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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Breaking: CM Punk Removed from TLC Main Event; Replacement Match Announced

CM Punk InjuredIt's pretty rare these days that a major pay per view main event gets changed pretty much out of the blue with just over a week until the event, but that's exactly what's happening with the WWE TLC main event of CM Punk vs. Ryback. Word began making the rounds yesterday that CM Punk had knee surgery following Monday's attack by Ryback.  Of course that was a storyline excuse to explain the surgery, but prior to this there wasn't really any talk of Punk being injured or needing surgery.  Either the injury and surgery were kept under wraps or it's a very clever way to keep the WWE Title on Punk another month so he makes it to his showdown with The Rock at the Royal Rumble.

Never the less, the TLC main event of Ryback vs. CM Punk is off, and the new main event will now feature Team Hell No and Ryback vs. The Shield.  Obviously this was all set up throughout RAW this week with The Shield attacking Kane and Daniel Bryan and the duo later getting revenge on The Shield at the end of the show.  It's a bold move to put a new group like The Shield in such a big position main eventing a pay per view even though the group has been a focal point for the last month.  Now the big question will be if WWE will keep The Shield strong coming out of this match and not kill their momentum by having them get destroyed in this match, since obviously Ryback has to stay strong here as well.

Punk is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for the Rumble.  His match with The Rock should be the biggest story in WWE in the coming weeks, and will dictate what the WWE Title picture will look like going into WrestleMania.  Maybe this injury will end up working out for the best since Punk would somehow have to creatively get around Ryback again in order to retain until the Rumble, and eventually Ryback is going to start looking a bit weak after all these title shots and no win.  It should be interesting to see how WWE books this match and who they aim to protect.  Could we see more Shield members get involved and make the group even stronger?  We will find out on December 16th at WWE TLC.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

R.I.P. "Freebird" Buddy Roberts

RIP Buddy RobertsAnother loss of a wrestling legend to report today as legendary member of the "Fabulous Freebirds" Buddy "Jack" Roberts (real name Dale Hey) has passed away at 65.  Roberts death leaves Michael Hayes as the lone original Freebird, as Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy also passed away back in 2001.

When the Fabulous Freebirds trio formed in the early 1980's, the formula of Hayes being the entertainment, Gordy being the big man, and Roberts being the solid in-ring veteran quickly saw the group gain fame in every area they hit.  Prior to forming the Freebirds, Roberts had been working  multiple territories in the 70s and had much success a member of the "Hollywood Blonds" tag team. Of course The Freebirds will best be remembered for lighting the Texas territory on fire in the early 80s with their feud with the Von Erichs in World Class Championship Wrestling. During this time Roberts also sparked a singles feud with "Iceman" King Parsons that stands out as one of the most memorable feuds in the promotion's history that saw Roberts lose his hair, which brought much joy to Texas fans who enjoyed seeing Roberts trying to hide his bald head in the weeks that followed.

In between their multiple runs in World Class, the Freebirds also had memorable runs in the AWA, UWF (where Roberts held their Television Championship,) and even a very short stint in the WWF in 1984.  In the later 80's, the Freebirds split in different directions, and even feuded in World Class in 1988 where Roberts replaced Hayes with "Iceman" King Parsons in the group since Hayes had befriended the Von Erichs at the time.  Shortly after, Roberts managed a young "Samoan Swat Team" who went on to become the "Headshrinkers" in WWF, and who "Fatu" of the team later became Rikishi.  Buddy Roberts retired in 1990 and battled and beat throat cancer in later years.  Robers made appearances in many autograph conventions over the years, and was seen on WWE programming in the past couple of years joining hosts Hayes and Kevin Von Erich on WWE Classics on Demand's World Class Championship Wrestling programming. 
 
Buddy "Jack" Roberts was a legend that was part of one of the most innovative, rebellious, and hell raising groups in wrestling history both inside and outside the ring.  The Freebirds will always be at the top of any list that mentions the top groups or even tag teams in wrestling history.  Hopefully in his passing WWE will finally move forward with the LONG overdue induction of the Fabulous Freebirds into the WWF Hall of Fame this year.
Here's a classic match from AWA Superclash featuring Buddy Roberts taking on WWE Hall of Famer Mil Mascaras: 
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday: Wrestling DVD and Merchandise Deals

Happy Holidays, Everyone!
Thanksgiving brings back a lot of Wrestling memories. A couple years back we posted a "Remember When" about The Survivor Series Thanksgiving Tradition.

After spending Thanksgiving with family, a lot of shoppers choose to take advantage of the "Black Friday" sales. It's late afternoon now here, so most of the early bird chaos has subsided. Perhaps you took advantage of some of these deals.

May we offer another suggestion? Black Friday deals are often found online, and next Monday comes the newer online shopping "holiday" of Cyber Monday.

At any time during the year, if you are looking for some good deals on Wrestling merchandise, take a look at the PWR DVD Store, stocked with wrestling DVDs and Blu-Ray.

For more general online deals ( we know our audience is shopping for more than just Wrestling merch), I don't really think you can beat the Black Friday deals ( great prices on just about everything, free shipping offers, sometimes no sales tax), whether you are looking for TVs, video game systems, tablets, laptops, Kindles, iPads, everything offered by Amazon:




That's a link to their general Black Friday deals. So far this shopping season I took advantage of the following deals:




I got the Kindle Fire HD. Also picked up the newest generation of the iPod touch ( Amazon doesn't allow us to link to that directly, but once you get on their site you can search for just about everything), and a few toys.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

R.I.P. Brad Armstrong

R.I.P. Brad ArmstrongSad news to report today as WWE.com is reporting that Brad Armstrong of the famous Armstrong family has passed away at the age of 51.  Brad was probably best known in wrestling for his time in the NWA during it's boom period in the 80's.  Brad leaves behind his father, WWE Hall of Famer "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, and brothers Scott Armstrong who is a current WWE referee, Steve Armstrong who competed in WWE as "Leif Cassidy," and current WWE agent "Road Dogg" Jessie James.

Though Brad competed mainly in the mid card in the Crocket NWA, he was considered a great wrestler and probably the most athletic of all his brothers.  Brad had a long run in the NWA even into the WCW years where he had reign as cruiserweight champion.  Brad also competed under a mask in WCW both as "Badstreet" as a member of the Freebirds, and as "Arachnaman" in 1991.  Armstrong also stayed with WCW throughout the Nitro years and had many great matches during the time. 

In 2006 Brad was hired by WWE to be an agent and part time wrestler in their version of ECW and appeared on TV as an announcer during that period.  Brad's last big spotlight was when he took part in inducing his father Bullet Bob into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011. 

Our condolences to the Armstrong family.  In honor of his career, here is a great match from Slamboree '96 as Brad Armstrong takes on Dean Malenko for the WCW Cruiserweight Title:


Dean Malenko vs Brad Armstrong-WCW Cruiserweight...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why are WWE Ratings at Record Lows? They Have No Attitude

John Cena No AttitudeWhen it was reported that this past week's RAW had the lowest ratings in 15 years, it really got me thinking about how low WWE is going to let things sink before they make a big move to turn things around.  It almost seemed like the angle they ran that took AJ Lee out of the GM position was setting up a change, but Vickie Guerrero replacing her for the time being was just more of the same old same.  But in reality even a big GM shake up isn't the one solution that can fix the much bigger problem.

Why do you think Ryback has such a buzz lately?  If you notice, he's really the only guy who comes out with pure intensity; no smiling, no slapping hands, no corny jokes, just ass kicking.  When the WWE got red hot in the late 90's, it seems WWE was full of these type of characters.  In their own unique way, guys like Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and even Vince McMahon were just a FEW characters that brought attitude in that era that was pretty much all serious, all edge, and all business.  Now that WWE is keeping things family friendly again and it has taken the edge off almost every guy in the company. 

Sheamus No AttitudeSheamus is the worst current example in my eyes.  Here's a guy who made an impact as a heel and because of his ass kicking "I love fighting" character, and fans got behind him and he got over as a face as well.  But as is the case with most every face turn in the past few years, Sheamus is no longer an ass kicker, but a smiling, joking, all around nice guy.  I think this effect is what turns fans (especially young male fans) away and prevent them from connecting with characters.  Ryback is the only true ass kicking character we've seen in years and we've seen the buzz he has created.  If Ryback had similar characters to work with, even more buzz would surround 2 bad asses getting in the ring and seeing what happens.

THEN there's John Cena.  What else can be said.  Is there any match involving John Cena against a current star that interests you?  Aside from a match with Ryback or an Undertaker Wrestlemania match, Cena has feuded with and been in multiple angles with every other top guy in WWE.  WWE refuses to turn him heel due to his merchandise sales, so basically we have a Hulk Hogan in the 90's situation where everyone has had their fill of the top good guy, except Hogan turned heel and set the business on fire again.  Until WWE sees that a huge move is needed, Cena's character will remain stale and only see interest in him jump when someone like Brock Lesnar or The Rock are paired with him.

CM Punk is the one guy that has the attitude in him and if wasn't for the PG environment, could really shine by not being held back.  Punk's comments last summer about needing change seemed to be an outcry from Punk himself to bring things back to the Attitude days, but no real change was made.  Now Punk is the champion with Paul Heyman by his side, but other than Ryback, there is no one truly interesting to challenge Punk until The Rock returns.

Overall, I believe RAW's ratings are in the toilet due to boredom.  There aren't enough characters we care about.  Sheamus vs. CM Punk being pushed as a huge champion vs. champion match has been done many times and it feels meaningless now.  Monday's "biggest lumberjack match ever" saw the crowd falling asleep until Ryback made his appearance.  If WWE wants to bring things back up, major shake ups are needed.  Vince McMahon returning to TV gave a temporary spike because Vince brought that edge back, that "let's just fight" mentality.  It's the same no-nonsense approach that gave MMA such a boost in interest the past few years.  Give us more guys with edge who just want to fight and kick ass and give us less smiling nice guys, then watch the interest return.  Seeing the same played out guys in matches 2 or more times a week in some cases is just plain overkill. 

The real question is, can WWE change?  WWE's anti-bullying and other do-gooder campaigns are making their entire roster just a bunch of nice guys and girls, and that just won't work since this is the WRESTLING business after all.  With their focus on being a family friendly public company, can they do what is necessary to bring back interest?  I think that will all depend on how low they sink;  we all know that if Vince McMahon sees failure on the horizon, SOMEthing will get done.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 Wrestlers WWE Should Send to Japan.

Jack SwaggerFor years now I have thought about certain WWE talents who seem to have all the tools to be stars, but seem to reach a roadblock and just can't make it to the next level.  They seem to have the size, ability, and even personality in some cases, but still become stagnant in WWE and go nowhere.  Thinking about guys like that brought me back to the 80's and 90's when I would read about so many talents from the U.S. wrestling over in Japan.  Guys like Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, The Road Warriors, and Vader became legends in Japan while still remaining huge stars in the U.S. 

Then there were guys that had trouble making it in the U.S., but went to Japan and became polished and either remained stars there or came back to the U.S. entirely renewed.  Even WWE's John Laurinaitis became a star in his own right as Johnny Ace in Japan after not doing much in the U.S.  I've wondered why WWE doesn't send guys to Japan to develop further and experience the totally different style of wrestling in Japan, from the crowds to in ring style.  Sometimes seeing a guy who has worked American style basic matches can seem totally different in a brutal Japanese style war.

When when news broke earlier this year that WWE had made an agreement with All Japan Pro Wrestling to exchange talent, I figured the timing was perfect to bring something fresh out of many of their stagnant talents.  Below I've comprised a list of  the top 5  talents that I believe could be renewed after a few months in Japan; I've chosen guys that aren't currently involved in a real storyline or doing anything of note, and are mainly just seen already in the ring ready to take a beating in most of their cases.

5.  Michael Mcgillicutty - Somehow the son of Mr. Perfect has been lost in the WWE shuffle.  He seems to have the drive and determination, and has even openly voiced his disgust of the name he's been given instead of using his real name "Joe Hennig."  His dad spent years working all over the country and it took years before the "Mr. Perfect" persona made magic.  Seeing Mcgillicutty spend time working Japanese matches could be just what he needs to find his niche.

4.  Ted Dibiase - Ted Dibiase is another wrestler who hasn't lived up to his dad's WWE legend just yet.  He started strong in the group "Legacy" with Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes and was in a pretty high profile spot for quite a while, but every singles push he's got just doesn't seem to work.  Here is another situation where we look back and must remember that Ted Dibiase Sr. worked in Japan and numerous territories in the U.S. before the magic of the "Million Dollar Man" hit, his son seemingly needs a bit of the same treatment.

3.  Alex Riley - In the case of Alex Riley going to Japan, it would be a do or die situation.  Riley has been with WWE for years, even before being on TV and in the developmental system.  His highest point was being The Miz's lackey, and then showing some fire in the feud that followed.  Instead of Riley wasting away in WWE, being sent to Japan could at least see if anything else could develop.  The guy has charisma, decent size, but just hasn't clicked.

2.  Brodus Clay - Let's face it, the dancing happy big guy act has a life span, and we're already seeing the evidence of it.  Clay had some buzz going in the beginning because of the over the top character, but now he's being defeated by Heath Slater.  The comedy can only go so far, so what better place to Japan to see a huge guy with some speed and agility develop into something more than Japan.  Guys like Bam Bam Bigelow, Vader, and of course Andre the Giant big men that were icons in Japan, and Brodus Clay could be looked at in similar fashion if sent to the far east.

1.  Jack Swagger - And finally, the number 1 guy I think could benefit from a stay in Japan is Jack Swagger.  Swagger was pushed at the beginning and has the athletic background, size, and ability to be a star, yet something isn't clicking for him anymore in WWE.  Swagger has a background in amateur wrestling, just like guys like Dr. Death Steve Williams that had huge success in Japan.  Swagger even utilizes some of the same moves as "Doc," and could probably develop a similar killer instinct if he spent time working the Japanese "strong style."  For once being a World Champion, Swagger has fallen off the charts and is probably the guy with the most potential that needs a re-charge.

So what do you think?  I believe these 5 talents could be completely renewed just like the old days of guys going over to Japan and becoming stars.  Hopefully WWE does have a deal with All Japan that could see moves like this happen.  Who do you think could benefit from a stay in the Japanese wrestling world?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

CM Punk and Stone Cold Steve Austin Go Face to Face for WWE '13 Interview

It's time once again for WWE's yearly video game release, and THQ is going all out to promote "WWE '13" as the best yet in the series.  THQ has put together an awesome approach this year, which will be the return of the Attitude Era and its stars as part of the game with the current WWE roster.  Of course one of the most interesting pairings in all this is that of WWE Champion CM Punk and WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin, and THQ actually got the two together for an interview with Jim Ross to discuss the game....and maybe more.

 
This interview comes across as more than just a puff piece for the game, as Stone Cold channels more of the persona we saw in the 90's than he has in recent years.  The "what if" question seems to pop up throughout the interview with a "only in the game" vibe halfheartedly being pushed.  By the end of it, there is a feeling that seeds may be getting planted for something bigger than just a WWE '13 showdown.  This match would no doubt be THE match that sells WrestleMania 29, but it remains to be seen if the stars will align and this match actually happens.  We hope it does, as the buildup with Punk, Austin, and even Paul Heyman would be must see TV just for the mic work alone.



WWE '13 comes out October 13th for all the major gaming platforms, and there is even a special "Austin 3:16" edition available.  The game is also stacked with numerous current and Attitude era stars that will be released as DLC over the next few months.  This game should have wrestling game fans buzzing for the next few months and well into next year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is Ryback the Change WWE Needs?

Ryback WWE ChampionSome online "experts" may say he's green, clumsy, a Goldberg clone, etc., but one thing is for sure, Ryback has exploded on to the scene and has made an impact unlike any superstar in years.  I remember reading house show reports from his first few appearances and not understanding what the former "Skip Sheffield's" new character was.  "Ryback" sounded like some sort of robotic monster similar to John Cena's "Prototype" character from his early years.  In reality, Ryback has just turned out to be an ass kicker that plows his opponents and doesn't have much to say....very similar to Goldberg's rise to stardom in the 90's which has played a big part in the "Goldberg" chants that are still heard during Ryback's matches.

The build for the Ryback character has been great, he's destroyed everyone in his path, and even multiple opponents at once.  We knew the moment would come that Ryback would be matched against higher level opponents, but it seems WWE's lack of ratings has sped up the process and now Ryback finds himself in the main event picture.  For the past few weeks, Ryback has made his presence known to WWE Champion CM Punk, and now we may even see that match on pay per view after the events on RAW last Monday.

While it may seem rushed, I pose the question, is Ryback main eventing exactly what WWE needs?  Ryback is a character that is an anti-John Cena....no goofy jokes, no being the good guy in any situation, just straight up ass kicking.  The fact of the matter is, Ryback is a guy that adult males aren't afraid to cheer for.  He gets in the ring and destroys opponents, and in brutal fashion.  John Cena has driven these fans away with his antics, and these fans need someone to cheer for if WWE wants to bring them back.

Another fact is that Ryback brings back a sense of realism to the WWE Title scene, he's a guy even non fans would stop and watch because they want to see the big "freakishly huge monster" in the ring and see what he can do.  In a visual side by side comparison, Ryback SHOULD beat Punk.  Seeing him defeat Punk wouldn't feel out of place to a casual fan, Ryback looks like someone who physically should be the champion and would plow most opponents.  The bigger question is, can WWE keep the Goldberg-esque mystique with Ryback by keeping him undefeated for a good long while, unlike Goldberg who was infamously sabotaged in WCW.

Is Ryback ready? Time will tell.  But I have a feeling Ryback would be a champion that would have casual fans drawn in just to see who could possibly beat him.  Is there that type of mystique with Cena or any other top guy?  Not at all, we've seen them matched up in every way and interest just isn't there.  So what do you think?  Would Ryback as WWE Champion spark interest or fall flat? Is now the time or should Ryback continue moving up the roster at a slow pace before reaching WWE Title level?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kelly Kelly Released by WWE

In a pretty surprising move, WWE has announced the release of Kelly Kelly.  Over the past few months Kelly has mostly been away from WWE and "taking time off," but was still regarded as one of the top Divas in an already weakening Divas division. 

It's hard to believe Kelly has been in WWE for 6 years, but when you think about it the first time we saw her was in ECW where she debuted as an "exhibitionist."  Kelly is a former Divas champion and was always popular on WWE programming, but with Triple H gaining more power being the scenes and word being he isn't big on the Divas, the writing may have been on the wall for Kelly. 

It always felt like Kelly would be back in a big role, most likely after Eve continued to build her current character to top heel status.  Now there is a definite void in the Diva's division and makes us wonder if Triple H will keep putting emphasis on tag teams like we've seen in recent weeks and less and less on the Divas.

Kelly would be a big pick up for TNA if she is still going to stay involved in wrestling, although she would most likely go by her real name of "Barbie Blank," which many have always said is a great name for wrestling anyway.  It should be interesting to see where Kelly Kelly goes from here, and if wrestling is in her future at all.

Related:
Kelly Kelly and Other WWE Divas - No Clothes

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jerry Lawler Collapses at Monday Night RAW

 
Earlier tonight at Monday Night RAW in Montreal, Jerry Lawler experienced a medical emergency during the live broadcast.  Lawler collapsed at ringside in what was described as quite a scary situation, as paramedics had to administer CPR.  The commentary on the broadcast came to a halt, and the rest of the show had no commentary at all.

Throughout the rest of the broadcast, Michael Cole only appeared in between segments to give updates on Lawler's condition.  Cole was quite shaken originally and let us know that this wasn't part of the "entertainment" tonight and was a very serious situation.  By the end of the broadcast, Cole was able to provide a somewhat positive update as he let us know that Lawler was both responsive and breathing on his own.

This was an out of nowhere type of occurrence, as Lawler has still been semi active in the ring the past few weeks and involved in a storyline with CM Punk.  Let's hope this turns out for the best and The King is back on RAW soon, our thoughts are with the WWE Hall of Famer.
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How CM Punk Saved His Character at RAW 1000

RAW 1000 was a huge show with a ton of surprises as expected, but there was the one standout story that ended the show and set the direction for the next few months.  Many would call the angle a "heel turn" by CM Punk, but an old school fan like myself can really appreciate how much it all made sense and how it could save CM Punk from turning into just another bland WWE top guy.

The initial portion of the story was Big Show interfering in Punk's match with John Cena and knocking Cena out as Punk watched on while the ref was down.  Punk was left with the decision to attempt a pin and win the match, or to "do the right thing" in the situation and inform the ref of what had gone down.  The delivery by Punk was great here, as the internal struggle over what to do was very evident.  Punk eventually went for the pin, but as it turned out he took too long and Cena kicked out at the last second.  The next part of this roller coaster was Cena locking Punk in the STF before Show once again interfered, causing a disqualification win for Cena. 

As Big Show continued his attack on Cena, CM Punk was in the corner looking on as the announcers questioned why he wasn't jumping in to help Cena.  This went on for a while as Punk continued to do nothing.  Eventually The Rock's music hit, and he hit the ring to aid Cena.  Then just as The Rock went for "The People's Elbow," Punk sprung into action and took the Rock out.  Punk then hit the "Go to Sleep" on The Rock and ended upstanding tall as the night ended.

Of course the crowd booed Punk after all of this, as it appeared he was once again a "bad guy," but the real situation seems to be Punk acting as an old school champion would.  Punk did what he had to do to protect his championship, which only makes sense.  Then, as champion, Punk refused to let The Rock waltz in and steal the spotlight to end the biggest RAW of the year.  The WWE Championship gained a lot of prestige back during all this, since The Rock announced he would be facing whoever is the champion at this year's Royal Rumble.  Punk has had one of the longest reigns in years, and now he is starting to act like it.

Last year Punk was the rebel that said whatever he wanted, stood for change, and we all looked forward to any time he came to the ring.  In recent months, Punk became "just another top guy" who would team with Cena and just be your typical good guy.  Punk lost his edge, an edge we were thrilled to see back last night.  Ric Flair was the champion in the 80's and 90's that made his belt feel important, because he would do anything it took to protect his number 1.  CM Punk brought back that notion last night, and it gave a glimmer of hope that real pro wrestling that makes sense can still make a comeback.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Can RAW 1000 Be a Fresh Start for WWE?


For the last couple of months, the wrestling scene as a whole and WWE in particular have just seemed down and boring in my opinion.  There aren't many great feuds or captivating stories going on, and the ups and downs of WWE's storyline involving AJ/Daniel Bryan/CM Punk has really been the only story worth following it seems.  Last year Punk seemed like the guy who was going to change everything with his shoot promos that seemingly had no filter.  Now he's just became another main event face that teams up with John Cena like they're best friends and goes about his rather uneventful title reign.

Fast forward to tonight's 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW.  In terms of what's going on with the current roster, the main event will be John Cena cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase against Punk for the WWE Championship.  It's probably the biggest current match they could book, so it makes sense.  The only other actual match that seems to be somewhat set is Christian defending the Intercontinental Title against an opponent that has yet to be announced.

Now on to the major selling points of RAW 1000: the returns.  There are a ton of special returns both announced and unannounced that are lined up for this event.  Of course The Rock's return to RAW has been pushed heavily, so we are likely looking at a promo from him which will give us an idea of what his next feud/match will be.  The show is set to kick off with a DX reunion, which at first glass just seemed like Triple H and Shawn Michaels reuniting for the umpteenth time, but now word is that we may actually be getting a REAL DX reunion possibly including X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn.  If that's not enough for you, WWE is also advertising the announcement of the permanent RAW GM, the Daniel Bryan/AJ wedding, the return of Brock Lesnar/on screen reunion with Paul Heyman, and a ton of surprises/returns.

And then we have the variables; the surprises/returns that are unannounced which has many fans speculating on what all could go down.  Word is that most of the legends we have seen return in the past few weeks will be at RAW (Vader, Sid, Animal, etc.) and we will also probably see the returns of semi regular legends like Roddy Piper and Bret Hart.  As far as returns/legends go, I feel the only HUGE jaw dropping returns that would shock anyone would be that of Goldberg or the Ultimate Warrior (both of whom have denied making returns to RAW.)  Other than those 2, I don't see any other returns that will really shock anyone.  The return of The Undertaker and Steve Austin will most likely happen (even though they are unadvertised,) but those returns have become pretty standard so we pretty much know what to expect there.

The one rumor that could really make this RAW 1000 buzz continue on is that WWE plans to run a huge "summer angle" like they've done the past couple of years with Punks "pipe bomb" promo and the formation of The Nexus.  If WWE can pull of a truly shocking angle that will hook viewers, they may be on to something.  The returns and reunions will be awesome, but let's hope WWE doesn't dump us right back into the current crap next week.  Hopefully WWE realizes that a ton of people will be watching tonight, and now is the chance to hook them and give them something to follow again.

RAW 1000 airs tonight on USA at the new timeslot of 8 p.m. (7 central) and will be a 3 hour broadcast.  This show should be the biggest since WrestleMania and promises to be a mega show that pulls out all the stops!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Birthdays For July 16

Born on this day: July 16, 1976



July 16, 1976 - Former WWE Superstar: Bobby Lashley





July 16, 1974 - Former ECW Wrestler: Chris Chetti






Birthdays For July 15

Born on this day: July 15


July 15, 1983 - WWE Superstar: Heath Slater





July 15, 1951 - Former WWF Wrestler/Commentator & Governor Of Minnesota: Jesse Ventura


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Birthdays For July 14

Born On This Day: July 14



Former AWA & WWE Wrestler: Mil Mascaras




Former WWE Diva: Cherry




Current TNA Wrestler and 23 Time World Tag Team Champion: Bully Ray

Friday, July 13, 2012

WWE Smackdown Results (7/13)



Welcome to Friday Night Smackdown, or, for this week only, Friday Night Zackdown as Smackdown's GM for this week is Long Island, Iced Z! Zack Ryder. Ryder earned the right to become GM of Smackdown for the week after winning a battle royal last week where he last eliminated Kane.


We kick things off this week with a video from the latest episode of Z True Long Island Story in which Zack Ryder announced that he will be GM of Smackdown this week.

Smackdown comes to us this week from Denver, Colorado and your commentators are Booker T, Michael Cole & Josh Matthews and Lilian Garcia introduces the GM for the evening’s festivities, Zack Ryder. Ryder welcomes everyone to the  very first Friday Night Zackdown. He then gets a fist pump started with the crowd and says this is going to be the greatest Smackdown ever. Alberto Del Rio then comes out. Del Rio says he thought Teddy Long was a joke when he was General Manager but he calls Ryder a stupid clown who calls himself the internet champion. He steps into the ring and says this  Sunday he becomes the real world champion and after that he will rule Smackdown. Ryder then corrects Del Rio and says this is Zackdown.  Ryder tells Del Rio there’s someone who wants to get their hands on him and he’s Del Rio’s opponent right now and out comes Sin Cara and we are taken into our first match




Sin Cara vs Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio charges and Sin Cara sidesteps. Dropkick by Sin Cara and Sin Cara off the ropes and Del Rio drops him with a clothesline into a cover and 2 count only. Another cover after a series of stomps and again 2 count. Suplex by Del Rio and another near falls. Irish whip and Del Rio charges but misses and Sin Cara puts the boots to Del Rio. DDT by Sin Cara and a cover  but only a 2 count. Irish whip by Sin Cara, reversed by Del Rio and a back elbow. Scoop and slam and 2 count on Sin Cara. Del Rio off the ropes but Sin Cara moves out of the way and Del Rio holds onto the ropes. Del Rio on the apron and Sin Cara with a kick to the head sending Del Rio to the floor. Suicide dive to the outside by Sin Cara

-Commercial-

Hard kick by Sin Cara and cover for a 2 count.  Sin Cara on the top rope and a series of headbutts. Picks Sin Cara up and delivers a shoulderbreaker. Armbar on Sin Cara looking for a submission. Del Rio whips Sin Cara into the ropes, Sin Cara with a kick to the face. Sin Cara off the ropes again and Del Rio counters with a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker. Cover by Del Rio but 1 count only. Del Rio works over the arm and again 2 count. Sin Cara fighting back but Del Rio kicks his leg out from under him. Flying headscissors by Sin Cara. Knee strikes to Del Rio, Del Rio charges, Sin Cara gets the boots up and a DDT to Del Rio and a 2 count.  Sin Cara to the top, swanton and misses. Del Rio locks the cross armbreaker in and Sin Cara taps.











The winner of the match: Alberto Del Rio

Backstage: Teddy Long is with Zack Ryder and tells him he's doing a good job of running Smackdown tonight. Big Show comes in and says Ryder is doing a terrible job and he can't believe Ryder  won the battle royal. Ryder shouldn't be the GM Big Show should be. Great Khali then shows up and Ryder books Big Show vs Great Khali


Primo vs Darren Young
Primo & Epico lock up and an exchange of blows between the two and Primo gets the upperhand with a headbutt.  Irish whip by Primo reversed by Young and Young runs into Primo’s boots. Primo to the top and flying headscissors delivered to Young. Young with an irish whip looking for a clothesline, Primo ducks and holds onto the ropes. Drop toehold by Primo and Young falls face first against the middle rope. Primo off the ropes and the leg across the back of the neck sliding out to the floor. Primo back in and Young with a slingshot across the top rope. 2 count on Primo and Young slides out of the ring dropping an elbow across Primo’s neck and Young on the apron with the leg drop and 2 count. Young with a neckbreaker and lateral press but 2 count and back to the cover but 2  count.  Legdrops and elbows across the throat and cover but Primo kicks out. Young with the keylock on Primo and Primo back to his feet counters with an armdrag. Springboard flying elbow off the ropes into a cover but Young reverses and catches him hoists him on his shoulders.  Counter by Primo, Primo  looking for the backstabber but . Young shakes him off. Young looking to finish Primo off, picks him up Primo and Primo rolls into a small package for the three count
The winner of the match: Primo

-Commercial-

We get another Raw Memorable Moment and it's from April 11, 2011 when Edge announced his retirement
Backstage: Zack tells Sheamus if he and Alberto mix it up tonight he's calling Sunday's match off because he has reponsibilities. Chris Jericho shows up because he wanted to see this Zackdown train wreck in person. Sheamus tells Jericho if he's looking for a train wreck to step into the ring with him tonight. Jericho says he's not there to step into the ring with anybody he's only there as an observer. Ryder then says that sounds like a great idea and books Sheamus vs Chris Jericho and Sheamus tells Jericho he better not be on this track because he's going to run Jericho over.


Christian & Santino Marella vs Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes
Rhodes and Christian lock up, shoulderblock by Rhodes and Christian back up.  Christian with a shoulderblock of his own. Wristlock on Rhodes and tag to Marella. Rhodes tags Ziggler in. Takedown by Ziggler, fireman’s carry into a pin and 2 count. Irish whip into the corner, leapfrog by Marella and he takes Ziggler over with an armdrag. Tag to Christian and Christian comes off the top rope with an elbow. Hot shot by Christian as he snaps Ziggler’s neck back on the top rope. Hook of the leg and 2 count. Knee to Christian and a forearm to the back. Ziggler tags Rhodes back in. Christian fighting off both Rhodes and Ziggler. Christian up on the second rope going for a DDT countered by Rhodes. Rhodes drops him face first. Hook of the leg and quick cover but 2 count only. Tag back to Ziggler and a standing dropkick to Christian. Elbow to the side of the head and reverse chinlock and Christian fights out of it. Christian off the ropes and knee to the gut by Ziggler. Ziggler tags Rhodes back in and a standing front suplex by Rhodes. Rhodes with the cover Christian kicks out. Taking a breather against the ropes, Christian kicks Rhodes away. Rhodes lifts  Christian up and sunset flip by Christian. Rhodes kicks out and Christian delivers a flapjack to Rhodes. The tag to Santino, Rhodes tags Ziggler. Santino unloads on Ziggler an armdrag and the flying headbutt off the ropes. Santino sets up for The Cobra, Rhodes with the clothesline from behind. Christian from behind open handed palm strike and he clotheslines Rhodes over the top rope. Ziggler hits the ZigZag, the cover on Marella and the 3 count
The winners of the match: Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes

-Commercial-

Big Show vs Great Khali
Khali and Show lock and the huge slap by Show and Khali fires back and another huge chop to Show. Show with the WMD and the cover on Khali for the 3 count
The winner of the match: Big Show

Tyler Reks vs Ryback
Ryback and Reks lock up and Reks with knees to Ryback and Reks unloading on Ryback in the corner. Reks off the ropes and Ryback mows him down. Ryback tosses Reks to the outside. Ryback yanking him up by the hair and Reks snaps Ryback’s neck on the top rope. Reks back in, off the ropes and belly to back suplex by Ryback. Ryback winding up for the clothesline and Reks gets the boots up. Reks off the ropes and a shot to Ryback’s gut. Off the ropes again and this time Ryback levels him with the clothesline. Ryback picks Reks up on his shoulders and delivers The March Of Ryback, the cover and the 3 count.
The winner of the match: Ryback


Damien Sandow vs Justin Gabriel
Sandow and Gabriel lock up and an armdrag by Sandow and Gabriel with a legsweep into a quick cover but count of 1. Shoulderblock to Gabriel. Sandow with the back suplex. Sandow with The  Elbow Of Disdain and 2 count only. Chinlock on Gabriel. Sandow with the whip, Gabriel with a backflip and kick to Sandow’s leg. Series of kicks by Gabriel and one last kick to the head. Gabriel charges but Sandow moves out of the way and Gabriel hits the turnbuckle. Sandow with the double hook and knee strikes and he hits the M14 swinging neckbreakker on Gabriel. Sandow floats over, the cover and the 3 count
The winner of the match: Damien Sandow


We get another Raw re-cap highlighting the revelation of the anonymous Raw GM

Chris Jericho vs Sheamus
Sheamus and Jericho lock up and Sheamus backs Jericho into the corner. Slap to Sheamus and Sheamus beats Jericho down. Irish whip and Jericho holds on and slides out and Sheamus chases him. Back in the ring,  Jericho off the ropes, Sheamus hits the battering ram from the ring apron. Jericho hits a dropkick from the second rope and goes for a cover but 1 count.. Irish whip into the corner by Sheamus, Jericho jumps over the ropes to the apron and goes for a right but it’s blocked by Sheamus. Sheamus pulls Jericho back against the ropes and delivers The Fiery Red Hand across Jericho’s chest. And Sheamus off the ropes pushes Jericho off the apron and Jericho goes crashing through the announce table.
-Commercial-
Jericho back in and he delivers a kick to Sheamus’ face. Jericho with punches to Sheamus’ head and it’s Jericho with clubs of his own across Sheamus’ chest and a chinlock. Sheamus sidesteps and Jericho hits the post shoulder first. Sheamus with a clothesline. A shoulderblock in the corner and a huge knee to Jericho. A slam by Sheamus but Jericho counters and comes off the ropes, Sheamus hits The Irish Curse backbreaker and 2 count only. Irish whip, Jericho leaps up Sheamus catches him on his shoulder and a rolls forward dropping all his weight onto Jericho but 2 count only. Codebreaker by Jericho but Sheamus blocks it and throws in into the corner. Brogue Kick but Sheamus misses, Jericho springboard off the ropes and a dropkick to the head. Lionsault onto Sheamus and 2 count. Backbreaker by Sheamus and 2 count. Piledriver by Sheamus countered by Jericho into the Walls Of Jericho and Sheamus reaches the ropes. Sheamus looking for White Noise countered again and Jericho locks the Walls in once more. Sheamus counters it. Sheamus with White Noise and 2 count. Sheamus calling for The Brogue Kick, misses, Codebreaker by Jericho and 2 count. Sheamus kicks Jericho away. Sheamus up on the top rope and Jericho hits The Codebreaker and 2 count, Jericho fired up yelling for Sheamus to get up. Jericho looking for another Codebreaker, Sheamus hits The Brogue Kick and the cover for the 3 count
The winner of the match: Sheamus
Post Match: Sheamus is walking up the ramp and Alberto Del Rio’s music hits. Out comes his car but it’s not Del Rio driving. Del Rio from behind and a kick to the head and he locks the cross armbreaker in on Sheamus
-End Show-



















Birthdays For July 13

Born on this day: July 13


Former WWE & WCW Star: Sean Waltman - 40 years old

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Birthdays For July 12

Born on this day: July 12


WWE Superstar and former UFC Champion: Brock Lesnar







Former WWE Supertar: Gregoy Shane "Hurricane" Helms


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New name rumored for Raw 1,000

Stone Cold Steve Austin's name has been bandied about in WWE circles as being a "must have" for the 1,000th Monday Night Raw. Also, expect to see every legend that has been on Raw in recent weeks on the show as well.

Updated Impact Wrestling Card for 7/12/2012

Rob Van Dam vs. Samoa Joe has been added for this week's Impact Wrestling. This will be a Bound For Glory Series match, as will the already advertised Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson match. Also, expect to see "Aces and 8's" ,as they are apparently calling themselves, make some sort of appearance. They are the masked threesome who attacked Sting last month.

Birthdays For July 11

Born on this day: July 11

Former TNA and ROH Star El Generico










WWE Star Tyson Kidd









Former WCW & WWF Superstar "The Natural" Butch Reed







List Of Matches For Friday's Smackdown (7/13)


The following are non spoiler matches for this Friday's upcoming edition of Smackdown which was taped this past Tuesday July 10, 2012 and will be coming to us from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Matches scheduled to take place are as follows:

1.) Alberto Del Rio will face the high-flying Sin Cara

2.) Primo (w/ Epico & Rosa Mendes) will face one half of The Prime-Time Players Darren Young (w/Titus O'Neil)

3.) Dolph Ziggler & Cody Rhodes will see tag team action when they face the team of Santino Marella & "Captain Charisma" Christian.

4.) In a battle of the giants, Big Show will face The Great Khali

5.) Fresh off of his victory over Curt Hawkins last week, This week, the undefeated Ryback will face Hawkins' partner Tyler Reks.

6.) Damien Sandow will face Justin Gabriel

And in this week's main event we will see World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus take on Chris Jericho



Friday, June 8, 2012

Christian Returning to TNA at Slammiversary

Yes you read that right, current WWE Intercontinental Champion Christian is returning to TNA this weekend at Slammiversary.  TNA President Dixie Carter confirmed the news via her Twitter:

"On a plane headed to Dallas for the big PPV this weekend. Very excited is joinin us for the night. He's one of my favorites"

It appears that Christian's one night appearance for TNA is the exchange TNA gets for allowing Ric Flair to appear at the WWE Hall of Fame this year.  I never thought we would see the day that WWE and TNA would openly exchange talent in such a way, but the fans are the real winners in these situation.  Speculation is already abound that Christian may be the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame which takes place at Slammiversary, but he seems like an odd choice being his run in TNA was relatively short although he is a former TNA Heavyweight Champion.  Another possibility is Christian being involved in the ceremony and maybe inducting whoever the inductee is.  It is highly unlikely Christian would be wrestling on the show, but it sounds like he will indeed be making an appearance at Slammiversary this Sunday from Arlington, Texas and on pay-per-view.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New WWE Championship Belt Revealed?

New WWE Championship BeltWWE fans rejoice, it looks like we finally have photographic proof that the horribly outdated, blinged out spinner WWE Championship Belt is about to be replaced.  Pics of a new belt have surfaced online, and sources are confirming that this is indeed the new design for the title. 

The belt sort of reminds me of a UFC type title, with the big WWE logo and mostly gold overall.  Thankfully there isn't much "bling" as that era went out in about 2006.  At the time it made sense for John Cena to have such a belt being he was doing somewhat of a rap gimmick still, but having guys like The Miz and even more so with CM Punk carrying that belt just makes no sense at all.  Punk tweeted recently that a new belt design was on the way, and it looks like this is our first look at it.  Word is there will be a few additions or touch ups on it, but at this point ANYthing is better than that horrible spinner belt that stopped spinning a few years back.

CM Punk hinted that the 1000th RAW would be a good time to debut the new belt, but it remains to be seen if he would even be the guy to debut it since he has a title defense against Daniel Bryan and Kane coming up.  Hopefully the finished belt is a major improvement, and a title that we don't have to look at with embarrassment like we have for years now.  If this is indeed the new belt, I'll say it's at least better than the spinner, but still not a very traditional look for a wrestling belt.  Maybe when we see the completely finished product it will grow on us, but the days when belts featured globes and eagles instead of huge letters are still our favorite.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rip and Zeus from "No Holds Barred" Open Twitter Accounts

Rip vs. Zeus No Holds Barred

This is pretty cool for anyone that was a fan around the time the "No Holds Barred' movie was released in 1989.  The main 2 characters from the movie, "Rip" and "Zeus" have opened official Twitter accounts that WWE has acknowledged.  The accounts both clearly state that they are not actors Hulk Hogan or Tiny Lister, but rather the characters from the movie.  It might be a bit cheesy to some, but hey this movie is all about cheese yet still has to be considered somewhat of a cult classic.

The Twitter accounts are a unique way WWE is promoting the first ever release of No Holds Barred on DVD on July 3rd.  It's hard to believe out of ALL the DVD releases over the years, this is the first time No Holds Barred has been available.  The movie came out at an odd time in WWE when "Zeus" crossed over the from the movie and they tried to push a main event feud between Zeus and Hogan, but Zeus didn't cut it in the ring so plans were scrapped after a couple of pay per view tag matches where Zeus's weaknesses could be hidden.  I've read rumors over the year that Zeus vs. Hogan at one point was even planned to headline Wrestlemania 6.  The movie itself was fun at the time being Hogan pretty much played himself, and also saw appearances from Gene Okerlund, Jesse Ventura, Stan Hansen, Demolition Ax, and other wrestling personalities.


Now all these years later, No Holds Barred is all about some fun nostalgia and these Twitter accounts are very cool.  It's quite humorous to see both Zeus and Rip commenting and interacting with current WWE stars.  Check out the accounts @Rip and @Zeus on Twitter, and check out No Holds Barred for the first time on DVD on July 3rd.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Randy Orton Suspended by WWE for 60 days

Randy Orton SuspendedJust over a month ago Rey Mysterio was suspended for his second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy, Randy Orton has now suffered the same fate.  Like Mysterio, Orton will now serve a 60 day suspension due to his second Wellness Policy violation which puts him in jeopardy of missing the 1,000th episode of RAW on July 23rd in his hometown of St. Louis.  We say jeopardy because WWE hasn't released the detailed date of when the suspension began, although Orton did appear on RAW this past Monday night.

After Orton's appearance on RAW, dispensing of the Miz in a fairly meaningless segment, I was preparing a post on my thoughts about Orton being lost in the mix lately and not doing much of anything.  Now Orton will have to sit out for 2 months, which could be a good thing if he comes back recharged and involved in a good story.  But now with 2 strikes against him, Orton is in the same spot as Mysterio as far as a 3rd strike meaning termination from the company.  WWE would no doubt hate to lose these main event talents to TNA, but according to their policy that is what would happen should a 3rd strike take place.

No word on what the suspension was actually for, but being WWE suspends for steroids, painkillers, and even marijuana, it could be any number of things.  It does make you wonder what is going on with these veteran main event guys when they know they could be tested at any given time.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brock Lesnar Possibly Returning to UFC?

Last night before UFC 146's main event Heavyweight Title fight, Brock Lesnar was shown in the front row which garnered many boos from the UFC crowd.  What was interesting about this is that Brock never attended fight cards he wasn't on even when he was in UFC.  So of course the press had to ask Dana White about Brock at the post-fight press conference.  Dana's response is what has many in the MMA community up in arms, since White let it be known that a Brock Lesnar return to UFC is "possible."

This is all very out of the blue being Brock JUST returned to WWE last month and it's been well known that he has a contract with a set amount of dates up to next year's WrestleMania.  A UFC return wouldn't have been such a shock if it was a couple of years from now, but hearing this news so soon after his retirement is pretty surprising.  Brock retired from UFC after his loss to Alistair Overeem in December, and it seemed like the real deal since Lesnar had serious health issues throughout his UFC career.  When Brock returned to WWE it seemed like the solidifying moment that Lesnar was done in MMA and ready for another full WWE run.  Dana White's comments now have everyone questioning what exactly Brock is looking to do.

If you've followed Lesnar's current WWE storyline, he has "quit" due to not having his contractual demands met, which of course is just a cover so they can stretch out his limited dates.  So some believe last night's UFC appearance was simply to further the storyline that Lesnar is gone from WWE and possibly looking to return to UFC.  It makes sense on some levels, but to believe that Dana White would knowingly go along with this seems a bit far fetched.  If Lesnar really does decide to go back to UFC at some point, there are still many matches and re-matches that would be big money for UFC.  A third match with Frank Mir, rematches with Cain Velasquez and Overeem, and of course fights with guys like Junior Dos Santos or even Roy Nelson would all be major fights for Lesnar.

Dana White didn't go into much detail other than saying Brock wanted to meet face to face, so it remains to be seen if anything will come of this.  Lesnar could conceivably do UFC and WWE if he wanted given his limited WWE schedule, but finishing out his WWE contract and then considering UFC is also possibly.  Many MMA fans might be upset at the very thought of Brock returning, but he is money for UFC and had a very respectable record in the sport. Is Brock seriously considering another fight in UFC?  Time will tell.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chris Jericho Suspended Indefinitely from WWE

Chris Jericho SuspendedWWE Superstar Chris Jericho has been indefinitely suspended due to an "irresponsible act" at a live event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 24th.  The irresponsible act referenced occurred when Jericho took a Brazilian flag that was held by CM Punk and proceeded to stomp on it.  The act of desecrating the flag is a punishable offense in Brazil and Jericho was nearly arrested by authorities.  The event was stopped and Jericho was given the option to apologize or be arrested.  Jericho immediately got on the mic and told the crowd he regretted his actions, and the show was allowed to continue.  Jericho was rushed to the airport after the event so he could go on to Ecuador, but WWE has now announced Jericho's suspension.

Incidents like these used to be used to stir up controversy and could really get a heel over.  It reminds of the incident in 1997 when Vader was in the Middle East on a talk show and roughed up the host of the show.  Vader was held in the country for 10 days and WWE used the story to push Vader as an uncontrollable monster.  Sadly these days, WWE has to be politically correct and worry about stockholders and such, so suspensions have to be handed out to keep everyone happy.  It's too bad because Jericho really could have used the incident to push how he has the real "pipe bombs" and no one can control him.

This will probably another Daniel Bryan situation, where Jericho will be suspended for a little while so things cool off and blow over before he makes his comeback.  Jericho has already apologized via his Twitter, which also makes me long for the days when guys could milk something like this and really make the fans believe.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Brooke Hogan Set to Join TNA Impact Wrestling

Well the last 24 hours has been full of news for both WWE and TNA.  Things seemed to be on a positive path for TNA as they announced Impact would be live all Summer beginning May 31st, but this could turn out to be a "1 step forward 2 steps back" situation as TNA has now announced that Brooke Hogan will be joining Impact Wrestling on May 31st.

There hasn't been very much positive buzz about this at all on the net, as most don't see what Brooke brings to the table being she has never been involved in wrestling before.  The official statement from TNA is that Brooke will be the "Executive in Charge" of the Knockouts.  This role is iffy at best as the Knockout division has always been about respect and quality female wrestling, but now it will be "run" by someone who has never been in a ring and doesn't have much history of her own in wrestling.

I don't think this is going to go over well on live shows either.  The site of Brooke Hogan in the ring directing the Knockouts will be an open invite for the fans to boo her out of the building.  If she came in as a bitchy, drunk with power authority figure it might work with time, but with Hulk Hogan as the big face GM of the company it doesn't look probable any time soon.

TNA is treating this like they've signed a big media star that will also be helping the girls in a variety of ways backstage as well, hmm.  I really don't think anyone is going to buy it, and most everyone will see this as Hogan getting his daughter on TV in the same way Eric Bischoff has his son in a TV role now.  If Brooke had announced her music career had flopped and wanted to train to wrestle and the fans got to see her get her ass kicked and pay her dues, that would be one thing; bringing her in as some sort of media star who is going to be an authority figure....quite the risk.  The big question is now, is TNA fixing their problems or just creating a whole lot more?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TNA Impact Set to Go Live Weekly This Summer

TNA Impact WrestlingIn a very odd case of timing being WWE just announced RAW is going to 3 hours, TNA has announced that Impact Wrestling will be broadcasting live every Thursday this summer beginning on May 31st.  Both announcements came within minutes of the other, but in this case it has to be considered a definite positive move by TNA.  The live broadcasts will continue throughout the summer, but no word on what will happen beyond that.  TNA issued the following release on ImpactWrestling.com:

NASHVILLE, TN - (May 17, 2012) -- TNA IMPACT WRESTLING President Dixie Carter and SPIKE TV President Kevin Kay announce today that the highly-rated “IMPACT WRESTLING” will be going Live! from Universal Studios beginning May 31st and continue through the summer. This announcement coincides with the recently announced new, one-hour earlier time slot change of 8:00-10:00pm/ET every Thursday night beginning May 31st.

“We are excited to take IMPACT WRESTLING Live! all summer long, and have our first Live! summer show launch our new 8:00pm/ET time slot,” says TNA President Dixie Carter. “Summer of 2012 is going to be remembered as the most momentous time in our company's history-to-date. Stay tuned."                                       

TNA is no doubt losing some interest by taping weeks worth of TV at a time, and the results being readily available online before the shows air.  Now that TNA is going live, it is up to them to create some buzz that will make it "must see" TV.  Back in 2010 TNA tried moving to Monday Nights, but that idea was way too soon and bold as they weren't ready to compete on Monday nights.  Now 2 years later, TNA is trying a lot of new concepts like the "Gut Check" and "Open Fight Night" ideas that are at least attempts to be fresh.

Going live is something Eric Bischoff was very successful with in WCW, and hopefully he realizes that the other half of the equation is creating buzz and interest.  The one other piece to the puzzle will be getting Impact on the road regularly so the atmosphere can be much more upbeat than the Impact Zone in Orlando which sees TNA on a very regular basis.  Hopefully TNA is realizing and attempting to fix their current problems, but there will be a long road ahead that will hopefully lead them to success.

Monday Night RAW Set to Expand to 3 Hours in July

In a move that was out of the blue to us, WWE announced today that Monday Night RAW will expand to a 3 hour broadcast permanently beginning on July 23rd with RAW's 1000th episode.  John Cena tweeted the news at a USA event in New York, and WWE.com had the story up shortly after.

MANY thoughts are already spreading about this news, with many people bringing up the era when WCW Nitro moved to 3 hours after seeing how red hot their product was.  Is WWE red hot enough to keep people watching for 3 hours?  I don't really feel like WWE is in a red hot era at the moment, but they're not in a terribly down period either.  The Rock's return for WrestleMania and then Brock Lesnar's return which has been limited due to the dates in his contract have sparked interest, but still this is a bold move.

In the Nitro years WCW had a huge roster of talents and even International talents to fill up the show, but many times there were tons of squash matches and interview segments especially in the first hour.  There had been word WWE was considering some sort of pre-show concept for RAW, so they may end up doing a lot of non-wrestling segments to fill up the time.  They will no doubt continue to use Smackdown talents on the show as well, which pretty much makes the whole separate "brand" idea useless anymore.

WWE may need something fresh, and this will allow for more time for underutilized talent to get some TV time, but it remains to be seen if WWE can really pull this off and keep it interesting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Stipulations Add Intrigue to John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis at Over the Limit

John Laurinaitis wrestlerLast night on RAW, John Cena read a statement from the WWE Board of Directors that added stipulations to the John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis match at Over the Limit.  The intrigue level rises in this match with these stipulations and rules out some of the predictable directions the match could have gone.

First off, any Superstar that interferes in the match will be terminated.  This rules out any obvious run-ins such as Lord Tensai who has aided Laurinaitis in recent weeks.  The second stipulation states that if Laurinaitis loses to Cena, he will be terminated.  This second stipulation pretty much rules out Cena just destroying "Big Johnny" and defeating him with ease, which would be the crowd pleaser but would likely end the "People Power Era" too early.

With those stipulations in place, there are a few scenarios that have been opened up to finish the match:

Scenario A:  John Laurinaitis has a non-WWE wrestler ala Kevin Nash interfere on his behalf.  This would eliminate the problem of someone being fired, since the guy who interferes doesn't work for WWE.  The most obvious choice of "guys who don't work for WWE" would be Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar has been tied to Laurinaitis recently but I don't see this happening since Lesnar is now immersed in a feud with Triple H.  Batista is another slight possibility since his return has been rumored recently.

Scenario B:  The Big Show returns and turns on Cena, revealing his firing was all a plot and he is really aligned with Laurinaitis.  This scenario would explain the whole Big Show crying after being fired debacle.  The more I think about it, this scenario would really explain Show's overdone crying and wining on RAW and would save Big Show's characters on many levels.  This could go 2 ways, either Show was aligned with Laurinaitis all along, or Show is forced to turn on Cena to get his job back (which would make him look like more of a wuss.) 

Scenario C:  John Cena defeats John Laurinaitis.  This scenario would be the "feel good moment" for fans, but ultimately would lead to Lauriniatis finding a loophole back in, possibly tied in with the Triple H lawsuit storyline.

With the stipulations added to this match, we are more likely to see a match instead of a bunch of run ins and interruptions.  Laurinaitis had a legit run in Japan against some of the top wrestlers in history as Johnny Ace, and is more than capable of having a match depending on his current physical shape.  For the most part this will likely be a beat down, but the finish will probably be a creative one that will continue the story in some fashion.