Drew Careyâ€™s illustrious pro wrestling career finally gets honored. Plus Snooki looks to become WWE Rookie of the Year and the wrestling afterlife gets another manager in its ranks.
Opening Witty Banter
â€œHow do you learn to fall off a twenty foot ladder?â€
Well I am just exhausted. Thanks for asking. After a 13 hour work day on St. Patrickâ€™s Day, a whirlwind 48 hour road trip up to Minneapolis and then subsequent unpacking and moving of my stuff into a new place it has been one hell of a week. I would give props to my blonde tornado for making the trip to the Cities with me but thereâ€™s no in hell she is reading this column or knows it exists.
Again itâ€™s a day later but I literally fell asleep working on it after my whirlwind weekend. Sue me.
Letâ€™s take some â€˜Eâ€¦
The News of the Week
Comedian, actor and game show host Drew Carey has been announced as the fifth inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The 2011 Hall of Fame ceremony will be held on April 2, 2011 in the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, the night before WrestleMania XXVII. A video package announcing his induction aired on last weekâ€™s WWE Monday Night RAW live from St. Louis, Missouri.
He joins Shawn Michaels, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, â€œBulletâ€ Bob Armstrong and Sunny as previously announced inductees for the Class of 2011.
While certainly not known for his pro wrestling credentials, he is more famous for his â€˜90s sitcom The Drew Carey Show and as the host of the sketch comedy show Whose Line is it Anyways? He currently serves as the host of wildly popular The Price is Right, replacing the iconic Bob Barker. He will also lead a new sketch comedy show, Drew Careyâ€™s Improv-A-Ganza, on GSN starting in April and will feature many of the stars of the old Whose Line program.
Carey will be a part of WWEâ€™s â€œcelebrity wingâ€ of the Hall of Fame, which currently houses luminaries like Pete Rose, William â€œThe Refrigeratorâ€ Perry and â€œMr. Baseballâ€ Bob Uecker. His induction stems from his appearance in the 2001 Royal Rumble match. While on hand to promote a pay per view comedy special of his own, he was given a spot in the match by Mr. McMahon. His appearance was brief as he voluntarily eliminated himself once he encountered â€œThe Big Red Machineâ€ Kane.
His induction again shows the surrealist quality of WWEâ€™s Hall of Fame, but should provide for a fun, short little segment during the nightâ€™s ceremony.
Being itâ€™s a celebrity appearance I canâ€™t complain too much as itâ€™s obvious he agreed to do it to promote his new ventures. I mean thereâ€™s plenty of other celebrities that should go in first (Cyndi Lauper, Mr. T, Floyd Mayweather, LT, etc.) but like I said it should be short and harmless.
Nicole â€œSnookiâ€ Polizzi, star of MTVâ€™s Jersey Shore, will wrestle her first professional wrestling at WWE WrestleMania XXVII on Sunday night, April 3, live from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
The announcement was made on WWE Monday Night RAW this past week live from St. Louis, Missouri. Snooki served as guest star for RAW. She interfered after the Vickie Guerrero-Trish Stratus match that saw John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool and Layla El all interfere. McCool and Laylaâ€™s interference caused Vickie to win the match. Afterwards, McCool confronted Snooki, which caused her to run in the run and attack McCool and Layla.
After the brawl was over, Vicki made the challenge on behalf of Ziggler, McCool and Layla for a six-person tag match at WrestleMania against Morrison, Stratus and Snooki, which Snooki accepted on her teamâ€™s behalf.
The match had been rumored to be a part of the WrestleMania card for weeks now but it was originally Kelly Kelly who would be in the Snooki spot. Clearly this must have been a fairly last minute deal to include her.
Snooki is just one in a long line of celebrities who have been a part of and competed in WrestleMania matches. From the first WrestleMania where Mr. T competed in the main event to the NFL players who worked in a battle royal at WrestleMania 2 to NFL great Lawrence Taylor main eventing WrestleMania IX against Bam Bam Bigelow and Floyd â€œMoneyâ€ Mayweather battling The Big Show three years ago at WrestleMania XXIV, celebrities being a part of the Showcase of Immortals is tradition.
In past years, the celebrities took center stage over the companyâ€™s wrestlers so it will be refreshing to see this yearâ€™s celebrity involvement involved in the undercard. After all the companyâ€™s biggest attraction at this yearâ€™s show will be The Rock, who has now turned himself into a Hollywood celebrity, at least has a decade of in-ring action to back up his spot on the card.
The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Defamation Defense League sent out the following recentlyâ€¦
â€œWWE Partners with GLAAD on Anti-Bullying Messages
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) will be working with GLAAD to create and promote an anti-bullying initiative aimed at their core audience, and has invited us to conduct trainings for their staff of writers and editors.
Our outreach to WWE was prompted by outrage from many LGBT viewers, about a series of homophobic taunts by wrestler John Cena on the USA program WWE Raw in late February. We reached out to WWE Incorporated, which responded swiftly and positively.
GLAAD was first made aware of the incidents by several of its members following the February 21 broadcast of WWE Raw, which featured wrestler John Cena responding to taunts made by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with a rap song making fun of Johnson’s film roles. The song included lyrics like “You left us high and dry to play a fairy with a tooth?” and “He wore lipstick in Get Shorty, and rocked a skirt for The Game Plan.”
But the real kicker came near the end when he said: “Just don’t go racing to Witch Mountain, Rock, cause your mountain is Brokeback.”
The next incident occurred on the show a week later (Feb. 28), when Cena was challenging another wrestler known as “The Miz” while in the ring with him, and had the crowd roaring when he joked about the Miz and his wrestling partner secretly being a couple. It began with Cena saying “Do you really want to look back years from now and realize you shared your legacy with another man?! â€¦.Wait don’t answer that.” Cena continued:
“Now The Miz and Alex Riley are co-champions and to celebrate it they’re going to move in together. They’re going to buy one of those tandem bikes and ride to bed bath and beyond to buy some duvets. And every evening they’re going to relax with a glass of warm piot noir and watch The Notebook, or reruns of last season’s Bachelor. â€¦â€¦â€¦.You want to be a mentor and train him? Well, tonight I’m going to train you on how to be a man.”
The incidents were particularly troubling because WWE recently began promoting itself as PG-rated entertainment marketed primarily towards adolescent males. Young boys are of course the demographic most likely to experience homophobic bullying or to be bullying themselves. And there was wrestling superstar John Cena performing what amounted to scripted homophobic bullying of other wrestlers on a nationally broadcast show for kids.
GLAAD contacted WWE executives and explained the problem after receiving our first reports. They then spoke to John Cena and the show’s writers. We have been assured that not only will such incidents not happen again, WWE intends to reach out to their adolescent audience, with messages aimed making it clear that bullying someone with homophobic taunts or for their perceived sexual orientation is wrong. WWE released the following apology statement to that effect:
“WWE takes this issue very seriously, and has already spoken with our talent about these incidents. We are taking steps and working with GLAAD to ensure that our fans know that WWE is against bullying or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We strongly value our fans in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and apologize to them for these incidents.”
We are very much looking forward to developing our relationship with WWE, and we thank them both for hearing our message loud and clear, and for planning to send an anti-bullying message of their own.â€
Is GLAAD really naÃ¯ve enough to get into bed with WWE again after the company messed with them back in 2002 during the Billy & Chuck debacle?
WGN reportedly canceled WWE Superstars because the network was paying too much for what they were getting. The network was hoping that the show would help their national ratings, as they don’t have a huge amount of coverage across the country, and because WWE is a proven ratings draw that the network thought might help them get picked up by other cable systems.
Unfortunately, due to the show’s third-tier status, it did not get the ratings the company was looking for. Some talent in the company are concerned for their status with the loss of the show.
Okay that rally sucks. Iâ€™ve loved Superstars the past two years just to watch the undercard guys get a chance to work and see the occasional hidden gem. While I canâ€™t say Iâ€™ll miss not committing to watch another wrestling show each week Iâ€™m sad for the undercard. If Iâ€™m DH Smith, The Usos, Primo, Zack Ryder, Chris Masters, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks or Trent Baretta Iâ€™d be scared. And I only omitted JTG, Tyson Kidd and Yoshi Tatsu from that list becue of their current status as NXT Pros.
The plan as of this past week is to have Jim Ross call at least two matches at WrestleMania.
God I hope so. With King and Cole probably off the entire show in order to get ready for their own match, can you imagine Josh Matthews and Booker T running things all by themselves? Iâ€™m assuming JR will be out there for Cole-King and HHH-Undertaker, which will probably be the final two bouts of the night.
USA Network has revealed the following contestants for the upcoming season of WWE Tough Enough:
-Ariane Andrew (23)
-Martin Casaus (26)
-Matt Capiccioni (30)
-Christina Crawford (22)
-Michelle Deighton (25)
-Rima Fakih (25)
-Ryan Howe (23)
-A.J. Kirsch (27)
-Andy Leavine (23)
-Jeremiah Riggs (28)
-Luke Robinson (26)
-Ivelisse Velez (22)
-Eric Watts (25)
-Michael Zacki (26)
Iâ€™m still not on board with M-Dogg 20 being a part of the cast but it would look silly to see Austin Aries doing basic bumping when heâ€™s so far ahead of these others. I also wonder why they released Crawford from her developmental deal, only to bring her back for this. As for the rest of the unknowns Iâ€™m just looking forward to watching the show.
Speaking of Tough Enough, USA Network has confirmed that The Rock will be on the show via the following press release:
â€œâ€˜THE ROCK’ TO GUEST ON “WWE TOUGH ENOUGH,” A NEW REALITY SERIES ON USA
Hollywood star and former multi-time WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will guest on a future episode of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH, the new reality competition series premiering on USA on MONDAY, APRIL 4 at 11/10c.
In the episode, Johnson puts the contestants in full workout mode, pushing their limits and testing their boundaries. The Rock excites and electrifies as he demonstrates what it takes for a superstar to successfully “layeth the smacketh down” in the ring. One of the most entertaining WWE Superstars of all time and known to fans worldwide as “The People’s Champion,” the Rock recently announced that he’s returning to WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW and briefly trained with the TOUGH ENOUGH contestants for his pending return.
WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is the host of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH, which will feature a diverse group of men and women who live, train, eat and sleep under one roof in a spectacular ranch in Simi Valley, California. Each week the contestants will battle it out in a series of unique challenges designed to test for such characteristics as showmanship, creativity, athleticism and desire, just to name a few. Viewers will witness the trials and tribulations of what it takes to be one of the best in the world’s greatest sports entertainment organization. The grand prizewinner will be awarded a contract with WWE.
Shed Media US, noted for its strong characters and memorable casting in the non-scripted arena, produces WWE TOUGH ENOUGH. The company’s previous reality credits include “The Real Housewives of New York City,” “Who Do You Think You Are,” “World’s Strictest Parents.”
After the premiere of WWE TOUGH ENOUGH on April 4, the show will move to its regular timeslot on Mondays at 8/7c on April 11.â€
I say it every week, but it is evident that all the higher ups in both WWE and USA Network are serious about making TE a success.
Sir Oliver Humperdink (born John Sutton) unfortunately lost his battle with cancer on March 20. A bout with pneumonia was what ultimately did him in unfortunately. After not doing chemotherapy or radiology for his cancer he entered into hospice care where he died. He was 62.
Rest in peace sirâ€¦
WWE sent a demand to a website that called them a wrestling company to change their wording. TVWeek.com had a headline that ran “‘Drew Carey inducted into pro wrestling Hall of Fame.” They received an email from WWE publicist Kellie Baldyga, ordering them to the headline because “We are no longer a wrestling company but rather a global entertainment company with a movie studio, international licensing deals, publisher of three magazines, consumer good distributor and more.”
The publicist further said, “No, we don’t do wrestling events. They’re entertainments. And we don’t call them wrestlers. They’re superstars and divas.”
facepalmâ€¦If I say anything else Iâ€™m going to get myself angrier and more wound up than I want to or is deserved. Itâ€™s been widely regarded for years that WWE is apples to oranges compared to any other wrestling company, but this shit takes the cake.
The PPV formerly known as Fatal Four-Way, which was one of the lowest-bought PPV’s of the modern era, has been renamed to Capitol Punishment.
Well thatâ€™s certainly a better name than the unimaginative Fatal Four-Way. What will this gimmick be all about? Perhaps a night of Jailhouse Matches?
Speaking of PPVs, it was announced at last weekendâ€™s MSG house show that the Survivor Series would return on 2011, and will be held on November 20 in Madison Square Garden.
<That is great to hear. Other than Royal Rumble, Survivor Series has always been my favorite card for the pure nostalgia of the elimination matches. Iâ€™m glad the company hasnâ€™t given up on it yet and are willing to put it in itâ€™s proverbial home base to see how it does one more time.
The Road toâ€¦WrestleMania XXVII
John Cena v. The Miz (c)
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (c) v. Alberto Del Rio
No Holds Barred
The Undertaker v. Triple H
Randy Orton v. CM Punk
Special Guest Referee â€“ Stone Cold Steve Austin
Jerry â€œThe Kingâ€ Lawler v. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger)
Rey Mysterio v. Cody Rhodes
WWE United States Championship
Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus (c)
Mixed Tag Team Match
John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki v. Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool & Layla El
The Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Christian & Kane v. The Corre
some sort of Divas match
The WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Abdullah the Butcher
Wrestler of the Week
Week of March 14 â€“ 20: Sheamus
The 2010 King of the Ring has been on quite the slump since the start of 2011. He has been completely buried by Triple H, Evan Bourne and Daniel Bryan. But this past week on WWE Monday Night RAW he defeated Daniel Bryan to win the WWE United States Championship in a great match. Then he went over to SmackDown and beat Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston. The two-time WWE Champion is now back on track and looks to be heading into a rematch with Bryan at WrestleMania XXVII.
RAWâ€™s On Tonight!
By the time you read this RAW is in the books. I found the show fairly dull and unispiring as it was clearly marking time until next week, which will be the huge go home show for WrestleMania, featuring another Triple H-Under face off and an appearance of The Rock.
How They Rated
Superstars (3.10.11) â€“ .5
SmackDown! (3.12.11) â€“ 1.96
A.M. RAW (3.13.11) â€“ .45
RAW (3.14.11) â€“ 3.6
This is Boring, What Else is There to Read?
Please read Glazerâ€™s wonderful tribute to our former Pulse colleague Norice Stice. I admittedly didnâ€™t interact with her much so I canâ€™t comment a lot, but she always seemed like a wonderful lady when I did chat with her.
Mark has been a columnist for Pulse Wrestling for over three years now, evolving from his original â€œHistorically Speakingâ€ commentary-style column into his current Monday morning powerhouse known as â€œThis Week in â€˜E.â€ He also contributes to other ventures, outside of IP, most notably as the National Pro Wrestling Examiner for Examiner.com and a contributor for The Wrestling Press. Follow me on Twitter here.