Friday night appeared to be a pretty normal crazy weekday night for me, and then when I woke up at around 8pm, after another lovely graveyard shift, I check the boards, and what do I see.

Eddie “Umaga” Fatu is gone.

I can say with conviction that although at the time of the debut of the Umaga character, I had doubts on its success, Eddie Fatu perservered, and got the job done, very well, throughout what ended up being his final tour of WWE. His previous characters aren’t that memorable to me, but unfortunately, with my memory, it’s difficult to keep a lot of stuff in there to begin with.

Back in November, 2002, at Survivor Series in MSG, I remember the six man tables match between 3 Minute Warning & Rico against Bubba, Spike & Jeff Hardy, where the Dudleys reunited. I can say that match is one of the most fun matches I have had the privilege of watching and owning. The entire match from bell to bell was terrific in every way possible. I loved the 3 Minute Warning gimmick, even though they were Bischoff’s henchmen. Bischoff is an ass, and an egomaniac, but his boys knew how to kill people, literally.

When Umaga debuted and destroyed Ric Flair, I had doubts. Serious doubts. At the time of Umaga’s debut, Samoa Joe was running roughshod through TNA, and I believed Umaga was a significant copy of the Samoan Submission Machine’s character. I didn’t trust Estrada, only seeing him briefly in Ohio Valley Wrestling, and I thought this character was going to be short lived.

Boy, was I wrong.

Now, am I going to sit here and rain on the memories of Eki “Eddie” Fatu by talking about the same subjects that always come up with the passing of another individual in the professional wrestling industry. Why? Two reasons.

1. We don’t know the cause or the rammifcations as a result of Eddie Fatu’s death. If and when that situation becomes public is anyone’s guess, and I am not going to speculate in any way, shape, or form as to those points. I’m not that good.

2. The rhetoric of what to do about the wrestling talent’s health, and well being has been overdone each and every time another talent is lost, it’s become almost like a broken record. And I don’t think my readers need to have the record skipped back to the same lecture again.

I wish I had more to offer on this situation. I don’t. I can only say this. Eddie Fatu entertained me and my family on many a night. I can remember my two youngest kids, huge wrestling fans, (grumble, grumble), both of them loving it each and every time Umaga’s theme song played.

With that being the case, it’s safe to say Eddie Fatu did what he loved to do. He entertained the masses.

Rest in peace, Mr. Fatu. You will be missed.

I have not resumed watching TNA Wrestling. I know that’s going to piss off a few columnists here, but tough. I have continued to follow the advice of the powerboss here, Adam “The Muffin Man” Martin, and continued my boycott of TNA. However, I’d be re-missed if I didn’t comment on a report on Wrestleview as to the possibilities of Hogan not ever entering the Impact Zone because it is “too minor leagues” for a name like him.

Yeah, right. This guy, who’s set to remarry so soon after a bitter divorce, who is, well, hell, I’m not going to do this again. Let’s be honest here, people. This is trainwreck wrestling at its finest. And it’s a goddamn shame.

Bubba the Hate Monger says Hogan will be in the Impact Zone on January 4th for the TV tapings. Start the guillotine now. And, please, let’s stop writing news stories that have a source that has more expertise in this sport than I do. Bubba is a clown. I’m a clown. But I’d be better at this than he would, and that’s a lock. Bubba’s not worth the effort. So why am I still typing?

I saw the clip of the Governor, Jesse Ventura, walking off the Opie & Anthony satellite radio show after getting in to an argument with comedian Jim Norton.

Hey, Governor. If you plan to do any more politics, I think it’d be a better option to try and rebuff skanks like Norton. To walk off like that, while it’s probably the lesser of two evils, it makes you look weak and feeble to the minds of the general public.

All that clip did was give Ventura bad pub, while giving those three sanctimonious dirtbags on the satellite good pub. Real slick, Jesse.

I have no problems with the Raw guest host setup, but I am getting a little tired of the celebrities getting in to the ring. Shaq, I can understand. Roethlisberger playing defense with his line, good call. Menunos wrestling, I didn’t think it was the right idea, but it came off ok. Cuban now is saying he’ll wrestle in an angle with Legacy. That has the possibilities of being pure trainwreck. And not in a good way.

I’m kind of bothered by Rey Mysterio’s decision to push back knee surgery until after Wrestlemania. While I understand it fuilly that it is the best time to make money inside a WWE ring, his health with that knee has become suspect at best, and I would’ve thought it to be a much better decision had Mysterio opted to go for the surgery, and try to recover fully this time. I know I can’t comment for what’s going on in the mind of a pro wrestler, but the ability to walk seems to be pretty important when it comes to taking care of your kids, and Mysterio, I think, by this being his sixth surgery on his knee, is pushing that to the limit. And at his reduced size, that may be a limit he can’t overcome.

It’s getting awfully boring hearing the speculation as to whether or not the Rock will guest host Raw. It’s been a topic of scuttlebutt since Smackdown’s 10th anniversary special. Let’s either sign the man, or give it up, already, because the consistent speculation is maddening. Personally, I’d hold out on bringing Rock back, because frankly, Rock’s teasing this deal because his acting career has gone downhill since the Mummy series of films, in my opinion. I think he’s teasing a return to WWE to boost his own name and give himself some press prior to new projects. Which, of course, is the whole point of the gimmick, but in this case, I’d hold on it, because I don’t think Rock should be given the chance to use WWE again like he did initially when he basically left in a lurch after the Scorpion King was completed. Just one man’s opinion.

Surprising as hell to me, I am going to be in attendance for Ring of Honor’s Final Battle. This will be my second Final Battle appearance, as I was there in 2006 when Homicide won the ROH title over American Dragon Bryan Danielson. I didn’t think the chances would fall in to place for me to be in attendance for Final Battle, but fortune favored me, and I will be there.

I’m really bothered by the choice of the challenger for the World title. Tyler Black interjected himself in to the match that saw Austin Aries capture the title at Glory By Honor 8, and now, a mere couple of months later, gets yet another shot to capture the elusive strap that he seemingly has had an infinite number of chances to grab. It’s pretty obvious that it will be Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black for the World title in New York, this based on the assumption that Aries is able to get by Colt Cabana in a cage in Chicago tonight.

The World tag team titles are on the line as the Briscoes will challenge the American Wolves for the belts. It seems like the Wolves haven’t defended the belts since GBH 8, due to Edwards’ broken arm. He returned, and went to Japan faster than anyone, and Richards seemingly has become obsessed with either the ROH World title or evolving alongside Gabe “DGUSA” Sapolsky. Ladder War II was everything it was supposed to be and more, but I won’t be surprised in the least if the Briscoes recapture ROH tag team gold, because I have to believe if I’m the ROH brass, I’m not too pleased that we haven’t had much ROH tag team title action since Ladder War II.

Kevin Steen wants to talk to ROH fans after their match with the Young Bucks at Final Battle. Is he going to turn on El Generico? Is he going on the shelf to repair his knee? Only time will tell. I think the match will be very impressive, none the less, and I’m very intrigued to see what Steen has to say.

Other matches have yet to be signed, but it’s a pretty good bet it’ll be a hell of a show. I’m really interested to see how ROH performs under the stress of DGUSA’s popularity, and the forthcoming debut of Gabe’s new project, EvolveWrestling. With no true aces outside of Austin Aries, ROH is betting a lot of stakes on some relatively young talent. It’s going to be bumpy for the forseeable future leading to Phoenix and the showdown between ROH and DGUSA at Wrestlemania weekend. I truly wonder for the company’s durability. I hope they can survive.

Dragon Gate USA is saying after their recent Philly show to crown BxB Hulk as the new Open the Freedom Gate Champion that they won’t be in the Northeast again for six to nine months. I’m bummed as hell, because I would’ve given my left arm and leg to check these guys out in their own environment if they were coming to my neck of the woods. Yes, I know, if I could’ve gotten to Philly, I would’ve, but in this world, dreams are often shattered, and that was too. I’m really interested to see how DGUSA continues to progress, and if it does progress at the speed it had been once Gabe’s new project launches in Jersey.

NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji is back after nearly eight months out due to knee problems. He’s back at a critical time for NOAH, as they need some serious momentum for the forthcoming holiday season, and leading in to 2010. It seems like they have been focusing on bringing in a lot of talent from the outside to keep their aging roster healthy, and they still have had trouble in doing that. Akiyama is back on the shelf, forcing NOAH to scramble. KENTA is still out, which is not good at all for NOAH period, so Marufuji is coming back at a pivotal time for the company, who needs a good push out of the gate in 2010, no pun intended, in order to keep their company in the status it had prior to the tragic loss of Mitsuharu Misawa.

Look at me talking Japanese puro. Hunter Golden eat your heart out.

It’s so sad what’s happened to the name “Gagne”. It appears that every thing that can be going wrong, does go wrong for this family. It’s truly sad.

Ok, time to call it a day. See you guys later this weekend during the “Pro Wrestling Rewind” on the Wrestleview radio network.

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