This Week in ‘E – Welcome Sin Cara, Welcome Back Rock, Austin, HHH, Undertaker and Trish Stratus

WWE reminds everyone of their awesomeness, NXT is nearing its end and international superstar Mistico is about to become a new megastar for the company.

Opening Witty Banter
Hey look, this column is a very special Tuesday edition. I like that I can use the term “very special” as if it was planned along and meant to be this way.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
So here’s a little commentary to open the column this week.

I like how the build for WrestleMania XXVII was quite flat heading into the Royal Rumble and Internet fans were whipping themselves into a frenzy trying to build their own hype with the show, what with the “Sting on 2.21” stuff, scenarios for Undertaker’s opponent and rampant mystery about the guest host.

Then February came around and once Vince McMahon and WWE reminded everyone once again that yes, they are still the shit. I mean it was like they looked at the fans and said, oh you don’t think WrestleMania is big this year?

Well we’ll announce Stone Cold Steve Austin to come back to host Tough Enough, which will be on USA Network, because that network loves us. Oh yeah and then we’ll hire Booker T and Kevin Nash just to screw with TNA. Then let’s the nerds whip themselves into a frenzy about Sting coming and just laugh. Plus let’s put Shawn Michaels in the Hall of Fame and have both The Undertaker and Triple H return on the same night. Oh yeah and let’s not forget this guy called The Rock. We’ll announce him as the guest host for RAW and just give him like 25 minutes on free TV to say whatever he wants, bury John Cena in the process and remind everyone how far above everyone he still is.

That isn’t enough? We’ll just casually bring Trish Stratus back unannounced as well to work as a trainer on Tough Enough. It was like that bitch you all worship is coming back, and you’ll love it.

And how refreshing was it just to see the return of The Doctor of Thuganomics even for just one night? It reminded me that yes John Cena can still be great fun if allowed to be.

This time of year for WWE always reminds me again why I am still a pro wrestling fan. For those few weeks at the start of every year the company turns it another notch and just reminds everyone why they are the number one wrestling company in the world and does their best to just embarrass TNA Wrestling even more than they normally do.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program…

…

World Wrestling Entertainment signed Mexican wrestling superstar Mistico to a contract. The announcement was made official on February 24 at a press conference in Mexico City, Mexico.

Hall of Fame commentator Jim Ross was on hand to help make the announcement.

After the announcement was made, his new WWE-approved name was revealed. From now on the man born as Ignacio Almanza will be known as Sin Cara, which literally translates into “Without Face.” Translated into English it means “No Face.” After he was announced he changed masks from one signaling his “Mistico” persona into a new one signifying his change to Sin Cara.

In a press release put out by WWE, Stephanie McMahon had these words to say about the signing of the international superstar.

“Sin Cara is a tremendous performer who brings the crowd to its feet every time he steps into the ring,” said Stephanie McMahon , Executive Vice President, WWE. “With us, his stardom will only get bigger and brighter.”

Sin Cara began wrestling at 15 years old and became a Mexican box office sensation by 2005 and was officially Mexico’s biggest wrestling superstar in 2006. WWE began keeping tabs on Mistico starting in 2007 but various commitments kept him from signing with the company. His signing became official on January 30, 2010 as reported by SuperLuchas magazine.

While WWE in the past has had a spotty track record on how they promoted and pushed Mexican and other foreign wrestlers and those particularly who wore a mask, the company seems quite serious on making Sin Cara a big star. The company has acknowledged his past career, which is often not the case with other newly signed wrestlers, hosted a large press conference in his honor, loaded their website with information and photos about him and launched an official facebook page for him.

It is unknown whether he will report to Florida Championship Wrestling before he goes on the road and debuts on television. Ideally he will be on the SmackDown brand with fellow lucha stars Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio and Chavo Guerrero. Ideally Sin Cara will more than likely be looked at as a replacement for the aging and often injured Mysterio, who is clearly reaching the end of his prime.

No one in years has gotten such pomp and circumstance upon their signing to the company. In addition to a hometown press release hosted by Jim Ross nonetheless, he got a full roll out on wwe.com, including acknowledging his past as Mistico, plus an official company created facebook page. If he doesn’t become a big star then I will become surprised, which means he’ll probably be released in six months. But in all seriousness it is evident that the company is serious about the guy and are willing to get behind him.

Derrick Bateman was the fourth Rookie eliminated from WWE NXT, season 4, tonight, February 22, 2011. Bateman’s elimination came at the end of the episode. After his elimination was announced he gave a standard farewell promo and promised to be back. After the announcement, Brodus Clay clotheslined Johnny Curtis.

The show opened with an Obstacle Course of party games for the Rookies to compete in, including beer pong, building a block picture, flip cup and picking up dice with chopsticks. Curtis won the challenge and earned three immunity points.

In a triple threat match between at three Rookies, Johnny Curtis beat Derrick Bateman and Brodus Clay. Curtis pinned Bateman after suplexing him onto Clay. None of the Rookies’ three Pros were present for the match.

In the second Rookie Challenge, Brodus Clay won a Talk the Talk Challenge due to fan vote. Clay is a Sacramento native, where the event was held, so it was an easy victory for him.

Next week Brodus Clay and Johnny Curtis will compete on the season finale to determine who is the winner of NXT, season 4 and earn a WWE Tag Title shot with his Pro at a future date.

It has not been announced or revealed whether there will be a season five on NXT, but being that Tough Enough is returning to television the night after WrestleMania XXVII, it is likely that NXT will be shelved or put on hiatus for the time being. The fate of show should be revealed next week during the season finale.

Seriously, does Johnny Curtis have something on somebody backstage? It is evident that he is the company’s choice to win, but I expect Batemen, Saxton and Clay to all show up on WWE TV sooner than later. I can’t say I’ll miss NXT with what it has become. Bring on Tough Enough.

Speaking of Tough Enough, Bill DeMott has been announced as a trainer for Tough Enough. He will join Trish Stratus and Booker T as a trainer and Stone Cold Steve Austin as host.

They can’t all be winners. But seriously, DeMott showed his training chops on the last couple seasons of the last Tough Enough and in Deep South Wrestling. His angry demeanor and tough guy persona should make for some entertaining television when Tough Enough airs.

WWE sent out the following this past week…

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– WWE Inc. (NYSE:WWE – News) and Esporte Interativo today announced a one year agreement which will bring WWE’s weekly flagship TV show WWE Raw® to Brazilian Free TV beginning in March 2011.

Launching on March 2 at 10pm, Brazil’s biggest sports channel Esporte Interativo will bring the global entertainment company’s longest-running TV program to more than 33 million television households across Brazil.
WWE Raw is a unique form of entertainment featuring WWE Superstars Triple H®, John Cena®, Randy Orton®, The Miz™, Sheamus™, CM Punk® and many more. Viewers can tune in to watch all the excitement unfold every week on Esporte Interativo channels: 36 (Sao Paulo), 9 (Sao Jose dos Campos), 26 (Campinas), 58 (Mogi das Cruzes) and 43 (Santos), as well as with Oi TV (515) and Via Embratel (48).

According to Mauricio Portela, Production Vice President for Esporte Interativo, this deal is part of the channel’s strategy to expand and diversify the content of the program schedule. “We are investing in new attractions and planning varied programming. WWE programming was consistently requested among our viewers and we are delighted to be able to deliver WWE Raw to our viewers,” said Portela.

Announcing the deal, Andrew Whitaker, Executive Vice President of International for WWE, said “This new agreement is part of WWE’s further extension into Latin America with Brazil being the linchpin. We look forward to working with Esporte Interativo in bringing the WWE brand to viewers in Brazil.”

Hey that’s cool. Is there going to be a Brazilian superstar coming soon enough to supplant this?

The Road to…WrestleMania XXVII
WWE Championship
John Cena v. The Miz (c)

World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (c) v. Alberto Del Rio

expected matches
Jerry “The King” Lawler v. Michael Cole
Triple H v. The Undertaker

The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Shawn Michaels
Hacksaw Jim Duggan

Wrestler of the Week
Week of February 21 – 27: John Cena
In what was a huge week for returns, debuts and exciting promos and confrontations, John Cena stood tallest among them all. This past Monday night on RAW he reminded everyone of the upstart superstar he used to be when he reverted to his old Dr. of Thuganomics persona and battle rapped his way through a promo on The Rock. The promo was a welcome return of the John Cena that long-time fans have been clamoring for. It also reminded everyone how effective Cena can be behind the microphone when motivated. Then later on in the main event he teamed with his archrival The Miz to defeat The Corre (Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater) to win the WWE Tag Team Titles for all of about 15 minutes. The Corre won the Titles back in an immediate rematch but that victory now makes him a four time World Tag Team Champion, with four different partners, all who disliked him.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Well thanks to this being a special Tuesday edition of This Week in E, that mean’s RAW is already in the books. While it was an entertaining show with all the big dogs getting chance on the microphone to set up WrestleMania, it was incredibly disappointing show wrestling wise. I would’ve been disappointed to be live in the arena and have to pay to watch that much TV. Plus while all the old superstars (and Cena, Miz, Punk and Orton to be fair) got a chance to talk, so many young guys (Sheamus, Bryan, Mr. Kinda-Perfect and Alex Riley) just got straight up buried. Seriously the Twitter comments about Sheamus’ burial from Triple H was one of the highlights of my viewing experience. I feel next week should be more of the same with Stone Cold Steve Austin being in the house live from Dallas, Texas.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown

Superstars report and 10 thoughts

NXT

RAW report and 10 thoughts

How They Rated
Superstars (2.17.11) – .49

SmackDown! (2.18.11) – 2.07

A.M. RAW (2.20.11) – .79

RAW (2.21.11) – 3.9

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
FLEA is back!

Logan was all over the place with In Your House 6 and Superstars from April 1994.

Pulse exclusive interview with Christopher Daniels

Glazer breaks down the greatness of The Rock.

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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