Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report 03.07.13
Posted by Sean Kelly on 03.07.2013
Wherein we discuss Bret(t) vs. Hulk, Taker vs. CM Punk, WWE Studios vs. Reality, Paul Bearer vs. Death and more! Plus, contribute to the list of wrestling cliches!
Greetings, folks, and welcome to another edition of Thursday Sports Entertainment! Miss me? Wow, two straight weeks without a column, that's a first for me! Still, it couldn't be helped. I had mucho business commitments that were all due at the same time. Don't know how I pulled it off, but I did!
I saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway this past Sunday. Wow, what a letdown. You know the episodes of South Park that are kind of okay but not great? That's what the Book of Mormon is. Now imagine having to pay nearly $400 to watch that kind-of-okay South Park episode and you can imagine my frustration. If you're looking to catch a Broadway show in the future, do yourself a favor and avoid Book of Mormon. And Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. You know what? Just go see Avenue Q.
WORLD (WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT) NEWS TONIGHT
Zack Ryder recently had an interview with The Baltimore Sun in which he talks about his career slump and more:
I'm glad the show [Z! True Long Island Story] is over, I'm glad I did it and it definitely changed the way WWE, whether they want to admit it or not, looked at social media. (Last Friday was) Social Media Smackdown. It's pretty crazy. "
Ryder did his normal "poor me, I'm unappreciated" routine that's become all too familiar in recent months. Between his flurry of whiny interviews and Jerry Lawler mentioning that Ryder was "complaining to anyone who'd listen" that he doesn't have a WrestleMania spot, I would think that this is some sort of angle. Unfortunately, my gut tells me that Ryder is just out there complaining and WWE is publically calling him out for it.
I can understand why Ryder is so disappointed. He went from being a nobody, to US champion after a groundswell of support, back to being a nobody in less than a year. It must be very confusing and disheartening for him. However, I don't think that kvetching about it constantly & publicly will do him any favors.
And while I appreciate where Long Island Iced Z is coming from, what I don't get is how he genuinely believes that he single-handedly brought social media to World Wrestling Entertainment. Yes, he has a large online following, and yes, Z! True Long Island Story was a pioneer in WWE's YouTube presence, but newsflash Zack, EVERY major company is pursuing an online, socially active presence. WWE would still be pushing Twitter, Tout and YouTube even if you never existed. Hell, Matt Freaking Hardy was calling himself V1.0 and utilizing social media long before Ryder.
Social media is the new fad for companies both big and small. Some have found a way to make money from it (like WWE!) while others are trying to fit the square peg of their boring industry into the round hole of social media. So sorry Zack, you may have been a piece of the WWE online puzzle, but you in no way are responsible for "changing the way WWE looked at Social Media."
Hulk Hogan was asked on Twitter about recent comments that Bret Hart made about him and had a few choice words of his own. As you may remember, Bret spoke with Wrestletalk UK and said Hogan and Eric Bischoff were "useless" in their capacity running TNA, saying that he felt the company would lose ground underneath their guidance.
When asked about it, Hogan replied on Twitter:
feel bad for Brett he sends out the old, bitter, tired vibe,hopefully he will have a happy life from this point foward HH
So who's right? Is Hogan right in calling Bret(t) "old, bitter, tired?" Or is Bret(t) correct(t) in saying that Hogan and Bichoff are "useless" in running TNA?
The answer is…yes! They're both right. Kinda. But Hogan moreso.
Bret is an old, bitter, tired man. There's no doubt about that. See his recent comments about HHH never having a great match as further evidence. Sure, he seemingly buried the hatchet with McMahon and Michaels, but I think that was more for practical purposes than personal ones. Remember, Bret only agreed to be affiliated with WWE after learning that they were making a DVD called "Screwed: The Bret Hart Story."
After losing his family and his health, Bret's career legacy is probably one of the few meaningful things he has left. So it's little wonder that he was willing to compromise his ethics to engage with McMahon again. Also, keep in mind that Bret still feels he was fully justified in his actions re: the Screwjob, so he hasn't shown much emotional maturity there, either.
But Bret's comments on Hogan come a little too soon. Granted, TNA's TV ratings haven't improved by leaps and bounds since Hogan/Bischoff came in, but they have definitely brought more mainstream exposure to the company since joining. Also, from what I gather, the quality of the programming has improved since the days of Vince Russo. As much as people complain about the duo, they are responsible for Bobby Roode & Austin Aries as world champions, something no one ever thought possible.
Also, they convinced Dixie to take TNA out of the Impact Zone. Whether or not this is the right move remains to be seen, but it's definitely a step in the right direction if TNA wants to grow as a company. If successful, this could be seen as a milestone in TNA's future success. If the roadshow experiment fails, then maybe Bret will have a case. But for now, Hogan and Bischoff's effectiveness is still being written into the rasslin history books.
According to Pwinsider.com, The Undertaker is backstage at Raw in Buffalo, NY and will be appearing to set up a Wrestlemania bout against CM Punk.
I include this little newsbit because I made the conscious decision to NOT read it until after RAW. And I am glad I did. Not knowing who was appearing and who wasn't appearing made the show much more fun, in my opinion. Sometimes it seems like "smart" fans (note: we are all marks) only want to try and appear smart, without having any fun while watching. Like they would much prefer to be seen as being insider-y instead of enjoying the damn show. I want to further embrace my markness, avoid spoilers and try harder to be a fan. Granted, I'll still be a tired, old, bitter fan [aka the "Bret Hart" fan], but at least I'll be surprised every now and again.
Here's an example of how being "smart" lessens the show for me. When legends like The Million Dollar Man, Sergeant Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes appear, my immediate thought is "of course they're on the show, they work backstage!" Seeing guys like Honkey Tonk Man get me more excited because I know he's not constantly lurking around backstage. I'm such a sad person.
After plans for Rey Mysterio vs Sin Cara at Wrestlemania 29 fell through, WWE lost their chance to attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for most Lucha masks in one building.
However, they are now thinking about setting the record for the world's largest Harlem Shake at the event.
I had to look up what the Harlem Shake was before commenting on it, and my concern is that the fad will have passed by the time WrestleMania rolls around. For those of you not familiar with the meme, it starts off with a single person (often in costume) dancing to the Harlem Shake song. They can be either alone or surrounded by a room full of disinterested people. Midway through, the scene cuts to a large group of people now dancing along, often in bizarre, humorous ways.
Here's the problem with doing a "live" Harlem Shake - you need to have that cutaway moment where everyone is suddenly dancing crazily. I'm not sure what the WWE is going for here. This is the kind of story that gets relegated to the end of a local news broadcast, where the anchor tries not to laugh while reporting the story. Is that the kind of publicity they want? I realize that the adage goes that "any publicity is good publicity," but this might be the exception. The only thing that would make it worse is if Brodus brought back the grandmas.
And what's with all the dancing in WWE? Brodus Clay, Tensai, Khali, JR, Michael Cole, Fandango, Vickie Guerrero and many more have been dancing their way through RAW for years now. It's getting a little out of hand. Methinks that Vince McMahon is a lot like the Christoph Waltz character in the SNL skit below:
During the WWE Conference Call, WWE CFO George Barrios stated that 2013 will be the make or break year for WWE Studios. During the call, Barrios stated that they expect bigger returns from the new WWE Studios model, and that the theatrical releases of Dead Man Down and The Call will go a long way in keeping the division afloat. Barrios noted that if they do not see significant returns that the company will consider an exit strategy from the movie business.
In 2012, WWE Studios recognized revenue of $7.9 million, down from the $20.9 million in the prior year.
So WWE Studios needs Dead Man Down and The Call to succeed in order to survive. Well, nice knowing ya, WWE Studios!
My predictions: Dead Man Down has an opening weekend of $8.5 million, while The Call opens with $12.5 million. Plus or minus $2.5 million. What say you?
WWE's Daniel Bryan and MLB player Josh Reddick of the Oakland A's have agreed to a 2013 "Beard-Off" challenge. They will keep the beards until the end of the year, and the fans will then vote and the loser will have to shave.
I love this. There's something about the absurdity of grown men trying to out-beard each other that I find greatly amusing. It's harmless Twitter fun. Where's the harm in that?
But you know who has the best beard of all? Kanye West. And I ain't talkin facial hair.
I've designed a preliminary sketch for the World Beard Championship Belt. What do you think?
WWE has announced that William Moody, best known as Paul Bearer in WWE as well as Percy Pringle, has passed away at the age of fifty-eight. Bearer made his WWE debut in 1991 as The Undertaker's manager and played a prominant part of Taker and Kane's storylines ever since.
On behalf of 411, our condolences to the family, friends and fans of Mr. Moody.
It seems that Paul's longtime tag team partner, death, finally turned heel on him. This sucks. Poor Paul. How many of you have, at least once in your life, said Paul's creepy "ooooh yeeeees!" catchphrase? I know I have. There's no denying that Paul gave his character everything he had, and in doing so he helped two of the most iconic Superstars of the modern era get, and stay, over. Rest In Peace, Mr. Moody. A phrase all too fitting for your legacy.
Every scripted form of entertainment has its own list of clichés. In romantic comedies, the attractive man and women who hate each other will wind up falling for each other. In horror movies, saying "I'll be right back" is a guaranteed death sentence.
Pro wrestling is no exception. It has its own clichés that are used time and again. I thought it might be fun to make a list. I'll start it off, and you contribute in the comments section. Ready?
- Referees' bones are made of glass
- The babyface will always want to settle the score. Right here. TONIGHT! In ! The heel will decline.
- The heel will, at some point in his tenure, point at the audience and somehow blame them for his problems
- If in a countout situation, the referee counts at a normal, 10 second pace, the match is ending in a countout
- In PR-interviews, a midcarder will promise to steal the show, but won't
- A contract signing will end in violence and an overturned table
- Vince McMahon will lose power, only to reappear months later like nothing happened
- "I want a title shot!" "No I want a title shot!" (Out comes GM) "OK, fight for it"
- "I don't want to be in this city with all these loser (local team name) fans!"
- The person already in the ring after a commercial ends (i.e. the wrestler who doesn't get an entrance) is going to lose
- If a wrestler will win the match by climbing a cage or a ladder, it will take him forever
- Underdog diva will win via rollup
- A match won't end during a commercial
- An authority figure must always speak his/her title at least once during the show
- Missed what happened five minutes ago? No worries, here's a full recap!
Got any more? I'm sure there are thousands. Let's hear ‘em.
YOU'RE IN FOR A REAL TWEET
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