Bushwhackers to WWE Hall of Fame! (…and Kevin Nash)

According to news sites like THIS and THIS, WWE is expected to announce a few more inductees into the 2015 class of their Hall of Fame. Both Kevin Nash and The Bushwhackers should make the cut. In honor of both of the HOFers, I have decided to dig up some classic videos on each.

Shawn Michaels is fittingly expected to be the inductor of Nash. Here’s a video of him throwing Rey Mysterio into a trailer like a lawn dart…

I’m not sure what to say about Bushwhacker Luke and Bushwhacker Butch other than that they were…odd. They were more than memorable, that’s for sure. Here’s a typical promo of theirs from 1989…

What do you think about these inductees? Drop me a comment or find me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Take care.

 

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WWE Fast Lane Predictions

Here are my Fast Lane picks! I’ll keep the intro short but I will mention that I didn’t do any sort of pick for the Triple H/Sting confrontation. It’s not a match but rather a setup for their Wrestlemania match. I’m glad they’re making their angle special but there just isn’t anything to really call from a “Predictions Article” standpoint. Anywho, let’s get to it.

Goldust vs. Stardust at WWE Fastlane 2015

Stardust vs. Goldust

My hope for this match is that it’s a setup for a Wrestlemania encounter. Stardust should ultimately win that match and it could be a special moment for the entire Rhodes clan. Regardless, Fast Lane is a free PPV so this should set things up. The older brother will this bout until he loses the war.

Mitch’s Pick: Goldust

WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Cesaro & Tyson Kidd

The Usos (w/Naomi) vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (w/Natalya)
Tag Team Championship

This is a complete toss-up for me. I haven’t followed much of whatever storyline has been put into this but I think that there’s a Total Divas angle to it. Naomi and Natalya feed into that side of things, I guess. This isn’t a moment of complaint though, because whatever brought these four men together in a WWE Tag Team Championship match is fine by me. I’ll pick Tyson Kidd & Cesaro for the win because they’re wrestling beasts and it would make me happy if they had a run with the gold. The Usos aren’t slouches either, so I expect greatness if it’s at least 12 minutes or more.

Mitch’s Pick: Tyson Kidd & Cesaro

Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose at WWE Fastlane 2015

Bad News Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Championship

This is a match that I sigh a little over because I feel like both guys deserve way better. While The Shield was still together I would never have guessed that Dean Ambrose would be the guy that wound up on the lowest placing of the card, but that’s his current reality. He’s spent so many months being promoted as this ‘lunatic fringe’ who is a loose cannon on the mic and brawls like a wild man that his in-ring abilities have taken a real backseat. It’s cooled him off a lot. Hopefully him and Barrett can bring some depth to not only their ring-work but to the IC division as well. Both guys are great and I hope they’re given a chance to work a decent match. I’ll pick BNB retaining here.

Mitch’s Pick: Bad News Barrett

Ryback, Erick Rowan & Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins, Big Show & Kane

Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, & Erick Rowan vs. Seth Rollins, Kane, & Big Show

Another difficult match to call. Obviously many micro-feuds are being pushed through this big match but which team gets the upper had at the moment? I’ll go with the heels winning because I do not see Kane and Big Show winning whatever matches they do at Wrestlemania. This is their chance to get that upper hand. Between Ziggler, Ryback, and Seth Rollins there is plenty to be excited about in this match. Hopefully it gets a decent amount of time because multi-man matches are hard to screw up. Just give the crowd an ending sequence of 8 or so finishers back to back and that’ll get them on their feet.

Mitch’s Pick: Seth Rollins, Kane, & Big Show

Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan
Winner Faces Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania

So many possibilities for this. Does WWE stick to Plan A and have Reigns be the sole challenger against Lesnar at Wrestlemania? Or does WWE give in to the demands of the fans and switch to a Daniel Bryan/Brock Lesnar pairing? Or will there be a wacky finish and we get a triple threat match between Lesnar/Reigns/Bryan at the biggest show of the year? It’s a real toss up but I’m making the call the Reigns wins at Fast Lane and Bryan does not main event ‘Mania. I’d rather have Bryan in it, but my gut feeling is that WWE won’t do it.

Mitch’s Pick: Roman Reigns

Divas Champion Nikki Bella vs. Paige at WWE Fastlane 2015

Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) vs. Paige
Diva’s Championship

This is another match where I haven’t followed the storyline much. Both girls are talented wrestlers who rarely get the chance to prove it because they’re on the main roster. Brie actually aired here grievances about this fact at Indianapolis Comic Con, which I wrote about HERE. Since this is more of a setup PPV I’m leaning against many title changes. So with that in mind, I’ll pick Nikki to retain in what is hopefully a match that goes longer than 4 minutes.

Mitch’s Pick: Nikki Bella

Rusev (w/Lana) vs. John Cena
U.S. Championship

I’ve been hearing that this is the main event of the show but I could just as easily see Bryan vs. Reigns going on last. It doesn’t really matter to me either way. People might grumble about Cena taking the top spot on the card but at least we can be happy about Rusev’s first PPV main event if it happens. I definitely see Rusev retaining his title because WWE should (and will) save his first pin or submission for Wrestlemania 31. Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with them saving his first real loss for Wrestlemania 32 but they’ll probably let Cena get the glory this year. Rusev will retain, but I’ll call Cena with a win by DQ or some technicality.

Mitch’s Pick: John Cena (but no title transfer)


So there are my picks. What do you think will happen at Fast Lane? Let me know your picks in the Comments Section below or hit me up on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Take care.

Match of the Week: Kevin Owens vs. Adrian Neville

Welcome back to your weekly dose of getting told what is the absolute best match of the past week. Just like last week I am not only picking a bout from NXT but I am also picking one that features Adrian Neville. Pardon the deja vu. The Man That Gravity Forgot lost to Finn Balor in the finals of NXT’s Number 1 Contender tournament and then faced off against current champion Kevin Owens a mere seven days later. Would he rebound with a win? No, no he would not.

Despite losing two weeks in a row, we fans have been treated to a couple of outstanding matches by the former NXT Champion. Don’t forget that he’s also put in the effort to put over Sami Zayn in equally fantastic matches not very long ago. Neville may be in his final run of losing to the remaining talent before his (hopefully soon) jump to the main roster.

Neville challenged Owens in a non-title bout. William Regal explained in the show opening that he didn’t earn a shot at the belt but he did earn a right to a match since Owens sent him to the hospital several weeks back. During the match, Neville executed a highly impressive spot when he pulled off a dealift German Suplexed on Owens. He went just slow enough on the delivery of it to make it seem like it was one of the mightiest feats of strength any man could achieve.

There were several other memorable spots by Adrian, including a 450 Splash TO THE FLOOR and a sick looking Reverse Hurricanrana. Actually, all Reverse Hurricanranas look sick…surely that move has broken some necks. Despite the incredible effort by Neville, Kevin Owens finally upended him with a Pop Up Powerbomb and it looked nasty. This was a fantastic match to be included in the early chapters of Owens’ NXT career. He’s definitely being given some big opportunities at this point in his career and his peers are helping him capitalize on what he’s been given.

Do yourself a favor and check this match out along with the entire NXT show this week. It also included Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Vaudevillians, Sasha Banks vs. Blue Pants, and the return of Rhyno.

I’d point out some Honorable Mentions now but not much really wowed me this week. Raw and Lucha Underground had some decent moments but nothing near as good as what NXT is doing right now. I assume that something from WWE Fast Lane should take the title of best match next week but I wouldn’t count NXT out.

What did you think of my Match of the Week this week? If there’s better wrestling that I’m not watching let me know either in the Comments below or shoot me a message on Twitter @MitchNickelson. Take care.

Cross Your Fingers For Samoa Joe in WWE

Yesterday, Samoa Joe gave us one of the most buzz-inducing Tweets that the wrestling world has seen as of late…

Reports online have stated that Joe’s contract has simply expired and the two sides chose not to renew. There’s no bad blood; TNA apparently didn’t offer him what he wanted and that’s all there is to it. The natural question to ask at this point is if Joe has any chance of ending up in WWE? One very influential Advocate seems to be stirring the pot in that direction…

Also, it’s important to note that for a very short while in 2014, Triple H followed Samoa Joe on Twitter. (WrestlingInc) To have private discussions with an individual through Twitter you must follow them. And since Triple H typically doesn’t follow more than 20 users at a time the Samoa Joe follow stood out.

Will Samoa Joe find his way to WWE? Even more enticing, can we get a solid NXT run out of him? I’m certainly hoping so. Even though Samoa Joe is 35 has been a pro-wrestler for years, he still could have a fairly lengthy career ahead of him. He should easily be a solid investment for whatever company is lucky to have him on their roster.

Follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson.

Brie Bella is Frustrated and Wants to Wrestle

Appearing at Indianapolis Comic Con, Brie and Nikki Bella voiced frustrations on how the NXT women are allowed to have lengthy matches and the main roster talent are not. Brie was the most vocal, saying these words…

“I was saying that. If I was in NXT I would not wanna come up to the main roster because you get so much time down there. If you come to the live events you’ll see we get a lot of time at the live events. When it comes to TV we get so frustrated because it’s hard to tell a story in 3 minutes and especially when they want an entrance. We want time to wrestle. Especially after watching NXT Rival pay-per-view and seeing them go 20 minutes, it’s like a dream. It’s something we’d love and we’re trying so hard to get more time. There’s a three hour Raw and you can’t give more time to the Divas? But, hopefully in the future.”

How can a wrestling fan not agree emphatically with this statement? The women on NXT are great and it’s not like the main roster Divas aren’t as good. Well, some of them aren’t but there are some that are loaded with talent. The problem with Raw is that it has to be flagship program forced to blend the diverse tastes of all of the WWE audience. The Diva’s division is an area where hardcore wrestling fans suffer.

Many WWE viewers want women on the screen for the purpose of eye-candy and will gladly tune into the E! Network to see what their favorite wrestler’s girlfriends and wives are up to. Another segment of the WWE Universe, myself included, forgoes the cable contract but still spends 10 bucks a month to watch all the quality wrestling that’s available for consumption. I’ll gladly clear out my schedule to watch the finest women’s wrestling that NXT has to offer.

The two extremes of wrestling fans who want eye-candy and actual wrestling aren’t mutually exclusive, but it sure feels like WWE thinks they are. I’m glad that the Bellas are voicing their frustrations and are not afraid to rock the boat on this issue. Who knows, maybe they’ll get their wish?

Follow me on Twitter @MitchNickelson.

35 Suplexes In 1 Minute (Video)

Here’s a great video uploaded to WWE’s Youtube channel. It’s ALL about those suplexes, baby. It’s starts off with a top rope belly-to-back suplex by Daniel Bryan against Seth Rollins that looks pretty dangerous. Seth lands on his front…that’s got to be incredibly dangerous! 34 impressive suplexes follow.

Match of the Week: Adrian Neville vs. Finn Balor

Once again, it’s time to look back at my absolute favorite wrestling match of the past week. NXT put on another big event this week so you know I’m picking a match from that card. While the Zayn/Owens main event and the Women’s 4-way matches were both exceptional bouts, I’m going with the finals of the No. 1 Contender Tournament as my top match.

Finn Balor deserves a push for his entrance alone. Personally, I love how the music is synced up with the lights so we get this over the top moment of Finn posing with spotlights sweeping across the arena. And that body paint; it’s all SO good.

The match was a little slow in the beginning but that’s just due to proper pacing by Neville and Balor. The match was over 13 minutes long and they made sure that the last 4 or 5 minutes were worth the crescendo. The inside cradle by Balor after lifting his knees to block Neville’s Red Arrow was an incredible nearfall. Excitement and athleticism really reached a boiling point during this one. Go find this match and watch two of the best wrestlers on the planet compete.

Here’s some other praise I found for this match across the internet…

“They had a great match, at a different level of any WWE match since the three-way at the Rumble.”
– – Dave Meltzer (Wrestling Observer)

“It was fantastic work for two amazing competitors.”
– – Brandon Lasher (TJR Wrestling)

“This was so much fun and the timing was great as it never felt long or over stayed its welcome.”
– – Larry Csonka (411Mania)

Honorable mentions include the other two big matches from the Rival card (Zayn/Owens and the Women’s 4-way). Sin Cara and Cesaro also had a very above average match on Main Event that’s worth checking out.

Find me on Twitter @MitchNickelson. I forgot to do a write up about my podcast, Curb Stomp Radio, so make sure not to miss this. Either subscribe to Wrestling Smash’s feed on iTunes or click HERE to listen online. Take care, folks.

Xavier Woods Digs Topanga…Duh (WWE Inbox Video)

In the latest edition of WWE’s Inbox video series on Youtube, many Superstars talk about who their celebrity crushes would be. I singled out Xavier Woods for the title simply because a teenage version of me is feeling him with the Boy Meets World reference. But even though Topanga Lawrence was a babe, Xavier (and the rest of the world) cannot have her. She belongs to her true love, Corey Matthews.

And somehow Curtis Axel turns his moment to address his celebrity crush into a plea to headline Wrestlemania against Brock Lesnar. Sorry Axe-man, it isn’t going to happen.

5 Crazy Wrestling Event Locations (Video)

Remember that time The Undertaker Tombstoned Triple H onto an escalator? I sure don’t. But according to this recent 5 Things video on WWE’s Youtube channel, it happened. Check this out and see the other strange locations wrestling has occured in.

If you thought an entire episode of Raw emanating from WWE World Headquarters was bizarre, you won’t believe some of the venues we found, including nightclubs, train stations, and an outdoor event that took place during a tropical storm!

NXT Rival Predictions

Tonight on the WWE Network is the next installment in NXT’s spectacular series of Takeover events. Rival is stacked with a mostly loaded card and a couple of matches that should be phenomenal. What are my thoughts on the event? Well, I’m glad you asked…

Baron Corbin vs. Bull Dempsey
(No DQ)

This is the only match on the card that I don’t really care about. Baron Corbin is huge and brought quite the presence to his recent match with Adrian Neville. I’m interested to see how he’ll eventually perform with stronger workers but I have zero desire to see this match with Dempsey. Hopefully it’s short.

Mitch’s Pick: Baron Corbin

Finn Balor vs. Adrian Neville
(Number 1 Contender’s Match)

This and the main event could be match of the year contenders. Both guys are beasts in the ring and I’m hoping that Finn gets one of those cool over-the-top entrances. It makes more sense to me that the new guy (Finn) will get the win over the former champ (Adrian) to secure himself at the top of the card.

Mitch’s Pick: Finn Balor

Blake & Murphy vs. Lucha Dragons
(NXT Tag Titles)

I don’t know much about Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy, but kudos to NXT for giving them a shot. Sin Cara has been on and off on the main roster for a while and rumors have been abounding about Kalisto’s imminent debut so I’m calling for the Champions to retain in this one.

Mitch’s Pick: Blake & Murphy

Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
(NXT Women’s Title)

This is a match that could be fantastic. I’m a little leery with so many involved but I guess I shouldn’t underestimate the NXT Women’s division. I feel that Charlotte’s departure to the Diva’s division should have already happened by now so that makes me hesitant to say that she’ll retain. I guess I’ll pick Sasha Banks to win it because that will give Bayley a heel to chase the title against. Becky Lynch seems like the longest shot to me, but I guess that’s just because I know the least about her.

Mitch’s Pick: Sasha Banks

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
(NXT Championship)

This should be great. I’m hoping that it’s a multi-match series so I’m scratching my head on how to call this. I feel like it could be a victory by Owens but a cheap one so that Zayn still retains. I haven’t seen a time limit draw in a while but since they never announce match times that ending probably won’t happen. NXT has only done lengthy title reigns during my brief time as a fan and I’d like Zayn to at least get a few defenses out of it.

Mitch’s Pick: Kevin Owens (by DQ or something, NO title change)

So there are my picks. Do you agree with me? Banter below with who you think will win or hit me up on Twitter @MitchNickelson and we can talk there. These NXT shows are always great, so don’t miss out!