Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Royal Rumble Thoughts

It's been a few days since the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Sunday night and I am just now able to post my thoughts on one of the biggest shows on the W.W.E.'s calendar.

The show opened with E.C.W. Champion Jack Swagger pinning Matt Hardy. Not too surprising, though, that the cameras staying focused on a despondent Hardy after the match proved to be purposeful.

Shawn Michaels laid out both John Cena and JBL, before Cena got the pinfall victory to retain his World Championship. The Michaels-JBL angle is still being played out, however, what was very intriguing was seeing The Undertaker confront Shawn Michaels backstage before the match. Perhaps that is sowing the seeds for a Michaels-'Taker match at Wrestlemania. One can only hope.

Melina won her third W.W.E. Women's Title after defeating Beth Phoenix. I wasn't surprised by the outcome, but did expect Phoenix's stalker Rosa Mendes to show up - which she did not.

Edge defeated Jeff Hardy for the W.W.E. Championship after Matt Hardy smacked his brother in the head with a chair. The Internet "experts" thought that Christian would show up and were proven wrong. Does anyone really know for certain if Christian has signed with the W.W.E.? This sets up an angle for Jeff and Matt to square off and in all likelihood sets up an Edge-Triple H showdown at Wrestlemania.

The Royal Rumble match itself was very good with the very surprising return of Rob Van Dam, although it appears to be a one-shot deal for now. Seeing Randy Orton and his "Legacy" cohorts dominate the Rumble was a good way to build up that faction. However, the W.W.E. turned around and made "Legacy" look weak the following night on Monday Night Raw when Shane McMahon was able to fend off all three.

Overall, I would give the RR show a solid 7 out of 10 rating.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hulk Hogan: 25 Years After Iron Sheik Invades F.C.W...Huh?

On January 23, 1984 Hulk Hogan pinned the Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden (video above with Pat Patterson and my old friend Gorilla Monsoon on the commentary) to win the W.W.E. World Championship in one of the biggest moments in the history of pro wrestling. According to various wrestling Websites, last night a yellow Mustang pulled up to the W.W.E.’s developmental facility, Florida Championship Wrestling, in Tampa and Hogan rolled down the car window and told some fans to find him an opponent and he would be back. The Hulkster drove off and never returned.

Royal Rumble 2009 Preview and Predictions

It's the first pay-per-view of the year for World Wrestling Entertainment (W.W.E.) and one that I am really looking forward to. If Wrestlemania is the SuperBowl, then the Royal Rumble can be compared to "N.F.L. Championship Sunday." 'Mania and the SB have the hype and the pomp and circumstance but don't always live up to the ballyhoo, whereas, the Rumble/Championship Sunday continuously deliver the goods. This year's RR is even further intriguing to me because the matches outside of the actual rumble match are very solid. Let's have a look:

E.C.W. Champion Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy
Readers of this blog know how much of a fan I am of Jack Swagger and that I believe he is going to be a big star someday, so I am very much looking forward to the Swagger-Hardy match and I predict it will open the show. The story heading into this match is that Hardy is claiming the Swagger title win a couple of weeks ago was a fluke and that Hardy will take his championship back. I think this match is a good way to get Swagger, Hardy and E.C.W. onto the pay-per-view and I also don't believe that they will take the title off of Swagger so quickly. Expect the "All-American American" to retain the gold.

World Heavyweight Champion John Cena vs. JBL
John Cena vs. JBL = been there, done that. But throw the whole Shawn Michaels-as-JBL employee into the mix and we've got some solid intrigue. There will come a point in this match where Michaels will have to decide if he wants to cheat for JBL and cost Cena the belt, or if he wants to end his "employment" with John Bradshaw Layfield. There's no way in my mind that Cena isn't going to Wrestlemania as World Champ, so I expect Michaels to no longer be employed by JBL after Sunday night.

W.W.E. Women's Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
Santino Marella and Rosa Mendes will somehow cost Phoenix her title to Melina, leading to a breakup of "Glamarella" and an end to Rosa stalking Phoenix (the new version of Mickie stalking Trish). As champion, Melina will go on to feud with Candice Michelle, who is in the process of turning heel.

W.W.E. Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Edge
I'm not certain how this match will play out. Everyone is expecting Christian to show up and cost Hardy the title. But I think they will let Jeff Hardy go into Wrestlemania with the title. They took a chance giving Hardy the belt and I think they will let him carry the title for a while. Christian may show up and interfere, but somehow I think Hardy goes home as champion.

Royal Rumble Match
Only a couple of days before the big event and the W.W.E. has named 21 of the 30 wrestlers that will be in the Rumble. Hopefully, those remaining nine spots won't be filled with The Boogeyman and DJ Gabriel. The other question is will Randy Orton be suspended from the Rumble because of what he did on Monday Night Raw to Vince McMahon? My first choice to win is Chris Jericho, however, I think that Stephanie McMahon will allow Orton to compete in the match with the angle being that her father is injured and unable to make decisions. This will set up Stephanie eventually joining the second-generation faction "Legacy" after Vince says that Stephanie betrayed him with her decision to allow Randy Orton to kick him in the head without any consequence.

Enjoy the above "Tribute to the Royal Rumble" video above.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chris Jericho Conspiracy

I have just finished reading Chris Jericho's autobiography, A Lion's Tale: Around The World In Spandex, and one of the funnier stories in the book concerns the above video. Jericho made this promo during his days in W.C.W. and it has to do with Chris feeling he was screwed by W.C.W. Commissioner J.J. Dillon out of the Cruiserweight Championship which Dean Malenko held. Jericho even told a conspiracy theorist all about his "troubles" outside of the White House.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Worst First Place Team Ever?

The New York Rangers pulled into first place in the Atlantic Division by one point over the Philadelphia Flyers as a result of last night’s 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders. The Rangers, incidentally, have played two more games than Philly.

I’ve read all season long how the Rangers lack toughness, consistency, grit, goal scoring and better food for the media. That last one is a joke, obviously, but all season I have heard guys like Larry Brooks (whom I usually agree with) ripping the Rangers.

Are they a perfect team? Not by a long shot? But who is, really? Detroit? Boston? San Jose? No, no and no. The other notion that the Rangers should bring back Sean Avery is absurd. Avery played a key role with the Blueshirts, but let’s remember they won one round in each season that he was on the team. Are the Rangers capable of winning one round with the team the way it is presently constituted? Absolutely. Can their world-class goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, get hot and carry them deep into the playoffs? Undoubtedly. Point being, I’ve never heard of a team get ripped so much even when they win.

If I've learned anything about sports over the last few years, though, it's that the "experts" really don't know all that much.

Inside The Squared Circle: Swaggermania Is Born!, Victoria Retiring, Von Erichs/Freebirds In The Hall Of Fame? Hogan vs. Austin?

Beatlemania, Hulkamania…now Swaggermania!

Last night, Jack Swagger defeated Matt Hardy to become E.C.W. World Heavyweight Champion and all of the little “Swagsters” at ringside that have been training and saying their prayers went wild – well, not really!

Swagger may not be a household name at this point, but from where I sit I think he has major potential to be a big star in the future. I applaud the W.W.E. for bringing in so many young wrestlers over the last six months or so and giving them an opportunity. One thing I have stressed all along is that they bring Swagger along slowly before putting him up against big-name talent. E.C.W. is the perfect place for Jack Swagger.

Next up for Swagger: Tommy Dreamer.

Next up for Matt Hardy: His brother Jeff?

Swagger, meanwhile, is a former University of Oklahoma two-star athlete and got his start in the W.W.E.’s developmental league, Florida Championship Wrestling where he held that territory's title under his real name, Jake Hagar. Swagger has all of the physical tools to be a main eventer for years to come.

One of my favorite women wrestlers is going to be hanging up her boots; Victoria reportedly announced her retirement at last night’s Smackdown taping after losing to Michelle McCool. Victoria will be busy with her other outside interests – such as designing cars.

Wrestlemania is in Texas and so it makes perfect sense that the legendary Von Erichs (born, reared and top stars in the "Lone Star State") are inducted into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame. What makes even more sense is if they go in with the threesome that the Von Erichs had their best matches with, the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts). I think it’s a logical choice, but we’ll just have to sit back and wait.

Jim Ross was a guest on a radio show based out of Tampa called "Bubba The Love Sponge." Ross was asked about Wrestlemania and the possibility of Hulk Hogan vs. Steve Austin taking place at the big show. J.R. basically ruled it out, but did propose a finish for the match, except a caller disagreed with the ending and that person was none other than Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster phoned in and said that a Hogan-Austin match would have to have a clear-cut winner and that he would have no problem "putting Austin over," which in English means he would have no issue with losing to Steve Austin.

An Austin-Hogan match would not really be that great in the ring, but the hype and the buildup would be bigger than anything wrestling has ever seen.

Number One On Helium

I’m not a huge proponent of blowing one's own horn nor am I very big on rankings, however, I am very happy that another poem that I have written reached the number one spot in its category on Helium. I actually discovered that it reached number one the other night when I was going through a bunch of poems and making sure I had posted them on Helium. I plan on putting up some new ones in the near future. This poem I posted quite a while ago and is based on a real experience. Click this to read.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Book Review: "Hitman" By Bret "Hitman" Hart Part III

I miss reading Bret's book, I really do. Currently, I am reading the literally laugh out loud autobiography by Chris Jericho, A Lion's Tale: Around The World in Spandex, which I am thoroughly enjoying. Yet, I still miss reading Bret's book. Announcer Jim Ross said he read Hart's book twice, which I may do at some point, but right now there are too many other books I have my eyes on.

Bret's autobiography tells a tale; Hitman shows why Bret was a great storyteller inside the squared circle. Bret Hart says that he didn't need his lines scripted, nor his matches. "The Hitman" describes in his tome how he would go over a match from beginning to end with his opponent. I can see why Bret was a favorite of Vince McMahon's for so long, because I've heard one former W.W.E. writer say that Vince implores his staff to "tell him a f***ing story dammit!"
Bret could tell some very good stories in the ring with even some of the worst opponents and the greatest of stories while working with some of the best.

But then things changed.

That's the part I will never understand and I suppose we will never know the true reasoning of the Bret Hart-Vince McMahon divorce. Sadly, Bret never got that great sendoff that Ric Flair received one year ago. "The Hitman" was knocked out of action by the sloppy style of Bill Goldberg, which Hart says eventually led to his stroke in 2002.

Former head of W.C.W., Eric Bischoff, said that Bret never recovered emotionally from the "Montreal Screwjob" when "The Hitman" jumped to the main rival of the W.W.E. in 1997. Bischoff stated that although he didn't use Hart correctly, Bret was no longer the performer he once was.

The heart of Bret Hart had been ripped out.

To be continued...

Low-Ki Signs With W.W.E.

While the W.W.E. was busy cutting 10% of its workforce (behind the scenes staff) over at Titan Towers in Stamford, Conn. yesterday, one of the best wrestlers in the world signed with the company. Low-Ki who boasts the lethal combination of mixed martial arts and high-risk maneuvers in his repertoire, won a match last night in the W.W.E.'s minor league, Florida Championship Wrestling. His website has since confirmed his signing with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Ki is an alum of Ring of Honor, but most recently has worked in Japan. He also spent some time in T.N.A.

I find this signing to be very intriguing because of Low-Ki's style. The W.W.E. should capitalize on a roster with Ki, Rey Mysterio, Jamie Noble, Mexican high-flyer/m.m.a. expert Dos Caras Jr. (debuting at the Royal Rumble) and Evan Bourne (when he returns from injury) and bring back the cruiserweight division and the W.W.E. Cruiserweight Championship, which was shillelaghed when Hornswoggle won the title during the summer of 2007.

I can't wait to see how they use Low-Ki and just hope they don't blow it. I found the above video of his top 10 moves, courtesy of YouTube.

Incidentally, talent cuts are rumored to be coming today. The only names I have heard bandied about have been Cryme Tyme.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009 to you and your family! I hope this year brings you peace, happiness, good health and plenty of luck. Thanks for reading!