** Before I begin my latest edition of my column, I know my loyal students won?t mind me expressing my thoughts and prayers to a few families first. On Saturday April 4, 2009, two Pittsburgh Police officers were killed in the line of duty and one police officer, who was off-duty, was also killed by the same individual. I was a bit concerned over this because I do have a family member who is a police officer in Pittsburgh, my brother Bob. I offered my condolences over the phone with him to the families of the fallen, and he appreciated them. So to all my students, if you want to show support for the Pittsburgh Police Department, you can e-mail me at email@example.com and I promise to share then with my brother. I am very thankful that my brother was unharmed and very thankful that the residents of Stanton Heights were unharmed as well. These three officers paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep all residents safe in the city of Pittsburgh, and I offer my thanks and support to all officers in the area. So please, keep the families of Officer Eric Kelly, Officer Paul Sciullo, and Officer Stephen Mayhle in your thoughts and prayers today. Trust me; every bit of moral support is grateful for Pittsburgh’s Finest. My thanks in advance to those people who will e-mail their condolences. **
Also, I want to keep a fellow WrestleView staff member in my prayers as well, Tom Van Stone. I can never imagine to this day the loss they recently received. To the Van Stone family, my deepest sympathies to yours as well. **
Well students, please sit down and spit your gum out into the garbage can (don?t put them under the desk, no matter how minty your gum is). Class is really in session today. I will only ?briefly? touch up on Wrestlemania in this column. I am strictly a man who does his column based on professional wrestling on the television set that I don?t have to pay extra for anyway. As a matter of fact, I think the next PPV I am going to purchase will be that of the Ring of Honor brand. Also in this column, we will be adding three new classroom rules, detentions, an interesting Mr. V’s Honor Roll, Worst match of the week, TV wars, commentator report cards (the last for Tazz and possibly Todd Grisham), and Mr. V’s own Gold Stars, which plenty will receive this week. So I request that your eyes are up front and on the computer screen (or overhead projecter). Class is in session?.right now!
27) If you order a $55 Pay-Per-View and one of the better matches of the wrestling card is bumped off the PPV for time constraints and what not, you should get a partial refund.
I was revved up for Wrestlemania 25, I really was. This was the first time I ever hosted a PPV event in my apartment. My wonderful wife, Mrs. V, made a smorgasbord of food (Hot Sausage, cheese dip, a sandwich that I am sure Joe Baiamonte would love, and the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cheesecake was the best I ever had. One of the matches that I was looking forward to was MizMo (thanks to David Stephens for that) and Colons for the Unified tag team championship. I am watching, and watching, and watching and this match is not on the card yet. I am starting to get a bit frustrated because I probably seen two of the worst matches of the year in the Diva Battle Royal and the Rey/JBL quickie. They had to have found a way to put this match on PPV, right? Well, after a four hour pay per view, I did not get to see one of the three matches that I was really hoping for, and I felt short-changed over this. I felt like the WWE and/or Comcast robbed me of at least $10. Students, please let me know if you were also offended that this tag team match was not on the card. I did not know they bumped the match as a dark match until I went on WrestleView (the greatest site in the world of wrestling) and found out that the match was a DVD exclusive. A %#^$%* (remember, kids may be reading this, so no profanity from Mr. V) DVD exclusive? I am sorry, but who are you going to satisfy WWE? The person that did not watch the PPV and will spend 25 dollars to see all the matches, or the person that spent 55 dollars to see the event live? I am sorry, but in my opinion the WWE dropped the ball on not only this match, but for the majority of the card in this year’s Wrestlemania, more on this later. So students, if you are with me in asking for a partial refund by the WWE, e-mail me and we can start a small petition to get at least a discount on the Pay per View. I am just thankful that I had some really good friends who helped me pay for the PPV, because I would have been real upset if one of us had to pay the entire price for this one.
28) A male wrestler dressed like a hideous looking female wrestler should NEVER win at Wrestlemania.
Wow, now I know why Trish Stratus declined to participate in this clusterf**k. First off, we did not get any ring announcements for this match, as about half the divas were dancing around to Kid Rock (worst musical act in WM history). Then the commentary was dreadful, and then Jerry Lawler mentions this ugly diva that everyone at my apartment knew from the very start of this match (if it even should be called that). And who was the winner of this Battle Royal? Trish Stratus? Nope, she did not even make it. Melina? Nope, I did not even know that she was in it. Molly Holly? Sunny? Nope, as they both got a combined four seconds of face (?) time. Instead we were all honored (not really) to have Santino, I mean Santina Marella as the champion and crowned Miss Wrestlemania. Talk about a huge disappointment, as I was hoping this would not be an obvious gimmick match. Well, it turned out that it did. What makes me even more frustrated is this, and this is off the subject. What does Santino Marella now have? A win at Wrestlemania. This is something that Jeff Hardy, The Dudley Boyz, and Bruno Sammartino can not say happened to them. I am sorry, but if your Wrestlemania moment is to dress up like a woman and win a Diva Battle Royal, then it will be remembered as one of the most embarrassing moments in WWE history. Santino did have a promising start in his career, winning the IC title in his first match against the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga (where is he now?) Now he is nothing more than a comedy act, and when the comedy wears off, then what do you have? A Val Venis type jobber. Santino, know when to say when and get out of this gimmick soon! Or else all the wrestling you did in the past will be nothing more than a distant memory.
29) Never compare John Cena to Jackie Chan
I will not go on and bash the movie 12 Rounds. The one thing I will bash is the film critic who stated that Cena is the next Jackie Chan. I am sorry, but no. I wonder if this critic has a job right now after this review. When John Cena has, say, five #1 movies, then maybe compare him to some legendary action stars. But Cena never was in a #1 movie yet. I know this, I found out. As a matter of fact, Cena was not even close to ever reaching #1. Jackie Chan on the other hand has been in a ton of #1 movies. The ones that I can think of are the three Rush Hour movies and Legend of Drunken Master (one of his better movies). But for now, sure, Cena has potential. However, he is no Jackie Chan. Heck, he is not even Steven Segal’s ponytail right now.
Demerits this week go to the following:
Quizno’s Talking Oven
The producers for last week’s ECW and Smackdown programming
Actually, that is all I have for demerits.
Bill Raftery – non U.S. residents may not know who he is, but this guy has to be one of the WORST sports announcers of all time.
Beautiful People and Madison Rayne – Soon, no TNA knockout is going to have any hair left.
Jerry Lawler – Even though your commentary has been decent, don?t say that you want to marry Kelly Kelly. It makes you sound like a pedophile. Also class, did you notice that when he is excited, he sounds a little bit like Urkel?
Dr. Stevie – for punking out Abyss last Thursday for missing his last two sessions. Sounds to me that this is going to be another Right to Censor faction. If I am right on this, I am patting myself on the back and giving myself gold stars for the next two months.
Debra and Marvin Ward – I am sorry, unless you are a middle aged man no one is interested in these two people.
Samoa Joe – Do I need to explain? I do feel bad for him and his new gimmick though.
Mr. V’s Basketball Pool – The worst on WrestleView. This is what happens when you have Pitt as your national champion.
WWE Creative – For not being able to give us the Tag Team match on PPV.
ETS and the Praxis Series – I will continue to post them on this list until they show each test taker a solid description on which questions we got incorrect. Who is with my on that, teachers?
John Cena – For putting up the prank of ?Vickie being pregnant? after I posted this column on WrestleView. Shame on you, John Cena.
Coca-Cola Company – for not heeding our advice and bringing Ecto Cooler back on the market. Joshua Piedra is lining up an army that the Ghostbuster would be proud of.
Taco Bell man in drag commercial – I hate this commercial so much, and now we get to see it at least ten times a week.
Jeff Jarrett and TNA Creative – isn?t this obvious right now?
The fans at the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony who said ?What? when Vince was speaking – I mentioned this, if you did this you will be on the detention list. Well, there you are.
Vince, The ?Shamwow? Guy – I am sure someone is pitching to him a modified model of the Slap Chop as we speak.
This Detention list is also for you, the student body. If you want to nominate someone for any of the detention lists, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MR. V?S HONOR ROLL FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 30 – APRIL 4, 2009
This was not a great week of wrestling on TV. Only two matches got higher than a B in my grade book, so the top two matches of the week were easy to point out. However, the 3rd match of the week would have probably not been on here if not for the bad wrestling skills that were on my TV set this week. So, here is my honor roll for this past week.
Distinguished Honor Roll – Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries, ROH on HDNet on April 4, 2009
There was a ton of people that I talk to in the wrestling world tell me that these two always put on a good performance when they are in the ring together. Wow, did they not disappoint. I loved this match in its entirety; I had to watch it a few more times because this match was absolutely perfect. It was well-executed and had a great flow to it. What impressed me about Aries, who lost this match, was his endurance, his athletic abilities, and how well he executed his mat tactics. It was a great combination and a tremendous performance by Aries. Bryan Danielson is old-school for me, and that is a good thing. I really enjoyed his offensive tactics in this match, and I really liked the triangle chokehold he put on Aries for the submission victory. I think after the first four shows I watch this week, I was disappointed and I though my honor roll was going to be pretty weak this time around. However these two ended this past week with a bang. These guys are two reasons why (if they are on the next PPV) I will be buying this one. I even enjoyed the little segments they had with these two wrestlers, it hyped up the match even more. Overall, an amazing performance and also a lesson in endurance, technical skills, and submission hold by both men.
Best Moves for Aries: Suicide Dive, Vulcan Neck Grip, European Uppercuts.
Best Moves for Danielson: Triangle Chokehold, Butterfly Suplex (always mark out for suplexes), Cross Armbar, which Aries had to rope break.
High Honor Roll – Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP, Friday Night Smackdown on April 3, 2009
Smackdown as a whole really disappointed me this week. Way too many Axxess promos and match promos during the entire 2 hour show. However, if you want to see a bright spot on this show, it was clearly this match. Shelton continues to impress in 2009, even though he has rarely been the winner. He was aggressive when he needed to be, did not mess up during the match, and showed a nice balance of offense. MVP is really putting on a show in 2009. He is simply getting better now that he overcame that losing streak for the majority of 2008. He is showing more confidence in him offense, which I thought was lacking last year. His endurance has also improved, and that is something that can take him places this year. Overall, it was a nice back and forth match once again for these two Smackdown superstars, with the face coming out on top before Wrestlemania.
Best Moves for Shelton: T-Bone Suplex, submission tactics, and the spinning kick.
Best Moves for MVP: Overhead Throw, Playmaker, and Electric Chair (I think they called it that at least)
Honor Roll – Sterling James Keenan vs. Erick Stevens, ROH on HDNet on April 4, 2009
I had a tough time with the honor roll part in this one, as there were at least five matches that merited the same grade in my grade book, class. But after much though, the opener between Kennan and Stevens was the 3rd best match of the week. It was a solid back-and-forth match by these two competitors. Both of them told a very adequate story in the ring, and I think that is what ROH is trying to do rather than the extensive storylines that TNA and WWE do at times. What impressed me the most with these two wrestlers was their mat skills and, in Stevens? case, the power moves. It was a solid opener for ROH this past week, but it was not clearly as good as, for example, Delirious vs. Jerry Lynn a few weeks ago.
Best Moves by SJK: Japenese Stranglehold, Implant DDT, and STO
Best Moves by Erick: Mid-air Samoan Drop, German Suplex, and the Doctor Bomb.
Honorable Mention goes to: Jericho vs. Lawler on 3/30, Christian/Finlay vs. Mark Henry/Kane on 3/31, Lethal Consequences/LAX vs. Kiyoshi/Bashir/NO LIMIT on 4/2, AJ Styles vs. Scott Steiner on 4/2, Maryse/McCool vs. Maria/Gail Kim on 4/3, all the segments on RAW, commentary by ECW’s team, and the Team 3D/Beer Money storyline so far.
Worst Match of the Week – Face Divas vs. Heel Divas, Monday Night Raw on 3/30
First off, why book an 18-Diva tag team match? Also, I only counted five divas that actually wrestled in this match. I hate to say this, but this match did not get the passing grade by Mr. V. I guess it did get better with Santino and the ?mankini? (on second though?no, this entire segment was bad.). I am embarrassed sometimes to be an Italian man when I see Santino in the ring now.
Dishonorable Mention: Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella on 3-31, MEM Security vs. Team 3D on 4/2, Sting vs. Samoa Joe on 4/2, Cheech and Cloudy vs. Dark City Fight Club on 4/4, TNA commentary for the first hour, Mike Hogewood’s commentary for ROH, Michael Cole (AKA Buzz Killington), and the ?Mankini?.
**SPECIAL ADDITION TO THE COLUMN: WRESTLEMANIA 25 GRADES**
Now students, I am not going too much in depth in covering Wrestlemania, as when I watch PPVs on TV, I don?t really get into detail. It is my little treat for being such a great wrestling fan. So, I will give you all the grade of each match and a comment or two of each match.
1) Colons vs. MizMo
Comments: I did not see it, so why should I grade it? haha
2) Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Comments: I think the majority of them hit their spots well. I was most impressed with Kofi Kingston, as the highlight of the match was him climbing the ladder while Mark Henry was holding it up. Shelton was the biggest daredevil in this match, even though he missed a couple of spots. Also, points for Finlay for taking a huge bump landing on a ladder. MVP really disappointed me in this match, as well as CM Punk, who was the winner of the match.
3) Kid Rock Concert
Comments: I liked how he opened it, and that was it. My other favorite part? When he was done. Oh, I crack myself up sometimes.
4) 25-Diva Battle Royal
Comments: I would rather have had Mae Young win this match than Santino Marella. Did anyone else catch Mae Young looking upset that she did not take part in this match? I just wished this match would have helped elevate one of their current divas, or let a past diva have one more special night. Instead, the WWE laid an egg on this one.
5) Chris Jericho vs. Legends
Comments: This was actually not a bad match. I think Ricky Steamboat shocked us all with his stuff. I actually had goose bumps when they chanted ?You Still Got It!? on last Monday’s Raw. But this is a WM review, so let’s get to the point. Jericho did a good job in not looking bad. Snuka had no reason to be in this match whatsoever. Piper does look better than he did last year, but what you got was the best he could have done. Steamboat, at 56 years old, did things that a 25 year old can?t do. This was my wife’s favorite wrestler when she was growing up, and she was ecstatic to see Steamboat even before the match. Rourke punching out Jericho did nothing for me, as I was only impressed with two guys in this segment (Jericho and Steamboat).
6) Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy
Comments: Owen vs. Bret this was not. We got what we got in this match. Jeff Hardy took some nasty bumps and was impressive at times. Matt Hardy took a bump being a part of a table sandwich. I was expecting a lot more than this to be honest, and that is why the lower grade. I did like the finish when Matt did the Twist of Fate on the chair (By the way I called that on my Predictions piece, look it up).
7) Rey Mysterio vs. JBL
Comments: Mr. Piedra was right on one thing about this match. Read this sentence now, go ahead, and then pause for a moment to digest this sentence. This took longer than the actual match. Nothing much to say that the WWE laid their second egg here (sorry for the egg analogies, Easter is around the corner)
8) The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Comments: I thought this was the match of the night and should have been the ending. It all started with the ring entrances that got me hooked. Sure, there were too many finishers in this match. But I credit Shawn for taking a loss here (his 10th at a Wrestlemania) and the Undertaker for again risking his body (I was worried about his dive off the top rope, it looked real painful). I would not say this is the match of the year yet though, class. Because we have about 267 days left in 2009, so I can?t make that prediction. If I had to make a pick right now, it still would not be this match. It would actually be Undertaker vs. Shelton Benjamin from early January.
9) John Cena vs. Big Show vs. Edge
Comments: Not much, as I expected that Cena would come out on top. Edge did not impress me at all at WM. Big Show did keep things fresh, but really did he have a shot? Cena’s FU with Big Show AND Edge on his back, hate to say this (I am not a Cena fan), but that was pretty darn impressive.
10) HHH vs. Randy Orton
Comments: This might be the most boring main event in Wrestlemania history. I looked at my friends who were watching this show with me, and they all look uninterested. It was flat and I do agree with Hunter Golden that I don?t want to see a rematch if this keeps up. Orton needed the title to keep this faction strong, but instead HHH came out on top. What was supposed to be a bloodbath turned out to be a sissy slap fight with some kicks and finishers. WWE again laid a 3rd egg in this one.
So, students of my classroom, I am sure you want to know my overall grade for Wrestlemania 25, I won?t apply any more comments but give you this:
Grade for WM (averaging out all the matches based on a 4.0 grading scale) 1.73 (Grade: C, hovering C-)
Comment: If this was my QPA when I was in college, Edinboro would had kicked me out. What does that say, WWE?
Below is what some of my students graded Wrestlemania 25:
From Chet(Mr. TNA II)Lemon:
As far as my grade for this years Wrestlemania, I felt the only grade that was fair was to give the show a C. As someone who attended last years event, the show just seemed to not have the same excitement. The show seemed to go in an obvious route the whole night (you wouldn’t think so by my picks lol) . I remember being a kid a really being pumped for this show. Even the past two years had my interest very high. This year just seemed to come and go and leave no lasting mark in my mind. Therefore I decided to give it a grade that showed that it wasn’t awful but also wasn’t anything special.
I would give it probably a C. I am usually very pro WWE but with last night being 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania we didn’t have anything that really shocked us. We didn’t get no streak being down we didn’t get no Heels winning titles and we didn’t get?a real Miss Wrestlemania battle royal. If i was booking this thing I would have atleast had Edge and or Orton win the title match they were in. Besides Wrestlemania 24 only 1 time has a heel left Wrestlemania with the title. HHH, Cena, Taker winning how is that suppose to be good for business? You have far more people busting their butt all year and not 1 of those people walked away from Wrestlemania as a winner. So with that said i am giving it a C.
From Eric Strenk:
honestly, this was the least emotionally attached to any WrestleMania I’ve seen
the only match I was looking forward to was MizMo becoming the Undisputed Tag-Team champions, but that got bumped to a dark match
Miss WrestleMania 1/2*
Legends Gauntlet *1/2
Extreme Rules ***
IC Championship *
WCW Championship ***
WWE Championship ****
From Joe Alderson:
I give this years wrestlemania a B.
I thought the highlights were definitely the undertaker vs shawn michaels match, MITB, and triple H vs randy orton.
I was disappointed that they took the tag titles off the ppv broadcast, the tag team division could have been given a major push even as just an opening match, unifying the titles and allowing the champions to compete on both brands will allow fresh matches, but having it on the WM ppv card (even as just an opener) i feel would have created interest. I also found the intercontinental title match disappointing, after it not being defended for 7 years it was like the wwe don’t want it to have any value left, they treated it just like they treated the ecw title last year, degrading it and making it lose value in the eyes of the fans.
However I thought that the majority of the show was worthwhile entertainment, event though I don’t feel that it was as good as last years’ WrestleMania, possibly due to lack of celebrity involvement, which is normally tradition at ‘Mania these days, although I did enjoy the mickey rourke angle and kid rocks’ performance.
From Kevin Kups:
I wasn’t able to order Wrestlemania so take my grade as you want, but I read the results and I would give it an F. First off there was no tag match. Then Santino won the 25 diva battle royal which didn’t even have Trish
Stratus in it. Joy and Miss Jackie are in it and not Trish, Stacy, Lita?or Chyna. Maybe they didn’t want in it but they missed the ball with that one.?Then the IC match was 21 seconds. JBL a former WWE Champion has a hissy fit to end his career. CM Punk wins MITB when they could have pushed MVP or Shelton to Main event level. Triple H and Orton as the main event even though Taker-HBK was the show stealer and would have been the perfect main event. Maybe the show was better live, but I am ticked off at the results. Raw better be?great tonight or I may give up on wrestling all together.
?Sorry for the bitterness. Also I know what you mean about baseball, I’m a Royals fan.
(Side Note: At least your team had a winning season a few years ago. What about my Pirates :))
From Ben Phillips:
WrestleMania this year was great in a strange way
Most years they set a the best matches randomly in the cards (WM 23, batista v undertaker was the 3rd match) this year they built the matches to that the last ones where all main-events but that made a problem
See, if you were right now taking votes for match of the year i would nominate Undertaker vs HBK but that made the last two matches a little…meh
Like the triple threat was good and triple h and orton was fine but they didn’t hold up to the best match on the card, and they should of…THEY were the two world titles afte rall
Hardys were great, i mean it really help them both. Hardcore, extreme and it was something to be proud of. Kind of peeved that CM punk got the case again; did he really need it…again? Wasn?t the two month world reign show that he shouldn’t get the case again…even if they didn’t give to Kane, it should go to a man who can hold a title
No MizMo…and they lost as well. Disappointed they the “Slammy award winning” Tag Team of the year lost.
JBL was a waste, rey DID look pretty cool so the quitting wasn’t that bad. But why is it he quits after Rey beats him for a title?
It was good, but ended less then spectaular…but Its not Trips, Ortons, Cena (who didn’t need the title, even if edge retain it would of been better) Edge and Big Shows fault just that the “Showstopper, the HeadLiner and Mr WrestleMaina” and ‘The Pheom, the Demon of Death Valley” are the greatest WrestleMania Preformers in the history
Thank you to all my students who participated.
WEEKLY TV WARS
Like I mentioned previously, segment and storyline wise, it was alright, but only one show really stood out. The wrestling aspect was mediocre at best, as I was impressed with only two matches out of the nineteen or so matches that were on TV this past week. The students? that e-mail me all stated that MONDAY NIGHT RAW was the best show of the week, and who can blame them for saying that? The wrestling was pretty average, but most of them were not all that bad. Also, the storylines were solid and it was a great go-home show for Raw. So with that, for the first time in a while I will go with MONDAY NIGHT RAW as my pick for the show of the week for those reasons alone. The Orton/HHH segment to end the show was the best ending to Raw that I have seen in a while, Santino was a dancing queen for the comedy part of Raw, and I was really impressed with the storyline involving the Undertaker and HBK. I had fun watching that segment the most. As for the second pick, it is not even close. I am going, for the first time, with ROH ON HDNET. I thought that the wrestling was good and that is what their product goes for each week. The opening match involving SJK (A Pittsburgh-native may I add) and Stevens was pretty good. The main event with Danielson and Aries was spectacular. Only one storyline does hurt their grade, but I always have to add segments into my TV Wars segment. TNA IMPACT had a chance to really show their stuff as WWE did not give us two good shows this week. Instead, we got some below average storylines (although I am one who actually likes a couple of them), average wrestling at best, and some bad commentary by Tenay and Don West. SMACKDOWN was just a promotion for WWE Axxess, an Edge promo of how much the title meant to him, and three matches (in which only one was deemed ?great?). ECW did not give us much of anything, and I think it was because of the lack of storylines tired to WrestleMania. Hey, at least they are going to have an ECW title match at Backlash.
** Remember class, if you want to pick the best show of the week for the week of April 6, 2009, e-mail me at email@example.com. The most votes will receive one point into the standing of the ?Weekly TV Wars?. Your picks are most helpful. Thank You. **
Best Show: Monday Night Raw (2 Points)
Runner-Up: ROH on HDNet (1 Point)
Students? Choice: Monday Night Raw (1 Point)
Monday Night Raw…..19 Points
Friday Night Smackdown…..17 Points
TNA Impact…..2 Points
ROH on HDNet…..1 Point
COMMENTATOR REPORT CARD
Since this column is getting long already and I have yet to give out my Gold Stars for the Week, I will keep it as short as possible.
MONDAY NIGHT RAW
Michael Cole: D- (2009 Grade: D)
Pros: He did call more than eight moves in a two hour program, so that is a plus. He called the Cena/Show match adequately, so no complaints here. He only used the word ?vintage? one time during the broadcast, so it was not a ?Vintage? Cole performance.
Cons: I could not wait until MITB for one reason: I don?t have to hear Cole explain them fifty times during a seven minute wrestling segment. Call the action in the ring and don?t explain the rules all the time, Mr. Cole. To me, that is an insult to my class? wrestling intelligence, as my students in MY classroom are the brightest wrestling fans out there. When Lawler was wrestling his match, Cole was like a lost puppy. He did not do a good job in this match as well. He laughed more than called the Divas tag match, which was not good. He was not clear for the majority of the show, messed up his lines, and did not keep the viewer interested in the commentary. This has been consistently bad for Cole now, and he needs to get better or the WWE may finally release this guy.
Jerry Lawler: B- (2009 Grade: B-)
Pros: He looked good in the ring against Jericho, I wish he pulled a Chet Lemon from TNA and called the match as he was wrestling Jericho, because Cole dropped the ball. He was effective with his commentary on the Cena/Show match, as well as the JBL/Rey match. He was clear and precise on his replay analysis. He showed great emotion to not wanting to see Santino in a mankini. He got bonus points for good overviews after each match and before each segment.
Cons: Too much cat-calling the Divas. He even said ?Kelly Kelly marry me?. Only if she was Anna Nicole Smith and you were an 80-year-old billionaire, Jerry (my apologies to those who were offended). His voice was very high pitched when he got excited, kind of like Steve Urkel from ?Family Matters?. He was not good in doing commentary for the MITB over-the-top-challenge, though he called more moves than Cole did.
ECW (The guys that SHOULD have been the commentators for WrestleMania)
Todd Grisham: B+ (2009 Grade: B+)
**This may be Todd’s last play-by-play for ECW, as Josh Mathews took over last Tuesday. If this was Todd’s last time this year calling ECW, I have to say that he was the Most Improved announcer of 2009. Best of luck doing segments with the RAW superstars.**
Pros: For what the creative department gave him, he did a terrific job in calling both matches, even the Bella twins disaster. He called matches clear and to the point for the most part, even though he did botch a couple lines in the opening tag match. He did not build up a lot of WrestleMania stuff, as the commercials for WM really did it for him (See David Stephens? 3/31 ECW Recap to see what I mean).
Cons: He did mix his words up on a couple occasions. He did not show a lot of emotion when he said that he was more attractive than Striker, so the joke did not go well.
Matt Striker: A- (2009 Grade: A)
Pros: He went into great detail as how identical twins are formed for the students of mine that did not know that. Tremendous replay analysis, as usual for the former New York school teacher (he does make us teacher proud). Again, for what the programming was for ECW this past week, I think he did a good job at what he had and worked very well with his play-by-play commentator, Todd Grisham. From what I saw this week with him and Josh Mathews, he won?t be missing a beat anytime soon.
Cons: On one occasion, he did not have a smooth transition with Todd. And honestly, that was all I could find in his commentary on the bad side. Another nice job by Matt Striker.
FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN
Jim Ross: C (2009 Grade: B)
Pros: He called a very good match with MVP/Shelton. He called the majority of the moves in this match. He showed great emotions throughout the program at times. Called some of the moves involving the rest of the card, but it was not much to impress. He did transition well to Tazz. He called the finishers of each match well.
Cons: He was good at times, but he got a ?C? because he was too emotional at times when that should not have been the case. Oh, and by the way, how many times did he have to say ?offensive maneuver?? That phrase was almost as bad as Michael Cole saying vintage all the time. He just did not show the real enthusiasm like he normally did years back either, and I hope I am not the only one that notices this.
Tazz: B- (2009 Grade: B-)
Pros: He did the commentary for the US Title match very well. He called all the suplexes (as always because he knows a thing or two about those moves). I have told a few friends if I ever wanted to be a pro wrestler, I would want Tazz to train me. He did show some good emotion and was entertaining in his last Smackdown, but it was not consistent. He also did some nice commentary in the Divas tag match, something that has been very rare this year.
Cons: His first match on his last day as an announcer was decent, the second was great. He should have stopped and left the booth before the main event though. His commentary on the main event was terrible. He only called a DDT in that match to my knowledge. I wish he would have said like ?This will be my last Smackdown and thank his fans for all their support?, but I think the WWE would not want that. I really think that this guy is legitimately worn out and did need a break. Here is hoping that he will come back as a commentator anywhere, whether it is at WWE, TNA, or even ROH. I think he would be a great fit for any of those organizations.
Mike Tenay: C (2009 Grade: C)
Pros: How did this guy get a C you ask? Well the answer is this, my wonderful students. The first hour of commentary Mike Tenay bombed, for reasons that I will mention later. His second hour of commentary, he was near perfect. He did an average job in calling the tag team match in the middle of the card. He was very clear in calling the AJ/Scott match, probably the best he has done in months. He called the Joe/Sting match very well, getting almost every move right. He was very good in explaining the story of the final couple of matches, and if he can do this the whole two hours, he would not be too bad.
Cons: He was horrendous during the first hour of programming. I wonder if Jeff Jarrett forbids Mike of calling anything in relation of the X Division so that we can hear more and more about Jeff Jarrett and the Main Event Mafia. Did anyone else notice that Mike talked too much about Angle, Jeff, etc. right after the first segment of Impact? I know I did. He was not working well at times with Don West, but right now can anyone work well with Don West? He needs to show more consistency in order to bring his grade up.
Don West: F (2009 Grade: F)
Pros: Hey, when the Beautiful People and the Main Event Mafia are in the ring, he is actually entertaining, even though he botches his lines. He showed at times decent emotion when talking about heels. Those are the only pros I found in his commentary.
Cons: When the aforementioned wrestlers are not in the ring, he is abysmal. That is why he failed. Every wrestler to him other than the B.P. and the M.E.M. are nothing to him. He hyped up the Main Event Mafia matches way too much, and he did his occasional yelling. Oh, and when he said that Taylor Wilde was going to get a headshave?um wrong Mr. West! Although the Beautiful People did prevail after Madison lost her match and cut Taylor’s hair. Terrible Don West is at it again.
RING OF HONOR
I will start their report card either next week or the week after. I am considering a 1st grading period column next week, though I am not sure yet given my circumstances this week. But I will say that Mike Hogewood was better this week, but still not at a C level. Dave Prazak is actually getting better by the week, but he sounds like an announcer for a baseball game on the Playstation 2.
MR. V?S GOLD STARS!!!!! (Presented by Ecto Cooler)
There are so many stars to give out this week. I want to first off give a gold star to you. You have read the longest edition of ?From the Desk of Mr. V?. For that, give yourselves a gold star and a toy out the toy box. Also, since this is Easter Week, take a piece of candy. However, do not take the Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, those are mine!!
So, without delay, the Gold Stars this week go to:
Josh Piedra – For accepting the title of ?Commander? to the Ecto Cooler Brigade. Just to let you know, Josh, that I have sent a letter to Coca-Cola. Let the waiting begin?
Josh Boutwell – Mister TNA because Mister WrestleMania with his 5-4 record in our Predictions f rom the Faculty column. In case everyone wants to know, he was the only one to get a winning record at WrestleMania among columnists.
Joe Baiamonte – STILL the ?Dean? of WrestleView for still maintaining 1st place in our overall standings at a record of 18-11. In second is David Stephens just 2 wins back, to Lockdown we go?.
Sonny from England – Last year he told me that he went 1-8 in his WM 24 picks. This year he went 5-4, which was, out of the 25 picks from the WV fans, was the only winning record. One fan even got all the matches wrong, but his name will be withheld.
Mango – Two things you don?t mess with, the Grimace from McDonald’s and the Mango.
Star Trek Movie – I am not even a Star Trek fan and this movie looks to be very good.
Tazz – Good Luck in whatever you do. You will be missed by many a wrestling fan.
Todd Grisham – Thanks for your entertainment in ECW if that was your last show for a while.
Kofi Kingston – Even though you did not win MITB, you definitely earned a push for your efforts. DID YOU HEAR THAT WWE???
Craig Biggio – The future Hall of Fame Baseball Player for now becoming a baseball coach for his son’s High School team.
To my brother, Bob Valvo – Usually it is the younger brothers that look up the older ones. This is not the case with our family. He does not know it a lot, but he is one I look up to for his services not only in the city of Pittsburgh (police officer, which was his dream may I add), but also for the U.S.A. (he served in Iraq for 18 months while I was in college). On behalf of my readers from Pittsburgh and the many that live in the States, thanks bro.
To all my readers – I hope you all enjoyed this latest column, especially to my real loyal readers. I may not have the most fans out there in the wrestling world, but I really believe that I have the most loyal fans out there. Thank You.
Well, this ends another day of Mr. V’s classroom. Make sure you clean the loose papers under your desk, because Easter vacation is around the corner and we want to keep our floors neat and clean. To those who celebrate Easter, Happy Easter and don?t eat too much candy this year. If you enjoyed the column, disliked the column, have a comment, or even have a school question: e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond to your e-mails as always. My take, once again, is if you are loyal to me in reading and typing an e-mail, I will be loyal and send you one back. Well, the bell has rung once again, class. Push in your chairs and enjoy the holiday. You are officially…DISMISSED!
Thank you all for reading this column.