Monday, April 30, 2012

ECW: Let it go and let it die

Paul Heyman, former ECW owner, may not be dead yet, but after the trainwreck Extreme Reunion show Saturday, a roll over may due upon eventual burial. Last Saturday's show was another attempt to rekindle the spirit of ECW by bringing back the stars of yesteryear; it was also a show designed to start a new promotion that would be a spinoff of the Philadelphia-based promotion. Instead of ushering a new era, it became a wake for a promotion that died 11 years ago. Advertised talents didn't make the show, those that did show didn't perform, and the booking of the show was horrendous. Sabu, one of ECW's biggest stars, was found unresponsive in his hotel room the day before the show and was in the hospital for evaluation. Justin Credible, former ECW champion, was found slumped over and asleep. Those who found him believed he was in bad shape and asked him to leave the building. An advertised match between Raven and Pitbull Gary Wolfe didn't exactly take place, as a new group of Raven's minions attacked Wolfe and Raven did absolutely nothing. Not even Sandman's entrance with the famed "Enter Sandman" theme could save the treck of a show. Fans were chanting "refund" and "please save this show" during the Jerry Lynn vs Devon Storm match, which was orginally advertised as Lynn vs Credible. That match saved what was little of the show before then. What was orginally advertised as Sabu vs Shane Douglas turned into 2 Cold Scorpio vs Douglas. Fans who paid to see Sabu were not pleased that they didn't get what they paid for walked out during the match. Before the match, when fans were chanting "f**k you Shane" during his promo, Douglas told the fans "You don't work me, I work you." Meaning I don't give a damn what you want because I have your money already. That was a slap to the face of every ECW fan that supported the promotion through its seven-year existence from 1994-2001. Last Saturday's train wreck was proof that the ECW legacy needs to be buried. No more reunion shows, tribute shows, what have you because the promotion is dead and gone. It's not 1995 anymore, and the wrestling business, whether good or bad since, has moved on. The wrestlers that made ECW what it was have either have gone on to WWE or TNA, have retired or sadly have passed. While ECW revolutionized wrestling with its hardcore, grit style of wrestling and its introduction of talent that went on to fame elsewhere, its legacy just needs to let be. As much as WWE, and recently TNA have been criticized for bastardizing the name of ECW, this past Saturday's show went to the 'Extreme', pun intended, of further destroying it. For the sake of the future of the wrestling business, please I ask anybody who's thinkin of the next ECW reunion show to move on, let it go, and find the next promotion that could revolutionize the business. If there's one out there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for the wrestling business to let Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan go

Over 25 years ago, Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair was the ideal dream matchup that everyone wanted to see. Hogan was the biggest star in the WWF at the time and Ric Flair the biggest star of the NWA.

Wrestling fans salivated at the thought of two of wrestling's biggest stars clashing in a titanic matchup.

Today, fans are salivating at the thought of them leaving Wrestling for good.

Hogan and Flair have overstayed their welcome in the wrestling.

Ever since Hogan and Flair arrived in TNA Wrestling in January 2010, the ratings for the IMPACT Wrestling show have failed to garner ratings above a 1.5.

While other issues could be attributed to TNA failing to achieve high ratings, it has been evident that the aura of seeing Hogan and Flair live in person or at home on television has worn off. While both can still get good pops at live shows, the two legends can't elevate a wrestling product to new heights like they did back in the day

Both legends are playing caricatures of themselves, as Flair manages current TNA wrestler Gunner and Hogan is playing the general manager of IMPACT.

Both wrestled in a tag team match on the first Monday night edition of IMPACT when TNA attempted to go head to head with WWE. It was both's first match on a national stage in awhile, but the show only garnered a 1.0 rating.

It was sad to watch them wrestle then and it is sad to watch them now be a shell of their former selves. I would like to remember them for their glory from year's past and not the sadness of seeing them overstay their welcome.

TNA has a wealth of young stars who they should be building around. James Storm, Bobby Roode, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Matt Morgan are wrestlers TNA should focus on. Even established talents like the newly reinvigorated Jeff Hardy is a talent TNA should think about giving another chance to if he's able to remain clean from his demons.

But it has been clear for years that Hogan and Flair cannot draw eyes to a wrestling product anymore.

What they can draw though is embarrassing, sad attention to themselves.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

John Cena must go away... for a little while

Wrestlemania 28 is in the books and the ending of Raw last night changed the landscape of WWE going forward.

For storyline purposes, this past weekend has been one John Cena would not want to relive when thinking about his career accomplishments.

The Cenation leader lost the "Once in a Lifetime" match to the Rock, and the next night, Brock Lesnar made his shocking return after an eight-year hiatus and delivered an emphatic F-5 to Cena.

The fans in Miami, who were extremely active the whole night, went insane when Lesnar's music hit and welcomed him back with open arms after he left and "took his ball home."

And to see him come back at the expense of someone who some say has been shoved down the throats of wrestling fans for the past six years was the amazing cap to his return.

It looks as if WWE is looking to build to Cena vs. Lesnar at Summerslam or even Wrestlemania 29 next year.
The story kind of writes itself.

Lesnar is looking to reclaim his position at the top of the company, and he's going to do so against WWE's current top guy and a man who never beat Lesnar when he was active in the company.

Cena's first main event pay-per-view WWE title match was nine years ago at Backlash 2003.
His opponent was Lesnar.

How they build to that match is anyone's guess, but now is the time for Cena to leave for a little while, recharge his batteries, and come back with a new attitude.

I would have him not show up on WWE television until the summer to start building to Summerslam. After defeating every foe that has come his way and doing his best to build a match that was a year in the making, Cena was humbled by Rock and humiliated by Lesnar.

He would examine what he did wrong and how he can come back to conquer the two foes that he wasn't able to conquer. He would come back around July and confront Lesnar and challenge him to a match at Summerslam.

I would have Lesnar beat him at the pay-per-view, and Cena would do what he planned on doing last night with the Rock by congratulating Lesnar on the win.

Only he would say that he might've beaten him this time, but he's found the formula to beat him and when the time is right they shall battle again. They go on to a collision course to Survivor Series where this time Cena gets the win with an STF.

Tie in the Lesnar story with the Rock, and have Rock come back to win the Royal Rumble and Cena wins the championship at the Rumble as well.

He loses the championship to Lesnar at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, and Rock makes an appearance and chooses Lesnar has his championship opponent.

The twist would be Cena wants his rematch for the title at Wrestlemania and we are on a collision course to a triple threat match for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 29 between the three biggest stars in pro wrestling.

Cena would regain the WWE Championship by defeating the Rock with an Attitude Adjustment, and therefore, Cena will get his win back over the two wrestlers he hadn't beat.

For the fans, WWE and Cena's sake, he needs to go away for a little while to let these stories sink in and build.

Maybe the fans will embrace him if he comes back with a new attitude.

Like the saying goes, "absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wrestlemania XXVIII predictions

A year's build up that culminates tonight at Wrestlemania 28. Four hours of action headlined by battle where generations collide, the Rock vs. John Cena, Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as guest referee in the "End of an Era" Hell in a Cell match, CM Punk vs Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship, and Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship.

Here are my predictions for the "Super Bowl of Wrestling.

John Cena vs. The Rock- A month ago, I would have told you John Cena would come out the definitive winner, but now i'm not so sure. With the Rock scheduled for Wrestlemania 29, WWE could be building to a three-match series between Cena and Rock. It will definitely be an epic main event that will hopefully live up to the hype. It will be a 25-30 minute match with both competitors exasperated that they can't put each other away for the final count. After serious pondering, i'm going with the Rock to win this one after four Rock Bottom's and John Cena turns heel the next night on Raw due to not being able beat the one guy he needed to defeat to solidify his status as "The greatest WWE Superstar of all time."

Undertaker vs Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match- "The Streak" is the most important accolade to achieve next to winning a world title at Wrestlemania. Undertaker will go 20-0. There is no way that Triple H puts a 1 next to 19. How Undertaker wins the match is anyone's guess, but one thing is guaranteed. Shawn Michaels will get involved in this match somehow and Sweet Chin Music will be part of that involvement.

CM Punk vs Chris Jericho for the WWE Championship- Fans are predicting this match will be a show stealer, and as someone who loves wrestling at its purest, I think this match will be a wrestling fan's dream. These two gifted wrestlers have built this matchup well, and tonight could be the night Punk gives his Jericho his comeuppance due to Jericho making classless remarks about Punk's family. Punk defeats Jericho with Go To Sleep after a 30 minute encounter.

Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship- Sheamus won the 2012 Royal Rumble to earn a World Title match at Wrestlemania, and Bryan has been a red hot heel since winning the championship at the TLC PPV. Sheamus has been on a roll since his babyface turn in August, and Bryan has playing the smarmy arrogant heel that fans should pay to see get beat up. It will be a hard-hitting, physical matchup, and Bryan will get the win due to some kinda interference from his girlfriend AJ.

Randy Orton vs Kane- A match that was based of some ridiculous handshake when the two fought last summer. Orton's been getting much of the upper hand lately so I see Kane getting the victory and their feud continues through Extreme Rules in a few weeks.

Cody Rhodes vs Big Show for the Intercontinental Championship- Rhodes has played the pest heel almost to perfection, and Show has played the angry giant part as well. Show should get his "Wrestlemania moment" after all the embarrassment from year's past, getting beat by the likes of Floyd "Money" Mayweather and Akebono. Rhodes wins the match by a belt shot to the head, but Show will connect with the Weapons of Mass Destruction right hand after Rhodes' makes fun of Show for losing another Wrestlemania match

Team Johnny vs Team Teddy- This match is for control of both Raw and Smackdown. Team Johnny wins it here thanks to a Mark Henry World's Strongest Slam on Santino Marella. Unlike most in the WWE Universe, I find John Laurinitis entertaining and think it would be a hoot to see him run both shows every week. I think Teddy Long has been overused so I think he should take a break from WWE TV for awhile.

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menunos from Extra vs Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres- If history indicates, this match will be the "bathroom break/popcorn filler" match between the Hell in a Cell and Cena/Rock matches. Menunos gets the "Wrestlemania celebrity spotlight" and pins Torres.

Can't wait for this epic Wrestlemania. I'll be tweeting throughout the show. If you care to follow, my address is @TheWholeFnSchmo.