This Week in ‘E – Return of the King…and the King of the Ring

WWE prepares for this Tuesday’s election, another Guerrero joins the WWE family and the King of the Ring is back, baby!

Opening Witty Banter
I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween weekend if that was your thing. I spent the whole time working but saw plenty of women in their best whoreish costumes. I love how Halloween for grown ups has become just an excuse to become as lewd, obnoxious and slutty as possible. Not that I’m complaining at all, but it’s just a fun observation.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
On Saturday afternoon, October 30, 2010, World Wrestling Entertainment presented a special Fan Appreciation supershow live from XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut.

The show was different than a normal non-televised house show as it involved matches featuring members of both the RAW and SmackDown rosters and had pay per view caliber match-ups. Also being in WWE’s home state of Connecticut, clearly it also worked as some sort of mock rally for Linda McMahon’s Senate election that will be decided this upcoming Tuesday at the polls.

Here are the results:

In the opening match, The Big Show won a 24-man battle royal to earn an Intercontinental Championship match against Dolph Ziggler later in the afternoon. Big Show won by last eliminating Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes. Other participants in the match included Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, R-Truth, Vladimir Kozlov, Zack Ryder, Kaval, Yoshi Tatsu, Primo, JTG, Alex Riley, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd, Chris Masters, Ted Dibiase, Goldust, MVP, Tyler Reks, and Ezekiel Jackson.

WWE United States Champion Daniel Bryan pinned The Miz (accompanied by Alex Riley) after a roll up.

Melina won a Diva Dance-off. Other participants included Layla, Gail Kim, Maryse, Natalya Neidhart, Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly.

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon then came out to address the crowd. He thanked the fans and said he appreciated everything they do for the company and then encouraged them to vote (while wearing WWE gear) in Tuesday’s election.

Sheamus pinned John Morrison after hitting the Brogue Kick.

WWE Champion Randy Orton successfully defended his Championship against Wade Barrett. The rest of The Nexus tried to interfere on Barrett’s behalf but Orton pinned Barrett after hitting a RKO.

WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler beat The Big Show by count out when he put Show in a sleeper outside the ring. Post-match, Big Show knocked out Ziggler and Hornswoggle, who accompanied The Big Show, hit him with the Tadpole Splash.

Triple H pinned Alberto Del Rio after a Pedigree. Del Rio was originally booked to wrestle Rey Mysterio but he was not there. Del Rio expected to win by forfeit but Triple H surprised everyone with his one-night return. He was advertised to appear at the show but was no expected to wrestle. He competed in his street clothes and drew a massive pop from the crowd.

In the main event, John Cena defeated World Heavyweight Champion Kane by disqualification when The Nexus interfered. This led to a huge as virtually the entire roster came down for a brawl. The show ended with all the top heroes like Triple H, John Cena, Big Show and Randy Orton standing tall in the ring.

OMG! Triple H berried Alberto Del Rio! He’ll never recover! It actually sounded like it was a fun show, except the absurd pandering from Vince McMahon trying to get his new young fanbase to run out and vote for his wife.

The Connecticut Post has an article up, where Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz responded to the discrimination lawsuit that Vince McMahon filed recently regarding voters not being allowed to wear WWE gear at the polls. You can read the full article here. Bysiewicz sent the following letter to registrars and town clerks explaining her position.

“Be advised that it is the position of this office that simply wearing WWE apparel at the polls, including apparel with the trade name or logo of the WWE or the name or photograph of any WWE entertainment that does not display the name or photograph of Linda McMahon, U.S. Senate candidate, or the name or logo of Ms. McMahon’s campaign does not trigger a violation. Further, even when an individual is found to be wearing campaign material in violation of the 75 foot restrictions, they should never be told to leave the polls. They should be simply asked to remove or cover the item or apparel in question. Once this is accomplished, the individual should be allowed to vote.”

Vince McMahon, ever the good sport that he is, sent out materials announcing that voters can stop by official areas, outside of the 75 foot parameter mind you, and pick up official WWE gear to wear to the polls in response to this.

Okay, I’m excited for the election this Tuesday just so the local ads will stop airing and WWE can finally go one direction or the other, depending on Linda’s outcome. But I’m seriously tired of writing about all of this election nonsense. I normally don’t agree with much of what my esteemed colleague Charlie Reneke writes, but I did enjoy his part about showing up at a designated WWE area wearing Democratic apparel and asking for a WWE shirt so as to cover up their political affiliations.

WWE has signed Shaul Guerrero, the daughter of Vickie and the late Eddie Guerrero, to a developmental contract. Shaul is 20-years-old, and has been looking to start a music career since she graduated from high school. She officially signed her contract last week and will reporting to Florida Championship Wrestling very shortly.

Vickie Guerrero, confirmed her signing via her Twitter account. She wrote, “I am proud and happy for my daughter getting signed! She has heart and committment. Eddie would be so proud of her!”

Shaul will join her mother and her cousin, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., as the third Guerrero family on the WWE roster.

Hey that’s pretty cool. Who would have thought that Vickie Guerrero would be thriving as one of the company’s top acts five years after the passing of Eddie. Speaking of that, I can’t believe it’s been nearly five years since Eddie’s passing already.

According to reports, World Wrestling Entertainment has re-signed Sean Morley/Val Venis to a new a contract. The news has been leaked by independent wrestling promoters who have recently tried to book Morley for upcoming shows. World Wrestling Entertainment released Morley back in January 2009 during WWE’s massive cost cutting venture.

Since Morley has been released by WWE he worked for Hulk Hogan’s tour of Australia, entitled Hulkamania: Let The Battle Begin. This led to Morley being signed to TNA Wrestling in early 2010 for a short-term contract, which led a pay per view victory over “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels at TNA Genesis ’10.

Morley originally debuted in 1995 and made his initial mark as the masked Steele in Mexico before being signed by WWE back in 1998. He had a successful ten-plus year long career in WWE primarily using the gimmick of porn star Val Venis where he became a two-time Intercontinental Champion, a European Champion and a one-time World Tag Team Champion. In his final years before being released he was used primarily as enhancement talent to work with new and upcoming talent.

Hey I am all for a return for Val Venis. Whether he returns as a character on SmackDown and is put in the Goldust role of working with the young guys or he just acts an agent and houses show worker he’ll do wonders for young kids like Cody, Drew, Nexus, Swagger and the other half of the roster who are so young. Chris Jericho brought up a great point that other than guys like Triple H, Undertaker and Goldust, he had the longest tenure on the roster. Val would be essential to fill in that role of mid-card gatekeeper like he used to hold alongside guys like Billy Gunn and Bob Holly.

WWE will be bringing back the King of the Ring tournament for a live three-hour episode of Monday Night RAW on November 29 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The previous King of the Ring was in April 2008 on a similar three-hour special episode of RAW. William Regal won the last tournament. Much like the 2008 version, this 2010 version is expected to be a one-night, single elimination, eight man tournament with the wrestler who wins three matches over the course of the night will be crowned King.

The King of the Ring has gone through numerous iterations throughout the years. Originally it was one-night, sixteen man, single elimination tournament that was held at a non-televised house. That practice lasted from 1985 – 1989 and was used again in 1991.

From there it was brought forth as a pay per view event from 1993 until 2002, in which only the later rounds of the tournament where included on the show and the qualifying rounds were held in the weeks previous to the end. The concept went on hiatus in 2002 until it was resurrected again in 2006 as a month long concept for the SmackDown brand. In that instance only the finals, Booker T defeating Bobby Lashley, were held on pay per view, which was Judgment Day ’06.

This special three-hour edition of RAW is one of three special episodes that will air on the USA Network throughout November and December. On November 15 from Hershey, Pennsylvania, RAW will go “Old School,” which should see the return of plenty of WWE Legends. Then on December 13 from New Orleans, Louisiana, WWE will present the Slammy Awards, which will be the third year in a row for the resurrected award show concept.

Okay I’m incredibly excited for the King of the Ring, moreso than I thought I would be when I read it was coming back. I love, love the idea of it being an eight-man, one-night show; the way a tournament should be. “Ace” Glazer and I have been geeking out on the possibilities of what the brackets would look like, a month away. I think I listed off at least 24 guys that logically could be in the tournament and five or six fueds that could easily be mixed into the tournament’s storylines. I mean Mysterio-Del Rio, Morrison-Sheamus, Bryan-Ziggler, McIntyre-Rhodes and Goldust-DiBiase could all easily be integrated into things. And that’s not even including the Nexus factor, a comedy entrant like Santino Marella, or other logical entrants like CM Punk, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and the dozen other young guys and mid-card acts floating around the company. It should be fun.

As for the Slammys, they should be great fun again as they have been the previous two years. And the “Old School” gimmick could be fun as well. Originally I figure that third show would be a Viewer’s Choice gimmick or maybe a Survivor Series Throwback thing but I like where they are going here. Anything that gets the crazy ramblings of people like The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff and Rowdy Roddy Piper on live television is always great fun. I would love for a retro elimination match on that night but I don’t think you could find a team or match from the past that doesn’t have missing participants due to early death or politics. Then again, maybe if The Anvil is out of jail we could see a Dream Team (Dusty, Koko, The Harts) against The Million $ Team (DiBiase, Honky, Valentine and Undertaker) rematch from 1990.

The early PPV buyrate numbers for WWE Night of Champions ’10 are showing 169,000 buys, way down from 267,000 buys from last year, when the one off show Breaking Point took place.

I know the sky isn’t falling in regards to WWE like many claim but I do agree that something needs to be done in regards to the PPV schedule and plan. Even in poor drawing shows like this WWE still comes out ahead but at some point there’s got to be a “breaking point” at some point, pardon the pun. And because I’m bored and this is the last thing in the column I have to write let’s do some fantasy booking.

Cut the schedule back to twelve shows and once again make it just a monthly destination once again. Then really make each show a destination with logical peaks and valleys. Use Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series as tentpoles like they used to be and fill in around them. Then use their vast vault of history to good use and bring back some old WCW franchises for a new era. Go Royal Rumble to Elimination Chamber/No Way Out into WrestleMania. Then use WrestleMania and the Draft as the traditional year-end reset. Fill in a couple rebuilding pay per views in the spring, let’s say Backlash in April, using the BattleBowl gimmick and then whatever pay per view for May using the WarGames gimmick. The winner of BattleBowl challenges for the Title in May or June. Then bring back King of the Ring in June. The new King gets a Title shot at SummerSlam in August. In July do a Bash gimmick again. Then in September keep Night of Champions and lead into Extreme Rules/Halloween Havoc (Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal) for October. Then finish out the year with Survivor Series and a December pay per view (I’d say Starrcade but anything will do).

It ain’t perfect, but it’s my two cents. Just giving you a heads up just in case myself and “Ace” Glazer get a chance to run this world.

R-Truth getting new music was a Vince McMahon call. The idea is that Truth can continue to “release new themes” down the line, like a rapper would release singles.

You know what, I actually like this idea. If Truth changes tunes too often fans will never become accustomed to his entrance but something every six months or so could be fun. Truth is always wildly over with the live crowd and new themes will constantly keep him fresh and stockpile material for the inevitable iTunes ep.

Michael Porter, who was a ring announcer for WWE’s West Coast shows from 1988- 1993, passed away on Saturday at the age of 59. You can check out an article about it here.

I can’t say his name rings a bell at all, but regardless rest in peace sir.

The Road To…Survivor Series
WWE Championship Match w/ John Cena as special guest referee
Randy Orton (c) v. Wade Barrett

World Heavyweight Championship
Edge v. Kane (c)

Wrestler of the Week
Week of October 25 – 31: Daniel Bryan
The United States Champion had a great week in World Wrestling Entertainment by actually getting down to business and wrestling. After a show stealing bout with Dolph Ziggler at Bragging Rights, the two Champions had a rematch on Monday Night RAW that was a great indicator of what people missed at the pay per view. Then that match was so good they went ahead and did it again on SmackDown. Bryan now stands at 3-0 against his mid-card Champion contemporary, and I wouldn’t be opposed to the feud continuing. Or even better, here’s hoping Bryan transitions into a feud against CM Punk, as was hinted at on RAW. At any rate, Bryan showed that he can still wrestle in the WWE environment and succeed quite well.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Tonight Pee-wee Herman will guest star on RAW live from the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. It seems as if the actor Paul Reubens will be completely in the Pee Wee character during this appearance. He will be on hand to promote his Broadway stage play, aptly titled The Pee-wee Herman Show. The show is currently running a special 10-week limited engagement. The Pee-wee character plays well with both children and adults, depending the target audience, but expect this appearance to be heavy on the PG humor in order to cooperate with WWE’s targeted fan base. Besides the poor attempts at humor there should be plenty of matches and build for the upcoming Survivor Series. Sheamus will be looking at revenge from both John Morrison, Daniel Bryan may or may not start clashing with CM Punk and surely The Nexus will be all over the place as the dominate the World Title and Tag Title scencs. And will we see some alliances formed to build up some classic elimination matches at Survivor Series? God I hope so.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown results and 10 thoughts

Superstars results and 10 thoughts

RAW results, 10 thoughts and judicial review

How They Rated
Superstars (10.21.10) – .56

SmackDown! (10.22.10) – 1.74

A.M. RAW (10.24.10) – .64

RAW (10.25.10) – 3.1

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Logan gets the honor of reviewing Ludvig Borga’s final WWF match.

Glazer had a helluva great week of Backlash articles, but particularly his Thursday column discussing the King of the Ring and his Wednesday one making his own list of WWE’s top talkers were pretty great.

Dr. TNA does great trying to sort out TNA.

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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