Thursday, April 30, 2009

Condolences to Elix Skipper

A former TNA X division wrestler whose 21 year old son was shot dead today. A suspect is currently in custody. So sad and senseless when such things happen. My heart goes out to the family.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No ITVR tonight, and RIP Playboy Buddy Rose

Sorry guys - between appointments, spring cleaning, and errands this week in general and today in particular, and then trying to take it easy and recover this evening, our time got away from us - it's now 11pm and we haven't even so much as set up a run sheet for our show. And as of tomorrow we have out of town guests and lots of stuff on the weekend coming up as it's our baby boy's naming ceremony. In the next couple of days I will do my best to at LEAST get up my solo show/audio blog kind of thing that I try to do on the weeks we don't get to a full-on ITVR, and we might yet find some time to do a full podcast - but today was the main day we had clear in the evening and it just kind of disappeared.

Meanwhile, however, I want to express my condolences to the family of Playboy Buddy Rose, a wrestler from the 1980s and early 1990s who passed away today. The era I watched him, he was glorified 'enhancement talent' for WWE shilling some 'Blow Away' weightloss powder, but I know he was a former AWA tag team champion, a very successful wrestler prior to that, seconded by such 'managers to the stars' as Bobby Heenan and Sherri Martel. A tribute to him can be found at He will be missed.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reid Flair, Backlash and Raw

Well as we've discussed, there hasn't been much going on in the wrestling world of late; even the onscreen product, while exciting as it was Wrestlemania time and the draft, was in quite a holding pattern from No Way Out on, as all champs retained their belts at Mania, no real major heel or face turns have occurred, and the draft wasn't truly in effect until last night.

Not to say that a holding pattern is bad - some excellent matches have come out of the last few months, and a few stories have been pretty well told (Shawn Michaels and Undertaker covers both of those requirements, Randy Orton and Triple H's story was well-told at least at the start). However, once we've been done saying 'another excellent job by Wrestler X', there hasn't been much to say.

But all that changed this weekend/Monday night; Backlash was arguably a more newsworthy and exciting PPV than Wrestlemania from an overall perspective, and Monday night basically followed up on that really well. In the offscreen world, the youngest son of a legend was also busted for drug use. While we're already back at the eve of a new ITVR broadcast, I don't want to get into any of these in mad detail, I want to touch on all three stories of the last few days briefly.

Starting with Reid Flair:
Reid Flair, son of wrestling legend Ric Flair, was arrested this weekend for drug possession (felony, as the drug was heroin), DUI, and driving on a suspended license (due to a previous DUI). As a young man who recently made his professional wrestling debut, and already carries around a lot of pressure as the 'son of the Nature Boy', this kind of publicity and setback is the last thing Reid Flair needs. Hopefully he gets the help he needs getting his life back on track or else he risks his shot at the big time in a big way in terms of his reputation as a liability. I wish the Flair family luck in dealing with this situation.

I'll cover these together, as really they were two parts to the same story. Ari and I will cover this in a more blow-by-blow fashion shortly: but for now the highlights by storyline:

  • Triple H/Batista/Shane McMahon vs. Legacy: a decent match, although I hope they keep Triple H offscreen awhile to sell the kick to the head here, but moreso to refresh his character. As small as the segment of the audience might have been cheering his being taken out on a stretcher and jeering him, they were vocal, and definitely representative of a certain segment of WWE's audience. I wish they'd done the same thing with John Cena, but more on that later. Congratulations to Randy Orton on his reign. His match with Batista should be good at Judgement Day, and I'm interested in their furthering of the dynamic between Batista and Triple H as well, as Batista could be argued to have cost Triple H his title when Triple H admonished him for wielding a chair. They kept Shane McMahon in the spotlight Monday night as well, without ramming him as a non-wrestler down anyone's throats. Good work.
  • MVP had a good match with Randy Orton; that didn't hurt anyone and in fact was a great start on Raw for MVP. The other Raw debut from the draft, Miz, could have had an equally good start by challenging John Cena, if Cena hadn't come out later on to distract Big Show and cost him his match with Batista for the #1 contendership to Randy Orton's title. Miz calling out an injured John Cena he knew wouldn't show week after week would have been entertaining, and could have gotten Cena some fan appreciation back when he finally did show; instead it looks like he won't even be taking time off to sell the major injury Big Show inflicted on him by throwing him through the spotlight and costing him his title defense to Edge (an amazing spot by the way). Instead as I said we have Cena still on TV, and Big Show continuing to look stupid by allowing Cena to dstract him on Monday night into a countout. They've now both cost each other titles/title shots. On the plus side, by GM Vicki telling Show she wanted a strictly professional relationship going forward, I think they effectively pulled the plug on this storyline, which makes sense with Edge and his wife on different brands now.
  • We can save much of the rest for tomorrow - the lacklustre response to the Primo Brothers' debut on Raw, the funny-ness that was Santina declaring his love for JR at Backlash and Hornswoggle macking it up with the Bella twins under the ring before revealing Santina's 'bits', etc. but as I say tune in to In This Very Ring tomorrow for all that. The only thing I want to add in the meantime is a congratulations to Jack Swagger and Christian on a very good match at Backlash, and Christian on his ECW title win. After a Mania at which no titles changed hands, for all 3 of them to change hands made Backlash at least a newsworthy show. Kudos to all involved. Efforts were more or less succesful as we'll discuss tomorrow, but they were still all worthy efforts. Yay.
  • Also ... where on Earth is Shawn Michaels still?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New ITVR Post

Click the post heading to listen and enjoy. XO

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Raw thoughts and ITVR note

First the ITVR note - due to a prior commitment tomorrow night we will be broadcasting Thursday evening. Be sure and tune in then for us chewing over Raw thoughts in more depth than I'll be going into here, as well as Backlash predictions.

Meanwhile - some Raw thoughts to tide us over:

  • I enjoyed John Cena and Edge both last night - I find it interesting that John Cena's on the receiving end of the boo birds again despite the fact nothing has changed in his gimmick between his comeback (when he got some major pop going on) and now. But he delivered a decent promo and a decent match; Edge's interference at the end of the match and the 10-count which Cena didn't answer was effective in pushing the importance of the Last Man Standing stipulation in their match at Backlash.
  • Similarly WWE did a good job playing up the dynamics between the Legacy and the Shane McMahon-Triple H-Batista team throughout Raw. Some signs of Ted Dibiase Jr. doubting his leader Randy Orton, as well as some hints of dissention - as well as of things being smoothed over - on the face team. It will be interesting to see what's red herring and what's honest foreshadowing of heel and face turns to come - Ari and I will discuss that in more depth tomorrow - but the fact that I as a longtime wrestling fan can't tell if any turns are going to happen, and if so which ones, I think that's pretty impressive.
  • The Santina-Santino segment was comic gold, with Santino talking 'live' to his 'twin sister', where the tape ended up speeding up and he spoke of her love for Red Bull, etc. Good stuff. I can't wait to see the inevitable kiss between Santina and the Great Khali.
  • I'm glad the Raw announcers addressed the non-enforced draft situation I've complained about a couple of times, and I'm at least somewhat appeased that my suspicion was correct - it's mainly because Backlash will blur draft boundaries anyway. Hopefully they are back in full force come Monday, and brand lines are again crossed only in special circumstances. Otherwise there's really no reason to continue with the brand extension.
  • Lastly - I enjoyed Chris Jericho's promo, Rick Steamboat's responding promo, and I'm looking forward to their match at Backlash. A bit disappointed after the response/sendoff Steamboat got the other week that he's getting back in the ring, but this is hardly a Ric Flair return - he made no promises of not comign back, and he can still go. It should be an interesting, and passable, match.
We'll talk about all this and much more in depth on Thursday in our podcast right here In This Very Ring, folks. Be sure and tune in then. Be well.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ted Dibiase Boys and Girls Club Speech

Ted Dibiase Sr. (the Million Dollar Man) gave a speech at the Boy's and Girl's Club this weekend and it was very interesting. You can find a report on it at Jason Powell's prowrestling-dot-net:

Of particular interest are his comments on Randy Orton's maturing process in recent years, and his son's imminent face turn; despite being a long-tenured employee of the WWE, I can't imagine Ted's spoiling his son's heel run going over too big in the office. Then again, it could be no big thing.

Anyway the report's an interesting read and I encourage you to check it out. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Not much to write about

So missed Smackdown this week, and there hasn't been a whole lot of 'real-world' news as we said on ITVR Wednesday. I've actually been blogging over on my main blog more than here as there hasn't been much to say about wrestling.

I am going to try to catch SD on Youtube or via download at some point in the next day or two as it sounds like it was solid - the Hardys got back onto the right foot with their storyline, Big Show had a good match w/Jeff Hardy that Matty interfered in; Undertaker did a good match with Shelton Benjamin, MVP fought with Dolph Ziggler in a surprisingly good match that put Dolph over without damaging MVP too badly ... Triple H and Randy Orton had a decent exchange, although not enough to save this storyline which started wtih such promise and seems to be flagging quickly ... although I'm intrigued enough at the dissention on the face team and have to wonder if Shane McMahon or Batista will be supporting the Evolution side of things as of next Sunday ...

Anyway, my only real complaint from the sounds of it - and I guess it's somewhat understandable as SD was taped Tuesday, before the supplemental draft we spoke of Wednesday night - is that the night right after the draft, the draft seemed irrelevant as stars from all brands made appearances. Hopefully now that the draft is solidly behind us, we'll get some more normalcy in the brand split as of next week - although I know some crossover will occur as Backlash was planned pre-draft, and provides fall out from the draft-immune Wrestlemania. And in order to balance out the world title scene - both of which are on Raw at the moment - I know that either CM Punk as the MITB holder, or Edge as a Smackdown wrestler, will need to claim John Cena's title soon (I assume it's he who will lose it as the other champ is Triple H, whose opponent, Randy Orton, is also on Raw).

Anyway hopefully next week will continue to be interesting onscreen while quiet off - it makes for poor blogging but as 'real world' wrestling news rarely tends to be good we're probably better off without it. I'll be around for Raw thoughts on Monday, and ITVR Wednesday, and Backlash predictions going into the weekend - a busy week ahead so please stay tuned. Peace.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Short but sweet this week - 45 mins. approx. Click the entry heading to listen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Draft last night, ITVR tomorrow

Hi guys - I meant to write a nice long entry on Monday's draft lottery and the Raw show in general, but the day kind of got away from me. For now I'll generalize by saying, the show was happily wrestling heavy (which the draft show tends to be, as drafts depend on match results, it usually means a 9-or-10 match card at least), and while a few matches could have stood to be longer (Rey Mysterio-Evan Bourne; Miz-Kofi Kingston), they were mostly good, relatively few clunkers (and the ones which were clunky were entertaining, such as Santino Marella-Great Khali). It was disappointing after a show built around the draft, that the final match was not a draft; it was also disappointing that someone other than Randy Orton's Wrestlemania opponent didn't get a shot at him next week. But overall an entertaining show with a few surprising spots.

Ari and I will talk about Raw, and wrestling in general, in more detail at our usual time tomorrow, right here on our podcast In This Very Ring. Be sure and check it out. Until then, be well.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


It's late and I'm tired so only some very quick 'Smackdown Highlight' thoughts for the night.

  • Good wrestling tonight - two 10 minute-plus matches between (1) the Colons and Rhodes/Dibiase, and (2) Matt vs. Jeff Hardy. Not usually a stretcher match fan (the Hardy stip), but these two pulled it off - insanity as usual. I question having Matt go over twice in a row but I guess they want Jeff to blow this feud off on PPV in some context. If that's the case though I don't know that I'd have given this match such a gnarly stip as stretchers. Nonetheless, good ring action.
  • Excellent promo between Edge and John Cena - Edge was surprisingly humble and respectful; they incorporated their brutal history well, and even convincingly made it seem more important than it probably actually is in the grand scheme of things - way to give their backlash feud some strength. This promo does lead me to suspect either a double-turn, or that they'll be going in different directions post-Backlash, thus making their match in 2 weeks a blowoff. Prediction for Monday's draft here and now: John Cena goes Smackdown, while Triple H goes Raw - that's where their feuds are, and that allows the two world titles to switch brands.
  • Glad Teddy Long is back as SD GM. He's a good, solid character who is interesting without chewing the scenery, as many GMs tend to be camera hogs or boring.
  • Two straight wrestling shows, no Shawn Michaels or Undertaker - I get these are their two vets who can almost get time off on demand, but given they were Wrestlemania's MVPs by far, to go a week without seeing either of them whatsoever doesn't quite seem appropriate.
  • Not in order here but not to be forgotten - I want to petition that Kofi Kingston get more recognition than he has. He's good in the ring, and this we've known awhile - he proved last night he is also good on the mic. This guy deserves a US or IC title run again and soon.
  • Lastly - and in the same 'minor, early in the show, but not to be forgotten' category - Santino Marella came down to the ring as himself - cut a promo on his sister - and was confronted by the Great Khali who wanted Santina on his kiss cam. When Santino did not produce her (as she is Santino himself, for those not watching this past week), Khali decimated Santino in seconds - as expected, and quite amusing.
Overall a solid show - looking forward even more to Monday's 3 hour Raw. Tomorrow is a non-computer day for me as I'm going to be out for the day celebrating Easter, but be sure and check in Monday (or Tuesday AM at the latest) for my thoughts on the Raw draft. And Wednesday, of course, for our ITVR podcast. See you next week, God bless, and have a wonderful Passover/Easter. XO

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

ITVR Broadcast

This week we're up basically on time - click the title to listen but ...

This show approaches two hours. Be sure to have the time set aside before checking it out. Otherwise enjoy. :)

Keep checking back here as always and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wrestlemania Thoughts

  1. I was disappointed to find out that the Tag Team Title Unifying match between Miz and Morrison vs. Carlito and Primo Colon would happen as a pre-show dark match instead of on the main Wrestlemania card - I was surprised, albeit not unpleasantly so, to find out Carlito and Primo had won, given what a push Miz and Morrison have gotten in recent months - but hopefully this pulls out into a decent feud that has some PPV exposure coming up.
  2. The Money in the Bank match was VERY good and easily the second-best match on the card to Shawn Michaels-Undertaker. Ari wishes it had been a bit longer and I can't disagree on merit - this kind of match does well to have a chance to simmer a bit. But if it would have been a tradeoff of length for quality, I'm satisfied with the match we got - and it doesn't hurt to remind folks that matches don't need to be 30 or 40 minutes to be successful, 4-star matches, as I'm afraid our measurement of match quality these days is associated with length (as we've been so deprived of it with the 3-5 minute standard of Raw matches). I was disappointed in the outcome as CM Punk didn't have the build I thought he should have if he were going to win (I expected a Christian or MVP win) - but that's something the coming weeks and months can correct.
  3. The Kid Rock concert was a fun old school trip down memory lane as he's provided the theme music for a few wrestlers and PPVs along the way - do I wish this could have maybe been shortened or cut in favour of the Colons-Miz/Morrison tag match? Yeah ... but it was fun enough. I'll just tie in the Diva battle Royal here while I'm at it, as they entered to Kid's music - I wish the women had gotten their own entrances, or at least the returning Divas. Women like Molly Holly and Sunny we haven't seen in years and I didn't even catch them before they were eliminated - I even missed Santino Marella in the ring until about halfway through the battle royal. I think some of these details might have done with a bit more attention. Again, something the Kid Rock show could have been abbreviated a bit to accomplish.
  4. That said - Santino winning was comic gold. I found it a bit silly and distracting that the commentators played dumb as to who he/she was, even after (s)he introduced him/herself as Santina Marella, and happening to have all the same tattoos as Santino - but it was funny nonetheless. I'm sure excellent detective work tonight will reveal his changing backstage or something, which we fans could tell all along. Silly - but I guess that's the WWE reality. My major disappointment about this match was the fact I'd expected Trish Stratus' return, and it wasn't provided. That said, I should have expected that when one spot was left and Santino was angling to get into the battle royal. That was my own overbuilt expectations and I fully admit that.
  5. JBL vs. Rey Mysterio was what it was - quick and made its point. JBL posted a blog over at WWE Universe today (you can connect through saying his retirement is legit, putting over the WWE, and saying that while he never says never, he has no business plans wrestling-wise going forward (no matches, commentary, GM stints, jumps to TNA). His goal had been for his career to last to WM25, he says in his blog, and he made it. For those who missed this 21-second match, JBL insisted he would win in the most dominant way imagineable, thus making history at Wrestlemania - Rey Mysterio, who's about half his size, managed to defeat him in seconds, following which JBL announced he was quitting. Not sure WM is the format for that kind of match, but I suppose they couldn't have done anything else after his bragging about handling Rey Mysterio handily. It's interesting to note we've had two WM retirements in a row - Ric Flair, and now JBL - and let me just say between that, and Trish Stratus' and Lita's back-to-back retirements, I think it's much better to go out a face (note to Shawn Michaels ...).
  6. Chris Jericho vs. Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat was exactly what I expected - a not terribly good match, though everyone involved did what they could, followed by a Jericho-Flair confrontation, and celebrity guest Mickey Rourke getting a few shots in before getting to take a bow with Ric Flair while Chris Jericho slunk away. I hope now that this is out of everyone's system Jericho can go on and challenge for a world title or at least Rey Mysterio's IC belt along the way now. Or perhaps even CM Punk for the Money in the Bank he just won - as the guy who created the match, that could create a neat little series on Jericho's way back up to being a main event heel.
  7. Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker was exceptional - ***** without a question, a half hour long match that proved these two forty-somethings can still go. No guys that age deserve to have the best match on any given card, but these two did and kudos to them. And with that, after the 12 months Shawn Michaels has provided the company - being part of at least 4 or 5 of the major storylines the company's been built around for the last year - I hope he gets a great title run - especially if what he says is true and he expects to retire shortly after next year's Mania at this point. He has been a major part of major feuds without letting his ego get in the way, and while he won the WM match with Ric Flair last year, and his feud with JBL, he has without complaint let Chris Jericho and Batista both get the better of him - a humble, appreciative, loyal HBK who has worked to make other top stars look good in recent months has come a long way, and deserves credit and his own spotlight before tuning up the band for the last time.
  8. The Triple Threat match between John Cena, Big Show and Edge was what I expected - it was good, and the love triangle didn't get too much in the way of things. Cena's entrance was the stupidest I've seen yet, but it was funny, and the match let go of some of the distractions that had been present in the buildup. John Cena's win was predictable but satisfying, it was the only way things could go while the other two were fighting for Vicki Guerrero's heart and not the World Heavyweight Title. No complaints per se - just this match, as well as the next one - was unfairly put after the match really everyone was looking forward to on this card - Michaels vs. Taker. On its own the match was sound - not a 5-star, but sound. It would have been more appreciated and had a hotter crowd earlier on the card.
  9. Ditto Triple H vs. Randy Orton - I know this is THE main event and the buildup for this was equivalent to that of Michaels-Taker; it didn't suffer so much from card placement as the match before this, and I don't begrudge Triple H wanting his moment of winning big at WM after handing out Mania title wins to Chris Benoit, Batista, John Cena and Randy Orton over the past 5 years. I just don't think Triple H inspires fans' imagination or emotion as much as Michaels-Taker does, as hard as he works for it, and the heat Randy Orton has can't carry a match where he's never REALLY in charge and Triple H's win was never really in jeopardy. I think this match would have been better received earlier on the card as well - or, if the main event, could have at least stood for some more nailbiting, back-and-forth action.
So those are my thoughts on the 25th edition of Wrestlemania - my final grade would be a B-ish 7/10. Which is very solid and respectable - it was an excellent PPV, and an OK Wrestlemania. It just didn't live up to what I would have imagined for Wrestlemania 25. Still - good effort from all involved, the guys and girls brought their A-games (with the possible exception of the somewhat lacklustre-seeming main event), and looking forward to Raw tonight, as WWE turns the page on a new year, and next week, for their Draft Lottery. Stay tuned and while you're at it, be sure and join me to follow all the action right here ... In This Very Ring.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Wrestlemania Weekend

So it is upon us ladies and gentlemen - Wrestlemania weekend. The festivities for today and tomorrow are as follows.

WWE Hall of Fame Ceremonies
This starts at 7:30pm Eastern on - the final hour will air around 11 or 11:30pm on USA Network. That's usually the hour that the 'big names' go in - ie Stone Cold Steve Austin this year. For my fellow Canadians, unfortunately The Score (our WWE provider) won't carry the televised portion of the HOF until tomorrow night at 5:00pm. That will be followed at 6pm by the WWE Experience which will carry us into ...

WWE Wrestlemania XXV
The twenty-fifth edition of Wrestlemania eminates from the Houston Reliant Centre. The main events are Triple H defending his WWE Title vs. Randy Orton, and Edge defending his World Heavyweight Title in a Triple Threat match vs. Big Show and John Cena. The sub-main event will be Shawn Michaels attempting to end the Undertaker's 16-0 Wrestlemania winning streak.

For the list of this year's inductees into the Hall of Fame, and Ari's and my predictions for Wrestlemania 25, please check out this week's edition of In This Very Ring, which is up in the previous post to this one, and please check back late tomorrow night/midday Monday for feedback and reaction to the Hall of Fame and Wrestlemania events. And for those who can't afford the Wrestlemania PPV payout, some great places to follow along in realtime include

Pro Wrestling Dot Net hosted by Jason Powell
World Wrestling Insanity hosted by James Guttman (not sure if this one will provide a live play by play but worth a shot if they do - good stuff)
The Pro Wrestling Torch hosted by Wade Keller
The Pro Wrestling Insider hosted by Dave Scherer
Wrestling Edge hosted by Amish Patel

Regardless of how immersed you get in the WM festivities, enjoy the weekend and stay tuned throughout the rest of the week for WM fallout on Raw and Smackdown, and a preview of next week's draft lottery ... yes it's THAT time of year again too! Cheers all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Sorry about the delay - we did record and upload this last night but the upload took longer than expected and we fell asleep.

As always click the title of this entry for the podcast. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WWE April Fool's Day Joke

WWE posted on Shopzone today a "17-0" T-shirt with "RIP HBK" on the back, potentially spoiling the result of one of their biggest WM matches this year. This, however, was revealed to be an April Fool's joke, as well as a report of Vicki Guerrero's pregnany.

Happy April Fool's day everyone - be sure and tune in for our 'go home' pre-Wrestlemania ITVR show tonight, should be posted late evening as (should be) usual. Cheers!

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