Sunday, November 02, 2014

Wrestling and Pop Culture in November 2011


Tuesday November 1, 2011

Evan Bourne (one half of the current WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom) was suspended for violating the WWE wellness program. It saddens me when folks rush to their keyboards to post about this occurrence and seem happier to make jokes and poke fun versus offer support. I admit I am not a fan of the Air Boom team- I like both workers in-ring ability – but their constant smiling and goofy theme and attire make them seem too goody two shoes for me to like.

 

Actress Scarlett Johansen admitted that the leaked nudes of her were her and that they meant to be private and for her husband at the time Ryan Reynolds.

 

Wednesday November 2, 2011

An appeals court has ruled that CBS should not be fined for Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during a Super Bowl halftime show.

 

Thursday November 3, 2011

WWE 3rd Quarter investors call-I love these- the actual numbers and tons of spin from the company.

 

I finally watched Waiting for Superman – now that is a horror movie.

 

GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot has passed away.

 

The Internet spoiled the results of Impact over a week ago- but Bobby Roode finally captured the TNA Heavyweight Championship in the main event of the evening with a little help from a beer bottle. After a tense struggle for the gold between the 2 friends and tag team partners in Beer Money Inc , Bobby Roode utilized a beer bottle to the dismay of the audio mixing team of TNA. To be fair the Macon, Georgia crowd was solidly behind James Storm and wanted him to win and the audio sweetening was not as bas as usual for TNA broadcast, but the sonic enhancement went bonkers when Roode clocked the Cowboy with the bottle. Also WWE escapee Gail Kim teamed up with Madison Rayne to defeat Miss Tessmacher and Tara to capture the Knockouts tag straps. Ronnie from the MTV hit show Jersey Shore joined forces with TV champion Eric Young to challenge Robbie E and Robbie T for next week’s show. The highlight of the evening was the non-title X-division match between X –Division champion Austin Aires and Jesse Sorenson with Kid Kash joining the announce crew on commentary. Sorenson got the upset victory in the match , which managed to infuriate Kid Kash.

 

Friday November 4, 2011

Once again Friday Night Smackdown featured a lot of wrestling and less talking than WWE Raw. Randy Orton defeated former stablemate Cody Rhodes in a match that lasted almost 30 minutes, after the match Orton turned the tables on the disfigured Rhodes and put a paper bag on the grandson of a plumber. The show also featured a solid main event between Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry, it worked because Big Show was standing ringside and managed to be enough of a distraction to even the playing field. The match ended in a DQ when Big Show stormed the ring and clobbered Henry with his huge fist.

 

 

The Soup on E! played a clip from Monday Night Raw with Santino Marella using a potion provided to him by Beeker from the Muppets to beat the All American American Jack Swagger.

 

Virgilio Aristeo Amezcua Sánchez aka Vick Amezcua or better known as Septiembre Negro passed away at the age of 73.

 

RF Video released several new shoot interviews including new ones with Jim Brunzell, Ken Resnick and the Godwinns.

 

60 Minutes Curmudgeon Andy Rooney died in New York City following complications from surgery.
 
 
 
Saturday November 5, 2011
 
So what happens when technology betrays you? I found out today when I had an opportunity to speak to my all time favorite wrestler and then have the call drop 3 times- I ended up missing the shot. Such is life.
 
I enjoyed this week’s Ring of Honor although I can see how some elements of the show could use some shoring up. I like the Inside Ring of Honor segments utilizing old match footage and promos to help get their wrestlers over, but the NFL films like music feels retro in a bad way to me( yes I know WWE uses the same trick at times). The highlight of the show was a ridiculous skit of Kevin Steen and his “legal” team outlining their case for suing Jim Cornette. The skit was saved by Steen’s outstanding promo ability and ruined at the same time by the group of “lawyers” that surrounded him.
 
Andy Rooney passed away at the age of 92, the charismatic curmudgeon of CBS, he had recently retired from his weekly gig on 60 minutes after 33 years.
 
Former World Heavyweight Champion George Frazier was diagnosed with cancer.
 
Dippin’ Dots has filed for bankruptcy – damn I love that weird cold pellets of sort of future ice cream- I hope they can restructure so I can enjoy this odd concoction at the mall and ballparks- I still mourn the loss of Orange Julius in this area’s malls.
 
Sunday November 6, 2011
Mike Mooneyham reports that Barry Windham is starting his road to recovery from the heart attack.
 
Rasche Brown won a four way match last night during the UWF PPV Street King to be crowned their first champion.
 
Jock Ruddock former New Zealand Junior Heavyweight champion died at the age of 69.
 
Kelly Slater captures his 11th world surfing title.
 
 
 
Monday November 7, 2011
WWE.COM announced record breaking first day ticket sales for Wrestlemania. The first day take was 6.3 million eclipsing the previous record of 4.8 million for Wrestlemania 25. For the first time in years the main event has been known for most of the year leading up to Mania with John Cena slated to take on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
 
I have been a WWE fan for as long as I can remember. I have the best memories of watching with my father and nephew through the years. I never thought I would think about not watching any longer but after these past few weeks I can say that I am really starting to think about it. It makes me wonder if I am the only one who feels this way.”- Kathy Hopson Kidder
 
WWE Raw from Liverpool, England
For the first time a Raw episode is broadcast from the home of the Beatles. Sadly Ringo Starr did not appear to shove a drumstick in Michael Cole’s ear-hole.
 
Raw kicks off with John Cena being booed loudly by the Scousers. The recent stat of CM Punk passing Cena for merch sales is born out when the camera pans the audience and several fans are sporting CM Punk shirts. There is even a sign in the crowd stating Turn Cena Face.
 
After a relatively short promo setting up a main event of Cena and Zack Ryder versus the Awesome Truth., John Morrison garners his first victory since August by beating the US Champion Dolph Ziggler. Rumor has it that Morrison is in the doghouse with management because of his girlfriend Melina( a former WWE employee that was terminated from the E earlier this year). Melina was even banned from the building after her release. Ironically when Melina and Morrison start tweeting cryptic messages that imply they are no longer a couple. Jo Mo picks up the win on Raw.
 
Welsh born grappler Mason Ryan squashed JTG in a brief match with the awkward looking muscle man.
 
Things pick up when Alberto Del Rio arrives in style with new 200.000 dollar Astin Martin. The crowd chants his name along with his lackey’s intro. Del Rio defeats Kofi with an armbar submission.
CM Punk then comes out to confront Del Rio and cuts ADR to the quick by saying that he is so boring on the microphone that the audience fast forwards his segments on DVr. CM Punk is very over with the crowd.
 
Up next is a Muppet montage showcasing their visit to the show last week.
 
Jack Swagger who was bamboozled by one of the Muppets leading to Santino Marella was geared up for revenge and he made mincemeat stew of the comedic grappler en route to a submission victory with a twitching eye.
 
This was followed by another horrible diva segment, the whole segment was to showcase the fact that Kelly Kelly was the cover model for an upcoming issue of Maxim. K2 was bullied by the Divas of Doom who cut a ridiculous promo- ok the content about hating Kelly’s Barbie Doll like aura was ok , but the delivery was forced. The Divas of Doom need to be about action not words- well honestly it is probably too late for them and they will probably be destroyed by Kharma when she returns.
 
Kevin Nash was resigned by Johnny Ace and cut a promo declaring his disappointment with his former best pal HHH. Actually better than his promo was the still shot of Nash looking very angry that they ran earlier in the show promoting his appearance.
 
In a backstage segment Johnny Ace is hanging out with his legal council coffee sipping David Otunga when CM Punk interrupts and follows an insult from Otunga with an assault on Otunga, Punk is then jumped by Alberto Del Rio and thrown through the catering table.
 
The Awesome Truth defeat John Cena and Zack Ryder in the main event. Ryder was very over with the crowd while continuing to boo Cena.
 
Overall it was a decent episode, nothing newsworthy really occurred but I was not tempted to watch football. In funny note Evan Bourne who is currently suspended for a wellness policy violation decided to criticize WWE’s shilling of social media on Twitter. This is a gutsy move for someone who is undersized, not the most proficient on promos and currently suspended by WWE.
 
 
Dr. Conrad Murray has been found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of music legend Michael Jackson.
 
Sharon Bialek is the 4th woman to accuse GOP frontrunner Herman Cain of sexual harassment and the first to go public with her accusations.
 
Boxing legend “Smoking” Joe Frazier passed away at the age of 67 due to liver cancer. Frazier was the special guest referee for NWA Starrcade in 1984. Frasier came to prominence in the 60s by winning a gold medal in the Olympiad , but most of his notoriety was attained for beating Muhammad Ali in 1971 and their 3 fight series.
 
“Not since Jim Ross was head of talent relations and not since OVW under Cornette have they really produced any top guys out of their own system.”- Sheldon Goldberg discussing WWE farm system
 
 
TNA has entered into an exclusive agreement with OVW as the official training and development facility for TNA talent and future stars. OVW was the main feeder system for WWE in the early 2000s..

 
For a 9 year period. They’ve been gone about 3 years now. You tell me what star Florida has made. I’m dying to hear what name you come up with.” – Kenny Bolin talking about the difference between OVW and FCW
 
Tuesday November 8, 2011
 
Hip Hop recording artist Heavy D passed away at the age of 44.
 
“My friend Michael Williams used to joke that if we were out at a restaurant and we heard them playing Heavy D & The Boyz over the dining room speakers, he would buy my dinner. We kept listening for him in every chain joint, hoping for this song to pipe in somewhere between the Michelle Branch and the Celine Dion, but alas it was never so. R.I.P Overweight Lovah.” –Page Turner
 
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is released. Selling 6 and half million copies for a total of 400 million dollars, the game shattered previous records also set by the COD franchise. The online game-play is fast and intense and augmented by 2 new game types, kill confirmed which feels like Pac-Man with bullets and Team Defender. According to Activision the title eclipses 1 billion dollars in sales after 16 days, breaking the previous record for an entertainment franchise when Avatar crossed one billion dollars after 17 days.
 
Penn State coach Joe Paterno is under fire for allegations regarding his long time assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno who has been the coach of the Nittany Lions since 1966, the current scandal with the former defensive coordinator Sandusky seems likely to forever tarnish Paterno’s legacy and the reputation of Penn State.
 
Wednesday November 9.2011
Joe Paterno announced his intention to retire from coaching at the end of the football season in the early afternoon. Later in the night the Penn State Board of Trustees announced their decision to fire the long term football coach. Thousands of enraged Penn State fans took to the streets and starting rioting, flipping over a television van and forcing the outnumbered police to utilize tear gas on the mob. It is so weird our country usually tends to riot over sporting events but the rest of the world riots odd things like brutal dictatorships and civil rights. Joe Paterno passed away at the age of 85 on Jan 22,2012 – 73 days after coaching his last game.
 
"It totally disgusts me, the coach has more importance than these innocent children, and he enabled it to continue by not blowing the whistle LOUDLY and dismissing that predator. He is an accessory to the crime. He needs to be brought before a trial and jury. Seriously. Do you stand there and watch a murder take place and do little to nothing while it happens b4 your very eyes??? I think "Perv State" may be a very appropriate slang name for them all NOW!" –Joyce Marie-Morrin
 
Ok, I've been holding off on saying anything about this... I am deeply saddened & disturbed by what has happened with Penn State. I grew up a Nittany Lion fan. I hate to see JoePa have to leave due to this. In a way, Joe did do the right thing by following the school rule by informing "higher ups" about possible misconduct. However, I do feel JoePa should've informed the authorities as well. I'm more disturbed by the "graduate assistant" who witnessed the incident & instead of helping the boy or calling the authorities, talked to his dad about it. His dad told him to go to Paterno. THAT actually bothers me more than what Joe Pa did. If Mike McQueary, who is the one that allegedly witnessed the incident, did in fact witness & did nothing, then he should get put away as long as the one who committed the crime.” – Steve Kardolly
 
 
 
Henry Godwin was involved in an auto accident and is in ICU.
 
Eddie Murphy followed Brett Ratner’s decision to leave next year’s Oscar telecast.
 
Eddie Murphy was replaced by Billy Crystal
 
 
 
 
Thursday November 10, 2011
 
The Best Thing TNA Could've Done: Play The Fans For Fools

At Bound For Glory, Bobby Roode lost/was screwed out of winning the TNA World title. The wrestling fans were outraged. Everyone expected him to win, even after Hulk Hogan's interview where he said "Roode wasn't ready" for a title run. 
After Roode's loss, people bashed/blamed Hogan for what happened. I was upset about it. Roode is one of the hardest working guys in the business. More skilled than most of the "top tier" guys in "sports entertainment" land.
2 nights later at an Impact taping, Roode's partner James Storm wins the TNA title. What? How could that be? You spend months building Roode up, screw him & reward his partner? How? Why? 
2 weeks later, Roode wins the TNA title from his tag team partner... by cheating.
The fans were played for fools. Me, you & everybody else. Playing us for fools was the best thing TNA could've done. I became a fan of professional wrestling in 1985 when I saw the 1st Wrestlemania. I used watch the AWA, WCCW, UWF, NWA, ECW, SMW, ICW & whatever wrestling I could. My neighbors had sattelite dishes & would invite me over to watch. Mostly from 85-88. The only reason I didn't mention WCW was because I never really saw much WCW until 1994 when I bought a Primestar sattelite system. 
Anyhow, I loved wrestling because I couldn't predict what was going to happen next. Nowadays, that isn't the case. I've slowly fallen out of love with WWE for several reasons: disrespecting the business, changing their ratings just for Linda's political aspirations, just being boring, etc. TNA has had kind of an on & off relationship with me. They have the better talent... but I have had mixed emotions with several decisions over the years. NFL star Adam "Pacman" Jones winning the TNA tag titles is one. Hiring Hogan & Bischoff was another, especially when The Nasty Boys were brought in, which is what I feared (that there would be an invasion of Hogan's buddies). I didn't have a problem with The Nasty's coming in for a short feud with Team 3-D, because that would've been a fresh feud with great brawling. 
When Roode lost, I tweeted angrily at Dixie on Twitter. I, like everyone else, has become programmed to expect certain things, especially when a rumor/backstage gossip is released on a dirt sheet site or posted on a fan page. When Roode beat Storm on last week's Impact, I realized that is why wrestling hasn't been much fun for me anymore. I'm not surprised too much anymore. CM Punk's infamous promo months ago was a surprise. Rock coming back for Wrestlemania was a surprise. Roode losing his title opportunity was a surprise. Storm winning the belt was a surprise. Roode winning the belt from his partner was a surprise. Even though I don't agree to a short title run for Storm, I expected a feud to be built up for months before a title change. TNA did the exact opposite... and I loved it!!! Hogan's interview was a perfect swerve. People, like me, wanted his head to roll. They surprised us. They did the right thing. I'm a bigger TNA fan now than ever.
 By Steve Kardolly from Altoona, PA
 
Robert Roode retained the TNA Heavyweight title by beating a defenseless James Storm in the main event. A guy from MTV’s Jersey Shore got a win over Robbie E earlier in the show.
 
Tonight I went and saw a lecture by filmmaker John Waters at ODU- very engaging and very funny for the entire duration of the appearance. It was hard to want to focus on wrestling when I got home. It’s annoying when WWE commentary call John Cena controversial- he ain’t controversial- some folks love him, others hate him- but is really anything more than a cipher for hero role model we were told we wanted years and years ago. And don’t some folks want to rebel against the norm. Just funny thinking that a jock in jorts is considered controversial after seeing a speech from a man that was slapped with an NC17 rating for one movie and drawn the ire of the masses for many of his films…except Hairspray. I have to admit Hairspray is my favorite John Waters movie, set in 60s Baltimore the movie about intragretion and class warfare is filled with great songs and a stellar cast. Also worth seeking out is the DVD of Mommie Dearest, Waters provides a witty and charming commentary for the cult classic movie about the life of Joan Crawford. And Waters said the Wire was the best show made for television- I agree.
 
Wrestling legend Killer Karl Kox passed away at the age of 80.
 
2 sub-species of rhinos are now listed on the red-list as possibly extinct.
 
 
Friday November 11, 2011
 
Former WWE and TNA wrestler Bobby Lashley beat Karl Knothe in an MMA bout to win the main for Shark Fights 21 in Lubbock, Texas.
 
 
Chyna won an award for her porn movie Backdoor to Chyna at the Fleshbot Awards.
 
UK wrestler “Danny Oxman” Danny Robinson passed away at the age of 33.
 
 
 
 
Saturday November 12, 2011
 
“I just got back from seeing my first MMA match live. Benson Henderson and Clay Guida ruled the evening! Junior Dos Santos blew me away!” – Vandall Drummond

UFC on Fox
 
Tonight was the big debut of MMA on Fox prime-time television. The Heavyweight Championship of the World contested between 2 individuals in the peak and prime of their career, both undefeated in the UFC octagon. Junior Dos Santos beat Cain Velasquez via KO in the first round. An hour was spent hyping a match that lasted basically one punch .To me it was a whiff- sure Dos Santos won and I am glad because he seems like a genuinely nice guy, the whiff was the hype versus the actual televised competition.
 
It was a bad call airing only that match... REALLY bad call! Clay Guida vs Benson Henderson was match of the year candidate!”-Vandall Drummond.
 
 I know that is always the risk with actual competitive sports and one thing that wrestling offers that any other sport can not- the spirit of competition flowing until the end of the bout.
 
“Exactly! That is a risk. That's why what Cornette says is so true... they have no control over finishes, and they're STILL kicking pro wrestling's ass... pro wrestling bookers have CONTROL over the storyline, and it's become bland, completely without passion or tension!”- Vandall Drummond
 
 The presentation made it look like the hot new combat sport- but the actual bout felt anti-climatic- even though knockouts usually resonate- this one felt sort of flat to me. The event pulled in 5.7 million viewers with a peak of 8.8 million. Later that night Dana White blasted the complaints saying in essence the show was as much about telling the story of the 2 combatants as the actual fight, maybe but the giving a 64 second bout in the middle of an hour of Olympic schmaltz is the same reason I blanche when Impact and Raw are over-run by promos.
 
“There a lot of people that are giving up on pro wrestling to go to UFC. The biggest reason for that is because UFC is promoting an attraction that is closer to what people remember pro wrestling being than what pro wrestling is nowadays. You’ve got all sorts of different characters, all sorts of different body types, you don’t have scripted promos, you’ve get a certain number of champions. Part of it is how rarely titles are defended. They also do a better job of promoting their champions. I can sit here and tell every champion that UFC has in all 7 divisions in order. Whereas with WWE I think a lot of fans, specially fans that don’t watch every week you could ask them who are the tag team champions are and they would have absolutely no idea. The titles mean something, the stars are bigger than life, you’ve got different personalities, you’ve got trash talking interviews. I mean its better pro wrestling than what pro wrestling is for a lot of people. I think that is why a lot of people have switched over. Because WWE is not providing the pro wrestling they grew up on and UFC is providing something a lot closer to it than WWE is.”- Bryan Alvarez
 
In boxing Manny Pacquaio scored a controversial decision over Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather are the 2 biggest draws in boxing – but they are not heavyweights, only in the world of wrestling does size and look equate to ability. I think it is partially due to wrestling’s inferiority complex, but also due to several other factors including the dreaded “F” word.
 
 
 
 
ROH presented another solid hour of professional wrestling. The show featured 2 superb tag bouts. The first match of the show featured the return of the Young Bucks to ROH as they defeated The Bravado Brothers in a fast paced contest. After an excellent video package showing why Kevin Steen is currently on the outs with ROH management, the main event of the evening featured a reunion of the American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) taking on the House of Truth. Eddie Edwards used a dragon sleeper to weaken Michael Elgin, after he released the hold Davey Richards pinned the prone strongman. ROH is doing a good job setting the table for their year end PPV.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Sunday November 13, 2011
 
Gail Kim beat Velvet Sky for the TNA Knockouts strap at the TNA PPV Turning Point and Robbie E beat Eric Young for the TNA TV belt at the same event. Oddly enough the World Heavyweight title which had changed hands 3 times since their October PPV did not change hands and remained with Bobby Roode as he defeated AJ Styles. The PPV did around 9000 buys- which is a typical number for a non-featured PPV from the Orlando based promotion.
 
 
 
Eddie Guerrero passed away 6 years ago.
 
My thoughts from 6 years ago
 
Originally posted November 13, 2005
Eddie Guerrero - former WWE Champion was found dead in his hotel room at age 38-
RIP Eddie
he was always one of my favorite performers and had tons of charisma that he would have the entire arena chanting "Eddie" or "Eddie Sucks " for every match He has been in several of my favorite matches  including his amazing Halloween Havoc match from 1998 v Rey Misterio,Jr.
I just learned of his passing and it is posted on the WWE website so damn it all it ain't some jackass rumor.
this just sucks
RIP Eddie
 
Originally posted November 18, 2005
 
I am still in shock. One of my favorite wrestlers is gone- and it is not an angle or a hold-out.
Eddie has passed away and like many of his peers way too young- 38.
Eddie has been a favorite of mine since I first saw him wrestle on WCW Nitro (I did not have cable for a good part of the 90's). He had the potent combination of charisma and physical ability to make him a prime-time player in professional wrestling. Every match Eddie was involved in had one of two chants going "Eddie Sucks" - if he was the heel and "Eddie" if he was the face. One of my all-time favorite matches is the fast paced mask v title match he had with Rey Misterio,Jr in WCW during Halloween Havoc. I wished the circumstances would have let the Latino World Order angle play out- and I am glad that Eddie got a second chance with the jump to the WWF with the Radicalz and he got a third chance when he was rehired and then stood in the ring as WWE champ hugging his friend Chris Benoit in the center of the ring.
OK none of this really matters- I miss Eddie and am sad for his family and friends and I will miss him.
 
************************************************************

Sunday November 13, 2011
Gail Kim beat Velvet Sky to win the TNA Knockouts belt at the Turning Point PPV, also Robbie E beat Eric Young for the television belt. Ironically the hot potato belt – I mean the World Heavyweight championship did not change hands at the PPV, after being switched 3 times since the October TNA PPV Bound for Glory.
 
“All the belts have been devalued to the point  that no-one really gives a shit when there is a title change other than  the first  15 or 20 seconds when they get that pop.”- Tod Gordon
 
 
Monday November 14,2011
 
In an interview with Bob Costas accused child molester Jerry Sandusky stated he that while he touched kids in the shower, it was in the spirit of horsing around and not a sexual act.
 
“I actually enjoyed tonight’s RAW.” – Bryan Price
 
 
    The Rock returned to Raw tonight boasting he was the king of twittertainment.
”It seems so different now. There has been a whole change of things. The intensity and the luster has come off in a way. It’s too accessable in a way. The fact that everyone is twittering is the worst thing ever, because most wrestlers should not say a word. You’ve lost the mystique. The mystique is out of it. There is no longer a separation, the mystique there- the guys have too much access to the fans and vice versa. The fans have too much access to what’s going on backstage. They’ve lost something there. Don’t be twittering where you’re going, what’s going on, don’t be Facebooking. The more you put your character out there, why should I bother watching you? If I read your constant updates then why should I bother watching you on TV and stuff? You’re hurting your character and commodity by being out there so much in the social media that you’re not special anymore. You don’t see Undertaker do you? He twitted from the grave? When you keep yourself pulled back a little or reserved it gives you something special. When you become too much in the open – who cares? “
        Dan Madigan
 
 
Mick Foley also returned to television tonight- he had made a couple of appearances for WWE during their recent Europe tour, but this was his first TV appearance for the E since his run with TNA. The only Rock N Sock Connection tonight was Rock delivering a Rock Bottom to Foley after an awkward this is your life segment with John Cena, the highlight of the segment was the return of B-2(Bull Buchanan)- Boo-Ya!
 
Tuesday November 15, 2011
NYPD cleared out Zuccotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, following a move early this week by the city of Oakland , California.
 
Thursday November 17
Impact Wrestling(TNA) seems to be turning the corner, the focus of the episode was the implosion of  Fortune, sure the popular stable featured TNA originals, but the fortune 4 are solid workers and can move the storyline and get new folks invested in the product. At least to me I am glad that for now folks like Hulk Hogan and Immortal-while still on television are not the main focus of the program.
  Tonight’s show revolved around “Cowboy” James Storm’s quest to find out who jumped him recently and cost him his rematch for the world heavyweight title. After several confrontations with friends and foes he is jumped by a confessing Kurt Angle setting up a match and feud between the Olympic hero and Beer-Drinking former champ.
Also Mickie James won a 10 knockout gauntlet match to secure a championship match against Gail Kim. The newly formed team of Matt Morgan and Crimson beat Mexican America for the tag team straps after Sting suggested that Morgan and Crimson unite to grab the gold.
 
Demi Moore informed the Associated Press that she is ending her marriage to Ashton Kutcher.
 
The Natalie Wood case has been re-opened after 30 years.
 
 
 
 
Friday November 18, 2011
For the third week in a row Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan have a confrontation on Smackdown.
 
“In my opinion they are misusing Daniel Bryan. For him to be put into a heavyweight capacity is ridiculous- he is a very very small guy- it is totally ludicrous. Unless it is for momentary entertainment- but try to use a guy in that capacity who is truly not a heavyweight is asinine.” – Michael Modest
 
Media delivery is changing daily. Arrested Development the old Fox sitcom has been picked up by Netflix to be a streaming show on  Netflix.com and will generate new content for embattled entertainment provider.
 
Saturday November 19, 2011
The Matt Hardy saga continues, version one got himself kicked out of rehab for failing a breathalyzer test.
 
Sunday November 20,2011
 
Survivor Series 2011
Never Before , Never Again- the once in a lifetime pairing of John Cena and the Rock headlined the WWE event as they tagged up to take on the Miz and R-Truth.
 
Emanating from Madison Square Garden in the Big Apple, the sold out event also played to packed bar locally- the busiest I had seen the local Buffalo Wild Wings since this year’s Wrestlemania. Of course BWW’s are usually packed even more for every UFC PPV.
 
The event kicked off with Dolf Ziggler retaining the US Championship by beating John Morrison (rumors persist that Morrison’s contract is almost up and that he will be leaving WWE). After the match internet sensation Zack Ryder came down and delivered his finishing maneuver on the US Champion as the crowd chanted Woo, Woo-Woo.
 This was followed by a lumberJill match for the divas strap between Eve Torres and Beth Phoenix.
 
 “Nothing says weave like Eve” – Michael Williams
 
After a sloppy match, Beth Phoenix won with a glam slam from the corner turnbuckle.
 
“They need somebody to go all Cody Rhodes on the butterfly belt and bring back the old belt”- Michael Williams
 
After a backstage segment between CM Punk and David Otunga , The Rock cuts a promo that prompts the crowd to chant “Lady parts” among other things.
 
I usually love the concept of a traditional survivor series match- actually I wish the entire card where those type matches. However tonight’s lackluster battle between Team Orton and Team Barrett lost momentum when Mexican sensation Sin Cara injured himself diving outside the ring. Eventually Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes were the final 2 Survivors.
 
IN a rematch for the World Heavyweight Championship Mark Henry retained the belt by getting himself disqualified by kicking the Big Show in his nether regions after the Big Show had successfully hit an elbow drop from the top turnbuckle(this move got a huge ovation at the BWW I was at.).
 
Up next CM Punk managed to endear himself to the WWE traditionalists when he countered Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer Ricky Ricardo with WWE Hall of Famer Howard Finkel. After a solid back and forth tussle Punk won the strap after getting Del Rio to submit to the Anaconda Vice. After he won the belt he did his version of the Lambeau Leap a couple of times into the crowd. One of my favorite Finkel moments is when he announces ,,,AND NEW WWE Champion.
 
But the real reason the bar was packed and Survivor Series was sold out was the return of the Rock to in-ring competition. The Rock looked fine tonight, holding off both The Miz and R-Truth for the first part of the match. The Miz insisted on facing Cena , after the tag Cena played hapless hero in jeopardy for most of the main event. There were some moments of teased tension between the popular Rock and the reviled Cena – but they kept it together, after a very hot tag, The Rock managed to win the match with a People’s elbow. After the match there was a lot of posing by the Rock- eventually he invited his tag team partner to the ring to take his bows. After Cena received more boos from the Gotham contigent the Rock managed to hit Cena with the Rock Bottom.
 
Overall it was a decent event, but nothing I would purchase on DVD or Blu-Ray- I would watch again when  if it shows up on WWE Network. Once again the optically offensive light blue tinge of Twitter was featured at least once per every match. I don’t think trending is that great, to me it indicates that the audience is so bored with the event they have to type 140 characters every 2 minutes instead of actually watching the show.
 
The event end ups drawing 281,000 buys up from last years 244,000 buys.
 
Breaking Dawn the latest installment in the Twilight Saga earned almost 140 million making it the 5th largest opening in history.
 
Tony Stewart won his third NSCS Championship at the NASCAR event at the Miami-Homestead Speedway. The first lady Michelle Obama was booed by the Nascar gathering.
 
Monday November 21, 2011
 After a short and entertaining run as the top heel tag team in WWE , Miz delivered the skull crushing finale on R-Truth to end the Awesome Truth tag team, this combination had lost in the main event the night before and after some John Cena mumbo jumbo they turned on each other to end another twitter-obsessed edition of the flagship show of WWE. Advertised Guest Host Jonah Hill was not on the show- it was revealed that his pre-taped segments were no longer relevant to the show and WWE decided not to air the clips, I did not mind his absence. More befuddling was the lack of Brodus Clay- whose debut had been promised week after week- but once again no Brodus. Brodus was a contestant on the NXT show and was Alberto Del Rio’s student. Then he disappeared, about a month ago WWE started airing video packages that featured Brodus as a remorseless monster. Speaking of video packages WWE released a cryptic video featuring a child talking about someone reclaiming their rightful place on Monday in February of 2012.
 
Tuesday November 22, 2011
 Rumors had been swirling all weekend long that a Survivor Series main-eventer had failed the wellness policy. WWE.com announced today that Ron (R-Truth) Killings had been suspended for 30 days for his first violation of the wellness policy. On the upside for Killings I imagine his part of the main event money for Survivor Series will help ease the sting of no income for a month and due to a miracle of timing he gets to spend the holidays with his family.
 
“It was funny when they were promoting one of their many different drug platforms and WWE stated “We’re going to be as strident and as serious and as good as Olympic testing.” But who is going to get the results? You got a big match coming up and your 2 stars test dirty and you’re going to suspend them?(laughs) Sure you are.” – Phil Mushnick discussing WWE Wellness Policy- June of 2011
 
 
 
In better news for the WWE, WWE 12 launched for multiple gaming platforms and is the best selling WWE game in years. The game is getting mixed reviews The game featuring over 75 characters including legendary alums like Brock Lesnar and Arn Anderson is a retooling of the successful Smackdown versus Raw series and may be the best way to enjoy wrestling for the modern audience.
 You can book dream matchups , if you are tired of John Cena  , don’t book him in a match. Want to see high-flyers , TNA vs WWE- create your own grappler or download them. Some of my favorite wrestling moments are from video games- heck my pen-name is my create-a -wrestler name- I choose it for alliteration and it stuck. Although the gameplay is receiving good reviews, the online server for the game was down for most of the launch week causing several fans to be quite angry with the lack of online gameplay for the new videogame.
 
Wrestler Bison Smith passed away in Puerto Rico due to heart failure at the age of 38.
 
“Once again this business has taken a true warrior from us way before his time. Why this seems to happen is not known, but everytime it happens a small piece of me dies too. We all have a bond that no one will ever understand, it runs very deep. its deeper than even family can understand or be a part of. We are all a different breed of people and just don’t seem to fit in regular life. Maybe that’s why we all care about each other so deeply. Even though i didn’t know" Bison" enough of my friends did and that to me means he was family to me. Its a terrible tragedy and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family. R.I.P. Bison Smith once again a brother has left us way before his time.” – Bull Pain
 
Wednesday November 23,2011
Former WCW and WWE talent Sean O’Haire was arrested on a simple battery charge.
 
 
Orton gets cut. QB Kyle Orton got cut by the Denver Broncos after starting the NFL season 1-4 and being replaced by Tim Tebow.
 
One of my favorite bands of alltime made the news today- sort of. Fishbone’s “Lying Ass Bitch” was played by the Roots for intro music for GOP candidate Michelle Bachman when she appeared on Jimmy Fallon Show. An NBC executive later apologized for the song selection.
 
Thursday November 24, 2011
 
Thanksgiving 2K11 – Comedy Central used to have a yearly tradition of presenting a marathon of Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies and calling it turkey day. Ironically MST3K used to record in the same studio that recorded wrestling- I assume it was AWA- but the MST3K mentions it during one of their documentaries about the show. Occasionally they slip in wrestling mentions into MST3k and Rifftrax commentaries. I don’t know if this turkey ever made it to their Cranberry Classic marathons but it does cover wrestling.
 
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Racket Girls
 
Thank god Mike and the bots took on this bad probably even for it’s time(1951) take on female wrestling. Basically a mobster uses his cartel of lady grapplers as a front for his bookmaking, pimping and horse violence. The actual wrestling shown is horrific by any standard – and worse the wrestling sequences are painfully long and hard to endure- if it weren’t for the wisecracking alternative commentary I think I would have ejected this turkey. One of many lowlights of the movie is a sequence where the bad manager tries to bribe Rita Martinez and Clara Mortensen to throw the climatic wrestling match with bribes- both gals get so indignant- it is quite hilarious. Bad acting, typical plot and lame in ring action make this worth avoiding on it’s own- but the MST3K treatment makes this a fun look at retro rasslin’. The program is bundled with a hilarious short about being ready for marriage and is available on DVD and on Netflix streaming.   MST3K version B
 
In keeping with the turkey day tradition I watched the infamous Heroes of Wrestling PPV from 1999, it was not as bad as I had feared, I mean it was not good or anything, but the advanced notices made it sound like it was worse than Hitler. The PPV even had a few ok moments and a superb promo by Tully Blanchard. Am I saying you should try and watch this event- probably not, unless you really want to see a bunch of past their prime wrestlers working an event marred by audio and technical difficulties. Probably since I had such low expectations and after sitting thru the fingerpoke of doom, Mae Young flashing at a Royal Rumble, Katie Vick and Michael Cole heel play by play I am so numb to sports entertainment stupidity and pratfalls that even a subpar old-timers day does not really phase me.
 
Ndamukong Suh does a classless heel wrestling move in the Detroit Lions game when he basically stomps on a prone Green Bay Packer player after shoving his helmet into the turf, for his conduct he is suspended for 2 games without pay by the NFL.
 
Impact Wrestling features 2 matches in the commercials, one an 8 man elimination match similar to the Survivor Series matches in WWE and the other is a Thanksgiving Thong Thunder match featuring the knockouts. For the record AJ Styles won the 8 man match and Velvet Sky won the triple T match.
 
“I don’t let the grandchildren (and my daughter doesn’t either) watch TNA right now because of their adult themed direction they are taking and the language.” – TNA founder Jerry Jarrett (from an interview on 8-30-11)
 
 
I am not certain if this took place on Turkey Day- but I imagine it was one of the big holidays.
 
“(This)One family dinner one time my forehead- I got hit with a chair wrong and I had a big cut on the top of my head- so I wore a hat to the dinner table. My grandma came thru and patted me on the head, but the pat on the head was enough. During that family dinner I started bleeding out thru my hat and that was a big deal back then. My grandma hates it- she hates what I do. She loves me, but she hates me being scarred up and all that.”
   -Mad Man Pondo
 
 
 
 
Hulk Hogan is currently trending on Yahoo – yet again. This time it is regarding his divorce settlement with ex-wife Linda , she is going to receive 70% of the couple’s savings and investments , 40% ownership of his business ventures and a 3 million dollar property settlement. Hogan will not have to pay alimony.
 
 
Friday November 27, 2011
Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase at the beginning of the WWE Smackdown broadcast and won the World Heavyweight Championship from a hobbling Mark Henry after Henry was punched by the Big Show. After a minute of celebration Smackdown GM Teddy Long said the title change was not valid since Mark Henry was not medically cleared to compete. He gave Bryan the briefcase back and then injected him into a 4 way number one contenders match, Bryan managed to win the main event and got a match against Henry in a cage match for the special live Smackdown coming on Tuesday the 29th.
 
Saturday November 26, 2011
The NBA strike is over, the season will start with a tripleheader on Xmas day and be shortened to a 66 game season.
Jeff Van Gundy stated on ESPN that he liked the length of the season and that it should be the length of the season on a normal basis. I tend to agree with Van Gundy- less is more. He went on to state that the less games played, the more important the actual games are. While football was my first love and I did log a lot of hours playing pick-up football, basketball is the easiest game to practice by yourself and usually the easiest to get at least a two on two game going. My rediscovery of pro wrestling was directly due to watching the top 50 players of NBA history on TBS , right after the show , my favorite wrestler of my childhood Roddy Piper was on Nitro, of course I watched and then found out he was going to be in town in November of 1996. I got front row tickets to World War 3 1996 and have been hooked ever since.
 
 
 
ROH presented another solid hour of televised wrestling building to a rematch from the Best in the World 2011 event in the summer- imagine that a feud being built up over several months, instead of a rematch the next night on free television. Eddie Edwards has selected Dan “the Beast” Severin to be his training partner as he gears up to challenge Davey Richards for the World title.
 
Sunday November 27, 2011
Rasche Brown was stripped of the UWF belt after negotiations broke down between Brown and the promotion.
 
Director Ken Russell died at the age of 84. Among his vast catalog of movies he directed one of my favorite hallucinatory flicks of all times- Altered States – the movie features a driven scientist who experiments with isolation chambers, blood rituals and more to find the collective consciousness. This is up their with Apocalypse Now , Clockwork Orange and another Russell movie Tommy for shear visual mastery and imagination. Altered States is well worth owning if you like movies that challenge the psyche while offering a visual feast.
 
Monday November 28, 2011
 
“The greatest thrill in the world when I get a can upside the head I would laugh and say I got them people and they would yell and scream –someone would throw a chair at me.”
-Ox Baker
 
 
WWE Monday Night Raw kicked off with Piper’s Pit, WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper had special guest John Cena on the show. The Cena boo-birds are out in full force. The entirety of the segment was Piper verbally haranguing Cena to pay attention to the energy of the crowd. Cena countered stating he is not going to please everybody and that he is there for the Make-A-Wish kids and the military and is proud of what he gives to the fans. After more and back and forth Piper slaps Cena ,Cena responds by walking out of the ring and kissing his dog-tag as he walks up the ramp. Basically the fans are now in full revolt- yes there are still fans that cheer Cena and wear his gear, but the boos are now the majority of the audio whenever Cena appears. In simpler times Cena would have been the de facto babyface , the young good looking stud who kisses baby and stands for hard work and loyalty and respect. Now in these cynical times fans cheer against those ideals. Now I personally understand John Cena has been shoved down the gullets of the WWE universe for last several years. Cena is not the smoothest in the ring , although he has been in good matches on occasion. He was booked as Superman for years, although Superman had to deal with several forms of kryptonite while Cena was neigh invincible doing things like taking on 8 guys in a match and winning and winning the main titles year after year. The revolt started years earlier when fans booed him when he fought HHH at Wrestlemania. Sometimes Cena would be very over with the arena crowd and other times he was shouted down by the gathered mob like he was part of dog-fighting ring or worse. But lately the boos are the rule when he comes out. Fans are clamoring for a Cena heel turn, they want him to turn on the fans.
 
“When I was a kid the roles were much clearer than they are now. You knew exactly what constituted cheating. Hair pulling was cheating, going behind the refs back. It was much more clear-cut than it is now. Now I think both sides engage in behavior that in the 60s would put you in the bad guy camp. So it wasn’t always your costuming but it was clearing your behavior in the ring that made you one way or the other(face or heel).”- Jacqueline Ogburn
 
I know he still sells merchandise and is the face of the WWE, but he needs to do something new and interesting – although his absence would be just as greatly appreciated. I don’t despise Cena the way most of the Internet wrestling community seems to, but I feel he would benefit from time away. I think we get too much WWE and way too much of the face of WWE- even though on tonight’s Raw Cena was only in one segment. The WWE had stated that Cena was controversial because of the mixed reactions that he was receiving and he does receive a huge reaction, but controversial- has Cena cut a promo about abortion that I missed or is the WWE think folks booing a guy they want to be the main face is controversial. I think part of the Cena backlash is due to the fact that he is always on Raw and their PPVs – the old cliché familiarity breeds contempt rings true. I think part of the huge reactions that Undertaker, HHH and Kane receive are due to the fact that they go away for months at a time and then come back, the other cliché that rings true is absence makes the heart grow fonder.
 
Speaking of absence John Morrison was stretchered out of the WWE after being beaten by his former tag team partner The Miz in a falls count anywhere match. Morrison seemed to have all the tools to be a main-eventer but his microphone skills were lacking- either way Morrison was sent packing after another year being a spot monkey mired in the mid-card. Rumors have been flowing that Morrison was in the doghouse due to his relationship with recently released diva Melina. I think Morrison has tons of potential, but I also feel like he might benefit from a new playground.
 
John Morrison ROCK STAR (2009 WWE)
Not the whole novel for John Morrison- just a few chapters- this felt like an old school WCW VHS ( and that is not a compliment) Although there are excellent matches on this compilation of matches and some segments with Morrison talking about his career. We don’t get a documentary- ( I would understand if they didn’t have footage from Tough Enough or his early life- but seriously) This is not bad if you are looking only for matches from Morrison since he became John Morrison and dropped the Johnny Nitro persona. Segments include a parkour workout and how to make a surfboard , Morrison surfing- - um yeah this is the tigerbeat DVD and I am the wrong demo for the product. Morrison is a good in-ring performer and there are several solid matches(from 2007 to 2009) on this collection- but this feels like an almost Kayfabe type presentation. Instead of  a few segments of the entertaining Dirt Sheet- we get a montage of Dirt Sheet moments and the only extra on this DVD is the John Morrison is born segment from ECW on Jul 17,2007.   C
 
 
 
Supposedly it was a mutual parting of the ways for both the company and the talented grappler. Will Morrison stay in wrestling and got to TNA or ROH or overseas or will he follow Maryese and leave the industry altogether.
 
“You’re seeing something that really hasn’t been seen before in wrestling, People in WWE getting frustrated in WWE and even though there is big money to be made, they just leave. They just get out of wrestling. They don’t want to go to TNA or ROH or even try to stay in WWE and make the money. They get out of wrestling and go do their thing. We’ve never seen a time like that before. Usually you have to drag people kicking and screaming out of this business. Nowadays guys have their run and they get disgruntled and see there is no upwards mobility and decide maybe I will be a carpenter.”- Bryan Alvarez
 
 
CM Punk beat Alberto Del Rio in great match to retain the WWE championship in the Main Event. In an odd moment the snarky crowd started chanting about ice cream bars during the match – ok – not odd- but really took me out of the moment and the thought that I was watching a competition.
 
Brodus Clay who had tweeted and then rescinded a tweet stating he was going to destroy John Morrison on Raw was absent once again from the Raw broadcast. Clay is a hulking presence who does not look like the typical WWE wrestler- some folks think he looks like King Hippo from Punch Out. Either way Clay is not currently on Raw although they have been promoting his debut for over a month.
 
“That’s where they’ve gone a little bit into leftfield –with the new thing –everybody looks like they came out of the cookie-cutter. There’s no real personalities and they all kind of sound alike, look alike and walk alike -I guess they’re ducks- I don’t know.”
-George “The Animal” Steele
Barney Frank (Democrat Massachusetts) the first openly homosexual congressman announces his plans to retire in 2013.
Tuesday November 29, 2011
Comedian and former WWE writer Patrice O’Neal passed away at the age of 41 due to complications from a stroke he suffered in October of this year. I first discovered Patrice O’Neal and his wit on the now defunct Colin Quinn show Tough Crowd on Comedy Central and enjoyed his standup special Elephant in the Room.
WWE released Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time on DVD and Blu-Ray. This is a review for the DVD that does not have as many matches or moments as the Blu-Ray but either way this set is well worth having. Disc One features a brand new documentary covering the entire wrestling career of SCSA from the Sportatorium to this spring’s season of Tough Enough, this is one of their best efforts for a career retrospective on a wrestler. Over 2 hours with insight from everyone from Dutch Mantell to Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman this disc alone is worth the price of admission. It covers the injuries, the walkout, the lukewarm reaction to his heel turn in 2001 and his rise to the top of the wrestling world. The disc also includes 5 extra segments all worth checking out. Disc 2 and Disc 3 are matches from his career, be forewarned they are mostly from his WWE run, the one upside of these 2 discs are alternate commentary on 3 of Austin’s Wrestlemania matches with Austin and Jim Ross. Disc 4 is a superb compilation of Austin’s promos from ECW,WCW and WWE. It includes A Flare for the Old, his amazing ECW promo where he talks about being fired, Stone Cold on Live Wire and at the Slammys  and more. My one quibble with this set is the omission of any Hollywood Blondes matches- but seriously this is one set that any wrestling fan should own.  A
If you purchase this set at FYE you also get the old SCSA DVD The Stone Cold Truth. Initially The Stone Cold Truth was a special on UPN when WWE was doing business with that network. Even so this is a good supplement to the new DVD, this set includes a documentary biography of Austin, but this set features interviews with friends and family and one of the extras is a match featuring the Hollywood Blondes and lots of footage of Austin tooling around his ranch and hometown. They even get his ex-wife to talk about the origin of the name Stone Cold and although I knew his wife is British, it is still interesting hearing his daughter speak with an English accent and her stating that she does not think her dad is posh. There is also a solid auto-biography on the Hall of Famer with the same title The Stone Cold Truth and that is worth picking up for any fan of the Bionic Redneck.
World Wrestling Federation Presents Stone Steve Austin : What ?
(2002 WWF)
The main feature on this disc is an hour and 3 minute recap of Austin in the year 2001 – from his best two out of three falls match against HHH to his heel turn. The best part of the main portion of the disc is an outtake of Stone Cold laughing when he tries to serenade Vince McMahon, the worst part is the clips of matches with crappy production music under those segments. They have one segment dedicated to his early career and show clips of him as a Hollywood Blonde and in the Dangerous Alliance. The bonus features include 2 full length matches including a match against Ricky Steamboat from WCW Bash at the Beach 1994, the Austin 3:16 promo from King of the Ring 1996. This is not essential- but worth picking up cheap and used if you don’t have it.  C
 
 
 
 
WWE has a live Smackdown episode hosted by Mick Foley- I DVr’ed it and skipped to the Battle Royal – I zoned out as Hornswoggle managed to win the match.Mark Henry retained the World Heavyweight Title when he beat Daniel Bryan in a solid cage match.