Your favourite WWE PPV opening matches?


Hi Scott,

 We all know the opening match is exceptionally important for setting the tone of the night and getting the crowd all hyped up. Matches like HHH vs. Dude Love at One Night Stand 1997, Lance Storm vs. Edge at Summerslam 2001, HHH vs. Daniel Bryan at WM30 and Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart at WM10 really stand out as being exceptional and standing the test of time. Do you have any opening matches which are your favourites or any opening matches you feel genuinely helped pump the crowd up for the rest of the card?
Bret v. Owen is of course the most obvious, but WCW made it into an artform with the Cruiserweight era.  Rey v. Psicosis at Superbrawl II was arguably the greatest opening match of all time, and even 4 years earlier Pillman v. Liger pretty much nailed the Best Match award in the opener of Superbrawl II.  I'd also give an honorable mention to Jericho v. Raven at Havoc 98.  
I feel like one of the biggest disappointments in openers was Barely Legal, in that they should have put their strongest foot forward right away, and Eliminators v. Dudleys was just not that great.  I think they almost should have opened with the three-way and then built to Funk's title shot as the main event instead of the rushed finish we got.  

QOTD #53: Opening Theme Music

Today’s Question: Completely random, and I’m pretty sure one that hasn’t been done already…..Of all of the wrestling TV shows in the history of the business, Which company/territory’s opening TV show theme/credits got you most excited to watch their TV show?


Yesterday’s Question: Who would you put on your Mt. Rushmore of all time wrestling managers?


damaverickridesagain:
Okay now, are we talking different styles for managers? If so good because thats how i would built my mount rushmore
for the WWF -no one did it better with tag teams than Captain Lou Albano or Heenan for his work in two promotions (AWA and WWF).
for one stable and the WCW/NWA: its got to be JJ Dillion- the horsemen would be the prototype for every super stable since, although I will concede and admit that Paul heyman could give JJ a run for his money
For women managers and one of the best jobs of promotion of one client, lets give a spot to Elizabeth. Some nansayers are going to say Savage managed himself but I think Liz was brilliant in her WWF run eliciting sympathy while driving male fans to want to defend her against her lunatic of a boyfriend/husband. Runner up has to go to Jim Cornette for taking the midnight express team (all of versions except WWF) to the top and making them more than a team named after a 80s movie
Last how about a manager that was a former wrestler, for this I would say Freddie Blassie, the dude legitimately scared me as a kid with his promos.


A lot of thought into it….Capt. Lou, Liz, Cornette and Blassie…I think this may be the only person who didnt mention Bobby Heenan

parallax1978: Heenan, Heyman, Bearer, Blassie

4 of the best…..thats for sure

BooBoo1782:
Heenan: The best, without question, although if there were a question, it would be how much his commentary work influences our perception of Heenan as a manager. To me, the classic memory of Heenan is him tossing out some completely ridiculous comment and an annoyed Gorilla saying, “WILL YOU STOP?” That having been said, he was never afraid to show ass when the story dictated it – from the Warrior right on down to the Red Rooster – and he was a great mouthpiece for guys who weren’t great talkers on their own (Andre being the most obvious example. The other thing about Heenan was that even when he was paired up with a good promo guy – Perfect and Flair come to mind here – he was able to contribute without getting in the way.

Cornette: I’m a bigger fan of Cornette when he’s shooting, but the fact remains that his fiery Southern preacher style, loud outfits, and goofy mannerisms made him a blast to watch.

Heyman: The Dangerous Alliance is one of my favorite things that WCW ever did. His promos during the Invasion were one of the only good thing about the whole shebang. And of course, his current WWE run has been wonderful to watch.

Jimmy Hart: The megaphone, the rapid-fire speech, those airbrushed jackets…you wanted to see him get clobbered, and that’s the defining characteristic of a successful heel manager.

Devin Harris:
Dillon – He was an actual manager. He didn’t order the Horsemen around, he just took care of their business affairs. That’s what an actual manager is supposed to do. He did it the best making sure they got the best deals and the best spots on the card.

Heenan- He was more like a pimp than a manager cause he bossed all his clients around. He never managed a world champion so points are deducted. Some of you will want to count Andre but I don’t. I want to say he was terrible at his job but he at least got his guys title shots.

Cornette – Points deducted for being bankrolled by his mama but he took all three versions of the Express to the tag titles. Points deducted for never managing a singles champion. Yoko doesn’t count. That was Fuji.

Race – Managed two world champions that had pretty long (for the time) title reigns. He did what a manager is supposed to do. He retired on top, unlike his in-ring career. Guy learns fast.

I think someone mentioned it on the blog, but Heenan managing Nick Bockwinkel as AWA Champion for 5 years has to count

Extant1979:
Most evil Mount Rushmore ever – Paul Heyman, Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji and JJ Dillon. The image must, however, have Virgil standing behind them all as the bodyguard to the stars.

kbjone:
Old School: Grand Wizard (or Eddie Creatchman)
WWF: Heenan (or Jimmy Hart)
NWA/WCW: Cornette (or J.J. Dillon)
Other: Gary Hart (or Paul Heyman)

The Fuj:
MR. FUCKING FUJI!

Seriously

Right now.

Bobby Davis, Paul Heyman, Bobby Heenan, Jim Cornette

Darren X:
Jim Cornette – The greatest manager of all-time. He took a surefire gimmick (momma’s boy/wimp/rich kid who could fight his way out of a wet paper bag) and ran with it
Bobby Heenan – The most talented overall of the managers, in that he could work damn good as well, and sell like nobody’s business
Gary Hart – The ultimate shady, cut-throat mafioso type manager
Paul E. Dangerously – So would this make me a Paul Heyman guy? Seriously, his work the last 2 1/2 years with CM Punk and Brock Lesnar has pretty much cemented his legacy. Tough to leave off Paul Ellering, Bill Alfonso, Jimmy Hart, and a few others, but there’s my four.


The blog is on hiatus for a couple of days (I have to be in a wedding) but I will be back with a new topic on Monday

Opening segment

If you think this question is stupid, you can refrain from posting it to the blog, but:

You weren't a fan of all the guys in the MITB ladder match coming out to talk about the match at the beginning.  All you could say about it was it was long.  But isn't "hyping up the PPV match" basic booking 101?  You had everyone in the match, all saying they'd win, then they started getting feisty with each other.  It makes people want to see what'll happen when they go full-bore at the PPV.

Is it because you're not interested in the match, or because it wasn't concise, or what?  What wasn't working about it?

Andy PG

I

f we started worrying about stupid questions on the blog then we'd be down to 1 post per day.  
The issue was that:
a)  It was too long.

b)  It didn't have a point that it was building towards, given that everyone just sort of walked off.
c)  Half the guys were doing bad comedy and the other half were doing intense badass and I had no idea what the tone of thing was supposed to be.  PPV hype or ironic comment on PPV hype?  I don't think Punk even knows anymore.  

d)  I just have no idea what's going on with Daniel Bryan right now because he's not likeable at all.  He's becoming the loudmouthed little overcompensating creep that you just want to shut up at this point.  

e)  RVD wasn't even there.
f)  The speeches just stalled and meandered and didn't build off each other, and basically yes, it was just too long.

Best raw opening and matches


Scott,
Long time fan of course. This might make for interesting blog fodder this weekend before the 1,000th show, some dude ranked the top raw openings of all time, he included way too many versions of the same song which makes it a long list but really cool to look back on:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1264513-wwe-monday-night-raw-ranking-the-shows-theme-songs-opening-montages
Also, off the top of your head and in the spirit of nostalgia…Would you attempt to do a TOP 5 Raw matches of all time?
Thanks for making my days at work go by quicker with your blog.


Off the top of my head?

1.  Bulldog v. Owen, March 97.
2.  Benoit/Jericho v. Austin/HHH, May 2001.
3.  HHH v. Shawn, December 2003
4.  Benoit v. Michaels, May (?) 2004.  The Phoenix match.
5.  The 10 man.  You know the one.  

Wrestlemania Opening & Main Event: Wrestlemania XXVII

Wrestlemania Opening and Main Event: Wrestlemania XXVII

Before we start with the new project we must continue with the old one. Luckily the “main events” opened and closed the show so I kill two birds with one stone.

Overall I don’t think this card will be remembered as one of the better ones. There was a terrific Punk-Orton match that most people will agree on. The Michael Cole stuff was fine until he actually went over. More or less I find that the people who like the card thought Undertaker-HHH was great and the ones that didn’t like the match didn’t like the card.

Wrestlemania XXVII: The Biggest Wrestlemania Ever
From The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Hosted by Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews

World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio

Who is that in Alberto Del Rio’s corner? No not Ricardo Rodriguez that other guy. What’s his name? Brodus Clay or something? I think I’ve heard of him. Christian is in Edge’s corner to even the odds.

These guys start off with the fistacuffs and Edge gets a back body drop but Del Rio goes right to work on the arm that he injured during a previous episode of SmackDown. Edge, however, rallies and sends Del Rio over the top. He goes for the baseball slide but Del Rio moves out of the way and sends Edge, arm first, into the ring barricade. He rams the arm into the ring steps and gets back in the ring for two. Del Rio goes to a wear down hold, a single-arm crucifix and when Edge fights back Del Rio casually grabs his hair and pulls it down. Del Rio with more pretty unique moves to work on the arm along with some basic ones and he gets another near fall. Del Rio with a hammerlock now, a standing hammerlock. Edge tries to rally but eats a knee. Del Rio goes for a kill shot but Edge moves and the challenger goes flying to the floor. Edge busts out the somersault dive to the floor (!!). Edge goes to the top but Del Rio meets him there and gives him a top-rope armdrag for two. Back to the arm but Del Rio lets up and Edge hits a leg lariat.

Del Rio charges again and eats a high boot but Edge can’t capitalize. Both men back up and Edge with two clotheslines and a face buster. Del Rio, however, fight backs with a code breaker of sorts to the arm. That was cool. Cross arm breaker is countered with the Edge-u-cation for two. Del Rio misses a corner charge and rolls up Del Rio but the challenger reverses and gets the cross arm breaker. Edge gets to the ropes. Edge strategically gets to the ring apron and executes a hangman on Del Rio. Edge goes to the top slowly and gets caught but Del Rio’s running climbing front kick for two. Christian and Clay get into it on the floor and Clay hits the “suplex baby” to Christian which distracts Del Rio long enough for Edge to get a roll up for two. Edge with the Edge-u-cution for two. Edge goes for the spear but Del Rio side steps and Clay sends Edge, arm first into the ring post. Cross arm breaker but Edge counters with a rollup for two. Sharpshooter by Edge and on the floor Christian hits a spinning DDT to eliminate Clay. Del Rio escapes the sharpshooter but Edge hits the spear for the pinfall!

(Edge def. Del Rio, pinfall, ***3/4, I really dug this one as Del Rio’s single-minded focus on the arm against Edge’s determination told a great story. Sadly it would be the last in-ring appearance of the Rated R Superstar as a major neck injury forced him to retire. I think his Wrestlemania record is around 10-3 and he was a hell of a big-match performer.)

And the finale.

WWE Heavyweight Championship: The Miz vs. John Cena

The build for this match centered much more around Cena and The Rock and they had to really amp up the Miz in the final couple of weeks to remind people that this was the match. By then I thought it was too little too late and they needed to pull some sort of an audible. A lot of people disagree but that’s fine.

Anyway Miz’s pre-introduction was an amazing vignette done to the tune of “Hate Me Now” by Nas. Naturally when the guys in Stamford want to put together the theatrics they can do it like few others. Miz upsets me by entering the ring first. He shouldn’t enter the ring first, he’s the fucking champion, and this isn’t a hard rule to obey. Cena’s video, done with “The Prayer” by DMX wasn’t as good but the choir entrance was pretty strong. I’m hoping they don’t give Cena something too over the top this year since I’m expecting the boobirds to rain down on him pretty hard.

They do a good bit of stalling to get this sucker started and then go into basic wrestling mode with Cena landing the first real blow – a hip toss. They reset and Cena gets a headlock but Miz corners him and lays in a few shots, mostly stomps. Miz with a corner whip and he follows it with his hanging clothesline. More punching as Cena is trying a little too hard with the selling. Cena rallies with a gut wrench bomb and gets two but they are moving at a pace that would make you think they were in there for 20 minutes. Side effect by Miz gets two and he lets Cena recover in the corner before going for another clothesline which misses. Cena hits the fameasser from the top and gets two but misses a corner charge. Miz hits a running kick and gets two. Miz waits and hits a high kick for two. There’s no flow to this match. It’s move, stall, wait, move and they are just eight minutes into this. Miz pops Cena a couple of times as the challenger gets to his feet.

Miz with an Irish whip and he ducks a Cena cross body attempt. Miz baseball slides Cena to the floor and hits a knee lift. Back in the ring he gets a two count. Miz goes for a skull-crushing finale but Cena blocks. Two shoulder blocks and a atomic bomb later Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle and goes for the attitude adjustment but Miz counters with a DDT. Miz continues with his slow pace and almost gets caught in the STF but counters with his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz removes the padding from the top turnbuckle and gets caught with an inside cradle for two. Attitude Adjustment #2 is blocked but not the STF. Miz, however, makes the ropes. While Cena backs off to the ropes to break Alex Riley rams his head into the exposed buckle and Miz hits the skull-crushing finale for a near fall. At that point there’s no reason to believe he’s going over here.

Miz goes for a second one but Cena beals him into the official. Attitude adjustment finally hits but the referee is out cold. While Cena checks on the official Riley sneaks in the ring and nails Cena with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Now why do they still have the briefcase? They are suppose to hand it in with the title shot? Anyway that doesn’t kill Cena. So Riley distracts the ref and Miz grabs the case but Cena ducks and Miz nails Cena. Attitude Adjustment hits and doesn’t get the pin. Wow I would have bet money on that being the finish. They roll to the outside and Cena clotheslines Miz over the ring barricade and then follows up with a dive and both of their bodies go SPLAT on the floor. Yikes. Referee makes the double countout and it looks like a bad finish to the match but we know that’s not happening at Wrestlemania. The Miz looks really fucked up here.

Anyway The Rock comes down to the ring and he’s not happy. After a little comedy segment with the anonymous GM, The Rock says its time to restart this match with no disqualification, countout, whining, bitching, complaining or appeal. They get back to the ring and the bell sounds. Cena goes for another Attitude Adjustment but Miz blocks and when Cena turns around he experiences Rock Bottom and the Miz retains. After the Miz celebrates The Rock beats him up too.

(Miz def. Cena, ***1/4, this was a little better than I remembered as Cena did his best to keep things together with his bumping and overselling and Miz tried but he just isn’t the caliber of worker to have a classic match without some gimmicks involved. In hindsight there were a million ways to book this and the best one probably being with Rock as the guest referee. Miz was pretty much buried by Cena the following night and he’s been in a bit of a fall since.)

Wrestlemania Opening & Main Event: Wrestlemania XXVII

Wrestlemania Opening and Main Event: Wrestlemania XXVII

Before we start with the new project we must continue with the old one. Luckily the “main events” opened and closed the show so I kill two birds with one stone.

Overall I don’t think this card will be remembered as one of the better ones. There was a terrific Punk-Orton match that most people will agree on. The Michael Cole stuff was fine until he actually went over. More or less I find that the people who like the card thought Undertaker-HHH was great and the ones that didn’t like the match didn’t like the card.

Wrestlemania XXVII: The Biggest Wrestlemania Ever
From The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Hosted by Jim Ross, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole and Josh Matthews

World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio

Who is that in Alberto Del Rio’s corner? No not Ricardo Rodriguez that other guy. What’s his name? Brodus Clay or something? I think I’ve heard of him. Christian is in Edge’s corner to even the odds.

These guys start off with the fistacuffs and Edge gets a back body drop but Del Rio goes right to work on the arm that he injured during a previous episode of SmackDown. Edge, however, rallies and sends Del Rio over the top. He goes for the baseball slide but Del Rio moves out of the way and sends Edge, arm first, into the ring barricade. He rams the arm into the ring steps and gets back in the ring for two. Del Rio goes to a wear down hold, a single-arm crucifix and when Edge fights back Del Rio casually grabs his hair and pulls it down. Del Rio with more pretty unique moves to work on the arm along with some basic ones and he gets another near fall. Del Rio with a hammerlock now, a standing hammerlock. Edge tries to rally but eats a knee. Del Rio goes for a kill shot but Edge moves and the challenger goes flying to the floor. Edge busts out the somersault dive to the floor (!!). Edge goes to the top but Del Rio meets him there and gives him a top-rope armdrag for two. Back to the arm but Del Rio lets up and Edge hits a leg lariat.

Del Rio charges again and eats a high boot but Edge can’t capitalize. Both men back up and Edge with two clotheslines and a face buster. Del Rio, however, fight backs with a code breaker of sorts to the arm. That was cool. Cross arm breaker is countered with the Edge-u-cation for two. Del Rio misses a corner charge and rolls up Del Rio but the challenger reverses and gets the cross arm breaker. Edge gets to the ropes. Edge strategically gets to the ring apron and executes a hangman on Del Rio. Edge goes to the top slowly and gets caught but Del Rio’s running climbing front kick for two. Christian and Clay get into it on the floor and Clay hits the “suplex baby” to Christian which distracts Del Rio long enough for Edge to get a roll up for two. Edge with the Edge-u-cution for two. Edge goes for the spear but Del Rio side steps and Clay sends Edge, arm first into the ring post. Cross arm breaker but Edge counters with a rollup for two. Sharpshooter by Edge and on the floor Christian hits a spinning DDT to eliminate Clay. Del Rio escapes the sharpshooter but Edge hits the spear for the pinfall!

(Edge def. Del Rio, pinfall, ***3/4, I really dug this one as Del Rio’s single-minded focus on the arm against Edge’s determination told a great story. Sadly it would be the last in-ring appearance of the Rated R Superstar as a major neck injury forced him to retire. I think his Wrestlemania record is around 10-3 and he was a hell of a big-match performer.)

And the finale.

WWE Heavyweight Championship: The Miz vs. John Cena

The build for this match centered much more around Cena and The Rock and they had to really amp up the Miz in the final couple of weeks to remind people that this was the match. By then I thought it was too little too late and they needed to pull some sort of an audible. A lot of people disagree but that’s fine.

Anyway Miz’s pre-introduction was an amazing vignette done to the tune of “Hate Me Now” by Nas. Naturally when the guys in Stamford want to put together the theatrics they can do it like few others. Miz upsets me by entering the ring first. He shouldn’t enter the ring first, he’s the fucking champion, and this isn’t a hard rule to obey. Cena’s video, done with “The Prayer” by DMX wasn’t as good but the choir entrance was pretty strong. I’m hoping they don’t give Cena something too over the top this year since I’m expecting the boobirds to rain down on him pretty hard.

They do a good bit of stalling to get this sucker started and then go into basic wrestling mode with Cena landing the first real blow – a hip toss. They reset and Cena gets a headlock but Miz corners him and lays in a few shots, mostly stomps. Miz with a corner whip and he follows it with his hanging clothesline. More punching as Cena is trying a little too hard with the selling. Cena rallies with a gut wrench bomb and gets two but they are moving at a pace that would make you think they were in there for 20 minutes. Side effect by Miz gets two and he lets Cena recover in the corner before going for another clothesline which misses. Cena hits the fameasser from the top and gets two but misses a corner charge. Miz hits a running kick and gets two. Miz waits and hits a high kick for two. There’s no flow to this match. It’s move, stall, wait, move and they are just eight minutes into this. Miz pops Cena a couple of times as the challenger gets to his feet.

Miz with an Irish whip and he ducks a Cena cross body attempt. Miz baseball slides Cena to the floor and hits a knee lift. Back in the ring he gets a two count. Miz goes for a skull-crushing finale but Cena blocks. Two shoulder blocks and a atomic bomb later Cena hits the five-knuckle shuffle and goes for the attitude adjustment but Miz counters with a DDT. Miz continues with his slow pace and almost gets caught in the STF but counters with his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz removes the padding from the top turnbuckle and gets caught with an inside cradle for two. Attitude Adjustment #2 is blocked but not the STF. Miz, however, makes the ropes. While Cena backs off to the ropes to break Alex Riley rams his head into the exposed buckle and Miz hits the skull-crushing finale for a near fall. At that point there’s no reason to believe he’s going over here.

Miz goes for a second one but Cena beals him into the official. Attitude adjustment finally hits but the referee is out cold. While Cena checks on the official Riley sneaks in the ring and nails Cena with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Now why do they still have the briefcase? They are suppose to hand it in with the title shot? Anyway that doesn’t kill Cena. So Riley distracts the ref and Miz grabs the case but Cena ducks and Miz nails Cena. Attitude Adjustment hits and doesn’t get the pin. Wow I would have bet money on that being the finish. They roll to the outside and Cena clotheslines Miz over the ring barricade and then follows up with a dive and both of their bodies go SPLAT on the floor. Yikes. Referee makes the double countout and it looks like a bad finish to the match but we know that’s not happening at Wrestlemania. The Miz looks really fucked up here.

Anyway The Rock comes down to the ring and he’s not happy. After a little comedy segment with the anonymous GM, The Rock says its time to restart this match with no disqualification, countout, whining, bitching, complaining or appeal. They get back to the ring and the bell sounds. Cena goes for another Attitude Adjustment but Miz blocks and when Cena turns around he experiences Rock Bottom and the Miz retains. After the Miz celebrates The Rock beats him up too.

(Miz def. Cena, ***1/4, this was a little better than I remembered as Cena did his best to keep things together with his bumping and overselling and Miz tried but he just isn’t the caliber of worker to have a classic match without some gimmicks involved. In hindsight there were a million ways to book this and the best one probably being with Rock as the guest referee. Miz was pretty much buried by Cena the following night and he’s been in a bit of a fall since.)