Yo. You’re reading a late News and Analysis, your favorite TBL section (cheap pop?). Plenty of news and some thoughts to give out today. This will be more of a news report, so no flashy intro. That’s where you go “Awww…”
WWE presented their most anticipated PPV of the year in what was WrestleMania XIX this past Sunday. The event was definitely a good one, as solid wrestling highlighted the night. There were the usual ups and downs of WrestleMania, but more on that in the analysis part below. Come Monday night, a great edition of RAW hit the airwaves, and I personally enjoyed the show. The highlights saw Bill Goldberg make a debut on RAW and letting Rock know that he is “next,” as well as the firing of Steve Austin, who Eric Bischoff said of is not in a good shape and is too much of a liabitlity to the RAW brand. On Thursday the WWE SmackDown! brand presented another edition of their product. Highlights saw a brand tournament for the #1 contendership begin with guys like Benoit, Rhyno, Undertaker and John Cena taking a part of it. These four qualified for next week’s semi-finals as well. In what some see as a bombshell of it sown, Rena “Sable” Mero returned to WWE and started a storyline with Torrie Wilson!
I didn’t plan on talking about WrestleMania, but I’ll give you my thoughts in a nutshell. It was a good PPV, but it wasn’t a great one. It certainly wasn’t better than WrestleMania X7, nor was it better than WrestleMania X8 in my opinion. I felt WrestleMania XIX was definitely a good show though. Jericho-Michaels was the match of the night in my opinion. Hogan-McMahon delivered and was worth way more than what others thought. Rock-Austin was a classic and I felt it was another great bout. Lesnar-Angle was also very good for Kurt’s abilities at the time, so I give credit to both men. Triple H-Booker T disappointed big time. The result of the match didn’t come as a surprise to me. Overall it was an enjoyable show to watch and I’d give it a thumbs up.
RAW was a very eventful show, and it started with the firing of Steve Austin. Just to make sure everybody is clear on this, Austin is not “fired” in reality, it’s just for storyline-purposes. Also, WWE chose to take a real-life situation (Austin’s neck being injured) and play it out as a storyline. As it turns out, Steve Austin’s neck is really banged up right now, and Steve may need a week or two to rest. Of course, that’s not the main reason he was “fired” from RAW. The debut of Goldberg occurred on Monday, and WWE can’t afford (YET!) to have Austin and Goldberg on the same show. It’s expected that Steve Austin will head over to the SmackDown! brand soon. How soon depends on the condition of his neck and the creative ideas the writers come up with. It’s said that Austin’s neck will definitely not allow him to wrestle full-time for a while, so he’ll either have part-time storylines or be in a non-wrestling capacity over at SmackDown!. Time will tell, but the people on the SmackDown! brand are the people Austin should be working with. Guys like Benoit, Rhyno, Lesnar, Hogan, Cena, Eddie Guerrero, and the injured Angle and Edge, are people Austin has never worked a whole storyline with but has wished to do so in the past. If you think about it, the move many expected WWE to make is now complete — The Rock is on RAW and Steve Austin is on SmackDown! without any trades happening.
Bill Goldberg debuted in the WWE this past Monday night and this has been the big story of the week. After two years of speculations, Goldberg appeared at the end of RAW right in the middle of “Rock Appreciation night” and speared the Great One. It’s all but confirmed that the two will be facing off at Backlash and many believe that it’ll be the first of two meetings for Rock and Goldberg. Goldberg is still a major draw, if not THE draw right now and I think that was pretty obvious on RAW last Monday night. I expect his feud with The Rock to be very solid, as right now Rock is on top of his game! WWE has handled the situation very well storyline-wise as well. They gave Rock two big wins over Hogan and Austin and they can definitely have him job a match to Goldberg now and get a win in the re-match. That way they put over Goldberg in a huge way, and at the same time keep Rock’s character alive and able to explain his absence in two months once he defeats Goldberg. (He can simply say NOW he’s done it all!) If you also notice, WWE is keeping Goldberg away from Triple H so far and I would expect them to continue to do so until Rock leaves for Hollywood. Then Bill will probably feud with Hunter and the other strong heel in Jericho, and probably a chance of a feud with Scott Steiner if he turns heel. Don’t expect Austin and Goldberg to cross paths as this match could very well be the WrestleMania 20 main event. Time will tell.
If one return isn’t enough, let’s make it two, heh? On Thursday night, the wrestling world stood in shock as none other than Rena Mero, also known as Sable, made her return to WWE. Surprising, shocking, unexpected, out of the ordinary, insanely crazy, call it what you want, but Sable is back. For those of you who have been following wrestling for not-so-long or for those who are new to the Internet wrestling world, or if you simply didn’t know that… Rena Mero left WWF (back then) some few years ago. To shorten this up, she became a huge draw, posed in Playboy magazine, became the Women’s Champion, got a huge ego, had herself in trouble as she started picking up problems with many people backstage, and eventually was asked to participate in a lesbian storyline to which she refused and left. That wasn’t the end of it though. Sable sued WWF later on in a case which she lost, but her main reason was the fact that the company trashed her and asked her to participate in a lesbian angle. She returns to SmackDown! and kisses Torrie Wilson on the lips as her first move. I guess I need not say anything else.
This only goes to show you that Vince McMahon can burry the hatchet with everyone. In the past year we’ve seen Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Bill Goldberg, and Sable for crying out loud all sign with WWE. Am I the only one chanting “Bret” right now?
Rumor has it that Big Daddy Cool Diesel will be making a return to WWE as early as Monday Night RAW or next week on RAW. Kevin Nash has been ready to go and some sources even had him reported of debuting on RAW. The reason they never got to it was the fact that the show was already packed with Steve Austin’s firing, Kane and RVD winning the tag team championships (which I’ll get into, as well as other RAW and SmackDown! storylines next week as they progress), and with Goldberg debuting, it was simply not the right time to see Nash return. It’s very sure that he’ll be returning as Diesel, his WWF character, which is a creation of Vince McMahon. Rumor has it that he’ll be thrown in the mix either with Triple H, or with Shawn Michaels, and at first probably with both. We have our first Backlash match being rumored as of this writing and it’s a 6-Man Tag pinning the team of Triple H, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho going against the team of Shawn Michaels, Booker T, and Diesel. I definitely think we’ll see Nash either tonight on RAW or next week, so look out for that.
A lot of people have been talking about Paul Heyman as of lately. Paul E. hasn’t been on TV for a while now and after him being released from his writing position on SmackDown!, many people were wondering if he’s still with the company. Indeed he is. Heyman is currently a “helper” so to speak, as he reviews the programming and sends back notes to the writers and creative team. As far as an on-TV role goes, Paul Heyman himself has asked the writers to remove him from TV for at least until the summer. Word has it that he’s hired himself a personal coach and is trying to lose another 25 to 30 lbs. I would expect Heyman to return around SummerSlam, so we definitely haven’t seen the last of him. He’s someone WWE can use big time on TV, as he’s great in what he does. As far as writing goes, Vince will probably re-consider bringing him back to the SmackDown! team if things don’t work out. For now I doubt we’ll hear much about Paul until he returns to TV. That is unless something out of the blue happens of course.
I guess I’m keeping it straight news today. Before I leave I’ll give you an update on Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar’s conditions. As it turns out, futura was on Kurt Angle’s side at WrestleMania. Kurt walked out the same way he went in as far as his neck is concerned and did no further damage to it, which is a great thing. Angle did pull a hamstring during the math though, but that’s considered a minor injury. It was also announced on WWE.com late this past week that Angle has chosen the neuro-surgery way for his neck injury instead of having two of his vertebrae fused. Kurt’s surgery will take him out of action for just six weeks, but it’s my best guess that WWE will keep him out for as long as they can to make sure he’s doing well before returning, as they can’t risk anything with Angle. The man is tough, no doubt. Look forward to him returning in about three months or so. As far as Brock Lesnar goes, things didn’t look pretty following WrestleMania. If you saw the show, you know that when Lesnar went for a Shooting Star Press on Angle (which was supposed to be the end of their match), Brock slipped on the rope, and also Angle was way too far from the corner Lesnar went to, and the move didn’t work. In fact it was so messed up that Lesnar ended up landing right on his head and shoulder. Brock suffered a concussion and though it could have been a career-ending situation, it turned out to be an injury that takes him out of action for a week. As shown on SmackDown! his eyes were very gazed and he didn’t look well. He’s doing better as of now and will be at the SmackDown! tapings this Tuesday, accepting Matt Hardy‘s challenge in my opinion.
Well, folks, I think I’m gonna call it a night. Straight-out news today. I’ll be back with thoughts soon, and My Two Cents will be back too, hopefully much improved than lately. Thanks for reading and your feedback (whether positive or negative) is always appreciated! Thank you!
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Eddie, the one who hates the Lakers