Eve Torres Quits WWE

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As WWE prepared for their 20th anniversary of their flagship television program, Monday Night Raw, there has been a developing backstage story that indicated the now former WWE Diva’s champion, Eve Torres, has given her notice and is expected to finish up with the company immediately following this evening’s broadcast.

For those watching the 20th anniversary show as of press time, Torres dropped the WWE Diva’s championship to Kaitlyn during Raw’s second hour – a move that lends credibility to the rumor that has been stirring all day.

Earlier in the year, Torres hinted that her days were numbered as she was burnt out from being on the road so long, and planned on settling down to get married. While it doesn’t comes a much of a surprise, it does appear to be an abrupt decision considering the lack of talent on the Diva’s roster and the fact that she was the titleholder.

**UPDATED**

WWE has now broken the story on their website and has confirmed that Eve Torres has “quit” the company. While it may appear as a storyline, do not expect to see Torres return in the near future, if at all. This is the WWE’s way of “creatively” explaining why she is now being written off television without disclosing any personal details regarding her decision.

Torres joins The Bella Twins, Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix – all of which parted ways with WWE in 2012. The Diva’s roster is slimming down at a rapid pace.

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PWI End of Year Awards

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WRESTLER OF THE YEAR – CM PUNK (47%)
Runners –Up: Sheamus (16%), Austin Aries (13%) and John Cena (8%)

CM Punk deserves this nod for a 2nd year in a row. 400-plus days as WWE champion he‘s been bringing prestige back to the concept of being a title holder.

My problem comes with the runners-up. Cena dominated the main event position in 2012 without ever holding a championship, and lost a good bulk of his matches…. No argument on Austin Aries, as it was his year to prove the critics wrong and an opportunity for TNA to build a home-grown star…. Sheamus? Did anyone really care to watch his matches? He’s getting better, but not Wrestler of The Year better….. Where was Dolph Ziggler on this list? – arguably WWE’s best in-ring performer? Where was Bobby Roode? – arguably TNA’s most valuable player in 2012. And where is at least one name from Ring of Honor? – who still focuses on giving a wrestling product to wrestling fans.

TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR – KOFI KINGSTON & R-TRUTH (18%)
Runners-Up: Daniels and Kazarian (17%), Kane/Daniel Bryan (13%), and Samoa Joe/Magnus (7%)

Why? Kofi and Truth were a team for a hot minute. What makes their union worthy of the recognition. They’re not even a team anymore and haven’t been for months. Shouldn’t a REAL team stick together?

Daniels and Kazarian missed the top spot by 1%, and it is well deserved… Kane/Bryan deserve their spot because of their success and how over they are with the fans, but at the same time, their gimmick is that they shouldn’t even be paired together…. Same goes for Joe/Magnus – not a real team, just a bastard child of the “creative has nothing for you” family…. Where is Benjamin and Haas who have dominated Ring of Honor? Where are the guys like Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs, and The Briscoe Brothers?….Where is Epico and Primo? – A real team who won the tag titles, work as a team, look like a team and still is a team?

MOST POPULAR OF THE YEAR: JOHN CENA (29%)
Runners-Up: Sheamus (20%), Randy Orton (18%), and Jeff Hardy (17%)

Cena is not only the face of the WWE, he’s the face of the business…. Hardy is the face of TNA, likely because he is a former WWE superstar and it’s in TNA’s nature to whore the celebrity built up in the WWE Universe…. Orton is popular, I don’t know if I would rank him that high as MOST popular in 2012, considering that he spent a good portion of the year on the DL, or suspended for wellness violation.

Sheamus is great addition to the roster and a quality competitor, but I don’t see him as popular as some may think. Even as champion, Sheamus isn’t selling out crowds or closing out pay per view events. CM Punk is a heel, he’s more popular. Daniel Bryan has a catch phrase that blows the roof off arenas. Ryback may be new, but he’s growing into a phenomenon. And did we forget the return of The Rock? Not as popular huh?

Did anybody else notice I couldn’t even name another popular TNA wrestler who is in demand on global scale? Perhaps because one of TNA’s greatest flaws is that they don’t work hard enough to make their stars household names.

MOST HATED OF THE YEAR: CM PUNK (40%)
Runner-Ups: Bobby Roode (14%), Alberto Del Rio (10%) and Kevin Steen (7%)

Perhaps I’m taking this too literal, but shouldn’t “hated” mean…HATED? So when it comes to this award, why not nominate talents who legitimately get booed?

CM Punk is the perfect wrestling antagonist… Bobby Roode shouldn’t be on this list, simply because not enough people watch TNA to hate him…. Alberto Del Rio spent a good portion of the year on the DL, and his feuds were meaningless…. Kevin Steen is legit contender for this award, and in my opinion, the REAL winner for 2012. I don’t watch ROH regularly enough to critique his work as a heel – but his overall look and style had some fans in an uproar when he became the ROH champion. “This fucking guy??? He doesn’t even look like a wrestler!!!” Now that’s what I call HEAT!

Surprisingly, Cena didn’t make the list. I guess there weren’t as many “Cena Sucks” chants as I thought I heard…. Vickie Guerrero didn’t make the list…. WWE creative could have easily made the list because the quality of the product in 2012 was beyond abysmal…. And where is Bully Ray’s nomination?

FEUD OF THE YEAR: ACES and EIGHTS vs. TNA (24%)
Runners-Up: Cena vs. Rock (17%), Punk vs. Bryan (12%) and Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana (9%)

Who voted for this, when (say it with me) NOBODY WATCHES TNA! I love the TV show Sons of Anarchy as much as the next person and I think it’s cool to come up with a gimmick and storyline inspired by it – but it has to be effective. This is a perfect case of “great idea/poor execution”.

Rock/Cena was by far the most heavily publicized feud in YEARS! And you know what made it so effective? One full year of hype, and ONLY one match. It made me a fan again…but just for a flickering moment.

Punk/Bryan wasn’t really a feud in my opinion. It was more a series of indy dream matches on a grander scale. The problem is, it was wasted. Punk/Bryan would have been the perfect scenario to unify the titles as the main event of Wrestlemania. Hopefully WWE creative takes note.

I’m so happy to see Pearce/Cabana recognized here. Not only is well deserved, but it proves that the indies are alive and well, and that there is always opportunity to reinvigorate the territories. I wish I could have witnessed each and every encounter of their best of seven, “Seven Stages of Hate” series for the NWA title, because this is what REAL pro wrestling is made of. The story was told in the ring, and the reward was the glory of the gold. While I’m not a big fan of gimmick matches like street-fights, first blood, etc., I would have definitely been emotionally engaged because it was part of their story that drew upon their hate. These were the type of matches and feuds that occurred in the small territories where my only source of coverage was the “Apter Mags”, such as PWI. Matches and feuds like this were the reason I bought magazines and became so well versed in the art of the business. That’s what this feud was…art. And hopefully, its recognition will intrigue a younger generation to explore the indy circuit, ask about the days of territories, order back issues to see how it was all done before the curse of sports entertainment. I know it’s asking for a lot, but should it happen, don’t thank me – thank Adam, Pearce and Colt Cabana.

Rounding out the winners were:

Match of The Year: Triple H vs. Undertaker (End of An Era at Wrestlemania)
Woman of The Year: AJ Lee
Most Improved of The Year: Ryback
Comeback of the Year: Jeff Hardy
Inspirational Wrestler of The Year – Jerry Lawler
Rookie of The Year: Veda Scott

What are YOUR thoughts on this year’s PWI winners and runner-ups? Who do you think was snubbed? And what is your perception of where wrestling magazines have their place in 2013?

Don’t forget to COMMENT, LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE. If you don’t …Elbows may have to be dropped!

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2012 PWI Female 50

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Pro Wrestling Illustrated announced their ranking of the top female grapplers in the business, and while the top portion is mainly a popularity contest between WWE’s Diva’s and TNA’s Knockouts, the remainder of the list is filled out with top notch independent work-horses competing on the indy circuit trying to get on the radar of one of the top two companies. Having their name mentioned in this list and amongest other illustrious names give them recognition today and perhaps a contract tomorrow.

Here is the 2012 Female Top 50:

1- Gail Kim
2- Beth Phoenix
3- Cheerleader Melissa
4- Sara Del Rey
5- Jessicka Havok
6- Layla
7- Miss Tessmacher
8- Saraya Knight
9- Mercedes Martinez
10- Tara
11- Hailey Hatred
12- Natalya
13- Jazz
14- Velvet Sky
15- Madison Rayne
16- Mickie James
17- Lufisto
18- Winter
19-Tamina
20- MsChif
21- ODB
22- Eve Torres
23- Kelly Kelly
24- Brittney Savage
25- Melanie Cruise
26- Kellie Skater
27- Sarita
28- Athena
29- Nicole Matthews
30- Paige
31- Angelina Love
32- Portia Perez
33- Rosita
34- Jessie McKay
35- Kalamity
36- Alicia Fox
37- Tasha Simone
38- Taeler Hendrix
39- Rachel Summerlyn
40- Kacee Carlisle
41- Sassy Stephanie
42- Cherry Bomb
43- Allysin Kay
44- Alicia
45- Brittany Force
46- Lexxus
47- Martie Belle
48- Amber O’Neal
49- Leva Bates
50- Veda Scott

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Names For The WWE 2013 Hall of Fame?

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Word around the campfire is that some legendary names are being considered for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame induction. Now don’t get me started on this topic because I could literally rattle of 50 names in 7.2 seconds flat that should be in or have been overlooked – but we’ll get to that another time – preferably on video.

But as we start to gear up towards Wrestlemania season, preparations, contacts and commitments need to be made. Now considering that the Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to be held in Madison Square Garden, I personally think that the names selected should have some sort of connection and reverence to the Mecca.

Here are the names being tossed around:

Bruno Sammartino – A no-brainer. The fact that Bruno hasn’t been inducted already is crime in itself. On the flip side of that coin, Bruno hasn’t been inducted because he’s rejected all previous offers – so that puts just as much guilt on his shoulders. With the ceremony taking place in MSG – the hallowed halls that he sold out during an unprecedented seven-year reign – this grumpy old bastard needs to suck it up and get one last hurrah before someone else has to accept posthumously on his behalf.

The Freebirds – I really have no clue what the fascination is with the Freebirds. In my opinion, the are one of the most overrated groups in the history of the business. In their defense, I guess they lived the rock-n-roll lifestyle in the business that so many dreamed of. While their colleagues were kayfabing the world as serious athletes, these drugged up assholes were partying like rockstars. What the Horsemen did with class, these slobs did without a care. Because of their cult following, I guess they deserved to be remembered in the Hall, but why now? What’s their connection with The Garden? They barely wrestled there; never main evented there; and nobody ever bought a ticket to see them there. Save their induction for some hick location down south.

Larry Zbyszko – Another guy who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because of what he achieved in the business, but not necessarily what he did for the WWE. Sure his feud with Bruno was white hot in its day, but then what? Outside of his rivalry with Sammartino, I’ve always associated his career as a flag-bearer for anything anti-WWE. He never returned to the WWE for another big run, nor did the fans want him to. He spent his twilight years successfully competing in WCW and later broadcasting for them, thus the anti-WWE stigma. And how can you consider putting him in before Bruno anyway? That’s like when they had one of the greatest Intercontinental champions in The Honkytonk Man induct KoKo B. Ware. Absolutely senseless.

Regis Philbin - Well, I guess they need somebody for the celebrity wing, and Regis has always been a WWE loyalist. Then again, with the Hall of Fame in New York and Wrestlemania taking place in New Jersey – why not induct Donald Trump instead?

Mick Foley – If anyone deserves to be inducted into the Hall at MSG, it;s Foley, His storied career started in the seats in that very building watching Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka take flight off the top of a steel cage. Foley is a hometown boy and recognition for his service is long overdue. Shawn Michaels is already in the Hall. So is Stone Cold Steve Austin. Shit, Edge is in there and he wasn’t even retired a year. It’s time to give Mick Foley his due!

Bob Backlund – Amazingly, here’s another legendary guy the WWE has bent over and said, “Enjoy this dick”! I was never a big fan of Backlund. Personally, I thought he was bore… and I’m not the only one. There are guys who probably fell asleep in the ring while working with him, but there is no denying his achievements and his lengthy reign as champion. Like him or not, there was a time Backlund was the company’s top draw. He was the face of the company and he did it with wrestling, not gimmicks. That alone deserves respect. And Madison Square Garden hosted a ton of his greatest moments!

Sid Vicious – I don’t think he ever lived up to the hype of “the man who ruled the world”, but it’s more than likely because he was lost in the shadows of being groomed as Hulk Hogan’s replacement, after the implosion of The Ultimate Warrior. Sid was unstable, but as he got older, he matured more and was finally granted the opportunity to be the man. Unfortunately, when that time finally came, the business preferred the smaller guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Regardless of constantly dropping the ball, Sid is a performer who is always remembered and recognized as a pure beast. Guys like him were few and far between. Does he deserve a nod to the Hall? Hell yeah… but not at the Garden. Most people don’t even remember that he won his first WWE title there. So let’s save that shit for another time. Plus, there’s always the chance he might no-show if he has a softball game scheduled for that day.

Earthquake John Tenta – A great choice for induction. One of the few agile big men in the history of the business. A dominant force during his WWE run, and a “what-the-fuck” during his run in WCW. If we forget the second half of his career, Earthquake was easily one of the greatest monsters in WWE history. As much as I want to see him inducted in the Hall of Fame, I think the real monster that needs to go in first – especially at MSG – is King Kong Bundy. Bundy is a local New Jersey native who made history at the Garden in the first Wrestlemania and sold out main events against Andre The Giant and Hulk Hogan. Bundy actually paved the way for guys like Earthquake, and it’s only fair to let him go first.

Paul Heyman – I’ll make this one short and sweet. Should Heyman be in inducted at The garden. Abso-fucking-lutely! A New York native who changed the course of the business in neighboring Philly as the father of ECW – a property Vince McMahon so deeply wishes was his own creation. My concern is, now that Heyman is a semi-full time roster member who is associated to the world champion and the main events via CM Punk and Brock Lesnar – would his induction kill his heat and distract the storylines?

Triple H – I saved this one for last for a couple of reasons. First off, this fucking guy isn’t even retired yet. Yeah, he’s sold out The Garden over the last decade – if not more, but what real history did he make there? By the time he was selling the joint out, house shows were meaningless. When he was champion, it was the equivalent of the circus coming to town. Triple H is without a doubt one of the greatest of all-time, but does he really need to be honored now? Is he that much of a mark to push his own name just to say he was inducted at MSG? It’s not his time, especially when he keeps sticking that massive nose of his into the storylines and stealing the shine of the spotlight while main eventing with the top talent. You’ll get your day asshole. You pretty much own the company now. Keep it in your tights and focus on doing the right thing for those who deserve it NOW. Guess who have been passed over, blacklisted, and paved the way for you to get in the position you’re in right now. It was too soon for Edge to go in the Hall and the same goes for Triple H. Let your peers warrant your induction rather than you organizing it yourself for the mere reason that you can.

As I mentioned before, there are a TON of other names who should be up for consideration. They may not all have a connection to the Garden, but name is worth the consideration. And with that, I will follow it up with a series of videos in the near future. In the meantime, I’d be interested in reading your comments on who think should be inducted into the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

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“Are You Serious?”, WWE Really Allows This?

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I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the WWE’s YouTube channel and their series of shows that are broadcast exclusively on the social media network, but I’d like to point out one show in-particular which I personally find to be a move of genius, yet I’m still baffled at how the WWE has sanctioned its production.

The name of the show is “Are You Serious?”, hosted by Josh Matthews and “The Road Dogg” Jesse James, where they basically rehash the absolute worst gimmicks and product that the pro wrestling business has ever spawned. All of those moments that have made you cringe and second guess your obsession with this business is brought back to as a slap of reality to remind you that this shit REALLY did happen…and we still kept watching!

Ironically, if you were to include today’s current product, you can actually put an entire three hour episode of RAW under the “what-the-fuck” spotlight. I just really find it amazing the WWE (and Vince McMahon) has given its stamp of approval to take a big wet shit on their heavily flawed history. Vinnie Mac isn’t the type of guy who can take constructive criticism, and if you pre-date the concept of having a creative writing team, some of the worst shit you’ve ever seen was thought up by the boss himself. Vince hates to be proven wrong, and better yet, hates when that proof firmly declares that he is completely out of touch with the likes of his demographic. In reality, Vince McMahon is a mark of satirical slap-stick humor and he has epicly failed to incorporate it into his world of pseudo sports.

Not only has he greenlit a show that reminds wrestling fans of his numerous failures, but he allows workers to publicly poke fun at it by saying the same shit we say to each other. If it’s that fucking bad, why not tell Vince before he actually airs it the first time? Why wait to turn off and frustrate the viewers, only to re-live it with a few years later with a chuckle as if it were an intended inside joke? The only joke is YOU Vince. YOU and your lousy fucking product.

Over the last 18 months, I’ve had a tough pill to swallow as somewhat of a wrestling purist. I had trouble going along with the “change” of the business, mainly because it no longer reflected the business I fell in love with as a boy. It no longer inspires me to want to be a part of it. I no longer have any creative desire toward it. And these days, I’m almost ashamed to say that after discovering it more than 30 years ago, that i still watch it.

This show is proof that I’m right. That my super-critical judgement is EXACTLY on-point. You don’t agree with me? Fuuuuuuuuuuck you! Mark my words, in a couple of years, Brodus Clay, Santino Marella’s cobra, Hornswaggle, The return of Brock Lesnar, and a TON more will be on the platter for serving on “Are You Serious?”

The most recent episode:

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CM Punk vs. Austin Aries: Finally, An Inter-Promotional Dream Match

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I remember growing up in the 80’s and fantasy booking a match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. Then I’d switch it up and pit The Hulkster against Lex Luger. My under-card would be a toss up of either Randy Savage or Ultimate Warrior vs. Sting, Bret Hart vs. Stunning Steve Austin, and Demolition vs. The Road Warriors.

All of those dream matches ended up happening one way or another. Most of them occurring when the talents were far past their primes and unable to fulfill my boyhood expectations. But there is one match that stands out far above the rest, and perhaps it is because there is a history on the indy scene, or maybe it’s because they are one of the top three performers for their respective brand.

CM Punk vs. Austin Aries …. need I say more?

As a fan of pro wrestling and NOT entertainment, I absolutely loved the encounters CM Punk engaged in against Daniel Bryan earlier this year. What infuriated me was the lack of thought put into the storylines and how such quality was wasted and essentially given away for free on television for over a month. Aries didn’t really have many memorable matches in TNA, but that is because of the lack of talent able to match up with him, but his talent was noticed enough to put him into a genuine program against another underrated great in Bobby Roode. Surprisingly, TNA took the well deserved chance on him and gave him a brief moment to shine as their headline champion. And for a moment, the wrestling world stood still. There were two champions who were a symbol of pure wrestling. For a moment, fans rejoiced that wrestling was once again wrestling. Unfortunately, it was only for a moment.

Seven years ago in Morristown, New Jersey, this dream match actually happened at ROH’s Death Before Dishonor. Punk and Aries wrestled for an exhausting 30 minutes, with Punk walking out as the victor via pinfall.

Seven years ago, Aries may have fallen to the hands of hunger and experience, but today, Aries could be the one to strike fear in the heart of Punk. Punk has already tasted the life and is now among the WWE elite, while Aries’ future is still uncertain. The tale of the tape shows Aries at the top of his game, and perhaps, he’s even surpassed Punk. His mat skills may slightly edge Punk’s; his air skills certainly do. Punk may be stronger, but Aries is without a doubt quicker. Both are aged at 34 years, but Punk seems to have a lot more mileage on him. The WWE workload has taken a toll on his body while TNA has more off time than the New York Mets.

Punk has faced better competition during those years and has worked larger scale shows such as Wrestlemania, which would play a factor in one’s mental state of performing. And this is where the tale of the tape switches over to Punk’s favor. Punk has performed at the top of his game on numerous monthly events in front of sold out crowds of tens of thousands. Add in the top five yearly PPVs, and Punk is wrestling in front of crowds between 30,000 and 90,000 fans. Aries still wrestles small indy drawing house shows that struggle to draw 3,000 – including their own Impact Zone at Universal Studios.

Two years ago, Aries was on the verge of quitting the business. He had been released by Ring of Honor and was unsigned by either WWE or TNA. In 2012, there aren’t many other options. There are two ways to look at that story. You can see it as a guy who almost gave up on his dream, or as a guy who fight his way back to the top. Ironically, CM Punk’s WWE career was holds similar truths.

So in the end, who wins this dream match? CM Punk or Austin Aries. In my opinion, their current positions in their organizations show they’ve both already won. But who wins in a match?… Who gives a shit? Just make it happen!

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CM Punk: Best In The World DVD Review

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If you follow my writings or know a little bit about my history, you’d know that CM Punk is not a favorite of mine. About a year ago, I wrote an article entitled, “CM Punk is a F*cking Douchebag”, which talked in detail about the time I had the opportunity to work with him while I was the booker at NWA Cyberspace.

For the most part, I got a ton of heat from the fans. Mostly ass-kissers who were telling me to stop whining like a little bitch, yet those same ass-kissers have never done ANYTHING in this business to even warrant an opinion. I told it exactly the way it went down, and what my dealings with the future WWE champion was like. It’s a true story, and even though I was the employer and he was the employee, most fans marked out and took the side of their hero. Personally, I could care less. It is what it is, and at the time, it was business – something a mark wouldn’t understand.

The reason I bring that up is because I don’t want any reader of this review to think that I am somewhat (if not fully) biased towards my review of CM Punk’s new WWE DVD release, “Best In The World”. Like my previous story, I am here to tell it like it is. My job is simply to observe and report – no more, no less. I kept an open mind when watching the DVD and was professional enough not to let my own personal experiences blur the lines of my integrity. With that said, I think you’ll enjoy my review and perhaps find a few surprises along the way.

My review is a lengthy 3,500 word piece that dissects the DVD down to the core. My opinions are that of my own, and as critical as they may be, you can’t deny the brutal honesty that comes within those words. As much as I’d like to say that this review was an opportunity to go on a full scale rant on CM Punk, it simply isn’t. Surprisingly, I learned a lot through this DVD, and by its end, perhaps I gained a new-found respect.

By now, many of you fans may have seen the DVD yourself and have an opinion of your own. I encourage you to share your reviews with this community. Feel free to open the floor for debate. As you will read, I took this of reviewing CM punk’s DVD seriously – not because I needed something new to write about, but to reacquaint myself with a memory that I have disliked for many years. It was an opportunity to either bury the hatchet or push in even further. You be the judge.

Click the link to read the full unedited review in its entirety.

CM PUNK: BEST IN THE WORLD DVD REVIEW

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Is Ryback Nothing But Hype?

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I’ve been really critical of the WWE product for a while now, but the truth of the matter is that the WWE product has lacked ANY effort since Wrestlemania. Apparently the WWE has decided to take some analytic risks but developing new stars in preparation of the post-Cena era. The problem is, these don’t feel like stars. They feel more like talent being forced down our throats.

Vince McMahon is a major control freak. Therefore, he doesn’t want to sit back and identify with what is working and what the fans are responding to. He considers you, the (paying) viewer, his droids. He expects to tell you how YOU feel and what YOU want. Enter Ryback.

I’ve never met the the guy, but like you, I’ve seen his work. And before I break it down a bit, let’s look at a quick list of talents that were forced down our throats and immediately regurgitated into obscurity.

Alex Riley
Mason Ryan
Wade Barrett
Drew Mcintyre
Lord Tensai
…I could do this all day!

The point that I am trying to make is that if you continue to force feed the people you want to be stars, you’ll be killing off the talents who already are stars.

Ryback’s problem is that he looks and acts like the “poor man’s” Goldberg. Then again, any jacked up muscle-head that doesn’t sell for anybody is going to be compared to Goldberg. What WCW had was lightening in a bottle, and if you remember correctly, Goldberg was heavily compared to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Bald head, black tights, black boots, goatee,…that’s Austin. But it wasn’t. Goldberg was able to break the stereotype and earn the respect of the fans. A respect that for a unique intensity that people hadn’t seen since the debut of The Ultimate Warrior in the mid-80’s. He was a human wrecking machine who felt no pain and felt no fear. So what if Ryback is a reincarnation of Goldberg? Doesn’t this generation need one?

Something is missing…or is there? Maybe Ryback just isn’t the guy? Then again he’s main eventing in six days for the world title against CM Punk at the Hell In A Cell PPV. it will be a HUGE fuck up for WWE creative to drop the ball now with him, yet they’ve put themselves in a serious dilemma if he can’t deliver the goods.

Ryback may be limited, but he has the gimmick that creative should be able to get over. (Keyword: SHOULD). But if he fails, and creative’s record of success is an indicator that it could very well happen, are we just supposed to forget that we the fans invested so much into a guy that gave us so little?

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Punk vs. Bryan – What Would Have Been?

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Does it upset anyone that CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan has virtually been wasted by WWE creative? If you really think back to what these two guys mean to wrestling fans, then you may get a better understanding of where I am going with this.

It has nothing to do with the work ethic of these wrestlers and nothing to do with how they have performed against each other in the ring. But it has everything to do with how the WWE has pissed away a golden opportunity to to showcase a classic and make a move that is long over due.

Ring of Honor loyalist creamed in their pants when the worlds of Punk and Bryan collided prior to Wrestlenmania when both men worn the top prize for their respective brands. What was the point of having a series of champion vs. champion matches if it did nothing to lead into Wrestlemania? I have no clue. But now that Bryan is strapless, I can see where it makes sense to revisit the rivalry. Only this time, it’s part of a horrendous love triangle.. or four way now that Kane is in the mix. What this feud should be about… is wrestling. It should be a clinic to prove who the real “best in the world” really is. It should be the ultimate fantasy dream match for those who followed their careers through the independent rankings and through the growth and success of Ring of Honor. This should be the ultimate match to unify the WWE titles and declare one undisputed champion.

Seeing how both men have gained popularity, a loyal following, the ability to draw money and headline an event – why is it being wasted now? Why not position it for a bigger stage? Perhaps, Wrestlemania?

Is there where WWE politics comes into play again? Is this yet another prime example of the young talent playing second fiddle to egomaniacs? Are the young and hungry talent in their prime who are actualy wearing the gold around their waste lost in the dark shadow of building up Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, and the enormous egos of John Cena and John Laurinaitis?

Again, let me be clear – this has nothing to do with the quality of matches we’ve been seeing. But it’s a match on a stage and scale that REAL wrestling fans have longed for. So why blow it for nothing?

Do you think these matches are being wasted away? Or in this day and age, does it not matter anymore when and where and how many times these matches take place?
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Does Anyone Remember The Hot and Sexy Dawn Marie?

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How come former WWE Diva Dawn Marie never gets any mentions or throwback opportunities? Maybe it’s because of her lawsuit against the WWE for firing her while she was preggo? That would make sense. Then again, what the hell can you do with a pregnant diva? That’s a nasty fetish to get off on.

What people don’t remember is that she was one of the last real valets in the business. She had a pretty good mentality and ring psychology, and she played her role as the fifth ring post. No more, no less. But she was also smoking hot. She brought that real Italian guido girl style long before the Jersey Shore dominated reality TV. She wasn’t stylish and fantasy. She was down and dirty. you knew sex with her was gonna be nasty (the good nasty). Yeah, she had the looks, but you knew deep down inside you were gonna do things to her that you wouldn’t do to your wife knowing that she kisses your kids with that same mouth. Dawn Marie’s lesbian angle with Torrie Wilson was material that WWE staff writers deserve an Emmy award, because they took two of the hottest nymphos in pro wrestling and gave us our wild and wet fantasies. Fuck, I miss those non-PG rated days of the WWE. What I wouldn’t give to be on the writing team back then. Imagine sitting there and saying, “On this week’s episode Dawn and Torrie are going to tongue kiss in the shower”. The it happens, and you say to yourself, I can’t fucking believe I made them do that. Next week I’m booking a gang bang on TV”!…Maybe that one wouldn’t pass censors, but it she as shit was worth a shot.

Dawn Marie has been off the radar doing humanitarian work with Wrestler’s Rescue, but she’s missed in world of the wild and the wacky. Yeah, age has caught up with her and she’s happier spending time as a full time mom rather than being on the road doing magic tricks making your pants rise. But even Sunny and her best friend Sable came back for an encore performance. So is it asking to much to get a last ride out of Dawn Marie?

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PWI 12 Questions with Brodie Lee

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Pro Wrestling Illustrated recently conducted an interview with indy star (and potential future WWE star) Brodie Lee. Their set up was somewhat awkward. Here is the synopsis for their out of the box questions.

“You’re at the airport. You see your favorite wrestler relaxing in one of the terminals. You rush up to him/her as questions fill your excited mind. There are certain things you just have to know about this person. Well, these are the 12 questions you’d never think to ask:”

1 – What man-scaping advice would you like to give our readers?

What the hell is man-scaping? is kicking people in the face considered man-scaping? I only shower on Tuesdays to get the stank of Bessy off me.

2 – You may have the most effective boot to the face in the business. How did you develop your kicking power?

Helping my friend Grizzly Redwood topple timber in the forest.

3 – What band have you seen in concert the most times?

Hank Williams III

4 – Be honest now: Was your move from traditional wrestling singlet to jeans and T-shirts brought about entirely by a desire to reduce your dry-cleaning costs?

Who uses dry-cleaning? Most wrestlers don’t even wash their gear…just ask Cloudy. Also, beer and pizza stains look better on a wife beater.

5 – Brodie Lee is asked to prepare a dish for a swanky dinner party. What does he prepare?

A bag of premium wood-smoked beef jerky from the truck stop, a six-pack of Genny Cream Ale, and a jug of Jesco’s finest moonshine.

6 – What famous finishing move do you wish you invented?

I already invented The Big Boot…what else do you want from me?

7 – Excluding Bruiser Brody, which is your favorite fellow Brodie: Brodie, the wiseacre from Mallrats, Sheriff Brody from Jaws, or reality TV personality Brody Jenner?

The Little Rig” – Brodie Richard Lee Jr., my son. Also, how dare you put Brody Jenner’s name among other great Brodies? I want to boot him and his family’s faces off, and now yours!

8 – You’ve been called “The Big Rig” and you’ve traveled all the highways and byways. What diner, drive-in, or dive have you discovered that stands above the rest?

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger in Rochester, New York.

9 – What would be the title of your autobiography?

Lincoln, Lot Lizards, & Liquor: All The Gravel In My Travel On The Road Back Home To Nebraska.

10 – What has been the single most surreal moment of your career so far?

Drinking beers with Kevin Nash till 7am, then booting him in the face hours later.

11 – When was the last time you felt intimidated?

When my wife dips into the moonshine and wants to make another baby…a.k.a. Tuesday nights.

12 – Complete the following sentence: One thing about Brodie lee that very few people know is…

Apparently, it’s not well known that I hate to be asked stupid questions.

Are You Pleased With Ring of Honor’s Shift From HDNet To Sinclair?

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*From PWI*

When it was announced that Sinclair Broadcasting had purchased Ring of Honor in 2011, reaction was varied. Some of the fans expected major changes with the television network investing in the company to help improve production values and promotion. Others were cautiously optimistic, hoping that Sinclair wouldn’t meddle with the promotion or make drastic creative changes. Almost a year into the Sinclair agreement, wrestling fans are split as to whether the move from HDNet to Sinclair has been beneficial to the company.

Some say they are grateful for the opportunity to see ROH programming for the first time, while others do not have access to Sinclair. The Sinclair format dedicates more time to fewer competitors, allowing more time for storylines to build and for matches to be more meaningful.

The company still has sub-par lighting, erratic camera work and uneven audio, which at times gives the show a slightly low-rent feel.

What is your opinion? Post your comments and opinions.

Bodyguard For Hire…? Will Wrestle For Food…?

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I get asked a lot of the same questions from wrestling fans. Some of the most popular are: What is this wrestler like?; What ever happened to this wrestler?; How much do these guys really make?; Did you have sex with Tammy Sytch? … Well, let’s just stick to the where are they nows and how much do they make.

About a year ago, I wrote a short post entitled Mike “Virgil” Jones – The $3,500 Slave which talked about my run-in with former WWE star best known as the lackey bodyguard of the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase in the 80’s. I was absolutely amazed at what a douchebag to everyone and the exuberant amount of money he was trying to hustle from promoters for an appearance fee.

The other day, a fan sends me an email with a photo attachment. The fan had read my post and was following up on one of the most expensive non-drawing jabrones in the business. Apparently, I was wrong. And now there is picture proof!

I didn’t know that self proclaimed $3,500 valued talent was taking gigs signing autographs in parking lot flea markets. This is obviously a pit stop before the Hall of Fame. Look at the turn out in this place. Fans are trampling each other just to get close to him. The money is literally jumping out of their pockets and into his hands. The line was so long, fans had to be turned away. The world heard the sound of thousands of children crying because they couldn’t get their life’s fulfillment of being next to the what some may consider the second coming of Christ.

I understand that some fans flew half way across the world from Japan, Australia, Iceland, and Newark, NJ. The Pope doesn’t even get turn outs like this. This is that moment fans have always dreamed of and will tell this tale to their grandchildren where it will become legend. I’ll my grand children he was a legend…a legendary failure!

I’ve seen some pretty desperate things in this business and this is definitely in the top five. Do you think the promoter of the flea market had to pay $3,500 for his top draw? because if you were to ask me, I think Virgil actually paid the promoter $35 for the table. I’m not here to take a big wet shit all over Virgil…ok, yes I am – because he’s a total douche -, but how sad is it that this guy is sitting in a parking lot telling people he sold out Madison Square Garden. Then again, there may be some truth to it. Maybe he didn’t sell out every seat in the arena at The Garden – but there is a good chance he sold out of his promo pictures in the MSG parking lot!

On a serious note, it’s sad to see the grim reality of what life after wrestling can be like. So for any aspiring wrestler out there, I won’t be the one to tell you that your dreams will never come true. But I will tell you there is a chance you can become the next Virgil. Hopefully this scares the shit out of you enough to have a good back up plan. And to Mike Jones… HA HA HAHAHAHAHA HA HA HA HA!!!

The Rock Looks Like He’s Been Eating Rocks

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Has anyone seen Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lately? Not since the night after Wrestlemania when he announced that he would be “back” and that his little epiphany told him that his next goal was to regain the WWE title. Yeah, that’s about the last time I saw him too.

I wasn’t sure if he had been taken off TV because Brock Lesnar had returned and they weren’t sure exactly how creative would get The Rock into the title picture (although it’s been said that he’ll wrestle Lesnar in the main event of Mania 29 for the WWE title). But Rocky has been gone and somewhat forgotten. Yes, I remember that he has an amazing Hollywood career to return to and I knew that he wasn’t going to be sticking around much longer after Wrestlemania. With the highly anticipated sequel to G.I. Joe coming out this summer and the sixth installment to the Fast and Furious franchise, how can he have time to dress up as a wrestler and roll around in the ring?

The Joe flick has wrapped and will start its promotional tour and junkettes. Filming for the Fast series hasn’t begun yet as Vin Diesel is wrapping yet another sequel to his sci-fi action hero Riddick. So why does out boy dio, he signs on to star in a dark bodybuilding comedy alongside Mark Whalberg and directed by Michael Bay. Yep! THAT Michael Bay. Mr. Transformers-I-Like-To-Blow-Shit-Up-With-Hot-Ass-Victoria-Secrets-Models.

The name of the movie is Pain and Gain, set for release in 2013. And in this set pic, it proves that you are what you eat, as The Rock looks like he’s been chowing down on boulders.

Rocky wasn’t even this big at Wrestlemania! He was trim, lean and agile. here. He looks like a genetic freak (no offense to Scott Stiener). I know the movie has some dealings with anabolic steroids, but it makes me wonder if Rocky got on the juice to enhance his role in the movie? Time will tell when a trailer hits at the end of the year…but in the meantime, He is an absolute BEAST!

Working With WWE Star R-Truth

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You meet some pretty interesting people in the pro wrestling business. You realize that outside of the characters they portray on television, they actually are human beings. Like you and I, they are people with hopes, dreams, problems, stress, and doubt. The know that at any given moment, they may no longer be the flavor of the month or that their spot on the roster might be compromised when a new star is on the rise. When people ask me what it’s like to work with wrestlers, I simply tell them that sometimes it’s the equivalent of babysitting an adult.

You may have followed some of my previous posts where I’ve discussed some backstage stories that I encountered during my time in the business. Some stories are better than others, and some offer more gossip to a rumor you may have heard. But one thing is for sure… it’s not often where you can talk about who a person really is. Sometime you can just get a picture in your head of what that person may be like to deal with based off a story. But who knows, maybe it was just a bad day for them and you can’t judge their character based off of once incident. I’ve told stories about CM Punk, April Hunter, Jeff Jarrett and many others. Most recently I shared my experience in working with WWE superstar R-Truth.

In the post, you’ll read about a man who was unsure of his career in pro wrestling. You sense his insecurities and the obstacles he overcame to get where he is today. You may see him on WWE TV as a co-holder of the tag team titles, or as the wildly popular comic relief with his invisible sidekick, Little Jimmy. But there was a time when R-Truth didn’t know how much longer he was going to be a pro wrestler. There was a time where his heart and passion were somewhere else. And there was a time where an unknown booker for a small northeast indy organization got to know a man who had all the talent but didn’t think anybody was interested in it anymore.

Click R-Truth’s name in the above paragraph to read the story. I’d like to hear your comments and feedback. Share with me YOUR stories of wrestlers you’ve encountered at a low point, or some who you have met that didn’t live up to your expectations. This is just another one of my stories…and there are plenty more to come.

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ECW Died on Monday Night RAW

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Extreme Championship Wrestling wasn’t a wrestling organization. It was a cult. I say that in the most sincerest form. I lived through it. I wasn’t a cult follower, but I was around it. I saw it born. I saw it grow. And on Monday night, I saw it die.

Ever since the original organization fathered by Paul Heyman officially folded in 2001, there have been numerous attempts to resurrect it. But instead of finding Dr. Frankenstien himself to work his magic, the only thing that the ill-fated reincarnations did was dig the grave deeper.

The closest thing to closure was the WWE’s One Night Stand PPV. It was gently placed in Paul Heyman’s hands with the blessing and financing of Vince McMahon. But greed got the best of Vince, and just as he has monopolized the wrestling business and forced monthly pay per views upon us – he thought he too could reboot the organization in his own vision. A vision that was worse than the XFL. Not even Vince’s money could bring ECW back to life.

TNA tried doing something similar with Hardcore Justice last year with an event that was seen by less people than a backyard wrestling show featuring disabled midgets. Then again, I might have actually paid to see that backyard show…Back to the point, not even the ghost of ECW showed up.

A few weeks ago, ECW original Shane Douglas made a last attempt by running a reunion show in Philadelphia – the home of ECW. Although it drew 2000 fans, it ended with 2000 angry fans who raised hell about a show plagued with drugged up wrestlers, incoherent booking, false advertising and dirty laundry list of bad business decisions that burned the ECW faithful and loyalists for the last time.

With the return of Brock Lesnar, there was some speculation that Paul Heyman might make a return to the wrestling world to lend his genius creative mind. But through social networks, he denied the rumors. Perhaps it was to cover up his cameo appearance on Monday Night RAW as the official spokesman for Brock Lesnar. When the time came for Paul Heyman to walk through the curtain and surprise the world…well, there was no surprise. Not because the information had leaked, but because no one knew who he was. Paul Heyman made a grand entrance to no “pop” at all.

The landscape of the business has changed, and since Vince McMahon remodeled the business to a PG-13 tone that caters to a younger demographic, the days of pro wrestling violence are now stories of legend. Kids aren’t use to the blood and hardcore anything goes matches. And to be quite honest, they don’t need it. Kids don’t need to risk their lives and safety while emulating their heroes. But ECW fans have always held on to their hope. Hope that one day Paul Heyman would walk on water as the second coming of hardcore Christ. And when the moment happened on RAW, it proved that ECW is truly dead for good.

The new audience didn’t live it. There is nothing to help them remember it. It was never a Vince thing to begin with. So when Paul Heyman walked the aisle on Monday night, there was nothing but silence…A moment of silence to mourn the official death of ECW.

If Paul Heyman’s appearance didn’t get a reaction from the live audience, then nothing can bring ECW back to life. The young fans looked at each other as if saying, “Who is this guy?… He’s great on the mic, but who is he?” There is an article on WWE.com RIGHT NOW, reminding people who he is with e title “Who is Paul Heyman?”

If Paul E. couldn’t get a response, then his brainchild has no chance of ever making a comeback. ECW is officially dead…forever.

Lord Tensai is NOT Working

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I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but this little Lord Tensai experiment is dead on arrival.

I’m not here to poke holes in everything that WWE creative puts out there. I know how difficult it is to make an engaging product that connects with the fans, and something that is marketable and profitable. And had it not been for the return of the beast Brock Lesnar, this may in fact have worked.

The vignettes were effective. They were simple, but effective. They provided that mystique that a younger generation – who doesn’t remember that mediocre run of A-Train and Prince Albert – needed to believe in order to fear what could have been a dominating force to the babyface roster and the title scene. I guess if I were the WWE, I would have dropped everything too the minute Brock signed on the dotted line. But in doing so, it killed Lord Tensai before he even started to sizzle.

I credit WWE for doing everything in their power to desperately save him before he completely flat-lines. But the damage is too critical. A win over Cena and another over Punk still aren’t enough to get him over. The fans look as his size and at his ability to destruct anything in his path – and the only thing they say now is, “Brock is bigger… Brock is stronger… Brock is better…”

What now of Lord Tensai? The mercenary of John Laurinaitis isn’t a bad role – but now Tensai is the understudy as Brock has snagged that storyline as well. What will it take to get this gimmick from completely flopping? A match with Brock himself? That won’t happen. And if it does, guess who will go over. Not Tensai. How about turning him babyface? but then what’s the point of bringing him in as the much needed monster heel (especially now that Brodus Clay’s career has been ruined)?

It’s a damn shame. Tensai is man past his prime given a rare opportunity to get another strong run – even stronger than his first run over a decade ago. but what becomes of him now? Now that his thunder has been stolen and the carpet pulled from under his feet. Where does he land on the roster? How do you write for him? And is it only a matter of time until the REAL heel in the company, Mr. Laurinaitis himself, wishes him well on his future endeavors?

Is Anyone Really Buying The Next WWE PPV To Watch Cena vs. Laurinaitis?

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Call me crazy, but after coming off of Wrestlemania 29 which headlined with John Cena vs. The Rock, and then rushing into Extreme Rules to get the John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar nut off prematurely, who in their right mind would pay to see Super Dave take on the face of the organization?

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what creative is doing with Cena. I understand the concept of letting him work “featured” matches and letting other young stars rise to the top of the title scene. But creative is literally riding their golden horse into the ground and devaluing his impact on the business.

What is the point of making John Laurinaitis your top heel in the entire company? Other than portraying a character that hides behind his abuse of power, how does this one man become the main antagonist of a weekly story? In the beginning, it made sense that there would be heel heat against the VP of Talent Relations and the play on the phrase “…wish you the best in your future endeavors”, but enough is enough. He is not a wrestler…at least not anymore. I still question whether he was a real wrestler when he was romping around looking like a 40 year old surfer and Point Break reject. He’s not a contender and he’s not worthy of main eventing a pay per view. Plan and simple, anyone who orders this PPV will be subjected to numerous run-ins and false finishes. it’s the equivalent of Vince McMahon being Stone Cold Steve Austin’s arch nemesis. Yeah, it worked for a moment, but how long can you really ride it out before it gets stale? At what point do we cut the cord from the soap opera and get back to wrestling?

As if it weren’t bad enough that there are monthly PPV events throughout the entire year, now you have non-wrestlers filling in the gaps for your main events. I urge wrestling fans to save their money from this debacle. What do you REALLY think you are going to get for your money? Do you think you are going to witness history? Do you think you’re watching something so memorable that it will be replayed and highlighted for years to come? This will be forgotten faster than Braden Walker’s career.

WWE creative, if you want our money – then we demand something worth our money.

Devon Nicholson Challenges Kurt Angle: Real Challenge or Real Good Way To Get Your Name Out There?

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Anybody ever heard of “Hannibal” Devon Nicholson?…Neither have I. At least, not until now.

From what I understand, he was a Canadian mainstay on the indies and had a dark match or two for the WWE – but that’s about it. I’m not shitting on the guy because I don’t know him or his work. But at the same time, when you Google his name and read through the Devon Nicholson Wikipedia (that was obviously written by himself, it makes you wonder if he’s just another weekend warrior putting himself over as some great worker, yet was never noticed by a major organization.

Again, I’ve never heard of him – but at the same time, I’ve been out of the indy loop for a few years now. I do know that he wasn’t a name I heard of while i was promoting or booking. And when you invite yourself to the WWE training camp, it doesn’t say much about their interest in you. As a promoter, I shale my head when I read someone’s Wikipedia and it says, “In May 2009 Nicholson attended a WWE try out camp in Tampa Florida. He was told by WWE agent Pat Patterson that he was the best wrestler in the camp.” Sounds like somebody is blowing smoke up their own ass.

The Wiki account also reads – “In 2009, Nicholson was offered a World Wrestling Entertainment contract, but the offer was rescinded, when a medical examination revealed that he had contracted hepatitis C, which he later blamed on his matches with Abdullah the Butcher.[5][6] He also did a try out with TNA Wrestling in October 2010 in Saginaw, Michigan. Despite impressing TNA management they could not hire him because of his Hepatitis C.”

Now that is a story I have heard of, but nothing of value that would make me remember his name. It was always presented tom e as, “Some indy worker got a contract revoked because he has Hep C and now he’s talking about taking them to court”. It’s that kind of simplicity that his name has carried in most circles. If there is any truth to the contract offerings and tryouts, then I stand corrected – but at the same time, what has become of your career since then.

Apparently, Nicholson is now retired and in an attempt to keep whatever is left of his name viable, he’s issued an Olympic challenge to Kurt Angle.

Angle pulled out of the recent Olympic trials for whatever reason. Sometimes I just think Kurt says whatever he wants to get some press because TNA is so lousy at keeping him relevant in the industry. Angle is a beast and arguably the best pure wrestler in the world. he doesn’t need another run in the Olympics and his body isn’t what it use to be in the 90’s. Nicholson said Angle’s book (also released 15 years ago) was his bible. Which doesn’t say much because the book was the shits. But in any case, in an effort to keep his name as relevant as a book that has been forgotten since its release, he’s called Angle out and challenged him to an amateur style match.

Angle hasn’t responded yet. Probably because he doesn’t even know that this video exists. And if he does, he’s probably saying to himself – “Who the fuck is this guy and what has he ever done?”

In this era of social media, anybody can make any claim and have it be heard by millions. But does that mean it makes them relevant? Anyone with a video camera can shoot a promo and issue a challenge, but does it mean that it’s something to take serious and make news with? Or perhaps, I’m asking the wrong questions. Maybe this is effective because it actually has me writing a post about it. Maybe I didn’t know his name before, and now I do. So did I answer my own question on the effectiveness of this video and challenge?

Will Kurt Angle respond? Probably not. Not to mention, he’s not gonna have a match with this guy and risk catching the Hep C. But now people know his name. He can make another video and claim that Kurt Angle is a coward and didn’t respond to the challenge. He can claim that Kurt is all mouth but no balls, because he is ducking him and refuses to accept the match. On the flip side of the coin, I’m sure if you were to ask Kurt what he thought about the challenge, he’d say – “What challenge? What video? Who the fuck is this guy? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I guess if Kurt Angle responded, then it’s a great success. But even if he doesn’t, it still has to be some kind of success because WE are talking about it. And WE are the one really awaiting the response. And WE are the ones who got suckered into giving this guy the attention he craves. What are your thoughts?

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New Website Offers Online Sales for Independent Comic Book Authors

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Comicbookprinting.com, a high-quality printer of independent comic books, announces the launch of comicfleamarket.com – a marketplace on which authors can promote and sell their comic books.

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comicbookprinting.com, a high-quality printer of independent comic books, announces the launch of comicfleamarket.com – a marketplace on which authors can promote and sell their comic books. This site is a portal connecting fans to some of the most talented independent comic book creators out there. A nationwide distribution network servicing comic stores and other mass merchants, is also in the works for later this year.

Comic Flea Market owner Nick Sachs says, “We have been astounded by the success of our comic book printing business. Comic Flea Market is the next natural progression and provides a valuable service to our printing customers – as well as to other aspiring artists out there. We established this site because our competitors took too long to fulfill an order, had poor quality and no customer service.” Authors do not need to be clients of comicbookprinting.com in order to showcase their work on the new website.

Independent comics present an alternative to the “mainstream” superhero comics, which have historically dominated the US comic book industry. Independent comic books span a wide range of genres, artistic styles and subjects. Popular genres include fantasy, comedy, horror, graphic novels and children’s books.
Advances in technology have enabled a new generation of independent writers and artists to attract audiences with their comic book creations. Authors rely heavily on online services, such as comicfleamarket.com, to promote and sell their works. These websites have facilitated exponential growth for the entire independent comic book industry.

Contact us at 631-752-1934 or sales(at)comicfleamarket(dot)com.
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Nick Sachs
631-752-1934

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Actor Shia LaBeouf Publishes Independent Comics

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It’s no secret that there are comic fanboys in Hollywood. Shit, look at some of the weirdness that has come out of Nicolas Cage and his obsession for comics. That dude is a serious lunatic. Now we get word that Transformers franchise star Shia LaBeouf is publishing his own brand of indy comics. And when I say “indy”, I don’t mean that shit storm known as the Kingdom of Crystal Skull.

After playing slap ass with Megan Fox, Shia created three short graphic novels and a webcomic series through the publishing company, The Campaign Book. Problem is, dude with this kind of money could take a drawing class or two. I’ve seen pre-schoolers doodle better shit than this. And in all honesty, the only reason it’s getting any attention is because it has Shia’s name attached to it.

LaBeouf was also spotted selling and signing them last weekend at Chicago’s C2E2 comics convention. His works are slightly reminiscent of R. Crumb’s scraggly, jagged and often graphic work. The three books, Stale N Mate, Cyclical and Let’s Fucking Party, are all available in print and digital formats through The Campaign Book for $10 and $5 respectively. Additionally, the independent press has also published works by rapper Kid Cudi and goth rocker Marilyn Manson.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Shia’s passion project or are interested in buying these rare not-so-collectible items, check it out at thecampaignbook.com.

I’m all about supporting passion projects, but when this project looks worse than the third Transformers film tied in with the unnecessary Wall Street sequel, then maybe it’s time for Shia to stop playing with his crayons and get back to reading some quality scripts. I’m just saying.
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Skimpy Outfit Gets Lollipop Chainsaw Cosplayer Asked to Change Or Leave PAX Show Floor

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Word is that Jessica Nigri, a big-time cosplayer hired to portray the protagonist of Lollipop Chainsaw, was asked to leave the PAX East show floor yesterday. Why, you ask? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe that hot pink jumpsuit with a “neckline” plunging to her crotch has something to do with it.
She’s back today (here is Nigri, as Juliet Starling, at the Lollipop Chainsaw booth.) But Destructoid first reported that she was “asked to leave the show floor” until she had changed out of that pink outfit at right. But after changing back to the Juliet Starling costume, at left—which she had worn all Friday with no issue—she was asked to change again or leave the show entirely.

Nigri’s Twitter feed does reference something like this. “Haha guys! I just had to tone down the costume!” she tweeted this morning.

Robert Khoo, the president of business development for Penny Arcade, verified to Kotaku that Nigri was asked to change, or leave the show floor, because expo staff had received plenty of complaints about her attire, or lack of it.

Khoo said expo staff “notified the WB booth on Friday of our concerns regarding the costumes, and although there was some confusion initially about which outfit was appropriate … they understood the situation.”

Penny Arcade has had a “no booth babe” policy at its expos, not wishing them to be known for models in skimpy clothes hawking products, as they do at other events in the video gaming industry. Two years ago, that policy was put to a vote of its community, which largely reaffirmed the idea. Costumed representatives are required to know something about their product. There is to be “no messaging that specifically calls out body parts,” and while “cosplayed characters are allowed to wear revealing outfits, assuming it is true to the source game,” there is a ban on anything considered “partial nudity.” This policy still is in place, Khoo said.

“Although the policies regarding appropriate attire are clearly laid out in our exhibitor rules, there are times when edge cases like Lollipop Chainsaw, which technically is allowed since it’s the main character in the game, pop up,” Khoo told Kotaku. “For scenarios like that, we need to make a judgment call, and a big factor for this one was looking at the number of complaints we had received.”

“Ultimately the costume policy is designed to keep the show family friendly, as we see a good number of parents being their young children to the show,” Khoo said. “No one, including WB, wants to upset their fans, so I’m perfectly fine standing behind the decision and policy.”

Clarification: This story originally indicated, in parts, that Nigri was asked to leave PAX if she didn’t change. Penny Arcade’s Khoo clarified to us that she was asked to change or step off the floor (technically, to restrict her presence to a demo area inside a bus in the game’s booth). While this means she would possibly not be seen by showgoers had she not complied, she technically wouldn’t have been gone from PAX.

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Do I Really Need To Discuss That Pitiful Episode of RAW?

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I can’t believe that it’s Wednesday night, and I keep getting emails from YOU fans asking, – “Aren’t you going to make any mention of this week’s RAW?” Do I really need to? The fact that I haven’t written anything about it should sum it up, shouldn’t it?

Well, rather than getting into all the details, let’s do like we to the one night stand girls and just hit the right sports and get the hell out of this mess!

Am I the only one who feels that the WWE has lost creative steam post-Wrestlemania? The return of Brock Lesnar was a major shake-up, but it left so many unanswered questions – let alone feeling rushed into a mediocre PPV at Extreme Rules. The show has become a senseless pile up of badly acted soap opera drama and slapstick comedy. Creative storytelling is supposed to toy with your emotions, not confuse them. When you’re confused, you easily lose interest, and in a desperate attempt to regain your attention, creative shit is thrown against the wall just to see if it will stick.

This episode of RAW was no different. Outside of the bile stench from the R-Truth as Sherlock Holmes skits, the show was outright dreadful. The matches were poorly chosen, the script was poorly written, and the wrong talent worked the show. With talented workers like The Miz, Cody Rhodes and Alberto Del Rio, why did I have to watch matches with The Great Kahli, Brodus Clay and Zack Ryder?

I think the Punk/Jericho feud is stuck int he mud. A Chicago Street Fight at Extreme Rules will do nothing to help it. In fact, it takes away from the magic these two can put on in the ring. The whole “temptation and family of alcoholics bit” is overdone. It was a good lead in for Wrestlemania, but now it’s the same thing EVERY week. Jericho needs to come up with something else, because Punk looks like a deer in the headlights. Perhaps it would have been wiser to sideline Punk after having a bottle smashed against his head. Question if he would ever be able to wrestle again. Let us think he might have to forfeit the title. No I understand the need for a street fight, and I might be willing to pay for it. But nope… he’s good to go for the next week!

Am I the only one who thinks Santino has resorted himself to the lame and toddler demographic services of being a Bushwacker? Yeah, he might not walk like a duck to the ring or lick your face. In fact, you’ll need to be licking a sweaty asshole to get the bad taste of his work out of your mouth. Santino is a glorified jobber to the roster. A Koko B. Ware of sorts. There is no need to put a championship[ around his waist…Oh wait, that’s not a championship belt. That’s a “prop” that was decorated by a pre-school to celebrate the fourth of July.

Zack Ryder, I was rooting for ya buddy. You worked for me at NWA Cyberspace and were a great and humble kid. I really supported how you got on the office’s radar with your web show. But what has become of you? You’re like the nerd who not only drops the ball, but kicks it away too. Like Santino, you’re a glorified jobber with his own merchandise. The chicks dig you, so I’d put you into the “Jim Powers” category. Maybe it’s time for a heel turn? Or are you just patiently waiting for Santinio to get released so you can take over his spot as number one jobber?

The last thing I want to talk about is the build up for John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. RAW aired a pre-recorded interview with Lesnar that was scripted perfectly. This is the way promos need to be designed and delivered. Hard hitting facts that need no sugar coating. No bullshit gimmicks or animated hatred. The real type of “best in the world” magic the Punk/Jericho feud needs. It was summed up when Brock stated that Cena is only in the spot he’s in now because Brock left eight years ago, and that if he were still around, Cena would be the guy carrying his bags into the building.

My question is, why rush into this feud? If you need to make big money outside of Wrestlemanai, then I can understand. If you were building for next year’s Wrestlemania, then it would make even more sense. But to rush it into a gimmick storyline for Extreme Rules? I’m lost. Mark my words – people will buy the PPV to see the return of Brock. Not Brock vs. Cena. But it didn’t have the build that Cena/Rock had for Mania. The storyline of “what would Cena be today if Brock didn’t leave eight years ago” is enough to carry the weight for next year’s mania main event. But instead of the perfect build, you get the answer in two weeks.

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Blast From The Past – Ultimate Warrior vs. Tully Blanchard

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Remember the good ‘ol days of pro wrestling? You’re probably too young. But if you’re old like me, maybe it takes you back to a happier time. Ah, I miss those good days. Days when performers wouldn’t overkill the roster. And what I mean by that is that in today’s pro wrestling product, there is no room for imagination. There is no room to daydream and fantasy book. There is no room for the excitement of a dream match.

I guess that’s what made this year’s Wrestlemania so special. You had a match that was built up for a year and there was no physical activity that would take away from the magic of two opponents locking up and exchanging moves for the first time in their careers. It was a never before seen moment, and it successfully drew and audience and profits.

When wrestlers are wrestling each other EVERY SINGLE WEEK, over and over again – you have nothing left to crave. There is no want. If anything, you just want it to be over! This video gives you the sense of what it was like to see something that you have never seen before. Something that was different to the eye and to the senses.

At the time, The Ultimate Warrior was the most popular wrestler in the company. Any match he was in held an automatic interest. Would The Warrior squash his opponent in seconds like he did to The Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam 88? Or would the opponent go toe to toe with the face-painted maniac? But in this case, there was another element that added to the magic.

Tully Blanchard was a seasoned veteran. One who made his name while competing in the NWA and as one of the key members of the legendary Four Horsemen. His arrival in the WWF along with tag team partner Arn Anderson was a happening that real wrestling fans clamored. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and we didn’t get NWA programming. I had learned about the Four Horsemen from the thousands of wrestling magazines I had stacked in my room. Those magazines spoke volumes of how good they were, yet all I had were black and white photos of them in action – never getting the chance to see how good they were in real form.

So when they finally arrived in the WWF scene under the guidance of Bobby Heenan, it was a moment for me to finally see what they hype was all about. And in their matches with The Rockers, I can confidently say that I have never seen better tag team matches in history of the entire business…today included!

Sure, Tully had success as a singles competitor in the NWA while holding multiple championships. But my real exposure to him was in his tag team matches when he paired up with Arn. Although it was a dark match, hearing that Tully was tapped for a singles match against The Ultimate Warrior in the WWF completely blew my mind. I would see Tully tough it out on his own without the assistance of a partner. yeah, he had Heenan in his corner – but the best heels in the business had him too. “The Brain” was part of the magic.

Tully could have faced anyone in a singles match and I would have been happy. But The Ultimate Warrior was different. Yes, I knew the Warrior was going to win the match, but I didn’t have any interest in the final result. Even at a ripe young age, I knew The Warrior was limited in his ring work. After he shook the ropes, what was left? Would this be yet another squash match because WWF fans only knew Tully as a tag team competitor, so they automatically assumed he couldn’t cut it on his own, thus later using the excuse that he’s not accustomed to not being able to tag out? Or was Tully planning on running circles around this jacked up fool. Was he about to expose The Warrior for what he really was – an over hyped, brilliantly marketed character from the inner McMahon vision? Was Tully going to stretch The Warrior since it was a non-televised event? How would the Warrior respond to the scholar ring psychology that made masterpieces with Shawn Michaels in tag action? How would The Warrior respond to a match that actually made sense?

The answer is in the play button. Click it and enjoy. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section with your thoughts on the match!

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