What If: Corey Graves Didn’t Have to Retire

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When we think of superstars whose careers ended too early, two names immediately spring to mind: Edge and Daniel Bryan. After more than 10 years in the ring, numberous world championships and multiple high profile Wrestlemania matches, long term injuries caught up to both men. Their retirements were shocking and emotional for everyone, especially in an industry where guys like Flair, Sting and Hogan wrestled well into their 50s. Edge and Bryan still had star power, but they did what was best (and right) for their futures. Edge was inducted into the Hall of Fame less than a year after his shocking retirement. Daniel Bryan will join him whenever Daniel Bryan chooses to. Neither end was ideal, but we can take comfort in knowing that both men lived their dream, their future is much brighter having retiring and we got the chance to take the wild ride with them.

In a way, those were the best possible worst scenarios. Some guys don’t know when to call it quits. Some guys don’t have what it takes to make it that far. Or in the case of Corey Graves, some guys get so close, then have it all ripped away. That brings us to this week’s What If…

What If Corey Graves didn’t have to retire? Continue reading

Stone Cold loves NXT

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In 1997, if you were to guess which Attitude Era star would transition into a dynamic internet radio show host who does great research, has a flawless delivery and a certain journalistic integrity, you might have guessed The Rock or perhaps Shawn Michaels. But as it turns out the anti-authority, beer guzzling Stone Cold Steve Austin has a flair for broadcast journalism. Austin posts two podcasts a week: a family friendly show on Tuesday and an uncensored, Unleashed show on Thursdays. The Texas rattlesnake covers many topics but unsurprisingly, he shines brightest when talking wrestling.

Unlike many wrestlers from previous eras, Austin isn’t a grizzled vet complaining about these young whippersnappers. Instead, he showers praise where praise is due on the stars of today, inviting the likes of Ricochet and The Revival on his show to tell their stories. After most PPV network specials, Austin brings on PW Torch editor Wade Keller to breakdown the action. Keller and Stone Cold’s chemistry is truly wonderful and brings a new excitement to today’s product. This excitement was never more evident than their recent better-late-than-never analysis of NXT’s Takeover from Brooklyn. Continue reading

SummerSlam Weekend Losers (Who Totally Won)

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8 years ago, Tyler Black defeated Claudio Castagnoli, Delirious and Go Shiozaki in a Four Corner Survival Match at Ring of Honor’s Take No Prisoners in Philadelphia. The winner earned a title shot against ROH Champ Nigel McGuinness in the main event. The young upstart Black and the British vet Nigel put on a clinic. McGuiness retained but the crowd ended the show with emphatic chants of “Thank You Tyler”. Despite the loss, Black won.

That’s the funny thing about wrestling: you don’t need to score a pinfall or submit your opponent to gain a victory. We’ve seen that with Stone Cold vs Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13 and more recently with Cedric Alexander vs Kota Ibushi in Round 2 of the Cruiserweight Classic.

Here are 3 matches from SummerSlam weekend where the losers still won…

Continue reading

NXT Redemption, WHYYYY?!

So, NXT Season 5 has begun, its uglier than I’d ever imagined.  All of the rumors about its theme were incorrect.  It’s not a bunch of second-generation guys being mentored by their fathers, and it’s not a battle of the sexes.  It’s much, much worse.  The cast of the new season looks, well, something like this…

  • Brian Saxton w/ Pro Yoshi Tatsu
  • Conor O’Brian w/ Pro Vladimir Kozlov
  • Darren Young w/ Pro Chavo Guerrero
  • Jacob Novak w/ Pro JTG
  • Lucky Canon w/ Pro Tyson Kid
  • Titus O’Neil w/ Pro HORNSWOGGLE

The theme is redemption, and the cast is made up entirely of former NXT losers.  There are no words to express my disdain for this, not only in concept, but in execution.  To begin with, anybody who’s been on NXT and has got even a glimmer of potential is already on the main roster.  Winning and losing mean nothing on that show, as evidenced by Husky Harris, Michael McGillicutty, Brodus Clay, and almost the ENTIRE CAST OF SEASON 1.  If you lose NXT and you don’t get promoted to the main shows anyway, it’s because you’re terrible.  So now we have these six NXT rejects competing, not for a contract, but…wait for it…a chance to compete on the next season of NXT.

We kidding?!  How many seasons is this godforsaken show going to run?  Doesn’t Tough Enough make it even more pointless?  And what’s up with this list of Pros?  They’ve gone from The Miz, Jericho, and CM Punk to the WWE’s resident bum squad.  Nobody wants to see these guys wrestle, let alone train anybody.  And why is Hornswoggle, the bane of my existence, included in this?!  UGGGGHHHH this is irritating.  The most accomplished Pro this season was once a hispanic white elitist, and the most promising rookie has already botched a gang beatdown on national TV by repeatedly punching his partner’s leg when he couldn’t get close enough to their victim!

I QUIT.

WWE’s Newest Monster

So NXT Season 4 apparently came to an end on Tuesday night.  I didn’t even know that the finale was approaching.  Since the show has gone web-only, I don’t think I’m the only one who stopped paying it a bit of mind.  Despite this, I understand that WWE is going to proceed with a fifth season of the internet show.

Johnny Curtis was declared the winner, and as a result, he and his Pro (R-Truth) will challenge for the WWE Tag Team Titles at some point in the future.  Meanwhile, Brodus Clay did not respond well to losing, as illustrated by his statement above.  It’s safe to say that we haven’t seen the last of Clay.  Whenever he cracks the main roster, he’ll probably assume the role of WWE’s newest monster heel.  I for one wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself a job as a bodyguard for his own Pro, Alberto Del Rio.