This Week in ‘E – WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs…Oh My! (John Cena’s Back, Randy Orton, Miz and John Morrison)

TLC is in the books, many former and current superstars take to Twitter to keep everyone updated and plenty of boring legal stuff.

Opening Witty Banter
Hey look, the column is a day late again. But that’s okay, I’m sure you didn’t notice. I’ve been burning the proverbial candle at both ends these past two weeks; working hard and playing harder. News has been slow, as it is wont to do during the holiday season. Time to read the fake news so I can check out this supposed eclipse tonight before I’m off to bed.
Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
WWE’s Jerry McDevitt sent off an angry email to Irv Muchnick after Irv made comments in a Pittsburgh City Paper article that were critical of the WWE Wellness Policy.

Check out the email from McDevitt here.

McDevitt seemed to be laying groundwork for a WWE lawsuit against Muchnick for relaying false info. Muchnick has long been critical of the company. Check out Irv’s response here.

I just don’t understand Muchnick’s pure hate for the pro wrestling industry. If you don’t like something that much, then just don’t watch it or avoid it. There has to be some more deep seated vendetta than he is truly letting on.

According to Pwinsider.com, the WWE has settled a lawsuit brought against the company by former WWE Global Licensing Coordinator Fara D’Angelo. The Judge ordered the case to be dismissed, but it can be reopened by January 13th, 2011 if either side fails to keep their side of the settlement agreement.

Back in October of 2008, D’Angelo filed a suit against the company, alleging that she was sexually harassed by then-Senior Director of International Consumer Products Alex Romer. D’Angelo worked for WWE from April 2004 through May 2006. D’Angelo had claimed that Romer pursued an intimate relationship with her almost immediately after she started working at WWE even though Romer was married. She states that Romer claimed that he would do so in person, via text messages, late night phone calls, and other ways. Alex Romer is no longer with WWE.

In the lawsuit, D’Angelo alleged that another employee who witnessed the harassment told her to “switch jobs” and that when she took her complaint to WWE’s Senior Director of Quality Assurance, Mike Archer. She says that Archer also suggested that she look for a new job. D’Angelo further claimed that she felt as if her job would be put in jeopardy if she continued to shed light on the harassment. She then resigned and informed WWE of the harassment, and then filed the lawsuit.

WWE offered D’Angelo a promotion and raise if she would stay with the company after she filed her harassment charges with the company’s Human Resources department. Back on October 14th, the judge denied WWE’s attempts to have the case thrown out. The judge then ruled that a jury could conceivably side with D’Angelo’s claims based on the evidence presented to the court by both sides and that the case needed to go forward to trial.

So the WWE skeeviness doesn’t just play out on television huh?

According to Pwinsider.com, WWE and representatives for Martha Hart and the Owen Hart Foundation met back on December 3rd in order to negotiate a settlement in their ongoing lawsuit. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement during their meeting.

Marth Hart is claiming that WWE violated their original 2000 Settlement Agreement in the wake of Owen Hart’s death, that WWE violated the family’s privacy with the release of Owen Hart matches and the Hart & Soul DVD documentary. She further claims that WWE intimates the Owen Hart Foundation endorses their company with the release of Hart’s matches and that the rights to Owen’s footage reverted back to his estate upon his death.

As previously reported, WWE responded to the initial claim with over 100 pages of documents.

I say this every time I report on this lawsuit, please Martha, let it go. Let fans of Owen’s continue to enjoy his work.

Jillian Hall recently spoke about her WWE release, here are the highlights….

On Her WWE Release: “I asked for my release back in the beginning of September. I’d been thinking about it around the time of SummerSlam and the beginning of September, I decided to ask for my release. I had a talk with my boss [John Laurinaitis] and he told me that he didn’t really want to release me at the time. You know, me and John get along. I have no problem with the company, WWE was awesome to me. They were there for me through everything for a long time. They hired me when I was pretty much nothing and they kept me around. They never fired me; I saw a lot of people come & go but they kept me and I love them for that. I just wasn’t happy with where I was at the time so I did ask for myself.”

On Becoming A Trainer For FCW: “He [John Laurinaitis] was going around finding other areas where I might be happy and one of the things that came up was maybe you could train the Divas in FCW since you live in Florida. I said, ‘I’m open to that’. I’m tired of traveling. I’d traveled for a long time. I wanted to sleep in my own bed for a week straight without having to leave for a little while. He said, ‘You’d only have to do a couple of days a week’ and I was fine with that. So we talked about it for a couple of weeks and I started doing that for a couple of months for a couple of months and then they came to terms with the actual release.”

It seems kind of telling to see so many recent stars (like Jillian, Carlito, Matt Hardy and MVP) actively wanting out of their WWE contracts. But to her credit she got incredible mileage out of her singing gimmick (after overcoming the awful mole gimmick) and survived longer than most probably imagined.

It was reported that everyone loved David Arquette at RAW last week. Arquette is a real fan, and was completely aware of all the storylines and characters. He spent a lot of time talking everyone in the locker room.

I wasn’t annoyed by him like most were. I thought he was used well and plays well into the Miz entourage.

WWE will once again partner with K-Mart to promote the 2011 Royal Rumble event. The promotion will include the retailer placing WWE sections in their store for DVD, shirts and other merchandise. Also there will be WWE signings at various K-Mart events. The first three have been announced, and they are…

* December 30th: Sheamus in Somerville, MA
* January 23rd: The Miz in Youngstown, OH
* January 24th: Kofi Kingston in Cincinatti, OH

I think it’s a great idea. The two brands seem to attract a lot of the same market and it’s a logical pairing.

There is a sex tape of Dave Bautista’s daughter Athena circulating around the internet, which was the talk of the locker room at the SmackDown tapings last week.

I’m not going to link to it as I’m sure you can find it easy enough. I don’t really have any thoughts on it either way, but I’m sure the boys probably got a good laugh out of it.

According to Pwinsider.com, former WWWF performer Hans Mortier (Jacob Grobbe) passed away at 2Am this past weekend. He had been battling a long illness, and he will be cremated on Saturday. Mortier was a former body builder and feuded with Bruno Sammartino. Using the full nelson as his finisher, they had the storyline that due to his size and background as a bodybuilder, no one could break the hold. He was built up as a strong challenger to Sammartino, and in the blow off matches for the program, Sammartino would break the hold and retain his title. Mortier also worked under the names Dutch Howlett, the masked Dr. X, Tarzan Zorra (after X was unmasked), The Great Zorro and Lord Charles Montegue.

It’s always sad to see another wrestler go away, but it at least this time it was one who had lived a fairly full life.

Kaval posted on his Twitter this past week, regarding his injury. He wrote…

“Expecting MRI results later today, still tender but doin better.

Mentality is different when people rely on you, ankle will b ok. MRI was negative.”

Considering he worked the SmackDown tapings last week, I’d say he’s alright…

Speaking of Twitter, the former Tiffany responded on whether she would ever return to WWE. She wrote…

“No…if I have to sleep with people in power to keep or continue progressing in my job, I’d rather be poor.”

When fans began taking that as a personal shot at a current WWE Diva, the former Tiffany responded that it wasn’t about that performer and that people were taking her comments out of context.

There was a line in there somewhere about a casting couch but the esteemed Mr. Wheeler beat me to the punch on all the good jokes regarding that.

Jim Ross also took to the Twitter and mentioned Booker T and family was backstage at TLC. He wrote…

“Early start out of H-Town. Good seeing Booker T, wife Sharmell & their infant twins @ the arena Sun. Beautiful babies & mom/dad doing well.”

Do I smell Harlem Heat v2.0 in about 20 years?

It’s being reported that R Truth was hospitalized due to pneumonia. He tried to work through it but naturally just made it worse.

While I can’t say I’ve missed him too much he has become one of those consistent parts of RAW for better or worse. He should be back in time to fill in a warm body at the Royal Rumble and maybe in the Elimination Chamber.

This has nothing to do with WWE, but it’s a slow news week. Check out this article on former WCW wrestler Jeff Farmer, most famously known as nWo Sting, who now works at University of Miami of all places.

I’ve always been a fan of Farmer, going back to his days as the military jobber Cobra back in 1995. I mean with a guy who worked under awesome names like Thunder, Cobra and Sting, how did this guy not become a millionaire in wrestling?

Here’s another link to that awesome interview Bill Apter did with Perry Saturn recently. If you didn’t watch it, do yourself a favor and take seven minutes to watch.

As a long time fan of Saturn’s it’s great to see he’s actually alive and doing well now. It sounds like he’s been through hell the past few years and here’s hoping he’s back on a solid path. I would love for a TNA or WWE cameo sometime in the near future.

Wrestler of the Week
Week of December 13 – 19: Edge
Edge once again the King of SmackDown. Edge, much like Batista, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio before him, has made SmackDown his personal playground. He is now a staggering ten-time World Champion, a feat that should be a much bigger deal than it is. For all the hate against Triple H, Edge could very well eclipse Ric Flair’s official record within a few short years. Even though I feel Edge works far better as a heel, he works far better regardless on SmackDown and should build some momentum heading into the New Year, The Royal Rumble and into WrestleMania. Ideally he will probably have his hands full with Mysterio and Del Rio for the time being until the inevitable pipe dream of Christian returning and challenging his “brother” in a feud people have been waiting a decade for.

SmackDown’s On Tonight!
Actually RAW is already done, but wow what a hot Austin crowd. Well played Dolph Ziggler for getting valuable “minutes” as Good Ol’ JR would say. But it was an uneven show, with an odd opening, Divas featured in every match/segment in the first hour and a Daniel Bryan-William Regal match that surely Vince McMahon didn’t know was happening. Here’s hoping John Morrison can parlay this push into something truly substantial. And who would’ve thought Jerry “The King” Lawler would have his most relevant year in a decade in 2010?

But since RAW is in the books and it is a special WWE week on the USA Network, I’ll instead preview the live SmackDown coming from San Antonio, Texas tonight. Rather than being buried on Christmas Eve with a meaningless Christmas-themed episode, instead the company is coming out with he big guns to close out the end of the year. Randy Orton will meet The Miz in a rematch from TLC and John Cena will battle Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero in a handicap match. Brand expansion what? In addition all of SmackDown’s main players should be there as surely new World Heavyweight Champion Edge will be on hand as well as all of his top challengers, including former Champions in Kane, The Big Show and Rey Mysterio and the red hot Alberto Del Rio.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown results and thoughts

Superstars results and thoughts

NXT report and breaking holds commentary

RAW report, thoughts and judicial review

How They Rated
Superstars (12.9.10) – .5

SmackDown! (12.10.10) – 1.77

A.M. RAW (12.12.10) – .58

RAW (12.13.10) – 3.1

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
The Pulse was absolutely stacked with awesome articles this week, the best I can remember in a long time.

Check out Ditch and his usual puro goodness.

Logan continues his run through the old school with Nitro, December ‘95 and Superstars, February ‘94.

SK drops by with rants for The John Cena Experience and Night of Champions.

And finally The Pulse celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the final Starrcade. MM gives a run down of a variety of articles, but take special note of Gepp’s personal thoughts on the infamous Starrcade ’97, Glazer’s run down of the top ten Starrcade matches and Ziegler’s review of WWE’s essential Starrcade collection.

In Case You Didn’t Spend the $50
Widro and Will had the Pulse covered with TLC coverage on Sunday night.

Here’s the quick ‘n’ dirty:
In a triple threat Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship, Dolph Ziggler successfully retained his Championship against Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger.
WWE Divas Champion Natalya Neidhart & Beth Phoenix beat LayCool (Layla & Michelle McCool) in a tag team Tables Match.
WWE Tag Team Champions Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella beat The Nexus (Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater) by disqualification when other Nexus members Mike McGillicutty & Husky Harris interfered.
John Morrison beat Sheamus in a Ladder Match to earn number one contender status for the WWE Championship.
In a Tables Match for the WWE Championship, The Miz beat Randy Orton.
In a TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Edge beat Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysteio and then-Champion Kane to win the Championship.
Cody Rhodes came out to run down the crowd. The Big Show, dressed as Santa Claus, interrupted him. Show gave him a spinebuster and stripped him down to his underwear.
In the main event, John Cena beat Wade Barrett in a Chairs Match. He pinned him after an Attitude Adjustment through six chairs. Post-match Cena pulls down an entire hanging column of chairs from the set down onto the platform and down onto Barrett.

Rasslin’ Roundtable Results for TLC
The crew got together to predict the outcome of Sunday night’s TLC pay per view. Many of the match results were fairly predictable and everyone did quite well. Congrats however to newcomer Jonah who pulled a perfect 6-0 on his first time out.

Roundtable Champion: Jonah Kue: 6-0 (6-0)

The rest:
Andrew Wheeler: 5-1 (211-129)
Steven Gepp: 4-2 (76-96)
Raffi Shamir: 4-2 (207-167)
Kyle Sparks: 4-2 (33-26)

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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