This Week in ‘E – Trapped in a Closet

It’s a hard Knox life for me…

Opening Witty Banter
Another week in the books, and it really seemed like this week flew by. As I finish this column up I’m hours from flying to San Francisco for my new job, but I know you don’t click onto my column to hear about my personal life, or do you?

In any regard we are now almost two full weeks into a post-Ric Flair wrestling world and even still he’s affecting the current landscape as he’s giving us the basis for the most entertaining feud on the WWE television today, the shades of grey battle between Shawn Michaels and Batista. Plus Mike Knox may or may not have stashed drugs away years ago, while WWE finally looks to examine all those concussions and head shots that their talent has endured over the years.

The Big Story
It seems like in all news media, the bad news always leads off the show. It’s usually sensational and the most interesting. This week is no different. Just hours after I put last week’s column to bed it was announced by the Fox affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia, that a man bought a house and found two boxes hidden in a room’s crawl space. One box featured steroids and vials of liquid. The other featured documents and papers from World Wrestling Entertainment, including a memo about the new dress code and pay stubs and the contract of one Mike Hettinga aka Mike Knox.

Before the name was released on Monday the Internet went wild with speculation regarding who the unnamed culprit was. When it was announced that Knox was the name in conjunction with the stuff, people were disappointed yet relieved, as perhaps the mainstream media wouldn’t have a field day with this. WWE is apparently cooperating wholeheartedly with authorities in regards to the investigation, as Knox has denied that the drugs were his. He apparently lived in that house back in 2004 (before the Wellness program was instituted) with three other developmental talents, including Derrick Niekirk (who was fired by WWE due to Wellness violations) and Ryan O’Reilly who willingly left the company because he didn’t want the hectic road schedule. So far there has been no legal action pressed against Knox as they haven’t proven the drugs were his and it doesn’t look like WWE has sanctioned any formal punishment against him either. It’s expected more news will come from this in the near future.

Whether those were actually Knox’s drugs or not, it is just plain stupidity on his part to leave behind a box filled with pay stubs, memos and contracts with his name and company all over them. Having all those documents stashed in a box that is right next a box of steroids, enhancers and drugs is just plain foolish. I don’t know how you forget a box like that when you move out of a residence. WWE hasn’t really formally punished Knox but about the only person lower on the roster was…Robbie McAllister, so really his current lack of push won’t really affect him in that regard. Knox has been on/off ECW TV since early 2007 so this looks to be just another “off” period for him while this all blows over or he gets released in WWE’s annual spring/summer talent housecleaning. I am interested to see/hear what is the fallout of all this little debacle will be in the coming weeks and months.

Everything Else Fit For Print
The other big story to come out this week is the announcement that WWE will be instituting a new program monitoring their talent for concussions and head injuries. They will have trained staff to oversee the talent and will be able to properly diagnose when it is safe for a talent to return to the ring. The news was actually broke via press release from the Sports Legacy Institute and its spokesperson, Christopher Nowinski, the former Harvard graduate and WWE talent who was forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome.

This sounds like fantastic news. As we slowly approach the one-year anniversary of the Benoit tragedy it’s always nice to hear and see more safety measures being instituted in the wrestling business. Whether this new program will be played with loosely like the Wellness program has done in the past will remain to be seen, but at least the initial news of this program sounds like a step in the right direction.

There is rumor going around that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was offered a small role in the 2009 live action GIJOE movie to play the sailor character Shipwreck.

I love The Rock. The loved GIJOE as a kid. (Hell I still do today.) This is cool news all around.

Former WWE talent Andrew Test Martin was arrested on Sunday morning, April 6, at approximately 10:30 am eastern time and charged with a DUI. He was taken to the local Land O’Lakes jail and was later released on bail. Days later Martin was interviewed by the Tampa Tribune and denied having anything to drink when he was arrested.

Oh poor Test. He’s become a walking punch line over the past few years, and this doesn’t help his reputation. Still being drunk enough to legally fail a breathalyzer at 10:30 the next morning? That’s impressive right there.

After his appearance on SmackDown! two weeks ago, Matt Bentley will be receiving a tryout with World Wrestling Entertainment, and will be working down in Florida Championship Wrestling.

I hope the tryout works well for Bentley and he gets offered a deal with WWE. He’s a relative of Shawn Michaels and was trained down in Michaels’ old Texas Wrestling Academy, so he’s definitely go an “in” with a WWE higher-up. However with his size and the current on-air treatment of fellow Michaels’ trainees like London and Kendrick I don’t really expect big things for Bentley if he does make the roster.

WrestlingObserver is reporting that Big Daddy V missed WrestleMania weekend because WWE sent him home so he could lose some weight. They want him to drop about 50 pounds before he returns to the ring.

In this age of Wellness~! apparently they realized that Viscera was grossly overweight and could stand to drop some weight. I don’t know if someone in creative or in WWE’s health department finally watched ECW and saw what V looked like, but more power to them. Viscera can lose some weight and still come back and look big and menacing and keep his gimmick.

Another third generation wrestler is slowly making their way to WWE. Amy Hennig, daughter of “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig has recently signed a WWE developmental deal. She joins her brother Joe Hennig is has already been signed to a WWE contract for a while now. Both Amy and Joe are training at Harley Race’s school in Kansas City, as they understand the close relationship between the Hennig family and Race. They will eventually transfer to Florida Championship Wrestling at some point.

I’m really loving hearing about all these second and third generation kids coming up through WWE developmental. They’ve got built in gimmicks and back-stories, and they’ve already got the pedigree and potential talent to become big stars in the business like their family members before hem. As a mark for wrestling history like I am, it’s just great to see some legendary names live on.

RAW’s On Tonight!
RAW will be coming live (no it’s not) from London, England this week. WWE’s foreign tapings of RAW always have a different feel to them so it should be interesting in that regard. So far it’s announced that William Regal with meet Randy Orton in the main event, so at least they’re going for the hometown pop by putting Regal in the main event. Plus the tag team scene is actually showing some life with teams like Cade/Murdoch, Marella/Carlito, London/Kendrick and Cryme Tyme all gunning for Holly and Rhodes so expect some more tag team shenanigans. Oh and Shawn Michaels and Batista will both be in the house so I’m hoping for more promo goodness from them.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Provencio and Hepple lay the SmackDown! I really dug the randomness of Undertaker and Festus as the main event. It had the vibe of an old Superstars main event with a top star battling a tag team guy.

Blatt was lucky this week to recap such 5-star classics like Kofi Kingston-Domino and Nunzio-Elijah Burke.

Marshall covered a RAW that featured a Val Venis sighting, London & Kendrick winning, a really good Batista-Shawn Michaels promo and way too many handicap matches.

How They Rated
A.M. RAW (4.6.08) – .7

RAW (4.7.08) – 3.3

ECW (4.8.08) – 1.3

SmackDown! (4.11.08) – 2.6

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Glazer talks main event talent in Ring of Honor.

Ditch talks about a lot of puro I’m not familiar with, but I’m glad he’s here to explain it to me.

Wiswell discusses the legit contenders to Nigel McGuiness and the ROH World Championship.

IP Staff Roundtable Results for TNA Lockdown
TNA Lockdown was tonight, and as always I’m here with the results of the staff’s Roundtable picks. First read Murray’s real-time coverage of the show and then click over to the Roundtable to see how us on the staff fared.

Roundtable co-Champions: Mark Allen and Danny Cox

Mark Allen
TNA Lockdown (4.13.08): 5-3
Total: 88-39

Danny Cox
TNA Lockdown (4.13.08): 5-3
Total: 142-117

David Brashear
TNA Lockdown (4.13.08): 4-4
Total: 84-64

Brad Curran
TNA Lockdown (4.13.08): 4-4
Total: 19-11

Charlie Marsh
TNA Lockdown (4.13.08): 3-5
Total: 22-28

Paul Marshall
TNA Lockdown (4.13.08): 3-5
Total: 53-34

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