Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WRESTLEMANIA MADNESS: THE MAIN EVENT!

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The Final 4 presented, perhaps, the most exciting round of the tournament, with a couple of quality underdogs challenging the steamroller #1 and #2 seeds. But in the end, the B+ players couldn't catch a break. #X-SevenWinsLOL was the trending hashtag after its victory when it buried yet another promising challenger in WrestleMania XX. Over on the other side, WrestleMania XXX squashed WrestleMania III's attempt at a cash-in, despite the challenger having the more historic main event. In the end, the short memory of the judges won out, and the old dog laid down for the new kid on its way to the championship final.

After all the hype and dirt sheet rumors, the final fittingly comes down to #1 vs. #2. Will X-Seven keep the powerhouse trend going, or will XXX claim the prize in the end?

#1 #2

WrestleMania X-Seven finally faced a stiff challenge in the Final 4, but once again dispatched of it rather easily. That doesn't bode well for its challenger in the final, even if it's seeded just below at #2—especially since many analysts are saying that's a bit high for the newcomer. WrestleMania XXX has ridden its success mainly behind one of the most shocking Mania moments ever, along with a satisfying main event. X-Seven, on the other hand, put both of those eggs in one basket with a powerfully-booked main event that ended in a shocking moment. Overall, XXX contains more quality in its matches, but came during a down period for the company. Even so, it had the fortune of being set in the Louisiana SuperDome, which helped its atmosphere nearly rival that of the Attitude Era's defining show.

This one could be a squash, or a slobberknocker. Be sure to find us here on Friday for the final result, announced LIVE on our Friends Cup episode, and see which WrestleMania gets showered in confetti as the greatest ever!

Monday, March 27, 2017

EPISODE #146 - HEENAN'S HALL: BEST MANIA MATCHES EDITION

Get aboard the cheese limo and celebrate our latest Heenan's Hall inductions with your best Friends on the wrestling Internet!

We're broadcasting to you this week from the world-famous Johnny, Johnny & Johnny's Wing & Burger Emporium and going over our personal favorite WrestleMania matches. Will undying love and fond reminiscing be enough to get all Friends to agree on inducting each one? Or will one of these matches be left out in the cold, next to the dumpster behind JJ&J's?



Join Andy, Blake & Erik, just a couple of friends chatting about wrestling. Won't you be our friend?



or Direct Download: Episode 146: Heenan's Hall: Best Mania Matches Edition

0:00 - 8:45: Intros & WrestleMania Madness Final 4

9:28 - 44:24: Heenan's Hall: Best Mania Matches

45:16 - 53:08: Heenan's Hall Inductions

Remember! We want you, our wrestling friends, to send us feedback on any of the segments we cover. E-mail us at wrestlingwithfriends@gmail.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter (@wrestle_friends)

Also, subscribe to us on iTunes or find us on Stitcher Smart Radio. While you're there, we'd sure think it sweet of you to leave us a little review. Thanks, friends!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

WRESTLEMANIA MADNESS: FINAL 4!

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The Elite 8 finally saw some knock-down, drag-out action, with a few feisty underdogs "wrestling" their way into the coveted Final 4. #1-seed X-Seven came out rather unfazed by #9 XXVIII, but otherwise the other 3 matches saw some late-night, liquor-infused speeches and filibusters. In the end, #5-seed XX finally ended the impressive run by #4-seed X, #2-seed XXX avoided the upset everyone thought they saw coming from #7 X-8, and #6-seed III continued its nostalgia-infused slobberknocking by taking out the universally-enjoyed #3-seed XIX.

The Final 4 is finally here, and there's still some boys to separate from the men. Are there anymore surprises left heading into the big main event next week?

#1 #5

#1-overall WrestleMania X-Seven has had it pretty easy thus far, taking out lowly XV, VII, and XXVIII respectively. Now it comes up against the buzzsaw of #5-ranked WrestleMania XX. Both appear at an even-heat when it comes to match quality, though the environment at X-Seven was decidedly more raucous being in the giant Astrodome and still utilizing Attitude Era heavyweights in Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. However, XX gave us 2 World Title matches for the price of one, and had that old-school WWF feel being in the Garden—something that can't be overlooked. Both coming out of Group B as the top 2 seeds together, everyone wondered what might happen if they ever collided. We're about to find out.

#2 #6

While the heavyweights duke it out in the other match-up, this is the one you might pay money for. One of the newest Manias on record takes on one of the oldest. Both had huge crowds of people, genuinely excited about the spectacle about to befall them. And both were headlined by hot storylines—though, admittedly, for very different reasoning. WrestleMania XXX is probably the better card, top-to-bottom, but WrestleMania III is packed with nostalgic figures from perhaps the peak of WWF golden-era success. It is, after all, what got the underdog #6-seed this far, taking out arguably better shows in 2000, 22, and XIX. Will it be hard to keep Cinderella's slipper on Andre's foot, or was Hulk's locale slip-up at XXX a sign of things to come?

Monday, March 20, 2017

EPISODE #145 - PAY PER REVIEW: WCW GREED

Good night! And hello, from Wrestling With Friends. Quit hoarding our episodes under your mattress, will you?

It's another show from our loins, featuring an in-depth Pay-Per-ReView of WCW's Greed from 2001. It's the company's final PPV, which would insinuate that it was a complete garbage heap. But was it really? Also in sort of coincidental news, one wrestling company is "no longer in business", ending our longest-running gag for over 145 episodes. Can you guess which one it is?



Join Andy, Blake & Erik, just a couple of friends chatting about wrestling. Won't you be our friend?



or Direct Download: Episode 145: Pay-Per-ReView: WCW Greed

0:00 - 8:17: Intros & WrestleMania Madness Elite 8

9:03 - 38:19: WCW Greed, Pt. 1

39:32 - 1:11:52: WCW Greed, Pt. 2

Remember! We want you, our wrestling friends, to send us feedback on any of the segments we cover. E-mail us at wrestlingwithfriends@gmail.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter (@wrestle_friends)

Also, subscribe to us on iTunes or find us on Stitcher Smart Radio. While you're there, we'd sure think it sweet of you to leave us a little review. Thanks, friends!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

WRESTLEMANIA MADNESS: ELITE 8!

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On the surface, it appears there weren't many surprises in the Sweet 16 round. Only one lower-seeded participant advanced, and that was the #9 WrestleMania XXVIII over #8 WrestleMania XXV. However, there was actually a bit of wrangling with the judges behind the scenes (and maybe even a backdoor deal or two). #10-seed WrestleMania XIV had its proponents, and the #4-seeded WrestleMania X was an Owen Hart-schoolboy away from being upset by its younger brother, #13-seeded WrestleMania XXIV.

Now that the stage is set for the Elite 8, will we finally see some of these surprises rear their ugly heads? One of them's gotta be due for a win at this point, right?

#1 #9

Looks like another easy-breezy matchup for #1-overall WrestleMania X-Seven. We're sure WrestleMania XXVIII has its fans, and heck, may even be a little better in the match-quality category (even if the Observer has them in a dead-heat), but it lags behind its opponent in nearly every other category. The crowd was bigger for XXVIII, but bigger doesn't always mean "hotter", which X-Seven had in spades. There's also not a lot of history packed into the #9-seed here: Rock vs. Cena had a "rewarmed in the microwave" feeling, and, while they tore the house (and Cell) down, we'd seen Taker & Trips battle twice before at Mania, too. The only thing that comes close to history at XXVIII was Daniel Bryan's 18-second loss...and that's not necessarily a good thing.

#4 #5

Quite the intriguing match-up here. X and XX represent milestones for WrestleMania, and as such are rather easy to compare head-to-head. Both took place where it all began: Madison Square Garden. Their Observer ratings are identical. Both are missing a good Undertaker match. And both would be laid to waste by nearly any other opponent in the field, despite their historical significance, due to a sagging middle portion. The main event of XX is tainted for obvious reasons, while the main event of X was only marginally better than the rotten one from a year earlier by virtue of The Hitman winning this time. As a result, it's time to go to the X-Factor: Which one had Doink and Dink the Clown fighting Bam Bam Bigelow?

#2 #7

It's been 3 years now, and the buzz from WrestleMania XXX still hasn't worn off. It's the event the other 10-year anniversary shows wished they could've been. And that's why it's a strong #2-seed here. Some might say it's still to early to crown this show from the SilverDome SuperDome, but even in an objective light it's hard to deny its historical impact. Hot crowd, Daniel Bryan's "unlikely" double-win, and a Taker loss that's still driving storylines to this day, and you have a tentpole show that's hard to top...especially for a big underdog like WrestleMania X-8, which barely survived the Sweet 16. Can Hogan/Rock turn the judges around like they did to the crowd in Toronto?

#3 #6

Nostalgia and a long-held fondness has carried the relatively mediocre WrestleMania III this far, and with a favorable match-up here it seems poised for the biggest upset in the Elite 8 round. WrestleMania XIX comes in with a high-seed thanks to having one of the best Observer ratings in the field (3.1), but it may finally have met its match in an opponent that bests it in every other conceivable way. Historical impact isn't exaggerated with III, whether it's the (disputed) crowd size or the main event feel of Hogan/Andre, and no one match on XIX really stacks up against Macho/Steamboat. Of course III had King Kong Bundy vs. The Midgets, but that was just harmless fun. That XIX match with Undertaker vs. Big Show and A-Train, on the other hand, was just plain insulting.

Monday, March 13, 2017

EPISODE #144 - STUMP THE PROFESSOR & THE LIST (#31)

Shut up everyone and listen! And if you're a bus driver...we thank you for your service.

With WrestleMania around the corner, we're going to bust our professor Andy's chops a little to make sure he's sharp for the big day. Can we stump him, or will he be ready for us this time? We're also one more pick closer on the List. Andy and Erik didn't catch Blake trying to sneak in a repeat pick, but we did our best to mitigate the problem.



Join Andy-Man, Blaketholemew & Flerik, just a couple of friends chatting about wrestling. Won't you be our friend?



or Direct Download: Episode 144: Stump the Professor & The List (#31)

0:00 - 9:17: Intros & WrestleMania Madness Sweet 16

10:30 - 19:33: Stump the Professor

20:45 - 52:01: The List (#31)

Remember! We want you, our wrestling friends, to send us feedback on any of the segments we cover. E-mail us at wrestlingwithfriends@gmail.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter (@wrestle_friends)

Also, subscribe to us on iTunes or find us on Stitcher Smart Radio. While you're there, we'd sure think it sweet of you to leave us a little review. Thanks, friends!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

WRESTLEMANIA MADNESS! - GROUP D RESULTS, SWEET 16 BRACKET

Our final group of 4 Manias have advanced to the single elimination bracket! There may or may not have been a surprising upset...check it out!

Group D Results


     

#1 def. #8

#2 def. #7

#6 def. #3

#4 def. #5

Sweet 16 Single-Elimination Bracket


...And here she is in all her sweet glory. The Sweet Sixteen bracket is official, with a few intriguing match-ups!

Of the survivors, our decades are represented as such:
80s = 1
90s = 3
00s = 9
10s = 3


Who do you have going to the Elite 8?

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Monday, March 6, 2017

EPISODE #143 - BEING NICE WITH THE LIST (#32)

Be nice, would you? And download our latest episode of Wrestling with Friends!

We're tearing each other's List picks apart just to put ourselves back together again. Join us as we chat about The Rock of TNA, a queen, and a genius poet. We're also tossing out some new Pay Per REView choices for you to vote on, so be nice and spread the word about your favorite wrestling podcast!



Join Andy, Blake & Erik, just a couple of friends chatting about wrestling. Won't you be our friend?



or Direct Download: Episode 143: Being Nice with The List (#32)

0:00 - 6:42: Intros

7:26 - 21:05: Pay-Per-REView Announcements

22:47 - 54:26: The List (#32)

Remember! We want you, our wrestling friends, to send us feedback on any of the segments we cover. E-mail us at wrestlingwithfriends@gmail.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter (@wrestle_friends)

Also, subscribe to us on iTunes or find us on Stitcher Smart Radio. While you're there, we'd sure think it sweet of you to leave us a little review. Thanks, friends!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

WRESTLEMANIA MADNESS! - GROUP C RESULTS//GROUP D PREVIEW

Our next round of Manias have advanced to the single elimination bracket! Check it out!

Group C Results


     

#1 def. #8

#2 def. #7

#3 def. #6

#4 def. #5


Group D


Which 4 Manias will join them? Take a look at our breakdown of Group D and see if you can predict the winners!


#1 WrestleMania XIX (2003)   #8 WrestleMania XI (1995)
 
March 30, 2003 Date April 2, 1995
Safeco Field (Seattle, WA) Venue Hartford Civic Center (Hartford, CT)
54,097 Attendance 16,305
Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle
The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Hulk Hogan vs. Mr. McMahon
HHH vs. Booker T
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
Headliners Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor
Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels
Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund
Ashanti
Limp Bizkit
Kitana Baker
Special Guests Lawrence Taylor
Pamela Anderson
Jenny McCarthy
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Salt-N-Pepa
3.1 Observer Rating (Average) 1.6
WrestleMania XIX was the night of the great tease, set up to be Booker's crowning moment, the event where Nathan Jones proved why he was worthy of his big push, and the moment of Brock Lesnar shocked the world with a perfect Shooting Star Press. None of it played out right, but the show was still memorable. Hogan and McMahon delivered an athletically embarrassing—but still crazy fun—brawl, while HBK and Jericho put on a Mania classic. And while Rock vs. Austin may not have been their best work, it's a fascinating final match in retrospect. Despite not living up to it's promises, the show may have still surpassed what fans were expecting. Hot Take WrestleMania XI was smack-dab in the middle of The Year of Diesel, which means we got a Bam Bam Bigelow vs. NFL superstar match in the main event instead. Poor Diesel. Anyway, WrestleMania XI is a bit of an oddity to go back to today. It's got the lowest attendance of a Mania to date, and the shortest card. The first-ever In Your House may have been longer! Only 3 of the 7 matches went over 10 minutes, including the title match and the main event. Bret Hart, still in his prime, was still being wasted in a Bob Backlund feud that more than overstayed its welcome. It's truly a memorable event, though for the worst reasons in almost every way.




#2 WrestleMania X8 (2002)   #7 WrestleMania V (1989)
 
March 17, 2002 Date April 2, 1989
SkyDome (Toronto, CA) Venue Boardwalk Hall (Atlantic City, NJ)
68,237 Attendance 18,946
Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock
HHH vs. Chris Jericho
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall
Headliners Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior
Jake Roberts vs. Andre the Giant
Drowning Pool
Saliva
Special Guests Run D.M.C.
Morton Downey Jr.
1.6 Observer Rating (Average) 0.7
WrestleMania X8 (sponsored by Sour Skittles) returned to the SkyDome for the first time in 12 years to once again showcase a colossal match featuring Hulk Hogan. While fans laughed at the absurdity of his character at WCW's end, "The Huckster" once again proved that no one on the planet was better than him at winning over a crowd. Elsewhere, Flair and Taker showed a couple of old dogs could still outperform the pups, Hall and Austin had a mini-dream match of their own and DDP captured WWE gold, but it's that iconic showdown of Hulk vs. Rock that anchored the event and delivered one of the most fascinating matches in the history of the company. Hot Take A year after they were born, the Mega Powers collided at WrestleMania V. It was the culmination of a rather well-done year-long story, which was a first for the WrestleMania cycle. Unfortunately, save for the heavily-billed main event, WrestleMania V was largely indistinguishable from its predecessor; in fact some might say it was a even few steps below. For one, it took place in the same city, and secondly, it had as many matches (even without a tournament!) at a whopping 14. It currently sits as the lowest-rated WrestleMania in Observer history, and much of that could be due to needing to squeeze in both a Dino Bravo and a Red Rooster match.




#3 WrestleMania XXVI (2010)   #6 WrestleMania VII (1991)
 
March 28, 2010 Date March 24, 1991
University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, AZ) Venue Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (Los Angeles, CA)
72,219 Attendance 16,158
Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
John Cena vs. Batista
Chris Jericho vs. Edge
Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
Headliners Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho Man Randy Savage
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Fantasia Barrino
Special Guests Marla Maples
Regis Philbin
Carl Banks
Willie Nelson
Alex Trebek
George Steinbrenner
2.8 Observer Rating (Average) 1.5
Getting The Undertaker and HBK to agree on recreating the magic they put together a year earlier was a big ask, and luckily, at WrestleMania XXVI, they delivered. Though it's arguable that it was a better match, there was no more monumental end to a show than seeing Mr. WrestleMania sign off for good. The rest of the night more or less featured serviceable matches, though nothing as spectacular, or as spectacularly bad, as Bret Hart's return to get revenge against the boss who screwed him nearly 13 years earlier. Unfortunately, the match nobody ever thought they'd see was marred a bit by Bret's orders not to take a single bump. Hot Take In 1991, most people's minds were on one thing: The Gulf War in Iraq. As always, WWE did the classy thing and cast a former US hero as an Iraqi sympathizer to create a new villain for Hulk Hogan. Actually, that sounds a bit crass...but at least it would create an event big enough to pack the Los Angeles Coliseum! Wait, what's this? Oh, I guess it was too dangerous due to the storyline and they had to move the event to the much safer (and far smaller) Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Wow, that's pretty interesting! Okay, enough kidding around. Just wanted to say that Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior should have main-evented. That's all.




#4 WrestleMania XXIV (2008)   #5 WrestleMania XII (1996)
 
March 30, 2008 Date March 31, 1996
Florida Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) Venue Arrowhead Pond (Anaheim, CA)
74,635 Attendance 18,853
The Undertaker vs. Edge
Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. HHH
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair
Big Show vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Headliners Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
The Undertaker vs. Diesel
Roddy Piper vs. Goldust
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
John Legend
Snoop Dogg
Kim Kardashian
Raven Symone
Special Guests  
2.7 Observer Rating (Average) 2.2
WrestleMania 24 may have been advertised using a sun, but the gray skies over Orlando may have been a better sign of things to come as the entire show was pretty up and down like a spotty storm. The retirement match between Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair will be remembered forever for its story told by two veterans, perhaps only behind the following Playboy BunnyMania Lumberjill match. The World Heavyweight Championship between Edge and Undertaker was a fitting main event, washing memories away of an underwhelming WWE Championship match. There was also that Floyd Mayweather/Big Show thing... Hot Take There may never be another WrestleMania like #12, though whether or not that's good is entirely up to taste. Most of the card featured a small amount of rather short matches (including the aged Ultimate Warrior squashing upstart Triple H). One match was only long because it included a pre-taped reference to a 2-year old news story with Piper chasing Goldust on the freeway, a la OJ Simpson, and ended with Goldust's bare ass. The abbreviated card was due to an hour-long Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels that still, to this day, goes back and forth throughout the years as being both great and overrated.