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WWE Future Endeavors Emma (UPDATED)

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UPDATE: 6:45 PM Central Standard Time

Apparently your voices were heard; mere moments after typing this, it was announced via WWE.com that Emma has been reinstated in the promotion.

Well damn…

For the sake of humoring us here at L.E.W.D., read the following because it’s still all relevant somewhere.
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Just in case you haven’t heard the word, we have it on good authority (pun intended) that the WWE has come to terms with the release of notable Diva Emma.  Also known by her government approved name Tenille Dashwood, Emma was also recently arrested for allegedly stealing an iPod case from a Walmart in Connecticut.

Many wrestling fans have taken to the internet to voice their displeasure with the promotion’s decision to dismiss Emma over something that they (the fans) believe to have been an accident or a simple mistake on Emma’s part.  After all if one is working as an independent contractor for the world’s most prominent sports entertainment promotion, there would be no need to steal anything from anywhere when you could easily purchase it yourself or have the promotion purchase it for you.  This also falls square in line with the notion that all individuals placed under arrest are innocent until proven guilty, and clearly Emma can’t be guilty of stealing something worth $21.14.

Reports have it that Emma was sentenced to some community service and upon completion of said service, all charges against her would be dropped.  This form of “punishment,” apparently, isn’t enough for the WWE.

Immediately fans cite the blatant hypocrisy of the WWE’s policy towards the professionalism of its employees outside of the company by mentioning the repeated DUI arrests and Wellness Policy violations of several other superstars (Randy Orton, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Jack Swagger, Jimmy Uso).  There was even a comment that brought up superstars with legal issues prior to their joining the WWE family (Booker T), which was intended to make the point that the ‘E keeps superstars who committed far worse crimes on the roster than this, deeming their decision to release Emma over allegedly stealing an iPod case completely asinine and ridiculous.

Emma’s release also comes at a time when fans have been convinced that the multitude of recent releases within the company have everything to do with the perceived financial crisis the promotion is currently facing.  This leads fans to believe that Emma’s release was simply a cost-cutting measure and that her arrest was an excuse used to poorly justify her termination.

To say it plainly, fans are justifiably saddened at Emma’s release … even though five days ago they were complaining that she and her gimmick were failing to get over with fans … such is the befuddling and ever flexible opinion of pro wrestling fans.  Hakuna matata.

emma2The constant “thing” with each of the theories surrounding the logic behind Emma’s release is dualistic in that it is composed of an emotional response and a stone cold reality.  Deep down we fans actually like Emma the character and Tenille, the woman who portrays the character, and we all honestly have no idea why WWE released her.  

We fans can speculate all day and night, but as spectators hovering around the the situation with our faces firmly pressed against the glass separating us from the odds-and-ends of the business, we can only comment on what we think we know to the extent in which we understand it.  It makes more sense for us to blame the ‘E for responding to Emma’s arrest in the manner they did, and it makes little sense to us to try to understand why they responded they way they did.  We’ve reacted to our superficial knowledge of the situation at hand … nothing more, nothing less.

Very few people have mentioned that this situation may affect the visa that allows her, as an Australian citizen, to work here in the United States.  What would happen if she were still under contract with the ‘E and forced to return home for an indefinite amount of time?  But of course this isn’t sensational enough to consider or speculate on.

Even with discussing the financial issues plaguing the promotion at the time, very few people have talked about the budget cuts from the perspective rooted in the beginning of a new fiscal year (July 1st), where most businesses look to shave expenses from their budget lines.  Instead of looking at the situation as if the ‘E were trying to save money after losing so much, one could view it as if the ‘E were trying to save money by not spending as much as they did the last fiscal year.  There were reports that the WWE cut travel expenses for their superstars (paying for their tour buses), and if you’ve paid attention even the PPV sets aren’t as elaborate as they once were; these cost-cutting measures keep the promotion from spending more money and being as free with their revenue as they were before the massive loss of profits.  Unfortunately the money spent on employee contracts isn’t immune from these types of cost cutting measures.

From that perspective the promotion then becomes a place where superstars have no room or margin for error, especially superstars on the low end of the ladder in WWE.  Whatever Emma did or didn’t do, no matter how small an infraction we believe it to be, was a simple “f**k up” that might have cost her her WWE contract.  Then again, this isn’t sensational enough to consider or speculate on either.

Then there is our comparison of the punishment for Emma’s infraction compared to that of other superstars.  While fans have piled on the bandwagon advocating for Emma by citing the punishments received by other superstars for committing crimes deemed more “harsh” or “serious,” there haven’t been many fans that have spoken at length on the implied misogyny present within the company.  No one has noted how current TNA Knockout Taryn Terrell was released immediately from her contract after being arrested for an altercation with her then husband and former WWE superstar Drew McIntyre, while male superstars arrested for suspected domestic abuse (“Stone Cold” Steve Austin) were allowed to go about their business within the promotion after repaying their debt to society.  Perhaps the issue of discrimination against women would be more important to discuss whether or not a suspected thief should be given the same leniency as someone driving under the influence (which could be anybody over whatever the legal limit is in the state they’re driving in; one doesn’t necessarily have to be “drunk” and driving to be arrested for driving under the influence…).

Whatever the case may be and whatever we choose to believe, it truly stinks that Emma had only scratched the surface of her potential on the main roster before her release.  Only she, her attorney and the prosecutor, and the WWE truly know what happened; as much as we desire to crucify the ‘E for choosing to release her from the promotion, we’re doing so as an immediate, ill-informed response and reaction to the news.  We shouldn’t expect that Emma won’t ever work for the company again, nor should we expect that we won’t see her wrestle again in some form or capacity.  At this point, all we can do as fans is make a loud enough noise supporting her if her arrest was the result of a careless action she unintentionally made when checking out at Walmart.  Until all the facts come out, if they ever come out, we’ll have to find some way to grapple with not seeing her meander through a gimmick that we said wasn’t working for us.

 

 

 

 


Sheamus’ Injury Update

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This was literally minutes after Sheamus was released from the hospital in Birmingham. Dr. Andrews does it again!

As reported on Bleacher Report, Sheamus suffered a shoulder injury recently and is going to be out some time…

Well, we here at L.E.W.D. don’t often dig into the news/dirtsheet business, but I have conformation from HIS MOUTH that he will be out for at least 4 months.  A (strategically placed) friend of mine was in Birmingham today and it just so happened to be the day of his surgery!

My friend spotted him at a restaurant and briefly asked him about his shoulder in which she informed him that the surgury was successful and that he would be out for 4 months rehabbing the injury which would set him to return around Royal Rumble time.

He doesn’t know if there will be any repackaging (as many of the IWC blindly beg for), but there will be a new fire lit for him to have success in the future.

Speaking of the IWC…

Let me set this straight….Fierceness and Heat does not a heel make.  People get very caught up with the idea that everyone that is talented needs to be a heel…NO! NO! NO! (Like what I did there?)

“Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect” are also strong characteristics of both Gangbangers and Mobsters. It’s a motto that many of them live by.

My point: Much like Vince McMahon has said in the past, “Fans know what they like, but don’t know what they want, and it’s my job to show them!”

Do you really want Sheamus to be a heel, or do you just want him to be more entertaining in a way that satisfies your tastes?


Modern day Nostradamus or Security Breach?

I have been a wrestling fan, on and off (yes I took a brief hiatus) for roughly 25 years.  If I had a dollar, dime, nickel, hell…even a penny, for every time a friend, child, stranger or passerby told me “You know, wrestling is fake…you know that… right?” I wouldn’t be sitting here on a Saturday putting fingers to keys for a lowly hourly rate.  Yes, wrestling is scripted.  Yes, someone somewhere decides how a feud will go, who will win, etc.  I have always met these revelations people feel they need to give me on wrestling with either a rude hand gesture or a sarcasm filled, contemptuous remark.

I’ve never cared that wrestling was “fake.”  Honestly, I have been more baffled by the notion people have that I am somehow missing out on something better by watching wrestling just because it has a predetermined outcome.  The same people that try and save me from this terrible habit often go to movies, watch televisions shows, and read books… all forms of entertainment that someone else knows the ending to.   I am not sure how it is any different.

I  don’t frequent spoiler sites or get heavy into predictions so I am often still surprised by the things said, done, and shown on RAW, Smacdown, etc.  I was definitely surprised by Damien Sandow winning at MITB.  Sure, plenty of people will say they saw that coming, maybe even wanted it to happen, but I didn’t, so a scripted, predetermined sporting event surprised me.  

Knowing that WWE is scripted or “fake” is not a turn off for fans because most of us do not actually know what is going to happen.  Sure, we can write articles about what should happen,  what we want to happen and many of us do.  We complain, cheer, bitch, moan, cry, brag amongst each other on various online forums, blogs, overly glorified websites, etc to proclaim the next big feud, which superstar is headed up and which is headed into the abyss but the fact that it is all just a guess remains constant.  No fan really knows what is going to happen right?

Well, recently one fan claimed to.  It is being reported that a fan, Dolphin1925,  over at Reddit’s SquaredCircle forum has gone 38 for 38 with predictions, claiming to be a WWE fan with a credible inside source, who hopes to shed light on WWE’s need to keep their storylines tucker away tighter. 

WWE has responded saying the following:

“We may have a modern day Nostradamus on our hands. We might have to monitor these posts in advance of our next pay-per-view to see how good he or she really is.”

This is not the first time I have come across a wrestling fan claiming to have insider information but many feel this fan does.  So what do you think? Nostradamus or is WWE getting sloppy?

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/world-of-sport/wwe-results-being-leaked-internet-100100956.html


EVOLVE Championship Unveiled

For those of you who may or may not keep up with the Independent wrestling world, EVOLVE  is the sister promotion to DragonGate: USA, the company spearheaded by former Ring of Honor co-founder Gabe Sapolsky.

EVOLVE was the brainchild of Sapolsky and “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson before his move to the WWE. It was to be a place to highlight the most innovative, unique, up-and-coming pro wrestlers on the independent scene. The company was initially based off of a records system to determine the hierarchy, but in recent months, after listening to the woes of many fans – the company began teasing a possible Evolve Championship.

Today, photos of the championship hit the Internet, and they are worth seeing…

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I personally think this is a remarkably designed Championship – something I could actually see myself being proud to have, and I am certainly no professional wrestler. It looks like something worth fighting for, something of esteem, that a lot of work and passion have gone into.

EVOLVE will have a tournament WrestleMania weekend (4/5) to crown the first ever champion… here’s how the bracket has unfolded so far:

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To order the EVOLVE Live iPPV or any of their former events (including El Generico’s final matches on the Indy scene)…visit http://www.wwnlive.com


Friday Fracas of the Afternoon!!! | Joe Burgett vs. Jacob Waring THIS FRIDAY!!!

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Prepare yourselves for one heck of a throw down!

The announcement was made official last week, and we’ve received word from both camps that their fighters are ready to get down and dirty!  So we, the faithful L.E.W.D. Crew members, proudly present the Friday Fracas of the Afternoon!!!  Two top pro wrestling writers will duke it out here on the site, with the winner claiming ultimate supremacy over the loser, and the loser leaving with his head pathetically drooping in shame.

That’s right!  Joe “OMG” Burgett will go toe-to-toe with Jacob “I’m Sorry, I Forgot the Tuna Salad” Waring in an analytical assessment that will titillate your senses, exasperate your emotions, and permeate your person to possibly percolate your intellect in a rousing wrasslin’ discussion!

Both wordsmiths of the squared circle have been engaged in a brutal war of words over the past few days concerning an alleged controversial ending to a recent contest over at Wrestle Enigma.  This war recently came to a head on Twitter and Facebook, the 2013 alternative to meeting someone on the playground.  Much like a modern-day, electronic and slightly more stylish Don King, our very own Mr. Quinn Gammon seized the opportunity and offered our home here to host another confrontation between these two giants in the pro wrestling internet community (not to be confused with the Internet Wrestling Community…there is a difference).

While we’ve yet to get any official word from Jacob Waring on the upcoming battle, sources within Mr. Burgett’s camp have authoritatively let the entire world know that the “champ” is ready to dispense one hell of a whoopin’ on his opponent.  And in case you’re wondering it’s not considered “instigation” if it’s already on the internet for the whole world to see.

So make sure you grab all your friends and head to this site THIS FRIDAY, JAN. 25 for the Friday Fracas of the Afternoon!!!  It’s gonna be a bombastic brouhaha!!!


State of Pro Wrestling Address

State of the Union address

We are back again with another Podcast covering the state of the industry.

Topics came from the following:

Vitality of the Pro Wrestling Industry for both WWE & TNA

Champions of the Industry

And various current events.

State of Wrestling Address Part 1

State of Wrestling Address Part 2


Hardy Boys Return to WWE? Very Likely To Care Very Little

According to Gerweck.net, Matt Hardy commented during a recent interview that a Hardy Boys reunion in the WWE early next year would be “very likely.”

Please allow me the opportunity to present myself as one that is as, if not more, prescient than Matthew Moore Hardy…

*ahem* It’s very likely that everyone reading this piece right now will die someday; ba-da-bing, I’m brilliant.

All jokes aside this news seems intriguingly befuddling to me for various reasons.

On one hand it is not uncommon for fans to hear an athlete working in the professional wrestling business make the statement, “never say never.”

In fact that statement is one of the few tried and true things of the industry built on scripted or staged athletic contests.  While we fans build imaginary walls between pro wrestling organizations, the reality consistently remains that pro wrestling/sports entertainment is a business; hundreds and thousands of people (if not millions) make their living off the blood, sweat and tears that comes with “wrasslin’.”

From that perspective “never say never” provides an entirely different connotation.  We’d like to believe that most wrestlers have blood feuds and vendettas against certain pro wrestling promotions and companies, but the bittersweet truth is that the thin line between morals and ethics creates an uncomfortably grey area of understanding for fans when it concerns an athlete’s well-being after one’s wrestling career is over.

While the “cool thing” at the moment is to lambaste everything offered by Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, one would easily epitomize feeble-mindedness by ignoring the company’s status as the big dog on the block.

Being the big dog on the block means that everyone’s on your tail one way or another; the pipsqueaks are either out to get you or out to get with you.  Getting with the WWE is no small feat as we’ve seen through numerous episodes of Tough Enough, Diva Search, and countless tryout match and developmental contract signing news blurbs.  Most fans won’t admit this but there are wrestlers scratching and clawing their way to WWE just to be Security Guard #7 in a Great Khali/Hornswoggle skit.

Let’s take it one step further: Taz, Jeff Jarrett, Bully Ray and Devon, and Kurt Angle all received residual checks for appearing in the WWE’s recent Attitude Era DVD.  Fans can berate the company six ways from Sunday, but money talks and you’d be a post-pubescent bed wetter to think that anybody would turn down a six figure check from just appearing on a DVD with 15 year old matches and backstage skits.

With that reality in mind it isn’t absurd that Matt Hardy would proudly admit that it’s “very likely” the Hardy brothers would appear back in WWE sometime in early 2013.  The money would be spectacular, the duo could end their careers in the place that afforded them global notoriety, and they could potentially put over the next young and hungry tag team in the company.  Everybody wins, right?

What is absurd is the idea that (a) fans should easily accept that possibility and (b) fans should actually give a damn at this point in time.

Wait, wrong Hardy Boys…or are they…?

At times it appears that the bulk of the Hardy’s collective fame comes mostly from Jeff Hardy falling off stuff.  This doesn’t negate their legacy in pro wrestling at all; the role they played (along with others) in the tag team boom of the Attitude Era is easily recognizable and laudable.

That was twelve to fifteen years ago.  Since then Jeff Hardy has become as recognizable as John Cena to the hardcore and casual wrestling fan alike.  His “extracurricular activities” are near mythic and reminiscent of the days when wrestlers played as hard outside the ring as much as they worked inside the ring.  His appeal resonates with fans who like to go full throttle with their balls-to-the-wall, cherishing individualism, uniqueness and creativity while shunning and cursing everything that screams middle-management conformity.

Theoretically speaking Jeff Hardy would thrive as a top star in any organization that chose to seriously capitalize off of the devil-may-care mentality that seems prevalent in a good number of fans today.

Yet and still fans still want him saddled to his older brother in a tag team.  That’s the modern day equivalent of asking Shawn Michaels to return for “one more run” with Marty Jannetty.

If both Jeff and Matt Hardy were to return to WWE no doubt the nostalgia factor would blow the roofs off arenas across the country and the world.  But how feasible would it be for the company to pass on the marketing potential that comes with pushing the more popular brother as a singles star versus the mediocre money that comes with trotting them around like the McGuire Twins?

The bread and butter that would come with placing them back in a tag team would be their ability to elevate the division and help create new tag team stars, even though for some odd reason that despite all the compelling and available evidence, most fans still believe WWE’s tag team division is non-existent.

Other than that placing the brothers back in the tag team division would be a monumental waste of talent, money, and energy if the only goal was celebrate their epic tag team greatness while tacitly ignoring their potential as singles’ stars.

The second idea is that fans by-and-large are clamoring for are Hardy Boys reunion.  Half of WWE’s current fan base wasn’t born until well after the Hardys had separated as tag team stars.   The implication is that the only fans who truly desire to see the Hardys back together in WWE are those who probably watch Impact Wrestling.

The irony of that implication is that their well-intentioned desire wasn’t even strong enough for TNA to consider placing them in a full time tag team; mind you this is the same company that brought back the Nasty Boys.

Apparently Vince McMahon made a very poignant comment on the Monday Night Wars DVD some years ago: “Fans know what they like, but don’t know what they want.”  The idea of a Hardy Boys reunion is fantastic while the reality of it may be as popular as diarrhea in a swimming pool.

This situation can easily remind one of the clamoring for a return to an Attitude Era-esque product.  All things considered fans don’t really want a return to vulgarity, blood and ad hoc nudity; fans desire for the athletes, writers, and owners to show the same passion today that was present in 1997.

Although the today’s circumstances are very different, the foundation and spirit that existed then should still be present.  The Attitude Era was great because of the passion that was visible in the product; today’s unholy triumvirate (writers, wrestlers, owners) seems almost apathetic to providing a compelling product.

The same is true about the Hardy brothers; fans really don’t want the 1997-2001 Hardy Boys.  Instead we want what they represented, an unparalleled desire to provide fans with non-stop, action packed and compelling in-ring storytelling that is fueled with segments of comedy, drama, and suspense.

If there are tons of stars today that can offer that for years to come, why the heck would anyone want to go backwards and unnecessarily push stars from the past?

For example: on any good given day this year Matt and Nick Jackson (a.k.a. Generation Me, b.k.a. The Young Bucks) could provide an equally entertaining and thrilling match as the Hardys.  One could even go as far as saying they could do so without the use of ladders or 20-50 foot dives.

Now how many dirt sheet sites have you seen with commentators lobbying for the Jacksons to get another chance in WWE?  It is somewhat counterproductive to lobby for young and new talent while clinging to the past.

Remember these dudes? Wanna see them in action? There are like 50 DVDs you can purchase for that.

The Hardy Boys come with a certain nostalgia factor that cannot and should not be ignored, but it seems far-fetched to hang one’s hopes and dreams on a WWE Hardy reunion.  Matt and Jeff have most assuredly carved an unequivocal name for themselves in the annals of pro wrestling history and unless that legacy is used appropriately and sparingly (think The Undertaker and Sting), fans will never truly appreciate the hell they put themselves through for the sake of entertainment.

If it were up to this analyst, I would rally the troops to support each brother in their current efforts.  Jeff Hardy, in one light, seems perfectly fine in TNA and should be the over promoted standard bearer for the company.

Matt Hardy, in that same light, seems to have found a perfect niche in being a free agent lending his skills and knowledge to up-and-coming wrestlers; keep in mind that the better workers in tag teams are not always the ones with “successful” singles careers (*cough cough Marty Jannetty*).

From that vantage point, a Hardy reunion in WWE is unnecessary and pointless.  When it’s all said and done, it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that Matt Hardy was very likely blowing smoke out his ass for the sake of it.

And just in case you didn’t get that McGuire Twin reference up there, here’s a picture of the brothers…

*cues Hardy Boyz music*


Happy L.E.W.D. Thanksgiving!!!

Who wants the honor of trying to carve THIS turkey? | Photo: WWE.com

On behalf of the team of writers here at L.E.W.D., we would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  For those of our readers who don’t celebrate this holiday, we’d like to express our sincerest gratitude for your reads and visits to the site, and it is our hope that whatever you choose to do this day, you a) keep it within the city limits, b) keep it legal, or c) whichever comes first.

In the spirit of the Black Friday holiday I’d personally like to do a shameless plug for DragonGate USA and EVOLVE Wrestling.  I find it amusing that “real” wrestling fans will harp incessantly over sports entertainment all the while never checking out orgs that don’t have Vince McMahon or Dixie Carter’s sticky and greasy fingerprints all over the product.

Having said that, DGUSA has an excellent Black Friday sale going on where all of the DVDs are 50% off.  The sale ends Monday at midnight, so hop to it and click here to get your wrasslin’ on.

Also don’t forget that TNA’s Thanksgiving episode of Impact Wrestling airs tonight.  After you’re done stuffing your face with stuffing and having the obligatory conversation with an older relative about all the things you’re not doing right in life, plop down and chillax with what we all know will be a fun episode of sports entertainment.

Once again enjoy the holiday, enjoy the day and your family/friends, and spend some money on DragonGate USA products!

Have a great day, folks!


Talking Points: A.W. Released: Yes, it sucks but get over it.

As most of you have probably heard by now, WWE’s A.W. was officially released by the company last night in one of the more volatile terminations in recent memory. Almost immediately following the announcement of his release on WWE.com (or slightly before, depending on who you ask) A.W. took to Twitter to take WWE to task for what he felt was a double standard.

Naturally, the interwebs have been all abuzz with A.W.’s official Twitter feed being blown up to High Hrothgar with messages of support and cries for the WWE’s blood.

I have but one message for these numerous Twittizens.

Get over it.

Does A.W.’s release suck? ABSOLUTELY.

The guy is extremely talented on the mic and from what I’ve seen and read, in the ring as well. It’s definitely a very disappointing situation for everyone involved. However, the one point that no one seems to be taking into consideration amidst the alcohol and adrenaline fueled rants is that the WWE is a business and the wheels are going to keep turning.

The world is not ending. The WWE is not going out of business tomorrow because of this (no matter how badly some people may want them to) and A.W. is definitely not going to have trouble finding a new line of work.

Early reports say that A.W. is planning on pursuing a career in comedy. He certainly has the wit and the attitude for it. Another tweet from A.W.’s timeline implicates Linda McMahon and her current Senate campaign for his untimely release.

However, a WWE representative has allegedly spoken with TMZ and stated the following:

“Unfortunately, Brian Jossie, playing the character of A.W. was terminated because he continued to exhibit poor judgment by making offensive and inappropriate comments on live television and on social media.” -Credit: Lordsofpain.net

There are a lot of things to consider here that nobody is willing to because everyone was quick to pick up pitchforks and torches.

1. Naturally, WWE is the bad guy since they’re the ones who made the release. However, if A.W. was making questionable statements in a time period where political correctness is at an all time high, should he really be absolved of all blame for the situation?

Exhibit B, or something like that, will demonstrate one such comment that was poorly worded.

While most write this off as an (obviously) sarcastic but tongue-in-cheek reference to Linda’s senate campaign, the hashtag #VoteOrDie4Linda was an extraordinarily poor choice of words.

Yes, the political correctness sucks. Let me just state that outright if anyone wasn’t sharp enough to pick up on the intent with everything above. It really does suck. But the PG era is not going to kill professional wrestling. This industry is cyclical, as we talk about ad-nauseum.

On top of this, WWE is a global empire that caters to people from all demographics through numerous outlets other than just professional wrestling.

While that might piss off a lot of wrestling purists, it’s not a bad business move. There’s a reason that no one can compete with the WWE. Believe me, I wish someone could.

They’re a multi-billion dollar corporation with sponsors, publicly traded and now, the wife of the C.E.O. is in politics. Politics generally equal real crappy things for us Average Joe’s if you haven’t realized. Yes, this definitely sucks but A.W. was more than well aware of the circumstances at the time that he chose to tweet and say the things he said.

In the end, his release was a good example of damage control. With that cockamamie “Moms Against McMahon” group berating Linda at every turn, the last thing Vince McMahon or his company needs is bad press. While I am completely opposed to her political bid impacting the WWE, I can understand why it does.

Despite her best efforts to more or less cut her ties with the company on a public scale, her last name is McMahon and she can’t do anything about that. It’d be like Donald Trump trying to run for President without implicating the real estate ventures he’s been doing business with for decades.

The name McMahon is synonymous with professional wrestling and more directly, the WWE. There’s nothing she can do about it. Therefore, her senate campaign has and will continue to be unfortunately and directly linked to what’s happening in the WWE.

A.W. was not John Cena or Randy Orton or Daniel Bryan or even Zack Ryder. He was just a very talented performer. He was NOT a Superstar whose actions had a dynamic impact on the company.

Until last night.

While someone like John Cena or Randy Orton or any of the other major stars in the company would have been penalized less harshly (whether that sounds unfair or not), A.W. was not one of the aforementioned major stars. In other words, he was expendable.

Yes, I know that sounds harsh and I’m as upset as most everyone else is. Difference is, I’m also a creature of logic and I’m not damning the company for a smart albeit unpleasant business decision.

A.W.’s release was an example to the rest of the locker room. A message sent directly from Vince McMahon to everyone else:

“This campaign is important and it’s already making things challenging enough as it is. This is a line you do not cross.

As such, it was foolhardy for A.W. to reference the Senate campaign at all. To drive the knife in deeper with a hashtag like #VoteOrDie4Linda was just stupid. This brings me to my second talking point.

2. Is WWE truly holding a double-standard by releasing A.W. when other stars have committed worse offenses and “lived” to tell the tale? 

That’s a difficult question to answer. The go-to response for pretty much everyone aside from me and our usefully little intern Greg is “Yes.”

However, I do have journalistic integrity and I’m going to look at both sides of this issue objectively.

As I stated before, A.W. was not a major star. He was a fantastic manager, great on the mic and he was doing wonders for Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, otherwise known as the PrimeTime Players. However, he was not a crucial component of the company. To use an example, I’ll refer back to the infamous Curtain Call incident.

Though versions of the story differ, the basic premise was that four members of “The Kliq” (in this case, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) made a conscious, and what they believed at the time was an approved, decision to break kayfabe in Madison Square Garden after a match and hug it out in the ring as a way to say goodbye publicly to each other. (Nash and Hall were imminently WCW-bound.)

In the end, Vince caught a ton of heat for the above-mentioned breaking of kayfabe, as numerous old school employees felt disrespected by it. Kayfabe was a sacred art, a code of silence that these trailblazers had helped cement, and those four breaking it in the world’s most famous arena was unacceptable.

McMahon was left with several one option:

Punish Triple H.

Does that seem fair? Triple H was still getting established as a star and was definitely not calling the shots within The Kliq at this time. But it was entirely circumstantial. Nash and Hall were leaving and Michaels was the World Wrestling Federation Champion.

What else could Vince have done?

This is the same thing that has been done with A.W. It has been stated before that Vince often goes out of his way at times to level a punishment on a person in order to uphold his authority. In Triple H’s case, the Curtain Call Incident scored Hunter a year of jobbing, the King of the Ring title (which ironically was given to Stone Cold Steve Austin in his stead) and a long trip back up the totem pole before breaking through that upper echelon that he had been so close to.

In A.W.’s case, it cost him his job.

Vince allegedly told Triple H that if he didn’t punish him for the Curtain Call, the boys may not take him as seriously. Unfortunately for A.W., last night was another example of Vince dropping the hammer to assert his authority.

While I still remain sympathetic to his plight, this brings me to my third and final talking point.

3. Should A.W.’s mindset of “Attitude” be considered one of the catalysts of his release?

The one constant between A.W.’s Twitter ranting and the people responding to it is the outcry for the death and crucifixion of the PG Era and a return to the Attitude Era. Being that it’s 4 AM and I’m hungry and tired, I’ll keep this short.

THE ATTITUDE ERA IS DEAD. GONE. THE WORLD’S TINIEST VIOLIN IS PLAYING YOU A SAD HARMONY RIGHT NOW. THAT’S AS MUCH AS YOU’RE GETTING.

Even when the WWE does inevitably enter another period of “Attitude”, it isn’t going to be the Attitude Era. Face facts. The WWE is a global media empire, something they hadn’t fully established during the A.E.

In the original Era, WWE didn’t have a global standard of excellence to uphold. Stop and pause and realize that for every one memorable moment the Attitude Era produced, it also produced two cringeworthy moments that should never be repeated, EVER.

Perhaps A.W. and the fans supporting him should take this into consideration. As for me? I wish the man all the best in his future endeavors (no irony intended) and I know he’ll be a success at wherever he chooses to ply his trade next.

And no, I don’t think it’ll be TNA. Sorry smarks.

But hey, King Mo is about set to have a month of training and a three month wrestling career…

Hey A.W…

~Mr. Quinn Gammon


The Return of Quinn Pt. 11 (TNA)

OK…Brace Yourself.  Innocent ears be warned…Mr. Quinn Gammon is allowed to verbally express his thoughts and feelings on TNA current events.

The Return of Quinn 2012-08-06 Pt. 11 (TNA)

Disclaimer…if you are a TNA fan, this might hurt a little…

The Return of Quinn 2012-08-06 Pt. 11 (TNA Atmosphere)

This is the final installment of this series.  Be on the lookout for more from both Mr. Quinn Gammon and I.

We hope you have enjoyed this journey, and we hope it will bring you back for more.  Just like WWE 3-hour RAW, we are just getting started, so it will take time to improve so be patient.


The Return of Quinn Pt. 4

The WWE has two new GMs for Raw and SmackDown.  Here is some commentary on the subject as well as some rumors for the future of the commentary seats.

The Return of Quinn 2012-08-06 Pt. 4


The Return of Quinn

After a lengthy hiatus, Mr. Quinn Gammon is breaking his silence and is giving his thoughts on the current world of Professional Wrestling, with special emphasis on the WWE & TNA.  This will be the first of a series of topics that will be posted for the days to come.  So sit back and enjoy.

The Return of Quinn 2012-08-06 Pt. 1

Feel free to comment with your thoughts.


My Two Cents: Velvet Sky and Chavo Guerrero, Jr.

Shout out to the wrestling gods for Twitter:

And to make things even more juicier interesting, here’s this:

ANNNNNNNND just so we can go to for the hat trick, Chavo Guerrero Jr.’s “epic” debut for IMPACT Wrestling included a beat down at the hands of Team 3 Strikes (Gunner and Kid Kash) and a save from Hernandez…

I can only blame myself…

People love to be “right,” and as I bask in a half-filled tub of lukewarm “I-told-you-so,” I do want to consider both of these incidents as events not related to the quality of tonight’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling; that’s another post all by itself.

Two things have happened since Velvet announced her departure from TNA: 1) the speculation of her status in the company has ended, and 2) the speculation of a Beautiful People reunion in the WWE has begun.  Think of it as an equal trade of water cooler gossip.  Oh, and for those of you that care, her profile is still available for viewing pleasure at IMPACTWrestling.com.

Fans shouldn’t expect a BP reunion in the WWE, nor should they actually ask for one.  After all both Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are “wrestlers,” and the WWE doesn’t specialize in “wrestling,” particularly “women’s wrestling.”  So who in their right mind would want to see both of these skillful and dangerous female athletes suffer under the oppressive yoke of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s evil sports entertainment machine?  I mean it’d be a completely different story if the BPs were better known for their titillatingly sensual antics, such as straddling the ring ropes or allowing ring announcers to objectify them by making thinly veiled observations about their genitalia…thank goodness they’re wrestlers.

Velvet also managed to sneak a pot shot in about the current creative staff by thanking Vince Russo by name for giving the BPs a shot.  We all know that Russo is the black-hearted scapegoat of pro wrestling, but with each passing day there appears to be more and more people thanking him for giving them the opportunity to shine.   It is kind of odd for people to speak highly of the anti-Christ…

As for Chavo Guerrero Jr., I don’t think there are a enough words to even begin describing the unwillingness of at least one fan to witness where his first story line in the company is headed.  Maybe we can pick a few out of the 3000 the next few pictures will give us:


In a situation like this we’ve got to feel some level of sympathy for SuperMex.  Arguably his best stint in TNA was during the Latin American Xpress (LAX) faction with Homicide and Konnan as their mouthpiece.  In my opinion the combination of Homicide’s speed and viciousness, Hernandez’s unmistakable power and big man-agility, and Konnan’s blood-boiling heat magnet mic skills made the trio one of the most underrated and over-looked tag teams in TNA’s tag team division at the time.  Then TNA had to go and not pay Konnan’s medical bills and he had to go and get litigious and that was pretty much the end of that oil well right there.

After that Hernandez played second-fiddle to Homicide’s charisma slaughtering mic skills…literally.  The man has undeniable skill in the ring but he’s no Bob Uecker when it comes to the gift of gab and he might be a stone’s throw away from Adamle territory.  After navigating the tumultuous turmoil of those stormy seas they added the equally Hispanic and then recently future-endeavored Salinas (a.k.a. WWE’s Ariel, b.k.a. Kevin Thorn’s smoking hot vampiric valet) to the group…and that ended terribly as well.

Before I forget, Willie Urbina and the other Hispanic announcer at the time had something to do with them…moving right along…

So Homicide leaves the company and SuperMex is left all alone until someone gets the bright idea to not only give him a tag partner but to also make HIM the mouthpiece of the group.  Keep in mind that up until this point all Hernandez had to do was beat people up; by giving him the stick they might as well have put Stevie Wonder in a police line-up to point out the cats that kidnapped Samoa Joe.

To make matters worse in that particular situation, TNA saddled Hernandez with Matthew “Anarquia” Barela, who most fans viewed as a poor man’s Chavo Guerrero.  AND THEN the cherry on top was the subjective observation that Anarquia was about as close to being a skilled wrestler as Mike Tenay is to giving a damn about the product he’s commentating on.

A lot of fans blamed Anarquia for Sabin’s first ACL injury.  From the video it really doesn’t seem like his fault, until you see this

Botched spots and injuries aside, the lovely Sarita is thrown into the mix and randomly introduces her cousin Rosita to TNA fans and now we have the anti-American super group Mexican America who, at one point in time, held both the TNA Tag Team Championships and the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championships.  Then Anarquia got sent back to OVW because someone recognized the need for some “seasoning” if you will, and then Hernandez disappeared from TV, then Rosita and Sarita palled around until they disappeared too.

Hernandez randomly shows back up just in time for Slammiversary X, has a match that night plus one more match on the IMPACT Wrestling following the Pay Per View, disappears again, and now returns to save a debuting Chavo Guererro Jr. from two suspiciously prejudiced and stereotypical “good ol’ boys” with sleeve tattoos that would make The Undertaker and Randy Orton jealous.

So again…whyyyyy???  Specifically speaking about TNA’s product, is it absolutely vital to team the Hispanic and Latin American wrestlers up with one another even if none of them really wrestle the Lucha Libre style?  Or given Chavo Guerrero’s curriculum vitae in the business was it really necessary for Hernandez to be the superstar to benefit from his rub?  Hell, why not have Sam Shaw face Hernandez and have Doug Williams come to Chavo’s rescue seeing as Doug is well versed in wrestling with a Guerrero.

I don’t know, perhaps that’s why I’m sitting behind my laptop prattling incessantly about the decision instead of being paid beau coup bucks to sit behind a laptop and email the decision to Bruce Prichard…hey waitaminute…

In any case, Velvet Sky no longer works for TNA and Chavo Guerrero took one majestically massive sidestep into TNA.  At least the Bound for Glory Series is looking robust.


Brace Yourself! Chavo Guerrero Jr. is Ready to Make an IMPACT!

Wait…an elaborate video package for Chavo Guerrero, Jr.? Did my Apple IIe just get a virus for the first time in 26 years???

As mentioned in my previous post, Chavo Guerrero Jr. is set to debut on tomorrow night’s LIVE episode of IMPACT Wrestling.

… … …

I’m sorry, I just don’t see the excitement behind this.

Sometime ago I crafted a piece that talked about Matt Hardy’s departure from the WWE which paved the way for his debut in TNA.  In an ironic twist of irony, I lauded this move for Hardy by citing that this would be his golden opportunity to run with the brass ring that was not “given” to him in the WWE.  As many of his fans vehemently stated, this opportunity would be the chance Hardy would have to show that he could be a top dawg in professional wrestling.

He debuted with TNA in January 2011.  He was released seven months later in August.  So much for that.

One of the things we fans don’t consider is that people play particular”roles” in life based off of the skill sets they have.  That’s not a bad thing; that’s just recognizing one’s strengths and capitalizing off of them for the greater good of all.  Certain wrestlers are placed in certain roles because they can benefit the company in a specific area of concern.

Allow the following crudely drawn cartoon to elaborate on this perspective:

While I’m somewhat sure that most fans aren’t expecting the second coming of Magnum TA with Chavo’s arrival in TNA, I am intrigued at what his presence in the company will mean for the company’s product.

Chavo is one of the most technically sound and gifted wrestlers out there and comes from a legacy of gifted pro wrestlers (d’uh).  The down side to that particular gift is that his charismatic appeal leaves about as much of a mark on fan as an ant bite on an elephant’s ass.  Placing Chavo as the recipient of a major push would be…well…an exercise in the ineffective use of a talented wrestler (i.e. “MISUSE”).

However given Chavo’s technical prowess, knowledge and experience from working in the business, having him on the roster to build up future stars (particularly in the X-Division) is a must.  From that perspective, bringing Chavo into the fold is a great investment; only from that perspective though.  Funny thing is he was doing the exact same thing in the WWE, but at least now his boss won’t yell at him for not making Sin Cara at least look like a better performer.

I will add this: if they saddle him with Hernandez and try one more crack at an all/semi-Mexican stable, I’m sitting in the corner and pouting for the rest of the week.


Velvet Sky and TNA: Did Dixie Let the Pigeon Loose?

See what I did there??? Wakka wakka wakka *rimshot*

It’s been a little dry on the site for quite some time now…so in the spirit of light-hearted wrasslin’ and news (and in a shameless effort to increase visits to the site), here’s a lil’ tidbit that’s sure to excite somebody somewhere.

Not to be outdone by the Dubya Dubya Eee’s unceremonious promotion of Kia “Kharma” Stevens from inactive superstar to alumni, Tee In Ay decided to remove Jamie “Velvet Sky” Szantyr’s profile from their roster page only to place it back up a short while later.  Yeah, that’s not confusing at all.

In fact the whole ordeal is so not confusing that it’s literally left fans speechless; speechless in the sense that those who assumed she was gone (which was pretty much everybody) now have no clue as to how they can justify that whole “She’s-first-Chris-Sabin-will-follow” thought process.  As we’ve learned with TNA, however, a profile on the roster page is not necessarily a prerequisite for employment **cough cough Alex Silva cough cough.**

There are a couple of things to note about this randomness:

  • Ric Flair’s profile is still up, and he was good and fired in May…at least according to that lawsuit TNA filed against the WWE.
  • Matt Morgan’s profile is still up, even though the Almighty Twitter has implied otherwise concerning his employment with TNA.
  • Was Velvet Sky really that dynamic a character without Angelina Love?  Be honest…

Unnecessarily flaccid schtick aside, we won’t have a handle on this situation until Sky herself opens up (you should be ashamed of yourself for thinking what you just thought).  As it stands now, she’s still gainfully employed by Panda Energy Spike TV TNA Entertainment, LLC which is a good thing; we should never rejoice in someone’s release from employment.  However if there is any truth to the speculation that Sky has left the company, one has to wonder exactly how this will affect the “best women’s division in pro wrestling today.”

Let’s take a quick head count: currently the “active” Knockouts in TNA are (in this order, from most important to least noteworthy): Brooke Hogan, Gail Kim, Ms. Tessmacher, and Madison Rayne.  Sure there are a bunch of other women in TNA, but who are the current story  lines focused on?  Exactly.

We can only hope that tomorrow’s LIVE episode of IMPACT Wrestling—featuring the debut of Chavo Guerrero, more info on the Aces and 8s, Sam Shaw’s 2nd chance at the Gut Check challenge, two huge Bound for Glory Series matches, and a Tara/Mickie James tag team match against…you guessed it…Gail Kim and Madison Rayne—will provide us with at least a backstage vignette with Sky.  I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

Do we need another reason to post this picture…


Lucid or Lunatic: Former Spirit Squad Member Speaks Out Against Cena

 

Normally, I would start of this post with a story, fable, lesson learned, funny tale of a young Ashley, etc. but seeing how I was freshly 21, living it up and on my own with the Spirit Squad debuted, I doubt any of the life lessons, stories from that era would be PG enough for our site :)

I was sitting at my desk, working and browsing the internet in search of entertainment, when I came across an interview with SEScoops.com (click the link to read the interview) did with former Spirit Squad member and WWE wrestler, Kenn Doane AKA Kenny Dykstra.

In the interview, Doane blasts Cena, claiming he broke up his engagement to former WWE Diva Mickie James by sleeping with her.  Not only does Doane claim Cena was sleeping with James, but another married Diva, groupies and fans he called “Cena rats.”

He also goes on to claim Cena wanted Orton fired in 2006 and in light of Orton’s recent suspension, probably wants him fired now too.

The mudslinging doesn’t stop at the interview, on twitter, @KennDoane, was eluding to his “pipebomb” of an interview and the allegations. 

He claims to have lost his job, relationship, and life due to Cena and backstage politics, citing the Matt Hardy, Lita and Edge love triangle that initially landed Hardy fired.

This is not the first time we have seen an outlandish interview/tweet storm from a former WWE employee and probably won’t be the last.  I always wonder when reading these rants, how credible are these claims? Is this truly a wronged ex-employee trying to set the record straight or is it a last ditch effort at a career boost?

If Doane hadn’t been tweeting up a storm of controversy about his former relationship with Mickie James, would anyone have even wanted an interview, let alone read this one?

Feel free to weigh in, I am still scratching my head.


Interesting notes on TNA

As we approach TNA’s 10 Year Anniversary Survival – Slammiversary, I wanted to bring up a few interesting tidbits to take note of.

The Introduction of the TNA Hall of Shame Fame

A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that TNA would be inducting the first member of it’s “Hall of Fame”, at this evening’s “Slammiversary” PPV.

Also, it’s been widely discussed that, former TNA World Champion and current WWE Intercontinental Champion, Christian would be in attendance for the event (as part of a talent exchange for WWE featuring Ric Flair in their 2012 Hall of Fame, via the Four Horsemen).

What I haven’t seen is what I feel like is the most obvious connection between the two – Christian will be the first inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame. 

“Christian Cage” as TNA World Champion

If you notice… they had a prolonged shot of him as the final clip to roll while mentioning the TNA Hall of Fame, and when you real think about it – Christian is the most prominent, mainstream TNA Superstar. Also, the only Superstar I can remember ever going from TNA to WWE (I guess Booker T. counts…sort of).

Do I think Christian is the person who has done the most to make TNA the brand it is, today? No. Do I think Christian is the best name they could use to introduce the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. Anyone else who would be a viable option would be someone from the inside (Hogan, AJ Styles, etc…) that just wouldn’t bode well at this stage. Christian is the closest thing TNA has to a “retired” star, yet is unexpected enough to be a shocker when he shows up on the PPV.

TNA Running Live Events on Thursday Nights (BESIDES iMPACT!)

In what is only a continued testament to the phenomenal business acumen shown by Ms. Carter and the powers above – TNA is continuing to run live events on Thursday night, despite moving iMPACT! to a live broadcast on Thursday nights.

This Thursday, TNA is scheduled to run a live event in Belton, TX. Yes a live event, AT THE SAME TIME their product will be on national tv. Some of the scheduled matches are:

Garrett Bischoff vs. Gunner, Chris Sabin vs. Kid Kash, Douglas Williams vs. Rob Terry, Matt Morgan vs. Crimson and Knockouts tag match featuring Tara, Mickie James and Velvet Sky vs. Angelina Love, Winter, Sarita and Rosita. Robbie E. is also advertised to appear.

One can only shake their head at this matter – can you imagine John Cena and CM Punk floating around in Pawtucket, NJ while RAW is airing live in California? While these certainly aren’t ALL of the major players on iMPACT!, there presence will still be noticeably absent. It’s these sorts of decisions that will ultimately ground TNA.

I don’t think this is a long-term thing, but simply a matter of contracts and obligations that are still in place from before the seemingly overnight decision to begin running iMPACT! live.

The decision was made so quickly to shift the pre-taped Thursday night broadcasts to a live show that the usual production trucks weren’t even available and their normal crew (including cameramen) were not available, and what does TNA do? Throw caution to the wind, and run a live broadcast with complete unusual equipment, and crew.

Here’s to the next ten years! Cheers….


Opportunity Knocks: 60-Days of Sobriety, Randy Orton, and YOU!

News broke late yesterday afternoon that WWE Superstar Randy “Please Accept Me” Orton was suspended by the WWE for his second violation of the dreaded Wellness Policy.

Wrestling forums, message boards, blogs and websites were flooded yesterday with articles and posts about yet another dark turn in the career of “The Viper.”  Meanwhile an entirely new river was created on the planet from the tears shed by Ortonites the world over.

*Note: Mr. Morris would like to take the opportunity to express his deepest sympathy to @RKOsNumba1Fan and @VipersOracle (shameless plug).  He would also like to say hello to Shane H. and the Hit the Ropes Radio crew (shameless plug).  Please visit The Color Commentator, because it’s still real to them too, dammit!

This type of opportunity doesn’t come often in the realm of pro wrestling.  Superstars take time off for various reasons, but the perfect storm where a major star involved in a major storyline is forced to take time off only comes every so often.

Orton’s suspension, initially seeming like a huge blow to the WWE, is actually an opportunity for the next top star to figuratively and literally take the ball he dropped and run with it.

Fans of sports entertainment should spend the next 60 days hopeful that several of their favorite “under-pushed” and “ill-utilized” superstars step up to the plate, grab the bull by the horns, and strike while the iron is hot.

In other words, somebody should take Orton’s time off to prove that they’re more capable and trustworthy of being Smackdown’s most recognizable face (sorry Sheamus).

The next 60 days should be sobering for Randy Orton and the superstars on the Smackdown roster.

One can imagine that a superstar’s second violation of the Wellness Policy is harrowing by itself.  We’ve yet to see any athlete score the infamous third strike which would see them released from the company for at least one year.

Much like former superstar Jeff Hardy and the recently suspended Rey Mysterio, Randy is staring into the abyss of a yearlong exile from the WWE.  If the company or the business means anything to him, he will more than likely spend this time to heal injuries and think of ways to avoid getting that third strike.

There is of course another option that would be interesting for the business on the whole…

Feel free to share this hashtag with anyone who won’t stone you to death for making such a suggestion.

The dark clouds created by Orton’s suspension also come with at least one silver lining.  His two month absence from the WWE gives the rest of the roster the golden opportunity to fill the void that has been created by his temporary and involuntary departure.

Some fans make it a weekly habit to accuse the WWE of holding back certain stars for a myriad of reasons.  It is not very often, however, that fans aim their venomous barbs at the athletes who, growing comfortable in the position in the company, tend to coast through matches and high profile feuds.

Despite the best wishes and well-intentioned desires of the fans, wrestlers are utilized to be and do certain things on a given roster.  The superstars who look to break out of those restrictive walls created by the “system” MUST prove to Vince McMahon, the booking team and the creative writers that they have earned the opportunity to occupy a major spot in the company.

CM Punk has notoriously spent most of his WWE career fighting individuals who expected him to be another wrestler in the company long enough for a cup of coffee.  Many years later he’s not only gracing the cover of the WWE ’13 video game, but he’s also getting his first WWE produced DVD (think of how many outstanding superstars that DON’T have one…Kurt Angle…).

Chris Jericho is another superstar that had a lot to prove in the WWE to naysayers inside and outside of the company.  His popularity and intellect have made him one of THE most preeminent athletes and entertainers in professional wrestling today.

Most fans can easily agree that Kofi Kingston is a superstar that deserves some time in the sun, and while he’s currently enjoying success as a tag team champion with R-Truth, now would be an excellent opportunity for him to show the suits that he can shoulder the weight of being a top star in the WWE.

Can Kofi actually do that?

Ironically enough his last taste of the main event spotlight was opposite Randy Orton in October 2009.  Between that time and now Kofi has been an Intercontinental Champion, U.S. Champion, and Tag Team Champion.  What he’s most remembered for is the tag team he formed with Evan Bourne, who is also currently serving out a 60 day suspension for violating the Wellness Policy.

Even though Kofi is still fairly young in his career with many more opportunities ahead of him, he still has to prove to higher ups in the company that he’s worth the money it would take to make him one of the major players in the WWE.  Despite his athletic abilities and his rapport with the younger fans, what logical reason exists that would justify placing him in the main event picture over someone like Cody Rhodes?

We’ve got two months to find out the answer to that question.

Let’s view Orton’s suspension as the perfect time for the product to be refreshed and revitalized with a new face or faces.  Whether we see Orton return with a new focus and determination, or we witness the rise of the newest superstar that captures our attention and hearts (and dollars), we’re in for one hell of a ride no matter how we look at it.


Brooke Hogan Heads the Knockouts, Logic Heads for the Hills

It’s Dixie Carter Appreciation Month here at L.E.W.D.!

After our faithful and horribly underpaid intern Gary finally ordered the balloons and cake, we decided that there was no better way to celebrate the month than to heap our unending thanks and gratitude to this modern era’s greatest pro wrestling promoter by going H.A.M. on her latest talent acquisition, Brooke Hogan!

See what I did there?

Brooke Hogan will soon take her rightful place in the hallowed halls of sports entertainment and pro wrestling.  The darling daughter of immortality is primed and ready to assume her position in TNA as a director for the Knockouts Division.

For those of you that are just as befuddled by this as our intern Gary, that last statement basically means that Brooke’s role in the company will perhaps be the fourth most ambiguously defined, yet purposefully detailed position in TNA, lagging slightly behind her father’s role, Eric Bischoff’s job, and whatever Dixie Carter thinks she’s doing.

It’s easy for analytical jackasses such as yours truly to stand on soap boxes and declare this signing an epic fail before it even begins; after all, I have no experience in the business whatsoever other than spending an Ivy League college scholarship on wrestling related materials.  Seeing as I have no experience in being the president of a company either, who the hell do I think I am to comment on Dixie Carter’s decisions?

So first and foremost, congratulations are in order for Dixie Carter for adding yet another person to TNA’s payroll.  The company must be making a profit to do that; maybe one day they’ll have enough to take the show on the road regularly…

On the other hand, however, Brooke Hogan’s experience in “the business,” to the best of my knowledge, is being the daughter of Hulk Hogan.  Other than that…well, there is no other than that.  I don’t even know whether or not she actually watches pro wrestling.  Hell I’m not even 100 percent sold on the idea that she knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

What we fans do know is this: Brooke Hogan will have some sort of major input on the direction of TNA’s Knockouts Division.  Meanwhile back in Stamford, Connecticut, Stephanie McMahon is pissing herself silly.

Brooke Hogan made the standard media rounds for this major announcement last week, not only putting over the product and the Knockouts Division but also fielding softball questions that sort of focused on one issue: “What the **** qualifies you for this position?”

Here are just a few of the chestnuts found in this cornucopia of delight:

“I love that I get to prove people wrong, because people think ‘Oh it’s Hulk Hogan’s daughter.’ But I have seen behind the scenes.  I have heard the meetings.  I have watched the creative process.  I mean I am the best intern there is.  I’ve been around it for so long.  Me and Dixie Carter were throwing around some ideas and as I was doing that, she was like, ‘You know more about this than I thought you would.’”

Pause.

The very fact that she is Hulk Hogan’s daughter is the reason why she was able to see behind the scenes, hear the meetings, and watch the creative process.   Nowhere in that glowing list of qualifications does it say or imply that she has participated in any of those activities as something more than somebody in the room when the s**t hit the fan.

My father has multiple degrees in psychology and I’ve seen him in action, but that doesn’t qualify me for the Sigmund Freud Award for Psychological Excellence now does it?

Being attentive to one’s surroundings is not the best prerequisite for the position we’ve been led to believe that Brooke has in TNA.  Has she even booked feuds and matches on WWE ’12?  Given the rest of that conversation maybe she has.

Also keep in mind that a D is better than an F, but it’s still not a passing grade in some circumstances.  Dixie Carter would be probably sh*t the bed if she found out that Brooke knew the difference between a triple threat match and a three way dance; then again when we look at the source of the “compliment” there…

Moving forward…

“We have been working together for the past year and a half on my music…but it would always turn into wrestling, and she would always tell me about what happened on the show that night.  I would then throw out an idea and she would say, ‘I had no idea you knew so much about it.’  I’m like, ‘Duh.’ I came from the household that the main plans were going on in.  She said, ‘Ever since Karen Jarrett left and isn’t managing the Knockouts any more, we haven’t had anybody to wrangle them in.  I’m so busy on focusing on everything else, do you think while you’re recording your album, you can take a day or two out of the week and come help me out the girls?”

There’s something to be said about that last statement, but there’s something else you should hear before going into all of that…

“[Dixie] is bogged down with so much.  It’s like where do you find a woman who knows wrestling as much as I do and who has been around it so long, to be able to trust and make decisions that you would make.  There is no one out there right now in the business that can kind of take the load off Dixie and trust to make the right decisions.”

I can IMMEDIATELY think of two people in the business right now that can take that load off of Dixie: David “Fit” Finlay and Scott D’Amore.

“I’m Sheamus Finlay, and I love ta foight!”

Finlay was a trainer for the WWE from 2001-2005, and was also largely responsible for training the divas at that time.  That period of time is the highly lauded and appreciated era in the WWE where the women wrestlers were actually allowed to wrestle and the goddess-like Trish Stratus made her splash in the business.  Yep; that was due in part to Fit Finlay.

Scott D’Amore, b****es.

Scott D’Amore worked as a creative writer and road agent for TNA for several years, but was brought back into the company in 2009 to work with the Knockouts Division.  He parted ways with TNA in February 2010.

We can mull over the hits and misses of his time as a road agent for the Knockouts, but it’s worth mentioning that during his time in this role, ODB and Tara traded the Knockouts Championship, and Sarita and Taylor Wilde became the first ever Knockouts Tag Team Champions.

So there was really no other person qualified for this position other than Brooke Hogan?

Okay let’s play with semantics; to Brooke’s credit she said the following: “It’s like where do you find a woman who knows wrestling as much as I do and who has been around it so long, to be able to trust and make decisions that you would make.”  The she at the very beginning eliminates Finlay and D’Amore from the conversation.

We can only assume that Nora Greenwald turned down the offer, Trish Stratus is still under some contract with the WWE, and that Debra Miceli has no interest in anything pro wrestling related.

It is amazing though to know that out of the millions of unemployed Americans scrounging around for work and begging to be hired by Pet Smart and Arby’s, Brooke  Hogan was the ONLY woman around qualified enough to lift this cumbersome burden off the capable but preoccupied shoulders of Dixie Carter.

The next part is even better…

“I think everyone is forgetting that [the Knockouts] have a story and they have drama in their lives.  What I admire so much about TNA is right now fans think that they know wrestling.  They are like, ‘Oh everything is set up, all the storylines, all the plans, it’s a soap opera for men.’ And true, that’s been happening for years in the wrestling business.  What TNA is doing now is, and they couldn’t do it without what’s really going on right now, these girls, they all actually have drama happening.”

Intriguing; let’s hear more…

“What’s great about TNA is that they are going back to real life and these matches are going to be between people who really have something to fight out.  If they want to hurt each other, that’s their thing.  But as far as I’m concerned we are making this more real.  That’s why I’m coming in.  There are personal issues behind closed doors that we need to resolve.”

Only Booker T can give the perfect response to that…

One of THE primary and most important rules of professional wrestling is to protect your opponent at all times.  When a wrestler steps in between the ropes, they have to trust that their opponent won’t do anything to intentionally hurt, maim, or kill them.  That’s a HUGE amount of trust to place in someone.

When accidents happen inside and around the ring, we fans can only imagine the hell these athletes go through.  In the latest DVD on Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart talked briefly about the mental anguish his brother Owen went through the night he slammed Austin head first to the mat with an improperly executed piledriver.

Bret mentioned that Owen felt terrible and could never bring himself to call Austin while he was recuperating, and that’s something Owen will never be able to do.   The sad part is Austin and Owen were/are both consummate professionals and never allowed any signs of ill will towards each other before or after the incident to be shown to us fans.

So we’re supposed to applaud the fact that Brooke Hogan desires to place wrestlers who have issue with one another in the ring with one another?  That alone sounds like one epic fail waiting to happen.

Remember how pissed off Sting was when Jeff Hardy was allowed to work Victory Road under the influence of something other than the love of the Tooth Fairy?

Good; now do you remember why Sting was pissed?

It’s simple; Hardy could’ve easily half-assed a dangerous move and killed himself and/or Sting in the process.  More damning is the fact that some goofball allowed Hardy to meander his way out to the ring.

It’s the same reason why folks get ticked off at Jake Roberts and Scott Hall; if you can barely stand up on your own how in the heck do you expect to execute a collar-and-elbow tie up without poking someone’s eye out?

While the scenarios are vastly different the main idea remains the same: a wrestler cannot let anything cloud his or her better judgment between bells in front of the fans.  Whether it is alcohol, prescription drugs, weed, envy, jealousy or anger, it is a wrestler’s duty to protect their opponent/partner in the ring first and put on a good show second.

And of course Brooke Hogan knows this, seeing that she’s been around wrestling long enough to know that and promote the type of “realness” she thinks should continue to happen in TNA.

Maybe Brooke can work her magic on Dixie and get her to hire Scott Steiner back…you know, since we’re all about being “real” and what not.

Here’s the fun part: in the spirit of objectivity and fairness, we won’t be able to comment on Brooke’s presence in TNA until we at least see what she’s capable of bringing to the company.

It could be that Brooke becomes the best thing to happen to TNA since HealthSouth pulled out as a major financial backer for the company, but I seriously doubt that.

For all intents and purposes, Brooke Hogan was hired by TNA to manage a portion of its talent on and off screen.  It appears that she was hired out of necessity and not because of potential, and fans can only hope that her noble intentions don’t lead the company’s ratings-boosting division down the dark and treacherous path to Hell.

Good luck with that one, Dixie.  We appreciate your efforts in providing the best wrestling product for us, but I can’t ignore the smell of nepotism at its best.


TNA Files Lawsuit Against the WWE for “Stealing Talent”

Your honor, the prosecution rests.

Apparently TNA has filed a lawsuit against the WWE and some former disgruntled worker.  The basis of said lawsuit: the ‘E is trying to “steal” TNA’s talent.

Click the link to check it out; in case you’re too lazy to do that, here’s the basics of the suit:

TNA employed this guy named Brian who worked with booking talent in independent organizations.  Brian leaves TNA in 2011; voluntary or involuntary is anyone’s guess.

The WWE hired him sometime in the early part of 2012 and let him go in April after he tried to pass them the ol’ okie doke under the table about some of TNA’s contracted talent. Allegedly it took the WWE a month to give TNA the heads up that they had a snitch in their ranks.

Around that same time Ric Flair approached TNA and tried several ways to get out of his contract, much like Randy Orton attempted to get out of the Marine Corps.  Someone in TNA put two and two together, and the term “litigation” sounded much more like a feasible option than frittering away their time with useless pastimes, like planning and booking the card for the company’s biggest Pay Per View of the decade.

A hearing is set for next month for the case, and an injunction has been issued to the WWE demanding that they and Brian return any confidential stuff Brian gave them about TNA while he worked for the world’s most evil sports entertainment organization ever.

So there you have it; TNA is looking to take the WWE to task for “stealing talent” and will ultimately prove that Brian and the WWE are conspiring to kill the company…as if they needed any help doing that in the first place.

In all seriousness this is big news, but not big in the sense that some may think it is.  Our good friends over at TNAsylum have already started to weigh in on this; check out their thoughts.  While I don’t see the picture from exactly the same perspective that some do, I will admit that the situation places TNA in a very interesting position.

Who am I kidding?  This is perhaps the most frivolous thing TNA could engage itself in at the moment.  It wasn’t more than a few days ago when Ric Flair’s name was being discredited by every single TNA-related outlet around the world.  Now all of a sudden it appears he was a part of a devious plot to “kill” TNA?  Wait…didn’t they fire him???

Brass tax: the WWE will probably settle out of court, give TNA an obscene amount of money, and Dixie Carter will finally be able to pay off all of her student loans.  The show will continue to garner piss poor ratings and the rest will be told to us on a WWE produced, three disc DVD set containing TNA matches prior to January 4, 2010.

Some fans would readily agree that this lawsuit proves that the WWE fears TNA as competition (…seriously…?), and the only way Vince McMahon can crush his competition is by raiding their talent pool.  I don’t believe that sh*t at all.

If anything seems to me, and this is just my opinion, that this makes TNA look like the WWE’s second developmental.  From that perspective, TNA is well within its rights to sue the WWE because, after all, if they are a developmental system for the ‘E, then they should be justly compensated for the loss of talent.

But why are we getting our panties in a bunch over “talent” raiding?  McMahon did it to the NWA and gave us Hulk Hogan.  Eric Bischoff did it to Vince McMahon and gave us Hall and Nash.  Dixie Carter did it to Vince McMahon and gave us TNA’s Kurt Angle AND Jeff Hardy.  No one cried foul play in those instances, so why is it such a “damning” thing all of a sudden?

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems super silly for anyone outside of TNA and the WWE to make a big deal of this lawsuit until more news is released.  Other than that, if we can stand on our high horses and assume the worst case scenario for the WWE, we can also point an equally accusatory finger at TNA for treating its own talent and staff like crap, thus creating the atmosphere for them to even entertain a conversation from a Titan Towers rep.

I honestly pray TNA puts more effort into building the card for Slammiversary than they do chasing this pipe dream of a lawsuit.


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