AS I SEE IT: The world’s most famous Bingo Hall is back in business

AISIAS I SEE IT: The world’s most famous Bingo Hall is back in business
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

Call it Viking Hall, XPW Arena, Alhambra Arena, The Arena, Asylum Arena, or the current name, 2300 Arena…but by whatever name you call it, the ECW Arena is having its first wrestling weekend in nearly 2 1/2 years.

If you go to any of the shows this weekend, it will look much different inside than the Arena you remember. It’s bigger, it’s brighter, it’s nicer, it’s cleaner, the bathrooms work, the concessions will be expanded (and that’s the beginning of the planned updates). The classic entrance to the Arena will eventually be no more. A new entrance has been built on the Swanson Street side of the building. A new lighting system will be installed, the notorious issues with sound will be dealt with as walls and ceilings will be re-done for acoustical purposes. The 2300 Arena is expanded to cover the old Forman Mills (RIP) as well as the traditional ECW Arena space.

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AS I SEE IT: Reactions to the passing of the Warrior

AISIAS I SEE IT: Reactions to the passing of the Warrior
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

It’s safe to say that Wrestlemania 30 weekend was an emotional roller-coaster…in ways hoped for and expected, and in ways that no one would have expected.

Between the emotional highs of the WWE Hall of Fame and the speechs of Jake Roberts and Scott Hall… the once in a lifetime meeting in the same ring of Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin… Daniel Bryan’s Wrestlemania 30 wins against HHH and in the main event…the storyline emotional stunner of The Streak ending… and the very tragic real life passing of Jim Hellwig, the Ultimate Warrior, only 24 hours after what turned out to be his farewell appearance; Wrestlemania weekend provided an emotional roller-coaster likely never to be duplicated again.

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AS I SEE IT: Thoughts from WrestleMania XXX

AISIAS I SEE IT: Thoughts from WrestleMania XXX
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Ever think Brian Danielson would win the WWE World Heavyweight Title…and have it not be the primary subject of discussion from a Wrestlemania 30?

Nope. Not me.
Everyone who writes about wrestling from the mega-sites like the Wrestling Observer and PWinsider.com to the smallest message board figured they’d be writing about Brian Danielson this morning.

AS I SEE IT: The Events of Wrestlemania 30 Weekend…Indy Style

AISIAS I SEE IT: The Events of Wrestlemania 30 Weekend…Indy Style
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

Well, the event schedule for Wrestlemania 30 is going to be a busy one.

I’m not referring to the WWE-sponsored events, which are many; but the events by outside promoters, which (as always) are even more. For those of you reading who want to wrap themselves up of WWE for three days or more in New Orleans, to each their own…enjoy.

But since PWBTS promotes independent wrestling, I’ll share a few with you of the latter in this week’s column. You can also check out updates on all of these events every day on PWBTS.com.

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AS I SEE IT: Thoughts on Daniel Bryan “occupying” RAW

AISIAS I SEE IT: Thoughts on Daniel Bryan “occupying” RAW
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

From last week’s column:

“Unless tonight brings Hulk Hogan’s announcement (using the rationale that the host of Wrestlemania XX give him the right) that he’s making a match for Mania with HHH vs. Bryan, I don’t know how they avoid turning fans off once and for all.

To me, the only thing that works is Hogan making the HHH vs. Bryan match for Wrestlamania 30; and making it the opening match as a qualifier for Bryan to join Batista vs. Orton in the main event if he wins. But even if we do get HHH vs. Bryan, how do you make fans believe there’s not going to be one more screwjob finish [in that match], with The Shield, Kane, Stephanie McMahon and the 101st Airborne rushing in to interfere?”

Well….it didn’t quite happen THAT way, but the end result wound up the same. I think.

Daniel Bryan has his match with HHH at Wrestlemania 30. Presumably that results in his insertion in the main event.  The way they GOT there was typical WWE, somewhat overthought, with a large helping of that campiness that WWE has been known for over the years.

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AS I SEE IT: Chicago raised hell last week on RAW

AISIAS I SEE IT: Chicago raised hell last week on RAW
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Well, RAW was not Punk.  As predicted, the fans of Chicago raised holy hell. All night long.

The week before, fans had set up #hijackRaw on Twitter, designed to encourage fans to raise hell at RAWs. This was set up especially at Chicago last week to tell WWE they want to see CM Punk back, and that they want an end to the Daniel Bryan being the WWE version of South Park’s Kenny, with “The Authority” doing something to “kill” Daniel Bryan each and every week.

Since WWE knew Punk wasn’t going to be there, they did themselves no favors last night by not squashing the rumor. No matter what they tell you, they knew the Punk story was put out there by Meltzer. They ignored it, they fed into it by not debunking it, and had three hours of people chanting for someone who wasn’t there.

Dozens of signs were clearly visible, and the chants started from the moment the 8:45 insert promo for RAW was aired.

Paul Heyman’s killer promo at the beginning of RAW may have helped for a little while, but also came off a bit like mocking Punk and the fans at the same time.

For a lot of the show, fans were either chanting for Punk, or sitting on their hands. Some matches has so little crowd response, you could heard a cricket fart. As one example, I felt bad for Christian and Sheamus. Their match was right match, wrong place, wrong time. The Wyatt-Shield match and the Usos-New Age Outlaws matches were about the only thing that got the crowd into any part of the show not involving Danielson or (potentially) Punk.

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AS I SEE IT: The Rocky Debut of the WWE Network

AISIAS I SEE IT: The Rocky Debut of the WWE Network
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

This past week saw the somewhat rocky debut of the WWE Network, and the set-up show for the Road to Wrestlemania.

The major problems with the WWE Network break down as follows:

Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s (the company WWE is working with to handle the Network) had an inability in the first few days to handle the load of signups. Many people attempted to sign up and were unable to do so because of bandwidth and other issues.

MLBAM stated that the Network demand for sign-ups “exceeded anything we have seen in 14 years of doing e-commerce.” If that had been the only problem, and it had only been a problem at the beginning, that would have been a GOOD problem in some ways; because it would have shown a major demand for the service (which it did).

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AS I SEE IT – It’s Time for the Wrestlemania Build

AISIAS I SEE IT – It’s Time for the Wrestlemania Build
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Tonight, WWE begins the Road to Wrestlemania for real, as WWE returns to Green Bay, WI tonight for the RAW that will set the scene for Wrestlemania 30, a show that will likely be one of the most anticipated shows of the year.

WWE will start to set the road to WrestleMania 30. Featured will be the return of Hulk Hogan for the first time since 2007; the fall-out from screwjob 2,546 on Daniel Bryan after Kane interfered to help Randy Orton retain the WWE World Title in the Elimination Chamber.

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AS I SEE IT: Thoughts on the WWE Hall of Fame

AISIAS I SEE IT: Thoughts on the WWE Hall of Fame
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

So the Road to Wrestlemania really kicks into gear the night after Elimination Chamber.

It was reporting this past week that Hulk Hogan and Undertaker are booked as appearing on the RAW the night after the PPV. Undertaker will set up his yearly Wrestlemania match.

AS I SEE IT: CZW shines during their 15th anniversary show

AISIAS I SEE IT: CZW shines during their 15th anniversary show
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Combat Zone Wrestling returned to action Saturday night at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ for the promotion’s 15th Anniversary show. CZW drew a huge standing room crowd, the largest non-Cage of Death crowd ever for the promotion since their 2012 return to New Jersey, and one of their largest overall in years; estimated at over 1,000 fans.

Shane Strickland defeated Joe Gacy by pinfall after a head kick. Basic big man-little man match. In the “where did that come from” moment of the match, Joe Gacy hit an Osaka Street Cutter on Strickland.

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