Rumble experience akin to royalty

Are you ready to rumble? Famous words, to say the least. And words that were proposed to me as I boarded a plane recently bound for Orlando, Fla., where World Wrestling Entertainment was hosting its annual Royal Rumble, one of its marquee events and the one that officially kicks off WrestleMania season. Yes, yes, I thought, I am ready to rumble. I was, after all, part of a small contingent of international media afforded the opportunity to experience the…

Read More

2016 WWE Royal Rumble HITS and MISSES

2016 WWE Royal Rumble HITS: The Royal Rumble Match –  One of the most entertaining Royal Rumble matches in recent memory.  The entire match was used to tell a number of different stories, over-and-above the main 1-against-all Roman Reigns/Authority storyline.  The main roster got their first taste of Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens, we had the long overdue WWE debut of AJ Styles (more on that below), the ongoing (and hilarious) R-Truth joke, not to mention the fact that it was…

Read More

NXT goes global with Takeover in England

Just days ahead of its debut outside of the United States, the man behind World Wrestling Entertainment’s increasingly popular NXT brand speaks passionately about opportunity. Professional wrestling is nothing if not about opportunity. During his now nearly 25-year active wrestling career, the man known the world over as Triple H certainly made the most of his opportunities, capturing more than 20 championships, at one point carrying the company on his broad shoulders as its marquee name and ushering in…

Read More

Fourth time’s a charm for Sheamus

Irish eyes were smiling, indeed, on Sunday night when World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Sheamus cashed in his Money In the Bank contract in the final moments of an entertaining Survivor Series to snatch away the World title from Roman Reigns. The WWE’s so-called Celtic Warrior, ever the opportunist, delivered two huge Brogue Kicks to unseat the newly-minted Reigns, making his first reign as WWE World Heavyweight champion one of the shortest. Sheamus, the Irish-born behemoth known for his brute…

Read More

WWE SummerSlam 2015 HITS and MISSES

WWE SummerSlam 2015 HITS: John Cena vs. Seth Rollins – Although it feels like we’ve seen these two in the ring a lot together over the past several months, they always manage to come up with a fresh feeling match, full of plenty of action and great near-falls.  Was the Jon Stewart involvement a little bit messy?  Sure.  He should have stayed facing Seth Rollins the entire time, and turned on John Cena at the last minute, as opposed…

Read More

Kevin Owens continues to fight

Not long after making his first appearance on Monday Night Raw and just days before he has his first pay-per-view match in World Wrestling Entertainment, Kevin Owens is in the mood to talk about firsts. Owens, born Kevin Steen in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., in 1984, has, after all, experienced his share of firsts in his now 15-year career that last year brought him to World Wrestling Entertainment when he was signed to its NXT brand. To say he’s made the…

Read More

Triple H talks Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens during NXT conference call

To listen to Paul (Triple H) Levesque talk about World Wrestling Entertainment’s white-hot NXT brand is akin to listening to a proud father talk about his son’s first game-winning grand slam in a Little League game. Quite simply, he gushes with pride. And rightfully so, as the wrestling legend turned WWE’s Executive Vice-President of Talent, Creative and Live Events is the driving force behind the increasingly popular brand that has churned out stars like current WWE World Heavyweight champion…

Read More

A trip down MemoryMania

  Words such as awesome, unbelievable, unreal and amazing have become overused and almost cliché in this day of social media dominance. So frequently are they used that they have lost their significance. As such, my search for words to convey how I feel has begun as I reflect on what I can only describe as the single greatest trip I’ve ever went on. Ever. Interestingly, it all came together in very short order, too. Just over three weeks…

Read More

Rob Schamberger: Wrestling’s new king of the canvas

Like a fine piece of art, Rob Schamberger wasn’t able to appreciate the art of professional wrestling until he was mature. Schamberger, who now sets the gold standard when it comes to painting all things professional wrestling, didn’t even become a fan of pro wrestling until he in his late teenage years. “I actually didn’t get into it until I was 18,” the 34-year-old Kansas City native said in a telephone interview a week or so before he’ll head…

Read More

WWE Survivor Series 2014 HITS and MISSES

WWE Survivor Series 2014 HITS: Sting Debuts: This year’s installment of Survivor Series was promoted as a one-match show; Team Authority vs. Team Cena.  But, last night, that one match boiled down into one moment.  That moment was the debut of “the last WCW hold-out”, Sting.  There have been a number of reasons why Sting has held out signing a WWE contract over the years, including a personal goal of elevating TNA to relevance.  However, when it was all…

Read More

WWE SummerSlam 2014 HITS and MISSES

SummerSlam HITS: Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena – WOW!  What a match.  In the PG era of WWE, you will not find anything nearly this violent, or this intense.  The tone was set within the first 30 seconds of this match, as Brock Lesnar hit John Cena with an F5.  What followed was some of the best work we’ve seen from Brock Lesnar since his return.  Was it a technical Dave Meltzer 5-star masterpiece? Nope.  This was the rebirth…

Read More

WWE Money in the Bank 2014 HITS and MISSES

WWE Money in the Bank HITS: Money in the Bank Contract Match: On each 2014 WWE Pay Per View, there has been a match of the year contender.  This would be that contender.  An absolute car-wreck that had the live crowd on the edge of their seat throughout.  The tension between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose was palatable, and the storytelling between them was absolutely excellent.  There were plenty of innovative spots, and career shortening bumps (namely Rollins being…

Read More

Monday Night RAW HITS and MISSES for 04/07/2014

Monday Night RAW HITS: Overall Show: Coming off one of the best WrestleManias in recent years, the crowd at the Monday Night RAW that followed was amped as usual.  And they were given plenty of things to invest into, as this was one of the hottest RAWs in recent memory, and certainly better than any of the RAWs leading to WrestleMania.  There’s plenty to cover in this hitlist, so I might as well just get started. The Crowd: They…

Read More

WWE WrestleMania 30 HITS and MISSES

Editors Note: This column will likely be one of my most discussed to date.  It is incredibly difficult for me to write, as both a fan and an author.  Rarely do I allow my emotions to get the better of me, but twice this weekend it happened.  First with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts Hall of Fame induction I was overcome with happiness, and then again the next night with The Undertaker’s streak ending, overcome with shock.  Typically I wait…

Read More

Monday Night RAW HITS and MISSES for 03/31/2013

Monday Night RAW HITS: Batista vs. Randy Orton: A nice look at what was WWE’s originally planned WrestleMania main event.  Although this didn’t get a lot of time (starting 5 minutes before 11pm), it was fun while it lasted.  As much heat as Batista gets for his mostly uninspired comeback, he’s much better as a heel than he is as a babyface.  His prior run as the self-absorbed “superstar” heel was some of my favourite work in WWE history. …

Read More

WWE RAW HITS and MISSES for 03/17/2014

WWE RAW HITS: Overall show: For this viewer, this episode felt the most like a “Road to WrestleMania” episode yet this year, and certainly the best episode of RAW in recent memory in terms of storyline development, and a clear focus to where they are headed.  There were still some problems, but this was largely an enjoyable episode of RAW. Build towards HHH/Bryan: This is a double-edged sword for me.  Triple H spent the majority of his opening promo…

Read More

Raw HITS and MISSES: 03/03/14

HITS Opening segment: The first public acknowledgement of CM Punk by the WWE, save for Vince McMahon in addressing investors in a conference call, couldn’t have been any better or more powerful. It paid homage to the man as the Chicago crowd, Punk’s hometown, went absolutely bananas when his music hit. Where WWE could have buried him, washed their collective hands of him (remember, his contract is set to expire in a few months’ time) and moved on, instead…

Read More

Monday Night RAW HITS and MISSES for 02/03/2014

Monday Night RAW HITS   Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton: Given nearly 30 minutes of television time, and a large part of it uninterrupted, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan delivered arguably what might be the best match in the series of matches they’ve had in the past six months.  This was smash-mouth, high-contact wrestling at its best, and the match told a magnificent story throughout.  Negative points go to WWE’s production team, as I couldn’t have been the only…

Read More

WWE Monday Night RAW HITS and MISSES for 01/27/2014

Monday Night RAW HITS: Opening Segment: Well, I’m not exactly sure how to react to this.  The segment itself was a home run.  This is the attitude and aggression we have all been begging to see from Daniel Bryan for months.  Both Stephanie and Triple H played their parts well (and Stephanie pretending the YES! chants were for her was laugh-out-loud funny).  The appearances by The Shield, and then later Sheamus and John Cena were well timed, and well…

Read More

Jan’s Royal Rumble picks

Pre-show match: Goldust & Cody Rhodes (c) vs. The New Age Outlaws for the WWE Tag Team Championship The teenager in me REALLY wants to see the Outlaws as tag champs once again, but then the 37-year-old me realizes that this is not the Attitude Era any longer and the Outlaws can’t truly be the Outlaws in this era. Three of the four participants in this match made their marks in the Attitude Era, interestingly enough. I do see…

Read More