Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year End Awards, and RIP Steve Williams

Dr. Death Steve Williams - a perennial but very popular midcarder who made appearances in both WWE and WCW over the years but never quite made it to the top in either of the big leagues, passed away today at the age of 49 after a long battle with cancer. Our condolences go out to his family losing a relative at such a young age around the holidays.

On a happier note though, World Wrestling Insanity, hosted by our former guest James Guttman, has begun posting its year-end awards and yours truly has a contribution or two to the comments up in there. So be sure and check them out by clicking here.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Checking In

Just wanted to drop a line - not a whole lot going on in the world of wrestling this week but I haven't forgotten all of you! Can't wait to try to catch the last raw of 2009 tomorrow night, although being at my in-laws for a belated Hannukah it might not happen; I'll try to catch Tuesday's replay if possible. Meanwhile though hope everyone's Christmas was wonderful and 2010 starts off with a bang. We know in the wrestling world it will, as we will have a one-night redux of the Monday Night Wars. I'll do my best to post between now and New Year, but if not you KNOW I'll have plenty to say about that night of action as it comes together.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas Raw

So I've been putting off writing this Raw review due to not quite knowing what to say - it was incredible camp, and some really bad camp - Little People's Court, while entertaining in some minute places, took up way too much time; Johnny Damon, while enthusiastic and putting in a noble effort, was a crappy guest host; Chris Masters' chest jiggling I think has officially crossed the line this week from entertaining to 'OK enough'; and I'm not excited about Timbaland hosting next week. But being the Holidays and all I wanted to find some good things to say about Raw. So I found some. Here we go;

  • While they didn't do much to increase the excitement for Seamus specifically, they did hype his rematch with John Cena, and Cena had an excellent match with Jack Swagger. As pointed out by other pundits, this might have meant even more if Jack Swagger had maintained his 'guaranteed 2009 undefeated streak' and put that up against Cena's promise not to lose before regaining the WWE Title.
  • The DX/Hornswoggle thing has come to its logical conclusion at this point and I'm hoping it becomes a little less consuming and a bit more fun from here.
  • The six-man tag was pretty good.
  • I enjoyed the 'Legend Santas' comprised of Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes and IRS; Chris Jericho being the Santa at the end was kind of funny too though I never believed even an army of little people taking on him and Big Show.
It was the same campy type of program as the Slammys last week, which tells me they anticipated a home from school more family-oriented holiday crowd; I would say hopefully they return more to their meat and potatoes by the January 4 Raw when they go head-to-head with the more 'back to the basics' TNA program, but that would suggest they haven't been running, essentially, a variety show for months now. At least some of the variety acts have become more entertaining but the last few weeks have been admittedly pretty lame. Sad I missed Tribute to the Troops as usually they do a better job of balancing the entertaining and sporting aspects of wrestling. Oh well ...

PROGRAMMING NOTE: We are heading back to Kitchener for the holidays tomorrow, Christmas Eve. I will be doing my best to blog regularly while away but please bear with us; we will also try to do a podcast before the New Year, but again no promises. Please know we will be back up and running by Jan. 1 as per regular. As this is probably my last post before Christmas ... have a very happy one!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Better Late than Never - Click here for ITVR

what the heading says ... and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday and ITVR

Hi guys - sorry the last couple of nights have just been hellaciously busy! But have no fear we have not forgotten our millions (yeah yeah yeah, now you do it!) ... and millions! of fans clamouring for the next edition of In This Very Ring - which could very well be our last of 2009 (maybe not, but we're hedging our bets, since we're leaving town basically until the New Year this week). We will be broadcasting and uploading tomorrow evening, a supersized year-end podcast so be sure and tune in then! :)

In the meantime a few birthday shoutouts to ...

- Trish Stratus
- Rob Van Dam
- Stone Cold Steve Austin

Former World Champions all, hope they have an awesome day. And you too! :) Check back tomorrow evening, and until then, to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A three hour Raw complete with Slammy winners etc. is hard to quantify in a blog entry; I will say it was the best of times in some ways, but it was also definitely the worst of times on Raw last night. If you want a summary of my viewpoint on Raw, check out Jason Powell's response to Raw, as well as reader feedback at (there you can also find the Slammy results by the way, as I'm too lazy to post them all lol, and have a job interview I should be preparing for instead of doing this anyway), and then this email which I sent him in response to his viewpoint:

Hey Jason,

Since you mentioned in your feedback entry you liked positive and negative feedback I'll try to put on my best devil's advocate hat here and say that yes; what was weak on yesterday's Raw was incredibly weak. I wasn't familiar with Dennis Miller's work but I was tired of him within two minutes of on-screen time; I think already DX's 'antics' are taking away from the Tag Belts (I'm one of the few 'core' wrestling fans who finds them entertaining and I would have been amused by their hijinx with the referee if it weren't their first night with belts we're all afraid they won't respect), etc.

HOWEVER ... I felt the stuff that *was* strong on this show, was very strong. While I didn't appreciate the DX in-ring shenanigans, their Christmas shill piece had me laughing to tears; I understand the humble-but-unbowed-serious John Cena promos are an overused tool but I thought he did well with this one and am actually intrigued to see if he can and will keep his promise to go undefeated until reclaiming the title belt, or if this might be another opportunity to put younger talent over. I'm looking at the DX tag title reign the same way, that at LEAST whoever beats them for the belts eventually, which will happen, will be put over in a major way. Back from my digression though I also found Shawn Michaels' challenge of the Undertaker Batista's Kanye impersonation, and the Bret Hart tease intriguing as well. What they didn't do was a whole lot of mediocre stuff; it was crap, or it was gold.

The Slammies unfortunately aren't terribly conducive to wrestling-oriented programming and that's why I wish they used a Saturday Night's Main Event slot for them as opposed to a full on Monday Night Raw. So I don't disagree with you. But I don't want to lose in all the BS that some interesting seeds were sown for a few weeks, and as we always complain that WWE doesn't plan ahead or build to where they want to go, I think they got *that* right this week, barring baiting and switching along the way.

Sarah D.

However, by far the best thing on Raw last night?

Monday, December 14, 2009


So I say I won't go on too long about last night's TLC match as Ari and I will talk about it on Thurs. night but you know me ... no apologies if I *do* lol.

It was a good PPV in many ways and surprising in others, and a lot depends on how things play out from here. This most of all applies to the WWE Title match between John Cena and Seamus. The common wisdom going into this match was, it's good WWE's pushing a young new prospect but he's pretty brand-new yet. Future superstar with a lot of promise, no insult to Seamus' ability, just ... new. And yet as we all looked on at John Cena's broken body laying prone on an even more broken table, I think a shock and silence came over the audience both in the arena and at home. Seamus admittedly came more out of nowhere than a Ted Dibiase Jr. win would have, or Kofi Kingston, but I'm not dubious yet ... we'll see where he and his title reign go from here. This causes me less consternation than the Great Khali's world title reign a couple years back as he was just a rookie, anyway.

Going back to the opening match, however, I had also expected Shelton Benjamin to defeat Christian in their match - they put on an excellent show, with the ECW title remaining firmly in the Peeps' hands. Drew Macintyre, however, unseated John Morrison as IC titlist, which I HAD predicted. I expected this to mean the Undertaker would lose his World Heavyweight Title to Batista, allowing Morrison to make his move onto the main event stage against the heel Batista, and indeed, Batista, courtesy of a low blow in his bout with Taker, was declared the winner until Teddy Long ordered the match continued. Taker quickly reestablished himself and won.

Randy Orton defeated Kofi Kingston, which wasn't entirely shocking (though a bit surprising per my predictions - this was one of those where I was 60-70% sure, as opposed to the Cena-Seamus match where I was sitting at 99%+ sure). What did surprise me was how cleanly he did so. How Kofi Kingston recovers - or not - from this loss, is key from here out. He's a future superstar in the making, and has made some great strides in his work with Randy Orton; I hope they don't undo that push now.

Which leaves us with DX winning their first-ever Tag Team titles in this configuration as Triple H and Shawn Michaels defeated Jeri-Show in the closing match of the night. We'll see if this is helpful to the tag belt situation as Jeri-Show was; as one observer pointed out in their reviews today, at least this means someone will go over bigtime when DX finally loses the tag titles, which inevitably they will. I'm a DX fan - I just see them as more single-wrestling-inclined, and they share Vince McMahon's shoddy view of tag team wrestling; here's hoping this is a sign to the contrary and they seek to elevate the tag division, not bury it.

Currently watching the 3-hour Slammy edition of Raw hosted by Dennis Miller so I'm going to get back to that - be sure and check in tomorrow for my thoughts on the show.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just a reminder ...

TLC is tomorrow night. We will be tuning in and I will be posting my thoughts either late tomorrow evening or sometime Monday. :) Be sure and check back for those, and again feel free to share thoughts on the year behind us and the year ahead so we can share them before ringing in 2010. Peace.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


No cancellations, no excuses, not even up super-late tonight. :) Up, on time, ready to go, as we try to deliver. :) Click the entry heading to check out the latest edition and have a great night all.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

RAW Last Night

Not a bad show in many ways. I couldn't care less about Mark Cuban, honestly, in terms of who he is (not an NBA fan), but he's an entertaining character. I still stand by however that it was a waste and a loss to not have him interact with Vince McMahon on some level. But I suppose with Vince having been out two week ago with Jesse Ventura, and I assume he'll show up on next week's three-hour Raw for the Slammies, that might be a bit of McOverkill ...

What WASN'T overkilled, however, was the tribute to Eddie "Umaga" Fatu, who died on Friday. What tribute was that, you ask? You didn't see one? That's my point. I understand in light of the Benoit tragedy, in which Chris Benoit killed his wife and 7-year-old son before turning his violence towards himself, that the WWE doesn't especially want to be in the business of publicizing or hyping the deaths of too-young-to-go wrestlers and former wrestlers; but given how recently Fatu was under contract, and how recent and sudden his death, surely some kind of video package, or at least a photo 'In Memory Of' at the top of the show would have been appropriate.

Otherwise though this hit some decent notes for me; the entertainment aspect was great, with Hornswoggle and DX (although I have to go with Jason Powell on this one that any parent who buys their child (as they come in child sizes) Hornswoggle's "Littlest Member" DX t-shirt has issues. I also love that Chris Masters' rhythmic chest alone has actually put him over in a highly strange but real way. I'm not a fan that they bring Carlito back into the fold strongly last week, only to feed him to John Cena this week, and I don't entirely like the predicted even-steven booking on Orton-Kofi Kingston this week; I still feel the match this war of words and run-ins should have led to should have happened on PPV and not free Raw; however, they've done enough to let us feel we've gotten something for free, entertain us and whet our appetites, while making sure it's obvious the Main Course is going to be offered to us for $40 on Sunday at TLC.

Which they did a better-than-usual job of building up to this week. Almost all interactions with Mark Cuban centred on the road to TLC, and even the final shot, where Cuban got in Seamus' face and got driven through a table for his efforts, were a central final push to a heretofore uninspired (although not for lack of push and hype) feud between the Irishman and John Cena. Add that to some strong wrestling action (as strong as possible in <5 minute matches), and it was a decent Raw leading into what should hopefully be a great PPV ... it looks good on paper, let's hope it actually delivers.

We will talk about this and much more on Thursday night, all; in the meantime be sure and get me those predictions, thoughts on the year in review etc. :) It's all about sharin' the love at the Holidays. Hope everyone has a good and cozy night tonight and if you live in Southern Ontario, don't get stuck in the snow tomorrow! :) Enjoy some eggnog for me and we'll see you at the matches. ;)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

TNA to go head to head w/WWE in the New Year

Hulk Hogan made an appearance tonight on the season finale of The Ultimate Fighter, to announce TNA's Monday, January 4 special, airing from 9-10pm which for those in the know realize is head-to-head with the WWE's flagship Monday Night Raw program. He also announced he would be making his live Impact debut that night, although he was non-committal in regards to whether or not he would wrestle on the show. Also not mentioned, was whether this indicated a long-term 'all-in' full court press for TNA moving to Monday nights going forward.

Either way though, I'm excited by this. TNA has been getting some ducks in a row for awhile now, and is easily far-and-away the #2 company in the US right now. With the name value associated with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, it's time to test, for both sides of the equation, how TNA can stand up to the WWE product. If it fails, it will establish once and for all just where TNA's place in the current pecking order is, which isn't a bad thing, as I feel TNA's biggest failing at this point is over-reach; it can do quite well for itself as a profitable company should it ackowledge and remain on a smaller scale.. On the other hand, however, should they succeed, or even come close, it will truly be a shot across the bow launching MNW II, which can only mean good things for wrestling fans.

Friday, December 4, 2009

At long last the return of ITVR ... (click here for podcast) ...

But know that in my own opinion, admittedly, our return is not a particularly triumphant one. I address all this on the air too so don't want to overkill it, but it's at the end of the show when we may have lost you anyway so it bears mentioning here too:

Amidst a week with a terrible Raw, and very sad news in regards to Eddie 'Umaga' Fatu passing today, it was not going to be the happy-go-luckiest show in the first place, and after a few stressful weeks on the busy-ness and exhaustion front (Ari falls asleep on air! lol), I do want to warn right now that our discussion of the latter topic in particular sort of edges into a bit of dark humour, and some criticism of Fatu's choices in the months and years leading up to his death, which we realize tonight on the very day of his loss to family, friends and colleagues might not have been the time or place. For that we hope to not cause too much offense, and to own that we have admittedly over time come to a place of lacking much-needed patience with those making choices we see as sad, and hurtful to those making them, and their loved ones. That doesn't, however, diminish our sorrow at the outcomes, and the loss involved here tonight; we all of us love imperfect people, and perhaps the avoidability of situations like this one make them all the more tragic.

To that end, though, we don't want to redo the show at this point, nor do we want to leave it off the air for another week - especially as there's some fun stuff towards the end per reader participation going forward. So please, listen in, enjoy the parts of the show you find entertaining, FF the parts you don't, give us feedback on both, and have a great weekend. :D

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Hi all - ITVR will be making its return from a two-week hiatus tomorrow night after Smackdown - we began to record tonight but realized we could either rehash the stuff from the last 2 weeks we've missed and make the show border on 1.5-2 hours, or just talk about this week, which would last about 15 minutes, as it's effectively been a quiet week (a trash Raw, with WWE superstars now overseas in Iraq filming their Tribute to the Troops show, and Hulk Hogan teasing an engagement the biggest wrestling news stories). I think adding SD analysis will flesh things out to just the right length of show.

In the meantime though I'd like to ask you guys all a favour. As we're heading into the end of the year, I'd like my readers and listeners to please submit their votes for the best and worst of 2009, the year in wrestling. I'm not going to give guidelines here, to categories or format. Send me lists, send me a few paragraphs ... anything that for you sums up the year in wrestling. I will share what's sent our way, and we will be doing our year-end podcast with our own thoughts on the Year that Was the last Thursday of 2009. But I'd love to hear from other wrestling fans. And no ... 'Best use of a foreign object' cannot be awarded to Elin Nordregen Woods and her nine-iron, I'm sorry. ;)

Hope to see you tomorrow, right here, In This Very Ring.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So Raw last night was kind of a mess as I thought. Particularly it was a whole bunch of false advertising. Particularly, as much as I had been dreading "Little People's Court" this week, with DX facing off 'in court' against Hornswoggle before guest host Verne Troyer (aka Mini-Me), to advertise it and then decide not to go ahead with it, passing it off as a DX 'dream', is still wrong. Especially since I suppose on some level it could have been done well as Verne Troyer was a pleasant surprise, seeming to know more about wrestling than many guest hosts did and seemingly more natural and comfortable in the position.

I was also not pleased with the 'let's give Mark Henry a gimmick' thing; first, it's insulting to him who I feel does better (damning with faint praise) when he just goes out and lets his fists and feet do the talking; and then to choose rap was not a stretch considering he's, let's say it, black, and that's what WWE sees their black performers as, ballers or rappers. But then he goes out and he's not even that good at it. I suppose seeing Jillian Hall get accidentally crushed in all the goings-on was kind of funny, but ... enh? Really?

And, since this has already just turned into a rant with no particular order, let's go back to the top of the show; DX and Jeri-Show have very little chemistry, which is surprising as they are all veterans who can be entertaining if given the chance; and my concerns that DX winning the tag belts would only put them on a team who doesn't need them, and knows they don't need them, were confirmed as they essentially said 'You may have those stupid little belts but we don't need the belts to be important'. Any work that Show and Jericho have done to try to elevate tag team competition in the WWE is about to be undone. And as there's no mystery over who is going to win this match - a Jericho-Undertaker feud is being built up on Smackdown, which is the only bright side to all this, and DX's lack of tag title glory in the last ten years of their existence is being talked up - it's just not intriguing at all.

John Cena as 'Angry John' was entertaining, as he always breaks into this mode at some point in his more serious feuds, and Carlito showing up was nice too. A bit silly at parts (was he REALLY expecting Cena to just stand there and wait for him to spit in his face?), but it worked; I just wish it weren't so predictable. Cena funs around, gets beaten up badly, and comes back furious. I suppose it gives some credibility to Seamus that he got under the champ's skin so, but still ... and just for the record? Beating up Santino Marella doesn't add to anyone's credibility either. Anyone can do it. I half expected after all that cockiness for Santino to bust out and win, but not at this point in Seamus's build. I think here someone a bit more important should have been sacrificed - not necessarily a Kofi Kingston or whatnot, but maybe an MVP?

Speaking of Kofi Kingston that was my other gripe; they announce him vs. Randy Orton, which really should occur on a PPV, or at LEAST have gotten more hype than to be announced at the top of the show (should have had at least a week's worth of prep). I 'got it' when the Legacy came out before Orton and beat up Kingston, leaving him as easy pickings for the Legend Killer, but two wrongs don't make a right here; a not-hyped-enough potential match turned into a bait-and-switch. Still, Kofi Kingston has been too much in the ascendant in this feud for Orton not to get a leg or two up on him along the way and this was a good time for that; the booking was just poor. And when this contributed along with maybe two other matches to there being a grand total of about 8 minutes of action prior to the main event over the course of a two hour show ... sad. The main event of Triple H vs. Chris Jericho was a good one, fresh, with Show and Shawn Michaels on commentary, and took up 10 minutes - more wrestling than the whole rest of the night combined.

All in all, as much as that was picking Raw apart, where I DID enjoy some minutes (again, Verne Troyer was a pleasant surprise, the main event was good, John Cena's promo was entertaining if predictable), really it was trash this week, true trash with a few little gold nuggets thrown in. If WWE is going head to head with a major football game, while expecting PPV money in two weeks, and raising the price of monthly pay events in the new year (and this is the last PPV in this price point), they need to convince fans it's worthwhile to tune in and STAY tuned in. They did not at all get that job done. Here's hoping the creative/booking team just had some cramps getting back into form after the holidays, and will be back to at least 'competent' by next week, the go home show for TLC. I know *I* have had enough of my own distractions and busy-ness these last few weeks. I'm ready to snap out of it and get back on the ball; WWE, won't you join me?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

OMG! :P (and Smackdown ...)

OK first of all - I am incredibly ticked off at present that when I DID upload our show tonight? Complete silence. The mic was plugged in etc. ... not sure what was wrong ... and at this point it's 2-3 days later, past midnight ... we'll go next week. Ari I think concurred with much of what I said about SS and Raw ... as far as Smackdown ... let me cover it in a nutshell

  • Fascinated by straightedge CM Punk getting the former Festus (who was supposedly Autistic) off of whatever anti-depressants/painkillers/whatever to make him 'normal'; the match with Matt Hardy was very, very strong.
  • As was the match between Chris Jericho and Undertaker; can't wait for these two to face off on PPV for the title (which very well might happen should Jeri-Show lose the tag belts to DX at TLC pay per view).
  • So long Eric Escobar, as you lost your charisma ... I mean, IC title challenge AND Vicki Guerrero. :P
  • For the record, last but not least: as a woman with a weight problem, Mickie James is NOT overweight. Not at all, not by a long shot. That is all.
As I said, incredibly embarrassed and aggrieved both this week by our own level of distraction/laziness, and attendant technical difficulties; we appreciate your patience and we promise to be up and running properly again next week. Trust me; we are as annoyed as you after putting in an hour to recording (not to mention the half hour or whatever of prep), to get static. We will have this solved by next week - we promise. And thank you for your dedication. We promise to continue matching it in the future. :P

Friday, November 27, 2009


So we just finished ITVR ... and stupid, my downloader, is down. We'll get it up tomorrow for sure - I will do my best for first thing in the morning. Just as I get my crap together ... boo! lol Oh well, hope you enjoyed SD and check back here tomorrow; I promise after the last couple weeks where we've been busy with family stuff (birthdays, visitors, etc.) and my getting used, again, to the work schedule for the first time in 12 mos. really, next week starting tomorrow should run more smoothly. Thanks for everyone's patience. :P

Programming Note

No no no we don't have any visitors this weekend nor did we forget ITVR last night, nor did we even just look at it and think 'meh forget it'. We actually made a conscious decision, since *I've* discussed Survivor Series and Raw already in previous blogs and it's been a quiet week in wrestling so far otherwise, to wait until after SD tonight, which promises to be a good one, so that we can get Ari's opinion in on those earlier shows, and discuss SD. We'll also discuss how the TLC pay per view is shaping up, and how the Hulkamania tour seems to be going, and what that tells us about Hulk Hogan's future impact on TNA. We'll also be discussing WWE's annual Tribute to the Troops show. So be sure and check in around midnight tonight, to join us In This Very Ring.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday Night Raw

OK so I didn't mean to go 3 days without posting, especially with a 3-hour Raw on Monday night, but it's been a slow newsweek other than that Raw, and while I would have posted about it yesterday, it was Ari's birthday and we ended up out most of the evening. But briefly, my thoughts on Raw, to be more fleshed out in tomorrow night's podcast of In This Very Ring.

I want to compliment WWE first of all, to say it was a great concept to give non-former-champions a chance at a #1 contendership on gust host Jesse Ventura's part. Leave it to him to be the face for something a bit daring and original. Jesse, to explain, opened the show by announcing a tournament for the #1 contendership in which only those who have never held a world title could compete. The winners of the matches over the course of the night would compete in a Battle Royal at the end of the show to determine the #1 contender. I was quite disappointed when Randy Orton, for his petitioning, received a berth in the tournament, and especially when he went on to the Battle Royal; I was at least hoping this might add to some tension with his other never-held-the-belt Legacy cohorts, although that didn't come to be, or at least not as the main focus of Raw.

I was also disappointed Seamus won as opposed to Kofi Kingston who they've been pushing to the moon, but it makes sense from the point of view that John Cena's a face, and Kofi Kingston is an even more popular face - WWE wouldn't want SUCH a disparity in fan cheers as would arise in that match. I can't help but feel Seamus sort of got to the main event out of nowhere, but at least a tournament is perhaps a more legitimate way of establishing oneself than 'Well I haven't won in months but I've *always* been in the main event' ... eh Shawn? (sorry ... pains me, but true). His monster heel rise out of nowhere, and beatdown on Cena leaving him in the ascendant, is very reminiscent of old school Hulk Hogan booking; let's see if that works in 2009.

Hornswoggle sued DX for their (awkward and less-than-amusing) beatdown last week; they will be facing off 'in court' next week, presumably moderated by "Justice" Verne Troyer, aka Mini-Me from Austin Powers, a little person who will be guest-hosting next week's Raw. This could be incredibly amusing, or incredibly ... no, it will be incredibly awful. And I'm a DX fan. :P

But the wrestling was incredibly strong this night, by definition as all those competing should be at least somewhat deserving of title shot consideration, and bringing their 'A' game in order to get that consideration, and even the 'entertainment' aspect was strong, as I enjoyed the return of the Gobbledygooker, and Vince McMahon's return to the announce position as quasi-face/neutral blow-by-blow guy. The food fight-threatening scenes backstage with everyone saying what they're thankful for, resulting in Vicki Guerrero taking a pie to the face, were also classic, although some were stronger than others. My only complaint about this actual week's show was the throw-away nature of the DX-Hart Legacy match. This was something that should have been built to as a PPV match, given the history here; and even if we want to give it away on free TV (assuming the obvious that Uncle Bret's dealings with the WWE have ultimately fallen through; if not, giving this away NOT on pay per view is unforgiveable), at least have some build and hype to it. There are many people, if properly informed ahead of time, who would have set time aside to see this match. As per usual, WWE, not on the promotional ball.

Nonetheless, the show presented was strong, and hopefully remains strong as they build to the TLC pay per view in ... sigh ... 2 1/2 weeks. :P We will talk about this show, and any other wrestling news from the rest of the week, tomorrow night in our podcast, which always goes up around 11pm/12am Eastern; so be sure and check back here then, as we look forward to seeing you In This Very Ring. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Survivor Series

Sorry first of all we never did get back with predictions; this weekend, already expected to be busy, became even moreso than expected as some of our guests stayed later into Sunday than expected, so ... yeah. But here now, and should be back on track for the rest of the week!

The show itself was absolutely fantastic match-wise, nothing less than which should have been expected given it looked like a GREAT PPV on paper; however very often the PPVs these days do the opposite of what you expect; those with low expectations perform reasonably well, while those with high often fail to meet them.

Team Morrison vs. Team Miz was the opening match (John Morrison, Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy and Evan Bourne vs. The Miz, Seamus, Scott Macintyre, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger) and incredibly strong wrestling wise as it should have been. No one was damage by this showing as John Morrison was defeated only in a three-on-one situation, and it made the heels they wanted to push - Miz, Macintyre and Seamus - look incredibly strong and scary. Followed up by their promo a match later, they did an awesome job with this situation.

Batista vs. Rey Mysterio could have been much better as Rey has an innate ability to bring out the best in otherwise-somtimes-plodding big men, and Batista CAN perform when he wants to, and would want to for his real-life friend Rey; but we knew going into this PPV that little Rey was injured again and an injury angle would have to be followed in order for him to get offscreen and take care of his injuries. As such, while the great potential 'match' here didn't happen, a great monster heel beatdown establishing Batista as scary DID, which Rey sold beautifully, as he would. An all-around good performance by both me, again followed up by a strong, effectively-short promo a few matches later by Batista, serving the purpose of sending Rey off into the sunset for his much-required maintenance on his knee.

Team Orton vs. Team Kingston (Randy Orton, Ted Dibiase Jr., Cody Rhodes, William Regal and CM Punk vs. Kofi Kingston, MVP, Mark Henry, R-Truth and Christian) was also decent, and was PRECEDED by a funny, comic relief promo focussing on all the ways Christian was different from his team (the obvious one need only be seen in the skin colour; but they used the fact he was the only ECW roster member ... the only Canadian ... etc.); I think there was more potential here than what they used, but it certainly didn't stink up the joint and seeing Kofi Kingston get two pins in a row over two former world champs in CM Punk and Randy Orton was incredibly strong; WWE is doing such a great job of pushing Kingston, it makes me wonder why they can be such failures with other pushes. I guess it's which ones their hearts are in at the end of the day ...

The Divas traditional Survivor Series match (Mickie James, Gail Kim, Melina, Kelly Kelly and Eve vs. Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Leyla El and Alicia Fox) was very good and focused on the strongest Divas wrestling wise, while making appropriately short work of those who aren't the strongest in the ring; I don't quite see where this belonged so high on the card, past the Batista and Orton-Kingston teams matches, but the girls went out and put on a good performance heading into the world championship matches.

Undertaker, Big Show and Chris Jericho was nothing unexpected - one of the prediction sets I included got this match right, right down to the win structure of Undertaker, on Big Show, with the Hell's Gate choke hold. But these three veterans acquitted themselves well and rose to the match, delivering a script everyone could see coming - the dissention between the tag champs, the World Champ retaining, etc. - very, very well. Similarly, the WWE Title match featuring the John Cena-Degeneration X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H) Triple Threat wasn't delivered on quite as strongly (though it certainly didn't suck), but got off to an 'off-script', unpredictable early start with the heretofore-cohesive DX witnessing some fissures as Shawn Michaels' opening move was superkicking his longtime tag team partner out of the ring to focus on Champ Cena.

Again - strong match, strong PPV, about which my only complaint was a lack of progression in 'storyline' or any big surprises (title changes, returning fighters, guest appearances - say by Edge in the Smackdown Triple Threat for example), given Survivor Series is one of the traditional Big Four PPVs. But since often the formula is 'storyline on Raw, strong wrestling on PPV', this isn't entirely unexpected. WWE needs to step up their game in anticipation of raising their PPV rates (as has been much discussed here and elsewhere on the internets), and this wasn't an awful step in the wrong direction by any means (although a long way is to be gone before they convince me $45/mo. is worth plunking down on their product).

Programming note that tomorrow is a 3-hour Raw so be sure and check what time it starts and ends in your area; the guest host will be former WWE wrestler and commentator, and former Minnesota Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura - which should be interesting as he's been on the outs with Vince McMahon for some time now! Be sure and ch-ch-check it out. I know I will. And of course, always check on back here for my thoughts on tomorrow's Raw, sometime during the day Tuesday (if not sometime late tomorrow). :) I look forward to seeing you here then, and wish everyone a great start to their week! Peace.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cancel ...

As (semi-)expected. The good news? We might be able to post either LATE tomorrow night, or else sometime midday Sunday before Survivor Series. So be sure and tune in over the weekend - don't expect much else though, as we are celebrating le bebe's first birthday and will have a housefull of guests. Thanks for the patience and we will see you on the flipside. Xs and Os.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eventful News ... DAY!

So some interesting bits and bytes to hit on in the wrestling world today!

  • The Hulkamania Tour press conference turned into a bloody mess, literally, today as Ric Flair showed up and went nuts on his main event opponent, Hulk Hogan. In proof kayfabe (look it up) is alive and well in Australia, apparently the (worked) incident made mainstream press, as those present looked on dumbfoundedly.
  • In good news following up on my earlier report, Brock Lesnar has been released from the hospital today; while perhaps not soon, his prognosis is good and he is likely to fight again under UFC auspices sometime next year.
  • Former WWE luminary "Superstar" Billy Graham criticized Linda McMahon's running for the US Senate, stating that while she might look like a cuddly schoolma'arm, her hands are just as dirty with WWE smut as Vince McMahon's, and accusing them of being disengenuous in trying to clean their product up in anticipation of Linda's run for the Republican nomination in Connecticut's 2010 Senate race. Amazing, though, what prefacing such a statement with an acknowledgement of being disgruntled and bitter can do to undermine your basic point, Superstar!
  • Former Ring of Honor head and current head of Dragon's Gate USA Gabe Sapolsky criticized last night's Smackdown tapings, at which he was in attendance; in other news, Chris Jericho doesn't care (check out his Twitter at @iamjericho to see his response).
All this and more we will discuss in greater detail, of course, tomorrow night on our podcast right here In This Very Ring, provided everything goes as planned. Per usual, it will be uploaded in the late-ish evening. Be sure and check back then! Peace and headlocks! XO

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brock Lesnar

It has been confirmed recently by Paul Heyman and others close to UFC Heavyweight Champion and former WWE Champ Brock Lesnar that he has been suffering from mononucleosis. UFC head Dana White confirmed at a UFC press conference this weekend that Lesnar collapsed in Canada, and upon his arrival at hospital, doctors found that there were more complicating factors than simply the mono he'd been diagnosed with previously.

"He is not good," White confirms. "He is very, very sick, and he's going to be out for a while...He doesn't want to talk about it publicly, but he's in bad shape. He's not well. He's not going to be getting well anytime soon."

Lesnar is currently at the Mayo clinic undergoing further testing and treatment. White addressed the possibility of appointing an interim champion, saying it was not something he wanted to do but might need to for the fans and for the industry. First and foremost at this time, however, of course our thoughts are with Brock Lesnar, his wife Rena (the forner Sable in the WWE), and their 5-month old son Turk, born in June of this year. While not his biggest fan by any stretch, to hear of a young and healthy athlete with a young family taken so ill is always unfortunate.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Wrestling ... INSANITY?

You've heard Ari and I mention James Guttman and his site, World Wrestling Insanity before. I enjoy James himself, and many of his other writers/podcasters there but one I've really been enjoying of late is Jamie Kennedy who calls his column there the Jamie Kennedy Experiment. Be sure and head on over there (click here) and check out some of the Jamie Kennedy Experiment columns. Others too - as they're all quite entertaining. :) Peace.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Yup, and up on a Thurs. at that as we aim for! Click the heading title and enjoy - goodnight all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Raw and MORE

  • Raw last night from England was entertaining; Hitman Randy Hatton (did I get the name right?) is a British boxer and former World Welterweight champion who did a surprisingly good job hosting; the entertainment bits WERE entertaining and the show went off smoothly. They worked in some more selling for the Survivor Series although I have to admit I found myself wondering "where the hell did that match come from?" a few times, which is not good ... these things need to be built to. And granted some of the feuds have been; but not the matches themselves, and who's teaming with whom. But the VIP lounge, DX and John Cena again, Evan Bourne's surprising victory, and more was all a lot of fun.
  • Happy birthday to Chris Jericho and Ted Dibiase Jr. today! :)
  • In a surprise bit of news, apparently the Ultimate Warrior, the former Jim Hellwig, who has famously been on the outs with Vince McMahon and the WWE for some time - particularly since the release of the "Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior" DVD which was a predictable hatchet job due to Warrior's lack of cooperation, has been in some talks with Vince McMahon to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at next year's ceremony in Phoenix, which incidentally is Warrior's hometown (as opposed to Parts Unknown). I suppose, if true, this eliminates one name from the list of obvious, but egregiously left out, potential Hall of Famers, such as Bruno Sammartino and Randy Savage.
More on all of this on Thursday night's podcast of In This Very Ring. Hope you'll all be listening in. Peace!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Slow weekend, interesting article to share.

Click the entry heading to check out an interesting article over at Pro Wrestling Torch in regards to the time honoured tradition of 'putting young guys over' and 'doing the job' in pro wrestling, and Triple H's view on the above. Other than that, it HAS been a quiet weekend but hey! Tomorrow's Monday night, time for Raw. :) Check in here after the show. XO.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Better late than never - as per usual, click the entry heading to get to the podcast. Good weekend all!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Programming Note

ITVR will be on tomorrow night; this is not a lazy postponement or even a busy 'we just lost time' postponement like last week; tomorrow is an early morning as we need to line up for wristbands with Little Tyke at around 6:30am. Thusly, heading to bed around ... now. But we will definitely be up and running tomorrow. Some topics for discussion:

  • Hulk Hogan's starting in TNA
  • Jeff Hardy legal update
  • The Osbornes on Raw
  • Jim Ross health update
  • WWE 24/7 On Demand Service's 5th anniversary
  • And more.
Yes, a lot of those things were also stories last week, or at least days ago and have been addressed here already; since Hogan's TNA arrival last week, it's been a slow week in the world of wrestling so if we were going to have a week of slacking (not really slacking, I've been job hunting, and such like) this wasn't an awful one. October was a busy month after awhile of no travel and few visitors, each week has had SOMETHING going on! But things should have calmed down now (this month is LT's 1st birthday, but the worst that will interfere with is one ITVR, MAYBE, not an entire week of blogging). Anyway, thanks either way for your patience and be sure and join us tomorrow! :) Be well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Last Night's RAW ...

was a decent show with some solid wrestling and some good entertainment. Ozzy and Sharon Osborne clearly aren't regular wrestling fans with a deep familiarity with the product, but obviously enjoyed themselves, and they worked in (a) Ozzy's lack of focus and (b) their lack of working knowledge of the product by having wrestlers suggest matchmaking to them by whispering (probably also a great way of reminding them of their lines, especially Ozzy, if need-be). I enjoyed the DX stuff (reference to run sheets and segments, and Shawn's (fictitious) multitudinous, apparently, degrees in various arcane subjects from obscure universities), although it was incredibly random in some places (Shawn Michaels as renaissance man, as mentioned above), and while John Cena did the usual juvenile cheesy stuff in response to them, it played nicely all together. I enjoy Hornswoggle trying to find a new gimmick (such as Jack Osborne) as he can't use the DX gimmick anymore, and I didn't even mind (terribly) the Raw's Got Talent segment. I think they could have done more to sell the Survivor Series, but it's still a couple of weeks away and they didn't *completely* ignore it - at least not the main event. Building up an undercard might be a good next step however. Not the most 'important' or memorable show therefore, but an enjoyable two hours featuring most of the Raw cast in good matches and/or entertainment segments.

We'll speak more of this onThursday night of course, on In This Very Ring's podcast; be sure and tune in then. Meanwhile be sure to head over to to check out Jason Powell's report on Hulk Hogan, TNA's newest acquisition, at Mall of America today ... plenty of good (less-than-truthful, though) Hogan soundbites about TNA, Vince McMahon, and his role in the wrestling world. :) Good stuff, check it out. And see you right back here again in two nights (if not sooner) ... in this very ring! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hulkamania Australia Youtube channel

The Australian Hulkamania tour, featuring Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair and including such wrestling names as the Nasty Boys, Umaga, Rikishi, Ken Anderson, Shannon Moore, etc. has a Youtube channel if you search for HulkamaniaAustralia at It currently features a couple of promos for the tour itself (both by Hulk Hogan personally and in a video package), as well as wrestling-related promos by Hogan, Flair and the Nastys; more to be posted over time I assume. Mostly well done so be sure to check it out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Congratulations to Candace Michelle

Sorry for the absence guys, with out of town visitors (my in laws) this weekend, and Little Tyke's first Halloween, I wanted to make sure y'all knew you weren't forgotten! It wasn't a bad weekend to have plans though as not a whole went down in wrestling - Hulk Hogan's shift to TNA is still The Big News, Ozzy Osborne is hosting Raw tomorrow night, the Survivor Series is a few weeks away, and we should be back on routine this week with ITVR on Thursday night. However - oh oh oh! except my subject line - former WWE Diva Candace Michelle is pregnant. Congrats! :D

Check in late tomorrow/sometime Tuesday for Raw thoughts, and as always, Thursday for ITVR, and anytime in between as news breaks. Happy November all!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cancelled this week

ITVR is cancelled this week due to some technical difficulties with my recorder, and the fact we won't have a chance to do it later as we have my in-laws visiting this weekend. However be sure and tune in next week! We'll be back and better than ever ... OK, or at least not suck too badly. ;) Peace and have a great weekend all! XO

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hulk Hogan's Signing with TNA, Raw Last Night, and the Unauthorized Story of DX

A few things to go over tonight guys!

  1. Today's big news is that Hulk Hogan signed with TNA wrestling! This won't impact his Australian 'Hulkamania' tour planned for November (minus perhaps providing him with some new talent to go along with him), but he's expected to appear on Impact! Thursday night. We'll probably be recording before Impact, so as not to be up too late, but we might do a PS upon its completion tomorrow (at least in writing) in regards to Hogan's appearance. This is huge news in the wrestling world for obvious reasons, but also less obvious reasons. Eric Bischoff is coming along on the Hogan ride, as Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment (the company which produced Celebrity Championship Wrestling, as well as several other successful reality shows, co-owned by Eric Bischoff and former Wonder Years star Jason Hervey) will have a say in TNA. Does this mean in an advisory capacity that Eric Bischoff will be competing with Vince McMahon again? It sure do! It also leaves Vince Russo's future in doubt, as both Hogan and Bischoff have had some less-than-satisfactory dealings with TNA's head writer. LOTS of interesting angles to all this to chew over and to come out in the weeks and months ahead. Should be a heckuva ride. Remember what Hogan's signing, with Eric Bischoff on board, did for WCW 15 years ago ...
  2. In a semi-related note, old Hulkster buddy Kevin Nash is suspended for this week due to an outburst on Team 3D (the former Dudleys) for continuing a match with an injured opponent at last week's Bound for Glory. Excellent message to be sending the locker room, pplz, just great. Kudos again to Kevin Nash for sticking up for his young colleague (I believe it was Eric Young?).
  3. Last night's Raw was incredibly entertaining: they changed several directions, by having Big Show announce he was the next challenger up for Undertaker's World Heavyweight Title on Smackdown for his actions, DX were announced as each other's opponents, as well as John Cena's, in a Triple Threat Match for John Cena's next WWE title defense at Survivor Series, etc. Not a fan of the NASCAR dudes hosting Raw, as I'm not a NASCAR fan and had only vaguely heard of Kyle Busch and not at all of the other dude; but I AM looking forward to the Osbornes hosting Raw next week! I'm reasonably optimistic about the road to Survivor Series in the next month, and hope they keep up the momentum up on both Raw and Smackdown that they began on Sunday and that Raw continued into Monday. We'll have more details on those thoughts Thursday night on In This Very Ring so be sure and tune in then.
  4. Lastly, over the last 24 hours I have begun, and completed, the DX Unauthorized Story (oddly enough, authored under the auspices of WWE books, by the two current members of DX, Shawn Michaels and Triple H). Very entertaining read; pretty self-recusing in some ways, especially about how they try to help the young guys elevate their game, after watching at LEAST two weeks of Trips doing complete burial jobs on his young teammates and opponents both from Bragging Rights, but also surprisingly insightful. As a 'smark' who has been along for the entire DX ride, even I learned some things. The book is also hilarious (they have big heads for being funny, but well-earned), and it IS mostly aimed at newer fans unfamiliar with the DX legacy; but any DX fan can still enjoy this book and perhaps learn a thing or two (or at least get the two charter members' perspective on different things). Not a WHOLE lot you can't get from other books, but told in an entertaining way; the ghostwriter got Trips' and Shawn's personalities down perfectly in this book. At 195 or so pages, it is also an incredibly quick and easy, down and dirty read. Recommended.
That's all for tonight folks. Might pop up tomorrow if there's any interesting news to report; otherwise check on in Thursday night for In This Very Ring, as always! :) Peace.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Survivor Series Promo

Here's the official trailer for next month's Survivor Series PPV. Funny enough they have Shawn Michaels promoing this particular event (google Montreal Screw Job if you're a new wrestling fan who is only familiar with 'Born Again' Shawn Michaels). But the video is actually hilarious in itself. :) Check it out and have a good night.

Bragging Rights

Tonight was the big WWE Bragging Rights PPV; it was a solid PPV with good wrestling action, and an enjoyable show for sure, although with the potential it had going in, I felt it could have done that little bit more. Taking things one at a time,

  • Starting with promos throughout the show, these were good; from Cody Rhodes becoming more cocky and aggressive than usual, to DX's pep talk to the Raw team with the little comic relief moment of threatening to replace Jack Swagger with the next person they saw, being Hornswoggle, who DX-chopped them for changing their minds, these featured more than they usually do in PPVs, and were basically well-done; the one weak one was Josh Matthews' participation in the Batista-turn-on-Rey Mysterio; 'I don't want to put you on the spot in this circumstance', he says as he attempts to interview an injured Rey. So then, don't! lol In general actually the announcers were weak tonight, and Jim Ross was sorely missed. But everyone else was great on the stick.
  • The Miz vs. John Morrison was the opening match and the prime example of what I said above about this PPV; a strong match, great, even, but not necessarily what it could have been. Not a terrible problem though as I suspect these guys are going to have years ahead to fight one another and you don't want to leave it all in the ring on your first go-round. The ending was surprising, and all but guaranteeing that the Smackdown Divas were going to win the next match (they did) given they had a cup to grant the brand that won the most interbrand matches that evening, and they weren't going to have EITHER brand sweep it. So I predicted this one wrong as Miz won, but it wasn't a problem as this wasn't a win that would hurt John Morrison in the long run, and hey even Marty Jannetty beat Shawn Michaels once or twice. ;) Besides as I said, it guaranteed my next prediction would be right ...
  • The next match was Raw Divas Gail Kim, Melina and Kelly Kelly vs. Smackdown Divas Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Michelle McCool. The Smackdown girls won, which I expected, given the level of skill and experience on the team (not to put down the Raw team, but the strength and skill on the SD team was just overwhelming and impressive, even for skilled workers like Melina and Gail Kim, who's been underwhelming of late and honestly probably should have stayed at TNA). Not a poor match by any means, it was just completely predictable.
  • The Fatal Four-Way between World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker, CM Punk, Batista and his longtime friend Rey Mysterio Jr. was decent, and fast-paced given a couple of bigger guys in the ring in Taker and Tista, but really it was the backdrop for the ending. Rey costs his buddy Batista a fall - which was fair enough given this was an 'every man for himself' scenario. Batista, in a postmatch interview, accuses his friend of stabbing him in the back and proceeds to toss him around like a rag doll. An effective turn, which I think could have been even more effective on Raw which really is lacking besides Randy Orton for main-event level heels at the moment, but it was something that had been foreseen enough to be exciting without having been SO much so as to be predictable. A memorable part of the evening for sure.
  • As was Big Show's turn on his Raw teammates in the seven-on-seven Raw (DX, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston and Big Show) vs. Smackdown (Chris Jericho, Kane, Matt Hardy, the Hart Legacy, R-Truth and Finlay). I will claim to having been a bit optimistic re. Bret Hart's involvement here, but this wasn't bad, and there's a ready-made explanation that in the long run, Big Show's best investment is to keep Chris Jericho healthy and to stay in his good books from the point of view of being permanent tag team partners; that's where HIS gold lies. He recognized what his own partner and the SD brand as a whole didn't; while they celebrated together with hugs and high-fives all around, they'll be back to beating each other up by Friday night, while tag teams such as Show and Jericho, divided by the brand split, will need to continue to coexist. As good a match as such a large exhibition could have been.
  • The 60-minute Iron Man Match between John Cena and Randy Orto n was last; it was anything-goes, falls count anywhere, and the man with the most decisions at the end of an hour won; it was their last match regardless, and if Cena lost, he'd be Smackdown-bound. I am going to claim some credit here for one correct prediction, although my prediction of the outcome was wrong. While almost all the pundits I read were skeptical of the ability of this match to entertain for 60 minutes, and the stamina of these two wrestlers, they did a fantastic job. They kept the pace up, and the filler that any 60-minute match is going to need was entertaining; they knew when to up their own pace, and when it would be OK to rely on gimmickry, and just how much/how long to do so. From the use of weapons like mics and garbage cans (which provided for some funny visuals), to Randy Orton's treating the pyro board the way our 11-month-old would have (and creating some fun fireworks around Cena while we were at it), provided the wrestlers some breathing room and US some entertainment, while keeping the pace up. Cena won the match 6 falls to 5, which was a surprise to me but not Ari, so hats off to my hubby and ITVR cohost on that one. Easily the most pleasant surprise of the evening to everyone but me was the quality of this match, and if it weren't for Shawn Michaels and Undertaker's display at WM 25, I'd say this would be a real potenital match of the year candidate.
Overall a decent PPV as I said, even a great one, that I just can't help but think had the potential to be more. As we discussed on ITVR Friday, the problem with strong-on-paper PPVs is that the expectations going in are so high; had this been weak on paper, we'd have been over the moon with this show, and I'm still quite thrilled with it; I just wish the announcers had kept it together, the booking had allowed for some focus on the cool moments of the show (Taker holding up his world title in front of the 'Bragging Rights' logo for example, which is a REAL demonstration of what bragging rights in the WWE are all about), and that EVERYONE had stepped it up the way Randy Orton and John Cena did. But again, no complaints as a PPV for once kept us entertained and interested for 3 solid hours, including a one-hour match which can grow old quickly if done poorly. Good job for the WWE, 8 out of 10 by way of a rating; only knock being it had the potential for a 9/10, probably simply on JR's presence alone lol.

Friday, October 23, 2009

In This Very Ring Podcast

Click the entry heading to listen to this week's podcast including Bragging Rights predictions. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

ITVR up tomorrow

Including predictions for Bragging Rights, a health update on Jim Ross, and a special request to our fans out there. Pardon as usual it being postponed a night, but LT didn't go to bed until late and we're kerfuffled. We'd say it's just moved to Fridays, but if it's anything like moving it to Thursdays, that means we'll be doing it Saturdays. :) Either way be sure and tune in tomorrow. Until then, Pax.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Raw & Jim Ross

Last night's Raw was entertaining; some excellent matches and definitely a big match feel to the whole event with such features as Triple H facing John Cena in what was perhaps Cena's final match on Raw, etc. They hyped the Bragging Rights PPV better than they have in recent weeks, and I didn't even mind Snoop Dogg (although how marijuana joke makes for PG programming is kind of beyond me). My main complaint was the lameness of his Diva entourage (stupid Bellas), and the fact of DX putting down almost all the young stars on both their own RAW team and the SMACKDOWN team (major sympathy for Drew Macintyre and Eric Escobar and Cody Rhodes), which was unnecessary and gratuitous (no wonder WWE has such a hard time making stars). Of the up and coming stars from either brand, they only put over Kofi Kingston - and while they kind of teased him as well I have to give them props for asking what we've all been wondering; "We thought you were Jamaican. Where's your accent?" (and not by way of being racist, by the way - at least not on my part that I was wondering that - the fact is he delivered promos in a very distinctive Jamaican accent, and suddenly, he didn't; as well as the fact they've finally been announcing him as being from Ghana in recent weeks, which IS true).

We'll have more details on all of that on Thursday night on our podcast, but in the meantime, just wanted to reinforce it was a good show worth catching whatever clips of you can; solidly booked and not bad creative at the end of the day.

Also want to express best wishes and sympathy to Jim Ross who has undergone another attack of Bells Palsy which paralyzes the side of his face; he will be unable to call Smackdown at its tapings tonight, and Sunday's pay per view is a 'play it by ear' situation. Here's being glad Ross is playing it safe, and here's hoping he's back for Sunday's event :) Wishing him (and all of you) the best of health. Be sure and tune in Thursday for our podcast, complete with Bragging Rights predix! Hope to see you there.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Check out the South Park season premiere on Wednesday as the boys head out to a WWE Raw event!

Friday, October 16, 2009

BIG NEWS: Shane McMahon resigns from WWE effective January 10, 2010

Big news today as Shane McMahon - son of WWE majority shareholder and chairman Vince McMahon - has resigned from the WWE effective January 10, 2010. No reason was given for his resignation, nor does it sound particularly rancorous as his father has also released a supportive and encouraging statement (both statements can be found at and

Jason Powell ( guesses that Shane McMahon is resigning either (most likely) to help in his mother Linda's campaign for the Republican Senate nomination in Connecticut, and to have as much time and as few ties as possible to be able to commit to that; or else to launch a vanity project of his own in the vein of MMA, of which he is a big fan.

I for one will miss Shane as he is probably my favourite McMahon, the one who seemed the most sane and who really took the time to learn the wrestling business, and actually learned what to do in the ring. As always, we wish Shane the best in his future endeavours. :)

Jerry Lawler loses his bid for Mayor of Memphis

Jerry Lawler earlier this year launched his second bid to become mayor of his hometown of Memphis, TN. The final results are in and Lawler came in 5th place with 4% of the vote. A.C. Wharton, Jr. won the special election with 64%, 20+% ahead of the second place finisher, thus running away with the mayorship. Congratulations to Mayor Wharton and 'better luck next time' to the King ... although honestly I think he's got a pretty nifty dayjob right now, and as a longtime fan of Lawler's announcing I think I'm kinda glad he's sticking around RAW. He CAN'T leave us alone with Michael Cole!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wrestlers Rescue

The website for Wrestlers Rescue mentioned in tonight's In This Very Ring is where you can make donations to the Albanos for Capt. Lou Albano's medical expenses, as well for information on his funeral mass. In general it is a great cause for which to make donations, as they look after wrestlers in retirement from an industry with no health benfits or pension plan, and which tends to encourage a 'spend now, worry later' mentality (and indeed often involves coverage of one's own travel expenses etc.). Definitely worth a peek.


Hey all:

  1. Click the post heading for the podcast.
  2. Check out the two classic Lou Albano videos below. Long Live the Captain.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ric Flair comments on working with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff

NOTE: We didn't get a chance to catch Raw Monday after all; we'll try to see if we can find highlights tonight other than just recaps, but listen to our thoughts on what went down either way tomorrow night on our In This Very Ring podcast.

Ric Flair appeared on the BUSTED OPEN satellite radio show this Tuesday (airs Tuesday and Fridays 4-5pm ET on Sirius 127 and/or XM 242) to discuss his upcoming appearance on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff's HULKAMANIA tour in Australia. He acknowledges having had issues with both men (he and Eric Bischoff feuded publicly while both worked in WCW 10-15 years ago, and Flair's temper ... well, flared ... again when Bischoff arrived in the WWE a few years later. Flair says:

"What really upset me about Eric in the past ... what I didn't like was being put on the sidelines in lieu of people coming in from New York that I didn't think were at my level ... I understood. I was so loyal to the company. I should have left long before I did. I didn't and I came back and things didn't work out again. We've talked about it and we've agreed to disagree. They're paying me a lot of money to do this and it's through a huge promotion company overseas. I've really gotten along with Eric since the thing initiated. He works with his attorney through my attorney and that's it. We don't have to do a lot together. On the other side of it, at the end of the night we've always been able to drink a beer together, so I feel very comfortable now with Eric."

It's also been widely known that Flair has had past issues with the Hulkster himself, although those were always more professional than personal, which Flair acknowledges:

"Clearly, Hulk and I have disagreed over the years, but it's never affected our personal relationship. Business and pleasure are two different things in my book. As far as my relationship with him goes, he's always been a standup guy... Every time when we've gotten in the ring we've either drawn numbers or put 20,000 people in the building."

BOTTOM LINE? Obviously what these guys can agree on is ego and money, and there's a chance for all 3 to draw again in a significant way. And I don't say that as disparagingly as it might sound. I in fact respect people who can look at the bigger picture - be it giving fans what they want, be it creating a better nest egg for themselves in retirement, be it giving back to an industry they love - and put aside personal issues to achieve that goal. Hogan and Flair have both recently gone through what appear to be messy (or at least expensive) divorces, their children are grown, and they know each other well, having worked together before. Neither has a particularly dangerous or challenging style to work with, and if there are still wrestling fans, which there are (myself included!) interested in seeing these two men (who are 117 years old between them!) go, then the more power to them for keeping their names out there and as attractive as they are after all those years.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Back in town and Raw thoughts tomorrow

Hi all - got in too late to catch tonight's Raw but I will avoid spoilers and watch the replay at 3pm tomorrow here in Canada on The Score; meanwhile wishing all my fellow Canucks a Happy Thanksgiving and a great week ahead. May we all have many blessings for which to be grateful!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving

When advertising ITVR going up tonight, I forgot that this upcoming is a long weekend in Canada, it's our Thanksgiving. Tomorrow Ari and I are heading out of town and I usually like to leave the night before a trip free for packing, housekeeping and sleep, which in this case turned out to be a wise decision as we do need that time. This also means I'm not sure over the weekend when and to what extent I'll have the opportunity to blog, but I will do my best especially if any particular wrestling news breaks. So stay tuned and see you on the other end of this weekend. Be sure and enjoy your Thanksgiving, Canadian fans, and Columbus Day, Yanks, and peace be with you all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

RAW thoughts as promised

So Raw last night wasn't a bad show; I wouldn't give it 5 stars or anything (although I will also grant it might have played better if I was a football fan, and knew Ben Roethlisberger and his teammates); my main problem with it is its lack of memorability for the most part. The problem with not having cyber-scribbled down my thoughts last night is that it took me a few minutes and some digging around this afternoon to re-assemble them; a problem I didn't have, for example, for better or worse, with the HIAC pay per view, which left me with clear impressions, both very good and less good, that I could write about even half asleep twenty-four hours later. On the hit or miss spectrum I guess I'll give the show 'leaning hit', because the stuff I do remember clearly I remember positively. Examples, admittedly in no particular order:

  • Agree or disagree, but I liked the John Cena-Randy Orton promo. I'm not totally enthused that they're going to headline their ... what? Third, fourth? .. pay per view in a row, but a no holds barred Iron Man match, with the promise of blowing off their feud is a good one, and I think these guys could pull it off, as whatever criticisms they face on a day-to-day basis they always rise to the occasion. As to the result, with such a strong and 'final' ruling that Cena will have to leave Raw should he lose, I suspect he'll regain the title at Bragging Rights; however, I wouldn't mind him losing either, as he could add the prospect of some fresh feuds over onto the Smackdown roster, where now really there are two, maybe three main eventers not working on the tag team scene. He and Undertaker getting into it with say Chris Jericho once he loses the tag titles with Big Show, and CM Punk with Batista thrown into that mix as well could be entertaining as all can deliver when need-be.
  • OK even for a non-football fan I was entertained when Big Ben brought out his posse as JeriShow was threatening him; having them face DX provided a fun match for free TV, without giving so much away that (since 4 bona fide main eventers were participating) that they couldn't go back to that well in a PPV down the road.
  • Michael Cole announced that the Bragging Rights concept wouldn't feature interbrand matches so much as the winners of Raw matches would face the winners of Smackdown matches at the end of the PPV in what I assume would be a 2- or 3-man team tag match (depending how long the other matches go since we know one will go at least an hour plus intros now, and whether or not this would also include the winner of that match, having gone 60 minutes already). I think I prefer this concept; while brand vs. brand throughout the PPV leading to a match that could be even teams, or 5 on one, or what have you, could be entertaining, this is less confusing, and leads to less diluting of the brand divisions in the three-week leadup (also easier to build up feuds towards this pay per view in the three-week window they have within brands, where competitors already have history).
  • I was disappointed on the one hand that the Miz finally unseated Kofi Kingston for the US title as opposed to Jack Swagger, who is their real blue chip prospect, until I realized that with his touting his undefeated streak at this point he's moving past that. Here's hoping he's main eventing soon, and that the Cena/Orton/DX quad lets him break into that scene, because I think he could go on to a good showing with any of them. As to Miz and Kingston, they had a very good TV match, and that leaves the only question as why they didn't give the Miz the title Sunday night; don't half-push someone. If he's worthy of a belt, he's worthy of winning it on PPV. Understood the midcard belts (US and Intercontinental) are the ones they like switching on free TV to whet fans' appetites, but 24 hours after a PPV? Kind of a slap in the face. Still, entertaining.
  • OK Chavo you've convinced me; I'm still skeptical as to just what's going on next in your bit with Hornswoggle, and unless there's a GREAT payoff I question taking so much time that could be devoted to, y'know, wrestling (yes there's obviously room for entertainment on WWE television, but this ceased to be entertaining a week or three in, and as a strong wrestler you haven't been featured as such in ages). But my curiosity is piqued by Chris Masters' turn on you, and Hornswoggle's rescue last night; depending how this plays off, it could be salvaged yet. OK somewhat. ;)
Those are my thoughts. I'll be sure and share them on the air as well with Ari Thursday night, as well as any other news and happenings in the wrestling world the next couple days (which I will blog about if worthwhile too of course!). Be sure and tune in then, and in the meantime, be well!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hell in a Cell thoughts (RAW thoughts later or tomorrow)

Hi guys - Raw in Canada being on tape delay is over in about 20-30 mins. depending on the over-run; being an early-bird old lady these days, I may be up to sharing my thoughts afterwards but in case not I figured I should not entirely disappoint, get my HIAC thoughts up here now and that way worst case I can just put up my Raw thoughts sometime tomorrow. :) So without further ado ...

Hell in a Cell from a wrestling perspective was a tremendous pay per view; while Undertaker and CM Punk didn't do *entirely* what I thought them capable of, they still put on a strong match that suffered only from the high expectations placed on them; John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler did not disappoint, although I predicted it incorrectly; even Batista/Rey Mysterio vs. JeriShow was great, and not just from the participants who you'd expect to pull off a fantastic match. Randy Orton vs. John Cena was brutal without resorting to cheap tricks like blood, and even R-Truth vs. Drew Macintyre was good. DX vs. the Legacy was excellent, and all the HIACs had a different feel to them (although none involved blood - which I found kind of interesting - or any stunts atop the structure - which disappointed me as well as most pundits I've read). The match between Mickie James and Alicia Fox was ... well, it was. And the three-way for the US title could have used a bit more time and build, but still involved a great effort and showing from all involved. So to the performers - kudos. No one did a bad job whatsoever, and there were many shining moments.

However, what puzzles me is the booking. Opening with a Hell in a Cell match was confounding when I would more have ended each hour with one (understanding that three HIACs at the end of the show would be too much as well). Particularly the HIAC match they chose, where the Undertaker won the World Title for the first time in about a year, year and a half. How many times is Taker with the belt a great final image to close a PPV on? When they put on the other world championship Hell in a Cell match halfway through the show I figured, OK, there must be some catch involved in the DX-Legacy match; either the other HIAC participants will get involved setting off the Raw vs. Smackdown theme of next month's Bragging Rights PPV, or there would be some run-in per the rumours of Bret Hart's return, or any other number of possibilities. Without that big booking swerve, with two world title changes within the Hell in a Cell structure over the course of the evening, it made no sense to book that particular match last, and I suppose speaks to the influence Triple H has over the WWE creative/booking team (aka his wife Stephanie McMahon-Levesque lol).

That was probably the biggest error in terms of match order; but I do also question putting show-stealing matches like John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler directly after a big match like HIAC; to me, those would be better followed by more filler-esque matches like the Diva match or R-Truth vs. Macintyre to allow the fans a chance to catch their breath between real show highlights. Again though less relevant when the HIAC match Morrison-Ziggler followed was such a letdown, and unfair to both participants (to Taker for not getting to truly celebrate such an important victory, and to Punk for having to lose in such an unceremonious and unimportant way, thus making his world title reigns seem less and less significant, similarly to Edge's).

It's tough to be tough on this show when it included some of the best matches I've seen since Wrestlemania (which may speak to my lack of real watching wrestling over the summer, but honestly ...), but I feel it could have been even stronger for some re-ordering of the matches; it really did take away when the big news - that for the first time world titles changed hands in the HIAC, and it happened TWICE - that the show ended with neither of those big changes, nor with any particular feel-good moment, since DX was expected to win and didn't do so in any particularly memorable or exciting way. WWE continues their trend of batting above their weight on PPVs we expect to underwhelm, while fumbling big-time on PPVs that by all rights should be incredibly strong shows. It will be interesting to see how next month's brand vs. brand "Bragging Rights" concept plays out, and how ECW will fit into the RAW vs. Smackdown format. But we'll talk more about that on Thursday night, as well as of course posting Raw thoughts and any other news and happenings in the world of wrestling as the week goes on. Be sure nad have a good one in the meantime!

Facebook Fanpage!

Hi guys,

So definitely will be up and running later this evening with a post about last night's Hell in a Cell pay per view as well as Raw (my gut reaction to HIAC right now; tremendous performances in-ring by everyone involved, some even surprisingly good; however some definitely questionable booking in terms of match order that I'd have changed around, but again, more later).

Meantime though I want to let y'all know that I've set up a fan page on Facebook! If you enjoy checking out my blog entries here, and/or listen to ITVR whenever we (oh so regularly and like clockwork) manage to post it up, definitely go check it out by typing In This Very Ring into FB's search function; you can also click the box on the sidebar right here on my blog. Once there, you can contribute links to some of your favourite websites, videos, pics ... a whole new way to get interactive with Ari and I here at ITVR. :)

Dontcha dare miss it! - Sarah

Friday, October 2, 2009

ITVR podcast

Click title for podcast. :D

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Matthew Moore Hardy and ITVR

OK ... so not as exciting as it sounds - not going to have the Sensai of Mattitude on our show this week. However, The two things I want to hit on in this entry involve (1) Matt Hardy and (2) ITVR. Let's deal with that second one first:

Made the decision today to post ITVR tomorrow night; not because we're lazy or don't feel like it (in fact tonight in many ways would be easier than tomorrow, it being a Friday and a night we enjoy relaxing); but I promised we'd try to catch TNA this week before podcasting, and then tomorrow night is the Smackdown 10th anniversary show; I thought we should probably check out that too, as it should be a big night with guest appearances by The Rock and Vicki Guerrero, instead of leaving it a week, when we'll have the Hell in a Cell to talk about as well as Ben Roethsinger's hosting of Raw.

Secondly Matt Hardy is back up to working us internet smarks. After tweeting the other night that "I am exhausted from being punished because of someone else's sins," leading everyone to believe he was speaking of his brother Jeff Hardy, he later clarified on his MySpace that he meant that he'd been out to dinner with some of the boys, who he felt had tipped cheaply, so he'd covered them; he later bet someone $10 that if he tweeted the above it would raise a hellstorm. Now see me ... I fell for it from the point of view that I figured the issues with Jeff definitely contributed to that tweet; but if you think about it, it was also only a few years ago that he was actually FIRED due to someone else's indiscretion. So I figured that while it was more obvious than it was, it was also more nuanced than many people jumped on the bandwagon to believe. But isn't that always the case?

Be sure and tune in to ITVR tomorrow night, sometime between 11pm and midnight Eastern, as we'll be recording when Smackdown ends. Until then, be well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lillian Garcia, "Sex Lies and Headlocks", Raw, Eric Bischoff/the Hulkamania Tour, and more!

**NOTE: this is going to seem out of date; I actually typed it 3 days ago - like Tuesday or so - and then hit 'save draft' instead of 'publish'. But wanted to share my thoughts anyway. Will be discussing this next hour on ITVR so meh ... **

Lots to talk about today guys - after a quiet weekend, it's been a busy couple of days in the wrestling world. So let's just jump into it, shall we?

  • First of all, congratulations are in order to Lillian Garcia, who got married this weekend. It's interesting that she is the second high-profile Diva in the last couple of years to leave the WWE to get married. How very old-fashioned, and yet also considerate of hubby-to-be. Would that male wrestlers gave as much thought at times to the loved ones they leave at home. Regardless, congratulations Lillian and all the happiness in the world to you and your new husband.
  • For that matter, happy birthday as well to former WWE competitors Tajiri and Steve Blackman! "Smackdown Numba One Announcah" and "Head Cheese" for life!
  • I just finished reading "Sex Lies and Headlocks" by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham - a truly interesting and important wrestling book, perhaps one of the best I've read yet in terms of covering how the industry itself has changed in the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st; while there are some factual discrepancies (check out my personal blog at for a full review), this book is a true and enlightening piece of work on Vince McMahon and the WWE in particular, and wrestling in general. Check it out!
  • Raw this week had many fine moments; I loved DX's promo with the Legacy kids, although I wish the young guys had had more of an opportunity to talk back, and the final image of John Cena and Randy Orton fighting on the Hell in a Cell structure did a great job of selling Sunday's PPV; and making even me, who is dreading it, dread it a whole lot less. I wish Cena hadn't had to no-sell the beating he'd gotten from JeriShow in order to participate in that last go-home moment, but it was still cool. At the same time; Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne deserve to be showcased better than they were this night, and the Mickie James-Rosa Mendes match was lacklustre given what these women can do. And Al Sharpton ... don't get me started. A very poor job, and I LIKE the guy! He'll have a hard time justifying his stand on stereotypical portrayals on TV, however, when he appeared in one scene with Santino Marella, Chavo Guerrero, Primo Colon, Hornswoggle ... but perhaps he's mainly against stereotyping blacks? Good thing they kept Cryme Tyme under wraps!
  • Eric Bischoff will be appearing on the Between the Ropes radio show (click here to check out their site) tonight to promote the Hulkamania tour of Australia - added to the tour today were Paul London and Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore. I definitely hope they get some DVD distribution going on in North America; this sounds like it could be a fantastic show if played right.
  • Lastly, the week ahead: in WWE-land Friday should be a big night as it's Smackdown's 10th anniversary episode, featuring a guest spot by none other than Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who hasn't appeared on WWE television whatsoever since 2008's Hall of Fame ceremony. Sunday is the big Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, and Monday night's show will be hosted by NFL great Ben Roethlisberger, fresh off his Sunday game, going head-to-head with Vikings vs. Packers; a good mainstream get with an opportunity to grab the football crowd during commercials and (if done right) keep them. Thursday night we will also be giving TNA a shot to see how their new writing team is doing. This means that ITVR will be going up a bit later than usual, but we'll be able to discuss TNA on it. Should be interesting anyway. Also on that show we will have a recap of the news discussed here, anything that happens in the next couple of days, and our Hell in a Cell predictions, so be sure and tune in late Thursday. Until then, be well!

Monday, September 28, 2009


Hi guys, quiet weekend in the world of wrestling, not a whole lot to talk about since ITVR's podcast Friday, but I am just about finished "Sex, Lies and Headlocks" by Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham, AND am currently watching Raw, so there should be more to discuss tomorrow; tune in then! I just didn't want you thinking I'd forgotten y'all. Quiet news week = quiet Sarah unfortunately. But it was a nice one and hopefully for you all too! Peace.

Friday, September 25, 2009


As promised. As always, click heading for podcast. Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ITVR tech difficulties

Hi all - so ... embarrassing ... we sat down tonight and recorded an entire episode of ITVR before realizing ... our mic was not plugged in. In a way this was a blessing in disguise as last night was a short night and I think we were half asleep through the show - not a strong one by any means - but it annoys me because whenever we have an 'off week' like last week I always try to be super-on time the week after. But looking at the bright side, we WILL re-record and podcast tomorrow, a better show for you our listeners, so be sure and check it out around this time (give or take an hour) tomorrow night. :) Until then, love to ya mudda. Oh - and wishing Stephanie McMahon a happy 33rd birthday today ... hope the Mister got you something nice! ;) Pax.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

RAW and Hulk Hogan

So I'm not talking too much about last night's Raw; it was entirely lacklustre, and more entertainment than wrestling, without being much of that either (sorry Cedric the ... well, Entertainer). Some good stuff with DX, and we get to see Super Cena run a Randy Orton-Chris Jericho-Big Show gauntlet next week, and Lillian Garcia gave a classy goodbye speech, but if you missed it ... that's OK. Be sure and check out next week, hosted by Al Sharpton - the poor fit of Al Sharpton in a wrestling arena will be entertaining in itself.

On a more interesting note, news has been breaking today that Hulk Hogan might be in some hot soup for threatening to send some Hells Angels over to break the legs of a rocker ex-boyfriend of his daughter; I'll keep you posted as this story progresses. Meanwhile at the very latest be sure and tune in Thursday night for In This Very Ring, and stay with ITVR for the latest news and thoughts from this little corner of the online wrestling community. Peace.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why is Terri Runnels going to Australia?

I was going to sit and paraphrase this story (click here) I've read in a few outlets in order to enlist support, but I feel Jason Powell tells the story better than I could as it's getting later in the evening and I'm quite tired. So please follow the above link, and please support Terri Runnels' (the former Marlena's) trip to Australia to be by the bedside of a devoted fan as he goes through his kidney transplant. As a single mother travelling through Wrestler Rescue (, there is a chance through that link to donate to help subsidize her travel costs. If you have a few cents to help a less-than-wealthy former celebrity and a mega-fan connect, or to donate to wrestler rescue generally (a charity aimed at helping out down-on-their luck aging former wrestlers in terms of battling poverty and addiction issues), please check it out. Peace.

Quick Plug to TNA

Tonight is TNA's No Surrender PPV; no idea of the card, who's on it, or anything (although it sounds like when TNA's PPV provider contract comes up next year, this event is one of 6 Dixie Carter intends to put on the chopping block to provide a higher quality, more streamlined product). I DO know the main event is Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan vs. Sting vs. AJ Styles for the TNA World Title; as I've read, in another attempt to focus more on getting as many people on the card than on actually pushing a signature, draw-inducing feud like Hulk Hogan-Andre the Giant or Bret Hart-Shawn Michaels or Rock-Steve Austin used to be.

But razzing them aside, TNA to our experience has always produced quality PPVs, as dubious as Impact sometimes can be (although I've heard this has reversed in the past year, where PPVs have started to drag while Impact has done a better job of showcasing TNA as a unique product), and this PPV marks Ed Ferrara's joining the TNA booking team which now consists of him and Vince Russo. While Vince Russo on his own has no sense of pacing or the value of tradition, Ferrara has historically been his best editor, balancing his 'shock TV' ethos with a more old school, wrestling-focused viewpoint; hopefully their efforts in TNA will more closely resemble the job they did for the WWE than that of the dying days of WCW. They have an opportunity here to prove their point, that WCW was dying anyway and there was little they could do with it - I generally have enjoyed their work when they can keep each other in check, and I look forward to giving them a chance in the weeks ahead to write the endings of their career on more of a high note.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hulkamania Tour

Hi guys - just to let you know ITVR wasn't up last night or tonight as last night we forgot we had some commitments with Ari's new coworkers, and this evening just kind of got away from us; we'll try to get the show up this weekend sometime, but if not, we'll be back next week for sure, and on time we promise! :) (Bet on the latter - we have some company coming this weekend, joy, our first really busy week since moving to Ottawa ... life never changes lol).

Meanwhile though the main thing in wrestling news this week I haven't covered is Hulk Hogan's upcoming Australian tour he's co-promoting with Eric Bischoff this coming fall. Featuring Ken Anderson (the former Ken Kennedy), Shannon Moore, Rikishi and Umaga, as well as the latest and greatest get, Ric Flair in his first in-ring appearance since he retired at Wrestlemania 24. A surprising addition, not because we expected he'd never wrestle again (we didn't), but due to his at-times tense relationship with Hulk Hogan, as well as his unquestionably frought relationship with Eric Bischoff. However, Flair vs. Hogan, even if a good 20-30 years after it was wished for, is always a good get, and should draw some fans Down Undah.

Again - my apologies for the sporadicness (probably good we haven't gone live yet, to give us the freedom to keep this as flexible as we have seemed to have needed - hopefully we'll string together a good 5-10 shows on time in a row in the coming weeks, at which point we'd feel comfortable making the transition to a live show now that we have unlimited long distance, and can start seeking on-air guests as well). But we'll be back next week as usual, and in the meantime I will continue to blog regularly so be sure and check back often. Till then, keep fit and have fun. Peace.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Legal Briefs, and a Scathing Editorial

OK, last thing first: check out this editorial (click here) over at World Wrestling Insanity written by the Canadian Bulldog (non-Harry Smith variety). Unfortunately and shamefully funny stuff.

Nothing major to report before tomorrow (already did my Raw thoughts for the week, and I'm going to save the discussion of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff's new Hulkamania tour for tomorrow on the air with Ari), but I wanted to give a couple updates on some wrestling-related legal situations we've been covering in recent weeks:

  1. Kurt Angle's had his day in court yesterday as the charges against him for violating a restraining order, possession of controlled substances and driving on a suspended license were dropped. Initial thoughts: maybe TNA knew what they were doing keeping on Kurt Angle and firing Rhaka Khan; maybe it wasn't just about him being a bigger draw. Further thoughts: maybe the same celebrity keeping him alive in TNA also kept him alive in court. Final verdict: Either could still be true. For the record, Angle still faces a hearing in regards to said restraining order in the future, but no further criminal proceedings.
  2. After several Tweets and the promise of a statement to be released 'later' that remains unforthcoming, Jeff Hardy's Twitter account was taken down today. Initial thought: hey, where's our statement? Further thoughts AND final verdict: wise, someone is obviously and probably listening to their lawyer. Statements regarding ongoing criminal matters should not be released through social media but through legal representatives.
Be sure and tune in tomorrow night for more on these, wrestling TV this week, and Hulkamania's upcoming tour promoted by Hulk Hogan himself, and the Wizard of World Championship Wrestling, Eric Bischoff. Speaking of which - also coming tomorrow; a review of The Rise and Fall of WCW. See ya then folks!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Breaking Point and Raw

Hi all - so I'm not going into desperate gobs of detail on Breaking Point and Raw (though whenever I say that, it always ends up going longer than I expect), so that Ari and I have something to talk about in a few evenings on the air; but some of the key thoughts I had were (and in no particular order):


  • The wrestling on this show was solid; even Kane vs. Khali didn't totally suck. There was not one stinker match on the card, for what the respective matches were supposed to accomplish (eg: John Cena vs. Randy Orton was hardly a technical standout, but absolutely brutal in its violence level, and to me well beyond WWE's sought-after PG rating these days).
  • My predictions were almost entirely wrong (should never have let Ari talk me into saying of the two title matches, Undertaker was leaving with CM Punk's belt), but I don't mind that; I knew that there was not one match that was 100% a lock, and the one I *did* think that of - DX vs. the Legacy - was a pleasant surprise when the young Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr. won. This win will not at all hurt Shawn Michaels and Triple H as they brought everything they had and vice versa, and will absolutely give Rhodes and Dibiase that last little push and polish they need to be taken seriously amongst the big boys. And kudos to the Legacy having been given more of a role than simply Randy Orton's window dressing of late.
  • I didn't so much mind the 'screwjob' ending of CM Punk-Undertaker, with Teddy Long ordering the match restarted after Undertaker used what turned out to be a still-illegal triangle chokehold to make Punk submit, although yes I understand it capitalizes yet again on a 12-year-old incident that both we Canadians AND Vince McMahon should have long since let go; but since it's entertaining and a 'thing' in Montreal, I don't so much mind that. My main complaint is, if you were going to have a screwy, 'send 'em home unhappy' ending to one world title match, and a feelgood, 'hero wins against all odds' ending ... tell me, which of these should have closed out the show? Yeah. I thought so. This ending was unpredictable and hot, but not so hot as to cancel out the disappointment of a questionable ending, and I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so.
  • I enjoyed the opening with Batista and Randy Orton; it wouldn't have been surprising, at Batista's age and with his injuries, if he HAD announced his retirement (although I'd have suspected we in the internet wrestling community would have heard more REAL rumours to that end by now), but he played it perfectly and, with Jeff Hardy gone and Edge on the DL, will provide a much-needed shot in the arm to the Smackdown brand. He should provide a worthy foe to CM Punk, and perhaps rekindle a very strong feud with the Undertaker.
  • It was great to see Trish Stratus again; referencing her history with Chris Jericho, and putting her in-ring with Beth Phoenix was a dream match scenario, even if it did involve the two teams from the tag title match last night; and tying her in-ring appearance to an existing storyline made some sense in terms of making it not just a gratuitous one-off, even if it did lower her ring time and visibility as such.
  • A nice bow-out to the Randy Orton-Batista feud while continuing Orton's feud with John Cena into Hell in a Cell - which I hope is the blow-off to this longstanding feud, and also marks I believe the first HIAC match not involving one of Triple H or the Undertaker. By the way - as a note for last night, they made it known that the main event matches would be HIAC matches; I am still not a fan of multiple HIAC matches in one night as it cheapens one of the WWE's strongest matches; but that' s better than a card full of them.
  • Chavo Guerrero vs. Evan Bourne again, with even less involvement from Hornswoggle; hopefully this becomes an exclusively big(ish) people feud soon.
  • Overall a decent show; my main concern is that potentially good matches - Bourne/Guerrero, Kofi Kingston/Jack Swagger - were too short and quick to have really stood out, a problem plaguing Raw while Smackdown for example gives stellar performers like Rey Mysterio Jr. and John Morrison a 20+ minute platform to do their stuff. But that's the ultimate difference between the two shows these days isn't it?
And that's it - as I said I suppose longer than I'd intended but those were my thoughts. Be sure and tune in to hear more about this, along with all the other wrestling news, on Thursday night when Ari and I podcast 'In This Very Ring'; meanwhile of course I will be around all week blogging any updates, for example, on Jeff Hardy, or other pressing news in the world of wrestling. Be sure and check it all out. Have a great night!

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