Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hangin on the Moon #9

Time once again to kick it on Google Hangout with all of you with my partner in crime Josh Lopez. Today we are going talk some ROH. Along with WWE and if Josh wants to talk TNA will talk that too. Even some PWG talk with it being BOLA Weekend. We start at 7:30 PM est live so join us and take part in the action.

If you missed it live join us next week and take part in the show. You can always send us your questions #AskMachoMoon on Twitter.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Brock Lesnar Directly Or Indirectly Could Lead WWE To Change They Need

The build to Night of Champions and the re-match to John Cena and Brock Lesnar will be interesting to say the least. Lesnar says he is going to end John Cena in the match that is great wrestling hype for sure. However, news that John Cena from his own lips that his shoulder has been injured and he has been battling through it makes this take on a different meaning. News since that Cena may in fact have neck issues as well makes you wonder a few things. First on my list would be, if people were aware of this, who exactly came up with the brilliant idea of Cena taking 16 German Suplexs in the match? Is this further injury, because of that match would be another question to be asked. You can also wonder if these are in fact, legit injures or just brilliant selling that Cena physically might not be fit for this match. This would create some concern and vulnerability for the former 15-time champion heading into this re-match.

Working with Brock Lesnar is never the easiest thing to do physically in a legit sense. Brock is a monster in a real sense and does not have a history of being the safest worker for not only his opposition but also himself at times. Just minutes into one of his matches with Triple H it was said that Lesnar had rang his bell and might have suffered a concussion. If memory serves me this was at their match at Wrestlemania 29. In any case booking a less than 100% Cena in a match with Brock Lesnar with shoulder and neck issues assuming they are legit injuries is just tempting fate.

This is the best argument for why the WWE booking Cena stronger than everyone else has never been a great idea. When Cena in effect makes opposition look weak and takes away from them while building him up it does them no favors. The latest example the beating he put on Bray Wyatt to restore Cena after the royal ass whipping he took at Summerslam. Bray might be in some hot water, as it seems his feud with Jericho may in fact not go to a third match and more and more people are starting to question his ability to have good matches and get himself over beyond his promos and entrance.

We had a glimpse of the WWE without John Cena when he was forced to walk away for what was at the time expected to be 6 months after losing to Daniel Bryan at Summerslam. After which the company seemed unwilling to legitimize him as the top guy in Cena’s absence. Cena would make one of his miraculous recoveries and be back in about 2 and half months from injury. He would win the World Championship and have a unification match with Randy Orton to close out 2013. Bryan it appears may have avoided a second surgery and could be on the road to a return sooner than it was originally feared. WWE might need him if Cena is taken out of the game after this re-match with Brock Lesnar.

It is going to be interesting if we end up with Brock as champion and Cena potentially out with an injury coming out of Night of Champions. Many already wonder how the WWE will adjust without having a Champion on T.V all the time and not at all on house shows. Now add losing the face of the company in John Cena to that, it could be a one-two punch that would not be best for business at all.

Dean Ambrose who many would argue is the most "over" superstar is off doing a movie but should be back if not for Night of Champions soon after. Even though in storyline, Dean is portrayed as being out indefinitely. Roman Reigns is still trying to deal with the weight of expectations about him being deemed the next one to replace Cena. He is not ready to handle that at this point in the view of majority of wrestling journalists and fans as well. Seth Rollins has the Money in the Bank briefcase but as long as Brock is champion it makes the concept of him cashing in and winning seem highly unlikely.

There is a theory John Cena would beat Lesnar, but be so beaten down that Rollins would cash in on him and win the championship.  I find that hard to believe, it would take away the whole idea of Brock being the man that ended Undertaker’s streak and someone by beating him getting something out of that. This is what most feel is something they want for Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31. If Reigns is not ready to be champion, I have a hard time making the case for Seth Rollins to be. No question as far as an in-ring worker is concerned he is ready. That said his performance in promos still leaves a great deal to be desired. I can’t see this idea having any merit. However, WWE has done stupider things its history.

There is never a good time to have injuries let alone to the guy you have built the company around for last 12 years more or less.  You add in the WWE still struggling to get this WWE Network to a place where it can be profitable it becomes an even bigger issue.

No one should be crying tears for the folks at WWE though as they have made choices that have put themselves in this position. How many times have we said over the past several years that various guys were on a path to be main event level stars only to have the WWE’s booking take it all away? Cesaro is an example of a guy that was positioned to make that step up the ladder coming out of Wrestlemania only to have him taken back down the ladder. He is just one of many examples you could point too.

There has been a lot of talk in recent months of internal struggle between Paul Lévesque and Vince McMahon over creative. At some point Vince is going to have to trust in the future that Paul Levesque as created for this company. If he fails to do so and longer he continues to rely on the old guard the more difficult the transition will be to a new era for the company beyond John Cena and the stars left from the past like Randy Orton, Big Show and Kane.

It is vital and trick to make this transition at the same time this company is trying to redefine how it does business for the next generation at the very same time. Making the transition from the pay-per-view era to this bold new Network era that may be an idea that is a little ahead of it’s time. Regardless, the WWE can’t turn back now and must stay committed to this bold new business model. While at the same time, have faith in the investment they have made in their developmental system with the performance center and their partnership with Full Sail University.  This is the first steps in seeing the investment in the NXT brand coming to the main stage. Not showing faith in that system and the talent it is creating would be a massive mistake and one this company can’t afford to make.

There is a lot at stake and regardless of what the plan is on paper the signs in reality are starting to show that John Cena does not have many days left on top on the WWE Mountain. At least not in the current position, he holds now as the main attraction and face of the company.   Be it the company’s choice, Cena’s, or both the idea of not having him transition to a heel character is also limiting his longevity to being a draw for the product even if they fail to see that. The WWE is a company that can come up with ideas like the WWE Network that are truly revolutionary despite the lack of success they have had no one debates it is the future for content. While at the same time, they seem to cling to nostalgia and end up being stuck in the past in terms of creative. It is time for the WWE roster to represent that same forward thinking that their business model truly is. Even if it might take a hit of the start as the WWE Network has, it is worth it for the long term and overall growth and future of the product.

Cena’s time is no longer now it is time for change in fact that change is long overdue. This is not to say that anyone should want to wish ill will to Cena and his heath and well-being.  If he were to take the time and heal up it might be the best thing forever one including him and his own longevity at the end of the day.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Vince McMahon: Where Is WWE Heading Without Him?

Vince McMahon is 69 today and still by all accounts firmly has a grip on control of his company World Wrestling Entertainment. Many feel this will be the case until the day he dies and it seems morbid to talk about but what will be the WWE’s future with out him in the company by choice or by death. There have been many reports of him and his son-in-law Paul Lévesque clashing on various talents and the direction of where to take storylines and pushing of talents. This is all speculation based on the rumour mill, but it would explain some of the strange things we have seen with wrestlers being pushed one week and jobbed out the next. There has not been a lot of continuity in terms that with certain talents. Cesaro is one name that leaps to mind.

Seems the biggest obstacle the two have is their views on Roman Reigns as the next face of the company. Vince is not sold on the idea where Triple H is all in on it and has used his own in-ring persona to help that along. The Shield is likely the centerpiece of a WWE Creative with Paul Levesque having the final call. They are the first three guys he stuck his neck out for and brought up from when he took over developmental. Triple H often refers to the people coming out of NXT as his kids. He really gets that invested in these talents and The Shield is like his first-born Triplets.

WWE Magazine released the cover of its final edition and many would say fittingly it had the three members of the former group known as the Shield on the cover. Asking the question of who would be first to grab the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Ambrose predicted at the end of a documentary done on the group that the future of the WWE runs through them as the collective threesome that was and in some ways will always be The Shield.

You can argue that Vince as great as he has been has somewhat lost his “Midas Touch” for understanding what fans want. At least in terms of his core audience, that was a fact C.M Punk made pretty publicly as part of an angle with him leaving the company. This ironically is something that he has done in real life some three years later.  Funny that is seemed the main advocate to keeping Punk appeared to be Vince McMahon. It seems an odd pairing in so many ways, but Punk I guess was the one guy that would push Vince’s buttons and give him a fight. Something that Vince is said to love and thrive on is the idea of conflict and competition. This likely explains why some of the best work from Vince McMahon came with his back up against the wall in the Monday Night Wars.

Some might say the WWE is in its weakest position since that time in some regards. The WWE Network was a massive undertaking and risk for the company. Something that is clearly floundering and still is to a great degree. Turning the price of their network into a punch line for wrestling fans might not have been “Best for Business” when all is said and done. Still the company despite big losses this year has responded with job cuts and is keeping the suits and ties on Wall Street happy to a degree. There ability to keep their customers happy is another issue and one that seems to be a real hit and miss affair from week to week. Heck, sometimes even on a day-to-day basis with this company. They did have a widely successful Summerslam, which they needed badly. Now the question is will they commit to this vision and see it through to Wrestlemania 31. All indications are they will at least for now. Keep in mind the plan last year got totally derailed at the Royal Rumble.

What the ultimate difference will be with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in charge not just on television but in reality remains to be seen. Vince has clearly taken steps backwards allowing Paul and Stephanie to be front and center for major events these days. This is something that started it would appear with the launch of the Performance Center. This has been a project that is Paul’s vision and from conception to completion.  His work in the building of that and the creating of the brand NXT has larger been Paul working primarily on his own. You can see the difference in the NXT product as compared to the Raw product. It might also explain why the bumpy transition for a great many NXT talent to the main roster with Vince being added to the mix and him not being high on some of the characters that Triple H is. Some notable ones that come to mind are Paige and Bo Dallas. \

Therefore, if you want to know what the WWE will be like when Vince is dead good idea is to watch NXT. Where as C.M Punk referenced him in his famous promo the “dufus son-in-law” runs things. As for his idiotic daughter Stephanie there is little question she has stepped into the evil shoes of her father on camera. In terms of behind the scenes, she really has become the face of the company in the corporate sense. Her title is something to the effect of brand ambassador. A role that she is equally as good at even though it may come off as very sappy and disingenuous to wrestling fans.

It was confirmed over the weekend that Smackdown would be making to move to Thursdays, as Vince McMahon does not fear the NFL as TNA likely does and should. Heck Vince was the crazy guy that started the XFL...remember that? Actually Vince would rather you forgot as well as the failed WBF the World Body Building Federation. He lost his company’s name to a bunch of animal loving hippies in the World Wildlife Fund.  The point is Vince despite how he tries to come off has not always hit home runs with everything. In terms of the stuff involving just the wrestling aspects Vince has been very successful and basically has created his empire as the one true giant national promotion left standing.

He is a very interesting character from all accounts of anyone that has had dealings with him. Some of the things that seem to be commonly agreed on about Vince are that the WWE is in fact his life he really does not have hobbies or anything aside from working out. He also is awake to all hours of the night and is available to people almost literally on a 24-hour basis. They say you have to be a little crazy to be a genius and Vince McMahon fits that description. There is no Vince McMahon story that I would hear that I would not at lest consider it to be true given the nature of Vince.

If there is one thing, above all else about Vince McMahon that we have learned it is that he is willing to work with anyone if it means making a profit at the end of the day. Some people that have had the most bitter of break-ups with Vince have eventually always been welcomed back with open arms when it made sense for business. Some that comes to mind that truly shocked the world was the appearance of Eric Bischoff in the WWE. This being the man that tried to put Vince out of business with Ted Turner’s money. The one that we likely never saw happening was Bret Hart returning after he was screwed in Montreal and punched out McMahon in the aftermath. Nevertheless, he came back as well to do business with Vince some dozen years later. Will C.M Punk be the one that does not and stays away? Vince McMahon has taught us to believe in never say never when it comes to the WWE.

A legacy that Triple H has started to continue by bringing back a legend in Bruno Sammartino to the fold to be inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame and this past year the Ultimate Warrior. Some of Vince has clearly rubbed of on Paul and the amount of respect both Paul and Stephanie have for him is likely higher than anyone else has on earth.

One thing that will be a major change when the day comes that Vince McMahon no longer in charge will be with WWE production.  Kevin Dunn is loved by some by hated by many more and has been Vince McMahon’s chief butt kisser for years. He is said to be out once Vince turns over the reigns completely to Stephanie and Paul. That might be the most interesting change the WWE has seen in a long time the day it happens. Dunn has been in charge of Raw and Smackdown from basically the start.

It seems as if we are talking about the demise of Vince in this piece but let us face it this is a guy that beat the U.S government and brags about it. He in storyline invented his own religion and challenged God and Shawn Michaels. Slowing down let alone death are not likely words in his vocabulary despite having his own death that never was followed up on in storyline. The Limo that blew up but I am sure Vince would have ended up returning from the dead as only he and the Undertaker can.

In any case, love him or hate him he is the guy that built this business to what it is today so I wish him a Happy Birthday and many more. He has created a world that I have followed since my childhood, which is something that he has done for millions like me around the globe.

So God Damn It!!! Happy Birthday Vince McMahon!!!!

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If you have questions/comments for our NEW Weekly Google+ Show Live Thursday's 7:30 pm EST use hashtag #AskMachoMoon. You can find us now at 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ric Flair To Kick-Off Raw with John Cena

It would appear that the 16 time and 15 time Champions are going to kick-off Monday Night Raw together. Ric Flair has always been a Cena buddy even behind the scenes and it looks like he will be out there with him as Cena makes his first public comments since getting totally beaten down. Here is the tweet from Flair announcing this news:

Ric Flair has been used in a number of segments with no real defined role on the show. You have to wonder how long they can keep this up. Triple H has always been a huge supporter of Flair and it is not like he is going to tell him to go away.

Update 12:45 PM 08/23/14

Add Shawn Michaels to the party for Raw this Monday

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If you have questions/comments for our NEW Weekly Google+ Show Live Thursday's 7:30 pm EST use hashtag #AskMachoMoon. You can find us now at 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Condo on the Moon Podcast 25

When this started I was a basketball guy who happened to be a wrestling fan that had decided to change what I cover and turned my attention to covering wrestling. Chris Walder was willing to come along on this crazy ride with me. 25 shows in we have had on some wrestling champions, a 20 year plus employee of the WWE and some great wrestling journalists. All of this along with myself and Chris offering are opinions too. So let's crank it up and look back at Summerslam along with latest with TNA and ROH this week.

If you have been with us from the start I really on behalf of myself and Chris thank you for listening. I would ask you to spread the word so we can grow our audience and have more loyal great listeners like you. If your new to our show thanks as well and go check out our past shows we think you'll enjoy them. Will be back to do it all again next week.

If you can't listen via our website to the podcast head over to our podcast hosts Podomatic and listen there. 

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Condo on the Moon is on Twitter and Facebook and check out our weekly podcasts Every Friday

If you have questions/comments for our NEW Weekly Google+ Show Live Thursday's 7:30 pm EST use hashtag #AskMachoMoon. You can find us now at 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hangin on The Moon #8

All the news of the week and some thoughts on Summerslam and Night of Champions as well. ROH wise we look ahead to the I-PPV in Toronto as well as Death Before Dishonor in Josh's neck of the woods. All this and more TNA news as they still have a pulse and even for a little longer now. Join us live at 7:30 eastern.

Thanks for watching and next time if you want to do it live were here every Thursday at 7:30 eastern.

Change or Nostalgia You Can't Have Both

Sometimes I have a hard time understanding wrestling fans to a degree. It has been a constant theme for years now, of fans wanting change so younger talent has chance to run with the ball. I understand that point and am a firm believer in that concept. Here is what I don’t understand is how many of these same people will be nostalgic to want to see guys like Kurt Angle or Bully Ray another run in WWE? Why on earth should we do such a thing? I am tired of the lifetime achievement runs for people. I will even go as far as saying I do not need to see Hulk Hogan ever again on my television screen. The fact that he got mad by Brock Lesnar calling him grandpa I find very hilarious. Will someone please inform Mr. Hogan that he is 61 years old? Can they also let him know that in reality he is the only one that wants to see him wrestle another match? I get some people actually would not be opposed to it, but it would be for some selfish reason to relive something that frankly does not exist anymore That's right Hulk-a-Maina is dead as far as in the ring wrestling matches. Sorry to break the news to all of you out there that were holding out hope for another Hogan title run. 

This also applies to Sting for me as well. I personally could give a damn if he ever wrestles a match in the WWE. In some ways, I would think of him as a complete sell-out jerk for doing so. I admired that Sting stayed away from the WWE, went out on his sword so to speak with WCW, choosing to go on to TNA instead of the WWE. Here is the fact of the matter, I do not need to see a guy in his mid-50's taking a spot from a guy in his 20’s at Wrestlemania. I need that guy in his 20’s to have that match at Wrestlemania so he can have that big match in his 30’s when that guy in his 50’s could be dead in the ground, but sure as hell not wrestling. Even Ric Flair who I love a great deal I would never want to see in a match now. His time has passed a long time ago.

You as a wrestling fan need to decide do you want change or do you want to re-live your history. If you want to re-live history there is this great thing called the WWE Network and I don't know if your aware, but it only costs $9.99.  There is a place for history in the modern product. What we saw at this past Wrestlemania with Hogan, Austin and Rock was a cool way to acknowledge history and get the same pops as you would booking any of them in a match. In the proper place, it is very cool to look back on history. It just is not in a ring with a match with a guy 20-30 years past his best days. That is not helping advance the business it is merely feeding someone’s personal ego and the fans that are willing to turn a blind eye and just cheer for the nostalgia and not see the flaws in an old stale act.

You can’t be an advocate for change with one hand and demand nostalgia with other. It is by its very nature counter productive. There are odd exceptions to every rule and one that springs to mind is Randy Orton’s legend killer gimmick. Still even in that very few of those famous things involved matches. A couple exceptions were a match with Hulk Hogan and a match with Mick Foley. This is a great two guys to contrast how a legend should be used. In the end, Foley went into it with the mindset of his match with Orton to make Randy a star and take Randy to a new level with fans in terms of Orton’s toughness and ability to be evil. Mick succeeded in that goal. Hogan meanwhile had no care for Orton as much as he did himself looking good in the match. That is always Hogan’s concern and it has never changed. He only puts "over" people when he is forced into it by circumstance or situation. Hogan’s concern was Hogan, not the future of this young kid who was going on to be a huge star for the company. Many of the other legend killer things were just great segments like the time Orton spit in the face of the legend Harley Race. No match happened but that act was so disrespectful it accomplished the goal.

I found it completely amusing that Triple H of all people was being painted as the bad guy for not wanting Angle back. If you pay attention to the behind, the scenes at all, Triple H said years ago that WWE had zero interest in anyone involved in TNA at the time. So why this is a newsflash to anyone I really can’t say. Now technically Sting was in the company at the time I believe, so WWE did fudge the truth in Triple H’s statement a little, but for the most part WWE feels it does not need anything TNA has.

Why they feel that way is to the credit of Triple H who has totally over hauled the developmental system of this company to create the brand NXT and the performance center in Florida. They have some incredible and younger talent there that is just waiting for the chance to get to the main roster. Why should Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Tyler Breeze or a number of others wait while a Kurt Angle or Bubba Ray gets to do some pointless victory lap?

Are you for change or are you not. Anyone that is for both is like it or not a hypocrite.

You have thoughts on this or any other wrestling subject? Send us your questions and feedback on Twitter to #Askmachomoon or join us live at 7:30 EST for Hangin on the Moon here and on You-Tube and Google Hangout. 

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