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Bo Dallas Injured, Out for Up to Two Months

In a short statement today, WWE has announced that Bo Dallas has suffered a left foot injury.  The extent of the injury is not known, but they have speculated that he will be out for the next six to eight weeks.  You can see the official post on WWE.com.

This could be good for Bo, as it seems his character has stalled out.  In his last appearance, he and Heath Slater got hit with the Attitude Adjustment from John Cena last Monday in the big show-ending melee.  Hopefully while he’s out they can can come up with a better vision for his character when he comes back.

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WWE Network Special Match 11/3/2014 – Sheamus vs. Rusev for the WWE United States Championship

This is a special post-show match that is taking place right now on WWE Network after WWE Raw from Buffalo, NY.

The announcers are still picking up the pieces after the closing angle on Raw. Orton does the stretcher job to sell the Curb Stomp.  Cole, King and JBL are still on commentary for this one.

Sheamus vs. Rusev (w/Lana); WWE United States Championship

Old-school in-ring introductions for this title match.  Early on, Sheamus tries for the Ten Beats of the Battern in the ropes, but Rusev cuts him off.  Rusev hits a kick to the gut, but Sheamus knocks Rusev to the floor.  Sheamus dives (ROH Spot #5) but Rusev catches him and hits a slam at ringside.

Back in the ring, Rusev hits a spinning kick and has Sheamus in the ropes.  He yells at him and locks on a hold, but Sheamus breaks free by using his elbows.  He hits some running knees and hits the Ten Beats of the Battern.

Sheamus hits the Battering Ram for two.  Rusev comes back with a fallaway slam for two, then tries for the Accolade.  Sheamus counters out and hits the Irish Curse for two.  A few people in Buffalo think this is awesome.

Sheamus calls for the Brogue Kick.  Rusev dodges and Sheamus ends up with his leg over the top rope.  Rusev hits a couple kicks and knocks Sheamus to the mat.  Rusev stomps on Sheamus’ back and locks in the Accolade.  JBL says that Sheamus has never tapped out, and he didn’t here either.  He passes out, and Rusev claims the win.

Winner – Rusev to claim the United States Championship

The match was solid, and a good cap to a LONG night of Raw.  Three hours and fifteen minutes later the live crowd had to just be spent, especially with the show they sat through.  There were some “this is awesome” chants but they never really got any traction.

I posed the question on Twitter if this is the right call or not.  There’s the thought that moving the title tonight means something big can happen on the Network, and hence drives up interest.  Then there’s the thought that moving the title onto Rusev too soon might be a mistake in a way and that this particular match might end dirty rather than with a Rusev title win.  The one thing about it is that the story writes itself with the “evil Russian” holding the US Championship.

The big dilemma is – who do you bring up to eventually take it from him?  Ryback?  I mean, the Cena thing feels like it’s out now because Cena as a 15 time WWE and World Champion would never want the US Championship.  Time will tell where we go from here.

As always, interact with us on Twitter @RingRap, and me directly @Bill_SoonerFan.  We’ll be talking about this, and all things wrestling, on RingRap Audio Wednesday night, so be sure to send in some feedback so we can discuss it on the air.  Thanks for following along.    

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“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Weighs in on The Current WWE Product, Talks About Believability

WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin recently took to the airwaves in his Steve Austin Podcast.  As entertaining as he normally is, Austin took the time to talk about the current state of the WWE product and was critical.  The following are some highlights:

WWE Returning to Professional Wrestling as Opposed to Sports Entertainment:

“I think you’re barking up the right tree because that’s the same type thing that I preach. I’m all about, ‘Okay, we know it’s a work but we’re presenting it like this in a serious fashion.’ I did a thing for the NFL Network the other day — it’s right down the street from where I’m at right now — I walked in the NFL Network. It felt, smelt, and breathed — I knew I was in a football factory. That’s what they talked about. That’s what their passion was. That’s what it was about.”

WWE Making Things in the Ring More Believable:

“You can put it under the umbrella of ‘sports entertainment’ but when two guys or two gals get in a 20-by-20 squared circle and start wrestling, it is professional wrestling and that is the end of the story. Yes, it would be great to see… I’m all about yeah, we know it’s a work, but we all want to believe. In a world that’s a work, all you can do when the storylines aren’t so great, make the people believe in you. But that being said, here’s the thing: WWE is its own world. They say ‘WWE Universe,’ so whatever they create and put out there is what they create and put out there. So create and put out something that people can buy in to on a serious note, and don’t make it the three-ring circus that it’s become, and let it be wrestling.”

WWE Making the Product More Serious, and Fans Being Open to a More Serious Product:

“In my opinion, they’re [the fans] gonna want to go along for the ride. Okay, all the sudden we’re taking it serious. Here’s what it is. Here’s your top 10 rankings. Here’s who’s in line for the title shot, and why. And oh, by the way, your mother’s an ugly dog. Oh, you just made it personal!”

Austin Talks About Recreating the Attitude Era:

“I’m not saying that you’ve got to go back to the Attitude Era. I ain’t saying that. I’m not saying you have to say one cuss word. It’s about believability and telling the story in the ring. Intriguing storylines. And all you got to do is reeducate your fan base.”

These are a number of things that you have heard Drew, Matt, and me talk about on RingRap Audio, in our live Raw Recaps and in other opinion pieces.  It stands to reason that Austin’s thoughts are in line with those of us who look for a more serious product that entertains us as wrestling fans first.  Obviously you have to grow that next generation of fans and some topics and storylines won’t be fit for all to view, but none the less, losing one generation of fans to reach another is not “best for business.”

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Interview Highlight – Ken Shamrock Talks About WWE Listening to the Fans, His Own Hall of Fame Status, What He Would Change About WWE, and More

Mixed martial artist, UFC Hall of Famer and former WWE Intercontinental Champion Ken Shamrock gave an interview with NotInHallofFame.com recently.  Shamrock was asked about a number of topics in that interview, that you can see here.

Shamrock was asked about his Hall of Fame credentials as it pertains to WWE, and WWE had placed his influence on the product during his time there in proper perspective.  Shamrock replied:

“I don’t know if I can really speak to that. I do feel that I definitely deserve to be in their Hall of Fame based on the things that I did while I was there, being able to change that sport along with other people. I feel I earned that right based on what I was able to do there in a small amount of time.

I’m not sure that I can stand here and boast about that. The fans are the ones that really tell the tale and I think they speak very loudly about where I stand in pro wrestling. I don’t think that there are too many people who would tell you that I don’t deserve to be there.

Obviously, a lot of times the fans aren’t listened to, or their opinions are overlooked a lot. Today’s promoters just push them aside and don’t listen to what they want and they want fans to ‘shut up, sit down and enjoy the show’, because we are going to do whatever we want to do, like it or not, because you are going to come to the show.

I hear it all the time in the WWE. I hear about how fans would like to see certain wrestlers, and obviously you can’t give them everything they want, but you at least have to listen to them and I believe they are being completely ignored. I’ve always said that I think the fans are most important that you have when it comes to the entertainment industry. They are the ones that matter most and they should be heard.”

Shamrock was also asked if there was anything that he would change about WWE:

“I would. In the WWE, I would push for them being to able have an outlet for the wrestlers for them to vent their frustrations, a personnel department where they could talk one on one and talk about what is going on in their lives. There’s nothing there right now. There are guys who are struggling in life and in certain situations and there is nowhere for them to turn. That is what I would definitely implement there.”

Shamrock also discusses his post-MMA life, what he is involved with today, and a few other topics in the short read.

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2015 WWE Royal Rumble Ticket Sales Brisk, Event Reportedly Sold Out Already

The 2015 WWE Royal Rumble is fast approaching, and it appears the tickets are selling out just as fast.  The 2015 event will take place at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA on January 25.

According to several published reports, tickets for the event sold out in 20-30 minutes after general public sales opened on Saturday morning.  There was a pre-sale opportunity available which likely accounted for a number of those tickets.  The pre-sale took place just a few days before tickets were made available to the general public.  A quick search of the website came back with no tickets available when I did a “best available” search.

So, if you’re hoping to get to the Rumble in Philly, better start keeping an eye out on StubHub and eBay!

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The WWE NXT Report: 10/30/14

Good evening everybody!  Drew Koscelek here for another great night of NXT Action!  After a long day of work, I’m excited to sit down for a solid hour of pro-wrestling.  Let’s dive right in.

We start out with a backstage interview with Sami Zayn.  He addresses Adrian Neville saying Zayn can’t win the big one.  Titus O’Neil interrupts him, and says he needs to go through him before he can get to Neville.  He gives Zayn an “open invitation.”  Sami says it’s a road block on his road to redemption, but he’ll run right through it.

We start out with a #1 Contender Tag Team Battle Royale.  Five teams for an opportunity to face the Lucha Dragons.  If one person is eliminated, the team is eliminated.

The Vaudevillians vs. Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady vs. The Ascension vs. Wesley Blake & Buddy Murphy vs. Tye Dillinger & Jason Jordan

Immediately, everyone tries to toss everyone over the top rope.  Aiden English almost goes over early on.  Enzo and Dillinger lay into each other with chops.

This is a proddingly slow match, to be frank.

The teams start working together, with their own teammates.  Tye Dillinger, Jason Jordan, Wesley Blake, Buddy Murphy, all eliminate each other at the same time.

We’re down to Enzo & Cass, The Ascension, and the Vaudevillians.

The Vaudevillians hide outside the ring as the other teams go at it.  The Ascension manages to eliminate Big Cass.  As The Ascension looks on, Hideo Itami heads out to the ramp.  He stares The Ascension down, and The Vaudevillians sneak over and toss The Ascension over the top rope.

Winners: The Vaudevillians to become the #1 Contenders to the Tag Team Championship

Itami runs down to the ring and attacks The Ascension, numbers be damned.  It’s not long before The Ascension gets the advantage.  They slam him to the mat.  Konnor grabs a mic and says they don’t want him in NXT.  He tells him to go back to Japan, or he’ll send them back to Japan in a box.

Decent enough segment.  The Battle Royale wasn’t very good.  Reminded me of a TNA concept, to have tag teams in a match like that.

Emma vs. Carmella

Carmella cuts a promo about being the Princess of Staten Island, and NXT.  She’s trying to do Enzo’s gig with the promo.

Emma tries to play mind games with Carmella.  Strange double-kick to the head from Emma, through the ropes.  She misses Carmella in the opposite corner.  Carmella sits on Emma across the ropes, and checks the nails.  Body scissors to Emma.  Emma hits a slam to the mat, and both ladies struggle to their feet.  Emma catches the foot and sends Carmella to the mat.  Emma hits the Tarantula, then an Emma Sandwich in the corner.  Two-count.  Carmella locks in her submission out of nowhere for the win.

Winner: Carmella

The announcers did a really great job of putting over Carmella, but this match fell completely flat.  The ladies worked hard, but the audience seemed either bored or burnt out.  

We get a video package about the editor of Muscle and Fitness spending some time in the Performance Center.

Justin Gabriel vs. Bull Dempsey

Gabriel tries to keep Bull away with kicks.  Bull isn’t having it.  He slams Gabriel down and attacks.  Side slam for two.  Bull has the advantage, until Gabriel hits a reverse DDT and a nice moonsault for two.  Bull heads up top and hits a flying headbutt for the win.

Winner: Bull Dempsey

Best match of the night so far.  I’m not crazy about feeding Gabriel to Dempsey, but it’s good to pair him with veterans.  

Backstage promo from Bayley, talking about Becky Lynch turning on her last week.  She next week she’ll bring her friend, Charlotte.

Baron Corbin vs. Tony Briggs

The fans are counting from one to whatever.  They make it to about 15, and Corbin hits his finisher.  It’s over.

Winner: Baron Corbin

About what you would expect from Corbin right now.

Sylvester Lefort vs. Marcus Louis

Louis wastes no time attacking.  He drags Lefort from the apron and nails him with a clothesline.  He yells “You did this to me!” before slamming Lefort to the mat and getting the win.

Winner: Marcus Louis

Basically, this is bad match night, and squash match night.

Backstage, Hideo Itami challenges The Ascension to a fight, and he’s bringing a friend.

Sami Zayn vs. Titus O’Neil

Titus has control early on.  Zayn fires up, but Titus clubs him to the mat.  Titus nails a series of back breakers as we go to back.

We return to Titus O’Neil with a bear hug on Zayn.  He stomps Zayn, then slaps the taste out of his mouth.  Zayn fires back, and once again Titus cuts him off.  He mocks Zayn’s Ole chants, then tosses him out of the ring.  Zayn’s leg catches the rope and it’s a rough fall, but he looks ok.

When Zayn climbs back in, O’Neil tosses him back out again.   Zayn recovers and catches O’Neil on the top rope, then hits a cross-body for two.  Zayn runs the ropes and eats a clothesline.  Two-count.  Titus picks Zayn up and hits a back breaker across his shoulders.  It’s only worth two.

Sami catches O’Neil with a surprise Exploder suplex into the turnbucker.  He runs at him and nails him with the Helluva Kick.  Sami Zayn goes for the cover, and the win.

Winner: Sami Zayn

This match was all Titus until the end, and that’s the point.  

After the match, Tyler Breeze comes out and calls out Sami Zayn.  He says Zayn needs to beat him to truly be the #1 contender.  Next week, Sami Zayn will face Tyler Breeze.

The coverage was a little light this week, but frankly, the show didn’t have much in the way of in-ring action.  Most of the matches were either squashes, or terrible.  Sami vs. Titus was solid, but we’ve seen it before.  If you had to pick a night to skip, this is the one.

Thanks for reading tonight folks.  See you next week!

outtanowhere

WWE Monday Night Raw Afterthoughts for 10/28/2014 – RKO Out of Nowhere, Seth Rollins Proves He is the Future, John Cena Rebuffs the Authority, Survivor Series Starts to Take Shape, Ryback Returns, and More

Welcome to yet another installment of Raw Afterthoughts, where we break down the hits and misses of last night’s broadcast.  Feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts and comments on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll discuss it all on RingRap Audio tomorrow night!

  1. Seth Belongs….

I thought the main event of Cena vs. Rollins was very good.  Seth Rollins put on a show and proved that he is indeed what he says he is, the future.  The only thing I didn’t get is why it got booked.

The Authority has protected him since his turn on The Shield and the build to Hell in a Cell.  They put him in handicap matches, they made him sit out, whatever it took.  So last night, after a brutal Hell in a Cell match, when he’s wounded, they put him against Cena?

  1. Feed Me…

The Big Guy is back, and it looks like he will be a babyface.  Ryback made an appearance last night, with the Feed Me More chant and all.  San Antonio was receptive to him and his dominant face routine.  I could easily see him sliding into a spot on Team Cena to reestablish him.  This is a guy who contested for the WWE Championship at one point, admittedly a move that derailed him as a character.

  1. We Get it Already…

John Cena isn’t ever going to turn heel.  We know this.

So why in the hell did Stephanie McMahon invest a 15 minute talking segment on trying to get Cena to join the Authority?  This segment was flat, it didn’t work, and we all know the end result was Cena saying no to the offer.  We don’t need a monthly reminder of this.

For what it’s worth, John Cena did cut a strong promo in the early part of this segment.  He had some good enthusiasm and the San Antonio crowd was into him.  That worked against Stephanie as well when she tried to play in to the mixed reactions Cena normally gets.

  1. Is it Time For the Royal Rumble?

The show ended with a big brawl between various members of the roster.  It made zero sense to me.  This is an angle we typically see going into Royal Rumble but we know that’s not the case because Brock Lesnar is nowhere to be found.

Sorry.

Anyhow, the roster running out and brawling made no sense and came from left field.  They have been talked down to so often by the Authority, yet at the mere mention of Team Cena vs. Team Authority they run out to fight?  Get out of here with that crap.

And yes, it continues to be a gigantic miss with me that the WWE Champion is not present on the show, nor is his advocate Paul Heyman.

  1. Oh, Assistant, Please…

It’s going to be a long 30 days with Brie Bella being Nikki Bella’s assistant.  Last night was the second time we’ve seen her serve in this role, and it was just totally forgettable.  WWE thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread though, so be ready for a full dose of it.

  1.  That’s What I DO!

Big Show and Mark Henry contested for the tag titles against Goldust and Stardust.  And they almost won them.  The match itself was good and kept my attention.  The newsworthy part was Henry turning on Show.

I thought they would drag this out some more to give the Dust Brothers a program, but it was fine.  The logic was a bit weak though.  Henry said he did it to get to Show before Show got to him.  With the teased tension over the past several weeks, that’s all they had for an explanation?

  1. Lack of Follow Through…

I really felt like Bray Wyatt returning and attacking Dean Ambrose was big news.  I figured going into Raw it would be a major talking point.  Instead, it was treated like an afterthought.

They got well into the second hour to give us any follow-up on the Hell in a Cell ending, and once they did get there it felt like “more of same” out of Wyatt.  This has the makings of a good story, but the first night of follow-up left a lot to be desired.

  1.  Outta Nowhere!

Randy Orton showed some nice energy last night in his short appearance during the opening segment.  They’re building slowly to his face turn, and I like this approach.  They don’t need to cut to it immediately, in fact, they shouldn’t.

Let them keep playing it out as Orton being with the Authority, and Hunter trying to keep the group together.  As they do, Orton will build a LOT more momentum than he has in any other face turn, and could become one of the most over guys in the company when the moment hits.

  1.  Shillamania is Running Wild!

The last time Hulk Hogan appeared, it felt really uneventful.  I can’t say this was all that much better, but it was decent.  The posing with the cancer survivors was a nice touch, and put a nice visual bow on the yearly Komen campaign.

There were good and bad points about last night’s show, but one thing is for sure, the booking is still really flat and lifeless overall.  How they could not follow up on Bray Wyatt better is beyond me after the effort to produce the separate video packages they did over the past several weeks.  But they gave us the beginnings of a Survivor Series build already and attempted to make it feel important.  The biggest problem is that there is still no championship presence on the show, and the midcard still just feels stale.  WWE needs to fix this.

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WWE Smackdown Results for 10/31/14 (Spoilers)

WWE Smackdown is being taped in Houston, TX, for airing on Friday, October 31st, 2014.  Below are the spoilers for the show.

– The Big Show starts off the show by getting a Yes! chant going for Daniel Bryan.  He announces that Bryan will indeed go in for another surgery.  He tells the audience they will be sending him this video.

– Nikki Bella wins the Divas Halloween Costume Battle Royal.

– Seth Rollins, Kane, Joey Mercury, and Jamie Noble come out for a promo.

– Kane def. Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match.  Rollins attacked Ziggler after the match.  Mercury and Noble then attack too.  Ziggler gets put in  a match against Rollins, who promptly defeats him.

– Ryback def. Heath Slater.

– Miz TV is up, with Miz and Mizdow.  Mark Henry is the guest.  Henry lays into Big Show, who comes out to confront him.  They brawl.

– Los Matadores def. Goldust & Stardust in a non-title match.

– Rusev def. The Great Khali.  Lana and Rusev cut a promo on Sheamus, and stated they are coming for the US Title.

– Bray Wyatt cut a promo in the ring.

– Dean Ambrose def. Cesaro in a “Trick or Street Fight.”

Source: Lordsofpain.net

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WWE Hell in a Cell Afterthoughts for 10/27/2014 – Ambrose Gets Ambushed, Cena Gets Brock, Divas Futility, Dolph and Cesaro Impress, and More

Hell in a Cell is behind us now.  If you missed last night’s show, you can catch the live coverage here, but this is the quick rundown of my hits and misses from last night.

The Hits:

  1. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were put in the main event slot, and they delivered a pretty decent performance.  I wasn’t a fan of how this match ended, but the style of the match played in well to Ambrose’s strengths and they told the story of the intense hatred they have for each other.  Starting out on top of the cell was a nice touch and got the fight up there logically rather than to gimmick their way up out of the locked cell.
  2. The tag championship match was really neither a hit nor a miss, but I’m filing it as a minor hit.  The in-ring quality of the match was good as it always is with these two teams.  The problem is we’ve seen this match too often.  Add in the fact that The Usos are counted on to deliver in six-man tags, and it leads to overexposure that isn’t good for any act.  The Usos are working hard and they’re talented, but the fresh big spots they do just seem ordinary now.
  3. I thought Ziggler vs. Cesaro was a good opening match. Ziggler grabbing two straight falls was a bit of a surprise to me, since the booking usually dictates one fall a piece in these scenarios.  But I think that tying fall being absent actually helped the match.  I have never been a fan of having three falls happen in a match as quickly as you can have a one fall match last.  Now let’s just hope both these men get some better booking as fallout from a really good opener on pay per view.
  4. I was pleased with John Cena vs. Randy Orton.  I know many of us didn’t want to actually see it, and I actually was leery that the Dallas fans would turn on them.  But, the two went out and delivered a solid performance that held the live crowd’s interest.  They had some good near fall situations, and the RKO out of the AA was a neat spot.  The finish was predictable, but having Cena stare down Heyman from a distance was a nice touch.

The Misses:

  1. Some people are applauding the Nikki Bella vs. Brie Bella match, citing their in-ring improvement.  I see some of that from Brie, but Nikki is still not cutting it for me.  Add to it that this story needs to either die or stay on Total Divas, and it just results in a gigantic miss for me.  Get ready for 30 days of Bella overload on Raw, starting tonight.
  2. Bray Wyatt’s return felt like a pretty big deal.  But, because WWE has themselves booked into a corner, they came up with this hocus-pocus feeling reintroduction of Wyatt.  The smoke machine was cheesy.  I think the subsequent feuds coming out of the match will be good, but Ambrose and Wyatt both need wins and momentum, and that will lead to even-steven booking with little heat.
  3. I continue to be underwhelmed by AJ and Paige.  We’ve talked at length on RingRap Audio about it, but the truth is that these two women have been saddled by bad booking, lack of storyline build.  And really, the two haven’t delivered that memorable in ring match that we’ve all been looking for.  Even with the limited time they’ve been getting, surely they could come up with better.
  4. Rusev and Big Show lacked the quality of their match on Raw.  The announcers called that match with a big match feel, and the in-ring action was more athletic.  This was more of a plodding brawl, and the announcers mailed it in on commentary.  Show could have slid his arms a half inch forward and broke the Accolade, which just looked silly.  Rusev still comes out looking dominant, which is a plus.  But where does Rusev go from here now that he’s beaten Show and Henry both cleanly?
  5. Sheamus vs. The Miz belonged on Raw, not pay per view.  The post-match antics drew a chuckle out of me but that’s about it.  Sheamus is in dire need of a character overhaul at this point.  He’s stuck in the mid-card but he can be much more as a heel.  I do like the building tension between Miz and Mizdow though, and if done right they can have a big moment with Mizdow attacking Miz.

Overall, this wasn’t an awful show, but it really just felt meaningless.  The build up to the event was lacking, and while the in-ring work generally ended up being good there wasn’t much life behind it.  Add in that many of the acts and stories are overexposed retreads, and it ends up being a pretty flat pay per view event.  Not something high on my replay list other than to catch Dolph vs. Cesaro and perhaps Ambrose vs. Rollins.

Drew will be by later with your live Raw Recap starting at 8PM EST!