Hello once again my loyal readers and students of WrestleView! Happy second week of the Christmas (or holiday) season everyone! I am WrestleView’s resident teacher and I have a full slate of new material for this coming week. I won?t be going over rules this week. I also will keep my list short on detentions and I won?t be going over any headlines. However, I will be announcing the winners of the first round of the 2009 Dream Tournament in this column. I also will be writing my second letter to Santa. Thank you to all who thought my first ?letter to Santa (aka Vince McMahon)? was a success. I really do appreciate it. This week, I will send a letter to another to Santa Carter of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. I hope she will consider what I am about to type. And of course detentions, grades, and more will be featured. So, take a seat and keep your eyes on the computer screen. Class is in session!
Mr. V remembers Eddie ?Umaga? Fatu
Look, I do know that many a columnist (not on our site, we are the classiest ones around) will pay their respects to Umaga and some will go in depth on this. However, I am not going to be the one that does that. I will remember Umaga as one of the quickest, most agile men for his size that I have ever seen. From what I read he was very proud of his family, and I totally respect that out of Fatu. I think that his time in the WWE from his days as Jamal in Three Minute Warning to being The Samoan Bulldozer. I think only few can accomplish what he could do for his size. It seemed like wrestling the big men were too powerful that they did not merit the speed and the ability like a small athlete. Fatu had that special blend of speed, quickness, and power that was tough to duplicate for a 350 lb. individual.
However, I may sound shady (and I hope I don?t come off this way) but I must type this out because I try to be unbiased as possible when I type each column. What would have happened if Fatu accepted Vince McMahon’s invitation to go to rehab on the WWE’s bill? Would he just been out of wrestling for sixty days rather than forever? Could Fatu been pushed to another championship (i.e. Intercontinental)? It is just sad to read these ?unhappy endings? that happen so much to professional wrestlers. It is devastating to know that one of those gifted athletes that come around once in a long while just died at the age of 36. With that said, my sympathies and prayers go out to his wife, his children, and his extended family. I am sure heaven has a heck of a WrestleMania card right now, and my grandparents are being treated to it right now.
Quote of the Week
Again, this comes from the heart. This week on ESPN was Jimmy V week. It was dedicated to former NCAA coach Jim Valvano, who passed away from cancer in 1993. For sixteen years, they always have aired Valvano’s speech during halftime of ?The Jimmy V Classic?. Sixteen years later, this speech still moves me. He was such a genuine individual that guys on ESPN should take to heart instead of acting like the usual imbeciles that they usually act like (with the exception of guys like Buccigross and Bill Simmons).
This is ?The Speech?. In the words of Valvano ?Don?t Give Up?Don?t Ever Give Up?!
** I will not be doing Headlines this week, as I will let my peers of WrestleView worry about that. Sorry if I disappoint. Also to Bond7 (a loyal reader), I will get to your rule later next week. **
Detentions have been sadly (or proudly) awarded to the following:
TNA ?Pep Rallies? (by: Bond7) – I agree with this. I am tired of the WWE does ______, so we will do _____ for the fans. Actions speak louder than words.
TNA’s Treatment with Tara (by: Bond7) – What was that ODB segment all about with Tara and ODB? It truly does not make sense to me right now that they made Tara look weak.
People who want a ?Snuggie? for Christmas – I watch those commercials, and oh my gosh. I think to myself ?I know I am a dork, but look at these actors portraying that this body wrap is the next big thing.
Hulk Hogan – Until January 4, 2010 at least. You are signed to be active in TNA, yet you never appeared in the Impact Zone. From a pro wrestling columnist, if you want to be taken seriously do this. On January 4, please appear live in Orlando. Make an appearance. Anything less than that will prove that you don?t care about TNA, but rather that check that Linda Hogan will take away anyway.
Vladimir Kozlov – How fast has his stock plummeted?
WWE – For not having Little People’s Court. Look, I am 5?4 and I would have been offended by it.
WWE (again) – for not having a ?in memoriam? graphic for Umaga (From Bond7). Maybe this is premature, but I thought a little video piece dedicated to him would be a good moment. I do think that WWE.com did a nice job and placed Umaga in their Alumni section at least.
ETS and the Praxis Series – Just because I know you will not be giving future teachers a Merry Christmas. They are the true grinches.
And?.that is it for the detentions! I did not really find out any of them worthy to be on this pathetic list. If you have a nomination, post them online at email@example.com. Thank in advance.
Mister V’s Honor Roll for the week of November 30 – December 4, 2009
Wow, this was pretty tough for me to pick a top three this week. Seriously this was one of the worst weeks for a wrestling fan in some time. Luckily, some shows were saved with segments. Other shows did struggle to catch this teacher’s attention. However, I finally came up with the matches that I deemed ?honor roll? worthy.
Distinguished Honors – Drew McIntyre vs. John Morrison, Friday Night Smackdown, December 4.
This was graded a B+ because I thought the match was clean (all but for one spot that I counted). I thought actually the right man won this match in McIntyre. Morrison made a triumphant return to the Honor Roll after making Drew look very good in the ring. I gave high marks for the awareness inside and outside the ring. The chemistry was there for the most part. Overall, it was a great match in an otherwise lackluster week.
High Honors – Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes vs. Primo/Evan Bourne, WWE Superstars, December 3.
This match earned a ?B? in my gradebook. I think Superstars is a program that really helps the ?almost there? wrestlers. This match was very good, especially for Legacy. DiBiase and Rhodes controlled the pace, and I thought it was a good moderate program. DiBiase is the guy I am impressed with here. He looks like a wrestler that has been in the WWE for ten years. If he improves more, in five to ten years he could be the face of the company as a face or as a heel. On the other side, Evan Bourne was very good for the limited offense that he had. He also sold incredibly when Legacy controlled the contest. In a future Superstars taping, I would love to see a 10 minute match with Bourne and DiBiase. That has ?A? potential right there.
Honors – Alex Shelley vs. Doug Williams, TNA Impact, December 3.
The match was on the quick side, but it was the B- match I went with because overall Impact was a decent, wrestling-heavy show last week. Williams was able to control his offense well, and his back suplex was perfect. Shelley had a good wrestler to work with this time around, as the pacing for once was not too fact. It was a good blend of timing and finesse by both guys.
Honorable Mention awarded to: Jericho vs. HHH on 11/30; E. Kingston vs. Castagnoli on 11/30; Aries vs. Cabana on 11/30; Christian/Benjamin vs. Kozlov/Jackson on 12/1; Suicide vs. Homicide on 12/3; Young/Nash vs. Roode/Storm on 12/3; Hamada vs. Sarita on 12/3; Ziggler vs. M. Hardy on 12/3; Punk vs. R-Truth on 12/4; Kane vs. Knox on 12/4; and James vs. Phoenix vs. Natalya on 12/4.
Worst Match of the Week – Kurt Angle vs. Dr. Stevie and Raven, TNA Impact, December 3.
I know, but this is not about these three guys here. I solely blame this on TNA’s creative team. These three guys are still very good wrestlers, but the main event on Impact was a joke in my opinion. When I see one more match and I look at my clock and it is 10:54 PM, then I expected a letdown. I truly did with this main event.
Dishonorable Mention awarded to: Steen/Generico vs. Lou/Jason on 11/30; Sheamus vs. Marella on 11/30; Henry vs. Miz on 11/30; Baretta/Croft vs. Hilton/Sheilds on 12/1; and Daniels vs. Abyss on 12/3.
Weekly TV Wars
Though Smackdown has clinched the #1 spot, there is still a debate as to who can clinch the #2 position. Still three more weeks to decide and your votes may make the difference. Place your pick for the show of the week by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, the best of each wrestling program?
ROH on HDNet (November 30)
Best Segment – There was nothing that stood out, so I will give the edge to the taped segment of Kenny King.
Best Match – Eddie Kingston vs. Claudio Castagnoli (Grade: B-)
Monday Night Raw (November 30)
Best Segment – John Cena’s Promo (though Big Show/Verne Troyer was a close second).
Best Match – HHH vs. Chris Jericho (Grade: C+)
ECW (December 1)
Best Segment – Abraham Washington Show w/Ryder and Mendes.
Best Match – Christian/Shelton Benjamin vs. Ezekiel Jackson/Vladimir Kozlov (Grade: C+)
WWE Superstars (December 3)
Best Segment – The Raw Rebound (I refuse to add Ask the Divas on here).
Best Match – Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes vs. Primo/Evan Bourne (Grade: B)
TNA Impact (December 3)
Best Segment – Desmond Wolfe promoting his Three Degrees of Pain match with Kurt Angle.
Best Match – Alex Shelley vs. Doug Williams (Grade: B-)
Friday Night Smackdown (December 4)
Best Segment – All of them were pretty average, but when in doubt go for the PPV hype. So I am picking Taker getting picked apart by Batista at the end of the show.
Best Match – Drew McIntyre vs. John Morrison (Grade: B)
Student’s Pick: TNA Impact (vote was 3-1) (1 Point)
Mr. V’s Runner-Up Pick: TNA Impact (1 Point)
It was tough between Impact and Superstars (yes, Thursday was a decent night of programming), but I went with the two hour show because of the promos and the above average matches during the first half of Impact.
Mr. V’s Choice for Show of the Week: Friday Night Smackdown (2 Points)
Though it was not an excellent show, the card was well-rounded. It seemed like every wrestler to deserve to be on TV was on TV. Kudos once again to the creative team on Smackdown.
1) Friday Night Smackdown (63 Points) **Clinched Best Show of 2009**
2) Monday Night Raw (46 Points)
3) TNA Impact (43 Points)
4) ECW (29 Points)
5) ROH on HDNet (12 Points)
6) WWE Superstars (1 Point)
Commentator Report Card
As always, presented by: JR’s Family Bar-B-Q! I am a very happy teacher! For Christmas, I told my wife to not spend too much on me. I got all that I want. I have a great family, wonderful child, and the accolades of many pro wrestling fans from around the world. How does this tie up to Jim Ross, you ask? Well, I found out that Mrs. V got Mr. V the 6 Pack Power Slam combo for $24.88!! It also came with a free autographed photo of the man himself. It is an honor and he will be on my wall of fame next to the Late, Great Myron Cope. So, when I watch the Pittsburgh Steelers lose yet another game I can enjoy it at least with the food thanks to Mrs. V and Jim Ross. There are still a lot of free shipping items for the Christmas season, so check out www.jrsbarbq.com for all your last minute ideas!
Commentator Grades for the Week of November 30:
Michael Cole: ?Vintage? D (2009 Grade: D) **Current Leader of The Awful Waffle**
Jerry Lawler: C- (2009 Grade: C-)
Josh Mathews: C (2009 Grade: B) **Dean’s List**
Byron Saxton: B (2009 Grade: B+) **Dean’s List**
Todd Grisham: B (2009 Grade: B+) **Dean’s List**
Matt Striker: B (2009 Grade: A-) **Dean’s List**
Jim Ross: N/A (2009 Grade: A-) **Dean’s List** (Illness)
Mike Tenay: B (2009 Grade: B-)
Taz: B (2009 Grade: B) **Dean’s List**
Don West: N/A (2009 Grade: C-) (Now Amazing Red’s Manager)
Mike Hogewood: D (2009 Grade: C-)
Dave Prazak: B (2009 Grade: B) **Dean’s List**
On a side note, is anyone else impressed with Byron Saxton? At first I was worried about him since I only heard his work on FCW. But I am hooked on the fact that he can be ?almost? as good as Matt Striker when he gains more experience.
Mister V’s Gold Star Segment (Presented By: The Best (Censored) Tom Van Stone Show! Because why not? Time to throw these guys a bone sometime).
Gold Stars are not as plenty this time. I am saving them up for my Mr. V Christmas Spectacular.
Umaga – You will never be forgotten. RIP Eddie Fatu.
To all that voted for the 2009 Dream Tournament – I will shout you all out later on.
Mark Cuban – For being a good Raw Guest Host. I would love to see a pro sports owner try and duplicate that. Then I thought?wouldn?t be funny if Sheamus did that to another sports owner, say Ted Turner?
Sheamus – He is looking more dominant than ever right now, huh?
Jose Marrero – Still our Dean among the WrestleView Faculty.
Jim Ross – For making tasty Bar-B-Q Sauce.
Byron Saxton – I am just that impressed with his color commentary. He has been consistently good week after week.
RAW Creative – For giving us something fresh (Cena/Sheamus; Orton/Kofi; etc.)?oh wait, they had Hornswoggle and Chavo feud again? Gold Star REVOKED!!
To all that have read my ROH recaps – check out the announcements later.
That is all for the Gold Stars. I will be sure to add more later on.
Letters to Santa #2 – To Santa Dixie Carter
And now, part 2 of 3 of ?Letters to Santa?.
Dear Santa Carter,
Merry Christmas from Pittsburgh. I must say I have not really watched your show until I started my weekly column on WrestleView.com (I am sure you read this Ms. Santa, or at least that elf Jeremy Borash). So I gave your show TNA Impact a chance in 2009 and I must say that I believe in TNA. I believe in your Santa because TNA can be a good alternative to WWE. But just like a good glass of wine (you probably drank some with that new acquisition?ummmm I think it is some dude with a bandana), it takes time. Your North Pole in Nashville is only seven years old, but I believe in you. Just please, I ask of you five things for Christmas. I believe in you Santa Carter. So please, read this list. Check it twice. I know I have been nice.
1) Stop calling out World Wrestling Entertainment.
Be yourself! That is how the company started and it should stay that way. If you have former WWE talent, don?t mention they are from WWE. Did Santa in CT say ?There is Christian, former NWA/TNA World Champion? Or did Santa McMahon tell his elf Michael Cole that Gail Kim was once a TNA Knockout’s Champion on live TV? NO!
I believe in you Santa Carter because I loved the creativity in the earlier days of TNA. It was a good alternative to the average wrestling fan. I wish that you can hold true to that and stop with the ?all or nothing? mentality.
2) Make Hulk Hogan go to the Impact Zone in Orlando.
Remember, you own Hogan. Hogan does own you, Santa. Hogan is the face of pro wrestling, no doubt about that. But he has baggage. He needs your money. Hogan to me is like that kid at Christmas that only wants presents and not anything else. Remember, Christmas is about giving and receiving. I know Santa that you gave a lot to Hogan, and it is time very soon for him to return the favor.
3) If you do a second show, please read my scenario.
I know this won?t happen anytime soon, but I can wish can I Santa? I know you are going to bring in TNA Epics to our TV sets this year (which means my friend Chris Kelly’s wish has been granted as he is now a Faculty member for another year). But if you do a second show, do it in the WWE Superstars format.
I think what kills Impact sometimes is the lack of wrestling. Santa, I wish you can give us a show that focuses more on wrestling. Now, you don?t have to put Angle, Styles, or your other main events in there. I know you have some talent that the other companies don?t have. First off Santa, you have a great Women’s Division. Why not throw in a match on this second show? Also, the tag team division is good and deep. I think any of those tag teams can win your main championship titles. Finally, the X Division. There is nothing quite like this. Sure, a lot of my friend think they are daredevils. However, sometimes we need that in a wrestling program. So if you do a second show for TNA Santa, remember that format. One Knockouts Match; One X Division Match; and One Tag Team match.
4) If only for a month, give Daniels the TNA World Championship.
He does not have the look of a big-time champion, Santa that I know. But you treated him like a lump of coal in 2008 as Curry Man and in 2009, you dressed him up as a video game character. He worked two matches in one night, he was ?fired? twice, AND he almost broke his neck for you (literally) at Bound for Glory in a botched spot. Seven years has gone by, and he was never your champion?
Make someone happy in your organization in 2010.
5) Treat your wrestlers with respect, but on TV you don?t look like you are.
Pro Wrestlers risk a lot to keep your company up from hard times, Santa Carter. That little ?interview? you taped a few weeks back, stop that. It makes you come off as something bush league. A WrestleView columnist mentioned that when you said that, you ripped on every wrestler that worked for you for seven years! So, now that Hogan is on board with TNA guys like Samoa Joe, AJ, Angle, Wolfe, and others are not good enough anymore?
I wish this Christmas season that your wrestlers and other higher-ups in TNA are happy to work for you. Do not talk down to them because I am sure they do know more than you do.
Well, that is it for this letter. I expect to see what is under my tree from TNA this Christmas (other than the eight DVDs that we purchased from Don West). I am sure Jeremy Boras?..I mean the elves at TNA are reading this and showing you the letter I presented. Please grant these wishes and my them come true. Remember, I believe in Santa.
I will place champagne and donuts by the Christmas Tree (I heard you enjoy them through your Twitter Account)
Mr. Anthony J. Valvo
Columnist ?From the Desk of Mr. V?
WrestleView.com (I am sure again your elves read this)
Well, I hope that you do enjoy that letter students. As the old staying goes ?ask and you shall receive, right? Unless you write a mock letter to the most powerful man in pro wrestling. Next week, I send a small letter to Santa Silken of Ring of Honor.
THE RESULTS OF THE FIRST ROUND OF THE 2009
For the Official Bracket, please click on this link
Well Class, after three week the first round voting is at an end. Thanks to the 24 readers and 9 columnists. So besides myself, we had 34 votes calculated.
Originally I was going to make the readers? votes one point and the columnists two. However, after reading some thoughts from my peers I decided to make each vote count as one point. I also told the columnists to not worry about going in-depth since this is just round one. A few of us may go in-depth starting the next round.
Here is a list of the readers and columnists that filled out a bracket?
Students (24) – Ricky Langston, Alpha Male, Rob James, Travis Thomas, Lucas Thomas, Paul Meade, Richard Misfeldt, Inferius 0513, Rocky Jr, Jeremy Samples, Todd Godwin, Joshua Hlavka, Ben Phillips, Daniel Stein, Nir Goldstein, Michael Williamson, Luke Bartlett, Jesse Grams, Sam Newstone, Ryan Gray, Mr. Grash, Zac Clark, Osaid Ahmad, and Chad Robbins.
Faculty (10) – Mr. V, Joe Baiamonte, Chris Kelly, Sean Hurley, Matt O?Brien, Josh Boutwell, Dave Stephens, Mike Siciliano, Josh Piedra, and ?Dean? Jose Marrero.
So, I will quickly go over the winners of each of the sixteen first round matchups.
(1) Chris Jericho vs. (32) Juventud Guerrera
Winner: CHRIS JERICHO 34-0
The Faculty voted in favor of Jericho 10-0. The students chose Jericho 24-0.
(16) Drake Younger vs. (17) Shawn Michaels
Winner: SHAWN MICHAELS 30-4
The Faculty voted in favor of Michaels 9-1. The students chose Michaels 21-3.
(8) Austin Aries vs. (25) Evan Bourne
Winner: AUSTIN ARIES 25-9
The Faculty voted in favor of Aries 7-3. The students chose Aries 18-6.
(9) John Cena vs. (24) Hernandez
Winner: JOHN CENA 20-14
The Faculty voted in favor of Cena 10-0. The students chose Hernandez 14-10.
(4) Ultimo Guerrero vs. (29) Homicide
Winner: ULTIMO GUERRERO 18-16
The Faculty was split 5-5. The students chose Guerrero 13-11.
(13) CM Punk vs. (20) Colt Cabana
Winner: CM PUNK 30-4
The Faculty voted in favor of Punk 9-1. The students chose Punk 21-3.
(5) Christian vs. (28) Hiroshi Tanahashi
Winner: CHRISTIAN 21-13
The Faculty voted in favor of Tanahashi 7-3. The students chose Christian 18-6.
(12) Mistico vs. (21) CIMA
Winner: MISTICO 22-12
The Faculty voted in favor of Mistico 8-2. The students chose Mistico 14-10.
(3) Kurt Angle vs. (30) PAC
Winner: KURT ANGLE 29-5
The Faculty voted in favor of Angle 9-1. The students chose Angle 20-4.
(14) Daniels vs. (19) HHH
Winner: HHH 24-10
The Faculty voted in favor of HHH 8-2. The students chose HHH 16-8.
(6) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. (27) The Undertaker
Winner: THE UNDERTAKER 26-8.
The Faculty voted in favor of Undertaker 8-2. The students chose Undertaker 18-6.
(11) Samoa Joe vs. (22) Jack Swagger
Winner: SAMOA JOE 23-11
The Faculty voted in favor of Joe 7-3. The students chose Joe 16-8.
(2) AJ Styles vs. (31) Teddy Hart
Winner: AJ STYLES 30-4
The Faculty voted in favor of Styles 9-1. The students chose Styles 21-3.
(15) Dr. Wagner, Jr. vs. (18) Jushin Liger
Winner: JUSHIN LIGER 26-8.
The Faculty voted in favor of Liger 6-4. The students chose Liger 20-4.
(7) Randy Orton vs. (26) Davey Richards
Winner: RANDY ORTON 26-8
The Faculty voted in favor of Orton 6-4. The students chose Orton 20-4.
(10) KENTA vs. (23) Paul London
Winner: KENTA 25-9
The Faculty Voted in favor of KENTA 9-1. The students chose KENTA 16-8.
Once again, I thank you all for participating. Round 2 Homework begins?NOW!
This will be due next week. The Updated Bracket was listed above. However to those that can not put up the bracket, here are the 2nd Round Matchups.
(1) Chris Jericho vs. (17) Shawn Michaels
(8) Austin Aries vs. (9) John Cena
(4) Ultimo Guerrero vs. (13) CM Punk
(5) Christian vs. (12) Mistico
(3) Kurt Angle vs. (19) HHH
(27) The Undertaker vs. (11) Samoa Joe
(2) AJ Styles vs. (18) Jushin Liger
(7) Randy Orton vs. (10) KENTA
Those are your eight matchups. Please vote who you would book as the winner by e-mailing me (email@example.com) or by sending me a message on my Facebook Account. If you post them on my old Yahoo account, I may not count them since I rarely check that account now.
ASSIGNMENT IS DUE ON DECEMBER 17, 2009.
END OF CLASS ANNOUNCEMENTS
If you received an accolade from life, let me know and I will place them on here as a ?congratulations?.
I personally want to thank all of you who read my Ring of Honor on HDNet recaps. I was going to be lazy one week and copy and paste a recap (last week) when I noticed that my recaps are one of the most searched online! With that, I will not get lazy. Expect a recap Friday or Saturday.
Mike Siciliano apologized for not plugging the Dream Tournament Bracket last week, and he did not need to. They were caught up with Umaga’s passing and Dixie Carter’s ?interview?. I for one listened to it, and I would put it right up there as a top three wrestling shows to listen.
FINALLY, that sums up another edition From the Desk of Mr. V. As always, if you want to chat wrestling you can always go on FaceBook and ask me your questions (I am on there at least once a day). You can also e-mail your comments to my address at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am getting much better in responding to the e-mails, so drop me a line.
It is the end, and you know what that means. Time to push in your chairs, walk in a straight line, and exit your classroom door (more than likely your computer room or dormitory room). Until My Ring of Honor Recap, I bid you farewell! Thanks for reading and you are all officially?????DISMISSED!!
Look me up on Facebook under Anthony J. Valvo in the Pittsburgh Network
Mr. V does neither Twitter nor MySpace
Later ?From the Desk of Mr. V??.
-ROH Recap for 12/7
-Mr. V #48
-The 2009 ?Dream Tournament? Round 2.
More work on my other site The Examiner (got my Raw Recap up)
Check out my recent Examiner articles! Soon, I plan on presenting predictions for 2010 piece! Heck, you can even subscribe to my articles! Help me earn a little bit more cash by just going to the link, please.
If not for the students, there would be no Mr. V. Thanks for Reading.