-The First Shot-
Hello everyone and welcome to The Shoot. I must say something here that’s not really wrestling related in any way, but I have to let out my glee and excitement. If you are a Final Fantasy fan? mark June 2, 2009 on your calendars and go stab people who are in your way to the nearest DVD retailer and pick up Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Complete. Not only is it the first movie I?ve seen with two colons in its title, but I was able to see some clips from the Japanese edition online and I have only one thing to say:
I cannot wait to see this on Blu-Ray. 30 minutes of extra footage and the whole movie remade (not remastered) for true high definition, new effects, actual character explanations, better back story, etc. I could fill an entire column on just this, but it’s what the movie should have been. I just had to get that out of my system and share my excitement with all of you! But you?re here for wrestling so that means it’s time for a segue!
-The Big Shot: The Terry Funk Syndrome-
First off, there are no Quick Shots this week because there really wasn?t any big news that interested me enough to talk about with the exception of Ric Flair wanting to come back to wrestle and Triple H’s response to it. Since that was going to be the main focal point of this week’s column, I didn?t feel it would be fair to repeat myself in summary and in full out rant mode.
But this week’s rant is simply that? a rant because I am growing tired of wrestlers retiring and coming back. Sometimes it’s nice to see an old face on television tear down the house, or at least try to, but the whole point of retiring from the business is that you are done. When you make the decision to retire you personally acknowledge the fact that your time has come and gone, your body cannot take the stress anymore, and that it is time to hang up the boots and enjoy reality once again.
But even a wrestling comes to terms with that, they get the ?itch? to get back into the ring. I named this column The Terry Funk Syndrome because I can?t remember how many times I?ve seen Terry Funk officially retired from professional wrestling and then make a comeback. I?ve honestly lost count and if he does (or even has) retire(d) again, I probably wouldn?t care because it completely has lost its meaning. This is the price you pay if you keep changing your mind. Sure you?ll get that cheap pop because you?re a big name and you?ve been through hell in the business, but sadly, that’s what your fans are only good for at that stage: the cheap pop. When you retire again, they won?t care because they know you?ll just be back in a year or less so you can get your cheap pop all over again.
This brings me to The Nature Boy Ric Flair. I am going to take a small excerpt from a statement that Triple H made on the subject of Ric Flair returning to the ring. Triple H said:
“There’s a part of me that’s bitter sweet. As much as I enjoy Ric on the show and I miss seeing Ric Flair on the show, I feel that he was given the ultimate sendoff in the business. There have been so many guys in the past… they retire and un-retire then they retire and they un-retire. It’s almost a joke when they un-retire.?
When I read that statement, I had realized that my feelings about Ric’s announcement couldn?t have been echoed any better.
It is true that Ric Flair got the ultimate send off that any wrestler could have asked for. They took Shawn Michaels, the one man that is guaranteed to have a great match at Wrestlemania every single year and the put him in the ring with Ric Flair. The two of them had one of the most emotional, yet, classical wrestling matches in the past decade and everything about that match was absolutely perfect. From Ric’s offense, all the way to the heart wrenching finish, that match couldn?t have been done better. When it was over, the spotlight was on Flair on the biggest stage of them all. He had the moment to stand there and see the tears in the eyes of 74,000 people as they wished him well and gave him the well-deserved send off that any wrestler could ask for.
Coming back to scratch an itch would take all of that and make it meaningless. Many would just see Ric Flair as a man who would just come and go as he pleases. Many would fear that he would turn into the next Terry Funk. I know a lot of people don?t want to see that happen, especially my friend Dan from Lakeland, FL who is probably one of the biggest Ric Flair fans ever produced by God’s Green Earth. I know I would get a phone call or a very upset instant message the split second Flair is booked in a wrestling match and I am sure there are many out there just like Dan.
I have to sometimes wonder what is inside the mind of a wrestler that convinces him that it’s not time to let go of the business even after they had done so. Is it for that cheap pop? Is it for an extra paycheck? Do they need the adrenaline rush of stepping through the curtain one more time? I?m sure each wrestler has their reason for stepping away, but I think a lot of the wrestlers would be more respected if they wouldn?t call it a retirement if they know that they cannot commit to it. It would seem better if they just stated that they would be going on hiatus for a while. Then, when they are 100% sure that they cannot take it anymore and that it is time to hang em up, then announce the retirement.
Maybe I?m just being jaded here because I?ve seen it too many times. I really thought that Ric Flair was going to be the one to say ?I?m Done? and stay done, but even Jim Ross, in his latest blog, even thinks that Flair is going to come back and wrestle once again. I know Flair is getting offers overseas, he has his limited dates contract with Ring of Honor, and he has his deal going on with the WWE so I think it is only a matter of time before Ric Flair shatters everything that the WWE did for him one year ago and becomes just another legend who can?t let go of the business and to me, I find that sad.
You know what else I find sad? My picks for TNA’s Sacrifice PPV. Ouch? I?m not getting any gold stars from Anthony Valvo this week! In fact, I might get demerits for this one!
-One Extra Round: PPV Picks-
**Due to a late addition to the PPV Card, the 6 man tag was excluded from these picks** (and for my sake, maybe that was for the better)
Amazing Red vs. Kiyoshi
WINNER: AMAZING RED
PICK: AMAZING RED
Thoughts: Well, this one was kind of obvious. Kiyoshi really hasn?t done anything noteworthy in TNA and Amazing Red just made his long-awaited comeback so the rub to him was like black and white.
Monster’s Ball Match
Daffney (w/Abyss) vs. Taylor Wilde
WINNER: TAYLOR WILDE
Thoughts: Wow.. with all the backup that Daffney had and given her talent, to see Taylor Wilde go over was pretty baffling in my opinion, but this is TNA that we are talking about here.
Kevin Nash vs. Samoa Joe
WINNER: SAMOA JOE
PICK: SAMOA JOE
Thoughts: Kevin Nash is pretty much enhancement talent at this point. With his limited mobility and increasing age, his best role is to put over the younger talent and that is exactly what he did here.
TEAM 3D INVITATIONAL TAG TEAM FINALS
Beer Money, Inc. vs. The British Invasion
WINNER: BEER MONEY, INC
PICK: BEER MONEY, INC
Thoughts: Beer Money is TNA’s new America’s Most Wanted. They are the poster child tag team that TNA wants to build their division around and so this invitational was nothing more than an over glorified push machine for them.
TNA Knockouts’ Championship
Angelina Love (c) vs. Awesome Kong
WINNER: ANGELINA LOVE
PICK: AWESOME KONG
Thoughts: Awesome Kong was booked to be the monster which, in basic wrestling booking, that tells me she is being set up to lose at the PPV, but this is TNA we are talking about and I know that sometimes they don?t follow logic as well as they should. As I said in the predictions column that Anthony Valvo put up a few days ago, my head was telling me Angelina Love and I should have went with it. Oh well.
TNA X Division Championship
Suicide (c) vs. Daniels
Thoughts: The columnists are having a debate since Daniels won, then the match was restarted and Suicide retained. Many are thinking we should call this a draw, but I am going to do what the Briscoes tell their opponents to do and that is MAN UP. The ultimate final result, regardless of booking is absolute. The result was Suicide, my pick was Daniels. I was wrong and I will place it in my loss column!
TNA Legend’s Championship
**I Quit Match**
AJ Styles (c) vs. Booker T
WINNER: AJ STYLES
PICK: AJ STYLES
Thoughts: This was an obvious pick here. It wouldn?t do TNA any good to put the belt back on Booker T. He doesn?t need the belt in order to be over. AJ Styles does need the belt to re-establish his character after being dragged through the mud for such a long period of time.
TNA World Title
**Sacrifices are as follows: Foley’s Title; Angle’s role as godfather of MEM; Sting’s career; and Jarrett’s voting rights**
Mick Foley (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Sting vs. Jeff Jarrett.
PICK: Jeff Jarrett
Thoughts: I should have seen this one coming, but I thought, for sure, that Sting was going to leave TNA and go to the WWE for a retirement run (funny how retirement was the main focal point this week). I thought with that, Jarrett with his increased exposure, would have been a lock for the match, but alas, TNA creative went a direction that makes me sigh in disgust and made me break even when I was trying to shoot ahead.
That brings my overall score to 20-19. While I am still ?ahead? in the win column, one more ugly PPV like this one and I?m done for!
-Return Fire: Question of the Week-
This week’s question is ?Do you think when wrestlers retire they should stay retired??
-Friendly Fire: Reader E-Mail-<
Suzanne Abshire sent in her weekly thoughts. I?m tempted to rename this section to Suzanne’s Shot!
I am surprised that WWE didn’t get Vladimir Kozlov into the MMA movie playing Kurt’s part.
Ric has said that the only place he would return to wrestle to is the UK because he won’t wrestle for WWE “competition” like TNA or ROH.? I don’t believe he will wrestle period.? If he were to wrestle he could wrestle Bryan Danielson in a WWE ring.? He either isn’t already or won’t be much longer under a ROH contract.
I can?t believed I used TNA as an example of doing something right since they screwed up the whole Samoa Joe vs Kurt Angle feud from the beginning by rushing it when it didn’t need to be rushed and not to mention getting the wrong outcome.? The first feud TNA should have booked Kurt with is Rhino and he should not have had anything to do with Joe until Joe won the Championship.? Joe should have won 2 out of the 3 matches not Kurt.
I agree with you that?Tyler Black should not be the ROH World Champion right now, and despite what most ROHBots think they have the right Champion for this time in ROH history.? However with that said Black should be groomed to be the next ROH World Champion.
I disagree with you that fans should be ignored.? I believe that if you ignore them completely you are missing the boat and by boat load of money.? TNA has made that mistake by not putting TNA World Championship on someone under the age of 40.? WWE made the same mistakes?by waiting so long to put the belt on RVD, and by not taking the title reighns of CM Punk, and the first ones of Edge and Randy Orton seriously.? If it wasn’t for us none of those guys would have ever gotten the belt even late neither would have Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, or Eddie Guerreo.
-The Final Shot-
That’s it for me this week. Send all of your love, hate, and copies of Advent Children Complete to firstname.lastname@example.org . Until next time, I am going to continue to ponder the awesomeness and hilarity of the term ?Baby Batter? that my friend Mike unleashed on me during our Friday Anime Night.