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2015 Night of Champions Card Lineup and Predictions

WWE’s Night Of Champions is tonight!  Head over to FaceToHeel.com (link below) for a full rundown of the match card and to see my predictions.

Source: 2015 Night of Champions Card Lineup and Predictions

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Be A Part Of FaceToHeel

I am a senior writer for FaceToHeel.com, a newly launched site that covers all things wrestling.  Over the past couple months, we’ve covered some amazing topics, met some great people via Twitter at @facetoheel, and learned a hell of a lot along the way.  We’ve live tweeted PPVs, posted instant feedback after matches, and have found new ways of looking at the business of wrestling entertainment.  Little by little, we are growing and expanding in our efforts to cover and discuss more about what is going on currently, what’s happened in the past, and what the future might bring.

In an effort to get to know our readers better, I have a challenge for all of you.  When a wrestler debuts, there are a couple of things that can immediately determine their success; what they are wearing and what music they walk out to.  I’m not all that interested in fashion at the moment, but I have always been fascinated at how a song can influence the way the audience views a wrestler.  Just like we tend to judge people based on the music they listen to, we judge a wrestler by the music they enter the arena to.  WWE’s Dean Ambrose becomes even more unstable and manic, Jack Swagger turns into the ultimate patriot, Adam Rose is a wacky joke, and The Miz is a conceited prick.  TNA’s Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are the ultimate drama queens, Mr. Anderson is a man on a mission, and Chris Melendez is an American hero.

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Eventually, certain songs become iconic.  The car crash before Mick Foley’s song hits, the breaking glass signaling the entrance of Stone Cold, the ringing of the bells welcoming Undertaker; we all instantly and almost uncontrollably react.  When Real American starts to play, thousands of fans promise to take their vitamins as they cheer for Hulk Hogan.  If CM Punk’s opening riff ever rings out again, half of the world will entirely lose their minds.  We may not always realize it, but entrance music is vital to a wrestler’s success and their lasting power.

On that note, have you ever thought about what your entrance music would be?  Imagine you’re about to debut on Impact Wrestling or on Monday Night Raw.  You’re in your full gear and ready to go.  You stretch a bit, staring ahead at the curtain, just waiting to break through into that massive arena filled with screaming fans.  Finally, you hear your music hit.  What song would it be?

If you have a great answer and you would like to be featured in a FaceToHeel.com article, please contact me immediately at cutelypoisoned@gmail.com or on Twitter at @_CutePoison.  Your answer will be used in an upcoming article and you will be credited by your Twitter handle, your Facebook page, or another social media outlet of your choosing.  Depending on the response, there is an opportunity for the best answer to get their own feature article.  Please reach out as soon as possible for details and questions.  We at F2H have been doing a lot of talking lately; now it’s your turn to speak!

Show Off

My husband and I were lucky enough to not only score great seats for the June 2nd Raw in our hometown, but to also get tickets to Payback the night before in Chicago, IL.  One of the perks of being in the live audience is the opportunity to get yourself noticed on TV by either geeking out to the point that the cameras can’t stay away from you or by creating a good enough sign to grab attention.  I like to keep my fangirling as private as possible, but I do tend to go a bit overboard with my sign preparation.  For Payback, I went with the Wyatt Family.

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Not my best work, but I was proud of it.  I don’t know if it made it onto the Payback PPV at all, as we have yet to hop on the network and check it out, but I hope I got a second or two of screen time.  For Raw the next evening, I decided to go with Dolph Ziggler after this happened:

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Had no choice but to do it after getting a nod from the man himself.  I went in search of the loudest colored markers I could find and got to work:

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My arms were about to fall off at this point.

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This one I was damn proud of.  It could not be more obnoxious looking.  Sadly, it decided to rain before Raw, and my trash bag didn’t quite keep it completely dry, so the ink ran a bit.  My husband and I spent the better part of Raw glued to our seats, just waiting for Ziggler’s music to hit.  And finally, he comes out, we lose our minds, and he POINTS RIGHT AT US!  Excited doesn’t begin to describe it.  The first thing we did when we got home afterwards was check the DVR to see if that brilliant moment was captured on TV.

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My husband is pointing at Ziggler there.  Immediately afterwards, the camera cuts back to Ziggler and you can see him pointing back at us.  We have the gif at home; I’ll try to add it later on.  It was such a cool moment!

Three rows in front of us, we had a guy with a “BLUETISTA” sign and one that said “DANIEL BRYAN SUCKS.”  They spent the majority of Raw holding their poorly made creations up and blocking the view of myself and quite a few others.  Eventually, security intervened and ended up ripping the Bryan sign out of the guy’s hands.  Those two are the perfect examples of what not to do.  The people around you don’t want to have to spend their evening leaning left and right and left again to see around you because you’re only worried about getting on TV as much as possible.  The cameras aren’t going to focus on you for more than a moment or two, so it’s pointless to be obnoxious.  The audience at home is going to get more and more bored seeing you if you insist on trying to get on-screen during every single match.  It’s beyond annoying.

What you should do is put some effort into what you decide to make.  Hold it up when it’s relevant, throw it up a time or two when it’s not just in case, and then sit back to enjoy the show.  Trust me, actually getting the direct attention of one of our favorite superstars was INFINITELY cooler than seeing my sign pop up here and there during a match.  That is a moment that we’ll keep with us forever.  (Also, the Team Foley sign I made for the 2012 Survivor Series will live forever on the DVD, which is another awesome moment)  Aim for that.  Plus, I don’t want to be the only one with arm cramps after spending far too much of my weekends making WWE signs.

Thirty Three

Well, it’s finally happened.  I have reached the point in my life where my birthday is no longer the big deal I once thought it to be.  My birthday is this Friday and I will be spending eight and a half hours of it at my desk at work.  I’ll be attending a promotion ceremony for a coworker, chasing around civilians for their time cards, and fielding calls and emails that are too boring to even mention.  I have zero plans to go out and drink or party or get myself in trouble, although my husband is likely planning to do something amazing for dinner that evening.  All my excitement about the next few days is reserved for the two WWE events in June that my husband and I have tickets for, and the gifts that he’s worked so hard to make perfect.  But as far as my birthday itself?  Who cares?

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Let me assure you, my reluctance to make a big deal of a day that comes around every year has nothing to do with my desire to still be in my 20s, my inability to organize a perfect party, or my friends and family failing to make this into the huge production I secretly desire it to be.  I would much rather celebrate someone else’s big day and allow them to be the center of attention so I can enjoy myself than be the person of the hour and have all eyes on me.  I don’t expect my family to go for broke to make my birthday a huge deal and I’d feel horribly guilty if they ever did so.  I’m perfectly content with my age and the stage I’m currently at in life and sure as hell wouldn’t trade it for my 20s.  Unless we’re talking my metabolism from ten years ago, which I will gladly accept.

I’ve been watching an acquaintance of mine go crazy over her birthday, which is around the same time as mine.  She’s organizing two days of events and trying to get the maximum amount of people involved.  I keep seeing her stress about who is going to what event, who wants to do what, and a whole lot of other things that don’t seem like the kind of things one should worry about on a day they are meant to be having fun.  I won’t be going to her big event, as she scheduled it on my birthday and I feel weird about celebrating someone else’s day on my own with a bunch of her friends that I don’t know.  Unfortunately, my decision seems to have hurt her feelings, but I’d rather just have a quiet evening with my husband followed by some quality time with the child.

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Right now, there are so many amazing things set to happen that my birthday is the least of my worries or concerns.  Not only do we have a WWE Pay Per View to attend and a Raw to get to the following day, but we have some major life changes in our very near future that dwarf any birthday when compared side by side.  (Not a baby.  No one mention a baby.  There is no baby.)  It would be selfish of me to try to make this Friday into a big production when we have so many other things going on.  Not only do I not care about turning 33 all that much, I have no desire to put anything else on the back burner simply so I can feel like a princess for a few hours.  I don’t know what my husband has planned, but I know he’ll make me feel special and spoiled, and that is more than enough.

My birthday should be whatever I want it to be.  If I want it to be just another day, throw me a happy birthday wish and be done with it.  I promise it’s not some weird female trick in order to get presents and surprise parties.  Hell, you can even forget about it entirely and I won’t be put off or offended.  If I snap one day and try to organize the biggest party ever, you should decline to attend guilt-free if you so choose.  I’ve lost count of the birthday celebrations I’ve had to skip due to financial issues, scheduling conflicts, or just because I didn’t feel like going.  And that’s okay.  Birthdays shouldn’t be about how many people can be forced to celebrate your day.  It should be about what you want to do, who you want to do it with, and what kind of happiness you can find with whatever you receive.  The way I see it, as long as I’m smiling, the day went exactly as it should have.

Extreme Rules

Last Sunday brought us the WWE Extreme Rules Pay Per View, the second PPV to be shown on the WWE Network.  I signed up for the network with little hesitation.  At $9.99 a month, I get every single PPV for the year, which cost $55 a piece through U-Verse.  I also get a ton of exclusive programming and enough historic events to keep me busy for a lifetime.  While the issues with lag and choppy images seemed more notable on Sunday than they were for Wrestlemania, I’m happy with my purchase and definitely appreciate the amount of cash I’m saving.

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I have recently started writing for FaceToHeel.com, a wrestling site that has dreams of becoming bigger than Bleacher Report.  Since I am writing there, most (if not all) of my WWE nonsense will be off of this site and onto that one.  Please go visit and read my Extreme Rules predictions!  I’m quite happy to say that I was nearly 100% accurate in my guesses, meaning I am either partially psychic or the WWE is getting more predictable.  There are a ton of great articles hanging around there for you, so I hope you not only indulge my attempt to pimp myself out, but you look at the other amazing contributions from our writers.

Happy reading, WWE fans!!

Believe In The Yes Movement

The last two days of WWE action have been the best two days the company has given the fans in a long time.  Wrestlemania XXX and Raw on the following night both took place in the rowdy city of New Orleans.  The crowd definitely brought their spirit and enthusiasm, especially for Monday night, leading me to promise myself that my husband and I WILL be at the Raw following Wrestlemania next year.  Now, let’s address the elephant in the room that is The Streak.

Undertaker loses at WrestleMania XXX

I did not see this one coming.  Not in a million years did I expect Brock Lesnar to break the Undertaker’s 21-0 streak and put that ghastly 1 loss on his record.  Never once did I expect Lesnar to walk away with a smile on his face while the Dead Man lay broken and battered in the ring.  At no point was I not confident that we would see 22-0 on the big screen when the match concluded.  It wasn’t the most energetic match I’ve seen, but the Undertaker did suffer a concussion which could have happened early on in the bout and hindered his performance.  Regardless, it is always impressing seeing these two athletes in the ring, especially together.

In hindsight, the streak did have to eventually end, as Taker has a wife and family to worry about and certainly can’t be doing this forever.  As sad as I am to see the streak end, I am amazed by the production that went into it and impressed with the insane reaction it received.  The arena went quiet for what felt like an eternity after the three count.  Lesnar’s music didn’t play immediately as it usually does with a victory; we were given uncomfortable silence while Taker lay still and Lesnar raised his arm victoriously.  To say the world was shocked would be a huge understatement.  This will be one we talk about for a long time.

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The WWE’s golden boy, John Cena, seemed like a natural choice for a big match for such a historic Wrestlemania.  Instead, Cena was given a very standard match against his new nemesis, Bray Wyatt.  Cena always becomes unbearable near Wrestlemania season in preparation for a main event or other big deal match, but this time around, we saw a more subdued Superstar.  Clearly, Bray Wyatt and his creepy backwoods family were the stars of the matches on both evenings.  Wyatt took a loss to Cena at Wrestlemania, but the crowd swaying and singing along with him showed that he was the true winner.

On Raw the next evening, the entire Wyatt family entered into a tag match against Cena, Sheamus, and Big E.  The three faces were booed while the Wyatts were cheered.  Almost overnight, the entire WWE Universe has rallied behind the genius Bray Wyatt and his creepy clan.  It’s amazing to see the pops he’s now getting and I hope it continues to grow stronger.  The trio is going again The Shield tonight on Main Event, who turned away from The Authority on Raw last night, and it is bound to be a crazy match.

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One of my favorite Superstars, AJ Lee, defended her Divas championship at Wrestlemania against thirteen other women.  The first to get a submission or pinfall would win the title.  I’m sorry, but this match was a ridiculous thing to throw on Wrestlemania, especially when it immediately followed the fall of the Undertaker.  The odds were pitted against AJ in such an unfair manner, it was hard not to wonder if this was payback for her engagement to former Superstar CM Punk (whose early exit no doubt angered the powers that be).

Luckily for AJ, she retained her title by forcing Naomi to tap out.  I was ecstatic!  AJ is the self proclaimed saving grace of the WWE Divas division.  She brings personality, a sharp tongue, and serious in-ring skills; the girl packs a punch for such a tiny person.  On Raw the following evening, AJ came out to celebrate her victory, only to be interrupted by NXT star and women’s champion, Paige.  AJ ended up challenging Paige to a match, LOST the match, and LOST HER TITLE.  Are you kidding me?!?  To have AJ drop her title to who most fans were seeing as a nobody (we don’t all tune in to NXT, guys, come on…) was the ultimate punch in the face.  For me, AJ is and always will be the Divas Champ.  I hate that this happened to her.

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One pleasant surprise at Wrestlemania was the victory of Cesaro in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal.  We all expected Big Show to win; the giant winning the giant trophy just made sense.  Little by little, 30 men became two and Big Show was left in the ring with Cesaro.  And then, as if the seven foot Superstar was made of feathers, Cesaro plucked him up into the air and heaved him out of the ring, earning the victory, a handshake from Show, and the trophy.  On Raw, we were treated to Cesaro’s final separation from Jack Swagger and Zeb Coltier as he became a Heyman Guy!  It was a smart move; Cesaro needs a push and pairing him with Heyman is not only good for his career, it made the audience forget their anger towards Heyman due to the broken streak.

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What we all came to see though was the continuing saga of Daniel Bryan.  Screwed out of the title by Triple H again and again, the WWE Universe has rallied behind Bryan with a passion that cannot be contained.  Entire arenas erupt with Yes! Yes! Yes! chants upon his entrance; arms raised high and voices on blast.  YES! signs are seen everywhere, shirts worn proudly, and fans seen hanging on every word Bryan has to say.  In a short time, he has worked his ass off and become one of the top Superstars in the company, if not the #1 guy.  Sorry, Cena.

First, Bryan was forced to battle Triple H at Wrestlemania to earn a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Title.  The match was high energy and exciting, keeping fans on the edge of their seats as the upper hand was rapidly traded back and forth.  Against all odds, Bryan scored a victory over the intimidating Triple H.  Sadly for him, Triple H didn’t lose gracefully and attacked Bryan with a chair before leaving the ring, setting up a possible loss for him later due to injury.

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The main event featured current champion Randy Orton versus Batista and Bryan in a triple threat match for the title.  The original match was to feature only Batista and Orton, and it was apparent very quickly that the addition of Bryan was absolutely necessary to make this match a success; the underdog facing these two powerhouses kept the audience’s full attention and added an element of excitement that Orton and Batista alone could not have created.

In a very tense moment, after partially disassembling the announce table, Batista stood on the table with Bryan in his arms to set up the Batista Bomb.  Orton, teaming with Batista for the moment, grabbed Bryan out of the bomb to RKO him on the table.  Both stars were injured during this move, but damn was it impressive.  Sadly, it did result in Bryan being loaded onto a stretcher and taken out of the match.

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No injury could keep Bryan down though, as he wasn’t on the stretcher for long.  No interference could keep him from winning, as he turned Triple H’s sledgehammer back on him when the man in charge attempted to sabotage the main event.  After months of Bryan getting screwed over in the worst possible ways by The Authority, he finally locked Batista in the Yes Lock, making the big man tap and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!  FINALLY!  Damn, was it an exciting moment.

Raw the following evening was tense, as the chance of Triple H going postal and taking the titles away (again) was ever present, but instead, Triple H decided that Bryan would defend the newly won titles that evening again him.  To the surprise of nobody, Triple H did attempt to sabotage the match to secure his victory.  To the surprise of many, The Shield rallied to Bryan’s defense, entering the arena during a “Hounds Of Justice” crowd chant.  It was a brilliant moment; Bryan retaining his titles with The Shield at his side.

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Two seriously solid days of wrestling have passed.  I’m both excited and nervous about what is coming next, especially when it comes to AJ Lee, but I am so happy for Daniel Bryan, who finally got his moment and then some.  No one deserved it more than he did.  Congrats, Bryan… I hope your reign is a long one!

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Hell In A Cell. Kind Of.

Hell In A Cell aired last night, WWE’s second Pay Per View of the month of October.  After two previous lackluster events, I had high hopes for this PPV and expected to be blown away.  WWE owed the fans that much after giving us two of the worst PPV events that I’ve ever seen.  The scheduled preshow was going to be Big E Langston against Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship, but was changed due to an injury suffered by Axel; unsure if this is legit or storyline.  Instead, we got Damien Sandow versus Kofi Kingston.  The match was about ten minutes long and was pretty solid, giving fans high hopes for a great PPV.  Sandow won over Kofi and made me expect to see him cash in his Money In The Bank contract later on in the night.  (All photos are courtesy of Bleacher Report)

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The PPV began with a triple threat match for the Tag Team Championship.  Reigning champs Cody Rhodes and Goldust went up against The Usos and two members of the Shield, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.  As a triple threat match, I had expected to see three men in the ring at all times.  Instead, it was one on one with competitors able to tag in members of other teams if they so chose.  I was let down by that, but the six men put on a hell of a show.  I was jumping off the couch at some points when it looked like the Shield and the Usos were close to victory.  At the end, Cody hit Rollins with a beautiful Cross Rhodes and scored a victory.  This was without a doubt my favorite match of the evening.

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Next up, The Miz came out to run a promo regarding the attack on him by the Wyatt Family.  Miz dared Bray Wyatt to come at him and Wyatt responded by sending Luke Harper and Eric Rowan out into the ring.  I was a bit confused as to why this made the PPV until Kane’s music hit, fire flared, and the big red monster made his return.  Kane threw the two Wyatt family giants out of the ring to save Miz, but then surprised Miz with a chokeslam.  Kane is back with a vengeance and it seems that he is returning to his heel status.  Very happy to see him back.

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Following Kane’s return, we get a tag team match between The Great Khali and Natalya versus Fandango and Summer Rae.  On a PPV.  Fantastic.  This match belongs on Smackdown, or as a preshow match; it is ridiculous to put this on a PPV, although it is great for Summer to have her in-ring debut on Hell In A Cell.  Other than the silver lining for Summer, this match was garbage.  Natalya was the only redeeming part of this, as she is an incredible talent and put Summer through the ringer.  However, in spite of her efforts, the scrawny Summer pinned her for the win.  What.  A.  Waste.  I’m incredibly tired of seeing these kind of matches, where a tiny girl does the impossible for a win.  It takes credibility out of an already weak Diva’s division.

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After that nonsense match, Big E Langston got a match against United States Champion Dean Ambrose in a championship match.  This was a pretty solid match and I’m really starting to get behind Big E.  The competitors got very physical and Big E suffered a cut underneath his eye.  Ambrose definitely made him work during this match, but it was clear that there was no way he could cleanly defeat the big man.  Unfortunately, in what is becoming a typical Shield move, Ambrose allowed himself to be counted out and Big E picked up the victory, but not the title.  I would like to see this revisited and have Big E get a second swing at the title.  He’d make a great champ, especially with his recent face turn, and it’s high time that Ambrose drops the title to someone else.

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Finally, it is time for our first Hell In A Cell match; CM Punk versus Ryback and Paul Heyman.  Heyman was carried to the ring on a left, driven by someone who must have never driven a left in his life.  Heyman was placed on top of the cell, making the handicap match into a one on one between Ryback and Punk.  The match started out strong, but quickly became very tedious and almost boring, which is unusual for a match involving Punk.  We had tables, we had kendo sticks, and we had an abrupt ending with Punk picking up the victory.  Punk then got on top of the cage to seek revenge on Heyman.  My husband and I were waiting for Heyman to be slammed through the cage (wishful thinking), but it was a solid beat down even without that little extra.  Overall, it was weak and very disappointing.

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Next up we have Los Matadores versus The Real Americans; Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro with Zeb Colter.  The second match in the PPV that belonged on Raw, Smackdown, or in the preshow.  The Matadores and their little Torito are a cute gimmick, but I hardly see how they are PPV worthy.  I found it very difficult to get into this match at all because I was so annoyed that creative decided to put this in the PPV.  The Matadores picked up a win and no one really cared either way.  I’m glad that Primo and Epico have found success in their new bullfighting characters, but this was just a silly match to have.  No one cares about this rivalry and the most interesting thing is seeing how racist Colter can get.  At least the Matadores finally got rid of those horrible bright pink masks.

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Following the bullfighters, we have the return of John Cena in a match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship.  To borrow words from my husband, these are the two most boring people in the WWE right now.  Del Rio’s character has become stale and Cena is… well, it’s Cena.  This match was exactly what you would expect; Del Rio attacked Cena’s recently healed arm and Cena did the five moves of doom while acting like a child.  And yes, Cena won and got the title, because the WWE loves to hand things over to their golden boy.  I expected Cena to win, but I had hoped that Sandow would swoop in on an exhausted Cena and steal the title from him.  Of course, that did not happen.

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After Cena cleared out, AJ Lee arrived to defend her title against Brie Bella.  I adore AJ and I love that she is now paired with the powerhouse Tamina Snuka.  It was clear that Brie didn’t have a chance in this match, but it was still fun to watch.  With both Tamina and Nikki ringside, there was a lot going on and quite a few distractions for the competitors.  Brie dominated early on, but having to keep an eye on Tamina proved to be her downfall.  She attempted to attack her but ended up hitting her sister instead, allowing AJ to get her in the Black Widow submission and forcing a tap.  AJ has proven to be unstoppable as of late and I’m eager to see who she goes up against next, as the feud with Brie should end now.

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The final match is our second Hell In A Cell match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.  The title has belonged to no one because of very questionable creative choices.  Triple H wants Orton as champ, the fans want Bryan.  With Shawn Michaels as special guest referee, it’s hard to tell how this match will go.  The pair got very physical, using the cage to their advantage and pushing each other to their limits.  Triple H made an appearance to argue the Heartbreak Kid’s techniques, possibly because he feared that HBK would favor Bryan.  This resulted in Michaels accidentally getting knocked out by the competitors as he was distracted.  When HBK came to, he hit Bryan with Sweet Chin Music and basically handed the title back to Orton.  Yes it was a good match, but they failed with the ending.  When the fans know what is coming weeks before it happens, you have failed.

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I haven’t a clue what WWE creative is thinking right now, or if they’re thinking at all.  This PPV should have been about redemption and should have been phenomenal to make up for two very lackluster PPVs previously.  It wasn’t.  Cody Rhodes and Goldust were once again the only redeeming part of a very expensive three hour event.  I could not be more annoyed with Cena and Orton winning the titles; we saw this coming from miles away and we all know that there were better ways to do this.  Stale doesn’t being to describe what the WWE has become, and it boggles my mind that they aren’t even trying to fix things anymore.  I hope tonight’s Raw does something dramatic to put a positive spin on last night’s disastrous PPV, but given what has been going on lately, I am a fan without hope.

Monday Night RAWWWWWW

Tuesday morning gifted me with a sore throat, a throbbing headache, and a fatigue I haven’t felt in a long while thanks to the lack of sleep after spending hours jumping and screaming until my voice gave out.  Monday, March 11th, my husband and I were four rows back from the ring for Monday Night Raw!  We’ve been to Smackdown, had a blast at the Survivor Series Pay Per View, but this was our first Raw experience.  After buying the tickets, my first priority became what to wear.  For the last two shows we attended, I went on sites and designed my own shirts because the selection for women in the WWE shop is somewhat lacking.  This time, I wanted to go authentic.  The pink Dolph Ziggler shirt that I had ordered my husband for Christmas came in the wrong size, so he gave it to me and I decided to go AJ Lee on the thing.

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Not quite AJ, but it’s as close as I can get with my skill set.  It was fun to do and since WWE’s shop doesn’t have the variety that I want in women’s tops, I may choose to go this route again in the future.  I was proud of it and it was nice to be able to represent Ziggler along with my husband, who went with his new blue “Stealing The Show … And Your Girlfriend” tee.  Since we went signless to this event, we wanted to make sure we were still representing.  It paid off:

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The night was amazing and jam packed with Superstars, surprises, and plenty of smiles from this girl.  Rather than recap the entire thing, here are some photos from my favorite moments:

Return of Taker

The return of Undertaker!!  It was incredible to see the man in person, and I loved the tribute to Paul Bearer with the urn.  Sad and spectacular all at once.  The crowd went absolutely insane.

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Brock Lesnar and the New Age Outlaws!  My only complaint here was that Triple H did not make an appearance as well to address Lesnar’s acceptance of his Wrestlemania challenge.

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Kane getting a good shot in on CM Punk.  Punk is on my nerves right now, but I am excited to see him go against the streak in April.

Ryback

Ryback, one of my new favorites, destroying a member of The Shield.  (Sidenote:  I promised not to get excited when Roman Reigns walked down the steps and through the crowd, but I failed and I touched him on the arm as he passed right by me.  He is greasy and angry and smells like Old Spice, in case you were curious)

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Daniel Bryan vs. The Show Off, Dolph Ziggler.  Ziggler always puts on a great show!  Bryan has definitely grown on me since growing the beard, changing his chant to NO! and teaming with Kane.

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I love the Rhodes Scholars, but I love a good RKO even more!  Poor Cody.

Barrett Miz And Jericho

The Miz and Wade Barrett, two of my favorites, along with a human flashlight with fluffy unicorn hair and a big mouth.

Henry and Ryback

Ryback vs. Mark Henry?!??  We got a preview of things to come, and I can’t wait to see these two go at it on Smackdown!  I’m excited to see who will come out on top.

Taker And Kane

RIP Paul Bearer.  What an awesome tribute.

Lazy Tales

I’m a big fan of the WWE and am one of many who is incredibly thrilled to see The Rock back in action.  That being said, I am incredibly let down with the choices the writers have made in order to lay the ground work for The Rock’s triumphant return.  Before you dismiss this as just another article about a fake sport, please hear me out.  The mistakes being made not only apply to the WWE storylines, but to much of the entertainment mediums out there that we all enjoy.  The mistake with the WWE is simply the most current to me, as well as the most relevant, so it will better serve me in my argument.

CM Punk is the current WWE Champion and has been for more than a year.  He is our resident villain and many people, myself included, are ready for him to be silenced and taken out of the spotlight for a little while.  Ryback has been our hero of sorts, a newcomer who is after the title and wishes to silence Punk.  Our hero has been given chance after chance to do so, only to be stopped by suspected accomplices of our villain.  Title shot is presented, Ryback is inches from a victory, and his victory is stolen away from him.  The logic behind it is that Punk is meant to face The Rock, so losing the title to someone else doesn’t exactly support that storyline and must not happen.

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I don’t question the decision of the writers to make a feud between The Rock and Punk a priority above all else.  Dwayne Johnson has excelled at everything he does, and the fans are thrilled to have him back at home in the ring.  Punk has also done an excellent job at becoming the man you love to hate, or the man you just hate.  They are the perfect pair for a brutal throwdown.  While I enjoy Ryback, his character is too new and his in-ring and mic skills too unpolished to share the spotlight with The Rock.  His role must remain as a supporting character, at least for now.  The choice to have The Rock and Punk feud over the title is a smart one and I am behind it 100%.

My issue is with the road we have been driven down to get us to where we currently are.  Due to the Twitter bickering between The Rock and CM Punk, combined with the advertising the WWE has done on television and online, it has been made perfectly clear to the fans for months now that we are to expect these two men to go one on one.  What should have been a secret, and easily could have, was thrown out into the open for all to see.  We were indirectly told that there was no way in hell Punk would lose the title to Ryback, then given “tense” matches between the two where the title was on the line.  We were given yet another one on January 7th, with Ryback yet again inches away from a win only to have match interference cost him that win.  Again.

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Suspense is a vital part of any good story, especially when you’re dealing with something intense and physical.  Would anyone be excited about a new horror flick if in the first five minutes, you were told who the killer was, who would defeat said killer, who the survivor(s) would be, and what would happen in the final climactic scene?  Even with films such as the Friday the 13th series where we know who the killer is, we still want to be shocked and surprised.  Take that surprise away and you’re left with a tired and stale story that is quite difficult to get excited about.

When you know with full certainty that a story will have a specific outcome, you fail to become excited about anything that hints at a different possibility.  When I immerse myself into a story, I want to go in with an open mind and with few expectations.  The WWE has failed me as it has taken what should be an unpredictable title run and destroyed it.  Due to their expectation that we’ll be too excited about The Rock’s return to care, they let loose with all the details and left nothing to our imaginations.  Just because The Rock can captivate a crowd and still make this title run worth watching does not mean than it’s acceptable to kill the suspense.

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In order to have the largest audience and gain the most hype, the teams behind the entertainment are now revealing those would-be secrets far too soon and hoping after the fact that enough appeal still remains so that audiences will show up and pay money to get a full view of the story.  Television promos for next week’s episode will show you the climactic moment of that next hour in order to get you to tune in, despite the fact that it kills the shock value that the episode would have had.  Movie trailers show you the beginning, middle, and ending of their story simply because those clips will attract the most attention.  The focus has shifted off of telling an excellent tale and moved on to what can get the most attention at the quickest rate.

The hype that the WWE has put behind The Rock’s title run was definitely effective in getting attention and packing the stadium in Florida last night.  It was definitely effective in securing great ratings for that episode of Raw and selling merchandise on their website.  It makes sense businesswise, at least on the surface.  But is it worth doing in order to gain a few extra dollars now?  What would have happened if the WWE had kept quiet about the title run, allowing The Rock to make a dramatic surprise entrance on an episode of Raw to challenge Punk as opposed to having everything perfectly choreographed out in the open?  Isn’t it possible that the after effects could bring more benefits than the immediate ones?

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The story should never be sacrificed or compromised in order to boost ratings or make a few extra dollars; I don’t care if it’s a best-selling novel or a reality competition television show that is in question.  Storytelling is an art and we are killing it slowly with our promotion techniques.  If we just let a story run its natural course rather than throw bits and pieces out into the open before their time, we can allow the art form to thrive and carry on as it should.  Hype can just as easily be created without giving away key plot points and details of final outcomes.  All it takes is a bit of effort, a small amount of creativity, and an eager audience.

As part of that audience, I can assure all creative teams out there that “eager” is an understatement.  We’re ready to be wowed.  We’re ready to be treated intelligently and being allowed to let our imaginations do the work.  We’re ready to gain back that feeling of shock and awe when the hard work that went into your project is presented properly and the audience is allowed that pure and raw reaction.  We’re ready to show you how much our interest is piqued when you hold back more than you tease us with.  We’re ready for a change and we’re ready now.

Let’s Go Raw

Last Sunday evening, November 14, 2010, my husband and I were browsing Netflix looking for something interesting to fill our evening. We stumbled upon the film, Food Inc., and having enjoyed SuperSize Me, we decided to give it a shot. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It gives you a gritty look at where our food truly comes from; the horrible conditions these animals live in prior to slaughter, the traps local farmers fall into, and much more. Immediately after finishing Food Inc, we switched over to Food Matters, another documentary with its key focus being on the benefits of vitamins and raw food. I had no idea so many nutrients were lost in the cooking process, nor did I ever see the true importance of fruit and veggies and remembering to take my vitamins.

I’m no bleeding heart, and I love a good steak or some spicy chicken wings, but I don’t want to eat meat from abused animals living in their own filth. It’s time for a change. My husband and I decided that for our health and to make a small difference in what food providers are supported, we are giving our diet an overhaul. I’m going to track our progress here; the ups and downs, the good and the bad, in the hopes that putting it out there will both keep me committed and maybe give someone else a push to try this out.

Day 1: November 15, 2010:
I love breakfast, and by breakfast I mean a carby, cheesy, meaty mess of fatty goodness. Scrambled eggs with cheese, or over medium with toast, hash browns covered in onions and cheese, sausage and bacon, biscuits and gravy, perhaps something off Burger King’s breakfast menu or an oversized meal from Sero’s, it makes my mouth water. Not this morning. My husband dropped $13 at the cafeteria in the building buying us both bowls of fresh cut fruit. We didn’t get to plan a perfect lunch since our decision to change happened less than 12 hours ago, but I did pick out all the chicken from my stir fry.

After work we headed to Walmart where we dropped $200 on new foods to fill our home. Assorted fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin C & E, niacin, granola, vegetarian “meats,” cashews and peanuts, hummus, whole wheat bread and crackers, raisins and other dehydrated fruits, organic eggs from free range chickens, farm fresh cheeses, organic & over priced juice with acai berry and coconut water, greek yogurt, and so on. It felt like a lot of cash initially, but we were doing an overhaul of our entire kitchen so it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. The husband made a veggie pizza for dinner (hummus, raw peppers & onions & avocado) which was delicious! I had niacin, vitamin C, and vitamin E with my dinner which left me feeling very energized and caused a bit of trouble for me trying to fall asleep. All in all, it was a good day and what I feel to be a good start!

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