Wrestling-Online Newsletter #2219
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Thursday March 30th 2006 Issue #2219
Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com
//->> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
Colin Vassallo -[editor@...]-
Today's newsletter is probably the final one until WrestleMania Sunday. I
will be off for the US tomorrow for the next two weeks and the newsletter
won't be sent as frequently during the next fifteen days. However, the
website will still be updated regularly so if you get no newsletter, please
check the site.
In the next two weeks I will be going from Chicago to Las Vegas to Anaheim.
Should be quite an interesting trip. I will have the laptop and Internet in
the room as well so I will have regular updates.
That's all for now, I'll talk to you from the other side of the world (at
least, for me!).
Get John Cena's WWE US Spinner replica title
special prize of only $149.99
//->> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d-
> RAW VS SMACKDOWN! 2007 FIRST PICS- It's coming! RAW vs Smackdown! 2007 will be available as well for
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 along with Playstation 2. W-O Newsletter
columnist Ian Hamilton gave us the heads up that IGN.COM is hosting the
first pictures of the new game which looks absolutely stunning. The game
will be hitting the stores later this year. It will be the first time that a
Smackdown! title comes to Xbox as previously Xbox were stuck with RAW while
the Playstation console got the usual much better Smackdown! game. You can
check out the first screenshots at
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2422]
> UK TOUR DATES FOR NOVEMBER ANNOUNCED- W-O Newsletter reader Steve Alleyne sent in word that the November UK tour
has been announced. There will be two television tapings - RAW and
Smackdown! - on November 13th and the 14th, both at the MEN Arena in
Manchester. The other dates are November 8th at the Braehead Arena in
Glasgow; November 9th at the Newcastle Arena in Newcastle; November 10th at
the Nottingham Arena in Nottingham; November 12th at the NEC Arena in
Birmingham and November 14th at the SECC Arena in Aberdeen. Tickets go on
sale on April 29th.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2421]
> SMACKDOWN! PREVIEW- The following matches have been taped for tomorrow's Smackdown! on UPN.
Road Warrior Animal vs Chris Benoit; JBL vs David Cross; Booker T vs Paul
Burchill; MNM & Finlay vs Lashley, Matt Hardy & Tatanka; Jamie Noble & Kid
Kash vs Super Crazy & Psicosis; Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/%5d
> DON'T MISS HALL OF FAME ON WWE.COM AND USA NETWORK!- The entire Hall Of Fame ceremony will be airing for the first time ever
this Saturday, with the first two hours on WWE.COM starting at 9/8PM CT and
then on USA Network at 11/10PM CT. Bret Hart, Eddie Guerrero, Mean Gene
Okerlund, The Blackjacks, Verne Gagne, Sensational Sherri, Tony Atlas and
William 'The Refrigerator' Perry will be inducted in the Hall Of Fame this
year, which will be hosted by Jerry 'The King' Lawler. Stone Cold Steve
Austin, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, Chavo Guerrero, Ted DiBiase, Greg Gagne,
SD Jones, John Cena and Hulk Hogan will be doing the inductions.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2420]
> STOCKS- Stocks closed the day at 16.89, a 0.35% decrease over yesterday's closing.
The day's range was 16.63 - 16.98.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/%5d
//->> CLOTHESLINE CITY
By Andrew Bulik -[andrewbulik@...]-
Get the chips and dips ready. Put the pizza in the oven. Crack open the Irn
Bru. Sit back, relax and get ready for the greatest sports entertainment
spectacular of the year!
It's time for WreeeestleMaaania!
I love WrestleMania, I have the entire collection on VHS/DVD. It is
basically Wrestling New Year, and like the fiscal year ends around this
time, the WWE year does too. The culmination in feuds, the birth of new ones
and the development of new stars.
Steve Austin brought himself to the forefront over WrestleMania's 13 and
XIV. The Rock certified himself as a big name player at WrestleMania XV.
Hogan became a legend by slamming Andre at WrestleMania III. Bret Hart went
to the top of the mountain at WrestleMania X and Shawn Michaels achieved his
boyhood dream two years later. WrestleMania is where immortals walk - will
this year's extravaganza live up to the hype? Hmmmm. perhaps, perhaps not.
First off I'll say I am deeply disappointed there are no Cruiserweight
matches at WrestleMania, yet there are TWO Women's bouts. I find that a bit
disappointing. I felt with the current angle of Helms being a marked man
would have led nicely into a Gauntlet match. Helms starting out, taking on
Kid Kash, Noble, Funaki, Scotty and a surprise entrant (Shannon Moore).
Would it really have been that hard to slip that match into a 4 hour card?
I am also gutted that there is now WWE Tag Team Title match on the card. MNM
are clearly the best tag-team on either roster at the moment. With a mix of
in-ring talent, charisma and Melina they are super-over and the most
white-hot tag-team the company has had since the Hardys/Dudleys/E&C days.
Maybe the WWE feels that there is no-one on the card that can do them
justice? No, that would be crazy. A 3-way match against the Mexicools and
London/Kendrick would have provided a high-flying, thrill-packed and
fast-paced bout. A nice contrast to the Raw Tag-Team bout. By hook or by
crook the bookers should figure out some way of getting MNM on the card,
they deserve the reward of being at WrestleMania. I would even be happy if
their spot was them calling out anyone to challenge them and they face a
recently-defeated Kane & Big Show. Oops, there I go, fantasy booking again -
I've read many WWF/E books over the years and one thing that is consistently
referred to is the hot Chicago crowd. Many wrestlers site the Illinois
city's fans as the hottest on the planet. I hope they live up to that
moniker as fans have the capability to make or break a wrestling event.
Peter Gabriel's Big Time still sucks. Couldn't they have got someone like
Drowning Pool or Limp Bizkit (bands used before) to cover it or something?
Let's take a look at the matches on show at WrestleMania XXII.
Mick Foley vs. Edge - The Rock needed it. Steve Austin needed it. The
Undertaker needed it. Triple H needed it. Randy Orton needed it. Edge
doesn't really need it. I'm talking about the 'Mick Foley Job Career Boost'.
I love Foley and believe he has been a great servant to the mat game
throughout his career but I can't help but feel this whole match is
unnecessary. Edge's career has sky-rocketed since the Matt Hardy feud and is
easily one of the top heels in the company. Mick Foley matches tend to be
for guys who need their careers revived (Undertaker) or to take them to the
'next level' (The Rock, Orton). I'm sure the match will be entertaining as
both men in the ring are highly talented. I can't see Edge losing.
Torrie Wilson vs. Candice Michelle - Is 'Michelle' Candice's surname? Why do
I wonder about these banal things. Maybe I find it a bit more interesting
than this match. I have no issues with T&A matches like this, but when they
keep talent like MNM, Kid Kash, Jamie Noble and Gregory Helms off the card,
I can't help but feel a little robbed. Candice will win anyway.
Chris Benoit vs. John 'Bradshaw' Layfield - I'm sure this will be a solid
undercard match and I'm pleased that a 'mid-card' title like the US strap is
getting defended on the biggest PPV of the year. The Intercontinental Title
has not been contested at The Showcase Of The Immortals since WrestleMania
X-8 in 2002 (Regal vs Van Dam), which is a shame given the prominence that
particular title has had at previous 'Mania's. Benoit/Bradshaw has been well
built with even a rub from the legendary 'Stone Cold'. I think Layfield will
take the belt in this one and reignite his feud with Bobby Lashley.
Boogeyman vs. Sharmell & Booker T - I'm annoyed by this one. Not because
Boogeyman is getting a place on the card, but because Booker and Sharmell
have been lumped in with him. Since turning heel the married couple have
been stellar performers in the WWE. They have brightened up the screen with
their over-the-top antics and have been an asset to the Smackdown roster.
They deserved a reward for their hard work at WrestleMania - not to be
jobbed out and made to look like complete losers. On the other hand, Booker
T could have been given the job of killing off the Boogeyman character - but
I don't think us wrestling fans are that lucky. Boogey to win.
Trish Stratus vs. Mickey James - It's a shame that Melina and Victoria
aren't involved in this one but to be fair this is one of the best built
women's bouts in WWE history. I think Trish is going to drop the belt in
this one after holding it for over a year. Trish has done wonders for the
Women's Division and has deserved her long reign, but she needs to let go of
the belt at some point. Should be a good bout.
Carlito & Chris Masters vs. Kane & The Big Show - I think Kane and Show's
destruction of the Raw Tag-Team Division is about to come to an end. Carlito
and Masters have also been star performers in the last year and in the last
6 months in particular both men have improved greatly, both in the ring and
general 'presence'. Carlito could genuinely be the second coming of 'The
Rock'. Won't be the greatest of matches but should be entertaining at the
Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry - Now who could possibly win
this? The adored 16-year veteran who has won every match he's had at
WrestleMania? Or the lumbering former Olympian who the company has grudged
giving a pay-cheque for the last 10 years? You do the maths. Taker to win
and I hope this is a quick one.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match: Shelton Benjamin vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Ric
Flair vs. Finley vs. Matt Hardy vs. Lashley - I don't think this match will
quite live up to last year's effort. Last year was filled with guys that
would be willing to take heavy bumps, like Jericho, Christian, Edge and
Benoit. Benjamin is still there and Matt Hardy and RVD will be good
additions to the bout. But you can't help but wonder what Finley, Flair and
Lashley will bring to this style of match. Despite this I'm sure all the men
involved will make it a match worth watching. There is only really one
contender to win though isn't there? I can't see past Lashley. WWE wouldn't
have the balls to give Matt Hardy the ball to run with. Do we really want to
see Ric Flair on top again after his uninspired I-C title run? RVD and
Shelton would get jobbed out and Finley really is there to fill the match
(though perhaps Super Crazy would have been a better option.).
Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon - The over-hyping of this match has kind of
made me lose interest. It has been pushed as if it is the true main event of
WrestleMania. Now Vince has taken part in two of my favourite WrestleMania
gimmicked matches - vs. Hogan and Shane. These matches were filled with
gimmicks and third party interventions which helped distract from the fact
that Vince couldn't wrestle his way out of a paper bag. This match could be
somewhat different given Vince's opponent is supremely more talented than
Hogan or Shane McMahon. Shawn has got to get the win really, hasn't he?
Triple H vs. John Cena - Do you know, I'm suffering real writers block for
this one. Like the main events at WrestleMania 21 with
Cena/Bradshaw/Trippers/Batista, I just don't care about this one. Neither
wrestler pushes any of my buttons. I do think Triple H's hype for this match
has been shockingly bad. He openly branded John Cena a 'bad wrestler'. No I
know he is supposed to run Cena down, that is the job of the heel after all,
but in wrestling you are supposed to 'protect' your weaknesses. The weakness
in this bout is Cena's not-so-hot wrestling ability. Surely it would have
been better to do the whole 'you are not a worthy champion, look at the way
you dress and how you behave' route? Oh well. I think Triple H will win,
unfortunately. I'd much rather have seen a 3-way with Edge and have him take
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle - The only thing that has seemed
certain with all the buildup and backstage gossip leading to this match is
that Angle is going to drop the strap. Internet camps seem split between
Mysterio and Orton. I could stick my neck out and say I reckon Kurt will
surprise everyone and hold onto the belt, but I don't see it happening. This
should be the show-stealer and I hope it gets the honour of being the card's
'last match'. Mysterio to win and be the most tenacious champion in WWF/E
Looking at the card there is no real standout match that I think 'I MUST see
this one'. Last year we had Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle. If Kurt was taking
on Rey Rey one-on-one I might have said there was, but the fact it's a
three-way kind of dilutes that. Overall however, it is a strong card,
despite the obvious pitfalls (Casket and Pillow matches).
The Return of The Third Eye:
I've lost count of how many I've done so let's say this is Clothesline City
Third Eye #5: Smackdown 2 weeks ago: Undertaker indulges in gay action. The
Undertaker tombstoned Daivari on the double-wide, double-deep casket and
then dragged Daivari's face right under his crotch - was this homoerotica
Clothesline City Third Eye #6: WrestleMania XVII - One Man Gang pre-dating
Cena-Mania by about 4 years by wearing a t-shirt saying 'join the Chain
Gang'. I think he may have a legal case.
I have to laugh at Honky Tonk Man's comment about Bret Hart. I have never
read something that reeks so much of insane jealousy. Honky Tonk may have
been the longest reigning IC Champion, but he was a short-lived character
with little in-ring talent as far as the mainstream goes. The Honker has
never been able to accept this and really is a bitter and twisted old man.
I am really happy for Bret Hart being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I'm
not so sure about the likes of Tony Atlas going in. Did he really have a
huge impact on the WWF? But I suppose the Hall of Fame show is like any
other wrestling event, you have your headliners and your undercard and Bret
and Eddie are unquestionably the headliners.
Stone Cold and Hogan on the same show should be interesting. I hope no-one
tries to turn it into an angle as that would be inappropriate. 'Sensational'
Sherri is also another worthy entry to the female wing of the Hall of Fame
and she should be closely followed by Miss Elizabeth in future years.
DiBiase is inducting her, which I find bizarre as he most definitely should
be getting inducted too.
I see the WWE's point though. A lot of people are saying 'why isn't Owen in
yet, why isn't Dusty Rhodes in, where's Ricky Steamboat' etc etc. The WWE
can't put everyone in there at once and the Hall of Fame is a gradual
process. I'm sure all these guys will get their chances to go in. Although
it may have been appropriate to put Owen Hart and Davey-Boy Smith in there
this year with Bret Hart - especially with Harry Smith due to be in
It's going to be an amazing weekend. WrestleMania always is. It's filled
with rumour and gossip and I will probably put on about 10 lbs with all the
munchies I'll scoff. It's wrestling Christmas. I personally am going to be
up for about 24 hours as the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is on at 4am
(UK) on Sunday morning and I won't get to bed until 4am on Monday when Mania
finishes. I hope you all enjoy the show and if you are going to Chicago to
see the show, then I sincerely hope you have a blast!
Any feedback or thoughts should be sent to andrewbulik@...
//->> THE WRESTLING AUTHORITY
By Oren Kurtz -[syxx_ok@...]-
Hola amigos! I know, it has been a while, but I'm back to lay my words of
wisdom upon you!
I remember that when I started writing here a few months ago I didn't
understand what would be so hard about writing a weekly column, after all, I
have a lot to say about the wresting world, and I thought I had a lot of
free time. Well, exam seasons came, a new job also joined in, and I found
myself two weeks behind on my wrestling watching.
But the exams are over, the new job became less stressful, and I finally
resumed my regular wrestling routine. Obviously, talking about "Destination
X" is a bit out dated but there are a few points about that PPV and about
TNA that I want to make before discussing WrestleMania:
First of all, if anyone wants to see the BEST match of the year in my mind,
watch the four way X division match. That match wasn't the normal TNA
spotfest that you might be used to, and I think it actually received more
time than the Ultimate X match. Petey Williams is one of the most amazing
wrestling I have ever seen in my life. Really, when I look at him,
superlatives become so meaningless, I have no words to describe how good he
is. Chris Sabin is also great, he just lacks a bit of personality. I hope
that at Lockdown we will see both of them go one on one for the number 1
contender's spot for the X title.
For all those who are complaining about Scott Steiner's return - think
again. TNA's highest ratings came when Sting was on Impact. Big names draw
people. It's as simple as that. Steiner can contribute to TNA in my mind.
There are a few things I would change, though. First of all, I would have
Samoa Joe put over Christopher Daniels at Lockdown and end Joe's sting as an
X division guy, because it's fairly obvious - by the end of the year, Joe
will become world champion - he is that damn good, and a lose to Daniels
wouldn't hurt Joe's image and it would do wonders for The Fallen Angel.
And the last thing I would do, since Christian doesn't really have a worthy
contender for his title, is turn AJ Styles. AJ, much like Shawn Michaels 15
years ago, is screaming to go heel. Styles is just as good as Petey
Williams, and he also has the superstar look that The Canadian destroyer
doesn't. A feud between him and Christian would be huge for TNA.
On to WrestleMania - I can't say that I'm as thrilled about this year's
event like I have been for the one two years ago, or WM18, but WrestleMania
is always WrestleMania. I'm not going to review the entire card but I will
give my prediction on the more interesting matches:
Money in the bank ladder match - It's put up or shut up time for many of the
wrestlers in this match. Matt Hardy, for one, has been buried ever since he
returned to the WWE and that's not going to change. When it comes down to
it, it's going to be either RVD or Lashley, and I'm going with the ladder.
Chris Benoit VS JBL - The US title will be defended on a PPV, which is a
rarity, and in a match that is definitely going to get this title the
respect it deserves. The JBL-Austin stuff on SNME was fantastic, it was hard
not to notice that the two of them were cracking up half of the time, but it
did take some of Benoit's thunder as he was pushed to the side. I have a
feeling that after putting many people over lately, it's JBL's time.
Kane & Big Show VS Carlito & The Masterpiece - I don't know how they will
book it, but the tag straps are going to go with the team of Carlito and
Masters. It's obvious that Show will be Triple H's first opponent for the
world title when (notice that there's no if here) he wins the title. By the
way, what happened on Raw between these two tag teams was absolutely
John Cena VS Triple H - Let me see, Let me see, this is so hard! Come ON!!!
This one is easy, John Cena's ridiculous reign will come to an end, but I
will give Triple H his props - it was hard but he did manage to get the
crowd to cheer for Cena. I have to give it to Trippers on that one.
Anyways, enough babbling on something so obvious - The self proclaimed King
of kings will return to his thrown Sunday night.
Casket match - Undertaker VS Mark Henry - please bury Mark Henry and lets
NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN. Henry has been responsible for me dosing off in front
of the TV for the last month and this one will be right up there with
Taker's matches against The Bossman and The Giant Gonzales as the Taker's
worst WM matches. But he will still win it.
Triple threat world title match: Kurt Angle VS Rey Mysterio VS Randy Orton -
perhaps the only hard to predict high profile match on the card.
Hopefully, it will be the main event as it certainly deserves it. Once they
lost the whole "Eddie's memory" angle this feud has taken off wonderfully
between all three men and I can't wait to see it. I'm going to go on a bit
of a limb here and predict that the winner will be Kurt Angle.
Well, that's it for me; I hope we all enjoy a great WrestleMania, if you
have any comments, write me at syxx_ok@... . Until next time, take
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