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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Forgot Ari was working tonight until late but you can still hear a solo, scaled-back version of ITVR by clicking the title of this entry. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Raw Last Night


And it had such potential too, with Shawn Michaels vs. Batista, Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk, and the build to Cyber Sunday off to a great start.

But it was so promo heavy - and not even good promo heavy, not even Chris Jericho and Michaels were really at their best - I actually stopped watching after the Batista-Michaels match and the Jackass nonsense with Johnny Knoxville.

There were some things that were decent - Haas Hogan, as Charlie Haas' continuance of his impression gimmick, was OK, and Michaels-Batista was not a bad match by any means; but even Santino, and JBL's promo - usually such strong features - lacked their usual lustre.

Hopefully Ari and I will have some more material to discuss tomorrow on ITVR, but it's looking like it might be a short broadcast. Although Lance Cade was released today, and the reasoning behind that after his involvement in a top-tier feud these last months should be interesting to hear about and discuss in the coming hours and days.

Oh well ... the wrestling life goes on; tune in tomorrow as promised for ITVR, and later in the week for my "Ring of Hell" book review. Take care all and hope YOUR two hours between 9 and 11 last night were better wasted than ours. :P A disappointing, midway between PPVs Raw.

(Although with only 3 weeks between PPVs this time they should have been building like cray-zeh ...)

Monday, October 13, 2008

SD, RAW Tonight ... Book Review and Bret Hart

So it has been a crazy weekend and we didn't get a chance to catch up on SD - I understand that Triple H and Big Show had a decent match, and that Triple H will defend his title at CyberSunday against (Jeff Hardy), (Vladimir Kozlov) or (both of the above). Gee can't see which way that vote's going ... still, CS is starting to shape into a decent card (although waddup with the whole 'vote by text message only' thing this year? paying to vote? dude - and only available in the US ... booo ...).

Also looking forward to Raw tonight and you can look forward to my thoughts on it either later this evening or tomorrow. And speaking of things you can look forward to, this week I intend to review a book I just finished reading about the Benoit murders last year entitled "Ring of Hell". An interesting read, although very much of the Michael Moore school of journalism in terms of - the guy's heart is in the right place and he makes some very, VERY valid points, but in presenting innuendo, rumour and hearsay among facts, risks weakening his very strong piece of work. More on that in days ahead however.

Last thing I want to comment on - a very interesting Bret Hart interview discussed over at Jason Powell's today; he speaks of Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle as two great competitors and that their match at Wrestlemania 19 was the best match since he left wrestling; he speaks of having buried the hatchet with Vince McMahon, but that he doesn't intend to appear in front of a live WWE crowd again as it's too emotional for him at this point; that he'd be willing to do 'via satellite' appearances or video game voice overs for the right price; and that Triple H must be included with Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon as one of the biggest ***holes in the business.

He also speaks of living in Italy with his second wife, and the breakdown of their marriage. A very interesting listen revealing someone who is still very haunted by his past, but making some serious strides in terms of moving forward, accepting his association with the wrestling world, while still recognizing that world for what it is. For all he can still be bitter and petty, he seems to have found a balance in his opinion of the business that many wrestlers have difficulty with achieving, and for that he should be commended (even if he CAN hold a grudge - not an attractive trait, even for one of my all-time favourites lol).

Friday, October 10, 2008


Hey guys - didn't get a chance to see SD yet - no surprise, it isn't yet over anyway. Hopefully will get to check it out on the late rerun, and write about it tomorrow/Sunday, but in the meantime I just wanted to comment on Dolph Ziggler (Nick Nemeth)'s wellness suspension today:

WWE hasn't had any suspensions in awhile, and high profile suspensions in even longer; this is not exactly high profile, and in that sense I'm afraid that Nemeth might be made an example of. The guy has been saddled with some weak gimmicks - I was not a fan of him as Chavo Guerrero's caddy, and while I WAS a fan of the Spirit Squad I know I was in the minority; I also am not entire sure how Dolph Ziggler was going to go over in the long run either. So someone they can't find good angles for when he IS in the good books, is not necessarily going to work his way back in.

Which is too bad as he's a talented young kid; here's wishing him luck in using these 30 days productively, and hopefully not going the way of Chris Masters as the young unknown who gets to act as posterboy for the Wellness campaign when a few high profile incidents (particularly thinking Jeff Hardy's behaviour at the airport recently when he was denied boarding a plane due to intoxication) have been let slide.

I know again that it's a small bit of news, but thought I'd address it as we haven't heard much about the WWE Wellness Policy in awhile, which tells me that perhaps the suspensions under it have been going down - which could either be a bad or a good sign. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

ITVR Broadcast

Click title to hear - enjoy and I will be back later in the week as always. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

No Mercy and Raw Thoughts

OK so let's start w/No Mercy. It was a strong PPV - there were some weak moments (Cryme Tyme's response to JBL's priceless promo, stealing his limo etc.; Priceless' contribution to the scene w/Randy Orton, MVP etc. - although CM Punk and Kofi Kingston feeding MVP to them was ... erm ... priceless). But the people who needed to be protected, were protected; there were at least three VERY strong matches, and while I wasn't pleased with two cheapish ref-stoppage/DQ endings (Mysterio-Kane, Undertaker-Big Show), they did make sense for the most part and made the perpetrators look strong. Ladder match was a STRONG match of the year candidate, and I expected nothing less from Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels. Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry was an awesome show opener, and Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H was excellent as well.

The two major title matches - Michaels-Jericho and Triple H-Hardy, were so strong, in fact, and such a great dynamic between the men, that while I saw both matches as sure things pretty much going in, I actually felt the results were in doubt at different parts of the match - they did a good job of making them close, and giving them an 'anything can happen' feel, which is a valuable commodity in the WWE these days. Good stuff.

Raw was a pretty stong followup too - Jericho was spot on in his promo at the start, and some matches I'm looking forward to were announced for CyberSunday. I'm excited about Santino Marella vs (a) Goldust, (b) Roddy Piper or (c) (and most likely) Honky Tonk Man, even though it kind of makes the IC belt jokish - it's a way of reminding us that some of the best 'entertainers' have held the title. And with Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, and Randy Orton as possible guest refs for Chris Jericho vs. Batista, that should make for an interesting matchup and stip as well. So definitely an "A" for beginning a strong build for the next PPV right off the bat.

Some weak moments as always - disappointed in the follow-thru on the Glamarella tension from Sunday night, and I was aggravated after we spend $40 to see NM that they did a rematch the very next night of Batista JBL, with the exact same stip and the twist of a guest ref to boot. I was also disappointed they had Shawn Michaels defeat Lance Cade so handily when that could easily be a decent feud to keep Shawn distracted from Jericho for a few weeks or months, but I understood the need to get his victory back for him after losing to both Cade AND Jericho in the last couple weeks. But overall, it was a strong show which accomplished its biggest goals - entertaining for two hours while building to the next pay show.

For more detailed thoughts on both shows, as well as where we see the upcoming weeks going as we head into CyberSunday and the Survivor Series, please tune in tomorrow night around midnight Eastern (if not earlier) for In This Very Ring's podcast. Thanks as always for readin'.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

No Mercy Preview

So here are my predictions and thoughts for tonight's No Mercy card put forward by the WWE.

Ladder Match: World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
The one thing I know about this puppy is it's going to be good. :) This is one of the hottest feuds in the WWE today, and has had equally good matches attached to it. I'm excited to see these two go at it in a match which is more conducive to their natural wrestling style than the brawls (however good they've been) in recent weeks. This should be a match of the year candidate if done right. As far as who wins goes - on a certain level I don't care, as I love both these men and both are deserving of the title. The sentimentalist in me is rooting for my longtime favourite Michaels; the realist in me believes they are not done with Chris Jericho yet, especially as he is the one performing more consistently, on a more full-time schedule these days. Look for Y2J to win this one - or at least not lose his title. Although I put that at a 60-40% chance; a Michaels win is not UN-likely, and again, I wouldn't mind either result.

WWE Champion Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy
We've been here before - and whatever chance Jeff Hardy had of winning the title was done away by the airport incident in which he was refused entry onto an airplane due to perceived impairment. Jeff Hardy seemingly enjoys very much being within arm's reach of the proverbial brass ring, but seems terrified to grab it, as every time he's expected to, he sabotages his own chances. Expect a Triple H win here, and for the only potential surprises to come in the form of who might interfere in this match (Vladimir Kozlov is likely, a returning Edge would be more intriguing). Regardless of whether I'm wrong about this one (I'm not) look for the champ coming out of this PPV to move on to a feud with Kozlov, who they've been building up strongly and correctly for some time.

ECW Champion Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry
Mark Henry got his sympathy title run for the racial slurs thrown at him by WWE road agent and writer Michael Hayes. He did admirably, and performs better than expected on the ECW brand. However, he is still a moderate performer at best, who has expressed his intention of retiring upon completion of his current contract; Matt Hardy is a conistent and longterm workhorse on his first title run, with many years of his prime still ahead of him; plus, as they used his brother Jeff to send him a message a few years ago, it feels like Matt, of late, is an example to Jeff of what he could have accomplished if he cleaned up his act and focused. I don't think they're done with Matt, and I look for Hardy to retain here after what I hope is a decent match, with brawling on Henry's part and speed and deflection on Hardy's.

Batista vs. JBL
The fact that I believe Batista is coming out on top of this match only reinforces my suspicion Chris Jericho is surviving his ladder match with Shawn Michaels with his title intact. Not that Batista and Shawn Michaels don't have their issues, and can't put together a good continuation to their mini-feud from earlier this year; but I think heel-face is more the traditional format WWE is going with these days, and JBL's time as undeserving #1 contender (despite having being beaten roundly by CM Punk on several occasions, and indeed being really the only top-tier superstar to do so), is over. Look for Batista to win, and go on to challenge the retaining champ, Jericho. And if I'm wrong about the main event? Still look for a Batista win. ;) The only way I could possibly be wrong here is if Randy Orton asserts himself in this match against his former Evolution stablemate. Otherwise, this one can be taken to the bank.

Big Show vs. Undertaker
This will not be a speedfest by any means, but it has the potential to be a great brawl between two very talented, tough and convincing big men if they both bring their "A" game and don't call it in, as they both can do from time to time. However, Taker has criticized Big Show's drive in the past, and since then both have expressed respect for each other, and both seem to be putting a decent workrate into this feud. I anticipate a decent brawl, that the Deadman will come out on top of (although given his momentum, and that Show has been treading water since his big Wrestlemania match with Floyd Mayweather, I wouldn't mind seeing a Big Show win either).

Women's Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Candice Michelle
I'm thinking Beth Phoenix is going to retain her belt here as I can't imagine them taking it off of her only 1 month after winning it, especially to someone as injury-prone as Candice has been; but Candice Michelle is a popular diva who the WWE brass loves, and who I can see them wanting to return from her last injury in a big way. While this isn't as sure a thing as say Batista-JBL or Triple H-Hardy, I'm tentatively predicting Beth. Along with some Santino Marella hijinx in the meantime. :)

Rey Mysterio vs. Kane (Rey Mysterio must remove his mask if defeated)
Another tough one to call - I can't imagine why they'd add this stip if they didn't intend to remove Rey's mask (especially without a countering stip like, Kane must go back into his mask if he loses - that would make it less predictbale); and yet I also can't imagine after years of respecting what that mask represents to Rey Mysterio, and understanding that there are more marketing possibilites with the symbolism and logo of that mask, that they'd take away what has really become THE symbol of one of their most marketable stars. I'm going to lean towards Rey unmasking so that I'm not riding the fence, but again, neither result would be a shocker here - especially if a counter-stip gets added over the course of the evening like I suggested before.

All in all ... it should be an entertaining program; I'm actually looking forward to it, and especially the Michaels-Jericho match. It's a seven match card which is pretty typical, so look for there to be room for some excellent storyline progression, or for another quick match to be added. I'm anticipating a good show - as always, my thoughts on it will be published tomorrow right here. Be sure to tune back in then!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Wrestling

OK I'm admittedly interested in this now ... the promo looks good.

Friday, October 3, 2008

ITVR :( - and some other wrestling thoughts

So guys - this week just got away from us. Between my teaching, tutoring, and directing a play, and Ari's work and a few other projects going on (the aforementioned deadline etc.) It's been insane, and something had to give. ITVR was it. Never fear, of course - we will be back on Wednesday with a brand new episode rehashing No Mercy and all that. And I of course will be blogging in the meantime - particularly tomorrow/early Sunday with my NM predictions!

For tonight however, for those of you looking for your ITVR fix, here are some wrestling thoughts and tidbits to keep you going until the next episode.

The Edge Interview: I promised you to discuss the interview with Adam Copeland featured on Between the Ropes this week. It was a very interesting interview in which he revealed he asked for the time off that he is currently taking, no one made him take a break (not surprising; why WWE would ask their #1 guy, really, to take a sabbatical would have been beyond me). He said he isn't seriously injured but nursing a few nagging aches and pains and wanted to refresh after some burnout. He expresses hope that old buddy Christian Cage will return to the WWE as his TNA contract winds down, and discusses working with the Undertaker - particularly their recent Hell in a Cell match. A must listen at

Kevin Nash and the WWE: Kevin Nash spoke on his contractual status with TNA this week, revealing that a deal was nearly made but not quite, and he would not be appearing on TNA television until it was done. He has also spoken to WWE, he said, although he suspects he'd have to dye his hair if he wanted to return (a go-between between him and Vince told him as much). Again not surprising, given WWE's image-conscious nature, and their emphasis on the youth movement of late.

Matt Hardy Dating Katie Lea?: He denies it, although the rumour has been circulating. I can only hope not, and that Matt has learned his lesson about dating WWE Divas. It did not work out with Amy "Lita" Dumas, nor did it work out with Ashley Massaro. A girl outside of the biz might be a good option at this point for the founder of Mattitude.

And last but certainly not least (in fact, probably the biggest news this week ...)

Smackdown's Big Move: SD debuted tonight on MyNetworkTV in the states, and from what I could tell was successful. I didn't find it an especially stellar show but it was smooth, it flowed, it certailny had entertaining moments. I don't quite get the point of burying Chavo, however amusing it was to see just how big the odds stacked against him were, and I REALLY didn't see the point of burying Michelle McCool on her OWN brand's big night, but overall the extent of the show I caught was solid, and merits a 7.0 out of 10. The only reason I don't find that satisfactory is that as a new start on a new, harder-to-find network, the show should have been much more. Even a strong main event featuring the company's three champions - the type of match usually reserved for a major Raw episode - was a great way to hype the card, although the ending was predictable even before one read the spoilers or watched the show; Triple H was going to get the victory as (a) the champion of the brand being celebrated tonight and (b) as ... well ... as Triple frickin' H. And they weren't going to have the Raw champ (who happens to be McMahon favourite Chris Jericho) pinned when the ECW champ (who happens to be a *eeew* Hardy) happened to be available to do the job. So good show - even very good - just not enough for what should have been a special night.

And that's it for me folks - tune in tomorrow, or Sunday morning latest, for my No Mercy predictions, Monday for my thoughts on the PPV, Tuesday for my Raw thoughts, and Wednesday for ITVR - it should be a blog-heavy week folks, now that I've cleared some room on my plate. Hope you'll be along for the ride.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ITVR Postponed

Hey guys - due to Ari facing a major work-related deadline tomorrow, we haven't had time, nor will we, tonight to do an ITVR broadcast - I could go solo but (a) you can hear my thoughts on wrestling almost daily anyway, part of the charm of ITVR is getting another voice once a week and (b) I'd be broadcasting in the room Ari's working in.

So provided all goes well and Ari is a good little boy and gets his work done, be sure tomorrow to tune in at the same time as you would tonight for a broadcast of In This Very Ring, where we will discuss such hot topics as Edge's appearance on Between the Ropes, the upcoming No Mercy card, this week's lackluster Raw, and Smackdown's big move to MyNetworkTV on Friday. Hope you clear up your dance card and find time to meet us right here tomorrow then ... In This Very Ring!


Friday night will be the ITVR airing after Smackdown - tomorrow night we have prior commitments - mainly two fights bigger and better than anything WWE, TNA or UFC has had to offer lately.

In this corner - a one-on-one Last Man (?) Standing Match between "Sexy" Sarah Palin and "Joltin'" Joe Biden;

In the other corner, a 5-man Battle Royal between the 5 (count 'em, American readers - 5) party leaders going to war in the upcoming Canadian election (yeah, we've got one too): "Stiff" Stephane Dion vs. "Stiffer" Stephen Harper vs. "Jumpin'" Jack Layton vs. Gille "Captain Quebec" Duceppe vs. "Miss" Elizabeth May.

We *could* just record these and do the show, but as we assume most of our listenership is either in the US or Canada, and will be watching the same events rather than listening to our l'il show, we'll put up a special weekend edition of ITVR in 2 days. Enjoy the break. :)

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