The majority of you may recall that at this time last year I ran a tournament over in the CF to find the next MP writer based upon the original NXT format, a tournament which was won Freeman. As you all know Freeman still holds the that MP spot he won now and is doing great guns in entertaining you the readers with columns like his PPV Predictions using his PS3. Well once again an opportunity exists for a writer to earn himself a spot on the MP.
Over in the CF at the moment a tournament is being run by ex-MP writer and CF Hall of Famer Xanman based around the TV series The Voice the winner of which will be given the next MP spot that comes available. Here is the requirements for the Blind Audition as copied from the thread in the forums.
Anyone who is interested in participating in the contest will send an email to XanManX@hotmail.com. Your column can be on any subject of your choice, but must be no more than 1,000 words; everything included. While you can title your column itself, please don't include the overall title of your column series, if you have one, as the intention here is that only I know who the author is. Collabs are allowed, with the understanding that either, both, or neither can advance, depending on what the coaches like in the performance. The deadline for me to receive your entry is Friday, January 31.
On Monday, February 3, I will begin posting these submissions. Only the submitter and myself will know who the author of each column is. The coaches will have 24 hours to state their intention for each contestant to be on their team. If only one coach claims an entrant, that entrant will be on that coach's team. If more than one coach does, then the entrant will get to decide on whose team he/she would to be. I will post another column at the time 24 hours are up or once I have been informed that all of the coaches have had the opportunity to read the current column and decide if that writer is for them; whichever comes first.
So do you think you have what it takes to do what I do and write columns here for Lords of Pain? Or have you thought about having a go at writing before but needed some motivation to get started? Well here is your chance just follow the instructions above and get your entries in to Xanman before the deadline hits on the 31st. For more details take a look at the special Voice thread HERE in the CF competition section and while you are there take a look around at the wonderful place that is the Columns Forum.
So what are you waiting for, get your entries in and see if a coach will pick you up for even if you don't eventually win the experience you will get will be enormous and the welcome you will get to the wonderful place that is the Columns Forum will see you wanting to remain and further enhance your writing.
NOTE: remember to be involved in this you will need to make an account in the forums otherwise you will not know if you made it to the next round nor will you be able to take further part in the tournament.
Minor Shows: 5-1-0 Raw: 18-16-0 Smackdown: 12-6-3 PPV: 1-7-1 Title Matches: 4 Raw/SD Main Events: 9 PPV Main Events: 1 2012: 15th (172pts)
Year in Review
After 20 days counting down some of WWE's finest (which included quite a bit of controversy) we have made it into the top ten Superstars of 2013. Starting off the final lot we have the person whom finished the highest yet not have a reign as a title holder at any time in 2013 (or in fact ever in his case). That wrestler is Ryback.
2012 saw the birth of Ryback and was a pretty big year for the man once known as Skip Sheffield and 2013 was starting to look the same with him getting a WWE Title Shot for his first match of the year on the January 7 edition of Raw. He of course would fail in the attempt and with the loss he moved back to the feud that he had developed against The Shield at the end of 2012. The feud with the Shield would end just after Elimination Chamber which would once again see Ryback on the losing end, the same would happen with the next feud which saw Ryback lose to Mark Henry at Wrestlemania. This PPV loss would be Rybacks 6th in a row.
The night after Wrestlemania would see a change in Ryback as he would turn heel and attack John Cena thus leading to a WWE Title shot at Extreme Rules. Thus showing how round-a-bout the booking was at the time when a man who had continuous big losses to his name could earn himself a World Title match. That match would end in a no contest leading to the two facing again at Payback in a Three Stages of Hell match. Once again Ryback lost meaning that he was now at 8 PPV's without a win.
He would eventually get a PPV win at Money in the Bank against Chris Jericho before he once again had a character tweak which saw him turn into a bully who hated bullies. This change would eventually see him aligning with Paul Heyman in his feud with CM Punk. He would lose to Punk at both the Battleground and Hell in a Cell PPVs thus once again starting off his run of PPV losses. In fact Ryback was the only Heyman Guy who did not beat Punk in any shape or form as both Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel (and even Heyman himself) were able to get victories over him at some stage in the feud.
On conclusion of the feud Heyman fired Ryback as a client which left him slightly directionless. Eventually Ryback would join forces with Axel and go after the Tag Titles, which they were unsuccessful at doing at TLC bringing Rybacks current PPV streak to 4 losses (he lost to Mark Henry at Survivor Series).
At one stage Ryback seemed to have the WWE Universe at his feet and big things were in his near future. That was then and this is now. Rybacks major weaknesses have now been outed and they don't seem to be improving at all. Put this together with his questionable mental state that he has been showing of late and things don't look good for him at all. I would not be surprised if he is the next talent let go and I see it happening sooner rather than later.
30 Day Challenge
Day 21: Uhaa Nation
Today's Indy wrestler is probably the best pure athletic specimen in the wrestling world at the moment and someone that would easily give Vince McMahon a hard on. Uhaa Nation has all the power and strength of the best big men yet has all the athleticism of someone smaller which includes a magnificent Standing Shooting Star Press. To be quite honest the fact that this man has not been signed by the WWE yet has be utterly dumbfounded.
The match below is from Dragon Gate and took place on December 20 2011 and sees Uhaa Nation facing Cyber Kong.
9. Dolph Ziggler
Minor Shows: 6-11-0 Raw: 17-21-0 Smackdown: 9-13-1 PPV: 2-5-0 Title Matches: 8 Raw/SD Main Events: 8 PPV Main Events: 0 2012: 3rd (295pts)
Year in Review
if you had read my column in this series on Ziggler from last year you would have seen me say that 2013 was going to be the year of Ziggler, boy was I wrong. Everything seemed that way at the beginning of the year with him holding the briefcase with practically guaranteed him a World Title run. Everything seemed to be going great when on the first Raw after Wrestlemania (a day later then I predicted in the column) he cashed in that briefcase to beat Alberto Del Rio for the title to what would probably be the biggest pop of 2013. What should have been the Year of Ziggler was now in effect and he was going to steal the show over the next few months. That was until Jack swagger hit him in the head with a steel ladder.
That one head shot, which caused a concussion, sent Ziggler's massive year crashing to the canvas just mere weeks after winning the title. Instead of defending his title at Extreme Rules in his first defence he was forced to sit on the sideline for weeks and watch Del Rio and Swagger fight over the number 1 contendership. Ziggler would finally have his first defence of the title at Payback against Alberto Del Rio but was soundly beaten due to Del Rio targeting his head after the concussion. Ziggler's reign ended up a lasting for a total of 69 days thus begging the question to be asked, if that was his first title defence why was not the 30-day rule enforced when he got injured?
That match at payback though did mark something special in Ziggler's career as due to Del Rio targeting the head a double turn eventuated and Ziggler turned Face for the first time in his career. This however seemed to be of a help for Ziggler as he has not benefited much from it for the rest of the year, well other than his win rate is a little bit higher than it was in the past.
Well I was way off with this last year so let's see if I can do any better now. While I would still like to see what Ziggler could offer as World Champion I believe that boat has sailed for now and if it comes back it won't be for a few years. In 2014 Ziggler will continue with the same old thing. He will be there showing us why he is one of the biggest work horses in the WWE by having matches every week wether he wins them or loses them. Whenever WWE needs someone to entertain the crowd he will be there. I doubt a minor title run will be on the cards but if it is it will be a transitional one to get the title on one of the new up and comers coming through.
30 Day Challenge
Day 22: Los Ben Dejos
Today I take a look at another tag team, this time Los Ben Dejos (otherwise known as Team Lucha). This team is made up of Jay Cruz and Eddie Rios (sometimes known as Jay Rios) and are one of the traditional small high-flying duo that you would expect of a combination like Rey Mysterious & Billy Kidman or Paul London & Brian Kendrick. The added bonus to signing them, other than the entertainment aspect they would bring, is they could come as a package deal with their girlfriends, Mia Yim and Leva Bates who I have already talked about in this series, and thus making a whole Team Lucha faction which would be ready to take on any of the WWE's more entertaining wrestlers.
The showcase match below sees Los Ben Dejos taking on the Darque Karnival from the Vintage Wrestling's Gold Rush event which took place on July 20.
8. Cody Rhodes
Minor Shows: 6-13-0 Raw: 15-22-1 Smackdown: 10-15-2 PPV: 4-4-0 Title Matches: 6 Raw/SD Main Events: 10 PPV Main Events: 0 2012: 10th (221pts)
Year in Review
2013 was one of those circular years for Cody Rhodes as he finished the year in a similar position to where he started, with a couple of slight changes, after changing it up for a bit in the middle of the year.
The year started for Cody as part of the Rhodes Scholars with as the number 1 contenders for the Tag Team Titles but would fail at the attempt to convert the opportunity into Gold at the Royal Rumble against Team Hell No. The team would then flounder for the next few months which saw them being on the pre-show of Elimination Chamber and then removed completely from the Wrestlemania card even though they had a scheduled match.The team would continue to flounder until Money in the Bank where Sandow would turn his back on Cody and steal the win from under Rhodes's nose.
Now flying solo, and becoming a face, Rhodes would feud with Sandow for the next month, beating him at Summerslam and getting his revenge. He would then become involved in the storyline against The Authority which after speaking out against them saw him in a match against Randy Orton on the September 2 edition of Raw where if he lost he would lose his job. Cody was unsuccessful in his attempt and after the match he was fired from the company by Triple H.
Over the next month both Cody's dad (Dusty Rhodes) & his brother (Goldust) would try to get his job back for him but neither would be successful. Eventually a match was made at Battleground which saw Cody teaming with brother against The Shield and if they won they would both be given contracts. This time they were victorious and once again they were employed by the WWE.
This would not be their only win against The Shield as on the October 14 edition of Raw they would be them to win the Tag TeamTitles which they have held for the rest of the year.
For the last few years there has been talk of Cody v Goldust facing at Wrestlemania and it is looking good to happen this year. To be perfectly honest it is a match I am really hoping for and if it happens I hope they give it enough time to let the brothers showcase what they can do. After Wrestlemania is done I guess I want for Cody what I have been wanting for him for the last few years, to become World Champion, guess I will just have to settle for another minor title run though as that is probably the best I'm going to get.
30 Day Challenge
Day 23: Jessicka Havok
Today's Indy wrestler is another SHINE girl who I think would be a major improvement for the Divas Division. At the moment th WWE are trying to do the big menacing Diva thing with Tamina Snuka, and while it is somewhat working, it could be done so much better if Jessicka Havok was the girl having the part. Her size compared to the av enrage female wrestler is impressive and she has the skills to back it up and make for an entertaining match.
The match below sees Jessicka facing Rain from WSU on the 24th September 2011.
7. Antonio Cesaro
Minor Shows:24-18-1 Raw: 13-25-0 Smackdown: 8-12-0 PPV: 3-4-0 Title Matches: 9 Raw/SD Main Events: 6 PPV Main Events: 0 2012: 18th (150pts)
Year in Review
The first thing that pops out at you when you look at Cesaros stats is just how many matches he has had. At 108 matches no one is close to matching him and proves that he is one of the biggest workhorses in the WWE. However with a win record of only 48, less than half of his matches, that stat only helps him so far up the rankings. Just think about that record though, consistently Cesaro wrestles two TV matches a week when most others will only wrestle 1 or not at all.
2013 started off good for Cesaro coming in as the reigning US Champion a title which he would hold for the first quarter of the year defending it against The Miz three times and Adrian Neville once. He would eventually lose the title to Kofi Kingston on the April 15 Raw and would be unsuccessful in his rematch the next week.
After continuing in the singles division for a little bit longer Cesaro would join forces with Jack Swagger and his manager Zeb Coulter to form The Real Americans. The remainder of the year was spent by them making a names for themselves as a team while they tried their hands at becoming Tag Team Champions.
An important aspect of Cesaro's work in 2013 was his commitment to helping the developmental talent progress I their training. Cesaro appeared in 14 different matches on NXT throughout 2013, more than any other main roster talent. These matches also showed exactly what sort of talent Cesaro actually had with some of the matches of the year coming from there against Sami Zayn.
I said on Swaggers day that a tag team title run would be good for The Real Americans, but I also believe that Cesaro needs to strike out on his own. If he can get a decent run without something silly like a yodelling gimmick holding him back good things could be install for Cesaro. A fact that could be used to help get him over is the fact that he is undefeated on PPV in 1on1 matches.
30 Day Challenge
Day 24: Akira Tozawa
Todays wrestler who should be signed by the WWE is a Dragon Gate wrestler by the name of Akira Tozawa. Just like most of the guys from that company Tozawa has one of the more entertaining offences you will see. The match here is from Preston City Wrestling and took place in 2012 and sees Tozawa facing El Ligero.
6. Roman Reigns
Minor Shows: 7-0-0 Raw: 19-8-4 Smackdown: 12-12-2 PPV: 5-3-0 Title Matches: 8 Raw/SD Main Events: 23 PPV Main Events: 0 2012: 88th (10pts)
Year in Review
Well here we are 1 spot outside the top 5 and we have finally reached our first member of the Shield. It really looked like they were all going to make it into the top 5 but it was not the case and the numbers had something else to say about it. So why then is the member marked as the break out star of the group the one ranked the lowest?
When comparing him with his Tag Team partner Seth Rollins he loses out for the fact that Rollins appeared in more matches than him. This is a very interesting point due to the supposed fact that Reigns is supposedly going to be the guy that gets the push coming out of the group. So the question is did the WWE have little confidence in him to put on a good match on his own with others that when needed they put Rollins in a match instead of him or were they protecting him all along knowing what they were going to do at the end?
When comparing him to the leader of the group Dean Ambrose the amount of matches is not the problem due to the fact that they have roughly been in the same amount. No this time it was more about the matches having more on the line. Ambrose was able to score more points by having more matches with meaning such as title matches and on PPV. So once again the question has to be asked was Ambrose the guy that was originally supposed to be pushed or was Reigns just protected the entire time so when the Shield split he was unhurt coming out the otherside as a star?
Whatever the booking with performances like he gave at Survivor Series Reigns has proven that the WWE has booked him right and when the stable does split he may very well be the star of the three for the early days.
I don't want to see the Shield break up yet but it is inevitable and it will happen sooner rather then later. While there is speculation that Reigns is going to move straight into the main event scene but I feel that it may be to premature to do that. I would prefer to see him get a run with a minor title first to see how he goes with that responsibility. You know Ambrose has a nice little belt that could very well go nice on Reigns.
30 Day Challenge
Day 25: Madison Eagles
Despite the time stamp at the top of this column I am sitting here typing it on the 26th here in Australia and that means it is Australia Day. Now what sort of Aussie would I be if I did not showcase one of our best here. Now I could have went with a lot of ladies here (what is it with Australian men not being any good, why is it just the ladies making a name for themselves?) and any one of them would be right at home joining Emma in the WWE I had to choose the cream of the crop, Madison Eagles.
The match I have here is from Pacific Pro Wrestling on March 16 2013 and sees Eagles face Storm to crown the promotions first ever women's champion.
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