Saturday, 12 April 2014

Wrestlemania 30 and RAW thoughts - The Undertaker, Daniel Bryan & More!!!!


I'm a bit behind on this post as wasn't able to watch Wrestlemania straight away!! After having caught up with Wrestlemania and this weeks RAW - I thought I would give an update!

I really enjoyed this years Wrestlemania - it seemed to have it all and was packed full of memorable moments. This is what I perceive to be the highlights of the past week.

Wrestlemania 30

Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan vs HHH was a great way to start the show - the match itself was excellent - in my opinion easily the match of the night.

My thoughts going into Wrestlemania were that Daniel Bryan was obviously going to win. The feud had been booked in such a fashion that there was no way that The Authority wouldn't get their comeuppance.

However, I watched the match unfold and started doubting myself - would the WWE throw another curveball? They did it at Summerslam 2013, so it's not out of the realms of possibility it could happen again? I have been watching wrestling for 22 years and like to think I'm pretty knowledgeable on all things WWE - however they still manage to shock me at times.

Luckily for all of us Daniel Bryan fans, they didn't disappoint. Daniel won and headed to the main event - where he won the WWE World heavyweight title in a decent, spot filled match. It was what we all wanted and it made sure Wrestlemania ended on a high.

What we all wanted......
Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar: End of the Streak

21-1
Unfortunately this had been ruined for me before I even watched it - I heard it on the news on BBC Radio 1 and even though I tried to cover my ears I caught the words 'historic loss'. So it was pretty obvious what was being referred to!

Regardless I enjoyed the match and thought it resulted in one of the most emotional Wrestlemania moments of all time. The stunned silence and shock on everyone's face when Taker lost was just unbelievable. I went into this match and had thoughts after on how much of a mistake it was to end the Streak. I'm still unsure of how I feel about it - on one hand I think it should have remained intact until his official retirement, on the other I feel that putting someone else over was the right thing to do. It says a lot of The Undertaker that he went with the latter.

Other random thoughts from the show

Loved Cesaro winning the Andre battle royal - the reaction from the crowd to the bodyslam on Big Show was great.

Future Main Eventer.....
I think Bray Wyatt should have beaten John Cena - hopefully he will win the rematch at Extreme Rules. A win on the "Grandest Stage of Them All" would have really helped Wyatts career.

"He's got the whole world in his hands"
The Crowd were awesome and always make such a big difference to my enjoyment of a show.

Watching the battle royal made me realise how many stars are there doing absolutely nothing - Ziggler, Kidd, Gabriel, 3MB, Ryder, Clay, R Truth, Miz - the list goes on.

I heard of the Ultimate Warriors death before watching Mania and RAW - it felt quite sad to watch knowing this already. RIP Warrior.

Like the opening segment with Hogan , Rock and Austin - it felt like a nod to the past and a toast to the future. Wrestlemania 30 felt like the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.


RAW 07/04/2014.


The post Mania RAW is always eventful and the New Orleans crowd were super hot from the start. It was a great episode of RAW - here are some quick thoughts!

Enjoyed the vignettes for Adam Rose (great character) and Bo Dallas (Bolieve!!!!). The debut of Paige and Alexander Rusev were also enjoyable. I can see Rusev being a monster heel and a big star.

Adam Rose - debuting soon!
Cesaro becoming a "Paul Heyman" Guy. Could be great for Cesaros' career but not sure where it's going? Seems like Cesaro is a face/tweener with one of the most despised men in WWE as his manager - I'm a bit confused.

"The King of Swing" with Paul Heyman
Speaking of Heyman - his promo with Lesnar was awesome.

Heyman can't be beaten on the mic...
Once again, felt sad watching the Ultimate Warrior make his final appearance.....

Goodbye Warrior....

The Wyatts vs Cena, Sheamus and Big E was an enjoyable match and made Bray look strong, even coming off his loss at Mania.

We're here...
It looks like Evolution is reforming and heading for a showdown with The Shield. I loved the show ending brawl with The Shield but wonder how long can they stretch the Authority vs Daniel Bryan story on for. We can add and take away other players in this story but the focus is still the same. One thing is for sure - we do not want to see Daniel Bryan lose the championship for a long time - especially not after all of this build-up!

The Shield and Daniel Bryan
So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed reading! Improvements coming to the blog soon- keep them peeled!!


Thanks!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

RIP: The Ultimate Warrior

 
The Ultimate Warrior's Hall of Fame induction

"No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. 'Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life what makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the story tellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever.
'You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend makers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. I am The Ultimate Warrior. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans and the spirit of Ultimate Warrior will run forever."
 
The Ultimate Warrior, Monday Night RAW, The 7th of April 2014. 
 
Sadly this would be the last time we would hear from Jim Hellwig AKA The Ultimate Warrior. 
 
Hellwig, aged 54, passed away on the 08/04/2014, just 3 days after his Hall of Fame induction. Hellwig collapsed in front of his Arizona hotel room and was pronounced dead at hospital.

My earliest memory of  wrestling is watching Wrestlemania 8 with my Dad - I remember watching Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice in the main event. Papa Shango would interfere, helping Sid.All of a sudden that famous music hit. Warrior ran down to the ring in his trademark style and helped out his friend. I was hooked from that very moment and love wrestling to this day.
 
The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania 8
Many wrestling fans have fond memories of the Ultimate Warrior and he will be missed. It seems poignant that he was able to get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as appearing on RAW one last time. His promo almost seemed to foreshadow his death - "Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath".

His death has been covered in many news articles so I am not here to cover it again in any great detail. I just wanted to pay tribute in some way.
 
The Ultimate Warrior is a true legend in the wrestling business and will always be remembered that way. He may no longer be with us but his legacy will remain. He was a childhood hero to me and millions of others and will never be forgotten.
 
Thanks for getting me into Wrestling. 

Warrior, Icon, Legend, Hall of Famer
 
RIP Jim Hellwig

Saturday, 5 April 2014

WWE - Would a Cruiserweight division work in 2014?


The WWE Cruiserweight Championship
In 2008 - the WWE officially retired their Cruiserweight championship. The division was home to many talented stars and only a handful of them managed to see success once it ended.

Brian Kendrick - one of the talented stars WWE used to have in their Cruiserweight division
I personally enjoy Cruiserweight wrestling and believe that the division, had it been given the attention it deserved could still have been viable in 2014.

So where did they go wrong? The belt wasn't taken seriously, full stop. It was consigned to a low card status and saw championship reigns by Jacqueline, Chavo Guerrero Sr and Hornswoggle. The division was never given the spotlight it deserved.

Killing the Cruiserweight division...
The WWE now seems to focus on smaller stars so I believe that 2014 is the time to bring the title back.

So how would they do it?

In my opinion, the Intercontinental and United States Championships have lost their prestige and are indistinguishable from each other. They are hardly ever defended as it is so why not get rid of one of them? This obviously wouldn't be the first time that WWE have retired a championship - hell they even unified the Intercontinental championship (a title with a lot of heritage) with the World Heavyweight Championship back in 2002.

The Intercontinental title has a strong lineage and originated in WWE - unlike the US title (which became WWE property following the purchase of WCW, back in 2001) So let's retire the United States Championship.

So the WWE could announce a unification match between their mid card champions. They should not announce the rebirth of the Cruiserweight title at the same time as it would take the focus off the unification and vice versa.

When the title is revived, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon should announce that the title is coming back and the champion will be decided with a tournament, culminating at a major PPV (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series). The participants of this tournament should be the folllowing:

Diego
These guys should be featured prominently in the new division.
Fernando
Evan Bourne
Rey Mysterio
Sin Cara
Justin Gabriel
Tyson Kidd
Yoshi Tatsu
Seth Rollins
Adrian Neville
Corey Graves
Cody Rhodes.

Every match in this tournament should be a show stealer. They should be hyped and should not be a 5 min match at the beginning of RAW.

Adrian Neville and Corey Graves could be called up from NXT.
The winner? I would like to see Tyson Kidd win but for exposure for the title I think Seth Rollins should walk away with the championship here.
Rollins should defeat Tyson Kidd in the final of the tournament and the two should go onto feud thereafter. This would be an awesome feud to kick-start the new division and give it the spotlight it rightly deserves.

Future Cruiserweight Champion?
Raw, Smackdown and NXT is full of smaller talent who could be utilised in such an awesome way. The WWE needs to give them promo time, ample match time and spots on every PPV. With this and the correct storyline the division would be a great success.

Give me your thoughts below! Thanks for reading!!!!!!

Monday, 31 March 2014

Wrestlemania 30 Preview and Predictions



 
'The Showcase of The Immortals'

Wrestlemania 30 is now only 7 days away and the anticipation for the WWE's 'Showcase of the Immortals' is at fever pitch.

I'm going to take a look at the current card (which is always subject to change) and give my predictions!



The Uso's vs Real Americans vs Los Matadores vs Ryback and Curtis Axel

The recently crowned tag team champions will defend their titles in a fatal four way tag team match. I can see this being a good match to open the show. I would kind of like to see the Real Americans walk out with the belts,but I can't see the Uso's losing the titles just yet so I'm going with them for the win.

Winners: The Uso's


 
Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational

AJ Lee — the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time — will put her title on the line against 13 Divas. I'm not really invested in the Diva's division and can see this is a short crowd filler. I can see Brie Bella walking out with the Divas title, not only to capitalise on 'Total Divas' but to have a fairy-tale ending to WM30 with her real life fiancĂ©, Daniel Bryan

Winner: Brie Bella

 
Andre the Giant Battle Royal
 
30 Superstars will compete in the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The winner will be presented with a trophy in the shape of Andre. This is due to take place every year and should be an enjoyable match. I appreciate that there is not room for everyone on the card so this is a good way of giving everyone some exposure on 'The Grandest Stage of Them All'. I would like to see Dolph Ziggler walk away with the win here and begin his ascent up the roster once again.
 
Winner: Dolph Ziggler

 
The Shield vs Kane and New Age Outlaws

I'm not really that interested in this match. I am a huge fan of The Shield, but can't really get excited due to their opponents. The Corporate Kane character is terrible and although I don't mind the New Age Outlaws, I'm not really interested in seeing them in this match.

I don't see the benefit of Kane and NAO winning this, unless it's to set up the Shield split. I don't think they'll split just yet so I think The Shield will win this one.

Winners: The Shield


John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

The build up to this match has been excellent - the promo work by both men has been top notch (especially Wyatt) and this should really deliver. I'm hoping for 'The eater of worlds' to win in his first Wrestlemania - I think creative will do the right thing and book Bray for the win, albeit with outside interference from Rowan and Harper.

Winner: Bray Wyatt



Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Will The Undertaker's streak become 22-0 at the hands of Brock Lesnar? This match should really deliver - both stars never disappoint on the main stage of Wrestlemania and they won't on April 6th.
I really can't see the Streak ever coming to an end so I'm going with The Phenom on this one.

Winner: The Undertaker


Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (Winner to be entered into the WWE World Heavyweight Title Match)

This feud started at SummerSlam in August 2013 and will finally reach it's climax at Wrestlemania. I'm pretty sure every fan is hoping to see Daniel Bryan emerge victorious - I certainly am. I can't see the WWE taking this away from 'The Beard' and expect to see Bryan inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with Orton and Batista.

Winner: Daniel Bryan



WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Winner of Daniel Bryan-Triple H Match

When this was originally scheduled as a singles match I didn't give a damn about it so am glad it's now a triple threat. We are all heavily invested in Daniel Bryan and desperately want to see him included in the main event of Wrestlemania. The drama surrounding this match will elevate it into an exciting encounter, leaving us on the edge of our seats for every near fall.

I can't see the WWE letting us down here and am confident Daniel Bryan will leave New Orleans as the World Champion.

Winner: Daniel Bryan


So, brief post this time! Give me your Wrestlemania predictions below!!!

Thanks for reading!!

 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Spotlight: NXT Season 1 rookies



                                                              
The NXT we currently enjoy used to be a totally different beast. In 2011, WWE debuted a new show, which dipped its toe into the reality television world.

8 rookies competed to be the next breakout star and earn a spot on the main roster. 5 seasons of NXT aired - in this spotlight we look at the stars of the memorable first season - some successful, some.......not so much.


                                           Sorry had to add this in for comedy purposes!

The show's original format saw the 8 rookies in various physical and non physical competition to earn a WWE contract.


When the original season came to an end, one man was left standing as the NXT winner: Wade Barrett. However no-one expected what came next.


                                                            NXT Winner: Wade Barrett


The next night on RAW during a match between John Cena & CM Punk, Wade Barrett sauntered down to the ring. The other 7 rookies - Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield hopped over the guard rail and we knew something big was about to happen. The NXT rookies destroyed everyone and everything, leaving a huge impression on all of us.

The Nexus was born.


                                                                 The Nexus Debut

The stable was relatively short lived, lasting from June 2010 - August 2011. It changed its members over this period (John Cena was forced to be a member at one point) and even it's leader Wade Barrett was exiled from the group in favour of CM Punk - who formed the New Nexus (comprising of rookies from NXT season 2 - Husky Harris (Bray Wyatt) and Michael McGillicutty, season 1 rookie David Otunga and FCW star Mason Ryan).



                                                                   The New Nexus

The Nexus will be remembered as a memorable faction in wrestling history - taking a group of unknown rookies and putting them on centre stage. They all made an immediate impact and although the spotlight doesn't shine quite so brightly on some if its stars now, they were part of something special and deserve to be remembered for that.

Now let’s examine each individual rookie and see what path their career took following the end of the Nexus. I’ll also take a look at what the future could hold for them in WWE.

Heath Slater

 3MB

After the Nexus split, Slater became part of the forgettable stable known as The Corre, along with Justin Gabriel, Ezekiel Jackson and Wade Barrett. Slater also had a run with the tag team titles (as part of the Nexus and the Corre) along with Justin Gabriel.

Since then he seems to have become the rock and roll version of Barry Horowitz - becoming a jobber to all. He’s not alone though - Drew Mcintyre and Jinder Mahal make up the numbers in 3MB. I actually think all three members of 3MB have talent - like with most underutilised wrestlers it’s just the case of being booked correctly.

So how could Slater be booked? How about splitting 3MB and putting Slater along with Curt Hawkins (he has a similar look should they choose to keep the 3MB gimmick)? Or even keep Mcintyre and Slater as a team? I'm not suggesting that Slater will be headlining PPV's anytime soon, but he could make his presence felt in the tag team division.


Justin Gabriel

                                                                  'International Airstrike'

The South African born star teamed with Heath Slater after the Nexus disbanded, becoming a member of the Corre and holding the tag team championship. He has never really had a big singles push since then which is a shame - Gabriel is exciting to watch. Unless WWE were to reinstate the Cruiserweight division I'm not sure where I see Gabriel.

He formed a short lived tag team "International Airstrike" with the hugely underrated Tyson Kidd. Why not start this team again? They had huge potential and could have had some great matches with The Shield, The Uso's etc. Even keep Kidd's wife Natalya as their manager?

 David Otunga

                                                                   'Harvard Graduate'

After leaving the Nexus, Otunga held the WWE tag team championship with Michael McGillicutty as part of the New Nexus. Since then he hasn't really done a lot! He had quite a big role in the company as John Laurinaitis' legal advisor but following 'Big Johnny's' departure has pretty much disappeared from our screens. 

As far as I am concerned, Otunga didn't have a lot of in ring talent - but I really enjoyed his character. He was a good talker and made his presence felt on the mic. I believe he would make a good manager for an up and coming NXT star?

Michael Tarver 

                                                                        Ummm.........

 Michael Tarver was released from his WWE contract on June 13th, 2011. I am not aware of any wrestling appearances since.

Darren Young 

                                                                       'No days off'

Young was actually kicked out of the Nexus before they actually split (Young chose to face John Cena the night after Summerslam 2010, with his Nexus spot on the line. He failed to win, and was exiled and attacked as a result).

Since then he returned to NXT for it's sixth series, NXT Redemption and was later called up to the main roster along with Titus O Neill, forming the tag team "The Prime Time Players". They had an acceptable run but where recently disbanded when Titus O Neill turned heel and attacked him following a loss to Ryback and Curtis Axel.

I saw Young as the more gifted wrestler out of the two but he seems to lack in personality. I think Young would benefit from some work on his mic skills and should maybe be sent to NXT- he could return with a new look/gimmick and start up a feud with a solid mid carder such as The Miz. This could really help elevate Young in the long run.

Skip Sheffield

                                                            Ryback following his heel turn

 Sheffield left the Nexus before their split after breaking his ankle and returned in April 2012 as Ryback. Since then he squashed jobbers and feuded with The Shield as a face, before turning heel to feud with John Cena and CM Punk (Ryback was briefly aligned with Paul Heyman during the feud with Punk).

His short lived alliance with Heyman came to end in November 2013 and since then he has teamed with former Paul Heyman guy, Curtis Axel.

Ryback seemed destined to be WWE Champion and I saw him as a permanent fixture in the main event scene. I personally don't think his heel turn was as successful as it could have been - apparently other wrestlers had complained about his work being stiff too which explains his demotion to mid card.

I personally don't see "Rybaxel" going far as a tag team. As a face, Ryback seemed to have everything going for him so why not revisit that? I'm unsure whether he could recapture his popularity - but there is zero interest in him at the moment so why not try it? Perhaps a feud with Batista (the matches wouldn't be amazing but from a storyline perspective, it could work).

Wade Barrett

                                                   "I'm afraid I have some bad news...."

Wade Barrett became the leader of The Corre over on Smackdown after being exiled from The Nexus. This new stable only lasted a matter of months and was dissolved after Barrett waked out on Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel following a 6 man tag team match.

Barrett has enjoyed a successful career thus far - winning the Intercontinental Championship on two occasions, being involved in a major feud with Randy Orton and a short feud with Kofi Kingston and The Miz. Barrett disappeared from our screens for about 5 months  but returned in late 2013 with a new persona - "Bad News" Barrett. This basically involves him insulting the fans, fellow wrestlers etc.

Barrett has been repackaged on many occasions but nothing seems to stick. I enjoy "Bad News" but the question is, how does this translate into a feud? I'm not sure how this would be booked but I think a feud with a babyface Cesaro or Big E could yield some pretty awesome matches.

Daniel Bryan

                                                                             YES!

During the Nexus debut, Bryan attacked ring announcer Justin Roberts, strangling him with his own tie and was subsequently fired as this was seen as too violent for the WWE's PG-13 programming.

A couple of months later (August 2010) Bryan returned to WWE where he was revealed as the surprise seventh member of Team WWE for the seven-on-seven elimination tag team match against The Nexus at Summerslam.
Bryan would go on to defeat The Miz for the United States championship and following that feud would enter onto a short program with Sheamus over the title.

Bryan would later be drafted to Smackdown where he would go on to win the Money in the Bank briefcase. He cashed in his contract and became World Heavyweight Champion for the first time.
Bryan also started being involved in a romantic storyline with AJ Lee.

Bryan then began a slow heel turn, gradually showing signs of overconfidence and arrogance - leading on to him feuding with his former friend The Big Show and later Sheamus, to whom he lost the World Heavyweight Championship.

He later split from AJ and following a feud with CM Punk and Kane, started teaming with Kane in Team Hell No. Bryan and Kane became the tag team champions and held the titles for 245 days before dropping the belts to Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Bryan became obsessed with proving he wasn't the weak link of the team, which alienated him from Kane, causing them to separate.

Bryan is seen as one of the best performers in the wrestling industry and his increased popularity caused the WWE to push him to main event stardom. John Cena handpicked him as his opponent at Summerslam 2013 and after defeating Cena, lost the WWE Championship immediately - special referee Triple H pedigreed him, allowing Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.

                                              Randy Orton cashing in 'Money in the Bank

He entered into a top feud with The Authority (Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton), which lasted for months. He had a brief feud with the Wyatt Family but has since re-entered the feud with the Authority. Daniel Bryan is due to wrestle Triple H at Wrestlemania 30 - whoever wins will be inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match with Randy Orton and Batista.

The future for Daniel Bryan? I can't see his popularity dying down. His connection with the crowd is amazing and is on par with the greats in this industry such as The Rock and Steve Austin.

Obviously I want to see him win at Wrestlemania 30 then maybe restart his feud with Bray Wyatt for a while? He could also start a feud with a heel Sheamus or Christian? Put it this way, Bryan certainly doesn't need his career to be kick-started, just some good worthwhile feuds and a long reign.

                                               Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt vs The Uso's

Ok.......so quite a long section on Daniel Bryan! Quite simply because he has achieved a lot since his debut and is far and away the most successful "rookie" from NXT (I say rookie, but Bryan had actually been wrestling on the independent circuit/Ring of Honor for years).

NXT season one produced some memorable stars and will be looked back on with fond memories - it propelled all 8 rookies to stardom as part of The Nexus and although this popularity may not have lasted long for all of them, most have gone on to forge their own successful career.


I think this is quite possibly my longest post yet and my fingers are hurting now!! The next blog will be a bit shorter and will look at predictions for Wrestlemania and the feuds that may result going forward.

Hope you enjoyed the blog!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Your perfect wrestling game!!!!!

 
 
My first wrestling game!!!!
 

As you know - I love wrestling. As it happens I am also a big video game geek and have been since I was little!
 
I have owned pretty much every WWF/WWE game for the NES, SNES, N64, Dreamcast, Wii, PS1, PS2 and PS3. My favourite game? WWF No Mercy for the N64. It really shows its age now but at the time it was revolutionary. WWE games since have improved the graphics and have added extra features, but the customisation, the branching storylines and just the core gameplay itself made it memorable.
 
 
                                              
WWF No Mercy - Jeff Hardy vs Christian 
 
This blog post isn't looking at the history of wrestling videogames but rather is asking the question: What would make your perfect wrestling game? It would be great if you could comment below and give me your suggestions! Give us much or as little detail as you want. WWE 2K15 is due to appear on next gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) and should be capable of so much more. Next gen WWE games should be very interesting - this is how I would make it!! 
 
Roster
 
This is always a sticking point because the cut off is around Wrestlemania time - any roster additions after that are definitely not a sure bet to be included. I would like to see future DLC that reflects the current roster - not legends.
 
I would include the current WWE and NXT roster IN FULL, not legends. They may be popular additions but with the inclusion of the NXT roster they should be pushed to the side. Perhaps add loads of legends faces and clothes into create a wrestler so we can make them ourselves?
 
                                                 
Cesaro vs Daniel Bryan - WWE 2K14
 
Gameplay
 
When I play a wrestling game and have a match - I want a battle. I remember playing a match on WWF No Mercy (N64) and spending about 30-40 mins trying to win the match. It felt like the wrestling game equivalent of Demons Souls (If you've not played it - it's bloody hard!!!).
 
WWE 2K14 had the Quick/Normal/Epic options but they didn't feel that different to me.
 
If I'm on career mode and am wrestling at a PPV or main event of RAW, I don't want it to be over in 5 minutes - I want near falls. I want drama. I want the wrestlers to get tired and for that to come across on screen. It should really be an achievement when you win.
 
Other than that? Little things really - I want the wrestlers to place their foot or hand on the rope for a rope break. I want a weapon shot to be a potential match ender. I want the referee to stay down longer when hurt - if you go for a pin while he's down he slowly crawls across and does a slow count or a new ref comes in etc.
 

                                           
  Randy Orton vs Daniel Bryan - WWE 2K14

 
Career Mode
 
There is only so many times we can revisit the past in WWE games - although these modes were cool and the attention to detail was excellent. I did feel like I was playing random match after random match. Of course I was given a bit of storyline narrative/video package before matches but it just didn't feel cohesive at times.
 
I would concentrate on the present/future with 2 storylines - the first would be taking a wrestler from NXT and working your way up through the roster.
 
If you want to play as someone from the main roster perhaps a storyline could be incorporated where you get fired by the Authority a la Cody Rhodes and have to fight to get your job back? You would start at the bottom of the ladder and have to fight to get back on top? Proper branching storylines would be awesome too (again like WWF No Mercy).
 
For example - if you qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match you go on the main PPV show and have the match. If you don't win you wrestle on the preshow or in another non-title match on the show etc. The storylines would go in COMPETELY different directions offering replay value.
 
It would also be cool to treat it as a type of manager mode - looking after your wrestler in an out of the ring - playing some type of mini game in the gym to rehab from injury etc.
 
Presentation
 
Again it's the little things that make the difference to me. Here's a few examples:
 
1. If you get cut in a match you are bandaged up the next night on RAW.
2. Weapons need to stay in the ring
3. Clothes need to be more realistic, they can rip, get wet from blood and sweat etc.
4. Same goes for hair!!
5. How about different commentators for different shows? Not just Cole and Lawler!
6. Different referees for each match? (not just mini Naitch!!).
 
They need to make things feel a little bit different each time you play, to give the games a bit of unpredictability just like on TV!
 
Obviously the graphics should almost be photo realistic on the PS4 (I hope) so we'll wait and see!!!
 
I could go on and on all day, literally!!! I need to stop somewhere though so I'll stop by saying this - I have bought every wrestling game available and have enjoyed every one of them, but it has been quite a while since I felt the drama and suspense like I did playing on the N64.
 
I hope WWE 2K15 is the new benchmark for wrestling games. PS4 games are about £47.00. I don't own a PS4 (unfortunately) but when I eventually do I want my money to be well spent!!!
 
So.....give me your ideas below!!!
 
Thanks for reading!!!!!!!!


Monday, 24 March 2014

Spotlight: Paul Heyman

WWE's most valuable asset?

Paul Heyman. Paul E Dangerously. The advocate for Brock Lesnar. The voice of the voice of the voiceless. Promoter, manager, commentator. Whatever his role, whatever you want to call him, one thing is undeniable. Paul Heyman is a legend and is one of the most influential figures in professional wrestling history.
 
My memory of Paul Heyman really began in ECW - I remember the original ECW invasion of the WWE (then WWF) back in 1997 - from then on I was hooked and watched it weekly on the Sky channel BRAVO. I like many others have fond memories of ECW and can't wait to watch everything all over again when the WWE Network launches in the UK (late 2014/early 2015)
 
                                                      The Sandman, Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer
 
The stars of ECW didn't have bodybuilder physiques. The didn't have Hollywood style looks. They looked like you or me - but Paul Heyman made them special. They had heart, they had talent and they were given the opportunity to showcase that to the world.
 
The high risk, hardcore style incorporated in ECW paved the way for the "Attitude Era" in the WWF and had a large influence on the WCW product too.
 
                                                                       Paul Heyman in his ECW days
 
As ECW became more and more popular, we started to say goodbye to Doink the Clown and Duke "The Dumpster" Droese and hello to Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. The cartoon characters we had seen for years were phased out and the WWF introduced an edgier product.
 
Even in this PG era we still feel Paul Heyman and ECW's influence - the gimmicks, storylines and matches can still have that "edge" and we are seeing real characters on our screens.
 
When ECW folded in 2001, Heyman became a commentator on RAW (replacing Jerry Lawler) and was awesome. His verbal dialogue with Jim Ross was always great to listen to and although I was sad to say goodbye to ECW, I was pleased to see Paul back on our screens.
 
                                                                            Paul Heyman and Jim Ross
 
In the years to come Heymans role changed significantly - from commentator to manager, Smackdown GM (Heyman was also head writer on Smackdown), Ohio Valley Wresting booker, on screen GM of the revived ECW brand to manager again - he really has done it all in this business.
 
Heyman left the WWE in December 2006 following the revived ECW's first and only PPV (December to Dismember) - we would not see him again on our screens until May 2012 where he returned as Brock Lesnar's legal advisor. I was very pleased to see him back.
 
                                                                         Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar 
 
Since then we've seen him manage Brock (which he still does to this day), manage and feud with CM Punk and introduce a new "Paul Heyman" guy (Curtis Axel). He is always a highlight of WWE.
 
 
                                                                           Paul Heyman and CM Punk
 
I have touched upon a little bit of history - but what could the future could hold for him in WWE? What if Brock Lesnar leaves or gets injured?
 
In my opinion there a few wrestlers in WWE who could benefit from becoming a "Paul Heyman" Guy - keeping Heyman on screen and pushing them to the next level.
 
Here's my 3 picks and a little bit of fantasy booking - a little out there but why not!!
 
1. Kofi Kingston
 
 
I really feel that Kofi Kingston could be a main event star in the WWE. The problem is the babyface character he is potraying has become really stale and he seems to be mired in the mid-card. Kofi needs an edge to him and I would love to see him as a heel.
 
Imagine Paul Heyman introducing his new "guy" - a new slower entrance theme hits and Kofi walks down to the ring all suited up, gets into the ring and hugs his new manager. He then goes on to denounce his fans. He tells them that they are the reason he has been stuck in mid card hell and they have ruined his career. How he could have headlined Wrestlemania and become WWE Champion by now if he hadn't pandered to them - but Paul is the one to get him to that next level etc.
 
I think Kofi on his own might struggle to be hated - but with Heyman by his side this could really work.
 
2. Sheamus
 

 
Just like Kofi, I feel that the Sheamus character has become a little stale. He is really talented but works better as a heel in my opinion. The smiles, jokes and talk of pints become quite old and I feel like he needs that edge to get back to main event stardom once more. Paul Heyman is the guy to give him that edge.
 
Daniel Bryan and Sheamus had a good feud a couple of years back (lets not mention the pathetic 18 second Wrestlemania 28 match) specifically the 2 out of 3 falls match at Extreme Rules 2012. Why not revisit the feud with the roles reversed - Sheamus as the heel and Bryan as the face?
 
Following a victory by Daniel Bryan, Heyman could walk down to the ring and tell Bryan that he misses the days when he managed CM Punk. How he wants to manage a long reigning world champion again and with Brock gone he needs a new "Paul Heyman" Guy.
 
Sheamus music hits and he walks down to the ring - Bryan begs him to think it through while Paul screams at him to hit the Brogue kick. Sheamus kicks Bryan and holds the world title above his head while Heyman applauds.
 
                                                                 3. Curtis Axel
 
 
 
Yes I know. Axel used to be a Paul Heyman guy. I really don't think this partnership was given the chance though. Axel became the Intercontinental Champion but hardly ever defended the belt. The focus was more on the Heyman - CM Punk story and Axel became a background character.
 
This would be easy enough to do. Axel realises his career is floundering following his split from Heyman and begs him to let him back into the fold. Heyman tells him he has to prove himself and Axel does so brutally attacking a much loved character or legend - a returning Chris Jericho for example.
 
Heyman tells Axel he will become his manager once more and then a Y2J vs Curtis Axel feud is born - maybe with the IC title on the line. This time around though Axel needs to be the focus and needs time to develop his character. He has a shedload of in ring talent and needs time to work on aspects of his character.
 
 
Okay so this blog was a bit longer than I intended it to be and has turned into a bit of an essay! I got a bit carried away with the fantasy booking too!
 
The reason I write these blogs is so I can give my opinion and use a bit of creativity. Wrestling is something I enjoy and I like to discuss all aspects of it.
 
I will do this type of thing again but might shorten things a bit next time!!
 
Thanks for reading!!!