Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Day in Wrestling History ...

Ten years ago today ... John Cena began his WWE career.
One year ago today ... CM Punk made his infamous ... ahem ... WWE-changing promo.

Not a bad day to be a wrestling fan. :)

Tomorrow, Friday at the latest - ITVR podcast! Until then ... be well.

Monday, June 25, 2012

5 Years ...

This past weekend marked the 5th anniversary of the day wrestling changed ... and I have yet to see any wrestling site mark it. Chris Benoit, on the weekend of the 22nd-24th of June 5 years ago, murdered his wife and young son before taking ihs own life.

It is a day that will live in infamy in the wrestling industry. I said on my Facebook this weekend, it was a tragic day for wrestling fans, but more especially the families involved. We lost a myth, a legend gone up in smoke ... they lost loved ones (and yes - that includes Chris, and the man everyone seemed to think he was).

You will rarely, if ever, hear his name on a wrestling broadcast these days, his title reign wiped from the record books as you hear that at Wrestlemania XX, Shawn Michaels and Triple H fought each other in one of the best Triple Threat matches in history, and somehow neither of them left with the title. But his impact on the business is undeniable, as headshots with chairs have been banned, even as the WWE denied concussions and other head injuries were the factor behind the crime ... the drug-testing Wellness Policy was beefed up, despite the adamant denials that this was a case of 'roid rage.

This could have crippled the industry ... but in some ways it made it stronger, more wrestler friendly. But more could be done. What about incorporating psychological testing into the Wellness Policy? What about mandatory, rotating vacations so wrestlers don't burn out? What about health insurance coverage so guys can get the taking care of they need without worrying about losing their spot? What about - dare I whisper it? Dare I utter it? A wrestling union?

It is not too late to try to turn the tarnished and tragic Benoit legacy - one of waste, unchecked mental illness and hidden demons - into perhaps a positive one ... one that could have protected Chris, and perhaps more importantly, his family.

Naysayers will speculate that this is about Benoit's own mental illness/addictions, what have you - and I agree. He's an adult who sought out and engaged in unsafe, unhealthy, and ultimately fatal behaviours. A monster. But these types are inordinately attracted to the wrestling business. Whatever is cause and whatever is effect - we need to heed that, and work accordingly with it. For the sake of all the future Nancy, Daniel, and yes - even Chris - Benoits out there.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

No Way Out Predictions

So it is that time of month and year, the WWE's next pay-per-view is knockin' at our doors, and there's NO WAY OUT of watching it. ;) OK ... well I suppose you don't need to buy it, but ... lol. Anyway, Ari and I didn't have a chance this weekend to podcast our predictions due to a visit from our in-laws and a weekend away while they babysat for our anniversary, but I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts on tonight's PPV before it airs. So match by match, here are my predictions.

John Cena vs. Big Show:
This match will take place in a steel cage and feature Vince McMahon and John Laurenaitis at ringside. If Big Show loses, Johnny Ace loses his job. If Cena loses, he's fired. I'm going to predict a loss and firing for Cena. The character badly needs a reboot. If they actually follow the story through for a time, he could get some time at home to recharge, deal with his divorce, and come back with a fresh set of batteries. Johnny Ace is a great heel authority figure (as much as it pains me to say so), and I think the stable he's working to build, works. In short, there's still some juice in that potential lemon. :) Even if they 'rehire' John Cena a week or two from now, this kind of loss might be enough to enable a directional change for him; not necessarily a heel turn, but even just encouraging him to approach his matches and career more seriously. The character needs a change and a loss would enable that.

World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler:
I'm going to go with Ziggler here actually. Sheamus has had a good run and has been easil frustrated/semi-aggressive; I could see a loss here enabling a heel turn. Ziggler also could really use some main event cachet. This would, in the big picture, benefit both men if Ziggler won. It wouldn't surprise me to go either way though, as for whatever reason WWE has been reluctant to back Ziggler to date. But I could see a double-turn here with relative ease.

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane:
The most exciting match on the card. AJ will play a prominent role here and I think she and the title both are going with whoever wins this match. I think Kane has meshed into this storyline well but is still a tertiary player; CM Punk is too obvious. I am, by default, going with her helping her ex-boyfriend Bryan regain his title to win back his grace and favour.

Intercontinental Champion Chrisian vs. Cody Rhodes:
This should be a good match - in a storyline perspective, they have not focused on it as they could have, but if given a healthy amount of time to go in the ring these guys could make up for that easily. I'm guessing Christian retains on the basis that he only won the title a month ago, but this is another that wouldn't surprise me either way, as WWE doesn't care enough about the IC belt to worry about hotshotting it if Cody holding it somehow fits better into their plans.

Diva's Champion Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
Enh ... let's say ... Beth? And please oh please a return of Kharma?

US Champion Santino Marella vs. Ricardo Rodriguez
This also happens to be a tuxedo match. Ah the comedy spot ... this will not be a ***** match by any means, but could be some good light fun for those who enjoy its wrestling with a side of tongue-in-cheek. These two are great comedy characters ... it's just a bit of a shame this is what the US title has become. Predictions? This is a toughy, as both have been pushed as decent yet entertaining wrestlers ... I will say Santino Marella has a slight edge over Rodriguez as champ and a more established star (wow did I really just say that?), but I think the difference in their chances resemble the 1994 Quebec Sovereignty Referendum results (look it up).

Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga
Brodus Clay's character has been evolving now that he's full-time Smackdown, and Otunga is being pushed more as a John Laurenaitis entourage member than a wrestler in his own right, so I'm going to guess Clay goes over here, being more in need of the win in terms of the work he does as a wrestler day-to-day. But this match is symbolic of the undercard at present; while the top three matches on this PPV are incredibly strong, either in terms of wrestling potential, storyline potential or both, the bottom 3-4 feel throwaway - not as an insult to those involved, but based on how WWE has positioned and pushed (or not) them. It comes down to - do you feel a good 2-3 matches can sell a PPV? And do you believe the midcard guys can turn their lemons into lemonade? Let's hope!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Oops! Uploaded this to the filesharing site last night and then forgot to link it here.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Editorial Correction

We have mentioned the last couple of entries that Raw goes 3-hours permanently this week - not so. It goes 3 hours permanently July 23, on its 1000th episode. We apologize for the error. Work the last couple of days (church and school) has precluded us doing the ITVR we promised - of course obligations A and B kick in as obligations C and D finish up right? But we will do a special podcast reviewing tonight's 3 hour show ... and just what the implications for Raw are when it goes to this length of time full-time ... tomorrow night. Be sure to check in for our triumphant return (and this promise we WILL keep come hell or high-water).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

ITVR Podcast Returns Tomorrow!

After almost a month's hiatus Ari and Sarah return tomorrow to podcast in anticipation of Raw going three hours this Monday night - the return of Vince McMahon and a host of other guests, as we head into No Way Out next Sunday night. Let's survey the WWE scene and talk about what's coming next as we head into the summer months. Dontcha dare miss it! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012


THIS LINK for an important message from management.

(No - we are not going out of business, however, announcing plans to serve you better from this 'older and wiser' new perspective.)

While this message was written at my personal blog, it applies to this space as well.

With thanks for your patronage.


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