What a pay-per-view! Normally Extreme Rules is the place for exciting spectacles, but not really where you expect to find compelling wrestling storytelling and drama. This year that couldn’t have been further from the truth, however, as the show featured easily some of the best wrestling television of the year thus far. I was absolutely nuts for the Sheamus/Daniel Bryan match, as well as the CM Punk/Chris Jericho contest, but what most impressed me, both from a wrestling as well as a story-standpoint, was the much-anticipated showdown between Cena and Lesnar, which had me and other fans asking that all-important question: “How much of this is real?”
All posts tagged the rock
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 30, 2012
The future of WWE?
On this week’s Monday Night Raw, John Laurinaitis referred to Brock Lesnar as the future of WWE. Of course, this is a little strange considering that Brock already had a WWE heyday around a decade ago. While it’s probably not how Johnny Ace meant it, I think that he could very well be onto something here, as the return run of Brock (and the Rock before him) points toward a different way of booking main event wrestling feuds.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 10, 2012
The big news on this week’s post-WrestleMania XXVIII Monday Night Raw was, quite obviously, the returning Brock Lesnar, who followed in the Rock’s footsteps by coming out and making John Cena look like an absolute joke. I’m a Brock fan, and would be excited about this match even if his t-shirt logo didn’t look like the most awesome Danzig/Swamp Thing hybrid imaginable. Back when I worked at WWE, mentioning Brock on the website was absolutely verboten, even though the guy was a huge mainstream star during his run as UFC Heavyweight Champion. It was a perfect example of WWE cutting off their nose to spite their face, so I’m glad they’ve finally gotten tired of getting nosejobs (to stretch an metaphor).
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 3, 2012
As expected, WrestleMania 28 blew the previous year’s event completely away in terms of match quality, signal-to-noise, celebrity wrestler performances and any other metric you might care to apply. While it wasn’t a perfect show, and there were quite a few finishes that left me…puzzled, it was a stand-out pay-per-view that felt overwhelmingly huge and important. I watched the entire show amongst an awesome, rowdy crowd at Highland Park in NYC, so I didn’t tweet as much as I probably should have last night – besides I was trying to enjoy the show! So, instead, check out my assembled thoughts below, post late-night Mad Men catch-up and good night of sleep:
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on April 2, 2012
WrestleMania XXVIII has a really phenomenal card. Rock vs. Cena, Triple H vs. Undertaker, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus – no matter what type of wrestling fan you are, the show has something to make you happy. But even outside all the great talent on display, what makes this event truly great is that outside the fact that Taker will almost certainly maintain his streak and Maria Menounos will be victorious, broken ribs or no, most of the matches on the card could go either way.
If you want to give your picks for the biggest wrestling event of the year, head over to GuySpeed now, where you can take part in the inauguralWrestleMania Poll-o-Mania event. You’ll get the chance to sound off on the winners, as well as answer some secondary questions, including how many times you think new WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons will say “DAMN!” throughout the night.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on March 30, 2012
This past week I had the distinct pleasure to appear on the special WrestleMania edition of Pat Loika’s appropriately named Loikamania podcast, along with a distinguished panel of Marvel Comics employees and marks, including Associate Editor of Marvel.com Ben Morse, Sales and Communications Coordinator James Viscardi and of course, Executive Editorial Director of Marvel.com Ryan Penagos, better known on the internet as Twitter celebrity Agent M.
I had an absolute blast talking with all these guys. So much of my thinking and opining about wrestling is done through writing that it was a real treat to be involved in a discussion that didn’t involve sifting through “You suck!” comments or entering anything into a CMS. As a special bonus, I used to work with all those Marvel guys, so I think we quickly found a comfortable rhythm while going through the card for this weekend’s show. Some of the ideas expressed might be familiar to folks who already checked out my own WrestleMania XXVIII preview over at GuySpeed.com, but there should be plenty of new stuff in there to check out as well.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on March 28, 2012
If you aren’t excited for WrestleMania XXVIII, you should probably quit calling yourself a wrestling fan. The event has something to please everyone, from casual observers (John Cena vs. the Rock), to lapsed Attitude Era fans (Triple H vs. the Undertaker), to technical wrestling geeks (CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho). If your girlfriend/wife/live-in-lover puts up with your wrestling habit so that she can have the television for celebrity gossip shows, there’s even something for her, as Extra‘s Maria Menounos will be competing in a Divas tag team match.
Over at GuySpeed.com, we’ve just posted a full, complete, detailed WrestleMania XXVIII preview. Whether you’ve been religiously watching every WWE show on the “Road to WrestleMania” or just need the basics to understand what’s what going into each match, this is the web feature for you, with individual commentary on each of this weekend’s eight matches, including four (!!!!) main events. First, make sure you’re all caught up with this week’s recap of the Raw go-home show, then check it out and tell us in the comments what you’re most looking forward to.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on March 27, 2012
Traditionally, the early months of every year are some of the most exciting in WWE, as they see the company gear up for not one, but two of its largest pay-per-view events: Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. This year, however, the momentum and build for the biggest show in the WWE has moved in fits and starts. I’ll readily admit that doing weeklyRawwrite-ups might have me being more critical than normal, but it seems that for every great moment, like a biting Cena promo, there’s an insufferable “Rock Concert” to end the show, dragging it back down.
That said, this week’sMonday Night Raw did have some good moments, and I enjoyed Cena’s return to his circa-2003 gimmick way more than a grown-ass man should. There was a decent Ziggler/Sheamus match, a cool development in the Punk/Jericho match and I’m growing to really enjoy Otunga’s heel work. But the rest of the show really felt like filler as the WWE struggled to keep all its feuds going without introducing any new twists, complications or stakes. Not exactly how I’d build toward the biggest moneymaker of the year.
Finally, a reminder: We lost our link on Lords of Pain, which is where most of our readership learned about us and continued to find us each week. So, make sure you share the love by Tweeting and Facebooking this week’s article. And keep up to date with the newest UGO wrestling content by following me on Twitter and bookmarking the Raw: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly landing page.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on March 13, 2012
The past few weeks have seen the year-old Rock/Cena feud get far, far more interesting than it ever has been, largely due to the fact that John Cena has finally started landing some verbal body blows on his much more charismatic and beloved rival. That’s led to folks like me praising Cena’s abilities, and folks like some of my more irritable commenters doubling-down on their anti-Cena stances. But if you ask me, by doing either of those things, we’re playing right into WWE’s hands and missing the most interesting part of the feud.
Despite the fact that we live in a day and age where everyone knows that everyone in professional wrestling is a performer, with matches and promos that are both oftentimes heavily scripted, much of the weekly WWE audience has gotten sucked into this feud in spite of themselves. Even more impressive is that it’s a babyface-on-babyface storyline – there’s not even really a bad guy here – but by blurring the lines between fact, rumor and outright fiction, WWE has gotten people to take sides anyway.
This is when wrestling is at its most interesting, when you’re not exactly clear how much you’re being worked (see Montreal Screwjob, CM Punk last summer, etc.). In my most recent Straight Shoot article at UGO.com, I go into more detail and depth about the still-ongoing Rock/Cena storyline, and how it’s become far more interesting than I ever thought it would.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on March 8, 2012
It’s Tuesday, which can only mean one thing: Weekly Monday Night Raw recaps at UGO.com!
I’m really pleased with both how my Good, Bad & Ugly columns have developed, as well as the great comments we get every week. It’s not just comments actually – it’s well-thought out, informed discussion, which, as I’m sure you’re well-aware, is pretty hard to come by on the internet (or in real life, for that matter). Trouble is, we’re in danger of losing that.
See, Lords of Pain, which used to give our wrestling articles links on their homepage is, for reasons that are unimportant and too complicated to get into, no longer doing so. A huge part of our readership came in through that link, and depended on it to tell them when a new Good, Bad & Ugly or Straight Shoot was up for them to read and comment on. So, if you came here via my Twitter, please make sure to retweet my regular plugs of wrestling articles, and if you came here via Google or Facebook, make sure to follow me on Twitter, as it’s the best, most efficient way for you to find out what your favorite wrestling writer is up to. And if you want an easy way to check in on the latest Raw recaps without having to slog through Google searches, bookmark the UGO Raw Recap landing page now.
Again, with the Lords of Pain link gone, we need your help to make sure everyone can find our ongoing wrestling conversation, so PLEASE: Tweet the link, like the story on Facebook, email it to your friends, mention it on message boards and even link to us from your own personal blog. Most of all, please keep commenting on the articles themselves and fostering legit, intelligent conversation about the awesome male soap opera that is professional wrestling.
Posted by Aubrey Sitterson on March 6, 2012