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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1939

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2005
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      Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at
      http://www.wrestlingdotcom.com

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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1939
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Monday, January 31st 2005
      \___/|_|\_|____|___|_|\_|___| http://www.wrestling-online.com
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      ________________________________________________________________


      >> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Hope you all enjoyed the Rumble. Saw the tape just a few ago. Not a bad
      show...certainly not the best Rumble ever but it had its good moments. I
      told ya Batista would win dammit....but then again, so did 90% of those
      who followed the shows lately! Hehehe!

      ________________________________________________________________

      The Rise & Fall of ECW - Over 6 hours of ECW action on 2 DVDs!
      Buy it now from http://www.wrestlingmegastore.com
      ________________________________________________________________


      >> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
      http://www.wrestling-online.com/news

      > BATISTA WINS THE RUMBLE
      - As Jim Ross would say, the animal of Evolution just got himself a
      ticket to the main event for this year's WrestleMania! Coming in quite
      late in the Rumble match, Batista dominated everyone even powerbombing
      the 300lbs plus monster Kane. What seemed to be ending in a tie again,
      McMahon ordered that the match restarts and Batista quickly got rid of
      the US champion after a powerbomb.

      In the first match of the night, Edge defeated Shawn Michaels with a
      roll up and by holding on to the ropes; Undertaker defeated John
      Heidenreich in a casket match. Both Snitsky and Kane - who came out of
      the casket to save his 'brother' - interfered in the match. Taker
      chokeslammed Heidenreich (and almost slipped completely out of his
      hands) and followed it up with a Tombstone to end the match. Bradshaw
      retained his WWE title by pinning Kurt Angle. Show busted up the
      announcer's table after falling dead backwards and then speared Bradshaw
      later in the match through the security wall. Layfield won the match
      after the clothesline from hell on Angle. Triple H also kept his World
      title by beating up Randy Orton 'senseless' giving him what it seemed to
      be played out like a concussion.

      Random notes: HBK opening a pay-per-view? Wow. That hasn't happened
      in...ages! The Flair/Guerrero confrontation was great stuff. Eddie was
      great and Flair was great too in the second segment when he saw that his
      wallet was stolen too; Whom did Daniel Puder p!ss off? First he gets
      chopped to death by Chris Benoit, then by Eddie Guerrero and then by
      Hardcore Holly. Oh man. Not to mention that sick Alabama Slam that
      followed up. Hey Puder, welcome to the world of professional wrestling.
      I hope your chest is better today; Wasn't it funny the way they all
      turned on Mohammed Hassan? The crowd just went totally nuts; Paul
      London's elimination. No words can explain the way he did the exit. Wow!
      Talk about going out with a bang; Cena and Batista both received huge
      ovations from the crowd and the finale seemed that Cena had more
      support. Let's hope he finds his main event slot at Mania anyways.

      > MCMAHON INJURED
      - There won't be the usual Vince McMahon power walk for a few as the
      Chairman looks like he blew up his knee after doing a surprise showing
      at the end of the Rumble match. McMahon strutted to the ring to give his
      take on the Rumble finale, throwing down his jacket to the floor and
      walking like he's on a mission....but once he tried to slide in the ring
      he hit his knee, stood up and went falling back right on his @ss as the
      knee gave out. The injury was the only legit one during the show.
      McMahon walked on his own to the back after restarting the match but was
      attended to as soon as he reached the backstage area.

      > LONG WEEK AHEAD FOR WWE SUPERSTARS
      - This week won't be pretty if you're a WWE Superstar. Both brands are
      in San Jose, CA., today for RAW and Smackdown! tapings which will be
      held at the same arena one after the other. Right after the shows
      they're off to Hawaii for a joint show in Honolulu and then a charter
      flight to the Land of the Rising Sun. RAW will be taping their TV show
      this Friday in Saitama and Smackdown! will also do the tapings at the
      same arena on Saturday. RAW will have a show in Seoul, Korea on the same
      day. After those two shows on Saturday they're off to Alaska for another
      joint show on Superbowl Sunday. A week off will be given to everyone as
      business resumes on Saturday February 12th.

      > WWE COPYRIGHTS NAME FOR ECW
      - Dave Scherer of PWInsider.com is reporting that WWE trademarked the
      name 'ECW One Night Stand', the possible name for the rumored
      pay-per-view on Sunday June 5th in New York, NY. Although no official
      announcement has been made, the recently released PPV schedule for the
      year still lists one of the June PPVs as 'TBD' suggesting that plans
      haven't been finalized for the proposed ECW show.

      > RAW PREVIEW
      - Two matches have been signed for tonight's RAW in San Diego, CA. The
      first is a tag team match featuring Triple H teaming up with Ric Flair
      taking on Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton and the other is Kane vs Gene
      Snitsky in a steel cage match. Plus we will also hear from the winner of
      the Royal Rumble - Batista!

      > STOCKS
      - Stocks closed the day at 12.60, a 0.56% increase over the previous
      closing. The day's range was 12.36 - 12.60.

      ________________________________________________________________


      >> KNIVES OUT
      By Ian Hamilton, [ian.hamilton@...]

      As the first month of January is consigned to history, it's probably too
      late to have one last look at 2004. But what the hey…

      All of the 2004 year-end award results are now in - whether it's from
      sheets like the Wrestling Observer, the Torch… websites like
      PWInsider.com… or mainstream magazines like, err, Power Slam.

      These awards tend to reflect the publications' readership. For instance,
      a magazine like Power Slam, which is only available in the UK, is bound
      to have its awards dominated by WWE entries (even though the British
      scene is growing; and that The Wrestling Channel is showing other
      promotions to the country's wrestling audience). On the other hand, a
      worldwide publication such as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is more
      likely to have stuff from Japan included in its awards.

      So, without further ado, here's my take on some of the American stuff
      that cracked the Observer awards this year:

      The main award, the "Lou Thesz/Ric Flair Wrestler of the Year" award was
      scooped by Kenta Kobashi, who won by a country mile ahead of second
      placed Chris Benoit, while ROH's Samoa Joe placed third. I'm going to
      discount Kobashi here, since I've seen none of his work from 2004 - and
      bring in the fourth placed Eddie Guerrero into my own top three.

      It's pretty sad that out of the top three American workers, two of them
      spent a large part of the year (after losing their titles) in the mid
      card. The other one was a champion for the entire year counted by the
      awards, and worked hard to cement his reputation as a consistent worker.
      On the whole, 2004 was an exceedingly weak year on the US circuits, but
      for my money, the top three US guys in the poll fit my top three. I know
      you can only beat (and wrestle) who's put in front of you, but Eddie had
      a few weaker bouts this year than Benoit or Joe. My picks for that award
      (in order) were Benoit, HHH and Joe - and before you slaughter me, HHH
      had a decent year, but benefited greatly from the guys he was facing
      every night.

      The Most Outstanding Wrestler award brought in a new face into the
      American picture, with Benoit (1st), Bryan Danielson (3rd) and Eddie
      Guerrero (4th) finishing in the top three for the US. We already know
      about Benoit and Guerrero, but what about the "American Dragon"? Thanks
      to the wonders of DVD, I've seen some of Danielson's work from 2004 in
      ROH, and I've been impressed. He reminds me a lot of Benoit from the
      same stage in his career - he's a solid ring worker, although his
      character leaves something to be desired. I like the Cattle Mutilation
      submission finisher he's got, but if he's going to make the big time, I
      can see that having to be jettisoned. My three were: Benoit, Angle (who
      finished 10th) and AJ Styles (and 7th).

      Skipping onto feud of the year - and in today's wrestling world, there
      seem to be very few memorable feuds. The bulk of PPV matches these days
      consist of "insta-feuds", most of which get ignored after their match
      has taken place. All of the Observer's top ten were from the US - which
      is handy for this column.

      At number one was the triple-threat feud which headlined WrestleMania
      (and later, Backlash). It was a good feud, which provided many GOOD
      spin-off matches, and was dragged out for a good few months without it
      becoming boring. In second spot was Randy Orton vs Mick Foley -
      similarly, it produced one good match, but the build up to it was
      incredible. In #3 was Samoa Joe vs CM Punk - a feud that produced two
      awesome hour-long matches in ROH, but for my money, I didn't feel that
      the feud had the X-factor needed to make it a good all-round programme.
      My three? HHH/Benoit/Michaels, JBL/Guerrero, Lesnar/Goldberg. And yes,
      that last one was a joke vote.

      I'm not even going to mention the tag team of the year poll, since the
      tag team situation is a damn joke right now… and I'll fast forward all
      the way to the over/under-rated polls.

      As you'd expect, the "big three" champions ran away with the most
      over-rated awards, with Triple H, Double J and JBL getting the lions
      share of the votes. My three were Jarrett, HHH and Heidenreich - but
      this is the type of award that heel champions tend to win. Except HHH's
      in-ring peak was about four years ago; Jarrett never really had one, and
      JBL is always going to be typecast as a midcarders.

      On the other end of the scale, Paul London ran off with the most
      under-rated award (and is it any coincidence that he won a SmackDown
      match days after the awards came out?). Chris Jericho came in second
      with about half as many votes, before RVD came in third with half as
      many again. Nine of the top ten were WWE wrestlers - which is a damning
      testament to how the Big E's fascination with big men ahead of people
      with talent is hurting their product. My top three for this were Paul
      London, Brian Kendrick (did not place) and RVD…

      Match of the Year threw up some interesting picks, with some Japanese
      matches featuring highly. In my case, I'm going to ignore them, and give
      you the top three US matches. #1 was the WrestleMania main event (no
      argument from me here); #2 was Joe/Punk 2 (which I saw after the
      balloting closed, but it was a good match… losing narrowly to Mania for
      my money), while #3 was Randy Orton vs Mick Foley from Backlash. My top
      three were the Mania main event, the Backlash main event (which placed
      10th) and Samoa Joe vs Jay Briscoe from ROH At Our Best (did not place).

      Rookie of the year was a really tough one to pick, as we had a load of
      Japanese guys and OVW-ers in the awards (plus I could only think of one
      - the eventual winner, Petey Williams)… we'll go onto the announcer
      awards, to wrap this thing up:

      Mike Tenay won the "Best Announcer" award for the third year running (I
      went for Tazz, Tenay and Ross - who placed 3rd, 1st and 2nd
      respectively). Todd "Who's Jushin Lyger?" Grisham ran away with the
      worst announcer poll (behind Coachman and Michael Cole - my other
      choices were Marc Loyd, who finished 9th, and Jerry Lawler, who came
      4th).

      So, what do these tell us? Apart from the fact that, despite the
      Japanese scene allegedly "sucking pond water" (in JR's words), some of
      the Japanese stuff has been more watchable than what's available on the
      US shores. And sadly, as long as the WWE's obsession with big men with
      no talent continues, that's going to remain a trend. While TNA are
      putting on some good matches, their similar obsession with Jeff Jarrett
      as their champion is going to hurt their credibility as the fans will
      eventually realise that there are better wrestlers than Jarrett in the
      promotion who aren't getting a shot at the belt: and when that happens,
      TNA will have to either make changes, or lose what little chance they
      have of challenging WWE.

      It's one of those things we say every year, but 2005 is going to be one
      hell of a crucial year for wrestling in America. TNA really needs to
      survive this year, and start showing signs of getting a bigger audience
      so they can stand a chance of competing with WWE. Similarly, WWE needs
      to get out of their self-imposed rut by giving talent a chance, and
      doing away with the soap opera BS that's inflicted us with a load of
      generic anonymous women on TV every week.

      As fans, we can do nothing but switch on or switch off our TV sets. We
      can walk away from a TV show whenever we want - it's now up to the
      bookers of WWE and TNA to keep our attention and give us what we want.
      WRESTLING.

      ________________________________________________________________


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