Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday News and Notes: Suspensions, Expansion, Y2J, Maina Tickets, Batista

* While RAW, SmackDown and ECW start to look ahead to the returns of those that were suspended late last month, you can expect most of them to be at TV this next week. One return that is sure to happen asap is that of Ken Kennedy, who is expected to be involved with the program that is going on with Mr.McMahon and Triple H. As a matter a fact, many are speculating that he will be involved in their match on RAW on Monday, and that it is still going to happen where Kennedy ends up being McMahons kid.

ECW is expected to have John Morrison back on TV next week as well. Where they go with him right away is going to be interesting, as C.M. Punk has done more than enough with the ECW title that they would be making a mistake to put it back on Morrison within a few weeks of his return. Punk is a gifted wrestler, and the belt on him makes total sense. He and Morrison have had plenty of matches, and they can save that feud for down the road. For now, my plea is to keep the strap on Punk, and let Morrison get in a program with someone else upon his return.

* The WWE is going to be pushing for more exposure overseas, and put out a press release talking about its plans for international expansion. Look for branches to be open in places like Europe, Africa, China, Latin America, and Australia. This story has been talked about for sometime, so this is not that much of a shock. The company has great success across the border, so to try and cash in on that is not a surprise at all. The interesting thing to watch is to see any sort of roster tweaking in order to make fans crave wanting to go see the stars when they come to their towns, and if that roster tweaking huts the current state of the WWE at all here in the US.

* The Chris Jericho rumor mill continues to get hotter, as now his complete book signing dates are out and through October there are no October dates scheduled. It basically means that he will be on RAW, which is the obvious choice since it's the franchise show, and your not going to waste a huge comeback for a guy to go to a lesser brand. The most interesting thing about Y2J's return is that he had stated several times about not really missing wrestling. He seems to be a smart enough person to have saved his cash over the years, plus he does stay active with other outside projects. Why the time is right now for Jericho is beyond me, other than he wants the hype vehicle known as the WWE to push his book. I am excited and perplexed at this return and how it will play out.

* The date for the on-sale for WrestleMania 24 tickets is November 3rd, but like last year at Ford Field, they will have a large presale. Last year you were able to get solid seats during the Lions season ticket holder presale, and then good seats as well for the public on sale. One thing though last year that drove everyone nuts was Ticketmaster didn't have a seating chart till AFTER the presale, so in effect you didn't really know what you were buying till after you brought it. I expect the pull to be somewhat easy with the size of the Citrus Bowl. One also has to wonder if now other cities see the way Orlando is handling the event and the money brought in, if other cities will start to try and land the event. You can bet though that WrestleMania 25 will likely be at Madison Square Garden.

* Batista's new book - "Batista Unleashed" comes out on October 16th, and he will be having a tour of book signings as well. You can preorder the book at most book outlets on the web as well as on

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Baltimore Sun Writes on Y2J's WWE Return

Jericho returning to WWE?

Speculation about Chris Jericho returning to WWE at the No Mercy pay-per-view has been the hot topic on wrestling Web sites the past few days. The buzz was created after a cryptic clip of computerized messages aired on Raw Monday that included “Save_Us.222” and “7_Oct,” the latter being the date of No Mercy.

The clip has become wrestling’s version of the Zapruder film, as people on wrestling Web sites and message boards have tried to decipher the clues. The most telling message in the clip is “CD_Volume 4_1.” The first track on WWE’s fourth CD is Jericho’s entrance theme.

I don’t know for certain that Jericho is coming back, but I have to admit it’s the first thing I thought when I saw the clip. It was very reminiscent of the “Countdown to the Millennium” clips from 1999 that foreshadowed Jericho’s WWE debut. While I have no idea what “222” refers to, “save us” might be a nod to Jericho’s promo on his first night in the company, when he said he was coming to “save the WWF.” Also, there have been signs in the crowd recently that said “Save Us Jericho.”

In his forthcoming autobiography, Jericho reveals that the “Countdown to the Millennium” idea was his, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t the one who dreamed this one up, too. He definitely knows how to get people talking.

It makes sense that Jericho would resurface just as his book is about to be released. Some Web sites have picked up on the fact that Jericho has no appearances scheduled for Mondays on his book tour, but he does have some on Tuesdays, which would indicate that he would be on Raw rather than Smackdown.

Jericho reportedly has been entertaining offers from both WWE and TNA as of late. When I asked him in an interview last July if he was leaning toward either company if and when he made a comeback, he said he was a fan of both (he also put over Ring of Honor). While Jericho could work an easier schedule and be reunited with pal Christian Cage in TNA, I always figured he would go back to WWE because he likes to perform on the biggest stage.

Jericho’s return could be just the shot in the arm that WWE needs.

By Kevin Eck

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Big Return Coming - Jericho Appears on a Comeback

The timing is right for a big WWE return, and it looks like the WWE is about to pull off one of the biggest returns they have had in quite a long time. Various sources are stating that the SaveUs.222 clip that played last night on RAW for what is coming up at No Mercy on October is for the return of none other than Y2J - Chris Jericho. The feel is that 7Oct is the text in the clip, and cd_volume4_1.act is the first track on WWF the Music Volume 4. And of course that track - Chirs Jericho.

How much Jericho would be in the ring is another story, but his return would rock the house at the Allstate Arena for that PPV, and it would be worth the price of buyig it alone. There are few big things coming up for Jericho, the biggest of which is the release of his book, which everyone says is very good by wrestling standards. If the return is not Jericho, then it could be someone else of shock, but I agree with those out there that state it's going to be Jericho - and if it is, it will be a welcome return for one of the bigger stars in WWE history.

WWE® and Universal Music Latino Release Lilian Garcia’s “¡Quiero Vivir!”

Debut Album Featuring Duet with Jon Secada Hits Stores on Tuesday, October 9

STAMFORD, Conn., September 24, 2007 – Produced by World Wrestling Entertainment® and set to release on Universal Music Latino, WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia™’s debut album “¡Quiero Vivir!” will hit music stores around the country on Tuesday, October 9.

“¡Quiero Vivir!”—produced by George Noriega (Ricky Martin, Jon Secada, Gloria Estefan) and Tim Mitchell (Shakira)—features a duet with Latin superstar Jon Secada entitled “Adonde,” the English version of the Spanish song, ‘Where Did Love Go?.’ The album contains a total of 10 Spanish and 2 English tracks. Lilian wrote and co-wrote 11 of the tracks, 3 of which she co-wrote with Jon Secada.

“This record truly showcases Lilian’s incredible vocal abilities, and the music fans around the world better be ready to rock!” said Neil Lawi, General Manager, WWE Music Group. “Lilian has been working on this project for quite some time and I am pleased to be working with Universal Music Latino and have the world hear her voice on this record and every episode of Monday Night RAW®.”

“It’s an honor for us at Universal Music Latino to take part in the release of this album,” said John Echevarria, President, Universal Music Latino. “It’s always an exciting experience to take part in the development of such a talented artist. Lilian is already a celebrity in her own right and we are sure she will rise to the top.”

Lilian Garcia’s vocal talents have been showcased at such events as the Macy’s Day Parade, the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and “Live with Regis and Kathy Lee.” She has also sung the National Anthem at WrestleMania® in 2000 and 2005 as well as at numerous MLB, NFL and NBA games. Additionally, Lilian’s performances can be seen on the WWE Anthology and Originals CD’s and past WWE programs where she has entertained the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lilian Garcia has been singing since she was a small child in Madrid, Spain. In her early teens, Garcia's family (of Puerto Rican descent) relocated to Columbia, South Carolina. There, she was singing with a band at local clubs while her mom chaperoned. Garcia went on to graduate cum laude from the University of South Carolina.

In conjunction with the album release, five different mobile phone ring tones will be made available on Fans can pre-order the album on and tune into Monday Night RAW to see her every Monday.

“Quiero Vivir!”

UPC (WWE Music) 651191200757

UPC (Universal) 02517 48431

Genre Pop/Spanish

PRICING $14.95


AVAILABILITY, iTunes, leading music retailers

PRE-ORDER Begins September 14 on (autographed copy) as well as free mobile phone wallpaper download, accompanied by autographed copied and free mobile phone

STREET DATE Tuesday, October 9

Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at and For information on our global activities, go to

Universal Music Latino is part of the Universal Music Group, the leader of the recorded music industry. Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications corporation.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Long-Kristal Saga One to Forget

I don't even know where to begin with the just out and out ridiculous angle that was played on SmackDown on Friday night with the "wedding" of Kristal and Teddy Long, which saw Long collapse with a "heart attack" just before he said "I do." The angle is so tiresome and not over, and if there is one thing you can always know about WWE weddings, it's that something is going to go wrong, which is exactly what happened here. Why does the company, which loves to think this stuff is entertaining, tries time after time to take things out of the ring and present them in real life is beyond me. They always seem to take real life situations, like weddings, paternity tests, and child birth, and turn it into things like - heart attacks, the child being an Irish midget, and women giving birth to hands.

If there was one piece of advice to give the company - stay with what works, and what works is in the ring wrestling. One reason why now the John Cena - Randy Orton saga is becoming good is because they keeping it somewhat real. John Cena's dad in the ring was a tremendous piece to gain more heat than ever on Orton. Back in the day when characters like Steve Austin and the Rock were driving up ratings and having some of the best feuds of all-time, it was because they made it real. Fans took to them because they felt they were real - not this crap now like a guy in his 50's like Teddy Long hooking up and marrying someone like a diva like Kristal. It's not real, and people are not buying it.

Here's the way the Long thing will likely play out, if you care. They made mention that Long had "hypertension, which was worsened by the ingestion of the erectile dysfunction medicine Viagra," and they will make it out that Kristal made him take it for hours of sex and what not. It will eventually come out that Kristal drove him to have the heart attack, and that she did it so her friend - Vicki Guerrero, can take over the GM role, which was discussed for some time, or possibly for her to be the GM. It's going to end up being a joke of a ending to a storyline that people laughed at from the start. By the way - Teddy, get some acting lessons. I could have played off your "collapse" better than you.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Congress ready to rumble over WWE steroids

Special thanks to Sara D'Angelo for the following article:

By: Chris Frates

A dogfighting quarterback, a gambling basketball referee, a steroid cloud hanging over the new home run record and the grisly murder-suicide of a professional wrestler.

With a summer full of sports scandals, it was only a matter of time until some chairman flexed his influence and called for a congressional investigation that will bring sports superstars, and the klieg lights that follow them, to town.

And for now, the target is wrestling.

Never mind that wrestling is not really a sport and that more people could probably pick quarterback Michael Vick than wrestling superstar The Great Khali out of a locker room lineup. Congress has announced it’s ready to rumble.

The revelations that steroids were found in the house where wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife, his son and then himself in June caught the attention of congressional investigators.

The House committees that looked into steroid use in professional baseball in 2005 have asked Benoit’s employer, World Wrestling Entertainment, for information about its drug-testing policies.

The WWE finds itself in the cross hairs of California Rep. Henry A. Waxman’s House Oversight Committee and Illinois Rep. Bobby L. Rush’s Energy and Commerce subcommittee, with Rush planning to hold a hearing this fall.

The developments are a reality smackdown for a company that sells comic book story lines to millions of fans each week. But the WWE has the advantage of studying baseball’s legislative film.

Aside from giving Waxman a reason to quote from “Field of Dreams,” Congress’ baseball investigation saw some of its biggest stars quizzed about steroid use and led to the stiffening of the sport’s testing policy and penalties, as well as to the launch of an ongoing independent inquiry headed by former Sen. George J. Mitchell (D-Maine).

“Yeah, there’s a lot to be nervous about,” said Eleanor Hill, a veteran of congressional investigations.

The baseball steroid investigation marked a turning point for congressional sports probes, said Senate Associate Historian Donald Ritchie.

Before 2005, lawmakers didn’t examine players’ behavior. They let the leagues police that.

Congress had always followed the money, Ritchie said. For example, the Senate has investigated corruption, mafia ties, fight-fixing and payoffs in professional boxing.

Alleged steroid use among baseball players, and now wrestlers, shifted the debate from finance to public health.

Lawmakers are concerned that kids may begin to use steroids and other performance enhancing drugs because the ballplayers and wrestlers they idolize are thought to do so.

“Illegal steroid use in professional sports has gained plenty of attention, but the record suggests that the problem is most pervasive and deadly in pro wrestling, an unregulated form of entertainment that is watched on TV and in arenas by an estimated 20 million fans a week, including children,” Rush and Rep. Cliff Stearns (Fla.), the subcommittee’s ranking Republican, wrote to WWE Chairman Vincent K. McMahon. (The panel also sent the letter, which requested drug testing information, to two lesser-known professional wrestling organizations.)

The lawmakers included a USA Today article that said wrestlers “are about 20 times more likely to die before 45 than are pro football players, another profession that’s exceptionally hard on the body.”

Hill, who was the staff director for the joint congressional intelligence committee that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks, is a partner at King & Spalding and advises clients who find themselves under investigation. Her message is simple: Cooperate.

"The congressional oversight power is extremely powerful, very broad, and I don’t think people get very far trying to slow down or stonewall a committee,” she said. “It’s not something that can be easily dismissed.”

It’s a lesson the WWE says it has heeded. The company has responded to both committees’ requests and is treating the panels “with the utmost respect,” said WWE spokesman Gary Davis.

What the organization will do next is anybody’s guess, since the company would not discuss its strategy.

And it’s not just wrestling that has a case of lockjaw.

Major League Baseball also declined to discuss how it handled its investigation even though it got the congressional eyeball more than two years ago.

The more talkative Hill, who helped investigate the Iran-Contra scandal, suggested investigation targets should clean house at the first mention of a congressional inquiry.

While not exactly proactive, baseball eventually ordered an independent investigation into steroid use.

Mitchell, a former senate majority leader, began his inquiry in March 2006 and has not yet released the findings.

The report’s credibility will rest on how well the investigation is executed, Hill said.

Peter Roby, former director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, said such investigations show “sport is no different than any other part of our commerce or our society and needs to be … done honestly and ethically.”

Still, Roby said, it’s naive not to consider the possibility that politicians may be highlighting the topicto raise their profiles.

Special interests know that a high-profile issue can be their best shot at getting heard. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Vick’s guilty plea to dogfighting charges has animal rights groups pressing for tougher penalties, even if neither Rush’s nor Waxman’s panel is planning investigations into the practice among NFL players.

That could be due in part to football’s Washington presence. The National Football League, home to America’s most popular sport, spent $430,000 lobbying during the first six months of this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Baseball, no stranger to Washington, spent more than $540,000 during the same period. Its unique anti-trust exemption has kept the league wise to congressional power for the better part of a century.

The league’s chief lobbyist, Lucy Calautti, served as North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan’s chief of staff and is married to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

WWE, meanwhile, has spent nothing on lobbying during the first half of the year. But with a veritable congressional cage match likely approaching, the wrestling giant will probably spend some serious money in the coming months on lawyers and maybe even a lobbyist or two.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WWE Releases ECW's Marcus Cor Von

With the WWE still looking to make roster moves, on Wednesday the company said so long to Marcus Cor Von. The former Monty Brown has been gone for sometime, as he had taken extended time off from the company to help his family following the death of a relative. There were rumors that Cor Von would be back once things in his family settled down, but now it appears that the company had grown tired of the situation, and decided to move on. Cor Von was a high profile name when he signed with the company in November 2006 after a long run with TNA. I would not be shocked to see him back in TNA, or working hard on the Indy circuit soon.

Two No Mercy Main Events Announced

The two main events for No Mercy, which will take place at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL are set for 10/7. The first of which we have known about since Sunday night at Unforgiven, as John Cena will defend the WWE Title vs Randy Orton in a "Last Man Standing" match. This has the makings of being the best match of this recent feud, as it can't possibly be as weak as what we saw at the last weekends PPV. Cena and Orton had a solid match at SummerSlam, and I am already thinkng here we'll have lots of props and possibly some bloodshed as we start to wrap up this feud.

I stated on the Unforgiven Post Match Show that with John Cena's Dad involved, you could have a swerve where he turns on his son, or you could have Orton's Dad - WWE Hall of Famer Bob Orton Jr. get involved as well. The door is open for a lot to happen here, but one thing I am still on record as thinking is that Cena is going to keep the strap. As of right now, there is no reason to move it, and I think with the reaction he gets, good and bad, there is a very real chance we may see John Cena keep the belt all the way till WrestleMania 24. What happens after that is anyone's guess.

As for the SmackDown main event, there were ads stating we'd see Batista defend his new strap with the Undertaker in what would be a WM 23 rematch. That is not going to happen. At least not yet. Instead, we are going to have to sit through a "Punjabi Prision Match" as The Great Khali well is being tapped again as he will go up against Batista. Ugh. This could be ugly, very ugly. They had better pull out all the stops and props on this one, as Khali can't fight out of a paper bag, much less one-on-one with Batista in a match of this sorts. Put those two together every night from now till that match to have them ready to go for this PPV.

RAW 9/17

WWE RAW on Monday night I felt was one of the better shows they had in awhile, as they finally (at least for the most part) have put the McMahon child storyline behind them, and are moving on to their most important feud, that being John Cena vs Randy Orton for the WWE Title. I loved the build towards Mr.Cena vs Orton, and the ending was a solid cliffhanger that in my opinion wants to make you tune in next week. Not to say that this program didn't have its issues, but overall it was a decent two hours.

Okay, here are the issues. First off, are they just going to allow Triple H to destroy the entire roster? I don't understand the booking in having him go over on the World Tag Team Champs in Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. After all, are not these two the BEST tag team wrestlers in the sport right now based on their standing and titles? I do grab the concept of keeping HHH strong for a future title program, but geez, what's next a 20-1 handicapped match where he comes out on top vs the rest of the RAW roster?

I also appears we are headed for a dreaded Triple H vs Vince McMahon feud, which is the last thing anyone on the roster or any fan really wants to see. The skit with HHH making fun of Vince had some funny moments, but for the most part dragged on for what seemed forever. I guess the whole purpose of HHH coming out was to make fun of Vince, and then beat up the tag champs and then Carlito. All in a night's work for The Game.

I did like the opener with Jeff Hardy vs Shelton Benjamin, as these two when they are in there against one another always seem to have good matches. I would like to see a long-term regin of the IC belt for Hardy, as he is the perfect guy to keep it and have it mean something instead of it being like musical chairs.

They also did a women's tag, which was your normal women's match that really did nothing for anyone. In the end, Candice Michelle, who continues to have the worst in-ring music I think I have ever heard, got the pin, and Beth Phoenix, who was at ringside, put the belt on her, and then gave her a little shove. Effective, but not your normal heel on face beat down. I would assume we'll see a rematch of Candice and Beth at No Mercy.

Then we had all the drama with Cena and Orton, which included John being handcuffed to the ring so he couldn't interfere in the match with Orton and Cena's Dad. As stated earlier, I really like this angle, and I think that they can continue to build towards a solid Last Man Standing match at No Mercy. You have to think John will get his revenge on Randy's Dad - Bob Orton Jr. at somepoint in this feud.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

2007 Unforgiven Post Match Show

Matt Loede & John Sefcik are back with this 2007 Unforgiven Post Match show, complete with results, comments and thoughts on the 8-match card from Memphis. The pair will also look ahead to next month's No Mercy and the title picture there from the October 7th card.

Thoughts and Commentary on Unforgiven

2007 Unforgiven from Memphis took place on Sunday night. The 10th anniversary show was okay, with one big title change, and of course the return of the Undertaker. Here below is our take on the card:

Undertaker vs Mark Henry - It was what you would expect out of a Taker return, a lot of punching, kicking, and as normal, a rather lackluster match with Mark Henry. What anyone would want to see Henry in a main event is beyond me, but this was all about the return of Taker, and at the end of the show he did the whole motion with the belt, meaning it looks as if we will eventually see some Taker vs Batista matches down the road. Overall, a decent card, but this as a main event was rather weak.

John Cena vs Randy Orton - Odd booking as I guess we will have Taker vs Mark Henry last. That should be the only time in the career of Henry that he should be on last in a PPV. Cena loses the match, but not the belt, as you could sense from the get go we'd have one of those DQ finishes where Cena loses, but keeps the strap. This was pretty much a brawl from the start, with very little wrestling, and if it would have been the last match it would have been a total letdown. They will do this again next month, and this time you'll finally get a stip - Last Man Standing.

Cade and Murdoch vs Paul London and Brian Kendrick
- This one for the tag belts was a lot better than the other tag title match, and they did not go with the title switch here, as expected. Cade and Murdoch are solid as tag champs, and London and Kendrick should continue in their chase of the belts. Another solid back and forth with these two teams, and I think they will keep these two going at it until down the road they are finally able to grab the belts.

Khali vs Rey Mysterio vs Batista - FINALLY! That is all I can about this one, as they did exactly the right thing, which was to get the strap off of Khali and on to a real wrestler in Batista. I was convinced they would keep the belt on Khali, and possibly throw him into a program with the Undertaker. Instead, they did what they should have done last month, and that is move the belt. The match itself was pretty sloppy, as most triple threat matches are, but in the end, you had Mysterio do the 619 on both guys, and then Batista recovered, threw Mysterio out, and then he got the pin after a spine buster. The best part was post match when HHH and Batista had a back and forth, teasing what could down the road be a feud once again between the two.

Beth Phoenix vs Candice Michelle - Candice has been a solid womens champion, and as I have said before on the prematch show, they seem to like to keep the belt on the women for a longer peroid of time, and with Candice getting the win here, that is the route they seem to want to follow again. Beth is a solid womens wrestler as well, and I like the two in the ring together, as they gave a solid back and forth womens match. Candice ended up winning after getting press slammed, and she used a crucifix move to score the win. I expect them to have more of these back and forth matches to come.

Carlito vs Triple H - The rule here was that Carlito could use whatever weapon he wanted, while HHH had to abide by the rules. While it made for a somewhat interesting match, the truth of it is we all knew who was going to win this, and despite a decent effort from Carlito, HHH came out ahead with the pin. I still think they are sort of finding their way with HHH, as that is basically two squash matches in two months back on PPV. Carlito I still think has a lot of talent, but they underuse him as well. As for Triple H, look for bigger and better if they start him with a feud with either Randy Orton or Ken Kennedy.

Deuce and Domino vs Matt Hardy and MVP - Another classic case of Hardy and MVP playing back and forth, and they once again allowed them to get over on the D&D boys. Overall a pretty good back and forth match, with the odd look of the D&D boys wearing black shirts and jeans. This whole feud was based on MVP and Hardy going back and forth as a comedy team. This one ended with Hardy using MVP as a battering ram, and then getting the pin with the twist of fate. I still see MVP doing the final heel turn down the road and them losing the straps pretty soon.

C.M. Punk vs Elijah Burke - A fast paced opener, with some decent wrestling from both sides. Burke in my opinion had something to prove here, and while both men wrestled hard, it was somewhat of a letdown. Punk won with a reverse of a roll-up, and keeps the title. We all thought he would keep the belt, and I think now he moves into a program with John Morrison when he jumps back into the title picture in two weeks following his suspension.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

2007 WWE Unforgiven PreMatch Show

Matt Loede and John Sefcik are back with a complete preview of the 8 match Unforgiven card which takes place on Sunday, September 16th in Nashville. Sit back and listen as Matt and John give you their views and thoughts on this WWE PPV.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Taking a Look and Breaking Down the Talent in ECW

Today we are going to take a look at ECW - where it is and where it was. Also we will give a progress report on the superstars that make up the company's third brand, and some comments on them as well.

Champion: C.M. Punk - Stock: Going Up - Punk's long awaited win of the ECW Title finally came two weeks ago, but likely only due to the fact that John Morrison was suspended in the raid on WWE wrestlers. Nevertheless, Punk has long been the best talent in my opinion that ECW has, and I hope that they don't just move the belt back to Morrison when his suspension is over.

Armando Estrada - Stock: Going up - Estrada came out of nowhere to be named the new GM of ECW a few weeks ago, and appears to be on track to do what he does best - talk. As the manager of Umaga before this role, he was solid, and I expect much of the same as the heel GM of this brand.

Balls Mahoney
- Stock: Slowly going up - Mahoney is in the brands second pushed storyline right now, and that is a love affair with the ditzy Kelly Kelly. He is the Shrek in the storyline, and this past week was a loser to the returning Mike Knox, but gave Kelly a stuffed animal. Look for the monster to get the girl in the end.

Big Daddy V
- Stock: Going WAY up - Talk about a guy going from a no one to a someone. V is on pace for a title program with Punk soon, and since coming to ECW has changed his look, got a manager and looks about as good as ever in the company. Well, if your not counting King Mabel that is.

- Stock: Soon to go down - This worm eater is all about his character, which does not have all that much depth. He is going to be the steppingstone for V next week, and other than that, I can't see them doing much with him in the future other than being a mid-level jobber.

- Stock: holding steady - One of the three "dancers" that run around with the Miz, I don't think I have really ever heard her say a word, and that is probably for the best. She does not bring much to the table, and unless they are training her to wrestle, she is just eye candy.

Elijah Burke - Stock: Falling - Burke was a rising star about 7-8 months ago on ECW. As leader of the "New Breed", he looked like a guy at some point headed for a title. Now he's lost in the shuffle, a winner one week, a loser the next. He and Punk should have a solid title match Sunday at the PPV though.

John Morrison
- Stock: Low now but could be back - Morrison killed his momentum as ECW champion when he got suspended two weeks ago. The pet project of the company, he was basically handed the title after the Chris Benoit tragedy, and was doing a solid job until the suspension. Now it remains to be seen if he will be given the belt back right away when he's back in 2-3 weeks.

Kelly Kelly
- Stock: Rising (for some reason) - Kelly has been the top female on ECW from the moment it hit the airwaves, and now with her storyline with Balls, she is on the show about as much as ever. She really needs some acting lessons though, as well as some depth to her character. The company seems to really like her though and will give her time to develop.

Kevin Thorn - Stock: Steady - Thorn seems to be going for that Undertaker look more than ever, but the problem is - he's Kevin Thorn and not the Undertaker. He had some solid matches with Steven Richards for a few weeks, but was back in the shuffle on Tuesday night, losing in a tag match. I don't see him ever really getting a major push.

- Stock - Low: - Layla was the diva winner a few years back, but really is nothing more now than a third-wheel in Extreme Expose. I would not be shocked if she is gone within the next year.

Marcus Cor Von - Stock: - Low but could rise: Cor Von, the former Monty Brown, has been gone for awhile dealing with some serious family issues. There is no timetable for his return, but word his he will be welcome back with open arms as he has been a good soldier in the company thus far.

Matt Striker - Stock: Steady - Striker does still wrestle, as he did Tuesday night, but he is now more in the role as manager for Big Daddy V. He is good on the mic, and okay in the ring, and I think down the road he'll be a very good manager for a number of wrestlers.

Mike Knox - Stock: Creeping up - Knox, who was best known for being Kelly Kelly's first boyfriend, was sent to OWV, and now is back after his send down. He beat Balls on Tuesday night, and I am sure he'll get a few wins, but likely will be back to mid-card loser to guys like Punk and other faces.

Nunzio - Stock: Low - Give this cruiser weight credit, he sure can take a beating. He lost to Striker Tuesday night, then got squashed by Big Dadd V. He gives his all when he's in there, but is basically a jobber with a name.

Stevie Richards - Stock: Rising Fast - The company finally has given Richards a shot, and he is running with it. He has plenty left in him, and even in losses looks better than most guys out there. Richards should be given every chance to be a mid to high level face in the brand, and it seems that is the track he's currently on.

The Miz - Stock: Rising - With three (soon to be two) ladies by his side, The Miz is getting some play and winning matches week after week. Look for him and Balls to continue their back and forth, and he will continue to get plenty of push by the company.

Tommy Dreamer
- Stock: Steady - Dreamer is ECW, or at least he was. Always ready and willing to do whatever it takes, Dreamer is a solid pro who should be rewarded for being a total company guy. I know from personal experience he is great with the fans as well, and I hope that they keep him around for a long time to come.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday WWE News and Notes: Sandman, Martel, Umaga's Return

We are now five days away from Unforgiven, but most of the news from today has to do with things not associated with the upcoming PPV. Here are some passing notes from some of the out of the ring developments of the past 24-48 hours.

* In a move that has been discussed for so long I can't believe it took this long, the WWE has finally said "so long" to former ECW Champion Sandman. They gave him his official release on Tuesday, one day after he was involved in the Vince McMahon "son" storyline on RAW. The funny part is Sandman was rumored to be on his way out a long time ago, yet lasted longer than Rob Van Dam, who did leave on his own though, and Sabu. Now the last real ECW original that is left is Tommy Dreamer, and it looks for now like Dreamer is safe in the company. Sandman will always be remembered to me as being Stone Cold before Stone Cold.

* They have released the toxicology report on former WWE Women's Champion and Hall of Famer Sherri Martel. The report stated that Sherri had multiple drugs in her system at the time of her death, including a high dose of oxycodone. The 49-year olds death is being ruled an accident, but that while there was not foul play involved, she did not die of natural causes. Sherri was a great in-ring and out of the ring performer, and her death for sure came too soon. Just another sad case of the ugly side of drugs being the end of one of the greats of the sport.

* While the WWE's suspensions are being served, Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that all the wrestlers that were suspended were to be at Titan Towers to have a sit down about their dealings with the pharmacy they did business with. One wrestler missed his flight, and now word is he will be BIG TIME in the WWE doghouse for sometime. That wrestler - Chris Masters. Way to go Chris.

* I guess at some point, likely when the fall TV slate starts, we will have a couple of shows that will do in-depth pieces on the death of Chris Benoit as well as the murders of Nancy and Daniel. Recently Dateline NBC was at a SmackDown/ECW taping to speak with Chavo Guerrero and ECW ref Scott Armstrong, as these were two of the people that got text messages from Benoit shortly before it is believed that he hung himself. I would guess that will be a heavily hyped show that will hit the airwaves sometime in October.

* As we get close to the end of the suspensions for the WWE stars, one wrestler that will come back in a semi-main event program is Umaga. Looks like the face push is over, and that Umaga will have a program with Triple H, the wrestler that put him "out" with the sledgehammer that could go through the December PPV. Umaga should not be feeling any long term effects of having to sit out a month, as his character has been one of the strongest on RAW for about a year now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

WWE Puts Out Press Release on McMahon's "Son"


STAMFORD, Conn., September 11, 2007 – Five weeks after the WWE® Chairman was served with a paternity suit for an illegitimate child he allegedly sired, it was announced on last night’s Monday Night RAW® (9/8pm CT on USA Network) that Hornswoggle™ was the missing member of the McMahon family.

During last night’s show, Mr. McMahon’s moment of discovery was accompanied by a scowl of disbelief as Hornswoggle scrambled from under the ring and across the mat to cling tightly to his newfound father’s leg. The latest addition to the McMahon family marks the culmination of weeks of speculation in which the lawyer for the woman who brought the paternity suit against the Chairman dropped the clue last week that, “things are looking up.” The lawyer then dropped additional clues one by one on last night’s show to finally reveal the Lil’ Bastard, as he had been appropriately known.

Log on to for the latest news on Mr. McMahon. Additional information on World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) can be found at For information on our global activities, go to

RAW 9/10

All I can really say from Monday Night's RAW in Green Bay is - Ken Kennedy - you blew it. The angle that was set up for the biggest push of Kennedy's career - that being Vince McMahon's son, was basically made for him, and instead of taking advantage of it and going to on bigger and better, Kennedy blew it by taking some sort of substance that landed him on the suspended list. This despite the fact he had gone on Nancy Grace awhile ago and stated he was not on any substances. He is a fraud and liar, and his career is now in the WWE doghouse because of it.

Moving on, the Vince's son angle is finally over, and instead of using it to push a major superstar, they used it to basically push a comedy angle. The son ended up being Hornswaggle, the current cruiserweight champion and comedy relief on SmackDown. The tease of the show seemed to point that the son was Triple H, and can I just say that would have been about the biggest disaster of all time if they would have gone that route, and at the end of the show it was down to Sandman, HHH and JBL. They eliminated JBL and Sandman, and then the last clue was that the son likes to play games - horseshoe, hopscotch and marbles. Thus leaving Hornswaggle.

Now that this angle is over, I don't see them doing much of anything with it. I foresee them just blowing it off, and just never really going back to it again beyond this week. Then again I could be totally wrong and they could spend 15-20 minutes each show on it with various comedy angles and what not, but I personally think the better idea would be to just drop it, move on, and get a main event angle back in the mix for Vince and Triple H, which it appears is what they are setting up for in the coming months.

The rest of the show was blah at best, as this was not the best way to sell a pay-per-view for Sunday. The main event angle with John Cena and Randy Orton was nothing more than a brawl in the ring, followed by a breakup by "security" and that was all we saw of Cena. The main event was a squash pretty much with Jeff Hardy vs Khali, with the big slow winning and then Batista coming out and attacking him, pushing Sunday's triple threat with Khali vs Mysterio vs Batista.

About the best match of the night was HHH vs Shelton Benjamin, as they pushed how HHH lost to Benjamin three plus years ago when Shelton came to RAW from Smackdown. It was a good match, and pushed the Carlito vs HHH match for Sunday, which is now a No-DQ for Carlito, and a normal match for HHH. Odd booking on that one indeed. They had a womens match with Mickie James beating Jillian Hall. The odd thing is that now Candice comes out for every womens match? Why was she at the announcer table? And can we find some better music for her than that stupid beat box 1984 song that they remade for her? The old song was better, and now they changed it to be like a mix of Black Box and Salt N' Pepa. Oh, I guess she was out there because Beth Phoenix attacked both women and then Candice when it was over. Whatever.

So were on to Unforgiven on Sunday. The PPV has some potential, but overall this is going to be another middle of the road PPV, which is a downer since I really thought that this years version of SummerSlam was not what it usually is. I suspect they are going to try to really load up Survivor Series in November to make up for it, but we shall see. Don't forget that John Sefcik and I will be with you all weekend with our Unforgiven Preview show on Saturday and then Post match report Sunday night.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Unforgiven Thoughts as the Week of TV Starts

WWE Unforgiven will take place Sunday from Tennessee, and so far the card has

* Deuce and Domino vs MVP & Matt Hardy (C) for the WWE Tag Titles
* Cade & Murdoch vs London and Kendrick for the World Tag Titles
* Triple H vs Carlito
* Mark Henry vs Undertaker
* Candice Michelle (C) vs Beth Phoenix for the Women's Title
* The Great Khali (C) vs Batista vs Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Title
* Randy Orton vs John Cena (C) for the WWE Title

That is 7 matches for the card, and I can see them possibly putting one more in there before the date of the event next Sunday. This to me is mostly as it stands a rather weak card, and I think the thing to watch for here is the two main event title matches, as I would not be surprised to see BOTH title switch. I think the big mistake in this card would be to rush the World title on to Mysterio, who has only been back on TV for a few weeks. I realize that they feel it could capture a buzz, but to me the better route would be a Batista win, then at No Mercy in October you do a one-on-one between Batista and Mysterio. With Taker back, and Edge nearing a return, I fully expect the World Heavyweight Title picture to finally clear up a bit, and to get the strap off of possibly the worst stop gap champion of all-time - Khali.

As for the WWE Title, we have debated this back and forth about if Cena should continue the run or not. On our latest "Turnbuckle Talk" podcast, John Sefcik and I give our thoughts as to putting the belt on Orton, and if that is a good move or not. Don't forget that it's now been a year with Cena having the strap, but also don't forget that he is still the number one draw in the company. It will be interesting to see the direction they take, and if they really feel that Orton is worthy of another title run, as the last one lasted just one month and then he flamed out and lost his top spot to Batista, who cashed in and won the belt at WrestleMania 22. Now about two and a half years later, Orton is back on the main event scene, but there is no for sure about him winning the belt next weekend.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday News and Notes: McMahon's Child, Unforgiven Match, Flair

* Sunday is upon us, and tomorrow night should be (but maybe not), the nail in the coffin of the Mr.McMahon "child" storyline, as they are pushing that they will announce who the child will be tomorrow night on RAW. We discussed the topic in specifics on our Turnbuckle Talk podcast last night. I willl take a stab that the kid will end up being.....Randy Orton. I know, it makes no sense, but what in the WWE does these days.

* They have added HHH vs Carlito as a match at Unforgiven. This should be a total squash, and as far as what they are doing with HHH, you can bet that he is going to keep getting a push until he finds himself in the title picture. That could basically happen right away after Unforgiven if Orton beats John Cena for the belt, and then HHH and Orton can have their program asap if that is the route they want to go.

* Ric Flair has NOT quit the WWE, despite reports to the otherwise. Yes, he and the company are not on the best of terms, but he is still under contract, and you will see him back on TV soon. Flair's whole life and basic existance is wrestling, and even after and couple fights with the company, you know that you will see him back in the ring sooner than later.

* As everyone knew, with the South Africa trip closing up, Cade and Murdoch won back their tag belts from Paul London and Brian Kendrick. The team of London and Kendrick won the belts earlier on the tour, but the company had nothing on their website about it, meaning you knew they would go back to the former champs before the trip was up.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Turnbuckle Talk 9/08

Matt Loede and John Sefcik talk about all the latest in the WWE on this first edition of Turnbuckle Talk! Join Matt and John as they discuss the upcoming Unforgiven PPV, the suspensions that have rocked the company, the title pictures as we head into Unforgiven. HHH and his future, and of course, who is Mr.McMahon's Son?

Free Month of WWE 24/7

World Wrestling Entertainment® is giving away a free month of its subscription video-on-demand service, WWE 24/7™ On Demand, to celebrate the crowning of WWE’s Biggest Fan.

The free offer will take place during the month of September, and will be available to new subscribers of WWE 24/7 On Demand. WWE will be showing the Biggest Fan finalist videos, as well as special footage from a red carpet event taking place in New York City during SummerSlam® weekend in August, at which WWE’s Biggest Fan will be declared. The new content comes in addition to an already extensive library found on the SVOD service, now available to more than 75 percent of VOD enabled subscribers nationwide.

WWE 24/7 On Demand delivers the best of professional wrestling – all day, every day – from the world’s largest professional wrestling video library. With WWE 24/7, fans can relive legendary matches and moments with wrestling superstars past and present, as well as access exclusive new programming. In addition, each month features an overriding theme that is reflected throughout the programming. WWE 24/7 On Demand connects viewers to timeless action and the intense drama that fans expect from WWE.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Beniot Had Massive Brain Damage

Dr. Julian Bailes of the Sports Legacy Institute speaks during a news conference while explaining the damage to the brain of former pro wrestler Chris Benoit. The image to the right shows abnormal protein deposits caused by trauma to Benoit's brain. A healthy brain is shown to the left.

The Associated Press

Professional wrestler Chris Benoit, who routinely slammed opponents with diving head-butts and also weathered strikes to the head with chairs during his World Wrestling Entertainment performances, suffered head trauma that doctors who studied his brain said could have contributed to his suicide and the killings of his wife and young son in June.

In analysis released Wednesday by the Sports Legacy Institute that studies the effects of concussions, one doctor who studied Benoit's brain tissue said the number of dead or damaged brain cells "was extensive, shocking in its extent."

The damage was "something you should never see in a 40-year-old," Julian Bailes, chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia University's School of Medicine, said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "We have great anatomical damage here from previous trauma. We think that's the leading cause" of Benoit's violence.

Benoit's father, Michael, approved the study of his son's brain.

"We needed an understanding," the elder Benoit said on television. "The person who did this is not the man we know and loved."

Questions of possible " 'roid rage" also persist.

Law enforcement authorities in suburban Atlanta continue to investigate Benoit's case. Steroids were found inside the home of the attack, and large amounts of testosterone were found in the wrestler's system at the time of his death. Benoit's personal doctor has been charged with federal prescription drug distribution crimes, and the WWE recently suspended 10 wrestlers connected to a performance-enhancing drug distribution ring being investigated by Albany, N.Y., prosecutors.

On Wednesday, WWE officials responded to the Benoit brain report with a prepared statement:

"Today's attempt to explain that Chris Benoit's murder of his family was possibly caused by some form of dementia as a result of alleged concussions is speculative. WWE can certainly understand the anguish of a father having to deal with the fact that his son allegedly murdered his wife and young son, as Chris Benoit is alleged to have done. We respect the desire of that father to do whatever he can to find some explanation as to why his son might commit such horrible acts."

Bailes said his research has shown as few as three major concussions can cause "serious, major consequences."

Although Michael Benoit said his son suffered "quite a number" of concussions while wrestling, WWE spokeswoman Jennifer McIntosh said officials "dug around" and found "no medical records of [Benoit] suffering a concussion.

"We don't have any answers as to why Chris did what he did. We're still awaiting the law enforcement investigation to be concluded," McIntosh said

Another doctor who studied Benoit's brain acknowledged, "Whether it is the sole factor, I believe, is speculation, and I will not go there." But, Dr. Robert Cantu, a member of the Waltham, Mass.-based institute, which researches the long-term effects of concussions, said the level of Benoit's brain damage could have caused depression and irrational behavior.

Michael Benoit, who lives near Edmonton, Canada, said that after the killings, he discovered a diary written by his son that he thought "was written by someone who was extremely disturbed."

Benoit, a former WWE champion, was known as one of the organization's most skilled wrestlers.

"I think it's the extreme that is in the wrestling industry today," Michael Benoit told reporters. "The human skull is not built to get hit by a chair or something."

The father said he had not discussed with his attorney whether to take any legal action against WWE or anyone else in the case. An attorney for Benoit's wife, Nancy, said a history of concussions or steroid use "wouldn't excuse his conduct."

Meanwhile, Michael Benoit said on television that he tells the late wrestler's two surviving children that "what happened wasn't [Benoit's] fault.

"We have an understanding [now] of what could have contributed to the tragedy of that [weekend]."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

RAW 9/3

RAW on Monday night was a rather wild show, complete with getting rid of a bunch of wrestlers that are getting suspended, and showing us once again why we should really put some handcuffs on Triple H, as it now appears that he is able to beat the entire roster alone. Also we learned that next week we will finally find out the son of Mr.McMahon, and that it will NOT be Mr.Kennedy, finally putting to bed that rumor that has been going on since they announced that he had a child. The funny part is you have to wonder if we'll see Kennedy at all next week, considering that he is one of the many that has been talked about getting suspended.

As far as the actual wrestling is concerned, we had an IC title change, as they put Jeff Hardy back in the title picture with a win, albeit a weak one, over Umaga to start the show. The match lasted through a commerical break, and then the end came for the Samoan when he fell off the top turnbuckle and was pinned by Hardy. It was a good match for the most part between these two, not as good as the Great American Bash, but hopefully after the suspension they will put these two in a program again. It also looks as if the Umaga face turn is done and over.

They did a divas match with Beth Phoenix again for a second straight week beating on Maria. They also set the tone for Santino to turn heel, as he was the one that put the match together. Phoenix is building towards a championship program with Candice, and that program should really start with a match at the upcoming PPV Unforgiven.

The program with John Cena and Randy Orton will continue, as I guess we all know that Orton will not be suspended, as he will take on Cena at Unforgiven. This may finally be the spot where Orton gets the belt. They set up the program further with Cena getting into a verbal spar with William Regal, and then Cena laid out Regal, which will lead to Regal being gone for 30 days with his suspension. In the meantime, we will have Coach as the GM once again, a role that he plays very well, just like Regal did in his stint.

As we spoke of here Sunday, they are giving a title match to London and Kendrick, as they beat the Worlds Greatest Tag Team in a match for the #1 contender spot. They got rid of Cryme Tyme, firing them on Sunday, and have quickly put London and Kendrick in that role, as we predicted. Their match before the last PPV which was a dark match was said to be very good, and so at Unforgiven we should have a solid match with the four.

Jillian Hall and Daivari versus Mickie James and Cody Rhodes also was on the show, and the face team won, it was a basic filler match that meant nothing, and I am not sure what they will do with Rhodes, but this match meant nothing other than just another match on the show. Then we had the HHH show, as Triple H took on Carlito and Umaga in a Handicap Match. After getting a beat down most of the early part of the match, they DQ'ed the heel team, only for then HHH to rebound, beat on Carlito, and then lay out Umaga with a chair and then the dreaded sledgehammer. This sets up Umaga gone for 30 days as well.

They ended the show with McMahon, his wife, Shane and Steph in the ring going back and forth about the kid. They also finally teased that Steph and HHH are in real life together, as the two did a little flirt on the screen when HHH replaced a video that Vince made, loving his kids, with one of him beating on Steph and Linda. The plan all along was for them to show in a storyline what we knew in real life - HHH is married to Steph. They are going to use this for a feud, and then that might lead all the way to Mania.

As for Kennedy, he came out and said that he was Vince's kid, but then a lawyer for the woman came out, said that wasn't the case, and that we'd find out who the kid would be next week. Oh, and there was a hint - "things are looking up." I guess that means whoever is the kid is 7 foot....or maybe that he's a midget...or that's he's poor and now he'll be rich. Whatever...get this storyline over with~!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another Firing: Cryme Tyme Gone

Another firing by the WWE Sunday, and this time it comes from the tag team division, where Cryme Tyme has been given their notice. The gangsta tag team was let go due mostly from what we are hearing was an incident with Cade and Murdoch at a house show on Saturday. Reports say that the four men got into it after their tag match in Indiana, and that backstage they went back and forth. Upon arrivng today at the taping of RAW that will be shown on Monday night, the pair was told they were fired. Cryme Tyme was getting a pretty big push with their selling of things around the ring during matches, and it seemed like they were on the verge of getting the tag belts down the road.

Now that they are gone, who knows who will be the challengers for Cade and Murdoch. Could they put Brian Kendrick and Paul London in that role? That seems to be the only logical choice, as they have been buried since they were drafted on RAW. How about the Highlanders? They have basically become jobbers, and I would be stunned if they find their way back into the tag title division. It was last year about this time they got a few shots at the tag titles when they were back and forth with the Spirit Squad, but were never able to get the belts. It's been such a crazy week of turnover with the WWE, first the suspensions of up to 12 wrestlers, and now they fire Eugene and Cryme Tyme. Who knows what we'll see next.

WWE Says Good-Bye to Eugene

WWE has let go of one of their wrestlers that is not on the list for violating the wellness policy - Eugene. The "nephew" of Eric Bishoff was moved in the recent draft from RAW to SmackDown, but other than a few beatings from some of the higher ups on the SmackDown roster, you really didn't see much of Eugene and he really didn't have any sort of program with any other wrestler on the roster at the time of his release. You'd have to believe that the move was done just because they really didn't have anything to do with Eugene, and not because of any sort of personal issues.

Eugene (aka Nick Dinsmore) was a big time wrestler on the OVW roster before he came to the main roster a few years back. He right away got involved with a major program with Triple H that led to a match at SummerSlam, in which he lost. From that point on his character never really got over, and at one point he was going to go heel, but again, no one really cared and they kept him as a jobber face that never really got any sort of major push. It is interesting that with the recent 10 suspensions (Mr.Kennedy, Umaga and John Morrison are the three that we pretty much know 100 percent), they are axing wrestlers that supposedly are in the good with the company, but then again, that is how it goes when you can't really get over with the fans.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Punk Wins ECW Strap; A Few Suspensions Made Known

Looks like its a shoe-in that John Morrison is one of those WWE superstars that will be taking the next 30 days off. This comes from the fact that Morrison, who has been the ECW champion since the Benoit saga a few months back, lost the belt in a TV taping on Saturday night in Cincy to number one contender C.M. Punk. The WWE official website already has it up on their site that Punk has won the belt, and that you can watch the entire match on Tuesday night on ECW. Punk and Morrison have gone back and forth on PPV's over the last three months, with Morrison winning each month. Last week on ECW, Punk won a number one contenders match that gave him the chance to win the belt from Morrison.

Also about to be suspended are Umaga and Ken Kennedy. Umaga is now slated, again crediting the WWE website, to start off Monday night RAW vs Jeff Hardy for he IC belt. Here he'll drop the belt, and Hardy will take it home and Umaga will then start his 30 days off. As for Kennedy, he can quietly slip away, as right now he is not involved with any high profile feud that they have to finish up. Despite what reports were stating, Randy Orton will NOT be suspended, and it looks as if his match with John Cena will be on for the September PPV.

Suspensions and SmackDown Thoughts

The WWE over the last 48 hours has had to make some of the toughest decisions they have ever had to make. When you suspend 10 of your performers, and word continues to be that some of the names on the list are top names, then the roster and shows are going to take a hit. Many names have been talked about as far as being suspended, and some of the names are for sure going to make storylines pretty tough to continue. How about Randy Orton, who is reportedly one of the suspended? How can you possibly keep the heat on him with John Cena when Randy won't be around for a month? I guess if you are desperate enough to keep it going, you can do promos, but trust me, that won't be enough to keep the fans overall interest.

Then there is John Morrison, the ECW Champ. The company has for some reason been in love with him and his new character, and now it looks as if he is going to sit for 30 days as well. How do you take away the champion of a brand for 30 days? That is going to be an interesting call, and with a match with C.M. Punk somewhere down the road, you would think that for the 4th month in a row we would have seen that match at Unforgiven. Morrison right now is ECW like Cena is RAW, and now he's gone for a month, not a good deal.

The company has already let one go - as Friday they fired Simon Dean, or the real life Mike Bucci. He hasn't been on TV forever, and was a talent guy down in OWV. There was a lot of stock in what he was doing, and the company had put a lot of trust in him. Why he was on substances that would enhance his look is beyond me, as his in-ring days for the most part appear to be over. There will likley be more firings, but this is the first, and it's the one for now that is making the headlines.

As for SmackDown on Friday night, they are quickly pushing Rey Mysterio back in the title picture, as he became the #1 contender for Khali's heavyweight title. He beat Batista via DQ when Finley came in, and then Batista pushed the ref. Then Mysterio beat Finley to win the spot, and they ended the show with Khali basically mocking Mysterio. Then Batista came in and laid out Khali. I think maybe this might lead to a 3-way with Batista, Mysterio and Khali at Unforgiven, but the thing there is what if Batista is gone 30 days? Then I guess you have Mysterio and Khali.

They seem to want to push Mysterio right back in the title picture, maybe because they think that will boost ratings, like it did when they gave him the belt after WrestleMania 22 for a few months. If that is the case, I have no problem with it, but if it's just another challenger to lose to Khali, then give me a break. They never really ended the Khali-Batista feud, as Batista actually deserves another shot after winning at SummerSlam via DQ.

The other story of the night was MVP and Matt Hardy teamming and winning the tag belts. This might be one of those old Rock and Mick Foley deals where at first the two guys don't like each other, but then learn to handle each other. Or this could be a deal where they eventually turn on each other, and then just go back to feuding for the US title. I like the storyline, and for one don't have a problem with it. At least on TV as well people seemed to like cheering for MVP. Interesting.

So we'll have to wait and see what comes of the latest round of suspensions, and what that does to TV. The list of who's gone is going to become very obvious in the next week with TV, so we'll have a better idea of what storylines have to be switched around, and how they deal with Unforgiven in September is going to be interesting as well.

About me

  • I'm Matt Loede
  • From Cleveland OH
  • Matt has been involved in sports media for over ten years, with experience covering the NFL, NBA, and MLB for the past 13+ years.
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