Tuesday, March 31, 2009

25 Diva battle royal announcement

At today's WWE Wrestlemania 25 Press Conference, WWE announced some of the former WWE Divas who would be participating in the 25-woman battle royal set to occur at WM:

As a surprise to nobody, Tammy "Sunny" Sytch will be appearing; so will Torrie Wilson. It was also announced that the recently-retired Victoria, as well as Molly Holly would be returning. It will be nice to see these women back in the ring, as Victoria and Molly were both very instrumental in the late-1990s renaissance of the WWE women's division, and often underappreciated by WWE brass in favour of 'hotter' Divas (those who could wrestle, such as Sable and Trish Stratus, and those who couldn't, such as Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson).

If the rumours are true about women's legend Wendy Richter appearing after years of bad blood with the WWE, as well as Trish Stratus, this should be one heckuva battle royal, especially since many of the current Divas (Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Maryse, Michelle McCool, Melina, Natalya Neidhart) can wrestle as well.

I was disappointed at the lack of a one-on-one women's championship match, and I still see plenty of opportunity for this match to go cheesecake heavy, but there should be some decent wrestling action involved, too.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

ITVR - a day late and a penny short

Enjoy. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Also just as a note ...

ITVR will be up a bit late tonight (as in, at what seems to be the usual time lol) due to Earth hour being from 8:30-9:30; while that's the hour we usually record in, we'll be recording afterwards.

Don't forget to turn out your lights too!

Shawn Michaels' Tribute to the Undertaker

Ari and I will be talking about this later tonight but I wanted to share this video before our broadcast - I missed the first and last few mins. of Smackdown so I missed this last night but am so glad I found it on Youtube today. Shawn Michaels still has it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

This n That

So now that I'm home from Ottawa, and can post more than 'can't post now' lol, here are some things that have been stewing in my brain that I want to get off the ole burner before moving forward.

This week's broadcast will be tomorrow. I would have made it tonight but Ari and I are both tired from our trip and couldn't give our best to you our fans - so tomorrow night it is.

Still didn't get to see Raw, and will be watching SD tonight - so will comment on this tomorrow on ITVR once we've at least gotten to see one show, and possibly the other on Youtube. I will say Raw from the recaps sounds like it was interesting, if perhaps not to everyone's taste.

Vince McMahon - owner and chairman of the WWE - and Dixie Carter - his equivalent over at TNA - have had a bit of a media brouhaha in recent days, with Vince (the creator of DX, Katie Vick, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and pretty much the entire WWE Attitude Era) criticizing TNA's 'non family friendly, reprehensible' product, and Dixie Carter shooting back in regards to some of Vince's own recent content on his PG-rated show; the frequent beatings of seniors (himself included) by Randy Orton or Chris Jericho; Triple H's home invasion of Randy Orton's property, and Randy Orton's violence towards Stephanie McMahon. All I can say is, pot, meet kettle. See, I don't bother getting offended by wrestling product any longer; there's just too much and I should stop watching if I'm that squeamish (for which a fair case could be made). I'm siding with Vince here just because I think he produces the better product; but if we're battling over who scrapes the bottom of the 'taste' barrell, there's plenty of room at the bottom, boys (and girls).

(aka Steven Dunn of Well Dunn). Sad and so shortly after the passing of Test, Andrew Martin. It had been awhile since we had a string of wrestling deaths; I'm hoping this isn't the re-start of a trend I was hoping the industry might have been starting to grow out of.

Those are just some quick hits folks - more on all of the above tomorrow night ... IN THIS VERY RING.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Touching base ...

Not a whole lot of time tonight to get into a full length post, especially as I didn't see Raw last night, and I'm out of town. Just as an update you will probably hear from me next on Thurs. night either with an update on the week that was in wrestling, or perhaps an ITVR broadcast depending what time Ari and I get home and how we're feeling after travelling 700-plus kilometres with an infant. Meanwhile hope everyone's enjoying their week. See you at the matches.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Some quick hits on Smackdown before we hit the road:

  • Decent promo by Triple H to open the show, finally addressing what we've all been thinking for weeks. I wish his match with Vladimir Kozlov had been shorter than the U.S. Title change (!) but so it goes. He's the Triple One.
  • MVP defeated Shelton Benjamin for the U.S. Title - MVP's roll continues; he's still my pick as it stands right now to win the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania.
  • I'm not terribly interested in the Hardys having an Extreme Rules match; falls count anywhere, last man standing, steel cage eventually, things that allow them to do what they do, I get. And I get that's what the Extreme Rules are supposed to do - give them an outlet to bring in ladders and all sorts of other crazy stuff. I'm just not sure if this is exactly the stip that plays into their greatest strengths.
  • Undertaker did a short and sweet promo on Shawn Michaels - WWE also seems to have listened to my disappointment in Raw kind of dominating the Wrestlemania buildup; Shawn Michaels and John Cena - two major players on Raw - made appearances, and both world title angles got some play as well.
  • Speaking of which this was the first time I could really get behind the Cena-Show-Edge-Vicki thing ... they did an awesome four-way promo tonight, and while I still think this is the weaker of the two main event programs, it has gained steam where I feel Orton-Triple H has lost it (that's what you get when you run a major angle like the home invasion with three weeks left until showtime). Cena was funny, and Edge and Show were amusing as well. This was good stuff. I only feel bad because the likelihood is, with such a blatant stip as 'winner gets Vicki', John Cena, with whom she isn't involved nor has any interest in being involved, is going to win, which will probably focus Edge and Show on fighting each other over Vicki instead of having them in the title scene - which sucks for Edge. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying this more now than I had even a week or two ago.
Now I've done some poking around and the autoposting I was hoping to do while away isn't possible on Blogger it doesn't seem - so I will try when I have computer access (which should be most days on this trip) to get posts up - but if I don't, accept my apologies as I'm away, and I will probably as a minimum post Tuesday about my Raw thoughts, and Thursday night when I'm back home. ITVR will probably go up either that night, or Friday after Smackdown.

Meanwhile be well and be in touch.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Now up - on the right date! :D Click heading to hear.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Smackdown and Raw thoughts

Sorry it's been a few days but when I got to tying out my Smackdown entry last night I realized Raw would be on in an hour or so and I might as well cover both of them while I was at it, so I waited until today. :) So without further adieu, here are my thoughts on the past 5 days or so of WWE programming.


  • I wish they'd followed thru a bit more on the Edge-Vicki Guerrero storyline. I know Raw's position as the 'flagship show' really comes into play at Wrestlemania time when there's more cross-brand storytelling and almost every major event happens Monday night instead of Friday, but surely SD can be thrown a bone with a Shawn Michaels appearance, say, when Undertaker appears on Raw, or Randy Orton could go after Triple H on his own home turf instead of waiting for Monday nights. But it's especially obvious in the Vicki-Edge-Big Show-John Cena storyline. Only one of those involved is a Raw character, and he's not really involved in the heart of this angle, so this would have been an easy one, with Edge, Guerrero and Show all on the Blue Brand, to throw us a bone.
  • By the way I also want to throw in - I understand why Raw is the flagship show beyond just being the older and more reputable/established one; it is also the live one. If they give away major storyline pieces or promos on Smackdown, they'll be inevitably leaked. Still - they could have given away what they gave away this week on Raw, without cheapening it too much by getting out ahead of time. But more on that later.
  • The one major Smackdown-exclusive storyline going into Wrestlemania is the battle between the Hardy brothers. Now I'm a HUGE Hardy fan and I'm glad they're giving these guys a one-on-one matchup on the big stage at WM 25. I'm not entirely sure though, given this is a battle between brothers and therefore already person, and there's so much just from their onscreen lives in the WWE universe to provide background for this feud, I'm not sure how comfortable I am with bringing in what has to be the darkest time of Jeff's life last year - suspended with 10 days to go to Wrestlemania (where he was supposed to win the Money in the Bank match), in a matter of days his house went up in flames, and his dog died. We knew then that Jeff and his girlfriend had been out, and legitimately, Matt, who lived nearby, saw the fire and told Jeff about it etc. They're taking this into WWE land as a storyline, just as Matt had Jeff's car run of the road, and his pyro go haywire, this fire was another Matt-induced sabotage, costing Jeff his beloved dog. Right down to bringing in Jack's charred dog collar. There's 'hitting someone at their weak point, and there's bringing up some really sensitive material from real life. I'm not sure if this crosses the 'taste' line.
  • Main storyline here being Triple H and Randy Orton et al, I liked the interaction, with the cage etc. and Stephanie making an appearance at her husband's side. Not much was said by way of promos this week but not much was necessary. There's plenty of drama involved in looks, physical action, and non-microphoned conversations that this worked.
  • I'm not sure I like the potential direction this is heading in with Chris Jericho challenging three legends - Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, and Roddy Piper - this week. I don't know how it helps anyone. If Jericho wins, great. He can beat up old men. If he loses, it took three men to do it. I'm hoping this is maybe an attraction on Raw next week or the following week, where Jericho's 'real' WM opponent comes in to run interference.
  • I'm intrigued by the Edge-Vicki-Show storyline after this week moreso than I was last week. I was saying, with the Hardys fighting, and the Randy Orton-Triple H storyline involving so much 'reality' and 'worked shoot', that the 'personal issues' and drama injected into this storyline seems forced by comparison - why couldn't it just be about 2 (or 3) main eventers battling for the title? But Show and Edge played their parts well and my personal guess, in terms of the Edge-Show-Vicki threesome can't last for long, is that Vicki and Edge have been playing Show all along and he will ultimately turn face; I think Edge still has more mileage as a heel, and Vicki as well.
So those are my thoughts. Ari and I will be here tomorrow for In This Very Ring, and I will do my best to post some Smackdown thoughts on Friday - as an early warning, we are then going out of town on vacation for 5 days or so, so I'll try to auto-post some fun stuff (videos, etc.), but I might not get to blog live (ie, Raw results or ITVR) until we're home Thursday night. The last two days of our trip will be at my grandmothers so I might be able to put up some Raw thoughts Tuesday sometime but given how busy we get even when we're just at home, I'm not making any promises lol. Nonetheless, tune in tomorrow at the regular time for ITVR and we'll see you later! Cheers all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

RIP Andrew "Test" Martin

34 year old Andrew "Test" Martin, former WWE Superstar, was found dead in his home yesterday. Martin, whose initial run involved becoming 'engaged' onscreen to Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie before she 'left him' for Triple H, followed by a tag team run with A-Train, and whose second run was a stint in the new ECW, has been very vocal over the years about the working conditions, substance abuse and general health problems in wrestling, despite (or perhaps because of) clearly having substance issues of his own (he was arrested for a DUI last year; the change in his body between WWE runs was much-noticed, and he's since been blacklisted from both WWE and TNA; his very wrestling nickname is derivitive of the most common kind of steroid on the market). Professionally, Martin was speaking of retiring at the end of last year, and had just completed a tour of Japan.

Speaking on a personal note - Test was never the most technically sound, catch-as-catch-can type wrestler. Nor was he the most charismatic, and he clearly had his share of problems. But he was oddly one of my favourites years ago, as he really struck a chord with my romantic teenage girl self during his onscreen involvement with Stephanie McMahon, and while others have been hard on him (and probably deservedly so), I always had a soft spot in my heart for the guy. Andrew Martin had the look and enough ability that he could have gone much further in the business than he did, but he refused to play the corporate butt-kiss game and I respect that. While I don't respect some of the other choices he made, I for one will miss him nonetheless. Rest in peace.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


A good n meaty one. Click the heading to listen. Enjoy!

Whoa, whoa Wrestlemania, fightin' to survive (pump it up pump it up ...)

*NOTE: yes we're goin' old school tonight. Love feels just like a Piledriver. Cuz that's how we roll - peace out.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ITVR tomorrow

Hi guys - sorry for putting off ITVR tonight but it's for a good cause as Ari and I have many errands we've been putting off that we need to get to this evening. The good news is unless we get sidetracked (likely as always) we SHOULD be able to put up a daytime edition tomorrow afternoon/early evening as Ari has the day off. Check back then, we'll have lots to talk about from Koko B. Ware's WWE Hall of Fame induction to Raw on Monday to the Rock's appearance on Saturday Night Live. We'll chat atcha then! :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

For Shame WWE - making life difficult for a charity event

Former WWE star and current TNA performer Booker T. Huffman is hosting a charity wrestling event on the Saturday afternoon of Wrestlemania weekend. WWE 0f late has made it known that any of the individuals they have contracted to appear at Wrestlemania or Wrestlemania-related events (such as the Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday night), that appearing at Booker T's event would be a conflict of interest. Such names as Torrie Wilson, Tito Santana, Nick Bockwinkel, and so forth, have pulled out of Huffman's show as a result.

I understand WWE is always very rigorous about defending its intellectual property, and I understand that Booker T currently works for TNA which is the E's main competition. However, it is no surprise that Wrestlemania has become a tradeshow of sorts for the entire wrestling industry, with indies and other federations all over the country hosting shows and reunions that weekend in and around the WM location. While I understand getting picky in some situations -- WWE was absolutely correct in reprimanding Highlander Robby McAllister for appearing in the TNA audience last year in Orlando two nights before Mania 24 -- this is a charity event which doesn't conflict with any official WWE-sanctioned Wrestlemania events besides Fan Axxess, which runs at other times as well. I think that the more civic-minded nature of the McMahons and the WWE (who actively participate and contribute to many worthy organizations - March of Dimes, Make a Wish, etc.), and pride in the fact that the McMahon-created WM weekend having become bigger than the industry itself, could allow some leeway for an indy fed doing a charity show 36 hours before WWE's big night.

Just sayin' ...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Rock on SNL

A clip from last night's Saturday Night Live hosted by former WWE champion and superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


So I DID watch Smackdown last night - usually our Friday nights are otherwise occupied - and it was a decent show. I'm not going to say TOO much about it, as I wasn't feeling well, nor am I still, so paying really close attention to it, or writing pages about it now, is really not where my head's at (although watch me, I'll probably have a bunch to say anyway). But some thoughts

  • I was concerned when they had the Hardys' in Qualifying MITB matches that they'd both end up in the MITB. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing from an objective point of view - if they have them fight there, one of them win it, maybe they fight at Backlash for the briefcase, and then later on over the title when the winner cashes it in and inevitably wins the belt. If you can drag a feud on for a few PPVs and get some buyrates out of it, why would you hot shot it in one? But from the perspective of how WWE's been building these two, and my own thoughts and feelings as a Hardy fan, I was looking forward to a 1-on-1 at Wrestlemania - they can cost each other matches and title shots etc. all the same along the way anyway. When Matt lost to MVP clean in his match, however, and cost Jeff his, it worked. I enjoy that Jeff's still hesitant to fight his big brother - we'll see if that continues now. With them both out of MITB now, Hardy vs. Hardy at WM 25 is almost inevitable.
  • Speaking MITB, that now sets up the 8 man fight for a title shot as Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin. Going by the participants so far, I would want to see - and not be surprised to see - MVP win it all. He and Edge (or either of the Hardys) could have an awesome feud over the World Title. Of course that depends on where the draft all goes, but nonetheless.
  • I'm intrigued as to what John Cena said to Vicki that compelled her to move the contract signing between Edge and Big Show for Show's title shot to Monday - I'm interested in the dynamic here between Vicki and her two proteges, and we'll see how Cena insinuates himself in all this. I've got to admit to not being a major fan of any of the possibilities here as you might have picked up from ITVR the other night. Show-Edge doesn't strike me as having that WM main event profile, especially for the 25th installment of it; they just gave away Edge-Cena for free last Monday so unless they really change something around I'm not a fan of rehashing that; and I'm not keen on triple threat WM main events, which they usually have one of in recent years, as it cheapens that match automatically compared to the other title match. Not that this will be bad - it's WM and all involved will step it up as needed - it's just not as intriguing to me as Randy Orton-Triple H, or even Shawn Michaels-Undertaker.
  • Speaking of those two - good mic work from Undertaker, as I can't remember him ever discussing his streak so that was kind of cool; and it was appropriate after Triple H all but squashed Umaga that Randy Orton and the Legacy beat him down making him look somewhat fallible - OK it took three men to accomplish such, but it was still accomplished lol. That's something.
OK so I went on a bit, I knew I might. Nonetheless those are my SD thoughts. Before parting two more comments ... or more to the point, corrections/followups to a few things I touched on on ITVR while not being entirely informed:

  1. Apparently, as I expressed some doubt, Christian and Jack Swagger have been tearing it up over on ECW, apparently even in a 30-minute contest this past week. Needless to say I'm off after this to Youtube that particular bout. I'm wondering if there will be an ECW title defense at WM, and if so, against whom. I'd guess Swagger-Christian, but again, if we've seen that 2-3 weeks in a row ... ? That's a danger on ECW I guess, having about half the roster and half the TV time of other brands, you don't have as much room to mix it up.
  2. I speculated as well, along with Ari, as to Hulk Hogan's participation at WM: it doesn't sound likely at this point it will be in any kind of heavy match capacity due to him having undergone back surgery over the last couple of days. He's up and walking and on pace to a good recovery, however medical clearance for a 'real' match including bumps etc. would be unlikely between now and Mania. A light wrestling appearance, run in, promo or 'in the corner of' appearance, however, is still not impossible, although it's turned out the 'Hulk Hogan' twittering of his return at WM 25 was an imposter.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


A day late but otherwise as promised - click the entry's heading to listen. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Raw last night was pretty good, although solidifying some things I think we could have already seen coming.

For example, we knew pretty well Shawn Michaels would get the shot at the Undertaker, not Vladimir Kozlov.

We knew Randy Orton would choose to challenge Triple H for his title - I even suspected he might try to 'swerve' and choose someone else initially before picking H, which he ultimately did. Excellent mic work by H by the by, reminding us that he's 'not a nice guy'.

Jimmy Snuka was not a great participant as Chris Jericho's 'legend of the week' to beat up, but Jericho worked twice as hard to make it passable and did quite well I think. Great job and I'm interested to see who he ultimately ends up working with at the end of this angle.

Kane entering the Money in the Bank match is a surprise, I expected Rey Mysterio to win. Not necessarily an unpleasant surprise they always need one biggish guy who doesn't seem to belong, just a surprise.

I'm not thrilled they gave away the John Cena-Edge match. I'm hoping they go a different route now with WM since they just gave away what I expected to be one of the main events - I also hope that route isn't Big Show-Edge. I think that would be a bit of a clunker world title bout, with one of Mania's best streaks vs. one of its worst.

This Raw was not terrible nor great, which is OK with 4 weeks to go until Mania and a lot of time to build, and a lot already built, but not OK to sustain much longer. I know WWE clued in about a month to six weeks ago that this WM was becoming predictable and has been scrambling to make it more surprising, and that's great - but you also need a show to sell, especially one this big.

Unless they're thinking Mania's silver anniversary sells itself.

Bottom line: no complaints so far and I'm glad they've tried some new things. It's now time to lock in and cement some of the loose ends they've been chasing down. And I know some of those things, they're still working on negotation-wise (Mickey Rourke or Hulk Hogan, for example). And that's fine; we're just getting to the point now of confirm, or move on to Plan B. No complaints until now, but I expect to see some more concrete build in the next four weeks, to a strong finish in Houston at WM 25.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This n That

So ITVR won't be up this week - sorry guys it has just gotten away from us. But I promise it will be back next week, on time and as good as ever. Thanks again so much for your patience.

Meanwhile though there's been plenty to talk about in wrestling this week! Let's start with ...


  • Raw was actually stronger than it's been in a long time. Vicki Guerrero has been named interim general manager of Raw while Stephanie McMahon is out injured, and her promo with Edge and John Cena was fabulous. Their appearance on Smackdown, as well, also worked. Chris Jericho continued his desecration of legends by beating up Ricky Steamboat (who will be inducted this year into the Hall of Fame by Ric Flair, by the way); good work from both of them. Shawn Michaels will face Vladimir Kozlov for the right to fight the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, which is interesting and which I hope Shawn wins (unless he's to be in th Money in the Bank Ladder Match - the first participant of which is CM Punk, as of this show). Overall a really, really good show, and the Legacy's act of being scared of Triple H, and his beatdown of them at the end of Raw, was also great, although harkening back to the days when the Triple One dominated Monday nights, and was often the last sight we'd see as Raw went off the air). Nonetheless great show; my only concern is for the nasty bump Jamie Noble took; and I wish him a rapid recovery as he seemed to be getting something of a push going into Wrestlemania.
  • Smackdown was very intimately tied to Raw, as it has been these last few weeks: John Cena's appearance on SD to challenge Edge and Vicki Guerrero again worked; it was nice to see him make a rare appearance on the blue brand. It was also interesting to see Vladimir Kozlov beat the Undertaker here - that tells me that he won't be facing Taker at Mania as I doubt they'd give that match away for free, but it still makes him look strong as he heads into losing to Shawn Michaels next week. The Hardys not fighting this week would usually tick me off, as an advertised match the WWE swerved, but (1) it should never have been offered on free TV in the first place, and (2) go figure, but the Boyz saved that disappointment with some excellent mic/acting work from both of them. I can't wait for these two to face off at the Granddaddy of them All, WM 25.

More important though, there have been some major ...

  • Probably the biggest news here is that the Independent Contractor case that several ex-employees (oops ... contractors) had filed against the WWE. For those not familiar with the suit, or WWE's employment methods, wrestlers are not considered employees of the company (which would provide them with a more stable position, benefits, a salary even if injured, etc.). They are independent contractors, which means they are basically responsible for themselves. Which would be well and good, if it weren't for the fact WWE is very tight about those contracts; you work for WWE? You don't make appearances anywhere else, or make money outside of their auspices without their permission, etc. You don't work on your own schedule and make your own deals. You are effectively an employee. On that front, given this was a potential first step towards job security, benefits, and a better working environment for wrestlers, this was a sad week for wrestling.
  • I mentioned Ric Flair's birthday a couple entries ago - the day after was his son Reid's 21st birthday. I can only imagine the partying being done by the Flair family with two such important milestone birthdays, considering the reputation of good ole Naitch.
  • Lastly, in a WTF story, John Graziano's father was arrested this week. Graziano, for those who don't remember, was the Iraq veteran in the car with Nick Hogan when he crashed it; he's been in a vegetative state in hospital ever since. Well his father was arrested this week and charged with attempting to put a hit out on both his wife and Linda Hogan. Wow ... perhaps the Hogans' assessment of the Graziano family wasn't so far off after all. As if this situation could get any worse or more tragic.

And that's it - before signing off however I want to recommend an interview with Bret Hart that was conducted last week. Very interesting stuff, in which he discusses his relationship with Vince McMahon, his role in helping the younger generation of his family coming up in the business, his book, and his openness to talking now to Shawn Michaels about Montreal at this stage in his life. A very good listen which can be found on the Elevation Radio Show at - check it out.

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