Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee by Jimmy Korderas

Jimmy Korderas BookIf you were a huge wrestling fan in the 80s, can you imagine being given the opportunity to work in the wrestling business at that time around legends such as Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Randy Savage?  That's exactly what happened to longtime WWE referee Jimmy Kordereas when his wrestling career started.  Jimmy tells the story of his journey in his new book "The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee."

I remember seeing Jimmy Korderas referee when I was a kid growing up in the 80s, as his name was mentioned quite often back in the day when referee's names were mentioned more on commentary.  It was very interesting to read how Jimmy got involved in the business and how the iconic figurehead of the then WWF at the time, Jack Tunney, played a big role in Jimmy doing so.  Jimmy tells some great stories about being a fan and moving his way up in the business and being around many of the biggest stars of all time.

Mr. Korderas took part in multiple pay-per-views and of course WrestleManias, and has some great stories to tell from many of the events; probably the biggest of which is the World Heavyweight Title match Jimmy refereed at WrestleMania 24 between The Undertaker and Edge (who wrote the foreword for this book.)  Of course with so much time spent in WWE come some great and sometimes hilarious road stories from his many years with WWE.

While the tone of the book is overall lighthearted, upbeat, and humorous at times, Jimmy was also very close to some of the most tragic deaths in wrestling including Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero, and Christ Benoit.  Many of you may not realize that Jimmy was scheduled to be the referee and was actually in the ring the night Owen Hart fell to his death.  Jimmy's re-telling of the events from the night Owen died are a real eye opener as he was unbelievably close to it all.  Korderas's friendship with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit also gives a behind the scenes look at what kind of men they were.

This book is great if you are looking for an unbiased look at the goings-on in WWF/WWE from the mid-80 all the way to the mid-2000s.  Jimmy traveled the world with WWE and truly has some fun stories to tell.  It's a nice look at the inner workings and the role of a pro wrestling referee as well.  Ever wonder what it's like for a referee to mess up a match and then have to face Mr. McMahon himself in the locker room?  You will find out what it's like in this book.  Pick up your copy of Jimmy Korderas's "The Three Count: My Life in Stripes as a WWE Referee" below:


Monday, April 8, 2013

Dolph Ziggler Cashes In and Wins the World Heavyweight Championship

Dolph Ziggler World ChampionIn front of what can be described as the most wild and insane crowd for RAW in many many years, Dolph Ziggler gave them what they wanted by finally cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio and winning the World Heavyweight Championship.

Del Rio had just wrestled a handicapped match against Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter during which the fans almost immediately began a "We Want Ziggler!" chant.  As Del Rio sold a leg injury after the match, sure enough Ziggler's music hit and he headed toward the ring with AJ Lee and Big E Langston in tow.  The electric atmosphere was all too perfect for Ziggler to finally cash in and win the title.  The crowd blew the roof off the IZOD Center in New Jersey as Ziggler scored the pinfall and Ziggler was fired up to finally have his moment.

The fans tonight will be something that is talked about for a very long time.  As we all know RAW can sometimes drag and put out matches no one cares about, but these post-WrestleMania fans made every bit of RAW worth watching. Ziggler's title win was electric, and definitely got more or a reaction than anything at WrestleMania 29.  A rematch with Del Rio will probably be the first obstacle for the new champion, but judging by the crowd's reaction Dolph Ziggler is due for a lengthy title reign.

WrestleMania 29 Delivers Major Predictability

John Cena WrestleMania 29The results of WrestleMania 29 have the Internet buzzing, and for mostly negative reasons.  I gave it a night to let it all sink in and really think about what happened last night at MetLife Stadium.  The atmosphere was there, the crowd was rabid at times, and the matches themselves were overall very good and felt WrestleMania worthy.

The problem (at least for me) lies with the fact that this might have been THE most predictable WrestleMania ever.  We speculated almost 2 months ago on potential WrestleMania 29 matches and results, and the actual results were almost everything we hoped would NOT happen.  We hoped Cena didn't beat The Rock just to get his win back (which he did,) we hoped Brock Lesnar wouldn't have to give Triple H his win back (he did, which has destroyed Lesnar's image as a legit killer from UFC,) and the rest of the results were nothing that shocked anyone.

Undertaker Wrestlemania 29The Undertaker defeated CM Punk in what was probably the best match of the night.   This result didn't upset me since The Undertaker's streak is something that has become WrestleMania tradition, and The Undertaker STILL goes out there and outperforms just about everyone on the card.  The only title changes that occurred were The Miz winning the Intercontinental Championship from Wade Barrett (on the pre-show) and of course Cena winning the WWE title.  Maybe the only somewhat surprising result was Mark Henry beating Ryback clean, which I for one did not expect (so much for Ryback's push as well.) 

The biggest possible surprise that could have happened was the John Cena heel turn that everyone is still hoping for.  The night seemed so run of the mill up to the main event, that it seemed like something BIG was possible in the main event.  The way WWE had the 3 top matches back to back to back was very different, and the way Cena and The Rock just hit the ring with no special entrances or anything all seemed to signal that the ending was going to be big.  Instead we got the dreaded situation where The Rock acts like he's just fine with Cena suddenly, shakes his hand, and salutes him as if to pass the torch.  Only problem was, no one clapped or cheered, the whole situation was met with boos as ANYone with a brain could've seen coming miles away. 

WWE forced us to endure more of the same with John Cena, and now we're left with more repetition.  Is there ANYone in WWE you would care about Cena feuding with?  He's faced almost everyone multitudes of times, and now guys that still had fire like Brock Lesnar have been deflated by losing matches that could have kept them strong.  WWE simply refuses to shake things up, and now we are left hoping they have some big plan under wraps for RAW to make things interesting after WrestleMania gave us no surprise results, cameos, or turns.

Trish Stratus Announces Pregnancy at WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony

Trish Stratus PregnantCongratulations are in order as newly inducted WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus saved a little surprise for her induction speech over the weekend, as she announced she will be "delivering a little...Stratusfaction" this September.  Trish is indeed pregnant with her first child and the timing couldn't have been better to make her Hall of Fame induction even more special.

Of course with Trish's induction and being the fact that she is only 37 years old, any talk of a "surprise" this weekend would have had to do with her returning to the ring.  It's obviously going to take a little longer now, but Trish's inductor Stephanie McMahon as well as Trish herself made reference having at least one more match in the future. 

Trish is without a doubt an innovator in the Divas division that deserves to be in the WWE Hall of Fame, and it was very cool for her to save something special under wraps until her induction.  Congrats to Trish Stratus and her husband Ron.

Remember When...Trish Stratus Returned to Raw?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Will Fandango Be the Star of WrestleMania 29?

WrestleMania 29 FandangoYes, many of you probably have confused looks on your faces right about now.  Fandango?  Star of WrestleMania 29?  But he hasn't even wrestled a match!  And that's exactly my point.  This year's WrestleMania is filled with rematches and rushed scenarios to get all the major players on the card, so the in-ring debut of a new character with a lot of hype (and heat) really stands out.

The promos for "Fandango" started months ago, and quite frankly they seemed like it would be a goofy character straight out of the mid 90's that would undoubtedly flop.  Surprisingly the way they've debuted the former Johnny Curtis as Fandango has created rabid crowd reactions since the fact is he has yet to have an actual match.  As you've seen all these weeks, the guy is stuck on how everyone pronounces his name, and refuses to wrestle every time it is mispronounced.  This has given Fandango the unique opportunity to have his first actual match at WrestleMania 29 against Chris Jericho.

This character is said to already be a favorite of Vince McMahon, and we can see why.  While it is a character straight out of the 90s, that isn't a bad thing at all.  Fandango is a cocky heel that does a lot of talking, but can get in the ring and kick some ass when the time comes as we've seen with his beatdowns on Jericho.  With all the heat the guy has, seeing Jericho finally get his hands on Fandango at WrestleMania of all places should create an electric atmosphere.  It reminds me of a passing the torch moment, as Fandango will most likely (and should) defeat Jericho which will immediately elevate him as a major player.

If you think about it, are you really into the build for the main WrestleMania matches?  Sure they'll be entertaining, sure they will have the Mania vibe with all those people in MetLife Stadium, but the card is no doubt lacking a feeling of freshness.  Mania used to be the place to see matches and moments you couldn't see the rest of the year.  This year, while it might be sad, the most fresh thing on the card is......F-A-A-A-N-D-A-N-G-O.