This Week in ‘E – Mistico Signs, Stone Cold Returns and Death of Shawn Osbourne

Mistico may have finally signed with WWE, Stone Cold is coming back to WWE TV and another young wrestler goes away too soon.

Opening Witty Banter
Did you miss me?

Of course you did. To say I had a terrible couple of weeks would be an understatement. Between the loss of the Internet, my computer in the shop for a week and then some old lady backing into my car on Royal Rumble Sunday made for a crabby author. It led to the first Rumble match I missed live since 2005, so that sucked and with my computer in the shop it also led to no column last week and loss of revenue at Examiner. Not cool man.

Thankfully I had a half dozen friends come from all over the Midwest to visit me this past weekend. There is nothing to do in South Dakota in February but drink so safe to say my body hates me right now but it was a great weekend and was just what I needed. And how about that Anderson Silva? I’ve soured on him over the past year or so but that knockout over Vitor Belfort again reminded me that he is one of the baddest men on the planet.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Talk about a bad week to miss out on a column as WWE has been rife with news the past two weeks, which isn’t out of the ordinary for WrestleMania season.

Big talk is the rumor that Mexican superstar Mistico has finally signed a contract with WWE. Apparently when Mistico returned from Japan two week, he went straight to the US and finalized a deal with WWE, right underneath EMLL’s nose. Mistico is a mega star in Mexico and has been unhappy with his booking and standing in the company and the lack of promotion he feels he’s not getting. Last year Mistico talked with AAA and almost jumped, but elected to stay with EMLL. He hasn’t worked in Arena Mexico since January 18. Over the last four years Mistico has had a chance to sign with WWE, and now he feels that he should have signed with WWE back in 2007 when he impressed WWE with a tryout match in California. EMLL owns the Mistico gimmick so should he come to WWE he will be re-gimmicked, which isn’t surprising in the slightest and is actually just par for he course these days.

EMLL sent out a press release this past week saying that Mistico is still under contract to them and would work all of his scheduled dates. No word if it’s the real Mistico or just someone else under the mask.

Former creative team member Court Bauer tweeted the following regarding Mistico:

Mistico inking with WWE continues the trend of shaking things up – that’s a good thing. But and it’s a big but it’s going to be a tough road for the silver masked sensation. In late 2006, I pushed for WWE to pursue bringing Mistico’s talents to Stamford. Vince McMahon had mandated more Latin talent on the show (and rightfully so!) and at the time who fit the bill better than the KING of the Arena Mexico BO – Mistico! We brought him to our shows and there was a buzz amongst the boys. They knew this guy was legit as did many of us behind the scenes. Unfortunately, there were key people who found ways to ice a deal: “He doesn’t speak English! How’s he gonna draw?”, “Dang (yes really) he’s so SMALL!”, “he’s gotta work on those punches,” “he can’t sell because of that MASK?” and on and on. Here’s thing about “change” and WWE – if you want to change things, it starts at the core of the operations, not the secondary, etc. for those very same people who 86′d Mistico in ’06 are still there & are still big time players today & their vision remains the same. Will they back Mistico all the way? Will the champion him to WrestleMania 30? Time will tell but one thing is for sure: Given their underperformance, PPV buys, thin roster, etc WWE can’t afford to NOT to change.”

WWE has hit paydirt with Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio but badly misused others like Psicosis and Super Crazy. Plus Hunico (the former Incognito) has been in FCW for a long time so the company is hit and miss with the use of their lucha talent. I’m cautiously optimistic and will actually believe it when I see him on the FCW roster page or in a WWE ring.

Kevin Nash of all people has been abuzz in WWE circles since his surprise return as Diesel at the Royal Rumble. He has been making the rounds doing interviews and Tweeting like crazy about his return. Here’s a few highlights.

From an interview by Joey Styles at WWE.com:

”I wish I had a thesaurus, so I could explain it. It’s nice to be in a building with people [laughs]. When you get in this business, you strive to get to WWE, and when it’s time to hang up your boots, you definitely want to end up a Yankee. So, if this was my last one, I couldn’t be happier.”

You can read the full interview here.

Nash then took to Twitter for a variety of comments:

“I want to thank everyone at WWE. All the fans in Boston. For giving me a night I will never forget. (GroundHog Day) I’ll relive that 1 over.”

“As long as WWE will have me in wrestling capacity and my body can handle it, I will wrestle. It’s what I do! Best decision of my life.”

“When Vince McMahon is the boss and your best friend and his wife run creative and you see each other and hug and there is true emotion….Contracts aren’t needed. I will do whatever I’m asked. I was welcomed back into the Family last night. I wont make mistake of leaving again!”

“So happy my return was enjoyed by so many. It’s a night I’ll never forget. You fans made it possible. I’ll forever be in your debt. Thanks”

“My wife and I had a long discussion and I told her how important it was for me to end my career where I began. I think it took her 2 seconds to agree. I don’t know how many of you have seen Vanilla Sky. Don’t know if Boston was real or lucid dream. When they chanted Diesel, it sure as hell felt real for ME!”

“Alot of people don’t realize what a close relationship Jeff and I have. In the dog days of the WWF, I’m sure we traveled more than a million miles together. What he went through with the loss of his wife Jill and the happiness he’s now found, while trying to keep TNA together, was amazing to witness.”

“When wcw took over the WWE for the short time we did, it’s bc Ted Turner paid HUGE $ for talent. Wanna put tna on the map, Mrs. Carter? Set aside $50m. Start with Cena and work backwards. Don’t walk into a Mercedes showroom and ask what new AMG S-63 I can buy for $25K.”

Nostalgia fever running wild man. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Diesel-Big Show big man showdown at WrestleMania to kill 10 minutes.

Speaking of Nash’s old running buddy Booker T, he’s back full time. He debuted as a color commentator for SmackDown this past week and will be a coach/trainer on the upcoming Tough Enough franchise rebirth.

That is how you use Booker T. Use Jerry Lawler as a model, in that allow him to work on television every once in a while to keep the pops going but primarily use him in that coaching/training/backstage role.

WWE announced via an 8-K form filed today that Director and Chief Operating Officer Donna Goldsmith will be leaving those positions, effective February 28.

There has to be something behind this as she has been the company’s main business face recently after Linda McMahon stepped down and Stephanie McMahon was being a mom.

Speaking of Tough Enough, the show just got bigger as WWE has confirmed that Stone Cold Steve Austin will host the show. Here’s the release:

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – January 28, 2011 – USA Network and WWE announced today that WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will host USA Network’s upcoming reality series WWE TOUGH ENOUGH. The non-scripted series will premiere Monday, April 4 at 11/10c, immediately following USA’s ratings juggernaut WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW, and move to its regularly scheduled slot in primetime, Mondays at 8/7c, starting on April 11.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin has captivated audiences around the world with his magnetic presence and bold, yet charming nature. Austin has done it all in sports entertainment winning 17 championships, including the WWE Championship six times. He has an immense and incredibly devoted fan base and is considered one of the most popular WWE Superstars of all time. Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009

“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with my old friends at WWE on WWE TOUGH ENOUGH. Sports entertainment has always been an important part of my life and I look forward to finding the next generation of WWE superstar,” said Austin

Steve Austin will share his intimate knowledge, experience and flair for the stage as one of the most popular figures in WWE history to a group of individuals looking for an once-in-a-lifetime shot to become the next WWE Superstar or Diva. Austin will mentor the diverse group of men and women who will live, train, eat and sleep under one roof in a house in Simi Valley, California. Each week the contestants will battle it out in a series of unique challenges designed to test for such characteristics as showmanship, creativity, athleticism and desire, just to name a few. Viewers will witness the trials and tribulations of what it takes to be one of the best in the world’s greatest sports entertainment organization. The grand prizewinner will be awarded a contract with WWE.

Since leaving the world of sports entertainment Steve Austin has made a name for himself in Hollywood with roles in such blockbuster hits as “The Expendables,” staring Sylvester Stallone and “The Longest Yard,” starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. Other film credits include “Damage,” “The Condemned” and “Hunt to Kill.” In addition to film, Austin is a household name from his work on the hit television shows NBC’s “Chuck” and CBS’ “Nash Bridges.”

Shed Media US, noted for its strong characters and memorable casting in the non-scripted arena, will produce WWE TOUGH ENOUGH. The company’s previous reality credits include “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “Who Do You Think You Are,” “World’s Strictest Parents.” Producing for Shed Media US are Alex Demyanenko and Eric Van Wagenen.

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 102 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, acquired television series and entertainment events. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

WWE, Inc., a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly US PG rated content across all of its platforms, including television programming, pay-per-view, digital media, publishing and studios. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages, reaching more than 500 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo and Mexico City. Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at corporate.wwe.com.

With Austin hosting the show and it premiering right after WrestleMania it shows that the company and USA Network are serious about the show and are willing to get behind it strongly. I anxiously look forward it. Unfortunately the Diva Search is also coming back so we gotta take the good with the bad sometimes.

Inside Wrestling Magazine has an interview with Greg Valentine. Valentine said he has reached a new merchandising deal with WWE. He said WWE will release a book and DVD about his career and a toy, as well.

I like that a magazine like Inside Wrestling is finally shifting focus from kayfabe stories to using their resources and credibility to interview old timers. Now a book and a toy I can see about Valentine, but I’m not so sure about a standalone DVD for a guy like Valentine.

Rikishi took to Twitter to bitch about the build of his sons, Jimmy & Jey Uso, on RAW.

“My thoughts on my sons’ dance off? Didn’t really need it,”
“Creative Team WTF!! Its not that hard to figure in talent.”
“Tag Teams in the WWE are not really the focus as we can see. Soon Usos will be in singles.”

The man speaks the truth.

And finally some sad news from what I missed last week…

Former WWE developmental territory “Bad Seed” Shawn Osborne passed away on January 26 due to suicide from a gunshot wound. He was 34.Osborne (born Shawn McGrath) debuted as a professional wrestling in 2003, training under Les Thatcher and the Heartland Wrestling Association. He signed a WWE contract in June 2006 and was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling. While in OVW he formed a stable called Bad Company, alongside Eddie Kraven, Mike Kruel and Milena Roucka.

Known as the “The Bad Seed,” Osborne ended up working in OVW, Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling before his release from WWE in February 2008. He then spent a considerable time in the Florida independent territory Full Impact Pro.

It has since been reported that Osborne sent various texts and e-mails to his closest friends and family explaining his reasoning for taking his own life. The letter has been posted on Stacy Carter’s facebook page in full.

Rory McAllister also took to facebook and spoke more about Osborne. He wrote:

“For Badseed’s friends from HWA and Ohio. Per Shawn’s request, his donated body parts have now helped 30 people including a young girl who will get to see for the first time. Sinn (Bodhi) wanted me to let the boys know his wishes were being followed through on.”

Wow that’s some sad stuff, but at least the organ donation is helping I guess.

The Road to…Elimination Chamber
Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (c) v. Dolph Ziggler v. Kane v. Drew McIntyre v. Wade Barrett v. Rey Mysterio

Elimination Chamber Match
John Cena v. R-Truth v. John Morrison v. Sheamus v. CM Punk v. Randy Orton

WWE Championship
Jerry “The King” Lawler v. The Miz

The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Shawn Michaels

Wrestler of the Week
Week of January 31 – February 6: Jerry “The King” Lawler
Talk about a career revival for The King. While has always been used sparingly in a nostalgia role and usually used to put over a hot new heel, since October The King has become a fairly active and featured performer on RAW. This past week on RAW was the pinnacle when he won a seven man Royal Rumble to earn a WWE Title shot against The Miz in a couple weeks at the Elimination Chamber pay per view. While TNA would be crucified for putting a sixty year old semi-retired legend in the semi-main event on a pay per view challenging for the World Title, but for some reason it works here as the match isn’t going tot be the centerpiece of the entire show, and who doesn’t love The King? Hopefully this all lead to The King finally getting a match at WrestleMania, probably against Alex Riley or Ted DiBiase, with the punchline of King finally getting his hands on Michael Cole.

RAW’s On Tonight!
With only two weeks before Elimination Chamber the show should feature plenty pay per view hype in addition to planting more seeds for WrestleMania. With both the WWE Title match and RAW brand Elimination Chamber match set up there will be plenty for the top of the card to do and many interweaving storylines. Will CM Punk get revenge on Randy Orton after Orton punted Husky Harris back to FCW? Will Santino & Kozlov embarrass another team with the Cobra? Will Daniel Bryan be in the middle of another catfight between Gail Kim & The Bellas? And why did Orton and Cena switch feuds midway through the build? So many questions, so tune in tonight to find out all the answers!

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

Superstars

NXT

RAW results, 10 thoughts, more thoughts and judicial review

How They Rated
Superstars (1.27.10) – .64

SmackDown! (1.29.10) – 2.01

A.M. RAW (1.30.11) – .37

RAW (1.31.11) – 3.5

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Logan is all over the place with some old school RAW and Superstars

Rey Mundo is back!

Dr. TNA watches TNA so I don’t have to.

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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