Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In This Very Ring ...

Will be up tomorrow - we did broadcast it but my uploader is busted.

Meanwhile everyone have a GREAT New Year! All the best in 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chyna's Hospitalization

I know it's a Raw night and this is usually where I give my thoughts on the show - but given Ari and I will be going on the air tomorrow night (or else Wednesday morning depending on the timing) to air a special New Year's Eve edition of In This Very Ring, I figured I'd save the discussion of tonight's very newsworthy and interesting show for that, to discuss Joanie Laurer, the former "Chyna" of WWE.

On her birthday this weekend, Laurer was found passed out in her bathroom with cuts on her arms, and was rushed to the hospital. There, a psychiatric assessment couldn't even be completed due to her high level of blood-alcohol. Laurer herself explained to TMZ today that her blackout was the result of drinking alcohol to celebrate her birthday, and that they mixed unexpectedly poorly with a new prescription she's on.

A few thoughts on this:

  1. Jim Ross commented today on his blog that Laurer, when she was with the WWE, was incredibly health conscious, and that it is sad to see what she's become today. He reminds Laurer that WWE has a policy of providing all former employees access to rehab and other help should they need it. This is a good point, and I strongly encourage Laurer to consider this option. I know she has her issues with those in charge at the WWE - particularly former boyfriend Triple H, and his wife, boss's daughter Stephanie McMahon. But she shouldn't be too proud if she needs help, to accept it.
  2. Even if this time it was simply an unfortunate and accidental mix of alcohol and prescription drugs, firstly, this is not the first time Chyna's drug problems have been exposed to the world - even if it was 'just alcohol', that's still dangerous in a former addict. And even if it was an innocent and thoughtless few drinks at a party, by someone on prescription meds, let's remember that similarly innocent mistakes have killed before, even within the wrestling industry. See Miss Elizabeth, a wrestling valet who died at the age of 42 when mixing vodka with prescribed anxiety medications and sleeping pills.
  3. On an unrelated note - the idiot interviewing Chyna today when she said she would 'be OK', mentioned he was concerned about a string of deaths in the Ultimate Fighting world lately and was afraid that the tragedies might spill over into the wrestling world. Hello? Unfortunately we wrestling fans are all too used to this nonsense. Wrestling did unnecessary and sudden freak tragedies well before UFC came on the scene - and still does it much better. Sadly.
Bottom line: Joanie, Chyna, Ms. Laurer. I know you've had a tough life. Your mother sounds like a real nut job, and your father as well. I know that Triple H's involvement with the family which monopolizes your chosen profession made it, and obviously continues to make it, difficult for you professionally. I know your relationship with Sean Waltman was also volatile. But you were a strong woman, an intelligent woman who spoke many languages, wanted to be a UN interpreter, had a military background, and have traveled the world. You taught the WWE and its fans that one can be beautiful without necessarily fitting into a particular mold. It's sad to see what you've become, as you're starting to fit into the saddest mold of all - that which will have you following the likes of your friend Anna Nicole Smith to an early grave.

You have lots of avenues open to you with your background - it's time to stop the pity party and start exploring them. After teaching so many lessons through your work in wrestling, it's now time to learn, and in turn to demonstrate, perhaps the toughest one of all - that a truly strong woman, when faced with personal and professional setbacks, gets up, cleans herself off, and faces the next challenge better than any man ever could. Now get up and go get 'em!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas and Smackdown

First of all everyone I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas yesterday, is enjoying a wonderful Hanukkah, and/or has enjoyed/is enjoying/will enjoy this festive season in whatever way they celebrate. It's been a special Christmukkah around the Daigen household this year, so I can't help but wish all of you the same! :)

Having said that, tonight's Smackdown; due to it being a holiday I don't feel there's a WHOLE lot to address but let's see ... in no particular order ...

  • I said in no particular order but I WILL start with the opener - Triple H calling out Vladimir Kozlov, Chavo Guerrero coming out to express GM Vicki Guerrero's displeasure at his involvement in Kozlov's match last week, etc. etc. was all well and good. Triple H's insulting Vicki's size, as a plus-size woman myself, wasn't entirely cool but if I wanted to complain about the misogynistic tendencies of wrestling this is NOT the time to start lol. I was also not entirely pleased with how quickly Triple H defeated Chavo when Vicki declared the impromptu match between them, but that's Chavo's role of late I suppose. It IS a fair point of Triple H's that Chavo - the 'real' Guerrero - is the whipping boy of Vicki - the Guerrero by marriage only - and the best I can hope is that his treatment at the hands of Vicki's inner circle (Edge, Big Show, Vicki herself) will eventually turn Chavo face to defend the honour of his family name. It would be much more honest than Rey Mysterio Jr. doing so. *shrug*
  • The heat between Edge and Big Show - as Vicki's two pet favourites - makes sense and I can't wait in some ways to see where it goes. And if it builds to tag team matches against the Hardys, as it will next week, then no complaints. But I'm afraid once Matt takes his little title and goes back to ECW, that it's going to lead to more Triple Threats for the SD title ... and that? That's not cool. Also, Jeff beating Big Show by countout? I suppose it's better than LOSING his first non-title match as champ (see Mysterio, Rey, and Punk, CM) - but, still. Weak.
  • A surprising victory for Carlito Colon vs. The Brian Kendrick. Good for Carlito - does this mean they might start giving him the push he deserves - or that he'll start earning the push they want to give him? Please! :) Let's hope so. He's a talented wrestler if he could get over the attitude. Now I just hope they either change MVPs luck, or else give us the punchline to his losing streak of late. Losing to Khali? Getting picked on by some dude who's been off for months and has only been seen pimping his new movie out since? Sigh ...
  • Michelle McCool finally pulled the trigger on her heel turn. All good as this leaves her feuding with Maria, and Maryse, a talented young French Canadian wrestler, as Diva's champ. Except who will feud with Maryse then? Hmm ...
  • Gregory Helms and Shelton Benjamin put on an awesome match. PPV worthy? Not neccesarily. Above and beyond for Smackdown? Definitely.
A good show seeing Edge getting cheered by us weirdos in Toronto-town. Aagin it was a holiday show so not THE most eventful, but not entirely UN-newsworthy either, now that I've written it all out. Some good progress, and seeds sown for the coming weeks ... such as, Triple H can't interfere in Vladimir Kozlov matches without losing his Royal Rumble spot. Oooh drama. Anyway, again, final verdict? Good stuff.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Surprise! Early ITVR (sort of)

Merry Christmas! Just a solo session of ITVR tonight as Ari's working late, but please enjoy - and my apologies for the shody microphone; you try podcasting and holding a baby at the same time. ;)

I hope you guys all lay the smackdown on some turkey this Christmas and have a wonderful Holiday. I'll be back on Boxing Day! Happy Holidays one and all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

This n That

So - as much as it is for a worthy cause - our son - I have to cop to being disappointed at missing tomorrow night's Raw in Toronto. Tomorrow night is when the four champion vs. champion matches are going to happen to determine who will go on to the fatal four way next week, which will in turn determine the #1 Contender to John Cena's world championship. It would have been cool to see:

Shawn Michaels vs. Kane
Randy Orton vs. Batista (pending Batista's 'condition' after being punted in the head by Orton)
Rey Mysterio vs. JBL
Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk

Either way be sure and tune in here tomorrow night - Tuesday at the latest - for my thoughts on tomorrow's Raw. With that lineup, barring any baiting and switching, it should be an OK show. :)

Also be sure to check out (under the 'arts' section) for Mick Foley's review of 'The Wrestler'. Some good thoughts and what seems like a fair analysis of the film from a wrestling insider's point of view. Worth the read.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vince McMahon's screening of "The Wrestler"

If anyone hears any loud and thunderous bellows coming from the direction of Stamford, CT today, don't worry, it is not a sign of the Apocalypse, but simply Vince McMahon during his private viewing of "The Wrestler", scheduled for this afternoon. ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In this Very Ring, December 17 Episode

Click the post title to listen. :) And for Little Tyke's on air debut. ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Action Plan for a Live ITVR, and Raw Last Night

Before going into my thoughts on last night's Raw (a decent show, by the way), just wanted to update you on the stop-n-go plans to bring ITVR live on the air in the near-future. I was working on doing so for this week, but then it occurred to me the next two weeks are Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, so no one will probably be listening live anyway. So the plan as of right now is to podcast tomorrow night's show (to be up around midnight or so), as well as next week's. New Year's Eve will also be podcast, and kind of a Year in Review/Best and Worst of ... kind of episode. And with any luck then, the first In This Very Ring of the New Year will be brought to you live over the interweb. :D Check back here for updates if that plan changes. And meanwhile, expect a good show tomorrow, lot's to talk about with Jeff Hardy's title win and just what that means for the company, who now has a world champion one bad session of peeing in a cup away from being fired.

As for Raw, my thoughts in no particular order are:

  • I actually liked the angle with Kane and Kelly Kelly. It's not exactly original, which is too bad, to have Kane pining after a girl he can't have, and assaulting her boyfriend, but it brings us back to the roots of the Kane character I suppose, and it was an interesting switch to have Kelly Kelly tell him she's dating the Miz when she clearly isn't. Taking bets on who Kelly's 'real' (kayfabe) boyfriend is?
  • I was disappointed they didn't go straight into the Punk-Regal match tonight as there are only so many Raws left in 2008 if they want to do the 'Punk wins all the titles in one calendar year' bit. But I suppose as the tag champs who just lost their belts, it makes sense that they want to give the fans who didn't see the title switch on TV a chance to see these two teams - Kingston/Punk and Miz/Morrison - go at it.
  • I feel bad for Hacksaw Jim Duggan and this was probably my biggest complaint about the show - Cryme Tyme takes him offscreen and from what I could see they never followed up on it. He's been mouthed off to and abused by heels for awhile and had just come off being insulted by Chris Jericho - I like that they addressed this issue, but just HOW?
  • I'd have liked to see Shawn Michaels and JBL actually live instead of a recap of last night - especially since we paid $40 to see that, and why since they now played it for the non-paying Monday Night audience. I am still not buying Shawn Michaels as being concerned he's going to end up playing for peanuts in high school gyms anywhere, but I did find this speech a bit more ... satisfactory, the second time around. And kudos to Shawn for playing this as well as he can given it's nonsense.
  • A good long main event, decent given the folks involved - a bit draggy but still impressive.
  • I like the 'former champions compete in 4 matches, winners compete in a four-way to determine the #1 contender' format Stephanie McMahon announced to choose John Cena's next opponent. It will take up a good 2-3 weeks of Raw, provide for some top-notch wrestling given some of the names involved in this mini-tournament, and it makes more sense than 'The #1 contender is whoever the champion hates most this week". It gives Raw, also, a wrestling focus for the coming weeks.
  • My only complaint about the above? I just found the 'Batista's rematch clause expired' thing hokey. Stephanie and Shane McMahon neglected to put him in a rematch as he requested in a timely fashion, and HE suffers? Oh well. He'll get his chance here. And the nice thing with this, given the 8 men involved, it is actually not easy to figure out who Cena's Royal Rumble opponent will be! (I'd say Tista, but I think they're saving that for Mania).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jeff Hardy, new WWE Champ

So there's not a lot bad to say about Armageddon tonight - it was a good show, solid action ... sure there wasn't a lot in terms of storyline or character development, but there were some good solid matches, moreso than I expected and it was an entertaining 3 hours. Matt Hardy extracted a decent match out of Vladimir Kozlov, Rey Mysterio-CM Punk was good except for the sloppy Go To Sleep which broke Rey's nose, the Shawn Michaels-JBL interaction was interesting although I have a hard time believing Shawn's hard up for money (as Jason Powell pointed out - couldn't good buddy Trips lend him some if he is?), Finlay-Mark Henry was better than I expected it to be, the 8-diva match was OK even and Mae Young-Khali was hilarious, Randy Orton-Batista was predictably slow but solid, and Chris Jericho and John Cena put on the very good match I expected.

And then we got to the final match of the night, on of the best Triple Threats I've ever seen, at least a 4-star match in which Jeff Hardy finally won his first WWE title. I was at the PPV where the Hardy Boys made one of their very earliest appearances as a team in a dark match; I turned to my brother, father, and buddy at that time and said 'These boys are going to be something'. I think they agree with me they were talented, but not the types who'd get far in the WWE. No real gimmick (and eventually a kinda weird one), on the small side of 'wrestling normal', etc. And for too many years they were right. Well, tonight, mine did :D. There's still ample opportunity for 'one more strike and you're out' Jeff to let down the WWE now that they've put the ball in his court, but wherever things go from here, for one magical night, the boys from Cameron NC done good:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This n That

So Armageddon's tomorrow night - please tune in after the show for our thoughts on it! Jim Ross predicts some surprises, as that seems to have been the theme of PPVs this year (think John Cena's returns, Edge's return last month, Chris Jericho's title wins, etc.) - so it might not be the cut & dry secondary PPV we expected. Let's see where it goes. :) Meanwhile an 8-diva tag team match has been added to the Armageddon show since Ari's and my broadcast Thursday - an 8 woman tag match featuring Michelle McCool, Maria, Mickie James and Kelly Kelly vs. Natalya, Maryse, Victoria, and Jillian Hall. I predict the heels win and Michelle McCool's heel turn trigger gets pulled ... now.

Only got to see snippits of this show through a 'sleeping until the next feeding' fog; but of particular note: I enjoyed the interactions between Jeff Hardy and Triple H, particularly Jeff attacking the Gamey one before he even got to the ring for the opening match. Frick's sake foos, who lets their opponent actually get to the ring and wind off for 20 mins before attacking them anyway? Smart stuff. And they closed the show too; granted Edge attacked both of them but the heat between them with Edge as pot-stirrer has been awesome. Also good interaction between Edge and Matt Hardy. This furthers my thoughts the other day of a build to some Matt-Jeff dissention goodness. I'd THOUGHT Jeffy might go heel as having orchestrated the appearance of his own 'beatdown' at the hotel last month, but the possibility is also there Matt did it and is pointing the finger at Edge to cover his own tracks. Interesting stuff to see play out.

WWE's embarking on a Canadian tour that's already newsmaking! Miz and Morrison defeated Kofi Kingston and CM Punk for their tag team championships on the tour, and Trish Stratus placed a visit during WWE's swing through Toronto. Now that her Travel Channel show "Stratusphere" is done ... might the many-times former WWE Women's Champ be preparing to grace the WWE with some more Stratusfaction?

Again, be sure and tune in tomorrow night for Armageddon thoughts! Have a great Saturday night all! :D

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Click title for podcast. :) Tune in next week.

Stay Tuned

Hi Folks,

Our apologies--we're still working out the kinks in this "live broadcast" thing, so very sorry to anyone tuning in at precisely 10 EST. We're just going to go for the podcast this week, which we'll record now and post around or before midnight. Hopefully by next week we'll have this all sorted out--thanks for bearing with us!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Due to some conflicts we didn't foresee with Ari's work, adjusting to a new feeding schedule for our boy etc. In This Very Ring will air tomorrow at 10pm instead of tonight. We will be back to Wednesday nights next week as usual; should we switch nights again you will be informed. :) So be sure to tune in tomorrow for our thoughts on Raw, and on Armageddon coming up!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


So I still didn't catch the show, so this will be brief as I'm going largely by what I heard, and the bit I DID see.

The Divas: Good stuff! I'm a little concerned about Michelle McCool going heel, when the heel Divas on SD are the stronger group as it is, but she's executing this well. Maria looks ... different though. Has she like, lost a LOT of weight? Or is it just me? She looks awfully skinny and I think I liked her better before, if so.

Edge and Vicki Guerrero have that awesome heel heat chemistry - I still await the explanation of just how Edge's time away helped them resolve their differences. I suspect I could wait until Doomsday however, and that wouldn't be forthcoming. Maybe the odd loose end NOT tied up is for the best anyway. Chalk it up to absence makes the heart grow fonder, and try not to vomit when they make out lol. BTW: Edge playing pot-stirrer between the newly-attitudinal Jeff Hardy and Triple H is highly amusing. I think they could have come up with a better 'punishment' match than a 'gauntlet till the makeshift Hardy-H team loses' however; really if either of these men were bright they'd have lay down and saved their strength for a match that really matters. That said, this match signaled the return of Ryder and Hawkins so can't complain about that.

Not much to root for in the Big Show-Undertaker rivalry ... it's actually been very boring where as a high-impact feud between big men it should be very interesting ... but Big Show did an awesome promo on Friday, just awesome. I had a hard time for awhile getting into him as a heel after he'd played the big friendly giant for so long, but this promo was very convincing to me.

So there, yeah - basically a good show. Will be interesting to see everything play out going into Armageddon coming up next weekend. More talk about that as the week goes on, and about the Slammy's - which I'm going to leave you with some picks for the last few categories.

BEST ANNOUNCE TEAM - I'm going JR/Tazz; either that or the ECW announce team to build some heat between Tazz and Matt Stryker, who have been takiang some jabs at each other of late. This one will be given out exclusively on the internet.

BEST MUSICAL PERFORMANCE - Santino's rapping to Akon, hands down. Unless they want to take it seriously and give it to R-Truth's entrance. Another exclusive.

BEST WWE.COM EXCLUSIVE: Either the Dirt Sheet or Word Up wins here - let's give it to the Dirt Sheet, as that's the one *I* personally would choose. Miz and Morrison at their best. Another internet-based category.

BREAKOUT STAR OF THE YEAR: I really want to say Evan Bourne for this one, but I'm afraid his injury might put him out of the minds of some. But they've done a good job of keeping him in the spotlight so I'm keeping this prediction anyway. Evan Bourne. It's an easy one to throw ECW, who is really suffering in my predictions I notice, unless they walk away with announce team as well.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Slammy Awards

I was going to comment on Smackdown tonight but I didn't have the chance to see it yet - tune in for my thoughts on that show over the weekend. Meanwhile - my predictions for the Slammy's now that all nominees have been announced.

Category: Superstar of the Year
Batista, Chris Jericho, Edge, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Triple H

Common wisdom would say Triple H, and since it doesn't look like the fans make this choice, it probably will be. But if they want to simulate the opinion of the fans, my personal choice would be Chris Jericho, for being (hate to admit as an HBK fan) the stronger half of WWE's feud of the year.

Category: Match of the Year
"Royal Rumble" Battle Royal, "WM 24" Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair, "WM 24" Money in the Bank, "Summerslam" Hell in a Cell, Edge vs. Undertaker
My prediction and common wisdom, I think will coincide here - I'm going with Flair/Michaels in Ric Flair's last match as a professional wrestler. The end of an era.

Category: Diva of the Y ear
Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Michelle McCool

Beth Phoenix is the most dominant Diva on Raw, which means she is the most dominant Diva in the most competitiev field. Go with er for the win here, on my opinion, AND likely that of WWE Brass.

Category: OMG Moment of the Year
CM Punk cashing in his Money in the Bank; Undertaker 'sending Edge to Hell' at Summerslam; Floyd Mayweather breaking Big Show's nose; John Cena's Royal Rumble return

Personally I liked Floyd Mayweather's punch to Big Show because it was an unscripted, beautiful moment in wrestling TV. In terms of surprise factor, long term impact, etc. etc. etc. though I'm going with John Cena's Royal Rumble return. For 5 seconds, everyone was behind Dr. Thuggypants and poppin' bigtime. It was a VERY cool moment.

Category: "DAMN!" Moment of the year
Khali Kiss Kam; JR in a sailor suit for Halloween; CM Punk disguised as a Mariachi to attack Chavo Guerrero; Santino Marella's attempt at Melina's entrance

I'm going with the latecomer here - Santino all the way! :D King of the damn moments.

Category: Tag Team of the Year
Cryme Tyme, Miz and Morrison, the Colons (Carlito andPrimo), Priceless

Tough call - Miz and Morrison and Priceless are the two most pushed teams on their respective brands. Raw's gotten a lot of handouts so far, let's go with the NEW M&M. :) Especially since they've been appearing on Raw as often as not lately anyway. ;)

Category: Finishin Move of the Year
Randy Orton's RKO, Undertaker's Hell's Gate, Big Show's Knockout Punch, Evan Bourne's Shooting Star Press

Unless they go with a real darkhorse here - ie trying to keep Evan Bourne in the picture by giving this to him - I'm going with Taker's Hell's Gate; while the RKO is a perennial favourite, Undertaker's triangle choke has been a real boon to his arsenal this year, and highly touted.

Category: Extreme Moment of the Year
Jeff Hardy's 30-ft. Swanton onto Randy Orton; Undertaker's fall off a ladder through a table in TLC vs. Edge; JBL throwing John Cena off the stage through a car windshield; Shawn Michaels gets put through the Jeritron by Chris Jericho

Tossup here - Jeff Hardy's Swanton vs. Jericho's attack on Michaels. I'll give the edge to Hardy here again as these awards have been Raw heavy thus far. Also, this was cool to watch. :) Although meanwhile can someone take the time to explain to me the difference between this category, the "DAMN!" category, and OMG category? Pls n thx? :P

Category: Couple of the Year
Vicki Guerrero and Edge, Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix, Layla and William Regal, Finlay and Hornswoggle

Finlay and ... what?! Ugh. OK nevermind - not even going there. It's going to come down to one of the first two options; I'm going with Glamarella since a. they're more recent and fresh in all our minds and b. on Raw which seems to be an advantage here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A couple of notes on ITVR

1. The PLAY button is now there - however it only works on Internet Explorer from what I can see at this hour w/how tired I am lol. Be sure and hit play around 10pm Wednesday nights - some other times I might put some archived shows up as well ... I'll play around with it a bit more tomorrow to see if I can keep my station running with my computer off. :)

2. Thanks again for your patience. :)


Bad news - no ITVR this week either. I'm going to explain though, no more cryptic excuses. We adopted a little boy who was born about 18 days ago. Because it's an adoption we've been not sharing as it isn't our story to tell - and we will say no more from here as we might already be pushing the envelope. But THAT'S why the difficulty in getting the broadcast up these last few weeks.

But now do you want the good news?

We will be able to broadcast LIVE going forward! :D We have hooked up with uBroadcast, which means a live show ... which means hopefully going forward the opportunity for guests, call-ins, and an actual time frame to keep us honest. 10pm Eastern every Wednesday ... no fussing with uploads or downloads anymore or any of that ... just click the 'play' button that is going to appear in our sidebar at that time, and join us LIVE! :)

No promises as to when guests or any of those other features are going to start ... but stay tuned. I figured a couple dead weeks here will be worth the transition to the bigger, better ITVR! And thanks for your patience these last 3 weeks ... and over the whole run of getting back into the show. It's been fits and starts, but the best is yet to come.

Meanwhile ... stay tuned this week for thoughts on Smackdown, as well as a preview of Monday's big 3-hour Raw special, featuring the Slammy's, Batista vs. Triple H, and John Cena vs. Edge.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Behind the scenes info.

First and foremost, be sure to tune in tomorrow for my thoughts on Raw, currently in progress. But I thought I'd check in during a commercial break to discuss some bits and pieces of news I've heard about over today and the weekend in wrestling-land.

1. McMahon sycophant and longtime road agent Bruce Pritchard (more famously known as Brother Love) has been let go. I'm generally going to say 'good' - as much as he's a very experienced 'wrestling' guy, if there's stuff that doesn't work, you start replacing the machine.

2. Batista reveals he was involved recently with Kelly Kelly, 21-year-old WWE Diva. The 40-year-old Superstar and grandfather also admitted to finding the 56-year-old Morgan Fairchild attractive. At least there's no age discrimination there, but hey, Dave; ever think of dating someone, oh, say 35-45? Just sayin' ...

3. WWE came in #2 on Yahoo's Most Searched list this year, beating out President-Elect Barack Obama. Also, Stephanie McMahon was named one of Cablefax's 20 to Watch - one of the 20 most powerful individuals in cable. Congrats to WWE and the McMahon's on both impressive feats. Kudos should be given when due.

4. Randy Orton has been offered a new 10-year deal with the WWE; he is currently considering the offer. In the meantime, that is a huge reflection on how valuable they consider Orton to be. In perspective, they offered Rey Mysterio a 5-year deal. Rey settled for a shorter, 3-year deal.

5. Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, there was a very, VERY good interview with Terri Runnels, formerly Marlena in the WWE and the ex-wife of Dustin Runnels (son of Dusty Rhodes, brother of Cody Rhodes, a.k.a. Goldust) at A very interesting look at the former Diva's life before, during, and after her entry into the wrestling business.

Again - tune in tomorrow for Raw thoughts, and as always, tune in Wednesday for In This Very Ring. :) Hope to see you then.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


An interesting SD, though a bit of a letdown ...

They never explained why Edge and Vicki Guerrero, who when last seen were HIGHLY estranged spouses, worked things out enough to have been in cahoots at the Survivor Series. I get Vicki's concern as GM about Jeff Hardy's reliabiilty; I get Edge recognizing an opportunity when he sees one. But then just say that - 'we don't like each other or trust each other but we have common cause right now so we'll deal with it'. I can totally see those two people, as they've developed their characters so far, making deals with the devil like that. It's a simple explanation that would leave everyone and everything a bit less confused.

Conversely, I always enjoy Beat the Clock setups - especially in this situation where I'm quite tired of the Smackdown Title being defended in Triple Threat Matches, and I actually agree with Vlad Kozlov when he says 'no Triple Threats'. A smart way to deal with that ... and the tournament was even entertaining in terms of Matt Hardy simply running and ducking and weaving with Kozlov to run out the clock for his brother, and Triple H having a great match as well ... except for the time expiring at the same time as the ref's hand hit the mat for Trips' three-count. A tie is an interesting way to go here, as I don't think that's ever happened in a Beat the Clock scenario and it's kind of interesting ... but does this mean another Triple Threat? I mean at least Edge can carry his weight a bit better than Kozlov but ...

I'm personally hoping for a stip more along the lines of Wrestlemania X, where one challenged Edge while the other guy gets his own match, and faces the winner later in the evening. Perhaps they'll do something like that, or else have Jeff Hardy and Triple H fight for the spot ... especially since they made a point of acknowledging the way too frequent use of Triple Threat Matches of late. We'll see - I'm just tired of saying that. There's only so many times one can say that before having to acknowledge 'OK y'know what? They don't know what the hell they're doing either'.

Some good points? Again, match quality - especially the divas 6-woman match. Michelle McCool teasing a heel turn is interesting on the one point, except almost all the girls who can actually wrestle are heels; it was nice having her and the Bellas as faces to counteract that. Because what next then ... Maria's thrown in as the third 'face'? Boo! Still a great match though, with some good moves and good intrigue. I personally also enjoyed Miz and Morrison vs. Jesse and Festus, and the messing with the bell - apparently this has been done a lot, so perhaps it's better because I haven't watched a whole lot of Smackdown but *I* was entertained. :) So some definite good points - but the Vicki Guerrero/Edge relationship, and the world title picture, both leave some situations to be resolved, and which shouldn't be left hanging too long.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ITVR - This and That

Hi guys,

So we've been spending a lot of time this week at the hospital - don't ask how that can be good news, lol, but it is - which has meant no time for ITVR. That said I don't feel as bad about that this week as I did last week, since I've still given myself a lot more opportunity to come on here and talk about wrestling than I had in previous weeks. Some steps in the right direction, which will continue. :)

Now I'm not sure how the broadcasting this week will go - I'd still like to put something up tonight or tomorrow, but it might not be a full show, and/or it might not happen. So please stay tuned; however either way I'm also working on something big for ITVR's next broadcast so stay tuned for that as well! :)

Meanwhile, some interesting behind the scenes developments going on this week, as Tomko and Gail Kim were both confirmed rehired by the WWE, the "E" sued wrestler Ed Leslie over his use of the Brutus Beefcake name when he's been doing so without reprimand for years, and Linda Hogan's new boyfriend, Charley Hill, accused Hulk Hogan, her estranged husband, of stalking him and wanting to kill him while seeking a restraining order against the Hulk yesterday. I also want to touch briefly on the Slammy's before letting you go. :) Yes - the Slammy's, returning in I believe it's two weeks time on Raw ...

  • About Tomko and Gail Kim: these are both talented competitors who really hit their full potential once WWE let them go and they found their stride in TNA. Here's hoping WWE rehired them due to seeing that potential, and that they decide to use them correctly, instead of rehiring them simply to get them away from TNA, which will only result in WWE showing their pettiness towards stars 'created' by another company, in letting them sit home and collect a paycheck which in this day and age WWE can't really afford to pay for. As a note - is Tomko's return, and Edge's big return at the Survivor Series this week, at all indicative of Christian Cage also having re-signed with his once and future home? One can hope - again if he's used properly. Keep your fingers crossed.
  • Ed Leslie has used the Brutus Beefcake name since 2000 without WWE giving a flying fig about it - to me, this is a petty lawsuit only because he's now achieved some success with Hulk Hogan's celebrity wrestling. I'm no legal expert so I'm not sure what will win out here, precedent or the law itself, but if I were a judge, to the extent I could, I would consider WWE's not pushing this issue for nearly a decade in my decision, until there was perhaps some money or lucre to be gained from it.
  • Hogan's attempt to terrorize his estranged wife's 19 year old 'boyfriend': the judge laughed in young Hill's face and so do I. Don't get me wrong - I don't think Hogan's such a nice guy he'd necessarily be above this ... if he CARED about Linda and her shenanigans. Here's the bottom line: while Linda has done everything she can to smear Hogan, he has said nothing about her except to say 'she's trying to smear me'. To me, he's past it, while she still needs her Hulka-meal ticket. Besides, if someone my kids' age was dating MY wife, who's now demanding MY hard earned money go to pay for his tuition at nautical school? I'd plead justifiable homicide lol.
  • And the Slammy's - I've always enjoyed this idea and I'm much more open to it as a result than Jason Powell over at is. That said the categories were released yesterday at, and I have only one question - wtf's the difference between an "OMG moment of the year" and a "DAMN! moment of the year"? I have some ideas on potential nominees which I'll discuss in more detail in a later posting My only concern becomes I don't know who 'best musical act' could be besides Jillian Hall ... maybe Lillian Garcia? Oh well. Again, to be discussed at a later date, and in still more depth once we know who the nominees are.
So that's your 'bits n pieces' entry for the day. Continue to stay tuned, as I know you do! Peace out folks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Survivor Series and Raw Thoughts

OK so moreso than things I simply liked or didn't like from Survivor Series or Raw, I came out with the same feeling from both shows - WWE is trying a different direction; has been for a little bit now in terms of experimenting, and I finally feel like they've made some decisions and are 'going there'. Good or bad? Don't know and will have to see how the above plays out. But I will say this; I have a real feeling of 'make or break' going on. It will either be fantastic, or it will suck totally. Some examples:

  • The 'Jeff Hardy found unconscious' storyline leading up to Survivor Series: offensive, in terms of playing on someone's reputation, and real demons? Yes - not that this is new (see: Hawk, Scott Hall). Would it have been less offensive had they clarified he'd been 'attacked' in the stairwell where he was found? Yes. However, would that have been less cutting-edge, intriguging, and created less buzz? Yes. The mainstream media was had, in terms of their witch hunt looking for WWE pillers, and the "E" succeeded in minimizing any REAL story of this ilk going forward, and creating caution in the media for trusting 'wrestler OD'd stories'. Is this good for wrestlers? Um ... :P Good for business in one sense, bad in another - we'll see if THIS brand of worked shoot becomes a regular feature or is a 'pop a rating' anomalie.
  • The resulting Edge title win: great in that Adam Copeland is an awesome performer and it's always great to see him on top. Suckitudinous in that here's another 'undeserved' run for Edge with the title, and after they pulled a similar bait and switch with CM Punk a few months ago, with him being yoinked out of the World Heavyweight Title scramble in favour of Chris Jericho, it doesn't even feel that creative. And Vicki's support of him after their marriage was in shambles when they were last seen together? It's all very interesting - especially champion Edge - but the consistency problems etc. have to be addressed for me to really get behind this.
  • John Cena as champ and his performance last night can be seen in two ways: Jason Powell at saw Cena's title win as hitting a 'fast forward button' when he could have 'chased' Jericho right to Royal Rumble; his promo last night was pandering and sucking up to the fans. And a fair case can be made. But the 100% positive reaction Cena got in his hometown made it inevitable he'd win the belt; and I think personally he deftly tied in Chris Jericho's disrespect of the WWE, to his disrespect for the fans, and issued his support of both, and judging from the crowd reaction, he succeeded in what he, and the WWE more in particular, wanted him to do - the WWE fans appreciated his support, and sympathized with the WWE being looked down upon by Jericho. In one fell swoop, for that moment or two of magic, Cena got the fans behind him, and the flagging WWE product. Will it last? Again - we will see.
  • IC Title Tournament: I feel about this the way I feel about every tournament; the quality of competition, and the final match, will say a lot about where it goes. Last night, was not particularly inspiring.
  • A huge technical screwup blew Melina's surprise return in the Diva's six-woman tag match; her music played during Candice Michelle's entrance, before she was due to come out. Bad. On the other hand - I have never respected the King and Michael Cole - particularly the King- more than their commentary thereafter. Was it cheezy, and obviously trying to cover up for something? Of course. Did it make me laugh? Yes. Did point A cause point B? You bet your bippy.
So an eventful couple of days for the onscreen WWE product - be sure and tune in tomorrow night to hear even more about all that, and anything else that comes around in the meantime, at roughly 11 or midnight EST, right here ... In This Very Ring. :D

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Survivor Series Update: Jeff Hardy 'found unconscious at his hotel' reported Jeff Hardy was found unconscious in a stairwell at his hotel today, hours before competing for the WWE Title vs. Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. This is widely known to be a work, as no insiders have any information on an actual incident involving the incident-prone Hardy.

This confirms for me that, unless WWE is really keeping things under wraps and this is more real than most people know (doubtful), this is a further sign of Jeff Hardy winning the title tonight. If he competes - as expected - he will win, mark my words.

Also sighted in Boston, near the Survivor Series venue - one Adam Copeland, better known in wrestling circles as former WWE Champion Edge. Possible culprit in a heinous hotel attack on Jeff Hardy? Well we'll have to tune in to the Survivor Series to find out!

Survivor Series Predictions

As promised - here we go ...

Casket Match: Undertaker vs. Big Show
If there's any event with which Undertaker is even more associated than Wrestlemania, it is Survivor Series. It is at this event 18 years ago where he made his WWE debut. He lost his last match to Big Show, and this feud is going on two months old, which is usually around where WWE starts to want to move on with things. All these things point to the Dead Man coming out on top here. Unless anyone's heard rumours of UT needing some time off, which happens now and then, look for him to go over here ... and Show to go six feet under.

WWE Championship Triple Threat Match: Triple H (c) vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov
I think Triple H has had a significant bordering on dominant reign with his title this year - the WWE Title scene has been much more stable than its World Heavyweight counterpart on Raw (which has gone from the Undertaker to Edge to CM Punk to Chris Jericho to Batista back to Jericho in the time Triple H has held his title). That's very understandable to anyone who know's The Game's back story, but even HE relinquishes the title now and then. Given he likes to make doing so a momentous occasion (ie, not just some throwaway monthly PPV), and the Survivor Series is traditionally a big event, and Jeff Hardy has been built for months as 'one step away from the title', I'm actually going to go with an underdog and predict that this is young Mr. Hardy's night. For 8 months he's kept his nose relatively clean, and done his time; his onscreen character's developed a new attitude in the last month, no longer appreciating being tweaked by Trips. Kozlov's not quite ready for the big time. All signs point to a Hardy win except for past precedent. And with that in mind don't get me wrong - a Triple H win would NEVER surprise me. But I'm going to take my chance here and predict it's Hardy's night.

Traditional Survivor Elimination Match #1: Batista (captain), R Truth, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston and Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton (captain), Shelton Benjamin, Cody Rhodes, William Regal and Mark Henry
For those not in the know, this is a ten-person tag team match in which each wrestler gets eliminated when he takes a fall (by pin, submission, DQ or countout). The final wrestlers standing when one entire team has been eliminated, are the 'survivors' - the basis of the Survivor Series format. With that in mind I'm hard pressed often to figure out the exact configuration of who will be standing at the end, who will be eliminated in what order, etc., as some wrestling pundits do. This match though I'm going to go out on a limb to say (a) I think Batista will be the sole survivor, and (b) I believe we will be seeing him alone vs. at least two or three members of Team Orton. Batista will perceive recent losses to Chris Jericho and CM Punk as having made him look weak, and given his ego is reportedly not that far off from Triple H's, I could see him wanting - and getting - a stronger push here to keep him on top.

Traditional Survivor Elimination Match #2: Shawn Michaels (captain), Great Khali, Rey Mysterio and Cryme Tyme vs. JBL (captain), The Miz, John Morrison, MVP and Kane
The faces go over in this one too, in my opinion. I think we'll see a strong showing from MVP after a long PPV dry spell, but ultimately the heels are going down in defeat - especially after Miz and Morrison got an important win over Shawn Michaels on Raw last week. As much as HBK has 'grown up', do you really think he'll allow that to stand? JBL has become the 'beatable main eventer', sort of like Chris Benoit or Eddy Guerrero or Randy Savage before him, the guy people beat, on their way to world title matches. All signs point to a win for Team Michaels, and taking a stab at the final configuration, I'm thinking only Cryme Tyme will have taken an early shower for the face team by the end.

Traditional Survivor Elimination Match #3: Michelle McCool (captain), Maria, Victoria, Maryse and Natalya Neidhart vs. Beth Phoenix (captain), Mickie James, Candice Michelle, Kelly Kelly and Jillian Hall
I think Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown SHOULD come down to either the two captains, giving us a taste of those two fighting and perhaps leading to an interpromotional divas match at Royal Rumble or WM 25, or else if the WWE is, for once, more interested in giving us some interesting and unique wrestling, it could come down to Beth Phoenix or Mickie James vs. Natalya Neidhart - Natty really needs to be able to do more and go further than she has in the dud-like Diva's division over on SD. I think this will come down to a one on one altercation, and it's tough to choose exactly which side will go over. Based on shear name value, and assuming that sells, I'm going to guess Raw wins in the end. If they don't, figure Santino Marella - boyfriend of Beth Phoenix - unintentionally cost them the match, and some Glamarella fireworks will ensue.

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs. John Cena
Short and sweet, I'm going with my old rule of thumb: go with Cena, you'll only be wrong once. ;) Jokes aside, look: I don't think Cena has a place in this Wrestlemania's main event picture. It's going to be a big night full of tradition, pomp and circumstance. With names like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Chris Jericho - true veterans who have been with the company a long time - on the roster, and a rumoured Steve Austin one-night-only in-ring return, while Cena will have a BIG role to play, I'm not sure it's at the top of the card on that night. But he IS a main event player whose return WWE has been hyping big time, fighting in his hometown, and for whom the timing is right to have a respectable reign before losing it at the Royal Rumble to Batista or Randy Orton, leading up to a final, one-on-one faceoff between those two at WM. So look for a Cena win! - Duh ... ;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

State of the Blog (and ITVR) Address

OK guys - so ... ITVR was just a pain to find time to fit in this week, and today, too, the day I promised we'd post finally, got away from us in the craziness that has been the last 3 days (honestly, they make the last two months I've been saying the same thing look downright chill by comparison). So with your permission I'm declaring this week a lost cause for recording. But I wanted to take the time to come online here and address these last 6-8 weeks or so that have been spotty, both for ITVR podcasting AND blogging, with more than just a 'I'm flitting off right now, sorry for the lack of detail, it's going to turn around'. This site means a lot to me, and while there aren't a big number of you who read regularly, I know those of you who do are very, very loyal and I appreciate that.

Having said that, the simplest explanation in this case IS the truest, for my own part - honestly, life has just gotten in the way. And I know that's vague and I've said it before, but honestly, in some ways it goes no deeper than the obvious fact that as a school teacher it was easier to fit regular commentary in over the summer! As for my partner in crime, Ari's job w/his current work changed, as did his schedule, plus he's got a few other projects going on that have made me feel bad demanding the rare time he has in the evening for our podcasts.

To me and to anyone, that explanation is understandable, I think. And if you add to that two weeks where we both were ill, plus that I had a full-time teaching gig in which I had to fit a whole semester into two-thirds of one, and now it's a full time job FINDING work ... AND through all that I've been directing a play, tutoring part-time, and lastly and most of all, that there are some major things going on in our lives at this particular moment (all good stuff - changes for the better - but very rapidly occurring and defying a whole lot of detail or explanation at the moment), and it has been truly, truly insane, and I suppose I should just be pleased, and ask you to be pleased, that I've even had time to *watch* wrestling these last two months, much less comment on it - but that's not me. To me, this is a project I've taken on myself, I've had hundreds of people (apparently) read this site, and I haven't kept up with the blogging or podcasting the way I envisioned. So for that I'm sorry.

So having said all that, what does it mean? Is the blog going to be shut down or retooled like my previous one? Am I going to permanently cancel In This Very Ring? No. But what I can say is this - the last two months, as I have implied and as I can't really get into with a great deal of detail because it does not just involve us, have been a time of great change in our little world, but those changes have been building up to this week. I know our most loyal listeners (all two or three of them) know us, and can put things together to know just what this last week has been in our life - you understand and I appreciate that. Those who are maybe more casual and not in the know - trust me that these two months, while in some ways typical of the busy-ness our lives always are, have also been VERY different, but that we truly HAVE a bit of an understanding of where things are heading schedule-wise for the next bit, and will have more of a chance to get this show, and my blogging in general, back on a more even keel.

I hope you bear with us and keep coming by ... starting tomorrow when I post my Survivor Series predictions, and Monday when I post my reactions to it. Tuesday I will be taking off of blogging due to the aforementioned upheaval, but Wednesday we will post ITVR as scheduled and planned, discussing the PPV, plus Raw, plus any other backstage happenings. And hopefully THAT broadcast will signal a new 'back on track'ness here at ITVR. Meanwhile hey - at least I'm not posting once every 6 mos. like I did back at! lol - Meanwhile, be well, and I'll see you again tomorrow to discuss just WHO will survive the ... well, y'know. ;) Cheers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT - and quick news hits

Due to some personal developments ITVR will be broadcast on Saturday night instead of today.
I can't and won't get into specifics but rest assured it's good news, and we will be back with the broadcast you expect of us this weekend.

Meanwhile ...

- Armando Alejandro Estrada was released by WWE this week. A shame - he was a very talented worker and if WWE believed in the use of managers in the traditional sense, he'd have a job for life in wrestling. Hopefully another fed will see his potential and snap him up quickly.

- Roddy Piper seen hitting a bong at a party - later claimed it was medicinal, due to his cancer battle last year. OK; I know pot serves pain killing medicinal purposes. But from a bong? At a party? Sure, Hot Rod. :) Enjoy. :)

- WWE stocks plummet to all-time lows ... damn it! I guess my one single share wasn't such a hot investment after all. lol ...

- Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman in recent weeks have both criticized the WWE product, in particular Vince McMahon's juvenility and out-of-touch-ness, and spoken of their interest in getting back in to the promoting game. If these two could get past their own personal differences, and start a federation with Bischoff holding the purse strings and Heyman as the guiding creative force, they would be untouchable. Do it, gentlemen! :)

That, so far, is your last couple of days in wrestling, and in a nutshel what we were going to discuss tonight. Please tune back in on Saturday for all that in detail, plus Survivor Series predictions! :) See you then ... In This Very Ring.

Yeah yeah yeah ...

lol I know - ITVR. It will be up tonight. We kept meaning to do it last night but as a supply teacher I have to call in for work. I didn't have any so I didn't want to take an hour, hour and a half off from calling in to do the broadcast (well, correction - I'd have rather been broadcasting than sitting on the phone w/a recording, but I wanted a job for today lol), but I didn't want to postpone the show in case something came up last night and we still had the chance to do it. We didn't. We will tonight though. :) Thanks for bearing wtih me and be sure to be back then for our Survivor Series predictions, discussion of Ted Dibiase's role in WWE Films' Marine II, more WWE releases, Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman thoughts, and more. See you then! ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Raw, Ted Dibiase Jr., and ITVR

So Raw last night was a decent show - I have to admit it wasn't particularly forward-moving in terms of driving plot forward, nor was it particularly exciting; but it was solid. Manu was used as effectively as he has been to date; they brought out Evan Bourne to keep him in our minds as fans, which was a ball I was afraid WWE was going to drop when he got injured, and CM Punk was given an important role. Shawn Michaels is returning to his funny self (although the segment backstage w/Rey Mysterio was random and I couldn't help but feel he was making fun of Rey somehow), and his match with Mysterio vs. Miz and Morrison was good - all the better due to Shawn doing the job for Morrison. Now I'm a Shawn fan and as such enjoy seeing him do well; but I don't enjoy the 'have him lose when it counts and then beat other guys who don't matter, but could if they got the win over somebody like, oh, say, Shawn Michaels. His loss here was just 'freak accident' and flukish enough - a superkick, which has been built as a devastating maneuver, out of nowhere when Shawn and Mysterio had been dominating - while still decisive enough (a pinfall win is a pinfall win) that it will elevate Morrison.

Really at the end of the day my only disappointments were these: 1. the public meeting of Raw roster at the beginning. I think Stephanie McMahon is a much more interesting character than they've let her play these last two weeks - I know they teased a heelishness about her a couple of week ago and I'd like to see them pursue that. And I'm trying not to be impatient; builds are good. But a non-wrestling character can only last so long without clarifying what their impact on the product is going to be - see Adamle, Mike. Bottom line: this was a new and refreshing way to start Raw with a lot of potential, and I feel they dropped the ball - although Santino Marella's rap, and Shawn Michaels' attack on JBL were both hilarious. I was also disappointed in Chris Jericho's promo; last night was the first time I agree with Ari about Jericho: he basically restated, repackaged and reiterated what he's been saying for months. He's done a great job at that so far, while keeping it interesting, and his points about the fact he should be the centrepiece of Raw since Cena's been off so long were valid too. But let's continue to develop this character - if this is where the new, more serious Jericho shift ends, it is simply whiny and uninspired. Y2J ca do better.

Otherwise a strong performance by all players, and every match tied into the upcoming Survivor Series, thus making an effective Go Home show - the only way it didn't fit is it didn't feel like it gelled or carried over from the previous few weeks in terms of continuity - but that might just speak to the fact the previous weeks' shows didn't build up to Survivor Series enough. I also enjoyed Randy Orton's interactions, both with Batista and with Cody Rhodes and Manu - this kid is tremendously talented and I'm glad it seems he's gotten his stuff together enough to have been, and to remain, a top-tier draw for the WWE - his program with Priceless, either as friend or foe, and potential upcoming programs with Batista and/or John Cena (I think these three have some interesting history and tie-ins which should be explored) are things I'm excited about.

And last thing - speaking of John Cena and Priceless (tangentially). Many of you remember John Cena's movie from about eighteen months ago, The Marine. Many of you have also noticed that Ted Dibiase Junior has been off TV of late, due to a kayfabed concussion inflicted by Randy Orton. How are these related? Well ... currently in production with WWE Films ... The Marine II ... starring ... wait for it ... Ted Dibiase Jr. I can HARDLY wait. :P Ari and I will talk more about this, however, as well as previewing this Sunday's Survivor Series, tomorrow night, "In This Very Ring." Be sure and tune in then. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Lesnars Expecting

Congratulations to former WWE Champion and new UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and his wife, Rena Lesnar (aka Sable, former WWE Diva) on expecting their first child together. Both have children from previous relationships. What an exciting time for both parents-to-be, and for the new champ.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In other wrestling divorce news ...

Linda Bollea's lawyer (and for those not in the know, Linda Bollea is the estranged wife of Hulk Hogan), is accusing Hulk Hogan of selling off his trademarks - Hulkamania, Hulkster, Hollywood Hogan and the like - to good friend and business associate Eric Bischoff at bargain basement prices to avoid having to share any royalties or other benefits of those TMs with his wife. The Hulkster's attorney denies this claim.

My thoughts? Eric - your check is in the mail for my use of "Hulkster". lol Seriously, Eric Bischoff does currently own that intellectual property, and as Hogan's friend I have no doubt that he purchased them at a very ... agreeable ... price. That said, time and a court of law will tell if that transaction was particularly unseemly or illegal. Not knowing the players, or particularly liking either of them so far as I do know them, some ugly tactics have been used by both sides in this very bitter split, and I think it would serve them both right if the Graziano family - whose son John was severely injured in a car accident last year with the Hogans' son Nick behind the wheel - came into all of it and left them both penniless.

Oh dear Hulk - you might have to wrestle for your supper again!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Are Dubbya and his staffers Matt Hardy fans?

Any further explanations for the V1 handsign in this photo are sought. :P

(photo from

The Flair Divorce - getting ugly

So it's been a slow news week in wrestling when the main thing to cover, other than the firings we discussed Wednesday, is the fact that Ric Flair's soon-to-be ex-wife appeared on a 'fan talk live'-esque online radio show, called Unholy Matrimony ( It sounds like the divorce is getting bitter, with Tiffany saying, in response to Ric Flair's physical confrontation with his daughter and her boyfriend, that she is "So glad to be out of the drama" that Ric "creates and likes it". She reveals they are nowhere near a settlement, and that they have several joint business ventures after nearly five years together, not to mention Ric currently lives in a house SHE owns. However under North Carolina law they cannot start divorce proceedings until June - leading the hosts of Unholy Matrimony to joke that the challenge would be making sure Slick Ric didn't spend all his money before then - a "novel idea, huh?" according to Tiffany.

Wow - this interview was a far cry from the accepting, understanding, even affectionate words she had for her ex just a few months ago. You can listen to the show at the link above, Mrs. Flair appears at the 60 minute mark approximately. You can also check out her website in the near-future, which should be at - with a physical training and inspirational focus.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


No - no excuses, no 'sorries', nothing - ITVR is up, on the night it's supposed to be! :D Including both Ari and I in a full-length version! :) Here's a toast, it's a red letter day.

You can enjoy the podcast by clicking the title of this entry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Changed my mind re waiting until tomorrow - an actual newsy entry (with a SPOILER about halfway thru)

So I WAS going to leave my entry at that, but then started thinking ...

So much of my blog of late has been about the on-air product, or excuses for ITVR not going up ... and a big part of the reason for both is that for awhile, there had been a whole lot of quiet behind the scenes. Well this isn't the case anymore, it's been a big 7-10 days in wrestling, and I'd be derelict in my duty as blogstress here to shunt off talking about them until tomorrow. Now I do want there to be a show tomorrow still so I'll leave the in-depth discussion of on-air programming until then, plus still more discussion of all this with my partner in crime Ari, but --

In the last 10 days, the WWE has released: Chuck Palumbo, Paul London, Kenny Dykstra, and Elijah Burke. While none of these were major shocks - none of them have been getting what could be call even modest pushes of late - they were all talented hands and I certainly hope this isn't the end of the line for them in terms of big league wrestling. Hopefully TNA or ROH helps them land on their feet, and/or eventually WWE welcomes them back with renewed enthusiasm. These are talented men who should at this point be able to write their own tickets in the business. Conversely - their next moves are critical. Wrestling is replete with talented also-rans; here's hoping those gentlemen not only write their own ticket, but also get off at the right stop. On the other hand, here's hoping Mike Adamle's on-air writeoff on last Monday's Raw (which I didn't address nearly enough, or nearly enthusiastically enough, I don't think) is the last we see of him, and he will be 'future endeavoured' in rapid order. I'm afraid his terse words with Stephanie McMahon are indicative he has a future storyline coming as I said, but we'll see.

WWE Entry (TNA Impact spoiler alert, as alluded to in the title, applies here)
Christian Cage, on this Thursday's Impact!, was left lying by the Main Event Mafia after losing his match on Sunday's pay-per-view and ostensibly, therefore, being forced to join them. Given his contract is coming to an end, and rumours have abounded he and WWE are mutually interested in his returning in the near-future, this was probably a wise move; get him off-screen until TNA knows he's returning. That way, if he DOES come back, he can have a ceremonious triumph on his re-entry; if not, they aren't sending a hot prospect to the WWE. Unfortunate that such a talent should spend any time off TV, but a smart and understandable business decision. In a less certain note, it is rumoured Gail Kim is speaking with both WWE and TNA now that she is a free agent as well. I look forward to seeing both of these talents' next moves.

TNA Entry ... aborted?
So it was confirmed that was (a very drunk) Scott Hall at Turning Point on Sunday. Apparently his cohorts, the Insane Clown Posse, had been okayed by Jeff Jarrett to be at the PPV that night, but not Hall; when he showed up onscreen, apparently former tag team partner and friend Kevin Nash asked for him to be ejected from the building. Some heat between these two? Ari and I will be talking about this story - and the others - more tomorrow but all I will say for now is, dude. Clean the hell up. I mean REALLY. Do you EVER want to be employed again? You don't do this crap. Sigh ... some people will never ... what's that word? Oh yeah. Learn. :P

Again - more on all this tomorrow. And thanks again for bearing with me through a couple of weeks which were slow in terms of wrestling news, and busy in terms of my life. Hopefully the former will now pick up while the latter HAS indeed calmed down. Look forward to you joining me for the ride, starting right here tomorrow with Ari and I ... In This Very Ring. ;)

True good vs. evil

I'd like to take the time on this Remembrance Day and Veteran's day to realize that the good-vs-evil epic battles we see in the ring have nothing on what our brave men and women throughout history, and today, do in order to protect the world in which we live. They are the true superheroes, who the wrestlers acknowledge every Christmas with "Christmas with the Troops". Ari and I will do our usual ITVR episode complete with TNA Turning Point reviews and talking about the recent WWE releases, and the Raw episode from the UK last night tomorrow, plus much more - plenty to discuss!

But for today, please make sure to take a moment and thank the veterans and soldiers who are the REAL heroes of our world's REAL wars.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

TNA Turning Point

So we actually tuned into a TNA show tonight! It was good stuff - strong wrestling, the booking was decent (although I don't think the Main Event Mafia would have suffered from losing ONE match, I don't mind establishing them as strong this month, to maybe expose a chink or two of their armour in the coming weeks and months), and it was nice to see some familiar faces (I'm surprised to say) in Jeff Jarrett, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle ... heck, and of course the younger guys who make TNA so exciting to watch when we do get down to it. I'm still not sure, given the fairly consistently critical reviews I've read, if I'm prepared to sit through too much of the weekly Impact! show, but the PPVs are definitely worth the buy - at $10 cheaper than the WWE shows, you get more action and actually a fuller show - tonight's event went until five to 11pm, where WWE shows usually end somewhere between quarter-to and ten-to.

Just one question: was that REALLY Scott Hall in the front row for some matches in the middle there, or do I need a new prescription for my glasses? And if he was there, why didn't the announcers acknowledge him as anything other than a 'familiar face' (ie, do some actual NAME dropping which might benefit TNA?). I can only assume, since they didn't really say anything about him being there, nor was he involved in any of the action, that he hadn't been expected to be there and was enjoying the show as a fan. But perhaps I'm wrong. I'll wait to see what the real insiders (as opposed to me who is a completely casual blogger) have to say. Overall great show though. Good stuff.

Friday, November 7, 2008

ITVR Podcast

Well I was going to postpone it due to Ari's voice, but figured I'd at least put a solo edition out there to make up for my sluggish posting these last few weeks. Just as the busy-ness of finishing up at school ended, the sickness bug hit our house - ain't that how she goes?

But anyway click the post title to hear my brief thoughts on Raw, Survivor Series coming up, WWE 24/7 and the recent WWE releases, as well as some ideas for increased interactivity on the show going forward (plus a funny cameo by Ari's frog voice a min. or two in lol).

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Will be up tomorrow - Ari has had what I've had the past couple weeks and his voice n'est pas en bonne forme - not in good shape. Thanks for the patience dudes and dudettes.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So last night was a 3-hour special on Raw - it featured several veterans such as DX, and octogenerienne Mae Young. Some good drama with the McMahon siblings vying for control over the heart and soul of Raw, and Mike Adamle's resignation as GM which started it all; Randy Orton's kicking in of Ted Dibiase Jr.'s head was unexpected and interesting, as was Dibiase's elimination of his tag team partners Cody Rhodes and Manu earlier in the night.

The show was solid, and while I was disappointed at some of the treatment of the younger guys - how CM Punk and Kofi Kingston were made to look; Miz and Morrison's jobbing to DX - these were not entirely unexpected, and in Miz and Morrison's case they got a good deal of offense in before the predictable finish, which in itself was a pleasant surprise. :)

This had a big-show feel with such luminaries as Jim Ross, Triple H and Undertaker appearing from the Blue Brand, and the reunion of the Hardy Brothers; I enjoyed DX's humour and it's great to see Shawn Michaels back to his old self. Jericho's recapturing of the world title so quickly was unforeseen but also not bad, provided it's backed up with some decent story between him and John Cena in the upcoming month - WHO will get screwed at the Survivor Series this year?

Solid show, Raw keeps getting better after a few rough months, just as they were getting back on track. Way to right the train guys, keep it up! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Main Event Mafia - TNA

I gotta say man ... I should watch TNA more often. I heard awhile ago that they've started up a 'legends vs. younger guys' angle, which tends to fail miserably (most notably under Vince Russo's auspices towards the end of WCW's days); thus I'd been ignoring it. But I've read from a few reliable sources now, and caught on from the very minimal snippits of Impact! I've seen since leaving it for dead, that the Main Event Mafia angle, featuring Kevin Nash, Booker T, Sting and Kurt Angle, is actually being handled beautifully (if you ignore the fact that AJ Styles is being booked as a younger guy despite having wrestled longer than Angle, and having won his first title before Angle did).

Now I have the first rehearsal for a play I'm directing this Thursday, but I'm going to try to catch Impact! when I come in to see if the fuss I've been hearing is correct - and if I do succeed in catching it, expect feedback Friday. :) Until then, keep tuning in for ITVR and other blogging throughout the weekend and coming week. Take care all!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

ITVR Episode

For real! Click the title! :D Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Hi guys - directing a play, just finished auditions, just got home and am hitting the sac - but PROMISE will upload ITVR tomorrow evening, perhaps even a bit early so be sure and tune in. Meanwhile I want to offer my Cyber Sunday and MNR reax which I actually typed and thought I had posted yesterday but apparently just hit 'save as draft' in my tiredness.

The basic gyst of it, since at this point I'm too tired to even cut and paste, was that the two shows complimented each other. While there were some logic flaws and goofiness in both, they made sense when put together. I didn't get, for example, HTM not clocking Santino with his signature guitar shot on Sunday, until I saw that he and the other legends were out Monday. I was disappointed that Chris Jericho didn't retain his title, as I feel he's one of the Raw standouts of the past year and deserves a run, but Batista played his part last night sensibly and I can get the ideas of where they're going with things. I even liked the interaction between Randy Orton and Mike Adamle! Between Miz/Morrison vs. Cryme Tyme, and CM Punk/Kofi Kingston vs. Rhodes/Dibiase, I figured whichever match didn't end up on the PPV would go off last night, and indeed - featuring a world tag team title change no less, which means two major WWE title changes in two nights.

The PPV itself punched above its weight, delivering awesome wrestling (especially Matt Hardy vs. Evan Bourne, who followed it up with a stellar match vs. Rey Mysterio, and at LEAST they didn't have Kane interfere in that match itself) ... my only disappointment is in Steve Austin being selected as guest ref on Sunday which made the least sense of any of the options for the Jericho-Batista match. But since they all came out and got involved anyway ... I was PEEVED at them feuding Shawn Michaels with JBL, but the followup on Raw was strong and I see that going places too now. Although I still think Shawn deserves better than a midcard feud, even if it IS upper-midcard, after the year he's had.

More coherence to all those thoughts tomorrow night, though - just wanted to make sure you guys didn't think I'd forgotten you. Here I thought this week would be easier than last but NOOO. At least I had time to POST anyway, just hit the wrong button. Hope you enjoyed the gist of what I had to say though, and tune in tomorrow for more with Ari and I. Take care all - luv to ya mutha! XO

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cyber Sunday

So I know many fans aren't terribly impressed with this PPV, and I'll admit I can understand it - it's being held VERY soon after the last show, with not a whole lot of lead time between it and the next show, Survivor Series, which is routinely a fairly important PPV that starts sowing the seeds for the Royal Rumble-Wrestlemania season. And given it's a tough PPV to sell timing-wise (especially with such a struggling economy right now), the card doesn't feel like it had a whole lot of thought put into it, and whatever personal attachment to this PPV fans might have felt due to them having the power to vote their favourite performers and stips into various matches, has for many been taken away with the pay-per-text voting system.

I for one always enjoyed this PPV because I voted, and was interested to see how my opinions stacked up to those of my fellow fans. As a Canadian who is ineligible to vote (another screwup), and as someone who wouldn't spend a total of $7 or more dollars to vote for each match anyway, this has become, in many ways, just another PPV for me. That said - while my expectations aren't high for this show, it has the potential to be an entertaining little distraction on our way towards the bigger buildup that is about to start next month. Especially given wrestlers usually know when expectations are low, and perform beyond them on those nights. So bearing in mind the potential for this PPV to be either disastrous, or a sleeper hit, let's look at what it's offering us heading into the fall season.

WWE Title Match
Triple H vs. (a) Jeff Hardy, (b) Vladimir Kozlov, (c) a Triple Threat Match vs. both
Stipulation: Choose the Challenger
Well I feel I can fairly confidently say that option B is the least likely option here. While they've been building up Kozlov correctly, and he's come across as a scarier monster heel than many of the men they've tried to push in that position in awhile (thinking Snitsky, Heidenreich, Khali to a certain extent, although he was plenty big and scary), he's still green and comparatively new; his actual MAIN EVENT push should be a ways off. My prediction is the Triple Threat, as we've seen Trips-Hardy a couple times in recent months, and I'm predicting a Triple H retention, with Jeff Hardy as a darkhorse (a) after the reaction to his near-win last month and (b) as he's the only guy other than Triple H guaranteed to be in this match.

World Heavyweight Title Match
Chris Jericho vs. Dave Batista
Stipulation: Choose referee (a) Randy Orton, (b) Shawn Michaels, (c) Steve Austin
Let me put it this way: my WISH would be for Randy Orton in here - he's a returning former world champion whose actions ensured Chris Jericho's involvement in the match where he won the world title; plus he has a history with Batista. That way we don't throw Jericho right back into his feud with Shawn Michaels which I feel is basically over for the time being after their stellar ladder match, and a prime PPV spot isn't given over to a guy who we know will show up, stunner everyone, and disappear for another 6-12 months. However, Shawn Michaels and particularly Austin are the bigger names here and much more fan favourites than Orton. To that end, Shawn Michaels makes the most sense and would be my second choice given he is currently an active wrestler, who has a history with both of the participants. However, when you throw good ole Stone Cold into a mix like this, he almost always gets enough of the mainstream fan vote to win it - depending on how the pay-per-vote system affects this. So look for SCSA to be the special guest ref, and at LEAST hopefully that builds to his rumoured 'one last match' that he wants to have at WM 25. Fighting a talented and experienced pro like Jericho on a stage like that? I'd pay to see it. :)

Undertaker vs. Big Show
Stipulation: Choose (a) Knockout match, (b)I Quit match, (c) Last Man Standing match
I'm figuring, as much as this feud hasn't gone on THAT long, that this is probably the blowoff for it, as fans haven't gotten behind it as much as they otherwise would. I'm thinking that the Knockout match or, outside chance, I Quit match, are the most likely choices here; I can't see any even remotely knowledgeable fans putting these two in a match that would need the amount of time a LMS match would require. I also anticipate Undertaker getting his win back here.

ECW Match
Matt Hardy vs. (a) Evan Bourne, (b) Finlay, (c) Mark Henry
My sentimental favourite here is Evan Bourne because I think he and Hardy could put on a spectacular match. I'm hoping, similarly to the Jericho-Batista match, that the pay-per-vote system leads to mainly smarks voting, because they will create more interesting scenarios than mainstreamers who will only vote for what they know. If there IS a more smarky leaning towards the voting here, look for Bourne to carry it. If it still retains a mainstream flavour, look for it to be Mark Henry again as the biggest name on this list. Regardless - Matt retains. Unless they want to go the Shelton Benjamin route of 3-4 years ago and let the challenger take it, knowing it's a worthy experiment and they can always give Matty back the belt if Bourne or Henry (sorry Finlay) drop the ball.

Rey Mysterio vs. Kane
Stipulation: Choose (a)Falls Count Anywhere, (b) No Holds Barred, (c) Two-of-Three Falls
Who cares? *pulls hair out of head* Like for real, who cares? As long as this match ISN'T best of three falls, which only the very best and most interesting performers can pull off at the best of times, this is called 'Bathroom Break'. Sigh ... kill this feud already.

Intercontinental Title Match
Santino Marella vs. (a) Roddy Piper, (b) Goldust, (c) Honky Tonk Man
The obvious choice here is Honky, though I know Ari disagrees with me in thinking this would be too early to pull that particular trigger. I'm still going with the obvious though, as that's what WWE so often does. I also said in my last post I wouldn't be surprised if really whoever gets voted in will really just be Charlie Haas in disguise. That would upset me, anyway, and I think alienate those fans devoted enough TO vote (and pay for it!), but they MIGHT be able to pull it off if the genuine article comes out by match's end; that way you have a better match than you might between Santino and Old Guy, but at the same time get the pop of the veteran coming out. Either way this match intrigues me, even though it's meant to be mostly comedy. I'm GUESSING Santino's going to come closer to matching the Honk-a-Meter than that, so regardless I'm predicting he keeps the title. ESPECIALLY if he honestly IS fighting one of the actual three options, who are all basically retired.

William Regal and Layla vs. Jamie Noble and Mickey James OR Miz and Morrison vs. Cryme Tyme OR Rhodes and Dibiase vs. CM Punk and Kofi Kingston for the World Tag Titles
Stipulation: Choose the Tag Teams
As much as I've enjoyed the Regal/Leyla-Noble/James feud, I'm thinking it's going to have to take a PPV back seat to one of the other offerings. My selection here, due to the buildup for it and their being a title involved, is Rhodes/Dibiase-Punk/Kingston. I'm also figuring on a title change here. The challengers have been floundering since losing their respective singles titles, and I think this would be a great way of building back up some heat. Given they've been built up nicely too, Miz-Morrison vs. Cryme Tyme is my darkhorse pick, but I'm also thinking that's a long shot, so go with my original statement.

US Title Match
Shelton Benjamin vs. (a) R-Truth, (b) MVP, (c) Festus
Stipulation: Choose the Opponent
I'm figuring on MVP or R-Truth here, and I'm figuring this one's going to the challenger. I'm rooting for MVP as I think they made him look like an idiot on the last PPV, and they owe him better, but I'm guessing it will be R-Truth as he's the one who's been pushed in recent weeks. Either way, they're both talented men who will put out a good showing with the very skilled Shelton Benjamin. By the way - to show you the level of regard in which this belt is held - this match is being held on the preview card, aired online, and the ONLY match listed here on which you can vote in the old-fashioned, free, 'on the website' manner. Sigh. :P

Divas Halloween Costume Contest
I predict ... huh ... toughie ... I predict ... a lot of T&A. *shrug* Bathroom break the second for me. Ari can enjoy this one. :)

And YOU guys enjoy the show. Back tomorrow with my post game thoughts. Until then, take care everybody! :D

Cyber Sunday Predix

So between my computer being messed up, the busy week, Halloween parties, Ari's schedule, I'm giving up on the ITVR thing for this week - thought I'd still include some comments about Raw and Smackdown this week in this post, and do a second post (to control length) including my Cyber Sunday predictions, and then we'll move on next week, where you'll hear on Wednesday night, as always, our thoughts on the PPV, how we think it's building to Survivor Series, and any other interesting happening in the wrestling world. Since there haven't been that many this week I haven't commented on, I figure this isn't a bad week to do that, and I appreciate your bearing with me these last few days where my most frequent posts have been 'more tomorrow', which never ended up happening. Trust me, I'm glad to be off that roller coaster too, and moving forward with you guys, since we've touched on the main 'real world' news items, to discuss the on-air wrestling product of the past week. Which was crap.

Actually I shouldn't say that - mostly, it was unmemorable; which means, in a PPV week, that it was crap; the shows this week should have been compelling and pushed us forward into tonight's show. I honestly don't remember much about Raw, and I watched pretty darn close to most of it. I get they're building up for a Miz-Morrison vs. DX match for the 3-hour special coming up, and I thought Santino Marella was genius (although I know his segment this week was hit or miss, from the other reactions I've read); it made him look SO creepy, however unintentional that was, and I think it added an interesting element to his character if WWE chose to go with and develop that. But let's think about that; those are the two segments that stood out to me; of them, one built up to an upcoming free show; the other built to the PPV, but towards what is really intended to be a comedy match (in which I wouldn't be at all surprised to see clever mimic Charlie Haas come out in place of whoever the fans vote in - which would be a bad move in terms of building up fan goodwill).

The one other brief segment that stood out in my head - Chris Jericho saying Steve Austin was the special guest ref he was least interested in having officiate his match with Batista at CS -
made no sense to me given (a) his recent history with Shawn Michaels and (b) Shawn's blatant statement that he would do anything in his power to make sure Chris Jericho left the PPV without his belt if he were the ref the fans selected. Illogical, and poor build on a Raw I didn't really have time to watch. Aggravating.

And as for SD, I only have one comment by way of a compliment or a complaint: its big feature bout this week was Triple H vs. Undertaker. Now I know Big Show came out and interfered, as did Vladimir Kozlov; but people. This is a Wrestlemania-level main event match. Much as Triple H and Batista four years ago, these two men should not have so much as exchanged a GLANCE until at least the Royal Rumble. This is a feud which hasn't taken place in years - after hotshotting two major matches that had NEVER happened and deserved a Wrestlemania stage this summer (Triple H-Edge and Batista-John Cena), I'd think the one relatively new and rejuvenated feud left to them should have remained intact. Oh well ... don't save up and build for something that could pop you a rating now I guess.

And I will give them that - by doing this on a taped show, people knew what the main offering would be, and so it would at least boost SD's ratings on their new home, MyNetworkTV, which have suffered a hit. So I "get it", I suppose - doesn't mean I like it. Want a free offering to toss the fans? Have Edge return. Have a high profile roster switch (Cena to SD or such). GIVE Vladimir Kozlov his #1 contender run on free TV and don't throw him a PPV bone just yet - hell, that would kill two birds with one stone. I'm all for adding some bells and whistles for free to your program now and then to remind fans that HEY! That's a valid part of your entertainment package too, and to throw the networks who expect you to deliver ratings a bone. This just seemed WAAAY over the requirements of 'let's pop a rating'. Especially when the first Trips-Taker match in YEARS was mainly used as a backdrop to push a couple of not particularly highly anticipated matches on a not particularly highly anticipated PPV. But I'm getting ahead of myself ... :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Upload problems

Show=recorded, uploader not cooperating - will be up tomorrow w/o fail. TY for the patience and enjoy your Fridays.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

ITVR Update #2

Hey guys - I promised you ITVR by tonight at the latest, and I'm not breaking that promise this time out of disorganization or laziness - but the fact I'm still getting over a slight bout of losing my voice earlier this week - I have my voice back, obviously, or I wouldn't have promised to do the show tonight - but I'm still having coughing spates if ever I talk too long, so I figured since today was a slow news day and it wouldn't be different airing tonight or tomorrow, I'd spare you the hacking into the mic, as well as yes, just how tired Ari and I both are, and we'll put in a higher-energy and better show tomorrow night. I'm the boss, so I can do that! ;) Please tune in then to discuss what has actually been a remarkably fastpaced newsweek in wrestling (despite how slow today was). We will discuss

  • Lance Cade's firing
  • Ric Flair's un-'retiring' (or talk thereof)
  • the crapitude that was Raw
  • Cyber Sunday and how we expect it to play out
And I promise the next week will involve more actual posting instead of 'tune in to ITVR', which this week was far too full of. Especially when last week's podcast was REALLY pared down (ie nonexistent), and THIS coming podcast is going up so much later than it normally would. No excuses, but by way of explanation all I can say is I have been VERY busy and a little sick, all at once, which combined with Ari's late work schedule this week which is almost the direct opposite of mine, has wreaked havoc on our schedules in general and our broadcasting in particular, and I appreciate your patience on that front. Next week will be busy too, as I'm wrapping up a teaching placement and running auditions for a play I'm directing, but at LEAST Ari's back to his old schedule, and hopefully with some rest this weekend I'll have more energy and better health to fit my blogging in. :)

Anyway in sum, thanks again for your patience and hey - it beats the semi-annual posting I did at my old blog, and the two-year ITVR hiatus we took LAST time we got busy! ;) Inconsistencies happen and I'm sure all you busy working folks out there understand that. But we'll definitely be here tomorrow night, and beyond, and we hope to see you then, right here, In This Very Ring.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


No it ain't cancelled - but this is a heads-up it might go up tomorrow night instead of tonight - if it goes up tonight it will be late, like bordering on midnight. Thanks for the patience - this is Ari's last week on this crazy schedule so we'll be back to our normal podcast hour next week.

Such topics for this week's broadcast include - Nick Hogan's release from jail, Ric Flair's possible foreign return to the ring, this week's lacklustre Raw, and the upcoming Cyber Sunday. Hope you'll join us - stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My disappointment in Ric Flair

Dear Ric;

I am writing you as a fan who has a tremendous amount of respect for your legacy in this business. You were the inspiration for many of my favourite wrestlers in the business today, from Shawn Michaels to Edge. While I did not get to watch you in your prime, the fact that I could tell your greatness well into your forties and even your fifties speaks volumes of what you must have been capable of as a young man. I know the respect the boys have for you, and the impact you've had on so many successful performers, from Triple H down to Randy Orton.

You got the ultimate sendoff at Wrestlemania this year, in a way someone like Hulk Hogan or Mick Foley at this point could only pray for - one that reflects the understanding of 35-plus years devoted to this business and nothing but this business, the understanding that this retirement was sincere, proven by what a difficult decision it was for you. You got that sendoff, Ric, because your fans thought it was real. You wrote in your autobiography that you had something Hulk Hogan never could - the respect of your peers. And that is because they trust you; while you might play on emotions, you do so because you are REAL. You LIVE the Nature Boy. And you LIVED this retirement.

I have never seen the business send someone off in such a respectful way - too often, when people are spoken of and remembered the way you were in pro wrestling, it is because they died way too young, and before they could disappoint anyone by wrestling past their prime, not knowing when to quit, becoming a prima donna because they let all the accolades go to their head. You got to the very end of your career with all that intact. We invested in the magic of your retirement because we believed it was the end of a tremendous career. Even when saying things like "I'm not sure if this was right, I'm not sure if I'm done", we believed those were hard things to say because you DID know.

And now in a recent interview you were beginning to speculate that you felt the retirement match mainly applied to your North American career, and that you would like to have a few more matches in Japan or Latin America. Jim Ross portrayed that in a recent commentary as the idea of having a little bit of a farewell tour, to say goodbye to your legion of fans overseas. I understand that - except I feel that it should have been done BEFORE your sendoff. And yes, WWE didn't handle all aspects of the buildup to your retirement properly, maybe you didn't have that chance - but then go and do a promo or a run-in ... I would suggest if you want to keep the respect you have earned from the fans and the boys, you respect the magic and emotion we ALL worked to create to say goodbye to four decades of the Nature Boy. As much as we'll miss you, we'd miss your legacy more if it were tainted by Mick Foley-esque frequent comebacks.

Enjoy your retirement, Naitch - you've definitely earned it.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Question ...

Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling debuted last night on CMT in the States - but not on CMT Canada. I'm wondering if it's available for viewership in Canada yet? I don't expect I'm going to become a regular fan of it, as the reviews I've heard and read thus far are not generally even remotely complimentary, however I'd at least like to watch the car wreck. lol

Sorry not much of an entry for the weekend but rest assured you can tune in tomorrow night or sometime Tuesday for my thoughts on Raw, and throughout the week as news breaks. Stay tuned and see you, as always, In This Very Ring. :)

(which will, by the way, air at its usual time Wednesday night, between 10pm-midnight Eastern).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bret Hart's artwork

As found at Jason Powell's - fan Michael Tavarres sent it in to Powell after a meet and greet with the Hitman just outside of Sacramento.

The Lance Cade Situation

I think I mentioned vaguely in a previous post that Lance Cade was released by the WWE this week. Jim Ross, over at his blog, has since been remarkably candid, without saying in exactly as many words, about the reasons behind the release.

Apparently Lance Cade suffered a seizure on an airplane which was not simply a medical condition, but self-induced (ie, presumably drug related). While many fans have compared this to Jeff Hardy's apparent intoxication at an airport a few weeks ago, where he was denied access to his flight, JR points out the difference in severity of these situations - while both men were 'on the wrong side' of their respective situations, Lance Cade's was in fact life-threatening, and put WWE in a very difficult position beyond simply bad PR.

In this case, I agree with JR's WWE apologist stance. While certainly the legal and PR ramifications of a wrestler dying are greater than a wrestler who's had one shot too many of JD, and I'm sure that was the preeminent thought in the mind of uber-capitalist Vince McMahon, I still think WWE did the right thing for the wrong reasons. Jeff Hardy has been reliable and hardworking since his return from his last suspension, performing up to an excellent standard and if he had a drink or two too many one day ... well, dude. He's a PRO WRESTLER. Lance Cade is much further along the 'Owen-Hart-to-Eddie-Guerrero' spectrum if JR's suggestions are true.

If anything, they didn't go far enough. If they really wanted to look after their own interests, as well as Lance Cade's, they would offer to send him to rehab, or - if strictly a medical condition, contrary to JR's cryptic suggestions - get him whatever medical help and attention he needs, rather than leaving him to twist in the wind battling his own illnesses and/or addictions himself.

I know, I know ... why would they, their hands are clean now? It just strikes me as an easy good PR windfall that wouldn't hit Vince too hard in the pocketbook, and in fact might pay dividends if Cade DOES get clean and perform up to his incredible potential. Vinnie, Vinnie ... do the right thing. Please. And thank you. :D

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