Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wrestling with the Deceased!

Vince McMahon has recently ordered for his company, World Wrestling Entertainment, to be solely branded as WWE, thus eliminating the word “wrestling” from its title. While it's true that in recent years, wrestling – specifically the WWE – has become more of an entertainment spectacle rather than a wrestling spectacle, the truth is that you can't take “wrestling” out of a wrestling company. If you do, then what you've created is a soap opera.

Most people look down on the sport of professional wrestling because of the fact that everything is scripted. If you think about other sports such as hockey, baseball, basketball and football, what you'll notice is that, unlike wrestling, they are not scripted. Even the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Challenge) is real or not scripted. Because wrestling is scripted, it has caused many to question whether wrestling should even be considered a sport or not. This is the argument that is often brought up when people try to classify wrestling as a sport or just simply as a form of entertainment. I personally think that even though everything is scripted, wrestling is still a form of sports entertainment. For those who do not follow wrestling, you'll often hear them say that “wrestling is fake” or “wrestling is not real.” They are referring to the fact that everything is scripted or planned beforehand. What they fail to realize are things such as the performances that the wrestlers have to pull off inside of the ring for every match, the grueling road schedule that accompanies the job (which offers very little time off and no off-season), the high risk of receiving various injuries while working, etc. Therefore, to say that the life of a wrestler is easy is a vast understatement!

On Friday, May 20th, 2011, Randy Mario Poffo (a.k.a. “Macho Man” Randy Savage) was involved in a fatal automobile accident in Seminole, Florida. In light of his passing, a recent report was posted online comparing WWE wrestler death stats to similar sized samples in other fields of sports and entertainment. The report states that... “51 talents who appeared at the 1991 WWE Pay-Per-View WrestleMania VII, 14 have died prematurely - “The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, Dino Bravo, Andre the Giant, Joey Marella, “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, Mr. Perfect, Miss Elizabeth, Hawk, Hercules, Big Boss Man, Earthquake, Sensational Sherri, Crush and Randy Savage. This list does not include Gorilla Monsoon (62, natural causes) and Lord Alfred Hayes (76, series of strokes). By comparison, of the 44 professional football players who started on both offense and defense at SuperBowl XXV between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants, all remain alive. For professional boxing, of the 44 boxers to hold a major world championship in 1991, two are dead. Of the 50 musicians to perform at the 1991 and 1992 Monsters of Rock festivals in England, which is an annual music festival that attracts the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal music, all remain alive.” These frightening stats just go to show the toll that professional wrestling takes on a wrestler's body, and should make non-wrestling followers realize that despite being scripted, wrestling is real, wrestling is damn real!

Far too many wrestlers have died way before their time. That is why I have decided to write this blog. I have decided to pay homage to these wrestlers by participating in the following challenge:

Challenge: You are Vincent Kennedy McMahon, chairman of the WWE, and you have to book WrestleMania, your biggest pay-per-view event of the year, using only deceased wrestlers. The catch is that every wrestler, manager, announcer, etc. that you book has to have been employed by you at some point in their career. You have the luxury of having every wrestler in their prime as well, so age will not play a huge factor in your booking decisions. All of the current championships in the WWE are fair game for you to use, but keep in mind that all of them do not have to be defended. If there is either retired championship that you wish to reinstate, then you can because you're the chairman. The only rule is that you cannot create a championship. You have to list your roster of wrestlers, managers, announcers and other on-air personalities that you plan to use, and you have to plan the greatest extravaganza of the year, while also paying one last tribute to all of these great performers who are no longer with us! Finally, you should provide the results showing who you would put over in each of your matches.

Here is my response:

WWE WrestleMania: One Last Stand!

Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Lord Alfred Hayes

20 Man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal:
Adrian Adonis vs. Bad News Brown vs. Big Boss Man vs. Bastion Booger vs. Dick Murdoch vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams vs. Earthquake vs. Ernie Ladd vs. Giant Gonzalez vs. Hercules vs. Junkyard Dog vs. Lance Cade vs. Ludvig Borga vs. Road Warrior Hawk vs. Skip vs. Stan Stasiak vs. Stu Hart vs. “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich vs. The Executioner vs. The Missing Link

Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Divas Championship:
Bertha Faye vs. Fabulous Moolah vs. Luna Vachon vs. Sensational Sherri

Tag Team Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship:
The Jersey Triad (Bam Bam Bigelow and Kanyon) vs. Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock)

$15,000 Body Slam Challenge (WrestleMania I Rematch):
Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd

Extreme Elimination Chamber Match for the reinstated WWE Hardcore Championship:
Brian Pillman vs. Crash Holly vs. Crush vs. Mike Awesome vs. Test vs. Umaga

Triple Threat Match for the WWE United States Championship:
Mr. Perfect vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude vs. Dino Bravo
Stipulation: If Dino Bravo wins, he will rename the WWE United States Championship to the WWE Canadian Championship!

Singles Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship:
Owen Hart vs. “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

2 out of 3 Falls Match for the World Heavyweight Championship:
Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero
Fall #1 - Street Fight; Fall #2 - Steel Cage Match; Fall #3 - Ladder Match

Singles Match for the WWE Championship:
Macho Man” Randy Savage with Miss Elizabeth vs. Yokozuna

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Match Results:

Match #1: "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich wins the 20 Man Over the Top Rope Battle Royal (Last Eliminating Earthquake)
Match #2: Fabulous Moolah wins the WWE Women's Championship (Pinfall on Luna Vachon)
Match #3: Public Enemy wins the WWE Tag Team Championship (Pinfall on Kanyon)
Match #4: Andre the Giant wins the Body Slam Challenge (Body Slam)
Match #5: Brian Pillman wins the Extreme Elimination Chamber (Last Eliminating Crush)
Match #6: Mr. Perfect wins the WWE United States Championship (Pinfall on "Ravishing" Rick Rude)
Match #7: Owen Hart wins the WWE Intercontinental Championship (Submission)
Match #8: Eddie Guerrero wins the World Heavyweight Championship (3rd Fall - Climbing the Ladder)
Match #9: "Macho Man" Randy Savage wins the WWE Championship (Pinfall)

I welcome comments from all readers about my blog as well as responses back about how you would book WrestleMania using only those wrestling personalities that have passed away!

Next Blog: A Tribute to the "Macho Man" Randy Savage! OOH YEAH!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

#2: Extreme Rules 2011 Predictions

This Sunday, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) presents "Extreme Rules". This will be the third annual "Extreme Rules" pay-per-view (.. if you do not count "One Night Stand: Extreme Rules" in 2008). In 2009, the event was held in June and replaced the original "One Night Stand" pay-per-view. That event saw Jeff Hardy defeat Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship in an awesome Ladder Match, only to have CM Punk cash in his Money in the Bank contract after the match and defeat Jeff Hardy for the World Heavyweight Championship. In 2010, the event moved from June to April and replaced Backlash as the pay-per-view following WrestleMania. That event saw John Cena retain the WWE Championship in an epic Last Man Standing match against Batista, and Jack Swagger retain the World Heavyweight Championship in an Extreme Rules Match against Randy Orton. What will happen during this year's "Extreme Rules" pay-per-view? Let me share with you my thoughts and predictions on this year's event:

No Count-Out, No Disqualification, "Loser Leaves WWE" Match:
Layla vs. Michelle McCool

Prediction: Layla ~ In what could be Michelle McCool's final match of her career, she has decided to take some time off from wrestling to spend with her real-life husband, the Undertaker, while he's at home nursing injuries of his own. I hope that this is simply a break from the business and not an unofficial retirement because I think Michelle is one of the top divas in all of professional wrestling today.

Country Whipping Tag Team Match:
Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler vs. Michael Cole and Jack Swagger

Prediction: Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler ~ I think this feud has run its course and needs to end at Extreme Rules. I have personally enjoyed the feud and I feel that it is now time to have Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler defeat Michael Cole and Jack Swagger as a form of revenge for everything that has happened over the past couple of months. I am interested to see where they go with the announce teams once this feud ends. Does Jim Ross become a main stay once again on Monday nights? Does Michael Cole remain an announcer or become a manager or an authority figure, perhaps the RAW GM? Finally, what happens to Jerry "The King" Lawler afterwards? So many questions.. hopefully we'll get answers on RAW next week when The Rock celebrates his 39th birthday.

Falls Count Anywhere Match:
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio

Prediction: Rey Mysterio ~ Like the World Heavyweight Championship match between Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian, this match between Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio will end the feud between the two, as Rey Mysterio was drafted from SmackDown! to RAW last Monday night. I figured that Mysterio would put over Rhodes at WrestleMania but come out with the victory in the end, but that wasn't the case. Instead, Cody Rhodes pulled off the upset on the grandest stage of them all. Now, in their last battle, I think that Rey Mysterio will indeed defeat Cody Rhodes, sending both superstars to greener pastures. The one thing that did come out of this feud was the elevation of Cody Rhodes career. If Christian wins the World Heavyweight Championship, there are plenty of heels for him to feud with on SmackDown!... and Cody Rhodes is, in my opinion, definitely among that list!

Last Man Standing Match:
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

Prediction: Randy Orton ~ It's common knowledge that CM Punk has been upset with the direction of his character over the past couple of months and is considering leaving once his contract is up. I, personally, do not have any idea what the main purpose of the New Nexus is, as they simply seem like a bunch of guys who were thrown together with a top superstar, CM Punk, as their leader. If anyone has an idea, please let me know. With Randy Orton getting drafted to SmackDown!, this Last Man Standing match will be the final encounter between these two superstars. I believe that the New Nexus will interfere in this match, but in the end, Randy Orton will prevail victorious by punting CM Punk in the skull and putting him on the shelf for the time being. CM Punk could always be repackaged after the New Nexus disband, and that way, it would freshen up the product. In saying that, I hope the WWE does not lose CM Punk, as he is one of the best superstars that they have right now!

Ladder Match for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian

Prediction: Christian ~ This match really is a toss up. Does Alberto Del Rio become champion and take the title to RAW with him? Does Christian become champion and celebrate this memorable win with Edge! Either way, one of these two superstars is going to become the World Heavyweight Champion for the very first time. If Alberto Del Rio wins, it means that RAW will have the WWE Champion and the World Heavyweight Champion on its brand whereas SmackDown! will have no major champion. For this reason, I cannot see Alberto Del Rio winning. I feel that if Christian wins, it won't bury Alberto Del Rio. This will allow Edge and Christian to have one last celebration inside the ring, kind of like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero had at WrestleMania XX. Also, it puts the faces over in the Edge-Alberto Del Rio-Christian feud while Alberto Del Rio (instead of being buried) will go to RAW and continue to be pushed! Therefore, this feud becomes a win-win-win for the three parties involved and helps elevate Christian (to a certain degree) and Alberto Del Rio (to a larger degree)!

Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship:
The Miz © vs. John Cena vs. John Morrison

Prediction: John Cena ~ Believe it or not, The Miz has held the WWE Championship since the November 22nd edition of RAW, which was the day after the Survivor Series. That's a total of 159 days! Many people would agree with me that his run has been remarkable, and that he's really improved over the past year. However, with "Over the Limit" just three weeks away, I think that he will drop the WWE Championship to John Cena this Sunday and choose to use his rematch clause at "Over the Limit" on May 22nd, 2011. As for John Morrison, I believe (and hope) that he continues his feud with R-Truth because I feel that R-Truth's heel turn was done in an "old-school" way and that's something that we haven't seen in awhile.

This will be a monthly blog of mine as I will post my predictions to each wrestling pay-per-view. Let's see how smart I am at this! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

#1: Welcome!

First and foremost, I would like to welcome YOU to my new blog entitled Shooting on Pro-Wrestling: Past, Present and Future. Over the next little while, I hope to write many blogs on different topics in pro-wrestling concerning the past, the present and the future. I welcome all comments, both good and bad, pertaining to my blogs. I also encourage YOU to generate pro-wrestling topics that I can write about, and that WE can discuss, in my blog. The ultimate goal of my blog is for me to show respect to the business that I have grown to love, and to present ways in which I feel the industry can be improved upon today!

In 2001 and 2002, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) produced "Desire Videos" for many of their top superstars. These videos showed the sacrifices that each superstar gave in order to provide an entertaining product for the fans. The first lot of these videos used the song My Sacrifice by Creed. On the January 28th, 2002 edition of WWF Monday Night RAW, a new video was aired, but this time, instead of highlighting one particular superstar, the entire World Wrestling Federation (WWF) was the focus. The desire video was entitled WWF Desire: The History of the WWF. I believe that the main reason for this video was to celebrate the huge victory that Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) picked up over Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Paul Heyman and the World Championship Wrestling/Extreme Championship Wrestling (WCW/ECW) Alliance at the Survivor Series in 2001. This victory, which was scripted of course, meant that Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation had won the war, and that both promotions which made up The Alliance - World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) - were now officially dead. I have posted a YouTube link of this video at the bottom of this blog for those who have never seen it and for those who wish to watch it again. The song used for this video is Lonely Road of Faith by Kid Rock. At the beginning of this song, Kid Rock provides an inspirational quote...
If it looks good, you'll see it;
If it sounds good, you'll hear it,
If it's marketed right, you'll buy it;
but... if it's real, you'll feel it.

In closing, I just want to say that I really like this quote because I feel it has a double meaning with the industry today and with my blog. If the current product looks good, sounds good and is marketed right, then more people will watch the product, talk about the product and spend money on the product thus increasing revenue. If this happens, the industry will find itself going through what's called a boom period. I feel that the same can be said about my blog, that if what I say is interesting, controversial (Controversy Creates Cash, right Eric Bischoff, haha) and real, then you'll enjoy reading it and you'll constantly be checking back for updates! (: