Thursday, December 30, 2010

WWE Set to Close "WWE Universe" Site


A few million fans who take part in WWE's attempt at their own social network labeled "WWE Universe" are set to be disappointed as the site is set to be closed on January 1, 2011.  WWE used the network for fans to talk everything WWE, and even interact with talents who had their own Universe profiles.  In actuality the major social networks like Facebook and Twitter provide everything and then some as far as talking WWE and interacting with talents, and the need for a WWE-only network isn't really necessary.

I never checked out the Universe site much and wasn't really aware it was still going, but apparently it still was and hosted some popular features like live chats with Howard Finkel during RAWs and pay per views, and Jim Ross's "Ross Report." Both of these features will now be featured on WWE.com  and will remain active.  In the announcement of the WWE Universe closing, we are reminded that WWE is still active on the big social networks, and can be found at the following:

* Twitter: twitter.com/WWE

* Facebook: Facebook.com/WWE

* YouTube: YouTube.com/WWE

John Cena out with injury, misses appearance


According to the Baltimore Sun, John Cena missed an appearance in the Maryland city due to a hip injury he received at a WWE house show in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. A WWE spokesperson told the Sun that Cena did not sustain any structural damage and his return to the ring will be a day-to-day decision. WWE.com confirms the story.


Cena was on the card to participate Wednesday in a fatal-four way steel cage match against WWE Champion The Miz, Randy Orton and Wade Barrett.


Here's hoping for a quick recovery. Like him or hate him, Cena is bringing in the audience and the potential for a CM Punk and Nexus rivalry may be the ticket to watch in 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Is Anyone Playing Smackdown vs. RAW 2011?


Over the years on this site, we really haven't covered much when it comes to wrestling games.  Personally the reason for this is that I played wrestling games from the glory period in the last 90's.  WCW vs. nWo World Tour, WCW Revenge, WrestleMania 2000, No Mercy, Fire Pro Wrestling, the list goes on and on.  For some strange reason, while these games set a standard for pure wrestling game fun, just about all of the games that followed over the years got worse instead of better.

For some reason it just seems like companies couldn't follow the example set by the great games, and instead just made up their own games that had unrealistic wrestling, horrible controls, outdated rosters, and no customization.  Even though the Smackdown series of games (Which has evolved into the Smackdown vs. RAW series) seemed to fail in some way every year to me, this year's game seems to be a very well done offering.

Most of the time in Smackdown vs. RAW games, we get a few new features, an updated roster, but overall the same feeling type of game.  You play through a career mode, unlock a few new wrestlers and arenas, and you are pretty much done for the year.  But 2011 they have packed the game with so many unlockables it is a serious task to get through it all.  Not only is there a story mode where you can choose five different stories to play through, all  of which are unique with surprises and twists abound, but now there is "WWE Universe Mode" which is a real time WWE of your own that lets you play through your own WWE calendar of TV shows and every Pay Per View. 

After playing through the stories and enjoying that aspect, I found it odd that I really didn't unlock much.  After some research, it turns out that  I missed a LOT in story mode, and on top of that the WWE Universe Mode has a ton more unlockables to achieve.  The Universe mode is really what will keep me playing for the long haul, since it is endless and you can basically run WWE how you see fit.

If that's not enough, a downloadable content pack was just released that features Nexus members Wade Barret, Justin Gabriel, and David Otunga among others.  Players can customize who is aligned with who and who is feuding, a nice addition that old schoolers will remember from the No Mercy days on N64.  While you can't totally edit current superstars, they've at least allowed us to edit colors to mix things up a bit.

It would take tons of paragraphs to cover it all, but I am enjoying this game more than any other in the franchise, and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys customizing a ton of aspects in the game, and enjoys a huge roster that features just about anyone you can think of in WWE, and some legends mixed in to boot.

12/27 RAW quick hits


I would say overall that RAW was OK. Not great but not bad. Here are some random thought about the show, wrestlers, and angles.

- Ted Dibiase is so far down the ladder, I don't know if there is a way back. He needs a change quickly. Cody Rhodes is doing much better on Smackdown. It’s getting so bad that I wouldn't be surprised if Ted is "future endeavored".

- I like CM Punk in a leadership role, so him leading the Nexus is fine with me and should work out. The problem is Wade Barrett. Where does he go from here? On his own? To Smackdown? Does he turn face?

- Batista and Brock Lesnar...these are guys they are trying to get for Wrestlemania. It’s no coincidence that the announcers and some wrestlers with mic time are bringing their names up.

- Really enjoyed Sheamus/Orton. That's what they need to do more of.

- Not sure about Morrison/Miz at the Rumble. I thought Morrison screwed up when he said the match with him and Miz was next week. Hopefully a no contest of some kind will stop the match and they move it to the Rumble. It's exactly the kind of title match they have for that pay per view event. If not, who will they go with? I heard a rumor Lawler vs. Miz at the Rumble. Please God NO!!!!

- I'm sensing Bryan/Henry/Kid triple threat for the US title. Soon.

I don't know about you, but I am running right out today and grabbing the Bobby Heenan DVD. If you are a younger fan or just not familiar with "The Brain" I strongly encourage you to check it out. It should be laugh out loud funny. His type of character is sorely missed these days.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

WWE Releases Kaval


All I can say is WTF? Talk about not giving someone a chance. Unless there are details we don't know about yet, I would say WWE made a HUGE mistake. What sense does it make for him to win NXT and then lose every match after? And then let him go? If handled correctly, Kaval could make some money for a company. Kaval vs. Daniel Bryan? Hello? That would be gold. There are so many guys that Kaval could have worked with that would have been really great to see. Kofi, Mysterio, Cody, Morrison, Ziggler, etc... Kaval will be OK. He will get back out on the independent scene, I'm sure, and maybe TNA or ROH will come calling. Unless there is more to this, Kaval got screwed..

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What's Up: R-Truth Out With Pneumonia


Many media reports are stating that R-Truth is likely to be out of commission for a few weeks after being hospitalized. Mr. Truth (real name: Ronnie Aaron Killings) has been diagnosed with walking pneumonia. According to reports, several WWE superstars rushed him to the hospital after he was having convulsions. Truth was then apparently told that he could have died without their quick reaction because oxygen was not getting to his brain.


Here's hoping R-Truth has a speedy recovery and we will hear him chant from the stands and work the ring soon.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Next Up for Nexus?

This year in WWE story lines has seen many throwbacks to the days of yesterday. Perhaps one of the most surprising is the Nexus, the faction of bitter groupies that decided to rage against the professional wrestling machine after they failed to be declared the season one winner.

Grouping guys together for a common cause is an easy way to incorporate many personalities that may not otherwise see broadcast time. But it could be the launching pad for future WWE Superstars. The Rock first grabbed our attentions as part of the Nation of Domination. Triple H's rise from Degeneration X Version 1.0. The list goes on, and the potential for one of Nexus' members to make it beyond this push is not outside the realm of possibility. Ortunga, for example, has shown some serious ring skills, and he could easily slide in as a new leader for the group if the situation should arise.

Granted, the latest stable is just an 'x' away from having the same moniker as a line of women hair care products. Still, this stable has the stability to make a lasting impact on the business. Are there potential WWE champions among them? Maybe. Maybe not. But 2011 may just see more from the menacing motley crew. If nothing else, we will get to see its inevitable destruction. Mutiny is afoot, as evident by the latest RAW episodes, and no one can expect the guys to be beat up by John Cena every week. True, fans will bore of the back and forth with Cena soon enough. Still, here is hoping that something else can gel from this rivalry and that the writing staff does not snuff it out too soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Shawn Michaels Speaks on His Future with WWE

Ever since his retirement match at WrestleMania 26 and subsequent retirement speech the following night on RAW, Shawn Michaels has stepped out of the spotlight in WWE.  His cameo on the Slammy Awards has been the most we've seen from HBK in months.  Of course when a legend if gone for awhile, rumors are bound to swirl.  Rumors of Shawn going to TNA, being the anonymous RAW GM, and in ring returns will always be stirring on the Internet, but now Shawn has decided to communicate directly via Youtube to let his fans know what's going on.

In this video, Shawn reveals that he has basically come to a deal with WWE that will make him available to them whenever he can, and he verifies that we will never see him step into a ring other than WWE's ever.  He points out that he will keep his word and will not be wrestling anywhere, but non-wrestling appearances for WWE will be in his future at some point.  Here is the word from the Heartbreak Kid himself:

U for UNIFICATION

Back in the invasion days, the proliferation of titles was reaching insane levels with the WWE championship, WCW world Heavyweight Championship, Intercontinental title, United States Title, Cruiserweight Title, Light Heavyweight Title, Hardcore title, WWE Tag title and WCW Tag Titles.

The recent trend of the day tends to be Unification.

History tells us us that result of a plethora of unifications and de-unifications, is the re-invention and re-introduction of previously prestigious world titles under their previous moniker, with none of the prestige of the original title.

Here is the History of the Unifications that we have seen thus far:

- In November of 2001, Edge defeated test to unify the US and interconinental titles under the intercontinental banner. The tag titles were unified the same night as the Dudley boys became undisputed tag champs.
- At Vengeance in December 2001, Chris Jericho defeated Stone cold Steve Austin to become the First ever Undisputed world champion.
- In July 2002, The European title was folded into the intercontinental title, In august of 2002, the hardcore was also compartmentalized into the IC title as well.
- In October 2002, The Intercontinenatl title was unified with the WWF world title, but the title picture also expanded as the brand split spawned a set of tag straps for smackdown.
- However this became undone again as the brand split again splintered the title picture, and the WWE title was split off and the WHT was introduced to RAW in september 2002.
- The IC title did a re-appearing act in May 2003 in a battleroyal by RAW GM Stone cold Steve Austin.
- Shortly after the US title was brought back as a smackdown-exclusive minor title July 2003.
- Due to the pathetic utilization of talent, the cruiserweight title has fallen by the waste side.
- After many years of 2 tag titles and no teams, they finally realized the tag division was weak so at wrestlemania 25, they once again unified these titles, but what took so long is beyond me.
- Now after years of two women's titles that were totally superfluous, they have successfully unified those titles.

The title picture is finally streamlining. But don't hold your breath.

Now I heard rumors that they are planning on unifying the WWE and world titles at Wrestlemania 27. Any excitement I have over this is equalled by an overwhelming sense of trepidation, mostly over how this will be booked, but more so over how long it may last. There is the potential to do a repeat of the Vengeance PPV (the PPV where Chris Jericho became the first ever Undisputed World Champion), where each champion faces an opponent and then the winners face each other to unify their respective titles.

These are the kinds of ideas that casual wrestling fan's curse me for, but I know I'm not alone especially in this forum. However were several months away from 'mania, and the world title picture is fuzzy at best.

Here would be my fantasy booking for this Wrestlemania.

Randy Orton, screwed out of his world championship again my the Miz at TLC, Orton goes on a one man rampage and tries to destroy the Miz, This rampage results in Orton being suspended. But it doesn't stop. After attacks on the Nexus amoung others, The RAW GM sets up a long gauntlet in which he must destroy the Nexus amoung others in order to get into the Rumble, after entering he then wins the Royal Rumble and goes on to challenge the Miz for the WWE title.

On the Smackdown side, the injury to the Undertaker is making them think twice about what is happening for their main event. "The Streak" is always a prominent feature of Wrestlemania these days. Whether or not Taker will be able to return from his shoulder surgery in time will determine what will happen here, and is the probably the reason why Kane is in a holding pattern as World Champion. This feud is not over. Unfortunate. Kill me. Why they can't get the title off Kane even using the distraction of Taker to do so, then they can get this over with. If Taker vs Kane is Wrestlemania, they are totally making a mistake. If the title goes on Edge which almost always never lasts long, its not a bad decision. You're almost always guaranteed a great match with edge.

However, the final match should always be a marquee match up, and Orton vs Edge is on paper a good match. Orton fighting back to win the rumble, then take out the Miz and then Edge would just blow the roof off the place, especially since Orton is so hot right now. If Taker is healthy, I see a match vs Cena for the streak as a huge match. But time will tell. But as we all know, a week is a long time in the wrestling business. 4 months is an eternity.

Apparently a new WWE championship belt has been ready since last November, indicating that they have been waiting for something in order to unveil it. Could this unification be the event they are waiting for? And if the unification is what they are waiting for, it would be the proper venue.

What would be your ideas for such a unification if it should occur?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Watch "Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows" Online Free

Thanks to our friends at SnagFilm.com for sending this along.  The classic Bret Hart documentary "Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows" is now available to watch online for free, and we've got it right here at ProWrestlingRoundup.com.  For those of you who have never seen it, this documentary follows Bret Hart during the months leading up to the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 97. 

What's most interesting is that this documentary was just a bio on Bret Hart originally, but the crew happened to be filming during one of the most controversial stories in wrestling history.  The film delivers an awesome look into the backstage goings on in WWE during that era.  Also included is a look at the Hart family, including the infamous dungeon, the history of the Hart's in Canada, and even early glimpses of a young current WWE Superstar, David Hart Smith. 

"Wrestling With Shadows" is great on so many levels, and gives many visuals of the stories told in Bret Hart's book.  Anyone that is a fan on the historical wrestling events, Bret Hart himself, or someone who is just curious on what all this history between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon will surely enjoy this film:


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Potential Challengers for the Miz


I'm back for more fun. I'm going to look into the crystal ball and see what the future of the WWE Championship, and the Miz, will look like heading into the Royal Rumble.

First, we have to get the Randy Orton business out of the way. If you've paid any attention to WWE, and wrestling in general, over the past few years, then you would have noticed that when a new champ is crowned and gives the former champ a rematch, the former champ does not get the belt right back. In the Miz's case this is even more paramount because he had the MITB briefcase all those months. Why have him win the belt, just to give it right back? Makes no sense. So let's assume that Miz somehow gets passed Orton. WWE Cretaive will have the task of making Orton still look strong through this. But that's their problem.

So who will be next? Who will challenge Miz at the Royal Rumble? I'm not going to go through the Santino's of the world. Let's look at challengers with a real shot of moving into a program with the Awesome One. Also, we must be sure to look at the event. The Rumble. The Royal Rumble match is the main event here. It always has been. And because that's the case the WWE sometimes will take a chance and bring along a mid-carder and give them a shot at the championship(s).

Another way of putting it would be the WWE gives guys title shots even though everyone knows they have no shot of winning. This helps the champ(s) look stronger heading into Wrestlemania. Examples of this would be Undertaker over Mysterio (2010), Cena over JBL (09), Batista over Kennedy (07), Angle over Mark Henry (06), and Cena over Umaga. (07)

Since 2005, there have been 12 championship matches at the Rumble. 2 per year. The WWE and World titles. In 10 of the 12 matches the champion has retained. The exceptions to the rule are Cena over Edge in 06 and Edge over Jeff Hardy in 09.

So, let's assume Miz will win at the Rumble and it will be against a worthy, but beatable opponent and hopefully not one of the "main eventers" that litter the pay per view main events month after month. I see two possibilities that fit into this category. Morrison and Bryan. R-Truth would be a third possibility but I think the other two have a better shot because of the built in storylines. Daniel Bryan is a no brainer because he would deliver in the ring, and would lose clean without taking too big of a hit to his momentum. He also has the US title because he made Miz tap out on two consecutive pay per views. That's a built in storyline. Morrison has the tag team history with the Miz and the fans have wanted a program between the two since they split. Morrison has a bigger risk attached, though. I think if he loses clean it will be tougher for him to recover. So what about a triple threat match? Have Miz pin Bryan, so Morrison doesn't look bad.

As for the bigger names, they could go into the Rumble itself. Most of them will. But even with that assumpition, who else would make sense to challenge Miz at the Rumble? HHH is not back yet and he will most likely feud with Sheamus, taking both of them out of the mix. Cena is involved with Nexus and a match with Wade Barrett is on the horizon. Orton, is a possiblity, and they have given some programs 2 or even 3 straight pay per views, so he is a possibility. If WWE doesn't feel Morrison or Bryan are ready then he is the choice. But he could just as easily enter the Rumble.

So there you have it. The crystal ball is a bit cloudy but we've narrowed the field down to 3 possible challengers that make the most sense. If WWE takes a chance, it will be either Bryan or Morrison. If they don't it will be Orton.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Building for TNA's future


After the Bound for Glory PPV on 10/10/10- where Jeff Hardy stunned the wrestling world by turning heel- and the subsequent episode of Impact! where Immortal took shape and formed an alliance with Fortune, TNA seemed to have found a new direction and gained a lot of buzz from fans/critics alike. However, nearly 2 months on TNA has become a little lost once more as to where they need to head to gain a bigger fan base and larger ratings.

Despite Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair constantly praising their younger charges like Hardy, AJ Styles and Abyss, the veterans- whose prime was perhaps 10 or 15 years ago- have so far over-shadowed the more youthful talent. Whether this is unintentional or a case of egos unwilling to relinquish the spotlight, TNA needs to realise that the wrestling world has always flourished when fresh ideas/stars are allowed to grow and develop.

Looking over the fence from TNA's small holding the big wigs within the company can surely see the greener pastures of WWE's super-farm where the older guys have given way to exciting younger wrestlers such as Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and the new WWE heavyweight champion The Miz. Sure there is a space for experience but that should be to help push the careers of the superstars of the future. The wrestlers whom the next generation of fans will idolise and connect with as an audience. Despite Ric Flair's undoubtable genius on the mic, no fan- let alone child fan- wishes to see a 60+ year old bleeding like a stuck pig and facing a guy almost a third of his age.

TNA is obviously still a young and inexperienced company but they do have experience within. Experience that should look at the demise of WCW; a company that once beat WWF/WWE for 83 straight weeks thanks to revolutionary ideas and shock factor before crashing and burning spectacularly. Unfortunately WCW let older guys like Hogan, Flair and Nash dictate booking, pay and storylines that ultimately only served them and their selfish goals. Surely Dixie Carter can see a similar pattern emerging within her company.

To build for the future TNA perhaps needs only look back to their recent past. In 2005 TNA was perhaps the most exciting wrestling company in the world thanks to excellent in-ring action centred around the X-Division. Many fans had never really heard much about Samoa Joe, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels, but after their truly brilliant three-way series that spanned months of Impact and PPVs, the wrestling world was declaring these three men- and TNA's X Division- the future of the business. Since 2006/2007 however, TNA seemed to turn it's back on the features that brought the company to the dance, instead opting to push older stars and ex-WWE talent at the expense of their home-grown wrestlers. Maybe the time has come to rid the locker room of the veteran egos and give the ball to the hungry, young stars of tomorrow. Perhaps even reaching out to former fan favourites like Christopher Daniels and Petey Williams, who can reignite the neglected X-Division whilst Styles, Joe, Matt Morgan and Douglas Williams reshape the world heavyweight title picture.

Just a thought.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

MVP Released from WWE

In a bit of breaking news, MVP (Montel Vontavious Porter) has been released from WWE.  MVP was quick to comment on his official Twitter page that he had indeed been released, but had requested it himself and was not fired.  MVP also commented that it was time to "go international & freshen things up."  This is a great move for MVP in my opinion, as there just aren't enough guys that go to Japan and come back much improved like the stars of the 80's and 90's did. 

When MVP debuted in WWE on Smackdown, he was touted as this hot free agent seemingly straight out of Jerry Maguire, who was this huge signing for Smackdown.  To me the angle made NO sense, because we had never seen this guy, yet he's some major star Smackdown just HAD to sign?  After getting past that, MVP seemed like he was going to be a big star, and had a memorable feud with Matt Hardy, and even a long U.S. Title run, but has just stalled out over the past few years and not being put in any major situations. 

Now of course MVP will no doubt be the next big TNA signing rumor, and he's a big enough name to make an impact there when his no compete is up.  One of MVP's biggest supporters is Paul Heyman, who often tweets about MVP and his backstory.  You can tell Heyman could turn MVP into a megastar if ever given the chance.  If TNA did bring in MVP, he obviously would have to come up with a new name, which always hurts to some degree, but MVP would join Matt Hardy on the list of upper level free agent names that could make an impact in TNA if they were brought in and used correctly.