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By Arda Ocal and The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
CM Punk has held the WWE championship for 339 days. On Sunday at WWE's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, where CM Punk meets Ryback for the WWE championship in the Cell, Punk will have held the gold for 343 days. While it's easy to look into the future, including a tantalizing possible matchup with The Rock and what many would hope to be a headlining bout at WrestleMania 29, CM Punk is doing anything but that, focusing primarily on his opponent Sunday. “I'm glad [I'm facing Ryback]
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By Arda Ocal | December 5, 2013
After decades of terrorizing enemies in the ring (and a famous stint becoming one himself), Robert Remus, better known to fans as Sgt. Slaughter, is a public ambassador for WWE. He can be seen on many nights representing the company at charity events and at local independent wrestling events. "Part of my job is to send new talent [to WWE]", Slaughter, 65, said in a phone interview on Tuesday promoting WWE's latest DVD releases ("RAW 20th Anniversary Collection" and "The History of WWE: 50 Years of Sports Entertainment")
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By Arda Ocal | November 19, 2012
It was the perfect final tableau for all players involved in the WWE championship triple threat match at Survivor Series.  CM Punk retained the title over Ryback and John Cena. Ryback, the massive monster on the rise, isn't hurt by not winning this match. The fact that he wasn't pinned preserves him as a credible threat. The NXT trio of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and current champion Seth Rollins, all dressed in black, attacked Ryback and sent him through a table. This is beneficial because it adds an element of mystery (Why did they attack?
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By Arda Ocal | February 12, 2013
WWE "go home" shows always seem to be the most scrutinized. Often, pundits will cast away the past several weeks of television and focus most on the last Raw before a pay-per-view event, often with the same question -- did this show make me interested in buying the pay-per-view? While it's a fair question, perhaps its a skewed way to look at it when you are analyzing just one isolated show -- in particular, the closing moments of that show. If we were to do that for this past episode of Raw, then the closing segment did a very good job of creating interest and generating buys for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view coming this Sunday.
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By Adam Testa | April 16, 2012
Fan criticism has apparently become the kryptonite to WWE's "Super Cena. " For the past several years, fans have been critical of the creative team's treatment of John Cena. Some fans have misdirected their gripes toward Cena himself, but he wasn't the one making booking decisions. No matter who the decision makers were, the facts were clear: Cena was not losing often, and when he did, it was rarely in clean fashion. But since WrestleMania, something has changed. WWE now seems to be taking Cena's character the opposite direction, pushing him into the corner and not giving him any breaks.
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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 Adam Testa | August 20, 2012
"Whether you like it or you hate it, you'd better start to respect it. " Those were the (paraphrased) words of WWE Champion CM Punk on tonight's edition of Monday Night Raw, hot off the heels of a controversial finish to his match at SummerSlam. Many have complained and said that the Punk heel turn has fallen flat on its face, but the thing is, it's not clear whether or not Punk has actually turned into a villain. What has Punk done lately that is overtly heelish? More than anything, he's almost transcended the traditional babyface-heel lines to simply be CM Punk.
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By Arda Ocal | February 12, 2013
WWE "go home" shows always seem to be the most scrutinized. Often, pundits will cast away the past several weeks of television and focus most on the last Raw before a pay-per-view event, often with the same question -- did this show make me interested in buying the pay-per-view? While it's a fair question, perhaps its a skewed way to look at it when you are analyzing just one isolated show -- in particular, the closing moments of that show. If we were to do that for this past episode of Raw, then the closing segment did a very good job of creating interest and generating buys for the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view coming this Sunday.
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By Adam Testa | March 30, 2012
WrestleMania has grown to be more than just a pay-per-view. For years, the event has been the biggest of the year for not only WWE, but the world of professional wrestling. No event could come close to matching the magnitude of this spectacle. But, as the years have gone on, WrestleMania has become more than one show. It's become a week-long celebration of all things professional wrestling. Throughout this week, WWE superstars and officials have participated in a number of events, many of them supporting charity.
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By Arda Ocal | December 5, 2013
After decades of terrorizing enemies in the ring (and a famous stint becoming one himself), Robert Remus, better known to fans as Sgt. Slaughter, is a public ambassador for WWE. He can be seen on many nights representing the company at charity events and at local independent wrestling events. "Part of my job is to send new talent [to WWE]", Slaughter, 65, said in a phone interview on Tuesday promoting WWE's latest DVD releases ("RAW 20th Anniversary Collection" and "The History of WWE: 50 Years of Sports Entertainment")
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | November 19, 2012
It was the perfect final tableau for all players involved in the WWE championship triple threat match at Survivor Series.  CM Punk retained the title over Ryback and John Cena. Ryback, the massive monster on the rise, isn't hurt by not winning this match. The fact that he wasn't pinned preserves him as a credible threat. The NXT trio of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and current champion Seth Rollins, all dressed in black, attacked Ryback and sent him through a table. This is beneficial because it adds an element of mystery (Why did they attack?
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By Adam Testa | October 30, 2012
CM Punk's path has taken an unexpected turn. Many wondered where the champion would go after retaining his WWE Championship against Ryback at Sunday night's Hell in a Cell. The million-dollar question was answered in the opening segment of Raw, but it was an answer as unexpected as the conclusion of Sunday night's pay-per-view. Punk denied having any knowledge of referee Brad Maddox's plans for the evening, suggesting he did it to make it up to Punk for screwing him in a tag team match against John Cena several months ago. (Yay continuity!
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By Adam Testa | October 26, 2012
There isn't much about the problems created by the brand split, or lack thereof, that hasn't been said. But as preparing for Sunday's Hell in a Cell, there have been a lot of theories floating around, and one of the prevalent ones has left me shaking my head. It doesn't directly relate to tonight's Smackdown, but it highlights one of the problems of the not-really-split split brands. Dolph Ziggler's Money in the Bank contract allows him a World Heavyweight Championship match at the time of his choosing.
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By Arda Ocal | October 25, 2012
Dolph Ziggler is ready for Hell in a Cell this Sunday, for many reasons. He's ready to steal the show, despite not having an official match on the card. He's ready to dispose of his Money in the Bank briefcase. He's ready to become World Heavyweight Champion. In fact, he is so confident that his time has come, he gave me an exclusive: his first comments as World Heavyweight champion ... before actually winning the title. "I would like to say that I owe a lot of people and that hard work paid off, that nice guys eventually get their shot, but I'm not going to say any of that stuff," boasted Ziggler in a phone interview Thursday.
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By Arda Ocal and The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
CM Punk has held the WWE championship for 339 days. On Sunday at WWE's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, where CM Punk meets Ryback for the WWE championship in the Cell, Punk will have held the gold for 343 days. While it's easy to look into the future, including a tantalizing possible matchup with The Rock and what many would hope to be a headlining bout at WrestleMania 29, CM Punk is doing anything but that, focusing primarily on his opponent Sunday. “I'm glad [I'm facing Ryback]
SPORTS
By Adam Testa | August 20, 2012
"Whether you like it or you hate it, you'd better start to respect it. " Those were the (paraphrased) words of WWE Champion CM Punk on tonight's edition of Monday Night Raw, hot off the heels of a controversial finish to his match at SummerSlam. Many have complained and said that the Punk heel turn has fallen flat on its face, but the thing is, it's not clear whether or not Punk has actually turned into a villain. What has Punk done lately that is overtly heelish? More than anything, he's almost transcended the traditional babyface-heel lines to simply be CM Punk.
SPORTS
By Adam Testa | October 26, 2012
There isn't much about the problems created by the brand split, or lack thereof, that hasn't been said. But as preparing for Sunday's Hell in a Cell, there have been a lot of theories floating around, and one of the prevalent ones has left me shaking my head. It doesn't directly relate to tonight's Smackdown, but it highlights one of the problems of the not-really-split split brands. Dolph Ziggler's Money in the Bank contract allows him a World Heavyweight Championship match at the time of his choosing.
SPORTS
By Arda Ocal | October 25, 2012
Dolph Ziggler is ready for Hell in a Cell this Sunday, for many reasons. He's ready to steal the show, despite not having an official match on the card. He's ready to dispose of his Money in the Bank briefcase. He's ready to become World Heavyweight Champion. In fact, he is so confident that his time has come, he gave me an exclusive: his first comments as World Heavyweight champion ... before actually winning the title. "I would like to say that I owe a lot of people and that hard work paid off, that nice guys eventually get their shot, but I'm not going to say any of that stuff," boasted Ziggler in a phone interview Thursday.
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By Adam Testa | June 1, 2012
WWE Championship defenses are a rarity on Smackdown. In the promotional build to CM Punk defending the title against Kane in the main event, WWE advertised it has been four years since it last happened. That alone made tonight's Smackdown feel special. Add to that the well-hyped return of Sin Cara, and it seemed apparent WWE actually cared about getting people to watch the blue brand this week. The result of that main event, though, will be a source of consternation among wrestling fans and Internet-writing purists.
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By Arda Ocal | May 17, 2012
WWE.com recently released its list of the top 25 Intercontinental champions of all time. All the greats are listed: Chris Jericho, Honky Tonk Man, Mr. Perfect and No. 1, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who in my opinion is the perfect example of someone that exemplifies what the IC title used to mean -- the slow but steady springboard to the main-event level. In October of 2011 I wrote a piece about the value of the Intercontinental title with regard to several superstars' careers, including breaking down how many title changes occurred each year and what percentage of IC champs went on to world-title prominence.
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