THE LIST: TOP FIVE RAW MVP’S OF 2006
You know the drill. Each week, I present you with a list. It changes every week. You read it, then you argue with me about it, you send me your own lists, you complain about it on the boards, etc.
2. John Cena
3. Ric Flair
5. Triple H
== WWE NOTEBOOK ==
— Sources within WWE have stated privately that by WrestleMania, the full effects of the WWE Wellness Policy will be very apparent. Smackdown had the most wrestlers fail to meet the standard, but they were also tested independently of everyone else and so thus had far more people tested than Raw, which has yet to do a full test of the entire roster.
There is actually a sense of relief in the locker room, because if any of the guys suspected of having hepatitis C actually ended up having it, there would have been a major company crisis. A disaster was nearly avoided awhile back when Bob Orton Jr. bled all over The Undertaker despite having hepatitis C. Taker was as mad as anyone has ever seen him over that incident, and something on a large scale like this could have been a disaster for the company. If, that is, these “elevated liver enzymes” are indeed being caused by hepatitis. Most likely they aren’t. More on that below.
— There is said to be heat on John Lauranitis stemming from the recent health incidents, at least from a wrestler perspective. While Jim Ross was praised during his tenure as head of talent development, Lauranitis is regarded as completely incompetent. He hires workers based on whether or not he believes Vince will like them (which he normally does, because they’re usually big guys) as opposed to what kind of talent they have or medical issues they might be dealing with. Lauranitis believes its his job to hire the people and it’s their problem to stay clean medically, which isn’t completely accurate.
— There is at least one Smackdown wrestler who participated in a high-level match at Great American Bash who was told flat-out to stop taking steroids.
— Due to all the wrestlers dropping like flies, there are major changes in the works for the Smackdown roster. Fit Finlay will be turned babyface, which is great and will be an easy feat to accomplish given how over the Little Bastard is.
— Booker T and Batista have ironed out most of the problems that caused the legit fight between them several months back and are said to be looking forward to doing a program together. For his part, Batista has seemingly realized that he’s not as important to the success of Smackdown as he apparently once felt he was, which was the original cause of the fight.
— There’s a “DX vs. nWo” PPV poster floating around the internet, but it was created by an exuberant Photoshop user. It’s fake, people.
— Mikey and Johnny are headed back to OVW at some point in the near future once the Spirit Squad is dissolved. It’s believed that Ken Doane will likely stay on the main roster, as Vince is very high on him and Paul Heyman’s politicking for him has paid off. He may end up in ECW where Heyman can keep an eye on him.
— Vince McMahon’s amazing performance of “Stand Back” will be included as an extra on his upcoming DVD. I’m still waiting on his autobiography.
— Roddy Piper’s DVD will be released November 7.
— The next WWE Magazine has a feature story on Randy Orton’s suspension/rehab/fine. I’m wondering how legit it can possibly be, and I’m wondering what kind of rehab one goes to in order to learn how to properly treat women.
— Oleg Prudius is now working house shows on the road for WWE. He’s the guy that Jim Cornette slapped, which got Cornette fired from his OVW job.
— The fact that Bobby Lashley wrestled at 177 pounds in college and now wrestles at 280 pounds probably has far more to do with his elevated liver enzymes than any strain of hepatitis. Lashley has basically put on over 100 pounds of muscle and zero bodyfat in roughly three years, which isn’t medically possible without the aid of anabolic steroids. Any of you who are into any form of physical fitness will realize this.
Here’s some interesting information from the Mayo Clinic: “A laboratory report of elevated liver enzymes is common. It doesn’t indicate a specific disease. However, it may be due to a liver disorder, even if you don’t have any symptoms of liver problems. To determine the underlying cause of elevated liver enzymes, your doctor may recommend further testing. Liver enzymes help maintain a variety of chemical and metabolic processes that occur in the liver. Normally, only very small amounts of these enzymes are present in your blood. Common causes of elevated liver enzymes include: Medications, such as certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cholesterol-lowering medications, antibiotics and anti-seizure medications; Drinking too much alcohol; Obesity; Diabetes; Elevated triglycerides; Infection, such as viral hepatitis and mononucleosis; Autoimmune disorders of the liver and bile ducts, such as autoimmune hepatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis; Metabolic liver disease, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease; Excessive use of vitamin supplements and certain herbal supplements; Tumors of the liver or bile ducts.”
— Triple H filmed a new Miller Lite “Man Rules” commercial four days before the birth of his daughter.
— Michael Cole is said to be much happier and more upbeat now that JBL has replaced Tazz as his broadcast partner on Smackdown. Sources say that Tazz was a downer to be around because he’s generally negative, but JBL is positive and seems to be looking on the bright side of things. Yes, not to mention he’s about 500x the color commentator that Tazz is.
JBL has been pushing hard to stress the historical side of pro wrestling and to also reveal that yes, there are other wrestling promotions outside of WWE in this world. JBL has made mention of several Japanese promotions already, including Zero One, although I don’t think Kid Kash was ever a Zero One champion, as Layfield stated. I could be wrong, but either way, JBL gets kudos from me for at least attempting to bring some history into the mix.
== TNA NOTEBOOK ==
— It’s almost a lock that TNA will be moving to a two-hour timeslot this fall. Sources within the company say it’s “more likely to happen than not happen at this point” and those within the company are saying that they’re looking at either a fall 2006 or early 2007 start date. There are two scenarios being bandied about for TNA on Spike. One would see the current Impact expand to two hours, and another would see another single-hour edition of Impact take up another night. Jeff Jarrett and others within the company are said to be thrilled with the prospects of two first-run hours on Spike, because right now they don’t feel that they have enough time to develop characters properly. With another hour, they’ll be able to expand the roster slightly and pay more attention to the character development of those outside the main event scene, which is an area they (rightly) feel they currently lack.
Jeff is still pushing for a Monday night timeslot to compete with Raw. Within the company, they seem willing to do that, but Spike TV still isn’t very confident about putting TNA head-to-head with Raw. You’ll never be taken seriously by the general public unless you go head-to-head with WWE, so why not take the chance and at least go for the jugular? At least you can say you tried.
— There was a very public blow-up between Samoa Joe and Scott D’Amore in the locker room at the television tapings last week. Joe has been growing more and more frustrated with every passing week; he’s a guy who is ready to break out as a main event superstar (or star, even), but he doesn’t have anybody to protect him on the booking committee.
Joe’s concerns started at the Ultimate X Match 3 months ago, where he came into the match strong but was booked strangely. Instead of being dominant at the mat game, he was instead asked to wrestle in a match where the gimmick is that you have to climb cables that hang across the ring to grab a belt in order to win the match. Joe had been booked as a monster, and he can do some cool aerial stuff for a guy his size, but he’s not a cruiserweight and thus didn’t realy have much of a chance to look good. Instead of looking like the dominant champion, he instead looked like a fat guy who couldn’t climb the cables like his smaller counterparts.
His concerns continued at the latest PPV, where he was the lowest priority booking-wise out of the four people in the match. Scott Steiner has Jeff Jarrett, Sting has the Carters, and Christian has Scott D’Amore; the other three guys had people protecting their interests, but Joe had no one, and thus was booked as an afterthought.
Joe’s a very emotional guy. He doesn’t play backstage politics and often says exactly what’s on his mind, without regard for what it might do to his career down the road. Joe’s temper boiled over last week and he said some things that “should not have been said, at least in front of the boys”, and he and D’Amore got in a heated confrontation. It was short-lived, however, as they realized they had an audience and quickly moved to get out of earshot.
— Jake “The Snake” Roberts will be starting with the company soon. There’s no word on how long of a deal Jake signed, since they are hesitant to give him anything long-term due to his drug issues of the past. For his part, however, Jake is said to be “clear-eyed” and ready to do business, and TNA values his booking and creative mind and his promo ability, of which he’s one of the top five guys of all time. Jake has an escort to ensure that he gets to the arena on time.
— Since TNA lost the Ultimate Fighter lead-in, the rating for Impact has dropped for three straight weeks. They were at 1.0 for the first episode without a lead-in, but three weeks later they’re at 0.8, but Spike TV is still happy with the ratings. They probably won’t be singing the same song for very long, especially if the ratings drop 0.1 a week.
— Despite what others have reported, Monty Brown’s contract is up in September and the company isn’t interested in re-signing him at this point. They don’t believe he takes the job seriously enough and instead wants to focus his energies on his personal training job, which he makes more money doing. WWE isn’t interest in Brown right now, although with the way the roster is thinning out, that might change within days.
— Senshi might have the X title taken from him because of his horrible attitude backstage.
— They’re releasing a Sting DVD in October.
— The Insane Clown Posse will be handling the local promotion of Bound For Glory. Apparently, and stop me if you’re laughing too hard, ICP are great promoters and know how to draw a huge crowd. If nothing else, it’ll at least be rowdy.
== FIVE THINGS I THINK I THINK ==
1. I think that anyone who believes that WWE guys are truly clean and all of the latest Wellness issues are due to hepatitis exclusively are arrogant and blind.
2. I think it’s amazing that Kid Kash has yet to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around him, and that if he wants to make some real money and not end up like Reckless Youth he’s going to need to stop being a child and conduct business the right way. He’s running out of chances and TNA isn’t interested in the least in bringing him back, so WWE will be his last major stop before it’s back to mediocre paydays for the rest of his career.
3. I think the Finlay/Regal match at Great American Bash was a lot better than people give it credit for.
4. I also think that the Punjabi Prison Match might be the 2nd worst match I’ve ever seen, and yes, that includes Kennel In A Cell. I also think that the recent Dragon’s Gate match from Ring of Honor was the best match I’ve ever seen.
5. I think it’s time people realized that it doesn’t matter what I (or anyone else) thinks about WWE, because the end result is that the company belongs to Vince McMahon, and he’s going to write the TV that pleases him. At least until he realizes that nobody else is watching, which might be sooner than you think.
Tags: TNA, WWE