This Week in ‘E – Curtis, Armstrong & DDP are the Big Winners of the Week

Another season of NXT is in the books, another Hall of Fame inductee is announced and the company sings up a whole new roster of young stars.

Opening Witty Banter
“Out of time, so say goodbye…”

Well it’s that time.

When my esteemed colleague Raffi Shamir announced he had been with IP for four years a few months ago the light bulb went off in my head and it made me think about my time at the Pulse. After four years of running weekly (or bi-weekly) myself I realize it is now my time for me to walk away from a weekly deadline as well. I need to make some personal changes in my life and this has to be one of them.

I won’t walk away from Pulse completely, as I love the place and am eternally grateful for the boss men for giving me my first “job” in regards to wrestling writing, but I am tired of a weekly deadline. I can’t believe it has already been four years, and it has truly been a dream for me. But I’m done with the Monday morning This Week in ‘E once WrestleMania hits.

Let’s take some ‘E…

The News of the Week
Johnny Curtis is the winner of WWE NXT, season 4. The announcement was made on the NXT season finale on March 1, 2011.

The show was light on action and focused mainly on the two remaining Rookies and the various major happenings from the previous night’s Monday Night RAW.

It opened with Curtis and fellow finalist Brodus Clay gave their final thoughts before delving into a one-on-one match between the two. Clay won the match after a big splash.

Backstage Daniel Bryan and Derrick Bateman talked about Bateman competing in the eliminated Rookies tag team match coming up next.

They then showed The Rock’s pre-taped promo from Monday Night RAW.

In a NXT season 4 Rookies Reunion match, Derrick Bateman and Conor O’Brian beat Jacob Novak and Byron Saxton. Bateman pinned Saxton after a hybrid DDT/bulldog maneuver.

They then show highlights from RAW’s main event, Shawn Michaels’ pre-taped interview from RAW and hype for The Undertaker returning to SmackDown this upcoming week.

Todd Grisham & Josh Matthews then announced there would be a NXT, season 5, but no more information was given in regards to participants or format, but they promised it would be something interesting and like nothing that had been done before.

Then in the show’s finale it was announced that Curtis was the winner. Not surprisingly he was in tears during his acceptance speech and his Pro R-Truth came to celebrate with him. He then thanked his Dad and the fans and talked about the long road it took for him to get to this point. Clay then took the microphone and blamed the fans for taking his moment away from him. He promised to take out WWE’s heroes and break the fans’ hearts like they just broke his.

It will be interesting what NXT, season 5 will bring, especially considering it will more than likely air during the same time frame of the Tough Enough revival, another show featuring young stars trying to gain WWE fame.

“Bullet” Bob Armstrong has been announced as the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on April 2, 2011 in the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, the night before WrestleMania XXVII. A video package highlighting his announcement was to air on this past week’s Monday Night RAW but due to time constraints the video did not air, and the announcement was released shortly thereafter on wwe.com.

While Armstrong isn’t necessarily a household name for many pro wrestling fans, Armstrong (born Joseph James) has had a wrestling career spanning five decades. He originally made his debut in 1962 after serving in the Marines. He became a major star throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s throughout the southeastern part of the United States, most notably in Alabama, Florida and his native Georgia.

Along the way he captured numerous regional championships from organizations such as National Wrestling Alliances, Southeastern Championship Wrestling and Championship Wrestling from Florida.

However his biggest contribution to the wrestling industry has to be his four sons who all became wrestlers in their own right (Scott, Brad, Steve and Brian.) Scott, Brad and Steve became regional stars in the south and competed considerably in World Championship Wrestling through the ‘80s and ‘90s. But it was the youngest son Brian who became the biggest star of the family when he transformed into wrestler more famously known as The Road Dogg, one of the biggest stars of WWE’s “Attitude” era in the late ‘90s. Both Steve and Brad have been employed by WWE in the past as well and oldest son Scott is currently a senior referee for the company.

Even now at the ripe age of 71, “The Bullet” still competes semi-regularly to this day. His most recent national exposure was in 2008 when he teamed with B.G. (Brian) James in TNA Wrestling to challenge for the TNA World Tag Team Championships.

This induction is logical in its location as long-time Atlanta wrestling fans will more than likely appreciate Armstrong’s induction into the Hall than if he were to be inducted in say Detroit or Chicago. All four of his sons will be on hand to induct “The Bullet” in the Hall.

An article on SLAM Wrestling was released on Tuesday talking about his career and induction. It’s a good read.

I must say I am disappointed that the company didn’t go with the all-WCW induction class that was long rumored but when location matters it’s only appropriate to put The Bullet in Atlanta. Rumors are that Tammy “Sunny” Sytch and Abdullah the Butcher are next on the list. The Road Warriors would also work here as well. And of course Arn Anderson is just lying the office there waiting to be inducted any day now.

Speaking of WCW, the much-anticipated set listing for the best of WCW Nitro DVD has been announced. The set comes out in May and his hosted by Diamond Dallas Page.

DISC 1
WCW History Lesson

Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
4th September, 1995

Hulk Hogan vs. Big Bubba Rogers
4th September, 1995

“Macho Man” Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson
8th January, 1996

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Road Warriors
5th February, 1996

Parking Lot Brawl
Lord Steven Regal vs. Belfast Bruiser
29th April, 1996

Eddie Guerrero vs. Ric Flair
20th May, 1996

Scott Hall Nitro Debut
27th May, 1996

Kevin Nash Nitro Debut
10th June, 1996

Migrating to Hot’Lanta

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triangle Match
Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Steiner Brother vs. Harlem Heat
24th June, 1996

nWo is Taking Over
8th July, 1996

nWo Awoke a Sleeping Giant

The Outsiders attack WCW Superstars
29th July, 1996

Sting & Lex Luger vs. The Outsiders Scott Hall & Kevin Nash
12th August, 1996

nWo takes Over
26th August, 1996

“Sting” attacks Lex Luger
9th September, 1996

The Enigmatic Sting

Sting walks out on Nitro
16th September, 1996

Rowdy Roddy Piper confronts Eric Bischoff
18th November, 1996

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko
30th December, 1996

DISC 2

Badda Bang!

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Mark Starr
13th January, 1997

Harvey Schiller suspends Eric Bischoff
3rd March, 1997

Sting attacks the nWo
17th March, 1997

The High- Flying Cruiserweights

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Syxx vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
21st April, 1997

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Lex Luger
4th August, 1997

Disregard for Tradition & Authority

nWo mocks the Four Horsemen
1st September, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Buff Bagwell
29th September, 1997

Sting Saves DDP from the nWo
27th October, 1997

Sting vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
2nd February, 1998

Jericho’s 1004 Holds
30th March, 1998

Who’s Next?

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. Goldberg
6th July, 1998

WCW World Tag Team Championship Match
Kevin Nash & Sting vs. Scott Hall & The Giant
20th July, 1998

Non-Title Match
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Chris Jericho
3rd August, 1998

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman
14th September, 1998

Tradition Returns!

Ric Flair Returns to the Four Horsemen
14th September, 1998

WCW United States Championship Match
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Diamond Dallas Page
26th October, 1998

Ric Flair vs. Eric Bischoff
28th December, 1998

DISC 3

Cracks in the Armour

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kevin Nash vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
4th January, 1999

Goldberg Spears The Hitman
29th March, 1999

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page
26th April, 1999

Solidifying a Legacy

Eddie Guerrero vs. Juventud Guerrera
21st June, 1999

Hulk Hogan & Goldberg & Sting vs. Kevin Nash & Sid Vicious & Rick Steiner
9th August, 1999

Billy Kidman vs. Diamond Dallas Page
16th August, 1999

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Goldberg
20th December, 1999

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kevin Nash vs. Sid Vicious
24th January, 2000

Last Ditch Effort

The Bischoff & Russo Era Begins
10th April, 2000

Steel Cage Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Diamond Dallas Page
24th April, 2000

Tag Team Ladder Match
3 Count vs. Jung Dragons
18th July, 2000

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Booker T. vs. Lance Storm
7th August, 2000

Triple Cage War Games Match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
4th September, 2000

Vince McMahon Buys WCW
26th March, 2001

Sting vs. Ric Flair
26th March, 2001

Celebrating WCW

Special Features

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Mr. JL
26th August, 1996

Diamond Dallas Page Monday Nitro Highlights

Okay I’m really excited for the set. It looks like it hits most of the high spots and the relevant low spots. I can’t really complain about the match selection at all. Should be good fun.

Shawn Michaels is having a raffle for his fans, with the winner getting an all-expenses paid trip to WrestleMania XXVII, including his Hall of Fame induction. The raffle also includes a one on one meeting with Michaels, a cash prize and more. Check it out here.

That’s a pretty cool prize. But can you imagine winning that prize ten years ago when you didn’t know what type of Shawn Michaels you would get?

Check this link out discussing the Twitter feud between CM Punk and Buffalo Bills NFL star Shawn Merriman.

Eh…it was kind of humorous…

According to Variety, WWE has signed a deal with K-Mart, which will make the retail chain the exclusive presenting sponsor of all of WWE live events and PPVs through the rest of 2011. It is a multi-million dollar deal. As a part of the deal, the store will sponsor TV tapings, PPVs and house shows. WWE will run 30-second spots during the TV broadcasts and the K-Mart logo embedded on WWE PPV signs. K-Mart will also promote WWE in their stores, with 12 appearances by wrestlers scheduled.

Can’t fault the logic of this one. Looks like a winner for both companies as they do attract much of the same audience.

Sin Cara is training in LA with Peter Orlov, perhaps better known as Alex Koslov, because Orlov has experience with both WWE and Lucha style. Orlov will also be the guy Cara is hitting moves on during his entrance video since WWE can’t legally use any other video of Mistico.

That’s a great choice. Orlov will make Sin Cara look great and hopefully it will lead to Orlov’s stock to rise as well. How soon before he gets called up to be Vladimir Kozlov’s little buddy in the Bolsheviks v2.0?

According to Pwinsider.com, the following talents have been added to the WWE Developmental system…

– Russell Walker (real name Reuven de Jong) has fought for K-1 (1-3) and in MMA (2-0) and has a pretty extensive resume doing stunts for television productions. He had been working independents in New Zealand prior to signing.

– Jarrod Locke, a seven footer who competed in the UK version of American Gladiators as Warrior.

– DT Porter (Donovan Ruddick) from the Missouri area.

– Erick Rowan (independent talent Thoruf Marius) is from the Minnesota area.

– Deshean Bishop, who wrestled as Navy Blue from WWA4 in the Illinois area.

– Rick Victor, a seven footer who worked for the most recent version of Stampede Wrestling as Apocalypse and later in OVW as Apoc.

– Jason Mullens, who has worked the British independent scene as Nightmare.

I’ve heard of Apoc from his time in OVW but I have seen Thoruf Marius numerous times up in Minneapolis. He’s a hoss-looking individual who worked with a Barbarian-like look and style. If nothing else I’m excited to see a local boy make it to the big leagues. Too bad so many of the other really talented Minnesota guys are about the size of Evan Bourne so it severely hurts to their appeal to WWE.

The company has also signed Ryan Nemeth, the little brother of Nick Nemeth, aka Dolph Ziggler. Nemeth is currently working in Ohio Valley Wrestling.

Well this was a logical signing. I can’t believe he wasn’t already under contract. But getting some valuable experience in before signing with the big boys certainly isn’t a bad thing.

Taryn Terrell (aka Tiffany) gave an interview with the UK Sun where she talked about how posing nude was easier than being in a WWE ring. She says she did Playboy because he first fiance said she wasn’t pretty enough. She wants to do the magazine again and admits it was her only reason for being in WWE. She also mentions the incident with Drew McIntyre, which led to her arrest and she believes her firing.

She says:

“There was no issue. There was a security guard that knew who my husband was. He just decided to cause trouble for my husband. I stood up to the guard and I took the fall. Nothing had really transpired. It was just this security guard. I have no clue why people want to screw you over for no reason when you don’t even know them. Maybe they are jealous because they can’t do what he does. It was obviously a really difficult time in our lives, but we’ve moved on, we’re really happy. We’ve always been in a good place. It’s silly that it was reported that we weren’t. I think it had everything to do with my release from WWE. Everything else was going really well for me, Vince was happy with my work and I was progressing well. I’m saddened by it of course, because it was out of my hands. There was nothing I could do. But I understand. They’re a PG company and worried about their image. I really believed that because everything was cleared immediately with it, that they were going to take me back because there was no evidence against me for anything. I really hoped they would have given me that chance as they have given several of their superstars and a few Divas that have got into situations. But it’s given me an opportunity to move on with my life and move on to something new.”

The more you know. But seriously she is mad hot and would welcome her return to WWE television.

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

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

The Undertaker v. Triple H

Randy Orton v. CM Punk

Jerry “The King” Lawler v. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger)

expected matches:
Rey Mysterio v. Cody Rhodes
Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus v. John Morrison
The Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Christian & Kane v. The Corre
Drew McIntyre v. Dolph Ziggler
some sort of Divas match

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

Wrestler of the Week
Week of February 28 – March 6: Johnny Curtis
Even though I’m not a huge fan of the guy so far, I’ve got to give credit for Johnny Curtis credit for becoming the winner of NXT, season 4. To show how far this program has fallen instead of getting a Championship opportunity of his choice, Mr. Curtis will now get to team with his Pro R-Truth to challenge for the WWE World Tag Team Titles at a later opportunity. While Derrick Bateman, Byron Saxton and Brodus Clay arguably had more fans, ability and charisma than Curtis, but maybe getting the mantle of NXT Champion will help Curtis survive on the roster while his contemporaries have their own attributes that will allow them to stand out on their own.

RAW’s On Tonight!
Tonight RAW comes live from Dallas, Texas, and “The Texas Rattlesnake” himself Stone Cold Steve Austin will be on hand to host the show and more than likely cause some chaos. As I said a couple of weeks ago, these five or six episodes from the Elimination Chamber leading up to WrestleMania are all completely can’t miss as the company is just busting out big angles and bring out old favorites left and right. With Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker and Triple H all making semi-regular appearances on WWE once again it’s like the Four Horsemen of the “Attitude” era are riding tall once again, ten years after they helped put together one of the greatest pay per views in wrestling history, WrestleMania X-Seven. As for what else is going to happen on the show? Who know? I’m sure John Cena and The Miz will both talk. Michael Cole will be annoying. There will be some awful comedy, some Divas action and Sheamus will probably job to someone. Also Randy Orton will be another member of the New Nexus en route to eliminating them and leaving CM Punk alone for their WrestleMania match.

On Last Week’s Episode…
SmackDown report and 10 thoughts.

Superstars results and 10 thoughts.

RAW results, judicial review and 10 thoughts.

How They Rated
Superstars (2.24.11) – .57

SmackDown! (2.25.11) – 2.34

A.M. RAW (2.27.11) – .62

RAW (2.28.11) – 3.82

This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Logan was once again all over the place. Check out a RAW from February ‘96 I have no recollection of and a Superstars from April ’94.

Ditch is awesome. Go read him.

The Scott Keith retro re-rants are up and running again on the Pulse. Right now the countdown is up to WrestleMania V. I’ve been reading some of these for over a decade now and they’re just like watching your favorite holiday special each year; they never get old.

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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