TV Talking Points – 26th-28th March

It was the penultimate week of build to Wrestlemania, and once again I’m a little strapped for time, so let’s get right into the week’s events!

Raw

Laying down the law for the Deadman

While I was very much in the camp that wasn’t sure if I wanted to see Undertaker wrestle again, John Cena has most certainly brought the intensity when calling out WWE’s conscience. Like I’ve said before, he’s attacked Undertaker’s personality and character like nobody in recent memory. And this week Cena brought it again, this time claiming that no response from the Undertaker would be letting down every single fan who’s ever believed in him.

Continue reading TV Talking Points – 26th-28th March

Retro Spotlight: Jeff Hardy vs The Undertaker – Part 2

Last week I debuted a new column where I look at a match, angle or feud of the past and look at the build, the content and the aftermath. There was only one place I could start, and that was with one of my favourite matches: Jeff Hardy vs The Undertaker in a ladder match for the Undisputed Title from the July 1st, 2002 edition of Raw. That match is rightly still remembered today, but the two superstars would face off again years later, in an encounter I think is often forgotten – but no less important in the Jeff Hardy story.

I find it interesting looking back at both matches, because there are a lot of differences as you might expect, but there are also a lot of similarities despite both men being at different stages of their career, and their environment having changed significantly too.

From 2002, we’re jumping ahead six years to late 2008. As noted last time, Jeff Hardy had left WWE in 2003 to go to TNA, but he returned to Raw in 2006 to a wave of approval from his fans. He returned to confront the then-WWE Champion Edge, in what was a nice nod to Edge’s feud with Jeff’s brother Matt the previous year. But much as Jeff had failed to reach his apparent potential in 2003, he had to prove that he could be a top guy all over again when he came back. Continue reading Retro Spotlight: Jeff Hardy vs The Undertaker – Part 2

Retro Spotlight: Jeff Hardy vs The Undertaker – Part 1

So I had the idea for a new column where I take my usual Spotlight format and look at matches, rivalries or superstars of the past. I put up a post on the blog’s Facebook page asking for suggestions of what to write about, but I thought it might be helpful if the first piece was an example of what can be done. So to kick things off, over this two-part column I’m going to be looking at two matches between two of my all-time favourites: Jeff Hardy and The Undertaker.

The first match I’m looking at takes us back 16 years to 2002. And despite this being the early days of the first brand extension, the landscape of the WWE was unbelievably different. When tensions first appeared between Jeff and Undertaker, Ric Flair still owned 50% of WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin hadn’t taken his ball and gone home, there was a single Undisputed World Champion who appeared on both Raw and SmackDown and the Deadman, well, wasn’t a dead man. Continue reading Retro Spotlight: Jeff Hardy vs The Undertaker – Part 1

Wrestlemania 31 Predictions

It’s finally here. The biggest show of the year, the night that tends to have the best crowd, the biggest happenings and often career defining moments. It’s time, for Wrestlemania 31.

I am crazily excited about this one, because as you will see in just a bit, a lot of the matches are quite difficult to call. That level of doubt makes for a more exciting match I find, and it will be easier to get sucked into the drama of it all. But the focus of Wrestlemania isn’t how excited we are, it’s about the show itself, so let’s get right into the predictions! Continue reading Wrestlemania 31 Predictions

Smackdown: A Retrospective (Part 1)

It’s been a big year for Smackdown. It celebrated its 15th Anniversary in October, and it has fairly recently been announced that Smackdown will be moving back to Thursdays next year, which should give it some impetus that it’s currently lacking. But when you think about it, some of the more iconic moments in WWE history happened on the blue brand. Then they went through the brand extension, where Smackdown was consistently the better wrestling show. It has been under the leadership of Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Paul Heyman (all on and off screen), as well as the likes of Vickie Guerrero, Teddy Long, Kurt Angle, John Laurinaitis and even Zack Ryder. It has gone from The Rock’s show, to the better brand, only to fall into irrelevancy in recent years. I’m going to take a look back at some of the best moments over the last 15 years, and then look at why nobody cares about it anymore.

This article is part 1/3. Here I’m going to look at some of the best matches and rivalries to race the blue brand. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the most iconic and memorable things we have seen on Smackdown. Continue reading Smackdown: A Retrospective (Part 1)

Wrestlemania 30 Predictions

Welcome… to Wrestlemania! Or at least, the Plebs Of Wrestling’s predictions for Wrestlemania! This is it guys, this is the biggest show of the year! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. As I’ve said a lot over the last week or so, there hasn’t been much wrestling news in the last two months that hasn’t in some way related to Mania. This is the culmination, this is what WWE has been working towards for the whole of 2014 so far. This. Is. Wrestlemania.

There are 8 matches announced for the show including the kickoff match. There are also several notable things about this Mania – for one it’s literally the biggest ever, with 66 performers confirmed for matches on the show. Then add in appearances from the Hall of Famers, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and anyone else who shows up (CM Punk? Sting?). And those special appearances will be the first time we’ve seen some of the biggest names in the history of the wrestling industry on a WWE broadcast in years. And to top all of that off, this is the final event in the Plebs of Wrestling Prediction League! This is the end of the season if you like, and though I hold a fair lead over Matt, you never know what will happen. So, enough rambling about how great Wrestlemania 30 is/will be, let’s get on to the actual predictions!

M It’s Wrestlemania and how can one not be at least a bit excited!? Well it’s a close call for me I’m afraid. There’s a different feel to this year but unfortunately it’s not about the quality of the story lines and talent, but more about the spectacle surrounding the WWE Network promotion and just a downright expectancy that everyone will watch if they make it BIG! I’m a skeptic at heart as I’m sure you know, so I’ll hold my breath on this one till after I see it. The only thing I get excited about at Wrestlemania time is the Raw after it! Anyway, I’m a bit behind Andrew so I’m going all out tonight. Most of these predictions will be strange with added bits all over the shop. If I’m going down, I’m going down swinging!!

Continue reading Wrestlemania 30 Predictions

Thoughts of a Pleb: Wrestlemania 30 (Revisited)

We are in the final straight to Wrestlemania! This is usually the best time of year to be a wrestling fan, and this year we have a lot of potential. How it is all executed remains to be seen – and I’m talking about quality rather than outcomes. I’m pretty set on how I’ll be predicting the main card to go, save one or two matches.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. This column is all about something I wrote way back at the end of August last year; an article where I predicted the Wrestlemania card 6 months in advance. You can read that article, with my reasoning for each match here. It was a bit of fun, with some wild guesses from out of nowhere, some wild guesses based on what storylines were like at the time, and some educated guesses. I thought it would only be right to go back and see how I did. Continue reading Thoughts of a Pleb: Wrestlemania 30 (Revisited)

Thoughts of a Pleb: Wrestlemania 30

So quite quickly off the back of my column about John Cena’s injury, here’s another one. What could warrant such quick writing in my part? In short, Wrestlemania. And not just any Wrestlemania, Wrestlemania 30. When I was writing about Cena’s return at the start of 2014 here, it got me thinking about the potential plans for Wrestlemania. It’s never too early to be thinking about the plans for Wrestlemania season, as evidenced by recent reports that one big Summerslam result was directly influenced by the planned Wrestlemania card. So I thought it would be a bit of fun to put together a possible card. See what you think about this lot… Continue reading Thoughts of a Pleb: Wrestlemania 30

Wrestlemania 29 Predictions

Welcome to Wrestlemania! The biggest wrestling show of the year is upon us, and I’m sure everybody has their opinions on what will happen. As always when it comes to PPVs, I’m here to give my predictions for the matches on the grandest stage of them all! This could be a long one, since I haven’t written much in the build-up to Wrestlemania. So, I better get going!

The pre-show match this time round is of course The Miz challenging Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship. When WWE fails to put either secondary title on the main show, you can tell that their entire focus is on the main event with the part time players. Keep in mind this is the title that launched people like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H and The Rock – among others – into the main event. It is the championship that has produced some of the best matches in Wrestlemania history. Now it’s not even on the show. Barrett to retain. Continue reading Wrestlemania 29 Predictions

Thoughts of a Pleb: So Much News!

Over the last week there have been quite a few big news stories in the wrestling world. They have created a big buzz among the online wrestling fanbase, and for good reason. They are all things that are significant in the WWE looking forward to Wrestlemania or beyond, and lo and behold on a wrestling blog, I have some thoughts about them.

Continue reading Thoughts of a Pleb: So Much News!