commercial teaser for the 2K17 game. This first match was horrible and this match would be even worse. Let's keep these two away from each other if he does return. Seriously.

*The Undertaker vs Goldberg
-Imagine if this happened 10 years ago or if Goldberg came back during the Undertaker's second prime? It would have still been disappointing from a match standpoint, but it would have been entertaining. Unlike Taker vs Sting, the spectacle here is not enough. Taker is much slower and Goldberg would be rusty so the logical choice is to never bring this match up again or think about it happening in reality.

*Luke Gallows vs Goldberg
-This would be the weirdest match ever. Yet I feel like this would be an idea the WWE would  come with. Please don't. WWE seriously. Please don't. Same goes for a Goldberg vs Balor match, or Goldberg vs Anderson. Just don't do it.

*Big Show vs Goldberg
-It's bad enough Shaq vs Big Show is rumored. Let's just avoid this rematch for the sake of seeing a huge Jackhammer that was much cooler 18 years ago when it first happened. The same goes for a Goldberg vs Kane match or anything like that.

Goldberg returning would be an interesting scenario, and I'd welcome it for the purpose of nostalgia at Mania that doesn't overshadow the current stars. Should Goldberg return? He doesn't NEED to, but why not? He's not as familiar of a face to this generation and with the game coming out, why not let him have one more walk down that aisle before officially closing the door.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Tagged under:

Hello Again WWE Brand Split Part 2: The Rosters

By @TrueGodImmortal

In what is technically part 2 of the first initial article, today I wanted to look at the draft and pick my choices for who I want to see on Smackdown and who I want to see on RAW, along with booking some of the top feuds on each show. There was a rumored list of both rosters, and upon review, it doesn't necessarily look bad, but it's still missing a few pieces and mixed up a few guys. So, I'd like to present my roster for both shows as a follow up to the announcement of the brand extension returning. I'll give reasons why these guys should be on the show they are. Let's get into it


*Roman Reigns
-Obviously, THE GUY, the champ would be on RAW. I'm not certain if that means the champ will be on both shows, but even if that is the case, when Reigns loses the belt, he should be on RAW.

*Seth Rollins
-The true face of the company. A title contender and a true main eventer for RAW. Should be champion during the summer without question.

*Kevin Owens 
-This man deserves to be on RAW and in title contention. My favorite to win the MITB and should be world champion by the end of 2017. Belongs on the "A Show". He's the new Mr. Monday Night.

*Brock Lesnar 
-Brock is part-time. Considering all things, his whole M.O. is better suited for RAW. Summerslam, Survivor Series and all the big events should see him in feuds strictly for the RAW brand. Owens, Samoa Joe, Nakamura and Cesaro instantly come to mind.

*Dean Ambrose
-The most popular guy in the company overall needs to be a top star on RAW hands down. Keep him in the title hunt and make him a main event mainstay with Rollins, Brock, Reigns, Owens and Cesaro. Yes, I said Cesaro. As far as the IC Championship goes...

-This is the man who should defeat the Miz for the IC Title and restore it to greatness once again. He's ready for the big league. He's always been. Put this man on RAW and let him shine.

*The New Day
-The tag team champions. Now, if the WWE decides to make two tag team divisions, I'm not mad at that. Regardless, The New Day should NOT BE split up. Though some fairweather fickle fans are starting to turn on them, New Day keeps the show entertaining.  They deserve to be on RAW.

*Sasha Banks
-The true face of the women's division. Should become champion by Summerslam. The people WANT SASHA. GIVE THEM SASHA. Period. I know she wants to be on Smackdown, but let her stick on RAW and take over.

-Current women's champion. Not much to say here, I just rather her stay on RAW to feud with Sasha and Paige and possibly Naomi.

-Should get an opportunity as s main eventer on RAW. A feud with Brock would be great, as is a shot at Ambrose or a feud with Rollins after Seth wins the title. Cesaro is hitting his stride. He deserves a push.

*Samoa Joe
-That's right. The current NXT Champion will get called up soon in the spirit of Kevin Owens last year. He will make a mark for sure, and I'd like to see him target a Cesaro or Ambrose first before moving onto a Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns. I feel like Joe fits slightly better on RAW than Smackdown.

*Enzo and Cass 
-The Future of tag team wrestling in WWE. They must stay on RAW. They're built for that show and to help carry the brand.

As far as the rest of the roster, I think these are all viable options and make a complete roster with balance. The WWE Title, the Intercontinental and the Women's title can be the driving force of the show here.

Chris Jericho(if he stays around)
Apollo Crews
The Miz
Dolph Ziggler 
Zack Ryder 
The Vaudevillains
Dudley Boyz
Sin Cara
The Shining Stars
Dana Brooke 


*John Cena 
-That's right. The face of RAW for a decade plus gets a change of pace. I see a run as the top guy of Smackdown for Cena, but perhaps not as the main event focus, which serves him better. Feuding with AJ Styles is going to be awesome and he could work with Sami Zayn, Austin Aries, Finn Balor, and some upcoming stars on the roster to give them a boost for the future. Cena on Smackdown is what's best for business.

*Randy Orton 
-Since we know Randy will be back soon, why not put him on Smackdown. Orton and Cena were two of the biggest stars on RAW for years, but their time has passed. Allow them to help build up Smackdown and let Orton feud with Balor, Styles, Anderson, Aries, Bray Wyatt, and Sami Zayn. That should be enough to keep Orton occupied on Smackdown for some time.

*AJ Styles
-The new face of Smackdown essentially. With his recent heel turn, AJ could become the top heel on the brand. I smell a Bullet Club vs Wyatt Family feud also in the making and the thought of that smells like money. AJ vs Sami, AJ vs Orton, AJ vs Cena, AJ vs Neville... it all sounds great to me.

*Austin Aries
-Aries is doing okay in NXT but if he's called up, he needs to be on Smackdown. The roster fits him better and the show feel will work for him.

*Finn Balor 
-The missing piece of the Bullet Club in WWE. Imagine this Club joining focus to be the dominant group on Smackdown and taking out Cena and Orton. Imagine a Survivor Series main event of Finn, AJ, Gallows and Anderson vs Orton, Cena, Zayn, and Neville. That could be amazing without a doubt.

*Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson 
-The top team it seems for the brand, as they seem hellbent on taking over everything. Add them with AJ and Finn, and what you have is money.

-If Smackdown is to have a woman's division, or a women's roster, there are two pieces needed from the Four Horsewomen on each brand. While Sasha and Charlotte fit on RAW, Bayley and Becky seem like a great fit on Smackdown. Bayley could give Smackdown an extra kick.

*Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family
-Bray fills the tweener role perfectly for Smackdown. He could become a nemesis to a Del Rio or Cena again, he could feud with Orton or AJ Styles, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Aries, whoever. He wouldn't be defined, he would be enigma of Smackdown. Fulfilling a role that the Undertaker had some years ago in WWE.

*Sami Zayn
-Sami and Owens shouldn't be on the same show. They've feuded already on the main roster and now it's time to see if Sami can hang on his own. There are plenty of feuds that could work for Sami with this roster.

*Becky Lynch
-The faces of women's wrestling in WWE are the Four Horsewomen. This is a must to have Becky get ample time on Smackdown.

*American Alpha
-The NXT tag team champions could make a big splash on Smackdown. With their similar styles to Benjamin and Haas, as well as Angle influence, this is a no brainer.

The rest of the roster here seems to fill out well. I may have left off a name or two, but this a stacked roster and has enough star power to make you want to tune in. I feel like the US Title should come to Smackdown, but I also would like to see the Cruiserweight Classic result in an actual Cruiserweight championship return and the winner of the Cruiserweight Classic becomes an instant member of the roster on Smackdown.

Tyson Kidd
Alberto Del Rio 
The Usos
The Revival 
Big Show
Curtis Axel 
Rusev and Lana
Jack Swagger 
Darren Young
Titus O Neil
Heath Slater
Bo Dallas 
Tyler Breeze 
Nikki Bella 

What about your rosters? Who do you think should go where? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tagged under:

ROH TV Review: 5/28/16

By @Headliner5

Hello and welcome to my first ROH TV review in quite some time, as ROH was airing older content for what felt like forever. However now we are back into the swing of things and things can resume per the usual for me. I am of course Nathan (in case you've forgotten my name), so without any hesitation lets get down to business.

Match 1
Lio Rush vs. ACH

Thoughts: The match begins and the two feel each other out early on until ACH hits a German suplex for a near fall. This short match would come to an end when ACH hits Lio Rush with a super kick and follows it up with a midnight star (450 Splash) to pick up the win in quick fashion.

Match Result: ACH defeats Lio Rush via pinfall after the Midnight Star.

Match Rating: N/A- Hopefully these two will get a proper match down the line.

From there, Silas Young, who was on commentary earlier, runs down to the ring and begins beating the crap out of ACH. Silas hits ACH with Misery.

Next, we have a flashback to when the Addiction recaptured the ROH World Tag Team Titles from War Machine.

This brings out Daniels and Kazarian, who say they are better than any team that is currently in ROH. Daniels claims that he and Kazarian have never been beaten which is totally untrue, but I guess we are going with it.

This brings out Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley who want a crack at The Addiction, however they are not alone, as Roppongi Vice also want an opportunity.

From there, we find out that an impromptu match will happen next.

Match 2
Roppongi Vice vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Addiction

Thoughts: The match begins and the teams feel each other out for a bit before Sabin and Shelley hit Daniels with a super kick lariat combination. Kazarian hits a neck breaker on Shelley and in comes Daniels to stomp away on the fallen Shelley. Daniels hits an STO to get a near fall. Barretta recovers and drops Kazarian on his head with a German Suplex. Daniels comes back by hitting the Best Moonsault Ever. The match comes to an end when the Motor City Machine Guns win with a splash neck breaker combination to earn themselves a future ROH World Tag Team Title Opportunity.

Match Result: Motor City Machine Guns defeat Roppongi Vice and The Addiction via pinfall after a neck breaker top rope splash combination.

Match Rating: **1/2

From there, we go to a pre taped promo from Roderick Strong, who is cutting an angry promo about Jay Briscoe and their upcoming match at Best In The World.

Next, we cut to Adam Cole, who says that this is The Bullet Club's world and that we are all lucky to live in it.

We then find out that a Fight Without Honor will take place at Best In The World as BJ Whitmer will take on Steve Corino.

From there, we go to the main event of the evening.

Match 3
Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshi Tatsu

Thoughts: A fun match that was super fast paced and at some points hard to follow and keep up with. The Elite gets thrown out of the ring early and Elgin dives over the top rope onto everyone on the outside.  Back in the ring, Elgin hits a double suplex on both of the Bucks. Tanahashi gets into the ring and eats a super kick before falling over like he just got shot in the face. The Bucks and Omega hit stereo triple suicide dives to the outside on all of their opponents. Back in the ring and Tanahashi gives everyone on the opposing team a back rake, then Elgin hits a dead lift German Suplex on Matt Jackson and follows it up with another one this time with both of the Bucks. Elgin hits a Falcon Arrow and gets a near fall before it is broken up by Omega with a flying attack.  Matt Jackson springs off of the rope for a 450 before getting caught in midair by Elgin in a powerbomb position before being thrown to the outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Omega and The Bucks hit Tatsu with a triple super kick for a near fall. The match comes to an end when Kenny Omega hits Yoshi Tatsu with a One Winged Angel to pick up the pinfall victory.

Match Result: Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks defeat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshi Tatsu via pinfall after Kenny Omega hits Yoshi Tatsu with the One Winged Angel.

Match Rating: ***

A fun main event that capped off the first new show in months, and let's hope they can keep this going.

That however will do it for me and this review of ROH TV and thankfully I still remember how to write reviews, which is a good thing. I wouldn't say this episode is must watch material or anything, but it's got some good stuff on it if you just want to kill an hour with some good wrestling.

Thanks for reading and make sure to follow me on twitter @Headliner5 as well as @EyesOnTheRing for all of your wrestling and social media needs. Until next week, I'll see you right back here as we continue the tapings from War Of The Worlds.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tagged under:

Hello Again, WWE Brand Split

By @TrueGodImmortal

So, the news is now out: the WWE is splitting their brands yet again. I mean, could you be anymore excited? Raw and Smackdown will get to have their own rosters and produce some content only seen on their show each week. There are many rumors, questions, and speculations since this become known, but one thing that's for sure is that the WWE is ready to make a big change and get kicking on all cylinders again. This brand split news comes right as Shane and Steph join forces to run RAW together again. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but wouldn't it have been simpler to just split the rosters and have Shane run one, and Stephanie run another?

I know, that probably makes too much sense, but WWE is up to their confusing ways once again when it comes to their product and decisions. And we, as a result, get to share in the joy of watching a train wreck, a possible disaster, and yet another fuck up in the series of WWE fuck ups. There's going to be a draft. Smackdown is going to now be live weekly for the first time in the show's existence. This is a big change for WWE and makes the whole concept of a New Era seem realer. However, with a struggling(in popularity) Roman Reigns still the most promoted and the current champion, this brand extension may only spell out some bad news for fans.

Our saving grace is that we have a WWE roster with loads of options. Sure, we have Reigns now, but there's Rollins, Owens, Ambrose, and others waiting in the wings to take his spot and move into the no. 1 rank. Truthfully, Seth Rollins is THE GUY for the job despite the horrid decision to bring him back as a heel. Seth is OVER. He's the MAN and the WWE won't recognize that no one wants to boo him. They do want to boo Reigns and will continue to do so. However, the issue the draft brings up is that if they continue to run with Reigns as the guy, it is a huge chance that we see him in the position from here on out with no other competition as the top guy. Reigns obviously isn't working as a face or the top guy, but with the brand extension, it's almost like WWE may begrudgingly be giving the fans a choice. It is expected that Reigns will remain on RAW, as well Cena likely, and Brock Lesnar of course will also be there. Could this be a repeat of what we saw almost 15 years ago when the first brand split occurred?

As Raw took more known and a large amount of older, less gifted stars in the older draft, Smackdown seemed to get the short end of the stick by picking a number of smaller wrestlers and in ring legendary veterans. What we got was RAW being seemingly booked like the WWE Nitro show, with attempts at shock value, and the forcing of Triple H as a big and bad heel, while Smackdown was fun, free flowing, and despite Brock becoming the face of Smackdown, he had a supporting cast that were almost on equal footing with him, like Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, and many more. With this brand extension coming, my fear was that RAW becomes the show that WWE wants to forcefeed us, and Smackdown becomes the show we all love and truly enjoy.

If that were to happen, I'd not be mad at it, but I fear the company as a whole suffers if RAW is terrible. If I'm WWE and I'm doing a draft, here are some key pointers for what I'd do going forward:

*Keep Reigns On RAW
-Reigns going to Smackdown might dilute the brand in some way. Keep him on RAW, let him drop the title around Summerslam, and keep him around the RAW main event scene after without forcing another title reign or overbooking him.

*Send Cena To Smackdown 
-Smackdown needs one huge name. I think Cena is the guy. Orton? No. Bray? No. Ambrose? No. Seth? No. While all those names are great, Cena makes the most sense. In a new era, Cena going to Smackdown means big business for SD, and if we get a newer roster and more great in ring performers on SD, I'd say let Cena win the US Title and bring it over to Smackdown with him.

*Make Smackdown The Show To Watch
-The running joke is no one watches Smackdown. How can you make it the show to watch? Let's put AJ Styles, Cesaro, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Nakamura, and a number of other great performers on Smackdown. The head writer of Smackdown used to be the head writer for NXT so it makes sense. With a stacked roster with so many big names and amazing stars, Smackdown would become its own actual brand and build a following that could exceed RAW.

*Keep Seth and Dean on RAW
-I know... Dean on RAW along with Seth and Reigns means a Shield Triple Threat match right? Of course. That's what you want anyways. Three of the biggest stars in the game going after the WWE Title. The thing is, Dean, Seth, and Roman ushered in a new era of sorts, so it makes sense to keep them all on RAW.

*Split the World Title Again 
-The issue here is that there's no real way to understand that the world champion only has one challenger each month on a specific show and for 1-2 months, one show will have no champion. Split the world titles yet again, and let Roman remain WWE Champion, but make a tournament for the World Heavyweight Title. I'd make it a final with Cesaro and AJ Styles, with AJ winning, ushering in a new era of Smackdown as the champ.

*Balance RAW's Roster
-Give RAW the usual big names we see like Orton, Bray, Brock, Reigns, Seth, and Dean, but also bring in some newer guys and boost some newer guys as well. Balance the roster so it doesn't feel like a waste of time to watch what will be three hours of a limited roster.

There's so many pros and cons to this draft, but the best approach is a wait and see. Maybe it won't be so bad. Maybe it will. Time will tell.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Tagged under:

EOTR Fantasy Booking: The Shield vs The Four Horsemen

By @SteveSignore

The subject was a hot topic when The Shield was running white hot: What would it be like if The Shield ever went head to head with another legendary faction, The Four Horsemen? To make this Dream Match fit, you'll have to strip the Horsemen of a member to balance the odds. To me, the three men that always come to mind when thinking back to the Horsemen are Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, and, of course, the Nature Boy Ric Flair. While there were some respected members of the group through the years, these are the three that deserve to be part of such a fantasy.

The individuality all three members of The Shield have created since the group disbanded has made the faction seem like such a distant memory. While I can't speak for all wrestling fans, I'm beyond mentally drained from all the complaining I've done about Roman Reigns being relentlessly forcefeed by Vince McMahon. But before the constant whining, Reigns was the muscle and the enforcer of the group. There's a reason he's gotten the push he has, despite it's unnecessary longevity.

So, speaking of enforcers, lets talk about the man who was actually known as "The Enforcer," and that's Arn Anderson. I'd argue that Anderson was underrated in the overall scope of wrestling history. He wasn't flashy. He didn't have "a look." But what he had was the ability to cut some of the most intense promos you'll ever hear, while also delivering a "no nonsense" technical style in the ring. At one point, people would ask me who my favorite wrestler was and I'd mention Arn Anderson. They'd respond with, "really?" But as the years have gone by, they've come to understand the genius that was "The Enforcer." Setting the enforcers aside, you can mix and match the combinations of Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose versus Tully and Flair.

These become dream matches in themselves, but I personally like the idea of the "unhinged" personality of Ambrose against the hot temper of the Nature Boy. We've seen plenty "chop versus chop" scenarios with Flair and any opponent through the years, but this seems like it would be just that much more intense. You can't help but to think back to a throwback match with Piper or Pillman, when thinking of Ambrose versus Flair.

While no one in the history of the Horsemen probably had the agility of Seth Rollins, Tully plays out to be the most intriguing matchup. Tully, much like Arn Anderson, doesn't get the just due he deserves as a wrestler. I'm not sure if it's because his career didn't last as long as the others or what, but his name needs to come up more often. Rollins needs to be the face in this competition, because it's hard to think of Tully as anything but a heel.

I'm envisioning a scenario back on he NWA/WCW Saturday Night set. Picture The Shield raising havoc in that studio atmosphere. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing, but I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. Flair cuts another classic promo with the Horsemen at his side, before The Shield emerges for the first time on TBS and shares a staredown with the group. Ambrose delivers a few choice words to Flair, getting him hot under the collar, loosening his tie as his face turns beet red. "You want us, you got it!," Flair screams. This feud could possibly challenge the Freebirds/Von Erichs as the best rivalry between two factions in history.

There's one gimmick match that makes this dream match/feud all the more interesting and that is War Games. So, lets tack on that fourth member of the Horsemen, we'll call him Barry Windham. And who would join The Shield to even the odds? It can be anyone. I'd personally put Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream and The Shield versus the Four Horsemen. Sounds good to me! Keep on dreaming.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tagged under:

Ranking The Eras of Wrestling

By @TrueGodImmortal

Today, I wanted to something slightly different. We usually rank the matches and feuds here, but this article will see me rank the top eras of wrestling. Granted I've not studied the tapes sufficiently enough to rank the 60s and 70s, so this will all be stuff that occurred from the 80's and on to the current era we are in. One would say this current era truly started in 2014 with Daniel Bryan winning the title at Mania, Cesaro winning a battle royal, and the Shield becoming faces before their massive breakup. Some would say the first true era in wrestling came during the NWA and WWE days when Flair and Hogan reigned supreme. That's my starting point for today, as far as time period. Let's get into it.

10. WCW in the Early 90s (1990-1994)

-I'll call this the pre Hogan era in WCW. Good lord, was this some garbage. I mean, the commentary was slow. Clunky. Boring. The whole concept of what we were witnessing was just all around horrible to be honest. There's Shockmaster. There's Johnny B. Badd. There's Oz. There's every single wrestler that had a gimmick in WCW. The matches were slow and the action was lacking intensity. The bright side of this had to be Sting growing in popularity. Vader as champ and maybe the return of Flair as this era came to a close. Still, there is so much negative to speak of here, it's not even funny. Well, it is kinda funny.

9. The New Generation Era (1993-1996)

-This era is slept on, yet it is still horrible. For every Bret Hart, there were your Duke The Dumpster Droese and Mantaur. For every Shawn Michaels, there was an Adam Bomb or The Goon. For every Owen Hart, you had your T.L. Hopper or Salvatore Sincere. For every... well, you get the point. There's a lot to love about this era, but it's literally just a three or four man show. The greatness came from Bret, Shawn, Razor, and sometimes Undertaker and Owen. Yokozuna was great in spurts, but increasingly inconsistent as the era came to a close. The bright spots were truly dope, but too few. Some people (like Nathan), think this was better than the Attitude Era, but they are mistaken. This era was truly a miss for the WWF as a whole, from the gimmicks to the Diesel as champion experiment.

8. The PG Era (2007-2011)

-I know. I know. This is the Cena led era of the WWE. I know. This is where the product became watered down. MVP told Miz something about a monkey flinging poo instead of using words that adults recognize. However, this was also an era that Smackdown was superior to RAW on, as Punk, Jeff Hardy, Edge, Taker, Batista, and many more set the tone for the good side of the era. The bad side of this era came from RAW. Guest hosts, terrible feuds, bland matches, and some boring TV. It is the worst era of wrestling over the last 15-20 years due to the over reliance of Cena, Orton, and HHH throughout the entire period. Did it have bright spots? Sure. Was it as cheesy as the New Generation Era? No. As efficiemt as the Ruthless Aggression? No. But overall, the negatives outweighed the positive by a margin. It was almost the worst era period, but the lack of Mantaur and Man Mountain Rock saves it from being worse than the New Generation.

Favorite moments? Perhaps Shawn vs Taker at Wrestlemania 25, which is essentially my favorite match and moment from any era pretty much. Edge vs Cena reignite their feud and things got serious. Orton and The Legacy were fun to watch also. There's a few more moments and matches that were fun, but when things got bad in this era..... trust me... they got bad. Bob Barker as Guest Host of RAW, Al Sharpton on RAW, Hornswoggle as Vince's son, Anonymous General Manager BAD.

7. The Hulkamania Era/Golden Era (1984-1992)

-This era is epic, yet disappointing. I wanted to rank it higher. The quality doesn't hold up for this however. Hogan was way too prominent in the company. Way too prominent. Too much of a reliance on him and what he brought to the table business wise, which doesn't sound bad on the surface, but when you see how they missed out on main event money for guys like Warrior, Savage, Mr. Perfect, Jake the Snake, and a few others. As we saw, you might have a ton of talents that could carry the wave beyond what Hogan did, but the WWF was so lost within the curse of Hogan that they saw it no other way. Hogan would headline Wrestlemania 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 during his era, with the only change being in Wrestlemania 4, which he was still involved in and he had a role in that main event match anyways. Hogan was on top of the world, but as everything began to change, he just wouldn't move from his position. Savage was truly ready to be the man, but it didn't happen and the company suffered due to this. Hogan had a few classics and would sustain the company and take it to newer heights, but not moving on when it was time, is truly what halted momentum when it came time to transition and for that, this era gets knocked down overall.

6. The Punk/Reality Era (2011-2014)

-This era could have been the greatest if executed right. This was the rise of CM Punk and the rise of Daniel Bryan era, along with the return of the Rock and Brock Lesnar to the WWE as well. It had all the elements to be a huge boom period yet again for wrestling. What went wrong was the usual backwards booking and true lack of direction. They had organically over stars in Punk, Bryan, and even Zack Ryder, but because of their over reliance on Cena and Triple H at times, this didn't go as well as expected. Punk made a name for himself, but I wonder if he was given the real opportunity to carry the company like he could, what would have happened. The ups and downs throughout this era made it better than the previous ones, but still lacking that extra intangible to make it the best ever or at least a top 3 best ever. WWE would learn from their mistakes mostly going forward, once this era truly ended or transitioned after Wrestlemania 30.

Still, the mistakes here were glowing, such as Wrestlemania 27, 29, the awful Brock vs Triple H feud, and Batista winning the Rumble. However, when there's good moments to be had, everything is right within the wrestling world, such as Punk and the pipe bomb promo, Ryder winning the US Title, Bryan and his YES! craze, the return of Brock to take out Cena, Ziggler cashing in his briefcase to win the belt, Rock vs Cena 1, and a few other great moments. The positives slightly outweigh the negative and this was a step up from the PG Era, as it saw some, not much, but some progression in the product.

5. Monday Night Wars- WCW vs WWF (1995-1998)

-This is literally the only era of WCW that truly matters. In many ways, this is the best overall era because of what it led to, but when reflecting back on all the elements surrounding it, this isn't necessarily the best in ring wise or fun wise. The precursor to the Attitude Era, this was an era filled with excitement, aggression, dirty tactics, and more just to win a ratings war. Bischoff was ruthless, Vince was a bit weak in return, though the Billionaire Ted and Nacho Man skits were funny at times. As far as product on TV? Both shows lacked in the match department, except WCW and their Cruiserweight division, which alone puts it before the eras it is ranked above. On the WWF side, this was the transition period from the New Generation to the Attitude Era, as WWF was trying to regain their footing so to speak.

Shawn Michaels was the most noteworthy guy for the majority of this era for them, until the rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin signaled a new wave. I'd say this era officially ended the night when WWF finally beat the WCW show after nearly 2 years. It was the turning point and the true change over into the Attitude Era. WCW had the Cruiserweights and the NWO, the WWF had Shawn, Taker, and the beginning of DX as the era ended, along with the beginning of Stone Cold. That's good enough to win a top 5 era in wrestling history slot, but not good enough to take the top 3. Still, probably the most important of all the eras.

4. NWA in the 80s (1983-1989)

-Flair vs Funk. Rhodes vs Flair. Flair vs Steamboat. Flair vs... well you get the picture. Much like Hogan was in the WWF in the 80s, Flair was the MAN in the 80s for NWA. He controlled it all. He was the most valuable wrestler in the game at this time. I literally could name this the Flair era. Sting rose to prominence some as the era was closing, but Flair and Harley Race are the go to names for this one. The Road Warriors. The Midnight Express. Magnum T.A. Dusty Rhodes. The Four Horsemen. Lex Luger. Arn Anderson. Tully Blanchard. The list goes on and on. This was an amazing era that had very few weak spots throughout. Flair carried this era gracefully, with Rhodes and Race as solid accomplices in the early to mid 80's, and Steamboat as the perfect nemesis as the 80's closed. A truly unforgettable era and one of the greatest periods in wrestling. Long live the NWA.

3. The NXT/WWE Network Era (2014-Current)

-In all fairness, at this rate, despite the injuries, from a pure wrestling standpoint, this is actually the best era of all time. At least from what I've seen. The level of talent here today in WWE is absolute amazing and it's grown considerably since Wrestlemania 30, when I believe this era truly started. Since then, the company has put on amazing matches and solid pushes for stars like Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, and many, many others. They fixed their bad booking of Brock Lesnar, and most of all? We have NXT. The true medium between WWE and the indies, NXT is everything we could want from WWE in general.  It features great action, character depth, and superb storytelling. The only downside would be some of the peculiar booking and decision making, but I feel like it's established that there will be some bad mishaps and issues with the fans.

Regardless, the surreal part is having all these indie legends, amazing performers, and huge moments occur in WWE. Though this era so far could use a little better booking and less focus now on Reigns, when it's looked back on, the roster, the matches and the competition will be remembered for all time. I mean, we've really got Nakamura, Austin Aries, and Samoa Joe all in NXT. How can you beat that???

2. The Attitude Era (1998-2001)

-To many, this is the greatest era ever and I get why they say that. From an entertainment standpoint, this era is amazing. There was roster depth and each star was being used as best as they could. Austin and Rock truly made the era worth watching, while Taker and DX added the extra element that we needed. Mankind and Kane were other big time players, while in the tag team division, The New Age Outlaws, LOD 2000, Edge and Christian, The Hardy Boyz, and The Dudley Boyz actually kept this ship afloat, with a ton of great matches back and forth. WCW was in horrible shape during this period and they would end up being bought by WWF as the era came to a resounding close as a result.

The bad didn't outweigh the good, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't have some brutal moments like Mae Young and Mark Henry, the PMS angle, and more. However, the talent was top notch and this era from an overall standpoint has a good case to be the best, but something about it just doesn't take the case. I'm sure it's obvious what's no. 1, and the reason why comes down to straight up better wrestling and slightly better booking.

1. Ruthless Aggression Era (2002-2007)

-This is it. This era could really be no. 1 off two of the greatest years I've ever witnessed in wrestling. 2002 and 2003 via the Smackdown side is the greatest time period in wrestling. The wrestling alone in 2002 makes it better than anything I've ever seen and likely will ever see, sans this era perhaps. When you look at the roster then, it's totally stacked. There was still Austin and Rock, but then you add Orton, Cena, Batista, Hogan at times, Booker, Angle, Benoit, Mysterio, Eddie, Team Angle, Edge, Jericho, HBK, Kane, RVD, Brock Lesnar, and many more. This was the pinnacle of professional wrestling in WWE and though there were years in this era that weren't exactly the greatest(2006-2007), overall it is the best era of wrestling. The opportunities given, the new stars built, the influence of Smackdown, and the Triple H Reign of Terror (which led to Benoit getting a 6 month title reign) all made it worthwhile.

In this era also, ECW made a mini comeback (not the fake ECW brand, but the true to the original One Night Stand PPVs at least), DX returned in a different form than before, JBL rose to prominence, and much more. The greatest era of wrestling? Yes. It was close, but Ruthless Aggression takes the cake.

Now, I'm sure there will be people who disagree with this list completely. I don't really care. Regardless, this is how I see it. These are the eras of wrestling and how they're ranked in terms of quality. If you disagree, post how you would rank them in the comments below.