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Please Bring CM Punk Back To WWE

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WWE CM Punk

Following UFC President Dana White’s comments following CM Punk and a second straight loss in the octagon, it would appear the former WWE champion’s career in MMA is over.

That’s a 0-2 record that wasn’t even close to being successful. I give Punk all the respect in the world for trying to make a second career in another highly-charged sport that honestly he had no chance at succeeding. Now, will there be a reconciliation between the “Second City Saint” and WWE? Can Punk, who has complained about the company that made him a household name for suspect medical practices, tuck his tail between his legs and slide up to the bar next to Vince McMahon and ask to have his seat at the adult table once again?

“It probably should be a wrap,” White said of Punk’s MMA career per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com. “The guy is 39 years old. I love the guy. He’s the nicest guy in the world. We gave him two shots, and he had a lot of heart tonight in this fight. And I think he should call it a wrap.”

What White wants, he usually gets. He wanted Punk for the name recognition, the chance to show he could take someone with Phil Brooks’ heart and turn him into a true fighter. The performer failed miserably at it but has earned the respect of many who probably echo the sentiments White expressed following the loss to Mike Jackson at UFC 225 on Saturday night at the United Center.

CM Punk is no Brock Lesnar, who has been a heavyweight champion in both genres. Ronda Rousey owned the women’s division until two devastating losses. Ken Shamrock was successful on both levels. Bobby Lashley has been in the octagon as well. Dan Severn proved to lay the groundwork for everyone after him.

Now, Punk is a footnote in a failed attempt to prove he can handle the real workings of fighting without the theatrical scripted nature of a wrestling ring. Wrestling fans have to wonder if coming back to the McMahon circus would be the right move and if not, could he follow the same path as Cody Rhodes – making himself an international success through ROH, TNA, and NJPW?

Punk was a success on the independent circuit before he made his way to Stamford, CT. It could work again – in time.

Right now, WWE is teetering on the brink of something big from its new deal with Fox Sports and a change in format for the SmackDown Live brand. Monday Night Raw, with its forgotten champion in Lesnar and its dissolution of the main event picture, could use the shot of adrenaline someone like Punk could bring to the company and the hoard of fans who still chant his name at live events.

As Okamoto wrote, Before Saturday’s bout, Punk told ESPN he intended to continue his career regardless of what happened against Jackson. White had different ideas after the fight. If Punk left UFC, it would be without fanfare, more like a whisper in the wind.  

If he comes back to WWE, the fans will come. They will come in droves. Like Daniel Bryan, they will cheer loudly in his honor. His wife, AJ Lee could be part of the reunion as well, adding another card to a stacked deck in WWE’s women’s division. I’m salivating at the possibilities. I would love to see Punk and AJ Styles. A confrontation with Shinsuke Nakamura and possibly a shot at Roman Reigns with a heel turn part of the script.

WWE should pick up the phone and test the waters a bit. Vince McMahon himself should be the voice on the other end of the conversation. Whatever it takes, make this happen. Bring Punk back to where he belongs and erase the stain his UFC career has left on Punk’s resume. Everything is fair in love and wrestling. This time, the two who had a past relationship must kiss and make up. Not just for WWE’s need for ratings and more balance on its roster, but to help ease the pain Punk feels by being miscast as a fighter when he is really a performer.

 

 

 

 


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Jim Neidhart: Remembering The Anvil

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Jim Neidhart

A piece of my childhood passed away.  Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart was known best as half of the 1980s tag team, the Hart Foundation.  Along with his tag team partner and brother-in-law, Bret Hart, the Hart Foundation were active between 1985 and 1991, and won the WWE Tag Team Titles in ’87 and ’90:  Then in 1997, the Hart Foundation was revived in the form of a stable. The group’s line up consisted of family members and students of the Hart clan.

The Neidhart-Bret partnership mirrored a relationship between a big brother; protective over his younger sibling; this illustration became evident when the Harts switched from being villains to heroes, in 1988. An example of the brotherly relationship was demonstrated during their matches as Bret would take the brunt of their opponent’s foul tactics while Jim; frustrated and concerned, waited reluctantly in his corner for Bret to escape their opponents and tag him in.

I believe that a lot of Hart Foundation’s success and appeal is credited to Jim Neidhart’s contributions. Bret was known as the cool member and ‘technical wrestling’ part of the team; Bret occupied the ring during most of their matches as Neidhart shouted moral support in the corner while waiting for his turn. When Bret was the recipient of their opponents’ foul play, the fans depended on Neidhart as the ‘big brother’ to make the save.

Bret’s appeal as the ‘cool’ guy was an element to the Hart Foundation’s fan base; however, it was Neidhart’s infectious and loud personality that transformed the Harts into an inclusive brand. The Hart Foundations interviews highlighted Neidhart’s abilities to sell the group with his animated charisma. What Bret did for the team in the ring; Neidhart equaled while promoting the duo in their interviews.

RIP Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart

@Ite_Lemalu
Ite Lemalu Writings


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Carmella: The Fabulous WWE Villain Fans Never Knew They Needed

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Carmella

When one thinks of Carmella, it’s understandable to hear the groans, complaints, and see the occasional eye roll whenever she is mentioned.  The current Smackdown Women’s Champion thrives in controversy, to which that is how she captured the gold in the first place.  From the Women’s Money in the Bank to now, it is well-known that Carmella will find any way to win, and now, keep the Championship around her waist.  Many fans don’t like it, but that’s okay.  They’re not supposed to like it, after all.

The heat for Carmella is something rather special.  Long gone is the sidekick to Enzo Amore and Big Cass.  Carmella’s opportunist-driven qualities are what have gotten her this far.  Aligning herself with James Ellsworth has been a catalyst for her career thus far; however Carmella’s motive on Smackdown has been clear from the time she was drafted just two years ago.  As the final pick in that particular draft, Carmella has done quite well for herself when you look at her accomplishments on the surface.  It may not be the right way, but fans can’t deny that it only adds to her notoriety.

In fact, Carmella just may have taken a page out of the book of the past Superstars and has executed those heel tactics to great success.  She isn’t the best wrestler by any means, but some of the best heels the company has had were the exact same way.  Wrestlers such as Tully Blanchard, Wahoo McDaniel, Yokozuna, Big Show, and even Jinder Mahal are names that come to mind when it comes to such traits.  With that being said, Carmella’s character on the main roster has always relied on the shady cheat tactics to get and stay ahead in the Smackdown Women’s division.  From her wins against Charlotte Flair and Asuka, those factors heavily play into her storyline direction.

Carmella uses those wins to draw continuous heat, which helps her tremendously.  In addition, her conceit and mouthy attitude draws even more ire from fans who want to see her get beat down.  There is no guess that she is Smackdown’s top female heel and with good reason given how her journey has been thus far.  There isn’t anyone at this present time that has the advantage and opportunities Carmella has been able to use at her disposal.  Perhaps the IIconics are on their way there, but they have a long way to go to make any kind of long-term establishment.

Carmella may not be the most talented in the ring, but what she does with her character matters so much more.  Years from now, she will be one of those who fans reminisce about when talking about this era of WWE.  Yes, she’s pissed us off, and yes, she gets on everyone’s nerves.  But in this day and age, that is something to be recognized for, and that is why she is the Smackdown Women’s Champion, and why she’s grabbing the spotlight.  When Carmella does lose that Championship, it will be a great moment because it has been a long time coming.


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Top 5: 2018 Dream Matches

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Some folks out there have been complaining about the All In card lacking that epic feel. I feel like these people would have complained no matter what Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks booked on the show, but I have to admit that Cody vs. Nick Aldis isn’t exactly something that I’ve been dying to see. Last week however, they announced a match between two of the most talked about wrestlers of the last few years that have never crossed paths.

Kenny Omega is the Best Bout Machine and the talk of New Japan & the wrestling world. His status with that company is a constant topic of conversation, as everyone wonders when/if he’ll make the jump to WWE. He’s admitted it’ll probably happen someday, but he has no reason to be displeased with where he is.

Pentagon Jr./Pentagon Dark/Penta el 0 M wrestles pretty much everywhere except Japan & WWE, it seems. Lucha Underground, Impact Wrestling, AAA, CMLL, they’ve all hosted Pentagon & his arm-breaking ways. There’s been some WWE hype, but Penta doesn’t seem the type to tie himself down to one company, or even one name.

Omega vs. Penta qualifies as a dream match in my eyes. We’ve seen Kenny tear it up on NJPW World. We’ve seen Pentagon do his thing in companies all across North America. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes. In honor of this machup, I’ve put my thinking cap on and come up with some other matches I haven’t seen before that I think would be fun.

These are the Top 5 2018 Dream Matches.

5. Dalton Castle vs. Velveteen Dream

I see a lot of Dream hype online during & just after every NXT Takeover. I don’t hear a word about him any other time, but he’s a talented performer with a certain charisma about him. His flamboyance is a key tool he uses to play mind games with his opponent. Some feel he could be the future of the business, but believe that WWE’s main writing staff will be unable to use him properly.

Castle is a character that could only exist in its true form in Ring of Honor or a promotion on its level. TNA wanted him to have Girls when Boys were what made the entrance work. He overcame the barrier that flamboyant acts had previously faced in ROH by being as talented in the ring as he was on the microphone. Both of these guys get it done in every aspect of the game, and seeing them in a feud would be very interesting.

4. Charlotte Flair vs. Tessa Blanchard

Charlotte has stood on top of WWE’s women’s scene for a couple of years now, but another daughter of a Horseman is making her presence felt on television these days. Tessa has been in NXT rings before, but didn’t cross paths with Charlotte before making her way to Impact Wrestling. The daughter of Tully and step-daughter of Magnum TA has made her desire for this match between two daughters of Jim Crockett Promotions legends well-known. One figures it has to happen someday.

I’m not sure that Ric & Tully ever faced off one on one. The one place I can think of that it could have happened would have been the Southwest territory while Tully was one of the top heels, but I’m not sure the NWA Champion toured there. Maybe Houston on a Paul Boesch card? Somebody should ask Mathew Sforcina.

3. LA Park vs. Dean Ambrose

LA Park is having a career renaissance in 2018. He’s main eventing Arena Mexico shows for CMLL. He’ll be in the TripleMania main event for AAA. This obviously never happens because CMLL & AAA don’t trust each other (for good reason), but Park’s viability with the lucha audience is such that both promotions are rolling with it. He’ll also be appearing in MLW to work the likes of PCO. His matches, as they have been for the past couple of decades, have been wild.

Dean Ambrose hasn’t done anything in 2018. He’s been out with a torn tricep since December 2017. As we all know, Dean is the Lunatic Fringe & one of wrestling’s craziest brawlers when he’s healthy. Anybody that knows me knows that I love a good, out of control brawl. Matches where furniture is flying, foreign objects are in play & fans need to run for their lives are good times in my book. These two would probably get a promotion banned from a venue.

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