Monday, June 30, 2008

The C is For Champ

The new era of Raw has officially taken over as the new guys have firmly established themselves. Kofi Kingston fired the first short last night by winning the Intercontinental title and they list grew tonight. We have talked throughout this site on how the WWE has reshuffled the deck and tonights start to show let us see what Raw is holding.

It started off normally as Jim Ross gave his farewell speech to the Raw faithfull, but then we started to take a trip down action alley. Edge would have Hawkins and Ryder escort Ross out of the ring so he could make his speech on how weak Raw was after the draft. Well Batista had something to say about that, plus the fact he was screwed out of the title last night by Edge and his family. The results were a Batista bomb that knocked Edge out which would lead to the top story.

CM Punk finally cashed in the Money in the Bank ala Edge last year and made a quick match of a fallen opponent. So now Punk is you new World Heavy Weight champ bring a major belt back to Raw. Of course he would not have to wait to long for a challenge as both JBL and Cena would make pitches for the belt. JBL would use his own personal security team to remove Cena from the building so he could face Punk in the main event. Cena would return in time for the match to take on the security guys with help from Cryme Tyme. Punk would pin JBL most likely setting up a fatal 3 way between Cena, Punk and JBL for the Great American Bash. This angle works best as it brings a heel in JBL into the title mix while keeping crowd favorite Punk and Cena involved in the mix. And as we speculated on this site there is a supposed spinner World Heavy Weight belt in the works and I see it debuting at Summer Slam. Look for Punk's title rang to be short lived as JBL will win at the Bash to take on Cena.

Mysterio also made a speech tonight to say he was ready for the challenges of Raw but he too was interrupted. Santino Marella came to the ring to run his famously big mouth on how Mysterio is no worthy to be on Raw. This would end in a 619 for Marella and sets up Rey's first feud. If anything this feud does Marella a favor as he has turned into nothing more than a comedic prop for the show instead of a true wrestler. Going up against someone of Mysterio's caliber hopefully will keep in in the big picture instead of fading away once the crowd tires of his gimmick.

Kingston kept his title win a DQ win over Jericho tonight. This cheap win, especially since Kingston also attempted a truck pulling pin, furthers Jericho's beef of being cheated and lied to. We found out it will be Jericho and HBK at the bash, the only question is will Y2J have the title or will Kingston retain. I look for Jericho to find a way to get the belt, possibly with help from Lance Kade. Then look for Kingston and Kade to get into a program to help establish both men on Raw. On a side note this match tonight, though brief, featured plenty of the athletic moves both Jericho and Kingston are know for. Where was this action last night guys?

Jamie Noble tried to make himself look like the big man on campus by taking up his greatness in order to impress Katie Lea. He talked how he was going to challenge the biggest man on the roster. Well Kane just happened to be behind Noble so Jamie gave it his best shot. This ended up with a chase out to the ring and saw it end with a choke slam on the announce table for Noble. He did get a few shots in on the Big Red Machine and a program between these two might actually be fun to watch. Taking on Noble would not be so bad for Kane, especially where he is now in his career. Plus taking on an established star will only help raise Noble's stock. Davis and Goliath programs can be good with the right guys involved and Noble and Kane fit that bill with their talents.

Our new World Tag chaps gained a big win tonight taking on some jobbers. Again Rhodes did most of the work as DiBiase barely went in the ring. I'm still going to need to see something out of them to see if they have what it takes to make it in the WWE. I like the legends sons' pairing to take some heat of of the young guys, but it's what you do in the ring that lets you stick around, not what your fathers did. On possible rematch note I think it would be fantastic if Holly had Gold Dust as his partner in a rematch. I know it won't happen but I would so love to see it.

And in a match that really was just there for filler, Mickie James beat Jillian. Thats really all I can say for that match because it really meant nothing. Jillian is not even close to being a contender for the Women's belt and Mickie will have bigger fish to fry between Katie Lea and Beth Phoenix.

WrestleMania XXV tickets on sale September 20th



Tickets for the 25th anniversary of sports-entertainment’s greatest spectacle go on sale Saturday, Sept. 20, at 10 a.m. ET, as WWE prepares for WrestleMania XXV in Houston on April 5, 2009, at Reliant Stadium.

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2009 WWE Hall of Fame Update

From: WrestleScoop.com

The 2009 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on April 4th. WWE is also holding Monday Night RAW at the Toyota Center on April 6th, the day after WrestleMania 25.

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RAW Preview from WWE.com

Preview: Slight of Champions
June 30, 2008

After Night of Champions, where Raw Superstars suffered three prominent losses, the Monday night brand is left with no World Championship. Perhaps more important, though, is the fact that WWE is currently without its Chairman.

During last week’s Draft, WWE Champion Triple H was randomly selected to SmackDown, taking his title with him. On Sunday night, John Cena had a chance to bring the title back to Raw, but was unable to defeat The Game. Similarly, Batista attempted to win Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship, but couldn’t come out on top against the Master Manipulator.

The one World Title that Raw did hold going into Night of Champions was Kane’s ECW Championship, but in a Triple Threat Match against Mark Henry and Big Show, the Big Red Machine lost the gold to the World’s Strongest Man, who will take the championship back to Tuesday nights with him. With Cena, Batista and Kane all unable to win or hold onto gold, where will these three competitors set their focus next?

Another Raw Superstar that suffered a devastating loss at Night of Champions was Chris Jericho, defending his title against surprise opponent, Kofi Kingston. Y2J and the capacity crowd in Dallas were shocked as the Jamaican Superstar made a huge splash in his first match since joining the Raw roster. Another surprise entrance was made by Shawn Michaels, who was unable to compete due to an eye injury. HBK distracted Jericho long enough for Kingston to take control of the match, pinning Y2J. Following the match, Y2J took brutal revenge against HBK, assaulting him outside the ring. With the Intercontinental Championship acting as Raw’s main singles title, will Kingston and his unorthodox style be able to hang onto the championship? And what is in store for Chris Jericho when HBK returns to in-ring competition?

One of Night of Champions’ biggest surprises came during the World Tag Team Championship Match. For weeks, Ted DiBiase had promised to win the gold from champions Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes, along with the help of his mystery partner. On Sunday, the mystery partner was revealed to be Rhodes, who turned on Holly, and helped DiBiase make good on his promise to win a championship in his first WWE match. Why would Rhodes turn against his partner and mentor, and what steps will Hardcore Holly take to get revenge?

While multiple championships changed hands Sunday night, Mr. McMahon’s condition was still unknown following a bizarre accident last week on Raw. At the end of the evening, the stage on which the WWE Chairman stood on collapsed, followed by a ton of lighting equipment crashing down on him, incapacitating Mr. McMahon and causing Million Dollar Mania to be indefinitely suspended. When the McMahon family gives a statement this Monday on Raw, what will we learn about the Chairman’s condition, and how will the landscape of sports-entertainment be affected in Mr. McMahon’s absence?

For the answers to all these questions and more, make sure to tune into Monday Night Raw at 9/8 CT only on USA Network.

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Why Kofi Kingston was Moved to RAW

sources: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Kofi Kingston was moved to Raw in last week's Supplemental Draft because officials believe he's been a success in ECW and he now needs some more exposure on WWE's premiere brand. When Kingston was originally called up to the main roster, Raw head writer Brian Gewirtz had no ideas for him and SmackDown head writer Michael Hayes didn't want him, hence the move to ECW at the time.

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Update on DH Smith's Move to SmackDown

sources: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

It remains to be seen as to what happens with DH Smith now that he's on SmackDown, but most of the talk on him has been for him to continue working as a heel. With the move to SmackDown, this puts him back with Natalya, his first cousin. Regarding a possible pairing, it's doesn't look like it's happening. WWE wants to keep Natalya as a wrestler, not a manager. The feeling is that it could ruin her aura if she were to become a manager.

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Decision To Move Triple H Made Months Ago

The decision to move Triple H to SmackDown was actually made back around the time the deal with MyNetworkTV was reached. The network knew from the start that they would be marketing the show around The Undertaker and Triple H as the two biggest stars.

Right after WWE's European tour after WrestleMania, The Undertaker, Edge, Vickie Guerrero and Triple H were brought in to the studio to tape promos for MyNetworkTV. Triple H's promo had him spitting water into the camera saying, "You're watching Friday Night SmackDown right here on MyNetwork TV." The fact that Batista wasn't there for the promos shows that the decision was made that far back.

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Thoughts on Night of Champions

Some quick thoughts about the latest WWE PPV offering - Night of Champions, last night in Dallas. The event was lined with eight matches, all for belts, and two main event matches for the two major belts - the World Heavyweight Title and the WWE Title.

Triple H vs John Cena - Solid match, but nowhere near where their WM 22 match was in Chicago. The intensity simply was not there for this one as one would expect. The crowd, which seemed to be flat by the time this main event came about, didn't help matters. HHH winning was not a surprise, and I can see a Cena-HHH III coming at SummerSlam.

Batista vs Edge - Good match, probably the best of the night. Batista raised his game here, as matches with Edge in the past have been okay, but this one was very good. The near falls gave it a real main event feel, and it's too bad the finish was screwed by the many others getting involved. Seems like the way they played it though that there will be no rematch here.

Kane vs Big Show vs Mark Henry - Called Henry getting over here and winning the strap. We'll see if it elevates his game whatsoever, as many feel this is an unwise choice to put the belt on him. They needed to get it off Kane, who's on RAW, and it made little sense for Show to win it since he's on SmackDown.

Mickie James vs Katie Lea - Felt that James would go over here, as Lea is getting better, but is not ready to take the belt, but it may be coming. James is in the middle of what has been a solid title run, and while there are others ready to make the challenge, Lea included, Mickie deserved to go over here and keep the title.

Chris Jericho vs Kofi Kingston - The IC belt has always been a stepping stone for guys to get over, and that is the only reason why I can see them handing it to Kingston. Crowd for whatever reason didn't like this match at all, as the "boring" chants hit early and hard. Felt like a forced title change here, and I hope that Kingston is worth the hype of an IC title run.

Rhodes and Holly vs Rhodes and Dibiase Jr. - The obvious call of the night, as Rhodes turning on Holly was the call from the get-go. There was some though of it being DH Smith, but after he moved to SmackDown, the call for it to be Rhodes was the easy call here. We'll see how the young heel team gets over, as we saw little from Ted Jr. here.

Miz and Morrison vs Hornswoggle and Finlay - Decent opener, and am totally glad they did the right thing and allowed the champs to keep their belts. Would have been a total disaster to move them to the "father and son" team, even though I could still see it happening. Miz and Morrison continue to be the best team in the company right now, and when they do lose it, I hope it's to at least a real team.

Matt Hardy vs Chavo Guerrero - What you'd expect here, and not at all surprised that Hardy goes over and keeps the belt. Hardy having the U.S. Title on ECW adds a little flair, as now there are two straps there to go after, and with Chavo over there, I'm sure we'll see these two a few more times, but here, it was over as the second match of the card.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Let's Talk Wrestling Night of Champions Post-Match Show


It was truly a "Night of Champions" on June 29th, as the WWE rolled out seven title matches in their new look PPV. Matt Loede and John Sefcik are back with this Let's Talk Wrestling WWE Night of Champions Post-Match Show. The two talk about the card, the title changes, and what to expect next from the WWE. Click below to hear this latest Podcast from the Let's Talk Wrestling crew.

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Jake "The Snake" Says He'd Like to Die in the Ring



From: Seascoops.com

Kevin Eck of the Baltimore Sun interviewed Jake Roberts this week. Jake says he hopes he dies in the ring because he doesn't expect to ever retire from wrestling. "Going out in front of people always feels good. It’s sad that in reality, you cannot go out there and do the same things you could do 25 years ago – and neither do I wish to. I’ll never retire. It’s my passion. I hope to die in that ring." Roberts added that many of his peers died because they gave up on life once their wrestling career was over. "I'm still here because God wants me to be here. I'm still here because Vince McMahon helped me to still be here."

Roberts says he wants to contribute to wrestling on the creative side, but he doesn't think he would be able to hold up over the long-haul with his ideas tweaked by others. "I have a tremendous amount to give yet. How I’m going to give it, I don’t know. Because I’m not sure at this stage of my sobriety if I would be strong enough to accept the changes and the enhancements that they would put on what I write."

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

No SmackDown Women's Title Match for Night of Champions

From: PWInsider

Here's an update on the decision to pull the Smackdown Women's Title match from the Night of Champions PPV. A reader has sent me footage from the show's live or international feed (he hasn't said which it was yet) where Mick Foley clearly said that the title would be decided at the PPV. By the time they show aired in the US, the words were deleted from the soundtrack. That means one of two things. Either Foley incorrectly said the match would happen at the PPV (which tend I doubt) or the decision was made after Tuesday to pull the bout or no one told Foley before the taping that the match was off and he tried to sell what he thought was the program (which makes the most sense to me). Whatever the case, they had to fix it in post-production.

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Deuce to Become the New Jimmy Snuka?

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Deuce, who was moved from SmackDown to Raw in the Supplemental Draft, it set to get a makeover. There has been talk of recognizing Deuce's background and morphing him into something resembling the new Jimmy Snuka, who is his adopted father. Before joining WWE, he did a Jimmy Snuka Jr. gimmick under the names Jimmy Snuka Jr., Solo Snuka, and Solo. He has also played a card shark gimmick from Las Vegas (which is where he's from) under the name Deuce Shade, but they probably won't be going in that direction.

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Let's Talk Wrestling Night of Champions Pre-Match Show



Matt Loede and John Sefcik of Let's Talk Wrestling are back as they preview the upcoming WWE PPV - The Night of Champions. The two break down the 7-match card, as well as give their predictions and what they think may happen long term with the recent draft as well as what went down with the title shift in the company. Click below to hear the Let's Talk Wrestling Night of Champions Pre Match Show!

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Friday, June 27, 2008

You Say Goodby, I Say Hello

The old Beatles tune could sum up what took place on Smack Down tonight as both the olds stars and new made their presence felt tonight. It looks like the WWE will wait until after Sunday to fully implement the changes that came via the draft as ECW and Smack Down still featured their former stars. The first noticeable change tonight was the voice of Jim Ross calling the shots. I expressed concerns on how he would mix with Mick Foley on our draft pod cast, but I really like this pairing after what I heard tonight. Foley cleaned up his foolish bantering and was an excellent color man adding good insight to Ross's impeccable calls. This just shows the level of respect Ross commands in the industry. Instead of being a character, Foley just was himself, which was exactly the opposite of when he was paired with Micheal Cole. Of course their isn't much to say about Ross as he is as close to perfection as you can get in this industry.

Mysterio would also say good by to the fans on Smack Down and even received a hug from the departing Batista. I know Rey has a special connection to Smack Down due to its Latin roots, but the speech was a bit lame. It's not like he is leaving the company. Yes he is switching brands, but fans can still watch Raw, and its not like the brands only go to certain towns so they will still get to see Mysterio.

We had our first clash of the big names on Smack Down as WWE champ Triple H and World Heavy Weight champ Edge clashed egos tonight. As the two exchanged verbal barbs Batista made his way to the ring and got a piece of Edge with Triple H helping by throwing Edge out of the ring to the waiting Batista. After a quick beating Edge fled and Batista took the belt. This of course would lead to some trouble for him in his match with Umanga.

Speaking of this match, were was this performance at Mania? Maybe I'm a bit off due to the large expectations I had for that match and the low ones for tonight, but the match was a great example of two great big brawlers going at it. Of course Edge and his family interfered to reclaim his title and put a beating on Batista. This would be short lived as Triple H would come to the rescue. I liked the fact that Edge stayed around to fight for once. Since it looks like he and Triple H will be the new big dogs on Smack Down this helps to build some heat for this.

Kane also made what might be his last appearance on Smack Down as he teamed with the Big Show in a tag match against MVP and Mark Henry. This of course was the obligatory lets take guys who are facing each other at a pay per view and make the tag partners match. There was really not much that happened as MVP spent most of the time in the ring. They did try the old MVP leaving the ring gimmick, but Henry threw him back to the wolves as Kane got the pin. I'm really getting tired of this gag as MVP is better than being shown as a coward. I know they are using this to show how much of an arrogant jerk he is, but let his talking take care of this. He deserve better than being humiliated by a stiff like Henry and has a very bright future in the WWE.

The Divas match featured some good action as the quest to take on Natalia continued with a tag match. We saw Kelly Kelly, Cherry and Michelle McCool go up against Natalia, Victoria and Maryse. All the ladies looked good especially Kelly Kelly for once. Her action was limited, but the nice flip moves she landed looked really nice. Maybe her hard work is finally paying off as for once she did not look awkward in the ring, but remember it was in very limited action. I really want to applaud the efforts of all the Divas as they all seem to be really working on their in ring performances. Last year at this time if you would have told me there was going to be two womens championships I would have laughed in your face and told you were crazy. But in the last few months these ladies have really worked hard to to show they are more than pretty faces. I really do give them credit for proving me wrong that they are there only for their looks.

Will Hawkins and Ryder ever develop into anything more than Edge's stooges. You would have thought their alliance with the family would have pushed then into tag title contention. Instead tonight they took on the number one contenders in Finlay and Hornswoogle. You know you going nowhere when an aging superstar and his leprechaun son are getting a crack at the title while you just get your butts beat each week. The kids looked good tonight as they took some good bumps and have show decent moves when they have actually competed. I really don't know why the WWE feels no need to develop the tag divisions anymore as there are plenty of talented duos. Give Hawkins and Ryder a chance, and you might be surprised what they can do. Unfortunately I feel they have been type cast as lackies and thei is the best they will ever see.

Edge would also see himself in a match tonight as it was champion versus champion with Matt Hardy. Hardy pretty much dominated this match but was distracted at the end and speared by Edge, giving the Rated R Superstar the win. I know I have stated I really don't see Hardy peaking anymore than where he is now, but he did hold his own in this match. His in ring performance is as solid as they come, but he really needs to spruce up his personality. His mic work is average and I really don't get excited when I hear his music. He has an average personality with some nice moves. Sometimes that all it takes for short term success, but if he wants to be one of the big names he really has to find a way to get the crowd pumped up before he takes the ring like his brother does very well.

And of course I know the big question on everyones mind is did Kozlov stay undefeated? Yes he did as he beat Domino tonight. You can tell they are getting ready for a major match for Kozlov as his matches keep going longer and longer. Again this is another wrestler who may suffer from a lack of personality, especially since he is just a brawler. We already have this type of persona in the company like Snitsky and Palumbo and you see how far those guys have gone. I feel Kozlov is headed down that same path.

Paul Heyman's Thoughts on Jim Ross Moving to SmackDown

Paul Heyman's comments in The Sun about the draft and the moving of J.R. to SmackDown:

VINCE McMahon overshadowed his own draft this week. That's nothing new.

He always aims a big stunt that people didn't expect. A shock, even for those who have come to expect the unexpected.

And Vince delivered on that concept, but in a completely different way than he anticipated.

Vince got some, but not a great deal of attention (yet) with the latest "Who Shot JR" remake with the chairman once again playing the assailed party.

What stole the show was the blockbuster announcement and behind-the-scenes secrecy of the drafting of the other JR to Smackdown.

Apparently, no one told Jim Ross that he was moving in advance.

He was, from all accounts, caught off guard by the graphic going up on the Titantron.

While surely the very top performers who were switching brands were given a heads-up over their change in assignment, not so for JR.

Click HERE for the rest of the piece

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Tidbit on Batista's Move to RAW

source: www.prowrestling.NET

It was initially assumed that Batista knew he was being moved over to Raw ahead of time, but the buzz backstage is that he actually wasn't aware. Nonetheless, the feeling is that he should be thrilled about the move since he's going to be featured as one of the top stars on Raw, either as a top babyface with John Cena or as a top heel with Randy Orton.

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Mysterio Not Happy About Move to RAW



source: www.prowrestling.NET

Rey Mysterio was not happy about changing brands. He was proud of the fact that SmackDown greatly reached out to the Latino demographic in contrast to Raw. On another note, he was also upset about having to leave some friends behind on SmackDown and felt snubbed about not being informed of the move ahead of time. Even after being called at the last minute while doing promotional work in Mexico, he didn't know he was being moved to Raw until moments before the live announcement on television.

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Latest on Melina's Ankle Injury

From: Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter (F4WOnline.com)

Regarding Melina's injury on Raw this past week, there is still no official word on the matter, but it is believed that she either fractured her heel or tore ligaments in her ankle and will likely need surgery. No word yet on how long she'll be out, but it's definitely going to be at least a few weeks, if not months.

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How Some of the WWE Draft Moves were Decided

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

With the exception of Umaga to SmackDown, the closest thing to a surefire move was Rey Mysterio to Raw. Officials actually made the decision a few weeks ago while SmackDown writer Michael Hayes was away on suspension. Hayes wanted to keep Mysterio on SmackDown, but he had to give him up to Raw in order to land Jeff Hardy, and as most of you know, Hayes is close to the Hardys. Although, SmackDown later lost Matt Hardy to ECW. Matt was moved over to ECW because the feeling was that if the two brothers appeared on the same brand, they would have to be a tag team, and Vince doesn't want to push them as a tag team at the moment, even if they are incredibly over with the fans. Vince doesn't believe in pushing tag teams as he prefers focusing on singles competitors. Also, with ECW losing CM Punk and Kane to Raw, they obviously needed someone to soften the blow, and that person was Matt Hardy.

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How Does the WWE Pecking Order Stand?

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Internally, WWE officials have a pecking order list regarding the top five stars in the company. In no particular order, Triple H, Undertaker and John Cena are regarded as the company's three biggest stars. Batista and Shawn Michaels fall in the second tier level right behind them.

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SmackDown Preview for Tonight from WWE.com

Preview:
Game On

The 2008 WWE Draft changed the entire landscape of WWE.

WWE Champion Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Umaga, Mr. Kennedy and Hall of Famer Jim Ross are coming to SmackDown, and Friday nights will never be the same.

WWE.com has learned that 12-time World Champion Triple H will kick off SmackDown. What will The King of Kings have to say about his new home just days before he defends his title against John Cena at Night of Champions?

Last week, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero stacked the deck when she named her fiancé Edge the guest referee in the match between Chavo Guerrero and Batista. What might Guerrero do this week, just days before The Ultimate Opportunist defends his World Heavyweight Championship against The Animal at Night of Champions?

Although SmackDown gained new Superstars in the 2008 WWE Draft, it also lost some, including Rey Mysterio, who will make his last appearance on SmackDown this week. What will the Master of the 619 have to say to our fans as he heads to Raw?

Up until Tuesday night, Big Show thought he would be facing Kane one-on-one for the ECW Championship at Night of Champions. However, now that Mark Henry has been added, making it a Triple Threat Match, how does that change Big Show’s plan for victory?

Tune in to Friday Night SmackDown at 8/7 CT only on The CW Network as final strategies are made for Night of Champions this Sunday.

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Latest on the Possible Movement of Carlito

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

At the moment, Carlito is talking like he's staying put in WWE. He was said to be really unhappy with his push, particularly after Raw two weeks ago when he and Marella jobbed to Cryme Tyme. At one point it looked like Marella & Carlito were going to get the tag titles, but it never materialized. The company made the decision for them not to get the belts due to storyline plans involving Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly, and he was said to be really upset. Carlito gave his notice at the end of last year but Vince McMahon talked him into staying, saying he would get a bigger push. The push never materialized and he got upset again. He got conflicting stories from the Raw creative team on his long-term future, and he got a sense that head writer Brian Gewirtz wasn't really looking to pushing him. In light of declining ratings, Gewirtz has been pressured to devote more time on the show to the biggest stars on Raw. Some friends suggested he try getting moved to ECW, where he'd be a headliner, or Smackdown, which before the draft, had less depth, as well as a huge Hispanic television audience that WWE is paying great attention to now. The feeling on his move to SmackDown is that head writer Michael Hayes would at least start him out with a push and give him an opportunity to sink or swim. The knock on Carlito is that he usually works well enough to get by, but not well enough to headline and move past mid-card status.

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Both Hardy's Unaware of Brand Moves Before Draft

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy weren't told about their respective brand moves beforehand. After their one match together on Raw, Matt was sent to ECW and the reaction you saw from them was their real reaction because both brothers had no idea it was going to happen. In Jeff's case, he was told about the move to SmackDown a few moments before the announcement on television. On another note regarding the brand changes, pretty much all of the draftees with the probable exception of Triple H have no idea what the moves mean or what their new roles will be as creative hasn't given them an explanation on anything.

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Final Night of Champions Card for Sunday

WWE's Night Of Champions will be held at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Here is the final card for this Sunday's WWE Night Of Champions pay-per-view:

WWE Championship Match
Triple H (c) vs. John Cena

World Heavyweight Championship Match

Edge (c) vs Batista

ECW Championship Match

Kane (c) vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry

WWE World Tag Team Championship Match

Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly (c) vs. Ted DiBiase & Mystery Partner

WWE Tag Team Championship Match

John Morrison & The Miz (c) vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle

United States Championship Match
Matt Hardy (c) vs. Chavo Guerrero

WWE Women's Championship Match

Mickie James (c) vs. Katie Lea Burchill

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Rock's New DVD at the Top of the Recreational Sports DVD Chart

The Rock's new release debuted at the top of this week's Recreational Sports DVD this week, as expected. As always, you can get all of the wrestling DVDs from our friends as www.Highspots.com.

1. WWE: The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment
2. NFL: Road To Super Bowl XLII
3. WWE: WrestleMania XXIV
4. MLB: Shea Goodbye: 45 Years Of Amazin'
5. NFL: Super Bowl XLII Champions New York Giants
6. MLB: Red Sox Memories: The Greatest Moments In Boston Red Sox History
7. WWE: Twist Of Fate: The Matt & Jeff Hardy Story
8. WWE: The Legacy Of Stone Cold Steve Austin
9. WWE: Backlash 2008
10 WWE: Triple H: The King Of Kings

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Latest From Jim Ross' Blog

Jim Ross has updated his blog with some thoughts on the Draft, his move to SmackDown, and his blog last week

Ross on his move to Smackdown: "Of course, the Annual WWE Draft spawned several sensational, Internet stories and conspiracy theories about why people were drafted to particular brands, etc. I have read that I knew that I was leaving Monday Night Raw prior to the draft. Wrong. I had no clue as to the move….had no travel booked to go to Houston, including no hotel room there booked prior to Tuesday nor did I take an extra suit to wear Tuesday night as I thought I was coming home, as usual. Thanks to Southwest Airlines I made it to Houston by the middle of the afternoon and then had to go purchase a new suit."

His blog last week:
"My "angry blog" earlier this week was admittedly ill advised, but it was honest on my end, even though I broke one of my own cardinal rules of writing, never write when angry. That’s not advisable for anyone who writes for public consumption. I tend to look at thingsun-objectively when I’m P.O.’ed and the result is usually a "poor me" piece of business. I hear that some folks within the WWE were all over this particular "angry blog" and wanted to make sure that the heavy hitters in the company were aware of my "ire". Of course, many of these sycophants acquit themselves by saying, "I’m just doing my job." Right."

His First Smackdown Broadcast: "My first Smackdown experience with Mick Foley was well received internally and I thought it showed that we have the potential to be an entertaining team. We will work diligently to get better each week. Much like The King and I, Mick and I are great friends with a great deal of mutual respect which is not in long supply in this business. With that foundation to build upon, there is no reason that we can’t evolve along with the Smackdown brand itself which as anyone can see has a viable, new roster with many fresh faces and a much higher corporate priority than it ever has."

Raw this week: "Monday night I absolutely plan on attending the OKC Raw as how could it be an OKC Raw without me getting my ass kicked in some shape form or fashion? Seriously, this is a major event for my home market and one that I am supporting as tirelessly as possible especially considering that the ticket header says "The WWE and J.R.’s Family BBQ present Monday Night Raw". I have a ticket but please don’t ask me for any comps as I am fresh out….wow I did not realize I had so many friends. As a matter of fact the Monday Night Raw Superstars and crew will enjoy catering from J.R.’s Family BBQ on Monday and many Smackdown folks are planning on stopping by our original store Monday which is at exit 109 at I-35 and Main in Norman."

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JBL Not Happy with Direction of Comeback

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

There is talk going on regarding JBL's in-ring future. His back is still in a lot of pain (the original reason for his hiatus) and he is frustrated that he can't wrestle at the level he'd like. His back problems likely hinder his ability to train as effectively as he'd like, not to mention that he's in his forties and presumably not on anything, which is why his physique sometimes doesn't look up to par in comparison to the other wrestlers.

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Latest on Rey Mysterio's Contract Situation

source: prowrestling.NET

Rey Mysterio is currently negotiating with WWE regarding a new contract. His contract was set to expire soon, but WWE apparently has a clause that allows time missed due to an injury to be added to an existing contract. Several sources are saying that 10 months have been added to Mysterio's existing WWE contract -- the amount of time missed during his recovery from knee surgery and recent torn biceps injury. The company usually re-negotiates contracts with talent approximately a year before they are set to expire. Rey is seeking a raise from the company because he feels he's underpaid compared to some of his counterparts in WWE. The next few months will be critical for Rey because he must prove that he can stay healthy.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Notes from the WWE Draft - Big Daddy V, Supplemental Draft, Monday's Picks

source: PWInsider.com

Big Daddy V, who has been out of action since mid-March, should be returning to the ring soon. Additionally, he was moved over to the SmackDown brand in today's Supplemental Draft.

Not all, but a few of the wrestlers switching brands in today's Supplemental Draft were told about the moves in advance. That wasn't the case with most of the draftees on Monday.

On WWE.com it was announced that all draft picks from Monday were exempt from today's Supplemental Draft.

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Winners and Losers of the Draft

Well now that the dust has fully settled on the big shake up in the WWE it's time to look at who came away the winners and losers of the draft. And it's not very hard to start with who the loser was. Look no further than everyones favorite brand to hate , ECW. Could they have gutted this roster any more as they lost their champ Kane, their biggest star CM Punk and two of its most promising talents in Shelton Benjamin and Kofi Kingston. The last two will really hurt, as I wrote yesterday ECW could go extreme with high flying performers. But losing Benjamin and Kingston really hurts this possibility.

We have discussed what the move means for Matt Hardy but have yet to discuss those that came over via the supplemental draft. Finlay brings some much needed toughness to ECW, so perhaps we can have some extreme rules matches with the man that loves to fight. Unfortunately Hornswoggle comes with him so there will still be the comedy angle. Mark Henry will still fail to find any popularity here, but could end up carrying the gold as he is the only one of the Kane, Big Show, Henry rivalry on the roster. I really like the addition of Super Crazy as he can offset the lose of Benjamin and Kingston with his dare devil antics. Just watch the first One Night Stand for his moonsault off the balcony to see what this guy brings. Plus he has cred from spending time in the old ECW.

Smack Down saw a huge initial infusion of talent with Triple H, Jeff Hardy and Jim Ross among the big names that came over in an attempt to bolster the profile of the show as it is looking towards its switch to My Network TV. Can't really say they lost much as the swap of the Hardy's was for the better Hardy. Losing Mysterio as its biggest name was not much of a loss either as you look what they gained. On top of those listed above they get Umaga who is one of the WWE's best workers and Kennedy who has plenty of unfinished business as he is trying to regain his popularity.

As for those who came over in the supplemental draft there really wasn't much to talk about. Maria has lost her momentum now that we have seen her nude. Big Daddy V will be lost in the shuffle, were I felt he could have been a solid ECW champ, but he just doesn't have the ability to be a big name on a major brand. Brian Kendrik and Trevor Murdoch will suffer from being separated from their former tag partners as that is really all I feel these guys have in them. We shall see if DH Smith can make a name for himself as it did not work out on Raw. The interesting additions were Benjamin and Carlito. I could see Carlito going face again and ending up in program really soon with Benjamin. Both of these guys are most likely at their last attempt at bat. They both could be great US champs as they have the personalities and the moves. Hopefully for both of them it finally works out.

Raw did lose Triple H but they still have the ever electric John Cena. Love him or hate him you cannot deny Cena is the second biggest name in the industry and always gets some kind of reaction out of the crowd. They did lose plenty of big names, but look at who stayed. You still kept Cena, Jericho, Orton and HBK. Not bad, not bad at all. They also gained Batista, Mysterio and a still serviceable Kane.

The supplemental draft really didn't bring much more as Jamie Noble, Chuck Palumbo, Deuce, Matt Striker and Layla join the crew. Look for Layla to fill the evil bitch role vacated by Melina, and she should do a great job as she has some decent moves. There have been rumblings they want to push Deuce so we will have to see how he develops. As for Striker, Palumbo and Noble don't expect much out of them, though look for Kane and Palumbo to go at it soon.

Cena vs Batista to Headline WrestleMania 25?



Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

The long-awaited dream match between John Cena and Batista appears to be on the radar.

At last Thursday's creative meeting, Triple H pitched an idea for Batista to eventually turn heel and build towards a match with Cena at WrestleMania 25.

The match was discussed for WrestleMania 24, but when it didn't happen, it was put on the drawing board again for next year's event.

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Final Results of Today's WWE Supplemental Draft



Here are the final results following today's WWE Supplemental Draft on WWE.com.

1. Mark Henry drafted to ECW.

2. Jamie Noble drafted to Raw.

3. Trevor Murdoch drafted to SmackDown.

4. Big Daddy V drafted to SmackDown.

5. DH Smith drafted to SmackDown.

6. Deuce drafted to Raw.

7. Hornswoggle drafted to ECW.

8. Super Crazy drafted to ECW.

9. Chuck Palumbo drafted to Raw.

10. Brian Kendrick drafted to SmackDown.

11. Matt Striker drafted to Raw.

12. Maria drafted to SmackDown.

13. Shelton Benjamin drafted to SmackDown.

14. Finlay drafted to ECW.

15. Carlito drafted to SmackDown.

16. Layla drafted to Raw.

17. Kofi Kingston drafted to Raw.

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More Superstars Change Brands in Today's Supplemental Draft

A total of 28 WWE Superstars changed brands following Monday's live Draft on Raw and today's Supplemental Draft on WWE.com. Here is a complete breakdown of all the moves.

Talent Joining Raw (10)
Rey Mysterio
CM Punk
Michael Cole
Batista
Kane
Jamie Noble
Deuce
Chuck Palumbo
Matt Striker
Layla

Talent Joining SmackDown (12)
Jeff Hardy
Jim Ross
Umaga
Mr. Kennedy
Triple H
Trevor Murdoch
Big Daddy V
DH Smith
Brian Kendrick
Maria
Shelton Benjamin
Carlito

Talent Joining ECW (5)

Matt Hardy
Mark Henry
Hornswoggle
Super Crazy
Finlaey

Talent Leaving Raw (11)
Jeff Hardy
Jim Ross
Umaga
Mr. Kennedy
Triple H
Trevor Murdoch
DH Smith
Super Crazy
Brian Kendrick
Maria
Carlito

Talent Leaving SmackDown (10)
Rey Mysterio
Matt Hardy
Michael Cole
Batista
Mark Henry
Jamie Noble
Deuce
Hornswoggle
Chuck Palumbo
Finlay

Talent Leaving ECW (6)
CM Punk
Kane
Big Daddy V
Matt Striker
Shelton Benjamin
Layla

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Story Behind Triple H Moving to SmackDown!

source: www.f4wonline.com

One reason Triple H was moved to SmackDown is due to a scheduling matter. The schedule on Smackdown is actually a lot more convenient for him, especially considering that wife Stephanie McMahon-Levesque is due to give birth in about a month and will be taking the babies on the road upon her return to work. The regular Raw show schedule runs from Friday to Monday, so he is always on his own on the road because Stephanie doesn't attend house shows. However, Stephanie always attends the weekly Tuesday SmackDown tapings, whereas Triple H is at home or on a plane going home. When he was on Raw, they pretty much only saw each other on Monday, the latter part of Wednesday, entire Thursdays, and the early part of Friday. Now that he's on SmackDown, he can see Stephanie and the kids Monday through at least Friday. The weekly SmackDown schedule doesn't start until Saturday night, so that gives them part of another day to be together some weeks. Instead of seeing his family for parts of three or four days a week, he should usually be able to see them as many as six days a week.

The scheduling issue wasn't the only reason for the move because the SmackDown brand was in dire need of a huge new star to say the least. Also, Triple H's move to SmackDown should give the show a ratings boost when it moves to MyNetworkTV this fall.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Day After

On the first WWE program since the big shake up of the draft we got to see what remains of ECW after they lost their champ; Kane and their biggest name in CM Punk. And in what could have been a fairly poor show due to the talent loss we actually got to see a nice mixture of the new with the old tonight. It started off with what can be considered a passing of the torch of the major ECW superstars as CM Punk tagged with newcomer Matt Hardy against Miz and Morrison. Overall the match was not bad as all these guys can handle themselves in the ring. And other than the very brief interference and botched call of Hornswoggle tormenting the Miz, the match went off without a hitch. The major significance was the win by Hardy and a potential preview of who he most likely will face for the ECW title. Since Kane is now a part of Raw look for the title to be in Hardy's hands in a few months. This should develop into a program with Morrison as these two will be the big draws now of ECW. One has to imagine the move to ECW for Hardy was to test his abilities being the number one guy for a brand. There are many who feel he can be one of the top stars in the WWE and this will be the prefect proving grounds for him to hone his craft. And now that Punk is gone, it's time to push Morrison for his move off this brand too. Both Hardy and Morrison are very athletic and up tempo in the ring and I can see plenty of great matches out of these two. Unfortunate I really don't see Hardy peaking higher than he is now with the US title as I feel his personality will hold him back as he is kind of flat. Most likely it will be the Morrison who moves onto a bigger role in the company.

The next match was perhaps the match of the night as Kingston and Benjamin took it to the extreme. I have stated many times in the past this was another good example of how this brand can be extreme without going overboard like the old days. Nothing major happened so the injury risk is limited but it is still not your conventional match. There were a few fantastic bumps as Benjamin slammed Kingston into a garbage can, Benjamen taking a barrage of hits up side the head via a garbage can lid and finally Kingston flipping Shelton into a can set in between the ropes. And this does not even include the great athletic moves of both men who had plenty of acrobatic moves off the ropes and great displays of strength with variations of body slams. If they can bring a match of this intensity to ECW every night the rating would improve dramatically and the extreme portion of the name would no longer be a joke.

The we had are obligatory Mike Knox match against Evan Bourne. Bourne's high flying style was a bit hampered by Knox's lumbering antics but he still showed he can make a name for himself in this business. Another way to keep the Dub extreme is to go with the high flyer and risk takers route and Bourne fits that mold perfectly. Just look at your roster and you see there are plenty of guys who fit the bill. You have Bourne, Hardy, Kingston, Morrison, Elijah Burke and Chavo. Put any mix of these guys together and you have the recipe for some explosive moves in the ring. And if you really need to go extreme add ladders and tables for a spicy mix. It was too bad Bourne had to lose to Knox as I feel Bourne has the better chance of becoming something if he can establish himself over the other high risk guys. Knox on the other hand finds himself in the same vein as Snitsky, Kozlov, and Mark Henry as nondescript brawlers who really bring nothing to the table.

And speaking of my good friend Mark Henry, he had the pleasure of boring us in the final match of the night against Kane. This was a terrible way to end a show that started off with two good matches as it really established nothing. First Henry gets the win, thus sending Kane into Night of Champions with a loss. Second with the Big Show at ring side you would have figured there would have been some after match theatrics. Big Show even stood up at the announces table during the pin making you think he would have done something. But with all three of these guys not part of the ECW roster you have to figure there is no sense really developing anything between them as the ECW title will move onto a roster member in the near future.

No Shock - Jim Ross Furious at Move to SmacDown



Jim Ross has posted a blog on his official website regarding his move to SmackDown last night during the WWE Draft. Here is an excerpt of what he said regarding the move. You can read the blog in its entirety at this link:

As many of you know, I was “drafted” to Smackdown Monday night in the “random lottery”. Obviously that means I will be leaving Monday Night Raw and my long time partner Jerry Lawler.

I am not happy about this surprise development.

I also contemplated calling it a career Monday night and not going to Houston to tape SD.

After speaking with my wife and thinking on this matter until 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, I have decided to do the right thing for the fans who care and the talent who care and begin my new assignment.

It has been explained to me that the WWE’s Smackdown tenure on My Network is a high priority within the corporation. Allegedly, my presence is needed in that effort.

Many are speculating about when I learned of this development…the same time those of you were watching at home. I should have detected something with the demeanor of certain individuals either thru their plastic, poker faces or the perceived smirk that I thought I might have seen on some of their faces during the day.

As far as going to Connecticut each week to do Smackdown post production, that’s not going to happen. Either Mick Foley can handle it or the WWE can install a DSL line in my home to facilitate the work.

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People Want HHH Kept on SmackDown



Source: PWInsider.com

Internally, there are number of people hoping that Triple H somehow doesn't get "traded back" to Raw. A lot of people believe that if he stays away from the brand, it will open up opportunities for other wrestler to break through on Raw. As long as he stays there, it pretty much goes without saying that he'll always be involved in the top storylines, thus blocking the younger wrestlers from breaking through considering that he is very over, not to mention the most powerful talent in the company.

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Will the WWE Do a Supplemental Draft?

source: PWInsider.com

It appears that WWE really only had plans in mind for the top talent and not really the lower end wrestlers. Apparently, WWE didn't plan ahead in regards to shifting lower card talent. At the moment, they are contemplating a Supplemental Draft, but it isn't a sure thing. It should be known by the end of the week if they go through with it or not, so stay tuned to WWE.com for a possible announcement. If they go through with one, whatever moves made were made just this week and weren't planned too far ahead. Last year, they held a Supplemental Draft the Sunday following the television draft, so if it doesn't happen by next Sunday, it won't be happening at all.

Draft Makes the WWE a Whole New World



All I can say about the Draft is one simple word - Wow. Yes, the WWE took a look at it's product, falling ratings, and lack of buzz from it's fan base, and in one night, took the company and turned it upside down. Putting champions on different shows at a rather alarming pace, making changes in the announcer booths, and even a fitting ending to a money giveaway that was putting people to sleep each week, the WWE took some major chances last night, but in the end, they are all for the better.

Let's face it, since WrestleMania, and some will say even before, the product the company was putting out on TV three times per week was not exactly making people do jumping jacks. It was poorly scripted TV, with matches we had seen time after time, and no real commitment to pushing or making new stars. I don't know for sure that just because a bunch of talent switched brands last night that all will change, but the attitude right off the bad seems to be that it will.

You could also tell two people in the company that at least on the show seemed none to happy to be moving from Monday to Friday nights. The first was announcer Jim Ross, who was a staple on Monday nights for years, and now will take over the SmackDown play-by-play with Mick Foley on Fridays. With the onus on the talent not knowing they would be moved, Ross seemed almost shell-shocked, as did pal and color man Jerry Lawler, when the move was made.

The move to put Michael Cole on Monday's is fine with me. He's done it before, and I don't think that the show will lose anything because of it. Ross on Friday night will add a different dynamic, and I for one will be interested in seeing the switch and how it plays out. Ross is a Hall of Famer and true professional, and I think in the end he'll make the move and do what he's paid to do, which is tell a story to the fans at home through words.

As for the other major switch, Triple H will leave the comfort zone of RAW and also will move to Friday nights. Now there is no way with the power that HHH has within the company that he didn't know about this move up front. As a matter a fact, he was probably the one that pushed for it, realizing that moving brands would make him by far the top notch player on Friday nights, and not having to compete with John Cena on RAW for that title.

What the draft will do in the end is open up spots for talent to take their stuff to the next level. Wrestlers like Matt Hardy (now on ECW), Ken Kennedy (SmackDown), Umaga (SmackDown), Rey Mysterio (RAW), and others will have a shot to take their careers up a serious notch. As for dumping the "McMahon's Millions," - let's just say that it dumped two weeks too late.

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ECW Preview from WWE.Com

Preview:
Explosive Encounter
June 24, 2008

Last Tuesday, ECW Champion Kane and his Night of Champions challenger Big Show met in a heated exchange. The two titans aligned long enough to deliver a double-chokeslam to Mark Henry, but the World's Strongest Man got even when he attacked Kane on SmackDown. What's in store for the ECW Champion and new Raw Superstar?

Speaking of new roster additions, United States Champion Matt Hardy arrived in the Land of the Extreme at the 2008 Draft. How will he shake things up on Tuesday nights? Do any ECW Superstars already have their eyes set on his title?

Also last Tuesday, in an outrageously entertaining bout, Hornswoggle defeated Armando Estrada, pulling out all the stops, as well as the marbles, squirt guns, and a devious brawler from Belfast who loves to fight. After Estrada botched yet another opportunity to earn his contract from newly-appointed ECW General Manager Theodore Long, have the chances finally run out for the former GM?

Putting his own exclamation point on the newest chapter of a long standing rivalry, Mr. Money in the Bank CM Punk defeated WWE Tag Team Champion John Morrison. Could Morrison and his partner The Miz suffer a similar fate at Night of Championships in their title match against Finlay and Hornswoggle? Or will the Shaman of Sexy and the self-proclaimed Chick Magnet hold on to their coveted gold?

Tuesday night’s electrifying newcomer, Evan Bourne, took another step closer to finding his ECW identity, earning his first singles victory over Matt Striker. But the real fireworks began after the bell when Mike Knox assaulted Bourne in retaliation for his loss last week in tag team action. How will the Bourne find retribution for this brutal sneak attack?

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

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Melina's Ankle Injury Legit



While it seemed to play right into the storyline regarding the announcers switch, Melina suffered a legitimate ankle injury tonight on Raw during the Divas tag match. On the Raw homepage they wrote: "On Raw, Melina severely injured her ankle during a tag encounter with her fellow Divas." The WWE site posted a video of medics tending to her ankle injury backstage, which was heavily bandaged. The video shows a close-up of Melina's swollen ankle, proving that the injury is legit.

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J.R. Puts Foot in Mouth Last Week: "I would be shocked to See Any Draft Pick Wasted on an Announcer"

From: LordsofPain.net

In recent months, Jim Ross had been quite vocal about changing brands in his weekly online blogs. He'd usually say that the fans probably don't care about announcers changing brands and that the moves should be reserved for the wrestlers, pretty much indicating that he wasn't too keen on leaving his position on Raw. As it turned out on Raw tonight, Ross's name came up on the TitanTron and as a result, be will be leaving the show to become the new play-by-play announcer for SmackDown. Ross was taken aback by the sudden announcement because as noted earlier, no one besides possibly the top players on the move were informed of the brand changes beforehand. Judging by J.R.'s reaction upon the announcement, he didn't look too pleased to say the least.

In case you missed it, here is what Ross wrote on his blog last Saturday regarding the draft: "I swear that I don't think that even as I write this on Saturday that the draft has been finalized. If you are like many wrestling fans, including me, and like surprises then Monday night is certainly the night for you. I would wager a case of "J.R.'S BBQ Sauce" that virtually no talent knows for sure what fate awaits them come Monday night," Ross wrote. "I was asked by a WWE fan in the DFW Airport on Friday afternoon if I thought any of the announcers would be drafted and I answered "no" because at the end of the day does any one truly care who announces what brand and the same goes for the referees. I would be shocked to see any draft pick wasted on an announcer or a referee as WWE fans want to see major superstars change addresses and begin new rivalries along with making fresh matches."

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Let's Talk Wrestling WWE Draft Post Show Report

Matt Loede and John Sefcik are back, as the pair from Let's Talk Wrestling break down the WWE Draft from RAW on Monday night. The two go through all the picks, give their opinions on wrestlers changing brands, and the big news about belts changing brands and how that will play out. Click below to hear the latest Let's Talk Wrestling Podcast as Matt and John Break down the WWE Draft.

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Final Results of the Latest WWE Draft



Here are the final results following tonight's WWE Draft on Monday Night RAW.

Talent Joining Raw
Rey Mysterio
CM Punk
Michael Cole
Batista
Kane

Talent Joining SmackDown

Jeff Hardy
Jim Ross
Umaga
Mr. Kennedy
Triple H

Talent Joining ECW

Matt Hardy

Talent Leaving Raw

Jeff Hardy
Jim Ross
Umaga
Mr. Kennedy
Triple H

Talent Leaving SmackDown

Rey Mysterio
Matt Hardy
Michael Cole
Batista

Talent Leaving ECW

CM Punk
Kane

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McMahon's Millions Dumped After "Accident" on RAW

From: PWPIX.net

Reportedly, WWE officials were looking to figure out a way to write out Vince McMahon's "Million Dollar Mania" contest because they obviously weren't going to be giving away a million dollars every single week for too long. It looks like they figured something out.

Following tonight's "tragic accident" involving Vince McMahon at the conclusion of Raw, WWE.com immediately announced on the front page of the site that the Million Dollar contest was being "suspended for the foreseeable future." Here is their article regarding the situation.

Mr. McMahon injured during Raw
Written: June 23, 2008

SAN ANTONIO – Moments after giving away $500,000 in "McMahon's Million Dollar Mania," the WWE Chairman appeared to be severly injured in a bizarre accident when lighting equipment crashed onto the stage and a large electric sign toppled onto him at the AT&T Center.

The extent of any injuries were not known at press time, however, the WWE Chairman was immediately treated at the scene by paramedics who loaded him onto a stretcher and rushed him to a local medical facility.

WWE officials said that they are conducting a preliminary investigation into the equipment failure. Officials also said that any emerging facts, as well as Mr. McMahon’s medical condition, will be updated at the WrestleMania XXV press conference on Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Houston. The press conference will be streaming live on WWE.com.

WWE.com will continue to publish up-to-the-minute details as they become available.

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Hardy Talks About Why He Was Suspended



From: PWPIX.net

Jeff Hardy appeared on the Live Audio Wrestling radio show last night. He said he considers himself to be a main event type performer despite his lack of size. He believes he's a champion with or without the belt. Regarding the week in which he was suspended and his house burned down, Hardy said, "It was extremely rough." On his suspension, it was finally revealed as to what triggered it. Hardy said he took something that he didn't have a prescription for. "I made a mistake," Hardy said on the suspension. Hardy said he wouldn't mind being drafted to SmackDown because he would enjoy having Fridays off due to the house show schedule.

"Whatever happens, happens," said Hardy. He also added that it would be a blast if he ended up on the same brand as his brother. He said Gregory Helms is doing better and on the verge of returning from his injury. "The last time I saw him he looked great," said Hardy. Hardy also said that he prefers his former nickname in TNA to the one currently being used in WWE. Hardy said Jim Ross came up with the nickname "The Rainbow Haired Warrior" and that he actually isn't too fond of it, but the fans seem to like it, so it's not so bad. His nickname in TNA was "The Charismatic Enigma."

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Orton Upset with Internet Report About Injury

source: www.f4wonline.com

Randy Orton is said to very upset regarding a recent Internet report originally reported in Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It was reported two weeks ago that the severity of Orton's broken collarbone was worse than originally thought and that his return to the ring had been pushed back until October instead of August. According to Meltzer, October is the time frame the creative team is expecting him back. Well, Orton is saying that he should be back in the ring as early as the middle of August and that the pain in his collarbone is pretty much gone. Orton said he's been using a special machine that helps regenerate bone growth and thus speed up his recovery. The machine has an electromagnet that gives a direct pulse to the break of the bone.

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WWE RAW Preview from WWE.com

Preview:
The 2008 WWE Draft
June 23, 2008

In the midst of the build-up to Night of Champions, there’s one thing on every Superstar’s mind: the 2008 WWE Draft. For the second year in a row, the Draft will take place on a special three-hour Raw, where all Superstars, all Divas and all announcers from all three brands are eligible. How will the entire landscape of sports-entertainment change in the wake of this year’s Draft?

Even with the Draft dominating Raw next week, Mr. McMahon has announced that there’s nothing keeping him from giving away another $1 million of his money as part of Mr. McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania. For your chance to get a share of the Chairman’s cash, all you have to do is register to win.

Temperatures continue to rise between WWE Champion Triple H and his Night of Champions challenger John Cena. Last week, Mr. McMahon was forced to send in a referee to keep The Game and Cena from taking each other apart at the very start of Raw, and we still have more than a week to go until Night of Champions, when they’ll finally be turned loose on one another. When two competitors this powerful and confident want to compete, is there anything capable of keeping them apart?

After being kept away from Cena, Triple H participated in a match against Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho as retaliation for Y2J’s cruel treatment of Shawn Michaels the week before. Jericho has stated that he’s tired of being booed for doing the right thing only to see HBK cheered for his dishonest behavior, and to back his claim, he was willing to throw down with not only the WWE Champion but also Ric Flair, in the Hall of Famer’s first appearance since his retirement. After having his head smashed into the Jeri-Tron 6000, Michaels is currently receiving medical care, but how long will it be before he returns to Raw looking for payback?

Though they have had their share of difficulties in prior weeks, the World Tag Team Champions Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes managed to defeat Cryme Tyme in a non-title match on Raw. Watching them compete was Ted DiBiase, who along with a partner of his choosing will be challenging Holly & Rhodes at Night of Champions in the third-generation Superstar’s first in-ring performance. Who is this mystery competitor, and will the World Tag Team Champions be able to stand up to their assault?

Tune in to witness sports-entertainment history on a three-hour Monday Night Raw at the special time of 8/7 CT only on the USA Network.

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RAW-ECW Merger on Hold Till August 1st

From: WrestlingWorld.com

The scheduled Raw-ECW show merger won't be starting until August 1st, not later this month like originally reported. The last SmackDown/ECW show is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 29 in Hershey, PA. A live Raw taping is scheduled to take place the night before at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. with a Saturday Night's Main Event taping to air at the end of the week on NBC, so that may explain the August 1st start date. Anyway, most everyone in the company is negative on the Raw-ECW show merger, feeling that there is a lot more tension backstage on Monday nights for Raw than Tuesday nights for SmackDown, which is a considerably more relaxed atmosphere. Also, competition is going to be a lot more fierce for spots at house show events. A number of the lower card wrestlers on Raw & ECW are going to have a pretty tough time. On the positive side, the WWE production team has an extra day to clean up any embarrassing Mike Adamle broadcasting miscues instead of less than two hours on most weeks.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Join the Let's Talk Wrestling Fan Nation on WWE.com

For those of you that enjoy the whole social networking aspect of the world wide web, the WWE has their own new social network, and it's pretty cool: WWE Fan Nation. We here at Let's Talk Wrestling have finally thrown our hat in the ring, and if you would like to join up with us, create a profile and add us as a friend.

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FLASHBACK: One Year Ago Today on Let's Talk Wrestling - Preview of Sunday's PPV - Vengeance

The Following was Posted One Year Ago Today on Let's Talk Wrestling

Another WWE PPV is upon us, as Sunday in Houston the company will put on "Vengeance," which in the past has been a RAW brand PPV. The show is highlighted by it being a "night of champions," in which each match on the card has a title up for grabs. Of course the PPV is being totally overshadowed by the ongoing McMahon death storyline, so as far as major heat for any of the matches on Sunday's card, I really don't see it. Plus you have the return in-ring for Mick Foley, who is back on the active roster, at least for now, as he will be in the WWE Championship Challenge Match with four other wrestlers. The long term plans for Foley are still a bit hazy, but for now he's back and again, it's basically a non-story with the McMahon plot overtaking each and every show. With that, here is our official preview for Sunday's card:

* WWE Championship Challenge Match - John Cena vs. Booker T vs. Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley vs. Bobby Lashley - What a cluster this looks like it could turn into. The basic match is really going to come down to Cena, Orton and Lashley, as Booker is still coming back from injuries and Foley is going to take a bump or two, but basically is eye candy for the match. It is a one fall match, so Cena does not have to be pinned, which they will play off of. As far as any heat for this, it's pretty much null and void. This is a classic case of them not having a solid challenger for Cena, so they figured let's throw four other challengers in there with him. Cena gets the win here, beating Orton or Booker via pin.

* World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Batista (Last Chance Match) - I guess this means we won't have Edge-Batista IV anytime soon? That's a good thing, as the first two matches in this feud have been under whelming, and this third time around likely will not be all that much better. For sure a time to get Edge on to a new challenger, as Batista seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel again, just like before his WrestleMania feud with the Undertaker. The first match at Judgement Day was not that good, the cage match at One Night Stand was better, let's hope this third match will be the best. Edge wins via pin here.

* Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella vs. Umaga - The more I have seen of Marella, the less impressed I am with him. He truly fits the mode more of a mid-card jobber than of someone who currently should be holding the I-C belt. Umaga has been stuck in the same mode for the past few months after the feud with Bobby Lashley, and I can see him going over here, making up for the mistake that was giving Marella the strap in the first place. Umaga wins the belt back with a clean win.

* United States Champion MVP vs. Ric Flair - Another rushed match with no heat at all, MVP will put the US Title up against Ric Flair. This really just marks Flair's first big match on SmackDown, and once again, it really was rushed with no real backdrop to the match. MVP has been 100 times better than his debut sometime ago, and I expect Flair to give him a solid match. I can see MVP winning with some sort of cheat to keep the feud going.

* World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. The Hardys - These four have had some good matches, and now that Cade and Murdoch are back to heel, this one should be solid as well. I think the shift though of the Hardy's going back to single wrestling is on, which is why this may be their last shot at the tag gold for awhile. I thought that Matt and Jeff did a solid job in getting some status back to the belts, but now its Cade and Murdoch's time, and after this they have a full program upcoming with London and Kendrick. I give the champs the nod here.

* Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang - Given more than 5-6 minutes, this could be a very good match. I think I have seen Guerrero defend this belt maybe twice since winning it at the Rumble, and now they are giving Yang, who is a decent wrestler but awful character a shot. I don't really hav a clue about the direction they are going to turn with this one, but I can see them giving Yang the belt here. What the heck, I'll say he goes over.

* Women's Champion Melina vs. Candice Michelle - This has actually been a decent womens feud for once, and the direction of this belt is very much in doubt. Candice should go over here, but Melina has the best heat of any woman with the belt in sometime. They took Nitro away from Melina, in hopes of getting her more focused and her mind on the ring. Candice has been much better in the ring, and while I think she deserves to win, Melina will retain.

* ECW Title Match - Chris Benoit vs. CM Punk - This will be the show stealer, as both these guys will go 100 percent and both will have a lot to prove. There are two trains of thought here, one being is they will give it to Benoit based on his experience as well as the fact that may have been the sell for him to go to ECW. On the other hand, Punk is the hottest wrestler in the company, and with Lashley, RVD, Sabu and Sandman all gone in the last three months, he is the biggest face on the show, and he should get a shot with the belt. I'll go with the first thought process, as they will put it on Benoit in hopes of him making the belt legit.

There are rumors as well of a tag title match from the SmackDown side, but that has yet to be made official. Overall, this could be a decent PPV, but with no build at all it will seem very much like a 3-hour RAW, which is something else we have to get ready for Monday night.

New Rock Movie Doing Well

From: PWInsider

On it's opening weekend "Get Smart" featuring Dwayne Johnson debuted as the top film at the box office, earning an estimated $39.2 million. Johnson wanted be part of the film so bad, he was willing to take a smaller role and pay cut in order to take part in the ensemble cast, which also features Anne Hatheway and Steve Carrell. "The Love Guru" starring Mike Meyers, which was believed to have been the prime opposition for "Get Smart" since both are comedies, didn't even come close to it. "The Incredible Hulk", which is a fun film, placed second.

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Batista Says in Article He Wants to Stay on SmackDown!



Batista opens up

TORONTO - Autograph seekers of all ages swarmed the Toronto Eaton Centre's GNC store as WWE Smackdown star Dave Batista made an appearance to promote a Nutrabolics line of dietary supplements and a morning and afternoon autograph session. Batista spoke extensively with SLAM! Wrestling during the day, discussing a wide range of topics, including his thoughts on the upcoming draft lottery.

Asked to comment on tomorrow's draft, the former three-time Heavyweight Champion pledged his allegiance to the Smackdown brand. "Personally, I would love to stay on Smackdown," he said. "I feel like I've worked really hard with other guys to really build Smackdown. I'm very proud of what we've achieved the past two years. Smackdown's my home and it's where I going to stay." he said confidently.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article

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Steph Wants More Long Term Storylines

source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Stephanie McMahon is pushing for the creative team to brainstorm some long-term storylines, instead of doing things on pretty much a month-by-month and oftentimes, a week-by-week basis. However, nobody wants to come up with long-term ideas because Vince changes things every week.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

MAJOR Spoiler for Monday Night's Draft

From: PWPIX.net

It definitely looks like John Cena is heading over to SmackDown during this Monday's live draft show.

One reader works at a metal etching factory based our of Ohio. He said WWE belt maker Joe Marshall brought in what appeared to be a copy of SmackDown's World Heavyweight Championship belt 'main plate' earlier in the week. Later, one of his co-workers informed him that the job would be a little tricky, as the wrestlers on the sides, and the crown/globe were cut out on seperate pieces, with the intent of having spinning capabilities.

Going by that, it looks like the World Heavyweight Championship is going to become a spinner belt, which would indicate that John Cena is jumping to SmackDown.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Excuse Me, Excuse Me!

Tonight's Smack Down turned into a personal revenge fest courtesy of Vickie Guerrero and her extended family. Any one who had any complaints, or crossed their paths in a wrong way found them self being placed in matches to punish their transgressions. This revenge plot wasted no time as MVP was the first victim for his opening comment on how he was carrying the Smack Down roster. These comments would find him in a match with Kane. The match was good except for the lame ending, but before we get to that I want to discuss what this match did for MVP. This only solidified in my opinion he is now one of the top performers in the WWE. Last year at Mania I could not stand him and felt he would go nowhere. But right now I see him competing for one of the major heavy weight belts by next year. Yes Kane is not that big of a draw anymore, but he is still one of the most solid performers in the WWE and MVP held his own. With the draft looming he may get his new push off of Smack Down. I have a funny feeling he will end up in ECW due to his Teddy Long ties. Granted that may seem like career suicide, but I think they may have a big influx of talent to make ECW better with the draft. I could be wrong and may still be clinging to the sad opinion they will try to upgrade the ECW product. But whatever happens look for MVP to be in some major programs to close out this year.

Now onto the ending. First the count out was lame as they have used this plot device several times for MVP. Yes we all know he is a conniving bastard, but to keep having walk out on matches makes him look more cowardly than jerk. Second, as if regular readers are not tired of me saying this already, enough of Mark Henry, who by the way came to ring side to attack Kane. Please WWE get it in your heads this guy blows mega chunks. Why must you keep trying find a plot to make this guy a big star in this program. I was looking forward to a feud of Big Show and Kane. As I stated above Kane is still a good performer and rewarding him with the ECW title is great recognition for this. The Big Show before he left the WWE was giving some of his best matches in my opinion. Now with the loss of weight I feel there is so much more to get out of him. Just look at his match against Mayweather. He turned what could have been one of the largest duds in the history of Mania, into one of the highlights of that night and one of the best cross promotion matches with a celebrity ever. So lets muck up a great pairing of two fantastic big men by throwing in the second biggest stiff on the roster with them. (For those of you who don't know who number one is, it would be Khali). I'm not going to say much more other than watch as this disaster unfolds and only makes ECW even worse.

Another revenge match saw Bam Neely take on Matt Hardy in order to soften him up for the match with Chavo at the Night of Champions. This was Neely's first solo action and really there was not much to talk about. He looked like every other big brawler on the roster right now. If he does not develop some type of persona or gimmick her can get in line with Snitsky, Kozlov, Mike Knox, Chuck Palumbo and Mark Henry as nobodies on the roster just waiting to get released. These type of wrestlers really need a personality as their matches can be dull at times due to the lack of very athletic offensive moves. If I want to see guys exchanging big blows via the fist I'll watch boxing or MMA events. In wrestling you have to be a bit larger than life and develop some type of character. Only look to the Undertaker to see a big guy really work on his in and out of ring persona to stay fresh and loved by the fans.

That match would lead to referee Charles Robinson taking on the Great Khali due to Robinson throwing Chavo out from ring side. Vickie stated this was favoritism and used other instances that were against the family to call Robinson;s integrity into question. Of course the match ended with Khali using his vice grip to incompacitiate Robinson. Not much else to say fro this match other than it still gives Khali air time as his days as a top draw have come to a close.

The main event featured Chavo up against Batista in another match designed to weaken an opponent for the up coming pay per view. On paper this match would look like an easy Batista win, but not with Edge as ref. The match ended with a fast count out of Batista, who in turn went into a fit of rage and tried to take out Edge. The family saw to it that this would not happen and it was Batista who was beaten down by them and eventually speared by Edge, thus adding big time heat for next weeks title match.

The match between Finlay and the Miz proved why the Hornswoogle angle is terrible. The match was very good without all the antics brought by the little guy. Miz and Morrison are young and up in coming talents who, while still learning the trade, bring plenty of excitement to the ring. We all know Finlay will show up each night and give you your money's worth, so why throw a useless element like Hornswoogle into the mix only to make a mockery of the wrestling ring. There are plenty of mid card guys who could have teamed with Finlay who would given ten times the better match than what we will see at Night of Champions. But as always the WWE loves its odd couple tag teams, so look for the Irish duo to walk away with the belts.

Other action saw Kozlov stay undefeated by taking out Jamie Noble this week. We also saw the further demise of Deuce and Domino as they lost again to Jessie and Festus. This match featured a brawl before it by the 50s greasers and than Deuce taking out Domino after the match. Michell McCool made her pitch tonight to be in the first match for the Divas belt with solid win over Layla. Though let me say Layla is doing pretty good for herself in the ring and may very well take over the queen bitch diva role that Melina is vacating as Melina now is turning face.

Cade Has Been Set for a Push for Awhile

From: Worldofprowrestling.com

WWE has had plans to move Lance Cade into a higher profile role for the past few months, they were just waiting for the right moment to pull the trigger and it came this past Monday when he did a run-in during the main event in a beat down of John Cena & Triple H. At least at one point, WWE's plan was to move Cade into an upper midcard heel role on Raw, replacing Umaga's spot on Raw, who has been tapped to move to SmackDown. All this explains why Cade was distanced from former tag team partner Trevor Murdoch.

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A Number of Writers, Agents, Producers Miss RAW

From: Prowrestling.NET

A number of writers and road agents/producers missed this past Monday's Raw, reports prowrestling.NET. WWE originally had plans to tape the show over the weekend, but switched it due to fan complaints. However, a number of the writers and road agents/producers had already planned vacations for the week off. Head Raw writer Brian Gewirtz and Gerald Brisco were among those not backstage at Raw. Brisco runs "the Gorilla Position" backstage and Bruce Prichard filled in for him.

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FLASHBACK: One Year Ago today on Let's Talk Wrestling - Wednesday News and Notes Around the Ring

The Following was Posted One Year Ago today on Let's Talk Wrestling:

Four days away from the next WWE PPV, and it's as if no one really knows, nor cares about it. A shame that a PPV that actually may have a solid match or two is simply being buried right now by one of the most ridiclous angles in years in the "death" of Vince McMahon. Last night's ECW show solved the mystery of who will be in the ECW Title match, and that will be Chris Benoit vs C.M. Punk. I am sold now on the fact that Benoit is going over, and that was/is the selling point for him to make the move to ECW in the first place. Hopefully a Benoit title win will give the belt a little taste of legit, and hopefully he will be allowed to hold it for awhile.

Wrestling Observer reports today that there is a column called "Sportsbiz" at CNBC.com that rips apart the company for the McMahon storyline. It basically goes on to say that the company is being irresponsible to shareholders for the storyline, pretending that McMahon is dead. A shareholder speaks in the column about an email he sent to the company telling them they are being "reckless with investors money." You have to wonder how much of this backlash they are willing to take before they move the storyline ahead and get it over with. Of course if the RAW ratings stay as strong for the three-hour show this week as last, I think as written yesterday that we are in for a long saga that may go for a few months.

Jerry "The King" Lawler had charges filed against him today after an incident at Sam's Town Friday night when reports say that "The King" allegedly punched Sal Corrente a few times. Reports say that Jerry hit Sal after he thought that Sal had hit a fan.

Here is the latest Vengence Card for Sunday in Sold Out Houston:
* WWE Championship Challenge Match - John Cena vs. Booker T vs. Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley vs. Bobby Lashley
* World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Batista (Last Chance Match)
* Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella vs. Umaga
* United States Champion MVP vs. Ric Flair
* World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. The Hardys
* Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero vs. Jimmy Wang Yang
* Women's Champion Melina vs. Candice Michelle
* ECW Title Match - Chris Benoit vs. CM Punk

I have to say I have more than a few conversations with wrestling fans over the last two days about the disrespect they gave to Sherri Martel on Monday night with about the weakest tribute to a passing star that they have had in a long time. Other than about a 5 second basic black screen with a pic of Martel and telling us of her passing, they basically ignored the whole thing. So sad, considering if we were not in the midst of the stupid McMahon storyline we for sure would have had a video tribute. Instead, they just went ahead and almost made it like it didn't happen. Sad.

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Highlights of Jim Ross' Latest Blog Entry

Jim Ross is back with another blog on his official JRsbarbq.com website. Below are some of the highlights:

On Ric Flair’s WWE status: He indicated to me that he was on the road 19 days last month, which is a busy month of travel, but that he usually gets to be home on the weekends. Ric loves his "Ambassador" role as Ric does exceptionally well at private functions where he can converse with corporate types. There are no plans for Ric to wrestle again but I liked seeing him on Raw even though one can argue that by promoting his appearance that it might have helped increase interest in the broadcast. Hindsight is usually 20/20 and reasonable arguments can be certainly made that the return of the legendary Flair could have been handled with more fanfare and impact.

On Chris Jericho & Shawn Michaels:
Chris Jericho has arguably been, at least, the verbal star of Monday Night Raw the past couple of weeks. Nice illustration that one doesn’t have to yell to make one’s point while executing a big time promo. It’s hard to fathom producing Raw in San Antonio without HBK but that might be the case this coming Monday in Shawn’s hometown thanks to this to Michaels issue with Jericho specifically the HBK eye matter.

On Million Dollar Mania, lack of wrestling on Raw and the divas: I thought the money give away on Raw was a much better presentation this week but, as usual, I would love to have seen more wrestling. Call me crazy but I still think fans tune in on Monday night’s to see people compete against each other, whip some ass, have some compelling, wrestling bouts and do things athletically that can’t be seen on any other program on TV. I like to see lovely ladies in bikinis as much as the next guy, I might be on a diet but I can damn sure still look at the menu, but was Monday night the right place for the out-of-the-blue "fashion show"? Perhaps it was but I would have enjoyed more physicality and longer wrestling matches but that’s just me.

You can read the complete blog at JRsbarbq.com.

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