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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #2683

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      ====================================================
      Saturday March 1st 2008 Issue #2683
      ====================================================
      Visit our website at http://www.wrestling-online.com
      ====================================================


      //->> OPENING WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
      Colin Vassallo -[editor@...]-

      Ian Hamilton and Adam Firestorm were live once again yesterday for this
      week's edition of Ringside Live. You can listen to the latest show by going
      to http://www.wrestling-online.com/ringside or else by downloading it from
      the iTunes Store.


      ======================================================
      Order the new Stone Cold Steve Austin DVD now!
      http://www.wrestling-online.com/store
      ======================================================
      Add our Ringside Live audio show to your iTunes!
      Go to http://www.wrestling-online.com/ringside
      and click on the 'Subscribe to iTunes' icon.
      ******************************************************
      RINGSIDE LIVE WITH IAN HAMILTON EVERY FRIDAY AT 7PM ET
      ======================================================


      //->> NEWS FROM THE WRESTLING-ONLINE NEWSWIRE
      Web version at -[http://www.wrestling-online.com/news%5d-


      > CENA BASHES THE ROCK FOR 'NOT GIVING BACK'
      - John Cena was recently interviewed by The Sun newspaper in the United
      Kingdom and had some pretty harsh words for Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson which
      according to Dave Meltzer of the Observer got Cena in some hot water
      backstage. Cena was critical of Rock's decision not to come back every once
      in a while to give people something back despite Rocky always saying that he
      loves wrestling. "He's very good and very successful. Associating with
      sports entertainment doesn't do much for his acting career, I get it," Cena
      said. "Just don't f*** me around and tell me that you love this. That's the
      only thing that gets me really pissed off." Cena added that the wrestling
      fans have a lot of admiration for the People's Champion and he's got to
      respect that. Meltzer said that some of the older wrestlers bashed Cena for
      his comments and had several people totally upset.
      - [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=5966]


      > R&B SINGER JOHN LEGEND AT WRESTLEMANIA
      - In keeping with the WrestleMania tradition, 'America The Beautiful' will
      once again be performed to kick off the show later this month and Grammy
      Award winner John Legend will be doing the honors this year. Previous
      artists who sang at WrestleMania include Aretha Franklin, Michelle Williams,
      Boys Choir of Harlem, Ashanti, Boyz II Men and others.
      - [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/%5d


      > HALL OF FAME TICKETS OUT TODAY
      - Tickets for the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame went on sale earlier today on
      Ticketmaster.com and at the Amway Arena box office. Unlike previous years,
      there's only one price for the tickets this time around which is $54
      regardless if you're seated in the floor section or in the nosebleeds.
      According to Ticketmaster there are seats being sold in the upper level so
      even if they close off a large part of the arena for a more intimate
      setting, there will be fans hangin' from the rafters. Announced so far for
      the event are Ric Flair, Rocky Johnson and High Chief Peter Maivia.
      - [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/%5d


      > TNA TO HOLD 3 LIVE EVENTS DURING WRESTLEMANIA WEEK
      - Taking advantage of WrestleMania in Orlando, TNA will be holding three
      television tapings on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March at their stage in
      Universal Studios. Thousands of fans will be visiting the theme park during
      WrestleMania week and those who have the WWE travel package have also free
      admission to the two parks during the weekend. Their taping on Thursday
      March 27th will be a live telecast on Spike TV - their first ever - and the
      other two will be taped one in the evening and the one on Saturday in the
      early afternoon since there are WWE activities later that day. TNA allows
      people in on first come first served basis and no additional payments are
      required to attend since the stage is part of the theme park.
      - [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=5967]


      > TNA UK TOUR TICKET INFORMATION
      - Tickets for the TNA UK iMPACT! tour will go on sale on Monday March 10th
      and unfortunately for fans hoping to get tickets online, well, you're outta
      luck! Tickets will only be sold at the box office or by telephone for the
      three events. The first event is at the Liverpool Olympia being held on
      Friday June 13th at 7PM; the second at the Coventry Skydome on Saturday June
      14th at 7PM and the third one at the Brentwood International Centre in Essex
      at 5PM. For tickets you can dial 0151 263 6633 for the first, 02476 630 693
      for the second and 01277 262 616 for the third show or by visiting the
      respective arena.
      - [Discuss: http://www.wrestling-online.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=5890]


      ======================================================


      //->> AROUND THE RING
      By Eric Knudsen -[ericknudsen@...]-

      Its been a while...and just like a bad penny, I keep turning up. Welcome
      everyone to 2008 and I hope and trust everyone is having a good new year
      thus far. My year is turning out quite well and I am hoping it will only get
      better.

      Lets get started with the winners of the last Brainbuster. They are:

      Mr. Zaremba, Jimmy D, Jeff Jasniewski, Armin Leg, Brian Smart, Terry
      Tumbarello, Scott Maclean, Packrat, Stephen Wilson, Robert Cooper.

      Congrats to all those above and to all of you who got it right!!

      There is a lot to discuss, so lets get to the meat and potatoes...

      I found myself rather shocked and bewildered as I pushed the "Purchase"
      button on my remote to order No Way Out this past Sunday. The WWE hasn't
      been putting out the best in a while and I am not quite sure what intrigued
      me about this PPV. Was it the 2 Chamber matches? Perhaps. Was it seeing Ric
      Flairs career possibly coming to an end?? Who knows.

      Before I start this paragraph, let me preface this by saying I am giving
      spoilers to the PPV. So if you haven't seen it or don't want to know the
      results, skip this paragraph. I was rather pleased overall, however at the
      show. Seeing Chavo come away with a clean victory over CM Punk was a decent
      opener. I was a little surprised at how early they placed the Smackdown
      Chamber match. This was a decent match, although I thought they completely
      jobbed MVP. His character is really growing on me. I mean what was the point
      of his being there if they were going to play him like that? I can honestly
      say I didn't expect him to win, but jeez. He gets his ass beat by Taker
      before he even gets out of his cubical. He finally recovers and gets a few
      moves off before he gets choke slammed off the top of a cubical...and its
      "Thanks for coming, MVP!" The next match was ok, as we all knew Rey wasn't
      going to win the belt with a torn bicep. The thing that sucked about this
      match though, was the ending. We have seen it before...with Rey getting
      Speared by Edge as Rey is diving off the ropes. I will speak more on this
      topic later.

      Floyd Mayweather Jr is no joke! Completely busted Big Show and broke his
      nose. Looks like it will be a WrestleMania event. Oh whoops...I missed the
      Ric Flair match. It was ok...think I somehow expected a little more from
      both guys given it was a PPV. But, Flairs career is still intact. Orton vs
      Cena...the way Orton got himself disqualified...at first I didn't like it.
      But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. The more it seemed old
      school. And finally, The Raw Chamber match. This one was a bit of a
      surprise. Everyone, including myself, thought Hardy had the win. In
      retrospect, it made sense for him to lose. I can just see Vince or the
      booker saying...ok...everyone is expecting him to win, but lets give it a
      twist and he will lose. That way later down the road when he DOES win, it
      will be that much better. However, I have my own opinions on Jeff Hardy
      which I will touch upon.

      Jeff Hardy....plain and simple...I don't think he is ready for the title. He
      has the popularity...the crowd is behind him, but he still has a few things
      to learn. Like how to sell an injury. Let me take you back to Raw...Jeff
      Hardy vs HBK. HBK locks in a modified Indian Death Lock in the middle of the
      ring. At this point, Hardy is selling...screaming and such. He manages,
      after a minute or two, to get to the ropes to break the hold. This is where
      the no sell of any kind of injury comes into play. Jeff gets up and barely
      shows any signs of effects from being in the hold, didn't limp. Nothing! You
      know the guys in the back who review the matches saw that. What makes a
      wrestler great? Someone who can get the crowd behind them, sell an injury
      and make it look like he has to take every ounce of strength and heart to
      win. For example...how much more exciting would it have been had Hardy sold
      the injury...hobbled around...fighting to get to the ropes...dragging
      himself up...slowly creeping up the turnbuckles to the top, and finally
      hitting the Swanton!!?? To me that builds up the excitement, the suspense
      and the overall performance. With Hulk Hogan...How many times was it that he
      seemed like he was down and out? That there was no chance he could pull it
      off? Bundy breaking the ribs before WM 2. The Mountain that was the late
      great Andre The Giant. I mean, we all knew it was a matter of time before he
      Hulked up and kicked ass. But there was that element of...what if?! I think
      if Hardy can add some actual wrestling moves to his arsenal, and get some
      mic skills and learn to sell a hold and injury and use that to his advantage
      to win on heart, then he will be ready.

      I know I am a little (and I use that word loosely) behind on the wrestling
      books but I recently received a copy of the Rocks book...The Rock Says...and
      I have to say, I am having a hard time putting it down. I find myself
      laughing hysterically at the stories he tells and the people he is talking
      about as I can just envision the scenarios. If you haven't read it yet, I
      suggest picking it up...its easy reading and very well done.

      I don't know about you, but while I still watch WWE, I am finding it stale.
      The matches especially. I mean how many more HBK matches can we watch where
      he gets his ass beat from pillar to post and then he suddenly hits the
      flying forearm, followed by the nip up, then the reverse atomic drop,
      followed by a few clotheslines and then a body slam. Then he goes to the
      top, hits a flying elbow and then tunes up the band for Sweet Chin music.
      Whether he actually hits it or not doesn't matter. Its the fact that it is
      the same moves, in the same order and sequence in every match. I am not
      trying to single him out in any way as quite a few of the WWE superstars
      have the same thing. I think what it is, is that you have superstars vs
      superstars week in and week out.

      Growing up, I had to wait all week until Saturday to watch a superstar take
      on some no namer. And then you'd have interviews. And on occasions you'd
      have a match with a superstar vs a no name and another superstar would do a
      run in to create a feud to set up a match for later down the road or at a
      PPV. The Saturday morning show would end with a decent main event. But
      see...that made the superstar vs superstar matches that much more special.
      And now that you have PPV's every month...and sometimes two a month, it just
      isn't as special and you really don't get a chance to set up a good
      story/angle. I mean now, you have guys that are all superstars. There are
      not really any jobbers anymore. That's a damn shame!

      You do still see good matches, but somehow...they just aren't quite as
      special.

      So now that I have moved into the 21st Century and gotten an HD cable box
      with DVR, I have been DVR'ing TNA. And I am really impressed with their
      shows. A lot more action, less talking and drama. The only thing holding
      them back is lack of any real star power. By that I mean they don't have any
      real big names. The biggest they have is Kurt Angle. As they say...Man
      cannot live on bread alone. Same can be said about a fed.

      A fed cannot live on one superstar name alone. That's a lot on Kurt's
      shoulders. Sure, they just got Booker T. Not to take anything away from the
      former five time, five time, five time, five time, five time WCW World
      champ, but I don't think he has a lot of draw. And the same for Big Papa
      Pump. And Kevin Nash. Now don't get me wrong...TNA is LOADED with talent and
      up and coming stars. Tyson Tomko...former WWE bodyguard for Christian, is
      making a name for himself in TNA. Christian too. AJ Style, Samoa Joe, and
      the list goes on. But if you don't watch TNA...you are probably saying WHO
      THE $*&% ARE THESE GUYS?! AJ Styles...probably have heard of him. Maybe
      Samoa Joe...maybe not. But I suggest...watch their show...it may not be the
      huge budgeted show of WWE...but they put on some incredible matches that to
      me, a lot of them are unpredictable endings. Like I have said, not to take
      anything away from the guys in TNA, but it just seems like Kurt Angle
      doesn't fit there somehow, if you know what I mean. It would be like Shaq
      playing at the pro levels for a High School or College team.
      It just doesn't seem right somehow. Hopefully if they can find some really
      big names...maybe a handful or so, they may just make it eventually to be
      able to compete with WWE in the next 5 years. Speaking of competition...

      I have been reading reports that Hulk Hogan is nearing a deal to create a
      new wrestling promotion. All that's left allegedly, is to wrap up the
      licensing and merchandising. At that point Hulk and Eric Bischoff will sign
      for the TV end of things. This should be really interesting!!

      It seems that in an interview done with Paul Heyman by The Sun, he has
      confirmed Vince McMahon is a control freak. He has to have everything HIS
      way and if it wasn't his creation in the first place, he has to destroy it
      his way. Which is what happened with Heyman leaving WWE over creative
      control issues of ECW. I liked the ideas Heyman had for December To
      Dismember, and even The Big Show liked the idea. As Heyman said in the
      interview, Vince hated it...so it obviously went Vince's way. Vince killed
      the nWo, Goldberg's character and so on. I don't hate Vince...he and the WWE
      are creative...as long as they can create it. If it isn't their
      idea...forget it.

      Just a little spot here to say congrats to Steph and HHH on their new
      pregnancy!! Good luck.

      In what I thought was a big surprise, WWE released Bobby Lashley. I thought
      Lashley is a decent wrestler. I guess he was the one who asked for his
      release...due to his real life girlfriend, Kristal Marshall, having been let
      go by the company a few months ago. Glad he is standing up for her, but I
      hope he can show up in TNA...and most importantly, I hope she is worth it
      for his career. Also in a surprise was the release of Al Snow. Probably not
      as big a surprise as Lashley, but surprising just the same. Good luck Al!!

      I am noticing more and more boo's from the crowd when Cena comes out. I
      think he either needs to go heel for a while or his character needs a
      change. It may just be getting stale...go figure for WWE. How long did they
      drag out that horrible "King Bookaaaa" angle??!! It was beyond ridiculous.
      Not sure what they can do at this point with Cena. Even at the No Way Out
      PPV, the crowd was completely split....with half cheering...lets go
      Cena...and the other half cheering lets go Orton. When a crowd is cheering
      for Orton, something isn't right!! I know. I picked him a couple years ago
      to be a World Champ...and he did that. And now he is WWE Champ. The sad
      truth is...he is just boring. And I am not the only one to think so.
      He...drags...out...everything...he...is...saying. Get with it Randy!! Or
      maybe the tech crew could speed up his segments?!!

      Now...you got from Jeff Hardy not selling to Lance Cade. I have to give this
      guy some credit. If they could give him a good push, I think he could really
      be a top level guy someday. He knows how to sell...now if they would give
      him some mic time we might just see what he can do!!

      Before I finish for today, I guess as we saw this past Monday it isn't going
      to happen, but there was a rumor going around that Hogan wanted to take on
      Flair at WrestleMania and be the one to end Flair's career. Two Hall Of
      Famers who are up there in years, but I think they could still show the
      younger guys how it is done!!

      And with that, lets get to...

      ***The Last Brainbuster***

      Q: He was the first major person from his country to become champion of a
      major U.S. group In The 70's and into the 80's. He won the WWF World Title,
      Intercontinental Title, U.S. Title, and Tag Belts with Bob Backlund. He even
      had a great 75 Minute draw match with Bruno Sammartino at Shea Stadium. Who
      is he??

      A: Pedro Morales

      ***This Weeks Brainbuster***
      (Be sure to send all answers and/or comments to
      ericknudsen@.... Remember to include your name.)

      Q: What Polish strongman, who starred in the AWA, Puerto Rico and the IWA in
      the 1970's, was known to break bricks over his head? *Hint: He has since
      passed away*


      Well that's it for me. Thank you for joining me for this edition of Around
      The Ring. I am Eric, that's my opinion and I am standing by it!!


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