– Recently, at an ROH television taping, there was a “wrestler’s court” held. Basically, this is an old-school way for the talent themselves to “hold court” and then judge other talents who are accused of doing something wrong. In this case, it involved referee Gino Colucci with BJ Whitmer being the “judge” and Michael Elgin as the “defense”. ROH CEO Joe Koff heard about the court and was not very happy about it, telling the talents to never do it again as they should be “focusing on that night’s performances” instead of wrestler’s court. I mean…seriously? This is simply a way for “the boys” to handle business without getting management involved. If everybody in the back agrees to settle it this way, then why the hell not do it? How does it hurt anyone? If anything, it improves backstage morale. Koff is an idiot .The wrestlers at this level are professionals…taking time for “court” isn’t going to hurt their performances at all. Dumb-ass.
– Nikki Bella recently addressed the rumours that her relationship with John Cena helped her become the longest-reigning Diva’s champion in WWE history. “It shocks me…that I have the title because of my boyfriend. If that was the case I would have gotten the title when I came back years. He has nothing to do with it. He has nothing to do with anyone’s story or anything like that. He has zero pull. We talk about it all the time because it’s funny how people say that.” To me, Bella was the right choice to become the Diva’s champion when she did. However, she wasn’t nearly over enough to keep it as long as she did, especially where it was barely defended over the last couple of months to ensure that she would break the record. If she truly doesn’t believe that her relationship with Cena was the catalyst for this, then she’s absolutely delusional.
– Tomorrow night in Queens, NY, Johnny Gargano has challenged Ethan Page to an I Quit match. If he doesn’t win, he’ll leave Evolve forever. There has been WWE interest in him since he’s been on NXT television, but I didn’t realize that they were really THAT interested in him. Honestly…he looks like a smurf when wrestling against most WWE-sized opponents. He’s incredibly talented, so I don’t want to take that away from him, but wow…him being in NXT full time would be very surprising to me. On the other hand, if they are looking for the best wrestlers to perform for NXT full time (and not be called-up to the main roster), then I think he’d be a perfect fit. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
– I agree with this statement to a point. I mean, when you have a series of matches with, say, Nikita Koloff vs Magnum TA or Booker T vs Chris Benoit or even the series of matches between Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes over the years, trading wins can only go to heighten the feuds. Having said that, though, when there are a number of main event players or factions trading wins, then Ross is absolutely right…it really helps no one. This is a more recent change in booking for WWE, and I’m surprised they haven’t realized this isn’t the way to go.
– This past week, New Japan Pro Wrestling put their annual event, King of Pro Wrestling, on their pay-site NJPW World with live English commentary by Kevin Kelly and Matt Striker. I gotta say…this is something that I could definitely pay money for. As a big-time fan of NJPW and puroresu, I can tell you that this promotion has the best professional wrestling in the entire world. In addition to their massively talented roster (which includes Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tomohoro Ishii), their blend of gaijin performers (such as Matt Sydal, AJ Styles, the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, ReDRagon, etc.) really makes this an international promotion that feels important. If there was English commentary on ALL of their videos, then this is something that I would definitely pay money for. In the meantime, I’ll stick with the WWE Network.
– Just when some people are ready to make the leap from a PG rated product back to a PG-13 rated product, it’s become very apparent that WWE is concentrating their efforts on growing their younger demographic. In addition, they’re apparently going to try to ride the wave of “cool” with their NXT product by introducing an NXT Kids program to their network. This is the description of who they are looking to cast from Backstage.com:
SEEKING: Males & Females, ages 7-14, All Ethnicities
ROLE DESCRIPTION: Announcers & Interviewers (supporting) with high energy. Must be personable, lively, quick on their feet and a good talker. Kids should have an understanding/familiarity with WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment programming. Kids will be acting as announcers/backstage interviewers/presenters.
I’m not sure how this will end up, but I’m intrigued. It’s quite obvious that the future of professional wrestling is with the younger generation growing up fans, so if WWE can grab these fans early then they’ll (theoretically) soon be the important 18-35 demographic that spends money soon. I’m sure there will be a ton of people who complain about this, but I’m willing to wait and see how it progresses before passing judgment.
– I’ve read a lot of different theories about the whole Lana/Rusev engagement story going public, but my understanding is that the story was actually “leaked” to TMZ by WWE. In terms of reasons behind the move, it depends on who you believe. One story is that WWE knew their storyline with Dolph Ziggler and Summer Rae and Rusev was going nowhere and needed to make a quick change. Another story was that Vince was pissed that Rusev proposed to Lana while his storyline with Summer Rae was going on, so he wanted to “get in front of it”. At the end of the day, it’s what’s best for business because Rusev and Lana can continue to be a power couple once she returns. Their initial relationship was killed off too quickly because Vince was drooling at the notion of a babyface Lana making him a ton of money. At least now the hope is that Rusev can go back to being the potential main event monster that he was just over a year ago.
– The big NXT news from the past television taping was the debut of “Cowboy” James Storm with the promotion. Now I’ve read a lot of “online journalists” try to say that they don’t know if/when Storm is going to sign, but from what I’ve read the fact is that Storm has no aspirations to be on the WWE main roster. Instead, he wants to be a full-time NXT trainer and be a “player-coach”, very similar to the role being filled by Rhyno. Regardless of what’s going on in his future, Storm has the ability to make some waves in NXT.
– Speaking of NXT, how incredibly impressive was Asuka in her debut during the NXT TakeOver: Respect event? I mean, this woman is charismatic and is as impressive as hell inside of the ring. I can’t wait to see her against some REAL competition (i.e. NXT Women’s Champion Bayley or even Alexa Bliss).
– And speaking of the NXT TakeOver: Respect event, how unbelievable was that Bayley vs Sasha Banks match? I think their match in Brooklyn was more technically sound, but this one had so much emotion that it has to be considered a legitimate match of the year contender. As little as three years ago, who would have EVER thought that a woman’s WWE wrestling match would be THAT good? I can’t wait to see more matches like this going forward.
– This week’s Song of the Week is from a band I hope to see live next month, Steel Panther. These guys are like the “Weird Al of heavy metal”, playing 80’s hair metal with parody (though X-rated) lyrics. The thing is that they’ve gone from simply being a parody cover band to releasing three albums of original songs that have garnered such attention that they have MASSIVE followings in Australia, England, and other parts of Europe. This song is my personal favourite: Party All Day. Sit back, turn it up, and enjoy.