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By Adam Testa | March 28, 2012
This Sunday's WrestleMania promises to be a memorable one. The card is stacked from top to bottom with a variety of matches featuring superstars of the past, present and future battling it out on the grandest stage of all. Amidst the promotion and hype of the two top matches - John Cena vs. The Rock and Triple H vs. The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee - WWE has been building the next generation of...
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By Aaron Oster and The Baltimore Sun | August 8, 2014
Alberto Del Rio was fired by World Wrestling Entertainment on Thursday, ending his four-year run with the company. On Thursday night, this message was posted on WWE.com: “WWE announced the release of Del Rio due to unprofessional conduct and an altercation with an employee.” According to Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Weekly , Del Rio slapped a WWE.com staff member this week. While the timing of and speculation surrounding his firing is surprising, his departure from the company isn't.
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By Adam Testa | February 22, 2012
A significant portion of the WrestleMania hype has been built around a rematch between Triple H and the Undertaker, but in reality, that's not the only rematch fans will be treated to April 1. This year's WrestleMania will see another repeat contest, though it's one viewers at home missed the first time around. At last year's show, Sheamus was scheduled to defend his United States Championship against Daniel Bryan. The match was bumped from the pay-per-view broadcast and turned into a dark match.
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By Aaron Oster and The Baltimore Sun | June 9, 2014
Late last week, reports started coming out that Daniel Bryan's rehab wasn't going as well as hoped. This afternoon, reports came out that doctors had officially told him that he won't be cleared to wrestle at Money in the Bank. Assuming these reports are true, that means we will see the Money in the Bank match turned into a match for the WWE World Heavyweight title, as Stephanie McMahon announced on RAW last week. We may also see a second match for the MITB briefcase. We should know more about that later tonight on RAW. Now that we know he won't be defending the title though, the question becomes who will become champion, and what happens to some of the long-term plans for the title and Daniel Bryan.
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By Adam Testa | August 24, 2012
Well, color me shocked. After an extended period of ranting and questioning the preferential treatment that appeared to be bestowed on Randy Orton since his return from suspension, I never expected to see the Viper tap out - in a clean loss - to Alberto Del Rio. Orton had been built up and put over number-one contenders like it was going out of style, but tonight, he actually did a job and helped make Del Rio look like a legitimate main event...
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By Arda Ocal | July 22, 2013
To long-time pro wrestling fans, this headline is no shocking discovery. Even to the WWE Universe, which is once again being reminded, it feels all too familiar. Daniel Bryan is a mega star. Hitting home runs in every match lately, including three matches on RAW -- beating Jack Swagger and having a fantastic match with Antonio Cesaro, before winning by DQ against Ryback -- Bryan keeps reaffirming the notion of many fans who want to see him as WWE champion after Summerslam is over.
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By Adam Testa | August 17, 2012
If Paramount Pictures is searching for the perfect new summer blockbuster, they may want to take a look at "The Curious Case of Alberto Del Rio. " After failing to defeat Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank, many believed -- and several hoped -- Del Rio's time in the title picture had come to a close. Randy Orton was returning from injury, bringing back another legitimate main event star and filling a void at the top of the card. But WWE showed it wasn't quite done with the Del Rio experiment yet. Del Rio defeated Rey Mysterio soundly, earned a rematch for the world title and declared he was above the competition and wouldn't compete until his next world title match at SummerSlam.
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By Adam Testa | July 13, 2012
A disappointing trend has been developing in WWE in recent months. Rather than actually using television programs like Raw and Smackdown to build undercard matches for pay-per-views, the company has been announcing minimal matches and then having "surprise" contests on the monthly showcases. This strategy wouldn't be so bad if the surprise additions were matches of any consequence or interest. Instead, they wind up being standard-fare squash matches. just as fans see for free on weekly television.
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By Arda Ocal | April 27, 2012
In 1988, the Honky Tonk Man lost the Intercontinental title to the Ultimate Warrior in 31 seconds. Honky Tonk would never reach that level of success in the WWE again, while the Ultimate Warrior was catapulted into the main event, winning the WWE title less than two years later. In 2012, Daniel Bryan lost the World Heavyweight championship to Sheamus in 18 seconds. But the rest of this story isn't a repeat of the Honky Tonk Man in 1988. Instead, something completely different happened.
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The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2012
CM Punk has been on a campaign for respect. The on-screen character has lambasted WWE at every turn for giving priority treatment to other superstars instead of the reigning WWE champion. This week, though, it's hard to argue that Punk had the spotlight that a champion deserves. He was featured in the main event of Raw in a tag team match, was part of the centerpiece attraction of the debut episode of Main Event on Wednesday and main evented tonight's Smackdown in a match against Dolph Ziggler.
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By Aaron Oster | May 6, 2014
After Sunday night's pay-per-view, I had speculated that maybe Evolution was going to disband, just as quickly as the group reunited. On Monday's Raw, they showed me how wrong I was. To kick off the show -- and to get Dean Ambrose back for the loss Sunday night -- Triple H put him in a 20-man battle royal for his U.S. title, which he lost. If that wasn't enough, Triple H put the group in a match against the Wyatts in the main event. The two stables had another solid match, though not quite up to par as some of their past encounters.
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By Aaron Oster | February 24, 2014
Elimination Chamber was a strong pay-per-view top to bottom, which finished with an entertaining Chamber match, even if many fans didn't get the result they wanted. Randy Orton retained his title in a Chamber match with six strong competitors that all were allowed to shine at various times during the match. The match included some great spots, and some excellent storytelling, especially by the final two combatants: Orton and Daniel Bryan. The first three wrestlers eliminated were (in order)
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By Arda Ocal | July 22, 2013
To long-time pro wrestling fans, this headline is no shocking discovery. Even to the WWE Universe, which is once again being reminded, it feels all too familiar. Daniel Bryan is a mega star. Hitting home runs in every match lately, including three matches on RAW -- beating Jack Swagger and having a fantastic match with Antonio Cesaro, before winning by DQ against Ryback -- Bryan keeps reaffirming the notion of many fans who want to see him as WWE champion after Summerslam is over.
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By Arda Ocal | July 16, 2013
The first thing I saw when I pulled up to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando was a huge, professional-looking sign on the side of the building, signaling your welcome. "What a departure from typical wrestling schools," I thought, thinking back to schools that are often found in cheap rent commercial districts and almost always hard to find because no signs exist. This was obvious. There it was, in huge letters: "WWE Performance Center. " I knew I was in for something special. When I walked in the front door, I saw something that I believe has never existed in the pro wrestling industry: an enormous facility dedicated to the development of stars.
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By Arda Ocal | July 9, 2013
In a show that involved Vince and Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, a firing, several champions in action and multiple hype videos for a returning main event caliber Superstar, the two events that stood out involved three newcomers and an Internet darling. Let me start by saying this - I hope we see John Cena versus Daniel Bryan for the WWE title at Summerslam. I will repeat this statement in my WWE Money in the Bank predictions coming later in the week for The Baltimore Sun. Personally, I don't care how we get there - whether Daniel Bryan wins and cashes in, or gets the title match another way - I want this match to happen.
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By Arda Ocal | April 9, 2013
Everything that Wrestlemania wasn't, for the hardcore WWE fan, Raw was. It had twists, it had turns, and most of all, it had chants. Lots of chants. Chants never heard at a WWE event before. In fact, for much of Raw, the fans hijacked the show. It started with Dolph Ziggler. Fans were chanting for him throughout the show, until he appeared to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase, and the place went wild. Nobody sat down during the 2-3 minute match where Ziggler finally won the World Heavyweight title, with most fans in the audience having the opinion that he more than deserved it. It was a surreal moment ... a "WrestleMania moment," just the following day. Once fans got what they asked for with Ziggler, they turned their attention elsewhere.
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By Adam Testa | July 15, 2012
Money in the Bank is a pay-per-view that can help change the landscape of WWE for the remainder of the year. This year's installment featured two Money in the Bank ladder matches, two title matches and a number of additional unannounced matches. In the end, both champions retained their titles, and new -- yet familiar -- challengers have emerged. Here's a match-by-match look at the show: Pre-Show Match Tag Team Championship R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (c)
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By Adam Testa | February 10, 2012
This year's Road to WrestleMania feels like a construction zone. Momentum is stalled, speed is halted and the scenery doesn't seem to change. Despite all the negatives, the promise of a new, improved motorway lies ahead in the future. Coming off the heels of the Royal Rumble pay per view, Raw delivered a highly entertaining episode that seemed to kick the product into high gear. Unfortunately, WWE has been unable to continue that momentum, slowing things down with a decent Smackdown last week and sending them to a screeching halt with this week's programming . Monday's Raw was a letdown, and tonight's Smackdown, while not as bad, still failed to reignite interest as WWE moves toward Elimination Chamber and, ultimately, WrestleMania.
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By Arda Ocal | November 7, 2012
Let me start by saying this -- I want more WWE televised events to happen outside the U.S. Maybe that's not entirely true. Let me rephrase -- I want more WWE televised events where we hear reactions like the ones we heard this week. Both Raw (Monday) and Smackdown (Tuesday) were in Birmingham, England this week. The crowd was so good, that even on the second consecutive night of WWE action, the crowd reaction and party atmosphere rivalled many WWE crowds stateside. Many segments and matches felt even more special just because the Birmingham crowd was so vocal.
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By Adam Testa | October 15, 2012
After Vince McMahon gave CM Punk the ultimatum of John Cena or Ryback as his Hell in a Cell opponent last week, one of the fine people I follow on Twitter alluded to it being a choice between "the devil Punk knows and the devil he doesn't know. " On tonight's edition of Raw, Punk himself used those very words when addressing the crowd. It was a clever tie-in with the pay-per-view poster that depicts Punk as a devil himself. Punk's desire to toy with the crowd cost him, though, as Vince McMahon told him he was taking too long to decide, and that McMahon would make the choice for him later in the show.
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