WWE

WWE TLC: John Cena and Triple H line up for Wrestlemania

Barnaby Read 25/02/2015
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Triple H interprets Sting's gesture and accepts his challenge to a duel at Wrestlemania.

Here we are, five weeks away from the biggest event in wrestling’s calendar year and everything is falling nicely into place for Wrestlemania 31.

The WWE extravaganza takes place on March 29 at the Levi’s Stadium, California and is shaping up to be a truly memorable affair.

– #Quiz360: WIN dinner for 2 at Jumeira Rotana
– VIDEO: WWE Superstar Jack Swagger trains Sport360’s Barny Read
– INTERVIEW: Sami Zayn – Flying the flag for WWE in the Middle East

This after an eventful start to the week that included the WWE’s PPV debut of Fast Lane and a Raw that continued to titillate towards ‘the big one’.

Firstly, Fast Lane finally ended Daniel Bryan’s hopes of reaching Wrestlemania, doubts over Roman Reigns’ worth at a title shot against Brock Lesnar put to bed with a superb encounter that highlighted both wrestlers’ immense ability in the ring.

Also at Fast Lane we saw John Cena defeated by Rusev thanks to a little help from the Russian’s confidant, Lana, and the pair will surely face off again at Wrestlemania with Cena given the chance to end his opponent’s winning streak on the biggest stage of them all.

The Usos also lost their tag team titles to Tyson Kidd and Cesaro and those two teams could put on a stunning show at Wrestlemania.

They may even be joined by the likes of New Day yet, if the WWE were to think outside the ring. A TLC match with these three teams would be a mouth-watering prospect.

WWE saved its most feverish prospect for Raw, finally announcing Sting vs Triple H in California.

Pitched as an old WCW foe vs the lord of the WWE, the pair can still sell an awesome promo and as masters of the art will surely deliver in the ring. 

Tension has been building over the weeks and a match at Wrestlemania was inevitable. Now the WWE must give Sting the chance to air his side of the story to give the match-up even more emotion and also allow Triple H to get the upper hand at some stage. Sting has done all the running thus far and once again had the WWE COO on his backside on Raw.

Finally, we were also teased the return of the Undertaker who was called out by Bray Wyatt.

Wrestlemania wouldn’t be Wrestlemania without the ‘Taker, and Wyatt will make a superb opponent and should lead to some awesome storylines over the next five weeks.

Oh, Randy Orton returned as well… outta nowhere.

MOVE OF THE WEEK

Scorpion Death Drop – Sting

Sting put the mockers on Hunter once again, culminating in his signature reverse DDT that sent a real message to the Game.

WINNER OF THE WEEK – Roman Reigns

His Royal Rumble win should never have been doubted but the WWE Universe was hell bent on backing crowd favourite Bryan. Thanks to his display at Fast Lane, we can now look forward to Reigns’ biggest match in the spotlight against Lesnar.

LOSERS OF THE WEEK – The WWE Universe

No-one is exempt from this but Fast Lane once again showed the ugly side of the world in general, particularly the USA’s bitchy culture – reminiscent of Lindsay Lohan et al in Mean Girls. The Bella Twins, two stunning sisters that include WWE Diva champion Nikki, have been on a mission to humiliate rival Paige in recent weeks, largely for her pale appearance. This has culminated in various stunts that are essentially applauding bullying and the WWE Universe is lapping it up. For all their good work last year with their Be a STAR anti-bullying campaigg, the WWE are failing to make an impact within their own practice. Disappointing.

TWEETS OF THE WEEK

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WWE

WWE TLC: Cena delights UAE, Rooney for Wrestlemania?

Barnaby Read 18/02/2015
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The excited Abu Dhabi crowd welcomes John Cena back to the UAE.

Last weekend saw the long awaited WWE LIVE event come back to Abu Dhabi for its third instalment and it is safe to say that the Superstars did not disappoint.

Fans flocked in to the UAE capital city’s Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium across three nights (February 12-14) in order to see their favourite WWE wrestlers in the muscly flesh.

– VIDEO: WWE Superstar Jack Swagger trains Sport360’s Barny Read
– INTERVIEW: Sami Zayn – Flying the flag for WWE in the Middle East
– WWE Live Abu Dhabi – Relive the action

While we may have struggled with some minor media malfunctions, the WWE juggernaut delivered where it mattered most: in the ring.

The likes of John Cena, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (an honourable mention for his efforts ‘training’ this scribe) were in impressive form, delivering three shows that were centred around developing new WWE storylines, introducing acts to the crowd and, most importantly, engaging a fervent following in the Middle East.

There were a number of highlights from the trip, but here we look at the ones that caught Sport360’s eye.

BIGGEST WINNERS

Without a doubt it was A New Day. The combination of Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods brought the crowd to their feet at every sight of the threesome. Their mix of power and energy are a perfect match inside the squared circle, while their ‘New Day’ chant was perfect for the Arab audience that, like fans in the US, revels in a simple, catchy hook. They managed to win each and every bout against Goldust and Stardust, a feat repeated on the following Monday Night Raw.

BIGGEST LOSER

Curtis Axel did not have the best of times in Abu Dhabi. He was pitted against Ryback and Erick Rowan which is pretty top billing for Axel but the persistence of his Royal Rumble fascination and his poorly cut promos meant that he was pretty forgetful amongst such talented peers. He also lost every match.

STAR MEN
Fans favourite: John Cena.

Undoubtedly John Cena was the man of the hour and his entrance to the ring was electrifying even on the quieter first night. He did not disappoint and his performance in the ring and interaction with the crowd was superb. Top marks from a top man who, despite the increasing boos, is still the WWE’s biggest draw.

Other than Cena, however, there were a number of Superstars who lit up the crowd and who each have immensely bright futures ahead of them. Dean Ambrose’s mental instability delighted, Dolph Ziggler’s heroic star continues to rise and Seth Rollins is becoming one of the most interesting and well played characters in recent history. Sami Zayn doing a spot in Arabic and getting a very positive reaction from his ‘home crowd’ was also an absolute highlight.

BEST FIGHT

The Thursday night that kicked things off couldn’t entice the biggest crowd with it being the end of the working week, but it delivered the best fight of the weekend. Rollins took on Cena in a street fight that had a little bit of everything. The former getting the crowd to cheer for Cena before lamping him with the mic that he was goading supporters with was a triumph but the match’s ending was utter brilliance. We’d already seen chairs, finishers, tables and railings all put to the test before Cena lifted Rollins above his head on the top rope and delivered his Attitude Adjustment through a table to secure victory.

THE SETUP
Goldust interacts with fans in Abu Dhabi.

The WWE were keen to try out some new storylines and in-ring rivalries while in Abu Dhabi, which was made more evident on this week’s Raw. Stardust and Goldust were constantly at each other’s throats, tension which culminated in Monday’s meltdown, while Cena and Rusev were given valuable time against each other in the ring ahead of their clash at Fast Lane. Ziggler and Rollins also paired off (another match that then featured on Raw) in what might well shape a great rivalry over the course of the next few months.

TWEETS OF THE WEEK

AND FINALLY…

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WWE Superstar Jack Swagger trains Sport360's Barny Read

Scott 16/02/2015
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Whilst Jack Swagger was in Abu Dhabi, UAE for the WWE tour, he took the time to meet up with Sport360 and offer our readers and wrestling fans some training guidance.









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