Archive for August, 2010
Tune in for our play by play coverage!
In his latest blog post Lance Storm shares some poignant thoughts and interesting moments about his time with Lance Cade. He also lists other notable deaths in pro wrestling that have happened recently. Here’s a short excerpt from his post. It’s a great and touching read. Check it out.
I worked with Lance Cade a lot during my time in WWE including having his WWE debut match on Sunday Night Heat. It was the battle of the Lance’s, which I won with the sharp shooter (match available on YouTube) which led to him being renamed Garrison Cade in coming weeks, because WWE decided they didn’t want two wrestlers named Lance on the same show. I have no idea who came up with the name Garrison, but Christian and I always used to rib him about the moniker and joked they should have called him Barry so he could be Barry Cade (Barricade).
*image from StormWrestling.com
With the end of season two tomorrow night I thought I would put up something I’ve been thinking about, what I would have done with the NXT brand that would have kept it fresh, alive and not burying talent while keeping things exciting.
What I would do is create an NXT Championship. Now I know what you’re thinking, not another title but here me out.
Load the show with 15 new guys and have a tournament for the NXT Title. Once the champion is crowned this is where the drama begins. The champion has the advantage. When the champion ends the “season” he will move up to the main roster. Others remain in NXT until they win the title and end the season with the title to move up. Each season starts with another tournament for the title since the title will be vacant at the end of the season. You have five seasons a year guaranteeing that you move up 5 new stars a year. Also, every time someone moves up, you bring in someone new to the show to take their place. This keeps talent moving in and out of NXT and also gives the audience a chance to get use to seeing them as someone credible that could move up to take on the WWE’s best.
The title changes hands during the season creating compelling stories with guys fighting for a title that means something, a move to the main rosters. Combined with feuds, the NXT stars will challenge each other in matches that will determine if they are the next person to challenge the champion. Once a challenger loses, he moves down the ladder unless he beats one of the top 3.
With this format I think you can really revolutionize television, something Vince McMahon promised and never delivered. Also it gives the audience something to look forward to 5 times a year to see which one of these NXT stars finally breaks out of the pack and heads to the “big leagues”. These five big shows a year could be built up as mini pay per views with not only the championship match to finish the show but top feuds on the brand.
Hopefully someone in Connecticut reads this and steals this idea, don’t worry I wont complain or sue.
– Mascara De Fuego
The show starts with a great package of past RAW moments INCLUDING the debut of Chris Jericho! Still my favorite moment ever!
As usual Jim Ross drops another gem in his latest blog post. He discusses his excitement for tonight’s 900th episode of RAW. Here are just a few highlights of many:
The Best Feud
“The guttural, intense heat generated with the Austin-McMahon rivalry. It made stars of both Stone Cold, the anti hero, Mr. McMahon, the antagonist, and helped make RAW the Monday night TV destination for millions. For my money, RAW never had a better rivalry than Austin-McMahon.”
The Greatest Stable
“DX…which helped launch HHH, re-invent HBK and made stars of Billy Gunn, Road Dog, and Chyna. Every one came along at the right place at the right time with the right presentation for their persona’s in a male friendly 18-34 demo. To me, this faction was as good as it gets and ranks in the same breath with the Horsemen.”
“The explosion of The Rock who Hollywood discovered and away the Great One went to become a major player on the silver screen. Rock’s verbal skills and ‘look’ set him a part and captivated the imagination of film makers and fans the world over. The Rock was a once in a life time athlete/personality in the mat game….a natural entertainer.”
He also gives a nice tribute to just how great the Undertaker is. Head on over to JR’s blog to read that nugget of praise and respect and more.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
~ Philosopher and novelist, George Santayana, 1905
In January 2006, five relatively unknown wrestlers were put together by the WWE and were called the “Spirit Squad”. They feuded with the likes of John Cena, Shawn Michaels and Triple H, who ‘were’ the main event faces of that era. They were endorsed on-camera by Vince McMahon and were heavily featured on Monday Night Raw every week.
They didn’t necessarily put the wrestling world on notice or turn the industry on its head, but they did create a necessary heel presence for the faces to battle on Raw. The Spirit Squad was an entertaining faction of young athletic guys who worked well as a unit. Sound familiar? They carried the spirit of Vince McMahon but also possessed youth and athletic ability to hang with Shawn Michaels and other established main event wrestlers in the ring. A feud with Vince McMahon was considered old news and the Spirit Squad provided the WWE audience with someone new to hate.
Nine months later The Spirit Squad was disbanded and literally shipped off to OVW. Yep, that’s right. Nine months. On November 27, 2006 DX and Ric Flair defeated the Spirit Squad in a three on five handicap match and then shipped them off in a container with an “OVW, Louisville, Kentucky” label.
In my opinion, the Spirit Squad could have gone on to do bigger and greater things. Kenny, Johnny, Mitch, Nicky, and Mikey were not the greatest workers but a few of them had decent upsides that warranted steady to great careers if they were utilized to their potential by the WWE.
With the exception of Nicky, who is now Vicky Guerrero’s disco stick, Dolph Ziggler, the rest of the Spirit Squad are no longer with the WWE. This leads me to the question of:
Will The Nexus get Spirit Squad’ed?
First, let me present to you the definition of being “Spirit Squad’ed”:
On June 7, 2010 The Nexus premiered on Raw in big fashion. They destroyed the ring area and practically obliterated the number one guy in the company, John Cena. At that moment, the WWE became cool again. Old wrestling fans who have become disinterested suddenly became interested again. Many pundits saw the first horrifying acts of the Nexus as the second coming of the nWo. The angle was instantly white hot and it would only become hotter.
On August 15, the Nexus were part of the main event of Summerslam. Seven relatively unknown wrestlers co-headlined a major WWE pay per view with six of the biggest names of the wrestling business not named Undertaker or Rey Mysterio. The match was booked very well and the Nexus looked strong for the most part. However, conventional wisdom prevailed and John Cena was the last man standing for the forces of good and the crowd was sent home happy.
The next day on Raw, the angle took a step back in my opinion when John Cena verbally buried The Nexus one wrestler at a time. The Nexus wrestlers were featured in singles matches. Michael Tarver, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater barely won their matches via questionable tactics. Only Skip Sheffield, David Otunga and Wade Barret looked somewhat formidable. The Nexus kicked Darren Young out of the stable for losing his match to Cena. That put their numbers down to six members. Skip Sheffield then broke his leg at a house show in Hawaii, which will probably be explained on tonight’s episode of Raw.
Where does the Nexus go from here? It’s only been two and a half months and The Nexus has lost a little bit of steam. The original group of eight members is now down to five. To rebound from that set back and to move a step forward, The Nexus need to start gaining titles. I hope that before their run is over The Nexus holds every title in the WWE at the same time at least once. It has to be done. There’s not a single wrestler in the WWE that needs to hold a title right now more than the Nexus wrestlers do. The Miz and Randy Orton’s pushes to the WWE Championship can be postponed for a moment so that Wade Barret can lead the way with the WWE Championship belt around his waist.
Seeing every title in possession of the Nexus would keep the angle hot and overall story of Raw so much more compelling. It would be a shame to not to see all the Nexus standing on one side of the ring in a Survivor Series match in November. How interesting would the Royal Rumble be if the majority of the Nexus were in the ring at the same time? The opportunities to get the Nexus over are endless and I hope the WWE sees that they have a plethora of options in front of them. Unfortunately, history proves that the WWE will just abandon and disband the stable once John Cena or a returning HHH ultimately destroys them.
The Spirit Squad lasted nine months before they were wiped off the face of the WWE landscape. The Nexus are two months in and are still very much the focus on Raw. I see a lot of Nexus t-shirts scattered among the crowd on Raw broadcasts. Also there were quite a few Nexus t-shirts being sported last month at Summerslam Axxess in Los Angeles. For every positive sign that the WWE will continue to push The Nexus angle, there’s always that lingering feeling that Vince and company will inexplicably screw the angle up.
The Nexus is the WWE’s chance to learn from its past mistakes and to entertain its fans with something truly new and different. We’ll see what direction the WWE is willing to go tonight and in the months ahead.