Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tonight I promise I promise (yeah yeah ...)

I'm sorry guys these last two weeks as my loyal readers and listeners can tell have just gotten away from us. We'll share a bit of that on the air but really no excuses here, just major apologies; we've been busier than usual.

That said we will post the podcast tonight, and talk about the week in wrestling. Take care until then.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ITVR this and that

So we're going to put ITVR up tomorrow - 1. because the last episode was so recent and 2. because our son was more demanding than usual tonight (he had a very alert and happy day but I think over-stimulated himself and didn't want to be put to bed until like, now, which is 12:45 am our time, and our bedtime as well). But it WILL go up same bat time same bat channel tomorrow, and in the meantime, some thoughts on some news bites from the world of wrestling:

RAW: To be discussed tomorrow but basically a solid show. MVPs include Chris Jericho, Ricky Steamboat, Randy Orton and Triple H; The Triple One is back to dominate Raw, and the King of Kings is back on his throne. More on this show tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Naitch: Ric Flair turns 60 years old today; I know six year olds who are more mature, but that's what makes him the Nature Boy! Whooooooooo! Hope you had a good one you limousine riding, Lear jet flying, kiss stealing, wheeling dealing sunumagun.

Death of Verne Gagne's Roommate Ruled a Homicide: I'm not quite sure what the implications are here in this twist of a story I mentioned about a week ago; I have a hard time believing that an 80-some-odd year old man with Alzheimer's will be charged with murder ... it will be interesting, though sad, to see how this unfortunate case plays out.

Randy Savage DVD to NOT be a documentary-style release: Boo on the WWE. As great a wrestler as Savage is, given the years of being persona non grata in the world of WWE, the story here is what's interesting; the man is a character, and adding some bonus matches to a great in-depth documentary as only WWE can do would not undermine his wrestling contributions to the sport, while giving us a look at the bright, colourful character that was the Macho Man.

Paul Heyman praises WWE's treatment of heels; calls this a 'Golden Age of Heels': This is true and never have you had so many interesting heel characters (Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge, Vicki Guerrero, all come to mind); the unfortunate side of it is that all their 'good guy' foils are either middling wrestlers who get mixed reviews (John Cena), or aging grapplers nearing retirement age (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Undertaker). We either need some turns, or we need some interest added to our more talented breakout faces (CM Punk, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston). Heels have always arguably been the more interesting character in any given feud, but a sympathetic face is needed to bring out the hate, just as a truly heinous heel is needed to help us sympathize with the plight of the 'good guy'.

More on all of this tomorrow, I promise - see you then!


It will be up tonight as (should be) usual.

Meanwhile I wanted to apologize for being out of touch this week - it hasn't been through busy-ness or laziness however, I actually wrote something Monday night following Raw, and thought I'd published it, but I didn't, and I only realized today I'd lost it. And at this point, we might as well save it for the podcast.

So be sure to tune in right here later tonight, and join us right here ... In This Very Ring!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finally, the Podcast has come BACK to the ITVR Blog!

rofl - click heading for show, and enjoy - it's a supersized one this week. :D

ITVR + Smackdown

Sorry - no excuses about uploaders or anything this time yesterday just got away from me in terms of the 45 mins. or so it takes me to format, upload and link our podcast. That's the bad news. The good news? We DID get to check out Smackdown last night and so what we're going to do is re-record the show tonight including SD thoughts. So please stay tuned for that this evening sometime between 10pm and midnight ET. :)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meanwhile, a few thoughts ...

As we didn't post an ITVR tonight, although we did record it, and it was a packed show talking about a lot of the onscreen product, there were two or three things we might have paid some lip service to, but not really given the airing they deserved. I'd like to share those now, so as not to be derelict in keeping my blog up-to-date, or discussing important things that didn't really fit into the show that's going up tomorrow in any meaningful way (although again, we do touch on one or two of these things in some of our digressions ...)

  1. Verne Gagne - suffering from Alzheimer's-related dementia, shoved his elderly roommate (also suffering from the same affliction) to the ground in an incident, leading to his death a few days later. Very sad story - it must be a tough time for the Gagne family, as well as the family of his roommate, Helmut Guttman. I'm not sure how responsible for his actions Gagne can be held given his condition, nor what responsibility the nursing home where he and Guttman lived holds, but it sounds like litigation and/or charges of some kind might be pending. A sad story about the twilight years of a great wrestling champion and promoter, and a terrible way to go for his roommate. Just sad all round.
  2. Hulk Hogan and his inner circle quiet on Hogan's participation in Wrestlemania 25: Given the Hogan camp's penchant for blabbing about his appearances and projects, and that the story here has changed over the last week or two (from 'there are no plans ...' to 'no comment ...', including from Florida radio show host Bubba the Love Sponge, one of Hogan's best friends and his unofficial mouthpiece), I suspect that a deal for Hogan's appearance is in the works, if not finalized as you read this. The question is who his opponent will be, and I suspect this might be a critical piece of the puzzle left undone as yet until a few more things are finalized; for example, I have no idea whether or not Mickey Rourke is truly 'not going to be involved' in WM or whether he will - if not, Hogan might be a great representative, as someone synonymous with the early history of Wrestlemania, to go up against Chris Jericho (and someone a lot less 'emotional' than Roddy Piper or Ric Flair, someone Jericho can't attack as 'pathetic' on that grounds as he has a very pragmatic view on the wrestling business). Steve Austin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame the nigth before Mania - does he have one more match in him, and would that match be with Hogan? I certainly know that's what Hulk is hoping for. It will be interesting to see how this develops. And lastly ...
  3. WWE 24/7 Legends Roundtable: The "Soul" of Wrestling - Just want to put in a plug that this month's legend's roundtable on the WWE's On Demand service was really interesting, chronicling the history of African American contributions to wrestling. Teddy Long, Tony Atlas, Bill Watts, Dusty Rhodes and Jim Ross made up this month's panel, and an interesting discussion certainly resulted. One of the things I found most interesting was Atlas' claim that there was no real inherent racism he'd come across in wrestling, despite one of his last major runs as an active competitor was as Saba Simba in the early-1990s (from Africa, complete with loincloth, spear and headdress). A must watch for those who have the service.

Upload problems

ITVR up tomorrow for sure due to upload problems.

Thanks for patience! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"The Wrestler" and ITVR

So the good news is Ari and I got a very rare date night tonight, and went out to see "The Wrestler". :) The bad news is that means we'll be doing ITVR tomorrow instead of tonight. But be sure and tune in then, when we'll discuss ...

No Way Out (which I already discussed, but to get Ari's thoughts ...), Raw from Monday (I'd have given a review yesterday if I'd known we were putting off ITVR, but now I'll save the discussion for the air), "The Wrestler", and PWI's year end awards, as well as how the Road to Wrestlemania is shaping up.

Meanwhile if you get a chance, check out Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Woods in "The Wrestler:

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Way Out Thoughts

So No Way Out was last night, and I've got to own up to being a bit conflicted about the handling of it. On the one hand, there was a bunch of nonsense; what power does Edge have, upon taking Kofi Kingston out of the Elimination Chamber match, to declare himself the replacement? Shane McMahon looked much stronger in his match with Randy Orton than a (basically) non-wrestling exec giving up about 30-40 lbs. and 4 inches in height to one of the hottest pro wrestlers going today, had any right to look. Shawn Michaels' wife added some good drama to an already-dramatic scenario, but I wouldn't have minded seeing this last out another month, perhaps put Shawn Michaels and JBL in the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania and have Shawn take it for himself instead of helping his boss.

That said - good action and drama, again between HBK-JBL, and both Elimination Chambers, albeit a bit nonsensical in terms of Edge's involvement in the Raw version, and while I'm not necessarily the hugest fan of how they got there, WWE did succeed in making a seemingly very predictable PPV on paper, less predictable. We had a clear-cut road to Wrestlemania, and at least a few chess pieces on that gameboard were upset last night. While I hope they do explain and smooth away some of those rougher ... ahem ... edges as to how they got there, I am suddenly interested again in the next few months and just what they might bring. I'm tentative in giving last night's show the same rave review many others are, but I will say they've caught my interest and I hope they take advantage of that and keep it. I'm watching, WWE ... :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

WWE Hall of Fame

New entrants in to the WWE hall of fame have been announced on the WWE's website ( The Von Erich family - father Fritz, and his 5 sons, one of whom still survives, will be inducted on Wrestlemania Eve. This tragic family is known for their drug problems, and for the fact that three of the boys overdosed and/or killed themselves at relatively young ages, despite boundless potential and talent.

What do you think? A bad example set to be honoured and lauded, or a family whose contribution to the industry are unquestionable, despite their shady ends?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Click heading to listen to this week's episode.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Matt Hardy - time travelling sinner?

Well yesterday was Raw, and we have a PPV coming up, but I thought I'd give Ari and I something to talk about tomorrow, leave that be for now, and - since other than the Chris Jericho situation I mentioned two days ago, there really hasn't been anything new behind the scenes in wrestling, I would simply share this funny tidbit with you - click here.

And be sure to check back here tomorrow for In This Very Ring - our 'go home' podcast for No Way Out, with predictions and thoughts on that, as well as the Pro Wrestling Illustrated 2008 Achievement Awards which were just released this past week! See how close we were in our 'Year End' awards.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chris Jericho in altercation with fans

Yesterday after a house show in Victoria BC, Chris Jericho got into an altercation with some very aggressive fans. A detailed description of the incident can be found by clicking here; you can also watch some partial footage by clicking 'play' below:

Wow. I don't know what to think except this incident is all kinds of wrong, from everyone involved:

FANS: wrong in that they marked for the fact Jericho's a 'bad guy' as portrayed on WWE television and got in his face. Trying to close his car door on him (as described in the article at the link above), hem him into his vehicle, etc. is just wrong. Even if he's just a 'fake' pro wrestler he's still a 6', 200-plus pound guy in whose face I wouldn't want to get. Wrestlers take their personal space and safety very seriously, knowing they can draw strong emotions from their fans; I wouldn't personally ever threaten it.

JERICHO: wrong for hitting a female fan who was with the really aggressive fans who started this in the first place, and got in his face after he shoved her friends. He DID go off on everyone and losing one's temper like that, especially in an already somewhat crazy situation, doesn't help anyone. If no one else could be intelligent and use a cool head, we know Jericho can, and he should have.

SECURITY: wrong for, as Jericho put it, 'not doing your f---ing job' and looking after him. Bottom line, whether it was the fans provoking Jericho, or his response, this got way more out of hand than it ever should have. Whether the arena/parking lot area security should have been more dilligent, or whether WWE should continue to provide some security until all wrestlers have cleared the building (to me, the exit to the parking lot in an uncontrolled situation is more dangerous than in a somewhat organized arena in which wrestlers are separated from fans by barricades and such anyway), there was a definite security breach, and Jericho should never have been left to fend for himself in the first place.

All around an incident showing everyone's best side. Sigh ...

Friday, February 6, 2009

ITVR as promised

As always, click the post heading to check out this week's broadcast. XO

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ITVR Tomorrow

Hi guys - didn't want you to think I'd forgotten you. ;) We DID record ITVR tonight (yes a day late but hey it happens, this 'quiet week' snuck up on us really quick); my uploader is being nonfunc at the moment so I will post tomorrow evening sometime; meanwhile it's been a pretty quiet week wrestling wise so know you haven't missed much, and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Pax.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Raw last night

Well Ari and I will be talking about Raw tomorrow to be sure, but some thoughts to hold you over until then about the show, in no particular order:

  • I liked WWE addressing Mickey Rourke's changing his mind about wrestling at Wrestlemania 25: I'm just afraid that Ric Flair is going to step into that spot against Chris Jericho now that the former Y2J has turned his venom on the Nature Boy for still havin' the itch and not knowing when to back away from the business. Jericho's right that Flair had the fairytale career and sendoff to match at this exact time last year - it would be a real insult to the fans, wrestlers, and the real emotions invested by all involved for him to return, especially that soon when it's still very fresh in all our minds. I hope that really Rourke's backing out is just a swerve, or an image-saver until post Oscars; as much as he isn't a wrestler, I'd much rather see him in a celeb match with Ric Flair in a training/managing type of role.
  • There were a lot of things that were not dealt with in a satisfactory manner last week, which they went ahead and attempted to address this week, so kudos to the WWE for trying to address the elepants in the room created last week. However, they didn't do so particularly well; for example, Randy Orton explained that Shane McMahon got one over on them last week because he didn't attack, nor did he encourage Priceless to attack, him in retaliation as there was a whole batallion of wrestlers at the top of the ramp. True; however, they DID try to 'contain him' as Orton put it, and even that was unsuccessful. They could have done more with that I think. I'm also somewhat unsure of Stephanie's place in all this; I'm half-convinced she's involved with the Legacy, but as the weeks go by she seems at least somewhat on the up and up?
  • The other thing they tried to deal with was the Shawn Michaels-JBL relationship starting to unravel at the Royal Rumble and then at Raw; they will be having an 'all or nothing' match at No Way Out. If Shawn Michaels wins, he gets JBLs payoff and his freedom; if JBL wins he owns the HBK likeness and image, and by extension Shawn Michaels. I half-expected them to drag this out to Wrestlemania, but I think I'm relieved they won't. These two definitely have a place in the Money in the Bank match, or perhaps as potential replacements for Randy Orton in his Wrestlemania main event slot should he get too sidetracked in his feud with the McMahons.
  • What I DID like is that they did a nice little build for the Undertaker appearing on Raw to fight Randy Orton next week - he crosses over from the Smackdown brand very rarely, perhaps once a year, and WWE usually does a good job of making that the event it is. Wonder if he'll continue to build on the teaser of his involvement in the Shawn Michaels-JBL angle ... I'm already more intrigued about Raw next week than the last two weeks merit. And they HAVE successfully corrected the uneven matchup between Shane McMahon and Randy Orton by making it no DQ - Shane can use weapons or backup, Randy Orton has his two cronies Rhodes and Dibiase ... it should be more interesting than just a straight-up match between these two otherwise would be.
Bottom line: Raw this week was better than last, and next week, plus no way out, looks to improve on the theme yet again. Hopefully that trend continues for the other two brands, who started slow out the starting gate on the road to Wrestlemania, and for Raw as we head towards the Granddaddy of them All.

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