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 Rant Of The Week. As always I am coming to you from my above ground bunker in the greatest city in the world, Brooklyn, New York. We dodged the bullet of Hurricane Earl last week as it was too far out to sea to do any damage. I was tempted to go out to Coney Island to get some pics, but all the fun surf was further out on this God forsaken Island of Long. Ah well some storm is bound to have a track that will give it a bee line right for the city and I’ll probably be dumb enough to stand outside during it like I do with driving blizzards to get some pics. But until then we have plenty of rasslin news to get to this week.
Yes I know I am a week late but congratulations go out to Kaval for winning NXT Season 2.
I have been a fan of Low Ki’s for years and to see him make it in the WWE after being squandered in TNA is a joy. It’s amazing to think that Daniel Bryan, Kaval, and CM Punk are all in the WWE and in theory will probably be carrying the company in the coming decade. Years ago people used to think “well if any of them go to the WWE, they’ll just get squandered as creative has nothing for them”. Well for the most part we were wrong. Kaval was one of the bright spots of NXT along with LayCool. Kaval is now on Smackdown so at least there’s hope of him having some damn good matches with the likes of Mysterio, Punk, and others.
Now on the flip side of Kaval’s win, I was shocked that Joe Hennig aka Michael McGillicutty did not win. Well he probably did have the competition won up until he opened his mouth. He has just about all the talent of his old man but good lord he cannot talk. See this is the reason why managers are desperately needed once again in wrestling. A manager was a miracle worker for guys who could not string together sentences with out sounding stupid. Now perhaps it could just be that he got a little tongue-tied trying to cut a scripted promo. It happens to the best of us when trying to remember something we had to memorize. But it could also be that Mike is not the talker that Curt was during the prime of his career. Things can change because if you see video of Curt at the start of his career, his promos were a little wooden to say the least. So with a few years of seasoning it’s possible and probable that Mike McGillicutty will be a very good promo guy if studies from the right people. But when it comes to NXT, it’s pretty clear he lost because he couldn’t cut a promo.
With the exception of Percy Watson, Kaval, and Alex Riley, none of the guys on this season really could cut promos. Husky Harris got a pass simply because he’s so sleazy and badass looking. Wrestling needs guys who look like that, but they need managers more then anything else. It drives me nuts when some people take the position that managers can’t draw in wrestling today. Well sure if you just have them stand around and not do much then sure they won’t draw. But if you find someone who really gets on people’s nerves and build it up over time where you want to see the good guy kick the shit out of them then that would be a draw.
I’ve been told that I would probably make a good wrestling manager. I really know how to get on peoples nerves and if you’ve been reading this column for a while now then you know I know how to do that. Only problem is there needs to be a fundamental change in the way wrestling is presented for managers to be viable again. Authority figures and General managers need to go. It was a good run when Mr. McMahon stumbled onto gold with his feud with Austin, but that ship has long sailed and the sooner everyone (the WWE & TNA) realize this the better. If you are lucky enough to have WWE 24/7 then you know what I am talking about. Up until say 1993 the manager carried the load for so many people on the mic. After 93 the manager became less and less visible until they finally just up and disappeared. Occasionally you would still have one like a James Mitchell in WCW/ECW and later in TNA. But for the most part the manager was reduced to a comedy act and it would disappear.
Well we have come to a time where managers are desperately needed once again. It’s a shame that Gary Hart has passed on to the great arena in the sky. Gary Hart forming a new stable of men to make the life of John Cena a living hell would be fun television. TNA sort of has a new stable with Fourtune but they haven’t pulled the trigger as usual. Ric Flair as the new JJ Dillon has infinite possibilities, but it’s TNA so of course they aren’t going full tilt with it.
I like to look back to my childhood when I think of managers. As I’ve mentioned so many times before, John Cena is this generations Hulk Hogan. Now no one can deny Hogan was the biggest draw in wrestling in the 80’s. But can you imagine how things would have been if Hogan didn’t have a never-ending feud with The Heenan Family? To a larger extent would Steve Austin and The Rock been the mega stars they are now if they didn’t have The Corporation and Vince McMahon to feud with? Yes Vince wasn’t a manager per se, but in 1999 he was the closest thing to one. I just can’t imagine things working the way they did back then if they were like they are now.
The WWE sort of has something going with Nexus, but we still have to find out whom the mastermind is. Someone put Nexus up to all of this and clearly is pulling the strings. There are plenty of great talents in that group. But they all could use a manager to do the talking for them. I go back to my original point about McGillicutty and the current crop of wrestlers in the WWE. There are so many guys that have the look and probably the talent but once they start talking they get very boring very quickly. I could be wrong, but odds are I won’t be. The worst part about all of this is you just know some of these guys will be released because “creative had nothing for them”.
Speaking of creative having nothing, NXT Season 3 has started and my God what a glorious train wreck it is. Season 3 of NXT is all Divas and after one episode I am glad my DVR for some mysterious reason is recording the show again. I know I didn’t set it to record. I was happy with taping Covert Affairs in that slot. Apparently in a month NXT will go exclusively on WWE.com since I don’t think there’s a chance any other NBC owned cable network would take the show. It’s probably for the best since Sons Of Anarchy is back on. NXT draws TNA-esq numbers so it’s no real loss if it’s on television or on WWE.com. After one episode it’s clear it will be a horse race between AJ Lee and Naomi. A close third in my view is Maxine. My favorite paring on the show is Goldust and Aksana. I love anything Goldust does and Aksana is perfect for him. If only Goldust were on Smackdown then we would all be happy. Aksana is basically doing Vladimir Kozlov’s original gimmick and I like her all ready. She said Double Double E and she wants to entertainment everyone. She’s going to be my sleeper pick. It’s just a shame Maryse is not on this show. Aksana and Maryse yelling at each other in their respective languages would make for some fun television.
Aside from that this show is going to be horrible. I mean with the exception of AJ Lee, everyone on this show is a model. The WWE trains them just enough so that they don’t kill themselves or the person they are facing in the ring. The Johnny Ace method of skimming through the Victoria Secret catalog has picked some gems for us in the past. But for every Trish Stratus, Maryse, and even Candice Michelle there are Ashley’s, Joy’s, and others whose names I am blanking on right now. Kelly Kelly has come a long way since being that chick that stripped on ECW a few years ago. So I guess there is her to along with Alicia Fox (I believe her and Kelly were both in the same aforementioned Victoria Secret catalog). But aside from them the rest have been duds. I like The Bella Twins though so they get a pass from me.
Some people complain that oh well the WWE should scour the Indies and get some real female wrestlers. I’m going to stop you right there because the WWE has not now nor will they ever give a shit about who is a good female wrestler. Even in these PG times where the women aren’t being paraded around in thongs, that wrestling stuff is not a high priority. If they can find someone like The Undertaker’s Old Lady and Layla who can adapt and actually become somewhat decent in the ring then it’s win for them. Sure it would be nice for us the viewing public if a women’s match didn’t have so many botches, but you have to realize at the most the Women might get five minutes on television and they aren’t being used just because they have a good workrate. It would be nice if that weren’t the case, but unless say a new Wendi Richter comes along for a Cyndi Lauper for this generation that won’t change.
I had a horrible thought about Lady Gaga getting involved in an angle. Thought it would be an amusing thought of the pitch for that one.
: I AM DIGGING THIS BAD ROMANCE SONG. LIVING IN A BAD ROMANCE, I’M LIVING IN A BAD ROMANCE. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, IT’S A BAD ROMANCE DAMN IT.
I probably just scared the hell out of a lot of you. I am sorry about that.
Moving along to other news of interest, wasn’t that a great Impact last week. Oh that’s right it wasn’t on last week. Spike felt that a Gangland marathon was a better idea to air then their highest rated non-UFC show. Truth was Impact would have been up against Thursday Night Football with The Saints vs. The Vikings and it would have been SLAUGHTERED against it. The NFL had it’s highest rated season premier game in history so I’m guessing TNA and the people at Spike finally made a smart decision and decided to take the night off.
What they should have done was aired Impact on Saturday night or something. How the hell can you do a PPV the week before (which btw I wasn’t aware there was a PPV until I had seen the previous weeks Impact) and then not air a show at all following it for a week and a half?
This is why TNA is doomed to fail. If this were UFC do you think Dana White would allow for this kind of non-sense to go on? Well I’ve read the spoilers for the next three weeks and I have to just shake my head as usual. TNA is building up to some sort of Live Impact on October 7th that will be the lead in for the Bound For Glory PPV on October 10th. For those of you who don’t wish to be spoiled, I won’t say anything. But you can just imagine it’s more of the same from TNA.
The other night on Twitter in a sign of how things might really be in TNA, Kevin Nash went on a drunken Twitter spree talking about how he’s leaving when his contract is up on October 12th. Basically TNA owes him money for a certain amount of shows and as usual TNA is trying to screw someone out of money that is owed. This is a pattern when it comes to TNA. They’ll burn through peoples contracted dates and we’ll get something like the RVD deal where he was “poked full of holes” by Abyss. I never understood the whole dates thing. If you sign someone for a year then that’s what it should be for. If some how you manage to burn through the dates and the guy is say your world champion then suck it up and cough up the extra cash. A clueless idiot in Bob Carter funds TNA. He seems to buy anything his equally clueless daughter tells him and the stockholders of Panda Energy. I’m sure if they worded it right and said they needed some extra cash to keep the World Champion around till a certain time he would okay it no problem. God knows they have given far more money to others to do less.
Speaking of money, it’s painfully clear that Hulk Hogan is hard up for it. Now I know I said I wouldn’t spoil on the Impacts but this one needs mentioning. At Bound For Glory it will be announced in a couple of weeks that Sting, Kevin Nash, & The Pope will take on Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett, and Hulk Hogan at Bound For Glory. I won’t explain why The Pope is in this match (mostly cause it makes no sense, but this is TNA). Kevin Nash and Sting are two of my favorite wrestlers of all time. I still love anything they do. But this whole angle they have been part of with Jarrett and “TNA Management” makes no friggin sense what so ever.
It’s so hilarious when Jarrett and Hogan call out Sting and Nash about not wanting to give up the spotlight.
Pot & Kettle meet Mr. Black.
First off if Jarrett had any power he would be TNA Champion right now. Secondly if Hogan had any mobility he would have beaten Jarrett for the title by now. So the basis of this whole angle makes no sense what so ever. It is good though that the fans are solidly behind Nash and Sting, which says a lot about who are the faces in TNA.
Now we have Hulk Hogan who just got out of the hospital for more back problems. He posted some videos on his twitter where he was pretty damn doped up on morphine for those back problems. Hogan apparently can’t even bend over with out flaring up his back and he’s going to wrestle? Now granted with a six man tag means he doesn’t have to do much. God bless Andre The Giant because if you ever saw a match of his in the last couple years of his life in Japan they were mostly six man’s where he only really got involved at the end. His back and whole body was beyond FUBAR but the money was still good for him and he suffered through it. I don’t see why Hogan is doing that because it can’t possibly be worth the money.
I mean it’s TNA so how much money could he be making? If he were doing this in Japan I can understand because he’s still probably a draw over there, but here not so much. If it were me I wouldn’t even bother with it. It’s not worth being in a wheel chair in your later years. But since this PPV is in Daytona in the same exact building where the N.W.O. formed you better believe there is a swerve coming. Odds are Hogan will turn heel and join “The Band”. Nash says he’s leaving a couple days later so I’m guessing what ever will happen will involve Hogan, Sting, and Samoa Joe. What that will be…well your guess is as good as mine. Who the hell knows where any of this is going. All I do know is Hogan has no business being anywhere near a ring and if his back is truly as messed up is it’s reported to be there’s a good chance Hogan will be leaving the building on a stretcher.
Knowing TNA they will have something “happen” to Hulk during the PPV so he can’t make the match.
Of course this could all be a ploy by Hulk Hogan to get himself the role in the eventual direct to dvd cheap sequel of The Wrestler. Hogan said he was offered the role of Randy The Ram so maybe he’s doing a long audition. Couldn’t be any worse then any of Kurt Angle’s recent movies.
On a lighter note, the latest attempt at WWE Studio’s to make John Cena an “actor” fell flat as Legendary grossed a little under $140k on 175 screens. Of course I am sure the WWE will pull a very obscure movie ranking out come this Monday to say how the movie was number 1 at the box office. Truth is limited release is code for “it’s not going to make money this way”. Sometimes a limited release works in favor for a movie, but not this one. I think the main problem with the movie is no one can buy John Cena as a wrestler. No not a Pro Wrestler but a real Greco Roman wrestler. I’m sure the movie will do well enough with on demand PPV and DVD rentals, but the WWE has to be kidding it self if they think they can put out drama’s.
The WWE probably can do buddy comedies with no problem what so ever. But they should steer far away from dramas. Randy Orton is supposed to be in some sort of drama at some point. Edge has one coming out next year as well. Hopefully this little WWE Studio’s experiment fades away much like the first go round with McMahon and Hogan did in the early 90’s.
You know I’m surprised they haven’t remade No Holds Barred yet. That movie just screams John Cena.
Speaking of drama, it appears there might be some with Matt Hardy brewing as he was apparently sent home from the European tour. The reports have it as the WWE being concerned about his condition. What that condition is I don’t know. He’s been posting some erratic messages on his twitter account. But as we know wrestlers just love to have fun with everyone so they could all just be an elaborate work for the amusement of himself and some others. The last one he posted was him letting everyone know he was uploading a video that he just recorded in England. Perhaps Matt is trying just a little too hard to get wished well in his future endeavors. There are easier ways to get fired if one wants to do that.
In a tweet about a week or so ago he posted a comment to Shane Helms about how he has 13 months left on his current deal with the WWE. It’s a pretty safe bet that the only reason Matt Hardy is still in the WWE is because the WWE clearly fears an OMEGA reunion. I mean if he went to TNA in the future it wouldn’t matter much.
Seriously though he has overcome a lot in the last year with his body. He has a really nasty torn abdominal muscle that caused a problem with his intestines that almost killed him. Some say that’s the problem with wrestlers who would rather tough it out then get something treated before it becomes a major problem. Matt gets a lot of grief from people but he’s by far still one of the most over guys on Smackdown and it’s the WWE’s own fault if he’s so pissed that he’s thinking of ways to get himself fired. I hope that’s not the case. I mean it’s so much easier to just sit around and wait for creative to tell you they have nothing for you.
Before I go I want to send out my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mike Shaw who passed away at the age of 53 over the weekend. Shaw was best known to my generation as Norman The Lunatic in WCW and Bastion Booger in the WWF in the early 90’s. He made his real mark in wrestling up in Calgary in Stampede Wrestling as Makhan Singh where he had a long running feud with Owen Hart. Honestly as a kid, Bastion Booger grossed me out. He was so disgusting to look at especially when he would eat in mid match. One infamous match I remember was him on Team Bam Bam vs. The Doink’s at Survivor Series 93. He and The Wild Samoan’s were eating a whole turkey and it was just a mess. But God bless him because he made the most of it. Well I hope he is at peace now. When someone passes away that’s all you can really ask.
So on that note I am done for this week. Hopefully I’ll be back soon but who knows how my writing mood will be with school. But until next time, remember someone has to give you this information and it DAMN well has got to be me.
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