Backstage News On Steve Austin And The Rock’s WrestleMania Status

– The current feeling is that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will not be part of WrestleMania, according to Dave Meltzer who recently said:

“For those asking, no Austin this weekend as best I can tell.”

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been laying low which could be a way to keep any sort of WrestleMania 33 appearance on the show as a surprise. Despite his busy schedule, Johnson is expected to be involved at WrestleMania this year.

The post Backstage News On Steve Austin And The Rock’s WrestleMania Status appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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The Young Bucks Comment On Possibility Going To WWE

– The Young Bucks were recently interviewed by USA Today about a wide variety of topics, check out the highlights below:

The Young Bucks d addressed their potential status with WWE:

“We represent the DIY people in the world — the people who want to invest in themselves and run their own business.”

“Maybe we can be two of the only guys who didn’t sell out, and I don’t mean that disrespectfully. Instead of letting someone else control our brand, we were always in control of our own brand and our own destiny. But it’s one of those things where you never say never. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Right now, we’re so happy with what we’re doing.”

“We’re so happy as artists. We get to do pretty much whatever we want. We’re still busy and we still feel like we’re hustling. I don’t ever see us going there. When our contracts expire in 18 months, maybe the landscape will have changed and we’re ready to go. But if you’re asking me right now, I reall

The post The Young Bucks Comment On Possibility Going To WWE appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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Kurt Angle Talks His Four Classic WrestleMania Matches

– Future WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle recently spoke with ESPN about a wide variety of topics including his four classic WrestleMania matches, check out the highlights below:

When Brock Lesnar missed the Shooting Star Press at WrestleMania XIX:

“First of all, this is selfish, but I was like, ‘Damn, he broke his neck. I’m going to have to hold this title another month,’” recalled Angle, who was in serious need of neck surgery at that time. “Then I was concerned about him because he wasn’t responding. When I covered him, he did kick out. I did tell him to kick out, and he kicked out. I remember asking him, ‘Can you give me an F-5?’ He didn’t respond. I was getting really worried. I started picking him up. I said, ‘Could you F-5 me?’ He said, ‘I think so,’ and he did. Brock’s a pro. He came out of that. Let’s face it. That’s one of the most famous moves in WrestleMania history. It’s because he came up short, and everybody remembers that. If you want a WrestleMania type of memory, that’s a good one. Unfortunately, Brock got his bell rung. But he didn’t have any long-term damage, and thank God for that. I’m very proud of that match — it’s one of my favorites of all time.”

The finish to his match with Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania XX:

“Eddie and I spoke about it two weeks prior to WrestleMania, and he came out with this finish that he was going to slide his boot off. The whole psychology of the match was to wear his ankle down, get it to a spot where I’m going to be able to make him tap out. We did that. We followed it perfectly, built to that moment, and that’s what made it so special. Eddie’s entire character, it was all about that lie, cheat and steal gimmick. I had him in the ankle lock, and he was able to slip that boot off. I think that’s one of the best finishes in WrestleMania history, period. I really enjoyed being part of that, and winning and losing was never important to me. I’ve always been about the quality of the matches, and that finish is my all-time favorite finish I’ve ever been a part of.”

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WrestleMania Prediction Machine Part 1: Title Changes and a Battle Royal Shocker

With the rumor mill running rampant amid WWE’s potential resigning of the Hardyz, Finn Balor’s imminent return from injury and the alleged formation of a Triple H led heel faction predicting this year’s card is no easy task. Add in the high expectations and recent commercialization of the insanity that is the post Mania edition of RAW and the fact SmackDown is live on Tuesday this week, some of what we expect may be intentionally held off for television surprises and a ratings bump. That being said, to quote the legendary musical group A Tribe Called Quest,  “scared money don’t make none”. Let’s dive in.

Cruiserweight Title: Austin Aries vs. Neville (C)

Austin Aries challenges Neville for the Cruiserweight title in a match I expect to be one of the best WrestleMania has to offer. Its pre-show placement while aggravating, may be a blessing in disguise in terms of the time these guys are given to put on an athletic and exciting bout. I keep going back and forth on this one. Neville has done a great job carrying the division for the last several months. At the same time there has been a huge amount of time spent building Austin Aries on television these past months and his talent on the microphone makes him an ideal centerpiece for the division going forward.  The “King of the Cruiserweights” gets his comeuppance in this one via Aries signature submission “Last Chancery” in “The Greatest Pre-Show Match That Ever Was” and there’s a good chance we see an obligatory WrestleMania rematch the next night on RAW.

Winner: Austin Aries

 Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is the most inconsequential match taking place this Sunday. That being said I expect some to see some entertaining back and forth between the Usos and American Alpha somewhere in this match as well as some cool moments provided by Braun Strowman and the Big Show as they send most of the competition crashing to the floor. While Braun Strowman is certainly the favorite here I can see a moment where somehow some way both he and Big Show end up on the apron separated by one of the turnbuckles trading punches and…BOOM the “Helluva Kick” knocks both giants to the floor and Sami Zayn wins the match. From not having a match at Mania and almost being fired on RAW this past week to winning the battle royal WWE’s biggest underdog pulls off the shocking upset.

Winner: Sami Zayn

 SmackDown Women’s Championship 6-Pack Challenge: Naomi vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss (C)

The rumored movement of the SmackDown Women’s Championship match back to the main card gives me hope that the six pack challenge advertisement isn’t a lock and we may see Asuka lay waste to the entire division and walk out with the belt. While that bit of fantasy booking is far from guaranteed, what I am certain of with this one is that Alexa Bliss is not leaving WrestleMania as champion. The hometown favorite Naomi reclaims the title she was forced to relinquish due to injury in a fast-paced, albeit short match.

Winner: Naomi

 RAW Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match: Enzo and Cass vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Gallows and Anderson (C)

I love that WWE added the Ladder Match stipulation to the tag team title bout. It makes the feud between the three teams feel fresh and adds that shot of adrenaline the match would otherwise be missing. I expect a lot of great spots from Cesaro in this one, from death defying uppercuts to insane suplexes and beyond. Look for Gallows and Anderson to unleash their full arsenal of extreme brutality and unique double team offense as well.

While the WrestleMania ladder match has seen fan favorites emerge victorious the last two years (Daniel Bryan and Zack Ryder respectively) I’m calling for Gallows and Anderson to break that trend and successfully defend their titles. This match plays to the strengths of Gallows and Anderson who are without a doubt the superior tag team in the match. The obnoxious heels coming out the next night and proclaiming themselves the “Kings of the Ladder Match” would serve as an easy way to bring back the Hardyz to massive fanfare.

Winner: Gallows and Anderson

 RAW Women’s Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match: Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax vs. Bayley (C)

The Fatal 4-Way Elimination match for the RAW Women’s Championship is a potential show-stealer. I expect it to go long, be very physical and incredibly dramatic. I think it’ll be a while before we see an elimination here but the first one to go is Nia Jax. There’s going to be some cool 3 on 1 teamwork spots against the most powerful participant in the match but ultimately Charlotte plays a key role in eliminating Nia Jax. Tough to call but  Charlotte hooks her in the “Figure-8” submission, then Bayley and Sasha cover Nia while she’s locked in and eliminate her. Nia then gets up and destroys Charlotte leading to her elimination almost immediately and sets up an angle between the two going forward and a possible Charlotte face turn. So we’re down to Bayley and Sasha Banks.

The Sasha Banks heel turn is imminent and the seeds will be sown at WrestleMania. “The Boss” will utilize some dirty tactics here after a nice one on one confrontation with her “best friend” Bayley, be it an eye rake or grabbing the tights on a roll-up and Sasha Banks walks out as Women’s Champion. In the spirit of friendship and competition Bayley asks Sasha for her rematch on RAW the next night. Sasha agrees and then we all watch as “The Boss” rips Bayley’s huggable little heart out, completing her ascension to the role of top female heel in WWE.

Winner: Sasha Banks

 Stay tuned for the rest of my WrestleMania predictions over the course of the weekend.

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Backstage News On Which Match Will Close WrestleMania 33

– Apparently WWE officials had a change of heart regarding the Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Universal Champion Goldberg match closing WrestleMania 33.

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the closing match for WrestleMania 33 will now be The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns, noting that it will likely be The Undertaker’s last match at WrestleMania.

WWE also believes that Undertaker vs. Reigns is the most anticipated match on the card. Nothing is ever set in stone but as things stand, Reigns vs. Undertaker will main event the show.

The post Backstage News On Which Match Will Close WrestleMania 33 appeared first on ProWrestling.com.

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John Cena Comments On Expanding WWE’s Brand, How He Dealt With Bullying, More

– WWE Superstar John Cena recently spoke with CraveOnline to help promote Sunday’s WrestleMania 33 pay-per-view, check out the highlights below:

On how he dealt with bullying:

“I just didn’t act or look like anyone else socially. I was picked on to try and conform and act like everybody else and it would have been easy to do that but I don’t know why I became stubborn to it but I did. It was almost like ‘I’m going to be even wilder and crazier.’ I found physical fitness as an outlet. It became a gift of mine. I ended up being strong and fast and that led me into football, which I played for eight years and then stayed physically fit through the whole thing and that led me to the WWE in a round about way so through it all, I really never changed but it’s because of those bullies as a teenager that drew me to physical fitness in the first place.”

On needing to improve and expand the WWE brand:

“I feel the WWE is truly the best brand in entertainment and not only that; I have a close love for the relationship. I truly enjoy how it’s run. I love the work ethic that drives everyone from the people in corporate to the people who set up the lights. It’s a hard working environment. I thrive in that and I enjoy it. There will never be an end. We can always go bigger and always go better as a brand. The sky is the limit. I’ve been in it a long time but I’m not done yet, man.”

On his legacy:

“That’s going to be up to those who write that stuff. It’s going to be up to folks like you, man. Every day I just try to do the best I can. I try to have the best understanding of how lucky I am and try to use all of my platforms to try and do the best I can and try to help as many people as I can.”

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Jeff Hardy Denies Being Offered WWE Contracts, Will Not Be Signing Soon

– Chuck Carroll of CBS Local Sports interviewed Jeff Hardy, who said that the Hardys are planning to stay with Ring of Honor through the summer and aren’t going to WWE right now, check out the highlights below:

When we talked in December everything seemed so certain that you were going to re-sign with Impact. The Broken gimmick was working so well. What actually happened? There are a lot of rumors out there.

“It’s pretty simple. When we last spoke, Billy Corgan who is a good friend of myself and Matt, he was out at my property when we were filming Delete or Decay. He was going to own the company, be the president and all that good stuff. Basically, if he owned the company right now I’d still be under contract. But so many changes happened. When they bought him out or had a falling out with this other company and then another company, Anthem, came in. This other company leaves that I was negotiating with.

“And so, wow we don’t have a deal or anything. It was a fresh start with this Anthem crew. Things were just too uncertain and it was just weird. I just thought that I had to make things different for my career. Right now the time is right. There were signs, I believe, from a higher power. Bottom line if Billy was still there I’d still be there. But the way that all went down I was just ready to move on.”

One of the things that had been reported was that they were really slow in getting you guys the contracts and then pretty much gave you an ultimatum to sign them or get out. Is there any truth to the abruptness of how it all went down?

“Yeah, for sure. I was good to go with mine, but then Matt had some issues going on. So, time just moved on slowly. … Long story short, we couldn’t come to an agreement. They were very late. We offered to come drop the titles at the TV tapings in March and they said we couldn’t do that unless we were under contract. And I was like, “That’s so silly. Oh my God, this is pro wrestling anything is possible. Let’s do the right thing and come drop them to another team.” But that wasn’t good enough so we basically vacated them and never lost them.

“I wish them all the best. Seven years, I had a good time there. They were great to me and helped me through tough times. But it was just time to move on. So, yeah, very late contract negotiations.”

We’re at a point now where there has been some public back and forth by both sides. Are you surprised at the way they’re trying to protect the Broken gimmick? That has to be a little disappointing given that you did invest seven years with the company.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m so passionate about any character I portray whether it’s Willow, the Anti-Christ, the Charismatic Enigma, Itchweed… I’m so passionate about that. Nero is my legit middle name. Me not being able to be called Brother Nero is very offensive and heartbreaking. The highest rated show last year was The Final Deletion and that’s a fact. The majority vote wins and people dug that. And then they kind of (pooped) on it. That’s not cool.

“And now with this lawsuit, we did this Ring of Honor pay-per-view out in Las Vegas and we got these cease and desist letters. I couldn’t believe it. In the print it said TNA developed these characters specifically for Matt and Jeff Hardy and that is so untrue. Matt developed himself and Brother Nero started to flow. I developed Brother Nero with the eyes and how I act. It’s all ours and it is very sad and disappointing. It’s almost surreal like, ‘Is this really happening?’”

Rumor has it that WWE has presented you guys with contracts. Is there any truth to that?

“No, because you have to go through so much testing and all of that. It’s a long process. But, no. We know some people there and naturally after WrestleMania dies down, maybe a couple of months from now, we’ll see what’s possible. But there is no truth to that whatsoever.”

[Tonight] some friends of yours, the Rock ‘n Roll Express are going into the WWE Hall of Fame. You have to be pretty excited about that.

“For sure. They were part of the Apocolypto deal. We had a little match with them. I still want to have a decent match with them. I love them to death. They’re the best. Hopefully I don’t know where or with what promotion, but we’ll have that dream match. But full congrats to them because they deserve it.”

Your band PEROXWHY?GEN just finished recording. You now have a live show under your belt. Does that mean we could see you guys out on tour?

“Yeah, hopefully so. As a matter of fact I’ll probably mention something to Ring of Honor this weekend about playing at a live gig at one of the shows. I’ve always wanted to mix the music with the wrestling. So hopefully that will come true eventually. And definitely I hope to play many more shows throughout the year. I was actually so close to playing two dates on the Warped Tour this summer. They offered through my guitar player and that’s huge. That’s like being in there with the major leaguers. I was like so scared because I didn’t know if we could do it. That needs to be the full band with the heavy songs and all that. It was just too soon. So hopefully summer of 2018 we’ll be able to jump on that. Evidently a Jeff Hardy fan was in the system there and said it would be great to have you on. I don’t think we were ready this year, but hopefully next year we’ll have a few dates on the Warped Tour which is going to be breathtaking.”

You just mentioned talking to Ring of Honor about doing a live performance at one of their shows. Have you guys re-signed there? Are you going to re-sign? What I was told was that you were signed for the “immediate future.” That sounds like a short-term deal, but you tell me. How long are you going to be sticking around there?

“It’s short-term. It’s through the summer. What’s cool about Ring of Honor is that we can still go out and work the indie dates. That’s another thing about the TNA deal was that they wanted to take our indy dates from us and I really enjoy working the independent circuit. You meet some crazy, cool, interesting people and the shows have been so great as of late. I would say our Ring of Honor deals are through the summer. It’s a short-term deal and we’ll see how things go. We’ll test the waters for a while and hopefully help the company grow.”

So Saturday isn’t going to the be the last time we see you guys in a Ring of Honor ring?

“Oh, no. No, there’s going to be many more shows. Many more honorable shows.”

When we last talked you just put out your solo debut EP, “Spawn of Me,” and now you’ve done a live performance and did some live tracks. How’d that show go?

“It was awesome. I went out to Nashville Thursday evening and rehearsed all day Friday. Then I did a wrestling show in Clarksville and stayed in the ring to do in-ring pics with a huge line. Then I changed and went straight to the bar and did 11 or 12 songs. And my voice was gone. Even during the meet-and-greet it was so embarrassing. I was so afraid because my voice was horrible. Luckily somehow I got through it. It wasn’t bad. It could have been worse. It was so natural and it gave me such confidence that I can’t wait to do it again. It was a blast. The charisma was there. It was a great experience for me and gave me hope for the future.”

You said you’re going to be better on the next show. So, what were your takeaways from this?

“Not to blow my voice out the day before the show. I mean, we sounded good in rehearsal but man my voice was gone that Saturday morning and I was freaking out. Oh my gosh, but I got through it. And then I was sick with allergies and weird weather. It took about eight days for my voice to come back. I was freaking out like, “My God I’m never going to sing again. I’m going need to get that surgery that all these professionals get.” But it’s back now. I just won’t reheare as hard next time. Now I know how easy it is to wreck your voice.”

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Kevin Owens On His Feud With Chris Jericho, Potential Faction With HHH, More

– WWE Superstar Kevin Owens joined Ryan Rider on Main Event Radio to help promote this Sunday’s
WrestleMania 33 Pay-Per-View, check out the highlights below:

Returning to his hometown of Montreal to wrestle a main event match
against Sami Zayn:

It’s nice not to have to be on a flight this early to go somewhere in the United
States. It’s nice to wake up in my own bed the morning of a WWE show. We are so busy
when we’re on the road; it’s kind of a
whirlwind as soon as we leave. We travel so much and everything is so fast-paced. To
get to main event with Sami [Zayn] after so many years of wrestling all over
Montreal in church basements and bars and high
school gyms, to get to do it at the Bell Centre one-on-one makes it that much more
special. It’s a great feeling. Everybody in Montreal watched my time as champion
with a lot of pride. It feels like everyone who watched me coming up in the
independent circuit was watching and really pulling for me. I would’ve loved to have
made it to Montreal with the Universal championship. I plan on being Universal
champion again; I plan on winning the WWE World championship. I plan on bringing it
home eventually for sure.

What an honor it was for him to be WWE Universal champion on Raw for
over 6 months:

Smackdown’s a great show but Raw will always be the flagship show. It’s been around
for so long and even people who don’t know WWE very well they know what Raw is. To
be able to represent that brand as
champion, it’s so surreal. My entire time in WWE has been surreal because I never
stopped being a fan. To be able to carry the
championship and represent Raw, it was extremely special. I always feel pressure
doing anything whether being champion or trying to get back to the point of getting
back the championship, I want people to
remember what I did every night and to be memorable. I feel like I perform well
under pressure.

His feud with Chris Jericho:

We’ve been doing some entertaining stuff together and it’s going to keep going that
way for the foreseeable future. I had my first
Wrestlemania match last year, it was a 7-man ladder match and that was an incredible
experience and unbelievable feeling. As someone who never stopped being a fan, being
on TV every week with Chris Jericho and to get to have a one-on-one match with him
at Wrestlemania, it’s pretty surreal as well. I think Chris [Jericho] and I have a
good shot at having the best match on the card. I actually think it’s the match that
people are most invested in. The story we’ve told over several months and everything
that’s happened between us. Everyone’s excited for the match, it’s going to make for
a great time, and I plan on walking out as United States champion. Now when I come
out to the ring without a title I always feel naked. It’s legitimately a very odd
feeling for me. I don’t know what to do with my hands; it’s legitimately an odd
feeling for me. I want to be the new face of the United States. I think it’ll be a
big upgrade.

Potential faction with HHH & Joe:

I don’t know anything about a faction to be honest. I know that HHH has shown a lot
of faith in me when he helped me win the Universal championship. Samoa Joe happens
to be a fortunate ally. I’ll never
turn down someone like him for help. It’s interesting to see where it goes.

Who he’d like to see as the next call-up’s from NXT:

I think a fellow Canadian, Tye Dillinger, would be great on Raw or Smackdown. We
can’t go anywhere without the “10-10-10 chant”. The
guy’s been at it for so long I think he deserves a break. Also, Shinsuke Nakamura.
He’s got an undeniable charisma and to have him on the main roster would make the
show better. He transcends the language barrier better than anyone I’ve seen
probably ever.

On fellow Montreal wrestler Dru Onyx recently having a stint as a guest
trainer at the performance centre:

Dru was instrumental to me even getting to WWE. When I heard I was getting a try-out
I hadn’t trained in a ring and roll around in a very long time even though I was
wrestling several times a way. I asked Dru [Onyx] if I could come to his wrestling
school and did that for around 2 months before my WWE tryout. Without him, I don’t
know that I would have made it to WWE. He had so many trainees and he works so hard
to do that. To allow me to join that class and help me get there it really helped
and the least I could do to pay him back is help him get front and centre. He’s very
passionate about giving his trainees the best training possible so I helped him get
in to the performance centre and I heard he did great; he gave a great impression to
everyone there.

Does he believe that this will be the Undertaker’s final Wrestlemania:

I don’t, I really don’t. Every time I see the Undertaker he has this presence. I
can’t imagine him not being at Wrestlemania; I don’t think it’ll be his last one.

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Pete Gas On Returning To Wrestling, Sharing Stories About The McMahon Family, More

– It is a WrestleMania sized edition of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling as we welcome a returning guest and now author of his new book “Looking At The Lights: My Journey From Fan To A Wrestling Heel as Pete Gas of The Mean Street Posse starts off episode #254. They sent us the following highlights:

Reception thus far to his book being released:

“The response has been phenomenal. Doing this stuff with you guys and with other outlets is spreading the word and it is actually getting to the point where I am getting a lot of messages through social media where they’ll say I had no interest in your book but once I heard the interview half way through I went online and ordered it and can’t wait to read it. It is a great feeling and it is a fun book, it is an easy read and it has great stories about the Attitude Era and some of the biggest stars in wrestling or most of them especially with WWE at that time and it is just something that I am really proud of everything from the title to the back page. It is something I put my heart into.”

Was he nervous to share any stories about the McMahon family while writing:

“No (laughing) what do I care. Honestly, I think any of the stories I told were really fun stories that have been out there and have been told before. I would be shocked if they were upset about it because those same stories have been out on the internet not only told by me but by other people as well including Shane. We had some fun and I’m not worried about it and if anything the one thing The McMahons can take from the book is how much I appreciate and love and respect them as a family and I think that is the biggest thing I’d take out of it if I were them reading the book because that is the way I wanted it to come across. I told Shane the other day that I sent him a copy of the book and because he can’t afford a copy and I feel bad for him (laughing) and I sent him a message to go with it and thanked him because he’s only been thanked by me a million times. But I said you don’t realize what you did for me by giving me the opportunity but the very fact he gave me the opportunity really molded my life and put it in an area where I can never repay him. God knows what I would have been doing now or what I would have looked like had I not been in WWE and been given this opportunity.”

Was he approached to work Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon at last year’s WrestleMania:

“Of course I had hoped for it. This business is a drug and I’m addicted to it and it is one of those things where I am a huge fan still because of that. To be honest with you I was starting to and I’m so glad the internet wasn’t as big when we were wrestling because I would have been on that thing and reading stuff and I would have been happy or sad but most likely sad about what people wrote about us. I was caught up in that whole thing last year when Shane came back and a lot of people were getting in touch with me asking if I was going to come back? Even guys that I worked with said get ready to take the “Last Ride” from The Undertaker and we would have a few laughs with it. I was getting myself all amped up and ready to go and thinking to myself Shane won’t tell me three months or two months in advance, he’ll wait until three days before because he kayfabes me all the time and I can’t stand the son of a b—h because of it (laughing) but it is just one of those things he always does to me. But in the back of my mind every time he’d call leading up to it I’d take the phone call all excited thinking here it is and it never happened. He has a new posse which he brought out at WrestleMania and I was sitting there in the 4th row and I had a huge smile on my face and I thought it was a great moment because of how much it meant to him to have his boys with him and his new posse did a great job.”

Are there plans for a potential Mean Street Posse appearance this year vs. AJ Styles:

“Unfortunately there is not and I don’t think there will be but Shane has sent me a ticket for my wife and I to go and I’ll be there to support him and I’ll be there and in my suitcase I will pack a sweater vest or two just in case but until I get the phone call we will have to wait and see.”

Was he surprised at how much Shane did vs. Undertaker in their match last year:

“That’s Shane. I’ll be honest with you that is Shane O. Shane always takes it to the next level whether it is in a match against Undertaker or being in High School and us sneaking into a bar and him buying us all a round of drinks, he is an extremist. He loves it and he’s an adrenaline junkie and loves the business and I wasn’t surprised.”

For this and every other episode of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling please subscribe to us on iTunes, Podomatic, Player FM, Earpeeler and Tune In Radio. As well as follow us on Twitter @TwoManPowerTrip.

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