Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ultimate Warrior - Returning to Action

In case you haven't heard, the Ultimate Warrior is scheduled to return to in-ring action in Barcelona Spain this year. Read on to watch some of the videos he has posted about his return.

I am not sure how I came about his blog, as I have not visited it much since he began his ridiculous and controversial, and often offensive, narratives on his blog, but I did somehow find myself there this week.

Warrior has re-done his site once again, and now maintains a blog at, posting new content almost daily. Surprisingly, for some reason he is seeing it fit to shoot footage of his commentary on Heath Ledger and Hulk Hogan, among others, wearing an antique Ultimate Warrior Halloween mask. Click the link to check it out for yourself.

Now, if anybody who reads this blog knows me, you know that I am a strength and conditioning fanatic, so it was very interesting for me to see current footage of the Warrior spending time in the gym, putting in some good hard work and effort.

The Warrior has obviously stuck with his strength and conditioning training his absence from the ring spotlight, and judging by the lack of body fat to be seen anywhere on his 40-some year-old body, he is still spectacular in his dietary discipline. At least that much is an inspiration.

And thankfully, he doesn't play with the Ultimate Warrior figurine during his workouts.

Napalm's Corner
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Friday, May 23, 2008

The Return of Wargames and a New Four Horsemen

Again, it has been a while. Consistency has never been a strength of mine. I am mostly done with my MBA, so I should be able to step it up here, assuming of course I have something interesting to write about. In my opinion, the worst thing I can do is give you readers an uninspired article just to meet a deadline. My last column was in February. I was attempting to push through on the Road to WrestleMania.

I was actually fortunate enough to attend WrestleMania XXIV in Orlando, Florida thanks to my good friend Shawn. The experience was incredible. Shawn won a contest, which gave us backstage access at Axxess, and got us a stretch excursion ride to the Citrus Bowl. Our car was let in to the wrong gate and we actually spent a few minutes backstage prior to WrestleMania where we saw Randy Orton and John Cena prior to the granddaddy of them all. Don't believe me? Here is a picture of us backstage at Axxess:

Ten people jobbed to me in the WWE name game:

Here is a picture of our stretch excursion:

Here is a picture of us backstage at WrestleMania with Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore:

Notice how Cherry loves me. Cherry, if you are out there, I love you too! You are gorgeous. Anywho, my dream of attending a WrestleMania became a reality, and the whole weekend was incredibly special, especially due to the fanfare surrounding Ric Flair's retirement. WrestleMania missteps? The biggest one I can think of was putting JBL over Finlay. WWE had a major star on their hands. Then they pulled the rug out from under him. Sad to see Finlay languishing on Smackdown after what should have been a triumphant victory over Mr. McMahon at WrestleMania XXIV.

I have never been a big Jeff Hardy fan. I have not been too much of a William Regal fan either. Funny how when my interest peaks in both men, and I see them as can't miss main eventers, they both get 60 day wellness suspensions. Regal vs. Triple H should have been the program of the summer. Now that the possibility is gone altogether, I would like to see Trips drop his belt-ah at One Night Stand-ah to Randy Orton-ah.

WWE's One Night Stand is right around the corner, and 5 matches have been announced as of this writing:
WWE Title Last Man Standing Match
Triple H © vs. Randy Orton

First Blood Match
JBL vs. John Cena

Stretcher Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Batista

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga

Singapore Cane Match (To crown a #1 Contender for the ECW Title)
Tommy Dreamer vs. CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. The Big Show
Is it just me or has JBL been awful since his return to the ring? He ruined his match with Chris Jericho at the Royal Rumble, he ruined Finlay's program with Vince McMahon and inexplicably went over at WrestleMania, and his positioning in the title picture on Raw seems awkward and forced. I have not seen his Judgment Day match with John Cena, but I am not expecting a great deal from their first blood match at One Night Stand. Why didn't JBL choose a bullrope match, or something more related to his gimmick? Eh, who cares. The winner of this match will likely work with the winner of the Orton/HHH match next. As I said, the up and coming contenders I was most interested in watching were Jeff Hardy and William Regal. I guess that won't be happening for either of them any time soon.

Speaking of Jeff Hardy, what is the deal with the WWE's use of Umaga? Whenever a babyface needs an opponent, a supposed authority figure will bring out the Samoan Bulldozer as a punishment, but who are they really punishing. Umaga has been brought out to be the demise of Triple H, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Jeff Hardy on a number of occasions, and every single time, he gets his ass handed to him. How can these Raw babyfaces remotely hold a straight face when Umaga is coming to destroy them, knowing that the guy hasn't won a match in the last 8 months. For all the job duty Umaga has done, he should have defeated Batista at WrestleMania XXIV. He is a solid hand for the WWE, and at one time he was a hot character. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that it will be long before they turn him from a Samoan Savage to a big dancing goof like his big brother Rikishi. If they do make him dance, I got the perfect song for him. Sing it to the tune of YMCA.

Young Man, you are in for a fight because
Young Man, your opponent tonight is a
Young Man, from the Isle of Samoa
Who we call the Samoan Bulldozer
Dun Dun Dun Dun Dun
You have to wrestle the U-M-A-G-A
You have to wrestle the U-M-A-G-A
He's got dreadlocked hair, he's got white thumb tape, since Patterson's gone this is as close as we have come to butt rape

CMoney in the Bank Punk is in a number one contenders match at One Night Stand. Not really making a lot of sense from where I am sitting. I guess he could win this, take the ECW title, and cash in the briefcase for a different title. Personally, I would like to see the elevation of Shelton Benjamin. Not that this is a secret to anyone who reads my columns. How do I propose that they do this? Let me tell you…

Week 1: May 24-31: At One Night Stand, presumably Big Show will go over as the number one contender for the ECW title. That is fine, as Benjamin is not ready to contend for that title just yet. Tuesday Night on Sci-Fi, Benjamin defeated Kofi Kingston. With one ECW show left prior to One Night Stand, Benjamin should get a second victory over Kingston, to squash any type of program brewing between the two.

ECW: Benjamin then cuts a promo: I came to ECW to prove that I am the man, and that is exactly what I have done. I am the Gold Standard. Hell, I am the Black Nature Boy, Whoooo!

One Night Stand: At One Night Stand right before the Shawn Michaels/Batista match, Benjamin and Elijah Burke get some face time backstage. Benjamin is dressed in a suit, with a rolex watch and diamond rings on. Benjamin goes on to tell Burke that he is a Street Fightin', High Flyin, Show Stealing, Sex Appealing, Son of a Bitch, Whooo. He then puts over Elijah Burke's legit boxing background, and offers him a role as his enforcer. He then starts referring to Burke as Double E, which could stand for Elijah Enforcer, Elijah Experience, or Elijah Express.

Week 2: June 1 – 7: ECW: On the June third ECW broadcast, Benjamin dons a Ric Flair-esque robe and comes out to his signature Ain't No Stopping Me Now, followed by Ric Flair's 1991 WWF theme.

Benjamin, with Burke by his side cuts a promo saying that if diamonds are forever, the gold standard's one better. Tonight, Colin Delaney will walk that aisle, and the Black Nature Boy will take him to school. Whooo!
During the match, Benjamin sends Delaney to the outside, where he takes 4-Up and a Double E spinebuster. Burke rolls Delaney back in where Benjamin hits Paydirt and locks in a figure four. Delaney is out, so the ref counts his shoulders down, 1, 2, 3.

Smackdown: That same week, Burke is set to wrestle Matt Hardy on Smackdown for the United States title. During the match, Benjamin attempts interference but is cut off by Hardy. With the ref distracted by Benjamin, The Miz and John Morrison make their way into the ring. Morrison levels Hardy with the tag team title belt, and Miz pulls Burke on top of Matt Hardy for the 3 count. Winner and new United States Champion, Elijah Burke.

Week 3: June 8-14: ECW: The next week on ECW, Benjamin, Burke, Miz, and Morrison open the show. They congratulate Burke on his United States title and proclaim themselves the New Breed of Horsemen, and hold up four fingers. Benjamin whoo's repeatedly, until Batista's music hits. The Animal makes his way down to the ring to confront Benjamin and company saying, you are no Evolution, and you certainly are no Four Horsemen. The New Breed Horsemen take exception to this and attack. Batista is able to fend them off briefly, but eventually succumbs to the 4 on 1 beat down.

Benjamin beats an ECW roster member.

Miz and Morrison defeat an ECW or Smackdown Tag Team.

Smackdown: Friday Night Smackdown rolls around, and Batista comes to the ring to say that the New Breed has Unleashed the Animal, and challenges them all right there on the spot. The four come out to the top of the ramp to Flair's 91 theme. Benjamin takes the microphone and says that Batista has not earned the right to stand toe to toe with the most athletic player in the game, the Black Nature Boy, Shelton Benjamin, whooo! He tells Batista that he will have the pleasure of meeting United States Champion Elijah Burke, and Tag Team Champions Miz and Morrsion three on one tonight.

Backstage, Batista is gearing up for his match when in walks Cody Rhodes. Rhodes acknowledges that he is not supposed to be on Smackdown, but he has seen what Benjamin and company are doing to tarnish the legacy of Ric Flair and the Horsemen, and he won't stand for it. He figured Batista would need some back up, so he and Hardcore Holly are there to watch his back. The match is changed to Burke, Miz, and Morrsion vs. Batista, Holly, and Rhodes. Batista, Holly, and Rhodes win when Rhodes rolls up Morrison quick for a three count.

Week 4: June 15-21: Raw: The next week on Raw, Rhodes and Holly are scheduled to defend their tag team championship against Carlito and Santino Marella on Raw. Earlier in the night, Piper and Rhodes are shown backstage talking about what Santino Marella and the new horsemen group. During the tag title match, Morrison appears on the screen. "Hey Cody, Cody! We got a little surprise for you. Cody is distracted from the apron. The New Breed are standing with lead pipes. Does this look familiar to you?" They hold up a bloody Dusty Rhodes, bring him to a car in the parking lot, and slam his arm in the door. The Miz comes on. "And just to make sure that he doesn't get in our business, we got Piper too!" They hold up Piper and give him repeated shots to his surgically repaired hip with the lead pipes. Cody Rhodes begins to run to the back. Hardcore Holly walks to the ropes facing the entrance with his arms out asking Cody where he is going. Carlito delivers a back cracker and pins Holly to win the Tag Team titles.

When Rhodes gets to the backstage area, the New Breed are already gone, and Shawn Michaels is attending to Rhodes and Piper with a number of agents and referees. Cody breaks down and weeps into his hands.

ECW: ECW starts with the New Breed in the ring gloating about what they have done to Piper and Dusty, and say to let it serve as a warning to anyone who wants to get in their business. Shawn Michaels music hits and he walks to the ring and stands face to face with the four new breed members. "I know what it is like to be young and cocky with a chip on your shoulder. I know what it is like to give everything you have and not get noticed, but I have been around long enough to know that this is not the way to do it." Morrison, Burke, Benjamin, and Miz take turns mocking Shawn. Morrison suggests that Shawn doesn't remember what it's like to be in that position, because he has been politicking and holding guys down for the last 15 years. Miz says that if he had never stepped up and thrown Marty Jannetty through the barber shop window, he would be in line collecting unemployment checks with Techno Team 2000. Burke tells him that he would be better suited to stay out of New Breed business and get lost to go find his smile. Benjamin gets in his face and says, "Shawn Michaels, you are as much of an opportunist as anyone of us. Look at what you did to Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV. I am the Black Nature Boy Whooo! If diamonds are forever, the gold standard is one better. I am a street fightin, high flying, show stealing… Shawn interrupts Benjamin with a slap to the face. The New Breed starts to beat down Shawn, but Rhodes, Holly, and Batista come to make the save. GM Estrada announces a four on four match for the main event.

Backstage, Batista and Shawn squash their beef, agreeing that this isn't about either of them, it's about the legacy of Ric Flair. Cody Rhodes is chomping at the bit, but Hardcore Holly looks less than enthused. Holly begins talking about Rhodes taking his eye off the ball and losing their tag team titles. Michaels reprimands Holly, suggesting they focus on the task at hand tonight, and the mood is tense.

5 minutes into the main event, the ref loses control and all hell breaks loose. In the ring, Shawn Michaels goes to deliver the flying forearm to the Miz, but he ducks and HBK hits Hardcore Holly. Michaels kips up and gives sweet chin music to the Miz, which knocks him out of the ring. Morrison slides in, and Shawn gives him and atomic drop and goes to work with right hands. Holly rolls to the outside of the ring and grabs a chair. Inside the ring, Michaels bodyslams Morrison and goes to the top for the elbow. He hits. He gets up to go for Sweet Chin Music and Hardcore Holly lays him out with a hard chair shot. Miz rolls back in and slides on top of Michaels for the three count while Holly walks out on the whole thing.

Smackdown: On Smackdown that week, Holly is nowhere to be found. The New Breed gloat about their victory on ECW and take credit for Shawn Michaels being unable to compete on Smackdown. Batista and Cody Rhodes will meet Miz and Morrison for the tag team titles, and Matt Hardy will meet Elijah Burke for the US title. Matt Hardy defeats Burke by disqualification when Shelton Benjamin interferes. Miz and Morrison walk out with their tag team titles when the going gets tough. Matt Hardy sneaks behind them and throws them back into the ring. Rhodes hits a DDT on the Miz, and Batista give the Batista Bomb to Morrison, but Benjamin and Burke get to the ring just in time to break up the three counts and end the match in a DQ. Matt Hardy gets in the fight, and Rhodes, Batista, and Hardy are left standing at the end of the fight.

Week 5: June 22-29: Raw: Monday Night Raw begins with the Highlight Reel with guests Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes. Rhodes comes out first, and Holly comes out second to his own music, complete with that stupid How do you like me now entrance. Chris Jericho announces that Holly and Rhodes are scheduled to face Miz and Morrison for the Tag Team Titles tomorrow night on ECW. Rhodes denounces the actions of Holly from the previous week and tells Holly to apologize. Holly speaks about working for 15 years with Shawn Michaels, the opportunities Michaels stole from him, and how he just plain doesn't like Shawn Michaels and that is why he did what he did. "As far as Rhodes and Holly teaming tonight for the tag team titles? Here is my answer to that. Holly gives Rhodes a hard slap to the mouth and walks out of the ring." Rhodes holds his face and stares at Holly as he makes his exit, proud of distancing himself from Rhodes. When Holly gets to the top of the ramp, Shawn Michaels music hits. When Holly turns around, HBK levels him with Sweet Chin Music, and gets down and begins shouting in his face. Cody Rhodes manages a smile and leaves.

Shawn Michaels was already scheduled to face Chris Jericho at the Night of Champions for the Intercontinental title. They will also face off later on this night in a non title match as a preview for the Night of Champions. I am not a big fan of this kind of booking, but WWE does it quite often. Hardcore Holly interrupts with his steel chair in hand and lays out both Jericho and Michaels, inserting himself into the match at Night of Champions. Holly and Michaels have been effectively removed from the Horsemen storyline, despite Holly's prior ties to Rhodes and Michaels relationship with Flair and reason to be at the front lines.

ECW: The next night on ECW, Elijah Burke and Shelton Benjamin are shown backstage. They announce that if Batista or Matt Hardy lay a hand on any member of the New Breed tonight without physical provocation, Matt Hardy will forfeit his United States title match with Burke at Night of Champions, and Batista will not face Benjamin at One Night Stand.

Shelton defeats an ECW roster member.

Burke defeats an ECW roster member.

The Miz and John Morrison make their entrance and await Cody Rhodes, knowing that he is without a partner for the evening. Rhodes makes his way to the ring to compete alone. Trevor Murdoch's music hits and he makes his way to the ring with a microphone. He says he's been watching what's been going on, and says it's been too long since a Murdoch and a Rhodes stood side by side kicking ass and taking names. He asks if Rhodes will accept him as his tag team partner, and Rhodes replies, "The Rhodes family has wined and dined with King's and Queens, and slept in alleys and dined on pork and beans, but there is no place more comfortable for a Rhodes than as a Texas Outlaw, with a Murdoch watching his back!" Burke and Benjamin make their way to the ring with no music, looking concerned at this turn of events while the match starts. Batista and Matt Hardy make their way to the ring to even out the sides. Batista and Hardy make their way out to even up the odds, but neither is allowed to make any contact with Burke or Benjamin if not physically provoked. Burke and Benjamin take turns cheating, as Batista and Hardy get increasingly frustrated, causing more distractions and more cheating. Dusty Rhodes music hits and he and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper make their way to ringside and dispose of Benjamin and Burke. Rhodes hits a DDT while Murdoch hits a bulldog, and they simultaneously pin the Miz and Morrison to win the Tag Team titles. They celebrate with Batista, Matt Hardy, Dusty Rhodes, and Roddy Piper.

Smackdown: Friday Night Smackdown begins with the New Breed fuming about losing the tag team titles. Miz and Morrison announce that they will use their rematch clause at Night of Champions. Burke talks about being the enforcer and talks about Hardy. Benjamin cuts a Flair like promo on Batista, then promises that the New Breed will do something that no one will ever forget that night on Smackdown.

Backstage, Batista and Hardy are shown talking with Dusty Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat. It is announced that Cody and Trevor Murdoch are not there. Matt Hardy and Batista both pick up wins over Smackdown roster members to prepare for Night of Champions. Backstage Ricky Steamboat is shown walking, when he is jumped and beaten by the members of the New Breed. They cut a promo stating how Steamboat is the Dragon, and so he probably likes fire. They then threaten to set him on fire and begin dousing him with gasoline. Batista and Hardy arrive just in time to prevent the lighting, chasing off the New Breed.

Night of Champions: Miz and Morrison defeat Rhodes and Murdoch to regain the Tag Team Titles. Elijah Burke loses the United States Title back to Matt Hardy. Shelton Benjamin picks a victory over Batista thanks to help from Elijah Burke. Shawn Michaels defeats Hardcore Holly.

Week 6: June 30-July 6: ECW: ECW opens with the New Breed bragging about their accomplishments from the night before. Burke begins a feud with Batista, Miz and Morrison brag up their Tag Team Title victory, and Benjamin challenges Kane for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship at the Great American Bash. Miz and Morrison defeat Colin Delaney and Tommy Dreamer, Burke defeats Stevie Richards, Benjamin defeats the Boogeyman. Kane defeats Bam Neely and is attacked by the New Breed at the end of the show.

Smackdown: Batista answers Burke's challenge and a match is scheduled for next Tuesday on ECW. A backstage promo is shown with the New Breed living a Horsemen lifestyle in the back of a limo with many women, mocking Batista, Ric Flair, and Arn Anderson.

Week 7: July 7-July 13: ECW: ECW begins with Miz and Morrison talking about defeating every team the WWE has to offer, calling themselves the most dominant Tag Team in WWE history. Barry Windham makes his way to the ring to confront Miz and Morrison. Barry talks about what it meant to hold the 4 fingers in the air, and how a group like the Horsemen could never be recreated. Miz and Morrison make fun of the Horsemen's legacy and Windham, spitting in his face. Windham unloads with hard right hands, clearing the ring. He challenges them to a match that night. On ECW, Batista defeats Elijah Burke. Miz and Morrison defeat Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. Shelton Benjamin and Kane have a contract signing for their World Title Match at the Great American Bash. Shelton cuts a promo about how next week ECW will eminate from Charlotte, NC. He plays up how he is from South Carolina, and from now on the Carolina's will be known as Benjamin Country. The show ends with an attempted New Breed attack on Kane, which he fends off by throwing Miz, Morrison, and Burke over the top rope, and creating a ring of fire around the ring. He then chokeslams Benjamin through the table, and sets the corner pyro off as the show goes off the air.

Week 8: July 14-July 21: ECW in Charlotte, NC: The New Breed come out impersonating the Horsemen. Miz and Morrison talk about defeating Barry Windham, and Shelton gets on the mic and begins going into his Flair routine. Flair's music hits and he comes to the ring with Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Dean Malenko. Flair cuts a spirited promo about what it means to be a Horsemen, why the four men in front of him haven't earned it, and why they never will. Flair speaks about the Nature Boy name, and how Benjamin hasn't earned that, and he doesn't know what it means to be the Nature Boy. "I've beaten BUDDY ROGERS, BUDDY LANDELL, and by hell, you couldn't lace my boots Buddy Benjamin! I am the limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling, dealing son of a gun! You want to make yourself famous at the expense of Ric Flair? Let me tell you, pal. I chose a man to wrestle my final match with. That man's name is Shawn Michaels. If I thought you could give me half the match Shawn Michaels did at WrestleMania, I would take you to school. Burke, Miz, and Morrison are chomping at the bit to get to the Horsemen, but Benjamin suggest discretion be the better part of valor and retreats. The Real Horsemen celebrate in the ring. ECW ends with Kane defeating Elijah Burke. Backstage, Arn Anderson says his goodbyes to his Horsemen comrades and makes his way to his car. Anderson is attacked by the Miz and Morrison at his car, and ECW goes off the air.

Smackdown: Smackdown returns from commercial and Ric Flair's music hits. Flair and Anderson make their way to the ring. Flair is outraged. Flair cuts a promo how he made a promise to his family that he was done wrestling and he's wrestling with keeping that promise. Arn Anderson has his injured arm in a sling and bandages on his head. Anderson cuts a classic cold calculated promo saying There are three things you should never do: 1)Don't step on superman's cape 2) don't mess with a dog in it's own back yard and 3) don't mess with the 4 horsemen! The Miz and Morrison make their way to the ring and go to attack, but Anderson is throwing punches from his good arm, and Flair is in rare form. Flair chops down Miz, gives a whoo, and hooks in the figure four leglock, while Anderson delivers a Double A spinebuster to Morrison. Burke runs to the ring, and Flair unlocks the figure four, and they beg Burke to come get a piece. Burke stops and rolls Morrison and Miz out of the ring and helps them to the back. Flair and Anderson celebrate with Four Fingers in the air. Backstage, Batista laughs with them and congratulates them on their performance. Kane walks in and asks them if they will have his back at the Great American Bash on Sunday. The ECW title match is made into a lumberjack match. Shelton will have Miz, Morrison, and Burke in his corner. Kane will have Flair, Anderson, and Batista in his.

Great American Bash: Shelton Benjamin defeats Kane in a Lumberjack match to win the ECW World Heavyweight title. Shawn Michaels defeats Hardcore Holly. Cody Rhodes and Trevor Murdoch defeat Santino Marella and Carlito for the World Tag Team Titles.

Week 9: July 21-28: ECW: Shelton Benjamin has a victory celebration. There is a large box in the ring. Miz and Morrison tell him they have a special surprise for them, saying they went to FCW where Reid is training. They point to the Titantron. A video plays of them beating and kidnapping Reid Flair. The box lifts and Reid is underneath bound to a chair and gagged. Shelton takes the gag off of him, and prompts him to say who the real nature boy is. Reid says Ric Flair, and Benjamin slaps him. He asks again. This continues until Benjamin gets fed up and delivers his spinning kick, knocking the chair over, and Reid out cold. Kane makes his way out and the New Breed leaves.

Smackdown: Ric Flair is shown backstage saying that he will get revenge on the New Breed. Reid appears bruised and battered, saying no dad, this is my fight! Later in the night, Reid is shown talking to Arn Anderson. Anderson offers to help him. Reid again says that it is his fight. Reid says he will be at ECW on Tuesday night and promises to take care of the New Breed. It is announced that Kane will have his ECW title rematch on Tuesday's ECW.

Week 10: July 28-August 2: ECW: Shawn Michaels, Batista, Cody Rhodes, and Trevor Murdoch walk into Reid Flair's dressing room. Reid insists that he needs to handle this himself. Triple H walks in, and says he regrets that he has things of his own that he needs to take care of as he would also like to be of assistance.. He tells Reid that Ric Flair has taught him a lot, one of those things being the value of strength in numbers. Reid listens to Triple H and welcomes the assistance of Michaels, Batista, Rhodes, and Murdoch. Triple H leaves. Backstage in the New Breed lockeroom Shelton is flipping out. He has a title match with Kane that night, and now there are outnumbered. Burke says he will take care of it. Kane comes to the ring for his rematch. Shelton comes to the ring flanked by Miz and Morrison. The Titantron shows Elijah Burke driving a forklift to the door where Michaels, Batista, Flair, Rhodes, and Murdoch are. Burke leaves the keys in the car and makes his way towards the entrance. Burke comes down to the ring with a big smile on his face, and Shelton goes from being worried to relaxed. As the New Breed work over Kane throughout the match, Shelton gains a comfortable advantage. The Titantron shows Triple H returning to the door where the forklift is parked. Triple H notices the keys in it, gets in, and removes it from the door. Shelton and the New Breed watch as Flair, Batista, Rhodes, and Murdoch come pouring out of the door. Michaels walks out last, smiles at Triple H says, "Thanks buddy." To which Triple H, replies, "No problem." Upon seeing the calvary heading to the ring, Miz, Morrison, and Burke immediately jump into the ring with chairs and attack Kane causing a DQ. They are able to "pillmanize" his ankle right before the group of babyfaces hits the top of the ramp. Kane is in obvious pain as the New Breed retreats through the crowd.

Smackdown: Batista, Michaels, Reid Flair, Cody Rhodes, and Trevor Murdoch make their way to the ring. Reid says there is only one way to resolve this. At Summerslam, they want a 5 on 5 War Games Match.
Week 11: August 3-August 10: Raw: Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, and Arn Anderson talk to Reid Flair about how War Games is the most vicious environment in the history of professional wrestling, and that no one is ever the same afterwards. Dusty says that he really doesn't want his son taking part, but the War Games seem to be a right of passage for a Rhodes. Windham argues that Reid has a bright future ahead of him, and not to ruin it by taking part in this match. Anderson says it's one thing when you've been wrestling for years. It's another thing when it's your debut match. I am like an uncle to you, and I don't want to see you do it. Your dad wouldn't want to see you do it either. A vignette plays that shows the history of the War Games.

ECW: Charlie Haas approaches Shelton Benjamin backstage and talks about the history the two have together, saying he wants to be a part of the New Breed and take the fifth place in the War Games match. Shelton appears as though he's considering it, and then asks Miz, Morrison, and Burke what they think. The three New Breed members beat down Haas. Shelton wooo's in his face before the group walks off. The New Breed comes to the ring and accept the War Games Challenge on one condition. If the New Breed win, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat, and Dusty Rhodes must bow and kiss the feet of the New Breed. They then introduce their 5th partner for the War Games match, The Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga! Armando Estrada comes to the ring to announce that there is a steel cage hanging over head to show Reid Flair what he is in for at WarGames. He calls for Colin Delaney to come to the ring. Delaney comes out. He says that right now, Delaney will face the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga inside the steel cage, and snaps a cigar. The New Breed and Estrada exit, and Estrada demands that they lower the cage. Umaga tears through Delaney.

Smackdown: Shawn Michaels, Batista, Cody Rhodes and Trevor Murdoch defeat Chavo Guerrero, Bam Neely, Zach Ryder, and Cody Hawkins in a four on four tag match. Cody Rhodes takes the microphone after the match and insists that when they win, Flair, Rhodes, Windham, Steamboat, and Anderson will get five minutes alone in the cage with Shelton Benjamin.

Week 12: August 11- August 18: Raw: Umaga faces Super Crazy in a Steel Cage, and gives him the Colin Delaney treatment. Backstage, DH Smith talks to Reid Flair about how his Dad competed in one War Games match in 1993, left the company 2 months later and said that he would never compete in War Games again. Shelton Benjamin questions Elijah Burke's ability to perform in the role of the enforcer, mentioning his recent losses to Matt Hardy, Batista, and Kane, and his mistake of leaving the keys in the forklift two weeks before on ECW. Elijah replies that if it weren't for him, Miz and Morrison would no longer have their tag team titles, and there is no way Shelton Benjamin would be holding the ECW World Heavyweight title. Shelton looks mad, and says that Burke will face Shawn Michaels tonight, and he expects Michaels to be taken care of the same way that Umaga has taken care of Colin Delaney and Super Crazy. Reid Flair is shown backstage again, and Stone Cold Steve Austin comes to talk with him. Austin says that he was in one War Games match in 1992, and unquestionably, it was like going through hell. "It was that experience that helped me realize that I am the world's toughest S.O.B., and when I got fired by Fed Ex three years later, I knew that if I survived War Games, I could survive anything. Now you have fighting in your blood. Your dad was the greatest wrestler to ever lace up a pair of boots. So you are going to enter the War Games, and you are going to Unleash Hell, and that's the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so. Later that night, Elijah Burke wrestles a hard fought match with Shawn Michaels, but succumbs to Sweet Chin Music. Michaels leaves, and Burke is laying on the mat as they go to commercial. When they return, the New Breed members and Umaga are standing around Burke. Burke makes his way back to his feet, and Umaga delivers a Samoan Spike. Shelton Benjamin hooks in the figure four leglock and begins wooo'ing. Batista, Michaels, Rhodes, Murdoch, Reid Flair, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, and Ricky Steamboat all run to the ring to chase the New Breed members away.

ECW: Shelton Benjamin, Miz, Morrison, and Umaga make their way to the ring to talk about their decision to drop the dead weight. Burke makes his way to the ring with Charlie Haas, Colin Delaney, and Super Crazy. Burke says that it was a mistake to do Benjamin's dirty work for so long, and that the New Breed would not be what it is without him, and was sure to fall apart without him. Benjamin tells him that to be the man, you have to beat the man, whooooo! Burke says they want a four on four match tonight, and Benjamin is sure to get 4-up. Benjamin says that there is a problem with that challenge as his team has five members. He says Reid Flair, make sure you are watching and introduces a returning Big Daddy V. As Burke, Haas, Delaney, and Crazy turn to watch V make his way to the ring, Miz, Morrison, Benjamin and Umaga attack. Just as V hits the ring, Kane's music hits, and the Big Red Machine makes his return to ECW. With Kane's help, the group is able to clear the ring of the New Breed, Umaga, and V. A 5 on 5 match is scheduled for later on that night. Elijah Burke and Kane are the only two members of their team that get any effective offense on the New Breed. The match ends with Charlie Haas in the ring alone with both Big Daddy V and Umaga. Umaga hits the Samoan Spike, and V drops an elbow to get the pin. The announcers highlight how that could be Reid Flair at Summerslam.

Smackdown: As a preview for War Games, Miz and Morrison will face Cody Rhodes and Trevor Murdoch, Batista will face Umaga, and Shawn Michaels will face Big Daddy V. Miz and Morrison defeat Rhodes and Murdoch, Batista defeats Umaga, and Shawn Michaels vs. Big Daddy V goes to a no contest when all the members of both teams get involved in a slugfest. Ric Flair, Rick Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Arn Anderson, and Barry Windham again come out and stand victorious with the members of the team.

Summerslam: War Games, The Match Beyond: The veterans are waiting on the side of the ring with Batista, Michaels, Rhodes, Murdoch, and Reid Flair. The match starts with Trevor Murdoch and John Morrison. The New Breed gains the advantage, and sends the Miz into the ring. They double team Murdoch and Cody Rhodes is sent in. With Murdoch beat down, the two focus attention to Cody Rhodes. Then Umaga is sent in. Umaga, Morrison, and Miz destroy Rhodes and Murdoch, until Batista makes his way through the cage. The match begins to even out, with the heels maintaining a slight advantage. The heels send in Shelton Benjamin. The advantage grows, and Shawn Michaels decides to go in. Michaels evens up the sides, giving the babyfaces the first advantage of the night. Big Daddy V makes his way in and begins to destroy what's left of the babyface team, and finally Reid Flair makes his WWE debut. Batista and Big Daddy V square off, Umaga and Shawn Michaels square off, Trevor Murdoch ends up with John Morrison while Cody Rhodes has Shelton Benjamin. Somewhere in the fray, Reid Flair is able to hook the figure four leglock on the Miz, and the Miz surrenders. Big Daddy V, Umaga, Morrison, and the Miz all exit the ring, while Shelton regains consciousness and stands up only to be leveled with Sweet Chin Music. Batista follows with a Batista Bomb. Rhodes and Murdoch hold up Benjamin while Reid motions for the veterans to enter the cage. Dusty Rhodes gives Benjamin a bionic elbow, and Steamboat gives him a hard chop. Windham delivers a DDT, and Anderson gives a Double A spinebuster. Now it is the moment everyone has been waiting for, Flair's turn. Murdoch and Rhodes hold up Benjamin, and Flair cuts a promo in his face letting him know that there will only be one true Nature Boy in the history of Professional Wrestling. No matter who claims the moniker, there is only one Ric Flair. Flair then calls Charlie Haas, Super Crazy, Colin Delaney, Kane, and Elijah Burke to the ring. Haas, Crazy, and Delaney all slap Benjamin. Burke gives him 4 Up. Kane delivers a chokeslam. The icing on the cake comes as Ric Flair hooks in the figure four leglock. His music hits and the 15 babyfaces exit together in celebration of the dismantling of the New Breed Horsemen.

Week 13: August 19 – August 26: ECW: CM Punk cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase to defeat Shelton Benjamin for the ECW World Heavyweight Title.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Protecting the Business

As I mentioned in my last post, I just recently finished the book about Superstar Billy Graham, "Tangled Ropes." One thing that the Superstar talked about quite a bit is how the wrestlers used their carny language (adding "iz" to the middle of words, among other things) to confuse the general public as to what they were talking about, in an effort to "protect the business."

I found a pretty interesting video on youtube today, and it shows "candid" interviews with Gorilla Monsoon, Hulk Hogan, and the Samoans. I can pick up the nuances of "protecting the business" in Gorilla's and Monsoon's sections, and the part with the Samoans is pretty thick - they stick to their character 100%.

It's also pretty interesting that the reporter does her analysis of some of the strikes during the Hogan/Monsoon encounter, trying to "out" the sport as being "fake."

Check it out...

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Superstar

When I was 12, I picked up Wrestlemania 4. It was on sale at the video store and I got it along with a few other WWF tapes for about $20. They all came in those huge boxes. The ones that are extra big so they could have more area to put the art on and draw your attention.

I remember watching the Don "The Rock" Muraco match and seeing Superstar Billy Graham for the first time. Upon seeing the Superstar, I wondered, "Who the hell is this guy trying to rip off Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan? Man was I wrong.

Last Christmas I got an huge addition to my WWE DVD collection. These are like the only thing I ask for at Christmas, and I quickly had over half of them watched. I was on my way to having my whole year's worth of videos watched by January. I knew I had to do something, I had to stop right away.

One of the videos I got was Superstar Bill Graham's documentary, and it came with his autobiography, entitled Tangled Ropes. I told myself I absolutely could not watch any more of the DVDs until I finished reading the Superstar's book.

I really hate reading. I honestly don't read anything besides stuff I see on the internet, and that is mostly strength forums. Sure, I read Bischoff's book last year, but I read that over a vacation. During a real week, I never open a book, so it took me forever to read Tangled Ropes. I started it a few times, but it was very difficult wading through his born again Christian section at the beginning.

Well, this past week, I was on vacation again and decided to work my way through this book. What a story brother! Since watching Wrestlemania 4 all those years ago, I did actually find out that Superstar was the champion between Bruno Sammartino and Bob Bachlund, but I had no idea what a profound influence the Superstar Bill Graham has had on wrestling. This man basically spawned the career of Jesse Ventura and Hulk Hogan both. If the Superstar was never around, we might never have had Hulkamania!

I truly suggest everyone who enjoys documentaries and autobiographies of wrestlers check out both this book and the DVD. Superstar is not a perfect human being. He is full of faults and made a lot of mistakes in his life, similar to Jake Roberts in his drug problems, and similar to the Ultimate Warrior in his poor business decisions. But Superstars story seems to be one with a happy ending.

Although Superstar may have done damage to his wrestling career on his own, he seems to be making the best of his new life by trying to help others. After receiving a liver by donation, he is now trying to spread the word about organ donation.

Put this DVD and book set on your list of items to get - I am sure you will enjoy it. And if you have time, check out this video from the Superstar himself, where he discusses his efforts around organ donation.

Thanks for checking out the PUNDIT.
Napalm's Corner

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