It’d be wrong to call John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam a “match.” I’d like to think that “utter trouncing” is much closer.
What’s interesting is that, in the back of my mind, I knew that Lesnar was going to be a force that not even Cena could overcome. However, compared to Lesnar, Cena looked like someone who had just stepped into the ring for the first time at SummerSlam. Try as he might have, the leader of the Cenation could not best the former UFC powerhouse and, ultimately, fell victim to not only several F-5s but sixteen German suplexes. Now, Lesnar can lay claim to another title: the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
To say that the reception to Lesnar’s victory was mixed would be an understatement. For every fan who cried foul, believing that a part-timer did not deserve the title, there was another fan who relished the idea of this monster holding the most prized championship in the company. Lesnar is a very divisive individual by nature, though, so a reaction like this is understandable. However, I’d like to make the claim that, regardless of how others feel, Brock Lesnar being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion might actually be the best move in the long run.
"But wait," you might say. "Brock Lesnar shouldn’t be the champion since he’s not on every show!” This is very true; Lesnar’s appearances are very few. Even so, consider just how much this can help elevate others who are below him in the WWE food chain. Aren’t we always talking about how the future of the company should be placed at the forefront? With Lesnar being employed on a part-time basis, thereby able to make only a select number of shows, this puts the rest of the card on notice. Basically, these men and women - along with their championships - have to step up their game.
Look at how much focus WWE has brought onto Roman Reigns; don’t you think that he’s going to benefit from Lesnar’s absence since he’s going to be given more time to shine? What about the ongoing saga between Dean Ambrose and the Authority as a whole? Ziggler, the new Intercontinental Champion? Paige, who recently regained the Divas Championship? These individuals are, in my view, what WWE is going to be built upon in the future. Given the fact that WWE seems to place too much emphasis on the main event scene, without truly focusing on the mid and lower card scene, Lesnar’s absence might actually be for the best and many of us don’t even know it yet.
Another point to mention - and this is specifically for those who believed that Lesnar shouldn’t have won the championship - is that there was no other choice. Once Brock Lesnar defeated the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX, thereby ending the illustrious streak, he was cemented on a different plane entirely. The man who was able to succeed where others failed should be considered one of the best, regardless of how much he may or may not love professional wrestling itself.
After such a controversial yet insurmountable victory, could you honestly see Lesnar heading into his next match and taking the fall? I couldn’t. Why waste a WrestleMania victory for Lesnar, over the Undertaker of all people, only for him to lose to John Cena in his next match? I thought that Lesnar had a somewhat lackluster 2013 in the company, as he was made to look like something of a goof at times, regardless of his victories. Lesnar should be a monster, in the purest sense of the word, and his match against Cena at SummerSlam exemplified this.
Was the match boring? It could be argued that, at times, it was. Was it any less important of a main event featuring the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Hell no. As wrestling fans, we’re conditioned to believe that main event matches should have this 50/50 sort of air about it, as if both men could legitimately pull out a victory. Lesnar isn’t exactly rooted in those rules and he’s a better performer because of it. When you’re in the ring with a fighter of Lesnar’s stature, you’re going to be at a distinct disadvantage, even if you’re someone with as much history in WWE as John Cena. Watching Lesnar toy around with Cena, not unlike a large beast with its prey, made you feel invested in the match. Could the smaller creature triumph over the monster? At SummerSlam, nature took its course and the monster stood tall.
More than anything else, I’m intrigued by how exactly the story unfolds from here. Lesnar bested the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX and now he’s the champion after defeating John Cena at SummerSlam, so what happens now? As I said earlier, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of Lesnar’s part-time status. While he’s away, with the title no less, allow the current roster to build. Let men such as Reigns, Ziggler, and (god willing) Cesaro become stronger entities. Maybe Bryan will be back sooner rather than later and he can show, once again, why he’s been revered as one of the finest pro wrestling of the last decade. Any of these men could be strong challengers for Lesnar, gunning for his WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Only one man can trump the Beast Incarnate and that individual is going to be a made man by the end. Until then, enjoy Brock Lesnar as WWE World Heavyweight Champion because, believe it or not, it’s best for business.
Look at Lawler in the background. I can’t wait to see the comments on this once it starts getting reblogged.
Gif made by womenswrestlinggifs.
As noted earlier, Alberto Del Rio recently spoke with Mexican morning news show Primero Noticias of Televisa. You can watch the entire interview in Spanish in the video above, thanks to Wrestling Inc. reader “NegativeFeedback” for sending the transcription below of the interview:
What happened? Tell me. What happened? Why did you leave the USA? It seemed like you were a top player.
Yes, I continued being one of the top guys in USA. But there was an incident in which there was an altercation with a WWE employee. I won’t give all the details just yet. I’m still assessing which is the best way, legally, so that nothing that I say can be used against me. You know that US laws are completely different than the ones in Mexico. It was an incident in which I was offended. I was completely the victim. I have not spoken or said anything due to the same situation. They went ahead and said that I had unprofessional conduct. It’s true. Yes, I slapped this WWE employee because, I always say, that you can take my job, but no one will take my dignity, or my pride. And I won’t let anyone offend or humiliate my homeland, which is Mexico. I don’t forget my roots. Like I said, I am defending myself. This problem led to the end of my contract with them in one of the moments where I was at the top of the tier, just like I have always been throughout my 6 years with them.
You were a victim of racism?
Yes, yes. These were comments that this guy made. And I reacted in an inappropriate manner. I will never say that someone should conduct themselves the way I did. I slapped him, and I feel completely embarrassed of my attitude and my reaction. But in that moment, after his comment, I demanded an apology. I didn’t just stand there and slap him outright.
What exactly did he say?
I will be keeping that to myself right now. I am a few days away from being able to say absolutely everything. A lot of people know what happened because there were so many people there in catering.
Who was there? Another wrestler?
There were wrestlers, crew members, executives on the business side. They saw everything. I didn’t say anything.
What wrestlers were there?
Right next to me, just like you are right now, was Jack Swagger. There were referees behind me. There were crew members. They were all present when this problem occurred.
You were all eating?
Yes, we were actually in Texas. I worked the show. And I had a conversation with the owner of the company.
Who is that?
Vince McMahon. The owner. And everything seemed fine. We spoke about it.
After the incident?
Yeah, after. You see, there’s a situation here.
Let’s reconstruct the narrative here, because if not, we’re going to lose your train of thought. You guys were eating, there were wrestlers and referees. This person just randomly has a racist comment towards you.
Well, another person does a racist remark and he answers it but directing it towards me. And then…
You already had history with this person before.
Yes, I had an incident with him in the past where he pretended, I think, to read his computer. He said “Alberto is a such and such.” And I was like, “What did you say, man?” He stands up and says, “No, it’s something from Twitter.” He then wants to give me his hand, and I just said, “Don’t touch me.” And I left to the ring, because I was on my way to the squared circle. This was about 7-8 months ago. When he says this comment, the same person again, I’m like “What’s this guy’s problem?” So I stand up, and don’t think I’m going to come to blows with him. I stood up demanding an apology.”
Yes, completely. I told him, “What did you just say, you son of a such and such?” and I demanded an apology.
And what did he do? Did he stand up?
He was already standing up. He was about to leave when he said that comment. The only thing he does after his comment is, with his face as close to me as mine is to yours right now, he does a douchey smirk with one side of mouth. And then I hit him. I’ll say it again, I will always be embarrassed of the way I reacted. I’m not regretful. Sure, it costed me my job. But they are the ones that lose more in this situation.
When you say ‘employee’, do you mean another wrestler? Or is he a director?
No, no, this person is a “Manager of Social Media.” He is the one who manages the social networks. I hadn’t even spoken with him. The people released his name, and the company simply put, “he’s leaving because of unprofessional conduct.” But then they don’t mention it’s an isolated incident. That there was an action for my reaction. You tell the world that I simply slapped an individual without saying what it was all about. But okay…
These cases of racism have to be taken very seriously. This is much more than the show and the spectacle and all the histrionic narrative that involves pro wrestling. This is an incident of presumptive racism against a worker who had a contract. This is completely different. We’re not talking about a rivalry with John Cena. No no no, this is not right.
Not even with a wrestler. In fact, the comment was really dumb, but he is not my friend. I didn’t even know the name of this person until after the incident.
This happens, you slap him, and then what happens after?
The owner of the company tells me in this same tone: “I understand where you come from and where your anger comes from, how after you’re insulted, he gives you a look telling you to swallow it. I understand your reaction, but it was very inappropriate. Nothing will happen, just go to work.” They tell me that his smile might have been out of nervousness. (laughs) But for whatever the reason it happened, I don’t think it was that. Everything seemed okay. I was actually suspended first. The next day they simply suspended me. And for reasons that they decided out of the blue, on Thursday they called me and said “You know what?”
Who called you?
The director of operations called me, Triple H. He said, “you know what? It pains us to tell you this, and we lose a lot more because we invested lots of time and money in you, but we have to let you go.” I told him, “Okay.” I’m telling you, I’m like I’m gone. And immediately I’m contacted by AAA, and companies from Japan and USA. I think I already have a name and a place in this spectacle and this business that opened a range of possibilities. Um, I have not had conversations with them since. I know the social networks exploded over there because of this although I hadn’t spoken yet about the incident. But I’m telling you, a lot of the people that were there, other wrestlers and members of staff, said, “No, this is what happened. The facts are these.” I have to tell you, like when I announced TripleMania, and it’s very important, the name “Alberto Del Rio" belongs completely to WWE. That name is theirs. "Alberto" is my real name. Here in Mexico people gave me the name "El Patron." Alberto Del Rio, that is part of my past, because it belongs to them. I told the press yesterday, I need patience, because the last thing that I want is for this situation to affect my family.
What is your real name?
Jose Alberto Rodriguez is my real name.
And Del Rio?
That came about because they want to own all their characters, which is understandable. So when they gave me a list of names, I chose that one. Because they gave me names that didn’t even make any sense. (laughs) We know that the American way of thinking is completely different than ours. And it was decided “Del Rio” because I think there was a story about how someone in their family was a fan of Dolores Del Rio. And I told the press to have patience because the last thing that I want is for my family to be affected. And if I see that there’s nothing that happens with this problem, I mean, that it doesn’t affect my family, then I will immediately give you absolutely all the details of the situation and what happened.
Are you going to sue?
I still don’t know… the actual reason why I contacted a lawyer and I sought legal help, because they sent me their termination letter. And in that letter, they added a clause that I couldn’t work in the USA for a whole year. And I know I am Mexican, and that I don’t understand completely the laws in USA, but if you’re not paying me, I think it’s unconstitutional that you prohibit me from getting a job in my trade. How am I supposed to pay your taxes? How am I supposed to put food on the table for my kids? And that’s why I looked for a lawyer. I said, “hey is this constitutional? Can they actually do that?” Up until now, the three lawyers I contacted said it is completely unconstitutional if they’re not paying me. I told them, “well, it’s in the contract,” and they said, “they can put whatever they want in the contract, but no court will decide in their favor.
Do you want to go back and wrestle in USA?
No. I think I have said this… this will be like the 102nd time that I say it, but a lot of people are going to say, “he’s only saying that because he doesn’t work with them anymore.” But I wasn’t planning on re-signing with them in February. I was debating on whether I was going to stay or not. I spoke with my family because the work schedule was too hard and I didn’t want to keep doing so many shows every week. I don’t know what would have happened. Maybe I would have kept my career going over there. Unfortunately, this incident happened that forces me to leave the company. And like I said, a lot of doors have been opened. Mainly AAA, they immediately contacted me. They have a tremendous project in Mexico, and a tremendous one in USA to do lots of great things. They are helping me as well with all the legal stuff. But what I mainly want to do is work.
The fact that you’re a wrestler, you could say that strength is one of your work instruments. I know that with karate experts, if someone that knows karate hits someone, it is much more punitive by the law, then if I, that don’t know karate, would hit someone.
In that case, do you think you will get more consequences for hitting him if you dedicate yourself to hitting for your career?
Well, in Mexico, it’s like that. I don’t know if USA manages it in the same way. Over there, we are not athletes, we are entertainers. They call us actors. They are very open about it. In fact, they tells us to never say that we are wrestlers. They want us to say that we are entertainers, actors, sports entertainers. So I don’t really know what the situation will be. That’s also another reason why I went to a lawyer, because I don’t want this guy that after his offense and my reaction, to go and sue me. And they told me that. “There are no bruises. You didn’t punch him, it was just a slap. There could be repercussions, but because there was no injury, he’s going to have to find another angle.” We don’t know, we just have to wait to see what happens with that situation. I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I told my wife I don’t think I am going to sue the company because I don’t want to get into legal problems. But after the termination letter where they tell me I can’t seek employment in my line of work, that changes the whole picture. What I want primarily is for a lawyer to say in court that they can’t prohibit me from working because it’s unconstitutional. And whatever comes after, I’ll decide.”
Alberto Del Rio, thank you very much for coming to Primero Noticias. How are you going to be called now?
El Patron (laughs)
“Sometimes I wrestled in front of very small crowds for very small amounts. I’ve done bingo halls and tents in front of 10 people with a cow mooing in the background. Doing that and then going to WrestleMania and the Superdome and wrestling in front of 80,000 people is night and day.”
- Seth Rollins
CM Punk, Daffney, and Chris Hero 
Long before the days where selfies were a widespread epidemic, these three were revolutionizing the game.
Johnny Ace and Butch Miller 
This picture really confused me at first, but after doing some research, I found that Johnny Ace was once the flagbearer for The Sheepherders in the late 80’s. The trio worked in the NWA down in Florida, where they were the Florida Tag Team Champions and feuded with The Garvin Bros.
What’s killing me about this picture is Johnny Ace’s ridiculous denim trenchcoat. Where the fuck do you even get a thing like that!?
Jeff Hardy (w/ Matt Hardy) Vs. Steve Blackman (w/ Al Snow)
WWF SmackDown [September 3rd, 2000]
Two guys I was really into, around this era, especially. This match is fast-paced and a constant game where both men have clearly learned each other’s styles. The sequencing in the opening of the match will keep you locked in until the ending, as both Hardy and Blackman are more than able to wrestle a quick-paced style. The only difference between the two is that, where Hardy is quick to fly, Blackman is quick to maim!
Southern Justice (Mark Canterbury and Dennis Knight) [September 21st, 1998]
After a long run as The Godwinns, both loved and hated by WWF audiences, The Godwinns underwent a repackaging. Instead of being the hog farmers that the fans were familiar with, The Godwinns re-debuted as Southern Justice, a pair of “hired guns”, so to speak, who were frequently by the side of Jeff Jarrett. They stopped going by the names of Henry and Phineas Godwinn and instead used their real names, Mark Canterbury and Dennis Knight (respectively).
In their time as Southern Justice, the team contested against notable tag teams in the WWF, such as Disciples Of Apocalypse, and even teamed with Jarrett to back him in his feud against D-Generation X. Though the two men were well-seasoned as could be and had plenty of experience teaming up, their pairing as Southern Justice was cut short. Canterbury unfortunetely herniated his C7 vertebrae and pinched a spinal nerve, which required spinal fusion surgery and thus ended the career of Canterbury. Dennis Knight continued to wrestle for the company, being kidnapped by The Ministry Of Darkness at the following Royal Rumble and (yet again) being re-branded as Mideon.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express [1983-1997]
Though the team of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson still pops up at various indie shows all over the world, their hottest run began in 1983 when Jerry “The King” Lawler put them together and gave them a name. The idea was that Ricky and Robert would wrestle as an alternative to The Fabulous Ones, when they couldn’t wrestle in certain towns. What Lawler didn’t expect, however, is that Morton and Gibson would gain notoriety with lightning hot speed.
Over the course of their near-15 year run, Gibson and Morton wrestled in virtually every wrestling territory that existed. Mid-South Wrestling, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance, and even the World Wrestling Federation featured the popular tag team over the years. During their careers, they were cited as being a pair that would legitimize a tag team division, having held tag team gold over 30 times in various companies! Imagine a tag team doing that today in just one company, it would be unheard of!
A documentary can be downloaded at HighSpots.com about the legendary team, which features several classic matches spanning their career. As legend has it, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express are the first wrestlers to gross one million dollars in a single year. Looking back at the love the team had, it’s not difficult to ascertain, especially considering any time Gibson and Morton team on any show, anywhere they go, you can still hear the fans screaming, “Rock and roll! Rock and roll! Rock and roll!”
Meeting Wrestlers: Ron Simmons [May 4nd, 2003]
One of the wrestlers who made an appearance at OVW in 2003 was the legendary Ron Simmons. Simmons and Bradshaw teamed up against Seven and Travis Bane that night, and later went on to win the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships in the company. I’ve met Simmons several times, and he’s always been a class act. Very polite, friendly, and likes to joke around.
The WWF Superstars pay tribute to Brian Pillman [October 6th, 1997]
On October 5th, 1997, Brian Pillman was set to take on Dude Love at the WWF Pay Per View Badd Blood. The match had all the workings of a possible classic, as both Pillman and Dude Love (Mick Foley) had worked together in other companies, and both were known for their unorthadox styles and unpredictable demeanors. What happened instead was truly tragic.
As the time came closer to Pillman’s match and he still hadn’t arrived at the arena, Jim Cornette was instructed to search for the whereabouts of Pillman. After a phone call was placed to the hotel in which Pillman had stayed, it was learned that he was reported dead as a result of arteriosclerotic heart disease, the same disease that had taken Pillman’s father.
Though the fans of the WWF had shown resentment for Pillman in recent months, after he’d brandished a gun on live television and had sided with Bret Hart in the Hart Foundation, the reception for his memorial was deafening. Beloved by several long-time wrestling fans, Pillman had a legendary career behind him, having teamed with Stone Cold Steve Austin in WCW as The Hollywood Blondes. His death was a straight shot through the heart of wrestling fans, who had grown to adore him for his lunacy and ability to shock audiences worldwide. He was only 35 years old.
ECW Heavyweight Championship:
Justin Credible (Champion, w/ Francine) Vs. Steve Corino (w/ Dawn Marie)
ECW on TNN [September 15th, 2000]
The ECW fans were hesitant to accept anyone who walked onto the show and tried to make a name for themselves. The only time the fans would rally behind a wrestler was when said wrestler would fight for their lives, or make it known that they were a legitimate force. Steve Corino did neither of those things in this match, but what he did do was gun for the despised icon, Justin Credible. Despite the annoying “coochiecanrana” and “coochie-libre” nonsense, this match is entertaining from start to finish, as Corino comes at Credible with the same force that someone like Rhyno or Taz would have, and it becomes a fight for survival for the ECW Heavyweight Champion.
Edge and Christian take the Ice Bucket Challenge [August 18th, 2014]
After being challenged by Tommy Dreamer, Adam Copeland (as he’s known now, but known then as Edge) takes the Ice Bucket Challenge. What he doesn’t expect is that Christian too was challenged, and isn’t against some old fashioned tomfoolery.
What I love about this video so much is seeing these two doing anything together, yet again. Edge and Christian were my favorite WWF tag team for years, so this video definitely warmed my heart. Can’t say the same for them, though!
Beth Phoenix takes the Ice Bucket Challenge [August 18th, 2014]
After assistance in the Ice Bucket Challenge featuring Edge and Christian, Beth Phoenix takes her own. What she doesn’t suspect, however, is that the long-time friends would get some revenge of their own!
From now on, “X-Pac heat” is dead. We’ll now refer to that reaction as “Miz heat”.