Eve Torres Quits WWE

Standard


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.

*****************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
*****************************************************

Post brought to you in part by Glen Cove Homes for Sale and Bayside Real Estate

About these ads

PWI End of Year Awards

Standard

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!

*****************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
*****************************************************
Post brought to you in part by Rockville Centre Apartments and Glen Cove Real Estate

2012 PWI Female 50

Standard


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

*****************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
*****************************************************
Post brought to you in part by Rockville Centre Rentals and Woodmere Real Estate

Names For The WWE 2013 Hall of Fame?

ring-5
Standard

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.

*****************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
*****************************************************
Post brought to you in part by Promotional Logo Pen and Danbury Exterminator.

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

Standard

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:

*******************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
*******************************************************
This post is brought to you in part by Customized Tote Logo and Greenwich Pest Control.

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

punk vs aries
Standard

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!

****************************************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
****************************************************************************

CM Punk: Best In The World DVD Review

Standard

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

************************************************************************************
You can interact with DieHard Derek by following him on Facebook and Twitter.
**************************************************************************************
Post is brought to you in part by Promotional Logo Pen & Rockville Centre Apartments
**************************************************************************************