This Week in ‘E – New Divas, New DVDs and Another Death

Plenty of info on the new NXT divas, Triple H’s new promotion and sadly the wrestling world loses another one.

Opening Witty Banter
Man the VMAs sure sucked this year didn’t they. Other than that, I’m still recovering from celebrating my home state South Dakota Coyotes beat the Minnesota Gophers in a huge D-I football upset. I ain’t as young as I used to be.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Iain posted a bunch of fantastic news this past week about the new season of NXT, so I’m going to liberally steal from what he originally posted earlier this week.

The decision to make the abbreviated third season of NXT into an all-women’s show was made very shortly before it was announced. WWE had filmed vignettes with twelve wrestlers at FCW, eight men and four women, to go with their original plan of using four men and four women for the short season. There is hope that perhaps the women will lead to better ratings and thus enable NXT to get a new TV deal.

Another reason is that WWE is unhappy with many of the women currently on the roster. Talent relations was upset with the behaviour of many of the women in recent weeks, especially during the SummerSlam week in Los Angeles. Tiffany was indefinitely suspended for getting arrested after a fight with her husband, Drew McIntyre. Serena was fired due to behaviour that was distinctly not straight-edge. They were not the only ones who made scenes in public. WWE is very strict about the image the wrestlers portray to the public due to promises made to sponsors about a wholesome product image.

Some of the men considered for NXT were current FCW champion Mason Ryan (Barri Griffiths, a Batista look-a-like who was on the UK version of Gladiators), Xavier Woods (formerly Consequences Creed in TNA), Bo Rotundo (Husky Harris’ younger brother), Wes Brisco (Gerald Brisco’s son and former wakeboarding champion) and Richie Steamboat.

The two new additions to the four women earmarked for the show were former NXT ring announcer Jamie Keyes and Aloisia, who had just signed within the last week. She has wrestled for about a year as Isis the Amazon. TNA looked at her a few months ago but passed. They felt she was too big to work with the women and served no purpose working with the men, since her working style was equivalent to the Great Khali. There was hope that she might be a freak-show attraction but the longevity of that depends on how fast she can learn.

Naomi Knight is Trinity McCray, 23, an African-American dancer from the Orlando Magic dance team. She is a good athlete and a quick learner but is still very green.

Maxine is Karlee Leilani Perez, 24, and worked in FCW as Liviana. On WWE.com there was a story on her that called her name Liviana, so the name change was made after that point. She modeled for three years as Karlee Leilaini before getting into wrestling. She is a good promo.

Aksana is Zivile Raudoniene, 28, a fitness competitor from Lithuania. She was the love interest of Eli Cottonwood in FCW. She was then in the Tony Atlas role with Abraham Washington, doing the gimmick that she couldn’t understand English and kept saying stupid things without knowing it. She was a bodybuilder and won the 2009 Arnold Fitness Classic. WWE signed her in October but her wrestling is poor.

Jamie Keyes is Brittany Beede, 25, a model who appeared in TNA as Kevin Nash’s one-night valet in December. She is muscular and competed in both bodybuilding and track before getting into wrestling.

A.J. Lee is April Jeanette, 23, an independent wrestler from New Jersey. She attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in New York City while wrestling. She is by far the best in-ring worker of the bunch. She was at one time the girlfriend of Jay Lethal. There was talk this week of changing her name, because of A.J. Styles, but they decided they don’t care. She signed with WWE 16 months ago, and was going to be brought up to SmackDown a few weeks ago as a new babyface, to replace Mickie James as the cute smaller girl, introduced by a series of vignettes. The first vignette actually was written into a SmackDown show on Tuesday, but on Wednesday after the show was filmed, was edited out because of the decision that they were introducing Alberto Del Rio via vignettes, so didn’t want to introduce anyone else on vignettes at the same time.

Judging by the first episode of this season, trainwreck is an apt word to use. But Naomi already made a solid impression and I think AJ Lee will do just fine as well. Plus she’s cute as a button. Also I’m digging Kaitlyn as well even though she’s clearly over her head at this point. But she’s really hot as well and has a look that WWE likes and will probably keep her around for a while, regardless of how she does on NXT. Jamie is freakishly muscular but she’s already got her niche as a ring announcer if needed. I’m not sure about the other two yet, but I feel Aksana could be used well in absurd comedy situations, like those with Santino and Kozlov.

According to The Wrestling Observer, Triple H has been promoted to an executive role within World Wrestling Entertainment.

Triple H will now serve as the senior creative advisor for WWE Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon. This new position will report directly to McMahon and come with a new office within WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Triple H has been essentially been in the same role for years, acting as a top advisor for McMahon, but this new role just makes it official in a corporate capacity.

He has been a part of McMahon’s inner circle since he began dating McMahon’s daughter Stephanie. The two married in October 2003 and have two daughters together. Stephanie is now the company’s Executive Vice President of Talent, Creative Writing, and Live Events and it is expected that she and Triple H will be the company’s lead creative influences once Vince McMahon steps down from the company.

No word has come out in regards to how this his will affect his in-ring career. He has been off television since being taken out by Sheamus at April’s Extreme Rules pay per view. He has since been rehabbing an arm injury in his time off. However he is expected to return to television in late 2010 or early 2011.

Okay, Triple H is an old-school dude who loves, appreciates and understands the business well. Once he inevitably gets the book it could work one of two ways. One if he stays out of the ring he could do some great things as the booker with old school ideas and values, mixed in with modern sensibility. But if he’s booking and still working then the fear is there that he could make Dusty Rhodes look unselfish in his booking. Because I mean who else do you trust at the top but yourself right? But regardless it’s cool that he’s officially on the corporate roster now.

Former WWE and WCW superstar Mike Shaw died on September 11 of a heart attack. He was 53.

Shaw started wrestling in 1981 and got his first real exposure in the mid ‘80s in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He worked under the name Makhan Singh and feuded with Owen Hart.

In 1989 he went to World Championship Wrestling where he was known as Norman the Lunatic and managed by Theodore Long. He then transferred into Trucker Norm, a long haul truck driver gimmick before leaving the promotion.

He debuted in the World Wrestling Federation in April 1993 where he was originally known as Friar Ferguson, a play on a Catholic monk. Naturally that gimmick didn’t last long and he was transferred into the character Bastion Booger, an unkempt slob. It was this character that he arguably found his greatest success. He was released from the company in early 1994.

His last appearance on the national spotlight in wrestling was in December 2007 at the Monday Night RAW 15th anniversary special where he made a brief cameo appearance under the Bastion Booger guise.

Sigh…I guess it wouldn’t be a week in the wrestling business without reporting about someone’s untimely or unexpected death. Rest in peace, Mr. Shaw. Now he can go resume that feud with Bam Bam Bigelow over Luna’s affection.

According to PWInsider.com, Matt Hardy was sent home early from WWE’s current tour of Europe. Apparently there was “concern” about his “condition” both on the trip as well as last week’s house show in White Plains. He was supposed to work a tag match with R-Truth at the White Plains show, but according to its sources, he was spoken to, left, and didn’t compete at that show. Hardy meanwhile has taken to Twitter (naturally) to badmouth a bunch of IWC writers and now just posted a video of himself in his hotel, in England. So who knows?

That idiot just needs to go away now I think. I used to be entertained by his antics of working the Internet but now I’m just tired of it. Get your release so you can go to TNA and join your brother and Shannon and give all the worked shoot promos you and Russo can come up with.

WWE’s Highest Flyers is a new three-disc set that is coming out in stores on October 12. The set highlights some of the best and brightest cruiserweights and aerialists over the years in WWE, WCW and ECW. Here is the full setlist:

DISC ONE:
A Different Stratosphere

Ricky Steamboat
Ricky Steamboat vs. Brian Pillman
WCW Halloween Havoc October 25, 1992

Evan Bourne
Evan Bourne vs. Zack Ryder
WWE Superstars June 11, 2009

Sky-View with Evan Bourne

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka vs. Samu
WWF at Madison Square Garden February 20, 1984

New Style

WCW Cruiserweights
Juventud Guerrera, Hector Garza, Lizmark Jr. vs. La Parka, Psychosis, Villano IV
WCW Bash at the Beach July 13, 1997

Shelton Benjamin
Gold Rush Tournament Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Shelton Benjamin
WWE RAW May 2, 2005

Ultimo Dragon
J-Crown Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
WCW World War 3 November 24, 1996

Eddie Guerrero
ECW World Television Championship Match
Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
ECW Hardcore TV July 21, 1995

Special Features:

Ultimo Dragon vs. Psychosis
WCW Uncensored March 16. 1997

Chavo Guerrero vs. Jamie Noble
WWE SmackDown April 18, 2008

Sky-Cam with Jamie Noble

Flight Turbulence

DISC TWO:
Degree of Difficulty

Chris Jericho
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Ultimo Dragon
WCW Bash at the Beach July 13, 1997

1-2-3 Kid
1-2-3 Kid vs. Hakushi
WWF SummerSlam August 27, 1995

Sky-View with John Morrison

John Morrison
John Morrison vs. Tyson Kidd
WWE Superstars July 30, 2009

High Flying Duos

Tag Teams
WWF Tag Team Championship – Triangle Ladder Match
Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Edge / Christian
WWF WrestleMania 2000 April 2, 2000

Super Crazy
3-Way Dance
Tajiri vs. Super Crazy vs. Little Guido
ECW One Night Stand June 12, 2005

Brian Pillman
Brian Pillman vs. Alex Wright
WCW Great American Bash June 18, 1995

Great Muta
Great Muta vs. Sting
WCW Japan Supershow March 21, 1991

Rob Van Dam
WWF Hardcore Championship Match
Jerry Lynn vs. Rob Van Dam
WWF Sunday Night Heat August 5, 2001

Special Feature:

The Hardy Boyz vs. Kai En Tai
WWF Sunday Night Heat September 27, 1998

DISC THREE:
Shawn Michaels
WWF Championship Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Vader
WWF SummerSlam August 18, 1996

Flash Funk
ECW World Television Championship Match
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Sabu
ECW CyberSlam February 17, 1996

Sky-View with Kofi Kingston

Kofi Kingston
Intercontinental Championship Tournament Finals
Kofi Kingston vs. Christian
WWE SmackDown May 14, 2010

Aerodynamics

WWE Light Heavyweights
WWF Light Heavyweight Championship Match
Taka Michinoku vs. Pantera
WWF In Your House: No Way Out February 15, 1998

Lita
WWE Women’s Championship Match
Lita vs. Trish Stratus
RAW December 6, 2004

Sabu
ECW World Television Championship Match
Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam
ECW Guilty as Charged January 9, 2000

Jeff Hardy
Steel Cage Match
Jeff Hardy vs. Umaga
WWE RAW January 7, 2008

Rey Mysterio
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero
WCW Halloween Havoc October 26, 1997

Special Feature:

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Juventud Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman
World War 3 November 22, 1998

Okay this looks like a must buy set for me. While many of the expected standards are included (Eddie-Rey from ’97 and the three team ladder match), there are a lot of fun hidden gems here like an early Hardyz-Kaientai match and Jerry Lynn-RVD from Sunday Night Heat. Plus there’s more Ultimo Dragon than you can shake a stick at, a traditional WCW lucha tag, Lita-Trish and that sweet Tyson Kidd-John Morrison match from Superstars last summer. I can complain about the lack of The Rockers or Owen Hart, but really this looks like a really fun set.

The Road to…The Night of Champions
Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship
Sheamus (c) v. John Cena v. Edge v. Randy Orton v. Wade Barrett v. ???

No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker v. Kane (c)

WWE Divas Championship versus WWE Women’s Championship Unification Match
Melina v. Layla

WWE United States Championship
Daniel Bryan v. The Miz (c)

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler (c)

The Big Show v. CM Punk

expected matches:
The Hart Dynasty versus John Morrison/R-Truth versus Drew McIntyre/Cody Rhodes for the Tag Titles

Wrestler of the Week
Week of September 6 – 12: The Undertaker
The company’s measuring stick had a big week on SmackDown. This past week the blue brand was built on Undertaker’s umpeenth return to the ring. He started things out by making a grandiose interview and challenging his little brother Kane to a No Holds Barred World Championship match at Night of Champions. Then in the main event he got a victory over his old rival CM Punk in what was a solid match between the two. Now that his “summer vacation” is over look for the Dead Man to continue to pick up steam through the fall and winter leading to his big WrestleMania push.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Chad Ochocinco will guest star on RAW tonight from Cincinnati, Ohio. Ochocinco, the controversial yet highly talented wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, will be on hand in his backyard to add another flavor to the RAW broadcast. In addition to this talents on the football field, Ochocinco has transformed himself into a multi-media star thanks to his recent run on Dancing With the Stars and his current reality dating show on Vh1 Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch. He has also recently released his own smart phone application and a limited edition cereal, naturally called “Ochocincos.” All of these endeavors will more than likely be plugged at some point during his appearance. In addition the show is being billed absurdly as a “season premiere” despite the show never has an off-season. But regardless they are ramping up the show with a huge John Cena-Randy Orton main event. Oh yeah and it’s the return of RAW Roulette~! That’s such a great gimmick for a free TV special. It’s bound to produce a couple solid gimmick matches and a couple absurd comedy skits. It’s no old school “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” from WCW’s Halloween Havoc, but it’s the best we are going to get in today’s WWE TV-PG era. In fact while it’s great for a differential RAW episode, I wonder why it hasn’t been turned into a pay per view concept being everything else is being made into its own PPV.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

Supastars

NXT analysis from Ivan and Logan

RAW results, thoughts and judicial review

How They Rated
SmackDown! (8.27.10) – 1.9

Superstars (9.2.10) – .52

A.M. RAW (9.5.10) – .53

RAW (9.6.10) – 3.0

NXT (9.7.10) – .96

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Read Ditch and learn something about wrestling you didn’t know yesterday.

Dr. TNA continues to bring some great insight on Dixie-land.

I’m so excited for Logan to dive into WWE Superstars, circa 1994.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,