Sunday, December 25, 2011

Seasons Beatings ...

Amidst a busy month where I haven't posted as much as I'd have liked, I do hope everyone has still enjoyed their holiday season as much as we have here at In This Very Ring. We will be posting our Year In Review podcast very early in the New Year - call it Jan. 3 or 4 - and be back into a regular schedule after a very busy and unexpected couple of months. Be sure and stay tuned for one or two big announcements as well ... ITVR is in for quite the ride in 2012!!!

Merry Christmas from your friends at ITVR.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Programming Notes

Hi all,

So it has been a busier Holiday Season than anticipated, but this week we will be back in full force. So is the WWE, for that matter! Be sure and tune in tonight for a special 3-hour WWE Raw, featuring this year's Slammy Awards. This airs at 8pm ET in the States on USA Network, and, according to their website, it airs on the Score in Canada at 9pm ET - although you might want to check in at 8pm just to make sure that listing isn't in error - especially as it lists Raw as a 2-hour program where tonight it's 3.

Tomorrow night is a special on the USA Network from 9-11pm ET featuring WWE's annual 'Tribute to the Troops' program; always special. I'm not seeing this listed on the Score's website, and can't find where it might air in Canada, so I'm not sure if we get it here in the Great White North, but it's worth poking around for - let me know if you find anything so I can check it out.

Wednesday or Thursday this week Ari and I will air with a special ITVR episode making TLC pay per view predictions, as well as talking about the WWE (and possibly TNA) news of the week (Amy "Lita" Dumas arrested? Hulk Hogan and Ed "Brutus Beefcake" Leslie suing Hogan's ex-wife Linda?).

Thursday and Friday, as always, are respectively home to Impact! Wrestling (Thursday, 8pm ET, Spike TV) and Smackdown (Friday, 8pm ET, Syfy in the States, the Score in Canada), and Sunday is the TLC pay per view starting at 8pm ET. Next week all is back on its regular schedule; we will air Thursday or Friday with our year-end show featuring awards, reviews, and our thoughts on the roller coaster 'year that was' in the wrestling industry. :) And of course, as news breaks, I will pop back in and out to comment on it.

Be sure to catch all the action!

Sarah (and Ari)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Raw (and other) Thoughts

Hi guys,

Last week was busier than expected - in talking about how quiet the Holiday Season was looking I forgot the massive churchwide potluck I was organizing - but we will be up this week on ITVR either late Thursday or Friday evening, and of course I will post along the way. Meanwhile though last night's Raw was pretty good (minus some weak spots, such as the Diva's match as ever, and I could have done without the Kevin Nash-Santino Marella squash match) and I wanted to quickly share my thoughts on it.

First, I liked the thread through the show that the 4 potential #1 contenders to the WWE Title - Alberto del Rio, John Cena, the Miz and Dolph Ziggler, all had matches which, if they won, would guarantee their entry into the main event at TLC. Del Rio and the Miz did so; Ziggler lost his - I believe thanks to some awry interference by Jack Swagger if I sort of caught their post-match promo right but I was out of the room for those 5-10 minutes or so. But I always like having a consistent theme to tie the show together in that sense.

I also enjoy the dynamic between John Cena and Zack Ryder. I felt Ryder was a *bit* much this time - a bit of 'You wanted him so bad, we're rammin' him down your throats' - but still, it's an interesting dynamic set up with Cena as he gave up his own title shot to ensure Zack Ryder got his shot at Ziggler's US Title. Additionally, you know this is setting up a heal turn for one of them down the road - I'm guessing Cena - so it sets up some anticipation, on something they don't SEEM to be rushing through at this particular moment in time. I can appreciate that.

I also basically enjoyed the contract signing - a different flavour anyway as CM Punk acted as ultimate violence instigator as John Laurenaitis tried to keep the signing peaceful (yeah, right). His character as a useless tool continued to be developed nicely (Laurenaitis', not Punk's) as someone we can genuinely hate - always a good feature. :) Not a bad show all in all, with only a few aggravating moments, and some nice continuity. They still have two more Raws to set up for TLC, and I hope they make use of those - it could be a very good card if some of the players are angled right.


One -  I recommend strongly you check out Randy Orton's "Evolution of a Predator" DVD. I belatedly got to catch it this week. VERY good stuff, more interesting than I expected; this man's growth story is absolutely incredible.

Two - to US fans, WWE's annual Tribute to the Troops show is on USA Network next Tuesday night, I believe at 8 or 9pm; I will see if there is Canadian info, if it airs here and when etc. to share next time.

Three - lastly, congratulations to Kharma, who is currently on maternity leave from the WWE, on her engagement, as her fiance (and I'm assuming the proud daddy-to-be) proposed to her with a DIAMOND WRESTLING RING ... well, ring. :) Very ... I don't know. Cute, sweet or tacky. I'm working on that one.

Until next time, be well.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ITVR Podcast

Yes really! :)


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Goodbye to a Late-in-Life Wrestling Fan

My grandfather took to wrestling late in life. In fact, for the fifteen years or so that I enjoyed wrestling and he didn't, he used to make fun of me. Boxing was better, he said - it was real. THEY didn't stop their feet when they punched one another.

But somewhere in my early twenties he became a fan - and even more of one than I was at times! I was his 'go-to' girl if he had questions. We mourned Eddy Guerrero and the Benoit family together. One of my best memories with him was a weekend spent housesitting together while my grandmother attended a wedding; in a 48 hour period, we literally watched the entire 3-disc Undertaker's Deadliest Matches set. Hour upon hour of footage of his favourite wrestler. I tired of it before he did!

We never got to Wrestlemania together, as I promised him we would if it ever came back to Canada - in the time of his fandom, it never did, and he passed away last week after a long battle with a body long plagued by diabetes, heart problems, hip problems ... you name it. One of his last joys in life, as he lost mobility, vision and hearing, was wrestling. When I was no longer sure what to buy him for Christmases and birthdays - what he would enjoy - I bought him wrestling DVDs, which he watched by the hour, along with UFC (which I never got into myself).

Grampa's funeral was the reason for the lack of posting this week. Needless to say, he was more than worth it. And he will be missed very much by all who knew him. XOXO Grampa - go now in peace and may the love of God surround you everywhere you may go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Survivor Series Predictions

Due to some visitors, and a death in the family (RIP to my beloved Grampa Cal Wilson, a late-in-life wrestling fan but one of the biggest I've yet to meet) we were unable to get ITVR up this week - but with two hours to show time we did want to at least post our Survivor Series predictions before the show went on the air. We'll go match by match, with Ari's and my predictions beneath. And after this past week (with Little Tyke's birthday, my grampa's passing, and a heavy workload), things honestly SHOULD slow down now until the holidays at least, so we should be back to at least 2-3 postings a week if not more - and of course as we head into the Royal Rumble-Wrestlemania stretch, we always pick up our game (as does WWE, apparently lol).

So with no further ado ... Survivor Series Predix.

Divas Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Eve in a Lumberjill Match

Who cares? If this weren't about to become a cluster-mess, I'd be fine with this, but with EVERY diva involved ... OK I'll pick Beth Phoenix and leave it at that.
I think Beth too, they're not particularly pumping Eve, so I don't see any reason other than that for a quick turnaround.

United States Champion Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison

I'm going with Ziggler here - they've only just started building JoMo up again after months of a losing streak; and while they're acknowledging said streak is a good sign, he's just not there yet, and I don't think they're ready to take the US title off Ziggler and push him up OR down the ladder either.
I haven't followed what's been going on with Morrison as much, but I feel they like Ziggler and would want to roll with him a bit longer.

Team Orton vs. Team Barrett
(Randy Orton, Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus and Mason Ryan vs. Wade Barrett, Hunico, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes)

I'm actually going with the heels here - I think Sheamus and Wade Barrett are going to end it and Wade Barrett (plus whoever else is left on his team) is going to win. It really is Barrett and Sheamus (possibly Mason Ryan and Cody Rhodes for an honourable mention) that they want to push here, so expect some good stuff highlighting those performers.
I definitely have high hopes for this match, it could be disappointing, it could be really good. They've got some good people there. I'm going with the faces, but as with any traditional Survivor Series match that doesn't have a condition attached to it, there's no particular reason to think that so, just call it a feeling.

NOTE: Dolph Ziggler will be appearing this match in his second of two Survivor Series appearances replacing the injured Christian.

WWE Champion Alberto del Rio vs. CM Punk

This is a toughie and let me say right up neither would surprise me here. But I'm going to go with CM Punk. Alberto del Rio held the title through their Mexican tour and it's been at least a couple of pay-per-views; Why not have Punk go for it? Also - just as a note - how sad is it that, per the WWE website, the WWE Championship match is third down on the card?
Well when you've got two championships, that only takes one bump. I'm going with Punk as much because I hope so as ... that's actually a good old 'I hate the heel and I want to see the face win'. And he's had it long enough that's not implausible.

World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry vs. Big Show

Go with Henry on this one - Show hasn't been back long enough, nor has he been hot enough, and Henry has been having the best year of his 15-year career by far, to me a shoo-in for 'Most Improved Wrestler' this year. I wouldn't take the belt off of him for Big Show, at least not right now, as much as I love Paul Wight.
Yeah definitely. Mark Henry is having a very impressive run of just crushing people and okay, Big Show won't be crushed, but he's another great big boom for Henry to make.

John Cena and The Rock vs. The Miz and R-Truth

They have to mess with this one bigtime. I'm predicting - one - the heels winning because the faces seem so invincible and the Miz and Truth have seemed so completely beatable and lost so much heat this is the only way to go. Cena and Rock's team won't be sustainable and if WWE is smart, I predict - two - a Cena heel turn right about here. Just because one of them has to, and the fans won't boo the Rock vs. John Boy. Don't be shocked at - 3- a run in by Mick Foley, Kevin Nash, John Laureneitis or one of the myriad other players who have so far been involved in this drama.
Agreed the odds of some sort of outside interference seem to be at least 80-90%. That's the easy thing to predict. I was going to predict Rock and Cena before you filled me in on what's been going on ... hmmm ... I guess I'll still go with Rock and Cena just because that was my gut, however ill-informed. Sometimes you wind up being wrong overthinking so I'll just stick with my first instinct.

1 hr. 45 mins. to curtain up guys - enjoy the show from Madison Square Garden, as the Rock returns fifteen years after his debut at the same event, in the same city. Here's hoping this marks a great turning point for the WWE. These fans hope so!

Monday, November 14, 2011

3 Hour Raw Supershow Tonight

Hi all,

Ari, nor I was feeling especially well over the weekend - thanks Little Tyke - so we didn't get a chance to do ITVR with all the evenings' interruptions etc. But I wanted to take a quick second to remind everyone that Raw Gets Rocked tonight an hour early, with the return of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson on a 3-hour Raw special. Be sure and tune in at 8pm in the US, although I believe here in Canuck-land it still starts at 9pm. Be sure and tune in as well over the next few days for our ITVR Survivor Series predictions show - it won't be Friday this week as it's LT's third birthday, but we will be sure and git 'er done before, so we can share our thoughts on this weekend's pay-per-view before life gets all busy on us again (because it ever stops ... lol).

Cheers, Sarah

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quick Hits

Hi guys,

So, after 2-3 weeks of pretty steady posting, we were foiled by a busy weekend, three twelve-hour workdays in a row and a sick toddler, which all got in the way of blogging this week, but never fear - we will be back tomorrow with our next episode of In This Very Ring. Before that though I wanted to be sure and hit some of the big stories coming out of the world of wrestling this week.

  • Chyna has a ... well, adult video venture coming out (or just out ... I don't exactly follow these things closely), and went on Howard Stern this week to promote it and talk about some of her experiences in the wrestling world. She spoke of having written to Vince McMahon recently proposing they 'do business together' again, and while his response was that 'at this time they would take a pass', she was pleased at the acknowledgement and considered that the communication was at least a bit of a thaw in her relations with the WWE. Given her difficult history with Vince's son-in-law Triple H his daughter (Trips' wife) Stephanie, while it's good a detente could be reached, if I were Chyna I wouldn't be holding my breath at any kind of full-time work with the WWE anytime soon.
  • Former wrestling Henry Godwinn was in a very serious car wreck earlier this week landing him in the ICU. We of course wish him all the best in his recovery. The same wishes go out to Barry Windham, who seems to be recovering nicely from the double-blow of a heart attack and stroke ... a long road ahead, but with support from both his medical team and family, it sounds like optimism is the watchword in Windham's case.
  • And lastly, happy belated birthday to one of my personal favourites, Chris Jericho, who turned 41 years old yesterday. Many happy ... uh ... returns, Chris. Please???? :)
Tune in to hear much more about all the above, and our thoughts on the last week or two of wrestling, tomorrow night, In This Very Ring.

XO Sarah

Monday, October 31, 2011

ITVR - Happy Halloween Podcast


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Continued Health Barry Windham

Hi all,

We'll be posting ITVR tomorrow night - sorry, audio issues tonight - but I did want to take the time after hearing a couple of days ago that Barry Windham, legendary member of the Four Horseman, son of Blackjack Mulligan and brother-in-law of Mike "Irwin R. Schyster" Rotundo and uncle of Husky Harrison in FCW, was in intensive care, in critical condition following a heart attack. While it sounds like his health has made impressive strides in the last few days, that is never a good sign at the age of 52, and after losing an uncle to heart problems two weeks ago, it definitely gives one pause. My prayers continue for Barry's recuperation, and for his family at this time.

Be well all - XO Sarah

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DVD Review - WWE's Greatest Rivalries: Shawn vs. Bret

Aaah my most highly anticipated WWE DVD release since 'The History of Wrestlemania' was released yesterday and yup, of course I got it on its first day available! Well worth it too - these two men sit down for the first time in the same room with Jim Ross (the only guy really who should ever handle an interview of this magnitude) to discuss not just Montreal (if there's one thing these two men were ever in agreement about, it was that the Screw Job shouldn't be what defines either of their careers), but their nearly-parallel careers from tag team wrestling in the 1980s and very early 1990s, to their early singles successes and defining Intercontinental Champions in the early-to-mid 1990s, to their rise to the pinnacle of WWE success as world champions in the early-90s (Bret) and mid-90s (Shawn), redefining what it meant to succeed in what was traditionally a big man's world.

Both men are candid, albeit fair - you still get the sense this incident was more defining and painful for Bret, and perhaps that's only right, given he was the one ultimately who got hurt by the fallout of his and Shawn's feud. But both express regret, while at the same time maintaining the other made mistakes too - which is the God's honest truth. Both of these men have had a long journey with lots of demons along the road, and to see them at such peace, in such a place that they could, not just share a ring and hug for a few minutes, but sit down and speak in depth and at length, about some of the most torturous issues, shows just how far they've come.

And I want to give Shawn credit too - I always felt their rivalry came more from Bret's end. And while I sided with Bret in a lot of ways, I felt it was more personal for him - that while Shawn was a jerk at that time in his career, he was a jerk to everyone, and Bret took it as directed at himself. Even post-Montreal, I felt it was Bret's cross to bear, that Shawn had long since moved on and refused to be defined by it. But to hear Shawn talk about how he wanted nothing more than for Bret to like and respect him - to see that his petulance really came to the surface when he felt that wasn't happening - and that perhaps not so much from thinking he was wrong, but on his journey as a Christian to right past hurts - this had bothered him too, perhaps more than I had realized ... I gained a new respect for him. The contrast I always see between them is still there - Bret's a bit darker, more jaded, less happy and at peace, while Shawn, when uncomfortable is more likely to crack a joke and try to minimize a bit than really deal with the meat and potatoes of things - I still think this was the most peaceful, and honest, I've ever seen either of them.

This video is a must-have for any wrestling fan, dealing honestly with an era-defining feud. My only recommendation is, don't watch it expecting 2 hours of 'All Montreal, Nothin' but Montreal' ... that comes up, and features prominently to be sure, but it's about so much more than that, from two veterans with a very unique view of the business in their era ... and of each other. Again, a very recommended addition to your wrestling DVD library.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In This Very Ring

CLICK HERE for In This Very Ring's Podcast for this week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Scott Hall: The Wrestler (ESPN E60)

We will be online either later tonight or tomorrow at the latest with a new ITVR featuring our Vengeance predictions and all that jazz. However, I just watched the below video and it was too important not to share.

ESPN recently did a documentary on their E60 show about troubled (to understate matters) wrestler Scott Hall, perhaps better known as Razor Ramon. At 52, the man is a collection of health problems, all related to an addiction to alcohol, painkillers, cocaine and other narcotics. However, at one point, he was one of the most popular and recognizable figures in the world of professional wrestling.

Please feel free watch the documentary in its (~18 minute) entirety for yourself below - very sad and interesting stuff.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


NOTE: Last week's absence was not about busy-ness or getting sidetracked in some predictable way as we often do; there was a death in the family which occupied much of the second half of last week, unfortunately. I don't particularly feel like taking up another almost near-entire post of 'we'll straighten ourselves back out', it was an abberation and posting would have gone better under different circumstances. It's been a rough 6 weeks or so in general time-management, health, etc. wise but this was truly sudden and unexpected. Back now.

So this week for the first time Raw aired from Mexico City. And while it was better than last week, it still demonstrates WWE's tone deafness to the fans. Case in point; they did in fact oblige fans insofar as bringing Jim Ross back on air after a week of backlash to his firing; but they don't seem to realize, fans don't want to watch this man wrestle - that's not even remotely what he does best. We want to hear him call matches, which is his unique gift, and a highly important one right now partiularly with the state of the announce team in the WWE (I'm sorry - Michael Cole and Booker T in their spheres just do not work out, and while Jerry Lawler is incredibly well spoken and witty, smart and funny, he is a character who needs the steady hand of a pro like JR to counterbalance him). Although I do have to say Johnny 'Ace' Laurenaitis acting like he and JR were old BFFs upon his rehiring was kind of funny, disingenuous bearhugs and all.

Given the WWE was in Mexico anyway, honestly, should the focus have been THAT much on an English-language announcer's storyline? I understand Raw in the States/Canada/etc. is still going to get the English commentary - and thank you, as it should be - but to have them as a front-end storyline (honestly, in the main event spot) in a country where they aren't even the folks calling the action, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Similarly, again, being in Mexico - shouldn't Alberto del Rio have been featured more prominently? Not that I minded the stipulation attached to Cena/JR vs. del Rio/Michael Cole: winner chooses Vengeance match stipulation. And I didn't mind the stipulation Cena chose either, 'Last Man Standing'. While he's not exactly seen as the catch-as-catch-can type, Cena can go in the clinch, and so can del Rio so it should be a passable match.

In other news ... nice to see Miz and R Truth back, although they seem to have lost at least a bit of the bite they had prior to their firing, and while doing runins during their time 'away' from the WWE ... I'm also enjoying Vicki Guerrero's stable, particularly of Dolph Ziggler (excellent mic work this week) and Jack Swagger ... Vicki especially did well playing to the Mexican crowd as a heel, where she could easily still be seen as the widow of the beloved Eddie Guerrero ... I don't get what Eve did to deserve the #1 contendership to the women's title, seeing as she has lost the vast majority of her matches of late - but then again that would be trying to make sense of the Diva's division, so we will just leave it at that ... John Morrison continues his losing streak as his contract comes to an end next month (I believe) and there has been no real movement on either side to re-sign. Given WWE's heat with Morrison's still-girlfriend Melina, it might be just best to go their separate ways for now, anyway. Although Morrison's unquestionable talent will be missed.

We will be podcasting on Friday with Smackdown thoughts, and predictions for this Sunday's Vengeance PPV. I will do my absolute very best to post in between now and then as well (ie, tomorrow). But meanwhile I thank everyone again for their patience and understanding during a rough time of late, and assure everyone, 'We're back and better than ever!'

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wow ... Slow News Week.

So ... I know. We screwed up last week. Part of that was illness - we have all had the worst cold this side of cold and flu season, as I explained in my last blog. Some changed-around plans for the long weekend (Thanksgiving here in Canada) were also responsible. But to a certain degree, the wrestling product has also been uninspired, and honestly somewhat awful the last few weeks.

First of all, hard to build up excitement about a pay-per-view with two weeks' opportunity to create interest. When, two weeks on the heels of the last PPV, the company needed to build up Hell in a Cell, it resulted in a lot of rush jobs. We actually didn't see the PPV - we chose to see Moneyball instead. And while it sounds like it had some cool moments - the Miz and R Truth's beatdown at the end of the show for example - I don't especially feel like it was a poor decision for our time and money. And again, with only three weeks separating HIAC from the next PPV - Vengeance -  the risk of hotshotting storylines in order to prep them for PPV is very real. This is always a rough time of year for the WWE. With the return of Monday Night Football, as well as the MLB playoffs, the fall is always a loss-leader for them. Add that to the fact we're heading into a somewhat quiet time PPV-wise (there isn't usually a PPV over the Holidays, Royal Rumble is in late January and there's one one PPV between it and April's Wrestlemania), October/November are always kind of loaded with PPVs at 3 week intervals. It's a big risk ... and one that hasn't been paying off of late.

There was some promies to the walkout storyline that ended Raw last week - Triple H has let things get out of control, and WWE employees no longer feel safe in that environment. There are a few kinks, some minor (this is largely a heel-led issue - how would we redeem the faces who walked out also, from seeming cowardly in the rough and tumble world of pro wrestling?), some larger (WWE is inherently an 'unsafe work environment' ... do you REALLY want to highlight that? And isn't Triple H supposed to be an authority figure for the entirety of WWE? In which case ... why is the walkout Raw exclusive, instead of affecting both programs?). But it was interesting and I was willing to see where it went.

Through Smackdown and the first 15-20 minutes of this week's Raw, there was some promise. They awkwardly tried to explain Triple H's presence on Raw being that SD had a General Manager, Raw didn't - and when ultimately he was relieved of his duties (onscreen), it was as showrunner for Raw, not as COO/overall authority figure.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apologies to readers

Hi guys,

In recent weeks, even when things get busy, I try to keep the apologies for that to a minimum and just focus on the writing at hand; however, the last two weeks have been insane and it has been about that long since I've written. In that time, we've had two pay per views, Matt Hardy has been arrested and has hi'ed himself to WWE sponsored rehab, the Shawn Michaels-Bret Hart DVD is days away from being released, and very, very little has changed on the storytelling canvas in the WWE; apparently Hulk Hogan on TNA-side gave an amazing - though fake - retirement speech that I have yet to catch, though I will, even though he didn't end up, you know, retiring.

Bottom line - if we had to pick two weeks that were full of work (I had an entire class of students finishing up the online course I teach, a couple of job interviews, my in-laws visiting this weekend, AND a bad cold that left me in a position I'd be hacking into the mic more than speaking into it ... lots of fun) and that we were unable to blog, this wasn't a bad time to choose I guess; we're now up to some progress being made in the main event WWE storyline on Raw (Triple H getting fed up with Johnny Ace, a couple of good Hell in a Cell matches for both world titles last night etc.), and the march to Survivor Series, usually a pretty decent card as one of the traditional 'Big Four' PPVs (Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble), is on. And we're back, a bit more into routine and able to keep up with everything (we didn't even catch last night's PPV - going on word of mouth it was OK, though not stellar).

Please tune in through the week as news breaks - I will try to post tonight/tomorrow with thoughts on tonight's Raw, etc. - and we will be back Thursday or Friday evening as usual with a brandnew podcast of In This Very Ring. As always when times get busy, we appreciate your patience and support and hope you keep checking back in. Much love!

Sarah (and Ari)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In This Very Ring!

CLICK HERE for our thoughts on this week's Canadian editions of Raw and Smackdown, and our predictions for tomorrow night's Night of Champions pay-per-view and more!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We remember ...

Friday, September 9, 2011

ITVR Podcast


Friday, September 2, 2011

ITVR Podcast

Please CLICK HERE for this week's In This Very Ring podcast. :) Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The week (or two) in wrestling ...

So - if you want to know where I've been the last two weeks, please check my other blog at for the details ... although I'm sure we said we were going on vacation before we left! :)

As such, I have only been following wrestling around the edges the last week or so - whatever the dirtsheets turn up for me etc. So I will do my best to update myself before In This Very Ring goes to air Thursday/Friday night. But meanwhile I wanted to touch on a few tidbits that have come my way.

  • The RAW Main Event Scene: So this sounds semi-disappointing in some regards. I'm a huge Kevin Nash fan but they 'fake' a car accident for him to not be at the arena last week, only to have him show up; they involve not only a non-wrestler, in Johnny Laurinaitis, but a not-even-very-good on air authority figure, and the whole whodunnit in terms of siccing Nash on CM Punk at Summerslam ... I think Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are way too obvious and they're going to play at LEAST H as a straight shooter authority figure for awhile; Johnny Laurinaitis sounds likely, at least as a scapegoat - especially as behind H's back he went this week and signed Nash to a contract. But is he acting alone or at the behest of Vince McMahon? Or Stephanie McMahon? Or both? This is still interesting, although Nash, a longtime favourite of mine, seems to be the weak link. To their credit, WWE realizes this - especially from a wrestling standpoint - as they replaced him in the Night of Champions match with CM Punk this week, with Triple H. Not that that's so exciting either - Punk's on fire and I'd hate to see him sucked into whatever egos or games these vets might play - but H I think is a darn sight better, closer to the current product, and closer to his prime. We'll see where it goes, but I'd rather Punk-Cena continue, with Johnny Ace, Nash, H etc. as side characters in terms of 'who's zoomin' who' - but with the wrestlers themselves as the main players in this ... ahem ... game.
  • Brand Split?: Triple H announced this week that henceforth Raw shows would be 'supershows' featuring members of both rosters. This week's Smackdown, in response to a new UFC season debut, as well as the revving up of football season, is going to air live Tuesday, with a replay in their usual spot of Friday night. This also means a no-punches-pulled supershow featuring both rosters. This is fine for this week as a treat - but going forward, does this speak to the end of the brand split? I wouldn't mind that entirely, as I think having the entire roster working together across the two shows creates a lot more possibilities for feuds ... although seeing all the same names twice a week also leads to a lot of potential for hotshotting. Again as well, with two 'supershows' the same week, there's a lot of potential for pay-per-view-level stories being shared on free television, which while I appreciate it as a fan, is not necessarily wise business on the WWE's part. The trick to their business model is giving fans enough on free TV week to week that they keep tuning in and feel it's worthwhile, while keeping the REAL payoff for the $$$ shows. The odd big match or title change to remind people Raw and SD are worth their time is fine; but I feel there's been months' worth of story told weekly for awhile now; they could easily provide 1-2 reveals a week in the time they've been delivering 4-5, and still have it be worthwhile and exciting television.
  • Matt Hardy Woes: Matt Hardy is coming unravelled at the seams, it seems. After being found mildly injured after wrecking his car in his native NC, Matt was charged with driving while intoxicated; though it was not apparent he'd been drinking, he was clearly under the influence of a mind-altering substance. Not a week later, following a slew of strange posts on Twitter and Youtube (apparently his house is haunted, by the same ghost who caused him to crash his car?), he was hospitalized after falling in his home. Meanwhile, he has been released by TNA. While some have been making fun of this situation, and it is indeed strange, I do wish both Hardys the best, as it is sad to know what they were, and what they should be, and yet to see what they've become at the same time. I very sincerely hope they both get the help they deserve.
  • Ric Flair Article: Lastly, speaking of sad, this article (CLICK HERE to read), The Wrestler in Real Life by Shane Ryan has been making the rounds and gone viral this week. Ric Flair used to be one of the greatest of all time and there are many fans who will still remember him as such; however, it's sad to see, in his 60s, what this legend has become. Flair has threatened to sue the blogger, particularly in relation to his claims Flair suffers from alcoholic cardiomypoathy, but even Flair's representation acknowledges the legal documents used as source material here are legitimate. So unfortunate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summerslam! ... and some Wellness Policy-related suspensions

So - it was the hottest night of the WWE's summer last night, as LA played host to their 24th annual Summerslam event. While the undercard was passable, there was little to really push it over the top into truly memorable territory until the last few matches - especially starting with their last minute decision, according to Jim Ross's Twitter, to substitute Booker T in for him. Sigh ... I hope the poor fans who paid $15 apiece for WWE's new promotion of commentary headsets, were able to get a refund with that fiasco. But I digress. Let's go with the rundown. And if I get some of the order incorrect, in terms of promos or what have you, my apologies.

Show opener was Alberto del Rio, R Truth and the Miz vs. Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and John Morrison. I was surprised and disappointed they didn't hype this match beforehand as it had the potential to be great - it WAS good, and a nice way to open the show. Rey Mysterio getting the win was fair given he's in the WWE title picture, and I enjoyed this match, even if it wasn't given the hype it deserved - nor did it QUITE live up to the hype it should have had. Still, these guys are incapable of a bad match.

We then move right along to the Mark Henry-Sheamus match, which was also a Big Man-style clinic. The live crowd was pretty peeved at the countout win, but we predicted on this past week's ITVR that it wouldn't be a clear-cut win by any means and frankly I'm pleasantly surprised it wasn't an out and out double-disqualification/double-countout/no contest. Good showing from both men, who are making the big guy ground-and-pound style interesting again.

Here's where I'll deal with both sort of celebrity/cameo type parts of the show. Cee Lo Green is someone I enjoy very much, but I'm not necessarily sure, much like Kid Rock a couple Wrestlemanias ago, that he enhanced the show much. Still - kudos for a fairly big celebrity get in that sense to the WWE. I also very much enjoyed the Jimmy Hart cameo with R Truth - the Little Jimmy jokes wrote themselves. Ron Artest's cameo at the end was cool, although I didn't entirely get it ... not being a basketball fan?

I also want to comment on some of the other backstage interactions throughout the night here; Stephanie McMahon made a return appearance, interacting distrustfully (though well) with CM Punk, and being seen leaving John Cena's locker room later in the night. She was also seen giving her husband Triple H what appeared to be a good luck kiss just before the main event.

The Divas match between Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix was good, and I'll even give surprise at the ending - although I don't entirely mind. As Jason Powell over at pointed out, since Beth Phoenix's eventual title win, and work with the likes of Natalya, and eventually Kharma, is all but given, stretching this out as far as they can until they can get a credible 'good girl' Diva or two in there (she's already beaten Kelly Kelly and Eve, the only two faces left in the division I believe) isn't a bad idea.

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan was good and my prediction was right - Barrett gets the win, because while neither guy really has a whole lot of room for error here, Daniel Bryan does still have the briefcase with the title shot contract, and so a bit more wiggle room. I suspect this might open up the potential for a feud over said Money in the Bank briefcase, which wouldn't be bad either as both guys could make a claim to being at that glass ceiling, and I think could run with the ball if given to them. And a feud between these two, I don't mind. two very technically savvy, hold-based wrestlers having a feud is very un-WWE - but a nice change that I don't mind now and then, favouring that style a little bit myself.

Christian vs. Randy Orton - Edge's cameo was beautiful (hee hee ...) I enjoyed seeing him, although I also respect the WWE handling him quickly, since his actually being in Christian's corner, or really supporting him in any way, would make him too 'face' too quickly. These two - Christian and Orton - can go, and they did. Orton's title win should be the blowoff to this feud, having won in an anything-goes scenario, although with most credible potential opponents still having some work to do before getting there, I anticipate a bit more mileage out of this bad boy.

So all of the above was good, with some memorable moments (especially Edge's return and a good match between Christian-Orton). But this brings us to the true "WTF?" match of the night. Well - more accurately, match ending. CM Punk and John Cena have an incredible rematch, the crowd electric right from the start, edge-of-their-seats with the duelling chants ("Let's go Cena!"/"Cena sucks!") and everything. CM Punk eventually pulls it out in the stretch, although, after basically playing it straight all night, Triple H didn't heed that John Cena's foot was on the rope during the final three-count (accident? open question ...)

CM Punk didn't have a whole lot of time to savour his victory, however, before being jacknife powerbombed by ... well, who the hell does a jacknife powerbomb, but Kevin Nash? Yes, the big man, Diesel himself! No sooner do the fans register that moment than he exits through the crowd, while Raw Money in the Bank-holder Alberto del Rio enters with a referee. One, two, three, on the weakened CM Punk, and we have our third WWE champion of the night, and some definite 'splainin' to do on Raw this evening! If ever the last 5 minutes saved a show ... and the show didn't even suck! Absolutely dumbstriking.

Also dumbstriking, before I go - two Wellness Policy violation-related suspensions (read: drugs) today from the WWE. First, referee Mike Chioda, I believe the first zebra to be suspended under the policy. Secondly, Tough Enough champ from this season, Andy Leavine, in an auspicious start to an already-rocky WWE career. Sigh ...

Either way, keep tuning in over the next few days as Raw plays out and whatnot. Business, as Jim Ross would say, is about to pick up! See you at the matches.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Click here for this week's ITVR ... and read on

NOTE: This was record on Thurs. and I haven't had the time to upload it until now. So please note the following addenda:

  1. Able to discuss Smackdown without spoiling anything now, congratulations to new Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes, who defeated Ezekiel Jackson for the belt on Friday. Also - allow the speculation to begin about Christian's comment, that, if this match is 'everything goes', he's got 'the best thing going'. What (or who?!) does he have up his sleeve. Not for nothing, it is a known fact that a very, very good friend of Christian's will be signing autographs and gladhanding at the Access event prior to Summerslam tomorrow night ... Ahem ... you think you know him?
  2. Heath Slater, former Nexus and Core member, has been accused by a hotel security guard of assaulting her and trying to force her into his hotel room; not being one of those top guys WWE will protect at all costs, they are already distancing themeslves by commenting on this as a personal matter involving Slater that has nothing to do with the WWE. How long until he receives his walking papers.
  3. One more match has been adde to Smackdown, with Wade Barrett facing Daniel Bryan - my prediction is a somewhat tricky Wade Barrett win, as there are no consequences to this match, but that might provide an opening for him to challenge for the Money in the Bank briefcase. I think ultimately this feud might end up being Bryan's - but Barrett needs a win as he's started working his way back out of the obscurity he'd so unfairly fallen into.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Black Friday

Hey guys - Monday Night Raw is underway and we'll be discussing this go-home edition of the show, as well as Smackdown from this past week and Summerslam this coming weekend (WOW!) later in the week. Meanwhile though I wanted to address in a busy weekend we missed Black Friday - aka, the annual housecleaning WWE often does, the day many mid- and lower-carders answer phonecalls from that Stamford area code at their own risk.

This past Friday saw the ouster of Vladimir Kozlov, David Hart Smith, and Chris Masters - but for once, it was actually the Divas who brought the most intrigue to this release day. Melina Perez was released after longstanding rumours of a lousy attitude, and being a quite-outspoken Tweeter. This is going to make for some awkwardness for her still-employed boyfriend of many years, John Morrison. Hmm ...

Also rumoured to be outgoing, is Gail Kim who has claimed since Friday on her Twitter that she quit the WWE, despite the fact WWE has said nothing about her release, or her having quit. Which speaks to her either being done with the WWE, or trying very hard to make sure that happens.

We of course, as always, join the WWE in wishing the former Superstars and Divas all the best in their future endeavours.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Maryse facing surgery

WWE diva Maryse announced this week she will be needing hernia surgery and will be out of action for awhile, although specific dates or timelines were not provided.

After a rough month - seeking a restraining order against a stalker and now this - we wish Maryse all the best and can't wait to see her back in action. While she might LOOK like an untalented Barbie type, she is actually a fairly bright spot in the Diva's division.

CM Punk Entertains ...

Even when doing the weather!

In something I don't know anyone could have predicted, the super-talented but incredibly-normal looking CM Punk has become one of the best ambassadors for the pro wrestling industry since ... OK. since John Cena in terms of mainstream publicity. While he might not have the larger-than-life personality of a Rock or Hulk Hogan, through simply being talented, outspoken, and cool, he has definitely garnered some attention for himself and, by extension, the WWE.

Enjoy the video below featuring Punk doing an interview, and a weather report, with an Indianapolis, IN morning show.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Click here to listen to ITVR

With apologies - we did this last night but didn't get a chance to upload until now. Also - please check out the video below as promised from Daniel Bryan. Cheers, and happy long weekend Canada!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Triple H!

Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, WWE wrestl ... ooops ... sports entertainer and executive, son in law of chairman of the board Vince McMahon and husband of fellow wwe executive Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, turns 42 today. Happy returns.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CM Punk on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Check out the below clips, parts 1 and 2 of CM Punk's epic battle of the titans with Jimmy Kimmel's 6 year old nephew Archie. By the way - I love how this awesomely precocious 6 year old predicted not only the outcome of the WWE Title tournament, but John Cena's reentry into the title scene as well. Awesome. Good kid. I totally want to see him as Cena's cornerman at Summerslam.

Last Night's Raw (and something of a recap of the last 10 days)

Sorry for the absence guys -after joining in the fun over at OWW radio (click here and follow the radio links to last Tuesday's archive, where we discuss the Money in the Bank pay per view, the following night's Raw, including the title tournament and Vince McMahon's ouster as WWE head honcho, and more - get yourself up to date if you aren't already!), everyone in our family proceeded to get sick - SO much of fun! :) Trust me, we'd have rather been here with you.

That said, we have been following the events of the past few weeks with a keen eye. As always the CM Punk storyline has been fascinating; following his winning, and leaving with the WWE belt last Sunday night, he partied all around Chicago before the next night's festivities at Raw. Vince McMahon announced a title tournament to crown a new champion. Amid hints of the Miz going face (fighting through the ridiculous odds of a major 'injury' is not especially a heel thing to do - especially the kind of heel Miz plays). I didn't mind this as much as some, since it meant a night of wrestling; but I do get where it perhaps didn't catch the imagination as much as some due to the necessarily short match lengths etc.

By the end of the night Vince had prorogued the final between Miz and Mysterio to publicly fire John Cena. In one of Cena's best promos in a long while he reminded Vince he could certainly go ahead and fire him but John loved wrestling too much to just quit, so he'd just do what he did somewhere else - 'BROTHER!' It was around here that Triple H intervened, telling 'Pops' that the Board of Directors was concerned with some of the decisions he'd made in recent weeks and had relieved him of his duties. Triple H was now in charge - sorry. Vince, after some mockery, actually got a 'Thank You Vince' chant as his eyes welled up. While Vince has certainly not been 'fired' from the WWE by his board of directors, this does indicate something of a stepping back on his part, and a shift in both the front-of-curtain and backroom day-to-day operations of the WWE. Not a bad show, or way to ultimately move the company in honestly, a more creative direction. Triple H gets it, that the WWE can be a PG product without being a cartoon - and while there's room for the Rey Mysterio types for 'the kids', there has to be some elements for the 18-35 male demographic that at the end of the day is wrestling's bread and butter.

A week (and CM Punk-Triple H 'discussion' at Comic-Con - look it up - later), and the WWE title tournament resulted in a Rey Mysterio win and a heartfelt promo which only makes one feel bad for what comes later. I even enjoyed Alberto Del Rio's failed cashing in after such a rough match; this could become his schtick as he's now failed twice to cash in; thinking 'this is my spot', and then deciding iti sn't.

Some of the right guys - Dolph Ziggler, Evan Bourne - got some appropriate attention, and Triple H began flexing his new muscle, bringing back Jim Ross to the announce team (telling Michael Cole it was his choice whether to stay on or not, but he had the night off in a match with Zack Ryder - another fan-friendly move although I'm sure they'd like to see him either in a slightly higher profile, or working as a heel, which is HIS bread and butter); Cole's H imitation was the best thing I've seen him do in awhile. Triple H had a great confrontation with R Truth - I'll post video later, it was great work from both of them, and anything resulting in the return of John Morrison will elicit no complaints from me. And, in the most controversial decision of the night, announced John Cena, who had a rematch clause after MITB, wanted a shot at the belt later that night and Mysterio agreed he deserved the chance. Their match resulted in (le sigh) a John Cena win ... only to be interrupted by CM Punk's return (to Living Colour's Cult of Personality - GREAT pick!) to close the show.

Definitely a newsworthy and fast paced Raw which really didn't lag too badly at any point and kept fan interest up in a variety of new little Easter Eggs. My only quibble - and honestly, I haven't decided if it's a complaint yet, I've been going back and forth on it - was the sheer number of things going on. My initial reaction was, you are blowing months worth of storyline in one short night; Cena vs. Mysterio should have been announced for next week in order to promote it and get people to tune in, it's a big enough match; CM Punk should not have come back ... well maybe unannounced but with no hints and barely an absence, 'We can't miss you if you don't go away' as Ari put it last night. Etc. However, Jason Powell over at gave me some pause in considering that this was a major 'power shift' at the WWE, on TV if not in fact, and so a week or two of MAJOR OVERHAUL would actually fit into the story onscreen; create some fast paced interest, with an excuse for the rapid pace. I'm wondering what you guys think out there?

Be sure and participate in the conversation, either by commenting here on in our Facebook Group (check it out on the taskbar to the right --->). Be well and keep checking back here guys - it's sure to be quite the ride heading into Summerslam ... which with an apparent rematch to determine the 'REAL WWE Champion', Cee Lo Green performing, and several other storylines being built up in a good, Wrestlemania-buildup style, is looking to be another very strong showing in this year's WWE PPVs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Click here for ITVR

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Randy 'Macho Man' Savage benefit called a 'blemish on the name of wrestling' - St. Petersburg Times

Click the title above to read about this unfortunate travesty of a 'charity tribute show' to Randy "Macho Man" Savage who died last month of heart disease. I agree with his brother Lanny's take at the end, regretting the attachment of Randy's name to the event, but expressing faith it won't tarnish the legend's image.

A promoter saying 'ding' into a microphone to represent a ten-bell salute, because he couldn't rustle up a ring bell? Seriously? Not to mention selling this as a charity show, then being unable to 'afford' writing checks to the aforementioned charities ... 'tacky' doesn't even begin to cover this nonsense. 'Stench' is correct.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Fabulous CM Punk Segment

Sorry for the absence - I started working full time last week! :) Awesome news but an adjustment all around as I am now working two jobs - one full and one part time, on top of my always #1 job of being a wife and mom. We'll be back with ITVR this week and some more frequent posting as well. However - I had to post the below segment from Raw last night, as an incredibly strong followup to the CM Punk storyline of the last few weeks. KUDOS to everyone involved - this is what WWE should be, with Vince McMahon (non kayfabe) going with whatever it is that sweeps the fans up - and Punker is that these days.

Monday, July 4, 2011

WWE News: John Cena rips The Rock - "I am not an actor, I am a professional wrestler"

WWE News: John Cena rips The Rock - "I am not an actor, I am a professional wrestler"

Click the link above for some fun with John Cena in Australia - this also serves as a correction to last night's commentary that WWE pre-taped RAW in order to give their boys and girls the night off on Independence Day - the crew is indeed on an overseas tour. So add that to the hellishly busy three weeks the WWE has already had ... who says things slow down in the summer?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

ITVR - click here

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

All You Need to Know about Last Night's Raw

(OK - not really - last night's Raw was actually surprisingly entertaining in some places - you know it's an alright show when Shawn Michaels is actually your weak link ... when Divas get submission matches and steel cage matches are made ... some being critical of this being a big match stip that should be used sparingly after much build, while I'm OK with the surprise factor on Raw now and then even if it's giving away 'Something Big' for free.)

But by far the most entertaining item on Raw this week was the following - and every young wrestler seeking to make a name for himself should study two promos. The one below, and Steve Austin's post-King of the Ring 'Austin 3:16' interview. NICE work Punk.

For the record on the followup - CM Punk was 'suspended' immediately after Raw last night. While the story is already followed up upon - next week's Raw is in the can after a double-header last night - I will leave the spoiling for other sites. Google almost any wrestling site to find them, or head over to my always-favourite - always good coverage.

NOTE: I don't envy the WWE production team or performers this month. A three hour Raw, a two hour Smackdown, a PPV, followed by another three hour Raw, a Smackdown, and then a Raw double-header tonight, and two consecutive Smackdown tapings (this week's tonight, next week's tomorrow) in order to free the crew up for next week (overseas tour I believe?) - gruelling, gruelling schedule.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Awesome New DVD Concept

So I will be back later tonight to discuss Raw, featuring Shawn Michaels as guest host and the Raw Roulette (spin the wheel, make the deal) concept - although honestly ... 'On a Pole?' 'Sing Along?' ... hmmmmm ... but first I had to share my excitement about a rumoured new WWE project in the works, as both Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have been in Stamford CT the last couple of days, as has interviewer and broadcaster extraordinaire Jim Ross.

They're releasing a new DVD in regards to the Hart-Michaels feud. If successful, they're strongly considering giving the DVD treatment to some of the best feuds of (I'm guessing recent) WWE history ... for example, Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon. I like this concept, and would be interested to see just how they cover this. If they are willing to delve into some other companies and if some other personalities are willing to come aboard and discuss past feuds (wouldn't it be a coup to get, say, Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, or say even Bret Hart and Dynamite Kid to discuss the Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs from back in the day? Not saying that would ever happen, but ...).

What wrestling feuds would YOU like to see get the DVD treatment?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Raw - and Wrestlers Behaving Badly

Raw last night was better than expected -although still at least somewhat mediocre. The highlight for me was CM Punk - his snow angels at the top of the show, and his promo at the end when he'd won the right to challenge John Cena in Chicago at Money in the Bank July 17 ... which is also the last day of his contract, incidentally. Threatening to leave the WWE with the belt ... definite intrigue heading into the next PPV, and I'm already more interested in that one than Capitol Punishment - which admittedly left me cold in a lot of ways. Strong, strong matches; Punk-Mysterio, Ziggler-Kingston, Christian-Orton ... all good stuff. But the prerequisite Barack Obama impersonator, and a few other energy-killing aspects of the show sort of mitigated the otherwise strong showing.

I also am not going to be as hard on this Power to the People concept as in other times, as for once I legitimately believe they let the fans have some say. Giving Ziggler-Kingston a best-of-3-falls match on Raw was obviously the work of the fans, and much appreciated. There were a couple of voting glitches - reporting on these over at is excellent - but for the most part the show, while a bit of overkill after another long Raw and PPV, and certainly not necessarily worthy of 3 hours of broadcast, was better than my ranting anticipated last week.

Perhaps more exciting though is the anticipation this Raw built - first, for the upcoming Money in the Bank PPV as discussed due to CM Punk's pronouncement, but also for next week's Raw, for which Shawn Michaels will be a special guest. My only complaint? It's another gimmick Raw, as Raw Roulette (formerly Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal) is brought back. I don't necessarily have a problem with this in itself, except for the sheer number of Raw gimmicks of late - and it also of course being better in a PPV context where the types of matches the wheel determines are actually interesting, and given the time to be excellent. "Wheel" just need to see how it plays out, I guess.

Meanwhile - in 'not-news', a couple of reports today of wrestlers behaving badly, as Matt Hardy was sent home from tonight's TNA tapings due to several house shows at which he turned up late recently - as well as some disapproval of a Youtube video Hardy posted of his brother Jeff tasering his (Matt's) girlfriend Reby (although this - while I get is in bad taste in so many ways - I don't get why it's in more bad taste than anything else in the wrestling world ... fair enough to be offended by this, but then we should be offended by all wrestler-on-Diva violence, which is a fair position to take, but many fans don't. Inside the ring vs. outside the ring, and/or severity of the stunt I guess?).

And lastly - Scott Hall was sentenced today to 18 days in prison due to a 2010 DUI arrest. He will report to jail on July 5 and, due to ongoing health issues, be kept in the medical unit. Best of luck to Mr. Hall who has a long road toward getting his life together after a very rough few years in particular.

ONE LAST NOTE: Ryan Dunn of Jackass fame - who has done some work with the WWE in the past - along with his passenger died in an apparently-alcohol and speed-related car accident Sunday night. I will thus far stay out of the controversy apparently created by anyone insensitive enough to point out the awful choices which led to these two unnecessary deaths; but I will express my most sincere condolences to the friends and family of the deceased, who are no doubt struggling right now with both their loss, and the circumstances surrounding it. God bless and be well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Click to listen to ITVR. :) Enjoy!

And Happy Father's Day to all those to whom this may apply! :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another 3-Hour Raw Next Week?

So last night was a 3-hour All Star Raw - Ari and I will talk about it in detail later this week but it was quiet entertaining on some respects - the Miz and Roddy Piper in the same ring was definitely promising, I enjoyed Steve Austin as guest General Manager (and as always, his heavy-vehicle ridin' ... in this case, right over the obnoxious anonymous GM's computer). Of course some weaker stuff - the Diva's Can Can? R Truth's beatdown on Hornswoggle? (OK - I guess this enhanced the R Truth character, but not even by much, as I don't know what it would prove for any wrestler on the roster to manhandle the leprechaun). And a decent job, both on Friday and today, of getting Christian some heat off the fans - recognizing the risk that his heel turn could have taken fans with him who sympathized with the quick turnover in his title reign. I've even warmed up to some of the Barack Obama press conference promos since they've started using wrest ... excuse me, Superstars ... in them - R Truth last week, Christian, Sheamus, etc. this week. And at LEAST they started actually putting some attention and thought on matchmaking and promoting Capitol Punishment for real (6 days out). Again - a more detailed discussion on Thursday/Friday, but those being my initial thoughts.

What kind of annoyed me at the end of yesterday's Raw though was the announcement of another 3-hour Raw next week. They have, I believe it's 4 of these a year, and when spaced out to one every 3 months or so, that's great. It makes a nice treat that WWE (usually) tries a bit harder for. But having two 3-hour Raws back to back (with a PPV in between!), I find myself wondering if WWE is asking a bit much of some peoples' time; especially 'wasting' for lack of a better term, a 3-hour special in the summer months when people's TV watching is winding down for the season. I mean, there's already a LOT of WWE on my TV - Monday Night Raw, Smackdown, and - including webcasts, NXT and Superstars, as well as a monthly pay per view. As a big fan, i don't mind. But I can see some who are busier or poorer starting to have issues.

When something is done all the time, it isn't special anymore. Rariry lends value. These are marketing principles that really, a promotional genius like Vince McMahon MUST be aware of. He'd be wise to perhaps employ these concepts a bit - probably the biggest mistake he makes on a consistent basis being to ride any horse that seems to have the slightest bit of momentum, into the ground (see Cena, John; H, Triple; his own character at times). I can tell you from my own reaction, I was excited about a 3-hour All Star Raw last night; folks from both brands in the same place, a few faces from the past, a good healthy dose of wrestling after a few busy off-and-on weeks ... I'm nowhere near as psyched about next week's (although that might also have to do with the theme; other than the first Taboo Tuesday or two ,the 'Power to the People' concept has really failed, despite its promising premise, largely due to the WWE's lack of willingness to REALLY cede control in any significant or meaningful way).

Another 3 hours of wrestling after a big 3 hour show and PPV this week, where we get to pretend the fans are calling the shots while being asked to put together stupid matches guided by leading questions and set ups (which, if I were more of a conspiracy theorist, by the way, I would suspect they offer such lousy options and have us vote on such stupid matches JUST to tweek the nose of the armchair bookers to say 'See you don't know what you're doing any more than you accuse us of!') ... yeah. I'll watch - and might even be pleasantly surprised (heck; that happens often when I go into a wrestilng event with low expectations) ... but I can tell you right now, my skeptical people's eyebrow is already way up. Just sayin' ...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CLICK HERE for ITVR Podcast (Yes, we're serious! Miss us?)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Congrats Kharma

PRE-BLOG NOTE: Not apologizing this time for being away the last 10 days/ish; I ended up working a fair bit last week and then was away for the weekend at a church conference. We'd gotten a little regular blogging going the week before, and I should be back to that now - but just as an FYI.

I'm going to save getting into the meat of RAW for ITVR Thursday, but I did want to give a congratulations to Kharma on her (non-kayfabe) pregnancy. We couldn't figure out the ridiculous storyline last week, after she's been coming out decimating the women's division, where she comes otu seemingly on the warpath, only to collapse and cry. Matt Dawgs over at World Wrestling Insanity ( - cut and paste, too lazy to create a link lol) mentioned on Friday the heretofore missed, but obvious, link of a woman going out of action unexpectedly for a bit over 9 months ... thus her announcement yesterday was not entirely unexpected.

While she claims she will be out of action due to her high risk pregnancy, I think any pregnancy should involve not, you know, doing the pro wrestling thing. And while this obviously puts a damper on her monster persona, and takes her character in a different and unexpected direction I was concerned about (particularly giving her promo time, which I don't recall she's had before), didn't turn out as badly as I feared. Very interesting, and perhaps the highlight of Raw last night (and how often can we say that about the women's action?)

Not a bad show, all in all, for a holiday Monday on which they had a LOT of technical difficulties (and extremely out of character, as the WWE is usually one of the more smoothly-run and technically proficient spo ... entertainment, excuse me, companies out there. But again - we'll discuss all that and more In This Very Ring, later this week.

Thanks for bearing with me - as I said, it's annoying to get on a roll and then have it interrupted so hopefully all those glitches are gone now and it's smooth sailing at least through the summer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

12 Years Later ...

You are still missed.
OWEN HART, May 7 1965-May 23 1999

Friday, May 20, 2011

CLICK HERE for this week's ITVR Macho Man Randy Savage Tribute

And have your hankies prepared. RIP Macho Man - you will be missed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A major Apology

So -

One week we have readjusting to our 'real lives' ...

The next we had weekend company, which means prepping for said company beforehand. Sorry - this has meant spotty wrestling watching, and in terms of stuff one can follow on the dirtsheets, not a whole lot going on, other than TNA's name change (although want to make more of a point of watching them in the coming weeks, with the return of Mick Foley last week, as well as the return of Joanie Laurer, aka Chyna, after a 10-year absence from the ring). There was Christian's (suckitudinous) loss of the world title after 5 days in a (not so suckitudinous) match with Randy Orton, which bugs me on so many levels - poor Christian. Even last night's Raw, which we'd cleared the decks for, resulted in a 10pm doze for both of us.

However rest assured we'll get back in the saddle, review some recaps, and make our bold predictions for Sunday's Extreme Rules PPV - you will hear from us Friday if not sooner and I will try to blog between now and then - perhaps my thoughts on Impact Wrestling Thursday night as we tune in to check out Chyna!

Meanwhile - pardon the general ups and downs of 2011 so far (if I had to assess, we're broadcasting less frequently but putting together better shows when we do, which can't be a bad thing), and I think we're into enough of a routine now we can pull it together henceforth. If not, we know we can count on you guys to be there when you can, and cut us some slack when we can't, and thanks as always for your support, which we don't so much take for granted, as just know you're cool peeps like that!

XO - Sar

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

OK so I know it's not wrestling related, but I did want to share that sentiment. Unfortunately we missed a whole lot of wrestling last week, and only caught up on some this weekend. I will blog my thoughts about Raw tonight and get back on the proverbial horse now that we have something resembling a routine going forward - meanwhile though, to all the Mom's, special aunts, step-moms, grandmas, and single Dads doing the work of moms ... happy mother's day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thoughts for Shane Helms and his Girlfriend Karen

Hi all,

As this was the first week for Ari being off parental leave and back at work it's been a busy one for all of us and quite the changeup in routine. We didn't have the opportunity to catch much wrestling, between that and the boys having slowly moved towards a 9pm bedtime (sigh ...) - however, we have now recorded (or will have after tonight) Raw, Sunday's PPV, and tonight's Smackdown, and will come atcha with an ITVR podcast tomorrow.

Meanwhile however I want to report on a very serious situation in which former WWE wrestler Shane Helms was injured, along with his girlfriend Karen, in a very serious motorcycle accident today. While it seems both are out of the woods, it was at first a very critical situation and both have suffered broken bones. Helms is expected to require surgery. My thoughts and prayers are with both of them and their family and friends at this time, for a speedy and healthful recovery. Best of wishes from In This Very Ring.

Much love and respect,

Sarah and Ari

Monday, May 2, 2011

Does Barack Obama train, say his prayers, and take his vitamins, brother?

Missed last night's PPV due to some babies staying up late, and then being the boring old folks we are, not having the energy to stay up for the replay; but I do know Christian and John Cena respectively won their two brands' world titles, and wanted to congratulate them; I will comment more on what sounded like an interesting evening once I've watched it. And we will be tuning in tonight (in between Canadian election coverage) to see the Rock's birthday celebration on Raw. So should be interesting all around. Meanwhile though, just saw the funniest thing I have seen all week (and it's only Monday, lol) and had to share. Enjoy the video below.

Friday, April 29, 2011

CLICK HERE for this week's ITVR

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Supplemental Draft Results

Yesterday, WWE held its supplemental draft lottery through the afternoon. Here are the results, and my thoughts on each. Thanks muchly to Jason Powell,, which was my source for the draft results, and who sat through the draft yesterday when I didn't have the chance to.

Daniel Bryan to Smackdown:
I think this is probably a good move for Bryan longterm; generally a better crowd against whom to showcase his wrestling ability. Now mind you, some of the guys I'd be most interested in seeing him mix it up with - John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, Rey Mysterio, etc. - are on Raw. But Smackdown is known for being more wrestling-heavy, for giving matches more time and giving the guys in them more freedom to showcase what they got without the risk of overshadowing the 'Main Event Style'-types like Cena, Triple H etc. As such, I think Bryan can do well on the blue brand.

10. Jack Swagger to Raw:
This makes sense given his involvement with the Michael Cole-Jerry Lawler storyline, although it takes away one of the potential SD dream matches in him vs. Daniel Bryan. Hopefully WWE gives Swagger a good Raw run this time around instead of the lousy one he had last time.

11. The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh to Smackdown:
Not terribly newsworthy, and it will be interesting to just see what kind of role these two play on the blue brand. I own being 'enh' on Khali, so I'm 'enh' on this move.

12. Jimmy Uso to Smackdown.
OK ...

13. Kelly Kelly to Raw:
OK ... I'm guessing, with the high likelihood Kharma's debut is going to be on Raw, that we have just established her first 'Barbie' victim. Not an original though, granted - Jason Powell made the same comment - but honestly, it's true. Raw right now actually has some strong wrestlers - Natalya Neidhart, Gail Kim - and only the heel Bellas as 'plastic' offerings. We needed a gorgeous babyface victim, and Kelly Kelly is it. Not to mention the opportunity to continue her SD feud with Vicki Guerrero if WWE so chooses.

14. JTG to Raw:
JTG is still under contract? Sorry ... I guess it was his partner who was let go ...

15. Alicia Fox to Smackdown:
Hmm ... will she and Michelle McCool form a new Mean Girls type group now that Layla El seems to be on the outs with her former tag team partner? Other than that this is another 'enh' for me. Alicia Fox has developed a vicious style of wrestling and has impressed me on a certain level - but she's hardly one of the standouts of the Divas division.

16. William Regal to Smackdown: I'm agreeing with Jason Powell here too that Regal is more talented than his position on WWE TV would suggest and it would be nice to see him get another Jerry Lawler-esque run in the spotlight, although I'm afraid he's seen more as a great mentor to work with the younger talent. I think his chance to work with Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, and others will be strong here on Smackdown and I look forward to seeing what role he'll end up playing on the blue brand. With no offense to Booker T, I wouldn't mind seeing him replace T on the commentating team, either ...

17. Yoshi Tatsu to Smackdown:
I think this guy has great potential; I don't think I can really say he's lived up to it. While it would be nice to think on the more wrestling heavy brand he might have more of a chance, I'm afraid he might have been cast too much as a bit of a joke character to be able to completely come back from that. Hope I'm wrong though.

18. Drew McIntyre to Raw:
Interesting pick ... here's a guy who was pushed to the moon, only to have been reined in a bit in recent months. Here's hoping this is a fresh start for someone I think is a pretty damn talented performer.

19. Natalya to Smackdown:
OK. Balancing the wrestling talent a little bit more in terms of the Divas division, I can dig it. While Smackdown really only had LayCool as legitimate wrestling talent up to now, they now have Natalya, and to a lesser extent, Alica Fox. I know they have/had Beth Phoenix as well, however I haven't seen her in ages (have I just been missing her?), so I don't count her as much as I otherwise might.

20. Curt Hawkins to Raw:
Yep - stop the presses on this one.

21. Chris Masters to Raw.
Some more visibility for the Masterpiece, who has actually grown on me and I think has learned a lot in his time in the biz. Let's see where he goes with this one. Or maybe he just remains on Superstars after all.

22. Jey Uso to Smackdown:
OK - makes sense with his tag team partner having moved over.

23. Kofi Kingston to Raw:
Another big name move - no wonder that, while I'm still using the term 'supplemental draft', WWE didn't. It usually implies switches from midcard or lower, and really they've had a few big-ish names switch over here. Kofi on Raw will have a chance to either excel under a brighter spotlight ... or languish as a small fish in a big pond. We'll have to see whether I like this one or not.

24. Ted DiBiase to Smackdown:
This can only be good, a fresh start for Ted, who's another would-be main eventer who's been languishing way more than he deserves of late. Who on earth would have predicted that of the former Legacy team, Cody Rhodes would have been the one with the intriguing character and storyline, while Ted Dibiase would be the midcarder with no storyline short of a semi-hot girlfriend?

25. Tyson Kidd to Smackdown:
I repeat, he's still under contract? I'm guessing someone might be hearing best wishes for his future endeavours in time ... and where's Harry Smith? Or sorry - David Hart Smith?

26. Tamina to Smackdown:
The Uso reunion is complete. Yay.

27. Tyler Reks to Raw:
Another one who started out with much promise - even made the Smackdown Bragging Rights team - to have disappeared into the Superstars ether. Wonder what this move will do for his career longterm.

28. Alex Riley to Smackdown:
A sudden bustup of Team Miz, which on the one hand disappoints me as I enjoy him as Miz's apprentice and mini-me, but on the other hand, I'm impressed they're giving him a chance to shine on his own. Let's see if he runs with the ball they just threw him. Aaah, who am I kidding, he'll run with it if they let him, he won't if they don't.

29. Beth Phoenix to Raw:
Or is this the feud they're setting up for Kharma? Kharma destroys Kelly Kelly and Phoenix makes the save as the 'real' competition? Interesting. I do have to echo Jason Powell's question though ... with Tamina jumping brands meaning Santino Marella has lost yet another girlfriend ... a Glamarella reunion anyone?

30. Sheamus to Smackdown:
He could dominate the brand, and that's the truth. it will be interesting to see who they put him with and how. If Undertaker comes back in any kind of OK shape, these two could have an intriguing and heavy-hitting, high-impact program. It would be brutal. If they weren't obviously building toward a HHH-Taker rematch at Wrestlemania, and if we weren't so clearly getting to the end of the line on Taker's streak and career, I'd suggest Sheamus, if built right, could be an intriguing 'challenger'/'victim' at the next Mania ... except for the likelihood at this point that it will be Taker's last. Either way ... there's room for a good feud there if possible - and other feuds if not. An interesting choice with which to end the 2011 WWE Draft.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bloggin' the Draft

So it's been awhile and I did explain we had both Passover and Easter plans over the last week ... and lost in the shuffle was me mentioning tonight is the brand extension draft, where WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown exchange performers based on the winners of matches throughout the show. So while we'll do an ITVR podcast Friday to talk about the draft and look ahead to Extreme Rules PPV, I'm going to sort of live blog the draft edition of Raw as we go.

BTW - those who expected the draft would occur in June - that was the plan. However, with Edge's sudden retirement, there is a dirth of main event 'good guy' talent on Smackdown, so the draft was moved up to address that disparity. While I'm a bit dubious of the draft being held so close to a PPV, making some of the matches on the card less relevant, it's still always an interesting show so let's get to it.

Raw opened with a battle Royal between the two brands, with the winner's brand getting a Draft pick. At the end of the day, Smackdown luminaries Big Show and Kofi Kingston were the last men standing, and won the first draft pick of the night for their brand. BOTTOM LINE: John Cena to Smackdown! As the locker room goes crazy. John Cena cuts an enthusiastic promo, and already the face of the WWE has shifted a bit. SD needed a main event 'babyface', and they got THE babyface. Not a bad move, if you want my opinion.

We go on to some promotion on Michael Cole's part for his match later this evening with Jim Ross, and R Truth cutting a not-atypical heel promo saying that doing things for the fans had gotten him nowhere, and he was now determined to look out for himself. Not a bad heel promo as far as that goes - it will be interesting to see if R Truth DOES indeed go further as a heel.

We then enjoy another vignette for Awesome Kong, who will now be known as Kharma going forward, beheading another Barbie Doll, before Eve Torres came out to fight Layla El. Cue the usual Michael Cole insulting the Divas interruption, before Eve's hand was raised in victory. After a fight was broken up between Layla and her tag team partner Michelle McCool, Rey Mysterio was announced as the latest draft pick over to Raw ... cut to Jim Ross warming up for his match, up next, with Cole ... cut to commercial.

Cut to a decent Cody Rhodes promo on the newly-drafted Rey Mysterio, before Sheamus (Raw) and Kofi Kingston (SD) fight for another draft pick. In perhaps a bit of an upset, Kofi Kingston wins, resulting in another big draft trade as Randy Orton is heading over to Smackdown.

Which brings us to the Michael Cole-Jim Ross match, which resulted in a decimated cowboy hat (also a recap of the disgusting Raw moment from last week where JR had to kiss Cole's athlete's foot-infested foot). Nonetheless, this was exactly what one would expect, a joke match, about which my only complaint, in that context, was much like Cole's match at Wrestlemania, went on a bit long. I had patience for him longer than some, but I think the Michael Cole character has jumped the shark for me the last week or two also. DQ finish with a win for Jim Ross ensues after Jack Swagger interferes and attacks JR. A post-match beatdown ensues, due to JR having bloodied Michael Cole's lip, where Swagger has JR in the ankle lock while Michael Cole whips him with a belt, until Jerry Lawler makes the save and delivers a few lashes of his own with said belt. Cue the Anonymous Raw GM beep ...

"This Sunday at Extreme Rules - Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole and Jack Swagger will now be a Country Whipping Match." Oh how fun ... lol.

We now have Randy Orton (Smackdown) vs. Dolph Ziggler - amazing how they were able to make a match ahead of time for two draft pics, projecting that Randy Orton would have been drafted beforehand ... lol. Jokes; but this was actually a pretty solid match with an Orton win on Smackdown's behalf. The draft pick in this match was interrupted by a CM Punk promo promising to, of course, cause mucho bodily harm to Randall Kenneth Orton at Extreme Rules in their Last Man Standing match. Randy threatened much the same in reverse before the draft continued ... after a commercial break, of course. This match enhanced the Smackdown roster by Mark Henry, and Sin Cara. For those keeping score, that has Raw at having gained one wrestler (Mysterio) and Smackdown having gained four (Orton and Cena, as well as Henry and Cara).

This disparity was evened out a bit however in the next match as Rey Mysterio defeated Wade Barrett (in Smackdown Blue, just as the Nexus was in Raw Red earlier - as Jason Powell pointed out over at, how far we've come - or perhaps receded? - in a year. This also won Raw two draft picks; welcome Big Show and Alberto del Rio, who didn't seem happy about his trade.

The show wound down with an ad for the Rock's birthday party next week, as well as Michael Cole coming back out to join Booker T, Josh Matthews and Jerry Lawler (four announcers?! and these four?! really?!) to run down the Extreme Rules lineup before Teddy Long entered to announce the last match of the evening; The Miz, Alberto del Rio and CM Punk representing Raw, vs. John Cena, Christian and Mark Henry for the last draft pick of the night. This resulted in Raw winning, and welcoming back John Cena as their final draft pick. Not sure if I'm a fan of exactly how that played out - I was kind of surprised at TWO big drafts in Cena and Orton, and expected one of them would be undone in relatively short order - if pressed, I probably could have even predicted it being Cena - but maybe that could have been handled tomorrow (today now - 12pm as the 'supplemental' draft continues on, or at/after the PPV, or even in conjunction with the Rock's birthday party next week.

Nonetheless though, a fun Raw overall to watch and enjoy - the Draft is usually at least somewhat newsworthy and this was no exception. It also ensures more wrestling action than usual given drafts occur by the winning and losing of matches ... albeit that means somewhat short matches to maximize the number of draftees. Even with the John Cena switcheroo, there were definitely some shakeups to the roster, and as I said, it will be interesting to see how they play out going forward.

Be sure and continue to join me as I blog through the week, and definitely tune in Friday night to catch up on your ITVR listening (as we catch up on our ITVR podcasting lol). Can't wait to see you then ... in this very ring.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wrestlers Behaving Badly

We'll be talking tomorrow or Friday at some point in regard to the happenings of (a fairly uneventful) Raw from the UK ... but I did want to quickly address what has quickly become one of the more controversial happenings on WWE TV in a little bit.

R Truth, Ron Killings, turned heel on John Morrison in Raw's opening segment - which was a bit strange but OK, and at least somewhat expected. However, one of the things he did in order to get some heat was admit to being a smoker, and lighting up in the midst of his beatdown on Morrison. Anti-smoking advocates have ... um ... lit into R Truth and the WWE since, demanding a public apology, not only for the poor example R Truth sets for WWE's PG audience, but for breaking smoking bylaws in London, UK where Raw was being recorded. It will be interesting to see how this controversy plays out, and we will certainly discuss this further on ITVR in the next day or two.

Perhaps in even bigger news, Jeff Hardy had a new court date today - and while another continuance was issued, at least some more detail was revealed in this situation; the continuance is allowing the court time to consider a 28-day inpatient rehab program, which Jeff has agreed to attend instead of jail time. If both sides can agree to this condition, it will be the first time that Hardy has even tacitly admitted having a drug problem, and might be best for all concerned. Court will reconvene in June, and we will see then what the result of this deal has turned out to be. I wish Jeff the best in dealing with his very obvious (to everyone but him) demons.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Farewell Edge

Hi guys - we will try to get an ITVR up either later tonight, or more likely over the weekend - but we have in-laws visiting this weekend so we'll see what we can mustard. ;) In the meanwhile though something important I wanted to share.

I'd shut my computer down for the night when perhaps the biggest news on Raw Monday occurred - Adam "Edge" Copeland announcing his retirement. I've been actually fairly emotional about this most of the week - not in the bursting out in tears like when I was a little girl mark, or even in the 'all bad emotions' sense. But Edge has been a favourite for a long time - a very 'game' workhorse who was good at what he did, and who I never quite felt got his due from management. Ultimately, years of abuse to his body trying to one-up himself has resulted in his unexpected, and without much pomp, retirement at the age of 37, only days after announcing his title defense against Alberto Del Rio. As we speak (or really, 5 days ago, but I'm not checking spoilers), he has vacated the title and there will now be a Battle Royal tonight on Smackdown for the opportunity to face Del Rio for the vacant title.

He came in on the midcard and retired as champ, one who has held the belt 9 times, albeit often in an abbreviated transitional capacity. He has participated in several show-stealing matches, and it's unfortunate they couldn't properly handle a retirement match/tour and sendoff, due to the severity of the nerve damage an MRI resulted in him being diagnosed with last week. I am disappointed that it's unlikely we'll ever see him wrestle again, and certainly not on a regular basis. On the other hand, after so many stories of people who stayed in too long, who ignored their pain and numbed themselves by popping even more chemicals into their bodies ... here's someone with his priorities in order. Realizing 37 is too young to risk permanent disability and/or death ... that perhaps his new home and girlfriend are worth more than a career he's already accomplished so much in ... I always say the boys (and girls) should know when to get out ... and here's someone who does. As disappointing as it is, I also applaud him.

Mick Foley today wrote a tremendous blog about Edge's career you can find HERE. Luminaries from Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and Christian to Matt Hardy and the Fink have all had kind words to say looking back on this prematurely-ended career. Edge - hope you can stay involved in some safe, healthy capacity on some basis - I'd love to hear you on commentary. Meanwhile though, congratulations on making the smart decision, on having your priorities straight, and realizing you've already sacrificed too much of your health to this business. Thank you for the incredible memories and please rest comfortably knowing you already have had a hall of fame career. Looking forward to the induction. Now ... go enjoy that ice cream, can't wait to see you actually filling out that 'Fat Elvis' suit. :) Much love, and muchas gracias.

Monday, April 11, 2011

WWE Rebranding

It's been a busy week but I wanted to comment, before Raw comes on, on the biggest news coming out of WWE last week - perhaps, going forward, superceding even Wrestlemania itself. World Wrestilng Entertainment announced last week that, in a KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) type move, it will be rebranding itself as strictly WWE, and an edict has been issued that no one affiliated with the company, from the mailroom to the boardroom, talent, etc. is to refer to 'wrestling' in association with the WWE.

The company's statement laying out this shift in direction states that

Two key components to WWE’s brand expansion will be the active pursuit to acquire entertainment content companies and the outsourcing of WWE’s core competencies – television and film production, live event production and licensing. As part of the new business model, the company will also focus on the development of new television products including scripted, non-scripted and animated programs, as well as the launch of a new WWE network in the next 12-18 months. The first new program of the brand expansion is Tough Enough®, WWE’s non-scripted program that debuted on the USA Network on Monday.

Vince McMahon went on to add:

“The new business model of the company better reflects what WWE is all about, being a global entertainment company,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO, WWE. “We will always be loyal to our core business that made WWE a globally known entity, however, the future of WWE will be the addition of new entertainment content opportunities beyond the ring.”
Colour me dubious - it's no secret that Vince McMahon has wanted a level of legitimacy, for a long time, beyond 'pro rasslin'. And there's no question that WWE TV production, and the potential to employ their characters and other resources to other forms of media - cartoons, reality TV etc. - is strong. However, at the end of the day, their bread is buttered in the ring, and to ignore that reality - to take a 'no, but ...' instead of a 'yes, and ...' approach here, is foolhardy, and an insult, at the end of the day, to the folks who keep their company solvent. While WWE Films, for example, has been more successful than I anticipated, let's call a spade a spade here; that is NOT what made Vince a billionaire, nor is it what will keep him there.

Having said that - other than the entrenching and further obstinacy in denying WWE's wrestling core, I don't think this is a bad idea in terms of expanding Vince's purvue as a promoter extraordinaire, with an unbelievable production facility at his fingertips, etc. I also want to give kudos to their new 'Talent Development' department, headed by Paul Levesque (Triple H), who intends to expand the global scope of recruitment and liaise with organizations like Florida Championship Wrestling more effectively. Sin Cara, formerly Mistico, is the first new recruit under this department.

Definitely a time of development and change for the 'Bigger, Badder, Better' WWE. I guess my only question remains, if we are to no longer refer to 'Wrestling', what do we call the WWE's biggest show of the year going forward? ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Monday, April 4, 2011

Official Programming Note

In This Very Ring will do a very special podcast tomorrow evening, after the Hall of Fame has aired here in Canada, to discuss all of Wrestlemania weekend events, as well as last night's Raw. Be sure and join us then, with thanks for the understanding of delays etc. XO and be well until then.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wrestlemania Time! :)

First - an apology for not having posted or done the podcast this week of all weeks - of course work picks up the week leading into Wrestlemania! :) Which means I also didn't have enough time on my hands to send the DVD out to last week's contest winner Shane - it will be in the mail tomorrow/Tues. at the latest.

However, you can still hear our predictions by checking out and going to their radio section in this week's archive - an interview with Sid Vicious will be up there too, which is pretty good.

And I promised viewing information for last night's Hall of Fame, which apparently didn't air live either here in Canada OR in the US. you can watch it around 7pm Eastern before Raw on the USA network tomorrow night in the US, or on Tuesday at I beleive 5 or 6 pm (double check) on the Score here in Canada. :) Dontcha dare miss it, they will be featuring Shawn Michaels', Sunny's and the Road Warriors' inductions.

And be sure and remember the special start time of Wrestlemania tonight - 7pm! We will either podcast or blogpost tonight after the event with our feedback on the show, and on this week's buildup. Boys and girls ... it's time. Enjoy! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

CLICK HERE for ITVR (now with better audio!)

Enjoy all - and please forgive the poor sound quality of the intro - the rest of the show gets better I swear. :) Much love to y'all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

10 Years Ago Today ... Sensitivity Training Makes us GLAAD

Lots to talk about in terms of Raw, and Chris Jericho's Dancing with the Stars debut this week and we're going to hold off on that until Friday so we can incorporate TNA's Impact and Smackdown as well, and so we have some fresh (depending how fresh you consider wrestling this days lol) stuff to talk about on the air. There were two things I wanted to address, though, that I think are more important than any on-air fun this week.

  1. Is a contest we're holding. Ten years ago today was one of the most important days in wrestling history. The first reader who emails or posts (here or on our Facebook page) just what that was, will get a DVD from me of their choice (within reason - I only have a few options here which I will let the winner know what they are).
  2. In more present-day, and thus more immediately important and encouraging news, some of John Cena's 'homophobic' language during his promos on the Rock have caught the attention of GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Rather than taking the advocacy group's feedback with a grain of salt, or launching a defensive counter-assault, as Vince McMahon is often wont to do in the face of his critics, the WWE has not only apologized and promised to include no further such comments in future programming, they have also invited GLAAD to lead a sensitivity training workshop for its creative team. This is such a surprising, yet important and wonderful, step for a very testosterone-driven organization, and while it might just seem 'Welcome to the 21st century' to some, I do want to express that it's still a great step and congratulate Vince McMahon for handling a valid and pertinent criticism, for once, as ... well ... an adult. Kudos to the WWE on this one.
Be sure and respond as to what the answer to point #1 is, and don't forget to tune in to In This Very Ring late Friday night, after Smackdown! We'll be sure and see you then (if not sooner).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

CLICK HERE to listen to ITVR

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Big Post-Raw ITVR Tomorrow

Hi all,

And sorry about being out of touch - I DID warn about the in-law visit right? lol But have no fear - we will be back tomorrow after Raw with a podcast of In This Very Ring, covering the Rock's second live, in-the-arena Raw appearance. Will we see him and John Cena face-to-face in the same ring/backstage area tomorrow? Should they hold off until Wrestlemania on that gem? Be sure and register your thoughts here and tune in tomorrow to hear our thoughts about what should be a decent, road-to-Wrestlemania show.

Peace, love and headlocks,


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Waltz of Jericho? :)

Definitely looking forward to DWTS this year ... :) TEAM CHERICHO!

blog analyzer
HammerMill Copy Paper