In memory of…Captain Lou Albano (1933-2009)
Hello classroom. Sorry for the mood right now, as I just heard of the passing of a legend in the wrestling business. I will discuss my thoughts on Captain Lou Albano later on in the column. However, the show must go on. I have one rule to mention, along with the weekly reports of detentions, gold stars, honor rolls, and grades galore. Heck, I once again have another one of those ?Mr. V announcements?. So, sit down and relax. Have a cup of hot chocolate on the house. School is ready to begin once more!
Before I go on with the Quote of the Week, I would like to say thank you to all who e-mailed me on Facebook and Hotmail. I was really touched by some of your comments and wishes. Not only did I get one from family, friends, fans of the Mr. V column, and even a song by ECW recapper David Stephens?but I also got one from Human Tornado. Still, they were all great and I thank you. Let’s move on though.
Quote of the Week
?Often Imitated, but never duplicated!?
– Captain Lou Albano
You sir can never be duplicated…
96) If you don?t vote or e-mail homework assignments, don?t gripe that your favorites were omitted from the list!
Now, I know that one of Mr. V’s students has a legit reason to gripe because I did forget that students and for that I am sorry. However, you won?t believe how many e-mails (ok, maybe about five) wondering why their favorites did not make the Top 22 Wrestling Themes list.
I am not going to come up here and yell and scream, it is not my style. What I will say is I issued this assignment out for almost three and a half weeks and I thought I had a great response. The voters all did a nice job with this and I give them all the credit for their efforts. But still, some may not be happy. For that I am going to issue another homework assignment very soon. If you complete the assignment and your favorites missed the cut, then maybe you have a reason. Guys like Chris Elgee, Ricky Langston, Suzanne Abshire, and others did a great job sending me their picks. I know that many of WrestleView’s finest enjoyed this piece. Heck, I even got a shout out from the Trey Dawg. Do you know how long I have waited to earn on of those?
So, if I sounded like a whiner, I am sorry. Or maybe I am not. Moving onto…
We have plenty of headlines to inform the WrestleView student body, and here are some of them that caught the eye of Mr. V:
Headline #1: RIP Captain
Now I was not the first to hear of the news. As a matter of fact, I heard it from Mark Madden as I was driving home from teaching at Saints Peter and Paul School in Beaver, PA. I was not shocked, but it was sad to know that a legend of Lou Albano’s stature is no long with us. Well a day before this column was published, we lost an icon. Albano was 76 and the cause of death unknown.
His career as a heel manager was in fact ?often imitated, but never duplicated?. I am sure a few older fans may have known that he was a WWWF United States Tag Team Championship back in the 1960s. He was probably best known to non-wrestling fans as the father in Cyndi Lauper’s song ?Girls Just Wanna Have Fun?. For over forty year, Albano entertained many a WWE fan. He managed great talents such as Pat Patterson and Greg Valentine. He managed over fifty wrestlers and under the Captain’s guidance, let those wrestlers to multiple championships.
Though Albano was a little too early for my time as a wrestling fan, I read up a bit on him when I became a fan. He won awards as a manager and was a Hall of Famer for a couple wrestling organizations (WWE and The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum).
A year prior to his death, he came out with an autobiography. I for one will go to the nearest bookstore and read it cover to cover. I was going to pick up some books with my hard-earned birthday money (still an awesome feeling when you earn cash because of your existence). I will let you all know how the book was when I finish it.
And for you Super Mario Bros. fans, remember that he was the voice of Mario on the legendary ?Super Mario Brothers Super Show?. Boy did I wake up early many a days avoiding my homework and watching this masterpiece.
But for now, let’s have a toast (I have my Dunkin Donuts coffee mug and it is risen). To Lou Albano: When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. Captain, you will always be a treasure to the minds of a wrestling fan. May there be many Hawaiian shirts in paradise for you?
Headline #2: Not one, but TWO Diva’s Champions in one night!
Last Monday, RAW (The Nancy O?Dell version) had a bit of a surprise. Mickie James came in for her contest and dropped her Divas Championship to none other than?Jillian Hall! That is right! The WWE’s answer to Britney Spears powerbombed Mickie off the corner and put her foot on the ropes (by the way, Michael Cole said Mickie’s foot was on the ropes) to get the cheap pin victory and her first women’s championship. Jillian was honored (as well as Hunter Golden from what I heard) and it reminded me of the time when Plankton finally got to spend time with a Crabby Patty. She danced with it and sang Lady Gaga to her new friend. Too bad her reign lasted quicker than Dean Douglas? Intercontinental Title timeframe.
Instantly, Nancy O?Dell (who was surprisingly good as guest host I may add) announced a Diva Trade in which RAW picked up Jillian’s opponent just a few minutes after she won the title. The opponent was Melina! Yes, that entire Internet backstage whining brought her back to the Red Brand. Well it is sad that after twenty one seconds into Hall’s first title defense, Melina screamed and both botched their way to a Melina title win and Melina became the third diva to claim both women’s championships in her career.
What did I think of all this. Though I am a Mickie James fan she has been terrible the past few months. I don?t know where to point at, but James was so bad I was actually hoping she would have lost it to Alicia Fox. It was nice to see Jillian get it after all her hard work in the ring over the years. However, with Melina winning the title I am not so sure. She is a good wrestler, probably one of the top five in that division. But her match with Jillian was the Worst TV Match of the Year (and mostly likely will be bashed more in next week’s column). Melina can carry that division on RAW, but I think something will have to give sooner or later.
Headline #3: Divas Traded!
Here is the quick review and in parentheses my take on each one.
Melina (I assume she wanted to go back to RAW and they finally granted her wish).
Eve Torres (This could be the sleeper here. She has improved drastically and her work with Cryme Tyme will sorely be missed on Smackdown).
The Bella Twins (If they were not twins, they would be on some fitness video. It is a shame that they have more wins in 2009 than Gail Kim).
Mickie James (With the power of editing and a potential feud with McCool, this may be the best fit for James right now).
Beth Phoenix (I like this move. She was going nowhere on RAW. The change will be good for her).
Rosa Mendes (Either she will be competing in FCW more or she is in serious trouble. She is not terrible, but she does need work. On occasional appearance on ECW and more experience in FCW might be the best think for Mendes right now).
Winners and Losers
Winner: Smackdown (I think adding these two divas could lead to something fresh in that division. I think the workers in the divas division are better, but we will see).
Winner: Eve Torres (I don?t know if it is technically a win for her, but she has been pretty good in the ring. I think that matches against Maryse, Jillian, and Alicia could work wonders for her).
Loser: Gail Kim (Do I need to explain this one?)
Loser: Katie Lea (I feel bad for her. She can run circles over many of the divas yet they have her in ECW Divas purgatory. I hope she get repackaged because he is going nowhere right now).
Headline #4: Amazing Red wins the X Division Championship!
I for one had a fair share of knee injuries. All I will say is that I am very happy for Amazing Red. Look, I know the win was cheap but I don?t think that TNA wanted Lashley vs. Joe for the X Division Title. I don?t think that they want to book Lashley as a champion for TNA (though I won?t be surprised if they do). Anyways, congrats to Amazing Red on earning that title. It tells that classroom that if you rehab your butt of after a serious set of knee surgeries, you too can fly with the best of them. Red proved that last Thursday.
Headline #5: The Miz is AWESOME!
Look, a couple years back when I heard Miz was getting a serious push I rolled my eyes. Now after seeing a vast improvement in the ring and noticing some dedication, he has grown on me. This is his first individual title on main WWE TV, and I say well done. He earned it. Now they have a match fit for a King at Bragging Rights. Miz vs. Morrison must make Dave Stephens smile from ear to ear.
On a side note, Kofi Kingston should get some credit here. I knew when they mentioned ?making his way to the ring?.from Ghana? I knew he was going to lose the belt soon. He was a graceful champion, having beat wrestlers in triple threats, fatal 4-ways, and six pack challenges. His work is only going to get better and who knows, perhaps he dropped the belt for bigger and better things. Though he lost the U.S. Title, I think he can very well make a big splash in the main event scene for RAW in the near future.
Headline #6: Traci Brooks was bumped off Playboy for who?
By Marge Simpson! Yes classroom, I am not lying! Traci must have been so bad that Playboy took her off the magazine to put a cartoon character in her place. I want to hear Jeremy Borash say something about that. Please, I really do.
Headline #7: Madison Rayne FINALLY wins a match
I laughed and wanted to send Pro Wrestling Illustrated in Detention for placing Madison Rayne #19 among Women Wrestlers. How could someone be ranked so high and not win a single match on TNA TV during the first nine months of 2009? Well, the count is over classroom. Last Thursday, Madison Rayne scored a pin victory to earn her first victory of 2009 on TNA Television! Congratulations, Madison! You are now 1-17 this year! I guess I now know how Detroit Lions fans felt when their team finally won a game, huh?
This week, I have to put the following into detention for the short haul…
Comcast – My favorite cable people messed up my picture for a couple wrestling programs this week. I am so glad I am paying over a hundred dollars for a picture that is not clear. Money well spent, I guess.
Oakland Raiders – Now that the Browns can?t be my whipping team, I am going to pick on a team that may very well draft Tim Tebow next year.
Jeremy Borash – I am sure he is a good backstage guy, but he is to TNA what Michael Cole is to the WWE. Both would probably kiss butt and tattle to keep their jobs. What do you think students?
Jerry Lawler – For pretending to be cool and talk like Snoop Dogg. Adam Martin is right about this, Lawler should not use a word and mix it with ?izzle?. Also, for self-promoting your run for mayor. Like you really had a chance anyway.
Traci Brooks – jobbing to Marge Simpson.
Booker T – One more week on this list. Learn to help younger wrestlers out or you won?t be going to the WWE when your contract runs out.
Mickie James – Now we won?t know when you botch a move. Smackdown edits some of their matches, making it impossible for Mickie to botch anymore.
ETERNAL DETENTION (4 LIFE!)
Michael Cole – Can we get a WrestleView spotlight on this guy? Oh wait, that would probably mean that we would lose a lot of VIPers. Nevermind. But poor commentary and doing cheap plugs and clich’s make Michael Cole the worst commentator in profession wrestling. He should be demoted to FCW and promote someone (anyone) to commentate for RAW. Sorry, but Cole is getting on my last nerve right now.
Rhaka Khan – I regret placing Kurt Angle in this list earlier this year, because you are the one that is really getting all the bad press now.
Rob Terry – Just because.
Still that NEW ECW announcer – I am sorry, but I think she got hired because of her looks. I know she is new and all, but she was trained and STILL can?t do the job right. I believe that a good ring announcer (i.e. Justin Roberts or Michael Buffer) leads to a match that you WANT to watch! This new girl is not doing it. I actually was not interested in the midcard for the 10/13 edition of ECW because of the ring announcing.
ETS and the Praxis Series – I want to make a song about them. It would either be in the Dethklok format or Weird Al, I am not sure.
MISTER V?S HONOR ROLL FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 5 – OCTOBER 9, 2009
Once again class, not one match earned the ?A? grade from this teacher’s desk. However, there was quite a few that earned a ?B+?, four of them in fact. But since it is a top three, here are my choices as the best of the best this past week:
Distinguished Honors – The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston, Monday Night Raw, October 5.
This match was very impressive from start to finish. I knew that these two would hit it out of the park, but the title change on Raw really caught me off guard. I was surprised it did not change the day prior, but still a brilliant job done by both guys. It can only help both later on this year and in 2010.
Move of the Match: I knew the Title would change hands when The Miz rolled out of the ring after Kofi’s ?Trouble in Paradise?. Also, Kofi’s newly added S.O.S. looked impressive and painful at the same time!
High Honors – Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho, Friday Night Smackdown, October 9.
If you get tired of watching a match with these two, please stand in the corner or get out of the classroom! These two can battle for an entire two hours, and it would be nothing short of amazing. The back and forth sequence was spot-on, nothing was botched and the chemistry was great. It told a great story, for at one time Jericho tried to pull off Rey’s mask, which led to Rey getting the majority of the offense until the finish. For Rey Mysterio, this was a great return match after his 30-day absence from WWE programming.
Move of the Match: While Mysterio was running, Jericho hit a superb enzugiri!
Honors – Yoshi Tatsu vs. William Regal, ECW, October 6.
If William Regal is in a powerful storyline, the results are very good. His match with the up-and-coming Yoshi Tatsu was surprisingly good, with a great flow from start to finish. Both guys hit their marks real well and the result was a good mid card match! I really thought the ending was original. Tatsu hit his finisher (his Chuck Norris Kick) and Regal placed his foot below the rope (great awareness). Still, the overall story in this match helps both guys out on their quests for something better.
Move of the Match: Regal’s Butterfly Suplex towards the end of the match!
Honorable Mention matches are: Dutt vs. Delirious on 10/5; Ryan vs. Strong on 10/5; The ROH Tag Team Honor Rumble on 10/5; HHH/HBK vs. Jericho/Show on 10/5; Christian vs. Ryder on 10/6; DiBiase vs. Bourne on 10/8; Cryme Tyme vs. Hart Dyansty on 10/8; Abyss/Morgan vs. Angle/Foley on 10/8; and Morrison vs. Ziggler on 10/9.
Worst Match of the Week: The WWE Diva Bowl, Monday Night Raw, October 5.
What were they thinking? I was not impressed with the entire match. Most the moves were sloppy, it lacked a lot, and nothing came out of it. Clearly something is not right in the Divas department.
Dishonorable Mention matches are: Kingston vs. Matthews on 10/5; Kozlov/Jackson vs. Dreamer/Goldust on 10/6; Nash vs. Hernandez on 10/8; and ODB vs. Tara on 10/8.
WEEKLY TV WARS
(What were the best segments and matches that you missed? Look no further than Mr. V’s TV Wars!)
ROH on HDNet (October 5)
Best Segment: Though it was not a taped ‘segment?, I really liked the Nigel McGuinness shoot on Roderick Strong. Gosh, am I going to miss recapping Nigel matches for ROH.
Best Match: Tag Team Honor Rumble won by the Briscoes
Monday Night Raw (October 5)
Best Segment: Maybe because I am a Steelers fan, but I really liked the segment involving Ben (I refuse to call him Big Ben) Roethlisberger, The O-Line, DX, and The JeriShow!
Best Match: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
ECW (October 6)
Best Segment: Christian joking around with William Regal (Christian brought in Yoshi Tatsu because of his recent winning streak, Tony Atlas for his laugh, and a janitor for placing urinal cakes at Section 105). The segment’s synopsis was mainly that those three accomplished something.
Best Match: Yoshi Tatsu vs. William Regal
WWE Superstars (October 8)
Best Segment: Ugh?by default it has to be The Hart Dynasty promo
Best Match: Shad and JTG vs. DH Smith and Tyson Kidd
TNA Impact (October 8)
Best Segment: Most were pretty solid, but the intense feud between Lashley and Samoa Joe was worth a second look. Best spot was when Joe did an elbow drop onto the announcer’s table.
Best Match: Abyss and Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle and Mick Foley
Friday Night Smackdown (October 9)
Best Segment: The was pretty light to me, so I will go with the interaction involving Teddy Long and Vince McMahon (Taker’s promo was a close second)
Best Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
Students? Choice: By a vote of 4-1, the students voted TNA IMPACT as the show of the week.
Mr. V’s Runner-Up pick: Monday Night Raw
I thought the overall show for RAW had its highs and lows. The second hour was well-booked as both segments and matches were great. However, they missed the ball on a couple in-ring promos and a couple matches during the first hour. Plus, adding Ben Roethlisberger was a bonus to me. Call me bias if you want, but I think I can be at some time in my column.
Mr. V’s Pick for Show of the Week: ECW
It is a shame that this show only gets a 1.3 rating on average. I mention this because for the past couple weeks this show has given us the clich?d ?more bang for your buck?. The only stinkers were the opening tag match and the ring announcer. Other than that, the ECW viewer got great segments involving Christian, Regal, Ryder, Yoshi, and a janitor (Mr. V used to be one before becoming a teacher). Heck, we even got the now-famous laugh of Tony Atlas! Add two matches involving their top four stars right now and ECW had a near-perfect balance of wrestling and promos. So to the ECW team, I say bravo! Have a cup of Columbian coffee on me!
CLIFF NOTES (for the readers who fear their boss is looking over their shoulder. Man, I really need one of those ?boss? buttons.)
Best Show: ECW (2 Points)
Runner-Up: Monday Night Raw (1 Point)
Students? Choice: TNA Impact (1 Point)
2009 TV Wars Standings:
1) Friday Night Smackdown (55 Points)
2) Monday Night Raw (36 Points)
3) TNA Impact (35 Points)
4) ECW (25 Points)
5) ROH on HDNet (10 Points)
6) WWE Superstars (1 Point)
COMMENTATOR REPORT CARD (Presented By: Jim Ross? Family Bar-B-Q in Norman, OK. On a personal note to JR, please don?t leave Smackdown! I fear that Cole will do double duty and my ears can?t take listening to him for more than two hours a week. On a side note if you have $10 to spend, buy JR’s cookbook! An autograph and recipes for that amount is too good to pass up! You girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, or wives will thank you once you use some of JR’s BBQ secrets.)
Ok, I was a little rushed the past few weeks and it seems like the commentators treated it like it was summer vacation! Haven?t they heard my pleas on performing at their best regardless of what week it is? I?m just saying that at least four of them were not good at all. Usually it is Cole (who was awful again), but guys like Prazak need to improve?and fast!
A rundown of this week’s grades
Michael Cole: D- (2009 Grade: D) **Current Leader of The Dunce Cap**
Jerry Lawler: D- (2009 Grade: C)
Josh Mathews: B+ (2009 Grade: A-) **Dean’s List**
Matt Striker: B+ (2009 Grade: A-) **Dean’s List**
Todd Grisham: A (2009 Grade: B+) **Dean’s List**
Jim Ross: B+ (2009 Grade: A-) **Dean’s List**
Mike Tenay: B (2009 Grade: C+)
Taz: B- (2009 Grade: B-)
Mike Hogewood: C- (2009 Grade: C-)
Dave Prazak: D (2009 Grade: B-)
MISTER V?S GOLD STAR SEGMENT (Presented by: RC Cola. Why? Because it is only $1.00 for a 2-Liter Bottle at Wal-Mart! It is the official drink of Mr. V’s Bound For Glory PPV Party! And it is better than Pepsi and that foolish Coca-Cola (for not bringing back Ecto Cooler!)
Fresh off the Presses; here are Mr. V’s new Gold Stars! Word of advice, don?t use them for any store credit. They will shut you down and may call the cops on you!
JJ Sexay – for playing the theme for ?The A-Team? on Plugged In a week ago.
Nancy O?Dell – Very good job hosting Raw! Definitely exceeded expectations.
Maria Menoundos – I probably misspelled the name, but I don?t care. She looked better in the ring than the other five that were in that same match! Problem here is that she is a correspondent to a GOSSIP SHOW!! So, hat’s off to you, Maria!
Melina – NEW WWE Diva’s Champion!
Jillian Hall – NEW and FORMER Divas Champion in one night!!
Amazing Red – NEW TNA X Division Champion!
The Inventor of those Pens that you can click on different colored inks – Gold Star for you! You saved me a lot of money buying a lot of pens.
Clark, TVS, and Jeremy Samples – For giving me clips of birthday songs. All were very hilarious and entertaining.
Dave Stephens – For the Mr. V tribute song. Check my Facebook page to see it. It is a very touching song!
Matt O?Brien – For an excellent column last weekend! Please check out his column, it was very creative and humorous. A job well done, Matt.
All the students of WrestleView who completed the Best Wrestling Themes Homework – Thank you for your work.
Trey Dawg and Josh Boutwell – Thanks for the comments on WV VIP regarding the themes.
All FaceBook people who said Happy Birthday to me – Thank you very much once again!
Todd Grisham – Best of luck on your marriage.
MR. V?S ANNOUNCEMENT!
Last time I had an announcement I told all of you that I became the recapper for Ring of Honor. Well, a friend of mine told me about another website that would benefit from the knowledge of Mr. V. Well, after much discussion and a successful application I am doing something more for pro wrestling. So, here is the announcement…
MISTER V IS NOW ON THE EXAMINER!
The Examiner is a site that gathers people from select cities and they complete articles based on their expertise. Well, I applied a couple weeks ago (per a friend who thought would be a good idea) and The Examiner really enjoyed the work. So, after a passed background check I am now titled ?The Pittsburgh Pro Wrestling Examiner?! It is another exciting moment. I will give you links to my articles next week. But for now for all the up-to-date columns on The Examiner check out my FaceBook page. Thank you in advance for reading them.
First off, the results on what hair color looks best on Trish Stratus…
The students have spoken and by a vote of 8-7 (with one vote for any hair color), the classroom prefers to see Trish Stratus as a BRUNETTE!! Thanks to all for participating.
As we all know, with the thanks to all of you the best wrestling themes was a complete success! Now, here is a follow up to the previous assignment:
Name the five (5) WORST wrestling theme songs of all-time.
I think this could be better than the Best Themes. Who knows when this is due, but the column should be very entertaining once completed. Please e-mail me all your choices at email@example.com or message me on Facebook.
Also, e-mail me for any suggestions for detentions, Gold Stars, and also classroom rules! Who knows maybe I may accept your request and you can be a part of this column as well!
Well, 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 The Faculty’s next set of Predictions (Bound For Glory PPV), 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.
And as always, if not for the students there would be no Mr. V. Thanks again for reading this lengthy column.
Later this week ?From the Desk of Mr. V??.
* ROH Recap for 10/12
* Predictions from the Faculty: TNA Bound for Glory Edition
Check out my first Examiner article: click here