For Your Consideration…Vince Needs to Stay in the Ring


Welcome to week #7, which has quickly turned into a double-bonus column. Why a double-bonus column, you ask? Because, due to a technical snafu on the usually reliable submission program that we use to send in columns and such, my Backlash picks evaporated into the atmosphere. They vanished like the Miami Dolphin’s credibility.

[Side note: as a long-suffering Dolfan (I swear that’s what we’re called I didn’t make it up but I feel compelled to use it), I prayed for Brady Quinn to drop down to us so that we may right the ship and put the past few years of mediocrity behind us. Once I saw him in our grasp, I marked out like a 9-year-old Ultimate Warrior fan. Then, like most 9-year-old Warrior fans, I watched something unexpected and unsettling happen and began to weep. Ted Guinn Jr. Not Brady Quinn. Not even close. Different letters in the name. Different position. Different f*cking skin color. I couldn’t even blame it on mistaken identity. Why did they pick Ted Guinn Jr.? Why would they not only deny me a potential Marino Second Coming and give me a guy from the dreaded Ohio State (a school that the University of Florida worked like a cheap washed-up whore)? Yeah, Guinn might work out. He might become the greatest WR in Dolphin history for all I care, but heaven help us if Brady Quinn becomes even mildly competent. I was against Miami getting the “Disaster from Minnesota” last year and I thought that they couldn’t come up with another colossal blunder, but lo and behold they did. Miami is now the new Jets. Between this and the Heat getting swept, I might be close to jumping.]

Speaking of major disappointments, Backlash was this past Sunday. By now I’m sure you’ve read tons of analysis on the show from everyone with a computer and working fingers, but I feel compelled to toss my hat in the ring nonetheless. I will provide for you my pre-show picks (that never saw the light of day until now) and then post-show analysis. The analysis will not include what happened on RAW because I’m writing this pre-RAW and I don’t think that what happens on RAW should affect my “immediate post-Backlash opinions”.

Then, since I promised a “double bonus”, I will provide my pre-planned topic of the week, so you’re getting two columns for the price of one.

WWE Women’s Championship
Melina vs. Mickie James
PRE-SHOW ANALYSIS: Look, the woman’s title is pretty meaningless. In fact, for the majority of its existence it’s been meaningless. Now, live on PPV, we’re getting the only viable woman’s title match that’s available and it isn’t even the least bit exciting. Melina is nowhere near the level of Lita or Trish or even Victoria. Sometimes she’s downright awful. I’m a huge fan of Mickie James. I think she’s entertaining in the ring and sexy as hell, but part of me wished that we could enjoy psycho Mickie longer. Psycho Mickie only works when there’s a strong babyface in the woman’s division and unfortunately there isn’t one. That would require a talented and attractive female to step up and dominate the woman’s division. Maria’s cute but doesn’t have the skills. Candice is “getting better” (though that doesn’t mean much) but she’s older and just didn’t connect with the fans. Torrie is a lost cause. Jillian isn’t pretty enough to be the #1 face. Same goes for Michelle McCool. Ashley’s not good in the ring, has heat and didn’t capitalize on the Playboy thing at all. That leaves us with Victoria, and with all due respect to a certain writer here at Pulse, Victoria is not attractive enough to be the #1 face. So by default it’s Mickie, who should be an oddball at best. The woman’s division is a bit of a disaster, and this match should be mercifully short as long Mickie doesn’t break her neck out there trying to make Melina look good. I have to tip it to James because she’s the only competitor who can take the strap away and not make it look like a joke and if she loses here, how many more times will fans tune in to see her compete for the title? Then again, how many fans tune in to see the women’s title in the first place?
Winner: Begrudgingly Mickie James (Eric’s future daughter-in-law)

POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: Well, got this one wrong, but so what? Doesn’t change much. This was a pretty meaningless match that everyone in the Roundtable called a pretty meaningless match. Melina beating Mickie James in the center of the ring with little controversy squashes the only legitimate contender to the title. As I said above, there is no face that can carry the title successfully, and a heel woman’s champion without a strong contender makes her boring and repetitive. Ask Molly Holly how that worked out for her.

United States Championship
Chris Benoit vs. MVP
I’m glad Chris Benoit didn’t wind up on RAW and I think my column a few weeks back outlines pretty well why. Now I think everyone sees why Benoit went over at Wrestlemania. MVP is the new anointed midcard heel now that Kennedy’s moving on up to the main event. When Kennedy was getting his rocket-propelled push, the announcers started dropping comparisons to Steve Austin. Now that they’re pushing MVP, the announcer are starting to compare him to The Rock. Subtlety is not the WWE’s strong point, but maybe they read that Oprah book “The Secret” where if you wish for something long enough it’ll happen. As much fun as it is to hate MVP, he is getting a little better in the ring and he can only get better being in there with Benoit. He’s developing a little moveset and throwing in tiny character tweaks, which is enough to show that he cares a little. That puts him above Orton and Nitro and Carlito in my book. This isn’t a Smackdown PPV and Chris has shown that he can make MVP look a hell of a lot better than he actually is, so there’s no major objection to Benoit putting him over. It’s inevitable and just cements Benoit’s rep as the most unselfish man in wrestling. How novel an idea is this? A veteran superstar willing to make a young guy look good? I have more thoughts on MVP, but for that you need to look at my World Tag Team Championship pick.
Winner: MVP

POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: I’m stunned that Benoit won. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Chris still has the US Title and that maybe someone has enough faith in him to not make him lay down for Porter. On the flip side, this keeps Benoit in the mid-card for a while longer. A lot of people hypothesized that Benoit would move up and deal with a heel Batista or feud with a world champion Kennedy, but keeping the title on him is tantamount to an anchor around his waist. Even worse, this means that the MVP feud will continue for a third month. The WWE didn’t waste all these months building up Porter to just have him disappear. He’ll go after Benoit at Judgment Day for the belt and then finally win it. Who does that benefit? Benoit proved twice that he could beat Porter clean. Porter beating Benoit now can only look like a fluke or a case of playing the odds. 99 times out of 100 Benoit would win, but MVP still has a 1 in 100 shot of getting the belt. It takes away the potential good that the win would do for Porter and in the end it means that Benoit will be jobbing again to a younger and less talented kid (see Orton, Randy) and losing his belt (see Championship, World Heavyweight) for no reason.

World Tag Team Championship
The Hardys vs. Cade & Murdoch
The World Tag Team division on RAW is not the disaster one would believe considering almost every other lower division is in disarray. I covered the Woman’s Title situation above and the IC title is around the waist of a faux-fan who hasn’t been seen or heard from since. The World Tag Team division has Cade & Murdoch, Cryme Tyme, Benjamin and Haas, Highlanders, Val and Viscera (though that changes weekly) and Hacksaw and Eugene. That’s more than the WWE had when tag wrestling was “at its peak” with the era of TLC. RAW doesn’t need the Hardys as tag champions but they do need Cade and Murdoch as champs. Cade and Murdoch had a cup of coffee with the titles in 2005 but they have been Heat fodder ever since. I don’t really have a problem with them. Lance Cade’s big knock was that he had an attitude problem. A year of jerking the curtain probably fixed that. Trevor Murdoch is one of the most unlikely looking wrestlers in a long time. He was trained by Harley Race, so you know he has the skills (despite that Canadian Destroyer that he botched but at least he’s trying). They look like a real team and could benefit nicely from a long reign as heel champs until Cryme Time catches up with their gimmicks. The Hardys don’t need the belts. They don’t put asses in seats as a team like they used to, and as singles competitors they still can pop a crowd. United or divided, they fill the role that they need to. Jeff Hardy as a singles star on RAW could fit back nicely in the murky IC title situation again, or they could throw him in with Super Crazy and do another wacky high-flying tag team. Matt Hardy, on the other hand, is hindered by being back in the Hardy team. He was carving out a nice little niche on Smackdown and inexplicably still gets a huge reaction despite a go-nowhere year in 2006. Now, he’s back in the shadow of Jeff. Before they threw him back into a team, it looked like he was going to get a nice little push. On (a site I covered in depth in my latest column), the fans picked him as the person most likely to exploit the absence of King Booker. The fans like Matt enough that he could keep getting over on Smackdown. If he loses the belt here and goes back to Friday nights, he could slide nicely into a feud with MVP over the US Title. And just like that, I heard the collective head-slapping of the IWC.
Winner: Cade & Murdoch

POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: I still think that this was the wrong call on all ends. The WWE did a shocking move and made Cade & Murdoch seem almost like a legitimate contender. People bought into that idea for the first time in a long time and now they’re back to looking like the jobbers that people pretty much thought they were for the past year or so. What now? If they have Cade & Murdoch eventually win the gold, people will be asking (like in the Benoit/Porter match) why they just didn’t do it at Backlash. The cynic in me believes that Vince wanted there to be only 1 title switch, but I’ll get to that later. Oh you better believe I will get to that later. Now, Matt Hardy is still tethered to RAW and unable to capitalize on his chance to shine again on Smackdown and Cade & Murdoch can go back to Heat to forever take on the Highlanders. By the way, now that they’ve been vanquished and Haas & Benjamin have been beaten repeatedly by Matt and Jeff, who does that leave? Oh, silly me! I forgot that the tag titles are meaningless. Duh.

Last Man Standing Match – World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs. Batista
So this match didn’t get top billing at Wrestlemania, so what? At least when they have a rematch they’ll get the main event slot on their own PPV? What’s that? We’re throwing it in as a bonus on a RAW PPV? And it’s getting less build than another Lashley/Umaga match? Talk about kicking Smackdown when they’re down. Why would they give the title to Taker only to have him drop it a month later? I personally don’t like the Undertaker as champ. He can’t cut a promo because he’s supernatural and when you’re the living dead, you don’t cut promos. Even worse, heels can’t get heat on him because he’s supernatural and can never be made to look weak unless he gets it back tenfold. Batista was the perfect world champion for Smackdown. He might not be where he was before the injury, but he’s still pretty popular. He can cut a halfway decent promo (go back and look at his time with Eddie hilarious) and doesn’t make a complete fool out of himself in the ring. It looks like Taker has to go over so that Kennedy can go up against him with the MITB stipulation. I don’t think Kennedy is going to use it on Backlash because the show is already “stacked” by WWE standards and this would force it to get lost in the fold. I do, however, think that Finlay and Kennedy will play a huge role in the finish of this match because neither Batista nor Undertaker can afford to take a clean loss. As if this isn’t scary enough to realize that we’re getting Kennedy/Taker again, just remember that Mark Henry’s coming back soon. Stop the pain.
Winner: Undertaker

POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: To quote Family Guy, the finish of that match was lamer than FDR’s legs. They were crushed by girders? Are they Spiderman villains? Was this a “to be continued ”? I know that neither guy could lose clean in this match and ever get their heat back. Kennedy and Finlay could have interfered to level both guys or anoint one the champ and attack the other. There was a chance to turn this into a pure Angle Advancement Match © and people would have been fine with it. Hell, they could have brought out Mark Henry and let him flatten one of them since we know it’s inevitable. Now what do we have? Is this a convenient way for them to say that Batista got his rematch and let both guys go their separate ways? I mean, it is a clean way for them to sever Dave from the title without him looking weak and it lets Undertaker focus in on Kennedy. Which leaves Batista to feud with Mark Henry. Which, in turn, leaves us to wonder what else is on television between 8 and 10 on Friday nights.

3-On-1 Handicap Match for ECW World Title
Bobby Lashley vs. Vince, Shane and Umaga
Agh! I feel like going into a full-on Charlie Brown freak-out over this damn match. Look Vince, we get it. Alright? We get it! Bobby Lashley is the anointed crown prince of the WWE. He’s the new GUY. Does this appease you? Will you leave us alone now? Stop trying to stack the deck against this guy. The fans don’t care about him. He can’t talk. He’s pretty dull in the ring. Maybe in a few years he could get better, but it isn’t happening now and soon enough the only backlash you’ll feel is that of the fans tuning out in droves. It isn’t a mathematical equation, guys. Big Guy + Adversity + McMahon Family as Oppressors = Fan Adoration. Sorry. We saw Umaga/Lashley and we wept for humanity. The addition of Vince and Shane is not an incentive. That’s like adding an eye poke to a kick in the balls. Plus, the finish is so telegraphed that I’d swear a billionaire’s scalp was on the line. Vince McMahon is not going to be the ECW champion because he already placated his ego by giving himself the WWE title years ago and if he was to get the title then you might as well just kill the promotion (you know again). Shane’s good in the ring but it’s the same song different verse with him; he doesn’t want to be this hands on with the product, he has a kid and he would never in a million years be anything more than a once a year attraction. That leaves Umaga. Umaga on ECW would throw another barrier between the title and the New Breed/Originals feud. If Umaga wins, one has to wonder why they bothered to bring Snitsky over in the first place? Umaga’s needed on RAW, so I doubt they will give him the title. Plus, Lashley is supposed to be unstoppable and unstoppable champions don’t lose when the deck is stacked against them.
Winner: Bobby Lashley. Again. And again, and again and again.

POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: I was wondering after seeing the tag title results, the woman’s title results and the world title results just how the WWE could f*ck up any bigger. I thought that maybe someone in the back could trip over a wire and accidentally cut the feed. I wondered if there would be a storm that would cause a power outage like Beware of Dog. I wondered if somehow Vince would put Ted Guinn Jr. in a match. Nowhere in the dark recesses of the most perverted part of my mind did I think I would see what I saw. Vince McMahon as ECW champion. Yep, mark it on your calendars as the death of ECW. David Arquette versus the Shockmaster in a Judy Bagwell on a Pole match wouldn’t offend the senses as much as this. At least, that’s what I thought when I first heard the story. Then, I began to think about this logically (as I have a nagging habit of doing from time to time). Vince is the ECW champion, which demonstrates his interest in the product again. This means he has to appear on ECW programming at least once and any appearance by McMahon on ECW TV makes the product seem more legit to mainstream fans. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want him there and I think this is pretty much nothing but bad. I say pretty much because this looks like a nice way to take the title off Lashley and can let the Bobby/Vince feud continue without holding up the belt. How? Vince relinquishes the title and they set up a tournament that culminates at ONS. That lets them do either RVD/Punk or Punk/Burke as the main event of ONS as the finals of the tournament and lets Lashley face Vince or Umaga or whoever. Disastrous results? You bet your ass. Death of ECW? Maybe not.

Fatal Fourway Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. HBK vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton
I’m already burned out and I haven’t even gotten to the main event. I typed this up in the opposite order, going from lowest match on the card to highest, so I’m pretty coated with cynicism and bile, and now this. People liked John Cena versus Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. I thought it was good. Not great, but good. People liked their rematch. I find it hard to get into matches with that many commercial breaks pumping Castrol GTX and Bowflex, so while I can appreciate it for being a good match, I cannot join the camp of people calling this MOTY. Maybe if I watch it again without commercials I’ll think differently, but for now that’s where I stand. I also happen to like what Edge has been doing as a heel and think he could be a long-term viable asset to the WWE in this role. Randy Orton is beyond words at this point. I said in my column this week that I believe Orton’s last suspensions were more work than shoot, and this one might very well be the same. Sure, he could just be this big of an asshole, but on the other hand, this is yet another incident that is too vague and cliché to be completely true. It builds on the aura of dickishness that he needs. Now, the match itself feels very crowded. Cena’s polarizing gimmick aside, he is too valuable as champion for them to make a sudden move unless they have a plan. Edge and Orton looked like they were heading for a feud with one another, but I don’t see that happening. Edge has to stay heel because they worked too damn hard to make him a heel. Orton can’t turn face because his “rep” would get the best of him. Plus he’s such a natural asshole that it would be a mistake squander that kind of natural prickness. Giving Shawn another run with the gold could be fun, but where do we go with that? We’ve seen Cena/Edge, Cena/Umaga, HBK/Edge and HBK/Orton before We’ve never seen Cena/Orton, but that couldn’t work because Edge is the bigger heel of the former Rated RKO and putting Orton above Edge would only hurt his place as #1 heel. If they gave the belt to HBK then he could feud with Umaga, but this is not the monster Umaga that Cena fought. This is the Umaga that will have failed to beat Lashley twice after losing to Cena twice. They could do HBK/Edge again for the belt, but what do they do with Cena now that he isn’t champion? The fans hated will turn to ambivalence and will drag down a moneymaker in Cena. And don’t forget that the Great Khali is still lurking on RAW and he hasn’t gotten his inevitable title shot. If they keep the belt on Cena, he could lose it to Khali (a Cena/Khali feud would force the fans to cheer for John or tune out altogether). Why would they want Khali as champion, you ask? Well, what Conan-esque superstar is coming back in a few months? Even when he’s not there, it’s all about the Game.
Winner: Cena

POST-SHOW ANALYSIS: I said he’d go over and he did. No one else made sense to win the belt in this match. HBK would have gotten the title at Mania if he was winning it or they would have given him a title rematch at Backlash one-on-one. Winning the belt in this manner would cheapen the win for Shawn. He got his heat back for the loss at Wrestlemania on RAW last week, so he was placated. Orton wasn’t getting it and I’m glad that Eric might be subscribing to my conspiracy theory on Randy’s “suspension”. Edge couldn’t get it because we’ve seen Edge/Cena a million times and Edge/HBK would leave John to twist in the wind. It had to be Cena and Cena alone walking out as champ. He didn’t win it in a strong way. In fact, he won using a Rube Goldberg technique. Whatever. He’s still the champion and now that Lashley’s been knocked loose from his belt, John Cena may again reign as the one and only dominant WWE champ.

Whew. If you thought I was disappointed with Backlash then you ain’t seen nothing yet. I don’t know who had the unenviable task of telling Vince what the box office results of “The Condemned” was, but something tells me that person might have to extract a pen from his jugular. $3.8 million dollars. Ouch. Wow. That is painful. WWE Films just took one on the chin and there will be ramifications, which brings me to today’s topic:

For Your Consideration Vince Needs to Stay in the Ring

Ask Vince McMahon and he’ll answer you as honestly as he can. He has failed in every venture he has gotten into outside of the squared circle. Hell, he’s a failed calculator salesman.

WWE Films is the latest major flop for Vince. I will address that last since it hasn’t officially imploded. I will also look at the WBF, XFL, IsoPro, Titan Bikes, WWE NY and Smackdown! Records.

Vince’s failure in outside ventures is not something that he should feel even slightly ashamed of. Businessmen around the world would kill to “fail” as successfully as Vince has. He’s a certified billionaire (though now not so much, but he was at one point). He is one of the most recognizable people on television. He has a building that is pretty readily identifiable to anyone that drives by it (Exit 9 on I-95 for voyeurs). He has the highest rated program on cable and highest rated program on Friday nights and helped make USA the #1 cable network in the country. Wrestlemania probably did a million buys without the addition of Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, Triple H or The Rock.

Unfortunately, Vince’s pride gets in the way of his success. He honestly believes that he has more power over his fans than he actually does. I’m not going to fault him for thinking this. Plenty of popular programs have been able to brand people or products and led fans like blind sheep from one venture to another. The NFL gets people to buy erectile dysfunction medication and DirecTV and XM. American Idol the show leads people to buy tickets to concerts, download songs from the show and ultimately buy the CD of the winner. Vince figured that there are roughly 8 million people watching his product on a weekly basis and that these 8 million people love the WWE so much that they will swallow any shit that he tries to shovel down our throats.

The WBF was the most closely connected. People tune in to WWE programming to see physical freaks of nature pretend to beat the crap out of one another. People get hooked by larger-than-life characters and flashy production. What if they took the flashy production and genetic marvels and instead of them fighting, we just had them stand there? Well, I mean stand there with lasers and music playing. You guys would buy that, right? Nothing at all gay about watching guys in banana hammocks covered in oil posing. At least in wrestling you can overlook the overtones because of the violence or “thrill of competition”. WBF is just wrong. Vince tried his best, even bringing in Lou Ferrigno and Lex Luger to “legitimize” the program. Hell, Lou is well known in the bodybuilding world and has cred as the Incredible Hulk. And Lex? He was big in WCW and fans will follow a pro wrestler they like to wherever he winds up, so why not follow him to the WBF? Why not? Because it’s DUDES POSING. Dudes. No.

Talking about the failure of the XFL is so overdone and repetitive that it just isn’t worth it. Well, for the sake of completeness, I’ll touch on it. The XFL could have worked. It was a decent idea to give the fans more football (outside of the failed USFL, Arena Football and NFL: Europe), but McMahon-ized football didn’t appease football fans and wrestling fans just wanted more wrestling. The XFL cost Vince something like $150 million personally, so you would think he learnt his lesson. Somehow a man with gums as bloody as his still persevered.

IsoPro made some sense. I guess. “Hey kids, wanna be as big as the WWE superstars? Try IsoPro!” Yeah, that’s what got everyone that big. They combined IsoPro with wishing and hoping and got big. Oh yeah, and steroids. Lots and lots of steroids.

“Look at those beautiful Titan bikes! Ha ha!” Ah, Vince on commentary. Glorious. It’s hard to get people to buy your bike over a Harley when it’s being hocked by the Disciples of Apocalypse. That’s like Stacker 2 being hocked by Bastion Booger (I am ashamed of that reference for so many reasons). Why would Vince partner with Titan Motorcycles just to bury them like this? I don’t know. Probably the same reason he main-evented Wrestlemania with Sid.

WWE NY was a weird idea from the start. In New York, the top place for cuisine this side of the Atlantic? Want the ultimate culinary event? Come to WWE NY where you can pay 16 bucks for chicken wings while sitting next to a picture of Bob Backlund applying the chicken wing. The restaurant was successful when the WWE broadcast from the location, whether it was Heat or special events or just superstar interviews. People packed in like sardines to see Dean Malenko discover his gay secret admirer or see Spike Dudley tell everyone that he’d be back from injury soon. However, when the cameras weren’t on-like say a random Tuesday afternoon-the place was deserted. You can’t have a restaurant in Times Square that’s deserted. The WWE isn’t broad enough for people to just walk in off the street unless they are wrestling fans. That’s why Planet Hollywood or Hard Rock worked (moderately) better, because they have wide appeal. It also doesn’t help that the guy running the joint was stealing buckets of money every day.

Smackdown! Records is another thing that potentially made sense. When Jim Johnston released any compilation of his entrance themes the damn thing climbed to the top of Billboard. People were dying to hear Ahmed Johnson’s theme song whenever they wanted, damn it! The WWE albums showed that there was a market for WWE CDs. Combine that with the fact that every month’s PPV has an official theme song that helps give lesser bands a chance at national exposure (you know, in addition to Saliva and the inexplicable addition of Daughtry) and it seems perfectly logical for the WWE to give these up-and-comers a chance to get famous. Well hey, if they’re getting famous off of the WWE, why not milk some money by signing their own bands and releasing the CDs? Seemed like it would work, but it just fizzled out. I still refuse to believe that it was a bad idea. Superstars need entrance themes, PPV’s need themes, not to mention the video games. These are all platforms to bring in new bands. Smackdown! Records could still theoretically work. Ah, see, I’m being lured in the same way Vince is.

Last on the list is WWE Films. For the millionth time, it isn’t a horrible idea. Cheap action and horror movies do decent at the box office. Hell, this is the logic of Christopher in “The Sopranos” and he’s a fictitious mobster. WWE uses their already branded superstars in easy to make films and then promote the shit out of it on WWE programming. The actors will work cheap because Vince owns them. The production could be done in Australia for cheap. Why pay ad agencies to promote the flicks when Vince has his own production facility with the top TV talent in the world? “See No Evil” was sort of called a bust, but it made back some money and the DVD sales weren’t abominable. “The Marine” didn’t do well at the box office but it moved a few discs more than the Rock’s new football flick.

“The Condemned” was the first real slam dunk for WWE Films. It starred Steve Austin, who is arguably the biggest star in wrestling history not named Hulk or Dwayne. The plot was pure action without any semblance of plot to bog it down. Horror movies don’t usually play well (i.e. See No Evil) because horror is a very particular niche and unless you like the feeling of having a heart attack, you’re probably not going to see one. “The Marine” starred a guy that fans are apathetic at best and loathsome at worst so unless you wanted a bad action flick, you were going to avoid the movie at all costs. “Condemned” starred a guy that was THE guy at THE time in wrestling history. Everyone knows Steve Austin. He had a built in fan-base that would have followed him to the ends of the Earth. Unfortunately, that didn’t include the Cineplex.

Why? Well, Austin’s fame peak was almost a decade ago and a lot of those fans have moved away from the WWE. The current fan-base isn’t nearly as tuned in to Steve as they once were. The bottom line is that the plot to this movie was hardly compelling. People claimed that it ripped off Battle Royale (which was a rip-off of a lot of stuff, mainly ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ short story we all had to read in English class).

There is, however, a much larger reason why this failed. It’s a reason why all of the ventures failed. People tune into WWE programming to watch wrestling. They don’t care about movies or music or food or work-out powder, they care about wrestling. Don’t interrupt our valuable time with this shit. How many people tuned into WWE programming looking forward to the package on “The Condemned”? I feel bad for the poor production guy that had to cut that thing knowing that no one wanted to see it no matter how good it is. Don’t interrupt our shows to get me interested in bodybuilding or football. If I cared about either of those things enough, I would seek it out on my own. These “Condemned” spots in RAW and Smackdown and ECW broke the flow of the programs and led to nothing but contempt for the flick.

Look, long story short, we tune in to watch wrestling and nothing else. Put it in the ring and we’ll care. Unless it’s McMahon as ECW champion, of course.

This has been for your consideration.