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Breaking down WWE’s Extreme Rules


WWE's Extreme Rules features a match with legends Triple H and Brock Lesnar. Photo by: WWECUADOR

WWE’s Extreme Rules features a match with legends Triple H and Brock Lesnar. Photo by: WWECUADOR

BY BRETT MURDOCK (AND MATT VINSKO), Couchsideshow.com blogger

As the first pay-per-view event post-WrestleMania, Extreme Rules has the unfavorable task of putting on a quality show after professional wrestling’s biggest extravaganza. Last year, it was actually able to step up to the plate and it was the best PPV event of the year, in my opinion. That’s not just a “wrestling hipster” opinion to go against the mainstream calling ‘Mania the top show of 2012, I legitimately believed it.

This year, the potential to rise above WrestleMania is once again there, especially after a predictable and lackluster (because of the hype) Show of Shows. While many fans see a card that is lacking, I see a line-up with a lot of capability and the chance to do something memorable. In total, there are nine scheduled match-up and all but two of them will employ an “extreme” stipulation, hence the show’s title. Now, along with my co-conspirator Matt Vinsko (making predictions at the willy-nilly like I did on his NBA first-round playoffs piece), let’s get ready to get extreeeeeeeme…

Pre-Show: The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes

Honestly, I have no idea where this match came from. For the past couple of years, The Miz and Cody Rhodes have been two of WWE’s best midcard guys but unfortunately, they have been brick walled by an inability to develop solid feuds for them in singles action. The Miz has had his chances with both the Intercontinental and United States Championships, but failed to make an impact with the belts. Rhodes was part of a great tag team with Damien Sandow but for some reason, the creative staff broke them up to focus them on singles competition. Meanwhile, getting back to present day, these two are probably just there to get the crowd warmed up for the night’s events and to bring at least a shred of credibility to the pre-show. With that being said, the preshow is usually for the fans and the WWE “knows” that fans like the faces, so congrats Miz.

BRETT: The Miz

MATT: The Miz (more…)


Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat


Will the Miami Heat return to the NBA Finals this year? Photo by: Paolo Rosa / Flickr

Will the Miami Heat return to the NBA Finals this year? Photo by: Paolo Rosa / Flickr

BY Couchsideshow.com staff

CLICK HERE TO START LISTENING: 

Couch Side hosts Wade McMillin and Craig Paul have had a lot on their plate lately, but they’re back for another exciting episode of the podcast. After a two week hiatus, the hosts return to dish out some NFL offseason grades, talk all things Tim Tebow, dive into the NBA playoffs, examine Tiger Woods’ Players championship win and criticize the voting of the NBA All-Defensive Team. Click below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast:

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 54: High On The Heat, via iTunes


WrestleMania 29: Where It All Happens … Again … and Again … and Again …


Wrestle Mania 29 has a lineup that should have WWE fans on the edge of their seats. Photo by: Ed Schipul / Flickr

Wrestle Mania 29 has a lineup that should have WWE fans on the edge of their seats. Photo by: Ed Schipul / Flickr

BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com blogger

There’s an inherent feeling about the 29th edition of WrestleMania — that it is predictable. And, after looking at the card, a fan could probably easily deduce many of the outcomes.

You see, despite all of its glory, history, pageantry, etc., this year’s ‘Mania lacks a certain luster, notoriety, and even buzz. Maybe it’s the lack of a solid build (courtesy of the creative team’s indecisiveness), the fact that it’s going to be hard to top last year’s spectacle, or maybe it’s because of this…

Rematches. Rematches galore. Rematches that make the official line-up look a big bag of “we saw that coming.”

Even as a wrestling fan, I’m finding it hard to remember that The Granddaddy of Them All is taking place this Sunday, emanating from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey/New York. For all the reasons listed above, I’m not as excited as I have been in years past, which might be why I scheduled a golf outing with some friends for that afternoon and why I’m also more amped for the Season 6 premiere of Mad Men that night.

Nevertheless, it is still WrestleMania and a lot of the time, the WWE does its best work when they have their backs against the wall to put on a good show, and this feels like one of those times. So, without further ado and rambling, let us dive into the night’s matches…

UNDERCARD

Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (champ) vs. The Miz (Preshow match)

This is actually kind of a rematch as well, as these two have battled quite frequently on episodes of RAW and SmackDown and have had numerous encounters, leading to the feud. Barrett has held the title since December, and has succeeded in every title defense. He is one of the future stars of the company, and deserves the push he has been getting. However, The Miz hasn’t had a good win in a while and has started to take on some of the characteristics of his kind-of-now-mentor, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, including having Flair bestowing his legendary submission move, The Figure-Four Leg Lock. This could actually be a solid opening match to get the crowd started and start the night off right, even if it is just on the preshow.

• WINNER: The Miz (more…)


Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: The Great Steroid Discussion


Couch Side hosts Craig Paul (left) and Wade McMillin jive about juice in this week's podcast.

Couch Side hosts Craig Paul (left) and Wade McMillin jive about juice in this week’s podcast.

CLICK HERE TO START LISTENING: 

BY Couchsideshow.com staff

Couch Side gets back to its roots as Craig Paul and Wade McMillin pump up the crowd with their usual sports banter. This week’s topics include the rather boring NBA trade deadline, the biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA, steroids and where NFL quarterback Alex Smith might wind up. Also, Craig and Wade share a special message about a worthwhile benefit in Powell, Wyoming. If you live in the area, please attend the “Bring Brad Home Benefit” in Powell, Wyoming at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Park County Fair Grounds. For more information please click hereClick below to start streaming, downloading or subscribing to the Couch Side podcast!

•  Click here to stream the Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to download the Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: All-Time NBA Fantasy Draft, via our host site, TalkShoe

• Click here to stream, download or subscribe to the Couch Side Podcast Episode 48: The Great Steroid Discussion, via iTunes


Royal Rumble Review Part Two: Breakdown of the beat down


Two of Couch Side's top bloggers attended this year's WWE Royal Rumble. Photo by: Brett Murdock / couchsideshow.com

Two of Couch Side’s top bloggers attended this year’s WWE Royal Rumble. Photo by: Brett Murdock / couchsideshow.com

Editors note: The following is part one of a two-part series, looking at the first-hand accounts of the WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event from two of Couch Side’s finest writers.

BY MATT VINSKO, Couchsideshow.com blogger 

As a fan of wrestling, I find it odd that I’ve only been to three WWE events in my life.  The first two (a house show and a taping of ­SmackDown), while entertaining, lacked the glitz, glamour, and star power that the wrestling organization loves to trot out.  But that underwhelming feeling immediately disappeared upon walking into the U.S. Airways Center on Sunday, January 27, for the Royal Rumble.

John Cena, CM Punk, The Rock, hell, even a surprise return by Chris Jericho.  What more could I ask for?  While the returns of Goldust and The Godfather were fan-pleasing, the matches themselves left quite a bit to be desired.  Still, the star power alone was easily worth the $45 price of admission.

The night started hot with The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro in what turned out to be an excellent opening match.  Brett and I both (accurately) predicted Cesaro would win, but the fact The Miz got a hot pop not only surprised me, but foreshadowed everything to come.  (more…)


Royal Rumble Part One: The experience is everything


Couch Side bloggers Matt Vinsko and Brett Murdock attended the WWE's Royal Rumble one week ago.

Couch Side bloggers Matt Vinsko and Brett Murdock attended the WWE’s Royal Rumble one week ago.

Editors note: The following is part one of a two-part series, looking at the first-hand accounts of the WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event from two of Couch Side’s finest writers.

BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com blogger

Ladies and gentlemen, I have been to numerous sporting events in my life. I’ve been around loud crowds, hyped-up environments, and have seen my fair share of gripes, surprises, controversy, and full-on rowdiness. But nothing could have prepared me for what WWE’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view gave me on January 27 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

Now, I’ve been a wrestling fan for a long time now. I watched religiously from 2003 to about 2006 but then lost some of that consistency until the summer of 2011, more known as “the Summer of [CM] Punk” (more on him later). So when the opportunity came for me to experience WWE’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year mere miles from my house, I jumped on that chance and didn’t look back and let me tell you, it was well worth it.

I won’t go into the main details of every match on the card because that is not what the point of going to an event like this is. The point is to be part of the experience and let me tell you, the Royal Rumble was incredible. Showing up in Downtown Phoenix an hour and a half early to eat was awe-inspiring itself as nearly every restaurant and bar was packed with fans who were only getting prepared for what the nigh would bring. Hell, halfway through our “pre-game” festivities (if you will), Matt and I got to experience the familiar “LET’S GO, CENA!” “CENA SUCKS!” chants at a bar. A BAR! Not the event, but a local bar. I could tell we were going to be in for quite a night.

We were somewhat worried about getting in after getting tickets off Craigslist but thankfully, they were legitimate and soon enough, we were in our seats and ready to rumble (get it?). From then on, it was all about the crowd reactions to the matches, entrances, spots, and moments. And the Rumble is arguably the best PPV for those reactions. (more…)


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