Saturday, May 31, 2008

Checking in

Hi guys - not putting in a big post tonight - it's late, I'm tired, and it's my birthday so I've been celebrating pretty much since noon (and no, not in some deviant and drunkard-ish way ... though I've been less than sober at a couple points through the day - just meaning I've been busy going out, being with people, enjoying my day). But I will be back tomorrow with One Night Stand predictions - meanwhile check out McNeill's predix over at - to see the worst-case scenario for ONS. I, for one, am more optimistic about tomorrow's show. I think it should be a great way to blow off feuds and clear the slate before the draft ... while potentially leading to some new ones. Hope I'm right.

Catch you tomorrow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ultimate Warrior TV

So if anyone's been a wrestling fan for more than 15 years, they will know the Ultimate Warrior. Any less, and you'll know him as a shell of his former character, who the WWE ripped to shreds on their career retrospective DVD "The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior".

Well dude is coming back after a long layoff, to a European wrestling federation (can't remember their name - WNE maybe?) to face their champion, Orlando Jordan (you know you're a small fed when ...). Besides the interestingness of the very openly homophobic Warrior (yes, that is his legal name - formerly Jim Hellwig) facing the bisexual Jordan, it's interesting to see that he's still got some of the energy, moves, and certainly the build of the man we recognized (albeit a step or 2 or 5 slower, and much greyer).

You can witness his comeback trail at and the Youtube account under the same name (ultimatewarriortv). It's interesting.

Also speaking of wrestling DVDs (OK so that was awhile ago, but it's been a long day - stay with me here lol), check out "Twist of Fate", the new Hardy Boyz DVD released by the WWE - good stuff! End of random plug.

I should be online sometime this weekend to preview One Night Stand on Sunday (yes, already) and to discuss any Smackdown developments from tomorrow I might catch - meanwhile, take care, be well. Peace.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

RAW Report

So I'm not going to go into my usual detail about Raw last night - I've been fairly happy w/how up to date I've kept my blog since getting back online, and I owe my apartment, my husband and some schoolwork a little time at this point. Basically, the show was actually overall very strong. I enjoyed the introduction of Ted Dibiase Jr. and am interested to see who his tag team partner will be to go up against Cody Rhodes and Bob Holly - I also wonder if this will lead to bringing in Dusty Rhodes in a battle of the dads.

Shawn Michaels-Chris Jericho was great, although I wish such an A-calibre match had been given some hype ahead of the broadcast - Jericho's interaction with Vince McMahon, and in fact a lot of the interaction with Vince McMahon through the night with advice on providing appreciation to the fans was really great. Especially when it played on feuds - such as JBL bashing John Cena to Mickie James - who is currently 'seeing' the former Champ. And I mean, Jericho and Vince are two of the best promo guys in the biz (both renowned for those subtle, understated details ... :P), so their interaction was great (DOY!)

All in all it was a great show - and while some might complain about the lack of hype for One Night Stand at the expense of hyping Vince's big announcement - I don't personally mind this myself though because ... 1. the PPV is a bunch of rematches from the last few months with specialty stips attached; it's either going to fly on the merit of being the blowoff to a bunch of A-list feuds, or fail because it's a bunch of retread matches ... 2. there were only two weeks to build it anyway, I didn't expect much in that sense ... and 3. one of Vince's big announcements was regarding the WWE draft lottery; while that is an offering on free TV, when the purpose should be to hype the events fans are blowing $40 on, it is still a happening with widespread ramifications for the year ahead in WWE-land, and which ONS might tease and build into, hinting at the feuds to come in the near-future; so a build to the draft = a build to ONS, and to Vengeance 3 weeks after that. Basically, don't complain about the lack of build to the PPV - complain about the fact that there are 3 PPVs in a 6 week period in May and June. That's the bigger problem, not the setup of one particular show in that buildup.

Now I will complain about Vince's announcement in itself though - while I'm happy for whichever fan(s) wins his money, how is that supposed to interest the rest of us? What are the details? Will the $$$ be given to someone in the arena? To someone at home? Both? Either? How is this incentive to tune in REALLY? Perhaps it will be more exciting as the details get fleshed out but right now it feels like naked bribery, and I'm not into that - not when an entire 2 hours of my life was built around building up to that moment. The big 'appreciation' for fans should have been the draft, and stopped there. Vince was right - we want new, exciting, shakeups and some interesting action, which the draft provides. Why take the extra step into pandering?

Nonetheless, all that does is make it an A- show instead of an A+ show; well done and I will be purchasing ONS on Sunday ... which must mean the show did its job. :) Till next time - be well.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Random thoughts

So I will be writing about Raw tonight, tomorrow - wanted to comment on some other happenings in the world of professional wrestling, however.

Item #1: Brooke Hogan in Car Accident
This sounds basically like a non-news story, now that all the information has been laid out. Obviously, due to her brother Nick's charge earlier this month with reckless driving, after an accident which left his close friend John Graziano in a coma from which he has yet to emerge, this started out sounding like a major news story - especially given the rumour was that her father, Hulk Hogan, was the driver. But it sounds like Brooke was swiped by another driver who was speeding while trying to change lanes, while she herself was following the rules of the road. A non-story, but I'm sure another unpleasant ... ahem ... bump in the road for the imploding Hogan family, already rocked this weekend by ...

Item #2: Recordings of Nick Hogan's Conversations with Family Members released
And boy, folks, do they make the Hogans sound like slime! Within 2 hours of entering prison, and only a few more hours since Nick's father claimed he was going to man up and face his punishment for his poor choices, the 17 year old tough guy was on the phone blubbering to 'Mommy' and 'Brookey'. While a very codependant relationship plays out there, a more sinister one seems to be revealed with his father, with whom Nick bashes John Graziano, the injured friend in his car accident, as well as his mother. Both talk about secret hearings and discussions with judges to get Nick taken to a minimum security prison, or, better yet, house arrest. Linda Hogan, Nick's mom, meanwhile, badmouths Graziano's parents, talking about how she mourns what happened to John more than them, who hadn't the time of day for their own son til now. All of which might be well and true and good but ... really people, have some class. Please. It's just not the time, or the situation. That said, I have to question law enforcement and the media for publicizing private conversations between a minor inmate and his parents. I understand recording said conversations, but I do hope some policies change, or heads roll, over their release to the public.

And lastly, in non-Hogan news ...

Item #3: WWE Superstar William Regal Suspended for 60 Days - Second Wellness Violation
OK - let me make something very clear here. I am a huge William Regal fan. I think he is incredibly funny, and that while his style in the ring is underappreciated here in North America, he is a very good European-style brawler. Conversely, I was also - am also - a big Jeff Hardy fan. I have loved the Hardy Boyz since they came onto the WWE scene. However, both Jeff and now William have done something incredibly stupid - blowing 'long-time-coming' main event pushes by making poor decisions about what they put into their bodies. This is a trust issue folks. And perhaps on different scales - the speculation in Regal's case seems to be that he used health supplements which are legal, unknowingly containing barred substances. But that type of homework is to be expected when you are at that place on the card, and on your last strike. Both Regal and Jeff Hardy - and for that matter, Ken Kennedy a few months before them both, and Chris Benoit a year ago - blew real strong pushes, due to very poor and misguided and frankly sad personal choices. This goes beyond damaging yourself, or even your family - beyond damaging Vince McMahon's bottom line (boohoo), it does also damage the trust of every wrestler you work with, and create a ton of difficulty for creative to make plans, when they already seem to lack long-term vision.

What should be done? Well first it pains me to say this but, I don't think Jeff Hardy nor William Regal should be returned to their spots automatically upon return. WWE isn't plagued by injuries at the current time, both SD and Raw rosters are deep, and while I enjoy their work, an example must be made that trust is important, between management and talent and the talent themselves, especially at the top of the card. You can't afford to have people on their last strike at the top of the card, which Jeff Hardy and William Regal both are per the terms of the Wellness Policy (3rd violation=dismissal). If Matt Hardy had to struggle and toil to get back to so much as the upper-midcard simply for discussing a bad breakup online, these two have much to prove as well. I'm all for that.

Meanwhile though, WWE needs to realize now, having had three (or 4 if you count Benoit) major world title-level storylines derailed in the past 12 months due to drug issues and 'personal demons', that the drug issue in wrestling goes well beyond the lower- and midcard, and that they can't claim the people who most indulge in such vices are not under WWE's contract and purview. A real investigation into the wrestling lifestyle, and dare I say some preventative measures (psychological assessments, perhaps healthcare benefits, etc.) needs to be undertaken along with displaying Regal and Hardy's proverbial heads on proverbial strikes as posterboys for the functionality and efficacy of Wellness.

And that's it from me ...

Till tomorrow. Enjoy Raw, even without their GM! Hey at least we know - they won't turn the lights out this week! ;) XO - Sar

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Return - and RIP Owen

So it is official - I am back online. It's 10:30 pm after a weekend of camping etc. so I will write tomorrow about Raw, about William Regal's suspension, about what a baby Nick Hogan is, and you know, just the general things going on in the world of wrestling tomorrow when I'm less tired and bug-eaten, but I thought just for tonight I'd drop in, let you know I'm around, and say something I've been wanting to say since Friday:

Friday was the 9th anniversary of the in-ring death of Owen Hart, arguably one of the most tragic days in wrestling history superceded perhaps only by the Benoit family tragedy. I have to admit I was a bigger fan of Owen's older brother Bret through most of their careers - but Owen was a solid hand who was always there, who I always enjoyed, and much like Benoit, quietly went about building one of the most respectable oeuvres of work in wrestling history, perhaps not being the flashiest showman, but one of the most solid hands in the business - funny, technically sound, charismatic and smart, before it all went wrong (albeit in this case, through no fault of his own).

It is unfortunate that similarly to Chris Benoit, the nature of Owen's death will probably preclude him for a long time from being in the WWE Hall of Fame. In this case, however, it is not due to anything he did, nor any lack of desire by the WWE to induct him. His widow, who (with no small amount of reasoning) blames the WWE and Vince McMahon for Owen's death, does not want him being recognized by the company which she perceives as having killed him, in an industry she has convinced herself he hated.

However, given that, while I respect her feelings, the reality is he WAS a wrestler, who devoted a good portion of his life - and indeed, ultimately, that very life - to the wrestling business, and his many fans have experienced a great loss as well. And so I hope Martha can forgive this lowly, weak, addicted wrestling fan from expressing her remorse and sadness at this time of year for having at one time lost one of the truly great performers in the business.

RIP Owen - you are still missed.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Back - w/Judgement Day Predictions

So I'm still not online yet - I'm at my in-laws right now to do a quick update before checking out Judgement Day. Hopefully I'll be back online at home Tuesday to be able to give feedback for tonight's show, and tomorrow's Raw. Meanwhile, here are some quick predictions:

WWE Championship Match: Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton in a Steel Cage
There are some definite 'Back to the Future' moments here tonight - this is one of them. In a feud that really should have gone down and been kept up 5 years ago, I'm looking forward to seeing these two get it on in a steel cage. I predict Triple H retains - he won it too recently to lose it, they don't usually turn belts over that quickly (although they did to Undertaker - another reason I don't think they'll go to the '1 month reign' well again this soon).

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Edge vs. Undertaker (belt vacant)
Round 3 - and probably this one goes to Edge, or else I don't quite understand why they stripped UT of the belt just to put it back on him 2 1/2 weeks later. For what that's worth, I barely understand the point of stripping him of the belt anyway - Edge has Vicki Guerrero as his fiancee and 'The Boss'; he can get as many rematches as WWE needs without creating a convuluted storyline ... although as I said, it did keep the last couple weeks interesting and make this match a bit different from their earlier two bouts. It's Edge's - and given that there are only 6 matches on this show, don't be surprised if CM Punk might come out to cash in his Money in the Bank here.

WWE Tag Team Championship: The Miz & John Morrison (c) vs. Kane & CM Punk
I think Miz and Morrison will retain here - Kane has a title of his own already, and CM Punk is set to challenge for one, if not tonight than at least within the next 10 mos. They don't need the tag title rub (or curse) as the case may be - M&M do. Don't be surprised if this might set up some Kane/Punk friction in anticipation of a Punk MITB cash-in on ECW as a second alternative to my prediction for the last match ... though I much more strongly suspect that the MITB he holds is a ticket OFF of the third-tier brand, as opposed to just another chance for him to get a title there which he could accomplish without the briefcase.

Women's Championship: Mickie James (c) vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Melina (Triple Threat)
Intriguing ... I fear Mickie's second (third?) title reign is doomed to be a short one with these odds ... or perhaps Beth and Melina will be so distracted by one another Mickie will sneak in from behind for the win? What I DON'T see happening is Beth winning it back - the 'unstoppable monster champion' is a tough, tough position to pull off while keeping the rest of the roster strong-looking. I predict Melina will win as a dark-horse, with an inside chance Mickie retains.

JBL vs. John Cena
Back to the future moment #2. Cena wins - he's wrapped his movie (or just about) and is ready for a REAL full-time return for the first time since his pec tear. The #1 argument for Orton regaining his belt ... Cena comes out looking strong, as JBL has come off as strong just from the buildup Cena's been no-showing for.

Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
I'm going to have to double-check if the IC belt is actually on the line here. If it is, assume an HBK win and a full-on Jericho heel turn. This will work for both of them, (a) giving Shawn a nice little present for his incredible work of the last 2 months, (b) giving Y2J's career the kick in the pants it's needed since his big return fizzled, and (c) prolonging this feud ... with the outside chance of Jeff Hardy being interjected in here too. "I C" great things for the IC division coming up. HA! Get it? I mean, I C ... ? Oh nevermind.

I also predict ...
At least one unadvertised match. This could be CM Punk's cash-in, this could be Umaga-Hardy, could have something to do with Carlito/Santino/Piper, all these other side things they've been doing ... but 6 matches over 3 hours makes for a very VERY light PPV so expect there to be something else there to surprise us ... especially given WWE's attempts to be unpredictable the last little while. Overall, I am anticipating a good show. Hope y'all enjoy, and see you Tues.!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Due to technical difficulties ...

Hello my loyal readers.

Unfortunately I have no internet at home currently. I am typing this from my town's public library. Parking here costs $$$ and it is a pain. Our modem is busted.

It should be replaced beginning of next week @ latest, we are assured. So please, if no sooner, tune in tuesday for my feedback to Raw. I promise I'll be back, this is not my former being too lazy to write.

Enjoy the weekend - a long one for us Canajuns. :) And enjoy Judgement Day!!! :) If I'm feeling rich enough to afford the $1.25 for parking, and have some time this weekend, I'll post my predix in the next couple days.

See you at the matches.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Raw last night

So Raw last night was at the very least intriguing. :) Some of the highlights --

  1. Shawn Michaels acknowledging he'd feigned a knee injury and knocking Chris Jericho out cold with the Superkick. Not quite sure how this is supposed to make Shawny a face, exactly, but it's at least intriguing, and adds another layer to the HBK character. Shawn has done a very good job, in my opinion, since coming back from his injury of retaining his happy-go-lucky, carefree, funny character without treading too far down any paths his new Christian faith would leave him feeling uncomfortable with. However since Ric Flair asked him to do the honours of retiring him at Wrestlemania, I have felt it hasn't been quite the same HBK - while Shawn didn't exactly go out doin' a jig last night, he did give us some hints that this sulky, moody, distant character he's been representing to us for the last two months still has some layers in him, that the old HBK is still in there. I go for that. :)
  2. Some major turns! While Lance Cade turning on Trevor Murdoch was definitely foreseen and foreshadowed in recent weeks, I didn't expect it would come after a win. And while I'm not particularly happy that one of the most cohesive tag teams the WWE has is breaking up, these are two characters I feel can stand on their own, and I look forward to seeing where they go with this. Good stuff. Similarly, Beth Phoenix's brutal backstage beatdown on Melina ... I guess you just don't expect to see that kind of physicality from "the girls". Men beat the s-h-you-know-the-rest out of each other all the time on wrestling, but this just took what the women do to each other to a whole other level - but then that's Beth Phoenix for you. My only question then - does this make Melina face? I mean I'm sorry but she's one of the most unlikeable characters on WWE television ... although she's hot, so I guess that makes it all OK right?
  3. Jeff Hardy's return - YES! Nice job. And while I don't entirely appreciate William Regal cutting him off - let the man speak to his fans, we've all been wanting to see where he's been at since his one-two punch of suspension-house fire in the course of as many days; but at the same time, I get what WWE was trying to do. We had him come out, touch lightly on the subject as a mea culpa, let's move forward and onward. And you know what? For someone who broke Vince McMahon's trust twice, and is on his way out the door permanently should he make the same mistakes again, he wasn't even depushed as badly as I thought he might be! I foresee a nice little situation with him, Y2J and Shawn Michaels for the Intercontinental Title ... and that can't provide anything too bad in the way of matchups. I'm looking forward to it.
  4. John Cena's return - having him stand up to Regal over an issue which has genuinely pissed off a bunch of fans was a great way to give him a rub, and having him interact with someone so over as Mickie James was kinda cool too. His match with Orton went OK, although it was really just them realizing they'd put hours into a 'go-home' show with almost no reference to the PPV they were pushing - it brought out JBL and Triple H, and created the build they needed to take us to Judgement Day - something which the show overall had been lacking (its main weakness - when you're plugging a PPV 3 weeks after the previous one, you really need to kick the promotion and 'must see' feeling up a notch). Nonetheless, they tried in the end, and kudos to the WWE for at least making the effort.
Overall I think this was a strong Raw. Vince McMahon made good on his promise to shareholders this week that William Regal would find other ways to consolidate and use his power than simply shutting events down, and while the PPV build wasn't the centrepiece of this broadcast as it should have been, it was hardly 'forgotten', and for the first time in awhile I felt like several plots that have been left to simmer were moved forward (is/isn't Shawn faking an injury? how will Jeff Hardy's return go down? when will Cade and Murdoch break up?). A strong show, and any failings were either very small, made up for, or both, taking the broadcast as a whole. A top notch effort by the "E".

Saturday, May 10, 2008


So last night's SD was actually respectable in its concept - and because it all sort of fed and flowed into one major storyline arc, it makes my analysis easier; I don't have to hit the cute little 'bullet point' button at the top! :)

Vicki Guerrero, having stripped Undertaker of the World Title, declared tonight to essentially be a tournament, the winners of each match being entered at the end of the night into a battle royal. The winner of said battle royal would face the most recent World Champion, the Undertaker, for the title - I'm assuming at the upcoming PPV next weekend.

This was a solid concept which led to some basically solid matches - Matt Hardy got his win back over CM Punk in a decent match, Finlay came back and did his usual brawling best, Kane got his bazillionth win over Chavo in probably the weakest match of the night ... Big Show got his prerequisite berth into the battle royal - a decent night of action which harkened back to the days of old where storyline and athleticism all converged in one place - that inconvenient square thing in the middle of the arena. What did the old-timers used to call that thing again? Oh right ... the ring.

The battle royal too was exactly what one would expect of a small-scale BR on free TV. Batista came out on top, before Vicki Guerrero came out to announce that her fiance, Edge - previously declared injured and unfit to wrestle earlier in the evening - had just been cleared by his doctors to be the 10th entrant in the battle. He spears Batista over the ropes to win the BR and get the title shot at UT next week.

All high praise and good stuff - builds Edge's heat as the sneaky ultimate opportunist; keeps Batista hot, and possibly injects him as a third man in a triple threat (seeing as Edge-UT has headlined the Smackdown side of any PPV for the last 2-3 months now), reinforces Vicki as the heel GM, and created a great night of action, something WWE has definitely lacked of late. My problem? None of it was really that logical in terms of the storyline.

What? Me demanding logic in terms of a WWE storyline? Well, yes. Particularly this one; they've played the Edge-UT feud beautifully in the last 6 months building up to Mania, and since at Backlash; and it's probably the hottest feud they have had going since Matt Hardy got sick and put his feud with MVP on hold. I can totally understand WWE wanting to keep it going, but they're jumping through some fairly improbable hoops to do so. Some rhetorical questions:

  1. If the ultimate goal of the Copeland-Guerrero regime was to give Edge another shot at the WWE championship, why go through all this trouble? He's hooked up with the General Manager of his brand - screw 'one rematch before going to the bottom of the barrel' clauses, she could have given him a 3rd rematch, and for the same reason as she stripped Taker of the title - he won with an illegal hold, thereby rendering the decision invalid and forcing a rematch. And while we're here anyway, why not just PUT the title on Edge if we want him as champion?
  2. And stepping out of the kayfabe world a moment - if WWE just wanted Edge to be champion again, why not have him win the title back at Backlash. Results would be the same: rubber match at this upcoming PPV, with 'Taker winning the belt. I think we'd have the same guy walking out next week as champ, the same main event, without the huge logical acrobatics we've needed to engage in.
  3. If all this was a means to add Batista to the match, well then fine - why not have like, HIM win a #1 contenders match/battle royal/tournament, just to have Edge re-inject himself to make it a triple threat? And it's not like Batista-Edge-UT is THAT new and different anyway. With Umaga being confirmed to be heading to SD by Vince McMahon earlier today, and MVP having unloaded the US title, presumably to free him up for a main event run, as much as I'm an Edge fan, I'm looking forward to some new blood at the main event level. And meanwhile ...
Anyone up for a reliving of the Edge-Matt Hardy feud for the US belt? Just a thought. And overall I will say this SL is not AWFUL given it HAS given us some good matches, character development, and intrigue - not to mention has eaten up two weeks of TV without seeming like filler ... just, irrational. I just feel the same things could have been accomplished in a much simpler and more direct manner. But since when does WWE ever do things the easy way?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

News Bites

So it's generally been a quiet week for wrestling behind-the-scenes-wise ... really, there was the Ashley Massaro as prostitute story (which I'll get into), some funny stuff about the Great Khali in India, and a few other things I picked up on, but for once most of the interesting stuff in the wrestling world actually happened on TV - whether we liked it or not. There was Raw, for instance, and then Tuesday was the 100th episode of ECW. From what I can tell, it wasn't that great. People seem to be hard on Mike Adamle having come out and basically pandered to the fans promising to try harder from here out. See I actually liked that. I mean, let's face it right? The guy's so bad, WWE couldn't ignore it. And of course the best option would be for them to fire him and not subject us to him anymore. But if they insist on keeping him around, this sets up one of two possibilities, both of which are better than just letting him go on as he was:

  1. Either he's misleading us in his contrition, will continue to make mistakes, and can sort of go heel by being too good for wrestling, really super-cocky about what a great commentator he is despite his suckitude (thanks E&C), and can be one of the best heel announcers in awhile (provided they allow his mistakes to stay natural, instead of becoming overscripted - see John Cena'si insults). OR ...
  2. Let this basically be a 'reset' button from where he gets a fresh start and actually does a decent job, leaving the last 3 weeks of play-by-play hell on ECW behind us.
Short of firing the jabroney, these are not terrible options, and - in the case of #1 - could be really intriguing if done properly and used in conjunction with in-ring story and not just to distract from it, or - in the case of #2 - will at least mean the awfulness that is Adamle's PBP will now end ... or should. Please, dear God.

Similarly, I refused to spoil SD for myself so I can watch it unmuddied tomorrow - await my response to that either late tomorrow night or Saturday - as is truly more likely.

And now as promised, in other news & trivia this week -

  • Ashley Masarro's name came up in Maxim (I think it was?) in relation to a high-priced call girl ring. She issued a fairly strong denial amid silence from the WWE, and has since posted on MySpace as if all was well. Maxim stands by its story, while another bikini model using the same name as Masarro has been speculated to be the actual hooker in question. My opinion? Interesting, but probably a non-story; I'm betting it's mistaken identity. Otherwise, why would Ashley be so cool about these acusations not days later? And WWE not have kept her off TV Monday? Besides, Maxim may stand by its story, but somehow I dispute its reputation as a purveyor of hardhitting news. Truth is mainstream media loves to hit wrestling with every scandal it can and hasn't picked up on this story - thus, I tend to be inclined to believe it isn't one.
  • The Great Khali took two years sick leave from the police force in India to wrestle in the WWE. He goes back to India ... and gets promoted! Weird. Most people, when they go AWOL from their job, get fired after awhile. This guy's been collecting a salary for years for a job he hasn't been doing ... AND then gets a raise? Wow. Plus he's totally kayfabing the Indian media on his character, and on how real wrestling is ... all I can say is, SUCKERS! ;)
  • Kevin Nash says it wouldn't be fair to put TNA up against Smackdown, it would be like fighting a one-legged opponent. All I can say big Kev, is ... you're absolutely right. Sorry about that. :P
  • VOICE OF WRESTLING LIVES!!! OK this might just be exciting for me, but anyone who's been following my internet travels in the world of wrestling knows I hosted a radio show called - wait for it - "In This Very Ring" last summer over on Fan Talk Live/Wrestling News Radio; then owned by Chris Cash, and spearheaded in its programming by Voice of Wrestling, a top notch online wrestling radio show which featured many great interviews. But due to some personal issues that came up, selling the network etc., VOW seemed to disappear and I was unable to find them ... until this week! So Chris Cash old buddy, here's a cheap plug to the hundred-or-so visitors I've like, ever had:
  • VOW is a radio show that leads you into Raw from 7-9 pm Eastern every Monday night. This week, they interviewed former world champion Bill Goldberg, and apparently have Bret Hart coming up in early-June. It's good stuff and you can catch it over on
Which brings me to my last question - I'm kind of interested in resurrecting In This Very Ring. But I don't particularly feel like shopping it around to different networks, having to pay for it or anything. So I was thinking of just doing sort of 'podcasts' I guess you'd call them - record myself and upload them here once a week or so, trying to get interviews and whatever else I can muster. Is there anyone out there who listened to the old ITVR show who would be interested in that? Feedback appreciated, O Mighty 120+ of you. ;) Meanwhile, Peace Out. - XO

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Raw from Toronto

I was there! And I've read a lot of negative reviews of last night's show, and don't get me wrong - I am not so blind that I can't see why. But I can say it came off better in person than it might have on TV. Now for those of you who haven't experienced it, there's nothing like a live wrestling event, and it's very easy to get swept up in it and miss the details - the move-for-move analysis of in-ring goings on, word-for-word dissections of promos ... those details, logistics, semantics aren't easy to parse as they don't add up to the overall feel. So I'll just comment on the overall, 'big picture' experience of being there - my observations.

  1. One of the things that's been criticized on a few websites was the energy of the crowd. I can tell you the crowd was pumped - the place was all but sold out, and as this is the first wrestling event back in Toronto in about a year, the energy was good. Of course there were some down moments - I'd be lying if I said that the crowd was going wild for the Snitsky-hometown jobber dark match before the show - but overall the crowd had energy. And if that didn't come across on TV, perhaps the WWE, still nervous about the 'weirdness' of Canadian fan reactions, mucked with the audience mics.
  2. Lilian Garcia got herself some heat for most of the rest of the night - or at least thru Heat - by referring to the Air Canada Centre as the Air AMERICA Centre ... poor girl.
  3. The boo-age Shawn Michaels encountered - guys. It was 10 years ago. I am as Canadian as they come, and a huge Bret Hart fan, but it's time to move on. Bret (basically) has, Shawn Michaels CERTAINLY has ... that said, a good ole You Screwed Bret chant directed in Vince McMahon's direction is always much fun-ness. Yup ... y'all are north of the border Yanks. Welcome back! ;)
  4. William Regal's antics - I like that they furthered his push as a heel authority figure; one of the more interesting ones since the Mr. McMahon heyday. It was interesting to see him replace JR with Mike Adamle - although I have to say they dropped the ball by not having Jerry Lawler question Adamle on his walkout last Tuesday night (which I found out later, obviously not hearing the commentary in-house -- and I understand the logic here, that they want to have SOME things to make tonight's 100th ep of ECW interesting, I just think it's ignoring the elephant in the room).
  5. The downside though - the lights out thing has to be done sparingly and with caution. He went to the well twice last night alone (3x if you count the ending where Randy Orton RKO'd HHH out of nowhere). If they don't find other ways (like replacing a 'direspectful' announcer with a clearly incompetent one) of having Regal abuse his power, they are going to risk fans not getting emotionally involved in matches out of fear that it could be washed out by Regal at any time; not exactly a trend or feeling that encourages repeat viewing.
  6. Good the ECW roster got the win - more realistic than the last time they did a match like this, with Cena and Orton beating the whole Raw roster. Even though Triple H got the massive comeback and single-handedly cleared the ECWers out, they still got the official duke and Trips was layed out by Orton.
  7. Great work by Y2J and Shawn Michaels in building up the mystery of 'is Shawn or isn't Shawn' injured. I hope he actually IS playing possum - it would be more interesting than stoic, quiet Shawn of the last few months, who I'm starting to get tired of. I want my dancin' Shawn back!
  8. The dark match was an IC title match between Chris Jericho and Randy Orton - good stuff!
  9. Trish Stratus did a backstage appearance, which was great - but it would have been nice for her to come out to the arena, perhaps during the Divas match. We Toronto fans love us some Stratusfaction and I have to admit to it being a letdown - once we knew she was in the building - for her to not come out and at least give us a wave and a bow.
  10. Similarly - Cena's no-show. I understand he's making a movie ... but then he shouldn't be involved in a near-top-tier feud w/JBL right now. A lot of Cena signs and merch there, a lot of kids excited to see him, and he wasn't there. Casual fans don't know he's making a movie, they only know he's a top level guy about to fight another top level guy, and he wasn't at the show. That said ... it was neat seeing JBL's promo inside his limo as we watch the limo wheel in. It's just too bad that the Canadian Bulldog had to have his ass handed to him ... given he's a Canadian, fighting in Canada, they could have at least given him some small amount of offense before smacking him down.
  11. Also by the way - 'The Hart Foundation is dead' comment by JBL: given that Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and Brian Pillman all are, this was perhaps not the best thought out comment in front of a Canadian crowd who's proven themselves rabid for their own. As Chris Jericho pointed out in a radio interview this weekend, it IS a difference between the US and Canada. No Texan is going to cheer or boo or enjoy or resent the portrayal of some Chicagoan or New Yorker or even Carolinean because "He's American" - there's no ownership there in that sense. But Canadians ... be they from the west, the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario ... are before a 'hometown' audience "a mari usque ad mare"
Again, in sum, basically I see where this show could get middling or even poor reviews ... which perhaps shows there's nothing like a live wrestling event. But *I* for one enjoyed it, and as long as they retire the 'lights out' routine VERY soon, I think the new direction WWE is taking is at least *interesting* and I'm still willing to give it a week or two before writing it off OR endorsing it. Enjoyable live performance though, as usual.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Smackdown - BOO!

So - I didn't get to catch SD afterall but at least now it isn't a spoiler to say what I know happened on it- Undertaker was stripped of his title by Vicki Guerrero. The rest of the show, from what I can tell, is almost irrelevant - minus the replacement of Jon Coachman on colour commentary by Mick Foley (welcome Mick! and doing an awesome job!). Oh ... and something I forgot to mention after Raw but came up on SD as well - Shawn Michaels and the 'is he or isn't he' faking a knee injury? He was favouring his knee thru his match with Batista on Sunday, but managed to deliver a perfect Superkick on his bad leg. Obviously the injury is worked - but is it a worked real injury, or a worked ... worked injury? Way to play on Shawn Michaels' dubious past of phantom injuries and dirty tricks, and a great way of keeping this Michaels-Jericho-Batista angle going despite a definitive victory having been achieved. I like it.

But the World Title angle ...

I've said before that I'm reserving judgement on the 'weirdness' of the Raw and ECW endings from earlier this (last) week; while I think we wrestling fans need to be more patient for our payoffs these days, I do understand the skepticism that decent payoffs are coming for those kind of cliff-hangy endings. But this one is just plain dumb. Here's my thought; stripping UT of the title can only mean they don't want him as champion right now. Which is fine - I disagree personally, but whoever Vince wants to trust with the belt is his business, I'll choose to tune in or not. But SD was taped not two days after a title defense at a PPV - if they wanted the belt off him, why not have him lose to Edge then? It would have made more sense, and been put to better use, to have the title change hands in-ring, for paying viewers, than on free TV without so much as a match.

Now that's not to doubt WWE's judgement TOO much - there might be a payoff with this, as there might be with the other two angles. But I can more easily see those other two angles going in a few different interesting directions. I fail to see what will happen with this one that will contribute to the intrigue of SD, that him losing the title to Edge or whoever wouldn't have created. Except maybe a tournament ... and even then, have him or Edge have gotten a dubious victory over the other, or a schmozz ending to their Backlash match, giving a real reason for Vicki to declare the title vacant and hold a tournament. Lots of titles were stripped, and changed hands due to injury last year - Undertaker and Edge themselves both lost their titles due to injury; John Cena, and so forth; after a year of many titles switching hands outside of the ring, I would just not go to that well for awhile is all I'm thinking.

But ultimately it's all about the payoff right? In a way, I'm withholding absolute final judgement on all these angles - but while I'm leaning that Raw and ECW's bizarre angles can have some decent mileage in the coming days and weeks, I'm more skeptical of this one.

There won't be a Raw report tomorrow night right on the money as I will be at the show LIVE in Toronto! But I will definitely post an update Tuesday talking about the experience, and the upcoming week in wrestling. Enjoy it guys and see y'all at the matches.

Friday, May 2, 2008

PS - Benoit voicemail messages

Yesterday (I think it was, or Wednesday), messages found on Chris and Nancy Benoit's answering machine by investigators during their investigation, from the days before and weekend of the double-murder-suicide, were released. I'm not going to link to them here; you can find them at TMZ or almost any other wrestling news site, they are not hard to find (although if you find they are, PLEASE let me know; I only listened to them the third time I found them in the space of a half hour though so I'm assuming they're out there and easy to get one's hands on). But PLEASE listen.

And I hope anyone who thinks of Chris Benoit as nothing but a roided-up, drugged-out monster listens too. Because this man - and the man that all these people are speaking to - is who we wrestling fans remember. He leaves a loving message for his wife and son; his son leaves HIM an adoring message (one that wouldn't be left by a child to a parent who had ever hurt them); a couple of calls from "Anne at the office" who, despite the fact he was no-showing a PPV, spoke with nothing but warmth and concern checking up on her colleague and friend.

My husband and I have always said that while we'll have trouble ever forgiving Chris Benoit for what he robbed his family of - their lives, their daughter, their grandson - he robbed us wrestling fans of something too; not just himself, but the ability to ever look at his spectacular oeuvre of work in the same way again. In one fell swoop, a gentleman of integrity, with a sincere handshake, a once- and future-world champion with a lock on the hall of fame, washed all of that away. In a way it was a triple-murder-suicide: he killed his wife and his son and himself, but he also killed the man we all thought him to be ... and that loss makes the other losses so much harder to comprehend, mourn, and get past.

If Chris Benoit had lived and had been given a chance to a trial, I'm sure his mental state would be a source of compassion; the rigours of the road, the drugs he took, the toll taken by his job would make him almost sympathetic, a third victim, although less literally than he is now. I have felt guilty saying that, like somehow acknowledging that I loved this man's image and felt him to be a caring father, whose love for his family seeped through any 'Crippler' character, takes away from what he became, and what he did to his family. And it does, and I will never quite look at him the same way again. But perhaps these phone messages can remind us too that he was at least human - albeit a terribly, tragically flawed one - and at the end of the day, he was a victim too.

Smackdown tonight - and Santino Marella

Just a heads-up I'll be trying to post my thoughts on Smackdown tonight but have a massive packing/cleanup job to do to get an upcoming move underway tonight, so it might be taped to be a 'midnight with a glass of wine' or a 'tomorrow when we wake up' kind of thing. So if I end up posting my thoughts about it tomorrow AM, my apologies. And in case Iforget to tape it or something and miss it completely - as seems to have been an unfortunate circumstance this week - I HAVE already read some spoilers so I have some sense of what I will be commenting on when all is said and done. And without saying exactly what, or who is involved, all I can say is if I were to miss a week, this might be it. 3 for 3 for strange STRANGE shows. Perhaps not so strange 10 or even 20 years ago, but not typical to what WWE has been doing of late.

And that's not to necessarily a BAD thing - I'm all about the payoff after an intriguing build, and I think we wrestling fans are too impatient for angles to be blown off lately. And whatever else I'll say about WWE programming this week, Monday night's plug being pulled and ECW's announcers walking offset for the main event, have people talking at the water coolers. It's just I think this week is that annoying 'tune in next week' situation, and NEXT week will be the set of shows to see. And lucky, lucky me as I will be LIVE at Raw this coming Monday! :D So while I might not post thoughts on Monday night about it - it'll go till past 11 and then it's 1 1/2 hours home - I will definitely not sleep thru it and will have some complete thoughts Tuesday. Back on the wrestling fan saddle after an overall strange and/or busy week in both MY world and in WWE-land.

Last note before leaving - I'd be remiss to not mention Santino Marella's DUI arrest yesterday. Dumbass. There - I mentioned it. ;) Have a good night all.

blog analyzer
HammerMill Copy Paper