Thursday, March 28, 2013

WrestleMania in Jersey: The Career and The Streak

There's a lot of emotion involved in two of the matches arranged for WrestleMania. One has gotten to the point that not only is it a No Holds Barred match, but it also puts a career on the line.

The question is, is Triple H ready to retire?

He has a great job as an executive with the WWE and has three daughters with Stephanie. He started his career in 1994 with WCW. His buddies have Legends contracts. The last time he wrestled was at Summer Slam, and before that was WrestleMania 28. After losing to Brock Lesnar at Summer Slam, it appeared he would retire then.

And, then, he appears again when Brock shows up again, just in time to set things up for WrestleMania. Essentially, he is semi-retired already.

And, of course, these career-ending stipulations have been broken in the past. They are also easier to break when you're running the company.

This match is sure to take advantage of Paul Heyman's ECW background and be brutal. Although Triple H is most likely to walk down the ramp with a sledgehammer in his hand, I think Brock Lesnar is most likely to walk up victorious.

Paul Heyman's other guy, CM Punk has a challenge with The Undertaker. This match ended up being built around Paul Bearer's death, almost making the streak an afterthought.

While this match up between these two was already on paper amazing (so amazing, in fact, it was predicted, or rumored, by many), the emotion and possible supernatural influence makes a great story. It's no longer a match thrown together because these guys needed something to do and because it would be great to see.

And, for once, someone has the upper hand on Taker.

But, because of the supernatural powers that always seem help Taker, I think Heyman's guy is losing this one. I also think this will be the final honor- and a major one at that- for the beloved William Moody.

Also see: New York native Heyman brings his ‘guys’ to WrestleMania

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wrestlers Invade Jersey

Just because you couldn't get tickets to WrestleMania doesn't mean you have stay on your couch. WrestleMania isn't the only wrestling event in the area the first week and weekend of April. New Jersey and NYC will be taken over by wrestlers-- in fact, you may want to get back on that New Year's resolution and start showing up at the Gold's Gym again, you know, because it's highly likely someone will stop by for a workout.

Here is what's scheduled:

  • A week before WrestleMania, Ryback will be at the Voorhees Town Center (formerly the Echelon Mall). He will be signing autographs at the Adventure Land Store from noon to 2 p.m. on March 30.
  • That night, WWE will present a live Supershow event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. and features John Cena, CM Punk, Ryback and Alberto Del Rio.
  • WrestleMania Axxess begins Thursday, April 4 at the Izod Center. This is that big event that WWE shows every year (on SmackDown and during WrestleMania) of fans having all sorts of WWE-related fun, meeting Superstars and watching a few matches.
  • The first WrestleCon will be held at the Meadowlands Expo Center April 5-7. The convention will feature live events from several different promotions. Appearances, autographs or photo opportunities will be available from a variety of wrestling favorites including Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, Ultimate Warrior, Lex Luger, Jimmy Snuka, Amy Dumas (Lita), Maria Kanellis, Sandman and Balls Mahoney. (On a positive note for WWE, this means they can have ANYONE show up at WrestleMania and not have to worry about sneaking them in to town since just about EVERYONE will be at this conference only 5 miles away from their show. Even Eugene is scheduled to be there. However, the website did include Ric Flair, but he claimed on Facebook Monday that neither he nor his managers booked him for the event and that he does not plan to be there.)
  • Funkdafied Wrestling will have a show featuring Demolition's Ax and Smash on April 6 in Stirling at the Long Hill Community Center. The show starts at 7:35 p.m., and tickets are only $20, making it a great value for family entertainment.
  • TNA will visit the NYC area on Friday, April 5 with a live event featuring Sting, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Bully Ray and Devon in the main event. Show starts at 7:30 p.m., but there is a special autograph session at 5:30 p.m. for anyone who purchases a ticket worth at least $75.
  • Also in the NYC area, Ring of Honor will be at the Hammerstein Ballroom on April 5. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the show features Kevin Steen defending his World Championship against Jay Briscoe. Jay Lethal, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are also scheduled to compete.


*For any shows, the card is subject to change.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beyond the Grave

Some people were upset about how Paul Bearer was used Monday night. Let me tell you why I thought it was perfect.

First of all, professional wrestling has always told stories that blur the line between reality and fiction. These stories are the ones that make the greatest impact, and, sometimes, even teach us a lesson.

Second, William Moody loved the wrestling business. His other love was the mortuary business. The most memorable part of his career involved him carrying an urn which possessed some sort of power and escorting a dead man to the ring. He used the name Paul Bearer.

Third, heels need the audience to hate them. CM Punk, like several of the guys nowadays, can go back and forth seamlessly. This sometimes can make it hard for the audience to choose sides in match. Doing something like what he did Monday night gave the audience the position they needed to have passion in this match.

I am sure Moody was loving Monday's Raw as he watched from above. Even in death, he was an instrumental part of setting up a conflict for a WrestleMania main event. How many people can say that? I actually hope this continues through WrestleMania, with Punk holding the urn captive until then. With McMahon's magic, Moody can help Taker win at WrestleMania from beyond the grave.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On Board

After both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon joined Twitter last week, Vincent Kennedy McMahon is officially on Twitter as of today. He has not tweeted from @VinceMcMahon yet, but he has followed every WWE account of which I am aware. However, he only followed a small number of wrestlers and personalities his first day on the social media platform.

Here's who the chairman is most interested in on Twitter:

  • Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
  • Triple H (@TripleH)
  • Howard Finkel (@HowardFinkel)
  • Sheamus (@WWESheamus)
  • AJ (@WWEAJLee)
  • Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ)
  • CM Punk (@CMPunk)
  • Zack Ryder (@ZackRyder)
  • The Miz (@mikethemiz)
  • John Cena (@JohnCena)

Notice he is not following his own daughter (or wife, for that matter, but her account was primarily for her Senate run). What do you think of who he's following? Does it mean anything?

Death in the Family

Many of us woke up to the news this morning as we read social media messages from our favorite Superstars of past and present. William Moody, better known as Paul Bearer or Percy Pringle, had passed away. He was 58 years old.

It is obvious he was great man, friend and teacher based on the messages posted. He will be greatly missed.

As explained on his website, Moody, a lifelong wrestling fan, got his start in the business as a ringside photographer. While serving in the Air Force, he worked part time as an EMT and eventually got interested in mortuary science. He became a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

In 1991, the two loves of his life merged when WWE made him The Undertaker's manager, Paul Bearer. Throughout his career in the WWE, he also worked with Kane, Vader and Mankind.

His youngest son, Daniel, wrestles in the independent circuit.