by Amish Patel - November 02, 2009
Greetings conversationalists all across the fruited plain it is I your personal Harvester of Sorrow the one and only Phantom Lord and this is my Rant Of The Week. As always I am coming to you from the urban hellhole that is Brooklyn, New York and Halloween is almost upon us. I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but at least around here in this neighborhood it seems like with each passing year there are less and less kids trick or treating. Still plenty of incidents of busses being egged and shaving cream being used. I guess it’s just as well though. I mean it saves me the trouble of putting up a huge sign that says GO AWAY.
I am only kidding. While I am generally a bitter person, I am not that cold hearted despite what some might think. There are plenty of reasons to be joyful right now. For starters the greatest team in the history of all of sports, The New York Yankees are back in the World Series. Anthony from the Opie & Anthony show said it best on his Twitter after the game.
Fuck off Philly. We’re not Tampa Bay. Have fun with your 1 championship dynasty.
It’s funny how New York and Philly have always hated each other. Back in ECW (the real ECW) there would always be a FUCK PHILLY or FUCK NEW YORK chant at shows. Ah I miss those good old days.
One good thing about writing this column by shooting from the hip is I really have no set game plan going in. I look at what news bits interest me and go from there. Doing this allows me to adapt when something big happens and today something BIG happened.
We have to fire up the Drudge sirens for this one.
I can honestly say I did not see this one coming. I’m kind of kicking myself right now because I could have went to that press conference thing at MSG. I figured it was just something stupid for Hogan’s new book and maybe that tour of Australia that he is doing. At the most maybe he was some how going to do a show at Madison Square Garden since I believe MSG is no longer exclusive to the WWE (but then again only the WWE can afford the building rental so it was a moot point). For years TNA has been trying to sign Hulk Hogan to some sort of deal so they could piggy back off him to maybe finally break the illusive 1.5 ratings mark and that day has finally come.
Right now there’s so much news breaking including the fact that apparently the signing of Hulk Hogan and Uncle Eric is only the beginning. Rumor on the Interweb has it that Ric Flair might be coming along for the ride since he signed a deal with Bischoff’s production company. TNA has been trying to get their hands on Ric Flair ever since his big send off at Wrestlemania 24 and considering the fact that Flair has alimony to pay to three ex wives, I’d say the chances of Ric Flair going to TNA have gone up ten fold. I’m all for this happening just because I’d love to see Flair vs. Sting and Flair vs. Foley again. As an added bonus Flair as X division champion would be all kinds of fun.
I still can’t believe TNA actually did it. I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the negotiations. On the one hand you know Hogan needs the money, but on the other you know TNA is so desperate to even get noticed by the WWE that they probably handed him a blank check and said “here’s the keys do what ever you want”. I imagine it more like the scene from Major League 2 where Roger Dorn is trying to buy the Indians and the owner keeps jacking up the price and finally he takes the highest offer that in the end will bankrupt him and the team. It probably wasn’t anything like that, but knowing how clueless Dixie is I am sure she rubber stamped her signature onto a huge contract that had the words CREATIVE CONTROL for me and all of my friends in it. As you can imagine this has given the IWC something to talk about for once as people are clearly divided on what Hogan means for TNA.
There are two schools of thought here. The first one is Hulk Hogan with his name and star power will finally help TNA make it over the hurdle that they’ve been trying to clear for years now. Things can only go up from here because Hogan has something to prove that there is plenty of gas left in the tank of Hulkamania.
The other theory which is the more popular one since there is a 95% chance it’s going to happen and that’s we will get a repeat of WCW from 1994 on where Hogan books himself into the top spot and books all his buddies and friends into top spots as well and all the real stars of the company get pushed aside and become so disillusioned that they end up quitting. Not to say I want to see all of that happen, but it’s like they say. If you don’t follow your history you are doomed to repeat it. I mean Dixie and the people at Spike must have seen WCW and heard the horror stories with these people in charge and I haven’t even gotten to Russo and Ferrara in charge of the booking yet…well for the time being they are anyway.
The way I see it, this is either the moment TNA finally gets their shit together and becomes a company worth a damn or they just put a gun to their head and it’s only a matter of time before the trigger is pulled.
Ironic I say that since Hogan in his new book that is coming out claims that he was minutes away from doing himself in if not for a phone call from Laila Ali. With all things Hulk Hogan I don’t know how much of this is him embellishing the story. I mean if you ask him right now about the match with Andre at Wrestlemania 3 he’ll tell you that Andre weighed over 700 pounds and the earth shook when he body slammed Andre and Andre died two weeks later from the power of Hulkamania. Point is Hogan can bullshit with the best of them. I also find it funny that TNA is betting the farm on Hogan and the publicity he can bring them and so far on his media appearances on Larry King, Howard Stern, Jimmy Fallon, and elsewhere he’s only mentioned TNA in passing.
But hey we’ll see what happens this Thursday. Maybe just mentioning them in passing is more then enough to get TNA over the hump and to the illusive 1.4 or dare I say 1.5 ratings mark. In the mean time it will be amusing to see who does come to TNA now as I said Flair is rumored but so are names like Goldberg, DDP, Austin, RVD, and others.
One thing I can’t understand is the Austin rumors. Stone Cold wants nothing to do with wrestling anymore. While I firmly believe he can wrestle a few matches if he wanted to (provided the money was really good), all these rumors of Austin going to TNA are hilarious. I am fairly certain Austin signed a deal with the WWE for his likeness along with making movies for them. I remember reading somewhere it was some long term deal and all he has to really do is show up a couple times a year on RAW and that’s it. I can’t imagine Austin who by all accounts is a very smart businessman would want to go to TNA. Austin much like Hogan likes to control how he is used and if you remember back to 2002 when he walked out of the WWE when they booked him in a King Of The Ring match with Brock Lesnar un-announced. He basically said why the hell would you want to throw that match away with no build up what so ever on television for free. We know how TNA loves to throw away matches for free on television so if hell did indeed freeze over and Steve Austin does go to TNA and he does decide to wrestle a couple of matches how long do you think it will take him to say fuck it when they book him in a match with say AJ Styles on an Impact that has no reason what so ever.
I just summed up TNA’s problems in a nutshell right there and that was with a situation that there’s a 99.999999% chance will never happen. TNA has signed Hogan. They can sign Flair, Goldberg, DDP, Bret Hart, The Ultimate Warrior, The Rock, Stone Cold, and the list can go on and on and on and it won’t make a lick of difference because the people that are in charge of TNA are morons. These people are content with PPV’s drawing in the five digits. They are perfectly fine with doing house shows to quarter sold buildings. They are perfectly fine with their TV ratings being stagnant. Maybe I am wrong and things are going to change, but with all of these people in power and the way things are run right now the chances of any of this changing are slim and none.
For now we shall see where things go, but I’m not to optimistic. TNA has gotten peoples hopes up before only to smash them into a million pieces.
Impact drew a 1.3 rating which is amazing considering it was up against game 2 of the Yankees/Phillies series and College Football. Well I can imagine people in TNA were gloating about this one.
Wow a 1.3…if it were just a regular night it would be like double that.
Of course this will bolster some people in TNA thinking that they can have a show on Monday nights. Never mind the fact RAW isn’t even top ten much of the time anymore but they have to be delusional if they think they can take on Monday Night Football. Monday is just to stacked of a night for them to run on so I hope there are some sane people at TNA and Spike and they don’t do that. If there is a second should it should be on Saturday nights. Either have it on at the old 6pm slot that wrestling was on TBS for so long or have it on at 11 PM. It would be way easier to take on SNL then MNF.
Before all this stuff with Hogan happened, the biggest story of the year so far was the one that broke about two weeks ago when Shane McMahon announced he was resigning from the WWE effective on New Years Day of 2010. To say this caught everyone off guard would be an understatement. So far there has been nothing from anyone inside the WWE as to why Shane suddenly up and quit. All there is right now is speculation that maybe he is leaving to start or join an MMA promotion since Shane has a huge love for MMA. Apparently Shane is about the same age when Vince started his quest for world domination so if Shane has had enough with the three-ring circus that working for Vince is, it’s not out of the question to think he wants to break out on his own. He has made more then enough money over the years plus his wife is loaded due to her being a Mazolla (as in Mazolla cooking oil). So between the both of them they could easily buy into a company or front the start up cash for one.
Another theory is that Shane is stepping down so he can go work on his mothers Senate campaign.
I don’t think Shane would step down from the WWE just to work for his mother’s campaign. If it were simply that then they would have probably said something by now about it. But considering how tight lipped everyone in the WWE seems to be about it and how some reports have suggested that you don’t want to even dare bring this up to Vince it’s my best guess he’s leaving to do something more then just be a campaign manager. If one had to speculate (and as I said before here on the Internet that’s all we really can do) I like to think he stepped down because he was sick and tired of how much the product is really beginning to suck. And make no mistakes when I say the product you damn well know I mean WWE Raw. It’s the WWE’s pride and joy and right now it’s controlled by Triple H, HBK, John Cena, and Randy Orton. Basically if you are on the wrong side of them then you are pretty much guaranteed to be firmly stuck under the glass ceiling. The WWE isn’t really trying anymore. Sure Smackdown is a great show and ECW does well enough for Sci Fi to be Happy. But RAW which is what Vince and company focus 95% of their attention on has been hit or miss for a long time now.
I think the culmination of all this was the Bragging Rights PPV last weekend. Yes apparently there was a PPV on but I’m not sure anyone really noticed. I mean I took the time to catch up on some sleep rather then shall we say watch it. It was barely three weeks since the last PPV Breaking Point. I read reports about how WWE Creative was stretched thin. Well no shit, I’d be stretched thin to if I had to keep recycling the same stuff over and over. They hyped this as the end of THE RIVALRY. I mean they proclaimed it to be a RIVALRY so I guess it had to be one between John Cena and Randy Orton. A one-hour Iron man match that was anything goes. See I have no doubt that Randy Orton could work an old school one-hour match. John Cena on the other hand well lets just say if he had to do the same shit over and over for an hour it wouldn’t be a pleasant sight.
The big thing during this match was at some point John Cena got split open after getting hit by the microphone and Vince flipped out and sent trainers and medics out and they stopped the match. This no blood thing really is stupid and this was more proof of that. Ok I can understand the need for no excessive amounts of blood. But a little blood every now and then won’t kill anyone. But its all TV PG now and well the only reason they are doing all this is to sanitize the product so none of Linda McMahon’s opponent’s have ammo to use against her. Though some are having a field day digging up old WWE videos since it’s hard to explain away shit like Katie Vick. I did find it funny though how they freaked out over a little blood yet about 20 minutes later into the match, Randy Orton tried to murder John Cena by blowing him up with the pyro.
Just so we’re all clear on the WWE’s priorities and official positions
BLOOD = BAD
USING PYRO AS AN IED TO TRY AND “KILL” SOMEONE = GOOD
Hey wasn’t IED the mental disorder they picked at random to explain why Orton is a sociopath character wise? Talk about irony there.
So if anyone’s wondering why Shane McMahon is leaving I think the WWE basically becoming lame and stale is the reason. And if you need some proof into the whole Cena/Triple H/HBK/Orton control RAW thing, guess who’s in the RAW main event for the Survivor Series. Why it’s John Cena vs. HBK vs. Triple H for the WWE title. I guess this is to sew the seeds of the DX break up cause you know Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels is a feud they just haven’t done yet (roll eyes). I read a couple weeks ago that this is apparently the plan as stuff like Triple H letting Shawn take all the falls and such is leading to Triple H going back to being a bad guy again.
See now if it were me and I were running things, it would be Shawn Michaels going heel here. Yes I know he won’t do it but there’s so much more potential for a full blown heel Shawn Michaels then Shawn doing his walking cripple act. Have Shawn snap and beat the shit out of Triple H. Now that would be interesting to watch. Triple H turning heel and beating the shit out of Shawn Michaels and them having another prolonged wankfest not so much. I don’t think Triple H could work the Shawn Michaels role of face in peril even if his life depended on it. Triple H always has to be the big bad guy and I honestly think he’s reached the limits of what he can be as “The Game”.
All I know is things are getting very boring on RAW and it’s only a matter of time before they go back to Orton and Cena. My best guess is Randy will win the Royal Rumble and they’ll set up for yet another match in THE RIVALRY.
Something needs to be done and soon and turning Ted DiBiase good just so he can promote a crappy straight to dvd movie won’t be it. There are plenty of people on RAW who can feud with Cena and DX with out it being the same stuff over and over. What I think they should have done was held a tournament to crown a new number one contender but as a rule, Legacy and DX would not be part of it. It would force them to push guys like Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, The Miz, MVP, and others out of the mid card where they all have been in a holding pattern.
Well Kofi might be breaking through to the top since he’s entering into a feud with Randy Orton after he trashed Orton’s racecar last week. I’m guessing we’ll see Kofi get punted for his actions so that will at least give us a fresh feud when that match is set.
Over on Smackdown at least they try to keep things fresh in a sense, as they are clearly building towards a Jericho/Undertaker feud and match. Chris Jericho and The Undertaker have never really crossed paths, which is amazing considering how long they both have been in the WWE together. I still remember during the Royal Rumble this year when Jericho had that smirk on his face and then slowly it turned to a look of fear when he realized The Undertaker was standing right behind him. Smackdown has managed to keep things fresh while RAW grows stagnant. It could be that Michael Hayes in charge of Smackdown and Smackdown is GASP the “wrestling” show. I think I’ve said that before but you know what it’s true so it bares repeating.
Part of me hopes The Big Show manages to win the title when they have the triple threat with him, Taker, and Jericho at the Survivor Series. Let Taker and Jericho feud and give Big Show the title because he deserves it. He should have won it at Wrestlemania. The Big Show has been the most consistent guy on the entire WWE roster next to Jericho and CM Punk at being awesome this year. If you had asked me say four or five years ago if I ever thought The Big Show would have a second career prime I would have said no. The man deserves a run on top right now. And by run on the top I don’t mean the usual WWE logic of sending him back to RAW and having him get lost in the mix.
Speaking of being sent to RAW, Sheamus has been promoted from ECW to RAW. Apparently Triple H really likes him so unlike others who have been sent from ECW or Smackdown to RAW he might actually have some hope for a future. I just hope they don’t change him too much by making him get a tan or try to lose the Irish accent. It’s fun when he keeps calling people fella. Who knows if things go well he could be the next Fit Finlay. I guess all he would need is someone to be a William Regal for him where they just beat the piss out of each other.
Well there’s something to hope for in the future. In the mean time I am done for now as I’m going to sit back and observe what’s going to happen. The next few weeks should be very interesting especially for TNA. I really want to be wrong about them, but they are now working with Hulk Hogan. Its really all a matter of is Hogan sincere or is he just looking to piss off Vince into giving him a huge paycheck. Hulk Hogan is probably the only person in the world who can pull that off. Piss Vince McMahon off and still make a ton of money.
On that note I am done for now so until next time 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
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