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That's A Wrap! #22 - Wrestleview.com

That's A Wrap! #22

That's a Wrap
Week of July 13th ? 19th 2009
By: David Stephens of WrestleView.com


Ousta! Welcome back to the only WrestleView column covering topics both nowhere yet everywhere at once. If you are new to the column you are probably going to hate us for the first couple weeks, but then you are going to hit a point where you say ?oh wait a minute, I think he gets it?. Don?t worry, that's exactly how it is designed to be. This column is all about gut reactions and traveling thoughts. As the great Andy Kaufman once said: ?I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut, or get angry from the gut?.

Nick Dinsmore

As reported on earlier, Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore has signed a new deal with WWE. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that WWE had him take extensive drug testing including a hair sample to prove he was clean. Dinsmore was released from WWE back in September of 2007 over pain killer issues. WWE had interest in bringing Dinsmore back with Rob Conway, another former WWE star, to mentor and work with some of the younger talent to add some stronger depth to the roster. Conway turned down the new offer from WWE to return as he reportedly has another job.

I?ll be the first person to admit that I?m no ?expert? when it comes to professional wrestling. I have spent years combing and studying various resources and mediums to learn all that I can, and yet I have barely scratched the surface of the knowledge available. So when I heard this news last week about Dinsmore's return my first reaction was, why should I care?

I had the privilege of getting my hands on a copy of the shoot interview that Dinsmore did for RF Video, and I have to say I was impressed. There had always been rumblings about him as a talented wrestler, valuable trainer, etc.; but given that I had no information to go on it meant nothing to me at the time. His articulations and maturity in the interview stunned me.

I have met my fair share of wrestlers over the past several years, and watching this interview was reminiscent of a conversation I had with an Indy wrestler by the name of Corvis Fear who I sat with during a small show in the midst of a snow storm this past winter. Corvis had such an impressive grasp on wrestling and cultural knowledge that I could readily see the gears moving in his head as he related to me how reading classical literature in school would inspire moves and gimmicks. Dinsmore's interview struck me along these same lines in that it was obvious his understanding of the techniques and details of the business were up there with the best of them.

But David, you might be thinking to yourself, all he did was play a mentally challenged stooge and was saddled with a character that destroyed his career. Sure, it is easy to point fingers at creative for this and that, but I have a news flash for you - the Eugene character was Dinsmore's idea. When Dinsmore was brought up from OVW to have a meeting with Vince, the first thing that popped into his mind when asked about character ideas was an autistic child he knew. Nick pitched to Vince the concept of a character that, while not autistic, was a bit slow and would wrestle by emulating what he saw on TV. McMahon was intrigued by the concept and Dinsmore pushed the automatic sympathy such a character would receive. Austin was walking by and popped his head into the room. Steve thought the idea was great and gave it the thumbs up, and the rest is history.

Eugene is one of those characters that people either hate or love. Near the end of his run a lot of people were tired with the gimmick and he was losing some crowd backing. Be that as it may, the accomplishments of the character will stand over time as impressive and more than most wrestlers will have in their entire career. This column is not about Eugene though, it is about Nick Dinsmore the person.

I am a firm believer that in order to fully understand a wrestler's gimmick, intentions, and effectiveness is to study where they came from, and how they got to where they are. I believe it is important to know who they are as a person. This is not to suggest that someone's personal values will make or break them, because if we are being honest professional wrestling has been filled with as many if not more jackasses than saints. That being said, studying the person does provide valuable insight.

The reason I will say with 100% confidence that bringing Nick Dinsmore back into the company is the right move is due to his value as a trainer. From 1996-2004 he was a fixture in OVW. When asked if he felt uncomfortable in the WWE locker room, Dinsmore laughed and said no, because he trained half the guys that were there. That's powerful stuff. Dinsmore, along with Rob Conway, helped pave the way and gave pointers to a slew of current stars. Nick recounted how his experience would lead to many of the main eventers coming to him for match pointers. That kind of respect only comes from years of service.

Here is what I don?t know: I don?t know if the character Eugene will be returning, I don?t know which brand he will be on, and I don?t know the specifics of how they will utilize him. However what I do know is that Nick Dinsmore's ability and knowledge will be invaluable for stars young and old, and benefit the company for the better.

What's in the News?
All news is gathered from WrestleView.com unless otherwise noted

You have a chance to own a WWE Hall of Fame ring as WWE Hall of Famer "Superstar" Billy Graham has put his ring up on eBay. The 2004 Hall of Fame inductee was personally presented the ring by Vince McMahon last year. The winner of the auction will also receive the original letter enclosed with the ring, which was signed by McMahon.
-This is a shame, though it is not unheard of for an athlete to sell their Championship memorabilia. I suppose he has fallen on financial hardship.

During an interview on ESPN Radio 1050 in New York yesterday, former WWE star and MMA fighter Bobby Lashley announced that he has signed with TNA Wrestling.
Lashley had made his TNA debut back in April at the company's Lockdown PPV in Philadelphia and made an appearance at the TV tapings that followed the show, but remained quiet with them ever since.
-It will be interesting to see him cope with managing the two sports

Michael Buffer former WCW announcer amongst many other venues was famous for his line ?let's get ready to rumble!?. During the heydays of "The Monday Night Wars" between the WWE & WCW, Degeneration-X took Michael's infamous saying, and gave it their own spin ("Let's get ready to suck it!"). Since then, many fans of both DX & Buffer have been debating over the years if there was actually legit heat between the two. Buffer indeed put any fears or rumors of ill-will between him & DX to rest. "No, actually we call that a bastardization of the trademark. I thought it as pretty funny. It was pretty creative, and it kind of emphasized the competition that was going on between the two outfits. In a round-about way, it was almost flattering that they would take a hold of that, use as part of the competition, & make a sarcastic remark about their competitors. But I thought it was great, I loved it."
-A professional response by Mr. Buffer which makes me respect him even more than before

TNA Knockout Christy Hemme, who has been away from the company for some time due to injury, wrote the following recently on her official MySpace page: "A little birdie told me that a certain firey redhead is coming back to kick some ASS! I will give you one guess as to who that might be :-) Christy"
-Christy was off TV? I should really watch TNA more?

WWE's annual "Tribute to the Troops" tour is currently scheduled for the first week in December reports PWInsider.
-This remains one of the notable achievements of the WWE year after year

Abyss on being approached by WWE to make the jump:
-"I've had opportunities to go there. That I can count for sure, there's been three opportunities to leave and go. There was high interest from WWE, but I just haven't had any interest in going. I'm one of the originals, I've been with TNA since the one year anniversary of the company. And very few people in this business can say they've been there from the beginning."

According to a report by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Ring of Honor is trying to maneuver their company business model away from taping events for DVD release and instead move towards producing television and using HDNet to sell the footage to foreign countries. The old business model of taping events and selling them on DVD isn't cutting it anymore and hasn't been for a while.
-Well, if that's what they think will help. Clearly the current model isn?t generating enough income so I suppose it is worth driving a different avenue.

Ring of Honor is said to be interested in getting a big-name legend from the past to take over the spot originally planned for Ric Flair as the company's television ambassador reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. There are already said to be a few names under consideration including Bret Hart. The basic idea behind bringing in a big-name star from the past is so that person would be known overseas to be the flagship of the TV show to help attract overseas buyers. HDNet was in the process of doing this with Flair until Flair pulled out of anything involving ROH and HDNet when the belief was he was close to signing a new deal with WWE.
-This goes hand in hand with the previous news item. Perhaps ROH wouldn?t be hurting so much if they weren?t giving astronomical amounts of money to those making non-wrestling appearances. Hey, if it works, more power to them

Dos Caras Jr. and El Sicodelico Jr. are both in WWE's Florida Championship Wrestling territory and the early reports are they aren't working well with the style or doing well with promos reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Dos Caras Jr. had originally stated he wouldn't be put in developmental and would instead debut on one of WWE's main rosters right away, which ended up changing pretty quickly.
-El Sicodelico is an incredible name. I?ve never seen him but I?m declaring myself a fan based solely on his name. That's how I roll

WWE's creative team is said to be trying to slowly introduce things into television that are more PG-13 than PG reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The company position is that they are still PG and will remain that way for the time being. Examples of pushing things back to the way they were include a recent bikini match and Santino Marella playing with a Trish Stratus doll pushing the face into the chest of Stratus. Believe it or not, these were things (although rather tame) they were doing as of a year ago. It should be noted that if the company continues to the storyline of having a guest host of Raw every week that there are plans of bringing The Godfather back to be the host of the August 24 edition of Raw in Las Vegas.
-All aboard!

The release of former TNA senior referee Rudy Charles (real name Dan Engler) was a cost cutting move by TNA reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The move surprised a lot of people within the company since he was popular with management and had been with the company since day one. Engler held many jobs with the company including working with the creative team. The feeling at this point is that the company has interest in hiring a local referee to replace him to save on transportation costs by using a referee who lives in Florida.
-Nice to see company loyalty is so strong in TNA

For those wondering why X Division wrestlers and the TNA X Division Championship was left off last night's Victory Road PPV last night, PWInsider is reporting that it was a creative decision. TNA decided to keep the title off the PPV since they didn't want to move the title off Homicide so quickly with the theme of the show last night involving the "domination" of the Main Event Mafia winning or retaining all of the company's main titles.
-Psh, who would want to see an X Division match when we can be treated to classics like Jenna v. Sharmel?

Shaquille O'Neal will be the special guest host of next week's WWE Monday Night Raw live in Washington, D.C.
-Can they do it Space Jam style with cartoons and zany antics? That would rock

Paul London Update

I stand by my claim to update you guys with any news regarding my boy London whenever I can. Sadly, the past couple months have been really slow as the guy has not been up to much regarding the wrestling scene. He is still nursing the injury he suffered back in May amongst other things. I was delighted when I was doing my daily internet routine and was checking his site to see a date had finally been added.

From his official site:

FROM 12-3 PM AT J&J COLLECTIBLES

12 E. MAIN ST
MAPLE SHADE, NJ 08052
SEPT. 12TH, 2009
(856)667-7224
PRICES ARE
15.00 FOR 8 X 10 SIGNED PHOTO
20.00 FOR COMBO
PHOTO OP YOUR CAMERA OR OURS! $6.00
EACH ITEM SIGNED $10.00

Pretty standard stuff for a wrestler's appearance and signing. I?m particularly thrilled as this is only 10 miles from my house, so I will definitely be attending. Paul's been having a rough time between injury and other things over the past couple months, so it is encouraging to see him making strides toward a return, even if it is just an appearance at this point. One step at a time.

Ratings
WWE RAW 7/13 ? 3.5
ECW on Sci-Fi 7/14 ? 1.3
Superstars 7/16 ? 0.9
TNA Impact 7/16 ? 1.1
WWE Smackdown 7/18 ? 1.8

WWE Stock Update
Week Ending July 20th 2009
Open ? 13.40
Close ? 13.54
Low ? 13.08
High ? 13.46
Avg. Volume ? 115,700

Quick Results

RAW July 13th
Seth Green, John Cena & Triple H vs. The Legacy ended in a no contest
Big Show def. Evan Bourne
Hornswoggle def. Chavo Guerrero
Mark Henry def. Jericho by count-out
Jack Swagger def. MVP
The Miz def. Primo
Divas Champion Maryse, Rosa Mendes & Alicia Fox def. Mickie James, Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim in a Six-Diva Summer Swimsuit Spectacular Tag Team Match

ECW July 14th
Vladimir Kozlov def. ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer (Non-title)
Shelton Benjamin def. Christian
Yoshi Tatsu def. Paul Burchill
Zack Ryder def. Goldust
Sheamus def. local competitor

Superstars July 16th
Cryme Tyme (w/ Eve) def. The Hart Dynasty (w/ Natalya)
Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella) def. Katie Lea Burchill
Big Show def. United States Champion Kofi Kingston

TNA Impact July 16th
Amazing Red def. ?Samoan Submission Machine? Samoa Joe [DQ]
Suicide def. Chris Sabin w/Alex Shelley
TNA X-Division Championship: ?Notorious 1-8-7? Homicide def. Suicide (c)
Sarita def. ?Future Legend? Alyssa Flash
6-Man Elimination Tag Team Match: Main Event Mafia (Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, & Booker T.) w/Sharmell & Jenna def. Beer Money Inc. & ?Phenomenal? AJ Styles
Six Sides of Steel Match: ?Olympic Hero? Kurt Angle vs. ?The Icon? Sting [NO Contest]

Smackdown July 17th
John Morrison def. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk (Non-title)
Kane def. R-Truth
David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd & Natalya def. Cryme Tyme & Eve (Mixed Tag Team)
Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler def. Jeff Hardy & Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio (Disqualification) (Tag Team)

Must Read WrestleView Column of the Week
Notes from the Nosebleeds #23 by: Matt O?Brien
?Do you long for the old days? Maybe you do, maybe you don?t. The simple truth is that it doesn?t matter. The world changes.?
http://www.wrestleview.com/news2009/1247955673.php

Loose Ends

I shall be attending the DEBUT show for Dragon Gate USA this weekend! It is being held at the Arena in Philly and promises to be a high flying good time. If any of you are going, drop me a line and I?ll be sure to say hi. As per the usual I?ll be putting together a WrestleView Road Trip about my experience, so look for it early next week.


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So ?that's a wrap??. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I?m always up for reading your thoughts so send them ?em on over.

- David Stephens