TV taping experience

> Hi Scott
> Just wonderering, was it true that you actually attended a Smackdown taping in June 2005? Where Kurt Angle fought Booker T & Sharmell in a disturbing handicap match? If so, was it embarrassing to watch this match in person? Yeah and I was sitting right behind Michael Cole too.  I don't even remember that match, but I do remember Taber Corn chants and Holly-Gunn v someone in a tag team 30 minute Iron Man match.  Not a great show.

Wrestlemania Experience

Hey Scott, been a big fan for a long time. I live 2 miles from the Meadowlands, so figured going to one of the Axxess events and WrestleMania was too good to pass up, and figured I’d give you some info on what went down. I went to the Saturday 1:00 Axxess event at the Izod Center, and got VIP tickets for a Randy Orton meet and greet (I’m an Orton mark, sue me). We got there and took a walk around the concourse and they had some cool exhibits – a bunch of title belts on display, an opportunity to climp the Money in the Bank ladder with a cardboard cutout Dolph Ziggler, HHH was the first VIP signee from 1-2:30, so we waited in the crowd and they interviewed Jerry Lawler and watched some matches (mostly NXT wrestlers and divas) until it was time to line up to meet Orton at 2:30. When it was time to meet Orton, he signed an 8×10, shook his head, said hello and good luck, and got a pic with him. He was friendly enough and showed genuine appreciation (at least as much as you can while signing autographs for 300 people).
Afterwards we got a tour of Raw behind the scenes, and Sgt Slaughter was there to greet us on the set of where they normally interview people. He was friendly and was actually talking to a US army member in front of us, which was pretty cool. We got to see Vince’s actual office, the “office” backstage area that they use to film backstage segments, the men’s locker room, seamstress room, and makeup room. At the end we got to visit the gorilla position and got to take a picture on and walk down the Raw ramp (they set up a lot of stuff since Raw is taking place there on Monday anyway). There was about an hour left, which included more matches, and then CM Punk and Paul Heyman came out (dressed in suits, obviously on their way to the Hall of Fame right when this was finished). They talked some smack to some girl on some guy’s shoulders giving them the finger, and kept referencing to her during their 15-20 minutes out there. It was your basic Q & A session, but you can tell they really enjoyed it. The afternoon ended with a Heath Slater VS R-Truth match. The next day was Wrestlemania. We got to our seats around 5:30, with the pre-show starting at 6. Right away there was a large “Cena sucks” chant. Our seats were in section 233, which wasn’t bad, except one of the giant pillars holding up the Statue of Liberty above the ring was directly in my line of sight of the middle of the ring, so I found myself looking up at the video screen a majority of the night. $240 to watch on a giant video screen! Pre-show was pretty boring, until the IC title match, which was also pretty boring, but at least it was a match. The opening was pretty strange with no “America The Beautiful”, and the 6 man tag match started things off. Sheamus got a decent pop, Orton’s pop was one of the biggest of the night, and The Shield winning also got a pretty big reaction. Ryback/Henry was whatever. Bryan got probably the biggest pop of the night after the match doing his “YES!” chant. Jericho got a big pop, Fandango got a bunch of “you can’t wrestle” chants until the match actually started. Next was P. Diddy and everyone in my section was booing him hard. The biggest reaction during Del Rio/Swagger was a loud “We want Ziggler!” chant. Otherwise, the match was pretty heatless. When Del Rio detained and we realized Ziggler wasn’t cashing in, there was booing. We had heard a rumor that Living Colour was going to be playing CM Punk down to the ring since they were playing the Irving Plaza the night before, and it was awesome. Punk easily was the most over wrestler the entire night and got the biggest pop based on his entrance. The Undertaker entrance, especially at a Wrestlemania, is awesome to experience live. Easily this was the match of the night, as I knew Taker would win, but they even had me expressing some doubt at the outcome, which is really all you can ask for an Undertaker match at Wrestlemania. HHH vs Brock was HEATLESS. I mean, you could hear a pin drop during the first 15 minutes of that match. Clearly they should have just kept the 8 man mixed tag, even if for a 30 second match, because the crowd was nowhere near ready for this one. Especially since everyone knew HHH would win, there were some loud “boring” chants. The crowd started getting into it a little more once Brock F-5’ed HBK, but otherwise we couldn’t care less about it. The entrances were more interesting than the match. They introduced the Hall of Fame class, and then literally 10 seconds later, Cena’s music hit to massive boos. I was expecting a video package beforehand, but I mean we did get a video package hyping it in between every other match on the card, so at least they did us that favor. Rock came out and was the clear face, at least based on entrances.  The match was great to experience live, and based on that I felt it was better than last year’s match. However, not sure how it played out on TV. Cena won, and once again, boos rained down on Cena. Cena and Rock shook hands to even more boos, and then show’s over.
Overall I had a good time, as Wrestlemania was something I always wanted to experience live. I included some pictures, not sure if you can post them in the blog but if you can, feel free. Just felt I would share my experience being there.Inline image 1Inline image 2Inline image 3Inline image 4Inline image 5Inline image 6Inline image 7Inline image 8

The Only Review of the John Cena Experience Blu-Ray That You’ll Ever Need

not much to be said about John Cena that hasn’t been said before. He’s
literally been the top guy in the company for 8 years, and honestly, there’s no
end in sight. While we’re all sick of his act, there’s one thing you can’t
deny; he’s one hell of a stand-up guy and a great wrestler. I truly wish he was
around when I was a kid so I had a proper hero. There was a good year when I
was bullied a lot, and I can honestly say if I was watching John Cena, I
wouldn’t have let them push me around like they had. So, while we all scream
for him to turn heel, I can clearly understand why he hasn’t yet. I mean, who
wouldn’t mind sleeping on top of a pile of money surrounded by many beautiful
The documentary isn’t your standard, as that was all covered in
his previous release, My Life. This time around we follow John around while he
gets ready for WM 26. It’s actually a pretty interesting documentary, and
something I hope they follow up with for other superstars. As you may know, I
don’t dwell on the documentary portions of these releases, because people
simply want to know if it’s good or not, and then skip down to the match
reviews. So, without further ado:

John Cena vs. Kurt Angle – No Way Out – February 20, 2005

It’s ridiculous how much cooler John was back then than he is
now. Although that whole Ruck Fules thing was rather stupid. Match starts off
with Kurt working the arm and neck. Cena soon grows tired of that and gets
aggressive, which works until Kurt suplexes him into the turnbuckle. I always
loved moves like that, especially the powerbomb one they had in WrestleMania
2000. The start was a bit slow, but after that the match really started picking
up, and by the end they’re putting on an f’ning show.

Cena delivers the FU to Angle and grabs the pin at 19:21 |

John Cena [C] vs. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels – Taboo Tuesday
– November 1, 2005 – WWE Championship
This match is ridiculously fast and detailed. A lot of Triple Threat matches,
especially in WWE, it’s one guy is down, 2 guys fight, and so forth. But almost
from the get go, all three men are in the ring with an obscene amount of
reversals, chain-movements, and almost Hollywood-esque choreography. Once it
does get to the usual way of doing things, it’s no complaints, as any combo of
these 3 wrestlers is great. A shame it didn’t headline a more serious PPV or
was given more time. Good stuff.
John delivers the FU to Shawn for the pin at 16:42 | ***1/2

John Cena vs. Edge [C] – Royal Rumble – January 29, 2006 – WWE

John gets his own entrance ramp that’s equipped with confetti
cannons, just like the one’s real gangbangers use. There isn’t much to say
about this match, as it’s a pretty average Cena-Edge match that will fit nicely
among the thousands of others they’ve had, but nothing that helps it stand out.

Edge taps out to the STFU at 14:02 | ***1/4

John Cena vs. Edge – Tribute To The Troops – December 25, 2006

Speaking of the thousands, it’s an average TV match that would
make for a fine main event any Monday night, but I wouldn’t call it DVD worthy.

eats an FU and pin at 7:32 | ***

John Cena & Shawn Michaels [C] vs. Rated RKO – RAW –
February 26, 2007 – WWE Tag Team Championship

For some reason it seemed that during the entire run of Rated
RKO they wanted to focus on the two not trusting each other, which was
something I never understood. The main reason why is because they’re a solid
tag-team, and one that you could truly believe stood a chance against guys like
Cena & Michaels, or DX. Great match with everyone doing their part, and
Rated RKO making sure without a shadow of a doubt that they could take the
titles from the WM23 Main Event Tag-Team. They didn’t, but at least there was
the possibility.

Orton eats a Superkick & FU after about 13 minutes | ***1/2

John Cena [C] vs. The Great Khali – One Night Stand – June 3,
2007 – Falls Count Anywhere for the WWE Championship

This was a small window of time that was pure crap for the WWE.
We’d just come off a great WM with number 23 and the Backlash that followed.
Now we enter the time when Khali was main eventing, and Vince was the ECW
champion. This is hands-down Khali’s best match, and it’s no surprise that Cena
is the one to get it done. They were smart by not keeping it in the ring, and
constantly having John be chased while trying to use whatever he could find to
take down Khali. The Super-FU was great, and a perfect way to serve up the Punjabi
Playboy’s first pin-fall loss. 
Khali takes a Super-FU and a pin at 10:31 | ***

John Cena [C] vs. Bobby Lashley – Great American Bash – July 22,
2007 – WWE Championship

Lashley got the upper hand on John from the get-go with his
knowledge of amateur wrestling, and then once things picked up, he kept his
momentum with a number of power moves. Great moment where Lashley goes for the
spear, only to have Cena turn it into the STFU in the middle of the ring,
forcing Bobby to literally crawl the entire length with Cena on his back until
he hit the ropes. A great outing for a rookie like Lashley, as Cena helped him
look like a million bucks, and there was no shame in his loss. Good stuff,
Lashley takes a top rope FU, then gets pinned at 14:52 | ***1/2

John Cena [C] vs. Randy Orton – SummerSlam – August 26, 2007 –
WWE Championship

2007 Orton was on a tear. He had great run with Rated RKO,
including some matches against Edge, he then had this great one against Cena,
followed by winning the title in an awesome LMS in September. He held his own
against Shawn at Cyber Sunday, and followed that up with a fantastic match
against HBK at Survivor Series of that year. At the beginning you have a
feeling that Orton isn’t really a threat. He appears too young, he’s smaller
and over-tanned, but then he just lets loose and dismantles Cena, proving he’s
not just a threat, he’s a guarantee. Orton has won titles before, and even
though he lost here, tonight was the night he proved without a doubt that he
belonged at the top rung.

Cena catches Orton with an FU and pin at 21:19 | ****

John Cena vs. Triple H [C] – Night of Champions – June 29, 2008
– WWE Championship

Cena loses, then Triple H takes the belt over to Smackdown.
Geez, Triple H looks like he’s been using deck-stainer as a self-tanner. The
match tells a great story with Cena having a lackluster 2008 so far, and
wanting to bring the title home to Raw. However, Triple H has his number for
most of the match, constantly cutting off his momentum gains, while avoiding
any big guns from Cena’s arsenal. After a clean defeat, Cena’s 2008 continued
to falter. 
Triple H hits the Pedigree & pins Cena at 19:37 | ****

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels – Raw – January 26, 2009

This was during the time that Shawn Michaels was under the
employ of JBL. The angle was pretty decent, but could have been a lot better if
their blow-off match wasn’t *1/2. I remember tuning in specifically for this
match because of the last 2 encounters these guys had. Unfortunately, this one
doesn’t hold a candle towards its predecessors. The focus of the match is more
about HBK & JBL than it is HBK & Cena. Where the other 2 matches felt
like each guy was fighting for his life, this one felt more like they were just
wrestling a main event on Raw. Bit of a let-down.

Cena hits the FU & pins Michaels at 13:09 | ***

John Cena vs. Jack Swagger – Raw – April 13th, 2009

The winner gets the show they represent two picks for the draft.
I really expected this to be a major squash, instead, Swagger hangs on for
quite a while, and even handles himself really well. With this, and the
fantastic match he had with Christian at Backlash 2009, I would have thought it
would earn him a lot more than a Ronnie Garvin title run. Watching this reminds
me of something I read in The Death of WCW. Eric Bischoff was doing an online
chat and someone asked why Nitro always looks the same. Bischoff responded by
saying that everything across the board was up, so yeah, they must be doing
something wrong. This Raw is almost 4 years ago, and not only does it look
exactly the same, it sounds and feels exactly the same as it does now. They
need to freshen things up drastically, and soon. As for the match, great stuff
that had Swagger looking like a million bucks. Something like this would have
made a lot more sense the Raw before Elimination Chamber. 
Swagger taps out to the STFU at 8:18 | ***1/4

John Cena vs. Big Show – Judgment Day – May 17, 2009

There’s really nothing to say about this match. Big Show does the whole “I’m
super mean, and super mad, and you can’t hurt me” deal, as he squashes Cena for
most of the match. Then we have flashes of Cena putting the hurt on Show, and
the announcers do the “Oh snaps! He can be hurt! But we know John can never do
the FU! EVER.” despite Cena not only doing it to him, but doing it while Edge
was on his fucking back only 2 months prior. Why include this instead of the
insanely more entertaining LMS match with Edge from Backlash is beyond me.

Cena hits the FU and pins Show at 14:57 | *

John Cena vs. The Miz – Raw – June 29, 2009

This is a pretty typical Raw main event, with nothing too
spectacular to speak of, except the fact that Miz is dressed like a go-go dancer.
Thankfully it’s better than their WM match, but that isn’t saying much.

Miz taps out to the STFU at 10:40 | **

John Cena [C] vs. Shawn Michaels vs. HHH – Survivor Series –
November 22, 2009

Fantastic beginning as Shawn superkicks HHH right out of the
ring. After Cena & Shawn do their part for a while, there’s a brilliant
spot where Triple H saves Shawn from an FU Through a table, so he can put him
through it with a spinebuster. Awesome. They all trade off in combos, and each
portion is just as good as the last. This really is a hell of a match, and
probably the most creative triple threat I’ve ever seen. Insanely entertaining
with a hell of a finish.

Triple H eats a Superkick, and then Cena gives Shawn the FU,
landing on Hunter, allowing Cena to pin HHH at 21:13 | ****1/2
Blu Ray Exclusives:

John Cena [C] vs. Chris Jericho – Tribute To The Troops –
December 19, 2009 – WWE Championship
Nothing to report, really. I don’t know why they included this
one instead of their gem from the 2008 Survivor Series. They trade a few moves,
Jericho leaps from the top rope, Cena catches, rolls, FU, end of story.

Jericho eats an FU and a pin at 7:53 | **

John Cena vs. Batista [C] – WrestleMania XXVI – March 28, 2010 –
WWE Championship

The entrance stage for WM 26 is absolutely ridiculous. Batista
is a savage and is out to do nothing but hurt, these intentions are displayed
clearly while he does things like a running clothesline to the back of Cena’s
head, and a DDT that has John in clear pain after trying an FU. Cena responds
perfectly by refusing to break the STFU once Batista hits the ropes, or hitting
him with a top rope 5 Knuckle Shuffle. These two just work great together.
Nothing flashy, nothing detailed. Just two guys trying to break each other’s
bones. Cena proves why he’s the man as he poses and smiles with the people in
the front row who have home-made Cena Sucks t-shirts.

Batista taps to the STFU at 13:31 | ****1/2

Showcase Showdown: One hell of a set. The documentary portion
was really interesting, and something completely different from what’s come
before. I’d like to see more like this, honestly. I tell you what, after my
first round of signing 3,000 autographs in one session, I’d change my name to a
The match selection is great, and gives you a pretty good variety as far as
opponents are concerned. Of course, there are some major omissions, (I Quit
with JBL, TLC with Edge, WM23 & Raw against Shawn) but the first 2 on that
list were on Cena’s My Life DVD, and the Raw match can be found on Heartbreak
& Triumph. There’s still a ton of matches for future releases; his Survivor
Series match against Jericho, the triple threat from Backlash 2005, the two
four-man matches from Backlash 2007 & Backlash 2008, and the list goes on
and on. Because at the end of the day, we may be sick of his character, but he
always delivers in the ring. Definitely a set worth picking up.
As always, props to my editor, Steven Ferrari. I met him while I was battling Toka & Razor. They threw me through a wall and there was Steven, performing on stage. 
I’ve got more work at…
Str8 Gangster, No Chaser
– recently updated with new reviews for Taken 2, The Last Stand, Bullet To The Head, and Good Day To Die Hard, Saved By The Bell Archives article, and Comic
Book Films You Didn’t Know Were Comic Book Films.
WCW In 2000 – Recently updated with Great American Bash 2000, which is home to the most shocking, and Earth shattering turn in history.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1
– My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as
well as some fellow BOD’ers. Constant 5 star reviews on amazon.

Any questions, mailbag, or requests, let me know in the comments or hit me up at [email protected]

– Caliber Winfield

Scotsman’s Mick Foley Experience

Hey Scott,
Here's my trip report – feel free to share on your blog 🙂

Someday Wrestlemania will come to Saskatoon, and then I too will get to go, and have the last laugh!  Granted I'll probably be 92 when it happens, but I'm patient!  Until then, I'll just be over here, being jealous.