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.

WrestleMania 30 announcements coming from Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker tonight

Undertaker WWE

Image credit: WWE.com

WWE have announced that both Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker will be making announcements regarding WrestleMania 30 tonight on RAW.

Hogan’s announcement was promoted last week on RAW, but The Undertaker’s announcement has been revealed in the new Raw Five-Point Preview on WWE.com.

Undertaker’s announcement could be that he will inducting Paul Bearer into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 30 but given how little Taker breaks character, this seems unlikely.

What is more likely is that The Undertaker will announce that the match at WrestleMania 30 will be his last. Undertaker (real name Mark Calaway) is 48-years-old and currently has an extremely light schedule due to nagging injuries and pains in his body after such a lengthy wrestling career.

Hogan’s announcement, on the other hand, is anyone’s guess. Since Hulk Hogan is hosting RAW the announcement could be anything from certain guest stars set to appear at the show to a new match being added to the card.

Come back to Pro Wrestling Is Fake tomorrow to find out what the announcements are.

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.

 

WrestleMania 29 taking shape

**This post is dedicated to the late Paul Bearer (William Moody) who died at the age of 58 on Tuesday 5th March 2013. **

Monday’s RAW was a defining moment on the Road to WrestleMania; The Phenom, The Deadman, The Undertaker returned, signalling that he would be back and competing at WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey.

The Deadman returned at the top of the show, encased in his shroud of darkness and mystery, and told everyone within the WWE, fans and superstars alike, that he would be at WrestleMania to once again defend his undefeated streak.

The race was then on for four of WWE’s biggest stars today: CM Punk, Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show. A fatal-four-way was set up to decide who would face The Phenom, something that struck me as a little odd considering it doesn’t feed into an over-arching story, it’s merely a match set-up out of the blue. But who am I to complain? Taker’s back for another WrestleMania match, and we won’t be able to appreciate that for much longer considering the 47-year-old’s physical shape.

So Punk won, and we now have Undertaker vs CM Punk as another match on the card of WrestleMania 29 alongside The Rock vs John Cena for the WWE Championship and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship; not bad for the first few matches announced!

Image

Image credit: WWE.com

It’s here that WrestleMania begins to take shape. With a WrestleMania mainstay like The Undertaker confirmed to be back for the Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania suddenly has a beacon of power and authority back to support the two title matches already announced.

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Image credit: WWE.com

The Rock vs John Cena for the WWE Championship is obviously a huge match. They had a fantastic match at WrestleMania 28 which saw The Rock coming out on top, but this year, things are different. The Rock holds the WWE Championship, and with him not being a permanent member of the WWE roster, I expect John Cena to leave WrestleMania as an 11-time WWE Champion.

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Image credit: WWE.com

On the other side of the coin, the World Heavyweight Championship will be contested between Alberto Del Rio (c) and the newly-reinvigorated Jack Swagger. Swagger’s latest patriot gimmick with Zeb Colter has gone down a storm, with WWE receiving political press from the angle that sees Swagger and Colter making risque comments towards non-Americans much like the champion, Del Rio. I see Swagger walking out of WrestleMania once again the World Heavyweight Champion.

There are also a few matches that should be taking shape over the next few weeks as the Road to WrestleMania heats up. On Monday’s RAW, a Ryback vs Mark Henry match was teased with the two entering a stare down on the entrance ramp. This could be a big match between two powerhouses, and could lead to a WrestleMania moment for Ryback if he could lift Mark Henry up for Shell Shocked.

Another match that could take place is Chris Jericho vs Dolph Ziggler. These two have had a few run-ins over the past few months, with Ziggler eliminating Jericho from the Royal Rumble after Jericho had a fantastic showing upon his return. Maybe WWE will have Ziggler beat Jericho (if the match takes place) and then cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase.

Finally, there should be a Tag Team Championship match somewhere down the line, as well as other matches yet to even be teased. There are still 31 days until WrestleMania, with four RAW shows and five SmackDown shows to take place in that time. Things can change, but know for certain, that things will get very, very interesting.