Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report 12.20.12
Posted by Sean Kelly on 12.20.2012
Wherein we discuss The Boogeyman, Why TV-PG is A-OK, Randy Orton's relevance, and more! Plus, I share some of my experiences at the TLC pay-per-view event!
Greetings, folks, and welcome to another edition of Thursday Sports Entertainment! You are reading the only columnist that correctly predicted the return of the Boogeyman! Let's hope his appearance was more than the one shot deal that has been reported. You have to admit, the man is an interesting and attention-grabbing character. Let's hope his in-ring ability has improved during his time away. He's a bigger star than Chris Masters, that's for sure!
Oh man, I'm gonna catch hell for that one, but I feels what I feels, ya know?
You missed the part in the lawsuit where WWE stated they where not interested in any of TNA's contracted talent. Going after one of those talents that where signed at the time of the statement and the affair would undermine their credibility, hence the no signing till lawsuit settled idea. Apart from not looking into TNA's side of the affair at all. While I do not think TNA will win or there has been any true wrongdoing on the E's part apart from not informing TNA immediately you should have delved a bit deeper into the story and given both sides before making an analyses imho.
Oh, Hyde_Hill. How you disappoint me. I did do my research on the story, and what you're presenting isn't what the WWE actually said. Their attorney said in a note to TNA:
"First, and as I advised you orally on the phone during our recent conference call, WWE has not solicited Ric Flair to leave TNA and enter into a contract with WWE. WWE has made no offer to Flair and has no intention of doing so.
Second, as I also advised you, WWE has not solicited any other current TNA talent to repudiate their contracts and enter into a contract with WWE. WWE has no interest in current TNA talent."
I'm going to ignore the word "orally" and concentrate on that second bit, as the context of my writing was about Sting. They specifically state that they did not advise anyone to ditch their TNA contract and jump ship. Therefore, when they say "they have no interest in current TNA talent," that means that they have no interest in talent that currently is under contract with TNA. It's pretty clear what their intentions are in that statement. To interpret that as WWE saying "we have no interest in contracted TNA talent now and even after they leave forever and ever because they are butts and TNA has cooties and is gross" is excessive. Bottom line – WWE is saying they have no interest in poaching, but if someone becomes an independent performer, that's another story. Besides, Ric Flair was on RAW, so there you go.
You like Ultimate Warrior and don't like Colt Cabana. Your argument is invalid.
I actually have nothing against Colt Cabana. He's a perennial never-was, a loveable loser that's easy to pick on. It's all in good fun. I'm sure he has a sense of humor about it. Not that it matters. Think Colt Cabana reads this? I doubt it. I sincerely wish him well with his career of cleaning CM Punk's toilets.
And yeah, I like Ultimate Warrior and everyone else should, too! He's a legend of the ring!
Besides, it's my opinion. And opinions are like assholes. Round, brown and stinky. Opinions are Mark Henry.
WORLD (WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT) NEWS TONIGHT
John Cena participated in a Tribute to the Troops conference call on Thursday promoting next week's Tribute specials on USA Network and NBC. During the call he discussed WWE's change to a PG style program, stating the following…
"Our programming has changed so much over the years. I started in 2002 and our programming was more TV-14, edgy, anti-hero-based, conflict-hero-based. And, since then, I think our programming has made a turn for the better into more of a PG environment. All of our programming, platform-wise, is PG."
The reason for that is simply because the people who attend our events. More families began to attend, more children began to attend. When you have those young and youthful eyes looking at you and you know you're global, you tend to have choices to make. Me being portrayed as a good guy on our programming, it was an obvious choice. I wanted to do my best to use my television time to set a good example."
I disagree with John Cena here. Sure, I think WWE going PG is a good move, but he explains it with the wrong examples. There's nothing wrong with having an anti-hero or conflict-heroes. Just because a program is PG doesn't mean it needs to lose its edge.
Let me give you an example. Pretend that you are on a ratings board in Hollywood. What would you rate the following movie if I gave you this synopsis:
"A man's wife and children are murdered by a predatory killer. The only survivor is his physically handicapped son. The experience puts him in a severe neurotic, paranoid state. Later, the handicapped son is kidnapped while on a field trip and held prisoner on the other side of the world. The father joins with a mentally unstable woman on a quest to find his son, and is nearly killed numerous times in the process."
Sounds grisly, right? Surely that's an R-rated movie, maybe PG-13 if we're lucky. But that's actually the plot to Finding Nemo, which is rated G and has grossed over $900 million dollars worldwide to date in theaters. I love Finding Nemo. I could watch it a hundred times. There's plenty of conflict in there, and the main star is an untraditional hero, to boot.
WWE seems to think that PG means that stories should be simple. The angles are so watered down and bland that they wind up being ineffective. In other words, WWE is playing it safe. Can you name anyone who ever accomplished anything great by playing it safe?
The funny part is that taking risks is what brought WWE to prominence in the first place. Vince taking WWE national was a huge risk. So was the first WrestleMania. The Attitude Era came about because they were backed into a corner by WCW and would try anything to stay alive. These days, the WWE is making money and getting complacent, and that's a shame.
And it's not like the McMahons are risk-adverse by nature. The WBF, XFL, and Linda McMahon's Senate runs are examples of big risks that didn't pay off. The WWE Network is a big risk. So why play it safe with the programming? I'm not saying to do a complete 180, just introduce a little more sizzle to the programming. Is that too much to ask?
Before the wrist injury he suffered at the Tribute to the Troops show, Randy Orton was scheduled to face Alberto Del Rio at the TLC PPV
I get the feeling that Randy Orton could disappear completely from the wrestling scene and no one would notice at this point. He hasn't done anything high-profile in a long time. Between injuries & his suspension he's basically been a part timer. What else can they do with him? He's been champion multiple times. He's been in a stable. He's led a stable. Personally, I don't think there's much Orton can contribute at this point, other than putting over younger guys. Think he'd be up for that?
Short of a compelling angle like Jericho/Michaels, Orton doesn't have much room for growth, even with a heel turn. Anyone agree? Disagree? How would you use Orton over the next few years?
Ted DiBiase has been sending out feelers to Hollywood to see if he can get acting work. DiBiase, who is reportedly disgruntled and taking a "wait and see" stance in regard to his WWE future, is said to be disinterested in Los Angeles which will not help his acting chances. If he leaves WWE he is likely to look for work outside of the business.
I've actually been waiting for this little news tidbit for a while now. A few months ago, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase was on the Rod Pod, Rowdy Roddy Piper's podcast. Roddy asked about Ted Jr. and Ted told Roddy about how hard it was for little Teddy to have his father be away on the road for nearly his entire childhood. Ted Sr. also reflected on how hard it was for him to leave his family behind, and it's a sacrifice that he questions to this day.
After that, Ted Sr. said that now that his son is grown, Ted Jr. understands the lifestyle and the commitment his father had to make to provide for his family. However, now Ted Jr. has a child of his own, and Ted Sr. implied that Ted Jr. was having second thoughts on a career in sports entertainment. Having a kid changes your life, and Ted Jr. needs to make a choice – does he want to follow in the footsteps of his father, essentially abandoning his new child to pursue a career in wrestling, or does he come up with an alternate career that will let him spend more time with his baby? The way Ted Sr. described it, it sounds like his son is leaning toward the latter. Whatever choice Ted Jr. settles upon, it'll be a really, really difficult one for him, and wish him the best of luck in whatever he decides to do.
The man who came out with AJ Lee and attacked John Cena at the end of Raw is Big E. Langston. Langston was one of the most over guys in NXT and is considered one of the top talents in the developmental system outside of The Shield.
The guy has impressive size, but good Lord, get that man to a barber and a tailor, pronto. Big E. Langston looks like a generic bad guy that Chuck Norris would have fought in a disco club 30 years ago. Also, $20 says that if Russo were booking Langston, his name would be Big P. Ness.
With WWE in Pittsburgh for their live Smackdown and Raw tapings, the word is that Triple H will try to have a meeting with Bruno Sammartino about joining the WWE Hall of Fame.
Ya gotta admire Triple H for never giving up. Sammartino belongs in the Hall of Fame. If I remember correctly, I ranked him as the number 3 WWE Champion of all time, behind Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. Who knows? Sometimes, with age, people get more reflective and think about their legacy. If such a mood comes over Bruno, perhaps he'll reconsider.
This got me thinking about some of the notable absences from the WWE Hall of Fame. Who are the Top SuperStars that haven't been inducted yet? Note: I'm not going to list part timers like The Rock, Undertaker or HHH, or people who are under contract to TNA like Sting and Kurt Angle. Here, in my opinion, are the top 5 SuperStars missing from the Hall of Fame:
5) The Dingo
4) Blade Runner Rock
3) Jim Hellwig
2) Dingo Warrior
1) Ultimate Warrior
I keed, I keed. Here's the real list:
5) Jake "The Snake" Roberts
4) Mick Foley (I don't think he's wrestling anymore)
3) Bruno Sammartino
2) "Macho Man" Randy Savage
1) Ultimate Warrior
For celebrities, I'd go with Mr. T or Donald Trump.
What's your list look like?
TABLES, LADDERS, AND CHAIRS: A LIVE PERSPECTIVE
Awesome Ladybug Girl attended her first live WWE event this past Sunday…and promptly fell asleep. Yes, TLC was something of a bust as far as the Ladybug Girl was concerned. She was fading fast from the start, and valiantly hung on until the end of the IC title match, where she passed out beyond any hope of waking up. I'll put it to you this way – even Kane's pyro didn't rouse her, and that stuff is LOUD.
So after the TLC match we took her home. I have no regrets. I know I missed a few excellent matches but my concern was getting my daughter comfortable. Also, the thought of carrying her out amidst the throng of hyped up Brooklynites at the end of the show made me nervous. It turned out that she had a fever by the next morning, so that explained a lot. Poor thing. She's doing much better now, at least.
We had really good seats – the first row of non-floor seats, right on the aisle. And by non-floor, I mean we were about 5 feet off the floor, so the view was excellent. On the way out I spotted a dad with two little John Cena fans in the last row and gave him our tickets. At least those kids would get to see their idol wrestle from a much better vantage point.
As for the show itself, it was very well done. The crowd was a red hot, with the pro-heel faction very vocal. While entering the arena there were numerous "Let's go Ziggler" chants breaking out, and a VERY loud "YES!" chant as well. The last time I saw this was at Survivor Series 2011, where the crowd was insanely behind Zack Ryder getting his shot. Note to WWE: the Smarts are voraciously pro-Ziggler, but you knew that already.
I don't know why there are these B.S. reports about Ryback not receiving a sufficient ovation at TLC. What a load of crap. He got plenty of cheers, especially from the younger, non-"smart" fans. You have to take into account that a NYC crowd isn't your typical crowd. When you have Ryback in the same match as IWC favorites like Bryan, Rollins, Ambrose and even Kane, his reaction will not be as passionate. NYC picks its favorites and makes its opinion known - the "Goldberg" chants were loud and frequent. The only one that rivaled "Goldberg" in volume was the "Feed Me More" chant that broke out midway through a Goldberg chant, and that's because the fans are conditioned to chant that when Ryback revs up his arm. Ryback, in Brooklyn, had the same problem as Cena. One segment of the audience would rather chant Goldberg, while the younger, more markish crowd chants "feed me more." It can't be helped.
But that match was fantastic. Every man came out a bigger star than when he walked in. The Shield, for a bunch of "rookies" looked like they belonged there and were a real threat. Bravo to all involved.
FACT OR FICTION RESPONSE
Last week I partook in 411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction. I love participating in FoF, but my biggest problem is that I don't watch TNA or ROH. I was called out for that, and I understand why people get frustrated when writers are asked to comment on subject matters that they are not familiar with. I did the best I could, and at least tried to give entertaining answers to those questions to make up for it.
However, I simply don't have the time to watch every wrestling program. There's this notion out there that every schmuck with a wrestling column should watch every hour of wrestling available, and that simply isn't feasible. At least not for me. I have a full time, corporate job. I have a wife, kids and house to attend to. I also have numerous other interests that aren't wrestling. I like watching WWE. I like writing. I also like 411, and I've been able to successfully combine those elements of my life into this column, which is something I'm proud of. So for those of you who want more TNA or ROH coverage from me, guess what? It ain't happening. Wrestling is fun, but it's not like we're discussing life-changing events here, either.
So what are we to do? I agree that there should be more TNA and/or ROH representation in this column, but I don't have the time to do it. However, I also feel that those of you who do watch this kind of programming should be represented here. Therefore, I'm challenging those of you who want this kind of coverage to step up and contribute.
Yep, it's time to put your money where your mouth is, folks. Think you're a better writer than me? Think ROH or TNA is better than WWE? OK, make your case. Starting in 2013, I'm accepting reader-submitted contributions on all things TNA, ROH, Japan, CHIKARA, Shimmer, whatever. If you have an interesting and/or entertaining non-WWE perspective, send it to Sean411Wrestling@gmail.com and I'll consider putting it in the column. It can be a long missive on a big topic, or a one line joke about a newsbite. Anything that catches my attention will be put in. I like this approach because it does the following:
It fills the non-WWE void in this column
It gives your fellow fans a chance to read the content they're craving
It gives you the opportunity to be creative and receive exposure for your talents
It stops the whining without me having to work harder (this is very important)
So put on your thinking caps, readers. Starting with the January 3rd, 2013 column, you get to have your voice heard. It's put up or shut up time. I'm calling you out! Do you have the guts to accept this challenge? Time will tell. I for one am very interested to see how much e-mail I get. My bet is on "little to none." Prove me wrong, readers. I want you to take this seriously. Who knows? It could lead to bigger and better things for you. (Success not guaranteed).
YOU'RE IN FOR A REAL TWEET
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Thank you for making Thursday Sports Entertainment your go-to destination for Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. I'm out next week for the holidays, and I hope you and yours have a great Christmas and New Year. Happy Hardcore Hollydays!