Thursday, August 30, 2007

WWE Sends a Message

The WWE has suspended 10 wrestlers for violating their Wellness Policy, according to a headline on the Website. The story says they will name the athletes after November 1.

According to the following athletes are suspended:

    Randy Orton
    Charles Haas, Jr.
    Adam "Edge" Copeland
    Robert "Booker T" Huffman
    Shane Helms
    Mike Bucci
    Anthony Carelli
    John "Johnny Nitro" Hennigan
    Darren "William Regal" Matthews
    Ken "Mr. Kennedy" Anderson
    Chavo Guerrero

If this list is the actual list, Monday Night Raw brand is in trouble. They have been setting up a substantial feud between the Champion, John Cena and Randy Orton, and this could make those plans completely crumble. Will Triple H move directly into the title chase?

Raws woes will continue, as Booker T is also on the list. He is one of the top heels and one of the few reasons to tune in each week.

A few questions come to mind after seeing this list. One has to wonder why William Regal is juicing...? He has never had a bodybuilder physique, and lately has been filling the commissioner role. Edge is on the shelf already, due to injury - is he getting ready to return? Is he using to speed up the recovery?

Although this will dim the show with these suspensions, it is something that has to take place right now. The years of abuse of these drugs will wear down on their bodies and their lives will be shortened.

Yes, the WWE is sending a message. This will not be tolerated any longer. One can only hope that the legitimacy of the tests stay firm and that "major players" in the organization are not skipped over just because of their position and their tenure with the company.

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Tag Team Action on TNA Today 8/29

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Monday, August 27, 2007

You F*cked Up! You F*cked Up!

We all remember it. That infamous chant is synonymous with the old ECW. Usually it came from the fans whenever a worker would blow a spot, make a move look bad, etc. It's one of the few things that left that can still be associated with the original ECW (and that's not a good thing) as they certainly have been making some very questionable judgement calls as of late.

Here's the million dollar question… Has WWE missed the boat on giving CM Punk the ECW Title? Yes, and here's why…

The internet loves CM Punk. You know it, I know it. But he's more than just the golden boy for the smart marks. While I don't think he's ready to carry the top belt on Raw or Smackdown, he's very well deserving of being called ECW Champion. Should he have beaten John Morrison for the belt last night at Summerslam. Defenitely, and I think they backed themselves into a corner by not doing so. After 3 consecutive PPV Matches, I think it would be a very bad idea if they revisit Punk vs Morrison yet again next month. While Punk has non-title and tag match victories over him, the PPV Title Matches are the ones that count in the long run. The time now is for Morrison to move onto bigger and better things.

The problem is there are no bigger and better things on the ECW Roster…

ECW never full recouporated from the loss of Chris Benoit. Essentially adding Benoit was to make up for the loss of Bobby Lashley… and Rob VanDam… and Sabu… Because they didn't send another guy to ECW that could work as a legit Main Eventer, they were left with 2 guys to carry the brand… Punk and Morrison. While I questioned putting the belt on Morrison initially, I think he's done a great job of carrying the ball (although his mic skills still leave something to be desired.) Now that Punk is 0-3, who else is left to feud with for the belt? Dreamer and Mahoney have been jobbed out too much to be taken seriously as contenders. Boogeyman hasn't gotten far enough in his feud with Big Daddy V to move on to something else. The Miz? Yeah right. The only legitimate choice they have that actually has some momentum going for him is Stevie Richards. Now thinking about it, he was an ECW Title Contender 10 years ago… that seems to be the direction they've been heading as of late so why not?

What will most likely happen is Nitro will continue to work squash matches against Enhancement Talent. That's not the thing you want to be doing with the guy carrying your top belt, plus when WWE PPVs are only featuring one ECW Match, you can't afford for it not to be featuring your only titleholder. He can feud with someone from Smackdown or Raw for the title like they did with Big Show and Lashley. While that does work to an extent because it adds prestige when your champ is getting clean victories over guys like Ric Flair, Kane, and The Undertaker, it also shows what a weak roster you have because there are no legitemate contenders.

Of course, we already know that by now…

My suggestion to ECW is to build up the roster a bit more. Take 2 guys from each existing roster, one that can help the Midcard, and one that can Main Event. Here are my suggestions:

1. Super Crazy - Why wasn't he part of the revived ECW initially? He's an ECW original, he's Super, he's Crazy, and he can pull out a good series of matches with guys like Miz, Nunzio, Punk, and Burke.

2. Matt Hardy - Everyone thinks Hardy's ready for a World Title Run. I don't see him beating The Great Khali anytime soon, so why not test out how he'd do carrying the ball in the land of Extreme?

3. Jeff Hardy - He's been written off TV on Raw, why not have him make his return in ECW? While he shouldn't be one to carry the belt, he can be taken seriously as a contender against Morrison, and we already know they already chemistry together.

4. Kenny Dykstra - While the Spirit Squad was around, he was touted as being the next big thing and a future World Champion. He struck out with his singles run on Raw and isn't doing much better on Smackdown. I think he would be a nice fit in ECW, and they can build him up to move him to another brand like they're currently planning for BDV.

Is it a perfect solution? Not really? Does it help give WWECW the feel of a Philadephia Bingo Hall? Not by a long shot, but if you're touting your top (and only) belt as a World Title, there's a bit more that needs done to make it feel like one.
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nick Hogan Injured in Car Accident

Nick Hogan has been injured badly in a car accident. According to his Wikipedia page, it was not during a session of drifting, which he took part in in an episode of Hogan Knows Best. The linked news story states "Preliminary investigation indicates the car was traveling at a high rate of speed" and hit a palm tree.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

R.I.P. Brian Adams, A.K.A. Crush

According to the website, "World Wrestling Entertainment has learned that Brian Adams, also known to our fans as Crush, has been found dead today."

Read more on the WWE site.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Book Review - Controversy Creates Cash

I recently took a much needed vacation from work and for the first time went to Disney World. While this time of enjoyment was a refreshing experience, it was also an eye-opening one. To my surprise, I realized that Disney World is a place where adults can have just as much fun as the kids, and that essentially everything I thought I knew about Eric Bischoff was wrong.

You probably are wondering how Eric Bischoff would have anything to do with my vacation to Disney. Well, I normally don’t read much, but I figured that I might as well take a book with me to read on the flights and while waiting at the airports, and the book I chose was “Controversy Creates Cash” the autobiography of Eric Bischoff, co-written by Jeremy Roberts.

I had received this book as a Christmas present, and really had no expectations of ever reading it. After all, I thought I knew the whole story on Eric Bischoff and his role in WCW from watching the DVD “The Monday Night Wars.” I was surely in for a surprise.

I would never consider myself a wrestling insider by any means. I have never read dirt sheets and I don’t have the time to surf websites for behind-the-scenes information. But I do have a good memory as far as what happened on tv. As a teenager, I watched every single wrestling broadcast that I could. I rarely missed an episode of the then WWF shows like Raw and Mania, and the WCW shows like WCW Saturday Night. I could remember most of the on-air matches, feuds, and developments that were covered in the book. Being able to read about the details of what was going on behind the curtain during that era in WCW was a delight.

Of course, the claim to fame of this book is the coverage of the Monday Night Wars and the Fall of WCW.

During the implosion of WCW over the course of 2000 and 2001, I was in my Senior year of college and only took the time to follow WWE storylines. But, again, I thought I knew what really happened during that time period from watching “The Monday Night Wars.” To read about it the way Eric Bischoff lived it is an eye-opening experience. I think Vince McMahon and the rest of the Gerry Briscos and Sgt. Slaughters that made statements on the “Monday Night Wars” DVD should publicly recognize that there was much more to the descent of WCW than what was exposed on the disk.

I think Bischoff’s book, “Controversy Creates Cash” is an excellent read, and I think that anyone who is a die-hard fan of wrestling should read this book, especially if they lived through the period of time in the wrestling business know as the Monday Night Wars. I think it will serve as a balance that will even out the depictions of that epoch. I know I feel I have more well-rounded understanding of the dynamics of that time.

I might add that, as a member of management in a large corporation, and as an on-line business owner, I was also able to take some things from this book that I will use in my day-to-day work strategies, and my on-line marketing campaigns. Not only is Bischoff an excellent story-teller, he is also a savvy businessman and leader.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

House Shows Test WWE's Direction

On Saturday evening, I headed down to the WesBanco arena to get a glimpse of "Raw"'s Biggest Party of the Summer. I think that house shows can be a great indicator of things the WWE is testing out or thinking about. So here is a little report to let you in on all the action.

The show began with Sylvan and Maryse coming to the ring. Sylvan's hair is very blonde, but not a bleach color like Flair's. It looks like dude has been abusing Sun-In. Hopefully it doesn't absorb into his brain and make him go crazy, because the media would undoubtedly blame roids. Eh, ok, dude is probably abusing roids, because he looked big in Wheeling.

He wears like black spandex biker shorts, and he is a really ambigious character at the moment. He wrestled good old Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who probably got one of the biggest pops of the night. It was strange to me that I saw my first live show in 89 at the same arena and saw Hacksaw wrestle then too. Duggan got the duke in a largely forgettable match, but there is no denying that he was mad over for the live show. I don't think that translates much to TV, however. Maryse is very hot, by the way.

William Regal was out next, and he got a tremendous amount of heat. Regal defeated Super Crazy in a pretty good match. Afterwards Regal challenged guys around ringside to come and get a peice. A guy behind me told me that he would be more than happy to run in. I told him to go for it. He didn't. He introduced himself to me as the guy who ran into the ring during a local Black Diamond Wrestling show. He took a pummeling from then BDW Heavyweight Champ Nikita Allanov. The man informed me that he was on his way home after the incident to get his gun and shoot the Russian independent wrestler. Now that's heat...

Daivari had a great deal of heat as well. While I don't believe he should be pushed on "Raw", I do feel that he is underutilized. The man's character is a heat generating machine, and people still remember when he was getting a lot of face time with Muhammed Hassan.

He should probably be the Cruiserweight Champion as we speak. He wrestled Aaron Stevens, who was billed as hailing from Wheeling, WV, but we all know better. Stevens actually had a run on Smackdown, but that run was not enough to prove to fans that he wasn't from Wheeling. Stevens looked good, but eventually lost to Daivari. I expect Stevens to break out sometime before the end of 2007.

Cade and Murdoch defeated the Highlanders in a pretty standard tag team match. Not much more to say about that one.

Cody Rhodes entered and cut a pretty good promo about wanting Randy Orton in the ring tonight to pay for kicking his father in the head. Instead he got King Booker who was actually wearing flaming Booker T tights. Subtle hint? King Booker got the victory in a very good matchup. Before the match began, Booker told Rhodes to kiss his ring, but put him over as a future World Champion. I think that's putting the cart a bit before the horse, as Rhodes did botch a clothesline spot early in the match.

Any rumors of a planned push for one of my personal favorites, Val Venis are largely unwarranted. Val was over in Wheeling, but he came out as a special referee for a Candice/Jillian Hall showdown.

The match wasn't bad, and had a lot of false finishes, but I think it went too long. Many in the crowd hoped the false finishes would actually be the end. Candice hit an Unprettier to get the victory. Take that Christian Cage.

Santino Marella was one of the more entertaining guys before getting totally decimated by IC champ Umaga, who was actually over as a babyface. Marella appeared to have injured his shoulder during the match, so don't be suprised if he is not wrestling on "Raw" tonight.

Now for the kicker. I have seen Austin, Hogan, Savage, Rock, Triple H, HBK, Flair, Angle, Sting, and just about anyone you could want to see live, but I have never heard a pop like the one for Cena in Wheeling. It was deafening. There were pockets of Cena haters, but they could not overcome the thousands in attendance wearing his merch, and I am not exaggerating. Often I think the internet is too hard on Cena, as I feel his in ring style is booked by agents, not by him. Still, I couldn't imagine him being that loved.

If his match with Orton on Saturday is any indication of the quality of what their SummerSlam encounter will be, you guys are in for a great match. This house show match was the best Cena match I have seen since he wrestled HBK on Raw. It certainly trumped Cena's WrestleMania match with Michaels.

I would have preferred some Carlito or Mr. Kennedy, but you have to take what they give you. Still, if you are looking to find any indications of direction for the company from this show, the keys would have to be the Sylvan/Maryse duo we have all read about, the expected push of Aaron Stevens, and the capability for an amazing Cena/Orton match at SummerSlam.
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