Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dean Ambrose Using Raw As His Launching Pad.

 If Dean Ambrose ends up becoming a big star, this might have been a Raw that we point to as the start of his rise. He was all over the 3 hours of Raw on Monday Night. It happened to have been the best show in the last month and a half as well. This is not saying much as Raw and been in a serious slump. Leave it to Chicago to give WWE Creative a good kick in the ass to work harder.

Yes, we had C.M Punk chants, Stephanie McMahon was ready for them as she, and Triple H opened the show with a hostile Chicago crowd to greet them. It kicked off Raw with a long drawn out segment that saw Paul Heyman come out and question what went on at the finish of the Cena/Lesnar match at Night of Champions. Seth Rollins would follow coming out to address Heyman’s concerns saying he acted alone and was just attempting to take an opportunity. Dean Ambrose would come on screen and suggest if Seth and the Authority wanted Seth’s Money in Bank case they should come and get it. They would attempt just that only to be cut off by John Cena who attacked Seth. It would lead to later in the night Cena teaming with Ambrose to face Orton and Kane.

It was a good kick off to the show but went likely 5 minutes longer than it needed too. We had a decent triple threat match for the I-C title with Miz and Cesaro challenging champion Ziggler. Bray Wyatt returned in the way he first arrived with a creepy vignette that people are debating what it means but most feel it is to set up Harper going off as a singles wrestler. In any case, the best way to rehabilitate Bray is going back to the dark promos that everyone loved.

We had a call back to an old classic angle as Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury have taken on the gimmick that Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco had in the Attitude Era as the stooges. Noble and Mercury were sent off to find Ambrose. They never would, as Ambrose would return later.  He claimed he waved at them when he was at the concessions stand. Dean looted that concessions stand and was auction off WWE merchandise. It was quite the scene with Ambrose firing around t-shirts to the audience. Ambrose would be interrupted by Noble and Mercury with Seth Rollins, along with a bunch of security. To which Ambrose questioned their validity as he claims to have seen them in Adam Rose’s Entourage last week. Dean claims to want no trouble and leaves the case in the ring for Seth. It would turn out to be boobie trapped by the titty master himself. HeHe would smirk, as Seth Rollins would be slimed.

Among the bad on this show, we had a horrible Bella segment with a Brie match that was made a handicap match by Nikki with the blessing given by the authority for here to do so. Brie would face Cameron and Eva Maria aka the “We can’t wrestle chicks” and come out on top. Crowd hated it and chanted everything under the sun.

We did see the wife of C.M Punk on the show. A.J would face Paige’s supposed new best friend Alicia Fox in a match. It would turn into a double team but A.J was able to mange to get away before getting a Mountain Dew bath in the middle of the ring.

We had a bull, a gator and a bunny involved in a segment. Hornswaggle was dressed as the gator and this was probably the worst segment of the show. Hulk Hogan was flubbing lines trying to promote that WWE will again be supporting breast cancer for a third straight year.

Overall, it ended up being a decent show, as the rumors seem to be true that we may be getting a Cena vs. Ambrose match that ultimately determines the Hell in the Cell matches. There was no mention of Brock returning for this pay-per-view that according to most insiders, he will not. Instead using one of those extra appearances at Survivor Series seems to be the plan. Once one of the big four WWE pay-per-view but has lost its luster in over time.

In the end episode of Raw was a showcase for Ambrose that gave the show a bit of a rebound after some painfully bad episodes in recent weeks.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Can Monday Night Raw Break The Losing Streak

So, Monday Night Raw is on a losing streak like a sports team to some extent. It has been 5 weeks in a row of pretty below average stuff. They head in to Chicago at this point, so for that crowd alone it should at least make this show interesting. Let’s state the obvious they will chant C.M Punk and he will not be there. Some odd rumors about a Punk return based on some WWE Studios film that Punk was in as the genius for this misguided rumor. Punk was also in a cartoon style move with the Flintstones in which he was pegged to be the main character. This not unlike the cartoon film John Cena was in for Scooby Doo that came out earlier in the year. That has been scraped apparently. This second film was done in 2012 apparently.

Punk and WWE have been in legal battles over his use in the WWE 2K15 video game and WWE has scrapped all C.M Punk merchandise. The one thing we can safely say is C.M Punk will not be on show tonight.This despite Stephanie McMahon's "Who knows what the future holds" in reference to a Punk return to the WWE on WGN television this morning here is a link to the video.

Need a reminder of why this is not happening:

Who will be on the show is A.J Lee the wife of the best in the world. She is involved in a very strange divas division in which she continues to feud with Paige but seems to have an angle in waiting with Stephanie. The Bella mess seems to have been separated from this feud for A.J after it was strangely inserted into her feud with Paige. None of it makes a lot of sense and you can bet all the WWE Divas are in for a long night with a vocal Chicago crowd that likely isn’t all that invested in them. Shockingly I do not think Chicago will care about twin sisters feuding over their last name.

Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman and Bray Wyatt all were noticeably absent from television last week. We have been given no explanation as to the future plans for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. There are some balls in the air with Seth Rollins having attacked Brock and attempted to cash in only to be cut off by John Cena. This would logically seem like it would cause friction between Brock along with Heyman with the Authority. Brock is based on rumors not going to be appearing on the Hell in the Cell event.

Bray Wyatt is a different matter, as it seems he has fallen out of favor with WWE. He seems to have no one to feud with so much so that he was left off the Night of Champions show. Is it too soon to press the panic button for the Wyatt Family and Bray specifically? Perhaps it is but things are not looking good for him. Amazing how that John Cena rub of a feud and a Wrestlemania match has not gotten him over. This is said very sarcastically, as his only win in the feud came thanks to a singing child in a steel cage match. This followed by a much anticipated but falling flat feud with Chris Jericho. The only thing that they haven’t managed to screw up is his entrance.

Dean Ambrose and John Cena seem to be tied together in both wanting to get the right to beat-up Seth Rollins. It has led to a strange rumor for Hell in the Cell in which Cena will face Ambrose and the winner gets Rollins in the main event in Hell in the Cell. The loser gets Randy Orton as a consolation prize. Such a concept even being considered speaks to the lack of depth on the roster right now. Actually it speaks more to how little the WWE maximizing the talent they have as they have dropped the ball with guys like Ziggler, Cesaro, Bo Dallas and others who could be stepping up in a time such as this but have not been booked properly to be taken seriously in larger roles currently.

Speaking of Ziggler I assume his feud with The Miz will continue. Many people seem to like it; I however am not among them. The Miz gimmick that now includes Damien Sandow as his understudy or stunt double. It all is total silliness in my opinion but if people can like something on Raw hang on to it tightly. Another feud that I am actually digging is the Cesaro and Sheamus feud that has been some hard hitting snug wrestling at its finest. Yes, I am enjoying Sheamus in a feud, which is amazing. The reason why is it is not Sheamus trying to be funny. This is why I do not like the Ziggler against Miz feud. I am all for having comedy in wrestling if it is actually done well.

There will be some other stuff as well likely some re-runs from Smackdown like the Big Show and Rusev perhaps and maybe will get another Uso and Dust brothers dust up. My level of believing in Raw doing something unique and entertaining is reaching dramatically low levels. I can see myself ducking in and out of Raw to catch up on Media Day around the NBA and here in Toronto. Never fear though I am not going to jump back to my past of covering the Raptors. I have committed to wrestling and the WWE is doing their best to want me to have me commit myself to a rubber room on Monday nights of late.

At least the people of Chicago will make it interesting. Pretty sad when you go into a show expecting the audience to provide more highlights than the show itself. Oh, I almost forgot the Hulkster might be making an appearance. Yeah so, as I said the crowd will be providing most of the entertainment. Hogan will just be focused on remembering what arena and city he is in which will be his challenge brother!!!

We can always hope Raw surprises us but I wouldn’t hold my breath in anticipation of that.  How they handle the whole Punk matter will be interesting as last time they faked a Punk return only to have Paul Heyman come out and cut a fantastic promo. I highly doubt we hear any Cult of Personality on this show unless A.J decides to come out to it.

Will it be six weeks in a row of Raw just lowering the bar to levels that we actually are invested in knowing who that dame bunny is. Wait a second we already are doing that so never mind.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

5 Modern WWE Guys That Would Have Fit In The Attitude Era

People often look back fondly on the Attitude Era as perhaps the best time in the history of wrestling. What modern day stars would fit best in that era? We attempt to tackle that question today in the Condo on the Moon. We will give you five names in no particular order that we think could hang with the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and the rest of that crew.

Dean Ambrose
: We are just starting to see what Dean Ambrose is capable of as individual competitor. If we took, the handcuffs of a PG Era off just imagine how crazy he could be. Some compare Ambrose to one guy from this time period. That is the loose cannon Brian Pillman. If these to ever had a feud back in this era it might be the most deranged and dark feud in the history of wrestling. Ambrose would fit because he seems to have a great sense of timing both with his promos and in the ring. He is the one member of The Shield that could hang and bang with the big fishes off the attitude era.

C.M Punk
: Yeah he is not around anymore and who knows if we ever see him again in the WWE. He was made for this era with his no nonsense takes no prisoners reality-based promos. It has been teased as a match to get Steve Austin back in the ring. Imagine if we saw Stone Cold at the peak of his career against Punk at the best of his game. It would make for magical promos and a great match in the ring. We already got to experience The Rock and him go at it. Punk proved he could hang with the Rock verbally which few can even back in the attitude era. Punk was made for this era and he would have been able to hang with anyone in it.

Bray Wyatt: Imagine if Bray could develop his character in an even darker direction that would fit with this time period. A feud with someone like the Undertaker would have been right up his alley. The havoc that Bray Wyatt would have been allowed to create we can only wonder. Let’s face it nothing was off limits back in those days. It would add a much more dark and scary tone to an already great character. Another dream match we likely would have seen is Mick Foley as Mankind and Bray Wyatt. The strange and demented things they would both say and do would have been something to behold.

John Cena: We are not talking the hustle, loyalty and respect version but the doctor of thug-o-nomics version. He was a guy that on the tale end of this era showed he could hang with some of the stars from that era. We almost forget what an edgy John Cena is like. When he was cutting raps on everyone on the roster no one was safe from takes some verb shots. He also would likely have a much more aggressive in-ring style that would help him get beyond those five moves of doom.

Daniel Bryan
: He quite simply is an incredible in ring talent that could have had some classic matches with guys like HBK, Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle. He would really have a chance to shine and have the handcuffs on his in-ring style. He would be a fan favourite that would get over with people in that era as he does in this one. He might be out of his element in terms of promos. This is not hard to hard to accept given this era featured some of the best talkers of all-time.  The fans could do his talking with the Yes chant. What? I said the Yes chant. What? Stating the positive and raising your arms.

Honourable Mentions: Kevin Steen, Cesaro, A.J Lee

You think we missed someone on the list.  Give us a shout on Facebook or on Twitter @Condoonthemoon 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Condo on the Moon Podcast #30

It might not have the history of Wrestlemania 30, but we are on Podcast number 30 here at Condo on the Moon. We have had many Randy Savage impressions some great guests like Jimmy Korderas, Adam Cole and many others. Along with countless hours of myself James Borbath and Chris Walder trying to offer are opinions and views on professional wrestling. It has been a lot of fun and we hope to keep this thing going and thanks to all of you who have listened over our 30 shows. If you enjoy the show we encourage you to help spread the word out of what we like to think is the best wrestling podcast a lot of people haven't heard of. Will look to change that in the next 30 episodes and hopefully with your help we can do it.

So this week we have an extensive talk about NXT and the direction of things with the shows taped last night at Full Sail. We offer a rather male oriented opinion on this whole concept of wrestlers names changing. We talk the struggles of Raw as well and the WWE power struggle behind the scenes that is rumoured. Also get into the PWI 500 list with the top 10 guys on that list including one of our former guests here on Condo on the Moon. In addition how I almost got ripped off for a new webcam and Walder having a meltdown about parking prices in Toronto. This and so much more this week on the show.

If you have an issue listening here on the site head over to Podomatic were you can listen there or via I-tunes.

Hangin on the Moon is coming back next week with are first ever 3 way video podcast as Walder and Lopez join me for a wrestling free for all. In addition the Roman Reigns piece I referenced is in fact out over on Between the Ropes so go check that out.

Keep up to date with everything Condo on the Moon related on Twitter and Facebook.

Once again thanks for all the support and we really enjoy bringing this to you each and every week. It has been a lot of fun making the transition from covering the NBA to covering the world of pro wrestling.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chris Jericho Not The Same Old Y2J

Chris Jericho had one mission when he returned to the WWE and like it or not he failed at it in a major way. That mission was to get over Bray Wyatt and instead the leader of the Wyatt clan is in a worse place from where he started. Now he too has to take part of the blame for this program failing after all it takes two to tango right Fandango. Where is he these days?  Another guy that worked with Jericho and that feud worked and Jericho took the debuting star and gave him a major launching pad. I blame Jericho for nothing that happened after he left. Still at the end of this run, it was by far, the least entertaining and worst run in the WWE for Chris Jericho.

Why it was is probably a number of reasons that we can point to as explanations. Jericho is getting older and that may seem odd to say in a sport that has dinosaurs like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan and Jerry Lawler all pressing their luck jumping in rings in their 50’s and beyond. Jericho has a style that relies on speed and motion so it isn’t exactly easy to keep that going for as long. Jericho did jump off the top of a cage that he is bragging about at his age. While I applaud the effort, I think that was nothing more than fool hardy as opposed something to be praised or encouraged for me.  Matt Hardy speaking of daredevils just turned 40 and we saw Christian doing a half-hearted version of the Peep Show on Sunday. Edge was forced to retire while the Dudley Boys and Jeff Hardy are on that sinking ship that is TNA Wrestling. Well technically so is Matt although Ring of Honor claims he is coming back there. That might be a swerve but that is a different matter for another day.

Those six that I mentioned took the most chances perhaps of anyone in the attitude era. They all are suffering for it now to varying degrees. Edge can never wrestle again and Christian is partner likely never should as well. It makes you wonder where some of these guys doing high spots on the independents will be at 40. It is not easy and that was a bit of a sidetrack from the point that the style of Y2J while he can still perform it has to take a bigger toll on him.

In addition, his once vanity project, or so it seemed, in his rock band Fozzy has become a legitimate success now. The new album is doing very well and it might just be time for Chris Jericho to turn off the light bright jacket and call it a day.

I can’t exactly explain it but Chris Jericho just did not feel the same, but for a brief moment in this comeback where he took some nostalgic shots at Stephanie and Triple H. Aside from that, it was nothing that in the end compelled me to be interested in him. Perhaps the fact it was made very clear both why he was here and when he would be leaving likely did not help.

Still another superstar roughly in the same age bracket slightly younger I think Rob Van Damn leaves much of the same feelings for me. At one time, he was won of the most innovative high tempo exciting acts in wrestling. These days he is jobbing out on a nightly basis looking like, he is a step or a step and half slow. Blame it on 4:20 if you care too, but it is more about his birth certificate and abuse his body has endured that any time on a clock or green stuff in a joint.

Jericho also like Stone Cold, Jim Ross and others has found success podcasting over on PodcastOne. I felt the times he interviewed wrestlers while back with exception to the ones that were not active in the company were not as good. Take his interview with Triple H, which isn’t the easiest guy to book to sit down and talk unless you’re Michael Cole in a kayfabe setting each week. The interview was fine but it has no real edge to it and seemed a very raw-raw pro WWE interview and a pro Triple H interview. Another was with three of the Total Divas and two being terrible wrestlers in Cameron and Eva Marie. It rather turned my stomach as Jericho gave these women this platform to try to garner sympathy. They suck and can’t wrestle while Jericho once claimed to be "The Man of 1004 Holds," these two ding-dongs would be lucky to know and be able to execute ten combined. It was shameful to have Jericho associated with that mess. Not to mention Brie Bella who has proven to have the acting skills of someone that can’t act. Contrast that with his interviews with Batista and the Hardy’s just last week it is night and day.

What this is all leading to is I am not excited nor need to see Chris Jericho comeback again. Each return seems to be less and less significant.

There is no doubt one day Chris Jericho will be in the WWE Hall of Fame and rightfully so. I just do not care to see too much more of what we saw from Jericho in this latest run. Reality is Jericho does not need to come back in the same way a C.M Punk does not need to do so. The simple fact is Jericho likes to comeback on his terms to do what he wants and than go back to doing the other things he enjoys.

I as a Jericholic from back in the day, saying that it is time to hang it up and go be a rock star full time. You have more than proven your legacy and I personally don’t want to see it slide into an abyss of irrelevance.

Jericho after teasing a retirement promised to be back and even sooner than we think. All the injuries mounting that could be a very true statement. Fozzy is touring though so likely not in cards short term.

Jericho can still go in the ring, but you see the signals that time is catching up with him. That clock that always was counting down is now father time slowly pointing his way to the exit. Jericho has nothing left to prove and if he couldn’t get over Bray Wyatt perhaps anything left to do in the WWE and in wrestling overall.

Never EVER Again could be coming soon for Chris Jericho getting in a WWE ring. If it is not it should be.

As one Canadian we think might be coming to near the end of is time another is just getting started as announcer with former member of The Score Arda Ocal being transferred into Kyle Edwards to be taking a job in the WWE.  Congrats to him on making his dream come through. Chris Jericho has made both his childhood dreams come true as he has been a wrestling world champion and a rock star. The odds on anyone Canadian or otherwise doing that have to be staggering.

That is why I would rather see him go out on the top of his wrestling game.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Arda Ocal Lands A Job in WWE

Some more Canadian content added to the WWE as Arda Ocal who worked with Renee Young at The Score in Canada on the WWE wrestling talking show Aftermath is now working for the WWE as he announced via his Twitter account.

Like Young, whose real last name is Paquette, as most Canadian knows from her time on The Score based on his twitter Ocal will be known as Kyle Edwards? In any case, Ocal has been a big part of the wrestling business on many levels and it is nice to see anyone land their dream job. He also did a show with former WWE Official Jimmy Korderas on Sirus in addition to the television show on The Score.

What his role will be is anyone’s guess and what it means for the current cast of broadcasters remains to be seen. I will say this much he loves the product and knows it that is a positive for wrestling fans that it is not someone who is a broadcaster that will need to learn wrestling he isn’t that guy. He knows and loves pro wrestling. So once again congrats to Arda or is it Kyle now?

Opportunity is Knocking For Dean Ambrose

Dean Ambrose is back and opportunity is knocking at his door. Daniel Bryan is still not back and Roman Reigns is out which leaves Dean as the alternative to John Cena. He even got the John Cena crashing his segment treatment. He also seems to have a larger portion of the female fan base. I saw one girl on my timeline suggest that Dean could arrest her because she had been a bad girl. This was in reference to a picture of him in his cop gear for the WWE Studios movie he was making.

While the machine was behind Roman Reigns the hardcore wrestling, fans have always been behind Dean Ambrose. He is the closest thing the WWE has to C.M Punk at the moment. There is just an unpredictable nature about Dean Ambrose, in where you wonder what he is going to do or say at any moment. His first words when returning to the show on Monday were “I AM NOT DEAD,” which was a bit of a shot at how they explained his absence.

Dean Ambrose is actually someone both Triple H and C.M Punk -- who likely do not agree on much -- both see talent in him. 

There is a window of time for Dean Ambrose to step up and show that he is deserving of being a top tier main event talent. Ambrose does have a strong fan base behind him. This is a time that he can expand that base to reach another level in his popularity.

He is such a unique talent that reminds people of so many different WWE legends. To me the one that makes the closest fit is Rowdy Roddy Piper. The crazy expressions and brawling style is a throwback to Piper. The story that Ambrose can tell without saying a word just his facial expressions is on a different level from anyone in this company.

Another positive for Dean Ambrose was how he dealt with John Cena. Much like with Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose was not all buddy-buddy with Mr. Hustle-Loyalty-Respect. Ambrose even went as far as subtly threatening Cena for getting involved in his business. This is how you are not overshadowed by Cena or at least have a fighting chance.

Here is the funny thing about Ambrose though as great as he has been in his current role he will be even more amazing when he gets to be a heel in a single role. No one can cut a dark disturbing program like Dean Ambrose. Go look up his work under his name on the independents as John Moxley. He can really be emotionally invested in what he is doing.

The time is now for Dean Ambrose. Sometimes others misfortune is your opportunity and that would appear to be the case for Dean Ambrose right now. The Lunatic fringe is looking to get his and WWE fans are behind him. Ambrose was already starting to get hot just prior to him leaving for his movie. He now is back and the spotlight on him is even bigger due to circumstances.

Dean Ambrose is ALIVE and KICKING!!! PUNCHING TOO!!!