Daniel Bryan to have neck surgery, return time not known

Daniel Bryan informs the crowd of his injury Image credit: WWE.com

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan announced on RAW that he is to have surgery on his neck on Thursday 15 May.

Due to the surgery, Bryan will be out of action for a short amount of time. As of now, WWE have not stripped him of the title.

The timing of this injury could not have been worse for Bryan, having finally won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 30 last month.

Daniel Bryan has been fighting against the WWE machine for almost a year now and just as he conquers The Authority, this injury threatens to knock him back a few steps.

Fortunately it does not seem that the WWE will strip Bryan of the title due to the short term nature of the injury.

Hulk Hogan announces Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but it is Daniel Bryan who steals the show

Hulk Hogan WWE

Image credit: WWE.com

Hulk Hogan’s teased announcement on RAW was that at WrestleMania 30 there will be an Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

30 men will compete in the Battle Royal, which is named after the larger than life legend, and the winner will receive the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy.

So far Big E and Ryback have confirmed their entry into the Battle Royal, with John Cena teasing a possible entry if he gets through his match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania.

It remains to be seen if the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal will become a WrestleMania tradition that can elevate new or young talent, but the inaugural event will certainly be interesting.

The Undertaker’s promised announcement was merely an obligatory “Rest In Peace” promo for Brock Lesnar delivered via Paul Heyman. Heyman discussed how iconic Taker’s streak was and Undertaker followed that with a few words on the fear of death being worse than death itself. Nothing as shocking as speculated yesterday.

Elsewhere on RAW, Daniel Bryan stole the show with not one but two huge moments. Firstly, he began #OccupyRAW, where he entered the ring, along with what looked like hundreds of fans all in their YES Movement gear to occupy the ring and force Triple H into accepting a match against Bryan at WrestleMania. This scene was something special, with all the fans in YES uniform chanting in unison along with their hero Daniel Bryan.

Daniel Bryan YES movement

Image credit: WWE.com

Triple H eventually caved and accepted a match with Bryan, but Bryan pushed further and added a stipulation to that match; if Bryan beats Triple H, he is added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania along with Randy Orton and Batista.

Bryan then went on to pin Randy Orton in the tag team main event of RAW when Bryan teamed with Big Show to face Orton and Batista.

Finally, it seemed like everything the fans have been asking and wishing for over the past number of months had come true on RAW. Not only does Bryan get the chance to have a special match with Triple H at WrestleMania 30, he also gets his chance to become the champion again on the same night.

After months of getting screwed, it finally seems like WrestleMania will be Daniel Bryan’s crowning moment.

Elimination Chamber, WWE Network, Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker return. Analysing a very busy few days in the WWE.

The Undertaker strides to the ring, glaring at Brock Lesnar. Image credit: WWE.com

What a few days it has been in the WWE. First the Elimination Chamber, which provided a number of big talking points, then the long-awaited WWE Network launched and then WWE bought back the legendary Hulk Hogan and the iconic Undertaker on RAW. Time to analyse all of the big talking points from the last two days.

Elimination Chamber: The Shield and The Wyatt Family tear it up

Wow. What a match we were treated to on Sunday night at the Elimination Chamber PPV. The anticipation and expectation had reached a fever pitch, even before the match had begun. After both teams made their respective entrances and engaged in a pre-match stand-off, the fans began chanting “this is awesome” before the match had even started.

Once the match started though we were treated to a fantastic match. Each individual character shone brightly at different stages in the match; Ambrose’s volatility boiled over in a pre-match brawl, Rollins’ high flying athleticism was showcased in a great spot with Luke Harper and Reigns’ power and strength was demonstrated throughout. As for The Wyatt Family; Rowan provided the craziness, Harper showed a degree of athleticism never seen before from The Wyatts and Bray Wyatt, the leader of the cult, showed that he is not just a character; he can wrestle, too.

The match was a brilliant clash of two brilliant teams and with the crowd duelling with themselves chanting each team’s name, the match had a fantastic atmosphere to boot.

The Shield face off against The Wyatt Family. Image credit: WWE.com

Elimination Chamber: Daniel Bryan screwed again

Elsewhere at the Elimination Chamber PPV, Daniel Bryan had the match won before Kane interjected, distracting Bryan and allowing Randy Orton to RKO Bryan for the win. This left the fans smarting and booing the finish, but really there was no other outcome. Randy Orton was always going to retain and go on to the WrestleMania title match against Batista. However, that did not soften the blow. Bryan had been screwed over again, a theme that has been running since SummerSlam last year. Orton vs Batista remains the main event of WrestleMania 30 while Daniel Bryan looks elsewhere for challenges.

The WWE Network

At 9am EST on Monday the WWE Network finally launched. At $9.99 a month and with a one week free trial you get to watch all of the PPVs WWE produces in the year, as well as a massive on-demand library of past WWE, WCW and ECW shows, live, original programming and weekly WWE TV Shows. The only catch is it is currently only available in The United States of America.

I did find success in using a friend’s American address to sign up for the free trial, though, and I found the content available very exciting. As a wrestling fan there is so much content for you to sink your teeth into that it actually becomes a task in itself simply deciding what to watch. The on-demand content streamed fine and in good quality on both a laptop and an iPad, but the live content was unavailable to watch from the UK. The WWE have since blocked all UK users using this method to access the Network, but with the live programming an issue anyway, it may be worth holding off on the Network until it officially launches in the UK and other territories later this year and early next year. If you do want to access the WWE Network, you can subscribe to a DNS-changing service and it does work that way. 

What the WWE Network does is changes the dynamic of how wrestling is provided to fans. Currently, WWE’s TV shows will take a while to be able to watch on-demand on the Network, because of the current TV deals the WWE has in place. Even so, the sheer amount of content available, with more being added as time goes on, is mind-blowing. There’s WCW, ECW and WWE content spanning years and there is something for everyone to watch. It really is a game-changer.

Hulk Hogan is all smiles on RAW. Image credit: WWE.com

Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker return on RAW

With the WWE Network out to the masses, Monday Night RAW was always going to be huge in terms of turning viewers into subscribers. Enter Hulk Hogan, who returned to the WWE after a long hiatus and a stint in TNA. Hogan opened the show to a huge ovation, and provided all the classic Hogan-isms that the fans wanted to see, brother. Hogan plugged the WWE Network, and reminded everyone that he will be the host of WrestleMania 30 and then went on his way.

Later in the night, Brock Lesnar was in the ring with a contract for a WrestleMania match. Then, all of a sudden, the famous gong went off and The Deadman returned. The Undertaker has been missing from WWE since a brutal beatdown from The Shield last year, and as it is WrestleMania season, it was time for The Undertaker to return. Taker strode to the ring, pointed at the WrestleMania sign, signed the contract for a match with Brock Lesnar and then proceeded to chokeslam Lesnar through a table. Drama, excitement and a very simple way to announce a WrestleMania 30 match.

WrestleMania 30 begins to take shape

So Hogan has returned and announced he will be the host of WrestleMania 30. The Undertaker has returned to challenge Brock Lesnar. Daniel Bryan, as I mentioned earlier, is looking for a challenge. On RAW, Bryan challenged Triple H to a match at Wrestlemania, which The Game shrugged off and disrespectfully declined; don’t let that fool you though. Bryan vs Triple H will surely happen at WrestleMania as it will give Daniel Bryan the chance to finally get back at the authority figure that has been holding him down and screwing him over for months. It should provide a good WrestleMania moment for Daniel Bryan, even if it’s not the title win that the fans have been clamouring for for months.

WrestleMania 30 will take place on Sunday, April 6th at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

WWE Royal Rumble: Batista wins but the fans are left wanting Daniel Bryan

Image credit: WWE.com

Batista made his return to the WWE a successful one when he won the Royal Rumble match last night.

Batista entered at #28 and went on to win the match by eliminating Roman Reigns, who put in a stellar performance himself.

But Reigns’ dominance is another story for another time. Sure Batista won, but the real story here though was the fans’ desire to see Daniel Bryan not only enter the Royal Rumble match but to win it, setting up a WrestleMania match. Bryan, who competed earlier in the night against Bray Wyatt (a match which featured some fantastic back and forth wrestling and a great story,) did not enter the Royal Rumble match. This left the fans in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania livid as they booed entrant #30, Rey Mysterio simply for not being Daniel Bryan.

The fans had been chanting for Bryan throughout the night, even in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match which saw Randy Orton retain his title, beating John Cena. But the final straw for the thousands of Daniel Bryan supporters was the fact that he wasn’t even entered into the Rumble match when commentator JBL, retired Kevin Nash and even El Torito, a Lucha Libre bull, all found themselves in the match.

WWE Hall of Famer, Mick Foley, expressed his dislike for the finish on Twitter in a scathing tweet he sent out minutes after seeing Batista have his hand raised.

After the event had concluded, Batista was pictured giving a fan the finger on his way backstage, as well as mocking the Daniel Bryan ‘YES’ chants that had echoed throughout the arena all night long.

Royal Rumble: Are you backing Batista, CM Punk or Daniel Bryan?

Image credit: WWE.com

The Royal Rumble is this Sunday 26 January and there is a distinctly different feeling about this Rumble than there has been over the past number of years.

The reason for that different feeling is the lack of ‘star power’. John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, New Age Outlaws, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, Brock Lesnar and Big Show are all pre-occupied on the card. Evan Bourne, Christian, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus are all out with injuries (although Sheamus is heavily rumoured to return.) Chris Jericho is currently working with his band Fozzy. Kane is working as the Director of Operations. There are a lot of big matches on the Rumble card involving big stars.

Image credit: WWE.com

So where does this leave the Royal Rumble match? In the hands of CM Punk and Batista.

CM Punk has been given the #1 spot by Kane, which means CM Punk will most likely be in the ring and on our TV screens for around 30-45 minutes, maybe even more if he’s going to win it. CM Punk, in any other year, would be a favourite to win but because of his current storyline, I don’t see it happening. I think CM Punk dominates in the Rumble for 30+ minutes until he is eliminated by a member of The Authority to set up a match at WrestleMania with Kane or, perhaps preferably, Triple H.

Batista, meanwhile, has just returned from a four year absence and declared his wish to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Batista looks as toned as he has ever been and seems to have lost none of the crowd backing he once had. For me, Batista is the favourite to win the Royal Rumble this year and go on to face either Cena or Orton at WrestleMania. Now, while this would be a big match, it means another part-timer would be in another main event at WrestleMania. This is a trend that has to stop. There should be another guy fighting for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, and his name is Daniel Bryan.

Daniel Bryan, as of right now, is not even involved in the Royal Rumble match. He is down for a match against Bray Wyatt, leader of The Wyatt Family. The reason I have him down as a potential Royal Rumble winner is that he has been quoted saying he is trying to get Triple H to let him be involved in the Rumble. If Bryan was to enter the Rumble after facing Bray Wyatt earlier in the night, having him win would be a great show of confidence in a guy who is currently the most popular wrestler in the WWE. Bryan had a huge amount of momentum coming out of SummerSlam last year but it has since been killed off with numerous false finishes, screwjobs and a brief, mis-calculated angle with The Wyatt Family. Bryan’s momentum is now back, and in my opinion, it would be wise to have him win the Rumble and go on to WrestleMania.

Image credit: WWE.com

Summary:

Daniel Bryan could win the Royal Rumble and face John Cena for the title at WrestleMania, which would be a huge match.

Batista could face former Evolution stable-mate Randy Orton at WrestleMania, which would be a huge match.

Finally, CM Punk could get eliminated by a member of The Authority and go on to face Triple H at WrestleMania, which is again a huge match.

 

Joey Ryan tweets about Daniel Bryan and John Laurinaitis

Independent wrestler Joey Ryan (once interviewed by yours truly) tonight shed a little light on John Laurinaitis’ views on Daniel Bryan a few years ago.

John Laurinaitis, a backstage employee of the WWE, used to be responsible for talent relations, and had a number of conversations with Joey Ryan back in 2010 when Joey was vying for a job with the company:

Joey also added something WWE trainer Bill DeMott said about Bryan’s wrestling training.

Daniel Bryan is clearly a money maker for the WWE, and is one of the hottest wrestlers in the company right now.

Joey Ryan is a star of the independent scene, wrestling primarily in the Southern California area. He previously worked for TNA for a number of months.

I contacted Joey Ryan for a comment as to why he shared this information but as of posting this he has not yet responded.

 

 

Daniel Bryan breaks away from The Wyatt Family as RAW gets interesting

Image credit: WWE.com

Daniel Bryan has broken away from The Wyatt Family after just two weeks with the group.

Inside the steel cage last night on RAW Daniel Bryan and his then-master Bray Wyatt faced off against The Usos. The Usos picked up the win after Bryan accidentally crotched Bray on the top rope.

Things then got interesting. Bray whispered in the ear of Bryan to set up a Sister Abigail (Bray Wyatt’s finisher) but Bryan pushed him away and proceeded to beat down the leader of the Wyatt Family.

The crowd reaction to this turn, even after an extremely short time, was epic. The crowd screamed for Bryan, chanting “YES” as he kicked Bray Wyatt repeatedly and ripped off his Wyatt attire to reveal the traditional red Bryan attire.

Bryan then set up Bray for his running knee, which was where a classic RAW moment occured. Bryan led the crowd in a slow “YES” chant, and sent the crowd into a frenzy when he sealed the deal and struck Bray with a running knee.

I was angered by WWE’s decision to align Bryan with The Wyatts at first, as WWE seemingly killed all momentum Bryan had left after his WWE Title victory last year at SummerSlam. However, it seems like WWE have now either seen the light, or this was part of their master plan all along. Bryan seems as over as he ever was, and this RAW ending seemingly propels him on to the Royal Rumble, where winning it would set him up for a WWE World Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania.

Vince McMahon has either seen the error of his ways, or he is the genius we all know he is…

John Cena and Randy Orton back on top of the WWE

Image credit: WWE

John Cena made a triumphant return to WWE last night at Hell in a Cell defeating Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship and Randy Orton won the vacant WWE Championship defeating Daniel Bryan.

Cena had been out nursing a torn triceps injury for two and a half months but returned well ahead of schedule to win the World Title in what was an extremely good match with Mexican Alberto Del Rio.

Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan went at it for the third PPV in a row (Night of Champions and Battleground preceded Hell in a Cell) and Daniel Bryan got screwed once again when special referee Shawn Michaels superkicked Bryan and counted the pinfall for Orton.

Expect fallout and celebrations aplenty on RAW if this tweet from Stephanie McMahon is anything to go by:

WrestleMania 29: Three more matches confirmed

Once again RAW this week was a big one in terms of repercussions for WrestleMania 29 on April 7.

Three matches were confirmed this week, taking the total tally so far to six matches on the card.

Image credit: WWE.com

Image credit: WWE.com

The biggest match to be added to the already big card for WrestleMania is this: Brock Lesnar vs Triple H. But this isn’t your ordinary match; it’s a No Holds Barred match, which means both of these brawling behemoths will inflict an immense amount of pain upon each other in what’s sure to be a hard-hitting match in New Jersey. But that’s not all. Thanks to the dastardly, scheming Paul Heyman, if Brock Lesnar wins Triple H must retire. Will we see The Game retiring on the Grandest Stage Of Them All, or will Triple H get revenge on Brock Lesnar?

Image credit: WWE.com

Image credit: WWE.com

This one came as a surprise to me. I was expecting Ziggler to have a classic singles match at WrestleMania, possibly against Chris Jericho, but this one came about after Daniel Bryan challenged the pair of Ziggler and Big E Langston to a match on RAW. Langston is the wild card in this one, having not actually wrestled on either RAW or SmackDown. He is, however, the current NXT Champion, which proves something. Kane and Daniel Bryan haven’t done much as a team over the last few weeks, so I expect to see new Tag Team Champions come April 7.

Image credit: WWE.com

Image credit: WWE.com

After weeks of teasing on WWE TV, this match has finally been made official. Ryback vs Mark Henry is truly a clash of the titans match-up and should provide the fans with some impressive displays of strength at WrestleMania. This of course has effects to a match that was set-up last week too. Ryback was set to team with Sheamus and Randy Orton to take on the group of The Shield but now it seems that Big Show may step up to take Ryback’s place, despite Sheamus and Orton’s reservations.

Elsewhere, there are rumblings of a possible Fandango debut at WrestleMania, against Y2J himself Chris Jericho. With Fandango costantly putting his debut off week after week, WrestleMania would surely fit with the glitz and glamour of his ballroom dancer gimmick. Whether or not Jericho will pronounce his name correctly or not is another matter. Personally, I have a reservation or two about this, despite knowing Jericho and Fandango have the capability to put on a good match. This one should develop over the coming weeks.

WrestleMania 29 is just 19 days away.