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Podcast Episode 272: Mick Foley, You’re Fired!

Foley is gone and those closest to him on the roster are going to have hell to pay. From Sami Zayn to Cesaro and Sheamus to Bayley… This week was all about Stephanie’s wrath.

Featuring: Psyniac (@rawispsyniac), ‘Super Jew’ Jared (@SuperJew75), Joshua Schlag (@thesteelcage / @schlizzag), and ‘The Mayor of Reseda’ Derek (@cap_kaveman).

Run In: ‘The Beast from the Middle East’ Darrell Johnson (@zazzumplop)

Music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley.

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Podcast Episode 271: Return of the Kingslayer

Seth Rollins is back in time for WrestleMania. Though he’s shown he isn’t at 100%, he’s got the balls to stand up to The King of Kings, Triple H. Rocking a new shirt that pays homage to one of the most popular characters from Game of Thrones, he’s ready to do battle – and I think we’re all finally clamoring for it.

A bunch of other stuff happened too, but really, it was inconsequential by comparison. Get him, Seth!

Featuring: Psyniac (@rawispsyniac), Joshua Schlag (@thesteelcage / @schlizzag), and ‘The Mayor of Reseda’ Derek (@cap_kaveman).

Music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley.

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Podcast Episode 270: Fastlane 2017 Results

Uh oh. There’s a slow car in the fast lane, and traffic is getting backed up. People are getting frustrated, and looking for some way to just get past all of this. No, it’s not just a road trip to Vegas – it’s the Road to WrestleMania.

Fastlane was full of confusing booking decisions, and RAW more or less continued them. I can’t honestly say I’m excited by anything happening on RAW these days. Save us, SmackDown! Save WrestleMania!

Featuring: Psyniac (@rawispsyniac), Joshua Schlag (@thesteelcage / @schlizzag), and ‘The Mayor of Reseda’ Derek (@cap_kaveman).

Music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley.

Like what you hear? Support us on Patreon: [Click here].

SUBSCRIBE in iTunes: [Click here] or Google Play: [Click here].

Add us to your favorites on Stitcher: [Click here].

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The Undertaker vs John Cena: Doomed to Never Happen?

WrestleMania 33 marks the 4th time Cena-Undertaker has been pulled from WrestleMania. I reveal why Vince McMahon has canceled it once AGAIN

Many expected John Cena vs. The Undertaker to main event the upcoming WrestleMania, and rightfully so. It is a huge match that has never happened on the grandest stage of them all and it was actually the plan going into 2017 until Vince McMahon changed his mind. This was sadly the fourth time that Vince McMahon decided to pull the match from a WrestleMania card.

WrestleMania 33 is not the first time The Undertaker vs John Cena has been cancelled, it was also shelved at WrestleMania 25, 26 and 32.

WrestleMania 25:

John Cena vs. The Undertaker was planned for WrestleMania 25 until McMahon decided he would go for two mega-matches instead, opting for Undertaker vs. Michaels and John Cena vs. Hulk Hogan, with Edge defending the WWE Title against Triple H.

As we all know, Hulk Hogan wasn’t medically cleared and WrestleMania 25 underwent major changes. The WWE booked a chaotic Elimination Chamber PPV, flip-flopping both it’s world titles. Triple H vs. Edge became Triple H vs. Randy Orton, with Triple H going in as WWE Champion and Edge had to defend the World Heavyweight Title against Cena and Big Show.

Jeff Hardy vs. Christian was also changed to Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy when the internet leaked that Christian had signed with WWE and was behind a number of mysterious attacks on Jeff Hardy. This becomes a very relevant fact, later on in this piece.

WrestleMania 26:

The WWE had concrete plans to do Cena-Taker at WrestleMania 26. The plans were so concrete, that they even had Undertaker Tombstone John Cena on Raw at MSG (see video below) on the Survivor Series 2009 go-home show.

Unfortunately, Shawn Michaels alerted WWE of his plans to retire and his desire to work with Triple H at WrestleMania 26. In one of the rare cases where Triple H and Michaels didn’t get their way, Vince McMahon decided he wanted The Undertaker to face Shawn Michaels in a rematch from WrestleMania 25, with Triple H programmed in with Sheamus and John Cena facing Batista for the WWE Title.

WrestleMania 32:

After being off the table for six years, mainly due to Cena working a 3-year program with The Rock, The Undertaker vs. Cena was set to be The Phenom’s final match in the WWE. Unfortunately, Cena was injured and fans saw Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon instead.Despite being fully poised to retire at this show, The Undertaker is now back for WrestleMania 33. See my previous article here for more about The Undertaker’s plan to retire last year.

WrestleMania 33:
The Undertaker will head to WrestleMania 33 to take on Roman Reigns, while John Cena may be placed in a very underwhelming role, as he teams with his girlfriend, Nikki Bella to take on Miz and Maryse. It’s quite sad to see a man who had a 5-star match at the Royal Rumble, take part in a mixed tag match at WrestleMania.

However, my sources tell me that Cena is now very keen to do the match, as the couple will be taking part in several mainstream media projects together to promote the match and themselves, on route to WrestleMania.

Back to WrestleMania 32…

WrestleMania 32 was meant to be biggest WrestleMania ever and the original card was very special. It was set to be:

  • The Undertaker vs. John Cena
  • Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title
  • The Rock w/Ronda Rousey vs Triple H w/Stephanie McMahon
  • Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks

Once WWE realised that The Rock vs. Triple H was not possible, they reshuffled their deck and came up with a new card. The new card looked like this:

  • The Undertaker vs. John Cena
  • Seth Rollins vs. Triple H
  • Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar, for the WWE Title
  • Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks

However, once the WWE lost Seth Rollins and John Cena, the card became an absolute mess. Brock Lesnar’s opponent actually changed three times, going from Daniel Bryan to Bray Wyatt to Dean Ambrose. As we all know, The Undertaker ended up taking on Shane-O-Mac and Triple H went in as WWE Champion against Roman Reigns.

So What’s the Deal with WrestleMania 33?

As we fast forward to now, WrestleMania 33 is suffering from the same chopping and changing as WrestleMania 32, despite having none of the injury concerns (I am assuming Seth Rollins is going to make it). To understand why Vince McMahon is making these changes, we have to understand Vince McMahon himself…

Vince has a massive ego…

Vince sees himself as a great mind and creator, which he has been in the past. WrestleMania 33 should have been the easiest card to book of all-time. However, the easy way isn’t the way of a great creator like Vince.

Instead of auto-piloting into WrestleMania 33 by giving fans the great matches they missed out on at WrestleMania 32, Vince McMahon probably could not resist the urge to let his creative juices flow and revamp the original card.

Vince hates spoilers…

As I pointed out earlier, the WWE once had plans to do a Jeff Hardy vs. Christian match, however, Vince changed that to a Hardy vs. Hardy program, once the internet leaked info about Christian re-signing with WWE and him being behind all the attacks on Jeff Hardy. This is NOT the only example of Vince swerving the internet.

Sometimes a card may benefit from changes after a leak. The leaked card for WrestleMania 27 featured Sheamus vs. Triple H and Wade Barrett vs. The Undertaker, but that was changed to Undertaker vs Triple H. When John Cena returned to Smackdown on December 27th, fans chanted “Un-der-taker.”

That immediately put the match in huge danger. Knowing that the internet knew what the great mind of Vince McMahon was planning, would not have sat well with Vince.

Vince had a plan…

There be an element of OCD to this one, but Vince had a plan in his mind for The Undertaker vs. John Cena, with the big picture being, The Undertaker got to win the WWE Title from AJ at the Royal Rumble, in his hometown and John Cena would tie Ric Flair by beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania.

This is how Vince McMahon saw things playing out and it was a grandiose plan. However, The Undertaker was not ready to go one on one with AJ and Cena vs. AJ was booked for Royal Rumble instead. So why not do Undertaker vs. Cena, with Cena going in as Champion instead?

I don’t know because I am not Vince McMahon, but it’s very likely that he soured on the idea because he wanted it to play out exactly as he saw it in his own mind.

An excuse for Randy Orton?

Vince McMahon has always been high on Randy Orton, particularly since his return last summer. He has urged his writers to find good stories for Orton and has been wanting to give him a good push. The fact that Undertaker could not make the Rumble, gave Vince McMahon the perfect chance to push Randy Orton higher up the card.

The WrestleMania 33 card now seems finalised, assuming Seth Rollins does make it. It is actually a pretty decent card, but it could have been better if McMahon’s original plans had stuck. Be sure to stay tuned to my podcast as we head towards WrestleMania 33.

This article was originally published at Sportskeeda.

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The Long Road to The Undertaker’s Retirement

The Undertaker was said to be feeling a great deal of pain following his short stint in the Royal Rumble. Many speculated on The Undertaker’s future last year when he left his gloves in the ring, a gesture that symbolises retirement in MMA. However, those who listen to The Dirty Sheets know that Undertaker WAS meant to retire last year.

We re-addressed this story again this week on one of our “DS Breaking news” podcasts (which you can hear below) while discussing Undertaker’s latest injuries from the Royal Rumble.

Many sources have told me that The Undertaker was adamant he would retire after WrestleMania 32. It was an agreement made on the weekend of WrestleMania 30. Prior to that, The Undertaker told Vince McMahon he was done after WrestleMania 28, but McMahon convinced him to stay and work two more WrestleManias.

The Undertaker planned to retire at WrestleMania 32, after facing John Cena in front of 100,000 people in his home state. However, John Cena suffered an injury and the WrestleMania 32 plans were thrown into disarray, with Shane McMahon was brought in at the last minute to replace John Cena.

A stipulation was added, that Shane would run RAW if he could beat The Undertaker. The Undertaker and Vince McMahon agreed that the Shane McMahon match was not the match to finish his career with and they agreed to begin a new storyline where The Undertaker would lose the match to Shane on purpose, in order to stick it to Vince McMahon, setting up a story that would conclude at WrestleMania 33.

The finish was set to be The Undertaker hitting Shane with a Tombstone, and then putting an unconscious Shane over his own body. He would then explain that he did it to secure a healthier future for WWE under Shane’s leadership and because he hated Vince McMahon.

Knowing The Undertaker was committed for one more year, the WWE even booked The Undertaker for a UK show in London, at the O2 arena (see video below).

However, somewhere between setting up the match and two weeks before WrestleMania, The Undertaker decided that the grind of getting into fighting shape for WrestleMania was too much for him and he told Vince that he would be finishing up after WrestleMania 32.

Feeling there was no convincing Taker to stay this time, Vince announced the stipulation that The Undertaker would never wrestle at a WrestleMania again if he lost.

The promoters of the UK tour were not aware of Vince’s decision until WrestleMania week. They were told that BOTH Daniel Bryan and The Undertaker were off of the UK tour and would be replaced by Shane McMahon. They told me at the time that, “they knew this was not an equal replacement and were prepared for the uproar this would cause.” They were also angry that the WWE ran The Undertaker advert (see above), all the way up to the advertised date, knowing The Undertaker was finished.

On the Saturday afternoon before WrestleMania, Vince McMahon decided to abandon the finish where Undertaker would place Shane onto his own body and decided that The Undertaker would be going over instead. It made NO SENSE to the story.

Shane was still going to run RAW and remain on TV, but The Undertaker WAS still going retire, so the original finish made much more sense, however, Vince went ahead with the illogical changed finish of Undertaker winning. Shane lost the match at WrestleMania 32, and ran RAW anyway, before being given SmackDown.

The Undertaker wandered off into the sunset, seemingly done with wrestling. It made a complete mockery of the stipulation and rendered the match completely irrelevant.

Somehow Vince McMahon has managed to bring back The Undertaker once again. Maybe it was the dissatisfaction of finishing his career against Shane, maybe it was the money or maybe this guy just can’t say no. The Undertaker returned to TV last November, with plans to face AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble in January and John Cena at WrestleMania 33.

However, once again, things were changed. The Undertaker wasn’t ready to work a full match with Styles, so Vince McMahon decided to have John Cena face Styles instead, with The Undertaker going into WrestleMania as the challenger.

A few weeks later, Vince changed his mind again (a common theme in this article), and decided that he did not want to do The Undertaker vs. John Cena match at all (I shall be doing a more detailed story on this later on in the week, here on Sportskeeda).

Vince McMahon then decided to move The Undertaker to RAW, where he was originally slated to face Finn Balor, however, this was changed to Roman Reigns when Finn Balor failed his medical, the week of the Royal Rumble, as outlined in a previous article.

Dave Meltzer reported that The Undertaker vs. Cena match had been changed, but it wasn’t so bad as it had been scrapped for “something the fans would love.” That was set to be Undertaker vs. Balor. Unfortunately, this plan didn’t materialise due to Balor’s failure to recover in time for the Royal Rumble angle, which was given to Roman Reigns.

Meltzer certainly was not referring to anything involving Roman Reigns when he said, “something fans would love.” However, despite ‘Taker’s poor physical condition and the fans dislike of Reigns, I feel that the match will come off well.

I believe that the fans hatred of Reigns will add heat to the match, as the crowd will desperately want Undertaker to win, which will mask the shortcomings of The Undertaker, as their investment is guaranteed. This may pan out to be better than a Balor vs. Taker match, where you have two guys people like, so you are less inclined to care about the result.

TLDR;

A lot has been made of The Undertaker’s condition at the Royal Rumble. However, it has to be understood that the guy just underwent surgery and is in his 50’s. He will be ready for WrestleMania 33 after which, I don’t think we should see him do anything again until the build for WrestleMania 34, the event where he should have his final match.

It would be fitting to have his final match at WrestleMania 34, in New Orleans, where the streak ended. After that, there should be no more talks between McMahon and Undertaker about doing anything more.

The WWE needs to move on without The Undertaker. I expect The Undertaker to end his WrestleMania career at 23-3, as he puts over two future talents at WrestleMania 33 and 34. Unfortunately, I think this rules out ever seeing an Undertaker vs. John Cena encounter at a WrestleMania, but hopefully I am wrong.

This article was originally published at Sportskeeda.

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