Breaking: Jeff Hardy takes nasty fall inside Hell in a Cell match with Randy Orton

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Unsurprisingly, the opening Hell in a Cell Match came to a dramatic end. Also unsurprisingly, the Face left the match on a stretcher. The difference is this time it happened inside the ring, not outside of it.

After setting up Randy Orton on a table inside the ring, Jeff Hardy crashed and burned hard after swinging from the top of the cell from the inside. Orton getting out of the way at the last minute was obviously planned. What Hardy clearly misjudged and tried to improvise was the finish and that was obviously botched. He appeared to land on his face and throat, exploding through the table.

An obvious hush came over the arena at that point. Orton, who had a nasty laceration on his left thigh made the right call staying in character and sceaming at the ref to make the three-count and officially end the match. He was clearly disturbed by what had just happened but had the presence of mind to stay in character long enough to make sure the match didn’t end as a No Contest.

I will update this post once more info on Jeff Hardy’s condition is made available. The good news is he was conscious and alert as he was taken from the ring on a stretcher. Just yesterday, his brother Matt Hardy officially retired. The irony.

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Breaking: Jeff Hardy takes nasty fall inside Hell in a Cell match with Randy Orton

The recently returned Randy Orton is not on the card for Summer Slam and here’s why

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The short answer: Orton is under investigation for a string of bizarre incidents involving himself and WWE staff backstage in 2012. In these encounters, Orton reportedly exposed himself in front of then new Male staff, touched himself and then “firmly asked” that they shake his hand. No one was able to tell if he was being serious, in character or joking around because of how serious he appeared when he did it.

As a reminder, by that time Randy Orton had firmly established himself as one of the top superstars in the business. He is third behind John Cena and Triple H with title reigns at 13 (WWE Championship and past incarnations). He is a second generation Superstar (“Cowboy” Bob Orton is his father) and obviously a first ballot hall of famer.

…Yet, Orton is not on the card for Summer Slam despite the rivalry being built involving him and Jeff Hardy. Clearly the investigation is why.

Contrary to what some may think, WWE is taking the allegations very seriously.¬†During one of these encounters Stephanie McMahon entered the room but she did not see anything and saw no obvious signs that something strange was going on. Steph is known to be very observant yet she had no idea at the time. As one of the two faces of WWE–the other being her husband Triple H–I wouldn’t be surprised if she is personally overseeing this investigation.

I don’t think Orton will get a slap on the wrist but at that same time I don’t think he will be fired either. Remember: WWE kicked Hulk Hogan out of the Hall of Fame for 3 years over comments he said almost 10 years earlier. My guess is Orton will be either suspended without pay, fined, denied title opportunities or a combination of all three. WWE might have dealt with the matter behind closed doors but since the details of the incident were leaked online, WWE is now under pressure to show no mercy.

One can only hope this doesn’t seriously hurt his Hall of Fame chances. Do I think Randy Orton should be punished despite the passage of time? Hell yes absolutely. He had to have known those bizarre incidents would come back to haunt him later so…yeah.

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The recently returned Randy Orton is not on the card for Summer Slam and here’s why

Possible Wrestlemania matchups are starting to come into focus

According to a few sources within WWE, The Phenom vs. The Roman Empire at WM33 is “prettymuch set”. Vince McMahon has reportedly wanted to book them in a match for some time now. This seems to match rumors I heard last year ‘Taker was originally going to be Reigns’ opponent last year.

It ended up not happening as we know for two reasons:

  1. The Reigns/Triple H feud was going unexectedly well even though everyone knew Trips was just putting Reigns over.
  2. The creative team had to scramble to write Shane McMahon’s sudden return to WWE after a nearly 10 year hiatus. Since Vince was personally involved, they had no choice but to book Shane with The Undertaker. The buildup fell flat but the match itself was unexpectedly good.

…This will be a match for the ages. The foundation for their match at Wrestlemania was laid when Reigns eliminated The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble (See above picture). It’s just a matter of when in regards to when the buildup begins.

What would make this matchup real interesting: According to an interview by Roman Reigns himself, he might Heel turn real soon. That would make the buildup believable and his character has been teasing a Heel turn for some time now.

I think it’s a safe bet the match is a done deal. Even though it won’t be a title match, this time we can expect to see a full match between the two titans of destruction =O

…This was obviously being set up to happen but due to Seth Rollins re-injuring his surgically repaired knee (The same one that cost him 9 months from fall 2015 to Spring 2016), he may be out for up to 8 weeks (!) which means he’s definitely missing Wrestlemania. Ouch! He has not been medically cleared to compete in any live events since the injury on RAW.

WWE has promised to provide an update in the upcoming RAW episode. Should Rollins be shelved, WWE’s creative team apparently has a replacement match set to go…

…The match alot of insiders thought was actually going to happen at last year’s Summer Slam believe it or not. For those who don’t know, there is legit…”tension” is the word I’ll use between Triple H and Shane. Triple H and Stephanie feel threatened by Shane’s return to the company after being away for 7 years. While Shane was away,

Triple H and Stephanie worked their way up the corporate ladder both on and off-screen (By the way, Triple H is the Director of Talent Relations and the Principal Owner of NXT). Triple H’s brain child NXT moved WWE out of the PG Era and helped kick off the rebranding of the Women’s Division. The story goes, it was Stephanie who convinced Vince to trust Triple H and cut back on his on-screen appearances, allowing the company to move into The New Era.

Their concern–more specifically The Game’s–is the possability Vince might hand the company over to Shane. Shane wasn’t lying when he said he “never lost his place in line” this time last year on RAW. As far as I know, Shane does not hold any executive positions within the company aside from being the Smackdown GM since his return.

Should Rollins be shelved–and I don’t think WWE will rush him back for the match–then they will start building this instead.

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…We could see what WWE had planned for Seth Rollins and Finn Balor last year: NXT’s best brawler vs. The Face of WWE. Could be crazy but it could also be real interesting. That said, as of right now we still don’t know which roster Samoa Joe will be on yet. I don’t think that’s been set in stone.

That said, I do think it could be an interesting match. They both have crazy stamina and both have impressive mat skills to boot =O

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I only just heard about this possible matchup this morning: Bray Wyatt is apparently the favorite to win the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV later this month. He would then go on to face Randy Orton at Wrestlemania for the title.

Orton has been part od the Wyatt Family for the last three months. The Apex Predator is one of a handful of superstars who can be Over with the crowd weather he’s a Face or a Heel. We probably won’t see the buildup until after the Elimination Chamber match though.

 

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Possible Wrestlemania matchups are starting to come into focus

Smackdown Superstar Randy Orton invades Raw; Mixed Tag Matches Return

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…I knew when Lesnar’s promo was saved for last something BIG was going to happen. I knew from the last brand split cross-brand invasions were an inevitability. Even so, I never considered the possability it would happen so early. The only reason I can see it working is because of who’s involved: Orton, Lesnar and Heyman. Retaliation should be expected sooner if not later. LOL.

A man of few words, Orton RKO’d Lesnar and made his escaoe through the crowd before RAW Officials could touch him.

RAW kicked off with a mixed tag match–the first such match in a few years–involving Enzo Amore and WWE Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Chris Jericho and Charlotte. It was pretty obvious Sasha and Charlotte just wanted in on Enzo’s promo–How you doin’?

For many in the house crowd, it was probably their first time seeing a match between male and female superstars. As per the rules, competators compete against the same-sex opponents. When a tag is made it counts for both sides prettymuch. Chyna and Lita were two exceptions to this rule that I’m aware of: They could hold their own against male superstars in the ring.

I think we might see male vs. female matchups moving forward due to the talent available on both rosters. From the promo being set up, I thought we were gonna see Banks vs, Jericho until Enzo’s music hit. Now that Big Cass and Kevin Owens are involved in the rivalry, things could be very interesting on RAW next week.

…Roman Reigns’ next opponent has been chosen: U.S. Champion Rusev.

In doing this, you remove him from the Universal Championship hunt, allow the Rollins/Balor feud to build and keep Reigns a Face. Well played, WWE. The two have clashed in the past but this time, the U.S. Title wil be on the line.

An interesting fun fact: Roman Reigns will be the last member of The Shield to win the U.S. Championship. Dean Ambrose won the title shortly after the Shield came to WWE and Seth Rollins became the first superstart to ever hold both the U.S. Title and the WWE Championship at the same time last year (he dropped the U.S. Title to Cena at Summer Slam and vacated the WWE Championship due to injury a few weeks later).

…This isn’t a tag match: D. Young and Titus are facing off in singles competition. The former longtime tag team partners came close to winning the Tag Team Championship during their second run as a team a few years ago as the Prime Time Players.

The new rivalry between the former friends is a clear message their days are partners are now over. Since becoming a singles competator, Titus O’Neil has gotten close to winning the U.S. Title and the WWE Championship but came up short. D. Young also came up short in his recent failed bid to get the IC Championship at Battleground. Titus also turned Heel. Here’s hoping it isn’t just for their feud.

Speaking of, it will be very important for WWE to have their next opponent(s) lined up before their feud reaches its end. More for D. Young’s sake than Titus.

…Ah, the return of Squash Matches. A Squash Match is basically what you’ve been seeing Strowman and Jaxx do two weeks in a row now: A match against a local competator who has no chance against them. Said local competator is fed to their opponent but it does give them publicity for smaller promotions that might want to sign them.

It’s more handy for Jaxx than Strowman in my book: Everyone already knows what Strowman is capable of. I assume WWE’s building him for a feud with another big man. The Big Show, Mark Henry, Rusev, Titus O’Neil or possibly even Brock Lesnar. It could be fun.

Nia Jaxx will definitely be in the title hunt soon. It could be as soon as the Sasha Banks/Charlotte Rivalry runs its course or shortly before: Sasha Banks certainly will want to have someone handy to deal with Dana Brook. LOL.

 

Smackdown Superstar Randy Orton invades Raw; Mixed Tag Matches Return

No titles change hands at Battleground 2016

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…The WWE Championship will remain with Smackdown. After a battle that lasted nearly 18 minutes, Dean Ambrose (Smackdown) hit Roman Reigns (RAW) with Dirty Deeds to pick up the victory. The question that was at the back of everyone’s minds was weather or not Ambrose and Reigns, who remains close friends after The Shield broke up would hold back on each other. The answer was an umemphatic no when Ambrose and Rollins (RAW) powerbombed Reigns through the Spanish Announcers’ table.

With Ambrose gaving retained the WWE Championship for Smackdown, this means RAW’s new top title should be announced Monday night. This also allows the Rollins/Reigns rivalry to continue right were it left off before the latter’s suspension.

The Miz (Smackdown) and Darren Young’s (RAW) match for the IC Championship ended in a no contest and the Miz retained the title for Smackdown. Rusev (RAW) also defeated Zack Ryder (Smackdown) to retain the US Title for RAW. The Women’s title (Charlotte, RAW) and the Tag Ream titles (The New Day, RAW) were not contested.

This leaves Smackdown with one mid-tier title (IC Title, The Miz) and the WWE Championship (Ambrose) while RAW has one mid-tier title (US Title Rusev), the Women’s Championship (Charlotte), the Tag Team titles (The New Day) and a vacancy in the brand’s yet to be announced top title.

New rivalries are sure to be introduced this week on RAW and Smackdown. You can believe that!

No titles change hands at Battleground 2016

On second thought, let’s revisit the Roman Reigns hate

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During the 2 minutes I spent getting the results of AJ Styles and Chris Jericho’s match at a particular forum last night, I was reminded of why I stopped posting on said forum I won’t name: Folks bitch and complain about anything and everything. The funny thing is they don’t hate Roman Reigns per se. Just the company he works for. Why? Because Kayfabe is mostly dead and Reigns has been getting pushed since The Shield broke up two years ago.

Roman Reigns is the epitome of the term you can’t please everyone. He is the WWE’s next marquee headliner like it or not. He is not Seth Rollins’ stand-in. He EARNED his place just like Rollins did.

When The Shield first came to the WWE four years ago, everyone knew that Reigns would have a solid solo career. The Shield breaking up was done to give the fans just that. The plan wasn’t as well-received as hoped as folks chose to rally around Seth Rollins instead. I don’t have a problem with Rollins on that note. He’s easily the second-best main event Heel after Bray Wyatt in my opinion. Even so, I expect Rollins to Face turn upon his return in a few months.

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The house crowd’s reaction to Reigns when he came out…I’m sure it shocked all of the McMahons who were there. None more than Reigns if I had to guess. More so given Triple H ended up carrying the match. It was obviously a message not for Reigns but WWE’s Creative Team, who are likely still freaking out over the crowd reaction.

This was clearly not the reaction anyone backstage anticipated. Was it because of poor booking? The experience gap? Missteps with the buildup? All three will be re-examined in the days and weeks to come behind the scenes. Me, I see it as just plain hate.

This isn’t the first time the main event’s clear winner was booed the whole match. As I mentioned in my previous post, the other guy was John Cena at WM 29. This despite The Rock extending an olive branch after the match. Of course, in that case the hate was legit: The match was booked the RAW after WM28. A mistake WWE will not repeat. LOL.

You look around the internet today and all you see is negative reactions to Reigns winning the WWE Championship and WM32 in general. It’s a constant reminder of why I decided to take over this blog last year. Filter out the crap and draw your own conclusions. Everyone has an opinion and thinks theirs is the only one that should matter.

To those who get off bashing WWE, you’re wasting your time. FInd something more productive to do with your time like watching paint dry.

On second thought, let’s revisit the Roman Reigns hate

The WM32 card’s almost a carbon copy of WM31’s now

…Minus Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan.

I’m even having second thoughts on weather I should bother watching at all–I already know Roman Reigns is booked to win the WWE Title.It’s just about seeing how the match ends and what happens immediately afterward.

Vince prettymuch turning the Shane vs. ‘Taker Hell in a Cell Match into a Retirement Match was predictable and killed the hype I had for it at the same time. Turning it into a retirement match for ‘Taker was overkill and not necessary.

The boys and girls over at Gamefaqs’ WWE Board called it right: Vince suddenly returning after being offscreen for almost 4 years was for WM32. We just didn’t know what role he would play…until Shane returned. Reigns’ feud with Triple H turned out to be a Red Herring–he was really brought back to make the ‘Taker vs. Shane WM match.

That said, I now agree with those who’ve said from the beginning this was terrible booking. I waited to see how the match would be promo’d before I drew any conclusions, This latest move was an obvious marketing effort to get new WWE Network Subscriptions and on that note, I re-subbed for WM32 last week. I get they needed to find an opponent for both Shane and ‘Taker for WM32 but each other? It’s a one-sided mismatch ‘Taker won’t cleanly lose.

A look at some of his recently workout videos are a good indication of why: The guy’s pushing 60 and he can lift 1000 lbs. The footage of Shane’s insane training is impressive but vs. ‘Taker, it won’t be enough as ‘Taker said to him last week. It’s all about who’s been booked to win. I’ll be fine with the popular wish for Shane to win but the match itself was unnecessary.

Given the more likely opponents for ‘Taker–D-Bry or Sting–were off the table due to career-ending neck injuries, they had to find SOMEONE. Renewing the Brothers of Destruction vs. Wyatt Family feud would have been much better booking in my opinion. As for Shane, having him face Sheamus or The Miz would’ve made Shane look credible even with the same stipulations placed on the ‘Taker/Shane match. While it is true The League of Nations is booked to fight The New Day at WM, taking one away would still make it a 3 on 3 match.

 

Speaking of, here’s where the headline for this article comes into play: As we all know, there was a ladder match for the IC Title at WM31. That match involved King Barrett (title holder), D-Bry (who won the match), Ambrose, R-Truth, Luke Harper, Dolph Zliggler and Stardust.

If those last two names sound familiar, they should: Ziggler and Stardust were both involved in what turned out to be D-Bry’s final Wrestlemania match. If KO doesn’t retain, I’m sure Ziggler or Sami Zahn will win, If not one of them then The Miz. I’ll have to check but I think this might be Zack Ryder and Sin Carra’s first WM appearances. Pretty impressive if it is.

This may be for the Divas Championship–and on that note, I expect the title to change hands–but it certainly won’t be the only Divas match on the card. It’s obvious Lana vs. Brie Bella is being set up. Possibly even a third match involving Paige and Natalya vs. Naomi and Tamina during the pre-show.

Speaking of the Pre Show–

…The USOs vs. The Dudley Boyz.

Making the Dudleys heels for this match was a pretty bold but predictable move. It could be made even more interesting if it becomes a Table Match.

…Let’s be honest, we know it’s gonna happen. It just hasn’t been announced yet.

AJ Styles is so over with the WWE universe. Folks will just need to be patient for a little bit longer but AJ will definitely be put in the hunt for the WWE Championship. Just not anytime soon.

…Besides, Orton and Cena are both expected to return shortly after Wrestlemania.

I predict Cena getting one, maybe two more title runs. Whoever isn’t placed in the title picture shortly after their return will be used to make Reigns’ title run look credible. The other will be used to help other other superstars.

We know Cena’s a company guy and after the last year and a half it’s obvious WWE’doesn’t want him to hold the title for a least a little while longer. That means Orton will be working with Reigns while Cena joins The Big Show by working with the midcards who need a little more help getting over.

…Whew. Somewhere along the way this post lost its way XD

At some point I’ll put a few lists together. After all, WWE’s got all of the right pieces it needs to bring in new fans and more revenue through Merchandise and WWE Network. It’s all about how said pieces are used.

 

The WM32 card’s almost a carbon copy of WM31’s now