Pulse Wrestling Answers #022

Wow, 22 weeks without missing a beat. That must be a personal best. Of course, unlike the old Anti-Pulse, this column would not be possible without you people contributing by sending in your wrestling queries for the Q&A, so I’d just like to say thank you.

Wow, I don’t feel dirty. Unexpected. If you’ve anything you’d like to find out, send me an e-mail.

Okay, now I feel a little dirty. Much better.

A quick look at the news headlines before we get underway

RVD may or may not be staying with WWE. I’m not sure that qualifies as news, to be honest. Look, the guy is only 36 years old. He could quite easily take a couple of months off to rest before returning to WWE for another couple of years of substantial pay and then go the Jerry Lynn route. Besides, given that he got arrested whilst champion of the company and they still want to keep him around, he’s more than likely to settle on a favourable deal sooner or later.

WWE marketing guy has left the company, citing ‘micromanagement’ concerns. I am sure our plusses remain non.

MVP has an impressive wrestling tape collection, as do Kennedy, Cade and Murdoch. This is always good to hear. I recall hearing that developmental students were being set viewing assignments as well and it’s about bloody time.

Arn Anderson may come out of retirement, possibly even for more than one match. I doubt that he will wind up wrestling a regular schedule like Finlay, or that he would have much value beyond a couple of special tag matches alongside Flair on TV, but he would be incredibly useful for the younger stars if they got to work with him at house shows. Any TV role he gets should be aimed at having him manage people like Haas & Benjamin or Cade & Murdoch, though sadly it would remain Arn & Flair or nothing. Tell me, when will people admit that the 4 Horsemen should stay a thing of the past?

ECW gets no tag titles. When you scrap a planned championship because you don’t get to use Rene Dupree, you have serious problems with your brain.

Tyson Tomko might return to WWE. I don’t know what is more laughable – that TNA would give somebody without a contract such a big push, including a win over Samoa Joe, or that Bobby Lashley could wind up going from Big Show to Test to Umaga to Snitsky to Tomko. Did Justin Credible have it so bad?

Ashley might not be back, on account of being irritating. Christ, I could have told them that.

And news so exciting it warrants a section all by itself


The match listing for the Ladder Match DVD is out and surprisingly good:

Jake Roberts vs. Big Daddy Ritter – Stampede Wrestling 1979

That’s “Junkyard Dog” to most people. This is not the first Ladder Match ever (Dan Kroffat vs Tor Kamata, 1972), although the idea stemmed from Stampede and it’s probably the earliest one they have footage of that might be worth watching. It would have been nice if they had included the Bret/Bad News one from 1983 though.

Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – 1992

And this would be the first WWE Ladder Match, which I am frankly amazed to see them include here given the absurd level of revisionist history about Shawn Michaels having ‘invented’ the gimmick. They did release this once before on an old Coliseum video and it was okay.

Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – SummerSlam 1995

Better than WrestleMania X, in my opinion.

HHH vs. Rock – SummerSlam 1998

Weirdly enough, I can’t actually remember seeing this one. In fact, none of that PPV seems to be ringing any bells. One of the most successful SummerSlams ever and what was I doing? Summer of ’98? Wallowing in other people’s filth, perhaps you don’t want to know

New Brood vs. Edge & Christian – No Mercy 1999

I love that they are listing them as the “New Brood”. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if they only bothered re-hiring Matt and then Jeff because they knew they wanted to do a Ladder DVD at some point

Edge & Christian vs. Dudleys vs. Hardys – SummerSlam 2000 TLC

A shame that they neglected the WrestleMania XVI match. I know there’s a limit on how many matches involving the same people should be on any given set but I would have liked the entire feud collected in one package

Shannon Moore & Shane Helms vs. Jamie Noble & Evan Karagis vs. Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang WCW 12/17/00

Now this is a huge surprise and a very welcome one. It’s from Starrcade 2000 and, miracle of miracles, someone in WWE remembered it. We didn’t get Benoit/Jarrett from Starrcade ’99, we didn’t get Guerrero/Waltman from Souled Out ’97, but we do get us some 3 Count action. Hatton is warming up already.

Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho – Royal Rumble 2001

Includes one of the most painful looking holds ever

Hardys vs. Dudleys vs. Edge & Christian – Wrestlemania 2001

The pinnacle.

Jericho & Benoit vs. Hardys vs. Dudleys vs. Edge & Christian – Smackdown 2001 TLC

Never seen it

Edge vs. Christian – No Mercy 2001

All I can really remember from this one was feeling let down by the overall apathy with which the Edge/Christian break-up was met. Odd that they both went on to become world champions of a sort

RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero – Raw 2002

It’s already on the Eddie set but, hell, why not? It’s bloody good fun and includes a special guest appearance by Random Drunk Guy from the audience. I love him, he’s ever so cool.

Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy – Raw 2002

Ah, yes. Remember the days when the people up high – and not just the people that were high – thought Jeff could be the next Shawn Michaels? Many years later, it turns out that it was actually Edge who came closest to achieving that, in spite of his Canadian teeth.

Kane & Hurricane vs. RVD & Jeff Hardy vs. Bubba & Spike Dudley vs Jericho & Christian – Raw 2002 TLC

Four tag teams straight out of the pile marked “Why the hell not?”

Jericho vs. Christian – Unforgiven 2004

Nope, must have blanked this one out altogether

Jericho vs. Benoit vs. Benjamin vs. Edge vs. Christian vs. Kane – Wrestlemania 2005 Money in the Bank

It’s got the ladder-run spot, it’s got Benoit selling as though some terrorist was holding Nancy hostage and threatening to kill her if Benoit failed to make him believe that the bumps were real, it’s got Air Kane, it’s got ladders on fire and it’s got Edge doing maybe four things before losing all interest in the match. It rocks.

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero – SummerSlam 2005

The one when Rey wore a sensible mask but succumbed to nonsense anyway by putting his son on the line. Oh, and Vickie screws up her cue to legitimately piss off Eddie. Uncomfortable

Matt Hardy vs. Edge – Raw 2005

Ha. Loser.

Ric Flair vs. Edge – Raw 2006 TLC

Old man falls through table. A Hans Moleman production.

John Cena vs. Edge – Unforgiven 2006 TLC

Okay, I officially hate this match for being in Toronto the day after I left it and returned to the country where there never are any decent live wrestling events but I’ll give it a shot.

Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro – Raw 2006

Why?

London & Kendrick vs. Regal & Taylor vs. MNM vs. Hardys – Armageddon 2006

I just watched it this morning, actually. Never underestimate the breakfast entertainment value of somebody getting their nose shattered as you munch upon your Shredded Wheat. Bitesize. Organic. With yoghurt. Natural. And a bit of maple syrup. Also organic. Damn, I miss breakfast time

What? Oh, yeah, ladders. Well, the match-listing is very impressive, with only one deliberate omission and two or three that were long shots to begin with. All in all, it certainly looks like being a more satisfying product than the Cage Match set they released a few years back. The problem with things like an all-Ladder Match two-disc DVD set is of course running the danger of it all blurring into one gigantic spotfest. There’s a reason why promoters don’t put more than one such match onto a card, after all. Well, you never know, TNA might blunder their way into that market too Fire Russo! Fire Jarrett! Fire Dixie! Fire everybody but Nash! Total Nash Action! Impact becomes an hour of Nash trying to avoid getting out of his comfy seat whilst making wry comments about stuff Scott did whilst high! It would help the ratings, if not the buyrates although you should read Aaron’s thorough TNA advice for more serious options.

But I have massively digressed and I haven’t even gotten onto the Q&A yet. Another personal best!

You see, my secret associate was also concerned about a solely Ladder Match collection losing its appeal upon extended viewing and suggested that they do three or four volumes of “Wrestling’s Greatest Speciality Matches” instead, including Ladder Matches, Hell in the Cell bouts and other peculiar stipulations. Well, it’s too late for that to happen now, and rumour has it that an exclusively Hell in the Cell DVD set is in the works anyway, but what if they did do a DVD solely based on other gimmick matches?

I’d say it might look a little bit like this

Because we would open with a disc of Randy Orton repeatedly getting the shit kicked out of him.

Next would come a disc packed full of the harmlessly entertaining, the ridiculously shite and the oddly pleasant, such as

– Roddy Piper vs Mr T (Boxing Contest, WrestleMania II)
– Sting & Ric Flair vs Terry Funk & The Great Muta (Thunderdome Match, Halloween Havoc 1989)
– Jake Roberts vs Rick Martel (Blindfold Match, WrestleMania VII)
– Sting, El Gigante & The Steiners vs Vader, Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher & Diamond Studd(Chamber of Horrors, Halloween Havoc 1991)
– Sting vs Jake Roberts (Coal Miner’s Glove, Halloween Havoc 1992)
– Nailz vs Big Bossman (Nightstick on a Pole Match, Survivor Series 1992)
– Yokozuna vs The Undertaker (Casket Match, Royal Rumble 1994)
– The Royal Family vs Clowns R Us (Midget Match, Survivor Series 1994)
– Dustin Rhodes vs Blacktop Bully (King of the Road Match, Uncensored 1995)
– Howard Finkel vs Harvey Wippleman (Tuxedo Match, Raw 1995)
– Triple H vs Henry Godwinn (Arkansas Hog Pen Match, In Your House 5)
– Razor Ramon vs The 1-2-3 Kid (Crybaby Match, In Your House 6)
– Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs The Alliance to End Hulkamania (Tower of Doom, Uncensored 1996)
– Roddy Piper vs Goldust (Hollywood Backlot Brawl, WrestleMania XII)
– Mankind vs The Undertaker (Boiler Room Brawl, SummerSlam 1996)
– Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs New Age Outlaws (Dumpster Match, WrestleMania XIV)
– Kane vs The Undertaker (Inferno Match, Unforgiven 1998)
– Mankind vs The Rock (Empty Arena Match, Halftime Heat 1999)
– Bart Gunn vs Butterbean (Brawl for All, WrestleMania XV)
– Al Snow vs Big Bossman (Kennel from Hell, Unforgiven 1999)
– Jeff Jarrett vs Chyna (Good Housekeeping Match, No Mercy 1999)
– Miss Kitty vs Ivory vs Jacqueline vs BB (Four Corners Evening Gown Pool Match, Armageddon 1999)
– Triple H vs Chris Jericho (Last Man Standing, Fully Loaded 2000)
– Sting vs Vampiro (Human Torch Match, Great American Bash 2000)
– Buff Bagwell vs Kanyon (Judy Bagwell on a Forklift Match, New Blood Rising 2000)
– Steve Austin vs Triple H (3 Stages of Hell, No Way Out 2001)
– Gimmick Battle Royal (WrestleMania XVII)
– The Dudley Boys vs The Undertaker (Concrete Crypt Match, Great American Bash 2004)
– John Cena vs JBL (I Quit Match, Judgement Day 2005)
– The Big Show vs Akebono (Sumo Contest, WrestleMania XXI)
– The Big Show vs The Undertaker (Punjabi Prison Match, Great American Bash 2006)

Admit it, you’d buy it. You’d buy it and kidnap Eric S and tie him up Clockwork Orange style and force him to watch it on a loop.

Speaking of Mr Sul Ches Key, he had a comment to make about last week’s column

“Here in the States, we have different ratings systems for movies/videos,
TV, and games, all showing a different sign of repression (after all,
look at the origins of the Comics Code Authority and how long we let it
survive). Therefore, Garth Ennis’ Raw would be rated TV-MA DSV, the
ultimate rating, and be broadcast after midnight on Showtime. Of
course, the Undertaker would still be rebooked to become the Saint Of
Killers, but that’s so obvious it doesn’t need to be said.

Until Saturday, I would have disagreed with you about Trip being a Dalek
(old-school Cyberleader, definitely). Now, it’s now so obvious that I’m
slapping myself that I didn’t see it. I was more upset about other
things (setting it in Noo Yawk, getting it wrong about black serving in
WWI, etc.), so thank you for setting it right.

Sorry I don’t have a question, but that shows weakness, and we can’t
have that, can we?”

And isn’t it ironic, don’t ya think?

I get the feeling that Triple H might have been mellowing into a Dalek-Sec type prior to his latest injury. After all, he had managed to wean himself away from championship gold since April 2005. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether his booker-worker hybrid form was able to cope with this latest warning of an early retirement or whether it shall see him revert to salivating over getting 16 world title reigns in first. The odds of Cena holding the title until dropping it to the Hs at SummerSlam must be remarkably short

And, yes, you Americans and your love of initials and abbrev. What a to-do. In the UK all we really had was an unwritten ‘watershed’ rule that nothing too risqué or adult was to be shown before 9pm. Then the numerous satellite and cable channels came along and got it brought forward to 8pm. Now we just all sit around the house with our children, watching hardcore porn and snuff films on our days off and anxiously await the return of The Jane Austen Gang Bang Chronicles. Garth Ennis has got nothing on TV producers.

We here at Pulse Wrestling cannot offer you porn (although it may help Widro get better ‘celebrities’ for the TV section) but we can offer you staff writers going at it one-on-one in VS. I did it with Jacob York last week and found it surprisingly tasty. Brian Sparks had a comment about it:

“Just read your idea in the Vs. thing about having at least one “special” match for each PPV. That’s a great idea. People watch the Royal Rumble mostly just for that match, and Money in the Bank has become a standard attraction for Wrestlemania. Designating a particular gimmick match for a particular PPV not only makes that PV stand out, it helps prevent these matches from being watered down. How pointless would MITB be if they decided to do it three times a year? Plus, there could be great buildup for how wrestlers would qualify for these matches. In some cases, they could do simple “qualification matches”, in others, they could do Beat The Clock. Or let’s say Undertaker & Batista and John Cena & Shawn Michaels each wanted to settle their long feuds in a Hell in a Cell match. Make them team up against each other, winning team settles their feud in the cage.

Honestly, I don’t watch wrestling too much anymore, at least live. This kind of idea could really help increase interest in particular matches, feuds, and PPVs.

Just my two cents.”

Take heart, it will surely only be a matter of months before they figure out that the PPV buyrates are not going to magically improve just because Cena, Lashley and Undertaker can now appear on them all. After that, the only logical thing to do will be to prepare a return to the 12 PPVs a year schedule, which is still too many for my liking but I’m ready to compromise now. That means we could hope for something like this

Royal Rumble – sells itself

No Way Out – headline it with a Hell in the Cell

WrestleMania – a brand unto itself

Backlash – move Money in the Bank to here so it’ll still provide some impetus for post-Mania progress in amongst the inevitable rematches

Judgement Day – cross-brand King of the Ring finals, methinks

Vengeance – no more ECW PPVs but we can lump this one with Extreme Rules nonsense

Great American Bash – War Games, baby

SummerSlam – running on fumes and legacy

Unforgiven – TLC? I’m sure they did a song with that title

No Mercy – take the online voting gimmick and attach it here

Survivor Series – establish the elimination tags once again, perhaps even with the 1990 tweak

Armageddon – Say hello to the Elimination Chamber

Naturally, it will be the quality of the shows, the star power attached to them and the overall worthiness of the product that will convince the majority of the purchasing public to part with their money rather than the gimmicks attached. Yet every little helps and any chance to distinguish one given PPV from another should be encouraged. Hell, bring back the goddamn Lethal Lottery if needs be.


Pulse Wrestling Staff Roundtable Results for WWE Backlash 2007:

Iain Burnside Co-Roundtable Champion
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 4-2
Total: 63-44

Pulse Glazer Co-Roundtable Champion
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 4-2
Total: 43-36

Ben Morse Co-Roundtable Champion
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 4-2
Total: 4-2

Eric Szulczewski Co-Roundtable Champion
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 4-2
Total: 72-70

Widro Co-Roundtable Champion
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 4-2
Total: 27-12

Allen Noah Co-Roundtable Loser
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 3-3
Total: 10-11

Danny Cox Co-Roundtable Loser
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 3-3
Total: 39-44

Kace Evers Co-Roundtable Loser
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 3-3
Total: 29-21

Charlie Marsh Co-Roundtable Loser
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 3-3
Total: 10-15

Steve Murray Co-Roundtable Loser
WWE Backlash (29 Apr 07): 3-3
Total: 3-3

How strangely symmetrical. You can see the actual Roundtable here and the results of the show here.

Right, now, onto the questions


StuntmanMike is asking for trouble:

“I was just randomly remembering the Pillman/Austin angle from a few years back when Austin broke into Pillman’s house and Pillman famously pulled a gun and dropped the f-bomb. Which leads me to wonder aloud what you, Mr. Burnside, feel is the greatest instance of unexpected onscreen profanity in WWE/WCW history.

My personal favourite isn’t particularly profane, especially post-Austin, but I can clearly remember The Bossman screaming, “D-Generation X can suck my ass!” at a live crowd during some event or other.”

Ooh, fun.

In keeping with the Pillman theme, props have to be given to Bobby Heenan for this impromptu f-bomb at Clash of the Champions XXXII:

The reason Heenan was so freaked out was that he had a history of neck problems and was genuinely afraid that Pillman, who had more or less everybody in WCW convinced that he really was a loose cannon, was going to hurt him quite easily. It certainly made the people backstage pay attention, since Heenan was pretty much considered the one guy that wouldn’t lose his cool and always had a comeback. Of course, by that time he had been in WCW too long and didn’t give a shit anymore. Pillman apologised to Heenan when he found out about his neck situation.

Another WCW favourite has to be from Booker T. I’ve put this in the column before and it is always welcome:

If we ever get the hang of time travel, we need to get Ron Simmons in there to pop in with a ‘DAMN’. You can tell how much attention Gene Okerlund pays to other people by his complete lack of reaction. Either that or he is just very slow or very composed

If anybody remembers any others, please send them in. I couldn’t find a clip for it but there was one time before Unforgiven 2001 when The Rock called Shane McMahon a “silver-spooned motherf*cker”. I think Stephanie was supposed to interrupt him before he finished the sentence but she missed her cue and he just kept going. Oh, or during the Rock & Sock/Evolution match at WrestleMania XX, Ric Flair clearly calls Rocky a motherf*cker. And of course we can’t forget Christy Hemme’s “gutterslut” rant at Carmella Decesare during the Diva Search in 2003.

This has no swearing in it but it’s damn funny nonetheless:

You know, if WWE put out a DVD containing the funniest promos, greatest bloopers and best cock-ups in wrestling history, I’d buy it.

Next…


Our resident hairy lip, Matthew Michaels, has one from the forum (yes, the column has its own forum, so you don’t even have to sully your outbox by e-mailing me):

“Why did Vince McMahon Sr sell to Vince Jr and not to his other son, Rod?”

Honestly, would you want somebody named “Rod” to inherit your business? There would just be far too many jokes at the negotiating table. And then, since this is the wrestling business, it would have just wound up with cracks about skirts and bagpipes and whatnot. Although perhaps not all is lost perhaps Vince Russo could book some “Miscellaneous Object on a Rod” matches as an inside joke. That’ll teach ‘em, Vic!

Anyway, his proper name is Roderick, named after his paternal grandfather – although he preferred to be called Jess. I’m not sure if that’s better or not. The Coach mentioned him on Raw back in July 2002 when they were in need of a new General Manager for the brand. He was speculating about who it could be and mentioned Vince’s brother “from Texas”. Of course, the GM turned out to be Eric Bischoff. Nowadays they’re still in need of a GM for the Raw brand and yet seem to have forgotten all about it. Ah well. Shaun Assael mentioned him in his Sex, Lies and Headlocks book about the McMahons. He talked briefly about Rodney and Vinnie Kennedy Lupton, as they were then known, living near a military base in Havelock, North Carolina when they were young. A local man, Douglas Franks, said Rodney was someone ”who didn’t have to work at his charisma, it came naturally”, while Vinnie ”tried to be one of the gang kids, but he never quite made it he was a wannabe.” Ouch. The ‘Lupton’ name belonged to their mother Vickie, who had divorced Vincent J. McMahon during the Second World War. He went to Washington to promote Capitol Wrestling; she married an electrician named Leo Lupton. As far as I can make out, Leo already had a son and daughter at when he married Vicki, which means there is a lot of confusion about whether Rodney and Vinnie were half-brothers or step-brothers or both the product of the McMahon seed. In any event, they were both at the side of Vince Sr when he passed in 1984. By that point Vince Jr already had full ownership of the WWF, which Rodney was seemingly never bothered about. He had gone off to work in the oil industry, while Vince Jr had become interested in becoming a promoter like Vince Sr and became a prominent face in the WWWF throughout the 1970s – most notably in getting the Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki match booked. For whatever reason, perhaps because Rodney is the older brother, Vince has never had him involved in the numerous onscreen fiascos of the McMahon family. I believe he currently stays near Willis, Texas, and is no doubt all the saner and happier for never following in his father’s footsteps.

Next…


LRHubbard (we can but hope) has a query from beyond:

“Greetings, my child, from the Planet Xanu! I hope your false lifestyle finds thee well. Now, a query for thy column of non-thetan spume – What wrestlers out there do we know are Scientologists? I was informed by one of my puny followers that Jericho had paid up to my church… any truth in that, or should I have him crushed by my alien contacts?”

Shouldn’t you know?

Johnny Nitro… and maybe Brian “Crush” Adams… but that’s all I could find. This interview makes it seem very doubtful that Jericho is not one of them For those who want to avoid the pop-ups, the gist is “f*ck Scientology, f*ck Tom Cruise, f*ck Katie Holmes and all that horseshit”. He then goes on to say he should start up a Church of Rockology so people will give him their annual salaries. Good plan.

Next…


Scott Head (oh really?) wraps things up with something truly meaningful:

“Remember those WCW Cruiserweight tag belts? Dude, what the hell were those about?”

The titles were decided in a tournament in February/March 2001, at which point WCW had brought in a number of new cruiserweights that they wanted to showcase in a distinctive manner. These included Kid Romeo, A.J. “Air” Styles and Air Paris from NWA Wildside, Scotty “O” Sabre and E.Z. Money/Jason Jett. There were also other relative newbies like Mike Sanders, Kwee Wee, the Jung Dragons and Jamie Hatton’s 3 Count, not to mention the ‘old guard’ of Chavo Guerrero, Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman. With too much time to fill on their cards and the lingering memory of those wee nippy fellas pleasing the crowds a fair bit back in the good ol’ days, not to mention the lack of any better ideas, WCW decided to give them a bit more time and so created a tag team division for them all. Nobody cared and they were promptly forgotten all about eight days after Kid Romeo & Elix Skipper became the inaugural champions, when Vince McMahon bought the company. Mysterio & Kidman won them that same evening and apparently still possess the title belts somewhere, unless Kidman pawned his to buy chicken. Interestingly, WWE does acknowledge them on Mysterio’s bio when they usually try to forget this kinda crap. It also means that in WCW’s short history they can claim to have had World, United States, Six-Man and Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships. No wonder Dusty is obsessed with tag teams.

Next…


The Jumping Haddock Killer, which sounds like a drink Brian Kendrick might order, takes us home with:

“Who of the current mid-card crop can you see winning a World Title
at *some* point in the next decade and, of those guys, who do you think
genuinely has a chance at a continued top line run?”

Ken Kennedy will wind up a world champion before 2008 arrives. He seems to have all of the right people backing him now, is obviously impressing the veterans backstage if the news up top is any indication of things, has been moulded into the typical WWE style they are so keen on seeing, is a solid enough worker to keep going for many years to come, has obvious verbal skills and is starting to get a fair bit of pro-heel heat to boot. There are also still numerous people that he has yet to have any extended feuds with, such as Mysterio, Cena, Triple H, etc., so not even the slowest member of the creative team could run out of things for him to do in the near future. All in all, whether we like him or not – and I remain on the fence – he is the one most likely to become a permanent main event fixture in the years to come.

Meanwhile, there are Punk, Burke, Nitro and Porter.

Punk is picking up a great deal of momentum now, with the latest backstage scuttlebutt indicating that he is winning over his detractors at long last. To be honest, at the moment he is more important to the ECW show than either the ECW champion or RVD. The burgeoning feud between him and Burke feels fresh and vibrant and could play out until well into the summer. What happens to him next depends to some extent on what Sci Fi decide to do with the show, yet I don’t think there is as much danger of him being jobbed out or sent back to developmental as there was only a few months ago. Both he and Burke are still low enough on the scale to avoid being dismissed as ‘Heyman guys’, especially now WWE has concocted its own program for them. They are both charismatic guys with good mic skills, a solid grasp of the fundamentals and some unique moves in their repertoires. It’s still far too early to tell just how far they will go but only serious injury or succumbing to politics can stand in their way. I’d be very surprised if neither of them wound up holding a world title though.

Nitro well, it doesn’t look as promising as it once did. He has found himself in the awkward spot of not having much to do, since all of the attention on Raw remains on the usual suspects and the undercard is nowhere near as focused as ECW or Smackdown at the moment. The return to the tag team division was curtailed and, even though Melina remains the one in the spotlight, she seems to be pissing people off left, right and centre. Mick Foley is still kinda-sorta slated to feud with Nitro, yet Foley is hardly a firm favourite of management these days and there’s no guarantee that would happen – or that it would actually help. Nitro has improved a lot but now the window of PPV opportunities has shrunk it’s difficult to see how he can generate enough momentum to drag himself up the card again. After all, how can he keep away from the Melina backlash off-camera if he is given no chance to separate himself from her on-camera? And isn’t most of that his fault?

Then there is young Montel Vontavious Porter. Barely anybody noticed him when he first started ‘competing’ on Smackdown but there has been such massive improvement in such a short space of time that he should name his firstborn son ‘Rabid Wolverine’ to express his gratitude. He seems to have a good grasp on the little things as well. Take the London Smackdown for example. He comes out of his entrance set-up, sees a red phone box and steps away from it because the last time he was in England he got the crap kicked out of him inside such a phone box by Kane. Continuity! In-character continuity! Sweet sultry cheesecake, I love it! At the moment he is, as I said in the Backlash Roundtable, the Anti-Orlando Jordan. If given time and the chance to learn how to have a decent match without Chris Benoit, he could well wind up becoming the Anti-Randy Orton to boot.

Always brings a smile to my face.

Oh, and if we’re talking long-shots, there is always an outside possibility that Kenny Dykstra or Monty Cor Von could ascend beyond their reach. WWE would need to fire a hell of a lot of people beforehand and wind up in an AWA circa 1989 level of panic but, still

Next


You know the drill.

Until #023, go check out Mark Allen’s thoughts on Randy Orton, Big Andy Mac’s comments on Chikara in ROH, David Brashear on the end of the Horsemen (hopefully), Bambi Weavil not writing for 55 minutes, and Andy Wheeler with another winning column about WWE’s internet development.

As for me, well, time to go read some more of this. Sweet

AIM: KingKongBurnside

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