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Review – Justin Roberts – Best Seat In The House: Your Backstage Pass Through My WWE Journey

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Off the top of most professional wrestling fans’ crafty craniums, one former World Wrestling Entertainment Ring Announcer named Justin Roberts was synonymous with sharp suits, short black hair and emphatic introductions. There was also that time he was choked with his own necktie by Daniel Bryan in the infamous 2010 Nexus debut angle that resulted in Bryan’s termination.

Roberts released a blog post not long after his termination that complained about WWE’s public image trickeries as they twisted stories around to come off as a kindhearted company whilst they simultaneously talked down to their own talent and overworked them with little time off and insane travel schedules.

The prime example of this was Connor “The Crusher” Michalek – a sick eight-year old boy Roberts noticed at ringside and helped bring joy with constant FaceTime conversations added with daily communication with his father Steve, who noted that his son had little time left.

WWE portrayed the relationship between Michalek and his favorite wrestler Bryan as close in video packages. The two had interacted a few times, but the close relationship was actually between Roberts and Michalek. We’ll get more into that later on, as we hoped for more details.

Also, just the idea of a ring announcer autobiography intrigued us. Roberts’ WWE tenure lasted from 2002 through 2014. In turn, he experienced various company “eras” and it was cool to finally get his full perspective.

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Top 20 Of 2016

Graphic by Salwinder Singh.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“It.” “Delete.” “Obsolete.” “The List.” “10.” “The Champ That Runs The Camp.” “Stupid Idiot.” “Glorious.” “Too Sweet.”

The list above describes a fiesta of phrases commonly found in pro wrestling jargon that made 2016 possibly its best year ever.

The one below describes select moments that help seal that argument and make us forget about things like The Titus Brand, The Cruiserweight Division, Raw’s Third Hour, WWE’s overloaded Pay-Per-View schedule, TNA’s X-Division and Matanza Cueto.

If you want to remember that bad stuff, check this out.

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The Shining Wizards Podcast – Ryback

Photo courtesy of The Shining Wizards Podcast.

*Courtesy of The Shining Wizards Podcast*

 

First and foremost, The Shining Wizards: Matt, Kevin, Eddie & Tony would like to send our most positive thoughts and prayers to Jim Ross and his family.

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 7/11/16: Rollins The Reporter

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/11/16)

Rollins The Reporter

– We applauded the Battle Royale opener to decide who’d challenge WWE United States Champion The Miz at Battleground that featured the likes of Darren Young, Apollo Crews, The Usos, The Dudley Boyz, The Vaudevillains, The Ascension, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin, Alberto Del Rio, The Golden Truth and Jack Swagger. It switched things up and also gave us Young’s long-awaited “re-debut,” who now had Bob Backlund at ringside. Thankfully, Crews also got a televised entrance and even Corbin was pushed like a beast here to the end. Miz’s pre-taped promo was well-delivered and he stood on commentary, even if he messed up a few lines. The finish was okay, just wasn’t a fan of how Young was the winner mainly for how he stood in the background as Crews/Corbin went over the top rope together. Perhaps it wasn’t the planned finish? Crews looked like he tried to hold on, but fell with Corbin. Luckily, the crowd bought into it and they chanted for Young as he and Backlund celebrated in the ring. Young was later hyped for a SmackDown appearance on MizTV, so that could also be fun.

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Brand Split Decision

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

Photo courtesy of YouTube.

By Anthony Zevoteck 

 

Randomly, one Wednesday this past May, WWE shook the wrestling community when Shane and Stephanie McMahon both announced via social media there’d be a roster split to create two completely different shows with Raw and SmackDown.

The news was coupled with another announcement that SmackDown would be moved to Tuesdays and to air live, which would start Jul. 19.

Expectedly, the double bombshell was met with equal cheers and jeers from WWE fans alike. For longtime fans, this wasn’t new territory, as WWE had once split the roster before in 2002 upon a sudden influx of talent from the defunct World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling promotions. It was also due to the fact that at the time, four hours of weekly television time was too little to establish new talent and called for a difference between shows.

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WWE Payback 2016 Reaction

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Payback was christened as the “first pay-per-view of a New Era,” and to a degree, this was true.

With beloved Shane McMahon running Raw lately, we saw an array of main roster debuts (Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin, The Vaudevillains, Enzo/Cass), big returns (Sami Zayn, Cesaro) and a main event scene you wouldn’t expect (AJ Styles, Roman Reigns).

One could argue that masking new feuds and NXT call-ups as a “new era” is a tad bit deceiving since that kind of thing happens every year.

However, thanks to the debuts of Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows and having them inserted into the Reigns-Styles storyline, the prominence of the Zayn-Kevin Owens feud, a tag team tournament to determine #1 contender’s, recent storylines and an amped-up Chicago crowd were bound to make this a night to remember.

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A True Wonder Of The World

By Anthony Zevoteck 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The wrestling world was shaken to its foundation Apr. 21 when Joanie Laurer (aka Chyna) had tragically passed away. Grief was expressed as worldwide news outlets began to break the news.

When I was first asked to write this piece, I woke up to a text about the idea and hadn’t come “back to Earth” yet. I thought maybe the reason would be that WWE had let her back in the company in some capacity and as I glanced social media feeds, that sadly wasn’t the case.

Despite her recent gripes with WWE, there’s no denying her influence.

She was a major unsung heroine of the Attitude Era ever since she debuted as Triple H’s bodyguard in 1997. Vince McMahon wasn’t crazy about the idea that a woman could beat up men convincingly, but he gave her a chance and she went out to become the first WWE female to be known for her strength rather than looks/attire.

Not to mention that she was a founding member of D-Generation X, one of the era’s most influential factions. She was an integral part of their initial success and after Shawn Michaels left, she stood side-by-side with Triple H as a leader.

During this time, she also broke barriers as an entrant in the 1999 Royal Rumble. This was revolutionary and set a high mark for every woman there after.

After DX broke up, Chyna would leave her real mark in WWE.

She was perhaps best known for her reign as WWE Intercontinental Champion, beating Jeff Jarrett in a controversial “Good Housekeeping” match at No Mercy 1999, showing that women could do anything they wanted, even competing and winning a men’s Title. Even though the idea was criticized, the reign gave us some excellent promos and matches between Chyna and Chris Jericho, who’d defeat her for the belt, jumpstarting his WWE career.

She was also a comedic element in some Attitude Era storylines. Who could forget her time as Eddie Guerrero’s “mamacita” or Mark Henry’s date?

She finished out her WWE stint by becoming WWE Women’s Champion, but tensions with her ex-boyfriend Triple H and his on-screen/real-life girlfriend Stephanie McMahon was too much for her and eventually led to her departure. The true reason behind her departure is still up for debate, but it was clear her WWE time was up.

Lauren’s post-WWE life proved tumultuous, colliding with drugs, alcohol and domestic abuse. It had since overshadowed her in-ring career and despite her attempts to clean up, she never maintained that status.

Although many people have, I won’t speak negatively about her numerous adult films. She was fascinated with the industry and proud of her films. I can’t knock someone for doing what they enjoy. In fact, that makes it even more admirable.

Chyna’s legacy is felt and will continue to do so for many years. She showed an entire generation of girls that it was okay to have muscles and taught all of us that anything was possible if your mind was put to it.

Some day, we’ll see Chyna get inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Her in-ring contributions are way too important to let her outside career diminish it. Time heals all wounds and we can only hope that Triple H puts his personal feelings aside so we can honor one of WWE’s most recognized females.

I’m sure everyone fears that Laurer’s death is drug-related, but let’s not think about that. Rather, let’s remember her as a woman strong enough to compete in a man’s world and bodyslam all of them.

There’ll never be another “Ninth Wonder Of The World.” There never could be.

Thank you, Chyna.

Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 4/4/16: The Energy Of Change

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 4/4/16)

The Energy of Change

– Another year, another loud, vocal crowd of “international marks.” Such is the usual with the Raw after WrestleMania, which is now hyped up to the point of a spectacle of itself. As you could probably imagine, the opening video highlighted various happenings of WrestleMania 32 to the tune of Flo Rida’s “My House.”

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Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/28/16: Bombs Away

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 3/28/16)

Bombs Away 

– With a hyped-up Brooklyn crowd, the show got off to the right start with the hot opening segment with Shane McMahon and The Undertaker. Again, while this whole feud/storyline severely lacks strong logic, it does hold a certain entertainment factor to it that can’t be denied. Say what you want. You’re looking forward to this match. That said, their exchange on the mic was entertaining, with Shane proclaiming he was fighting to win to bring change, while Taker was fighting not to lose. Also some nice jabs at Taker’s legacy tarnished two Manias ago. They amped it up by having Shane walk down the ramp and into Taker’s face, to which Taker called Shane his daddy’s bitch, which started the memorable physical exchange. Didn’t think they’d take a chance with Shane’s signature elbow drop through the announce table, but they did it and the crowd went bonkers. This feud actually needed that “aha” moment to get people even more excited and gave us a taste of what could potentially come at Mania.

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The RSN Wrestling Podcast – WrestleMania Weekend Live Edition

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

*A RSN Wrestling Podcast Exclusive* 

 

Check out the latest episode of The RSN Wrestling Podcast, as Rich, Sal and Nick discuss live the entire WrestleMania weekend and preview the entire Mania card as well as speculate on what could happen in arguably wrestling’s biggest weekend. 

 

 

 

 

Link Below: