Friday, January 23, 2015

Condo On Moon Podcast #45: Royal Rumble Preview

We preview the Royal Rumble and talk some future business for the WWE. I call Triple H by mistake Hogan while Walder has thrown his name in the hat to be the newest member of WWE Creative. The fact he is both Swiss and Millennial might work against him. Someone else already employed by WWE is getting promotion in the front offices in Stamford. All this and a weekly Young Bucks reference or two in this week's podcast.

If you are unable to listed to us here head over to Podomatic and listen or download from there.

Best of luck in your local Rumble Pool and hope everyone enjoys that start of the road to Wrestlemania.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wrestlemania Brand Put To The Ultimate Test In Dallas Next Year

In recent years WWE has touted about the power of the brand that is Wrestlemania. It has grown to be a massive event that is bid on not unlike things like the Super Bowl and other major sporting events. Last year Forbes Magazine ranked Wrestlemania as one of the top 40 valuable brands in sports. Estimating the value of the Wrestlemania brand at 105 million dollars.

It has been wildly stated in wrestling circles that Wrestlemania sells itself before any match is ever announced. All of these statements and the brand of Wrestlemania are going to take the ultimate test in April 2016, as Wrestlemania will play in its largest venue ever. AT&T Stadium the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys has a capacity that is over 105.000 people potentially. This would leave the door open to smash the much-debated indoor attendance record set at Wrestlemania III of over 93,000 at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Yet the WWE product has not been in such rough shape in some time. The upcoming Wrestlemania in Levi’s Stadium in the Bay Area of California is set to go in a couple months.  The thought has been the WWE plans to head to Mania with a Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar main event. Much debate has been made if they will stick with this direction. Reigns lack of being over with fans, the return of Daniel Bryan and the uncertain status of Brock Lesnar all factors in such a change. The Royal Rumble will likely set in motion the direction we are heading as the road to Wrestlemania begins.

This could potentially be the first Wrestlemania without the Undertaker. It will definitely be the first without his historic Wrestlemania Streak on the line as it came to a crashing end last year at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Most feel Taker will headline the Hall of Fame in Dallas as one of the attractions to help fill AT&T Stadium and draw fans to Wrestlemania weekend in Texas in 2016.

Still the question looms what else the WWE can pull out of its hat to try to get this massive stadium filled. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant headlined that show that broke the record in Detroit. It was billed as a once in a lifetime confrontation with Andre the Giant’s 15 year undefeated streak being placed against the three plus year title reign of Hulk Hogan. On the under card of this show feature what would be regarded as one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time with Randy Savage finally going in the Hall of Fame this year defending his Intercontinental against Ricky Steamboat. An angle was built over the span of 6 months with Savage injuring Steamboat and putting his career in jeopardy smashing his throat against a guardrail and with the ring bell.

What does the WWE have now that could capture the imagination of fans like that? Do they need to have something that good or is the brand of Wrestlemania big enough that it doesn’t matter. Just like events like the Super Bowl that sell regardless of who is in the game itself. It is just the fact of being at the event.

Could it be just the idea of being part of history in the largest crowd factor into the motivation for fans to head out to Texas?

Wrestling was reaching a fever pitch at the time of Wrestlemania III but currently everyone would concede the WWE is in a down period. Yet they boldly or perhaps arrogantly march into Cowboys Stadium to announce their plans to break their attendance record.

This could be a massive embarrassment for the WWE if they can not come through and sellout this massive stadium. The WWE once tried this before where Wrestle Mania VII was originally scheduled to go in the L.A Sports Coliseum and was moved to the L.A Sports Arena instead. WWE claimed it was done to do concerns for safety over threats of terrorism tied to the Iraq and U.S War. The reality was ticket sales were poor and they avoided the embarrassment of a less than capacity stadium.

It is safe to say that backing out of this endeavor will not be an option. It is a real risk the WWE is taking with perhaps the most valuable asset they have left being Wrestlemania. The event has had gambles like this in it’s past and came out the better on the other side. The original Wrestlemania Vince McMahon literally had put everything he had into it banking on its success. People thought it was insane to go to Silverdome but that became the high point of wrestling boom of the 80’s.

They say everything is bigger in Texas and the WWE is going all in to try and pull off the largest Wrestlemania in history. They do it with no obvious main attraction to attract over 100,000 people to attend. One match that might have had that appeal was a return of Stone Cold Steve Austin to the ring to take on C.M Punk but that dream is pretty much dead. You have to wonder what match they will have next year to headline this show. This while it is still somewhat unclear the direction they will head for this Wrestlemania. If this Wrestlemania fails to impress what that could mean for next year could be devastating.

It is going to be a true test of if wrestling or more to the point WWE is as strong as it has been in the past. It will be referendum of sort on the state of the WWE. If they are successful, they will use it as a claim that the business is fine. If not it will make people seriously consider the state of the company. The Network has been a pretty underwhelming endeavor to this point. They can’t afford to fail with this one. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

5 Things To Expect on WWE Monday Night Raw 1/19/15

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Tonight is the go-home show for the 28th annual Royal Rumble PPV. I remember James telling me that he was at the very first Royal Rumble PPV that's pretty cool. Anyways tonight is a very big show for the WWE. We got legends in the building, Daniel Bryan & Brock Lesnar are back, and 22 other superstars are looking to punch in their names into the Royal Rumble match. As here is my public service announcement, so people understand what this article is about. I'm giving you an insightful preview as to what you will see on tonight's edition of WWE Monday Night Raw and this by no means represents my taste in wrestling or what I would like to see on the show. Here's five things to look forward to on "Raw Reunion".

1.) Raw Reunion 

When I first heard about this special Raw Reunion show and that it was going to be in Dallas, Texas there was only one thing that was running through my mind. The reason why these legends are here tonight is to ring in the announcement of WrestleMania 32 taking place at Jerry World in Arlington, Texas. Here's the updated list of the legends that will be on this show tonight:  Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, X-Pac, Shawn Michaels, Ron Simmons, Jimmy Hart and The New Age Outlaws. Something that can work here with this special legends show why don't you have The Ascension come out and instead of saying "Oh we're better than the Road Warriors" since there advertised for the show, why don't you say "Oh we're better than the New Age Outlaws" call them out to a match and lay them out. It kills two birds with one stone you backed up your claim and you also made a statement to not only the tag team division, but to JBL. It would be nice to see a nWo or D-Generation X reunion tonight or maybe both come out at the same time. I think we'll probably see Ron Simmons do the "DAMN!" to the Rosebuds or The Miz & Damien Mizdow.

2.) WWE World Heavyweight Championship Program 

Seth Rollins sure made an statement last week on Raw! Couldn't have happen to a better a guy and  I totally mean that. Do we see John Cena in action tonight? Really digged the in-ring promo that Rollins & Paul Heyman conducted on SmackDown last week it was the perfect showcase of storytelling. It's not a question of "if", but when are we going to see The Authority? I want to remind people something 44 out 52 raw's in the years 2000 and 2001 had a in-ring promo to start of the show it sets off the tone for the show, get over it. I think tonight is important to make Brock Lesnar stand out. Ever since he came back Brock Lesnar has been made to look like a girl just being honest. Whether it's him running away from Cena one week, then getting A&A through tables and getting curb stomped the next week, Lesnar sure doesn't look like a strong WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I think tonight heading into the Royal Rumble PPV. They'll call it a Face-To-Face segment for big feuds like this on go-home show, but during this face-to-face segment Brock Lesnar needs to go off the air laying out both Seth Rollins & John Cena.

3.) Daniel Bryan or Roman Reigns ?

With the 2015 Royal Rumble coming this Sunday on the WWE Network. The hottest topic in the WWE right now with the fans are who should win the Royal Rumble Match? Daniel Bryan or Roman Reigns? It was great to see Bryan back in the ring last week on SmackDown. Here's an idea to shake things up and also get people talking is if you do this match. I think tonight we can see either a rematch between Kane & Daniel Bryan or Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns will take on Kane & Big Show. If that doesn't happen we can possibly see a Daniel Bryan in-ring promo and instead of Stephanie coming out this time it will be Triple H who will come out to tell Daniel Bryan that he made a mistake coming back and threaten him to feud with The Authority again. Nonetheless it just great to have Bryan back on the television and makes things fresh and all I ask for tonight is if Roman Reigns is doing a backstage interview with the beautiful Renee Young, Please I beg the WWE to let Roman Reigns showcase his natural personality instead of bringing out some random line from Whinney The Poo or The Little Engine That Could.

4.) Royal Rumble Mid-Card 

Is there any chance we see the returns of Ryback, Dolph Ziggler & Erick Rowan tonight? If that happens I would be so happy for all three of these guys. As far as the rest of the mid-card for the Royal Rumble PPV is concern. We found out last week on SmackDown that The Miz & Damien Mizdow invoked their rematch clause and The Usos will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Miz & Damien Mizdow at the Royal Rumble. I think tonight The Miz will take on Jimmy Uso or we can do that rematch from SmackDown last week The Miz, Damien Mizdow and Alicia Fox vs. The Usos & Naomi. I think tonight would be good to see Rusev take part of a squatch match or he'll probably have a rematch with Dean Ambrose. As far as the WWE Divas Championship feud between Paige, Natalya and Nikki Bella, with any indication from last night's Total Divas we're either seeing Paige vs. Natalya or we'll see Paige & Natalya vs. The Bella Twins. It would be cool to have Bad News Barrett come out before his match and say he has bad news and that the bad news is that Dolph Ziggler won't be in the Royal Rumble Match.

5.) Good Commentary or Bad Commentary?

Tonight is the final flagship show for the WWE before the Royal Rumble PPV. They've been doing a good job of promoting each match that's on every PPV over the last 5 months. Tonight I hope that JBL, Michael Cole & Booker T bring their a-game into tonight's show. I've been known to saying that this commentary team reminds me of FOX news radio or CNN. Tonight is the about promoting the Royal Rumble not promoting JBL's ego.

Let's try to have some fun tonight folks!

Follow Me on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR

Friday, January 16, 2015

Condo On The Moon Podcast #44 Hall of Fame Madness

We talk about Randy Savage finally getting in the Hall of Fame and his bad history with Hulk Hogan. The state of the WWE heading towards the Royal Rumble. ROH welcoming a former WWE star to television this weekend. In addition a little plug for local independent show Alpha-1 Wrestling that will have ROH stars Cedric Alexander and R.D Evans in town locally here in Hamilton. That and lots more with myself and Chris Walder.

So that was it for this week and if you have trouble accessing the podcast head over to Podomatic and listen or download from there.

Here is some thoughts from Randy Savage in an old interview on Hulk Hogan the man who will induct him in the Hall of Fame. After listening to this ask yourself if this is truly who Randy Savage would want to induct him in the Hall of Fame?

Brian Fritz from The Sporting News and Between The Ropes was able to interview Lanny Poffo in what could be classed as a rather strange take from Savage's brother on Savage's induction to the Hall of Fame.

Owens and Zayn The Best Feud In Wrestling Right Now?

The best feud in pro wrestling today is not building towards Wrestlemania. It is a recycled feud from Ring of Honor happening in NXT. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens had a long feud as El Generico and Kevin Steen that ended in one of the craziest matches I have ever seen. Ladder War IV is one of the most insane ladder matches that I have ever witnessed. If you have never seen it, you really should go seek it out.

Almost as soon as rumors came out that Kevin Steen was coming to the WWE and NXT it made fans excited at the prospect of another feud between him and Sami Zayn. Often what fans want they seldom get in wrestling today but this has been the exception. Owens debut and Zayn finally winning the NXT title set up the starting point for this epic match-up to resurface under the WWE banner.

It started with a bang and they have slowly let it simmer between the two stars. We have yet to have any explanation for why Kevin Owens did what he did. They sold an injury angle for Zayn who just returned to NXT in the last two weeks. Instead of jumping into it with the two, we got a title re-match with Zayn and Neville only to have Owens show up and attack Sami again after a successful title defense.

Kevin has done such a great job at being a heel and Sami is so loved that you have a real babyface against heel dynamic. Which is hard to pull off especially at NXT where the audience tends to cheer for whatever entertains them rather than who is good or who is bad.

This match-up might be more exciting than anything we get at Wrestlemania this year to be honest. It is a match-up that is so good it belongs to be on a Wrestlemania some day. Two guys from Quebec, Canada together poised to be the next two big Canadian stars for the WWE. Canada was always a hot bed for creating WWE stars, but really, the numbers of guys that have come in the last decade have been few and far between. No offense to Tyson Kidd but we have lacked that giant Canadian star for sometime. Now we sit on the verge of having two huge stars potentially.

WWE has had their issues of late so it might be best for business to have this feud going on in NXT and keep both away from the main roster for now. The last thing people want to see is Zayn or Owens quickly be ruined like some other hot NXT acts have been once arriving on the main roster.

WWE’s next NXT Special which likely will be somewhere along the road to Wrestlemania and there has even been talk it could be during Wrestlemania week will feature most likely the Zayn vs. Owens showdown. It might blow the majority of Wrestlemania out of the water. Zayn and Owens have a great chemistry and a decade long relationship that will guarantee they will knock it out of the park as they have in the past.

It is the most compelling match the WWE has to offer at the moment. They made R-Evolution for of the best special events the WWE has put on in years. It was incredible and created a buzz that over shadowed WWE TLC later in the week. Not that they could over shadow Wrestlemania with their match but they will put on a match that will be better than almost everything you could likely see on that card.

Have we reached the point we root for guys not to leave NXT out of fear of what will become of them on the WWE main roster. The lack of faith in the creative on the main roster is justified at this point with Roman Reigns cutting Saturday morning cartoon promos.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are survivors and I think will have bright and long futures in the WWE. Ironically this might be some of the best stuff they will ever do though as they will not have the limitations that come with the WWE main roster these days.

So enjoy it the slow burn to an awesome match-up. Cue the crowd to OLE and chant this is wrestling because it is and it isn’t complicated. A friend turns his back on his buddy and he wants what he has. Pretty basic, simple, and something we all can relate to in our everyday lives.

More talk on this and all that is going on in the world of wrestling coming up later tonight as we do every Friday night. Condo on the Moon Podcast will be talking Savage finally in the Hall of Fame and a lot more. So make sure to come have a listen and join us every Friday.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finally... Randy Savage Is Where He Belongs In WWE Hall Of Fame

Finally, it has happened Randy Savage is going to be in the WWE Hall of Fame. As a life long Randy Savage fan, you would think this would be a huge moment. It was but not as big a moment as it could and should have been for myself. After all Vince McMahon confirmed Savage would be in the Hall of Fame on the Stone Cold Podcast. TMZ also reported earlier in the day this was going to be announced which the WWE made clear during Raw. This all took away from the moment when Savage was officially put in the Hall of Fame.

That was bad enough, but to hear that Hulk Hogan is presenting Savage for induction made me sick inside. It is no secret that Savage for many points in his life hated this man legitimately. Hulk Hogan claims that Savage had made peace with him for their differences. Hulk Hogan has lied about so many things and we are just supposed to believe him? I personally do not and am sickened that Hogan is trying once again to push his way into Savage’s moment. This is not unlike when Savage won the title at Wrestlemania 4.

The recent Savage DVD promised answers to why Randy was not in the Hall of Fame. The DVD never really gets into other than vague speculation. In addition not one member of the McMahon Family was featured in this DVD.

The urban legend is that Savage had some kind of affair with Stephanie McMahon. Something in interviews Savage’s brother Lanny Poffo when asked about it would not deny it and in fact vaguely confirmed it. If Lanny is behind this whole thing, the fact he has allowed Hogan to be involved in this moment I personally will never forgive him for as Savage Fan. Poffo unlike his brother has always loved Hogan for giving him in his mind his big break as “The Genius” fighting Hogan on a Saturday Night’s Main Event for the title. Which was Lanny’s only shot ever at a title in the WWE that I can recall.

WWE has taken a moment that should be celebrated by all Macho Man fans, and WWE have found a way to take away from what should be a special moment. This moment was long overdue for Randy Savage and should have happened while he was alive. That fact alone was hard enough to deal with forget about adding Hogan to the mix.

In the end, Randy Savage deserved this honor for well over a decade before it actually has happened. WWE has found a way to take a moment that should be celebrated, but have taken away from the joy that should be associated with this for longtime Savage fans.

Savage’s true legacy is how many people Randy actually turned on to wrestling. Many wrestlers that got into this business did in part because of Randy Savage and all he did in this business that is his legacy. C.M Punk was one of those guys and he brought Savage to light for modern fans by doing his elbow drop in WWE as a tribute to Savage. He also wore Savage gear the week after his death on Raw. Jay Lethal is another guy who has taken on the Savage persona as a tribute to Randy as well.

There are many people that would not be wrestlers and millions more that would not be fans of wrestling without Randy being part of professional wrestling.

I celebrate the fact that WWE finally did the right thing by putting Savage in Hall of Fame. The whole process of putting Savage in the Hall of Fame is being ruined for me as a fan of his for years. WWE will no doubt look to cash in on the memory of Savage where ever and whenever they can now.

Randy Savage deserved to live to have this moment in his life. WWE robbed him and us his fans of that moment. Nothing that happens in this induction can make up for that.

Still it is nice that finally Randy Savage is where he has always belonged in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Monday, January 12, 2015

5 Things To Expect on WWE Monday Night Raw 1/12/15

So last week's Raw was the worst of all-time, I get a chuckle out of that because I hear that every single week on social media and it's from the same people that don't know anything about storytelling. Last week's announcement of the firing of Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback did catch me off guard, but it was the right decision to make. Raw's in the home of WrestleMania 30, New Orleans, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman are advertised to be on the show. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan will be on the show tonight after announcing not only his return to the WWE, but also announcing that he will be in the Royal Rumble Match. How will John Cena respond to the Authority firing his entire team? Will Nikki Bella have two total divas going after her divas championship? All this and more as I, Josh Lopez will give you the best preview for tonight's Monday Night Raw!!!!!!!! Mind you I've been very accurate with my previews over the last couple of weeks and what I put into this article is NOT my personal taste or what I would like to see on the show. What you see on this article is a look at what the WWE Creative Team will dish out before Raw starts. Here's five things to look forward to with tonight's Monday Night Raw.

1.) The Authority, Brock Lesnar and John Cena 

Here's what I have to throw out there for this storyline to head into the right direction heading into the Royal Rumble. I think we'll have a in-ring promo to start off the show with The Authority explaining their actions from last week Raw. I think we'll see Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman come out and question the Authority decision to add Seth Rollins to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match. I think John Cena will come out and he will want to get his hands on Seth Rollins (again), but The Authority will try to give John Cena the night off because they appreciate him so much. Who knows there would be a backstage segment where Stephanie or Triple H is on the phone and they're explaining their actions and they get off the phone and say they were talking to Vince or the Board of Directors. I think they need to give me a reason to care about Seth Rollins being in this Triple Threat Match. I don't think he needs to be in this match and I think the WWE should've had Randy Orton makes his return after TLC, but Orton is injured from what I hear from the so reliable dirtsheets, but yea. I think the feud between Brock Lesnar & John Cena should end in a one-on-one war, not a triple threat match.

2.) Daniel Bryan + The Yes Movement!

I'm glad that Daniel Bryan is back and I'm looking forward to seeing him on Raw tonight. It was announced that on SmackDown on Thursday, Bryan will compete in first match since after Extreme Rules 2014. We'll probably hear from Bryan in a in-ring promo and I know what I'm going to say is going to upset people, but it's the right thing to do storyline wise and just being a realistic sports-entertainment fan. The Authority will come out it could be either Triple H, Stephanie and or Kane that comes out and interrupts Daniel Bryan and will question him about his health and does he think he can really win the Royal Rumble Match. I think what will come out of tonight's Daniel Bryan segment is that Bryan will take on Kane on SmackDown this Thursday. Kane should be the first and only person that Daniel Bryan competes against.

3.) Ramifications for Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose 

Dean Ambrose had a pretty interesting week on Raw last week he fights Bray Wyatt in a brutal Ambulance Match and then he reunites with his former Shield brother Roman Reigns to take on The Authority. Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins & Big Show in a very good tag team match on SmackDown. Will Dean Ambrose get punish for defying The Authority? I wouldn't be opposed to seeing a rematch from SmackDown. Maybe you can see The Big Show & Seth Rollins take on Roman Reigns in a handicap match. Or we can just see another Roman Reigns vs. Big Show match possibly turn that into a No DQ match. I'm surprised that Roman hasn't spoke about the Royal Rumble match like Batista did last year. The story should be The Authority doing everything in their power to make sure that Roman Reigns doesn't win the Royal Rumble Match.

4.) WWE Commentary Change + WWE Mid-Card's Thoughts

I always go out of my way to gives my thoughts out there for those fans that do enjoy the mid-carders in the WWE. I think it's important for any wrestling analyst, broadcaster or even fan to pay attention to what's going on the mid-card because there's alot of good talent on the WWE Roster. Continue to build that heat for The Ascension keep putting them in squatch matches why not it continues to make people talk about The Ascension and that's what they want. I think we'll Rusev continue to take digs at Ryback because Ryback is not in the WWE anymore, so yea he can call him a coward again. I think we'll see Bad News Barrett rebound from his lost on SmackDown to Sin Cara. BNB will lay out Sin Cara in the rematch tonight. It's looks like we're getting a tag team turmoil for the WWE Tag Team Championship sometime soon with The Usos, The New Day, Gold & Stardust, The Miz & Damien Mizdow, The Ascension and Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. I don't think that match will happen tonight, but that's something that can work for the Royal Rumble or at the WWE Fast Lane PPV. WWE made an announcement that Jerry Lawler will no longer will be on the Raw announce team which is an end of a era, but also there's a underlying problem with the Raw announce team it's not Michael Cole it's JBL. Why should I have to continue to listen to a bully who had a overrated career, who continues to bury young talents and is the Bill O'Reilly of professional wrestling broadcasting.

5.) WWE Divas Championship Feud

Seems like tensions continue to rise with the return of Total Divas. Natalya & Nikki Bella have been feuding over the last couple of week's, but just as the WWE Championship match turn into a triple threat match, the WWE Divas Championship can turn into a triple threat match with Natalya, Paige and Nikki Bella. Paige & Nikki Bella had a phenomenal match on WWE Main Event last week. Raw is three hours there's no reason why Paige & Nikki Bella can't have the same amount of time in the ring on Raw tonight like they did on WWE Main Event. Nikki Bella continues to improve as Divas Champion and I'm actually looking forward to see what happens with the Divas Division heading into WrestleMania 31.

Follow Josh Lopez on Twitter @JoshLopezCSR

There's some rumors going around about TMZ revealing the first inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015. The rumors is that Randy "Macho Man" Savage will be the headling inductee in this year's class. The announcement should be made tonight on Raw. If that does happen all of us here at Condo on the Moon would like to congratulate the Poffo family on this crowning achievement. R.I.P Macho Man OOOOOOOO YEA!!!!!!!! DIG IT! Enjoy Raw tonight.