This Week in ‘E – An Animal Finally Unleashed

WWE signs ANOTHER Colon relative, Umaga’s cause of death revealed and the upcoming DVD releases look to be hit and miss.

Opening Witty Banter
Holy crap! What an amazing promo from Batista on John Cena on RAW. Who knew Batista had it in him? Between that promo, The Miz-MVP interview from January, “bring me Jared from Subway” and last week’s Undertaker-Shawn Michaels exchange it has already been a great year for promos in WWE. Why can’t WWE be on fire like this all year and not in just that 2 – 3 month window from January to WrestleMania?

Also, I just got done watching The Oscars, and while it is often pretentious waste of four hours it can be fun. After watching District 9 last night it is time to continue my run of Best Picture nominees. Therefore tonight’s column is brought to you by The Hurt Locker. Time to see what the fuss is all about.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Orlando Colon has signed a WWE Developmental Contract and left Puerto Rico this past week to report to Florida Championship Wrestling. Orlando had a tryout a few weeks ago and impressed management, who apparently signed him in the spot. He was allowed to come back and work for WWC over the past few weeks so that he could drop the WWC Puerto Rican Title (to “The Sensational” Carlitos) and end his feud with Ray Gonzalez.

So is this Colon finally going to be the promised one where Carly has disappointed and Primo hasn’t had the chance to shine?

Also the same time as Orlando’s tryout, former IWA and WWC Champion and former TNA Tag Team Champion Apollo had a tryout but was not signed. He was briefly under WWE Developmental Contract, but was released 60 days after signing due to personal problems.

Eh…no big loss.

In more signing news, OVW superstar Asher Knight has signed a developmental deal with WWE. Knight has worked in the OVW system for seven months.

I can’t comment at all as I’ve never heard of or seen the man in action.

The following was announced as the cause of death for Eddie “Umaga” Fatu, who passed away back on December 4, 2009 –

“The cause of death is acute toxicity due to combined effects of hydrocodone (a painkiller), carisoprodol (muscle relaxer/soma), and diazepam (valium).”

It looks like a whole lot of drugs. Those who want can crow all about it now I guess. Regardless, as a wrestling fan I’m sad to see him gone.

Speaking of which, last week WWE sent out its annual letter to former talent to offer them free rehab for any personal issues they may have.

I don’t care what reasons they have for doing this, I’m just glad that they are.

Legendary pro wrestler and promoter Angelo Poffo passed away on Thursday, March 4. He was 84.

He is most famous for being the father of “The Macho Man” Randy Savage and “The Genius” Lanny Poffo. Savage has become one of the notorious professional wrestlers in history and Lanny Poffo made a respectable career for himself as a lower card talent in the WWF through the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Poffo was also the owner and promoter of International Championship Wrestling from 1978 – 984. ICW was an “outlaw” promotion that worked in direct opposition of the National Wrestling Alliance and the local territories in the area, including Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett’s Continental Wrestling Association based out of Memphis. Poffo used his sons and a small crew of other wrestlers to host cards that rivaled their competitors. Eventually Jarrett and Lawler bought out the ICW and Poffo and his crew waged an “inter-promotional” war with the stars of the CWA.

He gained the nicknamed “Mr. 6033” for once doing 6033 sit ups in one setting. He ended his career in World Championship Wrestling in 1995 as an advisor to The Macho Man and was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame.

WWE is whipping up a new Undertaker DVD set entitled The Undertaker’s Most Dangerous Matches. The 3 DVD set is scheduled for release on June 8.

So this is now seven DVDs for the Undertaker, yet still none for Chris Jericho. Prepare for casket matches, Last Ride matches, Buried Alives, Hell in a Cells, Infernos and other boring matches against big fat monsters.

The DVD train continues as a Ricky Steamboat DVD is now in the works. The DVD set will be three discs, and will be released on June 29.

Yeah three discs of the best babyface in history is all kinds of win.

Here is the complete listing for the WWE’s Hart & Soul: Hart Family Anthology DVD set, which gets released on April 6.

DISC ONE

(synopsis)
The Hart family has long served as Canada’s first family of Sports Entertainment, from patriarch Stu and his Stampede Wrestling and Dungeon, a training site that has produced multiple Hall of Famers, though sons Bret, Owen, on to a new generation of WWE Superstars, The Hart Dynasty. But the family’s journey was never a smooth one, as their accomplishments were often punctuated with devastating tragedies and loss. Now for the first time ever, fans can learn the entire story in Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology. A brand new documentary chronicling more than 5 decades of family lineage is filled with never-before-seen Hart family interviews and supplemented with a dozen matches featuring Bret, Owen, Keith, Bruce, The British Bulldog, The Dynamite Kid, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, The Hart Dynasty, and more!

Stu Hart
Falling in Love
The Promoter
Hart House
Riches to Rags
All in the Family
Hart Foundation / British Bulldogs
Stampede Sold
Dean
International Spotlight
Family Feud
Canada’s Family
Struggles Within
Family Tragedy
Third Generation
Reflections

Special Features
• Stu the Athlete
• Helen’s Car Accident
• Terrible Ted the Wrestling Bear
• A Letter from Dean
• Stu vs. The Tiger
• A Hart Family Thanksgiving – 1987
• Helen Throws in the Towel
• Owen the Prankster
• Chris Jericho’s Flight with Owen
• The Uninvited Guest
• Bret “Hit Man” Hart Returns to WWE
• Post-Raw Celebration (RAW – January 4, 2010)

DISC TWO

Introduction with The Hart Dynasty

6-Man Tag Team Match
Keith Hart, Bruce Hart & Bret Hart vs. The Kiwis & Dynamite Kid
Stampede Wrestling – May 1979

Stampede Arrives in WWE

World Tag Team Championship Match
Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs
Boston Garden – November 1, 1986

An Unforgettable Match

Intercontinental Championship Match
Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. British Bulldog
SummerSlam – August 29, 1992

The Hart Family in a WWE Ring

Family Feud Match
Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart & Keith Hart vs. Shawn Michaels & His Knights
Survivor Series – November 24, 1993

Brothers vs. Brothers

Bret “Hit Man” Hart & Owen Hart vs. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner
Florence, SC – January 11, 1994

Ripped Apart at the Seams

World Tag Team Championship Match
Bret “Hit Man” Hart & Owen Hart vs. The Quebecers
Royal Rumble – January 22, 1994

DISC THREE

Sibling Rivalry

Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship
Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Owen Hart
SummerSlam – August 29, 1994

The Hart Family Settles It in the Ring

Bret “Hit Man” Hart & British Bulldog vs. Owen Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart
RAW – November 7, 1994

Decorated in Gold

European Championship Match
Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog
RAW – March 3, 1997

Front and Center

10-Man Tag Team Match
Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ken Shamrock, Goldust & Legion of Doom
In Your House: Canadian Stampede July 6, 1997

Border Wars

6-Man Tag Team Flag Match
Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Owen Hart & British Bulldog vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Undertaker & Dude Love
RAW – July 21, 1997

Passing the Torch

WWE Unified Tag Team Championship Match
The Hart Dynasty vs. D-Generation X
SmackDown – December 25, 2009

The Best is Yet to Come

Okay, I’m a huge mark for WWE’s DVD documentaries so I’ll love this set regardless I’m sure. But I must say I am a little bit disappointed in the match set. The SummerSlam cage match, the SummerSlam match from Wembley and the ten-man tag are all major duplicates but great matches regardless. I was hoping for more early gems, some more Stampede and maybe so unearthed stuff from WCW, but I won’t complain too loud because The Hart Brothers-Steiner Brothers match finally gets the proper DVD treatment.

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

Bret “Hit Man” Hart v. Mr. McMahon

Money in the Bank
Christian v. Dolph Ziggler v. Kane v. Shelton Benjamin v. Jack Swagger v. MVP v. Matt Hardy v. TBA

Unified WWE Tag Team Championships
John Morrison & R-Truth v. The Miz & The Big Show (c)

expected matches
Triple H v. Sheamus
Rey Mysterio v. CM Punk
Ted DiBiase v. Randy Orton

The WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2010
”Million $ Man” Ted DiBiase (inducted by Brett & Ted DiBiase)
Antonio Inoki (inducted by Stan Hansen)
Wendi Richter (inducted by Rowdy Roddy Piper)
Mad Dog Vachon

Wrestler of the Week
Week of March 1 – 7: Batista
Wow, heel Batista is pretty cool. This heel turn is about two or three years too late but now that he’s there he is on fire. This past week on RAW he had the promo of his lifetime and arguably his last memorable promo since he turned on Triple H before WrestleMania 21. He brought up some great “real life” things regarding himself and John Cena and successfully pulled their rivalry away from just being proxies of Hart and McMahon. The promo actually made me genuinely excited for the match and made it seem worthy of the coveted WWE Title slot at WrestleMania. Although it’s probably third on the depth chart for WrestleMania main events at this point, Batista showed that whether he is playing the metrosexual Manimal or this new evil Animal bad ass he can bring the goods when he needs to.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Magician, illusionist and all around multi-talented performer Criss Angel will guest host RAW tonight from Portland, Oregon. Angel is best known for his television show Criss Angel Mindfreak which airs on the A & E Network and features Angel a variety of acts highlighting his talents in magic, illusion, stunts and illusion, among other things. Currently he is the force behind “Criss Angel Believe,” a live stage show that is a cornerstone of the Luxor hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The show is a combination of Angel’s work and the famous Cirque du Soleil circus entertainment. Expect some feats of magic and illusion from Angel and RAW’s usual cast of characters during his time as host. While hopefully taking a backseat to the event of WrestleMania XXVI, Angel should at least provide a different visual look and feel to the RAW telecast. In addition, in order to give a bigger “f-u” to the first live TNA show that I almost forgot about, RAW will also be front-loaded Randy Orton taking on Legacy in a handicap match and Mr. McMahon will battle John Cena in a one-on-one match. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if its turned into a handicap match with Batista involve. But if Cena does get his one-on-one with McMahon then he’ll definitely be in some established company as only the best get to go with The Chairman. Plus expect Kofi Kingston to become the eighth man to be entered in the Money in the Bank match. TNA picked a terrible time to take Vince and co. head on.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Eison brings the love for SmackDown. Between Black Magic & The White Shadow earning a Tag Title shot, Matt Hardy of all people getting into Money in the Bank and Edge beat Big Show with a spear of all things there were certainly a lot of surprising finishes. And how bad ass is that Drew McIntyre theme?

Ivan and Logan continue to bring excellent coverage to NXT. Justin Gabriel looks great but Skip Sheffield under that guise looks like nothing more than mid-card fodder.

Marshall brings the live coverage, Innarelli brings the thoughts and Wheeler kicks ass once again with a judicial review. There isn’t a time that goes by that don’t laugh aloud at least once during Andy’s analysis.

How They Rated
SmackDown! (2.19.10) –

Superstars (2.25.10) – .83

A.M. RAW (2.28.10) – .7

RAW (3.1.10) – 3.7

NXT (3.2.10) – 1.2

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
O’Mahony brings some much needed attention to TNA Impact.

Biscuiti analyzes the upcoming TNA-WWE war.

Pruett looks at the upcoming Shawn Michaels-Undertaker epic in great detail.

Raffi brings up the debate of what will actually close the show at WrestleMania.

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

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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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