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Don’t Blame The Undertaker

I was searching Google high and low for all things wrestling in order to get some ideas for Face To Heel, and I came across a strangely titled article. “Father Who Killed Son With Wrestling Move To Serve 30 Years.” According to the report, Alonso Castillo, a 26 year old man, pled guilty to second degree murder this August and was recently sentenced to serve 30 years for killing the 6 month old baby.

 

While caring for his son, Draven, Castillo decided it would be appropriate to wrestle with the infant when he had become a bit fussy. The report says “in a move from his favorite wrestler, The Undertaker, the defendant lifted Draven into the air and slammed him into the ground.” The child suffered a fractured skull and traumatic brain injury, which caused his death two days after the incident. Mother, Paige Hydle, was not present during the time of the injury.

Neighbors stated that after Castillo dropped Draven, he came to their apartment and told them that his son was not breathing. He then “distractedly watched” as they called for help and attempted CPR. The neighbors stated that Castillo kept repeating over and over that he was in trouble due to a trespass warning from apartment management. Apparently Castillo had thrown a chair through a glass window while arguing with Hydle.

 

 

The investigation showed that Draven had “multiple bruises, a fractured arm, and a cut tongue.” Castillo’s original excuse was that he was imitating The Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver (though the actual move is not mentioned by name in any news stories). When officers questioned Castillo a second time, he confessed to slamming Draven on the ground because he wouldn’t stop crying.

The media, as they do, latched on to The Undertaker detail and ran with it. The story became less about an irresponsible idiot murdering an innocent baby and more about the fact that imitating Undertaker caused a death. This had nothing to do with wrestling. You can’t physically perform that move with a baby. A preteen, sure, but not a baby. No, this is the story of a man who couldn’t handle himself and threw his child into the ground, then attempted a pitiful cover story when he realized that he had gotten too rough.

It’s typical; something awful happens and the go-to reaction is to find something familiar and easy to blame it on. “Guy pretending to be Undertaker” makes more sense than thinking a father would be so awful to his own child. But it happens, and we need to quit making excuses for these people and allowing them to hide themselves behind public figures, video games, or anything else. Don’t blame the Undertaker. Blame Alonso Castillo. He’s the one spending the next thirty years in jail.

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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!

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!!

Face To Heel

I am very excited to announce that I have recently signed on to be a writer for a collaborative blog covering all things wrestling!  This will include WWE, TNA, past and present Superstars, future predictions, and much more.  It will feature reports on events, editorial pieces, and will cover every topic you can imagine.  The site, Face To Heel, currently has four contributors including myself, but hope to add more once we begin posting articles. We seek to showcase writers who have different opinions, are fans of different people, and have different experiences with wrestling.  There will be plenty of information in our first article, so please visit the site now and sign up to follow so you can be among the first to know when things start rolling out.  You can follow on Twitter as well at @FaceToHeel.

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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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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.

Outlaws

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.

Punk Kane

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)

Ziggler Bryan

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.

The Main Event: WRESTLEMANIA 28

April 1, 2012, Wrestlemania 28, the main event live on Pay Per View was finally here!  My husband and I made the purchase and set the show to record just in case, watching 50/50 and anxiously waiting for our clocks to hit 7pm and the show to begin.  It’s been hyped up like crazy, adding more matches and controversy on each Raw and Smackdown throughout the week.  I wish we could have been there, but being able to watch live is definitely the next best thing to it.

The first match of the night was between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship.  Bryan stole that title from The Big Show after he had it for maybe 30 seconds.  As Bryan entered the ring and proceeded to yell YES about 50 times, he paused to give his girlfriend, AJ, a kiss.  As he turned back to face Sheamus, he received a boot to the face, went down, and was counted out.  The match lasted 18 seconds and Sheamus walked away the new Heavyweight Champion.  YES!  YES!  YES!

Up next was Kane and Randy Orton.  For some reason, Kane decided to start a feud with Orton.  Not sure why, possibly out of boredom, maybe he was feeling lonely, but the two have been going at it since Orton returned from his injury.  Kane started out strong, pinning Orton a dozen times to the two count.  Orton eventually began to retaliate and it was looking good for him, but Kane delivered a powerful choke slam from the top rope and the poor Apex Predator was down.

The Big Show versus Cody Rhodes was also hyped up quite a bit in the weeks prior to Wrestlemania and I was really looking forward to it.  Rhodes had been mocking Show, mainly because he has never had a victory at any Wrestlemania.  Rhodes is my favorite heel; he’s amazingly good at being hateful without being obnoxious and making you actually hate him.  The match began with Show throwing Rhodes around the ring like a rag doll; I started to feel bad for Rhodes for taking such a beating.  Rhodes finally got the upper hand after knocking Show to the ground, starting to work on his leg and take the big man out.  Sadly for him it wasn’t enough; Show knocked him out and won the Intercontinental Championship!

Finally, it was time for Hell In A Cell; Triple H versus The Undertaker, the end of an era.  I was worried about this match because there’s no good outcome.  If Triple H wins, we’ll continue to see him in the ring which is great, but it means the Undertaker ends his career with a 19-1 streak at Wrestlemania instead of 20-0.  If Undertaker wins, his streak finishes strong, but he also finishes Triple H.  This match spanned nearly an hour and was as brutal as you can imagine; both men were bloody and the Undertaker’s back was badly bruised from a severe beating with a metal chair.  Shawn Michaels, the guest referee, looked as if he was about to cry near the end of the match, watching his friend suffer as both competitors struggled to finish the other one.  My heart jumped at least half a dozen times when it looked like one would be counted out, only to see them roll their shoulder up just in time.  It was honestly hard to watch at some points.  Undertaker managed to find the will and energy to finish Triple H, stretching his streak to 20-0 and was able to walk out of the ring this time around, unlike last year when he couldn’t stand.  Triple H, however, couldn’t get up.  Michaels and Undertaker stood on either side of him, lifted him up, and all three walked out of the arena together.  It was an amazing end.

At some point there was a Diva’s match.  Beth Phoenix and Eve versus Kelly Kelly and a freaking talk show host, Maria Menounos.  It was idiotic and insulting to someone like Phoenix, who is built the way a wrestler should be, to have to go up against these two little twigs.  She was also the only competitor in that match that didn’t do some lame booty shake as one of her moves.  It’s not a stripping competition people, come on now.  The match ended with something that would never happen in the real world; teeny Maria pinning Phoenix.  Really?  REALLY?

Anyway, back to the real events:  Team Johnny versus Team Teddy was up next, the winning team would determine the new general manager for both Raw and Smackdown.  Team Johnny consisted of my favorite, Mark Henry, and 5 other guys I can’t stand, including Dolph Ziggler and the shaved gorilla Jack Swagger.  I was pulling for Team Teddy and their captain, Santino.  The tag team match had competitors quickly entering and leaving the ring, very high energy.  Finally, Team Teddy knocked most of Team Johnny to the ground outside of the ring and Zack Ryder of Team Teddy was close to victory but stopped to do his Woo Woo Woo with hoeski, Eve.  The Miz took advantage of the distraction and won the match for Team Johnny.  It was a let down for sure, but my husband says it makes business sense.  I still don’t like it.

The match I probably cared the least about, other than the divas, was next; CM Punk against Chris Jericho and his lite brite jacket.  Jericho had been attacking Punk’s family for weeks, saying his sister is a drug addict and his father a drunk, that Punk is a bastard because he was conceived out of wedlock.  It was a set of arguments you would expect from a group of 5th graders out on the playground.  A rule was set that if CM Punk was disqualified, he would lose his title to Jericho, so naturally the taunts got worse.  Jericho started out dominant, but Punk gained the upper hand and Jericho was forced to tap out.  I was glad he won only because Jericho annoys the hell out of me.

Then this happened:

Finally, The Rock has come back to Wrestlemania!  The once in a lifetime match between two of the most charismatic men in the business.  After their tag team match against The Miz and R-Truth, the tension has been rising and the feud between these two Superstars has been heating up.  Cena mocked The Rock for leaving the WWE to become a movie star, Rock called Cena a bowl of fruity pebbles, which resulted in him ended up on a box of cereal.  The Rock won the war of words many times over but the feud continued strong in preparation for Wrestlemania.  The match was very 50/50; one would gain the upper hand but the other would soon turn it around.  This was the match that Cena said he couldn’t lose, as once it’s over, he’ll still be here and he’ll lost credibility with a loss.  The Rock also couldn’t lose; how can he come back and say things haven’t changed and then choke at Wrestlemania?  There was so much riding on each of their shoulders, both determined to pull a victory out and show the world that all their words have been truthful.  Unfortunately for Cena, he was wrestling The Rock.  When The Rock wants something, it’s his, and this match was his with an amazing victory to end the night.

This was actually my first Wrestlemania and I loved it.  I’m planning to get there next year, somehow, because I want to be a part of the excitement first hand.  We’ll be saving this on our DVR for quite a while.  On a sidenote, the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards aired on March 31st and at the end, Santino referees a match between The Big Show and The Miz.  Check it out if you get a chance.

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