Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hangin On The Moon

Josh Lopez and I kick around topics from the week that was in Pro Wrestling. From banning Punk signs to Hell In the Cell. From Final Battle To final days of of TNA? It is all in there.

We are #CanadaStrong 4 life and will catch you next week.

Life Reminds Us Sometimes: Wresting Is Just A Fun Distraction

Yesterday it did not seem the time or place to write or care about wrestling. As most people have been made aware, a terrorist that killed a solider and was eventually shot and killed in our parliament. The solider killed was from my hometown, not that I knew him personally, I did not. Still, it makes this tragic event seem very close to home. I am not here to comment on any of this to any degree. I have deliberately made a choice to avoid covering hard news in my life. I do not want that burden or responsibility so I have written about basketball and wrestling. Things I love and am passionate about but ultimately do not influence life in any way other than to entertain or distract us from some of the harsh realities of life.

That is what being a wrestling fan or a sports fan is at the core of it all. Allowing you to be entertained and forget about what a crazy and sometimes screwed up world we live in that was on display in Canada’s capital city.

We spend a great deal of time complaining about it. What we do not like about wrestling and how we feel some of our favorites are being hard done by. A day like yesterday makes that whole idea seem rather silly to be so concerned about it. We do it because we love the performers and the world of pro wrestling that allows us to escape into a world that is not about life and death. No matter how much you might feel Dolph, Cesaro or whomever you would like to say is being buried they are actually earning a pretty decent living and are making a decent wage doing it. If that is being buried, please bury me and allow me to make that kind of money and have that kind of fame.

The point of this is sometimes it is good to remember why we actually love this stuff and what it really is as part of our lives. This is a delightful distraction from the real world around us. Sure sometimes the distraction can be to long lasting three hours that drags sometimes. In the end, though next Monday I will gladly tune out the world and good or bad enjoy the aftermath of Hell in A Cell.

It also brings to light how distasteful the angle involving the U.S Solider (Not a Real Solider) was in such poor taste. Ironically just days later an actual solider from my hometown is senselessly killed in broad daily light. WWE likes to praise the U.S military and highlight there importance and value to America. The idea that they would use that as part of an angle quite frankly makes me sick. It did on Monday and does even more today after the real life events in the word.

The sad thing about this delightful distraction that we all take part in, is that it can not totally shield out the world around us. Things like the death of Owen Hart, the tragic events of 9/11 and many other things I could list have broken into the wrestling bubble and brought the outside world into it. Those are unavoidable but angles like those that we saw with Rusev and Big Show are avoidable.

In the end, the country I call home will be different going forward. Not in a positive way either and that is sad. What is not sad is how it showed the true Canadian spirit and true Canadian heroism. It also showed the differences between Canada and United States. Many of those that make me proud to be a Canadian,

As an example Ottawa prior to yesterday had 4 murders in the year of 2014. Compare that to Washington D.C and I am sure the number is far greater.

Life will go on and I will be complaining about things that do not matter all that much about wrestling soon enough. Sometimes life will force us to acknowledge there are more important things in this world, this will always put the crazy world of pro wrestling in prospective. 

#CanadaStrong 4 Life.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WWE Add Hardline Stance Against Domestic Violence and Child Abuse To Their Morality Clause

WWE bringing in a new policy is showing how times have changed with the company. Now being a more corporate company but this in case in a very positive manner. The NFL as most know was rocked to the core by TMZ video released of Ray Rice former Ravens running back slugging his than girlfriend, now wife in an elevator at a casino. This has sent shock waves to the system in the NFL that initially had only suspended Rice 2 games. Now since the Adrian Peterson case in which he has been accused of child abuse in Texas.

WWE now has a strict policy in place to deal with both matters should they arise.  Many will make note that this policy would have been very interesting had it been in place when Steve Austin had his issues with a domestic violence incident. It is a different day in the world now and burying your head in the sand is not going to be an acceptable answer anymore.

In an article on this topic in the Inquisitr .com the language of this from the WWE is quoted:

“WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated.
``WWE’s ability to fine, suspend or terminate a WWE talent will not be, however, limited or compromised in any manner in the event incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct is presented to WWE. Section 9.13(a) of the WWE booking contract, commonly known as the “morals clause”, provides WWE with broad discretion and authority to act under such circumstances.”
Therefore, it seems that the WWE like all major sports brands has fallen in line and without being prompted or pushed into doing so has taken these steps. Stephanie McMahon being named to be an Eisenhower Fellow may also have something to do with this sudden policy being put into place. Stephanie has been front and center over the years self-promoting her as this strong female business leader and this is a very high honor as outlined in this article from the Miami Herald.

Maybe Stephanie will some day follow her mother Linda’s venture into politics. Could anyone imagine Paul Levesque as the first husband of the United States? Likely never happen, but it is something to consider and may result in a smile on your face.

In any case, WWE is clearly not the company it once was at least on the surface. In fact maybe even deeper than that as it really seems like the WWE is committed to being a good corporate citizen regardless of how wrestling fans may see many of their actions as hypocritical in comparison to the past.

Raw Was A Mix Of Good and Bad Heading To Hell In The Cell

Raw in Kansas City has me a bit conflicted to some extent. On one hand, I think WWE is making some effort to a certain level. While other things, remain stuck in the same formula that has been failing. We have the same pointless 6-man tag matches every single week it seems as the opening match. Wrestling in order to be entertaining needs to have some purpose and meaning to get us invested as fans.  These matches set a terrible tone for the 3-hour show. It comes after a long talking segment to open the show that will always be involving The Authority. I am a big fan of Triple H and Stephanie when she is there,  but this whole Authority angle has become very stale and boring.

What WWE is attempting to do is bring back the surprise element in wrestling despite lacking it in many of their angles. The Rock returning unexpectedly a few weeks ago and last night Mick Foley winds up in Kansas City to surprise fans. Foley’s appearance was the exact way you want a past start to interact with your rising talent. It was even better than The Rock’s interaction Rusev that was a one off and did nothing to build Rusev moving forward.

Foley did a much better job putting over how the Hell in the Cell match can change careers and lives using his own life experiences as the living proof. The difference with Foley is he clearly watches the product on a regular basis and is well aware of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and their extended feud. He put over both competitors and made their match feel important.

Contrast that with the other Hell in the Cell match between Randy Orton and John Cena. After 12 years of these two guys this literally has no one is interested in this match. Triple H tried to up the ante, making this match in effect a number one contender match for Brock Lesnar’s title. Remember him?  The WWE Heavyweight Champion who has not been mentioned in weeks on the flagship program Monday Night Raw or anywhere else.  We also saw his manger (advocate) Paul Heyman back on the show tonight.

First before we get into get into Heyman appearance let’s talk about the lack of logic in making this Orton and Cena match for the number one contender spot. John Cena last week lost a match to Dean Ambrose, but a week later is in a match to have a chance to get yet another attempt to be WWE Heavyweight Champion. The logic is lacking in adding this stipulation to the match. People are tired of this match-up with Cena and Orton and they attempted to make us care about it. There is even talk this match will close the show and it is looking more and more like it will after tonight.

The segment had Randy Orton cutting an insane ranting promo that I loved. Maybe best promo Orton has done in a long time. He trolled the Kansas City crowd going after the Royals. Classic heel move and Randy is truly the last true heel in wrestling to some degree. John Cena came out, his response was bad comedy, and it was awful. Heyman returning was another surprise on this show that was a positive. It was not the greatest Paul Heyman promo ever, but it was great to see him back. Segment ended with RKO‘s out of no where on both Cena and Heyman. It was overall a long segment but ultimately did about as good as it could to sell a dead on the vine feud that no one cares about at the end of the day.

The segment with Rusev after he squashed Big E. Big Show had replaced the Russian flag with an American flag. Rusev went to tear down U.S flag when a man in a military uniform climbed over the guardrail, attempting to attack Rusev, was cut off by security, and than Rusev kicked him in the head. I found this segment to be very low class and I am not even an American in saying it. I did have a member of my family in the military and was insulted.

It is a lowbrow form of cheap heat that I just was turned off by on many levels. In the ultra politically correct WWE and based on their ties to the military I found this even more disappointing. To say that I am surprised by it would be a lie as there is almost nothing they would do that would shock me at this point.

We saw Big Show once again turn into the crying than angry giant. Andre The Giant never cried once in his entire run in WWE and he is considered a legend. While Show is crying all the time and trying to be a comedian and is considered a joke himself. How the WWE has failed to make a man, that is 500lbs and close to 7ft tall, a monster is beyond me.  I assume we see Big Show being disqualified at Hell in the Cell and Rusev remains undefeated. That or Mark Henry will turn on him. Have hated this Rusev feud with Show it has been very stupid from the start of it with Show being taken to task for taking down the Russian Flag. This was a work just like the man playing a U.S military official. Which by the way shouldn’t a legit solider be able to get past a couple security guys at a sporting event? Again, where is the logic WWE?

Speaking of things lacking logic Dolph Ziggler is on a 3-week losing streak as your I-C Champion. It was Cesaro getting the win this time around over Ziggler.  U.S Champion Sheamus lost to Damien Mizdow. So why exactly would anyone want to be a champion in this company? Well unless you’re WWE World Heavyweight Champion when you show up when you feel like it unless your name is Daniel Bryan.

In the end I understand that Raw is undermanned to some extent but that still doesn’t change the fact the formula and repetition of a lot of things is taking away from the overall show. This was not one of the worst Raw efforts in the last 3 months. In fact, it was far better on many levels. Still for the same reasons other Raw’s struggle to entertain us this one suffered in a similar way. The formula needs to be shaken up to some degree and we need to see some fresh stuff on a show that being 3 hours in length can’t afford to be stale and uninteresting.

In the end the effort is coming along but the overall results still have a long way to go with Monday Night Raw. 

Follow us @Condoonthemoon

Monday, October 20, 2014

We Don't Need Another Hero....Heels Please Apply

There are many problems in the WWE everyone would agree. The fact they are considering the main event of Hell in the Cell to be Orton vs. Cena makes little sense. However, the biggest issue the WWE faces currently is really a lack of heels on the roster at the main event level. The Authority angle with Rollins, Orton and Kane as the top heels by default is pretty lame at this point. Rusev is perhaps the biggest growing heel they have now. Brock Lesnar is a heel and WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but has not been seen or mentioned based on not being booked on this upcoming Hell in the Cell. He has been hunting up here in Canada in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

There is a lack of bad guys and it is pretty glaring at this point. It could get even worse as WWE is thinking of turning Randy Orton into a babyface. He has as we made mention of last week been running wild on the internet with RKO Vines that have become the latest viral hit on the internet. Since we have seen some Shawn Michaels Super Kicks and a few Austin Stunners, but it has been RKOs on everything from small children to giraffes. The turn would be to work a program with Seth Rollins it would appear. It seems like the Ambrose and Rollins feud is finally coming to an end with this Hell in the Cell match.

The funny thing is you really could keep this feud going as the two have yet to have a match with the Money in the Bank briefcase that Seth holds being on the line in a match. So it would give you reason to continue that feud.

Seth Rollins is not exactly ready to be a top heel in the company. If Orton turned with Brock away that in effect is what he would become. We are heading towards a Henry heel turn it looks like but Mark Henry and Big Show have turned so many times it is hard to make people care to any extent.

Who is the next big star to challenge John Cena? Well he is wrestling Randy Orton, but I can’t imagine this feud continuing. That said, I could not imagine them matched up again after working a program to end 2013. It does seem like a one-off at the pay-per-view. Rusev it has been thought has been being built up to face Cena eventually, but many felt it would be a potential Wrestlemania match.  Perhaps we will get it early with no real other options out there.

Bray Wyatt is of course a heel and so are Luke Harper and Eric Rowan who similar to The Shield seem to be being broken up. They appear to be doing a reset at the moment and have not been seen on T.V for weeks at this point.

You have a bunch of mid-card people that you could make heels, or enhance as heels, but none that I think would be taken very seriously. Sheamus is overdue to turn heel but he is not someone I see being able to jump back into the main event scene. Chris Walder made a point on our podcast that a lot of guys like Sheamus and The Miz were given to much too soon and that is part of the problem in buying them as anything beyond the mid-card now.

There is a ton of talent in NXT, but none that could jump into the mix as a top heel right away.  The two most ready being Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville that on NXT is being built to be the main event for the special event. Neville is doing a slow heel turn on NXT but I could not imagine he will be one when he starts on the main roster. If he were that would be a major mistake. Zayn is so babyface it oozes out of him. Heido Itami and Finn Balor better known as Kenta and Prince Devitt are being billed as faces in NXT. Kevin Steen has yet to debut but is likely the best fit to work as a heel but that is not happening anytime soon. Tyler Breeze is a heel but clearly in his current gimmick nothing more than a mid-card one.

The answer to this question is not an easy one with a real lack of talent on the heel side of the ledger in WWE. Cesaro is one guy that I feel could get the job done but fans especially smart fans love him and he has been had his push coming out of Wrestlemania fade away.

C.M ….Nah that is not happening,  but boy would he make a hell of a heel right now with half his former fans legitimately mad he left.  WWE really has an issue; it is the same issue that I saw with Daniel Bryan winning the Championship back in April. Pondering back at that time I was concerned for who he was going to feud with as Champion. His injuries have made that a moot point but clearly the problem of top heels was a valid one and we are seeing it now.

John Cena turning heel is about as ridiculous as the idea of C.M Punk some how returning and being a heel. If ever the WWE needed their cash cow to turn to the dark side it might be now. Still that is not going to happen so why bother wasting time on it.

Reigns and Bryan being out as little to do with this issue as they both were on team good guy. Bad News Barrett should be returning shortly but he was looking more like signing up for the good team when he left. Maybe it is time to go back to shades of gray as we clearly are lacking people to wear the black hats in this picture.

WWE needs to figure this problem out fairly soon and balance out the roster to some extent. It becomes an issue that needs to be addressed. Think where would we be without the Rollins and Ambrose feud it has been the one lone program that has kept peoples interest with a clear heel and face dynamic too it.

That is ending and it makes you wonder what is next for many people. Brock is rumored to be out of the picture until January and the Rumble, but I can’t honestly imagine him being gone this long with desperate need for a top heel. If he returns who is he going to work with? John Cena for a third time in a rubber match of sorts. Could we see a freshly turned babyface Randy Orton going for the title? Dean Ambrose somehow gets a shot at the title. None of these options seems very appealing for the long term. 

If there were a panic button to press, I would be pushing it about now. It is hard to find a good solid main event heel in 2014. Even the heels we have a lot of them are more cheered than booed. We do not need another hero; we need another dirtiest player in the game. Ironically, Ambrose is capable of doing that fairly well too but I can’t imagine the WWE would flip him and turn him heel at this point.

After all this, I do not have any answers for you here. WWE hopeful has something but given their forward planning, I would not count on it. Wait the Divas Division can be the top heels. That is not going work is it.

The “Go Home” edition of Raw is not likely to answer this question just a week out from Hell in the Cell.

Follow us on Twitter @CondoonTheMoon

Saturday, October 18, 2014

4 Horsewomen In Attendance At Latest PWG Event

So the 4 horsewomen showed up for the latest PWG Show that was untitled but has now been dubbed the Good Bad and Roddy. Had they know maybe it would have been Rowdy as Ronda Rousey ended up being in the house.

Also seen in the crowd was Brad Maddox who apparently has been at several PWG shows of late. He recently appeared out of no where on the WWE app. As for the results from this show here they are:

Tommaso Ciampa def Biff Busick via project ciampa from the second rope.

 Cedric Alexander def Bobby Fish via Side suplex backbreaker/lumbar check

 Brian Cage def Uhaa Nation via discuss lariat  

PWG Tag Titles

Candice and Joey def Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano to retain via Candice reverse rana on Chuck Taylor.

Trevor Lee def Adam Cole via small package.

 Young Bucks over ACH and AR Fox via package piledriver/super kick combo

 PWG Title

Kyle O'Reilly def Roderick Strong via triangle choke!

The tradition of you never know who might show up at PWG event continues. Kevin Steen mentioned William Regal seeing him on PWG show as a big reason why he finds himself today in WWE developmental. Many famous people have made their way to check out perhaps the hottest independent show in the world over the years My big question is did Adam Cole get to meet Ronda finally...Will make sure to ask him next time he is on with us. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Condo on the Moon Podcast 33: RKO'S Dropping On Everyone.

Chris Walder and I kick around what has been going on in the world of wrestling this week. We talk Hell in the Cell build for WWE. Randy Orton going viral and RKO anything that moves. We get talking about booking of the mid-card in WWE. TNA's latest rumor to save their company that still doesn't have a T.V deal. All this and a lot more on the weekly podcast. We get it done inside of the 60 minute time limit this week.

So another week in the books follow the site on Twitter @Condoonthemoon and follow @Waldersports for more of Chris Walder.

If you can't access the podcast here or would like to get it on I-Tunes head over to Podomatic here.

We brought back Hangin on the Moon last night.  So if you want more wrestling in your world go check that out as well or tune in live on Thursdays.