Wild Card

Just like the product itself, the Friends need a breath of creative refresh, and that's why we've established a 'Wild Card' week, where any topic is fair game. As you'll see, the Friends will have anything from predictions, to Top 5 lists of off-the-wall topics, to possible discussions on which wrestlers have gone to the back with a little more in their shorts than they came in with.

They can't do it alone, however; that's why they're asking YOU to help on occasion by offering up ideas or topics via any of their modes of contact (e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Anything's fair game when it comes to the Wrestling With Friends Wild Card!

List of Episodes

Episode 04: 2014 Predictions
Episode 08: Wrestling With Annoyances
Episode 12: Subtractions, Additions & Alterations
Episode 20: The 2014 Friends Draft!
Episode 26: 3 Hits & 3 Misses
Episode 34: Wrestling Conspiracies
Episode 46: Gimmick Matches
Friends News Episode 04: 2015 Predictions

Episode 04: 2014 Predictions

Below are some incredible predictions made by the Friends during the show. Be sure to keep checking back here to see which ones come to fruition, and which ones deserve to be flushed for the turds that they are!

Erik:
  1. CM Punk wins the Royal Rumble, though he proceeds to lose his title opportunity at Wrestlemania XXX in a round-robin style tournament (ala Wrestlemania X), losing to Daniel Bryan, who eventually faces Randy Orton in the Title match and wins, while turning face again in the process.
  2. Brock Lesnar wins an opportunity to face the Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXX in a Lion's Den Match.
  3. Hulk Hogan returns some time before Wrestlemania XXX as a special attraction on the show in a non-wrestling capacity.
  4. Ring of Honor will strike a deal with a major cable player, ultimately getting them national prominence and the chance to compete with the big dogs, TNA and WWE.
  5. Seth Rollins will not be on WWE Television by the end of the year, and instead will be back in either TNA or ROH as "Tyler Black".


Andy:
  1. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon will become separated, leading to an eventual 2015 divorce and Triple H's ouster from the WWE.
  2. CM Punk downgrades to part-time status by the end of the year, making only special attraction appearances after being leapfrogged by Daniel Bryan.
  3. Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Jake the Snake Roberts all make valiant returns to WWE television in a parade of legends, especially now that Warrior and Vince are back on speaking terms.
  4. Tensai, Zack Ryder, Cameron of the Funkadactyls, Brodus Clay, Curtis Axel & JoJo all receive their pink slips this year when WWE decides a house-cleaning is long overdue
  5. Wrestlemania XXX does less than 1 million buys, continuing a downward trend over the past few years.


Blake:
  1. The King of the Ring returns in its true form, highlighting the finale of a tournament on Pay-Per-View.
  2. The Macho Man is enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame, likely inducted by his dear, old friend Hulk Hogan.
  3. The Intercontinental Title and Tag Team Championships continue to grow throughout the year due to the vacancy left behind by the World Heavyweight Championship, though the United States Championship will be buried or disappear altogether.
  4. New blood rises in 2014, with names like Big E Langston, Damien Sandow and Fandango getting large pushes alongside some rising stars from NXT.
  5. Total Divas continues to wreak havoc on the Divas division, belittling it further and making it even less palatable than it already is.


Eric "The Bikeman" Carlson:
  1. WWE's newest video game will return, headed by THQ and offering the same mechanics and gameplay of classics like WCW/NWO Revenge & Wrestlemania 2000 for Nintendo 64.
  2. Brock Lesnar beats the streak at Wrestlemania XXX, breaking millions of hearts and pushing Lesnar to new heights, while also sending the Undertaker into retirement.
  3. Val Venis makes his return to commemorate the hidden meaning of Wrestlemania 'XXX'.
  4. A new character arrives on the scene representing the Internet, in the form of a 'smart mark' that gets buried right away until the WWE Universe gets behind him.
  5. John Cena becomes a heel in that he makes an un-Cena like selfish decision and goes against the grain of popular opinion.


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Episode 08: Wrestling With Annoyances

We love wrestling...that's obvious. But just like anything we love, we always come to find silly quirks or annoyances that begin to grate on us. Here are a couple of our favorites!

Andy:
  1. Announcers getting excited for standard moves. This match nearly ended on a hip-toss! And now on a bodyslam! NOT. Until a match ends on an arm-drag, save the hype for your momma!
  2. Announcers never assuming a match could end during the commercial. More Hornswoggle vs. El Torito to come? I didn't realize you could see the future, Michael Cole! Even Tony Schiavone didn't insult my intelligence in that way, and that's saying something!
  3. Wrestlers telegraphing their finishing moves. Gee, I wonder what will happen to me if I stand up after hearing a Viper pound the mat or some dude stomp the ring. Think I'll just lay here and let HBK stomp a little longer.


Blake:
  1. Opponents blatantly positioning themselves for a move. Oh you're going to drape yourself over the second rope against Rey Mysterio? Don't expect a 619 to the face or anything...idiot.
  2. Characters losing their talent upon turning heel. Man, all that bad guy-turning really must have sapped a lot of energy. Guess instead of overpowering familiar opponents you may as well blow over with the wind.
  3. Legends hanging with the young guys. Sure, the young guys are tough. But are they tough enough to beat up a 60-year old man? Yeah, didn't think so.


Erik:
  1. Announcers not paying attention to action in the ring. Yeah, don't worry. I didn't want to hear about this young stud's history or qualifications. I'd rather get my 19th update of the night on the WWE App!
  2. Bad guys campaigning against bullies. That's fine. Wreck someone's car. Make fun of somebody's hair or outfit. Laugh at someone's family or loved ones. I'll definitely be all ears when you tell me not to bully others at school, Alberto Del Rio.
  3. Wrestlers wearing t-shirts with their trunks. Out of all the things my wife hates about wrestling, this is at the top of her list. That's gotta be bad.


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Episode 12: Subtractions, Additions & Alterations

When you've got the book, the world is your oyster. It's even better if you've got endless pockets too. Here's a quick hit list of things we'd subtract, add and alter to make the wrestling world a better place.

Andy:
  1. Subtract all Authority figures. All of them. Even if I have to become one myself.
  2. Add 10 new or previous Knockouts to the roster. If TNA is to go anywhere but down, the boys need a little help from the ladies.
  3. Alter Kurt Angle's, and other wrestling icons, contracts so they can wrestle and appear in a more relaxed basis—akin to the Legends contract of the WWE.


Blake:
  1. Subtract the Diva's division...at least until we can find something respectable to do with it.
  2. Add the King of the Ring back to the main list of Pay-Per-Views. And make it special: have the winner become a true Number 1 contender to the champion at Summerslam.
  3. Alter the persona of "heels" to become stronger, scarier and tougher to beat. Way tougher.


Erik:
  1. Subtract that silly scratch logo already! The WWE is way overdue for a change. It's been years since there's been any attitude in this company. It should have gone the way of labeling things "X"-treme.
  2. Add more Supercards and One-shots. Remember the days of the War to Settle the Score? Or the Big Event? It's time to make events exciting again, and not run-of-the-mill, glorified episodes of Raw.
  3. Alter Smackdown to be a Divas-only show. It's more than possible with the huge array of untapped talent available.


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Episode 20: The 2014 Friends Draft!

Excitement in sports is never higher when hope "Springs" eternal this time of year. It's the season for drafting, and the Friends are getting into the game with their very own wrestler draft. How would you grade each participant?

Round 1:

Andy: John Cena (#1)
Blake: Daniel Bryan (#2)
Erik: Cesaro (#3)

Round 2:

Erik: Dean Ambrose (#4)
Blake: Cody Rhodes (#5)
Andy: Roman Reigns (#6)

Round 3:

Andy: Bray Wyatt (#7)
Blake: Dolph Ziggler (#8)
Erik: AJ Styles (#9)

Round 4:

Erik: Luke Harper (#10)
Blake: Wade Barrett (#11)
Andy: AJ Lee (#12)

Round 5:

Andy: Randy Orton (#13)
Blake: Sheamus (#14)
Erik: Adam Cole (#15)

Round 6:

Erik: Ryback (#16)
Blake: Seth Rollins (#17)
Andy: Jeff Hardy (#18)

Round 7:

Andy: Magnus (#19)
Blake: Johnny Gargano (#20)
Erik: Ethan Carter III (#21)

Round 8:

Erik: Tomasso Ciampa (#22)
Blake: Mr. Anderson (#23)
Andy: Davey Richards (#24)

Round 9:

Andy: Samoa Joe (#25)
Blake: Sami Zayn (#26)
Erik: Matt Jackson (#27)

Round 10:

Erik: Nick Jackson (#28)
Blake: Brodus Clay (#29)
Andy: Alex Shelly (#30)

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Episode 26: 3 Hits & Misses

It's easy to rip on our favorite sport, that's why it's sometimes important to ground ourselves in how good we actually still have it and to reminisce fondly on the past. Here are some of our favorite things about wrestling, along with a few things we're nostalgic for.

Andy:
3 Hits
  • Finishing Move Quality. Though it wouldn't take more than a Russian legsweep to finish me off, F5s are much more believable when it comes to fake fighting.
  • Lack of rest holds. Better conditioning means less time wasting time in a reverse chin-lock. Sorry, Tito.
  • Banned violence & upgraded drug testing Nobody wants to see wrestlers going well into their 60s, but we'd like them to live until at least 40.

3 Misses
  • Matches are too choreographed. The biggest challenge in pro wrestling is making the fight look real. That's hardly accomplished when it looks more like Cirque du Soleil.
  • Terrible announcing. The difference between a bodyslam and Hogan slamming Andre is a good announcer. The difference between a suplex and John Cena possibly winning on a suplex is a bad one.
  • Lack of competition. The Monday Night Wars of the 90s are still closer to us now than any future Monday Night Wars, and that's a detriment to the industry.


Blake:
3 Hits
  • Production quality. Sometimes going public to fill the pockets can be a good thing when you turn it into cute mini-trons and fancy fireworks shows.
  • Advanced athleticism. Wrestling in the modern day is known more as a performance art than anything. That's why splashes off the rope make more sense than fat guys falling down.
  • NXT. More than just a performance center for growing athletes, NXT is turning into a bright spot for WWE television altogether.

3 Misses
  • Gimmick matches meaning something. Arguments between neighbors don't start with bulldozing the sports car; likewise, wrestling feuds shouldn't start in cages.
  • Secondary titles meaning something. There was a time when there wasn't enough TV time for all the talented mid-card wrestlers. Now that they have more than enough, the mid-card has disappeared.
  • Large stables taking control. Who wants to fight alone? Sometimes, it pays to have allies, though lately most guys can't seem to find their pocketbooks.


Erik:
3 Hits
  • Ease of access to content. Wrestling's biggest selling point is the amount of content it contains. It's about time we get the chance to check out Brian Adams' career retrospective.
  • Wrestlemania - the Spectacle. No matter what the card looks like, the spectacle of Wrestlemania, including the nights leading up to it, finally match the feeling the event has.
  • The Indies bringing back the territory days. Wrestling is worldwide, and that's not changing. Luckily we've got kick-ass promotions popping up everywhere to develop and trade future stars around.

3 Misses
  • Fewer hours in the week. As cool as it sounds, nobody wants to see Walter White making meth 8 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.
  • No Internet spoilers and trolls. The Internet opened the world to communicating seamlessly; too bad it also opened the lairs of trolls that had been closed for millennia.
  • Good road stories going bye-bye. The wrestling podcast and autobiography boom better enjoy the ride while it lasts — pretty soon, the best road stories will include Halo and tour buses.


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Episode 34: Wrestling Conspiracies

The Friends like to have a lot of fun on their show, but sometimes they know they also have a civic duty to their listeners, and America in general, to uncover some deep, dark mysteries the wrestling world doesn't want you to know! "Follow the money" with Andy, Blake and Erik as they start their journey to uncover some of wrestling's best kept conspiracies...

Macho Man & Stephanie McMahon...More than Friends?!
Evidence: Macho Man Randy Savage made his breakup with Vince McMahon and the WWF amicable and cordial as could be...so why no Hall of Fame induction despite names like Koko B. Ware and Hacksaw Jim Duggan getting in? Savage and McMahon were on apparent good terms for a few years after his exit due to creative differences, yet any time Macho's name is mentioned sources say McMahon seizes up worse than someone sneezing around him. He's not on the cover of the WWE Encyclopedia, he doesn't have a DVD biography and perhaps most damning is the fact that Stephanie was perhaps the biggest ring rat of all. He was a Macho Man, but was he also a Macho Statutory Rapist?
Follow the Money!!

Vince Russo...McMahon's hired hand?!
Evidence: Vince Russo is considered by many to be the architect of one of the best-rated eras in wrestling television history—the Attitude Era. So why did WCW go down in flames after he jumped ship? McMahon had just overtaken the ratings, but to maintain his momentum he needed to quicken the downfall of WCW. Enter Vince Russo. Soon after, Mike Awesome became a hippie, Goldberg a heel and David Arquette a champion. WCW was notorious for not having leadership, so Russo took advantage and took control and WCW was not long for the world despite beating the competition for 84 weeks in a row. Did Russo only look like a rat, or was he also McMahon's rat?
Follow the Money!!

Bret Screwed...the fans?!
Evidence: Everyone knows the backstory of the 1997 Survivor Series Montreal Screwjob...but do they know the whole story? In 1997, Shawn Michaels was a burgeoning main event star, Vince McMahon was getting his ass kicked in the ratings and Bret Hart was leaving to "greener" pastures. But that didn't mean all 3 couldn't help each other out. Could the oldest racket in sports entertainment pull off the biggest con in its industry's history? Shawn Michaels wanted to be champion. Vince McMahon wanted an angle to put his company over. And Bret Hart wanted to go into his next business venture red hot. Did Vince screw Bret? Did Bret screw Bret? Or did they screw all of us?
Follow the Money!!

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Episode 46: Favorite Gimmick Matches

Because gimmicks aren't only for wrestlers, y'know...

The Good
Some gimmick matches have stood the test of time. Whether it's the excitement and versatility of a Ladder Match or a Survivor Series tag team throwdown, or the special atmosphere of an Elimination Chamber or War Games battle, good vs. evil is on full display. The battle royal, more specifically the Royal Rumble, have proven to be the Kentucky Derby or March Madness for wrestling fans with its wager-friendliness, even if it's become predictable at times.

The Bad
Some matches prove better in concept than execution. Even Dusty Rhodes couldn't make a Stretcher Match work, especially in the PG Era, while the Inferno Match is also just another tame version of the highly dangerous Japanese exploding death matches. Perhaps said in controversy, some matches have simply worn out their welcome; take the Cage Match and the various ways it's tried to remain relevant, or the Lumberjack Match which has lost any "aura" it had since wrestlers choose to interfere at any time these days.

The Ugly
Behind every gimmick match, there's always a creative mind. In some cases, that mind may also be damaged. Putting Anything on a Pole is always a bad idea, even if it's not a human being or boner pills. A Hog Pen Match might be fun if you and your friends are bored on a Saturday night, but in a professional wrestling atmosphere it delegitimizes any athlete, even if they're a hog farmer. And the less said about the Chamber of Horrors, the better...




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