Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1939
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/ _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1939
| (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Monday, January 31st 2005
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>> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITORBy 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 NEWShttp://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 OUTBy 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
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
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.
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