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Wrestling Fans – Did You Know Of Our Inferiority Complex?

September 23, 2009 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

“Why do you watch that crap?”

Chances are that, as a pro wrestling fan, you’ve been ask ed that question, or some variant, a few times during your viewership tenure. Of course, we all have our reasons as to why we watch said “crap”. Some of us love the hybrid of sport, comic book, and movie, where battle is waged over pride, glory, prestige, and infamy. Others appreciate the intricacy that some wrestlers demonstrate in their craft, with such crisp execution making wrestling seem as real as possible. And then there’s a sizeable group that enjoys the camp element that wrestling provides.

I mean, UFC fans can extol the virtues of Frank Mir and Georges St. Pierre if they wish, but unless one of them enters the Octagon dressed as a plumber, it’s going to be hard to convert a number of wrestling fans into fight freaks. I mean, if Mir were to smash a coconut over the head of St. Pierre, it’s possible that we may truly be ushering in a new crossover audience between the two mediums.

It goes without saying that wrestling has, and will always have, a large number of die-hard supporters who enjoy the show for a number of reasons. To the opposite effect, the business will always have its doppelgangers, a collection of detractors who thumb their noses at it. I guess Jeff Jarrett put it best when he said on a 1998 A&E special on wrestling; “To a critic, no explanation will do. To a fan, no explanation is needed”. Either you love wrestling, or you don’t. And to those who love wrestling, such as me and possibly you, the reader, we are a large congregation. Millions of people watch every week, and a good number of us are not ashamed to admit it. Do you own a wrestling t-shirt? Ever purchased a pay-per-view? Use a catchphrase or wrestling lingo in conversation with a non fan? Have you ever locked an ex-girlfriend in a full nelson just to see if she could break free from it?

….maybe.

The point is, we watch wrestling because we see something in it. And the recidivism rate is very high. If we sat through this week’s show where John Cena “overcame the odds” yet again, Hornswoggle embarrassed Chavo Guerrero again, and Michael Cole uttered many moronic statements again, then chances are you’re going to watch next week as well. Because as wrestling fans, we accept the stupidity, willing to squint our eyes in search of instances of lucidity. We generally succeed, finding moments where we can justify our fandom. Maybe it’s a great match. Maybe somebody like Chris Jericho or Shawn Michaels captivated you on the microphone. Whatever the reason is, if you’re invested enough in the product from what you see in the arena, you’re not going to need much to convince you to watch future shows, right?

WWE is not going to leave that to chance.

Beginning in 2008, WWE began a tradition that would take place for ten seconds on each televised show. Raw, Smackdown, and ECW would each feature the dreaded “Did You Know?” factoid. The factoid would pop up after a commercial break, and inform us viewers about something we may not have been aware of. Not a historic moment in the annals of WWE history, mind you, but of something that they’re proud of in regards to the product they present.

Well hey, they SHOULD be proud of themselves, right? I mean, for half a century, they’ve been the model of consistency in the world of wrestling, providing great entertainment to the fans willing to invest their time and energy to it. In fact, let s take a look at some recent examples of their pride, shall we?

Raw, September 14, 2009: Raw was seen by more people the previous week than every show on ABC, The CW, and Fox.

Whew! I am SO glad to see that the show that I watched did better in the ratings than first-run episodes of Castle, Gossip Girl, Lie to Me, and One Tree Hill. You know, my mavenism of WWE was really contingent on those Nielsen ratings. Lord knows I only watch wrestling when it beats out reruns of network television shows. Had Raw lost to Gossip Girl that week, I’d have to just get rid of every WWE DVD I own and whole-heartedly support Blake Lively. Because I’m a trendy front-runner! WWE won the ratings “war”, so it’s them that I will support!

Superstars, September 10, 2009: WWE Superstars was WGN America’s #1 show for all of last week.

Yes! Not only is WWE defeating reruns of CURRENT network television shows, they’re also soundly defeating shows like In the Heat of the Night, Nash Bridges, 7th Heaven, Barney Miller, and Bewitched! How does Vince McMahon do it? How does he create a product that is capable of drawin g more viewers than television shows that haven’t been relevant since, at latest, George W Bush’s first term in office? I feel like a player on a winning team! Go WWE!

Raw, August 24, 2009: more than one million more viewers watched Raw the previous week than Monday Night Football on ESPN

Well, as if my devotion to WWE couldn’t be any HIGHER, the Raw brand talent proved that they are the place to be on Mondays! They beat the NFL! Yes, the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! Was it an important game? Well, no, it was a pre-season game between the Carolina Panthers and New York Giants. And since it is pre-season, the starting players were all deactivated after the second quarter so that the understudies could compete for roster spots. But still, victory! Let not honesty get in the way of a technicality.

These are just samples from the buffet of facts that World Wrestling Entertainment provides for me, you, and its millions of other viewers on a weekly basis so that we understand just how great they are. Sure, they could just, I don’t know, provide a compelling product with quality writing and performance, but this cinches it. Every week, if you have even the tiniest doubt that the wrestling show you’re watching is leaving you sterile and unfulfilled, then just wait for the “Did You Know?” factoid. It’s all of the reassurance you’re going to need.

I myself have been a fan since 1989. Yes, for twenty years, I’ve been an avid follower of World Wrestling Entertainment, being a privy to many classic moments. I could rattle off my wonderful memories such as Randy Savage being bitten by a snake, Roddy Piper painting half of his body black to intimidate Bad News Brown, The Undertaker dying and then levitating toward heaven after a soliloquy, Brian Pillman using a firearm to ward off Steve Austin, Mark Henry fondling a transvestite, a militant Black Panthers-esque army like The Nation of Domination spreading fear, Dawn Marie killing her elderly husband with pulse-pounding sex, Kane allegedly consummating love with a dead body, a terror cell attacking The Undertaker with piano wire, and Vince McMahon dying in a limousine explosion. And as you and I clamor for more priceless treasures to be broadcast over our HD TV sets, the WWE feels insecure. They don’t want to lose our loyalty, hence the “Did You Know?” spots.

I think I speak for all of us when I say this: as long as WWE continues to win in the Nielsen ratings over TV shows that most of us have never considered watching, then Vince McMahon will still get our top dollar.

But should Gossip Girl surge ahead on ratings points, I may have to alter my viewing habits.

Until then, never fear, Vince. I’ll still watch that “crap”.

(Credit to thehistoryofwwe.com for their transcription of WWE’s Did You Know facts.)

When he isn’t watching WWE, TNA, or his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies, Justin Henry can be found writing. It is his passion as well as his goal in life to become a well-regarded (as well as well-paid) columnist or author. He tweets at twitter.com/notoriousjrh and facebooks himself at http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh.

Win WWE: The Best of SmackDown 10th Anniversary DVD here on CamelClutchBlog.com by clicking here.

Order the WWE: The Rise and Fall of WCW DVD by clicking here.

Order the WWE – The New & Improved DX DVD by clicking here.

From the ring to your wall – WWE REAL.BIG Wall Graphics on sale now at Fat Head!



WWE Fires Umaga

June 10, 2009 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

umaga For the second time in less than two weeks, the WWE released another big superstar. WWE.com quietly announced the release of Umaga. The 6’4 350 pound Samoan was wished future endeavors on Monday afternoon.

The news was quite a shocker to say the least. This comes less than two weeks after releasing Mr. Kennedy. One could argue that Umaga was on the same level of superstar as Kennedy. Between losing Batista to injury and this, the WWE is down three top guys in a matter of two weeks.

The circumstances surrounding the departure of Umaga have yet to be revealed. Umaga is a repeat offender of the WWE Wellness Policy. One would suspect that a third strike would explain the immediate dismissal. Other than a third strike, there aren’t many other reasons to explain such a quick decision.

Umaga comes from the long line of Samoan wrestlers with lineage all the way back to Peter Mavia. Umaga is part of a third generation of Samoan wrestlers which include the Tonga Kid, Rikishi, and the Rock. Other than the Rock, this generation of Samoan wrestlers have a hard time keeping their jobs once they get to the WWE.

Earlier this year, Umaga’s cousin Manu was fired from the WWE after a short run in the Legacy. Umaga’s brother, the Tonga Kid had several runs with the WWE that never ended well. The shame of it is that most of the Samoan wrestlers are great workers who just have a hard time adjusting for whatever reason.

Umaga was always thought of as a top guy. A feud with the Undertaker had been in the works for months. It was rumored that Umaga and Undertaker would likely feud once Undertaker returned. Umaga has had several main-event runs which include John Cena, Triple H, and Batista.

I always liked the Umaga character. I find that most of the newer WWE wrestlers are too alike in today’s WWE scene. Umaga was a bit of a throwback to the old-school era of characters and monsters in wrestling. In addition to his look, I always found his matches exciting. One of the few times I ever looked forward to seeing John Cena wrestle was during his feud with Umaga.

For Umaga, he will likely be a big hit on the summer pro wrestling convention scene. Umaga could do multiple appearances reuniting with either his former manager Armando Estrada or his former partner Rodney of Three Minute Warning.

In the ring, Umaga won’t have a hard time getting work. Umaga could easily return to All Japan Pro Wrestling. Umaga could also return to TNA, where he once wrestled with Sonny Siaki. Umaga’s brother Rikishi books a very successful international wrestling company. Umaga could keep himself just as busy as an independent wrestler as he was in the WWE if he wishes.

For the WWE, this opens up a huge void. You can’t just replace a guy like Umaga with anyone. Umaga played a very unique role and character in the WWE. Umaga was able to pull off a monster heel character in 2009 to perfection. In a day where everyone is in on the secret, that is incredibly difficult. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Umaga back by next year’s Royal Rumble.

Man, I’d hate to be the guy that served him his walking papers.

Click here to pre-order WWE Extreme Rules on DVD and see Umaga’s last WWE match.

Save up to 67% off select DVDs at WWESHOP!!

See Umaga vs. John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match on the WWE Royal Rumble 2007 DVD by clicking here.

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Headlocks and Eye Gouges – I will be back on Pro Wrestling Radio tonight, Wednesday night June 10 at 7 PM/EST. I will be talking lots of Batista, Extreme Rules, Umaga, and more. Call in with a question or comment at 1-877-800-8834. Listen live and visit the chat room at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp.

Ex-Playboy Cover Girl and WWE Diva survives Week 1 in the Jungle

June 05, 2009 By: Category: Entertainment, WWE | Pro Wrestling

torriewilsonFormer WWE Diva and Wrestling Queen Torrie Wilson has made the jump. Torrie has followed in the steps of ex-Diva Stacy Keibler and has jumped into the world of reality television competition. Torrie Wilson is currently stuck in a jungle on NBC’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!.

The 2002 WWE Golden Thong Award winner is competing for charity with several other celebrities or should I say “celebrities.” Losers will be voted off by the public once a week. Torrie survived Week 1 after a tense moment of the chopping block.

As far as the show, I have to admit I like it. NBC airs the show four nights a week. Originally that was a bit of a turnoff. However, I sit here on Friday kind of disappointed that the show won’t be on tonight. Yes, count me in as another sucker for a bad reality show.

Speaking specifically of Torrie, she has been fun to watch. I think she has come across as a very likeable character. While her athleticism has never been in question, she has held her own against everyone on the show. I wondered going in how her back would impact her, and so far it hasn’t impacted her at all.

The show offers viewers the chance to call in and save someone from elimination. I was actually quite surprised that Torrie didn’t win out. Other than Sanjaya, I don’t think anyone on there has a more loyal following. I did read some posts online that claimed they tried to vote to save her but couldn’t due to a phone malfunction.

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s wife Patti was saved. That just boggled my mind. She definitely comes across as a sympathetic figure on the show. She seems a lot more genuine than anyone else on the show. However, let’s face the fact she is only there because of her husband’s misgivings. I didn’t think she’d last the week but I was wrong.

As for the entire cast, it is a weird bunch to say the least. I definitely need to beef up on my pop culture because I don’t know who half of these people are. To me, the comedians from VH1 are just downright annoying. One half of the unfunny duo, Angela Shelton was sent home.

The kids from MTV’s The Hills are the ones stealing the show. Heidi and Spencer Pratt have quit and rejoined the show several times among other things. I must say that I have never even heard of these two kids before the show. In my opinion, they are playing a very strategic game and milking every minute of the show to cement their celebrity. I am sure VH1 is getting ready to milk this into a spinoff.

Lou Diamond Phillips has come off as one of the more sane members of the cast. Although it was a bit creepy when he opted for a foot massage from Sanjaya. Janice Dickenson has her moments, but she isn’t as crazy as you would think. Stephen Baldwin has surprisingly remained rather subdued for now. Ex-NBA star John Salley had a bit of a meltdown otherwise it has been the Spencer and Heidi show.

Wrestling fans can be proud of their ex-WWE Diva. Former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler previously made the jump into reality television competition. Keibler competed on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Surprisingly, I don’t think it has done much for her career. For Torrie, I expect big things coming out of this including a win.


Check out one of Torrie’s finest moments from her days in the WWE.

Order a 24 x 36 Torrie Wilson poster by clicking here.

Order Torrie Wilson’s Playboy magazine by clicking here.

Save up to 67% off select DVDs at WWESHOP!!

Check out all of the latest DVDs and more at The Camel Clutch Blog’s official Amazon store by clicking here .

Headlocks and Eye Gouges – I will be back on Pro Wrestling Radio Wednesday night June 10 at 7 PM/EST. Call in with a question or comment at 1-877-800-8834. Listen live and visit the chat room at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp.

WWE Hall of Famer, “Cowboy” Bob Orton will be appearing at George’s Cards and Collectibles in Fairless Hills, PA on June 6 from 12-2 PM. Check out http://www.georgescollectibles.com for more information.

Randy Orton Flips Out on Mexican Television

June 04, 2009 By: Category: Sports, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling


Check out this video of WWE champion Randy Orton being interviewed on Mexican television. The interview starts well until the host asks Randy why he is so fragile. Orton loses his cool and comes close to pulling a David Schultz-John Stossel on the host.

Keep watching the video after Randy storms off. The reaction of the hosts back in the studio is priceless.

Here are some other classic wrestling television appearances…

Vader in Kuwait


Hulk Hogan choking out Richard Belzer 


Dr. D David Schultz slapping John Stossel

Pre-order WWE: Randy Savage – Macho Madness DVD by clicking here.

Check out all of the latest DVDs and more at The Camel Clutch Blog’s official Amazon store by clicking here .



Ric Flair’s Road to the Bottom

June 02, 2009 By: Category: Sports, WWE | Pro Wrestling

ricflairRic Flair returned to WWE action for the first-time since his “Retirement Match” at WrestleMania. Rather than look completely ridiculous with a match, Flair returned for a Parking Lot Brawl with Randy Orton on WWE RAW. RAW ended with a bloodied and beaten Flair who may have officially or unofficially came out of retirement.

The actions continued a frenzied last few days for the Nature Boy. Flair has been appearing in the WWE since March without a contract. There are conflicting reports that Flair signed a new contract with the WWE last Friday. This was all just another chapter in Ric Flair’s metamorphosis into wrestling’s Randy the Ram.

Flair has continued to work outside gigs of the WWE, specifically ROH television. The reason Ric Flair has been able to do outside gigs like ROH television is because he didn’t have a deal. I have heard on good authority that Ric Flair officially signed a new deal with the WWE on Friday. While nothing has been officially announced, actions over the weekend would indicate a new deal is in place.

One of the reasons it took Flair so long to sign a contract were his other commitments. Flair agreed to appear on Ring of Honor’s television show as their commissioner, and was paid upfront for multiple dates. If he had signed with the WWE earlier, he never would have been able to accept a sweet six-figure deposit for those dates from ROH.

Ric Flair was asked about the WWE’s feelings on his outside endeavor just last week in an AP piece. Flair said, “They don’t look at Ring of Honor as being competition to them.” Apparently Flair didn’t get the memo or was playing a hell of a game on ROH.

ROH had a television taping advertising Flair on Friday night. I had heard earlier that day that Flair would be saying goodbye that night. Flair appeared that night and resigned as commissioner of ROH. Flair said his heart was with the WWE and bid ROH a fond farewell.

The always integral Ric Flair informed ROH management that behind the scenes that the WWE had pulled him off of ROH television. Flair reportedly agreed to fulfill his agreements, but could not appear on television. The big problem here is that ROH paid Flair upfront to appear on television. In my eyes, ROH got played by the Nature Boy.

What was ROH’s reaction? According to various reports, Flair does not have the money to pay them back to get out of the dates. I have corroborated the story myself through outside sources. The WWE could offer to pay the tab, but it will come out of somebody’s check.

Ric told Mike Mooneyham over the weekend, “I just can’t work for two people. It doesn’t make sense,” Flair said after the show. It would be hypocritical if I tried to do both. I just told the truth. You can’t go wrong telling the truth. My loyalty is with WWE, and that’s where I’m at.” – Read the rest of the interview here.

Ric Flair’s story over the last fourteen months ranges from desperate to pathetic to delusional to just downright sad. Flair agreed to wrestle his final match at WrestleMania XXIV against Shawn Michaels. Flair was paid the biggest honor in the history of wrestling the following night with a retirement ceremony for the ages. Ever since then it has been a downward spiral for the Nature Boy.

Flair walked away from a sweet deal doing public relations for the WWE last year. I have heard various reasons as to why, but either way he walked away from a lucrative gig. Flair has done everything but spit in the face of the WWE since walking away. He has more or less made the WWE look like a bunch of fools by doing shoot interviews, other television, and ranting about his desires to wrestle again.

Flair’s personal life has also been a mess since leaving the WWE. Flair already claimed to be in debt to Vince McMahon of an $800,000 loan when he left. He and his wife divorced. His son Reid has been arrested three times and found with heroin. Flair now pays over $20,000/month in alimony. Rumors persist that Ric Flair is all but broke and in major debt.

Ric Flair’s troubles with money have become something of legend in pro wrestling. Flair proudly claims that to be the Nature Boy, you have to live like the Nature Boy. Well if living like the Nature Boy meant living over your head and not paying your taxes, than wooo!

It was a bit of an inside joke a couple of years back when Ric Flair opened up Ric Flair Finance. At first it looked like a rib from one of Flair’s friends. However, it was 100% legit. The website claimed to offer a, “Figure-Four Process” of securing a loan. It should be of no surprise that the business closed a few months later.

The article reports that Flair’s contract only binds him for public relations, similar to his old deal. Flair told Mike Mooneyham that he still plans to wrestle outside of the United States. Non-WWE wrestlers are allowed to take independent dates that aren’t considered competition to the WWE.

“I don’t think anyone could begrudge me for throwing my gear on (overseas),” said Flair in the article.

Um yeah, I think anyone could and would begrudge him. One former top WWE wrestler told me over the weekend that he didn’t like it. He, like others believe that the WWE will never give a wrestler a proper retirement sendoff again out of fear that the wrestler would pull a Ric Flair and make a mockery out of Vince McMahon.

I am also starting to get sick of this whole idea that is okay to wrestle as long as it is outside of the United States. I guess this is what keeps Ric Flair from coming to terms with what a mockery he has turned into. If anything, coming out of retirement for a show in South Africa that nobody will see turns this into a bigger joke than if he was going to wrestle in Atlanta for TNA Wrestling.

I expected Flair to wrestle in the WWE at some point, but I didn’t expect a Parking Lot Brawl with no advanced advertising. At 60 years of age, Flair would be the oldest full-timer on the roster. As much as the guys love Ric Flair, I can’t see how it will do anyone good putting over or even selling for a 60-year old wrestler.

As for the Flair-ROH situation, I think Flair fleeced ROH. I think Flair knew exactly what he was doing when he took ROH’s deposit. I think the reason Flair held out signing a new deal with the WWE for so long was so he could get that upfront cash from ROH and other sucker promoters. ROH has just been beaten by the dirtiest player in the game. Wooo!

The shame of it all is that such arguably the greatest of all-time has lost a tremendous amount of respect among his colleagues and fans. It is sad because I think Flair’s in-ring accomplishments will be overshadowed by the last year and a half. It will take years to remove the tarnishing Flair has done to his own legacy.

Flair was always looked at as the Babe Ruth of pro wrestling. Now he is looking more like Joe Louis or even Randy the Ram.
Order WWE: Nature Boy Ric Flair – The Definitive Collection by clicking here.

Order the WWE – Ultimate Ric Flair Collection by clicking here.

See Ric Flair on the WWE Greatest Stars of the 90s by clicking here.

Order the Ric Flair”s autobiography: To Be the Man by clicking here.

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Daily Pro Wrestling News Dump for June 01, 2009

June 01, 2009 By: Category: Entertainment, WWE | Pro Wrestling

torriewilson Check out some of today’s top WWE, TNA, and independent pro wrestling news, rumors, and headlines across the Internet. Some of today’s pro wrestling headlines are…

Torrie Wilson wants you … – Baltimoresun.com

Torrie Wilson vs Heidi Montag?, MVP Update, Konnan Heat – Prowrestling.com

Top WWE Superstar Weds?, Triple H’s WWE PPV Return, More – Impactwrestling.com

WWE’s Matt Striker with his pants down – Nnews.puggal.com

Hulk Hogan’s Nutrition Company Announces New Distribution Partner – Lordsofpain.net

WWE and ‘The View’ — together at last – Chicagotribune.com

JR’s Headed to Alabama/Tennessee; Superstars Main Event?? – Jrsbarbq.com

Dragon Gate animal abuse scandal – Gerweck.net

Backstage SmackDown News, RAW Notes For Tonight, HHH/Michelle – Pwpix.net

Mick Foley’s next book, two KOTM matches at PPV – Nodq.com

WWE Divas on TV, Update on Ric Flair and Ring of Honor – Wrestling-edge.com

WWE Raw Preview for June 1: Kofi Kingston vs MVP for US Title – Pwnewsnow.com

Jeff Hardy likely to appear at tonight’s WWE Raw taping – Prowrestling.net

Kennedy’s WWE career over – Skysports.com

WWE announcer marks 3 decades – Courant.com

Update on WWE in Japan, the DX Reunion Tour, Divas News – Wrestling-edge.com

John Tolos dies at 78; notorious wrestling villain known as the Golden Greek – Latimes.com

Ouelett makes Nash tap out in grudge match – Slam.canoe.ca

Shad: wwe’s Diesel – Miamiherald.com

No dispute: ‘Undisputed’ is real deal of pro wrestling – Ifight365.com

ROH Officials Very Angry About Ric Flair/WWE Situation – Wwvgazette.com

TNA House Show Results (5/3009) – Cheyenne, Wyoming – Wrestlingnewsworld.com

Former WWE stars added to South Africa tour with Ric Flair – Ifight365.com

WWE News: Tonight’s Raw, Cena to Throw Out the First Pitch, More – 411ania.com

News & Notes: Scott Hall, Lex Luger, DDP, Terry Funk, More – Wrestlezone.com

Save up to 67% off select DVDs at WWESHOP!!

Check out all of the latest DVDs and more at The Camel Clutch Blog’s official Amazon store by
clicking here .

WWE Hall of Famer, “Cowboy” Bob Orton will be appearing at George’s Cards and Collectibles in Fairless Hills, PA on June 6 from 12-2 PM. Check out http://www.georgescollectibles.com for more information.

Headlocks and Eye Gouges – I will be back on Pro Wrestling Radio Wednesday June 3 at 7 PM/EST. Call in with a question or comment at 1-877-800-8834. Listen live and visit the chat room at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp.

Mr. Kennedy is fired…fired

June 01, 2009 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

kennedy The WWE wished Mr. Kennedy well in his future endeavors on Friday. In other words, he was fired. The four-year WWE career of drug suspensions, lies, and injuries is over for Ken Kennedy…Kennedy.

This was a bit of a surprise to me. I knew that Mr. Kennedy would be in the dog house after re-injuring himself on RAW. I had no idea the axe would fall as fast as it did. In seven-days he went from RAW main-event to RAW viewer.

I wrote last week about Kennedy’s rash of injuries since coming into the WWE. He had garnered a reputation of as an injury-prone wrestler. It was well-known that his latest comeback was his last shot. He still may have been able to hang on, if it was only he had endangered on Monday night.

Watching the RAW main-event last week, there was a moment in the match that stuck out to even casual fans. Randy Orton looked at Kennedy with a look of disgust and rolled out of the ring. It just looked like something went wrong between the two of them and it did.

During the match, Kennedy almost re-injured Orton’s collarbone due to a mistake. Mistakes do happen in the pro wrestling business, but when it happens more than once the WWE generally doesn’t see it as a mistake. Kennedy has injured WWE wrestlers in the past. Ironically, Kennedy injured Bob Holly in Kennedy’s first big match in the WWE.

Allegedly, Randy Orton had a fit following the match and dressed Kennedy down in front of the other wrestlers. Cooler heads prevailed, but this was likely the nail in the coffin for Kennedy. Several top wrestlers have been outspoken about Kennedy’s recklessness including Triple H, thus Kennedy has had a bullseye on him for awhile now.

Kennedy also injured himself during the match. Kennedy reportedly injured his wrist after taking Randy Orton’s RKO move. There are moves that are more dangerous to take than others in the WWE. The RKO is not one of them and I can’t recall ever hearing about anyone injured taking the move. The recipe of both mishaps was enough to get the pink slip.

The quick exit shows me how enraged WWE officials were about this. Kennedy had been in for big things in the WWE throughout his career. A few years back he was being groomed to being pushed as hard as John Cena. At one point he was going to be announced as Vince McMahon’s son. Every time Kennedy came close, he hit a stumbling block being injury or drug suspension.

Even as of last week it seemed that Kennedy was destined for big things. He returned on WWE RAW in a prime spot. He confronted the top heel, Randy Orton for the beginnings of a feud. Kennedy later appeared in the main-event as the publicized mystery wrestler. It is fair to say that barring the accidents in the main-event, he could have been on his way to finally getting into that top spot.

The reaction to Kennedy’s firing is a mixed one. Kennedy’s ex-colleague Val Venis was shocked and really praised his work. On the other hand, upon hearing the news via text message Bob Holly responded, “His ass is mine now.”

The wrestling public also has a mixed view of Kennedy. Kennedy was very outspoken following the Benoit family tragedies. Kennedy ripped on past WWE wrestlers including WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Superstar Graham for alleging that the WWE had drug problem among its wrestlers. Not long after this Kennedy was suspended on a drug violation by the WWE.

Billy Graham said the following to me in a 2007 interview on Pro Wrestling Radio. “I am going on record and I am extremely disappointed in Ken Kennedy and his character. His character should have automatically said, “Alright let me re-evaluate this situation and let me go back and do some research on all of the interviews that Billy Graham did.” I was out there you know that, I was on a lot of television stations. I am very disappointed and honestly I am going to tell you right now, his failure to reach out to me and make amends was the final blow as far as me recognizing wrestlers as really good, honest, human beings that most of them are. It just crushed me that the guy didn’t have the decency to send me an apology and has let me down in the quality of character in professional wrestlers.”

The bottom line here is that wrestling is dangerous, but WWE wrestlers are held to a higher standard. The last thing that the WWE wants to do is to put their million-dollar investments in the ring with a klutz. Wrestlers are expected to be polished and skillful in the WWE, and sadly Kennedy either had the worst luck in the world or was none of the above.

Personally, I never got the hype behind Kennedy. Past his entrance and introduction, he did nothing for me as a fan in the ring. Part of that could be my skewed view of him from all of the ridiculous things he has said in interviews. Regardless, I never saw the potential in him that others in the WWE did.

Kennedy may reach that potential but it will be somewhere else…somewhere else.

Check out the WWE – Mr Kennedy T-Shirt by clicking here.

See Mr. Kennedy win Money in the Bank on the WrestleMania 23 DVD by clicking here.

Save up to 67% off select DVDs at WWESHOP!!

Check out all of the latest DVDs and more at The Camel Clutch Blog’s official Amazon store by clicking here.

Headlocks and Eye Gouges – I will be back hosting Pro Wrestling Radio live on Wednesday June 3 at 7 PM/EST.  Call in with a question or comment at 1-877-800-8834. Listen live and visit the chat room at http://www.tvbydemand.com/radio_prowrestling_radioshow.asp.

WWE Hall of Famer, “Cowboy” Bob Orton will be appearing at George’s Cards and Collectibles in Fairless Hills, PA on June 6 from 12-2 PM. Check out http://www.georgescollectibles.com for more information.

The Emperor Has Lost His Clothes

April 05, 2009 By: Category: Sports, UFC | Mixed Martial Arts, WWE | Pro Wrestling

I may be a little late to the party on this one, but I had to comment on Dana White’s video blog posted below. If you haven’t seen it, check it out below courtesy of You Tube. Once you have seen it, continue reading.

UFC should be embarrassed and ashamed of Dana White’s rant. To put this into perspective, Dana White is the president of a multi-million dollar entertainment company. For better or worse, Dana White is the face of the company. So here you have the face and president of the company ranting and raving like a third-rate thug on You Tube. This is a much bigger problem than something that can be solved by a simple apology.

Dana White looks like a first-class idiot in the video. Like him or not, you have to respect his accomplishments. But now you are expected for sponsors, television executives, fighters, promoters, and managers negotiating with this guy to take him seriously? How is this guy supposed to be respected across the boardroom after someone views this ridiculous video? Quite simply, he has turned himself into a joke.

I could only guess that if any UFC fighter from Chuck Liddell down to an opener made this video that they would face serious repercussions. What kind of an example is being set by the president of the company? Not too mention the fact that you have a 39-year old millionaire coming off talking all bad-ass about a female journalist. What a joke! I would love to see him make that kind of a video sitting there talking about a fighter. It looked like one of those bad scenes from an 80s movie with the unimposing bully from high society making threats against a smaller kid with his little minion next to him edging him on. The video is pathetic.

Dana White’s video only reinforces everything negative said about him by ex-fighters, writers, promoters, and managers. Tito Ortiz was portrayed as the brat by the media for taking potshots at Dana White. Yet while under contract, Dana White was putting down one of his top fighters. Looking at that video I wonder how anyone with a disagreement supposed to negotiate with that lunatic.

Dana White is simply out of control. Since the video he has issued an apology, yet sticks by his remarks about Loretta Hunt. In my opinion, that does nothing to satisfy me or should it satisfy any of his critics in this situation. Dana White has done nothing more but strengthen the stereotype on fighters and UFC. Does Dana White deserve to be fired over this? No. However, if this is the real Dana White than UFC has a bigger problem than the video blog.

The emperor has truly lost his clothes.

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WWE WrestleMania 25 preview and predictions

April 03, 2009 By: Category: Sports, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Sunday marks the 25th time in my lifetime that I will experience Super Bowl Sunday as a pro wrestling fan. WrestleMania will dominate popular culture and sports entertainment for 24 hours on Sunday. Chances are whether you are a wrestling fan or not, you have seen a piece of WrestleMania in your lifetime. The dream of an ambition promoter is now as much of a part of popular culture as the World Series and American Idol.

The anticipation for this year’s WrestleMania began last year. As the 25th edition of the big show, big things were expected by fans. Fans predicted shocking returns, dream matches, celebrity involvement, and a big celebration of 25 years of tradition. Unfortunately the rumors of Steve Austin wrestling, a Warrior vs. Vince match, and even an appearance by the Hulkster were all just rumors.

On paper, this year’s show is very disappointing. I was extremely critical of the lineup during the last few weeks of my radio show. When I think of WrestleMania I think of big, first-time main-events. This year’s show is the antithesis of that. This year’s lineup is a big wakeup call to the problems that the WWE have had in elevating young talent. It is definitely not a good thing when the main-event is a match we have seen several times in the last twelve months. With that said, let’s break down the top matches.

WWE Championship Match: Triple H vs. Randy Orton. If this match looks familiar, well you are right. Sadly, you could have stopped watching wrestling two years ago, turned it on yesterday, and not have missed a beat when it comes to this feud. To say I was disappointed when this match was confirmed as the main-event is an understatement. Now that the complaining is over, let’s take a look at the match itself.

I will say this about the match. The buildup has been pretty awesome at times. At other times, it has just been downright ridiculous. I’ll give credit where credit is due to the WWE writers and tell you that they have definitely done a great job on putting a new spin on such an old match. I am much more interested in the match now than I was five-weeks ago when the direction became obvious.

Triple H may be the best babyface of the decade. He has a lot of critics, but you cannot deny his talents as a sports entertainer. I can’t remember another babyface of this generation that has sustained his babyface appeal among fans like Triple H. Most babyfaces wind up booed at some point in favor of the heel. No matter who he is in there with, Triple H continues to get wildly cheered.

Randy Orton has struggled as the top heel. The WWE have continually tried to make this guy their top heel for the last few years. Every time he has gotten that opportunity, it has never worked out. Orton or any other heel will likely never get an angle like this one to get him over. Unfortunately his adversaries are the McMahon and most people don’t mind seeing Stephanie get an RKO. The heat between these two will probably blow the roof off of Houston.

These two guys have great chemistry together. They have rarely had a bad match. In 2007 they had the WWE Match of the Year for their Street Fight. The two had an excellent match at One Night Stand last year. I predict another tremendous match between these two guys. I think these two guys more than anyone understand the pressures of the situation and will come up huge. My prediction is a Randy Orton win and a new champion. These two will continue this one way past WrestleMania.

WWE World Title Match: Edge vs. Big Show vs. John Cena. If the theme of 25 years of WrestleMania was to make main-events of guys that have wrestled each other 25 times on big shows, well congratulations WWE. Unlike the previous match, I have very little interest in seeing this one. This may be the first time in several years in which John Cena has been a bit of an afterthought on WrestleMania. Maybe you feel different?

If there is one thing you can count on the last few years is that Edge has great matches at WrestleMania. Edge has his work cutout this year. Edge and Cena had one of the longest feuds of the decade back in 2005. These two guys wrestled each other every other week. Unlike Orton and Triple H, I never found their matches to be so great. Big Show is an interesting wrinkle in the match to see the least.

Maybe it is the old-school fan in me, but I still enjoy seeing Big Show. I look at Show as a throwback to the old-school monster days. I think Show keeps this one interesting. I also predict that unlike Orton-Triple H, this is the last time we see this one with all three. My prediction is Cena wins the title, pins Show, and we move back to 2005 and see a lot of Edge-Cena in 2009.

The Streak vs. Mr. WrestleMania: Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. Finally! That is all I have to say. I have been barking about this match for the last two years. There are very few “Dream Matches” left in the WWE. This one has been screaming out for the last several years. As seasoned veterans, I was afraid that the WWE was going to let this one pass them by. I hate to use a cliché, but better late than never.

For me and a lot of fans, this is the show right here. This was the tipping point in my $54.95 decision to buy the show. This is a re-match over ten years in the making. In 1997, these two guys had some of the most underrated matches in WWE history. As opposite as their styles were, they made it work. For me, their 1997 Hell in the Cell Match is one of the all-time greatest matches in WWE history.

WWE have teased this match the last few years in the Royal Rumble. It was obvious from their first spot that they haven’t lost their magic. These two guys have a tremendous chemistry. Both of them have had some of the best matches on the last few WrestleMania shows. I continue to find myself amazed at how much these guys have left in the tank. To not only be wrestling, but having great matches at both of their ages is just truly amazing and should be commended.

Shawn Michaels once again has the best buildup leading up to WrestleMania. The buildup and angles have been awesome. Michaels even reverted back to his old DX character on RAW this week. I love it and I can only hope that this one turns into another great series. I predict a great match and a show-stealer from these two veterans. My prediction is that Undertaker continues the streak, but Michaels gets one back at Backlash.

Extreme Rules: Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy. For fans of the Hardy brothers, this is their dream match. This is the second time that the brothers have wrestled each other in the WWE. The first-time was somewhat of a disaster. Matt on my radio show several years ago acknowledged the disappointment that everyone had in the match. I have a feeling that everyone involved has learned their lessons and this one will be a fun one.

I think this could have been a lot differently, but that is all opinion. The Matt Hardy turn from a logic standpoint, didn’t work for me. I also think this one needs a little more flavor such as a title or stipulation. This match reminds me of the Rey Mysterio-Eddie Guerrero WrestleMania match. The expectations for the match were so high, that nothing they could do would meet them. I fear the same thing for these guys.

I honestly think this one comes down to placement on the card. If these guys are following someone like Jericho or Michaels-Undertaker, they are dead. I would almost put these guys in the opener and let them start the show. I think the match will be great, but placement is huge on a four-hour show. I don’t know where this one goes if the match disappoints. My prediction is a Matt Hardy win and a few more matches in 2010.

Other Matches:
Handicap Elimination Gauntlet Match: Chris Jericho vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Tag Team Championship Unification Lumberjack Match John Morrison and The Miz vs. Carlito and Primo Colon
Money In The Bank Ladder Match: CM Punk vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs.Kane vs. Christian vs. Fit Finlay vs. Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston
25 Diva Battle Royal