Michael Cole drops a f-bomb, Husky Harris gets a makeover and more WrestleMania hype pieces than you can shake a stick atâ€¦
Opening Witty Banter
â€œI’ve proven son, without a shadow of a doubt; you ain’t got what it takes anymore.â€
Well another tumultuous week is in the books. I spent the weekend moving across town and away from the Internet for about 48 hours. Then a long Saturday night at work, an early Sunday morning meeting, a fraternity alumni banquet and work Sunday night has caused plenty of catching up for yours truly. This week looks as jam packed as the last.
Letâ€™s take some â€˜Eâ€¦
The News of the Week
On March 26, marked the ten-year anniversary of the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro. I am in full WrestleMania mood right now and I feel my WCW nostalgia will run wild throughout April, I want you to take a look back at my recap/analysis of The Final Nitro from three (THREE?!? Good Lord where did the time go?) years back when I had a little column called Historically Speaking. Check it out right here.
I just re-read that column myself and I must say itâ€™s pretty awesome, just for the fact I included Ric Flairâ€™s final speech verbatim.
Well as is tradition with WrestleMania being so close, those within the company are keeping out of trouble and no exciting news is coming out. Except Michael Cole. This past weekend on his official Twitter account he called his broadcast partner a homosexual slur. He then deleted the post and posted an apology.
This comes on the heels of last week where WWE made a new pact with GLAAD and apologized over questionable remarks from John Cena interviews, according to WrestlingObserver.com. That makes sense considering some of the implications Cena made about The Rock being gay at least in one on-air promo.
Michael Coleâ€™s apology tweets:
â€œI apologize to any and all who were offended by my tweet toward young Josh Mathews. It was obviously not meant the way it was taken.â€
â€œI was not ordered to apologize I said I am sorry because I am. Now can I get back to being a character again please?â€
A story on this including screen caps of the original tweet, as well as WWEâ€™s statement that it notified GLAAD about the situation and will have Cole do a training session about this is up at TMZ.com.
On his Twitter Mathews responded by simply Tweeting, â€œJust landed in Chicago. Iâ€™m outraged!â€
What a dumbass. In character or not, this was a bad move on Coleâ€™s part, especially at the start of the biggest week of his professional wrestling career. I mean this sounds like a dumb worked-shoot angle Vince Russo would run, not some hotshot thing that WWE would try on the biggest week of the year. It will be interesting to see the fallout regarding Cole from here.
This past week WWE shot an angle at Miami Mike’s Sports Zone, a sports bar in East Hanover, NJ. The angle featured Trish Stratus, Snooki and LayCool and will air on RAW. The segment featured a brawl, as well as Layla and Michelle McCool going through a table. Fit Finlay and David Kapoor (Ranjin Snigh) directed the segment.
Not surprisingly though, the shoot featured plenty of drama. The call time was 10AM, and Snooki arrived to the shoot three hours late. They did not get to shoot until 3PM and shot for nearly five hours. Snooki was reportedly drinking heavily all day, and was telling people that she was going to be a WWE diva full-time once Jersey Shore is finished.
Hahahahahahaâ€¦What did they expect dealing with Snooki.
After tonightâ€™s RAW it is a full on assault for the company down in the ATL for WrestleMania. Tuesday the talent will being to fly in and everyone on the roster will be doing local media appearances for radio and TV. There will be no SmackDown taping on Tuesday as WWE plans to use the final episode of SD before WrestleMania as a go home show. They will use footage from the Thursday fan AXXESS event, interviews, video packages and perhaps even some stuff taped tonight to pad out the show.
That makes sense. They have done that with SmackDown the past couple of years and top talent should be in the ring for a free TV match and risk getting hurt just days before the big show.
And now for the WrestleMania week newsâ€¦
The Atlanta Braves issued the following press release this past week:
WrestleMania Night at Turner Field is Tuesday, March 29
Come join some of WWE’s best talent for Q&A and autographs
The Atlanta Braves will be hosting WrestleMania Night at Turner Field before the first Turner Field exhibition game of the season on Tuesday, March 29 against the Minnesota Twins. Some of WWE’s best talent, Mark Henry, John Morrison and Eve will participate in an autograph session from 5-6 pm, followed by a Q&A and a Chop Rally with fans before the game.
Mark Henry earned his title as “The World’s Strongest Man” by breaking records and defeating competitors with his unmatched strength in several championships, including the Olympics, WWE European Championship, the Arnold Schwarzeneggar Classic, and the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Since his debut in 2005, John Morrison has become an Intercontinental Champion, ECW Champion and WWE Tag Team Championship on SmackDown alongside his partner the Miz. Eve earned her title as Divas Champion in 2007.
There will be a 2 for $30 ticket offer for WrestleMania Night, a savings of 46%. This ticket offer will be available for every Tuesday and Wednesday home game during the 2011 season. Tickets can be purchased at braves.com/tickets or by calling 404-577-9100.
The Atlanta Braves is Major League Baseball’s winningest franchise since 1991. During that time, Braves teams have earned 14 division championships, five National League pennants, a World Series title and most recently were the 2010 National League Wild Card Champions. Based in Atlanta since 1966, the Braves franchise is the longest continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball. Atlanta Braves games are telecast on FS South, SportSouth, and Peachtree TV. Radio broadcasts can be heard in Atlanta on 680 the Fan, Rock 100 FM, 93.7 FM and regionally on the Atlanta Braves Radio Network. Follow the Braves at braves.com, facebook.com/braves, and twitter.com/braves.
Damn I wish I couldâ€™ve made it to WrestleMania this year. All the festivities of The Showcase of the Immortals and my Minnesota Twins playing some pre-season ballâ€¦
And in more damn more of my favorites Iâ€™m going to miss out on news, according to WWE.com professional skateboarder, entrepreneur and reality TV star Rob Drydek will be appearing at WrestleMania Axxess on Friday. He will be there on behalf of The Make-A-Wish Foundation along with his co-stars Big Black and Drama.
Rob & Big at WrestleMania. Now Iâ€™m really pissed. I love those guys.
WWE announced that Keri Hilson will perform “America The Beautiful” at WrestleMania:
STAMFORD, Conn., March 25, 2011 â€“ Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum recording artist Keri Hilson will perform “America the Beautiful” kicking-off WrestleMania XXVII live on pay-per-view Sunday, April 3 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Hilson joins a renowned list of legendary artists that includes Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Reba McIntyre, John Legend and Ashanti who have opened the annual pop-culture extravaganza.
The chart topping singer and Decatur, GA. native Keri Hilson is no stranger to the belting out hits as she recently performed her number one song “Pretty Girl Rock” (produced by Ne-Yo) on national television shows such as the Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Late Show with David Letterman, and Lopez Tonight. Coming off her sophomore album “No Boys Allowed,” Hilson’s garnered choice reviews in the New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal to name a few. Her RIAA Gold Certified debut album “In A Perfect World” spawned number one hits including “Turning Me On” featuring Lil’Wayne and “Knock You Down” featuring Kanye West and Ne-Yo. The singer has scored critical acclaim winning awards and nominations from The Grammy’s, The American Music Awards, BET Awards, NAACP Image Awards, MOBO Awards and Soul Train Awards.
Well there you go. Another traditional WrestleMania slot filledâ€¦
WWE Niagara Falls is closing down on March 31 for good. As of now, the place is basically cleared out.
Without snark I thought that place closed years ago, around the time of The World.
And in another press releaseâ€¦
WWEÂ® Studios and Vivendi Entertainment Sign Exclusive Deal with Walmart
WWEÂ® and Vivendi Entertainment announced today they are extending their relationship and as part of the deal, Walmart will be the exclusive retailer for WWE Studios’ films. Vivendi Entertainment will continue to be WWE’s North American retail and rental distribution partner.
This exclusive deal will cover WWE Studios’ next five theatrical releases and will run through 2012. The partnership gives Walmart, Sam’s Club and Walmart.com the exclusive right to sell DVD and Blu-ray versions of the films for the first 90 days of release. The Chaperone” starring WWE Superstar Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Ariel Winter (“Modern Family”) and Kevin Corrigan (“American Gangster”), which was just released, is the first film of the deal.
“We’re delighted to be extending our relationship with the WWE and offering fans the renowned entertainment which the company has come to represent,” stated Mitch Budin, Executive VP & General Manager of Vivendi Entertainment. “We look forward to continuing to help WWE and Walmart grow their brand presence in the home media market through such innovative deals.”
“WWE is thrilled to further its relationships with Vivendi and Walmart with this exclusive deal,” said Jim Connelly, SVP, Consumer Products, WWE. “With the combination of Walmart’s retail strength, Vivendi’s distribution rights, and WWE Studios’ family-friendly movies, consumers and families across America will have greater access to quality at-home entertainment.”
As part of the partnership, Walmart will be integrated into WWE’s multi-million dollar marketing campaign for each retail release across all WWE platforms. The partnership comes on the heels of the successful release plan and performance of “Legendary,” starring Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and WWE Superstar John Cena, which was exclusively available at Walmart and distributed through Vivendi last fall.
Well thatâ€™s logical I guessâ€¦
Husky Harris is now working as a masked character, Ax Mulligan, in FCW. He is apparently wearing a painted hockey mask and some street clothes. They are using the last name Mulligan since he is the grandson of Blackjack Mulligan.
Sounds like a far better gimmick than â€œHusky Harris.â€ I like the Mulligan name and a guy like him is perfectly all right working in street clothes. Iâ€™m all for it.
The Road toâ€¦WrestleMania XXVII
John Cena v. The Miz (c)
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (c) v. Alberto Del Rio
No Holds Barred
The Undertaker v. Triple H
Randy Orton v. CM Punk
Special Guest Referee â€“ Stone Cold Steve Austin
Jerry â€œThe Kingâ€ Lawler v. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger)
Rey Mysterio v. Cody Rhodes
WWE United States Championship
Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus (c)
Mixed Tag Team Match
John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki v. Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool & Layla El
The Big Show, Kane and some combination of Kofi Kingston, Diesel, The Great Khali, Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov v. The Corre
The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Abdullah the Butcher
Wrestler of the Week
Week of March 21 â€“ 27: Wade Barrett
Winning a Championship is always big in my book so Wade Barrett pinning Kofi Kingston on SmackDown to win the Intercontinental Championship is big in my book. Plus he gets props for the mad finish that saw Trouble in Paradise countered right into Wasteland. Barrett now leads The Corre as the Intercontinental Champion and boasts the WWE Tag Team Champions and the last ECW Champion as his allies, not bad for the disgraced Nexus. While heâ€™s certainly not the main event superstar he was on the RAW brand it is apparent that the company is still high on Barrett and has plans for him. Now just that eight man tag official for WrestleMania and he is set.
RAWâ€™s On Tonight!
So with less than a week away from WrestleMania tonightâ€™s RAW should be at an all-time fever pitch. And if you thought the past two or three weeks of RAW have been light on actual in-ring wrestling, do you really think they are going to risk anything by having any of the big stars go hard and fast tonight? I mean thereâ€™s a big Triple H-Undertaker face off scheduled for tonight that should surely eat up at least 20 minutes plus a live appearance from The Rock that should kill about a half hour as well. Throw in some video packages, a Divas bit to compensate for Snooki not being there, some angle to firm up The Corre eight man tag, a quick Daniel Bryan match, a Randy Orton-CM Punk go home angle and something for Santino Marella and his comedy troupe and bam, thereâ€™s your two plus hours.
How They Rated
Superstars (3.17.11) â€“ .52
SmackDown! (3.19.11) â€“ 2.06
A.M. RAW (3.20.11) â€“ .55
RAW (3.21.11) â€“ 3.3
Logan continues to take me back with the fateful RAW from March 1996 that saw a Ringmaster turn Stone Cold and
a Superstars from May 1994 where Mr. Fuji managed Jeff Jarrett. Donâ€™t remember that one at all.
Mark has been a columnist for Pulse Wrestling for over three years now, evolving from his original â€œHistorically Speakingâ€ commentary-style column into his current Monday morning powerhouse known as â€œThis Week in â€˜E.â€ 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.