Wrestling Stew-Edge’s Retirement, Larry Sweeny’s Passing, Hogan Bad/Sting Good, RAW

Hi all, I’m Brian McLoone and welcome to another helping of Wrestling Stew. Hope you all had a great week. As for me? Well I am finishing this column up from a hospital bed, nothing will keep me from my duties here at The Pulse. What’s that you ask? Why are you writing this from a hospital bed? Did a certain sexscapade go horribly wrong? At least I hope you asked the first question (maybe the second) and didn’t just say “dance, stew man! Dance for my amusement!”.

Anyway, I have cancer and I’ve been fighting it for three months now. I have thyroid cancer to be more specific and thank God it is one of the better cancers to get. I know that sounds strange but it’s a slow growing, manageable cancer. Early last month I had my thyroid removed, the surgery went well and they got most of the cancer out. I will need to take medication for the rest of my life to keep my thyroid levels up but I don’t mind that at all.

Currently I am in the hospital to receive radioactive iodine treatment which basically kills any thyroid and cancer cells still lingering after the surgery. I got to the hospital yesterday morning, received the radioactive iodine (which was just a pill) and so far so good. No terrible side effects other than being rather exhausted. The big reason I’m in the hospital is because right now I am actually radioactive and dangerous to other people. It’s kinda cool when you think about it although I am bummed I don’t get super powers out of this. In the comics and movies every joe shmo who gets a little radioactive gets some kind of powers while I get nothing!

I didn’t tell you all this for sympathy or pity (I hate pity) but I did want to get one message through. Not to get preachy but I am only 28 years old and am fighting cancer, so you may think you’re too young for cancer. Well, you’re not! So, if you feel a lump somewhere or you feel “off” please go see a doctor. Don’t just ignore it and hope it goes away. Like me hopefully you can catch it early before it becomes very serious.

OK, end rant. I am sorry if that bored anybody but I also would like to put more of “me” in this column. Keep you fine readers up to date when it comes to my life. If that bothers you then just scroll down to the news section which we will be getting to now.

EXTRA, EXTRA!

Edge Retires

WWE.com has an article on Edge’s retirement. It says that Edge has been suffering numbness and uncontrollable trembling in his arms and hands recently, which are symptoms of a nervous system disorder called nueropraxia. He had the same issues when he had his neck fusion surgery several years ago. He had an MRI done Monday and was diagnosed with stenosis of the spine, a narrowing of the spinal cord due to the abuse he’s taken since coming back from the fusion surgery. Continued abuse from bumping could have resulted in serious injury, including paralysis.

I was watching RAW this past Monday and throughout the show they kept talking about a speech from Edge. They even stated it may have to do with his retirement including a RETIREMENT? Banner on the graphic. I initially thought this was going to lead to an angle with Alberto Del Rio attacking him or something along those lines. When Edge came out it was apparent very quickly this was no angle I got very sad. His speech was so touching and moving, I’ll be honest, I shed a tear or two.

I have been a fan of Edge since the beginning, when he first came into the WWF I was intrigued by this new guy. I started to become a big fan of Edge’s while watching SummerSlam 1998. This match which consisted of Edge & Sable vs. Marc Mero & Jacquie was nothing spectacular but Edge showed me something that night. Soon after he joined The Brood with Gangrel and was joined by his brother at the time Christian. After a while they broke away from the Brood/Vampire gimmick but not before finding enemies in another up and start tag team The Hardy Boyz.

Like many others, I loved the matches between the four of these men. They helped reignite the tag team division and made us care about it again. These two teams would blow us all away with a ladder match at No Mercy 1999 that was so much fun. Then for WrestleMania 16 (2000) they added The Dudleyz for another crazy ladder match. These teams would go on to have TLC (Tables, Ladders and Chairs) matches at the following SummerSlam and WrestleMania 17.

During these matches Jeff Hardy would inevitably get the high risk move of the night but Edge always seemed to shine the brightest. That’s a hard feat to accomplish when you have five other (or eight other at WrestleMania 17) wrestlers trying just as hard to make an impact. I also loved the goofy segments which included the “five second poses”, messing around with the ultra serious Kurt Angle or all around buffoonery (don’t get to use this word enough) with Commissioner Mick Foley.

All of this was fun and you could tell that Edge and Christian were also having a lot of fun with this. The fans and Edge fed off each other, it was fantastic. But all good things must come to an end and Edge and Christian broke up leaving both men searching for their place in the WWE. During all this Edge kept showing us all something special, a drive and heart for this business. Also he was so damn funny, you couldn’t help but laugh with him.

After winning the King of the Ring 2001 I thought it was just a matter of time before Edge was mixing it up in the main event for the WWE Championship. For whatever reason though Edge was left floundering in the mid card. He was still having great matches with guys like Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit and others but he never got that rocket push I felt he deserved. Then sadly he received a serious neck injury that required surgery, I’ll get back to that in a minute.

A little more than a year after his return he was finally on the track to that push when he won the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 21. Almost a year later, Edge would finally win the WWE Championship after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract. He would defeat John Cena for it who had just wrestled in an Elimination Chamber match. I was ecstatic as it was a great surprise and Edge closed out the PPV as WWE Champion. The friends I was watching the show with were less than pleased as Edge was a big heel at the time also in the way he won it. I didn’t care, Edge won the WWE F’ing Championship, a guy I had been pulling for since day one had finally done it!

Fast forward to this past Monday and many championships and many great matches later. Having stuck with Edge all these years, meeting him a couple of times and finding out how great a guy he is I was stunned at what I just heard. During the commercial break, I was thinking about how great this guy was but I was also thinking/feeling something else. I was so happy he was retiring, I was very happy actually.

I have a slight insight others don’t into what Edge is going through. Years ago (2002/2003) I had two, yes two, pretty horrific car accidents that left my spine a mess. Before these accidents I was a fairly athletic guy, I was on both the football team and the wrestling team. In high school. I had even toyed with the thought of joining a wrestling school, even going to observe a couple of classes. That all ended after those accidents, especially the second one. From what Edge said on RAW and what I have read it seems we both have had similar neck surgeries. I had a cervical fusion as well and have metal in my neck. The surgeons even went in the same way as they had to move my throat out of the way. I also have had surgeries on my lumbar (lower) spine that were similar.

Now I don’t know if Edge was ever in a wheelchair but I was for an extended period of time. It is one of the most helpless, defeating, scary things that can happen to a person. It is so hard to explain that feeling. Thankfully, after surgeries and a hell of a lot of hard work I am walking again. But I will do anything to never wind up back in that chair again and I think Edge feels that same way. He doesn’t want to end up there later in life and I can’t blame him.

Even with the surgeries to this day I still have pain every day of my life. I also have the tremors, muscle spasms and weakness in my arms that Edge talked about. How this man has been able to keep going these eight years I don’t know. It shows his strength, heart and love for the business that he has been able to do what he loves for so long. I know I couldn’t have done a fraction of what he did.

So now the doctors told him his body and neck have had enough, that he had to give up what he loves or risk ending up in that chair. He could have brushed them off and kept going but he didn’t. Others in the past have done that same thing. But no, he was a real man and gave up what he loves, his passion to ensure he wouldn’t wind up broken down and in a wheelchair.

Thank you Edge, thank you for years and years of entertainment. But most of all, thank you for walking away when it was time to so I.. no WE don’t have to see a favorite of ours end up broken down and crippled! I hope to see you back in the WWE announcing/mentoring soon.

Hogan Talks Trash

Hulk Hogan tweeted the following about Edge’s retirement…

“if any of the guys like me,Flair,Hardy,Andre,AA,Blanchard,orndoff,Henning would have listened to doctors we would have quit15yrsago. but I don’t know Edges working environment because they are a media company not a wrestling company. HH”

“wrestlers work hurt! What about Foley! I bet EDGE still wants to keep wrestling,he’s one of the boys big time!!! HH”

These tweets make me so angry I just needed to address them really quick. So because Hogan and the guys mentioned defied doctors orders Edge should too? Just one quick note, when doctors told Arn Anderson to quit the ring 15 years ago he smartly did so. As for the rest, they are either broken down and have had numerous surgeries or are dead! Hogan himself has had multiple knee surgeries and very recently had a back surgery. Hogan is also still talking about getting back in the ring, is he crazy?

Now is Hogan saying Edge is weaker than him and the others he mentioned because he won’t “work hurt” like Foley? He also blasts the WWE, blaming them, insinuating they are making Edge (one of the boys) retire. If that’s the case, which I don’t think it is, so what? They are keeping a man who has given so much to that company out of the ring to protect him. Just because you and the boys did it in the past doesn’t make it the least bit right! I think Edge is more of a man than you will ever be, he knew when to walk away for his own well being. While you are trying to hold onto some sad tiny piece of glory from the old days. You’re a sad man Hogan, a very sad man.

Sting Talks Class

Sting spoke with The Daily Star about his Victory Road match with Jeff Hardy:

On Jeff Hardy: “I don’t want to do anything to harm him. He has personal issues, everyone knows that. But some things are true and some are not. What is true is that it all came to a head that week and hit really big that night. I hated what happened because I wanted to give fans a great match. But I realize it had to happen the way it did.”

After the match: “After all was said and done I came to the back and made sure he was OK. He is OK and he’s been talking to people close to him a lot.”

Sting is all class man. He could have easily buried Jeff Hardy and TNA and nobody would have blamed him. But he took the high road and I applaud him for that. He let people know he didn’t like how things went down that night and how he wanted to put on a great match for the fans. But he did it without going into what was wrong with Hardy and gossiping about the guy. Even after the match, where Sting would have had every right to scream his head off at Jeff he instead made sure the man was OK. This shows why Sting is one of the most respected men in this business and other wrestlers could learn a lot from him.

“Sweet and Sour” Larry Sweeny Dead at 29

Per Chris Hero’s twitter feed, former ROH talent and independent wrestler “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney, (Alex Whybrow) passed away this morning. He was 29.

I was really heartbroken to read this, some of you may not know who this is and all I can say is you missed out. I used to go to Full Impact Pro shows all the time as the shows were usually really close. Being Ring of Honors sister promotion you also got the perks of talent from ROH coming over. A big staple of the shows was Larry Sweeny and he was a joy to watch on the mic. A great mixture of Chris Jericho and Randy Savage and every month he would come out and cut some great promos that had the crowd absolutely hating him. He was another guy who you could just tell was loving what he was doing, it was infectious.

I really thought he was going to get far in this business, while not as a wrestler but as a manager or announcer. I had the chance to meet up and talk with him a number of times and he was always open and welcoming. He had some great stories too and had a way of telling them that really sucked you in. Never did I get the brush off from him and even had the chance to share a couple of beers with the man. It’s a shame we lost him so young. Thank you Larry for entertaining us and having the time to talk to a “faker” like me. My heart goes out to you’re friends and family.

What’s On The Tube

Sin Cara v. Primo Colon, RAW: I really did enjoy this debut match from Sin Cara and hope we get more like this. It was fast paced and had some exciting moves to really show off what Sin can do. I do question how much offense Primo was given though. It made Sin Cara look a little weak instead of making Primo look strong. I don’t think this should have been a straight squash but close as Sin needs to really establish himself in a strong way. Also, Primo totally botched that ending but Sin was able to save it as best he could and deliver an awesome move. My only fear is that Sin won’t be able to pull off some of these moves with the bigger guys in the WWE.

The Corre vs. APPLE, RAW: I do hope this APPLE thing was just for one night as Santino leading a faction could have disastrous results. The Corre squashed them which is what they needed to help build them up more. One thing did come out of this though, while Santino was talking on the stage I noticed Daniel Bryan and Evan Bourne standing next to each other. It got me to thinking that a tag team with those two could be wonderful. Neither man are doing much of anything right now since it looks like Bryans feud with Sheamus is over. Put them together as an exciting WRESTLING team, give them some wins over other teams then have them go after the Tag Titles. There are so many lower to mid carders who could benefit from being in a tag team for a while. It could also help revitalize the division and give us some good matches.

Gauntlet Match Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth vs. John Morrison vs. John Cena, RAW: This match was for the #1 Contendership to the WWE Title. I was really into the opening promo for this match AND the actual match. I am happy they are giving these new guys a shot to not only wrestle with the big boys in Cena and Orton but also a chance to talk with them. The opening segment came off great and established why all these guys deserved their shot.

This was the smart way to go with this match, it keeps Cena and Orton away from each other for now and gives the new guys a chance to show their stuff without it being a clusterfuck. Nexus coming down and costing Orton his shot was fine by me as it progresses his beef with them nicely. Although, where was Punk? I’m interested to see where that goes.

I was shocked to see R-Truth beat Ziggler as I thought Truth was put there as mostly filler. Then I was even more shocked to see Truth pin Morrison as he was my pick to win the whole thing. I do like how Morrison lost though and the explanation from Miz on commentary. He should have gone for the pin but instead went for the high flying, crowd pleasing move and it cost him. I’ll be honest, at first I was pissed as Morrison is my guy, I thought he would at least make it to the final two.

Then came Cena vs. R-Truth and everything was done rather perfect here actually. R-Truth gained a lot of creditability by constantly kicking out of move after move. And Cena’s looks and expressions, those cocky looks were a great addition. It’s like he was saying “really? This guy thinks he has any shot at beating me?”, it made Cena look like a bit of a dick. I know the WWE won’t turn Cena full on heel but this little bit of character development is nice and I hope they stick with it. The double DQ was fine too as it saved Truth a bit and set up the three way at Extreme Rules.

I like the idea of the three way at Extreme Rules, I know nobody buys Truth winning but it adds something new and fresh in the main event. It also saves us from having to see Cena vs. Miz in a match similar to WrestleMania. As for Morrison and Ziggler, both of which people say are more deserving of a main event slot than Truth. I agree, they deserve it more but not like this. They deserve to be built up more and then build their own one on one feud for the title instead of just being thrown into a three way. Right now the WWE is hurting for main eventers (which I’ll go into more next week) so let them try out R-Truth and see what he can do. Morrison and Ziggler will get their shots soon, let them build up some more credibility.

Old School

I touched on this match earlier but I think I want to get more into it in my Old School section. It’s from SummerSlam 1998 and features Edge and Sable vs. Marc Mero and Jacquie. Like I said before, this match isn’t something amazing but it showed something in this newcomer Edge and made me a fan of his for life. At this time Sable and Mero were going through a breakup. Mero had been treating Sable like crap and being a misogynistic asshole. Ordering her around and demeaning her in many ways, even blaming her for his losses. Soon enough though Sable said enough was enough and broke up with him. So The Marvelous One picked up a new girl in Jacqueline who proceeded to sneak attack Sable on numerous occasions.

A match was set up for SummerSlam, a mixed tag match between Marc and Jacquie vs. Sable and a mystery partner. Nobody really had any idea who this mystery partner was, Sable had mentioned it was an oddity. So people started thinking it might be somebody from the group The Oddities since she had been hanging out with them recently. Sable came to the ring alone, grabbed the mic and said “Here’s my partner”. Edges music came on and he came through the crowd. I was actually pretty shocked as I thought it was going to be somebody bigger. Edge at the time was very new and this was the perfect rub for him as Sable was fairly over.

Edge was given a chance to shine in this match and he did. Even though he was the newcomer and not the focus of this match he made sure to show that he belonged. You even see shades of Edges future as a high flyer, he hit’s a suicide plancha on Mero. And then his future comedy by giving Jacqueline a spanking on the ramp. Even his future as a tag team by using a double team move with Sable to get the win. All in all it showed us what this guy was capable of and what he would become.

Here’s the match and I hope you all enjoy it and see the diamond in the rough I saw so many years ago.

Edge/Sable vs Mero/Jacquie

Plugging Away

Steven Gepp has a great piece up where he goes through every WCW PPV from 2000 and compares it to TNA here

Pulse Glazer goes one on one with other writers from the Pulse including yours truely here

Chris Biscuiti has a very deep and moving piece on Edge’s retirement here

Jonah Kue goes into what the WWE needs to do now to build towards the future here

Rhett Davis talks about what SmackDown has to do now that Edge is gone here

James Aslop continues his analysis on the state of wrestling ten years after WCW here

And Mike Gojira has a real fun column up discussing his (and many of mine) favorite WCW moments/wrestlers here 

That should do it for me, I hope everybody enjoyed the Stew and come back for another heaping portion next week. Once again, if you have any comments or questions I would be happy to hear from you. Either in the comments section or by e-mail: magoonie17@yahoo.com . I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Peace

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