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Hi guys and welcome to the first in a new series called “RIF’s Recap”. I’m RIF and this is a recap of what went down in the WWE during January. Obviously this will be a monthly thing and it will take place on the final Sunday of every month. I will also be answering a few questions from our fans as well. I usually get a few questions via Twitter and e-mail and I’ve always responded to them. If people have taken the time to tweet/e-mail me then it’s only fair that I should do the same.
RIP Mae Young
We start off with the passing of WWE Hall of Famer, Mae Young. She passed away on January 14th. She was 90 years old. She had a few health problems towards the end of last year and she was eventually taken off life-support. It was announced that she passed away on the 9th but those rumours proved to be false. Her final WWE appearance was on the March 4th edition of “Old School” Raw where various Superstars celebrated her 90th birthday. Backstage, Vince McMahon and Triple H presented her with a replica Divas Championship belt. She holds the honour of competing in each decade from 1939 to 2010. I don’t really know much about her career. All I know about her is her time in the WWE during the Attitude Era with her long-time friend, The Fabulous Moolah. Even in her 70’s she was willing to take some impressive bumps. The one that springs to mind was the time where Bubba Ray Dudley powerbombed her off the Raw stage. That was crazy! In Hardcore Holly’s book, he talks about how Mae threatened him just in case he clotheslined her “too softly”.
The one thing I admire the most about Mae Young was her desire to wrestle a match on her 100th birthday. That would have been a special moment for her. Too bad it’s not going to happen. I’ll miss Mae. She made wrestling fun. Rest in peace, Mae. Thank you for the memories. Say hi to Moolah while you’re up there.
Daniel Bryan Concussion: NO! NO! NO!
On the January 14th edition of Raw, Daniel Bryan suffered a concussion during an attack on Bray Wyatt inside of the Steel Cage. I don’t know the exact moment in which the concussion actually happened but you couldn’t tell that anything was wrong. I guess that’s down to adrenalin. Daniel was checkout immediately after the match by the ringside doctors. The sad thing here is that this has happened just before the Royal Rumble. He was taken out of the recent live event shows as a precaution. Will he compete in the Royal Rumble match? I hope so. Things like this happen. His health is more important than anything else and I applaud the WWE for having doctors at ringside and for their policies on concussions.
The Animal Returns
After a four year absence, Batista made his return to the WWE on the 20th January edition of Raw. To be honest, I’m surprised he’s returned after being very critical of the PG content. Last time he appeared on WWE television, he was a heel who had quit after losing to John Cena. Don’t blame him! He returned as a face and made his intentions clear regarding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. His first match will be at the Royal Rumble. Will he win it? He’s one of the favourites to win but I hope he doesn’t. I’d rather see someone like Punk or Bryan winning it since they are more deserving. It would suck big time seeing someone who hasn’t been around in 4 years winning it over two guys who have busted their arses over the past year. If anything, Batista will get down to the final four, at best he’ll be the runner up. I think one of the reasons having him as the winner is because of his involvement in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie which is out later this year. I’ve no idea about the terms of his contract or if he’s a part-timer but I believe he’s going to have a long main event run. I would love to see him as a heel. He’s better in that role. Just imagine heel Batista vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam. Actually, that sounds very realistic.
Birthday Cake on a Pole match, By Gwad!!!
This month saw Vince Russo and Jim Ross celebrate their 53rd and 62nd birthdays respectively. Russo and Ross are two of the three guys responsible for the behind the scenes success of the Attitude Era in the late 90’s. Russo was head of the creative department which came up with the gimmicks and storylines which made the Attitude Era so successful whiles Jim Ross was the head of talent relations at the time and is credited for hiring most guys on the roster at the time. Russo has often been referred to as “the man who saved the WWF” and “the man who killed WCW”. His storylines in WCW were brutal. I still think making David Arquette World Heavyweight Champion was an insult to the business and the scary think is he has openly admitted that he’ll do it again. Nowadays, Vince Russo is a born again Christian who has very little to do with the business. I hope he had a great birthday. I bet it was full of swerves, worked shoots, unexpected heel turns and of course, one of the party games being a “Birthday Cake on a pole match”. In all seriousness, I’m happy for him. I wish him luck in the future. As for Jim Ross, I had a ton of respect for the guy. He’s one of only a few guys that I’ve never heard a bad word about. I consider him to be the greatest commentator of all time and I mean that in all sports not just wrestling. It’s a shame things ended for him the way they did but I’m confident that he’ll return somewhere down the line.
“It’s now time for the Royal Rumble….”
Tonight is the 2014 Royal Rumble. I’ve always loved the Royal Rumble. I just love the excitement of guessing who coming out next. I’ll be watching it live with the rest of the Rif Rasslin staff. Who will win the Rumble? I’m guess it’s Daniel Bryan. He hasn’t been booked in the match just yet but you can’t deny him though. Just listen to those YES chants. He’s the most over guy on the roster right now! It be stupid to deny him the chance to compete in the Rumble. I wrote the Prediction Contest for the Royal Rumble and there is also a review of the 1992 Royal Rumble on the site too. Feel free to leave any feedback on either of those.
“In your opinion, which wrestlers currently employed by the WWE would be seen by the public as serious challengers to the Undertaker at WrestleMania?”
The two that immediately spring to mind are Brock Lesnar and John Cena. It’s likely that Brock will get the opportunity this year and I’m guessing/hoping that Cena will face the Deadman next year. Just imagine the crowd for that one! The crowd will make the crowd at One Night Stand ’06 look rather tame. Randy Orton is another one. Enough years have passed since the WrestleMania 21 clash that WWE could pretend the match never happened like what they did for Taker v HHH at WM27 or emphasise how long the intervening period had been to illustrate how much more dangerous “The Viper” has become since 2005. I guess you could add The Rock to that list. Rock vs. Undertaker would be worthy of a place on the WrestleMania card.
“Who deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame who isn’t already in it?”
The first name that springs to mind is Macho Man Randy Savage. He should have been in years ago. Owen Hart is someone I would love see be inducted but I doubt his wife would allow it though. Hopefully, they will be able to come to an agreement one day. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is another name that springs to mind. I thought he was going to be inducted around WrestleMania 28 since it was in Miami. Of Current performers, The Undertaker, Kane, Triple H, John Cena and Rey Mysterio are Hall of Fame worthy. I expect these guys to be inducted over the next 5/10 years.
Over in TNA, Kurt Angle is a Hall of Famer calibre performer. The Dudley Boys for their contributions to tag team wrestling and of course, Sting. Sure he wasn’t in the WWE but he had the longevity in a main event position to merit a spot in the HOF.
There are so many other wrestlers/ promoters from the past and the present who deserve a place in the HOF such as, Lou Thez, Giant Baba, Stan Hanson, Ravishing Rick Rude, Jake “The Snake” Roberts (could happen this year), Bruiser Brody, The British Bulldogs, Lex Luger and Vader. Since WWE only inducts 6/7 names per year and has a WWE bias, it’s unrealistic to expect every major name to be inducted.
“Do you believe that Adrian Neville can become a big star once he gets promoted to the main roster?”
Absolutely! He’s a talented guy and he could be a huge hit with the younger crowd because of his high flying style. It’s not just his skills that impress me, it’s his timing too. He also has that superstar like physique too. He needs to work on his promos though. A WWE wrestler has to be able to talk, if he is to climb the single ladder ranks. Failing that, they could put him in a tag team and have his partner talk for him. Others might want to give him a manager but he’s the sort of guy who doesn’t need one. The other obstacle he needs to overcome is the WWE itself. The company is so impatient when it comes to new acts as have seen over recent years.
When he performs, Neville looks like a can’t miss talent. The WWE need to create a platform for Neville on which he can tear it up and become the star that his long-time fans are convinced he can be. I hope he gets the shot he deserves. Even though he’s from Newcastle (I’m from Sunderland) I love nothing more than seeing the local boy do good. Amazing talent
MAJOR UPCOING NEWS
Before I go, I want to share some upcoming news. WrestleMania is coming up soon and I’ve been thinking about doing something special regarding the “granddaddy of them all”. Since this is the 30th edition of WrestleMania, starting this Wednesday (29th) I will be reviewing all 29 WrestleManias, leading up to the 30th edition. I’ve got most of them already written up so starting isn’t a problem. This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time and now just seems right
Thanks for reading. Follow us on Twitter @RifRasslin and feel free to send us a question in time for next month. Join us this Wednesday for the 1st WrestleMania review in the series and feedback from this year’s Royal Rumble event.
Smell you later.