Wrestling-Online Newsletter #2270
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Sunday July 2nd 2006 Issue #2270
Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com
//->> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
Colin Vassallo -[editor@...]-
Hey hey hey. We're back! Today I received the Ultimate Warrior DVD that WWE
produced last year. It was on sale so I said what the hell, I'll buy it. I'm
not gonna be shy about it, but I liked Warrior back in the day. And let's
face it, many people did. I thought they were going to bury him pretty bad,
but it wasn't THAT bad. Well OK maybe they ripped him a new one for his
interview skills and lack of wrestling moves. Seeing Christian doing a
Warrior interview was hilarious. It's not worth $20, but if you can find it
cheap, buy it. You'll laugh.
Order the 3-disc WrestleMania 22 on DVD. Available now!
//->> WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d-
> RVD VS EDGE AT JULY 4TH ECW TAPING- Rob Van Dam and Edge will headline this Tuesday's ECW on Sci Fi live
television taping as RVD puts both titles on the line against the Rated R
Superstar. The match will be done under 'Extreme Rules'. This will be the
first television taping for ECW alone without the Smackdown! brand. It is
being taped from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA., after the
location was changed from the ECW Arena last week. There are tons of tickets
still available as of this writing. Putting ECW alone in an arena that holds
easily 20,000 fans and on Independence Day wasn't such a bright idea.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2949]
> ANGLE TO TAKE TIME OFF- Kurt Angle will be taken off WWE television for a while as industry
insiders are reporting that he will be taking some time off to heal his body
and attend to personal matters. He's been wrestling with a lot of injuries
lately so it was just a matter of time until he was taken off. Angle, along
with RVD are the 'poster boys' for the new Extreme Championship Wrestling.
It is not known how long Angle will be out.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2947]
> TRINITY UNDERGOES SURGERY- ECW's Trinity had knee surgery earlier this week and will be out for up to
eight more weeks. The FBI valet got injured while doing a moonsault last
week during ECW's return to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA. Tough break
for Trinity, who was just getting her first TV moments since signing with
WWE from TNA.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2952]
> LEGENDS AND DIVAS TOUR IN THE MIDDLE EAST- WWE Hall Of Famer Jimmy Hart, former APA member Ron Simmons and WWE Divas
Maria and Ashley are on the Legends & Divas Tour with the Armed Forces
Entertainment in the Middle East where the WWE crew will meet with members
of the United States military. WWE has always been in support of the
nation's troops and this is the latest thing they're doing to say thanks to
the military for their work. Jimmy Hart is writing a blog of the tour which
you can read at WWE.COM
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2951]
> WRESTLEMANIA PRESS CONFERENCE ON JULY 25TH- On the 25th of July, WWE will be holding a press conference at the Ford
Field related to WrestleMania 23. Scheduled to appear at this event are John
Cena, Edge, Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, Booker T, Rey Mysterio, Big Show,
Batista, Sharmell, Kelly and Rob Van Dam. Next year's WrestleMania, to be
held on April 1st, will mark a return to the city of Detroit, MI., after 20
years when they had a record breaking crowd at the Pontiac Silverdome with
Hogan vs Andre in the main event.
- [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=2950]
//->> OPINIONS FROM A BIG BLACK CHAIR
By Alan H. Zatkow -[alzatkow@...]-
In this column I'd like to specifically talk about the TNA booking,
specifically the whole deal with Jeff Jarrett coming away with the belt,
then having it stripped, and why I think that this wasn't just good booking,
it was PERFECT booking on TNA's part.
As a screenwriting and television teacher, I always try and impart upon my
students that the most important thing you need to do is make an audience
feel emotion. If they don't care, you have failed. TNA bookers clearly know
that all of the attention in the wrestling audience community is upon the
re-emergence of ECW and absolutely needed to regain the attention of the
wrestling community at large.
Going into that match, only two real opinions were voiced about how that
match would end. 1) Christian Cage retaining, becoming the first to do so in
a King of the Mountain match, further legitimizing himself as NWA World
Champion. But to do that you'd need a quality opponent for him to feud with
next, and no one has really emerged for him to do that with, and everybody
knows it. So few actually saw him retaining, instead most were leaning on
scenario 2) STING becomes world champion. And while Sting is as credible a
contender as anyone on that particular roster, a Sting title reign right now
would be predictable and possibly dull, and would have been a bad booking
move. A Sting title reign in truth would be no different than a Christian
Cage one, and so taking the belt off Cage to give to Sting makes little
sense, unless the point is to turn Cage heel. Why Cage would want to go back
to being a number 2 heel which was his role with WWE at this point, well, it
wouldn't be a quality move for him, even if he is a great heel.
TNA always had the options of crowning either Abyss or The Truth as the
World Title holder, but after having a progression of super quick reigns by
Raven and Rhyno, such a move would not really be appropriate booking either.
And so one choice remained: To do the UNTHINKABLE. To do the one thing that
all TNA fans unanimously and quite loudly proclaimed they did NOT want to
see: Jeff Jarrett winning the match.
They booked it knowing full well what would happen. The arena almost rioted
with displeasure. Fans showered the ring with cups and bottles. The fans had
HATE and ANGER and were on their feet making lots of noise and filling the
air with lots of emotion. Emotion that created a moment that was real.
That is PERFECT BOOKING.
And then to have a face authority come out and immediately strip Jeff
Jarrett of the belt was also a good choice. Why? Because the face authority
was WRONG to do it. So now we have a Face Authority who acts irrationally
because of personal issues, thus giving the heels a moral right that an
audience doesn't want them to have -- that's interesting storytelling! We
have a World Title Picture in flux, we have someone on the roster about to
get fired on the next Impact Zone by Jim Cornette. We have Jarrett and Cage
equally upset and a satisfied Sting who may or may not get what he wants
In short, we have intrigue and a variety of possibilities. The booking staff
have taken themselves out of a couple of situations that would have
pigeonholed their creative possibilities and would have created a
predictable, stale product and instead creatively created controversy,
strong emotion from the fans, and just as importantly, re-solidified Jeff
Jarrett as their number one Heel. Oh Boy did they!
Nobody was talking about TNA the last few weeks. The discussions were all
about ECW. Now people ARE talking about TNA again. Good job TNA booking
staff. Good for you to have the guts to create controversy and do the one
thing that would fire up the entire industry to talk about your company
instead of Vince's. Good for you to put the World Title picture in a
position where virtually any top contender can end up with it, giving your
creative staff the ability to stretch the product in new directions. This
was good booking simply because it has created a crossroads for the product,
and that is exactly what TNA's product really needed.
But as you know, being at a crossroads is only good if you then choose the
right road afterwards. They can easily erase the quality work done by
choosing a road that puts them back where they started before they did it.
Now if I were on the staff at TNA, and unfortunately I'm not (Call me!), but
if I were, here's what I'd do:
Jeff Jarrett vs. Christian Cage for the TNA title on Impact, with Jarrett
winning absolutely clean to open the show. Then have Jarrett accept a
challenge from Sting on the same show, and defend the title against him
CLEAN, with no outside interference.
Now you have a Jarrett everyone hates, who has defeated the top two faces on
the same show, both matches clean, legitimizing the world title in a way WWE
bookers can't seem to understand you need to do with your World Titles to
have the champions not be seen as weak, and then, one mere week later, have
Jarrett put the title on the line again and suffer the horrible fate of.
Yes, the perfect NWA-TNA World Champion right now is not Sting, Not
Christian Cage, not Jeff Jarrett, nor is it even Samoa Joe. It is the Alpha
Male, Monty Brown. He has the look, the charisma, gives the best interview
on the roster, and is the only true Tweener on the roster right now.
Whether you put him in LAX with Konnan or not, Brown as World Champion would
be able to face every single contender, both face or heel, on the roster,
and get the correct excited response from the fans.
Brown vs. Cage? We've seen that's a good match. Brown vs. Jarrett? Even
Better. Brown vs. Raven? Intriguing. Brown vs. Abyss? They have great
chemistry against each other. Brown vs. Scott Steiner? I like that. Brown
vs. Samoa Joe? Who won't buy the PPV with that match as its headliner? Name
someone, anyone on the roster, and put them up against Monty Brown for the
World Title. It's good because you can clearly see anyone defeating him at
any time, and you can also see HIM defeating anyone else at any time. And he
wins clean in the middle. And he fights everyone, face or heel. With Brown
as champion, a million storylines open up immediately. Name me anyone else
who you can give it to that would do that for the company or the NWA-TNA
World Title picture? The only other person who remotely comes close in that
regard is Raven, but he's not as over as Brown right now, and Samoa Joe, but
can you really give it to Joe and leapfrog over Monty again? Hasn't Brown
done enough, hasn't he earned the right to hold the World Title? I think he
TNA has shown to me that they are not afraid to try to keep it interesting,
to throw curve balls at an audience now so jaded from predictable booking
industry-wide that if something remotely new happens we all chirp excitedly
TNA is really trying. Disagree with the decisions they made at the last PPV
if you want to, but none of you were talking heatedly about TNA before that
show. Many of you are now. And if you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn
yourself around, when competing against three (two, er, make that one done
three times) WWE brands that's what it's all
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