The program aired on USA Network between 1984 and 1986 and followed the late night talk show format, with Vince McMahon hosting. Lord Alfred Hayes was also a “correspondent” on the show. Gene Okerlund replaced McMahon in the host’s chair in 1986.
Since the members of the Wyatt Family each went their separate ways a few months ago, Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan had been mostly kept apart. Rowan and Harper were participants in the Survivor Series main event on opposing teams, where it looked like the beginning of an angle between the two was subtly teased.
Following Survivor Series, Rowan went into a program with Big Show, leading us to the silly “Stairs Match” on this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view. Harper, for his part, has been invovled in a program with Dolph Ziggler ever since abruptly winning the Intercontinental Championship from the Showoff on the Raw before Survivor Series. The two will meet once again in a Ladder Match this Sunday for the title.
Basic booking so far, keeping the two former tag team partners and members of the Wyatt Family close enough that you remember their previous bond but far enough apart that when they eventual collided it would be special.
Then Monday’s episode of Raw rolled around and – in a move that illustrates the poor booking decisions of WWE and the hastily thrown together (and likely rewritten on the fly) storylines – Rowan and Harper were having their showdown. With no buildup. With no stakes. And with barely a mention of it before the match began.
In an even more head scratching move, the match was a two-minute DQ finish. The crowd was dead for the entire thing and the show quickly moved back into terrible comedy Slammy Awards mode following the end of the contest.
This is the way the feud ends: Not with a bang but a whimper.
I’m not saying that Luke Harper v. Erick Rowan is a main event feud but more could have been squeezed out of this than a two-minute throwaway segment on another lackluster Raw. And, sure, WWE will likely keep going with these two, pitting them against one another on several more television shows, then maybe paying it off with a pay-per-view match that will feel meaningless because of all the matches before it.
WWE can always ramp it up and try to make a match feel special with video packages; and they do a damn good job at that. But no matter how great the video department is in Stamford, a poorly put together program is poor.
We got further evidence of WWE’s waste of matchups again this week when Dolph Ziggler faced Seth Rollins on Raw, which – of course – ended with a Rollins win thanks to interference because the company painted themselves into a corner and couldn’t have one guy go over the other clean.
Part of it certainly has to do with a lack of jobber matches and the need for instant gratification, along with having to fill so much airtime each week. Part of it is also Vince McMahon quickly changing storylines on the fly, as he is known to do. Either way, it’s a big reason why the product is currently suffering.
The trailer for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s upcoming film, “San Andreas,” released today. In it, The Rock plays a search and rescue helicopter pilot who – during a huge earthquake – has to save his daughter… and San Francisco. Of course, his estranged wife is along for the ride with him, making all this even more dramatic!
All kidding aside, The Rock has rapidly become one of Hollywood’s most bankable action stars and this movie should prove no different.
WWE has changed the name of its February pay-per-view from Elimination Chamber to Fast Lane, according to PWTorch.com. The news comes via an email from the FedEx Forum in Memphis, which plays host to the event on February 22, 2015.
The new name ties in with the “Road to WrestleMania” concept and one would imagine that it means the Elimination Chamber match will not be a part of the event.
Current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (remember him?) will be included in the Free Legends DLC coming to EA Sports UFC, the next-gen mixed martial arts game available on Xbox One and PS4.
Matt Hughes, Mark Coleman and Rampage Jackson also join Lesnar in the free download, which is available Tuesday, December 9.
Vince McMahon’s appearance on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s podcast, The Steve Austin Show, which was broadcast live on the WWE Network, was full of memorable moments. The good people at Cageside Seats have the full rundown but among them were Vince McMahon’s apology to CM Punk for delivering release papers on his wedding day, admitting that Vince was the one who decided Brock Lesnar should end The Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak and saying that “Macho Man” Randy Savage would “absolutely” be in the WWE Hall of Fame someday.
WWE has only released one video clip so far, in which Vince McMahon discusses the current WWE product and roster. Austin continually pressed McMahon on the quality of the show and that the boys in the back were “walking on egg shells” and Vince basically responded by saying many performers lacked the ambition and desire to “grab the brass ring.”
The Anonymous Raw General Manager has added John Cena v. Seth Rollins in a Tables Match to the TLC pay-per-view card. Logical fallacies of a one-night-only GM making matches for a pay-per-view aside, the announcement was made after a confrontation between Rollins and Cena during the opening of Monday’s episode of Raw.
Also added to that match was the stipulation that should Cena lose, he will no longer be the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. (Remember that WWE has a world title?)
The official card for TLC, which is less than two weeks away, is now at three matches. Joining the Cena-Rollins skirmish are Bray Wyatt v. Dean Ambrose in a TLC match and Ryback v. Kane in a Chairs Match.
It was a busy day in the pro wrestling world, with New Japan Pro Wrestling launching its own WWE Network-style streaming service and more fallout from CM Punk’s tell-all interview with Colt Cabana. Let’s take a look at what the interwebs are saying today:
• New Japan’s aforementioned streaming service, New Japan World, is available now and includes archived content and live events, including the upcoming Wrestle Kingdom 9. It costs around $8.50 per month in US dollars and is currently available on desktops, tablets and smartphones. No announcement has been made about Roku, Apple TV or console availability. [Wrestlezone]
• Steve Austin says he plans to ask Vince McMahon about CM Punk during his live podcast with the WWE Chairman, airing on the WWE Network following tonight’s broadcast of Raw. [Cageside Seats]
• Ring of Honor’s Top Prospect Tournament returns to Nashville in January. [ROH Wrestling]
• Chris Jericho was one of the many people CM Punk mentioned in his talk with Colt Cabana. Today, Jericho responded. [Cageside Seats]
• A tag team turmoil match has been added to tonight’s Raw to determine the number one contenders to the straps. [WWE.com]
The New Day – the stable comprised of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods – made its debut on Smackdown, following weeks of teaser vignettes. This was actually a lot of fun and here’s hoping it works out for Big E, Kingston and Woods, three guys with loads of talent that haven’t been able to break through the creative department’s ceiling in the past.
Kevin Steen is on his way to NXT and WWE has released a teaser video, detailing his motivations for fighting along with confirming his new name, Kevin Owens.
NXT has quickly become the most entertaining weekly show WWE has to offer and it’s only getting better.