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The Wrestling News Experience: 04.02.12

April 2, 2012 | Posted by Stephen Randle

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

From 411Mania’s Canadian offices in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, this is The Wrestling News Experience, with Stephen Randle!

Going Through Some Weird Stuff

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Experience. I am Stephen Randle, and I hope you all appreciate that I haven’t even watched Game of Thrones yet so you can all have your precious column on time. I hope you appreciate it.

What I appreciate is that I’ve received silent authorization to continue the TWNE After Dark podcasts, every Thursday around 10 pm on Spreaker.com, and there will even be a link right here on 411 (assuming I can figure out how that works for a second straight week). Last week we were completely live and nothing majorly bad happened, so we’ll be trying again. That means that Episode 3 is up on the site, and to listen it, you know what to click on.

Topics include stuff that was more relevant before WrestleMania, but it’s still fun to listen to! Honest!

Moving on.

Slimmer has the live coverage. I have my own take of things. Just a reminder, my star ratings are more of a suggestion. I don’t do this professionally.

And here…we…go.

Boy, AJ really hit the tanning bed today

Wait, what?

Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan to win the World Heavyweight Championship (pinfall, Brogue Kick)

TWNE Rating: NR. I don’t rate three second matches. Yeah, um, that’s not what I expected to happen. I guess they really are tight for time on this four hour show

So Bryan’s rematch is clearly “he wasn’t ready” and blaming AJ. Hey…maybe it’s a conspiracy between Sheamus and AJ!

Well, Cole, if they’re still filing into the stadium, then they already missed a pretty big title change.

Excellent, they’re getting Orton-Kane out of the way early.

And the crowd cares about this heated feud so much they chant for Daniel Bryan!

Man, the lighting is all screwed up because of the outdoors and sunset. Kane in his black outfit keeps fading into the background of the wide shots, if you understand what I mean.

Have you seen a Randy Orton match? Have you seen a Kane match? You’ve seen this match.

Kane defeated Randy Orton (pinfall, top rope chokeslam)

TWNE Rating: ** – Like I said, your average Kane/Orton match. Interesting and totally unexpected finish, though. It’s like they want to screw with every single one of my picks tonight.

My buddy Tino picked that match to steal the show beforehand. Why, oh why, didn’t we bet money?

Santino+Foley+guy from Deadliest Catch=fun stuff. Why can’t Foley be GM again? Also, Ron Simmons says that thing he says to end segments. Oh right, he’s a national hero in Florida, ain’t he.

That’s an…interesting coat, there, Cody.

Wow, Show got all of Rhodes on that spear. And by “All of Rhodes”, I mean “square in Rhodes’ testicles”.

The Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to win the WWE Intercontinental title (pinfall, KO Punch)

TWNE Rating: **1/2 – Better match than the one that preceded it, although nothing special otherwise. Right finish, though, and at least I picked something right tonight.

If I could describe a WWE Diva in one word, it would be “filler”. Wait, if this match goes on now, what will be the bathroom break match before the main event?

What the hell is growing out of Beth’s head? Between this, Cody’s coat, and AJ’s lime green, did the costume designers go insane backstage?

Hey, Menounos is acting hurt better than any of the actual female wrestlers.

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres (Menounos pinned Phoenix, Kelly Kelly Patented Roll-up After Blatant Cheating)

TWNE Rating: * – Pretty much what one would expect, and hell, Menounos took bigger risks than someone who has a much more profitable day job should be doing in a wrestling ring.

Oh, excellent, somebody competent to call the next match. Wait, he’s got a goatee! It’s Alternate Universe JR! This is the darkest timeline! Oh nooooo!

In any event, hopefully they muzzle Cole for this entire match. He may be JR’s evil twin, but he’s still way better than Cole.

Well, at least Shawn is wearing a referee shirt and pants that fit for once.

I was going to give Triple H credit for just using his own entrance music this year, but then I saw the gigantic monstrosity they built for him to walk through. I wonder how much that cost. And now it will never be used again. America’s priorities are a joke!

Remarkably low-key entrance for Taker. Well, relatively. Maybe the Cell will get all the pyro.

Actually, it’s smart that they use the Metallica song for the Cell, since they can easily cut that from the DVD release and no one will really care.

Hey, apparently Taker used the year off to get really, really fast somehow. Well, again, relatively.

As impressive as it is that they dug up the fact that HHH never loses when Shawn is ref, I’d give them more points if they remembered that Undertaker lost at least once in the same situation back in 1997.

Not sure what Trip bladed off of, but I definitely see something. Not much, so maybe it was unintentional.

Yeah, sure.

Well, this was a nice little match until we hit the dramatic “Shawn’s Choice” segment that serves no real purpose because you know Taker’s not going to quit, and clearly he’s not too injured because he keeps kicking out.

Okay, Shawn’s out, can we get back to the match, now?

Oh good, I was worried we were going straight to the finish.

“So what now, Jack Sparrow? Will it be two immortals locked in an epic battle until Judgement Day and trumpets sound?”

“Or you could surrender.”

The Undertaker defeated Triple H (pinfall, Tombstone)

TWNE Rating: ****1/4 – Obviously, I enjoyed this match a lot more than the first (second) one. I can’t give it the full five because the Shawn drama really dragged on in that middle portion, even though I understand it was why he was there. They got me back into it after that, though, so I can’t fault it too much. Also, the Hell in a Cell, while appropriate, was unnecessary to the match quality.

And hey, we’ve still got two hours of PPV left!

Oh my God, what did Edge do to his hair?

Great, Flo Rida is going to perform. I was really hoping we could avoid that. But hey, at least Heath Slater gets five seconds of TV time. Before Flo Rida shoves him into a wall so hard that it looks like someone just said “go ahead and shove him as hard as you can”. That’s actually hilarious.

White suit, red tie. Looks like Johnny slit his throat.

Nice to see the wrestlers involved are so important that they don’t even get to come in to their theme music.

Twelve wrestlers, two GM’s, two standard bearers, Aksana, Eve, and both Bella Twins. There are entirely too many people in too small of an area.

Oh no. Goddammit. Now I don’t want to watch tomorrow. Great plan, WWE.

Well, at least I had the right two guys in at the finish, if not the right winner. Small consolation, really.

Team Johnny defeated Team Teddy (Miz pinned Ryder, Skull-Crushing Finale)

TWNE Rating: ** – Not a good match by any real stretch, but had some entertainment value. Until the finish. Bleh. Hey, great, Zack Ryder’s an idiot and Johnny Ace is going to be on both shows. That’s exactly what I wanted to see.

And just to drive the point home, Eve kicks Zack in the balls. Vince probably just orgasmed in joy.

Yes, A-Rod and Torrie Wilson is totally a power couple, guys. In that A-Rod is one of the biggest stars in Major League Baseball (unfortunately), and Torrie is a random blonde chick hanging on his elbow.

Commentary has paused so I can watch this next match.

Hell, I’M exhausted from watching that.

CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship (submission, Anaconda Vice)

TWNE Rating: ****1/4 – I wanted to be able to rate this higher than Hell in a Cell, but in good conscience I couldn’t. But it wasn’t worse, either, so we’ll be fair and give it the same rating. It’s not fair, but after Punk-Cena, I can’t help but compare the atmosphere from Chicago to all my five-star matches, and this just didn’t have it. I will gladly pay for round two, though. And all subsequent rounds.

Oh Lord. This is either the greatest thing ever or…okay, hold on, now it’s the greatest thing ever. It’s Brodus Clay and Mama’s Bridge Club dancers! Somehow, my whole life, all of our lives, have been leading up to this moment. And it is glorious.

Hey, look, it IS Shakespeare. Or at least a quote from him.

Ha, the live crowd boos the shit out of MGK. It’s like we hate musical numbers at WrestleMania or something. Or maybe this guy sucks. I dunno, I don’t listen to any music that you people consider cool.

In what goddamned world is John Cena an underdog? “A fight he’s not expected to win?” Cena always wins, idiot.

Oh, gee, his new shirt is a Boston Celtics tribute. That’ll play well in Miami. Might as well go for it if you’re going to go for it, I guess.

Am I the only one who wonders what the bike from Tron is doing on the stage?

And the crowd goes insane from the bell. They are literally hanging from the rafters, right Gorilla?

There aren’t even any really organized chants. It’s just pure noise.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say Cena’s working heel. Maybe it’s just because I’m watching a bearhug for some reason.

I swear I just heard Cole call Rock “Punk” while he was in the STF. I know that’s what I heard. Someone back me up.

Holy crap, I was sure the crossbody roll-through into the AA was the finish.

Wait, what?

The Rock defeated John Cena (pinfall, Rock Bottom)

TWNE Rating: **** – Mostly for the atmosphere, because man, they did a lot of rest holds. Can’t fault the wrestling outside of that. I am flabbergasted by the ending, though. So, where do we go from here? Cena, basically, has failed to rise above the latest “hate” and emerge victorious. I guess we’ll have to see.

Rock poses, no Brock, we’re out. Huh.

Last night, in what has to be considered a fairly decent shock, The Rock emerged victorious in the biggest match of this wrestling generation. How will Cena respond to losing such an important match, especially when it was arguably his own hubris which created the fatal mistake that led to his demise? And can I re-use anything else from my old Hamlet essay to describe what happened? Both Rock and Cena will be in attendance at Raw tonight, and hopefully we will get…the rest of the story.

Meanwhile, CM Punk retained his WWE Title against Chris Jericho in a grueling match that should leave no question as to who really is the Best in the World. But hopefully it won’t and we’ll get more matches between the two of them.

Plus, WWE has already announced that a big multi-man tag match will take place tonight featuring some of the opponents from last night’s Mania. I couldn’t tell you who, exactly, but at least it’s a match!

Oh, and Team Johnny won because Zack Ryder is an idiot, so I suspect there will be some sort of celebration tonight. Please let it be short-lived.

All this and more, as we start all over again building for next WrestleMania, tonight on Raw!

Just Because I Hate Him, Doesn’t Mean He’s Not Awesome

I’m too busy basking in Mania. Oh, all right, we’ll do a couple news items.

From TMZ over the weekend:

David Otunga has brought a young Haiti refugee to the WrestleMania Weekendevents in Miami as part of a raffle.

Otunga heard about the boy’s story – he was moved to the US two years ago after the Haiti earthquake and his mother died two weeks ago in Haiti – and reportedly felt that a simple WrestleMania ticket wasn’t enough. So he personally set up a meet-and-greet for the kid backstage so he could meet all of the wrestlers at the event.

Now, I will be among the first to list David Otunga’s faults. He’s not entertaining, he can’t wrestle, and I hate his stupid coffee mug. However, you can’t argue that the man does not have to do all the things he does. He’s a Harvard educated lawyer of some skill, he’s married to a famous movie star, and presumably he does not need to put his body on the line on a weekly basis in the seedy world that is pro wrestling. However, not only does he wrestle, he does selfless things like that. And I just thought it merited mention.

He’s still crap in the ring, though.

Here Comes The Pain?

So the news is out that Brock Lesnar and WWE may be back on more than just speaking terms. And by that I mean that the latest rumour is that Brock may have signed some sort of potential 1-year part-time contract that might have something to do with next year’s Mania main event. Obviously this spiralled into wild speculation quickly, because we’re the Internet and that’s what we do. As we know by now, the plan clearly was not to have Brock show up at WrestleMania, because he didn’t. So the question remains: is it true, and when will the Next Big Thing return to WWE TV? I guess that’s two questions. Whatever.

Another question I have is this: which Brock Lesnar will we get? I don’t question Lesnar’s passion for whatever he’s decided he wants to do now. Clearly, he’s got the skills to succeed at anything he puts his mind to, at least for a while, and frankly, that’s scary as hell. I just want to be happy that he’s back in WWE, and by that I mean, if he’s coming back, I hope we get the super-intense, highly skilled, having **** matches when he wants to because he can Brock Lesnar, and not some guy who’s cashing a paycheck. Because in Brock’s WWE return is truly one of those last “big” things WWE can do that doesn’t involve a long, slow process of rebuilding new stars. Lesnar can, guaranteed, at least pop one big (well, semi-big, at least) buyrate for his first return match. He can be that one big feud, like Rock-Cena was for the past year (well, sort of). He can stave off serious problems for a while, and if done correctly, yes, he has the ability to move WWE in a seriously positive direction. But he has to want to be there. And he has to prove it to people like me, who are old enough to remember how he left the first time.

One way or the other, we shall see.

1. Brock Lesnar

He’s out there. We know he’s out there. Some of us wish we didn’t because we don’t like being spoiled, but we can’t help ourselves. If it happens, spoiled or not, it will still be pretty sweet.

2. The Rock

Speaking of guys who totally don’t need to be doing this sort of thing, turns out when you ask the Rock to bring it, he does indeed bring that which you requested. I’m still not sure what his victory at Mania means, but colour me…intrigued.

3. CM Punk

Punk was pencilled in for a top 3 slot here as long as he retained, because we knew the match would rock and it did, and he retained. I never thought I’d thank Johnny Ace for anything, but hey, thanks for ensuring it’d be a wrestling match. Now go away and don’t come back.

4. Sheamus

Four hours later, anyone remember that the Celtic Warrior quickly and decisively opened the show by destroying Daniel Bryan and pinning him to become World Champion? You wouldn’t think a squash of that proportion would lead to so many storyline options, but in this case…

5. The Undertaker

Well, I cost myself a cool hundred bucks, if only I’d had the nine hundred it would have taken to make the bet. I’m glad, at the very least, he wasn’t totally bald.

6. Triple H

If they’re dead set on doing Triple H-Shawn next year (and who knows at this point), you can certainly see where the seeds were planted.

7. Brodus Clay

Hey, as “cooldown spots between main events go”, that was, by far, one of them. Arguably, it was actually better than slotting the Divas match in there.

8. Kane

At this point in his career, that’s pretty much the most shocking victory ever for Kane. Short of him winning another World title, anyway. Hey, write down the date, Cena AND Orton lost cleanly on PPV. At WrestleMania, even. In separate one-on-one matches!

9. The Big Show

I believe that gives Show every single active WWE title (and several that no longer exist) to put on his resume (right next to “pretended to be Hulk Hogan on PPV and was awesome at it”). Hard to believe he missed this one at some point, though.

10. Ric Flair

I hear he spent most of his Hall of Fame speech kissing up to WWE and practically begging to come back. Methinks he’s got a wee bit of “massively broke guy’s remorse”.

Inactive List as of 03.26.12


– Evan Bourne, out indefinitely as of March 19th (foot)
– Kharma, out indefinitely as of January 2012 (personal)
– Rey Mysterio, out indefinitely as of August 23rd (knee surgeries)

WWE SmackDown

– Layla El, out indefinitely as of May 23rd (ACL/MCL surgery)
– Sin Cara, out 6-9 months as of November 20th (ruptured patella)
– Wade Barrett, out 3-4 months as of Februrary 20th (dislocated elbow)


– Chris Sabin, out indefinitely (medulla oblongata)
– Jesse Sorenson, out at least one year as of February 12th (spine)
– Ric Flair, out 4-6 months as of September 14th (tricep)


– Christian, SD!, day-to-day as of March 26th (not medically cleared for competition)

– Johny Ace, RAW, named GM of both Raw and Smackdown


WWE Champion: CM Punk
– 134 day reign, defeated Alberto Del Rio on November 20th (Survivor Series PPV)

**NEW** World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus
– 1 day reign, defeated Daniel Bryan on August 1st (WrestleMania XXVIII)

**NEW** WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Big Show
– 1 day reign, defeated Cody Rhodes on August 1st (WrestleMania XXVIII)

WWE United States Champion: Santino Marella
– 28 day reign, defeated Jack Swagger on March 5th (Raw)

WWE Tag Team Champions: Epico and Primo
– 78 day reign, defeated Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne on January 15th (house show)

WWE Divas’ Champion: Beth Phoenix
– 176 day reign, defeated Kelly Kelly on October 2nd (Hell in a Cell PPV)


TNA Heavyweight Champion: Bobby Roode
– 151 day reign, defeated James Storm on November 3rd (Impact)
– Next title defense: vs James Storm, Lockdown PPV

TNA Tag Team Champions: Samoa Joe and Magnus
– 50 day reign, defeated Crimson and Matt Morgan on February 12th (Against All Odds PPV)

TNA X-Division Champion: Austin Aries
– 198 day reign, defeated Brian Kendrick on September 11th (No Surrender PPV)

TNA Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim
– 141 day reign, defeated Velvet Sky on November 13th (Turning Point PPV)

TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions: ODB and Eric Young
– 25 day reign, defeated Gail Kim and Madison Rayne on March 8th (Impact)

TNA Television Champion: Devon
– 15 day reign, defeated Robbie E on March 18th (Victory Road PPV)

De Marco has The Wrestling 5&1.

Frame has The Wrestling Framework.

Rutherford has The Wrestling Sandwich.

Acero has The Triumverate of Truth.

And just in case you missed it, go listen to my podcasts!

411 will have live coverage of Raw tonight starting at 9 pm EDT.

I am also contractually obligated to inform you that 411 Podcasts are back, and a new one goes live tonight at about 10:00 pm EDT.

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And don’t forget, you can follow all of the everyday goings on in 411 on Twitter.

Stephen’s Twitter

That’s our show, That Damned Cook is in tomorrow, I will be back next week. Plus, don’t forget to look for me this Wednesday in the Games Zone for Four Player Co-op, and the TWNE After Dark podcast at around 10 pm EDT this Thursday!

Here it is, your Moment of Buddy

Blah, Blah, Blah. Can Buddy Watch Game of Thrones Now?

Yes we can, Buddy. Yes we can.

Have a good one, and always be a fan.


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