Elimination Chamber Card is Pretty Good So Far

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The card for the impromptu, WWE Network exclusive pay-per-view, Elimination Chamber, looks pretty solid on paper. Following last night’s Raw – and only 13 days from the event – we have a clearer picture of what the matches will be on May 31st.

Dean Ambrose earned a one-on-one WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match with Seth Rollins, which has the potential to be really great but will probably be loaded with outside interference. NXT Champion Kevin Owens will square off with US Champion John Cena in a non-title bout. The Intercontinental and Tag Team Championship Chamber matches are also set. With Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt nowhere to be found, we’ll probably get a few more matches added to the card before next Sunday.

Here is the full breakdown:

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Dean Ambrose v. Seth Rollins

Intercontinental Championship Chamber Match
R-Truth v. King Barrett v. Sheamus v. Rusev v. Dolph Ziggler v. Ryback

Kevin Owens v. John Cena

Tag Team Championship Chamber Match
Los Matadores v. Kidd & Cesaro v. The Lucha Dragons v. The Ascension v. The Primetime Players v. The New Day

John Cena’s US Championship Open Challenge Continues to be the Best Thing About Raw

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It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating: John Cena’s US Championship Open Challenge has been the best thing about Raw for weeks now.

Since winning the US Title at WrestleMania, John Cena has defended the championship against Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane, Heath Slater, Sami Zayn and Neville on Monday Night Raw.

Aside from the PPV-caliber matches he’s been having with almost all the people on that list, knowing there will be an open challenge answered every Monday creates an anticipation to at least part of each broadcast, which is needed especially during the “post-WrestleMania slump.” Now that we’re eight weeks into the Open Challenge, it creates an excitement and suspense of who will be next.

This week, the Twitterverse nearly cried in happiness when Kevin Owens answered the challenge, cut a promo on Cena, laid him out and stomped on the US Championship while raising the NXT Title high above his head.

Even without the match, it was the best segment on Raw.

Chris Jericho Will Host ‘Tough Enough’

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WWE and USA Network announced this afternoon that Chris Jericho will host the 2015 version of the program, with Hulk Hogan, Daniel Bryan and Paige joining him on the panel. Booker T, Billy Gunn and Lita will serve as trainers.

Jericho has quickly become WWE’s go-to guy for outside the ring endeavors, taking over for Steve Austin in both the WWE Network’s podcast slot and his former Tough Enough hosting gig. Jericho is also returning to WWE for a house show run this summer.

The new season of Tough Enough premieres live Tuesday, June 23rd at 8pm ET on USA Network.

Ringside Rewind: Bret Hart v. Hulk Hogan, Nitro, September ’98

Following Bret Hart calling Hulk Hogan a dirt bag via Citi Field’s Twitter account his afternoon, I wondered if the two – who have had a mutual disdain for one another for quite some time – had squared off. Of course, the two are forever tied together from the odd WrestleMania IX finishing sequence, which saw Hart lose the WWE Championship to Yokozuna only to have Hogan come out (for some reason) and get an impromptu title match and victory.

But the two did have a match against each other. Only one.

During a September 1998 episode of WCW Nitro, the Hitman and the Hulkster did battle.

Video: Neville, Lucha Dragons Debut on Raw



There were rumors heading into Monday’s Raw that an NXT call-up would debut on the show. Instead we got two debuts, Neville and the Lucha Dragons. While Sin Cara has, of course, been on Raw before, this was Kalisto’s first time.

Unfortunately, WWE couldn’t resist its desire to drop the first name of wrestlers, removing “Adrian” from Neville’s name.

Either way, it’s cool to see an NXT favorite getting his well-deserved shot on the main roster. The same goes for the Lucha Dragons, who will add some spice to the tag team division.

Video: Brock Lesnar Goes Nuts, Destroys Commentary Team and Cameraman After Seth Rollins Refuses WWE World Heavyweight Championship Rematch


This was beautiful.

Brock Lesnar is an absolute monster. Seth Rollins is such a great heel. And everyone else sold this to make it look amazing. From Paul Heyman’s facial expressions and reactions to Michael Cole selling an F5 like a champ, this was a great segment on a very good episode of Raw.

New WWE 2K Mobile Game Coming Soon

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Following in the footsteps of other consoles games to come to mobile like Madden, FIFA and NBA 2K, WWE 2K is headed to your iOS or Android device this spring.

In a press release this afternoon 2K announced the game, which will feature three match types, comprehensive move sets and entrances, Create-A-Superstar and Career modes and live multiplayer matches. The company also noted the price point will be $7.99. Some of the playable wrestlers mentioned in the release include Hulk Hogan, Sting, John Cena, Triple H, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

WrestleMania 31 Quick Hit Reactions

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WWE delivered a WrestleMania full of moments, entertaining matches and interesting booking last night in Santa Clara, CA. Coming in I had pretty high expectations for the show, based more on the card itself and the workers involved than the build. The company and its performers certainly did not disappoint.

Were there things you could nitpick about? Of course. But all in all I found this to be one of the best WrestleManias. Below are my quick hits on WrestleMania 31:

• The finish to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match could not have been booked any better. It was the first time a Money in the Bank cash in has been done during a match and with the briefcase being around for as long as it has, it’s always great when WWE can come up with a new way to use it. The tide of the match had just turned to Roman Reigns’ favor and both men were rocked, making it a perfect time for Seth Rollins to capitalize.

The way this was done makes it fairly easy to book the WWE Title picture all the way through SummerSlam, as well. Lesnar wasn’t pinned so he has a legit beef along with his rematch clause, which I would expect won’t come until SummerSlam. Roman Reigns took the pin but a program between the former Shield brethren is an obvious summer feud. And there’s also Randy Orton, who pinned Rollins earlier in the night following a spectacular RKO, who could claim rights to a title match.

The ending also can be used as the final piece of a Brock Lesnar babyface turn. We’ll see where that goes on tonight’s Raw.

• The aforementioned spectacular RKO earned the first pop of the night from this viewer. As with Money in the Bank cash ins, finding creative new ways for Orton to hit an RKO “OUT OF NOWHERE” can be challenging, but Orton turning a curb stomp attempt into the finisher was a truly clever spot. It was also perfectly executed by Orton and Rollins, so kudos to them.

The match was great but could have used a little more time. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, since these two are top shelf when it comes to in-ring work.

• The Intercontinental Championship ladder match had some good spots and a few scary parts as well, most notably the harsh landing Dean Ambrose took onto a ladder bridged between the barricade and the ring apron. Daniel Bryan winning is the right call. The IC Title desperately needs an image restoration and putting it around the waist of the hottest babyface in the company (with Brock Lesnar giving him a run for his money) is a wise move.

• I liked the incorporation of DX and the nWo into the Sting v. Triple H match, even though it didn’t make sense to have the nWo side with their longtime nemesis Sting. While it was a bit of a mess, it made sense given Sting’s age and the amount of time it’s been since he last wrestled a lengthy match while in TNA. I would have booked the match to end after the nWo showed up and Sting hit Triple H with the Scorpion Death Drop but apparently Vince McMahon wanted to make sure that – even 14 years later – everyone knew the WWE beat WCW.

I thought Sting looked great, especially for being 56 years old. While The Rock looked gassed shortly into his WrestleMania XXVIII match against John Cena, Sting showed no similar signs. Maybe this is it for the Stinger but if he has enough in the tank, it would be great to see him stick around for a few more WWE matches. Even better would be to see him go out with a win.

Rusev had to lose eventually but I was really hoping he would get a WrestleMania moment over Cena. Getting the US Title off him could mean he’s headed to the WWE Championship picture, although that looks like a crowded landscape at the moment. Certainly giving Cena the strap will elevate the title in the same way the IC Title will be heightened by Daniel Bryan holding it but Cena didn’t need the win at ‘Mania.

The match itself was very good and it looks like we might be headed towards a Lana-Rusev breakup. Maybe Lana will come back from filming her movie as a babyface who suddenly lost her Russian accent?

• The match between Undertaker and Bray Wyatt was fine and Undertaker looked good, especially for being 50 years old, but it didn’t have that same mystique for me as usual. Obviously Taker not having the streak was a big reason for that. There were some good moments here, especially the spot where Wyatt was doing the reverse spider walk and Taker sat up. This one could have been booked either way and made sense, but it’s the second year in a row Wyatt loses to a high profile star at WrestleMania. That in itself can be considered quite the rub, though.

• The Tag Team Championship 4-Way match was a crazy yet entertaining trainwreck. I’m glad they kept the belts on Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. The team is getting over and if they’re not ready to give Cesaro a real singles run, it’s smart to keep the two together and let them grow as a team.

• Big Show winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal was fine. If you got upset that someone else didn’t get the rub or Big Show “didn’t need the win,” you must have forgotten how little it did for Cesaro last year. Show had never won a battle royal or Royal Rumble before so it was a nice touch to give him the nod, along with the obvious comparisons throughout his career to (his one-time father, according to WCW) Andre the Giant.

Miz and Damien Mizdow were also able to tell their story in a big way, which was important. I would expect a match between the two at Extreme Rules.

• I thought the special entrances were all well done, even Triple H’s Terminator cross-promotion which was either the greatest thing ever or the hokiest thing in wrestling history, according to my Twitter timeline. It could have done without the whole “targeting” view-from-the-Terminator thing, but it was fine.

Rusev’s tank-riding entrance was the best of the night for me and I’m disappointed there was only a Fox News viewer’s dream of a video package before Cena entered. Really thought he would MURICA it up a little more.