AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
So it’s Wrestlemania weekend, lots of activities to push World Wrestling Entertainment’s annual wrestling extravaganza. Vince McMahon insures everyone is on their best behavior as they wade through the media frenzy that always seems to take place.
And what does the voice of his flagship TV show and participant in his hottest angle do? Cole goes on his Twitter (done 99% in character) and refers to Josh Matthews as a “fa##ot”.
This, only days after the WWE and gay/lesbian rights organization GLAAD teamed to work together to curb homophobic slurs in wrestling (this after some much milder comments in a Monday Night RAW promo by John Cena),
After TMZ.com went public, Cole yanked the tweet and apologized, posting: “I apologize to any and all who were offended by my tweet toward young Josh Matthews. It was obviously not meant the way it was taken. I was not ordered to apologize. I said I am sorry because I am. Now can I get back to being a character again please?”
WWE publicly apologized: “The WWE and GLAAD announced a partnership on March 17 to try and put an end to bullying based on sexual orientation after a series of homophobic taunts was made by wrestler John Cena….WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents. We are taking steps and working with GLAAD to ensure that our fans know that WWE is against bullying or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation…. WWE has alerted GLAAD to the situation and spoken to Michael Cole about his post. He has removed it and apologized for using hateful language. Michael will be included in the training session being done by GLAAD. WWE takes this very seriously and is against discrimination of any kind based on sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or other.”
Um, so just HOW do you take a word like that?
Who thinks Michael Cole wasn’t made to apologize….quickly…by WWE? Further, who thinks that if Michael Cole wasn’t the hottest heel in the company and in one of the major angles in Wrestlemania, he might not have a job right now? It wouldn’t be the first time that Vince McMahon fired someone for doing something stupid out of the ring.
Either Michael Cole has to be totally lacking in judgement in saying this to try and get over his heel character, or this was some sort of weird way of Vince McMahon trying to take a quick swipe at GLAAD. In the days before WWE went public, Vince McMahon wouldn’t have publicly apologized for anything. It seemed just the way he did things. Now with the company a publicly held company, and with his wife perpetually running for the Republican nomination for US Senate from Connecticut…he has to do those sorts of things.
Meanwhile, in more news reported on TMZ…TNA’s Kurt Angle was arrested after the local highway patrol in Grand Forks found Kurt Angle sitting in his car in the median separating lanes. Angle is reported to have told police that he had hit an icy patch on the road. They smelled alcohol on his breath, and Angle failed a field sobriety test. Since the police didn’t actually see Angle driving, they couldn’t charge him with DUI, but did charge him with being in control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Angle responded on his Twitter: “I was not drunk. I was in ice storm and my car slid into three feet of snow median. I called police for help. They had other plans. I was stuck and wanted to go to my hotel. I was not passed out drunk. I was coherent. I’m sorry if I let you down. Don’t believe everything you read. My life is good and this is a speed bump in the road. The truth will come out. God bless. I take responsibility for this. My job is to stay clean and never put myself in jeopardy. TMZ blew it out of proportion. After my hearings, I will give you proper story.”
Um, so if you WEREN’T drunk, Kurt, just what were you taking responsibility for?
To conclude, a reminder about three killer shows this spring at the ECW Arena….first, the return of Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling’s tenth annual Best of The Best tournament, and CHIKARA Pro Wrestling’s King of Trios all in April; then concluding with the historic May debut of New Japan Pro Wrestling here in Philadelphia. Things start off on April 9 with an ECW Arena doubleheader, where Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling makes its United States return in an afternoon show to start at 2:30 pm featuring a No Ropes Barbed Wire Match between “Golden Boy” Drake Younger vs. “Crazy Monkey” Jun Kasai, Chris Hero vs. Daisuke Sekimoto, Big van Walter/Brodie Lee vs. Johnny Moss/Michael Elgin, Bad Bones vs. 16 Carat Gold 2011 Winner Sami Callihan, and Adam Cole/Kyle O’Reilly vs. LDRS of the New School [Marty Scurll/Zack Sabre Jr. Brandon Gatson and “Tremendous” Emil Sitoci are also in action. . Visit Westside Xtreme Wrestling’s United States site for the latest news and ticket information on wXw’s U.S. return! Early purchases of fronyt row tickets are available via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the topic “wXw Philadelphia First Row”.
That evening, Combat Zone Wrestling presents the tenth annual “Best of The Best” tournament, with a scheduled 7:30 pm belltime.
Scheduled first round matches include: Akuma vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Zack Sabre, Jr., CHIKARA’s Johnny Gargano vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole, Sami Callihan vs. AR Fox vs. Jake Crist, and Big Japan Wrestling’s Deisuke Sekimoto vs. Dragon Gate USA’s Chuck Taylor vs. Brandon Graston.
Along with the Best of the Best tournament, a Dream Death Match will take place with the CZW return of “Crazy Monkey’ Jun Kasai vs. Danny Havoc, and a six-man “Ultimate Jeopardy” style match with CZW Tag Team Champions The Briscoe Brothers and Devon Moore vs. Philly’s Most Wanted and CZW Champion Robert Anthony
Tickets will be available through the CZW Pro Shop at this link.
CHIKARA Pro Wrestling comes to the world’s most famous Bingo Hall for King of Trios 2011 on April 15-17. Belltimes are 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday and 4:30 pm on Sunday for the finals. All 16 trios will be in matches the first night of the tournament, which is Friday, April 23. The surviving eight teams advance into Night 2,and the 4 remaining teams will face off until just one remains on Sunday afternoon, As the participants are confirmed for the tournament, you’ll see them listed on this very page. There will also be non-tournament matches featuring wrestlers eliminated from King of Trios on the last two nights.
First round matches announced thus far:
Saturday afternoon will feature the fourth annual Fan Conclave at 2:30 pm prior to showtime. Tickets for this year’s Fan Conclave are $10 (free to those buying tickets for all three nights) . Along with wrestler autographs and gimmick sales, Stan Bush (who has the official song of King of Trios 2011) will be performing a concert during the Fan Conclave. Tickets for all events are available NOW at the CHIKARA store.
Finally, on May 15, New Japan Pro Wrestling debuts at the ECW Arena with a full lineup including 2010 Super J Tag League winners Jado and Gedo, Japanese legend Jushin “Thunder” Liger, IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, 2010 G1 Climax tournament winner Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask IV, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ryusuke Taguchi, Kazuchika Okada, Giant Bernard, Karl “Machine Guns” Anderson, Prince Devitt, Kenny Omega, Yujiro Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, Mitsuhide Hirasawa, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, and new addition MVP. Fair warning: tickets are not cheap, plus there is a $4 convenience fee for tickets purchased through the website. Tickets are Gold (Row 2/3) $65, Blue (row 4/5) $45 Red (GA) $25 and can be ordered at this site. Fans that purchase a GOLD ticket will receive a special meet and greet with NJPW Superstars at 2:30pm before the doors open, as well as, a commemorative ticket and DVD gift (redeemable with ticket the night of the show).
Until next time…
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