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WWE Hall of Famer @HowardFinkel: I submit my prediction based on the uncertainty of Bad News Barrett’s injury status at press time. This might be considered as an upset pick, but I’m selecting Kofi Kingston to walk out with the contract Sunday. I’m basing this on stamina, agility and endurance — three of Kofi’s greatest traits that, to me, will have him shock the WWE Universe. WINNER: Kofi Kingston

@JoeyStyles: Seth Rollins asked Triple H to allow Ambrose into the match so he could face Dean Ambrose head-on, but I don’t buy The Authority’s charade. Ladder Matches have no disqualifications, so there is nothing stopping Triple H from sending Ambrose crashing and burning, while Rollins claims the golden ticket that is the Money in the Bank Contract. Rollins has WWE management behind him, and that can be the difference between being WWE World Heavyweight Champion and being just another name in the “WWE Encyclopedia.” WINNER: Seth Rollins

Jake Grate: With all due respect to the competitors in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match, I am looking even more forward to this Contract Ladder Match, which boasts a bevy of WWE’s top high-flyers. Although all eyes will be on the captivating Rollins, his former Shield “brother,” Ambrose, will be the one to claim the priceless World Title opportunity. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

Bobby Melok: This Ladder Match features a group of Superstars willing to risk anything to have a guaranteed title opportunity, but Dolph Ziggler stands out from the pack as the one that most needs a big win. The Showoff hasn’t been the same since losing the World Heavyweight Title (at last year’s Money in the Bank event, ironically). That, and his willingness to risk it all, makes Ziggler the man to watch Sunday night. WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

John Clapp: Hubris might have gotten the best of Seth Rollins. The Architect might insist he needs Ambrose to be in his sightlines Sunday, but his demand for The Lunatic Fringe to be added to the match will be his undoing. Ambrose is a vindictive wild card who cares little about his own body. I’m not convinced he cares about the opportunity that comes with winning the contract, either, but I’m positive he’ll stop at nothing to deprive Rollins of said opportunity. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

Dean Ambrose: 2, Kofi Kingston: 1, Seth Rollins: 1, Dolph Ziggler: 1

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Seth Rollins vs. Nigel McGuinness — ROH World Championship Match: Take No Prisoners 2008

“The match that changed my life was me versus Nigel McGuinness, my first shot at the Ring of Honor World Title. It was in Philadelphia, Pa., at the National Guard Armory. Nigel was a world-traveled, top-of-the-line, first-class professional wrestler. I was 21 years old and really had no idea what I was doing. I had just broken into Ring of Honor. I hadn’t quite been established yet. At that point, I had been there for maybe six months, and Nigel took this guy who had just gotten started, but had a bit of a following, and made him a star in one match.

“It was a huge educational process for me, just learning the beauty and the art form of what we do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hero versus villain, but it was about a young, hungry up-and-comer against a veteran who’s the standard of a company. Feeling the momentum of that match, from the beginning until the very end, was something I’ll never forget.

“When I came out of it, I had such a greater understanding of what professional wrestling could really do to an audience. To be a part of that is something that is fairly indescribable. You can’t compare it to just seeing it.” — SETH ROLLINS

Location: Neck

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“In fall 2009, I’d been having trouble with my neck for maybe a year or a year and a half. I just had terrible mobility in my neck region. It was inhibiting my workouts, inhibiting my work … I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to do something about that, so I went to the doctor’s and had a couple of MRIs. I wanted a procedure that was minimally invasive, and wasn’t going to put me out for a long time, and I found a doctor who was able to go into the back of my neck and basically just carve out some of the bone, doing what they call a foraminotomy. The foramen is this little hole that the nerve slides up through in your spinal column.”

“The surgeon basically widened the foramen and was able to alleviate many of the symptoms. I’m wholly functional and everything’s good. But it left a nasty scar because he told me not be active for a few weeks until it healed up. And, of course, I didn’t listen to him, so the scar opened back up and they had to sew it together again. That was (four) almost (five) years ago now, so I feel like I’ve got a new lease on life somewhat.”

Point/counterpoint: Was Seth Rollins’ betrayal of The Shield the best or worst decision of his career?

On June 2, 2014, approximately 11 p.m. ET, the WWE Universe collectively turned into Jim Ross.

As Seth Rollins swung a chair into Roman Reigns’ torn-up back like Bambino at the plate and stomped Dean Ambrose’s mug into the steel like a bully on the playground, a nation of WWE fans channeled the WWE Hall of Famer for a collective howl of agony that reverberated across the nations. If the Universe hadn’t done it for him, one could practically imagine Good Ol’ J.R. calling the shocker himself: “GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!!! GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!! ROLLINS!! ROLLINS, WITH THE CHAIR!! WHY?!?! FOR GOD’S SAKES, WHY?!?! STOP THIS!!!”

Even after The Architect threw his best-laid plans to the wind and took up arms alongside the very corporate king who had once used him as a pawn, it didn’t seem real that The Shield would shatter in such a way. But that’s where we are, and all that’s left is to come to terms with it. WWE.com has been raging with debate ever since the chair swing heard ’round the world, so two of our editors went head to head over The Aerialist’s dramatic change in trajectory. What side are you on?

Read the rest of this entry »

For those who simply know Mercury as one half of MNM alongside John Morrison, Ambrose’s statement might be a little shocking. However, Mercury’s greatest impact on sports-entertainment came after he stepped out of the ring, and into his new role as one of WWE’s most respected producers, as well as a mentor to breakout Superstars like The Shield.

“He is a mastermind when it comes to wrestling psychology, and the ins and outs of being in the ring,” Seth Rollins explained. “He loves teaching people how to do things and do them better. He’s a talent maximizer. He takes your best assets and makes them better. He takes the things you’re terrible at and helps you improve.”

“Wrestling Joey for the first time was mind-blowing,” Seth Rollins said of a 2007 battle with Mercury. “I had never been in the ring with someone who looked at what we did so closely and so analytically. I was like, ‘I’ve got to step my game up if that’s what a WWE Superstar is thinking and doing.’”

“I think he’s found peace,” Rollins said. “He once told me that he’s never had a feeling in the ring by himself that compares to the feeling he gets [working with Superstars].”

Mercury formed a close bond with the three members of The Shield in NXT, which continued as The Hounds of Justice joined the main roster and Mercury became a producer on the road.

Joey Mercury echoes Rollins’ sentiment. “I look at them like they’re my babies,” he said. “I have a lot of children out there. To see them grow up and make it to what they’ve been working for and tear the house down, that’s really rewarding.”

Links:
Gallery:: Home > WWE.com > Others > 2014 > Current Photos of Joey Mercury
Full Article:: Where Are They Now?: Joey Mercury

Seth Rollins’ favorite wrestler is Necro Butcher

“In the way that Sabu was revolutionary for his time, The Necro Butcher is that guy for our time. He channels all these great brawlers of the past, has this unique look and is completely fearless. I’ve wrestled with him and against him and he can do anything you need him to do. He’s actually very talented all-around in the ring, and on top of all that, he’s one of the smartest people I know. He graduated high school when he was 13 or 14-years-old.

“He’s just so captivating to watch, because anything could happen at any moment. Things could go crazy. His matches against Samoa Joe were such a strange clash of styles, they were incredible to watch. There’s just this crazy energy between the two of them, because Joe is this animal of a man, but Necro can take every single thing that Joe can dish out. You can feel it. Necro Butcher is something special.”