WWE

WWE: Storytellers steal the show ahead of Wrestlemania

Barnaby Read 10/03/2015
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John Cena’s interruption of United States champion Rusev’s match ended with the latter being rendered unconscious from the STF.

As per the last month of action in the WWE, this week was all about further establishing and developing storylines for Wrestlemania 31 in 19 days’ time (March 29).

It’s safe to say it was an eventful few days in WWE and Raw was at the heart of it.

– WWE TLC: Rollins & Stewart face off, Bray Wyatt sends fiery message
– 
VIDEO: WWE Superstar Jack Swagger trains Sport360’s Barny Read

The star turns from this week’s Raw were undoubtedly from those storytellers shaping the main events in less than three weeks’ time.

The back-and-forth between the Undertaker and Bray Wyatt came to a head in dramatic fashion with The Phenom accepting Wyatt’s challenge, much to the latter’s glee.

Wyatt’s signature rocking chair was set on fire via a lightning bolt from the top of the stadium as ‘Taker agreed to a showdown, while Wyatt laughed maniacally in the corner of the ring.

Despite Undertaker’s continued absence from live shows, the match between these two is being sold superbly by Wyatt. He is truly one of the best wrestlers in the company at selling a storyline.

Wyatt is only bettered by the man who has set the agenda for wrestling managers, mic-men and product sellers in the business, Paul Heyman.

Heyman was at his no-nonsense, intense best introducing the return of WWE World Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

His mic was cut off by WWE, but nothing could halt Heyman in full flow. His passion, conviction and way of working a story, the crowd and his athlete are superb and this was all on show in the best promo the WWE has seen in a long time.

Elsewhere, there were two non-title losses for Intercontinental champion Bad News Barrett and tag-team champs Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, while the Authority began to be dismantled and John Cena showed a brutality barely witnessed before.

Cena’s interruption of United States champion Rusev’s match ended with the latter being rendered unconscious from the STF. Not happy with enough punishment, Cena woke Rusev from his slumber with a bottle of water before again putting the champion in the STF and making him pass out.

The result; our Wrestlemania showdown which has breathed life into the US title like never before.

MOVE OF THE WEEK – Cena’s STF (see above)

TURNING POINT OF THE WEEK – Randy Orton’s revenge

After two weeks of speculation and general teasing, the Viper struck on Monday Night.

Randy Orton finally exacted revenge on Seth Rollins for his part in the Shield’s brutality which ultimately kept Orton out of action.

These two could end up with a scintillating rivalry, starting with a showdown at Wrestlemania.

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WWE

WWE TLC: Rollins & Stewart face off, Wyatt's fiery message

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Exciting talent: Seth Rollins welcomes the WWE Universe to 'The Daily Show with Seth Rollins'.

With just a month to go until Wrestlemania, this week’s Raw focused on, largely, developing story arcs and building the animosity ahead of this year’s showpiece.

As a result, we were faced with a largely ‘talky’ show.

– VIDEO: WWE Superstar Jack Swagger trains Sport360’s Barny Read
– INTERVIEW: Sami Zayn – Flying the flag for WWE in the Middle East
– 
#Quiz360: WIN Dh250 to spend at Legends Sports Bar

Although some of the spots weren’t successful, there were some standout performances, including a highly entertaining cat and mouse between satirist Jon Stewart and the WWE’s present most loved heel Seth Rollins.

After Rollins calling out Stewart a week back and the resulting response from the comic, the two met in the ring to ‘face off’.

As entertaining as it was, it also gave Rollins further chance to showcase his incredible turn as heel which is firmly placing him as one of the most exciting athletes in the locker room.

With Randy Orton just waiting to turn on his Authority colleague, those two could be set for a superb rivalry in the coming months.

Elsewhere, Bray Wyatt continued to tease the Undertaker out of his hiatus with yet another superb promo but the battle for the US Championship took a bit of a turn for the worse.

John Cena, after being refused a rematch for the title by Rusev, exchanged pleasantries with Stephanie McMahon in a rather embarrassing section of the show which once again aimed to play Cena as the underdog, fighting the evil Authority.

For a fifteen-time champ, Cena having to prove his worth against Curtis Axel and be greeted with talk of a Wrestlemania without him are a little patronising for us all.

 MATCH OF THE WEEK – Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins

An easy one this as the majority of the show featured little in-ring action. Both these two have some exciting times ahead of them in the coming weeks, months and years.

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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.

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