This Week in ‘E – [Insert Ashley Massaro Joke Here]

Opening Witty Banter
Hello to everyone out there. How’s everyone doing this fine day (whenever you are reading this)? I just moved into my new apartment this weekend so I’m pretty stoked about that but naturally the cable and Internet didn’t work right away like it was supposed to. So no WWE 24/7 quite yet but apparently I’ve got a guy coming today (Monday) to fix it. I should be in 24/7 heaven by the time RAW ends (hopefully.) As for this report, I’m stealing Internet off the person either next to me or below me right now, so whoever it is, I thank you. That being said this will be an abbreviated column this week as 1)there wasn’t anything going on in the ‘E this week and 2)I still gotta get all my stuff organized.

Since my cable is still out this week’s column is brought to by the “Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen” DVD.

The Top Five
There really wasn’t a “big story” to come out of Stamford this week so as a filler whenever I need it I’m going to insert a random Top 5 list. Because who doesn’t love lists? They’re easy to read, and provide for easy debate material.

Kofi Kingston recently winning the Intercontinental Championship reminds of the days when the youthful, smaller guys would be Intercontinental Champion while Hogan and Warrior were on top batting the super heavyweights and monsters. I always preferred the Intercontinental Title matches and feuds as I was never a fan of Hogan. So here’s my list of the Top 5 Intercontinental Champions of all time. This will be a combination of kayfabe and smark thoughts I’m sure.

Honorable mention: Curt Hennig, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Jarrett, Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage, Tito Santana, The Rock, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Edge, Randy Orton

5) Razor Ramon – I still contend to this day that Scott Hall was the greatest wrestler never to win a World Championship. In his era of the New Generation he was always the bridesmaid, as there was always another face that was just a bit higher up the ladder. So he made the Intercontinental Title division his home. He was a four-time Champion during an era where that was a hard feat to accomplish. His feud with Jeff Jarrett made stars out of both guys, and his ladder matches with Shawn Michaels raised the prestige of not only them, but the Championship itself.

4) Shawn Michaels – When monsters like Hogan and Warrior dominated the World Title scene it seemed like a guy like Shawn Michaels would never reach that level. The Intercontinental Title seemed like the perfect home for Michaels. In those days I always felt like that belt was the de-facto “little man’s” or Cruiserweight Championship, especially with guys like Michaels, Bret Hart, Hennig, Steamboat, Rude and Santana chasing the belt. His matches with Ramon are already well documented, and I still look back fondly on his chasing of Bret Hart for the belt during the summer of 1992. Michaels could put on a good match with anyone he wanted and his Intercontinental Title matches were no different.

3) Bret Hart – During the summer of ’91 there was no one better for me than Bret Hart. When he won the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam ’91 there wasn’t anything greater in my book. He made the natural progression of a wrestler, from tag team low card to Tag Champion to singles mid-card guy to singles mid-card Champion and then up from there. When I think of who an Intercontinental Champion should be, I think of Bret, a smaller guy who could work in the ring really well and put on a separate style of match-up from the main event World Heavyweight Championship match.

2) Chris Jericho – When I described what an Intercontinental Champion should be, Chris Jericho is a guy that is right behind Bret Hart in terms of who I think of. But what puts him ahead of Bret is the fact that Jericho is the current record-holder of Championships, with eight reigns, and it’s not by coincidence. Jericho is a guy that you can call upon to carry that belt and put on good matches during the middle of the show and fits in to whatever role that is needed. (Hello, Jeff Hardy!) It’s a testament to Jericho’s skill that he was called upon to open the original Taboo Tuesday show in an Intercontinental Title match against an opponent he didn’t know until bell time.

1) Honky Tonk Man – Honky Tonk is old school. There is no way that a guy today could carry the Championship for fifteen months like Honky did back in the day. The heat that he could draw as a cowardly heel is unrivaled, and the kids down in Florida should be watching Honky tapes as part of their training on how to be a good bad guy. When he stood in the ring at SummerSlam ’88 and told the ring announcer to get someone one down there to face, and he didn’t care who he is, and then Ultimate Warrior’s music hit, the crowd went nuclear. The pop that Warrior got when he beat Honky wasn’t just for the love of Warrior, but I believe a lot of it had to do with fans finally getting to see Honky get his ass handed to him. In his heyday Honky was THE heel.

Everything Else Fit For Print
Ashley Massaro got her wish and was released by WWE.

Well she wanted out to take care of her kid, and she got her sih. Good luck to her.

Tickets for WrestleMania XXV officially go on sale on September 20. An Internet pre-sale will likely take place a few days earlier.

I’m really thinking I want to get tickets for this year’s event. Who’s coming with me? Marshall? Glazer? MM? PK?

Ric Flair will be getting his own WWE.com series called “Sylin’ & Profilin’ with Ric Flair.”

Hey doesn’t love Flair rantin’ and ravin’ like a lunactic? A this point I would much rather hear him talk and than watch him wrestle.

WWE is considering bringing back Essa Rios, and they are also looking at other top luchadores like Damian 666. They want someone to replace Rey Mysterio on SmackDown! and keep the Latino viewers watching the show.

I don’t really see Essa Rios being the guy to fill that role of Rey Mysterio. But hey Big Daddy V, Umaga and Vlad Kozlov need some more jobbers to squash.

Snitsky suffered a broken nose from CM Punk’s GTS last week on RAW.

Everyone already stole all the good “it won’t make Snitsky any prettier” jokes.

Florida Championship Wrestling is finally opening its own arena, creatively called the FCW Arena. On Thursday, July 13 the arena will open for its first FCW show.

Hey because nothing saying doing things the right way like making a territory before having a building in place. No wonder all the kids down there have had time to get DUIs and get into bar fights. Apparently TV tapings will start around WrestleMania time. Why did they pull out of Ohio Valley again?

William Regal’s Wellness suspension is scheduled to end the weekend of July 20. That means he would be available for the Great American Bash.

Hey doesn’t RAW need a General Manager again?

WWE developmental talent Rycklon Stephens worked as Brian Kendrick’s bodyguard during a dark match at the last SmackDown! taping.

The idea came about when somebody opened an old WWF magazine and saw a picture of Shawn Michaels and Diesel standing together, and they thought, hey that’s a good idea, we should do that again. I wonder if Kendrick has ever heard of this Shawn Michaels guy? Maybe he could get some pointers.

Atlas DeBone/Ricky Ortiz used to play in the XFL.

I hope Ortiz works SmackDown! soon so JR can bring that up during his next match.

Val Venis posted the following update on MySpace: 



“As many of you know, I have been recovering from shoulder surgery for the last 11 weeks. I still have about 3 or 4 months left before returning to the ring. While I have been recovering, my wife and I partnered in a new business venture. We now have our own Online Travel Business called Brisatrips.com where we offer the same great deals as the highly advertised sites, and your confirmations come from the same travel vendors such as Holiday Inns and American Airlines, for example. Therefore there is zero risk in booking through our travel business at www.Brisatrips.com. You’ll really love my site! It’s one of the best travel and vacation websites on the Internet today. If you have tried Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia or Priceline, then you need to try Brisatrips.com.”

Hmmm…sounds like Val is planning for the next round of cuts.

Jimmy Wang Yang is back from his suspension.

Hey, I don’t think he’s jobbed to Umaga yet has he?

Wrestler of the Week
I’m trying to think of new ways to change up/improve this column so each week I will highlight who I think was WWE’s Wrestler of the Week, kind of like what JR does on wwe.com. As this is still in its early stages I don’t really have any criteria, but I’m sure my choice will come from a combination of kayfabe and real-life factors.

For the week of July 7 – 13: Mark Henry
I’ve got to give some love to Mark Henry this week, something I never thought I would do. He looked good this past week on ECW and with the addition of Tony Atlas in his corner it should add to his superstar credibility. Plus he looked happy as anyone could be when he won the ECW Championship a couple weeks back so I think he’s going to try and do well in his new flagship role.

Week of June 2 – 8: John Cena
Week of June 16 – 22: Lance Cade
Week of June 23 – 29: Kofi Kingston
Week of June 30 – July 6: CM Punk

RAW’s On Tonight!
Kane went crazy at the end of RAW last week, attacking Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler while continually asking “is he dead or is he alive.” Looks like Kane just went and made himself interesting again. I’m sure there’ll be more developments on that wacky Kane and his wacky antics again this week. Plus John Cena and Cryme Tyme have made themselves into a fun little faction and are terrorizing JBL. I hope JBl brings up the “Priceless” kids to help him out. They could use the rub. Also Kofi Kingston has a new challenger for the Intercontinental Title in Paul Burchill. Without sarcasm I can say I am excited to see these two young guys battle and hopefully build each other up. Plus I’m sure we’ll hear from and/or see Batista, CM Punk, Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, among others.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown!

ECW
ECW’s 10 thoughts

RAW
RAW’s 10 thoughts

How They Rated
A.M. RAW (7.6.08) – .9

RAW (7.7.08) – 3.5

ECW (7.8.08) – 1.4

SmackDown! (7.11.06) –

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
K Sawyer Paul gets controversial this week.

Wells continues with his love of all things independent.

Glazer gives a rank and file of the current Ring of Honor roster.

Kirschner breaks down PWG’s BoLA.

Wiswell does a great spotlight on Tyler Black.

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