WWE’s road to WrestleMania 28 has been a dull and repetitive one, for the most part.
That’s what happens when a wrestling promotion relies almost exclusively upon dueling speeches and video packages to hype a show. In the main events especially, that’s all we got: lots and lots of talk from The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.
There was a time when WWE would have generously sprinkled action over all those words. Can you imagine how much intrigue – and ratings – WWE could have wrenched from a tag-team Raw main event pitting Triple H and The Undertaker against The Rock and John Cena? And what about the old-fashioned beatdowns of yesteryear? Outside of Cody Rhodes comically teeing off on a tied-up Big Show with boxing gloves, not one WrestleMania bad guy made me want to see him get some comeuppance at the April 1 show (Chris Jericho’s Raw stage attack on CM Punk already feels too long ago to even count here).
Its shortcomings aside, the build-up to Sunday’s show has been successful in one way: I have no idea who’s going to win anything. But that’s not so much a credit to the WrestleMania 28 hype machine as it is to the WrestleMania 29 rumor mill – and I’ll explain why in my predictions for this Sunday’s show:
It’s that time of year again, the time when even the most casual fan of pro wrestling is aware of what’s going on. Wrestlemania 28 will be live this Sunday from Miami, Florida. Millions will watch on pay per view, and 70,000 plus will pack Sun Life Stadium to see a main event with a full year of hype behind it. Current WWE Superstar John Cena will take on legendary WWE superstar and current Hollywood box office draw Dwayne Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock.
As I did last year, I’ll look at who I think will win each match and who I think should win each match.
World Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
- Who will win – Sheamus – This is actually a rematch from last Wrestlemania, only the roles are reversed. It’s now Bryan that is hated by the fans while Sheamus is the babyface. Personally I’m not a fan of Sheamus, but I can’t see them having him lose with the huge push he’s been receiving of late.
- Who should win - Sheamus – I hate to say it, but a win for Sheamus may be the best thing to happen for the current story line. Bryan is so over right now with his little prick persona, that he could still get a crowd hot even without the strap. And Sheamus could use the title to keep him at the top of the Smackdown brand for a while.
Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve
- Who will win - WWE always has some non wrestling celebrity come in for the Granddaddy Of Them All, and this year it’s Menounos. However, I’ve never really cared for the celebrity matches in the past and I don’t like the woman wrestlers at all so this match isn’t even worth my time.
- Who should win - Again, I don’t care and I think these matches are pointless. See the notion above.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
- Who will win – Randy Orton – Orton has been injured a bit leading up to Wrestlemania, otherwise he would have had a higher profile match. Kane came back after a long hiatus, but his character seems stale. This is a throw in match that no one really cares about, but it does get their top face from Smackdown on the big show.
- Who should win – Randy Orton – Kane winning makes zero sense.
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship
- Who will win – Cody Rhodes – I can see this one going either way. Rhodes has really been pushing the “Big Show as a Wrestlemania failure” angle the last month, so you have to expect them to let Show get the W. But since that’s expected, they’ll probably go the other way and have Rhodes win. I think he’ll win, but the Big Show will have the last laugh somehow.
- Who should win – Big Show – A win by Big Show would help squash the notion that he’s been a boob in Wrestlemanias past. Also a win by the Big Show, in a way that allows Rhodes to save face somehow, will allow him to take the next step in his career and have him challenge for the World Title without the Intercontinental belt.
Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre) vs. Team Teddy (Santino Marella. R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Great Khali, Zack Ryder, and Booker T) 12 Man Tag Team Match for Control of Both RAW and Smackdown
- Who will win – Team Johnny – Every one loves to hate John Laurinaitis these days. His segments are usually the best on TV, even though he flubs a line or two every week. But the star power on his team far outweighs Team Teddy, so no way will his guys lose.
- Who should win – Team Johnny – They need the win to set up the evil GM on both shows. With the obligatory story line to follow with Teddy Long trying to get his show back.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship
- Who will win – CM Punk – Punk is as popular as he’s every been with the WWE so keeping him on top is the logical thing to do. They can milk a couple rematches out of this feud, and have a title switch take place in a month or two.
- Who should win – Chris Jericho – I think angry CM Punk is better than top of the world CM Punk. Having Jericho win in an underhanded manner would be good for the current story line. Jericho plays smug as good as anyone in the business, and Punk can be the rebellious challenger trying to get his title back. If we’re lucky, they’ll bring back Stephanie McMahon to interfere some how.
Undertaker vs. Triple H In a Hell In A Cell Match with Shawn Michaels as Guest Referee
- Who will win – Undertaker – I’ve never liked Undertaker (that’s no secret to any of you who know me) but that fact is, he’s undefeated at Wrestlemania, and he’ll eventually lose to an up and comer when it’s the right thing to do. Losing to a part timer like HHH makes no sense what so ever.
- Who should win – Undertaker – As I said, I don’t like the guy and I’m an HHH fan but let’s face it, If HHH wins his ego will have officially surpassed Hulk Hogans. Taker wins in a bloody exhausting match similar to last year.
The Rock vs. John Cena
Photo courtesy of CagesideSeats.com
- Who will win – The Rock – This will no doubt be the Main Event of the evening, and the WWE (9 times out of 10) has the popular choice go over at Wrestlemania to send the crowd home happy. And even though the WWE has tried to steer the storyline so Cena and Rock will have more of a 50/50 crowd reaction, there’s no way the Miami crowd will boo their hometown Rocky. Even though Cena has to get back to work on WWE TV the next night while The Rock goes off to Hollywood to film another flick, there’s no way WWE Head Honcho Vince McMahon will disappoint the majority of the crowd. I could see a scenario where Cena wins only to get a after match beatdown, but that wouldn’t be any fun.
- Who should win – The Rock – I was solidly of the thought that Cena needed to win until I read this article from the pro wrestling website, Cageside Seats, then I made a complete 180 on the subject.
“But sometimes it is failure that defines a moment, a game, a season, a lifetime. There is a reason John Cena is loved and cherished by many. He represents hard work, dedication, passion, and perseverance. Never give up, and never surrender. No matter how high the odds are stacked against him, Cena always finds a way to rise above. The funny thing about always winning, though, is that it is boring as hell.”
It’ll be good to see Cena have to build himself back up and it will be good to see him struggle and maybe even go on a prolonged losing streak. Have him tease a heel turn while becoming frustrated with his situation. That is as long as they don’t panic and turn him back into Super Cena after only a week.
**Possible Spoiler** According to F4WOnline.com former WWE and UFC star Brock Lesnar has signed a one year deal with WWE, which would clear him to make an appearance tonight WrestleMania. Lesnar has reportedly landed in Miami and was flanked by a large contingent of security.
*Wrestlemania 28 will be a live 4 hour show this Sunday, starting at 7pm Eastern time and only on Pay-Per-View! Head over to WWE.com’s WrestleMainia 28 page for more details.
In his prime, Scott Hall was a mountain of a man – 6-foot-7, 290 pounds of solidly sculptured muscle, appearing as close as invincible as they come. As Razor Ramon, he was one of professional wrestling’s biggest names and most villainous villains, busting chairs with the likes of Randy Savage, Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans in sold-out arenas. And he loved the life that came with it: the parties, the women, the celebrity. But the high life soon started to slip away, and Hall has been desperately doing whatever he can since to hold on ever since. Hall’s slide seems to know no bottom – from his deteriorating physical and mental condition, to his ongoing battle with alcohol and substance abuse that has crippled his family life and resulted in pathetic public appearances in school gyms. But he’s hanging on, somehow. Now his only son, Cody, wants to follow in his father’s tortured bootsteps. E:60 chronicles the heartbreaking story of a man who is a shadow of his former self and desperate for one last taste of the glory days.
We are now in the month of October, which can mean several things. Major League Baseball is now into postseason play, the majority of NFL teams have played a quarter of their regular season games, and the chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title is nearing the end. Let’s pray to the higher powers that it isn’t Jimmie Johnson….again.
Here are my Top Three Performances from NFL Week 4:
1. QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers): In a 49-23 beatdown of the Denver Broncos at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers not only stole the show through the air but he also looked stellar on the ground. To add to his performance of 408 passing yards and four touchdowns, Rodgers ran with ease on nine carries for 36 yards, and two rushing touchdowns. If only he would’ve had some recieving reps with backup quarterback Matt Flynn, this could’ve been the best performance of the 2011 season.
2. WR Hakeem Nicks (NY Giants): The more skepticism and criticism that seems to head in the way of the New York Giants, the better they play. Turns out that not only would Eli Manning show up but his fellow receiver Hakeem Nicks would play a factor in the Giants 31-27 road win against the Arizona Cardinals. Nicks would go on to tear up the Cardinals secondary with ten catches for 162 yards and one touchdown.
3. Baltimore Ravens Defense: On a chilly Sunday night in Baltimore, the New York Jets came in with alot of talk and confident swagger. Too bad that is all they could muster up, as the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Jets in an ugly yet exciting 34-17 home win. The Ravens defense stopped the Jets on a total of 150 offensive yards and returned three of four turnovers for touchdowns.
The MLB Postseason Divisional series took off on Friday night and continued throughout the weekend in excellent scheduling by TBS. Not only that but all games have been interesting to watch, including the Milwaukee Brewers early dominance in their divisional series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. The only gripe I have with the playoff series so far is the suspension of the first game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, as many baseball fans were denied of a classic ace pitching matchup between the Tigers Justin Verlander and the Yankees C.C. Sabathia.
NASCAR driver Kurt Busch got a huge win this past weekend at Dover International Speedway, moving him into a tie for 2nd place with Tony Stewart. They both trail the Sprint Cup leaders Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick by nine points. With seven races left to go, it’ll be very difficult for defending champion Jimmie Johnson to bounce back with a thirteen point disadvantage, and the likes of Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick aren’t slowing down anytime soon.
I am befuddled at the national media’s infatuation with the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo. It’s nothing personal, I just feel as if they do not deserve the recognition, especially with a 2-2 record. The Dallas Cowboys haven’t really accomplished anything relevant in the past several seasons. There are many great stories to cover at this point in the NFL season, mainly the surprise teams that have been performing at a high level (Lions, Bills, Raiders, etc.) but it is unfortunate that the overrated Dallas Cowboys are taking their publicity thunder. Until the Dallas Cowboys and Tony Romo accomplish something worth talking about instead of Romo’s cracked rib and latest girlfriend, they will get no writing from me unless they perform at their supposed “potential”.
There were a few things I did enjoy about last night’s WWE pay-per-view “Hell In A Cell”. I enjoyed the fact that Mark Henry retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton, Beth Phoenix defeating Kelly Kelly for the Divas Championship, and Alberto Del Rio winning the WWE Championship in the main event against CM Punk and John Cena. But my favorite moment of the night goes to Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes for his unveiling of the classic Intercontinental title that was worn by the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Even if wrestling fans don’t consider Cody Rhodes a top talent, the fact that he appreciates those that came before him truly earned points in my view.
Thank you for reading my blog this week! Surely next week we will be looking at the American and National League Championship match-ups in baseball, more NFL talk, and a possible look at some Heisman hopefuls. Feel free to check me out on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any information regarding my blog and future projects. Enjoy your Monday night, I am out.
Seems like summer is about to come to an end shortly. The MLB postseason is arriving, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is drawing to a close, and the Michigan Wolverines are still undefeated in college football (for whatever that is worth at this point).
Let’s get started with my Top Three Performances of Week 2:
1. QB Tom Brady (New England Patriots): Before last week’s Monday Night Football game versus the Miami Dolphins, I picked Ryan Fitzpatrick as my top performance. Later that night, Brady threw for 517 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 victory in Miami. Yesterday in a 35-21 win at home versus the San Diego Chargers, Brady threw for 423 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 77.5 percent of his passes to amass a 135.7 passer rating.
2. The Detroit Lions Defense: While the resurgence of quarterback Matthew Stafford is a nice story, credit goes to the Detroit Lions defense for making life difficult for the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Matt Cassel in a dominating 48-3 victory. Cassel was picked off for three interceptions by the Lions ‘D’ and was responsible for one of three fumbles coughed up by the Chiefs offense. In the numbers game, it is difficult to win just with two sacks on defense but if you add six total turnovers to those statistics, the odds are in your favor to win the game.
3. WR Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles): Under the Sunday night lights in Atlanta, Maclin shined despite a tough 35-31 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. With quarterback Michael Vick out in the second half due to a concussion, Maclin continued to step up. Maclin caught thirteen receptions for 171 yards, two touchdowns, and even took a helmet shot to the head by Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson.
With my beloved Baltimore Orioles out of contention (and respectability) for the 14th consecutive season, the American League East playoff scenario is becoming very interesting. The Tampa Bay Rays took three of four this weekend from the Boston Red Sox as the Rays move within one and a half games back behind the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card standings. The New York Yankees are sitting on a comfortable five and a half game lead in the East, and are currently celebrating a huge milestone in the Bronx as Yankees closer Mariano Rivera recorded his 602nd career save versus the Minnesota Twins, passing Trevor Hoffman for the all-time record.
In the world of the ACC, there are two universities that are ready to make the conference their home. Syracuse and Pittsburgh have agreed to join the Atlantic Coast Conference this past weekend, leaving the future of the Big East Conference in doubt. It should make football, basketball, and even lacrosse very interesting as the ACC excels at a high level in each of those sports. As long as Dave Wandstedt and his ugly mustache continues to stay away from Pittsburgh athletics, all should be well in the world.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is making quite a statement in college football. Not only for Heisman Trophy candidacy but for his own team’s BCS Championship aspirations. Moore has thrown for 716 yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions, and hasn’t surrendered a sack so far in two non-conference games. Both Boise State wins have been on the road, including a 40-15 win at Toledo, where Moore threw for 455 yards and five touchdowns. Heisman trophy winner? So far, yes.
Congratulations go out to longtime WWE wrestler Mark Henry. For a man who had to endure being called “Sexual Chocolate”, getting caught with a transvestite on live television, being Mae Young’s love interest, and wearing an outfit that the Kool-Aid guy would be proud of, Henry has finally achieved something of pro wrestling relevancy. Henry defeated World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton last night at the Night of Champions pay per view to finally win his first world championship (no, I refuse to count the ECW title as a legitimate world championship). For fifteen years of putting up with joke gimmicks and humiliating storylines, Henry can finally be taken seriously as a WWE superstar. Just hope that the WWE fans can see him have a respectable title reign and rightfully so.
Thank you so much for reading my blog this week! Hopefully we will see many people earn massive fantasy points with their respective quarterbacks, can’t count out Cam Newton in this discussion either! Feel free to check me out on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at email@example.com for any information regarding my blog and future projects. Enjoy your Monday night, I am out.
Longtime Baltimore Sun writer Kevin Eck is leaving the newspaper after 22 years for a gig with the WWE as a member of their creative team.
Eck was the writer and mastermind behind the Ring Post wrestling blog at The Sun which started in 2007. Prior to Ring Post, Eck served as editor of the now defunct WCW Magazine.
Last Wednesday, Eck addressed his Ring Post readers for the final time when he announced the move to Stanford, Connecticut to work for WWE.
“I can’t thank the powers that be at The Sun enough for allowing me to earn a living all these years doing something I enjoy. While working in the pro wrestling industry was a childhood dream, so was being an employee of my hometown newspaper.”
WWE’s creative team is currently in transition so Eck views this as an exciting opportunity and an exciting time in the WWE.
“I’ve accepted a position that will allow me to contribute from a creative standpoint and also use my skills as a journalist.”
There’s no word on exactly what his assignment will be, but The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported recently that Triple H is looking to work with a writer to focus on developing new characters and how they will be introduced to WWE television.
Eck stated that he will be be moving to Stamford, Connecticut and starting with WWE at the end of the month.
As of now, the Baltimore Sun plans to continue Ring Post. Attempts to reach the Sun for comment were unsuccessful.
It still seems very surreal. Here is the story from the Associated Press:
Randy “Macho Man” Savage, the professional wrestler known for his raspy voice, the sunglasses and bandanas he wore in the ring and the young woman named Miss Elizabeth who often accompanied him, died in a car crash Friday in Florida. He was 58.
A Florida Highway Patrol crash report said the former wrestler — whose legal name was Randy Mario Poffo — was driving a Jeep Wrangler when he lost control in Pinellas County around 9:25 a.m. The Jeep veered over the raised concrete median divider, crossed over the eastbound lanes and collided head-on with a tree.
Police said he may have suffered a “medical event” before the accident, but the report did not elaborate, and it said officials would need to perform an autopsy to know for sure.
The report said a woman in the vehicle, identified as Barbara Poffo, suffered minor injuries. A statement from Stamford, Conn.-based World Wrestling Entertainment said the passenger was the wrestler’s wife.
“Poffo will be greatly missed by WWE and his fans,” the statement said.
Savage was a charismatic wrestler made famous for his “Macho Man” nickname and his “Oooh Yeah!” catchphrase. He was a champion in Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation, and later Ted Turner’s now-defunct World Championship Wrestling.
Poffo was under contract with WWE from 1985 to 1993 and held both the WWE and Intercontinental Championships.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. We wish a speedy recovery to his wife Lynn,” WWE said.
Savage defined the larger-than-life personalities of the 1980s World Wrestling Federation (now WWE). He wore sequined robes bejeweled with “Macho Man” on the back, rainbow colored cowboy hats and oversized sunglasses, part of a unique look that helped build the WWF into a mainstream phenomenon.
For most of his career, his valet, Miss Elizabeth, was by his side. Elizabeth Hulette was his real-life wife. They later divorced, and Hulette died in 2003 — one of the many performers in the sport to die young.
The WWF made Savage their champion after a win over Ted DiBiase in the main event at WrestleMania in 1988.
Savage had not appeared for a major wrestling organization since 2004 when he performed for Total Nonstop Action.
He was both at times the most popular and most hated wrestler in entertainment. His flying elbow off the top rope was mimicked by basement and backyard wrestlers everywhere. Savage made good use of his deep, raspy voice as a corporate pitchman as well, for years ordering Slim Jim fans to “Snap into it!”
He’s most known his legendary rivalries with Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. Wrestlers took to Twitter to let fans know Savage won’t be forgotten.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hailed Savage as one of his childhood inspirations and heroes, while Mick “Cactus Jack” Foley called Savage “one of my favorite performers.”
Hogan said he and Savage had just started talking again after 10 years.
“He had so much life in his eyes & in his spirit, I just pray that he’s happy and in a better place and we miss him,” Hogan wrote.
Adam "Edge" Copeland, 37, announced his retirement Monday due to complications associated with a broken neck he suffered eight years ago. (photo courtesy of WWE)
A lingering physical injury has claimed the career of professional wrestler Adam “Edge” Copeland, well in the middle of his prime. I don’t know about you guys, but as Edge was delivering his retirement speech– which was classy and heartfelt – I kept waiting for someone to come out and interrupt him, thereby indicating that this was all just an angle. But deep down, I knew it was just wishful thinking on my part. While I never expected to tune into Raw Monday night and hear Edge say that his career was over, I wasn’t totally surprised by the news.
Edge had said in some newspaper interviews over the past year that he could see himself retiring in two years when his contract is up because of all of the injuries he has suffered.
Copeland made his announcement on WWE Raw this past Monday, and as he spoke, it brought back memories of the other competitors who have suffered the same fate before him.
There is a great divide between fans and observers when it comes to the particulars of professional wrestling.
Most fans will tell you they love watching wrestling for the storyline as well as the athleticism. Cynics will tout that “wrestling is fake,” in reference to the fact that the wrestlers work hard throughout a match to minimize the impact to the other’s body and the outcome is predetermined.
But no matter how scripted a match may be or how many precautions are taken to prevent injuries, the truth is that the physical toll that wrestling takes on the performer’s bodies is evident through the numerous injuries that have retired young men as well as the early deaths from addictions to narcotics including pain killers.
“A lot of people think that the WWE doesn’t hurt- that what we do, maybe it’s done with smoke and mirrors, I wish that were true, but anybody in the locker room, anybody who has ever laced up a pair of boots and stepped foot in here knows that’s not the case.” - Adam “Edge” Copeland
He recounted the broken neck he sustained eight years ago and the subsequent spinal fusion surgery to repair it.
“Since then, I knew I was wrestling on borrowed time.”
He said that numbness in his arms and extreme pain lead WWE officials to send him back to the doctors, who advised him after a series of MRI tests that failure to retire could lead him to a wheelchair or even worse.
Edge is not the first to leave the business due to an injury while he is otherwise healthy.
In 2003, WWE’s “Stone Cole” Steve Austin officially announced his retirement from in-ring wrestling due to a neck injury sustained in 1997 during a match with the late Owen Hart.
While Hart was giving Austin a piledriver, he didn’t properly support his neck, causing Austin’s full body weight to come down on top of it. He was out of action for several months at the time, but later admitted that the injury had caused him serious pain and prompted warnings of paralysis from doctors.
On an April 7 episode of WWE’s Tough Enough, Austin, the show’s host, was asked about a possible return to wrestling. He said that a two-year-run was a possibility but he wouldn’t do it because he wants to be able to enjoy his life in the years to come without living in constant pain.
Edge retired Monday night on Raw as the most decorated wrestler in WWE history, having won 30 championships during his 13 years with the company.
Adam “Edge” Copeland, 37, has had a spectacular 13-year career in WWE and has won more championships than anyone in company history. It’s sad that he won’t be wrestling anymore, but it would be even sadder if he ended up in a wheelchair – or worse – by continuing to get in the ring. So if saying goodbye to Edge means that Adam Copeland can have better health-related quality of life, then I’m all for it.
I have taken the liberty to include a video of Edge’s retirement speech from this past Monday night. Additionally, one of my favorite wrestling blogs on the internet is done by Kevin Eck who has really done a nice job profiling Edge’s title history in WWE as well as posting reaction through out the entire wrestling industry on the news of Edge’s retirement.
Edge announces his retirement
New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott is known better in some areas as the “mad-backer”. Scott’s over the top boisterous comments have also given him mainstream attention, but he is probably best known for his recent pro wrestling style post game interview after the Jets defeated the Colts to advance to the AFC Championship game when he emphatically said: “can’t wait!”
We already know that Bart Scott is a huge wrestling fan and has noted publicly that Hulk Hogan is among his all time favorites. In fact, after Scott’s infamous interview, Hulk Hogan himself acknowledged just how much he was impressed by Scott’s interview.
“I knew when Bart looked down the barrel of the camera he believed in himself and in what he was saying, that makes him a real dangerous man. When his career’s over and he wants to make some real money, tell him to give me a call and we’ll break him in the right way.” – Hulk Hogan
According to FOXSports.com’s Alex Marvez, Scott has signed for a March 3 appearance with TNA Wrestling. It is unclear as to what Scott’s role will be but you would have to think that he and the Hulkster will be working together in some way, shape, or form.
Simply put, just being involved will allow Scott to fulfill a lifelong dream for Scott. I’m definitely going to be tuning in on March 3 (just as I normally would) to see what the man known as the “mad-backer” will have in store for us. TNA iMPACT airs at 9pm eastern on Thursdays only on Spike TV.
“Finally, the Rock has come back!”
Dwayne Johnson walked away from professional wrestling back in 2004 to follow his dream of becoming a movie star.
Last week WWE chairman Vince McMahon announced to the audience that said host would in fact be revealed this week. The rumors immediately began to circulate, and while both Bob Barker and Justin Bieber had been batted around the Internet as possibilities but in the end, it could only be one man.
He hasn’t lost a step, either. Over the course of a 15 minute speech, the Rock explained why he came back and issued challenges to both top superstar John Cena and current WWE Champion (and MTV reality show alumnus) the Miz. He also took the time to rip into much-loathed WWE play-by-play man Michael Cole and hit on all of his classic catch phrases. It’s uncertain exactly what his hosting of WrestleMania will entail and whether or not he’ll actually step into the ring to compete (he certainly still looks in fighting shape), but the fact that the Rock has returned is enough to not only keep current fans thrilled but also to bring back people who loved Johnson the first time around.
WWE might get in trouble with TV executives for the show overrunning, or upset the makers of their children’s toys for the use of the non-PG word ‘ass’, but who cares.
The Rock is back.
For me, the highlight of the segment was when The Rock took issue with John Cena. Cena has spoken up publicly about his annoyance that The Rock had not given back to the WWE fans that loved him.
While it’s highly unlikely The Rock will return to physical competition, it seems very likely he will be inserted as special guest referee in a Mania clash between Cen and Miz.
And to watch Rock-instigated verbal or physical battles with those two in the run-up to WrestleMania is mouthwatering to say the least.
The Rock signed off his classic promo with a series of trademark catchphrases, which just completed one of the all-time great Raw moments.
WrestleMania just got a little bit more electrifying.
The Rock returns
Those of you who know me personally, know how much I love wrestling. I grew up on it and was hooked. There was something special about being allowed to stay up on Monday nights and watch wrestling and then being exhausted getting up for school the next day.
I haven’t really written much about my affection for wrestling or the happenings in wrestling but today in particular, something was brought to my attention and I couldn’t ignore it.
Entertaining wide receiver Chad Ochocinco err… Chad Johnson is in transition in more ways then one nowadays. Mr. 85 appears to be switching names again and ditching his Ochocinco gimmick, finally. In my opinion, that’s all that was about for Mr. Johnson, kicks and giggles. Finally, after he realized that his act is tired and that others are starting to not take him seriously – he stops the nonsense.
Or does he?
The ongoing war of words between Chad Johnson and his former head coach Marvin Lewis has reached new heights. Shortly after the season ended Marvin Lewis responded to rumors to rumors on Monday that Ochocinco was interested in playing for New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, saying, “Belichick’s smarter than that.”
Ochocinco responded to Lewis’ comment on Twitter Monday, writing, “AssWhoopnTime.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Chad responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter by saying “Me and Marvin Lewis in a cage match, set it up, I’ve earned my stripes on my helmet it’s time to fight then play”
As a result, in true pro wrestling fashion, TNA wrestling has ran with the idea and is reportedly working to schedule the contest as well as train both men prior to the match. TNA hosts their annual “Lockdown” event on April 17, which will air live on Pay-Per-View.
Hey, I’ll get the popcorn ready.
*Photo courtesy of TNAwrestling.com