Wrestling Observer Radio 3/30: Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez with full coverage of WRESTLEMANIA 31, one of the great WWE shows of all time

Monday, 30 March 2015 00:18

Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer is back tonight with 60 minutes of talk exclusively on one of the best WWE shows of all time, WRESTLEMANIA 31 FROM SANTA CLARA! All the matches, angles, tilte changes, Ronda Rousey details and more! A fun show as always so check it out~!
 

Lots more feedback to WrestleMania

Monday, 30 March 2015 00:09

Two thumbs up show
Best match: Brock vs Reigns
Worst match: Undertaker vs Bray
If there's ever an opposite to the Royal Rumble, this Wrestlemania was it. I went into it expecting a nightmare, and I was pleasantly surprised. The main event finish was fantastic and the perfect way to get the belt off of Brock but not Conquer the Beast. I still think it's stupid that Roman kicked out of more F5s than the Undertaker did, but what can you do? Good show, very interested in what's going to happen now.
James Bellandi

Hi Guys,
 
First of all, what a fabulous all round show - definite thumbs up. What I loved about this show? All the matches were different, well thought out and well-executed.
 
Best Match - Orton/Rollins was excellent, Lesnar/Reigns was an incredible spectacle, and until the finish, HHH/Sting far exceeded my expectations (aside from JBL’s utter burial of Sting on commentary, which was bordering on the slanderous at some points - we all know whose words are really spoken through JBL’s voice; after all, WWE HAS to beat WCW.)
 
Worst Match - It seems a shame to give it to the women, so I’ll say Cena/Rusev - never really seemed to get going. Weirdly, for a guy who was unbeaten, I didn’t get the impression from the live crowd that anyone really bought a Rusev win, which is a huge shame.
 
Musical interludes aside, there seemed to be little wasted time on the show, which was a good thing - the Daniel Bryan segment with the IC title was particularly great. Also, I think that Taker/Wyatt really worked, but had Undertaker been involved more in the build-up, they would’ve been able to tell a more compelling story in the ring.
 
All in all, pretty much the show everyone wanted to see, which is what Wrestlemania is all about. Was it the best one I’ve seen? That I’m even having this debate with myself tells you what a fantastic show this was.
 
All the best from the UK,
 
Adam Dawes

Hi Dave, 
My WrestleMania review...

Thumbs up
MOTN: Reigns vs Brock
Overall, a very solid card, there were no bad matches and the main event did truly feel like a Mania main event because of Brock. I thought they did a good job of adding a lot of pageantry to the event with the big ring entrances for a lot of the superstars, especially Rusev, who you wouldn't really expect it for. 

IC Ladder Match: 
Not as crazy as one would expect with the guys involved, which is probably a good thing. You have to almost wonder if they were told to tone it down a bit since there's so much media coverage on the Perro Aguayo Jr. death and I could see WWE not wanting the mainstream media using clips of the match in news stories. 
I thought Michael Cole was especially weak when Ambrose took that huge powerbomb onto the ladder from Harper, you can just imagine how JR would have sold that spot vs. Cole who barely put it over. If the guys are going to put their bodies on the line like that, the commentators owe it to them to put it over as big as possible. 
I have absolutely no clue why R-Truth was in this match? He served absolutely no purpose whatsoever. I liked the NJPW style finish with them trading headbutts on the top of the ladder, it was something unique in a match where there weren't too many original spots we haven't seen a 100 times in other ladder matches. 
Right decision to have Bryan win it so he can defend it on split crew house shows in the main event... but we'll see if they'll actually keep him and the title strong or have him losing to Sin Cara on Smackdown this week. There's absolutely no reason to expect them to keep the belt strong based on the last decade plus. 
3***
Rollins vs Orton: 
I think the poor build-up really hurt the heat in this match. By having Orton do the false turns, then the 10 minute beatdown of Rollins on Raw a couple of weeks ago, nobody was waiting to see the babyface get his revenge. Cool spot with Orton double DDTing J&J security. Absolutely brilliant spot on the finish with the RKO out of the curb stomp, one of the best RKO's ever. Looked fantastic. 
3 1/2***

HHH vs Sting:
This was going to be the biggest test of the night for Vince's stubbornness. Could Vince finally put over a WCW guy - a company that he owns BTW - after 14 years? I thought HHH's ring entrance was so cheesy. The graphics on the screen looked like something out of an early 90s PC game and HHH's robot helmet looked so goofy and poorly made.

Sting looked great in the match for his age and I thought they had as good a match as possible given the point in their careers and age. The match got a bit too carried away and overbooked, but it was fun and the crowd enjoyed the nostalgia. The commentary was pretty embarrassing with JBL doing the cliched "they tried to put our families out of business" lines, but it became very apparent that HHH was going to win the match as soon as the storyline changed from the original angle of Sting saving the WWE from The Authority's abuse of power to a WWE vs. WCW angle. 

3 1/2*** 

AJ Lee & Paige vs. Bella Twins:
Nothing really to say. Girls were all trying hard, but it's hard to care about a match we've seen on TV 27 times. 

2**

- Howard Finkel announcing the HOF inductees reminded me how much more prestigious the titles seem when he announces them... "The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL..."

Cena vs. Rusev:
Pretty shocked that Rusev came out to such a huge entrance with the tank and all Cena got was a video package and a towel. If I didn't know better, I'd swear Cena looked kind of pissed off about it. Good match, completely what I expected from these two. The shoe spot seemed super awkward, but I assume it was just to save Lana from breaking her ankles in the finish. Again, let's hope now with Bryan and Cena as IC/US champs they will actually book the titles stronger from now on (not holding breath). 
3***
HHH & Stephanie McMahon / Rock & Rousey segment:
Great atmosphere and moment once the crowd realized Rousey was getting involved. I'm sure Vince was asking people backstage who she was exactly. Isn't it funny that Vince will put over an MMA fighter but still can't put over a WCW guy? The segment definitely went too long and the payoff wasn't quite good enough as it would have been great to see Rousey do a judo throw and armbar on Stephanie (or Triple H for that matter), but still a very memorable moment as I didn't expect to see a UFC champion in a WWE ring. 
Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker: 
Taker looked a lot better than last year. Again, as good a match as we could expect at this point in Taker's career. They didn't get too carried away with the false finishes, which I think was good as it wasn't that type of match or rivalry. The spider-crawl / Taker sit-up spot was great. Next year in Texas Stadium will be the perfect ending to his story. 
3*** 
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar:
Wow what a match. There's been a lot said about the decision to end the streak and Brock defending the title so infrequently, but wow did that main event and title feel special. Brock has such an incredible aura around him, the crowd is electric during every single move he performs. People feel like they are watching something special and he feels like the most legitimate and undefeatable champion they've ever had. 
I absolutely love the squash matches with Brock, it feels so different and real than everything else on WWE TV. Then add in the color to the match and it really felt like we were watching a big time FIGHT. After Bryan and Cena won the titles I had absolutely no doubt that Reigns was NOT going over with 3 babyface champions. I would have liked to see Brock retain, but that was the absolute best scenario to get the belt off him without him being pinned and it sets up 3 big feuds for Rollins with Brock, Reigns and Orton. The match far exceeded my expectations. 
4 1/2****
Tim Dudley in Toronto

Thumbs up. Very good show. One of the top 3 Manias of the past ten years.

Best Match: Lesnar Vs. Reigns, although I would rather have seen a finish to the original match before the MITB cash-in.

The last five minutes of Taker-Wyatt were tremendous. The announcers kind of gave away the finish, talking throughout the match about how the Undertaker didn't have it anymore.

Worst Match: Sting Vs. Triple H. Not terrible, just average. The run-ins were fun nostalgia. There were really no bad matches on the show.

Hunter Shull


 Hey Dave,
 
Overall: Without hesitation, thumbs up. Maybe one of the best events ever

Best Match: Brock Vs. Roman Reigns. Everything on the card was good to great, but it is hard to overlook the booking of the main event. WWE booked an absolutely brilliant finish the creatively covered all the bases.
Worst Match:
It does not feel right to throw anything under the bus. Everything had its place, and fulfilled its purpose.


WM31 Pre-Show

- WWE Tag Title match: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The Usos vs. New Day vs. Los Matadores in a fatal four-way match. Fun match. I enjoyed the interplay between the respective characters and teams. Nice mid match Young Bucks tribute. The match peaked a little early, followed by some confusion and clutter. The competitors regained their composure to finish strong. **3/4

- Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I have never been a fan of battle royals, but I must give them credit, they put a lot more thought into this than I thought they would. It was longer than expected, and actually much more entertaining. The payoff for the Miz/Mizdow saga was predictable but well executed. Not sure why the Big Show won, but I won’t protest too awful much. **


WM31 PPV line-up
- IC Title ladder match: Bad News Barrett vs. R-Truth vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Daniel Bryan. I enjoyed the proceeding video package which produced a conduit between the IC title, the ladder match and Wrestlemania. Overall, very good ladder match. Well laid out, and nicely executed. It contained everything a ladder match should have; high spots, physicality, drama, and a climatic finish. Good moment for Bryan at the end of the match. We can only hope the IC title will serve as an opportunity for Bryan to showcase his worth rather than a mere conciliation prize. ***1/2



- Randy Orton vs. MITB holder Seth Rollins. Smart idea to follow a stunt match with a solid one on one wrestling encounter. Randy Orton can wrestle a good match on autopilot. He needs a guy with the drive and skillset of Rollins to have a great match. I would say this was a very good, and perhaps a great match. RKO out of nowhere has become a viral cliché, but that RKO was truly out of nowhere. ***3/4

- Triple H vs. Sting. Sting’s entrance did not do much for me. On the contrary, Triple H’s entrance was quite fantastic. Each respective guy looked in great shape. Solid, basic, and well timed wrestling to start. Once the run ins started, the match ascended to new levels. Every successive run in created a new chapter with a higher climax. Some call it “overbooked”, but no matter the verbiage, it worked. Great build to a finish that will surely be debated. After the final bell and post-match nostalgic handshake, I feel like I re-lived 15 years in 15 minutes. ****


- The Bellas (Divas champion Nikki Bella & Brie Bella) vs. Paige & A.J. Lee. Traditional baby face/ heel tag match template. That is not a bad thing. Unlike other Divas moments during previous events, this was not cringe worthy, messy, or momentum killing. Instead, a decent divas match with a clean, strong finish. **

- U.S. Title match: Rusev (w/Lana) vs. John Cena. Solid and physical match between two heavy hitting heavyweights. Probably Rusev’s best overall showing in WWE. He has improved in increments throughout the year and has really come into his own as a wrestler and character. Crowd appeared to be flat, or perhaps conflicted, but by the end, the majority of the live audience was invested. Another good finish that protects Rusev and crowns Cena. Rusev berates Lana at the end of the match to discard the only likeable aspect of his character. Smart. ***


-Authority Vs. Rock and Rousey segment. This was great. Rock is a marvelous performer. Steph was not far behind in her performance.


- The Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt. Taker looked healthy and ready. He obviously has his physical limitations, but he can still play a crowd pleasing set list of his greatest hits. Wyatt was obviously hobbled by his ankle injury, which slowed the pace even more. In summary, the match was slow and deliberate, but effective for providing a special attraction and rehabilitation moment for the Undertaker character. **1/2

 

- WWE World Title match: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns. Can you say BIG FIGHT FEEL. This is what a main event should look like and feel like. Brock was at his most vicious and Reigns displayed the best sympathetic selling he has ever produced. Effective and basic story where the unbeatable beast displays a momentary chip in the armor, providing an opening and opportunity for the underdog. Everything in the match built to the dramatic cash in by Rollins. WWE booked an absolutely brilliant finish that creatively covered all the bases and ended at an absolute climax. ****1/2
 
Thanks, Derrick Hubbard
from Utah


Thumbs up
Match of the night: Lesnar - Reigns (- Rollins)
There was no bad match
 
Wow, an aweful build-up followed by one of the best Manias ever. Every match got its time, nothing was rushed, booking and action were great. The main event was so great in its excitement, my heart is still pumping. There are many many possibilities after this Mania for coming match-ups that we can really be excited about. Only leaves us with the question: If you're able to plan such an event, why the horrible build-up before.
 
Thanks Dave for the great work & I hope you enjoyed Mania live,
German subscriber Mirko Groenewold

Thumbs way up.
Best match: HHH/Sting
Worst match: None
What did I just witness?  Up and down, the best worked Mania of all time.  I loved HHH/Sting, with all the bells and whistles, to me ****1/2.  Sting is closer to 60 than 50, and just look at what he did.  Rock and Ronda Rousey?  The opening minutes of Taker/Bray are a blur as I was still coming down from that segment.  If they were going to take the belt from Brock, they did it the best way possible, while protecting his aura.  My expectations for this show were low, and to say it exceeded them is a huge understatement. Spectacular card.
David Wolf

Show - Thumbs Way Up
Best Match - Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Worst Match - Sting vs. Triple H
This was a tremendous show from start to finish. I.C. ladder match was a great opener to set the tone. Happy for Daniel and concerned for Dean after that sick bump. Orton vs. Rollins was terrific, with another cool RKO finish. Sting and Trips wasn't very good. The only stumbling block of the night. The women's match was fine. Nothing embarrassing to speak of. Cena and Rusev had a solid encounter, although not as good as the month before. The entire segment with Rock, Ronda, Steph, and Trips, was fantastic. The charisma in that ring was off the charts. Taker and Bray was good. Taker continues to defy time and amaze at the show of shows. Brock and Roman was a MOTYC. Absolute brutality. Brock was a savage. Roman ate it. And Rollins reaped the harvest. Perfect from start to finish.
Annette Boyer

Hi, Dave.
Thumbs: Mostly Down (Solid on spectacle but no matches better than good to me; would have been "middle slightly down" if not for finishes of Sting-HHH and main event- WHERE WAS DEAN F***ING AMBROSE!!!!!!!!!)
Best: Rousey's Vegeta Shirt and "Suplex City, Bitch!" (their hypothetical children might have been the next stage in human evolution)
Worst: HHH-Sting (*1/2- really?  It's not even like the Authority had anything on the line); the main event ending is a close second
Had some problems signing up today (I cancelled in February) and was told the payment system was having issues (cancelled right after the main event, too).  Safer ladder match was fine but nothing special compared to the past.  Orton-Rollins started slow for a blood feud but finish was great.  Boy, they made AJ look really dumb/incompetent getting taken out for so long so early from the opposite of high spots (is she hurt?); parts were OK but didn't fit together well.  Rusev is great, but this match seemed worse than their Fast Lane encounter; glad Rusev's loss wasn't clean, but I hope they don't break up Lana and Rusev.  Taker-Bray was spectacle and sadness.
As for my worst: Sting's entrance sucked (especially compared to Rusev's absurdly awesome one).  H "You know, it would hurt the Terminator movie if I lost" H "I'll let the WCW guy kick out of the Pedigree, but I have to look strong when I get Judo'd by Ronda later" H "let's have the Clique fight each other even though Sting's Crow Gimmick was fighting the nWo"...at least it was an overbooked run-in-fest full of older guys (combined age of 460 if my math is correct) that reminded me of a WCW main event (technically dull match with people I cared about and good tension/crowd response) until the anticlimactic finish (I thought Flair was going to come out to balance HBK - which would make sense given that HBK retired him - only to turn on Sting one more time), and then a hand shake? 
Don't like the main event ending: not sure Bryan's tweet about the Authority being "completely humiliated" makes sense given that Big Show won the Battle Royal and HHH beat Sting, even with Rock-Rousey (and Bix's tweet of "best Wrestlemania main event ever" is even more ridiculous).  You build up a monster champ to beat him, period, not have a cash-in and pin the other guy.  You still had 3 months to figure out what to do with Rollins' briefcase.  Reigns was dominated most of the match and still took the pin, so he wasn't really protected even though he hit a big Spear.  Is the Authority screwing Brock out of getting his rematch (a la Bryan) going to turn Brock face (and if they can do that, why not just use their powers to let Seth hold the briefcase for years until he's ready to cash in?)  Ambrose would have come back from the grave to screw over Seth, so of course he doesn't show up.  Where was Orton?  The more I think about it, the more I hate it.
I turned the show off while Rollins was whipping the belt around, but I imagine the final shot was of HHH and Stephanie drinking champagne again to celebrate, just like their 36-day absence after Survivor Series.  At least if business was booming, I could feel my utter hatred and contempt for them (their coming to the ring was my bathroom break, so I missed most of the Rock-Rousey stuff) was misguided and irrational.  I get the crowd cheering a title change, but how can you be so behind Brock and then cheer for Rollins cashing in?
~Jim Rogers

Very good show all around.  I loved the Sting-HHH match and was very impressed with Sting here.  If this was his last match, it was a great cap to a great career.

Cena and Bryan taking the secondary titles seemed to indicate to me that Brock was gonna retain and keep the World title out of reach except for special occasions and with the crowd reaction of the main event it seemed like they were on the cusp of doing something real special with the World Title..... Almost elevating it to a "legit" title...the match had that feel.  Although I do agree that the booking made sense, it feels like they cheapened a chance to make Brock a LONG term champ and REALLY give whoever beats him a chance to get a huge rub. 

I really hope this is the last MITB cash in.  It served it's purpose and was a novel idea.... But I think it's run it's course.  I just have that nagging feeling that they could have gotten more out of prolonging this Lesnar dominating title run and really elevated US and IC titles to carry the TV and non Lesnar PPVs


Darin Heilman

Thumbs Up
Best Match: Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
Worst Match: N/A, really there wasn’t a match that was bad, everything was at least good
 
Overall the show was entertaining. I missed all the pre-show matches, so no comments there.
 
The finish for the ladder match seemed a bit odd and anticlimactic (i.e. the headbutt battle at the end between Ziggler and Daniels), but it ended the right way with Bryan coming out on top. It didn’t have as many crazy spots as Wrestlemania ladder matches in the past, but that’s okay.
 
The Orton v Rollins match was fantastic, with great energy and performance from both wrestlers. The finish was simply amazing, with the air borne Rollins taking a huge RKO for the loss.   Best match on the show.
 
The Triple H entrance was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in recent years in WWE. The Triple H and Sting match wasn’t what I was expecting, specifically regarding all the run-ins and distractions throughout the match. I was hoping for just a straight up wrestling match between the two. I was quite disappointed with the ending. I don’t know if this was Triple H’s idea, but if it is, he needs to watch that Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling video again. I’ve never been a fan of Triple H, and it’s because of things like this; taking wins when he doesn’t need them.
 
I missed the Divas match, but I heard it was fine. The Cena and Rusev match was exactly what I thought it’d be and at least for me, it worked. Very interesting to see who will be in a program next with Cena for the title. The US and Intercontinental championship programs will be interesting to follow now.
 
The absence of a streak really hurt the Undertaker match for me. I just didn’t care. There were no stakes in it for either men. This wasn’t exactly a memorable Undertaker match, but I wasn’t expecting it to be. It was nice to see the big guy still going though.
 
I was really hoping for Lesnar to walkout with the title, but I was delighted with the Rollins cash-in and the win. The majority of the match itself was reminiscent to the Lesnar v Cena match from Summerslam last year, with Reigns being thrown around like a ragdoll.   Maybe their booking worked, because midway through the match, I was starting to feel sorry for Reigns for the beating he was taking. Also, it was kind of bizarre how he kept smiling throughout the match, even though his ass was being handed to him. Anyhow, this sets up a few different possibilities for championship feuds in the next year, so I’m glad Rollins came out on top.
 
Anyhow, good show overall. The Orton v Rollins was probably a 4* match for me, and nothing else on the card really surpassed that and would probably range from 3* to 3 1/2 *.
 
Thanks for all the great work Dave.
 
Jeff Lam
Toronto, ON

Obviously, this was a huge thumbs up. Really, if you didn't like this show, then you need to find a new hobby. A strong show from start to finish with very little negative to say about it. Sting, Rusev and Mizdow probably should've won, but that's about it.

Tag Team titles - A fine match to open up with. Good to see Kidd and Cesaro retain. They work well together and so far haven't been treated poorly as champs

Battle Royal - meh. A nice way to get all the guys on the show. It was great to see the break up finally happen, but logically Sandow should've waited until the two worked to eliminate Show. Not sure why Show went over, unless it's a thank you to him. But really I guess it doesn't matter much in this match

Ladder match -This was an outstanding start to the show. All the guys worked hard. Ambrose with the craziest bump of the night, although Stardust will be sore as well after the superplex. Good to see Bryan win. Maybe they can use him to elevate the title

Orton-Rollins - Fantastic match. These two work well together. Rollins is really one of the best all around performers out there right now and Orton has been for awhile

HHH-Sting - the match was just OK. The smoke and mirrors and distractions were great. I guess the finish was going to happen with how it was pushed, but it would have been nice to see Sting to get a win here.

Bellas-AJ/Paige - Ok for what it was. I guess if I have to give a worst match of the night, it would go here.

Rusev-Cena - Another solid match. Cena had to win with the USA-Russia angle (which is so out dated, but Vince is behind the times here). Hopefully Rusev wins the rematch and goes onto the top of the card. 

Rock Angle - this was fantastic, perhaps the highlight of the night. Everybody involved was great. I can't see Dana White allowing it, but if they have a mixed tag next year at WM, that might sell out the stadium. Of course I'm, surprise that he allowed Rousey to get involved as much as she did so who knows. Maybe this was part of her new deal? Part of letting him talk to Brock early?

Undertaker - Wyatt - this was the surprise of the night. It wasn't at all bad. Undertaker looked OK, and better than last year although a concussion last year didn't help. Wyatt did well enough I don't think the loss hurt him

Main Event - Just great stuff. Lesnar is out of this world. Reigns looked better than he ever has. The method of cashing in was perfect. Lesnar doesn't lose. Reigns is strong. And Rollins is champ. They have matches with Rollins-Riegns, Rollins-Orton and SummerSlam can figure Lesnar into the mix. For the execution at the end, this is the best match

Overall a great show, that leaves them a lot of ways to go in the future.
Tom Mehs

Hi Dave,
Thumbs way, way up for the show.
Best Match: Reigns vs. Rollins vs. Lesnar, mainly for the finish.
Worst Match: Battle Royal due to the ass-backwards winner decision
I won't go match by match (it's 4:30am here) but to me it ranks up there with the best 'Manias, maybe even best PPVs I've ever seen. Nothing stood out as being bad or even average other than the decision to put over that young up-and-comer Big Show in the Battle Royal, all the major matches delivered in spades and everyone was working their socks off. HHH/Sting was over-booked to hell but I loved every second of it, Lesnar and Reigns beat the crap out of each other and the booking for the finish was beyond perfect. I'm not even down on Cena winning because the two minor belts are now held by the two most over wrestlers in the company which can only be a positive step.
I should probably go to bed, but then again I might just go back and watch some of it again before I do.
Best wishes,
Chris Dewing

Hi Dave,
 
Thumbs up, significantly.
BEST MATCH - Lesnar v Reigns (v Rollins)
WORST MATCH - AJ/Paige v Bellas
 
Maybe the second best WM behind WM17.  The crowd made the show by being up throughout, and being very generous to those who perhaps aren't what they used to be (Sting, Taker, Cena).  Ladder match was a brilliant opener, risky yet safe at the same time.  Bryan/Ziggler would be the best possible scenario for all fans, perhaps with Ambrose as a third.  Orton/Rollins was the match Randy needed to have, no over-reliance on rest spots, and a great opponent.  Not a bad RKO either.
HHH/Sting was beautifully booked, with great crowd support.  DX/NWO was quite the visual, and Sting seemed better prepared and motivated then expected, in front of the largest audience of his career.  Divas did what they could, but was what it was.  Rusev/Cena still felt flat to me, but kept a reasonable pace.
Rock/HHH angle seemed to take a bit too long, but other than that, was a masterpiece throughout.  So many possibilities, so long to wait ... Taker/Bray was better than Dave's comments seemed to suggest.  Again, audience was very forgiving of what to expect, and the crab walk/sit-up spot was well played up.
Lesnar/Reigns was phenomenal, even before Seth's involvement.  Hard-hitting, fast-paced, high-impact - main events will struggle to maintain this sort of standard.
 
First time watching a 'PPV' on the Network, on my iPhone.  Apart from a couple of minor freeze spots (10-15 secs each), picture and sound quality was strong and consistent throughout.
 
Can't speak highly enough of this show as an overall experience.
 
 
Brad Heeps
Melbourne, Australia
 

WWE sets all-time gate record tonight

Sunday, 29 March 2015 23:02

WWE set its all-time gate record tonight, grossing $12.6 million, breaking its mark of $12.3 million set two years ago in East Rutherford, NJ.

No other pro wrestling company has ever topped $7 million in history. 

 

Some Mania feedback

Sunday, 29 March 2015 22:59

Thumbs up
I wasn't a fan of the card going in.  I left feeling like the matches delivered (-with the exception of my worst). Perhaps it was the size of the venue, but I don't share Dave's "one of the best shows I've ever seen" sentiment because no match really drew me in.  Best shows are ones that I rewatch and push on friends.  Everything tonight was fine, but nothing was good enough where I immediately want to replay things.
Best match
Lesnar v. Reigns ...v. Rollins
This was a match where I was invested in the outcome and had no idea how they would handle it.  No matches stood out for great in-ring abilities.  This one stood out for it's booking and the storytelling.   *I still don't know how to read a smiling Reigns.
Worst match
Sting v. HHH
I don't like what this match became.  I wanted veterans to have a slow paced match and it devolved into run-ins, weaponry, and a statement of WWE>WCW.  Why?  I don't know that they can use Sting again after this.  And if they don't, it was a poor welcome/farewell.  Also, HHH's movie promotion entrance was embarrassing.
Quick comments:
Divas match was 6:37.  It could have/should have gone longer, considering music and bits bookending the match. 
Nash alone got entrance music for his HOF shoutout and his own name.  Special treatment.
Not liking the stadium feel. Some entrances were underwhelming in the daylight.
Ads for new network programming were embarrassing. Pushing a Divas search when they don't use the talent they have?  Jerry Springer & Jackass shows are greenlit when we STILL don't have their wrestling catalog? This is a wrestling promotion that gives low priority to wrestling content.
--
Nick Garcia
Columbus, OH

Thumbs Up
Best Match: WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Worst Match: Sting vs. HHH
Hi Dave, 
I thought this was an entertaining show that over delivered. 
The two pre-show matches were entertaining especially the tag match and the battle royal was fun.
For the main show, the ladder match was very good but had a few too many cringe worthy stiff ladder shots for my liking. 
Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins was a good match that had a bunch of fun spots but I thought that they should have given this more time.
Sting vs. HHH. This match started to go down hill with the cartoony Terminator entrance that HHH received. Sting still looked good for his age but the inclusion of the NWO helping Sting was insulting to me as a fan who lived through the Monday Night War. In a way this seemed like one last chance for Vince to get a shot in on WCW by making Sting look stupid in this match.
Bellas vs. A.J. and Paige. I thought the girls worked hard, had a solid match.
Rusev vs. Cena. Great entrance by  Rusev and Lana. I thought both guys were on their game and had an enjoyable match. The finish was the best way to beat Rusev, but I hope they aren't going to have him split with Lana
The Rock, Rousey, Steph and HHH segment was awesome. Never in a million years would I have thought that  Ronda Rousey would be in a WWE ring. HHH and Steph are such great heels it a shame there aren't more faces strong enough to put them against them. 
Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt. Taker looked great early on but it looked like he was struggling during the second half of the match. This was probably as good as it could have been which is not saying much.
Brock Lesner vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins. This match is the best of all worlds. You got to see Brock Lesner beat the crap out of Reigns for 90% of the match. You get Reigns' comeback that I thought was well done. Then you get Rollins cashing in and pinning Reigns so Brock stays strong. I'm not sure if they could have come up with a better solution.
Carter Linday
Memphis, TN



Thumbs Up
Best Match:Lesnar vs Reigns (vs Rollins)
Worst match:Bellas vs AJ & Paige
Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Title Match:Cesaro&Kidd vs. Los Matadores vs New Day vs. The Usos-This was a very good opening match. Strong work from all the teams. Cesaro was the MVP, and deservedly so, got the winning pinfall for the retaining champs. 3 1/4 stars
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal-This very good by battle royal standards. Itami going out early was not appreciated by the very IWC-crowd. Nice drama at the end of match with Miz and Mizdow. Big Show gets a sentimental win as Andre's modern-day successor 3 1/4 stars
IC Title 7-way Ladder Match:Very good match with some sick bumps. Dean Ambrose being powerbombed through a ladder to the outside was the highlight. Also one of the most intense exchanges ever at Mania between Ziggler and Bryan at the culmination.. Bryan goes over and starts the long road toward bringing prestige back to the IC Title. Strong work by all, with MVP honors going to Luke Harper. 3 3/4 Stars
Orton vs. Rollins-This was a good match, but really felt like bit of a letdown. Finish was very cool with Rollins climbing up Orton and being caught with an RKO while trying to deliver a Curb Stomp. 3 1/2 stars
Sting vs Triple H-This was an absolute classic that blew out into a full-on DX vs NWO War! Kind of cool at WM actually. Epic entrances for both men. It takes 2 Pedigrees, A Sweet Chin Music, and a Sledgehammer shot to the head to finally put a possessed Sting down. Despite losing, Sting made a pretty good accounting of himself. He even took a dive off the top to the outside onto DX! I wasn't happy as a fan he lost, nor do I agree with it in relation to booking future Sting matches. But if Taker-Sting happens, all is forgiven. Anyhow, This all-out war that just
about stole the show... 4 stars
Bellas vs AJ & Paige-A decent Divas tag match for only being given 6 minutes. 2 1/2 stars
Cena vs. Rusev-This match wasn't noticeably better than their first match but still a pretty good match. Cena wins the US Title for the USA! Ultimate white meat,babyface result. 3 3/4 stars
Rousey & The Rock vs. Stephanie & Triple H Encounter-This was a stroke of genius. Quite possibly, the best non-match angle in the history of Mania. WWE's Royal Couple pitted against Great One and the Baddest Woman on the planet. Triple H and particularly Stephanie McMahon, made this segment. Kudos for WWE and UFC working out a deal to bring a true mark-out moment for fans. This segment was flawless Sports Entertainment...5 stars...Rousey has a future in Pro Wrestling,people.
Undertaker vs. Wyatt-Let me say Mania in the light of day takes a little of the mystique away. Especially, during an Undertaker vs Wyatt match. There I said it. Despite that, these two delivered a very good match. Taker looks better than last year, which makes a Dallas appearance all the more likely. Great psychology as always in a Taker match, was amped up even more with Wyatt as his opponent. 3 3/4 stars
Lesnar vs Reigns (vs Rollins)-This match absolutely delivered and accomplished what WWE needed it to. Brock looked like a monster, Reigns looks tougher, and Rollins as heel champion is the best outcome of all. This match was legit war with a lot of MMA-style stiffness and realness. Brock even got color! Rollins cashed in MITB late in the match to make it a triple threat. Again, all three guys came out better than they left the match in some way, just excellent. 4 1/2 stars
Overall, this was a very good show from top-to-bottom. Every match, other than the Divas Tag match,was 3 stars or over. Other than Sting losing, I was pretty happy with every other decision they made booking-wise. Lesnar is signed with reputation intact. Rock and Rousey are in the mix for the future. Rollins, Bryan, and Cena are all leading the title picture. Taker and Sting still got it. The future looks bright for WWE given this climate.
OVERALL SHOW RATING:7.5/10
J.C. Gethicker  (Please like Wax Poetic Pro Wrestling on Facebook!)

WrestleMania 31: Thumbs Way Up
Best Match: Lesnar vs. Reigns (hard to choose as some really great stuff on this show)
Worst Match: Divas Tag Match (not bad, just wins by default)
 
WWE despite not having a great build up for this year's WrestleMania, did manage to deliver on the actual show above and beyond for the most part.  Pre-show started out with a fanastic fatal four way tag match.  Lots of great spots in this one and happy to see Cesaro and Kidd retain.  No one got an entrance for the Battle Royal.  Problem is most of these guys have been so beaten down that no one cares about them.  Was hoping for better treatment of Hideo Itami.  Not sure I would have put Big Show as the winner, but some nice spots with Cesaro as well as Miz and Mizdow.  Hopefully he can get the Sandow name back now. 
 
The regular show kicks off with the Intercontinental Ladder Match.  Another great showing here.  Loved seeing Daniel Bryan get the win and hope this will finally be the elevation that the I-C Title needs.  Orton vs. Rollins is next.  They are putting on the top performers early.  Another great match.  Beautiful RKO from the Curb Stomp to give Orton the win.  I guess I should have known this going on early and Rollins losing meant he was coming out later.  Sting vs. Triple H is up and again thought this would be later in the night.  Loved this.  Not necessarily the match itself as much as just being surprised by having DX and the nWo get involved.  Everyone watching with me were super into this.  Surprised to see Hogan and Hall taking bumps.  Didn't think Sting would lose in his possibly only WWE match ever.  But certainly and enjoyable match.  Celebration with Daniel Bryan and many former I-C Champs which again I loved as I am always into seeing the legends especially some of all my all time favorites like Piper, Steamboat, Flair, and Bret.  Great stuff.  Divas tag match is next.  Solid match, nothing wrong with it.  Better than a lot of the Divas matches, well not better than NXT, but better than most WWE ones.  Guess AJ is next in line for the title shot.  Our once a year intro from the greatest ring announcer of all time Howard Finkel for the Hall of Famers.  Always a nice spot in the show. 
 
Cena defeats Rusev for the U.S. Title.  So now Rusev will probably start losing all the time and looks like he and Lana are splitting up which is likely a mistake.  Hopefully Cena can put over the U.S. Title and make it a main event belt.  Great segment with Triple H and Stephanie and Rock and Rousey.  Assuming Rock vs. Triple H is at next year's Mania or an interesting mixed tag match perhaps for Summer Slam or whatever.  Always fun having the Rock out there.  Taker vs. Wyatt is next.  Good match, but not great.  Glad Taker looked in good shape and picked up the win.  Taker is already in the ad for next year so perhaps that will be his big finish.  Great Championship match.  Lesnar is just incredible.  Rollins comes out and cashes in allowing Lesnar to not get pinned.  So looks like Rollins as Champ has Lesnar, Reigns, and Orton as his challengers.  Great show. 
 
Robb Block

Thumbs in the middle
Best match: Orton vs Rollins
Worst match: Sting vs Kliq

Rusev had a tank and Cena still kicked out at two. You can't write this stuff.

The tag team four-way was okay enough. It seemed like they were more concerned with everybody getting their shit in than anything else, but that was to be expected.

They missed a golden opportunity to launch Mizdow (or is he back to Sandow already?) by having him win the battle royal. Big Show gains nothing from the win, though I do approve of his new finisher, which is standing in the corner watching other people fight. The Andre statue was more animated.

The ladder match was quite good. Loved Stardust's Mr. Sinister cape and his custom ladder. Greatly enjoyed the legends congratulating Bryan.

Orton vs. Rollins easily stole the show, capped off with with one of the best finishes I've seen in years.

I guess they wanted to make Sting feel at home, because the fourteen-years-in-the-making interpromotional dream match was the most overbooked train wreck of a PPV match I've seen since WCW was on kidney dialysis. Outside interference and weapon shots right in front of the referee? The nWo HELPING Sting? Do Vince, Steph, and/or HHH ever actually WATCH anything on their damn network? And they shake hands after a gang fight???? Negative stars. Anybody who would defend this clusterfuck should be sterilized for the good of the world. At least we should get a good Jim Cornette rant out of this mess.

The Divas match was inoffensive. That's good for them.

Rusev's first pinfall loss felt anticlimactic. Decent match, though.

Taker looked better than he has in years. Great psychology in his match. Another good match, but another one where the wrong guy went over.

Apparently "Then-Now-Forever" was referring to Hunter/Steph promos all along. I thought that damn thing would never end. Yay. Rock. Yay. UFC chick. The world would be a much nicer place if wrestling people understood that not everybody loves having MMA stuff shoved down their throat at every possible opportunity.

Lesnar vs. Reigns exceeded all expectations and the finish was jump-off-the-couch brilliant. After ten years of the MITB gimmick, it was about damn time somebody cashed in at WrestleMania.

But why the hell did they need SIX FREAKIN' HOURS if not one match went 20 minutes??????

Harry Simon
Las Vegas, NV
@Anticonoclast

Best match: Lesnar vs Reigns
Worst match: Divas tag
Thumbs way up
4-way tag was a good opener. ***1/4  
Andre the Giant battle royal was ok. *3/4  They really telegraphed Big Show's victory early in the match by not only picking Ryback and Henry as the favorites, but talking up how Show has never won a battle royal. Hideo Itami was wasted. IIRC, Michael Cole made a welcome to the big leagues type of remark when he went out. Why would they bury their own developmental guys? 
Ladder match was great. **** It seemed Ziggler came dangerously close to landing with his neck on the bottom rope during that final bump.
Orton vs Rollins was good with a great finish. ***1/2
Sting vs HHH was good and very well booked. ***1/2  The jabs at WCW, such as "this isn't Starrcade, this is Wrestlemania" and other knocks really get old. They still have a lot of insecurities.
Divas tag was okay. *3/4
Cena vs Rusev was good. ***
The Rock/Rousey angle with Steph and HHH was great..particularly the surprise involvement of Rousey.
Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt was good. ***
Lesnar vs Reigns was great. ****1/4  The ending was in my opinion better than doing a Reigns victory over Brock and I actually didn't see it coming.
Overall, an excellent show. Match quality wise it doesn't top Tokyo Dome, but as an overall show, for me it surprisingly did.
Shannon Steward

Thumbs up
Best: Lesnar vs Reigns (vs Rollins)
Worst:  Andre Battle Royale
 
Expectations were so low, that it wasn't hard to top them, but I would put it on the level of last year's show, which I thought was a top 5 mania.
 
Brock is just at a level that no one in pro wrestling has been in a very long time.  His intensity is off the charts and Reigns was the broomstick tonight.  Brock could have that match with anyone on the roster, but Reigns held up his end well.  The last 5 minutes or so were amazing and the finish was perfect.  Rollins has 3 people with legit cases for a title shot right off the bat.
 
The Ronda angle was very surprising.  I'm not sure we'll get a mixed tag, but I can definitely see Ronda cornering Rock next year vs HHH, with Stephanie in his corner.  That's a good start to a card that needs to sell a lot of tickets.
 
Everything else was good, with the exception of the concert, but what else is new.  Glad to see America the Beautiful back this year.
 
The daylight hurt the entrances of Sting, Wyatt and Undertaker, but it was a nice set-up.
 
The Sting thing was pretty crazy if you're a fan who actually watched WCW, as the NWO saving Sting is a ridiculous proposition.  I know it's all about the stars they wanted to portray, but Flair, Arn, DDP, Booker T would've made more sense.  The handshake also made no sense.  Seemed like just a way for Sting to have his match on the big stage and go out with his chin up.
 
Congrats to Orton for guaranteeing that his RKO will be shown in every Mania retrospective for the next 10 years at least.
 
I have hope for the near future, but the future was also looking bright at this point last year, so we'll see.
 
Now to go looking for the Undertaker's "fountain of youth" that he must have found a few months ago...
 
-Chris Hughes
Lakeland, FL

 Wrestlemania 31 Feedback
Thumbs Up
Best Match: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins
Worst Match: HHH vs Sting
I really liked Mania tonight. The opening tag title match was a lot of fun and given the network set-up it felt like part of the show rather than the pre-show. Cesaro and Kidd are just great and I hope it is remembered as part of Mania. The battle royal was good for a battle royal. Mizdow and Miz was a little drawn out but they should have some fun feuding and Show winning is a good enough moment.

Daniel Bryan winning the IC title was a great pay-off for fans who hung in with the product and it was a great match. Ambrose's bump was crazy and Luke Harper really got to stand out. The later backstage interview where everyone put over Bryan was cool.
Orton and Rollins had a really good match. They absolutely nailed that finish. Given the finish to the show, Orton winning makes sense to make him a challenger but other than that I think a Rollins win could have been good as I was hoping he and/or Rollins would be able to start a new undefeated streak at Mania. Right now I don't think anyone is in that spot but over the next few years it is a good booking idea as Taker phases out.
HHH vs Sting was fine until the run-ins which seem to have gotten over live but I felt were clumsy. HHH"s entrance was also ridiculous. Like I say, they were working well until it became more of a cluster in my mind. The Divas match was fine and really admire that AJ has stood up for everyone and still has herself well-positioned, which I guess happens when your husband successfully sues the company. I thought Cena and Rusev had a great match and Rusev felt like a star, especially with his entrance. Rusev was so dominant and I hope he continues to get used well, either continuing with Cena or perhaps a progam with Daniel Bryan. 

Although some of the get-up to get there went too long, the Rousey angle was great. She and Rock seemed so right together. Props to HHH for taking the judo toss and to Stephanie for making Ronda a big deal. Undertaker and Wyatt was a good match but I am really over Undertaker having a presence at Mania and keeping other people off the show. It is cool that he has a record of 23 Manias, but if the modern standard was applied to him he wouldn't have made it on the show until probably 1993.
The main event was awesome. Lesnar re-signing made it really interesting and his working style is really like noone else. I am glad he is staying but am glad the title is off him and can become a regular part of the show. That being said, he really brought it and Reigns did well enough that I felt he could credibly win the title. The finish is the best of everything and Rollins as champ really feels like it could create buzz. Everyone involved deserves huge credit for performance and execution.

Dave Musgrave
Oshawa, Ontario

Verdict-  To paraphrase Dave Chappelle, "I wish I had two more hands so I could give Wrestlemania 31 FOUR THUMBS UP! WAYYYY UP.
Best Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Worst Match: None.  All matches either met or exceeded expectations.
       From the Pre-Show to the Main Event, Wrestlemania 31 was top notch from the entrances to the matches to the vignettes.  (Only 2 gripes I have was the lack of darkness affecting the look of many ring entrances due to WM31 being started at 4pm PST and Vince's seemingly endless obsession of burying the dead horse that was WCW).  
     Cesaro/ Kidd and The Big SHow winning their respective pre-show matches made great sense while other participants were still made to look strong in loss.  Hideo Itami and Ryback each got some shine during The "Dre while the fans FINALLY got the Miz/ Mizdow meltdown they've been craving.  Once again, Mizdow looked strong in coming so close to a major win (See also: his MITB cash-in match vs. John Cena).  Here's hoping he does fade back into mid-card comedic oblivion as he did after the last one.
     The DIva Tag Match was better than I (and most people I knew watching) thought it would be.  Here's hoping that it means we get a Charlotte Flair debut tomorrow night that sees her immediately challenging Nikki Bella for the strap.  
     Bryan and Cena's title wins went exactly as expected yet still told compelling stories on the way to the end.  Special recognition for the SICK bump Dean Ambrose took from Luke Harper.  Here's to the hoping the secondary titles will now both be built up back to meaningful levels.  Also hope Rusev doesn't get cooled off and can get his momentum and heat back.
     Loved the run-in trainwreck of a match that Sting-Triple H was.  Both entrances were great visuals while the match itself showed that Sting can still hold up his end of a match.  DX vs. the NWO was one of the mark-out moments of the night.  While I wanted to see Sting go over, I expected Vince's need to keep proving WWE superiority over anything not homegrown to get in the way of that.  And was I the only one surprised by the NWO not turning on Sting at the very end after DX left?
     The Rock/ Rousey vs. Triple H/ Steph segment was that Wrestlemania moment that gets casual fans buzzing and gets played across multiple platforms.  Kudos to the WWE for getting Rousey for it.  Looking forward to seeing where it eventually goes.
     Bray Wyatt looked strong in his loss to The Undertaker.  Considering the number of reports and some of the pictures we've seen of Mark Calloway in the last 6 months, I thought The Undertaker looked better than expected.  In his last two matches, it looks like time has finally chased him down yet he still has had passable matches though his run of great matches may be a thing of the past.  I hope Wyatt starts getting some major wins at major events after losing to Cena and undertaker at the last 2 Manias.
     Lesnar vs. Reigns was brilliantly booked.  Reigns took a brutal beating yet still looked great for not getting pinned.  Lesnar looked like The UFC Heavyweight Champion version that people love to watch.  A stiff hard-hitting match that saw a perfect ending.  It's about time a Heel cashed in at the end of a Wrestlemania and, booking-wise, the timing and usage of the MITB Briefcase, couldn't have been better.  Rollins as Champ also drags in Randy Orton into the title picture which I hope eventually leads to an Orton - Lesnar match (Summerslam???).
     For me, one of the best Manias ever.  The veterans all loked solid and the young guys had performances that would lead most to believe the future is very bright for the WWE. 
Todd Espinosa
Buffalo, NY
 

WWE Wrestlemania 31 News: Will tonight be Sting's last match?

Sunday, 29 March 2015 13:51

Sting did an interview with the Associated Press where he said that his WWE Wrestlemania 31 match with HHH would probably be his last. He said if all goes well, it is possible he may do SummerSlam, but gave the indication the odds are against that happening.

He also said he would be open to a match with Undertaker at next year's WrestleMania if it was offered.

 

WWE News: Network expected to add new content, revamped Divas search show

Sunday, 29 March 2015 13:51

WWE is expected to make a number of major announcements tomorrow besides the WWE Network number. The company released to Variety that they will be creating eight new Network-exclusive television shows including a revamped version of the old Diva Search show and an animated show.

 

WWE WrestleMania 31 live results: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns, HHH vs. Sting

Sunday, 29 March 2015 14:38

Welcome to WrestlingObserver.com's live coverage of pro wrestling's biggest night of the year, WrestleMania 31 from Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.  We will start with the preshow matches at 6PM/3PM ETPT.

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's show so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

TYSON KIDD & CESARO VS. NEW DAY VS. LOS MATADORES VS. USOS FOR TAG TEAM TITLE

Very good opener with lots of creative team spots and blind tags.  New day was Kofi Kingston & Big E.  Jey was taken out early with a shouler injury so he wasn't ready after all.  There was a spot where Jimmy Uso & Naomi did a double dive.  There was also a chicken fight double team superplex which set up Jimmy doing a splash off the top on Big E.  Cesaro blind tagged in, threw Jimmy out of the ring and stole the pin.

ANDRE THE GIANT BATTLE ROYAL

Long match  The final three were Big Show, Miz and Mizdow  Of course it set up Mizdow throwing out Miz.  They spent what seemed like minutes with Miz wanting them to work together and Mizdow refusing.  Miz got mad and was yelling at him for a long time until Mizdow threw him out.  Mizdow and Show went several minutes.  They were trying to sell it like Mizdow winning would be a miracle  Mizdow kept getting hope spots and near finishes and locked him in a guillotine and teased pulling him over, but Show broke it and threw Mizdow out to win  They pushed the story that Show had never won a Battle Royal throughout the match. Show and Ryback were pushed as the dominant guys.  The guys from the tag title match were in, as was Alex Riley.  Very good as Battle Royals go.  Cesaro teased slamming Show over like last year but Show got away slammed him over.  As for Hideo Itami, he got rag dolled and thrown out by Show.  Didn't do much else.  There was also a spot where Show threw out all three members of The New Day.  

For what it's worth, rumors in the press box are that The Rock will shoot an angle with HHH after HHH beats Sting, and not in the main event.  I guess we'll see.  The other press box rumor is Bray Wyatt has a badly sprained ankle but he is going to wrestle.

LADDER MATCH FOR IC TITLE OPENS THE SHOW DANIEL BRYAN, R-TRUTH, DOLPH ZIGGLER, BAD NEWS BARRETT, LUKE HARPER, STARDUST, DEAN AMBROSE

Super match as expected with Bryan and Ziggler on the top of the ladder frantically head-butting each other and then doing ram head-butts until Ziggler fell off the ladder and Bryan pulled it down.  The big spot was Harper power bombing Ambrose over the tiop rope onto a ladder bridge.  Ambrose stayed down after.  Barrett was giving everyone bull hammers.  Stardust did a lot of cool spots as well.  There was a series of dives to open the match.  Not the super crazy spots of ladder matches in the past, but great nonetheless.

They showed a tap out ad whch included Roman Reigns doing a one-arm barbell press of 135 pounds which is impressive as hell both for balance and strength.

RANDY ORTON VS. SETH ROLLINS

The smart money was off because Orton won with a Rollins curb stomp turned into an RKO, which the crowd went nuts for.  These guys were both on.  Rollins kicked out of an RKO and Orton kicked out of a curb stoimp early  Rollins also did an Asai moonsault and his back landed badly on the announcers table.  Orton gave RKO's to both Mercury and Noble before the curb stomp that he kicked out of.  Rollins also missed a somersault twisting press off the top and landed on his feet when Orton moved.  Rollins was his usual top flight self and Orton was a few steps above usual.

They just showed Ronda Rousey in the crowd with Marina Shafir.

The story is that Wyatt rolled his ankle working the match out in the ring earlier today.

Ambrose seemed like he was bleeding from the back of his head. 

There are actually a lot of empty seats all over the stadium still.  Most are in the upper deck

STING VS. HHH

Really elaborate ring entrace by HHH with the Terminator constume and clips from the movie.

This was a crazy spectacle.  From where I was, it got easily the most reaction of the night.  HHH won with a sledge hammer spot.  First, DX, as in Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac came out and intefered.  This led to HHH delivering a pedigree but Sting kicked out.  HHH got the sledge hammer but the NWO, as in Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, came out.  There was an NWO vs DX brawl on the floor.  Sting used the scorpion deathlock and HHH went to get the sledge hammer again but Hogan pulled it away from him  Sting used the scorpion death drop but HHH kicked out.  Shawn Michaels superkicked Sting but he kicked out.  Billy Gunn gave HHH the sledge hammer but Scott Hall gave Sting the bat.  Sting used the bat to break the sledge hammer.  Sting made a big comeback but HHH use the top of the broken sledge hammer on him for the pin  Sting and HHH shook hands and it was portrayed as if the Monday Night War was over and all the legends were together for a final curtain.  People loved this match.  Sting was really over as a face particularly wen he did a plancha onto DX an the place went crazy.  This was done in a way like it was the end of Sting and they allowed him to lose with grace.  HHH had a really nasty bruise on his right leg from early in the match  Sting had a bruise under his arm as well.

They announced the new shows for the WWE Network, a WWE Swerved show, a WWE Too Hot for TV hosted by Jerry Springer and an all new Diva search.

In trying to put over Daniel Bryan as IC champion they brought out Pat Patterson, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair to endorse him  Bryan looked like he was in heaven.  Flair chopped Steamboat.  Bret Hart then congratulated Bryan.  Then they all did "Yes" chants.  Ron Simmons showed up and said "Damn."  Real good stuff.  So far this show is a home run.

BELLA TWINS VS.  A.J. LEE & PAIGE

The finish saw A.J. make Nikki submit to the black widowl  It was the second time she had used it  Lee had kicked out of the forearm and Paige had kicked out of the rack attack.  Short match, tons of people went to the concession stand but match was fine.

No sign of Sheamus. 

HALL OF FAME INTRO TIME

They didn't give entrances for anyone but Kevin Nash, who got a full NWO musical entrance.  It was hard to tell where I am about the reactions but Conor Michalek and Randy Savage got big reactions.  It seemed pretty quick.

RUSEV VS. JOHN CENA FOR U.S. TITLE

They have the Russian flags with guys in uniform set up and it looks like cannons or something on the stage.  Lana is back.  Rusev came in on a tank.  They came out to the Russian national anthem and then played Rusev's entrance music. 

Cena won he title with the Attitude Adjustment ending the unbeaten streak after Rusev charged and knocked Lana off the apron.  Rusev was screaming at Lana who was crying.  Both had used their submission finishes as Cena used the STF but Rusev slammed him out.  When Rusev had the accolade, Cena got up and backed Rusev into the turnbuckles to break it.  Great heat for that. 

The Horsewomen are in the front row having a ball while Cena thanked Betty Skaaland.  Ata Johnson was next to Skaaland in the front row.  Good match, maybe not as good as their last PPV match.

They are pushing the AT&T Stadium WrestleMania for next year in a commercial on April 3, 2016.

76,976 is the fake number that the Super Bowl can't beat.  There are actually a number of empties in he upper deck.  HHH ay be setting up Rock comng out.  He said he owned Sting just like we own every superstar and Diva.  They kissed in the ring.  Rock out  Well, that's the match.

They did a long angle where Rock and HHH and Steph went at it.  We'll talk about it more but Stephanie slapped Rock and dared him to do something about it.  He left the ring like he was whipped, stopped in front of Ronda Rousey.  They did a long stardown, all kinds of great lines back and forth including Rock saying she'll pull his insides out and use them for a jump rope.  Stehaniie said she and Ronda were friends.  It ended with Rock attacking HHH and Rousey hip tossing HHH.  Stephanie tried to slap Ronda but she grabbed her arm and twisted it.  Stephanie bailed.  It looked like they were setting up a mixed tag.

This was a pretty incredible angle.  Rousey didn't say much but she gave her stare.  There were long pauses as the crowd soaked it up.  There were lot of Rousey chants even before she got in the ring and Ronda's gonna kill you when she was in the ring.  Stephanie was incredible here. 

UNDERTAKER VS. BRAY WYATT

Undertaker won with a tombstone piledriver after blocking Sister Abigail.  It wasn't a great match, but seemed acceptable enough.  Undertaker lost 20 years in age in the last four months.  He did the old school rope walk and fans popped big.  He did the Hells Gate but Wyatt punched his way out.  Undertaker did the tombstone but Wyatt kicked out and Undertaker kicked out of he first Sister Abigail.  I've been doing a million things at once because of the Rousey angle but the match seemed fine.

BROCK LESNAR VS. ROMAN REIGNS FOR WWE TITLE

Incredible match and finish.  It was similar early to the Cena vs. Lesnar SummerSlam match where there were a ton of suplexes over and over  Lesnar hit one F-5 early but didn't try the pin.  He hit a second one and Reigns kicked out.  He hit a third one and Reigns kicked out again.  Reigns threw Lesnar into the post and Lesnar bled like you wouldn't believe.  He was bleeding all over the place and Reigns made his comeback.  Reigns hit several superman punches and Lesnar didn't even go down.  He finally put Lesnar down on the third Superman punch and hit two spears but Lesnar kicked out.  He tried a spear but Lesnar picked him up and gave him another F-5.  Lesnar collapsed.  Both were dead.  Seth Rollins came in and handed the ref the brifcase.  It became a Triple Threat match.  He went for the curb stomp on Lesnar, Lesnar put him on his shoulders for an F-5.  Reigns then speared Lesnar and both went down.  Reigns and Lesnar were dead and Rollins gave Reigns the curb stomp and pinned him, so Rollins won, Lesnar didn't lose and Reigns was portrayed in a totally positive light in losing.  Really brilliant booking her because you can do Reigns vs. Rollins now and Lesnar against both guys, and even Lesnar vs. Reigns because nobody won that match.

This was one of the best shows I've ever seen.  Several great matches, a killer angle and very little that wasn't good.

 

WWE Wrestlemania 31: Stage pictures, musical dress rehearsals

Sunday, 29 March 2015 14:12

We got a few early shots of the inside of Levi's Stadium prior to WWE Wrestlemania 31 with Skylar Grey doing her sound check, etc. Enjoy!

Wrestlemania 31

Wrestlemania 31 

Skylar Grey - Wrestlemania

Wrestlemania: Skylar Grey

Wrestlemania 31

WWE Wrestlemania 31

 

 

Previewing Mania, Life and times of Perro Aguayo Jr., Full details behind Lesnar's new three-year deal, Nash Hall of Fame bio, Major event coverage from all over

Sunday, 29 March 2015 10:52

One of the year's biggest issues of the Observer is out this week, looking at WrestleMania, plus an extensive look at the life and death of Perro Aguayo Jr., the Brock Lesnar decision in depth, a look at the build to WrestleMania, Kevin Nash biography and more.

 
The new issue is up on the site at http://www.f4wonline.com/component/content/article/110-wrestling-observer-newsletter/41791-mar-30-2015-wrestling-observer-newsletter-perro-aguayo-jr-bio-a-aaas-nightmare-week-brock-lesnar-re-signs-with-wwe-wrestlemania-weekend-preview-a-much-more

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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
The tragic death of Perro Aguayo Jr. is looked at in the current issue.  We look at his first match, the family, the famous T-shirt, his career title history, the night of his death, exactly what happened in the match, with comments from the doctor, the commission, what happened at the hospital, the coverage,, the public reaction, and a look at his career and his biggest matches, as well as the Mistico vs. Aguayo boom period, the Perros Del Mal promotion, the cancer story, Hector Garza and the return to AAA.
 
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The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
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--A look at CMLL"s Dos Leyendas show
 
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--Notes on New Japan title matches and a look at the company's two big shows this week
 
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--Fujinami vs. Funaki teacher vs. student match
 
--Samoa Joe talks his past and future
 
--Business notes on Alberto El Patron
 
--More on Jeff Jarrett opening up a promotion
 
--Jim Duggan honored
 
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--More on UFC coming to New York
 
--Fine and suspension of Hector Lombard
 
--UFC's crazy week for Fight week
 
--Injuries to both Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos after their fight
 
--New Invicta show
 
--Reality show on a major show in UFC starts airing
 
--Lots of new UFC fights under consideration
 
--Update on Bellator's Shamrock vs. Kimbo fight
 
--The incredible money behind Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
 
--Bill Goldberg talks his next project as well as why he turned down a kickboxing match with Alberto El Patron
 
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
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*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
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*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
 
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*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
 
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
 
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*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
 
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
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We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
 
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
  
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
 
--Bryan and I have our show on the Hall of Fame up right now on the site and we'll be back for Mania together tonight and have a show after Raw on Monday.  You can send questions for tonight's show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  although we may not get to questions until tomorrow.
 
--Was told to expect great ring entrances from Rusev, Bray Wyatt, Undertaker and that the HHH entrance will e amazing.  
 
--We haven't heard an update regarding Bobby Fish's knee from Friday night.  We saw Samoa Joe yesterday and he injured his knee in the first minute of his match with Jay Briscoe doing a hip toss.  He went though a 20 minute match and you could tell his was hurt, but it also appeared he did everything planned including all the big spots.  He was limping on it a little yesterday but seemed like he was in a good mood.  He pulled himself from wrestling on last night's WrestleCon show but didn't seem to think it was serious.
 
--Samoa Joe was a surprise guest on Jim Ross' talk show yesterday afternoon.  Joe never outright said he was going to WWE, but at every event he was at, it seemed made clear such as Jim Ross saying that next year he thinks Joe will be on the main card at Mania.  It was interesting that Joe brought up that years ago, Ross told him that for cosmetic reasons WWE wasn't going to take him and Joe said it served as motivation to him to succeed.  Ross defended himself saying that's what the people above him thought about how wrestlers then needed to look.  He also brought up Kia Stevens (Kong) who people knock him for not signing  and he said his orders at the time is that the women had to be good looking enough for Playboy, and said that Kong and he are good friends.  Years ago at Cauliflower Alley, Kong heavily praised Ross even though he told her that with her look she wasn't going in WWE back then.
 
--Scotty 2 Hotty on Twitter wrote:  "In Dec. 99, 3 guys that were pretty much obsolete in the wrestling biz came together and mad each other. 1 apparently doesn't remember that."  Apparently there was a falling out with Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty and Brian Christopher over an incident on the indie scene and even though that was probably Rikishi's most famous act, he never acknowledged either, and used his sons to dance at the end instead of his old partners, who were not there.
 
--Adam Thornstowe beat Willie Mack in the King of Indies final last night.  Thornstowe beat Timothy Thatcher and Mack beat Jeff Cobb in the semis.  Cobb was the one who knocked Brian Cage out of the tournament.  We didn't hear much about the show past the first night of King of Indies was okay and the second night was better.  We did hear people raving about Timothy Thatcher vs. Chris Hero in the WWN show that afternoon that went head-to-head with the Hall of Fame. 
 
--Drew Galloway united the Evolve title and Open the Freedom Gate title beating Johnny Gargano on that show.
 
--People are raving about the Justin Gaethje vs. Luis Palomino fight last night on World Series of Fighting.  Gaethje retained his lightweight title and people have brought up match of the year for that fight as well as Hideo Tokoro vs. LC Davis on Bellator Friday. 
 
--Regarding Rey Bucanero saying Rey Mysterio was thinking about retiring, Mysterio told us that he hadn't even spoken to Rey Bucanero.
 
--Mysterio Jr. will be going to the AAA TV taping on Wednesday in San Luis Potosi. 
 
--Brock Lesnar and Rena Mero arrived last night.
 
--Apparently Conor McGregor slapped Jose Aldo in the back of the head as they were doing their press stuff around the world.  
 
--Tons of 49ers were at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, which is the WWE host hotel.
 
--The new WWE Network subscriber number, expected to be very big, will be announced at Noon tomorrow.
 
--Three of the Four Horsewomen, sans Ronda Rousey, were in town last night.  Chael Sonnen arrives today.  Daniel Cormier was at the Jim Ross show for a while but then left and was also at the Hall of Fame.  Tom Lawlor of UFC worked the ROH show as the manager of Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly and has been in town.  He's been around with Kyle Kingsbury, a San Jose-based UFC fighter.  Freddy Prinze Jr. is in town.  Ted DiBiase Jr. was brought in.  Phil Baroni said WWE brought him in.
 
--Sympathies out to Kofi Kingston, whose sister passed away this past week.
 
--Brian Stann of UFC was at an event at Levi's Stadium Friday at the San Francisco 49ers museum.  Stann was there as CEO of his Hiring for Heroes group that WWE sponsors and there were high tech hiring people there.  Stann headed the Q&A.  A friend of mine, Derek Sousa, was there and said that he couldn't have been more impressed with Stann./  Tamina Snuka, Lilian Garcia, Jack Swagger and Goldust were there.  
 
--One person with the 49ers who has worked with WWE all week really praised Stephanie McMahon saying she could not have been nicer.
 

SUN. UPDATE: Lots of Wrestlemania news, fighters and celebs in town, WWE Network big news tomorrow

Sunday, 29 March 2015 10:49

By Dave Meltzer

Tonight is WrestleMania, the biggest event of the year, a five-hour show starting at 3 p.m.

Pre-game show:

*Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. Usos vs. New Day vs. Los Matadores for the tag title - It's WrestleMania, and even on the pregame show these guys are going to want to show they should have been on the main card.  I expect this to be as good as it can be given whatever time restrictions they are under, but with two bouts in a one-hour preshow, there's no real need to rush.

*Andre the Giant Battle Royal - Even though it's really all the same thing, because the vast majority of viewership is network viewership that gets the preshow.  In the past the traditional PPV viewers haven't gotten the preshow but it would make sense to change that for this show since both of these matches have been pushed on television for weeks.  The most over guy in the match is likely to be Mizdow.  The problem with Mizdow is that people want them to pull the trigger on the turn, but once they do, the whole gimmick that got him over has to change.  But the most over guy has to be a favorite.  Ryback can be a favorite.  They've teased problems with Kane and Big Show.  If Sheamus (who was at least as of a few days ago scripted into the show in some form) is put in this match, he should be a favorite.  Another key is how they treat Hideo Itami.  It would be great for NXT for him to win.

Main show:

*Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE title - There's not much more that can be said about this match.  In the end, no matter what the result, this is a gigantic match for Reigns.  The crowd will be against him, but if they have a great match and he loses, does that help him?  Or does Vince McMahon go with his original booking of Reigns over?  Because of all this, there is more interest and discussion in this result than any WWE match in a year.  And there's more true intrigue as to the winner in any WWE match in a longer time than that, because last year it was pretty clear Daniel Bryan was winning.  This year, logic seems to indicate Lesnar winning is the right move at this time unless Reigns winning leads to a strong double turn finish.  Yet, Reigns winning as a face was the direction dating back a year.  With seven matches in four hours, this may be going close to 30 minutes, which will give Reigns ample opportunity to prove those who don't like him wrong, but he's got pressure on him like no wrestler in any match has had in a long time.

*Sting vs. HHH - Sting's first match in WWE is pretty historical.  And the question is how well it goes and is this also the last match of his career?  Sting should win.  That doesn't mean he will win.  Done right, HHH can lose and he gets so much TV time and is such a strong TV character that he's fine.  Sting losing would likely hurt him.  Sting should wrestle at least once more if he performs at a good level, because him retiring should be part of a storyline and this year it was never touched on.

*Rusev vs. John Cena for the U.S. title - Rusev hasn't lost cleanly since coming to the main roster.  Cena had put over the U.S. title and it feels like Cena is there to elevate the belt.

*Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins - If Rollins is getting the WWE title soon, then Orton should win and be set up as a babyface challenger.  If Rollins is not getting the title soon, he should win.

*Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt - Does Undertaker have another great match left in him after a year off?  Undertaker losing here makes no sense because, again, retirement hasn't been mentioned and Undertaker's last match should be something heavily promoted and next year makes sense.  Some will say the full-time guy should go over, but Wyatt won't be hurt by losing, unless the match is bad. 

*IC title ladder match with champion Bad News Barrett, Daniel Bryan, Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, R-Truth and Dean Ambrose.  Bryan is the favorite to win and then do a program for the title with Ziggler.  This match will be insane and could be the show stealer.

*A.J. Lee & Paige vs. Bella Twins - It doesn't really matter who wins this.  It's more about how much time they are given and how the crowd reacts to them.  The amazing reaction on Friday to the women may tell a real story here. 

        The only two shows of the year that are real history in WWE is Mania and SummerSlam.  Even a bad Mania is historical and people talk about it for years.  On paper, there shouldn't be a bad match.  The matches that look like they may not be great have been worked on significantly.  The key matches will all have time.  It's hard to look at this lineup and think the show won't deliver, even if the buildup has lacked compared to past years.

The most talked about Raw of the year, the one where just about everyone will appear, the one that is probably going to be the highest rated episode of the year, and the one where huge angles are likely to be shot, takes place tomorrow night at the SAP Center in San Jose.

We're doing our poll on the WrestleMania show, so please send in a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to Dave Meltzer

We're looking for reports on the WWN Live show on Saturday as well as both nights of King of Indies and the Wrestlecon shows to Dave Meltzer


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The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a look at the current state of wrestling content piracy in light of recent developments like Tommy Dreamer's Facebook post and the arrest of WWE/UFC show capper "Sir Paul," as well as early notes on the death of Perro Aguayo Jr. and all of the usual reviews and international news.

Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the AmericanCanadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle. 

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One of the year's biggest issues of the Observer is out this week, looking at WrestleMania, plus an extensive look at the life and death of Perro Aguayo Jr., the Brock Lesnar decision in depth, a look at the build to WrestleMania, Kevin Nash biography and more.

The new issue of the Observer: Mar. 30, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Perro Aguayo Jr. bio & AAA’s nightmare week, Brock Lesnar re-signs with WWE, WrestleMania weekend preview

Website subscriptions, which include access to both current and older newsletters as well as every audio show in the history of the site as low as $9.99 per month!

 
You can also order the print Observer right now and get it delivered to your door via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can also order at www.paypal.com directing funds to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
 
Rates are:
 
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52.  In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52.
 
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
 
The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
 
The tragic death of Perro Aguayo Jr. is looked at in the current issue.  We look at his first match, the family, the famous T-shirt, his career title history, the night of his death, exactly what happened in the match, with comments from the doctor, the commission, what happened at the hospital, the coverage,, the public reaction, and a look at his career and his biggest matches, as well as the Mistico vs. Aguayo boom period, the Perros Del Mal promotion, the cancer story, Hector Garza and the return to AAA.

We also look at Brock Lesnar's WWE deal including details of his new contract, details of UFC's offer, why he said  he made the choice he did, why WWE was so adamant about him signing on Monday and how did the impasse get broken, plus tons of comments by Lesnar from ESPN and about his offers, as well as the reaction from Dana White, and how that affects WWE booking.

We also have a look at WrestleMania and all of the events taking place during the week.

We also have notes on Dwayne Johnson and him answering about a Brock Lesnar bout, can such a bout set the all-time WWE attendance record, Roman Reigns talks a match with The Rock and his thoughts on it, the WWE's new tie-in with NBC Universal and promotional ideas and more WrestleMania news.

We also look at the Tapout deal with WWE, Kevin Owens in NXT, a fifth generation McMahon in pro wrestling, what is planned after WrestleMania, does Bill Goldberg want to wrestle in WWE and the answer may surprise you, Dolph Ziggler talks his fate, Chael Sonnen and WWE, Smackdown sound changing, as well as business notes from the last week an highlights of all the weekend live events.     

We also have an article on the career of Kevin Nash, including where the name Diesel came from, how he got into WWF, how he started in WCW, the masters Blasters, Oz, the status of WCW when Nash first started and Jim Herd, the move to WWF, his rise to the to and title run, the NWO, his money, his WWF return, his injuries and his legacy.

We also look at this year's NCAA Division I wrestling tournament, including the record attendance, ratings and the major highlights.

We also look at the latest UFC show, including the controversial referee call and the possible end to Josh Koscheck.

We've got coverage of the return of Rey Mysterio and AAA's Rey de Reyes show.

The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
 
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
 
Also in this week's issue:

--A look at CMLL"s Dos Leyendas show

--A booking decision that may have to be changed as far as a major stipulation loser for reasons probably never involved before in a decision in history

--What happened to the TNA/Wrestle-1 tie up

--Two All Japan title changes

--Pro Wrestling NOAH tag team tournament details

--New Americans coming to NOAH

--Update on Invasion Attack this year

--Notes on what is coming up on New Japan World

--Angle for Styles vs. Ibushi

--Notes on New Japan title matches and a look at the company's two big shows this week

--Yoji Anjo retirement show and what he's most known for

--Fujinami vs. Funaki teacher vs. student match

--Samoa Joe talks his past and future

--Business notes on Alberto El Patron

--More on Jeff Jarrett opening up a promotion

--Jim Duggan honored

--Inaccuracies in Foxcatcher movie

--Latest from Puerto Rico

--Son of major 80s star makes debut

--Lots of notes on upcoming angles on Lucha Underground

--Kurt Angle contract notes

--Angle talks Brock Lesnar

--Notes on Jeremy Borash starting on the Howard Stern show

--TNA injury and contract signing updates

--Details behind the Rousey vs. Correia fight

--Why the fight is so interesting

--UFC injury notes

--More on UFC coming to New York

--Fine and suspension of Hector Lombard

--UFC's crazy week for Fight week

--Injuries to both Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos after their fight

--New Invicta show

--Reality show on a major show in UFC starts airing

--Lots of new UFC fights under consideration

--Update on Bellator's Shamrock vs. Kimbo fight

--The incredible money behind Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

--Bill Goldberg talks his next project as well as why he turned down a kickboxing match with Alberto El Patron

If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today.  With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
 
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
 
Our most requested issues in our history are:
 
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
 
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
 
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
 
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)a
 
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
 
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
 
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
 
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our history)
 
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
 
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
 
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
 
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
 
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
 
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
 
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
 
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
 
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
 
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
 
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
 
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
 
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
 
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
 
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
 
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
 
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
 
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
 
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
 
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
 
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
 
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
 
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
 
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
 
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
 
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
 
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
 
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
 
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
 
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
 
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
 
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
 
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
 
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
 
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
 
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
 
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
 
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
 
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
 
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
 
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
 
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
 
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
 
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
 
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
 
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
 
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
 
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
 
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
 
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
 
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
 
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
 
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
 
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
 
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
 
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
 
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
 
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
 
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
 
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
 
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
  
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE

WWE Hall Of Fame 2015 TV Report: Kevin Nash, Randy Savage, Bushwhackers, more!
WWE: The casual fan's guide to Wrestlemania 31
WWE Wrestlemania 31: Stage pictures, musical dress rehearsals
Wrestlemania: Why Paul Heyman could be the key to what happens post Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

 

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