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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

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News From Cook's Corner 02.28.12
Posted by Steve Cook on 02.28.2012



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook's Corner! I'm Steve Cook, and I hope you all have had a fantastic February. We're heading into March, which is one of my favorite months every single year. The weather gets warmer, college basketball has conference tournaments & March Madness, baseball spring training's going down, NASCAR's getting started up again, and it's WrestleMania season! This is always the biggest time of the wrestling year and it's usually the busiest time of year here at 411. Say it with me folks…Good Times!

I spent a good part of the weekend watching WWE's Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart. Watching some matches I hadn't seen before with two of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time is pretty freaking awesome, but my favorite part of the DVD is how they're so over the problems they had in the past. They realize that they worked themselves into a shoot and were being pretty damn stilly about things. An interesting point that Bret brought up in the interview is how their feud extended to their fans. It's amazing how many people I know that are either die-hard Bret fans or die-hard Shawn fans and aren't able to enjoy the work of the other wrestler due to the real-life feud between Shawn & Bret. I wonder if that's changing now that Bret & Shawn have mended fences, or if the hardcore fans are still bitter.

For what it's worth, Bret thinks Canada hates Shawn because he dry-humped the Canadian flag. He also stuck it in his nose once, so maybe there's something to that. Canada can let me know if Bret's accurate or not. It was also funny how Shawn didn't remember a bunch of stuff Bret talked about. That would normally make you wonder, but since Shawn was on several types of drugs back then he probably really doesn't remember anything. Either way, it was pretty compelling television and I'm glad we live in a world where Bret Hart & Shawn Michaels don't hate each other anymore.



Your comment on Cena is what I'm feeling on this feud with the Rock. If Cena is paid like the Rock to work 3-4 months a year to make movies mostly pain-free, he be walking his ass out the door like him.

Cena just comes off bitter since he started making comments about the Rock years prior. The WWE tried to make him the next Rock by putting him in movies, music, TV, etc. All those other ventures failed. (example: he made a SNL appearance, no one knew who he was: dead silence) He's not going anywhere cause he sucked everywhere else.

I think this match is a good and bad thing for Cena. Good cause it's the epic match between 2 top wrestlers of their respective eras. Bad: Vince is basically bringing in the Rock because no one's name, even Cena's, carries weight to sell the biggest PPV of the year.
- Guest#4040

It's true, and that's why there's a lot of resentment from certain people in WWE towards The Rock.

Is Sheamus's rumble win not cheapened by the fact that they had a 10 man battle royal to decide who faces the WWE champion at Wrestlemania? I thought overcoming 29 others and winning the Rumble was meant to be a big achievement in order to win a title match at wrestlemania. Apparently you are better off not winning it, you stand a better chance competing against 9 others in a battle royal. Seems like strange logic to me! - Mark

Winning the Royal Rumble is still an impressive feat simply because the match involves twenty-nine other people. Even if you come in towards the end you're likely going to be dealing with a large number of competitors that have been preparing for the match for weeks and want the prestige of being the Royal Rumble winner. The Raw battle royal was thrown together at the last minute because they couldn't think of a better way to give Chris Jericho a title shot and featured a bunch of injured people that got more injured as a result of the match. It was certainly ill-advised & not very logical. I don't think it takes away from winning the Rumble as much as it makes Big Johnny look uncreative for not coming up with a better idea.

This isn't the first time that something like this has happened. Back in 2004 SmackDown had a "SmackDown Rumble" days after the Royal Rumble to determine who got a shot at Brock Lesnar's WWE title at No Way Out. Not many people complained because Eddie Guerrero won it & it didn't take much away from Chris Benoit lasting an hour to earn his title shot at WrestleMania. It still wasn't ideal and I see why they haven't done that again. You don't want to have too many Royal Rumbles in a year.

Of course this all leads to the question of how you determine the number one contender for the other championship at WrestleMania. I think the ideal way to do it is having the Rumble winner announce which title he's going after soon after the Rumble, and then having the other brand determine their top contender inside the Elimination Chamber. They've done this before and it seems to work. Sheamus waiting until Elimination Chamber to pick his target didn't really work, as everybody figured he was going to challenge for the World title because Punk vs. Jericho was going to be a thing. WWE tried to fake people out, but people saw through it.

The WWE roster reminds me of NFL teams with good starters and no bench. When a couple guys go down management is left scrambling an praying. As an on going enterprise, they need to think more like the Steelers or Packers. They are always trying to develop guys, even using the practice squad to train guys instead of just bodies in practice. Which is why "next man up" works for them more often than not. WWE has a couple top guys that are more or less untouchable. A few guys that are above the US/IC belt levels. Then essentially a bunch of guys off the street, buried so deep even Koko B Ware would be getting squash matches against them. They need to remember WCW and ECW aren't around anymore for them to poach talent off of. - Guest#1947

NFL analogies are a good way to get into the column. I would compare WWE to the Dallas Cowboys. They're America's Team, but like the Cowboys haven't won the Super Bowl in a long time, WWE hasn't taken the mainstream by storm in a long time. Their superior marketing, name value and motor mouth owners that seem a bit out of touch ensure that they remain in the public eye, but they often frustrate their hardcore fans that still remain loyal because they've always been fans and can't imagine rooting for somebody else. Tony Romo's popular in some circles, but a lot of people dislike him and say he doesn't measure up to legends like Troy Aikman & Roger Staubach. Even though Cowboys drafts usually get panned, they have some players that end up working out, but not as well as the fans would like.

It's true, there's some stupid idea that Daniel Bryan should actually win matches clean...all the time. Because that's great booking, if you want a strong heel just make him intimidating.....WRONG. DB is a small guy, no matter what, the more competent he looks the more people will want to cheer him, the point is to make him a heel, a competant but overall cheating heel. They've booked him perfectly he hold his own against the big dogs in a believable fashion, and the tactical element only makes him look smart. Good stuff all around, I really hope they keep DB in the title picture and have him keep the title for much much longer, they have potential fire with this guy. - Guest#5170

Bryan's also having great matches with the likes of CM Punk, so it's not like he's running away from people 24/7. Just the people that can squash him like a grape.

The lack of talent makes pulling Brodus even more strange. VKM should know better than anybody that charisma is far more important to SE than wrestling ability. People have to want to watch too.
This is one of the best reasons to restore the tag divisions too. So many want to argue about tags not drawing, but that overlooks what the majority of the roster is for. It gives guys a chance to learn to work a match, match psychology, promos, and gives them more time to get over as a real threat. It used to be a vital part of development. A tag division would have given WWE talent to replace Cody, Ziggler, Barrett and Bryan after they were raised above the mid card title levels. As an aside, its been shown that tt draws well if booked well, just like other parts of wrestling. Bringing in strong teams was certainly a large part of WCCW's success.
- Guest#8814

Your first point is exactly why I'm skeptical on the reason given for the lack of Funkasaurus recently. Kevin Eck, a WWE.com writer, claims that the reason Funkasaurus isn't on TV hasn't been reported yet. I think we've pretty much covered every possible reason other than a potential sex-change operation, so I have no idea what's going on with the Funkasaurus. I tried calling his momma, but kept getting a busy signal. You wouldn't believe how much a phone call to Planet Funk costs.

TMDK are from my hometown indie fed, feeling like a proud parent hearing about them winning fans worldwide.

BODYSLAM!
- @ScottOtd

Yeah, I felt the same way when Karl "Machine Gun" Anderson started winning tag team titles in Japan. It's always fun to see your local wrestlers blowing up worldwide. My apologies to Shane Haste, who I mistakenly referred to as "Shane Hawke" on the podcast last week. I was thinking of a dude that wrestled in CHIKARA some years ago.

Did Jay Briscoe really kill a bottle of Jim Beam during that promo? Fuckin' A The Briscoe's are the best!! WWE's loss!! - Andre the Midget

Mark was drinking the Jim Beam in the background, but Jay was having some Yuengling, which is also tremendous. Not only are they a good tag team & hilarious, but they have good taste in beer & liquor. Total package.

I'm getting the feeling they might be building to some kind of Team Laurinaitis vs. Team Long match at Wrestlemania for all the GM marbles (or at least to preserve the status quo), perhaps featuring Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, and Christian (and maybe Otunga) on Johnny's side.

What I haven't figured out yet is who would represent Teddy. Santino? Maybe the Big Show if the Shaq thing doesn't happen. When is Myserio supposed to be back?
- SR Punk

(I'm writing this before Raw and fully expect that show to render the next three paragraphs moot.)

I think a Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy match will definitely be going down at WrestleMania, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was announced on Raw. Team Johnny seems pretty set in stone with Christian, Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry & David Otunga representing him. I can see Miz getting added to the group simply because he doesn't seem to have anybody to feud with at the moment. As for Teddy, he seems to have a lot of faith in Ezekiel Jackson so I'd guess he'd be on the team. Santino Marella is allegedly still Teddy's Assistant General Manager, so he'd be there. He deserves a spot on the show anyway because of the great fan reaction he's been getting. You mention Rey Mysterio, and if he's back in time for WrestleMania like he thinks he'll be, he'd be a good fit for the match. Great Khali's been getting a lot of TV time for some reason, so I think he gets on Team Teddy. I'd prefer Ron Simmons over him, but I think Khali gets the spot & Simmons says "DAMN" in a backstage segment. These events might not be related. As for a fifth…well, Randy Orton doesn't seem to be doing anything at the moment. That may change, but I'd plug him in here and that'd pretty much even up the sides & make it tough to choose who's going to win.

I could see Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger being added to Team Johnny and R-Truth & Kofi Kingston being added to Team Teddy if they don't have some kind of a tag team title match at the show. I'm thinking they'll bring back the Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Title match that they used to do every WM and those guys will be involved in that with Epico & Primo and The Usos. That's purely speculation on my part, but it'd make sense. Of course the fact that it involves the Tag Team titles means that it probably won't happen.

Cody Rhodes & Big Show would both fit in this match, but I think they're going to have a singles match now that Shaquille O'Neal apparently won't be wrestling. Ray from offtheteam.com suggested last week that they could have had Big Show & Shaq take on Cody & Wade Barrett, which would have made sense, but if Wade's out of the picture now you can just make it Show vs. Cody. Shaq would have been cool to have on the show, but WWE probably figures that they won't need him on the show with Rock vs. Cena & Taker vs. HHH. The report was that Shaq was originally planned when they were going to launch WWE Network on WrestleMania Day, but since that's not happening they don't think it's as important. I wouldn't be surprised to see him wrestling sometime in the future though.

Also, I want Team Johnny to come out to this theme & a variation of this video adding whoever else is on the team:



Good times.

"Kirk is fantasy booking. This won't end well."

Well, quite. What he wrote was childish and unimaginative. Will you ever admit that he's not a good writer and he only gets reads/reactions because he's an egregious little troll?
- Guest#9731

Seriously, enough is enough. Kirk has been around for almost a year now. Anybody who's read his work knows exactly what he brings to the dance. If you like it, click on it, read it, comment, and repeat. If you don't like it, DON'T click on it, DON'T read, DON'T comment, and DON'T repeat. It really is that simple. And DON'T whine and cry about his continued presence on 411 or when he appears in Fact or Fiction or 411 Staff pieces. Wes Kirk is a part of 411 and it's not the end of the world. This site is for entertainment. Most of us want to just have fun reading and commenting on wrestling and escaping the "real world". People like you who insist on treating wrestling like Middle East peace negotiations are like Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons. - Gay for HBK

Wes Kirk & 411mania.com have severed ties as of last Tuesday. He had a disagreement with another writer over the topic of global warming, and somehow that mushroomed into Wes being convinced that this writer was holding him back at the website by keeping his columns out of the spotlight section. His columns often appeared at the top of the Wrestling page, and the writer Wes was having a dispute with has no power over what appears on this website outside of his column. He was also frustrated with the lack of response he received from site higher-ups. Those guys are busy and often don't reply to things. You get used to it.

Wes brought an interesting perspective to the table and is a good writer, but he would often resort to trolling the readers to provoke the readership into reacting to him or presenting subject matter that had nothing to do with wrestling. It often worked, as Wes's articles almost always got a great number of comments. There were a lot of negative comments, but there were plenty of people that liked him, and many people that didn't like him kept coming back every week to voice their complaint again.

There were even a few people that kept asking me to apologize for bringing Wes to 411. To those people, I feel compelled to point to the words of Gay for HBK, a fella that gets how these things work. Most of you get it. We're not curing cancer here. We're writing about different forms of entertainment. (Yes, I count politics as a form of entertainment.) We're posting pictures of hot chicks. This isn't exactly serious business. If you don't like one writer, we've got plenty of other ones for you to enjoy. I have no problem apologizing whenever necessary, and it's necessary more often than I care to admit, but the idea of apologizing because a couple of people felt they were forced to read columns by somebody they didn't like is pretty damn silly. I don't think Wes's work negatively affected anybody all that much, and if his columns were the worst part of your week…well, you lead a pretty good life.

In any event, the Wes Kirk Era is now over. I thought he'd at least make it a year, but he ended up a little short of that. It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun, or spending it in front of a computer writing about wrestling. It's a shame he went out like he did, as the situation was completely ridiculous & could have been easily avoided, but knowing Wes as I do, it was bound to happen eventually. When you're convinced that everybody's out to get you, you usually get got by yourself. If it wasn't an argument over global warming, it would have been something else. Wes is a guy that likes to argue. It can work for him and against him. I have no issues with Wes, at least none that I‘m aware of. He was always good to me, he always got his work done on time and I wish him the best of luck in whatever he does going forward. 411mania.com will move forward without him.

And now, the fake news!



The big news coming out of WWE last week involved online reports that the WWE locker room agreed with John Cena's promo directed towards The Rock last Monday. It all started with a rant from an anonymous WWE performer texted to PWInsider last Tuesday:

"[The Rock] comes in to use WWE to get back the audience he lost doing Disney movies, which is fine but he's been back over a year and name one person he helped make a bigger star since then? No one.

"He's here for himself, he keeps to himself, and he keeps someone who's actually touring here all year from making a bigger payday at the bigger shows. It's all about making this the "biggest" Mania of all time. OK, then what do we do the rest of the year? Who's been made? You think he took ANY blame for Survivor [Series] not drawing? Of course not, but how do you feud with a guy on the Titantron? Cena nailed the guy dead on tonight.

"Say anything about HHH, Taker, etc. still being in the top spot but if they were needed to work the road, they would and they would still work their asses off as much as they needed to. Rock is out for Rock and the idea he's here to better anything but his own wallet is the biggest work of 2012."


We can debate over whether it's legitimate or not, it sure wouldn't be the first time that the Internet has been worked. Stephen Randle's floated the idea out there that the rumors are complete garbage because smart wrestlers know that Rock being there equals more money for everybody involved. I think Stephen has a very optimistic outlook on the WWE locker room. I think other writers have a negative outlook on the WWE locker room. I'm sure there are plenty of people there that know Rock is good for business. I'm also sure there are plenty of people that think they should have Rock's spot in the WrestleMania main event.

All I know is that Rock will probably be back for WrestleMania 29, so people better get used to it. Don't get mad because the man has a busy schedule and can't work every week. Don't get mad because he didn't shake your hand in a locker room one time. And if you're a full-time WWE wrestler and you insist on getting mad because the Rock gets to be in the main event, don't waste your time whining and moaning to the Internet. Step your game up. Sure, it's entertaining to read about wrestlers bitching about people they don't like, but it's not productive and it doesn't lead to anything for anybody. Don't worry about The Rock. Worry about yourself.

Vince McMahon has warned people wrestling John Cena before WrestleMania to be extremely careful and not take any unneeded risks. With the prevalence of injury among WWE's upper-card wrestlers lately, WWE doesn't need Cena getting hurt before the show, as anything knocking him out of his match with Rock would be disastrous. I would think the smart thing to do would be to limit John Cena's number of matches heading into WrestleMania, but it's probably better just to remind everybody who the big star is and that they don't matter. Good for morale.

The CM Punk/Chris Brown issue mentioned in last week's column went up a notch last Tuesday, as Punk posted a video explaining his stance against the R & B singer. Brown responded on Twitter by saying he missed the old days with wrestlers like Bret Hart & Koko B. Ware, as they were not no punks. The Internets went crazy for a little bit and Punk got to appear on some TV & radio shows to talk about it, but the issue appears to have died down over the last couple of days.

WWE's financial report for the fourth quarter of 2011 came out last week, and the news wasn't too good. While house show & PPV business was slightly up, WWE lost $8.6 million during the quarter due to costs of starting up the WWE Network & DVD sales of WWE Films projects coming in under expectations. They also took hits in toys, magazines, & the website, but Vince McMahon says that they view house shows & PPV buys as indicators of whether they're connecting with the audience or not. I'm obviously not going in-depth here, but I'm not surprised that WWE lost some money while trying to start up their network. It remains to be seen whether or not WWE Network will be worth the investment, but WWE will have to hope that it'll be worth losing money in the short term to make money in the long term.

McMahon commented during the investor conference call that WWE would likely get out of the film business if things did not improve. Don't expect this to happen soon, as Vince said some films wouldn't be released until 2014, but it is awfully hard to envision things improving for WWE Studios. I don't really fault them for trying something different, as it was at least worth seeing if they could make a successful film studio, but it hasn't worked out. Sometimes you have to take risks in life, and Vince's non-wrestling risks just haven't worked out. It happens.

John Cena would have had a pretty interesting weekend in Daytona if the weather had cooperated. He was originally scheduled to wave the green flag to start the race, but when Kate Upton & Jane Lynch left town after the race was postponed until Monday, he was given the additional job of being the guy that told the drivers to start their engines. Those plans fell through when the race got moved to 7 PM & Cena needed to go to Portland, Oregon for Raw. I guess it wouldn't have looked too good if Cena missed Raw the week after he bitched out The Rock for moving on past pro wrestling, since the reason we're supposed to like Cena is the fact that he's always there. NASCAR was able to start their race without Cena waving a flag, so everything worked out.

What will the Divas be doing at WrestleMania? It seems like it could end up being a whole lot of nothing, as people within the company are pushing for there to be no Divas match so the matches that people are more interested in get more time. That sounds like a fine idea on paper, but the extra time would inevitably go to something else that nobody cares about. Dave Meltzer reports that the original idea was to have Beth Phoenix defend the Divas title against Natalya. Having the Pinup Strong girls break up and have a match at WrestleMania would have been a good way to end their angle if it hadn't been buried to the point where nobody cared about it. I assume this was an idea from a few months ago and wouldn't have involved Natalya starting up a farting gimmick. Surely they didn't think that would get her over as a face, right?

Right?

WWE has released a "Kayfabe" line of t-shirts. The shirts are simple black t-shirts with phrases like "Heel", "Jobber", "I Got Heat", "I'm So Over" & "What's Your Finish". They're not the most creatively designed t-shirts of all time, but they might become collector's items since there's rumors that WWE will be pulling them within the next few days due to backlash from people in the company. Personally, I'd pull them because they aren't very creative. I guess the idea is to sell them to smarks, but I'd think they wouldn't buy the shirts either because they're being sold by the man. Also, BarberShopWindow.com has cooler designs to appeal to total wrestling nerds. I resisted them for awhile, but I couldn't turn down the St. Patrick's Day Bundle. A Too Many Limes shirt? Hells yeah.

Drew McIntyre's "arrogant playboy" gimmick is starting to take shape. Fans at a SmackDown show in Honduras reported that Drew was acting very sexual during his match with Ezekiel Jackson, including flirting with male fans, blowing kisses & stopping the match to comb his hair. He still lost to Big Zeke to the surprise of…well, nobody really. It's been awhile since WWE had somebody working a homosexual gimmick. Billy, Chuck & Rico got some mileage out of it a few years back, but then they ruined it by promoting a wedding & having Billy & Chuck admit they weren't actually gay so they could become faces. I don't know if Drew can pull it off, but it'd be a nice payoff to Kelly Kelly rejecting him in favor of Edge.



-Rock on Raw vs. Daytona 500? This really isn't fair.

-Punk vs. Bryan 3 kicks us off! Or not, as that is not Daniel Bryan's music.

-Jericho says he never had to call himself the best in the world. Of course not!

-CM Punk swims with sharks while Chris Jericho dances with stars! Awesome line!

-Great stuff here, both guys were totally on their A game and Punk came off as being right while Jericho was wonderfully delusional. Punk dissing Jericho's jacket doesn't sit well with me, but at least he got Miz's inflatable letters too. Good freaking times.

-Bryan comes out with AJ, Big Johnny & David Otunga! Man has quite the entourage these days.

-Between all of this and a Fairly Legal commercial, you can't ask for a much better start to the show.

-I'm not sure we need six people at the announce table during Punk vs. Bryan. Can't they do this during Otunga vs. Santino or something?

-More offbeat shenanigans with general managers leads to the match being thrown out. The fans are not pleased…well, until Teddy shoves Big Johnny down!

-Punk stupidly turns his back on the entranceway, which of course leads to Jericho attacking him. Not smart, Punk. Not smart.

-Old School Walls of Jericho!

-Triple H vs. Undertaker recap time! That means time to update myself on the Daytona 500.

-Kelly vs. Nikki. Sadly, Cole doesn't include the "skank juice" portion of Kelly's tweets towards Eve.

-Kelly wins with a bridge. I don't think Lou Thesz's bridging pins were quite like that.

-John Cena vs. The Miz is next. I'm not sure this is the best idea for keeping Cena healthy.

-Meanwhile, Daytona is on fire. Literally. That's one hell of a fire they've got burning there and it's not in a hurry to get put out. You know it's a wild race when safety trucks are getting wrecked.

-Am I the only one not concerned about Miz not having a match at WrestleMania?

-Cena beats Miz in fairly convincing fashion. Hard to believe this was WrestleMania's main event last year. What were they smoking?

-ROSA!

-A Triple Threat Tag Team Title Match. It's like what I said earlier for WrestleMania minus the Usos.

-Epico & Primo win, then the stage blows up and Kane comes out to destroy everybody. Good, we need to forget about this tag team stuff.

-Seriously though, that's the kind of thing that really pisses me off. I've given up on tag teams ever meaning a damn thing in WWE, but why are we sacrificing these guys to Kane? One of them was challenging for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble, one of them's the current US Champion, and another one of them was a PPV main eventer last year. It's not like they've been jobbing for months and months. And yet they send out Kane, who's coming off of a godawful feud that nobody cared about, a guy that has no visible direction heading into WrestleMania, a guy that nobody cares if he's on the damn show or not, to squash all of them. What's the end game here: Kane wins the tag team titles by himself? Probably not, they just wanted him to choke slam some peeps for no other reason than to remind us that he's still around and will be involved in some match at WrestleMania whether we like it or not. And they freaking wonder why their mid-card has no star power. Good God.

-While I was bitching about that, Eve bitches about people not liking her anymore. Kelly confronts her backstage, Eve laughs and leaves, and Alicia Fox walks up next to Kelly to cross her arms. Such a shame the Oscars were just last night, this will be well-forgotten by this time next year.

-Miz cut a promo on Twitter promising to main event WrestleMania whether it's called a main event or not, reminding us of what he did last year, and referencing recent reports that he's not as good as he used to be.

-Randy Orton will be back on SmackDown. Some of you really won't like that news.

-Sheamus & Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes & Mark Henry. Lawler actually remembers when Sheamus kicked his head off!

-Cody introduces a clip of the time Big Show lost to Floyd Mayweather. Show only had like four hundred pounds on him, I don't see how that's so embarrassing.

-They keep sending Mark Henry out there, and he keeps losing quickly because that's pretty much all he can do. It's one way to use him.

-WWE.com will have a huge announcement at 10 AM Tuesday, likely to do with Teddy & Johnny. So there's that.

-Rock Time!

-Difference between Cena & Rock: Cena fights for the wrestlers, Rock fights for the people. That would explain why wrestlers would side with Cena on this issue.

-Did Rock get some new tats on his wrist?

-Rock playing the crowd like a maestro.

-Cena comes out to portray the jilted lover.

-Cena's mad because Dwayne Johnson's not a good guy.

-Dwayne, or the Rock, or whoever, promises to kick Cena's monkey ass. And that's that.

-Reviews are very positive on Cena's promo. I dunno, I may be the only person on this island, but he still comes off like a whiny bitch to me. Wah wah wah Rock's a jackass blah blah blah I'm here every week yadda yadda yadda Rock wants WWE to die blip bloop blop. Sorry folks, not impressed. Punk vs. Jericho promo war was ten times better, but Rock sold the show. The fans were eating out of his hands, whether they were written on or not. As a great man once said…It is what it is.



Brandon Jacobs impressed people inside TNA with his work at last week's Impact tapings. They felt that he got the business, and Dixie Carter's gone public with hopes that Jacobs will have a wrestling career after his time with the NFL is done.

The Speed Channel has rejected TNA's All Wheels Wrestling project that was taped last year featuring teams of wrestlers in racing-style gimmicks. The project is reportedly not dead and an announcement is expected in a couple of weeks. I dunno, Speed was the only channel I saw picking this thing up, and I'm not sure who else would be interested in a NASCAR-themed wrestling show. Maybe they can get it on some international TV outlets that mark out for American wrestling shows, but I don't know where it'd end up airing in the United States.

If they do continue with the project they'll have to do it without Jay Lethal, but that isn't so bad since they had him wearing a full-body outfit and a mask at the tapings. You can slip somebody else in there and nobody will know better,

Austin Aries showed some displeasure with Sting being booked in the main event of Victory Road, tweeting "I guess 'I'm done' is code for 'I'm booking myself in another PPV main event'. Yet the X-Division champ can't sniff a main event... #Shocker" Aries later deleted the tweet and said that "this straw over-stirred the drink". Since TNA is reporting on the story it's safe to assume that this is some sort of an angle, though I don't know why Aries' character wouldn't leave the tweet up since it fits into his persona of being the greatest man that ever lived. And if the answer is that Dixie Carter told him to delete it, that doesn't exactly make him look good.

Brian Kendrick has left TNA. He hadn't been featured with the company since October, when he lost to Austin Aries at the Bound For Glory PPV. It's not a big loss for TNA in that they weren't using him anyway, but one would think that a veteran like Kendrick would be worth keeping around to put other guys over and help them evolve in the ring. Unless he's high as a kite, in which case you're better off letting him go home.

Kurt Angle tweeted that he was going back to his old look. I got excited when I saw the headline because I thought that meant he was growing out his hair again, but it turns out that he meant he was losing the beard. I'll remind Kurt that there are two types of people that don't have beards: children & women. If Daniel Bryan said it, it must be true.



Congratulations to Charlie Haas & his wife Jackie, who are expecting their fourth child later this year. Charlie & Jackie often get overlooked as a wrestling couple that actually worked, as they bring the official number of wrestling couples that have worked to three.

You can always count on indy wrestling for a fun story like this...John "J-Millz" Miller, a wrestler in the Southern Indiana area, is suing a fellow wrestler for kicking him in the lower nutsac region and causing him to lose one of his boys. Clinton Woolsey, known as Guido Andretti in the ring, allegedly didn't want to put J-Millz over on a Coliseum Championship Wrestling card in Evansville last June, and decided to go off script and kick his opponent where no man wants to be kicked. Larry Wilder, Miller's attorney, told reporters that Miller didn't have health insurance and owes over $20,000 for the surgery he had to remove the damaged testicle. Miller had just come off of Oxygen's "Love Games", and he feels he was targeted by the CCW regulars because he was an outsider brought in because of his television exposure.

Among the arguments made by Miller & his lawyer is that kicks between the legs are unacceptable in the wrestling business, and there is not a professionally recognized wrestling move that includes a wrestler kicking another wrestler between the legs. I dunno, if I was the defense lawyer here I'd make a video clip of wrestlers getting hit & kicked in the groin to refute this claim. If nothing else you'd get the jury laughing and on your side. That's important in cases like this, and it might be the only way you can make a dude that kicked another dude in the scrot likeable.

I apologize to those of you like me that have sympathy pains after reading stories about things like this. Stacy Keibler was at the Oscars & Torrie Wilson was at the NBA All-Star Game. Hope that makes it feel better. Worked for me!

Jay, Mark & Papa Briscoe will be taking on Roderick Strong, Michael Elgin & Truth Martini in the main event of ROH's TV tapings in Baltimore, Maryland on Saturday night. It won't make TV, and Papa Briscoe isn't exactly a top-notch worker, but with any luck this will lead to a YouTube promo with all three of them drinking Beam & Yuengling while smoking some Brutal Bobs. That would be ridiculously awesome. The downside of ROH having TV tapings on Saturday night is that they're having their 10th Anniversary Show on Sunday night, so they'll either spoil some of the results of that show or there won't be TV & Tag Team title matches on TV for a few weeks.

Speaking of the 10th Anniversary Show, Eddie Kingston is saying that he plans on being there to catch up with some old friends. Rumor has it that the CHIKARA/ROH angle will be resurfacing at this show, continuing the trend of CHIKARA people appearing on ROH shows that aren't on TV or in Cincinnati.



The 411 on Wrestling returned on Friday night! Larry Csonka & your humble correspondent talked about all the latest wrestling news and whatever else was on our mind. Also, we were joined by none other than WARRIOR!

Tonight on the Greg DeMarco Show, Greg & Phil O'Dowd will chat with Kyle O'Reilly! He'll be talking about ROH's 10th Anniversary Show this weekend and all the other stuff going on with ROH & Team MMA & all that.

Fact or Fiction had Andy Critchell & Porfirio Diaz talking the pro wrestling!

Just because Wes Kirk's gone doesn't mean The Wrestling Sandwich is. I'll be impressed when they find somebody else named Cook to take this column over.

Acero and the peeps bring the truth.

Kelly questions whether or not CM Punk has brought change to WWE.

Sarnecky starts up his seventh annual Ultimate March Madness Tournament! This year's tournament will determine the greatest wrestler in the WWE Hall of Fame. Hopefully you've already voted on Round 1, but if not you can join in the remaining weeks!

Bazar ranks the top ten characters that overstayed their welcome. How did I not make this list? SHENANIGANS!

Well, that's all we have time for this week! Nick Marsico will be in tomorrow for the Wed Wi, and I'll be back next week with more News From Cook's Corner! Until then…


WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I AM! DAMN IT RIGHT!





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