Monday, March 31, 2008

A Time For Goodbyes

Tonight gave us the official final sendoff for Rick Flair and a time for all to say thank you to one of the true legends. The show ended with Flair giving his farewell address. Much like Dusty Rhodes last year at there Hall of Fame, Flair wasted no time, nor did he sound forced when he thanked the fans for the fantastic ride that his career was. This shows the true class of Flair. Despite all the accolades and money he obtained, he has never forgotten who enabled him to achieve these things. And that would be you and I, the wrestling fans. And tonight we got to say thank you for all the great matches he gave us. The ring was surrounded be superstars from the past and present, including the Four Horsemen, paying their respects. This was fitting tribute to one of the greats of all time.

Tonight also saw the return of Cryme Tyme to a WWE ring. They took on old rivals in Cade and Murdoch in a great starting match for Raw. Cryme Tyme would come away the winner and reestablish themselves as one of the top tag teams in the WWE. With them back in the fold, along with Cade and Murdoch, London and Kendrick, The Highlanders and current champs Rhodes and Holly, Raw is developing a great tag stable. Hopefully they start developing this part of the roster as they could have some great matches in store.

Speaking of the tag champs they would lose to the reconciled London and Kendrick. Of course in great WWE tradition the belts were not on the line. It's good to see they did not take the angle of breaking up London and Kendrick as I really don't see either one making it in singles action.

In a continuation of the Maria plot, she would take on Santino Marella to finally settler the score on all the trouble he has been causing her. The rest of the Divas would join in on the fun to get back at Santino due to his insult of the Diva roster. This would culminate in a head butt by Maria into Santino's groin to gain the win. Hopefully this puts an end to this angle.

Jericho would meet Cm Punk to rekindle the end of Money in the Bank. Jericho would win this time, but Punk shows why he walked away with the briefcase. Again he looked really good up against top WWE talent. If anyone doubts why he won Money in the Bank, just look at this match and you can see his true potential. I don't see him cashing it in anytime soon, as he most likely will use it against Edge. As seeing as the Undertaker has the title, we have awhile to see Punk's title dream come to fruition.

I guess everyone wants a piece of Randy Orton now. Both JBL and Matt Hardy challenged him tonight to the title. Matt would get his wish and made his debut back on TV tonight. He looked good, but would come up short in his attempt to win. I don't see this one having much legs as you have to figure Matt will end up against MVP again. Also I'm not sure how far they will go with JBL and Orton. There are those who feel Triple H does not need a title shot due to his enormous popularity, but I really can't see the WWE having one of its biggest draws out of the title picture. If anything JBL may get his chance next week on Raw, but that is where it will end. Look for Triple H and John Cena to re familiarize themselves with Mr. Orton and the gold he wears very soon.

Wrestle Maniac Deserves a Count Out

Slated for a March 30th release, Wrestle Maniac, written and directed by Mathew James Sheridan fails to deliver on its promise of being a wrestling cult classic. The effort is there but the return comes up short. The movie is centered around the Cassidy brothers, Chris "Splinter" and Matt "James Blond" as they try to make there way to the big time of the WWE. They work out of gym run by Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz, and each goes through their fair share of trials and tribulations. The problem with this movie is it fails to develop characters you want to care about or have any interest in. This fictional piece is supposed to show what it is like trying to make it out of the Indy circuit,but really fails to draw the audience in. There have been better specials about the Indy circuits done on MTV and also in Beyond the Mat.

The trouble with this movie is the cliche characters. The older brother Chris is the more serious type who is willing to hook himself up with anyone to get out of the little gym and into the spotlight. His younger brother is more interested in his gimmick than his in ring action and is seen going through multiple angles. Their father is a old pro wrestler who is the crusty old man type, critical of his sons, but deep downe loves them. Even Matt's love interest is the female who only cares about him for the size of his ring post. It's due to these cardboard cutout character types the viewer fails to be interested in the movies plot.

And for a movie about wrestling there is little in ring action showing what these guys are made of. There is one specific instance of this during the film. When Matt returns to his James Blond character he receives a review in a magazine. In it it states he will no doubt be making his way to the big time, but we fail to see anything of worth from the supposed match that was reviewed. And the action we do see show nothing to convince the viewer James Blond has any ability to make it what so ever.

The Independent circuit has a rich tapestry of tales to be woven, whether they be fictional like this movie, or done in documentary format. This film fails to tap into the true individual stories that drive people to place their bodies to the limit in front of crowds no bigger than a few hundred, in the hopes of entertaining millions. The effort was there, as were the production values, but Wrestle Maniac comes up short due to a flat story we already know the end to. If you are a hardcore wrestling fan, or a big Matt Striker fan, yes he plays a background role in this film, than this would be worth your time. But if you are not there are plenty of other good wrestling films out there to occupy your time.

You Knew it was Coming - Rock Taking Heat for His Speech

I knew this was coming, as there was no doubt in my mind Rock was going to take backlash for Saturday, but for the record - here you go:


A number of people in WWE weren't pleased with how Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson came off this past Saturday night. He did not leave a positive impression on a number of wrestlers at the Hall of Fame banquet.

A number of sources report that Johnson did not hang out with old friends before and after his speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He showed up for the speech, delivered one that offended many in WWE and was believed to be too long, and then left.

Some of his former colleagues are saying that Johnson came across as "aloof" and "totally Hollywood," as if he were "above WWE now," not to mention everyone in WWE as well. One of those people include one-time friend Steve Austin, who was openly displeased and taken aback by Johnson's demeanor.

Here is one wrestler's comments regarding Johnson's Hall of Fame speech: "This wasn't a roast. This was supposed to be a tribute to his dad and grandfather. Instead, he did an hour plus of comedy, running way long, then did a short tribute to his dad and grandfather, then left. It was rude of him."

WWE had plans to control the length of the Hall of Fame speeches, but the induction ceremony ran way over the planned length in large part due to Johnson's drawn out speech. Flair's Hall of Fame speech ran long as well, but everyone was forgiving of that considering that it was his night.

After the event, pretty much everyone backstage shared in their resentment and disappointment on Johnson's conduct at the Hall of Fame. The belief backstage was that Johnson had no reason to treat old friends like discards from a past life.

Johnson's speech went on first because he had to catch a plane immediately to Las Vegas, where they are filming his latest movie, Space Mountain. After he left, two individuals took shots at him during their Hall of Fame speeches. When praising John Cena, Ric Flair made a point to say that Cena, "Will never leave our business for Hollywood." Triple H mentioned, "Rock fans," and then said, "Oops, am I supposed to say Dwayne fans now?"

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4th WrestleMania 24 Photo Gallery


Video Footage from TMZ of the Fireworks Incident at Mania has video of last night's fireworks accident that took place after Mania concluded. Click HERE to go directly to the video.


Play the New WWE Rocker Game!

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Labels:'s Story on Mayweather's Win at Mania

Show's over: Mayweather wins his WWE debut

In one of the most hyped WWE events in decades, close to 70,000 fans filled the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida to witness Floyd Mayweather Jr. knock out "The Big Show" in a no-holds barred wrestling match at Wrestlemania XXIV.

Mayweather wore protective mitts and used his speed to run in circles with Big Show chasing. At some point Big Show began to pummel one of Mayweather's bodyguards. Mayweather would later jump on Big Show's back and applied a sleeperhold, which Big Show would eventually break and begin to batter Mayweather with chops, a sideslam and variety of other moves.

The handlers of Mayweather would pull their employer out of the ring and attempt to take him to the back, Big Show would follow in pursuit and attack Mayweather on the outside before throwing him back in the ring.

The Big Show would later attempt to finish Mayweather off with the chokeslam, bout the move was prevented by Mayweather's team members who would interfere in the match. While Big Show was distracted, Mayweather would attack him with a chair. He would give Big Show a low blow, sending the giant wrestler to his knees as he would land a few more chair shots before taking off one of the mitts and using a pair of brass knuckles to land a right hand that knocked Big Show out.

The ref would count him out at 11.41 of the contest.

Click HERE for the rest of the story

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Mania and WWE News and Notes

From: PWInsider

The backstage word among those I spoke to was that Floyd Mayweather Jr. was raving to everyone about how much fun he had wrestling Big Show last night and would love to come back. The feeling backstage was that the bout was entertaining and both did a great job.

The consensus among everyone seems to be that Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels was the match of the night. I don't know how it came across on television, but I will never forget the site of Ric Flair walking the aisle to the ring as golden fireworks erupted in the background of the stadium. What a truly wonderful moment.

From: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

A while ago, WWE had a storyline idea where Gary Hart (who passed away last week) would form a heel stable called 'Black Friday Management' with Umaga as the main star. The stable would have had a criminal vibe as Hart would be dressed with a mob style business suit. Also, the plan was for him to be independent of WWE on television, and he'd be presented as a recruiter of international talent for the company. They also wanted him to be accompanied by an Asian girl based on the Catholic School Girl assassin character in the movie Kill Bill. The entire storyline plan never got off the ground because Hart angered Vince McMahon back in 1989. When John "Earthquake" Tenta was starting out in WWE, they had plans to use Gary Hart as his manager. On the day of Hart's scheduled WWE debut, he showed up at the airport in the city of his debut taping, but no one from the company came to pick him up. When someone finally did, he arrived to the arena mad about his treatment. Hart got into an argument with a road agent and left the building, pretty much bailing on WWE. A few days later, an upset McMahon called Hart, noting he bought him a plane ticket to come to work. Hart reacted by saying that he would send him a check for the ticket. Hart sent the check, but McMahon never cashed it in. Also, in recent years there were some feelers sent out to him about working with the developmental wrestlers, or helping out on the creative team. Hart would answer them by saying that he wouldn't last a month in the company. However, he had expressed interest in recent years about joining WWE as a manager. People on creative such as Dusty Rhodes, Michael Hayes and Court Bauer would remark at times that The Great Khali or Umaga would be much more effective if they had Hart as the mouthpiece.

Big Show was told that he was staying heel after WrestleMania to work a title program with Undertaker.

Another storyline idea being tossed around is a Big Show vs. Great Khali program, although that probably won't be taking place until later in the year.

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Story on a Conversation I had with a WWE Worker on the Lights Going Out During Mania

While leaving the airport in Orlando earlier today, I spoke directly to a WWE worker who worked on the electrical crew and was well aware of last night's incident of where the lights went out during the BunnyMania match. He told me that it was a blown transformer, and that the show and lights were running on backup generators for awhile.

While the video screens were down, they were re-routing wires frantically to try and get things back to normal. At the arena, at first many thought it was some storyline when the lights went out, but when the girls continued to fight as if nothing happened, you knew that it was not planned. I can only imagine Vince and the company going nuts backstage when the lights went out on the biggest stage of the biggest show in the history of the company.

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ESPN Runs Video of Mayweather Beating the Big Show

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AP Picks Up Story on Mania Fireworks Accident

Dozens burned after fireworks malfunction at wrestling event

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Fire officials in Orlando, Florida say a fireworks malfunction at a Wrestlemania event caused minor burns to about 40 people.

They say at least three people were taken to a hospital for treatment, but that none of the injuries was serious.

It happened last night as the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium was packed for the wrestling event. A fire department spokesman says a cable holding the fireworks collapsed at the end of the show, sending hot embers from the fireworks into the crowd. He says there were burn injuries "up and down the stadium."


3rd WrestleMania Photo Gallery


2nd WrestleMania Photo Gallery


From Orlando - First Thoughts on WrestleMania XXIV

Hi again everyone....back here at the hotel in Orlando, where we returned about an hour ago from Mania, which was chaos to say the least. Needless to say, the crowd was huge, and next to the massive crowd in Detroit last year, tonight was right there size wise as well as being into the show. We were on the floor, back on the ramp, and got a good feel of the crowd all night long. It was a very diverse audience, as we had people from other countries around us, as well people you could tell were die hards, and then some rather casual fans. Below are my first thoughts on the night...don't forget John Sefcik and I will have a full podcast recap later Monday night, so don't miss that!

World Heavyweight Title: Undertaker vs Edge
- No shock in the ending here, and I thought both men worked hard in this match, but the crowd seemed kind of spent and were a little dead till the end, which was well done. Let's hope that this Taker title reign was better than the last, and basically that means we hope that he stays healthy and sees it through this time. It was nice to finally see Edge get a main event on the biggest stage.

The Big Show vs Floyd Mayweather
- While I was hoping they would allow Show to win here, his loss does not shock me at all, and for the most part, this match was a bit of a yawner till again, the end. I like how they allowed Mayweather's posse, which did have a developmental wrestler in it, take bumps, and it looked real the beating that Floyd got. The end was for the most part effective, but the crowd didn't seem to know how to react to Mayweather, which is not surprising for the way this thing played out. Overall I thought Show looked strong here.

WWE Title: Randy Orton vs Triple H vs John Cena
- I along with 95% of the world were wrong here, but it seems like the company shifted their focus from just allowing Triple H to win to simply staying with what they think is the right direction, and that being allowing Randy to keep the belt. The reaction Cena got was no shock, and I think the crowd was a little stunned when Orton pinned Cena to retain. Look for a HHH-Orton singles feud and a match possilby at Backlash. Interesting move to say the least to keep the belt on Orton.

Money in the Bank - Loved it, and thought it was the best match of the 4 MITB matches so far. Each year these guys really try and out-do each other, and this year was no exception. Love the work that all the guys did, and having Matt Hardy do the run-in on MVP was good as well. C.M. Punk getting the win to me was a bit odd, since we've heard he's back in the WWE doghouse, but after tonight that is not the case from the looks of it. I expect him to take his shot at the World Heavyweight Title on SmackDown late in 2008.

Batista vs Umaga - Didn't really like this match, and I did have high hopes for it. Batista seemed a bit out of sorts, and Umaga didn't do much to carry him. Almost seemed like both guys knew they were the odd men out this year on Mania, and while this is supposed to continue, this was not the strongest way to start a program.

Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels - It's finally over for the Nature Boy, and what a way to go out. A very good match with Shawn Michaels where both men pulled out the stops. For sure will go down as one of the most emotional matches in the entire history of the company, much less Mania. I like the ending, and the crying Flair and his family did at the end got the match way over. Shawn did what he had to, and he and Ric had a very solid match.

- All I can say here is someone must have been trying to pull the plug on the match, when instead they pulled the plug on the lights in the ring. Things went dark for a few minutes, including the end of this match, which was a snooze fest despite the girls working hard. Don't quite know what the heels winning does for them, but whatever, it was a chance to get Maria in a match for the sake of Playboy, and a shot to get Snoop Dogg out there as well.

Finaly vs JBL
- This to me was not the best of ways to start the show, as I thought we'd get a stiff, vicious match, and instead there were just a few weapons used, no blood, and a yawner finish. I guess JBL did enough in his return to earn a win, but what I don't know. Look for this to continue, ugh.

24 Man Battle Royal with the Winner facing the ECW Champ - The decision to allow Kane to win and then bury Chavo Guerrero in 9 seconds was a bit odd, but I think it was kind of like giving him a Lifetime Achievement Award. Remember how long he's been around, and he's done jobs to anyone that needs to get over. I have no problem with him winning, and it should bring some new blood to the ECW title, which had been lacking it for sometime.


WWE Press Release on the Records Set Tonight at Mania

World Wrestling Entertainment(R) set both attendance and ticket sale records at WrestleMania XXIV tonight at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. WWE grossed more than $5.85 million in ticket sales, making it the highest grossing live event in WWE history and in the history of the Citrus Bowl. WWE set an attendance record for the Citrus Bowl with 74,635 fans from all 50 states, five Canadian provinces and 21 countries attending WWE's annual pop culture spectacular.

"We would like to thank WWE Fans from around the globe for making this year's WrestleMania one for the record books," said Geof Rochester, Executive Vice President, Marketing. "We would also like to thank Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and John Saboor, President of the Central Florida Sports Commission, for all of their hospitality during WrestleMania week. It was a tremendous experience."

"This has been an incredible week here in Central Florida," said John Saboor, President of the Central Florida Sports Commission. "It was an honor to welcome the WWE and its fans from around the world. We can't wait to ask the McMahon family to come back for another WrestleMania."

Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at and For information on our global activities, go to

Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, and logos are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ECW is a trademark of WWE Libraries, Inc. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.


The First Photo Gallery of Many from WrestleMania


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mania Results

For those who missed Mania here are the results:

-JBL gets the win over Finlay in the Belfast Brawl.

- CM Punk wins Money in the Bank over a trapped Chris Jericho.

- Batista wins the Battle of the Brands over Umanga.

- Melina and Beth Phoenix defeat Playboy Bunnies Ashley and Maria.

-Kane becomes the new ECW champ in record time by pinning Chavo in under a minute.

- Floyd Mayweather brings home the money by KOing the Big Show via brass knuckles.

- Randy Orton in the surprise of the night retains the WWE title.

- The Undertaker goes to 16-0 and defeats Edge for the World Heavy Weight Title.

Join Matt Loede and myself tomorrow night for a podcast going over the results of Mania and what to expect coming up this week on Raw, ECW And smack Down. Expected time for the pod cast post should be around 7 PM EST, just in time for a warm up to Raw. Hope to see you here then and feel free to share your thought on Mania with us.

ECdub, ECdud

Tonight we will have two matches involving the ECW title that will be intertwined. In an interesting concept there will be a 24 man Battle Royal to determine who will face Chavo Guerrero later in the evening for the ECW title. Despite this great idea, it will fail due to the participants involved. No offense to Chavo, he has been doing a great job as champ. Unfortunately it will be the men who mostly likely will win the Battle Royal that will bring this match down.

Out of the 24 guys competing for the shot, there are only about 5 guys who have a legitimate chance. This group includes Kane, Khali, Chuck Palumbo, Snitsky and Mark Henry. Each of these fellows have been involved prominently on the various brands and seem the likely candidates to get a push. The problem with each of them is they are the big brawling type of wrestlers, or lack any wrestling talent at all. This is a complete contrast to Chavo's style. He is a superior light heavy weight who relies on athletic and high flying moves done at a quick tempo. These conflicting styles will only make for a painful match that no doubt will bore fans. I'm looking for Kane to win this and go onto being champ. As Matt Loede has referenced there is talk of Kane retiring and this would be the appropriate way to send off a great performer for the WWE over the years.

Due to this possible result, or any of the guys who mostly likely will be in the title match, Chavo will take a bad hit on wrestling's biggest stage. This is very unfortunate for him. As I stated above he has been doing a great job of being champ and really is growing out of Eddie's shadow. What will happen to him next is also unclear. It would be shame to see him fade away as he is doing a great job as a heel on the weaker of the brands. Which leads me to ask why they went this route for Mania. Despite its weak roster there are plenty of talented guys on the ECW roster, but for whatever reason the WWE has decided to use them in other aspects. The Miz is in the Battle Royal, but shares a tag belt with John Morrison, who is the Money in the Bank match with Shelton Benjamin and CM Punk. ECW continues to puzzle me to no end and its participation here at Mania only furthers it.

Final WrestleMania 24 Predictions

WWE Title: Randy Orton vs Triple H vs John Cena - While this match is lacking the push that last years Shawn Michaels vs John Cena match had, this overall could be a better match. I will say that there is no doubt that Randy Orton as the champ is the odd man out, so I don't see him winning here. John Cena is off to make another movie, and Triple H has not had the WWE Title in a few years, so look for him to come out on top and make the fans happy as we leave the Citrus Bowl.

World Heavyweight Title: Undertaker vs Edge
- This really should close the show, but it likely won't as the Taker is by far the heavy favorite here to win and take the title back, moving to 16-0 at Mania. Edge is the best heel in the sport, and a great champion, and I look for immediate rematches between these two top men on the SmackDown side, but overall, Taker wins and gets the strap back.

The Big Show vs Floyd Mayweather
- The story here is will Mayweather allow himself to take the loss, which is the way it should go, but likely won't. I could see this being a total disaster, and it's really going to lay on the shoulders of the Big Show to carry Mayweather and carry the match to make it passable. I would love to see Show win and get a push, and while I am picking it, it won't surprise me to see Mayweather come out with a knockout.

Money in the Bank
- Each guy in this match has been there before, with the exception of MVP, which is why I am picking him to win. Usually a win here means a push, but overall I don't know what they will do with MVP since he already has the US Title. What I could see is a loss of the US Title to Matt Hardy, then possibly a move to RAW. Overall the match should be a winner, as it usually always is.

Batista vs Umaga
- It's a SmackDown vs RAW match, which today really does not make sense with the fact that there are plenty of interpromtional matches these days. Umaga took the fall to Bobby Lashely last year, and while Batista is the favorite being the face, I'd like to see Umaga get the win, move to SmackDown in the draft, and continue to feud with the Animal.

Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels
- Flair basically said his "good-bye's" to the men backstage and the company last night, and I think that it was well done, and this will be a great way to go out. Michaels will lift Ric to another final, last great match, and while this will not be the match to steal the show like everyone thinks, it will be good and a fitting way for Ric to finally call it a career at 59 years old.

BunnyMania Women's Match
- Does anyone care? This is your typical womens match to highlight the girls, and with Snoop Dogg in the house doing the intros, it should for the most part be short, sweet, and the babyface girls of Ashley and Maria will find a way to go over taking losses on TV the past few weeks.

Finaly vs JBL - With it being a Belfast Brawl, we had better see some blood, chair shots, and what not to get what should be a rather "bathroom break" type of match over. Look for Finlay's sidekick - Hornswoggle, to be in the house, and he should lift Finaly to the win to get this match over and be okay for what it is.

24 Man Battle Royal with the Winner facing the ECW Champ - I like the overall addition of this and the ECW title match with Chavo Guerrero, and this should be a good way to start the show. Most of the guys in the match are mid-card guys, with the overall focus on Mark Henry, Kane, and The Great Khali. I like Kane to win this, and then to lose to Chavo after a good match where he falls short of winning the ECW belt.

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Final Audio Update the Afternoon of Mania

It's WrestleMania Sunday, and Matt Loede continues to be on the scene in Orlando as now we are just hours away from the event. Join Matt as he gives his final Mania predictions, as well as talks about last nights Hall of Fame event, the problems with The Rock and the fans, and the carrying on of Ric Flair. Matt will tell you all the details he's seeing from the event last night, as well as what to look for tonight at Mania. Click below to hear this final update from Orlando as Mania draws ever near.

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WWE Hall of Fame Photo Gallery #1

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A Brawl to Thrill All

The Belfast Brawl with no doubt entertain fans and give them their fill of blood and violence. Both JBL and Finlay have shown they can thrown down in the past. As Bradshaw, JBL use to distribute many a beating via his role in the APA. And we all know Finlay loves to fight. And this match will deliver on more legendary fist to cuffs.

JBL is the one who started this by brutally throwing Hornswoggle into a steel cage in order to discipline him at the beckoning of his father, Vince McMahon. But the plot took a turn as we found out little Horny was not McMahon's son, but instead he was Finlay's. Of course Finlay would want revenge for the injuries incurred by his son at the hands of JBL. This match enables JBL to participate in Mania on his return back to the ring, but I'm not sure what his future holds. I really don't see many rematches due to this story line getting very old. Maybe JBL will return to Smack Down as there is a serious lack of talent at the mid card level.

As the fan favorite there is no doubt Finlay will get the win, thus getting revenge for Hornswoggle. Again the future for Finlay is also clouded. Will he still stay with Hornswoggle and can the WWE make this angle fresh? Finlay is another solid performer, but I really don't see any type of title shots for him as there are more talented and popular guys ahead of him. It should be interesting what they have in store for him.

Orlando Sentinal Article on the Hall of Fame

Match could be Ric Flair's last, but fans want more

Nobody wants this to be the end for Ric Flair. Not even Ric Flair.

After a crowd of 10,000 gave him a long standing ovation at his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night at Amway Arena, fans started screaming for him to keep his career going. Taking a moment to collect himself, Flair had an answer.

"I'm not gonna retire!" he screamed. "I'll never retire!"

Then he belted out his trademark, "Wooooooooooo!" The crowd roared. On an emotional night featuring seven other inductees, fans waited until the end of the night to see their wheelin' and dealin' champ get his spot in the Hall.

Click HERE for the rest of the article

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Wrestlemania 24 - Stage Preview


The Battle of the Brands, But Why?

The match between Batista and Umaga perhaps has the lest amount of heat going into it. This match was almost put together as an after thought on TV with William Regal one night suggesting Umaga should face a Smack Down superstar in order to see which brand was superior. I'm really surprised there is not more stipulations for this match. Perhaps have the loser switch brands, or take a page out of Major League Baseball and give the winning brand the first pick in the WWE draft. The real reason this match was put together was they had no where to put these superstars and they really couldn't leave them out now could they. Despite the lack of hype for this match it may very well turn into one of those great surprises of Mania and be one of the best matches.

This match will do nothing to further Umaga's role in the WWE, but it will solidify him as one of the best workers on the roster. No matter what type of match or role they put him into, he always delivers. From his role in in the Hair versus hair match last year, taking on John Cena when there were no other good contenders for the WWE title, to what other roles they ask of him, he always gives a great performance. Due to this the WWE should put him back in a program for at least the Intercontinental title. Just right now he suffers from the glut of talent on Raw. Maybe this match will see him move to Smack Down. Who really knows, but one thing for sure is you will always get a great match from him.

The winner of this match though will be Batista, as he has the most to lose of the two. Right now Batista needs to be kept in the spotlight as he is wandering the story waste land right now. He had some good matches with MVP, but most likely MVP will be back in program with Matt Hardy. And as for title shot, he will have to wait as I envision Edge and the Undertaker will have a few rematches. They have hinted about a possible Triple H showdown through various backstage encounters. We know John Cena will be stepping away briefly for filming commitments. Perhaps Batista will be the one to fill in while we wait for the Cena/Triple H feud to commence.

Various Notes from Around the Web

sources: Wrestling Observer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter

– WWE is apparently papering the last 5,000 to 7,000 seats or so because they are unable to sell them. This would be the first time Wrestlemania has been papered during the last few days since WrestleMania 8 or 9. Additionally, paid ticket sales as of last weekend were about 60,000, with about 6-7,000 given away to promotional partners, contests, friends, families, etc. Despite the heavy papering, the event has brought in $5.7 million, which would be a North American pro wrestling record, and a top three gate of all-time, behind two New Japan Tokyo Dome events in the 1990’s.

– The latest weather forecast for tomorrow night in Orlando is 69 degrees and a 40% chance of intermittent rain during the event.

WrestleMania 25 has been confirmed to be held at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX, on April 5th, 2009. Flyers were given out to everyone who purchased a WWE Travel Package for this year's WrestleMania.

Travel packages for next year's show will be available in April, a full year before the event.

This will be the second WrestleMania in Houston, with X-7 being held at the Astrodome in 2001.

The Reliant Stadium - which is the only rodeo and NFL stadium with a retractable roof and natural grass - is larger than the Astrodome and holds over 70,000 for a football game. The stadium can accomidate an additional 10,000+ fans for wrestling.

Thoughts on the 2008 Hall of Fame

It's a late night here in Orlando, as we have wrapped up the Hall of Fame 2008 with some emotional moments we won't soon forget, and now it is officially time to move on to WrestleMania XXIV, which will be a sight to see in about 16 hours in the Citrus Bowl. With the HOF ending less than two hours ago, there are tons of thoughts and comments that I want to share, but for now with a long day ahead of the crew, I will share just a few thoughts and then try and get some rest.

First off, I am one of the biggest marks on the planet for the Rock, and will defend him to no end - till tonight. As much as I was excited seeing the Rock make his WWE comeback at the Hall, I felt he totally took advantage of the situation at the Hall, and made it way too much about himself and not the event. In case you are wondering what I am speaking of, let me explain.

The HOF began about 7:10, and The Rock was the first one out. Well, first he did a long monologue, which was great, but really dragged. Then, as the many classless fans that were on hand that could not shut up and stop chanting, the Rock each time would take a step back and let it go, again, taking more and more time. This went on forever, and it really started to get old, to the point where by the time Rock's mom was done honoring her Dad, Peter Mavia, it was already past 8:30! Yes, we then had to go through five more in the Hall and it was already over an hour twenty into the show.

You could tell that it didn't sit well with the current talent as well, as the following in some coy way made a comment about the amount of time Rock was one - JBL, Jim Ross, Dusty Rhodes, Triple H, Ric Flair. In other words, as much as I am thinking they liked Rock being there and seeing him, I think they felt he tried to steal the spotlight a little too much, and he did.

Onto the fans. Yes, this is another major issue I had with the event this year, and have had with the event since they began selling tickets to the Hall to the general public. Bottom line is - wrestling fans do not belong at this event. Sorry, but for the most part, wrestling fans are not educated enough, or have enough class to dress up, shut up, and enjoy an event that is clearly about those wrestlers and some in the industry being honored.

It took me about 15 minutes to get tired of the chants, tired of the catcalls for "puppies," tired of the "wooooo" every five seconds, and just tired of the fans as a whole. Another thing wresting fan - business attire please does not mean cut offs and the best wrestling shirt that you have that doesn't need washed. Try on a shirt that has a collar, or maybe pants that are not jeans. To a large portion of fans that are there, they dressed up and it looked good, but to another portion, they don't get why they should not show up looking like a slob.

If the WWE wants this event to be the best it can be, despite the fact I have enjoyed being there the last three years, they should make it a private event again, and keep the low class typical A wrestling fan that makes me hate the business a lot of times away. They do no good, and make a special night nothing more than a night of chants, catcalls, and bad attire.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

WWE Axxess Pics from Universal Studios Friday


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  • I'm Matt Loede
  • From Cleveland OH
  • Matt has been involved in sports media for over ten years, with experience covering the NFL, NBA, and MLB for the past 13+ years.
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