Although all I really want to do is cry over my Broncos’ embarrassing loss this Sunday and share how I drowned my sorrows in 5 Barrel and hot wings, I’ve got a job to do. So pushing Superbowl sorrows aside, let’s get to the at times gritty, at times fabulous, at times shrug-inducing news of professional wrestling.
Cena’s Eye Possibly Injured by the Second Finger Poke of Doom
Rajah reported that John Cena missed a live event this weekend “due to what was reported as an eye injury.” Apparently, Cena was still willing to work, but WWE decided to play it safe and pulled him from the show.
The report adds that it looks like WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton was the cause of the injury, “as Cena was reportedly poked in the eye during his match with Orton on Saturday night.” It’s worth noting that Cena was also absent from last night’s Raw, lending more credence to the story.
Via EWrestlingNews, here’s a photo of Cena (accompanied by girlfriend Nikki Bella) a fan tweeted after seeing him outside her place of work:
There’s no news yet as to the severity of the injury. If it’s still as wince-inducing as we see in the photo, perhaps the WWE didn’t want him showing up in bad shape for the whole Raw audience to see.
I’m really unsure just how crippling an eye injury would be in the ring, especially since they’re so uncommon. To me, worked eye injuries have always made me a bit uncomfortable. I remember a cringe-worthy SmackDown match with Finlay years ago in which he sold an eye injury. Maybe I just have bad memories of being headbutted in the eye as a child.
In any case, I’m going to assume the injury is only short-term and that Cena will be fine to work Elimination Chamber if not sooner. Until we hear more reports, here’s hoping your eye turns out fine, big guy. Until then, just tell everyone you winked so hard at Nikki that your eye got stuck. That’s romance for you.
Remember When Lawler Used to Go On About “Puppies”? I Bet Stacy Keibler Does
Stacy Keibler might be on her way back to the company, according to a report by Prowrestling.net. The Attitude Era Diva recently spoke with Stephanie McMahon while Keibler was in New York. One source even claims that the offer WWE might have made is “lucrative enough that she has to be giving it serious consideration,” even though she’d previously considered a WWE return a “step backwards” for her career.
Personally, I’m as ambivalent as I’ve ever been toward a rumored WWE return. The WWE already has enough talent in the Divas Division that they don’t know what to do with. And of course, there’s Paige just waiting in the wings on NXT to take the main stage by storm.
Although I don’t remember Keibler particularly well, I can’t recall her striking me as one of the more talented Divas of her time. Maybe WWE predicts that an established women’s wrestler would be good for business. Beyond that, I can’t see much reason to bring her back into the fold.
Kurt Angle Working Injured on TNA UK Tour
In January, Kurt Angle was written off television with an injury angle in order for him to have surgery around the end of the month. However, that surgery may have been put on hold in order to make up for Jeff Hardy’s and Sting’s absences from TNA’s UK tour.
According to Rajah, after TNA asked Angle to do a run-in during an Impact taping in Manchster, he flipped out on John Gaburick as “[Angle] had already been written out of storylines and because he had been working despite doctor's orders not to.”
Considering Kurt Angle has seemingly set up a match with Ethan Carter III at Lockdown, it seems Angle will continue to work without his surgery.
In my opinion, what the hell, TNA? Kurt Angle had such nice things to say about you guys last week when he discussed the possibility of returning to the WWE. Then you turn around and have one of your most senior employees work injured. I get that with Jeff Hardy and Sting absent from the tour, there’s a big hole to fill in terms of drawing power. However, convincing your employee to work injured is unethical.
What I really want is for TNA to say “Screw it!” and let Angle have his surgery. Given the circumstances, I just want Angle to get through this pay-per-view and then get the work done on his back. Maybe this treatment adds an extra incentive to jump ship back to WWE, although I don’t want to speculate on how aggressive TNA had been until we hear more on this story. After all, Angle’s a pretty crazy guy. Maybe he agreed with minimal coaxing and then celebrated by chugging a gallon of milk while playing badminton under the coaching of Rob Van Dam. You never know with that guy.
Dean Ambrose’s US Title Reign Has Been Long and Uneventful
WWE.com has a feature up listing the ten longest United States Championship reigns in company history. The article mentions that Dean Ambrose is now the longest-reigning champion currently in WWE and the sixth-longest US Champion of all time.
This sounds impressive until you remember he’s done absolutely nothing for the majority of his reign. I mean, generally speaking he’s been a busy guy who’s received a ton of exposure as a member of The Shield, especially as the group’s best talker. However, he has barely defended his title over the past few months. Correct me if I’m wrong, but title matches are usually what champions are all about, right?
That’s really one of the problems of putting a singles championship on a stable member, especially when WWE has the attention span of an ADHD kid in a shiny trinkets and gizmos store. (Those exist, yeah?) When you consistently have The Shield used in so many segments, it’s hard to dedicate even more time to just one guy from the group.
If WWE does unify the mid-card titles, I really hope both belts go to Big E Langston, who seems pretty set on being a singles competitor for the foreseeable future. Maybe WWE would have an easier time remembering they have mid-carders to book when there’s only one belt to manage.
More on CM Punk Walking Out, Was A WrestleMania Loss in the Works?
In the developing story of CM Punk ostensibly walking out of the WWE, Rajah added an interesting tidbit to the speculation society.
“Regarding WrestleMania XXX, the feeling is that Punk knew the company was aware that his contract expires in July, and that he wasn't expected to re-sign, meaning he felt like he knew what direction his match against Triple H would head as a result.”
Man, does that sting. After even ESPN’s Bill Simmons blasted Triple H in 2012 for throwing a “wet blanket” on CM Punk’s momentum in the summer of 2011, you’d think Triple H would learn to keep his big nose (this coming from a guy who also has a big humped nose) from snuffing out the fire of full-time performers by going over them.
Really, what does Triple H, who’s essentially semi-retired from in-ring action, have to gain from going over CM Punk? What did he have to gain from going over Punk in 2011? Nothing. So what if Punk would have been out the door a few months after WrestleMania 30? He still would have been the guy more worth marketing considering he would have been the one selling t-shirts and wrestling for millions of fans every week. Also, if there was any hope for him re-signing in July, having him lose at WrestleMania to Triple H – again – is a great way to destroy it.
There’s not a single good reason for Triple H to have gone over. He also, mind you, is an administrative heel who’s been terrorizing most the roster (inexplicably Orton too when he and Stephanie forget they’re supposed to be the bad guys) for the better part of a year. The fans would have deserved the payoff of “The Voice of the Voiceless” shoving all Triple H’s corporate edicts and his “Best for Business” catchphrase down his throat at the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Yes, this is all still rumor, but if it’s true, I can empathize with Punk a little bit more. I am still on the fence as to whether he’s fully in the right; I see both negatives and positives to his actions. I’m also still hopeful this is all a work, although the fact it’s so similar on paper to the Summer of Punk makes me doubt that. You’d think WWE knows to avoid repetition, right?
WWE 2K15 Confirmed for Next-Gen Game Consoles
Lastly, WrestlingInc published a story on Take-Two Interactive’s third-quarter earnings report. What’s not news is that the earnings report indicates WWE 2K15 will be released during Take-Two’s fiscal year, which means April 2014 to March 2015. (No, I don’t know how that works; business is confusing.)
What is news is that the game will apparently release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Wii U, which is also a next-gen console, was not mentioned. Though if you follow the gaming industry like I do, you already know Nintendo’s struggled with third-party support as far back as the Nintendo 64, while the Wii and subsequently the Wii U solidified the company’s reputation as a no man’s land for third-party developers and publishers.
Historically, WWE games have had no shortage of ports, considering as far into the seventh console generation (360/Wii/PS3) as 2010, Yuke’s was still porting SmackDown vs. Raw onto the PS2. However, both the Wii and the Wii U were absent from last year’s 2K14 launch platforms.
So if you’ve got a PS4 or an Xbox One, you’ll be able to get jazzed about a moderately better-looking 2K14. If you’ve got a Wii U, maybe don’t hold your breath.
That’s all for this week. Boy, that was a lot to get through. Be sure to leave all your thoughts down in the comments section. All of them. I mean it. Let’s get stream of consciousness up in here.
Also, keep an eye out for my article on Friday, which will totally happen this time after I missed it last week while trying to sleep off the flu. In case you’re wondering, yes, I feel much better … that is, I did until the Superbowl.
Nicholas LeVack is a double major in English creative writing and journalism whose interests include writing, wrestling, video games and occasional outdoorsy things. You can follow him on Twitter, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and take part in his first venture into video game journalism at doublejump.co.
Shoutout to my buddy Charles for sharing a few of these stories in our mutual group. You're a standup fella, Charles.