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

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