Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raw, Edge and Jesse

So I suppose since it's Tuesday tonight's entry should be solely dedicated to Raw. Well - that's all well and good except for Raw sucking. :P Don't get me wrong, there were some gloriously funny moments; the Great Char-li was hilarious (Charlie Haas as the Great Khali); Ranjin Singh coming out with him, and Khali's reaction, including the trying not to laugh, was the best moment of the show. The DX reunion was an attempt to create a big moment on a week when Raw really couldn't compete with Smackdown. And Glamarella was hilarious as always.

However: the buildup for the PPV which is coming up IN SIX DAYS was virtually non-existent. They mentioned matches - particularly the Jericho-Michaels title match - and added the Rey Mysterio demasking stip to his match with Kane; but the show felt like it was treading water, which coming off some momentum from last week's show and heading into a PPV should not have been the case. DX to some might have seemed old a couple of years ago when they reunited but I didn't mind their act; it bothers me now, after Shawn has been in such a serious mode and involved in such a serious feud, to have him skipping out with Triple H out of nowhere ... honestly I'd have rather it been CM Punk or even an unknown Shawn had trained to counteract Lance Cade. Or build back up to funny Shawn. It's again, the inconsistencies you've heard Ari and I ranting about.

And two paragraphs, in that sense, is enough to devote to Raw - Ari and I will be dicsussing the show in more detail tomorrow night on In This Very Ring. Meanwhile, tonight tune into Between The Ropes ( to listen to a rare online radio interview with former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion Edge, which promises to be very interesting. And keep posted through TMZ as well on a new potential project featuring former Minnesota Governor and pro wrestler Jesse Ventura which is allegedly about to be snapped up by TruTV (the former CourtTV) - it's apparently a conspiracy theory show where Jesse will pursue the truth and weed out the fiction as it relates to various urban legends - perhaps inspired by his own well-known 9/11 conspiracy theory-ing.

I'll hopefully put up my thoughts on the Edge interview, and more details on the Ventura project as I learn them. Meanwhile be sure to tune in tomorrow night, between 10 and midnight Eastern, for another episode of In This Very Ring. See you around!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tonight's Main Event

Has been announced as Chris Jericho and Lance Cade vs. Shawn Michaels and a mystery partner. Look for the obvious choices to be CM Punk as someone who has history with Jericho now, or Triple H as Michaels' longtime friend. A dark horse is Kevin Nash, who has allegedly parted ways with TNA (removed from their website, acknowledging a new contract is in the stages of being hashed out but not finalized).

Either way, way to create some buzz about tonight in light of the risk of being overshadowed by Friday's episode of Smackdown - the Blue Brand's debut on MyNetworkTV in the US. Should be an interesting week of wrestling, folks!

Raw Tonight

Hey guys it's Monday! :D That means Raw. And that means my Raw thoughts either late tonight or tomorrow - most likely tomorrow as at this point I will probably be taping Raw and watching it tomorrow evening, as I have some other things to take care of this evening. We'll see though. But enjoy the show and be sure and check back here tomorrow for my thoughts. Take care!

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Well I was going to give a whole lot of feedback to Friday's Smackdown - it was a passable show, continuing the push of Vladimir Kozlov (though I don't understand Triple H's interference in his match with Khali, or his continuing to buddy around with Jeff Hardy when they're wrestling in a week's time), finally giving the payoff of Undertaker chokeslamming Vicki Guerrero, giving Chavo some material to work with, the Colon bros. winning the tag titles, etc. But I must say, the story is this COMING week's Smackdown, for which we will definitely be tuning in; their debut on MyNetworkTV in the US (they're staying on The Score here in Canada, but we'll get the benefit of a hyped program next week).

Five matches have already been advertised for the debut program:

Triple Threat: Raw Champ Chris Jericho vs. SD Champ Triple H vs. ECW Champ Matt Hardy
IC Champ Santino Marella vs. US Champ Shelton Benjamin
Women's Champ Beth Phoenix vs. Diva's Champ Michelle McCool
Raw Tag Champs Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase vs. SD Tag Champs Carlito and Primo Colon
All Star 8-Man: JBL, MVP, Kane and The Brian Kendrick vs. Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio Jr., Finlay and Batista

None of these have been announced as title for title so I'm assuming there are no championships on the line, but that's still a loaded lineup, usually reserved for major Raw episodes, which shows me WWE is maybe trying to start fresh with SD on a new network; they've been giving them some added cred of late with Triple H and JR being moved over to the Blue Brand, and the trend continues. Even Santino-Shelton Benjamin, which is arguably the least intriguing match in this lineup, should be interesting given they're opposites; Mr. Charisma w/no wrestling ability vs. Mr. Wrestling Star w/little to no charisma. With JR on play-by-play, it should be a near-PPV level night and I'm definitely looking forward to it!

My only question - Priceless and the Colons - who are the heels???? I was a bit unclear on that this week even, with the Colons wrestling Ryder and Hawkins - guess I haven't been tuned in in a while. Hopefully this week delivers reason not just to tune into SD, but to STAY tuned in, after a quiet month or so sans Edge.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ric Flair and Coca Cola

According to reports earlier this week, Coca Cola pulled out of a promotional deal with Ric Flair, who had or was about to sign on to endorse their products - this is apparently due to a violent incident involving Naitch, his daughter Ashley, and Ashley's (unnamed) boyfriend.

According to Jim Ross, Flair and Coke had only casually been talking, so this wasn't like a done deal lost - granted. But it does highlight the point that casual talks become more serious talks, and if Flair's personal conduct, and that of his family, is costing him the lucrative deals he'd hoped to free himself up to sign when he left the WWE, then Ross' earlier assessment that someone needs to 'protect Ric from Ric' is not far off the mark.

WWE might not have provided for Ric to the full extent of his POTENTIAL earning power; but they'd have provided stability, benefits (if his role as an 'ambassador' was more in the employee/'office' line), and a family to fall back on should he have continued his ways of financial mismanagement and poor judgement. If he's going to lose out on deals like this, howsoever early in the negotation stages, due to his personal behaviours, he might have been better to stick with the WWE after all.

Tune in this weekend for my thoughts on SD, and over the week ahead for more wrestling news and thoughts!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Particle Man Video - companion piece to ITVR Broadcast

This is the video mentioned in tonight's ITVR broadcast. Enjoy.

ITR Episode 8 - September 25 2008

Posted a bit early even! Click the title of this post to listen and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Last Night's Raw

As promised ... my thoughts ... saving the juiciest details to be parsed over by Ari and myself on In This Very Ring tomorrow night, along with other information pertaining to Smackdown, real-life wrestling news, the upcoming No Mercy, and yes, even a bit of TNA this week!!!

I will say Raw made the effort to be a 'Big Feel' show last night, bringing in Shane McMahon for the 800th episode. Nothing like (a) a long McMahon break from TV and (b) Mike Adamle to make us miss the McFamily. The tension between Shane-O and Mike was great, although if even Shane condescends to Adamle, it begs the question of why he and his sister Stephanie hired the Adamleader in the first place. Perhaps as a puppet GM?

I also liked the referencing of Shane and Kane's history of feuding once or twice over the evening - they must have listened to ITVR last week. ;) Seriously, too often is wrestling history either over-relied upon, or else completely forgotten and I'm overjoyed to see it referenced, without it taking over the show.

Otherwise it was a decent show but nothing I felt to write home about - Santino's fear of Batista and Batista's cool but severe handling of him was awesome stuff, and I was glad to see Evan Bourne got some offense in before Kane squashed him. Chris Jericho was decent, and it was great to see some fire in CM Punk's eyes. Cody Rhodes put on an abysmal performance when I would see a one-on-one with a former world champ as a real brass ring opportunity. I must admit to falling asleep during the final match, but it's because they threw together JBL and Chris Jericho again, vs. Shawn Michaels and Batista, without acknowleding the very recent (not to mention very personal and intense) feuds both makeshift teams had had amongst themselves. After such a step in the right direction acknowledging the ludicrous nature of Kane having a civil, professional conversation with Shane, to book this match without working with the internal conflicts was poor booking.

So a strong show, but not the best ever - 7.0 out of 10 for the show, and some definite trends in the right direction. Again, more logic and consistency and Raw would definitely be rebounding, at least quality-wise, towards where it was at its height. All the ingredients are there - strong and competent young talent along with some intelligent and capable veterans, a good balance of heels and faces, excellent wrestlers AND mic men ... it's just a matter of making it gel in a cohesive way. Come on dudes ... I know you can do it!

And I'm out - tune in tomorrow night between 10pm-midnight Eastern for the next edition of In This Very Ring. Peace all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Some Early Raw thoughts ... by the by ...

According to my good friend (well ... guy I'm a fan of lol) Jason Powell over at, and, three matches thus far have been advertised for Raw tonight:

Kelly Kelly vs. Women's Champion Beth Phoenix
Evan Bourne vs. Kane
Cryme Tyme vs. The Miz and John Morrison

I echo Powell's question: if you were hitting a milestone like ep. 800, coming off of some dismal ratings last week, with Jericho-Michaels to pimp out for No Mercy coming up, and a lot of longtime big names who haven't been on screen or at least wrestling in awhile (Vince McMahon, John Cena, Randy Orton from a wrestling standpoint), are these the three matches we should hype? I'd be pimping out at least one appearance by one of the above, if not Steve Austin or someone. Even Honky Tonk Man to respond to Santino's Honky-metre would be fun.

Sigh ... WWE needs to go back to booking school. Oh well - at least they'd still get better grades than TNA, with two big returns/arrivals (Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley) arriving unadvertised last week, and their habits of late to begin their second hour - a transition crucial to catching casual, channel-surfing tube watchers - with a commercial break. When promoters and bookers complain fans don't understand how complicated it is to run a wrestling company, they may be right ... but clearly, neither do they. Sigh ...

The week ahead

Well it looks to be an interesting week ahead in the wrestling world - tonight marks Monday Night Raw's 800th episode! As well, Thursday is the first official broadcast on which Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett are known to be with (or back with) TNA publicly. And Friday marks Smackdown's final broadcast on the CW before switching next week over to MyNetworkTV. ECW and Smackdown were also pretaped last night as WWE is going overseas this week ... which always brings about hilarious hi-jinx. ;)

Be sure to read my thoughts on Raw's 800th eppy tomorrow, as well as TNA and Smackdown reactions later in the week. And as always (or almost always lol) you can tune in to listen Wednesday nights to Ari and I as we podcast In This Very Ring, to be uploaded sometime between 10pm-midnight Eastern. Hope you follow all the action right here with us ... In This Very Ring!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Smackdown Thoughts

So thoughts on SD, pretty much right on time after the debacle of the two days it took me to get ITVR posted lol (oh well, better late than never and hope you enjoyed the show). Anyway, last night's show was passable. There was some decent action between R-Truth and Shelton Benjamin, and MVP and Triple H. It was great to see the Hurricane's return, and AS the Hurricane (though not in costume). "I'm just sayin' ..."

Tag team scene here also looks pretty interesting. Primo and Carlito Colon don't make a whole lot of sense on the one hand, given the continuity issue with Primo declaring his brother a 'jerk' three weeks ago (and being on Raw), and now being on SD and teaming with Carly (yet another of the nonsensical inconsistencies we were talking about this week on ITVR); but on the other being a second-generation, lazy, 'everything handed to us' tag team is kind of interesting.

Twice we had the situation of a camera entering a dressing room as an attempt to represent a wrestler's point of view (think the Babby Stroller Cam that caught Vince from his granddaughter's POV at last year's ... Summerslam or Wrestlemania or something, I think it was). Again with the silliness - it's a silly production value that works more in clearly 'fake' or 'staged' shows than on a show which is supposed to be pseudo-real.

I'm fascinated by Vladimir Kozlov and his megapush, as he feuded and beat up Jeff Hardy and Triple H this week - although since he's facing the Great Khali next week, I'm not quite sure who to root for ... and this isn't one of those great ones where I'm just rooting for a good match cuz let's face it folks, we ain't getting one of those either. THIS was some dumbarsed booking from WWE brass.

So I dunno, a mixed bag from SD - let's hope for better next week, as they've done such a great job before now. And dudes? BRING BACK EDGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Click the title - and apologies for it being up hours late again - I fell asleep while the show was uploading and didn't post the link lol.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ITVR tonight

Apologies all for the delay in ITVR being posted last night - some exhaustion and technical difficulties made it unworthwhile and hey! It's our show! ;) But it will go up tonight sometime between the hours of 10 and midnight. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

RAW Thoughts

So as promised I'm back with my Raw reactions to last night's show. Won't be terribly detailed tonight - tune in tomorrow night for Ari's and my more in-depth feedback, and our analysis as to how No Mercy is shaping up. But as my last entry was a copout for not writing this weekend I figured I could and should do better than "Tune in tomorrow night". And hey - who knows, as I warm up I could go on anyway. lol It's been known to happen. Anyway ...

Last night's show was a real mixed bag, which is almost the direct opposite of most Raws of late. Most recent Raws have not sucked as the last couple of years have; yet they haven't exactly hit the stellar highs of the mid-to-late-1990s and the early part of this century either. Last night exemplified everything that could go right - and wrong - with the show. My biggest compliment is they tried a lot of new things - much of it worked. Some didn't.

One new tack was having the main event - World Champion Chris Jericho vs. former champ CM Punk in a steel cage - on first. Solid match, with a flukey ending that gave Jericho a clear enough win (they knew the rules going into it and CM Punk should have known better than to punch or headbutt Jericho in the direction of the door, instead of pulling him in towards the ring), while still appearing just flukey enough that it doesn't discredit Punk any further. I was dubious about placing this match first, and it WAS A tough act to follow, but with Shawn Michaels' return at the end of the night to announce the No Mercy main event, and an excellent mass promo from the main event set (plus Glamarella) of Batista, JBL and Chris Jericho midway through the show, momentum wasn't really lost and in fact it was a good way to get the audience into the show.

Excited about Michaels-Jericho at No Mercy. I wish in all good conscience they could carry this out to WM - Jericho vs. Michaels has been their biggest feud of the year, it should have been for the gold long ago, and Michaels truly deserves a solid title shot after his work with John Cena last year and his sendoff of Ric Flair at WM. Those are all the ingredients of a match which should not be wasted on a lower-rent non-"Big Four" (Summerslam, Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, Survivor Series) PPV - but I also understand there's a fine line between bringing a feud to a slow boil and constantly adding some twists and turns to it to stretch it out, and letting something get old and stale.

As much as they've found new points of interest to this feud (Jericho's heel turn and bloodying of Shawn with the Jeritron; the accidental punch to Rebecca Michaels; Jericho's title win after Shawn pinned him that night), it can only go on so long, and it will be a great match these two on a ladder. So I give thumbs up for the story, a solid A+. and a B+ for the delivery - as much as Adamle tried to hold off on announcing Michaels as Jericho's challenger and build suspense, we all knew who it would be; and it does feel a bit hotshotted. We'll see if they pull anything out at NM to let this continue ... and might I say ... finally a title match that is actually unpredictable from the get-go, instead of having to really bait and switch and swerve to get the surprise element (ie Punk getting knocked out of the Scramble match last week).

The promo with Batista, Jericho, et al was awesome. Batista hasn't been that strong on the mic in a long time and he impressed me; it also was entertaining to see Santino Marella - who as the IC champ is technically the number 2 guy on Raw and the official, default #1 contender to the World title - in with the big boys. Rey-Kane had a decent match following a decent promo by Kane. But here's where the positives end. The rest of the show felt kind of like a poorly-planned out cluster-y'know what. It's like someone woke up yesterday morning and "Oh shyte, it's Monday!". I mean, let me get this straight - Paul Burchill goes from being the #1 contender to then-Kofi Kingston's IC belt, to fodder for a JAMIE NOBLE squash? Don't get me wrong, Layla explaining her longheld disdain for Noble and going with Regal was interesting and I've been a fan of this story, but really ...? Jillian sang, from what I could gather, for the few minutes we saw her onscreen, plus through the commercial - such pain for the live audience. The King, and Charlie Haas as JR, and Kofi Kingston vs. Priceless and Manu? Like ... huh?

So yeah - I did go on more than intended here but I think my point is proven. When Raw was good it was very, very good. But when it sucked, it sucked. We've got a very strong main event scene right now on Raw, and are starting to spend some time on the midcard (Dibiase-Rhodes/Manu, Layla-Regal-Noble, Mysterio-Kane) ... but now let's do the impossible. Let's add some logic and some good synergy and gelling to help the show run as smoothly and seamlessly as it did ten years ago. 6.5 out of 10 for this week.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


So I do apologize for not posting my thoughts on Smackdown this weekend - I haven't been feeling well since Friday evening, I only caught bits and snatches of it and have really let just about everything slide this weekend so I can recover from my cold. I appreciate the reprieve, all, and I promise to be back up and running tomorrow night - or Tuesday at the latest - with my thoughts on tomorrow night's Raw. And as always, a brand-spanking new, almost-live episode of In This Very Ring will go up Wednesday night sometime between 10pm and midnight, however long the upload takes. :) Hope you'll tune in and thanks as always for checkin' the site.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Santino Marella vs. ... Perez Hilton?

A few weeks ago on Santino's internet show, Santino's Casa, he started mouthing off at Queen of All Media Perez Hilton. Perez has responded, and the back and forth has been incredibly amusing. I think if WWE can name the right price for Perez - which I doubt would be terribly high - I would totally do a celeb match between these two. Undercard, and please not for the IC belt, but it would be a very, VERY funny leadup promo-wise, and with the match properly booked considering they would be two comedy characters (lots of pratfalls, mistakes, silliness, and then a surprisingly good move or two from both of them to get the smarks talking), I think this could be funny. Not to mention plenty of opportunity for Goldust cameos. ;)

You can check out Santino's Casa on the main page at and you can find Perezzers' response at ... just scroll down to page 3 or 4. :) And remember I will be back tomorrow with Smackdown thoughts. Look forward to seeing you then!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ITVR episode 6

As promised ... click the post title to check out tonight's podcast. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Raw last night

Was ... OK.

Some strong points included the Rey Mysterio-Evan Bourne vs. Cody Rhodes-Ted Dibiase match; top notch tag match. I'm finally even quasi-interested in the Mysterio-Kane feud after last night, it was the first time they've really piqued my interest with this convoluted, poorly-explained, incomprehensible story.

Chris Jericho delivered a strong promo as usual, although it was a letdown that Shawn Michaels wasn't there to pursue their storyline, especially now that Chris Jericho is the world title holder. I also disapproved of Mike Adamle announcing two main events last night - last night's event of Jericho vs. Batista, and next week's of Jericho vs. former world champion CM Punk in a steel cage. The latter was arguably the bigger main event, and he teased it for next week - taking the air right out of the crowd, who can't honestly be expected to get hyped about a match next week, when they paid to be here THIS week. And that next week's match, when placed side by side with last night's, is the bigger draw, was a slap in the face to the live audience ... not to mention information overload and too much hype for the rest of us, for either match to be given the full recognition they should.

Batista-Jericho wasn't even then delivered upon, turning into a Jericho-JBL vs. Batista handicap match. Besides ignoring the ugly and painful history between JBL and Jericho (we MUST like each other now, we're both heels, yaaaay!), it was a letdown from even the small scraps the live fans were given as a main event.

Otherwise it was just OK - everyone did their job, and there were no real moments that stood out as nonsensical (other than the ones mentioned) or weak ... it just didn't feel especially strong either. On a 10-point scale, I'd give this Raw a 5 or 6 for not sucking, but for nonetheless feeling a bit phoned-in the night after a PPV ... and a PPV which left us a lot of meat to pick off the bone and should have resulted in a fascinating Raw. It's too bad that a lot of the compelling storylines of Unforgiven resulted in injury angles or quasi-injury angles (Jericho, Punk), which didn't allow for them to be capitalized on right away ... because some momentum was indisputably lost by the lack of immediate followup last night, and I hope WWE gets back into full swing gearing up for No Mercy and Survivor Series over the rest of the week on the other brands, and then Monday again on Raw.

And WE will be back into full swing tomorrow night with a full-length episode of In This Very Ring ... it might go up closer to midnight than 10pm as Ari and I have plans until about 9:30/10 o'clock, but it will be there. Hope you tune in then, and we look forward to seeing you ... In This Very Ring!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My thoughts on Unforgiven ... and a few Flair tidbits

So first the PPV last night - it was decent. Dealing with the Championship Scrambles first, I was pleasantly surprised by all the matches. The last one for CM Punk's World Heavyweight Title was the weakest, and it wasn't even 'terrible', per se - just not up to the calibre of the other two matches. I was not surprised to see Matt Hardy win the ECW title, and was glad he did. I liked the drama at the end between Jeff Hardy and Triple H passing the WWE Title back and forth, and near-simultaneous pinfalls. It creates the impression that Jeff was a hair's breadth away from his first WWE Championship reign, and sets up for a fantastic feud between these two based on respect and with both of them on an even par. They also did a great job building up Brian Kendrick - this match made that kid's career, believe me. Although I wish he hadn't been the one to soak up most of the pinfalls ...

The Raw Scramble for the World Heavyweight Title is where things fell apart a bit. The action didn't suck by any means, and don't get me wrong - Chris Jericho is a worthy World Champion, especially with Raw's top card being kind of face-heavy right now (Shawn Michaels, Batista, Rey Mysterio, CM Punk), and only a couple of heels (Randy Orton upon his return, Kane-ish, JBL) as legit contenders. I just wish that perhaps they'd inserted him in John Cena's place, or knocked out someone who WASN'T CM Punk, the reigning World Champ who's already being portrayed, and seen by some, as flukey and undeserving. For the title to change hands without the sitting champion even so much as being involved in the match was pathetic. I wouldn't have even minded if Punk came out injured and put in a valiant effort before being beaten ... I'm just afraid the sound we just heard was the plug being pulled on the Punk experiment, and WWE saying they did all they could and the kid just couldn't get over, although they made no efforts to help him do so.

Again don't get me wrong - Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels are the biggest draws on Raw right now and it's about time that their top-notch feud be for the gold (as if the stakes could be any higher, they now are - the twists they keep adding just as this feud's about to go stale are impressive); I've longed for these two talented workhorses to get the official recognition they're due. But not at the expense of a talented young go-getter like Punk who was never even given a chance and wasn't even involved with the match in which the fate of HIS title was decided. I suppose it sets up a side-feud for Jericho along the way back to Michaels, and perhaps some tag matches along the way (Michaels-Punk vs. Jericho-Orton anyone?) - my problem here is not at all with the end but the means, and only time will tell if the former justifies the latter. Very mixed feelings about this.

As for the undercard - pretty strong. The tag team match and Rhodes/Dibiase's interactions with Randy Orton was great; I'm interested in Randy Orton having his own little faction, and I'm glad he decided he wasn't too good or too big for this. Wasn't that long ago he was a young up-and-comer; way to help those in the same position he was in not a few years ago. Also was fairly pleased with the Diva's match; Maryse and Michelle McCool have come a long, long way as performers and had a very passable match for Diva Search alumni. And I was very impressed with the bait and switch of Big Show helping Vicki Guerrero deal with the Undertaker. This is a feud we've seen before, but it is usually a successful one and should be interesting to see go forward - especially if Edge has a role in there, or Triple H, as these two gentlemen are certainly near the top of the Smackdown roster as well. Can't wait to hear what Show has to say for himself!

And lastly, I don't think I need to comment on the Shawn Michaels Chris Jericho match further than I did earlier - given this match was different from either of these two technical standouts' usual style - a very bloody, heavyhanded brawl - they pulled it off fantastically and we saw a side of Shawn Michaels - his more heelish side, and a side that even demonstrated a bit of fun (he SMILED! he FOUND his SMILE again!) that we haven't in awhile. Can't wait to see this matchup for the world title ... hope they hold off on that to at LEAST headline Survivor Series, however; perhaps Punk-Jericho in between-time at No Mercy. But either way - a basically strong show which entertained me and delivered some good intrigue. I have always complained that while WWE's free television is too promo-heavy without enough action, PPVs are the opposite - the era of storylines being forward on PPVs was over in favour of stronger action - they seem to be doing a few more promos just to add some spice between matches. Let's hope Raw and SD work towards that balance in the opposite direction as well. Good work for Unforgiven - just make up this nonsense about Punk to him and his fans soon.

And finally, I promised a few bits of Flair news - Ric Flair's daughter ... I believe it's Ashley ... was arrested for assaulting a police officer at a local convenience store in South Carolina. Ric Flair was involved in the incident but not arrested or charged. All I can say is ... dude. I would NOT be messing with southern cops. Also an interesting bit of info - Ric's estranged wife Tiffany gave an interview to the Unholy Matrimony show ( about their recent separation; she speaks well of her husband, and of the WWE, and just says that "He wants to be Ric Flair, and I don't think that I have a place in that" ... very magnanimous and understanding of Naitch - although I question his thoughts as he has a beautiful, intelligent-seeming, good hearted young wife, and he still wants to 'Naitch'? Dude ... oh well. ;) Note to girls: at nearly 60 years old, Ric Flair ain't about to change. Buyer Beware.

And that's about it! Be sure to tune in tomorrow for my Raw thoughts, and remember as always Ari and I will be broadcasting around 10pm Eastern Wednesday night with the latest edition of In This Very Ring. Take care until then! Peace.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Smackdown Thoughts

So I usually like posting a day or two apart at most, but it's been a slow wrestling news week and I figured I should wait till Smackdown was done.

Yesterday's show was OK except for one factor: the creepiness of the faces. Triple H was really pushing Jeff Hardy and MVP's buttons this week - which is great, except I'm wondering if it's pushing him more into tweener territory than face territory? Don't get me wrong - it's amusing, and I think it's a more accurate place for Vince McMahon's controversial son-in-law to be - but if we're supposed to be cheering him as the face world champion going into tomorrow night's PPV, I'm wondering if his blatant razzing of Jeff Hardy - one of WWE's most popular superstars - and his drug problems is really the way to go? Nonetheless, entertaining.

And on a similar note, let me get this straight - Undertaker discusses mauling, murdering, and burying Vicki Guerrero - a woman, however distasteful, but a woman, and a human being - and he's the face? I don't quite get what we're supposed to be feeling for Vicki at this point - sympathy due to her lecchy husband, hatred due to her past sins catching up with her, and maybe she and Edge are just two unlikeable people who happen to not like each other as well, or what. But it's confusing, and when the one clear 'good guy' in all this starts going on about killing SD's GM ... well ... ??? Not to mention the fact that I don't understand why she wouldn't just re-fire him if he's being so ungrateful (in her eyes) for his reinstatement. It defies belief ... and usually that's Raw's domain, as Smackdown has been pretty good at hitting realistic and consistent storylines with few holes.

That said - excited about the potential Vladmir Kozlov/Big Show feud - a chance for the big newby to cut his teeth on some real competition, and for Big Show to find a real program instead of floundering after his headlining Wrestlemania match with Floyd Mayweather. The promos and wrestling and all that were solid, don't get me wrong - just a bit nonsensical given the backstory of Smackdown right now. And I still feel it's missing Edge. That is all.

Tune back in tomorrow night or Monday for my thoughts on tomorrow night's PPV - hope you all tune in and enjoy it, as we are planning to do! XO - Sar

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

In This Very Ring - Episode #5

Bet you thought I forgot. ;) I promised about ten days ago I'd broadcast this today, but I don't think I've mentioned it since. It is a couple hours later than I'd have liked it up but hey better late than never.

Click the title of this blog entry to go to the podcast. Merci.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Raw Thoughts

So Raw this week was OK - and my experience of it was a lesson in not looking at spoilers. Three major onscreen returns, some decent action, some good comic relief and a decent build up to Unforgiven ... and yet I found it all kind of 'blah' and 'weak' as the show was pretaped and I have known the results since Sunday night. So I will try to discuss it objectively, knowing it was strong - hopefully my lack of enthusiasm doesn't distract from that.

Let's start with my two favourite parts, which were strong. I enjoyed Santino Marella's "Honky-meter" as he measures the days of his IC Title reign against the record set by longest-running Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man. Funny stuff. I also enjoyed Charlie Haas' entrance as John Cena - after his turn as "Charlito" last week, this kid might have a future in impersonations if WWE keeps him around. Also in the plus column, though not a favourite, Jamie Noble's win over William Regal finally. He's a skilled little wrestler and this story with him, Regal and Leyla is fun to watch - even if it is filler, it's entertaining filler.

In the mixed bag department, I liked Randy Orton's onscreen (non-wrestling) return and enjoyed his work as a heel critiquing the status of Raw, and particularly its champions - while he was gone, as a way of reinforcing his arrogant heel-ness. However WWE has to watch this lest he be too much the 'heel with too much of a point'. Especially as it pertains to CM Punk, who's been allowed to cleanly beat all of one challenger thus far and in desperate need of credibility.

I also found the Chris Jericho-Shawn Michaels promo at the end entertaining, as they tend to be (even if this feud is a bit long and promo-heavy, it is strong and they bring the interest level up a notch just as it gets draggy). But a damper was put on tonight's performance by the fact that Shawn Michaels got injured at the end of the show, which stinks for both WWE and his fans, and I'm sure Michaels himself, who has a feud he can really sink his teeth into with Jericho.

I personally don't know what to root for in terms of this feud, and their Unforgiven match in particular, going forward. On one hand, his match with Chris Jericho was something I was looking forward to; on the other hand I hate someone to make the stupid decision of wrestling injured. On the third hand, if Shawn IS injured, the match might not be as great as it otherwise might be anyway - it might be relegated to only 'very good'. On the fourth hand, the authenticity and 'unsanctioned' nature of the match could easily lend itself to gimmicks (weapons, blood, Jericho himself) protecting Michaels and sending him off on an injury 'angle' if he needs it. This played well into the match, adds a touch of realism to it, and all that - it's just a very unfortunate and accidental way to do so, and put a damper on the whole Raw thing for me from the beginning, knowing it was going to happen. I wish my old favourite a speedy recovery.

On the weak side - the pretaped nature of Raw did more than just give me the opportunity to seek out online spoilers. Probably Raw's biggest minus last night was, that due to it being pretaped, there were some editing possibilites which WWE did take advantage of, and a few of the edited spots were sloppily obvious (the women's match ending for one, which was apparently botched about six times live before a useable finish was employed).

And while they did an OK job of hyping the PPV - Rey's return, the contract signing, etc., I guess it was good, but again, knowing what all was going to happen beforehand, took away the big event and climaxing feel that a go-home Raw, to me, should have - and on a Raw where three former world champions (Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, and Candace Michelle) returned to TV, that definitely tells me Raw is more exciting live. Hopefully WWE keeps that in mind as much as possible ... which they do ... and thank God taped Raws are so very rare.

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