~~~~~THE TBL NEWSLETTER~~~~~
Volume 3, Issue 11
Official Newsletter of:
The Balrog’s Lair
“Still an Internet Original!”
“It’s What You’ve Been Waiting For”
Happy Day after All Saints Day! Or, in laymen’s terms: Sunday. I trust all of you had a safe and fun Halloween. Me? It was good, thanks for asking. I dressed up as a Televangelist. Those dudes are scary!
Well, we have a lot to get to and little time to do it, so enjoy it!
The Glorious Wedding
The Triple H/Stephanie McMahon wedding was reported to be understated, yet dignified. The two wed Saturday, October 25th. Everyone was said to have a good time.
Triple H’s best man was his father. Other members of his wedding party included Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, the Undertaker, and William Regal. Stephanie’s bridal party consisted of non-wrestling personalities.
The wedding included 320 invited guests, including: Shane McMahon, William Regal, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Undertaker, Triple H’s brother in law, Marissa McMahon, Undertaker’s wife Sara, some long time friends of Stephanie’s, Chris Benoit & Nancy (Woman), Stone Cold and his lady, Killer Kowalski and his lady, Sgt. Slaughter, Michael Hayes, The Prichard’s, Jim Ross & Wife, Big Show & wife Tess, Fatu, Earl Hebner, Booker T, Moolah (Lillian), Mae Young, Miyako Blassie, Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Arnie Skaaland & wife Betty, Mick Foley, Tim White, Howard Finkel & his wife, Arn Anderson and Bradshaw. Others from the WWE office were also invited.
The only odd story to come out of it was that of Michael Hayes grabbing the mic and singing “Jailhouse Rock” during the reception. He then later went on stage again which upset the band, leading Hayes to sing solo while mixing in some choice language. Linda McMahon finally went up and took the mic from him. Many were embarrassed by his actions as it made the event more of a “wrestling wedding” rather than a classy affair. When some asked Hayes why he acted like he did, he replied “a Freebird is always a Freebird” in reference to the wrestling character he once played. (Credit 1wrestling)
The Ultimate Warrior’s “Return” To Wrestling
For nearly a week, the Ultimate Warrior teased a return to wrestling on his website. This past Tuesday, it was announced the return is really only to be featured in Acclaim’s new Legends of Wrestling video game. Here is the press release for those of you that are interested:
‘ULTIMATE WARRIOR’ MAKES HIS LONG-AWAITED RETURN TO THE RING EXCLUSIVELY IN ACCLAIM ENTERTAINMENT, INC.’S ‘LEGENDS OF WRESTLING(tm): SHOWDOWN(tm)’
www.legendsshowdown.com Salutes ‘The Legends Legion’ and Offers Wrestling Fans Glimpse of Eagerly Anticipated Title Launching in April 2004
GLEN COVE, NY, October 28, 2003 – Wrestling fans around the world will finally have their long-held dream answered, as Ultimate Warrior, one of the most popular, beloved wrestlers in the history of professional wrestling, is returning to the ring. Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ.SC: AKLM) today announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement with Ultimate Warrior to appear in Legends of Wrestling(tm): SHOWDOWN(tm), which is currently under development with Acclaim Studios Austin and scheduled for release in April 2004 across the next-generation gaming platforms.
Underscoring the significance of this announcement to the wrestling and gaming communities, Acclaim has launched a special Legends of Wrestling(tm): SHOWDOWN(tm) Web site (www.legendsshowdown.com) featuring exclusive, never-before-seen images of Ultimate Warrior, one of 70+ wrestlers who will appear in the game. Fans can visit the site and register to become part of “The Legends Legion,” a free membership that qualifies them to receive ongoing email updates highlighting the latest gameplay and talent announcements. The SHOWDOWN site will also provide visitors with exclusive product information and free downloadable desktop wallpaper.
“Legends of Wrestling(tm): SHOWDOWN(tm) is the ultimate wrestling super card,” said David Knies, Brand Director for Acclaim. “We revamped the Legends of Wrestling brand and created a ground-breaking game that establishes a new benchmark for future wrestling titles. To demonstrate our commitment to this game, we enlisted a new development team, secured a dream roster of wrestlers, developed new gameplay features and incorporated a realistic art style. SHOWDOWN is guaranteed to amaze and entertain generations of wrestling fans and gamers alike.”
“Hello Warriors. I have been waiting for the perfect time to make my return to professional wrestling,” added Ultimate Warrior. “Amidst the rumors and mistruths spread by others, my time to return is now and it’s with Acclaim. I’m thrilled to be working with Acclaim again on the new Legends of Wrestling(tm): SHOWDOWN ™ video game and I will take this opportunity to settle all unfinished business in the ring. Always Believe!”
Returning to the world of interactive entertainment after a seven-year hiatus, Ultimate Warrior worked directly with Acclaim Studios Austin to create a virtual character that is as authentic as the man himself, including his signature moves, unique look and mannerisms. A professional wrestler since 1985, Ultimate Warrior is recognized predominately for his talent inside the ring; he is a former WWE World Heavyweight Champion and a two-time WWE Intercontinental Champion.
House Shows and Unrest
The moral for WWE talent continues to sink as house show business and TV direction plummet. One Smackdown house show this week drew only 1500 fans for a $40,000 gate. Since WWE wrestlers are given bonuses based on house show revenue, many are feeling the sting. Many barely break even when factoring their road trip costs.
It is reported now that even the loyalist of WWE’s talent is starting to get upset with Vince McMahon and the direction of the company. Many feel the McMahons are more or less ignoring the problems and not addressing them, instead opting to continue going down the same route that has caused business to falter.
Even Kurt Angle has been vocal lately about WWE’s direction. Angle has been one of WWE’s most positive guys, so it is surprising to say the least. (Credit 1wrestling)
Bill Demott Update
There were conflicting reports this week about Bill Demott potentially retiring due to his nagging injuries. What is known for sure is that Demott has been given a shot to help commentate for Velocity. The WWE hopes that his perspective as a wrestler will bring a freshness to the show.
In a related note, the WWE is considering putting Ernest “The Cat” Miller back into the ring. Miller was last seen announcing Velocity with Josh Matthews. (Credit 1wrestling)
Survivor Series News
The original plan for the traditional Survivor Series match from RAW was set to include Test in Team Bischoff, however, those plans were scrapped due to Test’s broken foot. Now things are left up in the air storyline wise. Mark Henry, The Dudley Boyz, and Shawn Michaels are not “officially” part of the match, as far as storylines go, but are rumored to be included in the two teams.
In related news, Scott Steiner was seen wearing a wrap on his arm during last week’s RAW after having a boil lanced off backstage at the show. Nice visual, huh? (Credit wrestling observer)
Matt Hardy to Jump?
There is a rumor circulating that Matt Hardy will indeed jump to RAW in the near future, possibly to get involved in the storyline of Christian and Lita. It is not confirmed yet, but Matt was seen backstage at the RAW show this past week and has not been involved in any storylines since losing to Zach Gowen at No Mercy.
Jeff Hardy was also backstage at RAW this past week to check in on old friends. Jeff is said to be doing fine and working on his music. He has done a few indie shows during his absence and is still said to be liked by management. No word on if he will return. (Credit 1wrestling and Wrestling Observer)
WWE to Sign More Japanese Talent
Rumors out of Japan are that Kenzo Suzuki has been offered a three-year deal with WWE to join the SmackDown brand. Suzuki debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2000, but left for World Japan earlier this year. On June 18th of this year, he wrestled Perry Saturn on a NWA: TNA Pay-Per-View (the result was a no contest), and he has worked WWE dark matches in October. The move would make sense with the current “Japanese Mafia” angle being worked on Smackdown, headed by Tajiri. (Credit 1wrestling)
Who Will Join The Face Team At Survivor Series?
Faarooq has been taken off house shows this weekend to sell the “injury” he received on Smackdown this past Thursday. This has fueled speculation that John Cena will join Team Angle for the upcoming show, thus turning Cena face. While still only a rumor, the idea makes sense due to Cena’s run-in with A-Train this past week. (Credit Wrestling Observer)
Another Possible Wrestlemania XX Match
The Torch is reporting that there is a rumor going around backstage that Triple H is pushing for a match with none other than Mick Foley at Wrestlemania XX. It is pretty much a lock that Foley will be involved somehow with the big show at Madison Square Garden and HHH wants to work a match with him. If this were to go through, it would really stack an already impressive show with rumors of an Undertaker vs. Kane match and Brock Lesner vs. Goldberg.
by: Eddie T
My name is Eddie. Get it? Eddie’s Rundown… Eddie… Okay. Happy Halloween! If you want more sections added to this little “column”, you should drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m a good boy. I’ll listen.
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK — Chris Jericho/Rob Van Dam
Chris Jericho and Rob Van Dam had a hell of a match on Monday Night RAW, resulting in the two being ranked as Wrestlers of the Week.
MATCH OF THE WEEK — Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam (RAW)
As logic would have it, the superstar(s) of the week also is(are) a part of the match of the week. That was definitely the bout between RVD and Y2J on RAW.
SHOW OF THE WEEK — Monday Night RAW
Monday Night RAW continued a recent trend of successful showings as they presented yet another good program this past Monday night. On the other hand, SmackDown is still recovering from the “McMahon” sitcom it has become, and hopefully Paul Heyman’s presence will help things out.
IMPROVEMENT OF THE WEEK — Vince McMahon
Call me crazy if you will, but they may go somewhere with the Paul Heyman/Vince McMahon situation. I like how they are having Paul as the guy pulling the strings. Although it’s a Mac-Ego thing overall (and it’s quite obvious), Heyman’s incredible mic work makes it credible.
DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK — Los Guerreros
Eddie is amazing. He proved this past Thursday that he’s very good on the mic as well. However, I felt that bringing in his personal life problems wasn’t a good idea. I will go on record and say that it was the one time I’ve seen it when that was done in wrestling and it got somewhat over. It’s all due to Eddie’s skills and I give him credit for that.
Well that will do it for this week. Sorry folks, but I kept it sharp as I didn’t have much time! I should be back with more next week! Happy Halloween and have a great weekend.
THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW
By: Julian Radbourne
Goldberg vs. Kane: A Missed Opportunity
While watching Raw this week, and the build-up to the Survivor Series on November 16th (just eight days after my birthday, hint hint), the smart mark in me began to come to the fore. The armchair booker began to rear his ugly head again, and began to think that maybe, just maybe, the Raw main event for the show should be something different entirely.
At this moment in time Bill Goldberg is scheduled to defend the Raw World title against the returning Triple H, just one month removed from the previous pay-per-view offering. However, if this aspiring writer had been in charge of the booking committee, it would have been a totally different story.
In another Survivor Series match, Kane is once again scheduled to go up against Number One Son in an Ambulance match. Again, if yours truly had been in charge, this would be a totally different story.
Goldberg is the hottest baby face on the Raw roster at the moment. Kane is the hottest villain on the Raw roster at the moment. Do you see what I’m trying to get at here?
Although a Goldberg/Kane Raw title match and mini-feud wouldn’t have been one for the wrestling purists out there, it would have been good for a number of reasons, and some of these reasons would have definitely appealed to the old school fans out there.
Firstly, it would have given Triple H more time to recover from his nagging injuries. Sure, a WWE pay-per-view without The Game would never be considered. However, appearing on the show, and not actually competing would do his physical condition no end of good.
The $100,000 bounty gimmick, although it’s been done countless times in the past, would have been far better if the company’s top heel, instead of going after Vinny Mac’s son, had decided to take Triple H up on his offer and taken it upon himself not only to eliminate Goldberg but also become World Champion in the process.
By pitting Goldberg and Kane against each other, you could also have allowed the feuds both men are in time to cool off a little. The creative team could have used this mini-feud between the two monsters to build-up their future rivalries a little more. The big two matches could have been postponed until the Royal Rumble in January.
Yet by promoting these rematches so soon after their previous encounters, it feels like the WWE is shooting itself in the foot. Familiarity breeds contempt, as the old saying goes. As fans, we are beginning to grow tired of seeing the supposedly unstoppable monster being stopped by a non-wrestler. As fans, we are beginning to grow tired of seeing the same man, the newest member of the McMahon clan, in the main event all the time.
Even if the idea of a Kane/Goldberg Survivor Series main event was put forward, it’s doubtful that the match would have ever happened. Triple H wouldn’t be satisfied with just a bit part, a run-in on the main event. Shane McMahon, although a competent performer, probably wouldn’t let a “real” wrestler take his spot against one of the hottest stars in wrestling at the moment.
So will we ever see Kane v Goldberg for the title in the main event of a pay-per-view. Maybe we’ll see it in December, or perhaps even at the Royal Rumble. But I get the feeling that a certain wrestler will plod his way through another pay-per-view main event before regaining the gold. Triple H was one hell of a wrestler once. It’s a shame that ego and his apparent unwillingness to take time off to heal himself properly is perhaps costing the wrestling fans what could be, if handled properly, one of the biggest feuds in years.
Jay Strikes Back!
Pretty good week of rasslin’, here’s the lowdown.
Survivor Series style matches. Good to see the WWE bring these matches back. I always dug them and they are bringing about some interesting combinations.
Teddy Long. Heart Break Cracker?!!? I laughed my ass off for like 10 minutes after Teddy fired that shot. Freakin’ Priceless.
Paul Heyman’s Pep talk to Vince on smackdown was great. Enough of this crackhead Vince sputtering about terrorists, rapes, and child killing.
Jericho/RVD Pretty good set of matches with Austin coming in to escalate his feud Jericho.
Ultimo Dragon. He was on Smackdown AND he WON. I was disappointed that he didn’t join up with Tajiri and the fellas.
Return of Nathan Jones. I’m going to give this guy a second chance, but if his wrestling is what it was a few months ago I will put this under ugly.
Halloween Chick segment. Would have gone under Ugly, but Funaki saved the segment with his killer threads.
Main Event on Smackdown. Pretty lackluster, but helps set up the PPV.
Survivor Series gimmick matches. Ambulance match?? Kane and Shane again? Another Vince match and its’ also a gimmick? Buried alive? Egads!
I admit that I’m actually looking forward to this PPV, minus 2 matches. Very good build up.
Email Jay Here!
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The Princess is off getting to know her new husband (and I mean in the biblical way), so The Emperor has turned SmackDown over to Paul E. Shithook, Mad Genius Of Wrestling … as long as you keep him away from the money. In his two weeks as SmackDown GM, so far he has given us:
1. A match designed to keep The Taker from ever getting a title shot, that resulted in Taker selecting a Buried Alive Match v. The Emperor at Survivor Series. The word is that Taker will lose the match, be gone long enough for his hair to grow to its old length and then reemerge as The Master of Darkness at Wrestlemania.
2. Set a Survivor Series Match pitting Team “Our American Olympic” Hero v. Team Godzilla. To fill the spots on Godzilla’s Team, thus far he has named The Big Slowass, the returning Australian Ex-Convict Nathan Jones and the debuting Matt Morgan. Godzilla told John “Don’t Confuse Me With Ice-T” Cena that he hears he will probably be the fifth man on the team (then again it could be [ugh] The Hairbag, since Cena may be switching teams soon … No, not THAT Team … “although there’s nothing wrong with it”). If you recall, Jones could bend a rebar in half, but knew less about wrestling then Blondie did (does)? two years ago, and we don’t know if Morgan knows (get ready for this …) a wrist lock from a wrist watch, however, he looks like he could straighten the rebar after Jones bends it. This wont be the biggest team The WWE has ever put together despite what Michael “Even Whiter Than Angle” Cole says, and certainly not the brightest (thus far they have a combined IQ of 146, with 137 of it coming from Godzilla), but stranger things have happened.
Our Hero’s team has Canadian Crybaby No. 2 and The GayPA, (What me retire?) Farooq and The WWE’s answer to Warren Buffet (and Tiny Tim)?, Bradshaw, and a player to be named later (Our favorite rapper)? It has two of the WWE’s “best wrestlers” and two of The WWE’s best brawlers on it. A lot smaller than Godzilla, but can you say “Ankle Lock” and “Cross-Face?”
Having someone debut on a PPV says a lot about the Brand split. I know others have done it, but it sure looks like The Emperor is stretched a little thin.
SmackDown has been superior to NITRO II, The WWE’s headline show for sometime. I’ll say it again, if Shithook is allowed input into the writing of SmackDown, NITRO II has twenty miles of bad road to hoe.
Another small thing has happened with Shithook running the show, we didn’t have a McMahon-A-Thon this past week. I’ll take Shithook on camera any day. He is at least as devious as The Emperor and far more interesting to listen to … just as long as he doesn’t become McMahon II. McMahon did his thing by dominating the proceedings because he is “The Boss,” so can do anything he wants, whereas Shithook just does things that would piss off The Pope. Now if McMahon could only clone him and send him to NITRO II.
Yet another new affiliate this week. If you would like to be a TBL Newsletter affiliate and have your website reach hundreds of mailboxes every week,email me
and we’ll get your link in the Newsletter.
Visit our great affiliates!
The Wrestling Journal
Roland G’s Blog
More affiliates to come!
See Ya Later
Well, we’ve reached yet another end together. Great thanks go out to all the great TBL Newsletter columnists that due this fun week in and week out. But the columns and great wrestling talk don’t have to stop here! Oh No! We’ve got MUCH on tap over at The Balrog’s Lair!
First off, we had a NEW columnist debut over at TBL that I’d like all of you to meet. See, any time we have a new columnist, we all razz and haze the guy relentlessly until he almost cries. But he didn’t. He’s tough. He’s RICO SPARKO and he blessed us all with his column A Look At The Hart Family. Check out the new guy, he’s good. Eddie came back and threw down all new N&A’s…two as a matter of fact (plus a cool graphic on the main page). You can check them out Here and Here. Dude works hard and he even mentions me in one of them, so give them a whirl. Also, Big Bad Joe Balrog Himself (!!!) came out of hiding to write a BRILLIANT piece on internet writers that I consider a must read. Check that bad boy out right here. And finally, Chris Vining started an interesting series entitled: How the WCW Saved the WWE. It’s part one, so get in while the getting’s good.
I gotta go lay down now.
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