This Week in ‘E – The Boy Wonder Flies Away

Shane-o-Mac says good-bye to the nest, Capt. Lou says good-bye to the world, WWE threatens to bring back WarGames and Southpark tackles wrestling. It’s been an interesting week.

Opening Witty Banter
I hope you missed me last week when I was gone. I made a pit stop in my old college stomping grounds where I left part of my liver, some self-respect and plenty of money. All I can say is I can’t get drunk six times in four days like I used to. Now I’m back to the work grind and it sucks. Let’s pull this thing together before I have to go to bed and do it all over again.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Some big news came out of World Wrestling Entertainment on Friday morning as Shane McMahon has announced his resignation from WWE. He posted the following announcement on WWE.com:

It is with great sadness that I announce my resignation from the WWE, effective January 1, 2010.

I have never even considered a future outside the walls of the WWE. However, sometimes life takes an unexpected turn and while it is the most difficult decision I have ever made, it is time for me to move on.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my father for the incredible education working with him has provided and for giving me the opportunity to play a role in building WWE into the global phenomenon that it is today. I am extremely proud to have been the 4th generation in this business, and I am grateful for everyday I was able to work along side not only my own, but the entire WWE family.

Thank you to all of the WWE Superstars both past and present for your passion, pride and dedication. You are truly the engine of the organization and it has been a pleasure to work with, learn from and get to know all of you. Thank you for the privilege of sharing the stage with you and for allowing me to become but a momentary member of your elite brotherhood. I have so much appreciation for the many sacrifices you endure, both physically and personally, to make this business the success that it is. The respect I have for each of you is immeasurable.

Finally, there are no words to express my gratitude to WWE fans the world over for supporting this company through good times and bad and for your unbridled passion that fuels the Superstars’ performances. I am profoundly grateful to have been able to entertain you both in front of the camera and from behind the scenes. You are the greatest fans in the world.

I will always love this business and will remain a fan forever.

Shane

WWE also released this statement the same day regarding Shane McMahon’s resignation.

STAMFORD, CT – Shane McMahon, Executive Vice President of Global Media, announced today he has tendered his resignation effective January 1, 2010.

Shane stated, “It has been an incredible experience to help build WWE® into a global phenomenon. However, having been associated with this organization for the majority of my life, I feel this is the opportune time in my career to pursue outside ventures.”

“Even though I am personally saddened by Shane’s decision to leave the company, I am proud of the enormous contributions he has made. He will unquestionably bring passion, commitment and extensive business experience to any endeavor he pursues,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman and CEO.

Internal reaction from within the company was pure shock as no one saw it coming, not even those who worked closely with him. No one really knows what Shane will do after he officially leaves the company. It’s possible he could help Linda with her Senate run. Even though he submitted his letter, keep in mind he isn’t actually resigning until January 1, 2010, so he is still will be working day-to-day with WWE until that point.

I can definitely understand staying until the first of the year as it will take someone big to fill his shoes and his position. That being said I’m sure it really does have to be a blow to Vince. Not only is his son stepping down from his role but is outright leaving the company; one which is completely built on family. I personally don’t expect Shane to continue in the fight sports or promoting businesses, but perhaps just a turn into the private sector. This now opens the door wide open for Triple H and Stephanie to completely take over the company when Vince finally croaks at 120 years old.

It has been reported that legendary pro wrestler and manager Capt. Lou Albano passed away on October 14. He was 76 years old, and was under hospice care in his home at the time of his death.

Albano had a storied forty-plus year wrestling career. He started as a wrestler but gained much more fame as a manager. Through the ‘70s, ‘80s and early part of the ‘90s, Albano managed over 50 wrestlers to success. He is most known for being the most prolific manager of tag teams in history, guiding fifteen different tag teams to WWWF and WWF World Tag Team Championships. In 1996 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.

He also became a fixture in pop culture in the ‘80s, as he was involved in the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” era of the WWF that saw Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T work closely with company. Albano even played the father character in Lauper’s video for “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” He also started in the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! as the live action Mario, and provided his animated voice as well.

Wrestler’s Rescue is collecting donations to be forwarded to the Albano family for medical expenses. For more information, go to www.WrestlersRescue.Org or email questions to WrestlersRescue@aol.com.

Rest in Peace, Captain. There have been many loving and caring tributes from the wrestling community all across the web. Paul Heyman’s is especially good in that funny, disgusting story type of way that wrestling fans get. Albano was “sports-entertainment” before sports-entertainment was cool, and his character wouldn’t be out of place in today’s WWE. He can now join his fellow members of the Three Wisemen of the East (Grand Wizard and Freddie Blassie) tormenting Heaven’s good guys.

As if it isn’t hard enough to keep track of the interchangeable Divas on the RAW brands, they did another Diva Trade this past Monday. Here is the info from WWE.com:

– Melina was traded from SmackDown to RAW

– Eve was traded from SmackDown to RAW

– Beth Phoenix was traded from RAW to SmackDown

– Mickie James was traded from RAW to SmackDown

– Rosa Mendez was traded from RAW to ECW

– Brie & Nikki Bella were traded from ECW to RAW

I’m not going to an analysis of each trade because the majority of them won’t make a major impact. Mickie and Beth do freshen up SmackDown’s scene, but everything else seems superfluous. I wonder if this was all because Batista and Melina found themselves on the same brand and they needed to be separated?

Speaking of Divas, Jerry Lawler’s mayoral race in Memphis finished this week, and Lawler came in fifth place with 4% of the vote. On his Twitter he posted, “Just wanted to thank everyone-supporters, followers, friends-for their support & kindness the last few months. You are why I love this city!”

It seems as if Lawler really wanted this position, as it wasn’t just a publicity stunt. At least we won’t miss out on The King each Monday night now on.

Season three of Celebrity Apprentice will be especially wrestling-themed as Goldberg, Maria and Cyndi Lauper have all signed on to be part of the show. Plus with The Donald’s past wrestling associations the topic is bound to come up at some point.

Okay I’m now officially excited for this new season, if only to see Maria outside of the WWF umbrella. Do you suppose that’s why they did the hasty stop to her storyline with Dolph Ziggler?

WWE is considering changing the name of their May PPV. Three names being considered are Riot Control, War Games, and Multimania.

WARGAMES~! I like so many others are incredibly excited about the possibility of WWE reviving WarGames, especially with the match’s two biggest masterminds (Arn Anderson and Dusty Rhodes) on the payroll and a son-in-law who is jonesing to be a part of one. But on the other hand, this merely just says “WarGames,” not meaning the cage match at all. I mean how much would that piss us fanboys off if they build a show called WarGames and then not include that match. But also keep in mind even if they do bring it back, it will definitely be WWE-sized. WWE has never done a two-ring concept either and they already have a domed cage. Plus WWE’s current no blood policy hampers it even more. File me under optimistically cautious.

This Wednesday’s episode of South Park will be about pro-wrestling. The episode is titled “Wrestling Is Awesome.”

Okay, so the million dollar question is, what is the punchline? Do they go gay? or steroids? or fake? or Benoit? or Pepsi Center/Denver Nuggets versus wrestling? or the don’t try this at home bit? or the difference between amateur and pro? So many easy punchlines. I can’t wait see it.

The Road to…Bragging Rights
Bragging Rights Tag Team Match
Team RAW (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swager, Kofi Kingston & Mark Henry) v. Team SmackDown (Chris Jericho, Kane, Cryme Tyme, Dolph Ziggler, Eric Escobar & Drew McEntyre)

Anything Goes 60 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena v. Randy Orton (c)

World Heavyweight Championship
Undertaker (c) v. CM Punk v. Batista v. Rey Mysterio

Champion v. Champion
John Morrison (Intercontinental Champion) v. The Miz (United States Champion)

Champion v. Champion
Michelle McCool (Women’s Champion) v. Melina (Divas Champion)

Wrestler of the Week
Week of October 12 – 18: John Morrison
In a relatively slow week for actual wrestling in WWE, I have to give some love for John Morrison for his victory on Superstars against his arch-nemesis CM Punk. Sure it was a fluke victory thanks to interference from The Miz but the match proceeding it was pretty solid. Then on SmackDown Morrison and Miz had a nice duel on the microphones hyping up their Bragging Rights match. Chris Jericho definitely had the most airtime this week, but Morrison continued to look like a star in each appearance.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Snoop Dogg will be on hand tonight to emcee Monday Night RAW. Snoop is a long-time fan of WWE who has made appearances at WWE events for years, as well as actually getting involved more than once. His most notable previous appearance of course was at WrestleMania XXIV when he acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the Playboy tag team match between Ashley Massaro and Maria against Beth Phoenix and Melina. He is bound to provide an entertaining and fun show. Expect plenty of appearances from the WWE Divas and comedy skits and interactions with plenty of the roster. Plus John Cena battles Triple H in what has the makings of an epic main event if they so choose it to be. Also with only days to go before Bragging Rights, will the SmackDown Seven make an appearance to cause a ruckus?

On Last Week’s Episode…
Eison covers SmackDown and sees the SmackDown Seven assembled for Bragging Rights.

Eison and Tess provide double coverage on a great CM Punk-John Morrison headlined Superstars.

Marshall and Kirschner review the Nancy O’Dell hosted RAW. I had no idea she was so hot.

How They Rated
Superstars (10.8.09) – .8

SmackDown! (10.9.09) –

A.M. RAW (10.11.09) – .6

RAW (10.12.09) – 3.4

ECW 10.13.09) – .95

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Perillo breaks down the upcoming CHIKARA Cibernetico Increible.

Wheeler continues to bring the RAW insight only he can.

Vinny brings the love for ROH’s 2007 Race to the Top tournament. I’m a huge tournament mark myself so it’s always a treat to hear about some “bracketology.”

For more relevant, interesting and exciting wrestling information from your truly, check out my gig as the Pro Wrestling Examiner over at Examiner.com

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