Sunday, 30 March 2014

Power Slam: 10 and a Half Years in the Making

AYO! I thought I'd take a minute to just put my thoughts down on paper (or type them up to the blog in this case) because we're only about 7 days out from WrestleMania! On a personal level I'd been on the losing end of a battle with cold and flu symptoms for about 3 weeks, but mere days before we fly out, things are starting to clear up. Thanks to; Tyrozets lozenges, Hall's Soothers, Lockets, Beecham's All-in-One tablets, regular gym sessions, Korean Ginseng, vapo rub and 'Ginger, Lemon & Honey' tea - my immune system is picking up and laying the biological SmackDown on these cold and flu symptoms.

There were points earlier this week when it seemed as though the stress of being prepared was outweighing the excitement of WrestleMania Season, such as creating the T-Shirt designs to use as an example. On it's own it doesn't seem like a big deal, but stitch that in with all the other things we have to prepare/organise for and the fabric of the perfect trip starts to weigh on your mind. Tried to call Rihan a few times this week but it's like trying to get through to him, has been equivalent of trying to get Premium VIP tickets for WrestleMania Axxess. He must be real busy! Sometimes I wonder how he keeps up with things the way he does, and manages to stay on top of everything. Thankfully, the T-shirt designs look amazing in my opinion, and the finished product will be ready for collection tomorrow. I'll probably put a sneak peak picture up on here so keep your eyes peeled!

I finished watching 'The Wrestling Road Diaries' today with Anuj, and it definitely gets the thumbs up! I wanted to make sure that I watch this before flying out because it shows you insight of what it's like, being on the road and living the lifestyle of an independant professional wrestler, vicariously through Colt Cabana, Bryan Danielson and Sal Rinauro. The reason it was important to me was because it would take me on the journey with 'American Dragon' Bryan Danielson on his last tour around before signing up to the WWE. It was almost like watching a movie prequel to his career, where you get to see him wrestle in small venues before getting into the 'E' and also seeing what his perspectives were in terms of wrestling, and John Cena :) From those humble beginnings, through ROH, all the way to taking on Triple H in the biggest venue available - What a journey! And it could culminate 7 days from now...

Prior to watching 'The Wrestling Road Diaries' I'd gone out with my buddy H to do a little last minute shopping and I came across some wrestling magazines in WHSmith. I fiddled through until I found the official WWE '30 Years of WrestleMania' magazine which I picked up because it was a no brainer. Then I was surprised to find a copy PWI. They sell those in the UK? This was news to me. But the one that caught my attention was Power Slam. I'd bought that magazine once somewhere in the past, along with FSM and some others but it had been so long since we actually needed magazines to find out the latest information on Pro Wrestling. For some reason, maybe nostalgia, I decided to purchase the Power Slam magazine too.

Now here's the cool part: After getting home, I decided to look for that old copy of Power Slam magazine. And I found it. It was issue number 110 (£2.60) from September 2003. Exactly 10 years and 6 months ago. That was the only previous edition of Power Slam magazine that I had. 124 issues later, I bought my next installment of the magazine today, and it was issue 234 (£3.25) March 2014 edition. Now, it didn't occur to me until I put them next to each other, beside each other, that even though these editions were over 10 years apart, I was looking at a main event match that's going to be on the card at this year's WrestleMania...


Don't you just love the way the Universe works sometimes? Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan - The winner receives the final spot in the Triple Threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. ANYONE from the 4 could come out of New Orleans as Champion. Who remembers WrestleMania XX, 10 years ago in the main event where two members of DX and Chris Benoit were in a Triple Threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship? Who's to say this year there won't be two members of Evolution and Daniel Bryan in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match? Not at all ruling out the possibility of a all Evolution main event! I've got goosebumps just thinking about it... I also have a strong feeling that Daniel Bryan and Triple H have the potential to steal the show in terms of their match and could provide some great competition for Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. As always, time will time. And the time is almost upon us. 7 Days.

P.s. If the T-shirt part didn't make sense to you - it was in reference to the commemorative T-shirts we're having made for the trip. As there are 4 of us going, we decided to go with the Evolution themed Ts, as each one of us could represent a member of Evolution. So in closing...

"You see, in life, everything happens for a reason. That's just the natural process of evolution. You see, and if you don't have what it takes, you will be left behind. So if you wake up one day, and you’re lying in a hospital bed, and you’re all beat up and you’re wondering to yourself what in the hell happened, then there is just one answer for you: Evolution has just passed you by." - Triple H


STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
WrestleMania is right around the corner! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (31/03/14) 03:50

Thursday, 27 March 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania 29

AYO! What's popping everybody? After 19 weeks of time travelling to past WrestleManias there's only one thing left to say. It's time. The FINAL COUNTDOWN!


We are 9 days away from the 30th anniversary of WrestleMania. 9 Days! We have officially entered single digit days... New Orleans rises upon the horizon. But before that, let's take it back one last time, to almost one year ago...

---

Date: 7th April, 2013
Venue: MetLife Stadium
City: East Rutherford, New Jersey

For the second year running, Sheamus would be involved in the opening match on the card as he teamed up with Randy Orton and The Big Show to take on The Shield, who were making their WrestleMania debut in a 6-Man Tag Team Match. After Randy Orton took some initiative in the match to tag himself in, The Big Show sat back and watched as Orton would meet his demise and end up losing the match for his team. If anything, this proved that unlike some of the teams that had been put before it, The Shield were one unit. Now one year later, they find themselves at WrestleMania XXX, set to face off against the New Age Outlaws and Corporate Kane. Can The Shield retain their undefeated streak?

Mark Henry and Ryback's feud would culminate in a one on one match at WrestleMania 29 - looking back now it makes you think - Where the heck did it all go down south for Ryback? Well in terms of the match, it went down (no pun intended) when Mark Henry was being set up for a Shell Shock, and ended up literally dropping onto Ryback and crushing him under his weight, allowing Henry to induct Ryback into the Hall of Pain. Why? Because THAT'S WHAT HE DO!

The next match on the card was contested for the WWE Tag Team Championship. One of the longest reigning, and most entertaining duos of the past few years - Daniel Bryan and Kane would successfully defend their championships against Dolph Ziggler & Big E (Langston) (with AJ Lee). Despite this loss, I still remember the following night on RAW, from the Izod Center when Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract successfully, and beat a less than 100% Del Rio to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. The roof came unglued in the Izod Center. Here we are, a year down the line and it's Ziggler's former tag partner who holds (Intercontinenal) gold, as well as AJ Lee, who'll be defending her Divas Championship against 13 other women at WrestleMania XXX. Her chances are looking slim... but anything can happen at WrestleMania!

Fandango would gain an upset victory against the veteran Chris Jericho. You know what this means right? Fandango has an undefeated streak at WrestleMania. 1-0. Matched only by Michael Cole at the moment - but that may come to an end this year if he doesn't win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. It's pretty funny to me because I remember asking Fandango earlier along the Road to WrestleMania 30 blog, about how confident he was feeling about defending his undefeated streak... Click here to see what he had to say. The Izod Center the night after WrestleMania 29, and the O2 Arena in London the week after (attended by yours truly, Rihan & Anuj) were in an uproar of "ChaChaLaLa" - The Fandangoing was about to spread worldwide...


Sometimes, I feel like those are some of the best things to come out of a WrestleMania. Not necessarily what happens during Mania, such as what matches have been booked, but what happens as a result of WrestleMania - and the reactions that certain superstars receive. It's a time to let your voices be heard!

Say it loud, say it proud: "WE THE PEOPLE!"
The following match on the card featured one half of the future 'Real Americans' tag team, Jack Swagger, accompanied by Zeb Colter. After winning the Elimination Chamber, Swagger had earned a shot at Alberto Del Rio's World Heavyweight Championship. If you've been reading carefully enough, you would have noticed that the night after this match, Del Rio lost the Championship to Ziggler, which could have happened if he had successfully retained against Jack Swagger! And we're back in the loop...

Always one of the most, if not THE most anticipated match on any WrestleMania card is The Undertaker's. This year he would face The Best in World, CM Punk. Now for everyone that knows about the build-up for this one, let me ask you a question. Do you ever wonder what the angle would have been if Paul Bearer hadn't passed away? It all seemed very sudden, but played out nicely I think as a story to go with, with The Undertaker defeating Punk in the end, in honour of his fallen friend, Paul Bearer. One of my favourite spots from this match was when Punk hits the GTS on Taker, who bounces onto, and then right off the ropes and quickly scoops Punk up to hit him with the Tombstone Piledriver. Great match from both wrestlers, and the streak lives on: 21-0. But the question is now, for how long? At WrestleMania XXX, for the second time in a row, a client of Paul Heyman will take on The Streak. The Beast vs. The Streak. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker. This is going to be a 'slobberknocker' for sure!

Brock Lesnar could be the man to end it all. But at WrestleMania 29, he fought in a long and grueling battle with Triple H, which could have gone either way it seemed, but it was a thunderous Pedigree to Lesnar onto steel steps that would slay the beast that night. Triple H was victorious over Lesnar. So surely he shouldn't find his opponent this year at WrestleMania a tall order? Or perhaps that's where Triple H slips up, by underestimating Daniel Bryan. Allowing Bryan to land a running knee into the face of the COO and advance to the main event of WrestleMania XXX. Or will the Cerebral Assassin be holding both belts over his fallen former Evolution members? Time will tell... Maybe Batista will win. XD Deal with it!

In the main event of WrestleMania 29, The Rock was set to defend his WWE Championship against the winner of the 2013 Royal Rumble, John Cena. It all led back to this. The re-match that would give John Cena a shot at redemption. I remember not even being so anti-Cena in that year simply because you couldn't help but feel a little bit bad for the guy, and I thought I would never say that! No doubt he is a work horse that had lost to Brock Lesnar, CM Punk and even John Laurinaitis following his inital loss to The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII. This match itself was nowhere near as good as their first match, and the crowd being fairly quiet during it, didn't really help their affairs. I liked the little spots that referred to their previous match, (such as when Cena went for the People's Elbow again but stopped himself by holding onto the ropes and learning from his mistake the previous year) because it helped tell a story of how well they seem to know each other now, after feuding on and off for about two years. I particularly disliked the unimaginative finish to this match, but when it was all said and done, John Cena defeated The Rock and became the new WWE Champion... Once in a Lifetime, I think not.

John Cena's earns his redemption - The Rock shows his respect
This would also be the last time that we would see The Rock in the WWE to date.

WrestleMania Moment: The Undertaker's entrance

Move of the Night: Undertaker's final Tombstone on CM Punk

Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker


If you watched WrestleMania 29, let us know what you thought and fill us in on your favorite moments! Do you think it was the greatest WrestleMania of all time?

I want to thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you've enjoyed reading the WrestleMania CountDown here with us on The Road to WrestleMania 30 blog as much as I've enjoyed reliving these moments in wrestling history.

Remember you can tweet to us from anywhere! Whether you're in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the Maldives, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, or your name is Neo and you're in Sri Lanka, send us a shout via our Twitter:




Check out our official Facebook page by clicking right here: The Road to WrestleMania 30 Blog on Facebook! Be sure to hit that 'Like' button so you know all the latest about the blog as it happens, and it's just one more way for everyone to join in on the conversation!

So where do we go from here?

TO WRESTLEMANIA XXX OFCOURSE! We will continue to document our journey, our experiences, our thoughts, emotions, our story and everything in between, so as always...

STAY TUNED!
THANK YOU! For taking the time to read,
WrestleMania XXX is fast approaching! #Hope2EntertainU /-)
Mau (28/03/14) 03:55

Wrestling Toy Story

I think they're trying to say something...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania XXVIII - Once In a Lifetime

AYO! What's popping everybody? We are only 12 days away from WrestleMania XXX, and last night on RAW, 2 more matches were added to the card as well as the latest inductee into the Hall of Fame Class of 2014. The Shield will take on Corporate Kane and the New Age Outlaws in a 6-Man Tag Team match - not the match I was expecting but it should be a war! AJ Lee will defend her Divas Championship against (currently) 14 other women in a Divas Championship Invitational. Before there was DX, before there was The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin, there was 'the Bad Guy', Razor Ramon. The newest inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame class 2014 is none other than Razor Ramon! It's about time Chico! Speaking of time, let's take it back 2 years and relive WrestleMania XXVIII. The Rock vs. Cena was billed 'Once in a Lifetime.' What we needed to take into account, was the date on which this pay-per-view was held.

---


Date: 1st April, 2012
Venue: Sun Life Stadium
City: Miami, Florida

For the second time in WrestleMania history, the World Heavyweight Championship was contested for in the opening match. However this match still made history by being the shortest World Heavyweight Championship match in WrestleMania history. Although Daniel Bryan would lose the match, and the World Championship to Sheamus in only 18 seconds, this was the grassroots beginnings for the #YESMovement. This was the point in time where the people really got behind Daniel Bryan, and made their voices heard, especially the next night on RAW.


Here we are, two years later and Daniel Bryan finds himself in a situation at WrestleMania XXX, where if he is able to defeat 'The Game' Triple H, he'll get his chance at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Will Daniel Bryan's career reach it's culmination or will The Cerebral Assassin crush the #YESMovement once and for all?

The "Daniel Bryan!" chants would continue well into the second match on the card as Kane took on Randy Orton. This was the Kane that seemed like a threat, and proved it by chokeslamming Randy Orton off the top turnbuckle and sent him crashing into the mat allowing him to pick up the 1-2-3. I remember watching this match live thinking that as dangerous as Kane had been in recent months, there was no way that he would beat Orton at a WrestleMania stage, but I guess he proved us wrong!

The following match also seemed fairly straight forward to predict because it had the Big Show in it. For those of you that have been watching WrestleMania over the years know that the Big Show doesn't have the best record (and that's an understatement) for WrestleMania victories. So would his victory over Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship in this match be considered an upset? I'm not sure, because by pure size Cody Rhodes would be considered the underdog. What I do know is that the Big Show is my pick this year to win the André The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, you heard it here first!

The following match was an injustice in my eyes as Beth Phoenix (Divas Champion) was pinned by Maria Menounos in a tag team match between Beth Phoenix/Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly/Maria Menounos. No, okay... just no. Menounos was afriad to climb the top turnbuckle and she somehow managed to beat Beth Phoenix? Bah! Not happy with that at all. However Kelly Kelly did perform a pretty impressive rolling senton off the top rope to a standing Beth Phoenix. Kudos.

The re-match that everyone was waiting for was up next. The match that would be the End of an Era. Triple would grant the Undertaker a rematch, and they would compete inside Hell in a Cell! If that wasn't enough, the special guest referee was going to be Mr. WrestleMania himself, Shawn Michaels! What a brutal match this was indeed, with Triple H getting the early advantage and simply assaulting Undertaker with steel chair shots, one after the other. There came a point in the match where Michaels got close enough to the Deadman to ask if he wanted to end it, but he only got himself caught in the Hells Gate submission. Never in my life have I ever felt that the streak was actually going to be over than when Shawn Michaels would retaliate and hit the Undertaker with Sweet Chin Music, only for Triple H to follow up with a Pedigree. 2 finishers. That was the point that time stood still and I believed that the streak was over. 1.. 2.. AND THE DEADMAN KICKED OUT! BY GOD WHAT A MATCH! Also, having Jim Ross do commentary for this one just added that much more emotion to what we were seeing. As the match went on, it would appear that Triple would be running on empty, as he couldn't seem to finish Taker off. In a final act of defiance, as though his mid wanted to continue fighting but his body had failed him, Triple H would motion the DX crotch chop to The Undertaker, which got him a blow to the head with his own sledgehammer. Followed up with a Tombstone Piledriver, for the 3rd time at WrestleMania, Triple H was set to rest in peace by the Undertaker. The Streak had officially reached the milestone second decade. The Undertaker was 20-0. We had just witnessed the End of an Era!

The End of an Era
Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger) (with John Laurinaitis, Vickie Guerero and Brie Bella) defeated Team Teddy (Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali and Booker T) (with Nikki Bella, Aksana, Eve Torres, Hornswoggle and Theodore Long) to determine who would become General Manager of both RAW and SmackDown.

CM Punk was set to defend the WWE Championship in a singles contest with Chris Jericho. Both men were battling to prove who was 'The Best in the World.' The match stipulation would be changed by John Laurinaitis just as CM Punk was getting ready to come out for this match, and Johnny Ace would state that if CM Punk were to get himself disqualified, then he would lose the WWE Championship. After weeks of Jericho making personal attacks on Punk as well as insulting his family, Punk was finding it hard to keep his cool during the match, and Jericho would continue to shout insults such as, "Your dad's a drunk!" during the match to add fuel to the fire. Not only did Punk manage to keep his cool, he managed to keep the WWE Championship after making Chris Jericho tap out to the Anaconda Vice. Quality performance from both wrestlers.


Once in a Lifetime - After a year long back and forth between John Cena and The Rock, they were both set to FINALLY go one on one in the main event of WrestleMania in Miami, Florida. I absolutely loved the year long build up for this match, it makes you feel invested as a wrestling fan and in my opinion just makes it that much more epic! I remember thinking going into this match, that it was at WrestleMania X8 that Hollywood Hulk Hogan would pass the torch to The Rock, and here we were, 10 years later and The Rock would be passing the torch to John Cena. The opening sequence of this match seemed VERY similar to the opening of The Rock vs. Hogan - with both men looking around and slowly soaking in the moment. Followed by a collar and elbow tie and and a throw, displaying one's power over the other. Having watched the match back again, it was actually a pretty decent main event! John Cena would end up getting cocky right at the end, and would attempt his version of the People's Elbow, only to be caught by The Rock and planted with a Rock Bottom! 1-2-3. This began the tailspin in John Cena's career where his following year was full of defeat. The Rock on the other hand would appear on RAW the next night and proclaim that he would one day return to become WWE Champion.

After the dust had settled, John Cena was defeated in Miami @ WrestleMania XXVIII
WrestleMania Moment: The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H leaving the ring and embrace after the match

Move of the Night: Kane's Chokeslam on Randy Orton off the top rope

Match of the Night: End of an Era - Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Special Referee: Shawn Michaels)

---

If you watched WrestleMania XXVIII, let us know what you thought and fill us in on your favorite moments! Do you think it was the greatest WrestleMania of all time? Join the blog next time as we take a look back at WrestleMania 29 from 2013 as a part of the 'WrestleMania CountDown'! It will be THE LAST WRESTLEMANIA COUNTDOWN before the Big One! You can also tweet to us from anywhere! Whether you're in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the Maldives, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, or your name is Neo and you're in Sri Lanka, send us a shout via our Twitter:


Check out our official Facebook page by clicking right here: The Road to WrestleMania 30 Blog on Facebook! Be sure to hit that 'Like' button so you know all the latest about the blog as it happens, and it's just one more way for everyone to join in on the conversation!
 
STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (26/03/14) 19:30

Saturday, 22 March 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania XXVII

AYO! What's popping everyone? We are a mere 15 days away from WrestleMania XXX! How time has flown by. Let's take a look back in time as we go to 2011 for WrestleMania XXVII - Also known as "the one that Rihan went to."

---


Date: 3rd April, 2011
Venue: Georgia Dome
City: Atlanta Georgia

I believe that this was the first time in history where the World Heavyweight Championship match was the opening match on the card. Edge was set to defend his Championship against the winner of the largest Royal Rumble (2011) in history, Alberto Del Rio. I remember being a big supporter of Del Rio during his early WWE career and was ecstatic when he eliminated Santino Marella and earned his spot at the main event of WrestleMania. Well, turns out that he'd earned himself a spot of the opening match of WrestleMania... strange. The match itself was a quality showing from both superstars with Edge coming out on top with the victory. Notice also that Brodus Clay was in Del Rio's corner (pre-funkasaurus) and Christian was in the corner of Edge. This would end up being Edge's last match at WrestleMania, after having to be forced to retire due to injuries.

I've also always been a pretty big supporter of Cody Rhodes, who was in the second match against Rey Mysterio. I thought what they did with Cody's character was great at this point in time: from going to being 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes who would give us tips on how to floss on Friday Night SmackDown, to the 'Grotesque' and disfigured Cody Rhodes whose psyche had been disturbed after a 619 from Rey Mysterio broke his nose and spun into a storyline involving the usefulness of masks and knee braces. Ironically enough it would be a shot from Rey's own knee brace that would cost him in this WrestleMania encounter with Rhodes.

The Corre met it's 'end of days' when they would lose to the team of Kane, Big Show, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston in under 2 minutes. The dictionary definition of a 'toilet break match'.

Randy Orton and CM Punk were set to face off in probably one of my favourite matches of the card, a great angle, with great promos and 2 guys who could back it up in the ring. I enjoyed the build-up for this one very much. CM Punk was able to somehow add another layer of depth to this feud by stating that 2 years prior, it was Orton who cost Punk his World Heavyweight Championship, and he'd waited 2 years to exact revenge. The heat was rising on the feud as Orton would punt kick and eliminate a member of the New Nexus every week until only CM Punk remained at WrestleMania. Quality match with Randy Orton RKO'ing CM Punk in mid-air which was the deciding blow.

Although WWE may have considered this match/segment entertaining, I can say I was thoroughly bored by it. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger) vs. Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. After a lot of time wasting, Jerry Lawler picked up the victory, only to have the Anonymous RAW General Manager reverse the decision.

Triple H vs. The Undertaker Part I: The first encounter they had was electric - a promo cut where both Undertaker and Triple H would return on the same night, and tell a story using absolutely no words. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking back to that moment. The finest build-up for the card, and the me describing the match will do it no justice whatsoever, so I suggest you fire up the DVD and check it out for yourself. In the last stretch of the match, it appeared that Triple H would attempt to reach for the sledgehammer while locked in the Hell's Gate submission, but for the Game, there was no way out of Hell. Triple H lost the match via submission and The Undertaker's Streak grew to an incredible 19-0. Although The Deadman was declared the winner, only Triple H was able to walk out, and leave on his own two feet. We didn't know it yet, but it was far from over...

The self proclaimed 'Brunette Mafia' (John Morrison, Trish Stratus, Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi) defeated Dolph Ziggler and LayCool (with Vickie Guerrero) in another toilet break match. I can understand WWE wanting to have celebrity involvement at WrestleMania, but I'm not entirely sure how Snooki was relevant in all of this.

The Main Event: I absolutely loved the way they painted the main event picture. From The Miz flicking between channels of his own rise to the top as well as iconic moments in wrestling all the way to him cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase to the sounds of 'Nas - Hate Me Now'. The same for Cena and his grand entrance, debuting the new Red Cenation T-Shirt. Everything was great except for the initial double count-out finish. I'm ll for gimmicky finishes at times (at the right times) but not at WrestleMania! It's the one time where people can rely on their being a decisive conclusion, but that wasn't really the case this year. The Rock would then come down to restart the match, only to interfere not less than a minute later and cost John Cena the match. If anything good came out of this, it was the year long build-up that started the following night on RAW...

WrestleMania Moment: The Miz (and John Cena's) entrance package

Move of the Night: Randy Orton's RKO to an airborne CM Punk

Match of the Night: Triple vs. The Undertaker


---

If you watched WrestleMania XXVII, let us know what you thought and fill us in on your favorite moments! Do you think it was the greatest WrestleMania of all time? Join the blog next time as we take a look back at WrestleMania XXVIII from 2012 as a part of the 'WrestleMania CountDown'! You can also tweet to us from anywhere! Whether you're in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the Maldives, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, or your name is Neo and you're in Sri Lanka, send us a shout via our Twitter:

Check out our official Facebook page by clicking right here: The Road to WrestleMania 30 Blog on Facebook! Be sure to hit that 'Like' button so you know all the latest about the blog as it happens, and it's just one more way for everyone to join in on the conversation!

STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (22/03/14) 21:40

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Revolution Pro Wrestling: High Stakes 2014 (15/03/14)


AYO! What's popping everybody? As the Road to WrestleMania drew ever nearer we knew that this might possibly be one of the last stops along the road before we take flight and head to the 30th anniversary of the Showcase of the Immortals. And what a night it turned out to be...

Date: 15th March, 2014
Venue: York Hall, Bethnal Green
City: London, England

Now we were running late, which people who are close to me know that is nothing out of the ordinary, but this time it was Anuj's fault. We had planned to get a few things signed by 'The Icon' Sting, who was doing an appearance before the 'High Stakes 2014' show started. It was a shame I couldn't take the WWE Encyclopedia to get signed because... well, he's the most successful wrestler to never work for Vince McMahon, in case you didn't know. However, that also looks like it may change very soon, with his recent addition to Wrestlecon's Sunday session in New Orleans at WrestleMania weekend, but we'll get to that.

What we did want to get signed were; The Clash of Champions DVD, a custom Sting photo card Anuj had designed, the infamous 'Nervous' Sting Sign from Wembley Arena as seen on TNA TV, a Sting mask and we decided to take the signed Sting black baseball bat as well. If I hadn't mentioned it before, I am in possession of a limited to 100, special signed Louisville Slugger, black baseball bat that was released after Sting's TNA Bound for Glory 2008 match against Samoa Joe, where he had won the World Heavyweight Championship. I remember watching that match and feeling like a kid again! A priceless piece of merchandise. The greatest item I could own, considering that Sting is probably my favourite Wrestler of all time, and the single reason why I started watching WCW on a regular basis. You can imagine the mental dilemma of whether or not i wanted to bring it out of the house...

After a long journey, on a packed couple of trains, we reached our destination and queued up when I got a phonecall. It was Perry. I asked him where about he was, and he told me that he was behind me! A few places back, Perry was indeed there waving at us. We spoke briefly and he still hadn't had his tickets sorted out just yet, and was taking the risk of leaving it till last minute!

As the queue got shorter, we started to arrange who was going to get what signed, and started fiddling around with all the items we had on us - Our hands were pretty full! Once our tickets had been checked, we walked to the merchandising table, where I bought the Sting 'Nervous' T-shirt and threw it over the Sting T-shirt I was already wearing. It was almost Showtime Folks.

And then it happened. A lifelong dream became an immediate reality, I walked up to Sting and shook his hand. Now bear with me as I try and recall the conversation we had.

The first thing I had told him while shaking his hand was that it was nice to meet him, and I warned him beforehand that my knees were feeling a little weak and I might start marking out but I would try my best to hold it together, and he smiled after I said that. I told him that I was at the Q&A session the night before and I said that there were so many things I wanted to say, and wanted to get off my chest but I knew we didn't have the time, and that he's influenced our lives in so many ways so all I was going to say was thank you for everything. He said he appreciated it greatly, and asked me where I had come from. I told him that we had traveled from Wembley, and said, "I'm sure you know all about Wembley!" He said he sure did, and it was one of his favourite places to wrestle - and someone the night before had mentioned that it was 21 years ago that week that he had beaten Vader for the World Heavyweight Championship in London. He signed my 'Clash of the Champions' DVD which had a picture of Ric Flair and himself on the front (The match from 1988 which Sting had said was his favourite of all time) as well as the Sting mask. I took out the black baseball bat and we posed for the cameras. Lifelong Dream:


Anuj was up next, and he had the infamous 'Nervous' sign with him. Sting signed it as Anuj asked him if he remembered it, and remembered coming up to Anuj who sitting sitting front row at TNA. "It was from the first time I came over here, right?" Indeed it was. Anuj asked him if he liked it, and he said he did, and that it was pretty cool. He signed the custom photo card Anuj had made and they shook hands. Anuj thanked him.


Perry was a few people behind us, and he was marking out, I just knew it! I know him too well and I can see it in his face, but he held it down well!




We walked through the area where Perry had purchased a ticket for the fan slam and he was off to meet Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, Young Bucks and Colt Cabana. Rihan was no where to be seen, and Anuj and I used this opportunity to get a picture with the ring:

Andy the promoter was walking past and I made sure to thank him for organizing everything for the night before and the night still to come, and told him that I noticed how much he was marking out sitting at the same table as Sting during the Q&A last night. He said, "Shh... Don't tell anyone!"

The phone call from Rihan finally came and he told me that he was here. We walked back through the main corridor towards the entrance, when a door swang open and Colt Cabana was on the other side. "BOOM BOOM! Colt Cabana!" escaped my mouth as we walked past and he said, "Right here!"

We met Rihan at the front entrance, who was well excited to say the least. He was hoping that Sting would be appearing for the photo op today in his facepaint, but it wasn't the case! How awesome would that have been? I mean more so than it already was. Ok, let me back track for a second. After we had met Sting, I saw someone else with a baseball bat that wasn't part of the original 100 that I had, but was customized with the owner's name on it. Customization. Something I hadn't thought of at the time we met Sting. But that's where Rihan comes in to save the day. He didn't have anything else he wanted to get signed, so I entrusted him with the greatest weapon I have ever had. The Black Bat. So he could get it customized for me, and have a picture with the bat and 'The Icon' himself.


- WE WERE LIVING OUR DREAM -
After this was all done, we walked through that same door that I had seen Colt Cabana through earlier, and standing to my left was non other than 'Black Machismo' himself, Jay Lethal! He was eying up the Black Bat and I'm pretty sure he was slightly marking out for it, as I recall him saying something like, "Oh man, look at that signed by Sting Oh Yeaahh!" and I let him carry it and have a closer look. It was at about the same time that the Young Bucks were dazzled by Anuj's 'Nervous' Poster - and he continued to show off the other signatures all along the back of it, including Hulk Hogan's!

Now I almost always hear Colt Cabana mention "The Wrestling Road Diaries", or have heard him mention it enough on his podcast to make me at least a little bit curious about it. That's an understatement. I jumped at the opportunity to buy it when I saw it on Colt's merch table. Can't wait to watch it.

Got a few moments to talk to Colt about Movie Night in New Orleans for WrestleMania week, and it turns out that they're going to be doing commentary over Ready to Rumble! I told Colt that I literally just watched that movie last night with Anuj! What were the chances? I also mentioned that I'm trying to listen to the podcast as much as I can before WrestleMania, and that I find them awesome, but have also been listening to Jericho and Austin's one - to which he had a hand gesture which was pretty funny but I won't get into that.
Colt was awesome enough to sign the copy of "The Wrestling Road Diaries" and was fun to talk to and I have a feeling that this probably isn't the last time we've seen him on the Road to WrestleMania XXX.

The Young Bucks were also pretty great to talk to, and we managed to get a group picture with them. Throwing them up with the Young Bucks:


---

The 'High Stakes 2014' Card
We spent a good amount of time outside between the 4 of us just sharing our experiences and just talking wrestling, and educating Anuj on the fact that there was a time that CM Punk had a match against Raven in Brent Town Hall once upon a time! We still had a fair bit of time before the show itself started, we we decided to get our tickets and then head to a local pub and grab a few drinks since we had some time to kill - Wrestling fans are the best fans in the world!

When we did make our way back to the venue, it had turned out that someone else had taken our seats! But I guess that worked out in our favour, because now we were sitting right next to the ramp, front row view for all of the night's action!

The opening contest was already underway as we got to our seats as 'Black Machismo' Jay Lethal was set to take on Josh Bodom. I had never really seen Bodom wrestler before, but as Anuj pointed out, he looked like the teenage version of Brock Lesnar. Bodom would kick out of a top rope elbow drop by Jay Lethal and then find a way come out on top with the victory! A great opening match, with Bodom receiving the boos as the heel, and Lethal being cheered as the face. The way it should be /-)

The second contest of the night was a singles match and was set for one fall. Sha Samuels (wearing the red and yellow colours of Hulkamania, but being booed for his heelish ways) would take on Mark Andrews. Samuels was a lot bigger in size in comparison to the lightweight Andrews who seemed to be more of a high flier. Samuels dominated this match, with Andrews building somewhat of a comeback near the end of the match but to no avail. Samuels was out at ringside when Andrews decided to run and attempt a suicide dive through the ropes, only to be hit by a thunderous steel chair shot to the head from Samuels. I mean that chair shot could be heard from anywhere inside in the building, it was nasty! Holy Shit chants followed soon after if I'm not mistaken and that's when it seemed like business had picked up for the night. Samuels was indeed disqualified, but continued a post match beatdown on Andrews with the Steel chair when his former tag team partner hit the ring. For a moment it looked as thought he was about to stop him, but instead he used to chair to further punish Andrews! Was this team re-united again? It certainly looked that way, as they walked away dominant and left Andrews laying, to be checked out by the medics.

The next match was scheduled for one fall and it was for the Revolution Pro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship. The Swords of Essex (c) were set to defend their titles against The Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann). Now I don't think words will do this match justice, but in a word, if I had to describe this match, it was "Mindblowing." The Inner City Machine Guns came out to Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" with everyone in the crowd singing along!


It has to be said that Rihan is Ricochet's biggest fan /-) After they got into the ring, Ricochet did some very impressive break dancing and worked the crowd into a frenzy before the Swords of Essex made their way to the ring. I'm not going to do a play by play of this match because you need to have either been there or watch it for yourself, which is why I suggest you buy the 'RPW: High Stakes 2014' DVD when it comes out. What I will say is that during this match, we were privileged to seeing moves and flips, ring psychology that I have never been exposed to before. They knew what they were doing and when to do it. The match went on for what seemed like 20, 30, maybe even 40 minutes with everyone in the crowd going absolutely nuts for these 4 men, and literally everyone in the building was standing before this match was over. False finish, after false finish, high risk after high risk. The greatest tag team match I've witnessed all year. The Inner City Machine Guns would eventually pick up the win to the applause of the entire building. Both teams would shake hands and hug as a sign of respect, they had truly created some magic.

We had to be a part of that magic so as soon as the match was over, we took our opportunity at getting a picture with the NEW Undisputed British Tag Team Champions!


After the brief break, The Young Bucks were set to take on Project Ego - billed as the 'Tag Team Dream Match'. They had a lot to live up to as the Swords of Essex and Inner City Machine Guns had most definitely raised the bar for the night. The pace of the match was great, and picked up as it went on with both teams getting great ovations from the crowd. I could say it was a slightly more technical match than the one before it, and this match would come to an end when one of the Young Bucks would hit a Tombstone Piledriver, assisted by the other as they leaped off the top rope, WHAT A MANEUVER! Young Bucks picked up the win.

International Challenge Match: El Ligero was set to take on Sonjay Dutt, and the crowd were chanting for both men again, with the "Si!" chants for El Ligero. At one point, the "All Night Long" chants started to be sung again, with Sonjay being receptive and dancing for the crowd. El Ligero soon followed and they both eventually convinced the referee to break a move too! Fun match to watch, El Ligero was the one coming out the victor. Both shook hands at the conclusion of the contest.

Right before the main event, we were all treated to a special appearance by 'The Icon' himself, Sting.


In the main event of the evening, 'Party' Marty Scurll would challenge the current Revolution Pro Wrestling Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion, Colt Cabana in a 30 minute Ironfist match.

The entrances were PPV quality. Scurll came out to pay tribute to what he said was the second greatest villain of all time, Darth Vader:


Colt Cabana on the other hand decided to pay tribute to one of the greatest, and most well known British Wrestling legend possibly of all time, Big Daddy:


This was the first time that we had ever seen Colt Cabana in a non-comedy, serious match and it was awesome! Some great spots in this match, including Marty getting a cheap fall over Colt right near the closing 10 minutes of the match by handcuffing Colt to the security rail. Followed by Scurll taping himself to the middle rope with a one fall advantage. Colt would go over to the first aid kit and retrieve a pair of scissors and cut Marty free, hit him with a GTS and even things out! The time would eventually run down with both individuals tied at 2 falls a piece. The crowd were chanting for 5 more minutes and it's what they got. However in this 5 minutes, Sha Samuels and his tag partner would come down and put a beating on Colt. Cabana tried to fight back but to no avail and eventually had to tap to a cross face chicken wing. 'Party' Marty Scurll had just become the new Revolution Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion.

Anuj wanted to get a picture with Colt right after that match because I think he had a new found respect for him after that performance, from superplexes to moonsaults - Cabana had it in his arsenal!
Being held hostage by Darth Scurll's Stormtroopers

High Stakes 2014 Moment: 'Party' Marty Scurll's Entrance

Move of the Night: Colt Cabana's Moonsault

Match of the Night: Undisputed British Tag Team Championship: The Swords of Essex vs. The Inner City Machine Guns


---

When it was all said and done, so much had happened in the past 48 hours. We attended a Q&A entitled, "An Evening With The Stinger", Rihan had asked him the question that was on everybody's mind, we broke the news world wide and before you knew it was on every wrestling website, we met Sting again and had our pictures taken, I got the baseball bat customized, we got to hang out with and talk to a great group of wrestlers, and to cap it all off we had just witnessed the best wrestling show to date, all year long. It was such a phenomenal card and I remember telling Ricochet's tag team partnet, Rich Swann that my mind had been blown! Every match delivered, and dare I say that in terms of WRESTLING I'd witnessed and been part of something better than WrestleMania, but time will tell.

Everything from the building, the people in the crowd and the wrestlers were extraordinary. The atmosphere was off the hook! I remember asking Rihan hours prior to this, "Who's Ricochet?" simply because I'd never seen him in a match before, but after being a part of High Stakes 2014 I don't think I'll ever be able to forget who Ricochet is! Although we had pretty much lost our voices, and drained of energy, I can say that it was well worth it! If this is the last wrestling show stop before WrestleMania, I'm glad it was - because the action was indescribable. This may be the last time we go to a Revolution Pro Wrestling show before WrestleMania, but it most definitely will not be the last time we go to a show of theirs... SummerSizzler 2014 - I will be there.

The Road to WrestleMania gets shorter and about 2 weeks remain...

STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more still to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (18/03/14) 22:15

Monday, 17 March 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania XXVI

AYO! What's popping everyone! The days are counting down and it feels like we're in that final stretch along the Road to WrestleMania and I've been thinking lately: "What are we going to do once it's all said and done?" The answer at this point is - I'm not sure. But it's going to get a whole lot better before it's over, so let's take it back right now to 2010 for our WrestleMania CountDown!

---

Date: 28th March, 2010
Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium
City: Glendale, Arizona

The opening contest was for the WWE Unified Tag Team championship, where ShowMiz (Big Show & The Miz) successfully retained their championship against the team of R-Truth & John Morrison.

Legacy were set to implode as former allies were set against each other in this triple threat match between Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Randy Orton. Looking back at it now, I suppose Legacy was more for supporting Randy Orton, than it was for being a lauching pad for the careers of Cody Rhodes and DiBiase Jr. The match was great and this was the first time in the night that they used the cylinder shaped titantron that lowered down into the ring behind Randy Orton - epic.

Now when this match had originally taken place, I hated Jack Swagger. There was something about his character that I just couldn't get behind. So you can imagine how I felt when he climbed the ladder to retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase, and defeated Christian, Matt Hardy, Kane, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, MVP and Evan Bourne in the process. Swagger indeed went on to cash in against a vulnerable Chris Jericho on SmackDown and became World Heavyweight Champion for the first time. Who remembers the promo that The Miz cut for a upcoming MITB match where he said to Swagger something along the lines of, "If you've cashed in Money in the Bank before, and become World Champion but no one remembers it, does it still mean you were World Champion?" - I remember that.

Sheamus was young, hungry and willing to make a name for himself by going after one of the biggest dogs in the yard. However, his attempt to defeat Triple H on the Grandest Stage of the all was thwarted by the Cerebral Assassin.

Rey Mysterio and CM Punk would go one-on-one with the stipulation being that if Rey Mysterio were to lose the match, he would have to join the Straight Edge Society. This was probably one of the better build-ups with a personal situation angle which all started with Punk interrupting Mysterio's daughter's birthday celebration. Awesome match, with Rey Mysterio coming out on top with the victory. Chalk one more up for the good guys.

I have to admit, every time Mr. McMahon is involved in a WrestleMania angle, the angle is something spectacular. This year was no different. He would be taking on Bret 'HitMan' Hart, who had walked out of the company following the real life and infamous Montreal Screwjob incident. In some ways, this may have been the longest works in recent memory. If anyone knows how to turn a shoot into a work its the people at Titan Towers. Although this was less of a match and more of a beat down, it was still pretty entertaining - The story spoke for itself. 4/10 match though.

Edge had returned in January of 2010 as a surprise entrant for the Royal Rumble match, and would go on to win the match and earn him a guaranteed spot against a champion of his choosing at WrestleMania XXVI. Edge opted to go after his former tag team partner, Chris Jericho. Although Jericho would eventually get the victory, Edge would have the last laugh after spearing Jericho at ringside.

The following match was a 10 Diva Tag Team Match - which saw Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox and Vickie Guerrero get the win over Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Gail Kim, Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly. Most of these women could get into the ring and are great wrestlers. What happened to all these great Divas?

In what was to be Batista's last match in the WWE after departing for almost 4 years, he was unable to retain the WWE Championship against John Cena - he would appear the next night on RAW and say the words, "I Quit!" - He hasn't wrestled a half decent match since, to date. Just my opinion and I'm getting it out there, and you can agree or disagree. I feel that back then, there were a lot of more experienced guys that wrestlers like Batista could work with that would make them look better than they were, which isn't necessarily the case in today's WWE. But has the chance to prove me wrong, because this year, he's in the main event of WrestleMania XXX - Proove us wrong Bootista.

Career vs. Streak: In what many consider to be the greatest WrestleMania main event of all time, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels would do battle for the second straight year, with the stakes even higher than their last encounter. If Shawn Michaels were able to defeat the Undertaker, he would make history by defeating The Streak. However, if he were unsuccessful, he would be forced to retire, and end his illustrious career. Something had to give. I will never forget the closing moments of this bout, with Shawn Michaels on his knees, at the waist of the Undertaker. Michaels would taunt Taker with the cut throat gesture and slap the Deadman in the face, which would result in the Undertaker taking Shawn Michaels up and landing a jumping Tombstone Piledriver and ending Shawn Michaels. Shawn sold the Tombstone right up until the point where Taker picks him up again and shakes his hand and gives him a hug. The ultimate show of respect between these 2 legends of the ring. After it was all said and done, the streak remained in tact - 18-0. The Legacy Lives on.

WrestleMania Moment: Shawn Michaels & Undertaker embrace post match

Move of the Night: Undertaker's Jumping Tombstone Piledriver on Shawn Michaels

Match of the Night: Career vs. Streak: Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker


---

If you watched WrestleMania XXVI, let us know what you thought and fill us in on your favorite moments! Do you think it was the greatest WrestleMania of all time? Join the blog next time as we take a look back at WrestleMania XXVII from 2011 as a part of the 'WrestleMania CountDown'! You can also tweet to us from anywhere! Whether you're in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, India, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the Maldives, Italy, Belgium, Japan, the Philippines, or your name is Neo and you're in Sri Lanka, send us a shout via our Twitter:


Check out our official Facebook page by clicking right here: The Road to WrestleMania 30 Blog on Facebook! Be sure to hit that 'Like' button so you know all the latest about the blog as it happens, and it's just one more way for everyone to join in on the conversation!
 
STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (17/03/14) 21:30