The WWE NXT Report: 04/08/15 – Highlights of WrestleMania 31 Weekend, Including the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Tournament

Good evening everyone!  It’s a very different kind of episode of NXT this evening, as we take a look back at some of the events of WrestleMania 31 weekend, including Axxess, including highlights of Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Qualifying Tournament.

Our show opens with passionate fans chanting, but it leads into a video package showing a mix of main roster and NXT talent interacting with fans, media, and everything in between.

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TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle Says WWE Didn’t Show Interest In Him Last Year

Kurt Angle did an interview with Sports Illustrated and discussed his “free agent” time period last year, stating that WWE didn’t even talk with him.

“Paul [Levesque] is in charge,” Angle said. “I found that out when I contacted Vince [McMahon]. I’ve always had a good relationship with Paul, so I didn’t consider that a problem. But he decided they had enough talent. For the Vince McMahon who I knew, enough was never enough. He always wanted more. I don’t know what was going on over there, but they even canceled our meeting. I never went to see them. They didn’t even sit me down and talk to me.

“It blew my mind. It was as if I was a nobody, that I wasn’t Kurt Angle. From a wrestling standpoint, they just weren’t interested. But TNA not only stepped up, they gave me everything I wanted – the dates, the money, and it’s no secret that I’ve went to rehab in the past, and they gave me time off. You talk about a company that’s loyal to you, and you want to be loyal back. So I didn’t pursue the WWE any further. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to stick with the people who want to take care of you. And [TNA president] Dixie Carter took care of me.”

You can read the entire interview at SI.com.



WWE Monday Night Raw Live Coverage for 4/6/2015 – Extreme Rules Hype Begins, John Cena vs. Rusev III, Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Fallout of Brock Lesnar’s Rampage, and More

We begin the road to Extreme Rules, the April pay per view offering, tonight on Raw.  Rusev wants another shot at John Cena to try and reclaim his United States Championship.  Will that happen, and what will the stipulation be?  Seth Rollins will have Randy Orton breathing down his neck for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  How will Rollins try to stay one step ahead of the Viper?  Chris Jericho will be interviewing John Cena after tonight’s Raw broadcast as well, which could play out throughout the show.

All this and more tonight as we bring you live coverage of Raw right here on Ring-Rap.com.  Follow along with us on Twitter also @RingRap to discuss the show live.

Show Open, Live from Austin, TX:

After the standard intros, Byron Saxton welcomes us in joined by Booker T and JBL.  They talk about the chaos of last week, with Michael Cole convalescing at home yet.  JBL says this is Raw and we should expect chaos.  I believe in there they said Triple H and Stephanie are “on vacation” tonight.

They then recap Sting vs. Triple H from Wrestlemania, then Seth Rollins cashing in his MITB briefcase.  Back live, Big Show is guarding his Andre the Giant trophy while Seth Rollins and J&J Security, along with Kane, are in the ring applauding.  Rollins tries to start a promo but Austin boos him hard.  Big Show demands they show Rollins respect, but they boo harder.  Rollins says he would be jealous of himself too so it’s okay.

He sends well wishes to Stephanie and Triple H, who are on vacation.  “If anyone deserves a vacation, it’s those two.”  He calls Wrestlemania “one of the most incredible of all time.”  Austin tells him he sold out, but he says he thought they were over that.

Rollins says we’re a week removed from Mania and he’s the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.  He says the biggest takeaway was not breaking attendance records or being the most watched Mania of all time, or the record 142 trends that night.  He says the biggest takeaway was “the Authority always wins.”

He says The Authority created moments all night.  He puts over how Triple H put the final nail in the coffin of WCW when he singlehandedly beat “that face painted freak” Sting.  He puts over how Big Show cemented his legacy by winning the Andre Battle Royale, then says “Kane…was there!”

Big Show says that he finally emerged from Andre the Giant’s shadow, though he never was there because he is the best giant of all time.  He says the roster is now under his shadow.  He says that we also got a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion in Seth Rollins.  Rollins says “the future is now” and says he is the greatest champion of all time.

Big Show says they should thank Rollins for giving an epic moment at Wrestlemania, one that will live forever on the WWE Network.  Rollins again tries to search for something that Kane did at Mania.  Kane says that the Authority was successful at Mania, because….”I hear voices…”

Randy Orton emerges to the stage, with a mic.    Orton congratulates Seth on getting his Wrestlemania moment.  He says that Rollins’ cash in doesn’t eliminate the fact that Orton hit him with the most spectacular RKO in Wrestlemania history.  “It doesn’t change the fact that a week ago, I beat you.”

Rollins mocks him, saying that Orton is a complainer and upset that it’s not all about him.  Orton says he’s not complaining.  He says it doesn’t change the fact that Orton won at Wrestlemania, and he deserves a chance to beat Rollins again, and this time for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  He says it will be best for business. “What do you say, Director of Operations?  Or do you have to call mommy and daddy and see if it’s okay.”

Kane gets indignant and says that he is still in charge.  He tells Orton that while he does have claim to a title match, there are other superstars that are worthy.  He tells Orton that he will compete in a triple threat match to determine Seth Rollins’ next challenger.  He says that Roman Reigns, Ryback, and Orton will face off to determine the new #1 Contender.

Kane goes on to say that the three men will also face singles competition tonight.  He tells Orton that he will have the first match, and it’s against Kane right now.

I was hoping we’d see that promo from Rollins, and we got it.  Sadly, I think the fact that Triple H and Stephanie are away, they will somehow be the focus of the show.  I do think it’s a plus that Michael Cole is not on TV so that he sells that F5 some more.  Stupid that he’d only take a week off.

Match #1 – Kane vs. Randy Orton:

Orton starts fast with some corner clotheslines and clubbing shots while seated on the buckle.   Kane lands a big uppercut that sends Orton to the floor going to break.

Back live, Kane and Orton exchange shots.  Kane delivers a big boot to get a two count, then drags Orton to the corner to throw some more shots.  After a corner splash, Kane hits a side slam.  Orton mounts a rally, hitting a drop kick.

JBL puts over Orton’s athleticism, saying he has lost more than many superstars have.  Booker says Orton will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.  Orton sets up the elevated DDT, but Kane counters and ducks out to ringside.  Kane gets a chair and catches Orton in the gut with it.  That throws the match out.  Kane tries to continue the assault with a chokeslam in the ring on the chair.  Orton counters and teases an RKO, but Kane ducks out.  The announcers say that Orton got the win, but he’s damaged goods.

I can’t understand why they protected Kane here, but I guess they want to leave people wanting to see the RKO.  I thought the beatdown angle would put sympathy on Orton, but instead, Orton looked had recovered by the time he went for the RKO on the chair.

The announcers hype that Luke Harper will take on Ryback, and Roman Reigns will take on Big Show.

Back live, the announcers mention AJ’s retirement briefly.  They show her tweet with her boots about chasing the dream.

Backstage, Brad Maddox is talking to Kane, and Kane yells at him asking “who the hell he is.”  Rollins runs in and asks who the hell Kane is.  He says that Kane’s job is to protect him as the champion.  Rollins tells Kane he is sick of Kane not pulling his weight.  Kane tells him that it’s good business for Rollins to defend his championship against a viable contender.  Kane muses that Orton might be right that Rollins is scared of him.

Rollins yells at Kane that he isn’t scared, and is beginning to think that what is best for business is for Kane to step down as Director of Operations.  Rollins says that Triple H and Stephanie would agree.  Kane says they are on vacation at a private island and can’t be reached, so he is in charge of tonight’s show whether Rollins likes it or not.

Rollins runs back in and says that when Triple H and Stephanie return, Kane will have a lot to answer for.    Kane tells Rollins that his attitude is bordering on disgusting, and it’s best for business to put Rollins in a match, coming up after the break.

The announcers talk about the chaos of last week.  Saxton says that Cole is recovering at home with a bulging disc and is considering legal action.  JBL talks about his abdominal tear surgery, and Booker says that Lesnar should have been fired.  Saxton feeds it to a recap of the events of last week.

Seth Rollins makes his entrance, and he’s got the next match.

Match #2 – Seth Rollins (c, w/J&J Security) vs. Neville

Rollins rants in the ring about this match.  Saxton hype up a free month of April for WWE Network.  JBL notes that Extreme Rules is free to new subscribers in April.  Rollins is getting Neville as his opponent which gets a pretty good reaction.  Big “NXT” chants for Neville as Booker hypes this is “the big leagues with the WWE Champion.”

Rollins gets a mic and says he wasn’t expecting this and asks for the fans to welcome him.  He says that Neville is in the ring with the WWE Champion and asks if it feels good.  He offers the mic to Neville to cut a promo but yanks it back and says Neville might be nervous.  “I’ve been a rook too, and being in front of a live audience might make you nervous.  How about you sit this one out, pipsqueak.”

Neville attacks Rollins and lays him out with a spin kick.  The bell rings, and Neville turns Rollins inside out first.  Rollins returns the favor on a shoulder block then lays in some chops.  Rollins piefaces Neville then beats him down in the corner.  Rollins throws Neville to the opposite corner, but Neville floats over and cartwheels across the ring.  He lands a boot on Rollins and sends him to ringside with a headscissor.  Neville connects with a dive and charges back into the ring before J&J can get him.  Neville is in the ring as Rollins sells frustration at ringside going to commercial.

Back live, Rollins is controlling the action.  Rollins stands on his head in the ropes as JBL talks about how Neville showed up last week and is now facing Rollins. Neville starts a comeback with strikes and kicks.  Rollins counters with a hard whip to the corner and drops some knees.  JBL tells us where Triple H and Stephanie are vacationing.

Yup, lots of talk about Triple H and Stephanie.  They’re not on the show – SHUT UP!

Neville starts to pick up the pace with some rope running, but Rollins hits an enzugiri to slow him down.  Rollins continues to control the offense as Booker says he can make himself a marquee player whether he wins or loses.  Rollins drops some hands and pie faces Neville, taunting.

Rollins slows things down with a headlock.  Neville starts to fire some strikes but Rollins lands a belly to back.  Neville lands on his feet and starts throwing strikes.   Off the ropes, Neville lands a double axe and several kicks before Rollins turns him inside out with a clothesline for two.

Rollins is frustrated, and he rains in some hands and taunts with slaps to the face.  Neville starts firing back, but Rollins loads a buckle bomb.  Neville counters with a huracanrana into the corner, then goes up top for the Red Arrow.  J&J sticks their nose in, and Neville can’t set it up.

Rollins gets up and Neville floats over him.  Neville sets up another move, but Rollins counters him and hits a buckle bomb.  Rollins finishes him off with the Curb Stomp.  After the match, Rollins hits a second Curb Stomp and stands over him and taunts.  He tells Neville “you can’t touch me.” before leaving.  The announcers run some highlights, putting over some of Neville’s offense before narrating the finish.

I enjoyed this.  Rollins played the overconfident heel champion, and Neville got in some good offensive work that would help fans not familiar with him to become familiar and impressed by his offensive style.  He looked strong here.  Next week, in London, it could be a really fun crowd in front of Neville’s countrymen.  If WWE positions him well, Neville can come out of it looking like a real star.

Rollins glares from the ramp.  The announcers move on to sell the triple threat main event with Randy Orton, Ryback, and Roman Reigns.  JBL says that Rusev has invoked his rematch clause for Extreme Rules, but John Cena will continue to defend the title weekly until then in open challenges.  He’s up next.

Back live, the announcers congratulate The Rock for his part in the success of Fast 7.  John Cena’s music hits, and here he comes with that “Champ is here” T-shirt pointing at his dingaling.  Cena poses with the belt in the ring as Lilian Garcia introduces him.

Match #3 – John Cena (c) vs. Stardust; WWE United States Championship

Byron Saxton hypes that Cena will be on the Talk is Jericho live podcast after Raw.  Cena cuts a promo.  He says in Austin it’s WWE Day, and says the fans sound fired up.  He says “the champ is here” and says there are a group of fans happy that he beat Rusev for the title, and a group that wants to see someone walk the aisle, shut him up and take it away.

He says that the belt is a symbol of opportunity.  He says he gave the first John Cena Open Challenge for someone to have the chance “to go face to face with the man who runs the place” to see if they can get their name in the record books.  He talks about how Rusev wants his rematch but he wants it at Extreme Rules.

He asks where that leaves things for tonight.  “What about tonight?  What about us?  What about you?”  He says that Rusev wants to sit and relax until Extreme Rules, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have a US Championship right now tonight in Austin, TX.

Cena cautions that anyone who steps up is merely getting an opportunity.  He tells whoever challenges him to step up or get stepped on.  “The John Cena US Challenge starts now, and if you want some, come get some.”  Stardust’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring for the match.  The fans chant “Cody” and he yells back “it’s Stardust!”

After some basic offense early, Cena teases an Alabama Slam.  Stardust slides through into a roll-up, but Cena quickly escapes and throws him to the ropes.  Stardust skins the cat, but Cena slams him.  Cena keeps up with the offense, throwing Stardust hard to the corner as JBL discusses Stardust’s family history with the US Championship.

Cena throws a long delay vertical suplex for two.  Cena continues to keep up the offense, controlling Stardust.  Stardust rolls out to ringside and plays up on the barrier to draw heat going to the break.

Back live, Cena tries to load the AA.  Stardust counters out, then follows with a blockbuster out of the corner for two.  Stardust poses at the apron and tries a move off the ropes but Cena counters with a powerbomb in a neat spot.   Cena loads the AA but Stardust lands sort of on his feet.  He follows with the Alabama Slam for two.

Stardust loads Cross Rhodes but Cena turn it into a slam for two.   Cena again tries to load the AA but Stardust rolls it through to a sunset flip.  Cena hits a side slam and tells Stardust he can’t see him, but Stardust kicks him in the head and lands a DDT for a near fall.

Stardust goes top rope and hits a moonsault for a near fall.  Stardust staggers to his feet and yells at Cena  Cena trips him coming off the ropes and locks on the STF.  Stardust gets to the ropes to break it, and Cena tries another move but gets caught in Cross Rhodes for a near fall.

Stardust yells about the count. Cena comes back with his springboard Stunner and the AA to get the win.  JBL puts him over as “big match John” and talks about his new move.  The announcers recap highlights of the match.  Cena poses in the ring with the belt.

I like this “open challenge” concept and the emphasis we’re seeing be put on the title.  This match was strong and the live crowd enjoyed it.  It’s a bit hard to buy in that Cena will lose given the title match is already made with Rusev, but fans did buy in to the near falls.

The announcers again talk about the triple threat main event.  Roman Reigns will face Big Show first though, and Ryback will face Luke Harper.  They show a shot of the Bellas making their way to the ring, and they’re next.

Match #4 – The Bella Twins vs. Paige and Naomi

The Bellas got the jobber entrance during commercial and play to the fans back live.  Paige comes to the ring first, then Naomi gets her entrance.  They recap the six-diva tag from last Monday, where the twins misfired and Naomi go the pin successfully.

Brie against Paige to start.  They tie up then back off at the ropes.   Another tie up leads to a standoff.  Paige comes back with some short armed clotheslines.  Nikki distracts Paige, which lets Brie send Paige to ringside with a shot.  Nikki takes advantage of the distraction and throws a clothesline outside the ring.  Paige beats the count back in, and Brie yelle “Brie mode!” before landing a running knee.

Brie stretches Paige out, then throws her down by her hair.  Nikki tags in and they hit a double slingshot suplex for Nikki to get a two count.  Nikki uses a leg lock to control Paige. Naomi leads a chant.  Paige rolls Nikki back into a cover but Nikki quickly kicks out.

Nikki drives Paige to the corner and lands some shots.  She tries a splash but Paige moves.  Paige crawls into the hot tag to Naomi, and drives Nikki face first to the corner.  Naomi hits a bit of a sloppy huracanrana then goes top rope.  Nikki ducks the top rope offense, but takes the Rear View.

Another miscommunication between Brie and Nikki.  Nikki gets laid out and Brie looks shocked.  Paige spears her and takes her out of the ring.  In the ring, Naomi hits her leg-scissor face plant to get the win.  Paige and Naomi celebrate their win.

This started out good, but it fell apart.  Naomi is not connecting with fans, and she is probably the challenger of the month to Nikki.

They run a pre-taped promo from the Prime Time Players.  They mock the New Day first, then say they’re moving on.  They duck and stand back up with cheesy shoulder pads.  They mock the Ascension and do their “millions of dollars” dance.

This was awful.  Sorry.

JBL hypes up Luke Harper vs. Ryback for next.

Match #5 – Luke Harper vs Ryback

As Harper comes out, they show the ladder spot between Ambrose and Harper at Wrestlemania, then highlights from their match on Smackdown where Harper powerbombed him through an announce table.  Saxton tells us Ambrose is not on Raw tonight.  Ryback gets his entrance to a decent reaction.

The announcers remind us that Ryback will also be in the main event later.  After a brief tie-up, Ryback throws some hands.  Harper takes him down though and throws a couple of wicked chops.  Harper throws an uppercut, but Ryback slams him.  Ryback teases the Meathook but Harper hits a superkick.

The fight spills outside where Ryback takes a couple clotheslines.   Harper teases tearing apart the announce table but doesn’t.  Back in the ring, Harper teases the discus clothesline but Ryback ducks it.  Harper comes back with his Black Hole Slam for a near fall.  Harper locks on a submission, then does the Gator Roll.

Harper charges, but Ryback moves.  Quickly, Ryback loads Shellshocked and picks up the victory.  Ryback plays to the fans as the announcers hype his opportunity later.

Ryback has typically been getting some good reactions in front of live crowds.  He had to work for it tonight with this crowd.

Backstage, Renee Young is with New Day.  She addresses the “New Day Sucks” chants.  Xavier says it hurts and Kofi says it’s disappointing.  He says people won’t find disappointment in their dancing, chanting, or clapping.  “We clap, or we snap.”

Big E talks about running into a kid at the airport asking for an autograph.  He says “of course I can buddy boy, because I clap.”  They clap and walk away.

I guess the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one.  I see a heel turn in these guys future because of how they acknowledged the chants.

Match #6 – New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods, w/Kofi Kingston) vs. Lucha Dragons

New Day gets booed as they clap their way to the ring.  Lucha Dragons get a nice reaction.  The “New Day Sucks” chants start early, but are answered by “Lucha” chants.  Early on, Big E and Xavier control Sin Cara.  They show Kidd and Cesaro watching on from backstage.  Xavier covers for a near fall after a kick.  New Day continues to control the offense.

Big E sets up a body drop but Cara flips over and gets the hot tag.  He fires up on Big E and Xavier, hitting a beautiful springboard spin kick. Kofi hits him with a cheap kick and Woods smiles.  Kalisto tags out, but hits Kaliso Del Sol, then a dive onto Big E and Kofi at ringside.  Sin Cara hits a swanton to get the win.  The announcers narrate highlights as the Lucha Dragons celebrate.

This was fun and a way to get the Lucha Dragons some shine.  The arm pumping “lucha” chants feel a bit indy-riffic, but they were fine here.

They hype up Big Show vs. Roman Reigns, next.

Match #7 – Roman Reigns vs. Big Show

Reigns makes his entrance through the fans to a decent reaction, then plays to the crowd from the turnbuckle and the reaction is more mixed.  The announcers debate Reigns’ performance at Wrestlemania, calling it impressive.  Here comes Big Show to almost no reaction.  Show poses by the Andre trophy with a smug grin before getting in the ring.

Reigns throws some quick strikes to start, with Show countering.  Show chops him in the corner, and Reigns comes back with more strikes.  Show shoves a charging Reigns to the mat and yells at him to stay down.  He tells Reigns he can’t outpower him as he keeps up some plodding offense.

He throws Reigns halfway across the ring then smiles.    He picks Reigns up and clubs him down, then steps on him.  Show chokes Reigns on the bottom rope by standing on his back.

Reigns starts to fire in some strikes, but Show throws him over the top rope to the floor.  Show goes out after him and throws him to the barrier.  He sets up a run into the posts, but Reigns counters and shoves Show face first to the post.  Reigns follows up with his running apron kick, but Show knocks him back down with a spear going into break.

Back live, Big Show is controlling the action.  He continues the slow plodding offense on Reigns, pie facing him with his boot then playing to the fans.  Reigns starts to fire back with strikes and running clotheslines, but takes a side slam.  Show sets up a Vader Bomb for a two count.  Show argues with the official over the count.

Reigns crawls outside as the announcers talk about his work ethic.  Show hits a sliding kick that sends Reigns to the barrier.  Show goes out and throws him into it again for good measure.   Reigns barely beats the count, with some help from Big Show.

On the apron, Reigns starts throwing hands, then drapes Show over the ropes.  He hits the Superman Punch at the ropes, then two times in the ring.  On the third, Show goozles him for a choke slam.  Reigns escapes, runs  the ropes, and hits a spear to get the win.  JBL says the real opportunity comes next for him though.  They hype up the triple threat match main event.

There’s an hour of this show left – draining and daunting with how I feel right now (fighting an upset stomach).  I hope we hear from Reigns.  He hasn’t said a word since Wrestlemania.  There’s protecting a guy, then damaging him by continued silence.  As for Reigns, his masochistic ways continue on.  The fans were into his comeback though, and Show did a good job with the big man offense.

Backstage, Kane is on the phone.  He tells someone on the other end to tell Triple H and Stephanie that everything is under control.  Enter Summer Rae, Natalya, Cameron and Alicia Fox.  They play nice with him and tell him he looks stressed out.  He asks what they want.  They admit that Naomi has pinned the Divas champion (Nikki Bella) and is deserving of a match, but they want a battle royale to determine the real #1 contender.  He relents and books it for next week.

Sheamus is walking backstage.  He will be out  next to discuss what he did to Daniel Bryan on Smackdown.

Backstage, Reigns is walking.  Renee Young approaches him and asks if he has momentum coming out of his win over Big Show.  He says that Big Show couldn’t stop him, and wait to see what he does next.  He cocks his fist.

Sheamus comes to the ring.  They roll recaps of his appearance on Raw last week and his destruction of Daniel Bryan last week on Smackdown.  “Before my next victim comes to the ring, I want you to appreciate what a real man looks like.”  That gets a “you look stupid” chant.  He shushes the fans and says the grownup is speaking now.

He says he has always been a warrior and everyone else are insects.  He talks about how fans say he should pick on someone his own size, but says there is no one his own size.  He says the smaller guys give false hope.  He puts over his stats, saying he’s a 6′-6″ Celtic warrior and there aren’t many guys his size to pick on.

Before he can say more, Mark Henry’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring.

Match #8 – Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

A hometown pop for the Silsbee, TX boy as he makes his way to the ring.  Henry and Sheamus jaw at each other mid-ring, then Sheamus waves him off and leaves the ring.  Sheamus can be heard off mic saying he has no time for has-beens before Henry drags him back over the ropes with a toss.

Henry starts off with a series of strikes, then throws Sheamus out of the corner.  Sheamus lands a kick and some strikes of his own, then locks on a key lock to focus on Henry’s arm.  Henry powers Sheamus over the top rope to ringside, where Sheamus rips the announce position apart.

Henry goes out after him and gets rammed back first into the ring post.  He hits Henry with some of his “battern” shots but Henry counters.  Sheamus lands some knee shots on Henry as he re-enters the ring.    Henry scoops him for the World’s Strongest Slam but Sheamus slips out.

Sheamus clips Henry low, then hits the Brogue Kick to get the victory.  Sheamus poses as Booker says “Vikings love to fight.”  The announcers narrate highlights and JBL says if he were Dolph Ziggler he would stay retired and play on Twitter.

I actually kind of dig the idea of teaming Barrett and Sheamus.  Add Kidd and Cesaro, and that could be fun.

At the announce position, they recap the Rock/Rousey segment from Wrestlemania.  They focus on Stephanie slapping Rock, then Rock inviting Ronda Rousey to the ring.

Coming back,   The announcers hype Bryan and Ziggler vs. Sheamus and Barrett for Smackdown.

Wyatt cut in.  He starts “you know who you are.  I’m talking to you.”  He says the person’s entire life has revolved around dedication, but he cannot compete with the forces of nature.  “You most certainly cannot compete against the greatest power of them all, fear.”  He says it’s the fear of failure that drives him.  “Behold, the new face of fear.”  Cut out.

Who is this that Wyatt is calling out?  Is it Reigns?  I’m trying to think of a babyface without a partner going to Extreme Rules right now.  Both men need wins, but if you put Wyatt with Reigns, it would keep him busy for a bit.

Ryback is backstage with Renee Young.  He says everything is bigger in Texas, and he does big things in big places.  If he wins he goes on to face Seth Rollins for the championship.  “Tonight, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns find out why the Big Guy is hungry for the WWE Championship.”  He leads a brief “feed me more” chant.

Match #9 – The Miz vs. Damien Mizdow

Miz comes out first to not much reaction.  Saxton hypes that “we never though we would see this match” as Miz enters the ring.  We go to commercial.  Back live, they recap how Mizdow eliminated Miz at Wrestlemania.  Mizdow gets a big reaction when he comes out.

Miz ducks out immediately when the bell rings. Miz gets on the buckle and pulls off his sunglasses to boos.  Mizdow knocks him from the apron and the fight is on.  Mizdow kicks Miz as he re-enters the ring then beats him down in the corner.

Miz hits a big boot then rains in right hands.  He follows with a boot off the ropes then chokes Mizdow on the ropes.  Miz continues the beating, working Mizdow in the corner.   Mizdow fires back with back elbows in the corner then snaps off a suplex.

Miz rolls to the apron and Mizdow retrieves him.  He lands several knee shots and Miz rolls to ringside.  After a short chase, Miz takes control and lands several clubbing shots before playing to the crowd.  In the corner, Mizdow sets up an electric chair and drops Miz hard.

Mizdow lands a headbutt after saying “I still work for you.”  Mizdow lands the neckbreaker/back breaker combo and sets up the Skull Crushing Finale.  Miz counters out and tries for a low kick, but Mizdow catches him and rains in right hands.  Miz rolls Mizdow up and grabs a handful of tights to get the cheap win.  Miz escapes up the ramp before celebrating.

This fell flat and went on longer than it needed to.  As a result, it lacked heat.  If Miz would have cut a promo, it might have worked better.  He has a knack of making people want to see him get his ass beat.

Backstage, Renee Young interviews Randy Orton.  She says it would seem natural for him to face Seth Rollins for the title.  Orton says it’s true, but the Authority is making him jump through hoops.  He says he has nothing against Reigns or Ryback, but he will do what he does and that’s mow through all of the competition.  He says that he will go on to face Rollins and beat him like he beat him at Wrestlemania, and this time he will take the title with him.

Match #10 – Randy Orton vs. Ryback vs. Roman Reigns; Triple Threat Match to determine the #1 Contender to Seth Rollins’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Ryback and Orton get no televised entrance, and Reigns is finishing his when we get back live.  Ryback tries an early Shellshocked but Orton stops him.  Reigns gets some offense, then Ryback comes back with a few moves.  Reigns hits a big clothesline off the ropes, then fires up on Orton.

Orton lands some shots on Reigns then covers.  Ryback throws out Orton as The Authority makes their way to the stage.  In the ring, Ryback hits a powerslam on Reigns and loads the Meathook.  Orton enters the match and hits a couple clotheslines and a scoop slam on Ryback then on Reigns.  He plays to the fans.

Orton tries to set up the elevated DDT on Ryback, but Reigns clubs him and breaks it up.  Reigns goes to work on Ryback in teh corner with shots, but gets rolled up by Orton.  Reigns hits the Superman punch on Orton, but gets taken down by Ryback.  He loads the Meathook and delivers to Roman.  He calls for Shellshocked, but Orton counters and tries to set up the RKO.

Ryback hits a spinebuster,

The Authority makes their way down to the ring.  They stand over Ryback, but Reigns hits a dive on all of them.  Reigns picks up Rollins, but Show hits him with the WMD Punch.   He goozles Reigns and hits a second one, leaving him out on the ramp.

Back in the ring, Orton grabs Rollins.  He sets up the elevated DDT, but J&J Security jumps the ring.  Ryback takes them out with spinebusters, but he turns around into Orton waiting for the RKO.  Orton picks up the win.

Afterward, Seth Rollins hits Orton with the Curb Stomp, and grabs his title belt.  He poses over the falling Orton as the show winds down.  They show a shot of John Cena sitting down to talk with Chris Jericho on the Podcast is Jericho special happening now on WWE Network.

Back in the ring, Rollins poses and mugs for the camera as the show ends.

This main event was a bit forgettable.  The finish sequence was good though.  Ryback came off looking strong, but got distracted and hit with the RKO from an opportunistic Orton.  Everyone who didn’t go over got protected – Reigns was taken out by Show, and Ryback of course off the distraction.  Orton got to hit the RKO, which made the fans happy and it was true to character to have him strike at any time.

I’m fighting a stomach bug right now, and I don’t know if it is that or if this show was just a marathon.  Maybe a little of both.  It was laced with some good action, but some otherwise forgettable segments and moments as well that left me wanting.  They still have a couple weeks to build to Extreme Rules, so we’ll see how it goes – but I fear we might be heading to a quick post-Wrestlemania lull.

Be sure to join me and Drew tomorrow night as we record Ring Rap Audio where we discuss Raw, the news of the week, and all things pro wrestling.  Get your questions in via Twitter @RingRap or post them on Facebook (facebook.com/RingRap) and we’ll be sure to include them on the air.  Thanks for following my flu  bug around tonight.


Ring Rap Audio: 03/31/15 – WWE WrestleMania 31 Review, The Raw After, Global Force Wrestling’s First TV Tapings, Tommaso Ciampa, WWE Conference Call, Hall of Fame, plus more!

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WrestleMania has come and gone, as has the Monday Night Raw after (equally notorious).  Now that the biggest moment of the year has come to a close, we can take a deep breath, and look at the culmination of all the major stories, and the start of new ones.  Bill and Drew sit down to hash out the best and worst of both WrestleMania and WWE Raw.

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WWE Raw Live Reaction and Results for 03/30/15 – WrestleMania 31 Fallout, Seth Rollins’s First Night as Champ, Reigns and Lesnar React, Cena, Bryan, Sting, Rock and Rousey, and more!

It’s the night after WrestleMania, and that usually means a pretty hot WWE Raw.  I’m excited.  Are you?

We have a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion in Seth Rollins, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase last night to turn Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns into a Triple Threat match.  Lesnar didn’t get pinned.  Reigns got screwed out of his opportunity.  What will both men have to say?

Plus, we have two new champions – John Cena is our WWE United States Champion, and Daniel Bryan is our WWE Intercontinental Champion.  Who will be their first challengers?

Will Ronda Rousey make another appearance?  Will Stephanie McMahon call her and The Rock out?  Will Sting appear again?

Lots of questions as we head into one of the most anticipated episodes of WWE Raw of the year.  Join us starting at 8pm Eastern as we cover the show LIVE!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for our livestream, @RingRap!

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WWE WrestleMania 31 Afterthoughts for 03/30/15 – Seth Rollins Cashes In, The Undertaker Wins, Ronda Rousey Impresses, Daniel Bryan, Sting, Triple H, and More.

Another year, another WrestleMania.  It seems like everything that happens builds towards this moment, and in a way, it does.  We constantly analyze the landscape of WWE, looking for hints of things to come, and ways events play out, so they can ultimately lead to WrestleMania.

Last night, WWE presented the biggest show of the year on “The Grandest Stage of Them All.”  They pulled out all the stops and gave it their all.  Did they deliver?

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WWE “Wrestlemania 31″ Live Coverage Report for 3/29/2015 – Roman Reigns Challenges Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena vs. Rusev, Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker, and More

The moment has arrived.  WWE brings the show to the Grandest Stage of them All tonight as Wrestlemania 31 takes place live from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.  While we’ve had our misgivings about the build up to this show, the card holds some promise and could be a very solid show.  The show starts at 7PM EST, with a 2-hour kickoff show starting at 5PM EST.  We will not be covering the full pre-show.  The card shakes out as follows:


Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, featuring Curtis Axel, Titus O’Neil, The Ascension, Big Show, Kane, Heath Slater, Goldust, Adam Rose, and more

Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (c, w/Natalya) vs. The Usos vs. New Day vs. Los Matadores (w/El Torito); WWE Tag Team Championship in a Four-Way Match

Main Card:

Bad News Barrett (c) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Luke Harper vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth;  WWE Intercontinental Championship in a Ladder Match

The Bella Twins vs. AJ Lee and Paige

Seth Rollins (w/J&J Security) vs. Randy Orton

Rusev (c) vs. John Cena; WWE United States Championship

Sting vs. Triple H

Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt

Brock Lesnar (c, w/Paul Heyman) vs. Roman Reigns; WWE World Heavyweight Championship

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hall of fame

The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015 Inductees and Presenters List

As is Wrestlemania weekend tradition, WWE will induct their latest round of Hall of Famers into the WWE Hall of Fame tonight.  The event will air live on WWE Network, starting at 7PM EST with a “Red Carpet Special” hosted by Maria Menounos.  The following is the full list of WWE Hall of Fame entrants for 2015, along with their presenters:

Randy Savage, presented by Hulk Hogan, with Lanny Poffo assumed to accept on Savage’s behalf

Kevin Nash, presented by Shawn Michaels

Arnold Schwarzenegger, presented by Triple H

Larry Zbyszko, presented by Bruno Sammartino

Rikishi, presented by Jimmy and Jey Uso

The Bushwhackers, presented by John Laurinaitis

Alundra Blayze (a/k/a Madusa), rumored to be presented by Natalya

Tatsumi Fujinami, presented by Ric Flair

Warrior Award Winner Connor Michalek, award presented by Daniel Bryan and Dana Warrior

We’ll post any newsworthy items from tonight’s ceremony, and be interacting on Twitter during the show.


NXT Live Results from San Jose, CA for 3/27/2015 – Hideo Itami vs. Tyler Breeze, Blake and Murphy Defend the Tag Titles, Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte, and More

WWE is working lots of events in northern California as a part of Wrestlemania weekend.  NXT put on a show last night in San Jose, CA.  Courtesy ProWrestling.net, here are the quick results of last night’s show.

JoJo sang the national anthem, then Corey Graves came out after the NXT opening.  His mic didn’t work, so that got “you fucked up” chants.  Once he had a working mic, he talked about NXT’s history and led a NXT chant.

Match #1 – Hideo Itami defeated Tyler Breeze.  Itami pulled out the GTS as his finish in the match, which the crowd went nuts for.

Match #2 – Jason Jordan defeated Bull Dempsey

Match #3 – Alexa Bliss and Bayley defeated Becky Lynch and Dana Brooke.  Bayley was really over with the crowd, and she got the win with the Belly to Bayley.

Match #4 – Solomon Crowe defeated Kalisto

Match #5 – Baron Corbin defeated Rhyno

The intermission saw Triple H cut a promo, saying the future is now.

Match #6 – Blake and Murphy retained the NXT Tag Team Championship in an elimination tag match against the Vaudevillians and Enzo and Big Cass.

Match #7 – Sasha Banks defeated Charlotte to retain the NXT Women’s Championship with a crossface submission.  Match was said to be “match of the night” level.

Sami Zayn cut a promo talking about developmental being the place to be.  Kevin Owens interrupted, saying that NXT blew up when he arrived.  Sami challenged him to a fight, but Owens ducked it.  Zayn said he will take the title back when Owens is healed.

Match #8 – Finn Balor defeated Adrian Neville.  Balor did his body paint for this match, which was said to be “amazing.”

As with anything going on at Wrestlemania this weekend, if you’d like to contribute a live report, feel free to send it along to us at bwentz@ring-rap.com.



READER POLL: Who Will Win Sting vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania 31?