This Week in ‘E – NXT Elimination, WWE Sued, Daniel Bryan Speaks & WrestleMania in 3D

The NXT eliminations start again, Paul Ornorff has cancer and some more people are trying to sue WWE. Shocking, I know.

Opening Witty Banter
I’ve got nothing this week.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Jacob Novak was the first Rookie eliminated from WWE NXT, season 4. Novak’s elimination came at the end of the episode. As he tried to give his closing remarks Dolph Ziggler, his former pro, cut him off, which led to Chris Masters putting Ziggler briefly in the Masterlock before he retreated to the back.

The show actually opened with a Pros battle royal featuring R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, Ted DiBiase, Chris Masters, Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. Bryan put Rodriguez in an airplane spin and tossed him over the ropes. The other five brawled. DiBiase then eliminated Truth. DiBiase and Masters brawled before
Ziggler pushed them both out to win the battle royal. As a result of the victory, Ziggler got the option to change his Rookie. He then chose Byron Saxton over his current Rookie Jacob Novak, which meant Chris Masters inherited in Novak.

In other action on the show, Byron Saxton pinned Jacob Novak.
Conor O’Brian won a Battle of the Mic Rookie Challenge.
In the main event, Brodus Clay pinned Johnny Curtis after a chokeslam.

Novak was an easy first pick in regards to elimination. He is the least experienced and most unknown of this season’s Rookies and had a lot going against him. My money is on Conor O’Brian’s elimination in two weeks.

WWE Hall of Fame legend Paul Orndorff recently revealed he has cancer on the Sirius Radio show “Busted Open.” He said:

“I was a rebel. I’m proud and I’m not proud of that. I let my work do my talking. I wasn’t a very good politician. I said what I thought. I did what I thought was right for me and my family. Were they the right thing? I don’t know. Were they the wrong thing? I don’t know. Am I rich? Hell no. I have cancer right now. I wished I had saved some of my money…but that’s just the way it is.”

“I don’t know, I’m going to the doctors and they’re doing things and I brought that up not for sympathy but because I don’t want it. I just found out. And I’m sitting here telling you all this stuff because I wonder if maybe I should have just played the game.”

Orndorff has always been seen as one of the legitimate tough guys in the industry so it’s sad to hear that cancer has got to him. Here’s hoping he can survive this battle like he has so many others.

According to an article by The Courier Journal out of Louisville, Kentucky, a man, 18, is suing WWE, Triple H and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for an injury he allegedly suffered in 2000. He was 7 at the time and the incident supposedly happened at the 2000 Judgment Day PPV, headlined by HHH v. The Rock in a WWE Title Iron Man match.

The article stated that when HHH and Rock brawled into a crowd, the crowd caused a chain reaction that ended with a woman falling atop of the then-seven year old, which caused knee and leg injuries. The plaintiff, named Ronald Basham in the article, recently had to have surgery on the knee. His attorney is claiming that there is no statue of limitations for filing the lawsuit since Basham was a minor when he was allegedly injured. The lawsuit accused WWE of failing to properly stage the match and provide adequate security for its customers. HHH and The Rok are named in the suit and accused of “reckless, willful and wanton conduct.”

TMZ is reporting that Ronald Basham played high school football, and not only that, but Basham had posted pictures on his facebook of himself stock car racing. There was also a picture of him crashed into a wall.

The pictures have been taken down off of the page, and Basham’s lawyer was quoted as saying the following…

“He has a long medical history with knee problems and as far as I know his knee was never injured [from racing cars].”

Yeah that guy’s gonna get crushed if he goes into a legal battle with the WWE powerhouse.

In more legal news, according to Pwinsider.com, Martha Hart has backed off of previous claims that Vince and Linda McMahon never apologized to her after Owen Hart’s death. In the latest filing on December 20, all parties in the ongoing lawsuit between Hart and the Owen Hart Foundation against World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon, all sides requested that Martha Hart’s allegations that there was no apology be removed from the lawsuit filing.

According to the paperwork, attorneys representing the McMahons presented the court with “sworn testimony” dated July 2002 of Hart discussing an apology she received from Vince McMahon. This was during a conversation in which Linda McMahon was also present. Hart’s side has until January 15th to respond to the most recent statements in the case. Both sides had a settlement negotiation last month, but they were unable to reach terms.

So this isn’t helping us get a Blue Blazer Classic action figure anytime soon.

Daniel Bryan had a pretty awesome interview with SLAM Wrestling recently. Here are the highlights

On Being The Miz’ NXT Rookie: “I was actually hoping for a little bit of mentoring from him. People might be shocked by that, but my weaknesses are his strengths and his weaknesses are my strengths. My weakness has always been that you don’t look at me and say, ‘Oh that guy’s a WWE superstar,’ whereas The Miz carries himself like a superstar and he believes he’s a superstar, whereas I don’t think I’m better than my neighbour.

On his Return to WWE: “When they called me to bring me back, John Laurenitis, the head of talent relations, was adamant that I try to keep as many of my independent bookings as I could. That kind of took me by surprise. It was really cool because I owe a lot to my independent fans and the promoters who booked me, so it was really cool for them to react that way.”

On Cattle Mutilation: “I didn’t really believe the Cattle Mutilation would get over with the WWE Universe, and the reason why is because it’s such a TV-oriented product. There are a lot of downfalls to it. (In the Cattle Mutilation) you can’t see the other guy’s face, and on top of that, it’s very difficult to do it to big guys; I don’t have long arms. For example Ezekiel Jackson — he’s an enormous guy — there’s no way I’d be able to hook my arms through his arms like that. It was more me — no one mentioned anything to me about it.”

“I’ll occasionally throw the Cattle Mutilation out there in places where I think there’s more of the independent fanbase, just as a tribute to them because they’re the people who got me to where I am today.”

This guy’s a stud. Pulitzer Prize winning commentary, eh?

WWE sent out the following this past week:

WWE® Names Michael Luisi Head of Business Affairs & General Counsel

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. announced that Michael Luisi has been named Executive Vice President of Business Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary, effective January 10, 2011. Luisi will report to WWE Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon. In his new role, Luisi will be a key member of WWE’s senior management team and responsible for business and legal affairs for the company.

“Michael has had a very accomplished career in the entertainment industry. He brings with him a wealth of experience, knowledge and contacts within the entertainment industry which will benefit WWE and serve him well in his new position”

“Michael has had a very accomplished career in the entertainment industry. He brings with him a wealth of experience, knowledge and contacts within the entertainment industry which will benefit WWE and serve him well in his new position,” said McMahon.

Prior to joining WWE, Luisi was with Miramax Films for 12 years, most recently as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Operations. In this position, he was the principal business and legal advisor to the President of Miramax Films and the company’s senior management team.

Luisi was an entertainment lawyer at Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz prior to Miramax. During his tenure there, he specialized in individual talent and production company representation across the motion picture and television industries. He has also held positions at Weil Gotshal & Manges and New Line Cinema.

Since 2004, he has served as an adjunct professor in the Entertainment, Media and Technology (EMT) program at New York University Stern School of Business.

Luisi holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.

The more you know…

A new rumor surfacing is that WWE is looking into doing WrestleMania in closed circuit movie theatres once again, this time in 3-D. Check out the full article in Chicago Indie Press.

Hey, at least it’s a novel concept I guess.

WWE has announced that John Cena surpassed his goal of raising 3 million Delta frequent flyer miles for Make-A-Wish Foundation by the end of 2010. Cena raised 4.2 million miles total, which included 1 million from himself,

That guy is a bad ass. No doubt about it.

Speaking of Cena, Mashable has honored WWE for the Best Creative Media Campaign, due to the Stand Up For WWE campaign that they ran in 2010. They have also honored John Cena with The Most Influential Social Good Champion award.

That’s pretty I guess, even if I still hate the Stand Up campaign.

Vice Squad and the IRS are currently investigating Naughty Bodies, which is an adult entertainment company owned by Sean Casey. Casey is an independent wrestler that had a stint in OVW and also made enhancement appearances for both WWE and TNA in the past. You can check out the full article here.

Skeezy people who dabble in porn and pro wrestling? Never!

The Great Khali finished second on Big Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother. Khali made it to the final round before losing the fan vote to actress Shweta Tiwari.

Everyone already took all the good jokes about him head chopping or vice gripping the winner. Well thank God he can return to America soon and resume his string of five star dream matches.

The Road to…The Royal Rumble
Royal Rumble Match

WWE Championship
Randy Orton v. The Miz (c)

expected matches
Edge (c) v. Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Championship
Vladimir Kozlov & Santino Marella (c) v. The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championships

Wrestler of the Week
Week of January 3 – 9: Dolph Ziggler
In a case of addition by subtraction, Dolph Ziggler came out looking like a star this past week on SmackDown. He lost his Intercontinental Title to his long-term rival Kofi Kingston and then lost an immediate rematch. While it looked like the worst week ever for Ziggler, he was inserted in the number one contenders multi-man match later in the evening thanks to his girlfriend/backup SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero and outlasted Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre and The Big Show. Ziggler now can lie claim to being the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, a claim he will surely cash in at on the upcoming Royal Rumble pay per view. Plus his relationship with Vickie will surely make for an interesting rivalry with the World Champion, Edge, Vickie’s former husband.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Hey look I’m actually getting this out on Monday for a change. Tonight’s RAW should theoretically put some heat on the upcoming Royal Rumble (best time of the wrestling year!) Randy Orton will surely be chasing The Miz in preparation for their WWE Title match at the Royal Rumble. Plus with CM Punk as the new official leader of The Nexus, having sent Wade Barrett packing to SmackDown, he will surely have plenty to say. And will his new rival John Cena make an appearance to say what’s up? Also, The Usos actually pinned WWE Tag Champions Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov clean in a non-title match. Do we have an actual Tag Team Title fued on the horizon? I wouldn’t hold my breath. Oh and just maybe some names will be added to the actual Royal Rumble match.

On Last Week’s Episode…
I dare say SmackDown was an ever better show than RAW this week. And that never happens.

Hey I actually got to watch Superstars this week.

Jacob Novak was first Rookie ousted on NXT season 4. My money is on Conor O’Brian the next one to go.

RAW was incredibly focused this past week, with only five matches (and two of them main event calibur). All of them progressed stories or characters going into the new year. Check out results, 10 thoughts and judicial review.

How They Rated
Superstars (12.30.10) – .67

SmackDown! (12.31.10) – 1.43

A.M. RAW (1.2.11) – 1.21

RAW (1.3.11) – 3.1

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Glazer was on point this week with the Backlash. Especially check out Wednesday’s as he gives a first run at the WrestleMania XXVII card and Friday’s, with random musings.

RAW Bowl~!

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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