This Week in ‘E – WrestleMania Week

WrestleMania is just days away, plus another WWE Hall of Famer passes away, Impact loses badly again and Matt Hardy whines again…shocking I know…

Opening Witty Banter
A f’n awful head cold has kept me under the weather all weekend, so this may be even more brief than normal. This week’s episode is brought to you by the season premiere of Southpark; even if they pull out awful shows a lot of times episodes like “Sex Addiction” remind me that the Southpark crew still has it.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
It is officially WrestleMania week as the hard sell now really comes in as the “Showcase of the Immortals” gets its final promotion. To prove that its no longer just an evening pay per view and now a week long phenomenon here are all the details for WrestleMania week All times are mountain time:

Wednesday March 24th:
– 2PM: Mickie James and R-Truth Autograph Signing
The Room Store in Mesa, AZM
1661 S. Alma School Road
– 6PM-9PM: The 3rd annual WrestleMania Art Exhibition. This year’s event will benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Arizona Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Thursday March 25th:
– 4PM-6PM: John Morrison DVD Signing
FYE in Tempe, AZ
Arizona Mills Mall, 5000 Arizona Mills Circle
Signing limited to first 200 people purchasing Morrison DVD; Morrison will only sign DVDs.
– 6PM-10PM: WWE AXXESS – Phoenix Convention Center
John Cena and Bret Hart will appear.
Signing and photo sessions with Carlito, Cryme Tyme, Mike Knox, Hornswoggle, Kofi Kingston, Kane, Mark Henry, Kane, MVP, Jack Swagger, Chavo Guerrero, The Great Khali, Goldust, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, Eve

Friday March 26th:
– 1PM: Bret Hart Autograph signing
Best Buy in Avondale, AZ at Best Buy
10035 W McDowell St.
– 6PM-10PM: WWE AXXESS – Phoenix Convention Center
Undertaker and Edge will appear.
Signing and photo sessions with Yoshi Tatsu, Vance Archer, Hornswoggle, Chris Masters, Santino Marella, Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Michelle McCool, The Bella Twins

– 8PM: Ring of Honor at Phoenix College North Gym
ROH World Champion Tyler Black v. Roderick Strong
ROH World Champion Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries
ROH Tag Team champions The Briscoes vs. The American Wolves
Rocky Romero vs. Alex Kozlov
El Generico vs. Steve Corino
Also Appearing: Jim Cornette, ROH champion Tyler Black, Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Colt Cabana, Kevin Steen, El Generico, Steve Corino, Scott Lost, Kenny Omega, Necro Butcher, Jerry Lynn, Shawn Daivari, Joey Ryan, Bison Smith, Skullkrusher Rasche Brown scheduled.

– 8PM: Dragon Gate USA DVD Taping at The Celebrity Theater
Open The Freedom Gate Champion BxB Hulk vs. Open The Dream Gate Champion Naruki Doi with both titles on the line.
CIMA, Gamma & Dragon Kid vs. Jack Evans & The Young Bucks
Shingo vs. Masato Yoshino
Brian Kendrick & Jon Moxley vs. Paul London & Jimmy Jacobs
Susumu Yokosuka & Genki Horiguchi vs. Mike Quackenbush & Jigsaw
YAMATO vs. TJP
LA Park & Hijo De Rey Misterio vs. Derrick Niekirk & G.Q. Gallo
Teddy Hart will also appear.
“Bob Saget’s Strange Days” will be filming footage, including another segment.

– 8PM: Chris Jericho and Fozzy perform at Club Red in Tempe, Arizona. Also featuring Razer, Unforseen, Suite 88, Faceless, Phoenix & Dragon, and Dinonicus.

Saturday March 27th:
– 8AM-12PM: WWE AXXESS – Phoenix Convention Center
Rey Mysterio and Sheamus will appear.
Signing and photo sessions with Primo Colon, Jimmy Wang Yang, Chris Masters, Chavo Guerrero, Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, Finlay, Vickie Guerrero, Abraham Washington, William Regal, Zack Ryder, Maryse, Melina and more.

– 1PM: Ring of Honor at Phoenix College North Gym
ROH Champion Tyler Black vs. Roderick Strong
Roderick Strong vs. Austin Aries
Colt Cabana & El Generico vs. The American Wolves
Kenny Omega vs. Rocky Romero
Also Appearing: Jim Cornette, ROH Tag Team champions The Briscoes, Kevin Steen, Steve Corino, Scott Lost, Kenny Omega, Necro Butcher, Jerry Lynn, Shawn Daivari, Joey Ryan, Bison Smith, Skullkrusher Rasche Brown and more.

– 1PM-5PM: WWE AXXESS – Phoenix Convention Center
Randy Orton and CM Punk will appear.
Signing and Photo sessions with Shelton Benjamin, Tyler Reks, Santino Marella, Hornswoggle, Sheamus, Chris Masters, Jack Swagger, Carlito, Cryme Tyme, Ezekiel, The Great Khali, Jillian, Rosa Mendes, Gail Kim and more.

– 2PM: Bret Hart Book Signing – Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ (or details, call (408) 730-0205)

– 4:30PM: 2010 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at The Dodge Theater

– 7:30PM-11PM: WWE AXXESS – Phoenix Convention Center
Kane and MVP to appear.
Signing and photo sessions with Kung Fu Naki, Mike Knox, Vladimir Kozloz, Zack Ryder, Hornswoggle, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Abraham Washington, Tyson Kidd, David Hart Smith, Natalya, Alicia Fox and more.

– 8PM: Dragon Gate USA PPV Taping at The Celebrity Theater
CIMA, Gamma & Dragon Kid vs. Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Champion BxB Hulk
YAMATO vs. Susumu Yokosuka
Tommy Dreamer vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jon Moxley
Also Appearing: DGUSA Open The Freedom Gate Champion BxB Hulk, CIMA, Dragon Kid, Yamato, GAMMA, Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino, Susumu Yokosuka, Genki Horiguchi, Jack Evans, Jimmy Jacobs and Sonjay Dutt.

– 10PM: Total Xtreme Comedy with Mick Foley and Colt Cabana (Venue TBD)

Sunday March 28th:
– 10AM-1PM: WWE AXXESS – Phoenix Convention Center
Big Show and Chris Jericho to appear.
Signing and Photos sessions with Cryme Tyme, Hornswoggle, Teddy Long, Dusty Rhodes, Vickie Guerrero, Vladimir Kozlov, Slam Master J, William Regal, Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, Gene Okerlund, Melina, Rosa Mendes and more

– 3:30PM: WrestleMania 26: – University of Phoenix Stadium

– Monday March 29th:
– 5:15PM: WWE Monday Night Raw – U.S. Airways Center
Dark Match main event: John Cena, Triple H and Edge vs. Batista, Sheamus and Chris Jericho.
Hosted by the cast of “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

Sounds like a lot of good shit packed into a long weekend. Bummed that once again I won’t be making the trip to experience it first hand.

The second battle in the new Monday Night War was another ass kicking by WWE as TNA Impact drew a staggering .84 rating for the two hour go home show for Destination X that also featured a huge potential moneymaking main event of Jeff Hardy versus AJ Styles. It was the lowest rating Impact has drawn since November 2006, when Impact was still a one hour show on late night Thursdays.

Yeah that’s not good at all. Not one quarter hour even reached a 1.0. The highest rated segment, which drew a .96, was the fourth quarter featuring the Beautiful People, Hulk Hogan calling out Sting, and RVD appearing. After the .96 in the fourth quarter hour, every segment dropped in the ratings leading up to the Styles-Hardy main event, which did a show-low .72. The overrun saw a slight increase up to a .74. I miss Impact on late night Thursdays. It was my favorite thing to watch while pre-gaming in grad school before heading out to the bars.

In honor of WrestleMania this month’s issue they will be releasing 26 covers. Those included on the covers are John Cena, Batista, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, Triple H, Sheamus, Big Show, The Miz, R-Truth, John Morrison, Drew McIntyre, Christian, Jack Swagger, Kane, MVP, Evan Bourne, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston.

US subscribers will get the Michaels cover and the rest will only be available on US newsstands. In the UK and Canada John Cena, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Triple H will be available.

It’s a pretty good coverage of the WrestleMania participants but Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy and Dolph Ziggler are missing from the MITB participants while Kingston and Marella, who are not booked for WrestleMania, get covers. Natrually Hardy was pissed about the oversight and did what he always does; whine about it on the Internet.

Mike “Baron Mikel” Scicluna passed away on Saturday after a battle with cancer. He was 80. Scicluna was a big star in the WWWF in the ‘60s, including numerous battles with WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino. He also won the WWWF World Tag Titles with King Curtis Iaukea in 1972. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.

Rest in peace Baron…

After a recent facebook post where Eric Bischoff bragged about receiving a $50,000 royalty check for his book Controversy Creates Cash, which was a WWE product, WWEShop.com has dropped the price to $1.98 or $4.98 for the paperback.

Hahahaha…That’s hilarious. I remember meeting Bischoff in Las Vegas at a bar back in 2006. He was kind of a prick. It has nothing to do with this but I was feeling nostalgic.

Sgt. Slaughter has signed a new deal with WWE, and will be the company’s “Ambassador,” the same position Ric Flair recently held. He will appear at AXXESS this year, and also do “goodwill” work for the company.

Good to see Sarge back officially on the WWE payroll.

WWE has updated the Wellness policy once again, this time to the Impact Concussion Management Program. Here is the change:
WWE has eliminated using folding metal chairs to “strike” an opponent in the head. The WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension the following:

– The intentional use of a folding metal chair to “strike” an opponent in the head.

– Any blow to the head that is deemed an INTENTIONAL act

– The Fine and/or Suspension will be directed by the EVP of Talent Relations (John Laurinaitis).

Hey I can’t decry a move that keeps these guys healthier. But remember when ten years ago everyone in the company was bleeding and swearing and hitting each other with chairs in the head while chicks rolled around in thongs?

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

No Holds Barred
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. Evan Bourne v. Drew McIntyre

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

Triple H v. Sheamus

Rey Mysterio v. CM Punk

Triple Threat Match
Randy Orton v. Cody Rhodes v. Ted DiBiase

expected matches
some women’s match

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 (inducted by Pat Patterson)
Gorgeous George (inducted by ex-wife Patty Wagner)
Stu Hart

Wrestler of the Week
Week of March 15 – 21: CM Punk
Last Punk was absolutely on fire with his oh-so-creepy Happy Birthday song to Rey Mysterio’s daughter, “princess” Aaliyah. This week in addition to his work with his awful Rookie Darren Young on NXT, Punk once again delivered promo-y goodness this week on SmackDown with Mysterio. The “Personal Jesus” is on absolute fire with his Straight Edge character and is peaking at the right time heading into WrestleMania.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Pete Rose will guest host RAW tonight live from San Jose, California. The all-time hits leader of the MLB is no stranger to World Wrestling Entertainment. He was initially a guest ring announcer at WrestleMania XIV at the FleetCenter in Boston and got a Tombstone piledriver for his trouble from WWE’s version of “The Big Red Machine” Kane. He returned at WrestleMania XV dressed as the San Diego Chicken to gain revenge on Kane but got another Tombstone for his trouble. He tried once again at WrestleMania 2000, but received a chokeslam from Kane and a Stinkface from Rikishi. For Rose’s trouble he was inducted into the “celebrity wing” of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. It was WWE’s answer to Major League Baseball not allowing Rose to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame after admitting to betting on baseball. Rose has been a good sport in his previous WWE appearances and should be a fun host for RAW, especially on such a crucial episode as the one right before WrestleMania XXVI. If anything a random altercation with his old friend Kane should be in the cards. In addition Triple H will team up with his old running buddy Randy Orton as they battle the forces of Sheamus and Legacy in a handicap match that in no way will end with a clean finish. Plus expect some Cena-Batista goodness, Mr. McMahon being angry at Bret Hart, some Money in the Bank brawling and perhaps an actual decision on a women’s match for WrestleMania. Also will Kofi Kingston get into Money in the Bank tonight or will he continue to get jobbed out? And finally will Bob Uecker join the very prestigious and exclusive WWE Hall of Fame?

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

NXT

RAW results and judicial review

How They Rated
SmackDown! (3.5.10) –

Superstars (3.11.10) – .81

A.M. RAW (3.14.10) – .6

RAW (3.15.10) – 3.7

NXT (3.16.10) – .9

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Please check out great articles by Chris Biscuiti and Michael O’Mahony as they give great insight on what TNA is doing wrong and needs to do in order to improve drastically.

In honor of WrestleMania yours truly is counting down the shows from 25 – 1. Here’s #20, #19, #18, #17, #16, #15 and #14.

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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