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The PG Era Rant: Raw, 2/24/14

When last we left our heroes, they were on the WWE Network. Heck, odds are some of you never left the heroes today. I know I'll be going straight to the Network when the show's over.

The PG Era Rant for WWE Raw, February 24, 2014.

Live from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Or is it Milwaukee? Where's R-Truth when you need him?

BUT FIRST, it's a Raw Pre-Show!

Your panel is Josh Mathews, Booker T, Alex Riley, and Ric Flair.


The first big story is that Hulk Hogan is back and will host WrestleMania 30. But first, he's in the house tonight, and on the post-game show (which I am not reviewing, thank you very much) they will interview him.

Booker T is distracted by Kofi Kingston coming out for Superstars, but the panelists talk about who they're most looking for. Booker cites Hogan, but Flair cites Cena. Riley talks about the ending of the Elimination Chamber and wants to know what'll happen next. Kofi's opponent is Damien Sandow, by the way. You're welcome.

We cut to Superstars, where Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton are calling the action. Kofi with some kicks on Sandow, and he leaps on Sandow in the corner with the ten punches only for Sandow to escape. Sandow ducks a high-risk move and gets two. He repeatedly headbutts Kofi...

...and back to the panel as Booker analyzes what we just saw.

Josh Mathews says it's time to discuss the six-man tag team match from last night as Bray Wyatt pinned Roman Reigns of all people. Riley is interested in what Seth Rollins is thinking right now, because the Shield is falling apart and he's the one who put it together. Booker says the Wyatts were the better team last night, because Roman Reigns has become the leader of the group and he needs people to fall behind him. Flair agrees, and thinks Reigns is ready to go solo.

Back in the ring, Kingston steals the win from Sandow with a small package. No way to rate this.

Lawler interviews Kofi on the stage. He asks Kofi about WrestleMania and how big the win was. Kofi says all wins are big. He plays up the great crowd, and says he now has momentum.

Mathews jokes that Kofi is in Booker's Fave Five. Flair: “If he wants to be The Guy, he's gotta buy himself a Lear Jet, cuz it's a long way to WrestleMania.” Booker says that the win – and attention from Lawler – will help his cause.

The panel recaps Alberto Del Rio's match against Batista, talking about Del Rio's fake injury and how it wasn't enough for him to take over on Batista. There will be a future rematch at Del Rio's request, which Flair thinks is career suicide. Booker T is a Randy Orton fan, but he knows Batista is on a huge roll. Even so, Booker is picking Orton to win that match. Riley says Del Rio could win tonight.

The Brothers Rhodes are making their way for a match.

Your WWE.COM question: what was the Match of the Night? Usos/Outlaws, Wyatts/Shield, or Chamber? Each panelist picks a different match.

Los Matadores are on their way to the ring.

We're back as 3MB is coming to the ring, and we discuss that Brock Lesnar may be in the house. We look back at the Brock/Show match – what little there was of it – at the Royal Rumble, complete with 100 chair shots. Josh asks who should be worried. Flair: “The entire building.” Riley says that if he can do that to Show, he can do anything to anyone. Booker says the locker room is afraid.

Brad Maddox is with Renee Young. Renee asks about Brock Lesnar rumors. But before Maddox can talk to Renee, Sheamus and Christian are arguing about their recent rivalry. Maddox interrupts their argument and puts them in a match on Raw. Sheamus issues an idle threat.

The live look-in ad talks about the results of the Elimination Chamber and the return of Hulk Hogan.

Booker T is looking forward to the match, but Riley reminds us that Christian pinned Sheamus inside the Chamber. Flair reminds us that Christian has been in ladder matches, so he isn't afraid. Booker claims Christian is starting over, so he needs the match more than Sheamus. The Superstars match appears to be Cody, Dustin, Fernando, and Diego against Jinder, McIntyre, Ryback, and Axel.

Josh brings up the Chamber match itself, with emphasis on all the outside interference by the Wyatts and Kane. The editing implies Kane cost Bryan the title. Riley says that Bryan was absolutely about to win, but Booker T disagrees and says that we'll never know. He called Orton winning, you know. Flair wants Riley to just start a Yes chant and get it overwith. Riley notes that Orton drew the last number, but Booker writes it off as luck. Flair points out that those five matches means he knows the people in it and that helped him retain. Booker and Riley argue about the Orton/Bryan thing. Booker says it's time for Bryan to take a back seat, because Orton and Batista is set for Mania.

Josh turns the attention to Cena being attacked by the Wyatts. The question: what does Bray have against Cena? Josh seems to say Wyatt cost Cena the title. Flair says that when the Wyatts arrive, hide from them. Booker says the Wyatts just want to hurt someone. Riley says that the 'down with the machine' message goes straight to Cena, who is the biggest beneficiary of the Machine.

The Raw announcers are on their way to the desk. Did Booker T do a 3 Minute Warning reference?

Your RAW hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler.

Final question: what do you look forward to most? Booker: how John Cena and others are going to make their statement. Flair: “In this business, you're only as good as your last night.”

We are ready to begin as a YES chant starts up.


And we open the main show with the return of Hulk Hogan! Pardon me while I mark out.

*one minute later*

Okay, I'm back. The announcers are giving Hogan a standing ovation. Hogan milks it for all it's worth because that's how Hogan rolls. LONG Hogan chant. Hogan: “WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING BROTHER!” Hogan does the usual Hogan promo to say that tonight is a turning point of his career, because he is home (brothers). He says he was part of something special back in the day, that being WrestleMania I. He says history was made then, and it's being made today with the launch of the “WWE Universe”. You mean Network, Hulk. He covers for his slip. And the Hulkamaniacs were part of the launch. He feels like a proud father because of the Network. He can watch Sammartino matches, Michaels matches, Austin matches, Rock matches... but most importantly, then, now, and forever are on the Network, and the future of the Network is WrestleMania 30. He makes it official: he's hosting Mania. Whatcha gonna do when WrestleMania runs wild on you? I find it interesting that Hogan opens his Raw and Rock, in the same role, closed it. Also, Hogan didn't make fun of the people in the main event or spoil any major results.

Cole speaks about the WWE Network launch and that the one-week trial is underway. And every PPV ever will be on it. Lawler shows us that you can see every PPV and how to find any PPV ever (while Hogan entertains the crowd with poses). JBL is showing us the Network on the laptop. He says you can search by wrestler, even. Such as JBL. The announcers are giddy about this. I love it.

Tonight, Daniel Bryan faces Kane. Also, is Brock Lesnar here? Plus, Batista rematches against Alberto Del Rio next.

Alberto Del Rio v. Batista. Crowd is really not behind Batista. They're not necessarily for Del Rio yet. Cole does acknowledge the reaction, saying “Like him or not...” I think the crowd is on “not”. Batista attacks right off the bell, stomping away in the corner and getting a Hammer Throw. Short clothesline by Boo-Tista and Del Rio bails, but Batista catches him and throws him into the barricade. He sends Del Rio into the apron and throws him back in, but Del Rio catches him and attacks as the crowd chants “Si”. Suplex try is blocked and reversed by Batista, who then clotheslines Del Rio to the floor. Del Rio sweeps out Batista while on the apron, then throws Batista into the steps as we go to break.

Del Rio/Batista, part two. Del Rio has floored Batista as the crowd keeps up “Si” chants. He stomps away on Batista, then mocks his posing to scattered cheers. Del Rio charges but flies through the ropes as he usually does. Del Rio returns and hangs Batista up on the top rope before going up, but Batista punches him and throws rights before following up. Superplex by Batista leads to a Double KO. Crowd counts along with the ref. Del Rio is up first, and a slugfest breaks out with the crowd on Del Rio's side. Del Rio ends it with a gut superkick but runs into clotheslines. Powerslam by Batista gets two. Del Rio with the Armstabber out of nowhere and he's ready to finish with the low superkick, but he misses and has to adjust to stomp Batista. Was that a botch? Del Rio is ready for another something, but a blind charge misses and Batista gets a spinebuster. And here comes Randy Orton to a cheer? Del Rio uses the distraction to roll Batista up for the pin at 9:33. Orton insincerely apologizes before beginning his promo. **

Orton says they go way back, and they've shared laughs, but that loss was hilarious. He also finds it funny how the WWE Universe hates Batista. Orton thinks Batista's sorry he returned. This starts, for no reason, a CM Punk chant. Batista (winded) says Orton is very wrong. He tells everyone that he loves this business (no one seems to buy it). He also loves the voice the fans have, but he has a voice too, and if the fans boo him, he'll boo back. “It's called being real.” Orton doesn't know what real is. But that's not relevant right now; what is relevant is that he will beat up someone he used to consider his friend, but who is now a “whining, sniveling, kiss-ass suck-up”. Batista calls himself the next champion, and deal with it. That was weird. I'm kinda curious where they're going with this.

Up next, Antonio Cesaro faces Big E Langston.

Big E Langston v. Antonio Cesaro. I'm using full names because I'm a rebel. Last night, Langston beat Jack Swagger. Cesaro has Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. Langston with a headlock as a huge We The People chant begins. After a long leapfrog sequence, Langston floors Cesaro, who bails. Swagger offers advice, and back in, Cesaro gets a waistlock takedown. Langston throws Cesaro and punches away, but Cesaro with knee strikes and a European Uppercut. Cesaro with more knee strikes, but he runs into an overhead suplex. Langston gets a second one and spears Cesaro into the corner. Another shoulder ram and he covers, getting two. Langston with the arm, but Cesaro punches out and gets an uppercut. Clotheslines go nowhere, but Cesaro with a big boot. Swagger taunts Langston as Cesaro works the back and goes to a neck crank as we get a USA chant. For whom? Langston fights out, but a blind charge eats elbow. Cesaro dives into Langston's arms, and Langston with a series of rib breakers. It gets two. Langston with the arm again as JBL and Cole ask what “E” stands for in “Big E”. Cesaro with a series of headbutts and a headlock. Cole reveals E's real name: Ettore. JBL: “Like in Winnie the Pooh?” Cesaro holds the headlock, but Langston breaks it only to get caught in mid-air in a leapfrog to a throw for two as we go to break.

Langston/Cesaro, part two. We return with Cesaro holding what looks like a cobra clutch. Langston punches out, and a slugfest breaks out, won by Cesaro until he runs into a press slam. Blind charge eats the post, though, and Cesaro rolls him up for two. Cesaro with a running jump stomp for two. Cesaro with more uppercuts in the corner, and the ref forces a break, only to allow Cesaro a running strike for two. He switches to the sleeper as Cole puts over Langston's resiliency. Langston elbows out, but Cesaro stuns him only to get caught. Cesaro slides out and gets an Orton-esque powerslam for two. Swagger and Colter offer coaching, and Cesaro goes for the Karelin Suplex, connecting for two. Back to the chinlock, switching to the sleeper. A slugfest breaks out, which Langston wins, but Cesaro reverses a whip and goes back to the sleeper. Langston beals him off the shoulder, but runs into an elbow. He recovers with clotheslines and a Greco-Roman throw. Ultimate Splash follows, for two. The straps are down, boys! He's ready for the Big Ending, but Cesaro avoids it and lands the Catapult Uppercut for two. Swagger is incredulous. Crowd wants the swing, and so does Cesaro. Langston fights out of it before it starts and catches a charging Cesaro in an STO for two. That was a nasty landing on the STO. Crowd rallies behind We The People as Cesaro low-bridges out Langston. Langston catches Swagger trying to run interference, and Langston's back in. But he runs into the GIANT SWING OF DOOM (8 rotations, though the impatient crowd reaches 10). And then out of nowhere, Swagger races in and applies the Patriot Lock for the DQ at 15:44. ***1/4 Colter and Cesaro are furious. Swagger tries to explain, but as he does, Langston attacks Swagger. Cesaro cuts it off and gets the Neutralizer, with a nasty landing. Swagger looks a little jealous. He's desperately trying to explain, but Colter doesn't want to hear it.

We go back to last night and look at the Chamber main event, focusing on Cena having Orton beaten (maybe) when the Wyatt Family materialized inside the Chamber and wiped the floor with him. So tonight, John Cena will issue a rebuttal.

John Cena is out next as it's already 9:00 and that first hour felt like an Action Zone show. Wait, why's Cena running the ropes? He doesn't have a match. But first, Cena is happy to see Hogan back. And the fans will remember tonight because Raw #1083 is when the Network began. So the future is NOW! He mentions that he's been challenging all the young guns to step up by going through him. He knows that a lot of people are uncomfortable with that, but he wants the respect of being the gatekeeper to the future. He knows he's made himself a target, which segues to Bray Wyatt. Wyatt has caused trouble, and he knew they were coming for him... but at the Chamber? Isn't the Chamber locked shut? But no, Bray got in and cost him his championship match. Cena asks if Wyatt wants to make another bold move, because Cena is ready for a fight.

And now the rebuttal: “Green Bay, we're here.” They redid that specifically for tonight. Interesting. Here comes the Family. Bray takes a seat and a mic. He says the world has an infection: the human race. It makes sense that Cena's in the middle of these troubling times. What's the world without a hero? He says Cena's the knight in shining armor. But Cena is hollow, with empty promises. He says he'll save the people, keep them safe, and that everything will be all right when he's there. But he been lyin to you, man! The world is awful, cold, and lonely. Cena stands for illusions, but Bray believes in the real. So is the future through Cena? Bray likes that and agrees. Bray then properly introduces himself to Cena. “We are the reapers who bring death to this era of lies”.

But Cena introduces himself too, and he says that as long as even one of them starts it, they won't be able to finish it. “So if you make that move... it's go time, Jack.” Cena's surrounded (sort of) and begging them to come in as we get a standoff. The Family charges, and after a flurry by Cena, the numbers are too much. Bray pulls back the Family after a brief message sent as the crowd wants Bryan to make a save. Bray taunts Cena, who pulls himself up.... and charges? Bad idea, as the Family pounds him back down. After another flurry, Bray calls them off and taunts again. Cena pulls himself up again, and this time the Family leaves, message sent. Except Rowan. Cena knocks him out of the ring, and Bray catches Cena with a back elbow as he returns. Bray poses over Cena's body as we blink out. I'm getting a “Superman II” vibe from that segment, and that's a very good thing, as you know.

Moments ago, you saw what happened. Cena was taken out on a stretcher.

Christian v. Sheamus. Christian is limping to the ring as we look back at the Raw Pre-Show set-up for this match. Sheamus pushes Christian into the corner and breaks. Another lockup try, and Sheamus throws Christian out of the ring. Christian slowly returns, ducking a lockup and slapping Sheamus. This just ticks him off. Sheamus goes to town in the corner, adding a clothesline for two. Sheamus with knees to the back and an armlock. Christian slaps out of it, but Sheamus clotheslines Christian out of the ring. Christian catches Sheamus, but an attempt to do the splits on the post backfires and Christian is loopy. Back in, kneedrops by Sheamus and he hooks the nose. Christian catches Sheamus and drops him on the top rope. Missile dropkick gets one. Sheamus fires off forearms, but Christian with a knee to the gut and Sheamus is in trouble. Christian hooks the nose on Sheamus, but can't send him into the buckle. Sheamus fights out of it and backdrops Christian out of the ring, following with the Battering Ram as we go to break.

Christian/Sheamus, part two. Sheamus is on the top rope but gets caught and sent to the outside. He sends Sheamus into the steps, and back in, he gets two. Christian fires away on Sheamus and says he should be champion, then stomps away in the corner. He tries to pull Sheamus out, and after some struggle, gets a falling headbutt. Christian works the ribs with a back bearhug (!?), driving his knees into the back. Cole provides a medical update on Cena while the crowd is bored by this match. Sheamus fights out of it, but Christian kicks away and goes to an abdominal stretch. Sheamus fights out of it, landing elbows and uppercuts. He puts his head down, though, and Christian takes over with a kick and over-the-top uppercut. He goes to the top, but the bodypress misses as Sheamus ducks. Sheamus catches Christian and gives him a kneelift and Polish Hammers. Christian slides out the back and tosses Sheamus, but Sheamus avoids a charge and kneelifts Christian. Ten of Clubs time, and Sheamus catapults back in with a shoulder tackle for two. Sheamus tries for the Cloverleaf, but Christian punches out of it and goes up, only to get caught and put in the Cloverleaf for real. Christian makes the ropes. He bails, and Sheamus chases, allowing Christian to ambush him in the ring. Christian claps up the crowd, looking for the Killswitch, but Sheamus goes for White Noise, but Christian with a roll-up for two. Pump slam by Sheamus gets two. Both men struggle to their feet as the crowd gets behind Sheamus, who signals for the Brogue Kick. It misses, and Christian gets a pendulum kick. He goes up and dives... RIGHT INTO A BROGUE KICK for the pin at 15:46. Great finish to a boring match. Christian just has nothing left in the tank anymore. *1/4

The announcers talk about how to get the one-week trial of the WWE Network, mentioning the Raw Pre-Show, then earlier tonight before we went on the air, Daniel Bryan ran into the Authority. See, Renee Young was talking to HHH about the WWE Network when Daniel Bryan storms in and is FURIOUS. He wants to fight HHH at WrestleMania. HHH refuses the fight because Bryan's not an A+ player. Bryan will get a match, don't worry. Daniel says he's won every time... but Stephanie offers Kane as a sacrifice. Bryan does not seem satisfied. Okay, Bryan/HHH needs to happen at Mania 30.

So, yeah, Daniel Bryan will face Kane tonight.

Black History Month looks back at Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson.

Backstage, Seth Rollins asks where Dean Ambrose disappeared to, but Ambrose is sick of explaining himself. If they don't trust him, fine. Ambrose waks out. Rollins wants to believe him, but doesn't know if he can... and the Wyatts arrive. Reigns is ready to settle it and challengers Bray Wyatt one-on-one, no backup. Bray accepts, and as the Shield leave, Bray laughs.

Did you see the Raw Pre-Show? They cut to the panel, where Alex Riley is nowhere to be found, but Booker, Josh, and Flair are still around. Booker praises the Christian/Sheamus match, but he says he's ready for Reigns/Bray. Flair, on the other hand, wants to know how Cena is, and then he wants to see Kane/Bryan. Flair leads a YES chant. As a reminder, they'll all be on a post-game show later tonight.

And this segues into Daniel Bryan.

Sidenote: my minions are informing me that CM Punk is being pitched a sweetheart deal to return next week in Chicago and set up a match with Triple H at WrestleMania. A match that would mean that Bryan would not be allowed to face the champ OR the Authority at Mania. So as much fun as Punk is in the ring, you'll forgive me if I tell him to stay away. I also know that the fans will forgive Punk instantly and not hold it against him, even though he'd essentially be taking Daniel Bryan's match from him by whining about it.

Daniel Bryan v. Kane. Bryan charges and kicks away in the corner. Kane grabs the injured arm and uppercuts Bryan, working the arm and throwing it into the buckle. He sends him across the ring shoulder first, but Bryan sends Kane into the buckles with a drop toe hold. Bryan with more kicks to the hamstrings, wrapping it around the ropes and landing a dropkick. Bryan keeps working the leg as the crowd chants for him. He goes to the Celtic Knot as Cole brings up a good point: if Daniel Bryan's not good enough, HHH should be able to beat him. JBL's reply: he's not a wrestler anymore. Bryan clips Kane repeatedly, then goes to a single-leg crab. Kane makes the ropes. The announcers are arguing over HHH's motives as Kane drapes Bryan's arm over the ropes, then slams him into the post arm-first. Kane stomps the arm back in, then wraps his arm around the middle rope. Kane gets a boot choke and lifts Bryan up, dropping him on the arm. It gets two. Lawler wants to talk about the match going on as Kane gets a hammerlock and chinlock. Bryan elbows out, but Kane throws him to the floor. Kane follows, so Bryan slides in and dropkicks Kane through the ropes. Tope suicida try is cut off by an uppercut, and Bryan goes shoulder-first into the steps as we go to break.

Bryan/Kane, part two. Bryan is kicking away at Kane's leg, but Kane gets a big boot for two. Kane rips off the tape on Bryan's shoulder, wrapping it around the bottom rope and getting an avalanche for two. Kane with an armbar, but Bryan punches out of it only to get a straight right. Bryan with the video game comeback, but he lands on his bad arm. Crowd goes YES to rally Bryan, and it leads to the YES Kicks, but the roundhouse misses. Kane with a side slam for two. Kane goes outside and to the top, but Bryan intercepts and kicks the leg away. He follows Kane up, landing a Frankensteiner for two. Bryan with coast-to-coast dropkicks on Kane, but the third one runs into a throat thrust by Kane. Kane charges but gets low-bridged, and Bryan follows with the Tope Suicida, sending both men into the barricade. Bryan adds a dropkick into the barricade, and back in, Bryan goes up with a missile dropkick (again landing on the bad arm). Bryan somehow kips up, and the roundhouse YES Kick gets two. Bryan back up, and it's a Ram Jam (with the Mania sign being framed nicely), but Kane catches him with the goozle and chokeslam for a very close two. Crowd is into this one, starting a YES to celebrate. JBL argues it's a three. Kane grabs Bryan, but Bryan gets the Yes Lock instead... but Kane blocks it and chokes Bryan. He goes for another chokeslam, but Bryan blocks it and goes back to the Yes Lock try. Kane shoves Bryan aside, but Bryan returns with the Buraiku for the pin at 15:40. Man, they're bringing the workrate tonight. ***1/2 Cole says this proves that Bryan should get a Mania payday. The fact that this match happened, in full, on Raw, means Bryan/HHH has to be endgame.

Bryan has the mic now, and he recaps what happened earlier today. He calls HHH a coward – no, he screams it. He says HHH hid behind Stephanie's skirt after being challenged. Bryan says that ever since HHH became the COO, he's ignored the crowd, and he demands the crowd become too loud to ignore. This leads to a YES chant. Bryan: “ARE YOU LISTENING?” Bryan demands HHH at WrestleMania as the crowd chants behind him. This is so making the video package. Bryan officially lays down the challenge. The Yes Movement is behind him. Cole is claiming this is too much for HHH to ignore.

Later tonight, it's Roman Reigns against Bray Wyatt. Also, Brock Lesnar IS in the building! But next, Summer Rae is in action.

Batista will appear on SmackDown, and he's going to say what he thinks. Get your popcorn ready.

He knows nothing of entitlement. He will achieve greatness by any means necessary.” He is the most interesting Bulgarian in the world.

Summer Rae v. Emma. This is Emma's major league debut, bubbles and all. And she's trying to swat the bubbles. JBL hates Emma. The two dance to start, but Summer pushes Emma down, and Emma returns in kind. Summer with a guillotine roll and catfighting, then she poses. Summer throws Emma into the buckle, but a blind charge misses and Emma returns with a cradle for one. Summer with a spinning standing kick for two. Summer throws Emma down and stomps the back. She chokes Emma on the middle rope (“Isn't she cute, Santino!?” “Yes she is, okay!?”) and drapes her knee over Emma's throat for two. (“You're not gonna help her?” “I'd be disqualified!”) Summer with another two-count, and she goes for a cobra clutch. Crowd gets behind Emma, which is a good sign. Summer keeps Emma grounded, though, and holds the lock in for some time. Santino fires up the crowd, and Emma escapes, catches the kick, and gets an Indian Deathlock Bridge for the submission at 3:30. She jumps into Santino's arms... and knocks him over. Decent debut for Emma, but too much Summer Rae cobra clutch stuff. Needs more offense from Emma. 1/2*

Hulk Hogan's return made serious headlines everywhere, as you may have heard. And here's footage of him from earlier tonight.

Up next, the Outlaws face the Usos in what appears to be a non-title match.

The WWE Rewind is about last night and the Outlaws retaining the tag titles... but they spotlight that Gunn had a handful of tights. Interesting.

New Age Outlaws v. Usos. No entrances. Outlaws beg off as the match begins, and Dogg asks for a mic. See, they forgot to do their spiel. The Usos actually leave the ring to let them do it. As a reminder, the bell did ring. And Dogg turns around into a superkick. Jey goes up top for the big splash as Jimmy dives on Gunn. Suck it as the Usos win at 1:14. Gentlemen, your homework for tonight is to go on the WWE Network and watch the Hart Foundation against the Bolsheviks. Because they didn't.

More WWE Network info. Dude, you already have my money. Jerry Lawler shows us that old episodes of TV are available as he shows us how to load a show on an iPad. You can get it on the Kindle Fire or laptop, too. Again, JBL searches for himself.

Roman Reigns is on his way to the ring, through the crowd, alone. As promised.

Roman Reigns v. Bray Wyatt. Bray also arrives alone. We get a flashback of the Wyatts attacking Cena, as word is Cena may not be 100% legitimately. Who knows? Cena has been sent to a medical facility. Roman hasn't moved since Bray arrived. Now Bray hasn't moved since the bell. Bray opens with an uppercut, but Reigns returns fire and Bray bails out. Back in, a lockup lasts a while, with Reigns winning but Bray fighting back with a headbutt. Uppercut by Bray, and another headbutt, but he charges right into a Reigns tackle and elbowdrop for one. Reigns punches the gut and slaps Bray in the ear, causing Bray to leave again. Bray returns, kicking away on Reigns and headbutting him again, but Reigns fights back only to be caught in the throat. Big boot follows, and Bray rakes Reigns' eyes on the top strand. Bray with more headbutts in the corner, and a short clothesline follows, getting one. Crowd yells Husky Harris as Bray goes to the chinlock. This match is going nowhere. Reigns fights out of it, but Bray goes to the knee and knocks Reigns over. Big stomp and Reigns eats turnbuckle. Bray works him over, but Reigns reverses and sends Bray into the buckle and out of the ring. Reigns with a clothesline on the outside as we go to break.

For the record, I don't think Cena's hurt. He was being taken to the hospital with an ice pack on his knee. If they were really worried about his knee, they'd have had a splint on it. He'll recover.

Reigns/Bray, part two. Bray has a headlock as the crowd is chanting for Cole. Bray slams Reigns down and gets the running senton as the crowd switches to Lawler. It gets two. During the break, the two men sent each other into everything that moves. Bray with a falling headbutt and a headlock/punches combo. Bray chokes Reigns in the ropes, but Reigns quickly punches out of it. Bray recovers with a suplex for two. Bray back to an anaconda headlock as the crowd wants Randy Savage. Are you sure these guys had a great match last night? Reigns punches out, adding a headbutt but running into Bray's back elbow for two. Crowd wants Undertaker now as Bray slams Reigns into the buckle and punches away. Bray with an avalanche, but a second one misses. Reigns stops a blind charge and shoves Bray away with his feet, adding a leaping clothesline as he builds momentum. Avalanche clothesline and Reigns pounds away, then the drive-by dropkick. Reigns with a Nodowa Otoshi for two. He preps the Superpunch, but the transmission is interrupted and the Family is present, despite promises otherwise. Reigns is not amused, but Rollins dives onto both men. So there. Bray rolls Reigns up for two. Reigns charges into the post as Harper and Rowan attack Rollins. So where's Ambrose? Wait, there he is to the rescue. All heck breaks loose as Reigns hangs Bray up and gets the Superpunch. Reigns knocks down Harper, but Ambrose jumps in and attacks Bray for the DQ at 13:56. Everyone's in the ring now as the fight continues. If Cena's hurt, this is the match they need to make. The Shield get the face reaction. It should be noted, though, that the one one one portion had very little heat, but when everyone showed up the crowd got into it. *1/4

Brock Lesnar is backstage as Paul Heyman preps him. He wants Brock to act like a gentleman, so no vicious attacking. And they're on their way.

Aaron Paul will host next week's show.

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman make their grand entrance as we will main event this workrate-heavy show with... a promo. Yay. There's a table in the ring. For some reason. It looks like they want a contract signing. Paul Heyman claims Brock Lesnar is the obvious #1 Contender and therefore he should be main eventing WrestleMania. Heyman says tonight is about history, given the Network stuff, but Brock Lesnar isn't here to celebrate. See, it's apparent to everyone that Orton and Batista should not main event Mania, but instead should fight early and the winner gets Brock. Heyman has told this to the Authority, but HHH says that Brock will make history in a different way: an open contract. He can name any opponent he wants. But that's a consolation prize. See, that's how they work you in the WWE. They can have anything they want, except what they want. Brock is the most dominant athlete in the NCAA wrestling, in the WWE in his first go-around, in the UFC, and he's conquered everything. Now, he wants to conquer the WWE one more time so he can be the only champion when WrestleMania ends. So why can't it be done? Because the Authority won't let it happen. “And that's how they get you!” The crowd knows what's coming and chants for Undertaker. Heyman says they won't play their game with Lesnar, so the open contract is worthless. Lesnar wants to make history at WrestleMania, so they reject the open contract. Lesnar will not be at WrestleMania unless he gets what he wants, and they WILL give him what he wants. They go to leave...

...and there's the gong. The crowd is ready. The TitanTron lights up. The ramp is in flames. There's a chill in the air... the funeral march sounds... and here he is! He's working the Ministry of Darkness look, with the evil goatee. Undertaker slowly walks to the ring. Brock looks a little perplexed. The crowd, which has been silent for most of his entrance, pops for the lights being lifted. Brock looks on in confusion as the Undertaker stares him down. Crowd pops for the staredown. LOUD Undertaker chant. Heyman looks to the sign, as does Taker. Brock only stares forward. Brock nods. He asks for the contract from Heyman, as it appears Brock found someone to make history with. He quickly signs it, then all but DARES Taker to sign it as well, shoving the pen in his chest. Crowd gives a great OOOOOOOOOOH at that. Heyman asks for Undertaker to sign it if he wants. But Taker STABS Brock with the pen, then chokeslams him through the table. Crowd goes BONKERS at this, chanting something I'm not going to repeat in a PG column. Cole: “I'll take that as a yes.” Lesnar is immobile as Taker glares at Heyman. Taker walks away, point made.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I thought the Pay-Per-View was last night. I just got to see a PPV quality Raw for free.

Everything about tonight was well done. Matches were given time. Emma's debut was very well-handled. The crowd was hot for Bryan/Kane, Cesaro/Langston, and Del Rio/Batista. The Usos got back in the title picture.

Folks, every year we complain about the booking and about what it means for WrestleMania, and every year the WWE kicks it into overdrive. They've done it again.

It's clear they needed a home run because all eyes were on them with the WWE Network and Hogan's return, and holy cow did they ever deliver. Cena/Bray (or Wyatts/Shield, who knows), Bryan/HHH, and Taker/Brock look like winners. Orton/Batista may be bombed on, but it won't main event if they're smart. Plus, there were good matches tonight, the right stories have momentum, and... seriously, what's not to love?

STATS:

MATCH TIME: 75:23 over seven matches, but 70:39 of them were in five matches
BEST MATCH: Bryan/Kane
WORST MATCH: Emma/Summer
NIGHT MVP: The fans.

FINAL RATING: 9. This is the best Raw I've recapped thus far, and I'm ready for WrestleMania.

Scott Keith, envy this Raw and find the three hours on the Network! Tommy Hall, give me some NXT Arrival and SmackDown! I'll see you for Raw in Chicago! We're on our way to WrestleMania, BROTHERS!

Comments

  1. Too bad Bryan is forced to use his popularity to make people cheer for a HHH/Bryan match at WM.

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  2. What else is there for him, though? Much like with Punk, it doesn't seem like he's being yanked out of the title match to face Trips. If the WWE are set on the Batista/Orton title match (and 'Taker/Lesnar), Trips is the biggest opponent Bryan could get. Hell, I'd argue that HHH/Bryan is a bigger match than Batista/Orton (even with the title on the line).

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  3. Kane looks like David Letterman. Good stuff as always, sir.

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  4. Well, it's not my WM dream card, but I'll go into it with a positive attitude regardless.

    Batista/Orton is a waste, I just hope they keep it short, and in the mid-card. Not even I can find a silver lining around it.

    Bryan/HHH, the result won't ruin it for me. I'm watching it in full mark mode, and will be cheering Daniel Bryan like crazy. Will be fun.

    Taker/Brock: People doubt Taker every single year, and he proves them wrong every single year. In my book he's had ****+ WM matches 7 years in a row now (opinions can vary), so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt until he has another bad WM match.

    Cena/Wyatt (or Shield/Wyatts as a backup) should be good either way.

    I also like the WM song this year, due to the location. A Cajun styled song fits the atmosphere perfectly.

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  5. I guess have to rewatch Taker v. HHH pre HIAC again.

    oh wait. I can!

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  6. Well done, sir!!!!

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  7. Forget the fact that they are even doing this to Bryan for a second: Where the hell is Reigns' marquee moment if Cena faces Bray? The WWE should be doing everything in their power right now to ensure Reigns is set up perfectly for a main event run next year, and a show stealing, hard-hitting affair against Bray could go a long way towards that. If Cena's injury isn't a work, what does Reigns do? Turn on the Shield right away instead of using WM as the obvious focal point for the turn?

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  8. I'm guessing either a shield breakup match, or a 6 man rematch if Cena's injured. I'm not worried about him at all, he'll have plenty of marquee moments in the future.

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  9. This whole fucking thing today was a slap in the face.

    First, a faulty WWE Network loaded with problems, and now you're actually not going to give Bryan a chance. There's a ton of international fans whose hearts were broken today, because they know they won't get a chance to travel overseas to see Bryan go for the Championship.

    Why did you give Chris Benoit this chance ten years ago and not Bryan this time? Benoit ended up a murderer, for Christ's sake!

    I DON'T GET IT. PEOPLE WANT TO SEE A MAJOR UNDERDOG WIN.

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  10. Glad you enjoyed it...I think the only segment deserving of a "9" was the Taker/Lesnar set-up. The matches were long, but mostly dull. I was glad to see the announcers (and later Heyman, in a way) acknowledge how no one wants to see Orton vs. Batista. I'm really confused as to how they could fix that at this point...unless Punk were to make his return and set up a triple threat next week (I know, I won't get my hopes up).

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  11. The heat has always been with HHH. Orton was just the guy with the belts. Given that whomever signed Batista booked them into a corner, this match is the best thing they can do. Just be glad it ain't Kane.

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  12. Is it just me, or is beating HHH at Wrestlemania a bigger deal than winning the title? I guess it's just me.

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  13. So if Cena's injury isn't a work they'll be totally ok with jobbed to a sledgehammer/Pedigree/both Bryan as Face #1 in their WWE revionist hierarchy for a long while?


    Reigns doesn't really need anything now other than continued TV presence, because if he isn't going to get it after a year of being on the apron watching Ambrose and Rollins and facing guise like Punk and Bryan, then hes never gonna get it. Might as well pull the trigger.

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  14. I vote Wrestlemania tournament. Orton Vs. Batista and Bryan Vs. Punk on the undercard, then the winner of each match faces eachother for the strap.

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  15. Also beating Cena clean, which he's done as well.

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  16. Stupid. They should have gone for Orton/Bryan/Batista as the main event. All the story threads are there.


    - Payoff to the Orton/Bryan angle
    - Orton/Batista evolution history
    - Orton paranoia over HHH replacing him with Batista
    - Bryan gets one over HHH by beating BOTH his hand-picked blue-chippers.


    But no, we get a Bryan/HHH match and a Batista/Orton match that is going to get shit on to such a degree that neither guy is going to be able to handle it.... plus Batista doesn't even look like he can work a 5 minute match. Making it a 3-way would and insulated him a bit.

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  17. Did You Know: The WWE Network is the only streaming service in history to not work on the XBOX 360 after repeatedly advertising that it would work on the XBOX 360.
    Did You Know: It's easier to watch a ROH PPV on Go Fight Live than it is to watch a PPV on the WWE Network's On Demand section?

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  18. Yes, because the fact that Benoit ended up a murderer was definitely a factor they considered in their decision to give him the title...

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  19. "This match is the best thing they can do."

    That's the state of wrestling these days.

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  20. I'm watching Anarchy Rulz 2000 as we speak, so I don't know what you're talking about.

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  21. Imagine if the title were for some reason vacant and they booked an 8 man tourney with Bryan, Orton, Batista, Punk, Reigns, Bray, Lesnar and Cesaro (i can dream, leave me alone.)

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  22. Without knowing for certain the contract terms, I think you're right about being booked in a corner with Batista, that's why I'm not worked up about it. They missed a chance to have DB win the title with 70K YES from the crowd because they thought Batista would be good mainstream press with the belt....turns out that didn't work lol.

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  23. And don't forget the people that keep watching it despite how much they claim it sucks. Don't forget them. Fuckers.

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  24. You must not have a Roku or an XBOX 360 because there is nothing but issues on those two.

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  25. I just stumbled across bad blood 2004. My work computer is old but it played! Try upgrading flash?

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  26. Good breakdown, I think you can even find entertainment in Batista/Orton because either the crowd will shit on both of them, they will try to keep Batista a face and fail miserably, or it might result in a double turn which would be interesting.

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  27. Is this the same guy writing these reviews? Felt like a WWE PR machine the last couple of weeks, it's really weird.


    We must have been watching a different opening segment. The only people on their feet were the announcers. I thought for a split second the crowd wasn't going to do the Hogan chant, but they came around. It was pretty awesome when Cole was going on and on about what a moment it was...and they're shooting from a section of the crowd where everyone looked bored.


    Hogan is like 15-years past due at this point...I hope we don't see him again til Mania.


    And your minions about Punk are horribly mistaken. They're making the offer to Punk because they want to do a Triple Threat with Bryan for the title...but if they can't do that without Punk because who would Triple H wrestle?


    Everyone on the outside is talking about what Bryan will do at Mania...inside, all Triple H is concerned about is what HE will be doing at Mania. WWE 2014 y'all!


    In short, let's all get on our hands and knees and pray that Punk comes back. Unless you want to see Orton/Batista go down in flames.

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  28. I knew about the issues on the 360 so I'm watching it on my computer. Not that big of a deal.

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  29. The reviewer here is very wrong...they want to do the Triple Threat, but they need Punk back to give Triple H a high-profile match.

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  30. Well just you...and one other guy

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  31. Does Triple H get Bryan's hair if he wins?

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  32. That's not a given by the way

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  33. Wtf are you talking about "the best match they can do"???


    The best match they can do is heel Batista vs. face Bryan. AND THEY KNOW THAT! They could do that match if they wanted to. They DO NOT WANT TO. Don't give me the "best match they can do" crap.

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  34. Hey anti Meltzer crowd, guess who called Brock vs UT, and cena vs Wyatt btw

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  35. BECAUSE VINCE PROMISED BATISTA THE TITLE! YOU KNOW HE DID! Can't you get that through your head?

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  36. Roku's version of the WWE Network is indeed having a ton of glitches. I tried it on mine and couldn't get a thing to play. I'm still having some issues with playback on my PS3, although I'm attributing that more to my wi-fi than the Network itself. No major issues at all from my laptop (a 4-year-old Macbook Pro).

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  37. The fact dave called Wyatt vs cena months ago should show you how silly it is to act like a guy who professionally covered the wwe for 32 years has no sources

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  38. And they want him to be a face to promote his movie, so yes, they SHOULD be doing heel Batista vs face Bryan, but it's not happening, so like I said in the other thread, I'm over it, just looking for some good matches now

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  39. "What else is there for him, though?"


    What the hell - why is everyone on this board acting like Orton/Batista is law and it must happen?


    The WWE can run Batista/Bryan at WrestleMania if they wanted to do. They do not want to! They don't care what you want!


    The only hope is Punk comes back, so they can free up Bryan to make the main event a Triple Threat. And guess what? Batista is STILL going over.


    Have you not been paying attention??

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  40. The Hogan return is already a dud as far as I'm concerned. He came out, we heard the music and then... Rambling network promo and that's it. Ohhhhh he's gonna do the same thing at mania??? Smell the entertainment value!

    Hope they drag his ass to get shit on in Chicago with that boring ass schtick.

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  41. Well, I was wrong about it being Bryan vs. Kane, but the Cole's commentary crowd was wrong about the title match, and in the scheme of things, that's a worse wrong to be, lol. Thank God we've gone with hoping for mainstream attention by putting the belt on the 5th lead of a superhero movie instead of launching a star of the future for years to come in the biggest way possible.

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  42. Hey dude... the WWE Universe launched today, brother!

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  43. I don't know why you're trying to convince the people here...half of them thought Punk leaving was a work and that the Bryan/Wyatt angle was always planned to run for 2 weeks.

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  44. Thing is, if HHH "Never" puts anyone over and has been booking himself strong for the past 15 years.... shouldn't it make it a HUGE deal when he loses? I will say that beating him means more than winning a totally devalued title at this point.

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  45. I can't believe I'd agree with you, but I'm agreeing with you. For all the shit that HHH the person and character has pulled to protect that character even in its twilight (always putting himself on par with Michaels and Taker, going over Punk for no reason, going over Lesnar at Mania), he now has a chance to give 100% rub and status to Bryan.

    Yes, HHH screwed up the angle by going face for random weeks at a time, but the overall storyline still makes sense. HHH screwed Bryan, belittled him, etc. Now, Bryan's going to make him eat his words and a flying knee. I hate HHH the character. I like Bryan the character. Watching Bryan beat up HHH will make likely make me smile.

    There's three matches that matter at Mania... a Taker match, a title match, and, sigh, a HHH match (because he's giving himself a half hour each time out)

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  46. But Punk doesn't want to wrestle HHH, so Bryan is being pushed into it.

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  47. Hahaha that was great. Enough with these old farts. Hogan, HHH, Taker, fucking enough.

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  48. Promises only count in this business-ah if you're got the right buddies.

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  49. I can. It's just fucking stupid that grown men are so petulant that they are unwilling to take the money of other grown men because they believe they know better.

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  50. http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view4/1076803/whatcha-talkin-bout-willis-o.gif

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  51. Your Rock hating is gonna earn a paddling from me someday.

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  52. That and he flubbed his lines. But hey, it's all about putting over the younger talent brother!

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  53. Your right and that made me snicker.

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  54. Bryan absolutely will look bad in both the build and the actual match. He either jobs or wins on a banana peel finish.

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  55. If your title match is on the verge of becoming a disaster, then there is a problem.

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  56. I like Dave but thats gotta be luck, considering he also wrote stories about Raw getting last minute rewrites. Maybe he predicted it based on an early plan for WM that came to fruition, but I think its safe to say the company hasn't really shown an ability to stick to a long term plan since Cena/Rock.

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  57. save_us.y2j

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  58. Write a column, that's a paddling.
    Disagree with my opinion on wrestling, that's a paddling.
    Talk bad about The Rock, you better believe that's a paddling.

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  59. Just finished raw. Taker vs Brock...yeah that's gonna be one hot fucking feud and match

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  60. A backhanded compliment if there ever was one

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  61. Yep, Meltzer finished 2 for 19 in his WM predictions.

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  62. He had literally nine important syllables to get right and STILL, in true 21st Century Hogan form, fucked it up. I'm surprised he didn't launch into a tirade about the Montreal Screwjob from Wrestlemania 16 (or 17) where Shawn Michaels pinned Bret Hart because Bret couldn't kick out, and then Andre the Giant died a few weeks later because he was the right gay-guy, brother.

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  63. This guy knows what's up.

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  64. You know the funny part will be, there's a chance of an NWO style trash pelting the ring if Batista wins, and that WILL get covered by the media, so it's going to make them look bad.

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  65. After months of "I must must must win the title." At the biggest event of the year. In front of 80K. No moral victory is bigger than accomplishing what he set out to do months ago.

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  66. I hope you're being sarcastic.

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  67. And if that happens, I'm taking a break from WWE for the first time since early 2011 (started watching again when the Rock came back).

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  68. But the story is that he's had the title won like 5 times already, but he always gets screwed over. So he's going to the root of the problem. Makes perfect sense to me.

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  69. Vince: "Dave, they're not throwing trash at you, they're throwing all their belongings at you because they LOVE you and want you to have all of their hard-earned gifts."

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  70. I hope they go the WMX route with this.

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  71. You mean 6 weeks of Brock looking scared and beating up some 3mb jobbers?

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  72. I'm so disgusted about the Bryan thing. Well here we are at wreslemania. Not getting the title. Hhh let him get the best of him on raw this week but you watch how much he tries to cut Bryan's heat during his promo next week. Just wait

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  73. He's still pissed about Earl Hebner screwing him out of the title against Andre.

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  74. I think he showed more intensity in yelling at HHH tonight than he did in the promos where he acted like he was just a tad disappointed about getting screwed during the Fall. I think it'll work out well for him

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  75. LOOK AT THE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS FALLING OUT OF HIS POCKETS! INDENTICAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL.

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  76. It is that big of a deal. I'm not paying $10 a month to watch something on a computer, I can do that for free with YouTube and Dailymotion. This is supposed to be a TV service, TV connectivity should be their biggest priority.

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  77. "No one is bigger then me!"-HHH

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  78. How is Daniel Bryan's months long journey for the title being capped off by a WM match against some dude that showed up 2 months ago the best match they can do?

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  79. You think Hunter's still not going to act like a heel and will therefore make the anti-establishment face look like a whiner with baseless complaints? HAHAHA, when did THAT ever happen?

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  80. Am I supposed to apologize for being entertained because we didn't get Daniel Bryan being put in the main event and causing Disney to claim breach of contract? Am I supposed to be entertained ONLY if Daniel Bryan is in the main event? Well, I'm sorry. I like what I like, and I shouldn't have to apologize. Tonight entertained me, and everyone hates me for liking it? I'm sorry, I thought I was allowed to have a goddamn opinion!

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  81. For me, this is just a two match show now. Brock vs taker and whatever the shield does. And I know most of guys couldn't give a fuck about brock taker (But then you have the Wyatt cena thing and I hate the Wyatt gimmick) so really this is a lackluster mania

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  82. HHH & Steph vs. Bryan & Brie. Hunter pins Brie by pinning her legs back behind her head, thrusting each time the referee makes a count! Brie taps simultaneously, screaming yes, as the referee counts tree. Bryan stands in the corner and just watches.

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  83. Glad I was wrong about Bryan-Kane being at WM. Maybe I was watch Bash 91 as my crow-eating punishment. Happier to be out of the hospital though. Scanning through RAW and up to Big E-Cesaro...fuck did they beat the hell out of each other. Cesaro needs to clean up some of his timing with the power stuff on a big man like that though, there were 2-3 times something really bad could have happened.

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  84. No need to apologize, while I wasn't as entertained by this show as you were, I didn't think it was actively horrible either as some are making it out to be. Yes, the booking is a little frustrating, but it seems like they're in a box (of they're own making admittedly), so this is their best option it seems like.

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  85. Your opinions are bad and you should feel bad.

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  86. No one hates you. They might disagree but hate is not what I see.


    I got flak for holding out hope that Bryan was getting the strap and would be added to the three way at Mania and that looks wrong. Doesnt mean people hate me

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  87. Well he is the King of Kings.

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  88. Damn...what the fuck did I miss tonight?

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  89. You're taking such an insane leap that Disney has anything written into Batista's wwe contract about him winning the title. Vince is putting Batista over because that's still what he wants to do.

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  90. No offense, but why on earth would you think Kane vs. Bryan was happening at Mania? That is a Smackdown main event match at best .

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  91. Everyone has their panties in a twist because Daniel Bryan is facing HHH and not winning the title at Mania. And I liked the show, which makes me an idiot for not being mad about the above.

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  92. Might be right, but they've also been in THIS BUSINESS for years, they have eyes and ears and can see what's going on, and to not have them call an audible at this point is just blatant arrogance and hubris (admittedly very possible) or something is contractually obligated. I think either is very possible.

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  93. Yo, yo, YO!


    Is the Network working yet?

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  94. I can guarantee you that the only person Vince will ever lay down for is the mouse.

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  95. Pretty good show tonight, but the crowd was shit.

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  96. So far I like the show. I'm only a couple of matches so that could change but the review was fine. Made me look forward to a Kane match so it accomplished something.

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  97. I personally think that Batista vs. Orton is a mind-blowingly terrible decision. Nothing good will come from that match. Your title match as planned will get shit on by a full stadium of people

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  98. Exactly. Punk quit partially because he knew how fucked his character would be after a HHH feud. Bryan's gonna look so bad the next 6 weeks it'll honestly be sad to watch.

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  99. Bray is so awesome.
    The crowd is DYING for The Shield as faces.
    Breaking them up is so stupid. Imagine if they had split the Horsemen after a year? GTFOHWTBS
    The Wyatt/Cena build should be interesting

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  100. Funny, I think Disney would get behind someone like Bryan, he looks cartoony enough.

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  101. No, they cancelled it. Go home.

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  102. Because I have no faith in the booking right now?

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  103. Unless Cena is legit injured.

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  104. Maybe it's a sign of how bad WWE is, but I liked the show because of my lowered expectations from the previous night. I honestly thought Bryan was facing Kane at Mania (Kane's got no heat and seems abnormally slow after taking a break), the Shield was breaking up and Ambrose would look like an ass, and the Outlaws would still retain their titles (okay, that happened).

    -So, Bryan getting a win at Mania over the biggest bully on the roster and one of the most protected characters of all-time is a nice consolation prize IF it happens.
    -The Shield is still together for now.
    -There's a glimmer of hope that they'll change this Batista dynamic.
    -Heyman's promo and Taker's acting totally sold a lazily booked match, too.

    Fun show. Surpassed my lowered expectations

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  105. Some people have to learn the hard way

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  106. Cena vs. Wyatt is fine

    Lesnar vs. Taker is fine

    Bryan vs. HHH is fine

    Batista vs. Orton,

    http://mrwgifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Jim-Carrey-Thinks-Thats-Awful-In-Lemony-Snickets-A-Series-of-Unfortunate-Events-Gif.gif

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  107. I did see that too, I think both guys were gassed at the end and doing those power moves at the end of a 15 minute match was a bad idea IMO.

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  108. Here's my view. You're fair and honest. If people want a smark review then read Scott's. I felt 9 was high but parts of the show did work tonight.

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  109. Wow I just popped the wwe network on for the first time. #1 they need to fill out the vault with more TV shows which I'll assume they are going to do and 2 they need to sort the ppvs chronologically

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  110. It's possible Punk has a memory stretching all the way back to the NOC 2011 build, yes.

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  111. PWI said something before the show happened that Batista was turning heel tonight. The fuck happen?

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  112. Bootista isn't the hero we want. He's the hero we need right now.

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  113. Yes and the match was so hard hitting they didn't need to. I understand why they want to impress but I was already entertained with the basic throws. I could watch them in a rematch, they could do even better with a couple of things cleaned up. I thought Big E was going to job but they want to protect him a little which doesn't hurt the title.

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  114. They are. If you click on the promotion then click on the drop-down box that says year you can sort everything that way. The PPVs are reverse-chronological in that listing, so it goes from December backwards.

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  115. Not for nothing, but you gave last week's show a 4 rating and this a 9. To me, that is inconsistent.

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  116. Batista:"I don't want too. Deal with it!

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  117. They decided another recitation of "I just love that freedom of expression" on the artificially sweetened Smackdown was better, I guess?

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  118. I feel like Batista's catchphrase should just become WWE's new motto.

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  119. WWE, trying to ram that square peg into the round hole....keep at it guys!

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  120. Any idea if you can do that on a ps3?

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  121. Let's say you can't move the Bryan piece on the chessboard, what do you do to spark interest in this Batista-Orton match? Who do you add or what do you change?


    I say, go Hollywood Dave vs. the Loveable Sociopath, but I'm digging Orton too much and am likely overestimating him getting to his 2010-11 level of popularity

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  122. Nope, I was using my computer. I haven't bothered trying on a console yet.

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  123. I have a feeling Taker-Lesnar goes on last. No way in hell Vince let's 70K fans embarrass the title match.

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  124. Never "for real" in wrestlingese, you know...to me, as stated, it's a moral victory and not what his character was striving for for months. I just hope it closes the show.

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  125. No one wants this match. Try a double turn, because Batista has been a failure as a face, but other than that, I dont know.

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  126. I'm just waiting for that one announcer to start a show like,"And now, WWE presents, WrestleMania: Deal with it."
    :cue pyro:

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  127. This is how I would do it, and I think the crowd would cheer for the lovable sociopath in an instant, he plays the character really well and is believable.

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  128. If nothing else, Vince will never give up when it comes to ramming something into a hole.

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  129. *that dubstep theme kicks in*

    WHOMP...drrrrrrrrrrrrrn....

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  130. I honestly think Batista/Orton might open the show at this point.

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  131. So put on the match with the most popular guy in the company last.

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  132. I am still shocked they are planning for this shitty match

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  133. Guardians of the Galaxy opens on August 1st. Pre-order your tickets today!

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  134. He wants WM to end in a big Yes chant, doesn't he?

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  135. That thing comes out in AUGUST? Oh geez....oh God...

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  136. We have that girl from Avatar topless!

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  137. Yup and yup.

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  138. A Doc/Sunny/Pettengill announce team for the Free 4 All would get my attention.

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  139. I have no fucking idea what he wants anymore, lol.

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  140. Good. Put that on last at WM.

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  141. Here's the thing about people saying "oh maybe Orton turns face now"... What the hell is the point of that? They just spent 6+ months building Orton as the chickenshit heel that we wanna pay to see lose, and all that to turn him face because the Batista thing is a disaster? That's insane. Orton turning face now would get rejected anyway, but it'd also be the biggest waste of 6 months ever.

    That match is so fucked.

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  142. I'm fucking losing my mind about how awesome this is. I I'm smoking a 2nd cigarette in a row on my balcony pacing trying to figure out what I want. I can't go to work tomorrow. There's no way

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  143. Go. Buy. The. Network. Now.

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  144. This network is the tits

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  145. Yeah. In Cenaspeak, "so let's flush months of storylines!" ain't cool, JACK.

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  146. I can't what to see it.

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  147. Eh, pass.

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  148. This Mania on paper looks as bad as last year, maybe worse. Hopefully the Shield vs. the Wyatts and Cesaro will possibly save it (Cena's knee looked F'd. Creative is in scramble mode now). I have no excitement for Undertaker/Lesner because the Undertaker looks like the garden gnome from the travelocity commercials. Orton/Batista is terrible and should go on as the curtain jerker match. No Ziggler will suck as well. Also, if anyone thinks that HHH is jobbing to Bryan, I have beach front property in Idaho to sell you.

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  149. What other people watching the Network went to the vault to search for the bloodiest match they could first?

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  150. I went GAB 89 then WCW Sin 2001. Shane Helms and the Sugar Babies should have carried over to the WWE.

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  151. Seth Meyers debut is now. His monologue is full of his stale weekend update material

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  152. I went to watch Hogan wrestle Earthquake.

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  153. Shane McMahon vs Kurt Angle. May not be the bloodiest, but it may be the most brutal. Shane dropped on his head twice.

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  154. Dude its the greatest thing ever. The video quality on these old shows, the original content, the cheap ppvs, I'm having addict feelings of worrying someone will take this from me. I just turned it on. Fucking blown away

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  155. I...I...don't know what to say. This is incredible

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  156. The quality has really surprised me. Watching an 1981 MSG show in crystal clear definition is awesome

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  157. I don't agree, to me, Orton as the chickenshit heel isn't working that well (admittedly, he's been better as of late playing a good heel), but Orton's pops were almost as big as Cena/Punk/Bryan when he was a face The crowd likes that psychotic face character so it's not as big as a leap. The girls can go crazy for him, and the dudes can cheer him beating people up for fun and profit.


    It's more of an acknowledgement of hey, we tried something, didn't work, let's move on....at least that's my opinion.

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  158. I hit GAB 89 early too, then went to WrestleWar 1992 which wasn't a bad PPV with an amazing WarGames at the end. Bloodiest match I could think of was Taker-Brock HitC but couldn't remember which year it was so I just went to Extreme Rules 2012 and watched Cena-Brock. Yes blood.

    I love this Network. I may never watch the current product again.

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  159. Ferguson is on of the most original hosts out there. He knows how to read people and get fun stuff out of his guests. He's hilarious. His robot skeleton and not-a-real-horse are also hilarious. Naturally, people will choose the safe Meyers much like people choose Leno over Letterman.

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  160. Fort hose checking out the network, how are the entrances editied? Is the music just changed or do they cut them out completely like WWE's youtube channel wcw videos?

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  161. So far it seems like they kept as much original music as they could. Anything that came with a licensing fee is gone. I think they have a shitty overdub of the Midnight Express' stuff

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  162. This is insane man. Insane. I'm just hoping for full sets of TV shows and I feel like that's coming in some form but honestly I'm more excited than I should be. Just wow

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  163. Okay,

    So here's the problem as I see it. This was brought up in the thread about the PPV last night, so I'm borrowing the idea, but I thought it explained the problem succinctly and correctly:

    Daniel Bryan should be in the title match at Mania because that is what the story IS. Go back to the original buildup with him and Cena for the match at Summerslam. The whole issue is about Bryan being the best in the WWE, and that is contained in him winning the title. At Summerslam, and ever since, he just wants a fair shot at the belt. For once, they've actually told the story correctly in regards to making the title the MOST important thing in the world to Daniel Bryan. He wants that belt. Each time he was screwed, he was screwed out of winning the title. He wasn't screwed out of being the 'face of the WWE' or any of that crap. He wanted the belt. The belt meant something to him as a character.

    So, we object to him facing HHH at Mania because that's not the payoff to the ongoing story. It's a side issue, and we already did that with the Wyatts. The fact is, people don't just want to see Bryan win, they want him to win the title at the biggest show of the year after being screwed the whole time because that's the logical endgame to this whole sordid affair. It's the logical climax.

    CM Punk, on the other hand, since laughing at HHH during the unification ceremony, and being attacked by the Shield and being put at number 1 in the Rumble, hasn't been consistently chasing the belt as a measure of his story. He's been chasing down those who have held him back. That's why, for him, HHH is the logical endgame right now. The man who's been trying to take him out the whole time is the man who is tired of his crap, who's been trying his hardest to get him to quit. That's the story for Punk. He took his ball and went home, because HHH finally beat him. He won, and Punk gave up.

    So now, if Punk returns, it should be for vengeance against the man who drove him from the Fed. He comes back, apologizes to the fans for walking out, says something along the lines of "I gave up, but you all brought me back because you wanted me here, and I only came back to give you what you want: me against HHH, and Daniel Bryan fighting for the title." THAT'S the story.

    It's not that Bryan/HHH will be a bad match, or that WE need Bryan to win the belt at the biggest show of the year. The story needs that to happen because that ending is what they've been building towards. It's logical, consistent storytelling and progression, and it's mind-boggling that they can't see it.

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  164. I think I like the streaming station the best. Most of the time, I want to watch wrestling before sleeping (it helps me sleep) but I can't decide. The channel decides for me. It's so much easier to watch something that just happens to be on. This probably sounds creepy and/or weird.

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  165. Glad you're loving it, don't wanna sound like a sourpuss. Just personally I can't in good conscience pay for this shitty current product they're putting out there. The archive holds minimal appeal for me--- to me it's a throw in with the cheap PPVs, and these PPVs aren't worth shit to me right now.

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  166. And, if they move Bryan to the title match once Punk comes back, fine. But one, he's not; and two, if he does come back, Bryan will just eat the powerbomb at Mania and we all know it.

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  167. That's a shame. So much of the atmosphere of that old stuff is hearing the old theme songs. Oh well, at least they didn't cut out the entrances completely (which was how they edited the wcw matches they put up on youtube).

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  168. Dude wrestling absolutely 100% helps me fall asleep too. That's crazy

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  169. After the ad that they showed about Batista letting the WWE universe know how he feels about them at Smackdown, we'll see. I get the feeling Vince has to know that this isn't working, because despite what we may assume, Vince is far from a moron. I don't think he doesn't recognize the trainwreck that Batista/Orton will be if he feels the need to shove it at us at Mania.

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  170. I'm in Canada unwilling to use the US proxy workaround. So I'm having to piece together ppv's using youtube and the like to join in the fun with you guys...

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  171. Good night everyone

    http://i268.photobucket.com/albums/jj38/dontblinkx182x/ThisThread_Me_zps77423745.gif

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  172. If only the network had the original commercials and promos for the ppv's.
    "It's Wrestlewar 90, from THE. For more information call your cable company. Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun Wild Thing Dun dun dun dun dun dun..."

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  173. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSe7E023IVY

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  174. So wow, Cenas probably out of this years Mania now. It's a shame as I do enjoy Cena matches. But now it looks like well get another SHIELD vs Wyatt's match which is all good.

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  175. Yeah, Ferguson's show is full of great insider jabs that the more simple minded Leno/Meyers audience are likely extremely confused by.

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  176. If the network did let you edit together matches and segments I'd create a marathon with the Flair/Sting/Funk saga. Funk attacks Flair at the end of Wrestlewar 89. Funk vs Flair at GAB. Sting & Flair vs Funk & Muta at Halloween Havoc 89. Flair vs Funk at Clash 9 I quit rules. Sting joins the Horsemen. Sting gets title match against Flair. Horsemen kick sting out of Horsemen at Clash 10. I want to watch that sequence as one 3 hour movie. That was the height of my fandom back in the day.

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  177. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANFebruary 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    LOL, they blew Cena's knee out for real? I was only half watching, but his knee is completely fucked up. This sounds like one of those John Cena challenges where he gets healthy in 3 weeks and then works a 25 minutes match

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  178. From what I saw of his knee and the speculation on what's wrong with it I will be very surprised if he can make it back for Mania. But I was shocked he came back for that Rumble years ago and I had the same surgery so you never know with him.

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  179. Might accelerate the signing of Sting or making up with Punk to make up for the loss of star power.

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  180. Silly suggestion but I was just on the Network technical help page and had a (admittedly stupid) idea. What if we all called the tech support and emailed the tech support asking why Daniel Bryan wasn't in the WWE Title match main event.

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  181. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANFebruary 24, 2014 at 11:30 PM

    Looks like Rowan completely blew it out, but who knows, maybe it's only slightly screwed up and he wears a brace and does the job before fixing it up. He's nuts like that. But goodnight houseshow gates, no Cena and no Punk means uh oh

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  182. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANFebruary 24, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    There's nothing for Punk to do, unless they shoehorn him into the title match. Cena's match wasn't a big deal and can easily be replaced by Shield/Wyatts II

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  183. I was thinking the same thing about Punk. Cena being out of Mania might make Vince do anything and everything to get Punk back.

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  184. If you call them, ask them why the PS3 youtube app randomly chose a match between Sabu and the Disco Inferno from Nitro for me to randomly watch on WWE's youtube channel...

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  185. I know it's Mania and all but I hope Cena doesn't just tough it out. Not because I don't like Cena, I thourouly enjoy Cena. I just don't want Cena pushing himself to that point where he could do even worse damage.

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  186. I think shoehorning him into the main event is exactly what they'll do.

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  187. ARRRRGH THE BARBARIANFebruary 24, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    If they take him off the road, it's only one match.

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  188. They could put Bryan in the title match and put Punk with HHH or make the title match a four way with both Punk and Bryan. Or if they are dead set on Orton/Batista and Vince is desperate to really beg, Punk/Bryan vs HHH/Shawn.

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  189. Also, his 20 interviews with Kristen Bell are all gold. He's a flirty bastid with the ladies :)

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  190. Unrelated thought...why has no wrestler snapped this tune up?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iPM1ifkOQ9s

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