~~~~~THE TBL NEWSLETTER~~~~~
Volume 3, Issue 25
Official Newsletter of:
The Balrog’s Lair
“Still an Internet Original!”
“It’s What You’ve Been Waiting For”
The Final Time
Hey boys and girls. A quick note from me about the direction of the newsletter. While the TBL Newsletter will go on, it will have to do so without me. So, this will be my final one as editor. Many of you may be crying tears of sorrow or tears of joy – but most of you are probably indifferent. Either way, Joe will take this and give the editor position to someone who will be able to get it out on more of a regular basis. I’ll say more at the end as I know you are all hungry for wrestling news.
Check Out Roland’s Website: Salty Ham!
Nine Reasons Why Brock Left The WWE
Brock Lesnar still has another five years left on his WWE contract which has put WWE in the power position in terms of negotiating his release. Brock parted ways with super agent Barry Bloom after Bloom got him his original WWE contract. It seems likely right now that WWE will not allow him to work for any other pro-wrestling or shoot fight company for the next five years. WWE is expecting Brock to return if he is unable to land a job in the NFL. Despite what some think, Lesnar is not financially set for life. He is very young and spent money freely during the last year or so on expensive cars and other “toys.”
At this point, these appear to be the nine reasons why Brock Lesnar left WWE:
1. His travel schedule. Brock has always been a farm boy and he could not handle the hectic schedule, waking up in hotel rooms everyday, etc.
2. He didn’t love pro-wrestling. Brock got into wrestling for the money. He actually hated pro-wrestling when he was a standout amateur wrestler.
3. Right or wrong, he really feels he can make it to the NFL. Brock misses being involved in a “real sport.”
4. He thought WWE did not appreciate him enough. Brock was not happy with how he was being booked and that he had to drop the WWE Title to a “little guy” like Eddie Guerrero. He wanted a long title reign. Having to work matches against Bob Holly in South Africa made him feel even more demoted.
5. His personal life. Brock is currently living with his young child and the child’s mother, while dating Sable. His personal life has added a lot of stress and anxiety.
6. He was embarrassed that walk up ticket sales to WWE house shows went up after he dropped the WWE Title to Eddie Guerrero.
7. He did not want to feud with the Undertaker. ‘Taker had been telling people that he would “set Brock straight” and humble him if he didn’t show veterans respect.
8. He did not want to end up with serious injuries or be a cripple. He did not like that wrestling had no off season where he could rest his body.
9. He had nothing left to prove. He had already reached the top of the wrestling industry and thought the only place he would go now is down, then back up to where he had already been. He wanted a new challenge.
Source: PW Torch via 411mania
It was reported last week that Ron Simmons (Faarooq) was released due to “inappropriate behavior” during the Wrestlemania festivities this past week. Simmons had been thinking about retirement for some time and wanted a behind the scenes job with the WWE, but that now seems unlikely.
Ric Flair Book Coming In June
The long awaited Ric Flair autobiography is finally set to hit the streets. The book is scheduled for a June release date and will be published under WWE’s current publishing contract with Simon & Schuster.
Here is a little bit of info on the book. It is set to be 320 pages in length and will be released in a hardcover format. No word on whether a paperback will also be available at this point. The book was written by Flair and WWE employee Keith Elliot Greenberg who also helped to write the recently released Freddie Blassie book.
Canadians Could Possibly Lose Spike TV
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) has filed a complaint with the CRTC (Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission) asking them to remove Spike TV from the list of foreign stations carried on Canadian cable networks. The CAB claims that Spike is violating a 1984 Canadian broadcast license that was issued when the station was still known as TNN and was a country music station. According to the complaint, Spike in it’s current format is directly competing with and harming stations like TSN, Sports Net and others.
WWE Buys ECW Domain
WWE has purchased the domain name newecw.com. The name now redirects you to wwe.com. This could support the rumors that WWE is considering bringing the ECW name back, or it could mean nothing.
Full Draft Results
Following are the results of the Draft Lottery:
Paul Heyman (quits directly afterwards)
Rob Van Dam
Those were the direct results from Monday Night’s RAW. However, the trade deadline was extended and many things changed:
Triple H was traded back to RAW for The Dudley Boys and Booker T, who are now on SmackDown. A-Train and Chuck Polumbo were sent to RAW in exchange for Rico and Miss Jackie. Kurt Angle was announced as the new GM of SmackDown due to Paul Heyman’s quitting.
Heyman To Be Manager
Even though he quit on RAW, Paul Heyman will remain on TV as a manager. It is not known at this time who he will be managing – but there have been some talks that he will lead a small group of former ECW wrestlers and eventually branch off. This is not a definite plan however.
Source: PW Torch
WWE Announces Video On Demand
Source: NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 24, 2004–
75,000-hour library spanning 4 decades of ratings-proven programming to supply content for new digital platforms, including potential digital channel
World Wrestling Entertainment(R) has unveiled a major initiative intended to utilize its 75,000-hour programming library to build new mutually-beneficial businesses with its cable, satellite and other worldwide television partners.
The first step is the launch of WWE 24/7, a subscription video-on-demand service that will feature highly-rated Pay-Per-View, cable and syndicated broadcast content, best-selling home videos, new original productions and proprietary broadband, from the WWE(R) and other acquired national and regional wrestling brands. A recently launched in-house business development unit, WWE Enterprises, will work directly with MSOs, affiliates and satellite providers to create, customize and cross-promote these new revenue-generating services.
The announcement was made here today at a press luncheon hosted by World Wrestling Entertainment, Chairman Vincent K. McMahon and CEO Linda E. McMahon.
“WWE is ready to move even more aggressively into the digital age by providing new services that will fit with the active lifestyles of our fans and meet their demand for new and innovative content,” said Vince McMahon. “Our fans want more WWE and classic sports entertainment programming, and we have demonstrated our track record of providing content of the highest quality and value. I’m confident we can move into this new distribution platform for television as successfully as we have for syndication, cable, broadcast and Pay-Per-View.
WWE 24/7, Wrestling Any Time, All the Time
Over the past three years, WWE has aggregated the best of professional wrestling television by strategically acquiring the libraries of other national and regional promoters, including WCW(TM), ECW(R) and AWA(R). The result is an archive of more than 75,000 hours of programming content, 25,000 of which was previously aired or released as finished product. This is not only one of the more extensive video libraries in television, but the world’s largest dedicated to wrestling and sports entertainment.
The first opportunity for fans to enjoy this content comes with the launch of the subscription video-on-demand service, WWE 24/7. WWE 24/7 will make available approximately 20 hours of content per month — 4 to 5 new hours per week on average. The content includes the best of past cable, broadcast, Pay-Per-View and home videos from WWE and other leading promoters.
Customized broadband content will be created for MSOs’ websites and other distributors promoting the new offering. WWE also anticipates providing content on a free-on-demand (FOD) promotional basis to spur trial and help its partners promote these new services. In addition, library content prepared for “evergreen” use will be made available selectively for existing television partners worldwide.
“Our mission is to put our proven, highly-desirable content into new distribution channels that entertain our fans worldwide and generate revenue for our distribution partners and WWE,” said Linda McMahon, “Every business loves the prospect of steady monthly income. WWE 24/7 is the beginning of a reenergized effort to serve our partners by building incremental businesses that increase their revenues and acclimate their customers to exciting new digital and high-speed services.”
WWE Enterprises, In-House Unit Dedicated To Building and Servicing Partners
WWE recently created an in-house unit to work directly with cable and satellite providers to both market WWE 24/7 and strengthen its affiliate relationships. WWE Enterprises will be headed by Senior Vice President Tom Barreca, who is using the WWE’s vast digital library and intellectual properties to create and service these new partnerships.
Barreca was most recently Senior Vice President of AMC Digital Ventures, where he directed all non-network television business and ventures for AMC and WE cable networks, including video-on-demand, interactive TV and digital set-top box programming and licensing. Barreca launched HA!, Comedy Central and MTV Europe, and also worked at the noted animation studio Hanna-Barbera, where he successfully used the extensive libraries to create new revenue streams and partnerships under the Cartoon Network brand.
“A long-standing goal of the WWE has been to find a deeper way to do business with cable, satellite and all of our television partners worldwide,” added Barreca. “We’ve dedicated a significant amount of energy and thought into building a library of digital wrestling content that is primed for utilization with all new digital technologies and distribution platforms. We are now creating a dedicated Affiliate Marketing and Sales team to support the launch and growth of WWE 24/7, as well as pursue promising, direct business relationships. We are serious about becoming a leading player in these new digital services, just as we led the way in developing the Pay-Per-View industry.”
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE) is an integrated media and entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. Additional information on the company can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. More info on WWE 24-7 can be found at www.wwe24-7.com.
Trademarks: The names of all World Wrestling Entertainment televised and live programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans and wrestling moves and all World Wrestling Entertainment logos are trademarks which are the exclusive property of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Forward-Looking Statements: This news release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include the conditions of the markets for live events, broadcast television, cable television, pay-per-view, Internet, entertainment, professional sports, and licensed merchandise; acceptance of the Company’s brands, media and merchandise within those markets; uncertainties relating to litigation; risks associated with producing live events both domestically and internationally; uncertainties associated with international markets; and other risks and factors set forth from time to time in Company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results could differ materially from those currently expected or anticipated.
WWE Canada Office People Upset About Home Town Change For Benoit
Buck Woodward is reporting that some officials in WWE’s Canadian office aren’t happy with the company’s recent decision to start announcing Chris Benoit as being from Atlanta Georgia instead of Edmonton Alberta Canada. The feeling of those opposed to the move is that the timing is bad considering that Backlash takes place in Edmonton in less than a month and a lot of the promotional material and marketing strategy for the show is based on the fact that Benoit is from Edmonton and that the show is a chance for the local boy who made good to come home.
Source: PW Insider
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THE LOGICAL APPROACH
By Rick Elsey
Bravo! For now…
Well I have to say that after viewing WrestleMania 20, I am pleasantly surprised. WWE delivered a hot show, with a few major moments and a good deal of excitement. I was not pleased with all of the booking, but the good far out weighed the bad. I thought I’d take the opportunity to present my thoughts on the event. Plus add a few thoughts on how to move forward.
So why not start from the beginning…
*US TITLE MATCH:
(C)BIG SHOW vs. JOHN CENA
John Cena got a nice win, although not clean, but still edgy and thus complimenting his character. Giving the US Belt to Cena was a great move and the crowd ate it up. Now he needs to get a few good defenses against hot, believable contenders. It wouldn’t hurt for him to dominate Big Show in a re-match. In light of the events of last Monday we don’t know where Cena will end up, but I’d like to offer two possible suggestions. The first would be to move him to RAW and let him match up against Matt Hardy or Christian. The second, should he stay on Smackdown, would be a nice feud with Rhyno, if WWE could stand giving the former ECW Champion an ounce of credibility.
*WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
(C)BOOKER T & RVD vs. THE DUDLEY BOYZ vs. GARRISON CADE & MARK JINDRAK vs. LA RESISTANCE
Booker T and RVD kept their belts in a move that shocked me, as I was expecting Jindrak and Cade to go over. I don’t agree with this one, simply because Booker T and RVD should both be contending for the World Title. I felt bad for La Resistance and The Dudley Boyz in the match because both teams are very stale. However, The Dudley’s seemed to rectify this the next night with their heelish tactics. I would keep the Dudley’s ball rolling by having them take the tag belts in a particularly vicious outing, perhaps “injuring” Booker T or RVD to get their killer instinct back. Cade & Jindrak could be split up in the draft and give each roster a new singles wrestler. I would send RVD to Smackdown and keep Booker T on Raw. Renee Dupree needs to go to Smackdown now that Sylvan Grenier is back. Grenier & Conway should stay on Raw and be repackaged.
CHRISTIAN vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Christian and Chris Jericho had an amazingly hot match and the twist ending was good. I was hoping they would give us a nice explanation about Trish’s turn the next night on RAW, but unfortunately it was just the old “I like it rough because I’m a stupid whore” story. I will never understand why Brian Gerwitz is allowed to write for the women in WWE. I would send Jericho to Smackdown in the lottery and keep the new troublemaking pair of Christian and Trish on Raw. Jericho and Christian could meet again for some heated angles at co-branded PPV’s, and build to a WrestleMania 21 match-up. Can you imagine Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero for 30-minutes plus on a Smackdown PPV? Awesome!
THE ROCK & SOCK CONNECTION vs. EVOLUTION
I loved the Rock & Foley vs. Evolution match. Flair and Rock were classic together. Foley putting over Randy Orton clean was both unexpected, but absolutely brilliant because now he is elevated to the level of Main Eventer. The best thing that can happen now if for Mick and Randy to fight again, (dare I say Hell in the Cell) and this time have Randy win it on his own, so Mick and he can show mutual respect to each other and allow the fans to half-heartedly embrace Orton. If they see him as an equal to Foley and Foley gives him the seal of approval, the fans will treat him as the Main Event star he can truly be. I would definitely play upon Orton’s challenge from last Monday for a one on one encounter and draft both men to Smackdown, where Orton would be without Evolution, and forced to stand on his own. Evolution should be decimated by the draft lottery, but I’ll get to my idea on that in a few.
*PLAYBOY EVENING GOWN MATCH:
STACY KIEBLER & MISS JACKIE vs. SABLE & TORRIE WILSON
The Playboy match was a waste of time and I’m embarrassed that we had to sit through it. Thankfully it was short. Last time I checked it said “WRESTLING” not “PORN” on the marquee. I think it is an abomination to the business that Steven Richards, Matt Hardy, Rico, Rhyno, Test, A-Train, Hardcore Holly and countless others didn’t get a WrestleMania payday in exchange for this horseshit. If I had my way these girls would simply be valets, since none of them can hold a candle to the real female athletes of WWE like Lita, Victoria, Ivory, Molly and Jazz. I know that eye-candy is a must, but Elizabeth was hot in her day, and she never had to do this crap.
*THE CRUISERWEIGHT OPEN
The Cruiserweight Open was extremely rushed, although they did hit a lot of hot signature spots. I’m amazed Billy Kidman is alive. Vince should ban the Shooting Star Press at Mania. Keeping the belt on Chavo was smart, as the baby faces should chase the belt. I would love to see The Cruiserweight Champion (as well as the World Champion and the Women’s Champion) be able to jump between brands, giving Spike Dudley, The Hurricane and others to get their shot at the belt.
BROCK LESNAR vs. GOLDBERG
Special ref: Steve Austin
Lesnar vs. Goldberg was entertaining for the sheer bizarre reactions from the New York fans. I think the reaction of the fans, who are obviously smart, proves once and for all that the amount of wrestling fans online far outweighs the ones who are not. The casual fans are gone. Only the smart fans remain. Vince should embrace this and move ahead. I thought the outcome was extremely predictable at least where the stunners were concerned. I was shocked that Goldberg won the match though.
*WWE TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
(C)RIKISHI & SCOTTY 2 HOTTY vs. THE APA vs. THE BASHAM BROTHERS vs. THE WORLDS GREATEST TAG TEAM
The Smackdown tag match made me sick from a booking stand point. I understand that Rikishi and Scotty’s dance gimmick is still hot with the crowds, but couldn’t they have dropped the belts to one of the good teams, like The Basham’s or WGTT? They could have dropped the titles, taken a beat down and then made a comeback, running off the new champs and then danced. I really want to take a moment to make myself clear on this… when you have a strong gimmick that the crowd appreciates, you do not need to hold titles. The only people who should hold title belts are cowardly heels and strong technically-skilled wrestlers. Baby faces and gimmicked wrestlers should always chase and only have brief flirtations with the title. Now as for the participants in the last match, The APA have already been taken care of as of Thursday night. I myself would either move WGTT to RAW as a unit to freshen up the tag team scene, or split up both The Basham’s and WGTT and send one from each team to Raw and keep the other two on Smackdown. This would give us a few more singles stars to work with. Scotty should be allowed to go Cruiserweight, while I would send Rikishi to Raw, turn him heel and team him with Rosie in a tag team that embraces a re-birth of their Samoan heritage.
*WOMEN’S TITLE/HAIR MATCH:
(C)VICTORIA vs. MOLLY HOLLY
I liked the Molly vs. Victoria match for the sheer fact that the twist in the booking was amazing. No one really expected Molly to get her head shaved. I privately wondered if they’d go through with it, but I never in a million years thought they would. Once again it proves that Molly is a company girl who deserves the best the business can give her. I can’t say enough about either of these women.
*WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:
(C)EDDIE GUERRERO vs. KURT ANGLE
Eddie Guerrero and Kurt Angle had a strong match with a hot ending. I don’t really see how one could ask for more out of these two. Guerrero is hot right now, and I really think they should screw him out the belt quickly so he can continue to fight the good fight and chase a dastardly heel before his appeal begins to fade. I could really see Guerrero having some killer matches with people like Rhyno, Lance Storm and RVD, provided that WWE actually got behind any of them… I know, trust me I know.
*THE DEADMAN RETURNS:
THE UNDERTAKER w/ PAUL BEARER vs. KANE
The Undertaker’s return was good. I wasn’t too thrilled with his look, but I want to see how they grow with it. I really thought the match between he and Kane was a typical encounter between the two with no real excitement. I think the reason it didn’t totally bore me was because I was too interested in seeing how many old antics Undertaker would use. I think that Kane should be moved to Smackdown and their feud should continue, in lue of Undertaker squashing a burying fresh young talent.
*WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
(C)TRIPLE H vs. SHAWN MICHAELS vs. CHRIS BENOIT
The Triple Threat Match was better than I expected it would be. Triple H did the right thing for business and I truly think Benoit can carry the title for a few months as a real draw. The key will be picking the right person to move the title to before Benoit gets boring. I wouldn’t mind seeing he and Michaels trade it back and forth a few times over the course of the next 4 or 5 months. Triple H should be taken out of the picture for a while… and that would lead to my idea for Evolution. First off, like I said, I would have Orton go to Smackdown, thus creating the need for a replacement. I myself would have Triple H, Flair and Batista each herald a replacement for Orton. Triple H could try to bring in Garrison Cade, while Flair wants Nick Dinsmore (OVW), and finally Batista wants Sean O’Haire. This would create a nice bit of tension between the remaining members. I would then have Triple H lose a match clean to Benoit at Backlash, and have him go off on Flair and Batista. Have Flair fire back that maybe Triple H is the problem, and have them beat him down with help from Cade, Dinsmore & O’Haire. Triple H is out for a while, while Flair leads his version of Evolution with Batista, Garrison Cade, Nick Dinsmore & Sean O’Haire.
I absolutely loved the Hall of Fame stuff and was truly touched to the point of tears when Bobby said that the only thing missing was Monsoon not being there. I can’t wait for the DVD of the Hall of Fame ceremony.
All in all I thought the show was a solid 8 out of 10.
I am very intrigued with the idea of the new draft lottery next Monday, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see where that goes. WWE has made a fan of me once again… let’s see if they can keep me this time.
I would love to hear any thoughts.
Thanks for reading,
THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW
By: Julian Radbourne
Alex Shane is probably the best-known wrestler in Britain at the moment. With his massive size, his in-ring skill, and his ability to talk like no other, many consider him the total package as far as the wrestling business is concerned.
A lifelong wrestling fan, like many youngsters in Britain, Alex’s interested in wrestling grew when he discovered the World Wrestling Federation in 1990. During the next few years, Alex attended several wrestling shows, especially when the WWF and World Championship Wrestling came to these shores. His interest grew to such an extent that after attending a WCW event at the Royal Albert Hall, he decided he wanted to become a professional wrestler.
For weeks he looked high and low, until he found the telephone number for Brian Dixon’s All-Star Wrestling promotion. Going to their show at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, Alex approached Brian about training, and Brian referred him to the then-newly opened Hammerlock School of Wrestling, and it’s trainer, Andre Baker.
At first, training was somewhat difficult. Alex was not a natural in the ring. But as time went on, he got better and better, to the point where, one year later, at the age of 15, he competed in his first match, teaming with Muscles Mansfield, Mr. Vain and VIP against Tony Macmillan and Mass Appeal in Folkestone. Alex would continue to compete for Hammerlock, often losing his battles and sustaining several injuries, including a ruptured shoulder joint, a twisted pelvis, and several broken ribs.
A disagreement with the Hammerlock management led to his departure in 1998. Alex offered to continue to wrestle for Hammerlock, promoting the company while working for other promoters. However, when he signed to wrestle for the Ultimate Wrestling Alliance during their television tapings in April 1999, Alex was informed by Hammerlock that his services were no longer required.
To this day, Alex acknowledges that without Hammerlock, he wouldn’t have been able to start his wrestling career. However, he also realises that his career has blossomed since he left the Hammerlock camp.
After leaving Hammerlock, Alex joined with fellow trainee Guy Thunder to form the Double Impact tag-team. Appearing for the UWA on the Live TV shows, the team really took off when they began to compete for the fledgling Frontier Wrestling Alliance. Debuting at the FWA’s No Surprises show in July 1999, they defeated fellow newcomers The New Breed. However, it wasn’t just Alex’s wrestling ability that caught the attention of the fans. His work on the microphone was starting to get him noticed as well. He began to show that he was a natural talker.
Alex’s desire to move into the singles ranks caused the break-up of the Double Impact team. This proved to be a move in the right direction, as in February 2000, Alex defeated “The Specialist” Mark Sloan to win the FWA Heavyweight title.
Around this time, Alex and wrestling promoter Cab Kennedy set up Capital City Pro Wrestling, an FWA regional promotion. His first show as a promoter was the FWA’s Urban Legends show in March 2000, in which he reunited with Thunder to once again take on the New Breed. Things didn’t go well for the team as they lost their match, thanks to interference from four Hammerlock wrestlers.
Around this time, Alex received a big money off from another wrestling promotion, UCW. Joining this upstart promotion would mean leaving the FWA and CCPW, but also offered him the chance to transform his character.
Before leaving the FWA, Alex wanted to cause some controversy. Arriving at the July show with fellow UCW wrestler Jonny Storm and UCW director Ross Gordon, they went looking for trouble, and found it in the form of Thunder, Justin Richards and Jody Fleisch. The FWA team challenged Alex and his men to a winner takes all, championship v company shares match.
The match proved to be very eventful. With the referee taking a hit, Alex and Thunder ended up in a double pinning combination. As a second referee raced in to make the count, the original referee began to come to, and he administered a count as well. Both men were declared winners, and the FWA Heavyweight title was declared vacant. However, the FWA’s head referee would later declare that Thunder was the winner.
With his FWA business concluded, Alex moved on to UCW, and morphed into the L.X. Blade character. This wasn’t a move in the right direction. The old Alex Shane was gone, replaced by a slow, plodding monster who, by his own admission, didn’t have any good matches. His UCW stint lasted just six months. As the company went out of business, Alex was released from his contract.
Now free from his UCW obligations, Alex and Kennedy reformed CCPW, and opened the CCPW Training Academy, which would ultimately lead to his return to the FWA. Around this time, former children’s television presenter Tommy Boyd began his Talk Wrestling radio show on Talksport. However, realising that his knowledge of the business was somewhat limited, Tommy recruited Alex as his co-host. Alex proved to be a natural. Now calling himself “The Showstealer”, Alex, in his new role as a spokesman for the FWA, was able to use the show to promote the company, raising it’s profile tenfold. His wrestling return, against “Solid Gold” Scott Parker, also silenced the critics after his poor run in UCW.
In February 2002, Alex helped Boyd promote the successful “Revival” show in Crystal Palace, which not only featured the top FWA stars, but also WWF’s stars Eddie Guerrero and Brian “Grandmaster Sexay” Lawler. The event was shown on Bravo, and was a great success. However, disaster struck just a month later. At the Urban Legends event in March 2002, Alex suffered the kind of injury all wrestlers fear, injuring his neck in a match against Karl Kramer. To say that he was devastated by this injury would be an understatement. A statement on his web site thanked the fans for their support.
It would be eight long months before Alex would return to action. Returning at the FWA’s British Uprising show, and targeting the Old School stable who had put him out of action, he was attacked by his old nemesis Mark Sloan. Later that night, as Sloan tried to interfere in the main event pitting Flash Barker and Jody Fleisch in a ladder match for the FWA title, Alex took him out with his trademark “One Night Stand” move.
Alex’s first match back a few weeks later proved to be a championship-winning effort. At London Calling” in October 2002, then-FWA Tag-Team Champions the U.K. Pitbulls sent out an open challenge, Alex teamed with German powerhouse Ulf Hermann to defeat the Sheringham strongmen and win the gold.
Alex would hold the title on-and-off for most of 2003, teaming with Ulf, Stevie Knight and Nikita as they battled Greg Lambert’s stable, The Family. Their matches were regarded as some of the best, and most brutal, in Britain in 2003. Alex and Ulf would eventually lost the titles to The Family in August 2003. However, a few months later at British Uprising 2, Alex would turn on his partner. The Bethnal Green crowd were stunned.
During this time, Alex won his second singles title, defeating James Mason for The Wrestling Alliance’s vacant British Heavyweight title in March 2003. The reign was short-lived however. After a controversial title defence against Jake “The Snake” Roberts, TWA promoter stripped Alex of the title.
During this time Alex continued to promote the FWA outside the ring as much as he could. The loss of the Talk Wrestling radio show, which he had taken over after Tommy Boyd’s departure from the station, was a great blow, but in his new-found role as FWA Managing Director, Alex continued to promote the company in any way he could, and with his natural charisma, he has proven to be very good at his job.
His arrival in WAW, and his encounters with WAW owner “Rowdy” Ricky Knight, have proven to be somewhat controversial, to say the least. Knight views Alex as everything that’s wrong with British wrestling today, as the figurehead of a company that plays up to the Internet, to the “smart marks”, far too much. Just what Alex Shane is looking to accomplish in WAW remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, there’s two things the Rowdy Man can do about it – nothing, and like it!
“ROUNDING THE SQUARED CIRCLE”
“WRESTLEMANIA – IN THIRTY SECOND OR LESS ”
” ASKED FOR IT (THREE OF YOU ANYWAY)”
VISIT MY HOME PAGE: http://members.aol.com/samjerry
Several people have asked me for my opinion of Wrestlemania XX, so I thought I’d give you my real quick opinion on it. I thought the show was good, and it exceeded my exceptions.
1. Trish turning has been rumored for some time and I think it opens a lot of possibilities for her. If she wants to be bad, I’m always available.
2. I’m not all that happy with Canadian Crybaby No. 2 winning The World Championship. I expected it to happen at their next PPV in Canada. Along with being good in the ring, The Champion needs to be good with the mic. this has always been his weak spot and while he has shown he can utter a few more words than $oldberg, I can’t see him doing what HHH, The Rock, SCSA, etc., do so well. Besides, as I’ve said many times, HHH “loans” the Title for short periods of time while he is gone (making movies, etc.).
3. I would have liked to see Our American Zero win the WWE Title from Mama Guerrero’s Favorite Taco Chomper. The “Lie, Cheat and Steal” gimmick can only go so far. Besides, what will he done after he has “stolen” every low rider in the country?
4. The return of The American Evil Badass was handled very well. He came back as sort of a cross between The Evil Taker and The Badass. It would be a plus to have Paul Bearer stay around. He is always interesting and adds a lot to the mix.
5. $oldberg beat Godzilla (choke). Are they both leaving, both staying, or one or the other staying? The word is that Stone Cold Beer Man (SCBM) and $oldberg have become tighter than a witches ass on Halloween, and SCBM is doing his best to get him to stay. Godzilla says he is going to try out for The Minnesota Vikings; Mike Tice, Vikings Head Coach, says he hasn’t a clue about it. Maybe there is hope that it is a work and Godzilla will be staying. WTF knows? However, $oldberg winning (choke) makes it look like there is a better chance of him grunting, spitting and wasting our time.
There you have it, a real fast look at Wrestlemania XX … if you care … Grandpa Dudley didn’t.
Time to Say Goodbye
So, why am I giving up this great, non-paying gig? Not because I’m tired of wrestling or anything like that. Mrs. G and I have decided to adopt and in order to do that, we have to go to classes and generally get a lot of things in order. That is going to take time and energy that I once had time to use toward the TBL Newsletter. While I really do hate leaving all of you, I just want you to know that it’s been a fun couple of months and I know that whomever takes over as editor will take it to new heights and new glory.
Now, don’t think for a second that I’ve stopped writing. I’m still going strong with my Rages and a bunch of other stuff that you can read over on Salty Ham – but something had to give and this was it (mainly due to the amount of work it takes to put one of these things together and it takes up too much time on the weekends – when we will be doing classes). A big thanks goes out to Joe Balrog for his consistent support of me and giving me this opportunity. Joe is one of the good guys on the internet and for that, you should visit TBL everyday.
Thanks to the columnists who send their stuff to me every week even though it sometimes takes forever for me to get it out (which might be why some of the columns this week may seem dated). To the great affiliate sites – thanks guys! And to you, the reader. Thanks for putting up with my nonsense on this thing and I hope you all will continue to support TBL and the TBL Newsletter.
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