A couple of things have hit me right between the eyes, and have forced me to come out of the woodwork with a column today. Enough with the banter, lets go to work.
Torrie Wilson expresses public regret for participating in the Miss Wrestlemania battleroyale in Houston. You know something? I am stunned not many other divas, past, present, or otherwise, haven’t expressed discontent and outrage over the mockery and misrepresentation that had been committed for the divas division and women’s wrestling in general.
Yes, I know women’s wrestling is not a focal point of WWE, but if you’re going to go in to the biggest stage, and have a contest involving divas from the past and present, bringing back past stars like Torrie, Victoria, Molly, et al, you’d be smart to have a legitimate winner, no matter who it is. And when I say legitimate, I don’t mean who actually won the battleroyale. So, I am not surprised in the least that Torrie said what she said, and I think she’s got a legit point to be pissed off about how things transpired.
I mean hell, if Trish Stratus, possibly the greatest, if not one of the greatest divas in WWE history passed on wrestlemania, what does that tell you?
I’m beating a dead horse, so let me say this. I don’t understand WWE’s logic in refusing to support Torrie in her recent efforts in the NBC reality show, “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.” I’m one of those idiots that won’t check something out unless primed for it, and had WWE done some priming for this project, as they have with others, even with a project that had zero WWE involvement, (The Wrestler), I would have been interested to check it out, and I think it’s safe to say others would have been as well. By totally ignoring the request for support, WWE shows their true colors, and that’s selfish to the core, and that’s just absolutely reprhrensible. WWE would not be where they are without the talents that have passed through its halls, and to spare a few seconds of broadcast time for a diva who gave you seven excellent years of service I think is a small price to pay to maintain loyalty and trust from its past and current employees.
I’ve read the alleged reports of what Vickie Guerrero was being paid for appearances in WWE. I would understand the logic of the talent if there is some truth to this, but there has to be something missing here. It was reported that WWE paid for Eddie’s funeral, may he rest in peace, which I am sure is a major expense that Vickie did not have to endure, and I am sure, I have to believe, that the WWE did provide the resources necessary for Vickie to be able to handle her duties in WWE television for as long as she did while her children were home. While I can seriously understand the low pay rate being a subject of conjecture, I would have to think, although by saying this I am contradicting myself 100%, I have to believe that WWE did do the right thing, and gave Ms. Guerrero the assistance she needed to keep her family in tact while she was performing.
Taz’s statements about the current state of ECW really puts in to perspective how much of a clusterbomb that show has literally become nothing short of what is the flavor of the week. And if you don’t believe me, check these trades. Swagger and Bourne could’ve been cornerstones of ECW for a long time to come, and both of them being sent to the Raw brand may be death knells in waiting. Don’t get me wrong, I think Bourne will find a way to make some noise on monday nights, But, I think Swagger would’ve done better in the smaller brand than trying to make a name in the larger ocean.
One thing can be said for ECW that needs to be stressed. Matt Striker has found his career. He is by far and away, the best color broadcaster on WWE programming today. I loved JBL when he did it because he was able to be informative, and at times, still maintain his heel persona, but this guy, can keep the line right down the middle, and keep it fun, informative, and down right emotional from the word go. If ECW has been a cluster bomb from the word go, at least, to use Taz’s words, they got the quicksand out of the way when they found the rising star of the mike, Matt Striker.
I guess I have to comment on TNA briefly, although I really don’t want to. I have a problem with this idea of beginning a storyline involving Raven, Stevie Richards, and Abyss. Not because of the participants, but because of two things. One, apparently Raven has been dumped to the waste side again, as he was only brought in briefly during Slammiversary week to showcase the past vs. the present, which is legitimate, I give you that, but when you get him involved in a full blown storyline, ya think you could keep him around??? Ok.. that was the easy part.
A while back, ladies and gentlemen, does everyone remember the story of Sting capturing James Mitchell, and handcuffing him to the fence in front of the prison when they were trying to uncover the secrets of Abyss’s past?? I didn’t have too much of a problem with that, although the connotations could be devastating, but it was scripted, we all know it, and although it was in bad taste, it was a legit aspect to an angle that had a lot of steam behind it. Would I have done that differently, sure, probably, but hindsight is 20/20.
Now, we forward to this past week, with Abyss losing his mind looking for Richards, and Richards showing up on the titan tron literally holding Lauren hostage. OK. Capture a manager is bad. A male manager, makes it a little less tasteless, but its still bad. Capturing a non-wrestler, an interviewer who should not be involved in any storyline whatsoever, well, let’s be honest, ladies and gentlemen, its reprehensible. Now, I, as an adult, I can understand the logic behind this, and I can understand the reason behind this, and I can sit here and say to you that although I don’t like it, I understand it. However, le’ts be frank about this for one second.
I know people are going to rip me for this, but I don’t care. I watch wrestling a lot with my kids. Some of what is on is deplorable, but explainable. But some of it goes over the line. Fortunately, WWE doesn’t cross that line very often, the truly last time I think they crossed that line was the Katie Vick thing. I may be mistaken, but that’s the last really disgusting thing I’ve seen WWE pull off. TNA seems to cross that line almost weekly with something ridiculous. Whether it’s the Mafia demeaning someone else and throwing them in a dumpster like a piece of trash, to Judas Mesias spitting out blood capusles like it’s a second breakfast, to Black Reign and the rat, to even Tara and the spider, and then we have this travesty. There are ways of building up feuds, and there are ways of building up blood feuds. What TNA is doing with the Abyss/Stevie Richards situation, and you have to call it just Abyss vs. Richards now as Raven apparently is not in the picture, but what they are doing with the feud is wrong, its deplorable, and its bordering on criminal. I know the show is TV 14. I know that. Even when WWE was TV 14, they didn’t stoop to this level THAT much. TNA seems to do it regularly.
Edge is hurt. And hurt bad. It shows absolutely without a shadow of a doubt how badly the WWE needs to adjust its schedule to allow its talents time to heal. Whos on the shelf now? Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, now Edge, Kane literally just got back last week, Matt Hardy has a broken arm, Jeff is on the virge of not signing a new contract. Let’s see. Thats four to five main eventers guaranteed who are not available at this time. I guess that’s why FCW has been bringing up a lot of new comers to ECW, and how ECW got plucked of any potential main eventers, i.e. Swagger and Bourne, to the other brands, to try and make up for the talent loss. What surprises me is how Christian remains on ECW, and why long term vets like Benjamin and Regal are traded there. It’s really become a rookie division for WWE, and although mentors are welcome and useful, I am sure, I would also think that it may be necessary to pluck the vets off ECW, and place them on Raw and Smackdown, because the injury bug is biting pretty damn hard on both of those brands, and they’re going to need even more bolstering to keep them afloat for the long term.
I have to comment on the state of Ring of Honor. Ring of Honor has a very limited, and I do mean limited schedule for the summer. That can be interpreted in two ways. I’m not going to try and interpret it any way, except to say this. I know that ROH is trying to sell a television product, and they need to pull out all the stops. Is it necessary though to pull out names like Ric Flair and Bret Hart for autograph signings to bring in new fans?? I don’t think you’re going to get the majority of new fans that you’re looking for by bringing in these legends at price tags that are absolutely outrageous. I’d be more content to try and focus on the talent you have, and have the talent on the roster be the ones to bring in the new fans. I mean, let’s face it. Is the casual fan going to watch ROH on HDNet to see a 2 minute promo from Ric Flair, and then expect to stay for the remaining three matches?? I don?t think so.
ROH’s biggest hindrance, I think, a lot more so than money, is the overall cult behavior of their fan base. Truthfully, I think their fan base may be something that could literally be turning off the casual fan from checking out their product more in depth. That’s all I am going to say about that publicly, because I know there’s one place in particular that if they get a hold of this little diatribe of mine, will turn it in to a full scale all out war, and nobody needs any of that.
I think that is all for now. More as I can come up with it.
Thanks for reading.