Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Wrestle - Strong Backlash Provides Hope for the Future

The Following was posted one year ago today on Let's Wrestle

By all accounts in watching last night's WWE Backlash, I can say that this PPV was one of the best "B" PPV's the company has put on in about 6-7 years. There seemed to be a different tone last night, where wrestling was the focus, and the usual stupid backstage stuff or silly things that go on in the ring really took a back seat to what the company should be focusing more on, which is wrestling and good storylines. The company has a solid couple of main event stories going on right now, and last night they did a great job in keeping them going and developing them.

The first and biggest story of the night was the ongoing saga of John Cena vs Shawn Michaels. These two were two of the four men in the fatal four way match for the WWE Title along with Edge and Randy Orton. Many felt, including myself, that Cena would win, and that Orton would be the man to get pinned, almost to punish him for the high school trashing of a hotel room on the company's recent tour of Europe. While that happened, how it happened and the action in between made that seem like an afterthought. The action in ring for the main event was top notch, and the final ending with Cena getting superkicked by HBK, only to then have him fall on Orton for the pin was really well done. Whoever was the agent for the match and the ending should get a solid round of applause, as it was very, very good. All four men put forth a great deal of effort, and there really were not many lulls to this solid main event.

The ending and in ring action also leaves a lot of doors open. Shawn of course now should get his WrestleMania title rematch with Cena, and I can see this at Judgement Day, or possibly One Night Stand. You also now have the options of a few other matches that have some push behind them from last night, like Cena vs Orton, Edge vs Orton, and HBK vs either Orton or Edge. I expect to see all these four go back and forth, leading to a pair of PPV matches for either Judgement Day or ONS, with it being Cena vs HBK for the title, and Edge vs Orton. A great showing by all four that really showed what the WWE can do when it puts wrestling at the forefront of a main event.

As for the Last Man Standing Match with Undertaker and Batista, I once again think that while Taker is the focus of SmackDown and the company, longterm my hopes of Batista turning back around and being at the point he was two years ago have returned. I thought he was strong again, and while there was a few points in this match where things got a little slow, I think that overall the match lived up to its hype and they went in the right direction with the double 10-count finish. I kind of saw this coming earlier in the week, and even mentioned it in the preview that I could see that and then a 3rd match possibly at Judgement Day in a Hell in a Cell, or just a regular cage match. After last night, there is no doubt that is where they are headed. The final spear off the stage was a bit over the top, but it was a pretty cool visual that did its job.

The ECW 3-on-1 that concluded with Vince McMahon pinning Bobby Lashley for the belt basically did nothing more than make my worst fears come true. That fear of course is more McMahon on TV, and that is what we are going to get for sometime now. This was by far the weakest of the main events, but that was to be expected. I think I could also suggest that we need to get Lashley off TV for a few weeks to give his character, which has been pushed to the upmost, a bit of a break. That won't happen either, but I guess one could hope. Lashley will get the belt back within a few weeks, so if we can just bear this latest round of McMahon ego, we'll see what happens. The most interesting part of the match that bears watching is the facials that Umaga made when he was getting slapped for tags from McMahon. Its almost as if they are teasing a face turn for him, which would be really wild.

The other pleasant thing about this show was that they did a very good job giving time to the three undercard matches. I can't remember a WWE PPV recently with just six matches, but this one was just that, and it really kept my interest. The opener with the Hardy's vs Cade and Murdoch was a good match and strong open, with a good conclusion with Jeff giving Murdoch the swanton bomb and then Matt getting the pin. I still like the Hardy's with the belts.

Melina vs Mickie James should have been the women's match at Wrestlemania, as these two put on a solid match that we have not seen from the women's division for sometime. While they both have beauty, there is no doubt that these two have worked hard to get better in the ring. The only downer was the ending, which was about as plain as any women's match. Here's hoping they do what they can to keep these two going at it.

The MVP vs Chris Benoit match was also very good, and very much like the strong match they had at Mania. They are really mixing it up with it looking like at each and every turn MVP will get the belt, yet he keeps coming up short. The only thing I can think of is either they are waiting to do the switch on SmackDown, or they have someone else in line for the strap. Sure seems to me like its MVP's time though.

All in all, this was about a good a PPV as you are going to see for following up Mania, and this could have been the best Backlash since the HHH-Rock headlined show back in 2000, that saw a title switch with Steve Austin helping the Rock win the title.

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Umaga Going Face Soon?

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Umaga may be turning babyface after being cheered in many cities during WWE’s recent tour of Europe. That kind of explains why WWE put him a spot last week on Raw to get a pop by attacking “Barack Obama” and “Hillary Clinton.”


Notes: Mysterio Back in June; House Show Lineups


Rey Mysterio should be returning to the ring in June. WWE is advertising Mysterio for some house shows during the month.

For the month of June, WWE has several house show line-ups. On Raw, they have Orton vs. Triple H, Orton vs. Triple H vs. Umaga, and Orton vs. Cena. On SmackDown, they have Taker vs. Edge, Batista vs. Edge, Taker & Batista vs. Edge & Show, and Taker, Batista & Mysterio vs. Edge, MVP and Khali. However, based on recent storylines on SmackDown, it looks like a number of these line-ups will change come show time.

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Sounds Like the WWE Housecleaning May Continue


One source within WWE is saying that you should expect to see some more cuts over the next few weeks, reports

Names being speculated on by the source include Charlie Haas, Big Daddy V and Drew McIntyre.

WWE cleans out the roster every year (usually after WrestleMania) because it's a cost-cutting measure, not to mention that it allows new talent to be called up from developmental to the main roster. At the moment, WWE has approximately 50 talents in developmental.

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A Strange Week of WWE TV to Say the Least

If there is one thing you can't say about the last two nights of WWE TV - it's that it's been predictable. Who would have thought after two shows this week the top stories would be about William Regal pulling the plug on the main event, and an announcer who should have never had the position he had walking out? Like it or not, it's soap opera TV at its best, and it's something the WWE felt it had to do to make you want to turn in next week.

For the "true" wrestling fan that turns in to watch moves and action, these two shows have probably not been to your liking this week. The Randy Orton vs Triple H match that was pulled at the end of RAW was going along like no other main event on the show that I've seen since last years Shawn Michaels vs John Cena one-hour plus match in London, that easily was the match of the year in my opinion. I will say this though, pulling the plug on it like Regal did left me wanting more, so I can't blame the WWE too much for that.

We'll get more of Orton vs HHH at the next PPV in now less than three weeks - Judgement Day. The two will go at it again, this time in a steel cage, the first of many rematches between the two, and I am sure not the last that we'll see on a PPV scale. While Orton vs HHH is not a totally fresh program, it's a good enough one to get us through till we see HHH vs John Cena after he gets done shooting the movie "12 Rounds" and what is expected to be a stinker feud with the bland JBL.

On to last night. The "walkout" of ECW announcer Mike Adamle is currently being played as a shoot, but I think in the end it'll come out as a work. I am not exactly for sure what led to the walkout, but again, the WWE has been known in the past to be on the pulse of the fan base, and if they know that Adamle is that bad (and he is), I would not be shocked to see him get thrown into some other role, and have an emotional return next week of Joey Styles.

The bottom line with Adamle is that it's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Right now within the framework of the company he belongs nowhere near an announcer table. Could he pull off play-by-play right now on HEAT? Probably. But to force feed him each week on ECW has been painful, and hopefully the company listens to the fan base that wants him removed from that position. If this was not a work, then I am sure they would have found a way to edit the final match with some sort of commentary. To have it go on with no announcing, only left you scratching your head, which is the effect the WWE wanted with it.

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Latest Jim Ross Blog Hits on Warrior, Styles, Regal

Jim Ross is back once again with another blog entry. You can read the full blog at his official website. Some highlights:

Warrior vs. McMahon at WM25: I read on the vaunted Internet that the Warrior has challenged Mr. McMahon for a bout at WM25 in Houston next year. Certainly a provocative idea, that I seriously doubt would ever come to fruition, but it may be an idea that Dana White might want to explore for aUFC attraction. But as we all saw Monday night, as Monday Night Raw so abruptly went off the air on the USA Network, anything can happen in the WWE. Much like a grotesque car accident, one would have to at least peak at a Mr. McMahon-Warrior encounter.

Regal Staying RAW GM: So, Raw General Manager William Regal is not going to give up his G.M. Title which makes the current King of the Ring have a fair amount of stroke in the ‘rasslin world it would seem. If Regal is ever going to take his wrestling game to the next level, he may well never have a better opportunity than now. I suggest strike while the iron is hot because this sort of timing might not be replicated again any time soon.

Bret Hart at FCW: Natalya Neidhart, who we barely saw Monday night but is going to be special, told me her Uncle Bret Hart was in Florida and I just hope that someone will invite Bret to the Florida Championship Wrestling training facility to talk to the prospects. Few men I have ever known in this business have the vision and complete understanding of what is needed bell to bell as does Bret.

Joey Styles & Joey Styles is already making a huge difference at and you don’t have to take my work for it just check out the site. It’s amazing what a bright guy with actual product knowledge can do in a role such as Joey has now. He too seems really happy with the way things are

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some News on Recent WWE Developmental Firings

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Regarding recent WWE developmental firings, FCW head Dusty Rhodes was told to make calls on who wasn't ready for national WWE television. After hearing from Rhodes, WWE dropped Chris Gray, Tommy Taylor and Ryan Bishop from their developmental contracts. Taylor & Gray were signed last spring when there was talk of doing a WWE developmental in the U.K., but those talks have since died down. Also, Taylor & Gray are both cruiserweights, and with no cruiserweight division, there isn't much interest in smaller wrestlers at the moment, unless one really stands out. Bishop is a former football player that was invited to a New York Giants training camp last spring. People were high on him at first due to his size and athletic ability, but he had absolutely no prior wrestling experience and things didn't work out.

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ECW Preview from

The Brothers of Destruction kept the gold in their family at Backlash on Sunday, as Kane retained the ECW Championship by defeating Chavo Guerrero and Undertaker held on to the World Heavyweight Championship with a victory over Edge.

While Guerrero was assisted by his bodyguard, Bam Neely, in his attempt to win back the ECW Championship, their efforts weren’t strong enough for the Big Red Machine. Kane carried his dominance from the Land of the Extreme to Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena and proved he won’t be stopped when it comes to ECW gold.

Now, just days later on ECW on Sci Fi, the fiery champion will face both these foes again - in a Handicap Match. Can Kane overcome the combined force of the "Mexican Warrior" and his girthy bodyguard, Bam? Or might these odds be too great for even the Big Red ECW Champion to endure?

Also at Backlash, ECW beauties and rivals, Kelly Kelly and Layla, faced off during the 12-Diva Tag Team Match. A tough and tenacious Layla found herself in the victorious corner, alongside Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Victoria, Jillian and Melina. Kelly Kelly’s athletic and acrobatic contributions to her team were impressive, but not enough to help earn her squad a victory, as Michelle McCool, Cherry, Ashley, Maria and Women’s Champion Mickie James were defeated when Phoenix pinned Ashley. The rivalry between Layla and Kelly Kelly only seems to be escalating, but what is next for these two Extreme Divas? Will either of the former friends come out on top?

On ECW, Shelton Benjamin fell short of delivering Kofi Kingston his first loss since joining the Land of the Extreme. Can anyone slow down the Jamaican Superstar? Has Benjamin lost his credibility as the self-proclaimed “Gold Standard” of ECW?

Half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, John Morrison, was another Superstar who was taken by surprise with a loss. Jimmy Wang Yang delivered a crushing blow to the Shaman of Sexy, adding to the WWE Tag Team Champions’ stretch of inconsistency. Will Morrison & The Miz find a way to rebound?

Find out the answers to all of these questions and more on ECW on Sci Fi, Tuesday at 10/9 CT.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Kings are Crowned

Tonight we saw both the Kings of Raw establish themselves. The King of Kings, Triple H made his presence felt as the new WWE champ and William Regal let all know his reign of terror has begun as King of the Ring. And both did it in dramatic fashion and their reigns became linked. First Regal had his coronation by announcing he will be both King and GM. His speech would be cut short as Mr. Kennedy would bring his own style of speech to the ring. Regal would be upset at this outburst and fists would fly between the two. This looks like the new feud and I like were its going. Kennedy's brashness will play off nicely with Regal's pompousness. Kennedy will be a great foil to Regals reign and this one should be fun.

Due to this outrage Regal would make sure we would not see the end of the Triple H a and Orton title rematch. Great job all round on this one WWE. First the match itself was a good 20 minute match that more than made up for the dull pay per view last night. And by leaving the result up in the air for those watching at home only solidifies Regal as the evil ruler he will be. It should be interesting to see how all this plays out. Who else will Regal torment as King/GM? And how will the Triple H and Orton angle play out over the next few weeks? You have to figure they will meet at Judgment day, but if tonight was the rematch how will they keep the momentum fresh going into the event?

We also found out tonight JBL is gunning for Cena in order to get a title shot. My question on this is why? I know JBL was once a former champ but let's face it he is shell of what he once was. First he is still out of shape and is far behind the top talent on Raw. You have to figure any of the following are more deserving than JBL. Any of Kennedy, HBK, Umaga and Jericho should get a title shot before we get to even think of JBL. Heck I would move Batista of Edge over to Raw before I would think of placing JBL into the title picture. Not exactly the way to send Cena off before he does his filming.

After tonight tag team displays does anyone else feel like I do? Why was there no tag match at Backlash? Your telling me a Diva's multi tag match and Big Show/Khali was better booking than either the WWE or World Heavy Weight titles up for grabs. Watching Kade and Murdoch up against London and Kendrick and the singles match of Rhodes/Marella makes me wonder why these tag teams take a back seat to Khali, Mark Henry and Finlay with Hornswoggle? Come on WWE, let the tag teams show what they have on the big stage and give us a pay per view card that is good top to bottom.

In other news it looks like Jericho and HBK should be gearing up for some sparks. Jericho tonight questioned HBK's knee injury. The footage looks like he really did hurt himself at Backlash, but he showed up tonight sans crutches or knee brace. I think this leaves us hanging on whether HBK is faking or if they are waiting for him to heal so he can take on Jericho. Tonight they did not tangle, which plays to the injury, but one never really knows. But these two going up against each other for the Intercontinental title, yes folks they do defend it once in awhile, would be a good display of two dynamic wrestlers.

Tonight no doubt established some god story lines on Raw and gives a sigh of relief over what has been some duds lately on TV. Backlash only furthered this by delivering some stale matches. I feel what they are setting up should make for some good matches leading us into the summer. Orton did great tonight as a ex-champ determined on regaining his crown. I really don't think many will argue with Triple H as champ, except maybe Cena fans, and that only heats thing up for potential main event at Summer Slam. Jericho/HBK has classic matches written all over it. I liked the crowing of Regal as King of the ring and Kennedy is the prefect foil for his reign. And the tag division look to be in good hands. It should be good times ahead for Raw, let's hope the WWE doesn't drop the ball.

Ultimate Warrior Tries to Sell He vs McMahon at Mania XXV

From: PWInsider

The BJ Shea Morning Experience on 99.9 KISW in Seattle had the Ultimate Warrior as a guest on their show this morning. Among the more interesting comments from the man known legally as Warrior was this gem:

"You know what man, next year is Wrestlemania XXV. You know when it's your 25th wedding anniversary, you gotta do something that is significant. You gotta do something that stands out from all the other anniversaries. McMahon vs. Warrior--Wrestlemania XXV...that would be awesome! Instead of our weird attitudes towards one another, let's let it out!

The full interview can be found at

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Orton Again Shows His Short Fuse

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Another incident involving Randy Orton took place during WWE's recent tour of Europe. In Coruna, Spain (WWE held a Raw brand house show there on Friday, April 18), hotel staff woke him up earlier then he wanted to be woken up. He was upset to say the least. Orton put his clothes on and went downstairs. Then, the former WWE Champion took his room service food and hucked it at the workers who dared to open his door. Orton then went back to his room laughing.

In a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun, Orton talked about changing his bad boy ways because he will be a father in July as his wife Samantha is expecting their first child. Orton said, "I definitely had a big head, and I'll be the first to admit that I made some bad decisions,. But back when I was making those decisions, in my head I was doing no wrong. I was forced, more or less, to go to anger management. I was either going to make myself and everyone around me miserable, or I was going to realize that there's more than one person on this Earth. It definitely has made me a better person... I think I let a few people down when I was having my problems. I heard, 'Randy, pull your head out of your [butt]' a few times from Vince [McMahon, WWE chairman]. I think I finally have, and I think that's why I'm successful right now. I'm where I'm at because I'm happy."


No More Balls - ECW Original Mahoney Released

From: PWInsider

ECW star Balls Mahoney, who hasn't been seen in months beyond a loss to Kane on Smackdown, was officially released by World Wrestling Entertainment this afternoon.

Mahoney was hired by the company for the relaunch of the ECW brand in 2006. A former ECW World Tag Team champion with Masato Tanaka, this WWE run (he had a quick run in the mid-1990s as Xanta Claus that lasted all of two appearances) featured Mahoney in a storyline linking him to Kelly Kelly and feuding with The Miz.

It appears WWE is finally getting around to their post-Wrestlemania housecleaning. I'm more surprised it's happening on a TV day, as they usually relegate such things to towards the end of the week.



The Following was posted one year ago today on Let's Wrestle

SmackDown was a pretty entertaining show on Friday night that did what it had to do to lead to its two matches on Sunday's Backlash PPV from Atlanta. The main event was a tag-team no-DQ match with Undertaker and Batista teaming, and actually playing nice, against Kennedy and Finley. It was a pretty nice long match (not quite Cena vs Michales), but long and effective enough, and in the end, Batista got the pin with a spinebuster on Finley. It came of course after Taker had cleaned house and chokeslammed them both, then Batista snuck in for the pin.

Both men then ran some smack to lead to Sunday's "Last Man Standing" match, which was well done as well. I always say that them allowing Taker to talk just a bit is a really effective way to get him over, and that is what they did here. I think their match on Sunday could be really good, it just depends if they can get up for it like they did at Mania. The other Backlash match that was previewed was Chris Benoit vs MVP, which was again a good match, but a lame ending as MVP took the countout as he played it like why bother since he has a title match on Sunday. I think it is safe the way they are building MVP that he gets the win on Sunday for the title.

The rest of the show was pretty good, with a decent singles match with Brian Kendrick and Deuce, which was won after a little outside interference from Domino and Cherry. JBL predicts a long title run for the Deuce and Domino team, but for some reason, I think they trade back and forth with London and Kendrick a few times. They had a ugly womens match with Jillian Hall and Michelle McCool, which Jilliam won after a facebuster. The most interesting match of the night was the opener, which saw Kane and Boogeyman team up against Regal and Taylor. Maybe this can actually be a team (Kane and Boogeyman) that can do something, as they seemed to get along well, and it was a fun match to watch.

So this was a decent show that did keep my interest for two hours. Now we have wrapped up the 5 hours of TV for the week, and all we can do is sit and wait for Backlash tomorrow night.

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WWE Releases Former Regal Tag Partner Dave Taylor


WWE has come to terms on the release of SmackDown Superstar Dave Taylor as of today, April 28, 2008. We wish Dave the best in all his future endeavors.

- Taylor was last seen on WWE TV teaming with Drew McIntyre. Taylor was originally hired by WWE in 2006 to train developmental talents. He is also a former tag team partner of William Regal.

Thoughts on Backlash - Where Do We Go From Here?

I knew going in last night that Backlash was going to be at least 10 steps down from WrestleMania XXIV, and in most ways, the PPV didn't really deliver much on many angles, only due to the fact it was not set up to. They did do a pair of title changes, one I think will move along an angle, and the other I don't really agree with on a few counts.

The MVP-Matt Hardy opener for the US Title did what it was supposed to do, as Hardy finally was able to gain a measure of revenge for the "injury" that MVP did on him five months ago, putting Hardy out, (It was all a work angle). Hardy was able to come up with the win, and now we'll see if he can deliver on an angle to keep the US belt fresh. It's really the biggest singles belt that Hardy has had, so it'll be up to him to take it to another level.

The Kane-Chavo Guerrero match for the ECW Title was okay at best, with Kane winning a match that really dragged at points. Kane is actually a passable ECW champ, and I for one hope they allow him to keep it for a few months and have angles with other wrestlers than Chavo. I am thinking we'll see more in-ring action for Bam Neeley, the bodyguard for Chavo, and possibly a feud with either Mark Henry or if they allow Big Daddy V to return.

Not much to say about Big Show-Khali, other than it was expected to be painful, and it was. They really need to stop putting Khali in high profile matches, since he never, ever delivers. Show was helpless here in trying to make it look good, and thankfully it didn't last all that long, but anything over three minutes was tough to watch, and yes, this was tough to watch.

I was highly letdown by the events in the Shawn Michaels-Batista match on a lot of angles. First off, the insertion of Chris Jericho as special ref ended up meaning nothing in the end, which was odd. I guess they DON'T want to turn him least not yet. Then to have the match end as fast as it did with Michaels getting the superkick, just seemed odd. No real reaction from Batista, and Michaels sold the knee injury, which I was actually thinking might be legit if you look at the way the refs carried him as well as Jericho. I wonder where they take this thing from here.

The divas match was better than expected, mostly due to the fact they really only used the women that should be in the ring, and the rest were mostly eye candy on the outside. I expect to see a title rematch next month at Judgement Day (actually three weeks) between Beth Phoenix and Mickie James. Nice to see Cherry actually get some real ring attire by the way.

The World Heavyweight Title match was basically a repeat of Mania, which I felt it would be with Taker making Edge submit to the same choke he used to win the belt. While these two have had two good main event level matches, they need to add a stip as I am assuming they will have a third match at Judgement Day. One I can almost see coming is some stupid thing where it will be victory by pinfall only, stopping Taker from using the choke he's used to win the last two matches. I expect to see more than just one match though with these two as the spring and then summer continues.

As far as the Fatal Four-way for the WWE Title went, I for one was not thrilled to see Triple H win the belt, but I understand the premise behind it. You have John Cena gone for about a month to make a movie, JBL is not even close to being a legit contender, and you need a fresh program for 1-2 months till Cena comes back and you have a mega main event for SummerSlam with Cena vs Triple H for the belt. That I get.

Where we will go from here is basically a set of rematches between Triple H and Orton, starting with the Judgement Day PPV in May. Look for that and then some type of speciality match at Vengence (now the Night of Champions PPV) in June.

One final thought, I enjoy the new SmackDown announcer team of Michael Cole and Mick Foley, though I hope they find something for Coach to do. One thought is that Coach goes back to being a GM on RAW, now that William Regal appears to be headed for full-time in-ring action. As for the ECW crew, Tazz really does not appear to like working with the awful Mike Adalmie, and the line of the night has to be when Adalmie screwed up the ref for the ECW title match, and Tazz corrected him.

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RAW Preview from

Two kings crowned
April 28, 2008

After months of chasing Randy Orton and the WWE Championship, The Game is finally back on top. Triple H won the hard-fought Fatal Four Way Elimination Match at Backlash to reclaim his throne as The King of Kings and become the new WWE Champion.

As Triple H knows from experience with this being his 12th reign as World Champion, when you’re at the top, the target is on your back. Who will set their sights on The Game and his newly won gold? Will Randy Orton be looking to regain the WWE Championship and reinstate the “Age of Orton”?

Also, after defeating three Superstars in one night last week on Raw, General Manager William Regal will be officially coronated Monday night as the 2008 King of the Ring, in a ceremony full of pomp and prestige. Will the newest English monarch be a benevolent ruler or a cruel dictator? Will The King of Kings and new WWE Champion steal his glory? We'll find out as the crown and scepter are bestowed to Regal Monday night.

Last night, Shawn Michaels put his body on the line and gave everything to finally silence Batista once and for all. Will HBK be well enough to make it to the ring after the heated battle? Will Batista have gotten the point and leave The Showstopper alone?

Fully recovered from the Money in the Bank Match at WrestleMania XXIV, Mr. Kennedy will make his triumphant return to Raw. Will he be looking to throw his hat into the ring with the new WWE Champion? Or will he decide to avenge his loss at WrestleMania? What’s up next for the Green Bay loudmouth as Raw hits the Garden State?

Backlash also saw The Glamazon get the win in the 12-Diva Tag-Team Match by pinning Ashley. Was this just a message to Michelle McCool and Women’s Champion Mickie James? Will Beth Phoenix be aiming to get revenge on McCool for her slap last Monday, or will she focus on regaining the WWE Women’s Championship?

We’ll see the answer to all these questions and more when Monday Night Raw airs live at 9/8 CT on USA Network.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Let's Wrestle Backlash Post Match Show

Matt Loede and John Sefcik of Let's Wrestle are back as they break down the latest WWE PPV - Backlash! Join the crew as they take you through the seven-match card, break down the winners and losers, and give their thoughts. Click below to hear the Let's Wrestle Backlash Post-Match Show!

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Mick Foely replaces Coachman as Smackdown Announcer

Its Official: WWE announced on its website today that Mick Foely has repalced Jonathan Coachman and will be calling the Smackdown matches alongside Michical Cole at Backlash tonight. The article also impled that Foley will be the regular Smackdown announcer alongside Cole from now on.'s announcement is as follows.

"BALTIMORE – has learned Mick Foely will debut on color commentary for SmackDown tonight at
Backlash. At the Pay-Per-View, the Hardcore Legend will call the World
Heavyweight Championship
Match between titleholder Undertaker and Edge, as
well as the other Smackdown matches, alongside Michael
Foley first took the microphone at One Night Stand 2005 when he
joined's Joey Styles at
the announcers' table. The three-time WWE Champion brings in valuable in-ring and
out-of-the-squared circle experience to SmackDown's team.
Don't miss Foley's debut tonight on Backlash at 8/7 CT only on pay-per-view."

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mother of Umaga, Rikishi Passes Away

Source: Wrestling Observer

Elevera Anoai Fatu, the mother of wrestlers Ed Fatu (Umaga), Solofa Fatu (Rikishi) and Sam Fatu (Tonga Kid), passed aawy yesterday after a seven year battle with cancer. She was also the sister of Afa & Sika.

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More Crazy Stuff Coming Out on the Michael Hayes Suspension

source: www.prowrestling.NET

With the word out on Michael Hayes' 60-day suspension for using a racial slur towards Mark Henry, other individuals within the company are coming forward to management regarding similar past incidents involving the head writer of SmackDown.

A source claims that in one incident, Hayes mocked Dave Kapoor a.k.a. Ranjin Singh in a booking meeting. In addition to his on-air role as The Great Khali's translator, Singh is also a writer for the Raw brand. The alleged incident involves Hayes calling Kapoor a derogatory word, not to mention speaking in a stereotypical Indian voice to mock him. To make matters worse, the alleged incident occurred in the presence of agents, writers, and even members of the McMahon family, but nothing was done about it. Also note, Kapoor isn't the person complaining about the incident.

"I'm sure some will be b****** and just people looking to deliver receipts," the source said. "Others, well, unfortunately will be valid claims."

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Let's Wrestle Backlash Pre Match Show

Join Matt Loede and John Sefcik of Let's Wrestle and Let's Talk Wrestling as they give you their preview of the latest WWE PPV offering - Backlash. The pair breakdown the matches, give their winners and losers, and let you know their thoughts inside the world of the WWE. Click below to hear this latest preview of Backlash 2008~!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Coach Getting Nixed on SmackDown for Foley?

source: Wrestling Observer

Jonathan Coachman may be getting replaced as the color commentator on Friday Night SmackDown. WWE officials contacted Mick Foley for an announcer role on the brand.

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Cover for the New Ric Flair DVD Set

This is the cover for the new Ric Flair DVD that will release on 7/8. No word as of yet on the match listings, or specials that will be on the collection.


WWE Backlash - Sunday, April 27 live on Pay-Per-View!


FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Wrestle - ECW 4/24

The Following was posted one year ago today on Let's Wrestle

The main storyline that continued on ECW on Tuesday night had to do with C.M. Punk and his realtionship with the New Breed, which now seems null and void following an 8-man tag match. Punk was at ringside as the Breed took on the Originals, and Elijah Burke and RVD were the last two in the match. With that, Punk cost Burke the match, and then basically told him off, all of which will lead him to leaving the New Breed and going back out on his own.

This will create what should be an interesting feud with Burke and Punk, which should last for awhile and have at least on PPV match between the two. While I think they could have dragged the story of Punk turning back out a few more weeks, it was obvious from last week that he would not last with the New Breed very long.

The storyline with Punk and the New Breed has been very good so far, and was the best the new ECW had to offer since coming on the air last year. Now the test will be if they can keep the interest going for awhile. Punk really does seem to be the best that the new ECW has to offer, and his popularity with the crowd is something that cannot be overlooked. Next to RVD, Punk is the most popular wrestler on the roster.

As far as the rest of the show, we started with a match between Umaga and Bobby Lashley, which ended with a lame DQ that saw Armando interfere, then get the snot beat out of him by Lashley, which ended with him being thrown out of the ring hard style by Lashley. Vince McMahon was near the ring for the beating, which was effective and a solid build towards the 3-on-1 match with Lashley vs the McMahons and Umaga for Sunday at Backlash.

I hope for one that the match at the PPV does end this feud, as I think that Lashley does need to move on to a better challenge for the ECW title. My fear is that they will keep this thing with Lashley vs McMahon going, which would lead us to another match at Judgement Day. I just hope they don't try and sell us a one-on-one match with Lashley vs Vince, as that would be a serious waste of time.

The other match on the card was Snitsky vs Balls Mahoney, which was not much more than a squash with big Gene taking home a win over Balls. All in all, with the Punk back and forth with the New Breed, and the Lashley vs McMahon, Umaga build, this was a solid show that kept my interest for 60+ minutes.

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Backlash 2008 Looks to be a Total Mess of a PPV

The WWE's first offering of a PPV since the record-breaking WrestleMania XXIV will take place this Sunday in Baltimore, as the company presents Backlash, this year being the 10th anniversary of the post-WrestleMania offering. The card this year looks rather weak, as we have documented the companies issues in trying to keep the momentum going after Mania, but in just looking at the card, it looks like a solid buyrate is going to be tough to pull off here.

Here is a look at the matches with some of what to expect:

World Heavyweight Championship: Undertaker vs. Edge
- This match was thrown on last at Mania, in order to allow the fans to go home happy with the Taker again winning at Mania and winning the belt. Edge is the best heel in the sport right now, and his matches always seem to live up to the hype, which is why I can again see this going last. Look for the same result from Mania, with Taker winning in a hard fought match that should deliver on all fronts.

Big Show vs. The Great Khali
- Now we get into the crud on the card. The Great Khali has shown us over the course of the last two years his inability to have a good match with anyone, and his battle here with The Big Show is going to be yet another example. Show just worked a main event angle at Mania with Floyd Mayweather, and now he gets the burden of trying to carry the lumbering Khali. Good luck. As for a winner, Show takes this in a match that hopefully will last no more than about 4-5 minutes.

United States Champion MVP vs. Matt Hardy - This could be a match to look forward to, but the issue right now seems to be Hardy, who has shown quite a bit of ring rust since his return right after Mania. The Hardy-MVP feud was one of the better ones over the last year, and after MVP turned on Hardy when they were partners, it looked as if we would have a Mania match between the two, but then Matt got hurt, and it was shelved. Now they are at it again, and while I think MVP wins here, I think that it will be up to the champ to carry Hardy to a good match.

WWE Champion Randy Orton vs. John Cena, JBL & Triple H in a Fatal Four Way Elimination Match - The issues with this match seem aplenty. At Mania, you had a three-way with Triple H, John Cena, and Randy Orton, and frankly the match was a bit of a letdown. Now you add an oversized and aging JBL to the mix, and they will try and same formula again, which at least on paper looks as if it will again be a letdown. Orton has survived the WrestleMania curse of a heel dropping the belt, so there is no reason here to belive on a bad "B" PPV that he'll lose. They need to find a new title program once this match is thankfully over.

ECW Champion Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero - Two totally contrasting styles on display here, as Kane is a bruiser, powerhouse, while Chavo is a technical, high flyer. Look for plenty of outside interference from Chavo's new bodyguard - Bam Neely, and I wouldn't doubt a title change because of that outside help. I said from day one that putting the strap on Kane is kind of like a lifetime achievement award. With that, look for Chavo to end the one-month reign and take the strap back.

Batista vs Shawn Michaels w/ Chris Jericho as Special Referee - I have to say that there is so much wrong with this match, I don't even know where to start. First you have face vs face with (for now) a face ref, meaning someone here is turning, plain and simple. I didn't like the looks or sound of this match from the get-go, as they tried to build the sympathy angle for Ric Flair losing to Michaels and Mania and retiring, even though everyone clearly knew that was coming. Then you throw Jericho into the mix, and with the rumors of his heel turn gaining steam, I can see him taking out both men and walking out on the match to the jeers of the crowd. A winner? I see a draw with a lot of the attention being on Jericho's antics by match end.

12 Diva Tag-Team Match - As if we were missing something, let's throw a hasty 12-diva tag match in the mix to really put the final nail in the coffin on this PPV. The storyline is that we're all supposed to be happy for the gritty Mickie James for her "never say die" attitude that eventually led her to upsetting Beth Phoenix for the women's belt. That's fine, but why then do we need 10 other diva's to muddle what should be a title rematch between James and Phoenix? As usual, WWE booking showing a classic case of missing the mark completely.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

SmackDown Preview from

Preview:Backlash Bound
April 25, 2008

As the WWE Superstars return home to the U.S. after a successful U.K. invasion, they will all be making final preparations on SmackDown for the massive pay-per-view encounter at Backlash just 48 hours later.

Last week on SmackDown, the battle between World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker and Batista ended in a double count-out. This Friday, The Phenom will face The Animal in a rematch. However, there will be more at stake this time, thanks to SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero. The title will be on the line and the winner will defend the gold against Edge at Backlash.

Will Edge face a new champion in The Animal, or will he go up against a familiar foe in The Phenom, who defeated Edge last month to bring his WrestleMania streak to 16-0? Regardless of who his Backlash opponent will be, chances are the Ultimate Opportunist will enlist the help of his “familia” like he did on a special edition of The Cutting Edge on ECW – where the “familia” delivered a brutal steel chair assault to Undertaker’s brother, Kane, that left him writhing in pain. (Read the full story…)

Last Friday on SmackDown, The Great Khali evened the score with Backlash opponent Big Show by delivering a crushing Khali Bomb. With tensions past the boiling point between the two behemoths, will the titans clash one more time before their epic battle at Backlash?

Also this Friday, Shannon Moore will square off against WWE Tag Team Champion The Miz. After Jimmy Wang Yang defeated WWE Tag Team Champion John Morrison on ECW, can The Reject make it two in a row for his team over the WWE Tag Team Champs?

And as announced on ECW, there will be an epic 12-Diva Tag Team Match at Backlash. (Backlash preview) SmackDown’s own Michelle McCool & Cherry will be on one team, pitted against rivals Natalya & Victoria on the other team. With tensions already high between these two growing alliances, what conflicts might arise on Friday night as they get ready for Backlash?

As all of the SmackDown Superstars get ready for full scale warfare at Backlash this Sunday, witness the final preparations this Friday Night on SmackDown at 8/7 CT on The CW Network.

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WWE Sends Out Presser About Blu-Ray Release of WrestleMania XXIV

WWE just sent out the following press release.

WrestleMania® XXIV On Hi-Definition Blu-ray Disc

STAMFORD, Conn., April 24, 2008- WrestleMania XXIV will be the first Sports category title to ever be released on Blu-ray disc in the United States, Europe, Australia and Canada. The double disc set goes on sale Tuesday, May 20, 2008, the same day as a three-disc DVD version. “It’s natural that WrestleMania 24, the biggest sports entertainment event of the year, is not only the first WWE® title but the first Sports title to be released on Blu-ray” says Joel Satin, VP WWE Home Entertainment and Books. “Blu-ray disc will further demonstrate our commitment to bring WWE’s high-definition content to fans around the world through our network of home video distributors and licensing partners.”

This Blu-ray two disc release includes the entire four hour WrestleMania XXIV event in Orlando, Fla., and the complete 2008 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, plus the never-before-televised 24-man Battle Royal. Authoring of the double disc set takes advantage of the new Blu-ray technology, offering content in HDMV (High Definition Movie Mode), which has exciting new features including improved navigational and menu features, graphics and animation.

Distribution will be handled through a variety of vendors including Genius Products for the United States, Clearvision Ltd. for the UK/Europe, Koch Entertainment Canada and Shock for Australia, all of which are current WWE home video distribution and licensing partners. "Much like sports programming has driven high definition television sales, we believe that sports content will thrive in Blu-ray," said Mitch Budin, EVP and General Manager, Genius Products. "As the leading sports brand, WWE is the best fit to lead the sports segment into Blu-ray."


Injury News on The Great Khali


The Great Khali has been battling ongoing problems in his knees and has been struggling to get around recently, reports prowrestling.NET. Some of his colleagues believe that he needs surgery on both knees. Khali previously underwent knee surgeries back in late 2006, which put him out of action for about three months. Khali is scheduled to make a trip back home to India, so it could not have come at a better time.


Monday's Political Push on RAW Served its Purpose

As to be expected, there has been a lot of slack from fans for Monday night's Clinton vs Obama "match" that they threw on the three-hour RAW. Make no mistake about it, the match was way too long, and the only decent outcome was to see Umaga lay out both the actors playing the role of the two democrats running for office.

With that being said, the company had its reasons for doing what it did. First off, anyone watch any shows like "Access Hollywood" or "Entertainment Tonight"? Well, the diva (aka - my wife) watches these shows each and every night, and Tuesday night what did they show on these two popular shows? Not much of the speeches from the three that want to be President - but more of the fake match between Hillary and Obama.

Last year they tried to pull off the same thing with a fake Donald Trump vs Rosie O'Donnell, and it was a disaster, to the point where they started the angle with the real Trump coming out the following week and starting the program with Vince that ended at Mania. This was different. The fact the company got Hillary, Barack and John McCain to actually appear, and have fun with the speeches, is a bold and huge move for the WWE.

So yes, I wouldn't waste my time putting too much focus or stock in the "match" that they threw on the show, but believe me, the company feels it served a purpose, and the fact it got mainstream media coverage along with the speeches, means that the WWE can boast for awhile that they should be taken seriously in the entertainment industry.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WWE Confirms the Suspension of Michael "PS" Hayes

From: PWInsider

World Wrestling Entertainment officially confirmed creative team member Michael Hayes' 60 day suspension, which was first reported here Monday on a Elite Hotline.

In response to a query from gossip website, a WWE spokesperson commented, "Due to inappropriate behavior, Michael Hayes was suspended for 60 days with no pay. In order to return to work, Michael Hayes will be required to undergo further evaluation."


What Exactly Happened to Ranjin Singh?


At the No Way Out pay-per-view two months ago, The Great Khali's translator Ranjin Singh was taken out on a stretcher after Undertaker kicked him off the cage wall during the Elimination Chamber match. He hasn't been seen on television since.

It was presumed that his character was simply being written off TV, but in actuality, Singh had to take time off to tend a legitimate knee injury.

Singh had knee surgery sometime in March. On his MySpace page, Singh posted photos of himself laying in a hospital bed showing off his heavily stitched up knee.

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How Mike Adamle Got the ECW Gig


Although early reports indicated that Mike Adamle was a pet project for WWE executive producer Kevin Dunn, it was actually Vince McMahon who made the decision to rush him on the air. It turns out that Adamle is friends with NBC executive Dick Ebersol, who is an old friend of Vince.

Adamle and Tazz did very little prep work for their first appearance together last week, even though they had enough time to do so. Adamle’s commentary was actually worse than what was shown on television, as he worked with the production team to make some edits after the show. They didn’t do all the work they wanted to on his commentary since they ran out of time before the broadcast.

He is as much of a laughing stock within the company as he is with viewers right now, but the fact that he’s Vince’s project and is friends with an NBC exec likely means he’ll be around for a while.

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Kennedy Back on TV Next Monday


On Monday night it was announced that Mr. Kennedy will be making his return to WWE television on next week's show. The original plan was for him to take part in the King of the Ring tournament against CM Punk. It's quite obvious that plan was changed. As reported previously, Kennedy is away filming a straight-to-DVD film in Puerto Rico.

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Poster for This Year's One Night Stand PPV


FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Wrestle - Big Stories to Highlight Last RAW Before Backlash

The Following was posted one year ago today on Let's Wrestle

It's a big night for the WWE as tonight is the final show for RAW before Sunday's Backlash PPV in Atlanta. It also will have the rematch from WrestleMania 23 with Shawn Michaels vs John Cena for the WWE Title. Of course that will end likely with some sort of no-decision, as I cannot see Michaels winning, and I don't think that Cena will get another clean win over him.

The big two stories of tonight will be what do they do with Randy Orton, now that he has been sent home from the tour for reportedly "trashing" a hotel room. Orton, according to various sites, has not been released by WWE, but this latest incident really throws a monkey wrench into the plans for Sunday. They could do an injury angle and just take him out of the main event all together, or they could speak in some regard of what he did, and because of it remove him from the match. Whatever they do, it will be interesting to see what direction they move in with him.

The other issue that I think should be of interest is the undercard to the PPV Sunday. We know that they are having Batista vs Taker for the World title in a Last Man Standing match, a WWE Women's title match with Mickie James and Melina, Tag title match with Hardys and Cade and Murdoch, and the ECW Title match Lashley vs Vince McMahon, Umaga, and Shane McMahon. That is five matches, meaning that we should have 2-3 more matches added. Will those be strictly RAW matches? Or will we see other brands cross over for those as well? That decision on each and every PPV will have to be made.

On a final note, reports say that Super Crazy, who has been on TV quite a bit as of late, possibly tore his MCL in a show Sunday in Oberhausen, Germany. We'll give you more on this as we get it.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In Defense of... Mike Adamle

Hey guys, Tyler Moliterno here, and this is the premiere of my new article I'll write from time to time, First of all, this is not Matt Loede, so please don't send him emails or messages about this article, address them to me at Now, this article is for the sole purpose to stick up for someone in the WWE who is being bashed by the IWC.

Are first article of In Defense is dedicated to the newest member of the ECW Announce team, Mike Adamle.

Mike Adamle has taken some heat as of late, actually, ever since he first started with the WWE back in January. It was on his first night at the Royal Rumble when he missed pronounced Jeff Hardys name as “Jeff Harvey” I feel that, at the time, Adamle was not ready for his role in the WWE. If you recall, Adamle had been hired only 2 days before the Rumble, and after those 2 days he was in the crowd at Madison Square Garden talking about something he knew very little about. If it were me, I’d be nervous too, and I would have messed up the name, as would most of you reading this. After the PPV, Mike was moved to Raw were he would, over the next few months, learn about the brand and become much more comfortable in his role, Then, like the Rumble, had a surprise waiting for him, he was told that he would replace Joey Styles as the newest member of the ECW announce team.

Before, Adamle only had to be on camera for a few minutes, saying things that were given to him by the writers, now, he would need to talk for roughly an hour straight, about a brand he knew very little about. That night was tough on Mike. He screwed up names, called people the wrong name, plus during a recap at the end of the first match, called a move “the end of the match” when it just looked like the last move of the match, which was shown seconds later, and lets not for get that he told us that Kofi Kingston was “Jamaican me crazy.” Within minutes, the IWC lit up. Everyone who was anyone made fun of Adamle’s performance. I waited with baited breath for the next ECW, to see Adamle give it another shot.

Last night was much better in terms of Adamles announcing. He barley screwed anything up, talked only when things weren’t going smoothly, and even declared to us again, in a joking manner, that Kofi was still Jamaican him crazy. Even the Miz, who joined the announce team during a match between his tag partner John Morrison and “Jimmy Wang Wang” said that it was an honor to be sitting with Adamle, before heelishly making fun of his performance, saying that “If Adamle can screw up a name, so can I.”

In the end, I’ll give it a few weeks before Adamle feels comfortable with his new position on ECW, but once he gets there, I’m sure he will do a great job. I’m already looking forward to him using his “Uno, Dose, Adios” line during an Elimination match.

If you Disagree with me, and still want to put down the defended, leave a comment on this article and I may address in the next issue of In Defense.

Until next time, I’m Tyler Moliterno, and the defense rests.

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Latest Comments from JR on his Blog

Jim Ross posted his latest blog entry on today. Highlights from the entry included:

William Regal as King of the Ring: "KOR winner William Regal is arguably one of the more underutilized talents in the biz and even though Regal can definitely talk, which all General Managers must obviously be able to do, he adds a valuable element of experience and expertise to any bout in which he is involved. In the immediate future one has to wonder if Regal is likely to continue to be the Raw G.M. or will Regal focus more on his wrestling career now that the U.K. native from Blackpool, England is the reigning King of the Ring?"

Joey Styles' move to
"Joey Styles told me Monday in catering, no jokes please, that he was really enjoying his new gig at Joey seemed to be the most relaxed and comfortable that I have seen him since coming to work at the WWE. Joey has already instituted several changes to the WWE website with plenty more on their way. Joe said he was now a "retired announcer" and budding corporate executive."

Howard Stern saying he would not vote for a President that watched professional wrestling: "Seems like a strange thing for Stern to say. Apparently, Stern has a very low opinion of the wrestling business. Now that’s irony coming from Stern, who is one of the last guys I thought would have an antiquated, wrestling bias."

Yesterday's Obama vs. Clinton parody:
"Some wrestling pundits really slammed the "match" between the impersonators posing as Hillary and Barack. I am not sure what folks expectations were for this "contest," but it was, plain and simple, nothing more than a publicity stunt that did garner a great deal of pub the week of a WWE pay per view. The WWE made air on media outlets that would never mention the WWE unless there was a tragedy or a scandal. While the "match" was not my personal cup of tea, it did not last long enough to offend me and I sort of got a kick out of the ovation Umaga received when he came to the ring to put an end to the frivolity."

The Best Wrestler: "Just for the record….Danny Hodge is the greatest, living wrestler in the world….especially on this website."

Jr's Restaurant:
"J.R.’s Family Bar-B-Q got a really nice write up in this month’s "Oklahoma Monthly" magazine that featured Oklahoma’s best Bar-B-Q joints and we made the list. I write this for two reasons….1. Because I am proud of our Bar-B-Q team and am excited about the direction of our fledgling business and 2. To give those "wrestling fans" who like to bash us for talking about our Bar-B-Q business more cannon fodder."

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Another Snoozer for Backlash - 12 Diva Tag Match Added

Added to this Sunday's Backlash PPV in Baltimore, MD is a 12 Diva tag match with WWE Women's champ Mickie James & Maria & Ashley Massaro & Michelle McCool & Cherry & Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix & Melina & Jillian Hall & Layla El Victoria & Natalya Neidhart.

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Emails and Answers on Regal; Orton; KOR

Well, one thing you can't say about last night's RAW was that it was predictable. The King of the Ring tourney in my opinion turned out better than expected, and the main event had a real main event feel with the biggest stars on each brand all involved in the event. We've gotten a lot of response on what went down, and instead of answering the "Shout Box" and private emails (, I will spend a few minutes doing it in this post instead.

The Impaler:
Why give regal a push...Sure they don't need one for Punk with him having the MITB...but what about...Maybe Finlat, maybe MVP...Why Regal?

Me: The decision to give Regal the win last night was quite a head scratcher. The biggest question will have to be about Regal's continued in-ring decision to wrestle full-time, and from all accounts, last night was a push for him to be in-ring a lot more than we've seen him in sometime. All I can say is that Regal is going to be 43 in May, but at the same time, he can still bring it, as we've seen the last two weeks.

beans: People may hate Orton but what would we do without him? Have Regal as champion?? I think not.

Me: I recently wrote a piece about who has the best odds of beating Orton next for the WWE belt, and right now as things stand, I truly think we are in for a long run with Orton. Bottom line is while it hasn't been the best heel title reign in the past few years, Orton has really settled in, and now that he's survived the curse of WrestleMania keeping the belt, I see no reason to rush it on Triple H or John Cena right now.

Anonymous: Regal will resign as GM, and will be replaced by Shane McMahon

Me: This is an interesting rumor that has gained some steam throughout the day, but right now, I just don't see it. Shane was on TV a bit in the Mayweather-Big Show angle, but that was more as the WWE official for the angle, and he didn't really have much of a presence as we've seen in the past. Shane enjoys his duties behind the scenes, and while he does like being on TV once in awhile, I don't see him taking over as GM. No decision to the best of my knowledge has been made as of yet as to what they will do with the GM spot on RAW, if anything at all.

The Impaler: Matt do you really think Regal has the in ring ability to carry the KOR?

Me: No doubt. While Regal is not Jeff Hardy or Rey Mysterio, he is a great shoot wrestler that has proven time and time again to have very good matches. He is very good in a mid-card role, and if the company keeps him in those angles, this can and I think will - work.

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DVD REVIEW : Guest Booker with Raven : Booking Hall and Nash in ECW

Reviewed by Steve Rockamaniac of

Over the years, Raven has been loved and hated by many in the wrestling business. Those he has not pissed off have praised the wrestling mind he has, and many times it has been suggested that Raven could be a highly successful head booker for a wrestling company, So Kayfabe Commentaries decided to give him that chance in a special installment of the “Guest Booker” DVD series that they are calling the “Booker At Heart” edition. The very hypothetical situation that Raven is given is booking Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as if they decided to jump ship from the WWF to ECW back in 1996 instead of jumping to World Championship Wrestling. Raven was world champion at the time, so this becomes even more unique as he is not only given the chance to book the two big names, but to book himself during the 10 months leading into ECW’s PPV debut, Barely Legal in April 1997.

What has to be most impressive about Raven’s booking performance on this DVD is that he came into it with absolutely no preparation, He may or may not have been told the subject of DVD beforehand, but he starts the feature with no idea of what was going on at the time in ECW despite the fact that he was living and fighting through it. That’s what substance abuse will do to as Raven called this point in time “the beginning of my lost years”. Despite this, Raven sits down for 90 minutes and goes in depth about how he would bring in Hall, Nash and as a added bonus Sean “Xpac” Waltman. Raven does this with only a couple of small timeouts to brush up on history, and goes into marathon mode for the final portion of the feature as he kicks host Sean Oliver to the curb and takes over the white board scribbling down the rantings and ravings of Raven’s booking mind. Admittingly it’s tough at times for the viewer to keep track of Raven’s ramblings, even Oliver ends up with question marks all over his face at one point (literally!), but as I would eventually find out it all makes sense in the end. The task of making it clear is somewhat easier thanks to a on screen display of the month by month booking as it gets filled in by Raven. You also get the chance to learn something about Raven, that being he gets very cranky when is hungry as he continuously mentions near the end of the feature that he wants food and when it eventually arrives you get a added surprise in the closing credits as Raven scarfs down his chow.

Giving you a small idea of the path Raven goes down, Scott Hall arrives to ECW first and cuts a promo explaining how he was no longer going to be run over by a red white and blue bus of Lex Luger and is ready to break out, and will obviously want to do so by getting Raven’s world title, instead the flock confront Hall in the ring, after which Hall explains to Raven that if he wants to bring his friends into this, then Hall has some friends he could bring as well which as you can tell would be how Nash would eventually be introduced. Hall and Raven begin a long title feud while Nash it sent down a path of destroying big men such as Brian Lee and Dr Death Steve Williams to eventually enter a feud with The Sandman. X-pac is brought in during the progression of these feuds, and Terry Funk also enters heading into Barely Legal to get his title shot against Hall on Funk’s 20 year anniversary of being in the business.

To say the least this was a complete departure from previous Guest booker editions as not only is Raven a booker at heart, but the angle he is asked to book is something that never happened, regardless we end up with a entertaining final product as much like old time radio used to be, it gives you a chance to close your eyes for a second and fanaticize about what could have been and if you were an old school ECW fan or a big fan of the outsiders then it could be something very appealing to you .
“Guest Booker with Raven : Booking Hall and Nash in ECW” is now available on DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries. For more information or to order your own copy check out and to read my previous DVD reviews head on over to

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Official ECW Preview from

The following comes from

Just 24 hours after ECW Champion Kane found himself in opposition to Edge in a massive Eight-Man Tag Match on Raw, the Big Red Monster will appear as a guest on the Rated-R Superstar's talk segment, The Cutting Edge. Last night, the champion traded blows and was even pinned by the Ultimate Opportunist in one of Edge's signature opportunistic moments. Will Kane bring a fiery wrath to ECW on Sci Fi tonight? More importantly, will the Rated-R Superstar's "familia" - Kane's Backlash challenger, Chavo Guerrero - be watching?

With Backlash less than two weeks away, Kane has begun building momentum, thanks in part to some help from a fellow champion – and family member. The Brothers of Destruction, Kane & World Heavyweight Champion Undertaker, were victorious over The Miz & John Morrison on the last ECW on Sci Fi, demolishing the WWE Tag Team Champions.

But when Kane defends the ECW title against Chavo Guerrero at Backlash, the Big Red Machine won’t have his brother with him in the ring. How will Kane fare in the days leading to Backlash? How will Guerrero enlist the help of his new bodyguard, Bam Neely, as he tries to win back ECW gold?

Kofi Kingston’s winning streak also continued last Tuesday night, as he led his team of CM Punk, Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore to victory in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match against Deuce, Domino, Shelton Benjamin & Elijah Burke. The Jamaican Superstar has been blazing a path through every challenger he meets; who will step up to challenge Kingston next? Will anyone be able to stop the Jamaican sensation?

In other ECW action, Mike Knox continued his winning ways in London. Under ECW General Manager Armando Estrada’s watchful eye, Knox was victorious over Colin Delaney, who was once again fighting for a WWE contract. The youngster wasn’t able to enlist the aid of ECW Original Tommy Dreamer this week, as his bad luck continues. Will Delaney’s fortune eventually turn around? Will he ever earn a WWE contract?

Find out the answers to these questions and more on this week's ECW on Sci Fi, tonight at 10/9 CT

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Head SmackDown Writer Hayes Suspended for 60 Days


It has been confirmed that head SmackDown writer Michael Hayes has been suspended for 60 days. More details on this story should be coming out tomorrow.

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JBL Responds To Olbermann

From: PWTorch

As reported earlier, MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann called JBL the "Worst Person in the World" on last night's edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Olbermann called JBL and his co-workers at the Fox New Channel "snake-oil salesmen" because a doctor said his Mamajuana Energy didn't work, which was reported in the business section of the New York Times yesterday. JBL responds to Olbermann in a post on, which you can read at this link. JBL wrote: "Keith, you are sitting around doing shows bashing WWE, Fox and me – and yet we don’t do any on you. Is it because we are better than you? No, it’s just that no one would watch if we did a show about you. However, you understand that no one would watch if you were to do a show on yourself, so you do shows on us. That perfectly illustrates who really is important, and who is just bitter they never made it."

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Monday, April 21, 2008

All Hail King William

What a big surprise from the King of the Ring tonight. Let me say I actually like were this is going. Regal is such a great heel and giving him the crown should only allow him to spread more misery to the WWE lineup. I'm not sure what plans they have exactly fro his reign, but I really feel this story line should spice things up. As for the tournament itself it has some ups and downs. One side of the bracket featured top names while the other was a who's who of mid level talent. MVP and Jericho looked good once again and I would love to see these guys together in the future. Also CM Punk raised his stock with some good matches against Matt Hardy and Jericho, along with his elimination in the final to Regal. As for Matt Hardy he looked really good tonight, which helped settle my concern for his match at Backlash. As it looks right now we may have a strong match with MVP, instead of Hardy looking very rusty as he has for the past weeks. No much to report on the other participants as they really didn't show much. Khali was disqualified against Finaly, Hornswoggle was beaten badly by Regal. The Regal and Finaly match was decent, but Regal did not really show much until he faced Punk.

As for the rest of the night there wasn't really that many matches as the focus was on King of the Ring, but we did see the feud between tag champs Holly and Rhodes develop with Carlito and Marella. Carlito beat Hardcore Holly tonight in a singles match, but Santino could not keep his mouth shut. So Rhodes confronted him and beat him with the mic, prompting Holly to take out Carlito. It would be nice to see this one added to the Backlash card as it would be a good first match. Carlito always works well with whomever he is partnered with and Holly and Rhodes have some good chemistry also.

And since we are close to a pay per view we needed some variation of the main event in the form of a tag match. So tonight we saw ECW champ Kane along with his brother and Heavyweight champ Undertaker teamed with Triple H and Cena. They faced former champs Chavo and Edge along with JBL and WWE champ Randy Orton. Edge would get the win for his team but would be FUed by Cena. This would lead to a melee in the ring which featured Cena and Triple H facing off only to be taken out by JBL. Then Orton would go up against JBL before both were choke slammed by the Undertaker. This match did feature some goof action between Chavo and Kane that also put some concerns of mine that these two may not be able to work well together to bed. What was looking to be a bad pay per view, actually may shape up to be decent after all.

What will the WWE Do with Ric Flair?

sources: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

WWE plans on keeping Ric Flair pretty busy even though he's off the road. The company is looking to have him do a lot of media, on-sale days for tickets, representing the company at public functions & banquets, and more. WWE is also looking to have him work trade shows, card shows and autograph signings because they can make a nice amount of money through his appearances at said shows. Before, he wasn't able to do them too often due to his busy WWE schedule.


Leticia Cline Again Talking to the WWE?


Former TNA backstage announcer Leticia Cline is apparently negotiating with World Wrestling Entertainment, or at least has recently. In her latest blog from her MySpace account, she notes that she's had talks with them several times, but what's preventing her from coming in are scheduling issues. Here is her blog:

A lot of you have been asking what my status with TNA and WWE is so I thought I would do a mass blog to answer some of your questions. As of November 25, 2007 I was released from TNA after not seeing eye to eye with my contract and role on the show. I loved my time with TNA... They are a great company and I truly am grateful for the year that I was with them. Wrestling is a very hard business to break into and an even harder one to stay in it. Since I didn’t come from a wrestling background and I had many other things going on for me I feel it worked against me as far as production was concerned. It was a constant struggle to get respect no matter how many times I would jump through hoops.... I just couldn’t get ahead. With that being said, I would still go back to TNA if the opportunity arose. They are like family... one minute you can’t stand them, the next you need them. I appreciate all of your support and your concerns. I can’t tell you enough how much it brightens my day to open your emails tell me how much you miss me and wish I was back! It’s you, the fans that I miss the most.

As far as WWE... I have talked with them several times however at this moment we are working on scheduling. Sorry, but that's all I can say for now. I will keep you posted though.


The Race Comes To WWE Raw! Monday, April 21

Big Main Event Announced for RAW

From: PWInsider

Announced as the main event for tonight's three hour Raw King of the Ring special is an eight man tag featuring World Champion The Undertaker & ECW Champion Kane & John Cena & Triple H vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton & Edge & JBL & Chavo Guerrero.

Obviously, the inclusion of all these major names means the King of the Ring tournament will be used again as a vehicle to build a mid-card name for the future.

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STAMFORD, Conn., April 21, 2008 -- The night before an important Pennsylvania primary, Presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain will each make a very special appearance on a three-hour edition of WWE®'s "Monday Night RAW" tonight on the USA Network starting at 8 p.m. ET.

The three Presidential candidates intend to tap into the power of the more than five million viewers who each week tune in to watch RAW, making it the number one weekly year round show on cable. In particular, Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama will be appealing for votes from WWE fans in Pennsylvania, where they are locked in a tight primary battle. An invitation from the WWE to have Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama appear on RAW to settle the Democratic nomination process in the wrestling ring was the catalyst for tonight's appearances by the three top Presidential contenders, who each will address the WWE audience in specially taped messages.

Who deserves to win the biggest Championship match in the country? Tune in Monday to hear what the candidates have to say.

WWE encourages its fans in Pennsylvania to Smackdown Your Vote! for your favorite candidate on Tuesday.

Check out to register to vote and to learn more about WWE’s Smackdown Your Vote! campaign.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

King of the Ring Looks Like Total Panic Booking

Quite a few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Jerry "The King" Lawler at a Cleveland Indians game while he was a visitor in the press box. At that time he was in between stints with the WWE, and we had a chance to talk "off the cuff" about things in the WWE and how the shows were booked. That is what leads me to today, where I recall Jerry bringing up a term that I think fits what the company is going to try and pull off tomorrow night on RAW - a one night King of the Ring. The term that fits this show from the word go - "panic booking."

Yes, the WWE is coming off a long overseas tour, and it seems like they want to throw something big together for their three-hour show they have set for Greenville. With that, instead of the draft, which is what we all were expecting for this three-hour epic, they are going to go with an idea that they have put on the shelf more than once. The King of the Ring was an annual event that kicked off in 1985, and then hit PPV in 1993. It had its moments of good and bad, with the highlight probably being the birth of "Austin 3:16" after Steve Austin beat Jake Roberts in 1996 and blurted out the phrase to mock Roberts new found religion.

From there, the event was a staple till it died after 2002, and then they brought it back in 2006, to put the title of "King" on Booker T., as he became King Booker for the end of his WWE run. The event died after 06, and now it looks as if trying to draw some sort of rating for one night, they are going to try and revive the event. There are quite a few problems with that, one of which includes the simple fact that they tried to throw this thing together in one week. Yes, an event that they took months to build on the past, they are now doing in one week. Bad idea.

They also have not thrown out there who we are even going to see in this 8-man tourney. Names that have been rumored to be in the show include Triple H, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Finaly, C.M. Punk and others. They have said that all three brands will be represented, but at the same time, with no idea on who in the three brands will be in the event, it makes it very hard to even get a grasp on who to pick as a possible favorite.

If I was booking this (and if I was I would have never have thrown this thing together this fast anyway), I would let someone mid-card win this thing to give them a boost. How about a King Kennedy? King Carlito? King (Matt or Jeff for that matter) Hardy? There are plenty of guys that could use the boost, guys other than Cena, Triple H or Batista. Bottom line though, this thing is such a cluster, who knows what to expect.

This night will also do very little to push forward the Backlash PPV that the the company should be focusing in on for this Sunday. Three hours is a lot of time to kill, and yes, they will push the show to some extent, but the night is going to be far out of focus, and right now, this PPV is in a lot of trouble, and this years King of the Ring is going to be one of the lowest rated Monday night shows of the year for the company.

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RAW Preview from

Preview:King me!
April 21, 2008

As WWE Superstars return from the rich, royal tradition of the United Kingdom to American shores, the stars of Raw, SmackDown and ECW will compete for their own unique crowning glory.

For the first time in two years, a new King of the Ring will be decided in a one-night tournament that commences in the very first hour of a special three-hour episode of Raw, live from the BI-LO Center in Greenville, S.C.

Eight competitors will have to defeat multiple opponents in a single night to be coronated with the treasured crown and robe that WWE Legends and Hall of Famers such as Harley Race, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Bret “Hitman” Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Edge have worn during their illustrious careers.

It’s not known which Superstars will make up the tournament field, but be assured that the four men involved in the Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE Championship at Backlash – John Cena, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Triple H and WWE Champion Randy Orton – will want to make their mark and gain momentum just days before their title tilt. A King of the Ring Tournament victory would do just that.

Also watching the tournament live at BI-LO Center will be Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who have been invited to settle their Democrat differences in Greenville. What will happen as these two titans of the political world face off in the WWE ring? Will their confrontation finally end their stalemate on the road to their party’s presidential nomination? Watch: WWE's invite

With Shawn Michaels and Batista at odds over HBK’s retirement of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV, look for sparks to fly if the two cross paths in the tournament or if they match up with their special guest referee at Backlash, Chris Jericho.

Also, the Divas cheered as Mickie James ended The Glamazon’s dominance, stunning fans worldwide to claim her fourth Women’s Championship. How will Beth Phoenix react to the loss? And will other Divas look to challenge the new champion, making her new reign a short one?

Find out as a king is crowned on Monday Night Raw, airing live at a special start time of 8/7 CT, only on USA Network.

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The Five Best Backlash Matches

Welcome to “Five Count.” This semi-regular column will feature a top-five list of anything wrestling related. Since Backlash is right around the corner, let’s start with a top-five list of the best Backlash matches ever.

Backlash originated in 1999, and was so named because the matches were usually the backlash of what happened at Wrestlemania. It’s pretty difficult to top Wrestlemania, but that doesn’t mean the individual matches aren’t worth discussing. Without further ado, here’s the list:

#5 2001 - Chris Benoit defeats Kurt Angle in an Ultimate Submission Match (4-3)
This match featured two of the best mat wrestlers of all time. Notable spots included each wrestler making the other tap to their own signature finisher (Angle tapped to the Ankle Lock and Benoit submitted to the Crippler Crossface). The match was tied 3-3 when Angle slapped on an Ankle Lock, but Benoit held out until the bell. Angle thought he had won, but the ref demanded sudden death overtime, where Benoit defeated him with a Crossface. This is a fantastic match to watch for anyone who loves technically sound mat wrestling, as these two worked very well together.

#4 2006 – John Cena defeats Triple H and Edge in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Championship
A great match that featured a great finish that made all three men look strong, this match featured some incredible moves. Highlights include: Cena trying to fireman’s carry both Edge and Triple H, and Edge sliding off Triple H and then spearing Cena; Edge whiplashing Triple H into a ring post to bust him open (if you watch close enough, you can see Triple H blade himself before he gets launched, although he sells the hit very well. By the end of the match Triple H loses so much blood his hair is stained red) and Cena and Triple H having a “who-can-bash-Edge’s-head-into-the-announce-table-harder” contest. Edge also DDT’s Triple H through the Spanish Announce Table, although Triple H gets a modicum of revenge by spinebusting Edge’s manager Lita after she tries a chair shot. The match ends with Cena countering a Pedigree with a roll-up. Triple H broke out the hammer and nailed everyone in the ring in defeat.

#3 2000 – The Rock defeats Triple H to win the WWF Championship
After the results of Wrestlemania 2000, the entire McMahon family (except Linda) was united behind WWF Champ Triple H. The Rock is supposed to have Steve Austin in his corner, but he was stuck in “traffic.” Shane McMahon is the special guest referee, and saying he’s not the most objective official is an understatement. The Rock had Triple H set up for a Rock Bottom through an announce table, when Shane McMahon jumped on the table to stop the People’s Champion. The Rock wasn’t too pleased with Shane at this point, so he delivered both The Game and his brother-in-law a double Rock Bottom through the table. Back in the ring, Triple H hit a textbook Pedigree, but there’s no ref. Vince’s goons Patterson and Briscoe came to the ring wearing referee shirts, but The Rock kicked out. As Vince, Triple H, Patterson and Briscoe are beating up on The Rock, Stone Cold made his first return since Survivor Series 1999, and hits everyone (except The Rock) with vicious chairshots. The Rock hit Triple H with a spinebuster and The People’s Elbow to win the title, as Linda reinstated fired ref Earl Hebner to count the pinfall. The show ended with The Rock and Austin toasting the title and each other.

#2 2004 – Randy Orton defeats Cactus Jack in a Hardcore match to retain the Intercontinental Championship
Mick Foley’s days as a main-eventer are over; by this stage in his career his primary job is to put young guys over. He does this admirably here, as he and Randy Orton beat each other senseless. This match is definitely one of Orton’s best, and it is probably one of Foley’s best as well. Some notable highlights include: Orton getting thrown off the stage and onto a table; Foley elbow dropping Orton after chucking him off the stage; and Orton’s RKO countered onto a pile of thumbtacks. The Legend Killer started the match wearing a t-shirt (smart man) but by the time he landed on the thumbtacks, the shirt was off and Orton’s back and arms looked like a pincushion. If you look closely you can see Orton pulling tacks out of his hand. He was bleeding from several dozen tiny holes in his back for the rest of the match. Foley tried to light his barbed wire baseball bat (the famous, or maybe infamous “Barbie”) on fire, and after Eric Bischoff told Foley not to Orton Irish whipped Foley into a large particleboard covered in barbed wire. After fighting off two Mandible Claws, Orton hit the RKO out of nowhere, but Foley kicked out. Orton next RKOed Foley onto “Barbie” and retained. This match is everything a hardcore match should be, and is Foley’s best match since his epic Hell In A Cell match against Triple H at No Way Out 2000.

#1 2004 – Chris Benoit defeats Triple H and Shawn Michaels to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
This was a rematch of their classic Wrestlemania XX match, and is at least as good, if not better. This gets bonus points for being in Edmonton (Benoit’s hometown) and for the Canadian fans chanting “You screwed Bret” whenever Michaels took the offensive (in remembrance of the Montreal Screwjob from Survivor Series 1997). In a great sequence, Benoit reversed the Pedigree into a Sharpshooter (the crowd went nuts). Michaels attempts to clothesline Benoit to break up the Sharpshooter, but Benoit counters that into a Crippler Crossface. The match ended with Michaels tapping out to the Sharpshooter, which marked the first time I recall of Michaels ever submitting to anything. I highly recommend that everyone should go out and see this match, as it is a fantastic example of three great athletes doing what they do best. The ebb and flow of this match is masterful and the crowd was totally into every move.

Mark the Date; Warrior Back in the Ring 6/25

Former WWE Champion Ultimate Warrior will be wrestling in his first match in nearly ten years when he takes on Orlando Jordan on Wednesday, June 25 in Barcelona, Spain.

The following press release was issued from his agent to, among other websites:

The Ultimate Warrior Announces His Return To Pro Wrestling

Staggering news resounded in the NWE Arena during the Madrid show on April 19th. More than 15,000 fans had the chance to see the award presentation which celebrated the career of professional wrestling icon, The Ultimate Warrior; who was in attendance to accept his award. However, controversy erupted during the presentation when NWE Champion Orlando Jordan mocked a young fan of Warrior's at the event. Warrior was quick to come to the defense of this fan which led to a heated conflict between Warrior and Jordan.

On June 25th 2008 in Barcelona, after a 12 year absence from the ring, The Ultimate Warrior will officially make his wrestling comeback in a match against Jordan. The news was confirmed this morning by Warrior's agent, Bernie Gernay in a statement.

"For over 10 years this is what the entire wrestling world has been waiting for, the return of the Warrior. We are excited to bring back the greatest character and energy to ever get into the ring. Ultimate Warrior is an incredible marketing machine and has kept a tremendous value to his name which is why the NWE has stepped up with a substantial deal that worked very well for both sides. There is no disputing that Warrior left a mark on professional wrestling that no other talent did and the reason why still today he is often imitated, but never duplicated."

Over the next few days the NWE will inform fans of the preparations for one of the biggest and most important wrestling events ever to be held in Europe. As the news progresses it is sure to be the headlines of wrestling news and forums throughout the internet and will most certainly have all in the wrestling industry and fans alike in great anticipation to see what the Warrior will deliver on June 25th, and perhaps beyond.

Bernie J. Gernay
Agent for The Ultimate Warrior

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