Sorry for being a bit tardy on this column, my students. I did get permission from Professors Golden and Martin to post this column a day late because of the flu going around like wildfire in Western Pennsylvania. I got it, and then my wife, and then my little girl got the flu mere moments before I was going to start typing out this column. As a devoted family man, I asked for a one day extension so I can take care of them, and I was granted that and more. So thanks Hunter and Adam for allowing me to take care of my family first. I wanted to start right away because of the great feedback I received from at least twenty of you who spend a lot of time reading my columns every Thursday. All of you are the reason why I keep on doing what I love to do.
Now, back to my teacher gimmick?.Good Evening Class!!!! Have a seat, sharpen your pencils and listen up! School is going to kick in to full gear. There will many things to discuss this week. A couple more rules that need to be enforced in Mr. V’s classroom, as well as detentions, honor rolls, and the commentator report card. And someone F rom Philadelphia will be awarded a gold star. And no, it is not the Blue Meanie (yet). So class, open your notebooks and begin writing down these new rules. They will be enforced immediately!!
13) If one has a lot of money and wants to spend it to help another person, it is ok to help those who helped you once along the way.
This rule made a bit of sense because I believe all the people in the world should do at least one random act of kindness every once in a while. Not only will one make someone ecstatic, but one also finds peach within themselves. Take Mr. John Layfield for example. The man has a TON of money, and he is not afraid to admit it. The guy may be known as a bully and a great politician in the WWE. Heck, some people were jumping for joy when JBL got laid out with one punch by none other than?..Joey Styles? I mention this because this past week on our glorious website known as WrestleView.com, It was announced that JBL is completely funding Ohio Valley Wrestling, a former WWE developmental territory. Ohio Valley Wrestling, for the new fans around here, helped bring talents such as Batista, John Cena, Shelton Benjiman, Umaga, and most importantly, Brock Lesnar up to the WWE. Since the OVW/WWE split in early 2008, Danny Davis (The Owner of OVW) lost a lot of revenue. He lost his TV deal, he lost his Six Flags deal, and he lost a TON of wrestlers along the way. Mr. Layfield realized this, and I think he felt like he needed to do something to help out OVW, in which he stated was a terrific system and promotion. I think this is a very noble thing that he is doing, helping out Danny Davis like this. Mr. Davis did help JBL out a bit in OVW when he was part of a tag team with Farooq, remember? I also heard that JBL is going to do his best at turning this one time developmental dynasty around, and that is a great thing. I hope that JBL succeeds in this investment, in case you are wondering. I would love to see OVW get back on their feet. I mean, OVW still has some decent talent there such as Rob Conway, Serena Deeb, Idol Stevens, and Nick Dinsmore (plus a great gimmick name in Igotta Brewski). I know the loyal fans will still stick with this product, and I hope that JBL is 100% backing his investment. Good quality indy feds are tough to come by, and we can?t lose yet another one like this one in Louisville, KY. When you see JBL at another autograph signing with his new Intercontinental Championship belt around his waist, make sure you thank him for doing such a nice thing like the one I just mentioned. I am sure he will appreciate it.
14) If soccer moms go crazy over your ring entrance, you are no longer the ?Boytoy? nor a ‘sexy boy?.
My students, the first time I saw this happen, I kind of brushed it off. Then the following week I see the same thing, and I am concerned. Now the rule has to be enforced. Shawn Michaels, you have a ton of fans, both young and old. You are the showstopper, the icon, THE MAIN EVENT!! However, let’s call it what it is right now. For the past three weeks when you entered the ring Shawn, WWE cameras are showing soccer moms and older ladies dancing to your theme music. That is not cool. If many of my students were teenagers right now and saw their mom dancing to HBK’s music, we would find that uncool and embarrassing. I am cool if you want to be called the Heartbreak Kid or the Hairline Kid or whatever; I think it is time for some new theme music. Something that relates to your gimmick now, as a born again Christian (in which by the way HBK is, check on it). By the way class, before you attack me like Don West attacks an all you can eat buffet at Cici’s Pizza (only Don West joke of the column, I promise), I am a huge fan of Shawn Michaels, even though he would not help push select wrestlers. However I think maybe it is time for a ‘slight? gimmick change with him. He does not need the same theme song he used since the pre-attitude era, just something else is all I ask.
15) Don?t offer Kane worms before a match.
Rumor has it is you do, you will be released by the WWE within a week. So students who want to work for the WWE, if you follow this rule and are not a main event talent, you just saved yourself another three weeks in the company.
DETENTIONS AND DEMERITS
This week my academic nuts, I issue demerits to the following as a last chance to do better, or face detention for a week (or worse, eternal detention): So Cal Val, HHH’s Legs, Orton’s TV Wife, Boost Mobile, Comcast, Mike Knox, Dixie Carter and the Buffalo Bills
Vince Russo and Dutch Mantel – for ruining a few careers in TNA, especially Christopher Daniels, or dare I say Suicide.
Hulk Hogan – for teasing us for weeks about a Wrestlemania match, only to get back surgery and miss the show completely!!
Kizarny – see what happens when you are on the detention list for too long? Zisomeone bizites zee dizust on this one, class. Gosh, did I just say pig latin there? No? ok, moving on?
Vince McMahon – For thinking Christian will never get over, yet he is one of the most popular wrestlers not only on ECW, but the entire WWE.
TNA’s ?Sarah Palin? – No offense Daffney (one of my favorite women’s wrestlers), but this is going to be placed on this list until this gimmick is GONE.
Bernie Madoff – if you steal billions of dollars F rom your investors, you deserve to be in the slammer every second of your life. It is just a shame you will never have the honor to see this, as prison life I hear is very strict with computer usage.
Three ?Stooges? for attacking Jericho at a house show – I still did not forget about you, you I think you time will come to an end soon.
ETS and the Praxis Series – Other than Madoff, this is the biggest scam. The middle school math test is a waste of our money (90 questions, over 140 dollars to take the dang thing, right Mr. Samples? Haha) Maybe I am just bitter about it because I failed that test last time by two points, who knows?
Mr. V’s Honor Roll for the Week of March 2 – March 6, 2009
Alright, after going through my rants on detentions and rules, it is time to sing praises to the wrestlers whom were awarded a spot on my honor roll for the week. Only one match stood out, but there were a lot of good candidates and even a TNA match makes the list. So here we go??
Distinguished Honor Roll – Miz/Morrison/Swagger vs. Dreamer/Finlay/Christian on ECW 3/3
Out of all the matches that have occurred this past week, this one stood out, as all six wrestlers (and even Hornswoggle) hit their spots very well. No one had a bad move in this match, it was a nice fast paced match that helped put all six wrestlers over, and that is something that does not happen often. Hornswoggle’s suicide dive off the middle rope to crash onto Miz and Morrison was perfect, and I know ?Mr. V cheered on Hornswoggle?? Dreamer was the one I was concerned about, but it seems like since he did not get pinned, he status on his ?bon voyage? tour is looking strong and he put on a good show. Miz and Morrison hit their moves and executed well. Swagger stole the show on the heel’s side, hitting his trademark moves and his finisher was excellent as usual. I am thinking in two years, we will be seeing a main title on him for sure. Finlay was as good as he has been and in the past five months, he has performed at a very solid level. He also has built a solid business relationship with Christian, which is a nice thing. I just wished that Finaly would had held the ECW belt this year, but oh well. Christian once again stole the show, even though he was the one that got pinned in the end. He hit some moves that I was surprised he could accomplish. The ending was very impressive, with the blind tag by Swagger and Swagger laying Christian out with the Gut-wretch powerbomb. A great ending to a great match. This was a great main event for the ECW fans at Boston and on Sci Fi last week.
High Honor Roll – TNA Tag Team Championship between Beer Money, Inc. vs. LAX on TNA Impact! 3/5
Now Mr. V does not like disqualifications to end his matches, but this one was done very well. Obviously we know that LAX was safe and not one of them would get fired, and we also had a feel that Beer Money was not going to lose the belts to those two. So, this was a solid match and as good of an ending as you could get. I heard a lot about Homicide and he performed well, as usual. I want to address Hernandez’s work this past week. One word came to mind ?Amazing!? All his moves were very well orchestrated. Seriously, if this match was a special feature, Hernandez would have been the male lead. His border toss move is probably one of the best I have ever seen in a while, and it helped make Impact a very good overall show last week. At first, I did not think the Storm/Roode tag team would had been good, but they are getting better and better each week. The wrestling skills and arsenal were different and fresh. No repetitiveness in their tactics. Nice simple maneuvers that were executed well such as the suplexes and the body slams. The back and forth action and the counters also were refreshing, and even though the ending was a DQ, it told a great story and did not hurt either Beer Money or LAX. A good show for the main event on Impact last week, and great announcing once again in this match by the underrated Mike Tenay.
Honor Roll – World Heavyweight Title Match between Edge vs. John Cena on Monday Night Raw 3/2
These two superstars have done this for years. Edge and Cena had wrestled for the belt many times in Boston, and this one impressed. Being that this match was F rom Cena’s hometown, I don?t think the crowd was disappointed in this wonderful back and forth style wrestling. Edge had some impressive combination moves, he hit his spots well, and kept the shenanigans to a minimum. This was the best I have seen in Cena in at least a few months. He hit his moves well on Edge and he showed some true emotion coming f rom his hometown. If you have seen all of the Edge vs. Cena matches, the one last Monday could easily have been in the top five. Some solid mat wrestling, air attacks, high risk moves, and momentum swings made this match fresh and entertaining. I for one thought there might be a chance Cena may actually pull through because he kicked out of a spear. And just when Cena applied the AA(attitude adjuster, or whatever they are calling it now), Edge creates yet another conniving way into keeping his title by DQ. Sure, Cena was disappointed to losing the belt that night, but he is at least in the main event come Wrestlemania 25.
Honorable Mention goes to: Monday Night Raw segments, Bill Watts in the HOF, Rey vs. Knox vs. Kane on 3/2, Alicia Fox vs. Natalya on 3/3, Shelley vs. Kiyoshi on 3/5, Matt Hardy vs. MVP on 3/6, Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton on 3/6, The Dirt Sheet segments this week, Mark Henry’s ?Sexual Chocolate? theme song and the Great Khali theme music.
Worst Match of the Week – Money in the Bank Qualifier match between Mark Henry vs. Santino Marella on ECW 3/3
No TNA ref matches on here this week, as this match took the dubious award for worst match. Mark Henry is improving, I will admit. Santino Marella is more of a lousy (yet effective) stand-up Italian comic now. But as William Regal said, comedy can only take you so far in the business. Santino’s in ring work is terrible, and it is evident this past week. Only a one minute match and it is over. A match featuring Dolph Ziggler sounds more appealing now than this match we saw on ECW last week.
Dishonorable Mentions goes to: Kane vs. Boogeyman on 3/3, Maryse’s bad announcing, Matt Morgan vs. Shane Sewell on 3/5, Maryse vs. Eve Torres on 3/6, and DJ Gabriel’s theme music.
WEEKLY TV WARS
For the second week in a row, all shows delivered a solid performance in the ring. Even though all four were solid Monday Night Raw once again stood out ahead of the other shows based on the whole HHH/Orton Segment, Jericho assaulting yet another legend in the Superfly, and the main belt was at stake this past week. Friday Night Smackdown was the runner-up again because of some quality wrestling, but they did have some bad spot in one of their matches. Also, the long and boring beat down of HHH was one to put a few points off the board for them. The contract signing was nice and somewhat unpredictable, yet fun to watch as Cena bribed his way to the main event. TNA Impact was a solid show. The Don West heel turn was not bad, but he did deliver some cheesy lines. The wrestling was good, as I had 2 matches at a B level this week, and the Kurt Angle/Jeff Jarrett feud was nice. However there were some misses in this week’s show that I think they will clear up on this week’s Impact. Who knows, they may get a point next week. ECW has been putting on some great matches this week, but yet again there are no real build ups with storylines, just the anticipation of Evan Bourne’s return which is coming up very soon.
The students have spoken as well. The majority of my students enjoyed Monday Night Raw as their show of the week, with some votes going to Smackdown. Again, the wrestling audience can vote on which show they believe is the best by e-mailing me. The address is email@example.com and all you have to do is tell me which one you think was the best show this week. Your votes are helpful and I do appreciate them.
Best Show: Monday Night Raw (2 points)
Runner-up: Friday Night Smackdown (1 point)
Reader’s Choice: Monday Night Raw (1 point)
1)Friday Night Smackdown…..13 points
2)Monday Night Raw…..12 points
4)TNA Impact!…..1 point
By the way, thanks to one of my readers (Suzanne), I am finding out that Ring of Honor is debuting on TV in a week and a half, March 21st. Will I be putting their matches in the grade book? You better believe it!! If their shows are worthy of the honor roll and best TV show, they will be acknowledged. Stay tuned?.
COMMENTATOR REPORT CARD
Again, and this will be the last time I address this. I watch each show twice. I watch each show once for the wrestling, and once for the announcing. I do this because I am afraid at times I miss what the announcers are saying at that is not fair to them that I grade each week. The first grade is their performance f rom last week. The overall grade is based on their performance f rom January to the current week of March.
Michael Cole: D+ (Overall Grade: C)
Jerry Lawler: A- (Overall Grade: B)
There was a time in which I hated both commentators. But the time has past and I turned the other cheek. I will discuss Michael Cole’s commentary first. He was not good. He did not talk well; he did not transition well to Lawler. He only called one or two moves per match until the main event in which that is where one announcer should be at their best. I understand the fact they play-by-play guys ask questions to guests and color commentators, but it should not interfere with the calling of a match. I want to hear ?nice bodyslam by this wrestler?, not ?OOOHHH what a vintage move!? I was very disappointed that when Vladimir Kozlov applied the Torture Rack, no one called that move. He did call a good match between Cena/Edge, but his overall performance was sub par at best. Not a good week for the play-by-play on Raw.
Lawler at first I could not stand worth anything. Now I am listening to his insights, and I got to say I am impressed. He shows tremendous emotion when he announced the main event tonight in Boston, he showed emotion in every match, as well as the latest member in the Hall of Fame. You can just feel the enjoyment the King had this past week. He called more moves and called more overview of each wrestler this week than Micheal Cole. His replays were great and he even rivaled Matt Striker in humor at the announce table. He saved this announce team this week, no doubt about it. This is the best by Lawler since he was brought back by the WWE years ago.
Todd Grisham – C+ (Overall Grade: B-)
Matt Striker – A- (Overall Grade: A)
The Slammy-Award winning announce team continues to impress week in and week out. Todd Grisham was very disappointing in the first half of ECW this past week. However when the main event took place, he shined. Let’s analyze the first half of the show first. I liked the way he took the joking around by Matt Striker, very professional. He had some of those ?captian obvious? phrase such as ?that is a briefcase?’seriously? I guess it is, and since I am your certified WrestleView.com teacher I must get that briefcase because that is what Todd told me on TV. It was a little bit humorous when he addressed the team of Christian, Finlay, and Dreamer as the IHOP tag team, since they come F rom different countries. Not as funny as JR’s team name for Khali and Finlay (Corned Beef and Curry), but still effective. Though he rarely called the moves in the first half of the program, he effective called the match towards the second half of the show, and that much merits a C+. According to Mr. V, in order to get a B, you have to be solid during the whole show. Since Grisham was only good for one half of the show, I think a C+ was the best grade to give him this week.
Matt Striker stole the show yet again, just like any teacher would do. Hey, did you know that Kane was a substitute teacher in the central part of the country before he went into wrestling? Just digest that for a second, alright? Striker was solid, loved his humor with Todd during the show. After the night was over, I said to myself ?Since NBC is in good standing with the WWE, perhaps Matt Striker can be an Olympic Announcer for the Winter games in 2010. What do you think class? Striker has spoken in at least seven languages, and he is pretty fluent in Italian, as he shown in the Santino/Henry match. He gave us solid commentary throughout AND entertained the viewer all in one hour, which I think is impressive. He used many Boston references in the main event (i.e. Bobby Orr, The Boston Massacre) and he gave kudos to Todd for his attention to detail with the Morrison blind tag to Swagger. Also, liked how he talked about backgrounds throughout the show. So all in all, the two meshed real well and put on a great announcing show for us this past week. The best they have done in at least a month.
Friday Night Smackdown
Jim Ross – B (Overall Grade: B)
Tazz – C (Overall Grade: B-)
These guys were both pretty consistent, but none really wowed me this past week. Jim Ross called some really good matches and his play-by-play was clear and concise. However, something was missing in each match. He did his usual BBQ sauce plug (That is a good name for a fantasy baseball team, JR’s BBQ Sauce). He messed up on AC/DC’s song ?Shoot to Thrill? (a great song, but not as good as ?It’s a Long Way to the Top if you Wanna Rock and Roll?). He called it super thrills, I believe. F rom the opening match to the main event, he did call a TON of moves, something Cole did not do too well and Todd did inconsistently. He did not though; provide smooth transitions to Tazz, as JR did most of the talking throughout Smackdown this past week, something I wish did not happen. He did show great enthusiasm in his work this week and it helped his grade out a bit. I just wished he allowed Tazz to talk a bit more this week.
Tazz was average this week. His enthusiasm was there and his emotions were there, but he maybe only talked I would say thirty percent of the time, JR was pretty dominant this past week when it come to announcing. He got high grades for his replay analysis and his overviews and background of each wrestler last week, but his effectiveness was not there. He rarely called moves in the last hour of the show, and that was bothersome. Even though he showed consistent emotion throughout the show, he missed the mark on calling tactics and strategies. Also, I think it was the first time in a while that the Human Suplex Machine did not call a Suplex. Pretty weird, huh?
Mike Tenay – B (Overall Grade: B-)
Don West – C- (Overall Grade: F)
Well, after many request and many complaints, we finally got it! Don West is a heel announcer. Even though I got a ton of e-mail going one way (i.e. give this a chance and don?t bash it) and another way (i.e. why aren?t you bashing this move, Mr. V?) So, I am going to give this a shot. Before I opinionate on Don West, let me discuss the ?Non-Disgusting? Mike Tenay. The first hour he called the matches with Don West was the best interaction these two had since I started this report card. He called the moves well, gave us good background. However, I wish he did not bring up the Main Event Mafia every two minutes into a match. Just call the good quality matches this week, Mike. I did not like his play-by-play with the whole Booker segment with AJ. That was a bit sloppy. Also, he was a little too overzealous when Kurt Angle attacked a Frontline member for the reason of having new clothes. After Don West took his microphone and went home early to sell Samoa Joe action cards, Tenay did a fantastic job calling the last two matches on the card. There were actually some moves I never heard of, but Tenay let the viewers at home know what the moves were called, and that was fantastic. I did give Tenay an A+ for his announcing on the LAX vs. Beer Money match. If you haven?t checked it out yet, please do so. Both the wrestling and the commentary were outstanding. So to summarize, without Don West, Mike Tenay was excellent this past week. With Don West, he was good, but not great.
Don West?where do I start? Well, for the first time, he was not the worst announcer of the week, does that say something? I loved how he did not apologize for his actions, but I hated the whole ?Enjoy the Ride? line. How cheesy was that, students? Also, I got to give credit where it is due, and say that he FINALLY, after seven years gave some knowledgeable analysis on something, and that was addressed in LAX’s decision to accept the Off the Wagon Challenge. He also was good at interacting with Mike Tenay on a few things, but don?t disagree on everything Tenay says. I actually liked how he ripped the Suicide character, calling him a coward because he feasts on the tired wrestler. Last time I check however, Suicide attacked Sabin as well (who did not wrestle). I liked how he called the knockouts match, but I have to say something about this one.
It is analogy time, ready? Jerry Lawler is to Kelly Kelly as Don West is to _______.
Answer: The Beautiful People.
Don West was going gaga over these two. Thank goodness he did not go crazy for Cute Kip as well, or else something would not have been right. I did not like his last few minutes on Impact though. He went back to his yelling phases again, after being calm throughout the show, which was a good thing. When he left, I said to myself ?The Brain never left the announce table?. Don West did it twice in as many weeks, and I hope it does not last. Less yelling, less leaving the table, and more entertainment at the color commentary position may lead Don West to a B in my gradebook. But as of now, I am still uncertain on this, but the first week of Don West ?heel announcer? was not terrible, but could be better.
MISTER V?S GOLD STARS OF THE WEEK
Many students and wrestlers alike earned these stars. The value of these stars I think stand greater than Dustin Pedroia’s MVP trophy and MizMo’s slammys. Without further delay, the gold stars this week go to?
Josh Boutwell – I owed him one F rom last week and I am giving him one this week. Mr. TNA in the WrestleView world has been providing great recaps of Impact, so check them out. It would mean a lot to him, even if you are not a TNA fan.
David Stephens, Austen Allen, Osaid Ahmad, and many other facebook friends – because I think you deserve them.
To all the participants in WrestleView’s Fantasy Baseball – One should just sign up because of the team names. I will post weekly standings in future columns. Good Luck to all those and may our draft Friday be excellent.
SPoindexter (in WNL chatroom) – I told him he can have one, so here it is.
John Morrison and Carlito – When the Miz and Primo had their match on ECW last Tuesday, it was gold. When Morrison and Carlito sparring with words in the background, it was platinum!
Bill Watts – Thanks for the memories and congrats in the Hall of Fame.
Jimmy Rollins – for taking all those hits in the chest with baseball in a Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial. Check it out class, it is funny stuff.
To all that has e-mailed me this week – Thanks for your kind words and I hope my replies were worth your time.
WrestleView.com staff – We are the best pro wrestling staff in the world my friends. Thanks for letting me on board.
Well, that is it for this week, my students. If you liked it, hated it, have a questions, or just want to talk about how bad the Praxis tests are. I am all eyes and ears!! Heck, even if you have a question dealing with school please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All e-mails, good or bad, will be replied in a professional matter. To those that e-mailed me last week and waited for days for a response, I am sorry. I was real sick this past weekend and then the family once again got what I got. Stay safe and healthy this week, my friends. Until next week, please stand up, push in your chairs, line up in a SINGLE FILE line, and leave the premises. You are…DISMISSED!!!!