This Week in ‘E – Leaving on a Jet Plane

News on many new DVD releases, plus info on the returns of the WWE’s biggest icons and Tyler Reks puts his WWE career in further jeopardy. I feel like I’ve used this column title before, but it is apropos this week.

Opening Witty Banter
It’s Royal Rumble season! Forget last night’s TNA pay per view that saw Val Venis go over Christopher Daniels and Mr. Kennedy stinking up the joint. Look ahead to the creative high of WWE’s year, the time from January until April when the company as its creative peak. In order to get into the mood for my favorite wrestling pay per view of the year, I’ve been running through the Royal Rumble anthology all weekend. Therefore tonight’s column is brought to you by Royal Rumble 2003.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week

The Rock did an interview recently with the Toronto Sun. Naturally talk turned to wrestling. This what he said in regards to returning to WWE:

“Will I go back? Absolutely. The goal is to go back and do something special. I talked to Vince (McMahon) a couple of months ago and we’re trying to come up with something.”

On when he would do the return:
“After I wrap (filming of action movie) Faster, maybe in the summer I can go back.”

I’m not holding my breath until I see him live and in loving color on RAW. But after seeing Bret Hart with my own two eyes two weeks ago I firmly believe anything is possible anymore in WWE.

Speaking of superstar returns, it has been confirmed that Stone Cold Steve Austin would return to the company on March 15 to guest host RAW. In related news, talk is going about in regards to ending the guest host gimmick around WrestleMania time.

It will be great to see Stone Cold’s greatest hits one more time, but on the same token I am more than ready to end this guest host gimmick and get back to some stability on RAW.

In what is the greatest thing I’ve heard in wrestling all week, ECW jobber Tyler Reks found himself in an interesting story thanks to WWE sound guy Marc Lanciaux posted the following on his Twitter feed:

“Thank you Tyler Reks for not only delaying our flight, but also for providing me with blog material. Nice knowing ya.”

Here is what Lanciaux posted on his now deleted blog entry further explaining the story:

“This morning, leaving Green Bay’s miniscule excuse for an airport, I settled into the familiar routine: headphones plugging ears to block out the inane seat belt buckling instructions, tiny excuse for a pillow covering the armrest, hat tucked down low over eyes, as close to comfortable as possible, on the brink of blissful sleep. The flight was already delayed fifteen minutes due to an unfortunate airline union mandated anomaly called ‘crew rest,’ but as we sat and sat and didn’t move, I knew something was wrong, and it was going to be a while until I could safely revisit The Island Of The Redhead Nymphos in my dreams.

Our flight sat on the deserted taxiway for a while. I was almost in La-La land when the pilot came on the PA and made the same exact announcement from [a] previously botched flight. “Folks, we are going to turn around and return to the gate. We have a passenger that wants to get off the plane, and we are going to oblige that passenger. Sorry for the delay.” Now awake, I wondered if that exact announcement comes directly from the pilot’s manual.

This time, instead of a frightened teen running off the plane, one of ‘our guys,’ one of the new wrestlers that recently started traveling with the show walked out. Though I recognized him, he’s so new that I’m not sure what his name is. After today there’s probably no good reason to try and find out either. I will just call this unknown wrestler ‘Einstein.’

Turns out that Einstein was sitting near the wing, and out the window, witnessed a terrifying (to him) event. To his horror, one of the flaps that make the plane fly or land or whatever it is that those moving parts on the wing do… moved! GASP! After witnessing this, Einstein freaked out, telling the flight attendant that he was a pilot himself and he knew that wasn’t supposed to happen. He was sure the plane was unsafe. He started getting louder and louder, and more and more obnoxious. The decision was made. Time for Mr. Einstein to go bye-bye. Our flight turned around and my double date with both Ginger and Mary-Ann was ruined. On his way out the door, Einstein mumbled that if anyone else on the plane didn’t want to die, they should get off the plane too.”

So what are the odds that Reks is released by the time this article goes live?

Speaking of releases, WWE.com has announced the release of Eric Escobar and hoped he has endeavors in the future.

This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone. He debuted late last fall to much hype as Vickie Guerrero’s new squeeze. But his in-ring work didn’t live up to his hype and he was separated from Guerrero within weeks. He didn’t receive much a push with his new face turn and hasn’t been on TV in weeks.

Cleaning out the talent makes room for new talent, including “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, who has officially reported to Florida Championship Wrestling this past week. He lost to his old indy rival Kaval (Low Ki) at the FCW television tapings. Video footage of his dark match from RAW two weeks ago against Chavo Guerrero has also been conveniently uploaded to YouTube.

So how long before Danielson and Low Ki get to do their stuff every week on ECW?

In more signing news, Superluchas.net is reporting that luchadore Super Nova has signed a developmental deal with WWE, and that he will be heading to Florida shortly. Super Nova worked on the ECW a few weeks ago, unmasked, against Trent Baretta and Caylen Croft.

Is this the same Super Nova that worked a few RAWs way back in 1997?

The Saugus Advertiser has an article up reporting that a 15-year old boy that has filed a police report against Randy Orton detailing an incident last Tuesday in Boston. The kid claims that Orton assaulted him, Orton spit gum at him and then called him a derogatory name. The boy asked Orton to pose with him for a photo in the parking lot of a restaurant after having already taken a photo of Orton. The police filed a hearing request on the matter, but no arrest has been made.

Some kid looking to make a name for himself and get some money off of Orton’s notoriously bad press. Next.

WWE released the track listing to WWE The Music Vol. 10 via their Twitter page. The album will be available on Amazon for cheap starting on January 28. Here’s the full listing:

1. The Legacy – “It’s a new day”
2. Dolph Ziggler – “I am perfection”
3. The Miz – “I came to play”
4. Christian -“Just close your eyes”
5. Bret Hart – “Return the Hitman”
6.. Sheamus – “Written in my face”
7. Tiffany – “Insatiable”
8. Ezekiel Jackson – “Domination”
9. Evan Bourne – “Born to Win”
10. Primo – “Oh Puerto Rico”
11.. Zach Ryder – “Radio”
12. Hart Dynasty – “New Foundation”
13. The Bella Twins – “You can look (But you can’t touch)”
14. Jeri-Show – “Crank the walls down”

Okay, as an admitted WWE mark and someone accused of liking terrible music I am absolutely stoked for this set. This is WWE’s best compilation of pure entrance since probably volume 3 back in the Attitude era. At least half of these songs I would download and a few more I wouldn’t mind having, so I think I’ll give Amazon the four bucks to get the whole thing.

WWE is releasing a three-DVD set titled Hart and Soul: The Hart Family Anthology on April 6. Here is the promotional blurb for the DVD set:

Clan Patriarch Stu Hart trained and toughened a generation of future superstars, including sons Owen Hart and WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hit Man Hart. The Hart family legacy continues to thrive in WWE with third-generation stars Natalya Neidhart and DH Smith. Now for the first time ever on DVD, fans can learn the storied history of the Hart family and Stampede Wrestling in Hart and Soul: The Hart Family Anthology. This 3-DVD set is packed with a revealing documentary tracing the Hart family history, as well as matches featuring all the members of the Hart family.

I cannot wait for this DVD! Weeks ago in this space I speculated on a potential match list, but with Hart officially back in the company it is guaranteed to be great. The documentary alone should be fantastic. Do you think other Hart kids like Diana and Bruce were interviewed? No one would surprise me except for an appearance from Martha Hart.

Tickets for this year’s Hall of Fame were sold out in hours of being released. More VIP tickets will be released in the future.

I love how the Hall of Fame has become such an integral part of WrestleMania. Even though the actual inductions are completely arbitrary and no real “Hall” exists to honor them, it is still a fun part of the proceedings. Now let the speculation begin on this year’s inductees.

Even more DVD releases are coming. Here’s the DVD info for John Morrison: Rock Star, which is out on February 20.

He’s the Shaman of Sexy, the Friday Night Delight. John Morrison is one of WWE’s best and brightest rising stars, having held numerous tag team championships, first as part of MNM and then with The Miz. He’s also had great solo success, earning the ECW and Intercontinental championships. The DVD is packed with a revealing 1-hour documentary, as well as bonus matches, interviews, Dirt Sheet segments, and more.

The Dream Begins

ECW Championship Match
John Morrison vs. CM Punk
ECW September 4, 2007

Best of the Dirt Sheet

Miz & Morrison vs. D-Generation-X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels)
RAW November 3, 2008

Straight from the Palace of Wisdom

John Morrison vs. Evan Bourne
ECW April 14, 2009

Parkour Training

John Morrison vs. Chris Jericho
WWE Superstars June 11, 2009

The Shaolin Master of Movement

John Morrison vs. Edge
SmackDown June 19, 2009

Anatomy of the Aerial Attack

John Morrison vs. CM Punk
SmackDown June 26, 2009

Making a Surfboard

World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Morrison vs. Jeff Hardy
SmackDown July 31, 2009

One with the Ocean

Intercontinental Championship Match
John Morrison vs. Rey Mysterio
SmackDown September 4, 2009

The Journey Continues…

Bonus Features
John Morrison is Born
ECW July 17, 2007

Okay, I can agree with everyone that is WAY too early for a Morrison DVD, especially one that completely ignores his MNM past. But that being said there are some AWESOME matches here what those awesome SmackDown matches form this past summer and that Evan Bourne match from April. If it comes cheap it will be worth it to have all those matches in one spot. Those wondering about a new SmackDown Six from 2009 need to look no further than this DVD to see Morrison tear it up with Jericho, Edge, Punk, Hardy and Mysterio in separate matches to see it wasn’t a myth.

In even more DVD news, here are all the details for the 3-disc Best of RAW 2009 set, which hits stores on January 26.

DISC ONE

January Highlights

Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena – January 12

The Birth of Legacy: Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes Attack Sim Snuka & Manu – January 12

No Disqualification match for the Intercontinental Championship
CM Punk vs. William Regal – January 19

Randy Orton Assaults Mr. McMahon – January 19

February Highlights

Randy Orton Attacks Shane and Stephanie – February 16

March Highlights

Randy Orton Selects His WrestleMania Opponent – March 2

Shawn Michaels & Undertaker – March 9

Shawn Michaels visits the graveyard – March 23

Santino Marella vs. Mickie James – March 23

Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler

April Highlights

Ten-Man WrestleMania All-Star Showcase – April 6

Chris Jericho vs. John Cena from London England – April 20

Randy Orton vs. MVP – April 27

May Highlights

Santino Makes Fun of Chavo & Vickie – May 4

“Denver Debacle”: Raw Moves to the Staples Center – May 25

DISC TWO

June Highlights

Josh Mathews interviews MVP and Kofi Kingston

United States Championship Match
MVP vs. Kofi Kingston – June 1

The Miz – Five… John Cena – Zero

Legacy Attacks Batista – June 8

Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton vs. Triple H
vs. John Cena vs. Big Show – June 15

Mr. McMahon Sells Raw to Donald Trump – June 15

Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship
Triple H vs. Randy Orton – June 22

Mr. McMahon’s Limo Breaks Down – June 22

Mr. McMahon Buys Raw Back form Donald Trump – June 22

3-on-1 Gauntlet match
Randy Orton vs. Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger & Mark Henry – June 29

Raw Celebrity Guest Hosts

Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler

July Highlights

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase – July 6

Big Show Faces Off with Shaq – July 27

August Highlights

Fatal Four Way Divas Match
Kelly Kelly vs. Alicia Fox vs. Gail Kim vs. Beth Pheonix – August 10

I Know What You’re Going to Do This Summer – August 17

DX Returns – August 17

DX Celebrates Mr. McMahon’s Birthday in Las Vegas – August 24

Chris Jericho vs. MVP – August 31

Fatal Four Way Match for the United States Championship
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger vs. Carlito – August 31

DISC THREE

September Highlights

The Price is Raw

Body Slam Contest
Big Show vs. Mark Henry – September 7

Batista Returns, Orton Beware – September 14

No Holds Barred Match
Batista vs. Randy Orton – September 14

October Highlights

D-Generation X vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show – October 5

John Cena vs. Triple H – October 19

Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston – October 26

November Highlights

Chavo Guerrero vs. Santino Marella – November 16

Randy Orton & Kofi Kingston Wage War at Madison Square Garden – November 16

Triple Threat Tag Team Match
D-Generation X vs. Jeri-Show vs. John Cena & Undertaker – November 16

John Cena vs. CM Punk – November 23

December Highlights

TLC Championship Showdown – December 7

Superstar of the Year Match
John Cena vs. Randy Orton – December 14

2009 Raw Recap

Well, that sure looks like…something. I can totally get behind a season-like set like this, but RAW in 2009 wasn’t really anything to brag a lot a whole lot.

The Road to…The Royal Rumble
WWE Championship
Sheamus (c) v. Randy Orton

World Heavyweight Championship
Undertaker (c) v. Rey Mysterio

ECW Championship
Christian (c) v. Ezekiel Jackson

Royal Rumble match
expected participants: John Cena, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Jack Swagger, Santino Marella, Chris Jericho, Batista, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Kane

rumored matches:
finals of the WWE Divas Championships tournament
MVP versus The Miz for the United States Championship

Wrestler of the Week
Week of January 11 – 17: Ezekiel Jackson
The big man from Ghana earned the biggest victory of his young WWE career when he won an eight-man battle royal on ECW to earn an ECW Title match at Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble is always the perfect time to put unexpected guys in Title matches because of the draw of the Rumble match itself so I’m excited to see what Big Zeke can do “with the lights on bright.” And with William Regal now acting as his manager for the time being, Zeke can do nothing but improve. He might not win at the Royal Rumble but for the time being he is riding the biggest momentum of his career.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Jon Heder and Don Johnson will co-host RAW tonight when the show comes from Knoxville, Tennessee. Neither Heder nor Johnson have been affiliated with WWE in the past and this appearance is clearly just another stop on their tour promoting their new motion comedy When In Rome, which also comes out in theatres in January. That being said both Heder and Johnson are experienced actors and should handle themselves well in the unorthodox live WWE RAW environment. But WWE’s creative team is never one to miss out on an outdated joke so expect plenty of references and sight gags for both Napolean Dynamite and Miami Vice, Heder and Johnson most famous roles respectively. As for in-ring action nothing has been announced, but with only two weeks before the Royal Rumble hopefully all energies will be focused towards that. For example I’m smelling a Cena/Kofi-Sheamus/Orton main event and some more Rumble match talk and qualifiers. I would also expect at least one Divas tournament semi-final. Oh yeah, and all sources are saying Bret Hart will be in the house to continue his rivalry with Mr. McMahon, so that should be a lot of fun.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Eison covers SmackDown. Is it me or does CM Punk look more and more like Jesus each week?

Eison also covered Superstars. I saw the first two matches live from Minneapolis and thoroughly LOVED the Yang/Slam Master-Knox/Haas match. How often do you see four jobbers get a chance to battle each other on TV, with absolutely no clear indication of a winner before hand?

Pulse was all over RAW coverage this week, including live coverage from Marshall, yours truly’s live report, Innarelli’s 10 thoughts and Wheeler’s rant.

How They Rated
SmackDown! (1.1.10) –

Superstars (1.7.10) – .8

A.M. RAW (1.10.10) – 1.0

RAW (1.11.10) – 3.7

ECW (1.12.10) – 1.0

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Perrillo is back with his great series on CHIKARA

Yours truly did a write on the staff voted top ten wrestlers of 2009.

Follow me on Twitter here.

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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