Welcome to Wrestling Stew, a new column covering rasslin news, shows, classics and anything else I deem worthy. Itâ€™s a wrestling jambalaya but I figured calling it a jambalaya might make it seem too New Orleansy. My name’s Brian, Iâ€™ve been a wrestling fan for about two decades now. I became a fan after watching Hogan vs. Andre but not their WrestleMania III encounter. I got into wrestling with Hogan vs. Andre, The Main Event (the show would later be named Saturday Night’s Main Event) match. The ending completely shocked me, soon after I saw more Macho Man Randy Savage and I was hooked. Well, lets get into it, this is my first column so it may be a little rough around the edges. Give me time and feedback, either in the comments section or by email which is email@example.com. Thanks.
In this section Iâ€™ll post some news stories and then comment on them with my own take.
Undertaker and HHH Fined
Pursuant to WWE’s Concussion policy, the stunt of using a folded metal chair shot to the head is prohibited. Triple H and The Undertaker have both been fined for violating this policy at WrestleMania XXVII. WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension for violation of this policy, which is unchanged and still in effect.
I know this is probably just a PR move and Hunter and Taker most likely went over this spot with Vince beforehand (receiving a minimal fine). Whether the fine is a â€œshamâ€ or not I agree with this. Chair shots to the head and other equally risky spots done on a regular basis are doing way too much damage to these guys. They should be used as little as possible, saved for the big matches. Some people may say WWE is making the product less exciting but I disagree. It makes the wrestlers and creative team come up with new ways to push an angle forward instead of just throwing a dangerous spot out there. Also, when it is used it will feel special, a big moment. Now a wrestler has a choice to use this big move, but they better feel its needed because their gonna have to pay to do it.
The Brand Spanking New WWE
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To better reflect the company’s global entertainment offerings, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) announced today a new business model for future growth, including formally rebranding itself, WWE.
“The new business model of the company better reflects what WWE is all about, being a global entertainment company”
Two key components to WWE’s brand expansion will be the active pursuit to acquire entertainment content companies and the outsourcing of WWE’s core competencies â€“ television and film production, live event production and licensing. As part of the new business model, the company will also focus on the development of new television products including scripted, non-scripted and animated programs, as well as the launch of a new WWE network in the next 12-18 months. The first new program of the brand expansion is Tough EnoughÂ®, WWE’s non-scripted program that debuted on the USA Network on Monday.
“The new business model of the company better reflects what WWE is all about, being a global entertainment company,” stated Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO, WWE. “We will always be loyal to our core business that made WWE a globally known entity, however, the future of WWE will be the addition of new entertainment content opportunities beyond the ring.”
This new rebranding initiative will be highlighted through a national consumer and business-to-business advertising campaign entitled “Bigger. Badder. Better.â„¢” The campaign kicked off at WrestleManiaÂ® XXVII on Sunday and will be featured on cable TV, print and online.
In addition to focusing on the expansion of the company, the company will bolster its core business with the launch a new talent development department headed by Paul “Triple HÂ®” Levesque. The new department will put a greater emphasis on worldwide recruitment, training and character development to identify future WWE Superstars and Divas. The first recruit acquired under Levesque’s new department was the signing last month of future WWE Superstar, Sin Caraâ„¢, formerly known worldwide as Mistico.
So in ten years time we went from World Wrestling Federation to World Wrestling Entertainment to now just WWE (which stands for nothing now I guess). It seems ever since the WWF got big Vince has wanted to breakout from wrestling and do more. WBF, XFL, WWE Productions all being examples of Vince venturing outside his sandbox. Two of those were downright flops and while WWE Productions has been staying about even it hasnâ€™t been a huge success either. Iâ€™m still giving that time though, many film studios have a rocky start until that right movie comes along.
I have no idea how big of an expansion this is but I do know every time Vince tries these side projects the actual wrestling part seems to suffer because of it. Iâ€™m hoping this time is different though as it seems Triple H is taking a much more active role backstage in talent development. I know Hunter gets a lot of shit from the IWC but I think this is the best possible position for him. The guy knows his wrestling and what makes a good wrestler, heâ€™s even a fan of the old school which is always a plus. His two biggest influences are Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels, arguably the best wrestlers of all time. Heâ€™s responsible for bringing Sheamus and now Sin Cara in, he has a good eye for talent. Now, let Stephanie fully take over the creative process and Vince can devote himself fully to his new project.
As for if all this will work or not? I have no idea, WWEâ€™s track record says no but maybe if Vince stays in entertainment he may pull it off. I of course love the idea of an all wrestling channel as I currently donâ€™t get WWE On Demand. God knows they have a big enough library to keep a television station going for a very long time. I know Vince has always wanted to get away from wrestling, not wanting to be a carnie like his father. Nowadays you canâ€™t even use wrestling in a press release about WRESTLEMania! I wonder why Vince has never been OK with just being a wrestling promoter? One day Iâ€™ll get deeper into that on a slow week.
Whatâ€™s on the Tube
This section Iâ€™ll go into some matches and segments from the past week.
Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio, WrestleMania 27: I really enjoyed this match. It had a nice, fast pace with neither guy wasting much time. Christian and King Hippo were used perfectly, not outshining the actual match but just hitting a nice spot. I actually didnâ€™t mind that this went on first. They definitely werenâ€™t giving these guys the main event spot so why not use this match to really get the crowd into Mania. Going on first also gave them plenty of time to do their thing and not have to rush it.
HHH vs. The Undertaker, WrestleMania 27: Many people seem to be split down the middle on this match, either you loved it or hated it. While I didnâ€™t hate it like many seem to I far from loved it. It had some cool spots in it and I appreciate what they did early in the match. It just seemed all this match had were big moves and nothing to string them together. I feel that big moves need to be spread in between transition and set up moves. Build toward the pedigrees and tombstone piledrivers with moves that hurt those same parts of the body. This match felt like a Michael Bay movie, big explosions and little else.
The Miz vs. John Cena, WrestleMania 27: Going into the show, I thought this match would be really good. Something was just off with this match, actually many things seemed off. Both guys never seemed to find a rhythm and the pace was just all over the place because of it. It didnâ€™t help that everybody was just waiting for The Rock to come out which drew attention away from the actual match. Then, they give us a double count outâ€¦.. yeah. Oh and because of that little spot Miz got a concussion, so a needless spot ended up hurting your WWE Champ. Nice. Instead of shoehorning in this lame finish to give Rock a reason to come out why didnâ€™t Rock just come out, distract Cena and let Miz get the win. Afterwards you can have Rock and Cena go back and forth a bit to send everybody home happy.
John Cena and The Rock, RAW: I liked this segment, maybe Cena should have been madder or whatever but it set things in motion nicely. So now we have The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 28, that gives them a whole year to build this match. I miss the old school, slow burn to feuds and this is the first one weâ€™ve had in a long while. I have faith in the WWE to pull this off, I know its not the smartest thing to put faith in the creative team but I am. Soon The Rock will be off our screens (popping up to cut a promo or maybe a match or two) and this may be a good chance to do some new things with Cena. Put him in mini feuds with some younger guys, maybe even let a couple get some wins off of him. As the Road to WrestleMania gets closer maybe have him in a title hunt or put the title on him. When The Rock comes back, he sees Cena going for/with the title and now Rock wants one more shot at the championship. So he begrudgingly helps Cena out in his matches so come WrestleMania they will be fighting for the WWE Championship. To older fans this scenario may sound familiar, this segues into my next section.
In this section, Iâ€™ll get into an old feud or match. Sometimes itâ€™ll have to do with whatâ€™s going on today and other times it may just be a favorite of mine. Today, its both.
RAW, March 17th, 1997: The main event for RAW that night was WWF Champion Sycho Sid vs. Bret Hart for the title in a steel cage match. The matches were already set for WrestleMania 13, The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid and Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin. Whoever won this match would go into their match to defend the title. The match started off with Bret and Sid going back and forth. Sid was able to get some control of the match and was crawling for the door of the cage. But Austin had ran down to the ring and was keeping the door closed blocking Sid from leaving. Sid would then try to go over the cage but was once again met by Austin pounding on him with rights. Bret climbed up and joined in, these two men who hated each other were working together because of the allure of the WWF Championship. As Bret was about to climb down the cage The Undertaker was climbing up stopping him. All four men were fighting on top of this cage (which I might add was the much cooler Blue Bar cage) until Austin was knocked off of the cage by Sid. Sid was then given a superplex by Bret back into the ring. As Undertaker dropped to the floor Austin hit him with a chair, after putting the boots to Taker a few times Austin walked away thinking his job was done. In the ring both Bret and Sid were up, Bret was heading for the door while Sid was going over the top of the cage. Bret was in the lead just about to step out when Undertaker made a leap and pushed the door into Bret sending him catapulting back into the ring. This gave Sid enough time to get over the cage and drop down, retaining the WWE Championship.
I love the whole structure of that match, set perfectly in a steel cage. Multiple feuds and fights are going on all at the same time but nothing felt overbooked. While the winner, Sycho Sid went on to have an awful match with The Undertaker, we did get an amazing Bret vs. Austin I Quit match at that years Mania. I think in a years time, The Rock and John Cena could do something similar to this and it could make a special program that much better.
Joel Leonard talks about WrestleMania and RAW here.Â
A fellow new member James Aslop puts his take on WCW and the Invasion angle in a really great column here.
Chris Sanders Rages about a variety of things here.
I hope you enjoyed my debut column and if you have any feedback, suggestions, questions, whatever feel free to email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or write something in the comments section.
Tags: Bret Hart, HHH, john cena, Raw, Sycho Sid, The Rock, undertaker, wrestlemania