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Flashback: Steen vs. Generico Feud ends at ROH Final Battle 2010

December 12, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Editor’s Note: In light of the recent Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn angle in WWE NXT, the CCB is re-publishing a blog from 2010 documenting their classic rivalry from Ring of Honor. This blog was originally published on December 9, 2010.

It has literally been one year in the making. At ROH Final Battle 2010 it all comes to an end in the same place it started, the Manhattan Center in New York City. It has been the best wrestling feud in all of 2010 and if you don’t believe me go back to watch it all for yourself. The feud I am talking about is Kevin Steen vs. El Generico.

I had the pleasure of attending my first Ring of Honor event one year ago in the Manhattan Center in New York City when the feud between Kevin Steen & El Generico actually began. It was there where we saw the one-time best friends, tag team partners and former Tag Team Champions split apart from one another. Steen turned his back on Generico and in the process became one of the most insane characters in wrestling for quite sometime.

It was similar in ways to a feud that really grabbed people’s attention in the late-90s between Sabu and Taz. The similarity came in the sense that while Taz & Sabu never touched for an entire year, it was a period of time where El Generico did not touch or lay a hand on Kevin Steen. El Generico was confused & heartbroken that Kevin Steen had turned his back on him after all this time, while Steen made sure to take every opportunity to lay a hand on El Generico.

There would be stare downs in the ring between El Generico and Kevin Steen where the fans wanted to see El Generico retaliate. Already in the early stages of the feud people would realize that these two very underrated wrestlers could hold the crowd in the palm of their hands. The fans could see El Generico battle with himself over wanting to strike Steen while “Mr. Wrestling” would provoke his one time friend.

Fans would finally see El Generico snap almost 5 months later in April of 2010 at the ROH Big Bang show. It was there, where once again, another city, another place, that the fans wanted El Generico to strike Kevin Steen. Fans would get their wish as Generico would finally snap and send this feud from the 4th gear it was already in, into a 5th & 6th gears.

During this entire feud it was able to take other wrestlers, veterans even, such as Steve Corino (who would side with Kevin Steen) and Colt Cabana (who would side with El Generico), to make it fresh and fun to watch. Fans still wanted more, even though it was Colt Cabana in the ring with Kevin Steen, or El Generico in the ring with Steve Corino, the fans were hooked. They knew that while it wasn’t Steen/Generico, it was the work of art being displayed through this storyline.

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It would finally come ahead at the Death before Dishonor show from June of this year. The match was billed as “six months in the making” and would be the first time the two would battle it out in the ring. The feud was so intense that it was El Generico who interrupted the first match of the show to get Steen out in the ring for that very moment to be the opening match. The hatred that was built between these two in the squared circle has been something we haven’t seen in quite sometime.

The match was great and had the fans in the palms of their hands. The emotion was there; the crowd was into it and loved every moment Steen & Generico wrestled. It was two underrated wrestlers attempting to steal the show based off of their great in-ring work, mic skills and grabbing the crowd’s emotion & placing it in the middle of the ring.

While Steen would come out on top that night, the match would be moved to its next chapter and most definitely its darkest chapter, at New York City at the Glory by Honor IX show in September. Once again I had the honor of being at the show and witnessing the emotion in the building that night. It was most arguably the most anticipating match on the entire card, a chain match that would come on just before intermission.

It would be a tag team chain match with El Generico & Colt Cabana taking on Kevin Steen & Steve Corino. Once again the veteran secondary wrestlers were involved in the match and that didn’t matter, the fans were hooked. There was brutality, violence and the word you keep hearing throughout this entire blog, emotion involved.

Generico & Cabana would come out on top after a very good match and it would turn into the next chapter of this entire feud. As Generico was placing Steen on the top rope for his trademark brainbuster, it was at this time Steen would unmask El Generico in front of the crowd, for a glimpse Generico’s face was shown before being quickly covered up. It was at this point the great feud became darker after this very match and moment.

With El Generico now unmasked and having to use a secondary mask, one that was completely black, made this once loveable character a monster that no one thought would happen when this feud started. Generico & Steen were able to complete 360 their in-ring characters and make them from once loveable people to the darkest of character’s wrestling has seen in sometime. It was where this feud was also sadly seeing its final stretch run.

On ROH on HDNet it would be Kevin Steen creating a final match, one to settle the score, at Final Battle 2010 in New York City. It would be Steen vs. Generico with stipulations that would change the face of ROH in 2011. If Steen won it would have to be El Generico who would have to unmask in front of the crowd, if El Generico won it would make Kevin Steen leave Ring of Honor. It is now a make or break match; one that is becoming the favorite match everyone wants to see on December 18th in NYC.

We are days away from seeing one of the best feuds, if not the best feud in Wrestling for 2010 come to an end. When people look back at Kevin Steen & El Generico’s careers it will be this feud that defines them. They have made themselves some of the top Independent wrestlers in the business based on all the intangibles wrestlers need to be top stars. In-ring work, promo skills and making the crowd feel your emotion.

It’s sad to know that on December 18th this feud will come to an end because it has been one of the most entertaining feuds we have seen in quite sometime. For an entire 365 day span, Kevin Steen and El Generico have perfected the art of a wrestling feud. If you haven’t checked out this feud yet then do yourself a favor and start getting the DVD’s from the last year for Ring of Honor wrestling because these two wrestlers have made wrestling very fun for any fan feeling letdown by the WWE or TNA.

Congrats to Kevin Steen & El Generico on perfecting the art of a wrestling feud. I hate to see it end but it will end with probably the most emotional match/angle that these two of done the past year and they have done some pretty audience grabbing stuff. This has been the best wrestling feud in the past year and if you don’t believe me then just check it out, it will be worth every penny you spend.

At Final Battle 2010, we will see the war come to an end.

What do you think of the Kevin Steen/El Generico feud? Tell us your thoughts on “The Still Real to Us Show” by e-mailing us over at [email protected] and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net to find out if your pick made it to the air!

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Looking At The Premiere Pro Wrestling Podcasts

April 11, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

I had a busy couple weeks and I truly realized it when I looked at my phone and realized how far behind I was on my wrestling podcasts.

I first heard about podcasting back in 2007, when my college offered a 1-hour podcasting mini-course. I was unsure as to how this would become something relevant and thus I dismissed it. With hindsight having perfect vision, I now realize that I really missed out on an awesome opportunity, especially as I started my own podcast last fall.

I learned of Colt Cabana around the same time I knew of all the “indie stars” of the early aughts. I knew about Bryan Danielson, Low Ki, Spanky, etc in 2001 after hearing about their success in the ECWA Super 8. Then 2003 was when I discovered the next set through Ring of Honor, people like Paul London, CM Punk, and the aforementioned Cabana.

I became aware of Colt Cabana’s podcast sometime probably about four years ago. I read a column in Pro Wrestling Illustrated that took a look at it. At that point, I had already gone through the ups and down of being a Cabana fan. I knew that he was a talented “funny guy” in ROH and that his success there didn’t translate that well to WWE.

And then I found out that Cabana was doing a podcast. I didn’t immediately jump into listening to it, but I caught bits here and there. Then, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin started a relationship with Podcast One and I instantly became a fan. Austin built up his following and Chris Jericho followed suit. Jim Ross jumped on the bandwagon and apparently “Rowdy” Roddy Piper will soon be getting his own show.

There are other wrestling podcasts, hosted by personalities from the business or journalists. I’ve listened to those. Not a huge fan. With that said, here are a few thoughts on the the premier wrestling podcasts, for those on the fence about jumping in and finally listening.

The Art of Wrestling – Colt Cabana started it and continues to help shape the wrestler-podcast genre. Cabana has flirted with the “big time” but for the most part has settled into his role of being the top indie star in the nation. Live from the studio… apartment, Cabana talks about what’s going on in the wrestling world and brings on a guest. Cabana has conversations with his guests, and they go places you wouldn’t expect. The recent Buff Bagwell episode is especially deep, with Bagwell opening up about his past drug abuse. An interview with the Miz was notable for Cabana pointing out that once the interview started he watched Mike transform into the Miz and wanted him to come out of character.

The Steve Austin Show – With two versions of his show, a family-friendly version and one for the adults, Austin tries to grab both audiences. Really, the only difference is one show says things like “son of a buck” and the other doesn’t. Austin has really surprised me with how well he turned into an interviewer. It would have been easy for Austin to coast through this, but he’s not “Stone Cold” here. Austin takes notes and tries to keep a format. Although, he has thrown that format aside and said he and his guest would “call it in the ring.” Austin announced recently that Undertaker agreed to be on his podcast. That was before his injury at WrestleMania XXX, so we’ll see what happens with that.

Talk Is JerichoChris Jericho has been one of my favorite wrestlers since I first saw him in WCW and then went back and learned of his globe-trotting prior stints. With that said, though, it took me a while to warm up to his podcast. And, I think that was because Jericho was trying to find his identity. He got more experience and became a better interviewer. Some of his humor is a little sophomoric, but I’m sure some people like hearing Jericho pretend to interview John Oates’ mustache. Y2J stays true to his wrestling roots, but he expands out to the mainstream more than the other podcasts, with recent guests including Howie Mandell, Eli Roth, and Maria Menounos.

The Ross Report – Good Ol’ JR jumped into the podcast ring after his WWE tenure was over. Jim Ross is relatively new to the podcasting game, but he is obviously not new to using his voice to tell stories. JR is still getting the hang of this new world, which he has mentioned several times in the early episodes. The only real turnoff for me is JR’s faux enthusiasm when doing the commercials. I think he’s going for the same vibe as his popular “Skittles” plugs from a decade ago, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Still, JR has had a HOF-worthy lineup of guest so far, with Austin, Mick Foley, Trish Stratus, Lita, DDP, and Jake Roberts all stopping by. I have no doubt that the greatest announcer of all time will only get better and better as a podcast personality.

If you like getting into the heads of brilliant people, check these out. Don’t limit yourselves to just these four. There are so many different options out there for any type of wrestling fan. Get listening. And, also, I appreciate you guys listening to me. As Colt Cabana would say, thanksssssssss.

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Top 5 Former WWE stars that need to be re-signed – Inside The Wheelhouse

June 07, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

MVPEver since the WWE brought back Albert/A-Train who is now known to WWE fans as Lord Tensai, I figured it would be fun to look at the current state of the wrestling world and wonder what other former WWE stars should be re-signed by the company for a 2nd chance/run with the WWE.

Let’s face it; no matter how well A-Train did in Japan as “The Great Bernard” I don’t think many fans thought that the WWE would eventually bring him back. It’s just not in the DNA of the WWE to give a former talent a second chance with that amount of years between their last WWE run and the present time.

Lord Tensai/A-Train appears to be the exception and thank god for that because for a big ma he is a tremendous worker & has greatly improved since his last WWE run. But rather then being an exception maybe Lord Tensai has now become a pioneer in giving former WWE stars a 2nd chance especially if they have perfected their craft on the independent circuit or outside the United States. With that being said here is a list of five former WWE stars that need to be re-signed by the WWE:

5. Colt Cabana

I have always felt that the WWE completely missed the boat with Colt Cabana a.k.a. Scotty Goldman. A lot of fans seem to really enjoy the gimmick Santino Marella has had the last couple of years where has been that comedic guy with good in-ring ability and I completely believe that Colt Cabana would have done that role so much better then Santino currently is. Not only does Cabana have a great personality but the guy is a tremendous in-ring worker.

Cabana is hilarious to all age groups and wrestles a tremendous British style of wrestling that entertains the wrestling fan. The WWE knows how popular he is with fans and I still don’t understand why he hasn’t been signed. We have seen how popular cult (no pun intended) like fan followings have been with guys like Zack Ryder and someone like Colt Cabana would receive the same popularity. It’s a shame that the WWE hasn’t brought him back as they really could’ve capitalized last summer when they had their chance with CM Punk gaining so much popularity.

4. Matt Hardy

This name might come as a surprise to many people but let’s face it internet fans, Matt Hardy has paid his personal dues to society, he has stayed out of trouble, by all accounts he has cleaned up his act, and we need to respect him for that, there’s no need to continue to kick a man while he’s down or on his way back up. I for one were one of those fans that were really hacked off by the actions of Matt Hardy during his dark period and bashed him a lot for it but you have got to give credit where credit is due & it looks like he is back on track with his life which is something we should be extremely happy to see. With the dark period of his life in the past Matt Hardy can return to doing what he does best and that is in-ring storytelling.

Before all the drama Matt Hardy brought onto his life he was most remembered for being one of the “internet fans favorite wrestlers to watch.” He had great in-ring psychology, told a great story inside & outside the ring and had a passion for the business you just cannot duplicate. Matt Hardy, to me, could very well be in that same position Christian is in right now if brought back to the WWE roster, a veteran who can work well with any talent in any high profile feud. Now with everything cleared up in his life I believe the highest mountain I’d love to see Matt Hardy climb is a return to the WWE and to continue to prove all his detractors wrong.

3. Carlito

Carlito was one of those talents that you’d just get really frustrated over because he was being underutilized or he’d (admittedly) get in trouble behind the curtain of the WWE thanks to his attitude or mouth. Back when Carlito debuted he was a guy that you could’ve easily penciled in as being a World Champion at some point by 2012. If you go back to his debut and remember how much the WWE pushed him it will remind you a lot of Alberto Del Rio; a guy that had the personality, in-ring work and charisma to be a top star in the next 2-3 years.

Carlito never lived up to those standards and since his release from the WWE he hasn’t been able to regain the same mainstream attention in the United States that used to have and that’s a damn shame. Carlito can talk on the mic, tell a story in the ring and is a pretty good worker, that’s typically the makeup to develop a top WWE star. Now that a couple years have passed and Carlito appears to have matured from that last run I think now would be a great opportunity to bring back a star that the WWE fans really seemed to enjoy during his run with the company.

2. Shelton Benjamin

I don’t think there is any more fundamentally sound wrestler the WWE has ever released then Shelton Benjamin was. His matches with Shawn Michaels on Monday Night RAW’s are some of the great RAW matches we have ever seen in the history of the show. He was one of the most gifted athletes to ever grace a WWE ring and he was still released by the company because he lacked the ability to cut a good promo.

You always hear the phrase “5 tool prospect” when it comes to professional wrestling and Shelton Benjamin was just that except he lacked the important tool in today’s WWE standards by cutting a promo. The WWE never paired him up with a mouth piece (sorry Shelton’s “mother” didn’t cut it for a manager) so he was destined to fail. Despite all of that he is still tearing it up in Ring of Honor wrestling and is still one of the best pound for pound wrestlers not signed by the WWE today. Envision matches between Shelton Benjamin and Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, they would be a wrestling clinic. He still has the tools and the WWE could use pound for pound wrestlers so a 2nd chance into the WWE could be in Shelton’s cards if the WWE knows better.

1. Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP):

This blog was originally inspired by the return of Lord Tensai into the WWE after years of being in Japan. Who better to return to the WWE then a guy who has been in Japan making his craft even better? That’s where MVP comes in.

At one time this was a guy who was looked at as the future of the WWE. A guy who carry a good match, hold onto the ball given to him by the WWE whether he was a heel or face and run with it. He already has the crafts & tools to be a top WWE star and the fact that he left the WWE to pursue a career over in Japan to make his game even better is worth another crack at the WWE spotlight.

He truly has all the right things to make him into a top WWE star again. His in-ring work is tremendous, he has charisma, he has personality, he is good on the microphone and he is getting better because he is over in Japan right now perfecting his wrestling abilities. We all remember how good MVP was during his first WWE run and a return to the WWE would really surprise fans with how much better he has already gotten thanks to his time in Japan. I don’t know what the WWE is waiting for but it’s time to bring a guy like MVP back to the WWE roster.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday June 7th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

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ROH Isn’t Your Grandfathers Indy Promotion Anymore – Inside The Wheelhouse

January 26, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The American WolvesIt’s been over six month since Ring of Honor was purchased by the Sinclair Broadcasting group from Cary Silkin and the landscape & image of ROH has changed in the eyes of the wrestling fans over that short period of time. Many wondered if ROH would change with the ownership move and it clearly has as it molded itself into a wrestling company like the WWE or TNA & not a company like an ECW. Is that a good thing for ROH? Yes it most certainly is but it is no longer your “grandfather’s indy promotion” anymore either.

Whether you are a sports fan, music fan or in our case, a wrestling fan, you love to be the first to know something or see something/someone. Sports fans want to be the first to see a superstar in the making as I still talk about to this day the time I watched the Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice tear it up against my high school football team before he was in the pros. Music fans talk about all the latest “underground” music out there and who you need to listen to because they are a future star. In wrestling it’s the same thing as you want to see a talent before he or she becomes noticed at a larger wrestling audience and that was something Ring of Honor offered to you for almost 10 years.

Ring of Honor was part of the big independent wrestling boom of the early 2000s after ECW & WCW closed their doors and the WWE was the only game left in town. As time wore on many of those independents from that time period have closed up shop or aren’t running as many shows as they used to. ROH survived that period and is a reaching a ten-year milestone, something that deserves a lot of credit for especially in this economical landscape.

I remember friends of mine telling me to check out the ROH product and needing to see matches that involved the likes of Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe AJ Styles, Low-Ki and a whole slew of many talented wrestlers. Once I saw the matches I was in awe of the quality of the events and the matches in the ring, it was putting to shame anything I saw on television on a weekly basis. It quenched the hunger of what wrestling fans wanted to see, pure athletic wrestling that told stories in the confines of a squared circle, the basic foundation of professional wrestling.

Time grew on and those wrestlers left for what some may call “greener pastures.” The landscape of ROH would change on a yearly basis and despite losing so many names that laid down the foundation of their company they continued to survive by finding some of the best talent in the country. Like I said before despite everything ROH had to deal with during their ten years they made it and you have to respect all that they accomplished.

I don’t know the financial situation for Ring of Honor towards its last couple of years under Cary Silkin’s reign as owner but you heard the rumblings that at times they were struggling financially. Something that many wrestling fans shouldn’t be surprised by with the way the economy was at the time. You figured that it would be hard for any business to be very successful during the tough times the United States face in its economy.

Despite financial pressures and talents leaving ROH still looked the same as it did from day one. Great in-ring action and survival based off of DVD sales & basic word of mouth. It was a basic business survival plan being showcased in a modern era where you were told it just could never be done that way anymore.

Then in May 2011 ROH was sold to the Sinclair Broadcasting Group and gave ROH longer years of life that probably many didn’t expect. They had a TV deal yet again, the talent was going to be under contract and they were going to start to be noticed more on a national level then the local levels they thrived on. But with those changes came changes to their products, changes that put a nail in the coffin of them being what we could refer to as an “independent promotion” anymore.

With the ownership move has come changes to the product both on the inside and from the outside. Gone from Ring of Honor are the Colt Cabana’s of the company, guys who would be veterans for ROH and be the foundation for the promotion. Gone are the longtime announcers like Dave Prazak as they have been replaced by Kevin Kelly who worked with the WWE at one time. Talents like Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, while terrific in-ring talents are not original ROH talents yet they are being featured prominently in ROH’s current marketing. It has gone from an independent promotion to another form of a Jim Cornette promotion.

ROH has followed suit with prior Jim Cornette ran promotions like Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) and Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) where they have that late-80s/early 90s television feel to them. With those changes while positive for the longevity of ROH I believe it has hurt their promotion in the eyes of wrestling fans which should be the most important thing of all. For years ROH depending on those wrestling fans and they don’t want to lose them either.

Ring of Honor recently held their biggest PPV of the year “Final Battle” in New York City on December 23rd and had a tough time selling the place out. Granted you can chalk that up to it being right around Christmas but it isn’t a good sign when wrestling fans that are home & can make the drive aren’t going to the show. Reviews for the show have been mediocre at best with the Steen/Corino match being the most talked about match of them all while Richards/Edwards has received poor reviews from fans for being the “same match again.”

The differences between those two matches are clearly the styles of the match. The Steen/Corino match, while brutal, told a story in the ring, something ROH fans have loved since day one, in-ring story telling. The Richards/Edwards match has been compared to some sort of hybrid MMA/Wrestling match that fans really never got a hold of throughout the course of the actual match. To me, as an long time ROH fan it’s clear that these two matches were showcasing the old (Steen/Corino) and the new (Edwards/Richards) Ring of Honor.

While all this has been going on for ROH it has helped companies like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla & DGUSA/Evolve become the favorite “underground” promotion to watch for. I remember last year ROH’s feuds and matches were the normal talk of the wrestling world for fans wanting to see wrestling. And as for 2011 there was a lot more talk for PWG & DGUSA/Evolve then there has ever been with some of their events being referred to as “must own” DVDs. Something you’d normally hear for ROH shows and something you rarely heard after June 2011.

2012 will be a very defining year for Ring of Honor in how it will be accepted by wrestling fans. It will be its first full calendar year under the SBG ownership and it will be telling if they can receive the same rave reviews that would get under their old business makeup or if they will continue to lose the popularity with the hardcore wrestling fans like they slowly have over the last six months. Maybe wrestling fans are upset that ROH isn’t the “underground” promotion it used to be who knows, but it definitely can be said that Ring of Honor is no longer your “grandfather’s indy promotion anymore.”

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday January 26th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

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How social media in wrestling will backfire in 2012 – Inside The Wheelhouse

January 19, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Zack RyderWhen we look back at 2011 one of the things that stands out the most in wrestling has to be the use of social media. Wrestlers were using it to elevate themselves (i.e. Zack Ryder) and pro wrestling companies were using it elevate their own status in social landscapes (i.e. the WWE).

In a way it was revolutionizing the industry as it was giving fans a different way to interact with wrestling companies and their wrestlers, it was something never seen before. While there were positives and strides in 2011 I believe that will all change in 2012.

If you were like me then you were starting to get a little bit annoyed with the way social media was being introduced and developed in wrestling in 2011. Now this isn’t some sort of negative feeling like our parents did when technology upgraded itself over time. No, this was more of a negative feeling towards the way it was being used; it was on the brink of pure annoyance.

Case in point how many times do I have to listen to Michael Cole talk about how the WWE is currently trending on twitter? Lets be honest it doesn’t mean a damn thing to you the wrestling fan nor some random person who doesn’t watch wrestling because ratings aren’t increasing once things start trending on twitter. If the “trending topics” WWE likes the jam down our throat on WWE TV helped improve the ratings then I would completely understand but they did not, instead it annoyed wrestling fans because it doesn’t mean anything.

Then you have wrestlers using social media to help their standing in the WWE and to get “noticed” by the creative team. Now I can’t blame wrestlers not currently being featured on television to use this outlet because you need to do the best you can to be elevated at your job. The only real success story from this has to be Zack Ryder who had a very popular YouTube show, a “cult-like” following amongst “internet fans” and it helped when the most popular wrestlers in the WWE like CM Punk & John Cena continue to drop your name. Zack Ryder was the only wrestler to achieve stardom from social media while others have failed.

From a WWE perspective there were other wrestlers who were starting to “copy cat” what Zack Ryder did to achieve what basically saved his job in 2011 and I can’t blame them for doing it because anyone would do the same thing to save their job, but the thing was people were noticing the “copy cat” approach to social media & garnering annoyance towards it.

Other wrestlers such as Ted DiBiase, Goldust and “The Midcard Mafia” consisting of Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Tyson Kidd & Drew McIntyre were doing the same thing Zack Ryder was doing to get noticed by the fans & hope to have that same “cult-like” following he garnered in 2011.

Ted DiBiase had his “DiBiase posse” and he’d meet with fans before events to have a BBQ, a cool concept but let’s be honest it seems a bit desperate from a wrestling fan perspective since DiBiase is the real-life son of “the million dollar man.” Would “The Million Dollar Man” really need to have a BBQ with the “common” people to get noticed? I don’t think so.

Then you have Goldust who has had his fair share of good moments & bad moments with social media. Currently he has led his own online petition to get himself a match at Wrestlemania 28 with his brother Cody Rhodes. While Goldust was amazing back in his heyday of the late-90s and early 2000’s I wouldn’t call a Goldust/Cody Rhodes match something I’d want to see at any PPV, let alone a Wrestlemania! It really seems desperate to me to have an online petition to get a pretty nice Wrestlemania payday.

Finally you have “The Midcard Mafia” consisting of young talents that are not being used correctly. They are very talented in the ring but it clearly appears that at least one of them could be “future endeavored” in 2012. Like Goldust & Ted DiBiase before them, the YouTube videos just appear to be desperation at best and the hope of getting noticed by a fanbase so they can have some “Zack Ryder luck.” It was when I saw these videos that I really felt like social media could backfire on the wrestling industry in 2012.

Like I said I fully am behind any person trying to keep their job but perspective from the outside is what’s most important. Zack Ryder was able to hit the star at just the right time, the other three I just spoke don’t appear to be having that same “social media” luck right now. Take for instance the talents outside of the WWE who try to use social media to the best of their advantage and still can’t get a job from the company.

Colt Cabana garnered a ton of attention shortly after the now famous “CM Punk promo” from June 2011 when Punk mentioned him on RAW and that alone has not been enough to get him his job back with the WWE. He did get a dark match tryout but that was it, nothing more. But besides all that Colt Cabana is the host of a very successful wrestling podcast and still cannot get a job with the company. Despite having a “colt-like” following (see what I did there) he still cannot get re-signed by the WWE proving that social media doesn’t always work in a wrestler’s favor.

Another wrestler who did what he could to get noticed by the WWE was Gregory Iron, a wrestler who despite having cerebral palsy still performs in the squared circle. On two separate occasions he garnered brief social media popularity after CM Punk (while he “left” the WWE for a couple days) showed up at an independent event to give him props and after he went to YouTube to get a petition going to be in the royal rumble. While you cannot knock his “hustle” it has still not helped him get a job with the WWE and his online petition to get in the rumble has silently died proving that social media can sometimes be your worst enemy.

We as wrestling fans can become some of the most opinionated groups of people in the entire world. One minute we can love a wrestler and the next we can despise them & while we don’t know it yet our views on social media are starting to change as we speak. It was “cool” to see Zack Ryder’s YouTube show & we really wanted to see his succeed and he most certainly has. But now that he’s on top the grumblings of how annoying his character can be on television are starting to develop…

Has that feeling led to us changing our views on all these other social media outlets wrestlers & wrestling companies are using to capture our attention? I believe so as it starts to look like nothing more then desperation on the part of the wrestler and it looks like stupidity on the part of the wrestling company. As quickly as social media in wrestling became popular so soon it shall fall as the annoyance it is becoming. It was once looked at as something positive can not put someone or a company in a negative light, if it hasn’t already.

The rise and fall of social media in 2012 may be one of the biggest stories come the end of this year.

For more on this topic join us for the Thursday January 19th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

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Steve Corino is our generation’s Terry Funk – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 28, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Steve CorinoLike in life, in wrestling the legacy of a wrestler is deemed to be the most important thing in one’s career. What you leave behind and the impact you cemented is what makes you unforgettable, great, an icon or a hall-of-famer. That legacy for one particular wrestler was cemented on December 23rd, 2011 in the Hammerstein Ballroom at ROH’s end of the year iPPV “Final Battle 2011.”

At the Hammerstein Ballroom, a venue that he main evented several times for Extreme Championship Wrestling, he stood across the ring from one of the best talents in wrestling today, Kevin Steen. It was at this point whether it was personally for you at the start, middle or end of the match that you realized the importance Steve Corino has had on wrestling; an importance that I can only compare to a great like Terry Funk.

That comparison for some wrestling fans and even quite possibly Steve Corino himself may be a title that may be too much of a high standard for “The King of Old School.” But think about it for just a second, when ECW was on its rise it was the veteran leadership of Terry Funk that elevated ECW to a new standard. Sure you had tremendous talents like Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Sabu etc. but it Terry Funk who used his time in the wrestling business to cement himself as a legend.

The closest thing we have to what ECW was “back in the day” is Ring of Honor. A company that for the better part of their existence survived on great in-ring talent, work ethic, YouTube video wires and DVD’s. It isn’t the ideal business plan for a wrestling company but it worked for them and led them to two television deals over the nearly 10 years of their existence.

If you look up & down the ROH roster today it is filled with talents who have made a name for themselves in ROH, talents who are starting to make a name in ROH and talents who will eventually make a name for themselves in ROH. It has the look and feel of an ECW roster during its heyday. The rock of those rosters, the “glue” you might say, lies within the veteran leadership of two particular wrestlers. For ECW it was Terry Funk and for ROH it’s Steve Corino.

It’s only fitting that the veteran of the ROH roster was a product of Extreme Championship Wrestling and like Terry Funk is very well traveled in his career. Just like Terry Funk’s career path, Corino spent time on mainstream television in the “bright lights.” For Funk it was the NWA, WWF and WCW. For Corino it was in ECW, during a time where he feuded with such greats like “The American Dream Dusty Rhodes,” a feud that is highly underrated in my opinion.

Like Terry Funk was, Steve Corino is one of the most respected American wrestlers in Japan. An honor that is treated with high regard in the wrestling world as the respect and admiration wrestlers get from their time in Japan is unmatched to any other audience. The Japanese wrestling fans truly respect and honor their wrestlers & for Corino to share that honor with other American wrestlers is a true testament to his great career.

The legacy of Steve Corino outstretches other areas of the world besides American and Japan as well. He has spent time in Puerto Rico with the highly regarded World Wrestling Council (WWC) where he has captured various championships such as their World Junior Heavyweight Championship and Universal Heavyweight Championship. The list of Championship accomplishments Corino has captured in his career can also be compared to Terry Funk. But for me I don’t think there is more justification that Steve Corino is this generation’s version of Terry Funk then what he has helped accomplished the last two years in Ring of Honor wrestling.

In storyline purposes it started at Final Battle 2009 when Kevin Steen turned his back on his partner El Generico in one of Ring of Honor’s most memorable moments. The feud and turn was the result of Steve Corino convincing Kevin Steen to turn on his partner. For all of 2010, along with Kevin Steen, El Generico and Colt Cabana, Corino was part of one of the best storytelling & emotion grabbing feuds we have seen in wrestling for quite sometime. Corino and Cabana played the parts of the wrestling veterans while Steen & Generico elevated themselves as some of the most highly regarded talents in all of wrestling.

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The feud concluded, Kevin Steen was gone from Ring of Honor wrestling and Steve Corino was basically “left by himself” in ROH. He vowed in 2011 that he was going to become a changed man, he felt horrible & responsible for the exit of Kevin Steen from Ring of Honor, for had he not urged Steen to turn on Generico he would still be in ROH today. Corino spent the first six months of the year trying to earn the respect and trust in the ROH locker room, a locker room that didn’t trust Corino & his evil ways whether they were face or heel, he had no “friends” in ROH, a compelling storyline that was “out of the box” in many ways since heels usually align with heels, faces usually align with faces and they did not with Corino.

Corino added Jimmy Jacobs to the storyline as his “sponsor,” a take off of when someone has an addiction to something. Corino’s addiction was being evil, something that wrestling fans saw from “The King of Old School” throughout his career. While in wrestling theory may be looked at as very basic, worked beyond the basic definitions thanks to the great ability of Steve Corino.

Vowing for redemption for his faults he looked to bring Kevin Steen back to Ring of Honor. Corino vowed like himself, that Steen was a “changed man” and needed a “second chance.” Steen in the perfect unpredictable fashion that was have seen him do in recent years turned on Corino and spent the rest of 2011 vowing to get back at his mentor & make ROH a living hell.

The feud reminded me a lot of another “teacher vs. student” wrestling feud that Terry Funk was part of in his career. This feud is of course, the Terry Funk vs. Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) feud throughout their careers in various different promotions. A feud that helped make Mick Foley what he is today.

Here you have Corino, who like Terry Funk, has achieved a great legacy in his career in various promotions around the world and now uses his time in the wrestling business to be that “grizzled veteran” who takes stars to new levels. And then you have Kevin Steen, who like Mick Foley, is not your stereotypical World Champion. He may not “look” like a World Champion with huge muscles & six-pack abs but he can work his tail off in the ring and make you feel emotion on the mic like Mick Foley did. Their match at Final Battle 2011 was in most wrestling fans opinions the most anticipating match on the card, mind you a card that was headlined by Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, two stars that have had a terrific series of a matches in Ring of Honor.

But like Funk vs. Foley, you knew what you were going to get out of Corino vs. Steen. It was going to be violent, it was going to be emotional, it was going to be entertaining and it was going to leave you with new found respect for them. And the match was better then expected and lived up to all those expectations (and then some) I just spoke of.

He may never be a WWE, TNA or World Heavyweight Champion, he may never headline a Wrestlemania or even a WWE or TNA pay-per-view, but Steve Corino doesn’t need those accolades, like Terry Funk, to cement his legacy in wrestling. But the appreciation and respect wrestling fans have for Steve Corino are in the highest of regards because he accomplished all of that without any “machine” backing him & did it on his own. He traveled the entire world earning the respect & admiration of wrestling fans and his legacy was cemented as our generation’s Terry Funk on December 23rd, 2011 in the Hammerstein Ballroom.

All hail “The King of Old School.” Thank you Steve Corino.

For more on this topic join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday December 29th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site.

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The Voice of Hardcore Pro Wrestling Fans Isn’t Too Loud These Days

October 27, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Triple H & CM Punk RAWI don’t know what percentage of pro wrestling fans make up the Internet wrestling community. Five percent? Maybe less?

Internet wrestling fans – you know, those of us who go onto websites to read spoilers, argue about booking directions, and debate about why so-and-so is getting a push – know what they enjoy and are vocal about it. They like good matches. They want to see talented wrestlers rewarded. They plead for veterans to pass the torch in meaningful ways to up-and-coming stars.

So it was no surprise that the WWE’s hardcore fans rallied around C.M. Punk over the summer after he gave “the worked shoot promo,” during which he used wrestlers’ real names, made references to the McMahon family’s business practices, and said hello to friend Colt Cabana on live TV.

Hardcore fans have been behind Punk for years, since he plied his trade in ROH. I saw Punk wrestle live years and years ago at an ROH card in some dingy rec center in Revere, MA, and I was impressed. We Internet fans like to see a guy who doesn’t fit the WWE cookie-cutter mold scratch and claw his way to the top. His WWE and World Title wins were real victories for those of us who long for great pro wrestling matches and angles, and his worked shoot interview represented what we hoped was a turning point in the WWE’s bland creative direction.

But now, almost four months later, the engine has sputtered. Two things happened:
– Somehow in the midst of all of this, C.M. Punk – who seemed in complete control of his angle in the summer – lost the steering wheel, and in the process Triple H has again pushed himself to the top at Punk’s expense
– Punk’s great interviews and attitude didn’t really make money or increase TV ratings (and demonstrated why worked shoots don’t always pan out)

Those are bitter pills to swallow for the Internet wrestling community because they expose a truth few of us want to admit: Our opinions don’t matter to the overall health of the WWE.

Instead, it’s what the general audience – the 95% of fans who can’t fathom going online to read wrestling news – likes that counts. And the ratings have proved it: The HHH saga of getting a no-confidence vote has resonated with many, many fans.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize Vince McMahon et al. have manipulated the system and altered plot lines to benefit Triple H, but that’s what family-owned wrestling promotions do. Just ask Verne Gagne or the late Fritz Von Erich.

What hurts the most is it seemed that Punk had gotten hold of the golden key that could open the doors to an edgier, more mature product. Too bad for us hardcores that the rest of the fans didn’t agree with us.

I’ve got no problem with Triple H. He’s a super-talented worker who is going to inherit the biggest wrestling company in the world. Why wouldn’t you make yourself the top star? He’s played the wrestling game very well over the years, and sure, he stepped on many people to do it. I remember when Ultimate Warrior stepped on Triple H, too, during that squash match they had at WrestleMania XII.

The change in the C.M. Punk angle, the constant mocking of Jim Ross, the shoving of Kelly Kelly down our throats – all of them in some way are designed to keep the Internet wrestling fans in check. We can bitch, we can moan, but when you watch Raw each week, you have to conclude that our voice is soft indeed in 2011.

Scott Wallask has followed wrestling for 30 years and writes about growing up watching the WWF in the 1980s on his blog the Boston Garden Balcony.

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WWE Money In The Bank 2011 DVD Review

August 24, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Money in the Bank DVDFor this recap, I will be taking a look at the recent WWE DVD release for this year’s WWE Money In The Bank 2011 PPV. Now, don’t expect a whole lot here, for the simple reason that this event has been covered to death (that, and I already watched it the day it aired), both here on Camel Clutch Blog and elsewhere. This year’s event saw what we thought was the culmination of the hottest feud of the year between CM Punk and John Cena with the WWE Championship at stake. For those of you that didn’t see it, you missed what many consider (including myself) to be the best PPV that the WWE has put on in years. And for those of you that did see it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Honestly, this was probably the best PPV since One Night Stand 2006, and that’s saying something.

From top to bottom, the card was exceptional. While there were two definite “miss break” matches-that being Kelly Kelly/Brie Bella and Big Show/Mark Henry, the rest of the card was top notch, filled with plenty of suspense and drama, as well as at least 2 endings that surprised most fans.

MATCH 1-Money in the Bank ladder match for a shot at the World Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Wade Barrett vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Kane vs. Sheamus
This was definitely the superior of the two MITB matches on the card. Sheamus and Wade Barrett looked especially dominant during the match, including Sheamus powerbombing Sin Cara through a ladder, completely removing him from the match. Sheamus also proceeded to Brogue Kick the hell out of everyone during the match, which actually got a lot of cheers from the Chicago crowd. Honestly, I think this is the match that began planting the seeds for Sheamus’ face turn, as he was definitely over with the crowd here. Anyway, it looked like Wade Barrett was about to win the match with a Wasteland through a propped up ladder, but Daniel Bryan shocked the world when he not only fought out of the move, but managed to snag the briefcase and practically guarantee himself a World Championship.

WINNER: Daniel Bryan. Seeing Bryan win was most definitely a shocker, but a welcome one at that. No one deserved to win this match more than Bryan, and you could see genuine emotion on his face as he held onto the briefcase. That’s something that is such a rarity in wrestling today, and I for one always welcome it. Bryan busted his ass in the match, making everyone look good including himself. Vince McMahon happens to be a big fan of Daniel Bryan’s, so don’t expect him to be the first person to cash in and fail.

MATCH 2-WWE Divas Championship: WWE Divas Champion Kelly Kelly (w/Eve Torres) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella)
Total waste of card space. We get a few minutes of a match, and Kelly expectantly wins the match with the K2.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Kelly Kelly. Waste of time and energy. Kelly Kelly is only slightly less worthless than Brie Bella, but only very slightly. Eve and Nikki added absolutely nothing to the match, either.

MATCH 3: The Big Show vs. Mark Henry
The other piss break match of the show. Basic big man stuff throughout. The only good thing about this match is the fact that Henry actually completely dominated Show throughout the match and got a clean pin after after 2 World’s Strongest Slams and 2 running splashes.

WINNER: Mark Henry. After the match, Henry Pillmanized Big Show’s leg, putting him on the shelf. This would be the true beginning of Henry as a monster, as he would do the same thing to numerous opponents after this PPV and continue his annual pseudo-push. While I have no hopes for him winning the World title from Randy Orton, this is actually probably the best he’s ever been pushed in his entire 15-year career.

MATCH 4-Money in the Bank ladder match for a shot at the WWE Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth
While this one was not as good as its RAW brethren, it was still a pretty damn good match. Miz was taken out early after a fall to the floor that led to him selling to a knee injury. In all honesty, I’m surprised he wasn’t actually hurt off the fall, as his knee looked really bad. It could have just been due to some great camera work, though. He eventually returned to the match (albeit limping) and it looked as though he was going to win MITB for the second year in a row. However, this was Del Rio’s night. After pulling off Mysterio’s mask while they fought atop a ladder, causing him to focus on hiding his face, ADR knocked Mysterio to the mat, climbed back up the ladder and grabbed the case.

WINNER: Alberto Del Rio. This match was a little predictable, as I didn’t see anyone else winning this except ADR, compared to the Smackdown match which was a total surprise. This match could have been better had it not been for the botched spots at the end with Mysterio seemingly falling to the mat from the ladder accidentally, as well as ADR falling from his ladder to do it collapsing as a result of getting beaten up. Aside from that, though, the match was great and truly began ADR’s ascent into being a full-fledged main eventer.

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MATCH 5-World Championship: World Champion Randy Orton vs. Christian
Honestly, Orton needs Christian. As it stands right now, Christian is seemingly the only guy who can continuously make Randy Orton look good. This match had a stipulation that, if Orton got himself DQ’ed, he would lose the title. Christian had this in mind and repeatedly tried to get Orton riled up and get himself in trouble. Eventually, it did work. Christian spat in Orton’s face, which got Orton pissed to the point that he blatantly low-blowed Christian right in front of the referee, leading to the disqualification win.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Christian. Honestly, I was a little surprised by the end result of this match. I expected Christian to win due to them harping on the DQ rule prior to the match, but considering it was only DQ that was mentioned, I fully expected Christian to get a BS win via count-out. However, Christian did pick up the DQ win and became a 2-time champion. Unfortunately, this also led to him dropping the title right back to Orton the very next month. One funny thing of note: after the match, Orton tried to RKO Christian through the announce table, but the table refused to break after 2 tries. For the next two weeks, Orton proceeded to be defeated by the same table on episodes of Smackdown.

MATCH 6-WWE Championship: WWE Champion John Cena vs. CM Punk
This was THE match of the card, and basically the entire selling point for the PPV. While it’s no secrete (at least, to those who know me), I am no fan of John Cena whatsoever. However, I have to give the devil his due. Every time he and Punk square off, he delivers. Granted, a lot of the credit has to go to Punk who can make damn near anyone look good, but Cena most definitely carried his weight in the match. He and Punk went move for move for nearly an hour, trading counter after counter and reversing each other’s finishers regularly. The fact that this was in Punk’s hometown and the crowd was roughly 98 percent behind him just added to the overall feel and emotion of the match. When you also add in that Punk was expected to leave the WWE immediately after and the drama was amped up to its maximum. For promoters wondering, THIS is an example of perfect main event booking. Anyway, after a very long, well-fought match, it appeared Cena was going to take it as he locked in the STF. John Laurinaitis ran down to the ring in an attempt to recreate Montreal ’97, but was intercepted by Cena. This distraction led to Punk immediately scooping Cena up in the GTS as soon as he got back in the ring and the 3-count.

WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: CM Punk. Although we didn’t realize it would continue at the time, this match was the culmination of one of the hottest angles done in years, and it ended exactly the way it should have. Although Alberto Del Rio did attempt to cash in his briefcase on orders from Vince McMahon, Punk intercepted ADR with a roundhouse to the head before leaving the arena through the crowd, although not before blowing a kiss at McMahon as he held the belt up triumphantly. There are not enough good things that can be said about this match and how it was done. On top of that, I found it to be a legitimate shocker. Everyone believed that Punk was really leaving WWE, and I don’t know of too many people who would have guessed he’d walk out as champion anyway. This is one of two moments (the other being Bryan winning MITB) during this PPV where I completely marked out and yelled as I jumped off my couch. Moments like that don’t happen very often for me anymore, so when they do, you know they are truly special.

SPECIAL FEATURES
Honestly, there is barely anything here to cover. All that there is is an interview by Matt Striker with Daniel Bryan after winning the MITB match. Bryan talks about how unbelievable winning the case was and how hard he worked to get it.

While this is a pretty bare bones DVD, I can’t recommend it enough. It was just such an overall good show that it’s well worth the money to add it to your collection. Even if you’ve already seen it or read the results the day of the show, I still recommend picking it up. I still got excited reliving parts of this show as I re-watched it for this review. You probably won’t see another wrestling PPV like this for a long time (although I hope I am wrong about that), so do yourself a favor and add it to your collection, or the very least, your wish list.

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XDustinEFLX, and follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com, where I have plenty of new stuff up. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

Gerri Davis Banner, NPC National Level Heavyweight and Masters Female Bodybuilder

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week.

-Dustin

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Five Takeaways From The CM Punk Vs. John Cena Angle

August 18, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

C M Punk wins the WWE title at Money in the BankThe pro wrestling summer of 2011 will be remembered for CM Punk. Punks’ fans and supporters got excited, proclaiming Punk as the newest WWE elite superstar. Yet I don’t think any of us expected to be watching a CM Punk vs. Kevin Nash feud eight weeks later.

Eight weeks ago when Punk sat down on the RAW ramp cutting arguably the most memorable wrestling promo of the decade, he became the talk of the pro wrestling world. Fans that had not watched wrestling in years were all talking about CM Punk and his threats of taking the WWE title to Ring of Honor and beyond. While nobody knew exactly where this thing was going to go, most agreed that it would end with Punk as a WWE superstar on the level of John Cena and Randy Orton.

It only got better. The storyline was fresh, the ideas were new, and fans spent hours on blogs, podcasts, and in conversations predicting what would happen at Money in the Bank 2011. Never has a WWE “B” show in the middle of the summer had as much buzz as MITB. Surely it would turn out to be a blockbuster event solidifying Punk’s position as a top draw in the WWE right?

Well things didn’t necessarily go as planned and I think a lot of lessons can be learned here. This isn’t a blog as much about CM Punk not living up to expectations, as it is a reminder of how we got to that legendary promo to a battle of wits with Kevin Nash on Monday Night RAW.

Fans were skeptical midway through the Punk vs. Cena angle but Punk told his fans to wait until the angle played out. Well, the angle has played out so the time is now to reflect back on the highs and lows of the Summer of Punk 2.

Get your backpack ready, sharpen your pencils, and sit up straight because it is time to reflect back on the lessons learned from the CM Punk vs. John Cena angle.

1 – There was no shoot. I hate to be the one that rains on your parade but I am sorry, there was no shoot interview. Was CM Punk going off of a script when he grabbed the microphone and took a seat on the RAW Roulette stage? No, but were things planned and did the WWE know exactly what was going down? They absolutely did.

Punk’s fans all gave each other high-fives when he let loose on Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H. The McMahons and Triple H were all off television then so of course it seemed like a shoot. Then guess what happened? Slowly some of the things Punk spoke of in his promo started developing into storylines. Was that coincidence or was this all planned out ahead of time? The same people tht told the director that was told to pan to the right shot when Punk waived at Colt Cabana knew exactly what was going down. This was no shoot and you are fooling yourself if you think differently.

2 – The WWE booking has made it impossible for guys to be elevated. It is easy for Punk’s critics to sit back and point to Punk as a failure. The RAW ratings didn’t move and his Money in the Bank buyrate wasn’t nearly what was expected. But is it really his fault or did the company set him up to fail?

The lack of long term booking is killing the WWE. To the casual WWE audience that doesn’t watch Ring of Honor or spend hours online, they saw a guy who hasn’t done anything significant in a year challenging John Cena. Why should the fans get excited about seeing the guy that just put Randy Orton over multiple times challenging for the title? Why should the fans get excited about seeing the guy who led a group of guys who turned out to be low-mid level Nexus wrestlers challenge for the title?

To you and me, it was CM Punk the guy we all knew from the independents getting his opportunity at greatness. To the fans, Punk was just another guy like R-Truth being fed to John Cena. It didn’t work with him and it won’t work with anyone else. When I was a kid I watched guys like Ken Patera and Sgt. Slaughter run through numerous opponents without losing before they challenged for the title and it worked. Now, you see guys jobbed in and out for months before they get a crack at the WWE title and what happens? Nobody takes them seriously and this is what happened to Punk.

Hey, Punk comes in with this kind of angle after a year in the WWE and I think we would have seen different results. Unfortunately, until the WWE can plan ahead a year or two in advance, nobody will be able to deliver in their new roles as top guys. Not Punk, not Christian, not Jack Swagger, and not The Miz.

3 – Don’t forget which company you are watching. It is funny because when this angle started everyone had all of these great ideas about where it would go. Heck I even wrote an entire blog on scenarios for the Money in the Bank match. Point being, you had a storyline here with a lot of great possibilities yet unfortunately, this wasn’t a storyline being booked by Paul Heyman or anyone with a real clue.

Listen, I am guilty of it too. I wrote about all of my scenarios thinking that the WWE would maybe do something different and break away from their security blanket of predictable and lazy booking. I was fooled and so were you if you thought differently. Just the idea that we are subjected to watching a Punk vs. Kevin Nash feud tells you everything you need to know about what to expect from the company in future storylines. The lesson here is to keep your hopes low and blinders on.

4 – The Internet Wrestling Community isn’t as big a factor in pro wrestling as you think. As the owner of a pro wrestling and MMA blog, this pains me to write but it is true. In the grand scheme of things, millions of people watch the WWE every week. Unfortunately for us, most of those fans are children or fans not concerned about going on the Internet and joining forums or reading blogs.

Once again, anyone who jumped on the Internet the day after RAW Roulette would tell you that there was more buzz about the Punk angle than anything in years sans The Rock’s return. Media outside of pro wrestling like sports talk shows and pop culture writers jumped into the conversation. Yet at the end of the day, those people didn’t make a darn difference in the ratings or the buyrates. I hate to say it, but the influence of the Internet in the WWE is a lot less than most of us probably would have hoped for.

5 – In the end, nobody will ever beat John Cena. Yeah it happens from time to time and in this case, Punk probably got more wins on Cena than anyone throughout this feud. But when it is all said and done, John Cena isn’t putting over anyone whether they are CM Punk, The Miz, or even The Rock. It just isn’t going to happen.

My broadcast partner Jeff Peck and I got into a big discussion about this on the new Still Real to Us podcast. Jeff asked me if this was more Cena not wanting to put guys over or a booking decision. I gave Cena the benefit of the doubt. I haven’t heard many guys who worked with Cena complain about him not wanting to put them over. I just think the WWE thinks they have Cena, Orton, and nobody else and will protect their biggest asset at all costs.

That is all well and good but something has to give at some point. No, Punk didn’t put Cena over, but the whole thing was a joke. Giving Cena a belt and booking him as a WWE champion made Punk’s win seem meaningless. No, Cena didn’t pin Punk at SummerSlam 2011 but he was pinned with his foot on the ropes. Even the original win that started the feud was due to R-Truth distracting Cena. If you expected Punk to go over Cena clean and be properly promoted to the top of the cards with Cena, you were mistaken.

So there you have it. The Summer of Punk 2 is over and if anyone believes that a feud with Kevin Nash is a sign of Punk being elevated, you are just fooling yourself once again. Unfortunately most of us did that for the past eight weeks and while fun, the reality of the situation should have foreshadowed the conclusion of this angle many weeks ago.

OFFICIAL CM Punk “Best in the World” shirt is now available at WWEShop.com!

WWE Summerslam 2011 DVD

CM Punk Uprising Authentic T-Shirt

WWE Money in the Bank 2011 DVD

Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator DVD

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Great Deals at WWEShop.com!

The Best Pro Wrestling Podcasts – Downtown with Darsie

August 15, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Still Real To Us ShowWith free time being one of my acquaintances while looking for a job (a recent undergraduate), I bike around the lovely town I live in, looking for applications, I enjoy listening to my iPod.

Not having a job to be able to pay for cable, I subscribe to several podcasts, around a half of them being professional wrestling podcasts. So, you may be thinking: Is this really a blog about podcasts? YES, this is a blog about WRESTLING PODCASTS, but the better ones I’ve found. The first one is a paid subscription, but the rest are for free, if you’re in a bind like me, you may want to check out the following podcasts, if you want some wrestling news in your ear buds.

Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Daily (Paid Subscription)

In previous blogs, there’s a high chance that I plugged this site, but if you could afford $12 a month, check these guys out! Dave Meltzer has been in the business of professional wrestling journalism since the early 80’s and knows his stuff, and Bryan Alvarez gives a comedic voice to a business that seems to be in a rut.

They also have many of shows on the site, covering indies, Japan, Mexico, and old-school wrestling. I really enjoy the shows with Dave and Bryan and the Karl Stern Classic Wrestling Podcast, but most of all, I enjoy the every other a week show that Bryan has with Lance Storm!

The Still Real to Us Podcast (Free Subscription)

We all know this wrestling podcast kicks major butt, because of the hosts! The man, the myth, and the legend, Eric Gargiulo, and the awesome “the Champ” Jeff Peck discusses the top stories of the week while inserting their professional opinions.

Gargiulo had the awesome decade plus Pro Wrestling Radio show, now, now co-host, along with being an ex-play-by-play man; he brings credit to the podcast, on why we should listen. Jeff Peck is an awesome co-host, don’t get me wrong. He is a fireman, so he has credit with me.

The Art of Wrestling Podcast (Free Subscription)

Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana brings us an unusual podcast (at least to the podcasts I’m suggesting), in where he doesn’t cover the week of professional wrestling, no, he interviews a fellow wrestler. He had the current (and real) WWE Champion C.M. Punk, Zack Ryder, current Diva’s Champion Beth Phoenix, the Blue Meanie, Even Bourne, among other wresters we know and love, among other independent wrestlers. He interviews them on their career (up to their interview) for we can know other wrestlers who may never of been interviewed by fellow wrestling podcasters. Thanks Colt!

Old School Wrestling Podcast (Free Subscription)

Check out their website, http://flairchop.com! They bring in comedy into reviewing pay-per-view cards/matches that are ten years old or older. So if you’re an old school fan like me, check these guys out! Or if you want to learn more about the business, check these guys out!

But these guys I really enjoy. They’ve covered the Ric Flair/Ricky Steamboat three-match series in 1989 for the NWA/WCW World Heavyweight Championship, the WWF Royal Rumble 2000 PPV, WWF King of the Ring 1996, ECW Heatwave 1998, several WrestleManias, among other vintage matches.

Like the Art of Wrestling podcast, these guys don’t cover the modern weekly news coverage. They bless us every other week with a new podcast with an old-school show. Try out a few shows; I’m sure you’ll fall in love with these co-hosts, Dre and the Black Cat.

Ministry of Slam (Free Subscription)

These gentlemen are from the United Kingdom, but a group of entertaining hosts of a wrestling podcast. These men go for over two-hours, and they’re very entertaining. They cover both the WWE and Impact Wrestling, but give a different perspective on the business of professional wrestling because they aren’t in the United States society like we are.

One of the biggest things I enjoy about these guys is one of the co-hosts is a lead singer of a rock band in the UK, and toured with Fozzy when they were touring in the UK. The Ministry of Slam had Chris Jericho on the show a couple of times (like Eric Gargiulo and Pro Wrestling Radio), so check them out!

All-in-all, I find these some of the better wrestling podcasts out there. I’m sure there are other awesome ones too. These aren’t all the ones I listen to, but some of the better ones I enjoy jamming out to while filling out applications.

So if you want to check out some new wrestling podcasts (or are looking for some), check these out. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with these podcasts. I am Eric Darsie from Minnesota, on a cooler night, see you next time.

Follow Eric on Twitter @edardar and check out his sites http://www.vintagedarsie.wordpress.com and http://www.writerscafe.org/Darsie/writing/

OFFICIAL CM Punk “Best in the World” shirt is now available at WWEShop.com!

WWE Summerslam 2011 DVD

CM Punk Uprising Authentic T-Shirt

WWE Money in the Bank 2011 DVD

Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator DVD

Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from Amazon.com

Great Deals at WWEShop.com!