This Week in ‘E – The End of Hurricane Season

WWE starts to clean house, picks up another video library and The Warrior turns down what sure would have been awesome Hall of Fame induction.

Opening Witty Banter
I’ve got nothing this week except the ol’ laptop is on the fritz so we gotta do this episode quick this week.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
World Wrestling Entertainment announced the release of Gregory Helms, Paul Burchill and Maria Kannellis on February 26.

Helms had been competing on ECW recently under his Hurricane superhero gimmick as well as his mild mannered alter ego Gregory Helms. But due to his recent legal trouble and the fact that the ECW roster had been displaced due to the debut of NXT, Helms had been made to seem like an easy cut.

Burchill had also been competing on ECW recently, ironically in a feud against The Hurricane. However after Burchill lost a Loser Leaves ECW match to Helms back in December he had not been seen since. I’ve always been a huge mark for Burchill and am sad he never got a real fair shake. Damn you Vince and you not seeing Pirates of the Caribbean.

Maria’s release comes as quite a shock as she is about to appear on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice that starts airing in a couple of weeks. It seem as if her appearance on the program would be a boon for WWE, who are in a great working relationship with Donald Trump. Maria has also made it public in the past her interest in fashion and singing as well so this may as well be more of a mutual release than anything. She Tweeted shortly after her departure that she didn’t saw it coming either, which is sad. I’ll miss Maria the most of these three.

Over the weekend the WWE releases have continued as the company has released referee Scott Armstrong and Charlie Haas.

Armstrong has been a referee for WWE since 2006, working for all three of the company’s brands and refereed many major pay per views and championship matches. Before becoming a referee Armstrong was a wrestler through the ‘80s and ‘90s primarily for the NWA, WCW and Smokey Mountain Wrestling. He is one of the oldest son of “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, and the brother of Brad Armstrong, Steve “Lance Cassidy” Armstrong and “The Road Dogg” Jesse James. So The Armstrong curse sill lives huh?

Charlie Haas first signed with WWE in 2000. He was called up to the main roster in late 2002 and was a full-time roster member until the summer of 2005, winning three WWE Tag Team Championships along the way. He returned to the company in April 2006 and was used primarily in lower card tag teams and in comedy gimmicks. His last appearance was on the January 14 episode of Superstars in a losing effort with partner Mike Knox against Jimmy Wang Yang and Slam Master J. What a way to end your run.

This year’s Hall of Fame class was apparently supposed to be headlined by the inclusion of The Ultimate Warrior, but Warrior backed before the announcement could be made.

Could you imagine that acceptance speech? And who in blue hell could they get to induct him? It would have to be a mark of his like Jericho or Christian.

Speaking of WrestleMania, apparently Sheamus’ concussion storyline from last week’s RAW was legit and he is on the sideline for reals. Last week’s RAW was supposed to be feature the more obvious John Cena-Sheamus number contenders match but it was scrapped. His role is apparently still in the works for WrestleMania.

What the hell is Triple H going to do if Sheamus isn’t ready to go for the Big Dance?

As if WrestleMania doesn’t already bring the best out of the creative team they’ve added more soldiers to the cause. The company has hired Joe Francosi, who has previously worked backstage for California indy promotions including UPW and the NWA. Apparently during his job interview he pitched the idea of the William Shatner “spoken word” rendition of WWE themes on RAW.

If he pitched the idea about that glorious Shatner segment then simply pay him with a blank check and let him fill in the amount.

In related news, WWE has purchased the video library of Ultimate Pro Wrestling out of California. The now defunct UPW was promoted by Rick Bassman and features early day footage of many of today’s who’s who, including John Cena, Chris Masters, Melina, The Miz and TNA’s top guys like Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Samoa Joe. Not to mention major stars like Heidenreich, Keiji Sakoda and Sylvester Terkay.

This is a small little nugget of victory for when the eventual John Cena and Miz anthologies are produced and Samoa Joe needs to be buried some more.

In too funny to be true news, Midwest Ambulance Service of Midwest Iowa, Inc. posted this message on their website: “ATTENTION: Please do not call 222-2222 regarding the condition of Bret ‘Hit Man’ Hart. Contact the WWE for updates. Our number is for emergency calls only. Thank you.”

Their phone number was displayed on the back of the ambulance that carted Hart off from RAW two weeks ago. Apparently misguided WWE fans to call the company and ask for the status of everyone’s favorite Hit Man.

Goddam I’m still glad “it’s real to me” for so many fans out there still today.

The Road to…WrestleMania XXVI
WWE Championship
John Cena v. Batista (c)

World Heavyweight Championship
Edge v. Chris Jericho (c)

Career v. Streak
Shawn Michaels v. The Undertaker

Money in the Bank
Christian v. Dolph Ziggler v. Kane v. Shelton Benjamin v. TBA

expected matches
MVP v. The Miz for the US Championship
Triple H v. Sheamus
Rey Mysterio v. CM Punk
Ted DiBiase v. Randy Orton
Bret “Hit Man” Hart v. Mr. McMahon

The WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2010
”Million $ Man” Ted DiBiase
Antonio Inoki
Wendi Richter

Wrestler of the Week
Week of February 22 – 28: Daniel Bryan
No one had a bigger week on WWE programming than everybody’s favorite “best in the world.” While no one really knew what NXT was going to be like upon its initial airing, it was obvious by the end of the show that Daniel Bryan was a person to watch. Aside from questionable ring name, he has kept much of the persona that made him a hero to hundreds in high school gyms across the country and did well in introducing himself to brand new fans. All the talk about his real life background only helped out and his pairing with The Miz looks to be working out than anyone of us on the net could have anticipated. Even if by some chance Bryan completely fizzles out, he’ll have this one show that was completely all of his own.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Cheech & Chong will guest host WWE Monday Night RAW tonight. The comedy duo that was incredibly popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s for their hippie, free love, and marijuana filled routines will bring their reunited act to WWE as a way to promote their reunion tour. After a split in the late ‘80s, both men went on their own separate career paths. The two reunited in 2008 and starting touring once again under the tour names “Light Up America and Canada” and “The Felimony Tour.” A documentary highlighting their reunion tour, a proposed animated series and a new movie in the vein of their classic films are all in the works. Expect these current and future projects to be hyped while hosting WWE’s flagship program. Expect plenty of outdatedx jokes combined with the usual quality of recent RAW programs. At the very least, Cheech & Chong will provide a stark contrast to the cast of characters usually found on RAW. In addition Bret Hart will be on hand for probably his fourth “farewell” on RAW since he returned and hopefully really set the trigger in motion for whatever he’s going to be doing at WrestleMania. In addition Randy Orton will be battling Ted DiBiase in what will be the harbinger for their eventual confrontation at WrestleMania. And on SmackDown three more people qualified for Money in the Bank, so expect a couple more people (cough) Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger (cough) to qualify tonight.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Eison covers SmackDown.

Pulse has an amazing amount of NXT coverage, including analysis from Rushfield, Charlie and Logan.

Marshall and Innarelli bring the RAW love.

How They Rated
SmackDown! (2.12.10) – 1.8

Superstars (2.18.10) – .9

A.M. RAW (2.21.10) – .64

RAW (2.22.10) – 3.8

NXT (2.23.10) – 1.4

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Check out the great column from our newest columnist Ben Ledoux.

Ditch has a fantastic Puro Pulse this week, including some great info on Masa Saito.

Check out issue six of The Wrestling Press, featuring yours truly, among many other talented scribes…

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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