Greetings conversationalists all across the fruited plain it is I your personal Harvester Of Sorrow the one and only Phantom Lord and this is the ever important Rant Of The Week. Summer is rapidly ending and September is now upon us and the first couple of weeks are usually not the most joyous of times for me. There are a couple of anniversary’s for death’s in my family including now an Uncle who just passed away. Plus there’s that 9/11 thing just passed by. I mean no jest by saying it like that, but I honestly think that’s how a lot of people especially ones who don’t live here in New York or lost someone feel. But hey the WTC Memorial might be half done by 2011 and it’s gonna be under a billion dollars. Of course there is the matter of that eye sore the Freedom Tower but that might not be done until 2018.
So yeah I’m not fond of the first couple of weeks of September for various reasons, but I’ll try to keep chipper as there’s plenty of news out there that’s making me laugh. As usual the WWE and TNA find new ways to do something good and then find some way to screw it up.
We start with the Rey Mysterio situation. As you know by now Rey Rey failed a drug test and he managed to piss Vince off in the process. Never a good idea as we know since Vince is the kind of guy to hold a grudge till death and then some. Rey did an interview with some Mexican paper and claimed he had a valid prescription for some painkillers but the WWE didn’t give him enough time to send a copy. I personally don’t buy that because I would have to assume that Rey owns a scanner or a fax machine. If he doesn’t then I’m sure he must have heard of a little thing called Over Night Express Priority Mail. If it were me and they told me I had less then 24 hours to provide proof, I’d make the appropriate calls and get that information to them. The WWE wellness policy I’m sure is seen as a pain in the ass more then something good. You can debate who actually falls under wellness guidelines and gets tested. But if Rey’s version of things is true, then it’s obvious it needs some major retooling. This little 30 day vacation is going to cost Rey in the neighborhood of $100 thousand dollars. That’s a pretty big hit for not sending in a damn prescription.
If there was some good to this it was cooler heads prevailed and Vince didn’t have Rey turned into a human pinata last week on Smackdown. What we got was one of the best tv matches in ages between him and John Morrison which saw Morrison shockingly win the Intercontinental Title. Personally I don’t see why they have to take the belt off someone just because they were suspended. There’s the old 30 day rule for title defenses so milk that. Have Rey “injured” and then build it up that if he doesn’t make it to the PPV to defend the title then he will be stripped and so and so will be the new champion. It would dare I say make some of these throw away PPV’s interesting again and provide some drama into a match.
The Wrestling Observer is reporting that the WWE were trying to get Hardy to sign a new contract up until the very last second. The WWE agreed to every request Hardy made, to the point where they would allow him to only work TV tapings and pay per views, with zero house show appearances. It is expected that they will have to give this deal to Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker next, as they have been asking for similar workloads for years. After it became evident that Hardy was leaving, the WWE then attempted to sign Jeff to a merchandise deal, allowing them to continue marketing and selling merchandise with his name and likeness on them. This would have also effectively stopped him from working from TNA, as they would not be able to produce Hardy merch. Jeff also said no to this contract.
It is believed that, while Hardy will be making appearances at wrestling shows, he will not actually be performing. He is evidently concentrating 100% on getting his reality show up and running.
Credit to www.f4wonline.com & www.cagesideseats.com
LoL boy they must be glad they dodged that bullet. I mean AMIRIGHTORAMIRIGHT?
I sincerely hope for Jeff’s sake that that vast amount of pills was for his own personal use. Now it’s not out of the question for someone to have drugs in bulk especially if they have to take more then a couple a day. Plenty of people get a three or more month supply. It’s just a matter of did Jeff have the prescriptions for them. Personally I think this will all fizzle out and all charges will be dropped and Jeff will be free to do all the shitty poetry and bad industrial music that he wants.
Odds are I could probably write more about Jeff and his situation, but I don’t really care. If all those drugs are his I can understand why he’s popping that many pills. Years and years of jumping off ladders and landing on the hard mat or even harder concrete floor probably have taken it’s toll on him. Painkillers are such an easy thing to get hooked onto it. Me personally I’ve only used Vicodin a few times in my life (I had a prescription). I honestly didn’t feel any different while taking it but we all have different tolerances. Obviously mine is different then that of say Jeff’s where he falls straight on his ass from 12 feet up. Point is, if Jeff needs that kind of serious medication just to make it through the day then that’s his deal. Now a good attorney would hit away at tip that started all of this. Credibility of the person who did it, what did they have to gain by doing so and so forth. I’m guessing someone gave this tip to save their own ass. Now unless Jeff is the lynch pin in some Mexican trafficking ring that funnels pills through Cameron, North Carolina to the rest of the upper Mid-Atlantic I believe Jeff’s chances are fairly good here. At the most if it goes far enough that he has to cop a deal, I’m calling probation and rehab. There is no way it will go so far as to even warrant a trial. If it does then Jeff really is an idiot just like he is for apparently turning down that insane deal where he would only have to work tv tapings and ppv’s.
At the Breaking Point PPV last weekend (yes there was a PPV a week ago…though it’s not like they did anything to make you want to order it) CM Punk cut another great promo where he danced around the Jeff Hardy bust. If there’s one good thing in all of this it’s that CM Punk is single handily carrying Smackdown and making it the best show in the WWE right now. I’m sure certain people within the WWE hate that Smackdown is universally praised while RAW is hit or miss at best. They try to load down RAW with all the sports entertainment stuff and Smackdown sticks to that lowly wrestling stuff and does better. CM Punk as the centerpiece of Smackdown is great stuff. He is truly starting to shine as a great heel thanks to him being such a great asshole. I have no doubt that what you are seeing is the real CM Punk. A lot of straight edge folk tend to come off holier then thou especially when they are being all preachy.
CM Punk has managed to prove everyone wrong. A lot of people thought Punk would linger in development or be brought up and be given a stupid gimmick. But here he is pretty much the same wrestler he was in ROH and elsewhere…just more refined. Now granted if he ever faced Captain America John Cena we all know what would happen as would any match with Triple H. But the fact that he is now the top heel on Smackdown speaks volumes about him and it’s only up from here for him. Well I say that as long as he stays on Smackdown because if he were ever drafted to RAW it would be a death nail for him. It’s a death nail for anyone drafted from Smackdown to RAW. People also get drafted from ECW to RAW but does ECW really ever count? Well my point is if you are any show and get sent to RAW it’s curtains for you. You can name a who’s who of people who were on Smackdown or ECW and were sent to RAW and just never were able to breach the glass ceiling.
There is a fear that recent signees Brian Danielson and Nigel McGuiness will not fare as well as CM Punk. Thought it has been reported they will skip “development” and head right to the main roster, if either of them head to RAW I would not have much hope for either of them. On ECW or Smackdown people can progress and actually show promise. On RAW you are either a mid carder or cannon fodder for Cena. Granted guys like Kofi Kingston, Jack SWAGGAH, and The Miz have managed to become successful and make the United States championship worth a damn again. But as much as those guys are succeeding you have guys like MVP, Chavo Guerrero, and Evan Bourne who have more or less been in limbo. Yes MVP is now in a feud with Mark Henry against Jerishow for the Tag Titles but before that he was doing nothing. So many hope Danielson and Nigel don’t end up on RAW with some stupid gimmick that will end up going nowhere and they’ll be those guys hanging around in the background as someone’s walking to the ring for a match.
Honestly I’m surprised there hasn’t been a wave of mass suicide’s at the ROH shows where Danielson and Nigel are doing their farewell to the Indies tour. Some people just can’t understand why would they sign with the WWE. Well aside from not having to kill themselves in front small crowds and work a style that will ultimately shorten their career due to injuries, in the end it all comes down to money. Say what you want about the WWE, but being the guy standing around in the background doing nothing pays a hell of a lot better then being the top guy on some Indy show. It was a smart business decision for both of them and if they don’t end up like CM Punk, they can end up making more money in the future as “Former WWE Superstars”. So it’s really win win no matter what.
It’s amazing that after all these years Vince still loves to fuck with anyone running against him no matter how big or small. It’s been widely speculated that the WWE is going after ROH guys simply because ROH’s show on HD Net is now on Monday Night’s at 8PM. Of course considering it’s HD Net it’s ratings are very minuscule at best. But Vince just loves to crush people for his own personal amusement so taking ROH’s two top guys because he can is part of his game. Personally I can’t wait for the day that Vince starts going after some TNA guys. Ah that will be a fun day to say the least and as a certified member of the IWC, it will be great watching the Internet explode.
Speaking of things exploding, last week the Interweb was a buzz when it was announced that TNA had released Jim Cornette. Rumors flew around that Cornette went ape shit at a meeting because of something Vince Russo had come up with. It’s no secret that Jim hates Vince Russo from a creative standpoint and knowing Jim’s shall we say volatile personality (Dairy Queen anyone) it’s not to hard to believe that Cornette finally had enough and went on a muck.
Well TNA put out a press release a couple days later saying that the story attributed to The Sun of the UK was basically full of shit and the other day on the Who’s Slamming Who podcast Jim did his weekly commentary and said that what was reported on the Internet was all false.
Basically what he said was it came down to this. Dixie Carter wants people who are 100% behind creative and TNA’s direction under Vince Russo and Jim said that just wasn’t going to happen. He wishes TNA the best of luck but and I quote “Sarah Palin and Barak Obama will be making out on the steps of the Capitol before me and Vince Russo ever get along creatively”.
On a side note it amuses me greatly that Jim Cornette is a flaming lib. I mean I would have never guessed it.
What really sealed it for Jim was the fact that Ed Ferrara is now back with TNA. He came back to work with them at the No Surrender PPV this past Sunday (yeah there actually was a PPV the other day). So the duo that most agree put the final nails in the coffin of WCW are now the creative direction of TNA.
I was going to do this in my last column, but I passed on it for some reason. Well now I see no reason to pass on it.
Dixie, You Ignorant Slut.
Is it any wonder that TNA can not get above a 1.3 in the Nielsen ratings. You had a GOLDEN opportunity to fundamentally change the direction of the company when you sacked Jeff Jarrett as head of TNA creative and instead of doing what has been desperately needed for years you are continuing on the same path of destruction that TNA has been on for a long time.
Yes once upon a time Vince Russo did revolutionize wrestling on television and the WWF saw insane ratings for what was insane programming. Granted he was with the WWF during a once in a lifetime era when a couple of guys named The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were the main attractions. Dixie, you do not have a Rock or Stone Cold. What you have is Kurt Angle who is a few French fries short of a happy meal, Mick Foley who is doing his damnedest to make everything work, Kevin Nash who is up front about only being in it for the money, and a cast of assorted vanilla midgets, women, and other WWE cast offs.
I remember the Attitude era which is what Russo has been trying to do redo ever since he left the WWF to work for WCW. Aside from the stuff with The Rock and Stone Cold, 85% of it was horrible.
TNA needs to stop trying to be the WWE. TNA needs to stop being WCW. What TNA needs to do is be T N A.
Dixie it’s very simple really, but I’m guessing it’s going to take a little bit longer for you and your brain trust to figure this out.
See this is why Wrestling is getting so boring and frustrating to watch. There is always something good, but like I said above about 85% of it is horrible.
If you need to wonder about what would fall into the 85% I mention, look no farther then the “Hell In A Cell” PPV coming up. First off has the WWE really hit the bottom of the creative barrel that they are just naming PPV’s after the matches on them? Personally if it were me and seeing how I have some old WCW names just collecting dust and since it’s October I would dust off Halloween Havoc. You could still do the Hell In A Cell match but at least Halloween Havoc is a name with some appeal to it.
With this PPV being Hell In A Cell, one must wonder just how do you pull off a PPV like this on three weeks notice. Well believe it or not, but WWE Creative is not to fond of this one.
WWE creative is not too fond of the Hell in a Cell PPV format because of the issues with having to do three Cell matches on one card. Some are dreading it because of the idea of three Cell matches with no blood allowed, if they go that route. The current plan is to have the Cell matches take place back to back with DX vs. Legacy first, Undertaker vs. CM Punk second and John Cena vs. Randy Orton last.
Credit to www.f4wonline.com
You know things are bad when the trained monkeys at the typewriters hate the whole idea to begin with. I can’t really blame them because one match is more then enough. Two is pushing it but three is overkill plain and simple. And what’s going to happen when this PPV draws a piss poor buyrate (I’m sensing somewhere in and around 150K)? What does Vince do? Just scrap the whole thing and throw some more darts at a wall for next time around?
The worst thing about all of this is there is now a strict no blood policy in the WWE thanks to that TVPG shit. You know it’s funny on cable there is a a lot a show can get away with in the bounds of TVPG, but some how something that has always been part of the business is now a cardinal sin. I mean really how the hell can you do a PPV featuring the Hell In A Cell and have no blood what so ever? Since the cell was resigned a couple years ago and they made it bigger and taller that kinda takes away the possibility of anyone doing a huge move off the top of the cage (plus Jeff Hardy is gone so he would be the only one dumb enough anyway). The blood was the only worth while thing left and now because of everything having to be clean to draw in the kids and cougar mom’s who like to fantasize to the lean looking wrestlers what point is there in having these damn matches to begin with.
Now when it comes to TV PG I am softening just a bit. I am 28 years old so I saw the highs and lows of ATTITUDE and believe me I don’t want that. It’s bad enough we have Triple H and Shawn Michaels both trying to be DX in this day and age (doesn’t everything about DX contradict TV PG to begin with). But I have no problem with TVPG for the most part. I just hate John Cena and his Howdy Doody Captain America Superman act. At Breaking Point when Randy Orton had him hand cuffed to the ring post and he was whipping him with the kendo stick the only thing missing from all of that was some Vietnamese Colonel screaming “WHERE ARE THE PRISONERS BRADDOCK”. You know I wouldn’t be surprised if Cena ends up in a remake of Missing In Action in the near future. So I shouldn’t probably joke about that because if they did do that it would make all the hype for 12 Rounds seem pail in comparison. It makes me laugh though that in this era of TVPG you have what amounts to a pseudo S&M session on PPV. It’s perfectly fine to torture someone but if theres the tiniest bit of blood well then that would just be to horrible for all the little kids.
I wish I could get tickets for this PPV. Since it’s in Newark it’s not to far from here as it would only be a trip to Penn Station to get on a NJ Transit Train to the Newark Station. The Prudential Center is like five blocks away so it’s a good deal and you don’t have to deal with traffic on the turnpike or Garden State Parkway. If I were going I would make it a point to get a WE WANT BLOOD chant going. Hell better yet if anyone reading this column is going or knows someone going to the show, get a WE WANT BLOOD chant going.
I still can’t believe they are doing this PPV and then three weeks later it will be another PPV of some sort called BRAGGING RIGHTS. I think its supposed to be what’s left of Cyber Sunday. That PPV concept died a painful death when they took away free Internet voting and moved to pay per txt voting. I’ve said this so many times, but the WWE really gives us no reason to want to order these things. If for some reason you order Hell In A Cell and Bragging Rights then that’s $80 right there on what is all ready a bloated cable bill. The least the WWE can do is if they are going to do these PPV’s so close to each other just lower the damn price.
I think I am done for this week. I just don’t have anything left in me. I mean I could do some more TNA bashing but that gets boring after a while.
I read an article floating around on fine news sites just like this one that allegedly Bret Hart is warming up to coming back to the WWE. Now Bret is one of my all time favorite wrestlers. If I could be a wrestler, someone I would pattern part of my ring style after it would be Bret Hart. So the prospect of Bret MAYBE…POSSIBLY coming back someday is a good one. One would have to assume he would be best suited for Smackdown just because I don’t want to see Bret and Shawn Michaels anywhere near each other. Though the article said in 2006 Vince was trying to get Bret to come back and he was so confident he was going to get him to sign that he penciled in a street fight between himself and Bret for a PPV. Sometimes I have dreams where I’m watching something and I’ve had a couple where I was watching Bret Hart facing Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania. Bret’s in his traditional ring gear and it’s a pretty good match. Bret even takes a piledriver at one point in the match. I never did see the ending so I have no idea who wins, but I’m sure a lot of us who were Bret Hart fans in the 90’s especially after the whole Montreal thing would just love to see Bret come back and stand in the ring against Vince and then kick him in the balls and lock the Sharpshooter on him.
I won’t believe Bret Hart is in the WWE until I see him actually in a WWE ring getting a 20 minute standing ovation. But it is something to hope and wish for especially if they are going to be building an angle around The Undertaker being screwed in Montreal where it’s apparent Vince masterminded the whole thing.
If the WWE did all that then I would forgive them for a lot. But with Linda McMahon running for Senate, if you thought TVPG was bad now just wait if she manages to snag the nomination or worse some how win.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. If anyone in Connecticut has any sense, they will vote for Peter Schiff in the primaries and hopefully in the General Election in 2010.
Before I go, I want to implore everyone in the Atlanta, Georgia area to check out Platinum Championship Wrestling
Shows are taped every Wednesday Night at 8PM at the Sam Stone Studios at 860 Hank Aaron Drive in Atlanta, Georgia. The TV show is hosted by “Above Average” Mike Sanders and Stephen Platinum and it’s on ION Ch 14 in the Atlanta area at 11:30PM on Friday Nights so do check it out. With TNA and the WWE phoning it in, it’s going to be small groups like PCW that will inject new life into Professional Wrestling over the next decade.
On that note I am done for this week. With any luck I’ll be back sooner rather then later but we’ll see what happens. I’m not making any promises especially with Cena as champion again. So until then take care and remember someone has to give you this information and it DAMN well has got to be me.
You can click here to send me any and all feedback at email@example.com or leave me some feedback in my Live Journal at phantomlord-lop.livejournal.com
And now the Plugs
Click here to visit the revamped HiFiHits.com for great classic rock in hi definition24/7
If I pissed you off here, Visit Blogmageddon.com…Home to my opinions outside of wrestling
Click here to visit LethalWrestling.com: Home of Lethal Radio, The Re-Vamped Lethal Entertainment, and much much more hilarity and offensiveness
If you are bored bug me on that Myspace thing at Myspace.com/phantomlordlop
If you are really bored, follow me on that Twitter thing that is sweeping the Interweb