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Seven Options For John Cena At WrestleMania Not Involving The Undertaker

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John Cena Point WrestleMania WWE

Since my recent article about The Undertaker has generated a lot of comments, the question has been “What will WWE do with John Cena if they don’t put him in the Undertaker match?” Despite popular belief, there is a lot Cena can do at WrestleMania that doesn’t involve the Deadman.

Try to Break Ric Flair’s Record (John Cena vs. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura)

This match seems to be aimed at the more hardcore fans who watch other promotions, as well as WWE. The problem with that is that there is not a whole lot to recommend it to casual and mainstream viewers. Styles is amazing, but Nakamura hasn’t been setting the world on fire since his debut. Also, this match is based on the feud Styles and Nakamura had in Japan, which won’t mean a whole lot to casual fans that only watch WWE. Adding Cena to the mix would give it mainstream attention and give us the ongoing storyline of whether or not Cena breaks Ric Flair’s record.

Try to Win the Grand Slam (John Cena vs. The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor)

With Randy Orton finally achieving the status of Grand Slam Champion, it also reminds us that Cena is NOT a Grand Slam Champion. The only belt Cena is missing is the Intercontinental Title, which is currently slated to be contested in a Triple Threat Match between Miz, Seth Rollins, and Finn Balor. Now, I love two of the three guys in this match, but there is a potential bug in the program: Maryse Ouellet, Miz’s wife, is due to give birth to the couple’s first child around WrestleMania weekend. Babies come when they are good and ready, and there’s every possibility that Baby Girl Mizanin will be born before or after WrestleMania weekend, but that’s a big chance to take for the Granddaddy of Them All. WWE could cover their bets by putting Cena in the Intercontinental Match and keep the Triple Threat up, even if Miz is unable to compete because of the arrival of his child, since Triple Threats don’t require the champ to be pinned for the title to change hands.

Go Back to Smackdown, Again (Team with Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn)

Safe to say that the Yep! Movement will probably be out for Shane’s head after he screwed both of them out of being WWE Champion at Fastlane. It’s looking like Shane’s going to need a partner against the Yep! Movement. I know a lot of fans want Daniel Bryan involved, but let’s stick with what could likely happen. Cena has had his fair share of issues with Kevin Owens, so this wouldn’t be a hard thing to set up quickly.

Still going for #17 (John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns)

Okay, Roman fans, let me finish before you kill me. I want Lesnar/Roman, I want it to be one-on-one, BUT there is a possibility that things go wrong and we’re short a competitor for the Universal Title match, especially given the rumored situation between Lesnar and WWE.  Cena and Roman had a good feud back in the fall and having another match for a title at WrestleMania would be a great thing to see.

“The John Cena Match” (John Cena vs. either Elias or Braun Strowman)

I will preface this one by saying that I don’t like either of these guys, BUT, they have both been on hot streaks lately and Cena facing either of them would boost them considerably, even if they lose.

Literal “Big Match” John (John Cena in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal)

Okay, this will probably never happen, but since the Battle Royal seems to be where WWE sticks Superstars that have nothing else going on at WrestleMania, having Cena involved would elevate it above being ‘the jobbers’ match’.

Chasing Tag Team Gold? (John Cena & a mystery partner vs. The Bar)

Another match that doesn’t seem likely, but could be fun. Cena and Sheamus have had issues in the past and since the rumor is that The Bar will face a non-team at WrestleMania, giving Cena a partner and facing the Bar would be interesting, especially if his partner was a certain Lunatic Fringe OR the RAW GM’s son, both of whom have issues with The Bar.

Tere you have it. Seven matches John Cena could have at WrestleMania that do not involve The Undertaker.  Some of them are more likely than others, but all of them could be interesting to see.

What would you do with John Cena if he doesn’t face The Undertaker?


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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NXT Minus 6: NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool

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NXT UK Dunne Coffey

NXT UK carries on the proud tradition of delivering a blazing hot Takeover.

6. Another Takeover opens with a match that could have been the main event. In hindsight it should have been. Mustache Mountain delivers a MOTY contender & Tyler Bate steals the show. That little dude is all kinds of special. What’s more impressive is how, in the course of the match, James Drake goes from “Why are you here?” to “Yes, you belong.” If you only watch one match from Takeover: Blackpool, it should be this one.  

Image result for tyler bate uk blackpool

5. Finn Balor versus Jordan Devlin was good. Given time and a proper build, these two could deliver something great. Because of their relationship, I kept flashing back to Jericho/Michaels at Wrestlemania 19. Balor seems a natural for NXT UK. He delivers name recognition, credibility and can instantly challenge Dunne for the title.

Image result for balor devlin uk blackpool

4. If you’re a fan of a good old fashioned slugfest, check out Eddie Dennis versus Bomber Dave Mastiff. Dennis is the most unassuming powerhouse I’ve ever seen. He’s built like a flagpole, so I have no idea where he got the strength to do what he did. Bomber Dave is England’s Bam Bam Bigelow, more agile than a man his size should be. Put them together and boom, ka-pow, smash, crush, good fun mayhem.

Image result for dennis bomber dave uk blackpool

3. THIS is the performance I’ve been waiting to see from Toni Storm. Her previous matches didn’t dazzle me. Her match with Io Shirai didn’t impress me. Her Takeover debut was the first time I saw how good she can be. BTW, did she win the Mae Young Classic? The announcers never seem to mention it…500 times a match.

Image result for toni storm rhea ripley uk blackpool

2. It makes me sad to type this, but Pete Dunne finally had a disappointing match. The action was clunky & chunky, like neither Pete nor Joe Coffey knew what to do next. Coffee’s two spills (HA) from the top rope looked horrible. Any American crowd would still be chanting “you f#$%ed up.” The match clocked in at around 33 minutes but felt twice that long. On the bright side, WALTER’s jacket might be the coolest ring gear since Flair’s robes.

Image result for pete dunne vs joe coffey
  1. Overall, this was a rock solid show and a fantastic way to showcase NXT UK. As good as the in-ring action was, what really put it over the top was the audience. Those blokes know how to have a good time. Their energy took things to another level and made the night feel special. Well done, Blackpool, and well deserved.   
Image result for triple h thumbs up

 

That’s right…I said it.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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The Streak Part 3: Ascending the Mountain – 1996-97

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The Undertaker The Streak WWE

Tiffany MC takes a look at the most legendary ride in wrestling history, The Streak! The Undertaker dominated WrestleMania for three decades, and he may not be done.

The years 1996-97 were pivotal ones in many ways for the Undertaker. WWF was moving slowly into what would be called the Attitude Era and the Undertaker was beginning to change with it. His Goth and supernatural gimmick were a perfect fit for the edgier WWF. During these years, Taker would begin to face opponents that would become part of his legend, including Mankind, be betrayed by Paul Bearer, and find himself fighting for the WWF Championship on the Grandest Stage of All.

WrestleMania XII: Big Daddy Cool Meets His Match

This was one of the matches that should’ve been the launch of a longer feud, but Nash had already given his notice to go to WCW, so it wasn’t to be. It started when Diesel, enraged at being eliminated from the Royal Rumble by friend Shawn Michaels, confronted Taker before Taker’s WWF Championship Match against Bret Hart. Not satisfied with just running his mouth, Diesel cost Taker the match by attacking him and getting Hart disqualified.

Undertaker would get Diesel back by cost him a cage match against Hart at In Your House 6, then launching into his twisted mind games, which included a scarily lifelike Diesel double in a casket. Diesel, never one to let mind games get to him, didn’t show much fear, and even overturned the casket and attacked Taker again.

Diesel comes out first to a mixed to negative reactions but, typically, doesn’t seem that bothered by them. It’s amazing to think that Diesel was one of the most over faces at the last WrestleMania and is now so hated.

The lights go out and the Deadman Cometh. Taker and Bearer come out, as cheery as ever, and the crowd goes nuts. Diesel still doesn’t seem horribly bothered by the spectacle and this fight’s on.

If you’re looking for a technical masterpiece, you’re in the wrong place. This match was a fistfight from start to finish and these two went all over the ringside area with it. To Jack Doan’s credit, he gave Taker and Diesel a lot of leeway. Taker pulled out a crossbody on Diesel, which was actually really cool.

Kevin Nash isn’t included in a list of great in-ring performers, but he and Taker really had a great match here. You could almost believe these guys hated each other. It would be easy to say that Taker carried Diesel, but that would be untrue, they carried each other.

It honestly looked like we might get a double countout after Diesel and Taker hit each other with big boots, but both got to their feet. Diesel broke out the classic bearhug to try and get a submission win, but Taker battled back. Taker went for the Missile off the Top, but Diesel got up. Diesel hit the Jackknife Powerbomb  and the crowd went nuts, but Diesel didn’t go for the cover, which is a huge mistake. However, even when Taker sat up, Diesel showed no fear or concern. It wasn’t until Taker fought back after a second Jackknife that Diesel seemed to get just who he was messing with, but Diesel was able to back suplex Taker, but Taker STILL sat up.

In the end it would take a chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver to put Diesel away but both men made a big statement about their abilities to the wrestling world.

The Undertaker WWF Championship

Highlight: Undertaker hitting a crossbody.

Rating: 5/10. This was a really great match for two huge guys who aren’t known for being technicians, this could’ve been Match of the Night for WrestleMania if the Iron Man match hadn’t happened. 

WrestleMania 13: The Phenom vs The Master and Ruler of the World

This match was odd because it wasn’t an actual feud or rivalry, plus the path to this match was pretty strange. Stone Cold won the 1997 Royal Rumble, however, because Austin had actually been eliminated by Bret Hart, his win was vacated. Michaels, who had recently won the title at Royal Rumble, had to vacate the title due to ongoing knee issues, so the Powers that Be made a Fatal Four Way Match to crown a new Champion to face Sid for Sid’s rematch. Hart won the championship, but then lost the title to Sid due to Austin’s interference. Since Taker had be the runner up in the Fatal Four Way match, he became the #1 Contender. When Hart got his rematch, Taker actually helped Sid win so he could beat Sid for the title.

Taker comes out first, and without Paul Bearer or the urn, due to Bearer betraying Taker to manage Mankind in the summer of 1996. Sid comes out next to a mixed reaction. He’s got a lot of fans, but so does Taker.

We have a big staredown, but are interrupted by Bret Hart, who is still mad that he’s not in the main event and gets in the ring. Bret trashes everyone, including Shawn Michaels, who was sitting on commentary, but Michaels ignores him, even pointing out that Bret’s just mad that someone else is getting the spotlight instead of him, which was pretty true, if a little ironic to hear from Michaels, who could be accused of the same thing, especially then.

Back to Bret, he berates Taker for helping Sid beat him for the title, saying that Taker had slammed the door on their friendship, proving that Bret never learned the difference between business and personal. After several minutes of this, Sid gets fed up with Hart’s complaining and powerbombs him, which gives the officials time to get Hart out of there.

With that out of the way, it’s time to get down to business. Taker takes advantage of the Hart distraction to get the jump on Sid and we’re underway!

Of the four ‘Big Man’ matches Taker would have in the 90s, this one isn’t my favorite. Like Diesel, Sid wasn’t known for his technical prowess, but somehow, that was more glaringly obvious in this match than in the match with Diesel.

After Taker dominated the first few minutes of the match, Sid got the upperhand and went for the bearhug, but Taker got out of it. They brawled out on the floor, but because this match was No DQ, there was nothing for Hebner to do but wait, not that he didn’t try to get them to stick to the rules.

Sid dominated much of the match, but Taker kept battling back, but this was definitely a long match for both men and it was starting to show. Sid went to the middle rope one time too many, which gave Taker an opening, but Sid quickly reestablished his dominance for about two minutes, when Taker sat up and saved himself from whatever top rope move Sid was planning, going for the Top Rope Clothesline. Sid would go for his own Tombstone, but Taker, of course, kicked out.

The end would finally come when Bret Hart, furious about Sid powerbombing him, which he deserved, ran in and hit Sid with a chair. Not satisfied with his work Hart ran in again and distracted Sid just long enough for Taker to hit the Tombstone and we have a NEW WWF Champion. The crowd goes nuts that their darkside hero was FINALLY champion! Taker celebrates with the crowd and, in a rare moment of breaking kayfabe, signaled to the crowd that his win was for them, all the Creatures of the Night that had supported him.

Highlights: Bret Hart getting beat up by Sid. Earl Hebner rolling Sid out of the ring after his loss.

Rating: 4/10. This match wasn’t as good as the one with Diesel and the inclusion of Bret Hart really should’ve stopped after the first appearance.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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