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Yeah, I feel bad for him too. All the other previous NXT champs went right up to the main roster after they lost the belt, and he's still hanging around down there. Clearly he has nothing left to prove. But I have a theory that HHH is keeping guys like Neville and Zayn on NXT because he knows that the show is really top heavy, and without the cream of the crop there's not a whole lot there.

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Based upon the activity here, it seems like everyone is excited for Wrestlemania! Okay, it isn't a bad card, but it just doesn't scream outstanding. Doesn't feel like Wrestlemania season at all. I'm attending this Sunday and RAW the next night. I think both events will at least be fun live.

I am more excited to go to the NXT live event Friday night, assuming it can capture the same electricity as Full Sail. It just really sucks that I hear Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are out injured. I'm still on the fence on going to Axxess. But if they release the general schedule of appearances other than VIP signings, I might want to go.
Anyway, I've only been to two events in my entire life (one RAW, one indy). And those were over a decade ago. I've grown slightly jaded with WWE for a while but I'm sure these live events will be crazy. I expect to lose my voice again. Especially after NXT. smile.png
Edited by storm 1:08
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Yeah, I'm about as disinterested in this 'Mania as I can remember being for one. I suspect the IC title and Orton/Rollins match will be OK, but not too interested in anything else. One good thing that could come out of it, though, is that if Bryan and Cena are the IC and US champs, respectively, that would potentially signify a real focus on these belts as something significant, worth wrestling for. In NJPW, Nakamura has propelled the title to the point that it's more important than the world championship. . .but we all know the WWE better than that, don't we? Even if that was to happen, Cena will probably voluntarily give the title up a la "find my smile" HBK, and Bryan will probably lose his to someone, so they can go back to being the inconsequential items that they currently are

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The secondary titles will be elevated if they protect the champion. The fact that the basis for this match is that all of these guys have pinned the champion is silly. I think the IC title match will be great, but I'm not really that excited for it because 1. it's a glorified Money in the Bank match, but for a lesser prize, and 2. I'd rather see almost everyone involved in a singles match. Daniel Bryan being marginalized in a multi-person match for a secondary title is insulting.

Yeah, I'm not feeling into Mania this year. The main event feels like a trudge. Reigns is going to be booed heavily, which is too bad. It's not his fault they decided to push him so soon. They didn't really build him up, just said "okay, you're a main eventer!" and expected everyone to treat him as such.

Jealous you're going to the Raw after 'Mania though, Storm. That should be a fun show. I have a feeling that Finn Balor may make his debut. No inside information, just a hunch. I had not heard that Zayn is injured; I think they've been keeping him off TV to sell the beating by Owens. Hopefully they will put him on this show to make up for Owens being out.

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Surely McMahon and HHH knew before the Rumble how folks were going to respond to Reigns at WM, though. Or maybe they're more delusional than I give them credit for. Balor needs work on the mic. Maybe he's ready for Prime Time, but it might be a good idea to give him more time to work on that aspect of his persona before putting him on Raw. He was pretty terrible last week, talking to Riley before his match with Owens. I think Owens, Neville, Charlotte, and Zayne are the most Raw-ready performers on NXT.

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So...

Rey Mysterio killed a guy.

How often does that happen?

It is rare, but still always a possibility that someone can die in the ring. I've been hesitating to bring this up since I don't know if all the details are sorted out yet. But it sounds like Rey is getting death threats, which saddens me a bit since it most likely was a series of unfortunate events. This is just a reminder that this still is a dangerous profession.

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I've not watched the video, and don't plan to, but from what I understand there's really nothing to suggest that Rey is at fault, other then that he was the one in the ring that delivered the final move. As Storm said, it happens but very infrequently. Really a horrible tragedy. I don't follow Lucha Libre at all, but even I knew about Perro Aguayo Jr.

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I met Rey at a licensing summit years ago in Lake Tahoe when he was working for WCW. I first noticed him playing an arcade game at the casino. I guess he wasn't a gambler.

After we were formally introduced and chatted for a while about the WCW property he seemed like a smart, decent guy, certainly not some kind of hot-head a company would deliberately keep away from business partners. He was definitely one of the good guys.

When I read about this, knowing how dangerous these moves can be, I wasn't so much shocked as I was saddened for everyone involved. It brought me back to the poor bastard who pulled the trigger on Brandon Lee during production on The Crow. Just tragic.

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Final Raw before Wrestlemania. Last segment. It definitely was something that was memorable. So Paul Heyman does what he has been doing best for the past few weeks and was selling the main event. Then Reigns came out. Now the face to face with Brock. Brock held up the title in front of Reigns. Reigns took it and Brock stared at him for a bit. Then Brock tried to take it back. Now there is a tug of war with each person having a firm grasp over the title! End Raw.

huh.png

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Yeah. 'Twas lame. Kind of amazing that Roman Reigns is supposed to be the new face of the company, but on the last Raw before 'Mania he's on the show for about five minutes at the end. And he was booed pretty heavily. Apparently it was worse on the Smackdown taping after that.

I watched the second half of Raw (from midway through the Divas match) and thought it was a decent show. Not a bigtime "IT'S WRESTLEMANIA SUNDAY!!!" show, but a decent show nonetheless. Bryan and Ziggler had a very nice match, and Rusev beat up John Cena. I really like Rusev, and I hope they do something with him. He's probably losing Sunday, so I would keep him off TV for about a month or so, then have him come out of nowhere and jump Reigns.

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Interesting. Lesnar really should keep it. That's probably the best case scenario for WWE right now, until they can either build Reigns up more, have the sense to put Bryan back in the title picture, or find someone else to carry the torch.

2nd best scenario is have Lesnar lose, but have Rollins come out and take the title away from Reigns immediately so that, again, you can have more time to get Reigns ready. Because Rollins is as ready as he's gonna be. He's not going to be a Rock or Cena-type mega star, but he's got more in-ring skills than Punk, and is as good on the mic as anyone else in the company right now.

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I agree. Roman right now is just about the worst choice possible. He's not ready, they don't seem to have much confidence in him, and the fans aren't behind him. Brock was already going to be cheered in that match, but now he's going to be lionized. There's some speculation that Heyman might turn on Lesnar, and aid either Rollins or a heel Reigns, but personally I hope they keep them just how they are. Lesnar and Heyman are just about the only thing WWE is doing right at the moment.

One thing I do hope is that we get more matches out of Lesnar. If I were the WWE, I'd want to get him for every PPV possible. In fact, I'd never have him on Raw, but just make him a network exclusive. Want to see Brock Lesnar? Get the network. Best possible selling point possible.

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I have to say that the NXT event last night was awesome. Hideo Itami finally using the GTS, Rhyno making another appearance, and Finn Balor coming out with the body paint definitely made things feel more special. But hands down, Sasha Banks successfully defending the championship against Charlotte was easily the best match of the night. There really is something special when those two get in the ring. I'm just happy to have seen those two together live. I could say a lot more about each match, but man, it simply was a great live experience. I thought it was a 2 hour event but it went to 3 hours and ended around 1am! And JR was even at the front row. This entire event could have been an incredible extra to the Wrestlemania DVD, but I didn't see any big camera crews. Only camera crews were for everybody's entrance. And HHH's speech was taped, presumably for next week's NXT Wrestlemania highlight reel. I only noticed since the camera crews were next to me during the surprise HHH appearance. Overall, I had somewhat high expectations for NXT and it still exceeded them. Wrestlemania is going to be a different live experience but I doubt it can top NXT.

Not my video, but I found it after I got home last night just to see it again.

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Thanks for the report, Storm. Sounds like a good show. I thought for sure Balor would win the tournament to get into the WM battle royal, but with it being moved to the preshow it's probably for the best. I still think he might be on Raw Monday.

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Can't say I was that excited going in, but MAN was that a good show. I missed the first hour, and I'm watching it now because I'm still so stoked from Brock, Seth, the Rock and Ronda effing Rousey! Storm, I can't wait to hear your live report!

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