This Week in ‘E – WWE Goes out for Chinese, Triple H Out Longer, More

WWE comes to China, Triple H remains on the DL and awesome news featuring Gene Snitsky of all people…

Opening Witty Banter
Well I’m back in boondocks hometown of South Dakota as I write this. Internet is spotty so thanks to whomever is letting me pirate your wifi. Thankfully the news was fairly light this week. Tonight’s column is brought to you E!’s True Hollywood Story on The Hogan Family. This should be fun.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
WWE is finally breaking into the massive China market for the first time. Here is the official press release detailing the entire event:

WWE(R) Debuts in China at Expo 2010 Shanghai

STAMFORD, Conn., Jul 06, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. and Expo 2010 Shanghai today announced that they will present the first live sports entertainment event in China on Sunday, August 22 at 7 PM (local Shanghai time) in the Expo Cultural Center. The 90 minute event, titled “WWE Raw(R) Presents SummerSlam(R)” will feature WWE Superstars John Cena(R), Rey Mysterio(R), Chris Jericho(R) and others.

“WWE Raw Presents SummerSlam” is free of charge to Expo attendees on August 22. Tickets can be obtained at the Expo Cultural Center from 9:30am the day of the event. WWE expects to fill the 8,000 person arena capacity. WWE will be one of about 15 shows performing on the main stage at the Expo Cultural Center, which is the newest, most state-of-the-art arena in China.

“WWE is honored that the Chinese government and Expo 2010 Shanghai have offered us this rare, historic opportunity to perform at the successful Shanghai World Expo,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “We are thankful to be allowed to entertain the attendees and our fans in the region at Expo 2010 Shanghai.”

Expo 2010 Shanghai opened on May 1 to great international fanfare and will run until October 31, 2010. More than 240 countries and international organizations are participating in Expo 2010 Shanghai, with about 145 international pavilions. Many world leaders have attended during the first month, including United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, and many others.

Expo 2010 Shanghai expects to see more than 70 million visitors from around the world, and has already had more than 10 million attend.

The theme of Expo 2010 Shanghai is “Better City, Better Life,” representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better living in future urban environments. Through different sub-themes, Expo 2010 Shanghai will create blueprints for future cities and harmonious urban life styles, providing an extraordinary educational and entertaining platform for visitors of all nations.

WWE opened an office in Shanghai in 2007, introducing its unique brand of sports entertainment content to China, and has steadily grown in awareness and popularity. This will be the first opportunity for Chinese fans to sample the live event part of the WWE experience.

Okay that’s pretty cool. I don’t know if I like that they are going to call the show “SummerSlam,” but hey that’s just schematics. While WWE won’t make any money of the event being it’s part of this Expo, but it’s a huge step in brand awareness to a whole new crop of potential fans. Just please tell me they won’t try to promote Yoshi Tatsu as their token Chinese ambassador.

In a fun little bit of old-school kayfabe, apparently The Nexus has been told they are not to be nice on the road while integrating with fans, especially with things like taking pictures and signing autographs. They also have to wear their NXT badges whenever they’re in public.

But do they still have to adhere to the fabled dress code otherwise? I like a little bit of old-school realism like that. Beside who the hell is clamoring for a picture with Skip Sheffield or Heath Slater?

Speaking of fabled rules, apparently the Ric Flair-like knife-edge chops have been added to the infamous banned moves list. However on a radio interview this past week former WWE ref Jimmy Korderas has refuted things. He said that chops have long been banned, with exceptions naturally made for Flair and Shawn Michaels. There were even “no chop” signs posted at the gorilla position.

This is one of those stories that got far more attention than it should have gotten, but it was a slow news week so that’s what you get. Like many I didn’t really even notice they were gone until it was brought up. From most accounts (especially from Bret Hart’s book) the chops actually hurt like hell and don’t really add much to the match.

All this talk about Triple H retuning in time for SummerSlam apparently has been moot as The Game just had surgery to repair a tendon on his arm and should be out for a few more months while he rehabs it. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dirk Hayhurst of all people broke the news in reality when he sent out numerous Tweets about meeting Triple H at a rehab facility.

He tweets:

* Guess who I just singed a book for… Triple H of the WWE. Seriously, I just found myself next to him on a training table. Wow, Surreal

* I did not get a pic, he was a tad out of it, fresh out of surgery so I didn’t want to hassle him. Besides, photo’s in hospitals are no no’s

* HHH was alert enough for me to ask him a question. I gave him the most important one I could think of: “Where do you think Lebron will go?”

* Actually, I didn’t ask him anything. He look tired and it’s best to leave large, powerful men alone when they are tired. I wish him well.

* Alright, all you punny guys, my mistake: I SIGNED a book for HHH not singed it. You know what I meant. Garfoose now practicing the pedigree

* Funny, when they wheeled him in he didn’t spit water or scream, just kinda laid there quietly–ZaW5M He’d still kill me

So how long before this guy shows up to be a RAW guest host? As for Triple H being out a while longer; I can’t say I’ll miss him in all reality. I don’t have any ill will towards the guy I just tired of watching him as a performer.

More good news has come out of The Ricky Steamboat injury camp as Jim Ross tweeted recently, “Steamboat out of ICU & should be released from Tampa hospital in a few days. Should be good 2 go in a month.”

I love how friggin’ Twitter has become a viable news source these days. Are kids using Twitter as a source in term papers these days like they were doing with Wikipedia five years ago?

Early numbers for Over The Limit put the show at about 229,000 buys. That puts it slightly ahead of last year’s Judgment Day. This figure includes international and domestic buys, and although the price in the US is $5 higher than last year the revenue may still be lower if there were more international viewers this year.

Here’s the number for the last four years’ May pay per view:

Judgment Day 2007: 242,000 buys
Judgment Day 2008: 252,000 buys
Judgment Day 2009: 228,000 buys
Over the Limit 2010: 229,000 buys (preliminary)

So none of them were really setting the world on fire. Did the Judgment Day name really need to replaced by something even more nondescript, and something that actually brought up terrible memories from the ill-fated Over The Edge pay per view from 1999?

I’ll leave you with some news that has nothing to do with WWE but is just plain awesome. Former baby killer Gene Snitsky is set to star in the sequel to Manos: The Hands of Fate, called Manos: The Search for Valley Lodge. The original Manos was filmed in 1966 and has built a reputation of being one of the worst movies ever put to film. It gained its notoriety when it was mercilessly lambasted Mystery Science Theatre 3000 years ago.

Gene Snitsky. Worst movie ever made. Being paired together? How can that do any wrong?

The Road to…Money in the Bank
Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship
John Cena v. Sheamus (c)

World Heavyweight Championship
Rey Mysterio (c) v. Jack Swagger

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship match
Kofi Kingston v. Kane v. The Big Show v. Matt Hardy v. Cody Rhodes v. Christian v. Dolph Ziggler v. Drew McIntyre

Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship match
Randy Orton v. Chris Jericho v. Edge v. John Morrison v. Evan Bourne v. Ted DiBiase v. The Miz v. TBA

Unified WWE World Tag Team Championships
The Hart Dynasty (c) v The Usos

WWE Women’s Championship
Kelly Kelly v. Layla (c)

Wrestler of the Week
Week of July 5 – 11: John Cena
It’s not cool to like the company’s poster boy but this past week on RAW he was on point. It was great to see Superman with his back against the wall and actually showing a little change in character. The usually cool and wise ass Cena was actually frustrated and vulnerable as he tried to combat the Nexus problem. Then at the end of the show he snapped and got a hold of his doppleganger Darren Young and laid a vicious beating on him, including basically throwing the steel steps at this head. I mean I love that you can throw steel steps at a dude’s head but a tie will get you fired. Was Cena vanquishing Young like Superman beating his evil alter ego in some sort of alternative universe?

RAW’s On Tonight!
Florence Henderson will be the guest host RAW tonight in Lexington, Kentucky. The 76-year-old actress has been in show business for over 50 years and is known for her work from film, television and stage. But she is most famous for her work as Mrs. Carol Brady on the world famous ‘70s sitcom The Brady Bunch. Henderson has never appeared with World Wrestling Entertainment in the past. Her appearance shouldn’t be anymore than a series of hackneyed skits involving various WWE talent and incredibly outdated references to The Brady Bunch. This just signals another reason that the WWE guest host gimmick has far outlived its usefulness and should be put to pasture. In addition to some old bat puttering around that I hope Joel McHale mocks mercilessly there is actually going to be some wrestling action. Randy Orton will go one-on-one with his long time frenemy Edge that could be a lot of fun if given time. Plus John Cena will battle 7 on 1 with the entire Nexus in something that will be interesting to say the least.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Chantel brings the SmackDown 10 thoughts. Did we lose another SmackDown recapper?

Evans and Kelly get to watch The Masterlock Challenge in case you choose not to.

Ivan and Logan are a great one-two combo for NXT.

Marshall, Pruett and Wheeler brings the RAW reviews. Props to Wheeler for bringing up how this Nexus angle really has been cursed. First there was Bryan’s release, then the Bret Hart thing that led to him being taken on off TV due to his life insurance, then Barrett gets deported and finally they put Ricky Steamboat in the hospital. Good thing Mr. McMahon isn’t human or they probably would’ve hurt him too.

How They Rated
SmackDown! (6.25.10) – 1.7

Superstars (7.1.10) – .55

A.M. RAW (7.4.10) – .58

RAW (7.5.10) – 3.4

NXT (7.6.10) – .83

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Holy crap! I love that we have solid, entertaining TNA coverage again. Check out the esteemed Dr. TNA for his weekly analysis on Dixieland.

I echo Morgado in his thoughts about not missing Triple H at all. I also loved the analogy that was brought up that he’s the guy who works with the guy that makes money.

The modern day drunkard Pulse Glazer continues to be awesome.

Logan continues his trip through The New Generation. Completely didn’t remember this episode from memory at all other than Goldust’s prime time debut and Ahmed Johnson’s bad ass bodyslam on Yokozuna. How many World Championships would’ve Ahmed won if he wasn’t such an injury prone train wreck?

Mark has been a columnist for Pulse Wrestling for over three years now, evolving from his original “Historically Speaking” commentary-style column into his current Monday morning powerhouse known as “This Week in ‘E.” He also contributes to other ventures, outside of IP, most notably as the National Pro Wrestling Examiner for and a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow me on Twitter here.

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