This Week in ‘E – The Miz, King of the Ring and Juan Cena? Awesome…

The Miz makes it a full week as WWE Champion, the King of the Ring is on the horizon and Tough Enough is threatening to make a return.

Opening Witty Banter
Tonight marks the return of the King of the Ring and much like Old School RAW from two weeks ago, I’m far too excited for the show. Other than The Miz making history on RAW last week the news was fairly slow, what with the Thanksgiving holiday and all. It’s hard to believe another month is almost in the books and Christmas and a new year are really just right around the corner.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
I touched on it a little bit last week due to the column coming in a day late, but sincere congratulations to new WWE Champion The Miz. I am generally excited for him and his victory. I haven’t popped like that since Bret Hart returned back in January and the excitement of this victory was on par as CM Punk’s first victory back in the summer of 2008. Also congrats to Miz on becoming the 40th man to capture the prestigious WWE Championship, putting him on the same list as Rogers, Sammartino, Backlund, Hogan, Andre, Undertaker, Austin, Rock and Cena. It’s hard to believe for a kid from The Real World. More on him below in the Wrestler of the Week.

Oh I and before I go, how awesome is that shot of the angry little girl the WWE cameras found after Miz’s victory? That photo and animated GIF have been all over the Internet this week. I wonder if her parents have seen it and told her she has become the Internet meme of the week?

Speaking of The Miz and Tough Enough, it looks as if the rumors of the USA Network bring back Tough Enough are pretty much a reality. The following casting call has been posted for the revival of Tough Enough…
“Are you TOUGH ENOUGH to become the next WWE SUPERSTAR?

WWE and the USA Network are bringing back the hit reality competition show Tough Enough! One competitor will earn a WWE contract and be the next WWE Superstar!!!

Casting Producers are searching the world to find extraordinary men and women with the following qualities:

– CHARISMA
– PERSONALITY
– ATHLETICISM
– AGILITY
– STAMINA
– STRENGTH
– And an INTENSE DESIRE to be the next WWE SUPERSTAR!

If you believe you have what it takes to not only earn the contract, but excel in World Wrestling Entertainment… Apply now. Closely follow the application instructions.”

If they go back to the original format of “seven strangers picked to live in a house and train…” then I’ll be all for it. The three previous MTV produced seasons of Tough Enough were fun stuff and with The Ultimate Fighter being a huge for the UFC and Spike TV, I could see this having some legs for WWE and USA Network. Color me interested and intrigued at the moment.

And speaking of the bastardized concept Tough Enough has become (don’t you love transitions), AJ Lee was the fourth Rookie Diva eliminated from WWE NXT, season three, on November 23. Her elimination was the last part of the evening. She thanked everyone and claimed this wasn’t the last time everyone would see her in a WWE ring and nearly chokes up and cries. She hugged both of the remaining Rookies, Kaitlyn and Naomi, before leaving.

The show also featured two one-on-one matches. Nikki Bella pinned Kaitlyn after hitting a X-Factor. In the main event, AJ made Naomi tap out to an Octopus Hold.

There were also two Rookie Challenges. AJ won the first one, a basic WWE Trivia contest. Kaitlyn won the second one, which was a sumo contest.

Next week is the final episode of NXT, season three, and a new NXT winner will be crowned, either Naomi or Kaitlyn.

I figured it would be AJ or Naomi that would be the winner but Kaitlyn has been a personal favorite of mine since she debuted. This show has been a train wreck since its onset but has some provided some so bad its good moments and some pure absurdity. Rumors had swirled in the past that a new season would debut in December but judging by the casting call for Tough Enough above, I’m not so sure anymore. If tomorrow night’s show is how the NXT franchise goes out on then I must say they probably won’t be playing “Leave the Memories Alone” as it ends.

But speaking of “Leave the Memories Alone,” (I’m going to transition ‘em all today), Joey Styles has been a Twittering fool all week in his last week as a contracted talent for WWE. He is still employed by WWE in a creative and wwe.com online capacity but he is no longer considered a WWE Talent and is free to do non-competitive (to WWE) wrestling ventures that feature the “Joey Styles” character. His first choice is selling merchandise.

Click here for shirts, mouse pads, iPad and iPhone cases that feature his face and the words “OH MY GOD!”

Click here for merchandise in which he has branded “BARBED WIRE OMG! SMILEY”.

Click here for merchandise in which he has branded “EXTREME SINCE ’93.”

He Tweeted, “I’m sorry I prematurely revealed Aksana was eliminated before it was streamed despite the fact that it happened three hours earlier. Period.”

“Are you fans sorry that my WWE contract expires this Friday? Goodnight and Happy Thanksgiving.”

“My WWE contract expires tomorrow. It’s been an interesting 5 years. If you think I speak my mind now, imagine what I’ll say…or do tomorrow”

Hey if keeps Joey being a smart ass on Twitter then I’m all for it. But what he really needs for merchandise is a “Joey 3:16: I just whooped JBL’s ass” t-shirt.

According to Pwinsider.com, the reason that Bret “Hit Man” Hart hasn’t been on TV recently, most noticeably during the Old School RAW, is because his contract with the company has quietly expired. Due to his contract being expired, the decision was made not to put him on television going further for cameos and other low-level appearances, since they have several stars under Legends deals for that very reason. However he left on good terms and could easily brought back under another short-term contract for logical appearances and angles.

He is still especially useful in foreign markets like Canada and Europe, where he still treated like a God. Plus Hart has said he likes to travel to those places where he is revered but now doesn’t have to deal with the bumps. And it works for WWE because crowds turn out for a special attraction like Hart. Here’s hoping he’s brought back during this Hart Dynasty storyline. But it does seem weird that Hart would quietly just go without a big goodbye? But I guess he probably got all of those out of the way this spring during the run up to WrestleMania.

Speaking of quietly going without a big goodbye, after John Cena gave a truly Emmy-worthy goodbye speech on RAW, his retirement lasted no time. He has already announced he bought tickets for tonight’s show in Philadelphia. Then in order to appease the house show fans, his cousin “Juan” Cena from Mexico has signed a WWE contract and will taking his house show bookings. “Juan’s” first appearance was last night in Salisbury, Maryland. Rather than altering anything about him it was merely Cena in his usual get up, but in a purple and yellow mask to match his latest round of merchandise.

Okay I get what they are doing and they can have some fun with it. A masked hero gimmick done with a winking nod can always be fun but perhaps a couple change ups to his usual attire and moveset could make things even more fun. Who knew Cena was a Mexican surname?

Speaking of terrible WWE rappers, they have decided to go back to R-Truth using “What’s Up?” as his theme after “Get Crunk” wasn’t getting over and someone finally clued higher ups in on what getting crunk was all about.

I liked the concept behind Truth having various theme songs, not unlike a rapper releasing singles every few months, but it’s hard to get a crowd pop when no one recognizes your music. Does “What’s Up?” still come with Eve Torres’ bad man dancing like “Get Crunk” did?

Speaking of fails, WWE is reporting over 200,000 buys for Hell in a Cell and under 150,000 for Bragging Rights.

I’ve preached about pay per views too many times in the past and don’t have the energy to do it again. Clearly a lot of factors are hurting the company’s pay per view buyrates and at some point in the near future changes will have to be made.

The Road to…TLC
rumored/expected matches:
Edge v. Kane for the World Title in a TLC Match
John Morrison v. Sheamus in a Tables Match
Kaval v. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title in a Ladder Match
The Miz v. Wade Barrett v. Randy Orton for the WWE Title in a Chairs Match
Rey Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match

Wrestler of the Week
Week of November 22 – 28: The Miz
Yeah talk about having the best week ever. Everyone and their dog was sure that Randy Orton would end last week as WWE Champion, but most pegged that it happen at Survivor Series and that Wade Barrett would be the one who capture the gold. However it was on Monday Night after the Orton-Barrett rematch when things took a turn for the Awesome. While many pegged Miz to be the first to cash in Money in the Bank and lose, he extended the streak to a perfect 8-0. Congratulations to The Miz as I legitimately happy for him and his victory. The look on his face and that of Alex Riley after the victory made things even greater. I don’t think anyone could have honestly pegged Miz to be a future WWE Champion when he debuted on television back in 2004 during Tough Enough 4. Every year since he’s been on television he has improved and stepped his game up. Other than John Cena is there a harder working man on the WWE roster today?

RAW’s On Tonight!
It’s the King of the Ring live tonight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am amped for tonight’s show, as the show has gotten a lot of love this past week on WWE television due to some quality qualifying matches and eight worthwhile participants. Remember when Hornswoggle was in 2008’s bracket? Anyways, becase you are dying to know, here’s my thoughts on the tournament participants. I’m not going to try any real bracketology as things could literally be booked a hundred ways, depending what outcomes and endgame the company is looking for.

Ezekiel Jackson: This is be a great push for him but there’s no way he will win here. Just being in this elite 8 is push enough for the big man.
Daniel Bryan: He’s already the United States Champion and constantly looks great on pay per view every month. Don’t expect King Bryan.
John Morrison: Morrison could look great by going to the finals and putting on three matches but I just don’t see him winning.
Sheamus: Sheamus is one of my two picks for victory. He could look great in victory over any of the lighter guys like Bryan, Morrison or Kingston and a Morrison-Sheamus finale could be fun.
Drew McIntyre: While the King of Scotland has a nice ring to it, he’s just too far down the ladder here behind Rhodes, Sheamus and Del Rio to earn victory.
Kofi Kingston: Kofi, like Morrison, would look great getting a chance to show off in three bouts but he’s going to get sacrificed somewhere along the way.
Cody Rhodes: The dark horse candidate in my opinion. The Dashing King could be just what he needs to get himself to he next level.
Alberto Del Rio: If Sheamus doesn’t do it, then Del Rio will. He would benefit greatly and the whole King gimmick would fit greatly in his royal gimmick and help his rocket push. Plus working three matches on live TV would put him a long way in showing fans unfamiliar with his work what he can do.

On Last Week’s Episode…
Chantel and Kelly cover a solid episode of SmackDown building up to tonight’s King of the Ring.

Kelly watched Superstars on Thanksgiving night so you didn’t have to.

For the second week in a row, RAW hit one out of the part, in major part to Miz’s improbable cash-in in that at the end of the night. Check out the live report, 10 thoughts and judicial review.

How They Rated
Superstars (11.18.10) – .53

SmackDown! (11.19.10) – 1.73

A.M. RAW (11.21.10) – .5

RAW (11.22.10) – 3.3

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Ziegler covers the WWE’s Intercontinental Title set from a couple years back. I still need to pick this one up.

Logan continues his run through WCW, circa 1995, including a much forgotten Sting-Hogan singles match.

Wheeler tries his hand at recapping the Thanksgiving edition of Impact and brings his usual awesome quality to it.

Dr. TNA rebooks the upcoming TNA pay per view to make it actually seem logical. Well done sir.

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 Examiner.com and a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow me on Twitter here.

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