Joey Styles got promoted, Kevin Thorne got demoted, and somebody’s about to be crowned king. Anyone else got a Robbie McAllister-Mike Knox finale on their bracket?
Opening Witty Banter
I got nothing this week. I was traveling all week for work. Got back on Thursday night just in time to watch Impact and then spent the weekend catching up on everything I missed during the week. I finally got around to watching RAW this afternoon before I wrote this column, and am looking forward to tomorrow nightâ€™s King of the Ring. I didnâ€™t really seem to miss much while I was gone, but Iâ€™m glad I had ECW recorded so I hear myself the awesomeness of Mike Adamle on commentary. Come on in and take a look around to see if thereâ€™s anything you like.
The Big Story
Extreme Championship Wrestling has been back in its proverbial coffin for quite a while now, but another nail was put in the lid this past week Joey Styles stepped away from the ECW broadcast booth. He has been reassigned to be the new go-to guy for WWE.com. This is apparently a promotion for Styles as heâ€™ll now sit in on production meetings and be able to dictate the direction of the companyâ€™s website. Itâ€™s widely known that Vince McMahon has never really been a fan of Stylesâ€™ commentary style. In fact Styles himself has credited Jim Ross for helping him get used to the WWE commentary style. With Styles gone the last vestiges of the old ECW that remain are pretty much Tommy Dreamer and Tazz.
His replacement is none other than everyoneâ€™s everyone favorite former American Gladiators broadcast man-Mike Adamle. Adamle joined WWE in late 2007 and was used primarily as a backstage and crowd correspondent for the RAW brand, but it seemed obvious that he was hired for something larger than that. Adamle has years and years of broadcast experience, but his first night on ECW was a little rocky to say the least. However it was just his first night on the job and Iâ€™m sure his performance will improve drastically as the weeks and months go by.
Adamle is just the type of guy that McMahon has wanted as a broadcaster for years, ever since he tried to lure Mike Goldberg away from the UFC a couple years back to replace Jim Ross. Adamle brings a certain sense of credibility as a broadcasting voice to WWE being that the majority of their commentators have devolved into a caricature (think The King, Good â€˜ol JR and Tazz). However, he was quite bad on his first night. He had little or no chemistry with Tazz, and used phrases that I expected to repeated in a so-bad-its-good fashion for a long while. The show, which featured some decent action will be remembered for Adamleâ€™s head-scratching clichÃ©s. Off the top of my head, â€œYouâ€™re Jamaican me crazy, Kofi,â€ â€œOne, two, adiosâ€ and calling his broadcast partner â€œThe Tazzâ€ were probably my favorites.
Everything Else Fit For Print
Itâ€™s been reported that Februaryâ€™s No Way Out PPV drew huge numbers. So far the show has reported a total of 328,000 total PPV sales, which 207,000 of those are domestic buys. The 2007 show only did 205,000 worldwide, with 135,000 of those being domestic, which means this yearâ€™s event up about 59% in PPV buys.
Apparently the Elimination Chamber gimmick is still a big draw for the company. Itâ€™s one of the few gimmick matches that has been revered and saved for really special occasions. I just wonder if the company shot themselves in the foot by running two Chambers on one show. Time will tell when it comes around to present another Chamber match.
More fallout from WrestleMania continues to come down the pike:
Apparently the performers reported a lot of theft of personal items backstage during WrestleMania. Matt Hardy reported his wallet and passport gone, while Batista lost a $35,000 Rolex.
Also, Robbie McAllister is estimated to have lost out on a $5,000 payday for getting sent home from WrestleMania.
I heard that the Citrus Bowl isnâ€™t a very new building and facilities were quite cramped backstage. Plus with 70,000 attendees and numerous random people backstage I can see how easy it would be have stuff lifted.
As for Robbie, $5,000 doesnâ€™t seem like a lot of money but for a low-end guy like him that quite the hit to the pocketbook. Maybe TNA and Johnny Devine can front him his missed incomeâ€¦haha.
According to NewKerela.com, The Great Khali will be heading back to India at the end of April. He is taking a break from being on the road for WWE and should be gone for about a month.
I canâ€™t really say I will miss him too greatly while heâ€™s gone. I donâ€™t wish any ill will to Khali, but maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder. Being on the road with WWE for almost two years and being away from home for that long had to take a toll on the big man. Iâ€™m sure a little vacation will be just what he needs.
WWE has opened its own social network called WWE Fan Nation. The site will allow fans to create their own profiles, groups and whatnot.
Hey another place where marks and smarts alike can post â€œwittyâ€ comments about whether John Cena is gay and go into detail about what they would do to Maria if given the chance.
Kevin Thorne and Drew McIntyre have been removed from their respective WWE roster pages of ECW and RAW.
Thorne has been directionless since he left The New Breed almost a year, and his random outings on ECW in late 2007 saw him completely stripped of his valet, gimmick, look and everything about him. I donâ€™t know if they have anything new planned for him, but if WWE comes around with their usual spring or summer â€œtalent cleaningâ€ I wouldnâ€™t want to be Thorne. As for McIntyre heâ€™s still a young talent that has a lot of years with him. He got some exposure in late 2007 on SmackDown! with Dave Taylor and then got a quick run on Heat this past winter, but he just needs some more seasoning. Iâ€™m sure weâ€™ll see more of him later on.
RAWâ€™s On Tonight!
Tonight is a big three-hour show. On the bad side of things WWE is promoting a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama â€œmatch.â€ It can’t be any worse than last year’s Trump-Rosie match can it? Can it?? On the good side of things RAW will feature an eight man, one night King of the Ring tournament. No participants or brackets have been announced so it should make for an entertaining night of television to say the least. And to have the luxury of three hours to space out the seven matches should provide for some more entertaining matches and provide a running theme for the entire nightâ€™s show. WWE seems really intent on promoting this tournament as I saw commercials for it on Saturday night on USA during episodes of NCIS and Law & Order: CI of all things.
On Last Weekâ€™s Episodeâ€¦
Provencio and Hepple give SmackDown! some love.
Blatt covers the inaugural Mike Adamle-hosted edition of ECW. It wasnâ€™t a bad show, but the commentary made it even better. â€œHe looks like Tarzan, but he hits like Jane.â€ And did anyone expect to see Mike Knox on ECW this week, let alone win a match?
Marshall gives the play-by-play of an entertaining episode of RAW, while Daniels points out the high spots of the show, including a little known tidbit about Jim Duggan. If that doesnâ€™t get you to click the link I donâ€™t know what will.
How They Rated
A.M. RAW (4.13.08) – .71
RAW (4.14.08) â€“ 3.2
ECW (4.15.08) â€“ 1.34
SmackDown! (4.18.08) â€“ 2.5
This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Curran is back for a look inside the world of TNA.
Kirschner has a really good piece up showing some of the best indy-tastic finishing moves out there today. The Awful Waffle and the Quackendriver III are just ridiculous, in a really awesome way.
Mulligan steps in to cover Ring of Honor weekly and actually has the balls to say that Ring of Honor is boring right now. I didnâ€™t know a ROH fan could say that without getting their indy-card taken away from them.
Wiswell breaks down The Briscoesâ€™ top challengers for the ROH World Tag Championship.
Tags: ECW, Raw, Smackdown, WWE