This Week in ‘E – Get Well JR

Jim Ross suffers another Bell’s Palsy attack, Lance Cade comes back to the ‘E, Nigel McGuinness does not come to the ‘E and WWE continues to use Jeff Hardy’s name for profit.

Opening Witty Banter
I hope everyone out there is doing well. I had a fantastic weekend off and was able to catch some great local independent wrestling action, including a two-night sixteen-man tournament that was just fantastic to watch. It was especially fun to watch as with no prior booking or hype to predicate a winner, anyone could have realistically won. You can check out my thoughts on the shows right here.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
WWE Hall of Fame commentator Jim Ross suffered a third bout of Bell’s palsy on a plane ride Monday night from Oklahoma City to Columbia, South Carolina. He was en route to tape last night’s SmackDown taping.

Ross explained it all in his personal blog.

“It was an interesting plane ride from OKC to Columbia, South Carolina Monday night. On my flight from OKC to Atlanta I had my 3rd Bells palsy attack. I was able to reach WWE doctors who were in Jacksonville for Raw and they were able to call in the medicines I needed to get started on to slow down the paralysis. Now we just wait and see how the meds work and Mother Nature takes her course. My plans are to tape SD tonite working with the King and perhaps even Michael Cole so we can make sure we can do the job that the product and the talents deserve.”

Later on he updated his blog, saying he will not be on SmackDown as he had planned.

“This is an update on my previous blog. Not the news I wanted to share.

It has been decided that I should not risk further issues by working tonight and I am in the process of arranging a flight back to OKC so I can see a neurologist on Wednesday.

Life is about facing the challenges we encounter so I am going to do all I can to get better and back at the announce desk asap. I wish I had more answers but I simply don’t at this time.

I want to be a part of Bragging Rights but only time will tell if that will be physically possible. My passion and love for the game is in tact but I have to do what’s best for my long term health.

WWE has been tremendously supportive of my situation of which I am very grateful.

Never count me out of the game as this isn’t the first mountain that I have had to climb. Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole will handle SD from Columbia. My thanks to every one for understanding this matter. Better days are on the horizon.”

This past Saturday, JR updated everyone once again.

“Hope everyone’s having a great Saturday. As I write this on my trusty Blackberry, I am on an Oklahoma team bus in route from KC to Lawrence and will be on the Sooner sideline later today for an important Big 12 Conference football game. Yep, my neurologist cleared my travel because the flight was only 40 minutes and I’m drive home after the game w/ friends. Here’s the latest. I had a MRI Friday on my brain and inner ear and will get the result, hopefully, Monday afternoon. Hopefully, that will be good news. I’m thinking it will. My right eye is problematic but we have the meds in place to protect my cornea due to the dryness issues. My vision is blurred in the right eye but I’m optimistic it will improve. Senstive hearing on certain tones remain as are frequent migrain-like headaches but I’m dealing w/ it. No worries. The right side of my face isn’t sagging as bad as my two previous bouts of Bells palsy. Still, my “leading man” status is in jeopardy. 🙂

The doctors won’t and can’t provide me a timeline as to when I will return but, without fail, I will return at some point “Sooner” than later. And w/ more P&V than ever! Certainly not pleased to be missing WWE Bragging Rights Sunday on PPV but will watch it from home in Norman. That way I can “second guess” w/ the best of ’em and “knock” the announcers. Those were jokes. The show has many unknown entities and had my curiousity aroused especially the young talents that might step up and the 60 Minute Ironman match. If Miz vs Morrison kickoff the show, they have a huge op to make everyone else “follow this.” I’ll be watching lots of wrestling over the next few weeks plus some overdue viewing of some DVD’s and books I want to read. Got some great text messages Friday night from Steve Austin w/ some hilarous albeit timely advice. Thanks again for all the well wishes and especially the prayers from around the world. Business in our on line store has even picked up! :)”

Ross has suffered two previous bouts of Bell’s palsy, his second bout happening the day after his mother’s death and while commentating an United Kingdom-only WWE pay per view. It is obvious Ross wants to get behind the broadcast booth as quick as possible, but only time will tell when he (and the company) are ready, willing and able.

According to PWInsider.com the reason WWE didn’t officially offer Nigel McGuinness a contract was because he did not pass the company’s medical prescreening. The screening was not drug related, but rather brought up many of McGuinness’ past injuries, including two torn biceps, which caused WWE to back off on their interest in him.

When WWE pulled their offer, TNA swooped in quickly, as TNA president Dixie Carter is a long-time fan of McGuinness’. The actually deal with TNA transpired about 5-6 days previous to his debut, but he was instructed to keep quiet to those around him. He has reportedly signed a two-year deal with TNA, and came up with his new “Desmond Wolf” moniker by himself so that he could keep the McGuinness name and thus allow TNA to trademark the new name.

Ring of Honor did not know about the TNA signing until everyone else found out yesterday. In related news, Bryan Danielson apparently did pass WWE’s pre-contract screening and should be starting with the company soon.

Nigel already looked like a major star in his debut in TNA so maybe things worked out for the better.

PWInsider.com is reporting that last week Lance Cade re-signed a contract with WWE. He has reported to FCW.

Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reports that the reason for Lance Cade’s termination last year was the result of a seizure he had on a plane. It was believed to have been a direct result of prescription pain pill abuse. Apparently WWE cut Cade outright instead of going through the Wellness Policy due to it in a public place. Obviously WWE didn’t want to run the risk of even more bad publicity. While he has been gone this past year, Cade has worked for the NWA promotion as well as in Japan.

I seriously can’t believe it’s been a year already since he’s been gone. My how time flies. At any rate I’m excited for Cade to get a second chance in WWE and here’s hoping he can succeed where others like Carlito, MVP, Mr. Kennedy and others have failed so far.

Despite Jeff Hardy’s recent legal troubles WWE is going through with plans to release a retrospective DVD entitled My Life, My Rules, highlighting his career in the company.

Here is the official DVD description:

Jeff Hardy has stunned the WWE Universe with amazing highlights in the ring and controversial moments out of it. Now fans can explore both sides fo this unconventional Superstar. Jeff Hardy: My Life, My Rules contains a revealing documentary packed with never-before-seen interviews from Jeff and both his closest confidants and biggest rivals. Recorded on the eve of beginning a new chapter in his life, Jeff discusses his tumultuous existence in 2008 and 2009, including his astounding rise to both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships and his challenging personal struggles. Through the 27 matches on this 3-DVD set, fans can retrace Jeff’s remarkable career, including a rare match from 1994, his tag team partnership with brother Matt, and battles for the Intercontinental, World Heavyweight and WWE Championships.

In addition to the documentary, there is a total of 27 matches included in the set:

Jeff Hardy vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Superstars – June 25, 1994

Triangle Ladder Match for the World Tag Team Championship
The Hardy Boys vs. The Dudley Boyz vs Edge & Christian
WrestleMania 2000 – April 2, 2000
(Alternate Commentary with Jeff and Matt Hardy)

Steel Cage Match for the World Tag Team Championship
The Hardy Boys vs. Edge & Christian
Unforgiven – September 24, 2000

Hardcore Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Mike Awesome
SmackDown! – July 12, 2001

Ladder Match for the Hardcore Championship
Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam
SummerSlam – August 19, 2001

Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
Vengeance – December 9, 2001

Jeff Hardy & Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho & Christian
Raw – February 17, 2003

DISC TWO

Jeff Hardy vs. Edge
Raw – August 21, 2006

Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Johnny Nitro
Raw – October 2, 2006

World Tag Team Championship Match
The Hardys vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Backlash – April 29, 2007

#1 Contender’s 4-Way Elimination Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Santino Marella vs. William Regal
Raw – July 16, 2007

Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin
Raw – September 17, 2007

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Jeff Hardy vs. Carlito
Raw – December 10, 2007

Winner Receives a WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble
Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H
Armageddon – December 16, 2007

Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
Raw – January 14, 2008

WWE Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
Royal Rumble – January 27, 2008

Jeff Hardy vs. Shawn Michaels
Raw – February 11, 2008

DISC THREE

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
One Night Stand: Extreme Rules – June 1, 2008

#1 Contender’s Match for the WWE Championship
Jeff Hardy vs. John Cena
Raw – June 2, 2009

Jeff Hardy vs. John Morrison
SmackDown! – July 4, 2009

WWE Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H
No Mercy – October 5, 2008

Extreme Rules Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Undertaker
SmackDown – November 14, 2008

Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship
Jeff Hardy vs. Triple H vs. Edge
Armageddon – December 14, 2008

Extreme Rules Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Dolph Ziggler
Raw – March 23, 2009

Stretcher Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
SmackDown – April 10, 2009

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk
Night of Champions – July 26, 2009

Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk
SmackDown – August 28, 2009

It looks like a fun set, but everyone knows that this set will sell like gangbusters, especially if it comes out just in time for Christmas shopping. The company gets Hardy’s valuable merchandise money, but doesn’t have to deal with Hardy’s erratic behavior and potential for serious failure.

Wrestler of the Week
Week of October 19 – 25: John Cena
The Champ is once actually the Champ again. And thanks to putting to bed his storied rivalry with Randy Orton, he looks to fend off new challengers. Whether anyone likes it or not, Cena is the company’s franchise and him being the World Champion on the company’s flagship show just seems right. Here’s hoping this reign will last a little longer than the three weeks his last one did.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Tonight’s RAW will be live from Buffalo, New York, and will be hosted by NASCAR drivers Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. After this week’s amazing Snoop Dogg-hosted Monday Night RAW, one would expect the company would come back with someone real special, especially on the night after a pay per view but this seems a bit flat. However, all redneck cross-over NASCAR-wrestling jokes aside, I fail to see how these two talented drivers are going to flourish in a live hosting gimmick such as this, especially in a far northern town such as Buffalo. While great behind the wheel, these two young men are going to have to deal with the pressures of a live audience, scripts and a completely different atmosphere. It should provide for quite an interesting show. As for the rest of the show, expect many new changes in direction. The stage is now set for an epic tag team showdown between DX and JeriShow. John Cena will be looking for new WWE Championship challengers. Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase’s rivalry is just starting to simmer, and Cody Rhodes looks to be eyeing Kofi Kingston. Plus The Miz was the only RAW winner in last night’s Bragging Rights series, so expect some well-deserved blowhard bragging.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Eison and Tess provide double coverage for Superstars.

Innarelli is back behind the helm covering the best one hour of wrestling on television in ECW.

Marshall covers the Snoop Dogg hosted episizzle of Monday Night RAWschizzle. Despite my awful Snoop Dogg puns, it was one of the best RAW episodes of the guest host era.

How They Rated
Superstars (10.15.09) – .87

SmackDown! (10.16.09) –

A.M. RAW (10.18.09) – .45

RAW (10.19.09) – 3.3

ECW 10.20.09) – 1.05

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Perillo brings some excellent CHIKARA analysis.

Hack brings some love for the indies, and found that apparently DEMOLITION~! are still working. Who knew?

In Case You Didn’t Spend the $40
PK handled exclusive Bragging Rights coverage for the Pulse.

Here is the fall out:

In the opening match, WWE United States Champion The Miz pinned WWE Intercontinental Champion John Morrison.

Natalya Neidhart, Beth Phoenix & Michelle McCool beat Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly & Melina when Phoenix pinned Melina with a Glam Slam.

In a fatal four-way match for the World Heavyweight Championship, The Undertaker retained the Championship after he pinned Batista with a Tombstone piledriver. Also in the match were Rey Mysterio and CM Punk. Post-match, Josh Matthews interviewed Batista and Mysterio, which led to Batista attacking Mysterio.

Team RAW (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston & Mark Henry) beat Team SmackDown (Chris Jericho, Kane, David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd, Matt Hardy, Finlay & R-Truth) when Big Show turned on Team RAW and chokeslammed Kingston, which allowed Jericho to get the pinfall.

In the main event, John Cena beat Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship in a one hour Iron Man match.

IP Staff Roundtable Results for WWE Hell in a Cell
The staff got together to talk Bragging Rights and here was what our expert analysis revealed. I really wish I would have gotten my picks in because I believe I would have gone 5-0. I know I can say that safely now that it is over, but still…

Roundtable Champion – Andrew Wheeler: 5-0 (161-93)

The rest:
Roy Reynolds: 3-2 (27-17)
Raffi Shamir: 3-2 (118-97)
Iain Burnside: 2-3 (139-92)
Steven Gepp: 2-3 (20-30)
Tess Nolde: 2-3 (22-23)
Will Pruett: 2-3 (8-5)
Widro: 2-3 (60-49)
Michael O’Mahony: 1-4 (18-18)

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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