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.
Happy Holidays to my readers out there who stop by every week and read my ridiculous rants. It is always a pleasure to dish out all the sports news, both good and bad. I wish nothing but happiness to you and your loved ones. Enough with the sappy Lifetime diatribe, let’s kick off the blog!
Here are my Top Three Performances from NFL Week 15:
1. Quarterback Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints): Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Johnny Unitas both have NFL records that are in major trouble, all thanks to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Unitas’ 47 consecutive games with a passing touchdown will have to wait until 2012 but with the way Brees is gaining passing yards these days, Marino’s single season record of 5,084 passing yards may soon fall into silver medal status. Brees certainly had a field day through the air, as the Saints picked up a huge 42-20 road victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Brees completed 32 of 40 pass attempts (80%), threw for 412 yards, and five passing touchdowns.
2. Running Back Reggie Bush (Miami Dolphins): Every once in a while, he just turns into real life video game. This used to be a constant for Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush, who would light up the scoreboard, and rewrite the record books during his days as a USC Trojan. After his tenure with the New Orleans Saints in which writers deemed him a bust, Bush has seemed to be finding his groove again in South Beach, and yesterday was proof of that fact. Bush carried the ball 25 times for 203 yards and one touchdown, a 76 yard score in the fourth quarter, to help the Dolphins pick up the 30-23 win on the road against the Buffalo Bills.
3. Defensive End Tamba Hali (Kansas City Chiefs): Who would have thought that the Kansas City Chiefs would be the team to give the undefeated and defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers their first loss of the season? The Packers and their quarterback Aaron Rodgers have been making mince meat of most defenses on their schedule in the 2011 season, even having blow out victories on the road. Chiefs interim head coach Romeo Crennel and his defensive end Tamba Hali weren’t going to lie down that easily to the Packers or even think of losing for that matter. Hali sacked Rodgers three times, hit him twice, forced one fumble, and helped the defense hold the Packers to 315 offensive yards in a shocking 19-14 Chiefs home victory.
Congratulations should also be in order for the Indianapolis Colts, who picked up their first win of the season, beating the Tennessee Titans 27-13 at home. However, the quest for the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft becomes quite interesting in the next two weeks, as the St. Louis Rams and the Minnesota Vikings have two wins each. If the Colts choose to show up in the next two games and win at least one game, the chances of not landing Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck becomes too high for comfort. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck both want be the starting quarterback in 2012, and if Dan Orlovsky continues to improve, he may start for a different team.
The ever controversial, media hating, possibly tainted, all-time home run leader Barry Bonds is currently serving hard time…in his mansion. Bonds, who gave misleading information to the federal grand jury in their investigation on steroid use in professional sports, was sentenced to thirty days of house arrest, and two years probation. Not a bad sentence for a guy who used to pay off his former trainer Greg Anderson to keep quiet and serve jail time in order to delay the investigation. If this proves anything, it is that Barry Bonds made a mockery of the system, and the federal jury along with the verdict, looked like a complete joke.
It looks like life as a Lakers fan isn’t faring so well in Los Angeles these days. After a failed trade for Chris Paul which ended up being approved for the Los Angeles Clippers and a trade which sent Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, the Lakers are left with little to look forward to in the shortened 2012 NBA season. Lakers star player Kobe Bryant will be going through a messy divorce, Derek Fisher isn’t going to play any younger at 37, and Ron Artest, I mean Meta World Peace, is going to be his usual crazy self. New Lakers head coach Mike Brown is going to have his hands full in the Western Conference while other teams around his own continue to grow stronger by the day.
The WWE made a stop at First Mariner Arena in Baltimore last night for its “WWE TLC” pay per view. If you were a fan of surprises and delightful outcomes, last nights wrestling event was the place to be. C.M. Punk retained his WWE Championship in a triple threat ladder match, Daniel Bryan cashed in his “Money In The Bank” contract and won the World Heavyweight Championship, and the WWE’s own internet sensation, Zack Ryder won his first WWE singles title as he defeated Dolph Ziggler in a surprisingly good match to win the United States Championship. And the best part of the event: No John Cena in the main event!
I would like to thank you all for reading my blog this week! In the next two weeks, I will give you my own selections for the 2011-12 Pro Bowl teams, and my NFL 2011 Awards. Be sure 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.
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 email@example.com for any information regarding my blog and future projects. Enjoy your Monday night, I am out.
As I went through a long weekend of work, no sleep, and the bipolar rain showers that drenched Maryland, I was fortunate to still catch some remarkable NFL preseason games. Though some may never consider them “watchable”, there were some good performances by rookie players trying to make a living in the National Football League. Some were shaky but there were others who opened some eyes.
Here are my top three rookies for the first week of NFL preseason football:
1. QB Ryan Mallett (NE): The 2011 third round pick out of Arkansas proved to be quite the pro-ready quarterback that most scouts predicted before the draft. Character issues might have dropped Mallett to the 74th overall pick but it certainly landed him in a comfy situation in New England, learning from the best in head coach Bill Belichick and three-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, Tom Brady. Mallett completed 12-of-19 passes for 164 yards with a TD in a 47-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2. RB Mark Ingram (NO): Ingram looked impressive in several runs this past Friday, including a 14-yard touchdown run over the San Francisco 49ers in a 24-3 Saints victory. While rushing for 23 yards on six carries won’t open too many eyes, scoring definitely will, even if it becomes a habit for Ingram. Winning the Heisman trophy and helping Alabama win a BCS National Championship certainly set Ingram apart from the rest. If the 2011 first round pick can out-perform free agent pickup Darren Sproles, look for Ingram to help the Saints on the ground game this upcoming season.
3. QB Jake Locker (TEN): The starting quarterback of the Tennessee Titans will be Matt Hasselbeck according to sources within the organization, this will only motivate Jake Locker to step up his game. The first round pick out of Washington put up good numbers in his preseason debut, going 7-for-10 with 89 yards and one touchdown, a 45-yard scoring pass to receiver Yamon Figurs. It is safe to say that Hasselbeck is the safest option for the Titans at this point but should injury or lack of performance ensue, look for Locker to become the starter by mid-season.
The Minnesota Twins made a trade to their AL Central rivals, the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers received outfielder Delmon Young, who not too long ago had a respectable season with the Twins, batting .298 with 21 home runs and 112 RBI’s in 2010. Young, 25 can’t seem to find his groove nowadays due to injuries and slumps that have resulted in Young batting .266 with 4 home runs and 32 RBI’s. With Magglio Ordonez getting near the end of his career, Young could provide a spark for manager Jim Leyland and the Tigers. The Tigers hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians as of todays writing.
Yes, I’m about to mention NASCAR right now. Not because of a fist fight between Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart or Dale Earnhardt Jr. running out of gas, but because Jimmie Johnson is actually trailing in the 2011 Sprint Cup Series. The 5-time defending Sprint Cup Champion is trailing by six points (746) behind Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, who are both tied in the standings for first place at 752 points each. Plenty of races are left to be had, however Johnson fell back abit this past weekend at Watkins Glen, placing in 10th a week after placing 4th at Pocono the week before. Should Johnson continue to lose steam in the last few races, the odds of him six-peating for the Sprint Cup Championship is going to be as slim as a Lowes gift card.
I will be tuning into plenty of sporting events tonight at the local crabhouse. One of them will be the Monday Night Football game between the Houston Texans and the New York Jets. Shortly thereafter, I will be heading home to watch Monday Night Raw on the DVR to check out the aftermath of last night’s SummerSlam pay-per-view. Here is hoping that Mark Sanchez throws two interceptions and CM Punk throws two chairs across John Cena’s head. Unless that isn’t a PG move.
Thank you for checking out my blog for this week! I will be writing an update in regards to NHL preseason which is right around the corner and the progress (or regression) of the NBA lockout. Feel free to add me on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any updates regarding my blog and future projects. To quote Zack Ryder, “Take care! Spike your hair! Woo woo woo! You know it!”.
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.
This past weekend, there have been several things that one can enjoy here in the state of Maryland. The nice weather, a cold beer, some fresh steamed crabs, and some good sports action on the tv screen. Though I do enjoy crabs and beer on a nice summer day, I love my sports alot more.
First off, I would like to congratulate the U.S. Womens Soccer Team for a strong showing in the 2011 FIFA Womens World Cup. Despite a tough loss to Japan, the U.S. team showed nothing but guts and integrity throughout the entire tournament. But giving credit where it is due, the ladies of Japan showed up when it counted. They took advantage of Hope Solo’s miscues and played great defensively towards the end, especially in penalty kicks. And for a country that has endured alot of hell in the past year, they needed this win alot more than we did. With the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL as the top dogs in the USA sports universe, the ladies of the U.S. team still have a long way to go to capture the eyes of those who refuse to give them the acknowledgement and credit they deserve after this past week.
The Orioles are now on a winning streak!…..Okay, it’s a 2 game winning streak but it certainly is nice to hear after losing nine of the past ten. Regardless of the Cleveland Indians taking the first two games of the series, the Baltimore Orioles fought back hard in the final two. Credit pitcher Alfredo Simon and outfielder Felix Pie for their strong performances in the 6-5 win on Saturday, and also credit Matt Wieters, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and the unlikely utility infielder Robert Andino for hitting home runs in the 8-3 win on Sunday. Tonight could be the start of a 3 game winning streak for the Baltimore Orioles as they take on the Boston Red Sox. Boston played a lengthy 16 inning game on Sunday as they snuck out of Tampa Bay with a 1-0 victory over the Rays. If the Orioles can knock out the starter early tonight, look for the Birds to feast on a tired Red Sox bullpen. Prediction: Orioles 8, Red Sox 5.
After this past weekend during the NFL owner and NFLPA meetings, it looks like this 120 plus day lockout is officially coming to an end. If signed in the next few days, free agency will be set to start on July 25th. With less than a month and a half left to start the 2011 season, it’ll be fun watching the sports ticker as many moves and signings will take place. Should be chaotic but exciting to witness.
For the first time in a long time, I was saddened that I missed a wrestling pay per view. From what many people in the internet community have written, the WWE Money In The Bank pay per view was “must see wrestling action”. Tuning into Youtube to see if there was any clips of the event, I came to find out that there is one thing that now holds true: Chicago has the best wrestling fans out there today. Watching CM Punk make his entrance to the hometown crowd was magnificent to see. And even better, seeing CM Punk win the WWE Championship and celebrating with the Chicago fans was icing on the cake. I am looking forward to watching Monday Night Raw tonight to see what the aftermath of Punk’s win and “departure” brings to the storyline. Will CM Punk ever return? What is the legacy of the WWE Title? Is John Cena going to be fired? And better yet, is now the time for John Cena to turn heel?
I hope you all enjoyed this edition of the Monday Mayhem Blog! Feel free to contact me on Facebook (Joshua Collins Hall) or e-mail me at email@example.com for any questions regarding my work and future projects. Long live the Ravens, the Orioles, the U.S. Womens Soccer Team, and CM Punk!
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.
Kevin Eck of the Baltimore Sun’s Ring Post Blog talks about What they’re saying about Edge’s retirement: Here is a sampling of what people in the wrestling industry are saying on Twitter about Edge. Fellow WWE personalities and even TNA superstars weigh in.
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.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I know that I won’t be having any breakfast this morning (besides my traditional cup of coffee) because I’m still full, believe it or not. Yesterday, we had some compelling football yesterday from the NFL and are sure to get some more on the college level today, but more on that later.
This morning, I wanted to shake things up a little bit and talk about the world of professional wresting. That too, is a sport I’m very passionate about but now a little less. After watching last nights Thanksgiving episode of TNA Wrestling “IMPACT!”, it really got the wheels churning for me again as far as wrestling goes. Especially, with word of a Jeff Hardy shoot interview that surfaced on the internet a short while ago. In case you’re wondering, Jeff is currently the World Heavyweight Champion in TNA.
Just as I always say and many have said before me, you have two types of people on this subject: Those that love wrestling and those that don’t admit they love wrestling. I’ve always loved wrestling and I’m not afraid to admit it. Not today, not ever. I grew up watching WWF and WCW and even invested in the cult following that was ECW. I love it all. I do admit that I don’t get to watch it as much as I once did and some of that is by choice and the quality of the product nowadays. One of the things I always loved about wrestling was the behind the scenes politics and the authentic parts of wrestling that go unnoticed to the casual fan.
I could go on and on about all of the different things and the little nuances that get me geared up about wrestling but I’ll spare you of that out of fear that I won’t be able to stop.
Anyway, the Internet rumors and what to believe verses what not to believe always fascinated me but really it was the raw authenticities and the ‘shoots’ that came out sometimes that really interested me. I watch all of the documentaries and everything but in this day and age of Twitter rants and You Tube, it takes on a whole new life. One of the more shocking examples I have seen in quite some time, TNA Wrestling’s world champion Jeff Hardy and his brother Matt (formally of WWE) shooting on former ECW and current WWE star CM Punk. Not only was the content a little off color but also the physical and mental state of both Matt and Jeff is what surprised me most.