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News From Cook's Corner 02.07.12
Posted by Steve Cook on 02.07.2012



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook's Corner! I'm Steve Cook, and I hope you're all doing ok. It seems like a lot of people get sick this time of year, especially on the day after the Super Bowl. You wouldn't believe how many people have to call in. Me, I love going to work when I'm sick. I tend to kick things up a notch when I'm not feeling so well, and I never take off of work because I'm sick...much to the dismay of those who will inevitably get sick as a result of my perseverance.

It started back in my younger years, as my parents always insisted I go to school no matter what kind of illness I might have. They probably did this because they didn't want me around the house, but it instilled a mental toughness in me that lives on today. Like last week, when I was out of town for the Royal Rumble. I could have taken the week off and management wouldn't have cared too much, but I switched days with Nick Marsico and made sure I had a little column up on Wednesday for you guys. That's how I roll. I have a feeling that most of you are the same way. Cook Nation shows up strong, yo.

Congratulations to 411Mania Overlord Larry Csonka & Greg DeMarco Show Co-Host Patrick O'Dowd, who had children over the weekend. Not with each other.

There was some minor site drama last week, as complications with 411's picture server led to most of my images over the past couple of years here being lost. I've restored some of the recent stuff (mainly the Taeler Hendrix & Terra Calaway pictures), but I can't promise that I will restore all of my columns to their previous glory. The saddest loss of all was the 2011 Hot 100, which I had fixed just a few weeks ago due to popular request. I don't think I'll be doing that one again, as the last fix was too time-consuming and I‘ve got quite a bit on my plate at the moment. My apologies to those of you that enjoy my columns with 15,000 pictures, and maybe I will get around to fixing all of them someday, but these things happen. At least I got my Cody pictures saved!



wait a minute, Cape Girardeau? Thought i was the only reader from that town. Damnit. - Guest#0941

There are at least three since Mrs. Penguin reads it when Penguin tells her to. Cape's an nice little town, Hotshots and the other bar we went to were fun & the talent wasn't too bad.

I was at the Rumble too and it was indeed a fun show. I think all the hate thrown at the Rumble match for being too comedic was blown way out of proportion, especially a year after the Cena/Hornswoggle team. It was FAR from the most competitive roster, but I thought it was paced very well and everything (with the exception of the disappointing thirtieth entry) clicked. Good show.

I will add that the WHC match ended abruptly, as I spent a good while prepping my girlfriend to watch the side of the cage as I was *sure* they'd go with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre ending.
- neverAcquiesce

I was impressed with how well the cage held up. Big Show was sitting on top of it, there probably aren't many cages in the history of pro wrestling that could have held up under that pressure. The match went really well considering that Henry wasn't able to do much of anything due to injury. I hope he gets some good time off and heals up, he definitely deserves a break. The only problem with that idea is WrestleMania's coming up and he probably won't want to miss that payday.

I always think they're going to go with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre ending, and that might be the only time they ever used it. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I just really liked it.

Wait a second... is... is that a COOCH TAT on one of the bellas? - Rollz...

It's one of the ways you can tell them apart. Brie has the tat by her panty line while Nikki has a bigger posterior. The Penguins told me I wouldn't need my binoculars at the Rumble, but obviously they were wrong as I was unable to tell the Bellas apart.

The problem is that this is in all likelihood the last year the streak will be a draw--it's probably UT's last match. Accordingly, if there is no more money to be milked from the streak in future Wrestlemanias, HHH may just as well book himself to break it, for no purpose other than to stroke his own ego. He could rationalize such a dick move in that it would give him heat for an on-air authority figure persona, if he wants to go heel. - Joe Schmoe

Don't give him any ideas! One does wonder how often they can continue to bring Undertaker back for WrestleMania. Jim Ross has said on his Twitter that Undertaker has a lot of gas left in the tank, but the fact that he hasn't wrestled since Mania makes one wonder how accurate that assertion is. I think he makes it to 20-0 because you can sell more t-shirts with 20-0 on them than 19-1.

You know, it's funny. I didn't even notice the lack of Impact news until you said soemthing. - Third Eye Open

Lots of people are hopping on the Impact bandwagon. I've gotten messages from multiple ex-411 writers talking about how they actually like the show lately, and these aren't people that typically like what TNA presents. I can't really comment on the recent shows because I've had birthday functions to attend the last two Thursday nights. Last Thursday night was a birthday dinner and a podcast, so I ended up seeing the Knockouts match and nothing else on last week's show. I should be able to watch it this week, so maybe I'll get to see the improved Impact people are telling me about.

Then again, I heard that this week's show will have a Star Wars theme. So…yeah.

You know, left unsaid about Evan Bourne's actions is how it affects other wrestlers. However the IWC perceives Cena, he does have a record of advocating for popular mid card wrestlers getting a push. Evan Bourne was one guy. Zack Ryder is another. Both were given screen time with Cena too, no small thing. Cena has even suggested WWE sign Samoa Joe. But with Bourne getting Wellnessed twice in a small time span, you have to wonder what will happen the next time Cena suggests a mid card wrestler gets a push. At worst, it will get "yeah, remember how that whole Bourne thing worked out?" At best it may be the guy has ONE chance to prove himself instead of having years of mid card hell. All because Bourne couldn't be a man and just ask to be let go, like MVP or Low Ki. - Guest#2093

WWE won't let one bad apple spoil a whole bunch. Cena's opinions will still be valued…even if the Evan Bourne thing doesn't work out, he still gave them Zack Ryder and they're making lots of money off of Broski t-shirts and Broski headbands. Cena's influence isn't a guarantee of anything though, as last reports were that WWE had no interest in Samoa Joe. It's tough to blame them based on Joe's output over the last couple of years, but I still have some hope that Joe will rebound and get back to being the Samoa Joe we all knew and loved a few years back.

I just looked up some of Brodus Clay's entrances. He isn't the only one having fun with it. In his re-debut, even Justin Roberts seems more into his announcement. If everybody from announcer to audience is having fun, the guy has to get over. - Guest#6232

The Funkasaurus is fun. Apparently there are people on the Internet who think that the character is some type of punishment. Because actually having a character and not being some random dude that squashes other random dudes is punishment in 2012. No, it's something that needs to happen more often. WWE (and other promotions) needs more vibrant characters to grab the attention of the public and make them take notice. Back in the last boom period you had characters like Stone Cold, The Rock, Undertaker, DX & Mick Foley's various personas at the top, and in the mid-card you had stuff like Too Cool & Rikishi, The Godfather, Val Venis & countless others. They had personalities and gimmicks that entertained people.

Nowadays you usually just have dudes with nicknames that don't really mean anything. Somebody like Heath Slater, who's called the "One Man Southern Rock Band"…what does that mean? You never see him playing any musical instruments, or showing any type of personality indicating that he's as exciting a performer as an entire southern rock band. He's a dude that usually ends up losing. For the record, I think Heath is a pretty solid wrestler and he's good at getting people to hate him. He just needs a character that people can either identify with or want to see. The Corre won just as many championships as the Right to Censor did, but more people remember the RTC because they had a gimmick while the Corre were just a bunch of guys promising to dominate SmackDown.

Outlandish personalities are not a bad thing. They're a good thing.



And now, the fake news!



Now the story of the Royal Rumble winner can be told, since Dave Meltzer told us. It was originally supposed to be Randy Orton due to the fact that the show was in St. Louis and he cleanly put over Mark Henry back in September. Then it was changed to Chris Jericho when Jericho agreed to come back so they could set up a match with Jericho & CM Punk for the WWE title at WrestleMania. Then there was a brief idea to have John Cena win it (this is why the "everybody is eligible" stipulation was announced) and make him choose between challenging for a title or wrestling The Rock at WrestleMania. Finally it was decided on Sheamus, with Triple H being given most of the credit for the idea.

The H/Sheamus association has been well-known for quite some time. It wasn't long after Sheamus got promoted to ECW in June 2009 that we heard about him being Triple H's workout buddy, and it probably wasn't a coincidence that Sheamus won the WWE title for the first time in December of that year. Sure, Sheamus got a boost from being Triple H's buddy. Wrestling fans tend to be turned off by that sort of thing, as usually it's people without any discernable talent that end up on shows because of who their friends are. We had to sit through countless Brutus Beefcake matches because he was Hulk Hogan's best friend.

The thing is, Sheamus has earned his spot. And it's not like he's been endlessly pushed. You may recall that right around this time last year he wasn't doing a whole lot of anything. The word on the streets was that Kevin Dunn didn't like him very much, so he was on job duty against the likes of John Morrison & Evan Bourne. Then he won the US title from Daniel Bryan and was supposed to defend it against him at WrestleMania…only to have that match relegated to the pre-show and devolved into a battle royal. It was a move to SmackDown that got the Celtic Warrior back on track, as he ended up in the World title scene and turned face by being the only person on the show that wanted to fight Mark Henry. Sheamus has been good in the role, which didn't come as a surprise because of his well-received media appearances over the past year or so.

Sheamus is a solid in-ring talent, a good talker and a good spokesperson for WWE. Three key ingredients for a top star. Haters are going to hate because that's how they roll, but the fact that Sheamus happens to be popular with management doesn't mean that he can't be a top star in pro wrestling. WWE management does get things right once in awhile. I think this is one of those times.

Chris Jericho's return to WWE may not last as long as his last return, as there is strong talk that he may only be around until April or May due to a Fozzy tour in the summer. No tour dates are listed on Fozzy's website, but Jericho's talked about the band returning to England in 2012 and there's even been talk of the band touring the U.S. later in the year. I find this interesting because if I had to guess, the same people that complain about WWE never making new stars are the same people complaining about Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble over Jericho, a guy who doesn't need the win and might not even be around for the summer. Hey, I hope he is, but what happened to the talking point that WWE needed to build new stars? I guess it doesn't apply when Chris Jericho's the one putting the new star over.

Jericho gets it. He spends most of his time these days telling his fans to calm down and enjoy the show. He knows he doesn't need to win the Rumble to get over. Many of his fans seem to think any loss is a total burial, and they're probably still complaining about the time he got drug out of the building after getting fired on Raw. Relax, Jericho will be fine. They're getting to the Jericho/Punk issue via other means, so it's ok that he didn't cause an apocalypse at the Royal Rumble. Even though it would have been cool for me since I was there and I'm hoping for a really good seat when the apocalypse does come.

Shawn Michaels will be appearing on next week's edition of Raw in San Diego, California. One can only assume that he'll be involved in the Triple H/Undertaker saga in some way, but I'm hoping that Daniel Bryan will confront his mentor about his involvement in a hunting show. Surely Bryan can't tolerate HBK mercilessly killing poor animals for financial gain.

Your next live edition of Smackdown will be on February 21st, which will be two days after the Elimination Chamber show. It's being done because of the Nielsen sweeps period, and of course we have no word on when WWE & SyFy will bite the bullet and just move the show to Tuesdays permanently. That has to be coming someday, right? You'd sure think so.

Rumor has it that The Miz is being blamed for the relatively low buyrate that the Survivor Series PPV got. WWE expected the show to do big business because it had the first Rock match in several years, but while the show came in at around 260,000 buys, which is up from what the show had done in previous years, they expected more because of Rock. I do think Miz is partially to blame, but it wasn't so much a Miz thing as it was a WWE thing. Miz & R-Truth were booked like complete jobbers during the time leading up to Survivor Series, at least when it came to John Cena. They couldn't beat Cena in a 2 on 1 situation, so people were extremely unlikely to believe that they could beat John Cena & The Rock. Add in the fact that Cena & Rock teaming together made no sense, and the whole angle was doomed to failure. It just screamed of WWE going "Hey, here's The Rock! Buy this show!" Rock's the biggest draw in wrestling right now, but he needs compelling opponents just like anybody else does. John Cena is a compelling opponent, so that match will do good business. Miz & R-Truth weren't sold as compelling opponents, so most people didn't care when Rock came back to whoop their candy asses.

Believe me, I'd love to sit here and tell you that it's all Miz's fault that The Rock's return match did a lackluster buyrate. It's more WWE's fault for not building up Miz & R-Truth enough to be seen as credible opponents for Cena & Rock. They could have had the Awesome Truth lay waste to John Cena over and over again, and maybe even beat up the Rock once or twice. That didn't happen, so there was no drama leading into the show other than "Will the Rock look rusty?" That's not enough to sell a PPV.

Four developmental wrestlers were released last week, including the man that had been known as Alex Koslov across the world, Peter Orlov. Orlov never made much of an impact in FCW, he appeared regularly but usually in a losing effort. I guess his biggest accomplishment with the company would have been appearing in the Sin Cara debut vignettes taking bumps for Cara's moves. He looked better taking them than most of Cara's opponents did, but who knows how many takes that took. He's worked in Ring of Honor before and was a regular in AAA before heading to FCW, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up in either of those promotions. He showcased a lot of skill during his time in other places, but apparently it didn't translate to the WWE ring.

Orlov might actually have been a good fit for an idea floating around for the WWE Network. There's talk of a show for the Network that would focus on cruiserweight wrestlers. WWE may be signing talent for this show in spring or early-summer. It's kind of hard to believe that WWE would do something useful with cruiserweight wrestlers for an extended period of time, but having their own network should give them more freedom to try stuff they wouldn't ordinarily do on their television shows. It is a good sign that we're hearing these types of ideas and not ideas like a WWE Films marathon.

CM Punk was trying to be a nice guy and throw his t-shirt to a kid in the front row at a Raw house show in Wichita on Sunday. Some douchenozzle grabbed the shirt from the kid and took it back to his seat. The old CM Punk would have beaten the snot out of the dude. The new CM Punk went to the merchandise stand and got another shirt for the kid. Who would have ever thought that CM Punk would be kid-friendly? I've seen some strange things happen over the past few years, this might rank near the top. In a good way.

Machine Gun Kelly's song "Invincible" will be used as John Cena's theme music at WrestleMania. MGK said that he thought it was cool they chose it because "John Cena & myself are both underdogs and the song is about struggle". John Cena's been called a lot of things over the years, but I can't remember the last time somebody called him an underdog.

Speaking of Cena, he & The Rock are carping at each other on Twitter. That's the great thing about social media, it's a lot easier to feud with people now. My personal favorite blast in the Twitter feud was when Cena told Rock to have Brian Gerwitz write him some better material. Because John Cena totally writes his own material all the time.

I don't blame him, though. There are some weeks (like this one) that I really wish I had some writers.

WWE will be running their first live events in the United Arab Emirates this weekend. Did you know that 411 has a very strong following in the U.A.E.? It's true, we're the second-most popular wrestling website there, only trailing the Iron Sheik's Twitter page.

WWE is thinking about offering their PPV events in 3D, starting with SummerSlam. I'm the wrong person to talk about this, as the last time I watched anything in 3D was when I went to Universal Studios when I was eleven years old and they had this 3D experience thing based on the movie "The Birds". Wrestling shows are more fun in person, but I'm not sure watching them in 3D will add a whole lot to the experience.

Brodus Clay's match with Heath Slater was edited out of last week's SmackDown episode. I thought the show seemed less funky than usual.

Randy Orton did not appear on last week's SmackDown house shows despite being advertised for them. Considering he's just coming back from injury it makes sense to keep his in-ring schedule light, though I'm sure the fans that went to those shows to see him weren't too thrilled about it.

There are no plans to drop Drew McIntyre from the SmackDown roster. It's usually not a good sign for a performer if that needs to be reported, but Drew's expected to get repackaged sometime soon as an "arrogant playboy". Wouldn't Drew need to win some matches to be arrogant? I'd think if you lost all the time you'd be described with a different adjective.

Chris Hero has arrived at FCW headquarters in Tampa and PWInsider is reporting that he has finally passed his medical tests and signed with WWE. Those of you hoping for him to be reunited with his old buddy Antonio Claudio Cesaro Castagnoli may be out of luck though, as apparently the plan is to keep them both as singles wrestlers. Both guys can work as singles guys so this doesn't come as much of a surprise. I mean, it would be nice to have a tag team other than Epico & Primo and the Usos, but maybe they're better off not getting pigeonholed into that role.

Natalya's new gimmick has raised the ire of some members of the Hart family. Smith Hart, who if you read Bret's book you know isn't exactly the most trustworthy character in the world, went to Twitter to complain about how Natalya is an inspirational person and the ridiculous flatulence gimmick she's been given is appalling. There is word going around that the gimmick is some sort of punishment, which makes more sense than the Funkasaurus gimmick being punishment.

For her part, Natalya has told her fans to lighten up and remain positive. I understand where her fans are coming from, as it can be frustrating to see somebody that you know has a lot of talent and can do so much more be relegated to doing something like a farting gimmick. However, it can be even more frustrating when that person isn't even used on television. At the end of the day, a gimmick is a gimmick. No, Natalya farting all the time isn't going to get her over. It will put food on her table, and she'll get paid more to fart around than your favorite lady wrestler will get paid to wrestle.

Besides, who wouldn't want to get paid to fart on television? I'd sign up for that in a heartbeat, and they wouldn't have to bother with the sound effects either!



-I haven't been speaking a whole lot about the Louisville basketball team lately for two main reasons: a desire to keep things focused on wrestling, and the fact that they were pretty bad a few weeks ago. They curb stomped UConn tonight and are on a five game winning streak, so I'm feeling a bit better about them.

-CM Punk in a Six-Pack Challenge? Something doesn't seem right about this.

-Tell us how you really feel about Big Johnny, Triple H!

-I love how people can issue challenges for WrestleMania by looking at the huge WrestleMania sign. How did people get themselves into WM matches before they started having that sign at every show?

-Triple H feels bad for the Undertaker. So bad, in fact, that he made two video packages for him! The Game's mellowing in his old age.

-The crowd goes ballistic when the lights go off while Triple H tries to exit the ring.

-Taker's not there, but we get a video of Undertaker watching last year's WM match. Taker insists this is not over. I'm going to guess that he's right, but we don't find out tonight.

-Raw beat NBC last week. I think they're pointing this out in an attempt to get Raw on NBC. I guess it's worth a shot, it's not like they have much to lose.

-Poor AJ, she's so afraid to come down to the ring and be around that nasty bastard Big Show.

-I'm ok with Cole still being anti-Daniel Bryan, especially considering Bryan rejected his handshake on last week's SmackDown. Heels or faces being friends just because they're heels and faces doesn't always make sense.

-Oh no, Daniel's injured his knee!

-DON'T YOU TOUCH AJ, BIG SHOW!

-He nearly crushed her again, the bastard!

-Bryan will still be a vegan after Elimination Chamber. Well thank God for that!

-Carl Edwards shows up in his NASCAR to invite John Cena to be the honorary starter for the Daytona 500. Does he have that kind of power?

-David Otunga says he's never had a boss more insightful than Big Johnny. Well, Big Johnny probably is more insightful than a computer.

-Otunga Tebows and gets a match with Sheamus. This won't take long.

-Otunga's fatal mistake was taking his shirt off. I saw somebody take their gi off during a PRIDE fight with Wanderlei Silva, and that had pretty much the same result…dude getting his head kicked off.

-SPARKLY SHIRT TIME!

-Jericho claims that everybody that enters the ring is nothing more than a Chris Jericho wannabe. Well, many of them are.

-I wouldn't mind being Jericho.

-OK, R-Truth's "What's Up" being a rip-off of Jericho saying "Shut the hell up" is a bit of a stretch.

-CM Punk does his Jericho impression, meaning that he says nothing, then walks off. Jericho is absolutely outraged. That was pretty awesome.

-Apparently Wade Barrett's theme is big in England. I think England would approve of Wade's theme if he came out to "Three Blind Mice".

-I dunno, it's not like Khali really has to do anything in there with Orton, Rhodes & Barrett. It should be fine.

-Orton vs. Bryan on SmackDown! That could be quite awesome.

-I don't think Orton wants to get in a tagging contest with Khali. That sounds a lot filthier than I mean it to.

-Awwww, Khali pins Cody. They're trolling me now. Everybody's getting trolled on this show!

-Cole & Lawler talk about the Rock/Cena Twitter war and throw it to the Cena video. Are they going to make another one of these or will they keep showing this until WrestleMania?

-Tamina still can't be bothered to color coordinate with the rest of the Divas. Tsk tsk.

-I think Beth tagged Brie harder than Orton & Khali tagged each other. Sounds filthier than the last time.

-Tamina wins, and they cut to a shot of fans with blank looks on their faces. Tremendous.

-WWE travels forward in time to get a clip of The Rock on Jay Leno. Now that's impressive.

-I imagine Triple H & Big Johnny have had conversations like that in real life.

-The fate of Big Johnny will be decided tomorrow at 10 AM on WWE.com! I wonder if they've actually decided yet.

Jerry Lawler with the first crack on Justin Roberts botching the intro! I'm surprised he beat Cole to the punch.

-Oh, and they're having the Raw Elimination Chamber match here minus the Chamber and the entrances. Interesting.

-R-Truth is taken out of the match as we return. It looks like Miz was supposed to catch him on a dive and he didn't. Wonder if that was supposed to happen.

-Jericho steals the pin on a Ziggler that's gone to sleep, and he will be the last person to enter the Elimination Chamber match! I dunno, entering the Rumble 29th didn't help him win that.

-Jericho's sitting Indian style! Where'd he get that from, hmmm?

-Eve's nose doesn't look broken here. Damn Internet reports!

-We end the show with Kane presumably about to rape Eve. Well, that's one way to end a show.



Bobby Roode has been getting good reviews from big time wrestling stars for his performance as a heel champion. The Rock gave him a shoutout on the Twitter machine, as did Mick Foley. This has to be pretty awesome for Roode, as there's nothing better than receiving praise from the top stars in your chosen profession. All the criticism he gets from people like us means nothing if The Freaking Rock thinks he's doing swell.

Bobby's a lucky guy. I asked the Rock what he thought about me, and this is what I got:



Rock can be a bit mean sometimes. That's all right though, I'm still on Team Bring It.

As I alluded to earlier in the column, this week's Impact will have a Star Wars theme so they can promote the release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3D. This will almost certainly involve a sketch with Eric Young playing Jar Jar Binks & ODB playing Chewbacca. It'll be interesting to see if the Impact fans that made fun of WWE for having Muppets on Raw will have anything to say about this…my guess is "not", but I've been wrong before.

The Pope is vowing to bring change to Impact Wrestling. He went on his Facebook talking about how he's tried for three years to be the "Obama" of TNA, because change is needed and it will come one way or another. I don't remember Obama trying to get busy with Joe Biden's wife, but maybe I missed that one. Pope has not appeared on television since his feud with Devon ended at the Genesis PPV, so either he's foreshadowing a re-packaging or he'll be on his way out of the company.

Remember when Vince McMahon dubbed the man then known as Elijah Burke as the future of ECW? Between that and Drew McIntyre as a future world champion, Vinnie Mac's predictions haven't been going so well the last few years.

Apparently TNA has registered the trademark for the term "Soccer Moms" and will be using it as a reality show title. This sounds like something Eric Bischoff & Jason Hervey would be behind, so I guess they've talked Dixie Carter into funding their new venture. I really need to meet somebody with a lot of money that's easy to talk into funding crazy ideas.

Sting did an interview with CNYKiss FM in Utica, New York where he talked about wishing he had appeared on WrestleMania at least once, he almost went to WWE last year, and how he would love to wrestle The Undertaker. This seems like a pretty random time to have this type of an interview…when does his TNA contract expire? That seems like the only logical reason that Sting would put this out there, so he can get a better offer to stick around. I mean, I'm assuming he wasn't drunk for the interview.

Rob Van Dam's contract is reportedly up in March, and there has been speculation that he may be heading back to WWE. He hasn't been doing a heck of a lot in TNA lately, which leads one to assume that they don't expect him to be re-signing. RVD got off to a pretty good start with the company and was part of their whole ECW reunion thing, but I think his overall run with TNA would have to be classified as disappointing. He could have done a lot more had he been properly motivated. We'll likely find out soon if a change of scenery does anything for him.



We here at 411 would like to send our best wishes to Superstar Billy Graham, who was hospitalized on Sunday morning with a leg infection & pneumonia. Graham has not been in good health over the past couple of years, it wasn't all that long ago that he said he was making his last public appearance. Of course, he made a couple after that, but what else would you expect from a wrestler? In all seriousness, Graham was one of the true innovators in pro wrestling and paved the way for countless egotistical tanned tyedyed bodybuilders to be big stars.

Ring of Honor will hold another TV taping in Baltimore on March 3, after being pleased with the results the last two times they did it there. Apparently the attendance was down about fifty people, but the crowd was still excited to be there. I can't say the TV product's doing a whole lot for me, though I remain intrigued by Wrestling's Worst Nightmare, Kevin Steen. I'm also intrigued by Veda Scott, though for different reasons.



Stay tuned to the MMA Zone for some MMA Fact or Fiction on Wednesday! I'll be trying to defend my MMA Tournament of Great Significance Championship...I'm not really sure if I'll pull it out. It'd be kind of embarrassing to lose in the first round, but there are some darn good writers over there.

Check out the Greg DeMarco Show tonight! I may know the special fill-in co-host pretty well.

Fact or Fiction featured the honorable and distinguished Todd Bergman going against 411 reader Nick Perry. It ‘s always fun to hear from new voices, and I'd be open to more reader participation in that column if they were all like Nick.

Speaking of new voices, Sean Kelly debuted last week with his Friday Sports Entertainment. Pretty solid read, though I think Daniel Bryan has modified his gimmick into something that will work long term: the Role Model Champion that knows that people would be better off if they were just like him. Sean needs to have more faith in my boy D-Bryan.

The Hot or Not looks at what's hot and what's not. Chyna is not, in case you were wondering.

Ryan Byers takes over the 8-Ball column! People do love lists.

Kirk won't shut up about global warming. I don't know which topic I'm more tired of hearing people blather on about: global warming or whether or not Eli Manning is an elite quarterback.

The Triumvirate of Truth is your new Sunday column with three dudes talking about wrestling. If they think I'm typing out that column title every week they've got another thing coming. I had to give up on Big Johnny's last name, there's no way I'm memorizing "triumvirate".

Joel Thomas presents Buy or Sell Classic Wrestling Edition, which will ask writers to buy or sell statements about wrestling's past. Should be interesting, and you can expect to see me in it next week. I think.

Well, that's all we have time for this week! Nick Marsico will be here with the Wed Wi tomorrow, and I'll be back next week with a special Valentine's Day edition of News From Cook's Corner! Until then…


I have no explanation.





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