Wrestling: The Summer of 2010
Friday, August 13th, 2010
Join me on Facebook - President Cena, beware!
As I wrote this column, I learned of the passing of former WWE superstar Lance Cade - RIP. Cade was this/close to a push to the top of the cards on Raw before he was released over an issue with pain killers and passing out on a flight where he almost died. He was resigned by WWE and released again in early 2010 I believe. A shame. I recall him being a gentleman the few times I met him and it's another black eye on an industry that doesn't need one. The wrestling world loses another member of the brotherhood. . .a family loses a husband, father and son. . .
It's been quite some time with an update here. . .MWF life is always busy, never mind the rest of reality. . .
If you've been on vacation, etc., and missed out on MWF television episodes, dozens of episodes are available on-line to watch in a nice cool, air conditioned place. As we say, it's the place where the superstars and legends of yesterday, today and tomorrow come together. . .champions have been tested in 2010, to say the least, and there's a lot more to come this fall. . .
Can you believe the MWF is nine years old?? It almost sounds like I'm talking about a kid. Click on the links above for complete event and ticket information. We want you there live to be part of what looks like it's going to be the most exciting weekend in company history. . .
WWE seems to be hit or miss of late. . . on Raw, really liked the NXT/Nexus angle (especially week one). No one expected it and it created some interested television for a few weeks. Now, unfortunately, they're just part of the crew, part of the regular roster, not much making them stand out from the rest of the pack. Adding Bret Hart to the SummerSlam match makes it a bit more intriguing to me, but with Jericho and Edge going back and forth, I sense a Steve Austin like swerve during the Invasion PPV in July 2001 when he appeared to turn babyface, then joined the WCW/ECW faction. I see very little of Smackdown, but it really appears to lack depth on top, but at the same time, it gives a lot of younger guys a chance to develop into top tier superstars. That's not just what Smackdown needs right now, it's what the entire major league level of the business needs. I liked ECW as that type of program/platform and would have rather seen that kept alive and Smackdown close to even/Steven with Raw, but it is what it is. NXT is a show I enjoy when it focuses on wrestling as opposed to complete and utter nonsense, which there is too much of. I don't know if WWE's intentions for it is to be part "sports entertainment"/part variety show, but wrestling fans buy wrestling tickets, buy wrestling PPV's, buy wrestling merchandise and watch wrestling TV shows to watch. . .wrestling. A little comedy here and there is fine, but when it overwhelms serious, money angles, it becomes a big problem, which I personally believe is the reason for ratings being down in many areas, never mind North American PPV buys. WWE is a resourceful company and has done a tremendous job opening up international markets to sell PPV and merchandise on, but at the same time, how much bigger would those dollar signs be if they were presenting a product more people enjoyed?? I still believe there are more wrestling fans not watching anything right now than those that do. . .
Over on TNA. . . poor TNA. . . .so much talent. . . so much potential. . . .yet nothing ever seems to build anything. . .the giant circle continues. . .no beginning. . .no ending. I love Eric Bischoff's idea of longer television segments and therefore longer commercial breaks. . . .if you're watching a baseball game, a football game, etc., do they take commercial breaks in the middle of the inning, quarter, etc.?? Nope. I watched the Victory Road PPV because I knew it was going to be Jay Lethal's big night and was very happy for him. The tag title match/feud/series has been solid. I think Flair's rub will help get those associated with him over more in the long run. Nice to see Abyss back as a dangerous, monster heel instead of a Dave Sullivan like idiot with a mask. Also saw the Hardcore Justice PPV, which was a mixed bag, but not a bad event to have. . .once. The follow-up bloodbath angle on Impact leading to the debut of their new show Reaction was tremendous. . .good stuff. The memories of ECW should now remain memories. The guys from that era that can still go need to change with the times and fans remember ECW as it was, not reunion shows with "extremely" aged versions of the originals. Some of the guys on the show spent more time in TNA or WWE than they ever did ECW. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, and if it can help "spike" (no pun intended) a PPV buy above the embarrassing numbers they've been doing, good for them. Anything that increases revenue for any wrestling company is a good thing. I'd like to see the company become more successful. . .sell more live event tickets and run in bigger markets. . . .sell more PPV's. . . allow more people to have full time jobs in the profession they dream to be a part of. . .
Despite my past "issues" with ROH, I'd like to see them continue to grow. I'm proud of Eddie Edwards, who puts the professional in professional wrestler. Kenny Omega is another fantastic talent. Other than that, there's very few people I would recognize in that promotion as I don't get HD Net and, for better or worse, hold a grudge. Back in 2003, as it was later explained to me by their local promoter, "someone" (an windy promoter who we've had quite a past with ourselves), put together an email that made it seem like we were trying to get ROH events canceled in the area. That's so foolish on so many different levels. Doing something like that hurts the business. It hurts the fans. Some marks might not look at it from that point of view, but I always have. I remember getting emails from that wannabe kiddy diddler Rob Feinstein threatening me, all while I was at WORK trying to support my family. That led to their rabid fan base in the northeast emailing us. . .it was untrue and slander. If I was them, I suppose I would have been very upset, too, but the person that was REALLY responsible for it had far more of a grudge with them than I ever did, as all of his "quality talent" never got booked on their events after the embarrassment he put together the first, and I believe only, chance he had to deliver. Our main concern has always been the MWF. We have plenty of issues of our own to contend with. The sinister side of me took GREAT joy in seeing Feinstein get busted by the local NBC affiliate in Philadelphia going to a home to have sex with a presumed "14 year old boy" (actually a member of the group called Perverted Justice, I believe) and run away like a bitch. The good, hard working people at ROH said goodbye to him. . .karma, baby. . .
The same goes for the Lucha Libra show on MTV2 or 3 or whatever it's on. . .never seen it, but I hope it's successful. I'm very happy that John Walters, another true professional wrestler, has the chance to show his talents to a larger fan base. MTV's last wrestling foray was not a successful one, but this is something different than everything else wrestling related on TV. If it leads to more people getting jobs, let it rock. . .
I believe the MWF is really hitting it's stride. . . .next year for our tenth anniversary, my goal is to produce a roundtable discussion about the ten years of our company. Lots of twists and turns, ups and downs on this roller coaster ride. We have a pretty good idea of where we're headed over the next year and a half or so as long term booking is a key to success in my opinion. I wish WWE would go back to their old philosophy of booking backwards, ditto TNA. I believe we have every MWF TV program mapped out through March as we head into SOUL SURVIVOR VII. I'm crossing my fingers and hope that the MWF Board of Directors will agree to give the concept I've come up with for our big event of the year a chance, as I think it's a winner and I attempted them to go for it this year as well. . . I love our roster, but there's always room for improvement (which can be said for any promotion). I like a lot of the new talent that's come in for President Cena's Call To Action Campaign. I think we give fans value for their wrestling dollar, which is personally very important to me. A lot going on behind the scenes that may never happen. . .for those fans looking for something different, jump on board, we want you to be part of the family. As I write the end of this column, I have the 2/6/1988 WWF event at the Boston Garden on my TV. . .a historic day, as it was the day after The Main Event show on NBC where Andre The Giant "beat" Hulk Hogan to end his four plus year run as champion, then sold the belt to Ted DiBiase. Behind the scenes, Honky Tonk Man refused to drop the IC Title to Randy Savage, which led to the tournament at WrestleMania IV with Savage getting the world title that DiBiase was originally going to win. Changed WWF history. . .
Anyway, even if you don't love what's on mainstream wrestling right now, try to find a way to support it. With a couple of bad decisions by tv executives, we could lose more wrestling, and that's the last thing any true fan would want. . .