• (NSFW)EXCLUSIVE:Wrestling themed clothing line faces backlash,censored on social media platforms

    outsidersedge.blog were informed today of a controversial new fashion line.it has a wrestling theme to it and is causing quite a stir.its use of female nude imagery as well as firearms has seen its ads get pulled as well as being censored on major social media platforms.a quick trip to the brands website,headhuntersculture.com,shows quite the unique mix of wrestling title belts,ammunition and female models wearing,well…..not much.

    a censored version of one of the nsfw images that have been pulled from social media platforms

    the brands owner,d.benjamin rankins,is apparently a huge wrestling fan and is simply using these controversial images to express his love for the world of sports entertainment.but one would have to question,with the advancements of womens wrestling that have been made in the past decade,if using women in a potentially misogynistic way could set women in the industry back.


    the world of wrestling has never seen elements of pornagraphy blended with the squared circle in such a way.but even in the increasingly hyper sensitive society we currently live in,theres also something to be said for freedom of speech.Point blank,an artist has the right to express themselves.and at the end of the day,isnt a win for a fashion line that is deeply rooted in wrestling a win for all of us who love this business?

    apparently the owner,d. benjamin rankins, is a huge fan of wrestling,but some have questioned his ways of expressing it.
  • Best to never win a world championship

    Best to never win a world championship

    Over the history of professional wrestling, only a relative handful have been good enough to be World Champion. It takes skill, support from fans and those in charge, and more than a little luck. It’s an exclusive club, and whenever something is so hard to attain, there are a lot of worthy competitors who, for whatever reason, just didn’t reach the top of the mountain. Maybe they didn’t have the exact set of skills, maybe an injury sidelined them before they could reach their goals, maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But for any of the wrestlers on this list, the fact that they were never a World Champion seems like the one missing line on the list of their career achievements, the one thing that it’s almost unbelievable that they never attained.

    For the purposes of this discussion, we’re only counting the entire lineage of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (which includes the WWWF, WWF, WWE, Undisputed, World Heavyweight, and WCW Championships). We understand that this may seem unfair to some people, so if you want to argue what classifies something as a “World” title, feel free to let us know in the Comments.

    12. Wade Barrett

    From the moment he made his debut on the first season of NXT, pretty much everyone knew that Wade Barrett had “it”. A well-built, good-looking wrestler with good skills and a seemingly endless well of charisma, many picked him right away to win a WWE contract and eventually become World Champion. Well, they were half right, as Barrett did win the competition, but everything else about his WWE career was pretty much a disappointment. As the top man in the Nexus faction, Barrett had several opportunities to win a World Title, but the booking did him no favors, and he was unsuccessful every time. Several times over the years, Barrett would look like he was about to set off on another massive push, only for terrible booking or badly-timed injuries to completely derail his career for months at a time. Eventually, allegedly tired of the circular path his career had become, Barrett asked for his release. The door may be open for him to return to the ring one day and finally reach the top of the mountain, but at this point, it’s looking fairly unlikely,considering his position at the commentary table

    11. William Regal

    Another bare-knuckle brawler from England, Regal is often mentioned as one of the best wrestlers to never really rise to the main event for a number of reasons. In WCW, the comical nature of his gimmick basically created a limit on his upward mobility, and then the New World Order took over the show and any other heels were basically forgotten. In WWE, Regal often ended up in non-wrestling authority figure roles, even when he was still an active wrestler. In addition, his lifelong battle with substance abuse issues derailed his push several times, including a last one in WWE which saw him acting as GM, as well as winning King of the Ring, in what was rumored to be setting up for him to finally win that elusive World title, that was halted when he earned a second strike under the Wellness Policy. These days, Regal is comfortably (and fully) retired, working for AEW.

    10. Scott Hall

    As Razor Ramon, Hall was a multiple-time Intercontinental Champion in WWF. He was part of the first two ladder matches in WWF history, and even won the first one, at WrestleMania X, which is considered one of the best matches in history. Unfortunately, his substance abuse issues and the fact that Vince McMahon allegedly didn’t see him as a main event talent led to him moving to WCW, where he kicked off the biggest angle in the existence of pro wrestling, as one of the original members of the nWo. And if there was ever a wrestling organization where anyone with even a sliver of talent and name recognition could have been World Champion, it would have been late 90’s WCW. However, somehow Hall never managed to hold the big belt in WCW, either, despite being only of the most popular wrestlers in the nWo, and one of the group’s best wrestling talents as well. Obviously, his abuse issues followed him to WCW, and would have possibly made him a liability to hold the World title, but given his constant presence on television for both WWF and WCW, it’s somewhat shocking that he never really got a shot to be the ultimate champion.

    9. Owen Hart

    Even if his career had not been cut short by tragedy, it’s fairly unlikely that the youngest Hart Family member would have ever held the WWF Championship. In his early career, he was set against his brother Bret, and while their matches were excellent, there was never any indication that the feud was for any reason than to provide Bret with a disposable opponent (similar to how Hogan would be fed big, fat heels to overcome, Hart was fed decent workers so he could out-wrestle them). Owen was probably one of the best wrestlers in WWE at any point in his short career, but was never particularly treated as a true main event talent. He did fit comfortably into a mid-card position, fighting for the Intercontinental and Tag Team titles on multiple occasions, but many fans felt that not giving him a run with the WWF Championship was a criminal mistake by the company.

    8. The British Bulldog

    As a singles wrestler, Davey Boy Smith never truly escaped the shadow of his successful run in a tag team, even though he managed to be part of the main event of SummerSlam 1992 (admittedly, that show took place in England, the first and only major WWE Pay Per View to do so), and as a result was held back from ever winning a World title in WWF. However, the real head-scratcher came during the early 90’s, after he was fired by WWF during the steroid trials and signed a mammoth contract with WCW. Bulldog was positioned at the same level as WCW main event faces like Sting, and even had World title shots against the dominant champion Vader on Pay Per View. It seemed inevitable that he would win the WCW Championship, but the company never pulled the trigger before Bulldog returned to WWF. Once he returned, Bulldog did receive several World title shots, but once again, never managed to secure the win necessary to walk away as Champion.

    7. Magnum TA

    Magnum TA is one of the wrestling’s greatest “What If” stories. With excellent wrestling skills, a high level of charisma, and a strong Southern fan following, Magnum was clearly being groomed for an eventual run with the World Championship. His feuds with Nikita Koloff and Tully Blanchard are some of the most memorable in WCW (at the time known as Jim Crockett Promotions, the largest remaining NWA territory) history, and it seemed like the sky was the limit for Magnum. In fact, according to several people (including Dusty Rhodes, who was booking the promotion) the plan was allegedly for him to defeat Ric Flair for the title at Starrcade 1986, which was the WCW version of WrestleMania. Sadly, a tragic car accident in the months before Starrcade left Magnum partially paralyzed, and forced him to retire from professional wrestling at the prime of his career. Indirectly, his retirement ended up affecting the next name on this list, who was one of his greatest opponents, and who also never won a World title.

    6. Nikita Koloff

    Koloff was one of the original evil Russian heels, and his battles with Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA were legendary. Then, when the Cold War wound down and Magnum TA suffered his career-ending injury (which we just talked about), Koloff became one of the most beloved good guys in wrestling as a way to show respect for his former nemesis, joining with his former hated rival Rhodes to face off against the dastardly Four Horsemen. Koloff is also notable for being one of the biggest stars in wrestling to have never worked for WWE, and in fact never even reportedly considered it. Unfortunately for Koloff, those same Horsemen he fought had were led by Ric Flair, he of the multiple World championships, and his entire stable existed to ensure that Flair maintained control over the title. While Koloff had his share of chances, the time was never right for him, and a career-ending back injury took him out of the running in the early

    5. Raven

    One of the most recognizable names to come out of ECW, the man known as Raven is considered one of the most underrated workers, and one of the legitimately smartest people, in professional wrestling. While he was treated like a big star in ECW, and in fact the entire promotion revolved around him at several points in its history, his runs with WCW and WWE saw him relegated to the mid-card or lower, often completely forgotten about. To his credit, Raven was noted for using his intelligence and creativity to make the best of his relative obscurity, even reportedly booking his own angles that would run on “C” shows like Sunday Night Heat and were often fairly entertaining. However, Vince McMahon notably did not care for the wrestler (there’s an urban legend that Vince once walked into the WWE locker room and asked “Who the hell hired Raven?”), and WCW’s notorious glass ceiling also conspired to prevent Raven from ever reaching the top of other promotion.

    4. Ted DiBiase

    Technically, DiBiase held the WWF Championship for a few days after Andre handed to it following The Main Event twin referee scandal, but the reign has never been acknowledged by WWE as legitimate. In fact, given his rampant attempts to buy his way to the title, it’s shocking that DiBiase never actually succeeded in his long-held goal. In addition, he was possibly one of the greatest heels to ever exist in professional wrestling, and was allegedly supposed to win the belt at WrestleMania IV before plans changed (rumors have it that the Honky Tonk Man refused to lose the Intercontinental title to Savage, so they booked him to win the WWF title instead, but those have never been confirmed). To be fair, he was the owner of the Million Dollar Title, which has been held by far fewer men and was reportedly one of the most expensive belts ever made, so maybe he doesn’t mind never winning the WWF Championship all that much.

    3. Jake Roberts

    Jake “The Snake” is a case of a man who simply didn’t need to have a title to be one of the feature acts in any promotion he wrestled in, and as a result, he actually never held a single championship in WWF, which was his home for most of his career. Roberts is another wrestler who is considered to have a great mind for the business, and his popularity was so great at point in his career that he has repeatedly told a story that there were plans to have him feud on television with Hogan over the WWF Championship, but the fans sided with Jake over Hogan at house shows, so much so that they cancelled the plans out of fear that Hogan would be booed on TV. Whether or not the story is true, the fact of the matter is that Jake probably would have made an excellent WWF Champion. In addition, his long-running problems with drugs and alcohol also likely played a part in Jake failing to ascend to the highest levels of professional wrestling.http://pl.wwe.com/videos/2013/02/28/wrestlemania-vi-highlights Source: pl.wwe.com

    2. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

    Roddy Piper was, almost as much as Hulk Hogan, a central figure in professional wrestling in the 80’s and 90’s. Attacking Jimmy Snuka with a coconut on Piper’s Pit is a moment that anyone who has heard of professional wrestling will remember forever. He was considered one of the best talkers in the sport, and for a time, he was the biggest heel on the face of the planet. It’s safe to say that the original WrestleMania was built on the back his feud with Hogan. He’s also one of the few wrestlers in history to have a relatively successful career in movies, including the cult classic They Live, known for it’s ridiculously long fight scene and Piper claiming “I am here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of bubblegum”, a line which has been repeated and copied endlessly over the years. Unfortunately, for all his stardom, Piper was never going to be World Champion while Hulk Hogan was around, because his peak as a main event talent happened at the same time as the rise of Hulkamania, with Hogan holding the title continuously for years. Piper actually did not hold many major titles at all in WWE or WCW, even including a week-long nostalgia reign with the WWF Tag Team titles in 2006 that nobody remembers.

    1. Mr. Perfect

    Ask any wrestling fan, it’s likely Curt Hennig will top their lists too. The man who claimed to be perfect in every way somehow never managed to win the top title in WWF or WCW, despite spending large amounts of time in both promotions and performing at a high level for most of his career. In fact, Perfect entered into a hot feud with Hulk Hogan in which he actually smashed the WWF title belt with a hammer, but somehow this never resulted in a Pay Per View match between the two (although they did wrestle many times on house shows). Just the fact that Perfect was in that position would suggest that some consideration had to have been made for him to win the title, even for a short period, but it never came to fruition. A serious back injury in the mid-90’s would stall his WWF career, and after he made the jump to WCW, it was clear that he was no longer the same wrestler he once was. Even then, his initial position as a Horseman might have led to title shots, but the schizophrenic booking of WCW at that point saw him almost immediately turn and join the nWo, getting lost in the shuffle soon thereafter. Despite being one of the best wrestlers of his generation, Curt Hennig somehow managed to miss out on the one thing that would have meant that his career was truly perfect

  • underrated stars of the ruthless aggression era

    underrated stars of the ruthless aggression era

    Following the purchase of WCW, the WWE had an over-abundance of wrestlers on its card.

    Over four hours of main show programming, with the same wrestlers appearing consistently? Something had to give.  In April 2002, the first draft between Raw and Smackdown was held.  Not only did this lead to more TV time for the talent, but also signalled the end of the Attitude Era and ushered in the era known as Ruthless Aggression.  We all know of the likes of John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero as names who broke into the main event picture.  Even old favourites such as The Undertaker and HHH continued to flourish amongst the changes in their surroundings.

    What about those who flew underneath the radar?  Some that many liked but just couldn’t seem to break through that theoretical glass ceiling?  Here are five wrestlers that were underrated during their time during the Ruthless Aggression era.

    It seems fitting that during a time where MVP has made a return to our screens that we start off our list with him. When he joined the Smackdown roster in 2006, MVP was presented as a big deal.  Lavish promo videos entertained the audience while his opening (and successful) feud with Kane helped him to get off on the right foot.

    Moving through this career, he would capture gold in the form of a US Title run, winning the belt from Chris Benoit at Judgement Day, holding the title for a then record of 343 days.  Following this, however, he was given the kiss of death with a fabled losing streak gimmick.  MVP would never recover from this and eventually in 2010 he would leave the WWE.

    If you were going to build the perfect blue-print of what a professional wrestler would look like (apart from Randy Orton) then Chris Masters would be it.  With the physique of a Greek god, a natural persona and a fantastic gimmick, it was hard to see where things could go wrong.  As a teenager during this period, the Masterlock Challenge would be a segment I regularly looked forward to. Starting with audience members and building up to roster members, everyone bowed to The Masterpiece.  Lower and mid-card wrestlers failed the challenge – even the likes of Rey Mysterio and Shawn Michaels fell. 

    When this was finally broken though (by Bobby Lashley), suddenly the aura around Masters started to fade.  Although he would challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship on two occasions, a leave of absence due to a drug problem would spell disaster.  Upon returning, it was quite obvious that he had dropped weight and he would disappear from our screens in 2007 following numerous Wellness Policy violations. If these problems hadn’t been an issue, it would have been easy to see Masters as a champion around this time.  He completely fitted the heel persona bestowed on him, gaining a magnitude of heat.

    Just because a wrestler is underrated doesn’t mean that they can’t be successful.  Coming off a great run in Ring Of Honor, Paul London signed for WWE in 2003. After being a victim of the all-conquering Brock Lesnar, he would have brief Tag Team and Cruiserweight title runs.  This didn’t equal main event status though, and he languished in the shadows.  Enter Brian Kendrick.  The two men would become the talk of the Tag Team division and would go on to hold the titles for a SmackDown record of 331 days. Over with the fans, the pair were lighting up our screens and were hot as well.  The WWE decided to move the team to Raw; this is where the problems would start.  Apart from a brief, three day title run, the team would never hit the same highs as they did on the Blue Brand.  They would be split the following year with Kendrick moving back to SmackDown. London would soon disappear from TV and be released in November 2008

    One of the most athletic wrestlers of his generation, with good promo ability and put on good to great matches on a regular basis, as a singles and a tag team wrestler, Shelton Benjamin seemed to be on a path to greatness. From his excellent tag team partnership with Charlie Haas (ANOTHER underrated wrestler himself) to his regular standout performances in the Money in the Bank matches, plus THAT gold rush tournament match with Shawn Michaels, the main event scene seemed where Shelton was destined to end up.  Yet, somehow, his became a story that became embodied with the perception that the WWE has a glass ceiling.

    See the source image

    No matter the matches he put on or how over he would be with the fans, he never received that main-event push.  There are rumours that he was disrespectful to a WWE legend, which caused any momentum to stop in its tracks and push him down the card.  Then came the fabled ‘Mama’s Boy’ gimmick.  As a teenager at the time, I failed to recognise how big of a step down this was.  I even started off the chant at a WWE Raw House Show in Cardiff back in the mid 00’s. Shelton was soon let out from the company and left many fans thinking ‘what if?’

    One thing that William Regal was always known as was a tough SOB. The Man’s Man was a great technical wrestler and a grizzled veteran at this point of his career.  For one reason or another though, he was never given the ball to run with during the Ruthless Aggression era.  Be it stuck in storylines such as babysitting Eugene (who was underrated himself in my eyes) or being the hype man for King Booker. He did have numerous title reigns with secondary and tag team titles, although if you wanted to name these off the top of your head then you would have a difficult job!  The one time he was given the limelight was with his run as Raw General Manager and King of The Ring win. 

    If it wasn’t for an untimely Wellness Policy violation, all signs pointed to a world title run, but this never came into fruition. If it wasn’t for this, we could be talking about one of the most memorable ‘boss is the champion’ runs in the history of the company, but instead we are left wondering what could have been.

    The ‘Ruthless Aggression’ era has divided opinions, but you cannot argue that it was a place full of top-notch talent that may have not been given a fair shake. If one of these or any others been given a shot, the eras that followed could have been very, very different.

  • Wrestlemania what ifs

    Wrestlemania what ifs

    Breaking Down the Biggest What-Ifs in WrestleMania History

    Credit: WWE.com

    In a parallel universe, Randy Orton ended Undertaker’s undefeated record, Sting kicked off his WWE career in 2002, and Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan had their dream match when it should have happened.

    Had a number of decisions made at WrestleMania turned out differently, pro wrestling history would have veered from the path we know. Like The Watcher from Marvel’s What If comics, it’s hard not to look back and wonder how things would have changed with one adjustment of the past. 

    WrestleMania’s biggest what-ifs range from questions about new victors emerging in certain matches to what the wrestling landscape would look like had the event not taken off like it did. 

    For some, pondering these questions is maddening, with too many variables and possibilities to absorb. For others, it’s an intriguing exercise in exploring all the paths history could have taken.

    Before one begins to discuss Flair, Sting or Orton’s role in WrestleMania’s timeline, one has to consider where WWE would have gone had the first edition fell on its face.

    WrestleMania I: What If the 1st WrestleMania Wasn’t a Success?

    In 1985, Vince McMahon birthed a supercard unlike any other. He was out to change the wrestling industry wholesale, to reconfigure an infrastructure that had existed for decades.

    In an attempt to make the then-World Wrestling Federation a global enterprise, he created WrestleMania.

    It turned out to be the perfect move at the perfect time. It launched Hulkamania, helped wrestling become a part of pop culture and later became the centerpiece of WWE’s calendar. But what if it had bombed?

    In the first edition of WrestleMania Rewind (subscription required), McMahon said that creating WrestleMania “was a huge gamble, the biggest gamble I’ve ever been involved with. It was a roll of the dice.”

    McMahon poured a good chunk of his fortune into what became The Showcase of the Immortals. 

    Had he lost money and WrestleMania been a failure, there’s a great chance that McMahon would have gone out of business. The wrestlers would have dispersed, heading to whatever territories would have them.

    The business would not be what it is today. 

    Without Hulkamania taking off, pro wrestling wouldn’t have become such a big part of the national consciousness. The regional system would have held up, at least for a lot longer than it did.

    The American Wrestling Association, Jim Crockett Promotions and World Class Championship Wrestling would all still exist. Wrestling would be segmented, as it was pre-McMahon. It would be far more of a niche product, never reaching the million-dollar heights that it has.

    WrestleMania’s failure and WWE’s subsequent tapping out would have stunted evolution of the industry.

    Taking WrestleMania out of wrestling’s timeline would also rid it of a plethora of key moments. There would be no Hogan slamming Andre the Giant, no Money in the Bank, no Steve Austin vs. The Rock trilogy. 

    WrestleMania VI: What If Zeus Had Main Evented?

    By the sixth WrestleMania, the event was an institution. WWE was a national powerhouse, Hogan a pop culture icon.

    The Show of Shows would only grow from this point, but one bad move could have changed that. The headline attraction of course was Hogan against an emerging star: The Ultimate Warrior. 

    That could have changed if WWE’s first movie, No Holds Barred, had done better. Tom “Tiny” Lister Jr. played opposite Hogan in the picture, one centered around a battle between the two. WWE would use Lister’s “Zeus” character outside of that format, having him tangle inside a cage with Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at SummerSlam 1989.

    The movie drew searing reviews. 

    Had it not, things may have been turned out differently once WrestleMania rolled around. In Tagged Classics, James Dixon writes, “if No Holds Barred was a hit we might have gotten Hogan-Zeus as the main event at WrestleMania VI.”

    Imagining that possibility brings to mind Lawrence Taylor headlining WrestleMania XI.

    At least Taylor was a world-class athlete. Lister was an actor who happened to be large. Building a WrestleMania around him would have been a disaster.

    The match would have stunk and been a cold sore on WrestleMania’s face.

    Hulk Hogan confronts Zeus.

    Hulk Hogan confronts Zeus.Credit: WWE.com

    In addition, it would have taken away a critical moment for Warrior. He wouldn’t have defeated the immortal Hulkster that night. Instead, an actor might have. Perhaps he’d get a chance to rise to championship status again, but WWE may have decided to have any number of men pass him up for the gig in later years.

    Strangely enough, Zeus taking Warrior’s place could have ended Edge’s career before it began.

    The Hall of Famer, as noted on WWE.com, “sat ringside at WrestleMania VI” with a Hogan T-shirt on. What if he had seen the worst main event in WrestleMania history rather than one of its most memorable? What if he had lost his love for the business after seeing Zeus win the WWE title after a dumpster fire of a bout?

    Edge may have chosen to get into another racket, robbing fans of all his in-ring accomplishments.

    WrestleMania VIII: What If Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan Had Actually Happened?

    On the list of no-brainer matchups, Hogan vs. Flair has to rank at or near the top. The former was WWE’s biggest attraction, a transcendent star. The latter was the top wrestler for WCW, a massive name in the grappling world.

    It would be a story of power versus smarts, a showman against a more pure wrestler. It never happened.

    WWE instead went with Hogan vs. Sid Justice while Flair took on Randy Savage.

    Flair states in To Be the Man that Hogan vs. Flair was the original plan for WrestleMania VIII. He writes, “Vince’s relationship with Hogan had deteriorated by then, and Hogan was aspiring to become a full-time actor so the WrestleMania VIII line up was switched around.”

    Former WWE executive J.J. Dillon tried to explain the decision when he spoke with Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas on R.A.W. Radio (h/t WrestlingInc).

    He said, “It didn’t have the box office sizzle that we all would assume that it would. And after a run that was disappointing in markets where it should have done well and it didn’t—it’s like Vince said—that match got booked 5 years too late.” 

    WCW would disagree about the amount of sizzle it had. The company pitted the two megastars against each other several times over years after this would-be dream match.

    WWE would get around to it long after the clash had any juice left.

    Had it happened, it would still rank as one of the biggest wrestling matches of all time. It would have had far more significance and buzz than it did when they eventually met at WCW.

    It would have also made WWE the best company in the world and sped up WrestleMania’s growth.

    That was a rivalry with the potential to become the next Andre vs. Hogan. And just as all eyes pointed toward WWE when McMahon battled Steve Austin, wrestling fans would have flocked to see the best against the best.


    WrestleMania XIV: What If Shawn Michaels Refused to Drop the WWE Title?

    Few calls have remained so vivid in fans’ memories as Jim Ross announcing Austin’s win over Shawn Michaels: “Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!”

    Before that career-defining moment, the curtains hid backstage turmoil. Rumors rumbled about The Heartbreak Kid not wanting to lose that night. 

    In Wrestling for My Life, Michaels talks about how Undertaker caught wind of this and gave him a warning, telling him that he better do the right thing. Michaels says now that he was only bluffing.

    He writes, “My whole intention at WrestleMania XIV was to drop the belt to Steve, but I was going to make everybody sweat it out and make them think I wasn’t. Obviously, I got that accomplished. That’s extremely unprofessional, but that’s exactly who I was and what I was doing.”

    What if he had took things even further? What if on the night of WrestleMania XIV, McMahon wasn’t sure if his champion would willingly let Austin take the belt from him? What if he wasn’t actually bluffing?

    There’s a strong chance that McMahon would have turned to the “screwjob” method that he did to yank the WWE title from Bret Hart a year earlier. There would be a certain poetic justice to the moment considering Michaels’ role in Hart’s forced relinquishment of the gold in 1997.

    It wouldn’t have been nearly as perfect a kickstart for Austin.

    Rather than the focus being on Austin’s rise, the headlines the next day would have centered on McMahon cheating Michaels. It would have felt like deja vu rather than the dawning of a new star.

    Shawn Michaels

    Shawn MichaelsCredit: WWE.com

    WWE shafting Michaels like that would have changed his relationship with the company forever too. Perhaps he would have been too upset with McMahon to make his comeback in 2002.

    Maybe Mr. WrestleMania would have pulled a Sting and waited around until TNA emerged before entering the ring again. Thinking about how that choice would have altered WWE history is mind-numbing.

    Rather than Michaels’ litany of classic bouts against John Cena, Undertaker and Triple H, he would be tangling with Sting, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles in another company, one that would have received a tremendous boost having added Michaels to the mix.

    WrestleMania X8: What if Sting Had Come to WWE?

    Sting’s first steps into the WWE world came in 2014, when he interrupted the injustice Triple H was trying to carry out at Survivor Series. That arrival came close to happening a lot earlier in his career.

    A former member of WWE Creative, Dave Lagana, wrote (h/t ProWrestling.net) the following about the situation:

    Sting was approached that year to make his WWE debut and wrestle on the big event. Once he was introduced to the brand, it was pitched that at Wrestlemania 18 Sting would face Kurt Angle. If you remember, Kurt was eventually thrown into a match with Kane with little setup. The deal apparently fell apart as Sting wasn’t willing to work the full WWE schedule.

    Had The Stinger said yes back in 2002, he would be wrestling for WWE for the first time at 43 years old rather than 55.

    That match against Angle would have been excellent. Those two put on some good performances against each other when they were much older for TNA.

    Sting could have also gone on to have the dream match that is no longer that: Sting vs. Undertaker. Rather than the snoozer that was Undertaker vs. A-Train and Big Show at WrestleMania XIX, it could have been the pinnacle of an incredible rivalry. 

    Sting’s career would have changed forever had he chosen to roll with WWE starting with WrestleMania X8. He could have taken on Shawn Michaels and The Rock. He and Undertaker could have formed a sinister duo.

    His decision to forego WrestleMania in 2002 altered TNA’s history as well.

    Sting was the centerpiece of that company for a long time. TNA would have had to find a new world champ for the 300-plus days he held that title. The company would have had to find another star to make the first inductee in its Hall of Fame.

    While he would have left a hole in TNA’s timeline, he would have been filling up his resume with WrestleMania moments, including that purposed showdown with Angle in ’02.

    WrestleMania 21: What if Randy Orton Had Ended Undertaker’s Streak?

    Before Undertaker had morphed into a WrestleMania immortal, he was set to do battle with Randy Orton. The Streak hadn’t been turned into a storyline up until that point.

    The Deadman being 12-0 was simply a stat beforehand, not a show-within-the-show as The Streak later became. It could have all ended that night in Los Angeles in 2005. WWE couldn’t have known how valuable Undertaker’s undefeated status would become and could have easily had The Legend Killer scheduled to take him down.

    Stopping The Streak then wouldn’t have caused any uproar. It would have, though, pushed Orton into top-tier status faster. 

    Orton could have begun a streak of his own. The year before, he, Batista and Ric Flair defeated The Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection. He would then go 1-3 in his next four WrestleManias.

    Orton coming off a big win over The Phenom would have allowed WWE to consider making him reach and perhaps surpass Undertaker’s 12-0 mark.

    Ending what ended up being a 21-0 run early would have sucked some of the life out of future WrestleManias. Undertaker vs. Triple H, Edge, Shawn Michaels or CM Punk wouldn’t have had the same meaning or energy had his streak not been on the line. Those classics against Michaels would be lessened; the “End of an Era” match wouldn’t have been nearly as dramatic.

    The mystique and intrigue surrounding him defending The Streak each year would be gone, hurting the appeal of future editions of WrestleMania. 

    It’s become an integral part of his and WrestleMania’s legacy. Luckily, WWE chose to have Orton lie down that night, allowing the phenomenon to grow into the massive creature it became.

    WrestleMania XXX: What if the Streak Didn’t End?

    When the referee’s hand hit the mat for the third time, 75,000 people stopped breathing at the same time. The Superdome sounded like a library.

    Brock Lesnar stood up to celebrate his win over Undertaker at an event where the legend had never lost before. Dropped jaws and widened eyes surrounded him. 

    McMahon chose to end The Streak as a means to give back to the business, to give Lesnar the boost of having knocked off a deity. 

    That choice will be debated for years to come. Would it have made more sense to extend it another year or two? Would have letting Undertaker walk off into the sunset with a zero in his loss column been the better move?

    If Undertaker had won that night, pushing his record to 22-0, it wouldn’t have been the headline-generating win that Lesnar’s was. It would have been the expected outcome.

    With as unimpressive as the action was that night, this clash would have been labeled a bust.

    For Lesnar, he would have not have had the same heat following WrestleMania that he did. Paul Heyman would spend the next series of months bragging about The Beast Incarnate’s dominance.

    Lesnar would have just been victim No. 22. 

    The discussion following Undertaker’s win would have then turned to WrestleMania 31. WWE would still have the option to go with the Sting vs. Undertaker streak-against-career match that so many fans envisioned. Had Bray Wyatt stepped into the ring as Undertaker went for 23-0, it would be far more powerful.

    Otherwise, Undertaker could walk away, his streak intact. That route couldn’t do anything for WWE going forward. It would only add to Undertaker’s legendary status.

    For as long as he stayed retired, speculation about him having one last match would emerge each year. His unblemished record would remain a holy grail, a possible way to boost some new star’s career. 

    It would be perpetual inspiration for a new what-if, fans imagining a variety of would-be slayers going after the immortal dragon flying in the clouds.

  • 2008 royal rumble:best surprise in rumble history?

    2008 royal rumble:best surprise in rumble history?

    just another historic night in the history of the garden

    John Cena is one of the most successful WWE Superstars of all time. He’s won the Royal Rumble twice, he’s main evented WrestleMania quite a few times, and he’s a 16 time WWE World Champion.

    Cena has also proved that he’s super-human, as he has been able to bounce back from injuries in a short amount of time.

    Back in 2007, John Cena was injured during a match when he tore a pectoral muscle. WWE originally told fans that Cena would be out for a six months to a year, which left many to assume that we wouldn’t be seeing him at the Royal Rumble.

    However, when the clock reached zero and the number 30 entrant was introduced, Cena made his way out into Madison Square Garden and shocked the world as he made his surprise return much earlier than expected.

    Former WWE referee Marty Elias recently spoke to Wrestling Inc about Cena’s surprise return, and he noted that there was only a handful of people who knew about his Royal Rumble appearance.

    “I was one of only a handful of people who knew he was coming back and was going to win the Rumble. Cena was hidden all day and when it was time for him to enter, he was walked through the hallway covered so no one knew it was him!”

    Cena’s return was without a doubt one of the biggest Royal Rumble surprises over the last 2 decades, and one has to wonder in this current social media/internet climate if any return will ever be this shocking again.

  • best ppvs of the ruthless aggression era

    best ppvs of the ruthless aggression era

    Beginning in 2002, after the end of the Invasion, Vince McMahon rallied his troops and used that phrase to see who was going to lead the company into the new millennium, now that the company had lost both Stone Cold and The Rock. It would bring us new talent that would carry the company for years to come, some rising to become the faces of the company in the likes of John Cena and Edge. The Ruthless Aggression Era, according to the internet, spanned six years between 2002 and 2008, a period bringing us many incredible matches and moments. So here are five of the best you can see. And I’ve tried to not include more than one of each show-type to make it nice and varied.

    Wrestlemania 21

    This was the first WWE PPV I ever owned, on VHS. Yes, they existed at one time. 10-year-old me would watch this on repeat and I recently went back and watched it. I realised how brilliant of a show this was for the time we were in. There was a pre-show battle royal, the pre-cursor to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, won by Booker T. The opener of the main show, the WWE Tag Team Champions going one on one, something we hadn’t really seen in WWE until this point but they gave the story that Rey Mysterio could not beat Eddie Guerrero. Well, guess what? He did at Mania in a massively underrated opener.

    After this opener, we got to see the first-ever Money in the Bank ladder match with the field being a who’s who of WWE talent in 2005; Edge, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Kane and Christian, the latter accompanied by the ever-forgotten Tyson Tomko. This match gave us two things, the birth of one of the best match stipulations turned PPV and it gave us the beginning of the Rated R Superstar. Edge won the briefcase, becoming the Ultimate Opportunist and giving us the amazing visual months later when he cashed in at New Year’s Revolution.

    This show also gave us the coming-out parties for two men who would carry WWE for the following decade; John Cena and Batista. Both men would go on to win the respective World Titles against JBL and Triple H respectively. A couple of months earlier, they were the final two in the Royal Rumble and now they leave The Staples Centre as the faces of each brand. We got brilliant entrances from both losers in these matches, JBL was given a police escort, fitting with his views of Cena who he called a hoodlum, and we also got Triple H played to the ring by Motorhead. Randy Orton continued to excel in his early career as his feud with The Undertaker continued through California but he did lose, but what a showing he had in this losing effort. He had assistance from his dad, Bob Orton, but still couldn’t put The Deadman down.

    We did get a Women’s Championship match but it’s 2005 and the women weren’t treated brilliantly at this time, Trish Stratus defeating Christy Hemme in 4:11.  The best match of the evening is a match I can easily watch on repeat and that is an Interbrand match between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels. This is wrestling personified, two men who had been through the Attitude Era showing that they are still two of the very best in the business. Mid 2000’s Kurt Angle is one of my all-time favourite wrestlers and the chemistry he had here with Michael’s was fluid and absolutely delightful. All in all, one of the best Mania’s for me, slightly biased due to the sentimentality I do hold to it but every single bit of action in this match is lightyears ahead of its time and fully worth a watch. 

    Survivor Series 2002

    Another PPV with a first time ever match stipulation, this time giving us the spectacle that is the Elimination Chamber match. Another brilliant opening match as The Dudley Boyz, represented by Bubba and Spike, teaming with Jeff Hardy to take on 3-Minute Warning in an elimination tables match. An interesting team on the babyface side made because of the brand split after Bubba and Devon were separated and Matt Hardy’s heel turn and move to Smackdown earlier in the year gave us the combination of Jeff, Bubba and Spike. We got a brief Team 3D reunion as Devon came out to aid Bubba and deliver a 3D to Rico for the win. Billy Kidman would defeat Jamie Noble for the Cruiserweight Championship in a time where it was one of the hottest things on the show, to be followed by a women’s hardcore match as Victoria would defeat Trish Stratus for the Women’s Championship. We got some blood in this match which was unbelievably rare after Victoria’s nose got busted.

    The screwjob of the century happened as Paul Heyman turned on Brock Lesnar to aid Big Show in winning the WWE Championship in an utter squash match. The final two matches we got made this show, a triple threat tag match for the WWE Tag Team Championships between the Smackdown Six; Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo), Edge & Rey Mysterio and Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle. These six men carried the Smackdown tag division for a very long time and any match they were involved in was an absolute masterclass. The main event was the first-ever Chamber match, something WWE described as a combination of the Royal Rumble, Survivor Series and War Games. Triple H went into the match as the reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion, defending against Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Chris Jericho, Kane and Rob Van Dam. Obviously, it being the first it was never expected to be the best but this match was utterly fantastic.

    It was new and fresh for the fans to watch; we had seen similar but nothing quite like this. We also got to see Shawn Michaels extremely memorable brown tights, looking back on it now, not the best choice. But he did win, his first WWE Championship since he lost the WWE Championship to ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIV. An extremely frenzied and enjoyable PPV to watch with some matches, the main event in particular, that were ahead of its time. 

    Royal Rumble 2008

    One of the greatest returns in WWE history headlined this PPV and gave us the reason to watch, a man who was always booed by the fans get one of the biggest pops to date. The opening match was one of the ‘career-threatening’ matches Ric Flair was going through because Vince McMahon was being himself and trying to force him to retire. Ric defeated MVP with Little Naich, Charles Robinson, ringing the bell after MVP submitted to the Figure-Four Leglock. JBL defeating Chris Jericho by DQ followed, a pretty brutal match for what was billed as a singles match. Jericho got his revenge on JBL, who strangled Jericho with the tech wires on RAW, Jericho did that back to JBL at the Rumble after the bell had rung.

    There was blood in this as well but from Jericho who was thrown into the ring post causing him to see red. Edge vs Rey Mysterio followed for the World Heavyweight Championship and no matter what the situation is, a match that involve these two men is always absolutely brilliant. At the time, Edge was in the height of his career as the boyfriend/husband of Smackdown General Manager, Vickie Guerrero, and he would use her position to get whatever he wanted. Edge won the bout, retaining his championship after Vickie sacrificed herself, protecting Edge during a 619 attempt by Mysterio. He would attempt a springboard only to be caught by the Spear by Edge for the three. The penultimate match of the show was one of my favourite matches to watch, partly due to the hype package WWE made and the song they chose. Jeff Hardy, one of the most popular WWE superstars in history looked to be getting what we all wanted him to get, a WWE Championship run. Standing in his way was the utterly brilliant and unstable Randy Orton, who was in the midst of his run as WWE’s resident psychopath champion.

    Ultimately, we’d have to wait a little longer for that scene of Jeff Hardy lifting a World Title above his head as Orton would counter the Twist of Fate into an RKO. We get to the Rumble match which is introduced by the legendary Michael Buffer in MSG and starting off with the final two of the previous year’s Rumble, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.  We get various great moments including a square-off between WWE Hall of Famers, ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper and ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka and the big moment at the end of the show. John Cena making a return, after tearing his pectoral muscle in October, an injury that has a return time of seven months to a year. He is literally Superman, three months to heal from a torn pectoral. He has a showdown with Triple H who together clear out most of the field before being in the final three alongside Batista.

    Triple H eliminates Batista before succumbing to the power of ‘Super Cena’ who hits the FU on Triple H out of the ring and wins the match from number 30. This PPV is more well known for the last two matches but the whole show is very good and an extremely enjoyable watch.

    Summerslam 2002

    The Next Big Thing is officially here. Brock Lesnar, who was propelled to the top of WWE, proved why, as he defeated The Rock for the WWE Championship in the main event of the show. Considering it’s 2002 and the shows are normally five or six matches long, Summerslam weighed in at a whopping nine matches plus a dark match that was aired on heat; Spike Dudley defeating Stevie Richards in 2:35. The opener to the show is still classed as one of the best show openers to this date; Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio. It’s also classed as one of the best matches under ten minutes, with Angle coming out on top, winning by submission. There are a couple of lesser talked about matches on the show as well, Ric Flair defeating Chris Jericho and Edge defeating Eddie Guerrero. Following these two bouts, we had a couple of championship matches starting with the Un-Americans, represented by Christian and Lance Storm, taking on the comedy duo of Booker T and Goldust.

    One of the most popular tag teams in the early 2000s couldn’t get the job done unfortunately as the Canadian duo came out on top. Rob Van Dam defeated Chris Benoit for the Intercontinental Championship in a brilliant battle of styles. The final match before the two barn burners this show had for us was The Undertaker, during his American Badass gimmick, defeating Test for the good of America. In his first match back in four years, we got the unsanctioned match between Shawn Michaels and Triple H. A brutal, emotionally driven masterpiece between two of the best wrestlers to ever grace a ring makes this show worth the watch alone. But there is another match for us to enjoy and that is the passing of the torch from The Rock to Brock Lesnar.

    Lesnar was only 25 years old at this point and he had impressed so many people in such a short time, debuting on the main roster in March 2002, five months prior to Summerslam. This show is heavily reliant on the opener and final two matches but the six matches in between are still very good and gives this show a worthy place on this list. 

    Unforgiven 2006

    Emanating from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and one half of the main event being from Toronto just felt perfect, it felt even more perfect considering that man was The Rated R Superstar, Edge. A heel, a massive heel but a heel who got cheered because Toronto knew they need to support their hometown boy. Looking at this card and realising that Shelton Benjamin was on the dark match is shocking, even more shocking is that he lost against Super Crazy. The opener on the main card was one of the better feuds in the mid-card during 2006 between Johnny Nitro and Jeff Hardy over the Intercontinental Championship, as they would exchange the title between themselves after Nitro was separated from tag partner, Joey Mercury. Nitro came out on top in this specific match, retaining his strap.

    Kane and Umaga, two big men, battled to a double count-out which made sense because their feud was pretty physical and they both would just go and batter each other. Additionally, they both needed to keep momentum and this is a good way to keep it. A forgotten tag team in WWE, The Highlanders challenged The Spirit Squad for the World Tag Team Championships, yes that is right, those pesky male cheerleaders. Those pesky male cheerleaders did bring us Dolph Ziggler so it wasn’t so bad. They did come out on top, with Kenny and Mikey representing the team and retaining the championships. Another underrated banger coming your way in the form of D-Generation X, of course represented by Shawn Michaels and Triple H, competing against Big Show, Mr McMahon and Shane McMahon in a Hell in a Cell match. The feud between the McMahon’s and DX was absolutely class, it brought us the reformation of DX and it gave us classic after classic match, this one is no exception.

    Another classic rivalry we’ll never get tired of watching is Lita and Trish Stratus, two of the best, if not the best, women’s wrestlers to ever grace a WWE ring. Every match they had was class and this one was no exception with a happy ending resulting in the Canadian, Trish Stratus, winning in her home country and winning the Women’s Championship. What made this even better was this was Trish’s retirement match, which we got confirmation of on the September 4th episode of RAW.

    Before we get to the main event, we have a random match between Randy Orton and Carlito which Orton won hitting an RKO outta nowhere. It felt kind of poetic looking at the result of the main event, you had the heel champion in his hometown and in the match, he helped innovate, TLC, going against the face of the company who had to move brands if he were to lose. John Cena vs Edge, one of the greatest feuds of all time, the two men hated each other and it was clear to see after Edge put that clause into this match that if Cena lost, he’d have to join Smackdown. Super Cena would come out on top, meaning he won the title and stayed on Monday Night RAW despite interference from Edge’s girlfriend, Lita.

    A fantastic final spot as Cena would FU Edge through two tables from the top of the ladder. Unforgiven is a criminally underrated show, often forgotten about but the matches all added up to make an extremely entertaining show.

    For me, the Ruthless Aggression Era is the greatest era in WWE history because I grew up in it. You had the main stars and the rising stars who would intertwine and make fantastic moments and wonderfully captivating matches. We will never see an era like it again, so use the WWE Network to rewatch these five shows and some other classic events.