Thursday, 30 January 2014

Flashback Friday: Lucha Britannia!

Now, when Rihan first told me about Lucha Britannia, I didn't really know what to expect. He said that was a good thing, and if I were to expect anything, expect some surprises!

Assuming you're not familiar to the RetroFutureVerse and it's Luchdores, here's a link to the roster page so you can visualize as you read: Meet the Luchadores!

LUCHA! LUCHA! LUCHA!


AYO! What's popping everybody? I thought I'd take some time to fill you in on our experience of Lucha Britannia, it's RetroFutureVerse world & cabaret siniestro! This was my first time attending a Lucha Britannia show, and what a different flavour this was to the British wrestling scene - absolutely loved the masks, the backstories, mythology and characters that LB had to offer. Pretty sure everyone apart from Reginald Windsor was masked, but to his credit he looked like a younger Daniel Bryan.

Funny side story - I had actually told two of my friends to come along, last minute that night, with Rihan and myself who were already going and I remember what I'd pitched to them over the phone. "Hey Vimal, you doing anything tonight? Wanna head to a cabaret show?" and, "AYO! H you wanna come to a cabaret show tonight? Vimal's up for it too man?"

Before you knew it they'd bought their tickets online and the plans for the night were solid. It's just that at the time, they had no idea that they would be attending a wrestling show. Upon arrival, in Bethnal Green we followed the directions to the venue, and that lead us to what seemed like the back entrance to a warehouse. Very Def Jam Vendetta style. As we were early we decided to double back and head for a couple of drinks at a local pub. £2.50 for an Amaretto and coke, what could go wrong?

Bell Time:


So as we made our way back to the venue, and through the doors, the first really noticeable thing is the ring itself. This was Hinal's first ever wrestling show, EVER. So for him this was a pretty big deal, because he's always been a wrestling fan since the Attitude Era but never actually been to a live wrestling show of any sort. He was telling me about how excited he was, "I am so GASSED right now man!" smiling from ear to ear - his ring-ginity was at long last about to be broken.



The atmosphere inside the venue was incredible, I've said it before and I'll say it again, wrestling fans are the best fans! There were a fair few people including myself who were in luchador masks, and there were a number of people (including Vimal) that had their wrestling t-shirts on. The set-up for the bar was pretty awesome aswell, they had various wrestling artefacts, figures and masks on display across the shelf behind the bar. I was lucky enough to buy the last Budweiser artefact they had /-)


The opening contest was a 6 way elimination match between Santeria, The Bakewell brothers, El Mercurio, Payaso Pesadilla and El Transexico. I think by crowd reaction El Transexico was the favourite to win this one, but I was far more impressed by the presence of Santeria! A goliath of a man, accompanied by Don Ominoso, the patriarch of the Army of Darkness! A very polarizing duo indeed. Santeria would also be the man to pick up the win after last eliminating El Transexico. Great exhibition and some impressive moves including a double chokeslam from Santeria, eliminating both The Bakewell brothers. Since I'm new to Lucha Britannia's Retroverse and I'm not familiar the characters all too well yet, I'm going to stick with the heel that impressed me the most and that was definitely: Santeria. Not taking anything away from the others; Payaso Pesadilla (the evil clown) was really believably creepy, Transexico could have been either gender, and El Mercurio was one of the most awesome imitations of a famous British singer I've ever seen!

Matches that stood out for me included the initial handicap match that would pit Metallico up against the football hooligans. I say initial handicap, because the odds would soon be evened out when Fraser from the bar would hit one of the hooligans with a crossbody from the first floor balcony! I guess Rihan was right when he said that we should expect some surprises! The barman was in this match! Awesome! I also loved the fact that in the RetroVerse, Metallico's weakness was water. Genius. It turns him into a roboto dancing machine, as well as inducing metalic spasms and that would eventually attribute to them losing the match against the hooligans! The finish would come when the referee would catch a foreign object in the hands of Fraser - Disqualified! The only thing that baffled me was a part of the storyline - something to do with Metallico wanting to open up a scrapyard in Dagenham East? Maybe it was part of the mythology? Who knows.

There was an amazing interlude performance, and if I'm correct I believe it was called "The Sinner & The Saint" which got the reaction of shock and awe from me! I won't get into too much detail about it, but it's just as much a spectacle to see as the rest of the show, and that's all I'm saying. You'll just have to go to a Lucha show somewhere down the line to find out for yourself what it's all about!

The boys @ Lucha Britannia


As mentioned earlier the only wrestler who wasn't masked was an ugly looking version of a younger Daniel Bryan, Reginald Windsor. This talented young 'luchador' was in a 3-way match against the Hero, Leon Britannico and the mysterious Dark Britannico! The highlight of this bout had to be the crisp Shooting Star Press by Leon. I remember him getting a pretty decent pop for it too. However, it would be the snobby upper-class Reginald Windsor that would come away with the win. The story being the beat down handed to Leon by this mysterious Dark Britannco. Could this be a battle between two long lost brothers?

I think I'm in love with La Tigressa's smile. I'm not sure what it was at the time but there was something to her that made me think, "Damn.. she's beautiful!" - I'm pretty sure it was the smile that helped her get over in my eyes. So if you're reading this I want you to know, that made my heart stop for a minute /-D Keep smiling! She was paired up with Tony the Bengal Tiger in a 3 way mixed tag team match against the teams of; Disco Diablo & Discocita, and Janey Britannico & Necrosis! The two representing the army of darkness looked absolutely amazing - Nercosis and Janey Britannico. The tongue deal with Necrosis had me staring at him just wondering how he was doing that, and I can't tell you the number of times Rihan said to me during this match that, "Janey Britannico looks like a great technical wrestler!" - I think he has a soft spot for her - Zombies beware! All kidding aside, this exhibition was fast and furious and forgive me if I'm wrong, but I recollect that Discocita was the one who got the pinfall for her team, winning the match!


The main event was originally scheduled for Shiro Yoshida to take on Antaios, son of Poseidon for the Championship, but instead, Shiro would be ambushed by the army of darkness, lead by Don Ominoso. Now I was so into what was going on in the ring, I totally missed when any of the army of darkness actually approached the ring which made it feel like they literally came out of nowhere. It appeared that Antaios had been having some heart troubles and Santeria was in Antaios' gear! Oh the humanity! Actually I'm pretty sure when Santeria hit Shiro with a chokeslam, we were the few guys who were chanting, "One more time!" for Santeria..

After Don Ominiso's egomaniacle promo about power, he ordered Santeria to do his bidding again, but the big man had other plans. The Army of Darkness turned on Don Ominoso and threw his dark candy ass out of the ring. Was this a face turn? or was this an even more of a heel turn? That question would be answered when again, seemingly out of nowhere the babyfaces stormed the ring to take out Santeria, Necrosis, Dark Britannico and Janey. Shiro would have his arms raised by all the good luchadores, fighting the good fight, and sending the people home happy..

The amazing wrestlers of Lucha Britannia
Despite not having a main event match for the championship, we got to see a brawl the week before the Royal Rumble which was pretty sweet! Definitely would recommend going to see Lucha Britannia, even if you may not be a wrestling fan, this is still an great night out - and who knows, maybe this is the show to turn you into one! If you're in London, then check out Lucha Britannia. After having an incredible first experience I'm sure we'll be back in Bethnal Green before long! Was glad that I listened to Rihan, came to the show and made Lucha Britannia a part of our journey on the Road to New Orleans in April. And finally... LUCHA! LUCHA! LUCHA! Tremendous performance by all, Muchos Love to the Luchas!

STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (31/01/14) 03:00

Monday, 27 January 2014

Royal Rumble 2014 @ Belushi's (26/01/14)

AYO! What's popping everybody? We're nearly 24 hours removed from the Royal Rumble pay-per-view and I'm sitting here at home recovering from the festivities of the night before. My voice is pretty gone, and that's thanks to a great night out in Belushi's with a tonne of other wrestling fans, boo'ing, cheering and 'YES'ing all throughout the night.

Hooked on Wrestling hosted the Royal Rumble party last night at Belushi's and it was awesome! I've never been a part of a wrestling pay-per-view screening until last night, and if it wasn't for the fact that we'll actually be in New Orleans come April 6th, I would definitely go to their WrestleMania XXX party!


The only thing we weren't able to see was the pre-show where The New Age Outlaws would become the '6-Time, Taag Teeaamm Champions of the Woooooorld!" - but the word spread around the bar pretty fast!



So where do we start?

Last Night:

So prior to heading into Belushi's, Rihan came up with the idea for a game. We would each (between the 6 of us) draw 5 random numbers from 1-30, and see how well our picks would do in a friendly wager. We got into a 6-man Shield type huddle just before heading into a packed venue! Like I said, I've never been a part of anything like this, and it was freakin' cool! Pro-Wrestling themes from CM Punk to D-Generation X were being played (you know we all sang along to 'Cult of Personality'!) and they even had a special wrestling themed drinks menu to go along with the festivities. The shot of the night had to be the re-packaged "Vader Bomb"s for £2 each. We knew as soon as we got in that, when we hit the bar it was time, IT's TIME, IT's VADER (bomb) TIME!

Some really interesting fancy dress outfits were on display tonight including my friend Victor (who I'd convinced to come as a member of the Wyatt Family), and they all ended up on stage before the pay-per-view started so everyone could determine who had the best gimmick! The competition was between The Rock, Zack Zyder, Golga, Paul Heyman, Randy 'Macho Man' Savage, CM Punk, The Shield, The WWESuperman and myself as Bray Wyatt!


The winner hands down was Randy 'Macho Man' Savage! Great effort put in by this dude for getting the outfit down almost perfect! The Macho King would be proud. Although I didn't win, and it wasn't much of a promo, I've always wanted to cut a promo that wasn't in front of a mirror! Even though I got booed, this one was in front of a good 100+ people and I'll take it as good 'Heel Heat'. I remember telling Rihan and H afterwards that it was hard to think of a good Bray Wyatt promo on the fly, because his words are in riddle and don't come in the generic formula of say, The Rock's promos. Definitely a fun experience though! Actually I had a fair deal of people coming up to me as I walked around saying things along the lines of, "Great Bray Wyatt man!" and some even congratulating me for the win after Daniel Bryan's match was over /-D One guy even asked me how I got to Belushi's so soon after the match with Daniel Bryan had ended, I told him that all I had to do was, "Follow the Buzzards." Wrestling fans are definitely some of the best fans in the world!

Speaking of wrestling fans, being the best fans in the world, we bumped into Ian, who was dressed as The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels! Although he claimed that he'd just come as himself in his clubbing attire. Had to use this opportunity to have a little fun and cut our own little promo for the Royal Rumble...


Hoping to brush up on the promo mic skills by the time WrestleMania rolls around! Good practice makes perfect I guess...
Also had a chat with the Superfan himself, the WWE Superman! Awesome dude, that also got booed by a tough crowd! Shout out to Adam, who's been reading the blog and came over to say Hello! We appreciate it, and it's knowing that you guys are reading it, and knowing that you truly are on the Road to WrestleMania with us that keeps us going sometimes - so Thank You and don't be shy to come over and talk to us! You can also Tweet us! We look forward to bumping into you guys again at some point down the road to New Orleans and I'm sure we will! Here's a snapshot of The Shield, The Wyatts and the legendary 'Macho Man' Randy Savage:

As 1 a.m. drew nearer we made sure to hit the loo, and then the bar one last time before settling into our spots to view the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... It was Time!

The bar was making some major noise, as well as the thousands in attendance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reason being that Daniel Bryan was making his way to the ring. This wasn't the only time in the evening everyone was cheering for Bryan, it was pretty much throughout the night, during the Championship match, all the way up until the #30 entrant. After that, everything became a chorus of boos. But we'll get to that.

Daniel Bryan was set to take on Bray Wyatt in a match that would maybe finally settle the differences between these individuals. YES! YES! YES! chants were heard most times that Bryan would land a strike, but the holy s*#% moment came when Daniel Bryan would commit to a suicide dive, only to land into Bray's arms, to be sent crashing into the barricade with the move now known as, "Sister Abigail". Solid match between these 2 superstars, with Bray Wyatt eventually picking up the 'W'. Clean win, I should add. I guess at this point what was going through a lot of people's minds was: "Alright cool, lose to Wyatt, Win the Rumble.." At least I know that thought had run through my mind once..

I was in the loo after this match, when I heard shouting and chanting coming from the bar area - Brock Lesnar had already pelted the Big Show a number of times with the steel chair before their match had even begun. Heyman was at ringside at the ready to deliver more steel chairs to the beast incarnate. After what seemed like a long while of pure brutality from Brock Lesnar, The Big Show got up in the corner and the referee signaled for the bell, so that the match could officially start. Lesnar would run at Show again, steel chair in hand but the Big Show would drill Lesnar in the face with a KO Punch! Probably one of the very few offensive moves Big Show had landed all night. Before you could blink, Lesnar had Big Show up over his shoulders in a phenomenal display of power and would spin the Big Show and send the giant cyclone crashing down to the mat with an F5! I'm pretty sure everyone in Belushi's was backing Lesnar in this one. After Brock gained the pinfall victory and removed his gloves, the bar came unglued with chants of, "Break his arm! Break his arm!" Lesnar would indeed inflict more brutality on the Big Show, but in the form of multiple chair shots. There's no other way for me to put it: Brock Lesnar had just destroyed The Big Show.

Now for the match, that the WWE had billed as the 'most anticipated re-match' (or something along those lines) - couldn't be further from the truth. John Cena was set to take on Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Our friend Ronal wasn't the only guy chanting for the referee. To his credit I can't think of a match that the people couldn't really care less about. In my opinion, it's been done before, it's being done now, and it probably won't be the last time we see these two face off. One of the best parts of this match was the chant we got going for John Cena's entrance.This is our 'epic proportions' reaction to John Cena's entrance. If the WWE can hear this, London would like to address you on something:


Dear WWE,
"JOHN CENA SUCKS!
 JOHN CENA SUCKS!
JOHN CENA SUCKS! 
JOHN CENA SUCKS!"
- Much love, London.

The crowd at Belushi's were pretty uninterested in this one, although as with everything this night, we had a chant and let our voices be heard. I watched this match over today and the crowd in Pittsburgh also voiced their opinions during this match with chants such as, "This is awful!", "We want Divas!" and of course, "Daniel Bryan!" - The match itself was pretty decent showing from these two, and stealing each others finishers was a good little spot to have in there I thought. The loudest pop was when the lights went out and the Wyatts did what they did, eventually costing John Cena the match, and beating him down.
"Thank You Wyatts!" and "Thank You Bray!" - these were the two dominant chants at the time, and I was overjoyed at the push that Bray Wyatt was seemingly getting. I'll be honest, although I was dressed as Bray that night, I wasn't a real big fan of the Wyatts, but they were looking impressive! I'm hoping this sets them up for something good down the road... The one issue I have with this segment was that after Cena had been beaten down like a dog by the Wyatt Family, he still manages to get up and leave to his theme music. What is up with that? Completely undersells the Wyatts. But what can we expect hey? They have to keep their cash cow protected.

The moment that everyone had been waiting for was finally here! My favourite match all year round was about to take place, and we were about to find out which superstar would stamp their place in the main event of WrestleMania and earn a title match against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion! We all did a final check to see our 5 number picks we had drawn at random. Vimal and I had just bought a bucket of Jack Daniels and Coke each, which would hopefully last us the entire length of the Rumble match. We made a game out of it between the two of us that every time a superstar entered the Rumble, we would take a sip, and whatever was left by the time #30 had come out, we would down the rest of the bucket! Ronal had gotten #1. The Best in the World. CM Punk made his way to the ring, as everyone at Belushi's sang "Cult of Personality"! and cheered for CM Punk! I had drawn #2, and it was Shield member, Seth Rollins! Not a bad start to the Rumble...

A little ways down the Rumble...


We'd seen huge pops for Kevin Nash, Kane, and Kofi Kingston, who as Rihan puts it, is the 'Royal Rumble' MVP.. leaping from the ringside barricade, back into the ring and avoiding elimination! Roman Reigns eventual involvement lead to the Shield and CM Punk being the only 4 men left in the Rumble at the present time, that was until 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... FELLA! Sheamus had returned and held his own against the Shield, hitting an Irish Curse backbreaker (I think it was on Ambrose) and following up with a Brogue Kick to Roman Reigns! There were also two entrants who I would consider I guess... comedic? I'm talking about El Torito and JBL. Others would call these wasted spots? I can see their point. My mate Vimal was pretty pissed when that little bull eliminated one of his picks Fandango! Reigns would soon eliminate El Torito after that. Reigns was on point this whole time. 'The Animal' Batista would enter #28 and was one of Hinal's picks to win the whole thing. After watching it back on TV today, he got a pretty decent pop, all the way until he got into the ring. Which is the summary of his return in a nut shell. He gets cheered in the build-up to his return, and then when he's actually back.. no one really seemed to care. Well most people, from what it looks like. But that's putting it mildly when it comes to the Royal Rumble. He got Booed. Hard. Langston came out #29 to almost no reaction. The crowd were beginning to chant for Daniel Bryan before #30 was set to entered, and when it was Rey Mysterio's music that hit, the WWE Universe just went ape shit. Mysterio was booed, the 619 was booed, and the only time I think he was cheered was when he got eliminated! I guess it's not his fault, but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time! The lack of a Daniel Bryan in the Royal Rumble would keep the crowd booing all the way until the show went off the air. The brief moment when this wasn't the case, was when Roman Reigns and Batista were the last two men in the ring, and it was as clear as day, who the WWE Universe were backing. The bar at Belushi's was going wild for Roman Reigns! Batista hit Reigns with a spear. Reigns hit him back with a better one! Could Reigns do it? He went to throw Batista over the top rope, only to be reversed and have Triple H's buddy come out with the win. Dave Bautista is going to WrestleMania XXX to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Now we know, one half of the equation.

My reaction was simple: I WAS PISSED! How can they have a guy that comes in, just be given a spot that guys like Ziggler, Bryan, Punk, Reigns etc. work hard for all year long? What kind of a message does that send out to employees in any business? I suppose I wouldn't have minded as much if Batista was a surprise entrant, at least not straight away. This may have been the most predictable Rumble yet. On top of that, excluding Daniel Bryan from the 30-Man Royal Rumble was a statement. It was a statement from the WWE to the fans, that almost seemed like, "Listen. You like who we tell you to like. You cheer for one of the options we give you." And it just doesn't make any sense on why they would drop the ball like that? If Daniel Bryan draws in money, why would you not put him over? I'm sure people spend their money so that they can go to the arena's, and  do the "YES!" chants for their favourite guy. I don't know if you've all put together some of the dots but I find it strange that in the same night, all of Triple H's buddies get over. The New Age Outlaws win the Tag Team Championship, Randy Orton retains his championship, Kevin Nash appears in the Rumble, Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels are on the Hall of Fame panel, Sheamus returns, and Batista wins the Rumble. I'm sure as you all know, there have been a multitude of tweets from people, including Mick Foley who have expressed their opinions, and unless we make some noise, nothing will change. I just read an article on NoDQ.com about how the WWE are looking to further monopolize things come WrestleMania 31: http://nodq.com/wwe/392861912.shtml

It is what it is! We all love the business, but hate these bad decisions. I remember leaving Belushi's and one guy came out the door after us saying, "TNA's not that bad really.." /-D That made me laugh a little. Nonetheless, we now know that Batista is heading to New Orleans, Louisiana to challenge the WWE World Heavyweight Champion on April 6th! Great night out at Belushi's and a huge thank you to Hooked on Wrestling Magazine for organizing the event - The Road to WrestleMania XXX is now officially underway! Now the big question is: Where will Monday Night RAW take us from here?

STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (28/01/14) 01:00

Sunday, 26 January 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania XX: Where It All Begins Again...

AYO! What's popping everybody? We are mere hours away from the Royal Rumble pay-per-view and by this time tomorrow we will know who has stamped their place in the main event of WrestleMania XXX! We will know one half of the equation! But first, we take a look back at the 20th anniversary of WrestleMania, Where it all began again...

---


Date: 14th March, 2004
Venue: Madison Square Garden
City: New York City, New York

Looking back it seems strange to say that John Cena was in the opening contest for the card, set to challenge the Big Show for his United States championship. I noticed that there were, "Let's go Cena!" chants. Without the "Cena Sucks!" retort from the men. This was pre-"Cena Sucks!" era - Doctor of Thuganomics was an all-round babyface. Cena would eventually attempt to use his chain, to which the referee objected and tried to remove the chain from the ring. Cena would use this ample time to clock Show around the head with some brass knuckles and hit him with the FU! Yeah you heard me.. the FU. Cena would win his first championship on his WrestleMania debut. Word Life!

Booker T & Rob Van Damn successfully retained their World Tag Team championship against the teams of; Garrison Cade & Mark Jindrak, La Resistance and The Dudley Boyz. I'm not sure what anyone else thinks of the current entrance theme that Cody Rhodes and Goldust have but I think it's the worst mashup since that of Booker T & RVD! Their entrance music was an absolute horrible mashup. If you don't believe me, go back and watch the footage.

The love story triangle between Chris Jericho, Trish Stratus and Christian would culminate when Jericho and Christian would go one-on-one with each other at WrestleMania XX. The two put on a solid match, and the finish would come after Trish Stratus (who had made her way down to ringside near the closing moments) would inadvertently hit Jericho in the face with the point of her elbow, allowing Christian to get the roll-up. Stratus would appear shocked, as Jericho stared at Christian who was now outside the ring near the entrance ramp. The real shocker would come when Trish turned Jericho around and hit him with a flurry of strikes to his face, allowing Christian to sneak back in a hit the Unprettier. Yes, the Unprettier. Truly shocking WrestleMania moment, as Trish and Christian leave with each other and plant a liplock on the stage!

The following match was a three-on-two handicap match that would pit the Rock 'n' Sock connection against Evolution's Randy Orton, Ric Flair & Batista. What an epic encounter. All but Foley in this match have won the Royal Rumble! It was quite the sight to see pre-Apex Predator Randy Orton, as well as Batista in their earlier days, picking up the win against the Rock 'n' Sock connection. This would also be the last time that The Rock would compete in a match until his encounter with John Cena in Miami at WrestleMania XXVIII. This was probably also Mick Foley's 10th last match ever. I bought Mick Foley's "CountDown to LockDown" yesterday. Can't wait to read it /-)

Possibly in the sexiest match in WrestleMania history, Sable and Torrie Wilson defeated Stacy Keibler and Miss Jackie in the only Playboy Evening Gown match in WrestleMania history. These ladies upheld the "Once in a Lifetime" moniker much better than The Rock and John Cena.

The next contest would be a Cruiserweight open for the WWE Cruiserweight championship. Chavo Guerrero (with a little help from his father, Chavo Classic) would successfully retain against Rey Mysterio, who was the last man remaining in the "winner stays on" style gauntlet match which also featured Ultimo Dragon, Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble, Nunzio, Funaki, Billy Kidman, Tajiri and Akio 'Pre-Wang-Yang'.

In what could arguably be one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history, Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar, with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee. This was supposed to be a match of epic proportions, an 'Unstoppable force meeting the Immovable object' type match, but it just didn't live up to the hype. It was also the last time Goldberg would compete in a WWE ring. Prior to their match, fans caught wind that both Goldberg and Lesnar would be leaving WWE following WrestleMania. Some of the chants included were, "This match sucks!" and "You sold out!". I guess the real reward for the fans was when Stone Cold Steve Austin would hit both Lesnar and Goldberg with a Stone Cold Stunner, straight out of the WWE.

In the other Tag Team championship, Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty also successfully defended the WWE Tag Team Championship in the same elimination format against; Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, The Basham Brothers and The A.P.A.

Molly Holly would gamble her hair in an attempt to dethrone Victoria for the WWE Women's Championship, but the stakes didn't pay off for Molly as she would end up not only losing the match, but losing her hair! Victoria would strap her to the barber's chair and trim away at her head with an electric shaver! BAH GAWD that's hideous!

After beating Brock Lesnar in possibly one of my favourite matches of all time, Eddie Guerrero would become WWE Champion in one of the truly special WWE highlight reel moments. Eddie was set to defend the championship against Kurt Angle. The build-up to this one was that Angle didn't believe that Guerrero was the best person to represent the WWE as their champion. Someone with documented drug problems, addictions and a person who's morals were to Lie, Cheat & Steal. It's wrestling irony at it's finest when Eddie Guerrero would loosen his boot, as to roll out of Kurt Angle's anklelock attempt and then entangle Kurt in a small package, and use the ropes to secure the pinfall. Viva La Raza! We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal!

In the most anticipated return to WrestleMania, The Undertaker was booked to take on his brother Kane for a second time! I remember watching this live the first time and hearing Paul Bearer's creepy voice say, "OoOOOoOOH YEeeeEAaSS!" right before he would walk down the ramp, followed by druids and say to Kane, "You're no son of mine!" before whipping his head around to the entrance ramp. The Undertaker had returned. I think this moment can go down in the books as an iconic return for the phenom to his show, WrestleMania! I loved how Kane would reach out his hands and say, "You're not real!" and "I buried you alive!". Kane would soon find out how real The Undertaker was, as he would Tombstone Piledrive Kane into the mat and claim another victim. This would extend the Deadman's undefeated streak to a phenomenal 12-0.

The main event for WrestleMania XX was a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H was defending the gold against challengers Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit. A truly spectacular finish to the 20th anniversary of WrestleMania would see Chris Benoit finally realizing his dream by making Triple H tap out to the Crippler Crossface for the World Heavyweight championship. Eddie Guerrero would join Benoit in the ring and the two champions would embrace, being covered in confetti. One can only imagine what that moment must have been like, being in the shoes of either of these two best friends, who's journeys had reached their ultimate peaks together at WrestleMania XX!

WrestleMania Moment: Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit embrace as Champions to close WMXX

Move of the Night: Austin's Stunners on Goldberg and Brock Lesnar

Match of the Night: World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit



---

If you watched WrestleMania XX, 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 weekend as we take a look back at WrestleMania 21 from 2005 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! If you guys are watching the Royal Rumble tonight, we hope everyone has a pleasant viewing and that the WWE doesn't disappoint and delivers a solid pay-pre-view, because after this night, we shall OFFICIALLY be on The Road to WrestleMania XXX!
 
STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read!
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (26/01/14) 18:40

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Road to WrestleMania : Official Opening Predictions

75 Days Before WrestleMania XXX: Tonight marks the last broadcast of Monday Night RAW, before the Road to WrestleMania XXX officially begins. Now as we all know, this means the beginning of speculations, rumours and predictions galore - all over the WWE Universe and the wrestling multiverse. People will be buzzing about everything from Batista winning the Royal Rumble to Hulk Hogan defeating John Cena at WrestleMania XXX for the World Heavyweight Championship! So without further ado, we would like to share with you, our readers, our predictions for the upcoming Road to WrestleMania and beyond, into the year 2014!

The following Triple Threat Predictions contest is scheduled for 10 Falls! 10 questions that will be explored, with each one of us giving our opinions and predictions.  Enjoy the ride, Enjoy the read.
Ring that damn bell...

1) Who will win the Royal Rumble 2014?

Rihan reckons: Batista (Tease of Evolution reunion faces Randy Orton at Mania, HHH in Randy's Corner with Flair in Batista's Corner)

Anuj assumes: My guess is CM Punk, probably because it'd be the best thing for him right now as he's literally got nothing going on. A win at the Rumble would get him back to the top which is where he needs to be and would probably involve him with a storyline with Orton/Lesnar/Batista. If someone else was to win it, I would go with Daniel Bryan or Bray Wyatt. Anyhow Batista wins it...

Mau's message: I have a feeling it could be a surprise entrant. I've accurately been predicting the winner of the Royal Rumble match since as far as I can remember, and that's not boasting, that's fact! That was up until 2012, when Sheamus would win, after I had predicted Jericho. I got back on track last year by endorsing Cena before the Rumble. This year, I'm going with Daniel Bryan. He is Ultra-Over right now, inside and outside of the WWE Universe. It'll be best for business.

2) Who will enter the Hall of Fame Class of 2014?

Rihan reckons: Ultimate Warrior, Kevin Nash, Miss Elizabeth, Kamala, Fabulous Firebirds

Anuj assumes: To be honest, I'm not too sure about this one at all but I'll say Jake "The Snake" Roberts will be inducted as well as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Mau's message: Jake 'the snake' Roberts, Chris Jericho, Diamond Dallas Page - Adding to the already announced Ultimate Warrior. Although Jericho's career may not be over yet, I find it strange that Drew Carey and Koko B. Ware's bird are in the Hall of Fame - and Jericho is not.

3) Who will face The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX & will the streak end?

Rihan reckons: Brock Lesnar, 22-0 (WWE build on Taker never having beaten Lesnar on PPV)

Anuj assumes: Highly doubt the streak will end this year at WrestleMania XXX, but regardless the match should be amazing to watch anyway! As for who the Deadman will face, my guess is *Paul Heyman voice* BROCK LESNAR! However, with Brock Lesnar pursuing the WWE World Heavyweight Title I don't know how this would play out unless he were to win and then face Taker at WrestleMania XXX for the title. Hmm..

Mau's message: Sting. I'm joining the yearly bandwagon that is the 'Sting vs. Undertaker' dream match. Although I really think the time has passed for these two to put on a great match, I believe it can still happen. It could happen this year at WrestleMania, with Sting's character being recently written off TNA television. It's best for business. Well at least it's the best option for Sting. Join the 'E', have your archived matches released on Blu-Ray/DVD, enter Hall of Fame and retire like a Legend. I very much doubt that Sting will be the one to end the streak, but this business is all about suspending your disbelief.

4) Who will hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 2014?

Rihan reckons: Batista, Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns

Anuj assumes: With the return of Batista and the announcement of Brock Lesnar going for the title, this one seems quite difficult. I'm sure that Orton will retain at the Royal Rumble, but as for what happens after that seems unpredictable. I'd like to see Lesnar as champion but only if he were to appear weekly unlike Dwayne. I'd also like to see Punk as champion again as he did a pretty good job before and I'm sure they could come up with a good angle.

Mau's message: Hulk Hogan - Could you imagine it? You might be staring at your screen right now thinking, "WTF?", but I'm sure when the time comes, and it should, even if it's for a short reign it will make for some buzz. I'm going with Bray Wyatt, if it's done the right way he could literally be one of the top heels as well as WWE World Heavyweight champion this year. I would have said Roman Reigns, but as over as he's been recently, I don't think he's ready yet. It's a no brainer that at some point, the flag will be passed to captain John Cena.

5) Who will turn heel this year?

Rihan reckons: Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Goldust, Sin Cara, Big Show(!)

Anuj assumes: Hmm, not too sure about this one but leading up to WrestleMania XXX maybe one of the Rhodes brothers turns heel which then sets up the match at Mania. Apart from that, I can't think of any others. #HeelCena

Mau's message: Big Show. Do I really need to explain this cycle?

6) Who will turn face this year?

Rihan reckons: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Ryback

Anuj assumes: N/A

Mau's message: Roman Reigns. The face turn in 2014 that allows Reigns to break away from the Shield and break out on his own. It could happen, and I'm predicting it now!

7) Who will win the Money in the Bank ladder match in 2014?

Rihan reckons: Dean Ambrose

Anuj assumes: Antonio Cesaro is my pick. That guy is great in the ring and he deserves to be a champion. Maybe we'll see him do more singles work in the lead up to MITB and then he'll win and hopefully cash in on whoever the champion is.

Mau's message: Antonio Cesaro. I'm a huge Cesaro fan, which explains why he's been major champion in my WWE 2K14 Universe since it's inception. But that's besides the point, not only can this guy swing anyone in the WWE Universe, he looks legit. He is legit. Antonio Cesaro will cash in the Money in the Bank and successfully become champion in 5 different languages.

8) What will the SummerSlam  main event be?

Rihan reckons: Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar

Anuj assumes: There could be a million matches which could be the main event of Summerslam, but I think this time it'll have something to do with Batista. Hopefully if he's not doing some part-time BS then he'll be up against the current champion. Batista vs. Lesnar maybe?

Mau's message: CM Punk vs. Batista - Right after Batista turns heel and joins the Authority.

9)  Which NXT Superstar who debuts in 2014 will have the biggest breakout year?

Rihan reckons: Paige

Anuj assumes: Gonna be honest and say I don't actually watch NXT, but I have seen a few episodes so I can't really make a proper judgement. However, if I was to pick someone who I think would be a breakout star in 2014 I'd say it might be Sami Zayn.

Mau's message: Aiden English. Here's a guy that can not only wrestle, he can sing pretty damn good as well. Has enough charisma to get to the main roster.

10)  Which non WWE contracted wrestlers will return/debut on the roster?

Rihan reckons: MVP, Kurt Angle (Angle vs Punk at WrestleMania 31)

Anuj assumes: I think Jeff Hardy will come back if he's officially done with TNA. I don't see why he wouldn't and returning at the Royal Rumble would be perfect for him. 

Mau's message: Chris Jericho. I have to make at least one safe prediction so that when we all look back at this I can say say, "HAH! There it is, proof of Jericho's WWE return, and I called it!"

Bonus Round Predictions: 

Rihan reckons:

- The Authority will not disappear after WrestleMania 30
- Dolph Ziggler will get released from WWE
- The year of Summer Rae in the Divas division
- Prime Time Players will split & Titus O Neil will be  pushed as a singles star
- Rey Mysterio will get injured (!)

Mau's messages:
1) These are predictions, doesn't mean I agree with this one, but I'm pretty sure it could happen. Eva Marie will become WWE Divas Champion. I hope I'm wrong.
2) Daniel Bryan will ruin Sheamus' return at the Royal Rumble by eliminating him in under 18 seconds. We are all allowed to predict, and as unlikely as this may sounds, how great would that be?
3) The Usos will win the WWE Tag Team Championships.
4) Zack Ryder will continue to fly under the radar.
5) Paige will become Divas Champion

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There you have it! The official predictions from us at the Road to WrestleMania 30 blog! Did you agree with any of them? Disagree with any of them? Wondering how Anuj forgot to fill in who he thought would turn face this year? Leave a comment right here and let us know what you think! You can also leave a comment on our Facebook Page, and be sure to hit that 'Like' button - It's just one more way to join the conversation! As time rolls on, and we go further along the Road to WrestleMania, we'll be able to look back and see whose predictions came true... Time will tell who wins this Triple Threat.

STAY TUNED!

Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-) #Hope2EntertainU
Mau (21/01/14) 02:15

Sunday, 19 January 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania XIX

AYO! What's popping everybody? RAW emanates tomorrow night from Dayton, OH. This is the last RAW before the Royal Rumble, the last RAW before the official Road to WrestleMania gets underway! January 20th. Why does that ring a bell? Oh that's right... 'The Animal' Batista returns tomorrow night! Business is soon to pick up. Just as it did in 2003 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. Let's take a WrestleMania CountDown look back at WrestleMania XIX!

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Date: 30th March, 2003
Venue: Safeco Field
City: Seattle, Washington

If there is one word I can use to describe this WrestleMania it would be: Personal. The build-up for some of these matches were just personal. No championships, No money, or contenderships. Just great stories, of how the match had been built up to that point, culminating at the showcase of the Immortals. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho. Personal. Mr. McMahon vs. Hulk Hogan. Personal. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Personal. Also since this was the first WrestleMania I had ever watched live on TV, for me, it was personal! If I could use 2 words to describe this WrestleMania, the other word would be: Underrated.

Rey Mysterio would make his WrestleMania debut and challenge Matt Hardy for the Cruiserweight championship. Matt and Rey put on a great fast paced exhibition - something that rarely occurs in the WWE of today. Matt would eventually reverse a roll-up and use the ropes for leverage to pick up the win.

This is probably the only match in the Undertaker's legendary streak that wasn't a One-on-One match. A-Train and Big Show would injure 'the colossus of Boggo road' Nathan Jones by attacking him in what appeared to be the gents toilets of in the arena. Leaving the Dead Man to compete in a handicap match against A-Train & Big Show. Taker would be played to the ring my Limp Bizkit's performance of Rollin'. Wrestling needs more Rock Music involvement. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Not really diggin' the whole Flo Rida style fetish lately. Nothing against Flo's music, I like the stuff, but the power that a song like 'Crack Addict' has to tell the story of The rivalry between Stone Cold and The Rock still gives me goosebumps. But we'll get to that. Point being: We need Rock and Wrestling connection! Taker would ride down to the ring on his bike, and embrace Fred Durst in the ring. Taker would start landing the big moves early in the game, as A-Train was on the receiving end of a shattering chokeslam. The match would go on, after Taker was unable to get the quick win, and he would hold his own. Nathan Jones found his way out of the toilet, and was able to nail the Big Show with a spinning back kick on the outside, which would allow the Dead Man to take A-Train, up and drop him down with a Tombstone Piledriver. That was all she wrote, as the Undertaker extended his undefeated streak to 11-0.

The Women's Championship Triple Threat match was next as Victoria (c) would take on Jazz and Trish Stratus. Now this goes without being said. The 'Divas' of today wouldn't be able to touch these 3 women. Unless Eva Marie has some miraculous improvements, I couldn't ever see her defeating any of these 3 ladies in a million years. I could be wrong, but that's my opinion. Natalya and AJ Lee are the only two names that come to mind at the moment when it comes to thinking of Divas on the current roster that can GO. These 3 women put on a great exhibition, with the hometown sweetheart Trish Stratus coming away with the win, and becoming Women's champion! 100% Stratusfied.

The last time that the WWE had as many great tag teams as they do today (The Usos, The Real Americans, Prime Time Players, The Shield, The Wyatt Family, Goldust & Cody Rhodes, New Age Outlaws) was back in 2003. Three absolutely phenomenal teams would lock horns for the WWE Tag Team championship. Los Guerrero's vs. Chris Benoit & Rhyno vs. Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas). Haas & Benjamin would make their WrestleMania debut, defending the WWE Tag Team championships. Amazing 3-way tag team match, if you haven't already seen it, it's worth going back and watching it. Shelton Benjamin would take advantage of a Gore from Rhyno to Chavo Guerrero and cover for the pinfall. There's a reason these guys went on to become the self-proclaimed, 'World's Greatest Tag Team'.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho. Personal. I believe this is one of those WrestleMania gems matches that doesn't get the reverence that it deserves. Two icons who compliment each other very well inside that ring, possibly because of their similar styles. If you were to take away everything from this match, entrances, video packages, these two would still steal the show by what they can create on that canvas. The video packages and entrances however, do add nicely to the already special combination of Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The story behind this one was, Chris Jericho, idolizing and imitating the Heart Break Kid, throughout his early career was tired of trying to become the next Shawn Michaels. He decided it was time for him to become the first Chris Jericho. This match was a culmination of that, and the recent mind games that had Jericho had been playing with Michaels. The match itself was back and forth, and it was incredible! Was marking out inside my own mind when I saw the cross-body and roll through spot, vintage move. There were a lot of cool spots in this one, one being when Jericho would kip-up and do the Shawn Michaels pose, only to be followed by the original by Michaels. Jericho would tune up the band in the corner and hit HBK square with his own version of the Sweet Chin Music, and would soon in turn be hit by HBK with the original. Michaels would eventually pick up with a roll-up bridge, ending an epic encounter. Michaels would offer a handshake to Jericho, who was in tears. Jericho would embrace his hero, then kick him square in the nuts, right before shoving his face down into the mat. Classic Moment.

The World Heavyweight championship would be contested for next as Triple H, with Ric Flair in his corner would defend against Booker T. The story of this match was a good one with Booker gaining the early advantage, up until Flair's involvement. Flair would toss Booker's knee into the ring steps and that would be the start of Triple H's onslaught on the legs of Booker T. A very rare Indian Deathlock was also applied, but Booker eventually was able to forge somewhat of a comeback and nail Triple H with a Harlem Hangover from the top rope, which took just as much out of him! This would allow the Game to regroup and drop Booker with a Pedigree and retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

In the months leading up to WrestleMania XIX, Hulk Hogan and Mr. McMahon engaged in a bitter rivalry over which man was most responsible for WWE's enormous success. Personal. In a battle for bragging rights, the two powerful personalities faced off in a Street Fight. Even though neither of these two men were regularly wrestling, or even regular wrestlers, what a Street Fight they had! Both men would be pouring color and Vince McMahon even put Hogan through the commentary by hitting him with a diving leg drop from atop a ladder! The most infamous moment of this match had to be the camera shot from inside the ring, of a bloody MrMcMahon, rising at the ring apron with a lead pipe, and a sadistic smile across his face. Piper also made a surprise run-in and for a moment or two, kicked McMahon in the ass right before cracking Hogan over the head with a lead pipe. McMahon would soon after go for a pin, and Hogan would kick out and it was all Hulkamania from then on! Hulking up, pointing to the adulation of Safeco Field - and nailing McMahon and then sending (Mr. McMahon's hand picked referee) Sylvain Grenier sailing out of the ring. Hogan then re-focused his attention on McMahon, and would plant him with not one, but three Legdrops! Game Over. Hulkamania prevails at WrestleMania again! This would be the last time Hogan would compete at a WrestleMania... For now.

In 2003, one of the greatest WrestleMania rivalries continued when The Rock squared off against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the third time. Personal. On the eve of this epic encounter, a combination of anxiety, nerves, and heart palpitations hospitalized the "Texas Rattlesnake." Despite waking up that morning in a hospital bed, Stone Cold battled the Rock in front of 54,097, but in the end, it was Austin falling to three Rock Bottoms. I remember at the end of the match, the Rock is shoving the referee away while he has a word with Austin - and I couldn't remember exactly what it was that the Rock had said to the fallen Austin, because I'd read about it in The Stone Cold Truth. I decided to dig it up again and these are a few passages from Ausin's book:

"After Rock pins me for the one-two-three, he leans over me real close and says, "I love you, man." I know he means it. And I tell him I love him too, and he knows I mean it. Then Rock says, "You'll never know how much this means to me. Thank you so very, very, very much. You don't know how much I appreciate this. I'll never forget it." I'm glad to have been able to do it for him. The main thing, though, is that the fans seem to like it...

...After the match is over, I come up the ramp for the last time and I look at the fans. It's a sight I'll never forget. I give 'em the Double Birds and the crowd explodes. I get a huge cheer as if I had won the match, and that's wonderful to hear. And my music is playing as I'm leaving, which is cool."

Kurt Angle would defend his WWE Championship in the main event against the 'Next Big Thing' Brock Lesnar. Lesnar had won the 2003 Royal Rumble match, eliminating the Undertaker last, and finding himself in the main event of WrestleMania. Probably two of the best mat grapplers in the company at the time. Not only was Lesnar a great athlete but I'm sure no one will ever forget the Shooting Star Press that eclipsed the entire WWE Universe. A truly amazing feat for someone the size of Lesnar, and the distance he covered was jaw-dropping. A concussed Lesnar would continue wrestling in the match, and would set Angle up for a F5 and follow up with the deciding pinfall. Lesnar would capture the WWE Championship for the second time, and would shake hands with Kurt Angle at the end of the match and the two would embrace in a sign of good sportsmanship and respect. This would be the beginning of an interesting friendship between the olympic gold medalist and the 'Next Big Thing'.

WrestleMania Moment: Bloody Mr. McMahon rising on the apron / Hogan Hulking Up and Finishing Off McMahon with 3 Legdrops

Move of the Night: Brock Lesnar's Shooting Star Press

Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho


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If you watched WrestleMania XIX, 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 weekend as we take a look back at WrestleMania XX from 2004 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 (19/01/14) 23:35

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Miscellaneous Report: Flights & Hall of Fame

I'm going to do this impromptu post about some of the things that haven't really been noteworthy until you bundle them all together and try and sell them like one of Don West's 'brown bag' specials. Things such as booking flights from London to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was a fairly uneventful tale, with a little miscommunication between the team members of the Road to WrestleMania 30 blog. We'd originally decided to book flights on a Monday (I believe it was the 30th December) but it that got delayed and Rihan ended up booking his and Shanks' tickets on the Wednesday 1st January, and I had mine done by Saturday 4th January. I had originally dropped a pipebomb on Rihan for not trying hard enough to get through to me when booking, but I digress because it's all said and done now, and we're all on the same flight to Nola!
http://www.buzzfeed.com/followyournola/35-ways-to-do-new-orleans-like-a-local

If you're planning to fly across the pond for WrestleMania XXX get in touch with us! Also, it would probably be a good idea to book your flights as soon as possible, because as I'm sure you'll know, the prices will only go up. Also, in terms of hotels I've heard that availability isn't great so the sooner you look into that the better! For flights you can always try www.skyscanner.net - That's where we got our flights booked from. They also search hotels for you so it may save you some hassle.

Speaking of saving you from hassle, I reckon if we were ever to do a Mania trip again, getting a package may be more costly, but you're paying to save yourself from... you guessed it. The hassle. Something to really think about if you can afford it and have the time to save up for it. So today, at 4 p.m. the presale for the induction ceremony of the WWE Hall of Fame 2014 would go on sale. Which meant like many people across the globe, Rihan and I were parked in front of our laptops at 4 p.m. Well Rihan was, I was about 2 minutes late (as usual). Nevertheless we would spend the next hour and half on the Ticket Master (US) site trying to secure some decent seats. A lot of the first 45 minutes consisted of 'High Demand: No Matches!' warnings popping up on our screens which I'm sure many of you that are reading this will be familiar with! I'd heard that some seats in the 100s were showing up for some people, but in the entire time we'd spent looking, we'd gotten only 300s. Here's a little seating chart for the ones who have absolutely no idea on what I'm babbling on about:
Now then, it seemed like the best thing to do was to wait for tickets to go on general sale, maybe then they would open up more sections for people to buy tickets? It was safe to assume that a lot of the 100s seating sections would go to the fans who'd be purchasing through one of the WrestleMania packages. I don't know why but I keep imagining that the majority, or a large sum of package holders are casual fans. I could be wrong, but it just feels like something the casual fan would do, rather than customizing their WrestleMania week experience to their mark and smark needs! It's just a strange association I've made. Agree with me? Leave a comment. Disagree with me? You're probably an assclown with a WrestleMania package deal. Leave a comment also. Not saying that every package holder is a casual fan because I'm sure that there's atleast one mark reading this right now that's taking offense to what I've said.

"How DARE you call me a casual fan sir? I pay my good hard earned cash and am just as, IF NOT MORE than a devote fan than you. I got slightly offended by that statement. We better get first dibs with all of that devoted fan money we invested!" - That's YOU. Stop being such a mark. These packages have made booking tickets somewhat of a nightmare for a lot of fans, and I'm speaking on behalf of all the wrestling fans who didn't choose to have every event spoon fed to them, I speak on behalf of the wrestling fans who wake up at strange hours in the morning so they can park themselves in front of laptop to book their tickets. I am Mau, and I am the Voice of the Voiceless! Ok, not really but I hope you catch my drift /-) Dudes and dudettes with the Mania Packages - Good for you. I'm speaking on behalf of everyone that's trying real hard without the bundle and can relate to what I'm saying!

The hours rolled on and just past midnight I received another call from Rihan who was on the Ticket Master website, at it again. It's funny because I'd just gotten back to my laptop and tried to open up the Wrestlecon page when my mobile started ringing. He had some sections popping up that were pretty decent. Ideally from the get go, we knew that Floor Sections: G, F, A, E were most probably going to be occupied mostly, if not entirely by wrestlers, their families and other personnel. 100s were probably going to package holders. That left the 300s. The best possible Sections we would shoot for would be 307-309.

Every other section would pretty much have us sitting at a weird angle for a potential 3 hours listening to speeches. Now some of you may be thinking 316, 317, 331, 332 don't seem bad at all! Plus, we'll be a lot closer. Maybe that's true, but paying $60-$86.90 for it just didn't seem worth it. You'd already be so high up that you can barely make out who's on stage, on top of which the one mini titantron you would be watching on would be at an angle. This is why we were aiming to get 307-309. Even though we were further from the stage, we'd be facing it directly, and facing the screen on which the cameras would show the night's events. Eventually, we were presented with the option of taking section 306, row 7, for a very decent price of $35.85 - which means more for Beer Money, and I'm not talking about the Wrestlecon! SUBMIT ORDER PLEASE! We're going to the Hall of Fame 2014 - OH HELL YEAH!


The only thing that remains to do now as part of the official 'WWE WrestleMania week events' planning is to book Fan Axxess. I will keep you posted, but after that's done we can look to booking other events such as Wrestlecon. I can't tell you how excited I am for Wrestlecon, the number of superstars that are appearing is immense. Collectible wrestling figures, DVDs, masks, books, attire, you name it, and I'm sure that it'll be there as a part of merch for sale. My good buddy Hinal has already made me promise to get him a Stone Cold Steve Austin vest - and if any place would have it, it would be at Wrestlecon! Also Goldberg is appearing. Enough said. I'm also a huge fan of Colt Cabana's 'Art of Wrestling' podcast which some of you may know, and may have heard of - and he'll be doing a live show from the Wrestlecon in New Orleans, Louisiana. As I'm writing this post, about an hour ago I found out that Karen & Jeff Jarrett will also be at there! Jarrett is going to be in a match against 'BOOM BOOM' Colt Cabana! - Cannot Freakin' Wait. Rihan has been super psyched about "RINGSIDE: An evening with Jim Ross" appearance and I'm not surprised, can't think of a  greater way to kick off the WrestleMania activities in NOLA for WrestleMania 30! It's starting to feel a lot more real than it did in my first ever blog post where we booked our tickets. The closer we get, the more UNREAL it's getting. After Fan Axxess is booked, I get the feeling that's when the real fun will start. Such as deciding on a faction name for the 4 of us, as well as getting some custom T-shirts for Mania in the pipelines.. as the Road Warriors would say, "UUUUUHHHHHHHHH WHHHAAAT A RUSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHH!"

For those of you who haven't been able to get your WWE Hall of Fame 2014 tickets yet, you can do so on Ticket Master's website with the following pre-sale codes:

WM30TW
WM30FB
WWEUNI
SDWM30
CENA30

Tickets will go on general sale on Saturday 18th January, at 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT. - Which means 4 p.m. GMT for anyone buying from the United Kingdom. Good Luck everyone!

Remember to 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! /-)
Mau 17/01/14 (02:30)

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

WrestleMania CountDown: WrestleMania X8

AYO! What's popping everybody? This time it's a rhetorical question because unless you were trapped under a rock on Monday Night you know that Daniel Bryan, was given the POP heard around the world! The most over guy in the world of professional wrestling today - The future is once again looking bright for the flying goat man. It was also revealed that The Ultimate Warrior is going to be the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014! The wrestling world is saddened to hear about the passing of women's wrestling icon, Mae Young this week. Let's now take a look back at the past, a look back at the year 2002 in sports entertainment - WrestleMania X8!

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Date: 17th March, 2002
Venue: SkyDome
City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For the second time in WWE history, WrestleMania went international when the 18th annual event took place in front on 68,237 fans inside Toronto's Skydome. The opening contest was for the Intercontinental Championship, which saw William Regal defend, unsuccessfully against Rob Van Dam! This was Van Dam's first reign as IC champion.

I was watching this WrestleMania CountDown PPV with Anuj and my good buddy Hinal, who was also an old school wrestling fan. He was a WWF guy, and I was a WCW guy. Now this next match would feature two guys who were in very different positions on their respective promotions' card through the late 90s but somehow DDP had ended up European Champion in the WWE and was set to defend his title against 'At Last You're On Your Own' Christian. Diamond Dallas Page was a MAIN EVENT PLAYA (and no... not like Brodus Clay) in WCW and I just didn't get the way they used him in the WWE, but good old Dallas Page always seems to make the best of any situation. As is the case we've seen him do with Scott Hall and Jake the Snake. It seems like a watching a watered down WWE version of DDP, in comparison to the WCW World Heavyweight Champion that had an epic encounter with 'Da Man' Goldberg. It's a shame really, but that's WWE for you. Anyone who's never seen any of WCW will only ever see the DDP character as a midcard European Champion who stalks women. At least until the WWE Network goes live - go and watch some quality WCW programming! In short, he beat Christian. That's not a bad thing... THAT's a GOOD thing!

The longest running joke of the night was involving the Hardcore Championship. What a great idea to have 24/7 rules! I miss those days when Maven would come out at WrestleMania X8 to defend his championship against Goldust, only to have Spike Dudley sneak across into the ring (I don't know why I said that in Zeb Colter's voice in my head just now) and get a pinfall to steal the championship! Utilizing the 24/7 rule, Spike Dudley, The Hurricane, Mighty Molly (with the assist of a frying pan), Christian and then Maven again would capture the Hardcore championship throughout the night! Unpredictably entertaining.

Kurt Angle and Kane were in a singles contest with the finish coming as Kane would seemingly go for a chokeslam. Angle would reverse this into a roll-up pin and use the ropes for leverage. Angle was successful in picking up the 'W'.

One of the best promo video packages of the night, had to be for the match between The Undertaker and Ric Flair. We watched it twice and Hinal kept saying, "That's what wrestling was about! Not giving a shit and going after someone by any means necessary to make point!" - He was referring to the beat down that David Flair took by The Undertaker. To Hinal (a WWF guy), Flair's son was just some defenseless kid in some training facility. Being a WCW guy I knew better! /-) I'd seen David Flair, Crowbar and Daffney on WCW being complete nutters! One thing we both saw from the same perspective however, was the awesomeness of this match. Two absolute legends going one on one. After watching this it makes me wish that The Undertaker would come back with his Biker gimmick. He was truly an American Badass! Flair would flow color like no one else, and no one bleeds better than the Nature Boy - all over that blonde hair for added effect! But not even the master of the Figure-Four Leglock could stump the deadman, as Flair was on the receiving end of a Tombstone Piledriver and was set to rest in peace! As Taker stood on the apron on his way out, he raised both his hands and extended his fingers one by one indicating that Flair was victim number 10 in the undefeated streak.

Edge and Booker T would square off in a singles match which would see Edge kicking out of a scissors kick by Booker, and even attempting his own version of the spinaroonie. Edge would pick up the victory over Booker T, following an Edgecution!

Another awesome promo video package in the night was for the contest between the Texas rattlesnake, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and the nWo's Scott Hall. Everything from Scott Hall being taped up and kidnapped by Stone Cold, to the nWo smashing a cinder block across the knee of Austin - this was the 90s Attitude & nWo era in a nutshell! Scott Hall as he would come out, do his signature nWo double point taunt at the entrance way to indicate that 'Big Sexy' Kevin Nash would be in his corner at ringside. These two icons put on a great showing and Nash would involve himself in the mix! Scott Hall took a double Stunner, sold to perfection - and the Texas rattlesnake would gain the  victory, handing the nWo their first loss of the night.

The WWF Tag Team championship would be defended next in a Four Corners Elimination match as Billy & Chuck would defend against the A.P.A., The Hardyz and The Dudleyz. Saliva would sing The Dudleyz (with Stacy Keibler) out to the ring to "Turn the Tables". As I'm writing this blog post I've been watching TNA's One Night Only Tag Team Tournament to determine 'The Greatest Tag Team in TNA History' and Team 3D just went on to win the whole damn thing! Bully Ray and Devon should one day, be in the WWE Hall of Fame! If Drew Carey is in it, there's no reason that these two icons of tag team wrestling shouldn't be. The way that Bubba Ray has re-invented himself is amazing. Only one other transformation to success comes to mind at the moment, and that's of JBL, who was also in this match at WrestleMania X8. However, on this night, the A.P.A. were the first team to be eliminated, followed by The Dudleyz. The Hardyz would fall next as Billy hit Jeff with one of the tag team championships, allowing Chuck to gain the pinfall and successfully retain their tag belts.

Nina years after making his last WrestleMania appearance, Hulk Hogan returned to the spotlight to battle The Rock. This match was dubbed 'Icon vs. Icon'. In my opinion THE most electrifying match in ALL of WrestleMania History. By no means a technical clinic, but with larger than life characters such as 'the Immortal' Hulk Hogan and 'The People's Champion' The Rock you only need a finite number of moves. The status of these two men allowed facial expressions alone to elicit reactions greater than some of the most impressive maneuvers we've witnessed at WrestleMania. The crowd in the Toronto SkyDome added to the electric feel and even 14 years after this match was done, we all sat in front of the TV in awe, and covered in goosebumps. Nothing else that night compared! If you've never seen this match, I won't describe it because you'd be better off watching it... Also if you haven't already seen it you should have your 'True Professional Wrestling Mark/Smark' license revoked until you do watch it. But I fear it may be too late to save you! A forever iconic moment after the match when Hogan extended his hand to The Rock - the symbolic passing of the torch. A torch which The Rock would then defend 10 (and 11) years later against John Cena of the next generation. WrestleMania X8 proved to be a tough night for the nWo. Not only did Hogan falter, but Scott Hall also came up short in his contest against Stone Cold Steve Austin. By the end of the night, the nWo was a mere shell of itself, as Hall and Nash attacked Hogan after his match with The Rock, officially marking the beginning of the end for the feared faction.

Jazz successfully defended her WWF Women's championship in a triple threat match against Lita and WWE Hall of Famer, Trish Stratus. It begs the question on whether Lita will some day be inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Triple H's long journey back to the WWF after suffering a quad injury would culminate in the main event match of WrestleMania X8 as he would challenge Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWF Championship. Triple H would have his entrance played out by Drowning Pool on his way to the ring but how on Earth were they planning to follow up on Rock vs. Hogan? Although from a 'wrestling match' standpoint these 2 wrestled a much better match than Hogan and Rock but the crowd were pretty burnt out at this point, and who can blame them? Triple H and Jericho would go to battle with the occasional interruptions from Stephanie McMahon who was in Jericho's corner on this night. Triple H would eventually hit a Pedigree on his own wife! Jericho would attempt his own version of the Pedigree on Triple H but to no avail, as the Game sent him catapulting. The Pedigree was the final blow delivered by Triple H to Jericho. 1-2-3. Triple H was back on top of the mountain again. I can only imagine what that feeling must be like, coming back from an injury that severe, winning the Royal Rumble and coming full circle at the main event of WrestleMania by becoming the Undisputed Champion. What a Journey.

WrestleMania Moment: The iconic handshake between The Rock and Hollywood Hulk Hogan

Move of the Night: Steve Austin's double Stone Cold Stunners on Scott Hall

Match of the Night: The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan


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STAY TUNED!
Thanks for taking the time to read,
There's plenty more to come! /-)
Mau (15/01/14) 22:50