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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #2219

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 30, 2006
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      Thursday March 30th 2006 Issue #2219
      Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com

      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

      Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d-

      - 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]

      - 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]

      - 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

      - 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


      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?
      Oh well.

      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 -
      bad Andy.

      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
      the strap.

      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
      deliberate? Ahem!

      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@...



      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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