-The First Shot-
Hello everyone and welcome to the 24th edition of The Shoot. I am your gracious host as always and this week I have an interesting topic to get to? should be fun. As always, we came off the heels of another wrestling PPV? this time it was WWE Night of Champions and I did pretty well in my opinion. So I?ll have my picks and my thoughts as usual. Also in my non-wrestling section? I have some more oriental suggestions for you to try out. While all of that is tempting? let’s take a trip over to the news headlines and see what stood out to me the most.
Raw Hosts: Two words that are on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days. Many are wondering who will host Raw in the near future and a couple of names made the headlines. The first was ?The Immortal? Hulk Hogan. Apparently, Vincent Kennedy McMahon didn?t take to the suggestion too well and instantly shot him down. In this economy, and knowing Hogan, I?m sure McMahon just saved himself a few million dollars. Not only that, but with Hogan’s ego and all the recent negative media attention surrounding his son and his wife, I?m sure that is a door that Vince wishes to keep shut and locked. The other name dropped was Freddy Krueger. Ok? I can handle Seth Green or even Shaq coming on to host Raw because they are real people, but Freddy Krueger? Come on? that’s just absurd! I know the source for this was from TNA’s Jeremy Borash so it should be taken with a grain of salt, but if there is any validity to this? someone in WWE Creative should either get shot, or end up on Mr. V’s Eternal Detention list.
Wrestleview.com received an e-mail from an irate WWE Ticket Holder from WWE’s Night of Champions PPV stating that they sported an Anti-John Cena sign and security took it away. That is just a load of bull if you ask me. I can understand if the WWE saw a sign in their crowd that was racist, offensive, vulgar, or inappropriate, but stating a dislike for a certain wrestler is every wrestling fan’s God given right. Some people choose to do that by bringing signs to a television show to let the viewers at home or the wrestlers there live know what they think. If a fan writes something innocent as ?Cena Sucks? on a sign and brings it to an event, there should be no reason for security to take it away. Is Vince really that anal about face / heel status of characters that he’s going to keep censoring people’s thoughts? I mean? how protective does he have to be?
The most money-making man in professional wrestling is also a man who is very European and has a beef with TNA. Claudio Castagnoli stated recently that after watching the Jenna vs Sharmelle match at TNA’s Victory Road PPV, that he felt insulted that a reality television star with next to no professional wrestling training stepped into a wrestling ring to perform in front of a live Pay-Per-View audience. I actually have to agree with Claudio here. I know wrestling is all about ?Characters? and ?Entertainment? but there’s a difference between that and untrained television stars competing in a business where those who do compete have undergone years of training and have a lot of experience. I felt the same way when Seth Green said that he was going to be in the Monday Night Raw main event? and I felt the same way about some stints like Dennis Rodman or Jay Leno back in the days of WCW. Celebrities don?t belong in the ring? if they want to be in the ring? go get trained properly.
-The Big Shot: Taking Advantage of the Internet Wrestling Community-
This week I?m going to take a look at something that some promotions take advantage of and some promotions don?t? and that is the Internet Wrestling Community or IWC for short. When we say catering to the IWC? a couple of promotions come to mind: Ring of Honor and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. While TNA has kind of skewed away from that and are now doing their own thing, ROH still tries to listen to its fans, even though they, too, are now starting to head off into their own direction. Now? I know what the argument already will be before I even get to the end of the main segment and that’s ?well, the internet community doesn?t make up the entire wrestling fan base.?
And you would be correct.. it doesn?t. But just because it doesn?t? it doesn?t mean that you have to stop catering to them. In fact, it might be a bit beneficial to actually play to the IWC in order to trick them? and here is why.
I?ve said it numerous times that wrestling is an entertainment business, but it’s a lot different than it used to be. Turn to ESPN Classics and watch an entire AWA Wrestling show and then turn on WWE Monday Night Raw. This isn?t your daddy’s rasslin? no more. The main difference here is the characters. You had some over the top characters in the AWA such as Colonel DeBeers and the Texas Hangmen. If you looked into the audience, you?ll see why those characters are there. The audience was comprised of moms, dads, and their little ones. It was a family entertainment concept and these over the top, borderline cartoonish characters clearly defined the roles of the good guys and the bad guys and it made for a very family-oriented show that anyone could enjoy.
Then the internet happened.
With the internet came wrestling dirt sheet websites. The days of kayfabe were over and nothing was secret anymore. People knew that wrestling was staged, they knew about the storylines, what would happen on future television shows thanks to leaks of show taping results, communities started to build where wrestling fans would claim that they knew the inside scoop and they would talk like they were in the business instead of talking about the show itself. The internet broke down the imaginary walls and unveiled professional wrestling for what it really is. Now when these fans see a match featuring cartoonish characters, or crude grade-school humor, they claim that their intelligence is being insulted and that they would rather watch something more brash.
That’s where ECW came in. They saw what WCW and the WWF were putting out back in those days and they came up with a cult style that catered to those dirt sheet and forum trolls and, oddly, the formula worked, but it was such a small and niche group of people that ECW really never took off to the grander arenas, although they did find success on PPV. After ECW died, many said that ECW would never be duplicated, but one company has and that was Ring of Honor. When I say duplicated, I don?t mean style, I mean the passionate cult following by the internet fans.
While there can by a rather marginal success to be had by catering to the IWC, it will not bring you total success. The WWE is the measuring stick, regardless if you agree with Vince’s policies or not, for what it takes to be a successful wrestling company. His idea of sports entertainment revolutionized the industry and transformed the American wrestling landscape indefinitely. The one thing I find funny here is that Vince and company claim that they despise the internet and the IWC for their ?Smart Mark? views on wrestling. Vince says that he despises the IWC for having storylines leaked and that all of his booking secrets are eventually known, but do you honestly think that it means that Vince ignores the IWC?
I don?t think so.
My theory and entire basis for this column was based off of Jeff Hardy’s World Heavyweight Championship win at Night of Champions. Leading up to the PPV, there have been many wrestling dirt sites talking about how Jeff Hardy still hasn?t signed a contract with the WWE and that pushing him was their way of getting him to stay. Jeff has even written micro blogs on Twitter eluding to the fact that he still hasn?t signed his WWE Contract extension. Despite all of these news and rumors, he still ends up winning the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions, which, I am sure, baffled many in the Internet Wrestling Community. My thoughts are this: What if Hardy already signed his contract and this was all a ploy to throw us off?
?But Josh! I read on the internets that he still hasn?t signed a contract! Everything on the internets is true!? Well.. I think that wrestling promotions can take advantage of that line of thinking. I mean think about it for a second. You?re the WWE. You have a globally broadcasted show, Monday Night Raw, that airs in X amount of countries each and every week. Everything and their mother is tied into the internet and in this day and age, people hop on Twitter to tell the entire internet that they walked outside their house and grabbed the mail, or that they spend, seemingly, every waking moment on their Facebook page bragging to the entire world what they did, are doing, or are going to do for the day or weekend.
With that in mind? say you want to have a major surprise on Raw. Well you know that you have to have a team of writers and bookers and some form of a staff to put the entire show together. Sooner or later, one of them is going to be sitting behind a computer screen to type up the script for the show. What’s stopping them from sending an e-mail to a friend who knows a friend who runs a dirt sheet site and all of a sudden your surprise is all over the internet and you just wasted your time and money planning this out.
My guess is, I?m wondering if the WWE took advantage of the whole Jeff Hardy contract scenario and plastered it all over the internet to throw us fans off? This way, no one would suspect that he would be walking out of the PPV with the strap. It wouldn?t be the first time that the WWE sent out information that caused people to be mislead. In fact, in this day and age, I would encourage more wrestling promotions to follow suit and do the same thing.
Don?t you remember the days where you would turn on Nitro or Raw and see someone from the opposite company show up unannounced? Didn?t it feel good to be surprised by seeing something like that? Didn?t it feel good when you didn?t know what would happen in advance? I think that the internet has ruined a lot of those special moments for us and taking advantage of the internet in a way where you would end up tricking the minds of those who think that they know it all, is really the only way to make shocking moment like that occur.
So that brings me to this week’s question. How would you feel if promotions took advantage of the internet to trick the smart marks for the sake of bringing back the ?oh my god? shocking moments in wrestling?
-One Extra Round: PPV Pick Results-
Well? another PPV has come and gone and now it is time to see how I did with my predictions.
Maryse (c) vs. Mickie James
WINNER: Mickie James
PICK: Mickie James
Thoughts: The way that this feud was set up, I just had a feeling that Mickie would walk away with this championship. Maryse has had the title for a while and it just felt like the time for a new face. I know a certain someone in wrestling radio is having a block party right now as we speak?
Michelle McCool (c) vs. Melina
WINNER: Michelle McCool
PICK: Michelle McCool
Thoughts: Unlike the Diva’s title, this didn?t feel like a change since McCool just won the championship. She’s still pretty popular so there really isn?t any reason for them to take the title off of her just yet.
Unified Tag Team Championship
Chris Jericho/Mystery Partner vs. Ted DiBiase Jr./Cody Rhodes
WINNER: Chris Jericho/Mystery Partner
PICK: Chris Jericho/Mystery Partner
Thoughts: The way that this was set up? there was no chance in hell that Jericho would have lost the titles here. This one was just too predictable.
United States Championship
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. The Miz vs. The Big Show vs. Carlito vs. MVP vs. Jack Swagger
WINNER: Kofi Kingston
PICK: Kofi Kingston
Thoughts: As I said in Mr. V’s prediction’s column, this one had too many X factors in it. Four of the combatants were intertwined in alternate storylines which only left Big Show and Kofi. With those two as the only real choices, Kofi just seemed like the ringer to win and retain? and he did!
Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
WINNER: Rey Misterio Jr.
PICK: Rey Misterio Jr.
Thoughts; Interesting news fact that Ziggler was supposed to win the Intercontinental Championship and that Vince chanced the decision at the last moment. Thank God he did otherwise it would have ruined my shot here!
Tommy Dreamer (c) vs. Christian
PICK: Tommy Dreamer
Thoughts: I had a sneaky feeling that Christian was going to walk out the champion in this one, but I picked Dreamer because a part of me wanted to see his reign continue.
World Heavyweight Championship
CM Punk (c) vs. Jeff Hardy
WINNER: Jeff Hardy
PICK: CM Punk
Thoughts: The whole purpose of my column was the outcome of this match. I was actually going to pick Jeff Hardy as well, but I bought into the internet news stories about his contract and paired that with CM Punks evolving heel persona and thought Punk would have been a ringer for this match. Guess I was one of the schlomos that got fooled.
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. HHH
WINNER: Randy Orton
PICK: Randy Orton
Thoughts: Cena and HHH cancel each other out. I can?t see two of the company’s top babyfaces in the same match with the company’s top heel and walk out with the championship? if these were one on one, maybe? but in a triple threat like this.. the heel normally prevails!
So with this..my overall score is now 46-33. Getting better, but not good enough for my own personal tastes. I?ll need to fix that with TNA Hard Justice.
-The Final Shot-
As I said earlier, I had some oriental flavor for you this week? and by that, two Japanese dishes that I made which turned out really good. Those being Ohagi and Yakisoba. Ohagi are simple rice balls coated in your choice of red bean paste, sesame seed or sugar-sweetened crushed walnuts and served with a sweetened soy dipping sauce.
Yakisoba is a wheat noodle and vegetable stir fry with worchestershire sauce mixed in. In addition to the noodles and vegetables, meat, such as pork, is often used. Both dishes are really delicious and I suggest that if you wish to broaden your culinary palette, you give these two dishes a try.
My song of the week is “Aka no Kakera” by Yuki Suzuki. Nice metal/rock sound with dark and cold sounding lyrics. Excellent music to give a spin.
That will do it for me this week? until then, feel free to hit me up using any of the following:
Until next week?