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Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's All About the Wrestling: Why of Why?

I don't understand why they keep doing it but for some reason TNA insists on doing it. What I am talking about is the overflow of gimmick matches that produce for their pay-per-view events. Recently announced was a match between "The Tennessee Cowboy" James Storm and former NFL tight end, Frank Wycheck. I have no problem with Wycheck, the guy went to high school around the corner from where I grew up, Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia, and he was part of one of the most famous plays in NFL history, The Music City Miracle, but neither of these make him qualified to wrestle in a match against a scarecrow, let alone an actual professional wrestler.

Didn't they try something like this recently involving baseball players anyway. What's next Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson tag teaming against LAX? Maybe Daniel Alfredsson vs. Petey Williams? How about Maria Sharapova taking on Gail Kim? OK so the last one actually is one I would pay for but still what is up with the weird celebrity gimmick matches?

These matches hardly ever end good for anyone. Do you remember when David Arquette won the WCW title? Or the triple cage match he was involved in? How about Kevin Federline on WWE programming? Like anybody needed him getting more exposure. For every celebrity appearance that goes well, or at least doesn't suck, we get a handful that don't work. I'm not paying for celebrity wrestling, I'm paying for real wrestling. If I wanted celebrity wrestling I would watch celebrity deathmatch.

Enough with the in-ring celebrity appearances already. Please for the love of all that is good and holy, cool it.

Now onto some reader mail:

I agree with you100 percent from your article. TNA has to many great wrestlers who they have nothing to do with. Petey Williams, LAX, and etc. need to be facing top tier people. They need two hours, and they need to compete against wwe. While having there own night is nice they need to compete against the wwe "b" shows. I love wrestling wwe, tne, even wsx (rip). Wrestling is at the beginining of a great run. Let joe win is wrong though. AJ is the leader, and franchise of tna. He is Shane Douglas.

Peace
Buddy

Thanks for the e-mail Buddy. As much as I like AJ and believe he is the heart and soul of the organization, having AJ win the title (at this point) is counter productive to TNAs expansion goals. Joe is a heavyweight and heavyweights are who the general public expect to be holding the big titles. Having AJ hold the title, something he has done in the past, doesn't advance the company and that is what needs to happen. TNA already has a ton of obstacles in their way, adding AJ as champion isn't one they need to add.

Now, don't get me wrong, I feel AJ is world champion material but in this current transition period, TNA needs something that they can count on. Joe has the look of a champion, he fits in with what the public perceives a champion to be. I do feel that AJ will be champion in the foreseeable future though, because as you said he is AJ is a leader and he is a very important part of both the current success of TNA, as well as the future success of the organization.

Well that's it for this week, as always you can shoot me an e-mail at pwp.chris@gmail.com. Catch you next week.



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Thursday, May 24, 2007

It’s All About the Wrestling: Building a Better Tomorrow

TNA is in a spot right now I don’t envy. Their World Title is vacant and they are having a King of the Mountain match at June’s Slammiversary. This in itself isn’t a problem; the crowning of a new champion is always exciting for fans. The problem is that TNA is overflowing with main event talent. While the WWE struggles to fill their main events due to a massive rash of recent injuries, TNA could go weeks without having to use the same two guys in a main event. On the surface this seems like a good thing but it actually places TNA in a bind.

TNA has an opportunity here to advance their brand and build it for tomorrow all at the same time. Having Angle, or Sting, or Jarrett, or even Christian win the title places TNA in a holding pattern and they won’t be growing. The time is ripe for a new champion. The time is ripe for Samoa Joe to hoist the belt in the air and carry this fed on his back like he has been groomed to do.

I myself am not a big Joe fan but one cannot deny his immense talent. If TNA wants to advance their brand beyond, they need to do something new. They need to tell the old brood (Angle and crew) that now is the time of Joe. Now is the time of Styles. These guys are TNA wrestling. Let them carry the load. Allow the veterans to work with younger up and comers building for a better tomorrow while also making your mid-card stronger.

Admittedly two of the big guns have already begun doing this. Sting recently had a long feud with Abyss and is now set to feud with Christopher Daniels. Jeff Jarrett recently began working with Robert Roode and “Showtime” Eric Young. These guys showing an ability to step away from the main event only strengthens TNA.

I’m not suggesting that these big guns stay out of the hair of the champion’s hair either, because they need to be showcased as well. Just not all at once. Now is the time TNA, now is the time to move forward, move forward and build a better tomorrow.

I would also like to extend my deepest sympathies to Jeff Jarrett and his children as they cope with the loss of his wife and their mother, Jill.

As always you can e-mail me with your questions, comments and flames at pwp.chris@gmail.com. I’ll catch you next week.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Big Boom Theory

Weeks ago, I was perusing the internet for wrestling news, much as I would on any other day. This has become a part of my routine, not necessarily because I want it to be, but because the current landscape of professional wrestling demands it.

There was a time when rifling off the complete title histories of all the major WWE belts was impressive. There was a time when knowing that Goldust was Dustin Rhodes and Kama was Papa Shango without ever reading it on a dirt sheet made you impressed. However, since about 1996, you couldn't begin to consider yourself a real wrestling fan unless you could keep up with the ever-growing population of smart marks.

To be honest, there are times when I would prefer it the old way. When someone jumped to a new promotion, just the shock and surprise would be enough to make that a moment.

Not to say that Chris Jericho's debut on "Raw" wasn't one of the greatest "Raw" moments ever. I just think I would have appreciated it more if I hadn't known it was coming for months in advance. I digress.

When I was looking through the dirt sheets, I came across a statement, either by Vince or Linda McMahon stating that pro wrestling was about to reach another boom period. It almost pains me that the owners of the only real major wrestling company in the United States are so accepting of the business' cyclical nature, but what can you do?

In the 80's, Vince stood atop the world with the greatest superstars from every territory and built an unstoppable national brand. When Ted Turner bought that talent away from him, Vince created new superstars with a more edgy up-to-date attitude, and took his audience back. These are the periods that fans of today really look back on with a great deal of sentiment. Whether it's Hogan slamming Andre or Austin throwing the Rock's belt off a bridge, these are the moments you always remember and these are the superstars you will never forget.

If the Attitude Era were a large plentiful orange in 1997, WWE was squeezing the hell out of it still in 2006 in order to quench the fans' thirst. For the first time, however, they now seem like they are ready to move on. The most telling example? In my opinion: the recent release of "SmackDown!" superstar, Scotty 2 Hotty. Nothing screamed hanging on to 1997 like this guy doing the Too Cool shtick ten years later.

Since the name change (from Federation to Entertainment), WWE has put a great deal of time and money into a number of guys who wouldn't pan out. WWE's NWO was a short-lived storyline due to injuries to Kevin Nash and the conduct of Scott Hall. Hulk Hogan has been in and out enough to defeat some of the more consistent WWE superstars, but at what benefit to the company when he disappears again?

For a full year, Goldberg and Brock Lesnar were at the top of there respective brands until they both decided to leave at the same time. The Rock, the brightest star from the Attitude Era who could still compete, retired to pursue his movie career. WWE chose to let go of the Dudley Boyz, who admittedly had a tired routine, but were the only real established tag team left in the company. Chris Jericho and Christian were in the title picture at SummerSlam and then were gone before Royal Rumble.

WWE put a lot of time into establishing Muhammed Hassan, but Hassan quit after his controversial storyline on network TV called for his removal from TV. Kurt Angle, one of WWE's top guys took his release and ran to Orlando. Then WWE lost its three most established divas: Stacy Keibler, Trish Stratus and Lita. The last really big name to quit is The Big Show. Any of these releases alone, not a big deal. All of them together? Pretty significant. And no wrestling fan can fail to figure in the deaths of Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero as well.

Looking at the names listed above and the efforts WWE has put into many of those guys over the past seven years, it's amazing they are doing as well as they are right now. Almost every single person listed was a poor investment by the company.

However WWE brushed that dirt off their shoulder, and looked to Triple H, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker to be the workhorses while developing guys like John Cena, Batista, Randy Orton and most recently Bobby Lashley and Ken Kennedy.

However, right when Vince and company are ready for "the new boom period" in professional wrestling with this new crop of talent, the three aforementioned workhorses all go down to injury. Along with them are Rey Mysterio, King Booker, Ken Kennedy and Gregory Helms. All of this taking place while Rob Van Dam is heavily rumored to be on his way out the door.

In the aftermath, we are essentially seeing the dissolution of the brand extension, with superstars frequently crossing TV show borders. The shake up to the "Raw" brand has been astronomical, as the main storylines from the past year include DX VS. The Big Show or Rated RKO, and now none of those guys are active. John Cena has carried the weight as champion, but his number one antagonist, Edge has left to go to "SmackDown!" and carry the ball. What do wrestling fans get out of that? This past Monday's "Raw".

It's hard to be tough on WWE considering all the circumstances they are dealing with currently. Reading that the difference between a fan of wrestling and a mark is that a mark never asks questions might be a fairly accurate statement, but a fan of wrestling should also take into consideration what exactly has lead to the current product they are being fed.

So wrestling fans are forced to look at the evolution of Bobby Lashley. As Lashley prepares for his ECW World Title street fight with Mr. McMahon at One Night Stand, it's hard to forget that Lashley wasn't even originally intended for the hair VS. hair Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 23. The WWE brass wanted Hogan VS. The Big Show in a recreation of Hogan's triumphant victory over Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III.

With major superstars dropping like flies around him, you would think that WWE would be nervous about putting Lashley in the ring four times in one night. What happens if Lashley suffers a similar fate? Under the circumstances, what can WWE really do?

Call me a mark, but I have to admit, I wasn't really turned off by Lashley on "Raw" this past week. His match against Chris Masters told a great story. Masters was looking for revenge because of Lashley breaking his Masterlock. I really appreciated that when Masters hooked the move, Lashley's only escape was the ropes. This was in the first match of the gauntlet, so being fatigued wasn't an excuse. It would have been okay to have Lashley, the one guy that broke the move before, break it again, but they went a different route, and Masters looked good in the match. Even in a loss, he was reestablished a bit.

Viscera is another who looked good in his match. Obviously he wasn't going to win, but he took Lashley to his limit. It was all reminiscent of Randy Savage going through the World Title tournament at WrestleMania IV. Lashley's match with Shane was great too. Shane always shows that he has the goods in the ring. So much so that I could deal if HE were the ECW champ and not his dad. The Hurricane DDT and the constant working of the back that made Lashley's powerslam ineffective were both highlights.

It almost seems that Vince has a vendetta against Brock Lesnar for leaving. It seems as though he is trying to send a message week in, week out that he could have done what he did with Brock with any man. You know Bobby Lashley is making a lot of money, and I have to think that even though Brock wasn't big on the schedule, that he second guesses himself while he's getting potato'ed in the mush by his sparring partners.

Still, while every Lashley match was decent on "Raw" this week, he is not the type of draw that makes that work. It is not the same as Triple H running the gauntlet on "SmackDown!" years ago. How do I know? Because TBS was showing "Family Guy" reruns and ION was showing "The Wonder Years", and I spent more time flipping back and forth between those shows than I did actively watching "Raw". HBK and Edge were two of the best reasons to watch the show, and with both gone, WWE needs to find a better filler than "The Bobby Lashley Variety Hour".

What was meant to be a "boom" has turned into a period where it's not so great to be a wrestling fan. It's a time where dirt sheet reports are full of injuries, surgeries and releases. It's a period where guys with poor conduct like Randy Orton, or poor workrate like Mark Henry and The Great Khali, are being rewarded by circumstance. Vince McMahon has held dynamite in his hands. Instead of the fireworks he expected, it exploded in his face. A lot of his top guys at the moment aren't getting any younger, and the ones that are still young have not had enough time to develop in the ring or maturity-wise.

Every move that WWE makes right now is critical. Every signing, every release and every push is essential to sustaining the momentum the company had been building over the past year. Every booking, every storyline and every angle needs to be carefully constructed to maintain the relationships with fans who have tuned in over the past seven years to see people who will likely not be on their televisions this summer.

What is WWE's best option? In my opinion, it is the elevation of Chris Benoit back to main event status and a lengthy, very personal feud with Edge over the World Heavyweight title. Then possibly when Triple H, The Undertaker, HBK, Ken Kennedy, Rey Mysterio and King Booker all return, we can rig the explosives right this time and kick off the next real boom period in professional wrestling.
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

It’s All About the Wrestling: The Brothers Steiner, RVD, the Walls of Jericho, TNA Gold and What About a Diet?

At this past Sunday’s TNA pay-per-view, Sacrifice, the dog faced gremlin resurfaced. Rick Steiner came to the defense of his brother Scott and it seems like he might be around for a little while. The pair will have a match against current TNA tag champs, Team 3D, on next week’s Impact and rumors are swirling that they will have another match at the upcoming June pay-per-view, Slammiversary. Bringing Rick in only helps the TNA tag division, which has been struggling over the past few months.

Rick also helps out his brother the Genetic Freak. Scott seems to have a new commitment to wrestling but is still at his best with a partner and he has always worked well with his brother. The Steiner Brothers are a storied wrestling team and while some may see this as TNA trying to recreate the past, I only see good things for the future. It’s about the wrestling and the brothers do that quite well.

Someone else who does wrestling quite well is Rob Van Dam. RVD recently rejected a WWE contract proposal and the WWE has now released him. His no compete clause in his contract prevents him from joining TNA immediately but it is thought that he wants to take off the summer anyway. Could RVD be coming to TNA this fall? It’s very possible, especially considering TNA’s relaxed schedule.

In addition to RVD being released the WWE has also released Sabu. It is thought he will be making his way to TNA. If both men sign on to TNA it is thought that they would begin feuding right away. Their possible additions add a lot of talent and experience to an already loaded roster.

But one guy both TNA and WWE would love to sign is Y2J, Chris Jericho. Jericho is thought to be interested in returning to wrestling but who needs him more? If you asked me that question a year ago I would have said TNA. Today though, I would say WWE. With Triple H still out and injuries keeping The Undertaker and Kennedy on the shelf the WWE could use some additional star power. I can also say that if Jericho were to resign with the WWE, I would tune into watch him, something none of their other stars can get me to do.

If Jericho did sign with TNA though, I am not sure he would get the title shot he is of course going to want. The roster is already flooded with main event talent, adding another legit title contender just pollutes the mix too much. That said I am sure he would like to get his paws on the sweet new title belts that debuted on this past Impact (the NWA titles reverted to them). I like the fact that the title will be up for grabs at Slammiversary as well, I would have preferred an actual title tournament but the King of the Mountain match will have to suffice.

Finally, what the hell has happened to Raven? The guy was one of my favorite wrestlers from ECW and while his ridiculous gimmick over the last few months, with Serotonin, has been odd I was OK with it. That is until he came out to the ring on Impact, looking like a tattooed version of the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I’m having a terrible vision of a giant sized, shirtless Raven walking through the streets of New York. I mean, I know he was never the most in shape dude in wrestling but what the hell happened to him.

As always you can e-mail me with your questions, comments and flames at pwp.chris@gmail.com. I’ll catch you next week.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Scorekeeping: Sacrifice

TNA’s Sacrifice pay-per-view took place this past Sunday and it needed to continue the momentum built up by TNA over the last few weeks of good Impact shows.

Opener: Chris Sabin vs. “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. Sonjay Dutt

If there is something that TNA has done well over the last two pay-per-views it is open the show with a very good match. It was a little odd that despite having two X-Division matches on the card they led off with the championship but the move was one that quickly brought you into the show. All three competitors were flying all over the place with insane high impact moves, surprisingly Chris Sabin retained the X-Division title. B+

Mid-Card: Robert Roode vs. Jeff Jarrett

Staying out of the main event circle and working with up and comer Robert Roode, Jeff Jarrett got his biggest crowd ovation in a long time. It helped that the storyline for the match was actually well fleshed out, something a lot of the matches in Sacrifice benefited from. Both Roode and Jarrett put on a very well wrestled match, with Roode getting the overall win. “Showtime” Eric Young came out to Jarrett’s defense after the match receiving quite the crowd pop as well. C+

Mid-Card: Christopher Daniels vs. Rhino

Christopher Daniels has had a massive transformation from a couple of months ago. He is still the great wrestler he was but much like AJ Styles he has had a personality shift, unlike Styles I don’t think it suits him. His opponent Rhino has feuded extensively with Daniels’ former partner, Styles, so I knew what to expect going into this match. As expected Rhino had the large size advantage but being the lumbering fool he is allowed for Daniels to get the slip on him and win the match via shady means. Much like Rhino’s matches with Styles, Rhino extracted revenge after the match. C

Mid-Card: Basham and Damaja vs. Kip James

Early in the show they showed a clip of the Outlaws (err… VKM) getting attacked by Basham and Damaja and Road Dogg was rushed to the hospital with a head injury making this a handicapped match. Billy held his own against Christy Hemme’s clowns for a good while but eventually succumbed to their greater numbers. Lance Hoyt came out to defend the Bad Ass after the match had been decided. C

Gimmick: Texas Death Match

Last month at the Lockdown pay-per-view James Storm and Chris Harris were involved in one of the worst matches I have seen in my life, the Blindfold Cage match, so I was really apprehensive about these two squaring off again in another gimmick match. Much to my surprise these two put on one of the best Hardcore matches in recent memory. The blood was flowing, there were tables, there were chairs, there were beer bottles. The two were a bloody mess by the end but unlike last month when the chants of boring and “Fire Russo” were flooding the speakers this time only chants of “TNA” and “This is awesome” filled the crowd. Harris got the win after smacking Storm over the head with a bottle but I don’t think it would have mattered who got the win because the match was that good. B+

Mid-Card: Jerry Lynn vs. Tiger Mask vs. Alex Shelly vs. Senshi

This match introduced TNA to Japanese sensation Tiger Mask. I personally think this match, while note being anywhere as good as the X-Division Title match, should have led off the night. Like most matches involving the X-Division this match was filled with crazy moves and lots of highflying action. Tiger Mask had some great moves but looks only slightly less ridiculous than Shark Boy. I hope they aren’t planning on pushing his character too far as it doesn’t really fit well with TNA’s overall persona. Jerry Lynn got the win by rolling up Alex Shelly. C+

Mid-Card: Team 3D vs. LAX vs. Scott Steiner and Tomko

I don’t like three-way tag matches. I particularly don’t like three-way tag matches for championships but I can see why they wanted to do it this way because Team 3D and LAX was getting old. I have said recently I like the teaming of Steiner and Tomko but it seems like that dysfunctional pairing has come to an end as the two could not get along during the match and it turned ugly afterwards. The match itself was OK, it was nothing special but nothing overly good about it either. The best thing about the match actually took place after the match when Steiner and Tomko arguing over their defeat, after Tomko was pinned by Brother Ray, went to blows and Rick Steiner came out to help his brother. I’m hoping Rick is around for a bit as the Steiner Brothers are one of my favorite tag teams of all time. C+

Mid-Card: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

Pitting these two against each other is never a bad idea. Problem was I don’t remember anything memorable from this match. It was well wrestled but then again when isn’t a match with these two well wrestled? I honestly just don’t remember anything special about this match. C

Main Event: Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle vs. Sting

I had some problems with them pitting these three against each other as I felt it was time for a solo championship. After watching the other two titles not change hands during the show I felt that Christian would retain which was what I wanted anyway. All three put on a fantastic match but the ending knocks it down a peg. Sting has Christian pinned, Angle has the ankle lock on Sting and the three count for Sting comes in a moment before Sting taps out (to a new referee). Somehow though Angle gets the title. I’m sure they will address the situation on this weeks Impact but the ending left a bad taste in my mouth. B

Overall TNA put on an entertaining show. Score wise Sacrifice comes in just short of Lockdown with a 2.61, although unlike Lockdown the matches were consistently good but there was less great moments. The biggest difference I saw was the storylines actually playing well into almost every match, which is a big improvement over past TNA shows. More on This Story...

Friday, May 11, 2007

It's All About the Wrestling: Double J, The Macho Man, Showcasing and Sacrifice

One of the great things about being a fan is that we can change our mind when the wind blows. A few weeks ago I wrote an article entitled “Two Words, One Man”, which heralded the dreaded return of Jeff Jarrett. The entire article was about how I despised him. My hatred for him was not born out of his being a heel character because I have never liked Jeff Jarrett. That did not change when he returned from his self-imposed hiatus to become the fifth member of Team Angle at the TNA Lockdown pay-per-view. That did not change when he gift-wrapped a title shot for Sting at the Lockdown pay-per-view. It did not even change when he cut a heart felt in ring promo after Lockdown. No, I hated Jeff Jarrett but something happened and now I can’t help but like the guy.

Sure his storyline for the upcoming Sacrifice pay-per-view is a little weak but it is good to see Jarrett helping to push to promising young guys, Robert Roode and Eric Young, instead of pushing himself. Double J’s tenure with TNA has been pretty much been Jarrett himself pushing the Jeff Jarrett agenda. This new willingness to help make the overall product better is something that can be respected and appreciated. And boy was that guitar shot to Ms. Brooks sweet.

While Jeff Jarrett has a long history in both TNA and wrestling in general, one young TNA star doesn’t have any legacy to pull off of so he has adopted a fantastic gimmick, all the while putting on a tribute to one of the best wrestlers ever. I am speaking about Jay “Black Machismo” Lethal. Lethal is quite the promising young star and has recently been highlighted in TNA’s X-Division because of his new Macho Man impersonation. I’ve heard many people complaining about the gimmick, calling it stupid and the like, but really the gimmick was stupid when the great Randy Savage did it.

My only complaint with Lethal is that he doesn’t pull off the flying elbow drop quite as well as Savage did. The real Macho Man seemed to be able to suspend himself in mid-air as he came in to drop the elbow, an even more impressive feat when you look at his size. Lethal though is much, much smaller, yet he seems to fly twice as fast towards his awaiting prey. Regardless with a little more work, and maybe a valet, Lethal could really take off with this gimmick. It’s nice to see TNA showcasing some of their young talent.

Black Machismo though isn’t the only one TNA should be showcasing, they should be featuring their X-Division more and not in goofy gimmick matches that make little to no sense either. What TNA needs are more matches like the Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin vs. Black Machismo/Sonjay Dutt tag match from the last Impact. From the fantastic teamwork to the insane moves, this match had it all. It had everything wrestling fans truly want, because it was real wrestling. If TNA wants to bring in more fans they need to showcase these types of matches on a more frequent basis.

Recently Brother Ray (of Team 3D or the Dudleys, take your pick) said that TNA seemed to be trying to hard and should maybe take a “less is more” approach. I have to totally agree with him. In the recent months TNA has been trying to fit as many of their stars on Impact, in the short amount of time they are allotted each week. Not enough story and not enough wrestling equals a less appealing overall product. If TNA could give us a tag match like the one from this past Impact, the product as a whole would be better for it

If the overall product is better, the buy rate for their pay-per-views will be better and that is where TNA needs to make up ground. Sure they don’t have the install base that WWE has but because of this they need to up the percentage of people who watch their product and also buy their pay-per-views. The upcoming Sacrifice pay-per-view should be a something good for those that do buy TNA pay-per-views though.

This Sunday (Mother’s Day), TNA will put on the Sacrifice pay-per-view. All three championships will be on the line. Unfortunately all three championship matches will be three way dances so TNA will be flexing their gimmick muscle yet again. The X-Division championship will be up for grabs as Chris Sabin defends his title against both Jay “Black Machismo” Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. The NWA tag titles will be on the line as current champs, Team 3D battle against former champs LAX and the dysfunctional team of Scott Steiner and Tomko. While Christian Cage must defend his world championship against both Kurt Angle and the Icon, Sting. The most interesting match to me though is the mid-card bought between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. Both these guys exemplify what TNA is striving to be and I expect this match to be the best of the night.

As always you can e-mail me with your questions, comments and flames at pwp.chris@gmail.com. I’ll catch you next week with a score sheet for Sacrifice and another It’s All About the Wrestling. More on This Story...

Friday, May 04, 2007

It's All About the Wrestling: Cutting Ties, Gimmicks and the Frankensteiner


I know that's a mouthful up there but I didn't have a catchy title for this little bit.

TNA has severed ties with the popular independent promotion Ring of Honor, as well as other indy promotions. Many are taken aback by the decision to sever the ties as many top name stars have wrestled on the indy circuit in the past. A scheduled return of Samoa Joe to ROH had to be canceled. While I understand the fans being upset, I also totally understand the business side of it, and TNA could not with any sense of growing their business allow their stars to continue to perform in ROH.

Ring of Honor recently announced that they were going to start PPV services as well as video on demand. Would Vince allow Triple H and HBK show up at an Impact PPV? Hell no. So why should TNA be expected to allow their stars to perform on a competing promotions PPV? They shouldn't. While we as fans want to be entertained and given the best possible product for our money, TNA, ROH and WWE are all still businesses out to take a piece of the pro-wrestling money pie.

Speaking of money, as some of you know I bought the Lockdown PPV. The whole PPV is a giant gimmick, every match takes place inside the six sides of steel, so why do we need to pile gimmicks on top of gimmicks? Electrified cage, blindfolds? Who needs this crap. Team 3D and LAX did not think the match was going to work and guess what? They were right. It might have worked in 1987 but not in 2007. So after an entire PPV filled with gimmicks we return to normal at the Sacrifice PPV right? Well not entirely. Sacrifice is going to feature not one, not two, but three triple threat matches (a triple threat of triple threat matches) as well as a Texas Death Match (whatever the hell that is).

One of those triple threat matches at Sacrifice will feature Scott Steiner and his new tag team partner Tomko. Since Steiner returned from his short hiatus I have been very impressed with his in ring work and partnered with Tomko he has actually strung together a few really good promos. Not only that but at the Lockdown PPV he busted out the Frankensteiner and he says its out of retirement. This turn of workmanship is a good thing for TNA and hopefully he will keep it up.

One last thing before I close out for the week. I only caught the last 10 or 11 minutes of Impact this week but what I saw (The Angle/Sting vs. Cage/Styles match) was very good. Cage and Styles work very well together and I still think that the plan is once Christian drops the belt to team the two of them together as a tag team and make a run at bolstering that division. Overall it was just good old school wrestling which is what TNA does best. More on This Story...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

ECW: R.I.P !!

Hello again wrestling fans! And welcome to my newest blog. It seems my last post created some static. And all i have to say to that is good! I like that. As I claimed in my last blog, I say exactly whats on my mind and I refuse to sugarcoat anything. And that brings me to this weeks blog.

ECW is dead!! Plain and simple. And I already know what your saying, ECW has been dead for several years! And you are right. Im not talking about the shell of its onself. You know the old company that claimed they were "outlaws" and did things their own way. Remember the great classic matches between Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko? How about Raven vs Tommy Dreamer? How about Shane Douglas raising hell as the ECW World Champion? Dont recall any of that? I'll tell you why!

It seems the norm with any wrestling organization that trys to make it these days. You start out real small, building yourself up. And eventually you will get some bigger name wrestling stars come work for you. Then the fan base comes. Then next thing you know, your one of the "top three" organizations. And then the inevitable happens......Vince McMahon takes notice of you!! Then he starts applying the pressure and slowly bleeds the life out of you! Which is exactly what he did with the "old ECW". Him, aswell as WCW, started taking talent, and from there it was slowly all but over. But everyone knows the story there.

Lets fast forward now to present day. So now in 2007, Vince "owns" ECW! And what has he done with it? Not a thing! Vince could have easily kept ECW a seperate organization from his WWE. Regardless if he owns it or not! Ecw has and always will have one of the best loyal fan based organizations ever! You cant go wrong with ECW. Or can you? Vince sure has proved that you can. Lets see......First mistake. Lets put ECW on the Sci-Fi channel!! Pro wrestling on the Sci-Fi channel??? Makes alot of sense! Second.....lets not let anything real major happen in ECW. I mean think about it, what has happened since they have emerged.........NOTHING!!! Third, lets take Bobby Lashley and force him down the fans throat. Im sorry, but Lashley is not what ECW is all about. But regardless, they give him the push, put the belt on him, and let him run on a huge push! I mean he has beat everyone they put in front of him. Just a short list of competitors he has beaten........Umaga, Bob Holly, Johnny Nitro, Mr. Kennedy, and the list goes on. Pretty impressive list of wrestlers there. So who can stop this guy? Vincent Kennedy McMahon!!! Thats who!

Are you kidding me? Fans you may not realize this, but all this is, is one great big slap in the face to not only you the fans, but Paul Heyman as well! Heyman has to be shaking his head in disbelief right now. And if hes not, he should be! This is just another classic case of Vince wins! Vince obviously could care less about his own ECW company. Its all a big joke to him. He got us again! What a shame. What about the few wrestlers in ECW who could have taken that very strap that Vince wears so proudly, and let them carry the ball. How about CM Punk?? Elijah Burke? Rob Van Dam? Nah, none of those guys can wrestle, right Vince?

So therefore proves my statement.....ECW is dead!! And its a real shame. A real shame!!
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