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WWE.com Ranks The Top 50 WCW Greatest Stars

May 22, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WCW top 50Here we go again. WWE.com is at it again with another controversial WCW list. In typical WWE fashion their new Top 50 WCW stars list has the typical bias and will inspire debate from now until their next list comes out. If you are looking for objectivity here, you may as well look somewhere else.

While I am not a huge fan of these kinds of lists, they do provide good fodder for pro wrestling fans. Let’s be completely frank here. Any list of top 50 stars when it comes to wrestling is a stretch. Judging how big a star that a pro wrestler is by titles or main-events while fun, is really a baseless argument because at the end of the day it is the booker or creative team that decides how big of a star a professional wrestler will be.

Before we get into the list, the WWE writers laid out the parameters. Here are a few key points to keep in mind.

1 – The list starts when Ted Turner purchased the company in 1988. This is not a list that takes into account anything prior to the 1988 sale.

2 – “Competitors were rated only on their accomplishments while in WCW.” The writers use Bret Hart as an example of an accomplished wrestler outside of WCW who never achieved much during his WCW run.

3 – “Rankings were based on everything from longevity to cultural impact.” The writers do admit that there is some bias involved, as you will see once we get down the list.

Now let’s have some fun and take a look back at WCW thanks to the Top 50 Greatest WCW Superstars. Check out the list in its entirety on WWE.com.

Here are the top 10 in order:
Sting
Ric Flair
“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan
Goldberg
Kevin Nash
Diamond Dallas Page
Lex Luger
Booker T
“Macho Man” Randy Savage
Scott Steiner

Where do I begin with that top 10? Sting as the first choice is a real debatable selection in my opinion. Sting was a big star but his only real successful drawing program was the feud with Hulk Hogan. Shooting him to the top for one big program is a bit of a stretch to me.

Ric Flair coming in at #2 is also a bit of a stretch to me. Remember, this list is 1988 and up. Flair was gone from WCW for a few years and really never had the ball after returning the way he had it before he jumped to the WWE. I love Ric Flair as a wrestler but I think he belongs somewhere 5-8 on this specific list.

Hulk Hogan at #3? Well they do admit that there is bias here. I know there are plenty of Hogan haters but if you are going to make a list starting at 1988 than Hogan has to be the clear cut first spot on the list. His heel turn turned the company around as well as the entire pro wrestling industry. Hogan’s numbers are far more impressive than anyone on the list. Quite frankly he and Sting aren’t even in the same stratosphere when it comes to WCW influence and star power.

The rest of the bunch is fine, but certainly debatable. Booker T was a big star but it was for a very short amount of time. Putting him in the top 10 over someone like Vader is just a case of the WWE propping up their guy. Scott Steiner at number 10? I loved the Big Poppa Pump run but again, it was for a very short run at the top. I would put Brian Pillman, Vader, and maybe even Rey Mysterio ahead of either of those guys in the top 10. Lex Luger is right where he should be and while I know that some will hate seeing Nash up that high, he was a big part of the WCW turnaround with the N.W.O. gimmick.

The rest of the list in order:
Big Van Vader
Scott Hall
Dean Malenko
“Psycho” Sid Vicious
“Stunning” Steve Austin
Ron Simmons
Arn Anderson
Eddie Guerrero
The Giant (Big Show)
Brian Pillman
Rick Steiner
Rey Mysterio
Barry Windham
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Eric Bischoff
Rick Rude
Chris Jericho
Buff Bagwell|
Billy Kidman
Raven
The Great Muta
Lance Storm
Terry Funk
Konnan
Lord Steven Regal (William Regal)
Ultimo Dragon
Cactus Jack (Mick Foley)
Michael “P.S.” Hayes
Curt Hennig
“Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan
Bret Hart
Dustin Rhodes
Saturn
Bobby Eaton
Kanyon
Larry Zbyszko
Meng
Dennis Rodman
Juventud Guerrera
Jeff Jarrett

I have a couple of quick observations here. I was never a big Jeff Jarrett fan but he was a much bigger star in WCW than #50, behind Dennis Rodman, Larry Zbysko, and Michael Hayes. How does Michael Hayes even wind up on this list? Oh yeah that’s right. Konnan, Juventud, and Buff Bagwell are guys that come to mind that were much bigger stars in WCW than what is reflected on this list. I am also surprised not to see Roddy Piper anywhere on the list. He isn’t top 10 or maybe even top 20, but I’d certainly call him one of WCW’s biggest stars of the time period.

What do you think? Did they get it right or is the typical biased WCW list coming from WWE.com?

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WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions DVD Review

May 09, 2012 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions DVDDespite always being given away on free TV, there was a time when Clash of the Champions was considered one of the biggest wrestling events in the world, on par with big shows like Wrestlemania. The shows featured a little bit of everything, from title matches, to great undercard bouts, to main events that were pay-per-view quality.

In existence for thirteen years, the show was seen twice a year or more, clocking in at thirty-five total installments. Currently, it has more installments than any other major wrestling show in U.S. history, a record WrestleMania won’t break for another eight years. The first show went head-to-head with WrestleMania IV in 1988, and was a huge success, main evented by Ric Flair defending the NWA World title against Sting in a classic 45-minute draw, considered by many one of the greatest matches of all time.

From there, the show continued to put on major events several times a year, often featuring World title matches, or at the very least a main event starring the World Champion. Even as it got on in years and WCW’s quality began to dwindle at the end of the company’s existence, you could still count on Clash to be a fun, big time show that would cost you absolutely zero to watch. Even the worst editions of the event still featured one or two excellent matches, matches you could easily see yourself paying for.

This DVD set claims to be the “Best of” and it’s hard to argue with the claim. While some of your favorites may not have made the cut, it’s overall a very good collection of 24 matches spanning the show’s history. Hosting the set is WWE Hall of Famer “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, which adds a nice touch to the set. However, for some reason, his appearances on the set are very, very limited. Despite the number of matches, Dusty only appears on the set seven times, and the appearances are very short at that. It would have been nice to maybe have him introduce each match, as the WWE has done in previous sets, as Dusty is still very entertaining to listen to, and about as good of a WCW expert as you could hope for.

Nevertheless, the collection has some really great moments on it. We get the aforementioned Sting/Flair classic from the first show, and also from that show, a great tag team match pitting the NWA World Tag Team Champions, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, against Lex Luger and Barry Windham. It’s matches like this that make you realize how good Luger really could be in the early years of his career.

Luger gets a second chance to shine later in the set, as he defends the NWA United States Championship against Ric Flair in another great one. The ending, which saw Stan Hansen interfere and cause a DQ win for Luger, takes the match down a little bit, but it’s still very good overall, and Luger more than held his own against “The Nature Boy”. There’s also some rare gems like Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff in a Russian Chain Match, and an NWA U.S. Tag Team Title Match between the legendary teams of The Midnight Express (the Lane/Eaton version) and The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express.

A Clash set wouldn’t be complete without some great heavyweight championship matches, and this set delivers. We get Sting/Flair from 1988, an awesome “I Quit” Match between Flair and Terry Funk in 1989, and a title unification bout from 1994 as Flair and Sting went at it once more. Aside from those, there are numerous undercard title matches, including a pair of great Cruiserweight title matches and a surprisingly good TV title match between Dustin Rhodes and Lord Steven Regal. You also get one of Ricky Steamboat’s last matches as he took on WCW United States Champion “Stunning” Steve Austin in an excellent title bout that ended the outstanding series those two had.

Of course, even great sets like this are going to feature some duds, and this one’s got a few. For starters, we get a match between Cactus Jack Manson (Mick Foley) and Mil Mascaras that is beyond suck. Foley has stated in the past that Mascaras was very unprofessional to work with and that he absolutely hated this match, and it shows. It lasts a little over five minutes, and I am not kidding when I say that Manson got absolutely zero offense in.

The only highlight (if you can call it that) was seeing Foley take a horrendous back bump on the concrete outside of the ring, resulting in just a cringe-worthy “thud”. There’s also a really boring 15-man “Georgia Brawl” battle royal featuring mostly mid-carders no one cared about, and a quick and pointless six-man between the Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes and Brad Armstrong as horrible gimmick #1,372, “Badstreet”) vs. Tom “Z-Man” Zenk and the Young Pistols (Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers).

Capping off the major duds is a match between DDP and Eddy Guerrero. While the match itself is pretty decent, the idea behind the match was completely ridiculous. These two were fighting over DDP’s “Battle Bowl” ring. Yes, a ring. The ring was originally supposed to represent the top contender to the belt, but it became worthless in short order as A) it was a standard ring, so you could barely even see it, and B) DDP, as “Champion”, often defended it against scrubs like Marcus Bagwell and Jim Powers.

Still, the good far outweighs the bad here, and is a great representation of how awesome Clash of the Champions could be. I would have liked to have seen maybe at least a match from each installment of the show, but that might have made the set too long. Oh, well. This is still a great set overall. While some improvements could be made, they don’t take away from the overall quality, which is pretty excellent.

Watching this set, I can give it a pretty high recommendation, especially to old school fans and DVD collectors. The amount of legends featured on this set is incredible, and shows you why they were some of the best of all time. Newer fans may not get into as much if they don’t recognize a lot of the names and faces, but I still encourage them to check out some of the all-time greats that helped pave the way for a lot of today’s current wrestlers. Definitely a thumb’s up on this one.

DISC 1

The Real Story

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

Why Wait a Whole Year?

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Clash of the Champions II – 8th June, 1988

Russian Chain Match
Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff
Clash of the Champions III – 7th September, 1988

“I Quit” Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Clash of the Champions IX – 15th November, 1989

Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Clash of the Champions X – 6th February, 1990

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express
Clash of the Champions XI – 13th June, 1990

DISC 2

To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man

NWA United States Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XII – 5th September, 1990

The Young Pistols & Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Clash of the Champions XV – 12th June, 1991

15-Man Battle Royal
Clash of the Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991

WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Clash of the Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991

Other Stars On The Rise

2 out of 3 Falls Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Clash of the Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993

Brian Pillman vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993

WCW Television Title Match
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Elimination Tag Team Match
Sting & `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Vader
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

DISC 3

Here we are Again

Championship Unification Match
Sting vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Clash of the Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994

WCW United States Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat
Clash of the Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994

Hulk Hogan & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & The Giant
Clash of the Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996

Medusa vs. Bull Nakano
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

Match for the BattleBowl Ring
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

I’m gonna watch this

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
Clash of the Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

35th and Final Clash

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993
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Listing March 5, 2012
By A. Pierre
Format:Blu-ray
The Real Story

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Sting
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Lex Luger & Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions – 27th March, 1988

Why Wait a Whole Year?

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard vs. Sting & Dusty Rhodes
Clash of the Champions II – 8th June, 1988

Russian Chain Match
Ricky Morton vs. Ivan Koloff
Clash of the Champions III – 7th September, 1988

“I Quit” Match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk
Clash of the Champions IX – 15th November, 1989

Mil Mascaras vs. Cactus Jack Manson
Clash of the Champions X – 6th February, 1990

NWA World Tag Team Championship Match
Midnight Express vs. Rock & Roll Express
Clash of the Champions XI – 13th June, 1990

To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man

NWA United States Championship Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XII – 5th September, 1990

The Young Pistols & Z-Man vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Clash of the Champions XV – 12th June, 1991

15-Man Battle Royal
Clash of the Champions XVI – 5th September, 1991

WCW United States Championship Match
Sting vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Clash of the Champions XVII – 19th November, 1991

Other Stars On The Rise

2 out of 3 Falls Match
`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Hollywood Blonds
Clash of the Champions XXIII – 17th June, 1993

Brian Pillman vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XXV – 10th November, 1993

WCW Television Title Match
Lord Steven Regal vs. Dustin Rhodes
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Elimination Tag Team Match
Sting & `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude & Vader
Clash of the Champions XXVI – 27th January, 1994

Here we are Again

Championship Unification Match
Sting vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair
Clash of the Champions XXVII – 23rd June, 1994

WCW United States Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat
Clash of the Champions XXVIII – 24th August, 1994

Hulk Hogan & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage vs. `Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & The Giant
Clash of the Champions XXXII – 23rd January, 1996

Madusa vs. Bull Nakano
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

Match for the BattleBowl Ring
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

I’m gonna watch this

WCW World Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
Harlem Heat vs. The Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & Lex Luger
Clash of the Champions XXXIII – 15th August, 1996

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko
Clash of the Champions XXXIV – 21st January, 1997

WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

Diamond Dallas Page & Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall & `Macho Man’ Randy Savage
Clash of the Champions XXXV – 21st August, 1997

35th and Final Clash

Blu-ray Exclusive Content

‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993

BLU-RAY EXTRAS

`Nature Boy’ Ric Flair and Barry Windham vs. Midnight Express
Clash of the Champions IV – 7th December, 1988

Sting and Ricky `The Dragon’ Steamboat vs. `Ravishing’ Rick Rude and Steve Austin
Clash of the Champions XVIII – 21st January, 1992

Thunder Cage Match
Dustin Rhodes & Sting vs. Big Van Vader, Paul Orndorff and Barry Windham
Clash of the Champions XXII – 13th January, 1993

As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/XDustinEFLX, and if you like Married…With Children, you can follow my Al Bundy parody account at http://www.twitter.com/bundyisms. Also follow my personal blog at http://nerdslikeme.blogspot.com (feedback is welcome). Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out my mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:

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-Dustin

WWE: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions (DVD)

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Top Ten Greatest Stables In Pro Wrestling

December 14, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Four HorsemenOne of the most fun components of pro wrestling growing up was the faction or stable. Evil managers generally assembled an all-star roster of top heels to organize for one sole purpose, destroy the top hero! Today I look back at the ten best stables in pro wrestling.

Some of the best memories of watching wrestling as a kid came from the stables. Whether it was Captain Lou Albano’s army of rotating villains challenging Bob Backlund, the Heenan Family’s obsession with Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan, or Dusty Rhodes getting jumped in a parking lot by the Four Horsemen, wrestling stables provided some of the best entertainment in the country.

I thought it would be fun to take a look back and countdown some of the best stables in pro wrestling. I compiled this list from a deep memory of old school wrestling, lots of tape watching in my later years, and of course my favorite old school wrestling tool, You Tube. Watch your back and lock the door, because wrestling’s greatest stables may be looking for you!

1 – The Four Horsemen - I checked out a lot of lists online before I finished this article just to see if I missed anyone. Surprisingly I only found a couple of lists that had the Horsemen at the top. To me, this was the greatest of all stables. Yes one could argue the N.W.O., but I think the longevity of the Horsemen makes it the best. For their time, there was nobody better. Personally, my favorite group was the original four of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson, and J.J. Dillon. I don’t think anyone else comes close.

2 – The n.W.o. - Looking over those lists online I found the N.W.O. appearing at the top of just about every list. In terms of money, I don’t think you could deny for a second the financial impact this group had on the entire industry. But if you look back, it was only for about a year where this group remained strong. There was too much turnover and not enough quality opponents to boost this faction at the top of the list in my opinion. I think if they kept the group limited to Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman, this faction could have had a longer shelf life and an even bigger impact. For more on the N.W.O., check out this blog.

3 – The Heenan Family - Growing up and watching the Heenan Family on WWE television as a kid was a real treat. Every week the Brain was on the hunt for the best in and out of the WWF to take out Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. Like the N.W.O., there was turnover but not nearly as much as the black and white. My favorite Heenan Family of course was the first with King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, Ken Patera, and the Brain.

4 – Jimmy Hart’s First Family - Maybe it was a recent viewing of Memphis Heat that reminded me of how great this stable was, but I just recently fell back in love with this group through that movie and You Tube clips. Memphis was my favorite territory of all time during my tape trading days and I used to getting my hands on old tapes of Jimmy Hart’s First Family from the early 1980s. From Andy Kaufman, to Austin Idol, to Rick Rude, and more, they all tried their best to take out the King and they all failed in the end. If you want to lay your eyes on some classic interviews and angles, do a search for Jimmy Hart Memphis on You Tube and you’ll be entertained for hours.

5 – Kevin Sullivan’s Lunatic Stable - I couldn’t recall a name for his group (so if any of you old classic fans have one, please leave it in the comments), but the faction that Kevin Sullivan assembled in Florida to take on Dusty Rhodes, Blackjack Mulligan, Barry Windham, and the other heroes may be one of the most underrated of all time. This group was as evil as it gets, using a Satanic gimmick to intimidate their opponents and fans. The core of the group was Sullivan, Mark Lewin, and Bob Roop but others like Superstar Billy Graham and Jake Roberts passed through as well. This group of brawlers and maulers were so dark, that they still give people nightmares thanks to You Tube and DVD trading.

6 – Evolution - How could I leave off Evolution? It bothers me a little when I hear people speak of Evolution in the greatest of all time categories, but for their time period, they were fantastic. Ric Flair, Batista, Randy Orton, and Triple H may go down as the last great heel faction in pro wrestling history. They ran roughshod over the WWE for two years and made life for the WWE babyfaces a living hell. Those days are over but the impact that this group made into young fans of that time period is the same that the Four Horsemen did for me.

7 – The Dangerous Alliance - Once the Four Horsemen disbanded in WCW, Paul E. Dangerously stepped in and took advantage of the opening with the Dangerous Alliance. Dangerously, or Heyman as we know him, created a solid foundation featuring some of the best technical wrestlers in WCW during that time period. Steve Austin, Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson, and Rick Rude went toe to toe with Lex Luger, Sting, and Ricky Steamboat in WCW during the early 1990s. Arn Anderson once called the group “one of the greatest gatherings of talent ever.”

8 – The Hart Foundation - It was only a year, but it seemed like more than the Hart Foundation led by Bret Hart dominated Monday Night RAW and held their own with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The group comprised of Hart, Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy Smith, and Brian Pillman had it all from brawlers, to technicians, to high flyers, to psychological masters of the ring. No group since the Hart Foundation has been able to polarize two countries like the Hart Foundation did with Canada and America.

9 – Devastation Inc. - General Skandor Akbar tried his best to make the lives of the Von Erich family miserable in Texas with Devastation Inc. The faction had numerous incarnations but my favorite was the group that featured Killer Khan, One Man Gang, Killer Brooks, and the Missing Link. In addition to those three, Mick Foley, Abdullah the Butcher, Killer Brooks, Steve Austin, and Hercules Hernandez are just some members of the Devastation Inc. alumni. Akbar also brought his stable into the Mid South collecting such greats as Steve Williams, King Kong Bundy, Ted DiBiase, and Leroy Brown along the way.

10- The Legion Of Doom - I am not going back to the WWE L.O.D., I am going back to Georgia Championship Wrestling and the first incarnation of the Legion of Doom. I remember seeing this group in magazines and being in awe of their size and viciousness. Paul Ellering assembled this masterpiece which included a young, raw Road Warriors, King Kong Bundy, Jake Roberts, The Spoiler, Matt Borne, the Iron Sheik, the Original Sheik, and Arn Anderson. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that for the time period!

Ric Flair & The Four Horsemen DVD

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Heroes Of World Class Wrestling

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Has WWE blown the opportunity to turn John Cena heel?

November 30, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

John Cena RAW promoWhile I don’t consider myself to be a booker or an armchair quarter back, I think that the WWE dropped the ball to turn John Cena heel at the Survivor Series. The company had the perfect setting at the perfect venue with the perfect match, and yet again they continue to keep Cena as a face.

I did not order the event because I felt that there was a 99.99% percent chance that WWE would not “pull the trigger” to turn Cena heel. Yet Cena was practically booed out of Madison Square Garden from what I read on various websites.

Creative could have had Cena turn on The Rock with him (Cena) joining up with The Miz and R-Truth to cause an “injury” storyline, followed by Cena taunting the crowd with how he is booed each week, how he has supported the kids, etc. and then tell the CenaNation they can “stick it.” This would have made their feud and storyline that much more interesting.

It would have made for great television and I would have paid $45.00 just to see that alone if I knew it was going to happen. As of right now, their feud really means nothing to me, and I don’t really care much about it at this point, and it doesn’t spark any interest at this point for me to even consider plunking down the money to order WrestleMania 28.

One reason I thought of as to why WWE didn’t turn Cena heel at Survivor Series was that everyone was expecting it. Then I thought, who am I kidding, the kids and girls cheer him, so in turn they buy his t-shirts. I had some hope, but not much that WWE would somehow turn Cena on Raw the next night, but without an appearance from The Rock, it would make no sense.

It should be expected that The Rock will make some kind of appearance at the 2012 Royal Rumble to further the feud leading into WrestleMania 28 in Miami next April, so WWE has another major pay-per view to either turn Cena heel at the Royal Rumble or have The Rock make an appearance the next night on Raw and do it then.

But then again, is the opportunity to make Cena into a bad guy too far gone and too late at this point in the game? Some may argue yes and some may argue no. With as much heat as Cena receives each week, being booed over and over again, I think WWE has a very prime opportunity to “shock the world” and give their long time good guy who has been the face of the company and Monday Night Raw a new look and a new fresh attitude.

I give Eric Bischoff and Kevin Sullivan credit for is taking that unexpected chance with Hulk Hogan at Bash at the Beach in 1996 when they made him the third member of the nWo. Hogan himself does deserve credit also for making the heel character work as well.

During the original Monday Night War, Vince didn’t have to really worry about competing with Monday Night Football, but however, prior to CM Punk recapturing the WWE Championship WWE’s main show has been more like Monday Night Blah. Raw has potential to be interesting television each week with CM Punk as the top babyface of the flagship show and John Cena as the top heel of Raw.

For more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com

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What was the point of bringing Kevin Nash back? – Inside The Wheelhouse

September 14, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Kevin Nash firedKevin Nash has been (storyline) released from the WWE via Triple H on RAW this past Monday Night and also “future endeavored” on WWE.com for all to see. The “release” on WWE.com prompted many to wonder if he was actually in-fact released from the company or if it was a storyline, if you went with storyline you got that question right.

With all the recent Kevin Nash release hoopla from the WWE and without a single match under his belt during his brief time back on the main roster, one has to wonder…what was the point of bringing Kevin Nash back?

I have always been a Kevin Nash fan. While he may not be the greatest wrestling booker in the world (i.e. “Finger poke of Doom”), he has been a pretty entertaining talent in the world of wrestling the past 15-20 years. Sure you aren’t going to get a 5-star match out of the big man but the guy was still very entertaining and very influential in the landscape of wrestling during his time. But when he came out at the end of Summerslam 2011 and powerbombed CM Punk I had to wonder one thing, “um why is he back?”

I won’t lie I was intrigued with Kevin Nash coming down to interfere and cost CM Punk the WWE Championship at Summerslam. Idea’s of reformations of the Kliq or the road to Triple H/CM Punk being built on the night was something I was looking forward to. Then I watched the next night on RAW…

Kevin Nash, in his prime, was pretty good at cutting promos. He’d be witty, he’d be arrogant, and he was entertaining. All of which he wasn’t when face-to-face with CM Punk in a promo battle.

Sure it had been sometime since Kevin Nash had a live promo battle since he did work at TNA for the last 7 or so years but he looked inferior to CM Punk’s remarks. I don’t know if it was Kevin Nash was rusty or that the creative team’s script for Nash was so bad. Either way it just didn’t transcend well on the screen, especially the whole “text” fiasco that started this whole thing.

Then it appeared we were all lined up for Kevin Nash vs. CM Punk at Night of Champions when at the end of another edition of RAW we saw Triple H cancel the match and shotgun himself right into he & Punk at Night of Champions. A match that if they continued to build correctly, the fans would want to see in a couple months or at a big PPV (Survivor Series, Royal Rumble or maybe even Wrestlemania 28). Instead we get in September 2011 at a mediocre WWE PPV at best.

But why was the Nash/Punk match cancelled in the first place? Turns out the WWE doctor’s saw something in Nash’s physical that prompted them not to clear him (yet) for his return to the ring. Thank god that they kept an eye out for Nash’s health, but don’t you think this is something that should have been addressed before they brought him back and built up a feud between he & one of the hottest stars in wrestling?

Common sense says yes, but it appears WWE gambled on Nash passing some physical and being ready to go. Sadly that wasn’t the case for a guy in his 50s and someone who had a heart problem scare while with TNA. I’m being slightly sarcastic in my comments here as WWE should have done this check before getting so invested in this storyline.

Finally the icing on the cake is Triple H “firing” Kevin Nash on RAW and WWE.com running a “release” story on the website days later. Fans wondered if it was legit and as suspected, it was not. But what reports did say is that Kevin Nash is currently filming a movie and the company doing the movie didn’t want Nash to get hurt so they had him removed from WWE storylines…for now.

So that begs the question why bring back Kevin Nash in the first place?

The move to bring him back for the time being didn’t work at all and weeks after it started they had to cancel his match & remove him from storylines. I guess the WWE really did make the decision during Summerslam weekend to bring Nash in. Either way, there is a little yoke on the faces of the WWE from this whole entire situation as it appears in the long-run they have hurt the star power of CM Punk slightly and also killed any anticipation for a big Triple H/CM Punk encounter which would have been intriguing if built correctly as it was going.

Maybe the WWE should have reached out to Sean Waltman first…

For more on this topic join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday September 15th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net.

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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(CM) Punk World Order?

August 30, 2011 By: Category: Uncategorized

CM Punk World OrderIf you were watching WWE Raw Monday night, your ears probably perked up when the unmistakable theme of the nWo played as Kevin Nash made his way to the ring. All over Facebook, I saw posts like “Popped HUGE for the n.W.o theme!”, “nWo 2011?“, etc. Then, the match was made; CM Punk vs. Kevin Nash at WWE Night of Champions. As we saw later on, that match was changed to CM Punk vs. Triple H at Night of Champions 2011.

I, like many of you, was wondering why a match of that caliber is being used on a PPV event that’s not one of the “big four”. Then my mind started running & I thought to myself that this may very well be a revival of one of the most infamous stables in the history of the business. WWE.com even has a piece up about a possible nWo resurgence. A good portion of wrestling fans would tell you that things like Kevin Nash, the nWo, & past ideas are a bad thing. When executed improperly, that’s true. But an nWo in 2011 may very well work. Let’s play fantasy booker.

WWE Night of Champions 2011 rolls around. The ref is down. CM Punk locks the Anaconda Vice on Triple H as both men face the stage. Kevin Nash makes his way down to ringside. Punk releases the hold as Nash enters the ring. Nash helps his friend up only to kick him in the gut & deliver the Jackknife. Punk goes over Triple H & stands tall over the COO with Nash as the PPV ends. Next night on Raw, the two reveal they’ve been in collusion the whole time. With new authority in WWE, who’s the most anti-authority personality right now? CM Punk. Punk is revealed to be the mastermind of the nWo in modern day WWE with Nash as his bodyguard. Naturally you’d have to explain why he’d cost himself the WWE Title at some point (a little borrowing of Shane Douglas in claiming that Punk refuses to carry the torch of a company whose best days are behind it could work).

Keep going to Survivor Series. Punk & Nash run roughshod over WWE taking out anyone in their path similar to the Outsiders. Hell, put the Tag Team Championship on them at some point leading into the PPV. At Survivor Series in MSG, you’ve got the nWo in CM Punk & Kevin Nash in a handicap match against Team WWE. The team would consist of Triple H, John Cena, & the Rock (he’s there; might as well use him).

Leading up to the event, similar to WCW, Punk and Nash allude to a third man who will be in their corner. Elimination style, Triple H goes out first. Rock takes out Nash. You’re down to CM Punk vs. John Cena & the Rock. As the Rock goes to put Punk away with the People’s Elbow, the unthinkable happens. The shocker everyone has been waiting for. Right in the middle of MSG, Cena catches the Rock mid run & delivers the Attitude Adjustment. Punk covers Rock for the 3 count. Survivor Series ends with Punk, Nash, & Cena standing tall in the ring as the nWo theme plays them out. After that, it’s full speed to the Royal Rumble & WrestleMania.

What does this accomplish for WWE?

1. T-Shirt sales out the wazoo. You’re looking at classic nWo shirts, CM Punk themed nWo shirts, & John Cena themed nWo shirts. You’re looking at A LOT of money.

2. An interesting dynamic for the nWo. Are they heel? Are they face? Is it still cool to be bad?

3. More potential interest in the John Cena vs. Rock match at WrestleMania 28. Where people are supposedly worried about Cena being booed out of the building, if it’s still cool to be bad, putting him in nWo colors might swing those who were anti-Cena in his favor.

4. Punk is free to resume chasing the WWE Title leading up to Mania.

5. Nash becomes your mid card champion at some point. A victory over Nash for a young up & comer for one of the mid card championships is the rub someone like a Zack Ryder could use.

The nWo, especially spearheaded by CM Punk, can still serve an effective purpose in 2011/2012 WWE. Survey says if done right it’s something that can be too sweet. If executed poorly, you’re looking at nothing more than another failed Nexus or Corre. I’m probably way off the mark, but hey, it’s fun to think about.

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The Still Real to Us Show: Episode #79 – WWE SummerSlam 2011 Fallout

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

The Still Real To Us ShowCamel Clutch Blog writers Jeff Peck and Eric Gargiulo host the Still Real To Us podcast every week. The boys talk about all of the latest news and rumors in the world of WWE, TNA Wrestling, Ring of Honor, etc. every week on the podcast. If you enjoy our writings here or Eric’s Pro Wrestling Radio shows, check it out and give the show a try.

On this episode of The Still Real to Us Show, Jeff and Eric talk about SummerSlam and where the WWE goes from here. Is CM Punk better or worse than he was 8 weeks ago? Will Alberto Del Rio be a bigger star in the end than CM Punk? The boys also talk about the return of Kevin Nash with a slight difference of opinion from the hosts. The booking of John Cena, the Rey Mysterio hate, how much credit does Christian deserve for the Randy Orton-Christian series, and more are all discussed on this week’s edition of the Still Real to Us show.

Listen to the Podcast – HERE!

Check out my archived Pro Wrestling Radio shows featuring old shows and plenty of classic interviews at ProWrestlingRadio.com.

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WWE Flashback: The First WWE Draft – Downtown with Darsie

August 16, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Ric Flair and Vince McMahon WWE Draft 2002Monday, March 25th, 2002, University Park, Pennsylvania-Linda McMahon, the WWE CEO, opens up the show and explains the WWE draft. Ric Flair is the “owner” of WWF Raw and Vince McMahon is the “owner” of WWF Smackdown.

Stone Cold Steve Austin isn’t able to be drafted, and is a free agent, and Triple H, Chris Jericho, and Stephanie McMahon couldn’t be drafted because they are in the main event on this card, wrestling for the Undisputed WWF Championship. Linda also stated that the draft will start next week on Raw. The rest of the 20 picks would be in the lottery on WWF.com later that night.

They’re at Penn State University for the first ever draft! The main event is Triple H defending the Undisputed WWF Championship against former champ Chris Jericho and Stephanie McMahon. If Triple H pins Stephanie, Steph has to leave the company “forever.” I think it sucks for whoever the loser of the match is (we all should know who it is, but I won’t spoil it for you for you can read who won and who lost) that they won’t get drafted until the lottery on the website after the night is finished. What a awesome way to treat one of the men who was just in the main event of WrestleMania that year.

Match One: Tazz versus Mr. Perfect

I am sadden Mr. Perfect Curt Henning isn’t with us anymore. I wish his timing wasn’t what it was, because it would have been awesome seeing him in the WWF/WWE longer into the brand extension. Mr. Perfect grabbed the mic and started to say that he is the “perfect draft pick,” then nailed Tazz with the mic to try to get an advantage.

Mr. Perfect hit the Perfect Plex Fisherman Suplex Pin to close to the ropes, and Tazz was able to grab the ropes to break up the pinfall. Shortly thereafter, Tazz locked in the Tazzmission and Perfect tapped out. Tazz grabbed the mic and said “It seems to me that the Perfect Pick just became another victim!”

We get a camera into Flair’s office with him and Arn Anderson, Double A, then to Mr. McMahon’s office, and threw down a folder and Kurt Angle’s picture. Could he be the first draft pick?

McMahon’s First Draft Pick: the Rock!

As usual, Vincent Kennedy McMahon brags about having the first draft pick. He picked the Rock, and the Rock seemed to be angry because his boss remained to be Mr. McMahon. Don’t worry Rock, wait about four months until SummerSlam, he won’t be your boss any longer.

Rock came out and did a promo on Mr. McMahon. Vince told Rock that he can’t use his catchphrases and Rock can’t place a hand on Vince. Rock said he wants to go out on his last Raw with a bang. Rock gave us a history lesson of his accomplishments on Raw. The last thing that bothered me was: the Rock shoved Vince’s face up Rikishi’s bottom. Actually, Rock, that was on Smackdown. Please get your history right if you’re going to give us a history lesson.

Ric Flair is walking out to the stage to make his first draft pick, with a smile on his face. What will his first draft pick be?

Flair’s First Draft Pick: the Undertaker!

People love the Nature Boy! YES! Ric Flair wanted to pick someone who is (at this time) the cornerstone of the WWF, and picked the Undertaker. As like the Rock, Undertaker was upset that he’s going to Raw and “working” for Ric Flair on Monday Nights.

Vince was upset as well in his office. Kurt Angle came in upset because Vince didn’t pick him as his first draft pick. The Undertaker came in yelling at Vince because Vince told him that Flair wouldn’t pick him. Vince told the Undertaker that he’ll make it right, somehow. Taker told him that this time, he better keep his word.

Second Match: Edge and Diamond Dallas Page versus Christian and Booker T.

The first guy retired as World Heavyweight Champion, the second guy has his own yoga company, the third guy is the current World Heavyweight Champion (as of watching this), and the fourth guy is one of the commentators on Friday Night Smackdown.

Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler talk about at the beginning of the match that Ric Flair swerved Vince McMahon with his first draft pick, being the Undertaker, just to make Mr. McMahon mad.

Bunch of finishers at the end, then Edge brought Christian outside and Booker T hit the scissor’s kick onto DDP and got the three-count.

McMahon’s Second Pick: Kurt Angle!

We cut back into Vince’s office while Kurt Angle is trying to pick him for his second pick. Vince said that Flair might pick the nWo as his next pick, than Angle said no, he’ll pick him. McMahon picked Kurt Angle as his second pick. Kurt gave Vince a hug and said “I love you man…I should have been first!”

Flair’s Second Pick: the New World Order! (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and X-Pac)

Flair came out on stage and said that he’ll work hard on getting Stone Cold Steve Austin on Raw. Flair’s second pick is the collective unit of the New World Order, brother! We cut back to Vince’s off with Angle and he’s all angry. Can’t blame him, how he wanted the Undertaker and the nWo.

McMahon’s Third Draft Pick: Chris Benoit!

With a whisper into his ear, Kurt Angle got McMahon to pick Chris Benoit as his third pick. Benoit was injured at this time period. We cut back to Flair’s office, with the nWo in his office, trying to imitate him, and Flair told him that they were poison and he cannot let Vince have full control of the poison. Double A comes in, and Flair kicks them out of his office.

Flair’s Third Draft Pick: Kane!

Flair picked Kane because the New World Order wouldn’t leave his office. A good choice for Raw, and to get them out of his office.

Third Match: Trish Stratus versus Ivory

Ivory had her return on Raw last week, and business picked up early with these two ladies. Oh King, how much you love the Divas, and how much I miss hearing you drool over them. Trish hit the Stratusfaction bulldog and got the victory.

McMahon’s Fourth Draft Pick: Hulk Hogan!

The crowd got under Vince’s skin by boos, and angrly, McMahon picked Hulk Hogan, and Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodo Child” plays while McMahon does some of Hogan’s poses.

Flair’s Fourth Draft Pick: WWF Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam

Short and sweet, Flair came out and picked RVD. Good for Raw for having the IC title.

We cut back to Vince’s office and Angle’s back in there too, and Vince wanted the IC title. Angle offered his services to defeat RVD for the IC title. Vince said, “That’s why you’re the second draft pick. Maybe you should have been number one?”

We cut back to Hogan and Rock. Hogan said that the people made both of them. Hogan said that both of them should take on the New World Order in a handicap match on Raw tonight. Rock liked the idea. Both men use each other’s catchphrases.

McMahon’s Fifth Draft Pick: WWF Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck

Both men were happy to be drafted over to McMahon’s Smackdown.

Fourth Match: Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the Rock versus the New World Order (Nash, Hall, & X-Pac)

What a good way to keep the television viewers to stay on the show with this match to end hour one of Raw and start the second hour of Raw. No surprise that Hogan and Rock had to come out separately and the New World Order came out together as a unit. I am sad that the New World Order lost its venom shortly after they debuted at the No Way Out pay-per-view in 2002. Darn fans wanting to see Hogan as a babyface.

Hogan and X-Pac start out, and they did a collar-and-elbow tie-up and Hogan threw X-Pac over the top rope. He came back in and tagged in Scott Hall. Hall threw a toothpick into Hogan’s face and tagged in Nash. Nash had more power than Hogan, and shoved him onto the ground.

Like a normal handicap match with the heels having a one-man advantage, the New World Order started to take over Hogan and Rock, and Kane came out to make a save when X-Pac took out some numb-chucks. So the winners are the New World Order by disqualification. I highly doubt the way that the Rock and Hogan wanted to go on their last night on Raw, but at least they stood tall at the end of their match.

Vince walked into Flair’s office without knocking and got into his face saying that Flair took the Undertaker and the New World Order from him. Flair yelled at McMahon right back and said that they’re 50-50 and McMahon can’t boss him around. Because of this alteration, they both picked two more guys.

Flair’s Fifth Draft Pick: Booker T!

McMahon’s Sixth Draft Pick: Edge!

Flair’s Sixth Draft Pick: Big Show!

McMahon’s Seventh Draft Pick: Rikishi!

After McMahon picked his seventh man, he shoved Flair onto his office desk chair, onto Double A, and Double A held Flair back for he wouldn’t go after McMahon.

Fifth Match: Jeff Hardy (with Matt Hardy and Lita) versus Billy (with Chuck and Rico)

A short match with a clusterfart of outside stuff and Jeff Hardy did a roll-up and got the victory over Billy. Poor Billy, you should have Chuck and Rico rub baby oil on you and stare at the Tag Team titles.

Flair’s Seventh Draft Pick: Bubba Ray Dudley!

Flair wanted the most dominate tag team in pro wrestling history, and because they aren’t tag team champs, he has to try to get them in two picks, so he starts with Bubba Ray.

McMahon’s Eighth Draft Pick: D-Von Dudley!

Because McMahon is evil, Vince picked D-Von, just for Flair can’t have the Dudley Boys on Raw. Both draft picks happened in both co-owner’s offices.

Sixth Match: Rikishi versus WWF European Champion William Regal

Before Regal got halfway down the ramp, Brock Lesnar came out and attacked Rikishi, clotheslined him and gave him the F-5. The announcers put him over. That’s how you put people over. Paul Heyman is his manager. How I miss managers.

Jazz gave us her thoughts from WWF New York. She’s the Women’s Champion, so she can’t be drafted. She doesn’t care how the draft turns out, she’ll beat everyone.

Flair’s Eighth Draft Pick: Brock Lesnar!

Mr. McMahon comes out and tries to pick his ninth pick on Brock Lesnar, but because it isn’t his draft pick, he couldn’t pick him, and Flair grabs him. McMahon tries to give Flair two picks, but Flair doesn’t want it, and picked Lesnar for himself.

McMahon’s Ninth Draft Pick: Mark Henry!

He wanted the World’s Strongest Man!

Flair’s Ninth Draft Pick: WWF European Champion William Regal

“I want the European Heavyweight Champion,” said Flair

“I want to work for Mr. McMahon,” said Regal

McMahon’s Tenth Draft Pick: WWF Hardcore Champion Maven

McMahon said that Flair’s getting all the champions, and McMahon won’t let Flair take all the titles to Raw, so he drafted Maven. Lawler made a comment that I remember he apologized for later about questioning McMahon for picking young Maven.

Flair’s Tenth Draft Pick: Lita

Vince said that Flair picked Lita because he’s turning Raw into a cesspool. Anyways, all this happened (Flair’s 8th pick to his 10th), all in the same segment. Must be running short on time!

Seventh Match – Intercontinental Championship Match: Kurt Angle versus Champion Rob Van Dam

Another short match, but a good television match. Kurt Angle got himself disqualified by dragging referee Tim White in front of him and RVD came off the top rope with a kick. The ref called for the bell when Kurt had RVD in the ankle lock. Dusty Finish?

Edge came down to save RVD and Edge and Angle had a brawl, and a bunch of ref’s had to pull them apart.

I am sad that Angle didn’t win the Intercontinental Title, simply because I know it would help boost the title. Granted this Raw was nine years ago, I feel like looking back at the title history and see a former WWF and WCW Champion holding the Intercontinental title after holding the WWF and WCW titles, I would feel that the IC title meant a little more than what it did back then.

Michael Cole stopped the Million Dollar Princess Stephanie McMahon when she was on her way to the ring. He told her that there were many different options on who can win the match. She said that she’ll win the Undisputed WWF Championship.

Eighth Match – Undisputed WWF Championship Match: Stephanie McMahon versus Chris Jericho versus Champion Triple H

Stephanie came out to Triple H’s old theme song “My Time” by Chris Warren and the DX Band (the same band that did Mr. McMahon’s theme). I liked that theme but that’s me though. I think that theme helped Triple H when he first started his main event run. Useless Chris Jericho fact: Jericho came out in his green tights that he wore in the main event at WWF WrestleMania X8. Yep, I would know that. Then the champ came out with both belts when Motorhead blared throughout the arena. I really enjoyed that when they did the Undisputed WWF title gimmick for eight months, I really enjoyed when the champ carried both the WWF and WCW championship belts.

Chris Jericho rant: I am really bothered that this was Jericho’s only return match after losing the Undisputed World Wrestling Federation Championship to Triple H at Mania X8. Even though I understand that McMahon wants to send the fans home happy at the end of each pay-per-view, but why not put the Rock and Hogan at the end of Mania that year, have Jericho retain the title, and go onto Backlash and lose the Undisputed title to Hogan? I think adding Triple H into the draft picks would have jacked up the interest for the draft in ’02. I think Triple H’s one-month title reign was beyond pointless. Jericho needed another victory to secure his main event position that he wouldn’t have got back until he took three years off and pursued other interested outside of professional wrestling.

Another Chris Jericho rant (yet shorter): I am sad that this was Jericho’s first appearance on this episode of Monday Night Raw.

Jericho and Triple H started out the match and once Triple H was knocked to the outside, Stephanie laid down for Jericho to get the quick victory. The Champ got back into the ring to break up the pinfall.

In essence (which I really like), this match was a handicap match, because Stephanie was helping Jericho defeat her “husband” Triple H. Yet after a few minutes, Jericho got upset with Steph and pie faced yet.

Jericho missed with the Lionsault and Stephanie tried to pin Jericho and only got a 2-count. Jericho got up and slapped on the Walls of Jericho onto Stephanie and Triple H saved his “ex-wife.”

Triple H sent Y2J outside of the ring and signaled for the Pedigree. Jericho hit a missile dropkick and got a few 2-counts on the Champ. Shortly thereafter, both men hit each other with the title belts, and the Billion Dollar Princess snuck in and tried to pin both men, but got a 2-count on each man.

At the end of the match, Stephanie broke up the pin fall attempt of Triple H onto Jericho after Jericho got hit with the Pedigree. Triple H than picked up Stephanie and hit her with a beautiful spinebuster, and got the three-count to retain his Undisputed WWF Championship.

Philosophical Corner: A good episode of Raw and probably the best draft that the company ever did. Actually, the rest of the “drafts” weren’t actually drafts, more lotteries. I think it helped the show when both Flair and McMahon went back and forth with one another on coming out with a pick, trying to counter the other’s pick in their office, or arguing on who their next pick.

I think it’s sad that Jericho wasn’t available to be picked at the end of the show and had to be “just another guy” in the lottery on WWF.com But I wasn’t or won’t ever be a storyline writer for the company, so I guess I can give my opinion on wonderful wrestling sites like CamelClutchBlog[dot]com. I feel like this show should be the show everyone doing a draft show should take notes from and learn a thing or two. I am Eric Darsie, and until next time, stay cool.

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

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RAW Rating Disappoints Following Money in the Bank 2011

July 20, 2011 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince Mcmahon FiredAfter a disappointing go-home rating, many expected big things the night after all of the excitement surrounding the final moments of WWE Money in the Bank 2011. Unfortunately that excitement didn’t translate into big numbers.

If there was ever a RAW rating to watch, it was the July 18 RAW rating. As excited as most of the hardcore pro wrestling fans were about the CM Punk angle at Money in the Bank, all were left stunned when last week’s rating hit the newswire. How in the world could anyone not be into this angle?

The July 11 “Go-Home” RAW generated a 2.9 rating. Even as cynical as I was about this angle working, I was surprised the number was so low. The Punk defenders immediately came out and laid out their excuses for the number. Home Run Derby, summer television viewing patterns, DVR, or anything other than the angle not clicking with the mainstream WWE audience.

One week later and 24 hours after what was arguably the most exciting WWE pay per view in history, analysts expected a huge bounce back for the number. Most expected at least a 3.5, while others were looking more towards a 4.0. I mean, who wouldn’t want to tune into RAW to see what the heck is going to happen now that CM Punk left the WWE with the WWE championship and John Cena was fired?

Apparently not a whole lot more than tuned in last week.

The RAW rating came in at a 3.22. The rating was up from last week’s 2.9. The show averaged 4.84 million viewers between hours one and two. This is hardly the number anyone expected and a disappointment no matter how you slice it.

But not all is lost. There are some positives here. This was the highest RAW overall rating in the last eight weeks. Not that I want to make excuses, I also think that was not really a show designed to hot shot ratings. This was a pro wrestling heavy show and as much as I hate to say it, fans tend to tune out during the matches. Plus, and I know this is a huge stretch here, maybe fans really thought John Cena was fired. Cena tweeted that he had been officially “future endeavored” before the show. If Cena is the biggest ratings draw currently in the company, and he is, than it would make sense for people to tune out.

Same goes for CM Punk. CM Punk told the world that he was leaving. Punk tweeted that he was at a Chicago Cubs game on Monday night. So here you have a situation where fans were told that the two key money players in the company’s hottest angle weren’t even going to be on the show. In hindsight, I don’t know if that was a great idea. Especially Cena, since he wound up appearing anyway.

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There is a revolution going on right now in the WWE and it is a good thing. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan have been elevated, The Miz is being primed for a babyface run, and Christian is the SmackDown champion. These are all very good things and there is a fear that the WWE may pull the plug on this new experiment due to the disappointing ratings. I hope not but with the obsession that the WWE has with ratings, it is certainly a logical fear.

Like most of you reading, I am a big fan of what is going on right now in the WWE. I would caution the WWE to be patient here. It will take patience to re-educate the audience and integrate the new stories and pushes properly into the product. It also takes a few weeks for word of mouth to spread and “water cooler talk” to take effect. Nothing and I mean not even the biggest pro wrestling angles were immediate hits in the ratings.

I’ll leave you with a look back at what some are calling the greatest angle in pro wrestling history, the formation of the New World Order. Even Hulk Hogan turning heel and the alliance with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall had minimal impact initially on the Nitro ratings. Remember, this was WCW and this wasn’t what the fans were used to seeing. It took over a month for the storyline to have any real impact on the numbers. Was the wait worth it for WCW? I think we could all agree it was.

Last year the RAW ratings were around the same but saw slight increases week to week during the John Cena vs. Nexus angle. The WWE remained patient and the angle eventually paid off in the ratings. I hope the company keeps that in mind during this slow build before they pull the plug on one of the most exciting RAW summers in recent memory.

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