Author Archives: Nick LaRocco

Top 10 Highest Earning Wrestlers of 2016!

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10: Randy Orton – $1.9 Million

9: Seth Rollins – $2 Million

8: The Undertaker – $2 Million

7: Shane McMahon – $2.2 Million

6: AJ Styles – $2.4 Million

5: Dean Ambrose – $2.7 Million

4: Roman Reigns – $3.5 Million

3: Triple H – $3.8 Million

2: John Cena – $8 Million

1: Brock Lesnar – $12 Million

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WrestleMania 33 Predictions: Bold and Forecasted

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With the big event coming up, it comes that time for some WrestleMania predictions. Some of these matches will be obvious or straight forward choices, while others are off-the-cuff, bold, and pretty unlikely, but hey, it’s WrestleMania and it keeps things interesting!

Match 1: 30-Man Battle Royal for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Prediction: I’m expecting a few legends or cruiserweights or other stars to be added to  the match, possibly even making it a 40+ man battle royal. At any rate, the field is full of great choices like Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, The Big Show, Mark Henry, The Usos, American Alpha, among many others. The element of surprise in this battle royal has been prevalent throughout the years and I’m expecting a surprise winner… Bo Dallas! Just kidding, I’m predicting Sami Zayn. Here’s the thing, Sami would be the first “non-tall” winner, but Strowman is a little too obvious to win it and Sami needs a big WrestleMania moment to catapult him into the run that he deserves.

Match 2: SmackDown! Women’s Championship Six-Pack Challenge: ©Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James vs Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Naomi vs Carmella w/ James Ellsworth

The women’s revolution is taking over the main show and the pre-show. Alexa Bliss, who as champion has lost quite a few times, will be taking on 5 other women, with James Ellsworth as the wild card backing up Carmella. The winner that I am predicting, though, is Naomi. The reason is because she didn’t lose the title yet and she will be hungry to get it back. Plus, she beat Alexa before, and with the other 4 focused on each other, Naomi can easily deal with Bliss once more.

Match 3: Cruiserweight Title: ©Neville vs Austin Aries

This is one of the matches I am genuinely excited for and I hope that it is put back onto the main card at the last minute. Evil Neville (nEvil if you will) has been quite dominant in the CW division since turning his back on the fans. Austin Aries, on the other hand, has been the ultimate babyface that has been missing from the division for some time. The stars have aligned and these two cruiserweights will battle it out, however, I see Austin Aries walking away with the title. I can also see this match turning into a Lumberjack match with the rest of the cruiserweights being involved as the lumberjacks.

Match 4: RAW Tag-Team Title Ladder Match: ©The Club vs Sheasaro vs The Realest Guys

3 teams of solid workers in their own rights. It would be nice if Mania hosts New Day added themselves into the mix since they are also talented in Ladder Matches and Kofi Kingston’s fun ladder spots will be missed. At any rate, I see this as a solid opener with the Realest Guys finally winning the tag-team titles.

Match 5: Intercontinental Title: ©Dean Ambrose vs Baron Corbin

It is one of the most heartwarming things when the Intercontinental title is defended in a singles match at Mania for me. I’m picturing this match as being quite good and topping all expectations. I could also see weapons being involved and even a Forklift due to their recent exchanges on SmackDown!. However, as much as I like Dean Ambrose, I will have to give the match to Corbin as his long-term potential as a heel champion is amazing!

Match 6: RAW Women’s Championship Fatal 4 Way Elimination: ©Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair vs Nia Jax

Four of the top women wrestlers in WWE will go head-to-head for the title gold. I see everyone setting their differences aside to eliminate the monster Nia Jax. Then I see Bayley and Sasha teaming up to eliminate Charlotte. Finally, I see Sasha and Bayley duking it out in an epic battle ala Obi Wan and Anakin. However, I think Sasha Banks will turn heel and do something nefarious to defeat Bayley and win.

Match 7: John Cena & Nikki Bella vs The Miz & Maryse

This match has had such a great build up and, despite what many critics and fans have been predicting, I think this will be a solid match, bringing out the best in all 4 wrestlers. However, I see The Miz pulling out the victory with Maryse pinning Nikki, thus giving The Miz a huge surge of momentum moving forward while also making him 2-0 against Cena at Mania. With all of the rumors about a Cena proposal, I could then see Cena saying to Nikki that while they might have lost the match, he is the real winner for having a girl like her. Then he goes down on one knee and proposes. Although imagine the heat if Cena instead left her behind and turned heel himself!!!

Match 8: United States Title: ©Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens

THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE!!! At any rate, both of these guys are among the best wrestlers in WWE history and they can bring it no matter what. At any rate, knowing Jericho, I’m sure he will give the rub to KO and Owens will be the new United States champion. I then hope that he goes all “Fight, Owens, Fight” and reinstates the US Title Open Challenge! A re-match down the road between these two guys, though, would also suffice!

Match 9: Shane McMahon vs AJ Styles

People have been giving Shane so much flack since he returned for his matches. However, people ended up praising the matches during and after, all while forgetting they hated on him beforehand. Either way, though, AJ Styles is without a doubt a future WWE hall of famer and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Shane McMahon has proven time and time again that he can handle himself in the ring and can put on a hell of a good show! I predict Styles winning, but this match will be waaaaaaaay better than what most people are thinking.

Match 10: Unsanctioned Grudge Match: Triple H vs Seth Rollins

This match is a couple of years in the making and I am again looking quite forward to it! The Cerebral Assassin has a history of being dominant and a showman at Mania. The Architect always delivers in his matches, and with everything being on the line for both of these guys in more ways than one, I see some big stuff happening! However, I also expect for the Destroyer Samoa Joe to get involved. I could also see Joe’s ally Kevin Owens getting involved and the rumored stable of Triple H, KO, and Joe forming over the destroyed body of SeRo. Triple H with a pinfall victory after interference.

Match 11: The Undertaker vs Roman Reigns

I have so many different feelings about this match. I am a huge Undertaker fan and I will always have a special place in my heart for the Deadman. I might not be the biggest Reigns fan, but I see the potential he has and he does have great performances despite what many critics say. I don’t want Reigns to win, because the Taker is Mr. WrestleMania, but he is much older and will retire any year. One thing I have wanted, as well as many other though, is for Roman Reigns to turn heel. What a better way for Roman to turn heel than to defeat the Undertake and just have the “boo’s” rain in on Roman Reigns!

Match 12: WWE Championship: ©Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton

I’m looking forward to this match a lot as well. Both men are huge reasons to watch SmackDown! every Tuesday night and they are both entertaining. I believe both men will try their hardest, but Bray Wyatt will walk out of Mania as the champion. I think Erick Rowan and Luke Harper will interfere and reunite the original Wyatt Family to help Bray when the match is too close, maybe even at a point when the ref gets knocked out. Plus, Wyatt just needs this title reign way more than Orton, especially with the series of losses Bray had to put up with these past few years.

Match 13: Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman

WrestleMania XX did not happen. WrestleMania XX did not happen. WrestleMania XX did not happen. I’m sure Vince has been telling himself this for a long time now, especially with this match, rumored to go on last, being for the Universal Heavyweight Championship. Goldberg, I have a feeling, is getting ready to ride off into the sunset, but I also have a feeling that this will be the match where he gives it his all, finally. However, I believe Heyman has been training the Beast to be even more destructive than in the past. He underestimated Goldberg at Survivor Series and he was blinded by rage at the Rumble. For Mania, though, I think Lesnar will be focused enough to pull out the victory and not fall victim to a spear or a jackhammer. I predict our new Universal Champion will be Brock Lesnar and I predict Brock will defend the title at every PPV for his brand, whenever he is available. I also predict Heyman will show up to build up Lesnar at any chance that he gets on the weekly program.

Those are my predictions for “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” that is WrestleMania 33! What do you think? Please, let me know in the comments!

 

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WWE News: WWE buying Ring of Honor?

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It has been reported through ProWrestlingSheet that WWE is currently in talks with Sinclair Broadcast Group about buying out Ring of Honor. The two wrestling companies have been in talks since January.

This is a huge move that could see the entire ROH roster under WWE contract, with Ring of Honor wrestling airing weekly on the WWE Network, as well as content on demand.

It should be noted that there were rumors of a similar deal with Impact Wrestling that ended up falling through.

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WrestleMania Season!!! Ranking Manias 16-32

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Continuing on from the Mania rankings of 1-15, we have the WrestleMania rankings of 16-32!

#17 – WrestleMania 16
The 16th edition of WrestleMania was a rarity in its case. 2000 was without a doubt one of the best years in WWE, especially in terms of roster and storylines. However, having too many multi-competitor matches and the McMahon family involved in each corner during the Fatal 4 Way main event sounded good on paper, but ended up not being what it could have been (which is putting it mildly). However, it wasn’t all bad. The Triple Threats involving Jericho, Benoit, and Angle were very good and the first TLC was also quite enthralling.

#16 – WrestleMania 27
The big problem with WrestleMania 27 was that its primary goal was to build to next years WrestleMania, which is not the point of Mania. The main event alone was John Cena vs The Miz, with the Rock interfering to set up the Cena & Rock showdown the following year(s). HHH vs Undertaker was the bright spot on the card, but it would be done better the following year.

#15 – WrestleMania 32
To be fair, WWE was going through a great plague of injuries at the time with John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Cesaro, Neville, Nikki Bella, and more injured, not to mention Sting and Daniel Bryan having to retire due to injuries. With the show going on for too long with a majority of mediocre to bad matches, this Mania is forgettable. At least Shane vs Undertaker in Hell in a Cell was better than a lot of critics were expecting.

#14 – WrestleMania 29
When Once in a Lifetime ends up becoming Twice in a Lifetime. The issue with this Mania was not that the matches were at all bad, but they were just very bland and felt like something we would typically see at the time. The next night on RAW, though, was definitely a spectacle. At any rate, CM Punk vs The Undertaker was match of the night by far.

#13 – WrestleMania 22
The final Mania to take place in a standard arena. It had a lot of moments, but the matches themselves didn’t deliver how they should have. The Triple Threat for the World Title culminated Rey Mysterio’s tribute to the recent passing of Eddie Guerrero in an epic match against Randy Orton and Batista. The Money in the Bank ladder match and the Hardcore match between Edge and Foley were also high spots for the night, pun intended.

#12 – WrestleMania 26
This was a very stacked roster for a WrestleMania, especially in terms of what fans describe as the PG era. Edge vs Jericho was a great match and Hart vs McMahon was almost a decade-and-a-half in the making, although the match is better left ignored. At the end of the night, we have Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels II in a Streak vs Career match where we saw the boyhood dream come to an end.

#11 – WrestleMania 23
One of the biggest selling points was current US President Donald Trump taking on Vince McMahon in a hair vs hair match… almost. Instead, Trump had Lashley fighting for him, while McMahon had Umaga fighting for him. The Money in the Bank Ladder match, Benoit in his last mania match against MVP, Batista vs Undertaker, and Michaels vs Cena were all very good matches that deserve all the recognition that they get.

#10 – WrestleMania 21
Similarly to WrestleMania 32, this Mania had a lot going against it with injuries and budget cuts a plenty, keeping the roster relatively low. However, when Mania went Hollywood, we got some great matches. Angle vs Michaels was absolutely fantastic and a must-see for any wrestling fan that might have never seen it. Taker vs Orton was also good and the World & WWE title main events delivered, at least in terms of story and developing Cena & Batista into mega stars!

#9 – WrestleMania 24
This WrestleMania is best known for the true end to the legendary career of Nature Boy Ric Flair in his epic showdown with Shawn Michaels, what a way to go out. Edge vs Undertaker was a good match to begin a great feud that would last months and the Money in the Bank ladder match introduced us to how early CM Punk was considered for being a top guy.

#8 – WrestleMania 28
This WrestleMania was built upon by the previous years. Every match delivered in one way, shape, or form (well, maybe not the Maria Menounos match). Fans got to see one of the early instances of the company’s mistreatment of Daniel Bryan. However, the Rock vs John Cena was a battle of epic proportions, which would have been more highly regarded if they didn’t have a rematch a year later. The Hell in a Cell between Triple H and Undertaker was an edge-of-your-seat style of contest and a legendary WrestleMania match that will be talked about for years to come.

#7 – WrestleMania 19
We were still in the first full year of the original brand extension, and it was already proving that WWE’s two-show strategy was making more stars. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels had a legendary match that would form a basis for their legendary feud 5 years later. The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin had one final showdown in the main event of Mania… for the 3rd time in what would be Stone Cold’s final match. Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle wrestled the final match of the night, both legitimately hurt, for the WWE Championship in a battle between an amateur and Olympic wrestling icons.

#6 – WrestleMania 25
Jericho feuding with legends, Triple H breaking into Ortons house, brothers feuding, and two tag-team titles getting unified were the major points of WrestleMania. In its own category was one of the top 5 Mania matches of all time with Michaels vs Undertaker in a battle between the icons of WrestleMania. The only issue with this mania, was that none of the matches could compare in the slightest to Taker vs Michaels.

#5 – WrestleMania 18
The first moments of Hogan vs The Rock in a staredown alone sum up everything that made this WrestleMania so special. Stone Cold was showing early signs of souring on WWE, and showed just how strong the roster was at the time with names like DDP, Booker T, Edge, Kurt Angle, Stone Cold, Scott Hall, The Rock, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Kane, The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, and Hulk Hogan all delivering in truly great matches.

#4 – WrestleMania 30
The story of an underdog. Daniel Bryan’s immense popularity was off the charts when he defeated ¾ of Evolution on this night, first defeating Triple H to qualify for the main event Triple Threat for the Undisputed WWE Championship against Batista and Randy Orton. Bryan would go on to win this Triple Threat and would receive one of the largest “YES!” chants of all time. We also had a great opening with Hogan, Austin, and The Rock and the very first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. And in perhaps one of the biggest shockers in WWE history, Brock Lesnar would go on to end the Undertaker’s legendary 21-match winning streak.

#3 – WrestleMania 20
That final moment at WrestleMania 20 when Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit celebrated in the ring together with their WWE and World Championships was very emotional. Both guys were great wrestlers, but they were often held back and nobody thought they would make it, not to mention that by mid-2007, both men would be gone. Guerrero vs Angle and Benoit vs Michaels vs HHH were great matches that all wrestling fans should watch. It’s better to not talk about Lesnar vs Goldberg, but all of the other matches had enough quality to be better alternatives.

#2 – WrestleMania 31
NOBODY IN THE WORLD THOUGHT THIS WRESTLEMANIA WAS GOING TO BE AS GOOD AS IT WAS! The build up to this Mania was quite bad, all things considered. However, the quality of every single match showcased just how good and capable the roster could perform, with every match having someone from NXT in it, with exception to Triple H vs Sting. Still, Triple H is the godfather of NXT. At any rate, Sting and the NWO uniting against D-Generation X was an amazing moment. It is notable for being Daniel Bryan’s last WrestleMania and for Undertaker to win his first WrestleMania match after having his streak end at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Speaking of Lesnar, Seth Rollins’ “Heist of the Century” against Lesnar and Reigns is one of the most memorable moments in modern WWE.

#1 – WrestleMania 17
WrestleMania 17 was an ultimate WrestleMania and what is considered by many a fan as the finale of the Attitude Era. The second Rock and Austin battle occurred, with Austin turning heel and joining Vince McMahon in a shocking turn of events. In addition, every one of the matches was entertaining for one reason or another. Any and all wrestling fans that never watched this event, before, need to watch it in its entirety!

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Top 10 NXT Wrestlers that WWE Need’s to Debut in 2017

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With the excitement of the Road to WrestleMania soon culminating with the ultimate event itself, the weeks and months following the Showcase of the Immortals tends to be filled with excitement and wrestlers trying to find their way to the next Mania card. With how often WWE Pay-Per-View events seem to be full of the same talents in roles and matches that we’ve seen numerous times already, it’s important to bring in more names to shake things up. Here, we will take a look at 10 wrestlers from NXT that WWE needs to bring up and use in 2017.

#1 – Shinsuke Nakamura
The King of Strong Style is as full of natural charisma as his kicks are devastating. With WWE wanting to increase their business in Japan and in Asian markets, the naturally gifted Nakamura is a surefire choice to lead in a blitz to the main roster. His talents are unmatched and his potential matches with Styles, Jericho, Owens, Balor, Orton, Cena, etc. on the WWE stage will be truly epic!

#2 & 3 – The Revival
Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder have really made everyone in NXT and in the audience take notice of them. Having won the NXT tag-team titles twice and having had very entertaining runs and matches with the titles over their shoulders, Dash & Dawson have the potential to be the next big tag-team in WWE!

#4 – Paul Ellering
What? Paul Ellering? Yes, the current manager of the Authors of Pain, while doing quite good in this role, should definitely come back up to the main roster (even if it’s at the cost of the Authors of Pain). The fact is, Ellering is a legend, with his most famous management being for the mighty Legion of Doom; Hawk & Animal. With all of the monsters currently on the main roster and with all of the rumored factions and needed mouthpieces, Ellering is definitely the man for the job!

#5 – Asuka
“Asuka’s Gonna Kill You!” – This is the chant that awaits Asuka’s opponents before they step foot in the ring with the Empress of Tomorrow aka the most dangerous woman in WWE. She can lock in a submission hold faster than lightning can strike metal, and she can win a match before the crowd can finish singing to Bayley. The only question for Asuka, is which brand should she dominate first, RAW or SmackDown! Live?

#6 – Bobby Roode
What a Glorious wrestler. Bobby Roode is a true veteran of the game, with a solid 20 year career dating as far back as 1998! He has wrestled and won many a championship in TNA and, as of the time of this writing, is the reigning and defending NXT Champion! What Glorious matches await Roode on the main roster?

#7 – Elias Samson
Somewhat of a controversial pick among IWC circles. The man is more of an average wrestler, but one has to remember that not every wrestler on the roster will contend for the WWE Championship. His drifter gimmick will make more sense on the main roster and he/his opponents now have access to a guitar prop in matches!

#8 & 9 – #DIY
Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano are true artists when it comes to professional wrestling. Both guys have a knack for psychology, showmanship, and entertainment. Not only that, but their talents as in-ring competitors are second to none and their team chemistry is off the charts! Bringing them into a tag-team division and/or into the cruiserweight division will definitely be something to watch!

#10 – Tye Dillinger
“10! 10! 10!” – Who else would I have listed at the #10 spot? Tye Dillinger had a previous run on the main roster through WWE’s ECW show back in late 2008 & early 2009, before making his way back to FCW and NXT several years later. He knows what its like to be on the main roster, and is definitely hungry to make it back on! Ever since then, Tye Dillinger has captivated audiences in NXT and even 50,000+ in the Alamodome during the 2017 Royal Rumble match. The Perfect 10 definitely has a lot to prove on the main roster!

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