Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A Look Back at Wrestling in April of 2011

 Check out my review of the XXX press conference or go back in time

Monday April 4, 2011 The Day after Wrestlemania XXVII

I enjoyed last night’s spectacle at Buffalo Wild Wings in Virginia Beach- so I avoided the 54 dollar charge- I got the show, ate for 20 bucks and will have enough to get the DVD with the Hall of Fame for the same cost that others had to pay to see it at their home. They watched in the comfort of their home- and I admit I was not comfortable after 5 hours sitting in a wooden chair. On the upside- at least I got a seat- several people were left standing in the packed ADD sports entertainment bar. The place was packed with an entire local indie promotion (SPW Action Zone), families and other wrestling fans. Watching the event with a crowd made it more enjoyable- the crowd would start up chants and react to each major moment- even more so than I would if I were watching at home. I was advised by staff when I called to show up early to get a seat- I am glad I listened.

   Before the show I talked to some wrestling fans about wrestling. I first talked to “The Dustman” Marc Anthony from SPW – he is the promoter for that sanction and was happy to talk in detail about his upcoming shows and his love of wrestling. He told me about diving off the couch and yelling about being Johnny Weaver. He told me about approaching Lou Thesz about going to wrestling school – but not having the 3000 needed to train. It is obvious that he loves the sport and has invested his time and money into his passion.
 
 
                                      Mark Anthony - July 2,2011 picture by Jobber Joe

After talking to the Dustman I approached Jon Orr-age 27 who has been a wrestling fan for most of his life- he has watched every Mania except 24- he is still a little bitter- cuz he had tickets to the event – but could not go due to work-so he does not want to watch that event. He was with 2 boys –his step-son and a friend. It was the first Mania for both – and they were John Morrison fans. Orr said that the current wrestling ratings are down due to the PG era and MMA. He was not a fan of Cena and asked why Mania needed celebs.

 I also talked to Andy and Irvin – two local teens who have been coming to BWW for over a year for wrestling events. Irvin aged 17 – stated that wrestling is his life and that his favorite superstar is Randy Orton. He wants to be a wrestler- he got into wrestling when he changed the channel from watching the Jerry Springer show when he was 5 and has been hooked ever since. He was looking forward to the HHH v Taker match, curious about the Snooki angle and hates Cena. He thinks that wrestling’s ratings have dropped due to the PG era.

 

“I think the fact that they want the product to be PG, they’re making the product bigger, but not exactly better. They’re not even using the word wrestling anymore. That’s like taking football out of the NFL. What did we watch Sunday ENTERTAINMENTMANIA? Because it sure as hell was wrestling to me. So now all of the sudden wrestling is a dirty word in the business. Do you think Eddie Guerrero or Owen Hart minded being called wrestlers? I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. I think they were proud they were wrestlers , entertainers , performers. But to take wrestling out- now you’re doing a disservice to the fans – so you’re saying there are no wrestling fans. Well I’m a wrestling fan, I’m proud to be a wrestling fan- millions of people are proud to be wrestling fans. You have to be so politically correct you have to change everything you’ve built upon.” – Dan Madigan

 

While this was not the best mania of all time- I enjoyed myself- I think part of it was the dynamic of the crowd being so into the event. One downfall of the evening was when the feed was lost during the Lawler v Cole match- but the fans turned that into a memorable moment as the entire bar was chanting stuff like free beer and we want wrestling until we got the picture back. While not as emotionally charged as HBK v Taker one or two or HBK v Flair- the HHH vs Taker match was good and I am glad that HBK did not come during that match .HHH and Taker put in maximum effort and it was a very good match that should have headlined the evening. I enjoyed the psychology and pace of both the CM Punk vs RKO and the Rhodes/Mysterio match. I thought the Miz vs Cena was a solid match- but in some ways it lacked the grandeur of the Taker/HHH match and also – why did Miz all of the sudden wrestle to a double count-out with Cena – after being such a weak champ- it made as much sense as Sting not destroying Hogan @ Starrcade 1997- I am glad the Miz retained-and I am curious about happens with the Rock and Cena. Since the great one returned – the main event has been about Rock and Cena- somehow the Miz(even with the great video package and nice entrance) was an afterthought.

 I was disappointed with the outcome of the Alberto Del Rio match- but not surprised- I loved his entrance- it looked magnificent. Both multi-person tag-matches were quick and entertaining – but nothing memorable.

 


 


And that was the problem with the overall event- I liked it- did not love it- nothing that will stick with me the way that Wrestlemania 17, or Hogan vs Rock or XX did – but for a Sunday night in April I had fun with my friends- so I can’t complain.

 

“The HHH Undertaker match seemed more meaningful simply because they JR and Lawler calling it. They had a lot of silence and they didn’t have a thousand things to try and sell and promote. They just let the match tell the story. That’s definitely a lost art nowadays.” – Greg Oliver

 

“Her doing the black handsprings across the ring floored me. I think the WWE stretched to get her involved It was kind of cool to see her do a quasi movie wrestling move.”

                   -DJ Kendall talking about Snooki at Mania

 

 

“I went to a PPV party for Mania and I stopped watching three quarters of the way though the Rock’s interview- it was a good interview and stuff. But I could already see what I was going to be seeing. They set it off just like TV is usually and just like everything else. Wrestling really does take a backseat to the spectacle and to the antics of the sport. I’d like to just see a little more wrestling with my wrestling.”- Michael Modest

“Wrestlemania all in all was a good show, I’ve seen some crappy PPVs here lately. I actually enjoyed it. I loved the Undertaker match with HHH. I didn’t really like the ending- but that’s the storyline. But it kept me hanging on. Overall I gave it an 8. “- Mark Anthony

“The characters and the feuds are not there, that is why the gates went down Look at Wrestlemania. There was nothing really built up. Wrestlemania drew on the name Wrestlemania.. They just put Rock and Stone Cold in there to dress it up. We knew that Undertaker and Hunter would have a great match, but there was no feud there. The biggest feud there was Jerry Lawler and the other announcer. That shows how Vince has got it – he drew a big PPV off that.” – Bushwhacker Luke Williams July 6, 2011

In the end over 1 million folks purchased Wrestlemania on PPV.

 


 


 


  Former Minnesota Governor and wrestler/announcer Jesse Ventura released the book 63 documents the government doesn’t want you to read. It is some eye-opening stuff about chemical testing , assassinations and more – the overall layout of the book is annoying at times- mixing a half page of text with parts of the 63 documents- including parts that are all smudged up- sure it looks vaguely authentic- but I was more curious about the information. Still worth a gander if you are curious about conspiracies.


 


The top movie at the box office was Hop.


 


The 100th and final episode of ROH on HDnet is broadcast on HDNET.


 


 

 

 

 

April 2011


 

 

 

 

 

 

April 4 , 2011

 

WWE Tough Enough debuts with a new cast of trainers headed by Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin, the end of the show is reconfigured – instead of the taking of the chair ceremony that Al Snow used to do on the old TE shows, now Stone Cold lines us the bottom 3 in the ring for a grueling interrogation.

 

 

Sara Jay – “I only watched the first episode... Stone Cold was a PERFECT choice for trainer! I think like the others in the past...it will have its 15 mins of fame and then the novelty will wear off...and people will forget about it and move onto the next "flavor of the moment" thing. its the name of the game with reality TV...”

 

   The first interrogation led to a classic moment when Arianne declared that Melina versus Alicia Fox was her favorite match of all time.

 

“You ask Melina and Alicia Fox their favorite match and they wouldn’t say that. It definitely showed why Arianne should not have been there.” – Ryan Howe reacting to a co-contestant on TE saying their all-time favorite match was Melina versus Alicia Fox


                                                    Ryan Howe- picture by Pamela Barnett
 

 
Arianne was then given more time to study the 5 star classic diva match as she was the first person eliminated from the competition.

 


 


“I don’t think it is the greatest idea in the world and I understand why Scott’s friends are up in the air about it and everybody stands up for a friend if they really are friends. But here is the deal - you turn on TMZ and you’ll see Charlie Sheen ranting and raving, Catherine Zeta-Jones miss bi-polar- by chance I was channel surfing and I see her last night and she’s screaming at somebody get away from me and this and that. That is what sells in the year 2011 – it’s not wrestling .It’s about the kid Cam Newton the Heisman trophy winner and his dad is trying to prostitute him out to Mississippi State for 180,000 dollars. Controversy is what’s selling and the promoter I suppose, is trying to recoup his money, because he paid Hall his full fee. Do I think it is the best nicest thing to do on Scott’s behalf – I do not!” – Les Thatcher discussing the Scott Hall incident and the promoter taking the show footage and selling a DVD from the show April 8 for Top Rope Promotions to try and  Later in the year ESPN would do a feature story on Scott Hall for the E:60 program.

 


 


 


 


April 9 , 2011


what I want to see on Tough Enough - since they are going for entertainers - not wrestlers- I want to see some tap dancing, maybe juggling , mime , running the ropes- not so entertaining- unless it is HBK v HHH for the European strap - I mean championship.


 


 


 


 

“To be honest I don’t understand and I’m trying to put this the best way- I don’t know why – First of all you bring a guy up from Mexico. I’ve seen Sin Cara live many times- he is an amazing athlete. Of course they couldn’t use the name from CMLL. The first time you saw him- it was this graphic package and it was awful. It was an awful looking package-that is how you’re touting your guy and the graphics look like any kid and a Mac computer can do this. You’re showing all his high spots- so there is nothing left to blow anyone’s mind. And the costume looked like a cheap rip-off of other things. So I was kind of taken aback at how they’re presenting this guy. What’s the story now? What are they doing? The guy’s a great wrestler but who is going to wrestle now? It’s a different style. It’s like saying Stevie Ray Vaughan is a great guitarist. The guy’s phenomenal – you put him the philharmonic – you know he’s not jiving in there- he’s still a great guitarist- but he has to play that style now!. Who’s Sin Cara going to wrestle?”

- Dan Madigan discussing Sin Cara in WWE

 


 


April 11, 2011


Former ROH Manager and indie wrestler Larry Sweeney was found dead after hanging himself, he was only 29 years old. He was a well respected and talent performer. He suffered from Bi-polar disorder


 

10 year veteran Matt Cross is the second wrestler eliminated from the current season of Tough Enough.

 


“I watched bits and pieces of it. I was not a big fan of it because the guys paid their dues like some of us do. They go on a reality show and next thing you know they’re in the WWE. Which is all great and it kind of makes me sound like I have sour grapes towards them but I don’t. I just think you have a lot of guys that are on the indie scene busting their ass for 10 to 15 years and then you got one guy on  TV and can’t do crap that a lot of guys on the indie scene can do. They get a contract and whatnot. The second guy was Matt Cross who could probably work circles around every guy that was on there.” – Damien Wayne

 

                             Damien Wayne gives a piledriver to John Kermon (Photo by Jobber Joe)
 

 “Matt Cross getting eliminated was a shocker for us.” – Martin Casuas

 

“I thought it was pure garbage to me. Who is Trish Stratus? I didn’t like it all. One of my favorites (Matt Cross) got booted off real quick and they were really mean with him.  I understand where Matt was coming from – because being in the indies the worker is very humble and he was very humble. He was showing respect. Which I understand because that I was taught, you meet a wrestler – he is always more than you and when it’s time to show you’re going to show. He never really had his time or didn’t know when to show. That may have cost him. I’m sure he could of showed him a lot.”- Mr. Salazar

 

 


 


 


 


Monday April 12 , 2011


Multi time champion Edge retires from active competition. He makes a heartfelt speech on Raw and then takes the speech on the road. The World Heavyweight title is vacated.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Sunday April 17 , 2011

“To be very honest with you I watch nothing from WWE – I only watch TNA and I enjoy that – although there are times when I fast-forward through some of the Hogan interviews and crap .Eric Bischoff is obnoxious to me. I have nothing to lose by saying that in public- he’s never done anything for me and I could care less about the guy. I met him one time and I found him to be just as obnoxious. “- Big Bill Anderson May 29th 2011

 

TNA LOCKDOWN 2011 from Cincinnati, Ohio

TNA’s yearly cage match extravaganza. Probably the most important TNA PPV in quite some time. The negative momentum of TNA seems to be catching- ever since Jeff Hardy dropped the strap on PPV in 90 seconds to Sting- TNA has been the whipping boy of the internet wrestling community- even more than normal. I have been a TNA supporter for years- but they had started to loose me- the title match seemed to be a battle of 3 tweeners and the lead up did nothing to dispel that. The most compelling thing to happen recently was the reappearance of the Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels.

  The PPV started with a graphics and voice-over stressing that this was about blood and would be brutal. The opening X-division match was solid but marred by a crappy ref bumping the cage to let Max Buck beat Brian Kendrick gimmick. Eric Bischoff came out to chat- soon enough the crowd was chanting “We want wrestling”.

That was followed by BPP giving the typical Scott Stiener promo- but getting the crowd into it –sort of. 4 team tag match followed- Stiener was very over- but the Eric Young comedy fell flat. Ink Inc won the match.

This month’s short title match slot was taken by the knockouts as Mickie James kept her hair and won the strap by beating Madison Rayne in 2 minutes or so. They had a tale of the tape of the match- which did not give the height and weight of the competitors- but bullet points- yeah not that important- but annoying.

During a blah promo by Matt Morgan I went and got my dinner- when I came back the screeching Latina women were being chased out of the ring by Velvet Sky.

Samoa Joe vs the Pope was a solid match- well better than the lame build-up feud leading to the match.

 

 

 

 

 

This was followed by a good match by Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett. I still don’t understand fighting over Karen Angle- she seems to possess no desirable character traits. .Was this the great match that Kurt delivered last year at the same event – no-but it was good enough to get me into it by the third fall.

“What annoys me the most is that Jeff Jarrett has to be the main person every single time on TNA. I think he is a great wrestler- don’t get me wrong. But- I’m sick of seeing his face- I really am. It’s like ever since that company started it’s him doing the same thing every single time. It’s boring, I know what’s going to happen and you know what –The fans know what’s going to happen and that’s the sad part! Let’s face it if the fans can predict what’s going to happen then they don’t need to watch your stupid show or pay money to watch your PPV.”- The Angel Orsini

A night of anti-climatic action continued with a lackluster title defense by Sting.

The main event- lethal lockdown had some good spots- like Christopher Daniels leaping off the top of the cage and the return of AJ Styles- but was nothing that will stand the test of time.

 The building was full and the crowd seemed to wake up occasionally- but this felt like the type of show and turnout that will not come back for the TNA experience- in other words this is the kind of event that kills towns- am I being over-dramatic maybe- but this did not feel like a major PPV and certainly not like the second biggest event of the year for TNA.

  Overall this lived down to the crappy television that impact has been recently and that is troubling. It is great seeing AJ coming back and it was nice that crowd popped for him and I hope he is inserted in the title picture- because I am totally over the Sting, RVD, Anderson triangle.

 


Meanwhile in Chikara The Colony beat F.I.S.T. to win this year’s King of Trios tournament.


 


 


Tuesday April 18, 2011

Once again the highlight of Monday night wrestling was the last 10 minutes of Tough Enough. “Skidmarks” stepped up to the gauntlet laid down by his fellow contestant  and cut a decent enough promo to save his spot for now- was it the greatest promo ever –no- but his passion and love for the industry saved his spot . I liked the new Kong (Karma) promo – but Sin (pronounced Scene by one of the announcers) Cara was more than a little off during the show- although he nailed his trampoline entrance this time. Chris Jericho got his highest score yet on Dancing with The Stars and the cinematic turd Macgruber is now on HBO- so Jericho was omnipresent yet again-even though he has not been in WWE for months.

Thursday April 20,2011- Jay Lethal is released from TNA , the charismatic young performer started to really gain attention when he did a spot on impersonation of Randy Savage, his character was Black Machismo and threatened to have him typecast for the rest of his career as a impersonator instead of himself. Then again his woo-off promo with the Nature Boy Ric Flair was a classic moment in TNA.


 


What is the future for Jay Lethal? With his early elimination from the curtain jerker @ Lockdown it seemed like something was up- he went from one of the promos of the year in 2010 - now??? - he would be a great match-up for Sin Cara- of course - in a TNA style match- not WWE- he will do well anywhere- I think he is one of the great younger talents and still has plenty to contribute.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


TNA Impact started off strong with AJ staring down Bully Ray while standing on top of the cage- that was followed by Beer Money beating up the Immortal lackeys- then things went downhill - in one of the worst segments of the year- Karen Jarrett was doused in horsepoop- - ok I get it- Carrie was a good movie with iconic imagery- that was in the 70s- and having Sting vs Cold Blooded Matt Hardy as a main event is an automatic channel changing moment- I don't think anyone thought for a single solitary second that Hardy would win. Anderson and RVD have totally lost my interest.


 


 

 


Saturday April 23, 2011

 Smackdown was ok this week- the highlight was Cody Rhodes handing out paper bags to the audience. The Corre is about to break up- I am sure no-one cares about it- but I like the individuals in the group and am glad that Barrett was able to retain the IC belt without help. Also Miss USA was on The Soup as they played a Tough Enough clip and I like the new Honda commercial with the guy in the lucha mask.


 

 

 

 

 

 


Monday April 25, 2011


 

“I think that she’s a gimmick. I always feel like with these reality shows. I kind of throw up in my mouth a little bit – when they get on there and they elect to bullshit and say I have such heart for this and  I have always wanted to do it and this is where my passion is. That’s where I throw up in my mouth a little bit. Because they are over a dozen schools and you could enroll in any of them- if this was your passion- but instead you were doing what before this television show? And I ‘m not gearing that just towards her, I’m gearing it towards a lot of people that have the same stupid lie- “I have such passion for this- I have such heart- I am like oh god –really? Really? Then why did you never join a school before day one of this show? I feel she’s a gimmick and there is quite honestly that are other girls on the independents that work hard and have the heart and look just as good- she’s a pretty girl- but she’s not staggeringly attractive to the point where you could not find somebody else.”- April Hunter discussing Miss USA on Tough Enough

 

 

Miss USA Rima Fakih was eliminated from the current season of Tough Enough.

 

 

“For whatever reason she was there or how she got there. All I know is when she was there she busted her butt and stepped up and lasted a hell of lot longer that I thought she would. She really got dinged up and bruised and I remember her limping around the house. You could see she wanted to cry because she was hurt but she sucked it and was fine and kept going. Hats off to her for doing it and staying as long as she did.” – Ryan Howe discussing Miss USA being on TE 2011

 

 

Tuesday April 26, 2011

Day 2 of the WWE draft- social media lets me know it is happening- so – I go to WWE.com – the page is swamped with chatter from all over the globe. I love the concept of the draft- if it meant anything – if it were presented realistically- if Teddy Long were in a room with his team pouring over statistics trying to build the best team- if they had some rules in place. Instead the draft and the brand extension are presented as jokes or worse they are crutches the writing staff uses when it suits them. The big swerve of the draft was John Cena being drafted to Smackdown at the beginning of Raw and then back to Raw by the end of the show- really a big joke the process is.

June 21, 2008 - DRAFT DODGERS

 

The sort of annual draft bingo lotto thing is happening again this Monday.This should be a major event- not just cuz all 3 brand's superstars will be at the Raw taping- but because this is the one time of the year all the chips are on the table and grapplers will be placed on different shows.First off the concept that the GMs are possibly gonna be drafted ruins the trade aspect of the draft.Also the CM Punk effect of wrestlers showing up on all 3 shows with regularity has watered down the brand extension. I loved the concept of the draft when it was first announced- and on that first show - they treated it like sports- with stats and breakdowns for each wrestler that was drafted. Now it just feels so random and there is no logic given for the draft picks anymore- it is a random  lottery ball machine. This should be exciting- one reason -would be call-ups from their farm system- except they rarely if ever hype any wrestler or any federation that is not the WWE- that is frustrating- sure the guys in Florida or elsewhere may not be ready for prime-time- but it would nice to put over guys as training or competing in their system or internationally. I am still looking forward to the draft show- maybe Killings and Harris will get drafted-and it will freshen up some other characters by giving them fresh matchups- but do we really need 3 hours- oh wait - we have to suffer another lootcall show- hopefully no limos will be blown up this time. WWE should be running highlights and lowlights of previous drafts - the way the NFL and NBA do- either way I will be watching. The draft is something that should be an annual event as long as they have the brand extension and should take place on or around the same time - and should not feel thrown together(I think that is why so many folks crapped on the King of the Ring- they took a good PPV concept and turned it into part of an angle more than an  actual tourney).

 

 

Had to shut off the page- I made it through 3 picks- it took 30 minutes- good thing I could multi-task and watch a ROH DVD while slogging thru the endless prattle on the chat.

Thursday April 29, 2011


TNA Impact started off with a several minute long Karen Jarrett interrogation of female workers and knockouts about the new Angle mistress. It is a very bad way to start anything-glad I have DVr- so I was able to watch the Office and catch up with this later. Christopher Daniels had a decent match in a losing effort with the TV champ. We have a weird segment that we can actually hear Scott Stiener saying “I’m Sorry” when attacked by Matt Morgan. Funny pumped in audio moment of the week- they lay in the boos when Hogan’s fake “Voodoo Chile” theme hits- but then you hear cheers and see lots of the crowd cheering and clapping- oh well. We also get Sting attacking a truck. The main event  had Sting vs Bully Ray and Anderson. Impact is getting more and more like WCW on it’s deathbed.

The real story of the night was the final appearance of Steve Carrell on the American adaptation of the The Office. Carrell had been the main character for the show for 7 years. The Office was not the highest rated show- but so many funny moments and great ensemble cast have made it one of my favorite shows on television.

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