Inside Pulse Wrestling » Jim Ross http://wrestling.insidepulse.com Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 02:58:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling no Wrestling news, rumors, reviews and commentary, from WWE to TNA to ROH and everything in between... Inside Pulse Wrestling » Jim Ross http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://wrestling.insidepulse.com JR Blog: Major Autobiography Details, Criticizes WWE Booking of Ambrose/Rollins http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/11/jr-blog-major-autobiography-details-criticizes-wwe-booking-of-ambroserollins/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/11/jr-blog-major-autobiography-details-criticizes-wwe-booking-of-ambroserollins/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:54:17 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=169006 Jim Ross posted a weekend blog before Raw tonight, here are some highlights:

on Ambrose vs Rollins:
Speaking of Summer Slam, the Ambrose vs. Rollins match which I think should start the PPV is a Lumberjack Match. Why? Does this match really need a stipulation? How about a stip to where the two, talented, hungry, young stars WRESTLE until someone wins? Plus, the ‘leaked info’ says that Miz vs. Ziggler for the IC Title is scheduled to have only 10 minutes to transact their business. That can’t be correct, can it??

on his two-part autobiography!
working on my autobiography with Scott Williams Wednesday thru Saturday while basing out of the Sooner Legends Hotel and Suites at I-35 and Lindsey. Let’s fire up the grill….

Scott, who’s an author and attorney by trade along with being a former Marine who served in Desert Storm, and I got a great deal of work done but we have miles to travel before we make a viable dent in our project. I’m guessing we will be done if we are lucky by year’s end and then the editing and business aspects of the process will begin which would hopefully make the book available by the summer of 2015.

I’ve kept TV formats, notes and various emails, text messages, etc from the Watts days through the WWE days so the book will be unique in that regard plus Scott will be interviewing between 75-100 people for it as well. Many of my yellow, legal pads that I took notes on over the years have some real nuggets on them that I had long forgotten.

Hopefully, no marriages or professional embarrassments will be adversely affected with the publishing of this book. (BTW…that was a joke. Sort of…)

This is a project that has been a long time coming and we have no deadline to complete it so we are going to take our time, do our research and write the best book that we can. The first book will take the reader through my days growing up in rural Oklahoma when I became a wrestling fan, how I backed into the business w/ Watts and McGuirk, navigating the wild and crazy days of the territories as a 20 something year old kid off the farm, the UWF sell out to JCP, WCW days and departure, and culminating with one of the most emotional moments of my career to that point.

The second book has been laid out and picks up the story in the mid 90′s through my WWE exit in 2014.

Check out the full blog at JR’s BBQ

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DVD Review: “Ladies & Gentlemen, My Name Is Paul Heyman” http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/07/dvd-review-ladies-gentlemen-my-name-is-paul-heyman/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/08/07/dvd-review-ladies-gentlemen-my-name-is-paul-heyman/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 04:03:27 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168953  

Ladies & Gentlemen My Name is Paul Heyman Header Image

The first thing you need to know about Paul Heyman is that he had more ambition and drive at 14 years old than the majority of adults have. He didn’t apply for a job, he created one. He didn’t ask for a press pass at Madison Square Garden, he said he was already promised one & they handed one over. He didn’t concede the floor to the more veteran & respected journalists, he slid right in front of them to get the best picture for his magazine. Yes, Paul Heyman, at 14, had created his own “dirt sheet”. Just at the beginning of puberty, he was going toe-to-toe with newsletters like the PWTorch and the Wrestling Observer. Heyman described his passion for wrestling & his ambition for the business when he said he didn’t only want to be a part of the business but he wanted to be a part of the magic that made pro-wrestling what it is.

Before moving to a larger, more prominent on-screen role, Heyman flew his way down to a Jim Crockett Promotions TV taping where Dusty Rhodes was the current booker. Heyman, true to his brazen nature, walked into the pre-production room with all of the other backstage personnel and sat in the farthest corner from where Dusty would be sitting. Upon his arrival, Rhodes immediately noticed the new kid sitting in the back corner of the room but instead of calling Heyman out in front of everyone, Dusty calmly walked over to where Heyman sat and asked to speak with him outside of the office. When Rhodes asked Paul who he was and why he was sitting in on “his” meeting, Heyman smoothly explained that he was there to take photos but was interested in learning more about the business & thought Dusty Rhodes would be a great teacher. After a LONG pause, Dusty responded that if Paul wanted to learn from anyone that he chose the best in the “great Dusty Rhodes” and to get back in the meeting. After that first encounter, Heyman would attend every meeting thereafter moving closer to Dusty’s inner circle every time.

Heyman would soon return back to New York City & once again talked his way into another job, the official photographer for Studio 54 at only 20 years old. When Studio 54′s head of promotion left for a rival club, Heyman convinced the manager that HE could promote for the club. And promote he did. The first event? A wrestling event where he attracted numerous celebrities and members of the NWA because he created a Wrestler of the Year award to present to the current NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair.

Flair and Heyman

Paul Heyman’s stint at Studio 54 didn’t last very long as relatively soon after his successful NWA/Studio 54 event, he began managing in the Northeast before getting a call to join Kevin Sullivan and Oliver Humperdink as a manager in Championship Wrestling from Florida. This where he was first dubbed “Paul E. Dangerously” and moved quickly to Memphis and the Continental Wrestling Association where he joined Tommy Rich and Austin Idol in a heated feud with Jerry Lawler. Largely based on the success of this feud & others, Heyman made the jump to Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW. The new Paul E. Dangerously continued his managerial success by linking up with the Original Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) in a feud with the new Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) and their manager, Jim Cornette. Despite the success of this feud and the Paul E. Dangerously character in general, Heyman was fired as a manager by the head of WCW’s creative team at the time, Ric Flair but was quickly rehired as a color commentator when WCW’s main play-by-play man Jim Ross expressed his desire to work with Heyman on commentary. In 1991, WCW’s lack of top name heels & its desire to “re-structure” their heels led them to the conclusion that a new “Horsemen”-type stable should be formed with Paul Heyman as their mouthpiece. Heyman was immediately paired up with veterans such as Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko and a returning Rick Rude. The one wrestler Heyman lobbied to be in this new stable was the current WCW TV Champion, “Stunning” Steve Austin and thus the Dangerous Alliance was born. He had been watching Austin’s talent and knew Austin could learn how to be a main eventer from riding with Rick Rude (and I believe that worked out quite well). The Dangerous Alliance rode high through 1992 with Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson winning the tag team championships and Rick Rude capturing the United States Championship while feuding with WCW’s top babyface Sting. But the Alliance’s time was cut too short as WCW hired Bill Watts who promptly fired Paul Heyman. Heyman admits that he sued the company & won a substantial settlement but can’t disclose anymore details. Now out of a job and looking for the next opportunity, Heyman headed back to the Northeast & Eastern Championship Wrestling. He was 28 years old.

The stories from the ECW-era where more of the same that have been explored in the past. There were a few moments where the truth finally came out & definitely some surprises. Heyman openly acknowledges that Vince McMahon contacted him about using ECW as a private developmental territory and offered to pay Heyman handsomely. Paul accepted the talent exchange agreement but refused to be put on the WWF payroll. Instead, Heyman insisted that McMahon make any payments to ECW’s parent company, HHG Corp. Therefore Paul Heyman never received a paycheck from the World Wrestling Federation or the McMahon Family until he became an on-air personality. One of the most surprising stories revealed in this documentary was that Shane McMahon almost bought ECW in 2000 when it was about to file for bankruptcy. He wanted to purchase the company in order to prepare for eventually taking over the WWE from his father Vince. That deal obviously fell through and ECW filed for bankruptcy. The controversy around Heyman appearing on WWF TV before ECW was officially bankrupt was purely a legal ploy. He couldn’t tell any of the ECW wrestlers but he knew that if he could keep the company open during the bankruptcy process then when the paperwork was finally approved, all of the payroll checks for the talent would be covered under bankruptcy and would be paid in full.

Once the Alliance/Invasion angle had run its course and Paul Heyman’s brief return to color commentary was over, Heyman was lost in a company that already had an overabundance of talent with the acquisition of the ECW & WCW rosters. Looking for his next big challenge, it was former ECW champion & current color commentator Tazz who convinced Heyman to look at what would be the “Next Big Thing”, Brock Lesnar. Heyman was immediately impressed by Brock Lesnar’s athleticism, his wrestling background, his youth and willingness to learn. After studying Lesnar, it was Heyman who pitched bringing Brock Lesnar up to the main roster to Vince McMahon but it was Vince who put them together on-screen after hearing Paul’s passion for Lesnar’s potential.

When time ran its course with the Heyman/Lesnar partnership, Heyman was placed as the General Manager of SmackDown with a good amount of creative input although Stephanie McMahon was still the head of the creative team. Only months into his run as the GM, he and Stephanie McMahon essentially switched roles as she became the new General Manager of SmackDown and Heyman took over as SmackDown’s head of creative. It was during this time that we saw a huge youth and tag team movement. Adam “Edge” Copeland fully credits Heyman as being the guy to give him a shot on his own & really break him out as a single’s star on SmackDown. In fact, during this time in WWE history, SmackDown/Paul Heyman skyrocketed Edge, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Booker T, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Hass, JBL, Matt Hardy and John Cena. That list contains Hall Of Famers Eddie Guerrero, Booker T & Edge with sure-fire future Hall Of Famers Kurt Angle, John Cena and Rey Mysterio. Yet despite some of the best SmackDown episodes in years, the WWE felt Heyman wasn’t really following their model and doing his own thing regardless of the input he would received and transferred him down to OVW to work with the younger talent.

CM Punk & Beth Phoenix where the two big names that were in OVW at the time Heyman took over. Punk was immediately thrilled to get to learn the business from one of his inspirations as a teenager who grew up with ECW. Paul Heyman admits that he didn’t know what he was getting into with OVW but was thrilled to be working with developing talent again & instantly clicked with Punk. CM Punk’s passion for all aspects of pro-wrestling made for a perfect student/teacher relationship even leading to Heyman asking Punk to help write some of the shows. Paul said about Punk, “I’ve never seen someone grasp how to put together a show as quickly as Punk. I was learning from Punk before I was done teaching him.”

Today’s Paul Heyman in the WWE is about having fun-loving being in the wrestling business purely as on-screen talent. Plus he still gets to work some of the younger talent, specifically Renee Young who he has taken under his wing. She proudly admits that she’s a “Paul Heyman Girl” and is learning more than she ever thought possible from Heyman. Many of today’s wrestlers see a total change in the Paul Heyman that walks around television now compared to many of his previous stints with the WWE. He’s much more relaxed and having fun compared to politicking & fighting over the simplest of matters.

“Ladies & Gentlemen, My Name Is Paul Heyman” is BY FAR one of the best documentaries WWE has ever released. Paul Heyman is brutally honest about his success and failures, his achievements and mistakes. No one interviewed pulled any punches and the list of talent interviewed is impressive in itself. Names such as Larry Zbyszko, Dusty Rhodes, Jim Ross, Joey Styles, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Gabe Sapolsky, Tod Gordon, Stephanie McMahon, Edge, Brock Lesnar, Renee Young, CM Punk and Bray Wyatt are just a few on the impressive list of talent featured. You not only get a fantastic look back at a great talent’s career but you also get to truly now the man Paul Heyman. He’s open about everything in his lifetime and the man who shines through your TV screen is truly a man you will have the up most respect for.

 

Click below to listen to the exclusive interview I conducted with Paul Heyman:

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JR Blog: WWE Raw Reactions, John Cena, Stepahnie McMahon, TNA Name Change, Brock Lesnar http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/29/jr-blog-wwe-raw-reactions-john-cena-stepahnie-mcmahon-tna-name-change-brock-lesnar/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/29/jr-blog-wwe-raw-reactions-john-cena-stepahnie-mcmahon-tna-name-change-brock-lesnar/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:00:59 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168646 Raw is in the books and former commentator Jim Ross has some reactions, here are some highlights

on Cena’s promo
Cena’s serious promo was spot on as his WWE Title bout with Brock Lesnar is nothing to joke or to make light of whatsoever. Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle again cleared the bases with his promo work that seemed to motivate Cena to respond accordingly. Really good work by both men representing the main event at Summer Slam.

on Stephanie & Heyman being WWE’s top heels
Mentioned this on Twitter that I felt like WWE’s two hottest, heels were both non wrestlers in Stephanie and Heyman which is a tribute to their work but what does it say for the wrestlers who are cast in those roles?… Heyman and Steph seemingly don’t play the role of a pro wrestling villian and they come across as natural and playing an expanded role on who they really are which is where the magic lies. … Any talent ‘playing the role’ of a villain more often than not comes off as disingenuous and shallow. Be real, enhance it, or go home.

on Brock Lesnar
If Lesnar wins the WWE Title at Summer Slam, then the IC and US Titles would be well served to mean more considering that Lesnar will not be on TV weekly of which I think is fine by the way.

on TNA Changing Names
If TNA goes to another cable TV outlet IF they leave @SpikeTV, I’d seriously consider changing the name of the company and attempting to hit the reset button and get a fresh start. I’m still not convinced that Spike will rid themselves of TNA but instead re-up the brand for less money. Sources say that TNA is telling their talents that there are multiple suitors for their brand as it relates to finding another cable TV home. I hope that’s accurate for their sake.

Check out the full blog at JR’s BBQ

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Rabblecast Ep. 371 – Jim Ross Contactually Done w/WWE, TNA NYC Manhattan Center Shows http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/25/rabblecast-ep-371-jim-ross-contactually-done-wwwe-tna-nyc-manhattan-center-shows/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/25/rabblecast-ep-371-jim-ross-contactually-done-wwwe-tna-nyc-manhattan-center-shows/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:01:03 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168470 This is a solo show for your humble host, Hernandez. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get your pro wrestling news and rumors. In this episode, The Guatemalan Bulldozer covers the recent news in WWE regarding Jim Ross and CM Punk’s contracts coming to their respective ends. Will we ever see either of these two in WWE again?

TNA Impact Wrestling is still showing their run of tapings from the Manhattan Center in NYC and they are fun to watch. The NYC fans know how to add that special something to a televised wrestling show. So much so, that TNA will be returning for another round of tapings in early August. Hernandez runs down the matches from the 7/17 show and recent happenings in TNA.

 

We are The Rabblecast!

 

Follow us on Twitter: @Rabblecast

Like, The Rabblecast Facebook Fan page!

Email us at: Rabblecast@gmail.com

 


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Tripe H Posts Thank You Message To Jim Ross On Twitter http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/24/tripe-h-posts-thank-you-message-to-jim-ross-on-twitter/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/24/tripe-h-posts-thank-you-message-to-jim-ross-on-twitter/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:30:15 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168441 Jim Ross’s WWE severance package expired this week. WWE made no official mention of this fact, however HHH addressed it with a classy thank you on Twitter.

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Jim Ross Blog Update on Daniel Bryan Injury http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/11/jim-ross-blog-update-on-daniel-a-bryan-injury/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/11/jim-ross-blog-update-on-daniel-a-bryan-injury/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 02:33:56 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168105 Jim Ross’ latest blog entry featured comments by JR on Daniel Bryan’s injury that has put the most popular man in WWE on the shelf indefinitely:

“Not sure what to believe or not to believe regarding the physical status of Daniel Bryan but most of what I’m reading isn’t positive. Often times a surgery will reveal other issues and it seems that may have been the case here. The bottom line to this entire matter is to get Bryan healthy and, above all else, not to rush him back into the ring. I feel confident that WWE would never allow this to occur but certainly in the territory days of years gone by promoters would want the talents to get back in the ring ASAP. Plus, the talents themselves would push the envelope because most of them did not have guaranteed contracts and if they did not work they did not get paid notwithstanding they paid their own medical bills. Times have changed much for the better in those areas.”

JR goes on to talk about Roman Reigns’ huge singles push in Bryan’s absence and warns WWE against overexposure of the Reigns character.
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Wrestling Legend Jim Ross If He Called The Brazil-Germany World Cup Highlights http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/09/wrestling-legend-jim-ross-if-he-called-the-brazil-germany-world-cup-highlights/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/07/09/wrestling-legend-jim-ross-if-he-called-the-brazil-germany-world-cup-highlights/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 01:49:22 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=168085 Tired of the same boring commentary during the World Cup? Well, unless you are watching the Spanish broadcast, the next best alternative is to hear Jim Ross call the highlights of Germany’s shellacking of Brazil. “SOMEBODY STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!”


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Jim Ross Comments on Sting to WWE Rumors in Latest Blog http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/04/21/jim-ross-comments-on-sting-to-wwe-rumors-in-latest-blog/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/04/21/jim-ross-comments-on-sting-to-wwe-rumors-in-latest-blog/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:59:27 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=166415 In his latest blog, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross comments on the rumors swirling regarding Sting coming to WWE. Says Ross:

Getting tons of questions regarding Sting signing with WWE of which I don’t know the answer and if I did and was asked to keep it confidential I would, for the record. However, I see it as a no brainer for WWE to sign Sting and to begin immediately in monetizing his intellectual property. WWE owns virtually every minute of video tape that Sting has appeared on except his work in TNA. Some of the UWF content and early WCW matches are particularly outstanding. It’s a match made in grappling heaven even if Sting never wrestles in WWE. In my perfect, booking world, which actually doesn’t exist and is an oxymoronic statement, Sting would have one match…a retirement match at WM31 against a suitable villain even though some will lobby for that retirement match opposition to be Undertaker. A smaller, athletic young talent who needs the “rub” would arguably be ideal.

You can find JR’s products here by looking for them at WWEShop.com
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THE RAGER! Heel Logic (HHH, CM Punk, Randy Orton) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/04/16/the-rager-heel-logic-hhh-cm-punk-randy-orton/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/04/16/the-rager-heel-logic-hhh-cm-punk-randy-orton/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:00:18 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=166343 So in a surprise to absolutely no one, Evolution has reformed. It’s not a surprise because the three men, HHH, Randy Orton and Batista, were all working alongside each other since Wrestlemania. Also, HHH is also one-half of the most frequently-reformed-group in the history of professional wrestling, DX. I’m not sure if that’s factually correct but it feels like it should be correct and that tends to be good enough for most news organizations so why not adapt that mindset here?

Recently, Jim Ross went all cranky old-schooler on twitter over the current state of heels in WWE today, specifically pertaining to antics of most heels and how they’re not really doing enough to deserve the comeuppance that is usually served by the face that is involved. He made the point that there aren’t enough heels that bend the rules or have as many despicable character qualities and probably the only one that comes to mind these days would be HHH and the Authority and perhaps Randy Orton. Batista is more of an arrogant heel than a cheating one. Ross also goes on to say about the Wyatts that they cannot be allowed to become too cool.

Personally, I disagree with JR because the days of absolute good vs evil are so boring at times and yes, I realize how closely this resembles Vince’s introduction to the Attitude Era. I get so annoyed with heels that have to cheat or find some sort of loophole to win their matches, that’s what annoyed me most about the 2nd half of CM Punk’s 434 reign. The guy was unbeatable as a face for the first 8 months of the reign against guys like Del Rio, Miz, Ziggler, everyone in the elimination chamber, Jericho, Daniel Bryan and Kane and then by October, 3 months after turned heel, he was cowering and sneaking his way out of matches against Ryback and Cena. If every heel or even just a larger number of them did that then be prepared for the most boring television WWE has ever produced, especially in this day and age. And who cares if people start to find heels like the Wyatts cool? They’re still menacing and despicable characters to the fans that matter (Cena’s fans). And yes, the Shield became far too cool and fun to watch to be able to keep them heel, same goes for Cesaro BUT that will lend to their success as faces.

Everything works in cycles and I feel like we’re reaching a different form of the Attitude Era. Like an Attitude Era that wants to keep their younger audience, be socially conscious and tolerant and have a great farm system with a seemingly endless amount of talent. The Reality Era, so far, seems to be a mixture of pulling back the curtain and continuing what CM Punk started in 2011 while still having kayfabe-ridden colorful characters while also being a time where being an absolute good or bad guy is less of a requirement. The most annoying thing about all this is that we have all these characters doing things that are clearly opposite of what their morality standing currently is and the commentators (Lawler) are still sticking to their black and white mentality. Last year (or the year before, I wasn’t paying THAT much attention) Sheamus stole another man’s car and went on a messy joyride and was looked at as just a rascally good guy that just gave Del Rio what he deserved. Fairly certain Sheamus engaged in an illegal activity and as much as he talks about pubs and pints, he was probably drunk too but it’s okay because an eye-for-an-eye will leave the whole world blind except for the last guy doing the eye-plucking.

This entire debate might be nitpicking and be utterly meaningless and could all be chalked up to me being desperate to find a subject to write about this week but I really do disagree with what JR was saying and I just don’t think a clear-cut definition of what is what works as well anymore and it all depends on what is being accomplished by the individual character. The method JR refers to makes it far too easy for WWE to put themselves in a creative box which leads to the complete boredom that was exemplified during the height of the PG Era. Of course, JR doesn’t speak for WWE anymore and, quite frankly, comes off a bit bitter about everything these days and it’s merely one man’s opinion against mine. Honestly, WWE wanting to stick to certain ratings make it really difficult to really create a true despicable heel BUT it’s not impossible and it forces them to either be more creative about it or be completely lazy and they’ve done enough lazy.

Be sure to follow Classy Ring Attire on twitter @CRAttire and we started a new thing where yours truly quickly covers this week’s WWE news.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris

The Answer
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CB’s Slant: Ringside with Jim Ross Live at Gramercy Theatre in New York City 03.01.2014 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/01/cbs-slant-ringside-with-jim-ross-live-at-gramercy-theatre/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/03/01/cbs-slant-ringside-with-jim-ross-live-at-gramercy-theatre/#comments Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:26:41 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=165117 WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross kicked off his live speaking tour today in New York City at the Gramercy Theatre. I happened to be in attendance and so I wanted to share some thoughts.

First and foremost, this was a MUST-SEE show for any wrestling fan. JR was hilarious, heartfelt and just outstanding as the pro wrestling storyteller and crowd-pleasing host of his “no holds barred” Q&A session.

–Special guests included Joey Styles, Tommy Dreamer and Judah Friedlander.

–The first part of the show was JR talking about his early life, his beginnings in wrestling and his stories ranging from childhood through his time in WWE.

–He said his father told him if he did all his chores he could watch the local wrestling show at 4:00 pm on Saturdays.

–His first wrestling gig was for $150/week and he would make extra money doing everything from setting up rings to refereeing to driving wrestlers around.

–He talked about working for Bill Watts, announcing with Leroy McGuirk despite McGuirk being blind and told some great stories about the craziness of the road.

–He told the Vince McMahon “sharting” story that made waves during his press interviews this week. Basically, Vince wanted to pass gas but did a whole lot more than that just before his music hit to go out on TV. He fearlessly marched out anyway.

–He said that his biggest can’t-miss that missed was Sycho Sid and his biggest surprise remains Mick Foley. Vince let Ross hire Mick so he could have JR experience what it’s like to have his heart broken, but then it turned into magic.

–He said the best tag team he ever saw were The Assassins from the 1960s.

–When asked about CM Punk, Ross reiterated it was a simple case of burnout and that he still think Punk will regret leaving one day. He thinks Punk will be gone longer but others like Steve Austin think Punk will be back before WrestleMania XXX.

–He talked about overcoming Bell’s Palsy three times, and also overcoming intestinal issues that nearly ended his life before leaving WWE full-time in 2005.

–He took the blame for the SummerSlam panel discussion with Ric Flair going off the rails and said he’s doing just fine since being let go from WWE.

–The most emotional part of the show came during the Q&A when JR was asked about having to stay on the air after Owen Hart’s fall at Over The Edge 1999. JR said he saw Owen’s fall in his peripheral view and that as soon as it happened Jerry Lawler ran over to Owen and came back and shook his head no. Ross said no one told him Owen was dead until producer Kevin Dunn broke the news to him … 10 seconds before he had to update the world about it. He said he hasn’t gone back to watch the footage of his commentary in that moment and never will unless he writes a book about his career and needs to see it to recount his feelings in that moment.

–He wrapped up by thanking everyone for coming and got a rousing standing ovation.

Overall, this was a great experience and Jim Ross was honest, authentic and just awesome.

That’s all from me — CB.
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Jim Ross Opens Up about Leaving WWE and Talks CM Punk’s Departure in Candid Interview http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/06/jim-ross-opens-up-about-leaving-wwe-and-talks-cm-punks-departure-in-candid-interview/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/06/jim-ross-opens-up-about-leaving-wwe-and-talks-cm-punks-departure-in-candid-interview/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 11:37:12 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=164315 In a candid interview with Newsday, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross discussed leaving WWE following the infamous Ric Flair panel discussion incident and talked about the recent departure of CM Punk.

JR on the Ric Flair incident that led to his WWE “retirement”:

“The wheels came off a wagon I didn’t build.”

“I knew that when it was over, a lot of the top WWE officials were very anxious to get Ric Flair out of the facility … So I knew there was some concern there, but I didn’t know that the concern involved me. A story started out of misinformation that I had been drinking with Flair all day. And the issue was that if they [WWE officials] had checked their schedule, I had been booked all day with WWE activities and SummerSlam that had nothing to do with Ric Flair.”

JR on finally moving on from WWE:

“My job was to keep the rudder in the water … I didn’t do that. And so, the decision was made that we part ways. And to be honest with you, and this is not looking back, or trying to cover somebody’s tracks, or cover my own [behind], I was really looking for an opportunity to move on. I wanted to get into the podcast business, I wanted to get into one-man show stuff . . . I wanted to look at other opportunities, like this Fox Sports thing that I’m doing now. And I knew I couldn’t do those things while I was under contract to the WWE. But to be honest, to be totally frank with you, I had such a loyalty to that company, and I still do, that after 20 years I didn’t know how I was going to say goodbye.”

JR on on the WWE locker room and CM Punk’s departure:

“This whole locker room has a different feel to it, and a different — they’re not as edgy as the Attitude Era locker room … They’re not as competitive. I don’t know that they’re as hungry. But now, CM Punk is different. [Compared with] today’s corporate wrestler, CM Punk is a little bit of a rogue. And I don’t mean that in a negative way.”

“Over the last two of three years, he’s been my favorite WWE performer to watch in the ring, without question. He would’ve been a huge star in the Attitude Era, without question. Here’s the deal: He’s a very cerebral guy, who has an old-school spirit, that really cares about every aspect of the business. I think that he needed time off, ample time off, to recharge his batteries. I think he has, for lack of a better term, a major case of burnout. And I think the problem should have been recognized and addressed much earlier than letting it get to a head and him being so frustrated and such a sense of hopelessness that he decided to go home. Walking away from a problem is never a solution. Never. Solve the problem.”

Ross also talks about CM Punk possibly coming back after a self-imposed offseason or doing other things like helping out a startup promotion in the future or going into MMA broadcasting.

For the full, in-depth interview, click here.

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JR Blog: CM Punk, Brock Lesnar UFC, Undertaker, WWE Hall of Fame 2014 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/03/jr-blog-cm-punk-brock-lesnar-ufc-undertaker-wwe-hall-of-fame-2014/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/03/jr-blog-cm-punk-brock-lesnar-ufc-undertaker-wwe-hall-of-fame-2014/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 15:17:46 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=164172 What is on JR’s mind?

on CM Punk
I fully understand that Punk is burned out and frustrated but I personally and perhaps selfishly wish that he would perform and steal the show at WM30 before taking his leave and recharging his batteries. That’s just the fan in me talking.

on Brock Lesnar
I can see why Brock Lesnar would love to fight in the UFC again because he’s a beast who feels he’s left unfinished business behind and he’s healthy….finally. I say the former NCAA, WWE, and UFC champion has nothing to prove by returning to the Octagon as he’s got a great gig in WWE working part time for what I’d think is substantial cash….and I’m a HUGE, UFC fan.

Lesnar sells PPV’s when he’s hot and it’s up to WWE to get Lesnar hot between now and April 6.

I could easily see Lesnar challenging The Undertaker and the STREAK for WM31 and letting that matter build for a year. Lesnar gets reborn as a beast and provides the most intense threat to the STREAK that, arguably, anyone has ever presented. Just a thought….

on WWE Hall of Fame 2014
Got a tip of ‘leaked info’ from a non WWE source of who will be joining Warrior and Jake the Snake in the 2014 WWE HOF class. I choose to not spoil the surprise and divulge said info and let those who like to do the ‘spoiler’ thing handle that matter. Spoiler as in info we don’t need and not Spoiler as in the late Don Jardine who was one of the greatest masked wrestlers who ever lived.

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JR Blog: WWE Royal Rumble 2014 Controversy, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/27/jr-blog-wwe-royal-rumble-2014-controversy-daniel-bryan-roman-reigns/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/27/jr-blog-wwe-royal-rumble-2014-controversy-daniel-bryan-roman-reigns/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 20:06:01 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163884 Jim Ross has written thoughts about the Royal Rumble from last night, here are some highlights:

on Daniel Bryan
I don’t think that I have received as much impassioned feedback on a WWE PPV event in recent memory as I have over the past several hours after the Royal Rumble ended. Many fans were downright pissed and shared their venom with yours truly.

Firstly, the vast majority of fans wanted Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble so that he would be in line for a WWE World Title match at WM30. That did not happen.

Yet.

Obviously, Daniel Bryan has made an amazing connection with the WWE fans and I’d venture to say that today, 24 hours after the Royal Rumble, that Daniel Bryan has NEVER been more popular in his entire career.

At this point, Daniel Bryan becoming WWE World Champion would be great but it certainly isn’t definitively necessary for DB to be ‘over.’ Daniel Bryan is ‘over’ and his fans are seemingly rallying behind him in a verbal show of solidarity and support. If Bryan embraces this support, then a happier ending is more likely to occur.

on Roman Reigns
Huge night in Pittsburgh for Roman Reigns who set a record with 12 eliminations of which I guessed might happen. Of course, some think that I received inside info on that matter but if they only knew how little I communicate with anyone in WWE they would change their tune. It was a creative calculation that made sense to me. Today, it still makes sense.

Reigns is a future star and if he had won the Royal Rumble that would have been just fine with me. However, Reigns, as a fan favorite, chasing either villains Orton or Batista would be money matches. Reigns era is rapidly approaching. The foundation is being laid.

on the Rumble’s value, his grade of the event
I’d give the PPV a B- or C+ grade and I paid retail for it just like most fans and I am not clamoring for a ‘refund.’ In hindsight, could things have been executed differently? Absolutely. But isn’t that the case with any show biz entity or even most sporting events?

Check out his full thoughts at JRs BBQ

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Flashback: Top Ten Moments in Royal Rumble History http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/25/flashback-top-ten-moments-in-royal-rumble-history/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/25/flashback-top-ten-moments-in-royal-rumble-history/#comments Sat, 25 Jan 2014 17:18:15 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163680 HTC Editorial Logo

 

{Here’s an editorial I wrote WAY BACK when the website was still called Creatively Endeavored & John Cena didn’t win his second Rumble. – MJH}

Everyone has one.

The first Pay Per View they were allowed to get.

Even though I started watching wrestling in 1987, I had never seen a live PPV until January of 1993. You see, I was born in January (23rd to be exact) and every year my parents found it hard to find me presents. It was less then a month after Christmas and Hasbro couldn’t put out WWF figures fast enough to complete my collection. So in ’93 my parents got creative. After hours and hours of fulfilling my familial obligations, I was finally able to open the huge wrapped box with my name on it. Inside of that box was… another smaller box. And then another. And another. After 7 boxes I finally opened a small ring box to reveal this:

To say I was excited would be a VAST understatement. Finally I would be able to see the Royal Rumble as it happened just a day after my birthday and thus a love for the Rumble was born.

The Royal Rumble is my WrestleMania. The surprises, the nostalgia and the most important prize in wrestling: a main event spot at WrestleMania. To win the Royal Rumble is arguably more prestigious than winning the WWE championship right now. As there have only been 19 winners, a victory in the Rumble match can almost ensure your status as WWE’s elite. 9 of these winners already reside in the Hall of Fame with 8 others whom are assuredly future inductees. I look forward to the Rumble all year-long so having to put together this list was probably the easiest assignment I’ve ever had.

Top 10 Royal Rumble Moments:

10. Mr. Perfect returns to WWE & stands toe to toe with Austin, Angle & HHH

- “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig was a mainstay in the upper mid-card in the 80s and early-90s WWF. 2002 saw the re-emergence of many wrestlers who had left for the “greener” pastures of WCW in the mid-90s and the Royal Rumble was a perfect event for their re-debut. Perfect entered the Rumble at #25 to a HUGE ovation and eventually ended up in the final three before being eliminated by the winner, Triple H. This was pretty much the last hurrah for Mr. Perfect before his untimely death in 2003.

9. Jerry Lawler hides under the ring for almost 40 mins

- Jerry Lawler wasn’t always the wise-cracking sidekick to Jim Ross or Michael Cole. When “The King” entered the WWF in 1992, he was just starting with the USWA and came to the WWF mainly as a heel announcer. That changed though as he quickly entered into a feud with the ENTIRE Hart family. But Lawler was always a comedy character in the WWF and that was never more evident than at the 1996 Royal Rumble when he actually hid underneath the ring for a whopping 36 minutes before being eliminated by the eventual winner Shawn Michaels.

8. John Morrison’s “Spiderman” leap to the barricade

- There’s not much to say about this as the video speaks for itself. One of the most incredibly athletic things seen on a WWE event.

7. Bret Hart & Lex Luger are co-winners

- 1994 was only the second year that the stipulation of “Whomever wins the Royal Rumble gets a WWF Title shot at WrestleMania” and things were about to get interesting. Yokozuna had dominated the WWF as Heavyweight Champion since June of 1993. He fended off challenges from Lex Luger, “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Undertaker, whom he defeated earlier in the Rumble PPV. Luger and Hart were both heavy favorites coming into the Rumble match as Luger defeated Yokozuna by count-out 6 months earlier at Summerslam and it was Hart who Yokozuna defeated for his first WWF title at the previous year’s WrestleMania. No one knew who was going to win the Rumble but all were positive it was going to be one of their favorites, either Bret Hart or Lex Luger. No one thought BOTH would win! For the first and only time in history, there were TWO winners of the Royal Rumble and both men were set to face the dreaded Yokozuna at WrestleMania 10.

6. Diesel stands tall waiting for more opponents

- In the very same Rumble, a new superstar exploded onto the radar of every WWF fan. At the time, Diesel was nothing more than Shawn Michaels’ goon with very few WWF matches under his belt. By the time he was eliminated by five men he had eliminated 7 on his own, literally waiting for new opponents to enter the match just so he could toss them right out. Before the year was out, Diesel had won the Intercontinental, Tag Team and World Heavyweight Championships. And it all started at the Royal Rumble.

5. Undertaker & HBK have an epic Royal Rumble finale

- Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker’s paths hadn’t crossed since HBK returned from his mid-career retirement in 2002. But everyone remembered their epic matches from the late 90s and when the two legends found themselves as the last two men in the 2007 Rumble, the excitement in the arena was palpable. HBK and Taker didn’t disappoint giving us a thrilling 10 minutes of dramatic action concluding with The Undertaker winning his first Royal Rumble.

4. John Cena returns MONTHS before his expected return & wins in the Garden

- John Cena was recovering from a torn pectoral by the time the 2008 Royal Rumble rolled around. His shocking return and victory surprised even the most jaded of fans and set off a trend of “surprise” returns that has almost become a staple of more recent matches.

3. CM Punk tries to “save” Superstars before eliminating 5

- CM Punk is the “en vogue” superstar right now. People appreciate his in-ring talent, his ability to talk and his apparent fearlessness with his own career. And while he was somewhat popular before the 2010 Royal Rumble, his mid-match promos attempting to convert fellow superstars to his Straight Edge Society not only solidified him as a star to watch but it also made for a Rumble moment that will surely stand the test of time.

2. Ric Flair wins his first WWF title

- For the first and only time in WWF/E history, the World Title was to be awarded to whomever won the 1992 Royal Rumble match. While he had been claiming to be the “real World’s champion”, Ric Flair hadn’t really accomplished anything in the WWF by the time the ’92 Rumble came around. And when it was revealed that the “Nature Boy” had drawn #3 out of #30, not a single person thought we’d be seeing Flair with the gold when the night was over. Bobby Heenan practically had an aneurysm all night while on commentary! But “with a tear in his eye” Ric Flair outlasted 29 other men to reign supreme for his first of two WWF World Title reigns.

1. Shawn Michaels goes the distance

- Royal Rumble 1995 was the birth of a legend. At the end of 1994, Shawn Michaels was a former tag team competitor and Intercontinental championship who seemed to have a good upside. His potential appeared limitless after his WrestleMania 10 ladder match but many still looked at him as the “pretty boy” who wouldn’t reach the levels of his former bodyguard Diesel who had already won the WWF title within one year of being with the company. Michaels was good but not many believed he was THIS good. The ’95 Rumble was the unveiling of our era’s Ric Flair as Shawn Michaels entered at number one and proceeded to flip, flop and fly around the ring until he emerged as the winner, along with the added bonus of having Pamela Anderson on his arm. Shawn Michaels took this victory and ran all the way into the Hall of Fame.

The Royal Rumble is arguably the most unpredictable match on the WWE calendar. But that’s exactly what’s so fun about making these predictions.

2012 Predictions:

- Goldust will make a surprise appearance and eliminate Cody Rhodes (They’ve been teasing this for awhile with Cody wanting more competition and claiming to be “the last hope for the Rhodes name”).

- A former World Champion will win the Rumble (I’m looking at you Miz, Jericho or Orton).

- Sheamus will dominate & have the most eliminations of the night (Look for a Diesel-esque performance).

- Rey Mysterio will be the token injury return.

- The losers of the WWE & World Title matches will enter the Rumble (except for maybe the injured Mark Henry).

One way or another, we’ll have A LOT to talk about on Monday as we all start to get ready for WrestleMania!
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Jim Ross News: Debut on FoxSports.com, Royal Rumble History (HBK, Rey Mysterio, John Cena) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/24/jim-ross-news-debut-on-foxsports-com-royal-rumble-history-hbk-rey-mysterio-john-cena/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/24/jim-ross-news-debut-on-foxsports-com-royal-rumble-history-hbk-rey-mysterio-john-cena/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 21:19:14 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163659 Jim Ross has signed on to write columns for Fox Sports, and has kicked off with a feature about the Royal Rumble.

on Royal Rumble 1995
Shawn Michaels draws No. 11 and Davey Boy Smith draws No. 2. They endure and go coast to coast to become the final two survivors, outlasting 28 others. Both guys were at somewhat of a professional crossroads and the stage was set to launch both men significantly. ‘The Moment’ was when Michaels went over the top rope but only “one foot” touched the floor … hence the “Shawn Michaels Rule” saying that both feet must touch the floor for one to be eliminated. Many feel that Shawn Michael’s individual career was amped up thanks to his performance in this Rumble match. HBK was at his best in big-match scenarios.

on Rey Mysterio in 2006
Rey Mysterio more than earned his pay in the Royal Rumble match by ducking, dodging, and darting his way to winning in an hour plus, 62:12 to be exact. That’s a record, by the way. I’d love to know how many “near-misses” Rey had because by the time he prevailed and had overcome the odds, the fans were digging the 6-1-9. This win propelled Rey to new heights, including being a headliner at WM 22 that year. Rey, the ultimate underdog, represented “hope,” with which most fans could easily identify. It was a memorable night for another future WWE HOFer.

on MSG popping for John Cena’s 2008 surprise return
To broadcast from Madison Square Garden is, in homage to the late, Road Warrior Hawk,”What a Rush!” I call my life in wrestling … from the “farm” (in Oklahoma) to the “Garden.” However, few nights in my career was the crowd louder and became more unglued than when John Cena shocked WWE fans by returning from an injury to the Rumble as surprise entrant No. 30 and then winning by eliminating HHH. With Cena not in the Garden all day, who knew? John had been injured and the last that I had heard was that he was “getting better” so I left it at that. When Cena’s music hit it was, a “Monsoonism” is coming, pandemonium. The sold out crowd was so empowered that they almost forgot to boo the polarizing Cena,who eliminated HHH to get the win.

Check out the full column at Fox Sports

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JR Blog: Daniel Bryan/WWE, WWE Over The Edge On WWE Network, Ted Dibiase http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/20/jr-blog-daniel-bryanwwe-wwe-over-the-edge-on-wwe-network-ted-dibiase/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/20/jr-blog-daniel-bryanwwe-wwe-over-the-edge-on-wwe-network-ted-dibiase/#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:31:21 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163399 Jim Ross updated his blog over the weekend, here are some highlights…

on Daniel Bryan
Back to Daniel Bryan, he’s white hot and has done what many wrestlers only dream of doing and that’s making a strong, emotional connection with the fan base. Bryan is SO connected or ‘over’ in rasslin’ vernacular and he’s still evolving well even without the WWE Title.

Will Daniel Bryan ever become the WWE World Title for a nice ‘run’ some day? I can’t see how it won’t happen. Question is when and it could be at WM30 if all the cards fall into place. Stay tuned.

on WWE Over The Edge airing on the WWE Network
Just shake my head at some of these doozies. Firstly, I don’t know what the WWE Network is or isn’t going to program. Secondly, the WWE Network’s on Twitter so why not ask them? Thirdly, do you actually think I’d want to attempt to sit through that experience again? I’ve yet to watch it after all these years and won’t likely watch it unless I include that matter in a book.

on Ted Dibiase
Ted was a natural who picked up the nuances of working in front of live audiences in a variety of roles about as quick as any one that I recall. The Million Dollar Man persona spawned JBL and Alberto Del Rio in WWE but no one did it better than the original…Ted DiBiase.

Check out the whole blog at JR’s BBQ

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JR Blog: Taunts IWC, Secretive Backstage Politics Reference, Turns Down Shoot Interviews http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/17/jr-blog-taunts-iwc-secretive-backstage-politics-reference-turns-down-shoot-interviews/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/17/jr-blog-taunts-iwc-secretive-backstage-politics-reference-turns-down-shoot-interviews/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:55:48 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163318 Jim Ross has a mid-week blog with some news and notes, here are some highlights!

on his new podcast, mentions IWC:
My venture with Podcast One begins in mid February if all goes according to plan. My show will drop on Wednesdays so it will be recorded a few days in advance to allow time for production elements to be added. I do plan on it being very interactive as I will be taking listener’s calls. We will also have a variety of guests. Plus, I will offer my personal analysis/take on some TV wrestling shows that I watch.

Should give the internet wrestling community (IWC) plenty of cannon fodder. :)

on wrestling politics
The more I read online about the daily drama in various pro wrestling organizations makes me happy that I’m not engaged full time in that world. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be a fan and support the genre but dealing with today’s athletes is a taxing, never ending saga. It was somewhat simpler in the old days but certainly far from not having issues in which to address.

on doing a shoot interview
To answer an often received question, I am NOT considering doing any “Shoot” interviews for DVD release for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I cover many of the topics one would be asked in these productions in RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross shows. Secondly, I don’t care to address ‘dirt oriented’ questions that can embarrass people’s families, etc. Lastly, the fees offered are generally low and not worth the time invested to do them.

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JR Blog: Daniel Bryan/WWE Raw Reaction, Ultimate Warrior, Damien Sandow, Kofi Kingston http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/14/jr-blog-daniel-bryanwwe-raw-reaction-ultimate-warrior-damien-sandow-kofi-kingston/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/14/jr-blog-daniel-bryanwwe-raw-reaction-ultimate-warrior-damien-sandow-kofi-kingston/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 20:06:57 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163101 Jim Ross has a new post-Raw blog up, and here are some highlights!

on Daniel Bryan on Raw
The show closing moments involving Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt was reminiscent of the Attitude Era as it relates to raw passion and the fans totally buying into the production.

I said it last night on Twitter @JRsBBQ that Daniel Bryan was the hottest commodity in WWE today….by far. The connection that he’s made with the audience, which more often than not, can’t be manufactured is priceless.

Daniel Bryan sitting on top of the cage and the sold out crowd chanting Yes! Yes! Yes! was Austin-esque in my eyes. The closing moments of RAW is what one always looks to achieve when formatting a TV show. That special moment that becomes a ‘moment.’

Daniel Bryan is a legit bookers dream. Highly skilled and can make anyone that he competes with appear better, no locker room issues or bad, personal habits and he’s respectful and reliable. The perfect pro. Good role model for any young talent wanting to succeed.

Don’t overlook the fact of how much this piece of business helped young, Bray Wyatt, too. Now fans have a legit reason to not cheer the Wyatts which they really didn’t before.

on The Ultimate Warrior
The Ultimate Warrior was one of WWE’s all time most polarizing performers who was a massive star while being one of the most unique TV personas ever in WWE.

on Damien Sandow/Kofi Kingston
My mantra of maximizing one’s minutes was in full play and Damien Sandow and Kofi Kingston come to mind as two guys who did just that.

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Jim Ross Announces Involvement With Paul Heyman DVD Release http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/13/jim-ross-announces-involvement-with-paul-heyman-dvd-release/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/13/jim-ross-announces-involvement-with-paul-heyman-dvd-release/#comments Mon, 13 Jan 2014 16:17:19 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=163013 It’s been a long time since we’ve had a WWE Home Video release deal with a non-wrestling personality. And as far as managers go, you’d have to go back to the 2006 release of The World’s Greatest Wrestling Managers, for a WWE DVD putting an emphasis on the managerial side of sports entertainment.

For fans today, Paul Heyman will be the guy that is the representative for Brock Lesnar, but he’s been more than a mouthpiece for wrestlers.

Heyman has also been a promoter and commentator through the years and has ventures outside the realm of the squared circle. He’s probably most famous for being the creative force behind Philadelphia’s Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion which flourished in the mid-to-late nineties before ultimately closing shop in 2001.

As part of his recent blog, Jim Ross acknowledged that he’s been “asked by WWE to be a part of the upcoming Paul Heyman DVD of which I’m anxious to participate.” JR goes on to write:

Once details are worked out we will schedule a time for me to head to WWE HQ and tell a few…dozen Heyman stories. I’m very honored to have been requested to be a part of this production as it was me who gave Paul his first broadcast gig and taught him the ropes as best that I could . Paul was so high strung and outspoken that many within WCW did not want to work with him but I saw talent in the abrasive albeit highly intelligent Jewish kid from Scarsdale, N.Y.

This could be a very interesting release if they get enough involvement from people for the documentary portion. The extras can include various matches he’s been a part of (anyone else remember that cage match between him and Brock Lesnar from SmackDown back in 2002?) as well as personalities and stables he’s managed (the Dangerous Alliance, Sabu, et al.).
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JR Blog: Piper’s Pit, Brock Lesnar Not Over?, Jake Roberts, Daniel Bryan http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/07/jr-blog-pipers-pit-brock-lesnar-not-over-jake-roberts-daniel-bryan/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/07/jr-blog-pipers-pit-brock-lesnar-not-over-jake-roberts-daniel-bryan/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:14:54 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162847 Jim Ross has been prolific with blogs in 2014, and has another with fallout to Old School Raw

on Piper’s Pit
Thought it was one of the better Piper’s Pit segments that we’ve seen over the past few years. Succinct, cut to the chase content, etc. Nice rub for the Shield. Roddy endorsing Punk did nothing but good as well.

on Brock Lesnar
No issues with Lesnar/Henry/Show but for anyone to think that Lesnar is as hot right how as he needs to be isn’t looking at Brock through honest eyes. His absence was long and Brock wasn’t red hot when he left. The former WWE and UFC champion is an amazing talent but he’s got little traction from where I sit and needs to promoted aggressively and soon if he’s expected to sell PPV’s at WM30. The good news is that it can be done.

on Jake Roberts:
The final surprise of Jake the Snake Roberts was a good surprise. Jake looked good and he was well received. Via @DDPYoga and making smart, personal decisions, Jake has gotten himself healthier and the alternative if he had continued to travel his former road was bleak.

on Daniel Bryan/Wyatts
I’m still confused as to where the Daniel Bryan/Wyatt Family storyline is headed. I’m trying to like it as I’m a big fan of all the men involved in the equation but I don’t know much more about their relationship or issues than I knew last week. As a fan, I needed a little more concrete info or a viable tease from these four men than I was provided.

Check out the full blog at JR’s BBQ

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JR Blog: Jarrett/Keith Promotion Update, Daniel Wyatt, WWE Old School Raw http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/06/jr-blog-jarrettkeith-promotion-update-daniel-wyatt-wwe-old-school-raw/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/06/jr-blog-jarrettkeith-promotion-update-daniel-wyatt-wwe-old-school-raw/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 23:47:10 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162763 Jim Ross did another blog update today, responding to rumors of his involvement in a new promotion.

on Jeff Jarret & Toby Keith:
FYI…I have not had any conversations with anyone about starting a ‘new’ pro wrestling promotion. I have not spoken to Jeff Jarrett since he left WWE on a day that doesn’t rank too high on my list of fun days at work.

Some websites are irresponsibly running with the story that just because Toby Keith and I are friends and fellow Okies who both follow the Sooners that I’m about to do business with Toby and Jeff Jarrett which isn’t true. Toby and I had dinner at the Sugar Bowl, he’s a wrestling fan from the old days and, a helluva entrepreneur with deep pockets. Nonetheless the reason that we were there was to support our Sooners vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and not talk about pro wrestling.

on Daniel Wyatt
WWE creative must hit it out of the park tonight on the Daniel Bryan, who’s soon to be known as Daniel Wyatt based on weekend WWE live events, and the Wyatt Family storyline. I’ve never seen a talent over the last few years get ‘over’ to the level of Bryan and then be booked so curiously. Hopefully, at the end of the day, this will come full circle and please many fans but at least Bryan is still getting quality TV minutes and his bell to bell in ring work is virtually untouchable.

on his hopes for WWE Old School Raw tonight
Hopefully the Legends will be allowed to be themselves tonight on RAW and not be over produced and have their entire promos written by a creative team member. Tonight would be a good night to go really ‘Old School’ and let the verbal creativity flow from those who are good at extemporaneous speaking.

Check out the full blog at JR’s BBQ

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Rumor: Jeff Jarrett To Start New Promotion With Toby Keith, Jim Ross Mentioned http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/06/rumor-jeff-jarrett-to-start-new-promotion-with-toby-keith-jim-ross-mentioned/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/01/06/rumor-jeff-jarrett-to-start-new-promotion-with-toby-keith-jim-ross-mentioned/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:01:09 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162756 jeff_jarrett_280x39_883423a1_9951

While TNA continues to have financial troubles, it appears that TNA’s original founder is gearing up for a possible new promotion.

In an MLW podcast on Sunday, Konnan noted that Jarrett buried TNA in a conversation they had, saying the promotion was in bad shape and wasnt sure it would make it out of the year.

Konnan noted that Jarrett would have a big announcement this week on a new project. Speculation is that its a new wrestling promotion, with country superstar Toby Keith involved as a founder.

Interestingly, Jim Ross has been mentioned as being attached to the project. Last week, Ross slipped in that he was meeting with a “major sports concern” and this tweet:

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Guys and Divas #11: Slammy, Go Home! (Daniel Bryan, The Bella Twins, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/11/guys-and-divas-11-slammy-go-home-daniel-bryan-the-bella-twins-jim-ross-jerry-lawler/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/12/11/guys-and-divas-11-slammy-go-home-daniel-bryan-the-bella-twins-jim-ross-jerry-lawler/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:52:57 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=162085 Hey, hello and hi, everyone!

I believe I see a one next to a one up there, so that means I should welcome you to the eleventh edition of “Guys and Divas”; the only column on Inside Pulse Wrestling unafraid to come out and say that Mr. Not PG!‘s “Bonnie Button” tweets are only funny to Mr. Not PG! and should stop being a thing. (Seriously, if you laugh at those…let’s never meet.)

In this week’s “Divas”, the Bellas get booed AND in “The Bonus Ball”, I get all comment-y about commentators.

…BUT FIRST(!), we got a go-home show (as always, I hate that phrase) and a theme show all in one three-hour shot. How’d that go?–Find out in this week’s…

GUYS

Watching Monday Night’s 2013 Slammy Awards edition of Monday Night Raw, I was reminded of a comment from our own CB a few weeks back following the entertainment septic tank that was “Raw Country”:

“…one disturbing formula is when WWE knows a big angle is coming at the end of a show, it’s almost like they make it a point to have the rest of the show suck.”

Now, to be fair…this wasn’t an out-and-out suckfest like the disastrous Nashville affair of weeks past; but given that it was our last true 180-minute teaser for the final pay-per-view of the year, it was pretty weak sauce…UNTIL(!)–as CB notes–those final glorious moments. So many narrative threads were cast, teased, mangled and kicked in the face, and I loved every second of it.

As is becoming a staple of this segment, let’s see exactly where we stood as we faded to black with my first bullet-pointed list(!) of the week:

  • Triple H attempts to monologue about the prestige of the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships, but is roundly drowned out by the cacophonous “YES!” and “DANIEL BRYAN!” chants of the Seattle crowd.
  • John Cena cuts his best promo in quite a while, reiterating his (arguably accurate) belief that Randy has become complacent, lazy and spoiled over the past eleven years; and even pulls the crowd-demanded Daniel Bryan in to prove what hard work and perseverance can accomplish.
  • Randy mumbles something vaguely pompous and heelish and then punching happens.
  • MASSIVE Cena/Orton brawl, tamped down unsuccessfully by the former champions (including some hall of famers like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart) leading to the dynamite final sequence which goes (to a fault) as follows:
    • CM Punk takes a shot at Randy Orton.
    • Triple H pulls Punk off of Randy and tosses him aside.
    • Punk takes a few shots at The Game.
    • Shawn Michaels hits Punk with Sweet Chin Music.
    • Daniel hits HBK with the running knee.
    • Orton attempts an RKO on Daniel who counters by shoving Randy away…directly into Stephanie McMahon.
    • An enraged Triple H Pedigrees Randy.
    • The Authority, Kane and Cena check on Stephanie and then gather in a corner, staring at a prone and out-of-breath Randy in the opposite corner. The crowd is still chanting “YES!” and/or “DANIEL BRYAN!”. Fade out.

So much to say, and–as I write this–many already have.

First, I’ll take a moment to mourn my undeniably dynamite booking plan from last week’s column (although it’s still not entirely impossible…just highly unlikely). I simply yearn for the serpentine elaborate plots of my youth and what can I say?–I dig the cut of my own jib sometimes.

With that out of the way, let’s just think about everything that list up there suggests. CM Punk is still a factor in the big picture. Daniel Bryan will clearly have his day soon enough, and (as an added bonus) got some long overdue revenge on his former mentor HBK. Randy’s ego has clearly grown larger than even The Authority can handle; to the point of possibly aligning themselves with his opponent. John Cena is still John Cena.

To put it shortly, there’s a lot of places this show can go after TLC this Sunday. However, I can’t stop thinking about the suggested conclusion column reader Starcade left a few weeks past; particularly after seeing the elaborate mechanism on which the two belts will be suspended.

In the brief (but effective) lead-up to this historic match, there’s been so much pomp and circumstance; from the contract signing to this past Monday’s overdramatically-titled “Championship Ascension Ceremony”. A lot of images and ideas are being exhausted in the pursuit of telling the audience that there can be only one champion at the end of this Sunday’s pay-per-view.

Could WWE truly be oblivious enough to think that ending the match by simply swapping the belts won’t cause a bit of fuss amongst the fans? Or will we honest-to-your-chosen-deity, no joke, for realsies go into 2014 with a single, end-all, be-all best-of-the-best champion?

I can’t get these questions out of my mind; and to be honest, I have no potential answers for you. All I can do to conclude this week’s “Guys” portion is throw out the following speculation.

As reported throughout the IWC today, the home of 2015′s Wrestlemania XXXI (or 31 or…red YouTube-ish play button icon, as it may be) will be Santa Clara, California’s Levi’s Stadium. As usual, this announcement came with a Superstar-(and Diva)-studded press conference, during which the logo for the event was revealed for the first time…and here she be…

Simple. Tasteful. Elegant–hey, wait! What’s that pointy thing up top?!

Indeed, the sharp double-W we’ve seen acompanying countless premature announcements for the allegedly still-upcoming WWE Network has finally made its way to a tangible part of the WWE Universe. Naturally, speculation has run rampant as to when or if the new logo will at (arguably) long last replace the “scratch” design that has defined our favorite former Federation for almost two decades.

Some say that the recent WWE Championship redesign is still too hot off the presses to undergo such a drastic brand overhaul, but with a title unification in the offing, one certainly wonders…and look, I know this is purely cosmetic and the majority of wrestling fans don’t really care enough to gasm about newfangled iconography…but hey, look! SHINY NEW THING!

…and while you’re nice and distracted, we’ll move on to a Slammy surprise in this week’s…

DIVAS

Let’s be real. The validity of any fan-interactive shenanigan in the WWE Universe is always suspect.

For as much as we remember the name Team Hell No fondly, we all know we voted for “Team Friendship”. (Our own Chris Sanders has rightfully never let that dream die.) During 2011′s “Power to the People” episode of Raw, one poll result was memorably so far from the fans’ true intentions, WWE surprised everyone by apologizing and giving the people the match they wanted. (I know. Can you even remember a time when we wanted to see that?–I kid because I love.)

Never is the suspicion quite so high as during the (somewhat) yearly Slammy Awards, and this past Monday’s 2013 edition was not without its share of head-scratchers. (Cena vs. Rock II for Match of the Year?–Surely you jest.)

Naturally, the award I kept the closest eye on was the announcement of the 2013 Diva of the Year. When voting time came, I was thoroughly conflicted, but almost by default decided to give the duke to my spirit animal AJ Lee. For while others have made great strides this year, the Divas Champion remains the centerpiece–nay, life force–of the division.

When the envelope was finally opened (by cameoing former Divas Champion Eve Torres), I was pleased yet thoroughly puzzled at the announcement that “Total Divas” stars The Bella Twins were walking away with this year’s golden…guy press slamming another guy. For the Seattle crowd that puzzlement quickly turned to rage, as the future Mrs. Daniel Bryan and John Cena were soundly booed off the stage, and even played off to their own theme.

Now, as has been noted here at “Guys and Divas”, 2013 has been an eye-opening year for me as it pertains to Brie and Nikki. I remember very clearly groaning as they returned to the fold shortly before Wrestlemania earlier this year. Over the past nine months or so, I’ve really come to appreciate these sisters for who they are as people; and as luck would have it, the popularity of their E! reality show has helped bring personality and humanity to their kayfabe personas, as well.

In short, they certainly wouldn’t have been my first choice, but I can live with this.

However, in the spirit of Seattle’s (to put it mildly) disagreement with the decision, I’d like to take a moment to look at the remaining nominees for this year’s prize and see what they all would have brought to the Slammy table. How does one justify these potential winners?–Here’s another bullet-pointed list(!) to explain…

  • AJ LEE – What can be said that I haven’t already gushed onto my Twitter feed and this column over the past eleven weeks?–She’s the Divas’ Champion for a reason; with the strongest character and the most visually-arresting moveset, my spirit animal is the total package.
  • THE FUNKADACTYLS – While I would argue that Naomi alone deserved this nomination, the backup dancers-turned-”Total Divas” have had a truly notable year. Naomi continues to impress in competition, with a memorable bout against Natalya last August still keeping the internet talking. Cameron…well, she’s certainly got personality to burn, now doesn’t she?
  • NATALYA – In truth, the rightful winner. For years, the daughter of the Anvil has been the athletic heart of the Divas division; but with her newfound reality TV exposure and an upcoming (long-overdue) Divas Championship bout at this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view, she’s arguably the uncrowned queen of WWE.
  • KAITLYN – No Diva makes me swoon quite like her. As the second half of this year’s strongest storyline in the division, she’s more than earned this nomination. Her disappearing act of late may have taken her off the radar a bit; but as a recent WWE.com poll shows, the fans are still waiting for her to get her hands on her former best friend one more time. In the hearts and minds of many, the second-billed Diva; which is nothing to sneer at.
  • EVA MARIE – …Sigh. …Okay. I’ll say this. While I heartily and sincerely dislike this girl, it’s clear that she’s developing quite the name for herself (despite BARELY having competed). I don’t think I’ve heard such strong heel heat for a Diva since…well, Vickie. If she could add a modicum of in-ring skill to that, maybe we’d really have something.

In truth, The Slammy Awards are nothing to get too worked up about. They’re merely a sort of annual status update for the kayfabe world of WWE; and while I may somewhat understand Seattle’s disappointment with this year’s Diva(s) of choice, it’s undeniable that all (okay, most) of these talented women have had one hell of a 12 months.

The division is on the rise, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for my favorite female protagonists.

Lastly this week, a brief stream of consciousness on professional wrestling’s stream of consciousness. Let’s talk talking heads in this edition of…

THE BONUS BALL

Weeks ago, in preparation for the most recent edition of “Wayback Championship Wrestling Federation Entertainment”, I took a walk down memory lane with a look at the first three Survivor Series of my life as a wrestling fan. Ever since then, I’ve been a bit obsessed with revisiting the pay-per-view events that have signposted the major events of the past 15+ years of WWE action.

During these revisits, I’ve been quite taken with how much the show has changed over the years; how the characters have toned down a bit, the storylines tamed, the production values exploded, etc. However, something that has really struck me in my more recent viewings has been how a show can truly be affected by the men and women calling the action.

As I ruminated on this topic, I started to think about how the role of the commentator has changed since I started watching WWE back in 1998. As it happened, my first team were arguably the best duo to ever sit behind the desk, Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Nobody did it better and I don’t think anyone ever will.

However, the J.R. and King of 1998 are stylistically almost unrecognizable compared to when they last shared the announce position (alongside JBL) this past January. In 1998, The King was firmly in the corner of the heels; always scrambling to justify their actions, no matter how heinous. J.R., ever the voice of reason, was the everyman; the viewer; the true host of this bizarre thing called sports entertainment.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this legendary duo at the time however was their commitment to the show. Rarely if ever did either Jerry or Good Ol’ J.R. break kayfabe. The events they and we saw unfold were as real as it got, no matter how insane or cartoonish. They were as much a part of the wacky cast of personas on the screen as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the Undertaker (at his most gothic and supernatural).

True, sometimes real life made its presence felt. I know there are many of us who will never forget the shock of watching Jim Ross somberly announce that Owen Hart had died before his very eyes. In many ways, the horrific accident that claimed the life of the future Hall of Famer in the spring of 1999 was the first time we the viewers were forced to truly face the fictional nature of this show we so love and how starkly it contrasts with the harshness of reality.

Surprisingly though, the fiction of the WWE Universe was pretty resilient; and as years went on and names like Paul Heyman, Jonathan Coachman and Joey Styles shuffled in and out of the booth, the kayfabe aspect of their roles remained as strong as ever.

As with many things, a marked change seemed to arrive with the 2009 decision to lower the content rating of WWE programming from TV-14 to TV-PG. The commentators seemed to be a bit more self-aware; a bit more open to the idea that they resided in a fictional universe.

I would contend that such changes have had a tremendous detrimental effect on the overall atmosphere of WWE television.

It’s just a bit more difficult to emote and react to the actions of dastardly villains, triumphant heroes and those who fall in-between in a time when the folks calling the action have subdued so incredibly much. It’s as though the current team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield have become as jaded as so many of us to the white-washed repetitiveness that plays out before them.

Meanwhile, over on Spike TV’s TNA Impact Wrestling, “The Professor” Mike Tenay and Taz are very much living in the fictional universe that surrounds them. During my brief tenure as a viewer of WWE’s biggest non-MMA competitor last year, they were one facet of the show about which I simply could not complain. No matter how ridiculous things got (and if you do the math, you’ll note I was watching during the nascent days of Joseph Park and the dreadful AJ Styles/Claire Lynch storyline), Taz and Tenay were–if you’ll pardon a colloquialism–dealing with some real sh!t; and as a viewer, I found myself gripped to even the most unwatchable moments.

As wrestling pundits, we focus our dissatisfaction with the WWE product on so many facets; the creative team, production design, the superstars and Divas themselves…but just ask yourself: how much easier would the missteps and weaker moments go down with a committed team of voices talking us through it all?–I for one would have a lot fewer reasons to grouse…for a little while, at least.

…and as that stream of consciousness enters calm waters, this week’s “Guys and Divas” comes to a close.

In next week’s “Bonus Ball”, I’ll take a look at one of my all-time favorite Raw episodes in this month’s “Wayback Championship Wrestling Federation Entertainment”. In the meantime, here are your homework assignments on which to ponder:

  • The Wrestlemania 31 logo got many of us wondering if WWE’s headed for a major cosmetic overhaul. What would you change about the look of our favorite brand of sports entertainment? How about some nostalgia? What have been some of your favorite logo designs, set designs, etc. over the now-50-year history of the McMahon family business?–Vociferate on visual changes.
  • Debate rages on the validity of this year’s Slammy Award-winning Divas. Who would you have voted for? For our NXT fans, who stands out as the yellow brand’s Diva of 2013?–Lay out your thoughts on the best ladies of the year that was.
  • For many, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are THE WWE commentary team. Who are some of your favorite personalities who have sat at the desk over the years? Any favorite moments from the voices of professional wrestling?–Talk it up about the folks who talk it up.

As always, don’t miss my weekly Raw live-tweet (@biscuitman18; #GuysAndDivas) and stay tuned in the coming weeks for some exciting news about the future of “Guys and Divas” in 2014!

Until next time, I’m Jeff Heatherly saying…”What did you see, old man?“. Good reading, all!
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Guys and Divas #8: Country Weak (Big E Langston, AJ Lee, Vickie Guerrero, Survivor Series) http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/11/20/guys-and-divas-8-country-weak-big-e-langston-aj-lee-vickie-guerrero-survivor-series/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/11/20/guys-and-divas-8-country-weak-big-e-langston-aj-lee-vickie-guerrero-survivor-series/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:05:18 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=161598 How you holding up, dear reader?

Welcome to week eight of “Guys and Divas”; the only column on Inside Pulse Wrestling that makes it weirder than Pete Holmes.

…Oh, boy.

So, obviously in this week’s “Divas” segment, I’ll be addressing the insulting disaster that was the Diva portions of this past Monday’s “Raw Country”; and on a happier note, I’ll be looking back at the first three Survivor Series events of my life as a wrestling fan in this month’s edition of “Wayback Championship Wrestling Federation Entertainment” in this week’s “Bonus Ball”.

…but first(.), this week’s column is going to be a rant-ish stream of consciousness for the most part, and it all starts with the latest edition of…

GUYS

Let’s be fair. I knew this week’s country music-themed episode of Raw would probably not be my cup of tea. However, little did I know that it would skid right past being a cup of tea in general and instead become a frothing cauldron of disease-ridden urine.

Now, in this column’s ongoing spirit of optimism, I’ll start by giving credit where it is due.

Big E Langston emerged from this week’s show as the long-awaited savior of the Intercontinental Championship; finally wresting it from the bland, forgettable waist of Curtis Axel. It was a great match that put a spotlight on both men’s strengths and a fantastic way to start the show proper.

Props also to my spirit animal AJ Lee and the invaluable Vickie Guerrero for taking their admittedly somewhat weak and indisputably mean-spirited “match” and making it as entertaining as possible. While I don’t care for WWE poking fun at AJ’s recent overseas health scare, they at least had the sense to put their top Diva and one of their greatest character performers into a segment that involved neither music nor chairs.

Also, a great debut for NXT’s Xavier Woods. While we may mock R-Truth from time to time in the IWC, pairing him up with the highly-educated newcomer was a fun time for all concerned (3MB notwithstanding).

…and of course, there was that main event. WWE’s decision to waste what would have been a blockbuster traditional Survivor Series match on arguably the worst episode of Raw this year aside, it was still these twelve men that we were all itching to see go toe-to-toe following the conclusion of last week’s show and a tremendous way to close out the night.

THAT. BEING. SAID…

…I don’t entirely know the profanity policy here at IPW, but [censored just in case].

What a three-hour pile of festering garbage! Not only was it just a terrible weekly show, but that it was ostensibly the go-home show (a phrase of which I’m not a fan, but no matter) for the last of this year’s “big four” pay-per-views is incredibly upsetting.

How did I hate it?–Let me count the ways:

  1. At the risk of completely quoting my own Twitter account, whoever decided Big E’s entrance theme needed a noisy, overproduced dubstep remix should be slapped. Really, really hard.
  2. Even if you enjoy the genre, there’s no justifying the agonizing snippets of current country music videos that took us to and back from commercial. Also, seriously Blake Shelton? A song that celebrates tobacco spit?–God, I hate the south. I’m counting the days in which I no longer have to live in this excruciating, stereotype-ridden region.
  3. I’m with our own Chris Sanders. Since when have Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler had “issues”? Like, was this episode written by a staff of one-off writers who had never seen the show before?
  4. (Not really about this episode, but it was announced in the midst of all this, so…) GOD, I thought we would never have to hear the phrase “guest host” ever again. No disrespect to Michael Strahan, who–despite my not giving the faintest of damns about football–seems like a perfectly charming and enjoyable fellow…but it feels like WWE just wants to take any and all progress they’ve made in the past two years or so and throw it out the window (but not before dousing it in gasoline and setting it ablaze), seemingly out of absolutely nowhere. Just ugh.
  5. Living where I do, I grew up on country music. In fact, my childhood coincided with what was arguably the biggest period of mainstream success for the genre; with names like Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire topping all the charts, no matter what the category. Even if that boom were still happening and the artists of the day were still on the level of those two multi-talented legends, the genre is still so specialized that interrupting your wrestling show for a musical performance by a band that only a minimal percentage of your viewing audience has heard of or cares about only further alienates the majority of your viewers (who’ve already had to suffer the preceding 150 minutes of godawful television) and makes your product seem overly niche and closed off. Never do this again, show.

So, yeah. Maybe those all come off as purely cosmetic gripes, but I defy anyone to have sat through that show and not just felt a pervasive sense of…BLERG.

Not to mention the incredibly foolish booking decisions that saw the most talked-about clash in recent memory (the 12-Man Tag) wasted at the tail-end of a beyond-lackluster free(ish) show instead of the impending pay-per-view that is ENTIRELY BASED AROUND MULTI-WRESTLER ELIMINATION TAG MATCHES; or what about Big E Langston’s IC Title win?

How much bigger would that have been for both Big E and the somewhat-tarnished midcard belt to have their moment of long-awaited redemption and triumph in the midst of one of the biggest shows of the year?–The same can be asked of the upcoming Tag Team Championship bout between the reigning champion Rhodes Brothers and the #1 Contenders The Real Americans, which has been scheduled for Friday’s episode of Smackdown. None of this makes any sense.

Admittedly, my rage has tamped down considerably after a good night’s sleep, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that WWE seriously screwed the proverbial pooch this week. It’s going to take a lot to redeem missteps like these in 2014…but I must remain diligently hopeful they can pull it off.

Speaking of missteps…you knew I’d have to talk about this. Here’s this week’s…

DIVAS

As I closed my eyes to rest Monday night, one thing was clear: I was HEARTBROKEN.

I’ve made no bones about my battle with depression here at “Guys and Divas”, and over the past few years I’ve really come to rely on my entertainment choices to help see me through the hard times. I’ve been disappointed before (post-Season 1 “Community”; post-Season 5 “Doctor Who”, etc.), but it never gets any easier.

If it hasn’t been made apparent in the past eight weeks of this column, I adore the Divas. Yes, some of that is because they are physically attractive and I have eyes. Slightly more of it is my lifelong affection for strong female protagonists. However, as discussed in recent weeks, the biggest reason is because I appreciate these performers (and this includes the Superstars, as well) as human beings. I want to see them succeed and do so in a manner that they and we can all be proud of.

This doesn’t mean (as I’ve often been incorrectly accused) that I’m not aware that things could be better. They could have more screen time, more substantial storylines, better booking…but to be fair, a lot of the very same things could be said of the male quotient, particularly in the midcard. (I digress.) There is also the not-entirely-unfounded criticism that a number of the Divas have not been trained nearly enough to be where they are right now.

None of this should be levied at these women themselves. Yes, things could be better; but these are decent, intelligent, adult human beings and to dismiss them wholesale as people and ignore the fact that the people in charge of their place in this business are doing them grave injustice after grave injustice is shortsighted and mean-spirited; i.e. the very reason why I decided to do a column like this one. (It’s not that the column is Diva-centric per se, it’s merely a column where you can be guaranteed that these women will be–without fail–regularly discussed in a respectful, understanding manner.)

I’ve basically said all of this before…but watching the travesty of a television segment the majority of WWE’s Divas were subjected to this past Monday night, I knew I’d need to reiterate my mission statement before I go on (at length) about how utterly infuriated I was.

“But Jeff, it’s not the first time that these women have participated in such a frivolous segment; and more to the point, it’s sadly not the first time they’ve played musical chairs.”

I know that, dear reader. That’s not my issue (although it’s not a good excuse, just to say).

What troubles me is that after the past two-ish years of undeniable progress and concerted efforts to make this division something special again AND with a group of women who have been culled down to–I think it can be argued–the best (or at least, most potentially great) we’ve seen since the departures of the holy trinity that is Trish, Lita and Mickie AND on the final show before one of WWE’s “big four” pay-per-views…they were paraded around like strippers/Hooters waitresses/braindead Playboy centerfolds in thematic outfits playing a childrens’ game.

Am I glad it’s led to the upcoming 7-on-7 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match (Total Divas vs. Non-Total Divas)?–Yes…but the ends most certainly do not justify the means.

Mock me if you must (and undoubtedly will) but I respect each and every member of the Divas division (even, begrudgingly, Eva Marie) as a person of intelligence and ambition and think they deserve better than this. Because for all the hand-wringing that’s been done about the overall state of the division, you can’t dispute that this was an incredibly low move; definitely the lowest in a very long while.

Let me put it this way: I would gladly watch the aforementioned Eva Marie haphazardly roll-up Tamina Snuka for a cheap pin in a Six-Diva Tag Team Match over and over and over and over, etc. before I’d ever want to see this kind of immature nonsense again.

Bad form, WWE. The worst form.

On a positive note, I sincerely can’t wait for the aforementioned 7-on-7 match at Survivor Series. I want to really see what all these ladies can do. I know there’ll be some disappointment, but in the end, I think we’re going to see a lot of promise and get a match we can call be proud of.

and speaking of WWE’s “fall classic”, I decided to revisit a few of my first experiences with the event for this month’s…

THE BONUS BALL presents “WAYBACK CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FEDERATION ENTERTAINMENT”

WWE Survivor Series 1998/1999/2000

That’s right. This month I’m tackling a veritable triple threat.

Last week, I spoke briefly about my very first Survivor Series, 1998′s “Deadly Game” Tournament. All those memories flooding back, I decided I wanted to truly relive it. So, through the magic of the Internet, I watched all roughly three hours of the memorable WWE Championship tournament that saw (SPOILER ALERT) The Rock come out on top AND make, quite possibly, his most notable heel turn as he became Vince McMahon’s “Corporate Champion”.

When that was over, I found myself still awash in nostalgia…so I watched the 1999 edition…AND the 2000 edition; and when it was all said and done, I realized I’d truly just given myself a cross-section of what made the “Attitude Era” the period we all know and revere today.

…but I’m getting ahead of myself. First, some memories…

Sounds like one hell of a match, right?–It sure would have been…but devotees will remember, it didn’t exactly turn out the way we expected.

One of the main things I took from revisiting these three events was remembering what a strong sense of continuity WWE had in those halcyon years. In 1998, Vince (and our favorite, Shane) McMahon “screwed” Steve Austin out of the WWE Championship in order to place the belt on someone they feel to be more suitable as the face of the company. (Sound familiar?)

By 1999, the tumult between Austin and the McMahons had died down considerably, the Rock was once again the People’s Champion and Triple H was just beginning his long journey to the COO’s chair. These were the top three men in the company, and the tensions among them couldn’t have been higher. In the twelve months since the prior Survivor Series, their roads began to intersect more and more and a collision was inevitable. Although, I don’t think anyone predicted THIS collision:

To wit, the–at the time–face McMahons wouldn’t allow this misdeed to go unanswered, and refused to kowtow to whoever was responsible. There would still be a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship, and Austin’s replacement: the 500-pound Big Show. Show had just–for the most part–wrapped up (that very night, in fact) his notorious rivalry with the Big Boss Man, which included the unforgettable incident involving Boss Man towing the casket away from Show’s father’s funeral, as the giant sobbingly rode atop  it. He was renewed but still angry; and in a shocker, he came away from Survivor Series 1999 as our new WWE Champion.

Meanwhile, “Who Ran Over Stone Cold?” became the #1 question. In professional wrestling’s answer to “Who Shot J.R.?” (or to a comedic extent, “Who Shot Mr. Burns?“), the entire WWE roster was subject to a full-scale investigation that took up almost the entire ensuing year. The McMahons immediately began to suspect the members of D-Generation X, led by Triple H. This sparked a rivalry between Vince and Triple H that ran–most notably–through 1999′s Armageddon pay-per-view, and included the infamous on-screen wedding of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (on an episode of Raw that may very well be the subject of next month’s WCWFE).

About ten months later, “Stone Cold” returned to the WWE looking for payback. It wasn’t long before the legendary Rikishi stepped forward and, at long last, took responsibility for  having run down Austin. The pair faced off in a No Holds Barred Match at No Mercy 2000, which memorably included Austin attempting to run Rikishi down in the parking lot with his pickup truck.

Finally, as November approached, the truth was revealed. It had indeed been Triple H who masterminded the attack on Austin one year prior, hiring Rikishi to be the wheelman and protect The Game’s reign as WWE Champion. Naturally, the Texas Rattlesnake was hellbent on revenge, and would finally have his chance at Survivor Series 2000.

After two years, the battle was finally on. Austin would meet Triple H in a No Holds Barred Match for the WWE Championship. At the event, Triple H–who had recently aligned himself with the Radicalz–seemed pretty confident he would come out of the fracas unscathed and still our WWE Champion.

To his credit, he was half-right.

Stone Cold and The Game had one hell of a bloody battle in the ring, until finally the action spilled out and headed backstage, where Trips’ new buddies The Radicalz waited to beat Austin into submission. The champ ran out to the parking lot and got into his car, where it quickly became apparent that he intended to see history repeat itself. The match having been thrown out, the Rattlesnake had pretty much nothing to lose. This trilogy of classic Attitude Era events concluded with a bang.

(The uncut version is a bit more fun, as you might remember.)

As always, it was fun to look back on some notable moments in my life as a wrestling fan, particularly three such formative pay-per-views to my philosophies as a viewer; but of course, this being “Guys and Divas”, it wouldn’t be complete without a bullet-pointed list to sum things up. It’s time for this month’s installment of MISS/DON’T MISS/CONFLICTED/NOTEWORTHY: Survivor Series 1998-2000 Edition!

  • MISS: The continuity. It can’t be overstated. WWE is at its best when it remembers the details, and the evolution of the relationships among Austin, The McMahons, The Rock and Triple H were on full display with these three events. I wish the writers would write long-term like this again, but perhaps it was all just more a matter of lucky booking.
  • DON’T MISS: Jerry Lawler the pervert. Make no mistake; I’ve never said that all facets of the way the Divas were handled in the past were sterling, but some of the comments The King made in this time period are even more mind-blowingly awful in retrospect. At the time, it was just part of the show’s trashy charm. By comparison to the show (and the Lawler) of today…just wow.
  • MISS: The weird gothicness of the Attitude Era. Just watch the opening video of Survivor Series 1998. From the creepy music to Freddie Blassie’s narration to the skull logo of the “Deadly Game” tournament, it’s all very spooky. It’s like a horror movie crossed with a biker gang (and this was two years before Undertaker’s biker gimmick).
  • NOTEWORTHY: (…and on that note…) If I’m not mistaken, the lead-up to Undertaker’s WWE Championship match with Kurt Angle at Survivor Series 2000 included the first utterances of “this is my yard” and “I’ll make you famous”, two of the more iconic catchphrases of Biker Taker.
  • NOTEWORTHY: (…and on a tangentially related note…) Survivor Series 1999 saw the WWE debut of 1996 Olympic gold-medalist Kurt Angle, as he took on Shawn “Meat” Stasiak. Watching the match, I was immediately taken back to those promo videos that heralded his arrival AND taken aback at how ballsily meta WWE was for referring to him as the only “real athlete” in the company.
  • MISS: J.R. and The King on commentary. It goes without saying that there may never be a better duo at the desk. Their rapport as on-screen rivals is made that much more fantastic knowing what great friends the two are off-screen. I wish they were still calling the action.
  • MISS: (…and on yet another related note…) How unabashedly this was a TV show. Sometimes, I’m glad we’ve come to a point with WWE that the fourth wall is broken so regularly; but watching these events, I remember how gripping it was when the show seemed to take place all in its own little world. Attempted vehicular manslaughter?–Not a problem. Roofied drive-thru marriages?–Why not? A Satanic cult led by a long-haired figurehead and his rotund stepfather?–Of course! While I love the access that changing culture and the advent of social media have given us to the reality of this business, I really wish it was still possible to get lost in the fiction. Maybe it’ll happen again someday. I can only hope.
  • CONFLICTED: The underlying trashiness of it all. As a young man, I felt so rebellious watching this show with its harsh language, well-endowed women and bloody battles. It was, as I say, part of its charm…and yet, it’s kind of nice living in a time where WWE is such an established brand of legitimate entertainment that I don’t have to feel quite so ashamed to tell people it’s one of my favorite things in the world.

All in all, another fun trip down memory lane. Join me again on December 18th for another edition of “Wayback Championship Wrestling Federation Entertainment”!

…and that just about does it for this week’s “Guys and Divas”. It seems it was good to talk out my frustrations, and honestly, I’m still rather excited to see what comes out of this Sunday’s Survivor Series 2013.

As we head into Thanksgiving Week, your last homework assignments before the break:

  • “Raw Country” was a tough one to endure, but it certainly wasn’t the first big stinker for Monday Night Raw. What are some of your least favorite episodes?–Rant freely about sub-par sports entertainment shows.
  • Divas Musical Chairs was certainly a low point of this week’s events, but to be fair, the Superstars haven’t always been given the best to work with either. Tell us about a Superstar moment that made your jaw drop in a similar disgust.
  • Of course, Survivor Series 2013 is just a few days away. I took some time to remember some of my favorite years for the WWE’s “fall classic”. What’s been your favorite Survivor Series?–Don’t be the sole commenter to gush about the past!

Of course, don’t miss my weekly Raw live-tweet (@biscuitman18; #GuysAndDivas) where I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about the unwanted return of guest hosts, and hey!–If you’re feeling crafty, why not follow me on Pinterest? (Apologies. I just needed something to put after the live-tweet plug. I hope you understand. It’s just a stylistic choice.)

Until next week, I’m Jeff Heatherly saying…well, at least one good thing came out of that terrible segment. #Swoon
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HTC Wrestling Pulsecast 10.24.13 – Hell In A Cell Predictions & State Of TNA Analysis http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/10/25/htc-wrestling-pulsecast-10-24-13-hell-in-a-cell-predictions-state-of-tna-analysis/ http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/10/25/htc-wrestling-pulsecast-10-24-13-hell-in-a-cell-predictions-state-of-tna-analysis/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 18:27:13 +0000 http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/?p=160885 HTC Wrestling Pulsecast

Matt Harrak, Justin Czerwonka and Cam Dougharty are back & playing “catch up”. After being on hiatus, there was a lot to cover in 90 minutes. From the state of TNA, to the WWE main event picture and finally their predictions for this Sunday’s Hell In A Cell PPV, the HTC crew ranted, jabbed and got back into podcasting form with this week’s show!

WWE Championship Match Special Referee: Shawn Michaels Hell in a Cell Match
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

JUSTIN: DANIEL BRYAN / CAM & MATT: RANDY ORTON

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Alberto del Rio (c) vs. John Cena

JOHN CENA WINS BUT DEL RIO RETAINS

Handicap in a Cell Match
CM Punk vs. Ryback and Paul Heyman

CM PUNK

WWE Tag Team Championship Three-Way-Tag Match
The Rhodes Brothers (c) vs. The Shield vs. The Usos

THE RHODES BROTHERS

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Curtis Axel (c) vs. Big E Langston

BIG E LANGSTON

WWE Divas Championship
AJ (c) vs. Brie Bella

JUSTIN & CAM: AJ / MATT: BRIE

Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans

JUSTIN: AMERICANS / CAM & MATT: LOS MATADORES

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http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2013/10/25/htc-wrestling-pulsecast-10-24-13-hell-in-a-cell-predictions-state-of-tna-analysis/feed/ 0 AJ Styles,alberto del rio,Antonio Cesaro,big show,Bobby Roode,bound for glory,Bully Ray,cm punk,Cody Rhodes,Damien Sandow,Daniel Bryan,Hell in a Cell Getting back on the podcasting horse (http://htcwrestling.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/htc-wrestling-pulsecast.jpg?w=640) Matt Harrak, Justin Czerwonka and Cam Dougharty are back & playing "catch up". After being on hiatus, there was a lot to cover in 90 minutes. From the state of TNA, to the WWE main event picture and finally their predictions for this Sunday's Hell In A Cell PPV, the HTC crew ranted, jabbed and got back into podcasting form with this week's show! WWE Championship Match Special Referee: Shawn Michaels Hell in a Cell Match Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan JUSTIN: DANIEL BRYAN / CAM & MATT: RANDY ORTON World Heavyweight Championship Match Alberto del Rio (c) vs. John Cena JOHN CENA WINS BUT DEL RIO RETAINS Handicap in a Cell Match CM Punk vs. Ryback and Paul Heyman CM PUNK WWE Tag Team Championship Three-Way-Tag Match The Rhodes Brothers (c) vs. The Shield vs. The Usos THE RHODES BROTHERS WWE Intercontinental Championship Curtis Axel (c) vs. Big E Langston BIG E LANGSTON WWE Divas Championship AJ (c) vs. Brie Bella JUSTIN & CAM: AJ / MATT: BRIE Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans JUSTIN: AMERICANS / CAM & MATT: LOS MATADORES Inside Pulse Wrestling no 1:53:30