30 things returning fans need to know before wathcing Wrestlemania XXX part II

Diarmuid Crowley

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Here is part 2 of things for returning fans to know before watching Wrestlemania XXX as it focuses on titles, commentators and if there will be blood at Wrestlemania. Click here for part one.

11)            Any other wrestlers to keep an eye on?

Usos: The sons of former wrestler Rikishi and current WWE tag team champions, Jimmy and Jey Uso have been hunting for those titles since 2010 before defeating the New Age Outlaws this February. Below they issued an open challenge as seen below which has since been accepted by the Real Americans,  Los Matadores and Rybaxel and all four teams will  compete at Wrestlemania.

Curtis Axel: The son of the late Mr Perfect, Curtis Axel possesses some of the in ring skills his daddy had. A former Intercontinental and tag champion, Axel aims to try and capture the tag belts from the Usos with his partner the vicious Ryback.

Curtis Axel photo credit; Tony A
Curtis Axel photo credit;Tony A (flickr)

 

Real Americans: Cesaro and Jack Swagger represent the patriotic tag team of WWE. Cesaro was part of one the indie circuit’s greatest tag team the KOW before showing his unique style in WWE. Swagger beforehand was a former World champion and even contended for the belt at Wrestlemania.  Below you can see them in action.

Fandango: The dancing wrestler that last year got a shock win at Wrestlemania and got crowds going wild with his theme song thus creating Fandangoing. He may not have achieved anything higher ever since yet he is still entertaining to watch every time he steps into the ring.

Fandango Photo credit: Simon Q
Fandango Photo credit: Simon Q

Damien Sandow: The self-professed intellectual saviour of masses, Sandow acts like a jerk but you can’t deny his in ring skills. He has attempted to broaden the minds of the WWE universe but has been booed for bullying their favourites. Below is a montage to his catchphrase.

Kofi Kingston: Kofi Kingston is exciting to watch whether it’s one on one or in a Money in the Bank ladder match.  Now in the Andre memorial battle royal, he hopes to provide the energy that he possessed since his WWE debut in 2008 and find unique ways to survive the battle royal.

 

Kofi Kingston Photo credit: Krystal Bogner (flickr)
Kofi Kingston Photo credit: Krystal Bogner (flickr)

Darren Young: A former member of the Primetime Players, Darren Young made history as being the first openly gay wrestler to come out while being in WWE. The reason for this is because WWE has been claimed as a homophobic industry. Below is his interview with Ellen DeGeneres.

12)          Who are the non-wrestling personalities?

Brad Maddox: The general manager of Raw and The Authority’s lapdog. Maddox began his carrer as a referee then Vickie’s assistant before getting the GM job.  Below you can see him trying to be a good partner to Stephanie McMahon’s and Triple H’s cause.

Paul Heyman: Do you remember the impressive yet loud mouthed ECW founder turned WWE Commentator ? He has become Brock Lesnar’s agent/mouthpiece. Whenever Lesnar is not there, Heyman speaks his client’s thoughts adding a more acidic tongue to further insult his foes.

Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar Photo credit: Schen (flickr)
r to l: Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar Photo credit: Schen (flickr)

Vickie Guerrero: The widow of Eddie Guerrero, Vickie Guerrero is the general manager of Smackdown. She has occasionally been in the ring and has butted heads with AJ Lee on multiple occasions like in the match before.

Hulk Hogan: Yes. THAT Hulk Hogan. After a seven year hiatus from WWE, he has come back to host Wrestlemania. Various injuries prevent him from doing anything too physical however the 30th anniversary wouldn’t be complete without the man who headline the first one and offered several memorable moments.

Hulk Hogan Photo credit; Simon Q
Hulk Hogan Photo credit; Simon Q

Zeb Coulter: WWE’s answer to a tea party extremist, Coulter is the manager of the Real Americans. He is known for his patriotic rants, unique facal hair and ending his speeches with the line “We the People” Last year, his character and WWE were considered stupid by Glenn Beck. Below is Coulter’s rebuttal.

13) Who are the champions

WWE World Heavywieght Champion: Randy Orton

Randy Orton picture. Photo Credit: Ed Webster (flickr
Randy Orton: The King Joffrey of the WWE.  Photo Credit: Ed Webster (flickr)

United States Champion: Dean Ambrose

Dean Ambrose photo credit: Krystal Bogner (flickr)
The brains of the Shield and United States Champ Dean Ambrose photo credit: Krystal Bogner (flickr)

Intercontinental Champion: Big E Langston (Now known as Big E)

Big E. picture Photo credit: Simon Q (flickr)
Big E. makes for a big challenge for Intercontinental contenders. Photo credit: Simon Q (flickr)

WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee

AJ and Tamina Photo credit: Give me gimmicks (flickr)
AJ Lee (right) hopes to remain Divas champion even if her former protector Tamina (left) is one of her opponents. Photo credit: Give me Gimmicks (flickr).

WWE Tag team champions: Jimmy and Jey Uso

Usos. Photo credit: give me gimmicks (flickr)
The Usos psych up for battle. Photo credit: give me gimmicks (flickr)

14) Why is Randy Orton holding 2 belts instead of one?

The reason for this is because he was the WWE Champion since winning the title at Hell in a Cell in October. In December, he fought the World Heavyweight Champion John Cena  to unify both belts as the WWE World Heavyweight title and since then has become the sole champion of the company. Below is the promo for that match.

15)      Who are the ex-world champions that won it in the WWE and are still on  the WWE roster?

The original WWE title that you remember Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock held on various occasions.  Very few people in modern wrestling have held just the WWE title but that both world belts are unifyed, the wrestlers now have that chance. The few include Brock Lesnar, John “Bradsahw” Layfield and The Miz.

The World heavyweight championship was made during the days where Raw and Smackdown were seperate brands.  The first champion was Triple H. Since then various other wrestlers won it.  Names of wrestlers that only won this belt are  Booker T, The Great Khali, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Christian and Mark Henry . Triple H, Undertaker, Randy Orton,  John Cena, Batista, Kane, Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan  were fortunate enough to hold both belts.Below is the emotional win for Christian after a 17 year wrestling odyssey has come true.

 

 16) What other special titles are there?

Royal Rumble: For those of who don’t know this is a 30 man over the top battle royal. Two men stars. more appear in regular intervels. Wrestlers throw their opponents over the top rope and to the floor. The last man left in the ring out of the 30 gets a shot at Wrestlemania glory.  Below is the end to 1997’s Royal Rumble where Stone Cold was not seen by refs to have been thrown out of the ring and won the match on that oversight.

Money in the Bank: A multi-man ladder match, the goal is to climb a ladder and retrieve the briecase hanging high on the celing. That case has a contract for a WWE title shot for 365 days at anytime. This match levated wrestlers lik Edge, cm Punk and Daniel Bryan to the top. Below is one of those matches.

Slammys: Once a mockery of the Oscars, The Slammys have now become an annual event to prodcue ratings. This gimmick has had some fun moments from Edge saying the only thing that hasn’t change in WWE is that Michael Cole is a massive tool to The Shield’s domination of the awards. However they pale in comparsion, to Owen Hart’s appearance at the 1997 Slammys.

NXT Championship: The main title in NXT wrestling, this has been developmental wrestler’s  golden ticket to the big time as the first two champions are fighting in the active WWE roster. The belt is currently held by Geordie highflyer Adrian Neville but known in the indie cicuit as PAC.  Below is Seth Rollins winnning the tournement to crown the first NXT championship.

NXT Women championship: The female counterpart of the NXT title, this belt has had only one champion so far. The talented and beautiful Paige. Despite her youth, Paige is part of a British wrestling family and began at the age of 14. Below you can see how eighteen years of wrestling paid off.

NXT Tag Team Championship: The tag team titles have seen a far few champions since their creation. Champions such as the Wyatt Family and Adrian Neville. The current champions are the Ascension Konnar and Viktor who are the longest reging NXT tag champs to date. Below is the final of the tourney to crwon the first ever NXT champions.

17)      What happened to some of the belts that ?

Belts from WCW & ECW: By the end 2001,the only title left from WCW or ECW was the Cruiserweight championship which disappeared after 2007.  The United States championship returned in 2003 and is still there. The ECW World Title also was brought back in 2006 when WWE set up ECW as a show. However it went back into storage when ECW went off the air in 2010.

Mr McMahon as ECW champ photo credit: Whiskey Digital (flickr)
Mr McMahon (centre) as ECW champion during its time in WWE photo credit: Justin Moody(flickr)

European and Hardcore titles: One belt was the original way to get a Grand Slam in pro wrestling. The other was a gimmick belt that loved by fans of gore wrestling. Both were unified with the Intercontinental title and one man was involved in both of those matches: Rob Van Dam.

RVD photo credit: Tony A. (flickr)
Rob Van Dam has won so many titles, it’s no surprise that he unifyed the European and Hardcore titles with the Intercontinental belt. Photo credit: Tony A. (flickr)

Womens championship: Since the days of the Fabulous Mollah, women wrestlers needed this to show they were the creme de la creme of womens wrestler. This belt was unified with the Divas title in 2010 but has left some memorable feuds such as the rivalry of Trish Stratus and Lita.

King of the Ring: The tournament that led Stone Cold, HHH and Brock Lesnar has come and gone so many times until its unannounced disappearance after 2010. Below is the corination of William Regal the 2008 King of the Ring.

18)      Who are the main commentators?

Sadly the cowboy wearing voice of WWE Jim Ross has left the company. However, his puppies  obsseesed collegue Jerry “The King” Lawler is still there only he’s matured in what he says.  Also there are JBL and Michael Cole. Cole who you would remember as a backstage interviewer is now sitting calling matches and plugging the WWE app like it’s going out of style. As for JBL you propably remember him from below as Bradshaw from the APA. The cigar smoking, beer swilling duo that either provide protecting or trouble for wrestlers in the Attitude Era.

19)      Why am I seeing only little of some of the big wrestling names on Raw or Smackdown?

As said in part one, The Undertaker, The Rock and Brock Lesnar only appear on occasion.  All for different reasons. Undertaker is pushing into his 50s and has wrestled for nearly 24 years. He has a series of injuries preventing from working a full year schedule hence why WWE saves him for Wrestlemania.  The Rock has had a busy movie schedule since his return in 2011. This year is busier than ever. As for Brock Lesnar, it’s  a case of WWE needs him more than he needs WWE. He made a lot of money during his UFC run but his struggles with diverticulitis resulted in his retirement from MMA fighter. Hence his contract allows him to make a few appearances here and there while still recieved a high salary.  However when they do appear it, it is always a big deal.

Brock Lesnar after attacking John Cena photo credit: Ed Webster (flickr)
Brock Lesnar after attacking John Cena photo credit: Ed Webster (flickr)

20)      Will there be any violent chair shots and blood?

Due to a contract WWE signed with Mattel, more concern over concussions & HIV  and negative press about steroids and unexpected deaths especially with the Chris Benoit muder-suicede incident of 2007, WWE took on a PG rating. This means no blood in matches or cahir shots to the head. However some of the matches in recent matches prove that they don’t need them to put on a good show. Examples include most of the matches at the PPV Money in the Bank 2011 and Undertaker’s past five Wrestlemania matches.

 

Chair shot picture. Photo credit: sashafatcat (flickr)
Head chair shot like this are banned in WWE. But there is always the back, leg or arm. Photo credit: sashafatcat (flickr)

The third and final part will be posted on TUESDAY. There will be a question on where past wrestlers are now? If you want to ask about one or have a question to be answered for the final ten, add it to the comments before MONDAY.

 

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Diarmuid Crowley