The Spotlight On Wrestlemania 33 Coming To Orlando!

Well it’s official, WWE will be returning to the sunshine state next year for Wrestlemania 33 on April 2nd, 2017! WWE held a press conference earlier today officially announcing that Wrestlemania will return to the, newly renovated, Citrus Bowl for the first time since Wrestlemania 24 in 2008.  This is huge news for vacation goers as Orlando is one of, at least to me, biggest vacation spots in all of the United States. Last year my girlfriend and I had an amazing time at Wrestlemania in California and created our own Wrestling & theme park week! Thus, I’m excited to be being able to recreate some of the grandeur of last year, next year in Orlando! Let me get into all you need to know about Wrestlemania from the press conference today.

-First off, we’ll start with some important dates and locations. WWE Axxess will take place at the Orange County Convention Center throughout the weekend. While I haven’t been there myself, I spoke to a friend who lives in Orlando & he told me that the building is really nice & spacious. The Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic, will play host to both The 2017 Hall Of Fame, April 1st and Monday Night Raw the night after Wrestlemania, April 3rd. There was no date announced for NXT but with the performance center & NXT headquarters, they film most television out of Full Sail University, being right in Orlando, I’d bet NXT will have quite a prescence Wrestlemania weekend. 

– As far as the press conference today, kudos to WESH news in Orlando for broadcasting the press conference live. I was able to follow along while at work & it was really cool to see. That said, it’s a shame for those folks that couldn’t follow along live, 11AM on a Tuesday few can, that can’t watch the press conference if they wanted to. WWE has its own network & really should make this stuff available for subscribers who want to watch it. Especially if they aired this kind of stuff live, I feel it would draw more people to the livestream on the WWE Network. 
– From the looks of it Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, John Cena, Ric Flair, Charlotte, Roman Reigns and the New Day were all on hand for the press conference and joined different politicians in the local area in sharing their excitement over Wrestlemania returning to Orlando. There were also a number of NXT talents on hand, said to be greeting folks as they entered the conference, including Bayley, Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin and others. John Cena acknowledged the NXT talents, who were sitting front row, and joked that they were given time off to come watch them talk.

-The biggest piece of news, aside from the announcement, was that John Cena officially announced that he will not be taking part in this year’s Wrestlemania. Cena mentioned that for the first time in a decade and a half, he’ll be enjoying Wrestlemania as a fan. I know Cena was doing all he could to return, and it’s tough he won’t be able too, but it’s for the best that he takes his time to recover.  The last thing anyone wants is for Cena to return too soon and injure himself more. 

Overall this was a nice day for WWE and a big win for the city of Orlando, which Stephanie noted has become the WWE’s second home. Wrestlemania raises hundreds of millions of dollars for any city that plays host for it and it really looked like next year was going to be Minnesota. Thus, Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer had every right to dance with the New Day! As a fan, no offense to Minnesotans but nothing beats that combination of Disney and Wrestling…I can’t wait! 

That’s going to do it for now but tomorrow morning I’ll be back as it seems that WWE may not only bringing Wrestlemania to Orlando. Tomorrow we’ll look at whether or not the rumors are true…is WWE creating a physical hall of fame?!

The Spotlight On Seth Rollins’ Injury and The WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Just about 30 minutes ago via his official twitter page, ESPN’s own Johnathan Coachman released the tweet above, confirming that last night at a WWE live event in Dublin, Ireland, World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins suffered a bad knee injury while wrestling Kane. The reports on what happened seem to indicate that Rollins suffered the injury on a sunset flip gone awry, as what is being described as something of a freak accident.  This obviously couldn’t come at a worse time for Rollins who was in the midst of the biggest push of his career, coming up on 7 months to his reign as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

From a WWE standpoint, this confirms that Rollins will miss Wrestlemania 32, news that comes just weeks after it was announced that Randy Orton will also miss Wrestlemania due to requiring shoulder surgery.  Furthermore, WWE will be without John Cena for all events until, at least, December 26th as he takes some time off due to personal reasons.  As for what this means for the WWE World Title, WWE announced that, obviously the match between Seth Rollins and number one contender Roman Reigns is off, and instead a tournament will take place at the Survivor Series on November 22nd to crown a new champion.

While one would assume that Reigns would be one of the superstars to compete in the tournament, WWE.com has not confirmed any of the superstars in the tournament, nor how many superstars will compete in the tournament altogether.  This will be the first time in which a tournament takes place for the World Title at the Survivor Series since 1998 when the Rock won his first World Heavyweight Championship.  With so many of the top superstars in WWE now on the shelf (along with Orton, Cena and Rollins, Daniel Bryan has still not been cleared to return to action and it seems as though Brock Lesnar is on a bit of a hiatus following Hell In A Cell), this really does open up the opportunity for somebody to step up and make a name for themselves on the WWE roster.  Aside from Reigns, I would look for the recently returning Alberto Del Rio, Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens, Reign’s best friend Dean Ambrose,  and long time fan favorite, Cesaro as possibilities to take this opportunity to step up.  I’d also look for some of the superstars down in NXT, namely NXT Champion, Finn Balor to potentially get an opportunity on the main WWE roster.

This again is really an unfortunate situation for Rollins, who was one of my favorite Superstars to watch each week on Raw, and we wish him a speedy recovery.  Be sure to continue to check for any updates on this situation right here on thedailyspotlight.com.  We will update you as soon as we know anything.

The Spotlight On WWE Tough Enough Episode 8

 Last night the final five of WWE Tough Enough were revealed when Giorgia Priscina (GiGi) was sent home by receiving the lowest amount of votes from the WWE Universe. From the beginning, I would say that Gigi had to be considered one of the favorites to win the show. Gigi won many of the different physical competitions and also showed a good amount of personality and character development. That said, she also began showing signs, over the past few weeks, of being overly arrogant. As seen in past weeks with Patrick and Gabi, it’s obvious that the WWE Universe is turned off by arrogance. In the end, the Universe gets the final say here and they chose to save Sara and Tanner over Gigi. I believe that Gigi was someone who really wanted this and if she works hard can make it to WWE someday as it was obvious that the judges and trainers liked her. With that out of the way, let’s get into some of the highlights from the show.


Highlights

1) Y2J Baybay!!!!!- Chris Jericho is one of the biggest stars in the history of WWE and so when I heard he was going to be the host of this season’s Tough Enough, I felt he was a natural fit. Honestly, I feel he’s done well in his role but I felt that he could offer so much more to the show. Well, that really happened this episode as Chris Jericho was awesome last night.  Right from the start of the show when Jericho greeted the contestants with pizza and alcohol as a reward for making it this far Jericho was just on fire. I loved when Jericho challenged the contestants to a drinking contest and drank the 20 something year old contestants under the table only to then show up looking chipper to wake up the hungover Tanner the next morning.  From here, Jericho was great in actually getting in the ring with the contestants to show them how to put together a match. Chris has one of the best minds in the business and I feel that if he wasn’t so busy with his in ring career, his podcast, Fozzy and all of his other endeavors, he’d make one helluva trainer. I was glad to see Jericho prominently featured and I hope it continues the rest of the series, he’s such a valuable asset.
 2) Big Match John Is Back-  From a WWE perspective, the biggest news to come out of Tough Enough is that John Cena returned to WWE television for the first time since his injury.  Cena , honestly looked pretty good as he delivered a passionate speech to the Tough Enough contestants. He actually made a great point in saying how we’re able to see each contestant from the beginning of their careers all the way through. Then the big news was revealed when John Cena confirmed that he will be back for Summerslam. The title vs. title match between Seth Rollins and John Cena is a go! I was surprised how many people across the internet were actually questioning whether or not Cena would be able to return.  Let’s not forget that this is the guy who made it back from a broken collar bone in a few months back in 2008 so that he’d make it back for the road to Wrestlemania.  John Cena is truly as tough as they come.

3) And Then There Were Two-With GiGi being voted off of the show tonight, this now means that the finals of Tough Enough for the females is down to Sara Lee and Amanda. One of those two women are going to win the $250,000 contract to be the next WWE diva. I expect that this means that one of the 3 male contestants, ZZ, Joshua or Tanner will be going home next week to set up the finale. While it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that the final vote will be determined by the fans, I would assume it would be since every other vote has been. If that is the case, I think that Sara Lee will win that fan vote in a landslide. Sara has been the one female contestant to realize that in order to do well in this competition you really need to be likable to the fans, Amanda hasn’t done that at all.

Closing Thoughts

In closing, I again enjoyed this week’s Tough Enough. I’ve felt that the show has really picked up steam over the past few weeks (It may honestly have to do with the addition of the Miz as a judge). Next week will be really interesting as it will likely be one of the male contestants going home and I feel each one of the remaining three contestants have their strengths. The wildcard in everything is that Daniel Bryan still has a save, he looked so tempted to use it tonight but he has been able to keep it until the end. It’ll be interesting to see if that save will dictate the result next week.

Well that’s going to do it for me for now but I’ll have a spotlight up later today on this week’s newsworthy Total Divas. Until then, who’s your picks for the final five contestants left on Tough Enough?

All Photos Courtesy of WWE and The USA Network

The Spotlight On The Week ahead for WWE 8/10-8/16

Hello everyone I hope everybody had a good week last week, as the summer continues to fly right by here in New York City and I know has officially ended in other parts of the United States, as public schools have reopened.  For my fellow New Yorkers, let’s enjoy some of this hot weather while we can because, before we know it, there will be 2 feet of snow on the ground again.  Now that I’ve bummed everyone out, as the summer continues to count down for some of us, things continue to heat up in WWE.  We are now just 13 days away from the “Wrestlemania of the Summer” as the road continues to Summerslam.  Let’s get right into some of the things you can look forward to this upcoming week in WWE.

Highlights

1) The Arrow Has Landed…and He May Have Company-  Ever since Raw emanated live from the Nassau Coliseum (A show I was at live and covered here on the site on Memorial Day) when actor Stephen Amell sat front row for the show, the tension has been building between the actor and Stardust.  This all comes to a head tonight as the actor will return to Raw, live from Everett, Washington this evening.  Whether the actor has agreed to a match at Summerslam remains to be seen, but I’d say it is likely that Amell will be at the event in some capacity.  Rumors are running rampant that Amell will don the role of Arrow for a “Superhero” type showdown with Stardust at the biggest event of the summer.  I think it would personally be a lot of fun but I believe that if Amell hasn’t signed on for a match, he’ll at the least be in the corner of Neville (who’s also been involved in this story line) at Summerslam.

Actor Stephen Amell, may not be the only person returning to WWE tonight as last night at a WWE live event in Vancouver, BC, Dolph Ziggler made a surprise appearance attacking Rusev.  While pwinsider.com is reporting that Ziggler’s return will be held off until next week, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dolph make that return tonight to build towards his inevitable match with Rusev at Summerslam.  Another superstar on the mend is the intercontinental champion, Ryback.  We touched on Ryback’s staph infection last week on this very column and it does appear that Ryback is going to also be returning in time for Summerslam so he can continue his program with the Miz and The Big Show.  Whether, he returns to Raw tonight, remains to be seen.  Of course, will all do respect to Dolph Ziggler and Ryback, the biggest name of superstars on the way back from injury is John Cena.  Cena has not been seen on WWE television since his broken nose two weeks ago.  It’ll be interesting to see if he shows up tonight to accept Seth Rollins’ title vs. title match at Summerslam.  I for one would like to see Cena held out until Summerslam to add to the mystique of what he will look like and whether he’ll even be there, but I realize that isn’t very likely.

2) A Big Night Following Raw- While both the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar aren’t advertised for Raw tonight, there will be a special presentation profiling the big Summerslam match between the two immediately following Monday Night Raw on the WWE Network.  The special, entitled “Undertaker Vs. Lesnar: One On One” is being promoted as a preview of the main event match with thoughts and predictions from the other WWE Superstars.  I can’t remember the last time that WWE has done this but I’m excited for it, the special gives this match a big event feel and also ties in the WWE Network with the Summerslam promotion.  If WWE were smart they’d promote this special and try to get some network subscriptions out of this promotion.

Also, on the WWE Network tonight is a first look at the new Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 3 Blu Ray set which will be released tomorrow.  I also appreciate these first looks and, I know in the case of Daniel Bryan, the first look got me to go out and purchase the blu ray the next day so they’re a smart idea in that sense too.  DDP is back hosting the set and I think he did a great job on the first two editions.

3) The Build For NXT Takeover: Brooklyn Continues-  WWE Summerslam isn’t the only show emanating out of the Barclays center the weekend of 8/23.  The night before Summerslam, NXT Takeover:Brooklyn will be live on the WWE Network on August 22nd (and is actually sold out which is very impressive for the NXT brand).  Well, this Wednesday the build for Takeover continues when Becky Lynch goes one on one with Bayley to determine the number one contender for Sasha Banks’ NXT Women’s championship at Takeover.  The women’s championship match will no doubt be the second biggest match on the Takeover card behind only the ladder match for the NXT World Title between Kevin Ownes and Finn Balor, so this is a match you want to go out of your way to see,  Will Bayley continue her recent winning streak towards getting a womens title match? or Will Becky Lynch get a rematch against Sasha Banks from their epic match at the last NXT: Takeover event?  The only way to find out would be to tune into NXT this Wednesday night on the WWE Network at 8:00 Pm EST.

Closing Thoughts

On top of all of this, John Cena will be appearing on WWE Tough Enough tomorrow night, as the show has reached it’s final six.  Whether he is able to return to Monday Night Raw tonight remains to be seen, but if not than Tough Enough would be John’s first appearance since breaking his nose in a match with Seth Rollins two weeks ago.  Lastly, tomorrow night on Total Divas it appears that Daniel Bryan’s health will be a big focus of the show.  Up until this point, the details behind Bryan’s injury have been kept pretty close to the vest so I wonder if this is because WWE is saving Bryan’s health update for Total Divas.  Regardless it promises to be a big week for WWE before the mega week and chaos that will commence next week.  Until then, be sure to keep yourself tuned it with all of the great coverage we have for you right here on thedailyspotlight.com.