This week on WIRed, Some of the more architecturally scariest homes in horror, how to use that old floppy drive of the past with your computer of today through MAGIC & some DIY hacking, how “Syphon Filter” almost never happened, and you may or may not call it a comeback…but it won’t always guarantee WWE success. Read the rest of this entry
Whenever the terms “reality television” and “professional wrestling” come together, the first thing that usually comes to mind would be the successful Tough Enough series from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). From it’s original run on MTV from 2001 to 2003 (not counting the competition on WWE Smackdown — sans its own show — in 2004), and it’s revival last year on the USA Network, the reality competition had varied participants undergo vigorous professional wrestling training and compete for a contract with the WWE. Popular independent wrestling promotion Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) has decided to go a similar route, and start their own online reality series called AIW Absolute Intern. In this series, four AIW fans compete for the opportunity and right to be part of one of the best promotions on the independent wrestling circuit from a behind-the-scenes basis. Check out the premiere episode above, where this week the interns attempt to sell posters to the AIW crowd while host/announcer Vic Travagliante (who also broadcasts for the Chicago White Sox and various NCAA D1 programs) yells at them. Enjoy, and also check out their YouTube channel for more videos; the quality of their matches are excellent!
Indeed, on Sunday May 20th, Christmas will be coming early this year.
To the involved and dedicated wrestling fans, or “smart marks” (a.k.a. “smarks”),we felt that a championship match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan (or “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson) was destined to happen; it would just be a matter of time. Both wrestlers had made names for themselves on the hard-knock independent wrestling circuit (including stints in Ring of Honor) all over the world. Punk and Bryan both have old-school wrestling backgrounds and styles, making them among the purest of athletes and finest technicians in the business (something that not as common nowadays). Both of their world title reigns were possibly the most dominant and popular in late-2011 to early-2012. Finally, in three short weeks at WWE Over the Limit, they will both meet again, but this time a world title will be on the line. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been saying this OVER & OVER & OVER again since 2003.
In this article from WWE.com, writer Michael Burdick discusses his wish for the WWE to bring back King of the Ring, one of the company’s trademark and (formally) annual events, citing the history-making moments and the potiential of increasing talent credentials with current WWE stars. What began as a annual live show in 1985 and became an annual pay-per-view event in 1993, WWE cancelled the event after the 2002 edition, only to bring it back in a small-scale form in 2006, 2008, and 2010 during episodes of RAW or SmackDown.
I recall WWE removing King of the Ring due to their wishes to not have so many “gimmicky” pay-per-view events; to quote Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, “Really?! Really?!” The number of gimmicky pay-per-view events that the WWE has produced since the King of the Ring pay-per-view went the way of the do-do include, but not limited to: Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell, Money in the Bank, Fatal 4 Way, Breaking Point, Over the Limit, Taboo Tuesday, Cyber Sunday, etc. Don’t worry, I suppose the irony is lost on me, too.
Anyway, give the article below a read. It’s a real treat. LONG LIVE KING OF THE RING!!.
Man, it really sucks to hear anything negative about someone you respect and admire. When it comes to professional wrestling, one of the names that gets tossed out among a discussion of “the best ever” is Ric Flair, the “Nature Boy” himself. We’re talking about a man who legitimately broke his back in a plane crash and managed to come back to have on of the most decorated and prolific careers in the history of professional wrestling.
Back in late-August of this year, Grantland’s Shane Ryan wrote a very lengthy article focusing on the personal struggles Ric Flair is currently dealing with, and has been dealing with for the last 20+ years, including (but not limited to) physical health issues, lawsuits, allegedly questionable investments, multiple divorces, arrests, alleged acts of physical violence, and much more. Though much of the research done for the article is based on actual reports and even Flair’s own 2004 autobiography “To Be The Man,” Ric Flair has threatened to sue Grantland over the particular falsehoods of the story.
Check the links below to read the article from Grantland (which is QUITE a long, yet interesting read) and the story on Deadspin about the threatened lawsuit. Go ahead and take a gander for yourselves.
Above is the final 8:30 minutes of the “I Quit” Steel Cage Match at NWA Starrcade 1985 between Tully Blanchard (Champion; accompanied by Baby Doll) and Magnum T.A. (Challenger) for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. This match (in its entirety, anyway) embodies my opinions of the best types of wrestling matches: it depended more on telling the story of the match to the audience through the flow of the match, rather than depend on a series of disjointed short spots like most wrestling matches today do. Read the rest of this entry
Competition between varied businesses in the same field often means the consumer wins. There are 3 major video game consoles out on the market now (Sony’s “PlayStation 3,” Microsoft’s “Xbox 360,” and Nintendo’s “Wii”), and with those options open, consumers are able to select which console has the features that fits their needs and desire, and all three companies are then forced to become the better product and have more popular features than anything that the other company’s machine offers. The same can be said about most businesses, including the business of professional wrestling.
Back when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), then the World Wrestling Federation, and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) were competing in the “Monday Night Wars” from 1994 to 2001, both companies vied for fans, money, ratings, and confirmation that they were the superior company. Soon when Extreme Championship Wrestling entered the fold, the same desire was the same. During those times of competition between the 3 major entities of professional wrestling in the United States, the fans were the true winners; wrestling was on television 6 days a week, there were 3 major pay-per-view (PPV) events every month, and there was a variety of wrestlers, styles, and stories to become attached to.
Now why did all of that hoopla come to be. It’s actually pretty simple; the competition between them FORCED THEM TO BE BETTER. When sports franchises want to be number one, they deal with contracts, cut players, hire/fire staff, develop new game-play strategies, re-position players, and recruit new players through a myriad of techniques with the goal of winning championships. They do this because if they don’t, the the OTHER GUY will be the champions, and they don’t want that. The WWE, WCW, and ECW were forced to do the same; sign certain wrestlers to contracts, develop more engaging storylines, improve the quality of the matches, create new superstars, and make the product more available to fans to access (via television, PPV’s, appearances, merchandise, etc.).
One can argue that after the closure of ECW in January 2001 and WCW getting purchased by WWE means that the WWE was the winner of the “Monday Night Wars,” and many argue that ECW was a winner based mostly upon the quality of the matches compared to the other two companies, but most (including myself) feel that there was no true winner since 2001. The loss of WCW and ECW took 3 shows off television, and then WWE had declined in the amount of quality in both storylines and matches due to a lack of competition since they didn’t feel the pressure to be better; as a matter of fact, WWE’s 4 shows a week was soon lowered to only 2 with some short-term experimental shows in-between (I’m looking at you, ECW-WWE or WWE-ECW; ugh). Later on, and thankfully, TNA came along to become a viable competitor and then the feelings of the days of the Monday Night War rose again as both companies are now inspired to outdo each other. As of now, WWE is still hanging in there with 3 main shows a week, TNA has 1 show and needs improvement (but there is a lot of potential), and now, ROH might become the third viable competitor in the fight to be the top pro wrestling promotion in the United States.
Now, the competition is at a high point, and with WWE, TNA, and ROH fighting to be relevant, make more money, book more dates, write more creative storylines, inspire a high-quality of matches, rule in the ratings, and create new superstars to be the face of their business, and can say this on behalf of true pro wrestling fans everywhere: WE WIN!!
|PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE, Bring THIS belt back!!!|
This Sunday at WWE SummerSlam, WWE Champion John Cena will face WWE Champion CM Punk. Yes, you read that correctly; both men are recognized as WWE Champion.
Here’s some backstory: Punk defeated Cena last month for the title at the “Money in the Bank” pay-per-view, his contract expired that midnight, and he left WWE. I posted a previous blog concerning WWE entrance music that featured an article that mentions the Punk/Cena/WWE storyline. The next night, the title was vacated, and the following week, Cena won the vacant title. Then that night, Punk returned, with a new contract and HIS WWE Championship belt. At SummerSlam, both titles will be unified into an Undisputed WWE Championship, and this brings me to my topic; John Cena has been a multiple-time champion since 2005, and the form of the WWE Title was customized and changed into what’s known as the “Spinner” WWE Title (to go with Cena’s hip-hop/rebel persona).
|It’s SPINNIN’ Cena, It’s SPINNIN’! It’s SPINNIN’ Cena, It’s SPINNIN’!|
However, for the past few years, that belt’s form was worn thin with me (and some other fans I converse with), and I feel that the new Undisputed WWE Championship belt should resemble the form it was from early-2002 to early-2005 (shown at the beginning of the post). This not a anti-John Cena bias blog post (as I love what both Cena and Punk bring to the table that is professional wrestling), just a gripe concerning that style and symbolism of the current “Spinner” WWE Title belt. Let me list my TWO main reasons:
1) The “Spinner” WWE Title belt works well with John Cena’s persona, and not necessarily everyone else.
|YOU CAN’T SEE ME!!!|
In the early 2000′s, spinners & hip-hop went together like peanut butter & jelly, and since Cena’s persona was that of a hip-hop star and a rebel, this belt suited him very well. He had previously done it with the United States Title, and when he lost that title, it went back to its original form.
|Note that his name is permanently on the belt,
intending it to be Cena’s belt, and CENA’S BELT ONLY.
Now, to my fellow wrestling fans, think about how the “Spinner” belt looked on Randy Orton (Methodical Sociopath-like, shown below), The Miz (Mr. Hollywood/MTV), Rey Mysterio (Mexican Luchador), Edge (Rock Star), and Sheamus (Irish Warrior). Sounds and feels kinda odd and off, right?
Question: Remember who else held this belt while they were WWE Champion? Trick question; no one did, (sure, The Rock had “possession” of it for a brief time, but he never held that belt as champion) because when someon else was champion, they used the exisitng WWE Title belt, not this customized version. In the history of the WWE, many champions had their belts customized to fit their persona. The list of such wrestlers include:
A] “Superstar” Billy Graham (red leather strap)
B] The Ultimate Warrior (white, blue, and purple leather straps)
C] Sgt. Slaughter (purple leather strap, changed to original black strap after defeating The Ultimate Warrior)
D] “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (“Smoking Skull” belt)
E] John Cena (Spinner belt with free-motion “spinner” WWE logo in the center)
F] Edge (Modified “Rated-R Superstar” spinner belt, BASED ON CENA’S VERSION; look below)
G] The Miz (Modified spinner design with upside down WWE logo simulating the letter M, ALSO BASED ON CENA’S VERSION; look below)
|Hmmmm, THIS look kinda familiar….|
|Gee, I wonder where he got the idea from?|
Based on that, I feel that a clean break needs to be made from Cena’s persona-based customized WWE Title belt and the new Undisputed WWE Championship belt (whether Punk or Cena win at SummerSlam), focused more on the WWE as a whole, and less focused on John Cena.
2) The old Undisputed WWE Title belt is classy and distinguished, much like SmackDown’s World Heavyweight Championship, and many other World Titles before it.
|Classy & Distinguished. Why, I Declare!!|
The “Spinner” belt would look cool because it would appear that the crews of West Coast Customs and GAS from MTV’s Pimp My Ride worked on it. The problem is that Pimp My Ride stopped being cool when the customizing went overboard and gaudy; much like this customized belt.
|Yo Dawg, I heard you like spinners and stupidly-gaudy diamonds,
so we hooked you up and put spinners and stupidly-gaudy diamonds on yo belt!!!
|Oh you fancy, huh?!?|
It comes off as bold and powerful because it uses a very simple design. This belt is based on the older WCW World Heavyweight Championship (nicknamed “Big Gold Belt”), which also stemmed from WCW’s roots in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and once served as that promotion’s world championship belt.
|The National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship;
old-school, classy, & simple
|The Ring of Honor (ROH) World Heavyweight Championship;
abstract, yet symmetrical and classy
To close, I feel that the new Undisputed WWE Championship Belt (assuming a newer belt is made) needs to be focused more on the WWE as a whole, and less focused on one superstar/wrestler. While it may be fine and well for John Cena to hold on the “Spinner belt” whenever he’s the WWE Champion because it works for him and his persona, it doesn’t look right on other wrestlers with different personalities, and it subliminally makes Cena the entire focus (and the face) of the Championship and that title’s picture. I also feel that older Undisputed title belt never got it’s fair shake since it never returned to the WWE after Cena won the title in March 2005. It may be time for the WWE to dig back into its past for the benefit of its future.
|Again, PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE WWE, Bring THIS Title Belt Back!!!|