Saturday, May 30, 2009

Smackdown and a few other thoughts

I actually caught the 2nd half of SD in its entirety last night which is more than I have in a few weeks so I want to discuss what I thought of it, but first a couple short notes from yesterday/today:

  • Ken Kennedy was released yesterday by the WWE, after his in-ring 'comeback' from injury on Monday, and featuring in WWE Films' 'Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia' earlier this year. I think Kennedy was a bankable star with a future, who really wasted his talents and potential by testing positive on a drug test only weeks after going out and skewering Chris Benoit for the 'personal choices' he'd made in his life in terms of substance abuse, as well as frequent injuries, and a very open, warts-and-all interview style of late in which he has badmouthed Vince McMahon and the WWE. It's a shame such a talented all-round wrestler in-ring and on-mic had to be released, but obviously this working relationship had been dysfunctional for some time, and I'm more surprised they made him a highlight of Monday's Raw than that they released him.
  • "The Golden Greek" John Tolos died at the age I believe of 76 in California. A wrestling legend in that state, Tolos' main national exposure came during a run as "The Coach" in WWE, managing Mr. Perfect towards the end of his last Intercontinental Title reign, and the midcard tag team Beverly Brothers. I'm too young to remember his contributions to the California wrestling scene, including a storied feud with Freddie Blassie, and mainly remember his run as Coach, but nonetheless as always, my condolences to the Tolos family and friends.
In terms of Smackdown - short hits: they progressed the Umaga-CM Punk feud well, didn't waste too much time on the Divas (and now I know why I tuned into SD last week to see two women rolling around in talcum powder! - my life is complete!), and the angle with the egotistical heels Edge and Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio, with Jericho jumping Mysterio and essentially a 2-on-1 on Jeff Hardy which left him lying, was a strong way to promote both of these upcoming matches at Extreme Rules. Definitely interested in the Smackdown offerings on this PPV, and the Raw side isn't looking half bad either. A good card coming up I think.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ITVR Cancelled This Week

Not a whole lot going on in the world of wrestling - the Denver Debacle was over, I'm in the (apparently) minority opinion along with Ari that this week's Raw was entertaining, if not exactly 'high art', the Hogans continue their war of words in divorce court, Ric Flair will most likely begin wrestling again overseas ...

We'll check out Smackdown tomorrow and maybe do an abbreviated show sometime over the weekend, but without a whole lot of news, the time it takes to find music, recall all the details of Raw enough to discuss them, uploading, etc. isn't worth it to give a half-hour show at most, and probably more like 15 mins. this week. We'd spend more time prepping and uploading than we'd spend actually broadcasting.

Having said that though at some point over this summer I'm pleased to announce we WILL be going live, which will give us the opportunity again to look for guests, and inspire us to watch more wrestling to have more of the on-air product to talk about at the very least. Meanwhile, next week is the week of Extreme Rules, so be sure and continue to check back here, and we'll be back on Wednesday as usual with our predix for that PPV, our thoughts on Smackdown and Raw, etc. And I'll continue to blog regularly as usual.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lame us ...

So ITVR didn't go up tonight - Little Tyke has been providing for some tiring days with teething and growing pains and not liking to be alone all of a sudden (ie in his crib, in his room). Don't feel too bad about this as only two weeks of the last 6 or 8 have been canceled or late - still consistent enough generally to look into going live at some point this summer - but by way of explanation.

Nonetheless, never fear, we'll be back up and running tomorrow with our ITVR podcast - probably a shortened one as it's basically been a quiet week in the world of pro wrestling. Be sure and join us then, right here In This Very Ring.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is an entry I meant to put up yesterday but I had computer troubles -> anyone on my Facebook is aware I had to do a reformat. But regardless - my thoughts on Raw in no particular order:

  • I think the handling of the Denver Nuggets situation was better than I expected; yes it was repeated throughout the show and yes it was cheesy; but not as bad as I thought it would be and it was very self-consciously, what it was. Vince poked as much fun at himself, at the Lakers and at other teams as at Kroenke and the Nuggets; although honestly, if my first name were Enis (rhymes with ...) I would not mess with someone like Vince McMahon, who has THAT sense of humour and a worldwide vehicle on which to exhibit it.
  • I've enjoyed Brian Kendrick's auditioning of tag team partners these last couple of weeks; entertaining. Ringing the bell just before he was about to hit Festus was predictable but still funny. I'm wondering who he will finally settle on as a partner.
  • I enjoyed Mr. Kennedy's return; I was hoping for/expecting a bigger name like Triple H or Shawn Michaels to reward LA's loyalty to the WWE and their stepping up to host Raw, but Kennedy's always entertaining as well.
  • Santino Marella's match and angle were amusing; he vs. Vicki in a hogpen match should be amusing enough although as Ari pointed out ... who will end up in the pen? My money is on Vicki, as Santino is obviously meant to be seen as a face these days.
Overall a good Raw; yes very juvenile and reliant upon kitsch and humour (Goldust doing Jack Nicholson? Really?), but more entertaining than I expected, and they still managed to put some attention on the upcoming PPV despite this week's detour. Not bad, all things considered.

Tune in for Ari's and my discussion on all this and much more tomorrow, on our podcast of In This Very Ring.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Owen Hart

I know I mentioned this on In This Very Ring Thursday, and the anniversary of Owen Hart's death was yesterday (I was out of town) but I did want to take a moment to remember him. He was a man who everyone in the wrestling business respected and liked - how many can say that, in an industry where even the 'good guys' can whine, politic and hold grudges? He was good at what he did - great even - and yet he wanted out; wanted to do something which allowed him to spend more time with his family, provided him more security and safety, more time at home. And yet he must have loved it somehow, to have stuck with it.

I doubt he loved the last stupid stunt he was asked to do - and it's sad that we remember a man so full of life, on the anniversary of his death. But in a decade where way too many wrestlers have left us way too young, it remains Owen for whom I feel the most strongly 'Didn't deserve to go out like that', and who, in the end, I miss the most. Eddie Guerrero might have seemed the biggest waste; Chris Benoit might have seemed the most shocking and tragic; Owen Hart's was the most pointless and the just plain saddest; robbing us of a performer, but more importantly, his family of a husband and father.

I'm not going to deter the discussion here with the politics that attend his memory to this day - the WWE and Owen's fans wanting to remember his professional contributions with a Hall of Fame recognition, and his wife's hatred of the wrestling industry and her husband's professional legacy as a member of the Hart family, preventing such an honour from occuring. As a wrestling fan, I mourn Owen as well, feel he couldn't have hated the wrestling industry as much as Martha claims to have stayed in it so long, and I feel that either way he deserves to be recognized for his life's work as a professional, in an industry where he was so loved by his peers; however I am completely understanding of Martha's feelings towards wrestling as the industry which also robbed her of her husband and her children of their daddy, and after many, many happy years together he unquestionably loved her, too; no one knew him better, and she is the keeper of his legacy and of his children's memory. She has the right to do with that as she pleases.

I would just like to say here, however, in my own private and personal way, that Owen Hart, as a human being and a wrestler both, will always be a Hall of Famer to me, and will always watch over his family, and the fans he so clearly loved to entertain. I think he would be saddest that his ultimate legacy ended up dividing the very people his wonderful personality had served to unite; and hopefully we can remember him as someone who loved both his wife and children, AND his birth family and the sport/entertainment industry he so excelled at. We are united in grief, and in his memory. On this day, let us remember that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


A day late and a dollar short but here - re-recorded to discuss today's press conference and updates about Monday's Raw.

Click the entry heading for a listen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


As per the previous entry, I wanted to add this ESPN interview w/Vince McMahon. Vintage Vince and sums up the story in a nutshell from his perspective.

We might re-record ITVR tomorrow if anything interesting comes out of his presser from the Hard Rock in NYC. Be sure and tune in.

Tech Difficulties/Raw Relocated

Definitely a reason to look into going live in earnest for In This Very Ring -

recorded our show (albeit a short and not terribly newsy one as, as I say, we haven't followed wrestling this week as we usually do), but uploader not working. I'll try to get it up tomorrow. Meanwhile though, wanted to address here the biggest bit of news this week, which I touched on in an earlier post.

Raw was scheduled for this coming Monday at the Pepsi Centre in Denver; however with the Nuggets playing the Lakers in an NBA conference final, the arena was double booked. Now - while the threat of the cancellation of Raw must have sucked for Vince McMahon, always a lemonade-out-of-lemons-creating champ, he huffed and puffed and talked up the Lakers, and got a relocation to LA for Monday's show. He's also pulled a few upcoming shows from Denver, calling this whole thing a fiasco.

I must agree, but I also must admit that I'm a wrestling fan with zero interest in basketball; I suppose to the general populations the playoffs of a 'legit' sport might end up taking precedence over an event that I think has a bigger niche than many believe, but still more of a niche audience than Vince McMahon cares to talk up. Nonetheless, from a business perspective, I DO believe that the Nuggets organization and the Pepsi Centre should cover any costs incurred via this relocation (refunds, a certain amount of merch $$$, etc.).

But more on that during tomorrow's broadcast - as well as at least a general discussion of Judgement Day, Raw, and already how Extreme Rules (WWE's next PPV, now 2 1/2 weeks away) is shaping up. Tune in then.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ITVR tomorrow night

Just a note that our reax to Raw and Judgement Day will be on ITVR tomorrow - as we did not see JD and only part of Raw (it was a tiring and busy couple of days), we're going to try to catch up on them this evening/tomorrow and fit them all into the show. I promise my blogging will be more update-ful after tomorrow's show - it's been a busy week or two, which follows a not-very-newsworthy few weeks.

But as I say tune in tomorrow where as well as the PPV and Raw we will be discussing

- The Denver Nuggets' double booking of the Pepsi Centre for Raw and NBA playoffs.
- ROH coming to Toronto
- Anything else that comes up in the next 24 hours.

Please stay tuned and I apologize for not following wrestling as I usually do this week. But the SHOW will go on! :D Take care. Be well.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Judgement Day

My apologies guys - we uncharacteristically missed tonight's PPV (although with a very strong card but no title changes, it sounds like it can be described as an excellent show from a wrestling standpoint that was basically missable from a storyline standpoint, minus the surprise return of Ric Flair to assist Batista in his match against Randy Orton and Matt Hardy's interference in the Jeff Hardy-Edge match). It's a long story involving an attempt to see the show at a movie theatre, which ended up being too loud for our baby who we foolishly carted along w/us.

Be sure and check out some of the sites at the side - particularly and, for some of the best expert- and fan-feedback on last night's show, and I'll comment on what I do see/hear about it, plus Raw, tomorrow night, with my apologies. In the meantime, be well.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


We were sort of watching SD late last night out of the corner of our eyes but I just want to say it was a strong show - great opener, plus Edge vs. Chris Jericho is a PPV calibre match but it also makes sense that SD couldn't house these two egos very long without them clashing. I won't speak to a lot of the Divas/backstage stuff as that's largely what I missed, but the in-ring work was top-notch; strong main event players bolstered by a great midcard = a great wrestling show as Ari and I have discussed this week. I'm looking forward to SD's offerings on tomorrow's Judgement Day PPV.

I also wanted to plug that I just found out Ring of Honour is coming to Toronto in July (I'll bet hardcore fans have known this for ages). Lance Storm is coming out of retirement for a match, and both Bret Hart and Ric Flair are expected to be onhand for autograph appearances. Ari and I will definitely be trying to check it out. Meanwhile ...

Be sure and check in then (or Monday latest) for the results from the PPV. Enjoy yuor Saturday night all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

New match added to Judgement Day

I'll post more on Smackdown tomorrow after I've had the opportunity to see it but for now I just wanted to mention, since Ari and I discussed Wednesday night on our podcast the possibility of their being one more match at Judgement Day, that Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison has been added to the card.

This match has very few direct repercussions, except reinforcing what we were speaking about on Wednesday in terms of the resurgence of strength in the midcard; Rey Mysterio is defending his Intercontinental title against Chris Jericho on Sunday night, and I think the winner of this match will go on to face the winner of that one. And on that score, Mysterio-Benjamin OR Jericho-Morrison could both be fun potential feuds. As I said - all of a sudden you have a hot 4-man race to the top of the midcard, which is kind of cool. And while I probably would have preferred a tag title defense with The Brian Kendrick finding a tag partner, or a women's title defense (or Diva's title), I think this makes sense; Kendrick now has some time to build his search for a partner instead of hotshotting it, and this match has the potential to be very good.

Judgement Day actually has a lot of potential as a PPV - as I said it sort of looks predictable on paper but the potential for great matches is high (Edge vs. Jeff Hardy; Randy Orton vs. Batista; Jericho vs. Mysterio), and even in terms of the predictability, once you get to really discussing the card you see most matches have the potential to go either way without being terribly shocking. In other words, I strongly predict both world champions (Orton and Edge) retaining, but it wouldn't be jaw-droppingly shocking to see a title switch, and either way, both should be good matches.

In sum a very potentially strong PPV - which probably means it will turn out sucking (WWE seems to perform better under lowered expectations). But either way, I'll be back tomorrow with a Smackdown review, and Sunday night/Monday during the day with my thoughts on Judgement Day. Meanwhile check back to Wednesday's ITVR podcast for Ari's and my predictions for the show, and enjoy your weekend (a long one here in Canada!).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ITVR Broadcast

Click the heading of this post to listen to this week's In This Very Ring.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In This Very Ring tomorrow night

There's much to talk about in the wrestling world this week and we will touch on them all tomorrow night (was going to do a Raw review and discuss the upcoming Wrestlemania 25 DVD but I've been sick and while recovered, I'm still a bit tired, so I think we can do that on the air tomorrow).

It's weird too because it feels like it's basically been quiet, no one thing meriting an article from me (minus Raw, which as I say at this point I'll leave to be discussed tomorrow night, give us something on air to talk about), but quite a few things taken in sum have actually made it a newsworthy weekend which I was too sick to cover (recovering now, but still tired).

So on that score, tune in tomorrow night to ITVR with my husband Ari and I where we will be discussing

- Smackdown and Raw this week and their uses of their new draftees
- The WM25 DVD release - what was included? What was not?
- Real world news, in particular the ongoing legal woes of the Hogans, and the Benoit's Dr. Astin who was just sentenced to 10 years in jail.
- And last but not least, Judgement Day predictions.

Sound like a packed show? It is - as I said we'll be discussing all the things I haven't had the energy to discuss these past few days, and which I'm still a *bit* too sluggish to do justice to right now. But we'll be back tomorrow night and better than ever after a couple of off weeks, so be sure and join us, then, tomorrow night, right here ... In This Very Ring.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Again didn't get to see a whole lot of this show but my thoughts:

I enjoyed the opening with Teddy Long introducing IC Champ Rey Mysterio as the new face of Smackdown; Jericho coming out saying that was, in fact, him, and Jeff Hardy coming out to remind both men that he'd won the fatal four-way last week to get the Judgement Day title shot at Edge's world title. He offered Jericho a match which, if he won, would allow him into the title match making it a triple threat. Jericho lost later on due to Mysterio's interference - Mysterio was in fact the last thing we saw before SD went off the air. Good focus on the IC belt and title holder, and with Mysterio (the "face of SD") and Chris Jericho (arguably WWE's MVP last year - sorry Montel lol) heading towards a feud over the belt, SD's midcard just got that much more enjoyable.

Add to this Shelton Benjamin feuding with a newly-face John Morrison, and Umaga heading into a feud with CM Punk by costing Punk shots against Edge left and right, SD arguably has the more interesting midcard than Raw right now, which has an at times unfortunate tendency to emphasize the main eventers at the expense of the midcard guys. But hey - vive la difference. I also enjoyed the Great Khali vs. Dolph Ziggler for being different from what I expected - figuring on a Khali squash, Khali won by DQ only because Ziggler hit him with a chair. Ziggler walked away from the ring on his own power, laughing no less - how many Khali opponents can say that?

Definitely some weak points in the show - mostly involving the Divas, and I think Morrison-Charlie Haas could have been more entertaining given the wrestlers involved also - but basically a highly passable show over all - I'd grade it a solid B.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ITVR - in brief

Click heading to listen. :) Have a good night tout le monde. Hearts.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Highlights - Vince McMahon chairing shareholders

Usually Linda McMahon does the task of addressing WWE shareholders every quarter, however this time around the Chairman of the Board himself, Vincent Kennedy McMahon, did so. some highlights of his discussion, and my thoughts on them:

  • Playboy is interested in continuing its working relationship with the WWE in terms of using Divas in its magazine; Vince McMahon however says WWE declined this year, and intends to for the foreseeable future, due to the new 'PG' rated product WWE has been working towards putting forward. I see where Vince is coming from here and what I disagree with is moreso the more family-friendly direction Vince purports to be going in; not only does it cost him potential cross-promotional deals like Playboy, with non-family friendly content such as Randy Orton's attack on Stephanie McMahon continuing to play out on WWE television, Vince isn't exactly reaping a whole lot of benefit from that gravy train either; as much as the Divas have become more wrestling-and-comedy focused than smut focused, and John Cena has toned down his act to the further disgust of the boo birds, wrestling is an industry which inherently pushes the envelope and especially with its seemy underbelly exposed to the world in recent years I can tell you as a fan and new mom both myself, I wouldn't let my young son watch wrestling for some years. So Vince might as well refocus himself on the adult audience and work more towards gearing the more kid-friendly characters (Cena, Rey Mysterio) either to a more family-friendly program (maybe Superstars, reminiscent of the more innocent, G-rated Hulk Hogan wrestling days), or spice them up a bit to appeal more to teens and adults.
  • Vince McMahon is currently working on a Wednesday night show, as it is the only night of the week on which there is no WWE programming. He feels WWE being on nightly is not overkill, but a good reminder to channel surfing fans that the product is out there to be watched, and will make it easier for more casual, fair-weather fans to keep up with storyline on a night of their choosing. Makes sense until one considers the brand split - unless the Wednesday nigth show is non-brand specific like Superstars, one still needs to watch Raw to know what's happening on Raw, and Smackdown to know what's happening on SD etc. I wouldn't watch Superstars if we did get it here in Ontario, and I wouldn't watch a Wednesday night program; as it is I only consistently watch Raw, and Smackdown when I think of it and there's nothing else to do.
  • Tying together those last two points, it was revealed Vince McMahon is also working on a potential reality show, although no time soon; the interest is in a Tough Enough type concept, but he feels the Divas would work better in a reality-type show. He says it's expensive to produce the kind of show he would want to and that's an obstacle right now. Good. Let's hope it stays that way! :D Although ... I suppose it would keep the Diva Search off my actual wrestling programming ... ;)
  • Vince spoke of two international issues; one is the likely cancellation of a Mexican tour later this month due to the Swine Flu, which is understandable under the circumstances, and the second is the concept of an overseas Wrestlemania. Vince pointed out, understandably, he has to cater to the North American audience, but would want a PPV such as Wrestlemania to be live, thus making it hard to have it on at any reasonable hour overseas without the risk of spoilers etc. He referred to the Summerslam at Wembley Stadium as an example of a great show, but poor business decision.
  • Vince also spoke of his current concept of ECW, saying he'se happy with the product, though not the ratings. He doesn't envision it as a farm team, but rather the farm team's first step on to the larger stage and into the spotlight. It is a younger, hungry brand with lots of talent and once they're seasoned they'll have more of an opportunity on Smackdown or Raw. All I can wonder is what Christian Cage was thinking about that. ;)
Happy weekend everyone.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Smackdown Thoughts

Didn't follow the whole show tonight-got some of the feedback from online-but here are my quick thoughts on the show, which aired from Madison Square Garden:

  • The opening promo between Chris Jericho, Edge and CM Punk was great - no surprise Punk is passable on the mic but I'm impressed he could hang with two of the best promo artists in the biz right now. This led to his non-title match with Edge, where Punk got a clean pin as promised and cashed in his MITB immediately, as promised if he beat Edge in the first match; I assume a disqualification finish due to Umaga's return and interference; this makes CM Punk the first competitor to cash in the Money in the Bank and lose (as opposed to Ken Kennedy, the first MITB winner to not come out with a title as he put his briefcase on the line and lost - a fact often forgotten by WWE storytelling).
  • Jericho meanwhile spun out into a match with Kane, Jeff Hardy etc. for a #1 contendership title shot at Edge - Jeff Hardy won, causing Jericho to threaten to quit which caught John Morrison's attention and led to a brawl. A Jericho-Morrison feud could be a step back for Jericho, but a step up for Morrison, and as long as they don't damage Jericho too badly to elevate Morrison this could be a feud that leaves Jericho unhurt while solidifying Morrison as an upper-midcard guy and potential main eventer.
  • Speaking of Morrison - great match with Shelton Benjamin. Too bad it was apparently cut short for a Diva's danceoff/catfight of some kind hosted by Cryme Tyme. Only low point of the show; MVP vs. Dolph Ziggler was a disappointment too, but Sherri Shephard of the View was surprisingly entertaining, and sadly the best part of this match which should have been better than it was.
Overall a strong and I feel newsworthy show - WWE pulled out a lot of stops for the Gah-den, and as most of the Wrestlemania news was made on Raw due to the high ratings, it was good to see storyline progressing on Smackdown again as well. While there were no actual title changes despite two title matches, and the middle of the show was a bit drecky, it IS free TV, world title changes aren't to be expected, or US title changes when they were so recently won; overall a strong return to form for SD that if they keep it up (especially in the vein of a Morrison-Jericho feud, and Edge and CM Punk doing as strong work as they did tonight), could surpass Raw as the "A" show again in short order.

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