This Week in ‘E – It’s Good to be King

MVP goes ballin’ elsewhere, Kaitlyn becomes the next breakout star and another wrestling old-timer passes on.

Opening Witty Banter
I’ve got nothing this week. I’m sure I had something witty or thought provoking thought up to put here sometime throughout the week but now TNA Final Resolution results have melted my brain and I want to go drinking.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Montel Vontavious Porter was released by World Wrestling Entertainment on December 2.

Porter (born Alvin Burke, Jr.) had been with WWE since 2005. Porter himself asked for the release. On his Twitter account he posted the following:

“We all have many dreams. Realizing one sometimes prevents you from realizing another. Decisions must be pondered & made ! Stand by …No need for alarm. I did not get fired. I asked for & received my release. I felt it was time to go international & freshen things up.”

WWE confirmed the release on their website with their standard “future endeavors” line.

“World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of WWE Superstar MVP as of December 2, 2010. WWE wishes MVP the best in all future endeavors.”

For a full look back at Porter’s career click here.

You know with MVP, Mr. Kennedy, The Pope, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, Carlito and so many others (like Umaga and Lance Cade) from the 2006 mid-card gone from the company it really is starting to look like a completely different place. It’s too bad, as Porter was one of those guys I would have bet on becoming a future World Champion. Here’s hoping he goes to Japan and re-finds his love for wrestling.

Kaitlyn was crowned the winner WWF NXT season three on November 30, live on wwe.com. She outlasted Naomi, who was the final Rookie left alongside her. Upon winning she hugged her “BFF” AJ Lee and thanked her Pro Vickie Guerrero. Kaitlyn certainly came from behind as she was the unknown back-up Rookie for Vickie at the onset of the season once Vickie’s original Rookie, the 6’9 Aloisa, was released from the company just days before the season started.

In match results on the show, AJ Lee and Nikki & Brie Bella beat Aksana, Maxine and Alicia Fox in a six-woman tag match. AJ pinned Maxine after a crossbody block off the top rope. Post-match, Primo (AJ’s Pro), came out and kissed her. In the main event, Kaitlyn pinned Naomi after a roll up.

Also during the show Kaitlyn and Naomi had a face-to-face interaction to talk trash with each other. They also brought the four eliminated Rookies (AJ, Maxine, Aksana and Jamie Keyes) back to get their thoughts on who would win.

Season four will begin next week in the current NXT timeslot, 9 PM CST, on wwe.com. Just like season three, the shortened season will feature only six Rookies, but it is going back to the all-male cast. Many rumored cast members like Seth Rollins (former ROH World Champion Tyler Black) and Damian Sandow (former SmackDown star Aaron “The Idol” Stevens) were not included in this season. RAW color commentator Michael Cole was also rumored to be a part of the cast, but thankfully that idea was nixed.

Season Four Rookies and Pros
Johnny Curtis, who will be mentored by R-Truth
Byron Saxton, who will be mentored Chris Masters
Brodus Clay, who will be mentored by Ted DiBiase
Jacob Novak, who will be mentored by Dolph Ziggler
Derek Bateman, who will be mentored by Daniel Bryan
Conor O’Brian, who will be mentored by Alberto Del Rio

Okay after the pure absurdity of Season 3 I’m excited/interested to see what Season 4 will bring about. But congrats to Kaitlyn. I’ve loved her since I first saw her. As for Season 4, it looks like an interesting cast of characters and the Pros are a nice mix too, especially with hangers on like Maryse and Vickie Guerrero floating around as well. The cast list is interesting however as there is plenty of talent I would have picked first. In addition to Rollins and Sandow, Xavier Woods (the former Consequences Creed), Alex Kozlov, the younger Rotundo, Richie Steamboat, Donny Marlow, Wes Briscoe and the youngest Colon are all down in FCW right now as well. I guess some of them could easily be brought up without the NXT crutch.

Curtis Iaukea passed away on Saturday, December 4 in his native Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 73.

Iaukea wrestled primarily as King Curtis Iaukea and was an attraction all across the world. He wrestled primarily through the ‘60s and ‘70s and was a star in Australia, Great Britain, his native Hawaii, Championship Wrestling from Florida and the World Wide Wrestling Federation. He teamed with Baron Mikel Scicluna in 1972 to win the WWWF World Tag Team Titles, the precursor to today’s WWE Tag Team Championship, currently held by Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater.

After retiring from active competition he transitioned into managing. He primarily acted as a crazy occult-like leader. In 1987 he managed Kamala and Sika in the WWF. His last run on the national stage was in 1995 when he showed up in World Championship Wrestling to act as The Master of Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom.

I was always a fan of crazy and absurd occult gimmicks like The Dungeon of Doom so I’m sad to see King Curtis go. At least he lived a full life, which is sadly refreshing when reporting wrestling deaths.

A press release from WWE, Diddy-Dirty Money, Cedric The Entertainer and Ariel Winter will all perform on WWE Tribute To The Troops, which will air on NBC at 9:00 PM on December 18th. Check out a press release from WWE below.

Diddy-Dirty Money will perform “Coming Home” off their new album Last Train To Paris, Cedric will do stand-up and Ariel Winter will sing the National Anthem. Miss USA Rima Fakih will serve as the ring announcer. Sherri Shepherd will also be at the show.

Rey Mysterio, John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show, WWE champion The Miz, and others are being advertised on the card.

I can’t say anything bad about the Tribute to the Troops campaign. And I do like the use of celebrity guest stars. This is how WWE should be using their connections.

According to Reuters, WWE Chief Operating Officer Donna Goldsmith said that the proposed WWE TV network is now not scheduled to happen until mid-2012 at the earliest, and maybe even early 2013.

Goldsmith said, “It’s taken us longer to galvanize the troops and figure out where we’re going. My guess is more like the middle of 2012 or even the beginning of 2013 before we’re ready to go forward.”

No word on advertisers, but Goldsmith said that the pay-TV operators will likely own a stake in the network.

Goldsmith also noted that Linda McMahon is not scheduled to return to WWE anytime soon.

I want to work there. That is all.

According to Pwinsider.com, Goldust will be got a MRI on his shoulder Thursday. Goldust noted on Twitter that he won’t know the results and the severity of the injury until Monday. He also Tweeted he is making his own movie in the future.

He Tweeted, “Next thanksgiving I will be shooting my first movie….the fire witch …that I will be directing and producing…and will be in it. Just in the starting stages……but will let u know more when more is known. It won’t be a wrestling movie….it is a horror film. It will be a low budget film and my very first……lots of work ahead”.

He has become one of my favorites to follow on Twitter and he definitely uses the medium a great deal. Talk about a career resurgence for a guy who’s had a pile of chances. I anxiously await his autobiography coming out in a couple weeks.

Speaking of Twitter, Joey Styles tweeted: “I don’t miss broadcasting WWE. If I ever announce again, it will only be for MMA; nothing competitive to WWE. I love WWE.COM”

He also said he was a “non-contracted” employee of WWE.com.

As long as Joey continues to rant free on Twitter I’ll be happy with whatever he does.

The word going around is that WWE loves CM Punk as an announcer. Most of the in-jokes the last few weeks were ad-libs from Punk and many have been curious to see how far WWE management would allow that to continue before they put a stop to it. CM Punk is expected to return to wrestling in January.

Punk had a lot of gaffes on the King of the Ring, like basically telegraphing the Zeke-McIntyre finish and basically announcing that Morrison would meet Sheamus in the finals, but in reality he did awesome. He is essentially a rookie at this new venture and he had a lot of pressure on him on a three-hour live show. He really stepped up in the main event when he was called upon to call the finish alone when both of his broadcast partners were in the ring. I love his commentary and I’m glad he’s being allowed to remain on television during his injury down time.

WWE released theme music for Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes and Drew McIntyre on iTunes.

Yes! Now I can finally have full awesome versions of both McIntyre and Rhodes’ themes. Seriously McIntyre’s theme is the best thing about him right now, and I actually like the guy. And how can you not like, “WHOA! You’re only Smoke and Mirrors!”

The Road to…TLC
TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Edge v. Kane (c)

Rey Mysterio v. Alberto Del Rio

rumored/expected matches:
John Morrison v. Sheamus in a Tables Match
Kofi Kingston 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

Wrestler of the Week
Week of November 29 – December 5: Jerry “The King” Lawler
In reality this should be Sheamus after his King of the Ring victory, but sentimentally there was no better choice for WOTW than Jerry “The King Lawler. The King showed everyone he still has it, even at the ripe age of 61. While The King versus The Miz in a WWE Title TLC Match may have been the absolute last match I would have dreamed to main event Monday Night RAW in 2010 it was truly a phenomenal experience. King used his years of experience to hold the crowd in his hand and put that little shred of doubt in the minds that maybe, just maybe, he can pull it off and become WWE Champion. Congrats to The King for having the most relevant week in WWE he has had in years. He went from missing a RAW show less than a month ago due to a serious staph infection and now here he is kicking ass in a friggin ladder match. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

RAW’s On Tonight!
I have no earthly idea what to expect on RAW tonight. After three awesome shows in a row, I’m not expecting a huge night. With TLC only two weeks away, surely The Miz’s opponent will be shaped up, probably in a one-on-one rematch with Randy Orton. Plus Sheamus will be coming in with a lot of momentum due to his King of the Ring victory. Perhaps a rematch with John Morrison at TLC is on the horizon? In addition Michael Cole will have some explaining to in regards to helping The Miz retain the WWE Title over Jerry Lawler of all people. How will Cole and King co-exist on commentary from here on out? Oh and the fired John Cena has promised to be at RAW once again. Gotta love wrestling logic when a fired employee can keep coming back to work every week to be a pain in the ass to his co-workers and hang out with his buddies.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown has been just brutal with this Edge-Kane-Paul Bearer nonsense. Thankfully there has been decent action in between the awfulness. Read up the results and 10 thoughts.

Superstars, the only place I can check out my favorite superstars like Yoshi Tatsu, Primo, Darren Young, Curt Hawkins and Trent Baretta. I’m kinda serious about that too. Here is a report and 10 thoughts.

Three weeks in a row, three awesome RAWs. Can the company keep the momentum going into the Slammys in two weeks? Check out results, 10 thoughts and judicial review.

How They Rated
Superstars (11.25.10) – .48

SmackDown! (11.26.10) – 1.56

A.M. RAW (11.28.10) – .56

RAW (11.29.10) – 3.1

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Logan hangs out with Sting and Hulk Hogan from back in 1995.

Ditch pays tribute to the late Gran Naniwa.

Dr. TNA keeps fighting the good fight for 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 Examiner.com and a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow me on Twitter here.

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