March 12th – 18th: This Week in Wrestling History

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Dean Malenko vs. Chris Jericho (c) for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship – Uncensored ’98

Back in 1997/1998 WCW was an exciting place to be. The product was conclusively winning the ‘Monday Night War’ between WCW Nitro and WWF Monday Night Raw. It really is unthinkable in this day and age in 2012 that another wrestling product could get anywhere close to knocking WWE off of the mountain but back then WCW was “where the big boys played” and was pulling in the ratings week after week. WCWs dominance, of course, would not last. As they tempted big stars away from WWF such as Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Lex Luger and Bret Hart, the smaller, younger talent were pushed down the card and given little to no opportunities to grow within the walls of its organisation.

The WCW Cruiserweight division was arguably producing more classic matches than WWF at this time. Young, talented wrestlers brought pure wrestling and high flying to a mainstream American and global audience  in an exciting, refreshing division. Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko were involved in an entertaining rivalry as two of the divisions stand-out stars. What Dean Malenko lacked in charisma, he possessed in pure wrestling ability. An incredibly talented, professional performer – the “Man of a Thousand Holds” helped to provide the backbone of the WCW product at this time. This particular show, Uncensored on March 15th 1998 at the Mobile Civic Center in Alabama, predictably had matches such as Lex Luger vs. Scott Steiner, Sting vs. Scott Hall and a main event of Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan higher on the card. As the “dinosaurs” drew the money and occupied the spotlight, Malenko and Jericho provided the strong wrestling match.

“Lionheart” Chris Jericho, the petulant villain, was another performer looking for his break in WCW. The Cruiserweight Champion succeeded at getting under the skin of Malenko, declaring himself to be the “Man of a Thousand and Four Holds” – a hilarious promo from their feud together and a personal favourite of mine.

Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero (c) for the WWE Championship – Wrestlemania XX

On Sunday March 14th 2004 Eddie Guerrero was enjoying his time on top of the pile. Securing his first WWE Championship the previous month when he defeated Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, Eddie then entered into a feud with Kurt Angle in the build-up to Wrestlemania.

Originally jumping ship from WCW to the WWE with close friend Chris Benoit, the two men who many saw as underused and underappreciated in WCW occupied the main events at Madison Square Garden as Chris Benoit battled for the World Heavyweight Championship in a triple threat match with Triple H and Shawn Michaels.

In a feud that included references to Eddies legitimate issues with drugs and alcohol the Olympian only helped to further establish Guerrero as one of the companys top faces, despite playing the part of a heel throughout the majority of his career. These two men are often referred to as two of the very best in-ring performers of their time and at Wrestlemania 20 they arguably stole the show with an astounding, technically sound wrestling match.

In just a few short hours at TNA Victory Road Kurt Angle will take on Jeff Hardy and if their previous matches, such as their encounter at Victory Road 2010, are anything to go by then it should be a classic. Until then get a taste of exactly how good Kurt Angle can be when he’s on his top of his game. You will struggle to find many better examples of pure class than this one.

Lots of John Cena and The Rock News, McMahon Enjoying Legit Heat, Austin Backs The Rock and The Rock on Cleveland.com

Multiple sources have confirmed to the Pro Wrestling Torch that there is legitimate tension between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena, which reflects in their war of words. Furthermore, Vince McMahon is doing nothing to stop it as he and those in upper management love the conflict.

As in the past, McMahon enjoys seeing top stars challenge other. He feels the audience will sense real friction between two wrestlers, thus furthering interest in the match he’s trying to sell. In the case of Johnson and Cena, the top circle likes that fans are sensing their friction and believing that they may legitimately come to blows at WrestleMania XXVIII.

Steve Austin Discusses Talents Problems with The Rock, Returning & More

WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin was interviewed by The LAW this past week about his new movie Recoil. The LAW can be heard every Sunday night at 11pm EST with Dan Lovranski, Jason Agnew and John Pollock on TSN 1050 Toronto and online at liveaudiowrestling.com. Here are some highlights, courtesy of Chris Maffei:

Talent Having Problems with The Rock returning: 
“My thoughts on that are, you earn what you get in this business. Rock has earned the ability to come and go as he wants, because the business still needs him, it can still use him, and it can elevate the profile with having such a mainstream guy there. I don’t know about the promos between John (Cena) and Rock. I think some of them have gotten kind of personal, you wonder how much of it’s a work and how much of it’s a shoot. At the end of the day, it’s a worked business. Again, I think it’s a good thing for Rock to be involved with this. He’s earned his right to come and go and do whatever he wants.”

Current talent being vocal to creative: 
“(CM) Punk was a guy, and is a guy who, man, that guy flew by the seat of his pants. He was pissed off, he vented, he cuts great promos. He worked himself out of a bad situation into a great situation. He knew when it was time to pick his spot, when he contract was gonna be up. That guy’s been around the horn a few times, and he’s been kicked around a little bit. He saw how the other guys were being treated, and he needed, and deserved, and earned the right to be treated in that same fashion. Guys, you gotta pick your spot, but you gotta be vocal. It is a very interesting machine these days. They need voices to question them. They need voices to inspire them, or fuel them, to rethink some of the things that they’re doing and make it a better product.”

Returning under the right circumstances:
“There’s nothing up in the air for me. If there’s something that presents itself as a business opportunity, then I have an open ear to listen to it. It would have to be right for myself, my opponent, and obviously the company. I’m not lobbying for another match. There’s always talk. People ask, ‘am I capable of having another match?’ Yeah. If I was in a bad situation, I would get back in the ring full time if I had to, but I don’t have to. I’m happy doing what I’m doing.”

The Rock Says He’s Come Close to Slapping John Cena’s Lips Off His Face

The Rock recently spoke with Cleveland.com about facing John Cena at WrestleMania 28, returning to wrestle for WWE and more.  Here’s some of what Rock had to say about Cena:

“Coming back into this world, I felt like I needed something real to sink my teeth into as a performer. [This is] very real. Whatever Cena has said in the past publicly, three or four years ago, I always remembered it. Then, that gave us a nice launching point. It’s not personal. I don’t personally hate John, I don’t hate anybody but the tension is nice and real and I like it. I think it plays well into what we’re doing at WrestleMania. People feel that. I don’t have to be your friend, I don’t want to be your friend. But when we go out there, let’s entertain the people.

But that tension is very palpable and it’s nice and real. I’ve come close a couple of times to slapping the lips off his face. It’s OK. I like his lips where they’re at for now. [Laughs.]”

FCW TV Report 11 March 2012

 

Florida Championship Wrestling

11th March 2012

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Recap: Mike Dalton upsets Leo Kruger last week and wins the FCW World Heavyweight Championship

The commentary team of Chris Russo and William Regal stand ringside. Russo calls what happened last week the biggest upset in the history of FCW. He confirms that the main event this evening will be Keo Krugers rematch for the FCW Heavyweight Championship and states that FCW President Steve Keirn will make a major announcement.

 

Alexander Rusev & Big E Langston vs. CJ Parker & Jason Jordan

The opening tag team match was very much a case of speed vs. power as the team of Rusev & Big E Langston took a huge size and strength advantage into this one. The much smaller team of CJ Parker and Jason Jordan were able to use their speed and quickness advantage early on as they made frequent tags and targeted Rusev. Langston would soon get the tag and turn the tables, isolatingJordanand taking control of the match up after Rusev was able to interfere behind the referees back, allowing his partner to dominate. The pair would make frequent tags of their own, utilising the referees five-count as they sent him to the ropes and impact fully sandwiched Jordan between their massive frames.

 

After successfully keeping him from his corner for quite some time, using brute force to flapjack him face first to the mat as he desperately attempted to climb the huge frame of his opponent and tag out, Jordan was finally able to fight his way to his partner. Coming in fresh off the tag Jason Jordan hit a beautiful cross body off the top rope and, following a sunset flip into an attempted pin, Rusev tried to sit out and crush the chest of the smallest man in the match but met the mat as Jordan avoided the contact. With kicks to the back of Rusev and a dropkick to the face, he then tried for a cover but Langston would make the save. The match broke down into chaos as Parker entered the ring and gave him a dropkick for his effort and then, teaming up, Parker and Jordan clotheslined Langston over the ropes to the floor. As Parker continued the brawl on the outside of the ring, Rusev hit a huge sidewalk slam in the ring and the match looked to be over. Opting however not to go for the cover the big man climbed the turnbuckle and, as CJ rolled out of the way, hit the mat face-first off a missed splash. Parker would take advantage of the opportunity and roll him up for a three count.

Kenneth Camron vs. Colin Cassady

After a video package of last weeks events showing Byron Saxton attacking Kenneth Camron after his match and knocking him out, Saxton emerges through the curtain for his match-up still wearing his sling on his arm and claiming he hasn’t been cleared to compete, introducing his replacement – the seven footer Colin Cassady.

Starting things off aggressively, Camron beat down Cassady in the corner. Honouring the referees request for a break before going right back to his opponent, throwing right hands and kicks. Grabbing the throat of Camron, the two lock in a battle for power and the upper hand before Cassady finally gets him up for a choke slam. Slipping off the back and reversing the attempt Camron went back to the kicks, this time to the thigh and calf of his larger opponent as he dropped Cassady to his knee. Maintaining the upper hand, Camron grounded Cassady with a dropkick and a high elbow drop. Getting just a two count off the cover, Camron hit elbows in a vicious ground and pound before locking in s a sleeper hold.

 With his opponent on his back Cassady forced Camron back into the turnbuckle and was able to mount some offensive of his own with a mule kick to the midsection before landing some elbows in the corner. Whipping him to the opposite corner, he caught Camron with a huge sidewalk slam and got a two count before locking in a sleeper of his own. Battling to his feet Camron was able to hit a jawbreaker and looked to put him away. However as the Brit went to the ropes Byron Saxton, removing his sling, interfered as he climbed to the apron and caught Camron in the back of the head with an elbow. Taking advantage of the opening Cassady connected with a big boot to the face and picked up the three count.

Sofia Cortez vs. Audrey Marie

This weeks FCW Divas match started with a bang in a flurry of hammerlocks, reversals, trips, near-falls and armdrag takedowns before Cortez rolled out onto the apron calling for a time-out. Drawing the former champion in, Cortez grabbed Marie and, dropping to the arena floor, hung Marie over the top rope and injured the arm in the process.

 Cortez went to work on the arm with placed kicks and an armbar, the Texan screaming in pain. Battling through the pain Marie rolled Cortez up and got a two count before the aggressor grounded her once more, placing her boot up under the arm and falling backwards to the mat. Back to her feet, Marie hit a succession of clothlines and, ducking a retaliation, locked in the headscissors into an airplane spin.

Cortez would get a second wind as she turned her attention back to the arm once more but would not capitalise. Audrey Marie prevailed as she caught Cortez coming off the ropes with a sidewalk slam and picked up the three count. After the match the Divas Champion Raquel Diaz and the as yet unnamed “mystery Diva” came to the ring and began to beat down Audrey Marie. However Kaitlyn would come to her aid and the pair, Cortez in tow, retreat.

As the show came back from a break, one of FCWs newest additions was at ringside with a mic. Kassius Ohno, a favourite for many years on the independent circuit where he was known as Chris Hero, addressed the FCW audience by stating that he won’t be there for very long and that he will be a WWE star. He talked about how he enjoys to knock out his opponents and how he prefers to knock them out rather than pin them or make them submit. He then signed off by suggesting that he has a match on next weeks show, stating that next week “it’s going to be Kassius….oh no.”

 

Following the commentary team informing us that there will be a major announcement from the FCW President this evening, we see Steve Keirn walking to the ring with his assistant Norman Smiley. Keirn thanks the FCW fans for their support and invites the General Manager Maxine to the ring. The President told Maxine that she had done a great job in the past but informed her of his disapproval of some of her more recent decisions, such as hiring James Bronson as a psychiatrist for the FCW roster. Passing the mic to the eager Norman Smiley to break the news, Maxine was then fired and told to leave.

 

Main event for the FCW Heavyweight Championship

Leo Kruger vs. Mike Dalton (c)

Last week the underdog Mike Dalton upset the champion and captured his first FCW Heavyweight Championship. Krugers rematch didn’t start out too well for him either as the two locked up andDaltonwas able to apply a headlock and take the larger man down. As Kruger used the ropes to break the hold and put the boots to Dalton, the champion connected with a beautiful enziguiri and, Kruger rolling to the outside, a baseball slide.

Back in the ringDaltonhit a cross-body off the top rope and picked up a two count. Kruger fought back and, tying up the arm into a hammerlock, repeatedly hit a defencelessDaltonwith savage forearms before snapping him over in a Benoit-esque suplex and grounding the high-flyer with a chin lock. Further asserting his dominance with clothleslines, holding onto the arm with every blow, the challenger got another two count off a punishing back suplex and a front facelock.

Back to his feetDaltonreversed an Irish whip into an athletically executed cradle before a series of roll-ups and near falls.Daltonwould try to roll up the challenger once more as he reversed a sleeper hold, however Kruger would manage a reversal of his own, sitting out into a crushing facebuster. The resilient champion kicked out of the resulting cover at two and appeared to get a second wind, catching Kruger off the top rope with a dropkick to the jaw followed by a series of flying forearms and a spinning heel kick, getting a two count of his own after a DDT when Kruger escaped by putting his foot on the ropes. The challenger would narrowly save himself again shortly after, getting to the ropes to break a beautifully executed single leg Bostoncrab.

The champions luck would run out however as Kruger was able to stopDaltonsmomentum dead with his signature sleeper hold. Battling desperately for survival by reaching the ropes, Kruger would hold on and eventually groundDalton, scissoring the midsection and forcing the referee to call the match asDaltonsunderdog story ended – passing out to the hold.

And there you have it. After just one week Leon Kruger wins back his FCW Heavyweight Championship in a great match as the two go for close to fifteen minutes in the main event. Having just watched WWEs Monday Night Raw from last night let me assure you that you wont see a finer wrestling match than that on that show this week! Both these men could potentially have their breakthrough year into the full roster this year as both have looked very impressive as of late. Next week there is sure to be more from this and one would assume an update on the void left by the firing of General Manager Maxine.

Thanks to @fcwuniverse for the incredible photos from the show!

March 5th – 11th: This Week in Wrestling History (2)

“If You Smell…”

Rocks Road to Wrestlemania in Years Gone By (Part Two)

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

That’s right folks. I promised a double header this week and thats exactly what we have. I decided that for this particular “Week in Wrestling History” it may be a good idea to take a look at The Rock and the build-up surrounding some of his previous Wrestlemania matches. In my first installment this week I took a look at the build-up for his match with Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIX as well as his match at Wrestlemania XX teaming with Mick Foley to face Evolution. I couldn’t, however, finish without focusing on one Rock feud that carries with it probably the most significance going into this years Wrestlemania.

This year on April 1st The Rock takes on Cena in what is being called one of the very biggest matches of all time. It’s easy to see why the WWE would bill it as such considering the huge draw this creates, having two of the biggest names in wrestling collide. The Rock is arguably the biggest name ever in wrestling. His roots as a third generation star, following in the footsteps of his grandfather ‘High Chief’ Peter Maivia and his father Rocky Johnson were then eclipsed by success in Hollywood and on the big screen. The Rock has achieved a greater level of success in Hollywood than probably any other wrestler. However if The Great One is the biggest name in wrestling then who, you may ask, could have laid claim to that title before him?

Wrestlemania X8

The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

In 2002 the WWE saw one of its most anticipated returns in history. The legendary Hulk Hogan returned to the ring after WCW, the company Hogan originally left the old WWF for in 1993, was dissolved following a buy-out by chairman Vince McMahon. In February’s No Way Out pay-per-view fans were treated to a sight they perhaps thought they would never see again as Hogan made his grand re-appearance – and he didn’t come alone.

Once the biggest babyfaces in professional wrestling history, the Hulkster ran wild, urging children to take their vitamins and drink their milk and dominating the WWF throughout the late eighties and early nineties. Hulk Hogan would become a rare household name, something not usually associated with wrestling. After originally retaining the same character in WCW, there came a time for a change. There came a time for a Hogan heel turn. Joining forces with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, forming the New World Order, Hogan enjoyed more success in WCW as that company began to beat WWF in the Monday Night War of ratings in the late 1990’s until it was bought and consequently closed by Vince McMahon. The No Way Out event in 2002 was Hogans first appearance on WWF TV in nine years as Vince McMahon officially unveiled the individuals he said were hired to “inject a poison” into the WWF and fianlly kill the empire that he created.

Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Hollywood Hulk Hogan would run riot through the WWF over the next few weeks, attacking, amongst others, its two biggest babyfaces in Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. After The Texas Rattlesnake had fallen prey to the nWo, The Rock appeared on the March 7th 2002 edition of Smackdown seeking revenge of his own. By this time the match had already been made – The Rock and Hollywood Hulk Hogan would square off at Wrestlemania X8, and three weeks before this edition of Smackdown The Rock was attacked by the nWo. Following an assault on The Peoples Champ, Hogan, Hall and Nash would take control of The Rocks ambulance, locking him inside before running it down with a truck. The WWF really seemed to be trying to make Hogans heel turn as visual and as emphatic as possible. Coming out to the ring The Rock called out the group and challenged Hogan to a match there and thern, before Wrestlemania. Claiming to want nothing to do with an injured Rocky, Hogan backed down claiming to want to save the match until Wrestlemania where he would have no excuses. Accepting on his behalf, a match was made for Smackdown later that night between Scott Hall and The Rock.

A star in his own right in the WWF in the early to mid nineties under his ring name Razor Ramon, Scott Hall came to the ring backed up by Hogan and Nash to take on The Rock in the main event. The match would quickly break down into a brawl and get out of hand as the “pack of dogs” would play the numbers game and team up on an injured Rock. However the odds would be evened up as The Rock had some back-up of his own, leading to a blockbuster announcement from Vince McMahon.

A few nights later, on the March 11th 2002 edition of Monday Night Raw, fans tuned in to witness a huge main event. In just six days Hollywood Hulk Hogan and The Rock, two of the biggest names ever in professional wrestling, would meet in what was being billed as the biggest match of all time – wrestlings past meeting wrestlings future, Icon vs Icon at Wrestlemania X8. In this handicap tag team match The Rock teamed with Stone Cold Steve Austin as they both were out for revenge against Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. Who would get the upper hand before the big show down? Could Hogan, at his age, still hang with the likes of The Great One? Watch the build up to the Wrestlemania encounter from this week in wrestling history right here.

March 5th – March 11th: This Week in Wrestling History

“If You Smell…”

Rocks Road to Wrestlemania in Years Gone By (Part One)

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Almost an entire calendar year to the day the match was made. At last years Wrestlemania it was announced that in his home town of Miami, Florida The Rock would clash with John Cena in what is being billed as one of the biggest, most high-profile matches in WWE history. Over the course of 12 months the hype has been building and in just three and half weeks the wait is finally over. You would think that this makes me excited, right? The live crowds and large sections of the WWE Universe seem to be excited. I, however, am not and this is why.

Making a match a year in advance is a massive call. Thats twelve months of work, twelve months of hype, twelve months in which to keep peoples attention and hold peoples interest. That is a huge ask of any two people on the roster. So then, when you consider that one of those men has been absent and only at a handful of live events during that time, having only one match at a WWE pay-per-view in that time and shouldering his share of the responsibility via satellite, pre-recorded comments and Twitter you may just begin to realise where my patience has worn thin.

I am no Cena mark. I never have been. I actually used to rather dislike him. Having Cena forced upon me every time I want to watch WWE over the last few years has not always been enjoyable. Cena has been in the main event, usually with a championship around his waist, for several years now. Cena has been the WWEs top dog and where thats all well and good the lack of change to the scenery has been somewhat tiring. With that said I have been very surprised to say that in recent times I, who once owned a Rock t-shirt and consider myself a fan, I have been all about John Cena as far as this “war” goes. Cena has worked remarkably well in a very tight spot, trying to keep air in the lungs of a feud with a man making rare appearances, armed with little more than a mic and a titantron or live satellite feed. What makes this situation even more disappointing is that when The Rock has been live on Monday Night Raw he has done, in my opinion, very little to further enhance the angle and quite frankly has been easily trumped and brushed aside by an impressive John Cena.

The Rock has been at two consecutive live Monday Night Raw events as of late and hopefully should be scheduled to appear at more between now and Wrestlemania and as much as I have been bored and frustrated with this current angle I hope to see it offer up some entertainment in the weeks to come. After all if this match is going to keep the current champions on the under-card then you would hope that it at least delivers! I felt it would be appropriate, as The Rock gears up for a return to in-ring action on the grandest stage of them all, that we take the opportunity to look back at the events of this week in wrestling history and highlight exactly what The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment has been offering the WWE universe at this exciting time of year in years gone by.

Wrestlemania XIX

The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

At Wrestlemania XIX The Rock challenged his arch-rival Stone Cold Steve Austin to one more match on the grandest stage of them all. Arguably the two biggest, most impactful and most popular susperstars in WWE history had previously headlined Wrestlemania together on two seperate occasions. Austin prevailed on both occasions. On March 30th 2003 there were no championships on the line, only pride, as The Rock set out to do what he had previously failed to do and that is beat Stone Cold at Wrestlemania – in “Act III”. This battle would prove to be The Texas Rattlesnakes last, as he retired following it.

Three weeks before the showdown The Rock arrived on the March 10th 2003 edition of Monday Night Raw to be greeted by General Manager Eric Bischoff who informed The Great One that he would be wrestling Booker T that night. The Rock declined, claiming that match was not going to happen but that he would find his own opponent to face in the main event. In this hilarious backstage promo segment his hand-picked opponent would be revealed…but not before The Rock had taken an opportunity to share a song with the Cleveland audience.

Later in the show Eric Bischoff walked to the ring, mic in hand, to address his situation with The Texas Rattlesnake and made reference to his legitimate firing of Austin from WCW. Bischoff claimed that he deserved credit and that without him Austin would never made it to the WWE. Naturally Stone Cold would respond and as the two butted heads in the ring, The Rock couldn’t help but get involved.

With The Rock biding his time in his feud with Steve Austin, as he waited until Wrestlemania, it was time for the main event. The Rock and his hand selected opponent The Hurricane put on a decent match. After weasling out of his original, scheduled match with Booker T and backing down from a potential confrontation with his Wrestlemania opponent, Stone Cold Steve Austin would ensure that as Raw went off air that night he made his mark to further bait The Peoples Champion.

Wrestlemania XX

The Rock & Mankind vs. Batista, Randy Orton & Ric Flair

On March 14th 2004 at Wrestlemania XX “The Rock ‘n Sock Connection” took on “Evolution” in a three-on-two handicap match. The newly reformed former Tag Team Champions faced the “past, present and future” of professional wrestling, Dave Batista, the Intercontental Champion Randy Orton and the sixteen-time world champion Ric Flair.

The team of The Rock and Mick Foley were originally an unlikely combination. Mankind, desperate for The Rocks approval and respect would go out of his way in his attempts to impress ‘The Great One’ and usually his efforts would be met with little reaction. The comedic value of the team was never in doubt and this strange dynamic would lead to an unforgettable moment in the Attitude era and the history of Monday Night Raw when, in 1998, Mankind presenting The Rock with his “This is Your Life” would mark the highest rated segment in the history of the WWEs flagship programme.

Six years later and the pair were best of friends and on March 8th 2004, just six days days before Wrestlemania and after weeks of Foley falling prey to the assaults of the powerful trio of Evolution, The Rock would return to Raw with only one thing on his mind – cheering up his friend and tag team partner. On this night The Rock would present “Mick Foley – This is Your Life!” However before The Brahma Bull could get to the ring we were treated to a very funny encounter with one of his “fiercest rivals”!

Later in the evening the time had come for The Rock to “finally…” come back to Bridgeport, Conneticut and return the favour of his former Tag Team Championship partner. Would it live up to one of the most watched segments in Raws history? Would Evolution plan to ruin The Connections party less than a week before their match at Wrestlemania? Well, in my opinion, it certainly didn’t disappoint!

(skip to 5:45)

Thats all for today folks. However trust me – this does not quite cover all the exciting moments from The Rock in this particular week in wrestling history. Check back over the next day or two where I aim to cover what is arguably the most relevant road to Wrestlemania the Great One has ever had with Cena just around the corner on April 1st!

Making the News Today in WWE

The Rock & John Cena’s Backstage Relationship and Notes on DDPs Yoga, Lillian Garcia , Steve Austin, MGK talks Wrestlemania and Ted DiBiase suffers another injury

Regarding the relationship between Dwayne Johnson and John Cena behind the scenes, while the two are cordial with each another, they are not the best of friends. There is genuine tension between both stars, which was said to have intensified in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series.

One former WWE insider who has worked with both Johnson and Cena said of their relationship: “They aren’t buddy-buddy, that’s for sure. I’ve heard they’ve disagreed about a lot of things. They aren’t big fans of one another personally, but they are willing to carry on with business.”

SmackDown ring announcer Lilian Garcia announced on Twitter that she will be appearing at Planet Hollywood Times Square (1540 Broadway — 45th Street) on Wednesday at noon for a Q&A session with fans.

You can also add new WWE United States Champion Santino Marella to the growing list of wrestlers who are using Diamond Dallas Page’s DDP Yoga. Others who have been using it include Kane, Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and others.

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who’s song Invincible is being used for WrestleMania 28, has an interview in the new issue of WWE Magazine. Here’s what he had to say about Cena being a perfect representative for the song:

“Like me, I consider John Cena to be an underdog; The Rock is like this flashy Hollywood guy. You can’t give him a song like “Invincible” because no one would believe it. John Cena is all about being loyal to the fans, and so am I. I just dig him as a person. I saw the video they made, and the whole thing was intense. I loved all of it.”

WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin has wrapped filming on his new movie The Package and will begin the promotional tour for the movie Recoil today.

Hornswoggle, who was featured in an angle at last night’s WWE SmackDown tapings, wrote the following on Twitter, indicating that he had to make a trip to the hospital:

“Hospital…ER…’nuff said”

WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase, who has been dealing with a wrist injury, says he broke his ankle at last night’s WWE tapings in Uncasville, CT. DiBiase wrestled a Superstars match against Jinder Mahal. He wrote on Twitter:

“DiBiase Posse last night I unfortunately broke my ankle. Can’t catch a break lately. Ha, Well I guess I did n a way! Its ok tho, James 1:2-3”

Monday Night Raw – 05/03/2012 – The Review

Well folks it’s that time of the week for another Monday Night raw review so lets jump straight in.  The show kicks off this week with the Heartbreak Kid Himself Shawn Micheals to a huge pop always glad to see the showstopper back. Shawn says he is there because  like everyone else wants to know why the Game Triple H accepted the Undertakers challenge last week after even Shawn Micheals failed to get him to accept the dead mans challenge previously.  Enter now The Game Himself Triple H to another big pop. Shawn talks up HHH saying how strong he is because he managed to turn away from Shawn when he was trying to push his buttons and goad him.  Shawn also said that he wanted to see what the world wanted to see and that’s the footage from last week which made Triple H change his mind they then aired footage from when Undertaker said that Shawn was better than HHH. Hunter tells Shawn that he didn’t accept the match because he wanted to prove he was better than but it stuck in the game’s gut that people talked of how Shawn couldn’t get the job done because according to Shawn he was the greatest performer in the ring ever.  HHH said the reason why he took up the undertakers challenge because he wanted to finish it , to end the streak and to end an era and for Shawn too. Shawn as you would expect offers him a rather sarcastic thanks in return.  Shawn said what hurt him was what he told HHH last year that he just couldn’t get the job done he couldn’t end the streak Shawn knew that he couldn’t get the job done.  Shawn says that he knows who will win again this year as he will be in the cage himself as special guest referee he then leaves.

As per the case of the last few weeks of Raw we start with a promo but once again like last week it was another awesome one. Two of the legends of the business in the ring together  you can really tell that these 2 guys have great chemistry together they spark off each other . For me there is an extra excitement to the match now that Shawn is guest referee some people have been telling me that they think it will take away a bit of spectacle from triple h and Undertaker I disagree with that.  For me it adds to it having Shawn involved these 3 have such a huge history it can only add to the intrigue of the match. If they build it right which I am sure that they will do over the coming weeks it will add more intrigue to the match too . Think about it HHH could start to say he could get the job done that even Shawn couldnt and beat the streak. This could lead to Shawn resenting that thought and get in peoples minds would Shawn screw hunter? would Shawn screw taker? I’m not saying this is the way it could go but it would be an interesting path. Either way their match at Mania is building well and the story is being told at the right pace can’t wait for the next part.

Match 1: Jack Swagger Vs Santino

Oh dear did we see Jack Swaggers new hair cut not a good look in my book. He is facing Santino here because the story here is Teddy Long is Raw GM for the night and booking the matches and he gets Santino a title shot because he is with Teddy and is his assistant on Smackdown.  Santino has been a real good worker since he started in the WWE from what I see they are starting to move him away from the comedy gimmick a bit now and move him more to be known for his wrestling. After his grand showing in the chamber you could also argue that he is just about deserving of his title shot now. Jack Swagger was joined at ringside by David Otunga , John Laurinaitis, Vickie Guerreo and Dolph Ziggler.  They are soon joined by supporters of Santino in Kofi Kingston, Teddy Long and Aksana.  We have an advert break and come back from it and Santino has the upper hand Laurinaitis tires to break it up but Teddy Long gets in the way . With all this distraction going on the outside  sneaks in a shot on Santino but Santino managed to strike back with the Cobra. Swagger then went and put the ankle lock on Santino which he countered with a roll up to get the win.

Winner: Santino (New US Champion)

It’s hard to comment on this match as they didn’t get long I think it was about 5-6 minutes and that’s including the adverts. I think it shows a lack of thought or push for the US Title as it seems from this match that it’s more of an afterthought to essentially put over an angle between the 2  general managers. Post Match Laurinaitis and Otunga were ejected from the arena there was big pops for that. I’m actually quite pleased for Santino my only hope now is that they keep the belt on him for a bit and build on it.

Rock History Lesson: Class One

next up is the first of The Rocks 3 promos of the evening we get him by the Boston harbour standing by a table full of various John Cena merchandise . They had it all there T-Shirts, Wrist Bands etc. The Rock cuts a promo basically trashing all these items throwing them into the river . I laughed at the wonder woman wrist bands.They really do sell some crazy shit if  all of what was sold on that table is true . I mean the John Cena Garden Gnomes? Rock talked about how it was probably owned somewhere by some 40-year-old virgin good line that. The best line was when Rock talked about the Cena cologne saying it smelled of Fear , Possum Piss and Fruity Pebbles. I can’t say I’ve ever smelt Possum Piss before but I can’t imagine it smells great.  A typical promo from the Rock trashy but fun . It’s the Rock doing what he does really well the guy is great on the mic and a great talker no doubt about that.

Match 2: Eve Vs Alicia Fox

Kelly Kelly was at ringside for this one . It was a very short match with Eve winning with a roll up in under a minute. I do like Eve’s heel turn and she is coming along as performer in the ring. I know people will say and quite rightly that Natalya and Beth are better performers but that’s missing the point All these divas deserve their shot as much as anyone and given the right amount of time they can improve their work so they can be even better performers.

Winner: Eve

After the match Zack Ryder comes out walking with the assistance of a cane she says he is glad that he never hooked up with Eve because it was all about the broeskis before the hoeskis.

We then get another advert break and when we come back from that we get a backstage segment with Eve and Zack Ryder. Zack says that he does not want to talk to Eve . Eve then kisses him and Zack Kisses her back . Eve leaves smiling and Zack is left with a rather goofy expression on his face.

We then get a shot of earlier on in the day with John Cena sitting in the empty arena. Cena started to talk about how the New England Patriots led the 2007  super bowl by a big lead  then lost. He saying that nobody remembers who finishes second place. It was an effective segment to get across the point of how much winning at Wrestlemania wins to John Cena. Cena was saying he needs to win he needs that moment. I don’t think Cena does really as he still be over no matter what but I get the point that Cena is trying to make the importance of it all. As I have said I really enjoyed this bit with Cena it was great way of pitting the match over and the importance of it all a great way of building another wrestlemania moment.

Match 3:  Sheamus & CM Punk Vs Daniel Bryan & Chris Jericho

we got an advert very early on in the match and when we get back to the match it was rather a strange one with all these 4 guys in the ring I was expecting something great but in the end it was just good it just didn’t seem to hit the mark no particular reason but it looked as though the timing was off in some places. Check when Sheamus shoves Jericho off when he goe’s for a bulldog Jericho goe’s feet first into the turnbuckle winced at that it looked painful to me. The team of Jericho and Bryan got the win when Jericho had Punk in the Walls of Jericho and Punk countered with a cradle which Jericho then revered to pick up the pin and win for his team.

Winners:  Chirs Jericho & Daniel Bryan

As I said it wasn’t a bad match but with all these 4 guys in the ring I had high expectations. It was still a fairly good match though . Punk was great again as ever and what I really like is that he sold his injury from his attack last week . Thats what they should do more often it helps get fans behind the babyfaces more if they sell the attack more than the inevitable comeback looks and works better.

Rock History Lesson: Class Two

The Rock this time is by the statue of Paul Revere . He posed a question what of John Cena led the american revolution? Rock says he would have got shot on sight just for what he is wearing.  He said if the Rock was there the woman would have been lining the streets waiting to give him some of their Boston Cream Pie. The Rock then treated us to a little song which ended with the line “rock stuck a feather up his ass and call him a Jabroni”. That was real funny the crowd in the arena loved it too.  The Rock again promised Cena he would be at the Arena again later.

Match 4: The Miz vs The Big Show

before the match even started we were treated to Cody Rhodes showing us another clip of another big show wrestlemania moment.  This one was from wrestlemania 18 where big show as at a wwe restaurant. Anyways back to the match if you can call that very short . The Miz was allowed to get a brief bit of offence in before Big SHow hit Miz with a spear then with the knockout punch.

Winner: The Big Show

The match was far too short to say anything about it really. I am looking forward to Rhodes vs Show at Wrestlemania though.

Rock History Lesson: The Final Class

The final Rock history lesson took place outside the statehouse in Massachusetts , The rock was saying that he’s entertained people all over the world but there is only  1 place in the world that he fights and thats inside a wwe ring.  This promo from the rock was a bit more serious and less jokey than his 2 earlier promos in the evening he stated that you can take it to the bank The Rock WILL beat John Cena at wrestlemania.

Match 5: Kane Vs R-Truth

Short match was more interesting at the start with a crazy act from R-Truth whilst talking into the camera. Kane won this very short match clean with a Chokeslam.

Winner: Kane

like a lot of the matches tonight apart from the tag it’s hard to comment on because it’s so short. Post Match Randy Orton comes out to deliver an RKO to Kane looks like we got another Wrestlemina match there folks.

And now we are at the top of the show and out comes John Cena to a being honest a fairly decent pop. He said the arena was packed it was electrified because the Rock is back.  He questioned why the Rock is always making fun of his look or talking about his well whatever he calls his penis nowadays. cena said we saw something unusual last week we saw the Rock shook up not in control.  He poked fun at himself by saying that unreal as it may seem the rock got shook up by a wonder woman transvestite. He was mocking himself quite a bit here even said that he looks ridiculous in the fact that he comes out to talk to the fans in his knee pads. Another god promo from Cena he talked and wondered which Rock would show up at Wrestlemania would it be the Rock of the 20 minute rambling promos or would it be the greatest superstar in WWE history?  He needed to beat the very best which is the Rock the Rock then gets called out. The rock storms straight out no posing this time he’s a man with a purpose . He told the crowd and the world what he saw in Cena and that was fear because he is taking everything away from Cena. He addressed Cena by saying he’s living in fear because when the Rock beats him at wrestlemania he will take away everything that John Cena has built up over the last 10 years.  The Rock was on a roll here he spoke of how Cena saying the rock was shaken by last week “you think you shook my confidence” the Rock said “look at me”.  The Rock wasn’t being the funny man and said to Cena when you strip everything away I’m the guy who will rip your throat out. and  Cena will go down in History as the Rocks Bitch then The Rock Left.

Cena was smiling during the rocks words and certainly wasn’t showing any fear. He mocked the Rock again for the words on his arm from last week by writing down the rocks height and weight. The Rock said e would lose everything if he lost to the Rock but he sure as hell wasn’t scared of him. And at Wrestlemania he would whip the Rocks ass.

The argument I have seen all over Twitter again is that Cena owned the Rock like last week . Although I agree John Cena slightly got the better of it I don’t think he “owned” him. The Rock was better than last week it seemed less formulaic and he was much more intense.  The key to it all for me is the build for Cena they are trying to book him or make him look like he can hang with the Rock and are booking him strong. They are doing a great Job Cena has impressed a lot of his doubters the hope for wwe is that Cena takes this momentum from this match into wrestlemania and beyond. The Rock is doing a great job of building this feud too and making Cena look strong before mania.

Final Thoguhts

I liked a lot of the show it was very promo heavy but when you get guys like HHH, Shawn, Cena and Rock that’s fine by me. The Build up to the Undertaker/HHH and Rock/Cena was done well and again has helped to build for Mania. The matches bar the tag match were a touch short for me with guys like R-Truth and The Miz basically jobbing.

 I wish they would do something more with the Divas and give the a bigger part of the show or a longer match to show of their talents more I mean there was no Divas champion on tv this week but we got a lot of face time for Eve who is doing well in the heel role.

Next week I would like more build up of the Punk/Jericho match as that kinda got sidelined this week.

anyway folks thanks for reading leave your thoughts and comments as always

Follow me on Twitter at @therealwrestle

FCW TV Report 04 March 2012

Florida Championship Wrestling

4 March 2012

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

Recap: Leo Kruger vs. Mike Dalton from a recent edition of FCW TV. Leo Kruger stated he was so dominant a champion that he was issuing a challenge to the locker room, for anyone to fight him. He stated that should they beat him they would earn an opportunity to wrestle him for the FCW Heavyweight Championship. Mike Dalton, a young challenger from Lance Storms wrestling academy, accepted the challenge and we were shown highlights from their encounter. As the champion left the ring, seemingly to bail on the contest, former WWE star Road Dogg would leave his place on the commentary desk and throw Kruger back into the ring, leading to Dalton getting a shock victory and an opportunity to wrestle him once more and this time with the title on the line.

The commentary team of Chris Russo, Byron Saxton and William Regal stand ringside at the very top of the show and tell us that tonight is a night of championships. We are reminded of two title matches on the show as the Queen of FCW puts her FCW Divas Championship on the line against two Divas in a triple threat match and FCW Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger defends against Mike Dalton. The very first match of the night will also be for a championship.

FCW Tag Team Championships

Antonio Cesaro & Alexander Rusev vs. Husky Harris & Bo Rotundo (c)

Antonio Cesaro, known to many wrestling fans as Claudio Castagnoli, teamed with Alexander Rusev for the very first time and took on the brothers Huskly Harris (real name Windham Rotunda) and Bo Rotundo (real name Taylor Rotunda), the reigning FCW Tag Team Champions. Rusev & Harris would start the match in a display of power as they fought for position, attempting to push or knock one another down unsuccessfully. Their partners would both be tagged in and Bo would get the better of the Swiss-born Antonio Cesaro and get a one count off a series of clothlines. Hanging on as he was then thrown into the ropes, Rotundo landed a back elbow to an advancing Cesaro but would fall victim to a cheap shot from Rusev as the referees back was turned. The distraction would allow Cesaro to gain the upper hand off a big dropkick and tag in the powerhouse.

Weaking Rotundo further with elbows in the corner and a nasty headbutt the challengers would take firm control of the contest. Keeping Bo grounded, the inexperienced team would make frequent tags and keep Bo from his corner, not allowing him to tag his brother into the match. His opportunity finally came as Cesaro missed an elbow drop and Rotundo scrambled to his corner. Initially thwarted by the Swiss challenger, as he took a handful of hair and desperately tried to stop him, he was able to fight the bigger man off and both men tagged in their partners.

The pace of the match quickened as Husky Harris hit a succession of knock-downs to his opponent followed by a senton splash. Cesaro entered the ring and broke up the count. With the referree distracted in his attempt to remove Cesaro from the ring, Husky Harris pushed Alexander Rusev towards Bo Rotundo, lying in wait to hit a big spear. Harris, the legal man, picked up the win by pinfall and the brothers, sons of former WWF/E star “I.R.S” Mike Rotunda retained the titles.

We were then taken ringside where Dean Ambrose, mic in hand, explained that he didn’t feel like talking but “they” wanted him to come out and say something. The confident Ambrose said that in wrestling, to say you’re the best in the world is a gimmick but he is no gimmick. Ambrose explained that he believes himself to be improving every day and that he is as good as everyone else pretends to be. He goes on to say that despite this he hates being ignored, especially when he screams and begs for a match that will never happen. Never naming his desired opponent, he does however look to the commentary desk and state that a certain “someone” can “just sit there every week” while knowing that he could not beat him again.Obviously referring to William Regal, the Englishman stares back at Ambrose silently as he says he continues to get better every week and that he continues to get better than Regal ever was. When asked for comment by play-by-play commentator Chris Russo, Regal remained silent.

Seth Rollins vs. Brad Maddox (w/ Summer Rae)

In recent weeks we have seen the glamorous blond scout FCW for talent and this week we finally learned the identity of the woman leading Brad Maddox to the ring. Named as Summer Rae, she took her place at ringside as Maddox took on one of the most popular wrestlers in the company in arguably the match of the night. Seth Rollins cut a brief promo before the match began stating that he never wished to be anyone else, be pigeon holed or fit any mould and thanked the fans for their support as he carves his own path in FCW. Rollins stated that whatever he does and wherver he goes, the FCW fans would always have a place in his heart.

As the bell rang Maddox made an offensive start and beat down his opponent in the corner before snapping him over and applying a stranglehold. Rollins was able to fight out with a back suplex but Maddox avoided a dropkick and briefly turned his attention to the crowd. As he showboated, Rollins hit a beautiful dropkick at the second attempt out of a forward roll to his feet before missing a splash to the corner and was thrown out of the ring to the floor. Regrouping, Brad Maddox rolled him back into the ring and scored a two count before again applying a stranglehold, switching to a front facelock and then an armbar. Maddox hit a russian leg sweep and floated over beautifully into a cover for a two count before going back to the stranglehold a third time. Rollins, spurred on by the crowd, fought to his feet and the two men exhanged punches.

Attempting yet again to build momentum, Rollins whipped Maddox to the ropes but his opponent caught him with a kick. Straight back on the offensive however, Rollins hit a right hand before going to the ropes. Maybe for looking for the facestomp, Maddox again asserted his dominance as he lunged toward the advancing Rollins, tripping him and lay in wait, hitting a running jawbreaker. Rollins was able to again kick out at two. Frustrated, Maddox threw Rollins to the floor and as he pulled himself back up onto the apron advanced. Rollins however was waiting with a big kick before climbing the turnbuckle and landing a cross-body off the top. As Summer Rae shouted encouragement to her new client, Rollins clothleslined him out over the top and connected with a suicide dive to the outside.

Back in the ring Rollins went for another splash in the corner and this time connected with it. Hitting a back-kick to the gut to Maddox he again looked for the facestomp as he went to the ropes – only for Summer Rae to grab the heel of Rollins. The match would take a surprise turn as a mystery woman we have seen in recent weeks taking an interest in Seth Rollins and observing his matches, appeared at ringside and shoved Summer to the floor. Turning his attention back to Maddox, Rollins hit the facestomp and picked up the three count in a well worked, well paced encounter.

Kenneth Cameron v Jiro

The English Kenneth Cameron, a part of the FCWs ‘Ascension’ stable who debuted on FCW TV recently took on the Japanese Jiro in a short match-up. Cameron landed a few punches, knees and kicks in an aggressive start before whipping his man to the turnbuckle. Reversing out, Jiro chopped Cameron in the corner and landed a big kick to the face. Jiros attempted to whip Cameron to the ropes, was reversed, but then was able to reverse again and connect with an enzuigiri.

In what proved to be a game-changer, Cameron again reversed Jiro and whipped him hard to the turnuckle. The impact of which put Jiro to the mat. Cameron aggressively ground his forearm into the face of his grounded opponent. Hitting an elbow off the ropes, Cameron then hooked Jiro into a fisherman suplex position and dumped him on his head, picking up a three count.

As the lights in the arena went down and the strobe lighting came up, as is usually the case with the Ascensions entrances and exits in FCW, Russo alerted viewers to the fact that Byron Saxton had left the commentary position. Now in the ring, the celebration was cut short as Saxton knocked him out with the roll of quarters before taking his place back at the commentary desk. William Regal would later mock Saxtons use of the roll of quarters, stating that when he did it he used good quality brass knuckles.

Triple Threat Match for the FCW Divas Championship

Sofia Cortez vs. Audrey Marie vs. Raquel Diaz (c)

Audrey Marie took an early advantage in this Divas contest with a series of dropkicks and a a cover. The champion kicked out. Cortez then whipped Marrie towards Diaz, who took her down. The rookie, contestant on the last season of WWEs Tough Enough, and the daughter of Eddie and Vicky Guerrero then began to team up and as one held Marie, the other hit the former champion with chops. The solid looking team were able to fend off any potential comeback at this stage and beat down Marie as she attempted to fight out of the predicament with slaps to both Divas. It wasn’t until Marie fought out with a series of elbows and hit a double dropkick, just to be grounded once more that cracks in the alliance began to appear. Taking the former champion down with a double drop toe hold that sent their opponent head and neck first into the ropes, Cortex and Diaz began to start fighting over who would claim the pinfall. As the two women argued, the beaten down Marie was nearly able to sneak a victory off a roll-up before banging the heads of the aggressors together. As Diaz was thrown out onto the apron, Cortex attempted a dropkick on Marie just to miss and inadvertedly knock the champion off the apron to the floor.

Cortez, known by her real name Ivelisse Vélez in the WWE reality show Tough Enough, ascended the turnbuckle and hit a cross body to Marie off the top rope and scored a near fall of her own. Battling back to her feet however, Marie hit a devestating sidewalk slam on the rookie but the champion, rolling back into the ring, was able to break up the cover in time. Taking back control of the contest, Diaz rolled up Marie off a waistlock and, using her leg strength, Marie was able to push Diaz off at two. However the former Divas Champion was only able to look on as she pushed the current champion straight into a cover on the fallen Cortez and the champion retained after an eventful, solid Divas match up. Something certainly missing from both Raw and Smackdown shows that aired this week, I might add.

We were then taken backstage into FCW general manager Maxines office where she is explaining to her newly appointed assistant Abraham Washington that the ratings have been skyrocketing recently. At this moment the former WCW Tag Team Champion Norman Smiley, now an on-screen figure of authority in FCW, informed Maxine that the President of FCW Steve Keirn had requested to speak to her immediately. After first explaining to Norman that she was busy Maxine obliged and left with Norman. Now with the office to himself Abraham Washington looked around for a moment before settling himself into the General managers chair.

Main Event for the FCW Heavyweight Championship

Mike Dalton vs. Leo Kruger (c)

Trained by fomer WWE, WCW and ECW star Lance Storm, Mike Dalton had earned his opportunity to face Kruger for the champion a few weeks previously by defeating the champion in a non-title match, albeit with an assist from The Road Dogg. The rookie locked up with the larger champion in the early goings as the two fought for position, the challenger being forced back into the corner as Kruger then refused the clean break and raked the eyes. Dalton reponded with a double leg take down and the two continued to roll through and reverse one another as the match went to an aggressive ground and pound.As Kruger rolled out of the ring to break, Dalton hit him with a baseball slide before Kruger turned the tables and connected with an emphatic clothesline on the outside and threw his challenger to the steel ring steps as the show went to its final commercial break.

As the show continued Kruger suplexed Dalton back into the ring from the apron and, as he fought back to his feet, removed the padding from the turnbuckle. Both men then unsuccessfully attempted to use the exposed steel before Kruger, hooking the arm, rested his boot up underneath the chin of the underdog and fell backwards, dragging Dalton with him by the arm and driving the boot into the jaw. Only earning a two count, Kruger then applied a full nelson to a seated Dalton and grounded him with a front facelock. Battling to his feet Dalton pushed the champion back to the corner, driving his elbow to the midsection. Kruger reversed a whip to the opposite corner but as he advanced Dalton was able to get his boots up and attempt to take control. However, as Dalton ran toward the champion he was grounded again. This time with a huge spinebuster. The champion clearly frustrated by his resilient challenger as he only picked up a count of two. Refusing to stay down Dalton hit a dropkick and both men took a referees count to return to their feet.

Picking uop the pace Dalton hit a series of running clothlines before missing a spinning heel kick. The champion attempted again to slow the match down with a sleeper hold. The challenger initially snapped Kruger over to break but after a brutal fishermans suplex and a two count, Kruger went back to the hold again. The resourceful Dalton lunged towards the turnbuckle, Krugers throat colliding with the steel he had exposed earlier in the match and was able to kick out at two. Fearing the match may be slipping from him, kruger rolled from the ring and, grabbing his title, again appeared to be looking to get out of a dodge, Just like the last time these two met, he was then surprised by an interfering Road Dogg who threw the champion back into the ring where Dalton was able to capatilise. With Kruger clutching the championship to his chest, Dalton him up and pinned his shoulders for three.

Dalton celebrated in the ring with the cheering FCW Universe and had his hand raised by the Road Dogg. The five month reign of Leo Kruger as FCW Champion has come to end, pinned by the ultimate underdog for the second time. Leo Kruger fell to the floor at the entrance way, head in hands as the title was prised from the grasp of the dejected former champion and handed to the victor and the show came to an end.

A relatively short main event and I know I would have loved to have seen Dalton go over cleanly but this had a real sense of David vs. Goliath and the assist from the Road Dogg, I feel, was justified. Mike Dalton, it seems, could have a very bright future ahead of himself in the WWE.

Thanks to @thefcwuniverse for the wonderful photos from the show!

The Legends of Wrestling Series – Act 1 The Undertaker

Hey there folks this is a series I have been wanting to write for some time and now here at real wrestle we have some more new writers on board it will give me some more free time to devote to it. I’m not sure how long the column will be I’m thinking it will more than likely be on a monthly basis due to the size of the piece and my other commitments working on the site and outside of it.

The question is where to start so many wrestling legends there are to think of Macho Man, Hogan, Flair, Stone Cold, Shawn Micheals and that’s just to name a few but in the end I went for the guy who just about has done it all a guy who has been at the very top of his profession for over 2 decades now I am of course talking about the Conscience of the wwe the undertaker.

He really has had quite an amazing career here is a quick mental challenge to yourself,  think to yourself the names that  have made it big in wrestling in the last 20 years . Now think to yourself how many have lasted through that time and have been as popular throughout their career there really isn’t many is there and The Undertaker is by a fair distance at the top of that list. Whats quite amazing about the Undertaker is the absolute universal respect he has amongst his fellow wrestlers in the business. You would think and be right that with wrestlers out there, there  will be elements of pettiness and jealousy and not wanting to job that type of thing. But with the Undertaker you know it’s different there isn’t a guy out the back who has a bad word to say about him from Contrasting personalities Like Kurt Angle,HBK, Jeff Hardy and Stone cold to name but a few all speak of how highly they rate the guy and how much respect they have for him.

He has in my opinion the most iconic and memorable entrance out of any wwe superstar ever in my book . When that gong hits  you know it’s game time. It’s built so well the slow walk down the ring eyes fixed on opponent . It set chills down my spine 20 years ago when I first saw it and it still does now.  He has the crowd in the very palm of his hand in the age of wrestling when superstars are pushed down our throat on every avenue possible films,Facebook twitter etc the Undertaker had that special mystique he didn’t need anything like that he simply had it the fans took to him from the start and havent stopped since from every persona he has had from American Badass to leader of the ministry of darkness the aura the mystique of the dead man has remained. I know the entrance changed so much during the Badass period but it was till about intimidating the opponent riding around that ring that same dead eye stare fixed on the next victim.

The undertaker when he started didn’t talk all that much and most of his talking was done through his manager Paul Bearer whom would appear frequently over the years.  Most of his promos werent of the long variety I mean he was no Rock on the mic and not one for the long speech but that didn’t matter. What he said was delivered in short slow drawl that really helped put him over it was the intensity of it all that we all brought into . He was also the master of the facial expression this is quite often overlooked part of wrestling but he could sell an emotion or his intent just by a mere facial expression check out some of the work with HHH before their epic battle  last year at Mania. Remember their staredown on Raw what was it 5 minutes more than that  I think he didn’t need words to get that over.

Of course all this would fall down if the Undertaker couldn’t cut it in the ring if he was a guy of minimal talent he wouldn’t have lasted this long if he couldn’t work then he wouldn’t have main evented so many wrestlemanias or had so many great matches if he was a poor worker he wouldn’t have the streak more of that we will get to later.  There are so many big guys over the years whose star will shine brightly for a while but will fade not with the Undertaker unlike  a lot of the big guys over the years the Undertaker had a hell of a lot of  talent in the ring. Another remarkable thing about the Undertaker is the guy really knows how to tell a story in the ring you think of all the guys he has put over all the years and taken a beating from for example remember the hell in a cell match he had with Brock Lesnar that was one brutal match and Undertaker took one hell of a beating but he knew how to put Lesnar over and that match was a massive mark for Brock . He’s started off his career in wwe as the Undertaker almost invincible check his first werestlemania match with Jimmy Snuka as an example of that check out the match Undertaker barely sold a move and squashed a legend like Snuka.   The Undertaker for me is also a master of ring phycology if you take a look at some of this matches over the years he knows how to build a feud and tell a story pretty much better than anyone around not just a great wrestler but a master storyteller too.   He can wrestle all different types of matches and throw it down with all different types of wrestlers too . Take a look at  a quick roll call of some of the legends he’s stepped inside the squared circle with Kurt Angle, , Shawn Micheals, Brock Lesnar , Ric Flair, Edge , Randy Orton the list goe’s on and on that little list you cover technical wrestling, Quick athletic , matches , Brawls,  the Undertaker can truly do it all that’s what makes him so good.

You can’t talk about the career of the undertaker without talking about a legacy they will never be equalled and will surely never be broken I am of course talking of the famous wrestlemania streak which currently stands at 19-0. It’s the hot topic every year will someone ever beat the streak it’s a heavy part of the wwe promotion every time around wrestlemania season. It don’t seem like it’s a wrestlemania with out the dead man. Not all of his matches at wrestlemina have been 5 star matches but over the years he has had some outstanding matches when you think of the likes of his matches against Edge, Shawn Micheals, Triple H, Ric Flair have all been of a very high standard.

I thought at this point it would be a good idea to showcase some of Undertakers matches over the years and have included some of my own personal favourites.

Undertaker entrance from His return in 2010

I loved this return espsically with the Johnny Cash Theme too . An example of whwat I was talking about earlier in how good his enrance was.

Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker Hell In a Cel

What a brutal match this one was before the PG era it was bloody it was brutal.

Kurt Angle vs Edge

A different type of match for the undertaker  a lot more technical wrestling involved and a surprising finishing but  a very intriguing and interesting match and a good showcase of the Undertakers various talents.

The Undertaker vs Edge

When you see all the farms moaning that we are now in the pg era and that they miss the days of the attitude era this match shows clearly that you can have a good physical brawl in the modern-day era full of good spots and dramatic pin falls.

The Undertaker vs Shawn Micheals

How could I end  these little show of matches but with anything but this match from wrestlemania 25 a true classic and a 5 star match to boot. 2 of the best there has been in a truly breathtaking match . It had everything dramatic near falls ,several finishers ,kicking out of sweet chin music and the tombstone. Listen to the crowd in this match it was incredible the atmosphere around these two. Did anyone think Shawn would win? it don’t really matter it was built so well the crowd believed Shawn would win and he very nearly did.

How can you even begin to sum a career as legendary as the undertaker it sometimes seems as if mere words can’t do him justice a guy who is as popular amongst his peers as well as his fans. A man who seems not to be driven by ego or politics and has the respect of everyone on the business bar none.  He’s had many many great matches over the years and a lot of poor ones too but he stands tall in the business we call wrestling. This is the guy who is very rarely seen out of character  he doesn’t do many interviews and doesn’t do many events. It’s his character why spoil it.  His longevity in the business can never be questioned it’s not as if the guy has been desperate to hold onto his spot or something he is a legitimate main eventer always will be. I don’t see the streak ever ending though I do think after this years mania match with hhh he probably has 1 maybe 2 more wrestlemanias in him. It’s fitting that his career will end at wrestlemania the grandest stage of them all . He has nothing left to achieve in the business he has done it all it’s a the legacy left now and a mark on the business and a lasting legacy amongst his fellow wrestlers and fans that will never be equalled. You never  see the undertaker talking trash to someone outside of the ring whether it be putting them down on radio or tv anything like that.  Has there been a wrestler more respected and liked amongst by his fellow wrestlers I would doubt it. He is quite probably the biggest of legend of them all. Like I said it’s hard to do justice to just what the Undertakers legacy  and importance to this business. I hope you have enjoyed my tribute and please feel free to leave any comments  you may have.

Thanks for Reading

Follow me on twitter @therealwrestle

and for the last word Undertaker I salute you

27th February – 4th March: This Week in Wrestling History

Sunday February 27th 2000

WWF No Way Out 2000 – Cactus Jack vs. Triple H for the WWF Championship in HELL IN A CELL

by Neil

Follow me on Twitter: @shootwrestling

At the turn of the new millenium the WWFs road to Wrestlemania was ablaze with intensity as Cactus Jack and Triple H took the spotlight leading into the promotions first pay-per-view event of the year, the Royal Rumble. In a brutal, violent Street Fight the defending champion retained against a valiant Cactus Jack after an assault littered with chairs, barbed wire, baseball bats and thumb tacks wasn’t enough for the challenger to climb to the top of the mountain.

HHH was very much the man at this time. After breaking out of Shawn Michaels’ shadow in mid-1998, he cemented his place as the top dog, the WWF Champion and, wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley in tow, lead the company into the post-attitude era hangover. Mick Foley had been to the top of the pile, somewhere many thought he would never be, capturing the WWF Championship on three seperate occasions. After dropping the Mankind persona in favour of the character that brought him his initial success in the pro wrestling business, the hardcore legend Cactus Jack, the WWF audience was again treated to his trademark violence and brutality. The match at the Royal Rumble is one of my favourite matches and Mick has stated himself that it was one of the very best he ever had. After a pedigree into the thumb tacks, the battered and beaten champion limped from the sell-out Madison Square Garden and you could have been forgiven for thinking that another chapter to this story was not to be unfolded. You would, however, have been wrong.

On an episode of RAW Triple H confronted the tenacious challenger and, expressing his desire to rid himself of Mick Foley for good, proposed one more encounter – at Februarys No Way Out event. The champion even gave the challenger the choice of match but stated that it would not involve any of Foleys trademark “toys” and weaponary. Hunter looked visably shaken as Cactus Jack said the four words that really popped the crowd and got the fans excited for what could potentially be yet another epic – ‘Hell in a Cell‘! The Game wasn’t quite done yet however. After accepting his challenge, he would shock the WWF audience once again by laying down the most important stipulation – that should he retain the title Mick Foley would be forced to be retire.

(Please use the links above to watch the promo, split into two parts, for yourself!)

The rematch took place February 27th in Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Conneticut. Lower on the card that night Kurt Angle, the WWF European Champion, defeated Chris Jerichio, the WWF Intercontential Champion – and declared himself the Euro-Continental Champion in his prompt rise to the top in his rookie year. Mark Henry met Viscera in a collision of m0numental proportions (size-wise that is, not quality), Edge & Christian went for another round with The Hardys – Matt & Jeff, in what promised to be another volume in their classic series of matches and The Big Show defeated The Rock to become the #1 contender for the winner of the main event.

Whether or not the main event rematch was able to reach the heights of their earlier match and the very high bar set that night or not I’m not sure but it certainly was not a let-down. Mick Foley always wanted to entertain fans by endangering himself and his health and as his match in the structure in 1998 with The Undertaker proved, he is a dangerous man when he has such a high, impressive structure to play with. The match was always going to be visually impressive and as they often did, HHH and Cactus Jack brought out the very best in one another.

Looking to get yourself in the mood for The Undertaker and The Game inside the cell at Wrestlemania? Or maybe just looking to relive a poignant moment in wrestling history? The engaging, violent and bloody second chapter in a gripping feud between two of the WWF/Es modern greats could be just what you need.