Tim Nguyen vs. Ryan Frye
The Real First WWE Diva: Sable or Sunny?
Well my friends, the first question posed to me in the opening round of the CvC 2.0 competition is, who was the real first WWE Diva: Sable or Sunny?
To answer this question, I look back at which one had the greatest overall influence, most memorable moments and lasting legacy during their run(s) in the WWE.
That diva would be Sable.
To start off, I provide some history and backdrop.
When I was a younger lad immersed in the wrestling industry, there were many stars that I looked up to. Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Sycho Sid, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Undertaker.
Owned all the action figures, read the magazine, memorized the moves. Everything. Wrestling nerd at its finest.
It was pre-WWF Attitude era, a post-Hulk Hogan era with no one huge definitive star but more of a collection of high-level stars, all fighting one another on a pretty even playing field for wrestling supremacy. It was more direct competition with one another and “who could outshine who” for dominance in the business rather than reliance on the one huge star or the mercy of those backstage pulling the strings that determined “the man”.
WrestleMania 12 was the first WrestleMania that I got my dad to get for me for my birthday. I was eight years old and wanted to see the Iron Man Match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.
While watching the event, a lesser match on the card caught my attention. It was the Ultimate Warrior vs. then supreme jobber Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Oh how quickly times change. Though it was a squash match, the female valet accompanying HHH to the ring caught my attention. Here and then the wrestling world was introduced to the woman they called “Sable.”
After the events of that night unfolded, we were left wondering who was this woman and what role would she play in the WWF.
Almost with that introduction, it was as if a changing of the guard was taking place.
We wanted to know more about that beautiful woman. More questions, more mystery.
The WWF was slowly transforming itself from the family-friendly show to a more TV-14, mature audience one.
Sable in her classic look during her first WWE run
Rocky Maivia turned from baby-face Samoan good guy to the cocky, villainous Rock.
Hunter Hearst Helmsey went from Greenwich snob to HBK’s bad boy sidekick.
Almost as if the audience dictated the content of the show with their concurrent and projected adolescent (and hormonal) desires.
Hence, the Attitude Era was born which would shape everything we know and love about pro wrestling.
For the male wrestlers, it meant violent bloody matches, weapons used from ringside and swearing like it was nobody’s business. It was Montreal Screw-job, Stone Cold Steve Austin just whooped your ass and the People’s Elbow at its finest.
For the girls, it meant sex, sex and more sex. We wanted to see more of the women in a sexual way, more than just a good daddy’s little girl.
But what prompted it all this change? For that answer, we take a look at Sable.
Diva? What’s a Diva?
In fact, Sable coined this term for herself and subsequently all the women in the WWE at a RAW in 1999.
Thus christened an era.
She embodied everything the first Diva would: Wrestling ability and supreme looks. She was truly the total package.
And in my view, she wasn’t just good looking, she was the BEST looking.
Sable was first introduced to the WWE as Marc Mero’s valet. When the fans (and I’m referring specifically to the male ones), began to take notice of her..ahem assets, her popularity grew and her role changed to fit the demand. People were watching RAW not only for the wrestling drama but to see what she would do (or wear). It was the start of using female sex appeal to draw fans.
She turned from gorgeous female valet who never spoke to providing some of the most shocking in ring moments that we know today from women in the WWE.
Who can forget Fully Loaded 1998, when she wore a potato sack into the ring before taking it off to reveal her entry into the first-ever bikini contest against Jaqueline—two handprints Hollywood Walk of Fame-Style imprinted on her breasts.
Exposing her bare breasts live on a WWF pay-per-view?
First Playboy Cover
Yup, definitely a first at the time.
She was also a formidable female wrestler for her time, winning the WWF Women’s Championship during her first run, becoming only the second Women’s Champion of the the re-introduction of the belt. Her finisher was a power bomb, a very strong move for a female to perform, and she called her version’s The Sable Bomb.
Her presence created a demand for women competitors again in the WWE, more as duel package of wrestling and looks rather than looks alone. This drove the demand for the re-introduction of the Women’s belt.
She also appeared in four WrestleManias, competing in three of them. She successfully defended her Women’s title against Tori in WrestleMania XV.
Her ability to reinvent herself multiple times during her two stints in the WWE speaks volume to her talents as well.
She bravely came back to the WWE for a second stint after a messy fallout with Vince McMahon the first time around. Yet, she was still popular as ever and it was if she never left in the first place. She was in the top feuds against Stephanie McMahon, Dawn Marie and Torrie Wilson in her part deux.
Sable and Torrie Wilson
Among her many firsts, one of her most notable feats (and to the delight of many male fans), Sable was first WWE diva to appear on the cover of Playboy.
She appeared in popular men’s magazine three times. Twice in 1999 and in 2004 when she shared a spread with other WWE hottie Torrie Wilson, another first. When she appeared in the magazine the first time in April 1999, sales were so high in some places that they had to redistribute copies from other areas to meet demand. That issue was one of the most popular of all time in Playboy’s history.
In addition, Sable has shown her talents to the world outside the ring into movies and TV, with roles in productions like Pacific Blue, Relic Hunter and Corky Romano.
Sable was a pioneer. She defined an era in the WWF. Easily in the most popular era of the WWE and when the WWE was at its peak, Its star female was Sable. Arugably the most lusted WWE Diva of her time. The winner and first real WWE Diva is Sable.
Thank you for reading.
You can check out my competition’s piece here.
Article source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/751812-cvc-20-who-was-the-real-first-wwe-diva-sable-or-sunny
But in 2001, when Levesque left Laurer to take up with Stephanie McMahon, the daughter of the WWF’s chief executive, Laurer quit the federation and all but left the sport. From there, her celebrity quotient—as well as a run of well-publicized self-destructive behavior—superseded Chyna’s athleticism. She appeared on VH1’s The Surreal Life in 2005 and logged a season on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew in 2008, shot two bestselling nude pictorials for Playboy and babbled her way, seeming dazed and incoherent, through more than a few TV and radio interviews. More infamously, Laurer was hospitalized for what she describes as a “mental breakdown” and arrested for domestic assault after allegedly beating up her on-again-off-again boyfriend, pro wrestler Sean “X-Pac” Waltman.
Article source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/06/28/chyna-porn-film-pro-wrestler-s-new-role-in-adult-films.html
WWE United States Champion Dolph Ziggler recently took time out of his busy schedule to answer a series of questions for DolphZiggler.com, his official fansite. He gives his thoughts on transitioning from SmackDown to Raw, working with Vickie Guerrero, his recent hairstyle change, and more. Highlights are as follows:
* A lot of people have said that you were just finding your niche on SmackDown and were well on your way “to the top,” and the switch to RAW was practically like hitting the reset button. What’s your take on the roster transition?
“I fit in nicely everywhere… hahaha! Anyway, I act as if RAW is lucky to have me, and they are! I am becoming one of, if not the best go-to Superstar in this business, and I’m just catching my stride! I was becoming more and more accepted in the main event picture on SmackDown, and then it was time to move on. It is not always your call when it is time to start over, almost never, but as always, I am making the most of it. The more that I have a mic in my hand, the more the world gets to see the hilariously witty ‘Twitter me.’”
* Alright, it’s got to be asked: What was up with the switcheroo ‘do? One minute you’ve got long and luscious blonde locks, the next minute people think you’re Evan Bourne’s long-lost brother, and now you’re back to ‘your roots’ (let’s keep it that way!).
“The hair is a long story; sometimes you have to prove yourself over and over in this business, and still that isn’t enough, hence the change. But, I think we had all realized that blonde was the way to go in the long run. I still wish the mullet was reinstated though.”
* Anyone that follows you on Twitter knows that you’re quite the lady’s man. But we’ve got to ask: what’s your opinion of the recently departed Kharma? That’s a whole lot of lady, and while not a Diva in the traditional sense, she looks like she could have done some damage. Were you as excited about the Divas division as most fans were?
“As a wrestling and sports entertainment fan, I watch all shows. I don’t care what company they air on, because a lot of my friends are in other companies or in TNA! I remember Kharma first starting on TNA, and it made me so enthralled to see what she would do each and every week. I remember her and Gail Kim having a series of GREAT matches, and that was excellent TV for a few months! You never know if you’re going to be on top one day or at the bottom, injured, hurt or anything… so I’m sure Kharma will be back and will still standout like she has in the past!”
Article source: http://wrestleheat.com/dolph-ziggler-admits-watches-tna-talks-hair-color-role-wwe-tv=8396
DUNELLEN — Two years ago, the pro wrestling world lost one of its biggest personalities ever, the late great WWE Hall-of-Fame manager, star of TV, movies, and of course music videos, the one and only Captain Lou Albano.
After retiring from the WWE, Captain Lou made many appearances at pro wrestling shows and conventions around the country, but one of his favorite and most frequent stops in the tri-state area was at popular northeast promotion National Pro Wrestling Superstars.
So, when the great Captain Lou passed away, NWS immediately renamed their annual tag-team classic tournament in his memory, the Captain Lou Albano Memorial J-Cup Tag-Team Tournament. Captain Lou made a career in the WWE of managing over a dozen tag-teams to the WWE Tag-Team Titles, and we know he would be pleased to see NWS honoring his memory this way.
This year, the 2011 Captain Lou Albano Memorial J-Cup Tag-Team Tournament will take place on Saturday night July 16 at 7:35 p.m. at the Dunellen Knights of Columbus Hall (647 Grove Street, just off Washington Avenue Route 28), with proceeds benefiting The Crohns and Colitis Foundation of New Jersey
On this stellar night, eight of the best tag-teams on the circuit today will compete for the coveted J-Cup trophy in a one-night single elimination tournament. In addition to the already announced NWS Tag-Team Champions The Jersey Shore Jocks (Mike Dennis Chris D’Andrea) and previous winners Team Supreme (Corvis Fear Nicky Oceans), NWS is pleased to announce two more teams that are scheduled to compete. NWS Heavyweight Champion “Rampage” Rogers and NWS Hardcore Champion “Corrupted” Corey Havoc will join forces as Team Champion. And a new tag-team will debut with NWS on this special night, a duo known only as The New Kids On The Block.
In addition to the tournament, there will also be a special appearance by a former WWE Tag-Team Champion and Hall-of-Famer Nikolai Volkoff, and northeast wresting standout Steve “Monsta” Mack.
Tickets are only $19 for adults and $17 for kids and seniors, and are available at the following local outlets:
- Brown’s Stationary, 111 North Washington Avenue
- In Out Convenience Store, 187 North Avenue (Route 28 in the Station Plaza)
- Knights Of Columbus Hall, 647 Grove Street (see bar-keep when Knights are open)
- Quick Stop Convenience Store, 518 Route 28
Tickets are also available by calling the NWS box office at 1-732-888-1704. All major charge cards are accepted, and group rates are available for groups of ten or more.
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Article source: http://njtoday.net/2011/06/27/annual-pro-wrestling-tribute-to-captain-lou-albano-planned/
Professional wrestling circuit hits Iowa City
Fans cheered as the “Iowa Fight Song rang throughout the Wildwood Smokehouse Saloon on Sunday and professional wrestler Mike Pride stalked towards the ring, wearing black leather pants with the word “Pride” and a gold Tigerhawk logo printed down each leg.
Around 15 minutes into his match against Mick Wiqied, the wrestler found himself caught in a figure-four leg-lock. The crowd of roughly 70 chanted, “Let’s go Pride,” as he struggled to break free of the hold.
Even though he lost the match, Pride — whose real name is Mike Ray — said he’s living his dream.
“There’s nothing like coming out and having a bunch of people yelling for you and asking for your autograph,” Ray said. “It’s a feeling you don’t forget.”
Ray, 27, is in his fourth year with the Midwest Xtreme Wrestling Alliance. The Muscatine native has traveled throughout the eastern half of the state, wrestling in such towns as West Liberty, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and his hometown.
But everything started on a trampoline in the backyard with his friends. Ray said 1998 was a starting point for what became the Midwest Xtreme Wrestling Alliance, a company he helped create.
By 2006, Ray and his friends were renting an actual ring from Impact Pro Wrestling. A Public Access channel in Muscatine televised the events for a while, giving them fans and exposure.
“It was a big process, going from a backyard of, like, 30 people to a building of 250 people,” Ray said. “A lot of the money came out of my own pocket. There were times when I lost money on shows, but I kept it going in hopes that it would find itself and grow — and it did.”
The current version of wrestling alliance wouldn’t be possible without owner Rod Blair. Now 45 years old, he started wrestling professionally in 1986, and occasionally grappled on TV with World Wrestling Entertainment earlier in his career.
He first came into contact with Ray when he was working with Impact Pro Wrestling and traveled to Muscatine to help set up a ring.
“They wanted to know if I would go down and wrestle in a show and help the guys out,” Blair said. “So I went to Muscatine and started helping out with Mike and co-promoting. I bought our own ring and got it all licensed with the state of Iowa.”
Around a year passed between the time Blair helped set up the ring to when Ray asked him to join as a business partner. Blair said he spent $5,000 on equipment in his first week of starting wrestling alliance after it was licensed — all out of his own bank account.
“Everything just kind of evolved over time,” Blair said.
While few original backyard wrestlers are now on the current roster, Blair and Ray try to get local talent in their ring. One of those is current wrestling alliance champion Carl Forgy, who wrestles under the name Owen Donovan.
Forgy, who has been with the company for three years, has several family members from around the Iowa City area. The natural fan attraction is one reason Blair likes having local talent.
“My past three years with wrestling alliance have been amazing,” Forgy said. “Rod has an invested interest in the up-and-coming talent. He spent a lot of time with us getting us where we wanted to go. He was definitely instrumental in me going as far as I’ve gone.”
Article source: http://www.dailyiowan.com/2011/06/27/Sports/23872.html
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
Sunday night’s WWE Raw brand house show in Houston confirmed several things about the state of affairs on WWE’s top brand and also exposed areas where WWE is weak and needs work.
The show also provided a regular look at how the audience is receiving certain characters and simple, basic, often-times generic stories. WWE’s version of wrestling is not a sophisticated product, which allows WWE to draw in a wider audience, but also limit emotional investment, which impacts WWE’s ability to draw money. Compact that with bad short-term and long-term booking habits on TV and it magnifies the importance of John Cena to this brand.
The following is a break down of the line-up, looking at the depth chart of Top Heels and Faces. (Read my Raw house show report here.)
– John Cena (face): On the Livecast, we get that question quite often about whether Cena will ever turn heel. It won’t be happening anytime soon (as in years) until people stop buying merchandise, people stop caring about Cena, and WWE finds another cash cow #1 lead babyface. Gauging the crowd Sunday night, the cash cow is still producing for WWE.
The Toyota Center was filled with Cena Red merchandise, there was a swell of energy when Cena came out, kids were intensely into Cena, adults were intensely against Cena, and there wasn’t another babyface on the show who elicited a response like Cena. Rey Mysterio is a clear #2, but he’s not in Cena’s league. I’ll get to Rey below, who I believe is misplaced right now, but it’s clear Cena is the most valuable asset in WWE.
Is there another way to promote wrestling in 2011 where Cena’s act would be a detriment? Certainly, but WWE is in the “John Cena business” right now and it’s working to keep business stable in-between WrestleManias.
– R-Truth (heel): At 39-years-old, Truth has finally found himself as a character. Truth was terrific on the mic (drawing laughter from the adults entertained by his act and passionate, passionate, passionate boos from the kids who wanted to see Cena drop him with the AA).
Truth is above a “bit player” heel, but not a heel who can draw money. He was great working with Cena, but I don’t think he would be as strong of a heel with another opponent. He’s good for house shows, but not for TV or PPV main events, as evidenced by Capitol Punishment last Sunday. He’s a typical WWE 2011 Heel – not strong enough to be a money-drawing heel, but good enough to work with Cena on house shows.
– Big Show (face): Show is Show. He gets the oohs and aahs from the crowd due to his size, but he’s past his days being in the main event scene. If Cena were need to time off, Show could rotate in for a short-term run, but he’s a good novelty act to have on Raw.
– Alberto Del Rio (heel): Del Rio thrives in the environment WWE has created: a simple, easy-to-pick up product that appeals to an audience made up predominantly of kids who don’t see through the charade and are completely invested in the stories. Del Rio followed Vickie Ziggler, C.M. Punk, and The Miz in a procession of heels easily working up the crowd on the mic. Often-times, Del Rio’s mic work doesn’t translate to TV, where the stories are often-times over-written, but Del Rio playing a cowardly heel after pretending to be Show’s friend was as simple as it gets for a live audience. He’s not positioned as a main event heel, but he’s right behind Punk as #2, with Miz and Truth battling for #3.
– Alex Riley (face): Riley seems to have a long future ahead of him, so it’s early to evaluate his babyface run, but this needs a lot of work. The audience simply doesn’t have a connection to him other than “he’s not Miz.” It’s similar to Randy Orton’s character on Smackdown not having much depth. Orton gets away with it due to longevity and having a strong connection to the audience. Riley doesn’t have much of a presence in the ring and WWE needs to draw something out of him. Otherwise, his current run with Miz could be his peak as a face.
– The Miz (heel): I feel Miz’s work has become repetitive on TV, but he seemed more engaged in his character with some freedom to explore riling up an easy crowd. Also, based on the crowd response, Miz is firmly entrenched as a main-eventer. Now, that’s a relative statement. In today’s WWE environment, where the formula is WWE Brand + Cena = money, he’s not in a position to draw money as a heel despite being a “main-eventer.” He’s credible enough to seem like a threat to Cena (or another top face), but there isn’t a deep, emotional attachment that leads to people opening up their wallets to see him get his comeuppance. Like most heels in WWE, Miz has a surface-level connection with the audience, but Miz plays his character very well when he’s engaged.
– Rey Mysterio (face): I’ve said this on the Livecast since the Draft that Mysterio is misplaced on Raw. WWE is obviously trying to fill his shoes with Sin Cara, but Rey should be right up there with Cena as the top star on Raw, but there wasn’t a strong sense of connection with Rey at this show. The connection was there, but it wasn’t like I’ve seen and “felt” at previous WWE shows when Rey was really over and Mysterio masks were everywhere. I didn’t see much of that Sunday night, but I was blinded by a sea of Cena Red. Rey could be more valuable to WWE as a main-eventer on Smackdown rather than a weak #2 on Raw.
– C.M. Punk (heel): Punk seemed to be enjoying himself playing a heel in front of such an easy crowd. All he had to do was stand in the ring with a mic in his hand and the crowd showered him with boos. That’s quite a satisfying feeling for a heel, and he played it up perfectly. Punk is also the most credible in-ring wrestler on Raw’s heel depth chart, which translated into one of the best matches of the night working with Rey.
I would have liked to have seen Punk work with Cena to get a sneak-peek at Money in the Bank, but Punk was clearly the vocal male fan-favorite with this audience, which will be more intensified in Chicago on July 17. During the match with Rey, Punk could have selfishly gone for more “cool heel” cheers, but he instead heeled on the fans cheering for him in order to put the focus on Rey as the star of the show. Punk is clearly the most-well-rounded heel in WWE, which could lead to some strong TV leading to MITB (and potentially after MITB if Punk remains with the company).
– Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston (faces): Bourne seemed to be more over than Kingston on this night. It might be different on a different night in a different city, but that Air Bourne move is so over that the audience seemed to react to Bourne’s music and his arrival just anticipating getting a photo to post on Facebook.
Looking at Kingston facially, he needs about three-to-five years to age some more in order to develop a “main event look.” Also, his offensive moveset isn’t quite at that “ritual stage” like it is with Cena where the audience anticipates, knows, and wants to see the whole routine. Kofi just needs time, which is difficult for business when WWE’s roster is so thin. He’s fine where he is right now.
– Vickie Guerrero Dolph Ziggler (heels): I put Vickie and Dolph in that order because of crowd response. As soon as Vickie’s voice was heard in the arena, the boos came down hard. Vickie could be a main event heel manager, but she could also eventually help Dolph achieve main-event heel status on Raw.
Vickie has a certain charisma Dolph is missing, but I saw something from Dolph before, during, and after the match that showed he can get there; he just needs time. The way Ziggler carried himself connected with the crowd more than I’ve seen with TV audiences. Perhaps WWE needs to re-evaluate how they present Dolph on TV, as he carried himself with a certain charisma that connected with the audience beyond Vickie doing the “excuse me!” routine for easy heat.
Rest of the Card
– Kelly Kelly (face): Kelly was the most-popular Diva in the six-Divas tag match. She’s a good face to be positioned as an underdog fighting against an imposing heel, which would have been Kharma’s role. WWE needs to build up a monster heel to feud against Kelly if WWE plans for her to be a long-term champion.
– Chris Masters (face): Not enough from Masters in a two-minute match with Jack Swagger to evaluate him.
– Jack Swagger (heel): The audience seemed to be impressed with his physical build, but, again, not enough from this match to evaluate whether Swagger can be anything more than a second-match act on a house show.
– Santino Kozlov (faces): Santino’s entire act is over on that Hornswoggle level appealing to kids, but not at Cena’s level to where people will pay money to see the act. Santino is just a very good opening-match babyface getting the crowd excited and into the action. It’s a valuable role.
– New Nexus (Otunga McGillicutty) (heels): Otunga got plenty of catcalls for being “Mr. Hudson,” as he wasn’t taken seriously at all by the audience. He’s not in any position to move up, but WWE has obviously figured out how to get audiences interested in his matches by pairing him up with Santino Kozlov. He’s a heel whose role is simply giving the audience someone to laugh at. Again, that’s a valuable role on a show with main event, mid-card, and lower-card acts. Should he be holding a Tag Title belt, though? No, but WWE doesn’t see tag wrestling as anything more than lower-card action.
Faces Depth Chart break down
(1) John Cena (cash cow)
(2) Rey Mysterio (misplaced)
(3) Big Show (featured attraction)
(4) Alex Riley (needs work)
(5a) Evan Bourne (needs an opportunity like summer 2010)
(5b) Kofi Kingston (needs 3-5 more years)
Heels Depth Chart break down
(1) C.M. Punk (most well-rounded)
(2) R-Truth (found himself as a heel)
(3) The Miz (strong live, but repetitive on TV)
(4) Del Rio (not positioned as a credible main-eventer, but could be)
(5) Dolph Ziggler (there’s a drop-off from 4 to 5, but Ziggler is like Kofi needing more time)
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CALDWELL: Evaluating WWE’s Raw roster after live house show – what’s working not working, who’s over not over, more
CALDWELL PARKS WEEKLY CHAT 6/25: In-depth discussion of Smackdown, Raw, Punk-Cena potential twists, HBK on Raw, NXT, Impact, Wheels
CALDWELL PARKS WEEKLY CHAT 6/16: In-depth discussion of Raw GM headaches, Austin, Piper, NXT, Smackdown, roster depth issues
CALDWELL PARKS WEEKLY CHAT 6/9: In-depth discussion of Tough Enough, Raw, the forgotten PPV next Sunday, R-Truth debate, NXT, Smackdown, Orton’s character
CALDWELL PARKS WEEKLY CHAT 6/2: In-depth discussion of Raw, Kharma, Riley, Capitol Punishment “build-up,” NXT cut, Smackdown title picture
CALDWELL PARKS WEEKLY CHAT 5/26: In-depth discussion of Raw, Kharma, Truth, Riley, Sin Cara, Cena’s next challenger(s), NXT, Smackdown, Impact tonight
]]>WWE News: Chavo Guerrero claims he asked for release, blogs on being unhappy in WWE “tired of not being used correctly”
TNA News: Impact Wrestling TV ratings are in for Thursday’s show on Spike TV
TNA News: Updated Bound for Glory Series standings, new #1 ranking, results after Thursday Impact TNA house show
TNA News: Top three matches announced for Destination X PPV – Styles-Daniels, Jerry Lynn returning, X Title match
TNA News: Mini-PPV announced for next week’s Impact – Hogan-Sting, BFG Series matches, elimination match, X Division match
TNA News: Sting interview – more details on near-WWE debut, future in wrestling, Hardy, balancing TV content faith
WWE News: Smackdown SPOILERS 6/24 – Full results for Friday’s Smackdown episode, post-taping main event
WWE News: Raw TV ratings are in for Monday’s three-hour Raw – did “Power to the People” top “All-Stars” Raw?
WWE News: Third technical malfunction on Raw affects TV main event; list of segments affected
WWE News: Second technical malfunction on Raw – incorrect stipulation applied to U.S. Title match
Article source: http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/caldwellstake/article_51053.shtml
In the spirit of my beloved WCW Saturday Night, welcome to the Shore Weekend Promo. Every week I will mention, the good, the bad, the ugly, and whatever else I want to talk about across all of wrestling.
Opening Series (My overall thoughts on the week): I have been away from this article for far too long my friends and I am happy to be back, as I know many of you are. As is often the case, life got in the way of writing this. And it made me think, how often does life get in the way for wrestlers? These guys are on the road all the time, especially in the WWE, and it amazes me how things don’t happen to them like they do me. Perhaps it’s better planning, or maybe it’s not having roots that can be damaged. Whatever it is, I’m very impressed that they are able to perform as much as they are without things happening.
Pops (The best of the week):
-ROH did a very nice job with their press conference Friday. It would have been better had it streamed live on the Internet, but that didn’t hurt them in any way. I don’t generally like when press conferences are part work and part shoot, but they merged the two modes nicely, and I really think Sinclair has plans. I could be proven wrong. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time. But what I saw gives me every reason to believe they are serious about this acquisition. Let’s all hope I’m not proven wrong this time.
-The Bound for Glory Series has a ton of problems, but I like it none the same. There are some landmines that creative has to watch out for. And with Vince Russo driving they are sure to hit most, if not all, of them. But anything that puts a bigger deal on wins and losses is a pop for me. And I like the fact they are doing it to make one PPV the biggest of the year. Gives everyone something to look forward too. WWE had that with Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania. Let’s hope TNA keeps this straight and we could have a new treat to look forward to each year.
Heat (The worst of the week):
-Capitol Punishment was one of the worst PPVs in some time. In spite of the poor build, WWE managed to put a good show together on paper in that every match was either one with a high work rate or great underlying story–and in the case of Orton vs. Christian, both. But they failed to deliver on any match, and there were several blown spots. In fact, the opener between Kofi and Dolph never clicked, and the rest of the PPV followed. And I will spare all of you my thoughts on the political BS that went with it.
-I’ve caught a lot of flak for this, but I stand by what I said: Randy Orton’s promo reminded me of everything I hate about John Cena on Monday nights. Sure, Orton is not the aloof Dudley Do-right that Cena is. And yes, Orton has only held the belt for a short time. But it smacked of all the things wrong with Cena’s prom o’s nonetheless. He wasn’t serious about his opponent, even though he claimed to be a serious person, and then went on to say Christian has no chance.
Now while that might be a common statement for any wrestler, the fact is Christian has no chance. No one thinks Christian is going to get the belt back from Orton anytime soon, if at all. This is the problem. If I thought Orton might lose, the promo is taken in a whole different light. But I don’t think he loses anytime soon. So I stand by what I said. Oh, and those who have emailed me to say Orton has jobbed three times clean need a better understanding of what “clean” means. Orton hasn’t jobbed clean in the last year that I can remember, let alone recently.
Tweet This (Best Tweets from “The Boys”):
-C.M. Punk: Usos doing a Haka on my TV is pro wrestling. It’s right. It feels good. Also happens to be entertaining. Funny how that works, eh?
-Steve Corino: @ROHProdigy [Mike Bennett] I’m sure you love the truck stops…Sorry man. Our feud is over. I shouldn’t say that. 1 Day At A Time you know?
-Matt Hardy: Me @RebySky are about to pull into @ShaneHelmsCom @H2HWaitress’s [Helms's girlfriend] crib for a visit hopefully a game of hackysack :)
-Scott Stanford: Working on a script about an imaginative elephant who responds to the cries of thousands of WWE fans – “Horton Hears a Woo Woo Woo!”
-Obligatory Iron Sheik Tweet: happy father day and for the ultimate warrior happy piece of shit garbage mothef—er day
Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @the_shore_slant
Go Home (The Big Finish, Whatever I Want):
You’ve asked and now I can answer. Pro Wrestling Evo returns to action on July 23. The “Through the Curtain” series should return next week and there is much to tell. For now however, check out Episode 1 of Evo Underground.
Now Hit My Music!
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Article source: http://www.prowrestling.net/artman/publish/shoreeditorials/article10019238.shtml
—Imagine a world in which professional wrestling dynasties carry the same weight as royal families. Such is the standard operating procedure of Metalocalypse co-creator Tommy Blacha’s new Adult Swim cartoon Mongo Wrestling Alliance.
Mongo follows Rusty Kleberkuh, an all-American wrestler on the manic quest to become the world’s finest grappler. But Rusty has his work cut out for him — luchadores, secret CIA projects, and lawsuits from evil wrestling attorneys threaten to waylay Rusty from his mission.
Blacha’s best known for his work on Metalocalypse (he voices Dethklok members Murderface and Toki Wartooth), but he cut his teeth writing for the WWF. According to his Wikipedia page, he “participated in what was voted Monday Night Raw’s worst moment, which was the delivery of Mae Young’s hand baby.” Blacha spoke with io9 about writing a cartoon in which theatricality is tantamount to being.
Both Metalocalypse and Mongo Wrestling Alliance feature groups of large, not entirely intelligent men bumbling through fascinating situations. Why is that?
Maybe I find myself a large, not too intelligent guy who’s always finding myself in those situations — that’s what I aspire to. Part of it is that I find an appeal in metal and wrestling. It’s that grandiose, self-indulgent, larger-than-life, almost-bordering-on-corny-at-times entertainment that I like, that entertainment that’s looked down up. There’s something in my personality that gravitates towards things people are poo-pooing.
What I like about both shows is that they give their respective arts a form of grand dignity. In Metalocalypse, heavy metal is the biggest cultural force on the planet. In Mongo, insane wrestling dynasties are a casually accepted facet of the world.
I worked for wrestling, and then I came to Los Angeles and worked on a sitcom. I’d be in constant battles over people being like, “Oh, you worked in wrestling.” And I’d be like, “Oh yeah, you work on this third-rate sitcom! That’s fucking light years above it.” I wear it as a badge of honor.
What I also like about these characters is that they’re stupid like a fox, if that makes any sense. There are cats I’ve known from wrestling and metal who are really like — God, how do I put this, I don’t want to say something stupid — like humble, fucking bring-your-lunch-pail kind of guys, and at the end of the day, they’ll see the entire world on their own terms. They’re these larger-than-life characters who have made no concessions and through sheer force of will have — in my mind — made themselves heroic. These guys have seen the world like only world leaders have [...] When I worked at WWF, our shows were syndicated in 120 countries. That’s fucking ridiculous! Anyway, it’s really natural for me to gravitate towards this.
Did you put any of your experiences working for WWF in Mongo?
Oh yeah. In Mongo, sometimes we’ll talk about the depravity of the pro wrestler — they’re not exactly regular human beings. There was an episode where Rusty tries to quit wrestling and realizes this. You’re wired up differently. Rusty — a decent all-American guy — is on a quest to be the greatest wrestler in the world. He’s trying to get to the top in such a vicious business.
When you get to know some of these legendary wrestlers behind-the-scenes, you’d be surprised to find that it can be even crazier. Think of all the decadent, self-indulgent stories you hear about rock-and-roll stars, and then apply that to wrestling. It’s the same, but with 70 pounds of muscle added on. Which it makes it even more insane.
Do you remember the show Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling?
I certainly do!
I loved that show due to the conceit that WWF wrestlers spend every waking hour together like some deranged superhero team. Mongo‘s the same way. Is pro wrestling really like this? Would you say wrestlers eventually just become their ring personas?
It’s a case-by-case basis. Some guys are no different, some guys become the guy. Some guys maintain a huge difference to stay sane. But then again, Ric Flair is Ric Flair. When you create a wrestling persona, one of the things they say is it should be you at ten volumes.
Would you consider yourself a wrestling historian?
I aspire to be. I love the inception of wrestling, how it has over a hundred-year history, it’s very specifically American. It deserves a bigger place in history. There’s a book out recently about Gorgeous George, and it makes the claim that he invented pop culture. It’s a pretty good argument — when you think about television in this country, wrestling was one of the first things to capture a TV audience. It was easily televised, cheap to air, and the characters were huge. Gorgeous George was one of the biggest stars in the world — he was a huge TV star with this sense of ironic humor. I don’t know if he’s gotten his iconic due.
And how’s work on Metalocalypse going?
We’re halfway through Season 4. There’s no airdate yet. Who knows, the world just might end. Death and brutality!
A new episode of Mongo Wrestling Alliance airs tonight at 12:15 AM on Adult Swim. Image credits: Adult Swim.
Article source: http://io9.com/5815624/in-mongo-wrestling-alliance-metalocalypses-tommy-blacha-brings-us-a-world-where-pro-wrestling-is-reality
The Undertaker, the seven-time World Champion and the WWE’s Last Outlaw, has become one of the most beloved WWE Superstars in history.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably asking yourself, “Rize is an Undertaker fan?” “Isn’t this the same guy that worships the likes of John Morrison and the high flying genre?” “How could he possibly be a fan of the Last Outlaw?”
Excuse my nostalgia as I would like to take you back to a special moment for yours truly. It’s 1996, like any normal kid at the time, I found myself glued to my TV screen, as I pale guy with a zombie like demeanor made his way towards a wrestling ring.
There isn’t a grave to keep this fan away. (personal)
As I observed, my older sibling rebelled in the guy’s appearance (mark out), I was instantly amazed by this Superstar, but it would soon be overcome with another emotion.
FEAR (the one emotion synonymous with the enigma known as Undertaker)
The theme that echoed the sound of a bell signifying a departure of this life didn’t help my state of mind. Who (or whatever) this man was, he exposed my fear like no movie featuring Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers ever could.
This was the first time I’d ever witnessed Undertaker (and pro wrestling for that matter).
The Undertaker’s profound effect on me lead to me avoiding WWF programming and finding WCW as a worthy alternative. Picking up Sting, DDP, and Booker-T as favorites along the way, I chimed in on WWF RAW at least three times.
Funny thing is, each time, I’d find myself staring at my TV screen, enamored by the one and only, Undertaker.
Some occurrences would be the infamous crucifying of Stone Cold Steve Austin to the kidnapping of Stephanie McMahon. When World Championship Wrestling folded in 2001, I viewed my first WWF pay-per-view in WrestleMania 17.
To my surprise, the satanic, sinister, undead being known as Undertaker had undergone a character change.
In a highly contested match with Triple H, I observed the new Undertaker. He seemed taller, his skin was normal and his attire seemed as if he’d been apart of a biker gang.
In the months that succeeded WrestleMania 17, I’d become accustom to Undertaker and his superiority over most of the WWF Superstars.
This type of Superstar only comes once in a lifetime.
Undertaker is the first form of professional wrestling to ever cycle my train of thought. Despite my obsession with others, Undertaker will always be a favorite amongst yours truly.
Undertaker is an all-around great superstar/human being.
Unlike his colleagues from the 90s, Undertaker has stood the true test of time. The Deadman has remained in the WWE (WWF) since his debut in 1990. Over 20 years of the strenuous life of WWE Superstar hasn’t pushed Undertaker to the edge of retirement just yet.
In the process, maintaining his reputation as a loyal WWE Superstar. Numerous Superstars have come and gone since 1990(Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Austin) while Undertaker has never left the WWE since his run began.
I think Triple H said it best. “16 years ago, I walked into that locker room for the first time. It was filled with Legends and future icons of this business. I saw one guy that stood head and shoulders above everybody else. One guy that I could clearly see was the glue that held this all together. I watched that guy do things that no human being should be able to do. I watched him duck tape a flack jacket to himself because he broken every rib and still was going to the ring that night. I watched him wrestle with broken bones, torn ligaments, and I watched him crush one entire side of his face and wrestle the next night.”
“He did it not because he was told to or because he had to because that’s who he was. I learned that if I should pattern myself after anybody in this business, it should be that guy. He represented everything that the WWE was and should be.”
Can YOU adapt?
Despite having a number of attributes, Undertaker is famous for his ability to adapt. The Last Outlaw debuted as a power house that was glorified for his speed and renowned striking ability. At his size, it’s not walk in the park to obtain as a great in ring technician.
But the sight of a 300-pound man diving over the top ropes onto Batista can change the thinking of any fan.
Besides this, Undertaker has added elements of MMA and submission wrestling to his arsenal. With the inclusion of the Hell’s Gate, Undertaker has seemingly cheated age by discontinuing the use of the choke slam and Last Ride.
Simply put, Undertaker can tell a story in the ring like no one (besides HBK) can.
The ultimate sign of respect, dedicated to the world of pro wrestling.
The one and only!
If not anything featured in this article, every pro wrestling fan must respect Undertaker for kayfabe. In case you missed my point, Undertaker possesses the greatest gimmick in the history of professional wrestling.
Undertaker has never broken kayfabe. Despite the potential to make millions of dollars through promotional or other potential business deals. Instead, Undertaker decided to retain his character and refrain from opportunities of financial gain.
For this, Undertaker will always have my utmost respect.
Eulogy: A fan’s final goodbye
I apologize if you were expecting more, but this is a one of a kind tribute to Undertaker. Now that his time in the squared circle is coming to an end, I found it appropriate to commemorate the career of the Deadman with this article.
Looking ahead to the future, I realize that Undertaker has one more match left in him. WrestleMania 28 will truly be epic. The night the Deadman cemented his status as arguably the greatest wrestler of all time.
In closing, I must its going to be extremely difficult to watch the WWE knowing you’ll never witness Undertaker destroy another opponent.
So it shall end, as it began.
With the irreplaceable ringing of the bell tolling the end of a life (career), but ain’t no grave can hold his body down.
Article source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/748307-wwes-undertaker-a-fans-view-of-the-wwes-last-outlaw
Tonight, the gym at the former Elizabeth City Middle School will be rocking as Coastal Real Extreme Wrestling puts on a fund-raiser for the Police Athletic League.
Fans will be screaming and pointing when former World Wrestling Entertainment stars with names like Justin Sane, Doink and Ax go at it in the pro wrestling card.
But Friday, in the same gym, a handful of kids were practicing a more restrained version of wrestling in a PAL-sponsored clinic that might not exist without fund-raisers like tonight’s show.
Johnny E. Jones, the wrestling coach at River Road Middle School and a former head coach at Northeastern, knows the over-the-top theatrics that typify professional wrestling are wildly popular with young wrestlers, especially beginners.
“A lot of times kids will want to go with what they’ve seen on TV,” he said. “We have to de-program them and show them it’s not about big muscles, but flexibility. It’s also about thinking.
“That stuff that happens on TV is totally different from what we do. That’s why they call it World Wrestling Entertainment.
“When they come in with those ideas, as coaches we try to show them that testosterone can be adjusted.”
At the clinic, which started this week and concludes next week, Jones and his staff are focusing on conditioning, basic drills and skill development.
“We learned how to shoot and take down and half nelsons and all that,” Jarrod Bryant said.
Jones said the goal of the clinic is to “bring back the strength of wrestling in Elizabeth City.
“We want to spike interest in the sport so that we become a power again, like Currituck,” he said.
While Currituck has won the last four Northeastern Coastal Conference championships, wrestling appears to be on the decline at the two city high schools. Pasquotank barely fielded half a squad last winter and Northeastern failed to qualify a single wrestler for the region tournament.
Compounding the situation is that both schools are seeking new coaches after Phil Mayo resigned at Pasquotank and David Sawyer at Northeastern.
Jones said he has been approached about the Northeastern job, but prefers to stay at River Road.
“I love teaching the basics at this level,” he said.
And that’s why Jones is running the PAL clinic.
Unfortunately, only a handful of wrestlers have shown up.
“We were hoping to get about 30-40 kids and break it into two sessions so we could accommodate parents’ work schedules, but the advertisement about the clinic came right at the end of the school year and a lot of parents may have already had other commitments,” Jones said. “Also, I think football practice going on now is also a factor.
“But we’re going to do what we can with this and try to have another one before the regular season starts.”
Meanwhile, Jones is grateful to the PAL for providing a facility for him to conduct the clinic.
“We wanted to do this three, four years ago, but there was no place to have it,” he said. “We’re thankful to be able to wrestle in an environment that is controlled.”
Article source: http://www.dailyadvance.com/sports/saturday-nightrsquos-pro-wrestling-show-could-benefit-local-clinic-551627